I was walking behind a beautiful woman yesterday.  She was the kind of lady that would make anyone stop and stare.  But she wasn't a 19 year old fashion model.  No, she was much more stunning.  Do you agree with my opinion that older women can be the most gorgeous of all people?

This particular lady was trim and fit.  She had long gray hair, which she kept in a loose ponytail, and she wore comfortable yet stylish looking clothing.  She had clean, happily wrinkled skin, and clear polish on her nails.  She walked with perfect posture, and it was obvious that she possessed the kind of strength and confidence most people dream about.  

I tried to imagine what her life was like.  I saw her as someone who bought cut flowers every week.  She was probably a dancer and it was very likely that she walked everywhere (of course I would imagine this).  She most definitely went on weekend hikes.  She had lots of friends and was famous for her parties (which could sometimes get a little bit crazy when everyone brought a bottle of wine).

I think that older women can be so gorgeous because it's clear that they have worked for their beauty.  They have kept themselves in shape, worn sunscreen, kept stress at bay, and ate healthy foods.  Years of good choices have shaped them into the kind of person that everyone looks at and goes "wow".   

Well anyways, I'm crossing my fingers that all of my walking will be to my benefit in the future.  We shall see!                 
So, my excuse for not writing this time is that I've been in the bush.  Contrary to my expectations, there is no internet in the bush.  Nor are there flush toilets or washing machines. 

I've been tree planting.  It was my rookie year and I found it to be quite the adventure!  But, phew, it was LOTS of work.  LOTS of walking.  Almost too much walking, if I'm being truthful.  Right now I'm doing a bit of the hobble, especially if I get up from sitting for a long time.  I don't really blame the walking, so much as I blame the walking in rubber, steel toed boots across swamps, over slash, and along muddy roads.  Walking is never at fault.  Walking is awesome.  

I will also say that my ass has never looked this good before.  Just saying.  

One of my favorite things about planting was that I could eat bucket loads of food.  Buckets!  Without any weight related guilt.  How freeing it is to allow yourself three huge pieces of cake at dinner.  Not full yet?  Have another!  Walking is awesome.  Did I say that all ready?

Seriously now, I am going to remark that there is something quite beautiful and fragrant about the air in Northern Ontario, compared to the air in Montreal.  I can't quite put my finger on the reason behind this... hmmm...

I will also say that after being in the bush, I find it scary to be walking along a busy street in Montreal with cars whizzing past you.  I've become that pioneer girl who grabs the lamp post and closes her eyes as soon as the light turns green.  

I also find it completely maddening that I can't pee wherever and whenever I want to.  In the city I actually have to find a washroom before I can pee.  How weird is that eh?    

Hey!  It's been a while!  I blame exams.  And procrastination.  

I thought I would just write a quick note.  I was doing some research on cars the other day and I found this interesting fact:  

In 2006 Canada had "more than 1.4 million kilometers of roads, enough to circle the globe 35 times"  http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/061109/dq061109b-eng.htm

That's a lot of road.  

Also this photo about "fuel" is awesome: http://www.jasonsager.com/blog/2009/05/fuel.html  
I went for a run today.  Beautiful, sunny sky, and everything smelled good because of all the rain we had yesterday.  It was very nice.  I saw something odd though, and I was hoping someone could help me figure this out:

I was on the Mount Royal mountain and coming towards me was another runner.  He was a regular looking, athletic guy; all decked out in the latest running gear.  And he was playing a tambourine.  It was a yellow half tambourine, and he was jingeling it in some sort of beat while he was running.
I had to do a double take.  He didn't look crazy.  He looked like a perfectly normal fellow, probably in his forties.  He had a dog with him, so perhaps it was a training exercise?  Or perhaps the tambourine jingles help him to run faster?

I typed "running with your dog and a tambourine" into Google, but nothing helpful popped up.  I feel like there should be a good reason behind this.  

Any suggestions?  
Yay!  So exciting!  I was walking down the street tonight and Montreal was buzzing with people cheering and waving flags.  In the middle of the sidewalk people were expressing their love for hockey, Crosby, Canada, each other, and beer.  It was quite fun.

Actually, in my 15 minute walk, this exact scene played out about four times: 
(I pass a random stranger)
Random Stranger: Wooo!
Me: Wooo!
Random Stranger: Go Canada!
Me: Wooo!
(Random Stranger gives me a high five/hug/punch on the shoulder.)
Me: Wooo!

It's so fun to be walking outside when everyone is out celebrating.  Everything is electric and "random strangers" are on your side.  What a great Olympics!  Congratulations Canadian athletes!   
Team Canada 2010 Olympic Hockey Jersey emblem
You know when you're walking outside at night and you pass by a lit window?  Well, I'm going to admit something: I peek inside.  Just a quick peek.  Not a stare or an ogle or a gawk.  Just a peek.

My curiosity gets the best of me. 

It's sometimes like looking into a 3rd dimension.  It makes me think "wow, other people have lives too!"  This seems strange because, of course there are other people in the world.  It makes sense that they have homes with which they do stuff in.  But really, you never actually see them.  You get caught up in yourself and your comings and goings, and you become the center of everything.  Nothing else exists but you. 

But then you walk past a lit window and you see someone sitting on the couch watching hockey.  It's a bit of a jolt.  Whoa!  Other people do exist!  And they watch hockey!  In fact, you were just about to go home to watch that exact same hockey game!  And suddenly you are not the center of everything.

I like it when I catch a glimpse families doing things together.  As a 'here and there' student with no real home, that sight gives me a bit of hope.  Or makes me lonely.  But mostly hope, because what are the chances that I'll be living in a little cave apartment all my life?  Someday I'll have a home for myself, someday.
I'm back in Montreal!  Yessss... It sure is nice to be home.  And Montreal is beautiful in the snow!  With all my running around, errand type things, I have to remind myself to look around every once in a while.    

I wanted to share with you a little thing learned in school yesterday.  Think about this the next time you feel like it's taking you forever to walk to your destination:

The Earth is rotating, carrying most people around its axis at more than 1000 km an hour.  That's twice as fast as a regular commercial jet.

The Earth orbits the sun, moving at more than 100,000 km/hr; 100 times faster than a speeding bullet.

Our solar system moves relative to nearby stars at speeds of around 70,000 km/hr.

The Milky Way Galaxy (our galaxy) rotates, carrying our sun around at a speed of about 800,000 km/hr.

And lastly, galaxies move relative to one another; the Milky Way is moving towards the Adromeda Galaxy at about 300,000 km/hr!  

All this speed!  The next time your walking take the time to stop and look at the snow... 
Remember how I said before that I like to imagine that everyone in my mom's area of town is happily baking ginger cookies?  Well, that's because it distracts me from having nightmares.

My mom's house is in the suburbs.  It's a nice house, in a nice area, in a nice town.  All is right in the world.  Or so it seems...

When I go out for a walk, no one is around.  Not a soul.  I walk along a line of big houses and everything is quiet.  A dog barks and is instantly silenced.  By who?  I am unsure.  House after house, street after street, I see no movement.  Where are the people?  

The sun glints off the rows of plastic garage doors, blinding me for a second.  Did something just move?  I blink and notice a car running in the driveway.  Still, no one is around.  I continue my walk, noticing how similar each house is; plasticy white siding with blue trim, the odd pinky-brown stucco house thrown in for variety.  The sameness of it all makes me shiver.

I finish my loop and head home.  Oh no!  What's that!?  The running car is still running.  I mean, I've been walking for like 15 minutes since I saw it last.  It doesn't need to warm up for that long!  What could have happened to the people who started it?  Did they just get distracted?  Or maybe...

What was that noise?  Maybe someone's in trouble!  Could it be vampires?  Some sort of murderous cult?  Is someone getting their legs pulled off in a gaint underground ritual!?  WHERE IS EVERYONE!!

And so I run back home and hide under my bed.  True story.  Not a bit of exaggeration at all.  You can understand why I like to imagine happy families and ginger cookies.  

So the crazyness that was the end of my first semester is over and I'm back in my hometown of High River.  Did you know that a bunch of Superman 3 was shot in High River?  (That's what I tell people when I try to brag about my town.  I also tell them that it's Joe Clark's hometown and they say "Joe who?"). 

Do you know what else is cool about HR?  There's a cookie factory here; "Anna's Cookies".  Perhaps you've tried them before?  They're gingerbread flavored, super thin cookies.  When I used to walk to work in HR, everything would smell like gingerbread.  It was pretty festive.  I used to imagine that all the houses were filled with happy families, everyone baking gingerbread at the same time.  In Montreal, sometimes the street smells like pee. Or, when it's snowing, exaust. So, Montreal doesn't really compare on that front.

Another thing I noticed when I arrived in Alberta is how open and wide everything is.  When you live in a city, the farthest you can see is across the street.  In Alberta, you can see all the way to the mountains on a clear day.  

I guess in some ways I'm a prairie girl at heart.  But living in HR is difficult when you don't drive and it's minus 25 outside.  But have no fear!  I am still walking.  I walked all around downtown yesterday and I even felt warm because of the workout.