Monthly Archives: February 2010

From Vancouver

So we’re not perfect!
We never claimed to be perfect
That means we’ve learned to be humble
We say excuse me and I’m sorry as well as please and thanks.
Even when its not our fault we apologize.

Sure one arm of the torch didn’t rise,
But when the earthquake struck Haiti,
Canadians raised their hands to say we’ll help.

And yah, there is a fence around the flaming torches,
But you can walk right up and shake hands with our prime minister and most famous Canadians.
We put Gretzky in the back of a pick up, in the rain, not surrounded by police and he was okay.
By the way… the great one is Canadian and HE wasn’t complaining!

We do have security at the games, of course, but most people don’t even have a gun they have to leave at home.
The medals ARE under lock and key but our doors and our hearts are open to the world. I

t has been pointed out that some buses broke down last week, but let’s not overlook the fact that our banking system didn’t.
We didn’t get the “green ice maker” right this time. but we will, eventually
Just like we did when we invented the zamboni.

Citius altius fortius
If you don’t reach higher how do you get faster and stronger ?

Was the first quad jump perfect? S

hould we not have given snowboarding to the world “in case” it didn’t take off?

So, big deal one out of four torch arms didn’t rise.
Good thing we had 3 more!
It’s called contingency planning!

But remember the Canadarm works every time in outer space, and insulin turned out to be okay.
We couldn’t change the weather but maybe we can help to stop global warming.
We don’t have the tax base of the US or the power of the Chinese but, per capita, we ponied up for some pretty kick-ass venues in the worst global recession ever

Sure, some folks couldn’t afford tickets but our health care is universal.
We have shown the world that we can raise our voices in celebration and song but moments later stand in silence to respect a tragic event…together spontaneously and unrehearsed.
What’s more, we don’t need permission from anyone to have a slam poet, fiddlers with piercings and a lesbian singer tell our story to the world while our multilingual female Haitian- born, black, head of state shares a box with her first nations equals

We’ve shown the world that it doesn’t always rain in Vancouver, that you can strive for excellence but not get hung up on perfection
And we’ve learned what it feels like to be picked on by some no namenewspaper guy and we don’t have to take it lying down!

So the point is not the snow, or the hydraulics or a couple guys being 5 minutes late to a ceremony
We know we’re lucky that these are the biggest problems we had to deal with in the last couple weeks.
So take your cheap shots.

Guardian newspaper and cynics of the world
We’re bigger and better than that.
What’s more we’re finally starting to believe it!

Do you believe?

Creature Comforts – Cocker Rescue Raffle

Baby it’s cold outside, so come on in.

We are running a raffle for our current dogs and the ones we expect to be bringing in. The puppy mills in Amish country are starting to dump their dogs again. Usually they require lots of vetting and time to adjust to a new way of living. We have one of them now and she’s just so darn grateful for anything you give her.

Another small (do it all yourself) rescue is joining in on this raffle. It’s Oklahoma Cocker Spaniel Rescue, run by Robin.

As always, we appreciate it when you forward this to your friends, family and co-workers. It really helps to spread the word.

There are some really nice items up so, please take a look and purchase a ticket or two. I must ask though, that you don’t use the words Raffle, Tickets or Chances in any part of your paypal payment. Just the name of the item. We got into a little bit of a pickle one time, so we hope that doesn’t happen again.

If you have any questions on the items, please feel free to send me an email.

Thanks again for your support.

Here is the link for the raffle: http://www.cinfundraising.com/

Busy, Busy, Busy

Well, as you all know, I was away for 10 days, gallivanting around Houston and Louisiana. While I had a most wonderful time, I came home to a stack of work so tall I couldn’t see over it! The project that I work on is approaching a major milestone, which means lots of work to have presentations ready for approval, nail down the schedule and have an accurate and detailed estimate. Fortunately for me, my Project Manager is a really good guy that’s easy to work with. The team that I work with is pretty good overall – there are always going to be a few personality conflicts, but so far it’s been managed really well. Anyhow, the gist of this is that I’m flat out at work . . . moreso than usual.

Zumba classes finished last Monday night (February 8th), so I have a couple of Mondays to myself. Classes start again on March 1st, and I’m really looking forward to them. It’s surprising how easily I picked up the basic steps – although I wouldn’t call myself coordinated, by any stretch – and how much I enjoyed the first session.

My big time-suckers are my volunteer activities, especially the Board of Directors that I sit on, for the local SPCA. When I joined the Board in October (as Secretary, cause there’s nothing like jumping in with both feet!), I had no idea what kind of time demands would be placed on me (and the rest of the Board). For a few years, it looks like things haven’t been managed very well. Records are sloppy, budgets aren’t done, and there are no endorsed policies to be found. The Board has been working like mad to get policies in place, to protect the Board, SPCA employees, volunteers and the community as a whole. While we’ve made progress, there remains a lot to be done. I’ve been attending at least two multi-hour meetings a month, and done outside work on stuff as well. I don’t begrudge the Board my time . . . I committed and I’m passionate about ensuring that the SPCA is run well as a business, and that the staff and animals are provided for. I have found the time commitment slightly overwhelming, though.

The dogs take up a lot of time too, but I don’t consider them time-suckers. It’s everything else that’s taking my time from the dogs. I LOVE spending time with my dogs, working on training and whatnot, and I feel like I haven’t had the time to do that properly lately. With the cold weather, we’ve been limited in our activities too. With the sun out longer and the days getting warmer, I’m hoping to be more on track with training and just enjoying my dogs.

You may see limited blog posts from me while life adjusts . . . but I promise I haven’t disappeared and don’t mean to be neglecting my faithful readers either. Bear with me, and I’ll be back on track soon, I promise!

Where I’ve Been & What I’ve Done

To my faithful blog readers, I’m sorry that I’ve been absent for so long without any word of where I’ve been or what I’ve been doing. Work got busy, and then before I knew it, I had a trip to Houston to take for work, and then a mini-vacation in Louisiana.

Houston was great . . . the temps were very mild, in the 15-20 degree Celsius range. Yes, on the positive side! I really needed that warmth, although there were a few times that I was chilled (embarrassed to admit it, though). My co-worker and I took the opportunity of a trip to eat out at some nice restaurants. The first night we ate at PF Chang’s, which is an asian-fusion restaurant. I ate at a PF Chang’s in Indianapolis 5 years ago, and remember the food as being absolutely wonderful. I was so looking forward to our meal in Houston, but I am sad to report that it was lacklustre at best. Our waitress was outstanding – great personality, very attentive, and funny as heck. But the food wasn’t anything special, and that was disappointing for me. The second night we went to The Cheesecake Factory (not to be confused with the Cheesecake Cafe here in Alberta) and the food was great. Service, eh, just okay. But our meals were really good.

The Wednesday night was a small group meal, with some folks that we work with in Houston. We went to a small pub/restaurant called The Goose’s Acre, and the food was wonderful. I had macaroni & cheese, but it wasn’t the standard meal that your mom makes. Gourmet cheese & noodles, and soooo yummy. But the most wonderful thing about The Goose’s Acre was my new favourite drink – the Jager Barrel. Jagermeister & root beer. OMG, what a fabulous drink that doesn’t taste boozy at all! I sucked two down without even noticing it – but then I stopped, for fear of being sloshed in front of co-workers. Thursday night was a whole group meal at a Brazilian restaurant called Americas. The food was absolutely wonderful – I had a piece of steak done churasco style (my spelling is probably wrong) and it was delicious. For dessert I had these warm beignets with coconut ice cream that was pure heaven. I would recommend that restaurant to anybody.

Friday the workshop ended, and I flew to central Louisiana to visit with some long-time friends of mine. We met online through a Cocker forum, and have met once before. They are fabulous people, and their hospitality was unmatched. I was made to feel like a member of the family, not just like a guest. We ate many excellent meals, most of them homemade. Crock pot roast beef with potatoes, fried catfish and pistolettes, chicken & sausage gumbo and more. I’m sure I gained weight from all of the wonderful food, but it was worth every mouth full! And my friend’s mom (a TRUE Southern belle!!!!) made me a red velvet cake from scratch. It was actually melt-in-your-mouth good. Wow – I didn’t know cake could taste so good.

On Saturday my friend and I went to the annual dog show in her city (talk about good timing for my visit!) and we had a really nice day. We watched the Cockers, I met some local Cocker people, and we spent most of our time watching obedience. I saw my very first corded Standard Poodle in the flesh, which was cool! Saturday night we went to Tunk’s Cypress Grill (I think) and had a succulent meal. Crawfish linguine – yummy!

Sunday was incredible. In the morning we took a 3 mile walk with the dogs, soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the morning. I know it was cold for most southern folks, but I loved every second of it. The scenery was beautiful (photos on Facebook and my Zenfolio site), and we just chatted and enjoyed each other’s company. The best part of Sunday was the hot air balloon flight, though. My friends crew for Bob Pulaski and his balloon Ski Lift, so they convinced him to do a flight so that I could go up. We watched the weather fervently, hoping for clear skies and low winds. Mother Nature definitely cooperated, and I had the experience of a lifetime. The flight was unbelievable. For those of you that say you’re afraid of heights – you have nothing on me. I am possibly the only person that was terrified of the “Soarin’ Over California” ride at Disneyland, and I hated the CN tower with the glass floor. It scared the crap out of me. Somehow, being up in the balloon wasn’t scary at all. The basket is extremely stable – no swaying or moving around – and it’s so pretty and peaceful up there. I was even able to look over the edge of the basket without feeling sick, dizzy or afraid.

Our flight was just over an hour long, with a few fun moments. We did run into some trees (technically called “dragging”) in an attempt to slow the balloon down a bit in anticipation of landing. We chose three landing sites that then became unavailable to us because the winds changed our direction. Our landing had a bump and a bounce before we ended up on the ground with the basket on its side (and us on our hands and knees LOL). We were followed by spectators almost the whole way, and by the time we landed, about 7 or 8 vehicles were following the chase car to watch us land. It really was an awesome adventure, and I highly recommend it to anybody.

Monday and Tuesday were quieter days. We took things easy, spent time with my friend’s parents and co-workers, and just enjoyed the dogs, cat, chickens, ducks and each other. It was a great visit – not rushed or busy or strenuous. Relaxing and just what I needed.

Wednesday I flew home, with a nice, long 6 hour layover at the Calgary airport. I ended spending a bunch of time working, since I really didn’t have anything else to do. It was nice to get home, although I did enjoy my time down south. Since getting home I’ve been busy with the usual stuff – work, committees/Boards, etc. I finished up the first session of Zumba classes, but am already signed up for the next two sessions. So life continues on as usual, busier than all get out.