Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Saying Good-bye

Four years ago today I "retired" as a Creative Memories Consultant. The decision was a long time coming (too long in fact) but it was still hard. I "celebrated" by attending a retreat with a wonderful group of "sister-CMC's" that I am still in contact with. They graciously let me attend even though at midnight the first night, I was officially not a CMC anymore.

Earlier this week I attended the closing out sale of one of the local scrapbook stores. I chatted briefly with the owner. She's really upbeat about the whole situation but, like me, she's had time to get used to the idea. All her customers are grieving but she's ready to move on. I totally know how it feels.

I loved my time as a CMC. I'd go back to it in a heartbeat if it was right for me, which it still may be at another time in my life. Right now it's just too much stress.

Here's to four years "since"!

The Heat is On!

My hometown is the proud host to a brand new AHL (Amercian Hockey League) team. Okay, the team isn't new. It's actually the relocated Quad City Flames but under this name, the Abbotsford Heat, they're new. The AHL is predominately an East Coast league and the next closest to us geographically are the Manitoba Moose.

Meredith's parents bought seasons tickets so she and I will hopefully get to go a few more times this year. Sunday was the first game.

Mere was most excited about the fights and there were three "good ones" so she was happy :) Final score was 6-4 for the Heat. Lots of scoring made the game really fun. Although it's great high-level hockey so it was non-stop action anyways.

The Heat are the farm team to the Calgary Flames and the Moose are the farm team to the Vancouver Canucks. Every time a goal was scored, at least half the crowd would cheer. There was as many Moose fans as Heat so it made it interesting.

The penalty shot by Hugo Carpentier late in the third was another highlight.

The Heat play in the brand new Entertainment and Sports Centre and aside from major parking issues, it's a great venue I can't wait to see more games!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

September 12 of 12

I haven't posted a 12 of 12 since May although I have been taking pictures. This is a few days late but at least I'm posting it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I woke up at my regular weekday time (6:42 am) even though my alarm wasn't set. SO not cool because I ended up being kind of tired for the rest of the day. The benefit was I got my day started early which is always nice.

Since I was up I made myself a cup of coffee with the French Press I got for Christmas. I don't use it a lot but I have been lately.
Next I went down to the Farmers' Market. I wanted to take pictures there but I couldn't get a good angle. Instead I came home and took a picture of all my veggies after I put them in my beloved FridgeSmart Tupperware.

This weekend the Canadian Country Music Awards took place in Vancouver. I considered going to the show but I just couldn't swing it financially with New York and everything. On Saturday CMT hosted a Fan Fair Street Festival so I convinced Mom to go with me. Traffic was absolutely insane and we didn't even end up staying all that long. The festival was disorganized and crowded. On stage when we arrived was Steven Lee Olsen, Victoria Banks, Jessie Farrell (and her guitar player to her left) and, my favourite, Doc Walker.
I saw Doc Walker (the only act I really cared about) and then decided that since I've already met them twice and I have their autographs four times, I didn't need to stand in the forever long line to meet them again. I did take a stalkerish photo of them talking to other fans though :D Left is Chris, middle is Dave and right (cut off) is Murray.

Paul McGuire of CMT Canada (left) and Karen Daniels and Clay St. Thomas of JRfm introduced the next round of performers. Next up were Jason Blaine, Aaron Pritchett (and his guitar player), Johnny Reid, and Terri Clark. They had major technical difficulties during this set and Jason ended up playing guitar for Aaron on "Hell Bent for Buffalo". It was great to see Johnny (he ended up sweeping the awards ceremony on Sunday by winning Album of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Video of the Year, Male Artist and Fan's Choice) and Terri Clark. Terri's been laying low lately but she's got a new CD coming out and I believe she's planning a tour in the next little while.
Down the street and away from all the screaming fans we found Casey Clark taping the Chevy Cross Canada Countdown (one of many things he does). He was gracious enough to pose with me (and put up with my star struckness).
Rob was in town again this weekend but he elected to hand out with Dad who was working a car show. Mom and I picked him up on our way back home and stopped at Liquidation World on the way. I bought the shoes on the left a few months ago and *love* them. They're Sketcher brand Crocs. Saturday I got blue and black ones as well. Oh and they were only $6.88 a pair so it's not like they break the bank.

Look who's on the cover of Country Weekly!!! Isn't Jake cute? :D
My offical CCMA Awards program. I bought it because it has fun anecdotes and mini interviews with each of the nominees.

I had dinner with Mom and Robert at my parents house. Afterwards we were sitting on the deck experiencing all the wonderful sounds of city living. Airplanes flying over, loud annoying music, kids crying, geese overhead, and then to add insult to injury, someone decided to mow their lawn. It was NOT relaxing and it was HOT out. We were debating doing an ice cream run when I logged in to Facebook and had this conversation with my friend Naomi.

So, that's how I ended Saturday. At Naomi's playing Super Scrabble and eating ice cream. A great finish to a busy day.

Monday, September 14, 2009


In my “The Countdown Begins” post last week I said “I’d be okay with “teaching” in some other capacity (at a museum or historic site) but not in a classroom.” V commented:
You know, if you think you'd like to work in a museum, maybe you should find out from them what they are looking for...might help to narrow down the class choices.

(V I hope you don’t mind that I’m answering you “publicly”) The truth is, we don’t HAVE many museums around here! That’s one of the reasons I want to move!!!

I am happy to report that I had a very promising conversation with the volunteer coordinator at Fort Langley (the closest national historic site to me) today. He’s going to email me the application and I’ll fill it out and send it back and we’ll see what we can set up from there. I’m a bit nervous to take on a volunteer activity at this time because I already keep myself so busy but I think it will be an excellent opportunity and hopefully it will answer a lot of the questions I have.

I’ll keep you posted!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Announcing: $7.13 a Day

I didn’t announce my new blog ( when I first launched it because I can’t stand people who say “I’m blogging!” and then never post another entry. It’s kind of like me coming back to blogging. Yes I pretty much missed the first half of the year but now I feel like I’m back on track. I don’t need to announce that, just come back and people will start reading…or not. Which is fine too.

Anyways, I’m three weeks into my new blog and ready to announce it. The first entry pretty much describes the purpose of it:

As you will see, I’m not doing particularly well but it’s still providing a place for me to record expenditures and that’s what matters. I’m still maintaining “Coffee, Country Music and the Corporate World” (obviously) because this is where the “stories” go. The two blogs kind of go hand in hand though. They’re both by me and about me. $7.13 will be a bit drier because its fact based but you’re welcome to read anyways. I know one person already does (Hi Desi! ::waving:: ) :)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Insider Report

I’m a blogger but I’m also a blog reader. I am subscribed to close to 100 blogs via Feedblitz but of course many of those don’t update regularly…and a few I don’t read regularly. I need go through and update my subscriptions but I haven’t had the time yet. Most of those are SS friends of some sort but a few are other blogs I’ve stumbled upon. One I’ve been reading for a few years is “Cooking with the Single Guy”
Chef Ben is located in the Bay Area and reviews restaurants I’ll probably never visit but he’s adventurous and by reading his posts I’ve been brave enough to try lots of new dishes because he’s profiled them.

I’ve done the arm chair travel thing to Hawaii (more than once), Buenos Aires and lots of Californian locations. This past weekend he was in New York.

I have a HUGE radar out for anything New York right now. So when I saw that he was there, I was super excited. Then he reviewed a restaurant and I googled the distance from our hotel. It came in at “about one minute”.

You can read the comments but it turns out that he stayed at the same hotel that Mere and I are booked into!!! So cool! I did email him and it sounds like a great choice in hotel, and we have some suggestions of places to eat around there too.



A few months ago I started reading through the Psalms. One per day, thirty per month (it helped to keep track of where I was better). Today, on September 9th, 2009, I read the 99th Psalm…which also has 9 verses.

So Psalm 99:1-9 on 09-09-09

How’s that for a coincidence?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Countdown Begins

So my Countdown to Ontario has officially started. I don’t know when because I don’t know exactly when I’ll leave but I know that by this time next year, I’ll be in Ontario. That means that pretty much everything that happens from here on is for the last time. The last Labour Day weekend in BC. The last Thanksgiving, last Christmas, etc.

Now that it’s September the information for applying to school in Ontario is officially up as well and I can start to study it and figure out if that is what I actually want to do. And what it will take to make that a reality. It’s exciting and scary all at the same time.

Ontario has a central application system where you can apply to up to three universities at once. I’ve narrowed down my choices geographically (based on the area I want to live when I move). Next step is to decide on what program I want to apply for. I expect it will be some sort of Arts degree. I’m interested in History specifically but languages, literature and geography are also up there. The biggest problem is that I’m still not convinced that there’s actually career opportunities in those fields. Or, I think there are, but I can’t name them and that makes me nervous. The biggest thing is that I don’t want to be a teacher. Not in the traditional institution sense anyways. I’d be okay with “teaching” in some other capacity (at a museum or historic site) but not in a classroom.

So, still lots of questions but I feel like I’m ready to start answering them.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Labour Day Weekend

The rest of the weekend has been pretty quiet. After our trip to Vancouver I went to a bar-b-que at a friends house. It was still kind of rainy so we stayed inside and played "In a Pickle" a new game that Melissa and Jevon gave me for my birthday, and Uno. I didn't get home until 2am which was kind of crazy but we had fun so it was worth it.

Sunday was church and then over to Mom & Dad's for lunch with Robert. That evening I dropped him off at a friend's house and went to bible study at church.

Monday (today) I wanted to stay in my pjs all day but my family convinced me to come over for dinner so I did end up getting dressed. I spent most of the day puttering around the house. I scrapbooked a bit, made some cards, watched a movie and read some books. It's been good :)

Canada Line

Robert has a friend who works at West Jet and she's signed him up as her "companion" so he can fly dirt cheap, on stand by. He used that when he visited in August and again this weekend. Saturday was grey and drizzly but we decided to do the touristy thing and go ride the new Sky Train extension, the Canada Line from Vancouver Airport to downtown, and back. The new cars are really nice. Large and roomy (both the cars and the seats) and really, really quiet. It's a quick ride from the airport to downtown but a bit boring since most of it is under ground. I guess I'd better get used to that. The New York subway is all under ground :)

In Vancouver we walked through Pacific Centre, a high end shopping mall that goes under ground. We stopped for coffee. I got Starbucks, and Rob, Dad and Aaron got Tim Hortons :)

Robert pondered life with the manequins in Holt Renfrew.
Aaron strikses a pose...
Me, on the train!

The station at YVR. I used to do quarterly meetings at the airport so I got to watch the line being built so it was neat to see it fully finished and ride the train.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

PNE and Doc Walker Concert

Sunday, August 27th Meredith and I met up after church and headed into Vancouver for a day at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE). Finding parking was a nightmare (as it usually is) and we ended up parking in the middle of Hastings Race Course.

Our first order of business once we got into the fair grounds was finding food. We surveyed the various international delights and finally settled on poutine for me and yam fries for her...and we split a deep fried mars bar for dessert. Mmmm love fair food!

There were two main attractions that I specifically wanted to see. The nightly concert (which I'll talk about later) and a stage show called "Celtic Legends" described as "Not your average Irish Dance Show, Celtic Legends combines the vigorous steps of Irish Dance with the traditional sounds of Irish folk music for a truly breathtaking performance." I don't know if "breathtaking" necessarily applies since Mere and I both saw Riverdance live when it was in Vancouver but this show was the same concept, although with less dancing. It was only 30 minutes long but that was enough. The music and dancing were both beautiful but they show itself didn't hold your attention very well.
No matter, there was lots of other stuff to see. We went through the "Home Depot Showcase" where they were displaying all manner of home improvement innovations as well as a "Hand Crafted Artisan Studio Furniture Exhibit – by Eastside Culture Crawl". The picture is turned but hopefully you can see some of the unique pieces that were displayed. My favourite was the "Bad Table"

We toured the "Marketplace" were all the "As Seen on TV" people were hocking their wares. We viewed the "container art" and sand sculptures (more pictures on Facebook if you want to see them, and more details here.

We indulged in mini donuts...well, Mere did. I just took pictures :)

In the "Safeway Farm Country" we arrived just as a calf was being born. We missed seeing it actually drop because the crowd was too thick but we saw it just after. Later in the evening we went back to check on it and I took this picture the.
I noticed the reflection of the ferris wheel on Mere's sun glasses so I made her stop so I could take a picture. If that doesn't say "summer" I don't know what does :)

Around 7 we found some dinner ("Texas Taters" and smoked beef on a bun) and settled in for the Doc Walker concert. We sat up on the bleachers because Mere didn't want to stand for the whole concert. I only lasted for a handful of songs before I left and joined the crowd in front of the stage. The sound from the bleachers was fine but it's so much better to be closer to the band.

This is the third time I've seen Doc Walker in concert but the fourth time I've seen them. The fourth being at the Basics for Babies breakfast a few years ago. They only did three songs there though so it wasn't really a concert. I did have tickets to see them the following April but the concert was cancelled so I missed out.

Because it's been awhile, I was super excited to see them. They did all their singles including:
Forgive Me for Giving a Damn (by request)
Coming Home
Rocket Girl
That Train
She Hasn't Always Been This Way
Get Up
North Dakota Boy
Trying to Get Back to You
Driving with the Brakes On
Beautiful Life
Dave Wasyliw (left) also performed a song that he wrote called "Barbershop". It's not on any of their cd's but I've heard people talk about it on the message board for years so I was excited to finally hear it. I'm happy to report that I love it.

Dave, the lead singer Chris Thornstein and guitarist Murray Pulver are the main members of the band. In all the times I've seen them, they've always had a different bass guitarist and drummer.

Their current bassist is Brent Pearson and the drummer is Steve Broadhurst. Steve he did a fantastic medly of songs including Kiss's "I Was Made for Loving You" and "Staying Alive", the later complete with crazy falsetto. It's hard to describe a country band covering those songs but it totally worked and the crowd ate it up. So fun.

Murray covered some songs during the encore but I was heading back to meet with Mere at that point so I didn't pay attention to what he was singing.

After the concert we had some time to kill before the final show of the night so we got carmel apples and visited the baby calves.

The last show was "KABOOM! A Pyro Musical Spectacular"

A giant countdown celebration to the PNE’s 100th anniversary in 2010, KABOOM! gets the party started. With innovative projection and state-of-the-art lighting, get ready to embark on a high tech trip through one hundred years of PNE History. From the 1910 Grand Opening to the crazy days of Elvis Presley and The Beatles to the grooves of disco, this pyro musical spectacular will transport you through the sights, sounds and music of the past century.

This picture was a "Jail House Rock" number. Note the dancers on the poles...

So, that's another Fair in the books and another amazing concert...and another blog entry that took four days to write and ended up with sideways pictures :P