Monday, March 30, 2009


I spent the weekend at mom’s. We spent time scrap booking, visiting and riding. It was such a fun, bonding time for mom and me. The highlight of the weekend, for me was when we took mom’s horse over to the stable to ride in the indoor arena. There was a time, long ago when mom would truck mine, Aim’s and Nic’s horses to the indoor arena so that we could ride. She would stand in the middle of the arena and coach us through our rides. She’d pick up our manure, run back and forth to the trailer, getting our boots, different bits, and anything else our little hearts desired. Yesterday, though, it was I, who stood in the middle of the arena playing coach and gopher. It was a neat role reversal. This time, it was I, running back and forth from the arena to the truck and trailer gathering the different riding aids and tools mom decided she needed. Before I would leave the arena, she would tell me check for the various items in the trailer tack room, the trailer change room or the back seat of the truck. It was crazy to have so many choices of where stuff could be. Way back in the day, there was one place to look for stuff, the back of the truck! Where was this fancy trailer with a tack room and change room, when I was showing horses? And a truck with a backseat? Wow, we certainly did not have these luxuries when there were three of us girls showing! We hauled our horses to shows in a stock trailer pulled by a yellow ’71 Blazer. The back seats were taken out to make room for all of the saddles, bridles, blankets and brushes. At the time, I had no idea such fancy trailers existed. We loved it our “bleached bumble bee” (trucking unit amiably named by a good friend.) Dad had rigged up the truck so that it had poles nailed across the back for our saddles to sit on. The saddle blankets layed on top and the brush boxes sat under each saddle. Everything was very organized. Two of us shared the large front passenger seat, mom drove and Nic, usually sat on the spare tire between the two front seats. We’d listen to am radio, and sing at the top of our lungs all the way to every show. Mom had sewn curtains and stuck Velcro to the trailer above all of the windows so that once the horses were unloaded and the poop was scooped out, we could stick the fabric to the windows, creating a private changeroom. We’d hang our show clothes from hangers on the window ledges and sit our “caboodles” make up kits in the manger of the trailer so that we could use the mirrors to see, while we pulled our hair back and secured our hair nets. The trailer had one storage compartment, just big enough for us to stash our hay nets, water buckets and bags of crunchies. We’d rattle into the show grounds and rattle back out oblivious to the fact that we looked like hillbillies! Life was good! As I searched mom’s back seat for the dressage whip that had fallen into the crack of the seat, I tried to imagine what life would have been like for us, had we had all of this when we showed…..know what? It was impossible to imagine doing it any other way, than we did it!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I know, take a very PMSing woman, throw a snowstorm at her, add in sub zero temperatures, a crapping dog and see just how grouchy she can get!  
Yesterday, I had a very long day at work.  I had to stay after school was over for a meeting and after the meeting was a Baklava Cooking class taught by a Greek lady as a fundraiser for our school.  I left the building at 10pm only to come home to a puppy who had been locked up almost that whole time!  Marty had been home for about an hour in the evening to feed her and take her for a quick walk, but he had to lock her back up as he had a dinner meeting with some Big Wigs from Toronto.  Marty arrived home shortly after me and we visited in the kitchen for a while so that Scout could play, but really, we were both dead tired and wanted to go to bed.  Eventually, we headed up the stairs dragging a reluctant Scout with us.  I don't blame her, but she was NOT ready for bed at all!!!  She spent most of the night biting our feet, licking our faces and pacing around the room.  Finally, around 4am, Marty had had enough!  He locked her out of the bedroom.  He closed the hall bathroom door, to keep her out of the Q-tips in my bathroom and closed our bedroom door, to keep her out of our faces.  I, sleepily mentioned that he might just want to lock her in the ensuite bathroom, but he was already back in bed and didn't want to get up again.  THis was a decision we both regretted in the morning.  
My alarm went off at 6am, telling me it was time to walk Scout.  I got up, opened the bedroom door and almost fainted!  The stench, coming from the hallway was unbearalbe and had the unmistakable smell poop, lots of it!  Instantly I was pissed off, apparently not as pissed off as Scout had been when she left us this little rebellious gift!  I cussed all the way down the stairs to the closet where I grabbed the carpet spray, the paper towels and a garbage bag.  Marty was up now, investigating for himself and Scout? Scout was cowering under the bed...good place for her!  Here it was 6:02am and Marty and I were naked, in the hallway scrubbing poop, not nice doggie turds, but sloppy, mushy poop off the carpet!   This was past the point of grouchiness, now, it was just plain comical....I light a few scented candles, put on my long johns and begrudgingly took the dog for our morning walk, but not before wondering out loud: So, who taught who a lesson here lastnight?  I certainly feel like Scout "schooled" us!

Monday, March 23, 2009


Maria and I in our matching tops!  

I turned 33 Saturday!  It was the first day of spring and what a fantastic spring day it was!  I woke up early, jogged with my dog (it was our first "on leash" run together ever!)  I came home, had breakfast with Marty then headed to the mall, to meet Maria for a birthday latte and some shopping for a new birthday top.  Maria and I were going to work at Marty's Bacardi booth at the Co-Op wine tasting that night and then we were all going to go out for some Wine of our own, to celebrate.  Maria bought me a fun new top and got one for herself, we decided to match!  We had a blast playing bar tender for the evening and got more than one compliment on our fun tops!  Marty and I arrived home, after a bottle of wine and some appies in a huge snowstorm!!!  Turns out no one had informed Winter, that it was now SPRING!!!!  We woke up Sunday, to over 20cm of new, heavy, wet snow!  My happy, birthday mood was instantly GONE and it still is!  For the past two days, I have been moping around, grouchy as hell.  All day, I listened to the kids at school, soo happy for the new snow.  They didn't hate it, they embraced it!  They built snowmen and forts and tunnels. They hauled piles of it into the school in their boots and they dragged it on the cuff of their pants all through the hall ways.  They giggled and laughed as they shook out their tuques, spraying snowflakes on the walls.  I watched as the adults mopped up the floors behind them, scowled a the wet pants sliding into desk chairs and groaned  at the puddles forming in the bootrooms.  This is all WINTER, but it is spring and we are all tired of the cold and snow!!!  The sun was shining when I got home today, so I decided to take Scout for a walk.  We had just been jogging only a couple of days ago, but now, now we were back to walking on the tretcherous sidewalks.  I wouldn't have even minded so much if I could have seen the sidewalks!  The sun had not been strong enough to melt the snow so the sidewalks were now, single tracked paths created by commuters walking back and forth between bus stops.  It was ridiculous!  There was no way I was in any mood to walk the whole 5km in those conditions.  I kept telling myself that Scout deserved a full hour walk, so I trudged along, Scout bouncing through the huge piles of snow beside me on the leash!  After about 38 minutes (yep, I checked my watch) I gave up!  I was sooo grouchy!  My pants legs were soaking from the deep snow on either side of the narrow paths, my arm was aching from the 50lbs bounding on the end of it (Scout loves the snow as much as the kids) and I was sweating like a pig!  I turned around and began searching for a short cut.  I had just turned 33, I was tooooo old for this!  That's right, I just had a birthday, I thought, I should loose the attitude and try to think of all the wonderful things in my world right now.  I tried, I honestly did, but unfortunatley, I have to admit that all of my positive thoughts were buried too far beneath spring snow and major PMS to surface today.  

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Scout after a long training session!

I have a personal trainer.  I did not hire her, nor was I looking to hire her.  One day, she simply decided to offer me her services, wait, "offer" is the wrong word.  "Force," yes, somehow that seems to be more fitting, one day, she decided to "force" her services on me.  Her name is Scout, and as a fitness coach, she is demanding.  She is the kind of trainer who gets her clients up at 6am, not caring one bit about how late they may have gone to bed the night before, not worrying about how dark it may still be at that hour and not considering the weather gifts, good or bad, that may have arrived overnight.  She refuses to let her clients change or cancel any early morning workouts. She will stand at the side of the bed, breathing her horrific morning breath at the back of their heads until they can't ignore her anymore!  We brought Scout, into our home because we wanted a puppy and that is what we got.  Lucky for us though, not only did we end up with a great companion, but as a bonus, we got a relentless Personal Trainer!!!  We had a cold, cold winter here in Alberta, but I walked at least 5km almost every single day, despite the sub zero temperatures and freezing winds. There are days when I would never have gone outside, if it hadn't been for Scout.  She would sit at the door, while I went through the process of bundling up in snow pants, boots, neck warmer, tuque, mitts, hoodie and winter jacket.  Before we could leave the house, I'd stuff my pockets full of plastic bags, Scout is the kind of personal trainer who isn't afraid to "eliminate" on the job.  We'd trapse through snow drifts when the sidewalks weren't cleaned, scoot across ice, when we mistook it for water and wade in mud when we were lucky enough to find some.  I'd often be un motivated to get out into the elements, especially on those super cold days, but it's funny how, after 15 minutes or so, I'd actually warm up, there were times I'd even find myself sweating!  Like most workouts, the hardest part is actually getting out the door.  And like most workouts, I always feel great after our walks!  Last week, I decided that I wanted to try to get up at 6am and walk before work, leaving the afternoon time slot for trips to the dog park.  The first morning, I set my alarm, but when it went off I changed my mind, thinking, "this is ridiculous" I will walk after work. But...Scout had heard the alarm and my promise the night before, to get up and walk before work, so she was up and ready before I could even hit snooze!  I tried to ignore her, but she kept breathing on me and wondering around the room, grabbing at my feet.  I could almost hear her saying, "come on, you promised, come on, come on!!"  There was no way I'd be able to get back to sleep, so I just got up, grumbling and cursing at Scout all the way down the stairs and out the door.  53 minutes and 5km later, when I walked back into the house, I felt great, refrshed, exhilerated and ready to face the day!  That feeling, the feeling of being done, is what kept me getting up early all week!  Thanks, Scout!

Monday, March 16, 2009


Peter is an older gentleman, I met at the dog park recently.  He walks his two dogs, Laila a boxer and Simon, a cockerspaniel, every day for at least an hour.  He limps along leaning on his cane, over the open fields of the dog park that have now become an icy, muddy mess.  He has a bright smile and the cutest dogs that he obviously loves very much.  His happy demeanor is what drew Scout and I over to him.  Scout seems to be intimidated by Laila and refuses to engage in play with her, though Laila desperately tries to entice her.  Simon is old, slow and independent and has no interest in playing with neither Scout nor Laila.  Peter is very friendly and though our dogs did not seem to be interested in entertaining eachother, he and I walked along visiting for quite a long while.  Peter shared with me a sad story, sad because it was true.  He told me that last Tuesday, when it was -40 degrees celcius outside,  he took his dogs to the park.  Only one other person was there with his dogs.  The two men stood just past the parking lot and watched their dogs chase eachother in the bitter, bitter cold. While they were standing there, a vehicle pulled into the parking lot, drove up to the garbage dumpsters, threw a duffel bag out of his truck, missing the dumpsters and sped off.  The 2 dog owners thought the gesture was awfully rude, but thought nothing else of this discarded duffel bag, until their dogs went over to investigate.  It was then, in the 40 below weather that they noticed the duffle bag was wiggling...there was something in it!  They hurried to unzip it and to their horror and surprise, a small dog jumped out of the bag.  Unfortunately the little dog was sooo frightened that he took off running fast as he could through the park.  He just kept running and running. I can't imagine how they felt, standing there in the freezing cold, watching an abandoned dog take off, knowing that they were not able to save him!!!  Who could be so cruel as to dump a dog in a duffel bag in sub zero temperatures?  Who could anyone do such a thing???

Sunday, March 15, 2009


You know what's gross? Chicken thighs! Why? Why would I suddenly eat plain, boiled chicken thighs when I normally consume boneless, skinless chicken breasts as my poulty meat of choice? Because that is all we had left in the freezer, and since I am trying very hard to get my grocery spending under control, I had to use what was already in the freezer as it was no where near grocery day. In the freezer, in little individually packaged zip lock bags, were chicken thighs. Now, normally, Marty chefs up chicken thighs for himself when I am at meetings, or not coming home for supper, or when he thinks he can cover them in enough BBQ sauce to trick me into eating them and that is why we had them. I, never CHOOSE to eat thighs. I mean, I have been indoctrinated by every fitness, food and fashion magazine out there, like most women my age, to believe that boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the ONLY poultry meat to eat. Sure, I've seen a few ads trying to push turkey breast and ground turkey into the lime light, but we have been hearing about boneless, skinless chicken breasts for so long, that it is almost impossible to imagine eating any other part of the bird, let along another bird all together! Exception: hot wings. Once enough beer or Bacardi Breezers have been consumed, hot wings, somehow get justified as "chicken, therefore healthy, why not eat 6 or 7?"
Anyway, out of desperation for some chicken the other night while Marty was gone, I tried out one of his chicken thighs. YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think it was the skin that made me want to hurl! Dont' get me wrong, skin is good, when it is deep fried, like KFC or smothered in hot sauce, like wings, but just plain? Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Today a kid "pantsed" another kid at lunch time!  The teachers were talking about it in the staffroom.  It was an impulsive move by an impulsive kid and though I felt for the victim, who found himself in front of his whole class with his pants down, but because I didn't have to discipline the "pantser," I found myself giggling a little.  It kind of reminded me of the days when we used to think it was funny to pull down each other's pants.  By each other, I mean, my sisters, my dad and I. By funny, I mean, it was a game and we all (victims and perpetrators) thought it was funny!  We used to watch the Harlem Glob Trotters, you know, the comedy basketball team, on TV with mom and Dad.  One of the signature moves of this silly b.ball team, was to wait for a player on the opposing team to set up for a foul shot.  Once the player had bounced the ball and was standing with his arms up ready to take a shot, one of the Harlem Globe Trotters, would run up and pull down his shorts revealing outrageous boxer shorts!  It was just as hilarious to those of us watching from our living room as those watching live, from the stands.  Anyway, the laughter the basketball players got, intrigued us and one day we just started running around pulling down the pants of anyone in our family not on the defensive!  If we were lucky enough to catch someone by surprise, we would yell "HARLEM GLOBE TROTTERS" at the top of our lungs!  This game was funny to us and it stayed in our home, the only players, our family members, all willing participants.  Participants under the age of 10, all wearing lovely flowery undies.  No Dad wasn't under 10 and I am pretty sure his gaunch didn't have flowers on them, but I wouldn't know for sure as we never ever seemed to get his pants down, no matter how hard we'd yank.  (He never told us his secret, but I finally figured it out...drawstring!)  Remembering my own personal experience with "pantsing" got me on a little trip down memory lane over the lunch hour and one story led to another.  Before long, I was remembering out loud, another game involving clothing that our family used to play.  Giving eachother wedgies was a game Dad taught us.  He showed us how to grab the waistband of someone's underwear and pull up on it as hard as we could forcing the underwear to bunch and ride up...where the sun don't shine.  He would chase us around, grab our undies, pull up and yell "Indian Underwear!!!"  Not exactly politically correct, or logical, but for some reason seemed to make perfect sense and be funny as heck to us kids back then.  Ofcorse giving someone a wedgie was easier if you were taller than your "victim." That way you could get some good leverage, which meant Nic, being the littlest got more wedgies than anyone else! 
Our parents conveyed to us that these games were appropriate to play at home and NOT anywhere else.  There was no way any of us would have found ourselves suspended from school for "pantsing" someone.   I did playe on a school basketball team, but I never once, left my defensive position to pull down the shorts of someone taking a foul shot! I had lots of friends shorter than myself, but I never once grabbed the waistband of their panties in order to give them a wedgie. Somehow our parents were able to teach us what was appropriate and I thank them!  Still I gotta admit, when Marty bends over and his Fruit of the Looms stick out above the waist band of his sweats, part of me wants desperately to grab that elastic and yank on it hard as I can, but I don't because he is a lot bigger than me and though I know I can run farther than him, I am not convinced I can run faster!!!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I am wearing my favorite new tuque in this picture. My sister made me this tuque, MADE it for me! Aimee has many gifts, one of them is that she can crochet and knit. I remember a long time ago when all three of us sisters sat down with some crochet needles and a mom with the patience of a saint. We each had a ball of yarn (one we'd picked out ourselves) and we watched in awe as mom made loops and hooked them together to create the start of a scarf! It seemed magical at the time and I couldnt' wait to make a scarf, a whole scarf all by myself! Mom sat there between the three of us tying knots, taking apart mistakes and celebrating when we got it! Aimee got really good at it, she made a scarf and then a blanket and then tuques, heck she may have even created an afgan or two!! Nic made a couple of scarves too and then, later in life, took up knitting. Me? Well, here's the thing about crocheting and knitting, you have to sit still to do them. And while mom was able to sit for hours helping her daughters learn the fine art of "sewing", I was not. I did not get one ounce of that patience mom has, not one ounce! I don't think I ever finished that scarf, the closest I ever got to finishing a project like that were "friendship bracelets." Remember those? You safety pinned a bunch of threads to a surface, like your leg or a cushion and you weaved all of the threads together until you had a chain long enough to tie up around your wrist. I was actually pretty good at making those bracelets. But that's as far as my talents go. Nic can sew anything if you put a sewing machine in front of her and I am pretty sure Aim can too. I don't even have the patience to thread a needle! So sewing and making things with my hands are not my strengths, that's ok. I love the tuque Aim made for me and maybe my strength here is just lookin' good wearing it...yep, that must be it!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I am, what I like to call, a "fill the gap" driver.  No matter what the speed limit (except in parks and school zones of course) I drive to fill the gap.  My front bumper is always within centimeters of the tail lights of the car in front of me, always!  Space between tail lights and headlights is extremely frustrating to me, especially when I know my headlights could easily catch those tail lights but because of the SLOW driver in front of me, the gap remains unfilled!! The open road I can see from peering out my side window around the wide load in front of me taunts me, daring me to make a move.  I turn on my ticker, rev the gas pedal and...stay put!  I swear a little, ok, a lot, shake my fist, roll my eyes and glare holes through the back of the head of the patient, cautious human sitting in the driver's seat of the vehicle in front of me.  I am not patient and I am not cautious, but thankfully, I am not stupid either!  I don't take too many big risks while behind the wheel of my jetta, I am NOT ready to die over filling the gap, but I definately fall into the category of "Road Rager!"  My rage is expressed in the form of very loud four-letter words hollered in the well sealed, windows rolled up safety of my car accompanied by a good old fashioned shaking fist!  Oh and once in a while I will squeel the tires or rev my engine when I finally pass some slow driver, but that's as far as my rage goes. My girlfriend was driving in the city a while back and saw someone hitting another car with a machetti!  What?  A machetti?  Crazy!  See mom, suddenly swearing and fist shaking doesn't seem sooo unacceptable does it?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


FYI the patch on the sidewalk that looks like a wet spot is actually ice!  The acrobatics required to recover from every slip should be captured, choreographed and put into a floor routine for a gymnast one day!  Scout and I have been walking in the evenings lately, but this in-between weather has made our walks tricky.  If we go right after school the puddles and mud present irrisistable obstacles for Scout and I to manoeuvre, but if we go after the sun goes down, every puddle and muddy spot has turned into a virtual skating rink, making the "dog walk" an extreme sport.  You know how funny it is to watch someone slip on the ice, arms and legs flying, whirling around through the air like an airplane about to take off? Now picture that someone performing the same act with a 50 pound dog at the end of the leash they have wrapped around their wrist. Yep, you are picturing me!!!  It's funny only because, so far, I have been lucky enough to recover, my feet finding the reliable dry concrete surface each time before my butt!  I am sure it is only a matter of time before I find myself flat on my ass being drug down the sidewalk by Scout! Tomorrow, I just might wear a helmet and some of Marty's hockey pads before taking Scout on her walk!