Monday, March 31, 2008

5 Things

Okay, many of my blog buddies have responded to this challenge with intelligent, soul seeking images and words. I was working on it but by the time I get my act together it's going to be over. So, I'm being a bit creative and definitely stretching the definitions ;) The challenge was to look for the following five things.

  1. a sign of spring
  2. an image of joy
  3. a bad habit
  4. a good word
  5. a reflection of you
Here are my images.

a sign of spring: the sign is that I'm still drinking hot drinks

an image of joy: seriously, does that "twin-tailed siren" surrounded by the green circle not make you happy?

a bad habit : nuff said...

a good word: coffee, cafe, java, drip, black gold. A good word in whatever form it takes.

a reflection of you: Non-fat, no-foam, latte. My drink, my way.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It's so EASY

I promise my mission in life ISN'T to annoy him but sometimes it's just so EASY! Him being my dad of course. He has this...knack, for asking the most OBVIOUS questions. It drives Mom and I nuts so we tend to give smart-alec answers when he asks stuff.

For example, I was over there late last week filling Mom in on my summer plans. It's been a LONG journey of me trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. There are lots of options for what I COULD do this summer and instead of just sitting back and letting it develop (which I swear, unlike the rest of my family, I am physically incapable of) I gave her the long version of how I came to the conclusion that I am happy with (I was still trying to convince myself which is why she got all the pros and cons LOL) Bottom line is I'm planning a trip to Alberta (Edmonton then Calgary) during the second week of July. The plan is to leave BC on Sunday or Monday, drive to Edmonton, spend time there, then come down to Calgary on probably Thursday and spend time there before coming home the following Sunday or Monday.

Dad came home halfway through our conversation and I filled him in. He asked "who are you going to see?" Now on one hand it's a valid question. I have a LOT of family in Alberta. He has five siblings who have over twenty kids between them and Mom has four siblings with over 10 kids between them not to mention all THEIR kids. But he KNOWS I'll try and see as many people as possible so it's kind of a redundant question. So, instead of naming relatives I looked him in the eye and answered "Dierks Bentley" (Dierks is playing at the Calgary Stampede which I admit was one of my reasons for picking the second week of July). Anyways, this answer made him roll his eyes and it made Mom and I laugh.

I swear it's not my intent to always get him like that but he walks into it!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sara & I

This is Sara and I on the first day of grade one. Weren't we cute? :D

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sara & James

The wedding I attended on Saturday was for my friend Sara and her now husband, James. Sara and were in first grade together. Sara met James on the last day of school in her second or third year of university. They've been going out for a few years now and engaged for the last year and a half. It turns out that my friend Janis used to babysit James!!! Small world.

The church Sara and James were married in was the one that Janis and I used for our CM workshops too. The wedding was very nice. Quite simple and quick but lovely.

The reception was held out at Minter Gardens. I've been there many times and even danced there twice but this was the first time I had attended a wedding there. It was really nice. We were in the Trillium Room and I was at a table with my friends Mike, Jenna, Crystal and Sara's teaching partner, another Mike.

Sara is a teacher are both of her sisters and her mom....actually her mom is a principle at one of the local elementary schools. Needless to say there were a LOT of teachers and district people in attendance, including our high school vice principal!

After dinner they showed a slide show that James had prepared. There were a few speeches, toasts and the cutting of the cake and then we danced the night away.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Gotta Love BC

12:44am Saturday morning (Friday night) my cell phone rings. Because my cell is my primary phone line, and because I use it as a secondary alarm (the radio isn't always enough) I keep it right beside my bed. I have a LOUD ring so when it rang in the middle of the night, I answered it.

"Uh, do you have any bud?"
"I think you have the wrong number"
"Oh, sorry"

Actually I don't think, I know but I wasn't exactly awake. Of course after the call, I WAS awake. Awake enough to know that the people in the apartment above me were awake too. And moving around. A lot. I bet they had bud :rolleyes:

Normally, once I'm asleep, I don't hear anything. Once I was awake though, I couldn't fall back asleep because of the people upstairs. I ended up getting up around 1:00 am and scrapbooking. I didn't go back to bed until almost 3. Not exactly the way I like to spend my nights but it was productive.

Of course that's the joy of living in an apartment.

My long weekend was too short

That's my only complaint. Other than that I had an absolutely wonderful Easter weekend.

Friday Deb and her daughter came out and we were going to go to Burlington to check out bridesmaid's dresses again. I chickened out though. The radio was reporting a 2-3 hour wait at the border but when we got down there it was the LONGEST line I have EVER seen on this side of the border. I haven't talked to anyone who went down but I would be surprised if they got down in less than three hours. Because of that I decided against going. It just wasn't worth the wait.

Instead Deb, J and I went to Winners where I got a really cute top, to the scrapbook store and to Michaels and then to White Spot for a late lunch. It was a nice relaxing time.

After they headed home I went over to Mom & Dad's and vacuumed out my car. I've needed to do that for a long time. I didn't realize HOW long until I got going. I found glass under the seats. Glass, from when Seth borrowed my car when I was in Texas and the back window got smashed in. Yikes!

That evening (and on Saturday and Sunday) I SCRAPBOOKED! Amazing I know LOL I mean I've been doing a little here and there but I actually dug out stickers, shape makers, CCS tools and I have a long tail on my tape runner to prove that I had accomplished something. I worked on a bunch of "UFO's". Pages I've ignored for years. I did three calendar pages in my 2006 album and organized my pictures and planned the layouts. I finshed a bunch of layouts in my CM album. (I retired in September's about time I finish that book!) I made notes and I used scraps. My work space is a disaster area right now but it feels GOOD.

Saturday I went to a wedding, I'll put that in a separate post when I can upload photos.

Sunday I went to church and then stayed for a potluck lunch. I had to laugh on Sunday. I don't know if any of you are familiar with the Veggie Tales 8 Polish Foods of Christmas but that's kind of what it felt like. LOTS of meat dishes. All of them were yummy though so I'm not complaining.

All in all it was a good, productive weekend. I would have loved to be off today as well but it's okay. I don't have dance tonight so it will be a bit like a vacation.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I stand corrected

I have a prejudice against prepared foods. Pre-packaged is one thing. Things like cake mixes, instant mashed potatoes or stuffing etc is another. If you can't make it from scratch, I don't want it. It comes from growing up in a house where everything was make from scratch.

For St. Patricks Day I needed to make something green for dance. I saw a recipe for brownies with green coloured cream cheese icing. I printed it off and THEN realized that the brownie recipe was actually a cake mix. I was going shopping that day and because I knew I didn't have much time, I decided I'd try it.

OMFSM I am in love. Betty Crocker Chocolate Chunk Supreme Brownies Mix. It is SO good! I screwed up on the icing so they look kind of ugly (which meant they weren't good enough to bring to share :D ) By the time I was supposed to share them though, there wasn't really enough anyways. So, I take back anything negative I ever said about cake mixes. And Betty Crocker rocks! LOL

Monday, March 17, 2008

I've got him figured out

I worked at the store on Sunday. 6.5 loooong hours on my feet. I was exhausted by the time I was done and considered just vegging on the couch but my mom called and lured me over to their place with the promise of pizza. We played a round of Scrabble and during the game I was commenting (not complaining, commenting) that I wasn't looking forward to Monday morning because I had a conference call first thing. My dad asked "Have you ever thought about getting a different job?" He does this all the time. I don't know why my current job isn't good enough but maybe that's a Dad's job, getting you to look to the future. Anyways I figured out how to shut him up. I said "of course, I'll get a different job when I go to Ontario!" He doesn't like that idea so he clammed up pretty quickly. We'll see how he reacts when I actually DO move.

And for the record, I like my job. I've been here for two weeks now and it still fits me just fine. I have no plans to go anywhere (in this province anyways).

Friday, March 14, 2008

One night at the store

I kept a rough journal of my shift last night so you can all know what it's like :D

5:15 Arrive at the store
read bulletin board (New Easter contest coming. Cool.)
put on name tag and lanyard
5:30 Check in
get an update from my coworker (hey, I haven't been there in over a week!)
Review my tasks for the night (refreshing the nook and unpacking new stock) and current sales/sales goals
5:45 Co-worker leaves early because she didn't get her second 15 minute break earlier.
5:50 Check coming schedules. Working this Sunday :( Whole Easter weekend off :)
Get going on nook. The picture at right was taken at the end of the night. I re-folded most of the t-shirts, moved the new ones from the nook to the table, re-arranged the sweatshirts/jeans/sweatpants and folded the vests on the table over the course of the evening.
6:00 Check and record sales
6:10 A "yahoo! sale" $172!
6:45 Call co-worker "we made budget again!" (For you non-retail people, "budget" is the goal set by head office for each store to achieve each day. Our store hasn't been doing that well but my co-worker has been having a great week. So fare we're the first in the district for the week. Meeting budget for the day, again, was a good thing.)
7:05 Finish bottom of nook, start top, start unloading new stock
7:10 I found a note from my manager "Note for Heidi: Hi Heidi, I know you're still here!! See you soon :)" I haven't actually SEEN her in well over three weeks because our shifts don't over lap. It's nice to be acknowledged.
7:25 My littlest brother walks by. I go outside under the pretense of straightening the front table and yell after him. Can you believe that I've been working at the store since October and this is the first time I've seen him? He practically *lives* at the mall. EVERYTIME I'm at my parents I swear he is looking for a ride to the mall. I've watched for him but this is the first time I've actually seen him. We chatted for a bit before he continued on.
7:30 I called mom to report that I saw Aaron. (hey, it was kind of exciting LOL)
7:45 Finish the table
7:50 Do the "tag tucking, fly zipping" thing again
7:55 Wonder for the umpteenth time if the girl at Naturalizer is the little sister of someone I graduated with (note, the second picture is my view out to the mall from the cash desk)
8:00 Check and record sales
8:10 Talk to Aaron again. He's with his girlfriend (somehow he thinks Mom and Dad don't know she's his "girlfriend". I tried not to burst his bubble but he's been with her since Christmas. I'm pretty sure they've got it figured out). His friend and friend's girlfriend were there too. I talk to the friends girlfriend like I know her (I've heard a LOT about her). She was a bit creeped out until I explain that I am Aaron's older sister. She mentions that she is a "cousin" to Aaron's girlfriend. Get this. Her uncle's, girlfriend's, sister's, daughter is Aaron's girlfriend. Cousins. Right. Got it. LOL
8:20 Finish nook
8:25 Read newsletters, coupons, anything in print to keep from falling asleep
8:30 Sit on small step ladder to rest feet
8:35 Write this entry, lament lack of internet access
8:40 do stats for the night (I'm not making any sales in the next twenty minutes right?)
8:45 Take self-timed portrait for blog.
8:50 pull in front table, t-stand, half close doors
8:58 Close doors, cash out.

So there you go. A night in the life. Hopefully tonight is as stimulating as yesterday's was :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Crazy Weekend, Part 2

So Sunday I came down from the moutain, stopped at home, made some quick mac n' cheese, repacked my suitcase from casual hanging out clothes to business wear, stopped at the office to check email, got gas, went to church (thank goodness we had an evening service so I could still attend) and then drove out to Vancouver.

I arrived at the hotel, checked in, dropped my bags off in my room, half heartedly looked for the welcome reception (I didn't really want to attend so I didn't look that hard) and, not finding it, just went to my room early. For the locals, I was in the Coast Hotel at Comox and Denman. Not a horrible area of town but not really the best either. I slept okay once I fell asleep but the city noise (sirens, traffic etc) made falling asleep difficult.

Monday morning I woke up, earlier than necessary, even with the "spring forward" time change got ready and headed downstairs (funny how much easier it is to get to work when your commute only consists of an elevator ride LOL).

So, why was I there? Annual General Meeting and Strategic Planning session for the association representing the organization that I used to work for. The one I sit on the Board of Directors for now? And yes I realize that I'm being cryptic but so far this blog isn't set to private and I don't really want my comments showing up on a Google search or something. I realized that as of this week, I have been involved with this organization for NINE years. NINE!!! That's longer than I've been scrapbooking!!! (For those of you who can't tell the story on your own already, I was placed with this group for work experience during grade 12. My plan was to work there for 50 hours and then try something else for my second 50 hours (100 hours total required for credit in my course). I got along really well with everyone on staff and enjoyed the work so much that when my 50 hours was up, they convinced me to stay for the second 50 hours. I then had two months "off" until they called and offered me a part time position (8 hours a week). I did that for the month of June (while I graduated, attended prom, wrote exams etc) and then took a full time summer position. When the summer was up they added me to an existing contract, when that expired I was brought in under core funding and then in December 2005 they offered me a position in another town where I was essentially office manager. After 15 months there the funding ended and I could have come back to the main office but I made, the hardest decision of my life, to leave. I secured my current position shortly after leaving that office.

Four months after I completed my employment (which had lasted seven years from the day I first started my work experience) they recruited me to the Board of Directors as a youth/female representative. I've been serving in that role for a year and a half now.

Phew! All that to say, I've been around for awhile. There were reps from 34 different groups, (all members of the same association) at this meeting. Many were names that I have heard for *years* and was finally able to put a face too.

Being at the conference felt very natural to me. All of the terminology was familiar (it should be after that much time!) and I've gotten pretty familiar with those situations. Breakfast, meeting, lunch, group break outs, formal dinner, sleep, breakfast, group presentations (I was volunteered. Yipee. Good thing I don't have a phobia of public speaking LOL), lunch, more brainstorming.

Lots of information. It was different to attend as a Director and not as staff. I admit it took awhile to stop paying attention to catering and facility arrangements, or if everyone had a package (that's the hat I wear when I do board meetings for my day job). It was good though.

After our session ended on Tuesday I went to Pacific Centre and shopped at Sears for awhile and then met up with Deb and her daughter for sushi before heading home.

It was a bit surreal to go from a rustic cabin at the top of a moutain to the 15th floor of a hotel in downtown Vancouver all in one day but I made the tansition quite smoothly if I do say so myself. And like a few people said when I explained my weekend plans "well, you wouldn't be doing it if you didn't enjoy it". Very true.

Hemlock 2008

This was a crazy busy weekend. Fun but busy. I worked Friday morning (which was kind of a waste because I was only in for a few hours and we didn't have email access so my hands were really tied). At noon I headed home and did some last minute packing before Glen picked me up. We stopped and picked up his fiance Erin and the three of us drove up to Hemlock together.
This is the sixth year that various members of this group have gathered for the weekend. Melissa, Jevon and myself are the only ones who have been there every single year. This year we had a wonderful large log cabin. It was very rustic feeling, complete with a deer head on the wall (we found out later that much like "Billy the Bass" it sang! Creepy LOL)
The first picture is me, Jevon's sister Rachel and Jevon having a very philosophical discussion about marriage and personal expectations. I was having the high class dinner of wine and cheese (read...I didn't feel like cooking :D)

There were a few different game systems set up in the living room (a number of the people there this weekend have worked at EA in the past and the rest just love video games). I tried my hand at Guitar Hero III and Rockstar. I think I found my niche as a drummer! (I don't have a picture but Melissa and Rachel are posing there for you). In fact I didn't take any pictures all weekend. Instead I just relaxed and let others be shutterbugs.

Video games and board games. With 12 people you had at least one or the other and usually both going at all times. I played Scrabble (right), Dutch Blitz (below), Uno, Skip-Bo, Settlers, Settlers with the Seafarer expansion pack (very cool), Ingenious (my new favourite game) and others.

Saturday Jevon made French toast (with French bread) for breakfast and for dinner we had chicken parmesean with pasta and garlic bread.

The bottom floor of the cabin featured a ping pong table and a pool table so we fit in a few games of that too. Saturday Melissa and I had considered going snowshoeing. We probably could have but it was raining in the morning and by the time we were inspired, it was too late. So, we just enjoyed spending the weekend inside. Oh, we also watched movies. Juno (which *everyone* loved), The Anchorman and some strange Chinese/soccer/kung foo spoofish thing. NOT my choice.
Sunday we packed up and I was home by about 2. I'll put the rest of that advenutre in a separate post.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Gone, gone, gone

This weekend is our annual trip to Hemlock. I've got my bedding folded and ready to go, lots of warm clothes packed, munchies and real food segregated in the fridge. I just have to grab it all and go. I can't wait!

I'll be out of the office on Monday and Tuesday for a conference too but I'll update y'all when I get back :)

Official tag tucker-inner and fly zipper-upper

I've often joked that I could spend an entire shift at the store just tucking in tags and doing up flies. (The latter has garnered me a bit of a nick name LOL) Wednesday, I did just the opposite. Thursday morning an inventory company came in so I spent my entire shift UNTUCKING every last single tag in the store. It was painful. It went against everything I've been taught. It took me all evening too. Stacks of shirts, stacks of pants, clothes hanging on racks against the wall, 4-way displays and rounders. By the time I left, every tag was exposed. The store looked like a tag explosion.

I haven't heard yet how the inventory went or how long it took to tuck all the tags back in but I'm glad I didn't have to be the one to do it!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Good friends visit

and bring coffee. Or chai :) Jenna stopped by the office the morning and brought an almost perfect grande-no-water-extra-hot-soy-tazo-chai (she just forgot the "no foam" but I forgive her ;)) It was wonderful. I've been absolutely burried in paperwork since the board meeting last week but the drink made it a little easier to handle.

Okay, back to the stacks of files and an inbox full of un-opened emails!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Word of the day #35: gingival

So I sent an email to our computer tech. The text was supposed to read

"an individual" instead I typed
"an gingival"

Or something like that. Spell check either let it through or changed it to that word. So I'm talking to the tech today and he's thinking that it's a name. He's trying to pronounce it and I'm like "how do you spell that?" Then I find the email in question and read the context and realize that he's spent time looking for my spelling error!!! Apparently, it's a real word though:

Pronunciation Key - [jin-jahy-vuhl, jin-juh-]
1. of or pertaining to the gums.

yi yi yi!