Tag Archives: Canadian

Friday Flashback – Skiing

Today I took CJ and ET skiing. It was our first time out this year but they were zipping around like the pros they are.

Skiing has always been a part of my life (I started when I was three) and every year we would take a ski vacation with the same family friends. Some years other families would join in but the nine of us were the core group. The memories from these family trip are some of my most vivid and are absolutely among my favourites.

This is a picture of our gang (minus Dad who was taking the picture.) I’m in the green pants in front of Mom and The Sister is on the far right.

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I’ve seen the future…

Disney/Pixar's vision of the future as see in the movie Wall-E.

Disney/Pixar’s vision of the future as see in the movie Wall-E.

I don’t want to be accused of “fat shaming” (and anyone who knows me knows that I have more than a few extra pounds to shed myself) but the number of obese people on scooters at Disney just blew my mind.

A few times I was questioned about these people by my youngest. He would see someone riding around the park who would then pop-up off their scooter and jump onto a ride with no sign of disability. Being generous of spirit, I would explain how some people were okay to walk short distances but that they may have something wrong with them that might make it too hard to walk further. They may have a disability that we couldn’t see.

After about the third time explaining this, I took some time to break it down in my head. Here are my thoughts…

I’m going to overestimate and randomly say that perhaps 1 out of 3 of these people on scooters actually had a mechanical back or leg issue that had no relationship to weight, but that might make it hard to traverse a theme park by foot.

So why were the other 2 out of 3 people on a scooter? Because they were fat. I’m not saying that they weren’t disabled… just the opposite in fact. The majority of the people scooting around Disney were disabled by their obesity. Yes, I’m sure it would be hard to walk around the park all day when you are carrying (at least) a hundred and fifty extra pounds. Hell ya, you bet your legs and back would be killing you.

I really believe that these people actually needed to be riding around on scooters.

So why am I even writing about this? I know this is not new… I know I’m just coming in with innocent Canadian eyes… but the sheer number of scooters (they almost outnumbered the strollers) just blew my mind. I was shocked to realize that this proportion of the population has disabled themselves with obesity. Is Disney a fair random sample so that I can extrapolate this across the US? I don’t know and I’ll admit that I’m a little scared to think about it.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a quick-rich investment opportunity, I suggest looking into Orlando area scooter rentals. Business is bursting at the seams!

Ode to my cousins

Family reunion
The Sister and I have a lot of cousins but we grew up in Nova Scotia and all of our cousins lived in Newfoundland, Quebec or Ontario. Needless to say, we didn’t get to know them very well when we were young.

There are some cousins that still remain a mystery to me. I remember images of them from a family reunion or pictures that were enclosed in Christmas cards but they are mainly just names. There are cousins with families that I will probably never meet.

There was one group of cousins, however, who we did get to know better than others. These were the children of my father’s three sisters. Dad was their baby brother and efforts were always made to visit and reunite whenever possible. But still, it wasn’t often enough. Continue reading

Sporting wisdom

Not my children...

Not my children…

With a good quantity of parenting years under my belt, I have realized there are certain things you cannot teach your children. No matter how hard you try, they just have to figure it out for themselves. Continue reading

Fact or Friction


As you should know by now, I hate to shop. In particular, I hate to shop at stores that make me uncomfortable. I have only been into our local Lululemon store once but it was enough. I stopped in looking for some comfortable post-partum clothes and, within minutes of walking in, I felt like Vivian the prostitute from Pretty Woman when she went shopping on Rodeo Drive.

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Leaving on a jet plane

On Friday, I’m flying to San Diego for a one day meeting. For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, I live in Halifax, Canada. Let me show you what this means.


Only if I moved to Brigus could this trip across North America be any further. I have a full day of travel on either side of the meeting. For this reason, I’ll be staying an extra day… gotta try to make all that travel seem worthwhile.

This may sound like complaining, please let me assure you it is not. In fact, allow me to present:

11 things I hate love about travelling for work

1) Lack of control – On travel days, my only decisions are which snacks to eat and what movies to watch. Everything else is pre-planned or not in my power to change. “I’m going to miss my connection? Oh well… what time’s the next one?”

2) Nothing to do – People watching during an airport stop-over is sociologically fascinating. It is an amazing cross-section of the population and even slightly odd behaviours are strangely amplified.

3) Long flights – I’m pretty compact and have excellent bladder control so I like to settle into a window seat and not budge until it’s time to deplane. It’s very relaxing to have hours of uninterrupted rest and am often asleep by takeoff.

4) Turbulence – I have absolutely no fear of flying and I’m able to find the science behind flight incredibly interesting. Never is the physics so apparent than during wind-shifts and up-drafts… Especially in a small plane!

5) Hotel bathroom – It’s a wonderful feeling, knowing the toilet seat will always be down and the only pee on the floor will be mine.

6) Strange bed – Sleeping in crisp white linen that I didn’t have to make, with nobody crying out for me in the middle of the night. Ahhhh, paradise!

7) Eating alone – I don’t have to cajole anyone to eat their food or threaten to give away their chair if they don’t sit their butt down immediately.

8) Jet lag – Since I’m not a morning person, it’s great that a 7:15am meeting start will feel like 11:15am. I’m also not a late night person so the time change is a great excuse to beg out early from evening functions.

9) Strangers in my room – Messes are just magically gone when I come back at the end of the day.

10) Being a nobody – The anonymity of travel is very freeing. I don’t have to do anything for anybody else, unless I choose to. Ironically, I become very generous when I travel.

11) Homesickness – It’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Being away from the family for a few days helps revive lost perspective. My boys are never so cute, and I never appreciate The Husband more, than upon my return.

How about you? Traveling alone… love it or hate it?

I’m a hockey mom!

6 year-old ET, waiting for a pass

6 year-old ET, waiting for a pass

I spent half of today at the rink.

I’m not complaining (mainly because The Husband usually shoulders most of the duty) but, once hockey season starts, our weekends are dictated by practice times and game schedules.

When the boys were babies and toddlers, I joked that they were only allowed to get involved in activities to which they could find their own way. I really didn’t want to be one of those moms, driving a minivan with a “Mom’s taxi” bumper sticker.

Well, it’s not a minivan and there’s no bumper sticker, but between soccer, swimming, Beavers, and now hockey it sure feels like a taxi. Continue reading

Oh Canada!

Image: Christian LaForce, Chronicle Herald Staff

Image: Christian LaForce, Chronicle Herald Staff

We started the day with a parade, filled it with history and cannons on Citadel Hill and laser tag on the Commons. The boys are finishing it with hockey in the driveway.

We live in a fantastic country and it feels good to celebrate how lucky we are.

Happy Canada Day!

A Canadian, an Australian and an Irishman walk into an American drug store…

Image: Guardian.co.uk using images from iStockphoto

Image: Guardian.co.uk using images from iStockphoto

Every year, when I was travelling with the tennis tour, I worked an event in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Shortly after this tournament, I would head back to Canada for a few weeks off before heading over to Europe.

While in Hilton Head, I received an e-mail request from a very close friend. He had an allergy and could only use latex-free condoms. In those days, they were still difficult to find in Canada and he was hoping I could pick him up a few boxes before heading home. Continue reading

Water in zero gravity

I just think this is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen and I wanted to be sure you’ve seen it too. Check it out.

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is keeping science cool!