sunshine and belly dancing

This is kind of turning into a basic journal type theme but it feels better than waiting for that "perfect" topic to write about. Who is it I imagine is policing my blog to see if it is sticking to the stated topic? Too many years of school in me...

Woo hoo, sunshine! It was sunny most of the day on Sunday and it was heavenly - so good for the spirit. After lounging around and soaking in the rays through the windows we toured out to a new coffee shop in Penticton and checked out the Cannery building. I don't even know how to describe the place. It's an old warehouse that was being used as a low budget mall of sorts with a discount bakery (yikes), small engine repair shop and a locksmith all anchored by a local brewery - appropriately named Cannery Brewing. Someone had the vision to put a small theatre in the other end and now there are more artsy things going in like a traditional dance studio, bellydance/yoga studio, pottery shop, karate and gymnastics. Jeremy took some bizarre pictures and has posted them here.

The strangest part of this all was that a bellydance dvd was being shot in the building as we were there. Imagine walking down a deserted and kind of ugly hall lined with vintage videogames and suddenly you see several belly dancers in full costume casually strolling out of their studio and into the theatre, then you hear live middle eastern music start up. Very surreal. The costumes are amazing with their colours and jingles. It made me really, really want to continue learning belly dancing. I took a super basic community centre type course two years ago and loved it but didn't pursue it further at the time.

I could be a belly dancing hockey player. That would be quite something.


For personal photos of the festival check out the family site. It was fun and the weather was perfect. It snowed all day and tapered off as the evening was starting, nicely setting the mood. It was probably just around the freezing mark and we had no tears about being cold. Plenty of tears, yes, but not about being cold. I guess crowds and noise wouldn't be particularly fun for me either if I was less than 4 feet tall and couldn't really see what was happening. Ivy and I headed for home before the fireworks and watched together from the living room which is about the most comfortable way to do it.



It's about the zillionth cloudy day in a row down here in the valley and I'm beginning to recall why I occasionally miss winter in Winnipeg. Freakishly cold, but often sunny. It's also the time of year when our favorite Giant's Head mountain to the south blocks our direct sun (if it does shine) throughout the entire day. The brains are foggy and the first cold/flu of the season made it's rounds here over the past two weeks.


Despite the general whining and grim tone of my last post, life is actually really good and I'm looking forward to Summerland's "Festival of Lights" on Friday night. It sounds glamorous but essentially the town blocks off main street for walking & vendors and then plugs in the Christmas lights at 7pm. They have piped music in the background and later on some local talent takes the stage. It's got that cheesy/gotta love it Canadian small town vibe where you bump into almost everyone you know and sit on the curb to drink your hot chocolate when you get chilly (and then spill it all over leaving you colder and sticky). Last year we enjoyed the fireworks from the warm comfort of our living room window and might just do it again.


environmental defence

There's actually an organization called Environmental Defense. This is what they're about.

Environmental Defence protects the
environment and human health. We
research. We educate. We go to court
when we have to. All in order to
ensure clean air, safe food and thriving
ecosystems. Nationwide.

Nice to know someone is trying to do it. Might also be nice if the government stepped in too or, crazy as this sounds, maybe we take some responsibility ourselves for what we introduce into our homes and yards. Here's an excerpt from a CTV article on a recent report done by the Environment Defence.

The report, entitled Toxic Nation: A Report on Pollution in Canadians finds that, no matter where Canadians live, how old they are or what they do for a living, they are contaminated with measurable levels of chemicals that can cause cancer, disrupt hormones, affect reproduction, cause respiratory problems or impair neurological development.

Does anyone wonder if some of that cancer research money would be well spent trying to get some of this crap from getting into people in the first place so that at least our kids have a chance? I guess it's inevitable for large numbers of us to get cancer from what's already in our systems so we're naturally focussed on finding a cure. I'm finding it hard to stay positive about the whole scenario, particularly since so much of it seems out of my control. Some days I wish I could stop caring and head off into ignorant bliss. Even the "back to the land" dream is a myth as the highest concentrations of toxins are often found up North, far away from their places of origin.

I'm hoping to come up with a bright spot to end this off on but I can't muster one. A good night of sleep (assuming I can get one) often brings a new perspective in the morning. Sunrise, birth of a new day and all that.

update: Here's a list of "Less Toxic Products" from Nova Scotia that you may want to keep in mind next time you shop.