Friday, 31 May 2013

Sliding into my outdoor shoes...finally

This was the LONGEST wait for Spring ever. Mother Nature kept teasing us with warm weather, then snow, then record-highs, and more snow. It was like a giant pinball game. I thought I’d never get outside for practice.

But I think the worst of the cool weather is behind us. Which means, I’m trading in my gym pass for my outdoor sneakers and hitting the pavement. Or the trails around Grandpa’s canola field.

Track and field training has begun, and if I want a leg up on the competition, I need to push hard. I heard Lightening has already beat his personal best!

Practice is essential but I know eating right and getting lots of sleep also keep me fresh and fueled for the track. I’m powering through Grandma’s delicious Strawberry smoothies, loading up on delicious fruits and veggies, some protein, whole grains and a bit of healthy fats.

 Now, if this wind would just die down!

Gotta jet! 

- Chase "Superman" Duffy

Friday, 24 May 2013

Putting myself in their shoes

It’s National EMS and Police Officer’s week and to celebrate, my school is hosting a job fair that gives us a broad view of a few careers that might be of interest “when we grow up.”

To be honest, I’ve never thought much about being anything BUT a professional track and field star. I mean, sure, I’ve kind of considered being a writer of some sort, even though I don’t know if I’m any good. (Though, after this week’s photography story starter, I know I’m getting better. I love what I’ve written so far!) I’ve also thought about being an astronomer (what a blast!), or even a race car driver – how cool would those careers be?

But when it comes down to it, the only “career” I’ve given considerable thought to, is running.

Dad says the career fair will be an eye-opening experience. I don’t know that I could ever be a police officer – seems pretty dangerous. And an EMS worker? Not sure I have the stomach for that, either. But I’ll go take a look and keep an open mind. I’m sure there are many paths within these careers that are not shown on TV shows,

And who knows, I’m still young – Dad says I have plenty of time to figure out all I want to be when I grow up. If being a track and field star doesn’t quite pan out, or when I’m too old to run anymore, of course…

One thing I do know, I have a lot of respect for the work police officers and EMS responders do. This week, I’m going to thank every police officer I see.

Hey! What do YOU want to be when you grow up?

Gotta jet!

- Chase "Superman" Duffy

Friday, 17 May 2013

A picture is worth a thousand words

You’ll never guess what I’m doing this long weekend? Go ahead. Try.

Ha! Okay, okay, I’ll spill – I can’t hold it in any longer anyway. Dad and I are taking a PHOTOGRAPHY class. Isn’t that great?!

At this time of year, there are lots of things to take pictures of – like blooming flowers (tulips and daffodils for Mom), the turning leaves (so much green!), bugs, birds and bees. Wahoo!

It’s perfect because our family has had this giant, professional-looking camera around the house forever. Mom says it’s about time someone learned how to use it. So, Dad and I are taking on the challenge – photography and learning to share who will get that camera and when...

I know, it seems like I have a whole bunch of hobbies – running, writing, reading, helping Grandpa with chores around the farm, etc. – but I think it’s great to have so many things to keep me active and busy. All of these ‘doings’ give me ideas of what I can talk about with adults – most of them would not understand the characters of the video games I play…

Plus! My Language Arts teacher says pictures can be perfect story starters. Kind of like that cliché “a picture is worth a thousand words.” In fact, I’m going to try that. Every week, I’ll choose one of the pictures I take in photography class and write 1,000 words about it. Who knows, maybe I’ll write a whole short story from just one image.

But, um, I’m going to need a little practice first. So far, all of my photographs have been a little blurry. Grandpa says that’s “art” but I think he’s just trying to make me feel better. It’s okay. By the time his bright yellow canola fields are in full bloom this summer, I’ll be a pro – or something. Ha Ha.

Hey! I bet I could enlarge one of my canola field pictures and frame it for my grandparents – maybe even give it to them as a Christmas gift. Now that’s thinking smart.

Gotta jet! Have a GREAT long weekend.

- Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 10 May 2013

Celebrating Mom - and Grandma! - this Sunday

It’s Mother’s Day weekend and you know what that means? Great food!

Just kidding. Well, kind of – because Mom and Grandma do put on a pretty good brunch with all sorts of delicious treats. Like these amazing lunch crepes Grandma makes because they’re my Mom’s favourite.

Wait a minute! Shouldn’t Mom be making Grandma’s favourite snacks? After all, it’s “Mother’s Day” not “Daughter’s Day” right? I know, good question. So, I asked my Mom and she explained that Mother’s Day is more than just about “Mom” – it’s about celebrating motherhood, and the influence of all mothers.

Now it makes sense why I don’t just celebrate my Mom this Sunday, but all of the “motherly” people in my life – like Grandma. Aside from Mom, Grandma has had the most influence into the kind of kid I am today. She’s taught me fun stuff, of course, but she’s also given me practical advice on things like cooking, eating healthy, or even practicing good table manners.

Yeah, lunch is going to be awesome, but I’m going to do something extra special for Mom and Grandma to make the day even more awesome. Last year I made Bath Salts. They were a real hit, especially since Grandma saw I used some of her canola oil. This year, I’m making Foaming Vanilla Bath.

It’s easy. Here’s how --

Ask your Dad to help you make this special treat for Mom this weekend.

Stuff You Need

Blender—preferably one with a feeder tube in the top and a low-speed setting.

Measuring cups and measuring spoon.

Container(s)—these should be able to hold about 425 mL or 1 3/4 cup. You can either use one large container or several smaller ones.

Ingredients You Need

125 mL liquid hand soap 1/2 cup
15 mL  vanilla extract  1 Tbsp.
50 mL honey  1/4 cup
250 mL canola oil 1 cup

Make It!

1. Pour liquid hand soap, vanilla and honey into a blender.

2. With the lid on and the feeder tube open, turn on the blender at low speed.  Mix the first three ingredients.

3. Slowly drizzle the canola oil through the feeder tube as the blender is running. This will create a creamy blend.

4. Turn off the blender. Remove the lid and pour mixture into container(s).

Use it!

Add about 50mL (1/4 cup) to your bath. If the mixture separates, shake well before using.

Okay, time to get making! I hope you have a great weekend celebrating with the special “moms” in your life.

Gotta jet!

- Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 3 May 2013

May the fourth be with you

Tomorrow is May 4, and you know what that means, right? You’re going to hear a lot of people saying “may the fourth be with you.” In case you don’t know, that’s a pun on the catch phrase from the Star Wars movies – May the force be with you.

I know, it’s kind of geeky. But it’s fun!

A few months back, I went to the Star Wars Identities exhibit at the Telus Space Science Center in Edmonton. We got to see some really great props from the movies, and I learned a lot about the characters – especially what motivates them.

Character motivation is a big deal when it comes to story telling and characterization. I’m working on a short story right now where the main character is a young boy who wishes he had super powers so he could run faster. *blush* I know, not very original. I’m exaggerating the character though – when I’m done, you won’t even know I’m kind of talking about myself. My Language Arts teacher says a lot of authors base characters on themselves, at least to start out.

Anyway, I hope you have a great May the 4th, even if you’re not a Star Wars fan. Oh, and don’t forget Monday is National Teacher’s Day. Grandma and I are baking cookies this weekend. What are you doing for your special teachers?

Gotta jet!

- Chase Superman Duffy