Saturday, December 22, 2007

My world is almost complete

Yes . . . in just over 2 hours, my best friend will be here from Toronto. Last night another very close friend flew in from Calgary for a visit. And on Monday, all of my family will be gathered to celebrate Christmas. My world is almost complete. I have another good friend visiting family in Northern Ontario that I wish was here, along with a great friend in Edmonton that I'd love to see. But I get to see her soon, so I can't complain too much.

I could hardly sleep last night for the excitement of it all. I guess I'm still a kid at heart :) It's nice to be feeling so excited though . . . it's definitely better than feeling blase.

Tonight we have a Christmas party at a friend's house - it is an annual tradition. Tomorrow night is supper with the good friend from Calgary, along with her mom, mother-in-law, my best friend and my mom. Talk about good times!

Yesterday I made the annual visit to Santa, to tell him what I wanted for Christmas . . . it's another tradition that I try to keep up with. I've been able to go almost every year for the past few years. You know what they say - if you don't believe, you don't receive!

Take care everyone . . . I'm not sure if I'll be able to post through the holidays or not. It'll be pretty busy here!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Holidays from KLAD Cockers!

Wow, time is sure flying by quickly . . . it's only a week to go until Christmas! I can't wait. My best friend is coming out from Toronto on Saturday the 22nd, so that's the first milestone. Then on Saturday night we have the annual "Chinese Gift Exchange Party" at a family friend's house. Everybody brings a homemade gift under $25, and then people draw numbers to determine who chooses first. People can "steal" gifts, and the game ends up lasting for a few hours. It's great fun. Sunday night is supper with a very dear friend of mine . . . a bunch of girls just getting together to catch up and exchange presents.

Monday is Christmas Eve, which is when we do our family gift exchange. We tell the kids that since we're so close to the North Pole, Santa makes his first stop here. It's a lot of fun opening presents with a 6 year old and a 3 year old . . . and this year my brother's "new-to-us" family will be with us too, so the baby, who is about 6 months old, and my new niece, who is 9. We're going to have a great time!

Tuesday is Christmas, and our traditional Christmas brunch. This is my mother's big day, and something she spends many hours planning and preparing for. We usually have around 20 people over, and the brunch usually has a theme. This year it will be a Mexican Christmas. Christmas supper will be at a family friend's place, as it has been for almost as long as I can remember. They're moving in the spring, so this will be our last holiday celebration together.

And then, finally, time to rest, relax and lay around like a vegetable. Hooray! Hope your holiday preparations are going well, and that you will have lots of time with friends and family!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Oh the weather outside is frightful . . .

But central heating is delightful :) Actually, the temperature itself isn't too bad - around -15C which is pretty standard for this time of year. Certainly preferable to -30C, which was the temperature not that long ago. Unfortunately, along with the warmer weather comes snow. Lots of it. Enough to require shoveling twice a day, so that the dogs can get to the backyard to do their thing. Enough to require shoveling of the driveway, so our postal carrier doesn't have to wade through knee-deep show.

The dogs don't seem to mind the snow, and I know they're glad that the cold weather is just a bad memory at this point. There were days that it was so cold that the dogs needed boots on, just to go outside to potty without freezing their feet. It's times like that that I almost wish they were litter-trained. I say almost, because I can't imagine cleaning THAT up daily. Yikes!

Tomorrow is our Secret Santa gift exchange at work, which I'm looking forward to. It should be a lot of fun, and I got almost everybody to take part, which was a major challenge. A few of us are bringing in desserts, and I intend to bring my Christmas music in, to give the celebration a little bit more of a holiday feel. Should be a good time!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Merrily we roll along . . .

Especially now that our car is fixed! Last Sunday, I took my car for a ride to stop at the post office. It was -35 Celsius outside, so the car was sluggish (so was I!). The steering was super hard to control, but I thought it was the weather. I fought my way to the post office and then home, and slowly realized that something was amiss. As I tried to pull into the driveway, I saw a scarlet stain in the snow. It almost looked like somebody had been shot. Like my car. The steering fluid had leaked out of the car.

So I had it towed to the dealership, and waited impatiently to hear the news. Good news, it wa repairable. Bad news, the part was coming from Montreal. At this time of year, that never happens fast.

My dad called me today (we have been carpooling for the past week, which has been an adventure), to tell me that the car is ready! Yippeee! I'm embarassed to say that I almost cried when he pulled up to the house. It's stupid, but I am just that happy to have my car back.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas Shopping

So, my fellow bloggers (and anybody else that happens to be reading my random ramblings), are you all done your Christmas shopping? There are only 19 days to go, and as I drive around the city I live in, parking lots for retail establishments are full of cars. People walk out of stores loaded down with bags and boxes, either shopping for loved ones or for themselves. Personally, shopping at this time of year makes me stir crazy. I love the music and decorations, but I hate the crowded stores, pushy people and endless lines. I start to go a little nutty, and that's never a good thing.

So I do my shopping early. By mid-November I was mostly done my shopping. My mom and I took a trip to Edmonton, and I did the bulk of my shopping then. Any of the small items were either ordered online or purchased in store before it got crazy. Once the last few items are delivered, I'm good to go! I just have to wrap (which I love doing) and give.

Hope your holiday shopping is almost done, so you can avoid the crowds too :)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

My new "thing"

My latest addiction (well, for the past few months) is the Facebook application Scrabulous. Now, if it isn't completely obvious what that is from the name, it is Scrabble! Two player or multi-player games can be organized (up to 4 players), and the computer does all the hard work of scoring. It's a blast, especially for somebody that me, who enjoys writing and wordsmithing. Of course, it has taught me something - that I'm not the best wordsmith out there. There are better ones, and man, I bow down to them! They know who they are :)

Anyhow, if you're on Facebook (which is a great application itself, and worth checking out), check out Scrabulous and start a game. You might just really enjoy it!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ho, Ho, Ho

Yes, it's certainly that time of year again . . . and I'm lovin' it, to steal a quote from the McDonalds commercials. I have a cute little reindeer wreath on my office door, and an Eeyore stocking too. I got my first batch of Christmas cards mailed out this morning, and have dug out my holiday music. Of course, having about 2 feet of snow helps too. I would enjoy this a lot more if it wasn't quite as cold outside, but I guess I can't have it all, right?

The most exciting part of my Christmas holidays will be my visit from Ange . . . she arrives on December 22nd for about a week and a half. I can't wait to see her :) I see many games of Euchre, Quiddler and Scrabble smushed into those days :)

I'm very excited about my first trip of 2008. I'm heading out to Philadelphia to see the esteemed American Spaniel Club show. I'll get to see all kinds of beautiful Spaniels (not just Cockers), and best of all, I'll get to see Billy! For faithful blog readers, they know his antics. It will be so exciting to see him again! My friend Jackie and I are going together, and I know we'll have an awesome time.

Other than work being super busy, nothing much is new. Just trying to stay out of trouble . . . some days are more successful than others ;)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Yet another pet peeve

Yep, I know, I'm chock full of pet peeves LOL But there are just certain things that drive me nuts. Like people being messy in the house. Not clutter, because anybody that has been to my house knows that I live amidst clutter. I know how to find stuff in my own clutter, and I can live with that, most of the time. Sometimes stuff topples over, and I hit my breaking point, at which I toss stuff to make the piles smaller. No, I'm talking about garbage being left around, dishes in the sink instead of in the dishwasher and people being lazy in general.

Don't get me wrong - I will occasionally leave a sink full of dishes until the next morning or evening, because I'm feeling lazy. But when I know I'm going to use the dishwasher, I load the dishes right away. I don't leave dirty dishes on the counter or in the sink, for somebody else to deal with. And I always throw my garbage away. I don't leave it by the side of my bed, or on the floor, for the "maid" to come and pick up. Because, truth be told, there IS no maid here.

Don't know why this is driving me nuts right now, but it is . . . so that's my rant for the day.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I learned something new about myself . . .

Yep, I never thought it would be true of me, but I have discovered over the past few months that I'm a suburbanite yuppie. Sort of. Granted, I don't have a white picket fence, but through the summer, I'm obsessed with the lawn. It has to be cut regularly, and I don't want to see weeds or grass clippings scattered on the driveway or sidewalk. Even worse, if the neighbors have not trimmed their lawn, it's like a little thorn in my side. I mean, come on, why should I even care?

The town I live in is booming . . . the population is growing a lot more quickly than the housing is, so lots of homes have many people living in them, instead of just one family. The new "fad" is for people to park their vehicles on the front lawn, thus killing the grass. Guess what? Yep, you're right, it drives me CRAZY. I can't stand seeing vehicles parked on the lawn . . . it just seems so - hillbilly - to me.

Sorry about not posting for several months. That's the worst lapse I've had yet. I don't really have a solid excuse, other than the myriad of changes that I've gone through since June. Some have been fabulous, some have been stressful, and everything's been busy. But I'm hoping to at least post weekly, so that folks that read this blog regularly won't think I've disappeared off the face of the earth.

Hope y'all are well!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Happy Birthday!

I just wanted to wish my special girl a happy birthday. Gracie Lou Who turned 1 on Monday August 6th. I had been away on holidays, so she got to spend her birthday being groomed. Not her favourite pastime, but she was a really good girl. Afterwards we had a photo session in the backyard.

I am so happy with this girl. She's pretty, funny, and full of personality. She never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

On Vacation!

In the last 48 hours, my blood pressure has gone down, my stomach is less upset, and my smile is everlasting. Why? I'm on vacation in Toronto - my favourite place to be! Not because it's the Center of the Universe (although many residents feel it is), but because it's where my bestest friend ever lives! We are having a wonderful time so far :)

Tomorrow night we're going to see the "new" Harry Potter movie - not new to most people, but we held off on seeing it until we could see it together. On Monday I'm getting a new tattoo, and we're going to the Bata Shoe Museum. Wednesday we're going to Hillsburgh to visit a good friend of mine. And after that, we're SHOPPING!!!!!!!!!!!

I miss the dogs immensely, and apparently they miss me, because they're pottying in the house. That's not completely unusual for Grace, but it's almost unheard of for Farley. It's nice to know I'm loved, I guess, but I hope my mom doesn't drop them off at the SPCA before I get home! This house is very quiet without a dog - I wish I could have brought Grace with me. She'd love it out here!

So I'm going to sleep in, chill (in the air conditioning, since it's hotter than heck outside!) and have fun. Hope y'all are doin' the same!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Just two words

Harry Potter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hot, hot, hot!

Yes, we have been experiencing a heat wave here . . . it's all relative, I know, but to us it feels hotter than Hades! It's been in the low thirties for about a week now (that's Celsius, not Fahrenheit) and we are melting. Fortunately, that's only when we're outside, as my mom had central air put in, so the house is a glorious oasis.

My youngest niece is still with us and keeping the house lively. Farley is enjoying her company, especially when she throws food on the floor for him, or carries it in her hands. He's eating well. Grace is enjoying it too - she's learned that crayons taste good, as well as Barbie feet. Her poops are SO interesting.

I am SOOOO excited about my upcoming trip to Toronto, to visit my best friend. We always have a great time together, and it's nice to get away from everything. I am getting a new tattoo (oh I know, I'm SUCH a rebel), and other than that we just have fun stuff planned. We'll be seeing the new Harry Potter movie (YIPPEEEE), and I'll be saving the book to read until the flight out east.

And that's it from the (hot) Western front. Hope everybody in cyberspace is doing well!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Time marches on . . .

And as time marches on, I keep not updating my blog. At least I have the decency to be embarrassed about it . . . and I'm trying to rectify the situation. For now, anyhow.

Things have been busy here, but to be honest with you, I wouldn't be able to manage life any other way. My two youngest nieces have been living with us off and on (mostly on for my youngest niece, who's been here for 6 weeks), and that keeps all of us on our toes. It takes a toddler to show you how kid-proof your home is NOT. Farley & Grace have been just excellent with the kids . . . they tolerate a million times more than I can! I'm so impressed with how good they've been.

Work is not busy at all. In fact, I just hate being so slow and quiet . . . but that's just the way it is right now. My company is undergoing a significant re-organization, and everybody is waiting to find out what their job roles are going to be. For some it's a big change, for others it's not.

I've been grooming quite a bit lately. Everybody wants to get their dog groomed before they go on holidays. This coming weekend I haven't booked any dogs, so that I can get my own dogs groomed. By then they should need it!

And other than that, it's just been little stuff taking up my time. But I'm glad to have plenty to do, otherwise I'd just be bored. And then I'd be watching too much TV, like Big Brother, Hell's Kitchen and the rest of my favourite reality TV shows!

Oops, gotta go! Hell's Kitchen is on ;)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Ooops, I guess I forgot . . .

Sorry everyone, I have been so busy that I have forgotten to post on my Blog. I have hit the ground running over the past month, even though school is done. I thought things were going to quiet down once school was done, and they haven't. Not one bit.

On Father's Day (June 17) my brother's girlfriend had her baby, about 4.5 weeks premature. He ended up getting flown to Edmonton to go to the NICU. He's actually still there now, but they're thinking he might get to come home soon. Baby Ian faces some pretty amazing challenges, but he has a great support system so hopefully that helps.

Then last weekend I had another dog show . . . feels like I've done so many shows this year, but it's actually the same amount as last year. It just seems like a lot. I guess maybe because at the last one I had two dogs to show instead of one, but that was a really fun show. My friend Vicky came, and brought Grace's brother and sister, as well as a dog from the US that she has here to show. Lots of work, but we had SO MUCH fun. Every show that Grace, Diva and Levi were entered in, at least one of them took home points. That sure says a lot about the consistency of the breeding program.

And now I'm grooming a lot, to catch up on the grooming I didn't do in May and June. But that's short term busy-ness, so it shall pass. Anyhow, that's the quick update. I promise to try and write more in July.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Good Luck Taffy!

Well, I haven't posted about this, as I didn't want to jinx it, but it's now official . . . Taffy has been adopted! She has been living with very good friends of mine for the past couple of weeks, and today they signed the paperwork to make the adoption official. I couldn't ask for a better home for Taffy - she is loved beyond belief, she gets long walks every day, and she gets to hang out with her dad all day long. What could be better? I will be grooming her, so I will get to see her regularly, plus her new mom is a close friend of mine, so that's even cooler. I couldn't be happier with the home she's in.

Her new mom brought me some beautiful flowers, with a card thanking me for introducing her into their lives. That just about brought me to tears . . . what a fabulous gift.

Please join me in wishing Taffy well as she wraps her new family completely around her paws!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The fun never ends . . .

Well, initially I thought I just had a cold. No big deal - take a day or two off work, sleep some, and get rested. Hah! The sore throat has gotten progressively worse over the past few days, and then my glands swelled right up. So this morning I sucked it up and went to the ER to see a doctor. Usually it's at least a 2 hour wait, but the ER Gods were smiling on me, and I only had to wait 25 minutes! Sure enough, it's strep throat, and I'm now taking enough antibiotics to kill a small horse.

My two year old niece has been living with us for the past couple of weeks, as my brother's girlfriend is on bed rest until she delivers her baby. A 2 year old is NOT conducive to bed rest, especially one that runs on Energizer batteries like this one does. So my dad has taken a leave from work and is watching her. It certainly makes the house more lively . . . she just never stops. But she's fun to have around, and all of us are getting our workouts through the day. The dogs are just wiped at the end of every day.

Grace is currently trying to entice Farley into having a romantic affair. She's in season, and is desperate for a boyfriend. Farley wants nothing to do with her . . . so she's left to dream. Poor girl.

And that's it from the zoo . . . til next time, stay healthy!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It's All Come To A Head

I kind of figured this would happen - after all of the busy-ness and stress of the past few weeks (heck, over a month!) I have finally fallen ill. It's nothing terribly serious - just a cold. Enough to keep me home from work, and also to keep me from speaking (to the delight of my family LOL), but not enough to keep me down for long.

I have some commitments over the next couple of weeks, but nothing compared to the stuff I had on my plate before this weekend. I have a dinner to go to with some friends (it's put on by the company I work for, and it involves steak and lobster!), and then a birthday party to plan and execute. But those are fun things! I also have a dog show at the end of this month, and then Grace and I are taking a break for a while. I'd love to be showing her more as a puppy, but after this coming dog show, everything else is at least an 8 hour drive, and that means too much time off work.

My niece Natasha has been living with us for the past couple of weeks, so the dogs are just pooped by the end of the day. Especially Farley, who follows her around devotedly, hoping for crumbs or even theft of whatever's in her hands. Grace doesn't get as much one on one time with Tashie, as she is crated while I'm at work (a puppy and a toddler are just TOO much for my father - heck, they'd be too much for me!). So the house is busy, but fun.

Until next time, mes amis!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Still Busy!

But things are slowly easing off, thank goodness. Last weekend was VERY busy. I left on Thursday for Edmonton, for 4 days of dog shows. There was one outdoor dog show each day for Friday through Monday. On Friday night was the Puppy Sweepstakes for our National Breed Specialty, on Saturday was our National Specialty and on Sunday was another Specialty. So we showed 7 times in 4 days! Phew! We also had a Specialty dinner, a structure seminar and a live auction. Talk about being busy! Grace showed really, really well for me, and behaved well in her Aunty Jackie's trailer too. She made a new friend (kisses to Emmitt Bowers!) and charmed many people. Farley got to strut his stuff in the Parade of Veterans, which made him almost as happy as the tennis ball he got.

I came home Monday night and promptly threw myself into preparations for my Grad ceremony, which is tomorrow. Being a part of the organizing committee means that I had a few tasks to handle. Luckily everything is pretty much done, and I can just enjoy the day.

I'm certainly glad that after this life should return to a fairly normal pace for a few weeks. I need a break!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Holy smokes folks, I have been RUNNING this week! Last weekend was the local dog show . . . 6 shows in 3 days. My good friend came up with a black and tan dog that came over from Russia to be shown, so I knew that Gracie and I didn't have a big chance of winning until he finished his title. So the first two days were for practise more than anything. Gracie was HORRID - her behaviour was terrible. She wasn't afraid or upset, just running, galloping and being a turd.

On the Sunday she won Best of Breed in the morning for her first point, so that was a real treat! She was quite bad in the Group ring - she thought the dog behind her was chasing her, so she kept turning around to try and play Oh well, she did well for a puppy. In the afternoon she was a turd again, and she lost the Breed to the other puppy. But it was nice that we could share the wins over the weekend.

I was at work for two days, and then was off again today. I had an ultrasound this morning to ensure that my liver, kidneys, pancreas and gallbladder are working properly. Last time I had bloodwork done, the liver enzymes were off, so the doctor sent me for an ultrasound and more bloodwork. Then I ran ALL kinds of errands, and finished sewing the 60 snoods I promised to make for the upcoming Specialties this weekend (Cockers-only shows, in addition to some all-breed shows).

I'm now spending a bit of time on the computer, as I will likely be off-line for the next 5 days, while I'm at the dog shows. Farley and Gracie are coming with me, and Taffy is going for her trial visit with her new family. VERY, VERY, VERY busy!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Good Bye Long Weekend!

Well, the long weekend is almost over now :( So sad to see it go - I have enjoyed having the additional days off. In addition to having today off (thank goodness for Statutory Holidays), I took Friday off as a mental health day. Good thing too, as we had company over that night and had to get the house cleaned up. We had company over on Saturday night, to celebrate my mom's birthday, so that was a busy day too. Last night we went for sushi (yep, for my mom's birthday) and I also groomed a client dog.

Grace is downstairs, with three out of four feet trimmed for the coming show weekend. Unfortunately my nieces are here to distract her, so I can't get her to stand still so that I can trim the last foot. So we're both taking a break, and then I'll try and get that last foot done.

I have a busy few weeks coming up, so there may not be many blog posts. Of course, since I've been slacking anyhow, you gentle readers may not even notice a difference in frequency. But I feel it's only fair to warn you anyhow.

Enjoy your spring or summer or whatever season it is for you!

Monday, May 14, 2007


Did you know that the number for wedding books in the Dewey Decimal System is 395.22? Go forth and learn, dear readers. Thank you to our friendly librarian Weeza for sharing this gem of information with us all at the wedding reception. My life is brighter for it!

What a weekend :)

Well, I have to say that Vicky and Vince had a lovely wedding. They had a Justice of the Peace, and the ceremony was in the same location as the reception, all in the evening. It was nice to be there to celebrate with them both. And at the family dinner on Friday night, we discovered my new nickname (thank you Ben!). Weeza introduced me to him, and he said "oh yeah, that's Kelly from the blog!" Sort of like Jenny from the Block (J-Lo), except I'm K-Lad. So now all of my peeps can refer to me as either K-Lad or Kelly from the Blog.

I had a fabulous visit with Farley and Grace's breeder and her niece . . . we did LOTS of chatting, mostly about dogs, but about other stuff too. I had an absolutely delectable lunch served to me on Friday, and an equally tasty breakfast served to me on Sunday. The dogs were very attentive (especially the boys), and it was tons of fun. The only bad part was that the visit was too short.

Now it's back home, and gearing up for dog shows. I have about a million snoods to sew for our upcoming National Specialty, and a dog to get ready for showing again. It should be busy and fun :)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Just Truckin' Along

I don't really have much to post, but I hate to not update the blog regularly. So here I am, trying to think of something witty and worthwhile to write. So far I'm drawing a blank, which is kind of embarassing, given that I consider myself a writer of sorts.

I have a really great weekend coming up - a good friend of mine is getting married, and I'm flying down for the wedding. Not only do I get to see some friends (her sister and cousins, as well as the rest of her family, and some other friends of mine as well), but I also get to see Farley's brother and Grace's brother and sister! I'm staying with Farley and Grace's breeder for the weekend, and I'm really looking forward to that. I think it's going to be a wonderful weekend all around. I'm sure I'll be tired when I get home Sunday evening, but I'm equally as sure that it will ALL be worth it.

Mom and Dad are going to look after the dogs for me, thank goodness. I can't even imagine trying to coordinate a dog sitter with my three hoodlums. But my parents take wonderful care of them, so I won't have to worry at all.

See you soon Sarah, Vicky, Weeza and Lyndarae!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

All's Well

So Taffy came through her spay with flying colours (of course, she had the easiest job of just resting). There were some slight difficulties, as her uterus was quite fragile, but the vet handled it well I'm sure. My vet is just wonderful - and trust me, I don't say words like that lightly. Anyhow, they did not repair her breast at this time, as the vet felt that it would be too much surgery all at once. But they did the spay and the examined the abdomen at the same time. It was good - just a slightly enlarged spleen, but it appears healthy, so that's good. So Taffy is recovering well, and being a real trooper about the whole thing. She's such a good and easy girl to live with.

I've been really busy with all kinds of stuff, hence the lack of blog entries. I'm not alone - Vicky, Weeza and Sarah haven't been posting a whole lot either. I guess it's just a busy time of year.

I recently joined Curves with my mom, in an attempt to tone up a bit and to just feel better, and so that's taking up some of my time. It's good - at least I'm doing something for myself instead of just wishing that I could look and feel better. That's a step in the right direction. I've been making an effort to eat healthier too . . . and I have really noticed that I feel better in that regard. So it should be a GOOD summer, if summer ever gets here LOL

Hope all my 'peeps are doing well!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Big Day Tomorrow

So I gave Taffy a bath last night, and wrapped her in a pink bathrobe that we won in a raffle. She looked so cute, so I wanted to share some pictures of her. She's doing REALLY well here - she's adjusted to being a spoiled housedog so quickly. She maneovers the stairs with ease, and she loves hanging out in the backyard.

Tomorrow is a big day for her. She goes in for her spay surgery, and they're going to do a short exploration of her abdomen too, because she has some persistent abdominal bloating. They're also going to fix her saggy boob (I wish a boob job for me would be so CHEAP as hers) . . . so she's getting the deluxe package. We'd appreciate any good thoughts and prayers that you can send her way. She's going to feel like she's been hit by a mack truck when all is said and done.
Have a great weekend all!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Slackin' Off

Wow, I can't believe it's been almost a week since I last posted. What a bad girl I am! I've just been busy with doing stuff around the house and spending time outside with the dogs. Now that it's nice out, I try to spend time outside every day with the dogs, playing fetch and enjoying the fresh air. It's good for all of us.

This weekend I have GREAT plans! I'm going to Calgary to visit some very good friends of mine that moved away a few months ago. I'm sure I posted about it, because it was a major event in my life. Anyhow, it's her birthday this weekend AND they recently moved into a new home, so I scheduled a visit. I can't wait to see her and hang out with her all weekend!

Other than that my plate is full with a social life (yes, I can have one too) and learning at my new job. Right now it's pretty slow, since I'm doing a lot of reading to become familiar with past audits (we'll be reviewing them and undergoing a new audit in June), and learning the procedures and processes. It's not terribly thrilling, but it's a necessary evil.

Hope y'all are having a great week!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

One Hundred Things

Thank you so much to Vicky's cousin Sarah for supplying another great Blog topic! I challenge anybody to try and come up with 100 unique things that people might be interested in . . . it's not as easy as you think.

Someone challenged me to try to write a list of 100 things about myself... seriously harder than you think it would be. So here's my list:

1) I bite my nails... I just can't stop it!
2) My favourite thing to order in restaurants is a hamburger
3) I find blow drying my dogs after a bath a very relaxing thing to do
4) I like to be the best at everything I do
5) I dream of being professionally published some day
6) I hate flying in airplanes
7) I get motion sickness
8) I could eat pasta every day of the week, I love it so much
9) I love to read
10) I am addicted to Sudoku and Crossword puzzles
11) I have to have a Dilbert page-a-day calendar for my office at work
12) I write for two dog magazines on a regular basis
13) I wish I had artistic talent (painting or drawing)
14) I dream of being a canine behaviorist
15) My favourite colour is purple
16) I hate it when people are lazy
17) I live in organized chaos
18) I’m a compulsive packrat
19) I love Munchies (the snack mix with pretzels, sun chips, etc)
20) I like going to see movies in the theatre
21) I can’t stand really hot weather, I just melt in anything above 25 Celsius
22) I really enjoy a good debate
23) I’m a good writer
24) I love reading and studying canine pedigrees – I have a great memory for them
25) I never want to have kids of my own, but I love my nieces dearly
26) I recently finished my MBA, and am already looking for another course to take
27) I lived in Denmark for a year as an exchange student
28) My best friend in the whole wide world lives across Canada
29) I am fortunate to have many great friends, but most of them live far away
30) I am very afraid of spiders (should never have watched Arachnaphobia)
31) I love Broadway musicals
32) I played trumpet for several years as a teenager
33) I don’t like fish, but I love seafood
34) My mom is one of my best friends
35) I like scrapbooking, but never seem to have time to do it
36) Pictures are very important to me
37) The Barenaked Ladies are one of my all-time favourite musical groups
38) My favourite song of all time is “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison
39) My favourite canine behaviorist is Dr Patricia McConnell PhD
40) I don’t like Cesar Milan’s training methods at all (Dog Whisperer)
41) I didn’t learn how to apply makeup until I was 28 years old
42) I’m really shy, especially in groups of people I don’t know
43) I like cats almost as much as I like dogs, and would love to own one some day
44) I’m allergic to beer – it gives me migraines
45) I have had the same pen pal for almost 8 years now
46) My favourite scent (candles, oils, etc) is orange
47) I hate driving long distances in the car by myself (> 1 hour)
48) I am addicted to Diet Coke
49) I donate a significant amount of time and money to Cocker rescue
50) I have been to China and climbed a part of the Great Wall
51) I do not drink regular coffee, just the sugary flavoured kind
52) My favourite TV shows are NCIS, House, Grey’s Anatomy and the Apprentice
53) I have a brother that is 4 years younger than me
54) I maintain a constant dialogue about other drivers when I drive (usually it’s not overly friendly)
55) I really enjoy shopping, especially buying gifts for others
56) I love playing crib (the card game)
57) My favourite sport to watch on TV is curling, followed closely by figure skating
58) My favourite sport to play is curling (but I’m not very good)
59) I’m a total suck when it comes to needles
60) I love to sing along to music
61) I don’t like spicy or hot food
62) I love purses, and am always looking for a new one to add to my collection
63) I love silent auctions, I always have to bid on something
64) The colour red looks terrible on me because of my complexion
65) I am a creature of habit, I follow the same routine every day when waking up in the morning
66) My favourite thing to have for breakfast is hard-boiled eggs
67) I don’t eat ice cream very often, because it makes my teeth hurt
68) I consider myself spiritual, although I’m not a church-goer
69) I know it’s childish, but I really love getting presents. It just makes my day!
70) I really hate it when people “preach” one thing but live by their own (possibly unethical) rules
71) I am very protective of my friends
72) Bad driving makes me absolutely crazy
73) I shot a gun for the first time in my life in February 2007 and I loved it!
74) I have eaten catfish, crawfish, alligator, squid and duck
75) I hate change! (except for pocket change J)
76) I really enjoy trivia games
77) I have extremely ticklish feet
78) I really like Life Savers Gummies
79) I cannot sleep without a cover, even when it’s super hot outside
80) I’m a procrastinator
81) My favourite flowers are Stargazer Lilies
82) I’m not terribly graceful
83) I dream of owning a memory foam mattress – they rock!
84) I think that family is extremely important
85) The “disaster” that frightens me most is fire
86) I really love Honey Garlic chicken wings
87) If I had extra money to spend, I would buy books and magazines
88) I bought my car in 2006 because it has a cooler built in to the dashboard
89) I hate having dry lips, so I have lip stuff everywhere (car, office, bedroom, etc)
90) I truly do not enjoy cooking
91) I really enjoy buying gifts for friends
92) I type very quickly – more than 100 wpm
93) I’m a quick learner
94) I speak English, French and Danish fluently
95) I would like to learn to speak, read and write in Spanish
96) I treat myself to a full body massage every 2 weeks
97) I enjoy designing and maintaining basic websites
98) I have visited the Toronto Zoo 5 times
99) My favourite Disney character is Eeyore
100) I find it VERY hard to come up with 100 unique and interesting things about myself!

Now... whoever has read this I challenge you to write a list of 100 things about yourself and post it!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

So proud of ME!

Well, as anybody who has been reading this blog for at least a year knows, I am the world's greatest procrastinator. If I have an assignment or paper due, I just do NOT get it done until the last minute. I'm convinced it's in my genetic code. Anytime I have tried to write a paper sooner than the last minute, it turns out to be garbage. Just poorly written and not nearly as coherent as I typically am. Anyhow, I have my VERY LAST MBA paper due tomorrow, and it is DONE! It has been done since about 3:00pm, and if I do say so myself, it's pretty good. If anybody is interested in learning all about the US-Canada Softwood Lumber dispute, by all means let me know. I'd be more than happy to enlighten you :)

Just had to share my pride . . . it's not often I do stuff in advance, but I guess the slow time at work prior to switching to my new job came in handy this week.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Had to "steal" this!

I borrowed this from my friend's cousin's blog . . . I figured it looked like fun. Thanks you-know-who-you-are!

Ten Random Things about Me:
10. I'm very indecisive
9. I love the color purple
8. I chew my nails
7. I love to read
6. I can memorize dog pedigrees very easily, while forgetting everything else
5. I do not want kids
4. I hate scary/gory movies
3. I watch way to much television
2. I can't go a day without checking my email
1. I love shopping

Nine Ways to Win My Heart:
9. Be honest
8. Make me laugh
7. Cook me dinner
6. Be intelligent
5. Love my dogs
4. Write me notes, letters or emails
3. Care about my family
2. Have a backbone
1. Accept me for me

Eight Things I Want To Do Before I Die:
8. Attend Westminster dog show
7. Go to New York
6. Visit New Zealand
5. Own a house on some land
4. Become a published writer
3. Live in the same province as my best friend
2. Watch my nieces graduate from University
1. Volunteer for a good cause

Seven Ways to Annoy Me:
7. Cut me off in traffic
6. Lie to me
5. Act as if you know everything, when in fact I know that you don't
4. Say mean things about my dogs
3. Badmouth people I care about
2. Talk to me like a child
1. Drive like a moron

Six Things I Need:
6. My family
5. My dogs
4. Books
3. A Home
2. An Internet connection for my laptop
1. Meaningful work

Five Things I'm Scared Of:
5. Losing someone in my family
4. Spiders
3. Fire in my home
2. Being unemployed
1. Heights

Four Favorite Things in My Room:
4. My bed
3. My books
2. Dog crates
1. My TV

Three Things I Do Everyday:
3. Snuggle with my dogs
2. Read
1. Check my email

Two Things I'll Always Cherish:
2. My family
1. Pictures

One Confession I Must Make:
1. I am really quite shy, I just hide it well.

Friday, April 06, 2007


She's 8 months old today . . . isn't she bee-yoo-ti-ful? I love her, even when she's very, very bad! Which, when there is a full moon, is very, very often!

Happy Easter!

Yes, it's Easter weekend already . . . it seems to me that Easter is getting earlier and earlier every year. I remember when we used to celebrate it at the end of April, and now it's at the beginning of the month. Oh well, it means a long weekend for me, so I'll celebrate it whenever I'm told to :)

My folks are away, so I have the house to myself. I've been busy since they left, with grooming client dogs, but I have still managed to enjoy the peace and quiet. Living at home isn't really that tough (thankfully I have an excellent relationship with my parents), but sometimes it's nice to pretend it's just MY house for a while. The dogs enjoy not sharing my attention with others too.

I'm feeling domestic today, so I'm going to cook supper instead of ordering pizza, which is my standard operating procedure when the resident chefs are away. It's not a complicated meal, but if I don't post in a few days, know that I gave my self food poisoning LOL

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend, and that the sun is shining and you have some family and friends to share it with.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Taffy Update

So I have finally had the time to get Taffy all groomed up and looking gorgeous. It took a couple of sessions, because I didn't want to do too much at once. She was SUCH a trooper, I can't tell you how impressed I was. She didn't even flinch when I trimmed her nails and cleaned her ears.

She's a really pretty little girl, and so loving. She has continually amazed me with her abilities too. She climbs stairs bravely, and even jumped on the couch tonight! We were ALL stunned! She hasn't had an accident in the house at all, and she's awesome in a crate. She's adjusting well to the dogs - better than I ever thought she would.

I ordered a homeopathic product called Eye See Clearly, which is supposed to promote general eye health and dissolve cataracts. Anecdotal evidence says that it works, from some people anyhow. It's worth a try . . . and it won't hurt the eyes. Taffy has a vet appointment next week to check her general health and get approval for her spay surgery.

Until then, the spoiling continues!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My Crazy Weekend

So, after signifcant amounts of traveling, I now have a foster dog (Cocker Spaniel, of course!). Her name is Taffy, and I pulled her from a kill shelter on Sunday. She's 6 years old, red, and very blind from cataracts. She stinks to high heaven (although now it's less, since she's had some baths) and is matted solid, but she's really enjoying life in the house. She's had a few litters, and her "udders" are hanging down to her knees, but she wags that nub with all her might. She's a beautiful, sweet, loving girl . . . I know the right home is out there somewhere.

The foot is VERY sore still . . . I slipped on a wet patch of floor at the restaurant tonight, and landed on my foot. That certainly didn't help, and neither did running around at a show all weekend.
Grace showed very well for me - not nervous or unsure at all. She was happy and full of herself, and wanted to love on everyone. Her favourite were other dogs and any kids walking by. She did jump off the grooming table on Saturday morning (my friend doesn't normally use a noose), and she must have injured herself, as she was limping slightly in the ring. We took second out of two on Saturday and Sunday, and then we won our class on Monday. I was just THRILLED that she showed well and had fun.
I also had both Farley and Grace's eyes checked at a CERF eye clinic. Both of them tested clear, which is always a relief. I'm concerned that Farley's night vision is going, but the vet checked him very thoroughly and his eyes are normal. Phew! I know he's not being used for breeding (and has never been), but I still want him to have good eyes. I wasn't surprised about Grace, but I was very happy.

This week is very busy for me - I am going to be housesitting for a friend, so I'm moving over there on Thursday night, along with Grace and Taffy. Taffy needs a grooming, as does the dog I'm looking after, and I have a WHOLE paper to write before April 13th. You know me, I'm a major procrastinator! So that's it in a nutshell for me . . . sorry I haven't been checking in, but the net was down for me for over 24 hours. Talk about frustrating!!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

This should be fun

So, after four days back at work, my foot is actually about as sore as it was last week. I suspect that if I was still working from home, with my foot up most of the day, it would be improving. But it's not realistic to expect to be able to work from home for forever . . . and it's not like I'm immobile, just gimpy and slow. My mom bought me a cream from the health food store called "Traumeel" with arnica and other healing agents, so I'm using that twice a day. Hopefully it's helping.

This weekend I'm off to a dog show. It's Grace's first show, and I've been looking forward to it for ages now. I entered her almost as soon as I could, and have been impatiently waiting for this weekend to arrive. Now I'm not even 100% sure that I'm going to be able to do a decent job of showing her with this stupid limp. This is so frustrating! I don't particularly want to hand her off to somebody else, because I want to make sure that her first show experiences are pleasant ones. If somebody else is showing her, I have no control over what happens. And I'm not good at relinquishing control, as anybody that knows me is aware.

So, wish me luck and wish Grace luck. Hopefully she shows well despite her handicap (me!), and we have fun. What more can we ask for?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Back at work

So I'm back at work now . . . hobbled onto the bus this morning, and then hobbled into the office. The foot is still sore, still somewhat swollen, and many colours of the rainbow, but it IS improving. Slowly. It's actually good to be back at work though . . . I missed my friends there. Okay, okay . . . stop laughing. I do SO have friends at work!

I finally finished "The Monk" and now I have to choose what to read next. It's almost stressful having so many choices! At least if this is all the stress I experience, life is pretty tame.

If you can believe it, it's snowing AGAIN. I had to get on the roof yesterday to clear 2 feet of snow (at least) from around the vents up there. It was leaking water into our bathroom. I hate heights . . . getting up there was fine, but I get paralyzed with fear trying to get down. I made it though - must have had my big girl panties on! And for those of you concerned about me climbing on the roof with a sprained foot, my mother was there, and it was all done VERY safely. My mother would NEVER put my health or safety at risk.
Hope everyone is having a good start to their week!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Snow Dog

Yes, rather surprisingly, it is snowing again. Oh well, at least one being in Fort McMurray is happy about it.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Lots of Reading

So, for some reason, I have recently discovered a whole pile of books that I want to read. A few I am borrowing from my good friend, who has really unique taste in books. She has lent me 2 of the books that are currently on my must read list. Right now I'm reading a book called "The Monk" by Matthew G. Lewis. It was published in 1796, when the author was 19. It was WAY ahead of its time then . . . it was considered very taboo. I'm about 2/3 of the way through it now, and it's actually a really good read. Not full of action or anything like that, but definitely interesting enough to hold one's interest.

On the shelf, ready to go, I have "Stranger Than Fiction" by Chuck Palahniuk, a collection of non-fiction short stories. Looks like a good book - the first short story is about a testicle festival (no word of a lie!), so how can a book with that kind of opening be anything short of interesting?

I just got "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini from my best friend, so I have to get it read. I've been looking at it in the bookstores, so I guess now I'd better get it read! I also have "Talk To The Hand" to read, which is written by the same author as "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" about punctuation, or the lack thereof, in today's society.

On the way, from Chapters, is "The Smartest Guys In The Room" about the rise and fall of Enron. I watched the DVD in class last weekend (a full length documentary), and it was great, so I am inspired to learn more.

So lots of reading to do . . . now to find the time!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mother Nature . . .

I have to say that Mother Nature is cruel. It is mid-March, and in some areas of the world spring is in full force. But not here in Fort McMurray . . . ooooh no! It is still darned cold (like around -20) and we keep getting these big dumps of snow. It's not fair! I just want the warmer temperatures and the opportunity to see the ground without snow cover. Grace, on the other hand, loves the snow. She would play outside all day long if I'd let her. The reason I don't is that I'm worried she'll lick the metal shed and get stuck. Beautiful girl, just not that bright.

Anyhow, I don't really have that much to write about, since I'm stuck at home with this sprained foot. I am working from home, but there's nothing exciting going on there. The dogs are sleeping and snoring, and "School of Rock" is playing on TV. Life is boring, but good!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The shoe dropped

Okay, okay . . . I guess posting about all the good things in my life alerted Murphy that the law was being broken (yep, Murphy's Law). Fortunately, of all the bad things that could happen, this is pretty low on the scale.

I was carrying something down the stairs, and my dear boy Farley left a ball on the stairs. I stepped on it, my foot rolled under the ankle, and I fell down 3 stairs. Oh my God, it hurt SO much! It hurt so much that I couldn't even curse . . . I could only say "Ow! Ow! Ow! It hurts!." The top of my left foot is swollen now, and it hurts like the dickens. I did go to the hospital, and the x-rays show no fracture, so it's apparently just a bad sprain. But man, it HURTS! So I'm hobbling around like a cripple . . . gonna have to stay home from work tomorrow, because I can't get on and off the bus with my foot like this.

Other than that, it's actually been an okay day (nothing is as fun as spending HOURS in the hospital). My older niece has a birthday tomorrow, so we had the whole family over for supper and presents. That was fun! Grace played with my brother's new Irish Wolfhound puppy for hours on end . . . she should sleep well tonight. Farley had to hang out in my room (he hates big dogs), but he was okay like that.

Other than that, life goes on as usual . . . dogs, school, work and TV ;)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

More good things . . .

Seems like my life is full of good things lately, and I'm not complaining :) You know, sometimes it feels like everything is going wrong, but right now it just feels like it's all going right.

Before Christmas I was approached by my old neighbour about a possible new job. I sent my resume along, and the department manager actually called me and talked to me (this is a bigger deal than it sounds like on paper). Anyhow, I met with a few people in January about it, and then things kind of fizzled for a while. Since I didn't really hear much, I thought maybe they'd found another candidate for the job. Out of curiosity, I emailed the fellow who would be the boss yesterday, to see if they'd filled the position. A lady from Human Resources called me to tell me that I was the successful applicant. I was so sure that I wasn't getting the job that I was quite surprised! And VERY pleased :) It's a promotion of sorts . . . more than just a lateral move, anyhow. And it's an awesome opportunity for me (within the same company). So I can't wait to learn some of the details (transfer date, etc).

I took Grace outside to practise being a show dog tonight. It's finally warming up enough to play outside, instead of trying to work in the house. She was pretty wound up initially, but man, when she got the hang of it she did really well. She can MOVE! It gave me little goosebumps, so now I'm looking forward to her first show. Even if she goofs around in the ring (which is to be expected, since she's a puppy), once she finds her rhythm, I think she's going to be a lot of fun to show.

Farley is doing well. He's started on Missing Link Plus, which is a food supplement with glucosamine in it, and he seems to be doing well. He's not as sore these days, and not taking as much pain medication. So that makes me really happy. I sure do love my cranky old man!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Home Again . . . Thankfully

Okay, I have discovered that I have a breaking point when traveling. And somewhere in the car on highway 63, I hit that point. I'm glad to be home for a while now, because I am so tired of being on the road (or in the air). It's nice to be sleeping in my own bed for a while now. I won't be back on the highway for another few weeks, and that'll be for a dog show. By then I'll have forgotten the tiring part of the trip :)

I saw Van Morrison in concert on Wednesday night (think "Brown Eyed Girl" and "Moondance"). The man was absolutely incredible. He can sing, play sax, play harmonica and probably half a dozen other instruments too. He didn't talk to the crowd at all, he just played for 90 minutes. It was great. His entire band is just so talented . . . it was a pleasure to hear them as well. On CDs I never really notice bands that much, but they were just rockin' the other night!

It looks like Grace has finally figure out the whole pottying outside thing. I had her on a schedule before, which was working okay, as long as I didn't slip. But now I've noticed that I can push the schedule a bit, and she is still waiting until she goes outside. Yippeee! She is just so happy that I'm home - she keeps coming and checking to make sure I'm still here. Too funny. And Farley is just glad to have his mom back. He's been stuck to me like glue since I got back.

It's back to work on Monday . . . sigh. These two weeks off have been wonderful.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Back Home . . . For Now

Wow, I am so tired today . . . I guess all of my traveling has finally caught up with me. But it was SO worth it, especially the last few days, which were spent in Louisiana. I know that LA doesn't sound like an exciting tourism destination, but it sure was amazing. There is so much to eat, see and try. In the short two days that I was there, we crammed a lot of stuff in!

On the Saturday we had breakfast at Lea's at Lecompte, a restaurant that has been running for many, many years. They are famous for their handmade pies. We had a great meal, and brought a pie home to have later (chocolate, and it was yummy). Then we went to Fred's in 'Tet Mamou (little Mamou) to listen to authentic Cajun music (called Zydeco). This place is world famous, and the origin of Zydeco music. It was ROCKIN' in there! After that we went to Teet's in Opelousas, where we bought boudin (rice sausage), cracklin's (pork rinds freshly fried), and Slap Ya Mama (totally awesome Cajun spices mixed in Opelousas). My friend's husband went home for a nap (being surrounded by 3 beautiful women is so tiring) and we toured Alexandria. Did some shopping, and got to see where my friend spent her formative years.

Saturday night we went to Tunk's Cypress Inn, which is a traditional Cajun restaurant. It is on Kincaid Lake (I think) and the view from our table was stunning (for the hour that it wasn't storming and dark out, anyhow). We ate alligator (not bad), deep fried pickles (salty), crawfish (really good) and catfish (AMAZING). The meal was to die for, and I got a new bumper sticker for the car that says "I ate alligator at Tunk's Cypress Inn"

Sunday morning we did some shooting (yes, real guns - 22 caliber and 38 caliber). What a rush to experience that feeling of power! We just shot into the bayou (at tree trunks, not 'gators), but it was really cool. I groomed my friend's dogs (while everybody watched), and we chatted. I showed her some grooming stuff, so she was happy. I tried to tell her that I'm far from a professional, but she wouldn't listen. I was glad to help show her stuff, anyhow. Sunday afternoon we drove to Nactitoches (pronounced nag-a-dish as far as I can remember) and went to Melrose Plantation. There is a large antebellum home there, and most of the outbiuldings as well. We had a guided tour, and then drove back to Alexandria. Sunday night we had smoked BBQ ribs made by my friend's dad, and an all around good meal.

Yesterday my friend and her mom drove me to Houston (about 4.5 hours), and then I flew home from Houston. Loooooong day. But it had a nice ending, when my good friend picked me up and even brought me flowers :) I was so touched by that gesture. She hung around as I unpacked, and listened to me jabber on about my trip.

The dogs were THRILLED to see me home again, and I was pretty happy to see them too. I really missed them. Tomorrow I'm off to Edmonton again, for a Van Morrison concert. This guy almost NEVER tours, so I'm really looking forward to it. Not looking forward to the driving though. Sigh.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Happy 100!

Yep, this is officially my hundredth blog post . . . too cool! All of my "chatting" has taken place in the last 15 months. My first post was in December 2005, and here is my hundredth, in February 2007. Thank you to my faithful readers.

Today we are in Austin, which is the state capital of Texas (I didn't know that - I always thought it was Dallas). It's a beautiful city, and of course the 80 degree weather made it all the more attractive. We spent the morning at the State Railroad Regulatory Commission (I think that's the name), getting a presentation on regulation of natural gas pricing and state policies. It was very interesting. We then had lunch at the State Capitol building (which is the largest in the US, since they did the subterranean expansion) and had a guided tour. It's very nice. Each door has three brass hinges that are elaborately designed, and that say Texas on them. Each set of hinges weighs 8 pounds! Just an interesting fact.

This afternoon we were at the University of Texas Austin School of Business, and we got some presentations on the various programs, including the MBA program. We had the opportunity to chat with some of the students, which gave us a perspective on school down here.

Tonight we went as a whole group for supper to the Texas Land and Cattle Steakhouse. It was loud, fun and we had great food. Everybody else went out partying, but I needed to take a break. I think it's pretty obvious that I'm a HUGE party-pooper here, but I just don't like going out all the time. My friends understand that . . . classmates not so much ;)

Tomorrow we drive back to Houston (on a bus), and then I fly to Louisiana to have a visit with a dear friend. Monday morning marks the start of my journey back home. Although I'm enjoying my visit to the South immensely, I am missing my dogs and family, and am looking forward to heading home in a few more days. I will desperately miss this amazing weather though!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More Houston News

It was a busy day here in Houston . . . kind of gloomy and rainy, but still nice and warm :D I feel spoiled by the weather!

This morning we visited the headquarters of Sun Coast Resources, who supplies diesel, lubricants and biodiesel to wholesale customers in Texas. It was a very interesting presentation. Then we went for lunch at Mama Ninfa's mexican restaurant and ate like pigs. Yummy! I had chalupas for the first time, and they were awesome. Also got to have Mr Pibbs! This afternoon we visited a law firm and had a chat about the legalities of energy and renewable resources. Again, very interesting.

Tonight my roomie is going for Japanese food, and I'm "chilling" in the hotel room, ready to watch my favourite shows and take it easy. We have a presentation to give to some members of the Center for Energy Economics (CEE) and I want to be totally prepared.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Houston is GREAT!

So, we made it safe and sound into Houston last night, around 10:00pm (9:00pm your time, as we're an hour ahead). Didn't actually get to the hotel until 12:30am, because apparently the freeways here have very few exits. Who knew? Man, we went from North to South Houston, all on I-45. But we made it. The hotel is very nice - free high-speed internet, so you know I'm happy :)

This morning a few of us went to NASA - The Lyndon Johnson Space Center here in Houston/Galveston. It was really, really interesting. I've never cared much for space travel or stuff like that, but we had a great time. We took an hour-long tram tour of the actual government space facilities, and even got to see Mission Control! Picked up some dehydrated ice cream for my nieces as a treat.

We spent the afternoon at the Galleria, which is a high end shopping mall (think Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Ave, Macy's and more. I managed to spend a few dollars (those of you who know how I shop can take guesses at how much LOL). There was only one dog store, but I had fun in there too :) I fell in love with Borders - it was two floors. We had lunch at Sonic (called America's Drive Thru, and a company we studied in the first year of our MBA), and dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, which is WAY better than the Cheesecake Cafe. What a meal! We just walked in the door about 20 minutes ago, and my roommate is out somewhere, so I have some free time. School stuff starts tomorrow :(

So far it's a lot of fun . . . I've picked up some pretty neat souvenirs for a few people (sorry, I'm not rich enough to buy for everyone . . . but I'll share the pictures).
Hope the dogs are okay, and that Grace hasn't driven my mom nuts yet ;) Hugs to both of them - I feel lost without 'em.

Take care y'all!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Grace is VERY proud!

Yep, today Grace is proud as punch of her daddy Wills. Wills was shown at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show today (by his breeder and owner Cathy Carey), and he won Best of Variety! In the US, Cockers are shown in three groups (called Varieties), separated by colour. ASCOB is Any Solid Color Other than Black, and it includes buffs (blondes), chocolates and chocolate/tans. Blacks include solid blacks and black/tans, and parti's include any dog with 2 distinct colours, one of which must be white (black/white, red/white, choc/white. any of the aforementioned with tan points and roans). Willie won ASCOB Best of Variety. We even watched him on TV, and I tried to explain to Grace that if she works hard for me, she could end up there some day. Whether or not it would happen, it's good for little girls to have dreams, right?

Not much else is new. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and I have . . . no plans. I will watch TV and start packing my stuff for Houston. I'm leaving for Houston on Saturday, and will be there for a week. Next Friday I head to Louisiana to visit with some good friends of mine, and then head home. It will be a wonderful, WARM vacation!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Absolutely incredible!

Yep, the Barenaked Ladies were amazing (and entirely clothed, and not really ladies). The concert was worth every penny paid for tickets, hotel and gas, as well as time taken off from work. Although they have a relatively new album, and the tour is named for that album (B.L.A.M. Tour - Barenaked Ladies Are Me), they played mostly their older stuff. I think they played at least one song from each of their past albums. They are excellent show men, and they really know how to play to a crowd. I had a floor seat, 30 rows back, and I was on my feet for the entire show. Clapping, singing, dancing and generally having a great time. After the show I bought a memory stick with that evening's concert on it - recorded live. It means I have all of the impromptu stuff that they came up with. Too cool!

The opening act was Tomi Swick, who hails from Hamilton, ON (great alliteration there, don't you think?). He was great too. He was nominated for 2 Junos, so keep your eyes peeled for this up and coming Canadian artist.

My mom and I did quite a bit of shopping in those few free hours. I bought a new pair of shoes - they're similar to Skechers shoes, but they're made by Dr. Scholls and they have gel insoles. I fell guilty when I wear them, because I feel like I have slippers on all the time. They're awesome!

Today I helped my friend assemble her new bed and dresser set. It was just proof that women can truly exist without the help of men ;) We had fun, and the bedroom set looks awesome. When her night tables and long dresser come, the room is going to look great.

Hope y'all are enjoying your weekend as much as I'm enjoying mine :)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Friends, be proud of me!

Yes, occasionally a leopard can change its spots. And I managed to distort mine just a week bit this week. For my one final class, there are two portions. One portion is an individual term paper, and the other portion is a group presentation and paper. The group portion is due on Friday coming . . . I have been one of the chief motivators of my group for meeting and getting the presentation done. The slides are being submitted to the professor tomorrow, and the paper is DONE! I compiled the slide information to make the paper, and I got it done well ahead of time. Thank you, thank you . . . of course, work not being busy right now certainly helped.

Heading to Edmonton with my mom tomorrow. We're going to see the Barenaked Ladies in concert, as I posted the other day. They're a rock/pop group, and they're purely Canadian. They've been around for forever, and they are awesome! Can't wait to see them. I saw them 6 years ago, and they were fabulous. I expect nothing less for the second time around.

Today Grace turns 6 months old. In the show world she is officially legal now . . . eligible to compete for points towards her Canadian championship title. Of course, she's not showing for a while yet, but at least I know she's legal. Cool! Happy half-birthday to her brothers and sister . . . hope everyone is being spoiled tonight!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Superbowl Sunday

Yes, it's that time of year again, when humans of all ages come together over beer and nachos to scream at the television, and alternately cheer and groan, depending on what's going on somewhere much warmer than here (Florida this year, I think). Some merely watch for the humorous commercials (which tend to be pretty darned good) and yet others watch for the action on the field. Personally, I avoid it like the plague. Football has never been a major draw for me, and this is a day like every other. But my dad and his friends are having a grand time in the basement, watching the action on a HUGE screen and having philosophical discussions about field goals and touchdowns.

On a less happy note, my world is changing again. A couple of very good friends of mine are leaving town this week. I'm very sad about it. They're people that I am very comfortable and happy being around, and I will miss them immensely. I'm trying to be mature about it, but to be honest with you, I just want to cry. I wish them nothing but the best in their new home and new city, but I hope they come back for visits every now and then. Take care - I won't say goodbye, but see you later.

This week will be a good one (other than my friends leaving, of course). My mom and I are taking a trip to Edmonton to see the Barenaked Ladies, one of my ALL TIME FAVOURITE groups. They are going to be awesome! I promise to post a review when I get home, but expect nothing but praise :)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I almost forgot!

While posting about my successes over the past week, I forgot one that I personally find significant! I am the kind of person that loves to buy puzzle books - especially crossword puzzles and sudoku books. I never finish them - I always carry them around for ages until they fall apart and I throw them out. Well, before Christmas I bought a small Sudoku book, and on Thursday, I finished the last puzzle! Doesn't sound like a major accomplishment, I know. But for me, it was a proud moment!

Also, a good friend bought me a Page A Day calendar of Sudoku puzzles. I have no trouble with the Super Easy and Easy puzzles, but as soon as I try to do Medium puzzles I get stumped. Well, on Thursday I finished my first Medium puzzle. Woohoo! I am on my way to being a Sudoku Master!

Friday, February 02, 2007

A Good Week

They say that if you do something every day for a week, it starts to become habit. I haven't been exercising 7 days a week, but after 3 weeks of walking and getting on the elliptical machine, I think it may have finally become a bit of a habit. Even the days that I just do NOT want to do it, I make myself. I did the "machine of death" 3 times this week, and took Grace for a brisk 30 minute walk one day too. I took yesterday off, because I had a function right after work. I'm consistently up to 10 minutes on the elliptical, but that's about all I can manage. It still feels like my lungs will spontaneously combust and my legs will fall off. I HAVE to get into shape!

I got my paper proposal done and handed in on Tuesday night, so that's good. Our group project is well on track for being done by Friday the 9th. The powerpoint presentation is done, I just have to pull together the accompanying paper. That won't take long at all.

Overall it's been a good week. My eating has been a bit extravagant, but otherwise I've done well. And the diet will get back on track this coming week. I'm not weighing weekly like my friend is, but my pants are fitting better, and that's always a good sign!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My Spots Remain Intact

You know the saying "A leopard never changes its spots"? Well, I am that leopard today. I forgot about a paper proposal that I was supposed to write for tomorrow. Okay, forgot might be the wrong word. Maybe, conveniently pushed it out of my mind is more accurate. In any case, it's due at noon tomorrow, and so far I have two lines. Granted, they are outstanding lines, but two lines do not a paper proposal maketh. However, instead of studiously working on my proposal, I am here, entertaining my faithful blog readers.

I did 8 minutes on the elliptical yesterday. I desperately wanted to do 10, but I just could NOT do it. I think maybe I'm fighting off a cold . . . or else I'm just badly out of shape. I prefer to believe the first theory. Today I couldn't bear the thought of the elliptical, so Grace and I went for a brisk 30 minute walk. She is so good on a leash, I am so lucky!

It's a new episode of House tonight. I missed the first 30 minutes, but so far 9 minutes into the second half, it's pretty interesting. I guess I'll watch the forst 30 minutes later (thank goodness for satellite!). Have to catch NCIS (my most recent addiction) too, as I got interrupted halfway through watching it. Sin of all sins!

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Yesterday was sort of a long day at work. When I got home, I was tired and wanted to just sit on the couch. But I didn't. I dragged my hiney down the stairs and got on my elliptical machine. Made sure the timer was re-set, so I wasn't "adding on" to my last workout. And I made it to 10 minutes! I was so proud of myself, you have no idea. It sounds like such a small achievement, but to me it was really a happy moment.

I took three prints in to be framed today. Two beautiful Michael Allen prints - one of a family of buff Cocker Spaniels and one of a family of Parti Cockers. The other print is by P. Butch Symons, and it's a buff Cocker head study. I can't wait to hang them up in my room!

And other than that, not much is new . . . just had to share my success

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Good Read

I haven't posted about a good book in a while, so here's a recommendation. I am currently reading "The Other Boleyn Girl" by Philippa Gregory. It's about Mary and Anne Boleyn (Anne Boleyn being the second wife of King Henry the 8th). It's based on historical facts, but of course the story itself is fiction. I am in love with that time period and those people, and try to read as much as I can get my hands on.

I read another book of hers - called "The Constant Princess," which is about Katherine of Aragon (Anne Boleyn's predecessor as Queen of England). It's a good book too, but it's not as good as the one I'm reading now.

Well worth the read!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Somewhat disappointing

So, I have been SOOOOO proud that I made it to 10 minutes on the machine of death! I told everyone standing within 5 feet of me . . . which makes today's discovery all that much more disappointing.

We had freezing rain today, so I wasn't prepared to walk the dogs. Not worth hurting myself, and Grace self-entertains well even when she hasn't had exercise. So I got on the elliptical. When I turned the little monitor on, I saw that it was holding on to my information from Monday. Which means that had I not noticed, I'd have gotten on and thought I'd done 15 minutes! On Monday, I really only did 5 minutes . . . which I guess is why it seemed so easy. Not so easy tonight - I re-set the counter, and worked as hard as I could. I make it to 6 minutes and 45 seconds.

A small setback, but I am not willing to give up just yet. Every time I consider it, I grab my tummy and think "goodbye flab, fare thee well!"

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Not Much To Type

I really don't have a lot to post today, but I don't want to get out of writing . . . so I thought I'd post anyhow.

My exercise plan continues to unfold. Last night I made it to 10 minutes on the elliptical (and Vicky, it's not on a high tension, I'm just really out of shape) so I was proud of that. Normally I'd walk Gracie after work, but it was snowing fairly heavily and I didn't want to have to blowdry her (yes, I'm lazy). Tonight it was gorgeous out, so I took both dogs. Farley continues to lift his feet, even though it's not that cold. But I think he enjoyed getting out and getting some fresh air.

Things aren't too terribly busy at work right now. I have enough to keep me working through the day, but not enough to feel a real sense of urgency. I'd rather be really busy, but sometimes it's not up to me.

I'm back to procrastinating with school. I only have this one course left, and I'm already "postponing" working on my paper proposal. I have put some work into the group project, but the paper proposal keeps getting pushed aside. Too much must-see TV I guess.

Well, better run . . . I managed to write quite a bit for somebody with nothing to say!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sounds familiar . . .

So, those of you that have been faithful blog readers may remember me getting into the "gym" thing last year. You might even remember my adventures with the elliptical machine (fondly called the machine of death by my mom and I LOL). Well, on Friday morning, I thought I'd get back on the machine of death. When I last went to the gym (in April 2006), I was up to about 25 minutes on the elliptical machine. So I figured I'd do like 10-15 minutes on it, and then call it a day. HAH! After 2 minutes I was sure I was having a heart attack . . . by the time I made it to 5 minutes (my hastily-revised goal), I was sure death was only a ragged, gasping breath away. Funny, yesterday wasn't really any better. Today is a break day, otherwise my legs will take off through the night, leaving me without mobility.

So I'm trying to live a healthier lifestyle . . . so far so good, but it's only been a couple of weeks. Everything's easy for a couple of weeks. It's keeping it up that's hard. I want to fit into my nice brown dress for Vicky's wedding in May, and I just want to look nice for the spring/summer dog show season. That's gonna take some work.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Back In The Saddle

So, as you know, it's January. The only month of the year that most people actually meet their New Year's resolutions! One of mine was to lead a healthier lifestyle. Not to lose weight, because that's too specific, but to get out more and eat healthier. This is a familiar resolution - every year starts out with this one. So far I have been doing fairly well. I haven't had fast food since ringing in the New Year, and this week I have started walking every day again. Yesterday I brought both dogs with me, but Grace chewed on Farley's ear the ENTIRE way. And I think it might have been too much for him all at once. So I am going to bring him every other day, and bring Grace every day.

Today was Grace's solo day - her first solo walk on a leash. Let me tell you, I got the chills from it. After just 30 minutes, she had the hang of loose leash walking! Staying almost in heel position, and self-correcting when I corrected her verbally (ah! ah!). I am THRILLED! I think this little girl is going to be a fabulous obedience dog . . . I can't wait to seriously start working her now!

It feels good to be walking again . . . it's definitely good for me, and it should help burn off some of Gracie's energy. So far that hasn't happened, but I keep hoping.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Major Breakthrough

Well, today I had a major breakthrough . . . I was able to eat a whole meal without feeling yucky afterwards! For those of you that haven't been hit with the stomach flu that's going around, you have no idea how wonderful that is. My mom and I went out for lunch, and I was apprehensive about eating anything with any real flavour to it, in case it irritated my stomach. But it's several hours later, and I feel okay. Hooray! Now I can go out with my friends for my birthday dinner, which I had to postpone due to illness.

It is still freezing cold here. My poor car did NOT want to start this morning. It made a really strange, whiny noise when I started it, almost as if it were crying. But once she started and warmed up, she was as good and reliable as ever. Yes, I still love my car.

Got my two dogs groomed today . . . so they no longer look scruffy and homeless. It had been so long that Grace was acting like she'd never seen clippers before. She is such a drama queen, which is funny, since it's her sister whose name is Diva! Tomorrow is bath day, as long as it warms up. I can't, in good conscience, bath the dogs when it's thirty below. It just doesn't seem fair.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Happy Birthday to . . . . me!

Yes, this is a blatant solicitation of birthday wishes. How can I not? That's the best part of a birthday - having people stop you to wish you a happy day. I love it! I had a quiet day, but a good one. One of my co-workers brought in an Oreo cookie cake for my birthday, which was a super nice treat. And a couple of guys at the office made me presents from stuff lying around the office. Very cute.

Because I'm still recovering from a nasty flu bug, my diet is limited, but today is the first day I can eat real food. Yippee!

The weather is just FREEZING here . . . -30 and holding. It's no fun waiting for the bus in the morning, or walking to the bus after work. Ugh. But it's supposed to warm up soon, which will be nice. Maybe then my car will start.

I never did post my New Year's Resolutions . . . I really hate making them at all, because I never keep them. But this year I want to spend more time with friends, less time glued to my computer, and just more time on ME. So those should be attainable, we'll see.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I am alive!

Sorry for my faithful blog readers . . . apparently the month of December was so crazy that I couldn't even face writing about it. Actually, with papers due, final exams and work going like mad, I really didn't have a lot of time to play on the internet at all. My postings on internet forums for Cocker Spaniel owners suffered too. But a new year is underway (Happy New Year!) and I'm hoping that life won't be as nutty now. School is almost done - I have only one course left and then I'm free. And that will free up a lot of my time.

My Christmas was good - my best friend came out from Ontario to spend two glorious weeks here. We had the best visit ever, and I almost cried when she flew home. Saying goodbye gets harder and harder with every visit. We spent time watching past episodes of NCIS (a GREAT show, in case you're wondering), bumming around, and playing Euchre (cards) with my parents. My friend enjoyed having dogs around, since her dog passed away just over a year ago. And my dogs soaked up her attention like a sponge.

Farley's ear has healed - he has a fancy notch now. I keep thinking I should put an earring in there now. He had another attack of what we now think was pancreatitis, so he was treated for that. At the same time the vet discovered that he has a long-standing mid-back problem. The vet thinks it's secondary to his knee problems (since his movement has compensated for the bad knees). At this point it's not affecting his daily life, so we are in management mode. He's on painkillers until the actute on chronic pain quiets down, and then we will go from there.

Grace enjoyed her holidays, and was a very good girl. She is maturing nicely, and has such a vibrant personality. She's funny, and she harasses the heck out of Farley on a daily basis. I can't wait to start showing her, although I don't want her puppy-ness to disappear too soon.

Anyhow, back to work. I'm going to try and keep life interesting but not TOO exciting. Keep your eyes peeled to see how that works out for me.