Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Weekends enjoying my home

My "home" encompasses far more than the house I live in. My home is the subdivision it sits in and now also the barn Ace is in. Last weekend I decided to spend all weekend at home, enjoying life generally. I rode, I walked the dogs, I cleaned the house. There were some cool clouds at the weekend and it was typical August hot.
A couple of photos from my at home weekend, enjoying what we have and spending zero dollars.
(I plan to enjoy a whole lot more of these)

Monday, 7 August 2017


This weekend we managed to get in some tubing down the river on Saturday. It was a perfect day for it with high temps and safe, lazy river water.

Sunday was quiet with very noisy crazy rain. We need the rain, so I am not complaining at all but by heck did it rain.
I decided to ride Ace in the indoor with another horse. It was insanely loud in there. Overwhelmingly loud. He was a good boy although understandably a little tense and tall. With his teal polos on he looked like an oversized polo pony. I was pleased with his behaviour and we called it a day after 15 mins as I thought my head would explode with the noise.

We now have some step up trailer training planned as we are returning to Salmon River showground at the end of September for the final of the seasons shows. It turns out that Ace and I are currently sitting in 2nd place in points for hunter. Who knew?!!!!

Friday, 4 August 2017

Ace moves house

Last weekend I was actually intelligent enough to book nothing as I was moving Ace on the Monday. (Usually I try to fit something like this into a booked weekend and stress myself out)
Therefore I had time on both Saturday and Sunday to clean up items I had borrowed so that they could be returned, empty my locker of horse "stuff" and take it to the new barn and generally say my goodbyes to the old barn. It was a time of some emotion as I am no good at saying goodbye to people as I get way too attached.

I took the girls with me on the Sunday when we moved his stuff so that they could see the new barn. It was such a hit with them that we managed to spend all Sunday afternoon there just looking around.

On Monday Ace arrived and settled in by trotting up his new paddock with an elevated floating stride, tail high. I could have stayed all afternoon with him but had to return to work. It took two days for him to settle in, calm down and return to his normal size.  Then on Wednesday evening we had a little ride in the outdoor arena and yesterday, after work, a hack around the fields there.
Complete bliss and tranquility.
The views are peaceful and beautiful. The breeze blew warmly. We wandered around in a happy state.

Monday, 24 July 2017

The perfect weekend

Just enjoyed a blissful weekend where I believe I managed to crack the code of the "perfect style weekend", although Paul was away on a bachelor weekend so I was a single parent until Sunday morning which dimmed my joy a touch. The girls and I got the grocery shopping done on Friday eve with wild weather warnings on the radio (we had some thunder and lightening at midnight but no possible tornadoes that had sent the girls into a spin).

Saturday was a little nuts with the horse in the morning so that we could go to the beach and then the Lavender gardens at Seafoam. We went to Melmerby where it was breezy but the water temps were delicious. I went in, no jelly fish in sight, and we swam for an hour or so and had a picnic on the sand and all round just relaxed.
Got home via the lavender gardens in time for a speedy supper so that I could drop Chloe off at the camp ground where her friend was and chat for a bit before returning to our neighbours firepit where I chatted some more.
Bed followed Netflix where I tried (and failed) to get into Homeland Season 3.

Sunday was bliss as I deliberately *did nothing* By that I mean, I made no plans so we could please ourselves. I walked the dogs once Paul got home at 10.30am just as the heat was really starting to kick in.

I hung out some in the back yard:


I relaxed, I watched "Love it or List it Vancouver", I cleaned the house so it looks and smells great, I got through all the laundry - washed, dried AND put away #winningatlife, the girls made mug cakes, I rode Ace in the early evening, we had homemade burgers and sweet potato fries with mango curry dip in the evening. I tried and failed, again, to watched Homeland Season 3. I think I am going to give up with that one now.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

exploring the possibilities of a Roo

I went on the annual strawberry picking event with my BFF and my youngest child a few weekends ago.

Its something Lily and I enjoy doing and whilst I was perusing the plants for the best strawberries possible I happened to mention to my BFF that I *still* want to stop off at an RV and trailer dealership and look in them all in a happy kind of way. Its been on my "odd" bucket list for a few years.
One hour later and we were both at the closest dealership complete with sticky children and a red stain on my white shirt which I felt compelled to explain constantly.
The kids were pumped and so was I.

I got the chance to look inside the Rockwood Roo 183 which has been on the wish list for about a year and it was all kinds of delightful. I suddenly had visions of us pulling up to some coastal camp ground complete with dogs and new Ikea plastic plates, or, better still, Bahia Honda State park RV site.

I went home all pumped and announced that I really wanted a camper trailer but we need a new car as the Outlander doesnt have the required ooomph to tow anything.

Fast forward 2 weeks and the neighbours up the road, who are newly retired at 54 (swoon at the prospect) have a massive motorhome on their driveway and casually mentioned that they plan to now circle North America in this and forgo all requirements for cold weather clothing. I was invited in to look around, I grabbed Paul and in we went.

I was now even more excited about camping prospects and dragged the whole family down to the camper sale event at the weekend to look once more at the Roo and marvel at its $30k price tag whilst still not having a towing vehicle.
We discussed happy camping possibilities as a family and how we would need to change the car. $$$$$$$$$$ started circulating around my head like they do in cartoons.

Because I am me, I spent a fairly sleepless night in a fit of anxiety over this, the kind you would envisage doing had you actually spent those dollars. The next day Paul and I had a heart to heart where I admitted my conflicted thoughts...one side of my head had the Ikea plastic plate, dog travelling, Roo 183 dream whilst the other side was thinking "are you nuts???!!!!".
We came to the conclusion that whilst the retirement dream involving a large motor home and 365 day heat is very attractive, we are right now unlikely to make campers. We are plane, car rental, hotel people. He reminded me that our children have no desire to spend three days in a car going to Florida now and thats not going to change.
The Roo idea is currently shelved.....

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

#1 Father-in-law is here

He arrived at the weekend and is here for a whole 12 days, I was madly excited on the leadup and am loving his visit.
Thank God that so far, bar the day he arrived, the weather has co-operated. Annoyingly I am at work for three days this week and then I have 6 days off and hes here for Canada day too so thats good timing. So far, hes been out for lunch, down to the lake with the girls, hung out in the back garden, been in the pool and attended three BBQs. I think hes slowly realizing that a BBQ is just part of summer and doesnt require a garden party to use it although its also how we all prefer to cook and eat together.
We even took him to an evening baseball game where Chloes boyfriend was playing.

I took this photo of the house the other day, the sky was that deep deep blue.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Horses again

Sometimes I spend time wondering if I should have a horse and thinking about life without a horse, like my life was for the 9 years I didnt have one. In that time I walked away from the BS politics that typically come with a stable yard, the expense of owning that horse and the expenses of having all the "stuff" for that horse.... the stuff that seems never ending...
Its starts with tack and a grooming kit and quickly moves on to fancy show tack, show gear for you, a trailer, a Jeep to pull that trailer. Countless saddle pads (numnahs to the Brits) and other stuff like pessoas and lungelines and dressage whips and fancier saddle pads with names embroidered on it and the best of the best boots like the Eskadron tendon boots that Pebbles wore.

This time around I am trying hard to resist the "stuff" purchases getting out of control. Ace has one saddle and one bridle, I borrowed a white saddle pad for the last show and a borrowed Pelham so I didnt end up in the dust again due to his romping between fences. I so far have managed to steer clear of trailer ownership (although I would LOVE one) and the required towing truck which Paul wants badly anyway.
I am buying secondhand stuff and trying my hardest to ignore the beautiful breeches that are worn by everyone else and the Charles Owen helmets that seem to be the "in thing" here. It was a big deal to buy myself beige breeches at all and I still am in my old jacket that now needs new buttons.

If I try to stay grounded and remember how much I love it and how much I dont NEED all that stuff, I am fine.
Heres a photo from last weeks show where we came second overall in combined 2'6" hunter and 3rd in the stake class which earned us $24 :-)
I so love this horse

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Remember when you badly wanted everything that you now have

The UK seems to be really going through the wringer the last few months what with London x 2 now and Manchester. All tragedies, all affecting people who are now living with loss, painful loss. And now its a country with guidance along the lines of "run, hide, tell". I was a child who grew up in the era of the IRA but this feels beyond that to me. That was normal to me (sadly) at age 5. "Run, hide, tell" is guidance that I never thought I would witness there, and I never want to accept as "normal".

So, this morning on my way to work whilst pondering the minor aggravations that are a normal part of (everyones) day I was brought up short by remembering a meme I saw recently that  I cannot, of course, find now. In short it said, and I cant recall it precisly

"Remember when you badly wanted everything that you now have"

I remember when I would walk to meet the person picking me up for my first job (couldnt drive then and had no car) and in that walk would wish that I lived in Canada, in a Canadian home, drove a VW Golf (a red Golf, was the wish at that time in 1991) in a job I loved, married to a great man with children that I adore.
Well, I have all that, and more....
I live in Canada, have a Golf (its grey but meh I love it), a husband I adore, two girls I am so proud of and love more than anything, a Canadian house, a job I love, a swimming pool (that was beyond 90s dreaming), my horse, dogs and cats, my health, my friends and extended family..... Everyday I live this life.
That means I have to put it all into perspective and be damned grateful and stop focusing on the small shit.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Its hot, as promised

Yesterday I drove home with 32C registering on my car outside temp. Todays its 28C again.
Love it.
I dont even mind the June bugs that much, as long as you dont turn a light on you can almost pretend they arent there. Mosquitos are of course not that easy to remove from mind and body.
Its the Friday before the long Victoria Day weekend and I have many plans for the weekend including dogs, horse, pool preparation, spring cleaning and glorious fresh air.

Happy Friday

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Hot on Thursday! Plus working on flow.

Wildly excited by the weather forecast because its promising this on Thursday:
29C feels like 35C! The fact that its 6C outside and grey is of no concern to me at all due to the promise of Thursday.
Bring it!
I had a great jumping lesson on Ace at the weekend. One of my horsey goals this year is to jump a flowing round. The kind that almost has a John Williams score dedicated to it.
The weekend before when we returned to jumping I nearly died of exhaustion after the third jump so was feeling frankly alarmed at the prospect of completing 8 jumps in the show at the end of May.
So I requested another jumping lesson.
Well, it was like night and day. Ace was super excited, coughing a bit at the start (gggrrrrrr I hate this ROA, it gives me anxiety) but he cleared that like an old man and then had some major energy and it was almost flowing, it was definately better.
I of course didnt get photographic evidence (I never get the good stuff) but below is my exhaustion weekend, they were tiny jumps. I am pleased to be able to report in that the weekends lesson had a 3 footer in it.

Thursday, 11 May 2017


  • Eating - overnight oats with bananas, coconut and pineapple seem to have become my breakfast staple, what I will do when I grow tired of it is a worry.
  • Waiting - for my friend to have her baby, shes currently in labour with her first, exciting times!
  • Wondering - if it will ever stop fecking raining. This May feels like our first ever June here, rain, rain, rain, rain. Ugh.
  • Watching - the duck thats resident with her eggs in a planter in the parking lot at work. We are all set with a ramp for her to lead the babies down when they are ready to leave and flags so she can cross the road. I have no idea why shes picked that spot but apparently its her second year.
  • Drinking - coffee without sugar, yep thats still working out.
  • Riding - working hard on our flow in jumping this year. I keep being congratulated by 20 somethings on how well its going. I cant keep banging on about how good I used to be at this, before they were even born or were in nappies. Ugh again.
  • Working out - going through the Hammer and Chisel program and LOVING IT.
  • On an economy drive - credit card stays at home unless required for gas or groceries as we put everything through it for the airmiles. To say I feel vulnerable is an understatement but its making me be more organized (I actually have to look at the gas gauge now so not to be surprised when I suddenly get the warning beep). Its also good to be in control!
  • Down - 7 inches all over - woop woop. Got aways to go still but on it.
  • Looking forward to - my father in laws visit at the end of June. Love it when he comes to stay. Oh and the heat bring back the damn heat!!!
  • Cant wait - it to stop raining! Stop raining!!!!

Happy Thursday y'all (I have a hankering to be Texan)

Monday, 8 May 2017

movie locations and other cool places to visit

Growing up in the eighties I became a big fan of the horror movies of that time. I have fond memories of ordering Poltergiest from the video shop one afternoon with the my best friend in the summer holidays and watching in a darkened room, with snacks, behind the requisite cushion. Then going out in the bright sunlight to the park and analysing every scene as to how much could be based on a true story.

I also liked The Shining, Halloween (1978 movie), IT, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Amityville, Duel etc etc
I still havent summoned up the courage to watch "The Texas Chainsaw massacre" but I have to watch it.

Anyway, today in my lunchbreak I found this rather cool website:
where the website owner has tracked down a ton of movie locations and posted then and now shots with helpful maps.

When I retire we have to go on an enormous road trip to visit all this plus where ET was shot and Centralia in PA. Centralia is an odd place and one which won my curiosity courtesy of Bill Brysons book "A walk in the woods". It's a town thats had an out of control underground fire thats been burning for years and years and cannot be stopped as its in a coalseam. You can still visit it although the road is now closed and see where smoke is quietly coming out of the ground. Apparently a few stubborn residents still live there as they refused to leave, even though their basement walls are warm. Beats me why anyone would do that...

Friday, 5 May 2017

Meet Kennedy

I have just realised that I have been amiss at posting about our newest baby.
Meet Kennedy. Shes is Misty cats baby sister, we lost Misty squirrel cat back in October.
Mistys mama had her last litter of kittens and despite feeling a little overloaded with animals we couldnt turn down an opportunity to have a Misty sibling.

Kennedy has now been with us for about 3 weeks. Shes named after Kennedy Space Centre which was where we were on the day the kittens were born.

Shes pretty darn cute frankly. Shes a real people cat adoring all cuddles and time with people. She snuggles as much as she can, runs like crazy all over the place and climbs legs. The dogs adore her and Oreo tolerates her. I am so hopeful that Oreo will soon feel the love.

The day she arrived and started camping out in Chloes room.

Spot the kitten in this photo.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

evening light in trees

Yesterday at the barn whilst I was hanging out with a grazing Ace (after a particularly good return to jumping session) I noticed the light on all the still bare trees was looking amazing. Of course, I had no camera at that specific time but I did manage to capture this about 10 minutes later:
The little baby leaves are creating the perfect green halo around the tips whilst the rest is almost silver.

I also came across this, this morning., It didnt just speak to me, but rather sang so share it I must.
And to echo all the radio stations this morning - "May the fourth be with you"
Happy Thursday

Friday, 28 April 2017

Two big events in our house-hold

Yesterday was a big day in our household. Two big milestones were achieved.
The first was that our youngest turned 10. Lily is such a mild mannered, pleasant and happy child that everyone seems to want to be her best friend. So, she has tonnes of friends and to keep them all happy, even the ones that dont get on I have agreed to have a birthday weekend (not just a birthday day). That way she can spend two days celebrating and see all her friends and everyone gets to hang with her. I am getting in copious amounts of wine to handle a house of grade 4s all weekend.
Shes also the original glitter child, loving all things from the Justice store. I love watching the way her life is unfolding for my little artist, photographer, ocean loving, purple and aqua fan, reader, young "crazy cat lady".

The second big event was that Paul and I took our Canadian citizenship tests. We had been studying and taking online tests for weeks in the lead-up to this and I fell a whole ton of trepidation on entering the exam room. It was just fine and we both passed with 100% marks (my first ever). We felt so incredibly relieved that we headed straight to Montanas for a celebratory lunch.
Next step is our ceremony and we will be Canadian - how wild is that?!!!!!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Chloe turns 13

Today my first born child, my beautiful, thoughtful, kind, considerate and funny child turns 13.
She has so much integrity in her life that it often blows me away. She also sometimes battles anxiety and the desire to hang out in her bedroom rather than get outside enough.
Shes an A student, has strong core values and often is bossy has strong leadership skills.

She loves animals, riding, reading and re-arranging her already tidy room. Shes suddenly discovered Hollister and Garage and sweaters with big price tags. She wants to be a marine biologist or a meterologist (something ologist anyway) and is already studying with her future in mind. Shes definately a planner like her mama.
Shes into horror flicks and likes the new Poltergeist (terrible compared to the original) and wants to scare herself, it takes me back to being this age when it was, for us, Nighmare on Elmstreet and Friday the 13th.
Shes adored by the whole family, including her little sister (long may the sisterly love last)

I feel fortunate to have her and every day thank my stars for my little family.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

cold again

Its cold again today, with a windchill of minus 7. Small amounts of snowfall are forecast this week. I changed my tires to summer ones on Thursday and enjoyed those couple of 22C days.
Did I mention how much I hate this time of year?!!!

Sunday, 16 April 2017

special needs pets

I don't mention our pets special needs much on here (ever?) but they do exist and cost us in vets bills.

Ace horse has COPD. Basically to the non horsey person he has asthma bought on by allergies in the Spring and Fall. Sometimes he just coughs, other times he stands there wheezing with his sides heaving as he tries to get in enough air. That's not that often but its often enough to be distressful to us both. Out comes the vet.
Right now, as its Spring and of course he's suffering he's on a dose of something new that seems to be working well (fingers crossed). Hes also on strict instructions to lose some weight so diets abound, for us both.
Winter hes perfectly fine... naturally.

Alpine dog also suffers from allergies that cause him to lick and scratch his skin on his belly. Now at 5 years old we have finally (it seems) found the winning formula of food and meds. The meds have to live in the freezer to ensure they don't smell of skunk. The new food is a win win for all of us as its actually cheaper and Duke adores it too, so hes happy with the outcome.
Through the whole time Alpines maintained a loving friendly and cheerful demeanor. I wish I could be that nice when greatly uncomfortable.

Oreo cat - she has upper respiratory infection and for the first 6 weeks of her time with us suffered greatly with cold and sinus issues as we tried to find the winning treatment. Shes been fine for a while now.

As you can imagine we are great advocates of pet insurance, and we have a close relationship with the vet.

This morning I went out to give Ace his meds and we played around a bit.
Neither of us are fans of the duck pout but gave it our best shot:
I just adore his goofy ears.