Sunday, April 29, 2007


Today was an absolutely gorgeous day and it was also the gathering of the Huot clan for Grandma Huot's 80th birthday celebration: aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great grandchildren and the most important guest, grandma.

It was quite an honor to be given this chance to celebrate with people whom I am a blood relative of, but am only just beginning to get to know and it is an amazing memory to carry with me as I head back to China.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The 5th Roommate

Pussy-cat, pussy-cat,where have you been?
I've been to London to see the Queen.
Pussy-cat, pussy-cat,what did you do there?
I frightened a little mouseunder the chair.

Though the lovely Dina has never met the queen and the mouse would probably frighten her under the chair, she has be a loveable addition to the house.

Over the past 8 months she has timidly crept down the stairs stealing herself in and out of doorways until she made the house her home.

In just a few short days she will be whisked away to a new life in Alberta with her chosen Jen, but I have enjoyed her company as she hops up on the table to bath in the sunshine while I work on papers, runs after my shoe-laces when I prepare to head out for a run, and bats at my hand when she is certain I have not given her enough attention.

Thank you for picking me as your friend Dina!

Sunday, April 22, 2007



Today was Jen-girls final recital and the last step of her academic journey thus far. She did an amazing job! Proud of you girlie-girl!!

Another Thoughtful Thought

Comes the Dawn
(thanks Aunt Rita)

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand
and sharing a life
And you learn that love doesn’t mean possession
and company doesn’t mean security and loneliness is universal

And you learn that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up
and your eyes open with the grace of a woman and not the grief of a child.

And you learn to build your hope on today as the future has a way of falling apart in mid-flight because tomorrow’s ground can be too uncertain for plans,
yet each step taken in a new direction creates a path toward the promise of a brighter dawn.

And you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much,
so you plant your own garden
and nourish your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn to love,
true love always has joys and sorrows
seems ever present, yet is never quite the same
becoming more than love and less than love
so difficult to define

And you learn that through it all you really can endure
that you really are strong
that you do have value

and you learn and grow with every goodbye you learn.

-Joy Whitman-

Thoughtful thought

Be patient with all that is unsolved in your heart...
Try to love the questions themselves...

Do not now seek the answers,
which cannot be given
because you would not be able to live them.

And the point is,
to live everything.

Live the questions now.

Perhaps you will then
without noticing it,
Live along some distant day
into the answers

Rainier Maria Rilke

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Blossoms Galore

They are just so gorgeous that I had to add a few more photos (if you click on them you can sometimes get the full version).

Saturday, April 07, 2007

D'boyz Run Again

A few weeks ago the boyz ran yet another Marathon/Half Marathon in Xiamen. It was HOT and HUMID and...did I mention HOT - but they all made it their respective distances without passing out.

(David, Andre, Mikael, Pete, Mike)




After 7 months the first stage of my PhD studies is wrapping up. April 5th was the last day of class and, as I tie up the loose ends to my final policy paper, I am taking a moment to reflect on what I will have accomplished by the time I depart for China on May 8th:

15 papers - written
4 powerpoint - designed and presentation
3 modules - designed and wrote
3 scholarship applications - submitted
1 scholarship - won
3 conferences - presented at
2 social presentations - given
2 trips to Beijing and
1 trip to Hangzhou and
1 trip to Omaha and
1 trip to Prince George
3 trips to Vancouver
1 marathon - trained and ran
2 half marathons - trained and ran

It has been a very interesting and rewarding journey the success of which has been dependent upon a number of key things:

hours spent on msn and skype with Mike
more hours spent on the phone with Dad
laughter and the building of memories with Jean, Jen, and Nina (and Dina-the cat)
the amazing friendship of my cousin Michelle, and friends Dirk and Gigi, Ron, and Dwayne
inspirations and running support from James, Katherine W., and all those in China (Andre, Peter, Mikael, David...etc)
the incredible support of my supervisor Jessica
and the faculty and staff (Katherine and Sandra!!)
finding the humor in statistics with my 4 colleagues
the knowledge that others were enduring similar challenges balancing life, work, school
(David B. - good to know you were out there too)

late, late, late nights
copious amounts of coffee
a very comfortable chair
the reliablity of my Dell

From wondering what I was doing here to a renewed excitment in academics, this has been a journey with much to be remembered.