Monday, March 31, 2008

Pleasant Surprise

Be forewarned that after reading this, you might think I'm a bit off the wall. Moreso than usual, I mean.

Last week I ordered a book in the mail, based on a recommendation from a magazine article. I really respect the person that wrote the article, so I thought I'd give the book a try. It's called "Best in Show" and it's written by Bo Bengston, who is very well known in the dog world, as a breeder, a judge and an author. Anyhow, since it wasn't very expensive (around $30 with my Chapters membership), I figured it would be a typical book, around 200 pages or so. Well, I could see the box in my mailbox as I pulled into the driveway, but I had NO idea how heavy it was! This book is almost 650 pages long! Which I personally think is a GREAT deal for about $30!

So, I was pleasantly surprised. It looks wonderful (after a quick skim) so I can't wait to dive in and read it!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fun Weekend

I had a really nice weekend :) A good friend of mine came to town for a visit, and we had a great time catching up and having fun. Friday I left work early and had lunch with my friend, and then we came to the house and played Wii. She brought up Karaoke Revolution: American Idol, and we had quite a bit of fun with that. Amazingly, Simon Cowell is quite nice . . . which is just odd. Neither of us can really sing that well, but we managed to win some Platinum and Gold records.

Saturday we went for lunch at a local sushi place and then ran some errands. After that we came home and played Wii again. This time we did Dance, Dance Revolution (with the floor pad). It sounds like a kids' game, but let me tell you, it provides quite the workout! I'm sure I got more exercise playing video games than I have in a long time. And believe me, I know that just sounds wrong LOL Saturday night we had tickets to see Aaron Lines in concert. He put on a fabulous show, and we both enjoyed it a lot.

Today was low key, as her flight left in the early afternoon. Still, we managed to get in lots of visiting in what felt like two short days. I'm sure glad she came for a visit! I hope you had a great weekend too!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Last week I had a brutal migraine, and couldn't post on Thursday. This week, I'm glad to be back on track. This is my favourite post of the week, because it really gets me to think about the great things in my life.

Today I'm thankful for my family, and the fact that we're so close. Yesterday my parents left for a South American cruise, and the house is very, very quiet without them. If I feel lonely without them today, how will I handle the next 3 weeks? It's not necessarily loneliness . . . just noticing how quiet and still the house is without other people moving around. Thankfully the dogs make up for some of that silence . . .

I have heard of so many people that don't have close relationships with their parents, and I always feel sorry for them. My mom and I are especially close, but even my dad and I have a good relationship. I know that I can talk to them about almost anything, and they'll provide a good perspective for me. I know that they love me and care about me, and will support me through anything. And I know how lucky that makes me.

Take some time to think about what you're thankful for today . . .

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Music

Over the past few weeks I've added some new music to my collection. Having received an iPod Touch for my birthday from my best friend, I've been downloading from iTunes like crazy. Thankfully I got lots of gift cards for Christmas for iTunes, so I haven't spent money out of pocket . . . yet.

Feist - a Juno-nominated Canadian artist, Leslie Feist has a very soulful and haunting voice. I purchased her most recent CD and am enjoying it. It has a slower pace to it than a traditional rock or pop CD, but it's very musical.

Sara Bareilles - Her single "Love Song" has been all over the radio, and I liked the catchy tune, so I purchased the whole CD. It's a nice, mainstream, female pop album. Upbeat, and Sara has a very nice voice. It's perfect for listening to at work. If you like the American Idol type of music, I think you would enjoy this CD. If you don't like pop music, give this one a miss.

Regina Spektor - This CD was recommended to me by a good friend, so I felt like I had to purchase it. I wasn't disappointed. Similar to Sara, the first tune was a hit single (can't remember the name of it off-hand - sorry folks!), and very catchy. This CD isn't really as "poppy" as Sara's, it has a bit more of an edge. Not raunch or hard core at all, just not as . . . carefree. Another wonderful female artist.

Trace Adkins - Greatest Hits Volume 2. Okay, I admit that I fell in love with Trace's gravelly voice from watching Celebrity Apprentice, so my dad thought he'd surprise me with Trace's CD. I'm not typically a huge country fan, although I do have some albums (Aaron Lines is an incredible country artist). I really enjoy Trace's album - it's a mix of "classic" country songs, along with some more modern, edgy country. There is a wide range of song types, from ballads to upbeat. Thta being said, if you don't like country music, don't buy it.

I'm always open to suggestions for new music, so if you have any ideas, feel free to share them!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Boo Hoo :(

I should have known better than to post a "Welcome spring" note, but I couldn't help myself. As punishment, it has been snowing since sometime through the night. YUCK! I don't like to use my blog to whine and complain, because that's no fun for people to read, but I am so sad to see winter back. I sincerely hope it's a short visit, because I am in desperate need of more sunshine and warm weather.

Apparently, in central Alberta, the weather is much better. So please take note that I'm jealous of the central (and southern) Albertans. Sigh.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

I just wanted to wish all of my friends and blog readers a very happy Easter! It's been a nice day here - the sun has been shining and it's been a glorious 6 degrees! Everything is continuing to melt - at this rate we will be rid of the snow by the end of next month. I had two of my nieces visiting, and they spent some time dying eggs and decorating them. It was a fun day.

I hope everyone is enjoying their friends and family this Easter holiday!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

It's the Easter Cockers Charlie Brown!

Okay, okay . . . I know it's not really the Easter Cockers, but I didn't have a Beagle for my photo shoot, so I had to make do. My dogs are such good sports about it all - I just want to tell you that right up front. Not only do they tolerate the bunny ears, but they sit and stay while I take a bunch of pictures. I couldn't ask for easier models to work with! I can't say the same for the fuzzy pink guy in the middle . . . he refused to listen to any of my requests. Oh well, it was all in the spirit of Easter.

Wishing my friends and blog readers a very happy Easter! May it be filled with fun, good food and the love of family and friends!

Friday, March 21, 2008


Every year, the Canadian Cancer Society sells daffodil bunches, to raise money and awareness. Last weekend I bought two bunches, and they opened up through the week. They are gorgeous, and another welcome sign of spring. I thought I'd share some of the pictures I took, using the "macro" function on my new camera. Enjoy!

Welcome Spring

So yesterday was the first day of spring, as per my calendar. Since I live just south of the North Pole, spring doesn't arrive here quite as quickly as it does in other, more temperate climates. But I think that I'm finally seeing signs that the solid grip of winter is being loosened! The snow is slowly melting, what with temps slightly above zero, and I can even see some small patches of grass! Granted, it's dead and brown, but at least it's showing. I'm so thankful for that. I think there are more birds out, and the sun is shining longer every day.

I know that given where I live, there could be more winter to come. But for now, I'm going to enjoy the sunshine and spring weather, and I'm going to soak up some Vitamin D!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More favourites

I am really getting a lot of mileage out of this whole "favourites" thing! Thank you Vicky for suggesting it :)

With the famed Writer's Strike (over now, thankfully), a lot of my normal favourite TV shows have been on hold. I am in withdrawal from such great shows as NCIS, Grey's Anatomy, House MD and Brothers & Sisters. I can't wait until April, when they all start coming back on the air. It will be a momentous month! But, the strike has given me the opportunity to watch new shows - shows that are somewhat off the beaten path, and are just being aired on major networks as filler.

"Big Love" which stars Bill Paxton is about a polygamist and how he functions in the normal world (along with his 3 wives and their kids). The relationships within the family are explored, as is living "normally" and dealing with the church and their beliefs. It's on Thursday nights, and I think it is normally shown on HBO. I've gotten interested in the story, so I try to watch it.

"America's Most Smartest Model" is one of a plethora of reality TV shows that has cropped up to fill the void created by the strike. It is hosted by Ben Stein and a former model (her name escapes me right now). It is comprised of "smarts" and beauty competitions, and it's very entertaining. It's also on Thursdays, on CityTV. Definitely good for a laugh!

As always, TLC can be relied on to have quality programming. Now that Paige Davis is back on Trading Spaces, the show is more interesting again. This time around, the storylines of the people trading homes are featured as much as the re-designs themselves. Saturday nights on TLC are enjoyable with this show back to its former glory. Also of note on TLC are What Not To Wear (Fridays), Moving Up (Saturdays) and Flip That House (Saturdays).

I'm always open to suggestions for other new shows, so feel free to share your favourites!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My reading list

Somebody had asked about books . . . and I'm always willing to talk books. I've been reading up a storm since 2008 started!

Earlier this year I read "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett, which is a historical fiction novel based in the 1300's in England. The story centers around Kingsbridge, which is a town attached to a priory with a cathedral that is being built. It spans about 100 years or so, and goes through several relationships over those years. This book was written in the late 80's or early 90's, so it is readily available.

Following that I read "World Without End" which is Ken Follett's follow-up novel. You don't have to read the first one to "get" the second one, but it would clear a few small things up, especially around ancestry and heritage. The second book starts in te 1600's and it also takes place in Kingsbridge. Both are length novels, but well worth the read.

Following that I read "Atonement" by Ian McEwan. This novel was recently made into a movie in Hollywood. I haven't seen the movie, but wanted to read this book. I have to say that I found it quite slow . . . lots of descriptions and discussions about peoples' thoughts, but not much action. It took me a while to get through it, simply because it wasn't hard to put down.

Now I've really gone serious, and am reading Danielle Steele's "Sisters" LOL Not exactly intellectually challenging, but it is a nice, light read and so far I'm enjoying it. It works for a time when work is busy, and I have lots to think about there. This gives me an escape.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Curling Follow-Up

I am VERY proud to report that Kevin Martin, the skip (leader) of Team Alberta led his team to victory last night, in a narrow 5-4 win over Glen Howard and Team Ontario. Despite the excitement of the win, the game was played fairly cautiously, and wasn't all that exciting to watch. Often, finals games are full of risky draws and take-outs, but both teams strugged with the ice (the rocks weren't moving down the ice as they had all week), and that made the game feel almost mundane. Keep in mind, this is coming from an armchair curler - I couldn't DREAM of being as talented as these men are. As much as I enjoy curling, other than the occasional bonspiel, nobody will ever be watching ME curl. They might watch me fall, because that's entertaining on occasion, but my curling is not.

Oh, and Vicky, if you're aiming to play at the 2009 Tim Hortons' Brier (being held in Calgary), you may want to start planning the sex change now. The Brier is the mens' national championship. I think you'd be much more suited to the Scotties' Tournament of Hearts :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Since I was on a theme about my favourite things before my thankful Thursday post, I thought I'd talk about one of my favourite sports today. I do love dog shows (and I do consider it a sport, but so many people debate me on that point), but I also love curling. Not curling my hair - curling the sport! It looks so simplistic to people that don't watch it - throw rocks down ice and get them on the bullseye. But to those of us that are avid fans, we know that there is so much more strategy involved than that. The skip (team leader) has to think ahead, and try to figure out what his competitor is going to do. And there is a lot of math involved, as well as understanding the ice, and how it is affecting the movement of the rocks.

On Friday night I was watching a playoff game between Kevin Martin of Alberta (and his wonderful team mates) and Pat Simmons of Saskatchewans (and his great team mates). Although Kevin Martin's rink was outplayed by Saskatchewan, it was his understanding of the ice and his accurate prediction of what Pat would do that helped him win the game.

Tonight is the final of the Tim Hortons' Brier, which is the Canadian national mens' competition. Kevin Martin of Alberta is playing against Glen Howard of Ontario. It should be one heck of a game! I warn those of you that could possibly call - all phone calls, emails and text messages will go unanswered between 4:30pm and 7:30pm . . . my mind will be focused elsewhere!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Yes, it's another edition of Thankful Thursday! I really like this blog topic, because it makes me stop and think about the good things in my life, instead of just being angry about stuff, depressed about stuff or just unhappy.

Today I'm thankful for my dogs. The weather outside isn't as warm as it was on the weekend, but the sun is shining for the first time in several days, and it's nice. Seeing the shining sun and feeling the warm rays on my arms made me want to get out and walk. Normally, I'd just get home, eat supper and get online. But today, I walked in the door and I could tell that the dogs were feeling the same "goodness" that I was. So instead of eating and sitting, I grabbed their collars and leashes and took them for a 30 minute walk. It was our first walk of 2008, and it was a great way to celebrate the coming of spring.

I'm also thankful that on the days that I feel like the world is against me, I come home and these two dogs are smiling and wagging and jumping on me. They're acting like the best part of their day just happened . . . and that ALWAYS makes me feel better. Well, unless one of them has a chewed up leather shoe in their mouth, but that doesn't happen as often anymore.

I absolutely love bedtime with my boy Farley (Grace still sleeps in her crate because she eats books at night while I sleep). He snuggles in as close as he can, and sighs and goes to sleep. I love that feeling so much, and it's the thing I miss the most when I travel. That feeling of closeness.

I could keep typing the things I am thankful for with regard to my dogs . . . but I think you get the picture!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My favourite . . .

Colour! LOL Just kidding . . . I'm sure that would earn me another humorous rant from Vicky ;)

Soup . . . I'm kind of fussy as far as soup is concerned. I don't like soup with lots of "stuff" in it . . . like barley and vegetables and stuff. And I really don't like stuff that I can't identify . . . "mystery" ingredients. I like to know exactly what's in my food. Unidentifiable objects scare me. It could be anything!

My favourite soup is cream of mushroom. I love it . . . it's so yummy and creamy and tasty. I don't like Italian Wedding Soup, Beef & Barley Soup, and Florentine Soups (with spinach in them). I LOVE Miso Soup . . . which I never thought I would. But it tastes so good, and it's actually good for me too. I also really like Won Ton Soup.

So that's the lowdown on Soup from me . . . hope this satisfies my loyal critics . . . er . . . um . . . I mean readers.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hey thanks!

I got a few replies to my request for inspiration - so thank you my friends!

I can't quite offer a review of the Canon Rebel XTi yet, as I'm still just using it on the Auto settings (it has several). From the pictures I've taken, I'm VERY happy with it. The pictures are crisp and clear, with lovely colour. I played around a bit with the long lens the other day (75-300mm) and was thrilled with the pictures I got. It's very easy to use, and I can't wait until the weather is really nice and I can be outside more, playing with it. If you're looking for a "mid-range" camera with SLR capabilities, this one is great value for the money, in my opinion. That being said, I haven't tried any other D-SLR cameras, so this is a biased review.

I just finished reading "World Without End" a couple of weeks ago. It's written by Ken Follett, and it's a follow-up to his famous book "Pillars Of The Earth." It's sort of a historical fiction type of book, that covers a span of about 75 years or so. The first book covers the building of Kingsbridge Priory (in Britain), and the second book covers a later period in the same village. Both are long books, but both are really enjoyable. I had trouble putting them down!

I'll end there, and not use up all of my inspired topics at once ;)

Monday, March 10, 2008


So, I want to keep posting here regularly, but I'm having a tough time coming up with interesting topics to write about. I used to write about the dogs a lot, but I think that appeals to a limited audience. I have written about my life, but to be honest with you, it's just not that exciting right now. I can only rave about the weather so much, before I bore people to tears, and they give up reading here.

So, I'm looking for suggestions . . . what do YOU, my loyal reader(s), want to see me write about?

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Yes, that is truly the only word for what Mother Nature has given us today. The sun is shining to brightly I need shades (no really, I need shades!), everything is melting, and I can't get enough of being outside. I never thought I'd want to hear the sound of running water, and I never thought I'd be happy to see a muddy vehicle. But I am. After a long, hard, cold winter, spring is finally tempting us with a bit of her presence. It's supposed to stay above zero (Celsius) for the next few days. They're forecasting a dip in the weather next weekend, but hopefully that will change as the days go by.

Oddly enough, even with a glorious temperature of +9 today, I need to shovel the driveway. The issue isn't the daytime weather, it's the sub-zero temps we're getting at night. If I leave the slushy snow on the driveway, it freezes overnight to turn our driveway into a skating rink. It might be fun, but it's most definitely not safe. So, after I get off the computer, I will go outside and get rid of some more of the slushy snow.

Enjoy the weather folks!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Thank you Sarah for "lending" this to me - I really appreciate taking a moment to think about what I'm thankful for every week. This week I can name one thing that I am supremely thankful for, and that's the SUN! I have been back in my office this week, instead of out on an audit, and the sun has shone through my big window every day this week. I am thankful that I had to close my blinds to reduce the glare on my computer monitor. I am thankful that I had to take my sweater off (it's like a blazer, I had a shirt on underneath) because the sun's rays were warming my back. I am thankful for slushy, slippery roads and walkways, because it means winter's tight grip is loosening.

I am also thankful for my dogs . . . I would say this every week if I didn't think that people would get sick of me, but these two animals really do restore my sanity on a daily basis (well, except on the days they chew computer cords or eat my dad's expensive leather shoes). When I've had a horrid day, I come home and they run to greet me like I'm the most incredible person on earth. After a meal, they come and sit beside me on the kitchen floor (it's a ritual, but I know it sounds weird) and push into me, to get closer. At night, I'm thankful for Farley's snores, because they mean that I have another day to look forward to with him. In the morning, I'm thankful for Grace's mad dash up the stairs (I personally think it's attempted murder, but they deny it), because it means she's healthy and agile and full of life.

I'm also thankful for the people (yes, I hope that's plural!) that read this blog, and allow me a creative outlet.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Canada Post

I have to say, I typically appreciate Canada Post and their services. As a regular buyer and seller on eBay, I make use of their shipping options with frightening regularity. I'm not quite a power-user, but I'm not too terribly far off. I have never had complaints about our mail carrier, because she is SUPER reliable. I used to just about be able to set my clock by her. I made sure to keep a path shoveled for her - since she's so good to us, I might as well return the favour.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, the letter carriers in my area went on strike (could quite possibly have been called job action, as I'm not sure it was a strike in the true sense of the word, although that's how it was worded in local media). They were off carrying for a couple of days, but then they were asked to return to work. It took almost an entire week for us to get any mail at all . . . and even a week after that, delivery was patchy, at best.

Now, I am left waiting for several "important" items. Things that are very important to me, although their total value might not be what some consider high in the true sense of the definition. I sure hope they come soon! And I hope we get our regular mail carrier back too. I miss her and her dependability.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


So Alberta just elected the Progressive Conservative Part for a record 11th term in a row. While I think that's a nice win for the PCs, I'm wondering why only 40% of eligible voters turned out to execute their democratic right? Come on people, how can you complain about the government when you didn't even take part in choosing it? I'm sure this sounds like a pointless rant, but I hear people grumble about the government on almost a daily basis . . . so I would think that with the nunber of people complaining, voter turnout would have been better.

I didn't want to vote . . . it's a pain in the neck to go out when it's cold, vote, and then head home. But I did it, because it's a personal right I have. People went to war so that our country would be democratic, and so that we could elect our leaders.

I know that a rant on a random blog won't change things, but I just had to vent about it.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Some pics

I wanted to share some pictures that I took earlier this week with my new camera . . . I sure do love my new toy!

The first picture is my girl Grace, who is about 18 months old. I know, she looks very innocent, but she is heck on wheels, let me tell you! Busy, busy, busy. She has the makings of an obedience star though . . . very smart and eager to learn!

The second picture is my "old guy" Farley, who is now 8.5 years old. I've never been able to get pictures of him with his eyes open, due to my old camera having a big flash. I'm so happy to know that he has eyes!

Anyhow, thanks for indulging me!

In like a lion . . .

March has certainly come in like a lion in Northern Alberta. We woke up to a winter storm warning this morning, and it has been snowing and blowing all day. Yuck! I have already shoveled the driveway twice this week, and it looks like the third time is coming sooner rather than later. It's been so nice all week, with some of the snow melting and the sun shining. This is just disappointing. I sure hope that March goes out like a lamb!

Those of you that know much about me know that I do NOT cook. However, I bought a new cookbook a couple of weeks ago, sort of like "Cooking for Dummies" so I've decided to make a beef and broccoli stroganoff for supper tonight. Please pray that my family doesn't end up in the hospital with food poisoning LOL

Hope you're enjoying your weekend!