Sunday, March 28, 2010

Growing up to Music

I feel lucky in the way I was brought up surrounded by music.
Every gathering at my grandparents included someone on a guitar, piano, singing or just the record player spining out music from my granparents era.
I had the opportunity to play saxaphone in the school band, drums in the town marching band and piano lessons.  I was even in my middle school choir.

Music was a huge part of my life and I can be magically transported to the past by a song.
When I hear Lois Armstrong's Hello Dolly I am in my grandparents basement.  The room is crowded, and the wicker tables are covered in little wooden bowls full of peanuts and 1/2 empty drinks from the bar that my grandfather would proudly bartend.
Another transport to that room, this time full of family and close friends, are the songs Leaving on a Jet Plane and Black Bird.  I see my aunt and uncle performing for everyone.

My whole life can be laid out in music.
The Night Chicago Died takes me back to summers at camp with my mom, brother and baby sister down at Darien Lake.
The Beatles White Album throws me into the living room where I grew up, with my mom and our family dog.
Tie a Yellow Ribbon sends me to my childhood friends living room where her mom would be singing along.
The various camp songs.... Camp Baradaca where I spent many weeks of my summers.
Eagles Hotel California, my first album that I bought myself actually puts me in the kitchen and seeing my parents dancing to the song.
ELO's Telephone Line .... without any details brings the smell of cheap cologne and my first kiss from a guy I have no memory of a name for.
Supertramp School sends me right back to my other best friends living room and even reminds me of my first boy friend... Fred.
Ted Nugent my first huge superstar crush also reminds me of my first 'real' boyfriend and takes me back to that town house across from the mall... basketball at the Y,
My summers as a teenager spent with my aunt in Vancouver are brought to me through Motzart and the Musical Offering, always and forever.
Lunatic Fringe moves me once again to our new home in Drumheller and the parties had there.
Doobie Brothers and April Wine are only a few of those times shared with many good friends.
Phil Colins and Paul Simon will forever mysteriously bring up the smells of England and send my mind on a tour of the old home in Oxford.... but it also is my strongest memory of my grandfather and some wonderful time he and I spent together alone.. it makes me sad as I miss him very much.
Genesis Follow You Follow Me is the song that IS Ray and I.
Peter Gabriel's Mercy Street IS my baby girl.. the only way we could get her to sleep... I smell her as a baby, I feel her, see the apartment she was born in.
Beatles I'm so Tired is Jesse's song as he would laugh as a tiny little baby while I sang that to him at 4 in the morning... could that be the beginning of his sence of humour?
As my kids grew the music became theirs and I share memories with them....

I tried to make sure that the music in our home was varied.  My kids grew up listening to the same stuff I grew up on as well as anything new that came our way... and all types. 
Jazz, Rock, Classical... you name it, we played it.

It never ends... it will always be about music for me, I couldn't imagine a life without it.

I have been lucky in how I was raised and am happy that I could offer the same to my kids... and not just music, but all of the arts.
Growing up in the city of Ontario helped, and moving to Drum helped me realize what is missing in small town life.... so it was important for me to make sure our house had plenty of the arts....

.... but more on that another time.


I'm sitting outside lap top on my lap (hence the name 'lap top), sun shining down on my shoulders enjoying this wonderful March day. 
If it wasn't for the wind, it would feel like a summers afternoon, well that and the fact that the grass is still brown and the leaves are not yet out on the trees.

Signs that Spring has arrived are all around me.
The little green shoots of grass trying so hard to poke their way above the ground regardless of the relentless pounding of puppy feet.
The buds are out on my trees, and soon they will be throwing their bud covers everywhere making life a sticky yellow mess for my dogs.

The dogs themselves are showing signs of the changing season.  Their winter coats are beginning to blow giving them that scruffy look of un cared for pups.  The girls have all gone into 'heat' meaning that they are more vocal than before, looking for that man to help them out with their genetic need to pro-create.  This will be the last spring for the pups that they will have to suffer through this as we will be getting in a vet visit this summer to change this situation for Penny and Molly will most likely become a mommy this fall.

Then there are the holes.... yes holes.
These are a defining mark for me to show this change in seasons... holes all over my yard.
Husky holes is what I call them.
I'm not sure what the dogs are searching for when they dig, but it must be important as they get a look of intense concentration on their faces.   It baffles me as to what they are eating when they do finally find whatever they 'think' is edible.  I've looked and all I see is dirt.

 Spring this year takes on a new meaning for me as it also means the time my boy comes home until next fall.  However that also means that I'll be able to pass the dog chores back, and that actually leaves me a little sad..... a little.
Well... Spring..... welcome back, good to see you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Miss my Kids

Ha ha... I was just listening to a message that we saved of my son when he was 18.
He was told to let me know where he would be, he and his friends were all off to a party, or going from bar to party.
I don't have the heart to erase the message on my phone... so... just in case for some reason it gets deleted, here is the written version.

after a few drinks......

"Hi Mom and Dad, I don't know if you got my text,,, but I'm going to Olds and I may not be back in the morning.

So.. I'm not sure how like if maybe you could take care of the Huskies

And maybe you'll.. I'll amyamy the uh I may be back by tonight.. I don't know , I don't know.. I'm not a Dr. right??

So maybe if I'm not you could look after Rocky, Molly, Oaky and Penny... if I'm not... I love you guys.. I'm in Olds... oh wait.. oh wait... (he starts asking his friends where they are.. bunch of talk and laughing going on in the background) wait I got to find out where we are going.

We are going to Winborn Rd in Olds, but I doubt anything bad will happen

I love you guys.. I'll see you tonight or tomorrow... love you... bye..... this is your son by the way"

I chuckle every time I hear that message, but it makes me so sad now. I miss my kids so much.
Yes even the drunken phone calls at 2 in the morning for a ride home. At least he listened to me and stayed safe.
I even miss the hormonal uprising with the teenage girl in the house.
In general I miss my kids.

I wish Canada wasn't so big.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's Murder I say

The weekend finally arrived.

A time of renewal for the soul and the mind.

I don't go out and do dog chores as early, waiting for the sun to shine on the darkened earth damp from the melting snow. The dogs are a little impatient at first letting me know with a few tested howls, but they settle down when they too realize it's the weekend and it is a morning of sleeping in and laziness.

Time to curl up on the couch wrapped in my fleecy blanket as we await the arrival of the daylight. Computer on my lap open to the Iditarod web site and that Crackbook site where I can legally stalk all my friends.

I should make coffee.... nope.... I'm not at work, I don't do coffee making outside of the store.

It is dark with the exception of the light coming off of the monitor, blinding me as to what is around the room. Suddenly the quiet overwhelms me, not even the hum of the computer helps this feeling of unease.
Something is out there beyond my false light, something not right.

There to my right just ahead of me is a shadow,,,, did it just move?
Don't be silly, the doors are locked, there is nothing here but my imagination.

No, there IS something there. I should look, if anything to rest my mind.

Slowly I rise from my warm nest turning on the light.
That is when it jumped out and knocked me over, the weight of it's huge body over powering me. I was helpless to get it off, panic setting in as the heaviness began to suffocate me.

Go Away I scream, but my pleas of freedom fall on deaf ears.

If I just lay still maybe it will leave.
Alas, it does not, it just gets heavier the longer we lay here.
The closeness makes me cringe, and I feel tears threatening to spill from my eyes. Why will it not leave me alone?
I am pretty sure that it is whispering in my ear, but I refuse to listen... No! NO!

It is the weekend!! Leave me alone!!
I want to go out tonight, I want to not think of you... how did you find me anyway??
It was with these last words that I finally gave in, watching my weekend die, a slow horrible painful death.

I will get you paper work!! If it is the last thing I do.

Monday, March 15, 2010



I can't seem to turn my computer on without heading to my various links that take me to anything to do with the Iditarod.

Current Standings... Lance is in the lead.... 10 minutes ago he is still in the lead, 5 minutes ago... yup, still in the lead... my fingers itch to click on that link again.... ahhhhh!

It isn't as bad now that I cannot get onto the GPS, that I could watch them actually move.... it seems boring, but when you bounce between that and the stories that are out there I found it quite interesting.
I'm not sure if my fascination with this is all due to the fact that I was able to run the Wannamakers dogs this winter with them, giving me a teeny tiny feel of what long distance running is like.

How wonderful to be able to run a race like that... well maybe a smaller version, like perhaps 200 miles instead of the almost 1000.

And as cool as it is to watch the leaders, I am actually more focused on the back of the pack, probably because that is where I would be, and most rookies are.... I wonder how they are doing? It is a really cold year it seems, and how does it feel to know that there are a group of mushers all coming into Nome by tomorrow afternoon when they have almost 5 days to go yet.

I would love to go.... to volunteer my time at one of the check stops... to work hard, yet get to meet the many mushers, and see these incredible dogs. dream the impossible dream..... impossible?? Maybe not....

well... off to check on the drivers again... I wonder if Lance is still in the lead???

I may never run the Iditarod, but I want to go up there to at least feel what it is like to be on the trail, even if I'm flown in by plane or run in by snow machine and not dogs.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

8 Foods that really are evil

Yup that is the title of an article I just finished reading.

8 foods that are 'really' EVIL.... oooh... sounded very scary and worthy of my time to read. I mean who really wants to eat an evil food, unless your on your way to becoming the next take over the world villian and are into that sort of thing.

So what exactly were the foods that were listed on this horrifying list of wrong doing foods?

Let me 'jot' this list down for you shall I? And if you will let me amuse myself I wouldn't mind adding my comments that had come into my head as I read this list.

1. COLA DRINKS.. well... yeah, okay... we all know about all the sugar that is in a can of coke, and those sweeteners are no better for you either... so blah, blah... yeah give me a glass of orange juice or water...

2. SOUR CREAM AND ONION CHIPS: Seriously... ONLY these kind of chips?? What?? You mean the bacon and cheddar ones are better? Why just sour cream and onion? It is not like there is real sour cream in these pre-packaged deep fried in oil treats.... and are they not all deep fried and full of fats, and calories all the same? And the salt content is probably pretty much the same also.. you can hear your arteries clog eating these things no matter what the flavour. This is one of those.. makes you go, hmmmm thoughts.

3. STORE BOUGHT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: I'm guessing the idea behind this thought is the amount of unknown and un-prounouncable ingredients ... but once again I'm left wondering.. why ONLY chocolate chip cookies, are Oreos any better?? I say woohoo.... gonna buy me a big 500 grammer tomorrow and that will be my lunch!!!

4 FULL FAT CHEESE: So of all the foods that are evil... cheese is on this list? Really? Pop, cookies and chips, then cheese... because natural is evil I suppose.

5. CHOCOLATE DONUTS: Okay, this is getting tiring now.... why only chocolate ones? The fake cream ones are not any worse or evil?

6. BEEF HOT DOGS: Pork is better?... I'm thinking this article was linked to the Pork Producers of North America. (In all honesty hot dogs ARE on MY evil list of foods... if they were eradicated from earth tonight as I slept I would not miss those horrid tubes of grossness)

7. CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES: And again..... sigh...... I'm just thinking that chocolate is an evil food now, at least to this writer, who in my opinion was not terribly smart.

Now why would I say that about someone I never met before... well how about the fact that the title of this article states that there are 8 evil foods, when in fact only seven are listed... so in my conclusion the author can not count beyond 7.

I would love to know why french fries or any fast food for that matter did not make the list.... however it leaves me with a feeling of relief,,, I mean if these are the only truly evil foods out there then we are safe from all wickedness.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Rainbow Bridge

It does not get any easier.
We are heading quickly toward the one year mark of the passing of my wonderful companion Emily.
There has never been, nor will there ever be, a friend such as her.

I miss her terribly these last few days, and her memory has followed me around in everything I do and everywhere I go.

I have to keep telling myself she is in a better place now, chasing pussy cats ... actually running again and without pain.. eating bags of popcorn, bread and anything else can get her paws on (silly girl)

I hope she will be there waiting for me when my time comes to head over that bridge.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Well, I Finished

I was asked by a couple of my 'readers'.... yes... strange to me, but I do have readers... and being that I'm not one to dissapoint.........

So, as I was saying, I was asked by a couple of my readers to write up my adventures of racing my dogs at the local race we had here in town, the Rosebud Run....

When asked how I did I always answer, "well I finished"

So, here it goes, my account of my first sprint race on the back of a dog sled.

Nerves... big time nerves. I was so freaking nervous I didn't think I could eat anything. I was sure I would throw it up if I did.

I could never understand why my son was so nervous on his first race, I mean after all he had been training his dogs... running them at least 4 or 5 times before..... and here I was, having run my dogs at least a dozen times, and how many miles behind 8 of Mr. Mushers dogs?

Hooked up my dogs... admist the hookup of the many other mushers and dogs... I believe there were 13 teams of 4 dogs in my class... we were in the middle on Saturday.. and had to get into the starting gate for a particular time... without Rays help... I have limited memory of this, just all of a sudden sitting in the chute, barely keeping what food I had eaten that day down.

Then we were off.... and as we passed the last of the spectators my nerves were forgotten, we were just out for another ride.... but this time faster than we had been before.

I knew at one point we would have one or two teams passing us, we were only a team of 3 afterall, and un-experienced.

My nerves came back as the faster teams approached.. how would my dogs do, letting a team pass?

We were on a straight away, going pretty darn fast, when I spotted it in front and ahead of us.. a mound of dirt? Snow? Snow covered dirt? Whatever it was it looked huge as we approached it full speed.. we had moved over to the left to let a team by, and just as we came upon this 'mound' my mind wondered.. will this 'mound' fit between the runners... should I try and get around it?

Too late to think of anything else as we hit the mound, full speed...... "shit!"

Well... think about it.... a mound of whatever, snow, dirt, a pile of dog poo... a mound of anything that skis.. runners.. anything flat that is being pulled full speed over top of..... it is going to hit air.... any kid with a skateboard will tell you this.

so... "shit" is what I was thinking as we made air, "shit" is what I was thinking when I went down on my side, my head thrown back ripping my hat off.. and "shit" is what was going through my head as I quickly jumped up to a standing position to hit the brake to let the other racer past... all the while still holding on to the sled.

Without any more thoughts other than "shit" we were off again... without incident we let another musher past.... and our confidence rose as we head on into the race... gaining speed and having a blast.

Then comes the corners.... hmmm..... should we have slowed down? Well yes is what I answer now... but that is not what happened on this day. Full speed on a corner and the sled tipped... and spun me around. The dogs stopped as they usually do, long enough for me to right myself to get back up, however as I was twisted with my hand holding on in an upside down manner my speed to moving into a standing position was limited.

The minute the dogs felt movment they were off... however I was unable to hold on and away they went. Without me.

I did call to them, "WHOA!!!!" "STOP!!!!' "Stop?!?"

They did look back, ever so briefly, and I swear they were all smiling as they shot off into the distance.

Rob Carrs, my hero, picked me up on a snowmobile so that we could cut them off on the trail... and I caught the team head on, jumping on as they were about to fly by again...

.... but now instead of flying onward, they all stopped and turned to look at me.... their eyes boring into me "get your fat ass off this sled, it was way better without you!"

After some Hikes and Lets go, they reluctantly carried on to the finish line. We were last place, but we did cross the finish line all together.

Sunday was a different story... my nerves were still there, but not as bad... I still couldn't eat, but I didn't feel as I would throw up.

This day, my lead dog refused to go on with us... this is a whole different story, one I don't want to go into as it has many down sides, and puts me in a tremendous funk.... so, with only two dogs and a line that was wayyyyy too long we did the 2 mile trail, the comedy release for the weekend... I think I could have walked faster than my two furry pals at times... but we had fun, we didn't fall..... so what the hey.

But because we only did 2 miles instead of 4 we didn't place.....

.... How did I do in the Rosebud Run?

Well, I finished.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Adventures of canine walking

I sometimes call it a chore.
I sometimes wake up and drag myself out of bed, really not wanting to go, really NOT WANTING to go.... it might be because I'm tired, or it is cold, or just too plain early in the morning.
Regardless we have had some great adventures on our early morning walks.... and honestly I will miss them in the summer when the boy is home to take over the dogs.

There was the morning that two cars stopped us to inform me that there were coyotes up ahead, and not just one, but a few of them... in town.
We regularly hear the coyotes in the morning sing songing to each other informing to everyone that the sun is going to be coming up soon, we have never seen them.
There is a resident owl living just up the street from us and he too sings to us as we walk past each day.
The rabbits are a lovely sight... oh... this is said with much sarcasm in my voice. These white bunnies pop out of nowhere and bounce down the street with me in tow behind a couple crazy dogs fixed on catching said rabbit.
Yesterday in the freshly fallen snow there were deer tracks that set the dogs off, however we did not see sight of these smart fellows that quietly hid out of sight seeing my two fellow walkers.

My favorite moment came this morning..... minding our own business, me deep in my quiet thoughts the dogs busy picking up various scents of the past when out of the darkness flies a young man dressed only in boxer shorts... yup.. ONLY in boxers, no socks, shoes nothing. He had been getting something out of his car when all of a sudden a women and her two dogs appear from the morning twilight. Needless to say he made a hasty retreat across the snow covered front yard... leaving me chuckling all the way home.

Also this afternoon Hubby had three of the dogs on an afternoon walk when a cat, a silly stupid cat (I apologize to those cat people, but when you own as many dogs as we do, cats are a pain in the ass on walks.. worse than rabbits)... a stupid, silly cat came out of nowhere and lured the three dogs into a corner... it was all Hubby could do to keep the dogs off... in fact Molly received a souvenier, a lovely scratch across her nose that did not even phase her.
Well the cat was spared by a retreat to the roof of a garage, and Hubby was spared by having to deal with said pussy cat all over someones front lawn.

Yes the adventures of walking dogs.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I feel old..... well.... maybe not THAT old.

No, it's not that I feel old,,,,, but I'm 'getting' old.

Could it be due to the fact that my baby girl just turned 22?

Or that my son turns 19 this week?

Or that I now am desperate to colour my hair as there seems to be a multitude of these un-coloured (grey) hairs on my head?

Or that I don't sleep well?

Or that in less than a month I will be over my mid 40's and heading into LATE 40's?? (ugh)

OR could it be that I now go to functions where I used to be the same age as everyone or younger and now find myself realizing that I could be their mother????

So.... does this mean I will now start walking in a slouched position?

does this mean I will start having to wear adult diapers? (although there could be benefits to those at times)

does this mean I will become crotchety and miserable, kicking small animals and young children?

does this mean my hair will turn blue?

does this mean I will smell like moth balls?

Nope... I don't wanna get old!

I refuse... I'm gonna wear my blue jeans forever.... I'm gonna smoke pot in public parks....I'm gonna listen to heavy metal and ska always.... I'm gonna dance like a stripper... I'm gonna wear lacy bras.... I'm gonna act like a kid... always....

Nope... I'm not gonna get old... no more birthdays for me!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

It got me

advertising gimicks that is.....

I'm a Pepper, she's a Pepper, he's a Pepper.. wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too....
.....drink Dr. Pepper

Spring has Sprung already??

I've had an amazing winter.

Traveled over 300 miles behind the backside of some incredible furry friends in temperatures ranging from -5 to -40.

I've raced my first ever sprint with my own furry friends.

We've introduced a new friend to the pack.... a fast Alaskan changing the dynamics of our family.

My son on stage, growing into an incredible talented young man.

My daughter finding love outside of her family... the beginnings of her 'own' family.

I cannot believe that the snow is almost all gone, that the mush, dirt and slop has arrived.. that dog sledding is finished for the season... we still had one more race to go, but the frozen lake is no more.

Makes me so sad to say goodbye....

I love winter, the cold icy breath that hovers around my head with ice crystals forming on my fur laced hood.

The energy my babies let off in the cold is catchy, the joy on their faces when they see the harness, their love and trust of me, my trust of them.

How many days until winter returns?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

All By Myself

I sit at home, once again, alone.

I spend a lot of my time alone these days...
time to relflect, time to feel sorry for myself too.

I try not to feel sorry for me... I have a great life... only it is spent alone most of the time.

I am surrounded by friends, yet I don't have any either.... does this make sense to you? It does to me.
You see I have so many people in my life that I can call a friend, from the age of 16 all the way to their '80's... they have all told me to call them if ever I need anything... anything.
They all come and will talk ages with me in my store.... and I to them.

But at the end of the day I have no one I can really call on if I'm feeling blue, or lonely... I do not seem to have that one close friend... no one close to me anyhow....
I have a few friends, Ontario, Calgary and England whom I can call 'best' friends... those friends I can call on in a real time of need.... but I no longer have that one true friend just around the corner anymore...... makes me so sad.... and lonely