Monday, April 30, 2007

Productive Weekend!

Friday after work I was tired but I was scheduled to go to a crop at my LSS (local scrapbook store) so I packed up and headed out. I'm really glad I did. I'm working on Seth's Hawaii album and I am near the end so I'm getting tired of it and ready to move on to a new project. Friday I completed a bunch of layouts and they're CUTE too! Not just the basic ones I have been doing. Now I have two more pages, some finishing touches and then I'll be DONE!!! Woohoo :)

Saturday I woke up at 8:30 which was stupid. I should have slept a lot longer but it seems lately that when I wake up, I'm up. So, I got out of bed and worked on more layouts while watching the Chevy Top 20 on CMT. Seth borrowed my car to get to work so when he got back at noon I ran some errands and then went out for lunch with Meredith. Saturday evening I went to bible study at church. It feels like forever since I've been there so it was great to get back in the groove...of course I won't be there next week but that's okay.

Sunday (today) after church we (Mom, Dad, Aaron, Seth and I) picked up Chinese food for lunch. We hung out at Mom and Dad's for awhile visiting and then went for a walk around the lake. Then I convinced them to come to our house to watch the hockey game. While the game was on I scrapped. That's exactly how hockey should be watched :D

Anyway, it was a great, productive weekend. It feels good.


Saturday, April 28, 2007


After NASA Naomi and I headed to the Kemah Boardwalk for dinner. (The picture of the sign was taken at the end of the evening) We ate at Saltgrass Steakhouse and then went for a walk along the boardwalk.

We also took a ride on "The Beast" a speedboat that goes out into the Gulf of Mexico. It was interesting. It went really fast and the speed was fun. They took sharp turns trying to get the passengers wet but no one was really into it because it was so late in the day. The sunset on the way back in was pretty though.

Naomi was really surprised at how quiet it was. She said that normally the boardwalk is packed with people. This night it was VERY quiet.

There was a food dispenser so you could feed the catfish. It was crazy. You throw in maybe a dozen pieces of food and immediately the water is CHURNING with these ugly critters. I'm not sure how the ducks swam with all those fish there.

One of the popular parts of Kemah is the midway and amusement park rides. According to one website, with the closing of the last Six Flags in the area, Kemah is now the largest amusement park destination in the Houston area. I just really liked the way they painted the ground.
Kemah's a cute little town. It's a great place to eat dinner and kill some time.

New Cabinet

You may remember that I currently have two kitchen tables. One I got from Janis and a larger one with a leaf that my mom bought me earlier in the year. You may also remember that I have both of them in my dining area. The one from Janis is covered in scrapbook stuff and I eat on the one from mom. Having my scrapbook stuff in the front room is very convenient. I'm right beside the computer, I face the tv, there's better light here and the kitchen is right beside me. Like any normal scrapbooking space, it's rarely clean. That annoys me some days and I assume that it must bother Seth too. He keeps insisting that it doesn't and as long as there's room on the second table for him to eat he's fine. To the left is a picture of my scrapbooking table. Note my current project, his Hawaii album, on it :) For context, the next picture shows the table from Mom without the leaf and my front room.

So, Thursday I get a call at work. It's Seth "I can get a 5 foot long, 2 foot wide, almost 3 feet tall cabinet for free from work (he works for a local cabinet manufacturer). I was thinking we could put it in the dining room and you could store your scrapbooking stuff there. It will give you extra room on top and you can store your books and stuff underneath"

In my head I'm thinking "Let me get this straight, YOU are asking ME if it's okay if you bring home five feet of counter space which will enable me to spread my scrap crap around? And you're wondering if I'm okay with this?" Out loud "Yeah for sure, if you're okay with it"

So yesterday Seth enlisted Dad and the van to pick me up five feet of counter space!!! The cabinet doesn't have drawers (which would go in the middle) or doors yet but we can get them (we may have to pay but that's okay because this piece apparently is worth about $400 just as it is) I am very excited!!! Now I just have to get scrapbooking :)


Friday, April 27, 2007

The Heidi Show

Actually, it wasn't really. I just called Steve this morning to chat. When he answered I said "Hey Steve, it's Heidi" He immediately said "HEIDI! I thought you'd fallen off the face of the earth!" I said "Kind of. I was in Texas." Of course he launched into a whole routine about how I'd better not be calling about the great music I heard down there and asking for it to be played on this radio station because it will never happen. It was pretty funny how he said it. I assured him that I knew that. I had actually been calling about something that he didn't have information on yet so I gave him a hard time and that was basically it. We talked about a few other things that I can't publish but mostly I just wanted to share that it was nice to be missed ;)

Word of the day #33: chicanery

chi·can·er·y /ʃɪˈkeɪnəri, tʃɪ-/ Pronunciation Key - [shi-key-nuh-ree, chi-]
–noun, plural -er·ies.

  1. trickery or deception by quibbling or sophistry: He resorted to the worst flattery and chicanery to win the job.
  2. a quibble or subterfuge used to trick, deceive, or evade.

My boss used this word today in a letter. Pretty nifty!


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Administrative Professionals Day

Yesterday, in honour of Administrative Professionals Day, each of the office staff recieved a beautiful bouquet and a $25 Starbucks card. It's great to be recognized!


My Jet Lag is Gone

I'm officially over my jet lag. It stinks. I was ENJOYING waking up early. It made it a LOT easier to get to work on time. The past three days I've been having a heck of a time actually getting out of bed. I'm squeezing into work at one and two minutes past the hour. Not good. I prefer to be a bit earlier.

I want to be back on Texas time!


Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I have opened a "new post" at least half a dozen times for this event but I just couldn't get inspired. I think it's because Tuesday, April 10th was the first day that Naomi and I were on our own so the full picture taking responsibility fell to me. For the first few days of our trip there were always other people around with cameras so I could say "oh, they're getting that shot I don't have to bother". Well this day, if *I* didn't take the picture, it wouldn't be taken. I am, by nature, VERY snap happy. That came out this day and I ended up with a BUNCH of pictures just of NASA. I've uploaded a bunch of them here (strangely, I found working from the end to the beginning actually worked the best). I have at least three times more then this that I'll have to make a decision about when it comes to scrapbooking this trip. Anyways. Onto the narration of NASA!

By Monday night the busy pace of our weekend was catching up with both Naomi and I. We agreed to not set alarms for Tuesday morning to see if we could catch up on our sleep a bit. Of course that was the night I received a text message from my dad at 1:45 am telling me that the Vancouver Canucks had just beat the Dallas Stars in fourth overtime. My response? I. Don't. CARE!!! Anyways, I slept until about 11 the next morning. Then we got up and headed over to NASA. It's kind of out in the middle of nowhere. I was surprised at how un-marked the roads were. If you didn't know where you were going you would have totally missed it. I'm not sure if it's because of the direction we came in from or if it really is that unmarked but it was interesting. When we finally got to the proper vacinity we turned on "Space Centre Boulevard" (or some other equally obvious name) We got up to the little booth (as seen to the left) and Naomi asked the guard "How much?"
He responded "Pardon me?"
She said "To park, how much?"
He laughed and said "Oh, you're looking for the visitors center. She c0nfirmed this with a nod and he continued "Just pay me a hundred dollars, take a u-turn here, go back out to the main road and follow it until you come to the two jets. Take a right in there and you'll find the visitors center".

We did find it, paid our admission and I got an audio tour guide. My friend Sue had toured NASA a few months before and she strongly suggested taking the Tram Tour as it actually takes you around the NASA compound instead of just the Visitor Center. Because it was so late in the day (we didn't arrive until almost two) we headed straight for the Tram. We got on in a decent amount of time and then we were off. Right is a picture of Naomi and I on the tram. The picture was taken by a guy who had a four year old daughter that befriended Naomi.

I didn't get a picture of them but at one point we passed a field that NASA is leasing to FFA (Future Farmers of America) they are raising cows there. Our tour guide made sure to point out that "these are not space cows nor are any of them the cow that jumped over the moon" :)

All the buildings at NASA are numbered. I don't remember what #17 was but it must have been special.

The large white tanks are full of liquid nitrogen. Temperature of MINUS 320o!!! It specifies 320oF but that is just COLD in any measurement!!! If I remember correctly the nitrogen is for simulating "zero gravity" for the astronauts.

Our first stop was at SVMF the "Space Vehicle Mockup Facility". This was DEFINITELY the best part of the whole trip for me. SVMF is the part of NASA that you see in all the movies. It's where the astronauts train. It's where the mock Shuttle is. It should be noted that being born in 1981, to me, space exploration IS the shuttle. That's what I think of. Not the walking on the moon stuff that happened during my parents generation. To me that's history. The shuttle is what I always heard about as a kid. In fact my brothers and I actually had a toy shuttle that I used to try to shove my Barbie's into. They were always too big but it was the thought that counted. So, seeing the Shuttle was very cool. The mock up of the International Space Station was pretty neat. Note the banners at the top of the picture at the right. Those are countries who are partners in the ISS. Canada, the European Union, Japan, Russian and others are there.
The second coolest part about the SVMF building was seeing actual astronauts at work. This guy is trying on a space suit!!!
I'm not totally sure what these people are doing but it looked pretty technical.

The big black area at the back of this picture is the "zero gravity" floor. Our guide was sure to point out that they can't simulate TOTAL zero gravity here on earth but this floor helps the astronauts get a feel for what it will somewhat feel like. He explained that it worked basically like a great big air hockey table.

Next, on the left I give you the source of Canadian national pride, the CanadArm" It was a *HUGE* deal when this piece of equipment was taken up to the ISS and put into use. I just liked seeing my beloved maple leaf on stuff ;)

From the SMVF we got back on the tram and toured more of NASA. They pointed out a bunch of different buildings (including, I'm sure, the one where some dude shot his co-worker the following week). Speaking of death, this grove of trees near the entrance to NASA is a memorial grove for all of the astronauts that have been lost. We paused in front of it and listened to George W. Bush's speach after Space Shuttle Columbia exploded.

Our next stop was to see the MASSIVE Saturn V rocket. The size of this thing is just mind boggling. I'm standing near the end of it and Naomi is a the front. I have a bunch of pictures of different parts of it all the way along but I'll spare you :)

Back in the Visitor Center we got to take a bunch of fun shots. Me in a "pod racer". Naomi in a skull (something about your bones and space)
Me on Mars ;) and finally, the good bye sign outside NASA.

I've skipped all the pictures of the exhibits which we raced through. These were the fun pictures. I don't know that I actually *learned* anything by visiting NASA. It was more of an afirmation and reminder of what I did know and a great exposure to the world of space travel. It's a fascinating subject and I can see why people devote their lives to the study of it. So there you go. My trip to NASA. I hope you had a BLAST! :)


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Secret Shame

x-post from SS

I have a secret. A big secret. One that, until today has even been affecting my social life.

What is my secret you ask?

I don't have a vacuum.

Sad huh? When I first moved in it wasn't a priority. Then by the time I decided I *really* needed one, it was Christmas. The fact that it's a larger ticket item (how can I can drop $XXX on scrapbooking but not on important things???) and the fact that I have an inability to PURCHASE large items (It took me four months to buy my car after saving for three years and probably eight months to buy my digital camera), combined to push purchasing a vacuum down the priority list. I was preparing to buy one before I left for Texas but, again, travel was more important.

I am proud to finally say that today, I purchased my first vacuum. It's a pretty yellow so hopefully I'll be happy when using it. I know I was today! It feels GREAT! I can't wait to have people over now that I'm not concerned that they'll notice how sad the carpet was getting.

So, meet DD (Dirt Devil) Note that the canister is half full already? That's from going over my apartment ONCE. That's how bad I've needed it.

Is it strange to be this excited about an appliance?


Monday, April 23, 2007

Wonderful Weekend

This weekend was busy but not stressful. Friday I had my last night of dance for the season. We started with a Baron of Beef dinner and then danced for two hours. Because I missed the Monday before I left it has been almost three weeks since I was out there! It was nice to see everyone again.

Saturday I woke up fairly early and just enjoyed the quiet morning. Then I picked up Meredith and we took a drive into the town where I used to work. I needed to stop at the scrapbook store out there to get some ribbon I had promised to Deb, I needed an oil change (and it's cheaper out there and they are more friendly) and I wanted to go to a restaurant that I hadn't been to since I left. Unfortunately the restaurant has since closed :( I was very sad about that. We went to a different one but it wasn't the same.

Saturday evening I attended a reception for friends of mine who were married on March 30th in Ontario. They will be living out here though so our church hosted a reception to celebrate their wedding and welcome them to the community. It was a great evening full of laughter, fellowship and great food.

Sunday after church I invited myself over to Mom & Dad's for dinner. It was mostly leftovers from the potluck reception the night before but it was still yummy. It was nice to catch up with them a bit too. After dinner, even though it was overcast, we went for a walk around their neighbourhood and critiqued the homes and landscaping :D

From there I went home and did a few more pages in Seth's Hawaii album. I am *so* ready to be done with that silly thing and move on to my own pictures.

Sunday evening I went over to Mere's and walked her through the process of uploading photos to Snapfish. She's got all her pictures from Australia to deal with so we got her started on that. While they were uploading we watched "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition". Then it was back home where I watched "The Talented Mr. Ripley" on tv with Seth before going to bed.

So, a full weekend but not overwhelming. Just nice. Now I'm back to work. This is my first full week since my vacation. We'll see how I do ;)


Saturday, April 21, 2007


Monday, April 9th we went to Galveston, TX. We took a small ferry over to Galvestong and then went for a walk on the beach. It took a bit of coaxing on Naomi's part to get us Canadians to take off our shoes and enjoy the warm water in the Gulf of Mexico. We are used to cold Pacific Ocean water! Once we felt the warm gulf waters we started having a ton of fun. Here's the group L-R Amanda, Naomi, Lisa, Amy and me (Heidi)

This is one of my favourite photos of myself. The wind was blowing really hard and they convinced me to take my hair down and let it blow freely. Such a cool feeling!

Naomi and Michele
We love this photo of Amy. We kept telling her to watch out because it's going to show up as a perfume ad some day :)

We spent a lot of time running up and down the beach enjoying the wind and waves. This shot captures the feedom that we felt.
After playing on the beach we had lunch at Landry's. Then we headed into Houston for a quick shopping trip before Amy, Amanda, Lisa and Michele caught their flight home. (The Mustang is Naomi's. Amanda said that when she got home she kept looking for it because she was so used to following it!)

Once we got them to the airport, Naomi and I went shopping. I hit Macy's and a few stores in the mall and bought a bunch of new clothes, shoes and two purses. It was a lot of fun.

Six Degrees of Seperation

Saturday and Sunday were spent meeting LOTS of people. New people, people I'd heard about/knew about (six degrees of seperation anyone?) and renewing old friendships. It was wonderful if a bit overwhelming. I didn't take a lot of pictures but I hope to get more from others. Here's a shot of the "Canadians" (and a few Texans) in our Easter Sunday best.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Word of the day #33: in situ

in si·tu /ɪn ˈsaɪtu, -tyu, ˈsi-; Lat. ɪn ˈsɪtu/ Pronunciation Key - [in sahy-too, -tyoo, see-; Lat. in sit-oo]
1. situated in the original, natural, or existing place or position: The archaeologists were able to date the vase because it was found in situ.
2. Medicine/Medical.
a. in place or position; undisturbed.
b. in a localized state or condition: carcinoma in situ.

Random things that have made my day lately

  • The fruit/veggie stand being open ALL week instead of just on weekends
  • My Walmart getting self serve check out
  • The sun shining
  • Finishing my "to do" list items yesterday
  • Being on Texas time and therefore finding it easier to get out of bed in the mornings
  • The fact that the weekend is here and I have my last Friday night dance of the season tonight and a wedding reception tomorrow.
  • Getting to wear all the new clothes and shoes I bought in Texas and receiving compliments daily
  • Listening to the new music I aquired in Texas
  • The java chip frappacino I am currently enjoying

Yep. Life is good :)


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Swamp Tour

As previously posted, the swamp tour was a lot nicer then we expected. Our guide "Eli" was very friendly and knowledgeable. He is from Avery Island in Louisiana which is where Tabasco sauce is made. Check your bottle! I'll think of him everytime I see a bottle of Tabasco. The aligator on the right was the first one we saw. He was about 6 feet long.
The next one (left and swimming towards us below) was smaller. Only 2-3 feet but he was more active. I called him "cute" Eli didn't agree ;)

Here is me and the "cute" gator. Although he just looks like a log.

All of the trees and foilage were beautiful. Swamps are very peaceful places...until the motor boats fly through :(

Eli had us all looking for animals and interesting things on shore. I spotted some wild pigs!!! Everytime we'd point something out he'd say "Good eyes! You should be a guide. What are you doing this summer?" We used that line SO many times during the weekend. Spot a cute pair of shoes? "Good eyes! You should be a guide. What are you doing this summer?" LOL

Pick up trucks and red skies

I've already blogged about my first two days in Texas but I wanted to share these two pictures. This first one blew me away. We were travelling on I-10 and these two guys were in the back of a pick up! According to Naomi it's legal as long as they don't go over 50 mph. It's totally ILLEGAL no matter HOW fast you are travelling in Canada.

This was my first Texas sunset. Just a quick shot out the back window of the car. One of the verses from Dierks' "Every Mile a Memory" is:
Red sundown, out across the western sky
Takes me back, to the fire in your eyes
Texas stars, in a purple night
Not seein’ ‘em with you, baby
Oh, they never do look right, no

Here I actually got to see that in action :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Welcome Back!

So I get into work this morning and I am greeted by a nice stack of documents on my desk. I open my computer expecting a couple dozen messages that will need to be dealt with and there's NOTHING! Nothing from almost two weeks. My initial reaction is "sweet! I got off easy" then reality kicks in. No messages? Not even spam? Not possible. I tell my boss and she says "oh you had messages alright. I set you a bunch myself". So I call our tech guy. He says "it looks like since there was information in the forward email line by default but the local copy button was not checked off that the messages may have been bounced to a non-entity and therefore all emails received during that time have been lost.

I am going to check more settings to see if there is any hope of getting them back but I am not certain."

The forward email line refers to the fact that we set an out off office auto-reply the day I left and it seems to have forwarded all my messages to a "non-entity" aka cyber space.

It's brutal. I know there is a ton of stuff I should be dealing with but I CAN'T! Not cool. Not cool at all. I'm slowly moving forward but I feel like I'm missing my right leg.

Uggh. Welcome back!


Friday, April 06, 2007

fajitas, alligator and crawfish

My first update from Texas! The flight to Houston was uneventful. I had plenty of time to spare before hand and I slept for about an hour on the plane. Naomi was a bit late getting to the airport and then we had an interesting time finding the rest of our group who had gone to rent a car but we figured it out. We went straight to Pappasito's for Mexican food. Yummy chicken fajitas all around. Then Naomi and I were going to go shopping but traffic was so backed up that we just gave up and came back to her house (everyone else went to their hotel). We had a relatively early night.

This morning we got up, stopped at Target where I picked up a shirt and a cardigan and then we went on a Swamp Tour! It was a lot of fun. Not as gross or yucky as you might imagine. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and we saw probably five alligators up close and a few off in the distace. There were lots of turtles and fish and birds too. The tour actually took us into Louisiana too! So I can officially say I've been there now :)

From there, after seeing all the gators swimming around, we decided we wanted to see what they tasted like. So, we headed over to Pappadeaux. Gator is good! Kind of chickeny tasting. I did have a few pieces that were a bit fishy but I could totally see myself eating that on a regular basis.

My meal was crawfish. Fried and not fried but in sauce on "dirty" rice. I split my lunch size with a friend and neither of us finished! WAY too much food :)

Tonight we're off to church for the first of three Easter meetings. Afterwards I hear the plan is to go find some BlueBell ice cream.

The weather has been nice so far but there's supposed to be a storm moving in. Not great since we have a picnic scheduled for tomorrow but we'll work with it.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

T minus 16 hours

Phew! Today my boss decided it would be good to do some spring cleaning. I spent the morning organizing holiday decorations (Christmas, Halloween etc). I escaped for lunch and thankfully by the time I got back most of the rest of the clean up was done. There will be a run to the dump on Monday or Tuesday but thankfully I’ll avoid that.

My files are cleaned up, my boss has been briefed and given a tour of my office so she knows where to go to find stuff. My “Out of Office Assistant” is turned on with a friendly reminder that I’m not here to answer any enquiries.

I am ready to get out of here. I have some last minute packing to finish up and I understand that there’s an “artic front” blowing in to Texas so I may add some more warm clothes to my suitcase.

Robert’s down for the weekend so I’m going to have dinner with him at Mom and Dad’s house this evening.

16 hours till my plane leaves! EEK! That sounds so short!!! Think about it, by this time tomorrow I will be IN Texas probably stuffing my face with Mexican food :D


I think I'm packed

I'm not totally sure. This was the *hardest* time I've ever had packing. I have a ton of clothes and about six pairs of shoes. Hopefully it's enough. I mean it's not like I'm going into the wilderness. I can do laundry if I need to. I just don't want to :P The hard part was trying to process "summer". It's not "summer" here so it's hard to wrap my head around warm weather and dressing for it.

Anyways, that's done. Now I just have to remember my toothbrush and hair stuff and I should be fine.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007


I was tired yesterday afternoon. It could have been from my late night on Sunday, it could have been that I had a fairly carblicious lunch. In any case I went home after work and laid down for a bit. Dance started at 7pm. I woke up at 7:50. Oops! That was supposed to be my last regular night too. Oh well. I obviously needed the sleep over the excercise.

Monday, April 02, 2007


I stopped at Starbucks yesterday and ordered my grande-no-water-no-foam-extra-hot-soy-chai. The barista looked at me and with a straight face said "you can only have one 'no' per drink". I was SPEECHLESS!!! I couldn't figure out why they would deny such a small request when it's not like it makes a big difference to them cost wise and it's how I like my drink and, aren't they all about "customization" and making it the way the customer wants and, well, then he said "April Fools" and I settled down. He TOTALLY got me though!!!