Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Coming down to the wire

Election Day is quickly approaching. T-7 days.

For whatever reason - perhaps being married to such an intellect and thus discussing politics much more; or because I recently did taxes and have been looking at and learning about finances and such things much more; or simply because I've always wanted to be actually politically informed and nows my chance - I've been much more on top of things this election season. I feel like I'm making an informed decision and I like it.

So I thought I'd share some of my random political knowledge.

Yesterday I spent part of my day off reading through the Conservative platform. Like the actual, full out, hardcore platform. If you're curious, like I am, about what the Conservatives have done so far and plan to do if voted back in, you can find the platform here:

(Sorry, I am conservative so this is the only platform I've looked up, though I'm sure you could find the liberal or NDP platform just as easily)

Whether you're right or left wing, it's an interesting read because it tells you what the Conservative gov't has done so far (which if you're like me you're sadly uninformed about, or didn't realize or notice changes), and alongside in a column it lists what the liberals/NDPs supported or didn't and what their plans are (obviously biased, but it IS the conservative platform). Then it also outlines what they propose to do next in actual tangible terms, not just vague "we want to improve this; we want to decrease that". And if you're not quite as hardcore as I decided to be yesterday, you can look through the table of contents and see what topics catch your eye - it's really well laid out.

Want something a little cooler?

Go here:

and you can answer some political questions the way you feel about different topics and issues and then it tells you how your own opinion aligns with Canada's political parties. I mucho liked it. Because it's how you think aligns with how they think. Try it out.

And if you want to take a look at how the polls are going:

In the top right corner you can see all your options, to see projected seats for each party, popularity poll, ridings and candidates, etc.

Then this is just my little soap-box:

The number of seats per province should be based on population. AB is short 4 seats if you look at seats per population. For the record, Harper says he'll make the change and re-distribute the MP seats based on population. Some provinces will lose, some will gain, and I realize not every seat change may be in my favor or the country's favor. But like I've said before, if you do it proportionally - fair is fair.

PS. Harper's all for low taxes - everyone else wants to jack them back up. Just sayin.

Monday, April 25, 2011

and a happy easter it was.

I love holidays. I count down to them for a hundred reasons.

A few things I love and miss about Alberta:
- family and friends
- good highway roads
- good radio stations
- good restaurants
- lower gas prices
- divided highways

It was a great weekend, if not too brief.

We did have a little bit of a headstart though, which was awesome. Trent finished his clinic early so we were on the road by 4pm Thursday instead of 6pm. We headed straight for Kurt and Meg's and got there by 7:30 - plenty of time to visit and feel like we were actually there (since we were leaving the next afternoon). Friday morning we had Easter. Tate was so excited. There were mini egg trails everywhere and she loved finding the more hidden treats. Mani knew what was up, too. She's only 14 months, but she's walking all over and knew exactly what to do with those mini eggs - put them in her mouth.

After a fantastic breakfast, we went for a truck ride and then came home to dye easter eggs.
We had a contest for most beautiful easter egg. Trent took his egg dying very seriously.
I totally won. But trent thinks he won because he drew Tate and his face on his egg so Tate thought it was cool. It's too bad you can't see the faces in the pic. But mine was totally most beautiful.

Then came the real contest - the easter egg shoot out.
We lined all the eggs up on the ground and then took turns shooting them with the .22.
Needless to say I wasn't even in the running (though I did proudly shoot 4 or 5). The real competition was between Trent and Meg. In the end Trent won by one (12-11). Atta boy. He's such a pressure performer. He can always step it up when he needs to.

Funny story about shooting though. So of course with guns around, they want to teach Tate to be safe. The rule is you must always be behind the gun. Not always so simple for a 3 year old that just wants to see and be in the action - and has a really short attention span. Well in between re-loading, Tate had wandered and gotten a rock to play with. She ended up beside the chair with her rock, not behind. Kurt had to tell her to get behind the gun a couple times, and in the end grabbed her and pulled her back. She started crying and screaming (which she hadn't all the other times we pulled her back). Finally Kurt says, "Tate! What is the problem?!" to which she sobs, "My rock isn't safe!" Trent and I burst out laughing and all Kurt can say is, "Well I can't argue with that." and tells Meg to wait to shoot while he gets Tate's rock and brings it back behind the chair to her.

Meg prepared a great Easter dinner, too. Ham and mashed potatoes and gravy with yorkshire pudding (my fav!). So delicious. And her sugar cookies are magnificent.

Then it was back in the car for another 3 and a half hours to get to my cousin's reception fashionably an hour and a half late. Lurel got married last year in the states and hasn't been able to enter Canada since, so she was finally making her grand appearance so I had to be there! So we could meet each other's husbands. Crazy. It was lovely to see friends and family again. I was in a crazy mood, but I think I was just happy to be around people who will laugh at my jokes and antics.

Saturday was another good day: flying kites, dying easter eggs and lunch at Grandma's, meeting with a financial planner, and birthday/grad dinner for Michelle. I secretly love dying easter eggs. I don't know what it is, but I love it. And planning always makes me happy, especially when it's the kind of planning that makes me feel like we're on top of our finances and making good decisions and have things under control and I understand what's going on. And who doesn't love a good turkey dinner. My mom's a great cook. Like magazine worthy turkey - it was beautiful. And family is always fun - and so are card games. Oh and I got my hair cut! Perhaps a brighter moment in my day than it would have been for most - but most don't get to visit with Jess when they get their hair cut (nor did they need it so desperately). And at the end of the day we got to go back to Tyson and Audie's and visit and laugh with them before bed. Fun filled, warm, sunny, wonderful day.

Sunday we were back on the road again. But Trent has friends outside of Drumheller that weren't available for Easter dinner at Kurt and Megs so we stopped halfway back for a couple hours. It was the most beautiful day yet and we just sat outside on their deck and soaked in all the sun we could (Trent and I have tan lines and our faces are a little pink - I love it). Kolt took us all for a drive around his dirtbike track in his old jeep to check out the river and everything. I was so glad to have an opportunity to stop mid day and enjoy the sun and warmth. I would have been so sad to drive the whole day away. We got home a little later than planned, but it was worth it.

Sidenote about the drive home and the things I miss and love about Alberta:
There may have been a 15 min stretch of road on which there were no lines and I felt like a racecar driver as I weeved and wove all over the road trying to avoid the potholes. There were moments when Trent and I both gripped a little tighter and held our breath and wove a little quicker as massive pits came out of nowhere. It was ridiculous, but we survived.

Today Trent was back to school - boo - but I had the day off - wahoo!
I made sure it was a day well spent. It was sunny and warm again today and I soaked in all I could. I sat outside and talked to Michelle for hours which was so fun and simply necessary - it was her birthday afterall! I knocked 7.5 things off my to-do list, including cleaning and learning and planning. It was a great relaxingly productive day.

This weekend has been so wonderful. It's amazing how rejuvinating 4 days can be.


Today you are officially an adult around the world. Congratulations!


Today you have officially been my best friend for 21 years. Thank you!

love love love love

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lady Luck

I never win things that are purely based on luck. Draws, bingo, 50/50, giveaways, if I put my name on a slip or pick a number - I don't win. It's okay, it's kinda my thing.

Trent on the other hand is the luckiest person I know. Perhaps not specifically for such things previously mentioned, but only because I haven't known him to enter many so the stats are inconclusive. But truly I have never known a luckier person than my husband. Things always turn out in his favour, in an above average and unexpectedly awesome way. He always tells me how lucky he is. And would tell me if I stuck with him, it could wear off on me, or I could benefit from his luckiness.

I never believed him. Until I won the headband! Woo woo! I'm so excited!

And it's our 5 month anniversary today! Trent may not have remembered, but he still got me a great gift - with his luck.

I think I'm going to like this marriage thing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I am weak. Don't judge.

I don't usually succumb to "post this on your facebook" "post this on your blog" and you get entries into giveaways. But this girl's headbands are super sweet and I really want in the draw for it, because I'm poor and on a budget so I can't just buy one, and who doesn't love free stuff?!

They're hand made and adorable and I might need to enlist my sister in learning how to craft me one if I don't win this draw. I love them that much.

You can find the giveaway or info about the headbands here:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Double Take

When Trent and I were out last weekend running errands, I saw something I had never seen before. I actually asked Trent outloud, "Was that guy seriously shoveling... his lawn?"

Not even kidding.

I lived in Edmonton for 4 years. Snow piles and piles and piles all winter there. It never melts. I start tanning, before it's done melting. Yet I have never seen that before in my life.

But then I saw it again.

This time a middle-aged woman - shoveling off her lawn.

Granted the snowdrifts are still huge where the sun doesn't shine all day, but really people??

Apparently Saskatoon has a serious issue of snow mold when it gets warm out because the snow doesn't melt quick enough and the ground thaws, but the snow doesn't. Crazy right? So people shovel their lawns to disperse the giant heaps of snow more evenly and into sunnier areas so that it will all melt before July.

I tell you, it is a sight to see people shoveling their lawns. Still blows my mind.

But here's some random good news for all you who spent this winter endlessly shoveling snow:
Someone who weighs 180 lbs burns 250 calories per HALF HOUR of shoveling.
Someone who weighs 120 lbs burns 144 calories per HALF HOUR of shoveling.
Research has shown that shoveling snow for just ten minutes puts similar strain on your heart as running on a treadmill until you drop.
It’s that strenuous.

So despite the brutal winter we've had this year - at least people have gotten a solid amount of exercise. Maybe it's just God's way of trying to reduce obesity?


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wedding Wishes

This afternoon I was going through all the wedding cards Trent and I received. There are some really nice cards out there - and some incredibly cheesy ones. But I secretly love them all. Of all the kind words and best wishes, all were great, about 75% generic (like, "You rock! Never change! Have a great summer!" yearbook signatures), but about 2% were priceless.

What makes a wedding card message priceless, you may ask?

One card read, "Cathy you're so lucky. I wish I was you."

Another had some great advice from an unlikely source:
"When you're mad at each other don't fight. Dance, it's equally as tiring but way funner and better for your relationship. Have a lot of kids. I babysit."

Finally, I had to unroll a swath of paper towel for this little sweetheart, admittedly skeptical and confused, but I laughed out loud when I read it. Priceless.

"Cathy and Trent,

Jen had some great advice to give, and then had to leave to change a diaper, handed this to me and told me to give some words of wisdom. So here's some for Trent:
- Always do what your wife asks and thrusts at you, especially when she's leaving to deal with poop.
- Offer to change the diapers once in a while, and then she can write the paper towel wedding card, cuz sometimes poop is pretty straightforward.

For Cathy:
- Sometimes poop isn't always straightforward. Always pack extra clothes once you start having kids.
- Keep reminding your husband about what he's learned being married to you so he's always ready to write a paper towel wedding card.

For you both:
- Share each others loads (the cards, diapers, housework and all other personal and marriage struggles)
- Keep acting like you just fell in love and you always will have.
- Get ready for hard work and good times. Hope you both like rollercoasters, as you're sure to have many moments of terror and excitement ahead of you. Enjoy your lives together, and showing off your future children's shiny teeth."

So good. I couldn't help but share these well-wisher's ingenuity.

I'm glad I went through the cards. I confess most are now going in the garbage, and for some I do feel really bad that Trent and I didn't send out thank you cards. But it was worth keeping them until now so I could relive some of the happiness, love... and comedy of our wedding day.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I am a Kijiji believer.

The temperature reached, just barely, double digits above zero today. You know what that means? Spring Cleaning! Trent and I did a thorough clean-sweep today. It felt good.

In so doing, we decided on a couple things that needed to go. And where do you take things when they need to go? Kijiji! So this morning Trent took some pictures, I set up an account and within minutes our stuff was posted:

Priced to sell baby.

Within minutes, and I mean minutes you can count on your hand, I got a call and the stero was gone. SOLD.

By 6pm I got another call, printer still available? Yep. SOLD.

8pm tonight, mini-fridge - SOLD.

In less than 12 hours. SOLD SOLD SOLD. I am a Kijiji believer.
Where else in the world, when else in time, could you say "this is for sale" and within hours have sold it for exactly what you were asking for to a complete stranger - spending nothing on advertising and losing no time to spread the word.

And who knew a site called Kijiji would ever be taken seriously?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

This could be upsetting.

You know what Ignatieff said the other day?

"Rich company CEO's don't need more money, poor seniors who can barely support themselves do! I will increase corporate taxes and increase funding for the CPP (Canadian Pension Plan)."

I put quotation marks around that, but I use them loosely. That's the jist of it though.

Was your first response to that quote, yeah good call? That's too bad.

Mine was the exact opposite.

Here's the thing, why should anyone be taxed more or less than the next guy? Does not everyone work hard for their money? Just because rich people have figured out how to get rich, why does that mean we should take proportionally more from them?

I'm all for equality.

Especially after Trent had a meeting to warn him of how much money the government is going to rob us of in the first few years after graduation. Straight up robbery.

I agree that senior citizens shouldn't be left wanting. But then we should all be required to start putting more into our CPP. What's with all this disproportionate thievery?

Those are my political thoughts of the day. Take them or leave them. But as for me and my house, I think we'll stick with them.