Saturday, 5 May 2012

Moving on to Bigger and Better Things

My nursing clinical experience this semester has been nothing short of a headache, to say the least. Clinical is a substantial task itself, but when factoring all the nonsense I endured with the college and scheduling and whatnot, it was almost enough to make a grown girl give up. I went from being juggled around rotations to a new group lucky enough to endure a less than average instructor (to put it politely). But the details are not what's important, but what is is that I am stronger because of it and I've come away with a group of great friends. 

Six more friends to be more specific, actually make that seven. The girls in my group welcomed me mid-rotation, but our instructor, Anne, was amazing. Faced with the challenge of repairing us from the previous rotation, it was no easy task to re-instill our confidence and competence as nursing students. But Anne was successful and was a great mentor. Really she was more than a teacher to us, she was also a friend and confidant. I've rarely seen any instructors sit to eat lunch with the students, because it's difficult to play both roles. And apparently it's frowned upon by some of the other instructors. 

Walking out of clinical for the last day was bittersweet. We were all so glad to be done, but a little sad to depart knowing the chances are slim to be in the same group with any of us girls again. But we made the best of it, and went out for lunch afterwards. We laughed a lot and cried a little, since we had all been through so much together. But I have to admit all of us are ready for the summer break. And the prospect of returning to school, at the University next semester, is definitely something worth celebrating. 

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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Playing Ball with the Boys

At the beginning of the year, I had come the not-so-easy conclusion that I needed to make some changes in my routine. As a wife and a mother, a full-time student, and participation in many other things that I could compile a huge list on, I was burning out. Or really, already burnt out. I could no longer pretend to be a wonder woman wanna-be. So it came time to simplify. But that was not possible in all areas, so rather it became prioritizing. Some decisions were easy, others required much thought, but of my conclusions are such:
  • My family comes first. Not that they weren't ever my first priority, but I could do more with them and less elsewhere. 
  • It became easier than I expected to stop working, which wasn't entirely my decision to make (and this is why). 
  • Good grades in school are attainable in most other programs besides nursing at the college, so why invest the time when it doesn't pay off? and ultimately it doesn't matter. 
  • It's important for houses to be clean, but spotless isn't worth losing sleep over. 
  • Down time is essential, and doing hobbies and completing projects doesn't count. I'll admit, Ryley had to help me differentiate, (and my relationship with books (not textbooks) is better than ever. and popcorn too.)
And so on I went, over the Christmas holidays, reorganizing and reevaluating my priorities. I was back to school lickety-split, and feeling better about my new outlook.

I was approached by Harmoni shortly after the semester began to see if I'd like to play basketball again.
I hadn't remembered this commitment over the holidays, so I had to think about this with my revised approach. After some deliberating, I came to the conclusion that even though I'm busy and stressed, I needed to do something for myself. And realistically, exercise is one of the best ways to combat stress. Yes it would mean another obligation and schedule coordination, but it was a small amount of time that would have many benefits.

So as I have already introduced Harmoni, to the blog, there are 6 other guys who play on the team that I have had the opportunity to get to know a little bit over the past two semesters. Granted I would probably be able to know them better if I took them up on the opportunity to join them for drinks after our playoff games, but most days I had been up at 5 am for clinical, so all that I could think about was going to bed.

We were never the best team on the roster, but we did win consolation which was a great way to end the tournament. I don't think our team will be rejoining again in the fall as a good portion of the guys graduated this year. But hopefully I can join a different group or assemble another team since I'll finally be at the University. I've heard good things about it, and I couldn't be happier to be finished at the college.

After many many days of waiting for a copy of the team picture, I give up. This is the best I could come up with.
Not great, I know. 

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Monday, 9 April 2012

A Pirate's Prayer

Please help us have a piratey day,
bless the food,
help us to have fun,
help us to find holy treasure,
and to not find bad pirates,
bless all the pirates at the party,


This was AJ's Pirate Prayer at his 5th birthday party. Grayson was super excited about this party because he knew all the fun things that birthday parties involve now. I've come to learn that when Lacey hosts an event, that she goes all the way. And this party was no exception. It was all things pirate. Pirate pancakes, swabbing the deck, walking the plank and digging for treasure to name a few. 

I've never seen kids so eager to pick up a broom! Maybe Saturday chores needs a new title. 

Walking the plank earned you a pirate hat and matching sword. Grayson still  insists on wearing his hat around the house, and to bed if I would allow it. 

Donuts definitely taste better on a hook.
Maybe this approach would work to get Grayson to eat other, less popular, snacks, like apples.
I could cut the apples ring style instead. I see potential here... 

The kids had a blast filling their booty bags with all kids of loot they earned throughout the afternoon. I think the pirate pinata was a hit. But no pirate birthday is complete without a Batman cake! Right?

The shindig was successful with filling these kids full of sugar and sending them on their way in typical birthday party style. AJ was a happy little pirate, especially with a full treasure chest at the end of the day.

 Thanks for the fun afternoon Lacey!

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Unconventional Easter Fun

With any holiday comes many traditions and countless variations thereof. I had the fortunate opportunity to join Char-Lane to her family-in-law's Easter festivities. She mentioned her husband would be working, so she would love to have some company for the ride and for the afternoon. Ryley was going to be up in Calgary working longer than he expected, so I was excited to get out for the day and experience the annual egg-rolling. I conveniently had 2 dozen eggs in my fridge to hard-boil, and Grayson and I went to Char's place a little early to color them. Without fail we were met with Summer's happy jig when we arrived. 

Soon after we arrived the kiddos we sent on an Easter egg hunt, and shortly afterwards we headed out to the hill to roll some eggs. I've actually only heard of people rolling eggs down a hill, so I was a little excited to participate. We rolled a few, and sent the kids to fetch the unbroken eggs. After a couple rounds it was time to watch the guys see who could throw the farthest. We girls opted out of the distance  round as to avoid certain embarrassment. 

The highlight of the afternoon is when I learned more about this variation in family tradition. I was told that some years ago someone thought it would be a good idea to sacrifice themselves as a moving target for the avid egg throwers. This year two such targets volunteered for the occasion. I managed to get a few pictures of one contender in action.

Padded jacket on, hard hat in place, ready to go... 

He's off with egg's already in mid-air.

Tactical skills definitely an asset when dodging this kind of colorful ammunition.

The afternoon was less than ordinary and lots of fun. I didn't learn until after we had left that there was also a family Easter dinner that afternoon. It wasn't my intent to encroach on the family function, but I felt welcome and was met with friendly and some familiar faces. I appreciate the generosity of Char-Lane's extended family, and thank them for the food and the fun. This Easter has been memorable to say the least. 

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Saturday, 7 April 2012

An ~ Earth Friendly ~ Easter Event

Today we met the Easter Bunny! This year has been lots of fun because Grayson's little imagination has started to catch on to things like Halloween, Santa Claus and the Eater Bunny. He was super excited to go see the big fluffy candy-loving rabbit this morning and we couldn't get out the door fast enough. But of course, when the time came to actually sit with the Easter Bunny, he needed a little encouragement. Thank you Auntie Carly!

The Galt Museum here in Lethbridge usually has some sort of event going on each week. I know there's events for the children and families planned each Saturday, year round. For us it's just a matter of getting out and taking advantage of the community event and resources, such as the Galt.

In addition to meeting the Easter Bunny, there were lots of different -Earth friendly- things for the kids to do.

First we dyed Easter eggs with all natural colors. I'll admit the egg turned out better than I expected. The beet dye worked a little more efficiently than the others, but we were told that the other colors did work. It just takes time and patience, which all preschoolers have ample amounts of...  I'm not sure what the other dyes were made from, but after a little research I've found out that you can use blueberries, kale, turmeric, grape juice and coffee to dye eggs. But really. Brown eggs? That doesn't seem very festive.

We then stepped outside to color with some sidewalk chalk where we were greeted by some familiar faces. Angie and Anderson were out with her sister-in-law, Jolie, for the morning. It is sure becoming common occasion to see more people I know, and I love it. Angie told me that I need to go out for another visit to come see the lambs and baby goats. I'll expect to meet them goats in the near future.

Kite flying is also Earth friendly, and Grayson would not focus on the other activities inside until he had a turn. It was a small challenge to catch the kite in the wind, especially after getting tangled in the other kites, and with the kite itself  as Grayson experienced firsthand. I'll admit it was my highlight of the morning, the struggle it was somewhat amusing. But soon enough we got the kite and the kid coordinated and he was free to fly.

We finished up the morning decorating Grayson's eco-Easter tree. I was assigned the task to build the eggie sheep and Carly helped with the chicken. There were other goodies to add to his tree, but I think Grayson's attention span was spent, and we left before anyone got grumpy. 

I say so far this Easter's festivities have been a success, and Eco to boot. I love the 3 year-old imagination, and I'm looking forward to assembling the rest of the Easter goodies tonight. I actually really enjoy hiding the Easter candy, in addition to eating it. I'm looking forward to spending more time with family and friends, and less time with my textbooks. If this blog does nothing but help me get my priorities in order, it's already been a success. 

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Friday, 6 April 2012

A Colorful Birthday Bash

Grayson may only be 3 years-old, but I'm pretty sure I've already got my future daughter-in-law picked out. Too bad arranged marriages are not common practice around here.

Summer and Grayson have been good little friends for almost a year now. I think one of my favorite things about Summer is that she has no inhibitions when it comes to showing her emotions. When we go over to her house to play, we're greeted with a gasping grin followed by a happy little jig. Needless to say she's very animated; I think it's genetic. We got to experience this firsthand when we had Tom and Char-Lane (aka Toad and Chuck) over to play games a little while back.

I was so excited when Grayson got invited to his first birthday party. I don't think he entirely knew what to expect, but a house full of children may have been a slight surprise. But I think all was okay when we were received with the familiar happy jig.

Who ever thought it was a good idea to say "cheese" for a picture??
 It might work for a small  portion of people, Grayson is not one of them.

There were some new faces for Grayson and I, but some familiar ones as well. I'll admit I didn't recognize Kaylee first thing without her coat and toque, but it was nice to see her again. Lacey also stopped by for a couple minutes. I manged to catch up with her about her latest debate that we were regrettably unable to attend. It's too bad, it sounded like it would have been interesting. Hopefully there'll be a next time.

I was glad to stay and play with a houseful of 3 year-olds, and lend an extra pair of helping hands to the occasion. Conveniently the weather cooperated and we were able to take the kiddos out to play. I imagine things could have gotten a little loud inside had we not been able to burn a little energy off outside before we got to the presents. Because, you know, all 3 year-olds sit patiently and watch someone else opening presents... We parents may have had to intervene more than once.

After presents it was cake time. Summer had a special rainbow cake and the rest of us had rainbow cupcakes. I may have a small cupcake obsession, and rainbow cupcakes are no exception. There was also a rainbow fruit platter to go along with the rest of the rainbow decorations. The kids sure enjoyed hunting for their treat bags of gold at the end of the rainbow party.

After this successful party, I think I'm a little braver to host a birthday party for Grayson this year. But at the rate Grayson is making so many new friends, it may just be a bigger bash than I'm anticipating. At least his birthday isn't until July so I imagine I'll be hosting it outdoors.

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Thursday, 5 April 2012

Here's To Dreaming Big

I'm not sure when, but somewhere along the line we've all decided that dreaming is for kids. Oh yeah, we all try to say to ourselves that we think that dreaming big is important, and we tell our kids that. Or maybe we were told that as kids. I mean, weren't you ever told that you could be anything you want to be*?

*As long as that "anything" is a doctor, lawyer, or dentist...

I literally heard a person say once that the reason that a couple divorced is because he was a "dreamer". As if that was supposed to explain just how validated the divorce was.

Dreaming in conjunction with other traits can be a very bad thing. I'm sure we all know a dreamer who is lazy. Who talks constantly of all the neat things he's going to do, yet sits in front of his laptop writing blog posts all day.

I'd like to point out that it isn't the dreaming that's the problem, it's the lazy.

I have a niece that's pretty close to my age, so she's really more like a sister-in-law. Erika is her name, and she's a dreamer (now don't you dare attach any of the negative connotations to that word, we just went over that).

In her early 20's, Erika has already done several things that most people would consider "unconventional". She's lived (not vacationed) in Mexico. She's moved out to Vancouver to waittress and act on the side. She's sold her own original artwork for cash. She's been a model. She's performed several shows performing covers as well as original music. Among many other things.

And now she's getting ready to pack up and go to Dawson City, Yukon to work for a few months to get enough money to spend a year in Australia and then to tour Europe after that.

We try to get Erika to come by as much as we can. The reason is because when she comes by, she leaves me and Trish feeling energized. Excited. About all the things that we want to do in life before we get all crotchety. She reminds us how the days will slip by if we don't grab them. This is why you need a dreamer in your life.

Maybe you have a friend who is a dreamer. Maybe you are married to one. Heck, maybe you are one. Whatever the case, realize that these people are here to boost the rest of us. Dreamers have the unfortunate situation of having to go through life having 90% of people tell them that what they want to do isn't practical, or realistic. Who cares? What's the worst that can happen? Now that's just Erika talking.

So forget about all the reasons that you can't do something. Seriously, you only live once. And I'm willing to bet that whatever it is that you're dreaming about, telling yourself that you'll do it someday, will only get harder and harder to do with every passing day. So start on it now. Go hang out with a dreamer that you know, and be inspired. And if you try and fail, who cares? At least you tried, during the one chance that you had, the one life that you'll never get to live again.

So here's to dreaming big, and not worrying too much about the details. My family is full of dreamers (on both sides), and I'm saying that it's one of the biggest compliments that I can give.

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Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Teaching Trains to Troy

Had an old friend from high school call me up the other day.

"Saw your blog." says he, "and was wondering if you'd like to come over for some board games."

The answer is yes. It's always yes.

When I got there he was all ready. Rail Baron (1977) was all nicely laid out on the table, and he had invited 2 guests over that I had never met. This was my kind of evening.

Never had I thought that a game based on trains could be so cutthroat. I found myself to be out of my league and the other (more callous) rail barons seemed to make quick work of my pathetic railroad empire that I was attempting to build.

Mike's brother Jeff won. But that's not important. It's only important when I win.

Trish had clinical rotations at the hospital the evening of the game, so I took Grayson over to play at Mike's house while we gamed. The little tyke must be getting more mature, because he was quite the little angel for the bulk of the evening. Either that, or this meet new people thing is starting to affect him.

That's the long and the short of it. Sure is nice when people lay out our evening for us. Thanks Mike! No thanks to Jeff, the sore winner. I don't know what that makes me.

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Monday, 2 April 2012

Friends Of Friends

One of the best parts about this thing we're doing this year is that we are already expanding our little social circle beyond what we thought would happen.

We've spent time with many of our friends. But by day 3 we were beginning to run out of friends, and so we made a plea to our friends.

"Please," we said, "let us get to know your friends. You all are always doing fun and cool things when you aren't around us, just let us tag along."

And so, like everybody's younger sibling, we've been tagging along with our friends as they hang out with cooler people than we.

But we have now taken it a step beyond this. The other night, I hung out with the friend of a friend of a friend. You heard me right, pick your mouth up off the floor. Friend to the power of 3.

See, Tyson (a good friend of mine), invited his brother-in-law Fraser to come play some board games about a month back. Fraser commented that he had a good friend that lived nearby that would be interested in playing some games as well. He left me with a number for Mark, who we invited over about a month later (although Fraser couldn't make it).

So now the web is growing, and soon my social appendages will be sneaking into every area of the local social scene. I need some type of evil genius to help me take advantage of the situation. All I've got is a blog. There has to be a better way to tap into this influence I will be gaining.

Anyways, had Mark over for some (dun dun!) board games. It felt good to be back at my house (I've been working in Calgary for the past several weeks), and be able to relax in my own home. I will be having this guy over again. His own board game collection dwarfs my own. He has 691 games to my 75(ish). For those of you from Lethbridge, it's like he has a bigger truck than me. Very emasculating.

I couldn't resist...

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Excuses, Explanations, And Expletives

There aren't any expletives in this post, don't get excited. I just couldn't find many words that started with "ex" on a cursory examination, just think of it as an exaggeration.


As our thousands of regular readers have undoubtedly noticed, we have started to move away from daily blogging. This is not because we have nothing to blog about. On the contrary, we have been so busy spending time withe people that we just haven't had as much time to dedicate to keeping up with the daily posts.

As one reader has informed me, this is bad, ergo I am a bad person, and need a haircut. I appreciate this type of candid advice from our readers.

Now I have that gross feeling. That feeling of "I have way too much to catch up on, so instead of chipping away at it, I'm going to play on my iphone." We've all been there. It is a dark place.

So I'm kicking myself in the butt today and getting back in the routine. Maybe I should start outsourcing this blogging stuff to India.

What you can expect in the future: More of the same from your truly. Maybe we'll figure something out at some point, but until then, hang in there people!

And if you're going to give me advice, don't comment on my nose, I already know it's big.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Matt Had A Baby On The Side Of The Road

For those of you who majored in biology, you`ll probably realize that Matt wasn`t actually the one who had the baby. `Twas his wife, Kathy. But because Matt is a very prominent personality in any situation he is in, you find yourself just saying "Matt did this or that". So, Matt had a baby. In the car. On a busy road. 

On Calgary's biggest street was born a wee babe during rush hour. Delivered by his dad, in the park lane of Macleod trail this morning at 6ish. Kathy told Matt to pull over which he resisted, carefully calculating what that meant. With legs dangling in the ditch, and cradling the babies head in her hands, while propped against the console, she delivered said baby into Matt's confident hands. The ambulance arrived about four minutes later to find the happy little family, mom and baby still attached, waiting patiently for roadside assistance.

Now you're probably saying to yourself "Who the heck is Matt?" 

That is a very good question, and even though he's been my older brother for practically my entire life, sometimes even I don't know the answer to that question. 

As a good friend of ours recently said, "Matt should be on the show Canada's Know-It-All. Turns out he can assist birthing a child in a car. Chalk it up as another one of those things that Matt just figures out and does well on the fly."

This is all very true, but if you grew up with Matt, I think that you'd find that it's not as inherent a skill as many would like to believe. It was a learning process, and several of my favorite toys met untimely demises due to Matt's "modifications". I remember when he tried to make my Scorcher 6x6 remote control car submersible. He modified it so that it could be placed in water. In the end, he did place it in water, and that's like halfway there I guess. Points for trying I suppose.

Here is a picture of the un-modified baby boy.
By 10 years old he had gotten his paws on several of my dad's tools. He managed to hook up an original Nintendo and television to a battery pack he had welded together out of old socks and vaseline (or something like that). We got literally minutes of playtime out of the t.v./nintendo combo before it ran out of juice. 

So you see, the guy's just got a knack for knowing how stuff works. I wasn't surprised at all that he figured out how to deliver a baby in a car on the side of a busy road. In fact, I'm sure by now he's figured out how to do it even faster next time. He could deliver a baby in a rollercoaster if it weren't for the silly "regulations" that the government puts on that kind of thing. 

Although before I get too far, I should mention his wife Kathy. She helped in the delivery too. We all have some part to play right?

Matt with his helper. He probably wouldn't have been able to do it without her.

I've gotten to know them both quite a bit better as of late. Since I got laid off of my job I've been working in Calgary (2 hours away) and staying at Matt's house during the week. Knowing how good he is at everything I should really take up some of my broken stuff next time I go up. I could take up that toaster that's been just sitting dusty in a corner for years. He could probably deliver me a nice, new, baby toaster. On the side of the road no less. 

So that's Matt. If you don't know Matt, you think I made him up. If you do know Matt, you know I toned him down quite a bit to make him believable. 

Here's the ugliest picture I could find of Matt. Why? Because brothers.

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Monday, 26 March 2012

A Tea Party with ALL the Trimmings

Finding myself husband-less for the weekend, I decided to make the trek out to Hill Spring to stay at my sister Jana's place for a few days. We swap babysitting from time to time, and such was the case for this voyage. It's only an hour from her driveway to mine, so really it's not that bad of a drive, assuming the weather cooperates. 

I am fairly familiar with a good portion of the people from Hill Spring. Both my brother and my sister and their families live there, a few good friends from high school, as well as some of Ryley's extended family. When Jana invited me out to a Tea Party with some of the ladies from the area, I was glad to go, and felt welcome attending. When considering the amount of people I knew would probably be attending, I assumed there would be someone there for me to get to know better. Instead of taking the easy route with a family member or family member-in-law, I decided to take the opportunity to sit beside someone new or someone I'd like to get reacquainted with.

Ryley and I have lived in our house for 5 years, which, for some reason, amazes me. But aside from that, we have had the opportunity to see people come and go in our neighborhood. During that time I had the chance to meet Tracey Beck, and visit with her a few times. But shortly after I had met her, she moved out to Hill Spring. I assumed I would see her again soon since I'm frequently in Hill Spring, but I didn't think it would take two years to reconnect, and at a Tea Party nonetheless. 

I had the opportunity to sit next to Tracey and take little time to reconnect while we sipped from our tea cups. Lots has changed in the past two years; I'm back to school and she's since had a baby who's almost a year old! I really didn't think Tracey remembered much of the few times we visited before she moved, but I was surprised when she turned to me and said, "Trish, I really have to thank you."  She continues, "my husband hardly eats ichiban noodles anymore and less macaroni and cheese since we moved. I never liked it when he did, but I couldn't get him to listen to me when I'd say it was't good for him." I tried to remember back the best I could... I must have gone off on a nutrition tangent at some point in a past conversation, but I was really glad that what I'd said had made a difference. And I thank Tracey for bringing it to my attention, it made me happy.   

I can't recall ever attending a Tea Party party before, but this one was everything I had imagined one would be like: Tables of appetizers and finger food, sweet treats and dessert, flowers and fine tea china, complete with everyone wearing hats and the Cheshire Cat in the Tree. Did I forget to mention we were in Wonderland for the evening? And to accommodate this all for more than 70 ladies! That's an accomplishment. My hat goes off to those in charge. It was a wonderful evening. 

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Friday, 23 March 2012

You can take away my job, but you can't take away my friends...

Trish used to be a waitress at a particular restaurant. I won't mention the name of it because I'm about defame the junk out of it.

The staff at this place was really cool. Everyone got along great and the bosses themselves were very caring for the staff. Unfortunately, some time ago the restaurant was purchased by some other people who decided to fire almost every last (student) employee (during the holidays no least) and replace them with family members. 

What was interesting, is that many of the people from the restaurant have kept in really good touch with each other, and because of this continued connection, we found ourselves having lunch with Matt.

Matt is one of the nicest people that I think I have ever met. You know how when your spouse knows a person of the opposite gender your instinct kicks in and you immediately compare them to yourself? (Don't lie, we all do this). You have to check that they aren't as good looking as you, that they aren't as funny as you, etc. It's not that you're worried or anything, you just have to check. 

My point is, that this doesn't happen with Matt. Matt is such a genuinely nice person, that you don't have to do the "is he better than me at anything" check. I think this comes from there being absolutely no shred of dishonesty in the guy. 

We had a lunch at the Saigonese Restaurant (love that place). Matt informed us on the ins and outs of journalism, as that's what he's in school for. We had a great time, with a great guy, and had some good laughs. I mean, how can you not have a good time with a guy who's main passions are unicorns and narwhales?

p.s. - Matt, if you read this, I would still like a copy of your unicorn song...

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A Play Date Out of the Ordinary

I am continually surprised at how many other students in my nursing group are also parents. I find it refreshing to know that I'm not the only one whose main priority isn't school. It's enlightening to make the connections with the other moms, and dads too, and to talk through the stresses of school. And it's comforting to know that I'm not the only one who loses sleep when the kiddos get sick...

The past couple weeks have been a little stressful with the transition from Ryley's job and trying to coordinate the change with school and babysitting. But I've found the best thing for Grayson and I to do is to keep busy and spend time with family and friends. Play dates are a refreshing break from the ordinary routine, and especially welcome when Ryley is out of town for the week.

Angela, a good friend from school, invited Grayson and I out for a play date. However, if you're from southern Alberta, you know that meeting at the park is dependent on the weather, specifically they wind. And we should have known that it would blow. But instead of rescheduling, (even aside from the wind, Angel's back was out so she had a good reason to cancel,) Angela invited me out to her place for a visit. I could tell she was a little hesitant to ask me to drive out to her place since it was a little ways out of town.  Kudos to Angela for asking, rather than assuming, because I was more than happy to take a short drive to get out of the house for a little while.

Angela's son isn't quite a year-old yet, so Grayson was a little timorous playing aside the little guy. Conveniently Angela is located beside a little hobby farm, and is also in the process of building a house. What better to appeal to a 3 year-old than animals and construction stuff. So we ventured outside to wander through the framed house and visited a few friends along the way.

If anyone knows me well, they'll know that I have a soft spot for geese. I don't really know why, they just fascinate me. I don't think they were intended to be included with our farm tour, but they located themselves conveniently across the fence. I couldn't resist, I had to approach them, but  they weren't as welcoming has I'd hoped. I got a couple laughs from the hissing, and we moved on.

I think Grayson enjoyed watching the chickens, since his favorite cereal is corn flakes and it has a chicken on the box. But I think his highlight of the day was the kitty that followed us around and throwing the ball for Angela's big dogs to chase.

I have to say that I think our play date was much more exciting visiting  Angela's place than playing at the park like we do so often. And it will be fun to see her house more than just walls when it's all done. I was also told that there will be baby goats in a few weeks. I may like baby goats almost as much as I like the geese. I think we shall be returning in the near future.

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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Chillin' With The Old Dude

Back before I was laid off I found myself working for the day out in Claresholm. It was kind of a last-minute thing, there was some issues out there that needed to be taken care of ASAP.

As such, I didn't really plan a lunch. This may or may not have been on purpose, seeing as there is an A & W out in Claresholm, and I have a bit of a soft spot for that place. Onion rings. 

At around 3 in the afternoon I found myself in a mostly deserted A & W. An old guy in a corner table made a comment about my hat. (I had been taping all day and had many splotches of white drywall mud on my cap). He said it looked like the seagull pooping army had attacked me. 

Ha ha old guy. 

As I made my order I was thinking about the fact that I didn't have anyone to blog about that day. So I decided the old guy would pay for his insolence by becoming my blog object for the day. 

Instead of asking if I could take a seat with him I just sat on down. He didn't even blink an eye. We chatted over some burgers about who we were and he filled me in on the details of his quite colorful life. 

I didn't have a camera on me, so unfortunately Ken The Old Guy will forever go without picture evidence. I have decided, however, that anytime I'm by myself in a restaurant I'm just gonna plop down at someone's table. It's so much better to be in the company of someone, even if they are a stranger.

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Wednesday, 14 March 2012


Rarely in the past couple years have I had a day entirely to myself. I've had time with the husband and without the child and vice versa, but rarely have I been solo. And in the past when I have had that time it's usually because I have to work, or school and what not. Initially that's what the plan was for. 

Originally I had arranged for Grayson to be at my sister's place for a couple days while Ryley was up in Calgary working because I had a couple evening clinical shifts. Said shifts are difficult to coordinate with the sitter, so I opt to have him spend time with the grandparents or his cousins instead. But lucky for me, one of my clinical shifts was cancelled last minute, and I was left with no plans. What a great feeling! However, I found myself unsure of what to do, almost like I had forgotten what I did by myself. I felt obligated to do some homework, but as the same time I felt I needed to take advantage of the situation. 

And that I did. 

Conveniently a friend posted on Facebook that very evening about a girls night out at Firestone for dessert. I'll admit that if this was sometime last year, I probably would have let the opportunity pass by... However my thought's this year were: How could I not? Especially with dessert at Firestone. For those of you who have never tried Them Donuts there, I recommend it. Highly. We frequent Them Donuts on a regular basis. However, I had been there with Ryley a few days previous and spied the giant cookie sundae on the feature menu and I had to try it instead. 

The night was a blast. I had the opportunity to spend time with six fantastic ladies, a few of whom I knew previous, but most I had never met before. I'm not entirely sure whose idea it was, but the conversation centered around how we met our husbands and how we got engaged. I wasn't aware until now how entertaining such an intimate story can be! The conversation lent itself to much laughter, and a few happy tears, and overall an opportunity to get to know some great women. 

Please forgive the poor quality of the iPhone pic...

And did I mention that I had a giant cookie sundae, all to myself? Either way, here's the delicious evidence that I shamelessly ate.. 

All by myself. I'll add that to the list with the coconut cream pie... That I ate all by myself. 

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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Tagging Along

Recently I managed to get myself laid off. I find that I'm careful to point out that I didn't get fired. But who am I kidding? For all intents and purposes, they're really the same thing.

So I find myself back up in Calgary working. I was thinking about trying out that whole "retiring" thing that old people keep talking about, but Trish wouldn't go for that. Pity. 

Doing work in the construction field in Calgary is a pretty decent gig I guess. The only thing that really bothers me is being away from Trish and Grayson. I took it on myself, therefore, to take care of the blog whilst I was away, as Trish had enough to worry about with Grayson and her less favored child: School.

I stay up at my brother's place while I'm up in Calgary, and it just so happens that one of the first nights that I was up there he got us invited to someone's house for dinner. It was actually supper, but he was an American, so in the name of bilinguilness, I'll henceforth refer to supper as dinner, to pylons as traffic cones, and food as bacon. 

Matt and Jocelyn invited us over to dinner for some bacon. Jocelyn actually made some incredible bacon. It was a family recipe that was passed down for generations, and you won't find it anywhere else. That's right, I have the exclusive scoop on it. All I had to do was pocket one of the "items" and reverse engineer it in my garage. The result: A yummy recipe that you can make your family for your next bacon.

Jocelyn's Bacony Goodness

1. Cook some chicken breasts. Like 2. Or something. Cook them until cooked. When done cooking, stop them from cooking any further.

2. Dangle chicken from string in front of cats until shredded into many tiny strips. Pulled pork style.

3. Add 1 block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese. 

4. Mash that stuff together.

5. Open can of Pillsbury croissants dough thingies.

6. Wrap small balls of the chicken/cream cheese mash in croissants. Take care to completely seal the little balls of goodness.

7. Cook on 350 degrees Celsius. Or, if your oven is in Kelvin, get back to your physics research. 

8. Cook until goldenny brown on top. This usually takes several time units. 

So that's that. These are very yummy, so I encourage you to make them for your family. I hope you all appreciate the trouble I went through to bring you these. 

After dinner I played "making princess puzzles" with the two little girls on the floor. It wasn't gay at all.

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