Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm baaaack

for now anyway...

We're home from the lake and already getting ready for Trip #2 - Labour Day weekend on Pelee Island. This weekend we'll be scouting out the winery to get information that will help us decide whether or not we're getting married there. So we're both pretty excited, and I barely care that the living room looks like somebody's messy basement or garage. If we were little, we'd be building a fort out of coolers, sleeping bags and other random things cluttering up the room. Instead we're making lists and checking batteries, but somehow it's still fun...

The past couple of weeks has been a whirlwind, despite being on holidays. There has been good news and sad news and laughter and tears, many of which I won't take the time to write about now.
I temporarily forgot about my Lifestyle Change and ate ridiculous amounts of not-so-healthy food (mmmm poutine) and now keep looking at my ass in the mirror wondering why my pants are fitting so tight. It takes forever to lose 10 pounds, but all I need to do is eat a few bad foods and BAM! my ba-donka-donk has some extra donk. Hopefully we can do lots of walking this weekend, otherwise I might have to pull out the jeans that were delegated to the back of closet after getting too big to wear.

On a happier note, there were boat rides, campfires, long walks, fabulous dinners, and lots of great times spent with family. We had a surprise party for my Mom's birthday on Monday, complete with cake and some Mad Science fun. I had a hell of a lot of fun and probably won't settle back into work mode until after Labour Day weekend.

Which is totally fine with me :)

And so, off I go again for several days - be back after Labour Day! Hope you all have a safe & happy long weekend!

Friday, August 15, 2008

On holidays

For the next 10 days, I'll be up at the lake. Which means that my blogging plans will be put on hold until after that time. There might be a few quick posts, but otherwise, I'll be back on the 25th.

See you soon!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

How watching a movie can save a life

Just a few minutes ago, I came upon this unbelievable website:

For those of you who don't watch The Office, you might not care about this, but Jenna Fischer has been kidnapped by Rainn Wilson!!!!! Visit FreeJennaNow for more information about how YOU can help save our beloved Pam (oops, I mean Jenna).

EDIT: It looks like this story has a happy ending after all. Visit Crystal's blog for a very touching account on how Red Robin is making up for their mistakes.

In other horrible news, an employee at a Red Robin restaurant in the USA has stolen a child's Gameboy - it was left behind by a little girl.. When her mother arrived to pick up the lost toy the next morning, she was informed that the GameBoy was gone.

For more details and to lend a word of support, please visit:

Thursday, August 07, 2008


A few weeks ago, Sully tagged me for a meme. Since I've been living the lazy blogger life for the past little while, I left it on the backburner till "there was time" to write. (As those of you who visit here know, there hasn't been a lot of that lately)

(By the way - thank you to Sully not only for introducing us to the generous use of parentheses (aren't they great?!) and also the very sweet shout-out in his last post. If you don't read his blog, please go over to visit - you never know what you'll find there, but it's always fabulous!)

Here are the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog; some random, some weird.

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.


#1 My favourite reality show is "Britain's Got Talent"
I blame YouTube for this completely. Once, when visiting one of my favourite blogs, I found a video of Paul Potts, the winner of the 2007 series. His voice is incredible: After that, I started clicking on the "Related Videos" and completely fell in love with the show. Even this year's series was fantastic, with yet another winner who was very deserving. They don't compete for money - instead it's to perform in the Royal Variety, which means in front of the Queen or Prince Charles.

Here's this year's winner:

I dare anybody to visit YouTube and not get addicted to watching these amazingly talented people. It's a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. (If you're not o
utside in your bathing suit playing in the puddles). (Also their accents are totally awesome to listen to - it's makes me miss Britain a lot.)

#2 I still have one of my baby teeth.
There's no real explanation for this one. Just a weird fact about me that not many people know. On the subject of teeth, I can also say that my wisdom teeth were pulled when I was 18 because of a condition my father developed that they worried it could be genetic, and that the dentist who recommended braces for "cosmetic reasons" was so right and I was so wrong. I thought it was ridiculously vain to have braces just for straighter teeth. So I didn't. Dumbass girl.

#3 I'm addicted to salt.
Like, really, really addicted. So much that I can eat a handful of pickles and then move on to garlic-stuffed olives without needing a drink of water. Since I started my Lifestyle Change and focus on fat, sugar, and sodium in my foods, I've become even more aware of this addiction. Most women would pick chocolate over dill pickle chips if they were given the choice. Me? I'd eat the whole bag of chips then have some olives for dessert. Newly included in this addition is Frank's Red Hot Sauce - the hot wings flavour. Jeremy and I go through a bottle of this every two weeks, dipping every possible variation of chicken, but also shrimp, grilled veggies, and even (once when I'd been drinking) a buttered piece of bread. Oh so delicious!

#4 I know all of the words to The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
This is just one of many... When people would come out to visit during high school they were always amazed at my recollection of song lyrics. Most of the music my brother and I heard growing up were from the 50s and 60s, which means we can karaoke "Rockin' Robin", Joy to the World" and the long version of "American Pie" just as well as today's Top 40 stuff. It's definitely made for some fun car and boat rides...

I can't believe I'm admitting this, but I also know all of the words to this one:

#5 Total strangers tell me their life stories.
(I don't know why this is - maybe it's because I smile at everybody. But no matter where I go, somebody talks to me.)
This has been both a gift and a curse, depending on the stranger. For some, the "strange" in "stranger" describes them perfectly. Just yesterday a man came over to talk to me while I was setting up my station for a large community event. He shook my hand, introduced himself, then started talking about completely random things. Random, but very, very personal things. Like was I married (although he didn't appear to be hitting on me. I think he was just curious.) Like how his ex-girlfriend wasn't a fit mother (wasn't clear if this was his child) and people were telling him she should go for custody of a little girl whose name he didn't use. Then it was on to his job, which also wasn't clear except for something about driving people around. Not sure if he drives a taxi or an ambulance, as his stories could have fit either. I just smiled politely, made comments like "oh wow" or "hmm, that's interesting", and hoped he'd go away. After about 20 minutes of talking, he said it was time to "go and help some of the guys".
The other side of this has led to many interesting meetings with people from all over the world. Maybe it's that I've got a familiar face or something, but they just start talking to me. Many of my current friendships have started because of this, so it's definitely something I'm proud of. It also means that no matter where I travel, I can look forward to fascinating conversations.

#6 My name is written at the top of the Eiffel Tower.If you ever climb to the third floor of the Eiffel Tower, you'll see hundreds of names scrawled around the viewing deck. We wrote ours near the sign for Toronto (there are signs all around the top telling how far you are from various major cities), since it was the closest Canadian city to both London and Sudbury. (I also wrote "M.P. & J.G" on another section, just cause I'm a romantic that way.)

In the spirit of randomness, here is my favourite picture of the Eiffel Tower at night.

And the incredible view:

#7 I swam across my lake. The "looong way", which my Dad thinks is somewhere around 1.5km.*
If you look at the far left hand side of this picture, the other side of the lake is just past there. I couldn't find a better picture to demonstrate the distance, but will definitely be trying when we're up in two weeks.

* I had to add this because I actually did that this summer.

And the tags go to (mostly blogs that are newly discovered, in the spirit of discovering more)

Suldog's talented cousin, David

Matt, at Burning Sky
Jennifer, from Down River Drivel (love, love, love the title of this blog!)
Hilary, at The Smitten Image (maybe if we ask her nicely, she'll include some pictures. She's amazing at those)
The amazing (and way more mature and grown-up than most grown-ups. Although her mom's a pretty terrific grown-up, perhaps explaining her wonderfulness) Twinkie
The Urban Cowgirl (who is a person I would love to meet & share a pint with)
Tamara (a fellow Canadian who's just simply terrific)

That's all for now!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


It's been a pretty cool summer so far.

On the 6th of July, my grandmother (mom's mom) turned 94 years old. Here she is looking at a photograph of herself on her wedding day 70 years ago. (My grandparents' anniversary is her birthday)

Oliver was born on July 8th, adding to the list of wonderful things in this world.

Summertime always means trips to see our families. Here are some of Jeremy's family (I'm marrying into a good-looking family huh):

My brother & I

Believe it or not, the lady standing on her head will be celebrating her 78th birthday this month. Pretty amazing huh!

My mom and her "grand-dog"

My brother got a dog a little while ago. Her name is Lola and everybody wanted to keep her. (Here she is trying to get the last bit of my Spanish coffee. On a spoon. Then on the glass.)

Some baby robins just about to learn to fly - poor things were pretty crowded in that nest, including a fourth one who basically was stuck at the bottom. He didn't leave the nest until a full day after his siblings were gone.

There have been some pretty impressive sunsets so far this summer.

The silver lining

And the view from the boat has been amazing as always...

When I got home from the lake, the first thing I did was check the garden.

In less than a month, the new school year begins. Along with my career. As excited as I am to start teaching, I intend to enjoy August just as much as July.

Back soon! (for real this time)