Thursday, December 24, 2009


It's Christmas tomorrow and Scout is off to the Farm to spend the holidays with Uncle Dirt. Marty and I are off to Vancouver to spend Christmas with his family (last year we got to spend it with mine and last year Aim and Shane got engaged on Christmas Day infront of us all! :) We'll be back here the 26th though, in order to pack for Mexico!!!!!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Yesterday, Maria and I went to the mall (only maniacs go to the mall after Dec.20th.) We went to the Mac Makeup store. I was determined to get a professional show me how to apply beach wedding appropriate make up. Maria was there to take notes, draw diagrams and commit to memory the process as a guarantee of recreation when the big day arrives (8 more days!!!!)

We got to the mall early, before it got too busy and were lucky enough to get to Mac just before it got super busy. We got seated at the mirrors right away and a happy, beautiful girl with the plumpest lips, I have ever seen began schooling us on the most effective way to create an "I just wake up this beautiful," natural look. She used brushes to paint a masterpiece on my face, stopping only to answer my questions and to let Maria's drawing catch up.

I left the store a few hundred, yep that's right a FEW hundred dollars poorer (turns out looking naturally beautiful aint cheap,) but happy and confident with my look. Maria had some more shopping to do. She ducked into change rooms in nearly every store we passed but I couldn't just sit on the stools provided for supportive friends waiting for fashion shows. No, I had to park myself in front of the full length mirrors. I couldn't stop staring at the paint job on my face. I pulled my hair back, I pulled it on top of my head, I pulled half of it up, I tucked some behind my ears, I put ear rings in, I took them out, I tried every variation of "Jeanne's face" I could manage right there, in the very public mirrors. A new face was as good as a new hair cut, one you love so much you can't stop playing with it. I was having a grand old time, fussing with my "look" until a well dressed, perfectly coiffed sales man's voice broke my trance, "you just color your hair or something? Looks good." Ahhhh, I was busted. He totally caught me checking myself out...embaressing!!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


There really is a Santa Clause!

Last weekend, he stopped by to take Scout for a walk!

Sure, Santa looked a lot like Marty, or Marty looked a lot like him, but I knew it wasn't Marty sitting on my couch, because he asked for a beer instead of Bacardi!

Ho! Ho!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


It is cold here, really, really cold! Too cold to be frolicking in the dog park, but our condo and our sanity can only be stuck inside with a 16 month old boxer cross puppy for so long, before we all GOTTA GET OUT!!!!!
Today, the cold snap, showed no signs of letting up, so we decided we had to suck it up! Marty and I dug out our warm gear, mine included sweat pants under a giant pair of fleece lined jeans, a long sleeved shirt, a hoodie, mitts and this awesome ski mask of Dad's that I had found in mom's basement. Marty wore his snow pants with nothing under them except his skivvies, is that even warm??? His winter coat, a ski mask and his tuque and mitts. Even Scout sported a hand me down jacket from Jasper.
We drove down to the dog park, knowing that if we walked down there as we normally do, we'd have been frozen by the time we got there. Scout hurdled herself out of the vehicle and bounced through the park looking for another semi frozen pup to play with. Amazingly there were a few other humans on the brink of loosing their minds who had brought their puppies out to burn off some energy. I gotta admit, it was us humans who got cold first and had to put an end to the play date. Freezing for those forty minutes was worth it though, as now i can type this without Scout shoving tug toys in my lap, for she is exhausted sleeping peacefully at my feet. Yay!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


In the staff room the other day, a bunch of us got to talking about decorating our homes for Christmas. Most of the ladies explained that their husband's jobs and interest, when it comes to decorating, stop at hauling boxes up from the basement. Some explained that they had 2 trees. A tree for the family, a gigantic one in the living room, decorated carefully and methodically with fancy white lights and special ornaments. Another, smaller Christmas tree would be set up in the rec room. This rec room tree is the one the kids were allowed to decorate. I sat quietly counting my blessings, for I grew up with a Mom who didn't feel the need to have two trees. A mom who proudly hung every ornament we ever made for her, on our family tree and still has most of them to this day! A mom who let us help decorate and never once worried about the tree looking Martha Stewart perfect! I also have a fiancee who may not admit to loving the decorating process, definately loves the egg nog and Bacardi that I insist we sip while decorating. One who loves his home made ornaments, the ones he created out of mini bottles of Bacardi and insists on hanging on the tiny tree he owned before I met him! One who hangs lights like Clark Grizzwald and one who burns Christmas CDs for me!
While I love the idea of the classy white lights, the perfectly decorated tree and a home decorated for the holidays with a common theme or color scheme, it's just not my style. I admire those homes for sure, it's just that I don't see the fun in all that "order" and thought. My decorating style is definately caotic and random. Our condo has been adorned with a mixture of country stars and balls, homemade stockings, white lights, colored lights, liquor bottles sporting red bows, red wooden beads, green garlands and snowmen with cowboy hats. Some might call it tacky, we call it festive the Wright Way!!! :)

Santa's little helper

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I have not thought much about pop tarts in my adult life, but today, it took a great deal of self talk to stop myself from snatching one out of the hands of a 4th grader! Just seeing that kid casually munching on his toasted strawberry snack, brought back several happy childhood memories.
Pop tarts were not just a sugary breakfast treat for us, pop tarts were an experience. We had a whole system, one we believed we invented, for eating and enjoying pop tarts. I shared this system with the grade 4's. They were not nearly as excited as I was about it. One girl did offer to bring me a "smore" pop tart tomorrow though. A smore pop tart? Ewww! The best part about the pop tart is the sweet jam and the icing on the top, who wants one that tastes like roasted marshmellows for breakfast???
We'd carefully tear the edges off all the way around the pop tart, this part was kind of like removing the crust off of a slice of bread.'/] Next we'd slide the bottom off the icing covered top. Sliding was essential, for if you were to get cocky and lift the bottom off, you'd only break it in a bunch of annoying pieces. Sliding the top off, all in one piece gave us the same satisfaction normal people get from removing the bottom of an oreo cookie all in one piece! We'd lick the jam off the top first before popping the entire icing covered pastry in our mouths, yummmm!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009


We are one month from our big day!!! Marty has survived his stag and I can happily report, after Saturday night, that I have survived mine! Maria and her Sister, Julia, were the best "stand in sisters" a girl could have. My own sisters are out of the country, and these two were the next best thing!!! :)I will let the pictures tell the story...

We started at Zia's wine bar, where we had a professional
wine tasting.
They thought ofeverything, including a hat to make sure the bride (me) could be identified

Party favors!!! Inside each box were my favs, jelly bellies, mini eggs and beads!!!

Maria, Andrea (my awesome D.D,) and me!
After the Wine Bar, we headed to my favorite dancing spot, Ranchmans!

Sour Puss, guarentees a good time!!
That's me and my mother in law to be!! She flew in from Kelowna to surprse me.....I was surprised!!
Group photo! Maria planned for all of us to wear black tops, jeans and beads, sooo fun! We all look alike, ooo, except me! I'm the one with the hat, he he!

Adorable hat!
The coozy says, "I'm the bride, that's why!"

Me, bride to be!!! I had so much fun! Thanks, Maria and Julia, for planning such a perfect party! Thanks, Andrea for coming from so far away to make sure I got around safely and thanks to all the ladies for dancing the night away with me!!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Marty randomly announced, the other day, that it was time he came up with his OWN chilli recipe. It was beginning to bother him, he admitted, that he is 31 years old and still does not have his own signature chilli. He immediately sat down, created a shopping list and left the house without me! What? Grocery shopping without me?? But I love grocery shopping. I guess his mision was secret, you know how guys are with their secret ingredients. Upon his return, he banished me to the livingroom, forbidding my entrance into the kitchen. I listened as beef sizzled on the stove and happily sat on the couch, far away from the caos that comes with creating a signature meal. I resisted the temptation to peek in the kitchen, but even without looking, I could tell their were going to be piles of dishes waiting for me to wash. Why do guys always have to use every single dish, knife and spoon in the kitchen when cooking? God forbid he should use the same knife to cut the mushrooms as he used to cut the onions. For sure he' be pulling the "I made supper, you do the dishes" card after this exhausting mission!

It seemed to take forever, before Marty finally called me into the kitchen. He offered me a bowl and a big spoon. I could tell, after my first close up sniff, that this chilli was going to, spicy, hot. I took a hearty bowl full, buttered some saltines (my favorite thing to eat chilli with) and waited for Marty to take the first ceremonious taste. He grinned a huge, proud, grin. "This is it, this is Marty's chilli," was written all over his face as he swallowed. I watched in awe as he downed the entire bowl in record time, sweat pouring down his face. Ofcorse the chilli was too hot. There was no way he could possibly be comfortably enjoying that spicy beef as much as he was trying to make me believe.

I ate a few bites, smiled politely, filled the bowl with crushed crackers and finished it, because I love him. And because I love him, I told him it was too hot and that his signature brand could NOT have celery in it. Who does that? Who puts celery in chilli? YUCK??? Okay, I guess lots of people do, but I don't like it. I also think it's weird that he put bacon and beer in his concoction (I know this because he was too proud to keep the ingredients secret,) but those actually added a unique flavor, the celery...not so much.

I started to make a quick skillet chilli for supper tonight when Marty waltzed into the kitchen, and totally hijacked my meal! He weaseled his way in by offering to stir the beef, while I made biscuits and before I knew it, he was chopping up celery and dumping Frank's Red Hot into the pan!!! I guess Marty is the official Chilli cook in our house now.

Wow, I just walked into the kitchen to set down my computer and go to bed. I walked in on Marty defrosting a chocolate bar in the microwave. Weird! So weird, I had to reopen this blog and share the weirdness...Marty is defrosting a Snickers in the microwave...I can only imagine the mess...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


23 years ago, I was 10. 23 years ago, I was in grade 5. 23 years ago, I got braces. For 3 and a half years, I had a metal mouth and because of that, every year since, I have had a beautiful, perfect (if I do say so myself) smile!

8 Years ago, I got my teeth cleaned for the first and only time in my adult life....until today.

Thanks to Dad's dental plan and both my parents' dedication to our oral health, our family visited the dentist like other families visit the mall. I had pulled teeth, dental surgeries, infections and orthodontics. I was a dentist's dream patient, one with never ending teeth trouble and responsible parents willing to schedule regular dental appointments. Once my parents stopped making appointments for me, I stopped going to the dentist. I hated the dentist, the whole experience of it.

For starters, I hated sitting, reclined or not, period. I hated the smells, the drilling, chiseling sounds, the evil hygenist, who without fail would scold me for not flossing, then proceed to jam floss as deep into the cracks between my teeth as she could. I hated the cutsey puppy and kitten posters, the ones with the annoyingly adorable quotes on them, strategically plastered to the ceiling above the chair. I hated the way the dentist, Dr. Manning, wow, I just remembered his name.....anyway, I hated how he would always undo the velcro straps on my shoes and criss cross them, his attempt at relaxing me and befriending me? Gimme a brake. I hated the stupid blue "bib" they would clip around my neck with a chain that looked like the one my the plug on my bathtub drain had. I hated biting down on the awkward plasticky things while a giant levers squeezed my head so a camera could rotate around me. I hated the sucking instrument, the one that never sucked until I had already drooled all over myself and I despised biting into the metal tray full of fluoride and sitting there, for what felt like forever breathing loudly through my mouth.

Today, I went to the dentist because Marty, one of those responsible types, who goes to the dentist even though his parents no longer schedule his appointments, wanted me too. He thought it would be nice if we BOTH had clean teeth for our upcoming wedding. He promised me it wouldn't be as bad as my childhood memories. He guarenteed that they would NOT pull any teeth and he said I didn't even have to get fluoride if I didn't want it. Because I love him, and because in my heart I know it is stupid NOT to go to the dentist, especially when I have a good benefits plan through my work, I went.

Filled with anxiety, i walked through the doors, into the dentist office. The ladies at the reception desk asked me how I was, I responded with a squeaky little, "nervous." Immediately they softened their voices and kindly aked me to fill out some paper work. The other patient waiting in the room, offered me sympathy and a pep talk. I looked at the questions on the clip board:
How do you feel about going the dentist? SCARED!
Have you ever been asked to take medication before going to the dentist? NO, BUT MAYBE I SHOULD BE TAKING SOMETHING!!!!!!
When was the last time you were at the dentist? 2001 OR 2002?! I went too much as a kid.....

Finally, I was called to the chair. Juanita, was my hygenist. She read the all caps on my chart, SCARED!!! She smiled a knowing smile and asked me the one thing that scared me the most. I said, Please don't scold me for not flossing. I confess, I don't floss, don't yell at me.....She laughed, but I wasnt' joking. She promised not to yell. From that minute on, I relaxed. I noticed things have changed in the dental world, since last I was there....and then some things were the same. I still had to sit for a LONG time and I still had to wear the stupid blue bib, but this time the bib was supplemented with a towel, better for soaking up drool, I suspected. The sounds were still disturbing, but they were all accompanied by an explanation, which made them less scary. The puppy posters were replaced with TVs!! What? I got to sit in the chair, wear headphones, hold a remote and watch whatever I wanted on TV?!!! Cool! No small talk, no hearing myself loud breath through my mouth? This was definately different. The awkward plastic things I had to bite on for my x-rays were smaller, less intrusive and the spinning camera didnt' require my head to be squeezed quite so hard. The hygenist asked me to raise my hand or grunt when I was uncomfortable and she'd leave that area alone for a while.
When the dentist came in to check things over, he didn't touch my shoes. He looked me in the eye, told me I still had NO cavities and to keep brushing!

I spent 2 hours in the dentist office today. I didn't get fluoride or even a polish. I gotta go back next week to finish my treatment as there is still too much scaling to do. I guess years of NOT having my teeth cleaned has left quite a mess. But I am going to go back. I am not scared anymore and fluoride will be optional :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009


The three of us riding Dixie bareback. Riding bareback on Willow. Yep, the one on the left is Nic riding with a kitten, but honestly, when I pulled it out of the book, I thought it was me....could have been, we all took our kitties for rides....

A couple of weekends ago, I went to Benalto to give a "Fun with Jeanne Horsemanship Clinic" to the level 1-3 Shadow Riders of the Benalto Shadow Riders 4-H club. Nothing makes me happier than sharing my love of horses with kids.

We grew up riding horses, mostly bareback, without saddles, without bridles, without dirt rings, but always with big smiles on our faces. We couldn't saddle by ourselves so mom, in an effort to save on laundry, sewed us "bareback pads." This way we could keep the seats of our jeans clean while playing with our pony. Willow was a star, she and mom, taught us how much fun horses can be. We used to think she was an "Indian" pony so we'd play our version of "Indian Princesses" with her. Dad had built us our very own TeePee and we'd gallop across the yard from the TeePee to the house and back hanging on to nothing but mane, and the reins, when we'd remember. Once in a while we'd manage to give each other a "leg up" onto one of the bigger horses and we'd chase each other around. We invented this game, that seems silly now, but was so fun back then. We'd stick a riding crop into our boots (back then we wore our jeans, quite fashionably tucked into our boots too,) then we'd chase each other around, trying to steal the crop out of someone else's boot. We used to ride underneath our old swing set, convincing our horse to stop under the swing set so we could grab the top bar, stand up on our horse, flip over the bar and land back, square in the middle of our horse's bareback pad. We'd spend hours and hours trying to vault onto our horses. We'd back up, get a running start and fly at the side of our pony. Sometimes we'd manage to get our elbows over her back and using all of our strength and a lot of childish flexibility we'd manage to pull ourselves up, but most of the time, we'd just wiggle and squirm and knee our incredibly patient pony in the guts. We attempted, for several years, to mount Willow, "Three Amigo" style, by jumping over her ass. We'd take a running start for that trick too. Never, not once in all my years of trying did I ever make it up over Willow's butt without the help of a bucket. And I tried for years!!! We had boyfriends who'd could jump clear over Shadow (my favorite black horse,) as long as we fed him enough oats that he'd keep his head down. He he!!
Recently, (by recently, I mean a couple of years ago,) I took Dirt Face to a mountain camp where mom and I played games with other riders that involved stealing eachother's bridles off horses, undoing each other's cinches and throwing each other's gloves on the ground making them retrieve them without getting off their horses. Sooo fun!!!
There have even been a few times when I've taken my horse into the ponds and rivers deep enough that they had to swim while we rode them!

These games, this fun, silly style, is what I love to bring to the kids. I love to show them how, if they are patient and trust their horse and if their horse trusts them, they can play with each other. I show them how to get their horses to play a version of soccer with them, I show them how to play Red Light, Green Light on horse back, how to play horsey leap frog, how, with trust and practice, they can hang right off the saddle, lean over and pick a gumball off of a pylon. I show them how to take a risk and ride without stirrups and eventually, how much fun it is to ride bareback. I encourage them to take off their saddles and to try to jump on. I stand back and watch as they giggle and laugh as they attempt various mounting styles and realize with surprise, how much fun they are having with their horses, on a simple, no pressure level!! These are not necessarily skills that will make them do better in the show ring, but they are skills that will give them a better relationship with their horses. It gives me so much pleasure to watch kids play with their horses, I love it!!!

Aim, Nic and I, eventually saddled our horses and we rode them in show rings where sometimes we'd win.....and sometimes we'd lose, either way, it was always fun and I know nomatter where my equine adventures take me, it always will be!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I love Halloween! I love the candy and I love the costumes! I love that no matter how much money you have doesn't matter when it comes to Halloween, what matters is imagination!  I teach in an Affluent area of the city and the costumes at our school's costume parade were amazing! Quite a few of them expensive, store bought ones, but there were also some fantastic homemade ones and those were the ones I appreciated.  I knew that someone's Mom and Dad had put their heads together to come up with a creative, unique costume.  I could relate. Our family spent the week or so before Halloween staring at garbage bags, trying to imagine the costume possibilities they held.  I am not sure why Dad's material of choice for costume creating were garbage bags, but they were.  We never questioned his methods either, for we knew, with a few adjustments those garbage bags would become a costume we'd wear on a quest for Candy!

Who knew garbage bags held so many possibilities??? 

I will admit that now that I am older, I purchase my costumes.  While, I cannot bring myself to buy pre-made costumes, I still love the process of imagining and creating a costume, I do go to the thrift shop to buy the componants for my costumes.  
Nic and Troy have always had a big Halloween party at their house, one where costumes are mandatory and themes help direct the creative process.  With them out of the country, this year was the first time in a long time that I did not have Halloween plans.  I dressed up as a black cat for school (that's what I love about being a teacher, even if I have no "adult" plans, I still get to celebrate fun days like this,) but I couldn't imagine not dressing up on the 31st.  In the end, we went to a friend's house to watch the hockey game. Ofcorse since we were leaving our house, we considered it a party and decided to dress up.  I'll admit, I recycled one of my costumes from a previous Farn Halloween Party, the theme had been disco (70's).  Marty has had the same mullet wig for years.  He put together an 80's rocker outfit for our Hocky Game watching night.


There was no way we could leave Scout at home for Halloween, why should she miss all the fun? She, as yu can imagine, loved her bikini, "Beach Babe" costume.  Ha ha!!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009



I don't have gel nails, or press on nails or any other fancy nails (though I might get some for my wedding,) but when I break a nail it inevitably leads me to the top of a slippery slippery slope. Breaking the nail happens first, next comes the ripping of jagged nail from finger, followed by filing of rough edges with teeth. The final result is always acceptable to me, but definately sub par to those forced to hold my hand or feel my scratchy fingertips on their skin.  
Apparently, I am not the only one who tries to rectify digit deficiencies with her teeth.  Scout also used her teeth to attempt a self manicure and hers turned out about as successful as mine do.  Actually, Scout did more damage to her nails than good.  We ended up having to take her to see the vet, who cleaned the ugly nail mess, who wrapped Scout's paw in a bandage and sent her home with instructions to keep the bandage dry, to keep Scout quiet and in the house and to keep Scout from walking too far for the next 5 days!  I put a plastic bag on Scout's bandaged paw and let her outside for 1 begins "nail rehab."
Looking at Scout with the plastic bag tied over her bandaged paw brought back memories of a time when I too used plastic grocery bags to keep my feet dry.  
My sisters and I used to spend hours playing in the creeks in our pasture. We each had a pair of yellow rubber boots, ONE pair of rubber boots.  It's funny, how when your a kid, you will slosh around in wet, overflowed boots for hours not wanting to stop the fun found in the creek.  Everynight, we'd turn our boots over the vents knowing that there was no way they'd be dry by morning when we'd want to head back out to the creek.  Mom's solution to wet rubber boots, was to have us stick our feet into dry, plastic shopping bags before shoving them back into our rubbers....genius!
To Marty's horror, I also busted out the old "feet in plastic bags before in boots" trick last spring when I  got a hole in my dog walking boots.  Apparently, Marty didn't understand the fact that I didn't need new boots when, for only one more month of puddles, a plastic shopping bag could keep my socks dry.  
One of these days, Marty will join us girls and wrap his digit with plastic before putting it in rubbers...he he!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


 Ever since I can remember I have had hamburgers and french fries, apple pie and ice cream for dinner on October 25th.  It's Dad's birthday dinner and though Dad, bless his soul, has been gone for 10 years, we continue the tradition, in his memory! 
Every year for Dad's birthday we'd eat, Dad's homemade burgers and homemade fries followed by Mom's homemade apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream. Delicious!  After Dad passed away, the four of us swore we would remember Dad on his birthday by eating his favorite birthday meal.  No matter where in the world we were or who we were with we've all remembered Dad as we gobbled greasy burgers.
I have enjoyed burgers and fries on October 25th, by myself and with good friends. I have enjoyed restaurant burgers, fast food burgers and homemade burgers. I have smeared ketchup on skinny fries, sweet potatoe fries, homemade crinkle cut fries and New York fries. I have enjoyed every mouthful, but not one single bite has compared to the ones I shared sitting across the table from my Dad!
Miss ya Dad!
Love ya Dad!!!
Happy Birthday!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I woke up this morning to heavy snow falling.  I looked out the window and added some mits and another hoodie to my backpack before heading out the door. I was heading to my friend, Christina's house.  We had planned to drive to Strathmore (an hour east of Calgary) to a farm where Christina rides Paint horses for a super nice couple.  Christina had convinced the couple to let us take their truck, trailer and horses to Kananaskis Country! Finally, we were going riding in the mountains!!! 
I drove to Christina's in the unseasonable snow storm and knew without a doubt that we'd still be going, nomatter what Mother Nature thought.  Christina, like me, is always up for an adventure, especially if horses are involved.
The forecast was for clear skies by afternoon and we had faith that clear skies are what we'd find.  We loaded the two paint horses into the trailer in the rain and wind and headed west, praying for sunshine!  
2 hours after leaving the farm, we pulled into the parking lot in Kananaskis and unloaded the horses under clear skies! The wind howled, but from the shelter of the beautiful trees, we couldn't even tell.  This was the paint's first "field trip" and we were so proud of them.  They did spook at one super scary rock, but they didn't bolt when a crazed deer came running full tilt for us. They didn't flinch when the crazed deer jumped into the river putting on a show, swimming and splashing around.  They carried us up muddy slopes and back down again and 2 hours later, those Paints, hopped willingly into the trailer again and settled in for the long ride back to their farm.  
Our adventure started at 8:30 this morning with pancakes and ended at 9:30pm with Bacardis. I go to sleep now, tired and happy after a full day of adventure!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Today, randomly, I found a couple of things cute, that normally wouldn't be.
Number one: someone vandalized a table in my classroom. They wrote, in pencil all over it. Cute? Not normally, but the fact that they wrote french words made the crime less offensive in my eyes....
Number two: I was walking by the grade one bathroom today and I heard a very young boy's voice saying: I don't know who did it, but when I find out they are gonna get an ass whoopin'!  Swearing? At school? Not cute, normally, but somehow, coming from a 6 year old, spoken with conviction, it passed as adorable.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Took Scout to the dog park today. She is adorable! Much more adorable here, running free, than she was at home where she chewed the end off the cord of the fan and spread bits of wire and plastic all over the livingroom!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


This morning I woke up at 6am, pulled on my long johns, my track pants, my turtle neck, my hoodie, my winter coat, my neck warmer, my tuque and my mittens.  I grabbed Scout's leash, snapped it onto her collar and headed out into an October Winter Wonderland.  It had snowed all night and it was still snowing, but a lotta snow wasn't gonna stop Scout and I from getting in a morning walk.  We traipesd through snowbanks that had formed where walking paths used to be and skidded across icy streets.  We were just about back home when I noticed the string of cars spinning out, trying to climb the hill leading from our street to the "main drag."  Some of the vehicles were sliding backwards, while the drivers steered madly, trying to avoid collisions.  It is scenes like these that make me acutely aware of the fact that I am a commuter and though I swear up and down, I will NOT let traffic rule my life, it, infact, does!!!

I threw some food at Scout, tossed my work clothes, my make up and my curling iron into a sac and jumped into my jetta.  Armed with seat heaters and working windshield wipers, I headed into battle!  My wheels spun slightly as I shifted into a lower gear praying the light at the top of the hill would still be green when I got there.  Taking my chances at blasting through a yellow light would almost be better than stopping halfway up the hill and trying to get started again when the light changed back.  My car crawled up the next hill behind a long row of red tail lights.  Between the seat heater, my long johns and my stress level, my ass was beginning to sweat and I congratulated myself on having the good forethought to have packed vanilla scented lotion in the sac that held the clothes I planned to change into once making it to work. I strategically weaved through traffic avoiding cars sliding sideways and backwards, avoiding vehicles traveling too slow and holding my own while being passed by those traveling too fast. 

I made it to school safe and sound, but it took my double my drive time! I snuck into the staff bathroom where I put on my face, smoothed the wrinkles out of my slacks and tried to do something with my greasy, tuque flattened hair.  I sighed as I headed to my classroom.  If bad hair was the only price I had to pay for being a commuter today, then I gladly accept the bill, I know there were several out there who paid a much higher price!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


According to the calendar it is not Winter yet, it is still Fall but somebody forgot to tell Mother Nature.

The deck furniture looked chilly at 9pm, Tuesday, Oct.13th, the middle of FALL!!!!!!

I am not done with flip flops and barefeet.  My closet still houses capri pants and tank tops. My bike is still handy at the back of the garage, ready for fall riding.  My windshield scraper and car brush are still burried under the summer things in my car, my running shoes, my ball hat, my riding clothes.  My winter mitts and tuque are still on the high shelf in the closet, not yet ready to switch places with the light weight mini mitts and vests with hoods. I am still ordering ice caps at the drive through, not hot chocolate.  Can it really be time to switch it up? Already?? 

Monday, October 12, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving!!!!
I am thankful, ofcorse I am
for so much more than the Thanksgiving ham.
I'm really thankful that I don't need to put into rhyme
how greatful I am all of the time.
All I'm gonna do is post a photo or two,
of the things that top my list.
People and things not pictured, were not missed
I thought of them all but I cant figure out how to post
photos of all of the things I love the most
seems blogger and I can't see eye to eye
on picturing posting, no matter how I try.
So I will end by saying I am truly thankful for so much as you can tell
but this old computer and blogger, can go to hell!!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009


The good news is, Marty came home after being gone on a business/pleasure trip for 8 days. The good news is, I got to go pick him up from the airport.  The good news is, I got to drive the van, so we'd have room for all his luggage when he landed.  The good news is, I got a really great parking spot, close to the "arrivals" door.  The BAD news is, the parking spot was in a covered lot that wasn't quite tall enough for the van and the tule box (snowboard box) on top!!!! OUCH!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


As the "Options" Teacher, I feel lucky.  I get to teach over half of the kids in the school, allowing me the opportunity to build positive relationships with a lot of great kids.  I also get to work with students of all ages, ranging from 6 to 14 years old.  Working with such a range of ages can be challenging, exciting and comical. 

Last week, for example, I saw the comedy.  I teach grade One, one period a week. I am supposed to do a DPA (Daily Physical Activity) class.  Since the weather was great most of September, I have been taking the little cuties outside to play.  On our way to the playground last Thursday, I caught two boys peeing on a bush!!! What could I do? I laughed! Then I told them to pull up their pants!  "What?" They asked, "we had to pee real bad!!!"  I love the innocence of stuff like that!  So carefree, so NOT self concsious! 
The next day, I had grade 7's working on a project.  I took a few minutes to just sit on my stool at the front of the room and observe the kids. I zeroed in on two BOYS talking very quietly but very intently.  I could see that one boy was looking at the other boy's eyebrows.  Finally he asked, "Do you shave your eyebrows?" "Yeah, I get a big mono brow if I don't" "Well, you need to shave them again, hairs are growing back!"  
What? Boys worrying about eyebrow grooming????    How did they go from peeing on bushes to manicuring their faces????

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Andrea and I ran Melissa's 10km Saturday, fighting migraines and bowel discomfort, but we survived and we will both run again.  There is a man who won't!  


A lady I know from work, also ran Melissa's 10km with a group of her friends.  They all started across the finish line together, on time, but eventually got spread out, making sure every one of them had a running buddy.  My girlfriend and her "buddy" crossed the line at the time they thought they would and waited for their friends. They all straggled in, except for one pair of men. 

Those who had finished running, grabbed well deserved snacks, stretched and waited near the finish with the wife of one of the runners left on course.  Within 10 minutes of the girls finishing, the men approached the chutes that led to the finish line.  There were crowds of runners, all finishing at the same time and the two men got separated.  One went through the chute to the right and the other went left.  Only one man emerged from the finish area.  He was greeted by his friends, but everyone was waiting for the big celebration until their last friend made it through the crowd. 


They waited and waited, his pregnant wife, holding the hands of their two excited pre schoolers, waiting to be swept up in daddy's sweaty arms.  But Daddy never came through the cutes!  After a couple of hours and lots of anxiety the wife found a police man. She explained that her husband had run Melissa's and now he was no where to be found.  The police mentioned that one runner had been taken to the hospital but he was un identified.  Her heart sank.  See, her husband was wearing her race bib, he would be impossible to identify!

 Melissa's is a race you have to enter for in February.  In February, the wife didn't know she was expecting a third child.  Her husband, a fit man, had decided he'd run in her place. He'd just use her bib number, how fun!  

You can imagine the confusion at the finish line with race officials trying to track down the actual identity of this runner, when they realized his face didn't match the female name on his bib!  To make matters more confusing another of the friends had actually registered the whole group using his address and phone number. The hospital could not reach the wife!


He had collapsed at the finish line but because of the crowd, his passing went unnoticed by the crowd, including his own friends.  Race officials had tried to recessate him, however, he was gone.  He was transported to hospital.


The wife, surrounded by her friends went to the hospital in Banff, after talking to the police man, where they were met in the lobby by a doctor, holding her husbands shirt!

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death. 
- Leonardo da Vinci

Saturday, September 26, 2009


My girlfriend, Andrea, and I left my house this morning dressed to run the infamous Melissa's 10km run in Banff. We had Scout on the back seat of her jetta, ready to drop off for a play date, we had our timing chips fastened to our shoes, our numbers pinned to our Lululemon tops and our hearts filled with anticipation of the fun, beautiful day that waited for us in the majestic rocky mountains. Andrea had been training religiously and was ready to tackle this run with the single goal of beating her previous time of 1 hour and 14 minutes, a time she had run the same race in, after finishing chemo treatments three years ago. Today, she was stronger, a survivor, ready to race! I was uncharacteristically nervous. My recent bowel troubles have side lined my training, but it wasn't lack of training that made me nervous about today, I know I can run 10km, no prob. The idea that my stomache could retaliate and cause me to have uncontrollable gas, which could turn into liquid in my pants(ew), is what made me nervous!!!
We had carefully planned to leave my house by 8:45am, which should have given us plenty of time to arrive at the 10:30am start of the race with time to spare, and we did. What we had forgotten to factor into our perfect plan, was the time it would take to drop Scout off at her play date. By the time we left Andrea's brother's house it was 9:15am and we still had an hour to drive. Ok, we'd be cutting it close, but we, techinically could still make it. Things were still looking good....then we got stuck behind the BMW. It was a black car and looking back, I see that following the obnoxious driver of that car was the start of our real "adventure." He was the kind of driver who controlled the road. He wouldn't let you pass him, he'd slow down and speed up like a maniac and when we finally managed to squeak past him, he waved a creepy wave that sent chills down our spines. Now, we were both rattled, but we chose to focuse on getting to Banff, to the race start! We hit the town of Banff at 10:22am, still feasable to make it to the start. All we had to do was find a parking spot, not an easy feat in the little touristy mountain town. After driving to the top level of a parking stadium and back down again without finding a vacant spot, we had lost all kinds of time. The clock in the jetta now read 10:30. We pulled illegally to the side of a street and parked beside a yellow curb. We raced out of the car towards the start line, at least a km away. This was not the ideal way to start a race, but we knew, from previouse experience, that it would take the runners at 
least 10mins to get through the starting chute, so we could concievably make it. Ofcorse we had to stop at the washroom on the way to the start line, hey no one can start a run with a full bladdar, and Andrea noticed her timing chip had fallen off her shoe! We had no time to go back for it, we'd have to use mine as our official time. We ran from the washroom to the start line with my wrist watch reading 10:45am. We passed the runners as they made their way across the bridge, our anxiety levels raised, but there was nothing we could do, we had to get to the start. This was clearly not going to be an ideal "start," but we'd make it before they took down the start gate. By the time we made it to the official start crossed over the timing chip pad, and started the race, we were last!!! We had already run an extra kilometer and we were last!!! We were so far behind the others that we couldn't even see the pack at all. Andrea and I had to rely on the race volunteers in their bright orange vests to guide us on course. We got to the bridge, the same one we had passed the runners on, however the race volunteer at the bottom of the bridge, instructed us to run under the bridge. Against our own judgement and despite our confusion, we followed the direction his finger pointed, and we ran under the bridge. It wasn't until we hit the sign that said 1 mile, that we learned our adventure was going to continue for a lot longer than we had anticipated. "Yay," I said to Andrea, "only 5 more miles to go!" The lady holding the sign heard me, smiled and said, "you mean 12 more miles." I assured her that I definately meant 5 more miles!!! She gave us a confused look as we jogged by, and when my eyes met hers, I figured it out, we were on the 22km race course, NOT the 10km. We were now running in a half marathon!!!! Ahhhhh! This was not what Andrea had been training for, this was not what I had promised my bowels they had to behave for, this was not plan A!!!! Andrea handled all of this stress very well, afterall she was there to run a Personal Best and so far, nothing that had happened was helping her reach her goal. We decided we'd run to the 10km mark, check our time and see how we felt. We could stop after 10km, like we had planned, or we could keep going and see how far we could go. I have run lots of races, including more than one half marathon, so I wasn't worried that my legs and lungs could handle the run, I just wanted Andrea to have an awesome race. I know what it is like to chase a personal best and by now I would have been mentally destroyed, but she kept a smile on her face and determination on her brow. We hit the 10km mark at a time Andrea was proud of, she had done it, she had beat her post chemo time, gotten the PB she had come for! The only thing missing was...the finish line!!! There was no music, no muffins, no cheering. The only thing there, to witness her stellar finish were trees and the cannon camera I had carried to capture the moment!! We had a mini celebration, but quickly realized, we were far from...anything. We did not have a choice at this point, we had to keep going! We walked for a while, we ran for a while and before we knew it, we had run 12km, 2km farther than Andrea had ever run before!! 12km was a big accomplishment, but we still couldn't drop out of the race, there was no where to go, we were in the middle of the rockies....we decided to run one more km and quit.

The 13km marker witnessed a mini celebration from us, but offered no opportunity to quit.

 Just after mile 13 we hit "smiley bridge" where the volunteer Crazy Larry greeted us with balloons and smiles, he encouraged us and we made it one more km where we finally saw TOWN!!! Andrea made the call, she could feel a migraine developing and didnt feel she could run any farther, who could with a migraine??? We staggered our way back towards the finish line where we indulged in the donuts, cookies and bananas, treats reserved for race finishers, which we considered ourselves, though we never actually crossed an official finish line at the end of our race!!

I tip my hat to Andrea for having such a positive attitude throughout this ordeal and for achieveing a personal best! Here's to next year and Plan A!!!

Check out Andrea's blog where she has posted her own "take" on our race adventure at