Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring has NOT yet Arrived

March 22nd and the spring bunny has definitely not arrived. Winter wonderland is more like it and the bunny must be hiding somewhere else warm.

Here are a few pics of my trusty Rocky Mountain as I headed home from work today.

It's taken some time to wear in this seat but I'm starting to like it. Never a good sign though when it's got that layer of slow with ice crusted underneath! Kinda like the streets actually...most of the paths have a layer of ice underneath all the fresh snow. Not a great way to ride home. I actually took the streets for most of the way as the traffic created for more slush than ice.

The "Peace" "Love" and "Happiness" stickers have been on this bike since about 1995 when I arrived in Saskatoon!

Tuesdays are always a scramble since as soon as I'm home, Finnegan and I head out to his Ukrainian dance class.

Tonight it was back to snowpants and trudging through the snow drifts.

Once back from dance class, I gobble down a quick supper and head out again to Hot Yoga on 20th to teach the 8 pm class (every other Tuesday night). I teach the 'Hot Foundation' class which is a set series of postures specific to Hot Yoga on 20th.

Dallas offers a great deal for new students to the studio - $20 for unlimited yoga for a week. Who needs to go to Cuba to escape the snow when you can sweat it out here!

Peter and the Wolf

On Sunday afternoon, the kids and I headed to TCU Place and met up with grandma and grandad to listen to the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra's Classics for Kids performance of Peter and the Wolf - which was a special performance they had arranged for families. Finnegan and Keira both knew the tunes well as they have listened to the music often at home.

A local children's performer, Sylvia Chave, narrated the performance. Afterwards the kids, with their friend Aura, had their picture taken together with Sylvia.

Back at home, Keira enjoyed a few left over smarties that grandma had brought for them. Mmmmmmmmm chocolate!!!!!

Climbing at the PAC

For the last 5 or so weeks, on Saturdays while Keira is in her creative dance class, Finnegan has been having fun on the climbing wall at the PAC.

Finally last weekend he made it up to the crevice which has been his major goal from the get-go.

He's still a longs ways from the top, so no doubt there will be plenty of climbing days ahead of us. Mom hopes to give it a try one of these evenings with her friend from work!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

Tonight Finnegan had an extra practice for Ukrainian dance as the children prepare for one of their upcoming performances.

This is a fun dance where the children circle together and let out an "ieee"!

And again, "ieee"!

Whirl and twirl - look at those kids go!

All lined up for their final curtseys and bows (not sure if you "cursey" in Ukrainian dancing"?).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hoar Frost Morning

Here are a few photos from my bike ride to work this morning.

It was a beautiful (albeit still cold) morning with hoar frost on all the trees.

Hoar frost (also called radiation frost or hoarfrost or pruina) refers to the white ice crystals, loosely deposited on the ground or exposed objects, that form on cold clear nights when heat losses into the open skies cause objects to become colder than the surrounding air. What would we do without Wikipedia? Look it up in a book I guess!

This is the Victoria Bridge which has been deemed to be unsafe by the City engineers and so has been closed off to all traffic (pedestrian and vehicular) since this past summer. It would make for a perfect pedestrian/cyclist only bridge - to help connect the east and west sides of the city as a gateway from the Broadway area over to the River Landing and downtown areas. It would be an excellent chance to really show the City of Saskatoon is a city for the people (and not for cars), but unfortunately that's not going to happen. The City of Saskatoon apparently doesn't have enough other bridges for cars to cross. There's my little rant for evening!

Hmm... a bit of snow to melt when the weather decides to warm up. Which could be tomorrow. Riding home this evening, it was definitely warmer.

Here's a picture of the Vimy Memorial Bandshell. It was built in 1937 and dedicated on September 1 of that year to honour Canada's participation in the First World War at the 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge. (I did not know that ....had to look it up!)

And of course, the Delta Bessborough Hotel (castle by the river).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Still Darn Tootin' Cold Out There

Here are a few pictures from the cold ride to work this morning.

Let's here it for clear trails!!!!

Brrrrrr.....it's a cold one out there today!

Sun coming up and mist rising off the river.

Here's the trusty steed - my Rocky Mountain Stratos - 18 years old and still going strong (still with some original parts!). Not a smart idea to have hands out of mittens for any length of time though!

The good thing about Saskatoon is that even though it gets mighty cold here in the winters, the sun is usually always out smiling and the clear blue skies make for really bright days.

Better get to work!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Path is Clear

While the -36oC with the windchill is still downright cold for cycling, at least most of the trails were clear this morning, as I headed to work. I went up and around by the Farmer's since the paths near our house were still not ridable and then back to the Meewasin Trail. Coming home this evening, the 'force' must have been with me as the ride was smooth sailing (still cold!) but the paths were completely clear all the way through Victoria park. This winter, the City has been really good about clearing the paths within 1-2 days after a snowfall so biking (while still very cold....do you get the sense I'm quite sick of winter) has been pretty good. It has taken a good week however for the paths to be cleared after our last snowfall. When the paths aren't clear it's almost impossible I find to travel by bike; so I really noticed it this past week when that white stuff didn't get plowed away in a timely fashion.

I can vividly remember arriving in Saskatoon back in 1995, the last week in April, waking up, looking out the window of the hostel and seeing the snow falling, and thinking, "Where on Earth have I come to!!" Raised in Windsor, snow in April just never happens. I'm glad the paths will be clear so that I can ride again tomorrow....assuming no more snowflakes overnight!

On a totally unrelated note...here's a really cool video that Tim sent to me. I think I actually screamed at one point when the guy gets some air between one platform and the next! And watch out for the dog!

VCA 2010 RACE RUN from changoman on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Power of Movement - February 27, 2011

Last week, I participated in the Power of Movement Yoga Challenge led by Jan Henrikson, the lovely guru from Joos Yoga Downtown. This was an incredible event organized to raise awareness and support of arthritis and autoimmune research. I certainly wish I had brought my camera to capture an image of the number of people gathered together in Saskatoon for this mega yoga challenge. There must have been about 150 people on their mats last Sunday - so you can imagine the energy in the loft of the Albert Community Centre was pretty amazing. This was the first year the event was hosted in Saskatoon and we had more participants than any of the other ten centres, next to Toronto. Next year's yoga challenge is planned for March 4, 2012.

Later that afternoon, we got the yoga mat out to do a few postures. Keira's favourite is 'hand-to-toe' because that is what "the ballerina's like to do". She is getting pretty good at it too!

Here's mom and daughter both giving it a try!

Here are a couple little videos promoting the Power of Movement that I quite like. Remember - Anyone can do yoga.....

A Prairie Life by Wide Open

Last Saturday, Janet and I took Finnegan and Keira, along with Auntie Margie, Darren and Sophia, to see "A Prairie Life" which was an amazingly fun puppet show put on by Wide Open at the Refinery. We have been to many of the Wide Open performances over the past couple years and they have always been great fun for the kids. Wide Open also very generously donated to the CF raffle that I coordinated last year by contributing a season family pass!

This most recent performance was an all new puppet show based on the bestselling books by Jo Bannatyne-Cugnet, illustrated by Yvette Moore (A Prairie Year, Heartland, a Prairie sampler and A Prairie Alphabet). For the adults too it was a totally funny and entertaining show! We all can't wait for the upcoming "Marvelous Munsch!" which will be playing at Easter time.

It was especially fun last weekend because on Sunday while the kids were out at Irish dance with Tim, I received a phone call from Jacklyn Green, Artistic Director of Wide Open, saying that Finnegan had won the draw for the sock puppet prize! Finnegan answered the door to receive his gift and was pretty surprised indeed! Since there are four puppets in the craft kit, Finnegan has thought it best that we all get to make a puppet. One of these weekends when the activities slow down and we all manage to be home together, we plan to have a craft day and put them together.

Thanks to Wide Open! We look forward to more smiles and laughter with their puppets at the Refinery!

Swan Lake

About two weeks ago (that's how behind I am with any sort of posts!) Grandma came over with a new ballet outfit for Keira. At Christmas she had made a 'firebird' outfit ad that is Keira's all-time favourite ballet - having watched a couple renditions of it on DVD.

In November I took her to TCU Place to see Swan Lake which was being performed by the Moscow Ballet Company.

Keira is quite certain she is going to be a ballerina teacher when she grows up! She certainly loves to dance - creative (at the U of S School of Dance) and Irish (at Queen Maeve School of Irish Dance) but ballet is certainly her favourite.
We put on the record with the "Swan Lake" music and the performance began. Full of twirls and twists and leaps.

Grandma helped out with a full lift in the air!

Of course the show wouldn't be complete without the splits and a curtsey at the end! Bravo Keira!