Archive for May, 2011

May 28, 2011

Stay Young, Go Dancing


There is big news for MEmusic this week! Death Cab for Cutie, one of my favourite bands of all time has a new cd coming out this week and I am pumped. I have been able to listen to it a few times now and I love what I hear!

You may have heard the single “You’re A Tourist” that they have already released from Codes and Keys which is to be released on Tuesday May 31st. If you haven’t heard this yes check out the video below, it’s a pretty catchy tune and a pretty fun video. I do love the guitar riff in this track.

The track however that I am playing over and over again right now is called Stay Young, Go Dancing.  You can check it out on the MEmusic tab.

Check them both out. If you find yourself saying, who the heck is Death Cab for Cutie then get with the program.



May 27, 2011

Swim Day 1

Can You Say Lap Pool

Wow what a busy couple of weeks! I can’t believe it’s been almost a week since I last posted. It feels like so much has happened on my road to MEfurbishment. This week I took a huge step forward in my bucket for physical health with the start of my new swimming practice.

With the overwhelming response I received to my ad to use a pool in exchange for cleaning it, I met a great family just 15 minutes from my home. They have a wonderful 60 foot indoor lap pool which was a great way to get back into the water after years of avoiding the deck of a pool like the plague.

I swam for the first time after doing my allotted service of vacuuming the pool. What a treat! It was so great to be back in the water. I am going to track my progress on what else, another tab called MElaps.

Don’t Try This At Home

To start I did some warming up by just walking the length of the pool and back a few times, then I started my laps. I was pretty discombobulated at first, flopping around like a fish on a hook, but gradually I found my stride and settled on what used to me my favourite stroke, the breast stroke.  I ended up doing 20 laps total for a swim time of almost 20:00. It was a totally different experience for me than other types of exercise that I have undertaken. The nice cool water made me feel like I could go forever! Thankfully I listened to my intuition and stopped exercising after the 20 minutes and just goofed around for a bit after that because using those muscles to that extent had me pretty stiff the next day.

I am cautiously optimistic that I will be able to continue to keep a consistent swimming practice as a form of fun and pain minimizing exercise.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Hey check me my new favourite pool out below!



May 21, 2011

Someday Soon

My Motivators

It’s a beautiful day in sunny Ottawa today, the kind of day that just screams, use me! Occasionally on days like this I think of the many things I could be doing, if I had other parts of my life in order. These are things that I can’t do due to physical or financial limitations.  I decided that I am missing an opportunity to use these things as motivators to push forward in my MEfurbishment.

To that end I thought I would use a little bit of time this morning to make a list of some goals, things I would like to be able to try at some point in the future. This will help me with my MEbucket’s as well. When looking for things that will foster and develop a certain bucket, it is helpful to have a master list to draw from. This is also a great tool for looking back to see progress. A year from now, when I look back over the year and see some items crossed off my list I can feel a sense of accomplishment and gratitude.

Below is a list of things that I would like to bring into my life at some point in my journey. I would love to hear from you about some of the things that are on your list. Things that you have been putting off, preparing for or just haven’t got to yet.

Someday soon I will…..



May 19, 2011

Enough Wise Ideas

The Execut(ion)er

I’m a great starter. It’s always been one of my strengths to come up with big ideas. I do great research, I plan well, I create custom forms of tracking and accountability and then I get at it. Occasionally this gets me into trouble.  After the high of all the strategy and planning wears off, I am left with delivery. Execution. Monotony.

It is clear to me today that this is a short sited view when I quickly forget why I had the big idea to begin with. There was something I wanted to manifest in my life, some goal I wanted to reach, or some problem I want to solve. Without the execution of the plan true MEfurbishment will never happen. This is the insight I had when I was meditation this morning.

Happy Life

I have had lots of ideas and lots of plans lately and I want to make sure I take stock of my progress but also remember where I am heading with all of this. I want to MEfurbish my life. My buckets are clear and my plans are made. That is not to say that this are rigid or unchangeable but rather that I must not allow myself to become distracted. I am aiming for good health, good relationships, and a happy life.

All this is to say that the tone of is moving out of an ideas phase and into an action phase and this is what I will continue to share with you in the weeks ahead. To that end I have added a new widget to my sidebar that shows my weight loss to since I started tracking my food and exercise on

I have a lot to do to move the needle in this and my other buckets before I get back to ideas.

Wish me luck!



May 18, 2011

MEbucket Is Full

20/20 As They Say

It’s funny how the passage of time or some new insight can totally shift your perception on something. I was spending some time this morning reflecting on MEbucket’s and looking too see where I need to take some action. I began by going through my list of bucket items to see where I have not taken any action recently and an interesting fact came to light.

When I placed my ad on Kijiji at the beginning of the month, there was no doubt in my mind what bucket I was trying to take action in – Health. It is really interesting to me that now in hindsight; I can see how this action is having an impact in the area of every one of my MEbucket’s. Here’s my breakdown.


This one is pretty obvious and was my original intention. The most basic goal here is to get some activity. In my struggles with my weight, most recently I have found it hard to find exercise that I can actually do. Finding access to a pool that I can use will be easier on my joints and as a result, I will be able to sustain it. It’s also something that I love and miss doing. To be excited about exercise is something that I know will only benefit me in the long run.


Money talks, and since I don’t have any, there hasn’t been a lot of talking going on lately in this area. With my current financial situation, it was imperative that I look for a means of exercise that was cost effective. What could be more cost effective than free! My willingness to do some manual labour in return for access to a pool is my means of “payment.” The other less tangible thought I have is that my overall health and level of fitness are both likely to have a positive impact on my ability to generate income in the future. So this saves me money now, and makes me money in the future. I like that!


I have received many many emails, comments, well wishes, and shows of support since my CBC Interview was broadcast on May 17th. Without a doubt the word used most to describe the steps I took to prioritize my exercise by placing an ad to do manual labour in exchange for pool access was “creative.” I would never have really looked at it that way unless others told me it was the case, but now I can see it clear as day. I guess desperation is a real springboard towards creativity.


The impact to the environment is a little more subtle than some of the other more apparent buckets nut it is there, in the nuances.  There are many times that I end up using my car in a situation where I would certainly be able to use a bike or my legs if I was in better shape. Running errands locally, doing fun things with my daughter and a variety of other things that I typically use my car for could be done without the vehicle.  Wear and tear on my clothes, the amount of packaging I end up using, and even the frequency of my trips to the doctor are all impacted by my size.


This one is a no-brainer. The community has just opened up in front of my eyes as a result of this situation. I am getting so much support from the community it is mind blowing. Even more, I am going to be meeting some members of the community as I get out there and start to use their pool. The interview on CBC was a direct and extreme form of conversation with the community and the connections I have made are priceless.


This may be the most exciting bucket that is going to be filled by my reaching out. The idea of swimming frequently has been something that I have carried around with me for some time. When I was younger I was a fish! We had a pool in our backyard when I was in elementary school and I missed it ever since.  I am so pumped about getting an opportunity to get into the water and get my heart pumping.


I will be forging new relationships and making the ones I have stronger. I have already met several new folks and plan to me meeting more over the next few days and beyond. Exercising, getting in better shape, and spending time discussing this project with friends and family are already having an impact.

I know I have made a great decision for my overall happiness when I can look back and see that every bucket I have is filling up. Something tells me that I may even start to overflow in a bucket or two and really, can I ask for anything more than that?

Isn’t life grand?



May 17, 2011

Couldn’t Ask For More

Great Response

The CBC has posted an article about my ad on their website now as well and I am getting email after email with offers to help and great words of encouragement. I really cant say how grateful I am to get this kind of response. Responses are coming in from all over the country.

Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to send a personal note.

You can read the CBC Article here



May 17, 2011

The Universe Came Through!

Putting Myself Out There

I’m sitting here in the well-worn seat of my Starbucks home office and my mind is racing.

As many of you are aware, I have posted on my attempts to get more active and a big part of MEfurbish is my sharing of this journey with you. I have had limited success with MEcycle and MEactive and the reality is that this is direct result of my current size and some of my physical limitations.   The Wii Active 2 has been hard on my knees within the 90 day challenge that I was doing. I have had to put this on hold for a while. Cycling has been better on my knees, but harder on my back and other joints.

On May first, I posted an ad on Kijiji looking for access to a pool in exchange for me cleaning the pool. Kind of a win-win was my thought. You can read that Kijiji ad here. Perhaps not surprisingly, I had not seen a reply of any kind until late last week when Hallie Cotnam from the CBC Radio One Ottawa Morning show contacted me with an interest in my ad and story. She in fact asked if she could interview me for an eye towards a program CBC is running called Live Right Now and I obliged. We met yesterday and had a great talk and our chat was broadcast live on the morning show today.

Ask And You Shall Recieve

Ironically, I actually received another reply to my ad late last night prior to the interview even being broadcast with an offer to talk about my barter proposal. Since the interview was broadcast this AM I have also received many emails of general support and a couple from folks in similar situations who are eager to see how this works out.  I have also had several responses from other interested in offering me their pool.

What’s the lesson here? Ask and you shall receive. You may even receive more than you asked for which is the case for me today. I have received a show of support that I could never have imagined and that is priceless!

You can listen to the CBC interview with Hallie Cotnam here:



May 5, 2011

Helplessness Blues

Love it!

A great CD is often the impetus for me take action on something that I haven’t been giving enough of my time. Once again this happened this week when I was listening to Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes.  Sometimes I am motivated by the lyrics or the high tempo beat of a song. In the case of Helplessness Blues it is just the overall tone of the CD. I just love the vocal harmonizing. I can’t put my finger on why, but when I listen to this CD I just feel alive.  The Fleet Foxes have somehow motivated me to take on another project that I had put some thought into in the past but decided not to move forward. I guess it was just not the right time.

I haven’t been writing as much as I would have liked for MEfurbish as I am in the process of trying to get this project off the ground. Things should slow down in the next few days and I will be back to posting every day for the most part. In the short term, I just really wanted to share with you Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes. You can listen to the track on MEmusic or watch the video for the title track below.

Great stuff!