Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Olympics and the rest of life's happenings...

Life has indeed been busy for the last two and a half weeks. The Vancouver Olympics arrived on our television screen and my husband and I have avidly watched so many stellar performances of athletes from all over the globe. We have been moved by the performances- watching their joyous elation when they have achieved their goal,and the agony, when they have been less than successful. Through it all, we have been mesmerized by the sea of red that was worn by the Canadian Olympic fans. Two of our nieces and their husbands, have attended some of the Olympic events and were fortunate enough to see some Canadians capture a gold medal in their sporting discipline. There has been much flag waving and pride in the athlete's accomplishments but it has been more than that. All across this great country in which we live, there has been a sense of community and belonging. A not so quiet patriotism has risen up to celebrate our Canadian identity. Vancouver and the Olympic committee has much to celebrate.

This is not the first Olympics that Bruce and I have watched together- My husband is an avid sports fan, and we have attended many sporting events over our married life. When the Olympics was in Calgary in February of 1988,Bruce and a friend decided to try and get a ticket into some of the round robin mens hockey games. Our son,Kevin, was a new baby at the time. They had quite an adventure- you can read Bruce's story here.

Bruce is dressed in Canadian red- his hockey sweater has been worn during every game that the Canadian men and women's hockey teams were playing in - it has been a lucky jersey for most of the events. Today's men hockey game,(with a gold medal on the line) was a nail biter but "Sid the Kid" Crosby scored the winner in overtime. ( I am a big fan of Crosby as he is born the same year as Kevin our son). All the medals are special, but men's hockey is considered by many Canadians, the most valuable one. It is our national sport and part of our cultural identity. Pandemonium and joy filled many streets and cities across Canada when the overtime goal was scored.

While the Olympics were on, there were many other things happening at work and at home. I got my bracelets mailed out to the winners of my OWOH giveaway. Hopefully they will arrive in not too long a time.

I attended a lovely dinner to listen to a Canadian childrens' author, Barbara Reid, speak about her process in creating her wonderful illustrations. She makes her pictures from plastercine (like modelling clay but slightly different) Barbara's website is full of interesting things- You can see her books and learn about the way she develops her pictures. The amazing detail and the way she started by working from the background and built the intricate plastercine shapes was quite fascinating. The process is similar to building an applique or snippets picture.

Not long ago, our school had a raffle that raised money for the United Way which supports numerous charitable causes in our community. One of the prizes was this beautiful needlepoint. It was done by one of our male bus drivers. I was the lucky winner- the needlework is very intricate and I loved the detail in it. I feel very fortunate to have won this gorgeous piece of handwork.

This past week I attended our annual teacher's conference. It was great to see old friends, visit the many booths in the great hall and attend some inspiring sessions. I learned some new things, gathered some new materials and bought a bauble or two ( a girl can always use a new bauble can't she) Some sessions are direct applications to the classroom while others share people's stories and life experiences. The last session on Friday I attended, was a program that had some DVD vignettes of immigrant women who had worked for a company called "GWG" which was later Levi Strauss Jeans. The local company closed their doors in 2004(it was outsourced) and with it went 300- 400 jobs -mostly held by women. Their stories were heartfelt and wrenching in some cases. A local folk singer, Maria Dunn sang beautiful pieces of music she had written to accompany their stories.

In the meantime, there have been lessons to plan and report cards to write. This next week will be spent assessing and writing reports in the evening. Spring break will be here before I know it.

For those of you who like giveaways you may want to check out some of the following blogs/sites;
Melinda is having a lovely vintage necklace giveaway- It is very pretty - someone is going to be a fortunate winner.
Lila is giving away one of her designs made with her fabric -it is gorgeous..
fiber babble is celebrating her fourth blog anniversary and is giving away some fat quarters. I was not familiar with her blog and know I am going to enjoy reading it..
CT publishing is having a giveaway of Jan Krentz book giveaway- She does wonderful diamond design quilts- I have admired her designs for a long time.
Elaine is having a March madness giveaway in celebration of basketball march madness.
Peg a fellow Canadian, is having a giveaway to celebrate 100 posts. She wants to know you favorite color.
Carole from Madness and Mess is giving away some fabric postcards and a handmade journal. Do check it out!!
I am sure I am forgetting to mention some of the current giveaways- Quilters/bloggers are the most generous people I know.There are just so many great bloggers sharing their stories and ideas.
By the way, did you know that there is a word for a fake blog its called "splog". I don't know what a fake blog is but I am going to check it out on google soon.

I will try not to stay away so long- The Olympics are now concluded so life can return more regular programming..

Soon I hope to get some quilting done - I have done a little beading but there are still blocks waiting to be squared and quilts to be made..

Until next time be well,
Warmest regards,
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