Sympathetic Joy

"To help us bring benefit to others through our words and actions, it is useful to cultivate an attitude of sympathetic joy in others’ achievements and good fortune. This attitude is a powerful antidote against envy, which is not only a source of unnecessary suffering on the individual level but also an obstacle to our ability to reach out and engage with others."

~ His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Incoming/Outgoing 3-26-2012

Incoming - A postcard from Poland, a postcard from Utah, a letter from Sarala, a letter from Dawid, and a letter from Jim.
 Outgoing - a letter to James, a letter to Sarah, a letter to the Missive Maven, and a letter to Ryan.

Do any of you that decorate your envelopes ever feel guilty if you send out blank or non-decorated envelopes?  I've been in such a rut with work I haven't had much time to send any mail this week, let alone take the time to let the creative juices flow and work on some envelopes.  I'd rather send the mail than spend days (or even weeks) decorating envelopes to send out... but never having any time to actually fill them.  Ah well, I tend to over think things when stressed and this is one of those times.

We have a meeting tomorrow with a prospective client that I've been stressing about all week.  Once this is finished, the brain will relax a bit and I'll unwind.  But... until then... 


The Truth About the US Postal Service

I have been reading a lot of articles recently about the current issues that the USPS faces.  I came across this article which breaks down the situation in a fairly humorous way, and thought I would share it with you guys.

The Truth About The US Postal Service

It's Spring at The Roundhouse! New sessions start tonight and its going to be grand. To register go to

Come and practice your self care with me.
Tuesday's its Prenatal Yoga from 545-715pm
Mixed levels Hatha from 730-9pm
Thursday's it's Baby and Me Yoga 1230-2pm and
Prenatal Yoga 545-715pm
And starting next week **starting April 5** it's Yin Yoga from 730-845pm
To register, go to or call 604-713-1800 (press 2)
See you on the mat xx

Is pain a part of your life? It can help to understand it. This vid is 5 minutes long. And remember to keep breathing.

Changing our relationship to pain.


i caught them like this the other day. lucas sight-reading outloud. gavin playing the nintendo ds and charlie prank calling everyone in my call log.

they were laughing. making silly noises every time gavi squished a super mario mushroom. luc would crack up and then get back to his reading. they stayed for awhile - ignoring my photo snaps. i moved fast. click! click! from every angle. sure that this wasn't going to last long.

i wonder how they got this way. who called a truce and sat by who first? i'm certain that charlie joined in last. after scaling a kitchen barstool, up onto the counter top and across the sink to snatch up my phone.

silly boys. stay this way.

i miss my sisters. 
love, lin

Frank Black

Es el nombre de este personaje, que no es un homenaje a Pixies si no a Franco Nero, el icono del Spaghetti Western.

La historia va de un cowboy afro-americano que persigue un despiadado asesino por el oeste.

Tarantino esta por empezar su película Django Desencadenado con una trama parecida, hasta homenajeando a Django en el titulo , la gran película con Nero justamente.
Grandes mentes piensan
en sincro, pero yo lo hice primero Quentin! La que te parió... Igual te amo.

The Yellow Death

Call it a clever play on words if you must, but the south (and much of the country if I'm not mistaken) has encountered The Yellow Death.  Those microscopic particles of plant procreation that penetrate our defenses and leave many of us sneezy, watery, drippy, and just plain sick.  This is what happened to me this week, and as I recover, I am slowly but surely working through my pile of return mail.  Sadly, I haven't received anything other than postcrossing postcards. 

So, as I continue to get over the massive sinus seizure I had on Monday/Tuesday, I leave you with these pictures from a trip I took to Gibbs Gardens on the 18th.  I will be talking about the gardens more in the future, as well as in letters, so I wont spoil anything here.  You can click on the photos to make them larger :)

The first sculpture you see when you enter the gardens.
One of the many rambling paths in the gardens, with trees in full bloom.

One of the many ponds on the property.

Oh look!  A video!  We stood on this bridge for quite some time, and I think it might be my favorite views that I've seen in the gardens.  Turn up the speakers, I love the sound.

And last but not least - my outgoing mail from the 20th.  I played with the paints a bit more, and have really started to enjoy painting.  I have a lot to learn before it becomes "perfect", but I kind of dont want it to be perfect.  Beauty is in the imperfect.

There will be many more photos and much more to discuss about Gibbs Gardens.  I bought a season pass... and with my camera being willing, I will have lots of inspiration in the coming months.  Peace, tranquility, and the passion of Mr. Gibbs to bring this property to life over the past 30 years all add to the charm of the gardens.


i am coming out of a 'what do i cook for my family' rut. it included a lot of little caesars pizza trips. i've never been a cream-of-chicken-soup-girl or a dinner-from-a-box-girl. but i do rely on the convenience of to-go parking spots. a lot.  

a quiet evening flipping through the tabbed pages of my favorite cook books and a trip to the grocery store all by myself was all it took for me to climb out of my fast food funk. we had a weeks worth of the yummiest/happiest meals sitting at our kitchen table after that. 

cooking with my husband is probably one of the best things in the whole world. 
he chops, i stir. i read off the recipe, he searches the spice cupboard for paprika. we talk. we share the sink. it's the best of domestic bliss. we've been trying new recipes. neither of us would list cooking/baking under things we do best, but i am braver in the kitchen when he's helping. 

this last sunday i pulled out one of my favorites. apples for jam.  
it's so beautiful. you must add it to your collection. 

i'd spent extra time in the produce aisle during my quiet grocery shopping trip. extra time to pick out three of the prettiest pears. they would ripen on my counter top until sunday evening. andrey and i were going to make the pear and berry crisp together. 

it was perfect. 
perfect to warm our bellies. 
the perfect amount of sweet to carry us into this new spring season. 

pear berry crisp by tessa kiros
3 large pears
1 cup of mixed berries ( we used fresh strawberries + blueberries)
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 pound + 3 tablespoons softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

preheat your oven to 375°F. Generously butter a 14 by 81/2 inch baking dish. peel, core and slice the pears, and put them in the dish. mix in the berries and scatter half the superfine sugar over the fruit.

mix together the flour; brown sugar, and the other half of the superfine sugar in a bowl. add the butter and vanilla and rub them in with your fingertips. working until the mixture isn't smooth but looks like clustery sand.  your fingers might be tired. 

scatter the topping over the fruit to cover it completely in a good thick layer. bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top is nicely golden and some berry juice has oozed up a bit over the crust and darkened it here and there. let it cool to touch and then serve warm with sweetened whipped cream, a bowl of custard, or vanilla ice cream. 

Banzai at Sugar Bowl

What a crazy weekend! I thought the other events on the Banzai Tour were hard but at Sugar Bowl with low visibility it proved to be more challenging. This course was again reminding me of Mr. Toads Wild Ride. Shoots, moguls, and drops. After placing 3rd with my qualifying time I started to get a little nervous, before I started self deprecating to much, I reminded my self I am here to have fun. As long as I am having fun where ever I end up in the end will be great. The ladies did give me a run for my money. I picked a line at the start which I thought would be best to get the whole shot. When my plan worked I knew as long as I stayed on my feet I had a good chance of winning.
After the grueling mogul field into a straight line I realized I had done it! Winning the Banzai event at Sugar Bowl gave me the overall win for the tour. It was so fun being on the podium next to two other fellow Kirkwood Freeride Team ladies, Marguerite Cosettini and Rose Daiek.
Even after a pretty downer snow year I am thankful to have had such a productive competitive season. I hope to use these winnings to go toward a snowmobile! Braaaaa Braaaa! I see you in my future.

New Mount Pleasant sessions with me start tomorrow and Wednesday!

So register away!

Baby and Me Yoga 1045am-12pm
Daytime Yoga 1230-2pm

Daytime Yoga 1230-2pm
Prenatal Yoga 630pm-745pm

Call 604-257-3080
Or go to to register online.
See you on the mat!

making: a dandee design

it's been a few months in the making.
we worked slow.
we designed while the kids ate peanut butter & jelly. 
i was a coding wizard into the wee hours while my babes slept. 
she had specific intructions for me:  
- make it sweet. and simple.
- only work when you're feeling inspired! 

and that's why we're friends.

late last night while the interwebs were sleeping
her new dandee design went live. 
i was nervous. and excited... and it's working! 
all that crazy coding and my amateur skills. 

and i'm so proud of her. 
and her cyber space. 

Tuesday the 13th!

Tuesday the 13th is a thing, right?  No?  Well, let's make it a thing.

This is my outgoing mail for Tuesday the 13th.  Dawid, a blog reader from Poland, gets the only letter I will send out.  It is long overdue, but I hope I have made up for it being so late!  I would have written more letters, but I had a rather large glass of wine with dinner and haven't really felt like doing anything else.

As I was working on the 6 Postcrossing cards that are going out, I noticed something that really bugged me.  Maybe I'm being too picky, but those people that ask for very specific cards, they really make me dislike the postcrossing process.  Someone asked for "only cards with a picture of a lemur".  I looked through the 300 something cards I have waiting to find a home and... no lemurs.  Not even a hint of lemur.  They got a cartoon of a singing cat instead.  It will just simply have to do.

Oh well... Happy writing, friends!

Playing With Paints

All of my creative energy comes some time between 11:30 and 12:00 midnight.  I wonder why that is.  Maybe it's my brain trying to de-clutter after the day's worth of thoughts.  But, tonight's experiment involved a box of old acrylic paint I've had for a couple of years, some cheap paint brushes, and the completely awesome weather we had today.

I would like to continue to experiment with paint, but as someone who has never taken an art class in his entire life, I'm scrambling the internet to find sources of techniques.  Oh, the internet, what would I do without it.  What you see above is the first steps in the experiment, and I must admit I enjoyed it.  The "painting" is simple, but if I practice enough, I should become better.  

I'm debating on going and getting a sketchbook and some more paints and brushes tomorrow.  Care to fund my artistic experimentation?  Anyone?  No?  Fair enough..

The ever inspirational Limner sent me a grab bag of some scraps from her collection and a note saying "I cant wait to see what you create."  And create I shall... one step at a time.

There won't be a Sunday summary this week.  I've still not written any letters since the last big send out, and I haven't received anything either.  I know, I know... you must send to receive.  Soon.

It's almost 1AM.  I think I should sleep.  Do you have any favored sure to put you to sleep remedies, reader?  Insomnia is a killer.  The start of allergy season always has me stuck with a bout of difficult to break insomnia.  I blame the meds, but I bet it's the sudden burst of energy from the sun that keeps me fueled through the night.


Incoming Summary

This lovely collection of mail represents very nearly everything I have received since Monday.  I haven't sent anything out since my last big send out on the 5th.  I have been taking a little break from everything to avoid repetitive stress injuries on both of my hands/arms.  The left one from writing far too much, and the right one from dealing with a massive increase of data entry responsibilities at work.  Typing for 5-6 hours a day will really wear you down.  I will get replies out to everyone soon!

I -did- get some very generous donations to the Holocaust Stamp Project - one from Troy and one from PostMuse.  I am working on something very special for everyone that donates, but more details on that later.

A recent discussion in the blogosphere has been about how you all store your mail.  I have been reading these posts with great interest - my storage is highly inefficient if I want to go back and reference a previous letter.  I will need to do something soon to prevent it becoming impossible to find something.  

Hope you all are doing well!


Daron Rahlves Banzai at Squaw

Placed 2nd at the 3rd stop of the Bazai tour. Yahoo!
This was such a wild ride for sure. The temps were high creating a slushy and  bumpy course. Through the qualifiers and into the semi finals I was feeling very strong.
The finals were a other story. I came out of the start last with girls boards nocking mine, which was a new thing to me, for contact isn't something you worry about in big mountain contests. So to make the passes to try and recover from a not so great start I had my work cut out for me. Honestly I feel the video will show all when it air at the end of April. I felt like I forgot how to snowboard. I was able to make two passes but with about 5-10 hand touches, but checks, and legit falls I was unable to catch the winning woman.

2nd is great and I am very excited to see what next weekends course at Sugar Bowl has in store for us.

A big congrats to everyone who entered this event. It's always a challenge and also a ton of fun!

KONY 2012

Please take the next 30 minutes of your life and watch this.  It is the very least you could do.

When I was in 7th grade, I was introduced to a boy named Chance in my class.  He was very tall, the tallest in my class, and loved nothing more than to play soccer.  He had a funny accent, but that didn't matter to us - he was Chance.  Our friend.  

But, Chance had experienced some things that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.  Chance was from Rwanda, a refugee from the war torn region of Africa that still haunts me.  In confidence, years later, he told me what had happened, and it finally all made sense.  

Chance was very quiet.  He wasn't shy, I'd even venture to say that he was the opposite of shy, but he really had to trust you to even look you in the eye.  He was conditioned to fear strangers.  He was nervous around loud noises - the bell between classes, the fire alarm, a door slamming too loudly.  When he first arrived, I remember seeing him cower in fear, weeping, after someone had done something as simple as close a door too hard.

Chance had seen his entire family slaughtered before his eyes.  He was 9.

I didn't understand war, or blind hatred, or fear, until I met Chance.  

Chance gets married to the love of his life on September 2, 2012.  He lives in the city, has a degree in Marine Biology, and loves his life tending to the animals at the aquarium.  This would never have happened if someone didn't take the chance and speak up for him in a refugee camp.  

So, I ask you this.  If given the chance to speak up for these children, would you?  Will you take a stand and help end this "modern day Holocaust", as someone described it to me?

I will.  
And I'm going to do it for the Chance I knew in 7th grade.
Because he couldn't then.
..... but I can now.

(Note : I have edited the post to change the name of "Chance".  This is to protect his privacy, and was my decision. -L)

Sunday Summary 3-4-12

This was my outgoing mail on 2-28-12... I forgot to blog about it... until I uploaded the image below for tomorrow's outgoing mail.

This is tomorrow's outgoing mail :)

I have completely caught up with my outgoing mail.  I had thought of sending out some postcrossing post cards, but I honestly don't think I have any words left.  Perhaps I will tomorrow.

On Saturday, I received a "random act of mail kindness" from a Postcrossing Meet Up in Utah.  This inspired something I will be doing in honor of one of my favorite holidays - St. Patrick's Day.  I even went out and bought cards for it!  But more about that later.

My incoming mail has been rather tame for the past couple of days.  I really need to be better at taking photos of it before I open it and reply and store it away.  How has your week been?

If you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to drift off into a blissful slumber now... it's been a very long couple of days of writing :P

Switzerland 2012

It has been almost a year since i've come up with real news on this blog and that is just the way it goes . I'm just back from ticino in Switzerland where we stayed for five short and pretty warm days . Overall this trip was one of my best climbing trip , not only i climbed decently but more imprortantly i got to meet great people and got to know some other better .
I climbed five days out of five and managed to do these problem :

- Serre moi fort , 8A in chironico
- La grotte des soupirs 7C+ flash(+dab) in cresciano
- Jungle Book 7C+ in cresciano
- Boogalaga 8B in chironico
- Le pillier 8A in cresciano .

My main goal on this trip was to do vechio leone (8B) in brione , where we went two times ; first time we went there the boulder was wet , then we went there on our last day ,where i didn't manage to do it , which felt like failure even though i had a great bunch of excuses . I can't wait to go back to swiss to do this and some of the other climbs like general disarray , collateral , big paw and so many more i cant think of .

I'll try to put a little video together soon .

Hucking Huka!!!

Twelve Productions - Hucking Huka from Twelve

Here is an edit put together by Mike Dawson and Ciaran Heurteau from
Twelve Productions just over a year ago. Myself and Sean Gerlach decided to fire up Huka Falls at a good juicy flow!!! It was rather stout. Just thought I would post it as I never got around to posting it on my blog. Enjoy! BROWN