My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.



That’s what I need right now. Things are so busy and I just need some quiet. I’ll post something more interested next time. For now, I’m going to spend some time with myself.

Happy Thanksgiving


I got you a hand turkey. Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!


So those of you who have been following the blog for the past few weeks already know that I cut my leg on my screen door and got six stitches. After ten days of resting patiently, I got my stitches out. Afterwards, my leg felt… mushy. It wasn’t really supporting my weight very well and I was limping more by the end of each day. Then I started to get these sharp pains in my ankle. The cut puffed up and went funny colours. Back to Urgent Care again. I was pretty sure my injury was infected. I figured I’d been in Urgent Care for a 1/2 hour or so, get some antibiotics and go to work.

Turns out I do have an infections (and the antibiotics) but I also have a tear in my Achilles’s tendon. The tear is very small but I have to be careful not to rupture the tendon. I have to wear an air cast for two weeks and then have it reexamined by the doctor. Luckily, I’m allowed to take the air cast off to sleep and shower but the rest of my day I’m wearing this sexy space boot.

As a result of my injuries and the fact that I’m exhausted pretty much all the time, I’ll be taking the next few weeks away from the blog to recover. Unfortunately, doing my job uses up almost all the energy I have right now. This post actually took me several days to finish. So the blog will return on Tuesday, October 11. Thank you for understanding.

A different perspective

In my last post I wrote about how I cut my leg on my screen door and had to get six stitches. I was pretty upset both because I was in pain and because the doctor OK’d me to walk and do light stretches, but nothing else. Plus for the first 48 hours I was to keep it elevated as much as possible. I was not looking forward to being bored on the couch at home.

When I called my vice principal to tell her I needed a day off to recover, she said something that stuck with me; “Maybe this is the universe’s way of telling you to slow down.” So I did slow down.

I read these:

Image result for saga five Image result for y the last man 2 Image result for ms. peregrine Image result for harry potter and cursed child book

And I watched these:

Image result for masterchef Image result for penn and teller fool us Image result for orange is the new black Image result for chopped Image result for frisky dingo logo

I hung out with my husband and the cats. I chatted with my mom on the phone. I took naps. It was actually quite nice. I’m looking forward to getting the stitches out but I’m having a relaxing time until then.

Just when you think you have it figured out…

*Trigger warning: I talk about a cut in my leg and stitches in this post. I don’t give a lot of details or show photos, but if you’re squeamish, you may want to skip this one.*

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So I completed On Ramp for West London Crossfit and I was all ready to go back to regular classes. I was excited to start training again and feeling confident about being able to increase my strength. I was also back to school and having a great start to the new school year. My team is working well and my students are a lot of fun.

Then my screen door swung shut on my leg and cut through my heel almost all the way to my Achilles tendon. I sat on the ground and howled like an animal in a trap. It was so incredibly painful. I called Nick near hysterics and he rushed home to help me. I had to go to Urgent Care and get six stitches. I was so nervous. The topical anesthetic prevented me from feeling much and the doctor was quick, thank goodness. She examined my leg and assured me there was no damage to the tendon. Now I have to rest it until I can get the stitches removed in ten days. According to the doctor, it’s not too serious but I have to watch for infection. I’m also going to be in some pain because there is very little fat and skin in that part of the leg. To add an eye rolling moment to all this, I get to experience the fun of showering with a plastic bag taped around my leg.

So now I wait. I need to rest it for the first 48 hours. I can walk on it as much as is comfortable after that. After the stitches are out I can start to reintroduce other activities. *Sigh* It’s going to be a long 48 hours.



My last day of On Ramp

I recently completed the On Ramp course at West London CrossFit. After a half-year break from CrossFit, I needed a way to ease back into training and I’m very glad I chose this way! I really feel ready to get back to regular classes. My skills are back up to par and I even corrected some mistakes I’d been making previously without even knowing it.

Everyone graduates from On Ramp by running the same WOD (workout of the day) that they completed day one. The trainers recorded both times so we could see how much we’d improved in On Ramp. I wasn’t sure if my time would drop because I had done this workout a number of times before this round of On Ramp. I was pleasantly surprised to see a drop of a little more than a minute.


On Ramp was designed to introduce people to all the essential movements and skills of CrossFit. However, it was also a great refresher for me. If you’ve taken a break too, don’t be afraid to come back. Don’t quit just because it’s easier. Talk to your coach about refresher options if you need a little help getting back to your best habits.

Back to School

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In an effort to set good habits early in the school year, I’ll be taking the next week off from writing my blog. Right now I’m spending a lot of time writing for the new school year and I’m just finding I’m a bit tapped out for creativity. The blog will return Tuesday September 13th. Thanks for understanding.

Bonus Art Assignment: Art Trip Tijuana Part 2


3. Try to see if you can name those people before you meet them:

Women in their 40s walking their dogs – the Carols.

Kids under 15 riding their bikes – The Zachs.

Retired men walking for exercise – the Carls.

New parents pushing strollers – the Jones.

4. Meet them and find out the connection between your image and who they really are.

I decided to start with one of the Carls.


This particular Carl walks down our street with his walker once a day as long as it’s not too hot or too cold out. When he gets to my front yard, he takes a break and sits on the seat attached to his walker. Sometimes he reads his mail after he retrieves it from the mailbox across the street. I think the walking is physical therapy. When he first began this routine, I saw him walking with a number of different women in scrubs who looked to be home care workers. Since the photo above doesn’t show his face, I thought it might be alright to share it.

So one day when I say this Carl sitting in front of my house, I went out to get my mail. As I passed by him I said ‘hello,’ but Carl didn’t answer. I tried it twice more on other days but still nothing. Maybe he doesn’t like strangers? Maybe he didn’t hear me? Well, for now this is as close as I can get to completing this art assignment. #theartassignment

Bonus Art Assignment: Art Trip Tijuana Part 1


This is a big art assignment so I’m going to have to divide it into parts. Luckily I live in a neighborhood full of walkers so it’s easy to people-watch as I walk.

  1. Put away your devices and walk around the block. Done and done. IMG_2709  IMG_2725
  2. Make a list of 4 kinds of people who live around your neighborhood.

Women in their 40s walking their dogs.

Kids under 15 riding their bikes.

Retired men walking for exercise.

New parents pushing strollers.

Next week I’ll try tackling the other steps. #theartassignment

Why I love the Olympics

I’m addicted to watching the Olympics. I used the CBC app to stream from the opening ceremonies to the closing ceremonies. I cheered, laughed and cried. As the Summer Olympics wraps up for another four years, I’ve been thinking about why I love watching the Olympics so much.

Reason 1 – Unapologetic nationalism.

Other than Canada Day, there are not always a lot of opportunities for me to don my Canada gear and sing my national anthem at the top of my lungs. I adore seeing how much our athletes love our country; how they rock Canada clothing, hats, nail art, and even tattoos; how they tear up at the sight of our flag being raised in the Olympic stadium. I also enjoy watching the host country celebrate the best aspects of their home. It is a fine thing to have an excuse to be ridiculously proud of your nation.

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Reason 2 – The stories.

Say what you will about the media, they expertly craft stories of endurance, triumph and even failure that have consistently made me cheer and cry. I know these stories are heavily constructed and edited, but what story isn’t? The media necessarily needs to select and edit stories because there is just too much to cover otherwise. Besides, media is a business and ratings are their benchmark for success. Highlighting captivating stories draws in viewers. Knowing I’m seeing a story built by the media doesn’t make me enjoy it less and the Canadian media takes great care in covering as many Canadian athletes as they can.

Reason 3 – Armchair coaching.

“That’s not how you do a reverse 1 1/2 somersault from the pike position!” It doesn’t matter that I can’t even fall into the water without doing a belly flop, I’m going to shout out my instructions to the athletes as if they can hear me. Maybe not every family participates in this but it’s a lot of fun to coach from the couch. When I was a kid, my dad would get so engaged in televised sports that my mom bought him a foam brick he could throw at the TV. My whole family gets involved in yelling things at the Olympics, even my much more soft-spoken husband has been know to call out his encouragement.

Reason 4 – Humans at peak performance.

“Look at how strong her shoulders are!”

“Check out his leg muscles, they’re huge!”

“How does she jump like that?”

“His last dive was so clean!”

Somehow watching athletes achieve their goals makes my own less public and perhaps smaller scale goals seem much more achievable. If these athletes can give everything to their sport, I can lose five pounds, eat healthier and manage my stress better. The Olympics remind me that humans are capable of amazing things and that I am capable of achieving success if I keep working at it.

The Olympics are so much fun to watch and as Olympic fever dissipates, I am already looking forward to the next Olympics in Tokyo.

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