TmTs: Thank you, Valerie

Episode 45

Welcome back to another TmT episode of Valerie’s Variety Podcast, if you haven’t listened to last weeks episode this is a follow-up.

London and I spent a day at Colour Me Mine in Kensington, I did this post and shared our experience because we had a really great time. We love going there and it was an honest ReView of this incredible experience. Barring the ‘rude’ lady, that decided to air her feelings about kids in a room full of kids united with their families. This place didn’t disappoint, we had a great time and have a cherished piece of hand painted pottery to mark our day!

I shared our experience through their online contact form and JJ the owner of this particular Colour Me Mine location. The response was so great I could barely read it without tearing up. As you know I like to spread positive experiences…if you’ve been pondering to go here with your bestie – here’s the environment and the owners goal for this place:

Hello Valerie,Wow, that’s so sweet of you!  I loved it!  You brought a tear to my eye, it truly makes what we do so worth it when we hear back from the very people we do it for and it truly touched my heart.  I love what I do, never feel like I’m working really! Most favourite parts are the kiln reveals and seeing smiles while painting and of course at pick up!  I’m so happy you enjoy your experiences.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing the good vibes.  We aim to please and are happy to do so!  Our customers are amazing and we are happy to provide a creative outlet to allow imaginations to sore.  I’m disappointed about the comments of the pick up client (especially being a mother to 3 myself) (I had no idea that was said) however we never truly know the experiences of others and what would have caused her to say such things.  I apologize on her behalf and hope you only feel/hear positive energy when at Color Me Mine.I would like to personally meet you hopefully someday soon and thank you in person,Look forward to seeing you soon,Take care and much gratitude! <3Best,JJ

Talk to you next Tuesday!

Colour Me Mine

Family Day Monday

episode 44

London and I on Family Day spent the day together painting art at Colour Me Mine in Kensington. This isn’t the first time we’ve done this adventure and it won’t be the last time. She picked out a cup to paint and I eventually insert4:17 here picked a vase for my plant area in my studio. insert 38:38 be careful you don’t break anything.

As you can here there’s lovlie jazz music in the background. We haven’t been here for a number of months – maybe even a year or more and this place has been enhanced. It being Family day…there was so many people in, all of the tables were full.  They were having a celebration in the party room area at the back.

Colour Me Mine – paint day

If you’re not familiar with this place – think creative. You can choose and items off the shelf like, plates, platters, bowls, ornaments, mugs, cups, tea cups, decorations like a little dog ornament or a giant dragon to paint. On the bottom of your object there’s a price on a sticker This amount includes all of the things you will require to get your painting – crafting object completed. These things include paint, brushes, water, designs, examples, a bit of a lesson, plus the kiln for the end. One stop shop. This particular location…is my favourite I’ve been to a few thoroughout the city but this one is the best one. as the two of us sit there with our treasures that likely add up to $80 for the two pieces, yes it isn’t cheap but you have a keepsake at the end that you’ve painted and love – you picked that pink, you wrote that love note, it was by you.

We pick our colours and find some paint brushes – some of them can be well used, get some water for ringing and dilution…a sponge for dabbing or maybe even sponge painting. and these small sample sw=queeze containers that you can use to freehand draw on your masterpiece. they have all kinds of goodies to use, stencils, sponges, crackle paint, pencils, examples…

insert 37:57 here

Flashback

As a side story we came here one time with our friends from our previous life over at KidsU, her name is Penny and her twin boys are Aidan and Noah. They adored London and called her Lundi – so cute!. Anyway, when we were their painting London was likely 4 or maybe 5 but I don’t think she was that old. Aidan and London went to the washroom to wash their hands…they locked the door and couldn’t get it opened. Aidan was freaking out and so was London, we had to get a pen, take the inside part out and push it though the lock to release the door knob – remember doing this when we were kids? What a memory to keep.

London painted a cut with a small raised plaque area and she decided immediately to paint a camera area within this small spot. Jeff gave her the idea to paint a cup or a glass for his bathroom sink. This place was full. insert 9:30.

London and I just sat and played painted while Jeff had to work…insert 9:55 here and enjoying our work insert 27:12 here. Some people we playing with glass fusion it’s a technique where you take glass pieces and put a special epoxy onto the background piece and fuse square/shapes in and on different colours. I haven’t tried it but it looks so interesting, and possibly like you might get a cut by the end of the day.

insert 42: I love that about you

When you sit and look around there’s a whole room full of people who are doing the same thing, using the same brushes, having as much fun with all sorts of different ideas in their minds. picking paint colours and trying to remember. insert 27: here the paint colour that you’ve chosen. insert note here about colour:  1:02:43 – 1:05…choosing colour background can you grab me one more…insert 1:07

Insert note here 33:57 – 36:44 – hear that chime that was the rude lady leaving.

As you can hear all the families sitting around us..This younger women came into this place picking up items for someone, she made an announcement like ” if I wanted to be around kids I would have had kids of my own”… with all of us families sitting around in this place, she openly comments about this – on Family Day?

insert 40:53 here for the convo between us- this totally sat with us and the other table with the mom, dad and kids beside each other united as a family. and again at 47:30 – 47:50yes this impacted us and London couldn’t wait to tell her dad

The atmosphere feels good in there, you can almost feel palpable creative energy all around us…and then this women comes in. What makes a person speak out like this? Why would she feel so much resentment to feel proud to make this sort of derogatory announcement? I reflect on this moment now as I write this and feel bad for her. I feel sad for her having this type of outlook. She was someone kid once – was her previous life as a child not one to want to remember?

insert door chimes at 22:20

There’s were families all around us, all kinds of nationalities, enjoying each others company. Older children like 16 or more and younger kids like 4 years old…they have a coffee bar and donuts insert donut note here 1:06:04 and good music playing, plus a piano 1:07:57

Sitting and painting in quiet just with our thoughts and sharing them as they come to mind, but all the while enjoying each others company and thoughts about our works of art. our masterpieces. insert 1:25:26 to 1:25:31…

Our creations…pre-kiln

From Google Reviews

Here’s some of the reviews on google I wanted to share about this experience just to validate my feeling more:

insert 40:27 friendly to 40:41 the lady working in the store is even commenting on the people and how they’ve grown over the last year

  • From a month ago: It’s honestly so much fun. So many different types of things to paint and enough paints to be totally free to get as creative as you want.
    The gentleman working was so friendly and helpful and just a great energy to have around.
    Love that they’re trying to focus on being more environmentally conscious too.
  • insert note: 41:25 here From a month ago: Color Me Mine is such a great family-run business. The staff are very helpful and the owner went out of his way to find the pottery I wanted to paint. They play smooth jazz, which is totally relaxing, and serve a great range of teas, coffees, soft drinks and snacks. It is open late at night, which makes it ideal for an alternative meet-up with friends to a bar or movie theatre. The pottery appears expensive but the price includes the paint and firing in the kiln (I believe some other similar businesses charge an entry fee). Your item is usually ready for pick up after five days. It has a friendly atmosphere and you don’t feel rushed at all. I would recommend. A great experience all-in!
  • From about a month ago: I love this colour me mine. I have been to a few in the city and had a great experience at all but this is my favourite one. JJ is the kindest lady I have ever met and so enjoy being in her studio! The way she is kids it’s so amazing! I go here about twice month and always leave feeling refreshed and relaxed!
  • From about a month ago: Color me mine Kensington is the best experience for painting ceramics. It has a very nice ambience and atmosphere. And the workers who own it are very kind and ready to help any customer.
  • From about 3 months ago: We had just the best time here today. The staff is very nice and very helpful. My daughter is absolutely obsessed now and we will be planning her bday party here! I highly recommend it!

Background was recorded by me, sorry about the undertone of singing…London enjoys her idea of a donut, the donut wasn’t that good…in the end after all this waiting, I like to still and finish this spot and that, trying to get every last line painted and crease taken care of. I always like to initial my piece on the bottom with a date – I encourage London to do this also as it just makes the moment all that more captured..

So, I want to encourage you to go out one day with your kids in tow or a friend and just enjoy the day away being in bliss with each other…this place warms the creative sole. I’ve done this with many friends…some no longer around anymore (RIP my dear friend Christi) and others who want to go back because it left a lasting impression on them.

insert 1:38 here what would you choose……be prepared to spend a good chunk of time, like a couple of hours you can bring a snack, coffee or tea if you want and I think they are also licensed so a glass of wine – but double check this. If you want some company invite me I’d go with you…

insert 1:48 here

I can be done, and be sad the day is over I say, well, it’s a nice time, we have a piece of cherished pottery painted by my daughter and me with good spirits and energy added to the mix..so yes I’d say we are artists!

Thanks for listening to this show today, means a lot to share these moments with you

See you next Tuesday.

Vets To Go Review

Tig

Welcome back to another episode (vvp43) of Valerie’s Variety Podcast and this week we are discussing a recent experience we had with Vets To Go.

Lately we’ve been struggling with our furry friend in the house. Our 17 year old cat Tig is going through some life changes.  I had googled aging signs in cats as I’ve definitely seen her showing some signs of aging like: moving more slowly, eating less hard food, I’ve inteofuced some wet food, sleeping a bit more than usual. Also not hearing and seeing as well. She’s always been very affectionate purring likes to sit on my lap – she’s my cat for sure.  Google noted a few things like eating less, showing signs of weight loss and honestly she has started to feel a little bit bonier lately.

My husband had suggested that maybe it’s time for a vet visit. It’s been a few years since I took her to the vet well maybe like 5 years. So yes it is indeed Time.

Some of the signs that we were up against are:

– howling in the night take a listen to this

– missing her litter box

– peeing on the carpet

– vomiting a bit more than usual

Hae you struggled with your cat and some of these issues. What have you done that has worked?

Tig Moss

On our daily commute we drive by a Vets to Go business so I thought I’d give them a try. We were driving out to the mountains while having this discussion about going to a vet and I thought about this option. I went into their website and filled in the forms- scheduled a visit right from my car! How easy was this? I also read a few reviews on this company and you know mostly it’s about home euthanasia putting your pet to sleep in the comfort of their home- BUT they do all sorts of vet service – mobile. Great concept hey?

This most welcoming Vet showed up At my home on time and with such a great attitude. Really put me at ease and no ‘white coat syndrome’ off the start anyway.  She proceeded to talk me through the process and how this works at home. She asked me for some background details. Take a listen.

We set up right in my kitchen on the island. The Vet Ask me to lay a towel out. And find the cat.

Then I couldn’t find Tig!  I went looking for her all over  11:09 upstairs downstairs I checked under the beds oh man! Shaking her treat dish  calling her name  where the heck was she?? I finally find her

The Vet proceeded to check her out and snuggle her up. I think Tig lost like 14 handfuls of fur while she was there.

“Did you know you’re so pretty she says to Tig”

She puts Tig into this grocery style of bin. You know like from Safeway hard sided bin that collapses with handles. It’s attached to a scale. Tig gets in here and we weigh her as a team!

She jumps out. Like any female didn’t want to see the weigh in results!!

Good explanation for the yowling hey?  She wants to look at our litter boxes.Ugh I wasn’t expecting this but here goes nothing! For her age she’s looking pretty good! That made me feel like I’m doing the right things

As a follow up to this CBD option, we’ve started using this since we had the Vet visit and we haven’t noticed any change in howling…but maybe it’s making Tig more comfortable and not so arthritic.

Can you hear my voice start to quiver…yep I’m that pet owner, nervous for the bad the news…

Character of the Vet

She good at changing the topic and making me feel at ease hey? What a nice person, so we proceed to setup and take blood from Tig who by the way became very feisty. But in the end is all worked out. And true to what the Vet said, Tig did stay around afteward and hang out with us – strange , she didn’t bolt up the stairs to hide. She stayed and was part of the remainder time. That’s all for my recording with the vet, I did bleep out her name to save her privacy as I didn’t ask her permission for this recording. However, I think if this is any indication of the kind of person she is – it bodes well to the type of people Vets to go hires.

Tig Moss

I had a wonderful experience with this service and do recommend it to anyone that requires vet service. The cost was $450 for the visit, the exam and the blood collection and diagnosis. That’s what I would have likely spent in an actual Veterinary office but without dragging Tig through the stress.

Thanks for listening to this show today.  and being part of my vet visit, it was a stressful time for both pet owner and pet. However doing it in my home with this most amazing vet made this a great experience, under the circumstances. Unfortunately, the yowling hasn’t stopped even with the introduction of the CBD oil. I have started to feed her later in the evening before I head to bed. The litter situation is interesting tho. Since we met with the Vet she suggested to open up the dome litter box so she can posture better in there based on her age this might be a little more difficult. We did this and then Tig never used her litter upstairs again, not once. Then she started peeing more downstairs UGH!. It’s been truly a trying time going through different options to figuring this out. So we picked up a new litter bin, and litter at the pet store – with their help on suggestions. And moved the litter into a new place in the house and she’s using it!!! Finally, not going downstairs at all, just using this one litter box and no accidents for the last several weeks. Her yowling in the middle of the night starting around 4am hasn’t stopped yet.

The background voice notes were recorded by me, Valerie Moss, the GarageBand loops I chose today are:

  • Cats Meow 01/02/03/04/05
  • Electro Beep Accent 01

The show is written and produced by me. See you next Tuesday.

Banff Mountain GetaWay – vvp41

Welcome back to Valerie’s Variety Podcast About recent getaway to the mountains. One of my most favourite things is being outside when the weather is cold and brisk but the sun is lighting up the day. With barely a cloud in the sky and it’s so cold and crisp under your feet.

Lake Louise

First stop – Lake Louise, 2 hours north west of Calgary nice drive into the park. Once you pass Canmore of brown lands we were becoming suspicious to the rumours about the snow, but as soon as we passed the park gates Snow Snow Snow

Check out my site for some videos of our drive the day was amazing to travel the abundance of snow hanging on the fence stumps looking like mushroom tops was incredible –  this is snow. Also the Chinook arch was beaming with delight. A site to see if you’re not from around here our Chinook arches are a staple here in the mountains swinging our temperatures from minus 10 to plus 10 over night. Feels like spring when we’re in our coldest season.

Listening to the people enjoying the snow, skating on the majestic Emerald Lake, hiking, The mountains are encapsulating us from every direction. the sound, is solid. The 80 cms of snow or 31 inches absorbs the sounds. It’s really quite amazing, if you stop to listen when it snows it’s almost silent.

Me with my family, we enjoyed the scenery capturing a few memories, smiling at all the tourists, people skiing, kids digging into the snow, jumping. Dogs loving it up. Being with like minded people who appreciate a good picture in the freshest air.

Aren’t cameras fun…seeing all the people capturing this moment with loved ones, clicking their cameras big and small to get this moment, to savour this moment just like us.

You know what’s amazing to me is people from all over the world are enjoying the same place as me – in my country, my backyard…I don’t know what they are saying but you can just imagine…this are is beautiful, take a picture of me over here…

From Ice Castles that you can stand in and have a drink in complete with bartender, take pictures peeking out through the windows – yes inside the ice castle. Surrounded by the most in credible 6 mountains. When you stand outside the hotel and looking from left to right the mountains are:

Fairview Mountain

Aberdeen (which kind of hides behind Fairview)

Lefroy

Victoria (the big one in the centre)

Whyte (with Mount Niblock connected to its right)

St. Piran

We walked all around this amazing place. Nestled within these mountains, this chateau and can’t you hear is so quiet with people just taking it all in around us. Taking family pictures. Savouring this experience.

What time is it? I don’t know I say…when I’m on vacation or holidays or away from my busy life I like to loose track of time…this helps me unwind and be in the moment, whenever and whatever I’m doing.

Dig out your boots, your snow pants, favourite warm mitts and toque head to the mountains, get that fresh air on you and in you. This my friends, heal souls and refreshes minds to undertake your next challenge. This is my happy place. What’s your happy place? Why how does it make you feel  is it a thing, a song, a person  share this with me.

Banff Park Lodge

Next Stop ….checking into the Hotel, we’ve always wanted to Stay at the Banff Park Lodge located on Lynx Street between Wolf Street and Caribou Street – see the theme here? It’s boasting many flags on the outside of the building. True to Banff’s style it’s rock and wood and feels good inside – at the time we were there it was still decorated like Christmas – the trees were as tall as the ceilings over 20′ – stunningly decorated . Although we booked our room online. Here’s our checking in experience.

Like all checkins you need to park your car and mosey up to the reception desk to check in…our gal was lovely….hair dryer to room..so funny.

Parking is underground, in a warm basement, daily parking is advisable, this was your car is safe..  why can’t we remember our licence plate lol…she would run out in the cold to get this detail – thank you lady!

insert here…isn’t that nice how she’s engaging to London, asking her questions, check out her accent, there’s a lot of Auzzie’s in Banff – why – likely because it feels like home 🙂

Thank you…this was we can sleep in then head to brunch yummy!

So Jeff comes back in from getting his licence plate and wants to ask about late check out – this is when you’ve been together as long as we have – on the same page…

hair dryer is cancelled

We were checking in earlier then typical time, but there wasn’t any other rooms available at this time for ready rooms…while Jeff and London were upstairs checking into the brunch and walking around… checking in is always a process…but it was a pleasant experience and they were very kind and accommodating for our requests and questions.

insert voice note – marking reservations…3 people at 12:30 – we are booked for brunch!

After we finished getting checked in, we got nestled into our hotel room, it was a standard room with two queen beds, nice balcony view, clean, small bar to put all of our medleys in to keep chilled on the one side with fridge, a good bathroom that’s been upgraded with finer fixtures. It’s roomy and clean. We freshen up and head out to explore the hotel. Find the pool and the dining area along with the bar that’s has a few patrons mingling and having food and drinks. It’s cozy and welcoming…a waiter greets us.

La Terrazza Dining Room

LaTerrazza dining room, is located within an atrium, still decorated cozily and quaintly for Christmas with small lights and evergreen bows. Located behind the bar off to the side, it’s quiet and intimate. We picked our table. Made our reservation enjoyed an appetizer and a glass of wine. We had the nachos.

The room was very inviting and after enjoying the nachos we wanted to stay and laiase the day away. The nachos were okay and definitely hit the spot but they weren’t the best nachos I have ever had…

We proceeded to go for a walk around Banff, it’s was snowing like crazy which is exactly what we were wishing for. being in the snow…it was also a bit cold but hey it’s the mountains in wintertime, this is what we expected and why people come here.

After the pool we got ready to go to dinner, as you heard we made reservations at La Terraza dining room, the menu sounded great and the ambiance was very fitting. Jeff enjoyed the lobster fettuccini and I tried their special ‘big fish’ served on rice with veggies. It was amazing – London just ate off our plates. I just love that she’s adventurous with food – are you kids, would they eat Lobster and a large flat fish with head and eyes still intact?

Crave Mountain Grill

The next morning we enjoyed brunch in their Crave restaurant Located upstairs with large windows to overlook the Banff mountains and areas.This brunch has been nominated for the ‘best brunch in Banff’ award a few times and this occasion didn’t disappoint. Our waitress was an auzzie and you could tell she loved her job.

Checking in for brunch beginning of voice note.

While we were waiting for our waitress a man came moseying into the restaurant, all the waiters and waitresses said hi to him, he was known to them and familiar. He seems pleasant enough making his way through the restaurant with his walker to assist him. A tall man with grey showing on his face and top of his head – once he removed his toque. Scooching through the tables gingerly placing his walker to not bump into anything. Once he got situated they bought him coffee etc.

Later I met him up at the buffet together, he asked me if I was enjoying Banff and I said yes I returned the question and he said yes for 60 years and the mountains were bigger back then…a local I suspected. Born and raised in Banff – how lucky!

As we enjoyed our brunch with all the fun trimmings of fish, meat, pastry bar, chocolate with fruit fountain and all kinds of salads and warm food time planned the rest of our day we were visiting with our waitress and she was so outgoing and a perfect match to our fine brunch establishment. Cheery and pleasant, good service too. New zealand north island…such a doll how friendly is she? She’s been here for 9 years. Don’t you just love listening to another accent makes it even more gregarious and connects you further to the people around you – you always learn something. Looking out the window was so beautiful, so much snow and the sun making it shimmer it was stunning.

Thanks for listening into our weekend getAway in the mountains, I wanted to share this experience with you as I mentioned earlier the mountains and the cold heals me. This is my place where I get rejuvenated. The sound of the snow, the being beside like-minded people, enjoying the quiet company of my family and being lucky enough to have this experience in my back yard.

If you’re from Calgary you likely ski or snowboard or trek up the mountains hiking. For me the mountains are a peaceful place. Listening to London enjoy the snow and Jeff snapping pictures of us and the environment is where we find our bliss moment.  As a side note, The brunch was excellent but a little pricey when you’re in Banff you’ll pay more for the experience and the atmosphere. We were surrounded in people on the ski hill and snowboarding throughout the days, people were giddy with the excitement of the snow, the most snow in over 10 years.

What’s your happy place or is it a person that you can snuggle up with? Find that place in your mind right now and just be there in that moment. I’ll wait….

Thanks for listening. If you have a favourite story to tell me about your happy place let me know…these feel good stories are the best ones to share with each other as it spreads happiness and a warm feeling inside.

The intro and outdo is by London Moss, the music I chose for todays episode is through GarageBand and my personal voice note recordings. I hope you like these voice notes and having a glimpse into our personal experience with the sounds and banter within my family and our GetAway. Some of the music and GarageBand loops I choose for todays episode are:

  • Future Fresh Topper
  • Wolf Howl 02
  • Counterpoint Synth
  • kids Cheering
  • Jumping in the Pool

Activities for Kids and Parents – vvp40

Extra Curricular Activities from golf, to swimming, to basketball, cycling, to bowling and photography…What’s your preference? This week on Valerie’s Vareiety Podcast we are talking sports and extra curricular actives for your kids and maybe even you! I’m your host Valerie Moss…Enjoy the episode.

What do you have your kids in for extra curricular activities? From gymnastics, to soccer, hockey, swimming, golf – what’s you or your kids activity preference and why?

Gymnastics

London’s quite a small girl and has always been so we thought gymnastics would be good to build up those core mussels and balance in the younger years. She was in gymnastics for about 4 years with back to back sessions. Not competitive but still skill driven and building endurance, balance and passion for the sport. We took her to Flip Factory just off 4 street NE. She went consecutively with her friend Sophie until recently as plans change people moved life adjusts. We noticed many benefits of Gymnastics, for one it provided her the agility and 2 strength that has benefited her with her other sports.

Gymnastics is a good basis for any sport as it gets you familiar with your muscles, posture and power. When you are small, these things matter even more.

Karate

In Valerie’s Variety Podcast Episode 5 we caught a robber in our garage – we came upon him and chased him down the back alley – it was un-nerving and scary.  this lead to a renewed discussion about Karate for London. She’s so petit we wanted her to build confidence, strength and learn to defend herself.  We purged forward in getting London into karate, subsequent burglar noted event!

This is the second activity she is in…she’s committed to it, still a white belt but moved up from ‘chops’ and is purging forward to get her yellow belt, And since I take her every week, instead of sitting and facebooking, working or listening to podcasts I’ve decided to join in on this amazing sport. Yes at my age and being a female I wanted to show by example and get into shape also. plus maybe learn a skill or two, and hopefully defend myself along the way – honestly I hope I never need to put this to the test. Plus I think it’s something good that we can do togehter, she’s pretty proud of this – we’ll see how it unfolds.

Where and how much $

This particular class on Thursday nights held in Mount Pleasant Community Rec Centre is ran by a husband and wife team. They are incredible and made me feel at ease making this decision. Part of the acku All Canadian Karate Union (http://www.acku.org) practicing the Traditional Skokotan Karate in Alberta and British Columbia. What’s nice about belonging to this club is you can train at any of the facilities and training clubs around the city – it’s part of your monthly fees. And at $55/person or $95/family of two or more that’s a pretty good rate for 2 classes per week or as many as you can fit into your shedule…

Do you or would you take any classes with your kids? There’s a parent in this karate class that has two kids involved in it as well. One thing is, when you’re in class with your children you are separated, and as a result you are not the parent during class time. The Sensai has control as the instructor. So that’s a nice break also. But I do like being in this class with London, she has 7 months of experience into this than I do so she feels very knowledgeable and shows me things – I love it!

One of my clients believes that team sports is the only way to go. You need to be a team in life you need to keep your ‘bench’ full he would say. Growing up I wasn’t into sports but I worked from a young age, therefore I proved to be a good team player. What about you? We have friends/family that live through their kids sports, hockey and soccer plus baseball and golf. To me, that’s just a bit too much for these small people, alternatively if it works for you, then great!

Swimming

We signed her up for swimming to continue her lessons and master this life skill.  Swimming is a necessity of life and an important strength to have. We traded gymnastics for swimming.  Swimming has been a success! She passed her Swimmer 1 with flying colours, now onto Swimmer 2. We attend the Killarney Swimming Pool on Saturdays mid morning and the class is approx. 45 mins, take a listen.

Why Swimming

Spending summers at the lake, vacationing in places with oceans and pools and travels to hotels with pools has pushed us to ensure London has the training and skills to be a good, safe swimmer with confidence. Do your kids swim? Are you a swimmer? As we sit in the pool viewers area and watch the adults take lessons, we thought wow good on them for pushing their limits and learning something new. Learning a new skill and showing your vulnerability is a lessen in modesty. I wish them all the luck and courage to get through this.

A lession in trust

As a side story, there was this little munchkin being brought to class by her momma, she was resisting major big time. Jeff and I sat in the viewers corner watching. This timid girl was running back to the entry into the change rooms, peeking out to her momma and shaking her head no-way am I going! She then  would walk out to her momma and take the scene in again, pondering.  The mom eventually handed the child to the teacher.

…the child was continuously resisting – yelling out,”momma I have to tell you something…” momma please I just need to tell you something…oh man it just tested the parenting reactions, I was almost in tears ready to hear what she needed to tell her momma – whatever it might have been. Her momma was just sitting up the bench from me…respecting the teacher reassurances with her daughter. The teacher kindly but firmly brought the child into the water – with full resistance but just the first couple of times, then the fear facing child was settled in and as a result took her lesson.

Try something new

I encourage you to try something new, if I can start Karate at 41 what could you start. A language class, an art class, or join your kids lesson.? I did my research for this decision by asking the Sensai to help me. As a result, she and her daughter started at the same age as we are, this solidified my decision.  Anyway, good luck to you when you do decide to join a class and let me know what you decide.

In Closing

In closing, thanks for listening today on Sports and Extra curricular activities not just for our kids, but certainly, for us as well! Thank you, it sure means a lot that you’ve chosen this podcast as part of your favourites! I love that. Please take a second to rate me and tell a friend to spread the word.

The intro and outro is by London Moss, the music for this episode is Upbeat Hi-Hat Topper.  I recorded the background loops of swimming and karate.

The sound effects I chose today are:

  • Golf Hit
  • Jumping in the pool
  • Basketball dribbling
  • bicycle coasting
  • Bowling strike
  • camera shutter
  • record player scratching
  • Arabic, Chinese, French, German and Spanish numbers

I wrote and produced this show plus design the cover art for this episode through Adobe Spark.

 

 

TmTs – Pure Vietnamese Kitchen – vvp33

Welcome back to Vsquared and this weeks TMT episode, we are reviewing a fabulous Vietnamese restaurant. The food here is likely the best Vietnamese we’ve come upon and this is with us searching hard for the best spot.  I’ve been under the weather with a head cold and always need a nice bowl of chicken noodle soup – preferably my dads soup but..in a pinch this one works great.

Chicken Soup from Pure…mmmm

The place is call Pure, Contemporary Vietnamese Kitchen + Bar located at 815 – 8 Avenue SW

Parking

To get to this downtown spot, there generally plenty of street parking 0 but Parking was a challenge on this day and if I was driving, I would have given up, but since Jeff was driving and wanting to keep his wife happy – we persevered. Finding parking a few blocks away and walking into this great place was worth it!

Starter

We started with an appetizer, the salt and pepper squid – lightly fried with a medley of peppers sliced just so, and other spices sprinkled on top the 3 of us gobbled this up!

Soup

I ordered the Chicken Noodle soup, now when you think of this soup you picture Lipton – red and yellow box from when were were kids likely, but this soup is filled with medleys like green onions, friend dried onion, cilantro, mint and more, plus sprouts already placed in the soup and a separate dish of crispy chicken, with a side of pea shoot salad topped with a light airy sweet dressing , it’s so good. London and I shared the soup.

Lemongrass

Jeff ordered the Lemongrass Shrimp vermicelli bowl, lots of bits of nuts, seasoning, fresh lemon grass, mint and cilantro sprinkled throughout, a single vegetarian spring roll cut diagonally on the side topped with carrots julienned amongst other vegetables. Truly a work of art on his plate.

Dishes

Love the dishes here, they are all pottery style with beautiful shapes and colours, they split up my soup into two gorgeous bowls for us to share, matching side plate for the chicken. Charming dinnerware, makes it feel more like home when you eat off of dishes that are so pretty.

Thanks for listening to this TmT segment and this quick restaurant review, enjoy your time when you stop in and eat here, it won’t disappoint. Let me know how your experience was. Where is your favourite Vietnamese place and why? We are always searching for the next best eatery – so please let me know.

Thanks for listening. The intro and outro for this podcast is recorded by London Moss, the music I chose for the background is call Pure Love Synth 01 nicely reflecting the name of our chosen restaurant today, the bubbling soup is also recorded by me Valerie Moss.

Review: Ten, 5 & Humanity – vvp26

Today I want to review a few restaurants we recently stopped into first one a tasty vegetarian eatery called Ten Foot Henry’s located at 1209 – 1 street SW opened from 11 – 11 (shouldn’t it be 10 – 10?) just sayin’ and the other one Trolley 5 located on 17 avenue Sw

First! Ten Foot Henry

When you walk into this place you are greeted with a personalized stamped carpet – the character they use looks like Herald from Herald and the Purple Crayon…an outline of a small animated boys head, bald, and curious expression on his face, shown from the side. But it’s actually named after a long time Calgary icon, Ten Foot Henry became a muse for Calgary’s creative community..it’s actually 37 years old – check out their website for more about their story and Henry’s life.

Once you’re inside, this gracious place is very earthy, you almost feel like you’re part of a garden party where live plants are stringed in hanging baskets in linear lines strategically placed above tables. Wooden tables (which are my favourite) are in abundance with the wood being just finished enough to not snag your clothing, nice and rustic. There’s low dining tables a high tables and one table is 10 feet long, situated just perfectly in the middle of the room. There’s long bars with chairs lined up around them so you can sit up and watch the drinks bar or the cooking bar. It’s a mix of fresh and earthy. It feels good inside. We were educated on the menu (pick your vegetable main then add your proteins) it’s family style so pick 3-4 plates for 3 people and you may have some left over to take in…we chose the jerk spiced cauliflower, the spaghetti with pistachio and pesto, pandano, and the tagliatelle pomodoro and the friend potatoes.

The food came out fast, and hot.

Great Stop

– would we be back likely except there’s so many others places to try out.

Check out their website:

http://www.tenfoothenry.com

Ten Foot Henry Menu
Ten Foot Henry Menu

Ten Foot Henry Menu
Ten Foot Henry Menu

Ten Foot Henry Menu Back
Ten Foot Henry

Second: Trolley 5 Restaurant and Brewery

their vision, to bring the community together and are located at 728 – 17 Avenue SW their hours vary, when you walk in the ceilings are extremely high and large garage style doors open to the exterior and they were open on this night, very inviting. We decided to sit outside as their patio faces 17 avenue sw so there is always lots of people watching available.

t hey have your usual bar food but they do have some interesting choices that stood out. We had the Dim Sum dumplings (shrimp) these are traditional dumplings mixed with a light vegetable inside a rice paper wrap. These were served within the traditional bamboo container. They were very good. The other item we had was the Salt and Petter Squid, house breaded very lightly but covered, squid, served with julienned vegetables, very generous portion. London ordered some daily jerky, beef, which came out wrapped in white meat wrapping rope – delicious as well. They have a different flavour each day. We sat outside even though it was slightly cool, their exterior heaters were on and we enjoyed this very much. crisp fall air. the washrooms are located beneath the restaurant and to get to them you need to practically tour the entire facility. But once you find them, down two flights of stairs around the corner passed another giant bar with large screen TV’s everywhere, passed all the incredible aluminum casts, encased within glass walls – great

for watching their brew bring made – you finally come upon the washrooms. These are beautiful, along the wall where the sinks are, the lower half is glass and faces outside into an enclosed area just for this place, the top half is covered in mirrors, there’s a long banquette with a mustard yellow tapestry and exposed lighting coming out from over top of the high back – almost like you could lay down with a good book and chill out for hours – this is the ladies washroom.

http://trolley5.com

For my closing review

I want to share a story about humanity. Every Thursday morning I drop London off to school and then I head up 17 avenue SW toward Crowchild, there’s a small second Cup coffee house I stop into and work for approx 1 hour before I head to my meeting. I drive along and park, come into this coffee house, and low and behold there a person sleeping, while sitting up…in the exact spot I always sit at. hmm, I kind of take in the surroundings there’s not generally many people in this place a this time in the morning as most people are going through the drive through – todays is no exception. I order my tea and keep looking at this person sleeping…then I sit along the wall, same bench as he is but a few tables over, I can see him and continue to check on this situation.

I’m interested in his story.

He’s kind-of slumped over, he has long black hair pulled back into a pony tale, some of the hair is fallen forward, there’s a pizza 73 pizza box on the table, a lighter, a beautiful orange rock or a stone, there a card of some sort laying on the seat beside his bum. He’s sleeping, not snoring but definitely catching up on some rest. The staff isn’t bothering him.

I’m there for a solid hour there’s several people coming in now to get coffee during this time and some, like me are taking this scene in – some with judgement and some not really any expression, no one says anything to the coffee house establishment, 

Just as I’m packing up to leave and I walk over, past my sleeping bench mate- to use the washroom, right beside me the female worker wakes this man with the slightest tap on his arm, calling him Sir…he’s completely aware of where he is, she’s asking him to pack up his things and that he must be on his way now or she may have to call the police. The man is very humble and reacts kindly to her. He begins to straighten up and he’s been drooling slightly, I grab a couple of napkins and hand them to him – he thanks me, she still there and proceeds to ask the man if he’s hungry and if she can get him something, he’s so relieved and grateful, he thanks me for the napkins and sits back down, the lady is grabbing him some food and he’ll be on his way. I leave heading to my meeting, feeling so good inside about this public display of humanity.

Check out ValerieMoss.ca for more information including, menu, pictures, and links to both restaurants.

Thanks for listening, if you’ve tried out either of these places, let me know your experience and if you have a restaurant you’d like me to try out please pass this on…we are all about food in my family, good food with a good experience around it!

 

Janome Sewing Machine Update (277)

As many of you know I went through quite a trying experience with Janome in May of 2010 and with sheer determination I worked really hard with my Horizon to make it the machine I would LOVE. Well I’m not sure I LOVE it yet but I’m really starting to like it:)

It’s a solid machine, my Husqvarna would shake when I was free motioning quilting and that would drive me crazy, this machine is super solid but it’s super heavy too! I have had more comments on this Janome Horizon post from May of 2010 then likely any other post on my site. I believe that’s because our sewing machines mean alot to us. We value them like our cars and computers – they are our machines, we rely on them everyday (like I do). We want them to work like they are advertised to work.

Recently I took a class (with baby London and she was fab btw) on machine quilting – this was part 2 to the one I took in January and one of the ladies – we’ll call her “Frustrated Sewer” in the class recently bought a new Phaff. Frustrated Sewer came from a Bernina that she’d had and sewed faithfully on for many years (like 20+). She was getting to know her Phaff and wasn’t happy with it AT ALL – oh how I can relate to her. It’s so hard to spend the money on this new shiny sewing machine, pull it out of the box, full of excitement and anticipation for amazing things to come but then be dissapointed with the initial results. Frustrated sewer has spent let’s be generous and say several weeks playing with this new machine compared to the several years with her Bernina – there has got to be a significant difference, right?

Well like any tool we buy and spend significant money on, it’s a learning curve getting use to it – whether it’s a new stove, computer, remote control – they are supposed to be better cause they are newer. They come sporting the best technology – or better then what you currently have – a new shinyer cover or shell and more importantly they are going to assist us with expertise and a handy dandy user guide. This is a learning curve ladies. Trust me when I say learning curve.

I wish I could have returned my machine as the above posts asks over and over. I still haven’t taken it in for a service because I’m not sure where to take it – to the local store who’s a bit annoyed that I didn’t spend my money there and who will charge me full price for the service OR to the store where I purchased it from that’s about 8 hours from me – who’s likely annoyed with me for blogging about my experience and asking Janome Canada for help (which they never did).  Stuck between a rock and a hard place I am. Good thing I can take apart and clean my machine with no problems….

What are your experiences with your brand of sewing machines – I’d love to hear about them.

Cotton Floss Book Review (241)

This is our newest only book that we’re carrying…that’s because Natalie emailed me asking me if I’d be one of the few Canadian shoppes carrying it – I, with pleasure accepted the challenge…so far it hasn’t been to hard to accept this challenge as I sold out of the book from this post.

I love it!! It’s a true gem and would make a great addition to your sewing/quilting and embroidery books in your present stash.

Cinderberry Stitches, Natalie’s company has an amazing way of putting whimsy into everything…she makes you believe in fairies and the cuties in life and takes you back to being a little girl with dreams. All of these come through in the stitcheries she and her team design.

All 12 projects are in full colours and full sizes so no photocopying – thank YOU Natalie:)

Her photos throughout the book are sew inspiring and absolutely delightful…

 

 

Sew if you feel so inclined to purchase it for your stash…I have more copies on order so not to worry:) they are on their way…

Kindle Review (221)

For an early Christmas present my hubby surprised me with this amazing reading device, a Kindle by Amazon. I’m a “veracious reader” as he calls me I’m not a super fast reader (like my Aunt who reads a book in a night) but I LOVE to read. I read so many different styles of books from lite reading about nothing to heavy reading about slavery, to biographies and travel and everything in between. I’m not much of a magazine reader (unless it’s quilting related) but every night before bed I read, Period!

This device is so great – it’s sleek and fits into my messenger bag style of purse for when I’m on the go, the battery lasts a month or longer and you can adjust the text font, spacing and size, you can read it portrait or landscape as well as it’s perfect for both right hand and left handed people. It’s super lightweight so your hand doesn’t get tired when reading for long hours. I also really love the screen savers which are generally of some famous author or an interesting picture of birds or something you’d love.

It’s the perfect gift coming it at just around $150 it makes a great gift for anyone and yourself, of course. This little beauty also keeps track of how far along in your book you are, has highlighted quotes in the book that other people LOVE too as well as a dictionary setting if you’re not sure what a word means (how perfect is that!). You can search for books directly from this device to the Amazon.com (important cause Amazon.ca doesn’t sell Kindle books or the device) and they get emailed right to you wirelessly. You can subscribe to newspapers, blogs (USA only) and all of the books you could ask for, plus they are generally cheaper then paper backs – bonus!! Also, there are many free Kindle books available. I can’t compare between the different e-readers out there because I only know this one but I would definitely recommend it for the “reader” in your life or YOU:)

Do you have a Kindle or another e-reader brand, if so tell me about it as I’d love to hear about the other brands out there.

Until next time, stay happy and creative, Valerie