Wednesday, May 30, 2007

First Hike of the Season

So, I have 2 things to blame my tardiness in posting on. 1 is Facebook ... again. It's just tooooo addicting, and 2 is that my sister (yes, the one who commented on my last post ... what's up, Jode ... thanks for the comment) brought me the first season of 24 on DVD and I've been hooked! Even at work I'm thinking to myself, "I've got to get home and see if Teri and Kim get away from the kidnappers and how Jack's going to get himself out of this mess." And then I remember, each episode is only an hour, which means that 1 season is only 24 hours, which means since the show is on season 7, they've only gone 1 week since what I'm watching now, which means I've got A LOT of watching to do. That thought was a little overwhelming, so I've taken a break now to do some blogging. If you're an avid 24 watcher, please don't spoil anything for me. :)

Anyways, last Sunday, Bren, Karen, Carmen and I went and hiked Tea Pot Hill. I'll let the pictures tell the story.

This does not look steep, but it really is!

Again, very steep!

Finally, the view from the top looking over Cultas Lake.

Can you see the Waterslides off to the right?

The athletes at the top of the "hill." It was a good hike to start out the season on. Thanks, ladies. Mt. Everest next, right? ;P

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Boring Week

This week was quite boring compared to last week, but that's fine with me. Sometimes it's nice to have nothing to do. Ok, I wasn't actually doing nothing. On Saturday as I was driving to Jennie's, Chad Krueger (see March 25 post) was driving behind me, so we decided to take a walk to find his place.
Sushi was a little too excited and wanted to run out into the road on the walk (even with her leash on), so I decided to carry her ... for her own safety and for those driving on the road.

This was just a beautiful, serene spot we saw in someones backyard on our walk. It was facing a little pond. Aaaah.

When we found Chad's house, Bren was appalled that I would post a pic of his house on my blog due to privacy issues and blah, blah, blah, :) so I decided to post a pic of this building in his backyard. Not sure if it's his recording studio or his stables, but whatever it is, it's beautiful. While we were standing there admiring the grounds, it started to rain, so ...

We took shelter underneath Chad's trees outside his front lawn.

Then it started to rain harder so we needed to find bigger trees.

By the time we got home, we were all soaked. No one would let me take pictures of them looking like a drowned rat, so I decided to take one of Sushi. :)

People have been asking me lately how I "happen" to have all these encounters with celebrities. Well, it's because I'm pretty much a stalker. Rarely do I just RUN INTO a celebrity all willy nilly like. With Jann Arden and Rick Mercer, I bought tickets to go see them. With Phil Keoghan, I heard he was going to be signing books, so off we went. Chad Krueger happens to live in my town, so chances of seeing him are a bit better than other celebrities. Anyways, I don't have such good luck as to just hang out with celebrities. It's very much planned out by me ... which could be a tad bit scary. Here's to hoping to never getting a restraining order. :)

The rest of the week I was moving into my new house sitting place and cleaning up one or two last little "treats" left by Leroy and Tiffany at the old place. As much work as they were, there will be times where I'm sure I'll miss them fighting to both sit on my lap ... and occassionally winning.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Week in Review - Monday

Sorry I've been absent most of this week. It's been a busy week ... kind of. Here's a recap of my week.

Monday - I had Monday off and had a list of errands I wanted to do. I got NONE of them done. Why? Because it was sunny out, so I decided to lay out on my patio and suntan ... and it was sweet! I fell asleep a few times, had a few nice cold glasses of water, turned over and felt like a rotissiere chicken and all in all got a little burnt. But that's ok. I still enjoyed the sun and was happy to see it. At around 6 pm, Jennie came over and we went for an hour walk which was also very nice. After our walk we went and saw our friend Keldy. Keldy has a Golden Retriever named Bailey who had puppies 2 weeks ago. This was the highlight of my day.

Are these not the cutest things you've ever seen???? I could just SQUISH them (in a loving way, of course). There were 10 of them. How do I choose which one to hold? Too many options, so I just switched every few minutes. Don't you just LOVE puppy breath? Can you see the evidence of the sunburn? Yeah, a little too pink in the face. Oh well. :)

Jennie fell in love, too.

Hey little dude!

This is Keldy. If any of you are looking for a GREAT family dog or know someone who is, Keldy said she'll give me all of the commission, so ... ha ha, totally kidding. But if you really are looking for a dog, just let me know and I'll put you in touch with Keldy. She did say that I can come by ANY time and see the puppies, so I'm definitely going to take her up on that.

Back in the box you go, guys. Most of them had their eyes open already, but a few of them were still in the process. They were also just learning to take their first steps, so it was cute to watch them wobble around. Not so cute to watch Bailey eat their poo, but apparently that's normal. One of my friends (who's a Mom of 3) said, "Isn't it great that God put that natural instinct in them so they don't have to live in a sh*%)_hole?" To which I replied, "Yeah, but aren't you glad He didn't make you that way?"

See you in 2 weeks, little guys!

Week in Review - Tuesday

Tuesday night was girls night out. Back in February it was Monica's birthday and Rachel, Bren and I bought her a ticket along with ourselves to go see Jann Arden.

We didn't have a lot of time before the concert, so we didn't want to search the city for a place to eat, so we ate at Jimmy's right next to The Center where Jann was playing (yes, we're on a first name basis). It was a little loud in there, but it was really good food. It was $3 off appetizer night, so of course being the good Mennonites that we are (wait, only 2 of us are Menno, but the other 2 are Dutch ...). Anyways, we had Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Dry Ribs and Nachos (which I forgot to take a picture of - I'm knew at taking pics of my food, alright) and they were all very good.

We were a tad bit late for the opening act and when we went inside to check out our seats, they were directly in the middle of the row that was full of people on either side, so we decided to wait outside until he was finished. This presented us with a great photo op and before you ask, yes, the dress code WAS black for the concert. :)

She started the concert by saying, "Thank you all for coming. We have 7 hours of music prepared for you, so let's get started. Sit back and let me take you on a journey. A journey through my pathetic existence which in the end should make you feel better about your lives." I had heard she was funny, but every story she told had just enough sarcasm and tone that made it a little better than just any old story.

Like I said, she was so funny. She told us that she didn't know what they'd told us when we came in, but to feel free to take as many pictures as we wanted and to feel free to video it and put it up on YouTube. She said, "By all means, get the word out." Being the camera freak that I am .. I love that!

The best story she told had one of us crying, one of us could barely breathe and I'm sure all of our cheeks hurt from laughing so hard. Warning: if there are any guys reading this post, there will be words like: period and pad coming up. If you keep reading and are uncomfortable, you can't say you weren't warned.

Jann told a story about when she was 16 years old. Her and two of her friends decided to go to the school dance. She doesn't know why they went because there were only 42 people in her school, so nothing exciting ever happened at these dances, but they were going to go anyways. They pulled out their faux denim skirts that they made in home ec. and were proceeding out the door when their friend, Cathy, decided to tell them that she'd gotten her period. She'd only had it a couple of times, so she wasn't very good at "it" yet. Lucky for her, the old style of the belt was out because the adhesive strip had just been invented. Although the adhesive strip was very exciting, we now know that nothing beats the wings for keeping the pad in place. Jann went on to describe how big and bulky that pad could be and how after about an hour, it started riding up the back of your underwear (remember that, ladies?). She even went so far as to demonstrate how you could bend your knees, split your legs apart a little and shove the pad back in place from the back. She said sometimes she would even shove it a little extra farther, just to give herself a little leeway. By now the place is in an uproar because we can unfortunately remember exactly what she's talking about.

She said they went to the dance and of course were standing off to the side of the dance floor drinking the punch and all of a sudden they see the Captain of the football team walking towards them. Jann's words, "He couldn't be walking towards us, could he? I think he is! Who does he ask to dance? Period Cathy!" Here's where I started videoing:

Is that not hilarious? Oh man, my cheeks still hurt just thinking about it.

Jann lost a bunch of weight not too long ago and she looks GREAT! She was wearing the tightest jeans I've seen and she looked fantastic in them. Way to go, Jann!

During her first encore, she came out and one of her backup singers sang while she started painting a picture. She said it would be up for auction in the foyer after the concert and the money would go to World Vision and she asked everyone to consider sponsoring a child.

I could tell you a few more stories from the night because so many fun things happened, but I have to end the post sometime.

Thanks for a great night out, Jann. It was SUPER fun! (listen to me talk like she's going to read my blog - hee hee)

Week in Review - Wednesday

On Wednesday night, Bren and I headed back into Vancouver to meet Phil Keoghan, the host of one of our favorite shows, The Amazing Race. He was in town to promote his new book NOW (No Opportunity Wasted) and TV show of the same name. Bren and I figured we'd just head down and meet him, but once we got there we decided to buy a copy of his book and get it signed by him.
As we were standing in line (for an hour and 10 minutes), we looked over the application form for the TV show. The main points on the back of the book are:

Face Your Fear
Get Lost
Test Your Limits
Shed Your Inhibitions

I love all of those points, except for the one ... Face Your Fear. We had heard that the TV show either had you Face Your Fear or had you do something nice for someone in your community or in the world. Now that, we could do. However, as we looked over the application form, the first 5 questions were all about your greatest fear and then there was 1 question about what you'd like to do for someone else. Too much focus on your fears for me, so I put aside the application form. Then ... we met Phil.

This is me shaking his hand!!! How do, Phil. No, I didn't actually say that. I'm not THAT much of a nerd. I introduced myself and then Bren introduced herself and then we stood there with these HUGE grins on our faces. He looked up at us and said, "Man, with bubbly faces like that, you better be signing up for my show!" We told him we weren't signing up for the show and of course he asked why not. We told him that we didn't want to have to face our fear but that we'd rather do something nice. He said, "No,no. You get to choose!" What? Really? Well, that sounds more doable.

Can you see those silly grins I was talking about?

We continued to talk to him about things that people had done on the show already and then Bren asked him if he'd want to be involved in helping set up a kids home in Thailand. He said that if we could do it in 72 hours, then it's doable.

Phil was SUPER nice. He listened intently to what we were saying and made us feel like he actually cared, not like he couldn't wait for this to be over. We tried to listen to him talk to other people and I'm sure this is all in our heads (although I would like it not to be), but he seemed more interested in us and really wanted us to sign up for the show. As the lady in front of us walked away, Phil said, "That's a nice scarf," but as WE were walking away he said, "So, you girls are going to sign up for the show, right?" to which we answered, "Maybe," and then he said, "No, not maybe. You're going to sign up!" hee hee Ok, Phil. Anything you say, Phil. But I would like that part about getting to choose what you do in writing because I DO NOT want to end up scuba diving with sharks or something (that's my fear). But if Phil said it, it must be true. Yes, we were a little star struck, but not in a Brad Pitt kind of way. We would LOVE to go out for coffee with Phil and just pick his brain. He's done so many cool things and been so many great places that it would be fun to find out more about him (he's married and has kids .. I already checked, so it's not like that ... unfortunately). :)

Here's an excerpt from the Internet on why he wrote the book: The reason he's done so many of these things is because when he was 19 years old, he almost died while scuba diving. After the shock, Phil reflected on where he was at and on how precious life is. He sucked in the O2 and the next day went back to the wreck and repeated his nearly fatal dive. He also began to write a list of all the things he wanted to achieve before he died. As he worked through the initial list of 100 Things To Do, other lists evolved, which he did too. This has led to a life filled with adventure and few regrets.

Very cool. About 5 years ago I wrote a list of 50 things to do before I die. I'll have to look for that list. I didn't really take it seriously, but I think I may just look into completing some of them now. This is what Phil wrote in my book:

Thanks Phil. If only I can figure out what my dream is.

Bren and I both weren't really feeling like driving into Vancouver for the second day in a row, but I'm glad we did. It was a pleasure to have met him. He seems like such a down to earth guy.

BTW - The question Phil says he gets asked the most in Canada is: Are they ever going to let Canadians sign up for The Amazing Race. This was his answer:

If Canada produced a hugely popular show and it was because of a Canadian company that produced it, set it up, paid for it and because of the Canadians on the show who made it popular, would we be happy if it was opened up to Americans or people from other countries? Probably not. Also, he said that if they had people with all different passports racing around the world, who do you think would be the last ones through immigration? I'm not going to say what he answered, but he said that wouldn't really be fair either.

So for now, we'll have to all click here to get our chance at hanging out with Phil and going on an adventure.

Week in Review - Thursday

Thursday night I stayed home. I was tuckered from so much excitement the two nights before and I wanted to watch the Season Finale of Grey's Anatomy. Anyone else watch it? I can't say I was too impressed. Can't SOMEONE end up happy at the end of the show? It just all seems too dramatic. Yeah, yeah, I know they want to keep you on the edge of your seat wanting to know what's going to happen, but it was all a little too much for me.

- Will Meredith and Derek stay together?
- What will George end up doing? About his job? About Callie and Izzie?
- Will Callie and George really have a baby?
- Will Alex and Ava (Rebecca) get together?
- Will anyone find out that the Chief was going to give his job to Derek first?
- Why would the Chief give the job to Callie instead of Dr. Bailey?
- Did you realize that the girl in the locker room (Lexie Grey) was the same girl who talked to Derek in the bar the night before? I didn't. Can't you just see the drama setting up for next season. Meredith's half sister will fight her for Derek. Ugh!

I don't know. Maybe it's just me, but couldn't there have been at least one question answered before it ended or have something nice to say like:

- Wasn't it great when Meredith and her Dad made up OR
- Ava's hubby turned out to be a real loser so she's better off with Alex.

I'm sure I'll get sucked in again next year, but right now I'm not too thrilled with how it ended. Just my thoughts.

Week in Review - Friday

Friday night I had the daunting task of helping my friend, Pam, pick out a pair of jeans. Pam is a self proclaimed terrible shopper. She has always had a very hard time deciding and even though we would tell her that something looks awesome on her, she'd usually go home empty handed.

When I got the email from her with the subject line entitled, "HELP!" and then read that she wanted me to go jeans shopping with her, I said that I would go under 2 circumstances.

1) she wouldn't say she's fat ONCE the whole time we were out and
2) she promised to go home with a pair of jeans

She complied with my requests, however, I still had my doubts. Well, I eat my words. We met at The Gap at 5:00 and were out of there by 5:35 with not one, but TWO pairs of jeans (but don't tell Jeremy). :) By George, I think we've made a shopper out of you, Pam!

We had saved so much time in the mall that she had time to go for a quick supper afterwards, so we headed over to Earls and had a nice dinner and a chat. Thanks for trusting my opinion, Pam. Here's to hoping you and your Size 4 jeans live a long and happy life together. :)

That was my week, my friends. I hope you all had a good one and that you enjoy your long weekend!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day, Mom

You may be thinking, isn't this a Mother's Day post? Why is there a picture of Ketchup, Mayonnaise, Cheese, Wieners and Bread on a Mother's Day post. Well, let me tell you. This is one of my favorite after school snacks that my Mom used to make for me. We would come running in the house and I remember asking, "Can I have a wiener pizza? Pleeeeeeease, Mom." And of course, my Mom would stop whatever she was doing and make me a pizza. Unfortunately, I didn't learn how to cook from my Mom (because she did make more nutritious things than wiener pizzas). That would've been a very smart thing to do because she is a great cook, but instead, I decided to be involved in basketball, volleyball, track and field, piano lessons etc after school ... and if it wasn't a planned activity, then I would run in, throw my backpack on the ground, grab a snack, run back outside, grab my bike and go meet my friends at the park. I would gladly come back inside when suppertime came around, but rarely was I around for the making of the supper. Sometimes I would make it back inside in time to set the table, but the interest to learn how to cook was never there for me. However, I did learn to make a mean wiener pizza. Here's how it goes:

Put the mayonnaise on the bread, squeeze some ketchup on, slice up the wiener and grate some cheese. I only have cheddar cheese in this picture, but my Mom was so great that she would give us cheddar AAAAAND mozzarella on ours. Aren't I lucky? Stick the bread/wiener in the microwave for about 25 seconds just to get it warm.

Take it out of the microwave and put the cheese on. If you're a good Mom, you'll make sure there's so much cheese that you won't see any wieners (ok, some people might look at that as a bad Mom, but check this out .. )

Cheese, along with milk and yogurt, provides a unique combination of nutrients that, studies show, offers many health benefits including improving bone health, reducing high blood pressure and managing weight.

I got that off the internet, so it's gotta be right. :) Ok, too much cheese can be a bad thing .. I'll admit, but I don't like to admit it. I LOVE cheese! Anyways, back to my tribute. Stick the plate back in the microwave for about 40 seconds and ...

Voila!! Oooey, gooey goodness!

Now, this may sound gross to you and as I've grown up, I've found out that a lot of the things I ate as a kid, not everyone else ate. Doesn't everyone put ketchup on their mashed potatoes, peas and EVERY kind of meat, not just hamburgers and hot dogs? My Mom has bugged me that if I get married she's going to put a big ol' bottle of Heinz Ketchup up at the head table because I love it so much. We should've been stockholders. :)

Ok, now I'm going to get to why this is a tribute to my Mom. The other day I was making myself a wiener pizza and I thought, "I'm sure glad Mom taught me how to make these because I'm rarely home enough to have time to make something bigger and nor do I want to." Making a wiener pizza may have seemed like nothing to you, Mom, but I want to say,

"Thank you for the little things, Mom."

Things you will never know made an impact on me like, wiener pizzas, always keeping the "sweets" drawer full, always bringing drinks/snacks down for me and my friends when they came over to watch a movie, listening to me practice piano and being so proud of me (sorry I didn't keep it up), making shrinky dinks with me (anyone remember those? why such a silly name?), making me my own paska loaf, making my Gr. 9 Christmas banquet dress (ok, that wasn't really a little thing ... that one was huge), staying up late on the weekends just to make sure I made it home ok, driving down to see that fire with me and we were both in our pajamas, taking such good care of Mikey (our dog) even though Jode and I should've been doing it, making me roast beef dinners and cheesecake desserts, sitting up with me at 3 in the morning after I got my wisdom teeth pulled out .... and I could go on and on. I love that you put love into everything you did even though I wasn't lovable all the time. Have you ever heard that red heads have tempers? Well, it's true. I could be a real brat at times and I remember asking you about a time where I was particularly nasty and you said you didn't remember that. Wow! Either I was so bad that you had to block it out or you loved me so much that it didn't matter and you don't think about those times.

One last story about my Mom. I love hearing my Mom laugh really hard. When something tickles her funny bone, watch out. Even if I don't know what she's laughing about, I'll end up laughing right along with her because she's so cute when she laughs. One time she phoned me right after she'd talked to my sister on the phone, and when I picked up I said, "Hello," to which I heard whimpering. I knew it was my Mom from call display and I thought she was crying, so I said, "What's wrong? Why are you crying?" Finally she choked out that she was laughing, not crying. She said when she hung up the phone with my sister, instead of saying" Goodbye," she said, "Amen," and they both totally cracked up and she couldn't stop. She's too cute.

Well, Mom. I want you to know that I love you very much. For all the little AND big things you've done for me. You are a very special lady and I am proud to call you my Mom.

Happy Mother's Day!!!

P.S. I also want to send a special shout out to all the women in my life who are wonderful Moms and who I know read my blog. You have all taught me to appreciate my mother SO much more because I see that it's not always easy, yet you give of yourselves so freely. They are:
- My sisters Carolyn and Jodi
- My girlfriends, Jennie, Rachel T, Pam B, Lori, Leana, Colleen, Karen, Lisa, Monica, Nancy, Pam T, Lee, Linda, Carmen K. and Marni (there are others, but I don't think they read my blog, so I'll tell them in person)
- My blogger friends/family - even though I only kinda/sorta know you, you're posts about your children are beautiful and honest and I love reading them; Sheryl, Rachel D, Keri, Kori, Sonya, Lovella, Shari and Jill

I hope you were all truly honoured as you deserved to be today!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Test Drivin'

Today was a fun day. First we went to this restaurant in Vancouver called Caffe Barney's on Granville St. Here's the description on the Internet:

A funky restaurant popular with the 30 something and over crowd that has an all day brunch menu including several different types of eggs benedict.

And it totally was! It was very trendy and hip and I felt a little too uncool to be there, but it was very fun to people watch. I had an omelette and Bren had the Cob Salad (btw - I'm pretty sure this is my first food picture I've blogged ... a new day for me!) Next time you're in Vancouver, check it out (but bring either cash or credit ... they don't take debit).

After that fun experience, we went test drivin'. Bren is looking to buy a new car, so after test driving a Nissan, a Mazda, a Mustang and an Infinity, the next logical step of course is to test drive a BMW. Oh, what fun! I don't know if words can describe it, so I'll just tell the story with pictures. Enjoy!

Ok, I changed my mind. I'll try to describe it. We took the car down 4th Ave towards UBC and then turned down by Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks. Beautiful day and many people out enjoying the wonderful weather. We decided to stop and take a few pictures. Oh, did I mention that it's a convertible. Niiiiiice, right? And a HARD TOP convertible. So great. When I had my Jeep, I was always worried when I'd park it somewhere that I'd come back and my soft top would be slashed or ripped or something. Not with this baby. HARD TOP convertible.

Bren's a little shy and didn't want to look at the camera.

Me ....
Not so much! Freak! It's a BMW. When's the next time I'M going to be in a BMW? Uhmmm, probably NEVER!

Goodbye, sweet BMW. It was fun while it lasted. Thanks for a fun ride. I hope you go to a good home. Sniff!