Saturday, April 30, 2011

Part I.

And so it began; Winnipeg, 2011.

Bram and his boy; Winnipeg, 2011.
Lady Milan; Winnipeg, 2011.

Tracy and her boy Gunnar; Winnipeg, 2011.
Gentle Tilia; Winnipeg, 2011.
Chick Pea princess Ollie; Winnipeg, 2011.
Modern mama; Winnipeg, 2011.

Dayna and her girl Olive; Winnipeg, 2011.

Bram and his boy Avery; Winnipeg, 2011.

Sisters Milan and Rowan; Winnipeg, 2011.
Dream boat Gunnar; Winnipeg, 2011.

Rollin; Winnipeg, 2011.

Jill and Andrea with Ollie in the middle; Winnipeg, 2011.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Coming out of the shadow.

Grief is grief is grief is grief. Every one deals with loss differently. These photos are my favorite of the latest crop, shot in Winnipeg on Easter weekend. A favorite holiday of mine, and a hard one this year without Auntie Marj whipping around her kitchen, potatoes enough to feed an army, creamed peas, table cloths as familiar as my own hands. This year was a little different, but wonderful in it's own rite. There were no creamed peas and change of scenery.

There was a hole at the table. But there was still laughter.

And then there was Romeo.

Six weeks old, this boy birthed by my beautiful and strong cousin Kate. I so respect the way her and Jay run their family ship. Babies have a quiet way about them, reminding the ones old enough to understand the depth of loss the importance of birth, of newness, of hopefulness, of fresh beginnings. These photos mean a lot to me as they were a gift given. The more photos I take, the more I am beginning to understand and appreciate the subject. Everyone has a story to tell. Even babies.

My eyes alighted on a short sentence today while reading yet another book on midwifery--death is the shadow of birth (Anita Diamant).

Not sure of this flow from mind to mains at the moment, life and death are ringing in my ears. With my weeping return to my home in Montreal came a new understanding of where I come from, and who I am becoming thanks be to my family.

Uncle Jim, congratulations on the birth of your new grandson. Romeo James, named after a good man. 

Proud Grandpa; Winnipeg, 2011.
Right light; Winnipeg, 2011.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Long gone.

There are days where I want to toss my computer as far from one spot as possible. I love throwing things. Especially in the bush. I also like pushing over trees, chicos, yelling TIMBER to no one. No no ever sees those moments. That is part of the beauty of the woods. Treeplanting became an outlet, a psychical, manual labored outlet. I long to be out there now, on the cusp of diving back into the land again, readying my hands, stretching for duty, head free, warm winds. Hallelujah. I look forward to the next season.

There are days where I question the validity of this on going and open post I have created here. It is frightening at times, the collection of it. But then there are days like today where I appreciate the fact that I can announce to whomever reading that I am nearly ready to dive in again. The future is now.


Long gone; Montreal, 2011.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Russian leftovers.

Felling trees on rue Waverly; Montreal, 2011.

A chic porch; Montreal, 2011.

Slick; Montreal, 2011.
Alley cat making her way down Groll; Montreal, 2011.

Great shot.

Everything about this shot is great.

Photo a la The Selby.

Such hawks, such hounds.

Writing from my sewing table, the sound of Dead Meadow (Feathers) wrapped around my laughingly small head. Writing from home! I wore the baby train hat (found for Leo in Winnipeg) today as it made him angry when I put it on his head. Fine, then. I'll wear it. I love a stiff train hat. Toad Hall, that place never fails me.

Pause for a sugar dinner.

Okay Spring is in! I had JJ's paska for dinner, it is quite possibly the best. It's the best. My ma's monster cookies for dessert (am I five? Yes, plus twenty). Thanks ladies. I climbed up and down the mountain with Leo and then circled around town on my bicycle after work, thus balance.

Habs vs. Bruins.

Shit! Cal, I can just see you perched on the edge of the couch, leaning forward like a million other people right now. Hockey is nuts! Hockey fans in Montreal have the passion. The streets are wild. I saw countless people standing around outside with pizza slopping down chins during the commercials while riding home from JJ's. Canadiens, the lot of them. I flew around on my bicycle this evening, said adieu to my friend Maya who is leaving for the bush shortly to begin her season as foreman. Rookie year, hell yes.

Maya, you got this.

It's a big job. She is strong.

You have to be for that.

This music is really something. I walked into Creme's room last Saturday afternoon and slipped through this wall of rhythm while crossing the threshold. Guitar I had never heard before, asking how? before I could catch myself. Big sound, nineteen nineties. We hung out on his bed as we tend to, talked shop, he taught me plenty of photography knowhow in a matter of hours, layman's terms all the way. Darkroom dance for two, we laughed as we set up, him teaching as we went. I have been hungry for the darkroom ever since I met it. He helped me print one of the twins in a rocking chair.

Fishing test strips out of the water bath with little tongs. Can't wait. I came to appreciate my simple mind while visiting Winnipeg. Or maybe the practicality of it. It was a really nice afternoon together whatever it was, photos potentially to come. I traipsed to Rebecca's for a liquid dinner. Sushi, Big Red and cocktails with my woman. It was wonderful and the night kept unfolding like a gift. First came Rab, then Alfie and Andrew, then Grant and a run in with Josh Ruth. Skinny cigarettes on a concrete banquette. Curb side catch up conversation, very Winnipeg. It felt good, all of it, as there is none of that in Montreal yet. Well, not like that.

I am an awkward colt. Bolt.

My french is non. J'ecoute doesn't seem to cut it for sincere conversation these days. Lessons loom, and yet. What? I feel as if I am locked in a state, frozen, holding a stance for a reason unbeknownst to me. What will it take? I bolted from a vernissage last night. It wasn't even strictly french, I just panicked and left. On the way home I calmed thinking of walking up and down Rag's hallway, Willa in my arms. Babies calm. Meo draped on my shoulder. Three day old Cash, the tenderest feather neck I ever did hold. Children calm, the thought of them. Leo did something new today. We were on a mega journey downtown to pick up/ drop off and made sure to stop at every playground en route for a swing and a run about. He mucked around in little shoes and I scared the hell out of him on the bridge. BOO! He is hysterical. The new thing. We were cruising down the sidewalk and I heard him meowing about so I stopped and checked him out. As I leaned in, he leaned out with arms extended and asked for a hug in Leo speak (which has been sounding incredibly Portuguese these days). So we hugged in the middle of the hump at the foot of Mont Royal, spring settling in around us.

Leo hugs now. He can say shoe. He can Shhh extremely well. He laughed in the swing for the first time today, finally the sober judge laughs.

Babies, got to love them. I really do. My arrival to Winnipeg on the Easter weekend was met by my ma and my sis. We ran about together, realigning ourselves with the other, eating Vietnamese BBQ and laughing. We also bee lined for Andrea's house to meet her Willa Wonka. Willa! You beauty. Oh my goodness. I held that girl good and long, listening to my mom's laughter fill the front of house while Willa and I did laps in the back. Weaving into rooms I know and have known. Helping myself, enjoying the baby's healthy weight. Chubalub contentedness, the baby sitting in great buddha against my breast. She is perfect.

I was nervous too.

Winnipeg was wonderful. It is a strange thing, to visit a place once called home. Winnipeg is no longer my home but will always be family. Which is even better. I wept the entire shuttle bus ride back to my home on Clark. Tears of guilt, release, thankfulness, you name it. They came one by one. The hanky from my back pocket soiled with baby snot wiped just hours before under Winnipeg sun, happy little faces at ease with my lens. I dabbed my face with it anyways. Looked down at my hands, proud of who I am and where I came from and continued to cry with my eyes shut, head bowed, not worried about who saw.

What will the wind bring this Spring? Records, apparently. All signs point inwards.

Lee Ranaldo here I come. This dress is the dress for me.

BCBG stripes; Montreal, 2011.

Ze back; Montreal, 2011.

House guest try on party; Montreal, 2011.

Leonard Arthur.

Leo is sixteen months old; Montreal, 2011.

Give him a jar and a strainer and he is happy; Montreal, 2011.

Classic Leo; Montreal, 2011.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Russian blast.

Yesterday I hauled in a new crop of photos shot over the course of the last few weeks. Baby portraits, strangers in the street, tiny men, old ladies, in store portraits at Phonopolis on Bernard. I could not be any more pleased with the results I am receiving with the Kiev 60-TTL. I ordered it on a whim in the dead of winter, trusting my guts but knowing full well what a gamble it was to order a camera that has been sitting on a shelf for four years in the Ukraine. As the saying goes, all's well that ends well. After extensive reading on the internet and basically memorizing the manual that came with, I am starting to figure this thing out. The lens is still pretty stiff, but sharp. The switch from a 50 mm lens to 80 mm lens has been interesting. Obviously the scope is quite different than what I am accustomed to, but the same method applies to both when trying to find the sharpest focus in a frame. I am terribly excited to shoot Drex and Danika's wedding at the end of July with the Russian and the F3, using a salad bar of film. Slide film paired with the Russian? Crazy malade! The dark is what makes me nervous. I have been shooting around at night a bit to practice, comparing results with and without the use of a flash. It is quite obvious I have a lot to learn when it comes to lighting techniques; all of my photos look terrible when I attempt to shoot with one. So until then, I will keep blasting through film in the daylight.

Here is the latest of my photo work. Any and all art making has come to a screeching halt, photography seems to be the only thing I am capable of these days. Last night I sat down to sew and took one look at my pile of half stuffed legs and flattened rabbit ears, couldn't do it. So I didn't. Thankfully, JJ walked in the door at the height of my contemplation and that was that. Lo, JJ and I sat down to an impromptu cinq à sept, bringing with her a Santa sack filled to the tits with Italian pastry and bread. Hallelujah, thanks woman. Yum. Sewing (or lack thereof) aside, drawing aside, stenciling aside, life is bon.

Shootin' around town, happy as a clam. I hotly anticipated the first two shots of Phonopolis and the little man (closed eyes) for two weeks. These are posted on my Flickr as well, but I thought I would put these up for my Grandma to see what I am up to. Happy belated birthday Grandpa, I am a lousy granddaughter for not calling. Last day of 24.

All photos below shot with a Kiev 60-TTL.

Phonopolis' new shop; Montreal, 2011.

Tiny Italiano on rue Clark; Montreal, 2011.
Jessica Alba; Montreal, 2011.
Old Lady Clark passing on by; Montreal, 2011.
Tub sanctuary; Montreal, 2011.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Carrots are steaming. Coffee drunk. Baby bum up. Face down. Dark Thursday. Sick chicken.

Poor Baby Leo, cross out the ear infection and ring up a throat infection. Banana medicine three times a day brings back memories from the good 'ol days: sitting on the kitchen counter, wrapped in my P. blanket, glugging the stuff back. For lack of a better word, he sounds heisch. Normally, Le Petit Poulet is a whirlwind of activity. He likes to run wild with a spatula in one hand, a sand pail in the other, banging around and making his presence known. Not today. He is a moping little rabbit, soft and furled into his no-no (which I think is Leo speak for blanket). He crawled into my lap today and just huuuuuuuuung out. Miracle on 34th Street with this mover and shaker. I lapped it up, my lap child (if only for one day).

Below are two out of twelve photos shot with my Kiev two weeks ago, newborn portraits. Big cheeks, little legs. Strange reflections in a giant floor mirror. New homes, and a new sense of family. Looking forward to watching two more babies grow in this new community. Baya, the mother of the twins (Leila in Jeremy's [Leo's pop] arms, Malek in mama arms) is so relaxed considering the potential hairiness that comes with having two newborns at once. I am continuously impressed with the families I come across.

Princess Leila in Jeremy's arms; Spring in Montreal, 2011.

Nearly edible newborn Malek and his ma; Spring in Montreal, 2011.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Little house.

I need some color in my life this morning. Leo is at the doctor with his ma, ear infection. Thus all the screaming. The photo below was shot in October sometime. I have had that purple pencil case since Grade five.

Also, does anyone know how to remove the border around the text and photo? Merci.

Old view of my worktable; Montreal, 2010.

Monday, April 11, 2011


What is it about Ktown? There is something magical about harbor towns. Red Lake, in northern Ontario is also magnificent. I will make my way back someday, just for the milkshakes and grilled cheese at the Lakeview Diner.

I love Kenora, Ontario. I used to visit this small city few times per year as a young chicken. My friend Jen had a cabin on Lake of the Woods and it was always a big deal to be dumped off by her parents at Dairy Queen on the edge of town. Armed with a Blizzard and a time frame we would run wild and explore. As time wore on, trips to Kenora became fewer and far between. When I started planting trees with a company based in Dryden, Ontario, Kenora became an intergral part of each summer. Last year we planted in the middle of the bush north of Kenora and days off were spent lazing around town like hot dogs in heat. Laundromat, Haps, beers on the sidewalk, that tiny diner with the weird breakfast. After six days of straight planting, we would squeeze into a planting bus piled high with laundry and gear and head for town. I don't know why but I have always needed a fair amount of solitary time and last season was no exception. Breaking away from the group, I would head off, loading my camera as I went in search of portraits. 

One day in particular, I met a man in a beater jean jacket hanging out in the sun on the front step of a bar. He looked kind and when I smiled at him he stuck out his hand to shake. No words necessary. We shook and I gave him a cold Lucky from a six pack of beer in my bag.  He cracked it straight away and I asked if I could take his photo. He obliged with a twinkle. I will never forget his kindness and trust. Face wide open, he gave it, the cold beer in his hand just out of frame. It was mutual and the moment translated on film. I live for those moments, if anything. Wordless, simple, truthful, telling. No need to double check what was just shot, it is in there. I am continually learning to trust that it is in there, a moment intercepted. 

I shot him twice even though there was no need for the second shot. The first photo is one out of nineteen I submitted in my Swamphand collection for one of my portfolios. More to come. Enjoy.

I want to live right here. Shot outside of Kenora, Ontario; 2010.

Tops of town. Shot on a high bank on the outskirts of Ktown. Kenora, Ontario; 2010.

Toddler time.

I am thinking about Le Poulet and he is only ten feet away, fast asleep with his arms above his ears. I am filled with love, even through the hysterical screaming. Upon entering Toddlerzone this grey morning, his mother wished me 'bon chance' and one 'get ready'. For what? For a toddler. The chick is morphing before my eyes. After Virginie left for work, I was left with a hysterical Poulet. He screams when he does not get his way, when he is mad, frustrated, annoyed, hurt. It is so painfully obvious that he wants to talk (or rather, be understood in his efforts to speak); he has been talking for months. Anyway, I learned such an incredible lesson in nurturing this morning. Normally my day with Leo begins with breakfast (screamfest), and then I zip around and tidy up, play on the floor making play soup or reading books until it is time for nap numero uno. Today I knew there would be no long haul nap (even though it was clear he was in dire need of a good snooze) as dance class started at 9:30. Instead, I took that screamer into my arms and just rocked him and rocked him until he relaxed into me. I think he just needed to be reassured that words will come (soon), that he is understood and loved by so many including me. I sometimes forget to tell him how much I adore him, it just goes without saying. But anyway, the house lay in ruins, dishes piled to the heavens and ignored it all went; Leo and I rocked back and forth behind a closed door in the soft light of morning, just me and him. Singing "if you like piña coladas, getting caught in the rain, bah bum bah bum bum" over and over until his little boy frame relaxed into sleep. I sat for a long time this morning, looking at Leo no more a baby, thinking of the beginning of our time together.

I hate waking him from sleep, but dance class was in order. We really shook it this morning, rumba, salsa, tambourines, shakers, you name it. Leo is only 16 months but he is quite a gros bebe (big baby) and it is hysterical to watch him interact with the other babies (who are much smaller). He was smitten with a plump little seven month old named Lilianne (gorgeous saucers) and kept crouching down to her level on the floor to offer her instrument after instrument. I had never seen him do this before as he is normally baby indifferent. Oh Leo. After class I ran errands and we zipped all over town in search of a track nut for my bicycle. No such luck. He was a good boy in all four of the bike shops we visited this morning, making people laugh left and right. Enroute to the last shop I knew of, I caught our reflection in a store window and said to no one "I am so happy". I really am.

Today I couldn't resist that one kitchen store I have been eyeing up for months. Knowing the quality ($$$) of the stock, I tend to skip on by just feasting my eyes on the displays through the windows. But Leo was chill on this rain Monday so I decided to go in in search of a zester. Well. Whoa. I could have spent four months rent in under 15 minutes, easy. Instead I bought the zester I needed and hightailed it out of there before I could get my greedy paws on anything else. Kitchenware, THAT to me is a wise investment. Spatulas, hand beaters (my goodness), flour sifters, KNIVES to die for, sieves fit for royalty, enamel pots, stainless steel pans, french cookware has me by the balls. I love it. I am going to try to take photos next time I go. If I ever own a shop, that is the kind of feel I hope it has.

This post was strange. Toddlers and french cookware. Who am I becoming? Haha, a mom. Looking forward to it!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Les enfants.

Yesterday I had the incredible privilege of taking some baby portraits for a friend of Leo's mama. Twin babies, nearly three months old--Malek and Leila. Delicious creatures, newborns on the brink of filling out, chubby cheeks and tiny bums, skinny legs attached to soft bodies. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh baby, how I love babies. Newborns are the best! I felt very close to Auntie Marj, as I always do when taking photos of brand new creatures. The mum of the twins was lovely and relaxed, encouraging me to do my thang', undress her children at my leisure. I wanted to cart them off to a sun-filled room and strip them down.

Rob Vilar hand friction before alighting my nanny hands on the babies. Tiny onesies, so much cuteness I could puke. And TWO. How the HELL does she do it? I asked Baya (the maman) how on earth she manages to get out of the house with two (it is hard enough with one) and she laughed and said she just hopes no one will steal one baby from the sidewalk while she gets the other.

It was such a beautiful thing to do yesterday afternoon, the sun was still high for five o'clock, warmth resting over the city's shoulders. Two cameras, not enough film (WHY do I continue to do this to myself; there is never enough film for newborns), racing between a squalling boy and a chill girl, swapping the Russian for the F3, blasting through film. Yum. Never sure of the turn out, it was more the process that hooked me. Documentation of growth. Baby portraits, there is a place for it somewhere. I find it so incredibly thrilling. Leo was there too with his ma and pa, along with the chaos that comes with having a 16 month old on the loose who knows exactly where the pot and tupperware drawers are located in every house he visits. There was a crazy chat dying to be let in, pawing wildly, drowsy babies draped on shoulders, slumped into each other--sister and brother--on a rocking chair. Light pouring in, delicate skin of brand new stomachs exposed to Sister Spring. God I love photography.

So many babies (from L: Malek, Leila, Leo); April Montreal, 2011.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I shot the tiny Italian.

Destroyer. That seems to be a good place to pick up a thread of thought after a short hiatus.

Destroyer; I first heard Destroyer in Josh Ruth's kitchen years ago. He put it on in the living room while I manned the kettle corn on the stove. Bukowski split open at the spine on the table, forgotten cocktails at midnight. The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over the Hills (1969), a poetry book by Bukowski sums up the pace of my life these days.

Wild horses.

Destroyer for me is a once in a while listen, not a friend of the ages musician in my collection such as Joanna Newsom. But a great listen when the time is right. Led by frontman Dan Bejar, Destroyer rolled through Montreal last weekend. I went alone and the show was really something. I take great pleasure in that knowing feeling that comes when one is on the cusp of witnessing something really incredible. It came just before the horns dropped in loops and the bass led the way, full percussion filling the venue with that weird voice at the helm of it all; it was a great show. Friday night date with myself and one beer.

I walked back to my home on Clark still vibrating with music. Unable to wind down, I hauled Jess downstairs and zipped around the flat of the neighborhood, practicing. I forget how to skid, my body has started this hop stop thing on my bike which is not the best riding technique. Actually it is a habit that I am trying to break while biking. Spring is in, no need to look any further for it. HalleluJAH. Nothing beats cycling at night, clear streets, no turds on bikes in sight, soft light, no gloves, no weight, just Jess and I in the wind. Track standing is not something I can do yet. I have been trying for years, that simple balance between pedal, chain tension and a cocked front wheel just out of reach. While riding, I thought back to the days when Hum and I would practice night riding in parking lots off Young and Balmoral, learning to skid with the most insane handlebar set up. Somestimes he would offer up his Bianchi. Riding an expensive bike is like nothing else! The Surly, the Gitane, the Bianchi; too many hot babes to choose from. I would practice for hours, sleep the last thing on my mind in the summer of 2008.

Dark of night sliding into the light of day, a bike between my legs. Give it to me.

There has been a quiet shift and cycling has climbed to the top of my priority list once more. I tried in vain to keep away from the internet for the weekend and the first half of this week and instead spent hours degreasing my chain, head bent, STTB, Strange Boys loud in headphones, beer on the floor beside me, an upside down bicycle. I chipped and scraped and now she is so insanely shiny. OCD Margot, I can't help it. When I get in the tuning zone, there is no satiating my hunger for the clean.

So there has been plenty of cycling. There are a SHIT TONNE of show riders in my neighborhood specifically. Lots of serious cyclists as well. I love the range. I am for fixed and have been for years and it annoys me when people ride bikes that are made to look like track bikes but are indeed free wheel. For show. Sham, in a word; get out of here.

Life these days is breezy. Leo is bon, baaaaaaaad and happy all wrapped into one laughing chicken; we adventure on the regular. I take him along while striking away at long To Dos, he laughs and continues to twinkle and old ladies double over to pinch his cheeks and smack their lips at him. I laugh at them. Le Poulet and I went record shopping yesterday at Phonopolis. Picked up oldie goldie Newsom to round out my Joanna collection, a record for Grant, and some Abner for me. Leo and I have been listening to a lot of Strange Boys and Kurt Vile lately. Leo and I have been ending each day together outside, chasing his frog ball (or "baaaah" silent L) along Waverly. Never in my life have I spent so much time on a single sidewalk. Our perch is the best for babe watching (while watching my own babe and his bah), I am trying with no success to teach the art of hand holding to Leo. Not interested. Tantrums and screaming fits are big these days, there are innumerable spontaneous 'lie downs' (as I like to call them) on the sidewalk when Le Poulet is fed up, tired, annoyed, laughing. He lies down, camps out. Passersby laugh at his weird little saucer-eyed creature screaming at top volume, sea creature legs stiff with dispute. What is there to do but lie down too? Arms behind my head, extended on the concrete. It is a great way to see the first signs of spring. Irises, tulips are well on their way. People must think we are nuts. Oh Leo, how I love you.

How will I leave you in September? I will think of you in the darkroom, dragging your wide eyes through trays of fixer, exposing your character in black and white.

Black and white photography saved my sanity this winter! Color was not cutting it and focusing on contrast seemed to help nip my winter woes in the bud. Hallelujah for Spring. I took the portrait of my life yesterday. What a sentence, sincere as the day I was born. THAT is why I shoot, for sentences like these. I did. I shot the tiny Italian. And for the first time out of four stoop visits, I began to understand him! He has a weird face, but passionate and full of stories. I was walking up Clark, away from my stoop and yelled Ciao while passing his. He was leaning on the rail and said "come here". He went off about war and fucking women and ITALIA and how life is SHORT (that much I know) and how he appreciated my happy demeanor. I know he was trying to convey some sort of life lesson to me, this young woman carrying the five pound camera, but between the Italian, French and English, it was lost upon me. At one point in his monologue, he had worked himself up so much that he stood silent for ten seconds and I raised my Kiev wordlessly and he nodded and broke into this bright smile. Viva Italia.

I carried on after four Caio's and three Bella's and made my merry way back to Phonopolis to shoot the new store's interior. Along the way, a slicked Spaniard made a romantic comment while I was mid stride and I shot him in the face, wide open. He gave it to me, sex slithering out nearly fogging the lens of my Russian. Whoa, what a day for portraits, HUMP DAY. There was something in the air!!! Spring, no less.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


What great teeth! Montreal, 2011.

Psyched on Lisa; Montreal, 2011.

I am Syd Reimer's granddaughter; Montreal, 2011. Photo. Lisa King.

Barking at dogs with Auntie Lisa; Montreal, 2011.

Loving life and each other; Montreal, 2011. Photo. Lisa King.

This is us in a nutshell; Montreal, 2011. Photo. Lisa King.

Camping out at Parc Outremont; Montreal, 2011. Photo. Lisa King.

Stenciltown in my bedroom; Montreal, 2011.

Margot Pollo Presents; Montreal, 2011.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Swiss Family Meganson.

Before hauling my bicycle down the stairs to ride into the night, I cruised through some old photos of 2008. I really got into nannying that year and went as far as Europe to give it a shot. It was a family deal, not an au pair situation and I knew the kids going in. Thank the good Lord for that. 

Three years ago at the turn of Spring, I hightailed it for Switzerland leaving behind a mess of a life I had created. Forever running, this woman. Tristan and Madi kept it real, it was quite the learning experience. High speed trains were so scary, I was in constant fear of becoming lost. As the weeks wore on, I became obsessed with running in my spare time. Jill Sawatzky and I had been training for an upcoming half marathon and it only made sense to go it alone. Waking early to make lunches, clean up, make breakfast, pack the kids and then walk a mile to the station in Bassersdorf (a small town, 25 minutes from Zurich by train), ride to one school, walk to another, stop in at Zara, try on party, back on the train, home, RUN. It was an incredible experience to explore the countryside on foot. Tristan was four and insane, Madi was seven at the time and had to do all my wheelin' and dealin' over butcher, grocery and bakery counters as I knew not a lick of Swiss-German. 

It was quite the experience; I had nearly forgotten about it. Going to start running again; sweet retrospect.

Day off in Zurich, Switzerland; 2008.

Town of Bassersdorf, Switzerland; 2008.

Don't be fooled by those lashes; Switzerland, 2008.

Perched atop of a mountain in Thun; Switzerland, 2008.

First glimpse of Zurich outside the Hopbahnhof; 2008.

Zurich is striking; 2008.

Fight night; Switzerland, 2008.

Pulling into the Hopbahnhof in Zurich; Switzerland, 2008.

Madi at the playground; 2008.

Day off in Zurich; Switzerland, 2008.