Matters of the Heart in Story Format – Tales of a Vancouver Girl

Month: March, 2013

The Glory of Spring with Taco’s and Woodward’s

At lunch on Thursday, Mofia and I went for a walk in lovely Gastown and passed by the old Woodward’s building. This old building holds many memories for me. Three generations of my family had been going to Woodward’s until it closed its door in 1993.


Snapped a shot of Woodward’s in the glory of Spring

Christmas at Woodward’s was a big deal. Its windows were decorated with automated bears, reindeer, elves, Santa and more. On the floor with the toys and children’s wear is where you could visit Santa and tell him what you wanted for Christmas. I don’t remember what I’ve asked for, but I do remember getting my grape-flavored lollipop.

There are still bits and pieces of Woodward’s floating around. My mom has yarn in her stash that she’s bought from Woodward’s. Those are some old skeins. Maybe when I see her next, I’ll give those skeins a big whiff and take a trip down memory lane.

After our little walk, Mofia and I sat ourselves down underneath a cherry blossom tree, basked in the glory of Spring, and ate taco’s.

Basking in the sun underneath cherry blossoms

Basking in the sun underneath cherry blossom


House Elephants are only allowed to Play on the Carpet

Nathan meditates in the morning, so typically, while he’s going to his Zen place, I am in my pre-work frantic mode. I am running around the house like a mad woman looking for my keys or some other much-needed-item…like the nacho chip I found shaped like Jesus. Hey, it’s good for work show-and-tell.

Sometimes I am doing a marathon between two floors, and there is no carpeting in our place. As you can imagine, there is a lot of thumping about.

This morning, Nathan lamented from the meditation room, “Are there ELEPHANTS in the HOUSE?!”

Next thing Nathan saw was this…


Wood elephants on parade

A little wooden elephant squeezing its way into the meditation room, “I was just playing. Brrrraaaaarrrr (<- elephant noise).” To which Nathan replied, “Well, go play on the carpet (i.e. rug)!”

Yeah, that made me a little late for work.

**Little wooden elephant was a gift from Teegan. It’s from an Antique Shop in Delaware.

Hell hath no fury like a man who’s had his burrito stolen

Ronaldo and I ventured out for food during the work day, and we happened upon a place called Padre Tacos in Bentall Centre. This little hole in the wall serves Korean-inspired Mexican food. Ronaldo got a Seaweed Taco (which is really a burrito), and it was made with a tortilla, seaweed, spanish rice, cheese, bulgogi beef, lettuce, tomato’s, and cucumbers.


I’mma eat you!

We thought it’d taste bizarre, but I snuck two bites when Ronaldo was looking at his monitor and it was amazing. If he does CSI on my teeth marks, I’m in trouble. Hell hath no fury like a man who’s had his burrito stolen.

I was chatting with my iBff, 6pence2life, (that’s Internet Best friend forever. Everybody needs ones), and told her of this amazing concoction. The following conversation ensued…

6pence2life: Dammit. Now I want a burrito!

Me: It’s all Ronaldo’s fault.

6pence2life: Yeah, tell him he sucks. Hahaha!

Me: Ok, I did. When I told him, he picked up his burrito and started petting it.

6pence2life: If I worked there, he would be petting a ransom photo of the burrito.

This made me bust my gut, which gave me more room for that oddly delicious little donkey (aka burrito).

Two KMs is far when you know Teegan is at her desk eating a burger

After work, Jake, Tegan, Jon and I went out for our run by the seawall. The cherry blossoms are just starting to bloom, and it was a warm 12 degrees celsius. This all equates to hurdling over some tourists who are practically lying on the ground on the wall. Yeah, I’m not sure why they choose to live so dangerously. Being trampled by runners, rollerbladers, and cyclists is not a glorious way to go.

Cherry blossoms almost in full bloom. Can you spot the moon in the first pic?

Cherry blossoms almost in full bloom. Can you spot the moon in the first pic?

We ran further than we did before. Teegan, Jake and Jon are training for the Vancouver Sun Run, an upcoming 10k race (April 21st). I’m not training for anything, I log these miles for fun. We ran a little over 8km today, so I think they are ready for the race. We basically made it to the other side of the wall and looked back at our starting point.

On the other side of the wall.

On the other side of the wall.

For awhile, Teegan and Jake were running behind Jon and me. When it was time to turn around and head back, Teegan, with the bum knee, whooped our butts, and we lost sight of her. She was booking it back to the starting point. I’d like to think that she is chasing the burger that she’s been craving since … all the time, actually.

Jake was keeping his pace, and each time Jon and I looked back, good ol’ trusty Jake was right behind us. We joked that he was becoming hardcore, enjoying himself, and smoking a cigarette as he ran.

Partway back to the office, I started to get tired. I let out a sigh to loosen up, and Jon turns to me and says, “We’re almost there!” I think he wanted me to strangle him (kidding). There was two more kilometres to go, which is VERY far, when your legs are like lead and you know that Teegan is probably already sitting at her desk eating a burger.


I am currently wondering why our runs always end with 3 small hills. Also, why is it that I think this is fun again? (Haha)

Stop and hear the birds sing, and smell the soap!

I tore down the stairs to leave this house to get to work. I was hurrying. When I got outside, I stopped dead in my tracks. The sound! The birds are back. It is Spring! I recorded them singing. This is a must-hear. It’s like white-noise. Perhaps, that’s what the license plates in British Columbia should say, “The place where white noise is made!”

[audio http://yourlisten.com/channel/content/16964453/birds_in_spring]

(if the player doesn’t show, it’s just a link to the site of where I’ve uploaded the sound clip)

I stood very still by the front door and watched them sing and flutter about in my Japanese Maple tree. They looked and sounded so joyous that my heart began to soar. They sang, I called to them, they called back. I looked up in the tree and one of them looked at me curiously and continue to sing its little song. He was the most adorable black-capped chickadee.

maple in fall

This is my Japanese Maple tree in the Fall. So for this blog entry, imagine it completely naked. Keep it PG, people.

Didn’t take very  much for me to stop and smell the roses…or in my case, stop and listen to the birds sing.

When I got into work, I saw a little package on my keyboard from Teegan. So lovely! At first I thought it was a cookie, which excited me. Then, I found out it was lavender soap, which actually excited me more. If you know me, you know I have a lavender and soap obsession.

Lavender Soap from Teegan

Lavender Soap from Teegan. I love surprises…the good kind and not the bad kind like “Surprise, your goldfish died”

Teegan had stopped by Whole Foods on the way to work and somehow ended up in the soap aisle talking to a guy who uses the lemongrass-scented version. He works at the liquor store and often overhears, “That dude? Yeah, he smells good!” Teegan apparently started to lose track of time. She was getting sucked into the allure of Whole Foods until she snapped out it, “What am I doing? I have to go to work!” I’m glad she got to stop and smell the soap this morning though.

It was sunny in Vancouver, although, still a bit cold. I took a shot of the mountains from the office. You can see that it’s snowing up there. I was lucky enough to capture the birds flying across the water. They seem so happy to be back.

Snowing on the mountains. Cloudless evening sky.

Snowing on the mountains. Cloudless evening sky.

The weather remained clear into the evening, and I snapped a shot of the moon against the cloudless sky near Harbour Centre.

Daffodils: “Winter ain’t no thang!”

Beautiful day in Vancouver. Daffodils greeted me on my way to the skytrain station. Did you know that daffodils return each spring? They survive through winter, and then bloom into their bright happy selves as if winter ain’t no thang. There’s a spiritual lesson in that, I’m sure.


Good morning, daffodils!

Nathan and I headed off to the yoga studio after work and my favourite teacher, Sveena, was teaching. Sveena is VERY technical. She’ll get as nitty gritty as down to the position of your fingers. You could be in down dog, and she’ll say, “You’re over-stretching your pinky.” Although, that may sound completely ridiculous to someone who does not do yoga, it makes a world of difference in releasing strain from one’s hands.

I’ve been under her tutelage for 4 years now. She rarely adjusts me anymore. She’ll tell me, “Your left elbow needs to..” and before she even gets to finish her sentence, I’ve already adjusted: unlocked and hugged in my arms. There are a lot of half-finished sentences for me in Sveena’s classes. If I could collect them all and make them into fridge magnets, I’m pretty sure I could arrange them in a way that would make a funny Mad-Libs type story.

I did have some troubles finding my core in plank today. Sveena came over, gently touched my back (where my core is), and I corrected myself.


A time when my plank felt right and not so weird. This was taken during a hike a few years ago. I’m using it to drink out of a stream.

Funny thing is, I thought it was lower than where it really was. Even more odd, I went into a wall-less headstand and knew exactly where my core was and remained in this position for 10 long breaths. I typically have a hard time finding my core upside down, and no problems finding it right side up. Which in hindsight is interesting, since the core has to be engaged in the same way in whatever pose you’re in. Only difference is perspective. There has got to be a spiritual lesson in that that I can take off the mat.

So, two main spiritual lessons today…but I’m beginning to think that they’re the same lesson in different forms.

Running for President of Sweater Council

Bean was wearing an olive green sweater today and went into a soliloquy about the greatness of sweaters and how they are amazing for fat days. Did not want to interrupt his artful speech to let him know that they are not a new high-tech invention. His speech was so artful, you’d think he was running for President (of Sweater Council). I may run against him in this fictional, made-for-tv election.

Met up with coworkers for Stitch ‘n Bitch so here’s the weekly progress on my sweater.

Ever growing sweater

Ever growing sweater

I’m on the easy part now. I’ve picked up stitches and am knitting downwards for the rest of the body. Hard to believe I was still on the sleeve just a week ago.

I like seeing parts come together and this is not just true for knitting but also for people, information, and projects.

Staying out of the drama of my mind

Ever since I started blogging, I stopped meditating. I also haven’t been to yoga in three weeks. I think this has been the longest hiatus in 4 years. I am paying for it. Without yoga and meditation, I have been scatterbrained, and anxious…maybe even a little bit angry. My shoulders have started to curve forward and I am closing my heart and muting my voice from the world. My hips/quads/hammies/IT band are tight, storing anger and aggression. I’ve caught myself holding my breath.

Yes, I’ve been running, and I’ve been hiking…but these activities actually make me more aggressive and assertive. These characteristics aren’t negative, but I do need a balance to know that there is a time and place for all emotions.

I am now back at building up my foundation and am a ways away from forearm stand, hand stand, bird of paradise and other poses that make me feel exalted.


This was last year. I don’t even know what this might feel like now.

I managed the peel myself off the couch today and went to not one yoga class, but two: 1) Vinyasa Flow, and 2) Yin for a whopping 2.5 hours of yoga. I kept slipping into a meditative state during the two classes. Although my muscles were tight, my body was hungry for the stretches. I did have some anger bubble up in Yin class, but I was observing the feeling and not getting myself worked up about it. Basically, I did not interact with the feeling and stayed out of its drama. The mind played interesting tricks on me but it eventually simmered down. I guess it was hungry for meditation.

While in corpse pose after the Yin practice, I felt a weird anxious energy in my palms and second chakra. It went away a few minutes later. Maybe I unlocked something.

I need more yoga. My mind and body are starving.

I’m so buff, I can’t even wear a shirt!

Beautiful day for a run today! It was a windy and 8 degrees celsius (felt like 6 degrees). I love running when it’s windy. I am liberated by the feeling where I can feel the wind blowing at me when both my feet are in the air for that split second in between steps. Despite the wind, because the sun was beaming down by the harbour, I knew it was a good time to run in merely shorts, tank, and arm warmers.

Docked boats sunbathing

Docked boats sunbathing

I often get asked, “Why the armwarmers and tank? Why not just wear a long sleeve tee?” Really, I’m so buff that I can’t even wear a shirt. Haaa. Just joking. I like that I can peel them off quickly if I get too warm (which was the case with this run today).

I wear these beauties

I wear these beauties

I was given a whacked lecture about wearing so little by another runner who was wearing three layers and tights. But honestly, I have awesome circulation. You know in the dead of winter, when your toes are frigid when you crawl into bed? I can warm up in 5 minutes or less. I count it as a blessing until Nathan sticks his icicle toes on my calves. I jump up 10 feet, but succumb because he says it was in the wedding vows. (It really wasn’t).

I must say, I am likely the reason that Vancouver is the third worst dressed city in the world. If a reporter were to spot me, they would wonder why I was wearing a clash of colours and patterns. Really, I’m wearing neutrals. If I run fast enough, orange, turquoise, red, and gray mix to become a brown blur. Stripes and plaid won’t even matter! In reality, I don’t want to get hit by a car, …and would like to be able to frighten bears…and tourists.


8 degree windy weather also did not bother my running buddy

We stepped up the pace and the distance this time around. When we finished our run and stopped, I honestly felt fine. Until we ran into a coworker who stopped to ask us about our run. I leaned over, thought to myself, “For the love of Lululemon, don’t puke on this poor girl’s boots!” I got over the nausea quickly after hanging my head down between my knees.

All in all, it was an awesome 5.91km run (says 6km because I forgot to turn it off, and you probably want to knock 4 or 5 minutes off that time).

run mar18

When I got home, I stir-fried some veggies and tofu. Had it on a bed of brown rice.

Veggie and Tofu Stir Fry

Veggie and Tofu Stir Fry

Nathan thought it was delicious. I can’t take credit for the sauce. That’s the magic of Trader Joe’s Soyaki Sauce.

Butt against Window is not the same as a “Seatwarmer”

Mags and I hopped in her car early this morning (9am is early for a Sunday) for a little trip down to Bellingham, WA. I was super glad I slapped on sunscreen because THIS was the epicness I was dealing with while we were on the road (to and from).

roadtrip sky

blue skies, open roads

I had the seatwarmer on which is a luxury for someone that usually takes public transit. To be honest, I probably only had to lean against the window to get the same effect. Try not to visualize my butt against a window. HEY, what did I just say?

I also snapped pics of bridges because I know that 6pence2Life loves the way they look. She’s an engineer and needs to geek out. I am happy to oblige!



We stopped by Trader Joe’s first, where I nearly purchased everything I picked up. Marinade, soaps, snacks, dried fruit, jarred goods, etc. I was stocking up like a squirrel since Mags and I only make this trip once a year. I’m not sure how Trader Joe’s does it, but everything they make is like crack.

A whole bag full

A whole bag full

Next stop was Bellis Fair where we hit up a number of stores.  I found some travel size versions of Dr.Bronner’s Magic Soap (liquid) at Target. Now my hippie transformation is complete (not even close).

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap

I always wanted to try this multi-purpose soap. You can use it as a beauty product, laundry detergent, household cleaner, and there’s nothing harsh about it. I put 3 drops on wet hands, and it lathered up like crazy. You should really look up Dr.Bronner as an individual. I heard he was really eccentric.

Good day for a mini roadtrip.

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