Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Greater Vancouver Zoo

A couple of weeks ago when the weather was still nice, my friends Rachel and Mark invited me to go along with them and their boys to the Greater Vancouver Zoo. We had a WONDERFUL day. I hadn't been to this zoo in about 15 years (I think). It hasn't changed much, but it's always fun to see "wild" animals up close and personal. The pictures pretty much speak for themselves.

I have never seen kids so excited to see a train. It was very cute to watch them every time the train came by us.

We took a little time out to go play at the playground.

My co-worker (top right) volunteers at the zoo and made sure we stopped by to see the Birds of Prey show. We were pleasantly surprised. I didn't think it would be as cool as it was.

Afterwards, my co-worker took some pictures of us holding the falcon ... or hawk ... not quite sure what it was, but it was cool. Dillon held the bird no problem, then Aiden had to flex his right arm to keep the bird up and then poor Jake had to have Mom help because the bird was a little too heavy. Very cute.

This next picture was my FAVORITE picture of the day.

I think she needs a new dentist and maybe some conditioner for her hair. I found out later that her name is Lips. Funny!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Justin Timberlake - Brought Sexy Back!

Let me take you on a musical journey. On January 31, 1981 at 6:30 pm, Justin Randall Timberlake was born. In 1992, at the age of 11, he appeared on Star Search ... and lost (can you believe that?). A year later, he became a member of the Mickey Mouse club. His big break came in 1995, when, at the age of 14, he and 4 other boys (literally) launched the band called N'Sync. The rest, as they say, is history. Those other 4 boys were probably quite sad when in 2002, Justin went solo. He is now on tour with his 2nd solo album.

On Sept. 5, Bren and I went and saw this young man in concert. Yes, we admit it and we're not embarrassed. At least I'm not. You'll have to ask Bren yourself. :)

Anyways, shputzing aside, JT put on a great show. Much dancing ... by himself as well as his back up dancers ... as well as some really great singing. Yes, he can actually sing! Again, I took quite a few pictures, so I had to make them all into collages. He's always dancing, that guy, so most of my pictures turned out a little blurry.

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As great as the concert was, I did have one complaint (ok, maybe 2). The first one you can see in this next picture. He had this screen that came down that had it's cool moments, but mostly it was just in the way! I wouldn't have minded if it came down for his slower songs, but when he was dancing around, I want to be able to see him! Anyways, that and the fact that Timbaland did a 20 minute concert in the middle of JT's concert were my only complaints.

These next pictures are what the screen was good for. Our seats were pretty far away ... 8th row in the balcony to be exact, and so when they projected Justin close up on the screens, I was happy they were there. Cute smile, hey? :) Yes, I know he's only 26. I'm just admiring, alright? :P

For those of you who don't follow his music, the title of this post is because one of his more popular songs is called "Bringin' Sexy Back." :)
So, after 2 and a half hours (that's quite long for a concert ... although Timbaland took 20 of those minutes) and after his encore, he took one final bow ...
Jumped up on the piano, gave a wave to the crowd ... and he was gone.

Come back soon, Justin!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Supper with old friends

Isn't it great to reconnect with old friends? This is me having supper with my friends Lee and Sara a couple of weeks ago.

These ladies are very special to me. Let me tell you why. I met Lee and Sara 25 years ago when I moved here from Manitoba. Wow, that's a long time ago. They were already friends (having gone to school together since Kindergarten) and when I moved to Abbotsford in Grade 5, I ended up at the same school as them. We were in the same class, however, I didn't really hang out with them on a regular basis until Grade 7. When I started at that school in Grade 5, I stupidly aligned myself with the class bully. I had two years of hell hanging out with her (I literally ended up doing community service because of this bully ... ok, I know I make my own decisions and I could've walked away and told her to forget it, but she was scary and had such a hold over me. I was only 10/11 years old!). Anyways, most of the class changed our tunes at the end of Grade 6 and decided we weren't going to take her bullying anymore. She in turn left the school, and Grade 7 was AWESOME! This is when I started hanging out with Lee and Sara.

At the end of Grade 7, Lee and Sara decided to go to Clearbrook Junior (CJ) the next year, and I decided to go to MEI. Although we went to different schools, Lee lived just down the street from me and CJ was also just down the hill, so when I would get home from school I would go find them either at Lee's house or at CJ. I met all of their friends and everyone was very friendly.

For some reason, I again hung out with the wrong crowd at MEI. I don't know why, but I did. Now, when I say "the wrong crowd" I don't mean that they were terrible people or anything. They weren't bullies like the girl in Elementary school had been, but they just weren't the greatest friends for me. When the new girl showed up at school in Grade 9, I was really put on the back burner because this new girl was "cooler" than I was. I don't know about your school, but my school had quite a few cliques, so at this point it's hard to start hanging out with a new group in your school. (Side note: I'm honestly not knocking MEI here. I know this can happen in any school and I also know a lot of people who had great experiences at MEI. This is just my story).

Since CJ was closing, Lee and Sara were now going to be going to Mouat Secondary. I hung out with them all summer between Grade 9 and 10 and these friends from MEI didn't call me once, so I decided to go to Mouat in the fall. Let me tell you, Grade 10 was my best year of school EVER! I did not feel judged by these people one little bit. They knew I went to church and didn't drink, but they didn't care. Everyone was so welcoming and when they asked, "What are you doing here? What day does MEI start?" and I said to them, "I'm not going to MEI. I'm going here," they were genuinely excited and there were high fives all around.

Why am I telling you this, you might ask? I'm not trying to get you to feel sorry for me or to smear any names of girls I used to hang out with (I still see them around town from time to time and we're totally friendly to each other ... being a teenager is hard and I don't have any hard feelings). I'm really telling you this to publicly thank Lee and Sara for being such great friends and for never judging me or thinking I was a nerd for not drinking and for going to church. I know that God put them in my lives for a reason and I'm SO thankful that He did. They made my teenage years so much easier.

We have so many wonderful memories and when we got together a couple of weeks ago, my cheeks hurt from laughing so hard. Unfortunately, it was a "school night" so we couldn't go on all night chatting like we wanted to. I know that Lee and I could recite practically all of Sixteen Candles and Sara and I have great memories of kicking some serious butt together on the basketball court and we had fun doing it. Sure, after High School we lost touch a bit, but every year or so we would contact each other just to say hi and end up getting together. It's always like no time has passed at all and it's never awkward ... and to me, that's a sign of a good friendship.

Facebook has brought us together again, and with it being so easy to post pictures, I can always see how their girls have grown and what they're up to.

I love you, ladies, and I'm truly thankful that you're in my life.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


So, I went to the Daughtry concert. Who's Daughtry, you might be asking yourself? Let me take you back to Season 5 on American Idol. This was the Top 4.

Taylor Hicks, Elliot Yamin, (Ryan Seacrest - host) Chris Daughtry and Katherine McPhee

Then Taylor and Elliot were told they were safe when CLEARLY Chris and Katherine were the better singers. I hate when the voters don't get it right.

This time Ryan didn't draaaaag things out like he usually does. He just ripped the band-aid off and said, "Chris, you're going home." By the looks on both of their faces above, I think they were shocked.

I had to add this picture, too, because they both looked so surprised. This is how I felt as well. He came in 4th!!!??? He's too good for that show anyway. :)

So, now that you know who Daughtry is, here's how the concert went. Brenda, Lori and myself decided to stay overnight, so we went downtown early, settled into our a hotel room and then hit Robson Street. Much shopping ensued. Somewhere about half way down Robson Street, Carmen and Karen joined us. We continued to shop, then went back to the hotel and got ready for the big night.
As we were getting ready, this little visitor showed up at our window.
He was much entertainment for awhile and he fast became our friend so we felt we should share a little food with him.

Then his friends showed up and it became a bit of a gong show, so we shooed them away and finished getting ready.

Group shot before the concert.

The concert was at The Commodore which is quite a small venue, so it was nice and intimate. As soon as he came on stage we went up to the front and pretty much didn't leave the side of the stage. The only person in front of us was the security guard, so we had a pretty good view. I took QUITE a few pictures, so rather than bore you with all of them, I made a collage.
Here are two of his most popular songs. I know this style of music isn't for everyone, but the lyrics aren't about sleeping with a million women and violence, so that's a change for rock and roll. I really do love the whole CD.

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Group shot during the concert.
This one I couldn't put in the collage because I wanted you to see just how close we were. Yes, close enough to touch him ... which I did. :)

And one last group shot after the concert. Yeah, we're such rockers!!! Ha ha! What a GREAT night!!! I'd do it again in a heart beat.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

House sitting

Wow, I've got a lot to catch up on, so expect a few posts in the next while. Here's another reason why I've been so tardy at posting.

What is this collage of, you might ask? Well, this is the last place that I was house sitting for two weeks in August. Absolutely beautiful place, however, did you notice how many FLOWERS there are in the above pictures??? I tend to not do too well in the way of house plants, so when these people asked me to stay at their place and water the plants outside EVERY DAY that it didn't rain, I'm going to be honest and say that a little panic set in.

This house is up where Village Girl went to the Rich People's Park, so it's in a very nice area of town. I know it was only two weeks, but it seemed MUCH longer. Let me take you on a tour.

They live up against the mountain, so there's not much of a backyard. Most people would leave it at that and maybe put in a few plants and rocks. Noooooope, not these people. This picture doesn't do it justice, but they've planted at least half way up the hill. Ever hear of an irrigation system? :) There are soaker hoses up there and some sprinklers, but they aren't on timers, plus there's a lot that gets missed by the sprinklers, so there's a lot of hand watering to do.

This is a picture of one of the trails that I had to hike to get up to where I needed to water. It was quite steep and on my 2nd day there, I spooked myself. I heard a twig snap, turned around, but that's not what scared me, because I've stayed at this same house during the winter and have seen deer standing exactly where I was standing and thought, "That might be cool to see a deer this close up." No, my mind wandered and started thinking, "I wonder if there are cougars up here?" I've heard about cougar attacks in Coquitlam in people's backyards, and here I am UP IN THEIR TERRITORY IN THE MOUNTAIN. Bren kindly reassured me that if a cougar was going to attack me, it would stalk me for about half an hour and then it would attack and I'd never hear it coming, so the twig I heard snapping probably wasn't a cougar. Thanks, Bren! That made me feel much better. After that it was a little hard to water while constantly looking over my shoulder or peering through the leaves expecting to see a pair of hungry eyes staring back at me. Hungry eyes ... isn't that a song from Dirty Dancing. Anyways, at least while I was up there I had a gorgeous view.

I could see the Costco complex, the Sumas flats and of course the beautiful Mt. Baker. So, after I had watered up there for AT LEAST one hour every day that it didn't rain, I had to also water the stand alone pots down below AND keep seeds topped up in the bird feeders.

In this picture above there are 4 bird feeders and 3 bird baths. Yes, just in this ONE section of the backyard. Again, beautiful, but it was my "job" to keep it that way. I say job in quotes because most people get paid for jobs, but I digress.

When I stayed at this place in winter, the area in the picture above was over run with birds. The ground looked like it was moving there were so many birds there. I guess they can find their own food during the summer, so instead the chipmunks and squirrels took all the seeds I put out. I didn't mind seeing as they were storing up for winter. They would fill up their cheeks, run up the hill, empty out and then come back for more. Carmen, sorry if the pictures below look too much like You-Know-What and creep you out.

There was also a friendly Mr. Frog in the backyard who I had to get a picture of when he was sitting just underneath a little statue that looked almost exactly like him (see below).

I also saw a lizard, but he was too quick for me to get a picture of and the first day I was up on the hill watering a hummingbird came and played in the spray of the hose. That was very cool to watch (although he got a bit close ... like reach out and touch him close, and I was afraid he/she was maybe protecting a nest and was going to attack me). I didn't have my camera with me when he/she did that, and he/she didn't come back after that ... maybe because I sprayed him/her when I thought he/she was going to attack me. Oops!

In the end, I think the place looked pretty good for me having NO green thumb and the owners said everything looked great. Phewf! Another house sitting gig under my belt. I'm now back at "The Box" as I affectionately call it (the place where I started out with no internet and no cable ... yeah, that's been taken care of).

I will leave you with a few pictures of my favorite flowers from the last place.
I've been to 2 GREAT concerts since I've talked to you last and had dinner with old friends, so I'll try to catch up really soon. Thanks for sticking with me ... that is ... if you're still out there?