Thursday, August 28, 2008


Just got back from looking at an acreage, well ten acres to be exact. We knew when we left that it was way out of our price range, but we thought, "what the heck? Why not go for a drive and check it out?" The house was half an hour out of the city, at the end of a dead end road. We got out of the van and were met at the door by a short lady with long curly hair and one of those "too sweet to be real" voices. The kind of voice that drips with innocence, just enough to make you think she is super naive, but with eyes that lack innocence, just enough to make you think she is a lot wiser than she wants you to hear..."I had the power shut off as I thought the place was sold, but now it is not, so I apologize for the dark." It was 8:30pm and the sun was rapidly sinking out of sight, so we toured the inside of the TINY home very quickly. The ad had boasted an "executive suite" in the basement. The suite had a small kitchen, a crawl space, a bathroom, and two miniature bedrooms. What exactly is supposed to qualify it as "executive" anyway??? The ten acres was basically a giant thistle field, with a fence around the perimeter, hiding behind the tall weeds. The view, the view though, was INCREDIBLE!!! 360degrees of mountain view and hay fields as far as the eye could see, a horse lovers dream! Marty and I loved the land, minus the thistles, but the house, well, the house was a "fixer upper." We are not afraid of "fixer uppers," but if you are going to pay over half a million dollars for something, you would hope it is not a fixer upper!!!!! Now to listen to Connie, this was a mansion filled with incredible, cute memories. She spoke of this house as though it were unquestionably worth the very overpriced tag she had on it. We were standing right there, infront of the house, looking at the hole in the garage door, the rickety deck stairs, the questionable porch, and the thistles, listening to her describe paradise, it was weird because you could feel that in her heart, she truly believed everything she was telling us!! Got me thinking about "home," and how nomatter what it looks or feels like to anyone else, that to you, home is home! Most people associate so many happy memories and so much love with their homes that they can truly see and feel paradise inbetween the walls where others can only see cracked ceilings, scratched floorboards and chipped paint! I think that is very cool! I remember the pride I had when I bought my very first house. It wasn't much, but it came with 7 acres, a dirt floor garage and bat infested barn. The house had mint green paint, flower wall paper and pink trim, but the day I got the key, to me that little house was a castle!!! When that house burnt down, I had to live in a very sketchy holiday trailer that the builder pulled on site for me. You know what? Even with the camp stove, no running water, plastic dishes, a heater that had to be lit and the bed being a top bunk, I still couldnt' wait to come back there after a hard day at work and relax. I couldn't wait to just go home!!! The house we grew up in was very old and small, it only had one bathroom and we had to share bedrooms. The basement was unfinished and when you went down the stairs, you could see the mud and other "organic" materials that had been used to keep the walls insulated and together. But it was a great, dark place for playing hide and seek and we couldn't have imagined a house without this great space! Even where I live now, the condo in Calgary. It is small, it has a tonne of steep stairs, TINY closets, and ugly carpet upstairs, but it is mine (well half mine, hee hee) and I love it, it is home! The photo is of Marty and I the day we moved into our current home!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I could NOT sleep the other night! That is one of the most frustrating things in the world…not being able to sleep! I was soo tired and my back was killing me (still hurting from my spill off Dirt, but I keep hoping that if I ignore it, it will go away.) I was happy to be in bed, earlyish, something I am trying to do to get ready for going back to school. I layed there, ready and willing for sleep to come…but it wouldn’t! Sometimes I can’t sleep if I have too many thoughts running through my head, but I had made a point of writing down all of my brilliant “school related” thoughts before going to bed to help put the thoughts to rest. Sometimes I can’t sleep if I have had coffee late in the day, but I had enjoyed my java before noon, so that couldn’t be it! I just plain and simple couldn’t get to sleep. Part of the problem was that I couldn’t get comfortable with my back ache, every position seemed to be awkward and then there was the rain dripping on the rain spout that was making the sound of a leaky faucette. I closed the window to drown out the annoying outside sounds and then I got fixated on Marty’s breathing! Funny how when you can’t sleep everything becomes exaggerated and irritating! Marty had also been super tired (he had spent the weekend with “the boys” out golfing and drinking beer, so he had a lot of sleep to make up,) but he had no troubles finding the land of zzzz’s! He snored a little, but I nudged him and he rolled off his back onto his side, this always ends the snoring, but tonight, it seemed to increase the volume of his breathing! I mean he was breathing REALLY LOUD and really deep! I tried to ignore it, but you know how when you can hear someone breathing, you tend to subconsciously take on the same breathing pattern? Well his breaths were so deep and slow that I thought I was going to pass out as my body took on his breathing rhythm! I tried nudging his leg with my feet, hoping to disrupt his breathing, but he must not have been able to feel it. I knew it wasn’t right to get more aggressive with my physical hints to make his stop as he really wasn’t doing anything wrong and it wasn’t like he could quit breathing like he had quit snoring. I was rattled and frustrated though and as the minutes on my clock ticked by! Finally I got up, turned the fan in the ensuite bathroom on, hoping the white noise would drown out the sound of his heavy breathing. I jumped back in bed, hoping to shake him a little thinking that would make his stop breathing SO LOUD, but it didn’t and the fan could not cover up what I was soooo fixated on! I tried saying “shhhh” in a really loud, harsh whisper, but his subconscious did not get the hint like I was hoping. Marty continued his loud breathing and I continued tossing and turning. Finally I had to get up and go sleep in the spare room. I have never had to do this before, but the longer I stayed, the more, unfairly, frustrated I got. If I didn’t leave, I was going to keep getting angrier and angrier at Marty and I had to keep reminding myself that he wasn’t really doing anything wrong. He was just laying there, peacefully sleeping, dreaming away, breathing LIKE A BUFFALO!!!! I did fall asleep as soon as my head hit the spare room pillow and Marty did come looking for me eventually blaming the bathroom fan for waking him up…ooops! Here’s hoping that tonight, I fall asleep first!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008


One of my most favorite things to do is grocery shop, I know, I know, it is kind of weird, but I truly love it! I find a weid peace in the busy isles of the supermarket. I love the baskets of apples, the tubs of potatoes and the misting water on the lettuce. My favorite isle is the cereal isle, I love the colorful boxes and the fun, happy "sugar high" each one represents. The smell of the bakery section is soothing and the bulk section is impossible to resist! Have you ever tried the "cajun mixed rice rackers" from the SuperStore bulk section? I highly reccomend it, for us, this spicy mix has become a staple for road trips and snowboard vacations!!!

Yep, I love discovering new treasures at the grocery store. In fact, anytime I have more than 20 minutes to kill, I go grocery shopping, just to "pick up a couple of things," but before you know it, I have spent over one hunded dollars and an hour or two! Grocery shopping has actually become a bit of an addiction for me! There, I've said it, "I have a problem, I am addicted to gocery shopping!" Ok, I actually came to terms with this "problem" of mine a couple of months ago when I racked up a $700 dollar grocery bill in one month...for just the two of us!!! This freaked me out, I certainly had not realized I was spending that much! Since then I have had to become a very disciplined shopper...well I've tried to become a disciplined shopper, but it has been harder than I thought. Today I decided to plan our meals for the week and create a list based on what we plan to eat! Ugg, I hate lists like this, makes me feel very inflexible! I mean, what if Marty wants to take me out for supper Wednesday, as a treat to make me feel better for having to go back to school? What happens to the stuff I bought ff my list for the Mexican Steak Stir Fry, I have planned for that night? What if the ladies from work want to go for sushi Thursday to celebrate making it through 2 days of work so far? Will Marty make use of the stuff I specifically bought for the Giant Oven Burger dinner I had planned to make? And what about Tuesday, what if I decide I need to go for martinis and and nachos to help me prepre for having to go back to school Wednesday? What will happen to the chicken breasts when no one makes the Spicy Mexican Chicken that was planned? See, how this meal plan can be resticting??? Makes me uncomfortable...makes me uncomfortable to plan all the food I need to buy for our camping trip this weekend, when it is only MOnday!!! I am gonna try though, I am gonna try to stick to my list and to the plan. Here is what I am heading to Safeway to buy tomorrow:

Special K -almond/vanilla-(a large box, or maybe 2 if there are only small ones)

Milk (1% because that is what Marty likes)

Onions (2 because 2 of the recipes for the week call for onions)

Green peppers (2, one for a recipe and one for the side salad, I know I will want)

Lettuce (freshly misted)

1 zucchini

apples (no limit on apples, we eat lots of 'em)

bannanas (they freeze for baking so if I buy too many that is ok)

Carrots (a big bag, I like to eat them right out of the bag, dirt and all)

A round sourdough loaf (need for Giant Oven Burger recipe)

Salsa (staple)

Pinto beans (large can)

Can whole tomatoes

Bag of marshmellows (for smores for camping)

trail mix (camping)

Cajun spice mix (road trip staple)




This is the list so far, might have to add af ew things for the camping trip...

So, I will report back as to whether I was able to stick to this plan...thanks for being part of my therapy!!!!
Oh the picture is of one of the yummy camping meals we made on our BC camping trip last year, with the groceries I bought!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I can't believe it! I just got home after being rejected from the Thrift Store!
Let me start at the beginning. I woke up to rain this morning and decided it would be a perfect day to clean out my closet. My closet is very small and deep, one of those closets where you can't see anything you put in the back. The drawers are shallow and there are only a couple of those, and I, have too many clothes. I have my "work out clothes," various stretchy pants, shorts and tops, sports bras and sweatshirts. I have my riding clothes, wrangler jeans, old faded gap jeans, that want to be wranglers, button down cowboy shirts, long and short sleeved T-shirts,not fit for wearing anywhere but to the barn and hoodies. I have my work clothes, dress pants, blouses and sweaters, and I have my "everyday clothes," both for summer and winter. I definately do not have enough space, I also do not need all those clothes. Today, I decided to pat with anything I had not worn since moving to Calgary. I had to come to terms with the fact, that I was never going to fit into some of the jeans I had been saving for "when I lose a few pounds," I was never going to ever wear "belly bearing" t-shirts again and the shorts, I had been saving for the day when I was no longer self concsious about my large calves, were just not going to ever have the tags cut off while I owned them. My mountain of clothes to give away was up to my waist! Putting those into garbage bags to load into my car was the easy part, figuring out how to get all the clothes I was still keeping, back into my closet was going to be the hard part.

I remember last fall helping Nic clean out her closet. It was hilarious, we laughed and laughed, she still had clothes from when she was 8 I am sure, and she is 29 now!!!! It's funny how so many T-shirts and sweaters and even pyjamas hold so many memories! There were the T-shirts she had from "The Body Shop," you know the ones with inspirational, environmental messages on them, from the stage in our lives where we all wanted to make a "statement." She had tiny T-shirts from the days when she had the flattest stomach in high school (I am pretty sure she still does), there were T-shirts from horse events, camps and University. There was even the "cloud skirt." This was a skirt she had made a long time ago out of old pairs of jeans. It was a long skirt and each "tier" was a different wash of denim. It was a fun project, not sure if anyone ever wore the skirt, but the point is she still had it!! Each clothing item had a story associated with it and it was hard to let some of them go, but we aknowldged the memory, laughed out butts off and then I made her GET RID OF IT!!! Nic hates getting rid of stuff.
We had to clean out her old bedroom when she left mom's and we found a stash of small bags she had kept from souvenir stores. That's right, BAGS, nothing in them just flattened bags!!!! Anyway, I am sure if you ever want a trip down memory lane, you could probably go through your own closet, mine on the other hand, just doesn't hold the same treasures as Nic's does because I had a house fire a few years back and all of the embarrassing old clothes I had been hanging on to, burnt! So this waist high pile, was of recent clothing, no real memories attached to the pieces, but some of them embarrasing enough anyways....why do those "final sale" clothes always look better when you try them on at the store???
I had seen a Thrift store across from the tire shop when I was getting my tire fixed, after our 4-wheeling weekend and I thought I would take my clothes there. It was a non-profit store that donated it's money to education, perfect, I thought as I pulled up. I walked into the tiny, tiny store and found a lady shelving some second hand leather pumps. I explained to her that I had just cleaned out my closet and that I had two bags of decent clothing in my car, would she be interested? She looked me up and down, furrowed her brow and simply said, "no." That was it, no explanation, about how maybe they don't take clothes from nice looking young ladies, or how they only accept donations on Tuesdays, or anything logical at all, just no! I found myself feeling offended and I know I uttered a snotty "okay" as I walked out. I couldn't help my tone, I had just been rejected by a non-profit thrift store!!!!
Nic said I should post a picture even if I don't have one that relates to the story, so here is one of me on a hike we did this summer, wouldn't you take a bag of free clothes from me???

Monday, August 18, 2008


I have been thinking a lot about bras lately, mostly because today, I am not wearing one. This is actually not really out of the norm for me. I quite often let the girls "swing free." I guess it is because, in a way, I am blessed with boobs that aren't so big that they require a bra to stay "contained" and they aren't so small that I need a bra to help the create the illusion that I actually have some! A few years ago they came out with the "shelf bra," you know, the one that is basically built into many fashionable tops these days. On days like today, wearing a bra is just hot, and it is nice to allow the "boob sweat" a "free flow channel" so that it can drain all the way down my torso into my belly button without creating a pool between my boobs where my bra would stop it. Somehow a puddle in my belly button is just that much more comfortable!
Like I said, I can pull off the "no bra" thing pretty good, especially if I am just kicking around home, hell I even rode mom's horse at a lope this afternoon in a tube top with nothing to strap these babies down! I am not saying it was pretty, but I did it and neither mom nor Maverick had anything rude to say about it! In all honesty, I actually forgot about being braless when my sister came over and asked me if I wanted to go to town with her to run a few errands. I jumped in the truck and we headed to Totem where we bought some plywood. After that we hit up Extreme Pita for some supper and ended the errands with a stop at the grocery store. We had to get butter and milk and as I walked down the "freezer isle" I suddenly became very conscious of the fact that I had no bra on. My nipples were hard as rocks from the cold and I could tell, without looking down that they were sticking strait out through my top, like sharp blades of glass taped to my tits, embarrassing!!!!!!!
I remember that I used to be super self conscious about my nipples showing through my shirt, even when I did wear a bra. I went on this date once in high school and I had this really cool white blouse I wanted to wear , (that's right, I wanted to wear a blouse on a date!) Anyway, it was kind of a sheer blouse, so I was worried about my nipples showing. In order to insure that they stayed hidden I put band-aids over them, then put on my bra then my blouse. We had a great time on our date and on the way home, my date parked his car at a romantic spot and started to talk about how beautiful the stars were. I knew exactly where this was going. We were going to "make out" and then he might try to stick his hand up my shirt, and then....then he was going to find the band-aids and think I was weird! Ahhh, I had to think quick, so I pretended to drop all of the contents of my purse on the floor and while he was bent over picking stuff up, I ripped the bandaids off my nipples and stuck them to the bottom of the seat! To this day, I wonder whether or not he ever found those band-aids!
As a small breasted woman, I love all of the new "bra" technology out there. Remember the "aqua bra," it had inserts in the cups that were filled with water, they looked, and felt real. I've heard that those inserts are called "chicken cutlets" and that now days, you can get them filled with water, or air or even gel! You can get the inserts built right into the bras, or you can buy them seperately and put them in yourself! You can get bras that "triple click" so that you can "click" your boobs together as close as you want, depending on the type of cleavage you are hoping to achieve. And how about sports bras? Is there anything more awkward to put on, I mean, I understand they need to be tight to keep everything "in place," but seriously! Have you ever tried to put one on after you've showered or been sweating? Your body is sticky and slimy, your hands are up in the air so that you can pull it over your head and by the time you get this spandex slid down around your neck it is so twisted and wound around itself, it is impossible to move! You stand there with your arms wedged up between your ears, your boobs are squished, hanging out the bottom of the part you did manage to get down. You gotta struggle to bend at the elbows so that you can pull the damn thing the rest of the way down. By the time you get it on and your breasts tucked back under the elastic bottom of the thing you feel like you've already had a workout! Hey, if you wear a bra, you know what I am talking about!
Remember the movie Beaches? Well Bette Middler sang a great song about the guy who invented bras, it is really funny and I still know almost all of the words to it by heart. I found the clip of it on Youtube and I have included the web address. If you have time check it out, and have a laugh! Oh and the pictures are: of me enjoying 2 of the many options of bras that are available to women today,) one of me wearing a bikini top under my tank top as a bra, (they actually put chicken cutlets into bikinis now too, )and one of me wearing a strapless bra (with an air filled chicken cutlet in it,) under my tube top (did ya really think I 'd post pictures of my actual boobs???? Ha ha!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Swimming eh?

So, Micheal Phelps is pretty much a fish eh? I know he isn't Canadian and I know that our Canadian swimmers can't seem to keep up to him, but I still have to admire him! He is good at what he does and when you watch someone do what they are really good at, it is inspiring! That being said, I have the upmost respect for anyone, anyone at all who swims and likes it! I HATE swimming. Yep, I used the caps lock on that one, I feel very strongly about my hatred for swimming. Contrary to what you might think, I have never had a near drowning experience nor have I had a shark encounter, still I hate swimming. Don't mistake my "feelings" for "inability". I can swim, I just don't like to. I took swimming lessons as a kid (think I failed "Red," like three times,) and I did learn to swim, but Inever liked it. I am not entirely sure why I hate it so much, but part of it has to do with the fact that swimming involves....the swim suit! Ahhhh! Even as a kid I hated swim suits. I remember wearing a T-shirt over my suit as a teen ager, in hopes of hiding my flat chest, then later, as my chest grew, I started wearing shorts with my bikini top with hopes of hiding my thighs. At some point, I traded the t-shirts and shorts and all plans of actually getting into the water, for a bikini top, jeans and the beach, not the water, just the sand! I love going to the beach...and staying there. I will lay with the towels and baskets all day, I never have any desire at all to get into the water. I also really hate getting my face wet. I am not the person who stands in the shower facing the water, letting it wash over my head. I stand with my back to the stream and avoid face wetting at all costs. You know the romantic image of standing naked in a water fall with your lover on a tropical island? Doesn't appeal to me. I know that the water would be running in my eyes and getting up nose. Even showering together doesn't get me excited at all, water on my face would surely be unavoidable. I'd be so busy worrying about keeping the water out of my eyes that I wouldn't be able to enjoy it at all!

A couple of years ago, I thought it would be cool to train for a triathlon, you know, the race where you swim, bike and run. I knew I could run, I figured biking wouldn't be too bad and I was hoping I could master the swimming thing. A girlfriend of mine, took me under her wing. She went with me to the bay to buy a full piece bathing suit, something I hadn't worn since elementary school, she leant me a swim cap and her expertise.
We walked into the changeroom at the Sylvan Lake pool where I put on my new one piece suit. Ah, the one piece suit, who looks good in that? NOT ME that's what I know, talk about unflattering!!! The swim cap, who looks good in that? NOT ME! You have to wet it before putting it on, I learned that in a hurry, it hurts if you don't! I topped the outfit off with some goggles and I hit the pool. Since completing swimming lessons, I have not attempted to really swim. I have been in pools, I have done handstands, had "tea party's" under water and treaded water a lot, but I have not actually tried to swim a front crawl. My girlfriend did her best to teach me about breathing and proper stroke technique and I made a big effort to be a good student. I tried, I really did, but swimming was hard! I thought I was in good shape, but I could barely swim one length without being completely exhausted! Not just normal, tired, I mean uncomfortably out of breath. I stuck with it for a few "lessons," but honestly, in the end, I decided life was just way too short to spend so much time making myself do something I hated that much.
I no longer aspire to do a triathlon, I will leave that to people who like getting thier faces wet and wearing one piece suits. Instead, I will sit on my couch and cheer the swimmers, like Micheal Phelps, on from my living room!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

As far back as I can remember, I have stirred my ice cream. I never once thought it was abnormal or rude, I just figured that's how you eat ice cream when it is served in a bowl. Growing up we would quite often have ice cream for dessert, that's right dessert! Remember dessert? Think back, way back before the words "calories" and "fat" took over your life, and think about dessert. We used to have it everyday, after supper. Sometimes, it was pie, sometimes it was cake, but most of the time it was ice cream. Dad preferred vanilla ice cream, so that is what we would have. I remember mom would scoop two and a half scoops into each bowl, two and a half scoops everytime. In the Summer we would top our ice cream with strawberries or rasberries from the garden and in the Winter, we'd top our ice cream with chocolate sauce or sometimes jam. No matter what we topped our ice cream with though, we'd always stir it up. We wouldn't think of taking a bite until all the berries or sauce or jam were mixed into the ice cream so well that you couldnt' tell that it was once vanilla. We loved this creamy soup and we ate it this way every time! Sometimes we didn't even use spoons to stir our ice cream, sometimes we would use popsicle sticks to stir it and then, we'd smear it on our teeth and call it toothpaste. I have no idea why we did this, my 32 year old mind cannot remember, but back when I was 8, Aim was 7 and Nic was 6, this was the way we ate ice cream, as if it were toothpaste! I share this memory fondly with Marty as I watch him eat his "skinny cow" ice cream (yes, calories and fat have taken over my ability to eat dessert and therefore Marty's,) and strawberries...without stirring it! I had already stirred, and eaten mine and I couldn't help watch with irritation as he spooned hard hunks of ice cream into his mouth, it just didn't seem right. I found myself fighting this uncontrollable urge to grab his spoon and start stirring!! The feeling was very strong, and Marty must have been able to feel my eyes staring into his ice cream, because he covered his spoon with his free hand and backed away from me. I guess I have mostly seen him eat ice cream cones, and those are hard to stir, so I never realized how weird it is to eat ice cream in a bowl with someone who does not share my stirring technique! I couldn't get Marty to stir up his strawberries and I can't fathom eating my "skinny cow" without stirring the hell out of it. Funny!
We are home from Denver. We got in last night after a 2 hour flight. Our seats on the plane were at the back so we boarded 30 minutes before scheduled take off! For a person with my hyper characteristics this was not ideal. Not only am Ione of those people who needs to go for a long walk or run before sitting for a long time, I am also the kind of person who has to make sure I pee right before committing to a difficult to "get out of" situation, like the middle seat on an airplane. I did walk around the airport and I did pee before boarding the plane, however, I was belted into my squishy seat 1/2 an hour before departure!!!! I was already uncomfortable just thinking about how awkward it would be if I had to pee before we even took off, are you even allowed to use the latrine while the plane is on the ground? I mean the seatbelt sign is lit up....
I had bought two gossip type magazines in the airport and a sandwhich. I was eager for the plane to get in the air as I wanted to read and eat and I was determined to make myself wait until we were flying before diving into the magazines and the food. This is part of my strategies for making myself sit, if I have stuff to read and snack on, I don't get fidgety as soon as I would if I had NOTHING to do! It seemed like we were sitting on the runway forever with no sign of moving as other passengers continued to file onto the plane. I had already learned that the lady next to me was from Wisconsin and she was flying into Calgary for her daughter's wedding which will be in Banff on Saturday. I learned that she was worried someone would put thier bag on top of hers in the overhead compartment, as she had a wedding veil packed in her bag and didn't want it squished. I had already stood on Marty's knees (he always gets the aisle seat 'cause his legs are longer,) to check the status of the wedding veil bag when I had run out of thing to entertain myself. Then, out of desperation, I checked my "seat pocket" and found...."The Air mall," great, in order to save my juicy gossip reading for the flight I was going to kill time by flipping through the "Air Mall" magazine. Actually this turned out to be pretty entertaining. You should see some of the stuff they try to sell in that thing. I saw a sort of litter box for dogs. It was a tray with fake turf on it to trick your dog into thinking he was peeing ont he lawn. It claimed it could hold several litres of liquid and that it was simple and easy to empty, ewww! There was a "port hole," a glass bubble window, you could attach to your board fence so that your dog could see through to the other side. Are you kidding me? Oh and I can't forget the steps that could be turned into a ramp in order to help older and arthritic dogs climb up into YOUR bed, or onto your couch. What? This "Air Mall" catalogue was proving to be quite amusing, and dare I admit that some of the "inventions" seemed almost tempting, like the telescopic table you could fit into your laptop carrier. This table folds up small enough to fit in your computer bag, but the legs can be stretched out full size so that you can work comfortably on your lap top anywhere, without balancing your computer on your knees, like I am currently doing, so that I can write while sitting in a lawn chair in the sunshine. Still it was 6:08pm and we still hadn't taken off, our original departure time was 5:57pm so I was starting to get anxious and that is when I became "that guy." You know the guy, the guy whom you are sure is trying to read your magazie or book from his own seat. The guy whose eyes you can feel on your page, but when you try to use your peripheral vision to catch him, he diverts his attention? Well, I became that guy. The lady next to me, the one from Wisconsin was reading a book. The book had big print and I could read the title of it across the page that was closest to me, it appeared to be called "Finding Your Inner Fish." Ok, that was interesting, in a wierd enough way, that it peaked my interest. I kept trying to figure out what the hell this book could be about. I glanced down at her page every few minutes and I noticed that one of the chapters was called "fish fingers and wrists." Strange! I knew she could tell I was looking at her book by the way she was glaring at me with her peripherals and by the way she kept turning towards me really fast. I was kind of hoping she would engage me in a conversation about the events in her life that turned her towards a book teaching her to find her "inner fish," but she never did. Eventually our plane started rolling down the runway, she closed her fish book and I dug out my "OK" magazine. The next two hours involved only 2 trips across Marty's knees to the bathroom and the successful cover to cover exploration of Hollywood's finest gossip!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The high voice

You know that voice, the one you can't help but use when you see a baby or a cute puppy? You know the one I mean, the high, shreeky one, the one that equals the pitch of nails scraping down a black board? We all have a version of that voice, one we'll pull out when we are super excited, surprised or talking to an infant or pet. I have learned this weekend, during my visit to Colorado, that the high voice has a consequence.
Marty and I have been visiting my sister, Aimee, her boyfriend Shane, and their adorable dog, Jasper in Golden, Colorado since Thursday. We have had a fantastic time biking, hiking, making and eating chille, drinking wine and visiting. It was here on their deck, at the back of their house on Zang street, where I learned about the effects of the high voice. Marty and I followed Aimee through her kitchen for the first time when we landed eyes on Jasper for the first time! He could see us from the backyard, through the patio doors and he looked excited! He was jumping up and down in one spot, dying for us to open the doors and show him some love! I had been waiting a long time to meet Jasper so as soon as Aimee opened the doors I ran outside calling out to Jasper in the high voice...which caused him to immediately start peeing! I was so happy to be meeting him that I didn't even noctice! Before long, Marty joined in, there we were, both of us cooing in the high voice to Jasper while he ran in circles peeing everywhere! Marty,Jasper and I finally calmed down and Aimee explained that the "high voice" was to blame for the peeing! "There is something about the "high voice" and the excitment it represents that makes Jasper loose complete control of his bladdar!" I thought this was pretty funny and I would purposely use the high voice whenever I spoke to Jasper, just to watch the waterworks and the people standing close by jump out of the way of the little sprinkler!
Jasper was a lot of fun all weekend, and not just because he has his own automatic water gun, but because he is sooo cute, he has one ear that doesnt' quite stand up on it's own, sooo active, he goes everywhere with Aim and Shane and because he is so well behaved, he sits, stays and fetches like a pro! We spent many hours laughing and playing with Jasper! Monday, we head home and I will miss him....and his owners!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I just finished packing all of the clothes I will need for 5 days in Colorado, plus 2 pairs of shoes in ONE BACKPACK!!! That's right, ONE BACKPACK!!! See my sister, the one I am going to visit, is the kind of girl who could go away for two weeks and pack everything in one backpack easily. She'd pack one pair of jeans, a couple of tank tops, a hoodie, a pair of shorts and a couple pairs of undies, some socks, a hair brush and maybe some mascara and be set. Not me! I can't help but think of all the plethora of activities we MIGHT do and the kinds of weather we MIGHT have and then pack a couple of options for each scenario. For example, I know that we will be going for a bike ride so I packed my running shoes, a pair of spandex shorts, a sports bra and some socks...but then, I threw in some Lulu Lemon capri pants incase I am feeling too self conscious for spandex shorts, or incase it is rainy and I packed a tank top incase I am feeling bloated and a long sleeved shirt in case it is chilly. See how things add up? Suddenly a simple outfit has doubled in size. I also know we are going to be attending a chili cook off. For this event I packed my camo capri pants, a black tank top and my cute puma sneakers....but I also packed some jeans, in case it cools off a night, a pink tank top, in case i am in the mood for something more colorful and a brown tube top in case it is hot and I will be getting sun, the tube top allows for "tan line free" sun exposure. My sister will have to work part of the time that we are there and I am looking forward to the "down time" so that I can just lay in the HOT Colorado sunshine. Ofcorse laying in the sun requires a bikini, and I managed to keep it at one...pair of bottoms, and two tops....Anyway, while this might seem excessive, the important thing to note, is that I got all of this in ONE BACK PACK, not a suitcase or a hockey bag, but a BACK PACK!!!

I guess it is only fair to admit that because of this amazing feat, I did have to increase the size of my "carry-on bag." My carry-on tomorrow will have to hold my laptop computer, my camera, my snacks, oh and my toilettries! Well that was plan A, but Marty has informed me that carrying on make up, hair spray and lotion is a bad idea, they'll make me empty my bag for sure at Security and they might even make me throw stuff out! Oh my God, can you imagine if they made me throw out my hairspray and lotion??? I'd spend 5 days in Colorado with bad hair and dry skin, yuck! Now, the problem is that there is NO WAY I can squeeze even something as skinny as a bottle of hairspray, into that backpack, so I am faced with a dilemma. As I write this, Marty sits watching Seinfeld reruns. I am glad for his procrastination, though it is 10:55pm and we need to leave for the airport at 4:30am, as I need to figure out how I can bargain with him, so that he'll pack my toilettries in his "checked bag." Maybe if I offer to carry-on his shoes and a couple of T-shirts???

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Isn't it Ironic?

Ironic: coincidental; unexpected, that is how I would describe the last two "horse wrecks" I have been a part of. The first ironic situation happened way back in 2001 or 2002 when I was living on my acreage in Hespero. I had a friend over and we were going to go riding. She was an avid rider so I let her saddle up my big rope horse, Ed and I saddled up good old Dirt Face. We led the horses away from the barn to the driveway where we mounted up. Now Ed was a big horse, a powerful rope horse and I loved him, but it can't be denied that he had, well, he had personality and lots of it. He would occasionally throw tempertantrums and be difficult, but most of the time, he was just a big, fast, adorable horse. That day though, Ed was in a foul mood and he refused to go when he was asked to. My friend sat on his back, kicking and yelling and slapping him with the reins, but he refused to budge! My friend looked to me with frustration and a little hesitation, she said "Jeanne, I'm afraid he's just gonna "blow!"" He looked like he could explode at any minute, so I switched horses with her, thinking that if anyone was going to get bucked off of my horse, it better be me. So, I stuck my sneaker into the stirrup, pulled myself into the saddle, removed the bunched up shorts from my butt, adjusted my tube top and said, outloud "Oooo, look at me, the epidomy of safety, riding in shorts and sneakers!" It was just as I got the last word out of my mouth that Ed began moving backwards as fast as he could go. This was a surprise to me as I thought I had been sending him the signals to move forward, you know the ones where you loosen the reins, squeeze your legs and give a little kiss? Apparently that day, Ed read the signals as "back up at mock speed." Eventually he tripped and fell sideways on the gravel, my leg pinned underneath him. He didn't lay there long, he got up like a shot with me still clinging to the saddle horn, and proceded to fall down again, this time before getting up, he slid around a little being sure to get all the gravel possible caked into the side of my leg! This time I worked my foot loose from the stirrup and when Ed got up and ran across the yard, I stayed sitting on the driveway staring at my bloody leg, ewwwwwwww! I walked away from that accident with a nasty gravel burn I guess I deserved it for being dumb enough to ride in shorts!
Today, I had another one of those "ironic horse wrecks." It was a hot afternoon, but I was smart enough to wear jeans and boots with my tube top as I headed down Dirt and mine's favorite trail. We were just sauntering along when the cell phone in my saddle bag started ringing. It was my sister and when I mentioned that I was riding, she offered to call me back later. I smiled and replied with, " nah, that's ok, Dirt's not that crazy, I can ride and talk." And ride and talk I did for 15 minutes. Our conversation ended and I put the phone back in the saddle bag. Dirt and I continued to the end of the treed trail and came out where we always do at the end of a dead end road. We rode past the immaculate acreages and a guy building a rail fence around his huge outdoor arena. The dead end comes out at a township road where you can go right or left. I usually ride to the right, the ditch there is mowed and it leads up to a beautiful stable where Dirt and I usually say hi to a pretty mare and foal. I have been left once before and it was crappy riding, the grass in the ditch is long and there is a lot of gravel sprayed in the grass which Dirt finds hard on his feet. Today I was feeling adventurous so we went left. Often I talk outloud to myself while riding, usually bragging to the birds about how lucky I am to have a horse like Dirt. Today's conversation was outloud like usual and I had barely gotten out these exact words, "I am so glad I am not afraid to ride Dirt by myself. I am not scared of him. He does get scared sometimes, but I know he won't do anything crazy," when all hell broke loose! Everything happened so fast, one minute we were plodding along and the next minute Dirt was loosing his mind, kicking and shying and bucking sideways all at once. I had no idea what had him sooo freaked out so I grabbed a rein and tried to turn him in a circle, and just when I thought i had him calmed down, he let out one last big kick or buck and I went flying off into the grass flat on my back. I could hear Dirt run away. I rolled over onto all fours, but the wind had been knocked out of me and I couldn't breath. I felt panicked, here I was, all alone, my versace sunglasses missing from my face, struggling to breath! I wanted to cry, but I couldn't breath, I just kneeled there trying to get my breath. I saw my glasses, unbroken laying in the grass, thank God! Marty had warned me several times about riding in those! I stood up, picked up the sun glasses and felt like I was going to pass out. I needed to let someone know where I was! Luckily I had brought my phone with me, unluckily it was in the saddle bags on the saddle on the horse, the one that I had heard running away. I looked around and saw Dirt standing only a few feet from me, his head was cocked, one rein still over his neck, looking just as confused as I was. I walked slowly over to him, got my phone out, called Marty and just cried. I think I was sooo scared and unsure about how my physical condition. He offered to come get me, but I decided just to sit down in the grass, calm down and try to ride back to the barn. I noticed Dirt had a couple of really good cuts on his legs and I remembered seeing a random, loose wire sticking out of the weeds when I grabbed my glasses. I figured Dirt must have stepped on the end of a hidden wire and when it flung up out of the weeds it must have wrapped around his legs, spooking him! I felt sooo bad for him, how could I blame him? His reaction wasn't stupid, he wasn't being irrational, he was sincerely scared! The ride back to the barn was a quiet one, I did not have one word to brag outloud!
I sit here tonight with a bag of frozen mixed veggies strapped to my back, thinking about tomorrow's trip to the tack store and the wound dressing and fly spray I need to pick up for my poor Dirt. The lesson here is: never stop riding, never stop paying attention and being alert, no matter how damn good your horse is! Horses are unpredictable, even the good ones!

Monday, August 4, 2008


Remember when you were a little kid and you played in the mud? Think way back, back before you knew rubber boots were uncool to wear to school! Back when rubber boots were actually synonomous, (hey, I dont' spell well on the best of days and I am on summer vacation, so I refuse a dictionary, if you can't figure out what I am trying to say, just sound it out, that's what I did,) with FUN!!! I remember spending hours playing at the creek in the horse pasture where we grew up. We'd slip on the rubber boots and head out in search of beaver dams! Dad had us on a mission to destroy them hand! We'd follow him in his hip waders to the "big crick," (my parents are american, they call it a crick, weird eh?) where we'd all grab sticks and stand at the edge poking at the beaver dam. Dad, he was right in the water as deep as his fancy hip waders would allow him to go, slinging mud like a pro. It wouldn't be long before one of us kids would take one step too close to the edge and our boot would fill with cold, dirty, leech infested crick water! We were not the kind of girls who got grossed out by this however, instead we considered this the "gateway to fun!" Once our boots were flooded, there was no point in trying to stay out of the water, we'd jump right in and start pulling that dam apart with our hands! Everyone has had a boot stuck sooo deep in the mud that when you took a step, your boot would stay in the slop and your foot, covered by once clean, white socks, would step down in the mud! Remember the process of trying to pry that boot out of the sinking mud? Makes me smile just thinking about those muddy faces and hands and the plastic Safeway bags mom would put in our boots the next day so that they would protect our least for a while! Kind of sad that somewhere along the line, those carefree mud loving days were replaced by stylish shoe wearing, hair protecting, pantleg rolling, mud avoiding days! Let me tell you how this long weekend, Nic, Marty and I were reminded about the almost forgotten mud loving days! We were invited out to McClean Creek (one of three, officially designated off-road sites in Canada,) for the weekend. Nic came down to Calgary where we loaded Marty's land cruiser and my jetta with as much camping stuff as they could possibly hold and headed out! Though we left the city with visions of getting the Land Cruiser dirty for the first time in a long time, we had no idea what was in store for us!!!!!

We got to the camp site, efficiently set up our tent, built a sandwhich and turned to the experienced "off-roaders" we were sharing camp with for further instructions. First we had to put on "rain gear." It wasn't raining, but even we knew that we would be creating some kind of storm! Everyone in camp pulled on rubber boots, yellow rain pants and coats, (except me, I had blue pants, no one told me that yellow rubber is way cuter...who knew??) By the way, everyone, I mean everyone, of every size, looks ADORABLE in rain gear!! We jumped in the cruiser, Marty and I in the front, Nic in the back and joined the other 3 cruisers in the "road train." We drove down twisty, bumpy dirt roads until we found "the mud." "The mud" it turns is basically a giant mud hole filled with water and ruts! The idea is to see if your vehicle can make it through the mud hole without getting stuck, but just like filling your boots with water, getting stuck, is the fun part! This is when you get to spin your wheels and kick up huge sprays of mud which cover not only your truck, but all passengers (hence the rain gear) and stander-bys! We soon learned that everyone gets stuck at one point or another and when you get stuck, there are always a bunch of people ready to hook up toe ropes and haul you out of the mud. It is a real "team sport" that way, which made it really fun! I usually associate "getting stuck" with lots of snow and cursing and being alone, stuck! This, "the mud" was way more fun!

We had a blast getting the cruiser dirty, watching Marty drive his machine like he was a professional! We learned a lot about the culture of those who live to "4-wheel," think beer bongs (mom, I will explain what that is, just call me,) chain smoking, beer drinking, loud laughing, great story telling, tight friendship, incredible vehicle knowledge, amazing mechanical skill and a bravery that is beyond anything I think I possess! These are the kind of people who would never leave anyone stranded no matter how wedged between two trees thier trucks were, the kind of people who would set up a "snatch block" (yep, I actually know what that is now,) to keep ya from rolling all the way over in the hole, the kind of people who will go miles back down a horrific trail ready to toe you all the way home and the kind of people who will build a gigantic fire and sit around it all night talking about how much fun they all had together that day! Thank you to all the 4 wheelers who took us under thier wings this weekend and showed us what a great, extreme sport 4X4ing can be!!! Enjoy the photos!