Monday, August 31, 2009


You know you've been on summer holidays too long when you forget to have the photocopier staple and HOLE PUNCH the hundreds of copies you asked it to make! I slammed the hole punch down on the maximum amount of paper it would punch without tearing the pages, SLAM!  How could I miss such a simple step. SLAM! For the millionth time I cussed myself for forgetting to hit the "hole punch" button on the copier! SLAM! Damn it!!!  This machine is supposed to make life easier, but when the operator, me, forgets things like HOLE PUNCH, all it does is become a "job creator!" I guess forgetting the holes isn't as bad as forgetting to ask it to "sort" the papers when I am trying to make a booklet. Nothing worse than having it group all the same pages together and then fasten them as tight as possible with a neat little staple in the upper right hand corner.  Do you know how much fun it is to pry those staples out, sort the papers, and then restaple each booklet?????  If you know what I am talking about, then you too are staying up too late, getting up too early and trying to do too much before the first day of school!  Save yourself valuable prep time, GO TO BED!!!!! That's where I am heading right now! Goodnight!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

If you don't know the site, contact me, or leave my blog a comment and I will give it to ya.  Check it out soon, our deposit deadline is Sept.2 and we want you there!!!!

(Marty wants everyone to know that the red spot on his forehead in this photo is a pressure point from his cowboy hat being too tight, it is in no way, shape or form, a blemish of any other kind! oh and it looks like i am not wearing a shirt in this photo, but, despite popular belief, the Calgary Stampede is NOT a topless event...)

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Once, about 20 years ago, I got stung by a bee while playing hide and seek at my grandma's house in Illinois.  I was hiding behind a water tank outside when I felt myself get stung.  My hiding spot was sooo great, I refused to leave it though I could feel the sting getting hard and itchy.  I crouched behind that tank, while the itching spread from the sting to my back.  When I couldn't take the itching anymore, I casually snuck into the house, to the bathroom, where I lifted up my shirt and looked at my back in the mirror. To my horror, my entire back was covered with hives! I found my Mom and Dad who drove me to the hospital where the doctor gave me a needle in my butt! OUCH!!!  From that day forward, I have been carrying around a fear of bees and "bee sting kits." The kits used to look like geometry sets.  A flat, plastic case, that contained some benedryl, some alcoholic wipes, some string and a needle.  Now my "bee kit" is a simple epi pen.  Of which,I have three, one in my purse, one in my saddle bag and one in my camelback.  I had not been stung in 20 years....but Sunday? Sunday, I got stung!  I was almost home after a 10km jog, when I felt what could only have been one thing, the sting of a hornet!  It must have flown between the tongue of my running shoe and the front of my ankle.  I skidded to an immediate halt, expecting my lungs to start closing up, or my body to become numb.  To my surprise, and relief, nothing happened. Ok, not nothing, my ankle stung and the spot that had been "hit" was turning white and hard and circular.  Though I could feel no life threatening symptoms, I kind of teared up.  I was scared, I had not been stung in 20 years!!! I panicked a little and raced the last 100meteres to my front door.  I skipped the steps two at a time until I was upstairs in the bedroom, where a very hung over Marty was still sleeping.  I ripped off my shoe and placed, my sweaty, surly smelly foot right by Marty's head and cried, "I got stung!" I was surprised at how my voice was shaking. I mean, for 20 years I have been wondering what would happen if I got stung, and now, it had happened and I was still expecting something bad.  Marty squinted through his pounding headache and repeated, "you got stung?  Oh, you got STUNG!!!" He shot up in bed. He also had been hearing about this "bee sting allergy" for the past couple of years.  He had been instructed in "epi pen" use. He had even started carrying the extra, expired pen, just in case.  We both stared at the little hard white spot on my foot.  We exchanged looks and decided I should just try taking a benedryl.  I took 2 just to be safe and spent another 5 or 6 minutes staring at the sting, just waiting for it to start spreading hives all over my body.  When it was clear that nothing big was gonna happen, I hit the shower.  All day, I kept a close eye on my sting.  I couldn't help but expect that at any minute, I would need to get Marty to jab me with that epi pen (there is no way I could ever give myself a needle!)  By the end of the day, my ankle had swollen to the size of an orange.  It was itchy as hell and looked horrific, all purple and blue, but no hives and no need for epinephren.  Today, Monday, my ankle still looks awful, is itchy and swollen, but I am alive.  So, do I have a bee sting allergy?  I don't know anymore, but I will probably always keep those epi pens handy, just in case!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


This is the picture of a girl who 
needs an acreage!!
Our never ending quest to find an acreage continues....a couple of days ago we went to the rural community of Priddis,south and west of Calgary, to check out an acreage we had seen listed on MLS.  The house, built in 1960 had some rennos and an addition put on in 2004. It sat on 5.5 acres of land, and was listed for under 600 000$! The asking price was still out of our price range, but it was the most affordable thing we had seen in a long time, so we decided to check it out.  Our realtor, Joe, whom I refer to as the "dream killer," (he has this way of pointing out all of the negative aspects of a piece of property, all of the horrible things, I like to pretend I don't see,) met us out at the property at 2pm. The location was perfect, the scenery was breathtaking and the outside of the house looked promising, except the carport.  I guess a carport is a garage with no walls, just a roof, and this one was full of junk.  All kinds of junk, stuff that you would think, someone trying to sell a house, would at least organize or try to hide.  Despite the piles of cans and newspapers and buckets and engine parts scattered on the floor, we could see potential.  We could easily add some walls and install a garage door, voila, a two car garage could be created here!  The garden, it turned out had not been rototilled in ages and was not even on the listed property, though it looked like it was.  Apparently, it sits on the "no man's land" that exists between the actual property line and the neighbour's fence.  But Dave, the neighbour, is really nice and there's never been a problem. The grass gets mowed, I assume by Dave and no one uses the garden.  The fence that belongs to the house we were looking at, is kind of mixed in with the neighbours fence, creating one giant perimeter fence, no cross fencing and no one really seems to know where one pasture starts and another one ends.  The neighbours all throw some horses into the big pasture to keep the grass down so wild fires don't start! Like, what? "Oh Dave won't care if you want to throw your horse out there too...".  We found out all about "Dave" from the owners, who were awkwardly home while we were there, doing our walk through.  I gotta say, they were very honest and willing to talk, but serioulsy, if you are trying to sell a house, why sit at the kitchen table and SMOKE, while potential buyers are walking through?????  Gross!!!! I was repulsed!  The house had some potential, it was kind of cute, but honestly, if we are going to pay what this place was listed for, then we needed to be able to just move in.  For a price tag that huge, we are looking for something with less "potential" and more "move right in and live!!"  Our quest continues.....

Monday, August 17, 2009


Can you see the rainbow? I took this through the van, we never did find the pot of gold, it sure wasn't in SandPoint......
I named my GPS navigation system, Delilah.  I love Delilah.  Ever since she came into my life, i have had an independence in this city that I never knew I could achieve!  My favorite part about Delilah though, isn't her uncanny ability to get me to any hole in the wall destination, I might choose.  It's the part, where, when she asks me, "Where to?" I can just hit the button that says, home, and no matter where in the city, the country or the world for that matter, I am, Delilah will offer me directions and an estimated time of arrival, to my front door!  We used Delilah's help on our trip too.  We used good old fashioned paper maps too, but for conformation, we used Delilah.  We would type in something like, Yellowstone, and she would say, "continue for 275 kilometers, then turn right."  As we approached the indicated intersection, Delilah would offer another verbal reminder, "Turn right now."  I love that Delilah provided times of arrival too, that way I would know exactly how much longer I had to sit in the van, where to time my "pit stops" and when we would have to stop to let Scout out for a drink or a piddle.  Delilah, didn't like it when we turned off her route.  If we chose to turn into a gas station, or go through a town instead of around it, Delilah would start to panick! Her screen would start swirling the map around, and she would screech, " 300meters turn right, then right, then right," or "recalculating...." She would continue to say "recalculating, recalculating, recalculating..." until I couldnt' stand it anymore, and I'd unplug her.  It is weird that I would feel bad for her, the electronic device.  For some reason, I hated that she didn't understand that we just needed fuel and a chocolate bar, that we weren't obnoxiously ignoring her.  I also go through feelings of guilt when I  unplug Delilah, before reaching my final destination. I feel like I am using her, like I only need her for part of my journey, but I wont take her the whole there such a thing as GPS emotional abuse???

Sunday, August 16, 2009


10 days on the road and we are back!  We had an awesome time camping with Scout, Aim, Shane and Jasper.  We learned a tonne about biking and camping in the wilderness from Aim and Shane. The trip can be summed up in a few lessons:

Day 1: KOA campground in Montana
K-Keep tent set up quick in the pouring rain at 11pm, in
 the dark!
O- only really close neighbours at a KOA and most likely they will snore loud enough for you to hear them from your tent!
A-am comes EARLY when you are camped near motorbikers that need to fire up their bikes and let them warm up right outside your tent!!

Day 2: Yellowstone
Geysers are cool!
Before wrapping a rock from the firepit in a towel to take to bed with ya to keep your toes warm, make sure the rock has cooled off first. Should you omit the cooling step in the process you will burn holes in your towel!!!

Day 3- Grand Tetons, Wyoming


Jimmy's Mom, is a downhill bike ride. (Shane and Marty rode this one, Aim and I drove the shuttle, AKA, the minivan.)
You should never, ever under bungee while creating Tarp City! 
Creating Tarp city, will keep you dry in the rain!!

Day 4- Craters of the Moon, Idaho

A great way to get fired from driving, is to talk too much, sing too loud and drive so irradically that the captain at the wheel of the Westfalia complains!!

Lava is hot and so were my feet for the first night of the trip!!!!

Day 5: Praire Creek, Idaho
You can camp in a National Forest, for free, and you can get your hair braided there for free too!

When camping in National Forest, bring your own sunshower, or "man up" and bathe in the lake!

2 adults and a dog, do fit comfortably on the lower bunk of the Westfalia!

When camping with "bike experts," like a Yeti employee, take advantage of his knowledge!!

Day 6- Praire Creek, Idaho
Aimee, is a great bike coach, she taught me a few key things about 
going downhill, something that scares the hell out of me. The one that helped the
most, that day, was get your ass behind your seat, let your seat poke ya in the gut!

If you smile pretty, you can get a free boat ride, in a guy name Worthington's boat.
(Good thing Shane has a pretty smile!)

IF you can't manage to shave your legs in the sunshower, the creek works just fine!

Day 7- Downhill biked at SunValley, Idaho. Camped at Baker Creek (another free National Forest Campground)
Downhill biking scares the crap out of me, but today Shane taught me a couple of key things that
contributed to me finding more courage: let some air out of your tires for downhilling and put your seat
way down, so ya look like a BMX rider!
Marty learned, from the experts, Aim and Shane, how to change tires....3 times!!!!!!!

Day 8, Baker Creek, Idaho
Biking up, up, up hill, makes the dowhill much sweeter!

When an SUV pulls into your "middle of nowhere" campsite and four armed officers get out and show you
a poster of a "man on the loose," it makes ya wonder if your tent is a safe place to spend the night.

When a random truck pulls into your "middle of nowhere" campsite, and a guy gets out and tells ya that
he just saw a bear 100 feet from your campsite, it convinces you to stuff your air mattress into your van
and spend the night with your dog, and your fiancee in the cramped safety of locking doors!

Day 9-Bye to Aim and Shane, head for Sandpoint, Idaho...10+ hours of driving from Baker Creek
When the weather is rainy, might as well drive!
It is ok to sleep in a cheap, pet friendly motel, after that many hours and that much camping!

Day 10: Sandpoint, Idaho, still rainy, drove to Fernie and camped there that night in the provincial park!
Army surplus stores are treasure chests to be explored on rainy days!!!
Setting up the tent for the last time, is bitter sweet!

Day 11: Last day of trip! Fernie, British Columbia
Fernie has an amazing set up for downhill biking. There were trails that even I could do!! :)
It always rains when we are on vacation!
Feels great to come home, even if you find your kitchen sink has been leaking since you left!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Scout, in the van, preparing to drool in my lap.  Good thing she is cute, she usually gets away with it! :)

Scout, frolicking in a swamp, the same swamp that Marty sucked the 54 dollar flip flops off Marty's feet.  The swamp she frolicked in before getting back into the van to drool in my lap!

We're going on a road trip!  Tomorrow, Marty, Scout and I will pile into our van and head down the road! We'll be aiming to be in the Grand Tetons, (which Marty likes to remind me, means, Big Tits, in French) in Wyoming by Saturday.  We'll hook up with Aim, Shane and Jasper (their adorable dog) there.  From there we'll spend a big 
chunk of our road trip experience with them! :)
I have a love/hate relationship with roadtrips.  I am the girl sitting in the passenger seat, bare feet up on the dash, singing at the top of her lungs to the great tunes blasting through the speakers. The carefully selected "road songs" that have been strategically downloaded on the ipod really set the mood for the long hours in the van.  I am the girl that keeps the space between the two front seats stocked with never ending supplies of: spicy nuts, trail mix, grapes, beef jerky, jelly bellies, pistachios and chips.  I am the girl that keeps the cup holders full of water, ice caps, or Gatorade.  I am the girl that rubs the shoulders of the dedicated, patient driver.  I am the girl that occasionally leans to the back and pets the dog on the head.  I am the girl talking non-stop, making sure there are no uncomfortable silences.  That is the "Fun Jeanne" that usually shows up on all road trips, but if I am being honest, there is another Jeanne that shows up, after like, half and hour or so on the road.  
After all the good songs have been played, the snacks have made me gassy and the drinks have made my eyes float.  That Jeanne, is the girl whose sticky, stinky feet start falling asleep on the dash.  The girl who gives up singing and just tries to fall asleep. The one who has to gather up all the twist ties from the bags of nuts, and trail mix and try to find somewhere to stash them. The one who has to toss out the grape stems, jerky wrappers and pistachio shells at all the gas stations, after taking the dog for a "poop" walk before being allowed to finally relieve myself. The one who has to pee in every town we pass thanks to the water, ice caps and gatorade.  The one who wishes the dog would just stay in the back, on her bed, and quit creeping up between the seats, drooling in my lap. The one who starts to get annoyed at her own voice because even she can't listen to her BS anymore!!!
Ah, the joys of road trips!!!  Good
I will let ya all know how this one went when we get back, in 10 days!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009


Marty sat at the island in the kitchen tonight while I baked cookies, determined to start his watch.  He had won a "Fossil" watch at a golf tournament the other weekend and he has been trying to figure out how to "wind" it since then. It's some fancy watch that is supposed to use kinetic energy to start ticking and promises to keep on ticking as long as you wear it. The internet instructions told him to swing the watch in a clockwise motion and it would start. So every night, for the last 2 weeks, he has spent a few impatient minutes, swinging his arm in clockwise circles, hoping this fancy watch would magically start.  To his dismay and my amusement, it never did.  Today, we were at a department store, Marty asked the lady in the clock repair department, if she knew how to start the watch. She repeated what he had learned on the internet, infact, she went so far as to take the watch and physically show him how to girate his wrist in the perfect motion to make it start. We walked away from the counter believing that all we had to do was circle this watch until we made it home and by that time, for sure, it would be telling the correct time.  Marty drove with one hand on the wheel and one hand swining the watch. When his frustration level began to impact his ability to safely navigate the roads, I took over, swinging the watch to my own rhythm.  15 minutes later, NOTHING!!!   As we pulled into the driveway, Marty declared that tonight, he was going to sit and figure this thing out, even if it took 4 hours.  He sat down at the island in the kitchen and I looked at the clock, 6pm.  I grinned and hoped to God, he would figure it out before 10pm!  I pulled out my mixer, the butter, eggs, flour, sugar, and chocolate chips and began to bake.  I had baked 3 dozen cookies, by 6:45pm, the time Marty finaly found the magic swinging rhythm to start his watch!  He beamed, like he had just launched a rocket and I watched all kinds of tension drain from his shoulders. He pushed his chair back, snagged a cookie and paraded around the house announcing for Scout and I to hear, the time, right down to the nano second, in both 12 and 24 hour time!   After about 5 minutes of gloating, he reached into his pocket and pulled out the brand new Ironman Watch he had just bought at the department store.  They didn't happen to have any Ironman Watches compatible with ipods, in any other color than pink, or he would have been trying to decipher that at my cookie baking island too.  Luckily this water resistant, lap counting, golf score keeping, digital machine came with paper instructions in 4 different languages.  The foreign language side smeared the spilt butter as he flattened the page in the middle of my valuable counter space.  This watch appeared to be much easier to set to the correct time, but as I tossed the last bag of cookies into the freezer, Marty was just beginning to read about all of the special functions this watch was capable of.   Ridiculous! I shook my head and checked my battery recharger.  The double AAs were done charging, ready for me to slide into the back of my Garmin.  My own GPS watch. The one I use for running.  I got it as a gift from my sisters back in '06.  This is another gadget capable of sooo much.  It has been my favorite training tool, however, I only use two buttons on the watch, the on/off button and the start/stop button.   I can keep track of my pace, my distance and my time with those 2 buttons and I can't imagine what else, I, an amateur runner would ever need.  I love the simplicity of it, on, start.......stop, off!  So easy to get sooo much info!!  My biggest frustration is keeping the batteries charged, the thing sucks battery juice like it's steroids!  To each his own, I guess.  All I care, is that Marty now has a watch to wear while Kiteboarding and he can never "loose track of time" again, forgetting to call so I know he has not drown!!!