Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Should I keep this blog?

I have been wrestling with that question for awhile. I haven't written anything here for months because we moved from our Inverness home. So when I think of this blog "Thoughts From Inverness" I feel kind of melancholy. We moved to a beautiful home in town. It's closer to work, to my horse, to beautiful walking trails. But we truly left something behind. I always thought of the Inverness home as a gift. A beautiful healing paradise a block away from the beach. And it was just that. I had my gorgeous little office upstairs with a view of the ocean, and the writing flowed there. I finished my Masters degree there. I fell in love with my husband again there. I started this blog there. But as all good things eventually come to an end so did "Inverness".

I think I will keep this blog going. Out of respect for a place I dearly loved, that let my fingers type away the ramblings in my brain.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

MusicFest 2010

The second weekend in July is the best time in the Comox Valley. Amazing musicians, and fans alike come from afar and descend on this little town nestled at the base of the Beaufort Mountains.

I have been attending MusicFest for the last seven years. It has always been an amazing way to kick off Summer vacation with such acts as Bo Diddley, Mavis Staples, Joan Osbourne, Roberta Flack, Nancy Griffith, Ladysmith Black Mambazo to name a few. Six stages scattered throughout the Comox Valley Exabition Grounds offer a plethora of musical styles, which in my view is any music lover's dream come true.

This year's festival was truly memorable. My own music students were one of the act's performing. Faranuka, which is a student marimba band that originated in my music room wanted to perform at this year's festival, and artistic director Doug Cox agreed. Playing a 1 hour set on the mainstage at Vancouver Island MusicFest will go down as one of their most favourite memories of elementary school.

I know it is one of mine.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday Inverness Ramble and Check-in

This week was a good one. I went to one on my favourite spots with my students. Hornby Island, BC. There is amazing outdoor education center where students work together to overcome challenges and take risks. Awesome place eh?

It was a great place for me to be too, not only to support my students in taking risks but reflecting about this past year about my own.

Hornby has always been a zen place for me. Everything about the Island is beautiful, the beaches, the landscape, the people, and I always feel like time really slows down over there and you can breathe a little deeper. The rush and hub-bub of life goes away, and things become more simple and more clear. I am not kidding here. You really have to go there to believe it.

Even though I could not participate in all the activities like the climbing tower, leap of faith and high ropes courses, because of my shoulder, I enjoyed walking on the beautiful beaches and hiking through the forest. I read my book as my students enjoyed a boat tour to the surrounding Islands, and drank in the sunshine.

I was only there 2 days, but it was enough to get my head and heart back in line where I need them to be. I have been successful at losing weight this year, and successful at putting it back on. I find myself in a place again, where I do not want to be. But as a teacher I have to look at it like a lesson. Sometimes students learn lessons quickly and move on. Some students struggle, and need assistance learning the lesson before it finally clicks. I never thought myself as one of those students, but I guess I am. This lesson for me has been one of the hardest to learn, but in the end will be the one I remember the most.

As I take each step, moving closer towards my goal, the breathing becomes easier, and as I lose each pound the strain becomes less. So grateful to have lost 3 of them this week...nice to be back in the right head space and in tune with what I really seek for myself.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Calling All Twilight Fans

When I was surfing on Twitter I came across this ad from the Oprah show, and since it involved Oprah and Twilight, I though I would investigate.


Here are the exact words from the site, as per the link above:

Are you or your kids obsessed with the Twilight series? Have you or your kids read all the books, seen both movies and now you are counting down the days until the release of Eclipse? Have you already made plans for the release of the newest movie in June? Who's your family's favorite Twilight star...and why?

Why do you love the story so much? How has it impacted your life? What have you learned from the series and how has it made you a better person? Are you a housewife who's started a fan club with friends? Do you have a young adult in your family who's been inspired to write his/her own stories? Has the romance in Twilight sparked the romance in your own relationship?

Tell us how the Twilight series has inspired you or your family! Please only write if you are willing to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

I don't know if it was the all knowing Oprah who spurred my fingers to start typing again, or to re-visit my Twilight reading experience. It didn't change my world so much so that I am stalking Robert Pattison and Taylor Lautner on the web, but it did make me pause and re-evaluate my life in a different way. So here is my personal response has to do with Twilight, and the lesson that I took from the book. It relates to my health journey, and some of you have read pieces of this before. I re-worded some of it, and sent it on in to Oprah just for fun because the inspirational part I took for me out of the books was quite profound.

When the movie Twilight came out in theatres I had no idea what it was about. I had not heard of the books, or all the hoopla that surrounded them. But during the school year, I noticed that my students could not put the books down. I personally was heavily into my thesis year of my Masters degree and had no time for novels, but anything that really gets the kids reading at school, I think very highly of, so I put the novels on my "To Read List" for the summer.

When I was traveling to my niece's wedding, I started reading Twilight on the ferry ride to Vancouver, BC, and after two years of reading research and non-fiction I was ready for a novel. So I caved to temptation and bought the book. It was so good I finished the book in one day, and because it is a saga, four books in total, I bought the next books the very next morning at the closest bookstore. I had to find out what was going to happen next. I love books like that. I was mesmerized, and really surprised that I enjoyed it so much, and I was thinking it was the best love story since Elizabeth Bennett and Mark Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. All of that aside, I actually found a lesson for myself in the book, which surprised me even further.

No I'm not jumping on the team Edward or team Jacob bandwagon, nor am I rushing out to buy myself a pair of g-string panties with Edward's name written on them. I am after all I'm 36 year old music teacher. What I really loved in the book was Edward's strength and fortitude around is relationship with Bella. She's human, he's a vampire. His whole desire (that constantly plagues him through the story) is to suck every inch of blood out of her. He even refers to her as "his own personal brand of heroin".

Sometimes I feel that way about food, and I was surprised how much I really admired Edward's restraint. He doesn't give in. To consume Bella is something he wants so badly, but he wants the relationship even more, so he uses every ounce of his will and personal fortitude to have a relationship with someone he wants to devour.

I have been overweight most of my life, and was in a constant private struggle to gain control, keep on track and eat what's healthy. But what I truly desire even more than food, is to be a slimmer, healthier version of myself. SO I took a lesson from Edward Cullen ( I can't believe I'm saying this), and have really begun to focus on what matters most, which is using my inner strength and fortitude to become a healthier version of myself. Not only did I enjoy the entire story of Twilight from start to finish, but I will always remember the books as ones that inspired a life lesson, and awakened a passion and desire in myself to achieve what I want most no matter how tempted I become.

Since reading the Twilight Saga, I have lost 40 pounds.

Recently I posted on Twitter 3 pictures of where I was before Twilight, where I am now after reading Twilight, and how it continues to affect my life.

Summer 2008 - the before http://twitpic.com/1gm1jb

The now, and after. http://twitpic.com/1gm1xz

Was awakened, and continue to love every moment of the transformation. http://twitpic.com/1gm2j1

Like Shakespeare, and Austen, Meyer now holds a coveted space on my bookshelf. The stories and characters that I continue to enjoy have made an impact on my life is so many positive ways. I continue to make good choices everyday to help in my weight loss, and when I feel temptation running through my veins, I always remember the teenage vampire, and his will to achieve what he desires most.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I understand that change is necessary in life. Essential really. Sometimes I wonder though, how far our Earth, our landscape bends to change. Today, I was riding my horse through what had been a beloved forest. As I crested the hill a gruesome sight met my eyes. To the left there were two new (many storey)condo buildings, and to the right, a forest decimated by clear cut logging. I have to admit my heart sank a little. A forest that I had run through, walked through, ridden my bike through, was nothing but a pile of freshly mown down trees lying on the ground like casualties of warfare. I understand the cycle of life, and need for change on this Earth of ours, but I really start to question how far is too much? How long will it be before all our old haunts and rambles in the woods are nothing but a memory to be found on the pages in a history book?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Horseback Riding Uses Every Muscle

Horseback riding engages almost every muscle. I know this because my body is telling me so today. And I believe there is such a thing as good sore and bad sore. This definitely is a good sore. I called upon muscles that were laying dormant for many years wondering if they were going to be used again.

They are speaking to me today. Not screaming, but letting me know that they are alive and kicking and need to be eased in, or at least stretched afterwards. So after each day of riding, I will make sure I give myself time to stretch and breathe. Because I'm riding on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (or when the sun shines), I was thinking even going to do a steam and stretch afterwards might be a good thing for my body.

Achy muscles aside, it truly was so wonderful to be back in the saddle again. 45 minutes of pure bliss. It's nice when you refer to an exercise as pure bliss. Good for the body and the soul.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Awakening

A time comes in your life when you finally get it. . . when, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH!

I had small pieces of that over the years, but a really big one last night.

I'm tired.

Tired of eating too much.

Tired of exercising so much and it not making a difference because I'm eating too much.

Tired of carrying around baggage and heaviness that's weighing me down.

Tired of feeling sore because my muscles don't work like they used to.

Tired of not having the will power to not have that cookie.

Tired of not making time to achieve my goals.

Tired of making my goals, and then not following through.

Tired of always beginning, but never finishing.

Tired of the regret, guilt and underlying sadness that come with not finishing.

Tired of being tired.

Today I am not beginning again, but continuing on my journey. A journey to where I've had to dig pretty deep within my layers (that I have padded up over the years) to find out where I am. Who I am. Where I want my life to go. How I want to live it. It's amazing how we can lose ourselves in the every day. We can go through the motions of life, and never really live or connect.

When talking about why we got ourselves to this spot in out lives, a friend said, every time you have a hurt, a piece of you dies. I thought about that for a long time.

I do not believe part of you dies when there is a hurt. I believe that whenever we are hurt, inflicted by either someone else, or ourselves, we cocoon. Wrap ourselves in layers upon layers of protection like a chrysalis, under development, until it's time to break free and spread our beautiful wings.

I feel that the time for breaking free is near. Is now.

It's time to work hard to break free of the layers that has kept me protected all these years. I have gathered the strength, and know that it is going to take time to remove them one at a time, one pound at a time. It took a long time to get them there, but I cannot wait to feel the air, and spread my wings.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Year

My husband and I took a mini vacation to the West Coast of Vancouver Island for New Years. We stayed at a beautiful place called Terrace Beach Resort that is nestled on the edge of The Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet, BC. While we were there we hiked awesome trails and combed beaches, and soaked in the fresh air. It was an awesome way to bring in the New Year. I admired the people surfing , and look forward to the day when I am healthy and strong enough to try it. It's so awesome to have so many things to look forward to.

When we were there we made collages about our goals for the upcoming year. I'm really looking forward to all the wonderful things that this year will bring.