Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dia de los Muertos

Mostly known as a Mexican tradition. I have often heard my mother speak of the Day of the Dead. In Guatemala specific foods like FIAMBRE are made for and taken to the graves of loved ones who have passed away.

I have done a little research of the Mexican Day of the Dead and like that the loved one's favourite food is made and that small altars are made in one's home. I like that idea. Perhaps I shall make one for dad...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sonia Varaschin

When I first heard the news that Sonia was missing I felt sad and concerned for her. When it was reported that human remains had been found but not identified my first reaction was "God, I hope it isn't Sonia." But then i realized that if it wasn't her, then it would be another human being and their family who would be suffering. Either way, there is much pain and sadness...If only our species had evolved morally as well as intellectually.

I will be offering my prayers to God tonight for Sonia and her family, as well for the families of any others who have lost a loved one by means of murder.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Staying Possitive

Back to School!

So, tomorrow I go back to work! I am looking forward to having an absolutely great year with all the students I will be teaching, monitoring during nutrition breaks and recess times, during the craft club as well as any that I will meet in the halls and stairwells while "commuting" to the various classrooms I will be in. I am also looking forward to a wonderful year with the staff :)

Guatemala - Landslides:

How can one be positive when hearing of the many deaths that the landslides in Guatemala are causing - while others may say that the human death toll is not much compared to what has happened in other regions of the world, they are still human lives: fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, children to other people. I pray for those who have lost loved ones - may God help give them comfort and help them to continue to live life always remembering the happy moments of the lives of those they have lost.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


My heart goes out for the trapped Chilean miners and their families. I do hope and pray that they can all be rescued alive and well.

I still also am hoping and praying for a miracle for a Ya-Ya friend named Sharon...May she live a healthy comfortable life and be able to see her child grow up to adulthood.

I have to admit that in my personal life I have so very much to be thankful for - especially the relationships with my mother, sister, brother, husband, friends and co-workers. I shall always try to keep these relationships happy and healthy. I have the power to do so!

I also believe that, if not today, or next week, or next month, then sometime in the near future, that I will succeed in creating and and selling crafty items!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Crisis in Pakistan

I am not rich, I do not have "extra" money hanging around. However, to know that the floods have affected so very many people and to hear that there is no safe drinking water which means that there will be much in the way of water borne diseases breaks my heart. So I have donated a little (to Oxfam)and hope you will too.

Our Canadian government has finally decided that they will match dollar for dollar the donations made by the people of Canada.

Please donate what you can...


Friday, August 13, 2010

Good Friends

I shall be meeting up with a wonderful friend that I've known for a long time.

I met her at Canada's Wonderland. We worked there some time ago and became fast friends. Tracy is a very optimistic and fun loving gal who would do anything to help a person in need - friend, acquaintance, or stranger...

We have keep in touch on-line and with a few phone calls, but it has been 4 years since I have seen her face to face. On Tuesday of this past week we made plans to meet up and catch up today! I am really looking forward to our "date"!

I must sign off now, as I've yet to get ready!

May you all be able to share your day with a friend :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cancer and Hope

A Ya-Ya friend has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. She is only 34 years old, in a happy marriage, and the mother of a very young child. It seems unfair for someone so young with a fairly new family to have this disease. I can only hope that the prayers and positive visualization of the very many people who are supporting her (near and far away) can help to shrink the tumor and allow her to see her child grow into an adult...

This situation hits close to home, though in my case, the person afflicted with the tumor is in her late 50's, and she has been able to see her child grow up into a young woman. Prayers are being said for her as well.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Giving Thanks

This past Monday was the Ontario Civic holiday and the last day of Kempenfest. Mom and I decided to spend the day together and went to see The Martels concert there. The music was great, although a bit nostalgic for mom and I - seeing all the older couples dancing together that is, and wishing that dad were still with us.

Then, during the intermission Jan Arden's song Good Mother was playing. It is a song I have always loved and made me realize that I had a good close to 40 years with my father, and that some people don't have their fathers that long, and that I was blessed to have him with me for so long. It also makes me feel grateful for all the things in life I have - especially MY good mother


Tuesday, July 27, 2010


My mother, sister, brother in law, and nephew come home today! they have been in Morocco visiting with the in-law's family.

I am glad they are coming home. They have not been gone long, however, I do wish to give my young nephew a huge hug!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Canadian Mining in Central America

Goldcorp Inc. is a Canadian based mining company - it extracts silver and gold in "developing counties" including Honduras, and Guatemala. In these developing countries, Goldcorp Inc. uses cyanide to separate the metals - Cyanide has been banned for use in these extractions in Canada and the US. Cyanide, lead, mercury, and arsenic are allowed to seep into the ground water causing numerous unexplained illnesses in animals and in human beings living in areas around the mines.

Although Goldcorp Inc. has provided jobs, and funded the building of schools in the communities they are affecting, they should be forced to use "1st world" methods of extracting the metals. They should also clean up and better manage their mines.

Unfortunately the Ontario Teacher's Pension Plan buys shares in Goldcorp Inc.

This means that I am directly a part of the problem. So I plan on writing to the Government of Canada, the government of Guatemala, and to the OTPP letting them know that I do not support their actions and asking that they clean up their act.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

P90X Progress - Starting Week Two

Yesterday was my "day off" in my exercise program: I thought I'd have much time to do some crafting. I was wrong, I went into major cleaning mode - scrubbing, sweeping, mopping, etc. It took up quite a lot of my time! But my house looks clean and tidy and that makes me happy :)

As for the exercise program itself - boy is it a tough one. I have been having trouble with certain moves so I try to change it to accommodate for what I can do. I really find the Legs and Back routine tough. So much that it makes me very nauseous. Not a good feeling :(

As I have mentioned before, I do not like how quickly the program goes from getting your heart rate to it's max and very quickly goes into a very brief cool down. So, I had been adding a 15-20 minute walk on the treadmill. Today, I decided to do a full hour of interval training on it instead. It felt great. I may have to continue to do this!

Monday, July 19, 2010


This past Friday my uncle had a family dinner in honour of my cousin/god daughter. She resides in Guatemala (as does most of my extended family) and was in Canada as a visitor for 5 months. During this time she and the family in Canada were able to spend time together and learn more about one another. I am glad I got to know her better and wish her and her mother, my aunt Lucy, the best that life can bring them. May God bless them and allow them to live long and happy lives.


The news channels continue to report on the death of children who have drowned this summer. It saddens me to know that these little children, who have their whole lives ahead of them, have died due to drowning. I don't know the background stories to what has happened in each of these cases. However, I beg for all parents and guardians to be sure that a sober and capable adult monitor children while they are in the water.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Will I have what it takes? I must give it my best shot!

I have read through all of the P90X Fitness Guide...When I was reading the first few paragraphs, and even the first few pages, I was thinking to myself, "OMG, what have I gotten myself into?" There were many warnings about how if you've not done Power 90 or 10 Minute Work Out (or something similar) than you are not ready for P90X...

However, though for the past couple of years I have been somewhat lazy when it comes to exercise, I have done some light weight training and interval training (cardio) on occasion.

I continued reading, and, I did the fitness test. Now, try as I might, I have never been able to do a chin up. However, most weight-lifting movements can be replicated with exercise tubing. I will be using the tubing to replace the chin up bar. Other than that, and the Heart Rate Maximizer (which requires one to do jumping jacks for 2 minutes and then completely stop so that you can then measure your heart rate immediately, after 2 minutes, etc.) it seems that I am ready for P90X.

I decided that I would not do the Heart Rate Maximizer because I do not like the idea of coming to a full stop after getting your heart rate so high. I always have been educated to include a cool down so that the heart can gradually go back to it's normal rate. I jumped for 1 minute, jogged for 1 minute, marched for 1 minute and then I walked for 1 minute and just left it at that.

I've also read some of the Nutrition Guide. Much of it reminds me of Tosca Reno's views on eating clean:

Unfortunately, I have not been very motivated to exercise - I'd much rather read or craft. However, I think I will actually start with the program tomorrow - wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It is said, "Silence is golden."

I am not sure how I feel about that. I find that I am very used to having sound in my life at all times and find silence a little disturbing.

"Silence, disturbing?!"

Yes, at least when I am in my house. I don't watch a lot of television, however, I usually have the radio on from the moment I get up to the moment I go to bed! For the past few days I have been trying to turn it off for a while, and every time I do I notice that it isn't really silent in my house. I hear a very soft but very high pitched ringing in my ears. I believe it to be the hum of the electricity from such things as the computer, the television, etc., which is quite disturbing to me...

I opted to enjoy the "silence" of the outdoors instead this morning and had my breakfast and coffee in the backyard. We have a little man-made pond back there. I moved my chair towards it and watched the fish swim while listening to the birds sing. There were other sounds too - a very quite conversation between two men far away enough to not hear what they were actually saying, a car driving by from time to time, some construction work in the distance...I did not find any of these sounds disrupting, nor did I have the horrible high pitch ringing in my ears :)

I have a lot of reading I and research I need to get done today in regards to my goal of learning to live a healthy lifestyle. I enjoyed being outdoors this morning so much that I plan to do as much of that reading in backyard...

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Good, The Bad, The ???

The Good:

I walked to my dentist's office as I had a cleaning appointment. The walk took me a little longer than I thought it would - about an hour. Unfortunately that means that I was walking a bit less briskly than I wanted. However, it was quite warm and humid out which made it hard to walk faster. Mind you on my way there a runner flew right past me. She was straining to breath though, I think if I were to run I would wait for evening and cooler temps.

The Bad:

I had 3 Lindt chocolate truffles. I couldn't help myself. I absolutely love chocolate and had a craving for it. The Lindt chocolates were given to me by a student of mine on the last day of school...

The ????:

Some friends of mine have done the P90X exercise and diet routine and look amazing. So I thought I would give it a try and after my dentist appointment I bussed it to the mall and bought myself the CD set...

I am hoping that I can follow it - it cost quite a bit of cash!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Eye Opener

The school I work at had a yearbook published this year. As well as the student and class photos, pictures of the members of the various teams and clubs were included. I run a craft club with the grade 3 students and was required to be included in the photo.

When the yearbook was printed and finally given to the students I had a brief look at it and was shocked when I came to see myself in the club photo. I knew that I had gained weight, but insisted on telling myself that I looked fine and that I could "hide it well"...

Not so, in this picture I look, well, chunky. And though I try to eat well, I have not kept up with exercising on a daily basis. And though I tend to eat healthy foods, I find that I give in easily to temptation when it comes to baked goods and sweets.

For months I have been telling myself "I really need to get back to exercising and eating well," yet I always find an excuse for not following through.

With this blog I am going to attempt to finally stop making excuses...

Perhaps through the blog I can be more accountable for my goals, to be healthier, to be fit, and to feel more refreshed and not tired all the time!