Monday, 30 March 2015

Search At The Top

I had a link to my Twitter account on the left but have removed it. If you would like to connect over Twitter please follow me at @SweetonChris.

I also used to have a Search Bar to the left that allowed you to search the content on Always Standing, over time it has become less accurate. I find it frequently returns nothing when I know for a fact the word I used is in multiple posts. I chose to integrate it initially because I found the one on the top bar of Blogger to be inconsistent with its returns. However, it now appears to be the reverse.

The search located in the top right corner is a great way to hunt through the 2319 posts currently on this blog. You can also use the tags to the left to review all the posts connected to a certain subject.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Bracketing Thirty

Happy Birthday to two of the greatest friends I could ever ask for!

I am back from a quick trip to Ottawa. Jason and I drove up for the weekend. We got to celebrate two birthdays and see a lot of people. I miss my friends from there so much and it never feels like enough time: brunch with Heather, a quick hug from Justin, Erin AH stops by for a party. It was also great to stay with Jenn and Jon, in their new home they purchased this past summer.

It was a prime weekend to catch people on their birthdays! We didn't choose specifically to go up for that reason; we hadn't been in a while and it was a weekend that worked. Anna turned 29 on Friday and I left work early to ensure we could make it in time for a bit of the party she was having (got a quick catch up with Wes too which was nice.) Steph is turns 31 today, though we mainly celebrated last night with games, nachos, pizza, and pie. A quick visit with her and Dave this afternoon to toast some cupcakes before the drive back to Toronto meant that I did get to see her on her actual birthday too.

Posed For Adventure

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

Exploring Spain In The Rain, With Dad 
A Walk With Just The Two Of Us
Spain Trip -  February 2010
Photo by ME

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Cat Sass

This Caturday, go check out some hilarious cat comics by French cartoonist Claude Combacau:

Her website:

Or, see a good general overview of her work on Buzzfeed.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Quick Kitchen Tip

I don't know how I keep forgetting about this - but it is way better to fill up a pot of water, that you plan to boil, using water from the 'hot' tap.

I remember someone once telling me (I think it was Jerrica or maybe JennB) that I should always put the lid on the pot when wanting water to warm up to boiling as it will go faster. I am pretty good about remembering to do that, though sometimes finding the right lid is a challenge. I hate that pots then have a tendency to boil over, but not if it is just pure water in it. After the water is boiling, and whatever is being added to it, I either take the lid off or put it on askew. I also turn the stove down a bit and the pot will keep simmering.

Tricks that help water to boil faster and food to cook better not only improves on the experience (faster is better in my mind because I hate to cook) but also makes the process more efficient. A more efficient (aka faster) use of the stove uses less electricity and therefore is better for the environment.

One thing I almost always forget to do though, is use hot water when filling the pot. I have no idea why, but I reach for the cold tap every time. It makes no sense! That will make it take longer to boil, the water has to heat up from a lower temperature; if I used hot water it already has a head start. It also shares the energy consumption with the hot water heater, which I assume is better than using the stove element for the entire process from cold to boiling.

I am sure everyone already knows this and I am just slow on the uptake, but I need to really watch what tap I use from now on.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Two Weddings

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

My Aunty Laura has spend a considerable amount of time and money putting together a 'gallery wall' in her apartment - getting a lot of old photographs professionally framed in the process. The final product is amazing. Here is a double frame of her parent's and brother's weddings:

Left: Alex and L. Berneice Sweeton
On their wedding day - December 30, 1941
Right: George and Carol Sweeton
On their wedding day - June 26, 1981

I am really bad with remembering birthdays and anniversaries, especially years. Hopefully my mom or my aunt will update me on things, at which point I will correct the dates.

Update: I have corrected the dates (and the spelling of my grandparent's names) after receiving an email from my aunt.


Yesterday, Teri, Greg, Jason, and I went to an Escape Room. It was part of a Christmas present they had given to us. We did The Mayan Curse at Escape Games in Toronto. The room has over 50% success rate, so I was quite happy that we escaped.

My brain hurt from the problem solving and out-of-box thinking. In general it was a crazy amount of fun and I have since spend hours researching these games online. I want to do more!! I might be reaching obsession.

However, they tend to be on the creepy side and it is important to me that they don't move from creepy into scary. I also want a high level of production value, which I gather is a bit of a variable at the over 15 Toronto locations that do this now. It is a bit trendy - and I am a little behind on the trend.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

At Least Someone Is Still Watching

Panda Cheers On The Leafs
Photo by Tessa

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

10:00pm 401 Eastbound

Two long rows of rolling giants
Sleep during rush hour
Or eat, or hide
Awake now, to chase the night

Talking to shortwave friends
As the crazy flies swerve and swarm
I can see you, but can you see me?
The wind flows with you

Your kind rule the highway
Side lights and mud flaps
We quiver at your side
But that size makes you lonely

The rolling giants of the night

Monday, 16 March 2015

Big Emotions

---------- from Facebook (A poster for toddlers, from a page with parenting tips for children aged 1 to 4.)

I think this is universal, not just for children or toddlers! Even as adults, anger can be dangerous and frustration can be overwhelming. These huge emotions often lead us to destructive behaviors and we can 'take it out on' those closest to us. The poster makes me think of emotions that are often connected to other people but these steps could even work with the more solitary negative emotions like fear or sadness.

1. Remind myself that it is never okay to hurt others.
I would adjust this to say "it is never okay to hurt myself or others" to acknowledge self-harm and suicide. It also goes beyond the physical - it is never okay to say or do things, knowingly, for the sole reason of hurting someone. I call this "fighting fair," a lot of us have the power to cause pain with our words - don't do it.

2. Take 3 deep breaths or count slowly to 10.
The counting has never worked for me. When I am extremely upset, I don't even know if I can remember how to count and it definitely doesn't calm me down. I should adjust and try the breathing one.

3. Use my words to say how I feel and what I wish would happen.
So often words are used to hurt, or to blame/accuse. Using 'I' statements is always a good rule when communicating and sharing how you feel can make you reevaluate the situation.

4. Ask for help to solve the problem.
This so difficult. I just want to stew and rant, solutions are not the focus but they should be. I would be able to move past these big negative emotions quicker if I worked at fixing whatever problem caused them instead of just living them. However, there is no way I could jump to this without the first 3 steps.

5. Take time to calm down.
If I went through the first 4 steps successfully, I don't even think that I would need that long to calm down. Though I guess it depends on the situation, and how 'big' the emotions were.

Of course it is important to help children learn to cope. But we should lead by example as well. I do not have the best, most healthy, productive, or logical ways to cope with things that upset me. It is definitely something I should continue to work on to improve.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Regent Street

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

This is where my dad grew up. It is a large bungalow on Regent Street in London, Ontario. I forget when exactly his parents bought it, but it was before Dad was in elementary school.

After my grandfather died, Aunty Laura went to Toronto, and Dad moved away when he finished university (Western), my grandmother still lived in this house. We visited her here all the time when I was a kid.

I went on a road trip to London today, with Tessa. I wanted to visit my aunt for her birthday and see a bit of the city. I also got a quick chat in with Amanda which was a pleasure as always. Finding the house was borderline instinct - I was pretty impressed with myself and my memory.

It was fun to see the changes (or not) in the neighbourhoods I visited as a kid.It was a bit of a shock to see all the changes to the Western University campus, which I visited often as a child (or we drove through often) since it is just a few blocks from this house..The house was sold in the late 1990s or maybe early 2000s to become a student house. I was happy to see that it seemed well taken care of. It is a way nicer student house than those in Toronto or Ottawa. 

The back wall in the dinning room (through that big window on the left) has built-in glass shelves with a mirror on the back. It was a bit strange to see a collection of alcohol bottles there instead of all the cute little tea cups and figurines Grandma had. But the big magnolia tree (on the right, in front of the porch) seems to be doing well.

I have great memories from London and it was fun to be back. It is a beautiful city. 

Saturday, 14 March 2015

TV And Movies Have Been Lying To Us

Today I did some First Aid and CPR training, through my work. It was just the one-day course so counts as "Emergency First Aid and CPR" though in an emergency who knows how effective I will be. It was good to learn, it has been a long time since my St. Johns Ambulance Babysitting Course and the various swimming lessons that focused on Artificial Respiration techniques (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.) A lot has changed!

The course did a big section on when and how to use am AED (Automated External Defibrillator). These machines are now available in a lot of public spaces (libraries, schools, large malls, etc). They are really easy to use and combined with CPR can increase the likelihood of survival by 75%.

BUT, they are not used to start a stopped heart (asystole.) So when we see a 'flat line' on the heart monitor, and actors in a show or movie revive someone by administering a 'shock' the patient using a defibrillator - this would not work. A defibrillator is used in two cases: trachycardia and fibrillation. These are cases of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. In each other these the heart is electrically active but the dysfunctional pattern of the heartbeat does not allow for adequate circulation and pumping of blood. An electric shock from the AED can stop the heart and allow it to reestablish an effective rhythm.

However, a heart in 'flat line' cannot be shocked to restart - movies and TV have been doing it wrong.

Feet In Snow

Happy Birthday to my Aunty Laura today! I am going to go and visit her in London tomorrow but thought that I would post this picture she sent me for Caturday. Each Christmas, either my brother or I give her a 'cat calender.' This year I got her a daily one and the photos are really nice. She sent me the following because it reminded her of Jason and my Christmas card.
My aunt took this picture and included her copy of our card for reference. The photo on our card is from a photoshoot Jason and I did with Steph two years ago. - Copyright 2013 Stephanie Beach Photography

Friday, 13 March 2015


By Christine Sweeton
Part 1
- Part 2:

Kitvan's VS clicked on and began blaring the morning sports report on the ceiling above him. It abruptly woke him from a deep sleep, as it had been scheduled to do. He lifted his head and noticed that Luella was already awake and sitting at the breakfast bar reading something on her tablet. Kitvan closed his eyes to shut down the VS. "Oh, who won in the 30-North game?" Lu asked from across the room.

Getting out of bed, Kit answered, "I actually stayed up and watched it; 60-East took 120-West in overtime." Lu nodded and went back to reading. She didn't really care about hockey, but Kit was happy that she tried to show an interest. The 30-North league was the last game played each night. The other two leagues would switch between taking the first or second time slot, but 30-North had always attracted a snow labour fan base, whose work schedules corresponded well with the late air time. Since moving closer to the Earth Equator, 10 years ago, Kit usually had to follow his preferred league though reports and statsgraphs.

Lu was regularly awake before Kit, but she used to crawl back into bed to watch the morning reports with him. She would rest her head against his arm, splaying her long, blonde hair out over the pillow - damp from the shower. Her neck felt refreshingly cold against his bicep. If she brought her coffee mug than she would use her elbows to steady her body on the soft bed and place her free hand on his hip bone. Kit preferred when she came back to bed empty handed and curled up against him. Physically, she reminded him of the northern snowcap, her skin was so pale and white that it edged on blue and her body always felt chilled against his sweating skin.

After watching the sports report together, Kit would switch the channel so that they could catch the Galactic Economic Forecast for the day. Kit knew he should care more about the GEF; it was especially important for his profcat that he follow financial trends. But he had stopped caring about inter-galaxy news a few years ago and only watched the forecast because Lu did. He also enjoyed that Tim, an old friend from proed, did the local report. Since Lu had stopped coming back to bed in the mornings, Kit assumed she watched Tim on her commute, or maybe before he woke up, while she drank her first cup of coffee.

Kit was on his way out of the bathroom, just a three-step walk from the kitchen in their tiny studio, when Lu called him over. She turned her tablet to him and casually asked, "Look at these three questions. Do you remember them from when we did the proftest? Have you noticed them on recent ones you have administered? I think they are new."

Kit looked at the writing on the tablet screen, and felt his insides twist - it looked like she was showing him a copy of the 2198 PT, a nebula-wide exam that wouldn't be administered for another month. The questions of the test wouldn't be made public for another month after that. Looking at this document was grounds for job dismissal and subset decreditation - destroying Kit's professional career. Without an exceptional reason to have a copy of it, Lu would face legal action and punishment if someone saw it on any of her devices. Kit felt nauseous and dizzy. He leaned against the breakfast bar to steady himself, trying to continue to breath normally.  

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

10 Days Of Spinning

It is March Madness at my spinning studio, Cykl. Tessa and I have gotten a One Month Unlimited package to go along with this month's contest (though really, we got it because it was on sale.) We started off in the Summer going about twice a week, but we are pretty regularly doing 3 classes a week. With an unlimited package, I hope to take that number up to 4 or 5 a week. Jason, on the other hand, is addicted and goes almost every day. Here are the 5 classes I did during my first 10 days of March:

March 2 - 7:00pm (45mins)
March 5 - 6:45am (45mins)
March 6 - 6:00pm (60mins)
March 8 - 9:30am (60mins)
March 10 - 7:45pm (45mins)

Monday, 9 March 2015

A Poem For The Tower

My bus short-turned AGAIN this morning. However, it was still a nice commute today:

Peeking through the east-west streets of residential neighbourhoods - the CN Tower kept appearing in the hazy pick-orange morning light. Other skyscrapers seemed to dance in the dawning of the sun reminding me that, while the bus drives along a street of two-story brick houses - I live in a huge and busy city.

I kept thinking, "I see the tower, and the tower sees me, and ..." but then was unable to finish the thought. I knew that this came from a poem that I listened to in the car when I was growing up. It was a recording we had (on a cassette tape) called Alligator Pie. Aunty Laura had given it to me, and the poems and songs from it are a very treasured part of my childhood.

When I got to work today I looked and looked to find the next bit of that poem, I knew that it was actually about the moon. It turns out that, "I see the moon, the moon sees me" is a fairly popular phrase:

I See The Moon
I see the moon, the moon sees me
shining through the leaves of the old oak tree
Oh, let the light that shines on me
shine on the one I love.

I See The Moon
Song: By Jim Brickman, 2002
I see the moon, the moon sees me 
The moon sees somebody I want to see 
So, God bless the moon and God bless me 
And God bless the 'Somebody' I want to see

But neither of these were right and it took a lot of searching to find it. In my various internet discoveries, was that the author of "The Moon," which is the poem that I know, is Canadian. In the back of my mind, I always knew that the Alligator Pie tape was somehow linked to Canada and Toronto;. It turns out the poet/author, is Dennis Lee and he is responsible for a number of amazing things: he has written a huge amount of children's poetry, did the lyrics for the Fraggle Rock theme song and other songs from that show, and was co-writer of the story for Labyrinth. He also wrote this poem, which is the one I had been looking for:

The Moon
By Dennis Lee, Garbage Delight, 1977

I see the moon
And the moon sees me
And nobody sees
As secretly

Unless there’s a kid
In Kalamazoo,
Or Mexico,
Or Timbuktu,

 Who looks in the sky
At the end of the day,
And she thinks of me
In a friendly way —

 ‘Cause we both lie still
And we watch the moon;
And we haven’t met yet,
But we might do, soon.

I think it is perfect. I wish I could have remembered it on the bus this morning, because the words are so fitting for the CN Tower. "I see the tower and the tower sees me, and nobody sees as secretly." I also saw the list of poems in the book, Alligator Pie, and remembered one called "Skyscraper" that is also a beautiful poem about the city:

By Dennis Lee, Alligator Pie, 1974

Skyscraper, skyscraper, 
Scrape me some sky: 
Tickle the sun 
While the stars go by. 

Tickle the stars 
While the sun's climbing high, 
Then skyscraper, skyscraper, 
Scrape me some sky.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Duck Boots

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

When Mike and I were young, Mom and Dad used to take us cross-country skiing a lot. We had our own (used) equipment and the low-ankle, navy blue, ski boots. We always called them duck boots because the protruding lip on the toe that allowed for the old-school, 3-prong connections to the skies, made funny foot prints.

However, my dad didn't have duck boots. His skies had a slightly more 'modern' type of connection system and the boots were taller and grey. (Much more early 80's than the old ones we had.) I always thought it was because my dad was such an elite skier that he needed better equipment than the rest of us. I realize now that he only ever went skiing with the family, or just Mom. I am sure he was the best among us because he was so naturally athletic, but I doubt he was as good as I thought he was.

My parents also, always, told us about how the skies they had before required waxing (and might have even been wooden.) Seriously, ever time we went out skiing as a family they would talk about how great it was to not have to wax the skies. Of course, this meant nothing to Mike and I because we were really young and barely had any idea about what they were talking about.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

A Panda Cat

I have an exciting announcement, Tessa has adopted a cat. She was fostering a young black cat through a Toronto-area rescue organization. However, the thought of giving her up was too hard and Tessa decided to adopt her forever. She is a very sweet cat, and very cute, and likes to lie on her back to have her tummy rubbed. (Kristen and I have decided her voice sounds like a 'valley girl,' she should totally meet Rasta.) Tessa has named her Panda.

Friday, 6 March 2015

I Am A Leader

According to a Survley quiz asking Who are you in a group? (which they admit is "not based on any scientific study whatsoever" and is just for fun):

You Are Leader 

You follow your own path, and the turns you take are often unexpected and inspired. Anyone is welcome to join you on your journey. You don't try to lead; it just ends up that way. You are prepared to make difficult decisions and do what's right. You'll take all the credit and all of the blame. You are highly intelligent and have a lot of mental strength. You can tough almost anything out.

I think that is probably pretty accurate, though I wouldn't have minded being the entertainer or the voice of reason either; and I think those are the only other options. You can take the quiz HERE.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Kicking It With Pooh

A Happy, Feet-Flying, Baby
Pooh and Avery
Photo by Aimee, Edits be Me

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

A Published Wedding

This is both a Wedding Wednesday post and a Much Overdue Congratulations! If you have been following along with Steph's Photo Blog (link on the Left) than you will already know that she has had some amazing business announcements over the past few months. She is starting to get regularly published in wedding magazine's and blogs! This photo (taken by Dave) is Steph showing her photos in the Spring/Summer 2015 edition of Ottawa Wedding Magazine. She is in a Chapters - her photos are in something that is sold at bookstores! I am so proud of her. You can read more about these recent announcements on her blog HERE.

I also wanted to let you know that Stephanie Beach Photography has been nominated again this year for the Ottawa Wedding Awards. Please vote for her HERE. Voting ends on March 16, 2015.


By Christine Sweeton
- Part 1:

The hockey game ended and Kitvan rolled over onto his side to fall asleep. His Vision Screen flicked down from the ceiling and started projecting 3D statsgraphs for the teams scheduled to play the following night. Kit closed his eyes, slowly counting to 5 in his head, and waited for the faint hum of his VS to click off. When he opened his eyes the deep darkness of the room surprised him. He rarely watched three games in a row and now it was past two.

Luella still wasn't home yet and the bed felt empty without her slim body lying beside him. In her absence, their small studio-style apartment made Kit feel like he was sleeping in a hotel room - a feeling that depressed him. Alone in the bed, the normally lush sheets felt like sheets of paper and the clean lines of the sparsely decorated room seemed desolate inside of modern. Even the alarm sensor felt temporary and impersonal.

They were both accountants, but Kit's work never altered from a standard shift. Over the past month, Luella's hours had become more remote. Kit couldn't remember which CGA subset Luella was, but he couldn't think of one that required so much overtime and late nights at the office. They had only recently decided to live together and Kit was still adjusting to life in a shared space. "Maybe everyone feels disrupted in the early stages of learning to interact with another person's schedule?" Kit thought. He had never lived with anyone else before.

A soft blue light started to flash on the alarm sensor above the door - showing that Luella had just passed into the building. Soon she would quietly slip in to their dark apartment, having programmed the lights to remain off.  It would be her fourth such return from work in the last 10 days.  


NOTE: My last 'Story Start' didn't really get the response I was looking for (aka, it didn't get any response at all.) Please let me know if you would be interested in me writing a few more parts of this? Would you like more of Kitvan and Luella's story?

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

This Is Amazing!

--------------- found online

Place the word 'only' anywhere in the sentence:

She told him that she loved him.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Another Monday

So today wasn't much better...

Woke up scared that I had forgotten about the time change.
(It is next week)

Forgot my coffee at home, again.
(Only seems to happen on Mondays)

My bus short-turned.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

University Dad

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

Dad's Graduation Picture 
From Western University
Photo of a photo by Aunty Laura