The Hatchelorette: a Pregnant Journey. Lesson 2.

Lesson 2: Be Patient and Value Friendships

I was lucky enough to get to spend the day with Mark and Emma, for some reason they decided a day with a pregnant lady was going to be more fun than skiing. Continue reading

Travel Photo Challenge – Day 1/10 

I was nominated by Liberate Wings to post one travel photo a day for the next 10 days. Each day I will share a photo and challenge someone else to do the same.

I also decided that though pictures say a thousand words… There’s always something more to the photo so enjoy each of the mini- stories of these photos over the next 10 days!


This is the story of Maple Lake Winter Camp in Ontario. Circa 2010.

I was living in Toronto, Ontario between the years of 2008 and 2010.  The main focus was to study Dental Hygiene.

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YMM “My heart overflowith.” Part 2

 

YMM “My Heart Overflowith.” Part 1 

We all know the bad stuff, hearing about and seeing the images of the davastation. I wanted to share with you now what has happened in the following days.

Continue reading

YMM “My heart overflowith.” Part 1. 

“My heart overflowith.” Was the caption below one of my friends photos just a couple days after the entire town of Fort McMurray was evacuated due to a raging wildfire consuming much of the community.

The past few days have been a torrent of mixed emotions. There have been endless photos and videos of places where I just hung out only days ago, now burnt to the ground. Our town engulfed in flames that one would only imagine happening in apolcayptic movies.


I, myself had only left the morning that morning at 10am, before the single highway leading into Fort McMurray was gridlocked, closed and on fire. This was between 12-2pm on May 3, 2016. By this point I was halfway to Edmonton (the next and pretty much only city, save a couple of gas station villages in between).  I normally avoid my phone when driving but my phone was lighting up with messages and images. I had left thinking the fire was under control but suddenly it must have changed, and my chest tightened with anxiety as each post came through.

Below is a series of snapshots of a conversation I had with my friend from two days before the major evacuation, leading up to the day after.

Two days before the evacuation, we had seen smoke across the highway from her home. Earlier that day she told me her area was on watch for voluntary evacuation. I told her maybe she should pack a go- bag just in case.  At that point she wasn’t concerned and invited me to come over.

I was in Gregoire having a drink on her patio when we went for a walk to see the smoke. 10 meters beyond her backyard we could see this.

(if this video does not play it’s posted on my Facebook page)

I looked at Andrea and I told her. “You need to get ready to leave, if we can see the flames it could change any moment.” If that wind changes, I told her that fire could be at her house in minutes.

She saw the seriousness in my face and she knew what I was talking about. Instantly she got on her phone and started calling. I gave her a hug and told her I needed to get my stuff and go home.

This was Sunday May 1, 2016. On the way home to Timberlea I could see water bombers in the sky and I parked my car by the river to watch them work.  (Video below) The fire at this point was still confined to the forest and to many of us, seemed manageable but still a potential threat to some.

(if this video does not play it’s posted on my Facebook Page.)
By the next morning the smoke in the air was little and the sun was out, the sky was blue. It seemed to many of us that the fire was under control. Andrea had even told me she was allowed to go back home.

This was Monday May 2, 2016. The reason why I came back for the weekend was to perform in the Regional One Act Festival and finish moving my stuff from Fort Mcurray to Calgary.

This day was as beautiful of a day as any other summer day, I cleaned my car, read my book out in the back yard, and continued to pack the remainder of my things. That evening we had an amazing time performing our one act “Sure Thing.” After watching all the other brilliant performances I went out for drinks with my theatre friends, for what seemed to maybe be the last time in a long time….

YMM “My Heart Overflowith.” Part 2

****  Displaced residents of #ymmfires my home is open, if you need a place to rest, a shower, place to launder your things, food or a ride. I am close to the Calgary airport. Please message me or share my resources with someone else in need. 403.973.7386

If you would like to help: Donations can be made to Red Cross

And I am selling my Seto Pottery at Paint It Up Pottery studio, in Okotoks, AB, where 50% of my sales will go towards the victims of the YMM Fires.

YMM “My heart overflowith.” Part 1. 

“My heart overflowith.” Was the caption below one of my friends photos just a couple days after the entire town of Fort McMurray was evacuated due to a raging wildfire consuming much of the community. 

The past few days have been a torrent of mixed emotions. There have been endless photos and videos of places I just hung out only  days ago burnt to the ground or engulfed in flames that one would only imagine happened in apolcayptic movies. 


I, myself had only left the morning that morning at 10am, before the single highway leading into Fort McMurray was gridlocked, closed and on fire. This was between 12-2pm on May 3, 2016. By this point I was halfway to Edmonton (the next and pretty much only city, save a couple of gas station villages in between).  I normally avoid my phone when driving but my phone was lighting up with messages and images and I had left thinking the fire was under control but suddenly it must have changed. 

Below is a series of snapshots of a conversation I had with my friend from two days before the major evacuation, to the day after. 

The day before we had seen smoke across the highway from her home. Earlier that day she told me her area was on watch for evacuation. I told her maybe she should pack a go bag just in case.  At that point she wasn’t concerned and invited me to come over. 

I was in Gregoire having a drink on her patio when we went for a walk to see the smoke. 10 meters beyond her backyard we could see this. 



I looked at Andrea and I told her. “You need to get ready to leave, if we can see the flames it could change any moment.” If that wind changes, I told her that fire could be at her house in minutes. 

She saw the seriousness in my face and she knew what I was talking about. Instantly she got on her phone and started calling. I gave her a hug and told her I needed to get my stuff and go home. 

This was Sunday May 1, 2016. On the way home to Timberlea I could see water bombers in the sky and I parked my car by the river to watch them work.  (Video below) The fire at this point was still confined to the forest and to many of us, seemed manageable but still a potential threat to some. 


By the next morning the smoke in the air was little and the sun was out, the sky was blue. It seemed to many of us that the fire was under control. Andrea had even told me she was allowed to go back home. 

This was Monday May 2, 2016. The reason why I came back for the weekend was to perform in the Regional One Act Festival and finish moving my stuff from Fort Mcurray to Calgary. 

I cleaned my car that day, read my book out in the back yard in my swimsuit and packed as much of my stuff into my car. That evening we had amazing time perform out one act “Sure Thing,” and after watching all the other brilliant performances I went out for drinks with my theatre friends for what seemed to maybe be the last time in a long time. 

The next morning I packed my things, messaged Andrea to see how she was and hit the road by 10 am. Ish. And that brings us back to the beginning of this post… When everything went from being okay to many of my friends losing their homes. 

Happy Birthday. Father.

When I was a kid, even now, people around us thought my dad was not as present as he should be, or that he was too hard on us, or that he should do better in this and do better in that. Everyone always has something to say. Under our particular circumstances I think he did a remarkable job. I just wanted to say thank you.

My dad was visibly a single dad for 3 years. From when I was born until he met my stepmom. And even then – he was a single dad. Just, a “married” single dad.

He worked 5 days a week, 8 hours to 10 hours a day. After which he would either come home and cook or bring home Chinese takeout. When my brother and I were older, we began to cook. Then he would placate my stepmother for hours until she would let him sleep and then repeat.

On the weekends my dad would tend to the garden, run errands, buy groceries and cook the legendary meals I know him so well for.  He did pretty much everything.  He did pretty much everything with more patience and endurance than any other human could, in the situation we were in.

Thank you Dad, for providing for us.

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From my dad, I learned the foundation of being an epic human being. He is huge part of why I have a passion for communicating with my fellow human. He taught me the value of patience and how practice makes perfect.  When I was growing up my dad would play ping pong with me in the basement and teach me that repetition and perseverance is how we become better at something.

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10 000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick, 10 000 time. ” Bruce Lee.

This is where I get my dedication from. People always regard me as someone who’s very active and seems to be involved in a lot of things. However, those who know me well, know that I don’t just randomly dabble in things. They know that when I am faced with a new challenge I tend to face it again and again and again until I get it. Or at least until I progress. Then I might take a step back and try again later.

Thank you Dad, for teaching me dedication.

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One of my favourite things that my Dad would do for me (and still does on occasion), was that he would bring home a Readers Digest magazine whenever he received the latest subscription.  I never really thought much about it until about high school, when I realized that while everyone else around me was reading Fashion and entertainment magazines I was always drawn to community stories and real life inspiring stories. I really believe that because of this little tradition of exposing me  to Reader’s Digest magazines, I became a better human. A human that thought more about others and learned compassion and to this day draw from lessons that some of those stories taught me.

For instance some of you may even be familiar with the story about  about Major James Nesmeth. He was a man that spent seven years in North Vietnam as a prisoner of war. For seven years he lived in solitary confinement inside a prison cell that was not high enough for him to even crouch and barely long enough or him to lay down. To keep from losing his mind and hope, he began to find ways to occupy his mind. He started to play 18 holes of golf in his mind, everyday.  He imagined each stroke, every smell and every possible detail. He visualized his technique and swing every day.  After seven years, he was released from prison and returned home. He played his first game of golf in over seven years and scored a perfect game.

The story has been told many times and the score and detail vary slightly, but the takeaway was ingrained in me from a very young age. I still think about that story and I have been using it in pretty much every thing I do. From sports, to pottery to manifesting my successes.

Thank you Dad for feeding my brain and for giving me the opportunity to learn through Reader’s Digest.

 

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Lastly I wanted to thank my D ad for this. Thank you for always pushing yourself to be better, stronger, wiser, and kinder. You heal with patience and laughter, and you treat those around you with compassion.  From your example Pablo and I challenge ourselves to do the same.

Thank you Dad, for challenging us.

Thank you  Dad, for growing.

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Thank you to Russell Thomas for inspiring me to paint in the style of Wild Colour Portraiture.