Category Archives: sisters

friday favourite – traveling with my sister

We are off again! We seem to enjoy traveling together because we keep doing it.


There’s our bi-annual wellness week at Rancho la Puerta and hiking in Cinque Terre,


fondue in Switzerland and cafes in Venice,


lobster rolls in Martha’s Vineyard and Prince Edward Island. And lots of laughs, cocktails and various styles of glasses and hair along the way. We are heading to Nevis for a week and will be off the grid but we will let you know the highlights in an upcoming blog. And we are talking about where to next…the Shetland Islands and Norway keep appearing on our radar screen…we’ll let you know!




friday favourite – sundowners

A sundowner (when you are on safari) means stop what you are doing, set up a bar with the best view of the sunset and have a cocktail! Having just returned from the most amazing trip on safari in Botswana, sundowners are my new friday favourite!

This first G&T was on a boat on the Zambezi River, near Victoria Falls, watching hippos.


The next one was on the Boteti River watching elephants splash.


This ‘bush’ bar magically appeared after a canoe ride in the Okavango Delta!


And this one was overlooking the Chobe River, at Chobe Game Lodge!



It’s not that kind of STD

My sister and I have both been involved in sex ed of sorts – she got paid to do it as a college lecturer and I volunteered at a birth control centre years ago. In that world, STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) were something to avoid. But today I came up with another meaning for the acronym…something that might be shared but not nearly as nasty! We’ve both been struggling with it and maybe you have too.

 Seasonal transition disorder.

You know that in between place. You are shedding layers as the warmer weather lurks nearby. But you find some extra layers that settled in over winter that are harder to drop. You wanna get outside but the winter hibernation exhaustion just won’t wake up. And just as you got ready to pass by the root vegetable based comfort food, you aren’t yet inspired to chop that salad every day.

 Here are some of the seasonal transition decisions we have talked about trying.

  1.  Just eat one vegetable instead of making an entire salad. Cut up an entire red pepper. Chop up a cucumber, add a little feta, olive oil and lemon juice. Eat an avocado au naturel.
  2. Change up your routine. Add in some morning stretches before work to warm up your brain and your limbs.
  3. Try something for just 30 minutes…and you might want to do more – like gardening, biking, walking or cleaning.
  4. Write it down. Frustrated with what you are eating or how to get more active? Keeping track of what you eat and your activities might shed some light on patterns you could tweak.

 Most of all…hang in there. When summer really arrives, the outdoor living will motivate you (us!) to eat more grilled, in season veggies, and walk and move more during the longer daylight hours.


picking a word for 2017


We started 2016 with our words for the year. I had to look back to see what I had chosen…so maybe it didn’t stay in my consciousness very long!

So we’re going to do it again to start 2017.


My word is move. Not that I intend to move my house – more my body, my mind, my sketching pens…and more.

And my sister’s word is mindfulness. A great word and practice and way of looking at yourself and the world.

We’d love to hear about your words.

Happy New Year!


taking the ranch home

Every Friday afternoon at Rancho la Puerta they offer a lecture called Taking The Ranch Home. The goal is to help guests adopt healthy lifestyle changes from the Ranch and incorporate them into their everyday life. Since we just arrived home, it seems like a good time to reflect on what we are ‘taking home from the ranch’ this year.

Move early in the day. Hike, walk, swim…do it first thing before life gets in the way. Even better if you can be outside and watch the sun rise.

Eat well. It’s pretty easy to do at the Ranch because every meal includes about 15 different vegetables, a delicious soup and someone else did the work! With a little planning you can make healthy choices for your meals too.

Make time for reflection. The world would be a better place if we stopped every once in awhile during the day to pause, meditate, focus, count to 10, count your blessings…whatever you want to call it.

Spend time with your sister, or girlfriends or whoever listens to you and gets you!


ready for the road

Something in our genetics includes long distance driving. It’s not for everyone, but all five siblings in our family, and many of the next generation, love to drive.

And given the 800 or so kilometres between our two cities, there have been endless trips from the U.S. to Canada and back again. Over the years, we’ve perfected the road trip experience – well, our version of it that is usually focused on the destination.

Map from Guelph, ON, Canada to Worcester, MA

Here’s what we’ve found as successful road trip tips. See if they might work for you.

  1. Leave early. Six a.m. is a great target time, even earlier in the summer months. The roads aren’t busy and starting out with the sunrise gives an energy to the first few hours of the trip.
  2. Pack food. This seems obvious, but a good reminder to pack all the foods groups. A bit of healthy crunch (carrots, celery and peppers), some sweet, some salty and some junk. Well, other than the food groups that the border folks will confiscate, but I can never remember which ones those are.
  3. Dehydrate. Yup, that’s right. Purposely dehydrating helps line the pee stops up with the gas fill ups, and no more. And there’s lots of time to rehydrate at the other end – where a gin and tonic is always waiting.
  4. Use a laundry bin. Don’t stress about packing a suitcase, and give the border security full view of everything you are bringing. Just pack your clothes in a laundry hamper and toss it in the back of the car.
  5. Find the right entertainment. I used to listen to music on the whole trip. And every time, I would have James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James on just as I passed Stockbridge, MA. Then I tried books on tape. My favourite are murder mysteries that last about 7 hours. I am trying to figure out whodunit and boom, the trip is done.

We are heading out on a road trip in a week or so to my nephew’s wedding. Can’t wait to do that trip again.