Sunday, August 29, 2010


I am sure there are several but today, here is a definition of hell, the one I'm in right now: being sick on the couch, sharing the TV with my hungover husband, stuck inside while it pours rain with a very hyper, very bored, very vocal Boxer X puppy!!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010


You know how your parents always told you, when you were camped out in the backyard and could hear the coyotees howling, that "those coyotes are more afraid of you than you are of them." Don't believe them! Today, I saw first hand that I am definatly more afraid of them than they are of me!!

I was out at "the farm," where I keep Dirt Face, riding with my friend, Jamie. Scout was with us, ofcourse having a ball swimming in all the sloughs, leaping through the tall grass and chasing dear. We were almost back at the barn when I saw him...the mangy, scruffy old coyote. The trick with Scout is to make sure I see all chasable things before she does and this one I saw. He was stalking closer and closer to us, making no sound at all. The horses didn't even notice him. I, made a bad decision just then, it turned out. I decided to ride towards him, hoping to scare him off before Scout would notice....oh, I scared him off alright, I scared him off into a dead run that before I could distract her, caught Scout's attention. She was off like a shot, practically riding that coyotes heels. I screamed after her, "NO, SCOUT, NO!!!!" Scout, clearly on a mission, she thought was all in good fun, didn't even flicker an ear in my direction. To my horror, she dissapeared into the bush.
Jamie and I looked at each other booted our horses into gallops, hollering for Scout. Galloping, it turned out was a great decision. Scout, unable to resist a good horse race, came bolting out of the bush to see if she could beat Dirt Face and Panda, who we swung in the direction of the barn. We got the horses stopped, and feeling sooo lucky that my dog was back, I dismounted to close the gate and hug Scouter. I had barely stepped to the ground when we heard it. The creepiest sound filled the silence between the animal's heavy breathing and my panicked heart. It was the coyote! He was back and he was "calling Scout out!" He continued to beckon for her, trying desperatly to lour her towards him and probably his pack. I managed to snag Scout's collar just as she figured out she was being challenged. With Jamie's help, I got one of Dirt's reins untied, secured it to Scout's leash and led her strait to the house where the owner of the Farm was frantically locking up her own dogs!
Those coyotes are NOT afraid of you!

Friday, August 20, 2010


It grosses me out how much dog hair clogged the filter of my vacume today after vacuuming the tiny amount of carpet we have. Had I not vacuumed, I'd still be living in the peaceful ignorance of wondering if I really needed to vacuume, afterall it looked like there was nothing to suck up! Ha! Sick! How can there be so much hair that I can't even see????
Worse was the slate floor in the kitchen and living room. Seriously, if you were to glance around, or even walk on the floor, you would have no idea that is was covered in a layer of fine, fine dog hairs. I had not idea, until I swept it up into a pile. The exercise starts with me sweeping randomly, looking for some big crumb to start my pile, then without even knowing it, I have a pile, a big pile of dog hair!!! Ewwwwwwwww!!!!

Anyway, the floors are hair least until I let Scout back in the house, better come over quick!!! :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Ate at Fatburger today for the first time. What would possess any health conscious human being to eat at a place called, Fatburger??? Her husband's insistance that's what!
In we went to "Americas last burger stand" for good old fashioned Fatburgers! We ordered, the cashier hollered out our order, the line cooks hollered it back, she gave us a number, cups for our free refill fountain drinks and sent us to find a table. Marty dropped our change into a tub labled "fat tip" the girl having heard the change rattle when it hit the bottom hollered out, "Fat Tip!" Once again everyone repeated. It was actually kind of fun, all this "fat energy!"
Our milkshake showed up first. It was a chocolate one with whip on top! What? I have never had a milkshake with whip, had I known, I would have requested "no whip" but there I was with a rapidly melting milk shake topped with foamy white whip! Not one to waste food, I chugged it down. Gotta admit, it was deliscious! Our burgers and fries showed up in plastic baskets next. We enjoyed the beef patties while condiments dripped down our fingers. The burgers really were fat. Fat, juicy, homemade and sooo worth every "fat cell" that was gonna end up on my least that is how I felt as I sucked down every last bite, the taste leaving a fat smile on my face!
Later, though, later, things were not quite so "fat tastic" anymore. I suddenly had a big fat tummy ache and big fat gas and big fat discomfort! Marty must have too, judging from the smell infiltrating the van as we drove through the city. By the time we got home, the big fat pain in my gut was urgent!!!
I feel better now, now that I emptied that big fat burger into my toilet! Big Fat Double flusher! (Was that too much info?? LOL!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I have just returned from God's country!
Mom, her friend, Hedi and I have spent the last 5 days in God's Country. I swear I have not seen such beautiful, picturesque Ranch Country in a long time!
The three of us were taking part in a trail ride aimed at raising money and awareness for Breast Cancer. The ride is 22 days long and covers a big chunk of Alberta, from Waterton to Sherwood Park. Mom, Hedi and I were not able to participate in the entire ride, however we were not going to miss the kick off of this event nor were we going to miss the opportunity to ride in Waterton Park! We signed up for a couple of days of riding, raised some money for a great cause and spent some time in the most beautiful part of Alberta's Ranch Country with some great characters! Among the people I found fascinating was, Amanda Marshall from the hit Canadian TV show, Heartland. (To my American readers, this show is going to be making a move to US TV so if you love shows set in the country, this is one to tune into!)
Tyrell Duce, the outback guide who took the riders through the pass between Waterton Park and Payne Lake was a real cowboy literally dragging unwilling horses across rivers in order to get his charges to their destination safely. There was "Red" the Harness Driving Pro from Claresholm, Kenny, the die hard older man from northern Alberta, tagging along for the entire ride who gave out 22 calibre bullets as keychains to everyone he met. There was Jim and Bev who had once big Car Dealers in Ontario who gave it all up recently to move to Alberta to become "cowboys," a dream they had always had. So many interesting people made the last 5 days memorable, it was fun that the common dream (hope of finding a cure for cancer) was what brought us all together.
As we drove and rode through ranch country, sharing our adventures with real cow hands, farmers and ranchers, my heart ached. I had always imagined that I would truly have made a life of my own out in Ranch Country with a rancher husband on a huge stretch of land, riding and roping daily as a part of Ranch life. That was Plan A and Lord knows the heart has a plan of it's own, mine falling helplessly in love with a tal,l blond haired, blue eyed hockey playing, rum selling hottie who knew nothing of horses and ranch life. I followed this man to the big city, insisting we live on the edge of it. I am happy here with our puppy and our Country style home, my horse just a short drive away, however my heart still aches for more open spaces, more animals and more ropin and ridin! Marty, looks sexy in a cowboy hat and he even owns cowboy boots. He busts them out f the closet every July for the Calgary Stampede and he struts up and down the streets of downtown in his snap up long sleeved western shirt, his blong hair poking out of his straw hat and I see his heart wrap around the idea of maybe, one day, actually wearing this "cowboy" get up other places, like in a saddle on a horse!!! We may never actually live on a ranch, however I know we will ride through God's Country together one day!!

Mom in Waterton the day before the ride. Yep it was a rainy, cold day!

Ember, Hedi's horse and Maverick, mom's horse.

Mom and Hedi, heading out into God's country.....

Amanda Marshall from the TV show, "Heartland"

The Cowboy guide who led the ride through God's Country.

A lady with big spirit! Pink is the color of Breast Cancer Support!

All the riders heading out, there were 30!

Jane Hurl, the creator of "Wild Pink Yonder" the 22 day trail ride to raise awareness and money for breast cancer. This is her, with a tear in her eye as she watched her "dream" head off into God's Country.

Mom and Hedi taking in the scenery!

This would have been a really wicked picture, except Mom is making a big face!!
Wild Pink Yonder

Hedi and Ember

Me and Ma, pink pink pink!

Harnessed Fjord

Pink Wagon

Harnessed Fjord in Cardston

Red, the Driver from the Cardston Carriage Museum

The stable at Cardston for the Harness Horses

A horse waiting for some attention, Carston, Alberta

Harnesses in Carston

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Marty has become permanently attached to his measuring tape. This morning, in his dress clothes, I watched him whip out the measuring tape to measure a wall in the basement. He can't even function anymore without that measuring tape! The other night it took him hours to hang a couple of shelves (I am not complaining, I couldn't have hung them at all,) but it took him sooo long because he spent sooo much time measuring the space and spacing and length and height and depth before he could get to the "meat" of the project. I was waiting upstairs for him to call when he needed help. Just before he went down the stairs, he told me he'd be a while, he had some measuring to do! I finally went down to check on him, seemed he'd been down there a lONG time and he only had two shelves to hang. There he was contently measuring up a storm! Maybe I dont' get it because I am not a perfectionist, not at all, not in anything I do. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate Marty's patience and his dedication to making sure things are hung straight and that they fit perfectly in all spaces, but every once in a while wouldn't it be fun to just "eyeball" something? To just get it home and see if it fits?? Come on, I like a little mystery!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Had a bowl of Fibre 1 cereal for breakfast this morning....needed a plunger to flush the toilet 2 hours later! Yipeeee! That stuff works!

Monday, August 9, 2010


Okay ladies, how many of you out there know how to hook up your own TV, cable and stereo?? I am not talking about your 80's ghetto blaster that you just plug into the wall, I am talking stereo and TV system. Entertainment center, is what we'll call it. How many of you girls can hook all that up so that the sound pumps perfectly through your whole house, through all the power speakers, sub woofers, suround sound and ceiling speakers?? If you can, I am impressed! I tip my hat to you and I secretly wish I were you.....
Marty and I have recently moved to our new home and I am itching to get really settled in. Thing is, I can't do much more "settling" without Marty's help. I can't hang the pictures without him (he is the perfectionist, aka, measuring tape obsessed one in the relationship,) I can't move the furniture around by myself, He is also the muscles in the relationship, and I certainly can't hook up all the entertainment stuff, he is the techno geek of the two of us. Yeesh, as I write this, it leaves me wondering what exactly I bring to the table. Hmmm......
Anyway, lastnight, thanks to a fantastic opportunity provided by KIJIJI, we bought some furniture, including a TV stand for our new living room. I couldn't wait to get it all set up and organized, but ofcorse I had to wait for Marty to be ready. He BBQ'd himself a juicy pork chop, roasted some corn and sat down to enjoy his dinner. Me? I was chomping at the bit, way too excited to take time to enjoy my perfectly cooked pork. I sooo would have set it all up by myself if I could have, but I am more of the cheering squad, moral support and general labourer and golpher when it comes to those kinds of projects.
When he was ready, we moved the TV stand into place then I sat, patiently on the couch while he re hooked up all the cables and speakers before we could move the rest of the furniture. It amazed me how he just knows how to do these things....why don't I? He also spent the weekend building shelves in the garage and hanging hooks to hang our bikes and snowboards from. Again, he just knows how to do all that! I am amazed and happy to have someone so handy living under the same roof as me! Now all I gotta do is figure outwhat I can do to earn my keep around here......

Our new rustic, country bar

Our new TV stand

Sunday, August 8, 2010


I have spent more time in gardens in the last three days than I have in a long long time! When we were kids we'd spend hours in mom's garden, sometimes weeding, but most of the time, helping ourselves to the yummy peas and berries growing there! We'd put on our long sleeve "mosquito shirts" as protection from the bugs. Gardens seem to be notorious for growing produce and mosquitos!! Over top of the long sleeves we'd spray a layer of Deet on our entire bodies and head into the garden. We'd stand at the pea fence and pick peas, shelling them and eating them as fast as we could! The raspberries was more of a suicide mission as they were not only full of nasty prickles and mosquitos, but also bees, lots and lots of bees!!!
Having a garden in our backyard was awesome! We'd have fresh carrots, potatoes, beans and peas for dinner and berries for dessert. Sometimes, because we loved them "raw" so much, mom would put out a giant bowl of raw peas and we'd just scoop them onto our plates, yummmmmy!!!
In my adult life, I have not been lucky enough to have a garden at all. I've had some flower beds and grown quite a few weeds, but no produce. Both of my sisters have awesome gardens! Aimee's garden in Colorado is even home to peppers! How cool is that? She grows her own peppers? We can't do that here in Alberta, or at least I can't! Nic's garden has the most healthy raspberry patch ever and she is very generous with sharing them! Just the other day, I was visiting her and as we each pulled on our mosquito shirts, I was flooded with happy gardening memories! I even remember when Mom made us each our own garden, shaped as the first letter of our names! I have no idea what we grew in those gardens, but I remember the dirt was definately shaped like a J and I had to keep weeding it if I wanted to be able to see the J shape.
Marty and I do not have a vegetable garden at our new house....yet. We do however have a healthy patch of thistles! They are tall and tough and grow up against our fence. This weekend, I made it my mission to tackle those prickly beasts!
My gloves were not thick enough, so in order to remove each weed, by hand, by the root, I had to pick off all the bottom leaves. The bottom leaves have a zillion little prickles, but once those leaves are gone, I could get a good grip on the stem of the thistle. Sometimes it took me standing up and using both hands, and all of my weight to pull the weed and it's root out of the dry, crusty soil. But I ask you, is there anything more satisfying than pulling a thistle out of the ground, root and all??? I actually let out a few victory cries after every time I was able to pull a thistle and it's entire, long, white root straight out of the ground! I will admit that more than one of them busted off at the stem, leaving me digging furiously all around the bottom part of the stem desperately seeking to uncover enough of the lower stem to give myself a better grip. More than once, I had to abandon mission, leaving the stubby stem sticking out of the ground, a deafening reminder of failure! The thistles may have won the battle this weekend, but I vow to you here and now, that I will win the war! I will!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I found out late, July that I was expecting! I was home alone and had just gotten a hair cut. Marty was out doing errands and just "because" I decided to take a pregnancy test. It is no secret that we had been trying for a LONG time to get pregnant, so I had a huge stash of pregnancy tests. I took them all the time, always hoping, and always being dissapointed. This day, I peed on the stick, like I had done a million times, and set the stick by the sink on it's wrapper so as not to get any pee dribbles on the counter. I glanced at it from my porcelain seat to see the familiar single line show up. I got up, pulled up my pants, washed my hands, and reached for the pee stick to toss it in the garbage, but WAIT!!!! I couldnt' believe it! 2 lines! 2 lines!!!! I had never seen the two lines before and I put my face right down close to inspect and make sure it was really, really true! The smile that spread across my face, was ginormous!!!!
I did have a moment of disbelief, a moment of panic though, thinking this was too good to be true. I called my sister, Aimee. She had a baby in March and had let me in on her secret early in her expecting time too. I squealed, "Aim, I have an emergency situation! I think I'm pregnant!!" She screamed with delight and assured me that you can have false negatives, but not false positives. Just to be sure, take another test though." I did, it confirmed, that yes, I was preggo!!!

I had been waiting my whole life for this moment, the moment when I learned I would be expecting. I had played it over and over in my head, what I would do, how I would feel and how I would tell Marty. I had come up with some clever, fun ways to surprise him and let him know that he had "done it." I had bought a little kid's hockey dad book and thought I would give it to him with a card, or buy a little tiny jersey and get "Wright" printed on the back, but when Marty got home, he took one look at me and the smile I couldn't keep hidden and he instantly knew!! He screamed, "your pregnant," while he scooped me off the stairs and twirled me around. Then he said, "I need a drink!"


When we moved to Calgary, we were suddenly so close to the mountains, that Marty and I vowed we would not take them for granted. We make an effort to get out and enjoy our "backyard" as often as we can, whether we're snowboarding, hiking, camping or just driving through, I can't help but feel sooo lucky!!!

Even the stumps are cool!

So serene and beautiful!


Even the dogs love and appreciate the beauty and the freedom!



When we moved to Calgary, we were suddenly so close to the mountains, that Marty and I vowed we would not take them for granted. We make an effort to get out and enjoy our "backyard" as often as we can, whether we're snowboarding, hiking, camping or just driving through, I can't help but feel sooo lucky!!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


This is our
"backyard" and I feel blessed!!!! I try to recognize everyday, how lucky we are to live so close to these majestic mountains and this incredible adventure!!

Scout loves the great outdoors!
Scout loves the outdoors, but does not always love coming back to her family once she had been let offleash!!!

Duke, Nic and Troy's dog


Nic and I at the Saturday lunch spot

Troy and Duke, enjoying the lunch spot!


Sunday's 15km, rainy hike around the lake! A little bit of rain doesn't stop us!

Lunch at the falls


For the long weekend, we planned to go camping with Nic and Troy Farn in Kananaskis Country...our back yard! Marty and I only live a couple of hours from this amazing mountain paradise so I, having the most free time of all of us, was nominated to drive out Thursday morning to stake out a camp site. We all agreed we'd have to pay for Thursday night, though none of us could actually stay in Kananaskis until Friday. Paying for that extra night, simply guarenteed us a spot in the best campground, "Interlakes Campground."

I left my house early in the morning and arrived at 10:30 to be met with "Campground Full" signs everywhere, including at Interlakes!! I took a chance and drove my truck through the one way loop, 3 times, carefully noting who looked like they might be leaving. I saw a few people packing up and planned to register for their site, leave my lawnchair set up near the fire pit, leave and come back with Marty, Nic and Troy, Friday night! Ha!! The campground manager, would NOT allow it! Well, he wouldnt' allow a lawn chair to "save a spot." He insisted that I needed to put up a tent, or leave some kind of sleeping unit on the site in order to properly save a spot! Damn!!! He informed me that I could drive back 3km to the nearest "trading post" and buy a small tent that I could set up....desperate, that is what I did!! The tent was tiny and I was able to set it up quickly all by myself, using a large rock as a hammer to pound in the tent pegs. I left the campground, having spent 60 bucks on gas, 54 dollars on a tent I was never gonna sleep in and 23 dollars for a campsite I wasn't staying at!!! It was worth it though, when we all rolled in Friday afternoon, no stress, knowing we had a campsite waiting for us!! :)

Marty and I

So excited to camp with the Farns!

Nic and Farn

Marty and Farn

Creating Tarp City, a must for Canadian camping...guarenteed, it will rain, be prepared!!