The Return of the Hunchbacks

We awakened this morning to winter…freezing temperatures and blustery snow swirling by our windows. As I walked out to our High Street this morning to do some shopping for dinner, I noticed ‘the return of the hunchbacks’. People were all hunkered back into their winter coats, hats, scarves and gloves. Nobody made eye contact and there were no warm and happy greetings to be had. Even in my favourite health food store the mood was somber and heavy.

We truly have had enough of winter. It was hard on us and we have earned every warm and sunny day that is on the horizon. The kids and I have made a pact; that we will not complain, even once, when the sweltering heat of the summer descends upon us. We have promised each other that we will enjoy the barbeques in the backyard, the road hockey, the frisbee in the park and the late nights that don’t require even the lightest jacket.

And, while spring does eventually triumph over winter, we will enjoy the renewed life purpose and feeling of exuberance that is as much a harbinger of spring as the beautiful robin digging worms out of the lawn.

And, I don’t know about you, but my poor spine could sure use some straightening time! 🙂

 

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Skier’s Reward

??????????????????? Skiing is in my blood, my bones and my heart. I love skiing like no other activity in my life and I am deliriously happy when I am racing down the hills at top speed with my peeps. Over the past few months I have skied in minus 24 wind chill, wind warnings and blizzards. I have braved the elements and, frankly, loved every minute of it.

But today was another story.

Today was brilliantly sunny with not a breath of wind and the thermometer well above zero. The snow was perfect and there were no crowds. Max and I had one of the best ski days I have had in years and my teeth are sunburned from smiling ear-to-ear all day long!

Winter White

1805263-ust-married--cartoon-illustration-of-a-wedding-couple-in-fair-skin-toneEighteen years ago today I married my sweetheart. It was a stunningly beautiful day in early March. The sun was shining and the air was crisp and cold.

It was a day that I will never forget.

There was something so incredible about having 175 friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, parents, new in-laws and my beloved grandmother, Nanny, all gathered around us to help celebrate our marriage and our love for each another.

There are so many special memories that come to mind as I cast my mind back so many years. And I am holding each and every one of them close to my heart today as I lean into the significance, the joy, the celebration and the love that was so very present as I pledged my future to my beloved Simon.

The Radical Act of Playing Hooky

When I went to bed last night we were under a Snowfall Watch. The Weather Network was predicting up to 25cm of heavy snow and high winds. As I tucked my boys into bed they were already planning their Snow Day activities; sleeping in, video games, shinny in the park, shovelling, and movie watching. They were pumped for an epic Snow Day.snow-storm-clip-art1

And, truthfully, so was I.

In anticipation of the Snow Day, I had already cleared my calendar. I ran workshops on both of last winter’s Snow Days and I was planning on really relishing this one.

I awakened at 5:30 this morning to a beautiful-looking blizzard outside my window. I decided to start the Snow Day reading in bed with a cup of tea to await the announcement of the school closures. It was supposed to snow and blow all day so the announcement was really just a formality.

Well, much to my surprise, and my children’s disappointment, at 6:30am the board Tweeted that school buses were running and all schools were open for business. Oh man! It is hard enough to get my sons moving in the morning on a regular day. This morning was something else again. If their faces had been any longer over their French Toast, they would have gone to school with maple syrup beards.

images (17)After dropping the boys, I headed to the gym for the 9:00am Kick Boxing class. As I was strapping on my running shoes I decided that even though the school board had sabotaged the Snow Day for the boys, there was no reason that I couldn’t take one.

And so, I decided that I was going to play hooky!

After my class (which almost killed me!) I headed to the local video store (do we actually still call them that…?) for the ‘chick flick’ that I have been dying to watch. We bought a big screen television for the family for Christmas and I think that I have watched it a sum total of twice. I am not a fan of TV and I don’t watch hockey, football, or play video games, so my opportunity to enjoy the new TV, and my chick flick of choice, is extremely limited. I decided that today, with my house empty of men, I would remedy my dearth of new TV time.

The only problem was, when I sat down to start my movie at 11:00 this morning, I suffered a nagging pang of self-doubt and a good dose of guilt.

download (16)Playing hooky isn’t actually as easy as it sounds. In high school, there was always an accomplice. Someone to enhance the danger and the fun. Someone to convince you that you had made the right decision to ditch school and to help make the day awesome. Ferris Bueller certainly comes to mind as the very best accomplice of all time! Today, however, I had no Ferris Bueller at my side. It was just me to take all the heat for being so rebellious and breaking the rules.

It didn’t take me long to push the nagging voices away and settle into my very weepy and completely lovely movie. And afterwards, to top it off, I indulged in a luxurious Epsom Salts bath to soak my Kick-Boxing muscles. What a shameless hedonist I am becoming!

Well, I didn’t do anything quite as epic as singing Danke Shoen from a parade float today. I did, however, manage to elude my own version of Ed Rooney. I resisted the voice in my head that was nudging me to buy into the fact that I was a bad girl. Instead, I leaned into and loved every minute of my day.

And, truly, for me, that is a Radical Act.

Maybe I’ll brush up on Danke Shoen…just in case I need it for next time!ferris-bueller-parade

Tulips

I am a winter lover. I love the snow, the cold, and the winter storms. I love rosy cheeks, skiing, skating, tobogganing and the sound of the crunchy snow under my boots.

coldWhen I awakened at dawn to another dark and very cold morning, however, I felt a weariness in my spirit. I am feeling a little tired of this severe winter weather. It has been so bitterly cold and so harsh that even I, winter-lover-extraordinaire, am struggling to keep up my usual winter enthusiasm.

I decided that a Zumba class would help with my winter blahs so I donned my workout gear and headed for the gym after school drop-off. There is absolutely nothing pretty about me in a Zumba class but I had a ton of fun and worked up a good sweat. The next stop was a quick visit to my local grocery store for a few essentials before returning home to my desk and the pile of work awaiting my attention.

pink-tulips-75023When I walked through the doors of the grocery store I was met by a huge display of beautiful spring flowers and my mood was instantly transformed. There was something about the colour of all those blooms that just lifted my spirit and delighted my senses. I decided that I needed some of that colour to accompany me home so I ventured into the cooler and came out with a sizable bunch of my signature flower…the soft pink tulip.

When I arrived home I enthusiastically threw out the last two lingering Christmas poinsettias. Enough already…Christmas is way behind us and spring is ahead.

The moment I unwrapped my tulips from their packaging the energy in my house shifted from winter blahs to spring possibility and hope. My beautiful tulips are sitting in the centre of my dining room table and they look happy, lively, and expectant. Isn’t it amazing how a $7.99 purchase can shift the psyche so Radically?

My trusty iPad just informed me that we are currently under a Snowfall Watch and could see up to 25cm of snow in the next twenty four hours. As much as I adore a good winter storm, I have to admit that I am leaning into the energy of those tulips as they remind me that spring is only six weeks away!images (16)

Chicken Soup

If you are a meat-eater. If you have chicken bones in your freezer. If you have carrots, onions, celery, fresh thyme and a few bay leaves. If you have a kick-ass stock pot. If your youngest is home sick with a nasty cold. And, if the thermometer in your neck-of-the-woods has dropped below minus 20 degrees Celsius.

French_country_chicken_soup-1-lWhat do you do?

You make a great big, yummy-smelling pot of homemade chicken soup!

It feels like a task of endurance to be outside today. The wind chill is hovering below minus thirty. Every person who walks by my window is bundled up and hunkered down as deep as they can get into their winter woollies. And every single person who has walked through my door today has responded to the smell of chicken stock bubbling on the stove.

It just feels like being wrapped up in a warm hug. It feels like coming home.

And tomorrow, the magic of my rich chicken broth will morph into delicious, nurturing chicken soup to warm tummies and hearts, chase away the sneezing and sniffling, and make this January deep freeze just a little bit easier.  chicken_doctor_people_soup_1172985