Thursday, 20 June 2013


When that east wind started blowing we knew we were in for it.  
West winds are normal and a near daily occurrence.  North winds are reserved for cold winter systems, and the occasional south wind usually blows in summer and is hot.  

But those east winds?

The colours are not edited.  Isn't that ominous looking?

Fortunately not all the hail was this size - but a good many were!

My mom and I had just finished our Wednesday night golf game when the storm arrived and we were assaulted with the it's first round.  Three minutes into our drive home the rain and hail were so so intense we had to pull over and wait it out; driving was impossible.  The picture above is the parking lot that we took refuge in.  All that white stuff is hail floating in one giant puddle.

The southern half of our province was pounded by rain and hail for hours last night.  The first round that my mom and I were caught in dumped approximately 50mm (2 inches) of rain in less than thirty minutes.  

As violent as the storm was, it was mostly a lot of water and noise at our house.  Other than a swamp for a yard we are fine.  We put the kids to bed, made a bowl of popcorn and drank wine while watching 'Breaking Bad'.
 Although at 11P.M Trevor thought it would be a good idea to check the drain of our lower, sunken patio.  Good thing he did - it was plugged and a half a foot of water had collected and was fast rising.  Had he not thought to check it our basement would have been a swimming pool this morning!

I'm sure many, many people were not so fortunate.  One town near Banff was evacuated and the Trans Canada Hwy was closed due to flooding and mud slides.  Basements are sure to be flooded and vehicles dented.  (My mom's car received a few)

A few things the weather constantly reminds of: it's awesome power, the fact that it can be vicious, and that it is so completely beyond our control in every sense of the word.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Back to Insanity

P90X - I started it and stopped it after three days in, too much time requirement (min. 1Hr/day)  for me these days.  However, I did complete it once and enjoyed it.

Ten minute trainer - I stuck it out for three weeks.   The time requirement is great (14-34min depending on what you do and including warm up/cool down).    While it did work me there was not enough heart pounding, swear inducing sweat. 
 Running - I enjoy it once I get going but since it is my husband's exercise of choice and he
 has commandeered our treadmill at 8ish every evening it isn't possible with any regularity.  I refuse to get up early, sleep is just too precious.  Run outside you say?  If you get your kicks running in wind, rain, snow, extreme heat, and/or dust 80% of the time than where I live is the place for you to run!  Not me.  I also often work out during the day, while my kid(s) are home so going out for a run isn't possible.

That leaves me with Insanity.  It works me the hardest and has given me results.  I love it and hate it at the same time. It requires 40 min. or less per day for the first month and then 50ish min. the second month.  The second month is tough for time requirement but I have split some of the workouts in the past. 

I've learned over the last number of months that my earlier spoutings of statistics where weight loss is 80 percent diet and only 20 percent exercise may not be completely as they seem.

Here's why (keep in mind this is purely what I think based on my experience and nothing else, I'm no semblance of an expert):  

1.  You can't exercise like a fiend and then eat whatever and however much you want and logically expect to loose weight.  I've used exercise as a means to be lax in what I eat and of course, no results other than perhaps less - no weight gain considering what was eaten.

2.  You can't be a lazy couch potato and only eat salad and cottage cheese and think you're going to get a nice lean, toned body.  I've done little or no exercise while properly eating with, again, minimal results.  I may not gain but the scale didn't go down either.

3. It is truly a combination of diet and exercise.  Perhaps in it's finest perfect balance a healthy weight and fitness level does show that 80% is what you eat and 20% is exercise.  No matter the ratios, I firmly believe that each is dependent on the other.

For me personally I need to keep my caloric intake up (reasonably so) or I get fatigued.  I've learned that the hard way.  I also can really feel it when I've been lacking in my fruit and vegetable intake even if I've been eating "enough". 
 I also need to be able to enjoy what I eat otherwise there's no point.  Along with that I need to control the quantity of the indulgences, and also not be ridden with guilt.  That is hard but really the only way.  I've tried more of a 'diet' approach in the past.  Eating healthy for six days and allowing myself a whopping cheat day was feasible when we both worked full time and didn't have kids pr much of a social life.  Now - not so much.

I've said it before and I'll keep repeating myself like a stuck record (oooh that comment just aged me!): it's all about moderation and making healthier choices whenever possible and practical.  Hey, sometimes one just needs to eat that half-bag of mini-eggs!

As for exercise, of course any level of activity is better than none but I need to have that intense, hard core work out to feel good and get results.  Hence Insanity.
I may not loose that much weight on the scale but my body tightens up and my mood swings up and my clothes start to fall down!

With dabbling in other exercises I found that even though I watched my calories I had trouble keeping the weight down.  I'd do nothing, eat little but be very tired and grumpy.  Or eat more/better, exercise and barely maintain.   Until finally a couple of extra pounds stuck on no matter what I was doing which motivated me to kick it up a notch with insanity again.  Obviously my six pound loss goal by our little vacation next week is not going to be attained but as I said, it's not that I'm unhappy where I'm at.  I just wanted to see if it was possible.

Maybe one day, when my kids are both in school, or out of school, I'll feel like I can attempt the perfect 80/20 balance.  Maybe not.

For now I'm okay where I'm at.

Sunday, 2 June 2013


I had the fantastic opportunity to sing in a choir backing up a men's trio called Tenore last night.  (the link contains some of their singing)
These three talented tenors sing classic hymns arranged in such a way that it causes me to forget the plodding, uninspiring way I learned them in my childhood.   I take in the melodies, internalize the words of old, and their meaning moves me to my very core. 

As I was singing the peppy chorus in our church this morning and listening to the sermon and once again absorbing the words and their meanings it hit me:
I. Am. Happy.
No, wait.
I am filled with joy!
Life has turned a corner of sorts and I feel rejuvenated and energetic and full of....