Saturday, February 27, 2010


By the time Marty realized how involved of a process it would be to make his own fish n' chips from scratch it was late and he was hungry, so rather than pay the $11.99 at our favorite pub for the giant greasy, portion of delicious "English Style Fish n' Chips" he decided we should just buy a box of frozen Fish n' Chips à la Captain Highliner at Superstore.
We scanned the rows and rows of freezers at Superstore and did not see one box of Fish n' Chips. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty boxes of frozen battered fish, just none that included the "n' chips." I was baffled. I specifically remember as a kid, dumping the entire box of Fish n' Chips onto a cookie sheet and throwing it in the oven, 30 minutes later, both Fish AND chips would come out golden brown dripping with tasty grease, begging to be dipped in tartar sauce and ketchup. Apparently the days of n'chips, are over. No more n'chips, at least not at Superstore. So begins the days of buying n'chips seperately.......

Friday, February 26, 2010


You know what's funny? I am sitting here in the affluent community I teach in, notice I said "teach in" not live in, gathered with a bunch of parents, around a tiny, snowy TV screen in the school's foyer. We are all here because there is a basketball tournament happening in the gym and for one reason or another we had to be. Where we all want to be is near a big screen TV with a bacardi in our hand for this, the Canada, Slovakia semi final hockey game. Instead, we are standing around the trolley that holds the small TV, taking turns wiggling the bunny ears. I giggle because I know all of these parents could be at home watching this game in their own Theater Rooms, on their giant plasma or flat screens, but because they love their basketball playing kids and because they love Canada, they are happy as hell to squint at this tiny snowy screen and cheer on our team!!! So here we stand, the picture fluttering in and out, basketballs bouncing in the background, cheering for Canada!!!
Eh Oh Canada Go!!!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I went to put some music on my ipod today. Normally Marty does this for me, but I needed some French music for school and last time Marty helped me get French music from ITunes it was a disaster!
I love having music as a part of my class, but most of the stuff I have is from my days of teaching Grade one and while I always get the kids singing one of those fun "kiddie" French songs at the end of each class, I wanted something a little "cooler" for them to listen too. Marty offered to help me find some "cool" French music for me to play in class. Everyone knows my patience is limited, so after about 5 minutes of watching him search ITunes for French music, I left him to the task. By morning, there was a CD titled "Helmut Fritz" on the counter by my lunch bag. Excited, I took it to school, popped it into the CD player (without previewing it) and hit play. The first song began with a man and woman talking English with thick French accents. The woman began by asking something like,
"Ooo, have you seen that new hot guy?"
"No. Who?"
"Helmut Fritz."
"Helmut Fritz?"
"Yeah, Helmut Fritz?"
"Who the fuck is Helmut Fritz?" Ahhhhhh! A swear, loud and plain as day blasting from my stereo in school to the amusement of the grade 7's! I was horrified, but laughed it off and prayed no kid went home to "tell on me." Ok, so it was not Marty's fault, exactly, but I decided to play it safe tonight, and download my own choice of French tunes.
I located my ipod, under the front seat of my truck, opened my laptop and realized, duh, you need a special cord to plug the ipod into the computer to put music on it. Uh, a special cord? Where the hell would I have put that?? Ofcorse, I have no clue where my special ipod cord is, but I know, Marty, the guy who has every box every appliance, pair of shoes and helmet he owns has come in, would know exactly where his special ipod cord was. He did. I found it in his desk drawer, right where he said it would be and guess what? It still, after 3 years, has those little plastic protector caps on each end of it!!!! What?? I don't know where my cord is at all, but I can guarentee, the plastic end caps are definately not still on it!!!
Just out of curiosity, how many of you still have cords with plastic protector caps on the ends??

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I've waited in lines that I thought were long before, by choice, because the "prize" at the end of the line was worth it to me. I've waited in line at Tim Horton's for over 15minutes before because I love double doubles. I've waited for over 20 minutes for Starbucks before because a Skinny Vanilla Latte is worth 20 minutes. I've waited in lines to get into movies, I've waited in lines to wash my car and I've waited in lines get through customs at airports. I have never, however, gotten up ridiculously early (like before the sun) to wait in line for something millions of other people are waiting for as well. I am just not that person. I've known people who've set their alarms so that they could be first in line for a popular movie (remember when the Titanic came out? How about Avatar?) I've known people who've slept in line ups to ensure tickets to a concert and I heard of people doing the same thing for H1Ni1 flu shots. Not me though. I just don't have the patience. Infact, I think 20 minutes in line for a latte is about as long as I could ever wait.
I have definately dropped out of several line ups in my day. I've dropped out of lines at the bank, at Walmart, at the ski hill and at the blood work lab. I simply abandon my place in line, justifying to myself that life is too short to spend it in line.
I gotta admit though, that in a way, I admire those who want something bad enough, who are passionate enough about something that they consider the wait time worth the hours of their lives they are spending there.
In Vancouver, at the Olympics, there is this zip line that carries fans right over downtown Vancouver, right overtop of all the action. The zip liners scream with excitement as they fly overhead, taking in a bird's eye view of the Olympic games. It does look pretty fun and would absolutly be a cool experience. Marty and I, checked it out...well, we investigated the line up. We approached some volunteers who informed us that if we were to get in line right then and there, we'd be looking at a 6 hour wait! What??? She said the line up begins at 6am though they don't even start taking "riders" until 9am! Woah!! We had way too much to see in our three short days there, that we had to settle for seeing things from "human's eye view" instead.
There were 2 lines to get into the Royal Canadian Mint too. This was where fans could go and check out how Canadian money is made, you could see a gold brick, a million dollar coin and the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. The line to see the medals and all the other cool stuff was three hours long. The other line, allowed you to see everything but the medals, and it was only a 15 minute wait. Guess which line Marty and I waited in? yep, the short one!!!
How about you? What's the longest you've ever waited in a line?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Olympics are awesome! We are only 7 days in and already I've laughed and I've cried. I've been on the edge of my seat and I've bitten my nails. I've been heartbroken and I've celebrated! I've been more proud than ever to be Canadian...and I've been proud to be American too!
I can't explain, why this year, more than any other, I have caught Olympic Fever, but I have. Spending the last three days in Vancouver only fueled my fascination! Being, there in the middle of the action was absolutely incredible! The excitement, the positive, happy energy is contagious and I love being swept up in it! I love wearing my "Canada" clothing and I love that 80% of the other people filling the streets in downtown Vancouver are wearing the same thing! I love that fans of all shapes and sizes are carrying flags, painting their faces and hollering "go Canada go" whenever a Canadian is competing. I love that as soon as an athlete is announced as being from Canada we all root for them even if we've never heard of them before. I love that when they win we celebrate with them as though we've been best friends for years and when they don't, we take on their heartbreak like it is our own. I love that the Olympics bring that out in us!! I love it!! I am having a blast being an Olympic super fan, I can't imagine what it would be like to be an Olympic athlete!
My cousin knows exactly what it's like. She got to compete in the Olympics, the summer games twice for the USA as a pentathlete!
I don't think I quite appreciated, back then what a BIG, BIG deal it was for her to compete, but now I do and I soooo admire her! What an honour, she had, being an athlete, competing for her country!!!!
Being in Vancouver as a fan was inspiring and motivating! I only wish I was younger as it is gonna be tough training to be a World Class Snowboard Cross competitor at my age...JK....or am I??????? He he!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Marty and I are caught up in Olympic fever!! We have the TV on all the time, the energy and excitement of the Olympics filling our living room.
Friday, the day after we sat, drinking Bacardi, watching the awesome Opening Ceremonies, we decided we should go to Vancouver. We don't have tickets to any events, we have no real plan, we just want to go, be a part of the excitement! I have a February Break that lasts until Thursday, so we are going!!!! We found flights for 200 bucks!! We can't drive there for less than that, though we did toss around the idea of road tripping it.
Yesterday, we went to the Bay, the official outfitters of the Canadian Olympic Team and purchased our super fan wear. We got mitts, yep, the awesome red ones all Canadians, including Wayne Gretzky, who wore them to light the flame, are wearing. We got tuques and sweaters. We are ready to cheer on our athletes even if we never get close enough to see any of them! Just being there, in Vancouver, will be awesome!
We may not actually get to see any events from official seating, but I can guarantee we'll be sitting in a pub in downtown Vancouver, wearing bright red jerseys, Tuesday night, cheering on the men's hockey team!!! We'll be cheering with familiar faces as Marty's cousins live in there. We'll be staying with them in Vancouver for the Olympics and we are leaving tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here's hoping you are feeling the excitement wherever you are and here's hoping you are filled with pride for your Country's olympians!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Funny how different priorities can be.
Marty and I got a call from our realtor last Monday. He wasn't calling to say he'd found an acreage for us to go check out, he was calling to say he might have buyers for our condo. Our condo that we hadn't really even talked about listing yet. Our condo that we are gonna take a loss on nomatter what since we bought at the peak of the market. Our condo we thought we'd have better luck renting out than selling if and when we find an acreage to purchase. We were pumped! This was an "out of the blue" opportunity and we really had nothing to lose. We had two and a half evenings until the "showing." Immediately, I wanted to make a list of things that needed to get done and in what order we should do them. Top of my list was CLEAN!!! I heard somewhere that the kitchen is what sells a house. If the woman loves the kitchen, the house will sell. I wanted to focus on the kitchen and the bathrooms. Marty, well, Marty wasn't too worried about cleaning. Top of his list? Getting a bed frame for the bed in the master bedroom. Like, what??? We've gone almost three years with no bed frame and suddenly, it is priority? We finally agreed that Monday night would be "decluttering" night, Tuesday night would, apparently be a trip to Ikea and Wednesday until 7:30pm would be cleaning.

The whirl wind began with us trying to make our living space look bigger. First we dragged the treadmill from the living down to the garage. Then spent the rest of the night clearing out closets and shelves. I'd like to say we carefully put every item we own in a special, clutter free space, but the reality is, we hid a lot of stuff under the spare room bed. Okay, I hid a lot of things under the bed. I also stuffed random clutter into desk drawers and the cab of my truck. A few things found thier way into the washing machine and the dryer. By the time we went to bed Monday night, the surface area of our condo looked spacious and clutter free.

Tuesday, Marty dragged me begrdugingly to Ikea. Don't get me wrong, I love Ikea, I really do, but NOT when I am in a hurry, not when I have a condo I am trying to get ready to sell and not when I am with someone who cannot make decisions. Marty was hell bent on getting a bed frame but once he had me in the store he started showing me living room chairs and coffee tables. He believed that new furniture would sell our place but all I could think about were the dust bunnies and dog hair that needed sweeping and mopping up. We spent the entire evening at Ikea and finally left with a new coffee table and a bed frame. I gotta admit, the bed frame did look damn good, once it was all put together.

Wednesday, we had until 7:30pm to finish prepping our condo for the big showing. I had planned to leave work right away, which would get me home at 4pm. My plan was to divide the house in two, each of us tackling a floor and cleaning steady until we had to leave the premises. En route from the school to home, Marty called. He had found a chair on Kijiji was driving across the city in rush hour to get it! What????? So while he was off on a freaking chair hunt, hours before our condo was being shown, I began the process of scrubbing the entire place! Priorities!!!

We left the building at 7:30. We took Scout to a dog park and killed time. Our realtor called at 9:45, said the showing was a success and he'd keep us posted.

After all was said and done, our condo got cleaned, cleaner than it has been in 3 years, we got some new furniture, I'll admit, it really does look good and we got a very desirable potential offer on our home! Different priorities, that what's makes Marty and I a great team!!

The chair!

Monday, February 1, 2010


The cousins and Mom. Putting together the pack n' play...
Me and Aim trying to figure out the Baby K'Tan sling!

How many times in your life can you say you've actually, sincerely been surprised? Like, really surprised? As in, you had zero inckling that something was "up?" Most people have had surprise parties thrown for them at one time or another, or received a gift, meant to be a surprise. And most people provide the appropriate response, they act, well, surprised! But, if most people are honest, they'd admit that they had a "feeling" something was "up." It is actually pretty damn hard to organized a successful surprise. If you have, or have been the receiver of a legitimate surprise, doesn't it feel awesome???????
I have been lucky enough to have been part of at least five real surprises in my life.

1-Dad's 50th Birthday. All of his sisters and his mom flew in to Edmonton to surprise Dad for his birthday. They stayed for a few short days, but we had a blast. It was sooo fun having them all together in Canada! What an awesome family, to spend the money to visit for such a short time! Dad was well loved!!! This happened almost 15 years ago so the details are sketchy, but I remember that Dad was sincerely surprised and ecstatic!

2-A while back, like say, 6 or 7 years ago, I was in a real low in my life. It was December, I had just ended a relationship and I was living in the country alone, 2 hours from the rest of my family. December was not looking like it was going to be a real festive month for me, but despite my loneliness, I was determined to decorate my little country home, even if I had to do it by myself. I remember talking to Mom on the phone, telling her that it was December 1st and I was heading out to put lights on the roof. I said I was calling incase I fell. If she didn't hear from me in a few hours, she might want to call someone. I hung up the phone, pulled on my winter gear and headed outside to set up the laddar and find hte lights. I remember climbing up the laddar lonely as hell, tears swelling as my frustration for trying to do the job by myself grew. Just as my self pity party really started, a car pulled up the lane. It was mom and Nic!!! They had hung up the phone with me, hopped in the car and drove the two hours to Eckville to bring me Holiday spirit!!! We decorated my house, laughed, sang and baked Christmas cupcakes. They really saved Christmas for me by surprising me and reminding me how much I really was loved!!! I was genuinely surprised!!!

3- About three years ago I was lucky enough to witness an expertly executed surprise. Nic, and if you know her, you can imagine the engineering that would go into her planning of the perfect surprise, pulled off the ultimate surprise!! She had decided to get Troy a puppy for Christmas. Troy had wanted a puppy as long as we could all remember, so this gift was gonna be a dream come true for him. Nic picked out the puppy, hoping that she could leave him with his puppy family until Christmas, but the owners were not willing to keep him that long. NIc had to bring the puppy home, but determined not to spoil the surprise until Christmas, she worked out a way to keep Duke from Troy until then. Mom and Aim took turns puppy sitting in their homes until the big day. Nic, in the mean time, knowing that Troy is a shake and rattle present guy, planted a fake puppy box under their tree. She filled the box with something she figured weighed about as much as the puppy and she wrapped it in the same paper she intended to use on the real puppy box. Nic did not want Troy suspecting a thing on Christmas Day. She even brought the fake box with her when she and Troy hauled all of their gifts over to mom's to be opened with the family Christmas afternoon. Troy had been shaking and rattling that fake box all month, suspecting that it would be a good gift as it was coming from his wife. He couldn't wait to open it. Nic, had planned for mom to ask Troy to run outside or to the basement (can't remember which) to get her something and while he was gone, we ran upstairs to mom's bedroom, got the sleepy puppy, stuffed him in a box identical to the fake box, and rushed him down the stairs to the tree. When Troy was finished his errand, he reached for the box as it was his turn to open a gift. He picked up the box, not suspecting a thing. He set the box, weighing exactly what the box he'd been shaking all month weighed, on his lap and pulled off the lid. I wish I could describe to you the look on his face when a wet pink tongue reached out and licked his cheek! As I write this I get choked up, it was truly one of the very best surprises I have witnessed. Troy cried, Nic cried, hell, we all cried. The tears were tears of joy, so much emotion over one adorable little puppy and one huge, huge surprise!!!

4-2 Christmas's ago, Shane Cole, pulled off a giant surprise right before our eyes. He and Aim had flown to Edmonton, to spend Christmas with us Canadians. What we didn't know, was that Shane had planned to propose to Aimee Christmas morning, in front of all of us! What Shane didn't know, was that Christmas morning at our house has traditions that run deep. One of those traditions is that we all have "seats," places we each sit, places that Santa leaves gifts for each of us, places we've called our own, for years. This came as news to Shane who had quietly gotten up early, found the perfect seat in the room, one where he could easily see everyone, one where he could easily hide the ring and he did just that. He placed his precious gift behind the couch and waited for the rest of us to join him around the tree. Imagine his surprise when we informed him that he could not sit in his perfect seat, that seat was actually, mine. He was flustered, so he told us, we were oblivious. He left his ring in hiding and moved over to Aim's special spot. Then he had to wait and wait and wait. See, another tradition is that we take turns opening gifts. This prolongs christmas morning, making it feel like it lasts forever. Sometimes we have breaks in the middle and eat breakfast or let the dogs in and out of the house. Shane had wanted to wait until the gifts were opened to pop the question, but he didn't realize he'd be waiting for three hours. He told us he was nervous the entire morning, in anticipation. Finally his moment came and though we all thought it was weird that this guy was reaching behind the couch, not one of us figured he was looking for a diamond ring!!! It wasn't until he emerged from the back of the couch and kneeled infront of Aim that we all, her included figured it out!!! Another surprise that involved tears of joy, lots of 'em!! Another successful, fantastic surprise!!!

5- Last weekend, Mom, Shane and I pulled off another pretty great surprise! Mom and I flew into Denver for the weekend so we could attend Aim's baby shower and help her get ready for little Baby Cole's arrival. Shane picked us up at the airport after convincing Aimee that he had to work late and dropped us off at the corner of their street. He headed inside and went straight up to the bathroom, ensuring that Aim would have to answer the doorbell. We rang and she answered and damn, was she surprised and confused!!! She could not believe that we were there, standing on her doorstep!! She had had zero idea that we were coming and that is what made it sooo perfect!!! We had an awesome time preparing for the baby. We shopped, we attended a perfect shower, we shopped, we organized, we shopped and we celebrated together the anticipation of baby's arrival!!!!

I love, love surprises!!!! Here's hoping you get to be a part of a truly real, happy surprise!!