Breakfast with the Candidates: What’s on your Favourite Political Leaders Menu

The recent polls suggest we have a tight race in this upcoming election. The progressive Conservatives at 36.4 percent,  NDP leader Jack Layton at 31.2, and Michael Ignatieff (dear sweet Ignatieff) holding his own at 22 percent. Will Harper have his majority government? Or will Layton steal all of his glory?

As the last weekend of campaigning comes to hit us in the face and we watch all of our favourite politicians kiss babies. I wonder what our political party leaders will be eating for breakfast this weekend… 

I suspect Green Party Elizabeth May holding onto 4 percent in the polls will be enjoying  a refreshing green smoothie and eating fresh apples in the Okanagan. As she hob nobs with David Suzuki about the environment and remind voters to think green.

Our handsome separatist leader Gilles Duceppe with 5 percent will be lounging about a local café in small town Quebec, he will be sipping his latte, enjoying a fresh croissant , with a side of Quebec bacon.

Wondering how did Layton sneak up on him in the polls? How did Layton get 41.4 while he only has a meagre 23.6 percent?  As he weeps for his lovers to return, he realizes the show must go on, and reminds himself that he is an elegant man ready for sophisticated battle until the end.

Michael Ignatieff has got to use his fancy feet!  Where did my poli-sci rock star go? I had such high hopes for him and the Liberal party. If anyone was going to turn it around after the Dion fiasco I thought it would be him. But sadly,  Layton a thief in the night is stealing all of Iggy’s votes in Ontario and Quebec.

It’s time for Wily Iggy, my sly fox,  to get moving! I suspect as he buses from farmers market to farmers market he will be eating a bag of mini doughnuts and black coffee. He doesn’t have time to sit nor eat and  needs all the sugar he can get to win the hearts of the Canadian people.

Last but not least Stephen Harper is ready to fight. He needs a majority or he is out! This cowboy is going to need a fighting breakfast to sustain his small lead in the polls. I suspect he will be having two eggs over easy, his steak rare, and toast with jam. This sheriff won’t be messing around! Lookout Layton I suspect the Conservatives will be aiming their big guns at you this weekend.

On this last weekend of election momentum is building with  higher than expected  voter turn-out in the advanced polls and Layton steam rolling across the country.  Our Election is heating up!

So what’s on your breakfast menu this weekend to sustain you for Election Day?

Oh! Canada! Why Vote?

It was just the other day I was speaking with a friend about the upcoming Canadian Federal elections informed me that she has never voted and refuses to vote. I looked at her shocked, “Why don’t you vote?”

“Nothing ever gets done. It’s not like my vote matters.”

I think my ears went red and I went into grill mode “So instead of following the election, checking out each political party’s platform, and making an informed decision on who you want to represent Canada and your views. You are telling me you would rather not vote?”

“Yup!”

I felt a surge of crankiness flow through my veins I attempted to refrain from turning into my mother and giving a lecture on the importance of voting, your democratic right, and your time to make a choice for your country. I wondered where this apathy stems from?  It was in 2008 Canada has the lowest turn-out of voters at 58.8 percent. Imagine if the other 41.2 percent got up went and voted!

Would we be spending another 288 million dollars for another election? Or could that money be well spent for various government programs?

It’s time to make the change you want. If you don’t vote, don’t complain!  The government is there to work for you. If you care about health care, education, senate reform,and foreign policy. If you care you should vote. You have an opportunity to be heard and now is your time!

Apathy isn’t cool. Quite Frankly, I find it boring! It’stime to liven up the conversation and vote! Let yourself be heard and appreciate the democratic freedom you have to make a choice for your country. Voting is a right that we take for granted  and it’s time we see its value! It’s time to vote for the change we want our country to represent.

Now, I’m stepping off my soapbox and want to hear from you!  What change do you want to see in government? And do you plan on voting?

What Defines a Runner?

I just recently laid to rest my trail runners.  Unfortunately, the smell, the worn-out hole, and missing sole was enough to put them to pasture. They were a good shoe and sturdy companion throughout this winter. I can say with sadness that they will be dearly missed.

However, in times passing life must move-on and it was time for me to purchase a new sneaker to be my running companion.

I looked high and low for the sneaker that would suit my crackling knees and fussy shins.

The moment I saw them, I knew they would be the perfect fit. The store clerk got my size and we began to talk about running as I tried them on wandered about the store.

“What do you think?”

“They feel great!”

“It’s more of a minimalist sneaker. It’s very popular! But you know someone told me if you wear Nike’s you can’t be considered a real runner.”

I looked at her with an eye roll, “Really?”

She replied, “Yes, there are lots of people out there that believe it. You would be surprised.”

I laughed at her, “Isn’t that a bit elitist?”

“Totally!”

And with that I looked at the sneakers. I knew they were for me. 

But It got me thinking – what makes a runner? Who has the right to look at your shoes and declare if you are a runner or not?

It was obvious to me that I may not be the fastest runner, nor do I run long distances. But almost everyday I try to hit the pavement training for  my first 10km race at the end of May.

It is on my runs, I sweat, work-up a heart beat, pump my arms, and move my legs. In my books anyone who takes the time to set up a goal, reach a distance, and run is a runner. It’s not by your shoes, or your looks, but how you move your feet.

I can tell you I took my new  babies out for a test run through the trails, hopping over puddles, and running in stride. They were everything I would want in a sneaker! So if that eliminates me as a runner to others – so be it! My heart, lungs, and feet know that I run and that’s all that matters!

How would you define a runner? Do you think there is there elitism in every sport?

What’s in a Sock?

It was a glorious morning the sun was shining and my sneakers were calling my name. I stumbled out of bed and then rolled back into  bed. I was tired! An early morning run was not what I needed and with that I pulled the covers back over my head.

An hour later I awoke to get the kids ready for school and still was not ready to run. I made every excuse in the book – my knees hurt, cursed shin splints, and I felt an ache in my quad. It was enough for anyone to roll their eyes at me if they heard me talk myself out of my morning run.

Instead, I opted for the grocery store run, on my way, the sun was shining, and I was feeling guilty.  I kicked myself for not going for my run? So, on my way home I decided  had one last chance to motivate myself and that was by purchasing something new!

My impulsive shopper lightbulb lit up  in my head! And I heard the sound of bells leading me to the nearest sports shop. I had a solution to the shin splints and they were known as compression socks. They would be my new test project!

I enthusiastically entered the store, found what I was looking for and  sighed at the price! Twenty dollars for socks!  But I told myself this is what I needed to complete my 8km of rolling hills. I handed over my twenty and thought this better be worth it.

The moment I arrived home I  haphazardly stashed the groceries, ran to my room, changed into my gear, and then  pulled out my new socks! They felt cozy, and warm. I was beginning to think it was well worth the twenty-dollar investment, my calves were snug, my laces were tied, and I bolted out the door for my run.

After, the first km, I waited for the sudden pain in my shins, and nothing! I waited for a momentous pain at 3km and still nothing! I was in running heaven! I ran the hills, admired the arrival of spring on the trails, and hopped over the mud puddles. I was a red-faced hideous mess but still feeling good!

It was one of those runs that I didn’t want to do! I wasn’t in the mood! But in the end I can thank my lucky socks! So, I ask you what’s in a sock? In my new socks they had the coziness to motivate and the smell to make you run out of your shoes. Do you have a lucky piece of clothing that gets you motivated to move?

My Only Recollection of Dynasty

Dynasty was the it show of the eighties full of big hair, shiny jewels, and lots of shoulder pads. It was the one show my sisters and I gathered around the TV set with a box full of cream puffs and a bottle of coke. I wish I could tell you about the plot line, the cat fights, and affairs. However, I was only in grade 2 and my only recollection of Dynasty is this….

Perhaps, it my over active imagination that warned me that the men with the eye patch was evil, the sense of panic when armed troops stormed the royal wedding, or maybe it was the shooting of the whole cast. It was this one short dramatic action packed moment in which I screamed in tears, “They shot them in a church! They are all dead! What will we watch now?”

It was at that young time in my life that I believed  if God couldn’t protect the cast of Dynasty at  a royal wedding then he couldn’t protect me from storm troopers at  Sunday Mass. It was after watching this one episode, I questioned the power of God, and  I dreaded going to church.

I would  sit on the edge of the church pew  with the knowledge that troopers could crash through the church’s stained glass windows at any minute. I knew my only chance for survival would be to dive under the  pew and play dead. I only had myself to think and save. I would have to be fast!

It was about after a month of Sunday masses my little seven-year old mind, finally learned the difference between fantasy and reality. Luckily, storm troopers never invaded my church but it did add more excitement to my Sunday morning.

Do you have any vivid memories of TV shows from the past?

The First Signs of Spring

On Sunday Morning my heart went pitter patter! The sun was out to greet us with her warmth and felt like spring had finally arrived to grace us with its mellow presence. It was the perfect day to explore a little of Jasper.

It was the sound of running water which made me jump with glee! The ice was melting and the river was flowing! The greeting of Bambi on the trail made it even more sweeter! As we stood out of her way and let her mozie on by….   It was the hungry coyote that made us a little leery. We turned on heels and made our way back to the car. Only to discover another of his friends standing 50 metres away, and then another….   Spring in Jasper is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s the reawakening of the forest, watching the snow melt, water run, and admiring the spectacular views.  It is all of these things that signal the end to dark skies, grey clouds, and a fresh start to a new beginning.

What excites you most about the arrival of spring?

One Last Hurrah!

It was a weekend of tumbles and fun! We hit Marmot Basin for one last hurrah of winter! And called to mother nature for the warm vibes of spring. We tackled the fresh powder, enjoyed the views of Jasper and loved every minute of  our weekend.

The conditions were perfect  a morning full of flurries but it was with ease we skied the wide open spaces. Enjoying the freedom and happy that there  no large crowds of spring skiers  overtaking the mountain. It was the perfect Saturday.   The children would ski, tumble, brush themselves off, get back up and ski on their merry way!

The resilience kids have is unbelievable and it is amazing to watch their independence shine. They are confident to take the lead and I no longer feel the need to have them covered in bubble wrap. Perhaps, I’m learning to let go a little?

My family and I love to ski. It’s those moment together that we spend laughing, challenging each other, and talking on the chair on the way up the mountain. That makes it such a great family sport!

Skiing is a valuable life lesson for children. It’s not only fun but it teaches our children as they ski in a powder bowl of heaven that the great outdoors has so much to offer to us. It is a world full of endless adventure, possibilities and freedom from the constraints of everyday life.

What is your favorite family sport?