Wednesday, April 30, 2008

200 Posts!

I've spent quite a bit of time today trying to come up with the ultimate blog post to celebrate my 200th post. But unfortunately, my inspiration has taken a road trip. What a bad day to have a brain fart!

Today was interesting. We just moved to new offices this week. The person that had this office prior to me did not turn in the key, so I'm waiting on the company lockshop to get me another one. It's actually against company policy to leave my door unlocked overnight, but there isn't any other choice. Well, last night either the cleaners or security locked my door. So when I got in this morning, I was locked out! We called security (who have a master key), but they didn't make it over until 11am. So I worked in am empty cubicle for the morning.

As if that wasn't enough, I grabbed a can of Diet Coke, since my water bottle was locked in my office. I don't normally drink Diet Coke before lunch, but I made an exception. As I was getting set up in the cubicle, I knocked the can over, and spilled it into my work bag. All over two new books, a magazine, and some documents. Talk about crummy luck!

Fortunately I managed to salvage my day, and it turned out to be a pretty good one. So that just goes to show that just because the day starts out on a sour note, that does not mean that it can't improve!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Farley's New Friend

So, the day before my parents got home from their cruise, the doorbell rang. I answered the door, and it was a young man of about 10 years or so, asking if I had any dogs. The incessant barking should have given it away. He asked if he could take them for a walk, so I told him he could take Farley. I dug Farley's leash out of the closet, and watched them walk down the street together. After they turned the corner, panic set in. I mean, I didn't even know the kid's name! And what if he didn't bring my dog back? What would I do?

About 45 minutes later, this pair came strolling back up the driveway. The smaller half of the pair was just black with mud and puddle water, but he was also grinning from ear to ear, tongue hanging out happily. I thanked the young man for walking my dog, and proceeded to take Farley down to the basement for a bath. Halfway through the bath, I realized that the kid probably wanted to be paid. Oooops! I couldn't even go to his house with money, because I didn't know his name. I figured he'd never come back, since I was a bit of a deadbeat LOL

A few days later, he showed up again. My dad called me at work, and before I even really thought about it, I told him it was fine. I STILL didn't know the kid's name! But again, Farley made it back in one piece, albeit dirtier than heck. This time the kid's mom came to the door as well, and they introduced themselves. I paid the young man for walking the dog and apologized for not doing so before. Mom explained that their dog had died in January, and they couldn't get a new one, so the boy was missing his dog. How could that not tug at my heart strings?

Farley's new friend has been back a couple of times now, asking to walk his buddy. He now gets the leash out of the closet himself, and Farley is happy to have the outings with his buddy. I, on the other hand, am slowly going broke. Also, my back's a bit sore from the baths. But how do you say no to such a happy pair?

Monday, April 28, 2008

My favourite . . .

Back on the theme of things I love (aka My Favourites), I wanted to talk about one of my all-time favourite home-cooked meals. What brought it to mind is that we had it for supper yesterday and again today. Spiral ham with my mom's special glaze (which includes gingerale, maple syrup, crushed pineapples and other "secret" ingredients), potatoes and mixed vegetables. Oh my goodness, what an awesome treat! The spiral hams (so-called for the method of cutting, as far as I know) aren't nearly as salty as regular hams, and they are sweet and succulent. Mmmmm. Of course, maple syrup makes EVERY meal better, so that's a given.

The potatoes were mashed this time, although the ideal potatoes with ham are scalloped or au gratin. I won't complain, I like mashed too. Then we also had peas, corn and broccoli. What a meal! Despite the fact that I don't normally like leftovers that much, I was looking forward to tonight's meal all day long.

Feel free to share what YOUR favourite homemade meal is!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Family Fun Day

Today was my company-sponsored Family Fun Day. The company rents a local indoor ice rink and turns it into a fair for kids. There are all kinds of games to play, those big air-filled bouncy "houses" and some other climbing stuff. There is also a petting zoo with farm animals, face painting, airbrushed tattoos, food, and shows. It really is a lot of fun. My mom and I took my three oldest nieces (I now have 4 nieces and a nephew!) for a fun-filled day. First off, we all went to see the Amazing Brent, a magician. He really put on a good show, and the kids enjoyed it. Then the two older girls went off on their own, and mom and I went with Tashie to explore. It was fun - we got airbrushed tattoos (yes, me too - a fairy on my left arm), I took loads of pictures, and Tashie played and played.

I plan to write a letter to the event planners/coordinators, to thank them. The girls had a great time, and we enjoyed sharing this day with them. It was a day full of smiles and laughter!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thankful Thursday

So here we are again, we've made it through 80% of the work week, and we're back to Thursday. I can't say that personally it's been a stressful week, since I haven't worked nearly as much as I normally do. One snow day, one day of packing, and one day of working from home because our offices are being moved to a new building, have added up to a lighter-than-average work week.

Today I'm grateful that my brand new niece (who will be 1 week old tomorrow!) is doing well, and isn't suffering from many of the ailments that preemie newborns commonly have. She was born 1 month early, so she's in the NICU for a bit, but other than some jaundice and a slightly underdeveloped sucking reflex, she's a healthy little girl. Given the health issues that her brother had when he was born early, it is a miracle that she is this healthy.

The miracle of life is really something to behold. This little baby is a perfect miniature, even compared to regular newborns. Her fingers and toes are so tiny and yet so perfect.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I was cranky this morning!

So, it finally quit snowing around 5pm last night, hallelujah! It also started to warm up, which has made the snow wetter and more compactable. Seems like that should be a good thing, but I disagree now.

Backed out of the driveway fine, because the neighbor's son shovelled it for us last night (I could have kissed him, but he's 16 and embarasses easily LOL). Got stuck in the street due to the depth of snow. The city is not plowing anything other than main arteries as it's supposed to warm up soon, and the snow should melt. I have a small car (Dodge Caliber) with front wheel drive. I rocked back and forth and managed to get going. Stopped at Safeway to get flowers for our Admin Assistant, as it's Administrative Professionals day today.

Saw that the parking lot had not been cleared, but figured it was no big deal. There were lots of tracks from people that had been there yesterday and earlier this morning. Hah! I got stuck right in the main laneway. Could NOT get out. I had 5 guys help me push the car out of the laneway, and there it sits, crossways in TWO angle parking spots. Hope those people don't want to park today!

Thanks to two wonderful co-workers, and one anonymous other person from my building, the car eventually got dug and pushed out, so that I could park in a cleared lot. It took about half an hour, a snow shovel, and lots of manual labour, but I was so grateful for the help. Now I'm home and heading to bed soon. I HAVE to sleep off this cold.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Snow Day

In my 28 years of living in Northern Alberta, I've never heard of the city busses not running due to snow. Cold weather comes now and again, but I can't think of the last time we've had this much snow in a short time period. I'm sure we've gotten around 15" of snow, if not more, since Saturday night. Today the city busses quit running, the major companies told people to stay home, and the roads were almost impassable.

I took a few pictures for everybody to see our little spring squall!





Monday, April 21, 2008

My favourite . . .

Okay, I thought I'd go back to favourites . . . so today I want to talk about my favourite time of year, which is spring time. I love that the sun makes longer and longer appearances with each passing day. I love the green grass, and the buds on the trees. I love seeing nature slowly wake up from its long winter slumber.

I most decidedly do NOT love winter. Especially not most of the way through April, which is a full month after the start of spring, according to my calendar. I do not love blowing snow, and drifts against the house that make opening the door tough. I don't love so much snow in the street that I almost get stuck on my way to work. I don't love brushing a foot of snow off my car in the morning, and I don't love the snow. Did I mention that?

Alberta is in the grip of a winter storm . . . a really nice, good one, with snow and wind and cold. All I want to do is curl up in bed and snooze . . . unfortunately my boss disagrees ;) So I'm here, wrapped in a sweater, with big slippers on, dreaming of hot soup and hot chocolate. Hope you're warm and cozy too!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Farley is a GOOD boy!

So in January 2007, the Canadian Kennel Club added a new event for dogs to earn titles in. It's called Rally obedience, and it's sort of like a combination between certain elements of agility and obedience, leaning heavily towards obedience. It's meant to be an introductory stepping stone to traditional obedience. Handlers can talk to their dogs all the way through the course, and offer praise and encouragement. There are stations that you go through (heeling your dog in between) and do what's on the signs.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I showed Farley in 2 Rally trials in Red Deer. We'd never been to a class or played in a sanction match, but I had watched it in Philly, so I figured it wouldn't be too tough. Especially for a dog who's competed in regular obedience.

Our first trial was definitely for learning, as we lost a few points for doing stations incorrectly. But we learned from our mistakes (okay, MY mistakes) and we did much better in the second trial. Farley LOVED that I could talk to him, and I found it fun. On Friday we went to one more trial, this time in Edmonton. Farley was amazing, and he earned his third passing score to earn a brand new title, at the tender age of 8.5 years old. What a boy! He is now Ch Silverwood's Northern Light Am Can CD, RN, CGC.

I'm sure most of this reads like gobbledygook, but thanks for letting me share my pride!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Back to my favourite blog day of the week . . . I love spending time thinking of things that I'm thankful for. It's such a positive day for me.

After watching Randy Pausch give his "Final Lecture" on Diane Sawyer last week, I am very thankful for my health. Randy Pausch is a former professor from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsbrugh. Randy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer some months ago, and although he is battling it bravely, it appears that the cancer has spread. When you read my sentence, it sounds infinitely sad. Randy has a beautiful wife and young kids, and his life is being cut short. The great thing is that Randy doesn't see it as a sad event. He sees this as an opportunity to truly live out his dreams. Instead of wondering when the time will come, he lives each day as fully as possible. He tells people what they mean to him, and he does the things that he wants to do. He spends as much time with the people that are important to him as possible, and he takes nothing for granted.

His "Last Lecture" (both an actual 90 minute lecture and a published book) is basically his advice for living out your dreams. It's heartbreaking, inspiring and full of words of wisdom. Much of it has been said and heard before, but somehow, it sounds fresh coming from Randy. I wish him the best of luck with his ongoing battle. I truly hope he wins it.

So even though I have to admit that I don't always live my dream, I am thankful for my health and the fact that I don't have to be fully aware of what each day holds. I'm grateful that I am able to get up for work, feed the dogs, do chores and other mundane things . . . because it means that as far as I know, I have lots of life left to live.

Enjoy your weekend friends and loyal blog readers!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Welcome Home!

Well, yesterday was the big day . . . the end to pretending that I own this house and I don't share it with anybody LOL My parents came home from their 3 week vacation yesterday. I surprised them by meeting at the airport - I have to admit that I was pretty excited to see them too. Despite being able to sit online as much as I wanted to, the house was kind of quiet and lonely without them here.

My mom had a real adventure on the cruise - her blood sugars went WAY out of whack, and she ended up spending all kinds of time in the ship sick bay, getting IV treatment and having injectable insulin. Not an expensive adventure, and certainly not a part of the ship that folks want to see. But they got everything under control, and she's feeling better now. Thank goodness!

I have looked at all of my dad's pictures, and he took some awesome ones. I can't wait to see what my mom took now :) They did have some formal pictures done on the ship, and those turned out beautifully. It is so cool to see my dad in a tux!

My family is whole again . . . life is good ;)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Life Is Good

Okay, okay I know that's a corny title for a blog post . . . and goodness knows, I've probably already used it at least once during the life of this blog. But honestly, these days, I can't complain. Yes, there is some added stress at work, and yes, I've had some "friend" issues recently (they *seem* to be over now, thank goodness). But overall, life is very good for me. I have a great vacation coming up, my folks will be home from their cruise soon (don't tell them I missed them though!), two healthy dogs, and things are just on track.

Now, ask me if I feel the same this time tomorrow! I have to get groceries, buy dog food, get a massage (okay, that part won't be hard), clean the house, do laundry and clean the yard. I might not be as excited about life in 24 hours ;)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Here we are again, having reached Thursday. There's something somewhat exciting about Thursday, because it's tantalizingly close to Friday. It's most definitely the best night for prime time TV, and you go to bed happy, knowing that Friday might be more casual than the rest of the week, and you have a different feeling than you had all week.

This week I'm thankful for being spontaneous. This is not normally something I'm good at - I tend to plan everything, if not OVERplan it. I'm very averse to risk, and I feel that planning takes away a lot of risk. But yesterday, when my friend emailed me and asked if I wanted to take a quick trip to Vegas, I had enough spontaneity in me to say yes! We're planning now, of course, but just that rush of adrenaline that came from saying yes without thinking it through helped get me through the day. I'm still feeling good about it. I know it sounds silly, but for somebody that plans everything to a "t" it's pretty cool to just "do it."

I hope you guys are enjoying your Thursday!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I stole the idea for this post from a friend's blog . . .

So here's goes nothing....

A- Attached or Single: Single

B- Best friend: I have four if you can imagine that! - Ange, Jackie, Brandi and Jes

C- Cake or Pie: Chocolate cake!

D- Day of Choice: Fridays . . . it's a more casual day at work, and usually a fun, relaxed evening

E- Essential Item: Water... for the need to live kind of essential. Books... for my sanity! (sounds good to me)

F- Favorite color: Purple

G- Gummi Bears or Worms: Gummi Bears from Dominion in Scarborough . . . yummmmm

H- Hometown: Fort McMurray

I- Indulgence(s): Novels... I love to get into a good book.

J- January or July: January - my birthday falls then!

K-Kids: Two furkids - Farley & Grace

L- Life is Incomplete Without: My family

M-Marriage Date: Not applicable

N- Number of Siblings: 1 brother

O- Oranges or apples: Oranges

P- Phobias or Fears: Losing my loved ones

Q- Quotes: Let me be the person my dog thinks I am.

R- Reason to Smile: I'm going to Vegas, and it's going to be awesome!

S- Season: Spring

T- Tag Seven: Weeza . . . nobody else I know has a blog!

U- Unknown Fact about Me: I love jigsaw puzzles!

V- Vegetarian or Meat Lover: Meat lover . . .

W- Worst Habit: Nail biting! I need to join nail-biters anonymous.

X- X Rays or Ultrasounds: Ultrasound . . . I had one for my gallbladder once, and the U/S tech showed me my heart beating, which was super cool!

Y- Your Favorite Food: Hamburgers & Jackie's lasagne

Z-Zodiac: Quintessential Capricorn!

Crazy Days

It's funny how life can change so suddenly, based on the people around you. One day everything is fine, and then bam! things change. I want to preface this post by saying that the changes are affecting me negatively, so this isn't a complaint or rant. Just an observation, if you will.

Yesterday I got back to work after my trip to Devon/Red Deer. I've been working on an audit with a co-worker, and she'd been off the week prior, so I was eager to chat with her and to have us align our work again. She dropped a bombshell - she told me she was leaving the company to pursue other opportunities. I wasn't surprised, as she isn't completely happy where she is, and this will be a much better place for her. But I was disappointed. She's a good co-worker, and I've enjoyed getting to know her and working with her. I'll miss her.

The bigger aspect of this is that the company she's going to work for is the one we have been auditing! So, to prevent any perception of impropriety, she is being taken off the audit, except to finish off her paperwork. That leaves me with more responsibility than I had two days ago! It's a bit daunting, but I do think I can handle it. It just caught me off-guard. So the last two days have been busy, filled with adjustments, emails and phone calls.

On another, much more fun and exciting note, I'm going to Vegas baby! A couple of friends and I found a good seat sale, and now we're jetting off to the city that never sleeps :) It's over the May long weekend, just for a couple of days. I think we're going to have a lot of fun, and I can't wait to see what the hype is about this fabulous city!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Fabulous weekend!

Well, I know it's Tuesday and for most people, that means the weekend is a distant memory. But I had such a good weekend that I'm still glowing with the happiness of it.

I travelled to Devon to spend the weekend with my good friend, as well as to attend a dog show with my "old" guy Farley. In January 2008, the Canadian Kennel Club added Rally Obedience as an event that dogs can earn official titles at. It is like traditional obedience, but more fun and less stressful. Since Farley has been trained in obedience for years, I decided to take him out of "retirement" to see if he could earn a new title. He did me SO proud!

On Saturday he passed the trial, despite never having seen a Rally obedience course before. He trusted me, and worked like a little champ. I was so proud of him. Sunday he passed the trial again, and managed to earn the "bonus" win of High Scoring Cocker Spaniel in Rally (don't tell him that he was the only Cocker LOL). Two passes down, and one more to go, and this guy will have earned a new title at the tender age of 8.5 years old!

I had a fabulous time visiting with friends and watching dogs compete. There were some nice Cockers entered at this show, and everybody had a good time cheering each other on. A group of us went out for supper, and had a blast. This is what dog show weekends should be about! Camraderie and laughter and good dogs.

Hope you had a good weekend too . . .

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thankful Thursday

This week, I am so very grateful for good friends. This has really been a roller coaster week, discovering that some people I thought were friends are not, and trying to sort through the "wreckage" of those friendships (or what I thought were friendships). It has been quite discouraging, but the bright spot has been my truly GOOD friends. People that don't care that sometimes I'm nutty, and that don't care whether or not I look good or whatever. Those are the people that are really important to me, and they're they people that I am so glad to have in my life.

Over the years, as I've gone through some struggles, the same people have been supporting me and looking out for me. I'm sure they know who they are, and I would like to thank them. These people, along with my family and dogs, truly do make my life complete.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Gordon Ramsey (Spoiler below)

Yahoo! Hell's Kitchen is back and with a vengeance! I've only watched the first few minutes (I taped it last night because I was busy with other stuff), and already I'm feeling the vibe! The introduction was particularly amusing . . . it started almost like a fairy tale, with pretty music and a soft, pleasant voice. Then they introduce the big monster - Gordon Ramsey! It was perfect!

Now he's tasting the first meals that the aspiring chefs have made. Never in the three prior series of Hell's Kitchen have I seen him throw up, but this time he did. Several times. It was awesome! Not that I like to see people puke, but come on . . . that's not a good start for some poor schmuck!

I can only hope that the season continues on as it has started. I'm so glad that Hell's Kitchen is back!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fool's Day

Since I'm not really a jokester or prankster, I don't usually pay a lot of attention to April Fool's Day, other than to fervently hope and pray that nobody plays a joke on me. I tend to be quite gullible with stuff like that. Today was no different - in fact, I forgot about it being April 1st until well after lunch time.

A friend of mine was going to get her pregnant friend to pee on a pregnancy test stick, and then leave it in the bathroom for her boyfriend to find (you have to understand that they have a sick, twisted sense of humour in their relationship, so after the shock, he'd be fine with it). I would have liked to have seen his face this morning!

Other than that I haven't really heard of any good April Fool's Day pranks. If you have a good one, please share!