Imaginary maps 

tiny peace.

for each new morning with its light
    for rest + shelter of the night
                             for health + food
                            for love + friends

      for everything thy goodness sends   
                -ralph waldo emerson

Sunday Summary 2-25-12

After several days of receiving no mail aside from junk and bills (boo), I arrived to the post office Saturday to see this!  A massive collection of incoming goodies, that I shall now attempt to break down for you.  Top left is a post card from Adam and a letter from Linsey, two items from two different people in Australia, Kathleen and Courtney, a small gift (which I will blog about later) and letter from Nora, a letter from Adam, and a gift of post cards and buttons from Louise in England.  Lots of international mail, with lots of nice goodies and stories inside.

My outgoing mail today is... nothing.  I had an extremely busy week at work, and did all I could to write the 3 letters I finished this week.  They will not be going out tomorrow, though, so they are not pictured.  I will get them out as soon as possible though.

But, today's summary brings you a movie review.  What?  A letter writing blog with a movie review?  Really?  Yes, really.  And believe it or not, it's a movie about pen-pals!  First, the trailer.  Give it a look see, will ya?

Mary and Max is the touching story of a little girl in Australia that longs for a real friend.  She finds one in the oddly paired Max, who lives in New York.  The movie chronicles their lives as they grow, through letters and the random assorted chocolate goodies they exchange.  It's based on a pair of true pen friends - Adam Elliot, the director of the film, and someone he names as "a pen friend I've been writing for over twenty years".  

I found this movie to be quite enjoyable the first time I saw it a couple of years ago.  I was writing a letter to LR, someone that found me through SendSomething, and remembered it.  After watching it again, but this time as an avid letter writer myself, I found it to be even more touching.  I got so wrapped up in the story of Mary and Max that I forgot that it was so late at night.  When the movie ended at close to 2am, I was sad that I had to step away from their world and go to sleep.  Don't let the fact that it's claymation fool you - it's very much a story for the older kids among us.  It deals with depression, anxiety, death of family members, and much much more.  

The film also embodies exactly why I have grown to love my pen friends.  I get to explore other continents and learn about lives that are very different from my own.  And I hope that these friendships continue for many many years to come, just like the friendship between Mary and Max.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best, I'd give it a solid 8.  If you are at all interested after watching the trailer, please find a copy and watch it.  For those technologically minded among you, it's available on Netflix Streaming.  If you do watch it, let me know what you think?
Happy writing, friends!

Oh..I have the most exciting weekends haha.

I took a test this weekend that I didn't have to study for. One that apparently only 32% of Canadians take. The test is for people over 50 (generally), and although I'm not there yet age-wise I have had food sensitivities and some stomach issues (and even colonoscopies) so they thought I might as well take this test a little early.
I'm not worried about the results. And I don't want you to worry!

Its just that this test is soooo easy it's ridiculous and according to The Canadian Cancer Society 8,900 Canadians will die this year from colorectal cancer and 22,000 more will be diagnosed while only 32% of people over 50 take this test!

I'm here to tell you how easy it is after doing it. It was literally nothing. (and don't worry, you don't have to handle anybody else's poop!) It literally takes 5 minutes and is completely painless in every regard. You just take a "teeny tiny sample" and put it on a slide and voila! Its done. Drop it in the mail or take it to your Doctors office (depending on whether your Doc wants it directly etc.)

And lets face it..We all love somebody over the age of 50. AND we live in Canada so its available to all of us, so there's no reason to not take this test.

Caught early enough the survival rates are better than some cancers, such as lung cancer, according to the CCS.

Hope your weekend is full of wonder!

I absolutely love this.

1st Place in Daron Rahlves Banzai at Alpine Meadows

What an amazing last couple days. I am very happy I entered this event. There was not a dull moment from the qualifying day and into the finals. There was some amazing athletes shredding this technical and at times just crazy course. Most of us woman stayed on the ground but the men got pretty wild with some back flips and cartwheels. What an adventure!
To those who got injured we are all rooting for you in a speedy recovery. A great friend and fellow competitor, Christy Dysher, broke her hand in day one, which proves this race is no joke.
Slick Willy's Banana Wax proved it's self today for sure, at times my brain could not keep up with the board. Yahoo! I can't wait for the next Rahlves event.

shabby apple: a giveaway!

the winner of this giveaway is kaelee of my dear hazel blog. so happy!

i'm sure that you've seen shabby apple's pretty little dresses all over blog land. just the other day i was browsing their website for something to wear out on our anniversary in a few weeks. so when they contacted me about offering a giveaway here on my blog, i was happy to say, yes!

i've chosen the classic francine skirt for one of you to win! it's the perfect black pencil skirt. and that bow! i love. would you add a cardigan? some fancy shoes? something sparkly? i'm going to add my hot date, nine years of marriage and a cheers!

if you'd like to win this skirt for yourself, simply visit shabby apple's facebook page here and then leave a comment on this post telling me you've liked them. entries are open until friday at 8 am PST, to US residents only. i'll choose a winner and announce it here on this post. good luck!

and if you're like me and can't wait until friday - use the code runlucasrun10off at checkout to get 10% off right now. i've got my eye on this sweet necklace.

Portfolio piece

Monday Memories

I spent most of today baking cupcakes for my coworker's birthday.  I don't think she realized that I was being serious when I said that I would bring her 2 dozen red velvet and buttercream cupcakes.  Never dare me to do anything... cause I very well might do it.

This is my outgoing mail for today.  Finally am sending out postcards that needed to go out a week ago but I just didn't send.  And 4 postcrossing cards to go out.  My favorite is the one of the donkey standing on a bucket in front of children.  The person asked if I'd answer the question "If you could change one decision in your life, what would it be and why?"  My answer?  "I'd change the decision to allow a donkey to teach a class of 10 children.  It caused so much drama."  Hahah.  I hope he enjoys it.  I did include a more serious answer, but I thought it was funny.

After all of these letters go out, I will have only 3 items to respond to.  3!  My return mail pile hasnt been this low since the first week of starting this blog.  Trust me when I say, it's been a very very busy weekend!  And a first for me - one of the postcrossing cards is going to China.  I hope it makes it there!

I read a book called "Letters from an Alien" by Mary Carmen.  I'm not usually a fast reader, but this book seemed to only take about 3 hours for me to read.  The book was presented in a way that intrigued me, as I haven't seen it in a fiction book before.  The entire book was written through a series of letters between a few characters.  That got me thinking, though.  What if I had a pen-pal... whose letters I exchanged with... were telling a story?  What if it became a way of writing a piece of fiction between two people, using the postal service?

Here's how I think it would work.  Each person would write two copies of their letter, one to keep and one to send.  As each letter is received, it is added to the collection in order.  At the end of the story, you each have a copy of the book, and you've both created a piece of fiction that could then be shared with others.  I really like this idea.  Perhaps I can find someone interested in trying it!

Think of your body being wrapped in a fishnet hose, both internally and externally. It is and it's called fascia.

If you come to my classes I speak a great deal about fascia and we work to get rid of impediments and imbalances in every class. Working with the fascia through yoga and/or massage therapy will change your life. And thats a promise. Below, Dr. Frank Lipton speaks on your yoga practice and fascia. Enjoy!

lucky she's mine.

i turned up my cath craves good music playlist tonight.
songs by:
bon iver
iron and wine
+ the shins

i am homesick.

silly, huh.
but they're so good. and so her.

boards titled:
gypsy love
the sea + the sky
free to be
+ speaks to me.

oh man, i am missing her.
what i'd give to snuggle me and charlie-wild up in yellow bedroom tonight.

birth | the sea | bus | dreads
keith | leather | la passion | felt
light | phase | wrapped | truth

4th Place Finish at Crystal Mountain

Pretty stoked after a 12th place finish in the qualifiers to step up to 4th. I had such a great trip!  Great friends and amazing athletes always equals a good time. I want to thank my friends Justin and Erin for there hospitality. If it were not for the generosity of my friends and family this trip would not have been able to happen.

Big ups to Shannon Yates and Brandon Reid. Both athletes are always fun to watch and both are very deserving of there swords!

Happy to be home! It's dumping here in Tahoe which means Kirkwood powder is in my very near future.

Friday the 17th Should Be a Thing

Happy Friday, everyone!  The above song has been haunting me this week.  The album Raising Sand from artists Robert Plant and Alison Krauss has been a favorite of mine since it was released, and I think the album really shines in the more quiet, reflective weeks that I have.  There are quite a few songs on the album that I enjoy, and often listen to on repeat.  This is rare for me, as I find that usually I may only enjoy one song on an album.  

I really haven't received much mail this week.  I got a letter from someone named Sarala who generously included some stamps for the Holocaust Stamp Project.  I need to think of something special to do for those that send stamps.  I don't have to, but I really do want to recognize those that donate.  I also received a letter from Jim, and a beautiful hand made postcard from someone named Christy.  I would link you guys to Sarala and Christy, but I cannot find a link for them.  (If you two have a blog or website, please let me know in the comments!)
 So far this week, I have sent out these three letters.  They all went out yesterday, actually.  I love the look of the envelopes, but I hate to even begin to tell you the time it takes to color them all by hand.  They're all colored and burnished with colored pencils.  It doesn't photograph well, but the paper has a sort of glossy texture.  I'm really impressed with how they came out, but it's not something I can do all of the time.  As I've said before, experimentation is all part of the fun!  If you got one of these, I hope you'll tell me how they held up going through the mail system. 

Monday is President's Day here in the US.  That means we will have another Mail Free Monday, and it also means I get a three day weekend to catch up on everything I would like to do.  I really should start responding to letters right away, just to keep the number of items I want to reply to down.  I'm still managing a 100% return rate, even if they do come a few weeks later.  The 'writers block' I've mentioned before is completely gone, and the words are now flowing as easily as fresh spring water babbling down a mountain stream. 

How has your week been for you?  Any interesting tidbits?  Did you receive any interesting mail this week?

he hand picked my chocolates.
just for me. 

it was the perfect day.
hearts everywhere. and red. and mailboxes. 
the friends i love. and phone calls to the ones i miss.

oh, and tesla.
so loud.

Conan el negro

una version

Registration Day at Crystal

Enjoying good times with great friends at an epic mountain. The snow is variable but the qualifier venue is in descent condition. I have a fun line planned out so tomorrow is going to be a great time. 

Will be missing A-Rob this week for the tour is not the same with out him!

My goal is to stomp my run, have fun, stay safe, and smile more than my face can handle!

Everyday life

That Valentine's Day Holiday


Desinstalação Pastor Maiquel

Olá gente... estou há algum tempo aqui na frente do computador tentando escrever algo sobre este momento, tentei ser formal, tentei ser distante, procurei palavras bonitas que falassem sobre isso...  mas não deu...   não seria eu se assim eu o fizesse.

Pessoal, como todos sabem(eu acho!!), no ultimo dia 9 foi a minha desinstalação, um momento muito marcante pra mim, porque ali estava se encerrando um ciclo de trabalho que durou 3 anos e meio, dos quais eu muito me orgulho e muito me alegro. Muito eu aprendi com cada um de vocês, muito eu cresci, e não tenho dúvidas de que muito a nossa fé e nosso amor a Deus cresceu também, através dos momentos de comunhão e confraternização dos quais partilhamos.

Não posso e nem vou ser hipócrita de dizer que estou muito triste por estar indo em frente em um novo desafio, mas também não posso de forma alguma negar o sentimento de tristeza e aperto no coração que sinto pelo fato de estar deixando que vocês sigam o seu caminho sem mim. 

Eu não sei dizer o que Deus tem reservado para nós amanhã, mas sei que ele quer o melhor, e que estará nos conduzindo para o objetivo principal de nossas vidas sempre, caminhando ao nosso lado, nos conduzindo com suas poderosas mãos.

Que Deus nos Abençoe em nosso caminhos, hoje e sempre.

Com Carinho, Pr Maiquel Hellwig

Best video I have ever seen of our fine city.

Captures perfectly where we walk, ride, drive, and play each day. Fitting song too!

Sunday Summary

All of this mail is going out tomorrow, including the very awesome envelope right in front.  I won't let you see who it's going to though, because it's a secret.  But I can tell you this, there are more.  -cue evil laugh-

Sadly, I didn't take photos of any of my incoming mail this week.  I really need to do better with that.  I know I love seeing the pieces I send on people's blogs, I should only do the same for those that send something to me.

Adele just won for Record of the Year.
I think she's won like 352 Grammy's this year.
And she's still up for one more.

... and that, my friends, is my entire day in summary.  Hope you have had a great weekend!

I ♥ Thich Nhat Hanh. We don't want to miss our life.

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” -Thich Nhat Hanh


Purchased - One all-in-one printer with flatbed scanner.  More paper.  More doodads.

Received - Letters!  And a couple post cards!

Sent - Nothing... yet.  Almost caught up to everyone.

From what I can tell is the current theme this week, people are too busy or too fascinated with their mail to take photos of it.  I must admit, I am too!  That's why I created the Sunday Summary - to showcase a little of everything all at once.  Sadly, it's still Saturday.

... correction, it's now 12:02 AM.

I guess I better get to writing!

May all your inks obey!

Oh yes... one more thing.... how's this for an envelope? :)  Pattern from

See these kids? I know them all as well as their incredible parents.

They are all some of the bravest and coolest (and most fun) people I know! They are local brain tumour fighter/survivors and their parents and I am really fond of each and every one of them (and they are all doing well right now too I am happy to add).
The are part of an program I love called BrainWAVE. BrainWAVE is a support program for families with a child (19 years old or younger) with a brain tumour and it is comprised of four separate but related components: events, parent support, information sharing and education. If you are looking for a way to provide fun and support for your child and family as you face the journey with a pediatric brain tumour, consider joining BrainWAVE.

Several times a year, BrainWAVE families have the opportunity to meet and relax through fun activities such as trips to sports events, historical sites and other family attractions. These FREE events give all members of the immediate family a welcome break from treatments and doctors' visits. Our next event is March 4 and I can't wait!

For more information on BrainWAVE and Brain Tumour Foundation click the links. If you have been affected by a brain tumour you are NEVER alone and there is ALWAYS hope and Brain Tumour Foundation is a wonderful resource with Education days, Support and Loads of information whether you are a child or an adult, have a brain tumour, or love somebody with one.

The 2012 Spring Sprint is coming up as well on May 27 click here for more info on that. Its a wonderful time for everybody. Namaste.

Wednesday Rambler

I have written about the Holocaust Stamp Project on a couple of occasions.  The image you see to the right is what was waiting for me at work this morning.  A few hundred stamps I had cut off of envelopes that came across my desk, and a small jar of stamps that have been neatly trimmed to be ready for packaging.  At last count I was just over 400 stamps, and I'm sure I'm now well over 600 or 700.  I'm hoping to send off my first shipment of stamps to them this weekend, but I'm debating on waiting until my birthday (August 31), and will push to get donations from anyone and everyone I can speak to.  If you want to donate, just send a cancelled stamp or 2 (or 20 lol) to me.  I'm keeping a list of all of those I receive stamps from to be included with the package I send.  It doesn't have to be anything special, it just has to be a cancelled stamp.  And if you're going to mail me something anyway, why not? :)

Speaking of mail, these envelopes will be making their way to recipients today.  The internet was out at home, and I found myself with what felt like a metric ton of free time.  It's nice to finish off letters and get them all packaged and ready to go out.  If you have sent me a letter, a reply will come soon!  I have a burst of energy this week and I don't know where it came from. 

My only limitation now is physical - I think I over worked my hands over the weekend, and have had residual dull pain ever since.  I have started to pace myself even more - injuries are preventable, and I really didn't take care of myself this weekend. 

How is your week going?  I have to go clothes shopping sometime this week, and that is the one thing I hate most.  That's why it's now Wednesday and I've put it off long enough.   

take care.

dear friend:
i am so so so very sorry that you are feeling so yucky. 
sometimes - just sometimes being sick can be a blessing. 
a chance to rest up and take care of you. 
or even better - let everyone else take care of you. 
hopefully you're on the mend.
and hopefully you'll feel better than ever after a few good long days tucked cozy in your bed. 
i am thinking of you.
you asked for a list.
some goodness for your heart while the rest of you is aching.

blogs. am currently inspired by words and images.
elise blaha's enjoy it: this post which she followed up with this one. 
marta dansie's marta writes: this post. second paragraph.
rachel swan of rachel swan design: i love this post she shared.
katie stratton's katie's pencil box: this little treasure.

music. on repeat:
with love by rosie thomas. just in time for valentine's day!
and all things passenger. 

books. currently reading:
extremely loud and incredibly close. by jonathan safran foer

dear friend,
pull your covers in tight. put warm socks on your feets.
and ask your love to make you this:
hot hot water. (preferably from a shiny turquoise tea kettle)
 a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a spoonful of honey.
stir it up and sip it slow.

all my love,

Post-Bowl Thoughts on Gaming

I watched only part of the Super Bowl.  I'm not a big sports fan, but I can appreciate a good game of football.  That game, however, was lackluster at best.  So instead, I continued playing a video game I picked up on Friday.

A lot of you, if not all of you, will know of the Star Wars universe - Luke Skywalker, Princess Lea, Jabba the Hutt, et. all.  Personally, I do not remember ever seeing a Star Wars movie all the way through.  I've seen bits and pieces here and there, I just never really was interested in it.  Especially not when I could be lost in the words of a book, in a grand universe that I can almost make up as I read along.

The game I picked up was Star Wars : The Old Republic.  It's a massive game.  But what hooked me from the very start was the story telling.  You don't have to be well versed in the Star Wars universe to play it because the writing is so good.  The way you interact with the characters in the game is very fluid, and your decisions actually have an effect on the game environment around you.  If you choose to follow your orders and kill this guy, then his child hates you forever.  Save the guy, lie to your boss, and nobody is the wiser. 

I have played many games in my day, but I have never seen such an engaging story in a video game.  And I know you're probably thinking "why are you posting this here?".  I'm posting this because every single word had to be written by someone.  Probably a large team of someones.  And as with reading a good book, watching a good movie, or seeing a play, it is the stories that bring it all together. 

That's why I love to write letters.  I honestly didn't think I would enjoy it that much.  Or I was concerned that I would only find one or two interesting people, but I'm finding that the more I write, the more I interact through the pen and paper, the more interesting and fascinating people I am finding.  I would even venture to say that some of the friendships that are developing would even go deeper than some of the real life friends that I have had for years. 

So, whether you are playing a video game, or watching a movie, or even just sitting down with your favorite stationery and penning a note, remember that it's your story that counts.  Doesn't even matter if it's just a recount of your day, or just a list of things you'd like to accomplish in the near future. 

Everyone has a story.  What's yours?

Love "your" tree. Its beautiful♥

Just spent the weekend studying with the one and only Judith Lasater and she recommended we watch this video, and I just did. So amazing. BTW, if you ever get a chance to do a workshop/training/bask in Judith's wisdom a while (in any city) I highly recommend taking advantage. I am full of gratitude.
She is coming back to Vancouver in September for a Restorative Yoga Teacher training. For more info go to OR you can go to or email Christina directly at *A heads up that this woman has never had a workshop that hasn't sold out in record time.*
Enjoy the video. Thank you Judith Hanson Lasater for all you gave us this weekend.

Places from which to speak


It's been a Good Day :)

Welcome to February!  I have been blogging now for a full month, and already, I can tell you that I am loving every minute of it.  It's always a joy to come home to a surprise in the mailbox, and today was a particularly good day for me.

This is my incoming mail for today.  It's been a rather quiet couple of days, but that time has allowed me to catch up in replies.  Here is a postcard from Derrick, a letter from a penpal in Louisiana, and another letter from Marian.  I love the stationery that my penpal in Louisiana seems to come up with - there's always something different :)  She was also the first Year of The Dragon stamp that I have seen in person.  I am so glad that I ordered some of those - they're really quite stunning.

Today, I also purchased a vintage typewriter from the Letter Writers Alliance.  I have been looking for one for a few weeks now, and knew I would be spending a pretty penny on getting one.  Surprisingly, there was one that I immediately knew that I had to have, and if I'm honest, I was refreshing the page every couple of minutes to be sure I could get it.  I'll have pictures of it up once I've been able to rearrange my room and properly set up my writing desk.  Right now I'm using my computer's desk , and somehow I just dont think that's going to be feasible soon with all the neat letter writing gadgets I'm finding.

This is my outgoing mail for tomorrow.  If you see your name, I hope you dont mind, but I did cover addresses.  (Well, except for Limner, but her address is posted on the front page of her blog.)  I didn't get the chance to decorate every single envelope I'm sending out, but I think it's a good start.  You can also see my brand new TWSBI Diamond 540 in Sapphire.  I have been waiting for this pen all week, and was so excited to use it when I got home that I spent the entire evening writing letters.  I bought the EF nib, and the ink I used was Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses.  I think the ink might be much better suited in a broader nib pen, as the extra fine really just made it an unusual shade of light reddish purple.  I don't like the color of the ink in this pen, but oh well.  I used it anyway!

I'm not sure if I'll be officially participating in the Letter Writing Month campaign.  I seem to be writing at least one letter a day anyway, and some days like today, four or five.  I might take the next few days off though, so I can prepare some more blank envelopes in the smaller size.  If you get an envelope from me that doesnt include the security printed liner, I made it by hand.  I ran out today, and haven't had a chance to make any more.

Book readers!  I have a request!  I have been really spending a lot of time with the Kindle app on my iPad, but I'm running out of ideas for books.  Do you have any suggestions?  I purchased the entire Hunger Games trilogy today.  I really am open to suggestions of any kind, as I will honestly read anything as long as it catches my interest.  I plan on going to my local library on Saturday, and I would love some ideas!

g is for gavin.

it's already been three years since gavin came to meet me. his birth story is such a treasure and so empowering to me and my own story. and my favorite part? the moment he was placed up on my chest and i could feel his heart beat. pounding against my own. and he was here. 

we climbed right up into my bed after that and he's slept there with me ever since. lucas grew up and out of the family bed and into his own down the hall long ago. and charlie has been a crib sleeper since his first baby days. but not gavi. we snuggle up every nap and every night.  

he also up until his birthday this last sunday - didn't have a place of his own in this house. his toys mixed up in luc's room. his clothes in a shared dresser. he needed a space. 

everyone needs their very own space. 

his birthday requests were simple. 

he wanted: 
a green birthday
a banilla cake with polka dots ???  

such a funny little guy. we were happy to grant each of those simple wishes. a gazillion green balloons after church, a three layered funfetti cake with tiny round sprinkles and a certain yellow corvette wrapped up by lukey.  

but we also had a special surprise for my little/big boy. 

at the last minute and with the help of a dear friend, andrey decided to build this toddler bed for gavi. in one night!  i carefully picked the fabric for his bedding and spent saturday sewing it up. his sweet cloud pillow is stitched up with a very special piece of linen from my stash. lucas got to work and helped us paint it in the garage. and while gavin wasn't looking on sunday afternoon we pushed our bed over a bit and made a little spot for him to call his own. my little roommate. it is seriously the cutest thing i've ever seen. every piece came together so perfectly and it makes me so happy everytime i walk into our bedroom. 

he is so proud. granting permission to sit on his bed for morning cartoon watching. his fishing pole tucked over on the side. his cars lined up along the footboard every night. a little bucket of his-very-own-things nearby. 

he'll stay close for now. getting used to this. both of us. we still snuggle to bed at night. and then i carefully tuck him in to his new sleeper. i may or may not have been a little weepy the first time. remembering that january night my gavin west was born. 

Come to the movies with me!

Shanti Uganda Society ( will be hosting a special screening of Yogawoman ( and holding a silent auction at Denman Cinema's on February 28th from 6pm - 9:30pm in order to raise funds towards improving infant and maternal health, providing safe women-centered care and supporting the well-being of birthing mothers and women living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Featured in the film, Shanti Uganda uses yoga to improve the spiritual, physical and emotional well-being of communities impacted by HIV/AIDS, poverty and war in Uganda.

YOGAWOMAN is a groundbreaking feature film about the powerful impact of yoga on women's health, fitness, emotional well-being, and personal growth. In record numbers, women are finding strength, vitality, peace and power through yoga. Reclaiming this ancient spiritual path from its traditionally male form, the result is a radical transformation of modern yoga as we know it.

YOGAWOMAN gathers 50 of the world’s leading yoga experts in an exploration of this global phenomenon that has changed the face of yoga forever.This screening will benefit Shanti Uganda ( and tickets can be purchased through Event Brite or at the Cinema on the day of the event.