Saturday, April 26, 2008

Skiing at last!

A hamstring and back "injury" meant that I was missing the entire ski season. So when I got the diagnosis that it wasn't something I could reinjure, I decided perhaps I could go. So off to Sunshine Village in Banff, I went with my wild friend Victoria. I took it pretty easy on some green and a few blue runs, while Victoria was tearin' it up on the black diamonds. What a glorious day. And after a bit o' ibuprofen and some well-placed icepacks we're still alive and the '07-08 season isn't a total bust. We just might tempt fate and go again on Monday.

Dominos de Mexico y las barcas de bananas

So we had to have our last hurrah at the Higgins house before they move off to Toronto. We sure will miss them! (Note: tears dripping into keyboard) They even helped me nurse my burned-out skimuscles with ice packs and the best La-Z-Boy chair ever! Sadly, their daughter Hillary, the reigning Mexican Dominoes champ had to fly off to Italy, so her proxy Baa Baa Noir (pictured here) sat in for her. But, Baa Baa couldn't save the day as a former domino champ was recrowned. Baa Baa was gracious enough to relinquish the tiara without complaint. Have you ever had Banana Boats? Tom and Sharon Higgins have a not-so-secret stash of all the fixings. So this old Girl Scout fave was extremely decadent with loads of melted chocolate chips, coconut, marshmallows and peanut butter. Could it be a more perfect ending? Well...only if they would stay here in Calgary.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Memeza Africa

This was the week for African music. This is Memeza Africa... a beautiful choir we went to see on Friday. They had such rich voices, a contagious energy and an inspirational message.

This multi-talented choir originates from Soweto, South Africa near Johannesburg. Soweto is South Africa’s largest black community alive with a vibrant energy and rich in culture and history. The resilience and spirit of the people triumphed over apartheid and Soweto is now the home of South African freedom music.

Memeza Africa members not only share their beautiful singing and drumming talents but also provide an income for the members in a community where the unemployment rate is staggering. Employment for one choir member directly impacts an average of seven to ten people as when one earns a living, it is shared among all family and extended family members.

check out their website: or better yet..go see them when they come near you.

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Susan and I managed to tear ourselves away from the hotel pool on Banff's main drag long enough to dash up to the Banff Springs Hotel to show Susan the view of the mountains. Looks made-up doesn't it? No wonder so many movies are filmed in this area.

The Real McCoys come to visit

My old high school friend, Susan Knight McCoy came up to Banff to ski and explore with 2 of her kids, Bennett and Blythe and hubby, Martin aka OZ. Susan and I had fun hanging out and exploring Banff while Martin and the kids did the black diamonds on the slopes. Blythe survived a massive flip and Oz's banged up black eye is testament to his head-on communion with a mogul.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

African Children's Choir

The African Children's Choir. Moving. Inspiring. Just plain great. These kids have each lost one or both parents and witnessed unspeakable acts of violence. They were among the few chosen to be the ambassadors for their respective countries and to receive an education through the university level from Music for Life. We were touched and inspired by their energy and message. Check out their website

"While we were in Uganda we gave a ride to another town to a very small boy and he sang all the way in the vehicle", explains Ray:
When I got back to Canada and people were not very interested in Uganda, I remembered this small boy. I thought, ’If we could take a group of these beautiful children to the West, it would surely raise money to help their country”

The first African Children’s Choir™ arrived in Vancouver, BC in the fall of 1984 and immediately stole the hearts of everyone they met. The Choir successfully communicated the desperate situation of the children back home and by the end of the year, they had raised enough money to open the Makerere Children’s Home in Uganda. The Choir returned home, where the funds raised from the tour also enabled them to continue their education and ensured that they were well cared for.