that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.


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christmas music

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Is it that time already? JUST ABOUT. I love Christmas music but I am pretty selective about my tastes. I own probably 20 odd Christmas albums but I find myself repeating the same few over and over and over again. And now that I’ve recently learned (yes, I am behind the times) about torrent downloading, I’ve been able to track down some pretty classic Christmas music. That’s neither here nor there, as I try best I can to pay for music and support artists, my current fleet of Christmas music genius (including but not limited to) are the following albums and songs, # 1 on the list being my all time favourite. Please, get with me in the season and post a comment with your own favourite Christmas music/songs… I could always use some more:

1. Sarah McLachlan’s “Wintersong” album. My. Favourite.

2. Paul Brandt’s “A Gift” album.

3. “Christmas Song” by Dave Matthews Band (This song has so many glorious Christmas memories from Calgary for me, it gives me chills every time I listen to it.)

4. “Maybe this Christmas” by Ron Sexsmith (First heard on The O.C.)

5. Boney M’s “Christmas Album” album.

6. “Baby it’s Cold Outside” by Bing Crosby (I think that’s the best version? Leanne?)

7. Garth Brooks’ “The Magic of Christmas” album.

8. Casting Crowns’ “Peace on Earth” album.

9. “12 Days of Christmas” carol as sang by my DAD.

10. City on a Hill’s “It’s Christmastime” album…most noteable: “Manger Throne” by Third Day. (This cd stirs my heart and my desire for snow, hot chocolate, and a fireplace).

11. Sheree Plett and Eisenhauer’s “Lights Used to Shine” album.

12. Jewel’s “Joy: A Holiday Collection” disc.

Also, apparently Chris Tomlin has a new Christmas cd out so that might be a dream come true… who knows. Anyways, give me some stuff to add to my library… yes!

snowflake

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stocking up

Perks of home — spending two weeks back in Penticton made it the perfect time to pick up the “necessities” that I deem crucial to my quality of life:

Cherry Hill COFFEE

Cherry Hill COFFEE

This is not crucial but it is delicious:

Naramata Nut Brown

Naramata Nut Brown

Along with the salsa mom and I made, I also loaded up on her homemade apple chips which I can’t post a picture because I ate them already.

On a sidenote digression, a number of years ago I had a little Christmas baking day where my dear friend Leanne brought me a Christmas cactus (who since has gone by “Curtis the Cactus”). Leanne told me that these plants are supposed to bloom at Christmastime and some times Eastertime so every year I have waited for flowers off of Curtis to no avail. When I moved to Victoria, I consulted my personal plant expert Chrissy on how to essentially force Curtis to grow and bloom. Even though she gave me stellar advice (some of which I still haven’t taken), my dang Cactus remained flowerless that Christmas and Easter and subsequently the Christmas and Easter the next year.

I left Curtis with my ma when I came back to Victoria this fall under strict instructions to baby the little guy. I wondered if maybe the climates of stagnant, frozen, bitter Calgary or wet, humid, mild Victoria were hindering the little guys’ progression. Then, lo and behold, I went home at Thanksgiving and this is what I saw:

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Moral of my story? Two things: Curtis is not a feminine-enough name for all that pink. Second, my mom is a rockstar.

Cheers!


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ordinary miracle – sarah mclachlan

It’s not that usual when everything is beautiful
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

The sky knows when its time to snow
You don’t need to teach a seed to grow
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

Life is like a gift they say
Wrapped up for you everyday
Open up and find a way
To give some of your own

Isn’t it remarkable?
Like every time a raindrop falls
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

Birds in winter have their fling
And always make it home by spring
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

When you wake up everyday
Please don’t throw your dreams away
Hold them close to your heart
Cause we are all a part
Of the ordinary miracle

Ordinary miracle
Do you want to see a miracle?

Its seems so exceptional
Things just work out after all
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

The sun comes up and shines so bright
It disappears again at night
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

It’s just another ordinary miracle today


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easter sunday

After the 9 am service, we went up to Duncan to the Cowichan River for Team Hardcore’s Fishing Adventure, take 2. While the day began with pretty heavy rains, the weather picked up around 4:00 pm and we got sun for the rest of the evening. We went to three different spots. The first I got to sit on a fence and listen to my iPod while I could see Luke in the river (I couldn’t read because of the rain). I got soaked from head to toe but it was beautiful in its own right. After that, we sat in the car and ate some deliciousness and warmed up a bit before we checked out a different spot which required more bush whacking… I was totally prepared for it this time. I slipped once. Awesome. And finally, as the sun was peeking out, we went to this Bible camp where there was a trail, only one– fairly substantial — creek to jump over. It was at this spot where I made my fly fishing debut. Luke taught me how to cast properly, even though I couldn’t do it very well. I think I was trying a little too hard to cast it like windmill pitching a baseball. Oh well, I only hooked Luke’s jacket once. Total accident. That didn’t last very long because I knew he was just itching to get out there so I climbed onto a log and enjoyed the rest of the evening while he fished. A couple hours later, on our way back up the trail, I fell (with classless embarrassment) right down into the creek… to this moment, I don’t know exactly how it happened but I was drenched and Luke’s reaction, and continued reactions, made it worth it (Kater…Kater…talk to me Kater). Sort of.

Anyways, we made it out and finished the day with homemade pizza, chocolate milk, chocolate peanut butter cups, and Scrabble. Don’t tell him I told you, but I purposefully let him win.

Happy Easter. I hope you enjoyed yours as much as I enjoyed mine.

RAIN!

RAIN!

Luke

Luke

Kater

Kater

Look at that FORM

Look at that FORM

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There were steelheads jumping right here... still no luck.

There were steelheads jumping right here... still no luck.

A perfect way to spend a day.

A perfect way to spend a day.


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thoughts

Just wanted to give a shout out to my older brother — I was blasting the Barenaked Ladies yesterday afternoon on my iPod before going to MEC to buy a coat. Needless to say, MEC and Barenaked Ladies has Adrian written all over it…I felt ALMOST like he was there with me.

I went to Beacon Hill Park today for the first time in ten years. There were ducks that we threw pinecones at and then like last Sunday, I fell down again on our way to the ocean. I need to stop moving.

First final exam tomorrow. Awesome.

On a diff. note, here’s a good song — it’s so good. It’s Coldplay’s “Lost” remix with Jay-Z.


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rockstars

(Trav: I want you to imagine this story in full typical-Kate-ridiculousness… it will add the emphasis it needs that my words just cannot express)

Lately Luke and I have been talking about adventuring. I am always telling him I want to go on an adventure and whether that means to the breakwater to look at the luminescent bacterias (I think?) or check out the lab he works at or go to the lagoon or do iron chef, we like to be creative in our hang out sessions. Recently, I’ve been particularly adamant that while I love watching ‘The Office’, we need to do something cool and adventurous. Enter yesterday. It went something like this:

Luke is an avid fly fisher and since I have a storage unit up in Duncan, it worked well to time my going up for boxes with his need to exercise his passion on the Cowichan River. It was a gorgeous day and since all he really told me was that we would have to walk a little ways through some bush to the river, I wore a t-shirt, capris, sunglasses, and flip flops. I sat on the road while he got ready — his clothing consisted of fishing weighters (I don’t know how to spell it), a fishing vest, toque, boots, gators, and his rod. He said it was his fish slaying vest. I also had my bag (with my novel and juice for us) and Luke’s jacket. My arms were full.

So we get walking on this perimeter-trail-esque terrain when Luke looks back at me and says “Shoot Kater, you might regret what you’re wearing because we have to go off the trail now.” Whatever. I just smiled and said I wasn’t too concerned since it wasn’t going to be very far.

Are you kidding? It turns out the spot that we started and parked was totally wrong (He had only been there once) and for the next hour, we hiked and slid through willows, prickles/thistles, moss, tree trunks, vines, clay, and MUD. Once we had been going for a little while, Luke kept looking back at me asking me if I wanted to turn back. Coupled with the fact that there was no way I would be able to climb all that way back up in my muddy, loose, flipflops, I am a trooper and with a huge smile, I said No! We’re almost there…right? And he’d just grin. I fell about three times before he took everything from me. And I continually fell and got stuck for the entire journey straight down. At one point my whole right leg was stuck in the mud. It was so steep and forest-ish, it was absolutely beyond description hilarious. I haven’t had that much fun in months. He called it a “mud gorge”.

After I decided I would rather sacrifice my feet than fall on my face in the mud anymore, I walked the rest of the way barefoot. BAREFOOT. We came onto this creek where Luke washed my flipflops off (they were covered in so much clay it looked like concrete) and I tried to wash my feet a bit. Once we started going again, I was trying to be a rockstar and I said, as his fishing rod got stuck in a tree-ish, “Luke, can I hold anything?” (He had my shoes and everything else)… he looked up at me with the most awesome smile and said “No Kater, I think you need to focus on holding your own.

Sooo a couple more falls, giving me a hands up, screeches, laughs, and blood, and asking me if I felt one with nature, we came out and off of the cliff only to see two people walking down a trail. And we just looked at each other and laughed and laughed. He said “Well Kate, you’ve been bugging me for an adventure.” And it was of epic proportions.

The rest of the day was brilliant. Luke fished and after I waded into the river enough to get the worst of the mud off and wounds cleaned, I read on a rock, huddled in his jacket and so impressed with myself. There was fleeting moment where I couldn’t see him anymore in the river and panicked, but just as I was afraid his toque would come floating down without him, I felt a fishing line on my head. The adventure was far from over when we had to walk back, on the road, to his car. I chuckled every time we turned a corner and the car was still not there… we travelled a fair distance on our excursion! He didn’t catch anything, but for the rest of the night, every time we’d look at each other, if we weren’t talking, we just burst out laughing. And he was devastated we didn’t take pictures of how ridiculous I looked and how immaculate he looked… we looked as different as night and day and he was completely unscathed.

After a trip to the storage unit, a dinner at Boston Pizza with jagger bombs to celebrate success, we came back blasting the music and the heat. He called me a warrior. I asked him whether I should paint him as a villain or a hero in this story, and he said it was up to me. He was a rockstar. Team Hardcore — another successful run. And even though he didn’t slay any fish, we totally slayed that forest. And came out smiling in the end. Just awe-some.

This is the cliffe we came down.

This is the cliff we came down.

In all it's glory.

The picture doesnt do it justice, it was extremely steep and hard to envision from this photo..in all its glory.

We saw this later -- where I have circled on this photo is where we climbed all the way down. How unbelievably heroically survivorish of us.

We saw this later -- where I have circled on this photo is where we climbed all the way down. How unbelievably heroically survivorish of us.

Fisher-man in all his glory.

Fisher-man just fired right up.

The gorgeous Cowichan River on a gorgeous day in March.

The gorgeous Cowichan River on a gorgeous day in March.

So alternative to what we're used to. Brilliant.

So alternative to what we're used to. Brilliant.

Can you see him?

Can you see him?

Heading to a different spot.

Heading to a different spot.

I know it's blurry...but you can see the thumbs up!

I know it's blurry...but you can see the thumbs up!

We FINALLY found the car.

We FINALLY found the car.

War wounds.

War wounds. My arms look worse.