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Showing posts from 2012

FROZEN FACE

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This morning it was -18, more like -22 with the windchill.  When I got off the train, I briefly considered darting inside, to take the plus 15 route all the way to my office building, but thought, "hey, I'm inside all day, I could use some fresh air."  So off I went, mittens on, wool sweater buttoned right up, ear muffs secured, good to go.

I only have to walk two and half blocks outside, but this morning, once I headed on my merry way, I thought my face was going to freeze solid and I have never had my nose burn like that before.  My eyes were watering like I had just finished watching My Girl, and I was completely prepared for my nose to fall right off, which would be a shame because I've always thought I had a nose that rather suited my face. 

By the time I pulled open the door to the building and buried my face in the warmth of the festive lobby, my cheeks were tingling like they were made of pop rocks.  And yes, I know that -18 is not even cold yet; it's …

5 THINGS THAT ANNOY ME

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So I have been a very good girl lately about not focusing on the negative and not getting swallowed up in anxiety or stress or things I cannot control or the fact that I have not won the lottery yet despite the universe knowing that I clearly deserve to.

Nope, I have been very Zen and have been re-reading Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle and all those cheesy Positive Outlook quotes on Facebook, like a crack addict gettin' their daily fix.  I am ooooohhhhmmmmm. 

However, despite my new positive, "roll with the punches" attitude I still allow myself the freedom to be annoyed, to wrinkle my nose and think WTF?  Here are five things that I find particularly irritating/confusing/annoying/down right piss-off-able since my relocation to "little Texas"

1) Green Doesn't Mean Go?I don't know what it is but every time I come upon traffic at a GREEN light, nobody is moving. Why? Is somebody up there finishing a text they thought they had time to send? Are they staring…

LRT LIFE LESSONS

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My daily commute is most feasible via LRT.  Parking in downtown Calgary is highway robbery - averages around $600/month.  Plus let's face it.....I'm a shitty driver and I'm an even shittier city driver. So, LRT it is and really, it's pretty slick.

Trains come every 1 to 3 minutes and depending on where I get on, I most often do get a seat and have a chance to disappear for a half hour into a good book.

I was pondering this morning however on some of the more "interesting" lessons I have learned about LRT living, and for a laugh or two, thought I'd share:

LRT Lesson #1:Reserved parking - 'nuff said

LRT Lesson #2:Do away with common decency. Do not by any means be courteous and give your seat up for an elderly person, or go out of your way to assist or clear the path for someone in a wheel chair or pushing a stroller. This would interrupt your getting on the train by at least, I don't know, 5 seconds, and that would be tragic.

LRT Lesson #3:Do not eve…

A SEA OF MOUNTAINS

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Well I know I vowed/threatened/prematurely promised to keep up with the blogging even though we would no longer be on the west coast. I have therefore decided to re-title my blog "A Fish Out of Water" Chronicle of a West Coast transplant.

I hear people back "home" talking about frost on the road and it being, "cold."  Frost, ppht.  While Calgary/Cochrane does not seem to get hit with the intense winter storms that Edmonton or other parts of Alberta do, rest assured, everything here is white, frozen and about as cold as your spouse after you forgot to mention you wouldn't be coming home for the night.

The greatest surprise so far has been that I do not long for the coast nearly as much as I thought I would. Perhaps it is because between getting settled and starting new jobs, schools, etc, etc. there seems to be little time for sitting in corners and pining away for the sea.  Don't get me wrong, I miss our friends and family terribly, but as far as…

IT'S OKAY TO DO NOTHING??

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Pretty much since high school my life has been full up to the max. From 18 to 20 I balanced three jobs and a full course load. My early twenties began with a mortgage, a marriage, and the start of my "career".  While working 40 hours a week or more, for a large company, I took on the task of achieving my professional accounting designation via correspondence. And given that I am an incredibly, stubborn overachiever I didn't just do a couple courses at a time, nope, I did 4 or 5 per semester for five years straight. I know, I'm crazy. Oh but wait, that wasn't all.  During this time I also helped my husband run his business by tackling the accounting and all of the paper work that constantly spread across the kitchen counter.  Fast forward a few years and near the end of my schooling we decided to really test the limits of our sanity.  I was in the final two year leg of my CMA designation, what they call the Strategic Leadership Program and what I call Management …

HUCKLEBERRY ZEN

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Life Lessons via Berry Pickin'

Yesterday I took the kids junk huntin' and berry pickin' as it had been ages since I had picked salmon berries and huckleberries. For those of you who are not familiar with these berries a salmon berry is the raspberry's sour cousin that grows wild all over most coastal islands and the huckleberry is a tiny, round, coral coloured delight that is a real pain in the butt to pick (hence the ages since picking)

If you've ever picked Huckleberries you know, it takes for bloody ever, and although Huckleberry jam and pie, and all that, is frickin' amazing, at the time of picking, it hardly seems worth the effort. As a kid I would routinely cheat and just strip the entire branch, tiny leaves and all, just to fill the bucket and to avoid painstakingly picking the little berries one at a time.  Even the other day, here I was an adult, picking berries (which was my idea) and five minutes in I was frustrated and annoyed and switched to pickin…

IT'S ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE

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Sailing 'round Lasqueti Island and Back
This weekend we took off from Shelter Point and headed for Lasqueti island, another island I have literally stared at for years and never stepped foot on. It was to be our very first overnight adventure with the kids and we were packed to the rigging with food, drinks, blankets, pillows, bug spray, sunscreen, snacks, books, and more snacks. The weather report called for sun, sun, sun and more sun and it was about darn time!!

We were departing at dinner time so I crafted up some Basa (slightly wrong that while sailing on the west coast we were about to feast on farm fished catfish from China but c'est la vie), with roasted mushrooms and red pepper in tinfoil.  Tinfoil rules - it is an essential kitchen tool for west coast living. The trip already felt magical. On the way across Bubs (aka Kowalski) and I played a few games of "Deep Dive" with his Shark Cards (these are a super cool find I brought back from a trip to Maui..check o…

HAVING MORE WITH LESS

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Harwood Island - June 24th, 2012
Last weekend, for the first time in my 30 + years living on the west coast, I stepped foot on Harwood island.  The sun had come out in the morning and in a mad dash we had made our way to the sail boat, loaded with food, drinks, music and activity books for the kids. After a short stint of shiner fishin' (for bait) we headed for an island that I have passed probably no less than 1000 times by boat, ferry and plane. It almost seems silly that I have never seen it's shores but June 24th was going to be the day to right that wrong.  We fished for awhile, hoping to catch a cod (and if the stars aligned a Halibut!) but only ended up catching and releasing seven "shoes" (Skipper nicknamed dogfish shoes as they don't put up a fight - they reel in like shoes).  Striking out on fishing meant that it was time to hit the beach (with the emergency chicken kabobs that I had ready to go in the cooler - never count on fish!).


We anchored (after …

NEED TO KNOWS

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THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW LIVING ON A WESTCOAST ISLAND:
1) You have to plan ahead. This means from everything to trying to schedule hair/doctor/dentist/grocery shopping/prescription pick up/lunch date/ etc. etc. on the same day, on the mainland, (if those services aren't offered on your island) to meal plans (so you know what groceries to stock up on) your life will revolve around ferry schedules, shorter operating hours for local businesses and lack of product/service availability where you live so you better make friends with your time management skills.

2) Seafood is almost free. You do need to make sure you have a fishing liscence to harvest crab, oysters and clams, and to fish for fresh or salt water creatures. There are limits on what you can catch and keep but the abundance of it here is amazing. If you do not like seafood, that's fine; us seafood lovers do not try to convert you weirdos...we prefer not to share.

3) You better like being outdoors. As on most of the westc…

GETTING STARTED

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Twice now I have attempted to start the elusive art of blogging. I have never been able to find the time nor  have I been able to really find a subject that I can actually dedicate myself to. Times have changed, suddenly finding myself with more freetime on my hands I have decided that it is time!! It is time to start comitting to a blog. I plan to blog about what it's really like living on an island on the westcoast of BC (can't take complete credit for this idea as it was given to me by a great friend!). Everything from parenting, logistics, recipies, lifestyle etc.  No sugar coating; I plan on revealing some of the real issues/challenges with living not only in a small community but in a small community that is isolated by water. There are some truly amazing reasons to live on a westcoast island and there are some real challenges. Some of those challenges can be overcome, some you need to find a way to accept. If there's anything that somebody would like to know or if …