Sunday, November 13, 2011


In case you peeps arn't aware, I have been spending the past almost 3 months on (and off) my bike. We have become joined at the hip, and as a result we have created a blog of our own all about my biking adventures. SOOO, catch up on whats been happening by going to:

Sorry to have left you in the dark for so long, I hope you will forgive me!

Monday, August 22, 2011

In Victoria!

Hey everyone, yes, I have arrived in Victoria! It was a long three days of train, then sky-train, then bus, then ferry, they bus with 2 big bags and a bike, but I made it! During the travel from train to ferry I received much help from many awesome other travelers who helped me with my bags and bike, seeing that I was struggling and in need of help. So, people are awesome. With a few mixes up with meeting times (my friends don't have a phone and the train was 4 hrs late) I finally arrived in Victoria, met my friends at the bus station and enjoyed the awesome meal they had prepared for me!
Yesterday I went for a long walk and serendipity arrived upon the park (Moss Hill Park) that I went to with my family when I lived in Victoria when I was 12 yrs old. It was fabulous, and the view was out of control! I love the ocean.
After my walk, I went back home, did some emailing and left with my friends to food not bombs with my friends, a block party, and china town! It was a great day. But its not over yet...

I then went for a run, had a wonderful dinner with my friends(I love eating with people) and went outside to contemplate the stars, and life while sitting in the hammock in the backyard.

And now its today. Thanks for listening, today is about getting ready for the bike trip! We have already had intense conversations, and now for buying of equipment. During the tour I will try to keep you updated with happenings via this blog as well, however, hopefully I will make a few more posts before the tour begins!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Plane or Train

As many of you know, I am soon going to be heading to the coast for some sweet bicycle touring! I am super excited, yet today I forced myself to face the pearals of plane vs train. Unfortunately I missed the opportunity to get the crazy cheap train tickets (~$130), which would have made this decision a no brainer. There are many factors wieghing into this decision, let me break it down for you:

1. I have a bike which I am going to be taking out with me, therefore the cost of checking a bike matters (however, I discovered, both train and plane charge $20)

2. Monetary cost. I am monetarily poor(in other ways I am rich, but money I have little of).

3. Environmental impact. I love the environment. Its a sexy beast and I want to inflict as little pain as possible within reason (i.e. if the plane cost less then half that of the train, then I may op for the plane, cuz well, I am poor. I know thats feeding the devil...but!!)

4. Seeing canada. I really like the fact that on the train we would get to go through the rockies!

OK! So there are the options, after doing some research I discovered that the plane was ~$260 while the train was ~$360, so $100 diff. As well, I discovered that to take the plane would mean I would be emitting 10 times the CO2 as if I took the train, euw! Finally, airports are NEVER central to a city, so there would be added costs of taxi or shuttle, making the price difference probably closer to $50. For those of you that know me, I think you know what I have decided....

Chew chew, beautiful rocky mountains, sleepless nights, and conversations with fascinating people in the bubble car here I come!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Canvasing in Nature

I just had to write about last week when I was canvassing. We are currently working in a nieghbourhood on the outscurts of Winnipeg and guess what I saw....a deer and its baby! They were beautiful and I was able to catch a few good photos! Although I loved seeing the deer, it also made me sad to think that we have invaded so much land that was once untouched that the deer are living within our backyards. That is, no doubt, not there natural habitat, and impacts there lifespan, number of children they have, and stress levels.

None the less, they were very pretty.

The Garden is Growing!



My excitment is explosive! The garden is so beautiful! Everyday I visit it I can't help but smile. There are tomatos (although still green), sunflowers, lots of greens, peppers, and...OKRA!! The okra makes me really happy cuz first of all its a special brown type, and second of all its the type of plant that breaks down those stereotypes that certain plants can only be grown in certain areas of the world. True to an extent, but often we don't give the plants enough credit.

I look a bunch of photos of the garden which you can see below.

Also we have been included on an inner city garden tour of Winnipeg! I found this super exciting because, 1. Its my first time gardening, 2. It celebrates the hard work of the other volunteers, and 3. It will show off the garden to people of Winnipeg and hopefully build the gardens strength so that they wont build a building on it (yes they are considering doing this!).

Thanks for dealing with my explosive excitement!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

What's Up with Lawns Anyways?!

The other day I got somewhat perturbed with lawns. Why do we have them? The grass commonly used is not native to North America, and therefore requires a lot of water to keep it green. So why are we wasting all this water on these lawns that do not feed us, do not provide much of any sort of habitat for bees, butterflies and other insects, AND we spend hours mowing them using often gas (do I need to rant about this?) or electrical (not really an environmental alternative unless actually generated using renewable source) mowers.

After having my own little freak-out I decided to research the topic and find out why we have so many of these darn lawns in Canada!

So here it is:

"The lawn" originates in Europe (surprise, surprise), which makes ecological sense because the grasses grow best in less extreme climates. Lawns were associated with wealth, golf and lawn bowling.

Slowly, as the rich and the famous of North America took vacations over in England, Scotland, and France they began to want lawns in North America, mostly so they could play golf and lawn bowling here. So, in 1915, the US Department of Agriculture and the US Golf Association (yes there's such a thing, crazy!!) collaborated to create the right combinations of grasses that would be suitable (with a lot of watering, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides of course) for the North American climate.

But still this lawn business didn't get picked up by the masses till the industrial revolution and invention of the rotary lawn mower and watering hose. These two inventions made it possible for the average Joe or Jill to have there very own lawn, YIPPEE!! However, there was still not much desire for lawns until...the American Garden Club applied the peer pressure. They said that it was one's civic duty to have a well kept lawn...and well we all know how effective peer pressure is. So lawns began to emerge everywhere. And as cities got bigger and people couldn't have their own lawns we created communal lawns called PARKS! I'm not going to get into suburbs though, thats a whole other ball game!

Wasn't that fascinating? I thought it was. Lets make lawns extinct!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Art Junction

I just discovered Craft Heaven for me!! It is called Art Junction! Located across the street from Red River College in Winnipeg this is a haven of creative and usable junk! Anyone that knows me knows that I love making things out of what others would see as junk or garbage but I see as POTENTIAL GOLD! And well, I hit the gold mine! This place is full of scrap fabric, paper, wood, boxes, thread, faux flowers, basically anything and everything! And best of all...its all free!!

Its awesome cuz now I don't have to collect all this "garbage" under my bed, I can drop it off there for others to parooz too! And when I'm feeling crafty, I can just head on over and take my pick!!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Birth of a Garden!

A few weeks ago I was hired on to be the community garden coordinator at the University here. Mostly a volunteer position, but still awesome opportunity to learn about gardening! So, before I head over to the garden today I thought I would update y'all about all the little babies in the garden!
So, I have close a limited experience with gardening. I did some woofing last summer, but that was harvesting, not planting! But I go, and try, and see what falls. So far I have planted peppers, tomatos, eggplant, brocilli, green onions, and I think thats it.

I still hope to plant lots of leafy greens, zuchinni, squash, pumpkin, watermelon, beans, and flowers. Today I am going to plant some seeds, so far I just put in seedlings. If anyone has suggestions, please post them! I am very open to help!

Finally, HAPPY FATHERS DAY!! Going out to my dad, and all other fathers out there rocking the world and doing there best to be the best father they can be!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Stewed Rhubarb and Banana

You wouldn't guess it, but rhubarb and banana are SOO GOOD together!

All you have to do is chop up 2 bananas, and ~2 cups of rhubarb and combine them with some water (depending on the consistency you want) and 2-4 T sugar and let it stew!! Then take it off when the rhubarb has broken down and serve over short bread, oatmeal, whatever you want.

SOO GOOD! Try it! The tartness of the rhubarb counter-acts the sweetness of the banana! YUM!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

BOREAL FOREST!!trees...caribou...fresh air

The Boreal Forest. What is it? No really, what is it? Many of us have heard of it, maybe talked a bit about it in school, but how many people know the significants of it, and the stress it lives under.

After canvassing I am starting to learn a lot more about the Boreal, and frankly, fall in love with it.

The heart Boreal Forest is the largest intact forest in…THE WHOLE WORLD! That’s right, its bigger then the Amazon!! The reason I say “heart” is because the boreal forest used to be a lot bigger, but because of mining and forestry, the rest of the forest has become broken up and spotty, leaving the heart as the only intact portion left. Can you how big it would be if the other areas of the forest were left unscarred too?! CRAZY!! So it’s big! Since it is home to such a diverse range of animals and plant species, as well as it being the home to over 600 different aboriginal tribes, Canada is in the process of getting it recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. Pretty sweet eh?!

However, Canada is also in the process of DESTROYING the heart. Or at least we are thinking about it. Currently there is a road that goes along the east side of Lake Winnipeg, however they are in process of extending this road. This sucks because it will put a lot of stress on the forest, however it does provide communities that are living in the boreal forest better access to outside goods, which would reduce the cost of food that is brought it. Whether or not bringing in food is the best way to feed such communities is another discustion all together. But anyways, so this road is being created, however along with this a lot of discussion has been going on about Bipole 3, which is a power line which they are planning on running from northern Canada to the USA. The debate is whether or not to run the line down the east or west side of Lake Winnipeg. It’s definitely a hot button topic, which I am faced with every night I go canvassing. There is no answer that will satisfy all parties, every option has draw backs, however, obviously, I am for the west side, as it does not run through the heart of the forest. Reducing the destruction that the forest has to deal with.

However, even if bipole 3 goes down the west side, there is still battle with forestry and mining. Its not that these operations can’t happen, but they need to be done RESPONSIBLY. But who sets the bar? Who watches to make sure the companies are being responsible? And where does responsible end and irresponsible begin? Many questions, perhaps you have a perspective or answer! Lay it out sister/brother!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Assiniboine Flooding

Have you heard about the Assiniboine river in Manitoba? If you live in Manitoba you probably have, since it’s kinda a big deal, however if not, let me elaborate.

I’m no Manitoban, so I may get this wrong, but as far as I understand, the Assiniboine is one of the two large rivers (the other being the Red River) that flows in and through Winnipeg. Usually it’s the Red River that causes flooding issues, however this year the tables have turned and the Assiniboine is reeking havoc. Many farmlands and rural areas have been flooded, since they rest on low-lying floodplains. However, what is so controversial about the flooding is the fact that it was intentional. To save Winnipeg and avoid random bursting of the built up dykes a break in the dam was intentionally made.

As a result several hundreds of individuals had to evacuate, and many farmers have lost what some say to be their entire livelihood for the year. Premiere Selinger says that compensation will be provided, however to what extent in unclear.

Therefore, this is no laughing matter. In fact it was reported that the last time such an intense ordeal has occurred in Manitoba was 30 years ago, I don’t know about that, but I do know its intense. Even in the city the flooding of the river can be seen. Where trees are suppose to line the river there are no longer trees, since they have been engulfed by the rising water level. In Winnipeg there has not been any state of emergency (thanks to the sacrifice of rural communities) however who knows what’s in store.

Last I read the flooding was flowing with a current fast enough to fill 2 Olympic swimming pools every minute, that’s fast, and that’s only the water that is flooding out of the river. It’s a crazy time here, and crazier to think that all those people were sacrificed for me, and for others that are dwelling in the city.

How do you make those decisions? Kill one person to save 4, its still killing. But I would probably have done the same as the premier, its for the greater good. But its no easy choice. I definitely am not jealous of the place that Selinger is in.

Here’s to dry lands.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Mind is Reality, isn't it?!

It’s funny how we try to predict life, create storylines and fairytales in our minds of what the future will be like. Where we will live, what we will do, who we will spend our time with. It’s funny how these fairytales rairly reflect reality. Not to say that’s a good or bad thing, but simply that our minds reality is different from the reality that exists around us.

Take for example, my moving to Winnipeg. Before coming here, I did research on organizations, events, and so on that were part of Winnipeg. After doing this research I started to form ideas and fairytales about what my life would be like here, how I would spend my time, and where I would work. Insert reality. Now being here the story is quite different.

My life is uncertain. My mind continues to run around in circles being in love with the moment, then scared about my future, then confused as to what the heck I am doing with my life. What the heck am I doing? It’s a good question. I am obsessed with immediate answers, but life is not immediate, yet trying to rest into patience is also hard, because I feel like I am wasting my time. I feel like there is so much potential to better myself, and when I sit around and do nothing (like this morning…it is now noon, I have been up for over 3 hrs, and have not left the house) I feel as though I am not grabbing my life by the horns. And yet, I also realize that this notion is somewhat silly, because to grab lifes horns we sometimes need patience, oh those horns.

Ok, so take the serious of events that have befalled me since I arrived in Winnipeg 5 days ago. I arrived and almost immediately got a job at a resturant here. Sweet, I can pay rent! Then I got another job with an environmental group, ever more sweetness. However, I went to my first shift at the resturant yesterday and I just couldn’t do it. As a vegan, I have strong feelings/morals/values…whatever you want to call them…towards eating meat, and, this resturant served meat. It just hurt my heart every time I served customers meat: I was promoting something I stand against! When my shift ended I knew I couldn’t continue, I had to quit. And so I spend the entire night tossing and turning as my mind went in circles thinking about how to break the news, is this the right choice, etc. I was a nervous reck because it was through the generosity of people I knew that I got the job, so I had to quit without causing tension! Intense! But I did it and this morning I quit. An end to that fairytale.

Oh the minds fairytales. So my life is in a state of confusion, turmoil, unrest. Everyday I struggle to find some control, which often causes more harm then not as I get kinda stressed about the control thing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Re-Start and Off to WInni!

Its been a while…well, actually, its been a long while (at least three months). However, now that I am on my way to Winnipeg I thought I would re-establish my blog. I hope my past months of slacking have not tainted its reputation in your eyes. My plan is for this blog to continue as an expression of my life angst’s, articles that I find interesting and inspiring, and simply note-worthy life events. It’s a way to stay connected, keep those that matter in my life updated, however since it is a public domain I plan on keeping it fairly impersonal, so if you REALLY want to know how I'm doing, shoot me an email.

Revamp here we come!

A few months ago I decided to move to Winnipeg. It is a big step; I am scared, but also excited. When people asked me why I was moving to Winnipeg I never had much of an answer, “Uh, family and friends?”, “It’s a groovy scene there…”, which for some reason seemed somewhat unsatisfying for them, and slowly I started to wonder about my reasoning too.

How do we make choices? What defines a good versus bad choice? Are there bad or good choices or are there “just” choices? I find that if one moves because of a job, significant other, or school, then moving is socially acceptable/understandable. But what if one moves just for life? What if it just feels like the thing to do? In case you are wondering, that is why I am making my move. I don’t know if it’s the right choice to make, but then again I am not sure I believe in right or wrong choices. As my aunt says, “it’s not the choice that matters, but what you do with the choice once you’ve made it.” So here I go about to do something with the choice!

I am at a stage in my life where it would be really nice to root down somewhere for a bit. I don’t know what that is going to mean, how it is going to manifest, but I just feel like my soul needs it. There are so many things I want to do with my life that I will most likely move around throughout my life, but that doesn’t mean I can’t grow roots. Within the past 6 years I have grown so used to (and fond of) moving that the longest I have ever been in one place is 8 months, however more often then not it was less then 6 month. I blame this addiction to moving on the co-op program, which is a great program, but has created a nomad out of me. Although it is good in many ways, it makes for an impatient, flighty person that is scared of commitment and personal connection. This is why I plan on working on my personal patience. With patience I hope to adjust my perspective on life to the larger picture, focusing on the far off horizon, rather then the shoreline waves (or lack of waves).

Stay tuned as I face life and try to use this new found patience to find comfort with all of the unknowns.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

internal looking

Right now I am stuck. Stuck in this perpetual cycle of living to live, with everything I do feeling as though it is for me, to built my castle, my little dream world, and I don’t like it. (side note, this entry is more of a reflection on myself, my internal land rather then the physical world I see around me, end side note). I am struggling to find a way to connect myself to others, to bring my life greater meaning through helping others, or at least just building bridges. But perhaps that is still echo-centric. It’s a tricky situations, yet I feel very much like an isolated island right now, and as the days pass I notice how it is driving me a little crazy.

Its funny, because I feel like my life is very “perfect” right now, and therefore to complain about something seems wrong. I feel almost guilty to say that I am not over the top! Yet I am not. I find I am struggling with my lack of deep personal connections my life has with others. Yet what is stopping me? What is making this is impossible? And how do I change my life to solve this problem? Is it a problem?

Having just returned home (to my studio loft) from a friend’s book launch I reflect on the number of people that were there, and the support from such diverse areas in her life. She was such an insiring person in my life, and I doubt she even knows it. We lived in the same residence and she helped me stretch my boundaries, something that has helped me adventure to different coutries across the world. So how many people are there like that in my life that are priceless and don’t even know it? And to how many people am I that person? Perhaps I am not that person to anyone, and if so, that brings me some sadness, yet why? Why is that sad? I think maybe because that means that my existence does not hold any worth for anyone. Its funny how we crave for others to see worth in us, perhaps it is to ensure to ourselves that there is, somewhere, worth in ourselves, even when we don’t see any.

Anyways, its interesting. I feel like it would be nice to have more selve reflection time, more artistic time, more community outreach time. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but its very rigid, as you would expect an eingeering job to be, and it leaves little room for singing and dancing, for colouring outside the lines, and for playing hop-scotch with kids.

With all this said, I feel like I am a slave to money. To my apartment, and to my bills. Money has never been something I want to define my life with, yet I feel like I am letting it do exactly that. I am very thrifty, sometimes to a fault, with my money. Yet as I think about how much I could make as an engineer I start to day dream of all the things I could do with all that money…yet I also don’t want all that money if it means not being in love with life, and the everyday life! Not just the vacations, or weekends, but the days and daily tasks too. What I do know, is I need to try to let go of attachments, of daydreams of what tomorrow with be, because the future is unpredictable, and without flexibility how can we be open to opportunity!

So I am trying, and with continue to search for a solution to my need for human connection and belonging. If you read this whole post, thanks for listening, its nice to know that someone cares, I hope I can do the same for you someday.