Monthly Archives: January 2009

Recommended Reading

First of all, sorry for not checking in earlier this week. Life is really hectic right now, since I’m teaching three classes (two Rally O and one obedience) and taking a class with Grace. I’m out several days a week for dog school now. This week I also went and saw Marley & Me with some friends, so that was another night out. It’s a great movie, by the way. I highly recommend it. Just don’t leave your Kleenex at home.

I wanted to recommend a great book that I borrowed from a co-worker – it’s called “Outliers” and it’s written by Malcolm Gladwell. He’s written two other great books (Blink and The Tipping Point), so I knew this one would be interesting. It’s about success, and why some people succeed while others don’t. Most people think that successful people get where they are by hard work and perseverence . . . and while that plays a part, that’s not all of it. It’s a really interesting book, and I highly recommend it.

Right now I’m reading “Water For Elephants” by Sara Gruen, about a guy that joins the circus. It’s really interesting, and I’m having a heck of a time putting it down to get stuff done!

I’ll try to be better about posting next week . . .

Portland Pictures

I’ve chosen a few of my favourites to share – there are more on my Zenfolio page if you’re interested. I’ll be adding some pictures of our visit to White Rock, BC as well. Those are the really good ones!

Jack Jack Show Update

Well, Jack Jack and I are home from Portland after tons of traveling. I couldn’t actually FLY into the US, because I had sent my passport away for renewal, so we flew to British Columbia and then drove to Portland from there (5 hours). It was a lot of traveling, but the dogs handled it well.

I showed Jack Jack myself for four days – the first day was a Cocker Specialty, and the other 3 days were all-breed shows. At the Specialty, Jack Jack took Reserve Winners Dog (best runner up) – no points, but the judge really liked him. He said it to me several times, so that was good. Then on Saturday, Jack Jack took Reserve Winners Dog under a breeder-judge, which is a good thing. He almost had a major (which is a 3 point win), which he needs two of to finish his US title.
It would have been nice to win points, but it was pretty good for our first US showing. I had to compete with some big-name handlers, and I managed to hold my own, so I was proud of BOTH of us.

I won’t have pictures to share for a few days . . . I spent all night in an airport and am exhausted. Tomorrow night I start teaching obedience classes, so won’t have time to download everything.

Thanks for cheering for us!


I’m fairly well-traveled. In the course of a year I fly at least 5 or 6 times, for work, leisure and dog shows. Add in to that vehicle trips (1-2 per month) and you can understand why I don’t get too excited about trips anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy them, but sometimes I get tired of being on the road. My dogs are seasoned travelers as well – it’s a side effect of being show dogs. But most of their miles are traveled in the car.

Jack Jack gets the pleasure (doubt he’ll see it that way!) of flying to Edmonton tomorrow night, and then to Abbotsford on Wednesday. For a dog with such a sensitive nature, I’m slightly concerned about this experience for him. Chances are good that it will bother me much more than it bothers him, but that’s never stopped me from worrying before!

If you think of it, please think of Jack Jack tomorrow, Wednesday, Monday and Tuesday if you could. Heck, even one of those days would be good. I promise to post an update next week!

Full Moon

Okay, so at some point this week, we had a full moon. Now, most people would know this by looking out the window and seeing the moon. Others might know it because the phases of the moon are included on their calendar. Not me, I can tell by how wild and crazy my dogs get! My two youngest (Jack Jack and Grace) have been just nuts all week long! Major wrestling matches, chasing each other through the house, and growling and barking to raise the roof! I don’t think their cabin fever has helped matters either – it’s simply too cold to do any more than potty outside.

Does anybody else notice a change in their animals during the full moon phase?

Career Choices

I knew when I joined the Internal Audit department at work that my time there would be limited. In my company, most people cycle through the department at intervals of roughly 18-24 months. I’ve been with Audit for 14 months now, and if I want to end up somewhere within the company that is a good fit, I need to start thinking about the options now. Otherwise I may end up with whatever position is available at the time, whether I want it or not.

My problem is that I don’t really know where I want to go within the company or what I want to do. I don’t have a lot experience with the financial side of things – my background is in procurement. I do know that I don’t want to go back to Contracts, but other than that I’m not sure. I guess a part of it is that I’m not 100% clear on what’s out there, and the other major part is my low confidence level. It’s scary to contemplate moving to a department where I have no background – I like to be good at things, and it’s tough to be good when you’re first starting out.

Career advice anyone? At this point, I’ll consider almost anything available within my company.

Wii Fit

So, unlike every other year since I ballooned (I swear, when I was a kid I was as skinny as a rail!), I did not make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight this year. Actually, my resolution is to de-clutter and get organized, because I’m a MAJOR pack rat and I’m drowning in stuff. UGH. Anyhow, even though I haven’t really resolved to lose weight, I figure it never hurts to jump back on the exercise/fitness bandwagon. Yes, I will probably fall off – I always do. But for now, I will work on living healthy.

Part of that is using the Wii Fit . . . which is more than just a fun toy. The first step is a Body Test, which is repeated each day that you sign in to the program. The first time, it’s kind of fun. Even when the Fit tells you you’re obese (no word of a lie!!!). The second time, it continues to be mildly amusing. Today was day 5 for me (I skipped yesterday to groom a dog), and it was just tiresome. What on earth will day 60 be like? Hopefully I won’t still be obese . . . Although, I guess you never know.

Mom also bought the Jillian Michaels Wii game, and I’ve tried it a few times. It’s just not as fun as the Wii Fit. So far on the Fit I’ve hula-hooped for 6 minutes, boxed, done advanced and basic step aerobics, done a ski jump and headed soccer balls (and soccer shoes and panda heads, ouch!). With Jillian, I just run. Sometimes I punch a punching bag, but that’s about it. It’s just not as fun, but I’ll plug away at that too.

Anyhow, if you get the chance to try a Wii Fit, it’s kind of fun!

My Poor Car!

So, in mid-December, I posted about my crazy weekend where I cracked the bumper on my car and got diagnosed with strep throat. I’ve been pursuing getting the car fixed through my insurance company, but it’s been slow-going because of the holidays. I have gotten approval to go ahead with the repairs, but I need the official letter from my insurance company before I can make the appointment.

Today my mom and I had to drive my youngest nieces back to my brother’s place. The temperatures have been frigid for weeks, and today was no exception. It was -38 Celsius when we left this morning (that equals -38F for those that are interested). As we were leaving the city, at highway speed, a huge transport truck passed us going the other way. Snow and ice dislodged from the body of his truck and hit the front of my car. We heard a big crack and when I looked in the sideview, it looked like pieces of ice rolling down the highway.

Yeah, right. I have bad car-ma, remember? It was my precariously attached bumper. The cold and the high speed ice and snow cracked the rest of it off, leaving the front driver’s side totally exposed. My poor, poor car. Now the repair is even more important than before.

Say a prayer for my car please . . . she needs some TLC these days!

Happy New Year!

I read these in the paper and thought IF I had to make any, these would be good ones!I found it online:

Dear Abby: Resolutions made for one day set examples all year long

Dear Readers: Rise and shine, everyone! Welcome to a brand-new year. Today is our chance for a new beginning, the day we discard destructive habits for healthy new ones. With that in mind, I’m printing Dear Abby’s oft-requested list of New Year’s resolutions – adapted by my mother from the original credo of Al-Anon.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once. I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will accept what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things that I can correct and accept those I cannot.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration. I will not be a mental loafer.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I’ll not speak ill of others. I’ll improve my appearance, speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking. Just for today, I’ll refrain from improving anybody but myself.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will do something positive to improve my health. If I’m a smoker, I’ll quit. If I’m overweight, I’ll eat healthily – if only just for today. And not only that, I’ll get off the couch and take a brisk walk, even if it’s only around the block.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will gather the courage to do what is right and take responsibility for my own actions.

And now, Dear Readers, I would like to share an item that was sent in by I.J. Bhatia, who lives in New Delhi, India:

Dear Abby: This year, no resolutions, only some guidelines. The Holy Vedas say, “Man has subjected himself to thousands of self-inflicted bondages. Wisdom comes to a man who lives according to the true eternal laws of nature.” The following prayer of St. Francis contains a powerful message:”Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”Where there is hatred, let me sow love;”Where there is injury, pardon;”Where there is doubt, faith;”Where there is despair, hope;”Where there is darkness, light;”Where there is sadness, joy.”O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;”To be understood as to understand;”To be loved as to love.”For it is in giving that we receive;”It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;”It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

May this New Year bring with it peace and joy. And to one and all – a happy, healthy 2009.

With love, ABBY

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.