Monday, November 30, 2009


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 15, 2009


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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 1, 2009


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

Who knew garbage bags held so many possibilities??? 

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


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