Tuesday, March 2, 2010


There are many things that fuel us through our lives. Sometimes at the end of the day, when I think of all the places that my feet have taken me from breakfast to bed, I imagine the "Family Circus" comic (remember?) that shows a dotted line path where people go. I'm sure that if I could really see a visual representation of my movements, I would laugh outloud and then mentally rearrange my entire day (and then ignore said rearrangement because truly, I am a creature of good and bad habits). I am horrifically inefficient, I know. I double back and forth when one trip would do. Heck...double? Who am I kidding? I octuple my way through life.

Inefficiency likely takes more energy than organization. That's why I need lots of things to fuel me. Coffee is a big one. Hugs and snuggles. The promise of a soft bed and a good book at the end of the day. Laughter...lots of this. The odd word of praise, or at least, not castigation. Friends. Tasty food. Moments of heart-squeezing simplicity that only come through children. Hmmm, I read through this list and feel stunningly dull. I bet you could poll any 35 year old woman and we'd have eight things in common.

So my needs are simple and unoriginal. Fine.

Check out this picture. A perfect example of happiness that fuels me. A little boy, tuckered out from watching his country win hockey gold (and then sitting through an alternatingly inspiring then mortifying closing ceremonies) falls exhausted into bed, still wearing his hockey sweater.

I wish I could tell you that I woke him up and gently changed his limp little limbs into clean jammies. I did not. I also sort of wish I could tell you that the next morning when he wanted to keep the same jersey on, I used my persuasive magic to coax him into clean clothes. Nope.

I was very lucky to have three days of great friend fuel last week. My friends Julie and Paulina joined me up at Manning Park Resort for a mid-week "Body, Wine and Soul" package. It was yoga, cross-country skiing, wine-tasting, snowshoeing party. Stellar company and days full of activity that had nothing to do with packing lunches or signing permission slips (well, waivers in the nordic centre, but those were for ME...not a trip to Science World).

Cross-country skiing was so much fun. At the time. The wickedly sore and confused (what?! you want me to do what?!) muscles I sported for a few days afterward were less fun. I guess a bit of nature is a good source of fuel too...check out this pristine trail:

We tore it up. Julie and I classic skiied and Paulina tried skate skis. Holy, that looked tiring. You can see below that I actually look more the part of cross-country skiier than you might expect. Busted. I was fully outfitted by Eric's mom. She loaned me everything except underwear. Without her, I suspect that the whole experience in jeans and a long sleeved shirt would have less enjoyable. Eric also stepped up to let me have a mid-week escape. It was a full schedule for him too. He was even treated to a middle-of-the-night vomit session. I ordered that one special :) ....

Here's Julie, Paulina and me...out on the mountain. As a quick aside, after we arrived home on Friday evening Paulina was awoken in the night to learn of the earthquake in Chile. She is Chilean and, as luck would have it, her parents were visiting Santiago when the quake hit. As very GOOD luck would have it, she found out later in the day that they were fine. Thank goodness.

Here is a picture of Finny's bear, Bump, up at Manning. His companionship was not negotiable. It was either Bump or Finny. Considering she packed a bag (yeah, seriously) and emptied her piggy banks and wallet to pay for the trip, I felt lucky to escape with just the bear. To compensate for leaving Finny, I took a series of pictures of Bump having fun at Manning. Here he is hugging a wooden deer out front in the Lodge.

We ended our trip with a snowshoe tour. Manning was fantastic and I hope to be back next year for the same trip. And my appetite was whetted to try a family trip as well.

Alright, your patience may be wearing thin with my fuel theme for this post. Nevertheless, I power on. Food and children are two biggies in this category for me. So what is the blockbuster? Kids MAKING food!

Molly got a great kids' cookbook from Eric's sister, written by the creator of the Moosewood Cookbooks. She was motivated this evening to make her family dessert. Maybe she is feeling guilty for all the extra work she has been creating for me since she went spontaneously vegetarian about three weeks ago. Not a little veggie. Hard core. She drew me a picture of her tummy and wrote "No Meat in Here" at the top.

She chose the recipe for Pretend Soup, wrote out a recipe and after dinner she got to work.

I was soooo excited. Then I looked at the recipe. The first two instructions were to mix two cups of orange juice with 1/2 cup of yogurt. Ummmm, power on little girl.

She did the whole thing. Cutting, measuring, pouring. You know, this kid is a touch gourmand. She loves horseradish and pickled ginger.

She made special bowls for each member of the family. It was a hit. Here you can see the thumbs up she got:

Kids. Food (even orange juice and yogurt mixed). Friends. My healing husband. Oh, and coffee. Such great fuel.

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