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Friday, January 22, 2010

Questions, questions, questions.

As I have alluded to in previous posts, taking on this challenge wasn't exactly a long-standing plan, but more of an impulsive decision. That being said, there are a lot of areas that I haven't yet considered. A friend of mine posed me the following questions on the facebook group, and I thought it might be interesting to explore them here:

She wrote:
"Maren, I have a few questions. What if friends want you to come out for dinner with them? Must you decline? Or what about if you want to go snowboarding/skiing for the weekend, do you not purchase a ticket? Trips - must they be in a car with premade meals? What of money for 'fun' things? I assume alcohol fits in the be...verages category, does that mean your going to buy all Canadian homegrown wine? Ahh so many questions! So exciting!"

Okay, going out to dinner:
I think that I have sort of made up my own mind on this one. I am going to attempt to avoid big chain restaurants at all costs. So, if it is locally owned, it is okay. Also, no extravagant meals (not that I normally partake in these anyway, but, I guess that it should still be stated). I don't think that it would be realistic (or fun) to spend a year without going out for a meal AT ALL. As a rule, I rarely eat out anyway, so now it is just a matter of finding some neat little businesses to do it in. I am looking forward to both the challenge and the new experiences. By the way, if you know any great little restaurants/cafes in the Edmonton area, please let me know and I will try them out or pass them along to others.

Next, recreation:
The recreation thing is easy for me (mostly), because I tend to participate in sports that are either low cost or free once you have all of the necessary gear (which, luckily, I do). My sports of choice include: running, biking, cross-country and backcountry skiing (if people can put up with all of my falling!), ice climbing, rock climbing, hiking, scrambling, paddling, etc. Again, mostly free once you have the gear. There are two places where I am going to be challenged here. Number one is, what happens when I need new runners? (which is inevitably going to happen this year). But, I am going to leave you in suspense on this one and leave it to a later blog entry to discuss it. Number two is, I am training for a triathlon right now and need to use the rec centre pool (since all of the outside bodies of water around my place are FROZEN SOLID! To know more about how I feel about his, please see the entry about MOVING!) Given this frigid situation, I am a member of a rec centre so that I can do my swims and some of my bikes/runs there when the weather is too cold. I don't see this as 'consumption' because no end product is going into the landfill and it is really an affordable price for a monthly membership. If you disagree, I welcome your comments and/or suggestions.

Next, travel:
Okay, this is the toughest one of all for me because, as many of you know, I am truly a travel junkie. I think that I did ten trips last year alone! I am addicted and if I could, I would spend all of my time, energy and money in order to continue on in this very same fashion! So, for this year, I honestly don't think I could give it up entirely, but I am going to reduce the amount that I do travel. We are discussing taking two trips, one in the spring, and one in the fall. We will of course continue to go to the mountains on the weekends as often as we possibly can, and we are planning on spending most of the summer in Nordegg. So, if I am 'cheating' on any area of my plan, it is for sure this one. I just can't help myself!

Finally, wine:
Okay, another area in which I don't plan to be perfect. I love wine. In fact, I love it so much that I might even say that I like it more than coffee. I also think that I am going to need to continue to enjoy wine in order to make good on the rest of my challenges (!). My plan therefore is to continue to drink wine, but just drink less of it. We already purchase a lot of Canadian wines so I don't think that we need to make huge changes here. Again, I would love to hear from you if you have feedback or input on this one.

So, I think that about sums up the answers to the questions. I look forward to your feedback if you should have any.

And now, for an especially fitting quote:
Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy. - Benjamin Franklin

Salut! And thanks for reading!
Marebear :)


  1. I can recommend a cafe in Edmonton called Leva
    ( which is "an Italian style cafe located on a quiet street in the Garneau district. It has been serving Edmonton area patrons since 2001" They also host poetry readings, live music, wine tastings and so forth.

  2. I can't recommend a restaurant/cafe in Edmonton, but when you visit Canmore (which I hope is soon :-), there are plently of unique, locally operated and healthy options. I agree that a year spent not treating yourself to a meal out would be hard (although, not impossible). You could combine your travel and meals out to help you indulge from time to time. It is bound to happen that you eat out when travelling, so you could just catagorize your "dining out" time period to only happen when you travel. Just a suggestion...

    I have too many questions to write down, as I am trying this as well. May need to call you lady, as my days are uber full with computer time. Most of the questions are floating in my head and come up when I read a posting. Will touch base with you soon. Thanks again for the efforts with this challenge! They are def inspiring!

    Love and Hugs,