Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

212/365

Snow five!*



* *Like 'high five', only snowier.

Monday, February 27, 2012

211/365

1... 2... 3...                                       Yaahhhhhh!
(oh, the anticipation...)                                                                                                                             (oh, the excitement!)

210/365

Hairball. Ick.


209/365

Tiramisu! (with a hint of "get your own")


Friday, February 24, 2012

208/365

"And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." -- Matt. 10:29


207/365

Take out and TV. And it's not even dark out yet. Awesome.


206/365


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

205/365

Mmm..... crepes.... the feast before the fast, and the blessings of good friends. Perfect.


204/365

White zinfandel, bubbles, a book, and a soothing soundtrack; perfect end to the weekend.

video



203/365

Snowy and blowy calls for cozy and warm.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Left and Right OR 202/365

I am left-brained. And not just left brained, but SO left-brained. I like planning and structure. I'm not a heart-on-the-sleeve kind of girl. I did well in math, and love numbers. I enjoy writing. My way of thinking is sometimes so linear that rulers get jealous.


This is not to say that my right brain never speaks its voice. I have a good sense of colour. I am a visual learner. I love music. Still, right-brained thinking is certainly not my default at any given moment. That being said, I value things that are associated with the right side of the brain: creativity, art, colour, feelings. I have been trying to exercise my right brain more recently, encouraging it to take over sometimes:
  • At work, we continue to infuse more concepts from the Reggio Emilia Approach into our playroom. The decor is coming along nicely; currently, my partner and I are trying to decide if we need to rearrange furniture to better utilize the space (feng shui, anyone?); I'm trying not to let my left brain get stuck in the functionality of the room as it currently is. We are also setting out a variety of craft materials for the children to create art with--and not just the typical crayons, pom-poms and glue. Some of our recent craft materials have included fish tank gravel, marshmallows, twigs. I have spent some time this weekend cutting shapes out of used gift cards--recycling at its most interesting. I have also decided to start scanning some of the kids' art so that our Office Manager can start embedding it into the newsletter instead of Microsoft's clip-art (no offense, Bill).
  • My photography is sometimes a paradox. The visual 'eye' needed for photography definitely comes from the right brain (I have even noticed that when I put the viewfinder up to my eye, I naturally go to my left eye, which is controlled by the right side of the brain. Interesting). That being said, I think I'm a left-brained photographer...if such a thing exists! It's taken quite a bit of training and conscious effort to remember to shoot a subject from a myriad of unique and different perspectives, let alone get crazy artistically abstract with my photos. My default is definitely to capture things as they really are, and in the moment; I'm pretty sure I don't even use a tenth of the potential that Photoshop holds for photography. And really, I'm okay with that. It's creative enough just to grab those unique perspectives of the world around me, and I've been working on doing that more often.
It is a long weekend here in Alberta, and I have been using my time today on a couple different photography projects. Letting my right brain influence my cropping, colour-matching, and organizing. I would love to see what it all looks like on an MRI...

201/365

Bowling. One of those games I absolutely suck at, but still enjoy.


200/365

Spritzy, spritzy, scrubby, scrubby.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

199/365

Coffee and Photoshop. I think I would like early mornings more if they all started like this. :)


198/365


Monday, February 13, 2012

197/365

You're just going to have to trust I'm eating my vegetables. :)


Sunday, February 12, 2012

196/365

'Kay, that was kind of fun :)


195/365




A little bit of celebrating,
A little bit of adventure,
A lot of pizza.
A little bit of chocolate,
A little bit of cozy beverage,
A little bit of catching up.
A lot of yum.
A lot of fun.

Friday, February 10, 2012

194/365

This is how we wash them floors at my house!


193/365

Application for the Lacombe Art Show, ready to mail. Here's hoping the jury likes my photography as much as my friends do.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I Got the Moves Like-- 192/365

Dusted off the ol' PlayStation.
Still got some skills.


191/365

Tonight's dessert: saskatoon rhubarb crumble. Saskatoons complements of Hawrelak Park. Rhubarb compliments of my garden. It's like a pre-summer treat. :)


190/365

Nu Lu :)


189/365

I packed along my new book for my retreat weekend, and have not been disappointed in its content. Susan Cain takes a much different perspective in her book on introversion than Marti Laney does in the other book I own and love on the same topic. As I spent my weekend engaged in reading and other solitary activities, I found myself reflecting on the introverted temperament a lot. Both in the context of a group (Susan's perspective) as well as in the context of myself (Marti's perspective).

I had to chuckle on the Friday night--three of us introverts shared a room at the retreat centre, and we spent a good chunk of it in those pre-bedtime hours, each into our own book, not saying a single word to each other. And it was good. Nevertheless, my chuckle lay in the fact that I could imagine watching this scene as an extroverted fly on the wall. How strange any mysterious our social unit must have seemed!

It gave me cause to wonder if there was a single extrovert at this weekend.* There were two other groups, as well as a couple solo retreaters, at King's Fold for the weekend. At lunch, the staff lady commented, "boy, I don't know what you guys are doing, but it sure was quiet out there this morning." We had all split off into separate activities; sometimes alone, sometimes with one or two other people. Socializing at our own pace. Introverted perfection.

I enjoy the group of people that I was technically "there" with, but I sure did appreciate being able to pick and choose when I wanted to interact with any of them. I'm pretty sure some (if not all) of them felt the same in return. And I really admired that this was a safe place to be able to portray the attitude of, "I love being with you, but I feel like being on my own right now," and have it be perfectly okay.

What are you doing today?
I'm being myself.



*Introverts are outnumbered three to one; there must have been extroverts around, and my friends and I could name off a couple we suspected. They sure handled themselves well in what I'm pretty sure was an introvert-concentrated population. :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Quiet and Contemplative AND 188/365

Our Theologizers group wanted a retreat weekend, where we could gather in friendship and fellowship outside of our bi-monthly Wednesday nights. To lay aside the intellectual book we were discussing, and just BE with each other in a more casual atmosphere. As a result, this entire weekend was spent at King's Fold Retreat Centre near Cochrane, Alberta. And we actually were on retreat.

Our agenda delineated the meal times of the centre, a sunrise chapel service Sunday morning, and that was all that was set in stone (or, more accurately, set in pixel--the agenda was e-mailed as a .PNG). S's remark after the staff had introduced us to the building was, "go do what you want."

And it was SO lovely. I'd say we couldn't have picked a better weekend, but really, we couldn't have been blessed with a better weekend. It got up to 12C (53F) on Saturday, and not a cloud in the sky! I spent the majority of my day outdoors. Right after breakfast, I took some pictures of the view, and then just sat and enjoyed it. The air was fresh, the sun was warm, the view was simultaneously majestic and peaceful.

Partway through the morning, I did venture over to the centre's solarium. It used to be a greenhouse outright, but was converted into a warm sunroom for people to take in the view from an indoor space. The solarium encourages quiet reflection, and artistic creation; there is an art centre set up at the back. I decided to try my hand at a different art medium than my familiar photography; watercolour. My mom has experimented with watercolour in the last several years; I figured perhaps I might have some natural skill in this more than the pencil crayons and pastels that were also available. I kept the art piece simple--the mantra, "stick with what you know" reigning over the piece. I know I love my reds. I know these mountains and its wilderness. And I know sunsets. All in all, I was impressed at my own skill for my first watercolour. I did try a smaller, second piece, but I don't like it as much. Still, I think that if I ever wanted to get into it, I'd probably do all right with watercolour.

After lunch, a group of us were enthusiastic about hiking down to the valley and walking along the shallow river. I had shed my winter clothing by this point, and found myself reflecting that this winter hike in February was warmer than a similar hike I'd taken with friends when backpacking one summer in August. Only in Alberta.

Upon return from the hike, there was still a significant chunk of time before supper. I walked the centre's labyrinth. I sat on the bench swing and read more of my new book. I took more pictures. I pet the cat.

Supper fed us well (every meal fed us well), and by that time, the sun had disappeared behind the mountain. I sat around the campfire until I started to feel cold for the first time that day, and then retreated back indoors to continue reading quietly until I was tired enough for sleep.

Retreat, indeed. :)

187/365

Arrived at our weekend retreat location around 8:30pm. PJs on, book out; let's get retreating already!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Introvert Speaks Again OR 186/365

I am up front with people about the fact that I'm an introvert. Though, while I would love to be able to say that if you spent ten minutes with me, you'd figure that out on your own, that's not true. Either I will be 'extroverting' because I'm somewhere where I need to be 'on' (e.g. work), or I will be so quiet that I will come across as shy or as a snob first (introverts can be both, but I am neither).

Over ten years ago, I found a book that empowered me somewhat. Part-way through university at this time, I already knew full well that I was an introvert. That I liked quiet Friday nights. That I listened more than spoke. But I found myself out-of-balance in a lot of my social activities. I was often trying to be 'on' socially when I didn't necessarily have the energy to do so. Additionally, I hadn't quite realized just how much of my behaviour was tied to my introversion. It's hard to defend your actions when you're not quite so sure yourself if they're "normal." The Introvert Advantage was not really an eye-opener, but definitely an eye-widener.

I am an introvert.

Still, that doesn't mean I know everything about my own temperament. And not all introverts are created equal. I have several friends who are introverts, and we all respond to our social environments slightly differently. I like knowing how it works for them. What are their strategies for recharging? Where do they lose the most energy? Where are they on the continuum? Different perspectives are insightful, too.

So, knowing that the beloved book I owned was over ten years old, and learning of a new book out by a different author, I ordered it online to add to my bank of knowledge. It has several chapters that provide insight on being an introverted individual, but it also has several chapters on our extrovert-dominated society, how that originated, and where it can sometimes fall apart without key introverts playing a role. I think it will not just show the introvert how to empower herself, but advocates for introverts as a collective whole in society.

You do what you want with your down time, but my book arrived in the mail today and I'm totally looking forward to cracking it open. :)


185/365

Nest. Cat. Mac.

Good.


184/365

What I wanted to post was a photo of me and my friends at the movie theatre, because that was a great highlight for today. What I'm posting instead is me depositing the money that pays for said movie, mostly because cheques don't have double chins in photographs.