Tuesday, December 30, 2008

HOPE




The Christmas spirit, the spirit of hope, the spirit of giving, is something most people give up when Christmas is over. Even now as I shove the last of the leftover turkey in the fridge, return the last gift and shelve my Boxing Day bargains, I think about how I have already shifted my personal focus from giving, to getting. Getting things done, getting things put away, getting things cleaned up and getting back in shape.
I have to admire people who are able to spread the spirit of hope and giving all year long. For some it comes naturally and effortlessly, I wish I was one of those people. Apparently some of this spirit spreading exists in my genes, but my sister got most of it.
Right now, while I, a self absorbed, single white female, lick the icing off the last Christmas cupcake, my sister, Nicole Farn and her husband, Troy are stepping off a plane in Costa Rica, all of their possessions on their backs, ready to learn Spanish and spread hope and empowerment to several Central American communities!
She, a successful Civil Engineer in Edmonton and he, a city fireman decided to sell their acreage, most of their material things, and trade in the life of a “dual income, no children family” for a selfless, simple life of helping those in need! They have signed up to be part of several volunteer projects in various different villages and countries. These two are on a mission to keep the Christmas spirit, the spirit of hope, the spirit of giving, alive for a whole year and they intend to keep it alive for people they don’t even know!
Not everyone can, or even wants to give up all possesions or comforts. Not everyone can imagine a year without turkey, shopping or cupcake icing, but, somewhere deep inside each of us, we wish we could be a part of the incredible unselfish quest that some embark upon. The Farns are going on selfless journey around the world and we can be a small part of it by following along with them on thier blog: http://thefarnyard.blogspot.com/2008/11/sold.html Bon Voyage Farns! Good luck, we love you!

Monday, December 29, 2008

CHRISTMAS ANGELS


Have you ever seen a more angelic bunch?  

We got Tucker when times were sad,
To cancer, we had just lost our dad.
 Tucker, all furry and black,
 Gave us all our smiles back.
We had someone to fill the empty space,
someone who licked kisses on every face.
For loving us through the pain felt in our family,
Tucker will always be an angel to me!

Duke came as a Christmas mystery
a gift of love for Troy he was meant to be.
But his freckly nose and his wicked farts
quickly won over everyone's hearts.
He has grown to be a giant who's gentle and kind
athletic and loyal with a super sharp mind.
The way he gives the Farns and mom unconditional love
I gotta believe he's an angel from above!

Scout came to us just because, 
and she brings us happiness like nothing else does!
Her tongue licks at warp speed
and on the carpet she has peed,
but that's what adorable puppies do
 and it won't stop us from loving her too!
For cuddling with everyone all the time
Scout qualifies as an angle of mine!

Jasper wasn't here to celebrate this time around
and though he pees when you make a high pitch sound,
he loves to chase his ball and swim for sticks
in fact he's got a wide array of tricks.
He'll follow a mountain bike for miles
and lick your face until it's covered in smiles.
He's a protector, sleeping at the foot of the bed,
and for that reason he's an angel in my head!

This season, whenever a bell rings,
I am sure one of our puppies gets their wings!














Sunday, December 28, 2008

CELEBRATE!






Happy Holidays!! I am still riding the "high" that Christmas brings! I gotta say, this was one of the best Christmas' I have had in a long time! All 7 of us, mom, Nic and Troy, Aim and Shane and Marty and I were together for 5 days over Christmas.  The 6 of us and three dogs walked into mom's house and it instantly felt like Christmas! Everything was decorated, the tree was up, there was food galore and big hugs all around.  There was nothing but happy memory making from the minute we walked in the front door until the minute we stepped out to head back home!  
This Christmas was extra special,we got to celebrate a lot! Christmas morning came, we clebrated! News came that my cousin had her baby, we celebrated.  Nic and Troy were preparing to leave on a journey of a lifetime, for them, we celebrated.  Mom, Nic and Shane all have birthdays in January so, since we were all together, we celebrated and.....Aimee and Shane got engaged so we were lucky to be able to celebrate that too!  It was weird how all of the things we celebrated brought both smiles and tears to the party.  Christmas morning always first brings smiles, but tears soon fell when us three girls opened a special gift from mom. She had made a book for each of us with photos of all of Dad's race T-Shirts and his other favorite shirts. Outsiders may not understand, without seeing the book, how something like that could make all three of us cry, but just seeing the T-shirts brought back so many happy memories.  The tears were right from our hearts, not tears of sadness, tears of happy times remembered.  
News of my cousin's baby brought mostly smiles, but some small tears over the fact that we couldn't be there to help welcome the new miracle into the world.
Nic and Troy having the opportunity to travel and volunteer and explore the world is exciting but tears came when we realized these were the last few days we'd be seeing them for a WHOLE YEAR!!!!  
The birthdays brought mostly laughter and smiles, but since the celebration involved a trip to a comedy club, there were tears of laughter streaking down most of our faces at some point or another.
The engagement was incredible.  It happened right there in front of the Christmas Tree and our whole family right after gift opening Christmas morning!  As soon as we saw the box, we started crying from sheer emotion over what was about to happen!   Laughter and smiles soon followed as we realized how lucky we were to be chosen to witness the event!
Yep, this was a Christmas of celebrating as a family and it will be one we we remember for a long time.  We laughed, we cried, we loved and we celebrated all together!  
Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

THE VENTI

I got a venti coffee this afternoon and then headed to the airport to pick up my sister and Shane from the airport.  They were flying in from Colorado to spend Christmas with all of us here in Canada!  I was sooo excited, Aimee hasn't been home for 2 years and I got to be the one to pick her up from the airport!!  
I am fairly anxious when it comes to being places on time, especially places I am not familiar with finding in Calgary's crazy traffic, so I left early, really early.  I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare and drove through the "Arrivals" loop twice, just to make sure I knew where I was going to pick them up. Satisfied that I had a plan, I drove to the new "Cell phone waiting area" and parked my car.  I had my coffee, a tabloid magazine, the Kenny and Dolly Country Christmas CD and my seat heaters so I was comfy while I waited for Aim to call.  There were several other cars in the lot, obviously waiting for planes to arrive so I wasn't alone.  I caught up on Tom and Katie, Paris Hilton, Jenn and Brad and Angelina while I sipped my Starbucks Venti Latte.  Delicious!  It wasn't long before I felt the urge to pee. It was just a little urge, so I ignored it.  Eventually the little urge turned into one I could not ignore.  I looked around but there were no washroom facilities in sight.  I tried to tell myself I could hold it and wait, but I had already been waiting and I could not wait anymore.  The feeling became overwhelming, almost painful.  Apparently a Venti is way bigger than my bladdar!  The car at the end of the row left to meet his passengers and I steered my jetta over to his spot.  I was going to have to pee right there in the parking lot, I had no other options!  I got out of the driver's seat, walked over to the passenger side, opened the door, quickly squatted beside it and peed.  I only had enough nerve to squat there for a few seconds, peeing long enough to relieve the pressure before pulling up my jeans and heading back to the driver's side!  I can see the headlines now "French Teacher relieves herself in public...." let's hope no one got a real close look!!!
Mental Note, "do not drink a venti coffee while sitting in the Cell Phone waiting area!!!!!"

Monday, December 22, 2008

TAZMANIAN DEVIL



I often feel like the Tazmanian Devil, like everything I do, is done in a whirl wind at top speed!  Marty one the other hand is NOT a Tazmanian Devil in any way, shape or form!  This means we are complete opposites and most of the time, this polar difference creates an awesome balance that makes our lives peaceful, exciting and fun.  Every now and then though, it drives us crazy!  Tonight is an example.  After supper we had to head into the West Hills shopping area as Marty needed to pick up items to create booze gift baskets for the head offices of his accounts.  I figured while we were there, we could swing by the grocery store so I could buy some pie making ingredients (I am making cherry pie for Christmas dinner at mom's.)  The shopping trip was actually pretty quick. With the crowds in this city, how can you not be motivated to get the hell out of all shopping centers as quickly as possible.  Once home though, Marty's productivity level seemed to slow way down!  At least in my eyes!  
I bounded out of the van, carried my groceries up the stairs and immediately started making a batch of caramel popcorn twists.  While the twists were baking, I put together my pie and made a pitcher of Irish Cream, mom has a great recipe for this.  :) In between all of this I must have done the dishes a dozen times!  Marty, carried up all of the booze, arranged them into three baskets and wrapped them in cellophane....that's it, nothing else.  Oh, my pie just came out of the over (it is 10:50) and Marty has just now started writing cards to put on his baskets.  I am not leaving anything out, he didn't take breaks, he didn't even turn on the TV, he has been making three baskets since 8:30pm!  The baskets are perfect though and to be honest, I think his progress was slowed by his little helper....check out the photos and you'll see what I mean.  :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

BOOTIES!!




Wow, 'tis the time of year when life is crazy busy, not much time to write...not until I am ready for Christmas!  Between the baking, cleaning and present wrapping, Scout and are suffering from "cabin fever!"  We are tired of being contained in this little condo because of the weather!  This cold snap has been hard on us both, so the other day, I went out and bought Scout some booties, so that her feet could handle some cold weather walks and the salty roads!  She hated them at first but after today's walk, I am sure she has changed her mind!  I let her off leash and she ran and ran and played in the deep snow with her booties on!!!  I had sooo much fun watching her and she had so much fun enjoying the freedom that having warm feet gave her!  

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

END OF MY LEASH




Today I went to see the chiropractor. My shoulders were sore! Not, "I just did 3 sets of 15 shoulder presses" sore, but weird, not normal sore. The chiropractor confirmed that I had pulled the muscles in my shoulder and that some of the joints in my neck were out of whack. Wait, let me rephrase that, Scout, had pulled the muscles in my shoulders! She is a big girl and she and I love to walk together, but Scout has become very curious, as puppies do, and though she tries, she can't always resist the urge to run after fat, furry bunnies, coffee cup lids, candy wrappers, snowbanks, and strangers...while I am attached to her!! I get that puppies chase after things, and at first it was kind of cute and only slightly annoying, but now that Scout is HUGE, her, more than occasional "pulling" has become irritating and painful! I woke up this morning and could hardly lift my arms above my head!

I had seen on the show "End of my leash," the dog training show, that it is more effective to have the lease around your waist than in your hand, so I decided to try that today. Talk about awkward! I had the retractable leash and huge mittens on, not a combo for success!
We start puppy classes in January, sure hope my body can hang in there until then!

Monday, December 15, 2008

SNOW DAY!!!







So, my blog wish came true! I got the call at 5:30am this morning and the voice on the other end of the phone said, "Go back to sleep, today is a snow day!!!" I couldn't believe it, how awesome is that??? I was sooo excited! I wanted to scream and dance! In my ten years of teaching, I have only had one other snow day. Last year, I got an early morning "stay in bed" call and I screamed and shouted and jumped up and down on the bed! This had never ever happened to me before! Marty, feeling it was far too early in the morning for this kind of excitement shushed me! He shushed me on my first snow day ever!!!! I didn't care, I deserved to celebrate a little, didn't I?



But Marty had driven up to Edmonton yesterday for work and screaming only would have woke up Scout, which in turn would make her realize she had to pee, which would have required me to get up and let her out. I was NOT getting out of this bed. I was naked and it was cold, obviously too cold to even go to work! Instead I sent a "yipee" text to my Maria, who is also a teacher, though not at my school. A few minutes later I got a call from a teacher who does work at my school. She had forgotten her "emergency fan out calling sheet" at school and she wanted me to check and see who she had to call. I, anticipating the snow day, had checked the fan out sheet last night and knew I did not have to call anyone to pass on the message. Because I didn't need it, I had left the sheet downstairs, in my school bag. Grrrr, now I was going to have to get up in my birthday suit in the cold, cold air! I got up, ran downstairs, checked the list and jumped back into bed. She did not have to call anyone either!



I tried to go back to sleep, but now I was way to excited. Lists of things I could do with this "gift" of a free day started running through my head! I got excited about meeting Maria for coffee. I was excited to check out some of the busy stores as most other shoppers would be at work, in jobs that dont give snow days!!!



It was, the kind of day outside that makes you wish you could just pull the covers back up over your head, and I had the opportunity to do just that, but by 7am, I couldn't lay in bed anymore! I let Scout out for a pee at 7:10am and then we tried to snuggle on the couch, but I just couldn't sit still!!! I had tonnes of things to do if I was going to take advantage of this wonderful, surprise day off...then I got a text from Maria. Turns out her school, in the same school division as mine was NOT closed! She had to go to work, ugggg! No coffee date.



I enjoyed a yummy, breakfast, before venturing out with Scout for a few minutes of fresh air. The second we stepped outside, we were reminded that there was indeed as legitimate reason school was closed today, it was bloody COLD!! I snapped a couple of pictures of our snow to post on this blog and ran back inside!



I spent the day just feeling lucky to be home, not working!! I took the day to get a bunch of little errands run and check things off my list. One thing we had to do this week was take Scout to the vet's for her third set of vaccinations. Marty and I had been taking her together in the evenings, however he is going to be gone for a few days, and hey, I had time to go today! :) At 2:45pm, I bundled up and walked my very excited, house bound puppy the 8 minutes to the vet's office. Scout was pumped to be out of the house, I dont' think she noticed the cold at all! I enjoyed the fact that her poop froze on contact when hitting the snow. Frozen poop is way easier and more pleasant to clean up! The vet and the vet techs all came to the front when we walked in. Everyone thought Scout was adorable and they kept calling others to come see her wrinkly little forhead. I beamed, proud as could be, not that I could take credit for Scout being cute, but I figured I deserved some credit by association. At the end of our visit, after learning that Scout weighs 15.9Kg (about 35lbs) and that she is HEALTHY, the vet commented on what a happy puppy she is. "My favorite patient of the day," she said and once again I beamed!!! Scout and I took the long way home, prancing like proud peacocks the whole way!



It has been a fantastic day, a perfect snow day! Guess it would be greedy to hope for another one tomorrow....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

SNOWED IN!







Marty and I were going to go to Edmonton this past weekend to spend a day with mom, and to go to the Oilers' game, but Friday it snowed. It snowed a lot!! There were severe winter storm warnings broadcasting on all of the radio and TV stations and by the time school had let out for the day, the police were advising against travel on the main highway between Calgary and Edmonton! Now Marty and I, we are Canadians, we have been living with crappy winter driving conditions for over thirty years, however there is a fine line between letting the weather dictate your life and being dumb enough to believe it can't dictate your life. Though, we both really wanted to go to Edmonton, we decided not to tempt fate by driving on the icy roads. Instead we "hunkered down" and waited out the storm inside our warm, festive livingroom! We pulled the craft table up to the couch, poured some irish cream, filled a bowl with nuts and bolts, lit the fire place, turned on the Christmas tunes and wrote Christmas cards. Scout nestled in between us and knawed on a rawhide bone. Though I was dissapointed not to be up in Edmonton with mom and Nic, I actually felt pretty happy there on the couch with the snow falling outside the window, surrounded by my own little family! :)
It stayed ridiculously cold all weekend, and the novelty of cuddling on the couch eventually wore off. Scout and I got very feeling very housebound, but one walk down the street and back quickly reminded us why we were staying inside!!!! I sit here typing this tonight hoping the cold hangs in just one more day, just long enough for school to be cancelled.....a girl can hope can't she??
Here's hoping you are staying warm on your own couch cuddled up to something warm and cute!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

CHRISTMAS CONCERT


We, the grade 8's and I, sat through the 1.5 hour Kindergarten to grade 3 Christmas Concert dress rehersal this afternoon...wow! I'm not gonna lie, it was long and painful! That's what dress rehersals are for though, right? To torture the rest of the kids in the school, the ones who are not in the concert and whose teachers (me) insist that supporting the little guys is important! I dragged the reluctan "French 8's" down to the gym for the 1:15pm start of the dress rehersal. We entered upon the following scene: several blue chairs lined up in crooked rows, a garland draped key board, three microphones, 6 Christmas theme sweater wearing primary teachers, one frazzled music teacher and over 100 4-8 year olds fidgeting on the risers. The grade 8's filed into the back row and the pre pubescent flirting immediately began. I checked the clock, 1:25, still the "little guys" weren't quite ready to start entertaining us. The grade 8's were growing restless and the flirting was escalating. One of the boys now had three ponytail holders in his hair and two of the girls were giggling in a high pitched squealy way. I confiscated two PSPSs, one cell phone and a laptop before the sound of music finaly filled the gym! The small audience quieted down temporarily to watch the adorable smiling faces on the stage belt out Chritmas tunes. Unfortunatly the "belting out" part didnt' last long and soon the little voices were barely audible. The music teacher was waving her arms like a maniac and the music was pumping out of the speakers, but the kids just wern't singing! Eventually someone discovered the microphone and an unplanned solo busted out! The grade 8's groaned in their seats and the primary teachers began pulling out their hair. I sat at the back of the gym, glaring at the gr.8's and grinning at the little performers! I love Christmas concerts, I love how improv always happens, I love that they kids wave to thier parents and friends in the crowd and I love that it never quite goes as planned. I'll admit it is easy for me to love all of this when I am not directly involved in the performance!

At 2:45, I dragged the 8's back to my classroom, explained to them, how important it was to the "little guys" that we were there, being an audience and sighed a secret sigh of relief that the rehersal was finally over!

I won't be at the actual concert tomorrow night, but I know that no matter what happens, it will be a memorable event for all of the students and their parents!

I have no photos of the snow or the concert, but I have posted an adorable one of Scout perched on top of Marty. Both of them think they own the couch....what about me?? Where do I sit?

Monday, December 8, 2008

WINTER WONDERLAND!!!

Yesterday it snowed...a lot!  The snowfall reaked havock on the streets of Calgary, creating slippery, icy, messy accident inducing scenarios.  I did a little driving, (I had to buy new boots),but it didn't take me long to realize, it just wasnt' worth the frustration!  I parked my car, bundled up in my winter walking gear, grabbed the leash and took Scout for a winter walk! Wow, there was a lot of snow!  The sidewalks were burried, under a deep blanket of snow.  The snow covered my new boots and hid Scout's paws, but she loved it!  Scout bounded through the snow, with the joy of a child making the first tracks in the powder! I couldn't help but get caught up in her excitement!  Until that moment, I had forgotten how to love snow. Unless it was sliding beneath my snowboard, I hated it!  But, there was something fun, something really contagious about watching my puppy bounce through the snowbanks!  Huge snowflakes were falling and I had this uncontrollable urge to take Scout off her leash and let her run free, with me, through the deep snow in the park!  We ran and slid and smiled and laughed like two little kids!   This was the "magical, movie" kind of snow.  The kind of snow that makes romantic movie couples want to frolick! Scout and I weren't in a romantic comedy and we weren't expecting a hot young man with a cute chocolate lab to come by and sweep us both off our feet, but we were frolicking and we were loving the fresh snowfall and eachother!!!!
I really want to post some pictures of how beautiful the snow is, but I never seem to be home in the daylight to take a photo.  I will try to take some pictures tomorrow!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

HATE JOBS

You know those jobs, those chores, the ones you hate to do? I call them "hate jobs." Think about it, everyone has a list, at least a little list of "hate jobs." We all hate chores like; cleaning toilets, doggy poop and projectile vomit. But most lists include more than just the normal, obvious things. Most lists include obscure chores, things you don't have to do often, but when you do, you HATE them! I was reminded of my list just a few minutes ago, when I began the process of stuffing my duvet back into it's freshly washed cover. This is a job I HATE!!! Luckily, ever since I moved in with Marty, I have avoided doing this job. Tonight though, he went to the Metallica concert and forgot to tell me that he had washed the sheets (yay Marty for doing laundry) but had forgotten to take them out of the dryer and put them BACK ON THE BED (boo Marty!) I cussed all the way down the stairs, all the way to the dryer and all the way back to the bedroom. The whole process is awkward, my arms always seem to short, my vertical always seems too little and my patience is always minimal!
I grabbed the corners of the duvet cover, scrunched up the rest of the cover, stuffed the duvet itself into the corners of the cover, jumped up on the bed and held the duvet corners, newly covered by the cover and shook the whole thing over the end of the bed until the cover slid down over the duvet. Ofcorse it only slid part way down, I had stuffed the duvet in sideways. Grrrrr! I HATE this job.
"Hate" is a strong word, that's what my mom always says, so I don't just throw it around. There are not too many chores on my "Hate Jobs" list, but here are a few of them:

Putting the duvet cover on the duvet-frustrating!
Taking down the Christmas tree and decorations-depressing!
Weed Whacking long grass near gravel and shale-ouch!
Scraping grease off cookie sheets-who doesn't use foil for messy projects???? Grrrr!

There are lots of chores I dont' like doing, but these top my list of "HATE JOBS!" How about you, what's on your list?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

OOOPS!

Marty was given tickets to the Flames hockey game tonight, so that's where we went.  Marty likes to park for free, so we always have to walk a long way to the Saddledome and it was pretty chilly, so I decided to wear my "pea coat," you know the nice big dress coats,the kind that button up and tie at the waist?  Anyway, I wore it over my T-shirt and hoodie with a scarf and mitts, I was very warm!  The game was great, it is always fun to watch live hockey!  In between the first and second period I went to the bathroom.  I was sitting there, reading the little sign warning me not to "dispose of sanitary products in any of the toilets at the Saddledome." Those signs always kind of gross me out.  I hate thinking about "sanitary products," mine or anyone elses, especially used ones that need to be "disposed of"  Ewww!  To distract myself, I thought about the time Aimee used a washroom at Walmart and without knowing it,until it was too late, flushed her car keys down the toilet!  Can you imagine?  I can't remember all of the details, like how she solved this problem, or who she tried to get to help her that didn't just burst into laughter, I just remember thinking it was incredibly funny....to me!  With the smile from the memory still plastered on my face, I stood up only to realize that the "tie" from my coat had, without me knowing it, fallen in the toilet! Not only had it soaked up toilet bowl water, but I was pretty sure I had peed on it!!!!  OOOOOOOOPS!!!!! EWWWWWWWW!  I think I would have preferred flushing my keys, at least Aimee never had to touch her keys again.  I, on the other hand, had to wear that coat for the next two periods of hockey and all the way back to our vehicle!  You should have seen how frozen the end of the tie was by the time we made it back to the van after the game!  GROSSSSSSSSSSSS!

Monday, December 1, 2008

DECEMBER 1ST!






I might love December first as much as I love Christmas!  I love the anticipation of waiting for it, oh and I wait for it!  I wait for December first, to bust out my Christmas music, I wait for the first, to hang any lights or decorations and I wait for the firs,t to indulge the first of several seasonal mugs of eggnog!  Today was December first and I am writing this blog from my very festive, garland draped, extremely well lit, living room!  I LOVE IT!!!  My belly is full of eggnog and rum, and my heart is full of peace.  
The evening started with Marty, Maria and I putting on santa hats.  We only needed two more things to really get into the Christmas spirit: The eggnog and rum that Marty topped with a  sprinkle of cinnamon and "Kenny and Dolly's Country Christmas!"  
We dug garland and lights out of boxes and draped them over every surface in our livingroom and kitchen.  Scout "helped" ofcorse!  We sang, ok, I sang, we lauged and we reminisced, it was a perfect December first!  Now, I raise my festive, Christmas mug, hoping you will join me in a toast to the holidays and the spirit of Christmas.  Cheers!!!!
P.S. here is the link to the youtube site of Kenny and Dolly singing my favorite Christmas song from their album, enjoy! 

Thursday, November 27, 2008

TREE SAGA CONTD....

Today, my "Leadership" class' job was to set up the four Christmas Trees that Marty and I had purchased the other day, in the lobby of our school.  The whole plan for these trees, is that they will be used as part of our school wide Food Bank incentive.  Our idea was, that for every 5 cans of food a student brings to the Food Bank Collection, they will be given a light bulb that they will get to screw into the string of lights on a tree.  Our goal being, that we would collect enough cans to light up all four trees by the last day of school before Christmas break.  Sounded like a simple, tangible, great idea, but I'm telling you, the logistics of it were anything but simple.  
The trees not only had to be assembled but in order to work for our "incentive program," they had to have the lights removed from them. Ofcourse the only trees Marty and I had been able to find were pre-lit. Pre-lit trees have their place, I guess, but they really defeated the purpose of our Food Bank promotion.  Removing lights from trees that are meant to be pre-lit was going to be challenging.  I had noticed in the store, on the "floor model" that the lights were on circular strings which had been maticulously wound around each branch by some poor worker in a sweat shop somewhere.  The carefully woven strings of lights had not been intended for removal, especially by pre-pubescent hands! Like I said, logistcal nightmare, but....I had a plan! I envisioned an efficient assembly line.  One group of students would assemble the trees, one would flatten branches, one would remove strings of lights and one group would remove the large light bulbs from the strings of lights we had bought especially for this project.  We had wanted the big outdoor lights, the kind that easily screw in and out of the sockets on the string, however, we could only find strings of lights with bulbs in them. In order for the incentive of "bring 5 cans, screw in a light" to work, we had to start with "naked" strings on our trees!  The final group would place these bulbless strings on the trees.  It was going to be challenging, but not impossible.... Here is a more accurate account of  how my "efficient" assembly line functioned: The Box Opening group, dicovered BUBBLE WRAP, that was the end of their productivity.  The Tree Assembly group grabbed the individual, pointy sections of the trees, realized how much they resembled their own individual pointy "sections" and their productivity turned into an inappropriate comedy act.  The Branch Flattening group, ended up breaking more branches than they flattened. More broken branches found their way into 8th grade nostrils than garbage cans.  The String Removal group unwrapped the strings from the trees, wrapped them around themselves, and spent the remainder of the period "turning themselves on," by plugging into electrical outlets! The Bulb Removal group actually, without incident, managed to remove the light bulbs from the big strings of lights and successfully place the naked strings on the trees!  The fact that there were four upright, assembled, naked stringed Christmas Trees standing in the lobby at 3pm was a miracle!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

THE CHRISTMAS TREE HUNT


Today Marty and I went on a Christmas Tree hunt. It was not like the Christmas Tree Hunts I remember from when I was a kid. Those hunts were fun! We always got a real tree, one we'd cut down ourselves, each of us taking a "token" swing with the axe. Ofcorse the cutting down of the tree, came at the end of the agonizing process that is a family a 5 coming to a concensus on the perfect tree. We'd head out as a family, into the "Deep Dark Forest," a heavily treed area on our property. The adventure would begin with us trudging through deep snow, listening to Nicole wine and complain, begging for someone to carry her, she used to hate hiking. We'd try to drown Nic out by singing obnoxiously loud, vulgar versions of Jingle Bells, eventually she'd join in, adding her own voice to the mix. When we got to the forest, the debate would begin...you know how it goes when 5 opiniated people try to agree on one thing. Some of us liked our trees tall, some liked short ones, some liked the branches evenly spaced, some didn't care. Some preferred thick trunks, some like a skinny ones, the list of criteria went on and on. Dad would diplomatically mark each potential tree with a ribbon, so we could come back and narrow down our choices. Eventually, we'd be sooo cold we'd just cut down the one we were closest to. Each of us would take a chop at the trun with the axe. It was a ceremonious chop, we all considered it a huge priviledge and a tradition! With renewed enthusiasm, we'd trudge back home, toes frozen, dragging the tree, our prize possession, by the trunk! We sang twice as loud all the way, excited to finally have the perfect tree!
There were times we'd take the horses out to the Deep Dark Forest, tie the tree to the saddle horn and drag it back home. There were times Dad would hide deep deep in the forest, only emerging when he was sure he could scare us enough to make us cry. There were times we'd argue over choosing the tree until there were tears, but every tree hunt ended with at least 5 swings of the axe and 5 giant smiles! Those Christmas Tree Hunts remain an awesome memory, one I will try to create for my own family one day. Today, the hunt with Marty was NOT one of those fun memories, though, it was an adventure. First of all, the fun factor started out low, as we were not hunting for a tree for ourselves, we were hunting for 4 trees for my school. This was a job, not a chosen adventure. I had actually volunteered to get the trees as I knew I was going to Walmart tonight. Marty, ever the good sport, volunteered to come with me. Walmart was all out of plain, 6 foot, 29 dollar Christmas Trees, BIG SURPRISE!!!! Next stop, Canadian Tire (we had to go there for a tail light anyway.) They had a huge selection of trees, but only fancy, expensive ones. The cheapest ones already had lights on them, lights or pinecones and berries. Like what? Nothing says "merry Christmas" like fake pinecones and berries hanging on from the fake branches of cheap, fake tree!!! No thanks!! Last stop, Superstore. Now, Superstore had a tonne of trees, all sizes, all kinds of berries, pinecones and lights and all kinds of colors, but not in the store. Ofcorse not, it couldn't be that easy! We had to go out to the "Garden Center" where there were hundreds of boxes of everything, all wrapped in shrink wrap all stacked 8 feet high, all without picture lables!!!! A disgruntled store manager helped us with our search and eventually, we found 4, six foot, pre lighted trees, halejulia!!!! Marty and I piled the trees into the van and trudged back home, I was the only one singing, obnoxiously loudly all the way home!
It is way too early to have a photo of this year's perfect tree, so I have posted a photo of Nic, Troy, Marty and I, infront of last year's tree. Nic and I had decided this should be an "open mouth" photo....you can tell Marty was new to the family....

Monday, November 24, 2008

HAMBURGER HEAD


We had this cat when we were kids, he had this disgusting scab on his head. The scab bore the appearance of a permanant spoonful of ground beef. Not sure who came up with it, but Hamburger Head became the cat's handle and he went through the rest of his life with it. Gross, I know, but true. I had my fair share of "hamburger" today too....

We were playing this game in gr.5 French Class. A game that involved two students racing to a pile of stuffed animals, attempting to be the first to pull the one I had called out in French, from the stack. It was great fun, we were all cheering, laughing wildly and learning "en francais." Ofcorse, like most fun things, this game ended with an injury. One of the girls slid across the carpet to grab a pig (un animal de la ferme,) she sat back down at her spot in the circle, victorious, and that is when we noticed the blood seeping through her jeans. She pulled up her pantleg to reveal a red spot. From where I was sitting it looked like a "cherry," you know a little rug burn. I started to warn the rest of the kids NOT to slide or they too would end up with rug burn, but the girl's voice was insistant when she said, "Madame, it's not rug burn." I took a closer look and almost lost my breakfast!!! She was right, this was no rug burn, this was....well, it was hamburger!! I could see the meaty part of her knee when she lifted up the thick skin flap that had once covered it. She explained that when she slid she felt her knee scrape across some metal. Turns out there is some kind of electrical outlet in the floor, under the carpet that is covered by a metal trimmed carpet lid. I had never noticed it before, but suddenly it was in very plain sight!!! The young lady ended up getting the skin flapped stitched back over top of the knee meat!!! DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!

I should have known I was in for a particularily scabby kind of day, after the discovery I made on my face this morning! See, I have this nose piercing with a history of growing large, infectuous, pusy (I don't know how to spell puss ending with the "y" sound, but when I put two s's it looks like pussy and my nose ring does not grow pussys) bumps around it. It can look pretty gross and sore, but I love it, I love it too much to take it out. Anyway, I must have scratched myself in my sleep because when I woke up this morning, I had this enormous, fluid filled bump behind my nose ring. It looked hideous, so I did what any desperat woman would do when faced with a blemish...I reached for the safety pin I keep in my make up bag. I scraped off the mascara (hey who doesn't use a pin to seperate her eyelashes?) and poked it into the squishy bump...nothing. I pushed harder and whoooosh, out spewed all kinds of thick mucussy fluid!!! Soo gross, but sooo satisfying at the same time!! I kept squeezing and manipulating the bump until it appeared much flatter and held a Q-tip on it until it stopped bleeding. To me, the hamburger looking mess I left behind seemed way less detrimental to my otherwise flawless (ha) face than the pusy bump! I have posted a picture of what things looked like on my face at the end of the day....dont' worry, next time you see me, it will look normal!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

GRAPE ESCAPE







Writing this blog is a Margurita Making machine...at least that is how I feel after 2 nights of making nothin' but! I can sling Tequilla, triple sec, lime juice and margurita mix with the best of them! I started the evening pouring shots of tequilla which was pretty simple. I wasn't gonna mention the Margurita Maker if no one asked. It's not that I don't like Marguritas, it's just that they take a while to make and long line ups make me nervous! Ofcorse some chick, whose legal age was questionable, would eventually show up and ask, "What are you guys pouring?" I'd say "shots of tequilla" and Maria would say "Mojitos,"( she was pouring Bacardi's new pre mixed mojitos. ) The girl would turn her nose up at Tequilla, and head towards the mojitos, undoubtably, her keen eye for girlie drinks, would catch the margurita mixer on the back table. She'd ask in a desperate, whiney voice, "margurita?" Because I was being paid, I'd have to slap a smile on my face and say "sure!" But once the blender started up, that was it! People would leave other line ups, line ups of fine wines and cheeses' and join the back of the Margurita line!
I did pour the odd shot of tequilla, usually with a group of "older" men who'd insist I do a shot with them! Most of the time, I'd refuse (shooting tequilla has this way of waking up a terrible drunken memory of a night involving WAY too much tequilla, that makes it near impossible for me to ingest), but every now and then I'd take a deep breath, shoot the tequilla, plaster a forced smile on my face and swallow!
Eventually Maria and I ran out of the plastic Bacardi cups we were serving our tastes in. All we had left were the tiny,individually wrapped plastic martini glasses we had been pouring the tequilla shots in. There was NO way we could unwrap those glasses and pour drinks fast enough to meet the demand of the LONG line behind our booth. I had to send out the emergency call to Marty, who, feeling he had left his booth in sexy, adorable hands, was enjoying some time tasting the competitors drinks. I only had time to text "Come here!" He eventually made his way back to the Bacardi booth to find two stressed out chicks madly blending marguritas, pouring mojitos, shooting tequilla and unwrapping tiny, plastic glasses! Marty took over the unwrapping process while I tried desperately to pour the slushy marguritas from the giant spout of the blender into these miniscule martini glasses. Disaster!!! Marguritas all over the table, all over the floor and all over me! Luckily it was late enough into the event that several people were intoxicated enough to offer to lick up the mess! Not long after running out of cups, we ran out of margurita mix. Secretly, I was glad. I'd had enough of that machine. Don't get me wrong, it is actually really fun making marguritas and that margurita mixer is awesome, but I was margurita'd out!! I was happy to be back to pouring straight tequilla shots....but people had been spoiled and they were not about to settle for straight shots. That is when the drink inventing started. I took a look at the tiny glass, then at the ingredients I had left on the table: triple sec, lime juice and tequilla, then I looked at the inibriated crowd, hell I just started mixng and pouring and dropping single ice cubes into each glass! You would have thought I had just discovered water in a desert! People were coming back for more, more of that mystery, invented drink!!!
It was an exhausting night, but soooo fun! Sometimes it is nice to have a change from the classroom and for 2 nights a first grade teacher and a French teacher got to be bar tenders!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

BACARDI











One of the best parts about Marty working at Bacardi is that sometimes, when he has to get ready for a big event, we get to test the drinks at home!




Tomorrow there is a wine tasting event that Bacardi is going to have a booth at. Marty has hired my good friend, Maria, and I to be the "Taste test girls!" We are excited for the opportunity to be barmaids for 2 nights (Friday and Saturday.) We will be pouring tastes of Marguritas and Mojitos, both made with Bacardi owned products. The marguritas will be made with Cazadores, the brand of tequilla that Bacardi owns. The marguritas will also be made in a margurita maker, the one Marty brought home tonight for us to "practice" with!! Fun!!! We had a great time experimenting with how much ice, lime juice, margurita mix and Cazadores to use in order to create the perfect drink! We did have access to a reccomended recipe, but what fun would it be to follow a recipe??? A few bags of ice and half a bottle of tequilla later, we had perfected our drink! It was a team effort, even Scout helped!




Wednesday, November 19, 2008

NESTEA PLUNGE


"You know the 'Nestea Plunge'?" That's how the sixth grader started to explain the stitches in the back of his head when I noticed them the other day. I couldn't help it, before he even continued the story, I got a knowing smile on my face. I mean come on, can't you just see it? You don't even need me, or him to fill you in on the rest of the story. You know exactly what happened....and whether lauging about it, considering he did get injured, is right or wrong, it's funny!

Guess they should add, Bearspaw, Canada to the list of places that don't have Nestea....or at least an appropriate place to take "the plunge!"

If you have no idea what i am talking about, check out the ad at the following address!

Nope, the photo has NOTHING to do with Nestea at all, but it is cute and Nic did tell me I should post more photos. I figured, hell, why not post an old one of me with Tucker and Duke, mom and Nic's dogs?

Monday, November 17, 2008




Funny how guys love action movies, car chases, gun fights and spies! We just saw the new James Bond movie and all the way home Marty kept talking about how cool it would be to be a spy! I just smiled and nodded. I really don't get the big excitement about being a spy, at least the way James Bond portrays it. Ok, sure, I get the appeal of sexy ladies, fast cars and fancy martinis, but the rest of it? The rooftop jumping in suit jackets? The dangling by the ankles from ropes while blood dries in your eyes? The bare handed glass grabbing and stabbing? The bare chested sutchering of wounds? The constant running at top speed for miles in dress shoes and tuxedo pants? No thanks!
Come on, is one night with a sexy lady you'll never see again really worth all that? I guess men think differently than women. Marty kept making comments like " I could be a spy, but I dont' know 14 different languages. I could be a spy, but I'm too big. I could be a spy but I'm not that agile. I could be a spy, but I bet you'd have to serve in the military first. I could be a spy, but...." the list went on and on. Marty was quite worked up and excited about this whole spy thing when we pulled into the driveway. I pointed the garage door opener at the door and...nothing! "Stupid thing," I said. It had been giving me trouble for a while. "It must need a new battery" was Marty's response to my frustration and he grabbed the remote opener from me. We sat in the driveway twisting and pointing the remote towards the door in everyway possible until finally, randomly the big door lifted up. I drove the car in opened my door to get out, but Marty wouldn't get out of the passenger seat. He was determined to open the remote and check out the battery situation. I closed my door and waited for a couple of minutes, I had actually been wondering how to check the battery. I watched as my "wannabe" spy rolled the remote over and over in his hands. I watched him squint as he read the instructions telling him "...to change battery, slide cover." I watched as he inspected the "sliding cover" for the secret handle that slid. I watched and I waited. Eventually, I lost interest in the mission. I got out of the car, closed the garage door with the big button on the wall and went into the house. Marty, ever focused, stayed in the car, fiddling with the remote. I had let Scout out of her kennel, gone pee myself, got the coffee maker ready for morning and picked out my clothes for tomorrow before Marty made his way inside. "So," I inquired, "did ya get it open?" I looked up into his defeated eyes, he didn't have to say anything. I knew he had not cracked open the garage door remote opener! So much for "I could be a spy but....I am pretty sure that being able to change a simple battery would be a pre rec for any spy training course. (Hey, I know I can't do it either, but I am not proclaiming I could be a spy.) Poor Marty, guess he will have to settle for the hot chick he has, the mini van he drives and the booze he sells without the excitement and danger of 007!
Check out the pics of my wannabe spy and his sidekick, adorable!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

PMS

Marty actually brought out his giant, leather bound daytimer today and wrote an "F" for Flo, as in Aunt Flow, on the days when "Aunt Flow" will be visiting our little condo. He did not write this as a note to himself to help track my cycle for fertility purposes. No, he wrote those "F"s as a warning to himself, a reminder that he should find something to do besides stay home with me on those days....guess I have been a little bit grouchy lately.....
I can't help it if I sometimes go through stages of moodiness, bitchiness and random crying. Dont' all us women have weeks like that? At least one a month? My sister's husband calls this crazy state ER. It stands for "emotionally retarded" and since he has created an acronym for it, I have to assume that his wife, my sister, also experiences random moodines and bitchiness and that she too inexplicably bursts into tears from time to time.
I hate being unpredictably crabby. I hate crying for no reason and I hate that things that normally don't rattle me, send me right over the edge at certain times of the month, but, that is how I am and if Marty wants to highlight it with an "F" in his calendar fine by me! I will highlight....damn it, I can't think of a single thing to highlight in my calendar to warn myself about him. Turns out he is never moody, he is rarely bitchy and I have never seen him randomly cry, so unfair!!! Aint the balance between man and woman beautiful!

Monday, November 10, 2008

POOP POLICE

I have noticed that I am the kind of person who always seems to announce when I have to go to the bathroom. Actually, i didn't notice this, someone pointed it out once, "Jeanne, you don't have to make an announcement every time you leave the room," and ever since then I have become concsious of the fact, that, yes I do quite often point out where I am going when I leave a room. Not sure why. Maybe it is because, as a teacher, I expect to be informed when my students leave the classroom, maybe it is because I dont' want people to miss me when I'm gone, or maybe it is just because I like to share!
Lately I find myself becoming obsessed with bathroom habits, not mine or Marty's, but rather Scouts. I guess it is because she is a puppy and because she is a house puppy and because I hate cleaning up "accidents." Naturally I am a very unobservant person. I am not details oriented, I can't even tell you what color my garage door is right now, and I drive through it everyday. I am however, very good at observing character and behaviour of living things. I know exactly how many minutes after eating Scout has to "eliminate," and that is why it drives me NUTS when, mysteriously, she won't go!!! I stand out on the porch in my poofy, winter coat, my huge moon boots (we did have snow last week and the boots are still at the porch,)my arms crossed, waiting....waiting for Scout to do "her thing." Normally she goes out, pees by the tree, comes to see me for a treat and heads back out to the corner of the fence to finish her job, but not tonight. Nope, tonight, she refused to complete number 2 of the process. We were going for dinner with Marty's parents and then taking them to the airport (they had been visiting for the weekend.) I knew Scout would be locked up for at least 4 hours. She had just eaten and I had timed everything perfectly so that she would "eliminate" just before being locked up in her kennel. I thought it was perfectly timed, but she wouldn't go. I was getting anxious as our departure time grew closer. I tried leaving her out in the yard and spying on her through the blinds, but she wouldn't stop playig with her stuffed duck out there. I went out, took the duck away and waited, still nothing. She casually ate grass, tried to dig a hole, carried the pooper scooper around, but did not "get busy!!!" In desperation, I got out the leash and took her to her favorite spot, the place she always goes when we head out on our walks, but tonight, the magic spot elicited nothing! I drug her back in the house exasperated, but knowing at least, that as soon as we got home, she'd have to go for sure. We got home, I let her out of the kennel, gave her some water and headed outside. I carried her to the corner of the fence, and hoped it would be quick, I was only wearing flipflops, jeans and a t-shirt, but there was no action. I let her back in, and proceeded to follow her around the house like some kind of crazy, neurotic freak! i had become the poop police! There was no way that under my watch, she was going to crap on the floor. I knew she had to go, I knew she did and as soon as she got that look in her eye, I was going to be ready!
The story does end with me recognizing the signs and Scout pooping in three different, messy piles on the lawn, right where she was supposed to. Everything turned out ok, but it kind of freaked me out, how obsessive I have become. Starting right now, I need to get a life!!!!!!!!!!
I have posted a couple non-pooping photos of Scout from our little hike in Canmore today. The pictures, like Scout, refuse to co-operate. I will post them another time....

Sunday, November 9, 2008

NOVEMBER 11

November 11th is fast approaching the little boxes of poppies for sale are on display everywhere.  I was in the school office the other day where I saw a young boy looking to make a donation to get a poppy. He had a toonie and before he dropped it into the donation box, he asked me how many poppies he could take for giving a toonie. I didn’t know the official answer so I told him to take one for his shirt and one for his coat. Like how many do ya need?  After that conversation, on my way back to my classroom, I must have picked  three “lost” poppies up off the ground.  Maybe a guy should have a huge stash of poppies, I had forgotten that the darn things are impossible to keep attached to your shirt!  I spent the rest of the week, pinning poppies  back onto young children’s shirts and picking them up off the ground at restaurants, the grocery store and even at the barn!  It got me thinking about all of the different strategies I have tried or seen people try, to get that poppy to say on. 

There was the “stick a little piece of eraser on the end of the pin” trick, then we tried using sticky tack, and we’ve all bent the pin upwards.  I can remember trying to manipulate the pin so that it weaved it’s way through the poppy itself (actually one of the more successful strategies.)  There’s the people who just totally give up, remove the pin and the little center, fold up the poppy and stick it in their mouths to make lips, (I have been in the frustrating place before!)  Marty told me, he used to have a little, tiny Maple Leaf pin that he would put in the middle of his poppy and secure the backing to it, he has never lost a poppy with that technique.  I can vouch for him, as I saw his poppy from last year neatly placed in the coat closet waiting to be pinned to his lapel!  Yep, he still has last years’ poppy!!!!!!!!!  I personnaly don’t mind donating the 25 cents every year to get myself a new poppy, or two, or three or however many it takes to actually have one pinned to my coat on the 11th of November!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

GAS

Scout has officially qualified as a spawn of Marty and I. Last night, Scout proved she has one of the chracteristics, Marty and I will, without a doubt, pass on to our children, she had....gas! I'm not talking about a normal, weird smelling dog toot, I am talking about a full on, loud, squeaky string of FARTS! It all started with me making a poor judgement call by buying a big, faux rawhide chew toy at the Dollar Store. I was so excited to give it to her, that I hardly noticed that it was not authentic rawhide. She was chewing away when Marty noticed how strange the thing looked, how it was flaking all over the floor and how it smelled like ass! We took it away, but her sad, dissapointed eyes made me decide to let her have it back if she took it outside. I should have been tougher, her little tummy and rectum would be thanking me right now, but instead, i gave in. The chew toy was devoured, not to be thought of again, until 4:30am. Scout woke me up with urgent cries coming from her kennel. She never wakes me up at night, so I figured she must be desperate! I pulled on my sweat pants and took her outside. She raced to her "magic spot," and squatted like she was going to "eliminate," I shined my flashlight on her backside, (I like to know if she's done her business,) but, to her frustration and my amazement, the only thing that came out was...the loudest FART ever! I couldn't help it, I laughed outloud! I had never really heard a dog fart before. I'd smelled Duke's farts and I'd smelled Scout's, but never had I heard it, not loud, in the raw like this! Scout seemed surprised, she looked behind herself, raced to another spot, squatted and another one ripped out! Wow, if she hadn't looked so bewildered it would have been way funnier. Three times it happened before anything besides gas actually came out! I will spare you the details of the un-gassy things I had to clean up at 4:30am, but, please learn from my mistake, NEVER FEED YOUR DOG FAUX RAW HIDE, especially if it only costs a buck fifty!

Monday, November 3, 2008

PAPER OR PLASTIC

Remember way back when the clerks at the grocery store used to ask if you wanted your groceries packed in paper or plastic bags? Remember when they started phasing paper bags out and you had to specifically request paper bags?  You might not remember this, but I do because my dad would specifically ask my mom to remember to get paper bags, he needed them.  Why did Dad need paper bags you ask?  Popcorn.  Dad needed paper bags to make popcorn!  His secret to great, buttery, salty popcorn lied in the...paper bag.  He would air pop the popcorn into this great big blue tupperware bowl.  He would systematically dump the popcorn from the bowl into the paper bag.  He would then dump melted butter and salt on the contents of the bag, roll down the rim and shake the bag like it was a polaroid picture (I borrowed that analogy form a song, but I think it fits.)  One he had adequately buttered and salted the first batch, he would pop another batch, add it to the bag and repeat the butter, salt drowning and shaking process and then, pop another batch.  Dad, would fill the paper bag with popcorn and then pour it into large plastic bowls for each of us.  He would always eat his portion from the big blue bowl.  Sometimes Dad would let us have popcorn for supper, that's right, popcorn as our meal.  Those were the days!  I hadn't thought about paperbag popcorn for a long time and then just the other day, we got a random paper bag at the grocery store.  I couldnt' wait to get it home and drown air popped popcorn with enough butter that it would soak through the paper bag making those familiar grease stains, the ones that would eventually create a hole in the bag forcing Dad throw out that bag and get a new one. Marty was impressed with how the paper bag made covering every kernal with an even amount of butter and salt, so easy.  Usually a huge, glass measuring cup filled with melted butter makes me think about the size my ass is sure to get when all of that butter ends up there, but I couldnt' help it ,just having the bag made me want to really drown the "healthy" air popped corn, in all the stuff that makes it good, butter, lots of it and salt.  I poured the popcorn into one giant plastic bowl and we devoured ALL OF IT, scraping the last few kernals through the grease and salt at the bottom of the bowl!  Thanks Dad, for showing me how to make the best popcorn ever!  Go ahead, get yourself a paper bag and indulge!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

WHITE TRASH!
















Have you ever seen the show "Trailer Park Boys?" It is a show that kind of makes fun of people who live in trailer parks. The show isn't mean spirited, the comedy is all in fun, just like Nic and Troy's Halloween Party this weekend. The theme of the party was "Trailer Park." Everyone had to come in a costume that represented the stereotypical "trailer trash."





So, what comes to your mind, when you think trailer trash? I am willing to bet you see a lot of drinking, smoking and swearing. I bet you conjur up images of men, dressed in "wife beaters" (tight white tank top,) sweat pants, baggy camo pants or tight jeans. I bet you see a large women standing on porches in house coats, rollers in hair, a cigarett in hand and cats rubbing against her legs. I bet you see skinny young girls, wearing skirts that are too tight and too short paired with a top that is too tight and too low cut. I bet you picture older women who epidimize the saying "rode hard put away wet," and old men who sit on couches, hands in pants, beers balancing on bellies! These images are funny, it's how we love to think of "trailer park people," and it was fun to dress like them!!! I decided to be a pregnant, drinking, smoking bride (the cigarett I picked out of the trash at a 7-11,) Nic was the "young thing" in tight leather, all tatooed up, Troy was the camo pants, wife beater guy and Marty was the guy trying to keep hard rock and acid wash alive!!!!





We wrapped Nic's curtain rod with big, bright outdoor Christmas lights, we strung a clothes line across the living room and hung LARGE satin lingerei and X-LARGE tighty whities from it. We completed the decor by covering the windows with tin foil! Perfect!!! I took a photo of everyone as they entred Nic's house dressed in thier version of "trailer trash,"but I couldnt' post them all. I have posted the best of the best though! Please enjoy our trailer park spoof with the fun spirit it was intended!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

FIRST BATH!!!







Scout had her first bath tonight...adorable!
We have been pretty dilligent about keeping Scout from going upstairs without us. We have carpet upstairs and I HATE cleaning accidents up off the carpet, but tonight was bath night and the tub is upstairs, so up she came. While Marty and I were discussing "strategy," Scout turned around and headed back downstairs. I followed her, and to my surprise, she headed right for the door where she sat until I opened it. She promptly walked outside and...peeed! Yipee, I always feel soo proud of her when she does that, because in my mind, she is "asking to go out," yay!!! After her pee, we went back upstairs for, the bath!
She was scared ofcorse, but sooo good. We had put a towel down in the bottom of the tub for her to stand on for grip since we didn't have a bath mat and filled the tub with warm water. Marty got in the tub and sat on the edge with his pants rolled up and we lowered Scout into the water. She was very unsure of everything and eeerily quiet. We had read in "Dogs for Dummies," that you should, for safety sake, stay away from their heads at all costs, so we took a yogurt container and poured warm water over Scout's body from the neck back. We didn't want to risk getting water in her ears, so we were very careful. We had bought the scentless, oatmeal shampoo for puppies, so we poured some into our hands and lathered her up! After rinsing her off, we wrapped her in a towl and just snuggled her for a little bit. Funny how babies and puppies and sexy women and hot men just have that affect on people when they show up wrapped in a fuzzy bath towel...you just wanna wrap your arms around them and snuggle them!!!! After the bath, Marty and I were staring in amazement at the hair left in the bottom of the tub and Scout, well Scout, was busy PEEEING beside my bed!!!!! Yep, my little pup, who only 30 minutes before had ASKED to go outside to pee, was peeing on my carpet!!!!!! Oh well, take the good with the bad I guess eh???
Check out the bathing pictures, does she look scared or what???

Monday, October 27, 2008

L'HALLOWEEN

All the kids at school are talking about what they are going to be for halloween. They are excited and I can't blame them, Halloween is fun, dressing up in costumes is fun! I was at Walmart the other day checking out the huge array of costumes and make-up and wigs and I couldn't help but think about the costumes I used to wear as a kid. I have to laugh when I think back and I wish I could post mom's halloween album on this page. If I could, you would notice a trend in the DesRochers' costumes....they were always made of garbage bags, contuction paper and twine! We were all witches at least once as you could make a witch's dress from a black garbage bag, black twine made a great wig and a tall witch hat was easily created from construction paper by dad. Aim was a carrot once, not very Halloweeny, but you can be a carrot with the help of an orange garbage bag, a sharpie (to draw the carrot veins) and green construction paper! We all experienced pulling the orange garbage bag over our heads (yes a hole was cut first,) and stuffing it with newspapers to create a chubby pumpkin costume, and we could easily transform a black garbage bag dress into a wizard's cloak by adding a few yellow construction paper stars and moons. A wooden spoon covered in black paper with a tinfoil star at the end made a perfect "magic wand!" These costumes easily covered winter jackets and occasionally snowpants. They were safe, visible and...damn creative. Sure, the walmart costumes are pretty cute but they lack the creativity and love that went into our home made costumes. At least I like to think that parents who take the time to dress their kids in garbage bags for Halloween, do it out of creativity and LOVE!!! Here's hoping your costumes this year involve some creativity, love and garbage bags!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

DUMPLING







I spent Friday and Saturday night instructing at a 4-H riding camp in Benalto, a small community near Sylvan Lake. I absolutely love teaching riding lessons to young children! I love the excitement they bring and the desire to learn and have fun that comes naturally with kids and horses. I accepted the instructor commitment before Scout was even a thought, so I had no idea that I was going to have to come up with "puppy care" for her! Marty's hockey season has begun and he had two games over the weekend, which meant that he could not be responsible for looking after Scout either. We finally agreed that we were going to have to find overnight care for her. The whole idea of it made me nervous. I felt like a new parent, worried that no one else, except my mom and sisters (who live way too far away,) could possibly take care of her the way I would. I was worried about her getting bad habits and losing the "poddy training" and kennel training, and the "sit" training that she has begun to learn....I was acting like the parents at school that I think are over protective, but I couldnt' help it! Marty reminded me "it's just a day and a half," and I tried to relax, but....



Marty's buddy in Red Deer agreed to keep Scout overnight. I was glad because I like Marty's buddy and his girlfriend and I have met their dog. Actually we puppy sat Dumpling, yes that's HIS real name, once last spring. He was an adorable French Bull dog puppy then and we had a lot of fun with him. At the time, he did not walk on a leash, he was not "house trained" nor did he embrace the idea of his kennel being his beloved "den." To be honest, he was a holy terror, but because it was just for the weekend, and because he wasn't our dog and because he was sooo damn cute, his crazy antics were no big deal, infact, they were kinda funny. But, now that my puppy was gonna go "hang out" with him, I was worried. Would he be a bad influence? Has he calmed down since then? Is he "house trained?" Will he make her hate her kennel? (She totally buys into the idea that her kennel is her den and she loves it!!!) Marty has seen Dumpling, since our puppy sitting experience (I have not,) and he assured me that Dumpling has grown up a lot and that he and Scout would probably have a lot of fun together! I knew in my heart that he was right, Scout needed to play with another dog and this was a perfect opportunity. So, Thursday night, as I packed my riding gear, my overnight stuff and my lunch, I packed Scout's overnight bag. I carefully measured her food and sealed it in a ziplock bag. I put a handful of treats into the front pockets of the diaper bag. I rounded up a zillion toys, the leash and the deoderizing spray (just in case) and hung the bag on the door knob. Marty would be taking Scout to Red Deer, and I wanted everything to be ready.



I picked Scout up Saturday afternoon at 4:30pm. I was met at the door by 2 bounding, happy puppies...well on puppy and one tank!!! They were super excited, peeing and drooling everywhere! I was excited too, however I showed my excitement by squealing in a high pitched voice, not by peeing and drooling. We hugged, we snuggled and we spent 15 minutes packing up toys! I was assured by Dumpling's parents that they had had a lot of fun together, and that Scout had behaved herself. I was proud! She had no way of understanding that when I picked her up and carried her to the car, she would not be seeing her new BFF again for a long time, but she fell asleep in her kennel on the backseat, before I could tell her. She was exhausted! I sure wish I could have spent more time watching them play, they were "laugh out loud" entertaining! Ofcorse I was the crazy lady who had to run out to her car to grab her camera so I could try to capture a picture of the two of them, but...it is virtually impossible to catch 2 wound up, high spirited puppies at play with the camera I have! We tried to get them to sit for treats, but even that proved challenging. I have posted the best photo I could get of Dumpling and Scout in the same frame. I have also posted a couple of photos of Dumpling, from when we were puppy sitting him....adorable!