Monday, June 28, 2010

I Hope You Dance

“When you get the choice to sit it out or dance,
I hope you DANCE

I love to dance, I’ve tried my hand (or should I say my feet) at a few genres. In my early childhood days; Highland, in my teens; Jazz, in my high school years; Disco fever, in my early adult years, Country two-step and line dancing, and most recently adult Highland as well as Salsa cardio. I’m not always the most coordinated and don’t always remember the steps but I love the music, the dance moves, the workout and most importantly, the friends.

I have been Highland dancing for 8 years, not competitively (I don’t need that kind of stress in my life), not professionally, just to work out and enjoy an evening once a week with great friends. Each week we work on reviewing steps, technique, stamina and once in a while, we add a whole new dance into the mix. If I can remember 3 out of every 4 steps, it’s a good night.

A couple of months ago we started working on our year-end recital piece for the Adult Highland Dance Class at Definitive Dance. There are 8 of us and 2 swords. Timing is everything as 4 of us enter the inside of the sword and pas de basque our way around the full circle. We all giggle, chat, take breaks and spend a lot of time deciding on the perfect outfit to wear; and this year we changed our minds 3 times! We all have a little competitive streak in us and we all want the show piece to be perfect. We think we are amazing and we want to be the highlight of the show. Nobody will out-perform the “adult class”. We premiered our dance performance yesterday at the University of Calgary and we rocked!!

Our dance teacher Lorna Thackrey-McDonald is amazing and if she ever gets frustrated with us (I’m sure she does!), you would never know it. Thanks for another great year Miss Lorna, see you in the Fall.

"I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance..."

Monday, June 21, 2010

One More Day

Our family celebrated Father’s Day yesterday missing the most important man in our lives… Ed Klassen. Ed was my father-in-law, but in my heart he was my “Dad” and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him with a huge smile on my face.

I often wonder what we would do if we had “one more day”  together… would we sit around enjoying the lazy days of summer, enjoy a fabulous home cooked meal, watch the kids take a ride on Grandpa’s tractor, help build a tree house, design some furniture, build a deck, watch junior hockey, take a picnic and go fishing, talk politics, pick fresh vegetables from the garden, listen to hole-by-hole golf stories (and nobody can tell a golf story like Ed…. well, Craig might come close!). I know what I would do if I had one more day…. I’d share a box of chocolates and a lot of laughs and enjoy a huge hug!

Ed; We miss you more than words can express.

This song is not a well known Keith Urban song, but I love it and think of Dale and his Dad when I listen to it.
Click here to listen

"Song For Dad"

“Lately I've been noticing
I say the same things he used to say
And I even find myself acting the very same way

I tap my fingers on the table
To the rhythm in my soul
And I jingle the car keys
When I'm ready to go
When I look in the mirror
He's right there in my eyes
Staring back at me and I realize

The older I get
The more I can see
How much he loved my mother and my brother and me
And he did the best that he could
And I only hope when I have my own family
That every day I see
A little more of my father in me

There were times I thought he was being
Just a little bit hard on me
But now I understand he was making me
Become the man he knew that I could be
In everything he ever did
He always did with love

And I'm proud today to say I'm his son

When somebody says I hope I get to meet your dad
I just smile and say you already have

He's in my eyes
My heart, my soul

My hands, my pride
And when I feel alone
And I think I can't go on
I hear him saying "Son you'll be alright"
Everything's gonna be alright
Yes it is"

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Other Passion

My other passion is quilting and since I started back in 2000 I have made 60+ quilts, from lap size to queen size….

Just like my hobby of scrapbooking started (I was only going to make cards, who has time to scrapbook layouts) my hobby of quilting started much the same (I was only going to make baby blankets, who has time to quilt)… I jumped in with both feet and gave it 100%. I don’t do anything willy nilly, and whether it’s a good thing or not, I’m a perfectionist and will do things over and over again until I get it right.

I started sewing at the age of 12 when Home Economics Sewing classes were offered at my junior high school. Nobody in my family sews, none of my friends sewed, but I thought it would be “cool” to make my own clothes. The first thing I made was a pair of palazzo pants with the high waist and suspenders…. Most people chose an apron or a pair of pajama pants, but I wasn’t going to waste my time on an apron that nobody would ever use, I needed clothes. I was given an old Singer machine (yes it was electric and not a treadle – I’m not that old!) by a friend of my Mother’s and I set up my sewing room in a very small closet in our apartment. That year in my Home Economics class I made a few items of clothing and did not disappoint myself – I actually got great wear out of the items that I made. The year I graduated high school my Mom bought me a “new” Singer machine and it was the best gift I had ever received. Since that time I have purchased a few machines and when I started to make baby blankets I bought myself a computerized embroidery machine. I continued to sew on and off for years, sewing most of my kids clothes and then designing kids jackets. I’ve made many items and one year was commissioned to make each member of my son’s hockey team matching athletic pants that they could wear to the games. I am very fortunate to have a beautiful sewing room as well as a scrapbooking room side-by-side in my house and they are my place of tranquility, my favorite rooms in the house.

This past year we got an invitation to our good friend’s son’s wedding and I knew what our wedding gift to them would be – a quilt. I started in January as I didn’t want to be down to the wire and not have it completed but it went quickly and I finished it in April. I hope they enjoy the quilt as much as I enjoyed making it for them.

Congratulations Tyler & Lauren Kemp

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Letter

When I bought my antique typewriter a few weeks ago I never dreamed that it would be used for anything more than a few one-liners on a scrapbook page. Last week, after having our 2 young houseguests from England leave our home, I found a letter on the table. It was a thank-you letter typed on my typewriter and I couldn’t have been more moved.

Growing up my mother always had me write thank you notes for gifts I received from friends and relatives. These short notes would be written immediately after receipt of the gift or service that was provided, no time wasted. There was something urgent about letting the giver know how touched I was with the generosity and thoughtfulness.

There is something special and very personal about receiving a personalized old fashioned typed letter. Someone actually took the time to hit each key precisely in the middle, contact between the key and ribbon must be quite hard to leave the imprint of the letter on the page, one key at a time…. typing (usually with 2 fingers) and returning the carriage after each line. Typing a complete page without any errors, God forbid you got an error and had to start all over again. There is no such thing as spell check, paragraph justification, fancy fonts, auto formatting, letter sizes and different text colors. It’s just black ribbon against white paper, only upper and lower case and you have to take your time to type the letter. Not a 30 second email, but quite possibly a 15-20 minute letter….I am most appreciative of this special letter and the love that it holds.
Before it is too late, offer a letter of love to someone you know. The joy of receiving this letter will most assuredly make their day.
Most of my favorite memories are stories;
 there are no photos of Ed typing me this letter.
The letter is inside of the envelope attached to the layout.
How could  I put off scrapbooking a layout just because of a missing photo.

Travel safe Ed and Lloyd "one wheel in front of 'tother"