Sunday, May 31, 2009


I have started taking apples out of the garbage at school. Call me a garbage picker if you want, but there are often, whole apples tossed into the garbage cans every day and I am tired of watching them go to waste. I would rather pick through the goopy yogurt tubes, grease soaked saran wrap and orange peels to pick out a shiny apple, to feed to my horse, than to just leave it there rotting with the rest of the garbage! I pick them out, cut them up and feed them to Dirt Face! Scout and I have been going out to the farm to ride Dirt quit a bit lately and each time I take one of my "scavanged" apples as a treat for Dirt. Scout usually sits right under his mouth while he eats the apple hoping he'll spit pieces onto the ground so she can chase them around. I never notice whether or not she eats the apple pieces, I am too busy being disgusted, first by the fact that she wants something Dirt has already half chewed, and secondly by the fact that it is coated in dirt and manure! Today though, we learned that Scout, indeed, LOVES apples. We went hiking near Canmore today with Scout. We climbed up Lady Macdonald, all the way up to the old Tea House. It was pretty windy up there, so we hiked back down to a sunny spot protected by rocks, to enjoy our lunch. Marty and I settled into the grass and unpacked our snacks. I took a huge bite out of my red delicious apple. and Scout's ears perked up. She pushed her nose right up to my apple. For a minute I thought she was actually going to take a bite out of it! I broke off a piece for her, which she proceeded to gobble up! Up until this point the only human food Scout has had, and only because the vet said it was ok, has been, Peanut butter(which she loves) and carrots (she hates them, but always thinks she wants them.) Though, I grew up giving our farm dogs all kinds of table scraps, from leftover cereal bowl milk, to chicken bones, we dont' feed Scout scraps of any human food, mostly because I do not want to have to pick up the poop strange food causes her to have! Apples are a healthy, natural snack so I decided to share mine with Scout. By share, I mean, she ate half of mine and begged Marty for his! Aha! A new dog treat, one that, when it comes from a garbage can is FREEEE!!! Yipeee!I

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I couldn't think of anything to write about tonight. I was complaining to Marty, about having "writer's block," while we shared a bowl of edemame beans. Yummm, we love edemame beans. You can buy them at Costco in individual packages. Every now and then we pop a container of the beans into the microwave, drench them in salt, sit at the counter and inhale them! Anyway, tonight, while inhaling beans, well, between sucking the beans out of their shell and tossing the shell in the garbage, I moaned that I had nothing to write about. Marty, sweaty from hitting golf balls on the range, looked at me with those big, beautiful, blue eyes and said: Write about me. Write about how cool I am! So, here goes:

Marty is cool!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Today, we went on our first hike of the season. We decided to tackle "China Man's Peak," which has been officially, politically correctly, renamed "Haling's Peak." It is a great 1.5 to 2 hour hike straight up. It is kind of early to be tackling this peak as we could see, even from the parking lot, that there was still snow up there, but since the sun was finally shining, we decided to just do it!! We grabbed a couple of friends, Scout, our camel backs and headed up the mountain. This is a fairly popular hike and today, despite the snow, was no different than any other on the trail. Tones of hikers. There were old hikers, young hikers, couples, friends and lots of dogs. This was Scout's first official mountain hike and she was pumped!!! She stuck fairly close to us most of the time, licked (kissed) every hiker along the way, played with every dog she met and rolled in every snowbank she saw! We laughed and laughed at her endless energy and the smile you could see plastered on her face! Though, the four of us humans were labouring to breath, on this our first hike of the season, Scout still had energy half way up to race around in her crazy puppy circles while we stood heaving and gulping water! Definately Scout's favorite part of the hike were the snowbanks. She could not resist diving head first into each one. As we neared the ridge of the false peak, Scout sneaked over to the edge to take in the view with the rest of us. The ridge, however, was lined with a neat layer of snow that gave way to a cliff covered with a blanket of deep snow!! Scout saw this and before we could stop her, leapt over the edge! I watched, horrified as she slid on her haunches down part of the cliff. I screamed! She skidded to a stop, looked back at the four terrified faces peering over the ridge, and shot us a grin that seemed to say "What? This is awesome!!!" Thankfully, she turned around and began leaping up the cliff, but as she got close to the ridge, the incline became very steep and the snow, packed down by her slide, was slippery. Scout started to loose her grip and she began moving her feet fast, but could not make up any ground! In a panick, I reached over the ledge and grabbed her collar. Luckily the collar was tight enough that it didn't pull over her head as I used my one hand grip on it to lift all 60 pounds of her up and over to safety! Immediately, we dug the leash out of the back pack and harnessed our over energetic thrill seeker!! We all hit the actual peak in one piece and had a celebratory granola bar! We didn't let Scout off her leash until we were safely back down to the tree line, where there were less fatal places to fall!!!!
Yep, that is a pink bandana in the photos. I thought it would be cute, you know, make Scout look like a mountain dog. Marty thought he'd get made fun of, but I think you will agree, it is ADORABLE!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Do you know what a "kong" is? It's a dog toy / treat dispenser. Scout has one. Hers is red, rubber and in the shape of a cone. After long runs, exhausting play times, or when I just want some peace and quiet, I will fill the hole of the kong with peanut butter and watch as Scout spends the next 15minutes trying to suck the sticky stuff out. She loves this treat and I love the laughter I get out of watching her enjoy that treat. Today, though, I was horrified to realize a flaw in my kong filling system. See, I take a butter knife out of the drawer, stick it in the jar of peanut butter, stick the whole knife into the hole where I scrape of the peanut butter, then, well, then I stick that knife BACK into the jar!! Ewwww!!!!!! It just hit me today, two thirds of the way through the jar, that I double dip the peanut butter knife. I double dip it into the jar, the same jar I use to get peanut butter for my toast, then double dip it into the kong, the same kong that my dog, who licks herself and everything else in sight, sticks her tongue into!!!! EWWWWWWWWWW!
PS Don't tell Marty!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I think it is important to be a lifelong learner, yes, that is garb from teaching philosophy class, but I believe it. I realize that in Teacher's college they meant, keep learning new teaching practices, things you can safely do in classrooms without helmets, however I prefer to continue my life long education OUTSIDE!!! Lastnight, I pulled into the parking lot of Bowmont park with my new bike (a Yeti hand me down from my sister,) on the back of my jetta, ready to ride with the Calgary "Spin Sisters" for the first time! I had been nervous all day about this ride. It would be my first ride of the season (Marty and I started getting interested in biking last August, after a visit to Aim and Shane's,) and my first ride on this "new to me" bike. I had emailed Shane (our family's bike expert) to see what I should wear. Silly, i know, should be a simple thing, shorts, T-shirt, shoes. But, although it is May, it is NOT warm here in Calgary, so I had to layer up. I had now idea how the bike world layers up. Was it cooler to wear my tights over or under my padded shorts? What about the knee warmers? Did they go over or under the tights? Are ya even supposed to wear undies under those diaper type shorts??? Shane wrote back explicit dressing instructions, so when I did appear at the parking lot to meet the other riders, with my undies under the bike shorts which I wore under the tights, which also covered the leg warmers, I kinda looked like I fit in. :) There were several girls in the parking lot pushing bikes, looking excited, nervous and cold! They divided us up according to our abilities. Scooters, very beginner, Cruisers, intermediate and Rockets, the fast ones! I somehow fell into the Cruiser group, which we further divided into, high cruisers and low cruisers. Me and the rest of the low cruisers headed out on the single track trails. I had no idea we had such rustic, cliff like trails in the middle of the city. We had only been biking for about 5 minutes when we came to a screeching halt! Our leader was at the bottom of a hill and the 5 of us followers were stopped, holding our bikes, peering down a steep downhill path, that had a curve in the middle of it! What? A turn in the middle of the downhill??? We were scared! That turn, intimidated us and not one of us was brave enough to attempt going down! Our leader, after much coaxing from the bottom of the hill, pushed her bike all the way back up. She mounted her bike again and called, "it's easy, watch!!" We watched in awe as she made the swift downhill, with the curve look effortless! Eventually, one by one, we rode our bikes and our brakes all the way down the path! It was incredible though, that despite our lack of speed and the smell of burning brakes, how excited each one of us was when we hit the bottom! The rest of the two hours went much the same. Every girl in the group gaining confidence as we tackled terrain that scared the shit out of us! The ride was scary enough to make us feel alive, but not scary enough to make us cry..! I read a sign at the top of a ski hill once that said "Do something every day that scares you." I think of that sign every time I feel adrenalin rushing through my veins and it inspires me. "Do something every day that scares you," check!

Monday, May 11, 2009


Spent last week (Monday-Friday) in Quebec city with 37 grade 7 and 8 students, 4 other staff members and 6 parents. This was not only my first time in Quebec city, but it was my first major overnight night trip with students. I sit here on my couch, one week after the day we left, exhausted!!!! Exhausted, proud, happy and sad! Exhausted, becuase we had 5 jam packed days, each beginning at 6am and ending at 11pm. Me in charge the whole time!!! Proud, because my students were amazing!!! They were respectful, enthusiastic, and awesome the whole time!!!! Happy because I strengthened my relationship with the students, got to know some staff members and parents better and had the opportunity to use my French as I was the only French speaking person on our trip! Sad, because the trip had to end and I had to say good-bye to an amazing tour guide, a cute security guard and hanging with students in a non-classroom setting. We got to bike by the river, walk across a suspension bridge over a waterfall, go on a scavenger hunt and a dance cruise, dined at several restaurants, shopped in Old Quebec, soaked up Canadian history and laughed and laughed and laughed! The worst thing the kids did was drink too much Red Bull. This energy drink caused a couple of students to suffer major Red Bull hangovers! They experienced upset tummies, headaches and dehydration. I am sure no one will drink another Red Bull for a long time, after seeing one of the boys puke on the bus and then have to miss the dance. I'll admit, we may have led the kids to believe the Red bull was responsible for his discomfort, however we'll call in Natural Consequence and Lesson learned!!
It is hard to be back in the classroom, in reality, but I have posted photos of the trip on the window of my classroom so that we can all enjoy the memories!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Poor Dirt, he just keeps getting beat up! These are pictures of his latest injury. It is a few days old in these pictures, it actually looks pretty good. I am guessing it was a bite from another horse, you should have seen it when I found it! It was swollen so bad that no hide covered the mark, only meat showed and it was covered with dirt and grass that I had to pick off! Ewww!