suburban siberia

transitioning from Los Angeles back to Edmonton

Category: Edmonton

Summer Solstice

Today is my favourite summer day. June 21st the longest day of the year. Around this time it becomes increasingly hard to focus on work as I daydream about bike rides and the best place for summer picnics. This province really comes into it’s own this time of year where everything is green and the thought of winter is a cold distant memory that you heard about once long ago. Today is perfect and it feels like it lasts virtually forever because of the late sunsets. Tonight the sun should finally rest closer to midnight and that’s ok by me.

Below are some photos from the past few days which include scenery from a few bike rides, and rolling prairie fields from a site visit I did yesterday close to Wabamun Lake for a Cider House project. This is also where I also tasted some young field strawberries. I can hardly wait to go strawberry and raspberry picking this summer!

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winter shop talk

Spring is appearing to approaching this city earlier than expected and I thought I would make  few more comments on winter before it leaves us entirely this year. I wrote this post in January and then saved it wondering if it was something worth posting but after few discussions with friends about how warm it is getting but not warm enough to forget wearing undershirts or socks to protect against the chill I began to think it was worth sharing:

Just so we are on the same page once you ascend into a northern winter you can never really go back. Summer does a pretty good job of erasing cold winter memories in Edmonton with the amazing long days of sunlight but on the flip side the short days and cold nights begin to wear you down and make you feel like you dreamed about a glorious friend called summer. I realize every place you live in has its advantages and disadvantages but generally it can be tough to remind yourself of these amazing things when temperatures dip below -25 (-13 fahrenheit). In Canada I have lived in Halifax and Edmonton so my northern winters are regulated to those experiences. But I can assure you I am an encyclopedia of weather survival strategies as any other good Canadian – like what to do when ice crystals form on your eye lashes and they start to solidify together so much so that you can’t open your eyes when walking on treacherous icy sidewalks. That’s a fun one. So while this might be a needless reminder to most about the every day I think it’s worth thinking about regardless.

Winter technically doesn’t start until Winter Solstice for scientists and astrologers but my body says winter starts when it snows. Which is typically two months earlier near the end of October if you live in Edmonton. Generally if you participate in Halloween as a kid, you or your parents were trying to think of clever ways to incorporate a parka into the ensemble as it begins to snow around that time of the year.

People who do not live in cold weather climates always ask how we get around and deal with the extreme weather. I dealt with this question a lot in Los Angeles so I had time to think about it while the temperatures stayed on average around 20 to 25 degrees (68 – 77 degrees fahrenheit) year round. There are various answers to this question, but I think the most basic answer is time. We get around just fine, but it take a lot more time. It involves strategy, discussion and experimentation. For example: When deciding what to wear you have to think about where you are going that day. Will you be walking, busing or taking a car? Each of these answers will have different strategies for proper attire. Do you wear thicker socks or wool socks. V-neck with an undershirt or a turtle neck (super 90s but I wish the turtle neck would come back). Thin pants with snow pants on top or leggings or nylons underneath the pants? I’m not even begging to think about fashion at this point. Solely the idea of staying warm first, and maybe fashion second …. if there’s time.

Another example is transportation: If it’s the bus you have to ask yourself if you have enough clothing to keep you warm if the bus is late or doesn’t show up, and if your shoes are warm enough for the walk to and from the bus. My friend, Eleisha, said last year that she got frost bite on her eye balls walking to the bus because of the wind…….on her eyeballs!! If you are driving you have to predict the traffic because the roads could be icy and that will take even more time because people will drive more cautiously. You also have to make sure your car is prepared and will have to have items like a snow brush, emergency blanket, jumper cables or an extension cord to keep your car battery charged so it doesn’t freeze -most people only have a variety of these options but I can assure you each of these items are necessities for road ready winter survival. You also have to be ready to jump out of your car at any time to help push some one out of the ditch or mentally prepare yourself with the fact that your chances of being in a collision with the possibility of death due to slippery roads or low visibility is a daily situation. All of these things take time due to careful planning and some days it works out and on the days it doesn’t you take a hot shower when you get home and plan some more for the next time.

You also talk about aspects of winter every day. In my yoga class they talk about using ujjayi breathing to help keep you warm when you are outside. When discussing where to get lunch with a friend or co-worker you strategize the warmest route to take if you are walking. If you are planning on sledding/cross country skiing/running/winter biking on the weekend you discuss the best types of equipment to use, the best places to buy said equipment and the best type of snow or trails to visit. Usually though you are only outside for an hour or two and planning the event takes longer than the event itself . People will also have a million strategies on how to keep your house warm, hands warm, feet warm….so and and so on. For example people will brag about how cool they keep their house when they are not in it (some say as low as 10 degrees/50 degrees fahrenheit) and how minimally warm they keep it when they are occupying it (15 – 18 degrees / 59 – 65 degrees fahrenheit) as a way to save on energy costs. I do not do this (that is crazy) but your energy bill and your budget will love you for it. I can assure you it is a boring as it sounds and it is a thing.

BUT luckily Alberta is the sunniest province in the country so we have plenty of beautiful days. 325 days of sun to be exact which helps battle the 151 days of winter. During the day we have plenty of clear blue skies and I heard that you feel 10 degrees warmer in the sun so it’s a yin and a yang. Most people ignore the above strategies that I have listed. After a while people start to learn what they can live with for when they head outside. For example my brother and mother refuse to buy a winter coat. Not sure what their deal is but in the mean time I am just fine with my layered attire: undershirt (to protect against chills), t-shirt (presentable front), sweater (to ease the evening drafts when the sun goes down),  and scarf (acts like a blanket to wrap around during the day and draft protection from the wind on my neck when outside) with a winter jacket for when I head outside. I won’t even begin to explain my bottom half ensemble to save you the trouble and leave you to think about your own winter survival strategies.

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oatmeal magrath

Last Thursday night, my work had a panel event in conjunction with Green Energy Futures called Chasing Net Zero. Chasing Net Zero is a webisode/blog initiative between Manasc Isaac (under Sustainable Building Consortium) and Green Energy Futures. This series works through several Net Zero Ready buildings in Edmonton (mostly houses) or buildings that fall within the path on the way to Net Zero such as infill housing or Solar Decathlon.

A Net Zero home is a building that produces as much energy as it consumes within a year.

I along with a few other co workers have worked on putting this series together since March and this panel event was the conclusion of the project which featured several of the people in the 4 webisodes. You can take a look at the panel event and episodes here if you are further interested.

Usually I try not to write too much about what I do at work – as a way to keep from feeling like I am working all the time. BUT one of the panelists we invited was Dave Turnbull, a product development manager at Landmark Homes. We featured them in the fourth episode because they are a home builder that provides Net Zero ready homes to the average consumer.  They are also unique because they construct as much as their buildings as possible within a factory and then ship out large assemblies to the site where they are then put together. Because this blog is about suburbia (where I live) I found out that they built all of Magrath Heights, which is the neighbouring area next to me.

Dave said that there are three things that people consider when buying a home: Location, Design and Cost. I thought it would have been a different list: Location, Cost, Design but he told me it was untrue. He also said that the typical process for new developments are as follows:

1. Land Developer: They work with an architectural agent to produce the vision of the area.
2. Architectural Agent (not a real architect): The agents create drawings of the street scape and front elevations, envisioning what the area is to look like for the consumer.
3. Home Builder (in this case Landmark Homes): Takes the front elevations from the Architectural Agent (not a real architect) and then builds the rest of the home around it. They have no control on the front façade, but they have control over the interior and how it is constructed. Sometimes there are restrictions on that too, depending on the architectural guidelines of the particular area which is under the control of the Home Owners Association. For example if you want photovoltaic panels on your roof sometimes neighbourhoods will disallow the aesthetic. The builder also sells the buildings to the home owner.

Another interesting point Dave said was that every home they build all look essentially the same. While I realize this is not a revelation (and probably a cost savings for a company like Landmark so they can repeat and refine their factory process) I could tell even he was aware of the lack of individuality these neighbourhoods had to offer the consumer.

A few weeks ago I toured Magrath (the area Landmark built) on my bike and I was upset and appalled. Upset because I found out they have an amazing area for biking and walking which gives points in favour to the area. Appalled because of the terrible detailing taking place in the neighbourhood. People spend so much money on these monster ugly houses (sorry if you live there and I insulted you) and then are not able to control the tiniest detail about them because they have bought into the oatmeal aesthetic.

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Below are a few examples of the flashing (thin pieces of impervious material installed to prevent the passage of water into a structure from a joint or as part of a weather resistant barrier). In my mind there’s no reason for the flashing to be unpainted for these facades (as terrible as they already are). In these photographs they mostly look like an accent but in person they are highly reflective when unpainted setting it apart from the façade. If they were trying to keep continuity I’m not sure this trade was in the loop about it. Apart from the aesthetics the flashing installation is also terrible. Below are a few photos with some detail.

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Here is the sigh part. They have an extensive natural path over looking Whitemud Creek. It pains me to write about it, because it is beautiful and I can see the appeal of living so close to a protected sanctuary that sneaks into the River Valley.

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warm weather lament

This Edmonton summer has been exceptional. No really! While I grew up in Edmonton, LA has ruined me for warmth as I became acutely aware of slight changes in temperature between 80 degrees and 70 degrees fahrenheit (27 – 21 degrees Celsius) and detested anything below it because I would have to wear socks. But this summer was perfect. Tons of bike rides, lovely sunsets, outdoor pools, berry picking, river rafting, full of warmth through all of July and the mosquitos only came out in the last two weeks which while it’s always a hassle, better late than forever. When I visited the Hollywood Bowl in the summer in Los Angeles I described it as: amazing atmospheric music out in the open air under a starry sky surrounded by the dramatic hollywood hills…..without mosquitos. That last part gets every Edmontonian to gasp with envy. Those pesky bugs can really be a bother. I actually forgot they existed until I moved back.

Not only is Alberta beautiful in the summer with lush and expansive landscapes it also has wonderful late sunsets and early sunrises. I think it’s Latitude’s way of saying “sorry for the 8 months of winter” kind of deal where the days seem longer and you are tricked into a 1 – 2 month spout of warmth. For example on summer solstice (June 21) the sun doesn’t set until close to midnight and then rises as 4 am. But it has now moved to a 9 pm sunset with a 6 am sunrise. Soon in December it will be a 4 pm sunset and a 9 am sunrise……. See! The summer mourning begins!

BUT we are not there yet. It’s a swing into the fall phase with a few weeks left of warmth so hopefully I can get on the bike as often as possible. Below are a few photos I took this summer. Of course it’s aways better in person.

 

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infill and long island ice tea

There was an article in the Journal a few days ago about infill housing projects in Edmonton in contrast to the projected growth for new developments at the edges of the city.  The journalist, Elise Stolte, wrote that Edmonton had set a goal in 2010 to have 25% of new developments occur in mature neighbourhoods. Four years later they have reached 17%, with increased numbers in core neighbourhoods such as McCauley, Oliver and Strathcona. The article stated:

“Over the next two years, city planners want to loosen the rules surrounding garage and garden suites, allow owners to subdivide lots in more neighbourhoods, cut wait times for developers at city hall and improve communications with neighbours when infill happens. They have 23 recommendations in total, all aimed at removing barriers to allow more density and renewal in mature or established neighbourhoods.”

I’m curious to know if this plan will happen quickly as it is commonly known that changing restrictions within the City takes time and two years can be seen as ambitious or not soon enough. I’m also curious by what date the city hoped to reach 25% for infill housing and what the benefits are to that magic number of 25%. Will less schools close? Will more pathways and linkages be created? Will this help secure the funding and interest in the LRT expansion lines? Will people magically notice that we have a beautiful river valley in the city and more interesting programming will begin to take place surrounding it?

Subdividing lots in mature neighbourhoods would be appealing to many who work in or around the downtown core. This action would bring a greater awareness and interest back into mature neighbourhoods that can become affordable to first time home buyers but I’m nervous to see what that looks like if there is no strategic design plan implemented. The goal for my next home is to live with less which is how we try to live now, but without a long distance commute. My husband and I don’t have the time or want to take care of a lawn or to shovel a driveway all afternoon and so a smaller lot is attractive to me for those points and for many other reasons. But most of the condos and new houses on the fringe (where I live now) have strange nondescript characteristics that I find unappealing. While I believe mature landscaping will help ease the stark pains of beige indifference  in these areas, these homes will continue to look uninteresting if lifted up and planted down into mature areas if design cues are not attended to. I believe half of the appeal of these new neighbourhoods is price and the other half is the idea of ‘newness’. Most of the home buyers in this area do not see the lack of individuality (the removal of aesthetics) and developers  push this oatmeal dream to others by using words like “quaint” as descriptors and slap the word “estate” on the end of a neighbourhood to brighten its appeal and it somehow it becomes more attractive without actually LOOKING attractive.  I foresee a lot of mullet houses on the rise once infill housing becomes more attractive to developers. This city is on the path to northern greatness and we need to keep these ideas in mind as  the barriers are removed. The city’s appeal will continue to grow by reinforcing its distinct features (such as the river valley and our multiculturalism) when developing and not erase the cities identity when considering the landscape and our place within it.

One evening at the old Martini’s bar on 109 street I had a loud disagreement with one of my husband’s friends after a few too many long island ice teas. In my infinite drunk wisdom I offered what I considered sound advice at the top of my lungs: “make better choices” and “you could be so much cooler”.  Perhaps I should start investigating Edmonton developers, make them my friends and offer those same words of wisdom (without the yelling). Or I could just shame them on the blog instead. Though I doubt the later will be read by many or effect much change so I may have to default back to drinking too many long island ice teas instead. They really are delicious!

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civic pride

I’ve been dreaming vividly of LA for the past few weeks. It finally quieted down last week but it was jarring to dream about living in one place and then waking up in another. I asked my mom why I was dreaming about it so much (since she knows everything) and she said that it was probably because I was home sick. Home sick?

I never really thought of LA as my real home but I guess I spent so much time there it became so without fully realizing it. This has always been a dilemma of mine. I often think and talk about a place other than where I am. When I lived in Halifax I talked all ways to Sunday about Edmonton. When I lived in Edmonton I daydreamed of Halifax.  When I lived in LA I eat, slept and breathed being Canadian and now that I’m back in Edmonton I can’t help but miss the warm sun on my skin.

I read recently that because we are so far removed from a large urban population (New York or Beijing for example) we have no choice but to be consumers of culture rather than creators. It’s an obvious but profound statement. Recently I visited Vancouver and even there I saw that they too were creators of their own culture in an overt fashion. Where as here in this city there are somewhat large gaps of disconnect between groups and trending crowds believing in larger ideologies. To be clear I am not complaining about Edmonton, but merely mulling over the situation.

Edmonton is the 5th largest municipality and the 6th largest metropolitan area in Canada (according to Wikipedia) and has the longest stretch of urban park land in North America thanks to the beautiful river valley (plus it still has the largest indoor mall!).  That’s pretty awesome in the grand scheme of things but sometimes it’s hard to think of this place as being competitive with other cities.  That’s why it was timely for the Royal Bison to be open this past weekend. They had great vendors this year and it was easy to see that everyone there was in love with Edmonton and finding many ways to make it great. Edmonton is an underground city. It’s subtle, remote and generous. OMA cited that messy ideas are progressive over smooth and agreeable ones. Refinement means acceptance and popularity which means it no longer has excitement and ingenuity. Similar to that I think Edmonton’s rough edges are a good indication that we are on to something real.

Also – I bought a sweet bike this weekend from United Cycle. It’s a crossover bike that allows me adjust my front shocks so I can ride river valley trails and city streets! It’s a big deal!

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polar opposites

This article is the most terrifying thing I have read since I returned to Edmonton. I’ve tried to let it go but articles like this really get under my skin. It appears to me that either the Edmonton Journal didn’t have imaginative things to say about Architecture in Edmonton on that particular Friday, or this is a regular thing. In either case it is sad.

If interested you can read about the article here. As a quick synopsis the article discusses a new possible development (yet to be rezoned for highrises) that sits on the same land as a historic home – termed as a historic resource. The home is not protected but allows for the potential to apply for incentives to protect the structure. GMH’s proposal, as a way to save the house, is to some how attach the historic house to the base of the building like a parasite.  The article is slightly vague about how  this would work exactly a but the rendering in my opinion is horrific. I am aware that this is an idealized version of a possible reality but the proposal sounds preposterous in the first place. It’s like a towering phallus with a a disproportionate testicle attached to the base.

9537451proposed design (yet to be approved)

I will concede that the historic home being preserved is a possible win. But I cannot condone the reluctance to acknowledge the historic home’s architectural elements or the surrounding neighbourhood in the proposed tower design.  The thought of the two entities being tied together as suggested in the article gives me pause. I tried a google search of GMH Architects but nothing much comes up except for their website which is now under construction. I look forward to one day meeting this firm (and the developer) to discuss the monumental design oversight they are making by ignoring the surrounding cues and their elementary nod towards building what they think people want and not building what the community and developer can benefit from together. Especially since it is kiddy corner to the Quarters which is an area being redeveloped.

This is my least favourite quote from the article:
“This one has sat for quite a while. The province and the city are catching up to where they should be (with sustainable planning) and the opportunities are there.”

If things like this aren’t opposed or even mentioned in a public forum what’s to stop others from continuing the blatant disregard of possible progressive and intelligently designed spaces. If this “opportunity” is part of Edmonton’s future and we are all ok with it, we have a big problem. 

 site context photos (compliments of google maps):

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 10.23.22 PMthe historic house they aim to ‘preserve’ in the distance near the centre – click on image to view larger

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 10.18.04 PMThe tower gang along Jasper Ave. It should pop up  behind the closest building.

Delicious, unhealthy food guide for Edmonton newcomers

Usually when I visited Edmonton I had a short list of places that I had to eat at before I returned to LA. Below is an essential list of all good things for any newcomer to visit. I’ve listed items that Levi and I usually order so you have some solid suggestions for when you go. As a warning most of these options are completely unhealthy for you.

Burger Baron No 14

BURGER BARON No 14 (7007 82 Ave NW)
The place is a bit dated and you will probably question the cleanliness of the it, but like a good Chinese restaurant, it’s not the cleanliness that counts here.

Tiffany:  mushroom burger with cheese and bbq sauce with fries or those corn fritters that you dip in jam

Levi: I have gone to burger Barron all my life. They opened when my dad was a teenager and he used to go there to hang out. Their milk shakes are awesome. Dad likes the Salisbury burger (after his high school in Sherwood park), and Dayn, my brother, always gets the chicken rings (there like nuggets only more fun). I also enjoy their onion rings.

Here’s a great article about Alberta’s Burger Baron written by local cool guy Omar Mouallem

Royal Pizza, Edmonton, AB

ROYAL PIZZA (any place in Edmonton or Sherwood Park)
I love this place because they always put tons of toppings on, service is reliable and the crust is delicious.

Tiffany: Fred’s Special all the way. Any time Levi is in the dog house he cheers me up with some tasty pizza from here. Instantly forgiven.

Levi: They also have a lasagna that is pretty good. It’s a great restaurant for families or any larger group because it’s always easy to get in and they have lots of seating.

Donair Stop

DONAIR
I use to think this was a universal thing but I found out recently that it originated in Halifax. It’s a combination between a shawarma and a gyros. Go Canada! If you are from the east coast you usually order it with sweet sauce. If you are from the west coast you typically order it with tzatziki sauce.
Practically anywhere is pretty good, but Donair Stop (9718 Ottewell Rd) never fails. There’s also a new place I discovered where Donair Stop‘s original location was, now called Top Donair (10137-50 St NW). Yummy!

-I use to eat them at various places in Halifax too so here is a bit of trivia for you about the infamous King of Donair. This should help give you some background on what a Donair is and it’s unconfirmed birthright.

BOSTON PIZZA
Quintessentially Canadian. Their crust is always good and I usually enjoy an ice tea with lemon here. When you visit try to make sure a hockey game is playing in the background (this will not be hard).

-order the peroghi pizza, tropical chicken, great white north…..i could go on
-the wings are pretty decent here as well. My fav is salt and pepper.
-don’t order their three cheese pasta. You will be blocked up for a week.

Harvey's Restaurants, Edmonton, AB

HARVEY’S
For people who do not know Harvey’s welcome to the light. It’s a place where you can customize your burger toppings (right in front of you) and the meat actually tastes like real grilled meat. California has their cherished (biblical) ‘In-N-Out‘ and Canadians have their beloved Harvey’s. It doesn’t get better than this for fast food.

Tiffany:  Cheese Burger combo with poutine. They have the second best poutine (KFC of course being the first).

Levi: Double Bacon Burger combo with onion rings (and Tiffany’s poutine -she never finishes it!)

BARB & ERNIE’S (9906-72 Ave)
I bet most Edmontonians would name High Level Diner or some other deliciously charming place as their fav brunch place but I prefer Barb & Ernies. Not for the food, but for the atmosphere. Who doesn’t love a creepy guy in lederhosen that you pay to tell you that you’re pretty.

Furusato Japanese Restaurant, Edmonton, AB

FURASATO  (10012-82 Ave)
Typically I didn’t eat Japanese when I visited because the sushi was always fresh in California but if I had a hankering this is the place I would go to. Although they renovated it with some terrible murals about three years ago, it is still charming and always busy.
-you can’t go wrong with any item on the menu. Levi and I always order the appetizer beef tataki (its raw beef for those who are wary but really worth it). The beef is served in a ponzu sauce with sliced onions. Yum!

PHOBULOUS (8701-109 St)
This place is pretty consistent for Vietnamese. Eleisha and I eat here ever time we get together near the University of Alberta

I always order the vermicelli bowl with spring rolls and some type of meat

Eleisha usually orders the vermicelli bowl with fried tofu and veggie spring rolls. The veggie spring rolls are mushy and I do not like them -although Eleisha prefers them over the meat spring rolls I order.

THAI
I don’t have a usual place anymore. The King and I was a favourite but a few years ago it became hit or miss (although I always recommend their Ka Re Moo Curry). One time I saw some one shoot up near the Mac’s Store across the street while I was eating my dinner – the harsh reality of Whyte Ave. The reason I bring up Thai food in general is because of their coconut rice. My Thai friend in LA told me that coconut rice is typically served as a desert but here in Edmonton it is served regularly for dinner. Try it next time with any curry and I promise you will not be disappointed.

froster

SLURPEES
This may sound crazy but Los Angeles never did them right. Too much syrup, usually with not enough ice – a real tooth cavity creator. Mac’s usually has my favourite ratio of ice and syrup but the best place is actually on the south side. Freshco Foods (7430-77 Ave). It’s a bit of a secret really and only true slurpee seekers know of its existence. Levi introduced it to me when we began dating. He must have known then that we were destined for each other because I don’t think he would have told me otherwise.

peroghis

PEROGIES
These are my fav! In Los Angeles you could find only one brand at Safeway and one strange Eastern European restaurant in Hollywood that never quite satisfied the Polish/Ukrainian food that I craved. It was terrible. Stephanie and I use to make them together often when I visited her and Andrew in Irvine on the weekends, Eleisha and I tried to make gluten-free ones (disaster) and pictured above Levi pitched in too last Christmas. But in good ole Alberta home-made perogies are no longer necessary because we have grocery stores full of them!!!!

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Food items I usually brought back with me to Los Angeles:

Ketchup Chips, Dill Pickle Chips, Dill Pickle Dip, Smarties, Summerland Syrup, Wonderbar, Coffee Crisp, Viva Puffs and Wine Gums. My former roommate, Stephanie, just informed me that Tic Tacs are a Canadian Delicacy as well – Who knew!

See all of them are bad for you! I guess that’s what makes them so delicious.

Bust

This past Saturday was nearly a bust. Once I convinced myself to leave the house (as it was -25 with the windchill) I ventured out to try the x country ski trails at Terwillegar Park. I’ve never been there and surprisingly it’s only 5 min from my house….(another bonus my husband would say). I checked the Edmonton website to see when the trial was last groomed and it reported Jan 11. Great!….Except not so great. There were no trails! It was just a huge dog park without signage indicating where to ski. It even says on the city’s website that it has classical and skating styles but there were no tracks. So I ventured around the park for 10 min and I found a faded ‘difficult’ sign that indicated the hilly part of the trail but still no traces of ski tracks. So I sucked it up and skied as best I could.

On one hand I considered it a loss but on the other hand I was able to get out and exercise in the bitter cold for 1.5 hrs…..And I even felt pretty great afterwards. I guess it’s one of those adversity stories you tell children as a way to bore them into succeeding. While I don’t have much experience with x country skiing, I would rate Terwillegar Park 0 out of 5.  It’s a nice place to go though if you have a dog.

After my ski attempt I went to pick up some fresh pizza dough for dinner that night. I did a google search (my first mistake as Edmonton is terrible for its online resources) and saw that the Italian Centre carries it. Great! But when I got there I found out they only had frozen pizza dough. Another fail as I was expecting my nieces and nephews for dinner in 1 hour. I agonized as I waited in the deli line up as to whether I should put everything back and order Boston Pizza but somehow I convinced myself to wait out the long line and order fresh toppings. I ran home, defrosted the pizza in a warm water bath (which apparently is controversial due to bacteria growth), we successfully made the pizzas and they didn’t throw up. Yay! My nieces and nephews even loved the meat I bought (Thank Heavens!). I thought the quality would be lost on them but they surprised me. So I suppose the day turned into a win. Even one of the pizzas magically turned into a heart. Those little cuddle monsters really know how to turn a day around.

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tricks

photo 5killing water spirit – AGA Inuit Exhibition

I’m starting to feel guilty about not posting too much about the neighbourhood I live in like I hoped but it’s bloody cold outside. While I have dreams of venturing around the ‘hood’, it’s always from my couch with leggings, a cbc t-shirt and a cosy bathrobe. Oh well. Hopefully next week. Attached are a few photos from this weekend and some pants I wore today with flamingos. I was trying to trick myself into thinking about warmer weather. It didn’t work and no one at the office noticed my attempts to lift the winter vibe. Sometimes the cold drains you from caring I suppose. The good news though is that the sun sets around 6 pm now!

office attire

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family brunch

photo 1family brunch

brenda draney – AGA

brenda draney -AGA Exhibition

lulu telling me what to do

lulu telling me what to do

morning commute

morning commute