Friday, January 30, 2009

I come by it honestly

Brodie frequently calls me a news bag because I am always curious when it comes to things like fires, or accidents or things like that. I always want to knowwhats going on.

Tonight I understand why I am the way I am. My dad is a volunteer firefighter (that's right, he could beat your dad up any day), and at 7:51 pm his pager went off, notifying him that there was a structure fire at a certain address along Mabel Lake road. So, as Dad rushes out the door, Mom hops up and grabs the phone book.

Me: "What are you doing?
Mom: I'm going to find out where the fire is.

Good thing I come from a small town....
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Monday, January 26, 2009

Sugar, sugar

This is an example of what NOT to have sitting at your desk (and I'm not talking about the cell phone).

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Here we go again

Congratulations to Kelsey who took down the first Biggest Loser competition. We are now embarking on round two, but this time we have one addition: my mom.
My mom and I are (or WERE) almost exactly the same weight at the start of this competition, so unfortunately it makes the graph messy. The good news, she's staying static on the weight loss front and I'm trending down. On January 11 only .2 of a pound separated us. Today, 2.4 pounds separate us.

Here are the results after two weeks of competition:

Editor's note: Kelsey failed to weigh herself after week 1, hence the gap between the two red squares.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Ohhhhhh boyyyy
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No words

Once fashionista, now Fort McMurray
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Monday, January 19, 2009

Extra foods

This is what happens when you try to go grocery shopping here...there's nothing to buy. In this case, it's a good thing I drink skim milk....
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Sunday, January 18, 2009

The things we say and do

The way we act. The tone we use. The words we say. The clothes we wear. The decisions we make.

All of these reveal so much about who we are as people, family members, friends, employees. I know some people prefer to walk around with smug looks on their faces, repeating their inner mantra: "I don't care what other people think", but to those people I say: wake up.

Yes, you need to be your own person and live life true to your own values, but caring what other people think doesn't mean you are a slave to society. It doesn't mean you do things just to please other people. It doesn't mean you have to change who you are just to "conform". It means taking other people feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions into consideration when you make decisions.

For example, when I started working in an operational environment in the middle of an Oil Sands facility, I could have dressed in well-worn jeans, sneakers and a hoodie every day if I wanted. I could have gone to work with no make-up and and tousled hair, but I didn't. Why? Because it's not who I am and it's certainly not going to do me any favours in the career advancement department, regardless of what you'd like to believe. So, while I didn't go to work in heels and and a three-piece suit, on most days I still tried to dress as though I worked in an office environment. While I did lament the fact I couldn't wear open-toed shoes in the summer, I made the adjustment and continued to dress more business-casual than fresh-out-of-bed.

Whether we like it or not, the decisions we make every day--strategic or not--are used by other people to judge our character and our values. Right or wrong, it's reality.

With that, I encourage you to discover who you are, what's important to you, what you value in life, and then find ways to let it shine through.

Here's a great reminder to get us all started: Ten simple things we should all say more often.

That is, of course, if you consider these things important. I certainly do.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Closer than it may appear

As I sit here and write my next article for the paper, the show Intervention is playing on the television. Not normally a show I shed a tear for, this particular episode caught my eye.

Phillip is an alcoholic whose family is witnessing his demise. During a family gathering at his sister's house, she starts to play the guitar and sing a song she wrote. It was an emotional song specifically applicable to the situation and I'm not going to lie, it made me cry.

As I'm wiping tears from my cheeks, I text my sister and say "Wow. Intervention. [insert crying smiley emoticon]"

She replies: I'm ALSO watching. And crying.

Two sisters, thousands of miles apart, watching the same television show and crying to the same song.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

I resolve

Normally I don't have a difficult time coming up with a new year's resolution - there are normally so many things I want to change that I'm able to quickly pick one. This year is no different in that there are many things I want to change or do or see, etc. but it IS different in that I had a tough time selecting one or two things that I absolutely want to focus on this year.

In 2008, I made it my resolution to read at least 15 minutes every day and if I didn't read one day, I had to make up the time. While I likely didn't read 15 minutes every day of the year, it's safe to say I did more reading in 2008 than I had in a long time - and I enjoyed it. I finally finished the book that I'd been picking up and putting down for more than two years, the Time Traveler's Wife, I finished a few "self-help" type books and probably a few others I can't recall.

I should also mention that I announced just after midnight on January 1, 2008, to a large group of Brodie's friends and acquaintances, that my resolution was to get engaged. Well, if you've seen my left hand lately, you know how that's worked out for me. I guess I'll be waiting a few more years for that lump of coal I gave him in his stocking to do its thing...

After much deliberation and blackberry-idea-jotting, I think I've landed on a fairly solid resolution: to be a better friend and re-ignite the friendships I've let fall to the wayside in the past several years. I miss having my closest girlfriends in my life, the ones with whom I can laugh and cry without thinking twice. They were the ones by my side through high school - pushing me when I needed a push and slapping me when I needed a slap. They are the ones I know would be by my side today if I called on them.

I vow to make 2009 the year of reconnected friendship - through birthday cards, telephone calls, girlfriend trips and anything else I can do to show these special women just how much of a difference they've made in my life and how much I miss having them on speed dial.

Cheers to you, my friends. May 2009 bring us closer than ever.


Monday, January 5, 2009

The taxi ride of all taxi rides

We all have had those creepy and uncomfortable taxi rides, the ones we hope end quickly and painlessly. Often, these rides are uncomfortable because we ride in complete silence. Or, they're uncomfortable because the taxi driver speaks with a thick accent and we're not quite sure if, when or how we should respond to his queries. The cab driver may even make a feeble attempt to hit on us. While I'm not denying these are definitely uncomfortable situations, none of them come close to topping tonight's cab ride home from the Fort McMurray airport.

After selecting the second minivan in a long line outside the airport and explaining my destination to the nice man in the driver's seat, I was feeling quite good about my choice. That is, until I made a fateful mistake: I chose to sit in the front seat. My holiday-filled luggage took up too much of the back seat.

The ride started off pleasantly as we exchanged views on everything from rent in Fort McMurray, to the price of oil, to the cost of commercial real estate in town. Then, it headed down a path I didn't foresee. And, after several attempts to steer the conversational wheels back on to the pavement, it came to a very creepy end. Here's the short version:

  1. Cab driver asks what nationality I am...tells me I have pretty eyes.

  2. Lanette thanks cab driver and briefly explains she's a 'mutt' and rarely gets through a week without being asked where she "comes from"

  3. Cab driver asks if Lanette has family in Fort McMurray

  4. Lanette makes large error in explaining her boyfriend and house are in Calgary and that she will be spending about a week a month down in the city and three weeks a month here in FOrt McMurray

  5. Cab driver seems shocked and Lanette feels those conversational wheels heading toward the rumble strips as he says "Oh, that's hard. Being away from your boyfriend for 20 days...."

  6. Judging the cab driver's tone, Lanette suspects the cab driver is talking about a certain nighttime loneliness

  7. Cab driver confirms Lanette's suspicions when he dismisses her declaration that living with her sister helps.

  8. Lanette tries unsuccessfully to steer the conversation by explaining that she "tries not to think about it"

  9. Cab driver suggests Lanette may need a new boyfriend if she's up here for that long without her own.

  10. Lanette responds by saying that while there are plenty of men in Fort McMurray, they may not always be of "dating" quality

  11. Cab driver says a few more things before mumbling something about lesbians.

  12. Lanette, feeling the wheels cross the rumble strips and head toward the ditch, says: "Noooo, no women for this girl"

  13. Cab driver continues in the wayward direction. "I don't understand it. How do zay feel it?"

  14. Lanette lets out a very uncomfortable laugh.

  15. Cab driver then drops this beauty of a line: Unless they 69.

  16. Lanette begins to panic on the inside and says "ummmm......I don't know.

  17. Cab driver then decides it's an appropriate time to ask Lanette if she "likes 69."

  18. Lanette is having a heart attack and says "Umm.....I don't know." This is her favourite line in the last three minutes of conversation.

  19. Cab driver then says "Have you tried?"

  20. Lanette spits out her favourite line of the night, followed by an even more uncomfortable laugh, and then says "This isn't normally a topic I discuss with taxi drivers."
One wrong turn later, the driver drops me off at my house and takes an unusually long time to process my credit card.

Tell me: how can a credit card be so "shiny" that one can't read the letters and requires the payee to spell out her name?

Now I am faced with the unnerving fact that this guy knows where I live.

I should have a great sleep tonight.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A dog's life

Just another day at the Lundquist-Ellis doggy daycare.
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Disregard the old nail polish, but take a look at this fantastic bruise.

This is what happens when u are a huge klutz.
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