Thursday, January 31, 2008

you did WHAT?

i'm about to turn a short story into a long one...get ready.

when i returned to the gym in november after a major hiatus, there was this girl in all my step classes who made me so frustrated. i'd be slogging through the steps with my lead legs and she was so bouncy and full of energy. for example, before the class started, she'd bike on one of the stationary bikes that are in the room where we have our step class. can you imagine the loathing i had for energy-girl? but the more i went to step, the more energy i'd have. i wanted to have a class again with bouncy girl and compare my new self but she seemed to stop coming.

well last night, she returned. we were at my bootcamp class together. now this is a seriously engergy-sapping workout. i think i've blogged about it before...oh yeah - how do you like them apples? so anyways i was concentrating on keeping up with miss bounce and then the instructor (who i'm pretty sure is making up the class as she goes along - takes one to know one) tells us to get a partner. oh man - i hate partnering with strangers for anything but at the gym? the worst! so since bouncey and i are standing next to each other, we decide to be partners. we do some stuff with a step and the reason we're partners is to push each other harder by having to keep up with each other. okay - that i can handle. and i'm honestly, way too pleased to be keeping up with my partner. then the instructor says (and keep in mind this is now the last 15min of the class so we're so tired and sweaty), "i saw this thing on tv the other day about ______ (some fighting thing-i can't remember what) and the training they did was really rigorous but it was something that i was wanting to try in class sometime." okay... "get into your partners again." my and engergy walk over to each other. "now you're going to piggyback the other person back and forth across the room for a minute". WHAT?!?! are you picturing this? 8 grown-ups who are literally strangers and we had to piggyback each other around this room. if you weren't insecure about your weight yet, you ARE now! so anyways, we did it. THEN the instructor says, "okay, now you're going to lift your partner up with both arms and carry them newlywed style back and forth across the room." WHAT?!?! but we did it. me and my new bestfriend were the only people who were able to do this one the whole minute. bring it!

so now that i've piggybacked miss bouncey around, i'm feeling as though we are bestfriends and there will be no more of these frustrating feelings towards her in classes. we'll have this secret knowledge of what it feels like to lift them up and we have the bond of knowing that if they fall and hurt themselves in class, we could be the ones to carry them out.

but aren't you saying to yourself right now, you did WHAT at the gym?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

a day of raising money...

today my class held a bake sale at school to raise money for Project Love. Project Love is a program through CODE that sends school supply kits to kids in a country in Africa. this year, the designated country is Tanzania. my students brainstormed ways that we could raise money to make our kits and came up with bake sale and bottle drive. so my 12 grade 3 and 4s brought baking (and actually i only had 7 of them today because of sickness/snow) and we baked some cookies and brownies this morning as well then sold them at recess, lunch and after school. in our little school of 55 kids, we raised about $90!

then, i took in all the recycling that we've been collecting and stinking up our classroom with for a week and made another $62!

so on february 14th, 12 kids from canada will be assembling SIXTY EIGHT school supply kits to send to tanzania! i'm pretty pumped.

in other fundraising news, i will be participating in Fit for Heart - a 2 hour workout class on February 16. my gym, VRC, is holding this class to raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and people participating are to raise that money. gym members can also bring 1 friend for the class. sooo...(you can see where this is going right?) if you'd like to support me by donating you know, like a couple bucks to Heart and Stroke, that would be awesome. let me know when i can pick up that toonie before the 16th. IF you'd like to be my one friend who comes to the class with me (which by the way would be awesome to have a friend because i always work out alone), let me know that too! it's going to be a combination of step, bootcamp, and cardio salsa. woohoo. thanks!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

rebecca sews: a pillow.

that's a flat felled seam down the middle and can you see the darts?

the zipper.

something i learned in sewing class this week - i'm not a perfectionist. i just cut kind of on the line, sew around 5/8ths, and sort of round off the corners. sure, this might not sound like a big deal...when it comes to pillows. but i think it might be a big deal when it comes to well-fitting clothes. shoot. i'm going to have to work on this.

Monday, January 28, 2008

they hatched!!!

in fact, when i got to school today, there were still some eggs and a few alevin swimming around. alevin is the name for the first hatched salmon. they have a yolk sack attached to them which is what they eat and as they eat it, it gets smaller and smaller. so right now, they'renot great swimmers because this heavy yolk sack is hanging off their fronts. they seem to mostly be sitting around with a few wild tail flicks here and there. most of the alevin are hiding in the redd (the pile of rocks in the middle of the tank) so we can only see a few. pictures will be up tomorrow. i'm SO happy they hatched - i was starting to worry!

Friday, January 25, 2008

mom and kids camp

today at missionsfest, i walked around with a couple for girls from my class. met a guy from camp luther which is apparently a camp in mission. who knew? and he said to me, "yeah, there's a great mom and kids camp you guys could go to together." are you kidding me?

and if you don't like that anecdote from the day, maybe you'll like this one: i stopped at starbucks this morning before meeting up with the bus from school. i was standing in line when this guy came in and walked past me towards the end of the line but he stared a little strangely at me as he walked by. so now he's standing behind me and i satrt wondering, "is my hair sticking up? does my ponytail look funny?" so i start playing with my hair a little and the guy says, "you look fine." awkward. i made a couple jokes.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

oh yeah - and they said they'd hatch today

but the salmon were lying. probably they'll all die from overexposure to light because we checked so many times. well - that's a little extreme but they'll for sure hatch for the kindergarteners who are looking after our tank tomorrow. shoot.


i've been wearing running pants under my clothes all week because i've been so cold. i have to wear my slightly too big pants to fit my running pants under. i'm feeling a little bulky.

isn't anyone else cold? is there anyone else wearing longjohns or something? how could it just be me? no one else is looking fatter than usual because of the layers of clothes.

[and before synchyshyn makes a snappy comment about how she lives in much colder weather, to my defense, i bring my colleague sally, alberta born and raised. she says (and i quote) "it's a different kind of cold here. it gets into your bones and even though it's only 0 degrees, it feels a lot colder than -5 in alberta."]

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

rebecca sews.

not in straight lines. and not quickly. but sews nonetheless.

last night i began the saga that will be known as "sewing lessons". it was an interesting mix of people. one very negative, recently retired woman who has never sewn before who would put herself down for being so stupid then tell herself that it was okay and she was going to master it (yes, all aloud). a girl who looked like maybe gr.12. a mid-thirties woman. a super conservative mother and definitely homeschooled daughter in long jean skirts. and me. loving the variety.

so we got down to business right away sewing different types of seams then pinning them into our booklet of instructions. the instructor suggested we put each page of our instructions in a plastic page protector and then into a binder and while it sounds super keen...i still want to do it. here's my example of a flat felled seam - you might see these on the side of your jeans or something.

okay - so it's a little hard to see but too hard to pass up showing you.

in three hours, i sewed a few practice seams, cut out one side of my pillow fabic, sewed 7 darts, and then sewed the two pieces of my pillow together (but the middle seam is unfinished). and this is what that looks like:

you may be wondering why my pillow has darts but it's really just to learn how to do them. next week my pillow will be finished and i'll be moving onto yoga pants. ...really? from pillow to pants? we'll see...

so sewing wasn't exactly what i expected. i think i thought it would be easier. that straight lines wouldn't be so hard to come by. i had to learn to measure in inches - they're divided into 8s. weird. and sewing seems to go hand in hand with ironing since we were ironing every other seam that we sewed so that it would lay flat. i may need to take a course in ironing next. but despite all this, i'm not totally turned off. i can picture all the great things i'll be making in the future. and that is what i thought about while i sewed my darts.

salmon update

the salmon survived the weekend! due to hatch on thursday...

this is what the tank looks like, all covered up with styrofoam. and yes, the yellow bucket is supposed to be there - reminding everyone not to turn on the hot water tap. the rocks are on top of the tank holding the styrofoam down because the pop bottles of ice are trying to pop the lid off.
can you see them? they're small and pink - you can see a couple on top of the rocks and then lots around the bottom.
(after i took this photo, i wondered if it was healthy for those eggs who shouldn't have any light to have a major camera flash. oops...what am i doing raising salmon?)

i didn't tell these kids to pose. this is really how intensely they inspect the tank when we open it up. (umm - it is pretty cool if you look closely because you can see the little eye through the egg and they wiggle. for real.)
according to our estimates based on the temperature of the water, the eggs should hatch thursday BUT if they don't, we're going on an all day fieldtrip on friday so we might miss them hatching and they'll just all be swimming around on monday. oh man.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

inspiration for sharelle

a similie haiku:

the gray clouds linger
like cigarette smoke in my
corduroy jacket

(no, i don't even own a corduroy jacket - that's how poetic it is.)

a girl of simple tastes...

that is what i am.

i haven't spoken of this on the blog yet, but since november, i have been counting points. if you're familiar with the weight watchers lingo, you'll already know that all food has a certain amount of points as figured out by some mathmatical equation using the calories, fat, and fibre. so for example, a piece of dempsters bread is 2 points or an egg is 2 points but a handful of potato chips is 6 - 7points. so based on your height, weight, job, etc - you're allowed a certain amount everyday. mine is 22 a day. sure, there are many an argument against WW and their points but there are also many success stories. and i'm loving it. i am counting points somewhat illegally because i'm not signed up with WW but instead, my support meetings take place on thursday nights when i get together with liz. if you'd like to know more, maybe you'd also like to count points and meet with us on thursdays, (or not count points but just want to see me get weighed in every thursday) send me a message on FB or email. it's a great program if you don't eat chips all day as your points. not that i've considered that...

so back to the post title - a girl of simple tastes. you can imagine that if you're are counting points, it gets a little obsessive feeling. you regard food as points and ask yourself questions such as, "is this chocolate cookie point-worthy?". so when i eat "bad" foods, i have started only eating my most favourite things because why waste points on something you don't even like that much? i'm sure you can see the logic. so my favourite point indulgence is a Wendy's Jr. Hamburger and fries combo. if i have the burger with no mayo and only one half of the bun, the meal is about 11 points. pretty decent. however, when friends want to go out for dinner at a restaurant, i'm sometimes thinking to myself that there is nothing point-worthy there and i'd really just like to eat wendys. it's a terrible affliction to love fries so much. my mom jokes that "fuh-fies" was one of my first words as a child. thankfully, i have fantastic friends who let me drag them to wendys for lunch after church instead of somewhere nice. and it's always the best meal i've ever had.

because what can i say? i have simple tastes.

Friday, January 18, 2008

the cd...

it even has the version of "anyone else but you" with michael cera and ellen page singing on it.

tales from the gym

wednesday nights are boot camp night as i've recently started going to this new class...umm called bootcamp. so it's super intense and when i think i can do no more, the instructor says, "okay, our warm up is finished!" yep.

so at one point, half the class was on bikes and half the class was doing something with the step and then we'd switch - intervals. so i'm pedaling away on the bike and the guy one bike down from me says, "we should turn this fan on." which was facing us. smile and nod since i can't muster any breath to say anything. then we switch to the step for a minute, then return to the bikes. as i'm adjusting my feet on the pedals, the guy says something to me. you've got to picture the atmosphere - loud music, the instructor calling out things, people on bikes etc. so i say, "what?". he says it sounded like something to do with apples. so again, i say, "what?" he replies a 3rd time, "do you like apples?" i'm like, "yeahh..." [macdonald stare] and he points at the fan he's just turned on and says, "how do you like them apples?" oh my goodness. i cannot believe i just worked so hard to get me to hear that. i just laughed.

now, guys are not often in these group classes so it's always a little funny when they are there because, while it doesn't seem silly for women to be exercising in unison, it just seems a little silly for men. i guess it's stereotypes. but last night, i was at a stength class with weights and mats and stuff which is an hour long. there were these two total gym-like guys who are not the type to come to a class but this one guy, a lot of people seemed to know. classic tanned waxed chest with the tanktop that has a neckline that comes down really low so you can see his muscles (but he's like 40) it was funny. anyways, back to the class, they do the same succession of strength exercises each class for a few weeks so you get used to the routine and then they change it. so the last 4 times i've gone, there's this move that is apparently working your shoulder rotator cuff. i've never been able to do it. maybe i have too much weight for the exercise but it's so awkward. well last night, i finally was able to do a few more than usual and trying not to audibly grunt, i worked that rotator cuff with a few breaks. then when we're done, tank top buddy says loudly to the instructor, "hey! that girl right there (pointing at me) didn't do all the reps. i was watching - she cheated." haha. some subsequent jokes were made about why he was even watching me and i of course threw in the joke that that many reps was more than usual. but it was pretty random.

despite being a cheater, my rotator cuffs are sore today.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

all the salmon will die...

in a bout of ambitious summer planning, i contacted someone about having a tank in my classroom for raising salmon. i was warned, "it takes a lot of work". but my ambitious, summer (vacationing) self said, "no problem".

and then in december i attended a workshop on how to set up my tank and everything i should know. the woman leading it told us wide-eyed teachers that if tap water gets into the tank, all the salmon will die. if the temperature rises above 10 degrees, all teh salmon will die. if the ammonia levels get too high, all the salmon will die. if they get too much light, all the salmon will die. i commented to the person next to me, "i'm starting to get nervous about this..." and the leader overheard and said to me, " you SHOULD be nervous. it's an accident waiting to happen. and if you kill them all, the students will call you salmon killer." shoot...

so for the past couple weeks, i've been preparing the students for the salmon's fragility. "they could all die." "no, really. they might all die. and that would be okay." nonetheless, the kids are unbelieveably excited about our salmon...though they keep mentioning eating them.

i told the janitor that i was getting salmon eggs and he laughed. "do you remember the two ferns you used to have in here?" (i killed them.)

despite my poor reputation, the eggs arrived yesterday. 80 chum salmon. due to hatch in approximately 8 days. our water won't stay cold enough so we have to keep changing frozen pop bottles of ice in and out of the tank all day. last night, i put 3 frozen bottles in and this morning, the temperature of the tank was at 12 degrees. we've now gotten it back down to 10.

but so far, all the salmon are not dead.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

in error...

i spelled it wrong in an earlier post.

but the website is looking awesome as it develops. sweeeeet!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


i have not been on my downhill skis since the beginning of '06. yes, i'm serious. i own the gear and never even went skiing last year. but not so this year. tim, matt, and i headed to manning park this past saturday for a little ski time. matt invested in skis, bindings, poles, boots, snowpants, googles, and a touque this week so we thought we should take him out. good times.

i admit, i was sad to be missing my saturday morning step class but as it turns out, i'd forgotten what a workout skiing is. my legs were killing me on my first run. i thought that i'd do great this year since i'm in much better shape than two years ago, but it didn't seem to matter. i stuck with the green runs, sometimes having to go by myself so that the boys could go do blue, and in my alone time on the mountain, i decided that skiing is not my thing. i'm not having fun going down the hill - i'm desperately trying to stay up. i'm am in constant fear that i'm going to fall. it shouldn't matter so much - oh well you fall - but it matters to me. i fell once. lots of snow p the jacket. had to take the one ski off to climb up the hill to get my other ski that had fallen off and then i couldn't for the life of me get the skis back on. i eventually got them on and finished the run but i didn't want to go back out. it was reminicient of night skiing in grade 9, ang. i wanted to sit it out. BUT i stuck it out, kept doing the greens and made it through the day. maybe skiing would grow on me if i went more often than once every two years. i'll have to try that out. i think i'll invest in a new pair of goggles though - the ones in the picture are from grade 7 and when i'd wear them, air was still coming up into my eyes and they left tiny foam chunks on my face when i took them off. haha.

as for matt - he's a natural at every sport so it didn't matter that he'd only been on skis a total of 4 times - he was great. i'm going to HAVE to get better because it's beginning to look like a family sport.

into the wild

a couple weeks ago, tim and i went to see "into the wild" in theatres with some friends. it is quite the movie. if you haven't heard of it - in a nutshell: a guy out of college, gives away all his money, and he travels around the US with nothing but the things he carries in his backpack with the ultimate goal of getting to alaska and living in the wild. now, i'm not a philisophical person and don't usually go too deep into the movies or books i encounter so you'll have to see it yourself and see what you make of it. but when we came out of the theatre, if we hadn't been with people, it's the kind of movie where you think you might cry the whole way home but you're not sure. it's amazing. see it.

super interested in the story behind the movie, i borrowed the book from a friend and read it this week. the movie is fairly identical to the movie which is great excpet the book adds a lot more thought and theories on the main character's reason for his actions and come comparisons to other people in history. an interesting read. read it.

then tim and i were in future shop and came across the soundtrack for the movie. eddie vedder wrote 10 of the 11 songs for the movie and performs them all. if you like eddie - this is a phenomenal cd. eddie and a guitar for most of the songs. so good. listen to it.

i can't stop thinking about this movie - it stays with you. february 12 - out on dvd. let me know what you think.

Friday, January 11, 2008

teacher shulba...

so, first week back has actually been good. it's hard to leave vacation but i definitely felt the benefits of rest and relaxation when getting back into the classroom. less easily irritated, more patience, more laughs with the kids - it's been a good week. some random stories?

whenever kids come up and ask me how to spell something, i always say, "how do you think you spell it?" and then they spell it out for me and i help them correct it. but man, wouldn't that get annoying as a kid? haha.

trying to drink more water at school has meant going to the washroom more which is okay because my class is quite well behaved if i'm out of the room for a minute. but the other day when they were writing in their planners and getting lined up to go to the gym, i slipped out quickly to go to the washroom (which is across the hall from my class) and there's a knock on the door and i hear a student call, "mrs. shulba?". so i say, "go away, i'll be out in a second!" embarrassing. so i come out and say to that student, "what could you possibly have to ask me that you would come and knock on the bathroom door?" and he says, "i wanted to know if we were going to have to run laps." oh my goodness.

in Bible class, the kids were following along with me in their Bibles while i read them a story about David and Saul from 1Samuel. it happened to be the story where Saul tells David to go and bring him back 400 foreskins. "what's a foreskin?" umm...when they're following along with you reading, you can't just skip over things. haha.

in p.e., we've started basketball. it's amazing how athletic my class is. i was avoiding playing a real basketball game with them because i thought it would be too frustrating but then we tried it when the gr.5s went with the 6/7s for p.e. and the 3/4s were awesome. one game that we play most days to practice shooting though is HORSE. that's where when a kid shoots a basket and if he misses, he gets the first letter: H. then when it's their turn again, if they miss they get the next lett: O. the last person standing without spelling the word HORSE is the winner. so one group was playing and the winning student yells out at the end, "i'm a HOR!" i laughed outloud. i love that they're still pretty innocent in grades 3 and 4.

all days in the life of mrs. shulba.

Monday, January 07, 2008

most suprising christmas gift of 07

a cd - the wailin' jennys - from tim.

the day before christmas, we each picked a gift to give to each other to open early. he hands me a cd-shaped package. "oh - thanks" giggle. rip rip rip. "hunh. the wailin' jennys?" "yeah, i really researched this to find you a new band that i thought you'd like." "hmm...thanks." "let's open and listen to it." " looks country. did you buy it because you thought you'd like it?" "no - it's folky. sarah harmer like." "well, let's listen to some clips before we open it in case i don't like it." "okaay..." music music music. "sure, let's open it. it sounds okay."

as it turns out, (poor tim) it's the greatest cd and i've listened to it non-stop since christmas day. i love every song, no skipping certain ones. it is a little country - i can't deny it. but still fantastic. soo...

if you want to hear them with tim and i on february 8th, they're playing in Harrison Hot Springs (of all places...i don't think they're too big) and it's only something like $18. sweet!

i recommend a listen. even if it's just on itunes and not at the concert way out in the boonies.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

the most coveted party favour ever...

so...greatest invention ever - the photobooth. when my friends and i were in grade 8 and 9, there was a black and white photobooth in Bootlegger at the mall and we would go as a group with our coins in hand and stay at bootlegger foreva eva, getting in and out of the photobooth. seriously hours. we'd plan the poses for each shot, people would jump in and out of the booth between shots. it was much fun. and these photos were the only things in our little wallets for many years.

i think i may have forgotten the fun of the photobooth...until last night.

domi and ang have created a photobooth. for real. with a screen and a camera and printer in a giant box like thing. apparently domi has one in hawaii and has rented it out at wedding receptions and it's been a big hit. and now they've made one here. . one cost, unlimited pics, greatest invention ever. well done dolientes! can't wait to see it up and running somewhere.

what event do you have coming up that you need a photobooth for? guarenteed hit.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008