I got an e-mail Monday about a secret flu shot clinic for employees of my health region, including Disability Support Providers (me). It was a ten minute walk from my house (where I got led into an Authorized Personnel Only room), convenient as I am also high risk because of my asthma. Also it is basically next door to 7-Eleven. And a lovely morning for a walk.

It is the first day of Fall, the people of the internet (aka my friends on Facebook) are telling me. It’s kind of hard to believe given I got back from beautiful California less than a week ago where it feels like summer and is generally pretty. Alas, my favourite season—Fall—is upon us, and I engaged in an (iced) pumpkin spice chai at Vancouver airport at probably ten-something PM on Monday night.  (Pumpkin spice chai is amazing. I was getting ehhh about normal pumpkin spice lattes, honestly, and I am thrilled by pumpkin spice chai lattes.)

And is obligatory on the first day of Fall, listening to Come Winter by Daphne Loves Derby (on repeat), as has been my general habit since about 2014, if not earlier.

If you’ve got Apple Music, here’s a link to a slightly different EP version that I’m enjoying.

Fall is my favourite season not just because of pumpkin spice. I enjoy the cooler weather, the jeans-and-hoodies combo, the foray into toque-season (without the brutal cold associated with toque season), the fact that Goalball starts soon (and archery!), the fact that my lungs generally like Fall, and the fact that I get back to a bit more solid of a routine—for the lack of routine I generally have, even in the non-Summer months. Despite some of the worst moments of my life happening in the beginning portion of Fall (looking at you, 2013 and 2014, and even 2016), these have all come with resolution attached—“part of a change for better” (I Swear This Place is Haunted, A Skylit Drive)—or at least a piece of resolution that produced a change I can, at least now, feel positively about.

This year, again, fresh off a return from Stanford Medicine X, and subsequent #MedXHangover and ongoing recovery, I feel that sense of renewal, that sense of recharged passion and purpose for creating change, both in myself and in the world. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve got some other advocacy-related travel opportunities in the works (travel may exhaust people but it energizes me), or that I met so many amazing people last weekend at MedX. It doesn’t hurt that the people I met and the experience I had at IDEO for the Medicine X – IDEO Design Challenge re-inspired me to think differently, creatively, in terms of “How Might We”s and innovation and possibility and better. No, spending a glorious two days with one of my favourite people on earth, Stephen, in Santa Cruz to relax and recharge even prior to embarking on the Medicine X whirlwind of inspiration, that didn’t hurt either. Meeting a dozen Canadians at MedX reminded me that things are possible, change is possible, even in our slow-moving, lack-of-progress medical system (although I maintain Toronto is more receptive to change than Winnipeg/Manitoba/our ridiculous healthcare-killing Conservative Government is). I am ready to do more. Batteries recharged.

I am re-energized. Re-inspired. Thanks both to California, to the MedX Family, to friends, and to the crispness of Fall.

Well, I’m sure another pumpkin spice chai latte wouldn’t hurt, either.

On the 12th of each month, a bunch of bloggers from around the world take 12 pictures throughout the day.  Here are my pictures for October 12th, 2011!


8:54 am – work. Blurry gym!  I decided to take all my pictures on my iPod today, but don’t have an epic camera app.  Fortunately, this is the worst of them.  This is the entrance to the gym where I spend most of my mornings at work!


8:56 am – bus stop. Fall is upon us. :]  I love Fall.


10:03 am – commute. Apparently there were men working above.  Just in case they fall on you or something, then you know?  I guess.  Not sure the actual purpose of this sign.


10:04 am – commute. HOCKEY!!!


10:12 am – mom’s office. I’m sure the real reason the university can’t afford to give us photocopies is that they use far too much electricity.


12:50 pm – commute. On my way to practicum from the bus.  The whole bus issue was very confusing, but Dean made things better.  Hooray for buses with names I don’t understand but take me where I know where stuff is!


12:54 pm – senior’s apartment/practicum. Waiting for T, the recreation therapist who’s coordinating my practicum..


1:55 pm – recreation room. The blue team totally kicked butt at Ladder Golf.  [I was on the yellow team and keeping score, I didn’t help much, evidently!]


4:15 pm – gym. Watching Ellen while riding the bike and listening to Matthew Good.  So I have no idea what the girls in tutus singing Nicki Minaj actually sounded like.  But evidently they were good as they got to go on Ellen and meet Nicki Minaj.


4:34 pm – gym. Workout done.  Wednesday workouts are pretty quick because they happen between afternoon and evening class and we still have to eat food so as not to starve during evening class.  Though everybody just brings delicious smelling food to class anyway.



5:48 pm – school. As part of my Physical Activity and Aging class, we went to a lecture by Paul Estabrooks on motivating people to be active.  Mostly it had to do with interventions that are beyond the scope of independently motivating someone to exercise.  Oh well.


11:05 pm – home. Printing some papers for Tara, which leads to using the Windows computer downstairs since I can’t yet figure out how to network it with my MacBook Pro.  Here’s another nice thing about having a Mac — no ridiculous “applying update one billion”.  Basically this scared me and made me think the computer was going to explode.


12 of 12 was created by Chad Darnell.  Check out his blog to see a list of all September 12 of 12s.  Thanks for dreaming up this awesome idea to connect people around the world, and for allowing us to infiltrate your blog space for another year!

Dear Canada,

We need to have a little talk.  It’s October 5th. It’s apparently 31*C outside.  And while I enjoy this, it’s not particularly suitable when I wore my [new] hoodie and [new] jeans to school today.  [Note: in Saskatchewan, they call hoodies BUNNYHUGS.  I love this.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and cuddly.  Because what is badass about a freaking bunnyhug?]  And then it became 31*.  Last week it was like fifteen.

Next week it will be snowing, or hailing.  I swear.  Canada, you’re a little indecisive about this whole weather thing.

Or perhaps you’ll revert to actual seasonally appropriate temperatures and I can wear my new jeans and new hoodie and fuzzy socks and not feel ridiculous about it.

How does that sound?  We got a deal, Canada?



So not only do I have a pretty dang sweet job [where I get to play with lego and plan gym games], I also do super-fun stuff at school [kinesiology — the program where you play in the gym, talk about food and watch a fair amount of YouTube.  Oh yeah, and help learn how to teach people to change themselves so that they can in turn do the same for others.  Nothing better.]

And really, it’s not every day where your prof ends class telling you “Go play in leaves!”

. . . I take these things literally.  And tell my friends that my homework is to play in leaves.

And they believe me.  Okay, it wasn’t ACTUAL homework, but I determined I’m going to someday become a grad student and write a thesis entitled “Playing in leaves: social, emotional and physiological benefits”.  That’s legit, right?  I guess up here in the frozen north, I’d have to have a second study about the effects of playing in snow, too.


In preparation for said thesis, I asked Donald and Mike to rank how they were feeling prior to playing in leaves on a scale of one to ten, ten being the happiest ever.  Mike declined to answer and Donald gave a seven, which decreased to five once we saw a Lost Cat sign, then increased back to seven once the role of exercise in the cat’s lostness was discussed and it was determined that the lost cat was getting a lot of exercise.

Evidently, I do very scientific studies.  The initial scale test was performed while seeking out leaves but before arriving at the study site, which the participants than prepared:


Yes, we did walk there with a rake.  Awesomeness ensued, including Donald skipping.  Happiness scale should have been repeated for validity.


pushed in leaves :]

Donald then said “Give me your camera”, which I surrendered to him, then he pushed me in the leaves.

After leaves were dragged across the park and put into a pile, participants fell/jumped into the leaves.  One participant also lost his sunglasses, which were not found.  This did not alter happiness that playing in leaves had created.

The scale test was repeated after playing in leaves, and both participants answered 10 out of 10.

lovelies! <3

After which the participants meandered home singing the Bananas in Pyjamas theme song in accents.  Because nothing says happy like singing theme songs to ’90s kids shows in accents, walking home with a rake and making London Fogs.


While further research needs to be conducted, validity of this study is greater than that of the Wakefield “study”.  Participants not only ranked happiness higher upon questioning, but also appeared more happy.  Based on primary research, it can be determined that playing in leaves can have positive effect socially, emotionally and physiologically.  Further studies will be modified to include more rakes, more participants and more leaves.