Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cup Overflows

March. The month of the World Cricket finials, hosted in Calcutta this year. So of course the 2011 Almanac hat I've been following has this month as "Cup Overflows". I have no idea of what the cricket finals have been like and so I am going to focus on a different cup.

I forget that I am a truly blessed person. Like everyone else, I find it easier to focus on the negative. So at times, the best thing to do is count your blessings, and make a list of the things in your life that you're grateful for:

Being close to my family. Living with your sister has many benefits ;). And I know that a drive that takes over two hours, to see the majority of my family, doesn't really count as close. But I am able to visit all my brothers and sisters, nieces, nephew, and parents in one day, just by taking a drive! It's been a long time since I've been able to do that.

Old friends. The kind who just come over and spend the evening, with no expectations or demands. They just make living easy.

Music. Music, music, music. Old songs, new songs, fun songs, odd songs! I would be lost without music.

Books. One of my favorite secret activities is to go to the nearest bookstore and spend hours perusing the shelves.

The mountains. I can see them on my way to work. So close. So beautiful.

Technology. Skype has become a very useful tool for connecting with people far away.

Vancouver. Sweden. Banbassa. Winfield.

Wine. And cheese. A perfect evening.

Coffee. Free coffee is even better!

A good movie. One that captures the imagination.

Art, and artists...
Regina Spector, JRR Tolkien, Joni Mitchell, Dan Mangan, CKUA, Stuart McLean, Stan Rodgers, John Green, Gustav Klimpt, Cameron Crowe, Colin Firth, Rachel Mielke, Alfreda Holtkamp, Florence Welch, Matt Anderson, and everyone who strives to bring a bit more magic into the world.

Last but not least all of the people who bring magic into my life. Thank you. You are the reason that my 'cup overflows'. Not just this month, but my whole life. I love you.

*view the 2011 Almanac post here*

Monday, March 28, 2011

Music Mondays - Double Dutch

May I just say that this has quickly become one of my most favourite things. Music Mondays is like a little encouraging smile a the start of the week.

The only problem with Music Mondays is having to pick just one musical discovery to share....

.... so today I'm deciding I get to pick two.

Lucky you :)

At the moment I have the lyrics from two Dutch singer/songwriters swirling around in my head - both competing for my "favourite" lyrics of all time.

good thing I don't subscribe to the notion of picking favourites*

Lyrical Dutch Genius #1
I know I've mentioned her a couple of times already, but ever since meeting Laura Jansen, I've been captivated by her melodies. This week I haven't been able to stop listening to "Single Girls"... it doesn't hurt that in the video below, every outfit she wears is way.... too... cute....

So in this song, I love the lines...

I'm reading books on meditation, praying for my heart's salvation.....
......and I've gone drinking with the guy down the hall,
put up a new colour on my bare wall
I'm so damn busy after all

Isn't the heartache palpable?? Talk about sinking into beautiful melancholy.

On a lighter note

Lyrical Dutch Genius #2
Now not only was I fortunate enough to meet Joal Kamps, we've also had the opportunity to hang out, and it quickly became apparent that his enthusiasm and imagination are powerful tools when it comes to painting pictures through melody.

This week, Bicycle Man captured my imagination... this one line goes

Put on the kettle and pull out that french press
I hope you're wearing that summer dress that I like best
Won't you spend your time with me?

Oh, the joy of innocent anticipation!

Sister, I know you missed most of it, but it has been a ridiculously long winter here and this song has offered me a little glimpse of hope that summer is on its way... c'mon summer!

Together, these songs are like book ends.
The beginning, and the end.
A perfect pair as my two favourites from two amazing artists, that (I hope) capture your imagination and make this Monday a little easier to get through...

Who knew the Dutch were such song writing titans??

*tune in to Friday's post for more on this issue.
photo from here

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Charger

As he barrels through the nigh un-touched side routes, and around treacherous trees at the Fairmount Hot Springs Ski Hill, Theo White takes his first venture on downhill skiing, accompanied by his trustworthy and responsible mentor/father: Skylar "Kamikaze" White, rookie snowboarding grandfather: Neil "Cool-Dude" White, and last, but certainly not least, his aunt and personal commentator/publicist/motivationalist: Ailen "Powder Hunter" White!

Check out the latest, and greatest thing to hit the slopes since 2004! That's right folks, nothing and no one has topped him since the year of his birth. No. Big. Deal. I give you.......

Theo "The Charger" White

*tip: you have to read the run on sentence up there as if it comes from the mouth of a booming announcer type person*

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


A little while ago I was introduced* to James Castrission and Justin Jones.
Two young Australian guys who had this wildly crazy idea.

But here, I'll let Larry Grey tell you about it:

Right - so you would think that if a kayaking expert told you that you were crazy to want to paddle from Australia to New Zealand, you might listen.


Not these guys.

Instead, James & Justin spent
3.5 years
preparing for what would end up being a
62 day
3800 kilometre
journey across the Ditch.....

What this teaser trailer doesn't tell you is that 20 days in to their journey they got trapped in a spiralling current that kept them in the same place for 13 days.

13 days, and they hadn't moved any closer to their destination - a crushing unexpected detour - not to mention daily mental punishment, constant physical demands, and the dangers of sharks, sea sickness and storms.

Yet somehow, heroically (maybe not the right word) James and Justin arrived on the shores of New Zealand where they were greeted by a multitude....

in the clip above, the interviewer asks about their custom built kayak
"How did Lot 41 cope?"

James' response captivates me. He says...
"...we knew when we left Australia that she was going to protect us and that we were the biggest weakness on board, and it was just a matter of our minds getting us through it at the end of the day."

to me, theirs is a story of faith.

*I didn't actually "meet" them, I saw the full length film at the Banff Mountain Film Festival

Monday, March 21, 2011

Music Monday: Elizabethtown

As my sister has pointed out there are a lot of options for Music Monday's posts. I wasn't even sure who I would focus on this week until the movie Elizabethtown came on T.V.

I love this movie (sorry Em, it's true <3). It's one that both my sister an I return to every now and then just to bask in the sunlight of it. The composition, writing, and portrayal all work seamlessly together to create an incredibly touching story, and the soundtrack is the icing! Including such songs as:
It'll All Work Out, by Tom Petty
Io, by Helen Stellar
Come Pick Me Up, by Ryan Adams
...and one song that, after first watching to movie, I discovered our Dad knew every word of by heart. Our parents always say that their music started it all, that today's generation is taking music cues from their's. Well... actually how our parents say it is a bit different, it goes something like... "We had it first honey!"

Anyway I guess it's time I said it... Mom, Dad, you're right. I cannot count the number of songs I have "discovered" only to learn that you were already well aware of their existence.

The song that made it onto the soundtrack of Elizabethtown, as Orlando Bloom's character (Drew) begins his solitary road trip across the U.S.A, that Dad knew every word of is:

Let it All Hang Out, by The Hombres

"Sadness is easier because its surrender. I say make time to dance alone with one hand waving free." - Claire, Elizabethtown

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


With Music Mondays being a thing for us now, I can no longer use my new favorite song as an 'easy post scapegoat'. And so I had to find some other magic in the world to talk about... quotations.

My list of favorite quotes could go on and on. Weather from movies or songs, famous people or my friends, quotes are something that just seem to get better as you find them!

The funny thing about quotes though, is that one could mean the world to one person while being irrelevant to another. I suppose that is why there is such a verified base of quote giving material.

There are quotes from Fortune Cookies,
Luck never gives, only takes.
Quotes from inspirational people, such as J.K. Rowling in her address to the Oxford graduates,
And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
Iconic quotes,
As you wish.
Family quotes, from other family members,
I'm going the best way I know how, so don't complain!
or, do you remember this one siblings,
Off... now...
And that endless well of great quotations, songs. My muse right now being Lasso by Pheonix,
Forever is a long, long time when you've lost your way.
I found of late that my favorite quotation generating machine is of course, The Lord Of The Rings,
He looked up and the mist before his eyes cleared a little. There was Pippin!

Still she did not blench: maiden of the Rohirrim, child of kings, slender but as a steel-blade, fair yet terrible. A swift stroke she dealt, skilled and deadly.

We come now to the very brink, where hope and despair are akin. To waver is to fall.
And they could go on and on!!! A vast cornucopia of powerful words strung together in the best of form. Almost to good to be true (P.S. Can you tell what part of Return of The King I'm at?).

What's my point? Well, just that there are a lot of beautiful things in the word, and I like taking bits and pieces from all of them!
...and that sometimes this blog becomes a very convenient forum to display nerdnesses... THANKS FOR PUTTING UP WITH THAT! It is much appreciated ;)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Music Mondays

My friend, Amanda, has a way with words.
She just sent me a simple text and all it said was:

"God, I love music."

I couldn't agree more.

Last week I introduced you to Laura Jansen, and I'm dying to share more music with all of you, dear readers and dear sister, but I am afraid of filling these blogging days with too much music, and alienating the music haters in our readership (are there any??).

In order to keep things interesting and resist the temptation to turn this "Sister's" blog into a "Music" blog, we have agreed that we are only allowed to post music on Mondays. A sister doesn't HAVE to post music on Mondays, but if one of us has music to share, it can only be shared on Mondays.

Good rule? Feedback? Comments? Suggestions?
Please let us know what you think in the comments below.

On the first occurrence of Music Mondays on our blog, I'm privileged to introduce you all to

I just about missed this show, but I'm so glad I attended on a whim.
Their French-Folky sound is mesmerizing and I love the fulfilling sound of the cello in so many of the songs.


Friday, March 11, 2011


I have this fear of being unable to create original sketches. For some reason this is limited to my creative drawing skills. As if I would somehow erase my own imagination if I didn't spend enough time developing it. I feel like I take inspiration from everything around me, but somehow the act of coping a picuture and turning it into a drawing, even if it is only to get the correct shape of a body part, seems to scrape away at my own legitimacy.

Thankfully my time spent traveling allowed me to create. Something that I haven't had the space to do in what seems like a very long time. At times I did copy reality...

Other times I took inspiration from concrete ideas, like songs...

And other times, perhaps the most rewarding times even if they weren't the most successful, I was able to create in and of myself...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Someone Like You

On Sunday, I had the unique and surprising pleasure of meeting and hearing

I had gone to a concert to see Joshua Radin, and Laura was the opening act.

She is a tiny woman, but her voice is mighty.

And from the moment she started her set - just her and her piano - the audience was captivated.

I have never been to a concert where the audience was so silent during a performer's set.

I wasn't prepared enough to capture this entire song, but here's the bit I snagged to share with the rest of you....

By pure luck I got to meet Laura afterwards (now I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture with her). She is such a gracious entertainer. I mentioned how strange I thought the audience's reaction to her was and she said she could feel the heaviness settle in... in a good way. It was as if they (we) were all spellbound.

My friend and I were munching on popcorn while we chatted with Laura and before she dashed off, she asked if she could sang some of our snack. Of course we said "ya, for sure"

She took ONE kernel!

No wonder she's so tiny.

She truly is lovely and amazing... go take a tumble down the rabbit hole of her music

photo from here

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Little Gorilla

So at one of my new jobs, I get to spend my day with children aged 0-3 years old. It is a lot of fun, and high energy. Every two weeks we get a new theme for our lesson plans and last week it was The Zoo. In the highest level we read a story, and the book for last week was Little Gorilla by Ruth Bornstein.

I have never even heard of this story before and so I was just as intrigued as the children! The basic premise is that this baby gorilla is born, and all of the animals in the jungle just love this tiny, cute, adorable gorilla. They all help take care of Little Gorilla, and take him for rides when he wants, and the Little Gorilla even wins over the heart of the snake in the jungle!

But then something begins to happen to Little Gorilla... HE GROWS! And now he isn't little anymore. He is a big gorilla. How is he supposed to be expected to maintain confidence in who he is if the very foundation of what he knows to be true about himself is no longer a reality, and what will the other animals think when they see him!?!?!?! Perhaps I find a certain amount of comradeship with Little Gorilla as I am also the Baby of my family, but it is my belief that going through this mind-altering experience is something that happens to every person at some point in their growing up process. And do you know what happened to Little Gorilla?
"Everybody still loved him."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Winter Occupation

Besides skating and snowboarding, there's really only one other thing that keeps me entertained when the temperatures outside are colder than Antartica.


Under the covers, tucked between my duvet and pillows with a thick pair of socks, sweat pants, hoodie and a toque. That's where you'll find me.

Here's just a few of the authors who have lent their literary intelligence to my winter pastime:

What's every body else reading these days?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The World as an Oyster

Our Mum has this technique, I guess you would call it, of getting us to figure out what we want to eat when we really have no idea. She will say something close to this,
I want you to close or eyes and think about what you would like if you could have exactly what you wanted. It can be anything at all! What do you want right now?
And wonder of wonders, like all mother's tricks the world over, it works. With food. I only wish it worked for everything else as well. My sister understands this I know... The desire to be able to form the next stage of your life, and then have it materialize in front of you. Oh that life were just that easy.

Regardless I find myself, two nights in a row, closing my eyes and picking an imaginary journey for myself. At the moment, this has led me to Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe.

Photo from here

Photo from here Photo from here

Photo from here
First introduced to me by my wonderful high school art teacher, and present day friend Kerri Colwell, Victoria Falls has ever since captivated my imagination. The fact that one may, not only sit in the swimming hole (aptly named "Devil's Pool", photo #2), but also rest on the edge of it without falling into the abyss bellow, simply blows my mind! Can you even imagine what that moment would feel like? To be secured before a precipice, with rushing water cascading downwards creating deafening thunder all around you! To be caught between what is, and what could be: the possibility of falling, and the joy of staying.

So what is your answer? If you closed your eyes right now and could choose any option for the next step in your life, anything at all, what would it be? Me, I'm still stuck between what is, and what could be.