Sunday, November 29, 2009


I had a GREAT day yesterday! My young niece (5) is in town for a visit, and we picked up her 8 year old sister to have a day with them. We took Mackenzie (older) to swimming, and then we went to visit my dad at work (Chrysler dealership), and I ended up buying a NEW CAR! It's a 2008 Dodge Avenger, but it's never been off the lot. It's fully loaded (sun roof, DVD, heated seats, 6 CD player, heated/cooled beverage holder, leather interior, etc), but it was "on sale" so they could move it. I pick it up tomorrow, and I can't wait!!!!

Last night was the Santa Claus parade, so we took the kids (my mom and I). It was about -3C, which is actually nice for here, but by the time the parade was over we were all VERY cold. I had to use my heated blanket to get warm last night.

Not sure what's on tap today, but I hope it's not as exciting as yesterday!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kids In Motion

Thank you SOOOOOOO much to Polly Bennett for this pencil artwork of my kids, Jack Jack (with the toy) and Grace. I love it!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Back On Track!

I am finally getting back on track! For most of the month, I have been sidelined due to a mysterious ankle ailment that has caused joint pain in both ankles.

The doctor, chiropractor and I thought that it was likely my new shoes (New Balance cross trainers), but none of us were sure, so I was on strict orders to avoid being on my feet unless I was going to work or letting the dogs out. I have really missed my walks, and the dogs have been getting cabin fever too.

This week I decided that my ankles are finally 98% better, so I have started walking again. I feel re-energized, and the dogs are thrilled! The weather is really moderate for this time of year (high 20's), so I'm finding the walks very refreshing. It feels good to be getting back on track!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Awesome Holiday Ideas

A friend of mine that lives in California is an extremely talented photographer. Part of what she does is create holiday cards and items with her photos on them, as well as offering to create goodies with your own photos on them. Her website is

While Cockers hold a special place in her heart (she started San Diego Spaniel Rescue), she photographs all breeds, and is very willing to work with you to create a special memento.

Check out her website today - even if you don't order anything, I think you'll enjoy her photography.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved magazines. The glossy, brightly coloured covers and the feel of the slick pages sliding through my fingers got me addicted to buying magazines. I think I inherited some of it from my mother, who also loves magazines. Today I thought I'd list a few of my favourites, in case you're thinking of buying your favourite dog-lover a magazine subscription for the holidays.

Whole Dog Journal - no paid advertisers keep this publication from appearing slanted towards one lifestyle or another. All viewpoints are presented (within reason) and all sorts of articles are included. For the positive trainer or holistically-minded, this is a must-read.

Modern Dog - a Canadian publication, the ads and gift ideas are always trendy and hip. The articles run from substantial research to fluffy pop media. Obviously filled with pictures of dogs, I love the "fashion" pages. This magazine does a breed feature in each issue, and they're always well-written.

The Bark - this is a West Coast USA publication, with a very west coast slant. I love, love, love the regular columnists (including Patricia McConnell PhD, who is my idol), and the articles are deep and inspiring. This magazine includes some great fiction as well.

The Cocker Classic - how can I not promote the only Cocker Spaniel specific magazine out there? Published every other month, it is in full-colour, and it has some excellent columnists (check out the "Canada Corner" column!).

Canine Review - another Canadian publication, this magazine is geared towards show people and their dogs. It is filled with ads for all breeds, big and small, and it includes show updates from coast to coast. It also includes the Top Dog stats for conformation and obedience. A great all-round "show dog" magazine for Canada.

Canadian Dog Digest - a relative newcomer to the Canadian dog magazine scene (it's three years old now, I think), this magazine hit the ground running. It's beautifully put together, with full-colour pages and gorgeous ads, similar to the major publications in the US (ShowSight and Dogs In Review). The columns are great, especially the features on prominent breeders and dog show clubs.

Hope this gives you some food for thought, and if you haven't heard of any of these magazines, please check them out. I promise you, you won't regret it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Question Of The Day

Well, we've had about 4 inches of snow today (maybe more) so I just got my daily cardio workout by shoveling our driveway and the back deck.

This leads me in to the question of the day - yhy is it that the driveway seems so short when trying to park several cars there, but it seems miles long when you have to shovel? Seriously, it seemed like no matter how much I got rid of, there was just a longer and tougher job ahead of me. UGH!

I hope it quits snowing now, as I'm not sure I'll be able to lift my arms to shovel tomorrow. have a good one folks!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Yes, it's that time of week again. This week I am thankful that I can read. I am fortunate enough to live in a country where public education is free (some schools may charge nominal fees for books or supplies, but no tuition) and the education received is good. Yes, the quality varies from school to school, but overall, we (as Canadians) have the opportunity to learn the basics of math, science, language and history/social studies.

In Mexico, there is a fee to attend school. The country is mostly poor, so there are thousands of kids that never get to learn to read, to add and subtract, or learn their heritage. These kids go on to be young adults with no real aim or purpose, and as adults, they will never really get ahead in life, because they aren't equipped for working. I know that Mexico isn't the only country that this happens in, but I have personal experience with Mexico, so I'm referencing that.

I love to read. Reading teaches me something new on a regular basis. I read auto-biographies, educational (non-fiction) books, almost all kinds of fiction, and even young adult literature. Reading provides me with an escape when I need it, or even encouragement when I need it.

I am so glad that I learned to read, and that my mom fostered a love of reading.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Good News

This past weekend, in addition to seeing an off-Broadway production of A Chorus Line, I took Grace and Jack Jack to an eye clinic. Basically, breeders take their dogs to these clinics to ensure that their dogs are free of eye diseases like cataracts, retinal folds, extra eyelashes, etc. I go every year, but this year I was late getting to a clinic, because it seems like there aren't as many as there used to be.

Anyhow, bright and early Sunday morning I brought my kids to be examined by a CERF (Canine Eye Registry Foundation) certified vet. Both dogs tested absolutely normal - free of any eye defects at this time! Yahoo! That is me doing the happy dance, and breathing a sigh of relief for another year.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for something that seems miniscule, but I am trying not to take stuff for granted. I'm thankful for the health insurance that comes with my job. I have an extended dental plan that covers the majority of any dental work I need done (including cleanings and exams every 9 months). My dentist has recommended that I get a night guard to prevent me from grinding my teeth at night. The pricing of the night guard is just shy of $500, so it's not a small amount. Fortunately for me, my dental insurance covers the cost, so I won't be out of pocket right before Christmas.

It's small, but right now it feels like a lot.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lest We Forget

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, flyScarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead.
Short days agoWe lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throwThe torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

- John McCrae

Thank you to every man and woman that has fought for our country and for our freedoms. Your sacrifices will not be forgotten. Today is your day to be remembered and thanked.

Monday, November 09, 2009

My favourite headline today

Those of you that are Canadian are most likely well aware of the governing party's "Economic Action Plan." If you're not familiar with it, then I doubt you watch TV. The ads have been on incessantly for weeks now.

So why do I care? The irony is just TOO good not to share with you on this fine Monday afternoon. This is by far the best headline on today.

'Canada's Economic Action Plan' signs painted in U.S.

A member of the B.C. legislature wants to know why the provincial government is paying a Washington state company to make road signs extolling "Canada's Economic Action Plan."

Way to support your country during a time of need! I just love that we're making work for the Americans, who, by the way, don't want their government to allow the import of our so-called "dirty oil."

Yet another reason to laugh today.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Bus Etiquette

When you ride the bus to and from work everyday, you realize that there is such a thing as bus etiquette. I don't take public transportation - the company that I work for provides bussing to all employees and contractors. I catch the bus at the same place and same time every day.

Similar to airplane etiquette, it's common courtesy to ask the person behind you before flinging your seat all the way back. There's an order to how people disembark (get off) the bus. Being quiet is common courtesy, as quite a few people use the 45 minute ride to sleep or read. Cell phone use should be limited to emergencies, and music/movies are played through headphones.

Today after work I sat in my usual seat (when you take the bus every day, you get into a habit of sitting in the same place every day). Several "new" people board the bus, each sitting in their own seat (despite the fact that it's obvious that they know each other). The guy in front of me was sitting in the outside seat (I always sit on the inside), and without even a glance behind himself to see if somebody was seated behind him, he threw his seat back. He didn't slowly put it back, he pushed the button and threw all of his weight into it. He did have the grace to turn around and apologize to me. Fine, no big deal.

Well, normally people put their seat in the upright position when people start getting off. This way the people disembarking don't have to fold into a pretzel to get around the seat that is flung back. Of course this gentleman couldn't be bothered to set his seat upright, even when I shoved it with my hand and my knee. When I looked behind me as I was leaving the bus, he just stared at me.

I'm sorry, but have some freakin' manners! Seriously! People like that make riding the bus a pain in the hind end. I hope they don't get on again Monday.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Ankle Update

Yesterday I went to the doctor to talk about my sore ankles. I quit wearing my New Balance shoes a couple of weeks ago, and while I have noticed some improvement in my ankles, they are still painful. I still haven't found any rhyme or reason to when they're more painful ~ it doesn't seem correlated with the amount of time I spend on my feet. While I was at the dog show a couple of weeks ago, I expected to have very sore ankles, and I didn't. They were a bit sore, but not out of the ordinary.

Anyhow, after some discussion with the doctor, we decided that it was either the new shoes and the angle that they're putting my foot at while I walk, or else a combination of the walking and the shoes. Personally, I find it weird that the walking would just be bothering me now, when I've been at it since early June, but doctor knows best, right?

My doctor's recommendation is to take a break from walking, and then to slowly re-introduce the shoes, to see if they aggravate the ankles again. We did pinpoint the pain to the actual ankle joint, NOT the tendons or ligaments surrounding the joint. We talked about it being auto-immune or something like that, but then other joints would be involved.

I'm not keen on taking a break from my walks - I've done SO well at getting into a routine that I miss the walks on days I don't go. I'm still debating that advice (don't tell my doctor!). But I will re-evaluate the shoes and figure out if I need to get new ones. Again. Anyhow, just wanted to update everyone.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Does This Scare You?

Every day when I have a free minute, I read the daily news headlines on my Blackberry (my other right arm LOL). I like to have at least a cursory knowledge of what's going on in the world. My headlines include Canadian news, US news, world news, technology news, entertainment news and health and science news. In the technology news section was the following headline:

Lawmakers Seek Ban On Laptops In Airline Cockpits

Call me paranoid, but isn't it terrifying that pilots (or co-pilots) are allowed to have laptops in the cockpit? Shouldn't they just be concentrating on flying the plane? I mean, I know that it's not like driving a car, which requires awareness of passing traffic and other drivers. But still, don't they have to watch the gages and stuff? Make sure the engine is working and that the plane is at the right altitude and stuff?

Maybe it's just me . . . but I find the thought of pilots surfing the net while flying my plane frightening. And that Northwest Airlines flight that overshot Minneapolis by 150 miles due to pilot inattention proves that it happens. What next?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Happy Weekend!

I hope everybody had a wonderful Hallowe'en! Ours was pretty good. We got about 6" of snow yesterday (started in the morning and continued all day and throughout the night), so my mom didn't think we'd get many kids. However . . . she wasn't counting on the kids waiting ALL year for free candy! I knew we'd get a few. We got around 45 kids, lots of them wearing cute and clever costumes. Yes, most of the kids had their costumes over their snowsuits . . . we're used to that here in the Great White North . . . it happens regularly that we have snow before Hallowe'en.

The two younger dogs were in their crate with bones to chew on. I'm trying to clean their teeth without having to put them under anesthetic. Jack Jack has particularly yucky teeth - he was born with some kind of defect in his tooth enamel, so it attracts plaque like nobody's business. The bones are helping, I just have to keep it up. Farley was gated in the basement, but he could still see the doorway, and he barked at every kid that we gave candy to. I honestly think he enjoys it - that's his way of greeting them. Most of them were "impressed" with our vicious dog LOL None of them have the slightest clue what a teddy bear he is!

I shovelled the driveway last night (shared the job with my mom), and then did the deck and driveway again today. Good cardio exercise! Then I took the dogs for a walk through the snow - I think it's at least twice as much work slogging through the snow . . . but the dogs had fun, and I enjoyed the fresh air and exercise.

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!