HeartEdu

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

Category: scenic

Luddy loves licks …and sleeves

During my San Fran trip, I got to meet another one of my online friends, Joy. She even brought her adorable corgi, Luddy.

Took a photo of Luddy by some lotus at Golden Gate Park.

Took a photo of Luddy by some lotus’ at Golden Gate Park.

Joy and I have been online friends for about a decade. That surprised me. It means I’ve been on the internet for way more than 10 years. Scary.

Luddy got to sit in my lap in the car as Joy drove us to Land’s End. Luddy loOooves to give puppy kisses. He kept licking my hands at random moments. When I hid my hand, he moved onto the sleeve of my sweater. Too adorable.

Land’s End was breathtaking.

Breathtaking Land's End

Breathtaking Land’s End. It was a bit overcast-y when I took this.

Then Joy drove us to Golden Gate Park where I snapped this cool shot from outside of the Japanese garden.

Taken from outside of the Japanese Garden

Taken from outside of the Japanese Garden

While at Golden Gate Park, I almost stepped on this little guy. Joy pointed him out to me.

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I’ve captured you with my camera, lil groundhog!

He was looking at us with his peripherals and kept popping his head in and out of the ground.

After the lovely nature walk, we headed into Chinatown where we found a Vegetarian Restaurant called Loving Hut. It was so good! I forgot to take photos of the food, but here is one of Chinatown at night.

Chinatown at night

Chinatown at night

It was really nice to meet Joy. We sat around dinner and talked about things we’ve read in each other’s old blogs. I think it was revealing. We learned much about ourselves as we did each other.

Firefly Pose: As ridiculous as wearing a faux fur coat while balancing a pizza box on your head

I know I’ve been blogging quite a bit about crafty things, but worry not, I am still running and doing yoga.

The last few yoga classes have been interesting. For the first time, we tried Firefly Pose. It looks like this:

firefly pose

Taken from Yoga Journal

It’s sanskrit name makes me laugh: Tittibhasana. There’s a dirty joke in there somewhere.

I was trying this pose, and kept falling on my butt. That is, until Sveena told me to use my core, and keep my shoulders above my arms. Well, that did the trick. I’d have to use my core and push my weight forward onto my hands.

I got my legs up although not straight like in the photo above. I’ve got tight hamstrings. My legs were out, but my big toes were touching. I’m sure I didn’t look ridiculous, but I certainly felt silly. I may as well have been wearing a faux-fur coat balancing a pizza box on my head. You start off in a squat, if you’re wondering how one even ends up in this pose.

I feel that it’s very easy to push yourself too far in yoga class. The point is to listen to the limits of your body. However, I apparently have the opposite problem. I think I have reached my limit (which isn’t my true limit). Sveena observes me in Warrior 1, and tells me to widen my stance. It goes something like this, “Widen your stance.” So I do. “More.” So I do some more. “More. You’re strong enough!” At which point, my feet are apart at practically the length of my mat. She wasn’t wrong though. I think I just feel I’ve hit my limit because my hips, quads, and hammies are tight from running.

Warrior 1

Warrior 1. Photo from Yoga Journal

I went out for a 5.5 km run earlier this week and was sending good vibes to the runners in Boston. I was running hills, and it was a bit brutal.

I almost took an extra walk break because I saw a cat that I’ve petted before. It’s a friendly fluffy grey cat. However, in the past when I have stopped to pet it, I would get up after 3 seconds and say, “I have to run again now” and it would look somewhat confused and disappointed. I saved us both the heartache this time around.

I felt like I was super slow during my run, but apparently, my fastest kilometre was 6’07”, which isn’t bad, I suppose. On my cool down (which was walking up a hill, go figure), I snapped a shot of some tulips I saw.

Pretty tulips!

Pretty tulips!

I love how they planted so many different colours next to each other!

That duck’s gonna pop some tags

I took Easter Monday off from work and decided to hang with Mother Nature. She’s been complaining that we do not spend quality time together. She’s been waking me up by putting the sun in my eyes, flaunting her fantastic weather and not caring if I notice (but really hoping I notice)…actually, I think Mother Nature might be a cat.

I headed out for a morning run. It was HOT out and I nearly melted because I was running hills. When I say “running”, I mean, “sluggishly putting one lead leg in front of the other and knowing that an ant is probably beating me.”

I spotted plenty of cherry blossoms on my “run” and the trees are starting to look like they have been frosted with pink icing.

Frosting on tree-shaped cupcakes

Frosting on tree-shaped cupcakes

Are you sick of hearing about these cherry blossoms? Well, gotta warn you, they will likely last for 2 more weeks. So hold your breath until then, and then make a wish.

I also ran by this house which I think is amazing.

EASTER!

EASTER!

During the last leg of my run, I ran into some squirrels playing. They were chasing each other across the street and back again. I actually laughed aloud. Probably looked like a crazy person since I was sweaty, dishevelled and laughing to myself. I ran into the house to get walnuts, but they were gone when I got back outside. I kept the nuts in my pants (ha ha – I’m immature) but I never did run into them again.

Come back! I have nuts to give. No, not that kind.

Come back! I have nuts to give. No, not that kind.

After lunch, Nathan and I loaded up the car with our lawn chairs and headed to a park by the river. He took a nap in the sun while I knitted. The ducks were floating by. One of them was quacking loudly and yelling at its posse. I could be wrong, and it could just be floating by and singing Mackelmore’s Thrift Shop. It’s gonna pop some tags. I am having a heck of a time getting that song out of my head.

knitting by the river

Take me to the river, drop me in the water…well, actually, don’t. Wet clothes are not comfortable.

Also stopped by my father-in-law’s house. Look at the size of the flowers on this plant.

Amazing blossoms

Amazing blossoms

The man has a green thumb.

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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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!

Bridge

Bridge

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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