Monday, December 17, 2007

Merry Ho-Ho

I am writing to ensure that I get AT LEAST one posting before the Kafuffle that is Christmas. It is weird, but since the addition of Facebook, my blog has severely been impacted. If you want to know what I am up to, seriously invest some time in Facebook! :o) I do have some things to catch you all up on, however, and hopefully it will be interesting!

I want to say to my Dad, how incredibly proud I am of him, and that he is a role model for everyone in how he volunteered his time over the past 2 terms as a town councillor. I am sad to say that he is no longer representing his town, but he did for so many years so proudly and honestly. They are losing a great councillor who stood up for those beliefs even if many people disagreed with him. Truly a job well done. I am very proud of you!

This past while has been full of visiting, Christmas parties, and saying good bye. My friend Monique is leaving Calgary, after 2 years and an entire life change, she is off to do it again. I wish her nothing but the best, and I hope for her happiness, as I know that she will find it someday!

There was also my company Christmas party, which from what I can recall was quite the good time! There was wine, good spirits, great food, dancing, more wine, skating, and a couple feather boas! What more could you ask for. I took my friend Elissa with me as Derek had to work, but he worked my Christmas party, so I was able to chat with him throughout the night! It was a great time!

We also had a Christmas Lunch with the department, and it included a fantastic trip out to Bragg Creek, a beautiful lunch, plenty of wine, a horse and wagon ride complete with hot chocolate and Christmas carols, and then a fantastic desert made in honor of my birthday... it was fantastic!!!

Derek and I are off to the Great White North on Friday and I am anticipating it to be a great time. I want to take him to all my old haunts, to the falls, and if the weather is nice, perhaps we can go for a hike and some tobogganing! Tom, Leigh Anne and the girls are going to be at Mom and Dad's so it will be nice to see the whole family! Good times are on the horizon! :o)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A month away.....

WOW... first of all, I can hardly believe that a month has passed so quickly. But to be honest, we have been so busy that it is no wonder that we look up from our bent heads as we truck along and see a month has passed us.

It is a month and a day until I turn 27... and I always thought that age was like a name.... just a SMALL part of who you are. I know now after having changed my name twice in the past 5 years that there is so much in a name, and so my conclusion is that there is so much in age as well. I want to put a caveat in here saying that just because I am getting older doesn't mean I have to ACT any older. I will still be the same Heather who likes to catch fluffy snowflakes on her tongue, or who likes to dance in her car waiting for the light to turn green... I have a feeling I will ALWAYS be that way. That is simply who I am. What it means to me to turn 27 is that I have passed all those days of youthfull ignorance. I have gotten through those trying times of adolecence and early adulthood... I am firmly, supposedly well established at being an adult at 27... it is like there is no turning back. I remember when I was in University and young and starry eyed; some of my friends were 27 and I thought that they were so much older than me. Not ancient by ANY means.... but older, wiser perhaps.... learned... and now, I stand teetering on that edge of being more learned and wiser.... YIKES!

Perhaps it is the fact that I heard this past week that one of my past clients passed away and another was seriously injured. The lady that passed away was a comedian at the best and worst of times. She was a member of Best Buddies with me and we shared many laughs, as well as tears. Just thinking of her makes me smile, and I know that she will be missed by her peers. The gentleman that was injured was hit by a car as he crossed at a crosswalk. He is in the ICU in Lethbridge in a coma. He too is remembered by me for being so funny and clever. He is a writer, a poet, who doesn't believe in editing his work... took away from his purpose he says. It drives me crazy, but it is such a statement. His poetry is really quite indepth and thought provoking... and much like him, you had to look past the imperfections to see the beauty. He is such a gentle, gentle soul who has had a hard life, and has faced it with determination, dignity, honesty and pride. He is someone I am proud to know and would call a friend. He is in my thoughts and prayers right now, as the Dr.s say that he will most likely be in a chemically induced coma until his body heals more.

It is at times like these where you realize how fragile life is (to be oober corney) and how quickly your life could change. One moment you are walking, the next you are in a chemically induced coma. Makes you think and re-evaluate. Every moment is precious, and it is what you do with them that makes it worthwile. If at the end of your day, you are happily tired and felt that it was a solid, productive day where you learned and taught, and laughed and were happy then you have lived that day. When you have shared a part of who you are, even just a sliver, with someone, and when you have told the people that matter the most to you that you love them and cherish them, then you have lived that day. This is my goal everyday... some days are better than others - but that is a fact of life. I know that the ones that I love KNOW they are loved, but it never hurts to tell them one more time......... This past week has reitterated why I do this, why I NEED to do this to be the person I am... because there are times when you just can't say how that person impacted your life because that person is gone.

To Ms. Karmin.... you were so funny and clever, you made my job easier on most days, challanging and rewarding on other days. You were a great role model for the others, truley inspiring to your peers. Please know that your smile will forever be etched in my memory, especially when I think of the "Best Buddies" song... Thank you for bringing joy to my life in your own small, special way. You will be missed...

To Marinus... I can't tell you how many times I have read your book and shed tears. Tears for what you went through, tears for how brilliantly you expressed yourself, tears for how moving your story is. I am so fortunate to have been in your life, if only for the short time I was. Your gentle approach to "the establishment" and to society were soemthing I admire, I wish I could be that honest with who I am. You are an amazing person, and I know that you are a fighter... you will make it through in true Marinus style... and when you get to the end of your struggle, you will smile your sly smile and say "That was it???!" - I can't wait for that day!!! :o)

Monday, October 22, 2007

The planting of Trees

I have been gently reminded that my blog is "out of date". This is the first time in my blogging life that I have let a whole month (and 2 days) lapse without filling you in with the inner most workings of me. I know what it is like to return to a friends' blog, wanting to read their writings only to be disappointed... for this I apologize. I can not promise that it will never happen again, but I can assure you that I will try my best to keep more up to date. I know what it is like to visit a friends blog, on a positive note, to find that they have created a new post and it is such a nice surprise

I have procrastinated writing for many reasons. One, I felt that I have had nothing to say and Two, because although we have had nothing "substantial", Derek and I have been quite busy. So, once again... sorry!

What has changed in the land of us.... not much. We haven't sold our house yet... there seems to be a lull in the market at this particular time, and it appears that we might just have to be all cozy and snuggly in our 900 sq ft. condo for the time being. I am sure we will feel like we have more room once our 22 year old roomate moves out. We have had a 'guest' for the past 2 months. A friend of Derek's daughter was going to University here, and she needed a place to stay until she found a house. She found a lovely place, we moved her in, only to have her turn around, quit her courses (save her EMT course) and move back in here until her EMT course is done. Not sure what happened... not sure how we got the guest, but we have survived and she is going home bright and early on Friday morn. It is nice to have company... but it is nice to have your house back!

I sit here and think of the hardships I have endured and I have to chuckle... sitting in my cozy, fully furnished condo, with running water and food in the fridge... I am so spoiled. I haven't over come anything it seems. Trivial trials and tribulations really when you watch the news and see the wars and injustice. Not even through out the world, but in our own back yards... literally. How many accidents are there a day in this city? How many people are homeless and don't have enough to eat? it is days like this that make me thankful for the life I lead, and what more could you want out of a day?

I have a new quote. This one is dedicated to Const. Worden who on Oct 9 was murdered in my home town. “A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under which they will never sit” - Unknown. I think of the actual planting of trees (perhaps in a political world) when I first think of this. I then think of the reason which I stumbled onto this quote. It was on a letter of thanks I received from a lady at work for organizing the Run for the Cure Team. I believe that this quote is so true. I believe in community... and in the past weeks, my home community of Hay River has shown what that word means. Const. Worden was shot trying to assit people whom he didn't know. He was trying to make someones life a little easier by just being there. By him giving his life in service, he has helped so many people... planted so many trees. Now, he is unable to sit under them, but we as a community can bask in their shade, relish in the safety we take so much for granted because of him. I did not know him, but that doesn't mean that I am any less sorry for his death. I mourn for his wife who will never hug her husband again, and I mourn for the baby girl who will never have her daddy tuck her in a night, or teach her to drive, or scare off her suitors, or walk her down the aisle. I am joyful however, for the banding together of a community, for the capture of the villain and the righteousness of justice. I am joyful for the trust funds set up for Const. Worden's wife and daughter so that they can grieve and then learn to live again. This is what a community does. They gather, they support, they mourn, they help in any way they can, they heal. I have seen it too often in my small town, and although this tragedy is one for the books, sadly, it follows the same pattern whether that person was 'small' or 'big'. My thoughts and prayers go out to Jody Worden and her daughter Alexis. I honestly believe that time heals all things, and although this could take a lifetime to heal, know that he did not die in vain as I feel he is protecting us still! Rest in Peace Const. Worden, for your work on Earth is done!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Quiet contemplation

I am sitting here, admittedly at work, looking out at the beckoning mountains wondering what it would be like to be dangling off one of them. (I want to learn how to mountain climb) There is a saying "in the quiet of my discontent"... that is me... I think I am not content with my job, and although I should want to stay forever, with it being full of perks and good money and the like... I have just gotten the itch... not sure how to scratch it. I know that it comes this time of year, most specifically when students get back to the books and change their worlds to welcome yet another year of droning professors and last minute papers.... I know that I want to be there. I miss school immensely, and have found myself quite regularly as of late, looking at part-time study options. In anything really... Masters in Soc. or Masters in Buis. Admin., cooking school, mediators school... not sure I am ready to commit yet though! Anyways, I am certain that this will dissipate... and come Jan. if the itch hasn't gone, I am going to start mediation school... that is my plan for now... come Jan. it might have changed! :o)

BIG NEWS!!! Derek and I have decided to buy a house. I am so unbelievably excited... I can hardly focus on anything other than that... seriously, I have found it consuming WAY too much of my time. What a step... something that I have never done before is buy a major purchase with someone else. Honestly, I am not even scared... I know that I should be... but we have seriously talked this to death and I know that it is going to be great! I figure if I can last through a skydiving season living with him, and he can handle a family reunion, we are golden! :o) The house hunting is not in total full swing, but I anticipate it to happen this coming weekend. We are giving a list to our Realtor tonight of houses we want to see and going from there. I can hardly wait! Busy, busy!

Mom and Dad are safely back from the Emerald Isle, welcome back to Canada... Their picts are fantastic and incredible. Makes me want to go even more. There is something magical in the land of the leprechauns... but there are a lot of politics still floating around too. Perhaps that is what makes it exciting and adventurous in some way!!?? Derek and I are going to meet them for supper tomorrow night as they plow through Calgary on their way to pick up Lily in Edmonton. My poor little Row-row is going in for surgery on Friday for her ears and mouth and possibly her adenoids and tonsils out. My poor little boo! Thoughts and prayers for her please, as the surgery for adenoid is quite dangerous!

Anyhoo... that is what is the haps in the land of Heather and Derek... seems that one comes with the other as of late, and admitted, I like it that way! Like spending time with my free flying man!!! ;o) We keep eachother in line!!! Probly a good thing to be partners in crime if we are going to be partners in life too!!! :o) Ciao folks, keep you updated on the house scenario! :o)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Some amazing stuff has happened!

So, since I last wrote, 1/2 a month ago... we have gone to Vancouver, I have packed my patootie off and I participated in a parade.
First things first, Vancouver is fantastic! I love it there!!! We went and did a bunch of touristy things like go to Stanley Park and to the Vancouver aquarium... which was amazing, Sea Otters are my new fav., they are SOOOOO Cute! We got one of those drawings of us on the street... by a street vendor! It turned out really good! We went to Gas Town and watched the steam clock blow... very cool! We went to the old CP Rail train station which is now used for Vancouver transit... AMAZING architecture in Vancouver... simply wonderful! We drove over the lions gate, and went and saw the area where Derek's Sister and her family live, as well as his mom. They weren't home so we couldn't visit... perhaps next time we are in Van.

Once we filled a day and a half with touristy stuff (Derek was not used to being tourist in a place he has spent tons of time in... he was a great tour guide!!! Thanks Babe!!) we went to the Drop Zone as there was an event there and a twin otter (which is a big plane, and a treat for all jumpers!!). The weather was hot and sunny for 1/2 the day and so Derek got some jumps on his shiny new Velocity canopy! It looks brilliant in the sky as the colors match his jump suit (his jump suit is white with red accents, and his parachute/canopy is red with strips of white). Once we decided that we didn't want to wait for the weather to improve, we decided to head to Kamloops the next day and visit our friend Don.

So the next day we checked out of the hotel, checked out of the drop zone, and headed to Kamloops... it was a rainy drive, but it was so pretty... the mountains are so lovely! We got there in time for Don and his wife Sandy to fuss over us making dinner, and we had drinks, I showed them the picts of Peru... climbed on their climbing wall, and then we retired to the visitors quarters where we had a bath in a fancy schmasy tub drawn for us. It was magnificent! The next morning, I tried to have a swim in their pool, but the water was way too cold, so I settled for a steam in their steam room which doubles as the visitor's shower! They have an amazing house!!! Once we had said our good byes, we were off to the airport and then home. It was a great, relaxing, luxurious mini-break and I am so glad we went! Thanks for the good time babe!

Since we have gotten back, Derek has taught a course, and dealt with the likes of Sinbad the comedian and Lionel Richie... he is tired this week! :o) I have been going to guitar, hanging out, I organized Cat's room, and packed parachutes one day while Derek was teaching his course. It has been a busy couple of weeks! We also have been carting our "roomie" around town trying to find her a reasonable place to live. Our "roomie" is one of Derek's buddies daughter. She is going to Uni here and needed a place to stay while she finds a place. She is a low key roomie, as she spends a lot of time at her boyfriends. Needless to say, Derek and I have been driving her to see some pretty seedy places! Good times!!!

On Tuesday (11th of September) I was a part of something spectacular. I am on a committee that organizes an event that occurs every year the second Tuesday of September. It is called the Survivors Parade. What this is, is a parade of women and MEN who have survived Breast Cancer. It is a remarkable event and lots of time and energy go into it. It was a very emotional day, in that I heard some stories of some amazing people, and how they have changed the way they live their life. They refuse to let someone tell them that they only have a certain amount of time to live, or that they are going to die. They live everyday as best and as bravely as they can, and see where it takes them. The guest speaker for the survivors told the crowd that she isn't cancer free. She is going to die as the cancer is in her bones. She said that she lives each day to the fullest she can, and doesn't say no to opportunities. She doesn't let the little things pass her by. She was inspiring... all of the ladies I met are inspiring. One of the members of the committee who was a survivor, just got diagnosed with cancer again. She is still out there tho, trying to make it happen, absorbing the energy that all of these surviving men and women exude. It was a fantastic event... I am looking forward to the run this year, as I am sure it too will be an inspiring day!

This, folks, is what has been the haps in my hood!!! This weekend we are going to the David Gilmour concert at the theatre... should be good... and we are going to be hanging with our buddy Lissa... perhaps hitting a flick or grabbing some food... maybe a trip to the DZ is in the cards too!!! Who knows! :o) Maybe, if we want we could go for a hike-eroo in the ol' mountain scape's!!! They are looking quite pretty these days with their snowy caps smiling at me through my 16th floor office window! Maybe we will be looking at houses this weekend... if Derek plans it right!!! :o) Time will tell, and I am in no rush! Life is just too darn short, and goes too darn fast to worry... too bad I don't heed this advice more often!!! :o)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ahhhhhhhh!

It is amazing how much better I feel having ranted and raved in last nights blog. Things are good again. I have a couple projects on the go, so I have some goals now.... and they are not things that I am really talking about, as I want to make sure that they are a go before I share them with the world.
Anyways, I just want to say thank you, friends, for letting me vent and get out all the confusion that I have in my head... it was a welcomed relief!
have a happy Saturday! I know I will, the boy comes home today! We have a party tonight! Life is grand!!! :o)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hanging out... All by my self!!!!!!!

You know that it is in times of solitude where you realize what you are truly made of. When you are able to look into the depths of your being and analyse, perhaps over analyse, who you are, what you have become and where you are going. Here I am in solitude, no one home on a Friday night but me... and I have been pondering such questions and have come up with somewhat of a loss. That is not true... I know who I am, most days, as much as any 26 year old can I suppose. What I have become is a question I am afraid to answer, frankly because I might not like the answer, and Where I am going, I am not sure if I will EVER know the answer to that question.

What spurs this on, my dear bloggers, is a culmination of events really. One, perhaps I am a little on the edgy side seeing as I am doing a fasting cleanse and am on day 5... the toxins might be getting to my brain... two, Derek is not home, so my entertainment has left the building (and province!), it is amazing how comfortable one can get with routine and day to day life... I must say that I miss his company! (probably a good thing hey!?)... three, it has been the week of chick flicks. Honestly, I might try to fit one more in, but I just got home from the Nanny Diaries (I must say that going to the theatre alone is a freeing experience). I know that, in the movies, they all live in a fictitious world... but there is a small part of me (ok, a medium sized part of me) that wants to believe that one can go through a huge turbulent problem and in 2 hours, happily ever after ensues. There is a very large part of me that believes in happily ever after... problem is, I have no idea what that is for me. One of the movies I watched "Elizabeth town" had a fantastic line in it. The premise is the male character failed miserably in his job and the female character said this to him... I want you to sit in the "deep beautiful melancholy of what's happened to you", and then move on. What a beautiful line. We can not fully move on unless we know where we have been, and until we bask in the 'beautiful melancholy' of that, we can not fully be released from it. My writing this is to not do that, for I feel I have, and for the most part am choosing not to wallow on that point as I have for the past 2 years. What is done is done. My problem is, where do I go from here. What is my Happily Ever After, will I find it? Or will it pass me by before I realise what it actually is.

The world is your playground and everything in it (or something like that)... but what in this world do I want to do, where is this playground I am supposed to be on? I know that I don't want to be an assistant forever, so that leaves me with........ a multitude of options! I know that I should be SO thankful to have as many options as I do... and I am. I just don't know what option to take. I could continue on the path to Law School... but 4 years of school seem really ominous and well, LONG. I could go to grad school, but really what does one with a Masters in Sociology do? Go and get a doctorate! Well... that is 4 years more of schooling... back at square one. I could go and get my mediators certification, which is a very viable option... but I would have to take time off work for that, sacrificing my coveted vacation days (one must make sacrifices I suppose!). I could go to Africa, or some other foreign land and volunteer... but some say that I am a Princess and feel I can not hack the wilderness... not that I should let them sway my goals... who are THEY anyways!!! :o) I could sell everything I own and travel the world, making my way as I go along... learning the culture and language and just living, but then what do I do when I return... because one can't be a Gypsy forever in foreign lands, one has to eat! I want a bigger house, with pictures on the walls, and a kitty and plants and beautiful things. But I also want to explore the world... soak up the scenery, roam every square inch of the globe! I just feel stifled right now - in that my thoughts are on other things I could be doing and not being satisfied with what is right now. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful for my job, happy to have a great house, am so in love with my partner in crime, Derek... it is just, I remember feeling this when I was in school... the "What was I going to do when I grow up feeling". I know that I will never grow up... but it just seems that I can't do all the things I want - lacking money, time and energy... not will or a partner to do them with!

It may seem like I am complaining, and that wasn't the purpose of this rant... the purpose of this rant is to make me feel better, more solid in what I want or what I feel. I don't know what to do. I know that I should analyse each option, discuss it with my partner and go from there. But a small part of me wants to sell everything we own and run off into the sunset and learn to surf in Costa Rica, and learn to pick grapes on a vineyard in France and learn to ski like a pro in the Alps, and ride a camel through Africa (even if they are smelly, vile creatures... they are intriguing). I want to see the Taj Mahal, and the pyramids, sit in Red Square and walk on the Great Wall of China, skate on the Eiffel tower, eat pasta on Cinque-Terre... the list is endless. I want to see them all tomorrow... and I really wish I could. Perhaps the problem is that I have the travel bug really bad and have just realised that money does not in fact grow on trees and time does not stand still. I can still remember (parts of) my 19th Birthday... and it seemed just yesterday. But this December I will be 27 - which is an age that one should have an accomplishment or two at... and I look back and frankly I don't see much! (how did I get from there to here.......) I know I finished school (and am SO thankful that I did) but it seems that life got ugly after that. Life stopped having a goal after that. Life stopped being full of youthful innocence. Life got way harder. I don't know if I was prepared for that. I still don't think I am. I want to some days run back to the period of my life where I would work 3 jobs in the summer while off from College, and stay up until the wee hours of the morning, just hanging out... and then wake up early and do it all over again. Those carefree summers, living at home, are something that I crave at times... where I didn't have to worry about housing, food, car insurance, buying my own toothpaste!... sigh, when did I get all "big people"....

Two things in the past week have stuck in my mind. Someone telling me that I am pretty much classless and undignified, and another person telling me that I am way to much of a princess to be a gypsie. Both things I took to heart. Sometimes, the things that strangers say are the things that stick the most... they are outsiders looking in. They don't know the whole story, even though they claim to... but their opinion is based on the facts they know. I happen to think that I show class and dignity on a daily basis, BUT I should be more aware of how I say things, for as we all know it isn't really what you say, it is how you say it. As for being a princess, I know that I am a bit finicky, and honestly, this one stuck so much because it might be true. I do know that if I want to do something, then I will. Regardless of how dirty or stinky or 3rd world it may be. I have determination when I set my mind to it... I can do anything I choose, I honestly believe that... princess or not.

So, my blogging friends, I am going to stop my rant, now that I feel somewhat better, but no less certain of what path or direction I am going to go in... life is funny that way and works out, most often, for the best!! It truley has been a while since I sat and ranted online... felt good... lengthy, but good! Well, good night my faithful readers. Until next rant. Keep dreaming, I know I will!!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Long time - No post!!!

Hey there my fabulous bloggers! Sorry I haven't been blogging lately... it has been so busy since we got back from Peru. It still feels like we haven't gone, and that the pictures are just delusions... I remember feeling that way after trips to Europe. It is just wild to know that we were on Manchu Picchu less than 3 weeks ago! Time goes by...

Since then we have visited the family farm for the annual Verbisky family reunion. Derek survived meeting the family... Mom, Dad, and Leigh Anne included. (He met Tom and the girlies around Christmas!) He got a tour of the family farm... complete with hay bales, some farm equiptment, horses and of course the quad... AND he got a ride on a quad for the first time........ the driver, my 12 year old cousin! What a hoot! :o)

We also got to see the princesses... and they looked fantastic! Here is a peak! This is Lily posing for the camera and this is Rowan and Aunty Jeannine snuggling and smiling. Such pretty ladies!

What else... hummm, we have watched Die Hard 4 (a good way to continue the saga!) and Transformers (which was surprisingly good). Off to watch Harry Potter this week... WAY too excited for words! What else..... oh, I got my packing endorsement. I can now pack parachutes. I promised Elyssa to not pack unless paid after my endorsement went through... I shall have to keep my word... NO parachute unless I see the coin! hehehe got that babe! :o) Honestly, I have yet to pack Derek's rig... I am scared to, I don't want to be the one to pack him a malfunction! Anyways... I have already made some money off of my 'endorsement' and I am already getting close to 20 pack jobs (17 total I think, which is good for starting 2 weeks ago and not being at a DZ much lately. Yeah for my persistance and for me not being shy... and no pack jobs for Derek!!!)

When I was driving home from Provincials about a month ago (yikes that went fast) I heard a song that I haven't heard in a long time... consider this my quote. This is my new "Theme song" (for anyone who remembers Ally McBeal... that is my salute!). I feel that now that my feelings are out to all the people I love, I can move on with things, like the song says... it is so true to how I feel. This explains a lot about how I have felt for the past (almost) 2 years... but now that I have dealt with my feelings I can finally leave my past where it belongs.

Rascal Flatts - I'm Moving On Lyrics

I've dealt with my ghosts and I've faced all my demons
Finally content with a past I regret
I've found you find strength in your moments of weakness
For once I'm at peace with myself
I've been burdened with blame, trapped in the past for too long
I'm movin' on

I've lived in this place and I know all the faces
Each one is different but they're always the same
They mean me no harm but it's time that I face it
They'll never allow me to change
But I never dreamed home would end up where I don't belong
I'm movin' on

I'm movin' on
At last I can see life has been patiently waiting for me
And I know there's no guarantees, but I'm not alone
There comes a time in everyone's life
When all you can see are the years passing by
And I have made up my mind that those days are gone

I sold what I could and packed what I couldn't
Stopped to fill up on my way out of town
I've loved like I should but lived like I shouldn't
I had to lose everything to find out
Maybe forgiveness will find me somewhere down this road
I'm movin' on


Every time I hear this song I am motivated to be the change in the world that I would so love to be. I think we all should have something in our lives that makes us remember, and that motivates us to change. My other motivator is Always by Mother Teresa, but that motivates me to be humble and honest and hardworking and good, just like her. But that, that conversation is for another blog all together.

Goodnight all my blogging buddies, and I want to say to everyone, thank you for all your support these past 2 years. Thank you for helping with the move, helping with location, helping with advice, and helping by just loving me... couldn't have done it with out you... special thank you to Mom and Dad... really could not have done it with out you two! Love you forever, Like you for always...!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Last day in Lima!

WOW... what an amazing day in Lima...

We first went to go and see if we could paraglide, the guy said that the conditions weren't right and that we should get back to him around 3 when conditions are normally good. We sighed, and went and took a peek at the ocean... Lima is always foggy or hazy during winter, so the pictures look dark and cold... well, it is dark and cold in Lima... but it is winter, so I suppose it is ok! We had just decided to hop a cab to check out the Spanish inquisition museum when the paragliding guy comes up to us, tells us that the conditions are great, and wisks us away to his office to get ready to go. WOW! So we waiver up, he gives us each a t-shirt, grabs his gear and we follow him like puppies! Before we know it, Derek is attached to this guy, and the guy tells Derek to run, right off the cliff... SO, off he goes, It was amazing... he just soared with the paraglider over his head, and his pilot steering... It was fun to watch! Then along came my pilot... he introduced himself (forget his name) put on his gear and attached me to him and away we went... It was an incredible feeling, soaring, flying... It was like being under a parachute, except you don't go down you fly!!! So we had a great flight, and my pilot gave me a tour of all the sights we flew over... a great way to see Lima! Once we landed, we took off to see the market (which turned out to be a mall, so that was short lived!) Derek really wanted to know more about the paragliders so we walked back and hung out with them for awhile, chatting with a girl that moved to Peru from Wales because the gliding is so good in Peru. It was a great morning.

The afternoon saw us in a taxi headed for central Lima. Here is where the Spanish Inquisition museum was. We walked through it, and saw some of the torture devices... but must admit that I was a touch disappointed, as there wasn't much there. So, we continued on... walking aimlessly around central Lima. We had a great time looking in the shops and getting a feel for the hustle and bustle of the "real Lima"... I had the "Your not in Kansas anymore" feeling as when you looked around, we were the only 'gringos' in sight! It was fantastic... so much to see, and so much to watch! We started looking for a patch for one of our police buddies in Calgary. That ended in us roaming some more, and asking non-English speaking people questions, trying to get them to understand... I need to learn Spanish! Sigh! We stopped at McDonald's for lunch, as Derek and I were both quite tired of ordering things that we weren't quite sure what it entailed... so it was easy to order a Big Mac and coke!!! :o) After lunch and ice cream, we walked to the main plaza and watched the festivities! Peru celebrates their Independence day on the 28th of July... but they party for close to a week before. We watched as they set up for a parade around the square! We started chatting with the fellow with great English, he is studying to become a travel guide... he translated our desire for a patch for our friend to a police officer that was standing guard over the stage... the guard ended up being a member of the riot squad, but was extremely nice and gave us oodles of presents, in the form of pins and cards and information about Peru. For the patch, however, we had to pay him... so we paid off a riot squad officer so that we could get his badge from his shoulder... it was incredibly wild to watch as he ripped it off, looked around and snuck it to us as we slipped him a bill! Things that jail terms in 3rd world countries are made of! haha!

We stayed around long enough to watch some of the parade, but had to go and get our luggage which was stored at our hotel, eat and go and catch our plane. It was a great day, a wonderful way to leave Lima! What a great finish to a spectacular trip! We caught our flight with no problems, and although our transfer in Toronto was a little tight, we made it home safe and sound... and now the laundry begins, things to put away and the real world to get back to... sigh, we are already busy and we just got home... I must admit, it was smart of me to take today off as I am not sure I would be ready for work... still in the 'holiday' mode! Poor Derek, had to go and face the working music today! I am sure he will be home early!! :o)

To sum it all up!

14, 700 plus feet
1200 pictures
32 kilometers of hiking in the Andes
12 days of adventure
2 smiling faces
1 visit to one of the 7 wonders of the world

equals one heck of a ride!

I am posting pictures now on the days that they are from, so please, take a peek at the previous blogs and re-live our adventure with us... can't believe it is over, it went so fast... the culmination of a dream is so bittersweet... BUT, on to the next dream (Russia!)

Take care and I will talk to you in person soon!
Love, from Canada, Heather and Derek

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

We survived the Jungle!!!

Heather of the jungle, I am not, nor will I ever be.

We woke up in Cusco early and jumped on a bus to the airport. Hoped on a plane to Puerto Modanado. Once there, we met our tour guide Johnny. He took us to a port where we got on a motorized canoe and traveled to our home for the next 2 nights. The scenery was amazingly beautiful.... all sorts of trees and birds singing... it was spectacular. We got to our destination, and had a briefing as to what was to come for the next couple days... then we got sorted into our rooms, and our ¨hut¨ was shared with 3 other couples. There were gaps at the top of the walls, and the ceiling was mosquito netting... you could hear everything. It proved to be quite funny when folks found little crawly visitors in their rooms... you could hear the Oh my gosh¨ followed by the thwacking of their shoe hitting the floor.... Thankfully we didn´t have any visitors. After we got settled, we met Johnny for an evening stroll in the jungle, at DARK... now, if there was anything that would cause me GREAT anxiety and stress it would be to take a walk in a snake infested jungle at night. BUT, I was not going to let an opportunity to face my fear pass me by... so off we went, me gasping at every snap of a twig... not going off the beaten path... almost crawling onto the person infront of me and making sure that Derek was only a step behind. We saw some wicked spiders tho, one was eating a moth... phenomenal... we saw a tarantula... it was of the black variety and was really quite neat... and then the rest of them saw a snake... of course. Derek didn´t leave my side, as I quivered off to the side, and then it was over... BIG sigh of relief! We had supper which was late and not that good... power bars and granola bars came in handy here! Then it was off to our hut to have a cold shower by karosene lamp. We snuggled under the mosquito netting and were lulled to sleep by the jungle noises that were shockingly peaceful!

The next day we got up and had a breakfast of fried plantaines... for me, an apple and granola bar (Knew they would come in handy!). We were off to trek in the jungle for about 3 hours (yikes). The first hour was nerve wracking but after I calmed down a bit, I could keep at a constant state of "Just don´t think about it". We learned a lot about trees in the jungle and their medicinal purposes. We saw some catapillars that were massive, some amazing butterflies and frogs. Our hike ended at a little covered hut to eat our traditional peruvian lunch of some rice, chicken, egg, olive concoction, plantains and an apple. I had 2 apples and a powerbar. MMMMM. Then were were off in a canoe to look at butterflies, birds and the like. We saw SO many butterflies, it was incredible... like the beautiful ones you see in books... it was fantastic. Once this was done, we took a break and then the rest of the group decided to go fishing. Derek and I opted to stay in the hut and have a siesta. I really hate fishing and Derek wasn´t thrilled at the idea so we had a nice nap under the hut. Once the group came back it was another hike (1 1/2 hours) through the jungle. Glad that was over with, and glad that we didn´t have to go back! The afternoon consisted of Derek and I hanging out (litterally) in the hammocks, snoozing and reading the afternoon away, listening to the jungle symphony! 6 o´clock came and that meant that we were all to hop into the motorized canoe for a trip on the river to look for caymans. These are the alligators of Peru. We only saw one baby one, but A LOT of eyes. It was interesting, but nerve wracking... glad that it only lasted about an hour. Then it was supper of beef and onions, french fries and rice. After this, we chatted with our group a bit and signed the guest book. Then it was off to bed. The humidity of 90%+ and the temperatures reaching I am sure 30° in the sun were enough to wear anyone out, especially if you are used to around 15° mid day for the past week or so. What a change in climate in only a 25 minute flight!

We were up early as we had to make sure that we could make it to the airport for our 1 O´clock flight! We were in the motorized canoe in time to watch the rain start to fall. Apparently down stream it had rained quite a bit and you could see the difference in the river over night. It was quite impressive. The boat trip only took about 1 hour due to the increase in current of the river. We were in our bus and on the road to the airport by 9 and at the airport by 10. Now, Puerto Modando doesn´t have the worlds smallest airport, but it was quite small. There was no real place to eat, so Derek and I ate chips, pop, cookies and powerbars to tied us over. Not sure it worked. Our flight took off on time, which was nice and our stop at Cusco was only for fuel. We made it to Lima on time and our hotel which is very nice, and the first one we stayed at with GAP. We all met out at the Pizza Hut for some good "North American" food, and then it was repacking and relaxing for Derek and I.

Today, we are going to check out paragliding, although the weather is looking iffy. We also want to go and see the Museum of the Spanish Inquisition and the Ocean, so we have an action packed day today. We fly out tonight around 1:30 am so we will be Alberta bound tonight. We should be in Calgary by 12 on Thursday, but not sure how coherant we will be!!! haha!

Talk to you all soon, and I am sure you would love to look through the 1000+ pictures we took!!! haha!

Love you, Heather and Derek

Sunday, July 22, 2007

And we are off to the Amazon!

So last night we had our briefing, that well, got cancelled... but the time for the bus to pick us up was posted so we are all up and ready to go ... lets hope the bus comes! I am sure it will!
We went out last night for supper with some of the group to say goodbye to the San Fransisco couple... they are leaving to go back to their home in another day... and we are headed off to the AMAZON!! Supper was good, company was good... it was just a fantastic day yesterday!
Derek and I are both battling a cold (I have had it since the trail) but we brought some meds with us so we are able to combat it with out much detriment to our holiday... just makes mornings a little slow!
We will be out of range computer-wise for the next three days... so don´t worry, we will be hanging with the monkeys and gawking at the beautiful butterfiles and birds! I am sure that there will be OODLES of pictures to show you... our current count is 774 pictures... yikes! 350 of Manchu Pichu alone!
Anyways, love you all... update you from Lima!
Heather and Derek

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The hike and Manchu Pichu

ok... so I left off with the truck ride in the rock truck. I love it when people help you out in small ways, it was great! He didn´t even want anything for the ride... but I insisted, gotta give back to those who help you out. So we ended up at this little fish farm and agriculture farm (I think) in the middle of I don´t know where and had a beer (It was FANTASTIC and cold) and a great meal put on by our chefs on the trail. It was our last meal by them. Our bus finally got through to us, hurrah, and we were off on the back roads to Ollataytambo, where we caught the train to a town by Manchu Pichu, Aguas Callienties The train ride was 1 1/2 hours and it was really neat to go through the mountains and on to the edge of the Amazon... I am sure we got only a TASTE of what is to come... beautiful exotic flowers, AMAZING birds of paradise... it was magnificant. We got to the town, got to our hotel for the night and were SO eager to climb into the room and have a long hot shower. It was so dispointing, as we had a jump and scald, jump and freeze kinda shower... oh well... we all met for a fantastic meal of pizza (every where has pizza and it is safe so we have been eating A LOT of it...) but one member of our group was adventurous enough to order guniea pig... It was presented as a hole, with the head (and teeth) still on... then they take it away and cut it up and you have to eat it with your hands. SO, we all (the ones daring enough to try) lined up for our shot at guinea pig... Yes, Roger, I was in the line. I put it in my mouth and the first couple of chews were crunchy and smooshy and just horrible texture wise... the flavor was good tho. I did have to spit it out, as I couldn´t stomache the thought of swallowing... it still counts right? After supper we climbed back up to our hotel... everything in the Andes is either up hill or down... no flat anything to be seen! It was a good night sleep that was warm and without 4 layers of clothing on... quite the treat!

We woke at 5 am to make sure we were at Manchu Piccu for the sunrise. We had a quick (and lacking breakfast) at the hotel... missed our Chefs from the trail... and jetted off to the bus to ride up to the top. As with everything Incan, the road was in a zig-zag and it took 30 mins. to get to the top. When we all had paid to use the loo at the top, we went through the gates, our magnificant guide Will got our passports stamped with a special Manchu Pichu stamp, way cool! It was so cloudy and foggy that we missed the sunrise, but during our 1 1/2 hour tour, the fog lifted and came down again, then lifted again... it was just so beautiful... we got to see Manchu Pichu in a totally different way each time... we have some stellar shots to prove it! Derek and I spent the remainder of the morning just hanging out and enjoying the view and the peaceful feeling we both had while there. I even did a little bit of yoga while there... a sun salutation sequence, considering they thought it to be a temple to the sun god, I thought it appropriate! That was an amazing experience, I will never forget it...

Once we left Manchu Pichu we all met at a little restarunt called Patchamama... It was one of the members of our group´s birthday and so Will our tour guide extradordinaire organized us all to get a Pisco Sour (a Peruvian drink) and a guitar player to play happy birthday. It was really quite sweet and I am sure Vicky enjoyed that much more than the traditional Guinea Pig with a candel in its mouth. Once this finished, we picked up our packs and were off to the train station. Once aboard, we quickly noticed that one gentleman wasquite drunk and was making statements of a violent nature about Gringos... Will our amazing guide to the rescue... he solved all the poblems... We got off in Ollataytambo and jumped a bus for Cusco... Cusco bound... One the bus we got a little silly, but we were only getting ready to go out to the disco for Vicky´s Birthday. Around 9:30 most of us got together and went to a salsa club here in Cusco. It was fun, but we were all so tired from the early morning, and Derek and I finally called it a night at around 12.

This morning, I let Derek sleep in while I went shopping for souveniers... should have gotten another bag for that! OOOPS!!! I had fun bartering, and trust me... I got a crash course in Spanish numbers! I got back to the hotel, and Derek and I scooted out for some lunch at a little resturant and spent 2 hours just enjoying the food and atmosphere... mind you the food was cheeseburgers and cokes... After that, we went to the square and one of the churches there, it was nice, and the altar there was spectacular... one of the most decorated I have ever seen. After that we went to the Cathedral, and that too was quite beautiful, although the wooden, plastic figurines were quite much! We walked around and got some necessities for our up coming trip to the Amazon. We got an icecream and sat and watched the people in the court yard. It was so relaxing. What a great day. It is now 5 and we have just got our laundry back from the hotel and we are off to pack and then have a briefing for the upcomming trip! It is going to be great... we´ll let you know.

Love you - Heather and Derek

Friday, July 20, 2007

AND WE LIVE!!!!

Holy Inka, Batman, that was hard!!!

We survived hiking in the Andes, and we deserve a t-shirt and a medal. It was incredibly hard, probably the most - no... actually THE most physically demanding thing I have ever done, bar none!!! I think Derek can say the same thing.

We got up early, and bused to the place that we started at, about an hour or so on the road of death... or a usual road for the Peruvians... it was straight cliffs down and the road was only big enough for one bus, but of course, they had to squeese two on there! At times we had to back up to a place that had a thick enough chunk of road on it to let another bus pass us. It was an action packed, nail bitter that is for sure! Then the hike started... they gave us these little snacks and sent us on our way with our FANTASTIC guide Wilbert. Man, was he amazing! So we are hiking along, on hills like the foothills and then the climb starts to get bigger, and steeper... and the peaks we reach seem to dissapear into another higher, bigger peak. Keep in mind, that we STARTED this hike at an altitude of 10000 + feet, and Derek is still trying to adjust. We stopped and had lunch at around noon. The cooks and porters were amazing, they made fabulous soups and wonderful meals like beef stir fry, mashed garlic potatoes, and mixed veggies... the menu got more exuisite every night! So after a refreshing lunch, we go up an incline of I SWEAR 45 degrees straight up zig-zagging. It nearly killed us, but once that was done, we flew down the hill to our camp site for the night. We had tea and coffee and a snack of Fabulous popcorn and cookies, and then an hour or two to relax until supper. Derek was exhausted... not being able to breathe will do that to you, he was such a trooper... and you know me, always wanting to be the leader of the pack...

Day 2 we were up at 6 and were awoken with Coco tea right to our doors, still can´t get used to the fact that we don´t get a wake up call like that anymore... sigh... Breakfast was french toast which was fab... and the hike began... I realised that Derek and I just couldn´t keep the pace with the others with his inability to breathe, so we took our time and slowly made it up, up, up, to where we had lunch. It was breath-takingly beautiful (pun not intended) and we have oodles of picts to show you all! After lunch, we were all looking a little worn out... we had a nice break and some of us got a little shut eye before the summit of the day... not me... I was just to jazzed up, couldn´t wait to summit. We started again and this climb was the worst part of all... all rocks and reaching an altitude of 14500 ish. Derek held in there and made it the whole way. At one point our tour guide (who has WAY too many talents to even START to name) started playing a peruvian flute in a valley for us, to motivate us to the summit. It was like a private concert just for us, it was magnificant! We summitted and so all that was left was down hill... slow and steady wins the race... not always. The hike down was quite difficult as well as it was hard on the ol´knees! Exhausted, we stumbled into camp, got our tents sorted and had tea. Supper was amazing again, and honestly, we were all too exhasuted to eat. We chatted with the group for a bit, and then crawled into bed...

Day 3 began at 7 again with coco tea (sure do miss it). Today was going to be the easy day, all down hill. Derek (I think) hyper extended one of his knees on the climb down on day 2 and so the decline was slow and steady... he was so determined, and at one point they sent the horse they have for injuries but he just smiled and said ¨No, Gracias¨ and kept on trucking. I was so proud of him! We had little mini breaks through out the morning to rest his knee and it was lovely... and so beautiful. We got to the end of the trail and because of the strikes, they couldn´t get the bus through so we had to walk another couple kilometers... lucky enough, a truck hauling rocks came by and Abel (our number 2 guide) got us a lift... quite the truck, and quite the ride.

That is all I have time for folks.... the saga continues tomorrow with details about Manchu Piccu....

Monday, July 16, 2007

Holy crap - THIS TRIP IS ROCKIN!!!

Hey all... Hola once again from Peru. Things here are fantastic... what an adventure this is.

Where I left off... we had to get up at 2:45 am to be ready and breakfast eaten by 4 to get to Cusco. Apparently the flights are far more likely to a. be on time, and b. actually make it... I want to keep going, so we got up, groggie, but up. A short 1 hour flight and we were in Cusco... altitude 10, 000 ft... quite the switch from the near sea level in Lima. I adjusted ok... a bit of a headache but nothing too major, nothing a cup of cocoa tea wouldn"t cure. Derek unfortunatly took it a bit hard and rested most of the day. Poor dude... when we got to our hotel, we crawled up to our room for a napperoo... and then I took off on my own to explore. Derek was not too perky, and so I left him... nice hey. So whilst exploring, I took in the Convente de Santa Christophe (I think)... which was quite nice, but nothing too spectacular. After about an hour of touring, I went back to my sickie, and convinced him that we should eat and go for a bit of a stroll. We went for supper at the resuraunt in the hotel... know it is safe there, and we were off like a herd of turtles. This altitude thing kills you... seriously, tying your shoes is an ordeal! We walked to the market and got some "Alpaca wear" to keep us warm on the nights of the trek. Then we went up to the main square and looked at some of the shops there, seriously I could spend HOURS shopping... good thing Derek is here, I would be spending ALL my money and having to cart it all around Peru... there will be time enought for shopping! We stopped for a pint and to meet up with some of the Irish ladies on the tour at the worlds highest Irish pub... Paddy O Flarteys. I have picts, I assure you.
After that, it was to bed to ease the altitude madness.

Today, we had a fantastic day. We left later on in the morning... i.e. 9 am... and drove to the GAP adventure project they have that tries to maintain the culture of the society we travel in... it is part of their social impact repairment thing... GAP is quite a fantastic company that way! It was really neat to be able to see the older ladies weaving in the traditional way... we got to play with llamas and alpacas and of course, bought some of the weaving.... I am sure I have sucker written across my head! Then we were off to Pisca where we saw some ancient ruins, which were quite spectacular nestled in the sacred valley. Pisca was having a celebration today and they were parading down the streets dancing and carrying shrines to the Virgin of Pisca... it was quite a sight! After that, it was off to Olyataytambo which is where we are now. We went and toured another ancient Incan temple, and were able to see how these amazing men (and women?) lugged these HUGE rocks up these hills, at these elevations... yikes! We had a nice supper with the group impromptu, and shared some laughs over some, I think it was pizza... food has been interesting... I have tried Alpaca which is good, but no guinea pig yet... not yet I said Roger, it will come! So that brings us up to date folks... I will be unable to post for a couple of days as we are headed off to the trail tomorrow... I am excited and nervous, and totally pumped and want to beat everyone up the hill... oh well, we shall see what happens!

Take care you all, and love you!!! Heather and Derek

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Hola a Peru!!!

HEY EVERYONE... we made it safe and sound... but first I have to note that it is totally weird working on a computer when everything is spanish, lets hope this posts properly!!! Haha!!!

Thus far, we have stayed a night in Lima... relativly uneventful in that we got lost for a bit in our taxi last night and so we didn´t get to our hotel until 2 am... needless to say we are a little tired! We stayed in the hotel I booked at 11 pm the night before we left... long story, just glad it worked out and we didn´t have to sleep on the streets of Lima! Something about things taking forever in South America and so GAP didn´t get back to us with out hotel confirmation until the day before we left, and told us that we didn´t have a reservation, but good luck, and have a great trip! I was a little stressed, but it all worked out, as it always does!

Today we woke to have a nice little breakfast in our cute little hotel and we walked around for a bit, only to come across a parade. Not sure what it was for, but there were lots of kids marching like little communists, it was wild! There were traditional dancers too... pictures would be good here I am sure... I hope these post well! Tonight we have a meeting with out tour group just to give the run down, but until then, I think we are going to head out and explore... we have been eyeing this paragliding trip that is just down the way... might be a good time! :o)

Other than that, folks, it has been uneventful, amazing... hard with the language barrier... but amazing! It is colder than we had anticipated... must get some beautiful wool traditional sweaters.... maybe with a llama on it! haha! We are off to Cusco tomorrow... altitude becomes MUCH higher (13,000 ft I think...) so I am glad we got the pills! :o)

I will write as soon as I can... Love you all, and Derek says Hola!!!

P.S. Pictures wouldn´t post... will try next time! :o)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Harper says HI!!

So, just want to update you... I went to the conservative party Stampede BBQ last night and got to see Stephen Harper speak. I love the fact that Derek invites me to these things!!! Thanks babe, you rock! So He does this speech, which was quite good, chalk full of Conservative propaganda... how many times did he use "That is the Conservative Priority"??? I am thinking 400! ha! The thing that shocked me was that he isn't as tall as I thought him to be, and he is a tad on the portly side. Honestly, I felt that his smile was genuine tho, and it is hard to find that in a politician... I am sure that Dad and I can attest to the fact that we have seen many a fake smiles in politicians, and it is far more rare to have a politician be genuine than for a politician to actually do what they say! haha! I remember when I first started in that crazy world, I invited the MLA over for coffee and we chatted about what it is like being in politics, and what it takes. He was a genuine man, and I hope to one day soon be in the Leg. with him. It would be an honor. Harper gave me the same feeling of sincerity that this, MLA Barry McFarland did. It is refreshing to know that our country is in quite capable hands. I can sleep better at night knowing this.

The Conservatives, however, were quite rude as a group! They talked through the MC's entire speech and 1/2 of the Grace!!! I was in awe of the fact that they were so incredibly rude! I forgot how much "politicking" goes on at those events... I can tell you that I miss it... I loved being in there, subtly raising issues to the ministers (and not so subtly sometimes) and seeing how they respond. I am just scared to take that step, it is much scarier to do it here, in Calgary than in Nobleford. The good thing is that if I don't get elected, no one will know who I am here... haha! Anyways, I think I have some more learning about life to do before I step into the "political arena". I do know, that I would have the support of Derek through it all, despite him not agreeing with some of (ok.. most of) my ideas... I know that he would stand beside me (and hopefully vote for me) on those stressful days! That means a lot!

So, enough about my pipe dreams... Good news, my vitamin B12 is at normal levels again... and I just have to take supplements. I got the final round of Medicine for Peru... now all I need is a new camera bag and some accessories, and we can go now! (ok... we have 2 more sleeps!!) Can't believe it is here already! Hopefully, if all works out well... the next post will be from Peru! Take care and I love you all!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The butterflies begin...

So it is 5 more sleeps until we depart. I must admit that I have my clothes, medicines, soap, moist towelettes, sunscreen and sun hat all laid out on the floor just waiting to get put into my pack to go! I am SOOOO excited! I think I am going to drive everyone nuts in the next coming days!!!!!!!!!!

Nothing new and exciting happened this past week. I do want to note that I am officially divorced - July 6th (so far as I know). I had a beer with some friends to celebrate!!! We had company this past weekend, Andy and Eileen and their daughter Elana stopped by as they had a wedding on Saturday here in Calgary. We had a lovely visit with them, although Derek was teaching a course all weekend. The weather was a little iffy... cloudy and windy so he has been later as they had to do their jumps later on in the day, when the weather cleared!

I had Friday off due to the Calgary Stampede parade so I spent the day doing the recycling and hanging out with Cathy. We just hung out, we haven't done that in weeks. She has been working strictly weekends (2 doubles per weekend) so we haven't been able to hang out much! Saturday I got a hold of a friend and we were going to go to the new Harry Potter movie. BUT, despite the fact that they have the times posted on their website, Harry Potter is not playing yet, so we went for lunch and then went for a long walk. It was a great day! Today, Sunday, I cleaned out my storage unit, managed to squeeze it all in to our condo. Why pay for storing stuff when it can fit in our house... we have a storage unit, that is now officially pretty full!!!

So... that is the update folks! I will hopefully update you prior to departure... in only 5 more sleeps! This week holds some stampeding and getting sorted before we leave. Other than that... just a regular week is anticipated! I haven't added a quote for you lately, been to busy keeping you up to date... so, here you go! I think this one is fitting seeing as I am going to be doing something I have been dreaming of for the past year and a half. I am slowly marking stuff off my list, and at the rate I am going, I might just have to make a new one! :o)

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler." Henry David Thoreau. I feel that I have simplified my life, and gotten rid of the things that made me unhappy, now I have surrounded myself with things that make me happy and with people who love me just the way I am. I feel I am able to live my dreams to the fullest now, and because of this, I have a confidence and a hope that will make my life extraordinary. Like Robin Williams says in one of my favorite movies, "make your lives extraordinary"... that is my goal. The cool thing is, what is extraordinary to me, differs from what is extraordinary in the eyes of others. I am going to make ME feel that my life is extraordinary.

Chat soon Mi amigos! You have a fantastic week all!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Raining in Eden

Hey all... hope all of your long weekends were spectacular! Ours was ok. We spent The weekend at the DZ near Spruce Grove as it was skydiving provincials this past weekend. Derek's team didn't do as good as they hoped but learned some valuable information and once the competition was over it seemed, they were clicking. It is hard to go into competiton with a new guy on the team. It was great to finally meet Don, though, and he is just an amazing human... despite the fact that he is a criminal lawyer and works with crooks. :o) THis picture is of the amazing team "Vertical Express". Derek is the "frog" with the black, red and white rig and KK is the other guy with a white suit. Don is the purple "frog" and Ed (or E.D. as we know him now) is the dark "frog". I call them frogs because they remind me of frogs that are streched out.

I drove up with Nancy (E.D's wife) as Ed took their car up to Edmonton the night before. She is such an interesting and vibrant lady, it was a pleasure to drive up with her. She has been training for the Ironman triathalon that is coming up in August. She should do good, as she completed a 1/2 ironman the weekend before last and she got 1st in her age category. Go Nancy! We got to Spruce Grove and had a bite to eat, 2 HOURS later, we were away and driving to the DZ (Eden North) when a monsoon hit. The lightning show was spectacular, and I was glad that Derek and I chose to get a hotel as we would have flooded!!! When we got to the DZ the next morning, it was soggy and wet and cold. It took until 2:30 in the PM for the run way to dry for the Twin Otter to be able to take off and land (as the runway is just a grass strip). The guys were chomping at the bit by the time they got in the air to compete. Through out the day there were numerous weather holds, and this stalled the competition somewhat. At one point at the end of the day, the Team went up and refused to jump because the clouds and such were too thick and they couldn't guarantee the quality of their video. They had to land in the plane (which is SO weird for skydivers!!!) When you compete in 4-way formation skydiving, there is a camera person that video tapes your skydive. From the time you leave the plane you have 35 seconds to make as many formations as you can. If you are not sure of the quality of film you would have, it is best to land with the plane, as one point can make a big differnence. Anyways, I am sad to say because of many things like this, I didn't jump. It just didn't work out... gotta get past this have to have 2 instructors with me thing!!! ha!

The drive home was good, lonely as Nancy and E.D. took off to B.C. for a couple weeks to train for the ironman. I decided to take a detour and go to visit Aunty J and Sandra in their new abode in Cochrane. They have a GORGEOUS house, and I am certain they are going to be quite happy there. Good Luck you guys!!!! Their store is opening at the end of this month... should be good.

A quick shout out to Devon... have a good time hanging with your Newfican in Newfie... see you when we get back. Only 8 more sleeps folks and I will be writing to you from Peru!!! This weekend we have company... Andy and Eileen and their daughter are joining us tongiht... should be 'cosy' in the ol' condo. Andy is the guy that I did my jump with in Arizona in Feb. He is a fantastic guy... kinda reminds me of my Dad...

Anyways, cheers to being off tomorrow for the Stampede parade... update you soon...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Just call me madam Babbles-a-lot!!!

OK, first and for most... Hi! Second... I have discovered that MOST people who blog on a regular basis use pictures (and lots of) to portray the goings on in their lives. No such luck with me my friends! I am and have always been a babbler... You got it, baby... now, hold on tight, because this could get long!

So, my count down to Peru has subsided partially because of the "HOLY CRAP, I still have a list of things to do" feeling as well as the pending activities for this weekend and partially because all of my friends are so sick of hearing about it. I will make sure I post some photos when I tell you how things went this weekend... but before I talk about what is to come, the ghost of Days Past must spill the beans on what has been the haps!! ha!

OK, last week was nothing spectacular... other than White Water rafting on the Kicking Horse River. Talk about the most fun you can have on the ground! Our guide Ted made sure that we were informed about the local vegetation and the scenery... quite knowledgeable he was, should be considering he was a)the owner of the company that took us rafting and b)had been rafting down the river for 24 years! (almost as long as I have been alive!!! Puts perspective on that it does!). If any of the guides tell you that the water is going to be "refreshing" they are liers... it is bloody cold... almost hypothermia cold! But that didn't stop me from floating in the water... not much does, I miss the Hay... being able to jump in at a moments notice! Anyways, it was a spectacular time and it was all provided by my place of work! Gotta love Team building exercises! ha! Then it was off to home, to quickly change and jet off with Derek to the Heritage park party they put on for us. I was exhausted, but managed to go on the Ferris wheel (made me nervous, wonder why!) and the swings... had cotton candy (ewww!) and ice cream and popcorn! (Don't worry babe, we will work all of those extra calories off in no time on the trail in Peru!) It was a fantastic meal and an open bar... what company has an open bar at events? Mine apparently! Had I been a few years younger (or perhaps not as exhausted!) I would have taken full advantage of the 'open bar' situation!

Saturday saw us out at the Drop zone with cooper! I think he likes my driving!!!Before that, it was almost AGONY listening to Derek and Cooper trying to figure out if they were going or not....... I tell you, they are like 2 women in a shoe store!!!! We were there long enough for Derek to get a jump in before the weather turned iffy and we went to The Beef Steak (the only restaurant in the village). Once we ate (and had a 'I'm going to solve the worlds problems' conversation) we made it back to Calgary long enough to change and head out to the Roger Waters concert! It was super! There were lasers, lights, pyro and a big inflatable remote controlled pig with "Impeach Bush" on the butt (and a couple more sayings that were of equal political nature!). The only thing I can say tho is, do people stop moving around and switching seats at ALL anymore? AND, what is with the dude watching TV in front of us, perhaps he missed the memo of "Your at a freaking concert dude!!" memo... OR, what was with the dude beside us that got so stoned that he fell asleep... one for the memory there buddy! ha! It was fantastic, is all I have to say... and if I wasn't a Pink Floyd fan before, I do believe I would consider myself one now!

Sunday saw us going to Dids (with Cooper and Elisa and Shannon and Andrew). It was raining when we got there, boooooo! So we went into town to the Disdury Inn for some breaky! mmmm... I had the worlds smallest pancakes, serves me right for ordering the kids size! Sigh! By the time we got back it was go time, and oh, so pretty out! Derek and his buddies got a couple jumps in... including Shannon, the injured "team mate". She always lands so softly... I think it is the opening of the parachute that bugs her! I aspire to land like her... not big on the 40 km/hr skimming the ground like those boys do! :o) I do like the sound of the chute tho, nothing like that sound! (Just like nothing beats the smell of the ice in a rink!!! sigh!!!) By the time Derek and friends got a couple jumps out, and I had ripped the pilot a new hole about religion... long story!... we were off to Boston Pizza in Airdrie. Good times! There were 10 of us or so and a few of the members are base jumpers (they jump off cliffs and buildings and bridges and other such crazy things!!!) Anyway, these crazies were talking about going up to Baffin island to do some crazy jumps off the cliffs there. I guess they are just amazing, nothing like them in the world. BUT, you have to go before the ice pack melts or you are pooched! I would like to see some Baffin footage... just putting that out there guys!!!

So that was the weekend... this week has seen me getting another Holtor Monitor... my little robot-o friend! Gotta love it - not!!! Wednesday saw me almost go FREAKY on my pottery teacher... I think that is the last I am going to go there!!! CRAZY LADY... talks to me like I am 2 and that is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves! UGH!!! To top things off, I didn't have my usual de-tox session with Derek as Derek left me for his other love... the twin otter!!! This coming weekend is Provincials and Derek took off last night as the Otter is at the DZ now, as we speak and he probably got 3-5 jumps in today!!! Congrats Don for your 3000th jump... I am still working on #5 which totally puts it into perspective! :o) So the guys are training with their new point man (Go KK...) and I am sure they are having a blast. Nancy (Eddie's wife) and I are driving up after my MRI tomorrow... yeah, just threw the MRI thing in there... don't want to talk about it until it is over... scary and ominous it is. Anyways, looking forward to lounging in the sun, reading, meeting new folks, and having a beer or two with the folks I do know... oh, and perhaps a jump or two! We will see what the mood dictates! :o)

So my life right now is all about getting as much done tomorrow at work as I can so I can bail early to get the stupid test done and then up to Edmonton for a weekend of watching Derek's dreams come into fruition... YEAH Vertical Express!!!!!! If they fly well, we could be headed to Nationals!!! Who knows!!!

Anyways, perhaps I should do some eating and such (haven't since I got home!!! The T.V. is still in the off position too... usually the first thing I do, I love the white noise!). I do want to shout out to Conan Deb... it has been too long my friend since the days where I would sit in your office and try to figure stuff out... trust me, this past year, I you would have been sick of me... you will never know what your friendship has and does mean to me. You are the bestest!!! And a library and knitting goddess too! :o)

Peace all... I am outtie! Gotta pack for the weekend, chow down and hit the hay... gotta rest for the chaos that is going to ensue!!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

To catch you up

I have been getting some slack from annonymous people (whom I live with ;o)) that I have been not providing enough entertainment via my Blog... sigh, the demands I endure! haha!

So, the begining of the month saw Derek and I attending two birthday parties in one weekend (happy Birthday Monique and Princess Nadina). Nadina had a surprise party and she was genuinley surprised... it was great! Her and I were the princesses... and she informed me that my initials are the initials of Royalty... HMH - Her Majesty Heather!!!! I like the sounds of that! ha! Sunday Derek worked so I just puttered around the house and had a relaxing day. The week sported the usual events, guitar and pottery... Derek out to the DZ on Wednesday... a trip to the grocery store thrown in there for good measure!

The next weekend (or the second weeekend in June) Derek had to work on Saturday... so I slept in, had a coffee and was reflecting on what to do... then I get a call and Derek is coming home, yeah!!! He got off 10 hours early, can't beat that for a Saturday. We went to Spiderman 3 and then out for drinks with friends. We had a great day (and although Spidey 3 was a tad cheesy and FULL of propeganda, it was good!) Sunday the weather was iffy and we got off to a late start due to the late night out with friends, so we decided to take to the hills!! We met up with a couple friends of ours and took a ride on the zip-line at COP. It was a fantastic time filled with smiles, icecream, giant sour soothers and butterflies, as well as snickers when the instructors called the little piolet chutes - parachutes... all 4 of us had jumped out of a plane a time or two (and one of us, off random objects) and knew the difference, but most didn't! I kinda like knowing the secret that people are talking out of their arses! Makes me giggle! After the fun times at the Zip line, we went to Pirates of the Carribean and endured a couple that talked through the ENTIRE movie... I was so mad, that I told them... and they were of course appologetic. I should have asked THEM for my money back!

The week was full of things to do, same ol, same ol! Laundry, cleaning, dentist appointments, guitar lessons, trips on Wed. to the DZ, a trip to MEC for stuff for our trip (I was in the 'it is less than a month to go and I am freaking out' section... it is easy to find I assure you, people roaming with lost looks on their faces shows it every time!!!)... our weeks are busy! But this past weekend, we relaxed! On Friday we were invited to a friends house for supper and it was superb! We were enjoying ourselves so much that we were a touch late picking up Grandma at the airport. We made it however, and had a nice quick visit with her. Derek met more of my family, and has yet to run... he MUST like me! :o)

It was rainy and grumpy and gross, so Saturday we got up early for our free movie courtesy of my place of work. We watched Oceans 13 - which was, out of the list of movies we have seen recently, was the best one. Then it was off to make sure that Aunty J had everything sorted out with the storage unit... we are good to go, and now Derek and I are trying to figure out how we can get all of my stuff in our house... could be squishy!! I don't think either of us realized how much stuff I still had in the storage unit! :o) Saturday night was drinks with friends... we are certainly social butterflies!!! Sunday was our lazy day where we did little other than have a nap, and watch movies and listen to the rain. It was nice to just not do a thing for one day, refreshing! I did call Dad as it was Father's day... couldn't miss that! :o)

Until the next installment... stay tuned for the countdown to Peru!!! Honestly... only 23 more days!!!!!!!! Yikes!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

So... we had a party!

Well, this past weekend was a party... not sure why folks RSVP when they don't intend on coming... oh well c'est la vie!!! All in all it was a gong show, as anticipated... there was a poem that Cat wrote and Amy played guitar to and Sandra acted out... too funny for words I assure you! It was a riot! Then there was a CUPS challenge... I think Erica and I tied, no telling who's mom got the "tear in her eye" with pride, we were both horrid!!! ha! Doesn't help that we didn't have the 80 dollar cups!!!

Other than that... Derek and I hoofed her to the DZ on Sunday (I was a little less perky than he - mind you, he should have been the wasted one, he was the only male at the party... you did well babe!) He got to play in the sky while I played with my shiny camera on the ground. We then proceeded to the thriving metropolis of Beisker for some chow... one and a half hours later and we got our food... I blame it on the pie Denis ordered, that TOTALLY slowed us down! Our waitress was the worst in the world... I think we saw her twice at our table, and one of them was to give me more coffee (at 8:30 at night, do you think that was wise???). We ordered from one, got our food from another, and then paid to our original server... WTF... didn't know Beisker was that big! ha!

This week has been busy with work - lots to do, seems like everyone is coming after us! Also, I had guitar, which is going good... perhaps one day I will play in front of someone other than Derek or my teacher. Finally, I had pottery tonight. I am racking up the Christmas gifts... I should be done by September, and then I can afford to travel to Montreal for Derek's meeting (OK... it isn't set yet as to where it is, but I am pushing for Montreal because I have never been there and he is the Chair and gets to decide... so... Derek, my love.... what do you say???? wink, wink!!!)

That brings us to today. I had a rocking pottery sesh tonight, and it was the other teacher, so the nazi wasn't there... good thing, because I wrecked 3 of my pieces experimenting, and that is FORBIDDEN with the nazi!!! Everything has to be HER way... I am not paying her to make HER style of pottery, I am paying to make MY creations... and they may differ from hers (significantly) but she is learning that I have a HANDS OFF policy... or at least she will! :o)

This weekend we have Moniques BBQ and Martini fest on Friday... then a surprise party on Saturday... and Sunday (early) Derek gets to go and play with Politicians (sigh) and I get to sleep in (yeah!!!). I would trade him if I could....

OH, last week was busy... Killers concert (which was SOOO Awesome, thanks for coming D) and on Friday I got to play on stage with Paul Brandt. Ok... that may be an exaggeration, I got to fix the draped cloth behind Paul Brandt's stage, BUT I was on the stage at the same time as he and that was great!!! Thanks Derek for making it possible... let me know when the next big band hits your world and I will fix anything I have to, to get on stage and get a free meal. I am too easy to please sometimes.

I was looking at my calendar today and the next month and a half are booked with Dentist and Doctors appts and Stampede parties, boogies (hehehe), skydiving, and just summer type stuff. After August long weekend though, things look a little more tame, hummmm, what kind of trouble can we get into???? hehehe!

Stay tuned for the next installment of "Heather's busy life" - Until next time... stay warm, keep livin' and long live Yoda!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Happy first Blogiversary

Hello fellow humans, and happy first blogiversary to me! It is hard to believe that one year ago tomorrow, I sat at Aunty J's computer with a contemplative heart and anxious fingers, ready to start my story, ready to share my world with unknowing souls. I had not anticipate blogging to be a steady in my life like it has become. It is very therapeutic, but only because I have given myself permission to say things on here that I am not sure I would have otherwise. I like looking back at the good days and bad and remember how I felt. It is odd, and really kind of cool to be able to slip back to where I was and how I felt, and remember the process of blogging that day. So, thanks for being a part of this process all, I love hearing how you have read the latest posting, and I have often been challenged with what I wrote. Perhaps it is my subconscious trying to bring up the topic... at least that is what Freud would say.

So, this weekend has been really nice and quiet. Derek is in Edmonton teaching a non-jumping course for coaches... he grumbled about it as it is often a weekend he gets off work, and three whole days off is a weekend of jumping in the making! Alas, the weather has been rainy, windy and genuinely crappy here, so I hope he feels better! I spent Friday night watching chick flicks, and subsequently crying... I am such a girl sometimes... ha! Saturday I spent most of the day with Cat and her offspring and Amy and her offspring and some other guy who refused to leave... We went to "Build a bear" for Sarah's birthday and had a great time (I think they produce children in the back and then put them out at random intervals during the day, and instruct them to go and hover around the lady that looks uncomfortable. I SWEAR they swarmed around me!) We had lunch, and I got peed on by Rooney... moments like this make it IN STONE that I won't reproduce! YUCK! Then after we ditched the kids... Cat and I went and took a load to the dump, went shopping for stuff for my party next week, went for supper and then a movie. DO NOT see Georgia Rule... it totally sucked. It is about a girl who gets sexually abused by her step Father, and who has an alcoholic mother... I wanted to throw up after it, it was SO bad... Today, Sunday, I am takin' 'er cheezy, relaxing, cleaning the house, taking in the recycling, just relaxing! Should be a nice day... the weather is crap so no grabbing Ed and heading to the DZ. Can't believe I have one more day off... nice!

This coming week is busy, busy! Tuesday I don't think we have anything... but Wednesday is pottery, Thursday is the KILLERS concert (oober excited), Friday is getting ready for the party... and Saturday is party time! Lots to do before then... have lots of people coming, for all aspects of my life... work, family, friends from here, friends from Lethbridge (that live here now), my BOSS, my boyfriend... it is very exciting!

So, all... thanks for tuning in for the past year. I hope that this coming year will be full of fun and adventure. I am thinking so as Manchu Picchu can't be all the dull! I am getting ready for the adventure of my life... and I anticipate it only to get better. Derek and I are already looking for our next trip! (OK, it is mostly me going, "Oh, this looks fun... let's go here!"). Until next time friends, take care, have fun and fly safe! :o) OH, and Congrats Deb on the engagement... who would have known you would have tied the knot one day! :o) Congrats! See you soon!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Busy, busy, busy!

Wow, ok... lots to tell ya!

First of all, props to my friend Wallington. I just finished reading his blog (and although it hardly had my pinache and flare, it made me laugh until I was litterally crying!). It is so interesting to sit and read other's blogs and find out their "inner most thoughts"... Kevin said "I figure that in these blogs I will pass on the great stories that remind me of why I am alive, why I am so thankful for every passing moment and the people that are in my world. It will be glorious, it will be painful, it will be in victory and defeat...but at the end of it all, life will present itself as the every changing adventure that I prefer it to be." I have looked back on my "Blogging life" and realised that I have stayed steady and true to my objective and goal, to try to give a clear, accurate, honest depiction of what my life is... and I feel that I have done it. I have not hid anything, and that sometimes has had reprocussions... but I have taken them and moved on. I have shared my pain, my sorrow, my joys and successes. On Monday it will be one year... my one year Bloggiversary as I am calling it. Kevin said it... "... at the end of it all, life will present itself as the every changing adventure that I prefer it to be." Well said my political friend. You and I often thought the same... too bad we could never agree.

SO, news... I have officially left Nobleford, hopefully never to retun. I went and picked up my table and yoga mat on Saturday. It went smoothly and although I got asked for the "engagement ring" back, I chuckled, said NOPE and walked away. Cat and I got the table in her van in record time, 8 minutes! We then made it back in time to put it all in the storage unit and say Happy Birthday to all of the members of our family that celebrate on May 12th... namely, her daughter Sarah, My dad and my Lily! The Friday before we went to Nobleford, Cat and I had to stop at Toolaholic Al's place to pick up Derek's new parachute... Girlfriend of the year award here I come!!! Then it was off to smelly Picture Butte to visit Lyle and Leah. I must admit, I left there at a bit of a loss. The conversation was consumed with what was going on in the ex's life... he has sold 4 tractors, had tenants that thrashed his acrage, and he is getting married in July. Hope the papers are done by then! :o) They disapointed me by not asking about my life at all, dispite me catching up on all of their goings on. Made me realize that life does infact go on... and I SO have!

Then Sunday saw Derek and I hanging out doing couply things (as Debbie says) - we made a trip to Ikea and went a purchased "Barney" my new Rebel - get it? Barney - Rebel???? I am too punny for words! The week had passed quickly - guitar lessons, things to build and then decide they are too big and un-build to take back... taking back things to Ikea, only to buy new things to build... setting up a parachute in a 900 sqft condo (interesting times!) and a trip to the DZ mixed in there for pleasure (more so for Derek as I was lacking an instructor... constable... where were you?). Derek got to fly his new Katana, and he was all smiles!

OH, and in between all of this activity we booked Peru... Whooohoooo! We leave on July 13th and return July 26th. No word yet as to whether we are going to be going to TO for Nationals... will keep you posted on that. I am oober excited and a little nervous. I have never been on a trip to a foreign land and stayed in a tent... going to be a wild ride, and I just can't wait... me and Barney are ready and good to go!

"All my life I've been over the top, I don't know what I'm doing all I know is I don't want to stop." - Ozzy. Anyone who knows me, knows that I can be a little on the dramatic side, a lot like the Oz... for example, next weekend is the party of the year! We are booked, people are coming, the cake is ordered, we are ready to party! Although it won't be totally "Legal" it is official. I have left all of my former life as a Noblefordian where it should and will remain, in the past. Time to go forward, time to keep on living life. I don't ever want to stop being who it is I am... I think I am pretty OK most days, and I am estatic about that! "All I know is I don't want to stop!" - Having way to much fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cheers all, have a super long weekend... drive safe, drink responsibly and live it up...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I'm a Rebel again!!!


Oh my gosh, this is the coolest thing in the world... Introducing my latest addition... My new canon Rebel XTi... and is it a thing of beauty!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Wild, wonderful weekend

WOW... if I were an emotion this past weekend I would have to have been messed up. Things were great, fun, horrible, grumpy, and fantastic all at the same time. Friday was spent relaxing for the first time it seemed that week. Saturday, our time was spent looking up at the sky, dreaming of more people to be at the DZ (despite the large amount of folks, they were not instructors). So... Derek and I hung out and visited with folks we haven't seen since last season. The night brought the Cinco de Mayo party out at Dids. We couldn't jump out there because the plane was kaputzki... at least for now. Well... as it often happens, I decide to mix things up, get the party started... and now I am known as a Chick with wood. The story... A new found friend and I decided to chuck as many of Hutchs defunct pieces of furniture into the fire as we could. We started the fire and kept on trucking until the Anarchy chair and picnic table were on fire. It was a fun night full of laughter, burning of random crap and new friends. I am sure life will never be the same now that I have met Alissa. We are, after all, Chicks with Wood!

Sunday saw me finally climb into the dreaded Cessna. Now the Cessna isn't dreaded because it isn't safe, it is dreaded because it houses 6 people as opposed to the 22 people the otter houses... it takes 20 mins for the Cessna to get to 9,500 ft as opposed to the 12 mins it takes the Otter to get to 13,00 ft... and you have to climb out onto the wing of the Cessna instead of falling out of the door of the Otter. Having said that, I got in there, ready to rock the kazbah with regards to getting more advanced and getting more "notches" in the proverbial skydiving belt (or more logs in the book...). (If you look at the picture you will see Derek on one side (hanging on) Ed on the other side (hanging on) me in the middle and a parachute above my head... this was my first jump of the day) The first skydive didn't go as good as I had hoped, the windy situation that was the wing threw me off guard, but I gained my composure and did the best I could. I had a really nice canopy ride, but instead of landing on my feet... I landed on my patootie. The second dive, I rocked the exit... showed the wing who was boss, but then fouled up the body position and things didn't go so well. I ended up having a deployment at about 8000ft (which is high) and so I had a 15 min. canopy ride. it was a little on the boring side, but I could relax and watch Derek and Ed land their canopies, the cars go by, the cows graze, Beisiker and Calgary. It was really weird hanging out just flying around for so long, but I managed to get back to ground and had a beautiful soft landing on my feet. That was my shining moment for the weekend, that and getting the exit on my second try. There is always something to improve on, so next time, I will have a focus and a goal. I know that I am too hard on myself and was grumpy because I felt I did so poorly. I have since gotten over it, and know that I can not be good at everything the first couple times... only makes me want to do it again to get it right... fear not family, I have gotten the pulling the parachute part... I just need to keep my head up and not look at the ground and I should be OK. If I had a dollar every time a coach told me to keep my head up, I would be rich!!!

So this coming weekend is for me to go and gather the remaining belongings at Nobleford. Then I will be done, through with the whole lot of them and hopefully we can forget about the past, not worry about it anymore, and continue with life. After all Christopher Morley said "There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way." I have learned this more this past year than I ever have, and hopefully will ever have to again. I am doing things for me, and if they make others unhappy (like I am certain skydiving does my mom and dad) then I tell them that I love them, that I enjoy doing it, and that I am going to do it anyway, I am sorry, but I like it. Just like moving on with my life... I am going to do what makes me happy, and this past year, I have never felt as much success because of that. I believe that is what Christopher Morley was talking about... if your going to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. That is precisely what I am doing, and loving every moment of it... OK, maybe not every moment, but they all can't be good!!! If they were all good Derek and Ed would not be my newest cowboys! :o)