Sloth Hugs to you all – and Happy Yule

It has occurred to me that in 2015, SO MANY of the people I know have been inundated with “LIFE“.  2014 did that to us, as did 2015, but this year has been little bit less melodramatic for us personally – sort of…. well…

Ok, that’s it… Sloth Hugs to you all…Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 5.55.50 PMImage linking back to ’cause they had it and it’s cool – go there – give them traffic.

Back to my post.

After a few times, “back in the day”, of getting WAY TOO INVOLVED in situations that were none of my business, I tend to now be a bit more reserved in my “reaching out” to people who are going through “life”.

I care about what you are going through, but I also care to give you the space and time you need to process whatever it is in your own way.  I figure, if you want to talk about it, you will, in your own way and in your own time.

But just in case folks find my reserved behaviour standoffish – have a virtual sloth hug again.Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 6.22.14 PM

Note:I even have proxy sloth huggers in place for in-person hugging if you ever need that from me – but I’ll need notice to make sure they are available….  And cookies and chocolate will occasionally elicit surprise “actual hugs” from me too – just saying…

My Yule Toast for us all…

May the darkness of winter bring quiet reflection, peace and rejuvenation to us all. And may the light that returns bring joy, glittering moments of sparkly happiness, and gentle smiles to our days.


And… here’s a Sprocket MinPin Hug too…

Another post-OCCP post

Happy seasonal greeting.

It was that time of year again last night as we came together dance, laugh, get all sparkly and party.

This is my Thanks to all post, and I’m pretty tired – it’s 5 a.m. the next day. So it will be brief.

General thanks and kudos goes out to all of the students who performed  – it’s never easy to bare yourself to the public < but it’s not that kind of show…>, so I hope you all were as comfortable as possible at our little shindig.

Thanks to the host teachers who accept my invitation to bring their classes and sometimes themselves out to share their skills as choreographers, improvisors, and guides for those who study with them.  And for the work you do to help with the show – dealign with tickets, herding the cats, getting them all prettied up and encouraging them to hit the stage, or just come out to watch their classmates.

The rogues are also most appreciated !  You soloists and duets who are either in between the ranges – you are an advanced student working on your own thing, you are a teacher looking to get creative beyond the expectations of your regular curriculum, or you are guest teachers who are able to come out and shine for us – thanks you all too.

I was contemplating how much I delegate/ should delegate/ find it hard to delegate. And I realized that for years, a core group of amazing OCCP crew have already been quietly undermining my sense of ” I must control everything”.  These ladies take charge of the tasks they have chosen to do at the OCCP and have made the night one where I can actually host.  I run around, checking on superfluous things and chat.  So thank you to Linda, Erika, Catharine, Laura, Michele, Safiya and Annie.

Without you offering very specific things that you can take on, I would not find it an easy thing to ask people. So thanks for figuring out that way to help that makes it easy on me!

And the folks who are stepping up to offer, but are never sure what might need to be done, thank you as well! Even if I did not constantly keep you busy, it really helps knowing that folks are ready to step up as needed and make the operation run smoothly! Tina, Cat, Cassandra, Tracy, andI am sure there were more of you asking if you could be of assistance – thank you!

Rogue photographers – thank for joining us for our colourful evening – we cannot wait to see the shots you get!  The flickr group  is set up  so we can share them privately! Linda, Ivy, Tom and Robert your shots will preserve our memories of this fun time! And if anyone else got amazing shots of the evening your photos will be welcome too.

Tom – thanks for being my rock at home, listening to my rants and helping keep me on track. And of course for providing a video record of the evening .

NOTE: If you forgot to order your dvd, message with what group you were in…

There are some lost and found things – I’ll add those later – but if you lost something, let  me know. If  I don’t have it, you’ll want to contact the university directly to see if the tech guys found it after we left.

And thanks to the tech guys! – Denis and JP – were awesome as always.

And I may edit this later to add on the folks I forgot – but thanks everyone!



Comfort zones are important too…

This weekend took me into new places, < never been the the Almonte Arena before>, taught me new things and helped me see things from a different perspective.

I’m not going to get too heavy into this, as I am just at the beginning of some of my “outside my comfort zone” adventures, and I’m not really into revealing all those dark side moments.  There have been a few this weekend, and I can say that the dark is needed to be able  see the light, and it is important not to dismiss it or ignore it. I’m just not gonna write about it today.

Since being grateful and sharing positives is something the internet needs right now, here’s some of the highlights from my weekend adventures.

Dancing in a crowded fundraiser performing a stick routine where there really was not enough room to safely do so with 3 other Belly Dancing For Fun dancers:

Siddiqah, Halyma, Madhumakiand Ammenah pre-show shot!

Siddiqah, Halyma, Madhumakiand Ammenah pre-show shot!

So, doing this kind of event has become pretty much second nature. We show up, text whoever has not arrived yet to indicate where the heck we are – thank goodness Siddiqah has been out there before and knew where the event was happening!

And we scope out the space make a plan, then I change the plan halfway through the routine as it’s not quite working as I had hoped. So the comfort zone gets shredded and reassembled as best we can…

We danced, we wrought havoc, we were applauded, and then Ameenah and I changed back into our civvies and headed to Ottawa’s deep south.

And then we shot arrows tipped with marshmallows.  Having no real inclination towards athletics,  Archery seems like a reasonable alternative, except when you know you’ll be “playing” with people who do sportsing and training and have a lot of muscles and weaponry skills. Thank goodness there was almost as many of us with nerd/ geek/ artsy skillz to offset the venn diagram.

Me, Linda and Andrea ready to rumble!

Me, Linda and Andrea ready to rumble!

Lesson learned -Bow arm:  rotate elbow outwards to get the upper arm the heck out outta the way when shooting the arrow.  Will revisit Archery games in January to try again!  Might actually make a personal arm brace too…

Saturday, I was in recovery mode from the above adventures, plus another journey I am on at the moment that involves trips to a fitness facility, guidance and accountability. I’m not going to get into this one too deeply as it’s really a test journey which may be short lived, or not. We’ll see, but suffice it to say, I have more pain from it than from the Dramatic Battle Bruises…

Sunday morning I walked cross downtown to hop on a bus to Montreal, then walked and bussed again within Montreal to attend the 2015 YOGA MUDRAS – HEALING & THERAPEUTIC ASPECTS by Amrita Choudhury workshop. I had no time to dillydally in Montreal so anyone I know who lives there, know that I had no time to see you anyway.

Thank you Amrita again for an informative and fun workshop!

Thank you Amrita again for an informative and fun workshop!

I learned a lot, and while I found sitting on the cushion really uncomfortable – I don’t do yoga regularly, and with the pain I have from the other things I’ve been doing, I was happy to go grab a chair for the latter part of the workshop.  There was a wonderful amount of information and lots to assimilate into my world. After we finished,  it was a bit of a blur as I then had to hurry to get back to the bus to head home.   PSA – Montreal busses could use some sort of announcement system for the stops. Nearly missed mine with the crowded bodies blocking my view of street signs <read stressful moment>!


Thank goodness for a wonderful husband who made supper and there was gelato and macadamia nut cookies and Moscato to bring me back into my comfort zones after a bit of a crazy weekend of new stuff.

And this morning, after another fitness facility visit < slightly less stress, but still questioning this whole concept>:

Every day should start with the sun glowing brightly and a MINPINBUTT

Every day should start with the sun glowing brightly and a MINPINBUTT

Oh, #zeropeopleday, you are my jam…

sorry… silliness.


Often Monday – sometimes shifted when i need to due to deadlines and workload.

And I am treasuring you.


Anxiety. Overworking. Burnout. Not treating myself with the courtesy I have just barely learned to give others….

It began with messages from my therapist I’ve talked about in a previous post, and continued as I have been trying to be consistent about keeping that “1 day off” per week.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 5.35.54 PM

And today has been a much needed day off. I did lots of little things today and am about to hit the futon with the book I am reading right now < Human, by S.M.Carriere, if you are curious>.Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 5.37.39 PM

I am simply taking a moment to post about how grateful I am for being reminded to take time to recharge myself so that I can be a productive member of society.

And to also not feel guilty about it, since it’s part of the larger equation.

Other folks get it too- each in their own way, but with ideas to help find our own ways…:

Anyway – time to get back to my #zeropeopleday – and the dog just grunted at me – she needs some snuggle time too!


And the wheel turns…

Officially car-less…. first time since 1999.

Happy Halloween BTW – or Samhain if you are a little bit Celtic.


Awesome decor at our friends’ place!

In the spring of 2011, we gratefully took in a rescue that was no longer wanted, and gave it a spa week to rejuvenate it and equipped it with some new accessories.

And the Silver Sunfire has served us well.

SS participated in the production of Scream All You Want, journeyed to many a local dance event, has taken us to family events and obviously, on our annual summer trip.


But, as with all things in life, the wheel turns and changes must come.

This week we made a donation.


With much reflection, we decided that SS should be sent on new adventures.  And we checked out a variety of options, and chose to donate to the Kidney foundation.

There are many ways to donate your car, and we encourage folks to check them all out. For us, it was the clearest and simplest and they were helpful on the phone and the pick up was quick and painless.

So, fare well, Silver Sunfire, on your new journey.

Oh, and tonight we try for the first time – so if you want a referral, let me know – there are discounts/ coupons or something…

What? More soup…? mmm…soup

Roasted pepper and Tomato soup

Today is this week’s Domestic Day/ Zero People Day/ 0CommitmentDay / Do Whatever I want Day.

So when I am not sewing, seeing clients for sewing, dancing, teaching dance, teaching sewing, and planning for either upcoming sewing or dance events, I like to cook and bake. Oh, I know – you know that already…

Ok – here’s the Roasted Pepper Tomato Soup recipe.

Roast a pile of peppers:

Lightly oil 2 cookies sheets for about 10 medium size peppers.
Oven = 400 degrees Farenheit
Wash the peppers, split in half, take out the seeds and toss them all in a huge bowl with a bit of olive oil.
Spread them out on the cookie sheets and get them roasting while you take care of the rest of the soup. Maybe 20 minutes… check ’em – see when they start to char. them take them out.
I leave them on the cookie sheet until I’m ready for them, then take them off and peel away any really burnt skin/ section.

In a large saucepan, start cooking the onion, and tomatoes:
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Chop an onion – I used red and it was large so I only used half.
toss it in and saute until it smells awesome. Add in one can of whole tomatoes, and cover and let simmer. < Purists are welcome to peel and seed fresh tomatoes, if that’s your prerogative.>

If your peppers are ready, toss them into the pot and let it all continue to cook.

Add spices to your liking – salt and pepper, basil, oregano, I went italianesque for this batch.

I happened to have roasted a small pumpkin while roasting the peppers and could not fit all of it into my 2 cup container, so I added the remaining pumpkin to the soup too.

Once the peppers are tender, or you are bored, do what you do to puree soup.  I toss it into a big stainless bowl and use an immersion blender – as you can see.

Jar it/ serve it/ find a friend who makes homemade bread and barter some in exchange for a fresh loaf…