Sunday, September 12, 2010

Somethin' to talk about

Ladies and gentleman, please mark this date on your calendars. I finally have something to blog about.

Today, on hole #9 at the Fort McMurray Golf Club, yours truly got an ace! Not just any ace, but an albatross!

That's right...a hole in one on a par 4. Wooo hooooooooo!

Here's how it went down:
1. Boys tee off at white tee box
2. Boys accompany Lanette to red tee box.
3. Lanette tees up, smacks ball, watches it approach green.
4. Ball bounces up to the green, boing boing, rolls, and disappears.
5. Lanette's heart stops because she thinks it may have just gone in. But, boys aren't saying anything, so doesn't open her mouth for fear of the ball actually being 10 feet away from the hole.
6. Boys, thinking the ball was just a straight drive, have dropped heads and are moving toward their own balls.
7. Rossy realizes Lanette's ball is not on green where he expected and asks if it should be on there.
8. Lanette tells him yes.
9. Rossy walks up ahead and confirms: BALL. IN. HOLE.
Sweet jesus baby, that's a hole in one.
Here are the details:
Course: Fort McMurray Golf Club
Hole: #9
Distance: 200 - 225 (scorecard says 277, but I think that's from an old tee box location).Ball - Club: Driver
Ball: Precept Lady iq180 (my favourite...well my favourite ball I can afford to buy and lose. My ultimate favourites are the pricey ones that cost $6 each).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My special friend

I nearly forgot about blogging tonight. That is, until I'm watching a movie with Brod and he turns to me and says this: If I could choose to be any two people in life, I choose Steve Stifler and Kenny Powers.

Yup, that's right, folks. Not Nelson Mandela, not David Beckham, not even Gene Simmons. My bf of seven years chooses Steve S and Kenny P.

I like where this is headed.


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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I wonder about $

Sometimes I think that if I didn't find my way into the communications field, I would have become a financial planner. I'm not sure what would have had to happen to make my brain go that way in high school, but it only took one thing in my 20s to catch my attention.

The book by David Bach, Smart Women Finish Rich, not only changed the way I thought about money but also the way I thought about my life...when I wanted to retire, where I wanted to spend my money and how my personal values related to cold, hard cash.

Since then, I have made budgets, organized accounts and started saving for retirement.

Today I'm trying to figure out if I'm saving too much or too little (although anything more than $0 is better than nothing) and trying to decide if I should rebalance my money habits.

Hopefully I can find a financial advisor to help answer that question!

Wish me luck.

Ps, I'd write more, but I'm blogging from my phone and it's about to die :(

Monday, August 2, 2010

Do you have a bucket list?

Ever since The Bucket List came out, it seems like everyone has one. Or, if they don't, they've at least given some amount of thought to the things they may want to do before they die.

I've started a Life List...same idea as a bucket list. One day I'm sure I'll share it on here so that I can let everyone see how I'm making progress, but for now I'm just going to keep it to myself.

But, having a physical list makes me more likely to work toward the things on that list. If all we did was try to keep all of that stuff in our heads, we'd forget about the items on the list and we'd be less likely to actually achieve them.

If you haven't physically written them down, I encourage you to do so. Throw it in a notebook and keep it in your nighstand, or start a list on your smartphone.

I hope my Life List keeps growing and shrinking for the rest of my years.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I'm going to kick off NaBloPoMo (attempt #3) with a quick "what about me" list because #1 - I'm short on time and #2 - it's the least creative thing I could come up with on short notice.

1. My favourite colour is green
2. I will never be a total "greenie", but I try to do small things to help the environment
3. I work in Fort McMurray, Alberta...for an oil company.
4. I think the company I work for is working hard to reduce their impact on the environment.
5. For some ridiculous reason, I make a snap judgement on peoples' financial well-being on how full their gas tanks are when I ride in their cars for the first time (I quickly dismiss it, but I can't lie that it happens).
6. I wish I could get back to being as fit as I was eight years ago
7. I hope one day I can shoot below 90 on the golf course
8. I would hit the links every day if I could. It is one place I can forget about everything else going on and focus on the next shot, the next swing, the next putt.
9. I think there's a giant market for affordable women's golfwear
10. I hope that I can actually post every day for the next month.

That's what you get for now. You can look forward to more of these top 10 lists on days when I don't have anything else to write about.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

All dogs go to heaven

On Sunday, May 30 the sweet English Coonhound, Rhoda, fell into my life when I passed her by on Highway 63, in the middle of nowhere about 200 km south of Fort McMurray, and immediately turned myself around to see if I could pick her up and take her somewhere more safe than the side of the busy highway.

Rhoda, before she grew her angel wings.

It was raining and dismal outside and she was shaking and nervous as I coaxed her across the busy highway, stopping both lanes of traffic. When I finally grabbed hold of her trembling body, she seemed grateful for the scratches and cuddles. I managed to load her up into the back of the Rav as I held on to her with one hand and with the other, moved stuff on to the floor and spread out a freshly-knitted blanket my aunt had just given me as a gift. I cranked the heat up in the vehicle and after five minutes of licking herself clean, she curled up on the blanket, nose tucked into her belly, and slept soundly for the next two hours.

I texted photos of her to Kels and others and proudly gave her the fitting name of Rhoda. Over the next ten days, I loved her--despite her crazy barking, infatuation with shadows and her stubborn little quirks. She couldn't hear very well and she needed more attention and training than I had time to give her in Fort McMurray, but if I'd had her in Calgary, I know that she and Barkley would be the best of buddies today.

For ten days, I walked her at 5:30 in the morning, took her to all my softball games, let her play at the dog park and did my best to teach her all I could, not knowing how long she'd be in my life.

Unfortunately, after having her for more than a week, I managed to track her owner down in Wandering River through a crazy web of coincidences. He sent his brother to retrieve her from my house a couple days later and as I watched him load her into his jacked-up truck after offering a quick "thanks", I knew this wouldn't be the last I heard of my pretty girl, Rhoda.

Call it mother's intuition, call it a gut feeling, call it whatever you want. This past Friday, two friends headed to Edmonton in separate vehicles, about an hour apart. The first texted my sister mid-day and said he'd seen Rhoda wandering on the side of the highway. The second sent message a while later. He'd also seen Rhoda, but this time she was laying on the side of the highway, killed by a car.

Jody-from-Wandering-River, you don't deserve to own another pet. You should have left well enough alone and let her be adopted to a caring family in Fort McMurray. They would have kept her safe in a house, away from the dangers of Highway 63. They wouldn't have tied her up--where she hated to be--and let her break free from her leash. She needed someone special in her life who could be her ears when she couldn't hear the noises she needed to hear.

Rhoda, you left a paw print on my heart. I hope you have more fun in heaven than you had during your seven short months on this earth.

I miss ya, girl.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rhods goes to the field

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Monday, May 31, 2010

Sweet little Rhoda

This little girl was found along Highway 63, about 70 km north of Boyle and 180 km south of Fort McMurray.

She weighs about 40 pounds and didn't have tags, a collar or any kind of tattoo.

If you know someone who took their dog hunting and lost her, or was stopped at the rest stop and had a dog run off, then please get in touch with me. I really hope we can return this sweet pup to her home.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rescued from Hwy sixty three

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Friday, May 28, 2010


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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

House number!

We've had this backboard and the numbers for well over six months now and finally got around to putting it together!

Next step: erect above garage.

Monday, May 24, 2010

New goals needed

Last year, I decided to set a few short-term goals for myself. Just today I decided to revisit them to see how I was doing. To my surprise, I was able to put a nice big check mark beside each and every one of them.

- Run a 10k in 2009 (already checked)

- Run a half marathon in 2010 (new check mark as of yesterday!)

- Be promoted (check)

- Shoot under 100 (checked three times since I wrote this goal down last summer)

For me, goal setting doesn't always have to be a formal process. Sometimes I just keep the goals inside my little mind and work toward them subconsciously. For instance, ever since I was in grade school, I pictured myself working downtown in a big city in some giant high rise tower. Now, I know this isn't necessarily the most fascinating or even an ideal vision for one's future, but for me that vision symbolized getting a degree and starting a real career.

I can now probably say that every experience and ounce of hard work that went into getting me into that downtown office building could probably be attributed to that single vision.

My aunt even tells me that when I was two or three, my mom took me downtown Calgary for a visit. While my aunt went to a meeting, my mom put me in her big leather office chair. When my aunt came back into the office, Mom said "One day, this is where she'll be." My aunt agreed.

And while I might not have some swanky corner office with a giant leather office chair, I still feel like some little piece of that vision has helped push me along the career path I find myself on today.

But, this post isn't about tooting horns. It's about goal setting. I am a firm believer that everyone needs a few goals to help them navigate this crazy world. We don't always need to follow a set path, but having a vision of the destination can help us choose which way to turn when we come to the inevitable fork in the road.

I hope each of you can think of one or two things right now that you want to achieve in the next year or two. And, in the next five or 10. You don't need to cut out pictures and put them on some fancy vision board and you don't need to write them down in a journal or tell five friends who will hold you accountable. All you need to do is think about what your life will be like when you achieve them. What will success feel like? Look like?

Here's hoping there's a leather office chair in your future.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The place I (proudly) call home

They will tell you this place is riddled with drugs. They will show you the scantily clad chicks raking their bodies across a baron stage at Showgirls. They will show you the hooker on the corner of the 7-11, across from the bus stop, thumbing cars as she waits for her next customer.
That's how the rest of the world sees Fort Mcmurray.

But, for those of us who have been here and seen the good of this city, those of us who have the sense and the ambition to look past the bad and see the opportunity, we think this is a great place to work. And, we think it's a great place to live.

Where else can you head to a gorgeous 18-hole golf course for your 6 p.m. tee time and play a full round? Where else can you play double-headers at the beginning of the softball season without having lights on the diamond? Where else do you jolt awake at 5 a.m. thinking you'd slept in well past your alarm clock because it's broad daylight outside? Where else do you go to work and within eight hours have meetings with people from South Africa, Pakistan, Venezuala and Australia? Where else would you possibly find such a large group of 20somethings who have more ambition, hefty savings accounts, charitable donations and beautiful homes? Nowhere.

This, my friends, is the Fort McMurray I know.

Have I seen drug deals outside of the local casino? Check. Have I seen homeless people with their dogs sitting outside the mall with their hats out? Check. Have I seen juice monkeys driving giant trucks? Double check.

But who hasn't? I can find every single one of those things in Kelowna, Vancouver, Toronto, and every small town and big city in between.

For once I want a reporter to come here and interview those who are up here for the career opportunities. For the great dinner parties we throw. For the post-baseball-game parties. For the evening golf games.

For once, I want people to see this city through a different pair of eyes.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kelsey on moving day

While Scott is busy cleaning the kitchen and I finish cleaning out the basement, this is what Kelsey is doing.

After we tell her to get her a$$ moving, this ensues:

Kelsey (in the box): "Scott, help me"

Scott: Kelsey, come on.

Kelsey (struggling): I don't wanna break the box.

Kelsey wiggles around some more and Scott reaches in to help lift her up.

Scott: C'mon Kelsey, show some athleticism!

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Friday, April 9, 2010


I do not mind it here, I do not mind it here, I do not mind here.

Todays affirmation.
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fun times in Calgary

Usually when I'm in Calgary my time is spent at home or running errands around town and at the mall (hah!), but this time I added something new to the mix: an evening of UFC fights and karaoke.

Last Saturday Brody's boss's wife and a couple of his kids were hanging out at a pub in NE Calgary and we decided to head out to meet them there.

A few hours and a couple drinks later, we were laughing and having a grand old time. The fights were good (I even watched this time...even if my eyes were closed during a few crazy punch sequences), but the karaoke and company were fantastic.

Jocelyn is a talented little lady with a voice that just makes you stop and stare. Check out her latest song now: The Thought of You. Creepily, I have listened to it about 10 times today and I'm not getting bored of it.

Her brother, who works with Brody, is also an absolute hilarity,and not a bad karaoke-er. My abs and cheeks got a full workout that night.

Their step mom is also hilarious and crazy at the same time. After several hours, numerous shots and a lot of laughs, we were snapping BlackBerry photos as she reminisced about introducing Brody to her husband.

It was nice definitely nice to meet some new people in this big old city, that's for sure.
Tomorrow we're off to Phoenix for some golf and hot weather. Adios!

PS - go and check out Jocelyn's music right now!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day off leads to amazing discovery

I've spent today hanging around the house while Brody works his buns off at Showcase. About 30 minutes ago I made a fantastic discovery in the depths of my hope chest: three diaries...circa 1991 and forward.

For your reading pleasure, I will post some of the nonsense I've discovered. I'm throwing humility to the wind in hopes you will get a good chuckle out of these. All spelling and grammatical errors have been retained for additional humour.

The opening page of Diary numero uno (my first ever) reads: This Diary Belongs to Lanette Marie Lundquist and will go to my oldest great granchild when I die.

Entry 1:

Month: November
Date: 6/91
Weather: Cloudy

Dear Diary,

My name is Lanette Lundquist. I just got this diary today so it's pretty nice having and knowing you have something to write and keep your thoughts in without your little sister, or brother getting into them.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

An e-mail to my sis

Hey Kels -

Just wanted to write and wish you a Happy Birthday. I can't believe you're 25. It's astonishing that we have both made it this far without one of us offing the other, don't you think?

It feels like yesterday when I was walking across the parking lot of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital holding dad's hand on the way to meet my new baby sister.

Even though I had wanted a little brother, my heart melted the instant I laid eyes on you. This little 7-pound bundle of cuteness stared back at me and I could hardly wait to get you home and put you in my doll stroller. It was love at first sight.

I remember you growing up. With every year, you became a larger pain in the ass, but you also became an increasingly important part of my life. And, while you've moved from chewing on sticks to chewing people out (only when necessary of course, right?), you are every bit as cute and quirky today as you were when you were three years old, standing in the middle of that puddle donning those snazzy little gumboots and your garbage bag rain coat.

Now, at 25, you carry a Coach purse, curl and coat your eyelashes to perfection every day and still use your charming smile to get you in--and out--of trouble.

I have seen you grow from the little puddle jumper that you were 22 years ago to one of the most beautiful people I know.

There are qualities in you that anyone would envy: your quick wit, your creative spirit, your feisty attitude...and don't even get me started on your ridiculously perfect hair.

In the past 18 months I have welcomed someone important into my life. Someone I didn't always have before. Someone whose value I haven't always appreciated. That someone is you.

More than ever, I am thankful I can call you my sister and my friend. I know sometimes you probably feel like some kind of crazy experiment, but I want you to know that as much as I try to teach you, I try to learn from you.

Kelsey D*wn, you have taught me a lot in the last year and a half and for that, I am grateful. Keep doing what you're doing and you will get where you're going.

Let me be one of the first to wish you the happiest of 25th birthdays.

I love you.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Do you draw the line?

You love him for the droopy eyes he gives you while you scold him. You love him for the howls he lets out in the middle of the night, alerting you to strange noises. And, you love him for unconditional love he shows you when there's no one else around to see your tears and hear your sobs. He is your best friend. He is your pooch.

Pets are our child-raising tests; they are integral members of our families and once we have 'em, we can't imagine living without 'em.

So if that's the case, how do you make the decision to put your pet down?

For some, the decision is a little easier. They've had Charlie for 16 years and he's developed cancer throughout his body. He's starting to feel the pain and his quality of life will rapidly decrease. The family knows Charlie will be better off. They hug him, kiss him and hand him over to the vet.

For others, it is far more difficult. Chance is two years old. He's been in an accident. His hips are broken, he has a collapsed lung and his eye, permanently damaged. Chance's mom and dad are living pay cheque to pay cheque, barely getting by and are devastated when the vet says it will be $11,000. Do they put it on their credit card, or do they ask the vet to put him down? They have to make a decision fast.

When Brody and I got Barkley, we struggled. That dog has put us through a lot in his four-year life span. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with him, but when it comes down to it, he is a part of our family and he would be missed if we didn't have him around.

When we first went into puppy training, I received a piece of advice from a trainer: you have to draw a line in the sand. Before you find yourself in an emotional situation, sit down and decide what your number is. What can you afford? What is the furthest you'd be willing to go to save your pet? If you have the number in your mind before something tragic happens, it may help remove some of the emotion from the decision.

It is a valid question. If you can't afford to foot an astronomical vet bill, is it worth it to put your financial well-being at risk? A $500 bill, for most, is do-able. $5,000? A stretch for some, but not for others. $15,000? A stretch for many, I would say. You would be tied to that decision for quite some time.
We never did draw our line in the sand, but I am wondering just how far I'd go to save my pet.

I don't know what the right answer is, but I pray I never have to ask myself that question. Like Kelsey says - our pets will live forever. She has already read the riot act to Rocky: he is not allowed to pass away.

Here's hoping none of you ever have to make that really tough decision.

Back in time

Today my co-worker and I were sitting in a meeting room--two of only a spattering of people in the building--on a relatively balmy Saturday in Fort McMurray, when I looked at her and said: "Think back five years ago. Who would have thought this is where we'd be?"
She laughed...and agreed.

Picture from here.

While I pictured myself working in a corporate environment, likely in oil and gas, I don't think I ever would have pictured myself in Fort McMurray. But, I can say this has been one of the best decisions I've made.

I have formed some of the greatest friendships here that I never would have had an opportunity to form if I'd stayed in Vernon or moved from Vernon back to the city of Calgary like I thought I might do. Truly, I have formed some of the greatest friendships since being in this quirky city.

While I was in school, this particular coworker and I were classmates. We were acquaintances, but certainly didn't have regular interactions and we were never placed on the same project team. Five years later, I sit beside her in meetings and consider her one of the most savvy and smartest people I know.

Beyond being coworkers though, she truly is a friend. We vent to each other when we have a rough day at the office and we indulge in a glass of wine (or two) when it's time to set the computers aside and enjoy a little social time. I stayed at her house and watched her dog as she and her now-fiance vacationed in a tropical locale at the end of last year and I would trust her to do the same for me if I ever needed a similar favour.

It's funny how you grow as the years pass by. The qualities we admire in people and look for in friends change. I recently received a handwritten note card from a close friend back home who said she missed our "car rides". The same car rides we would take, just the two of us, to talk about what was going on or seek advice from the other when we needed it.

It's an interesting place to be as I form friendships with new people and have a chance to reflect back on the friends from elementary and high school years. No one will argue the fact that those friendships of the past have changed. We have all grown up, we have changed, we have fallen out of touch and each of us has had experiences that have re-shaped our outlook, feelings and beliefs.

But, there are still those old friends you know who you can always count on when you're feeling sad...or mad...or glad. I am grateful for them, especially for those with whom I've had some chance to start rebuilding a close friendship, and I'm thankful for the new friendships which have brought new perspective, knowledge and outlook to my life.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


This is counting for a post, regardless of whether or not it's after midnight. This has been a brutal day and my mind feels like mush. I think I've used up all my brainpower for the rest of February.

This, unfortunately, does not bode well for the miniscule readership who take 30 seconds or so out of their days to check in. Only 23 more days of mushy brain posts for you to read.

Image shamelessly borrowed from here

After getting home from work at 10 o'clock tonight, I proceeded to play about three hours of Super Mario Bros. on the Wii with my sister.

Now, all I can hear are the bloop bloop bloop noises from sliding down tunnels (or green garbage cans as I used to think they were) and the profane sentiments Kels and I were tossing out as we fell victim to sneaky ghosts, bony fish and ticking timebombs.

For the record, I don't recommend taking the "just one more level" approach if you're sitting down to play Super Mario Bros. Three hours and several brain cells later, I'm hitting the sac.

Tie a bow on me, I'm done!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Resolution update

My goal for February: do not miss more than two days of half-marathon training in the entire month.

Well, it's now February 4 and I've missed three days of half marathon training. A great start hey?

In honesty, I could reduce it to back to two if I exercise on Saturday which is normally the only day off in the whole week, but for some reason, I just don't see that happening at this point.

I'm thinking I better create a new resolution for February.

For those of you who don't recall, I was struggling to come up with a single resolution for 2010. So, I decided I would create one resolution a month for the entire year. The idea is that whatever resolution I come up with for one single month will end up becoming a habit and follow me through the rest of the year.

A pretty genius idea, hey?

I would love to write more tonight, but my eyelids are falling over top of my eyeballs and my fingers are making way too many mistakes on the ol' keyboard.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Above and beyond? Or just the call of duty?

Today was a long day. A wake-up call at 5:30 a.m. was followed by a shower, make-up application, blowdry, straightening, dressing, accessorizing, and drive to work. I arrived at work just before 7 a.m. Then, it was a whirlwind of meetings, phone calls, and presentation creating and editing. The day ended at 7:15 p.m . with all four of us communication front-liners hammering out materials, updating spreadsheets and scarfing down a little pizza.

I know some of you who read this blog work 12-hour shifts and I want you to know I'm not complaining about pulling a 12-hour day. There are plenty of other people who work days far longer than 12 hours.

In fact, this post is just the opposite of complaining - I was actually completely okay with putting in a few extra hours. That's because I'm grateful to have an employer that allows me to enjoy a somewhat flexible working arrangement. Unlike other jobs, me and my coworkers are not completely tied to a punch clock. Plenty of days we're there before our official days begin and on plenty of days we're there long after the buses have departed with the rest of the workforce.

Are there times when we're out of the office at 4 p.m.? Or times when we have to zip out in the middle of a work day to get our braces adjusted? Yup, there sure are. But, those times are definitely balanced out by the time that we put in on call, going in early and staying late. Or, answering calls and hammering out presentations and project plans on the weekends.

To me, staying a few extra hours every now and again isn't really about going "above and beyond the call of duty", it IS the call of duty. It's not about counting hours, it's about getting the job done.

When special projects and tight deadlines require you to work a little harder, or a litter longer than normal, workers who feel loyal to their employer, engaged in their positions and who feel like they're making a difference won't hesitate to step up.

If you're a small business owner, think about the flexibility and employee experience you offer to your front line workers.

If you're a front line worker, are you concerned with the hours you put in every day, or more concerned about doing your job well to help your employer, and ultimately yourself, succeed?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Go together like a horse and carriage...

You know what I'm talkin' about. I can hear the Married with Children jingle dancing between your ears. Of course, I'm talking about Love. And Marriage. More about love though.

I couldn't let myself blog in February without dedicating at least one post to the topic that's been on our minds since the Christmas decorations at the local Wal-Mart were replaced with heart-shaped chocolates and red jelly beans.

This month longtime lovers will prepare to tie the knot as they become fiance and fiancee. Thousands of lucky girls will open little blue Tiffany boxes, wipe tears from their shining eyes and slip a perfectly round, diamond-adorned ornament onto their manicured fingers.Not that I'm jealous, of course. I mean who really wants a big, hardened piece of earth sitting on their finger taking up precious space? I personally love my fingers unadorned, chubby looking and not-so-nicely manicured.
Of course, I'm sassing. The Brodster and I have been in this loving relationship of ours for seven short years. We finished school together, moved to the Okanagan together, bought our first place together and bought our first dog (a memory I'd like to forget, but that's a whole other story), and then moved to Alberta.
We've been through a lot in these seven years. Ups, downs and everything in between. But, if I think back to the early days when we first met and got to know each other, I remember thinking there couldn't possibly be a person on this Earth more perfect for me.
He was sarcastic, loved softball and golf and hockey and baseball (just like my papa), made me laugh, and grew up with the same kind of lifestyle (small town, family close by). But, most importantly, he loved me.
Don't ask me how I managed to hook this guy, but some how it happened. Our first nervous meeting (after talking for weeks over MSN, e-mail and telephone) happened in Calgary. He was in the back seat of the car, I got into the front. As soon as we made it to the pub, it was like we'd known each other for years. We totally clicked.
And seven years later, we're still clicking. Or, clicking again. And it's good.
For now, I'll let the other girls wear their diamonds. I'm okay being a girlfriend.
Happy Valentine's month everyone. Here's me sending you diamond dreams and Tiffany wishes.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Attempt #2: NaBloPoMo

Throughout January I kept telling myself that February would be the month I complete National Blog Posting Month, or in simpler terms, write one post a day for an entire month.

Over at they assign a theme to help you collect your thoughts and hammer something out on the screen when you're faced with the inevitable writer's block mid-month.

This month's theme? Ties.

In February, I'm tying this blog to my ass and dragging it wherever I go. Whether I'm spending the week in Calgary, hunkered down in my abode here in Fort McMurray, or skiing the Rocky Mountain slopes, I will post every single day this month. Excited aren't cha?

I will also try incorporating some form of the word 'tie' into each post...just for a little splash of challenge.

And with that, I'm bending down to tie on my blogging shoes 'cause baby, I'm ready to roll.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Writer? Blogger? Poser?

I have a small blog roll--a few select blogs I've inadvertently stumbled upon and continue to read because they inspire me, allow me to question my own beliefs, make me laugh or cause me to ponder thoughts, ideas and feelings I may otherwise never have pondered.

One of those blogs belongs to David Stehle at The Rest is Still Unwritten. This guy can take a topic like manwhoring and turn it into a piece you can't stop reading, even if it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Then, a day or two later you'll see him pour his heart into a post about the speech he delivered at his sister's wedding.

Today, though, he posed an interesting question: are bloggers writers or literary dabblers?

I think I agree that having a blog, by the very nature of the task, makes you a writer, but can't wrap my mind around who or what makes you a true author.

I know writers who get paid for their words, but whose words are awful.

On the other hand, I know unpaid writers whose words are beautiful.

And then, I know a whole handful of people whose jobs involve writing, but who may or may not be true authors.

Most of my job entails writing, whether it be for newsletters, company reports, fact sheets, signs, handouts, or whatever else the communications plans call for, but I'm probably not what you would call a real "writer".

In my work, I write to be effective, not creative. I'm sure it's possible to be both, but I'll admit that it's easier to be effective.

Perhaps this blog, which started as a way to keep friends and family up to date, will become my creative outlet. I have started to challenge myself to write about topics, not events. Step one? Maybe.

I'm not sure I'll ever know if I'm a writer, but frankly, I almost hope that I never carry that title. Can you imagine the immense pressure that would come with being labeled a writer? Every word expected to be brilliant, ever period perfectly placed.

For now, I'll continue to spew randomness on to this page and if someone chooses to read it, all the better. If not, I'll continue to hone skills, seek inspiration and just put finger to keyboard...for me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Good setup, bad interior design

What happens when your BF works in electronics.


Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Friday, January 22, 2010

A favourite place

The gurgling noise coming from the espresso machine, the scents of coffee beans and fresh paper swirling together like a little piece of heaven, and the tidy, lined shelves of notepads, journals and home decor items make Chapters/Indigo one of my favourite places on earth.

Even if I have no intention of buying anything, I can spend hours in the store looking through all stuff, both pretty and practical. I'm a sucker for sophisticated note cards, eye-catching leather-bound journals and shimmery, feminine photo frames.

Today I wandered in, ordered my grande skinny london fog and just strolled through the store, once, twice, probably three times and each time I found something new that caught my eye.

Not only do I admire the store for the items I want for myself, but I can find gifts in that store for almost every important person in my life. Today I wanted to buy wedding planners for newly-engaged friends, baby journals for those pregnant with their first children and pretty, scented candles as a "just because" present for my little sis (sorry, Kels, I left them on the shelf...but it's the thought that counts, right? :S)

Anyhow, if you've never taken the time to appreciate a bookstore in all its splendor, the next time you drive by that big Indigo sign, swing in, grab a cup of joe and float through the aisles taking it all in.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

When you grow up

When you were young, did you dream of being a firefighter? A cop? Lawyer? Doctor? Teacher?

When I was really young, I think I wanted to be a teacher. When I started doing well in school, I decided to be a lawyer. That lasted about three minutes until I realized it was going to take at least seven years of school before I stood in front of the courtroom.
Then, I decided my ultimate dream was to be a sports broadcaster. Not the kind that's on TV reviewing the sports highlights at 11 p.m. (I mean let's be honest, I'm no Jennifer Hedger or Erin Andrews). Nope, I'm talking about the Blue Jays commentators who rattle of stats and call the game. I absolutely loved baseball (to the point that, at the age of 12, I would make my own scoresheets on looseleaf paper and keep "paper score" so I could show my dad exactly what happened in the game when he got home from work) and I knew the batting average of every Blue Jay from about 1992 to 1995. But, slowly my sports broadcasting dream died and I was left wondering just what I would be I grew up. That is, until grade 11.

In B.C. we had a program called CAPP: Career And Personal Planning. I can very clearly remember sitting in the "keyboarding" room completing a career planning survey. Basically, you run through the questions, tally the score and then *poof* you know what you want to be.

I finished the test, compiled my score and anxiously turned over the page to see what I was going to be when I grew up. Our teacher challenged us to pick one of our "ideal careers", research it and then compile a bit of a report. With excitement, I started to read my options:

1. Mattress maker
2. Nut sorter
3. Public relations practitioner
4. I have no idea
5. I am still astonished that it suggested I be a frigging NUT sorter.
6. What the hell is a mattress maker?

I guess you know where I put my effort. I'd never heard of "public relations" before so decided to make it the subject of my report. As it turns out, it suited me to a tee: good English skills, enjoy writing, working behind the scenes, etc. etc. etc. From that day forward, I never looked back.
I called the U of Calgary, figured out what I needed to do to get in, took the right classes at the local college, then transferred the credits to the U of C after moving to Alberta. While spending a year at the U of C was a waste of time (because Mount Royal had a better PR program), it ultimately put me in an ideal place, time wise. If I'd gotten into Mt Royal a year earlier, I'd probably be working somewhere different, probably wouldn't have had a chance to move back to the Okanagan for a few years and wouldn't have made the great friends I did when I entered the college in 2002.

Either way, it's interesting to look back at the paths we've taken to get where we are today.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Or, should I say, what do you want to be when you GROW up?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Resolutions, resolutions, resolutions

I haven't posted in a while. It's probably because I felt rather defeated after not completing the NaMoBloPo in December. I'll have to set that goal for another month, maybe February or March.

Speaking of goals, it's resolution time. Well, it's actually passed resolution time, but I just can't seem to settle on a few goals that make sense and that I'm willing to commit to right now. It's causing me some stress, but I'm trying to settle on goals that are achievable, make sense for the long term and that I'm ready to throw up here for all of you to read.

I think the other thing I'm struggling with is the fact 2010 is the start of a brand new decade. That seems big. It seems like the kind of thing that calls for some big resolutions, possibly ones that span the decade. Hmm...I wonder what I want to accomplish by 2020. Actually, as my mind starts to ponder this, I'm freaking out, so I'm going to stop those thoughts right now.

There are lots of thing I want to do in 2010: running the half marathon in Red Deer in May, completing NaMoBloPo, setting up a proper emergency fund, learning more about finances, shedding some pounds, reading books (specifically, Half the Sky, Three Cups of Tea and a few other fictional books on my list). But, these goals seem mundane. I have to settle on a few more long term goals and then break them down so that my 2010 resolutions are contributing to some greater long-term plan.

A plan for a plan. Hmm...sounds Type A-ish to me. No?

I'll have to settle on my final resolutions sometime soon, or else they'll become 11-month goals. Maybe my resolution should be: become less indecisive. Or become more "fly by the seat of your pants"ish. Unfortunately, I think both of those are unattainable, so they're off the table.

Seeing that I can't come up with my own resolutions, I'll ask you folks: any ideas for some great resolutions? What were yours?