Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Scout with her new favorite toy, the turtle. There are squeaky eggs to hide inside the turtle. She will keep busy for at least 5 minutes trying to retrieve the eggs from the pocket that is the turtle's tummy. Thanks Andrea for the gift! :)

This is a picture of Scout after our walk. I never seem to remember to take the camera with me on our walks!

I took Scout down to the dog park this afternoon because I got home from work while it was still daylight. Our "onleash" walking continues to be a very frustrating "work in progress," however Scout has mastered "off leash!" Running full speed and wrestling are 2 things she does very well. Scout recently learned that her world is a lot bigger than me and Marty. The dog park is way more exciting for her now that she isn't scared to leave my side! I absolutely LOVE taking her down there. We can walk there from our house and whenever I can get home in the daylight we do so. The walk to the park is about 10 minutes. 10 minutes of frustrating onleash walking! 10 minutes of chasing blowing litter, jumping on innocent pedestrians, lunging at bikers and pooping. Always pooping at the beginning of the walk, just far enough from the house that we can't go back and far enough from the park that I have to dry heave for what feels like hours before ridding myself of the doggie "elimination." My favorite part of the walk is when I get to ask Scout to sit and I get to let her off the leash! I give her the release command and off she goes! Scout used to be scared to go too far from my side, but it didn't take her long to get brave and forget she was with me! Puppy class has taught me the value of treats, so I never leave the house without a pocket full. Everytime Scout randomly comes back to check on me, I treat her. The idea is that she will associate coming back to me with getting treats and in theory, this practice should lead to her actually coming every time I call!
I am not gonna lie, we have had some very frustrating/embarrasing times at the park. Infact almost all of our encounters in the last month have involved me running after Scout as she chases after random new friends that are obviously more fun than me. I have spent time apologizing to small dog owners after Scout has crushed their "babies" with her giant paws, and begging people to call their dogs to "come" so that mine will come too and I can snag her collar. I usually leave the park with Scout on leash and a big fake smile plastered on my face, four letter words swirling around in my head! But today, today was a GREAT day at the park! I let Scout off leash and she came back to me several times, she even willingly changed directions when I did, leaving behind new four-legged friends! Today we left the park onleash, a sincere smile plastered on my face!

Monday, January 26, 2009

REMEMBER WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD DANCE? This is the link to the Beach Boys singing "Kokomo," the last time I heard this song, I still thought I could dance. My sisters and I spent endless hours on the roof of our shed (the roof made a great stage) choreographing a dance in our bathing suits to this song. We used beach towels as props and grooved to carefully thought out steps while the song blared on our ghetto blaster. We played it over and over until all three of us could make it through the routine in perfect step with eachother. Once we were sure it was perfect, we invited mom and dad to be our audience and performed with a pride that would match any dancer in the Royal Winnepeg Ballet! Mom and Dad clapped and clapped while the three of us beamed. We had no idea we couldn't dance. We had no idea that our "choreographed" routine bore more ressemblance to three bulls running through a china store than a Ballet number, but that was the beauty of growing up the way we did. We passed through childhood creating several dance routines, some on roofs, some in living rooms and some on skates down at the pond. Each routine was performed for an audience of 2, mom and dad, and each one ended with the three of us joining hands bowing while saying "thank you all for coming and making this day extra special!"

I walked into my first "family dance," with my side pony tail and bobby socks, ready to take the dance floor by a storm...that was the first time I realized, I actually couldn't dance, NOT AT ALL!!! The moves from our Beach Boys "Kokomo" routine didnt' seem quite right, neither did my side pony tail. I've attended many a dance in my day, and just because I couldn't dance doesn't mean I didn't. I pulled out all kinds of awkward moves, from the basic step together step, to trying to add my arms, basically just waving them wildly like some kind of solo chicken dance, to lame attempts at the "running man" and the "moonwalk." I never did master the dancing by myself thing. I just have zero rythm, I can't seem to "feel the beat." I did, thank God, eventually learn a dance that I am pretty damn good at! Gimme a partner, turn me loose in a Country Bar and I'll two step or polka the hell out of any song! This has never made me cool at school dances, or at the Bars in University, but I am always a star with the old people at most weddings I go to! :) I still can't dance very well without a little "liquid" help, and even with that, I know I don't dance as freely and as un inhibited as I did back when I thought I COULD dance!
I don't have any digital photos of our Kokomo dance, but I've posted one of Nic and I in disco outfits at a Halloween party a few years back. We look like we were dressed for a Disco Dance, so I figured it fit the story....

Sunday, January 25, 2009


It fascinates me how some people can function so well in freezing cold weather.  I am not one of those people.  I HATE the cold, but, being a good Canadian, I have learned to cope with it.  I have a ridiculous amount of warm weather clothing and there are times when I wear it all at once just to get the mail.  I have mastered creating the perfect Hot Chocolate as a warm up technique and I keep two wheat bags (the magic bags you heat in the microwave) on hand at all times.  Now that I live in the city, I have discovered that the cold is possible to avoid most of the time.  I park in an attached garage, I can have food ordered to my front door and I can throw a ball around my livingroom for my dog if it is too cold to go outside and walk.  
But, I went to mom's for the weekend, and cold on the farm is not as easy to ignore!  The garage is is too full of stuff to park vehicals in and it is not attached anyway.  Food delivered to the country doorstep is not an option and there are animals with needs that can't be met in a livingroom.  I always pack my full array of winter gear when I head to mom's because I know I will have no choice but to face the cold at some point during the visit.  Mom, she is one of those people that can work out in cold weather for a long time without whining or complaining.  She matter of factly dresses up in her winter overalls, her puffy winter jacket, her boots, her mitts and her tuque and she heads outside to tackle the unpredictable winter chores that await her.  She doesn't make a point of going through the routine at high speed (like I would do to get out of the weather faster,) nope, she methodically completes every task with a precision and attention to detail that drives the freezing child inside of me nuts!  She even takes off her mitts and cuts twine, rubs each horses face and examines them for injuries.  She carries bucket after bucket to the barn to offer each animal water and she takes time to snuggle with the kitties.  She checks the big water tank everytime she goes outside and when it requires it, she smashes the ice with the sledge hammer that she keeps in the garage, not the barn where it is closer, but the garage. She doesn't seem to mind walking all the way back there to get it in the freezing cold. She drags out lengths and lengths of hose to fill the tank when it is empty.  While it fills, she finds other outside jobs to tinker away at.  I on the other hand, start coming up with excuses to head inside; gotta pee, need to get the cats a treat, need to "check" on something, I usually end up running out of "warm up" excuses before the outside chores are done.  Mom always ends up taking pity on me, sending me into the house early.  I don't get it, how does she do it?  How does she stay out there so long?  What does she have that makes her so tough and why do I lack it???  I used to have it, but I've gotten soft!
Add ImageAdd Image My jetta has also gotten soft!  I bought the car new in 2005 and for some reason, it did not come with a block heater.  Upon discovering the cost of getting a block heater installed, I opted to go without.  Over the last 3 years, this car has never given me trouble in cold weather.  Infact I used to take great pride in the fact that it would always fire right up despite not ever being plugged in.  This weekend though, the old jetta reminded me how "soft" we've both gotten since moving to the big city.  She refused to "fire right up" when I went to move her from where I had parked her in mom's driveway.  She whirred and whized and spat, but refused to "turn over!"  I was stumped!  never before had I encountered this problem with my car, diesel or not!  Mom's friend, Dennis was adamant that the engine was frozen and diesels cannot start when the engine is cold.  Dennis, bless his heart, left his own warm living room Sunday morning to come rescue me and my jetta from the driveway.  He hopped out of his pickup truck wearing cowboy boots, a tuque and a winter coat.  No overalls, no scarf and no gloves!  He carried in his bare hands, two small heaters and a special heat blanket.  Upon his arrival, I took 10 minutes to "gear up" pulling on the Carhart overalls, Troy had left at mom's, my huge winter boots, a neck warmer, my tuque and my ski mitts.  I walked the two feet from the front door to the car and watched Dennis tackle the frozen jetta in his bare hands.  I watched in awe as he knelt on the snowy ground in his jeans, put his bare hand on the snow and leaned under the car, sliding the heater into just the right spot.  I wiggled my fingers inside my mitts while he wrestled with the stiff extension cords, trying to make them work.  I shifted from cold foot to cold foot while he searched the garage for a battery charger and showed me how to hook it up.  Dennis worked efficiently and patiently with mom and I, never once cussing us or the cold weather!  He didn't even want to come in for hot chocolate.  He bid us adieu and headed for home, I bet he didn't even turn on his seat heater for his ride home.  
Still, to this minute as I snuggle with Scout on my couch, furnace cranked up, wheat bags draped over each foot, I wonder how Mom and Dennis do that every day, take on the cold like that?!  I bow down, to them both and to everyone else who can slap a smile on their face and do what they gotta do in sub zero temperatures!  Cheers to you!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Tuesday, I got to see Obama's speech live...well on TV.  The grade three teacher was showing it in her classroom and she let me bring the fifth graders I was teaching in when Obama began to speak!  Despite the fact that the students were young, probably too young to be aware of exactly how historical this moment was, all eyeballs were focused on the dynamic man capturing the attention of a nation and a classroom on the TV!  If he is one thing, Obama is a great speaker and I can appreciate his talent.  I too have given several speeches over the course of my 32 years.  None of them to a crowd quite like Obama spoke to and none of them quite so full of inspiration and passion, but all of them just as nerve racking and practiced as his. 
I was in 4-H for 12 years and every one of those 12 years I had to compete in the club speech contest.  My mom made sure that I did not go on stage taht very first time, at the tender age of 9 without confidence.  She helped me prepare in every way.  She was even my speech writer.  By "writer," I mean she sat with me until she magically took the random, exciting ideas from my head and helped me turn them into a speech!  She sat and watched me frist practice reading, then memorize my speech. She supervised me transferring my speech from full scap paper onto cue cards.  She helped me find appropriate gestures to compliment my speech and she helped me remember to SLOW DOWN as I spoke!  By the time mom was done with me, I had that speech memorized inside and out.  I knew I could get up on that stage and deliver it like a seasoned pro...and I did, if I do say so myself. :) No doubt I was nervous but as the words began to roll off my tongue and as I settled into my place in the spotlight, I discoverd that I quite liked having the attention of an entire room full of people and I loved when I could make them laugh.  I was a peewee that first year, which meant I couldn't proceed to the next level of speaking, but for years after that I did.                                                                                             Though on stage my speaking was fairly polished, there was a nervous ritual that preceeded every speech I ever gave.  A couple of small coughs always followed the announcement of my name, three bi sniffs came as I got up out of my seat in the audience and the trip down the isle towards the stage, always included me picking a wedgie.  This was my version of the pre-game ritual and it had proven to be lucky!                                                                                                  Over the years I have forced out my share of nervous coughs, sniffed until my nose bled, picked a hundred wedgies and though I know I have entertained more than one audience, I have never influenced a country like Obama did Monday during his big speech.  I wonder what his "pre-game" ritual involves?  Do you think he picks his undies out of his crack before addressing the nation?

Monday, January 19, 2009

5km OF HELL!!!!!!!!!!

Decided to try the old umbilical cord strategy for getting my puppy to walk on a loose (ha) leash. This method, according to puppy school is supposed to "be great for leadership and bonding." I bought the six foot leash, I fixed one end around my waist, fastened the other end to Scout's collar, stuffed a baggie full of miniscule pieces of weiner into my pocket and headed out for our daily 5km walk. It was a beautiful evening, above zero degrees, a January rarity, and both Scout and I were eager to take in some fresh air!

We had only gone 20 feet when we saw a teenager coming towards us. I prepared to brace myself as I saw a delight in his eyes that had only one meaning. He was going to use his "high voice" get down on his knees and greet my puppy, the one tied around my waist, with the exuberance of a true animal lover! The energy of the wiggling body at the end of the leash matched that of the boy's eyes and I knew this was gonna be ugly for me. It was. The closer the boy got, the lower his body got and the higher his voice got. Scout reacted to all of this body language by lunging towards the boy dragging my entire body with her. Before I could stop her, she had jumped all over the boy who seemed to be enjoying her affection. The 2 of them snuggled and wiggled oblivious to my desperate attempts to yank Scout down. My efforts to avoid disaster were ignored by both boy and dog and within minutes Scout had torn his ipod earphones out of his ears and following them into the snowbank was the ipod. We quickly continued on our way. When Scout walked nicely beside me, creating slack in the leash, I rewarded her with bits of weiner, when she pulled relentlessly, I made sharp turns, pulling her in opposing directions. This "redirecting" method, by the way, DID NOT WORK! It only added length to my walk and frustration to my reperatoire of irritated emotions. Everytime we met another dog or human, Scout would lunge forward forcing my pelvis to lurch forward as well, making me look really awkward and horny! The 1.5km first half of the walk was mildly productive. Scout would occasionally walk beside me for more than 30 seconds at a time before forgetting she was attached to me. I dont' know how many times she attempted to jump into the snowbanks on the side of the road, only to discover she couldn't quite pull me with her, though she could pull me off balance. She could also make me stop in my tracks and make my back twist awkwardly in one direction when she stopped to sniff without me knowing it. The 1.5km walk back home was plagued by heightened frequency of all the same annoying behaviours! The walk was anything but pleasant, and by the time I got home I was NOT speaking to Scout. I made her sit, opened the door, walked through, called her into the entry way, unhooked the leash and sent her up the stairs. I needed to "cool down." Though the entire 3 miles (5km) was hell, I refuse to give up. I know I need to be patient, consistent and presistent. I want Scout to learn to walk on the leash, I want to love taking her for walks, I want to love her company. I can't always make it to the off leash park in the daylight, so this onleash stuff is necessary. I will persevere!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I hate the ski out! Though it is a "green run" I would consider it one of the most dangerous runs at Sunshine Ski Resort. The "ski out" is the groomed cat track that runs from the top of the mountain down to the bottom and the parking lot. At Sunshine you have two options at the end of your day, you can take the ride the Gondola down to your vehicle or you can ski the "ski out." Most people opt for the ski out as it allows you one more run.
Saturday was no different than any other day at the hill, except that it was January and the temperature was above 0 degrees celcius, a virtual heat wave in the mountains. Skiiers and snowboarders came out in droves to soak up the sunshine and the beautiful mountain air. Marty and I were among them and we had a fantastic day riding the terrain on Goat's Eye Mountain (the midway mountain at the resort.) We love Goat's Eye as it is usually less busy and in the afternoon the sun is there. We rode our boards until the chair lift closed at 4pm and decided to take the Ski Out down to the parking lot. The ski out is groomed, and it is a cat track, but it is NOT wide and even on regular days, it is crowded at the end of the day. I mean everyone at the resort who wants to ski down, has to take this ONE route. It is rated "green," an easy run, it has to be if everyone is going to be able to get down, but this creates dangerous situations! There are the very beginners, trying to snowplow down this basically flat road, there's the parents pulling kids with thier ski poles, theres the fearless, out of control kids scaring the crap out of everyone but themselves, flying in unpredictable patterns down the road. Theres the beginner snowboarders who can't turn, just riding one edge all the way down taking any loose snow with them, theres the snowboarders who can't get enough speed hopping with one foot out of the bindings, there's the speedless snowboarders who have given up and are walking down the road, snowboards over their shoulders. And then there's the talented skiiers and boarders who get excessive speed and attempt to manoever around all of the other traffic at top speed! Finally there are the skiiers and boarders that fall into the catergory I am in. The ones who can usually turn and usually keep up speed, but who are easily rattled by caos, especially when it is happening directly infront of or behind them. The ones who start losing speed and find themselves hopping up the flattest parts, the ones who uncharictaristiclly fall down (read; bail)when faced with too many kids wobbling on the path in front of them. The ones who can't suddenly can't seem to comit to a "line" and begin an unpredictable descent. The ones who can't find ONE good thing about this last run of the day!!!

One more time, the Ski Out sucks!!

The rest of the mountain is awesome, especially when the sky is that blue and the sun is that warm, check out our pics!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Twinkie is my good friend's daughter's pony. She is cute, fat and hairy, like most ponies, and like most ponies she is adored by a little girl. I got to ride with Twinkie and Bailey just the other day and while Twinkie's crow hopping down the lane frustrated the tough little cowgirl on her back, it took me on a trip down a lane of my own, memory lane! My sister's and I were lucky enough to love more than one pony over the years and all of them were fat, hairy and adored!!

Willow was our first pony. She was black and white with the thickest tail and this wild mane that mom made us keep roached. We rode her bareback with a hackamore, sometimes all three of us at once and almost always at a gallop! Willow was the first "horse" we could saddle (didn't use one), bridle (no bit) and ride all by ourselves! She filled us with confidence, taught us to ride and showed us how pure love for an animal could be. A frozen pond took Willow from us way too soon. By the time Mom found her, up to her neck in the freezing water, she was close to death. Mom managed to get enough help from neighbours to get her out of the water and into the barn where we packed loose straw and space heaters around her. Mom and Dad were up with Willow all that night, doing their best to nurse her back to health, this was a pony just as adored by adults and little girls, but by morning, they knew they had to help us find a way to say good-bye. To this day I still believe that Willow hung on just long enough to get a final hug from each of us girls before closing her eyes for the last time.

Missy came along shortly after Willow passed away. She was the epidemy of the fat, hairy, ornery pony! She was brown, shaggy and full of piss and vinegar! If Willow gave us confidence, Missy tested it. If Willow taught us to ride, Missy taught us to "cowgirl up and ride!" You couldn't tell by looking at her, but Missy was ALWAYS starving! Riding her involved being repeatedly yanked out of the saddle with a force much stronger than any 6 year old as there was not a blade of grass she would pass without pulling the reins out of our hands to eat it! Missy also always seemed to be in "heat," which made her miserable to ride with other horses around, especially ones on the other side of barb wire fences. As soon as she'd catch a whiff of another horse, she would take her rider, despite desperate attempts to redirect her, through the dip in the ditch straight to the fence where she'd start pawing. More than once she cut her leg on the barbs of the fence while we were sitting on top of her. Missy knew where the barn was and she was famous for trying to convince her passengers to cut the ride short. Mom had this rule that whenever you came to the driveway at the end of a ride you had to stop your pony and count to 10. This rule was to convice all involved parties that the person holding the reins was in charge. With Missy, you never knew for sure. I can remeber counting, holding for dear life to the reins as Missy danced and pranced, just waiting for me to relax ...fiiive, sixxxxx, se-ven,(shit, I better go faster or this pony is gonna take off...)8,9,10, phew! Nic, being the littlest wasn't always the one in charge, Missy did take her straight into the barn one day at full speed! Thank God she was wearing a helmet or she would have hit her head on the naked light bulb hanging from the ceiling. I will never forget how creepy the whites of her eyes were and I saw them alot. Missy was always rolling her eyes way back into her head especially when she was grouchy, and with Missy, that was a lot. Every spring she would try to scare us by crow hopping. Mom would get on and "tune her in," while us kids sat on the rail fence at the arena and watched. This was a safe perch, one from which we could see the whites of Missy's brown eyes as she engaged in a battle of wills with Mom. As I got older, I learned to fight my own battles with Missy and the whites of her eyes were just as creepy from the saddle as the fence.

I only got to call Missy "mine" for one year. I had to move on to another horse as Aimee got to take ownership of the pony, but it was Nic who rode Missy the longest. My fondest memories are of Nic and Missy at 4-H shows. Nic would enter all of the classes at the shows that she could. She would ride Western Pleasure, Western Equitation and both English Classes. She would sit that "pony trot" like a pro and even mangaed to win a few ribbons against some pretty fancy horses. Nic spray painted and teased Missy's wild mane and forelock and hung a carboard guitar from her neck one year to win a costume class, but the happiest time was the time Nic entered in some gymcana classes at the Regional 4-H show. She was in "flags" against a big quarter horse. The horn blew and the race was on! It was a very comical situation, this little girl on this tiny fat pony taking 3 or 4 steps to every one of the big, beautiful quarter-horse's. Missy was running for all she was worth and Nic was grabbing the flags and dropping them in the barrel but they were behind. The entire crowd began cheering and screaming for Nic and Missy It was so heart warming to hear an entire arena of strangers holler for the underdogs! The race came down to the last few seconds as both teams ran towards the barrel, riders holding the last flag in hand. Nic won by a split second and you should have heard the crowd errupt!

Missy was a part of our family for a long time! Eventually her orneriness became part of her charm and when her spring time crowhopping became comical rather than scary, when her constant eating became a futile effort on her part and we could choose the direction and ending points of our rides we knew Missy had taught us all she could. We sold Missy to another rider who needed a good teacher who, after mastering her lessons, sold her to another student. We managed to keep track of Missy through her long, long life and she gifted many a little girl with love and lessons. Missy passed away only a few short years ago from cushins disease. She will never be forgotten!

I know that Twinkie is teaching Bailey everything she knows and that by the time Bailey is too big for her fat, hairy pony, she will be one hell of a rider!

All of our pony pictures are at mom's so I have posted one of Bailey and Twinkie...adorable!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

PLAN B....again!

Marty and I have date night every week. Sometimes we get dressed up and go out to eat, sometimes we go to a movie or an event in the city and sometimes we just stay home, drink wine and cuddle on the couch. Friday night we dressed up and headed to a fancy restaurant on 17th ave. The restaurant is a Bacardi account so when we eat there, we get treated very well. Friday night we were served some very special Bacardi cocktails and a delicious bottle of French red wine....the evening turned out to be a lot of fun, the kind of fun that resulted in headaches for both Marty and I Saturday morning. :) We were slow to get moving, but decided to "shake" our headaches and head out to Sunshine Village in Banff to do some snowbaording! It was a beautiful, sunny, blue sky day and we couldn't wait to hit the slopes. Unfortunately, only kilometers from the hill, we came to a complete hault behind all of the other skiiers and boarders who had decided to take int he beautiful day. The line up just to get to the parking lot was over half an hour long so Marty and I decided to ditch the boarding idea and go with Plan B! We drove back to Calgary, grabbed Scout, grabbed the kite boarding stuff and headed to Spray Lakes. Spray Lake is a giant lake just outside of Canmore. It is a fantastic kiteboarding spot because the wind always blows there!!! Scout and I spent the afternoon running across the lake, watching Marty perfect his kitebaording skills! We had an amazing day in the snow and sunshine! Here's hopin Plan B's are always this good!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


You know how when you try something new with your “look,” new hair color, new boots, new something a little out of your box, you are a little self conscious about how others will receive your little attempt to reinvent yourself? I have been feeling that way lately. See, I have been experimenting with darkening my eyebrows, partly to match my dark hair color and partly because I love dark eyebrows. I have gone to the salon and had my eyebrows dyed professionally in the past, but, in an attempt to save money I have been plucking my brows myself and then using black eye shadow and an eyebrow brush to darken them. I actually quite like the effect I am able to create, however, I have learned that others don’t always appreciate the “art” I make out of my face. While I am not particularlly concerned about the approval of others, I am not interested in looking like a clown… and I do have a track record of looking like a clown. Yep, for a long time, I was the girl that wore too much foundation, so much in fact that I had a line under my chin that divided the creamy color of the makeup from the color of the skin on my neck. I was the girl that lined my eyes with streaks that extended past my actual eye (I still really like that look, clown like or not) and I am the girl that lines my lips with a pencil darker than the shade of my lip gloss. Anyway after examining the photos from Christmas, I have decided that the dark eye brows not only compliment my hair but also make me look much more awake and expressive. I have continued to darken my brows myself and have sported this look on a regular basis since Christmas, including New Years and to work. No one has said anything at all, no aknowledgement has been made, good or bad. I take this as a good sign, and have been wearing the eyebrows with confidence. At least I did until I came to work. Kids have this way of being bluntly honest. While it can be refreshing, it can also be shocking. To be fair, no kid has actually mentioned my eyebrows directly, however, we have only been back at School for three days now and already two kids have made random eyebrow comments to me. One student told me about how when they were selling cookies over the break as a fundraiser, a lady answered her door with eyebrows that looked like they were painted on….interesting. Another student told me about how her cousin recently over waxed her eyebrows and had big red sore spots where the hair, that made them look normal was…hmmmmm. I can’t help but wonder if this sudden influx of eyebrow discussion has been spurred by students noticing mine or if it is just random…..

Monday, January 5, 2009


You ever notice that you never notice the little oil change reminder sticker in the corner of your windshield until it is way past the reminder date? It's like the sticker becomes one of the parts of your windshield that you choose to ignore like the running cracks, bug guts and the grimey dirt the wiper can't quite reach. It's one of those things that only crosses my mind after being present when someone else mentions that they have just been for an oil change. I hear the words "oil change" and my heart starts beating super fast as I try to remember when I was supposed to get mine changed. Then and only then, do I check the reminder sticker, usually to discover that I am at least a month, if not two late!!!
I have a 2005 jetta and as far as cars go, (I prefer big pick up trucks,) I love it! I love it because it gets me from here to there on it's diesel engine and hardly ever complains. I love it because the trunk can hold my saddle, my grooming caddy, a bag of grain, a pink water pail, my tub of "emergency" winter gear, flashlights, granola bars, toques, mitts, snowpants, a vest, my farm coat and various ropes and halters. I love it because the console between the seats is the perfect place to stash a Venti starbucks and a handful of cereal. I love it because the backseat can easily store binders, books, doggy bags and treats, socks, loose pens and the recycling that spills out of the tub when I put it on the seat to be emptied. I love the seat heaters and the candy filled glove box. I love my car, but not like some people love their car. Not like the people who never miss oil changes, not like the people who armor all the dash at stop lights, not like the people that wash thier cars all the time and never sit on the seats with dog or horse hair on their pants. Nope, not like that at all.
The thing with the jetta is that it is a foreign car so everything about an oil change is EXPENSIVE! First there is the special, synthetic oil, then there is the air filter and all of the other things the mechanics insist on pulling out from under my hood to show me. They hold up the filter, show me all of the dust and stuff stuck in it and then suggest that I replace it. I always ask "how much?" and they always answer "100 bucks!" "How about next time" is always my reply to which they always respond with, "we'll make a note of it on your file." This verbal exchange happens the exact same way everytime. I must have at least 10 "notes" about my air filter on my file. It's not that I don't think I need one, it's just that I am lucky to have money I want to spend on the oil change, let alone an extra 100 bucks for this and 100 bucks for that! My extra 100 bucks has usually already been budgeted for something more fun, like, like.... hell, isn't everything more fun than a new air filter???
I usually go to Mr.Lube, the drive up oil change place where they change your oil while you sit in your car in the garage while they work on it. I find the whole process gives me anxiety. All the questions make me nervous, what year is your car? What size is your engine? How many kilometers? I DON'T KNOW!!!! I have way more interesting things on my mind than the year of my car, I forget everytime that it is a 2005. I also have no idea what size my engine is. I know that if I want to pull a horse trailer with a truck I need a 350, that is the only engine size I have ever paid attention to. How many kilometers? "hey buddy, just look inside my window, while your face is down here peering inside my bubble anyway!!!" At some point they always ask me to push on my brakes so they can see if the lights are working. This procedure is followed by the "please hit your left turn signal." Simple request, yet for some reason I get all nervous and can't remember which side the signals are on. If I don't turn on the wipers by mistake then I hit the right signal instead. The bottom line is: I end up looking stupid! Infact, even as I write this, I bet some of you are thinking: come on, are you serious? I am!
I successfully got my jetta's oil changed before Christmas so I should be good for another few months. I did put the wipers on instead of the turn signal, but I think the young man making the request thought it was least he giggled as much as I did about it. I also made sure to explain as soon as I drove in, that since it is Christmas, I will be getting only my oil changed, no filters or anything! He nodded and said he'd make a note in my file!

Saturday, January 3, 2009



It is officially 2009, a brand new year! Today is January 3rd, 2009. According to the calendar, a new year has begun, but to me, everything still feels strangely 2008. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea that January 1st could be the beginning of a "fresh start" for everyone, but look around....same puppy hogging the couch, same hot man ruling the TV remote and same squishy ass stuffed into the jeans, everything is the's weird but, I think I'm glad! This year, I'm not looking for a "fresh start." I like things just the way they are. :) I like that Scout is growing so fast she now competes with me for room on the couch next to Marty. I like that Marty still plops himself in the middle of the couch, letting Scout and I rest our heads in his lap, while he watches endless hockey and TSN sports updates. I like my ass, we have been through alot together, so squishy and all, I have grown to love it.
Yep, turns out, I really like things the way they are! For the first time since I can remember, I will not be jumping on the bandwagon of those coming up with great new goals for the year.
My choice not to make a New Years Resolution however, is not a sign of lack of ambition or desire to improve myself. It's just that for the first time in a long time, I am really happy with status quo. This year, I am just gonna soak up "status quo!"
(I posted a photo of Scout looking huge on the couch and a photo of my friends and I just before we headed out to celebrate New Years, the photo was taken Dec.31st, 2008, but today, Jan.3rd, 2009, I look much the same....:)
PS: Nic, the Charlie's Angels pose is just for you....