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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Pre run - such flattering light, huh???

The mall starting to fill up - I think the race was capped at 1,500, although it would be interesting to see how many bailed because of the weather (-21C with a windchill of -30C). Met up with one of my coworkers, who was running it for the first time.

I'm looking pretty happy and ready to go!

Didn't work out like I wanted it too, but here's a shot of the Blue Moon over downtown Calgary - it isn't actually blue, but it is the second full moon of the calendar month, which is very rare...hence, once in a blue moon.
Unfortunately I messed up with my Garmin, so I don't have an official time, but I'm going with 30 minutes for 3.5km, which is fine, since I haven't really run since the end of September. I only stopped once to use my inhaler (wow...haven't had to do that for a long time!), and once again to snap the photos. But for the most part, I plugged on ahead at a nice, steady pace. Even passed a few people, and they were too running! Ankle feels good - fingers crossed that I can return to running steady again.
Had a cup of hot chocolate at the wrap-up, and found out that with 49 race events in Calgary hosted by the Running Room (there are other running stores that host events too, so this is very impressive) that we (the runners) have raised over $2,000,000 for various causes in Calgary alone! We rock!!! For example, tonight's run raised money for HAWKS helicopter (the police chopper) to make sure we have at least two for 24/7 coverage. We got the first helicopter through fundraising after a young police officer was run down and killed by a stolen car. If we had a helicopter back then, he may still be alive. And I can tell you, that as a downtown citizen, I may not like the sound of the chopper flying low, but I like the fact that they're out there, looking for bad guys!
Got home, and set up the fondue pot (broth was a veggie broth that I cooked the lobster shell in, and added some seasonings - very yummy).
Appetizer: escargot in mushroom caps with a garlic butter sauce. They were out of a can, which was a tad disappointing...I make better from scratch, and will next time I'm in the mood!
A cornucopia of seafood: salmon, squid rings, shrimp, scallops and a lobster tail. Sauces were a dijonaisse, lemony dill mayo and a cocktail (ketchup, lemon juice and horseradish). And a lovely crusty bun to sop up any buttah from the escargot. And in case you thought I was ignoring vegetables...a salad.
A happy and very full tummy! I have all the fixings for a chocolate fondue, but I think that will wait for tomorrow (I didn't eat all the seafood tonight, either). I am FULL!!

Happy New Years! Hoping I can make it all the way to midnight! Less than 2 hours to go, so it's looking good...although the wine is making me very mellow!
No resolutions for me...I see no need, as I just break them. So, it will be as always...I will "just do it". Take flossing for example...after deciding to just do it, I have not missed one, single night since January 12th! It is a routine now.
Other things to "just do" this year include:
- be a girl and wear make-up every day (and that means more than mascara and blush!)
- join a running clinic/group (done - starts January 14th)
- run a marathon (or two...) - booked yet, but I want to run the Windemere in Washington state in May. And perhaps Hawaii in December - finances will dictate that one.
- watch my money - and that means setting a budget and sticking to it. I may be frugal, but I really manage to blow through money like water...need to put a cork in it!
- back to Boot Camp - again, starts in January, and I will be signed up!
- meet someone. Very tired of doing things by myself, or being the 3rd wheel. I'd actually like it if I could have cooked tonight's dinner for someone else, other than myself! And while I'm technically not drinking alone (the cats are here!), I am tired of drinking alone.
Okay, enough of the pity party! The couch is calling my name. It's time to stretch out and chill out.
Good-bye 2009 and hello 2010.

Less than 8 hours to go

2010 is almost here! For some of us in blogger land, it's already arrived. Happy New Year's to you!
The broth is brewing for my fondue...the shrimp, salmon, squid tubes, scallops and lobster tail (O.M.G, I can't wait!!) are chilling. The brown mushrooms are awaiting the escargot in garlic butter sauce, and the crusty bread just has to pop in the oven for a few minutes to get toasty warm. I have chocolate, whipping cream, strawberries, bananas, pineapple, mandarins and angel food cake for dipping. And lastly, the bottle of Lindeman's Bin 555 Shiraz is ready to crack open, the minute I get home...from my 3.5km run.
Yes, despite the constant snow all day, and the current temperature of -21C (-6F) with a -30C (-22F) windchill, I am heading out shortly to run the Resolution Run here in Calgary. It's only (I hate saying that, yet I always do...) 3.5km, so I hope to be done in under 30 minutes. Of course, keep in mind that the last time I ran any sort of distance was Melissa's 22km in September!!! Uh-oh!!! What's not timed and it's the perfect way to wind down one year and start another. I think this will be my fourth or fifth year of running this on New Year's Eve.
I hope to have some pictures to post later, and will definitely post some photos of my dinner.
Decided to spend New Years with all my friends...too bad they all left town or have small children and don't do New Year's any more! LOL!! So, me and the furbabies with plug in some DVD's (now that I've figured out how to use my fancy-schmancy TV/DVD/PVR unit correctly!), eat a lot (A LOT!!) of good food and drink to my heart's content, without worrying about that whole driving thing.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back to the grind...

Ug...actually, can't complain. Think there was maybe 100 of us in the whole building (my department alone has almost a 80!), so was able to zone out everything and everyone and really get some work done. I've got almost 99% of month end done, and it's still technically 2 days away!
Walked over to the Running Room at lunch to pick up my race package for the Resolution Run on New Year's Eve. It's not a timed run, and this year they had to radically change the course (it got very cold, very fast, and as a result our river & ice "ate" part of the running path!), cutting it from 5 to 3.5km. If you want, you can run the second loop, but since I haven't really run since the end of September, I'm perfectly fine with doing 3.5. The swag for this run is sweet though! A $90 jacket for the $45 (??) sign up fee. And a bowl of soup...don't forget the bowl of soup!
While I was in the Running Room, I decided to put some of my Christmas money to good use and I signed up for the Marathon training, which starts January 14th. Okay...I can already hear some of you thinking "didn't she already run a marathon??", and the answer is yes. This time I'd like to train correctly. One guy at work even challenged me to complete my goal race (Windemere in Spokane, Washington) in sub 5:30 (which would shave an hour off my initial time) or I have to pay him one million dollars!!! Sure...that'll happen. The million dollars, I mean! Sub 5:30 - good goal to work on!!
I will also be returning to Boot Camp in January, as I need to reach goal weight this year. Every year I say this, and this past year was one of my best in recent memory, but come on already! I want to go to Weight Watchers for free!!! This is it! Twenty pounds...easy-peasy!
To inspire and aid with all of this, I have also booked my reminder to sign up for the X-weighted Challenge. While I personally think Tommy of Last 10 Pounds/Bulging Brides is way much more hotter, inspiration is inspiration, regardless of the source.
Dinner was pretty low key...some of yesterday's leftover turkey in a sandwich with mayo (Miracle Whip) and cranberries (dinner last night included oven roasted veggies and cranberries).
Munched on celery at lunch, with a roast beef sandwich. Although I think I do need some more veggies today...hmmm. Although my dedication to iron paid off (roast beef, Green Monster (in my Christmas present from H-woman), multi-vitamins with iron, Guinness...and more Guinness!) as I was able to donate blood tonight! Down a pint, but feeling great! Everyone should do it...seriously! Get thee to a donor clinic and's an hour of your life, and'll get to save 3 lives for the effort! Do it once, and you'll be hooked. Tonight was my 34th donation.
All right...I'm tidying up and hitting the sack...getting up at 5:30 this morning was hard, especially after snoozing till 10 every day!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mama raised a frugal girl

Finally ventured into the new Holt Renfrew in downtown Calgary today (mainly to collect the deposit from a potential new tenant) - holy freaking mother of dog!!! Recession??? Really?? Someone should tell all those people walking out of the Tiffany's store with the little blue bags, or the ones paying almost $300 for a dress that's already been MARKED DOWN 60%!!!!!!!!!!! And I don't care of they are the real deal Blahniks - I'd rather spend the $475 on rent!
Mama really did raise us to be frugal...Dad was a construction worker, and did not make tons - he was thrilled when he worked for a company that offered benefits, for crying out loud. Mom worked part-time doing data entry, but we never really knew that money was tight. We camped every weekend (more so to stock up on fish for the freezer, as I have now figured out in retrospect), mom learned to and made all of our t-shirts growing up. She even learned how to make blue jeans, as my younger brother was very hard on his! We ate out at high-end restaurants, but only after we collected enough bottles, pop-cans and metals (copper was huge back then!) that we then returned to the depots for cash. We always had a garden growing in the summer, again, if for nothing else than to keep us in potatoes for the winter. We even went to far as to plant on an acre of land owned by the farmer we bought eggs from - we ate a lot of potatoes that year!!! Clothes shopping was done at Woodwards or maybe the Bay. We usually shopped at Woolco (Walmart now) or K-mart (when they existed in Canada) for everything else. If we were really tying on the hog, we shopped at Eatons! But rarely...they were hugely expensive, even back then. So, no, I don't shop at Holt...I will most likely never shop at Holt. Even if I were to win the lottery (fingers crossed, because I really want a house and a yard and a weekend place in Canmore!), I think it would be hard for me to plop that kind of money down for something I can get for a fraction of the cost elsewhere.
In fact, I've always thought money doesn't equal taste. Take the "ladies" in Holt today...way too tight leather leggings, 'boyfriend' shirt and far too much makeup for 10 women, let alone the one wearing it...just because the "Real Housewives" is such a hit, does not mean we have to emulate them. Trash is trash, even when holding a platinum card!
I spent some of my Christmas money at the new Rocky Mountain Soap Company - bought some more of the Mandarin body butter before it's gone for the season, as well as another lip balm. Then when I was talking about my allergies, and my disappointment that they didn't make a cream in that scent, the girl introduced me to another citrus cream that is light and perfect and I loved it so much I bought two! Not a floral note to be found, and look, I can still breathe! And to thank me for buying two (one was half price), they gave me yet another mandarin body butter and lip balm to enjoy. Shocking that they couldn't open before now, because they couldn't get approval due to the construction. Ummmm...did the inspectors actually look in the hallway of where the store is??? I think downtown Beirut looks in better shape!
Spent some time wandering around the construction zone that is our downtown mall, and then hit up Safeway for some forgotten groceries (can't have turkey, or roast beef for that matter, sangies without the tangy zip of Miracle Whip!) before heading home.
On top of the four loads of laundry, cleaning the kitchen and the walk, I'm feeling okay exercise wise today. Even the food was healthy, as I broke out the blender for a Green Monster. Except I almost forgot the green part!! Looking at it, thinking "this doesn't look right"....hmmmmm...oh, yeah, spinach! Dinner is in the oven (turkey roast), and I have a small cornucopia of veggies to roast as well, to enjoy on the side...carrots, sweet potato, brussel sprouts and maybe regular potato. Yum!
Early to bed, as it'll be early to rise tomorrow for work. Good news is with everyone else taking the week off, it'll be quiet and peaceful and I can get loads done with little to few interruptions!

Almost back to work

These four days have flown by...of course, doesn't help that I've been a lazy slug the whole time! Kind of makes time fly, when the days run into each other.
Boxing Day was spent avoiding crowds...I don't care if they're giving stuff away - I don't go to the malls before Christmas, and I most certainly am not afterwards. Estimates for one mall (that's just ONE, and we have many large malls here in Calgary) was that 75,000 people showed up to shop on Boxing Day. People were lining up at 5am...seriously?!?! There is absolutely NOTHING on this planet that I would need so bad that I would have to line up in the middle of the night in the dead of winter to buy. Yuck...
Since I didn't manage to come home with any leftovers from Christmas (how the heck did that happen??), I did venture out to a grocery store and picked up a few things to make my own dinner. And because I so enjoyed it, I picked up another little Prime Rib (about 3 lbs worth), came home and roasted it yesterday. Remembered to make the Yorkshires, although, while I got the pan plenty hot, I didn't whip enough air into the batter. They are delicious, but dense. The whole point of a Yorkshire is the airy middle, so you have room to pour gravy in (again, I question the need for weight watchers in my life! LOL!!). Roasted garlic (added Epicure roasted garlic in the water while the potatoes boiled) mashed potatoes and steamed carrots rounded out the dish. I'm also donating blood on Tuesday, so thought I'd up the iron quotient...nothing like a pint to make this a truly English dinner! Isn't it pretty??? It's just like a lava lamp when you first pour it...I want to run the Dublin marathon if for nothing else than to hang at the Guinness factory afterwards!! Dare to dream...
For dessert, I had TimTams. If you have never had these, try to find them. I was introduced to them when I was in Australia eons ago. Aussies are freakishly crazy for biscuits!! And these are truly the best. I found them here at London Drugs in Calgary (which probably wasn't a good thing), whereas before my friend who lived down there used to mail me a care-package every now and then. They are devilishly good and worth every bite. Unfortunately, they are 2 points per cookie!
Finally figured out what I was doing wrong with my TV/PVR/DVD combo, and managed to watch a couple of the Bourne DVD's. I hate that technology, which is supposed to make our lives easier, is so freaking complicated - press this button in combination with the following six buttons (but we're not going to tell you which six!), chose this number (again, guess!), stand on one leg while twirling your left hand in the air, and then maybe...just maybe...we'll let you watch the DVD!! Argh!!! Thank God Matt Damon is made up for all my frustrations, and I had such wicked good dreams last night! LOL!!
Finally found some energy today - I was looking around my house and realized that it looks shockingly like those houses on the show Hoarders...I think the realization is one step closer to doing something, right?? So I've managed to do 4 loads of laundry so far, and ran the dishwasher twice. How on earth I've managed to use every dish I own is beyond me, but man, I have a lot crap in my kitchen!! And all the Epicure boxes...I love their product and I love selling it. But I hate all the packaging it comes in...I don't get to recycle where I live (Calgary doesn't think that apartment dwellers recycle, so we didn't get blue boxes), so I have to tear everything down, and haul to a recycle depot. That's not so bad, except the only one by me is inhabited by nasty, drunk, drugged-out street people. Good times! But I need to start decluttering, before I turn on A&E and find myself on TV!!!
That's it for me...I may wander downtown later, as Rocky Mountain Soap Company finally reopened their downtown store, and I want some more spicy Mandarin stuff before it's gone for the season. I can't handle a lot of the smelly stuff out there (hate being allergic to myself) but I find the spicy, citrusy smells tolerable. And their body butter and lip balm rock.
Think I'll roast up the little turkey roll I bought earlier, so that I can have some turkey for Christmas, and the package up all the leftovers for future lunches. Turkey and roast beef sandwiches rock my world!
Since I got cash from my parents for Christmas (just my size and do they know?!), I think I'm going to sign up for the marathon training class at the Running Room. I did the 10K one years ago, but since I want to run another marathon in May, I thought maybe this time I'd try training properly. I didn't really do my long runs as well as I should of, since they were usually on my own, and it's hard to push yourself, I find. So maybe if I'm with a group (back to no more sleeping in on Sundays!), I can post a serious time next run. I'll decide tomorrow when I go to pick up my Resolution Run package (New Year's eve, 3.5k - great way to end/start a year).
That's if for me.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas day recap

As I eluded to earlier, Christmas day is pretty low-key for me and my family. All the kids have grown and scattered to the wind, and my family was never fond of big events anyway. I don't ever recall my aunts & uncles and cousins over for dinner - it was always just our family, and there was the 5 of us. This year, after the great turkey announcement (as in no one in my family apparently likes it), and my brother deciding he's allergic to my parent's place, it was just me, Mom and Dad for dinner.
I started my Christmas festivities by visiting my former roommate and her family last night. They always gather on Christmas Eve, as it's her father's birthday as well. This year he turned 81, and looks fantastic. He is a runner, having taken up the sport in his mid-fifties to combat high cholesterol. In the last 30 years, he's run 5's, 10's, half's and full marathons, including qualifying for and completing Boston! He's my running idol. It was nice discussing running techniques, and thoughts of marathons, and hitting walls, etc. Fascinating man to chat with... After the kids went to bed (my friend has 3), I stuck around, sharing a bottle of wine that I brought and helping her wrap all of her presents! Seriously...I don't wrap mine, for crying out loud! Kidding...but, between wrapping and getting caught up, I did not get home until after 3 this morning! I did not leap out of bed to bake cookies this morning...I'm lucky I managed to make a cup of coffee!
Got to M&D's just after one, and prepped the prime rib. Garlic, horseradish, grainy mustard, olive oil and S&P got mixed and rubbed on the outside. I then seared it in a very hot oven, before turning the heat down to let it roast to medium goodness. And O.M.G. if I didn't make the best freaking gravy EVER!!! I had the roast sitting on a bed of carrots, onion and garlic, so once the roast was done, they were all deep brown goodness in the bottom of the pan. Yummo!!!! Potatoes, carrots and some corn rounded out the dish. I was thinking about making Yorkshires, but then completely forgot in the excitement of my new Christmas tradition...
Defrosting a deep freeze...yes, people, that's how I spent Christmas day with my family. With my head and a kettle and hair-dryer stuck inside an upright freezer with a good solid four years of ice build-up in it! After hauling away a hideously embarrassing amount of ruined food, I spent the afternoon/evening doing my best to not just whack the shit out it and destroy the freezer. When I left, the freezer was clean, ice free, organized and running smoothly. I can not say the same about my fingers and nails! I also clipped the cat's claws, made dinner and cleaned up. Would have vacuumed too, but there's only so much fun one person should have in a day! Kidding!
Must remember anti-histamines the next time I go to M&D's though, as I really am allergic to cats (yes, I understand the irony of having two said furbabies of the feline variety right here at home!), so after spending the day, and getting covered with their dander clipping the nails, my eyes are about to fall out of my head! And my sinuses are slammed shut...oh well, nothing a nice, soothing snifter of Baileys won't cure.
I hope this post finds everyone slowly coming out of food comas, all having had enjoyable days. Don't get me wrong by the way...I do treasure all the time I have with my parents, because one never knows when that will cease. It's just fun to rant about it!
Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day for those that do that sort of thing (there is NOTHING I need that badly to venture to any sort of shopping store tomorrow!), and now we countdown to the New Year...feels like I just did this.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas...T-4 hours and counting

Blatantly stealing this from H-woman, who borrowed it from someone else, but I like it too!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? I'd have to go with hot chocolate, because egg nog is revolting!
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just put them under the tree? Santa uses green tissue paper...always.
3. Coloured lights on tree/house, or white? I love the white-blue and dark blue lights against the snow. So is that colour or white?
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Why...will THAT make a man come to my house?!
5. When do you put your decorations up? Ummmm...usually the first week of December, but I've been very, very, very lazy this year. I did put the cards out though...
6. What is your favourite holiday dish? Stuffing. It's all about the stuffing. And Mom's whipped shortbread.
7. Favourite holiday memory as a child? The one and only time I snuck a peak at the presents - Mom somehow figured out, and switched EVERYTHING!! I never did it again...ever! That woman is scary smart.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? What are you people talking about???
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? When we were young, we got to open one...which, oddly enough, was usually a new pair of jammies. Go figure!
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? When I put one up, I try something new each year...all white, all gold, all red, etc.
11. Snow - love it or dread it? I do love a white Christmas, but am getting weary of shovelling it!
12. Can you ice skate? Nope...fell down, a lot! Mom tried everything to teach me...still fell down. Tried roller skates...still fell down. Heck, I just fell off the chair, typing about skating!
13. Do you remember your favourite gift? Wow...that's hard, but there was a music box my uncle gave me that had a fancy french lady on it, playing a piano, and it played Greensleeves, I think. Had that may even still be in my memories box in the closet or in my 'hopeless' chest at Mom & Dad's.
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Spending time with friends and family...and cookies. Seriously good cookies this time of year!
15. What's your favourite Holiday dessert? We always seemed to dive into Mom's baking (whipped shortbread, mincemeat tarts, raspberry thimble cookies) when I was young, but then my aunt started making Christmas pudding with butter sauce for us about 10 years ago. And I wonder why I joined Weight Watchers???
16. What's your favourite holiday tradition? Sadly, the day has become a non-event in my family now, so I'd have to say the baking. And listening to GOOD Christmas Carols.
17. What tops your tree? Right now...nothing. But I have had both stars and angels up there.
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? I have to say giving...I get a thrill from seeing people's faces when they really like something I've just given them.
19. What is your favourite Christmas song? O Holy Night, but ONLY if it's sung by the right person (current favourite is Michael Crawford, on David Foster's Christmas Album)...I listen to it about 10 times in a row!
20. Candy Canes...yuck or yum? I can take 'em or leave 'em. But if I do take 'em, then it has to be the traditional ones, not all these new fangled flavours.

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Christmas, or what ever you celebrate at this time of year. I'm just finishing up some baking, and then I'm going to drive around and look at some lights, and pop in on some friends.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Hugs and love...spread it around!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

No Mr. Right...

Or Mr. Single-and-looking...but I did have a great visit with some people I haven't seen in a while. I just want to know when every other living person on the planet paired up, and where was I that day?!?!? Seriously...where are the single men?? And why don't they get invited to Christmas parties?
Got to the home of M. & T. (married) about 8pm, finding L&S (married) and J. (not married, but dating/living with P. for over 13 years now) already enjoying some wine and eggnog. I brought a bottle of my new favourite (Cedar Creek Platinum Reserve Meritage 2006) and cracked 'er open, and then got caught up on kids, friends and the like. P. finally showed up much later (he's a police detective and was working all night, catching bad guys!), as well as a couple of other people that I've met over the years through this group. We all met as a result of my former roommate, but she and her husband were busy and couldn't come. After wine and lots of water, and perhaps (I wasn't really paying attention...) some chicken wings, meatballs, nacho chips & salsa, cheese and fruit - I ate fruit! - I finally decided to call it a night after realizing it was 2am. Yikes!
Just like clockwork, George was waking me up at 5:30 for his breakfast, so I stumbled out (I really am getting too old for this!), fed them and returned to bed to sleep until about 9:45. Head hurts a bit (odd that), but I didn't have any milk for a latte, so I'm having to make a go with some fake coffee (instant flavoured stuff with more instant regular stuff in it!) but that doesn't seem to be doing the trick. I'm trying to get motivated enough to get dressed and shovel the sidewalks (it's been snowing all morning again), and then head down to M&D's (yay, I'll actually get to test out the winter tires!) to see what needs to be done with the freezer (I think I can defrost it on Christmas day - nothing else to do all day long!) and get a list for Costco from them. Really Dad??? You need me to go to Costco 4 freaking days before Christmas?!?! Crap - I try to avoid the place all of December...I hope someone is taking notes about what an awesomely doormat of a daughter I am!!!
Just about ready for Christmas. One last thing to pick up for the nephew (preloaded credit card) and the fixings for Christmas dinner. Wrap some stuff, and write up some cards and that's about it.
All's already 2pm, so if I'm doing anything today, I'd best get on it.

I am getting too old for this.

There may have been some wine involved...don't know, because all evidence is gone. Hmmmm...and I'm is also 2:30 in the morning and I'm sitting at my computer, instead of asleep under my covers. So that is where I am going now. More about this evening's festivities, wait, that'd be today actually.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday confessions

Yes, I gained weight this week. A total of 2.8 pounds, to be exact. And I make no excuses...I ate and I didn't work the math.
Good thing Christmas isn't the feeding frenzy that most people speak of. My family is fact, Christmas dinner will most likely be myself, my mother and my father. My nephew may show up (especially if he thinks there's cash involved, but then again he confessed that he may have made my parent great-grandparents again, and he's a bit ashamed of that! It's be schweet if one of them were to try getting married first! But I digress...), and my brother and his wife may just be a drive-by, as my brother finds he has difficulty breathing with the cats. So three for dinner...and further turns out that no one really likes turkey anymore. Since no one sells two-pound turkeys (dad prefers the dark meat, so just a breast won't do), I'll make a Prime Rib. That won't be too dangerous of a meal, I think. Mom hasn't been baking up a storm (damn Alzheimer's!), and I've only done one batch of biscotti for our auction, and it's all gone already. Easy-peasy! The key will be incorporating some good old sweating back into my daily routine.
I did 'win' one of the boot camp gift certificates from our auction, so that will definitely start in January. And no helping anyone out making a corporate group, only to get shunned and not be able to work out! Outside all the way, baby! Helps motivate for push-ups, if you don't want snow in your nose!!!
After meeting this morning (our leader's sub is so not worth waking up early for!!), I had a coffee at the local mall, waiting for everything to open. What an odd place at 8am...there's the groups of mall walkers, passing by every 10 minutes or so. Then the skinniest, most anemic, anorexic group of mall workers (even the boy!!) I've ever seen. Not sure what clothing store they all worked for, but I pretty determined I need not bother going in...I'm pretty certain nothing they have would fit me!!! More people arrived, some people left, and it's not even 9am yet. Finally, the lights come on (like last call, only in reverse!) and the doors swing open. I then high-tailed it for the store I came for, which was actually outside the mall, across the parking lot. Didn't find what I wanted, although I managed to come out toting two bags! Odd how that happens...then I went back into the mall (big breath in) and found what I came for right away. Christmas shopping done.
Came home, had a little tomato, artichoke omelet for lunch, walked down 4th Street to pick up a bottle of wine that I really like (yikes...most I've ever paid for a bottle of wine!), and one final gift certificate for the kids down the hall, as they look after my furbabies when I go away. Had a glorious two+ hour nap (man, I miss those), and am now having some dinner (pasta in a delightful cheese sauce - okay, it's KD) and then I'm going to be brave and go to a friend's place for some Christmas cheer. See, I have to be brave, because I always do to these things alone (sucky part of being a single person) and I don't know if any of our other friends are going or not. I could potentially be walking into a room filled with strangers, and I'm never comfortable with that - side effect of not having a wall of fat to hide behind anymore, I guess. Who knows...maybe Mr. Right will be there tonight, and he'll actually be single and looking! Hope springs eternal!!!
Have a good night, where ever you are.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Window update

Called the glass place this morning, mainly because I drove to work (it was our potluck, wine pool draw and silent auction wrap-up, so I needed wheels to haul everything there and home), so I knew I could swing the car by after work. However, I needed to clear the air about this whole "we forgot a part" thing that happened yesterday. Spoke briefly with the receptionist, who wisely asked if I would like to speak to the manager...oh, yes, please. Now I was polite...I told the positives of the experience first, because I believe that everyone needs to know the good as well as the bad. I thanked him for their quick response to my dilemma, their awesome price, convenient location...but...he picked up on the but right away. I said I've had all night to think about last night's call, and really what it boils down to is that they had my car for 6 hours and that still wasn't long enough for them to do their job. I understood they were slammed, but the whole point of making an appointment is so that I get worked on first, and those who just walk up have to wait...not the other way around. And did no one notice a car part lying on the shop floor, and think...hey, maybe we should put this back in?! He was very empathetic, and quickly offered to come and get the car and take it to the shop to fix, and then return it. Fine...met the service guy downstairs at work, and gave over my keys. At 9 am...remember, this is a 5-minute job, and the shop is about 10 minutes from work.
Went on with my I mentioned, it was Potluck day. We have a wind-up potluck for our Christmas festivities...the wine pool (25 teams vying for 150 bottles of wine! I walked away with 1. Okay, so I was on 6 teams, so I did lose out this year - costs $2 and a bottle to join a team, and then teams win based on remaining players in the pool - raised $300 for our charity), our silent auction (our department raised another $3700 this way) and just a way to say Merry Christmas. But the cruise director, I spent the entire morning running around like a crazy person. My feet were killing me! Then, about 1pm, I realized that I had not heard from the glass place to return my keys...sigh. Got back to my desk (I had my cell with me the entire time) and lo and behold, there's a message on my desk phone. From noon...from the glass guy...with my keys...downstairs...crap! Luckily he did think, and gave the keys to our retail centre, who called me to say they had them! But no call from the glass place to say they left them there, now that I think about it! Anyway, baby-girl is back to together, with a somewhat shiny new window (they really must use better glass cleaner!) and I can drive on cold, snowy days again! Yay!!!
Potluck was a myriad of items (I totally missed breakfast of any kind...bad me!), but I did try to stick to some veggies and lean ham, skipped the bun, chips and deep-fried anything. I did however partake in some of the desserts...okay, a lot of the desserts! And fruit...I ate fruit!
Came home, heated up yet another bowl of lentil soup (am freezing the last bowl for another day), and then sorted an Epicure order. Frustrating though, as I'm missing one box, so most of the individual orders aren't complete. Crap. Hope it comes in tomorrow or Saturday, so I can finish this for people.
That's it for me...I've got Survivor on in the background, because I'm trying to figure out if I'm going to be 2nd or 3rd in the pool (a difference of a $100). Funny...I hate watching Survivor, love Jeff's blog and love playing in the pool. Okay, so I just like gambling (except at a casino...BORING) pool, Amazing Race pool, Survivor pool, baby pools...maybe this is the root of my financial situation...intriguing!
Right then...I'm shutting down and heading for bed. I am freaking beat tonight.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A lesson in patience

I am a patient person...I can happily entertain myself for hours, often just by staring off into space, listening to the stories in my head. That's a whole other blog, by the way! Anyway, today was the day I was getting my broken car window fixed (totally forgot to take a before picture, which sucks)...and so the lesson in patience begins.
Up early but not as early as usual, since I booked today off as a vacation day. It's not a vacation if you can't sleep in a little, or at least that's what I believe. Up, coffee and breakfast in, jump in the Jimmy and drive to M&D's. Phone them to find out if they want the truck in the garage or out front. See...we got a lot of snow, and now the temperatures are above zero, which is going to turn the alley into a mess to drive in. Not sure if Mom is ready for that, and I would hate for her to get stuck, because Dad certainly won't be able to help her. Phone rings, Dad answers, answer is "I don't know", yells at Mom, can't hear answer, still don't know.'s not even 9 am yet! Phone back, actually talk to Mom this time, and she would like it in the garage. Okay...park Jimmy, return keys and 6 mini-lasagnas I made for them, and head back up to the garage to move my car out (their snow guy did the driveway, which was awesome of him). Now for the fun game...trying to the damn door to close! Six tries, people!!! Six times of down and back up again...and me cursing at the pile of snow and trying to move ice, and scraping the bottom of the door so that ice and snow and dirt and God knows what is falling in my hair and eyes...SIX FREAKING TIMES!!! Finally it closes, and I'm off to the glass place.
Crystal Glass was recommended...they responded quickly and were about $600 less than what I was expecting! Yay!!! I had made my appointment, and due to me reading the address wrong, was about 5 minutes late - not bad, considering M&D live on 106th Ave S, and I was driving to 14th Ave N. Cross and through downtown and only 5 minutes late...not too bad at all. The email I got from them said the average service took 2-3 hours. Fine...walked into the store and was told they were slammed, so it would probably be 4 hours.'s 10:15 - see you around 2:30. Walked to the bank, walked to Starbucks for a much needed cup of coffee and then walked about 2k to the mall, and after several laps, did some Xmas shopping. Had some lunch at Opa (gyro, rice, potato, Greek salad and pita - YUM!), and then walked back to the shop, arriving at about 2:45. Hmmmm..."car isn't ready yet, I'll go check"..."they JUST PULLED IT INTO THE SHOP, SO IT'LL BE ABOUT AN HOUR!" why exactly was I here at 10am...that is the burning question.
Flipped through what had to be a 40-year-old National Geographic book on the earth (awesome pictures, but BAD clothes!!!), stared at the wall, tried to think happy thoughts, wondered if I was going to make my chiro appointment at 4...mentioned at about 3:40 that I did have another appointment at 4, and that I really, really, really, really needed my car done. Finally, dude brings it around at 3:55!!!!! Called the chiro while driving there (oh, and the kicker, is when I'm trying to leave, that's when dude decides to start shovelling the driveway!), get horribly stuck in traffic - how do people drive every day to and from work??? I just don't get it. Finally get to the chiro, horribly late, but they are okay with it.
So, the real patience, you ask?? That would come into play when the glass place called, first to tell me the specialty glass I ordered was in (wrong client) and then to ask if I could bring the car back because "THEY FORGOT TO PUT A PIECE BACK ON"...PARDON ME?!?!?!? Now, I was in a crowded waiting room, and didn't exactly want to get into it right then and there, and it was described as a "5 minute job (like my 3 hour one today??) to put a small piece of glass (??) back on"...well, I will not make it back in time for tonight, since you made me a half hour late for my appointment, and now it's 20 minutes from your closing time. No, I can't bring it by in the morning, because I only took 1 day vacation, foolishly not realizing that this was a two-day job! So, I will swing by on Saturday...fine.
But now I'm afraid to open the hatch...what if the window falls out?! I decide to check what is missing, and what is missing is the inside panel of my hatch!!!!!! Cars on assembly lines look more put together! Are you freaking kidding me?!?! Oddly enough, I overheard the one reception call someone else while I was sitting there, to ask if he had found a set of keys in his car that didn't belong to him. Should have been a warning sign!
Tomorrow...they will get a call tomorrow, trust me.
Again, the overwhelming urge to eat everything I could get my hands on developed shortly after my day ended, but I controlled myself. One thin-bun with a little bit of butter and cinnamon sugar, some of my fabulous lentil soup with spinach and a mini cheesecake. McCains...3 points and quite rich and delectable. Check them out...they're in the freezer section.
Back to the grind, so it's an early night for me.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday already?

Can't believe how fast the weekend flew by...granted, when it's freaking cold and snowing all weekend, what else is there to do beside shovel, shiver, curse, shovel more, shiver more, curse louder!
I was excited Friday...I was taking the financial plunge and getting winter tires for my car. Let me explain: I have been driving in Calgary winters for 30 years now, and never had winter tires. My parents never had winter tires, unless you count the day of studded ones. Which have been gone for longer than most of you have been alive, so moot point. But after last year and the first few dumps this year, something has changed, and I feel less confident on those roads. So winter tires it is.
I had driven to work, as the tire place where I get them (I'm loyal to people who give me good service) is about 20 minutes south of Calgary, and it was once again snowing and blowing on Friday. Ironic that I was afraid to drive the highways in order to get winter tires so I would be comfortable driving the highways...makes my head hurt! Anyway, I left work, got to the parking lot, cleaned out the trunk of my car to prepare for 4 all seasons being tossed in, and closed my hatch. And then watched, in a combination of disbelief, shock and abject horror as the window of my hatch literally blew up! One tra-zillion pieces of glass now lay in my trunk, where a window used to be. Did I mention it was snowing?? Did I also mention that it was -12C?? And to top things off, I had a good hour drive ahead of me, to get out of the city, onto the highway and into Okotoks to get my new tires. Are you freaking kidding me?!?!?!
So, with heat cranked, and toque and gloves on, I drove to Okotoks. Thought I had prepared a little, as I had a blanket in the back that I tried to cover the space with...worked fine till the semi passed me and now I'm suddenly showering innocent commuters with a combination of broken glass and trunk lint!!! Got to Okotoks and asked for a phone book...decided to make good time of my waiting, and try to find a window. Oh...did I also mention that I drive a 1990 Plymouth Laser...a vehicle that has not been produced for almost as long as I've owned the car?! Which is over 20 years...crap. I still haven't heard from the nice lady at the first glass place that was "going to make some calls and get back to me". Um, okay...
Now the funny part of the story starts - if you can't laugh, you can only cry, and what good does that do? Anyway, drive back to Calgary (all confident with my winter tires) in more snow, with the blanket firmly tucked under 4 all seasons (the tire guy asked, somewhat perplexed, if I wanted them in the back of the car - think he was worried they may 'fly' out or something! Oh, and no offer of any kind of assistance from them, as far as plastic or a garbage bag or!), heading to my parent's house. Got there, parked on the driveway of their garage, hiked down the alley to their side fence, through to 2' of snow that no one has shovelled to the house, to get the keys for said garage, so I could go in and open the outer door. Mom asked why? Because I want to store my tires here, remember? I am soaked up to my knees, have no sense of humour by this point, and just want to go home and try to figure out when the day went so horribly wrong! Told mom what happened (very little reaction, and no offer of her vehicle in exchange), and then after many hikes through the snow (no gate by the garage and can't exit through the doors without setting off the sensors which halt the doors...crap...), finally returned said keys and headed for home. In the cold and snow...without a window. Tried to fix some plastic I had to the car, but by now it's too cold and wet, and nothing would stick. Not even duct tape! Wondering what on earth I was going to do, since I park outside and said snow/cold hasn't let up, I did seriously debate crying at this point. And eating...a lot!!! But instead I called my mom back, told her I needed her car (the Alzheimer's at this point makes it really funny, as mom was totally confused as to why I would need her car when I have one of my own!) and that I was coming the snow and cold. I am sure there are still drivers today laughing about passing this poor sucker without a window, who's car was slowly filling with snow! Back at mom's, more hiking through snow for keys, explaining yet again why I can't leave my car outside, and finally got the Jimmy. My car is safely parked inside, and I am now dry and warm!
And thank the temperatures here plunged to the -30C range. My car would not have survived that, and everything inside would have been stripped out!
After some calls, and worries that I would have to visit a junkyard to try and find a window/hatch, and that to pay for said window I would have to sell a kidney on e-Bay, Crystal Glass came through for me! Wednesday morning, my baby will once again be fully enclosed and for less than $400, with installation and GST. Wow! Between the tires and new window, I just doubled the value of my car! LOL!
Spent the rest of the weekend at the Epicure product launch (check with your consultant or online, as cool things coming in January!), shovelling walks (okay, hacking at the ground with sharp metal scrapers is more of an apt description!), and laying on the couch, trying to get warm. And stewing about money, which I am much better with today.
I am proud to say that I didn't eat everything not tied down. In fact, what would have turned into a food-a-palooza of chips and chocolate was relatively controlled. Granted, not the healthiest choices (there may have been a box of KD involved) but I still managed to control the cravings. And lost a bit at weigh-in on Saturday.
Currently making a rather large lasagna to package up for myself and mom & dad. Then I want to throw a lentil soup into the slow cooker, to have to tomorrow night. I'm off Wednesday for the car, so may try to do a batch or two of cookies that day. Can not believe Christmas is just over a week away.
That's it for me...sorry for the long post. Fellow Calgarians, rejoice, for a Chinook is pending and the temps should be above 0 by Wednesday...phew...survived another one!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Are you kidding me??

The forecast said flurries...the Weather Network said 'scattered' flurries and Environment Canada said flurries. They are all lying bastards!!!! It SNOWED all my back and hips adjusted at the chiropractors, and I just ruined it all shovelling again. Sigh... Hey, you bloggers down east keep saying you want snow...take ours! It's supposed to continue on through the weekend, and the temperature is supposed to bottom out at a high of -20. Oh joy! Oh well, it'll be a good weekend to get some baking done.
We're having a silent auction at work, and the engagement committee (which plans and executes all the fundraising for Christmas for our department) decided that we would donate a basket full of home baked goodness. So, there's 6 of us, and now we're each doing a dozen of something to go in the basket. Price is up to $30 so far! Last year we raised almost $5000 with the silent auction, so it's always a big deal, and we really try to have fun with it. I donated a big bag of Epicure goodies, and trainer Josh threw in 2 6-week gift certificates!!! I'm bidding on those bad boys!!!
Got home from the chiro a little later than usual, as walking was a little slower. Then met with the tenant complaining about her window (jimmied up something to hold over till the weekend, so I can run down to Rona and try to fix it right), and then came up and made supper. A little bit of a mish-mash, really. Salmon with maple syrup, brown & wild rice (horribly burned the bottom, and the taste spread through it all) mixed with some dilled goat cheese and a green bean medley. The real treat was the pecans I tossed with maple syrup and coated till the sugars hardened. Yum, yum, yum!!!! That was dessert, although I can hardly contain myself and wait long enough for them to cool down! Just lucky I didn't fry my tongue!

Can't believe it's already 8:30...I'm beat and ready to hit the sack. Think I'll veg out a bit first, and start to wind down.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Good thing I'm seeing the chiropractor tomorrow

I can't believe my lower back still hurts, but then again, I hit 46 and everything appears to be falling apart! And good's supposed to snow tomorrow and Thursday and Friday and so on, and so on and so on. Could have sworn that Weather Dude said December, January and February were supposed to be drier and warmer than usual in Alberta. So far December has been -26C, and 8" of snow. Hmmmm...something appears to be amiss.

This is what I have to wear just to walk to work...hiking boots, warm socks, thermal leggings under dress pants, long tee under sweater, down coat under fleece coat, scarf, toque (rocking the Runner Girl logo!) and Epicure gloves - which actually rock. They are double-lined, so my fingers have been the toastiest part of me.
Had to show off my cutie-pa-tootie, hiding in a box...he loves boxes, and with all the Epicure orders coming in, I've got tons for him to choose from.
Went to Spain for supper tonight. Picture doesn't do it justice, but it was quite tasty. Toss some boneless, skinless chicken thighs with S&P, flour and Epicure Spanish Smoked Paprika (or regular paprika, if that's all you've got...) and then brown in a splash of evoo. Once nice and browned, remove from pan and add one diced red bell pepper and some diced onion. Cook till soft, and scrape brown bits off bottom of pan (I used the Epicure wok, which is stick-free and AWESOME), and then add some green olives with pimento, 1 can diced tomatoes, a cup or so of chicken stock, some red wine vinegar,some sherry and a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder. Put the chicken back in the pot. Blitz together a clove (or more) of garlic, some fresh bread crumbs (I used a half of a thin-bun), parsley and toasted almond slices. Stir that into the pot (it thickens and flavours) and then let simmer till the chicken in cooked through, about 45 minutes. I ate it over whole wheat egg noodles, but it would also be awesome on rice or orzo, I would think. Very delicious. I need to try to figure out how to add a recipe page to this blog...maybe that will be my project for the weekend.
Okay...I'm off to clean up the kitchen, pack up breakfast and lunch for tomorrow, and then hit the sack.
Take care, you bloggers down east, as I hear the storms are headed your way. Stay dry and warm where ever you are.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My aching back...seriously!

Went to adjust the heat and my lower back totally seized up! Granted, my thermometer is down near the floor, on the heat vents, but still - holy crap!!! I thought I was going to be stuck down there for the rest of the night. Managed to haul myself back up to a standing position (and strike a pose of victory!!) and went hunting for the hot water bottle.
It was a brisk walk into work this morning...-26C before the wind chill. Yikes!! So on went the long-johns, dress pants, long-sleeved tee, sweater, down jacket, scarf, fleece over top of the jacket, toque, hiking boots and gloves. The real key is to get dressed and out the door quickly, or you overheat and that makes you even colder outside!! The walk to work wasn't bad though, with just my cheeks chilly. See, as an asthmatic I have a real issue with things covering my mouth, even scarves for warmth. So my neck and chin stay warm, but my face is cold. It's hard to be me!
Amazed everyone managed to make it into work this morning - there are neighbourhoods with 6' drifts out there...freaky to see pictures on the news of city buses stuck and half buried in the snow.
As we're to get more snow this week, and I'm just plain scared to drive on the roads with all the crazy drivers out there, I decided to bite the bullet (and empty the bank account) and get winter tires. Sad that they'll be worth more than the car is (my baby is 20 years old!), but I'll certainly feel better driving with them. Trouble is I have to get to the tire place (I go to Okotoks, which is about 20 minutes south of Calgary, but I like the people who run the shop) Friday afternoon, during which another storm is called for. Why can't it wait till I'm driving back, all confident with my snappy new tires?!?! Fingers crossed it holds off.
After bragging to everyone that I can handle my caffeine, I pushed the limits myself last night and lay awake, tossing and turning till 1:30. Oy...right now I can barely keep my eyes open, so I'm heading to bed shortly. Dinner in my belly (chili from the freezer, with leftover guac and some cheese on it), warm back from the hot water belly, and Advil for the pain are combining, and it's all I can do to keep my eyes open right now!
Stay warm and stay safe.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Oh, my aching back, Part Deux!

Must remember to stretch after shovelling the walk! My back is killing me is my head. Now before you all blame the Baileys, I didn't even finish the one ounce I had in my coffee yesterday. Not sure why my head hurt so much, but it was pounding before I went to bed, when I went to bed, when I woke up to feed the kids at 5:30 and when I got up at 8:30. Popped some Advil, slugged back a coffee (my doctor has recommended caffeine with the painkillers - in fact one med I took in college when I had chronic migraines was 90-some % caffeine), and got going on getting ready for the Epicure party I was headed to in the afternoon.
Still dang cold out there, but the car started fine (forgot to plug her in) and the roads (once I got off the side streets, that is) were mostly clean and dry. However, I feel for anyone that was parked along side a plowed road...most cars were buried up past the bottom of the doors. I think some people are in for a rude awaking tomorrow morning when they head out to go work! Again, thrilled that I walk!
Dropped off some stuff at work after the Epicure party (sales are awesome so far...envisioning another $1,000 party, which means $250 for moi!) and then popped into Safeway to pick up some quick stuff for dinner. My kitchen was a total disaster and I had no desire to cook anything. Besides, I had a tub of guacamole leftover from the party - just needed some tortillas to dip in it. Somehow managed to come home with a bag of whole wheat tortillas, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, some artichoke spinach dip, 2 frozen pizzas and yet another recipe book. How does that freaking happen??? Came home, ate the dip, the guac, tortillas (just two of them) and burnt the pizza. Did a load of dishes and 3 loads of laundry, spread salt on the sidewalk (not enough snow to shovel but enough to be a pain) and watched the season finale of Amazing Race. One last 'to do' on the list and then it's bed, and back to the grind of work.
Where did the weekend go???

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Oh, my aching back!

Wow...normally it takes me 30 minutes to shovel the walks here. About 50' down the middle of our buildings, than about another 40-50' down the front. Another 30' or so down the back to the parking areas. Today, with 3' drifts, and about 8" of snow piled up everywhere else, it took me two and a half hours!!!! I am freaking beat!!
Here's some before and after.

Drifts were about 3' high here...not sure how or where I was going to move the snow!

Once people walk on the snow, it melds with the cement. It took going at it the a scraper first, then going over it again with the shovel. Exhausting. And I almost took out an old lady who asked "why haven't you finished yet??"...OMG - it's a good thing I had just put the shovel down, because one blow...that's all it would have taken! And no one would have found the body till the snow melts...I could have denied all involvement. It's a good thing my mother raised me better then that...

The professionals showed up next door at the same time that I was out there. Yes, the building right beside (and attached to mine, which is the one on the left) uses a snow team (which charges more than I make as resident manager, so now I'm really interested in what the babe next door makes!) and they are very good about knowing where the two properties end.
This is as far as they shovel out front, and down the middle, they do their side. Three guys with shovels had their job done in no time. Sigh...wishing I could afford it, I tell you!

This is my gauge...right now it's piled up to my chest (about 4'), but I use this to tell how bad of a winter it was. Last spring, I think it hit the 10' mark, as it snowed practically every day! I think we've seen the last of the snow, but it's going to get COLD next week. The highs are only -20C or so for the next week - funny...temperature I speak metric (except for cooking) and distance I speak standard (except for speed). I am a conversion child, as Canada converted to metric when I was in grade 3 (1971/72 - yes, I am THAT old) as I remember being taught how to measure things and make the conversions.
Anyway, I'm back inside now, thoroughly enjoying some Baileys in my vanilla coffee right now. It is tasting like more! Didn't go to weight watchers this morning (figured I'm up about a half a pound anyway), as the roads are just nasty out there, and the 11km drive would probably have seemed like a 100 by the time we got there. I hope today everything gets cleaned up, as I have an Epicure party to host tomorrow. Should be fine by then, although I should go plug in the car.
For those of you confused by that statement, no I do not have an electric car. In western Canada, where it gets bitterly cold, we have block heaters in our vehicles that need to be plugged in. This keeps the block warm enough to start, and hopefully prevents it from cracking and therefore needing a new engine after a cold spell! I remember a coworker from the Toronto area very confused when the rental company told her the extension cord was in the trunk of the car - she had no idea why they would tell her that, and then was even more confused when the car wouldn't start the next day!
Trying to decide what to have for dinner, although after "playing" in the snow all afternoon, I'm thinking warm and creamy...I bought some gnocchi, so I'm going to research some recipes and see what I can come up with.
Hoping the Halibloggers had an awesome run down east for the Santa Shuffle today. I'll be thinking of you all when I do the Resolution Run on New Year's Eve, my first real run since Melissa's at the end of September.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Wow...winter arrived with some serious 'tude today in Calgary!! Not sure if it's officially a blizzard (has to be so much snowfall, winds and cold enough, and it has to last consistently for 3 hours or more (thank you, Wikipedia)), but I think we're there! It's supposed to keep snowing and blowing all night, although it's not that cold, really. It's currently -5C with a -16C windchill. Dressed properly and it's not that bad. Just not prepared to go out on the roads. So no weigh-in tomorrow, that's for sure! I just don't drive enough during the week to risk driving in really poor road conditions on the weekend. Everyone seemed to leave work early today, and all the roads downtown were freaking parking lots, and most of the highways out of town were closed at one point or another. Again, I'm so happy I walk.
Got home, decided to tackle the sidewalks tomorrow (it hasn't stopped snowing at all), inhaled a half a box of Corn Pops (the new higher fibre ones, though - like that helps!), some of the Edamame Hummus that Angie spoke of (O.M.FREAKING.G, it's good!! I agree with totally rocks. And that meant a second trip to Superstore for me, and I hate going there!!) with some melba toast and now I'm having a cup of French Vanilla coffee. Not sure if that constitutes dinner, or if I'm even hungry for real food. Time will tell.
Heading back to the couch, to catch up on some TV and maybe have some dinner.
If you are anywhere in Alberta (storm is hitting the whole province), stay safe and warm inside. Everyone else...same goes for you too! And good luck to the Hallibloggers running the Santa Shuffle for the Salvation Army tomorrow. Think warm thoughts and have a blast!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Playing in the snow

Yes, I went to Boot Camp the dark... temp around -11 C (or 12 F) and snow on the ground. It was grand!! There were 8 of us that showed up for the 5 pm class, as Josh let his 6 pm class decide if they wanted to come early. He showed up in multiple layers with his thermos of tea! We at least get to run around and warm up...he gets cold standing there, telling us to work harder!
Started with a run...this is seriously the longest and furthest that I have run since October 2nd. It felt good, and while the ankle is a little stiff, so far so good even now. I tried out a new pair of runners that work with my orthotics, instead of against them, so we'll see how the legs react in the morning. That's always the big test! After the run to warm up, we hit the circuit - high knees, flies and overhead extensions, weighted squats, lunges (hold squat for me) and thrusters with bands. Two minutes at each station and switch. Then we switched it up a bit, changing it to step ups, seated rows and lat pull-downs, weighted squats/lunges, and push-ups. I think I will be lucky if I can get my coffee to my lips tomorrow!
Came home and whipped up a quick stir-fry of every veggie I have (feeling like I haven't been getting my fill these days), so into the wok went red & green pepper, carrots, celery, zucchini, snap peas, water chestnuts, mushrooms and broccoli. Add some Udon noodles and stir-fry sauce, and yum, yum, yum. Meanwhile, I grilled up a piece of salmon with the President's Choice Korean BBQ sauce. Double yum! Of course to get this sauce meant that I had to go to a Superstore. That's the only place that sells PC in western Canada (that I'm aware of) and I HATE shopping at Superstore. Okay, so I love walking up and down the aisles, looking at all the cool stuff (and I did come home with way more than I intended) but the reason God invented 16-year-old boys is so that they can bag my freaking groceries!!!! I hate bagging groceries...that's why I never took it up as a career. I suck at it! But I digress. Doesn't my dinner look yummy? Since I ate all the salmon, but have plenty of stir-fry left over, I'm marinating a piece of tofu in the BBQ sauce, which I'll grill up before I go to bed tonight. It'll be awesome with lunch tomorrow.

Doubtful that there will be a Boot Camp tomorrow, or even before Christmas it seems. Trainer Josh indicated that the group will most likely post-pone till the weather gets nicer. That or till I bail on them, and they can safely work out inside! Which I'll most likely be doing...I'll just check with Josh as to whether he's running his evening groups on the other nights, and drop into those. I just got back into this, and don't want to bail immediately. Not before I see some results again, that is.
Okay, must clean up the kitchen and head for bed.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


This is my cutie-patootie great-niece...she is 10 months old, and unfortunately looks like she was in a bar fight! She went 10 rounds with the family dog (hers) so I can only hope the dog looks worse!!

It was a day of no today. No Boot Camp (the others are wimps!), no new job (details to follow), no chocolate in my house for me to eat - which is a good thing!
The good news is that my ankle and tendons appear to be healing...I don't have to return to the chiro for a whole 10 days, which considering I was there twice a week not too long ago is quite good. Walked home in the latest storm to hit Calgary (again, happy that I walk!) and reminded myself to pull out a scarf for neck was cold!!! After the long walk, I had a quick snack of whole grain chips and salsa, and then went out and shovelled the walks. That was basically my cardio and workout for the day.
Today was day 1 of month end, so again, no running at lunch. Although we are doing well, and are right on schedule to finish our tasks by noon tomorrow. Then I get an email from one of the VP's asking to meet me regarding my recent job application. See, I work for a very large, national company and there was a Director's position that opened up, that I would like to transition into one day. I honestly didn't think I possessed everything they were looking for, so was very excited/nervous/shit-scared when we set the meeting! Sadly, it was to tell me that I didn't get it. But hey, they didn't have to do that at all, and I really appreciate the one-on-one face time with the VP. And as I explained, it was just as important to me that they know that I am looking to move up with the company, and this way they'll know my name. C. the VP said that I was very well known in the company by all sorts of people, and the feeling I got was that it was all very positive at that! Found out who got the job, and C. was right...he really is perfect for the position, so all the power to him. And when it's time for him to move on to a manager or such posting, I'll be there waiting...discussed job shadowing and other jobs that may help me get further ahead. Still, it was a very useful and interesting meeting and one that I will be sure to thank him for again tomorrow. After all, I plan on retiring from this company many, many years down the road from now and hopefully from a corner office!
The other ladies bailed on Boot Camp - "it's too cold and snowy"...hey, it's not my fault that we can't work out inside...okay, so technically it is, but I did offer to sign any waiver they wanted, but no. So I will go tomorrow night to Edworthy Park...somehow I envision that I will be working out at Edworthy a lot over the next 3 weeks, with the other ladies working out inside. What ever...I was going to go for a run when I got home, but I decided to pick up some groceries (10% Tuesday!) instead. Hauled home 3 bags full (remember, I walk!), so that was a good little bit of cardio too.
Dinner last night was outstanding...tossed cubed butternut squash, pecan pieces and maple syrup in a pan and baked till golden...O.M.G. that was GOOOOOOOD!! Just like pieces of candy, I tell you. Tried Epicure Oven Roast with some of the maple syrup on a piece of chicken, but that really didn't work out like I planned...didn't really enjoy it. Side was a sliced pepper.
Tonight was "cheater" clam chowder. Sweat off some diced celery and onion, add 1 can of drained & rinsed clams, 2 cans of cream of potato soup and a can of fat free evaporated milk. All that was missing was bacon - thought I had some in the freezer, but nope. Next time. Mix till heated through and enjoy. Have enough for lunch tomorrow too. Trying to make sure I pack breakfast and lunch every day, except maybe Fridays. However, I didn't have leftovers last night, so I bought today. The good news is our deli can't fry food, but the bad news is I'm still not in total control of what goes into the meals. Today was a Thai chicken salad, which was quite lovely, and extra heavy on the fresh veggies. I left most of the rice noodles at the bottom of the container.

'Kay...I'm heading off to bed. I'm also trying to get enough sleep, and know that I do poorly with that. So must stand up, shut off computer and go to now...okay, really I mean it this!

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