Monday, January 26, 2009

Our Fur kids!

I miss my dogs
Barkley & Shillaleigh

One of the toughest parts of not being at home is how much I miss my dogs! Steve and I don't have kids but we do have Barkley and Shillaleigh. Barkley has been with me for about 10 years and "Bug" as we call her is a new addition to the family who has only been around 2. While Barkley's hips are starting to give him trouble he is relatively no trouble, Bug is high maintenance.. she needs love 24/7.
I miss them both.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sooo.. we had a fire.

So here I sit in a hotel room watching "Harold the Duck." Not the usual way I would spend a Saturday night..

This is the part when watching a movie it would rewind.. or time shift indicating that we are now going to the beginning of the story.. and we will return to this point later.

So Monday was a fun day.. start of the week.. a great work out.. diet going well.. and a house fire. That's what I said. A HOUSE fire.

I was sitting on the couch after getting back from a run, working on the energy to get into a shower. Steve was in the kitchen getting ready for a bowl of moose chili fresh from the crock pot before heading out to play poker with the boys.

As I sat about the couch a heard the tell tale sound "zzzzz....errrrrghhhh.. POP!" The light goes out, the breaker flips and Steve heads downstairs to flip it back on, he flips and "zzzzz....errrrrghhhh.. POP!" At this point I am standing in the kitchen as Steve heads back up the stairs.. he climbs up on the chair to see what is going on. "YIKES" ok, perhaps he used another word, the light fixture was hot! He put on gloves and started to take it down. At this point I notice what appeared to be an ember fall from the ceiling, my mind was moving slowly.. an ember?? Steve asked me to go outside to grab the ladder, I moved FAST. As I came back in Steve has the light down and was looking at the ceiling asking me if I thought that was smoldering. Again, slow mind "smoldering?" It did seem to be a little red around the edges, somewhere inside my mind I was putting it together and went for the phone. Steve meanwhile had gone up the ladder, looked into the attic, saw flame, realized we had no marshmallows or supplies to make smores and hollered for me to call 911. Which by this point I was already doing!

Next.. everything you have learned about a fire.. before it's "stop, drop, and roll" time. The dogs were sent into the backyard and I was told to grab what was important and get outside. I briefly debated how to get the harvest table out the door realized that wasn't going to happen and instead made sure I had my wedding ring, grabbed both the laptops and the keys to the studio for work in the morning and got out the door. Steve was flipping off the power to the house and heading for the door. Once outside we alerted the neighbours, since we are in a duplex, to get out of the house as we had somehow set it on fire and moved the car and the motorcycle to make room for the fire trucks when they arrived.

And arrive they did... 4 BIG red trucks with lights and sirens came roaring down the street.

It seemed like it took forever!!

I am standing in the middle of the street in my work out clothes, watching the fire trucks storm towards the house, neighbours coming out the doors, the dogs barking and just trying to comprehend that it's our house, our house that is on FIRE! " F%^&K"

It all seemed very surreal, plus I felt remarkable old as theses baby faced firemen donned the gear and rushed into our house. I wanted to cry out.. STOP! Does your Mother know that you are rushing into burning buildings? Give me that hose you have the rest of your life ahead of you! I did have a moment to smile as I approached the crew that first arrived and the Captain said to me "Susan, is this your place? Hey guys this is Susan from The Breakfast Club." In that brief moment everything seemed OK. I was no longer Susan in her sticky exercise clothes, terrified that her house was going to burn down. That Captain released Susan Knight, the capable, always smiling and ready for what ever comes her way woman to bubble to the surface. Maybe, if you asked a shrink not the healthiest way to live.. but I could of kissed that Captain for reminding me that I had the personal resources for what ever was coming my way.

What a humbling experience. My neighbours are gracious and beautiful people ready to come to our aid, the fire crews were professional and caring all at the same time. The hotel clerk "Luke" didn't blink an eye as we stumbled into The Grand looking for a room. Only one co worker has been rude about my experience, everyone else at work including my boss Mark and my bosses boss Don have been wonderful. My co-host Dan Freeman was ready to do what ever he needed to to help as did many of our friends. Special mention to Melissa who manged to get my husband a grilled cheese sandwich that evening as he hadn't eaten that day and his moose chili was unavailable.

The fireman gave us a tour before the lights were shut off.. a REALLY big hole in the ceiling above the kitchen, and a rather larger knee hole in the hallway where a fireman had missed the strut and went threw! Also some water damage and smoke but all in all not so bad. But no way we could stay because power was being shut off.

At some point in all the excitement I had gotten hold of work with a heads up that I wouldn't make it in the next day. The next day was a busy one.. Insurance agents.. house tour.. insurance.. and realizing that we could of been dead. Truly dead. If things hadn't happen EXACTLY as they did, chances of us sleeping soundly as the fire started were good *shudder* thankfully it didn't happen that way. This thought did haunt me for the first couple of nights and I could only sleep about 25 minutes at a time. The night I finally did sleep, I slept like a rock and when I awoke couldn't move my neck.. at all. So I sit here 4 nights after the fire with my ice pack, unable to steal the converter from my husband watching.. "Harold the duck."

Part of me does chuckle. I believe in the power of prayer. Part of my prayers as of late have included a requested for some help in the housecleaning department as we got the house ready to sell. You should see the job that the cleaning crew is doing - OUTSTANDING! God does work in mysterious ways.

Important lessons:

Make sure your fire alarms are up and working
Make sure your insurance is paid up both content and building. Capri and Southern have been great -- Our adjuster has been AMAZING!
A fire safe is a very good idea
The Grand Delta Okanagan hotel while great the first night (thanks Luke!) got "uppity" and unhelpful after that, plus charge 10 bucks a night per computer for Internet access!
The Prestige Inn has been good. The rooms are nice, the Internet free and the restaurant "Industry" fab!
"The Spotted Spa" is a WONDERFUL kennel, taking on both my low & high maitenance dogs without a question.
Respect fire crews. You never know where that fire truck with sirens on is going - get out of the way!
Most importantly in times of emergency, work with whomever you are with. Don't panic and move quickly but with purpose.
Plus for me; not only do I have friends to treasure that will drop everything to make my honey a grilled cheese sandwich, cover me at work, or whatever else is needed, I have a husband that is everything a girl could need both on nights where the only excitement is Shillaleigh and Barkley eating dinner and on nights when a fire breaks out in the attic.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hunt for Happiness

So this week is official "Hunt for Happiness" week!

What brings you happiness?

While I ponder what brings me happiness, leave me a comment and tell me where you find yours!

Friday, January 16, 2009

This hat has horns

We all have different facets of our personality. If we had a scale at one end would be the person who always comes across the same and has no idea how to access that different facets of who they are and at the other end is someone dealing with a multi personality disorder and isn't fully aware of when a facet has completely taken over. (This is a non-medical opinion and just my perception)

Where do you fit?

When asked to do a survey for personality purposes I often ask which Susan whomever is asking would like to speak with. Because I have some very different and distinct personalities that come to the surface when required. The Susan who can stand in front of 2000 people and MC has different views than the Susan that stops talking to allow someone else a chance to shine. Recently I have been describing these facets with hats. You know, like when someone puts on there "mommy" hat or "carpenter" hat or "banker" hat to describe a skill they are using to get something done. I put on "personality" hats to describe the facet of me who is being used to deal with a current situation. My hats were designed by my survival instinct.

Lately it's been switching between the "getting it done" and "hat with horns"

I will save the "getting it done" hat for another post.

The "hat with horns" isn't the easiest to deal with. Slightly bitchy and won't take any crap. It's my enough is enough hat that helps me deal.. the step before I can move past a situation. Usually the "hat with horns" is short term. This hat is firmly placed on and isn't easily knocked off, it cancels out the compassion, empathy and ability to care about "their" side of the story. If you are coming face to face with me and I have on the "hat with horns" you don't have to worry because likely pretty soon you will be shoved back into the masses and be just another person that passes threw my day. But be prepared, because the skills I learned from people who built this hat for me have been sharpened. My "hat with horns" was brought out to deal with too many people believing that they are still playing at the schoolyard and are "king of the mountain." Failing to see that there is no schoolyard or mountain! Have a problem with me? I will care if you are someone I care about.. but somewhere in the process if you choose not to let me know what is going on, I will stop caring, part of that process is the "hat with horns" I become a sly bully that pokes and pokes and pokes, until you are about to break. But it's at that moment another hat comes out.. it's more of a hood and a cloak and in it lives shame. It's a frustrating moment. I don't want to take off my "hat with horns" it's empowering to know that you aren't hurting me anymore and I am preying on your weaknesses but the part of me that has fought for growth and compassion says enough is enough right back at me.

Now here is the crunch, the moment the cloak comes on I am transitioning.. There was a time when I would fight for every friendship I had ever put time into. Not anymore, as I grow stronger and wiser I recognize when walking away is a mercy killing not only for you, but also for me.

Sounds like a lot doesn't it? But the "hat with horns" is a hat I wear for less that 10 minutes a day. A hat that is about to be thrown back into the closet. I'm not thrilled that it had to be dusted off for use. But I am thrilled that I didn't need to wear it for long, and while it was firmly placed on my head I was aware and thinking about what I was doing and what the results would be.

So what hat now?


I am at my best when hatless, because that means that I am not in "survival" mode. No need to fictitiously adorn myself with a hat to help me make it in and around a situation.

But I will tell you this.

Do not be afraid to put on any hat you may need to get threw whatever situation is causing you unease, put it on and dive in. Because the really cool part, is that down the road you will find that unexpectedly you are dealing with that situation again.. hatless simply because you can.

Another upside of that.. no hat head.

xx sk

Friday, January 9, 2009

Is that a cliff? Hey. How do I stop on these things!

Just for fun let's talk fitness..

So I was cross country skiing the other day and really got to thinking about what I was doing in the bigger sense of the fitness world, why i got started and what has brought me to the point I am at now. It was either that or I would be focused far too much on my lungs which seem to be attempting to come out my nose while climbing a hill in very icy tracks with two long skinny pieces of wood attached to my feet! Even the ipod wasn't distracting me enough!

Here's the skinny.. hehe

I had been a "big" girl for awhile, how I got to that point is a story for another time. I began to slowly make changes, I was more active, road my bike to work, walked etc.. it really wasn't helping other than proving to myself that even at that weight I could move. I did try to alter the eating habits.. but it's really hard to figure out who is really just out to make a buck and who has some solid advice. I hate to say it but even your family doctor isn't a pile of help. I truly believe that a diet centre needs to be created that figures out what diet is right for you and than you go on it.. because the right diet will work for you.. and it might not be the same one as the person standing next to you in the Dairy Queen line up! The only thing I really learned is (for me) weight loss is about food intake - maintenance is about exercise & diet. My major weight loss happened after my divorce - nothing like a serious lack of appetite to get the ball rolling!

But no matter how it started, here I am now. I am a triathlete, I cross country ski, I wake surf and water ski, I ride a motorcycle, I lead an active life. Am I currently at my fitness goals? No. I need to drop 30 pounds and want to finish a triathlon before the 75 year old women ahead of me. I also want to run 10K consistently in under an hour, and do a 360 while wake surfing. But storming up that icy hill got me thinking.. why? Why do I really want this? Over the years I have had a variety of different answer, part of every answer is vanity - who doesn't want to turn heads while walking down the street. Another part is "ease of life." When you are in a plus size world.. and 5 feet tall shopping is NEVER easy. But the big motivator for me is simple, I like to do stuff. At the weight and fitness level I am at now, I can. Maybe not well.. or fast, but I can try. If you are thinking to yourself, it doesn't matter what weight you are at you can always try.. think again. I had to have a small enough butt to fit it in the kayak for my kayak trip, you have to be able to hold the basic positions for my Ashtanga Yoga class, you have to be able to bike up the mountain in order to learn how to ride down it. Yes there are ways around and we can all make it pretty.. but facts are facts - you need to be able to get to the starting line.

Ladies and Gentlemen: I have made it to the starting line!

I might be bigger than I thought I would be and no I can't keep up with most of my friends, but I am in the race. I love the fact that God gifted me with the ability to be brave and strike out on my own because right now that is where I am. Don't get me wrong I have an AMAZING support system, but at this stage of the game I am stronger than my friends that haven't reached the starting line and can barely make out my other friends who can sprint for the word "go". But I am here. Finally I am in the race.

So as my lungs past threw my nostrils and I gracefully slammed into a snow bank on those cross country skis I knew why. Because I just want to do stuff, I want body, mind and soul to be in running order at a level that will allow me to work, play and inspire with and in the world. The joy from that knowledge gave me the strength to climb out of the snowbank with a smile and continue down the icy tracks - it has taken me almost 40 years to get to the start line, but the "adventure race" that is my life is overall so much fun, right to the finish line. Thanks for cheering me on, it would be a whole lot harder to do without you!

BTW: If you have been waiting for the Great "Farting" New Years Eve blog. I promise it's coming! Also news on the 100 push up challenge and the 200 sit up challenge.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

25 things about moi!

So had one of these pass my way.. I have ignored countless, but it came from one of those hard to say no to friends.. so I figured I would share! I was kinda suprised after I read all 25.. what does this say about me? Not sure..

Once you’ve been tagged, write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people (or however many you please) to be tagged. You should also tag the person who tagged you.

1. I have been a cab driver and a roofer.

2. I have never broken a bone - much to the amazement of many

3. I think being homophobic is the same as racist and think worse of you if you are either

4. I am very comfortable going out on my own

5. My dogs bring me great joy

6. I am possible the worst housekeeper you have ever met.

7. I value my friends and family more than they know even the ones I only talk to a couple of times a year

8. I still dream of standing ovations and owning a pony named Tallulah

9. I spell at the same level as a child in grade 4

10. Sometimes I run out of words and therefore don't answer my phone

11. My belief in prayer was confirmed due to meeting my husband

12. I have highly intelligent friends sometimes I worry about how I come across in deeper conversations

13. I went to 3 high schools and 2 colleges (Given the boot at 2 HS and 1 college)

14. My sense of direction is disastrous but it makes going anywhere an adventure.

15. If I could go anywhere right now it would be the South Pacific

16. The best two lessons I have learned in 2008 is that charity should hurt and I can't and don't have to fix everything.

17. I hate to admit it but slapstick really makes me laugh

18. Jokes that use other people as punch lines are cheap and easy. I don't find them funny and when I do I am ashamed of myself.

19. I have lost a lot of weight but it is a daily struggle to keep healthy and even close to the weight and fitness level I want to be at.

20. I fight my urge to be the centre of attention all the time

21. Once you have my loyalty chances are very high you will have it for life

22. I don't have many close friends but the ones I do are phenomenal people and generally very different from each other

23. Not being able to make a difference scares me

24. I won't go to a movie if I know it's going to make me cry.

25. I have a hard time getting warm once I am cold