Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Calgary revels in Olympic glow

Calgary revels in Olympic glow More Calgary Olympic pride. Can I help it that it makes me all choked-up and warm and fuzzy?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sharing the Flame

Last night, B and I went downtown to be a part of the festivities surrounding the arrival of the Olympic torch to Calgary.
I've always had a love for the Winter Olympics, starting with the 1994 Olympics in Norway, where for some reason I was cheering for Switzerland. During the 1998 Olympics in Japan, for a gym project I had to make a scrapbook of information about each Canadian medalist and his or her sport, which only served to get me more excited about winter olympic sports. While I haven't paid as much attention to more recent Olympics, the fact that they are held this year once again in Canada means they're a lot easier to get excited about.
It really was exciting to be a part of everything last night.
To join the hordes of people milling around downtown, all smiling and waving flags and wearing red or 1988 Olympic toques and coats or 2010 Olympic clothing.
To see the big flame on top of the Calgary Tower lit, presiding over everything, even though it has long lost its stature as the tallest building downtown.
To hear "his worship" our mayor Dave Bronconnier sidestep the host's gushy and annoying question about Canadian spirit, pointing to the crowds of Calgarians as proof of unifying Olympic spirit in our city.
To sing O Canada with everyone, albeit collectively slightly off-key .
To be told that 50% of the Canadians going to the Vancouver Olympics live and train in Alberta.
To hear that an estimated 20 000 Calgarians turned out last night and that Calgary's torch relay festivities were the biggest across Canada.
And to remember that Calgary is the only other city in Canada to have hosted the Winter Olympics.
Yes, I am proud to live in Calgary, uncool though it may be to buy into the uncritical excitement. It was fun to unabashedly be a part last night. I'm ok with being dorky like that. I like that we have an Olympic Plaza downtown.. I think that being the host of the 1988 Olympics symbolizes the energy that our city has contained in the past, and the legacy that event continues to bear. On a side note, trying out olympic sports have been on my "bucket list" of things to do in life for ages. I'd like to try bobsledding but unfortunately, that won't be happening any time soon--at least not while I'm pregnant. :D Trying speed-skating at the Olympic Oval--"the fastest ice in the world"--was also on my to-do list, but we did that last Valentine's Day and it was every bit as exhilarating as I had anticipated.

Flame fuels Olympic passions

Flame fuels Olympic passions

There will be more to come on our experience of Olympic pride in Calgary later, but for now I just wanted to post the link to the Calgary Herald article. Makes me pretty proud to be a Calgarian, when 20 000+ people show up to see the torch run into Olympic Plaza--apparently the biggest torch relay gathering across Canada. I got all choked up as we walked downtown with the flame on top of the Calgary Tower visible across the city, and with so many people turning out---many with 1988 Olympic clothing and paraphernalia--to cheer and sing O Canada and witness the arrival of the flame. It was a lovely thing to be a part of.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

God's Colours

Yesterday's sunrise was truly one to behold.
Neither the spectrum of colours on a computer  or camera
nor the biggest pack of Crayola crayons
can contain the palette God uses to paint a sunrise.
What a miracle it is to see God's creative expression visible in planet earth.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Red and Blue...and Yellow

It's a beautiful beautiful day, above freezing and sunny.
The whole world is tinted by yellow sunshine,
convincing my amaryllis to finally break into bloom.

And in other news, I started a new knitting project with my lovely hand-dyed merino yarn.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Red Deer Advocate - Late RDC history instructor will be missed

Red Deer Advocate - Late RDC history instructor will be missed

A sad day in Red Deer College history indeed. Dr. Tobias was an incredible instructor. I took a first year world history class from him in my fourth year and shared inside jokes with him all semester, at the expense of all the first year students hoping to coast through the class. I also had a modern European history class with him and was totally inspired by the complexity of European politics, diplomacy and international dynamics. The undergraduate paper I was most proud of writing was for his class and I was so honoured when he showed up at a lecture I gave as a graduate student. Finally, it is to my eternal disgust that I missed the opportunity to take his "Indian-White Relations" class--to miss learning about Western Canadian history from one its greatest experts.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Today is the day we celebrate the coming of the three magi, and the conclusion of the twelve days of Christmas and the Christmas season of 2009-2010. I'd read (in A Circle of Seasons, the book I recommended earlier in December) that celebrating the twelve days of Christmas is a good way to draw out the Christmas season so it doesn't feel so anticlimatic on Boxing Day when everyone goes shopping, and so we have a longer time to celebrate Jesus' arrival and the events following immediately thereafter in the church calendar, like the coming of the magi, and the day Jesus was presented at the temple and his Lordship was proclaimed once again.

The author of Circle of Seasons suggests a number of ways to draw the Christmas season out over the course of the twelve days, and it's something Brent and I want to do in future years. For this year at least, because I had that week between Christmas and New Years' off, we were able to celebrate some of the twelve days in peaceful quiet time together. We slept in, we went out enjoying the sunshine snowshoeing, we discussed and made plans for the coming months. It was a lovely Sabbath time.

Without further ado, I give you a  final Christmas song/video for the season. Presenting the Silent Monks.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Ninth day of Christmas

Happy New Year, dear readers!

I have many thoughts on what this year will bring, and being the list-maker that I am,
am very much inclined to make a
"to-do list of resolutions."

But this is going to be a year of major major changes in our lives.
Changes that I simply cannot anticipate how to adjust to, or schedule, or organize.

1) moving from the city to a small town
2) adding a very small new person to our family
3) switching careers/adjusting jobs
4) renovating a house
5) leaving old friends behind and making new ones (and reacquainting with old ones!)
6) leaving a dear church home, and finding a new one.

These are scary things to consider, and I feel far from equipped to handle everything, when I stare at all together in a list.

Consequently, unlike 2009, when I planned everything out very carefully;
Reaching some goals, and realizing that other things are beyond my control.
This year will be a year of taking things as they come.
Accomplishing small goals daily, or weekly, or at most, monthly. 
Consciously not planning some things, so I won't be disappointed when they don't happen as I want.
     Educating myself--
          Constantly being a learner--
               Listening to the advice and wisdom of others-
In an attempt to feel at least somewhat prepared, no matter what lies ahead.

I'm glad I have my Brent and my God with me as we forge on ahead. Otherwise I would feel very small and scared indeed.