Thursday, October 27, 2011

for my dad,


been thinking about you all day from way across the big sea and i know you deserve more but here is a post just for you... since i cant afford envelopes or stamps. ha! (thanks for offering that interest free loan though, so appreciated) have you ever heard of that french proverb that claims "A father is a banker provided by nature." Grandma must have written that about you, way back in Montreal. I'm serious though, that really is a french proverb.

Working over here and being so acutely aware of the differences in the lives of these kids and the kids i taught back home, i realise a little more every day how lucky i was to first, have a childhood, and second, to have the magical one that i did.
you are why. so thank you.

thank you,

for playing 'horsey' with lyndsey and i when we were kids and and crawling around on your hands and knees until we were tired

for buying us Gump.

for ice cream cones after soccer games

for taking us on a trip every single year of my life that i can remember

for taking us to the 'ex' every year for like a decade

for 'kids week'

for coming to canmore to see my mountains

for letting me sit on your lap and steer the car sometimes in smiths falls

for teaching me not to litter

for asking if my clothes are from value village, and commenting on how 'different' i am

for letting me take your beer

for instilling pride within us

for accepting my tattoos after the shock of the first one

for buying us an 'emergency kit' for the car and packing a bag of granola bars to keep in the trunk, "just in case"

for not making me call you every night at eleven or upon arriving anywhere (everywhere) anymore

for showing us, rather than telling us, the importance of family

for letting me grow into exactly who i am..even though it may be different from you

for never holding me back, for always letting me flourish, even when it scared the f out of you

sometimes you told me how and i listened
sometimes you told me and i refused
often you let me watch and do it my way..
for that i am inexplicably, irrevocably thankful

happiest birthday to you. i, too, love you for exactly who you are.

But you can't give your heart to a wild thing; the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they're strong enough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky. That's how you'll end up if you love a wild thing. You'll end up looking at the sky
-Truman Capote

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


in my room sipping tea, studying for my chinese test and trying to make a sole banana dipped in peanut butter seem like a sufficient breakfast.

so ready to get paid. born ready.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

ahh, saturday, how i've missed you

ahh, saturday....i love you for your opportunities to
skype, eat cereal with bananas n soy milk in bed, make homemade ginger, lemon, and green tea, indulge in ashram research, lots of writing, short walks outside, dumplings, dark chocolate, pilates, home decorating, tedtalks, and more reading in bed while em cooks up a delicious smelling stirfry.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

already am, always was, and i still have time to be

dear diary,
after experiencing a near breakdown sunday evening i took a deep breath and a step back and tried to gain some perspective. because that is what my mom would tell me to do. upon my exhale, i made a list of things i could control this coming week which would help to put some balance back into my days. among others were yoga, tea, contemplation, deep breaths, writing, and positivity. and to remember where i am, what i have accomplished to get me here, and why i am here at all.

this is my mid week update:
wednesday 10:49 eveningtime in bed with a small cup of wine, 'hit that heart spot' playlist, and my journal.

monday morning i woke up and emily and i headed to meet our sweet travel agent barry. when we walked out, we had booked a trip to thailand for chinese new year. excellent. we got to work around 1230pm, giving us an hour and a half of planning before our first class. high off thai dreams, i planned easily and light heartedly and felt little to no stress or anxiety. i decorated my class, cleaned out the things i didnt want or need and rearranged it to my liking. it looked and felt like mine. i introduced my classes to the treasure box and rejoiced in all the cheering. i felt calmer and better in the classroom and suddenly everything just went more smoothly..

tuesday emily and i had our first chinese lessons with our friend summer and new friend shannon. penny (the adorable betty claires mother, and leons wife) is our teacher. we met at dantes coffee shop at 130pm and started learning chinese...
this sounds vague but where do i begin telling about this? im learning chinese. unreal.
penny taught me how to say 'no meat please!' which will make things muuuch easier from now on so im very happy about that. learning a new language is so intriguing and romantic and challenging and i am relishing every moment of it so far. that is a 120 minutes of relishing to date.
also, in order to get our ARC (alien resident card, ie. work visa) we need to have a chinese name. so penny asked us each what our full names were and a little about us. she is going to think about it and come back with our very own chinese names soon. i will keep you posted. i expect 'dawn, trees, balance, printed words' to have something to do with it. im really excited by the idea.I headed straight to school after chinese re energized and happy, taught all my classes effortlessly and felt all the love i was exuding led back to me. classes let out at 9:10pm and i was out the door at 9:20pm and on my scooter to yoga. em and i took part in a tai chi/yoga/pilates class. seeing me (attempt to) do tai chi would make all of you laugh (endearingly). really. its strange n wonderful. we chitty chatted with the instructor Mulder afterwards and he was absolutely friggin thrilled to hear that we would be back. during the final meditation i did that whole 'black box' routine from ringette, remember mom?

this morning we woke up early and met our friend justin to go for an intense hike up monkey mountain. no boardwalk just straight mountain, mud, and rocks, with the occasional rope to hoist yourself up. lots of monkeys, lookouts, and a tea house complete with a workout area at the top. AND. wait for it..
hoola hoops.
there were a stack of hoola hoops at the the top. we drank tea and hoola hooped and rejoiced.
justin (who is completely amazing) offered to take us rock climbing up the face of the mountain sometime. so down. soo down.

on the way up a man stopped me and asked me if i was american. i told him of my canadian roots and he smiled largely and walked away. so blunt yet so sweet.
 i also passed a wicked looking older man on the way down..
he must have been 65 with a trucker hat, aviators, a walking stick, and no shoes. perfect. you hike that mountain, man.

we raced home and i devoured a banana and peanut butter and some tea and showered and went to work. i had five homework sheets, a retest, and planning for the day to do in an hour and a half. i realize this means nothing to you but trust me that last weeks ashley would have been stressed to the brim by this. this weeks ashley, however, put her head down and did it, coming up only for sips of tea. i finished it ALL. :) again, i realise this doesnt sound as amazing as it is. but a lot of credit is due here, i assure you.

i had a great day. even though two of my youngest kids cried and its really hard to understand what theyre saying when they cry. so i hugged them and then made them take deep breaths and then made them laugh and all was okay. crisis averted. oh, and i asked kevin what he wanted to be when he grows up, and without hesitating, he responded "a cowboy." Great. I asked Wendy what she wanted to be for halloween. She took two of my post it flags and placed them horizontally under her eyes, on her cheeks, and i understood this to mean Pocahontas?  haha
that brings us to right now. and right now feels just great.

this week feels exactly like i was hoping it could.

ps. i have business cards. i will send them in the mail asap. feel free to carry them anywhere and everywhere.

pps. i would like to clarify that my boss handed me a stack of business cards yesterday morning. i did NOT go out and get them made on my accord.

ppps. i am taking pictures of the little magic people tomorrow. promise.

The Laughing Heart

 your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

— by Charles Bukowski

Bukowski is a (mad) genius. Thank you for your words.


this is important to remember:

i feel like myself again

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

source unknown.

to do

sleep at night, wake in the light
quiet contemplation after work
eat healthy
stay hydrated
communicate with loves from home
enjoy each moment for the moment that it is
relish this experience.
accept the challenge(s)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

bring it on, monday.

the closest thing to a picture of my mind this sunday eve:

sources: unknown.

Home, please send: typewriter. painting box. shawarma.

just spent three hours at the gym..
working out, swimming, jumping from hot to cold pools, and finishing with a long steam.
i feel (almost) like a whole new woman.

wishing i could hammer these thoughts of mine out on my typewriter right now.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

feng shui saturday


the best way to spend a saturday after a long week: 
sleep in. wake up. putter, read, sigh deeply. clean while listening to great music. make sweet potatoes, scrambled eggs and veggies with coffee. eat it all and part of emilys. scooter over to 9x9. 9x9 is a two story stationary store that confirms all of my hopes and wishes about how good a two floor stationary store really can be. all of my love for pretty office supplies came flooding back to me the moment i walked in. emily and i perused and debated and finally indulged in a variety of knick knacks for our classrooms. essentials only. if we feel good there and the little ones feel good in there, then we'll all want to be there. colors are magic and hand made posters are stimulating. i call it feng shui. pretty calendars,magnets, construction paper, and many other tools of the crafy kind. i am going redecorate the f out of classroom 2b on monday. =)

also. KNS has this point system they use with the students which i won't write too much about because its saturday and its my day off. i will say, however, that this point system gets the kids sun stamps at the end of each day if they earned enough points. the unfortunate consequence to not earning enough points for a sunny stamp is that your bluebook (agenda type book that we use to comunicate with parents. i get lots of notes in chinese. its very helpful.) instead gets branded with a rainy cloud. this is disastrous for young children of asian descent. i havnt quite figured out what the irreovcable attraction to sunny stamps is but i figure i must have had affinities for strange, seemingly trivial things as a younger child too. so let them have the sunny stamps. anyway. i write of all this because the kids try VERY hard (usually) for these stamps and try to avoid rain stamps at all cost (usually). So emily and i wanted to implement some sort of treasure chest idea (no, i did NOT get this idea from the barley mow mel.) Our plan is this: At the end of each class whoever received the most points will get their name written on the corresponding date on our calendar (which we bought today and will be decorating this evening). at the end of the month, whoever has earned the most points will get to choose a prize from the ever revered 'treasure box.' i realise its not revered yet, but once i explain the magical contents you will all be displaying a far more reverent attitude.

inside the treasure box, our lucky kids can choose from:
  • glow in the dark stars
  • very smooth writing metallic pens that smell like fruit when they dry. and good fruit not fake fruit. that would be disgusting.
  • glow sticks
  • those little notebooks that tell a picture story when you flip the pages. flip books maybe?
  • a pocket mirror shaped like an oreo
  • 6 squishy balls in different colors
  • bubbles in the shape of light bulbs that hang around your neck. bubble necklaces i think the kids are calling it.
  • stamps
  • a pen that doubles as a flashlight and writes with invisible ink and comes with its very own matching pad. (okay to be honest, we kept that one but wouldnt you?)
I basically couldnt be happier about this treasure box which i get to show all of my classes on monday. they're going to be putty in my hands. except maybe my c6 class. they're in grade 6. i mean i find little notebooks and things that glow in the dark to be extremely exciting..but they might be just too old and too cool. thats okay though, ive already got them with my charm.

im off for more arts and crafts and wine with emalina. listen to this. i am.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

the simple pleasures

a couple of things to report about today:

1) two of my kids were caught meditating after finishing their work and before break. perfect.

2) Emily and I just got home from dinner with Wade, our friend we met at starbucks. He is completely hilarious and endearing. He told me I have a very kind heart because I don't eat meat. That I am mysterious because I don't have facebook. That my eyes twinkle when I talk about my friends in Canada. And that he thinks I value spirit over material things.

Then on the way home he asked if we liked KTV (kareoke) and we almost convinced him to burst out into a lady gaga rendition. He got nervous and ended up bailing but promised us he would do the moonwalk for us sometime. (he was wearing inappropriate footwear this evening)


a thousand intertwined thoughts

out of a lavender scented bubble bath and into bed and while i do feel more relaxed than before i was submerged under water my mind still swirls in a million different directions.

i am trying to remind myself that i have am only seven days in to my first full time job in my career field which happens to be across the world from home and so i am allowed to give myself some credit..
but it's hard.

i have been putting in twelve hours of work every day and every day without fail, at some point or another, i reach my stress limit.

upon realising this each time,  i feel troubled.

but alas,
once i am in my (MY!) classroom for even a few minutes and the kids are the only other voices i can hear, my heart does calm and flutters only in response to the strange and wonderful things that come out of their mouths.

thank goodness for them.

will write more later. for now i must dream sweetly.


Monday, October 10, 2011

A saturday with Betty Claire

Emily and I spent our Saturday afternoon with little miss Betty Claire aka the cutest kid in the entire world. I think we are the best babysitters ever.

When Leon dropped her off she was asleep so we took the opportunity to snap multiple photos. Not in a creepy way. It was out love and adoration.
and then she woke up...and we played

She does yoga. I love her.

We went on a walk to the art museum park. It's absolutely beautiful and its literally two minutes from our house. The best.


Can you see the turtles?

Did I mention this is two minutes from our apartment? =)

He is stretching =)

I object. Mermaids are ALWAYS welcome.

One of my favorite things about Asia so far is the signage. This means no hurdling.

I do what I want when I want. Betty and I doing downward dog all over town.

 Stumbled upon this magic photo shoot on the way home. So beautiful :)
Meteors streak across the sky. Oh yes they do.