I never in a million years would have believed I’d move so far away from home…and a home yoga practice

I’ve been thinking lately about how we identify with place. Last year at a gathering in Whitehorse, I was introduced as being from Salmon Arm, BC. Which, I suppose, is true, since that’s where I’m living right now. I had, after all, flown in for the event.

But at time, we had only been gone from Whitehorse for one year and I still very much identified myself as a Yukoner. So when the introduction came over the sound system, I had a very visceral reaction. A little twinge of adrenaline shot into my heart and I actually caught my breath. It felt so wrong! I felt, suddenly, like an outsider, a stranger in a place that was was so dear to my heart that I could still taste the air just by thinking about it.

I still can.

I’ve been living here in the Salmon Arm area for just over two years, now. And while I definitely feel more at home now than I did at first, I still don’t know my way around very well.

Forget directions that involve the name of whatever business was previously located next to the one I’m searching for. “It’s next to where the old yoga studio was before it moved up town.”
“And where is up town, exactly?”
“At the top of the hill, by McDonalds.”

Or how about this one: “It’s on 18th.”
(Avenue or street? West or Nortwest? I believe there are four streets that begin with the number 18 in Salmon Arm. there might be more, I’m not sure.)

When we spent a year in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, I met an elderly woman who took me under her wing a little bit. She lived in a nice little house in a nice little neighbourhood of “newer” homes in town. “Newer” meaning built in the 1950s.

“Would you like to see where I’m from?” she asked me one day.
“Is it far?” I imagined a day trip to some other small Manitoba town, maybe an hour or so away.

We got into her car and drove about six blocks to the other side of town, and parked in front of a beautiful old heritage home.
“My nephew lives here, now,” she said, pointing out the dormer window that had been her childhood bedroom.

We walked up the street and down the alley behind the house, admiring the gardens full of tomato plants, rhubarb, and peonies while she reminisced about her childhood.”I never in a million years would have believed I’d move so far away from home,” she said, sadly.

It’s funny, isn’t it, how we can live quite happily in one place and yet still yearn for another. I don’t know if I’d move back to Whitehorse. I like it here. And yet, I identify myself as a Yukoner living away.

And every time we visit the coast and I get a whiff of that salt air, I yearn to live by the ocean again.

If home is really where the heart is, then I guess one can be at home in several places at once. And that’s a good thing, eh? Because the moral of the story is that home resides within us. We carry our homes inside us like turtles carries their on the outside.

HHome Yoga Practice

There are many ways to set up a home practice. If you’re interested in having one like mine, all you need is a space big enough to roll out your mat, a few uninterrupted minutes and a place to set your laptop (or a TV with a DVD player).

I currently practice with the Dianne Bondy on-line videos and with my Rodney Yee DVDs.

Here are some links to get you started. Have fun and choose what fits your style and your body. ♥

You can enroll with Dianne Bondy at Yogasteya. You can also check out her YouTube channel. Here’s a short sample:

There’s Curvy Yoga on YouTube:

And there’s Curvygirl Yoga, too:

My Aunt Margy recommends Jane Fonda’s yoga videos, which can be found on YouTube:

Last but not least, my all-time favourite  DVDs are by Rodney Yee. Especially his Yoga for Beginners series. Here is a sample:

Simplicity 4097 in the Fall of the Year

Combine 2.5 m of beautiful wool-blend Prince of Wales suiting and Simplicity 4097 and what do you get? The perfect fall jumper!

016I’ve always wanted a jumper, something easy that I can just pull on over top of leggings and a blouse (or a full set of long johns, lol!)

026It isn’t the most flattering outfit, I suppose, but I don’t care. Since when have I ever been a walking fashion statement, anyway?  Three people have already complimented me on it, and one (a total stranger!) said, “you must have made that because I haven’t seen a proper jumper in years. I’m going to pull out my sewing machine and make one for me, too!” I hope she does!

028This jumper pleases my little hippy heart and it’s both physically and emotionally comfortable. Since I’ve gained a bunch of that dratted weight back, I find that it’s harder than ever to find something to wear that I feel comfortable in. And not just physically, but emotionally. Because when you’re insecure about your body, being emotionally comfortable in your clothes is very important to how happy you are in your skin. Believe me when I say this is a struggle for me. My middle-aged body is…well…middle aged.

051Since my goal is to someday become an accomplished sewer-of-my-own-wardrobe, I’ve been trying to challenge myself with each new project. This time it was fitting the back bodice and matching the plaid. Actually, pattern matching went so well that I forgot to take a picture of it, lol! Trust me, it’s pretty darn close to perfect. 🙂

055The bodice is lined as per the pattern instructions, but they didn’t specify what to use for lining. So I used the same wool since I had enough. I also cut the bodice and the pockets on the bias. It was a bit tricky, as this cloth really stretched on the bias. But knowing that, I was extra careful which resulted in no problems at all. Yay!

049I’m also learning about fitting a pattern to my own body. My shoulders and upper back are narrow and my waist is wide. In fact, my shoulders are two sizes smaller than my waist, which requires some pattern adjustments.

I cut the back bodice an entire size smaller than the front bodice, and it was still too big. It might be time to learn how to do a sway-back adjustment.

013Since the bodice was already finished and lined, there wasn’t much I could do about the back. My solution? A box pleat and a vintage covered button to take in the excess across the mid-back.

059Was the box pleat a professional way to fix the problem? No, and thank goodness for long hair, which covers up some bits of messiness that I’d rather you didn’t see. However, you have to admit, the button adds a bit of charm. I adore buttons. There is a button on every piece of clothing I’ve sewn so far, whether one was required or not.

042Because it’s such beautiful fabric, I wanted it to be especially nicely finished on the inside. So I zigzagged every seam and then pinked them. I’m not going to show you any pictures because there are so many that are much more interesting than a bunch of pinked seams, lol!

044So, are you wondering what my fabulous fall jumper cost to make? I’ll give you a hint: everything came from the thrift store. Fabric & pattern: (insert drum roll……) $3.25.
047Thanks to my wonderful Creative Mr.C for taking the pictures at McGuire Lake park in downtown Salmon Arm.  This is what November looks like where I live now.  Love it!


Moved to tears by the Ural University Choir

Here is something about me that I bet you didn’t know: I love choral music. LOVE it.

Did you know about Kathaumixw? Kathaumixw is an International Choral  Festival in Powell River, British  Columbia.

800-GreatHallChoirs come from all over the world to participate!

And here is something wonderful: every second year, the First United Church in Salmon Arm brings one of the visiting choirs here to perform for us.

This year the Academic Students’ Choir of the Ural Federal University in Russia traveled up to perform for us. These young people are Engineering students at the Ural Federal University. They are not music students (thought maybe they should be).

Academic Students choir of the Ural Federal UniversityThe choir opened with O Canada and I immediately burst into tears. Not because I am patriotic (I am), but because these young people had taken the trouble to learn it. And oh, I have never heard O Canada sung like that. The harmonies! You would have cried, too.

Honestly, I cried throughout the entire first set. At the end of it, my face was crusty with the salt tracks of my tears.

choirIf I had been alone, I would have sobbed out loud when, at one point, the choir moved out of their formation and encircled the audience, singing a South African hymn with hands raised. We were surrounded by music, gathered in, lifted up. It was, quite literally, awesome.

Awesome: inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence or admiration; causing or inducing awe.

(…and by the way, what word do we have to replace Awesome with now that it  has been devalued into a trite slang term? What do we say when something moves us emotionally? How do we label an experience that so much bigger/greater/stupendous than ourselves?)

Anyway, for the record, I want to say that listening to the choral performance and watching the conductor, Svetlana Dolnikovskaya, moved me to tears and filled me with a sense of joy and awe.

Here is one of their European performances that I found on YouTube to share with you. Close your eyes and relax. Listen and enjoy!

I wish you had been there. You would have been moved to tears, too.

Going for a Walk

Would you like to take a walk around the neighbourhood with us?

015I’ll take my camera and snap a few pics along the way. 🙂 Samson is in charge. Which way shall we go today? Right or left? Samson chooses to turn right. Here we go!

017016The water is high this year…there’s no more beach to walk on! Samson is disappointed.

019Another cross-roads. Right or left, Sam? Sam chooses right. Okay! Up Mobley Road we go!

026074Another cross road. Sam decides he’d like to walk the “Badger Road loop” today, so we turn left here.


041 043These are the chickens that lay the eggs we buy. 🙂 053 059And back onto Mobley Road headed for home.

025072 080 081Wouldn’t you like to live here, too?


Retirement: week one

Today is my 6th day in my new home in Salmon Arm, B.C and I have been procrastinating (no, really!). This week is GIVEAWAY week over at Sew Mama Sew, and I have spent literally hours entering all the draws. There are over 300 draws.  Three Hundred. Yes, I entered every single one. :).

As a result, unpacking has been going very slowly. We bring in a couple of boxes and I take some things out and put other things back in then send the box back to the garage. Then enter another dozen draws. Then open another box. etc.  Actually, there is so little storage space here compared to my old house t trouble figuring out where to put stuff. Which takes me from “zero to overwhelmed in 60 seconds flat” several times a day. But that’s okay. There really isn’t any hurry, and I’m slowly finding the things I need the most.

Yesterday we were out all day and today we’ll be out again…Kelly’s new business as regional flight test examiner took him to Vernon yesterday, Kamloops today and Kelowna next week. (what? isn’t he supposed to be retired?). Not being familiar with these places, I’ve been riding shotgun.

We hung the cuckoo clock, the Jim Rob and the Chris Caldwell the other day. Funny how those little touches of Whitehorse brings the house that much closer to feeling like home.

On Sunday we were reacquainted with a friend from years ago (Anita) who came over with our dear friend Karyne who was visiting from Ottawa. Karyne considers it her good fortune that two of her good friends now live in the same town!  Makes it much easier to visit! So Anita drove her over and we had our first visitors in our new home. I had unpacked the tea and the cups, thank goodness! Next time Anita comes over I will have some cookies to offer her, and maybe even a plate to put them on, lol!

Upon our return from walking Samson on Tuesday afternoon, we were met on the street by new neighbours just down the hill (Bob and Darlene) who invited us in for coffee and shortbread. Isn’t that nice? 🙂

And since it is Christmas after all, I look forward to putting a halt to everything and baking some cookies soon. Maybe tomorrow can be a stay-at-home day and I can make a floury, sugary mess in the kitchen then. 🙂

This is just a little update so you don’t think I’ve forgotten y’all!

Kelly has arrived

Kelly has arrived in Salmon Arm!

He drove away on Sunday morning. It was a 4-day drive of fairly easy lengths each day. He stopped when it was dark and camped for the night wherever that happened to be. The cats seemed content in the camper. Samson was discombobulated but will recover. I’m next…31 more days!