Monday, October 31, 2005

This is where the fun begins...

Trick or Treat Star Wars Style!

Life means understanding the mysteries of death and rebirth

I am usually tempted at this time of year to right the misconceptions that a Christainized Halloween inflicts upon the celebrations of the Celtic/Druidic New Year, but this year is a little different.

This is the first year, in perhaps ever, that I will be alone on Halloween. Both my children have self declared their intentions on trick or treating without supervision (how fast they grow!) and my husband is at a working dinner. So, with the animals safely tucked away, there is just me to await the hordes of darling little ghosts and goblins that have no idea what Halloween is really all about.

The Druids believed that this was a time when "the veil between this world and the world of the Ancestors was drawn aside," meaning the "living" spirits of loved ones could choose to make contact. And me, home alone, wondering if my ghosts will come calling and if so, what wisdom they will bring me...

Oh dear, my Wiccan Neopagan roots are showing again (and I just had my hair done).

Happy Samhain everyone.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

On Being a Mom...

It is often difficult to put into words the emotional/spiritual transition that changes a woman into a Mother. My cousin sent me this email this morning, and despite it's length it really nails it, so I am going to share it with you all.

We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter
casually mentions that she and her husband are
thinking of "starting a family." "We're taking a
survey," she says half-joking. "Do you think I should
have a baby?" "It will change your life," I say,
carefully keeping my tone neutral. "I know," she
says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more
spontaneous vacations." But that is not what I meant
at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what
to tell her. I want her to know what she will never
learn in childbirth classes.

I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child
bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave
her with an emotional wound so raw that she will
forever be vulnerable. I consider warning her that she
will never again read a newspaper without asking,
"What if that had been MY child?" That every plane
crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she
sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if
anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish
suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she
is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive
level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent
call of "Mum!" will cause her to drop a souffle or her
best crystal without a moments hesitation.

I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many
years she has invested in her career, she will be
professionally derailed by motherhood. She might
arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going
into an important business meeting and she will think
of her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every
ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to
make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions
will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's
desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's
at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right
there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming
children, issues of independence and gender identity
will be weighed against the prospect that a child
molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will
second-guess herself constantly as a mother. Looking
at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that
eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but
she will never feel the same about herself.

That her life, now so important, will be of less value
to her once she has a child. That she would give
herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but will
also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish
her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny
stretch marks will become badges of honor. My
daughter's relationship with her husband will change,
and not in the way she thinks. I wish she could
understand how much more you can love a man who is
careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to
play with his child. I think she should know that she
will fall in love with him again for reasons she would
now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel
with women throughout history who have tried to stop
war, prejudice and drunk driving. I want to describe
to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child
learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the
belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of
a dog or cat for the first time.

I want her to taste the joy that is so real it
actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that
tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret
it," I finally say. Then I reached across the table,
squeezed my daughter's hand and offered a silent
prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere
mortal women who stumble their way into this most
wonderful of callings.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Alpha and Omega - the beginning and the end

Hurricane Beta. And it's still a long way to November 30th - the expected end of the hurricane season.

1933 was the last time there were 21 storms recorded and we didn't use the current naming system then, so if you're trying to remember the last time we named storms after the greek alphabet, don't. It's never happened.

Possible understatement of the season:

"Trends in human-influenced environmental changes are now evident in hurricane regions"
- Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Never before offered this low...

I got this fax at work today advertising a "great" vacation package; for today only, it reads, $179.00 gets you 6 days in Florida, a cruise to the Bahamas and as a bonus, 7 whole days in Cancun!

In large letters across the top of this advertisement is written:


It should read "Hurricanes Only, all others must evacuate"

Monday, October 24, 2005


My life has been crazy this past little while, both busy and exciting with just a touch of stressy, so it was nice to spend this weekend snuggled up with Duncan. Wes and Raven were down in Calgary meaning we had the weekend to ourselves! Weeee!

So... we hung out in our PJ's, finished our week long CIV III game, played Star Wars Mini's and watched West Wing the whole time, with the exception of my new job stealing me away for a Saturday afternoon of strategy planning.

As a result of said new job I am dropping down to part time at the University for an indefinite amount of time, which means I am back to having two jobs, something I haven't done for quite a while. Time will tell how it all works out, but I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead of me. Well all of them except the medical tests and Doctor's visits...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Enjoying it while we can

The weather here in Edmonton has been absolutly fabulous as of late. Somewhat unusual, it's been warm, even into the night, and sunny all day long with no need for winter jackets. Duncan and I, who have had a couple days off work, have spent the better part of our time outside walking, and enjoying the fall. Winter might be just around the corner, but it's not here... yet.

Environment Canada says the beautiful fall weather will stave off the chill of winter for at least another 10 days. Next week is sopposed to be even nicer than this week, and I am very excited!

As if to prove the very tenacity of life itself, one of the plants in my garden has decided to celebrate the unseasonally warm weather by blooming again. I think we shall have to reward it by having a cooler outside in the sunshine.

Oh, and on an unrelated note, my bookclub is gearing up to begin it's first book this Thursday. I am very pleased!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Surprisingly just like real life

Duncan (playing the SIMS): Does anyone know why my cat would be peeing everywhere?

Raven: Have you cleaned it's litterbox?

Duncan: ...

Allie: (laughing) "It's just like real life..."

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Helping Kids be Kids Again

"When you wish upon a star
makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
will come to you...

If your heart is in your dreams
no request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
as dreamers do...

Fate is kind
she brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of
their secret longing...

Like a bolt out of the blue
fate steps in and sees you thru
When you wish upon a star
your dreams come true..."

Lifetimes are made up of many wishes; we tend to dream our way through life, imagining with excitement the potential that lies in front of us.

But imagine that all of a sudden you only had enough time for one last wish. Now imagine you are only a child and have very little means of making your wish come true.

Children hold a special place in my heart and are at the centre of most of my philanthropic endeavours. One of the organizations I lend my support and time to is The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada. The foundation works to fulfill the most desired wish for each child who has been diagnosed with a high risk or life threatening illness. The granting of these wishes, 11,093 in 20 years, helps each child focus on being a child during a time when everything seems dark and scary.

Today, in 106 communities across Canada, people came together to walk and raise money that will enable the granting of even more wishes. I wish that children never got sick and didn't die before they had a chance to grow up, but sadly that's not reality. But we can help them know that dreams really do come true.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sunrise, Sunrise...

"Sunrise, sunrise...
Looks like morning in your eyes
But the clock's held 9:15 for hours.
Sunrise, sunrise...
Couldn't tempt us if it tried
Cause the afternoon's already come and gone..."

- Norah Jones

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Can Allie Come Out and Play?

Busy, busy, busy... too busy to blog even. Loads of stuff I can't put out there in the written public kind of form, but exciting, interesting and busy stuff. Tonight's a political night, but I might have time for you afterwards, poor blog.

Oh, and as a point of interest, that wonderful pic of Duncan with the Hooters girls has become my highest viewed picture in Flickr!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Happy Birthday Duncan!

More pictures here!

27 Years Old!

Wow, Duncan! Twenty seven years old already! Where does the time go? Cue Rock Music:

"They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you!"

Hapy Birthday Sweetheart. I hope it's Hooterific!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

"Saw you the weird sisters?"

"The issue is who used [the name] first."
- Statement by the bands lawyer

Oh. Really?

In 1988 (a full TWO YEARS before this "band" formed) Terry Pratchett wrote a book called "The Wyrd Sisters." In 1996 it was released for home video, and it has been performed as a play.

In 1605 ( a full THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY YEARS before this "band" formed) William Shakespeare wrote a play called MacBeth. It’s been playing ever since.

So who stole who’s name?

The "band" is complaining that they’ve "had to cancel tours and delay the release of our new album. All of this is because we're not sure if we can continue under our name any more." WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? Who do they think they are? I never heard of them before this obviously desperate attempt to grab some fame and fortune.

Evanesco Wyrd Sisters!

Hmmmm. Did it work?

Official Goblet of Fire Poster

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Shove Off, Wyrd Sisters...

Some pathetic little nobody band is trying to garner themselves some free publicity by attempting to block the new Harry Potter movie from debuting in Canada in November.

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire there is a "cool" band called the Weird Sisters that Dumbledore hires for the kids at the Yule Ball. In the film version the band doesn't have a name and Warner Bros. says they do not intend to use the Wyrd Sisters name. This is backed up by the IMDB's HP:GoF site that identifies the actors playing the band simply as "band members" in the film's credits.

These folk singers from Manitoba think that this fact has hurt their career chances and have have filed an injunction to block the movie from showing in Canada in addition to a statement of claim seeking $40 million plus punitive damages. Are they even worth 40 million dollars? Sounds like they want to take the easy road to retirement if you ask me, and they don't care if they drive over Canadian Harry Potter fans in the meantime.

Well, I care. As far as I am concerned these folk singers can take a hike. Grrr.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

5 km and 18,029.00 Closer...

To finding the Cure!

We raised 18,029.00 (and still some to count) for the CIBC Run for the Cure! Westminster Junior High took home the Junior High Team Award for the most funds raised! Way to go Westminster!