Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fill-in #102

1. Friends are truly life's greatest treasure.

2. My health; it's neglected.

3. I'm ready for tonight, but nothing past that.

4. Haiku by Avon is one of my favorite perfumes or aftershaves or smells. Well, it's what I wear at least. I don't have a favourite aftershave. Favourite smells are citrus and raspberry.

5. The oldest ornament I have is my CM jingle bell from 2003. I think I'm going to steal some from Mom when we decorate their tree this year though.

6. Take some egg nog and anything, mix it all together and you have heaven in a cup. Seriusly. I love egg nog, in any form!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to our annual Christmas dance. This marks a full four years that I've been dancing! Tomorrow my plans include shopping in Vancouver with Meredith. Not that I'll buy anything, we just like going out there. Sunday, I want to decorate Mom & Dad's tree! That's the plan anyways. In the evening I'm going to the NR Christmas party. Why not right?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thankful Thursday

My coworkers are driving me nuts so I'm going to take a moment to breathe and count my blessings. Today I am thankful for some random things:
  • Sunshine. It's supposed to snow tomorrow so this has been nice.
  • The fact that getting the rock chip in my window repaired only cost $28 total instead of the $30 base that I was expecting.
  • Scrabble on Facebook
  • The fact that I HAVE a job to complain about
  • Quiet time (which is what I'm anticipating for tonight)
  • Heat, although I don't know where it all went from the office

And more. Sorry the blog's been kind of sparse this week. It's been quiet on the news front so not much to post.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Friday Fill in 12/5

Since I can't seem to bring up Friday Feasts anymore, I'll move to Friday Fill ins!!! (I need SOMETHING mindless to do when I should be working!)

1. Snow is a very real possibility for this weekend. It's been grey all weekend and I'm surprised we haven't gotten any yet. For the past three years we've already had a major-close-the-office-snow-fall at least once by this time.

2. I'm looking forward to the start of all the Christmas parties. I have a few lined up, starting with a cookie exchange tomorrow. I love Christmas parties :)

3. My 4-in-1 pannini press/griddle is the best kitchen appliance ever! Well, maybe not ever, but I'm loving it!

4. One of my favorite old tv shows is Home Improvement. Okay, it's not OLD but I love the re-runs of it!!!

5. I'm done with minority governments. Nuf said.

6. The most enjoyable thing around the holidays seeing people you don't see at other times of the year.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm going to a CM workshop and hoping to find some mojo. Tomorrow is the aforementioned cookie exchange and Sunday, is not much of anything which is my favourite way to be!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thankful Thursday

So after a month of one blog a day, I've essentially abandoned updates, or at least it feels like it anyways. So, in the spirit of November's "I'm thankful for" posts, this is my update of the past not-quite-a-week.

Friday
I'm thankful that the idiot who did a u-turn in front of us while Mom, Dad and I were going to Costco, didn't hit us. It's only because of Dad's quick swerving and God's grace that I am able to write this post at all. Big SUV, little Jetta, Mom and I could have been creamed. Very scary.

Saturday
I'm thankful that the border guard didn't question our purchases on our way home. Mom and I went down to Bellingham to do some initial Christmas shopping (we only bought one gift each) and so I could mail a bunch of Christmas cards. We had a great time together (even though the weather was *horrible*) and the guard didn't even blink when I gave her our totals for the day. Hallelujah!

Sunday
I'm thankful that it was sunny out and we could go for a walk. I ended up spending most of the weekend with my parents, and, as on November 1st, I'm thankful that I can spend that much time with them and still like them :) Sunday we had lunch together after church and then we went for a walk around the lake before the sun set. It was cool out but so refreshing.

Sunday evening I organized all my scrapbooking memrobilia. It was a big job but I have less than I thought I did and now it's all in one place. That feels great!

Monday
I skipped dance since my partner wasn't there anyways. I am thankful for "found time". I didn't actually do anything particularly productive...I did try to make cookies but they flopped big time. I mostly just puttered around which is suprisingly relaxing.

Tuesday
I attempted to give blood. It didn't really work. I guess I was cold because my blood was flowing very s.l.o.w.l.y. and it ended up clotting before I filled the bag. I have to admit though, as frustrating as it can be to not have a successful donation, I am incredibly thankful that I am the one GIVING the blood instead of receiving it.

Wednesday
On Friday all of the office staff minus our manager and accountant, went to the annual industry luncheon. It's a really nice event held, this year, at a local golf course. The lunch was wonderful. They did a 50/50 draw and a raffle. They had fantastic prizes donated for the raffle and I won a paninni press/4-in-1-grill. I've been coventing a paninni press for awhile and this one is way nicer than anything I'd have bought for myself. I've made dinner on it a few times and it always turns out so yummy. I am thankful for my paninni press!!!

And that brings us to today which is Thursday. I'm going to a cookie exchange on Saturday and I'm hoping to get my cookies made tonight. Also I need to sit down and write a bunch more Christmas cards. I have quite a few complete but I'm nowhere near done. So that's the plan for tonight. Cookies and cards. I love Christmas time :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #30

Count your blessings,
name them one by one,
Count your blessings,
see what God has done

Today I am thankful for Sherry. For challenging us to blog daily about our blessings. What we are thankful for and to maintain an "Attitude of Gratitude". It hasn't always been easy but it has ALWAYS been worthwhile.

THANK YOU SHERRY!!!

Attitude of Gratitude #29

I am thankful for travel.

I'm itching to travel right now. I don't have any trips planned until the new year but I'd love to hop on a plane and fly somewhere right now. Preferably somewhere with lots of sun. I love that the world is so small. Hopefully I can do more in the future.

For now, I am thankful that travel is an option.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #28

I am thankful for board games.

I'm surprised it took me this long to include them in this challenge. They are one of my favourite things. I like nothing more than to sit around with a group of friends and play a board game. Scrabble, Monopoly, Risk, Settlers of Catan or any number of card games. They are so much fun and I love that there are always new ones to try and learn.

I am thankful for board games.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #27

I am thankful for the internet.

Some days more than others and some days I hate it but mostly I am thankful for it. I've been "online" since about 1998, so ten years. That summer after I got back from Camp I signed up for my first email. It was through the now defunct goplay...I think. Actually, I don't even remember what site it was. All I remember was the day I tried to open an account hotmail wasn't working for me. I'm not sure why. Anyways, a few months later hotmail WAS working and I got my "agent713" handle. I've used that for most online sites since.

Christmas 1998 we got our first computer. I was absolutely convinced that we were the last family in the WORLD to get online. Mom took us shopping on Christmas Eve and Dad stayed home. When we got back the living room was full of boxes and a brand new Pentium ONE(! a big deal back then) computer was all set up on a new desk in the corner of the kitchen.

Initially I used it mostly for school work and to check email. After I graduated and started working I had more time available online and I slowly built my usage. When I took my Administrative Assistant Diploma course I was introduced to the world of chatting. I'd work from 8-4:30 and then head over to the school from 5-8pm. The course was self paced so in between modules everyone would be online chatting. In fact one of the administrators was a moderator for a chatroom on yahoo! I'd talk to all sorts of people and I still think about some of them. Like the snowboard instructor from Washington State, the DJ from Italy, the couple that was "dating" even though they'd never met.

Once I finished school (months after I COULD have finished if I hadn't been chatting so much) I quit visiting the chatrooms.

In January 2003 I was researching the pros and cons of becoming a Creative Memories consultant. I joined some Yahoo groups and through there I was directed to StampinScrappin. My first post was asking for clarification on abbreviations and Donna in MB was the first person to answer.

I met my first ScrapShare members at Showcase in 2004. Since then I have met well over 100 "axe murders" and count many of them as my closest friends. To say that ScrapShare has changed my life, isn't a word of a lie. The friends I have made there are the reason I have travelled to, well, to every state I've travelled to and the reason I was in Diane's wedding this summer. It brought Veronica to Canada and has enriched my life in inumerable ways.

I log on most days although sometimes on the weekends I don't have access, which is fine. It's good to take a break once in awhile :)

My daily sites are:
Hotmail
Gmail
Facebook
RoyalBank
ScrapShare
HSScrappers
Dierks.com
The9513
Country1071
MySpace (once or twice a week)
FVR Library

And more blogs than I can count although I access most of them through "Feedblitz" and I have to confess, this daily challenge with everyone writing every day, has been murder. I am so far behind on reading that it's not even funny!

So, I am thankful for the internet. It has made the world a smaller more accessible place and, for the most part, I am better off because of it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #26

I am thankful that my boss is back.


Don't get me wrong, I love it when she's away. The quietness at this end of the office is blissful and I get SO much done (especially after a board meeting) but there just comes a point where I need her. That point came on Monday. She didn't get back until today. I am SO glad she's back. Now we can move forward on a number of issues and get stuff done!

I am also glad that I'm not the boss. Sometimes I think that if I had more schooling or experience then I would change my mind but right now, I love not having the final say or not having to make the final decision on anything. I can defer responsibility and I love that.

I am glad that my boss is back so that she can make the decisions!

Attitude of Gratitude #25

I am thankful for mail.

Real true paper mail that its delivered by a postman. I love email too. I get easily 50 messages a day but nothing beats real mail. I'm writing my Christmas cards right now. I made a ton and now I have to write in them, address them and mail them. It takes forever but I know how great it is to receive mail so I don't mind.

In fact I've already received two cards! There are some speedy people out there :) I can't wait to see how many other ones I get this year. Opening the mail box at the end of the day is so much better when there is something personally addressed in there. I love mail.

I am thankful for mail.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #24

I think I've mentioned before that November is by far my least favourite month of the year. Winter is my least favourite season and November is just the beginning of it. It's so dark and cold and usually wet. Even with the time change I still pretty much go to work in the dark and get home in the dark. Lately though, there has been one benefit to driving home as the sun is setting, I am treated to some incredible sunsets.
I took the picture on the left last week. The wispy clouds and the orange tinge to the sky was calming. Last night however, the sky was on FIRE. (The impact of this post is going to be lost because Blogger keeps rotating my photos but you get the point).

I took the first photo from my window at work and then I went down by the river and took the second two. The bridge is the one I travel across every day to get to work. The colours just kept intensifying as the sun set. Gorgeous.
So, even though November is a yucky month, I am thankful that there is beauty in every season and that we have been treated to this eye candy these past few days. Somehow it makes the limited light easier to handle :)

Attitude of Gratitude #23

I am thankful for the Library. I currently have 25 items checked out and that's not including the eight that I returned yesterday. Books, magazines, cd's, dvd's there are so many awesome pieces available that it's hard to get around to listening to/viewing/reading them all! I am typically at the library a couple times a week and on their website even more than that. We have a fantastic library system and I use it pretty much to it's fullest.

I am very thankful for the library.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #22

Doc Walker has a song called "Remember December". They haven't released it formally yet but it's featured on the CMT Christmas special that they recoreded and they performed it at the Basics for Babies Breakfast last year. You can hear it here (righthand side, under videos, scroll down to the Christmas 2006 at XM Radio - Part 1)
Anyways, the lyrics in it, especially the first verse really remind me of my hometown. I don't have pictures of the lamp post decorations that the city puts up (yet, I'll get some) but they are in the shape of candles and stars just like ths song says.
Every year the Downtown Business Association also hosts a Tree Lighting ceremony. They block off a couple of streets, Santa arrives in a vintage fire truck, escorted by the police and the local Air Cadet Band, there is carols and performances on the main stage and then, at the appointed time, the mayor flicks the switch to light the tree.
Mom and I went down on Friday night to join in on the festivities. We bundled up and then walked from my place since "downtown" is only about three blocks away. This year was special because our long (long, long, long) time mayor (second from the left) is (finally) retiring and a new guy (third from the left) is taking over. They made a big show of "teaching" the new guy how to flip the switch :)
So, for this (delayed) Attitude of Gratitude post, I am thankful for my hometown. Yes it has it's foibles and shortcomings, yes I don't agree with everything that they do but it's home and when I remember December (or November in this case) this is what I think of. The lights, the singing and the spirit of community that binds us all together.

Remember December

Hanging those lights on the main street of town
The stars and candles with bulbs burnt out
I swear they use the same ones every year
And in the school parking lot, the snow is piled high
Kids are making forts and having snowball fights
Some of my favourite memories are made right here
In this little town

I remember hearing “Silent Night”
Underneath a blanket of Northern Lights
The sweet smell of gingerbread and pine
With homemade stockings and popcorn strings
You swear you hear those sleigh bells ring
It seems so warm right in the dead of winter
That’s how I remember December

There’s always a smile on everybody’s face
Gathered around the fireplace
Passing out gifts from beneath the tree
Meant so much to me

I remember hearing “Silent Night”
Underneath a blanket of Northern Lights
The sweet smell of gingerbread and pine
With homemade stockings and popcorn strings
You swear you hear those sleigh bells ring
It seems so warm right in the dead of winter
That’s how I remember December

We’re all a little sad when New Year’s rolls around
That’s when they start to take the stars and candles down

I remember hearing “Silent Night”
Underneath a blanket of Northern Lights
The sweet smell of gingerbread and pine
With homemade stockings and popcorn strings
You swear you hear those sleigh bells ring
It seems so warm right in the dead of winter
That’s how I remember December
That’s how I remember December

Saturday, November 22, 2008

JFK

Today marks 45 since John F. Kennedy was assasinated. I got burned out with my recaps about my Texas trip and I never got around to posting about the day that Sherilyn and I spent in Dallas learning about JFK, his life and the day he died. Something hiccuped when I was backing up my pictures and I don't seem to have them on a cd. I do have them uploaded to Shutterfly (thankfully) and I saved these shots from there to share with you.

Being at the site where Kennedy was shot was very odd for me. I wasn't born when all this happened yet I would like to think I'm fairly familiar with the timeline and events. I learned more that day then I could ever take in though. Sherilyn was a great tour guide and made sure to point out the important spots like the "Grassy knoll" and the markings on the street where the car was when each of the shots hit him.

The JFK Memorial (seen left) was very underwhelming. Like many people, I just don't get it.

On the other hand, the Sixth Floor Museum was incredible. Sherilyn and I took the audio tour and when I think about it, my mind still reels from the incredible amount of detail they share...and even after all that, no one really has the answers. The museum does a good job, in my opinion, of being objective and covering the conspiracy theories but it definitely leaves you with a lot of questions.

Today people are remembering JFK.

I am remembering what I learned about him and his life. It's all I have.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #21

Two thirds of the way through this challenge and I still have so many things to be thankful for!

Today I am thankful for scrapbooking. It's not something I do, It's what I am. A scrapbooker. It affects the way I see the world, the way I enjoy events and most definitely how I remember them. There are so many fringe benefits and needs that scrapbooking fills for me. I could write for hours on this topic but I'll keep it short and say - I am a scrapbooker and I am thankful for scrapbooking.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Six Degrees of Dierks

This is related to today's Attitude of Gratitude post but separate. I wrote it a few weeks ago and I keep forgetting to post it.

Jackie has the true "Six Degrees of Separation" thing sewed up because her celebrity obsession IS Kevin Bacon. Well I like playing it too and I'm pretty good. I can relate most things back to Dierks Bentley, as pathetic as that is LOL Anyways, the latest link involves my newest musical obsession. Jeremy Camp. I was initially exposed to Jeremy's music via the radio. I realized that there were a few different songs that all caught my attention and each time I waited to hear who was singing them, it turned out to be him! Once I established that he was an artist I liked, I went in search of his cd's. I have three so far and I want to get the rest. He's got a new one coming out in November that I'm really excited for too.

Anyways, a few weeks ago Dierks hosted his annual "Miles & Music for Kids" celebrity motorcycle ride which raised over $275,000 to benefit the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. There were lots of big names there like Tim McGraw, John Rich of Big & Rich and others. I followed the excitement of the event via the fan club. I read the reviews and I looked at the pictures but it wasn't until I watched the fan club exclusive video from Dierks himself that I realized that JEREMY WAS AT THE RIDE TOO!!! He performed! Along with his wife Adrienne. Crazy!!!

I haven't established the link between them yet or how or why Jeremy got included but how cool is that? Some year I'd love to make it down to Miles & Music. This would have been a great year to be there!!! But who knows, maybe they'll do more together in the future.

Attitude of Gratitude #20

Today is Dierks Bentley's birthday so I think it's fitting that I say I'm "thankful" for him and his music but I don't really know what to say. I've been thinking about it all day and I still haven't come up with words.

To say that I love his music is an understatement. I enjoy absolutely everything he has put out and I can't WAIT for the next 63 days to pass so I can get the new album.

The concerts are the best I've been to, which is why I keep going back. Each one is so different and he's such a great entertainer. February 24th can't come soon enough either.

I love how he relates to his fans and it's been a blast watching him grow as an artist.

Happy Birthday Dierks!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #19

Today is the 150th Anniversary of British Columbia.
On November 19, 1858, Governor James Douglas read the official proclamation that declared British Columbia a Crown Colony.

I am thankful that I live in BC. Even though I wasn't born here, I was raised here and this is home. I love so much about it. Our slogan is "The Best Place on Earth" and I fully agree with that (even if I am planning on moving LOL). I love the mountains, the rivers, the lakes, the ocean, the vastness of the wilderness areas, the hum of the cities, the diversity and so much more. I am a BC girl and will always be. I love my province. I love BC.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #18

I have to confess, I'm having a hard time thinking of something to be thankful for today. Dance was great last night but it was long. New dancers were on from 7-8:10 (with the rest of us acting as "angels"), Mainstream was from 8:10-8:30 and Plus (the level I dance at) was from 8:30 to 9:30. By the time coffee and announcements were over and I got home it was well past 10. I didn't fall asleep until close to midnight and then I slept hard and fast and barely made it to work on time. Today my eyes are bothering me from staring at the computer to much, I spent an hour on the phone with our IT guy trying to figure out my scanner (my new computer isn't accepting the new settings). The sun is shining now but I've had to close my blinds because it was reflecting on my computer screen.

I'm scheduled to give blood tonight but I don't think I can honestly answer the "Do you feel well today" question with a "yes" so I'll probably skip. Dad wants to go see the new Bond movie but I think I need to just stay home. My kitchen is a mess from not being home and awake for more than a handful of hours in the past five days and the box of Christmas things that I pulled out last week when I put up my tree is still sitting in the middle of my living room.

So, if you've stayed to read my little pity party, I think I can now write about what I am thankful for.

I am thankful that THESE are my problems. I may not have a lot of money in the bank but all my bills are paid. I have food in the cupboard. I have a roof over my head, heat, a bed to sleep in, a job to go to in the morning, friends that care about me, things to do, happy memories, things to look forward to, peace in my soul.

I'm not wondering where my next meal will come from, where I'll sleep, how I can afford to buy clothes. I'm not fighting addition, or illness or adverse circumstances that are out of my control. I live in a beautiful province in one of the best countries in the world where I am encouraged to share my opinion (even if I do think there are too many elections going on ;)) and it is safe to walk down the street.

I am free to listen to who and what I want, believe what I want, be friends with who I want and pretty much do what I want.

I have a wonderful family that is practically dramaless (when compared with other families) and who I am looking forward to spending Christmas with.

So today, on the 18th day of trying to find something to be grateful for when I'm tired and in a bad mood, I would just like to say,

I am Heidi and I am Blessed!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #17

I am thankful for solitude.

I live alone. I usually have music on in the background but that is different than having people around. Today I'm at work and I have my end of the office all to myself because my boss and one of my co-workers are travelling.

The board meeting on Thursday and Friday went really well. For me, my busy time is after board meetings. I have a lot of files to update and routine stuff to do. Having a quiet office makes it so much easier to get this stuff done. I have the radio playing but I'm not being interrupted and it's wonderful.

I crave solitude and I always have. As a child I'd go to my room and close the door. Being alone makes me happy. As an adult I often schedule days or evenings where I'm just at home. Doing my thing, whatever that may be, quiet all by myself.

I am thankful for solitude.

Attitude of Gratitude #16

I am thankful for Starbucks.

I am also addicted to Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Twists but I am trying to break that so I won't blog about it. Still, for me, three days in a row is bad.

Anyways, my regular readers will know that a month of Gratitude wouldn't be complete without an ode to my favourite coffee shop. The funny thing is that even though I profess to be horribly addicted, I'm not really. Three days in a row is a BIG deal for me. Starbucks is expensive. I know that. That's why I generally limit myself to that many a MONTH.

I love Starbucks the company though. I like what they stand for. I like how they operate, how they treat their customers and employees. I have many friends that are or were baristas in the past and they speak very highly of the company. In fact a few weeks ago I sat in on a Starbucks training meeting! Most people (including the barista's that were there) think I'm crazy but it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed learning about the new Christmas flavours, what makes them special this year, and the other new product that is coming...well, that is here now.

Starbucks is one of the only places I let myself visit when I am on vacation, that I can get to at home. Usually my rule for eating out while on vacation is "anything I can't get at home is fine". So it can be a chain but if we don't have it in my town, I'll eat there. Starbucks is the exception. I've had Starbucks in PA, MD, VA, TX, WA, BC and AB. Not a ton of places but pretty much everywhere I've been!

Yesterday I went to Starbucks with my parents. They're both Tim Horton's fans but Mom wanted to try the Peppermint Mocha Twist (advertising works!) I'm not sure who's fault it was but I ordered the Peppermint Mocha Twist as well and the barista made an egg nog latte. I ended up taking the latte as well (because she would have just thrown it out otherwise) so I had two drinks!

I am thankful for Starbucks :)

Attitude of Gratitude #15: Voting

This post is a few days late because I didn't have any internet access for over 48 hours. Me! Offline for TWO DAYS and I didn't even go into withdrawl! So, why was I offline? Grab a coffee, pull up a seat and let me tell you :) (and yes I'm phrasing my update as a "Attitude of Gratitude" post. When you're behind, killing two birds with one stone is the way to go :D)

I am thankful for the democratic process.

Hah! I bet you thought all the political posts were over LOL Sorry, but they're not. I saved mine till now. This has been a crazy year for politics and elections. The US Presidential race started with the candidate race way back when and finally culminated in the election on November 4th.

Within that time frame, the Canadian's had a(nother) federal election. From the date the election was called to the actual voting was about five weeks. Nothing changed except that the Conservatives gained more seats. They still have a minority government though.

Saturday was the Civic (municiple) elections across BC. These happen on the third Saturday of November, every three years so it was kind of random that it happened on the same year as the US election and the Canadian Federal Election, oh, and we have a provincial election in May. Insane.
Anyways, I actually voted locally in the advanced polls on Wednesday. I had to wait for about 40 minutes for my turn and even though my choice for mayoral seat wasn't the winner, I'm still glad I got to cast my vote.
On Saturday I was in Vancouver helping my friend Sue with the civic elections there. Sue was the "Presiding Election Official" for the section we served. She did turn her desk over to this little guy for a little while though :)


It was a fun day. The traffic flow was pretty steady. I processed 146 voters. In between we visited, I cross stitched and we ate.
At the end of the day we printed off the results and Sue took them to City Hall where they were added in with the rest of the votes from the city.

I am thankful for the democratic process and the fact that we have the right to have our say. Even more than that I am thankful that elections are over unti May!!!



Saturday, November 15, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #14

This entry is self posting today because I don't have computer access.

I am thankful for my job. I'm at a board (bored?) meeting today. They happen four times a year and while the week leading up to the meetings are always kind of crazy, I am thankful that I have a job that I enjoy.

I know so many people that are either stuck in jobs they don't like, or who are just unemployed and looking for a job. I have been here for about two and a half years now and it's still a great fit for me. Challenging, stimulating and close to home. I can't ask for much more.

So, today (even though I may be cursing it out right now) I am thankful for my job.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #13

There is so much to be thankful for! I don't know where to start.

Today I am thankful that my car got fixed for free, fast and for some extra benefits.

I dropped my car off on Monday (post #10) and I got it back Wednesday afternoon. No charge to me for any of the repairs (no deductible even) and I got a rental car for the days my car was in the shop.

Because of the type of damage, and the fact that my bumper is made of plastic and foam (isn't that reassuring?) they just replaced the whole piece. One of the benefits of getting a brand new bumper is that any stains or marks that were on it are gone. I went to Saskatchewan in 2004 and since that trip I have had bug guts that I cannot get off. I tried, even with powerful bug remover formula, and then gave up. Now they're GONE!!!

Another benefit of having your car in for service is that they detail the inside. Vacuum it and wipe it down. Now it's all spiffy and clean smelling.

So as annoying as accidents are and having to deal with insurance companies, I am thankful that my car is fixed, for free, the bugs are gone and it's CLEAN! Woohoo :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #12

I am thankful for fake Christmas trees.

Well, sort of. I prefer real ones. I grew up with real Christmas trees and having a fake one is hard for me, BUT there are many benefits to having a fake Christmas tree. I think the biggest benefit is that I can put it up on Remembrance Day and leave it up until the new year. You can't do that with a real one!

Yesterday afternoon Meredith came over to make cards (while I scrapbooked). She helped me rearrange the furniture in my living room and then we put up my Christmas tree. That's two years in a row that I've put it up on Remembrance Day. I like that :) We also put lights around the window in my bedroom and put a little tree on the dresser with my little train set.

So, while I don't really like fake Christmas trees, I am thankful that I can put it up early, and that they're allowed in my apartment (we're not supposed to have real ones).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #11

Today is Remembrance Day and I am thankful for all the soldiers who fought for my freedom. Mom and I went and joined Jean and her family (that's Jean and I on the left) at her father's gravesite. He was an engineer (Sapper) in the Canadian army in Italy during the second world war.

Cecil is my grandfather's older brother. There were two other boys in the family. Harold, who served as part of the forestry division in North Bay, Ontario and Meliville who died on December 24, 1943 in Ortona, Italy.

My grandpa wasn't enlisted. He told me one time that while they were on their way to school one day someone was using a slingshot and shooting rocks. One of them caught him in the eye and he never had proper vision from it. That was enough to allow him to not have to serve.

This was my first time visiting Uncle Cecil's grave. Today was a good day to visit. Jean and her husband, their five sons, and some of their grandchildren were there along with her brother in law and a few family friends. We were quite a group in the soggy graveyard. We had a moment of silence at 11:11 am and then we all placed our poppies by the grave.

Today I am thankful for those who served and those who lost loved ones.



Monday, November 10, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #10

I am thankful that my car is getting fixed, for free (the guy who hit me accepted responsibility) AND that I get a rental car while mine is in the shop! I took it in this morning. It should be ready in a few days. In the mean time I get to drive a spiffy 2008 Corolla. Like mine, only better, and RED! :)

Mostly I'm just thankful that my car is getting fixed though and that I don't have to pay for it.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #9

I am thankful for GladWare. This is my freezer right now. Two kinds of soup, chili, strawberries for smoothies, leftovers, all in GladWare. My lunch bag usually has three or four of these containers in it each day. I use them ALL the time and I love them. They have saved me so much money in eating out. They last for a long time...unless you drop them while they're frozen...then they shatter. Other than that they are fantastic though.

I am thankful for GladWare.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #8: Countdown Shows

I am thankful for Countdown Shows.

Okay, maybe "thankful" is to strong. I mean I could easily live my life without them but I really enjoy them! I primarily listen to Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40 on Saturday mornings. Starting at 10am and running until 2pm he counts down the top 40 country music hits. My local station also plays Jeff Foxworthy's countdown but that's at weird times so I don't always catch it. There's a few others I catch on the American stations I can tune into from my car but I don't listen to them regularly.

I admit after a weekend of listening to the same 40 songs played over and over again, I'm pretty sick of them, but the interviews and tidbits of information that are thrown in are worth it.

I recently discovered that my local Christian station does a countdown on Saturday morning as well. If I'm up early enough, I'll tune in to that one. I used to watch the video countdowns on CMT when I had cable as well.

I am thankful for countdown shows.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #7

I'm thankful that my cold medication is all expired.

Wait, I know that sounds weird. Hear me out though. I have a minor head cold right now. Stuffy nose and a raw throat from mucus running down it. I went to drink some Neo-Citron and I realized that it had expired in September 2008. (I still drank it). That's a good thing though right? That my Neo-Citron is expired? It means that I haven't had a cold in awhile!!!

I also had some orange "cold and flu" capsules. I think they were Tylenol. I took them too. I feel a lot better today. I doubt it is because of my expired medication but it can't hurt.

So, I am thankful that my cold medication is expired because it means I haven't used it very much!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Texas Landmarks

When you think of Texas landmarks, what comes to mind? The Alamo? NASA? The Stockyards? All of those are popular and well known but there's another lesser known landmark that dozesns of individuals have made the trek to see. It was one that was near the top of my list for my trip. What is this mecca?

Stacy's Porch Swing




This weekend many women are making the trek to Texas. I don't know how many are actually going to stop by at this infamous spot but I had my chance in April 2007 and I treasure every minute I spent there :)

Attitude of Gratitude #6

I am thankful for salvation.

Last night I witnessed my second cousin, a girl I used to babysit, get baptized. That public act never fails to give me goosebumps. I was baptized almost 15 years ago and it is still just as special now as it was then.

I am thankful for salvation.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #5

I am thankful that I have joined the 21st century.

File this under the "little things that make me happy" or "things that aren't a big deal, but neither is changing them".

A major component of my job is organizing face to face meetings and conference calls for our board of directors. Each time a meeting happens, formal minutes are taken. Minutes that I write. We're talking over 30 sets so far this year. Most of the minutes are confidential and my boss is paranoid about having them stored on the server. My computer doesn't have a cd burner so up to now I've been using 3.5" floppy disks. It works because it's just word documents that I'm storing but they're so LITTLE. 1.3 MB? I fill that up in about three months.

Apparently I'm getting a new computer. Something about my coworker's computer dying, and him inheriting mine which means I get a new one. This new computer will have a cd/dvd burner. As part of the conversation of "what Heidi needs on her new computer" I mentioned that I'm using this archaic system of saving documents. Bingo! In the time it takes to say the Staples slogan "That was easy!" they bought me an 8GB memory stick. Gigabyte! Eight of them! That's like 800 stupid little disks!!!

I don't really care if I get a new computer or not because frankly this one works just fine but I am thankful that I have joined the 21st century when it comes to saving documents.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude #4

I am thankful for my square dance friends. Some people might wonder why I drive 20 minutes each way to dance when I could drive 2 minutes but I started dancing out there and I have so many friends in that club that it's worth the extra time and gas to me.

Last night we had a new dancer class. We started the night with a spaghetti dinner and then danced. We started at the very beginning, learning all the moves from scratch. It's good to rehearse and we had so many new people that it made it a lot of fun.

I am by far the youngest dancer but it doesn't matter. Everyone is always so happy to see me that I just love going there.

I am thankful for my square dance friends.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Meeting Jean

So, speaking of extended family (see #3 in my "attitude of gratitude" post) Sunday night Mom, Dad and I went out to visit my dad's cousin Jean. I don't think I've met her before and my parents haven't seen her since her dad (my grandpa's brother) passed away. She and I have been communicating via email lately and she's the one who sent out copies of the geneology work she's done.

It was so great to actually sit down and review some of this information with her in person. Stats and facts are great but until you can relate them to something it's really hard to digest it all. Jean and her husband David are wonderful, warm, welcoming people who are full of stories. There's a 15 years between Jean and my dad so even though they know and are related to a lot of the same people, the relationships and stories are very different.

For example she was quite close to my great-grandma whereas my dad rarely talks about her. Having a reference point has inspired me to keep going on the work that Jean has already started. I did a little bit of internet searching last night but I need to organize my information before I move on. Little by little it will be accomplished.

Attitude of Gratitude

Sherry has challenged us to do a "Gratitude" post every day for the month of November. Canadian Thanksgiving was last month but this is a good exercise any time...especially since November is generally so crummy weatherwise.

I've done something similar to this in a daily paper journal I used to keep. Everyday I'd write a little re-cap of the day, a verse that meant something to me and something I was thankful for. I'm excited to try it on my blog.

Today is Monday and I'm just learning about the challenge but I'll put some from the weekend too.

I am thankful for #1 - My parents. Some days they drive me a little nuts but I love being with them and talking with them. My dad is an awesome sounding board for big world event conversations and my mom is incredibly insightful when it comes to personal relationships. I am thankful for my parents.

#2 - I am thankful for my maternal Grandma. November 2 would have been her 78th birthday. Unfortunately she only lived to see her 65th. She was taken way too soon but she leaves an incredible legacy of love behind. I have wonderful memories of her and I miss her daily. I am thankful for Grandma B.

#3 - I am thankful for extended family (and I promise these won't all be people, this is just what's on my mind right now). I come from a family (on both sides) that values relationships and history. Life frequently gets in the way and we don't communicate as often as we could but there are no hard feelings or drama and we all get along when we do get together. I am thankful for family.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Feast One Hundred & Ninety

Friday Feast
Appetizer
When someone smiles at you, do you smile back?
Yes but I usually smile first. I love smiling at people just to see what their reaction will be.

Soup
Describe the flooring in your home. Do you have carpet, hardwood, vinyl, a mix?

95% carpet. I only have a bit of vinyl in the entry, kitchen and bathroom. The allergist said I should have hardwood but I like capet.

Salad
Write a sentence with only 5 words, but all of the words have to start with the first letter of your first name.

He helped her help herself. (does it count if I kind of repeat two words? LOL)

Main Course
Do you know anyone whose life has been touched by adoption?

Yes, many people. The first that comes to mind is Charlyn and her three adorable boys and Diana and her four amazing children. That's just the beginning though!

Dessert
Name 2 blue things.

Not the sky today! Lets see...how about, the walls of my office (at least the part that's not wood panelled) and my co-worker's hoodie.

Inspiration

I originally uploaded this photo as a Wordless Wednesday but I realized I wanted to talk about it so I'm posting it today instead.

A few weeks ago Mom and I drove out to Surrey to visit an embroidery/cross stitch store. It was *full* of floss, patterns and tons of completed projects. Mom does a lot of cross stitch, she always has. Mostly smaller projects. I have done some in the past but not recently. After visiting that store I was inspired! I went digging in my hope chest and pulled out all my floss and half completed work. Since then I've completed a small Christmas project and made great headway on the larger one that I have going. I used to alternate between scrapbooking and cross stitching regularly but lately it's been all scrapbooking. It feels good to get the cross stitching out again though. It must be the cold weather.

I'll try and take some pictures of my projects so you can see what I'm working on.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Don't it always seem to go

That you don't know what you’ve got
‘Til it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

I don't really know if it was paradise and I doubt they're putting up a parking lot but I definitely didn't know what we had until now that it's gone.

Yesterday morning on the way to work there was a big yellow machine on the road. I drove around it and didn't think anything of it. On my way home from work the machine was gone along with a whole bunch of trees! They've cleared enough space for probably three or four lots and there may be more to go.

Even though the housing prices have tanked in BC it doesn't seem like building is suffering. Especially in my town they are shoving houses into every available spot. Weird corners and places that have been empty lots for *years* are suddenly being developed.

This was running through my head all last night.

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you’ve got
‘Til it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Search Begins

I mentioned in July that I had done some preliminary geneology work when I visited Grandpa. I've messed around with the info I collected a little bit (most Googling terms and stuff) but I haven't studied any of it yet.

In September I visited my dad's Aunty Phyllis (my great aunt) since then the "geneology ball" has really been rolling. I contacted my dad's cousin Jean and she sent out copies of all of her research. Charts, family group sheets, pictures, etc. It's mostly of my dad's, dad's side but it's fascinating.

We have plans to meet up with Jean on Sunday to go over some of it and then I'm hoping to start doing my own research.

I considered opening a separate blog to detail this journey but that's too complicated so I'm just going to keep it here and y'all can come on this adventure with me :) Stay tuned!

Halloween 2008

Last night was our Halloween night at Dance. Mom made an apron for me and I went as a maid, French maid, cleaning lady, whatever you want to call me. It was a lot of fun though. Everyone was trying to get me to come clean their houses LOL
Oh, and the duster is Seth's I never use it. I hate that thing but it was fun to have with me!
Everyone brought treats to share and these were my favourite. Shortbread cookies with jam filling covered in white chocolate!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Arrogant Worms

My next two weeks are shaping up to be really busy so having a low key schedule this weekend was perfect. In fact on Saturday I didn't even get dressed until about 6:30pm when I left the house.

Sunday after church we had a potluck lunch and in the evening I joined Jenna, her husband William, her dad and two sisters for an "Arrogant Worms" concert.

My going was kind of a last minute decision. Sunday morning their mom wasn't feeling well so she asked Katherine to see if there was anyone that would like to go in her place. Katherine called me and even though I confessed to not being familiar with the music, I agreed. I'm glad I did. The concert was a lot of fun.

The Worms describe themselves as "Musical comedy at its folkiest" and nothing is safe from their super fast lyrics. I laughed out loud SO many times during the show. My personal favourite songs are now "Rocks & Trees", "Celine Dion", and of course the classic "Last Saskatchewan Pirate".

You can hear a few of the songs on their woefully outdated MySpace page.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Feast One Hundred & Ninety One

I haven't done this in a few weeks but it's Friday afternoon and I'm bored.

Friday Feast
Appetizer
What is the nearest big city to your home?

Vancouver, BC, and after spending time there again last weekend I can truly say I love visiting, but I really love living out in the suburbs. I never really realized that before last weekend.

Soup
On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how well do you keep secrets?

Depends on the secret. Who it's from, and who I'm keeping it from. I tend to tell people who it won't matter to. There are some things that I've never told anyone, but mostly I let it out somewhere so it doesn't just sit and fester in my head (that sounds gross!)

Salad
Describe your hair (color, texture, length).

Brown with auburn highlights. Texture, wavy...but mostly because I keep it in a braid 95% of the time. Length, getting longer every day. Currently to my knees when it's down.

Main Course
What kind of driver are you? Courteous? Aggressive? Slow?

I try to be courteous. I'm a "10%" driver. I generally go 10% over the speed limit. I'm not stupid and aggressive though. Defensive yes, aggressive, no.

Dessert
When was the last time you had a really bad week?

This one wasn't wonderful but mostly for other people. I just got the fall out. I have to admit, I'm tired of being a sounding board. I love that people trust me enough to ask for my opinion on stuff but it seems to be coming from all sides lately and I'm tired. (and if you asked me for my advice lately, it's not you. It's people who don't read here that I'm talking about).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

:D

Once in awhile Dierks does what he calls "Town Hall Meetings". They're essentially a live chat with Dierks on a webcam addressing the Fan Club members and the FCers throwing questions and comments at warp speed. After the last meeting he did in April, where he unveiled the cover of the Greatest Hits project, he learned that just trying to read questions and answer them randomly doesn't work. This time he had FCers submit questions before hand and one of the staff at EchoMusic read them to him. It was kind of funny watching him answer the questions. Our comments are scrolling like crazy it's really distracting so he tried to ignore them but it's hard! Anyways, one of the questions was "What is the last song you downloaded" and "What are you listening to right now" He said that the last song he downloaded on Itunes was the Alan Jackson song that he will be singing during the "CMT Giants" special on Alan.

In his truck he's listening to cuts off his new album (due in February). When he mentioned the truck I typed "YEAH BIG WHITE!" He read that out loud! And said "Yes, Big White. That's my truck's name" and then he read my screen name "Agent-seven-one-three". I know it doesn't sound like a big deal but he didn't read very many comments out loud and he didn't read anyone else's screen name.

It made me feel special :D

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Straight and Narrow Way

My maternal great-grandmother, who I called "Oma" was a wonderful German woman. At least I think she was. Unfortunately I never developed a very close relationship with her. She immigrated from Germany along with her husband, and children which included my newly married grandparents. She retained a thick German accent which, I have to admit, to a kid, was indimidating. In the mid 1980's she also suffered a stroke which caused her to lose the use of her left side, especially her arm.

We usually visited her home whenever we were in Alberta but never stayed for too long. I remember the house but I don't have a lot of memories from there. When she passed away in 1997 after a lengthy stay at an assisted living facility, there was only one thing that I wanted to remember her by. It was the one thing that I really remember from her house. This picture.

It hung in the rec-room in the basement. I used to stand and stare at this picture. It is an illustration of Matthew 7:13-14. "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

The words are all in German but you can see that they are scripture references. I remember looking at it and thinking that I know I should want to take the path on the right because it leads to salvation but wanting to take the path on the left because face it, it's way more inviting.

I've had this picture for over ten years now. In that time I've moved five times. I've never really done anything with the picture. It's a bit odd so I've never actually hung it up. For most of that time it's sat in the back of my closet. Recently I pulled it out and decided to finally translate the scripture verses like I had originally intended when I actually got the picture.

Translating is harder than it looks! Some of the verses, like "Joh 3:16" were easy. Some took a bit of detective work but once I found them, they were just funny. Like Exodus 20:13. The German equivilant for Exodus is "Mof" or something. It has to do with it being a "book of Moses". Anyways, the picture beside the scripture verse (at the top of the image at left) is of two guys with guns aimed at another guy. Any guess as to what Exodus 20:13 is? Yup! "Thou shalt not kill"!

Some of the verses were next to impossible. I printed off a list of the German equivilent of the books of the bible which helped a lot but even then I had to use a process of elimination for some. For example, what book of the bible contains the following scriptures: 20:13, 23:46-47 and 33:11. Any guesses?

Now that I've read all the verses (in English) and now that I'm twice as old as when I used to read it and think the left path was better, I can definitely say that even though it's dark, the path on the right gives way more hope.

I think I'll even hang it up finally. It's a good reminder of lots of things, not the least of which is Oma.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cousin Carla

Friday evening I went straight from work to Vancouver. Specifically to the Salt Tasting Room in Gastown. My cousin Carla was in town with her boyfriend Lee and she had arranged a get together there.

Salt is a really neat concept. From their website: "Salt is a tasting room specializing in artisinal cheese, small-batch cured meats, and a dynamic array of wines, beers and Sherries. Our menu is simple. Guests assemble a Tasting Plate from our chalkboard’s selection of 10 cheeses, 10 meats, and 10 condiments. The selections change constantly, making it almost impossible to have the same Salt experience twice."

I had a tasting plate combination of two cheeses and a meat. Then I let the waitress pick three wed rines...no wait, make that red wines LOL to compliment. I didn't keep the sheet of what I had and I'm kicking myself now because they were all fantastic. Along with the meat and cheese you get three condiments and I had apricot preserves, an Italian mustard and Granny Smith apples. You also get a basket of bread so it is surprisingly filling. I did find that by the end of our meal I was craving chocolate or something sweet.

Saturday I picked Carla and Lee up from their hotel and we went to her brother's house for dinner. His daughter is 3.5 and I haven't seen her since just after she was born. She kept Carla and I busy dressing up as princesses and having picnics on the floor. It was really sweet. It was great to catch up with Peter and his wife Shirley as well.

Carla and Lee are living in Amsterdam right now so it's hard to say when I'll see them again. It was great to have this time with them though.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ontario: The Timeline

I've been to Ontario twice. The first time was Easter 2000. I was only there for four days but I got to see a lot of the sights. I visited again at the end of August, 2004. The main reason for my trip was the Creative Memories Showcase but I spent the week before visiting a number of different friends.

Since I've visited in the Spring and Summer, I now say that if/when I go back, it will be for Autumn because the trees are supposed to be gorgeous.

On the flip side, my favourite season in BC is summer. I don't love the heat but I love the busyness and the activity. The fairs and festivals, being outside, etc.

So right now I'm planning on heading East near the end of August 2010. I'll give notice in my apartment so I have it through the end of the month but if I get my ducks in a row, I can leave sooner than that. That will be a good time to drive across the country (because yes, I will be driving) and it will put me in Ontario just in time for Autumn.

I figure Septemberish is a good time to start a new job somewhere and, in a perfect world, I can still make plans to come home for Christmas. (Not to sure how that one will play out but I can hope right?)

Another thought is, if I'm in Ontario at the beginning of September, hopefully I can get down to the DC Retreat. Whether I drive, or fly, it's got to be cheaper since it's closer, right?

One last thing, with that timeline I have all winter to settle in and get familar with the area and once Spring/Summer hits I'll be ready and comfortable to start exploring in earnest. Because that's the main reason I want to live over there. To be close to stuff that we just don't have on the West Coast. Like history for example. 150 years just doesn't cut it.

So there, more reasons, not necessarily as to why to move, but WHEN.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Reasons to Move to Ontario

I keep trying to reference this blog post but then I realize that I never actually posted it in the first place. I started this particular entry in April. It's going to be on-going so I may as well clean it up and post it so I have something to work off.

My original post on this topic was in May 2007 since then the idea has continued to percolate and grow. I am a notoriously slow decision maker and I need time to get used to the idea. That's why the long timeline worked so well for me. Now we're under two years though and while part of me is scared because it's such a huge step, I'm getting more and more excited.

I've lost track of who I've told and who I haven't though. The only person I'm conciously NOT telling (yet) is my boss. Some of my coworkers know though and that's okay. I'm sure it will come out in casual conversation way before I give my official notice but for now, what she doesn't know won't hurt her. ;)

Earlier this week I was telling my friend Cheryl about my plan and, like most people I tell she said "it sounds like you've really thought it out." Which I have. So, here's a list of why I want to move to Ontario in Septemberish of 2010.

  1. It's still in Canada so no paperwork is required
  2. I have lots of friends there
  3. I have a church I can attend
  4. It's close to the East Coast of the US (which is an area I'd love to spend more time in)
  5. I'll be 29 in 2010 and in need of a change
  6. I want to live in more than one province in my lifetime
  7. Financially 2010 makes sense. My car will be paid off in 2009 and I have a plan to pay off my cc debt by 2010.
  8. I want to be in BC for the Olypmics but after that nothing is holding me.
  9. By then I'll have been at my job for 4 years and ready for something new
  10. At this point in my life I can leave all my furniture and kitchen items behind and start new because they were ALL hand-me-downs

And, from Rene

  • And then there's SSMI and SWON and the Ohio Retreat....all within driving
    distance

and Diane:

  • Ummm hello. I'm in driving distance.
So there. Lots of good reasons to move. Have I missed any?

Oh, and for the record, the drawbacks are:
  1. I will miss my parents and friends here
  2. The weather
  3. The lack of mountains
I'm not intending for this to be a long term thing though. Just a change of pace for awhile.

Your train is coming

I have had Dierks Bentley's "Trying to Stop Your Leaving" as the ring tone on my phone for well over a year. Specifically the part near the end where he sings:
Train’s a comin,’ river’s runnin’
Pain’s a comin,’ tears are runnin’
Yeah, that’s kind of the way I’m feelin’
Knowin’ I couldn’t stop your leavin’

Lately, if my phone rings while Mom is around she's taken to saying "Your train is coming!" LOL

Watch the music video

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Turkey-less Thanksgiving

This weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada. Saturday I had plans to meet up with Melissa and Jevon for a Thanksgiving dinner but no one else could make that time. We still met up and played games but we had pizza for dinner instead.

Sunday was "Thanksgiving". Mom, Dad and I were the only ones together for dinner so instead of doing a big turkey I convinced them to make salmon with stuffing since the stuffing is all I was really craving. Mom makes an awesome stuffed salmon but this time she chose to make the stuffing on the side and do the salmon on a cedar plank in the bar-b-que. It was amazing! (please excuse the sideways picture. I can't get it to straighten itself).

Monday Meredith took me out for breakfast and then we spent the day making cards. We took a break at one point and played a round of Monopoly. We haven't played that in ages but we had a blast.
So that was my long weekend. Fairly low key without a turkey in sight!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Scenarios

Best Case Scenario: The idiot who backed into me takes responsibility and my bumper is replaced at no cost to me.

Worst Case Scenario: He denies it and I have to pay the deductible of $300.

Either way it's a pain in the butt but not as bad a it could have been.

So, what happened? I was driving, following a truck and we were both yeilding before turning right. He slowed down in the right turn lane and then started backing up!!! WHO BACKS UP in a turn lane?!? Luckily he wasn't going very fast but he still put his hitch through my bumper. I honked but he said he "couldn't see me" and apparently he couldn't hear me either.

He was really nice and jumped out and gave me his information right away. It was his boss's truck. He's in town on business. They have to notify by letter but hopefully he'll own up to the charges.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Random Memory #6: Oregon Trail

I'm continuing to live in a no-television apartment and it's working amazingly well. All my regular shows have started back up again for the new season and I'm not missing them or feeling sorry for myself at all.

One of the things that is keeping me sane is that I can get random dvd's from the library. Movies, documentaries, educational programming. It's fascinating what they have there. Recently I watched a PBS documentary on the Oregon Trail. That is a period of history that has always fascinated me. I have read lots of historical fiction based around that time period and we used to spend HOURS playing it after school.

As soon as the bell rang we'd RACE to the computer lab and stay there until it closed (an hour or so later). Mom learned not to expect us right after school. "Us" was Meredith, my brothers and I (and other students). You could take five people in your "wagon" so Mere and I always took each other, which ever boy we had a crush on that week and one random brother that we'd write off to cholera or a wagon accident or drowning. Because you knew SOMEONE had to die and we didn't want it to be someone we liked!

The best part of Oregon Trail was hunting (even if you could only bring back 100 pounds of meat) and running the rapids at the end. I still miss that game.

Did anyone else play?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Weekend Recap

Fall is here. The crisp cool days, the smell of wood smoke in the air and the leaves are slowly changing. Thanks to global warming (or something, that’s just a good scapegoat) we also has some wacky weather over the weekend. Thursday I was out until 10pm running errands. I had a list of places to stop: Michaels, Linens n’ Things, my parents so I could use the computer and do laundry and Walmart. Friday I got home after work and didn’t leave. I kept the blinds closed so I couldn’t see the rain or wind, lit a bunch of candles and scrapbooked all evening. It was wonderful.

Saturday was “National Card Making Day”. I met Teresa on the Canadian side of the border and together we went down to a scrapbook store in Bellingham for a card class. 15 cards for $15 in two hours. Cute cards too and it showed how many you can make with a small amount of paper. When I got home I used the “formula” they had showed us along with a new stamp set I bought and made another 10 cards in less than an hour.

Sunday after church I went over to Mom & Dad’s for lunch. Mom was in Alberta all last week staying with her dad who had cataract surgery on Tuesday. He’s doing well and my aunt has actually moved in with him now which is good. He may be getting his eyesight back but his hearing is mostly gone :(

Sunday evening I went over to Chris & Natalie’s and we played Settlers of Catan, with the Cities & Knights expansion pack. I’ve played Settlers with the Seafarers pack but I like Cities & Knights better. I lost but it was still fun ;) I worked with Natalie at NR and we've been planning a games night for awhile. I'm pretty sure we'll have more in the future and I can't wait!

So that was my weekend. Nothing too crazy but really enjoyable.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Only six quirky things this time

I've been tagged by Looney Lisa to share my 6 Quirks! There's a pun in there somewhere LOL

Here are the rules:
Link the person who tagged you.
Tell about 6 quirks of yours.
Tag 6 fellow bloggers to do the same.
Leave a comment to let them know

Okay, I've done this before. Y'all are going to think I'm just a big ball of quirk!

1. If there are two rolls of toilet paper for me to use, I always take from the smaller one.

2. I hate doing dishes and I let them build up until I run out of something (forks, pots etc) It's bad but it's one of the benefits of living alone :)

3. I don't drink iced tea. Sweetened or not. I just don't like the taste of it. I wish I did because it sounds so refreshing but I can't get past the "tea" taste.

4. I have exactly 300 "Friends" on Facebook. That's not really a quirky thing but I just realized that. A portion of them are from SS and I really don't interact with them but I feel weird not accepting their request. I'll probably go through and purge at some point.

5. I read Country Weekly. Some people find that quirky. I find it normal. It's a good magazine! How else do you think I fill my head with lots of useless news?

6. I don't have a computer at home, yet, I still manage to spend WAY too much time online. Crazy.

6 people to tag:
1. Who
2. ever
3. hasn't
4. been
5. tagged
6. yet!

YouTube Debut

After the wedding when we went back at Mom & Dad's house, Seth, Robert, Brittany, Mom and I sat down and played cards. During our game I put on a tape of Classic Disney songs that I have and the boys were singing along. It made me laugh so I filmed them with my camera. I had my YouTube debut in August. This is their's. Seth's on the left, Robert's on the right singing "A Whale Of A Tale" from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and "You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly!" from Peter Pan.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

BC's Northern Capital

As many of you who have been playing along on Facebook know, I was in Prince George for the first part of this week (I was posting updates to FB as I got internet access). Why you may ask? For a conference. I think I've mentioned that I sit on the Board of Directors for the organization I used to work for. That organization is one of 34 of it's kind in British Columbia and this was their annual conference. (I went to the Association AGM in March. Next year the two events will be combined.)

Bright and early Sunday morning I was picked up by two other Directors, Donna, Grant (and his wife Judy) and Grant drove us to the Vancouver airport. Our plane was delayed for about 30 minutes due to fog in PG but it was clear flying along the coast and I had a great view of Howe Sound and the Coastal Mountain range. (The white spot in the picture on the left is a ferry going from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale) Once we arrived in PG we were treated to brilliant orange and yellow fall foilage. It was beautiful. At home everything is still green and is just starting to change. Up there it's really dry and the trees are brightly coloured.

I had had a busy few days before our trip so after we checked in Grant and Judy went golfing and I just relaxed in my room for awhile. I did go out an explore the downtown section of Prince George for awhile but being Sunday, most places were closed. Luckily "Books & Company" a fantastic little...actually, not so little, book store and cafe was open. I hung out there for awhile just because it was such a great place.

That evening (after a nap after my walk) we had a welcome reception in the Two Rivers Art Gallery which I looked down at from my hotel room. This picture was taken from in front of the Civic Centre. The clock is part of Civic Plaza. The building behind is the art gallery and the building behind that is my hotel.

Monday we were up bright and early for the conference. All of the speakers they had were excellent and I learned a lot. I got sick of conference food pretty fast (it was unimaginative and bad quality) but it was free so I didn't complain too much. That evening Grant, Judy and I joined other delegates at a local PG restaurant called Cimo's. We had a nice time chatting and getting to know each other better.

Tuesday was more of the same. Late in the afternoon I skipped boring sounding round table discussion and went for a walk in the sunshine. That evening was our "Gala Awards Dinner". I was soooo surprised when I was awarded a "Volunteer of the Year" Award. I definitely wasn't expecting that. Each of the 34 organizations is able to nominate a Volunteer which is why I say "a". I was one of 21. It was wonderful and very special.

Wednesday we got up and had breakfast with the rest of the conference attendees and then headed for the airport. I had an aisle seat so I couldn't really see out the window. I ended up getting a pressure headache that I haven't really shaken yet either. Very painful.

Anyways, PG (which incidently does NOT stand for pregnant, as some of my less observant Facebook friends thought) is a nice little town. I'd have a hard time with the "average winter temperature of -18oC" but it's nice in the fall. I do wish we had had more time for tourist opportunities but I guess it's a reason to go back :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Feast One Hundred & Ninety Two

Continuing to work backwards on the Friday Feasts

Appetizer
When you drink soda/pop/coke, do you prefer to drink it from the bottle, a can, or after pouring it into a cup?
I drink it the way it comes. If it was in a can, I drink it from the can. If it was in a bottle, I drink it from the bottle...unless it's a 2 litre. Then I pour it into a glass.

Soup
What television show are you willing to stay up late to watch? Nothing now that I don't have cable. Previously, CSI: Miami, New York and ER. Even with all the shows debuting this week, I'm not missing them though!!!

Salad
Name one person, place, or thing you think of as brilliant.

John McCain. For selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Main Course
Would you be willing to work 4 10-hour days instead of 5 8-hour days in order to save gas?
Absolutely and I love the idea of using "save gas" as a reason for that!

Dessert
If you were a superhero, what would you call yourself?
How about "the SECRET agent" :D

"What's up?"

I totally forgot to post this. I went "stateside" last weekend on Saturday afternoon. The original plan was to go hiking but it was POURING rain so we just ended up going out for an early dinner. Anyways, the line at the border was way longer than it should have been in the rain (seriously, where are people going?) and when I finally got up to the wicket the guard took my passport and asked "What's up?" Not "where are you going?" or "Purpose of your trip?" but "What's up?"

Say wha?!?!?

Then he proceeded to ask me "What I was taking down" "Uh...nothing that's not coming back. I have lots of cr@p in my car but it's all coming home with me". He looked in my trunk (which has clothes, lawn chairs, a blanket and other stuff) and said "That's quite an eclectic collection you've got there. Have a nice day!"

Weird, weird, weird. At least he didn't give me a hard time!

I have a cutting board!

Okay, I have a few cutting boards but yesterday, after living in my apartment for two years and two months, I discovered that I have a built in cutting board hiding in my cutlery drawer. Two years and I never knew it was there! I frequently have wished for one but I never thought to reach way under the counter and see if there was one there. It's pretty dusty from un-use but it won't stay that way!

Oh, and I called my brother/ex-room mate and apparently he knew it was there. He was just holding out on me!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Food Adventures

Taken from Shirley's Blog

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.


1. Game from an animal that someone in your family killed. My uncle was/is a hunter (he was my uncle, he is a hunter) I've eaten bear, moose and deer that he's shot

2. Ice cream from a dairy farm that makes their ice cream on the premises. Bonus points if you can eat your ice cream and see the herd of cows that it came from. Birchwood Dairies has wonderful ice cream. I'm currently craving their frozen yogurt but I haven't made the time to go out there lately.

3. Wild berries that you find, pick and eat yourself. The blackberries along the river here are awesome. We didn't get any this year but it was mostly because we ran out of time. I did pick raspberries this year but they weren't exactly wild.

4. Something deep-fried that was never meant to be deep-fried. Mars Bars? After fish n' chips? Yeah heartattack!!!

5. Pizza from a NY City pizzeria that's at least 40 years old. Not yet but talk to me in 18 months

6. Bread made from scratch, still warm from the oven. Yep, mom has a bread maker that we've used a few times. We've done rolls and stuff too.

7. Food from a street vendor. Bonus points if you and that vendor don't share a language in common. I'm not a huge fan of street vendor food. I know I've had stuff though. Definitely roasted chesnuts. I can't remember what language he spoke. Probably English.

8. Fish you have caught and cleaned yourself. Yeah but it was kind of cheating. It was an "Outdoors" Trade Show and they had a pool full of fish for the kids. I caught one and we ate it but it's not the same as in the wild.

9. Birthday cake (and frosting!) from scratch. Always. I don't do cake mixes.

10. Salad from someone's garden. Most of the greens I bought this year were from the farmers' market and were all grown locally. They included interesting bits like dandelion leaves too!

11. Homemade salad dressing. Yep, I made this salad last week

12. Baseball park food. Bonus points for a Fenway Frank. Never been to Fenway but I have had a hamburger at Nat Bailey Stadium in Vancouver.

13. Homebrewed beer. Wow. #13 and we've finally found one I haven't had! I've had micro-brew and homemade wine but not homemade beer.

14. Something baked in an EZ-Bake Oven. My cousin was "baking" with one a few years back. The cake turned out pretty gooey but I swiped some of the icing...

15. Slab bacon from a butcher shop or meat market. I don't really eat bacon so no.

16. Real maple syrup. For sure! Lots of it. Especially yummy on ice cream!

17. Astronaut ice cream (purchased from a gift shop on a school field trip, if possible). Something tells me yes but I can't summon a specific memory.

18. Something you didn't think you would like, but you tried anyway. Aligator. It's just kind of fishy.

19. Yuengling beer. Say what? Umm...no.

20. Mastroianni Brothers bread Never heard of it

21. Bueon Y Sano burrito Nope but I've had some yummy burritos!

22. Guiness draft. Warm, in a pub in the UK somewhere. Guiness draft yes and I discovered I liked it more than the other beers I was trying. I was in a Pub in Victoria though. A city that has a very, very UK feel but it's in Canada.

23. Haggis (not for taste, for bragging rights!) LOL! I would totally eat it for bragging rights if given the chance. So far I haven't had the chance though.

24. Beets Pickeled? With every. freaking. meal. as a kid. I don't mind them but I don't keep them in my fridge.

25. Avocado My weakness. Most "memorable avacado" would be the guacamole at Catina Laredo with Sherilyn. I still dream of that meal.

26. At least 10 different kinds of sushi. Over the years, yes. I still prefer California rolls though.

27. Something you've grown from seed Hmmm I was never responsible for the actual planting part.

28. Something with the head still attached when it was served. Fish. It sounds so nasty when you say it this way though.

29. Crawdads/Crayfish (Bonus points if you caught/cleaned them yourself). Crayfish in Texas...no...wait...it might have been catfish. I forget...no, I think I did crayfish too.

30. Alcohol that was older than you were. Nah, I'm cheap. I'm not opposed to it though!


So, 21/30? I'm pretty adventurous if I do say so myself!

Now I'm off to find Homebrewed beer, bacon, astronaut ice-cream, Yuengling beer, Mastroianni Brothers bread, a Bueon Y Sano burrito, some Haggis, some seeds to grow into something and Alcohol that is older than I am. Stay tuned for some tipsy blog entries!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gotta love emails like this

"Ok Heidi-you rock!"
- from my boss after I sent a message to a director ending with "I trust this addresses your concerns." :D

She took my shoes!

Last night I went to a PartyLite show. One of the ladies left a bit earlier than the rest of us. I was watching her put her shoes on and thinking "Hey, her's are almost the same as mine!" At the end of the evening I went to get my shoes and I realized that her shoes are almost the same as mine except SHE TOOK MY SHOES! They were the same style of Walmart 725 shoes, only her's were probably a bit newer since they had different stitching on top. Luckily one of her friends was still there and managed to catch the "shoe thief" on her cell phone. She came back and said "normally I wear orthodics so when I put the shoes on and then felt funny I just chalked it up to that".

Anyways I got my shoes back but we all had a good laugh over it :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Trip Down Memory Lane

Once in awhile it's fun to drive past the homes you have lived in. Because my parents have always rented, there's been a few of them (7 including where my parents live now) in this town alone. Lately though, I've been taking the tour a lot.

Mom, Dad, Aaron and I did on Christmas Eve.

Meredith and I did it just after she got back from Australia.

Seth, Robert and I did it last weekend.

It's getting old. Next time I go (which hopefully isn't for awhile) it will be with a camera.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Love in any Language

I think I need to add "weddings" as a tag on my blog. Saturday, September 13th I attended my fifth wedding ceremony of 2008. This was was for a family friend, Dan. While I was in highschool this family lived across the street. Their daughter Joanna was is year older than me, Dan is one year younger (between Seth and I) and their twin boys are the same age as Aaron. Us older kids used to walk to and from school together and Dan was like a fourth brother to me. He was always either at our place our we were at his.

In July 1998 Joanna got married (the summer after she graduated) and that started the season of weddings for me. Since then I have attended over two dozen weddings!

The unique thing about this wedding (and Joanna's ten years ago) was that the ceremony was entirely in Romanian. Two hours long and I didn't understand a word of it. BUT, it really didn't matter! Weddings are weddings. Sure I didn't follow word for word what was being said and I missed all the jokes but at the same time, I knew when they were reading scripture, when they were giving "life advice" and when the vows were being taken and I teared up. Not to mention that the music was amazing. The church choir sang a few numbers and a couple of other people shared songs. I didn't get the words but I understood the meaning and it was beautiful.
Seth and Robert and Seth's girlfriend Brittany came out for the weekend (Robert's girlfriend didn't want to skip school). It was just my family at the table for the reception and we had a wonderful time. The food at the reception was amazing and plentiful, which is the Romanian way.
It was nice to see this family again and to see Dan so happy. I love weddings. In any language :)