Saturday, September 30, 2006

Outdoor Fun

Today I worked at a family friend's art gallery . . . it was pretty interesting. Not very busy, but I got to help people choose mats and frames for their artwork, which was a lot of fun. Apparently I have an eye for colour, which made me proud. One couple brought in an absolutely stunning 11x14 picture of a Monkshead flower (up close, with dew drops on it, in vibrant purples with green foliage). It was so interesting picking out matting and frames to enhance the beauty of the picture. I enjoyed my day, and I will be going back to help out again in a couple of weeks. Because it wasn't too busy, I got the chance to read some of my Risk Management textbook, and so far I seem to understand it. So that's good . . . hopefully once the assignment is posted, I still understand it all ;)

When I got home, I took the dogs outside to play fetch. This runs the wigglies out of them, and I get to enjoy the fresh air. Well, at first my niece Kenzie was helping me, by throwing a separate toy for Billy. Well then my mom brought my other niece out (Tashie), and we had a rousing game of soccer. Somehow it was 3 on 1, with my mom, Kenzie and Tashie all taking me on. I should be sore in places I never knew I had by the time tomorrow rolls around :) But it was good exercise, and I should sleep soundly tonight. The dogs enjoyed it too, so it was really a family affair.

Then we came in and enjoyed birthday treats, to celebrate Farley's 7th birthday. Mom bought birthday hats for everyone (at my request), and she had picked up some wonderful treats in Denver too. Asking for a sit stay from an eager 13 month old puppy and a 2 year old that sees "treats" on the table is inviting trouble . . . but I managed to snap one decent picture.

All in all it was a good day, although not without sad news. My good friend's husband got a job in Calgary, which means she'll be moving sometime before Christmas. I will miss her immensely . . . we have GOOD times together. But we'll just have to make more of an effort to get together on a regular basis. And it's definitely a good move for them.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend guys!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Risk Management

Hmmm, I think the title of the entry says it all. Who on earth can stand 8 continuous hours of Risk Management? Especially when that person discovers that it is just a fancy term for "Finance." UGH! I barely survived my first Finance course . . . and apparently this one is supposed to be harder. Fabulous. That being said, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I managed to stay awake for almost the entire class, and I think I even learned something. So it hasn't been a day completely wasted.

I have a busy few days coming up . . . tomorrow I am working in a store owned by a friend of the family. Her husband is ill, so they have travelled to get him some medical treatment. My mom and I offered to work in the store while she was gone. She has an art store, so it should be interesting.

Sunday I have a paper proposal to finish (thankfully it is almost done) and some reading to do for Finance. Billy needs a haircut, since he goes to his new home a week from today. I have to unpack from my trip to China (yes, the one in May) so that I can pack for my upcoming trip to Toronto. I leave Wednesday morning, so I have lots to do bewteen now and then.

Next weekend I will be with my bestest friend in Toronto. I can't wait! We are going to see the musical "Wicked" which should be . . . well . . . wicked ;) And we will do some shopping, and I even get to spend a day with her class at school (grade 2/3 split). It's going to be wonderful. And being so busy will keep my mind off Billy being gone.

Take care and enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bad Drivers

Okay, I have fought my increasing desire to blog about bad drivers ever since I started this blog 9 months ago. But now the desire has overruled common sense, and you get to read my rant about driving in Fort McMurray.

I know that everybody thinks they're a good driver, but I really AM a good driver. I drive only slightly over the speed limit, I signal when changing lanes or making turns, I stop at red lights and stop signs and I share the road with other drivers. So how is it that in a city of 70,000 people, I am one of the only good drivers? I mean, I work with some pretty intelligent people - surely they drive well. Obviously they're just never on the road when I am.

It drives me absolutely nuts when people don't use their signal lights, especially to indicate a lane change (or to let me know that they're about to cut me off). I mean, last time I checked, I didn't have ESP. So how am I supposed to figure out that the jerk driving slightly ahead of me is going to swerve wildly into my lane? I happen to have it on good authority that signal lights are included in the base price of a vehicle, and they can not be removed. So why don't people use them? It's not even that difficult to do . . . sigh.

And when the person in front of you is in the intersection trying to turn left, it's important for them to clear the intersection when the light turns yellow. However, it is NOT important for you to race through the intersection behind them. What makes you so important that you must beat the light?

And don't get me started on parking . . . that's a whole other rant! I love all these people that park in the lane at Safeway or WalMart, and sit in the car waiting for a spouse or friend or family member. I mean, yeah, they look pretty important. But as far as I know, the parking lot rules apply to everyone, not just us un-important people. Yet I see it all the time.

I guess this is one of those things that will just make me crazy, because if anything, drivers are getting worse, not better. Time to stay home or just take the bus. At least that way I don't get road rage. Goodness knows where that could lead . . .

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Surprisingly nice

Yes, today the weather has been surprisingly nice! I took the boys outside to play ball this morning, and it was still on the cool side. They enjoyed playing ball in the less opressive weather, and I enjoyed sitting with the sun shining on my face.

As the day progressed, I did various things around the house, including giving Farley his pre-birthday bath and haircut. Let's just say he was less than thrilled with the activity, but he looks fabulous now. Such a handsome guy! Well, after the bath and haircut (I groom in the basement of the house) I came upstairs to see the sunshine streaming in through the windows and warming up the living room. So I took the boys back outside for another play session, and to try and take some pictures.

As anybody who reads this blog knows, Farley is not overly fond of Billy. In fact, Farley's perfect world doesn't include Billy or anything remotely resembling Billy. But with the promise of some yummy treats (okay, and some veiled threats about not getting dinner without cooperation) I got a decent picture of the two of them together. Farley has no idea that his late birthday present is the permanent absence of Billy. He will be thrilled!

I hope you managed to take advantage of a beautiful Sunday too, regardless of where you live. And even if the weather wasn't great, I hope your day was!

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Yes, I'll admit it. I am addicted to technology. Anything new and advanced is something I must own. My mother (typically the voice of reason in our family) can usually convince me to wait until something has been on the market a while before investing, but sometimes she can't reign me in. I decided to make a list of my techno-goodies that I have right now.

1. My laptop - trust companion. It is an HP Pavilion notebook that I bought a couple of months ago, and I love it. It has wireless capabilities, bluetooth ability and a most wonderful DVD reader/writer (which does CDs too).

2. My cell phone, which can play MP3s, can take pictures with a small flash and can also capture video.

3. My two MP3 players. One was a gift from my mom, and one was an appreciatien gift from a co-worker. The new one is an iPod Nano, and I am having lots of fun with it.

4. My portable DVD player. Normally I just use it when I travel (like in hotels), but this week I have been taking it on the bus to and from work (it's a 40 minute ride). I've been watching dog shows on it. Yes, I know I'm a geek!

5. My Palm Pilot, which I almost never use, but I just HAD to have.

6. My digital camera, which is used often and much-loved

I'm sure I'm the proud owner of more techno-goodies, but these are the ones that figure prominently in my life. Technology - where would I be without it???

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Another transformation

This time it's not me though . . . on Sunday, I finally gave Billy his retirement haircut. Now that I've decided not to show him anymore, I felt it was time for the long hair to go. While it is most certainly beautiful, it is far from practical. Especially for a dog whose idea of a good time is running through the bushes at the back of the yard and collecting stickers in his coat. The first snip of the scissors was tough, I admit. But after that was done, it got easier and easier. Now he looks very cute, like a little teddy bear. And his coat feels so soft, just like chenille. After his haircut, he raced around the yard like a crazy-dog.

I sent the pictures to his new mom, and she liked the trim. I'm pretty pleased with it myself. All it will need is a bit of touch-up before he heads to his new home. And then he is all set for his new life!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The transformation

Well, that which I feared greatly is taking place. I am slowly but surely changing into . . . a girly-girl. Yikes! For many years I have taken great pride in NOT wearing makeup, NOT owning high heeled shoes and NOT doing my hair. Somehow, since buying the dress and some makeup, I am "into" makeup. On Friday night, I bought more! Gasp! I now have several colours, which means I can change up my look (as long as my matching skills are working).

I also find myself eyeing up shoes in stores, and skirts, and pretty tops. Dammit! Dressing nicely takes work, and I have enough to do. But apparently, my inner girl is dying to come out.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a meeting to go to, so I must put my face on . . .

Friday, September 15, 2006


You know, I am so lucky to have the friends I do. I spent the evening with a good friend of mine, and we had a great time! We went to the mall (with no particular aim) and just wandered around, chatting and shopping. And when we got bored of that (it's Fort McMurray, it took less than an hour to browse everything), we went for supper. We weren't in any kind of rush, we just sat and ate and visited. It was a really good time. And it reminded me, yet again, how fortunate I am to have these friends in my life.

I firmly believe that every friend fulfills a purpose of some sort in my life. Some friends are more casual, good for a laugh every now and then, but nothing too serious. Some friends are the listeners; the ones that you can talk to for ages without even realizing how much time has passed. Some friends are just an extension of you: they provide comfort, because they know you almost as well as you know yourself (or better!).

I want to thank my friends for being there, especially over the past couple of months, while my life has been like a roller coaster ride. Each one of you, in your own way, has helped me feel a bit better, stronger, and more prepared to tackle life.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I am woman!

Yes! I have a feeling of pride and accomplishment today! We have been having trouble with the taps in the main bathroom upstairs (main floor of the house). They were very expensive when we bought them 5 years ago, and yet they started leaking a few weeks ago for the second time. This time my mom couldn't fix them. When I was in Edmonton for the wedding, I went to Home Depot to find the little replacement cartridges, but they don't stock them. So my mom phoned several plumbing supply places until she was put in touch with the manufacturer of the taps. Since these are high-end taps, they have a lifetime warranty, and the company sent out 4 cartridges for us.

The cartrudges arrived in the mail today . . . the same day that my mother left for Denver for 2 weeks (for work and vacation). So I had a dilemma: either figure it out myself, or leave everything for my mom to fix when she gets back. I did it myself! I did have to call my mom for some guidance, but I am quite proud to say that we have normally-functioning taps in the bathroom that no longer leak. Way to go, myself!

This just goes to show that a good woman can do anything herself . . . well, except for get pregnant. That definitely takes two.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Eats Shoots and Leaves

Well, it took longer than I had anticipated, but I finally finished the punctuation book. I've been on the road a lot and am often too tired to read, hence the "delay." I have to say that this was a really worthwhile read! Entertaining enough to make me laugh out loud at times, I certainly feel like I learned something from reading this book. I never thought that the history of the comma could actually be interesting, but it is. And the proper grammatical usage of the various punctuation marks was interesting too . . . there were some things that I just didn't know.

So if you're looking for a good book that is educational and funnny, I highly recommend "Eats Shoots and Leaves" by Lynne Truss. Two thumbs up here.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Not meant to be

Well, after driving many hours and spending almost as much time grooming, Billy and I came home empty-handed. He was a bad, bad boy in the ring, and so the judges just couldn't award him the points. Personally, I don't blame them. The other puppy was quite nice, and VERY well behaved. I have to admit to feeling frustrated and disappointed yesterday. This was Billy's last hurrah before he goes to his pet home, and I really wanted him to earn that Champion title. But the drive home (5 loooooong hours) put it into perspective for me.

I'm sure that Billy (in his own quirky way) was telling me that he's just not interested in being a show dog anymore. Yeah, he was happy enough in the ring, but he was pulling all over, desperately trying to get to spectators and dogs outside the ring. He was far more interested in being a social butterfly than being a show dog.

I don't have it in me to send him to another show with a stranger, just to try and get those last 2 points. It's not worth risking his wonderful temperament and loving personality. So, he retires with 8 points.

As his new mom said to me, he was a "bold, brazen article" this weekend (she's Irish). And she thought that was great :) So at least I know she will appreciate his antics, and love him even when he's a bad, bad boy!

I'm finally home for a while . . . no travel for business OR pleasure. I love the thought of my own bed, and hanging out with my man Farley. He's been missing me a lot, so we are going to have some one on one time over the next little while. That will make us both happy!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tuckered Out

Yup, I'm just plain tired. I travelled to the wedding on the weekend: 5 hours of driving each way. Got home and unpacked, just so that I could pack my bags again to fly to Calgary for work (just over an hour flight each way). And tonight I'm heading out again . . . this time for a dog show. My mom keeps asking me if I really have to finish Billy, or can I stay home and rest this weekend? Well, after investing time and money in earning the first 8 points, it would be a shame to quit before getting the last 2. So off we go . . .

Things are starting to get busy around here again. I don't actually start attending classes until the end of this month, but since one class is an independent study class with a paper due at the end of it, I really should get started on the research (ahhh, the familiar opening call of the procrastinator). I'll have been away two weekends in a row, with two trips through the week as well. And there's no shortage of things to do at work or at home either. I think my friends are starting to forget what I look like!

It's less than a month until Billy goes now, so I have to train some manners into him too, so his new mom doesn't think I'm a complete heathen when it comes to raising dogs. I don't really think she knows what she's getting into, despite my many warnings. She sure is excited - it makes me smile just thinking about what a wonderful pair they will be (until he eats her shoes/underwear/money/whatever). And Farley will enjoy the brief peace and quiet, until a new puppy enters our lives.

I'm almost done my book about punctuation - a book report will follow soon!

Monday, September 04, 2006

What a weekend!

Well I am one tired girl, but I had a great weekend! This was the whole reason for the big shopping expeditions over the past two weeks, and the makeup lessons. The dress, the purse, the makeup, the shoes . . . everything came together this weekend to make things fun and exciting.

I stayed with good friends for the weekend. They are such wonderful people - not only did they welcome me into their home, but they also welcomed Billy (yes, Satan) into their home as well. He considers their house the 24 Hour Off Leash Park, because he plays with their dogs all day long. He even got to try their daughter's trampoline . . . and he seemed to enjoy it! That tail sure never stops wagging.

Friday night was the Mendhi party for the groom. This was a gathering of his friends and family, similar to a bachelor party I guess (I've never been to either one, so I'm going out on a limb here). The women looked amazing - most of them are Indian, and they had such colourful saris and other traditional clothing on. I was just amazed at the beautiful colours. All of the women at the party got to get Henna put on their hands (on the palm). It is considered lucky to have this done during such a celebratory occasion. It should last about 2 weeks, and it looks pretty cool (I will share pictures when I get them downloaded, I promise).

Saturday was a free day for us (not for the wedding party - they were busy), so I spent the day with my friends. We ran errands, went for lunch, and just hung out. Spent time outside with the dogs and had a really good visit. We even went to a movie that night - Little Miss Sunshine. I recommend it as a VERY funny movie. Crude, but very funny.

Yesterday was the ceremony at noon, and the reception at night. The ceremony was held in a Mosque, and it was very interesting. We had to remove our shoes, and we sat on the floor for the ceremony. There was explanation in English, although the ceremony was in another language (not sure which one). The bride and groom wore traditional Indian clothing, and they looked amazing. The reception was a lot of fun . . . the bride and groom wore "western" wedding clothing (a suit and a wedding dress). Lots and lots of dancing took place! The Indian food was very flavourful but also VERY spicy. For a spice wimp like me, it was almost too much. But definitely very tasty.

Three late nights in a row is a lot for me. I'm pretty tired tonight (and really, they weren't late nights by "normal" standards), and looking forward to having a good sleep. But I just had to share how much fun it was!