My Special Place is the Texture of a Banana Leaf

banana_leaf

When I was 20 in the early 90’s, I joined a yoga class at the University of Guelph. This was before yoga mats or Lululemon. We brought towels into a lecture hall, and stretched them out on the carpeted floor in the evening. The instructor was in her late 70’s and had a thick but calm German accent. She would turn the lights off, and ignite some Nag Champa incense, making the air smell like a vegan coffee shop.

One evening, she told the story about the monk and the banana leaf. It goes something like this.

A monk arrives at the monastary. He was the new guy, so they had to put him through his paces. Sorta like hazing, I guess… But in a more monkly manner.

They tell him that he has to do the dishes for every meal. This was a particular bummer for the monk, as -back in those days- there was no running water, steel wool, or dish soap. Instead, he had to make a fire, boil water, use ash as soap and a banana leaf as a dish rag. For every single meal. For everyone.

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Mary’s “CHEO anniversary”

Mary_Tutu

It’s hard to believe, but this past summer marked one year since Mary’s accident (see her CHEO story here – http://cheomoms.com/cheo/my-cheo-story-mommys-kiss-couldnt-make-it-better/). Maybe it’s strange, but I wanted to celebrate Mary’s “CHEO anniversary” to remember how far we’d come since that day, and to appreciate the struggles along the way that drew us ever closer as a family.

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A Recipe for Making Decisions: How to make an impossible decision in 7 easy steps

Ingredients:

Information and Research

Gathering of knowledge from ‘the experts and specialists’

Analysis

Questions

Discussion

Weighing of Opinion

Pros/Cons

Evaluation of information

Decisiveness

Gut Instinct

Support

Method:

1. Gather as much information as you can through research. Mix this with knowledge and expertise from many sources (e.g. experts, specialists, others who have made a similar decision), placing an emphasis on those who are leaders in the area/topic on which you are trying to make a decision. Be prepared to search this information out internationally.

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How to Get Kids Outside: Epic Winter Lord of the Rings Edition

wizard_staff

December in the Ottawa region is about a few things (other than Christmas): first real snowfall, tolerable outdoor temperatures, and epic movies. It’s December 3rd today, and like clockwork, the snow is on the ground and theaters everywhere are filling up to see the final Hobbit movie.

It’s not an easy time of year to get kids to play outside. Ice rinks and canals aren’t yet frozen, and the ski hills aren’t quite in full bloom. But, there are distinct advantages to December, if you venture into the forested regions of our environs.

Did you know that the area within 40 KM. of the MacDonald Cartier airport is 73% covered by forest? So, why not find a way to enjoy this predominant land feature?

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Five ways to make the most of your Christmas moments

Gingerbread

Christmas is here again and that is stressful. But it’s also amazing and amazing for many different people and for many different reasons. That’s always been the case for me and my family but even then, I always find myself looking back on the Christmas season and thinking, “I should have enjoyed that more.”

But I don’t do anything about it except shrug my shoulders and plan to make better usage of my time the next year. This year, two days before Christmas, I’m doing something about it. I’m making my own list and I’ll be checking it many times over the next few days to make sure that when I look back on this holiday season  don’t regret my time spent.

1. On Christmas Day, before moving from one activity to the next, extend the moment for 60 seconds

Everything gets rushed on Christmas Day. You open gifts too fast, you eat too fast, you take pictures of your kids and relatives too fast because you’re always waiting to get to the next moment. This year, don’t do that. Sure, you might be in a hurry to get to the next thing, but if you can’t spend an 60 seconds doing something with your family on Christmas Day then you’ve made a wee scheduling boo boo. That extra 60 seconds can bring absolutely anything. it could be a hug by siblings or it could be this…

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Christmas Eve Traditions

christmas eve

Every December we load up the kids in my hubby’s truck, go through the Drive Thru at Tim Hortons to pick up Hot Chocolate and Tim Bits, and then make our way to Orleans to drive down Taffy Lane.  We all love seeing the street that is lit up with lights and decorations covering lawns.

After we have driven through (normally twice to make sure we saw everything) we take a quick drive around a few other streets and then make our way downtown to see the tree’s that are lit up.

Christmas Eve we spend the evening at my mothers’ house with my family, and then we make our way home and get the cookies and milk ready for Santa.  Mr. J’s first Christmas he received a gift from his God-Mother – it was a set of plates and a mug for Santa.

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