shhhhhhhh!

matts concert

Did you go to church as a child? Have you ever been in church and been racked with those chest-heaving laughs that you just cannot let out, because you are in the dome of silence, also known as church? I have specific memories of sitting in the pew with both of my sisters and my mom shooting us dirty looks trying to telepathically scold us and let us know, without saying a word, that we had better start behaving.

I like to blame sister #2. (Ha! It’s my blog and I can blame who I want to!). I think sister #3 was a bit too young to initially be the cause of trouble in the church pew… at least according to my memory, sketchy as it is.

What is it about being in church that just makes you want to laugh when you shouldn’t? It seemed that all it took was one partially funny remark, and that would be it – you’d be biting your cheeks trying not to get noticed, eyes watering and shoulders jumping with internal giggles.

Tonight my son had his school music concert at Cochrane Street Church and I was sitting in a pew with my Mom on my left and sisters 2 & 3 on my right. I’m not even sure what started the laughter, but it began the millisecond we sat down. Once again I found myself attempting to behave in a church pew… and this time my mom was at least partially to blame! Instead of getting the evil eye from a parent, my husband was gazing down the row at the four of us with a confused face, not wanting to even know what was so funny.

We did manage to behave while the students were performing, though it was touch and go there for a while. The concert was lovely. And so much better having my mom and sisters with us.

Happy Sigh <and lots of happy giggles>

 

out of the mouths of babes

As you know, one of my favourite parts of being home in Newfoundland is spending time with my nieces and nephews. I love watching them tap dance (like Sara did here) and when they entertain me with their shows and everything else in between.

Mostly, I love watching them interact with my kids, who are the beloved “older kids”, meaning they are HEROS to the little kids. The downside of this hero-worship, is that whenever I show up with my children in tow, I basically get ignored. Last weekend I popped by my sister’s house with my daughter. As we entered the front hall, two little girls came tearing down the hallway towards me. So I dropped to my knees, whipped my arms open wide and braced myself for the running hugs I was sure were coming towards me and WHOOOSH! They both ran right past me, making a beeline to their idol.

Well, I won’t pretend I wasn’t a little disappointed, although I did manage to get little side-glances of glee as they both knowingly rushed past me. I promised to steal my hugs from them later and managed to get myself up off the floor and dusted off my knees (and my dignity).

Speaking of dignity…. I have managed to cancel two (desperately needed) hair appointments recently because of kid activities/events. This may seem unrelated to the story but as my son would say – “Wait for it!” I got home from work early today and my daughter was babysitting my niece and nephew at our place. I guess the novelty of spending time with my daughter had worn off enough, that my six year old niece crawled onto my lap and then helped me brush the dog. Now this is the same niece who recently made herself a popcorn sandwich with a dinner roll and Smartfood popcorn (ewww!) and is full of twinkling eyes of mischief and love for everyone around her. So I was really appreciating getting to enjoy some time with her as we chatted and cuddled and brushed Rocky. So nice and peaceful!

Until she gazed up at me and started staring at me with her intense squinty eyes, analyzing something to herself. And then she looked at me directly and simply said, “Aunt Marlayne, you have some gray hair. “

Maybe it’s better when they run right past.

 

love and chocolate

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I’ve been meaning to do a post about the Newfoundland Chocolate Company ever since we moved home. Valentine’s Day seems like the perfect time!  I dashed over on my lunch this week and the place was hopping.  I’m guessing I wasn’t the only one thinking about Feb 14!  As I made my way over there, I was thinking about how Valentine’s Day can be controversial – not everyone likes it.  Admittedly it is totally commercial, but really – in the middle of February everyone needs a pick me up.  Going to buy some treats for my family gave me a little spring in my step (the sunshine helped too!).  So as far as I’m concerned, bring on Valentine’s Day!

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Now back to the Newfoundland Chocolate Company! The window display was very festive.  You can’t really see the very large chocolate fountain running, but it looks rich and delicious!  I wanted to just grab a cup and fill ‘er up.  Note there was a sign warning people about only looking and no fingers (Eewwww! I might think about dipping a digit in, but I would never really do it lol).

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Check out all the chocolate bark, chocolate flowers and LOVE bars.   I was tempted to buy a LOVE bar for my honey, but they were milk chocolate, and he is partial to dark, so I went to check out some of the other selections.

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My picture is blurry 😦 but I still wanted to show you anyway.  I LOVE the shirt and tie heart boxes!

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I forgot to take a picture of the truffle case, but trust me there was something for everyone.  The St. John’s CBC morning radio show is having a contest and they are asking listeners to come up with ideas for a  Wake Up Chocolate for the morning show. I can’t wait to hear what combination wins.  Personally, I think you need coffee, caramel and dark chocolate, but that’s just me!

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The above sign is on the sidewalk outside the store. Very True.

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If you are needing a little mid-February pick-me-up, I highly recommend heading down to Duckworth Street and treating your loved ones to some Newfoundland Chocolate!

enjoying the view

harbour sunrise

I am still loving Newfoundland.  I simply adore being here in St. John’s.  I work downtown and each day when I get out of my car and start to walk down the hill to work, I see a snippet of the harbour.  And even on those days when I am almost blowing off the hill with the wind, or slipping down Prescott Street with the ice (eek!), I ALWAYS look at the ocean and have a small moment of grace.  Some days it is only a millisecond where I have a quick thought of how grateful I am to be home.  Grateful to be near the ocean.  And thrilled to be near my family.   Every. Single. Day.

I regularly speak to people who have lived here all their lives and they tell me they don’t even notice the view anymore.  And had I lived here all my life I am absolutely positive I would be the same way.  But each time I catch a glimpse of St. John’s Harbour my heart melts just a little bit more.  I hope I never lose this feeling, this oh-so-wonderful appreciation for this harsh, isolated and incredibly beautiful place.

I hope today you can enjoy your view for even a moment – whatever your view is.

little adjustments part 2

You might have seen this post I did over the summer about some of the adjustments to living back in St. John’s after being away for so long.  Well, this is the second installment with some other quirky thoughts that have occurred to me since that post. I figured I would share.  Comment below to let me know what you think!clean-hunter-wellies

1. Any day that doesn’t have RDF (Rain, Drizzle & Fog)  is a beautiful day. I have totally adopted this attitude and I love it.  Just getting out in the fresh air, even when the sun is not shining, is fabulous.  I know I should be able to love the RDF too, but I’m not there yet.  Baby steps.  I may need some moral support come February/March.  I’ll let you know. Maybe buying a colourful pair of rain boots will help me? What colour would you pick?

2. Brace yourself for this one – it is superficial important. The hour and a half time difference is fooling up my television watching. TV and radio shows start on the 1/2 hour.  That makes any prime time tv shows late starting.  If a show normally starts at 9:00 ET, that’s 10:30 NT. For you night owls, that’s not a biggie I’m sure, but for me who can’t stay awake, it is a challenge.  I tried to watch Nashville last night (which didn’t start until 11:30) only to fall asleep 10 minutes in.  I woke up to the last 30 seconds of the show (which was a little surprising – did you see it??).  I should have just waited to watch it on the PVR.  Luckily, this is what my son would call a First World Problem, so I can deal.

3. People are super-aware of the weather and plan things around the forecast. Birthday parties will change, meeting spots are adjusted, all at the last minute. Much is dependent on the weather and people are used to rolling with it. I keep forgetting to check.  A friend said to me, “You ARE from here, you know this!”  Yah, I know it in my head, but keep I forgetting. Come to think of it, maybe this is just a me thing. Either way, I need to pay more attention.

4. Driving in Newfoundland is NOT like driving in Ottawa.  If the weather is bad, you have to stay off certain roads.  I have been in denial about this for a while but I just have to accept it. This is not a “mind over matter thing”. The wind has been so bad at times that I have felt like the van is going to be pulled off the road if I loose concentration for a second. The fog has been so thick I had to get my son to help me read the road signs. For real – I am not exaggerating.  Have I mentioned the moose?  I actually haven’t seen a moose since I have been back, but the reminders to Mind the Moose have kept me vigilant and cautious for sure.  Lastly (for now) some of the roads are dark and not very visible.  The Harbour Arterial is totally off limits for me at night because you just can’t see the road well enough (in my opinion).  Some of the entrances and exits off the Outer Ring Road you would never find on your own in the dark without prior warning. Oh my – winter is not even here yet.  Wish me luck.

5. There is nothing better than my nieces running towards me yelling “Mah-layne is here! YEAH!”  I mean really – is there anything better than that? Plus they are a never ending source of entertainment.   Click here for some entertainment. I have heard this song a LOT, but somehow it never gets old. I wonder how my sister feels lol.

6. The porch is INSIDE your house.  In Ottawa, and maybe everywhere else, if someone is talking about their porch, they are talking about the space outside their front door.  Here, a porch is the space inside your front door, as you first come in your house. My honey asked our son to move a box to the porch, and he put it outside on the front step.  That totally made me laugh since he just did what he was told.  Where is your porch, inside or outside?

7. I love this town. One of my facebook status a couple weeks ago was “I feel like Joel Plaskett because I love this town”. And I do.  Regardless of the adjustments, I’m so happy to be here.

hanging on for dear life

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Fall is my absolute favourite season. I love cozy fall sweaters, wearing my fave boots again (delicious!) and the routines of school days and kids activities are all settling into a comforting rhythm. It’s that magical time of the year when the fall colours are at their most exquisite – golden yellows, burnt oranges and rich browns. The remaining leaves on the trees are hanging on for dear life. Knowing that a swift wind or rainfall will all but wipe them out for the season.

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When we lived in Ottawa, fall wasn’t complete without a hike in Gatineau park. The fall colours in Quebec are simply glorious. Although Fall here in St. John’s is not the same at all, there is still beauty all around in a uniquely Newfoundland way. My son and I were reminded of this today when we walked on the Rennie’s River Trail this past weekend.

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The Rennie’s River trail is an easy trail to walk.  It doesn’t get your heart pumping with exertion like the Northead Trail does, but it is a lovely walk and wonderful for walking your dog too.  There are garbage bins all over the place and there is even a station with little baggies for your dog’s business if you have forgotten yours. There were lots of In Memorium stones and benches on the side of the path. I think it is a perfect way to remember someone special to you. Who wouldn’t want to be remembered in such an uplifting environment.

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You can hear the water rushing by as you follow the trail. So peaceful.

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I hope the leaves can hang on for just a little longer.

one month

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We have officially been in St. John’s for one month. We’ve done a lot in that month.

– DD has found her dance studio and made some friends.

– Both kids have done a musical theatre camp and DS was asked to join in the Wizard of Oz musical cast for performances in October.  He has started rehearsals, is loving it and making friends.

– Went hiking, hiking again, sea kayaking, to Hant’s Harbour, Daniel’s Cove, Spreadeagle, the Regatta, Signal Hill and more!  Whew! We’ve packed a lot into one month!

– We bought a house! We are in the process of arranging renovations, but at least we know where we are going to live.  And the best part is that it is exactly in between sister #2 and sister #3. Yeah!

– We have seen lots of family and feel so lucky to be so close to everyone!

– DH is settling into working at home.  It will be better once we have our house. The sun room will be his office and is bright and happy.  Since he will be working out of the house, having a positive place to work each day is key!

– I have lots of house and life details still to arrange, but I will need to start job hunting soon.  Wish me luck with that!

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So all in all, a productive month. Every now and again someone will comment to me that this was “quite a big move for us all“, or that it is “a big deal to move your entire family at this point in our lives (especially the kids)“. Sometimes I get that look of “Are you crazy?“.  Well, I guess it is a big deal. And maybe we are a bit crazy. It doesn’t feel crazy. I still have this gut feeling that everything is right in my world, even when I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. And honestly I do have those moments. But we are where we need to be.  That much is still crystal clear.

Can’t wait for month two.

dear yoga mat

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Dear Yoga Mat:  Life hasn’t been the same without you!

I finally went to a Moksha Yoga class here in St. John’s.  I LOVE Moksha Hot Yoga.  Last fall and winter I was getting my butt to Moksha Yoga in Ottawa regularly.  With all the craziness happening in recent months, it has fallen to the wayside and I have missed it.
So I seized the moment last week and drove down to Duckworth Street to try out the St. John’s Moksha Yoga.

There is something so calming about familiarity. It was a relief just walking into the building –  It even smelled the same as the Ottawa studio. As the teacher started the class and walked us through the first few positions, I felt such comfort in doing the same positions I have done many times before.  <insert big happy sigh here>

The only real difference was the humidity.  As soon as I walked into the practice room, the room felt HEAVY with humidity.  And really, I find Ottawa humid too, but this was an entirely different humidity! Once I got started with the class though, I forgot all about it.

My favourite pose is triangle pose. I love when you move from Warrior two to triangle.  Although it is a challenging pose (for me anyway) I love how the transition feels. I love looking up to the ceiling and feeling my arms stretched out in opposite directions and breathing. Things just seem to click somehow.

It always amazes me how my yoga practice is truly a reflection of my life. The last time I did a Moksha class was in Ottawa when DH and I were discussing whether or not we should move to Newfoundland.  The class was the same as it always was, but somehow I just wasn’t feeling it.  I couldn’t get centered.  Couldn’t focus, couldn’t balance, was totally wobbly.  I think it may have been my worst class ever. Three quarters of the way through the class I thought to myself “Where is my balance today?”  and then the light bulb went off and I realized at that point, I wasn’t feeling balance in my life either.

Tonight I felt centered and focused and balanced, well, mostly ;-). A good sign for sure.

Check out my friend VMChick’s blog post about the Moksha class she did with me in Ottawa! http://vmchick.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/moksha-yoga/

regatta fun

Last Wednesday was the St. John’s Regatta, which is the oldest sporting event in North America. It is always held on the first Wednesday of August, weather permitting.  So for the residents of St. Johns, the August holiday falls on a Wednesday, as long as the weather is good.  If the winds are too high for the boat races, then the holiday falls on the Thursday instead.  20130808-155404.jpg

When I was a kid, I thought the regatta was all about the games and people all around the edge of Quidi Vidi Lake.  I was probably 11 when I realized the Regatta was actually a boat race!  Ridiculous, I know, but as a kid the games and the hopes of winning a blue puppy or a purple monkey was too alluring to focus on what was happening on the lake lol.  Our first stop was checking out the ring toss. Does anyone actually win these things??

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We also bought some tickets on the Cash Wheel.  We had good thoughts about these numbers!

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But no luck on the numbers!

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We stopped by the jumpy castles to see Sister#2’s kids.

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While DS was hanging out with some buddies from Ottawa, DD and I kept ourselves busy at the photo booth.  We laughed, since we were not prepared for the camera in the second photo.

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The crowds were crazy down at the lake, but it was fun for the kids to check it all out.