Monday, August 30, 2010

Pretty in Pink

Today I was thrilled to hear that the girl who worked the day shift at my job broke a forklift! Finally someone else screwed up. Sure, she only ripped one rear tire off of the machine and I was able to get both off, but who's keeping score? The part of it all that made me most happy was that our replacement forklift was Pinky and she awaited me on the charge floor when I arrived. Maybe I should backtrack a bit for those who aren't aware of my devotion to Pinky.

Almost 4 months ago when I started working at Teck, there were 2 forklifts for us to train on and one of them was a pink forklift which I affectionately named Pinky. Pinky has a bit of a history. Many years ago when she was still yellow like the rest of the forklifts around here, she was mostly driven by one of the few women who works up here. One day the woman got completely fed up with the guys stealing her machine when her back was turned so she took it upon herself to grab a can of spray paint and paint it bright pink. It was a brilliant idea because men like to be overly macho most of the time and would never be caught dead riding a pink forklift. Heaven forbid! Normally this forklift is not allowed on the charge floor (where I work) because it has unauthorized tires on it, but they needed an extra machine to train all of the new students wandering around the place.

For some reason I instantly took to this old pink thing. Everyone else hates driving it because it's old, creaky and not as fast as the new ones. I think it may have something to do with my love of ratty old cars, but I favoured driving it over all other ones. I was sad when after about a week they took Pinky away and told me to drive the usual charge floor forklifts. But today she returned to me!

The guy who was to relieve me for my breaks today is a big muscly young guy. When he made his way up to take over, I hopped off the forklift and said, "I ordered the most manly forklift they could get for me." He laughed and shook his head at the ridiculous machine that he was going to be forced to drive. He made a comment about how he didn't think he could handle driving a pink forklift and hesitated before climbing on. Is it really that big of a deal? Really? Yeah, it actually was! When I came up from my break I was devastated to see that he had painted Pinky red! RED?!?!? How could he do such a thing? I'm quite certain that my jaw must have hit the ground hard. All I could say was, "I can't believe you did that!" He was all proud of himself for maiming the poor thing.

So I sulked for about 5 minutes when one of the guys from the electrolytic side came over to me and said, "What happened? It's red!" I nodded in sadness. Then he added, "Why don't you go down to the paint shop and get some pink paint and turn her back?" My heart quickened and my lips smiled wide. Why hadn't I thought of that?? I guess I didn't think that they would have an ample supply of pink paint hanging around. But I found a full can of it, hid it up my sleeve so my nemesis red painter would not see me carrying it when I walked by him and made my way back up to make sure that Pinky would not die this day. Sometimes you have to fight for your right to be pink.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Belly vs. Belly

So yesterday while enjoying my lunch in the lunchroom at work, a man who I have never seen before...he must have been working an extra shift, made a comment that kind of offended me. No, offended is not the right word. I know that there are a lot of people who feel/think as this man does and I think it's such an odd and backward way to think about something that it just struck something in me that made me a bit angry in some way. Let me explain.

He said that the other day he saw a very pregnant woman wearing a bikini top and thought that it was disgusting. He wondered why women did that because it was so gross and he didn't want to see that.

Disgusting? Gross? Seriously? It was one of those moments when I really wanted nothing more than to speak my mind but I bit my tongue and decided to mind my own business. The statement just boggled my mind I guess. What is so disgusting about a woman displaying her pregnant belly? We have to look at men's bloated and over sized beer guts all of the time when we go to the beach, what's wrong with a baby belly? At least a woman's stretched stomach is a healthy and natural distention which has been happening for thousands of years as we repopulate the planet. It's not like she's hurting anyone for displaying her body like this. Men who abuse their bodies to the point of ginormous bellies are hurting themselves on an unhealthy level, and yet they feel no shame in going around topless in public places. How would they like to be called disgusting or gross?

Now I get that some people are very modest and don't like to see an outright display of skin like that, but using the word "disgusting" to describe this was just downright rude and could be hugely offensive to some people. Now if this were me with the protruding baby belly, I could never be the kind of person to show it off like some women and I actually applaud the women who do it. Women have a hard enough time with self esteem issues and most of us are terrified to show off our bodies or gain even just a few pounds. Meanwhile these women are proud to have put on weight and show some skin to tell the world how excited they are to be a mom. I say free bikinis to all pregnant women!

Tip of the Day: Don't forget to wax!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thanks for the Memories

Only 2 more shifts at work. Wow. Where did the summer go? We are flying back to PEI in 8 days and I am just blown away at the speed at which the day has arrived.

Every month each shift at work has a safety meeting to discuss another successful injury free month and to look over any incident reports from other plants. The guys surprised me today with a giant (and I mean GIANT) cake wishing me the best of luck in school. And yeah, they somehow managed to get an amazing forklift stencil to put on the cake. They also all pitched in to buy me a gift certificate to my favourite clothing store here. What a bunch of great guys eh?? I'm going to miss them lots. Thanks for the memories guys...and thanks for putting up with me and not getting frustrated at the millions of questions I asked and the numerous machines I broke.

The one thing that I always wondered about my job and the guys who work there is just how much they censor themselves in my presence. Most of them are quite mild mannered but there are one or two which will say anything and everything when I am around. Today was the day that I learned that they are actually holding back immensely with what they would talk about if I weren't around. One of the men (who is secretly my favourite but don't tell the others) was saying some really crude comments to another guy and didn't see me walk into the lunchroom and sneak up behind him. When he turned around and saw me, I think his face turned about 9 shades of red and said, "oh...didn't see you there kiddo!" I think it's kind of sad that they don't just say what they want to when I am around. How are we supposed to make solid judgements about the people we know if they hold back who they truly are all of the time? I understand that he watched his mouth around me as a sign of respect for me, but still, always be yourself!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Seattle Trip

The trip to Seattle to visit Gill and her family was officially a success! Chris and I drove down to Spokane on the first day (to split up the drive) and stayed in a lovely hotel just outside of the city. It was called the Pheasant Inn and Suites and was truly a great place to stay. Pool, hot tub, free buffet breakfast, free cookies and hot chocolate in the lobby, good sized HBO! Gotta give a shout out for the HBO. The next morning we did the rest of the drive and headed to where they live, which is called Lake Stevens and is about 40 minutes outside of Seattle. We got super duper ultra mega lost at one point which set us back about an hour and a half, but after finding free Internet at a Starbucks and a quick reference from Google Maps, we were back on the road and on our way! We found the house around 5pm (after circling the neighbourhood 4 times and getting really confused since there are apparently two houses with the same address in the neighbourhood!) and were greeted with open arms. After a lovely dinner and a goodnight to the kids, me and Gill whomped the guys at Cranium. Poor guys. They really tried hard though.

The next morning, Gill's sister came over to babysit the kids while the adults all headed to the city for the day. Most of the day was spent walking around Pike Place Market (I begin to drool just thinking about that place), the Pier and downtown Seattle. Honestly, walking around that city makes me happy. I have yet to find something about it that I do not like...except perhaps that it isn't closer to where I am. That would make it perfect.

Chris and I tried to sneak into a strip club while Gill and Ralph sat down for a drink elsewhere. It didn't work though.

We all walked over to the Space Needle and Chris and I took a ride up the 520 feet elevator (takes 43 seconds) to the Observation Deck to have a peek of the view. I had been up there before since I've been to the city many times, but Chris had never been so we figured we'd might as well take a look...we'd come all that way already anyway. As always, the view was beautiful.

After spending the whole day walking, we headed to Gill and Ralph's favourite restaurant for dinner. Needless to say, dinner was a bit of a bust. Sort of. It's a long story, but to sum it up, they changed the menu very recently which we were unaware of and removed the two items that Gill and Ralph always get. Plus, the place was out of 5 menu items, 4 of which we just happened to order. We felt so sorry for the waiter who was probably just equally frustrated every time he had to come back to the table to tell us that another item we ordered was not available. I can just picture the scene in the kitchen...

Chef": "Hey Joey, this table ordered the fillet mignon? Sorry man, we're all out of that."
Waiter: "What? I've already told them that the beer, chicken dish and seafood/rice dish are no longer available. I can't go back again to say we're out of steak!"
Chef: "Sorry dude. We've only got what we've got."
Waiter: "I'll give you my whole nights tips if you go out there and tell them. I just can't do it again."
Chef: "No way man. I work the back of the restaurant for a reason; so I don't have to deal with people."
Waiter: "Oh man! This blows!" and he stalked out the kitchen.

The one great thing was that the hostess woman heard about our table troubles and came over to apologize. She also gave us all of our entrees for free, gave Ralph some free sushi and offered us free dessert! We only paid for our drinks, so that was a rather awesome surprise for a semi-crappy experience. Oh well. Free food!

The next day was a bit more sightseeing of the area they live in. We packed everyone up in the truck and went for a drive to look around. We also went on a nice hike through a bit of a canyon. It was very very pretty. I would have loved to have been able to go through there through the Spring when the waters were running high. But it was beautiful no matter what.

After the hike we went home for a quick lunch. Then the boys (Chris, Ralph, Parker and Phinn) all went to look at fancy shmancy cars together so that Chris could drool all over them. Myself, Gill and Piper went and did some shopping. As always, I spent way too much money but got some lovely pieces of clothing in the process (like an amazing vintage looking dress). After car drooling and clothes shopping, we all met back at the house. The kids headed off to bed and us adults played some board games. Now I don't want to brag, but if you ever need to be on a winning team for Cranium, just give me a call.

As I mentioned already, it was a great trip and I am sad that I couldn't spend more time down there to visit with my friends. Thanks for having us guys! I love you dearly and can't wait until I can get my butt back down there again.

Tip of the Day: Sometimes dried up waterfalls look like giant labia.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Birthday Tradition

So at Teck there's a tradition in which when it is your birthday, you bring donuts for everyone (or something donut-like). As kids were were spoiled with homemade goodies and birthday cakes, so I've gotten used to always wanting to make things from scratch. People almost always notice and appreciate homemade treats, and that makes the effort worth it. So today is my birthday and I am working night shift, so I decided to ditch the donut idea and make some homemade cupcakes for the guys. Chocolate zucchini cupcakes (with a hint of orange) to be exact.

I loved the idea of making these for the guys. Not only are is it a delicious recipe but I get to add in the humour of there being a source of vegetable (very small source) in the cupcakes. They always joke about my abundance of veggies in my lunches so this was a good way to throw that factor in. In the long run though, all this lead to was me running around like mad person trying to bake and decorate these cupcakes before getting to work today. Yeah I could have just went to Tim Hortons and bought some donuts, but no...that would have been too easy. It's reasons like making homemade birthday cupcakes that makes it so that I never have any extra time and am living my day to day life feeling rushed and unprepared. Yeah I made some yummy treats for the guys, but what do I get in return? Well, I leave for a trip to Seattle in about 12 hours (I write this blog from work on my break) and I have a page long list of things I need to do before we take off, one of them being packing! Also in the past four days, no exaggeration required, I've only seen Chris for a handful of hours in total. It seems that it's been just a quick kiss as he's leaving the house while I'm coming in...and vice versa.

The original plan for the trip was to come home from night shift at 6:30am, sleep until noonish then drive to Seattle and arrive around 9pm. But as always, life gets in the way and causes a slight detour in the plans. Pam is in the process of trying to sell her house (the house we are staying in this summer) and a realtor is dropping by tomorrow to take some pictures of the inside and outside of the house. This means that all of the cleaning and grass cutting and yard work that I was planning to do when we got back from the trip now has to be done before we go. Of course I get the news about this the day before we plan to head out. Great. So the new plan is to do all of the work at the house, leave later on in the afternoon and drive the 2.5 hours to Spokane where we will spend the night. From there we can get up early and do the rest of the drive to Seattle. I figured this was a much better idea then just doing the full drive all at once. Trying to find a house in the dark at around 2am (3am if I get lost) in an area that I have never been to before is just not my idea of fun. Especially only on a few hours worth of sleep.

Tip of the Day: Battery powered forklifts are indeed quiet enough to sneak up behind someone and scare them with the blast of the horn.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Silly Search and Rescue

Today is a day that I am truly humiliated to be me. Why do you ask? Well for one thing. I am crouched on a chair afraid to put my feet on the floor as I type this. That's one place to start I suppose.

I was washing some dishes when I noticed that Splash was laying on the carpet, about 5 feet away from her bed. I asked her to go on her bed about four times before she finally listened and lumbered over there. She seemed really nervous for some reason but grudgingly sat down on her bed. As I reached down to place something into the freezer (we have a fridge on top, freezer on bottom) the biggest spider I have ever seen in my life crawled out from the corner of Splash's bed, then tucked underneath the fridge and scared the living shit out of me. The worst part of it all is that I am home alone and sitting in the fetal position on a chair wondering how to deal with this situation. Splash is sitting here beside me and keeps looking up at me with a worried look on her face as she nudges my arm. Plan A: Call Chris and have him come to my rescue. If he doesn't answer his phone, Plan B: Run to Amy's house and hide there. If Amy is sound asleep and doesn't answer the door, plan C: Call the National Guard. Luckily Chris picked up his phone and is on the way over! I didn't tell him what was going on, only that I needed him to come home for a few minutes and it's too embarrassing to say why...but I need help now!

Now I am sitting on my bed with the most horrible heeby-jeebies I have ever had in my life, with my cupcakes burning in the oven and my boyfriend trying to figure out how to find this thing. Did I mention it's 11:30 at night? He has moved the dog's bed and the fridge and it is no where to be seen. How am I supposed to sleep tonight knowing that this thing is in the house, lurking behind any corner or under any surface. I feel so impotent and useless at the moment. Chris keeps tossing suggestions at me for the best way to attack this situation and every time he mentions me having to help (aka, get off of this bed), my face twists into a contorted position that one would assume I am being tortured. Why did I have to see that thing? I was living in blissful ignorance of it's presence in the house and would have been more than happy not knowing it was living in the house. (As I shudder violently.)'s dead. Chris has guts on the bottom of his shoe. Why do I have to be such a girl sometimes. This makes me feel so incompetent as a human being and totally silly as a female. I had to call my boyfriend from the job he's doing to come and kill a spider for me. What have I become? Yes I know it's just a stupid bug (sorry, arachnid) and it can't hurt me, but there's just something about certain spiders that freak me out! Honestly though, this thing was really big. It could have eaten my foot if I had not been careful.

This was probably the most bizarre blog I have ever written. A play-by-play of the search and destroy of a giant house spider. At least writing this kept my brain busy while my body went into fight or flight mode.

Yes, I am still sitting on the bed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Employee Evaluation

So for all of the Teck employees and especially for the summer students, the supervisors fill out employee rating sheets and have a meeting with each employee to explain how they feel about that person's progress as a worker. There are 11 points to criteria to discuss; safety practices, attitude, work performance, initiative, dependability, cooperativeness, critical thinking, responsibility, adaptability, communication skills and fitness. Each point is rated on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being poor/below standard and 10 being excellent/way above standard). They also look at your attendance and whether or not you should be recommended to be retained at Teck or discharged. The main purpose of this for summer students is for employer reference. If I were to ask Teck for a reference for a future job, they would send a copy of this to the possible employer to explain what kind of worker I was.

My boss Larry called me in the other day to sit me down and discuss my employee rating sheet. He handed it to me and let me have a quick look over before we discussed it. My eyes quickly ran down the rating scales and honestly, my heart sank. All I saw were the numbers jumping out at me. They were not what I would have expected at all. I thought of myself as a pretty good employee and to see what they really thought of me honestly made me rethink what kind of worker I am. That's when Larry gave a little chuckle and said, "and here's your real rating sheet" and handed me the actual copy. Phhhhew! That was a relief. Much higher scores than the previous one. Do you see what I have to deal with at work???

After I left the meeting room and took a few minutes to read through the fake sheet, I had to laugh. The comments that he put in were pretty hilarious. In society today we are so hung up on the numbers that we skip the reading of the words and immediately look at the numbers. For instance, body weight. We get all worried about what the scales say and don't take into consideration how we feel at the weight we are at. If I had read the comments then I would have easily figured out it was a joke much more quickly.

So here's a quick run through of what the phony rating sheet said:
*Safety Practices - 3/10 - We saw her wear her hard hat a few times (I don't have to wear a hard hat where I work so this comment actually made me upset when I read it at first because I wasn't in the wrong here).

*Attitude - 8/10 - She definitely has an attitude, pink hair?

*Work Performance - 5/10 - And she managed to read 8 novels this summer (actually I should be able to get through 9 by the end of it).

*Initiative - 4/10 - First one to leave when something goes wrong.

*Dependability - 2/10 - Missed her third shift (I actually took a day off for Sarah's wedding and everyone was on my case, jokingly of course, that I got a day off so soon after beginning working there).

*Cooperativeness - 4/10 - Sits quietly in the lunchroom, never talks to others.

*Critical Thinking - 3/10 - She always asks others what to do (only when really confused or breaking things).

*Responsibility - 10/10 - Broke a forklift and damaged our elevator (he gave me such high points because I'm the first to admit when I mess up).

*Adapability - 3/10 - She hates change (this coming for the girl who changes her hair colout every week?).

*Communication Skills - 8/10 - Don't know, she never talks.

*Fitness - 4/10 - Seems to get a lot of sleep at work (I sleep the least out of everyone).

Tip of the Day: Never trust your boss.

Oh, and he also recommended me to be discharged. Geez. Way to make a girl feel special.

But on the bright side, I also won and received a $50 gift card from Teck. Yay for gift cards to Canadian Tire!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Red Handed at Red Mountain

This picture is evidence that I had a great day. No, it's not some foreign tropical skin disease that I picked up from my secret foreign lover Eguardo. It's the sign that huckleberries are in season and absolutely delicious! This morning my dad and I did the trek up to the top of Red Mountain. Next to Old Glory, this is one of the hikes that I've been wanting to do since I found out that there was a trail up to the top. In case anyone doesn't know, Red Mountain the local ski hill which is located in Rossland and during the summer they really focus on bringing in people for hiking and biking the trails. When I was younger we always got season passes for skiing up there but never really took advantage of what they had to offer in the summer. Today I finally got the chance to walk to the top of Red!

The hike was called Red Top and was only a blue square. That means that it's pretty easy-intermediate hike for most of the way up. And yeah, it was a nice leisurely hike up the mountain. As always when hiking up in Rossland, the views were beautiful, the trails were well maintained and the air smelled amazing. But this trail had the bonus of huckleberries! Huckleberries are a delicious berry which grows mainly in alpine areas and is related to the blueberry. We grew up picking and eating this marvelous fruit so our family basically holds them in as high regard as others may view gold. Why are they as precious as gold you ask? It's because you usually have to drive or walk up huge mountains to find them, and if you do find any, chances are that there aren't very many or they haven't ripened yet, or the bears got to them already and you're SOL. The walk took us about 30 minutes longer than normal because we kept stopping to pick and munch out on berries. Some plants were just hanging over with the weight of fruit on the branches. It's just way too hard to pass by a plant that looks like that.

But the day was absolutely gorgeous and sunny (and it's supposed to stay this way for a while!) and the hike had some long-lost cabins situated overlooking the view. When we reached the top and took a look around the area, we decided to take a different trail back down which was pretty much down the face of the mountain. In hindsight...not a great idea. The trail was incredibly steep and the dirt was loose and gravely in some areas which made our footing slip well more than once or twice. We were thankful to reach the bottom. I don't think that my hamstrings would have lasted much longer.

Tip of the Day: The huckleberry is the state fruit of Idaho.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Series of Unfortunate Events.....

Sometimes it takes a few unfortunate events to create opportunity for more pleasant events. Take the past 24-48 hours for example. Two days ago my parents were supposed to go to the lake for 4 days. My mom asked me to take care of Riz and Peanut while they were away which in turn meant that we would have to stay at their house. This was both a good and bad thing. It was good because it meant that I would get to sleep in my basement dungeon room which admits very little light, therefore creating a blackness paradise which is perfect for sleeping in. I would also have full access to the treadmill which is always a good thing, and there's lots of great place to walk. Staying at the folks house was also a bad thing because it meant no internet (how can one survive??), smaller bed and you can't walk to town in less than 10 minutes (like here at Pam's house). But these are minor problems and really no big deal at all.

Since I was working night shift and Chris has been working lots with Jer lately, that meant that no one was around to watch Riz for the first Pam volunteered to take her for one night. This was fortunate. But then some unfortunate events took place which included traffic jams and the flaring up of my mom's bad knee which lead to my parent's calling off their trip to the lake. That sucked. But then I guess Pam went down to the parent's house the next morning to walk the dogs with my dad when she turned her ankle in a camouflaged hole and tore a ligament (or something like that) in her ankle. Poor Pam.

This lead to two very fortunate events for me! I don't want to sound like a selfish jerk for saying this, but since Pam is now all gimpy for a while, that means that we get to take care of Splash for a while. YAY! In turn of having Splash here, that meant that I got the opportunity to walk her in the mornings again and was able to learn about a hiking trail which is only minutes from the house which I never knew existed. If my parent's had gone to the lake then Pam wouldn't have been down there to walk the dogs that morning meaning that she wouldn't have hurt herself. Then I would have woken up this morning and done a regular boring workout in the living room and gone on with my day. But since I have Splash, I had to get out and take her for a good walk (she's part border collie so she needs a really good amount of exercise every day) and stumbled upon a fantastic trail. Is it wrong to prosper off of other people's misfortunes?

The thing I love about sunny mornings is that they inspire me to want to go and explore. There's nothing that one can't do on a sunny Sunday morning. That may sound cheesy but I am a firm believer in it. The original plan was to do the walk to Bingy Bay and back, but when I walked down by the highway I glanced up at the lookout point just above the hospital and felt inspired to hike up there and go to the Canada flag that someone placed up there years and years ago. On the way up the Raven Cliff Trail, we ran into a man walking his two dogs and he explained all of the trails in the area which I was heading in and I decided to take advantage of the weather and early morning and explore around the mountain (don't tell my mom that I walked around a mountain by myself with only a dog and leash as my line of defense against cougars and grizzly bears).

Tip of the Day: A dog and a leash will never be enough to fight against a cougar or a grizzly bear...unless you're Macgyver.

Following the hike and a quick shower was a trip down to my cousin Victor and Helen's house for their daughter's first birthday party. It was nice to be able to mingle with the family for a couple hours. We don't get to see each other enough. Everyone was discussing having a big backyard BBQ before Chris and I head back to PEI (which I am still in firm denial about). I hope we are able to pull that together before September 5th. Fingers crossed!

Now it's off for a swim and dinner with the family!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Simplicity of a Compliment

Today at work I got a compliment from a co-worker. It was a simple act of kindness for him to go out of his way to walk over to me, stop me from what I was doing and tell me that he thought that I did an awesome job (yes, he used the word awesome). I guess he worked an extra shift a few days before which meant that he got the opportunity to work with another person who does the same job as I do (but on my days off), and he told me that the quality of work and effort that I put out was just on a completely different level as this other person.

The conversation took only a mere 30 seconds or so, but it meant enough to motivate me to create a blog about it. I think what lead me to really think about this simple little act of kindness was that at this job, I get very few compliments from my bosses. Because the bosses work different hours and shifts than we 4&4 people do, they don't see our continual work habits and probably don't take much notice of the differences between one charge floor operator to the next. In one way this really sucks because I am the clean freak who continually sweeps the floor but it's not recognized by the bosses. The thing with working with the same 4&4 crew is that they all work with each other every single day and they see just how hard we do or don't work, and the quality of the work that each individual puts out there. I think that the bosses here are just content when they are able to get through a day without someone blowing something up or breaking something down. I also know that they have lots of people to overlook and lots of responsibilities, so I'm not putting out any blame here.

Anyway, the point of this rambling is that it was really nice to hear such encouraging words from my co-worker. It's great to know that someone out there notices and appreciates what I do at my job. We come to work, day in and day out, and somewhere along the line start to become numb to our surroundings and may lose sight of the big picture (for me, paying off school and student loans!). Now I'm not saying this happens to all people at all jobs out there, but I mean, sometimes one can put out a lot of effort at a job and the little recognition can start to wear a person down. At a previous job that I worked, we were all given a good pat on the back every day and this made all of the employees feel really good about coming to work. If I had a shitty day at work, that little "you did a good job today Adrienne" was enough to make me smile and want to come back the next day and give it another go. I think it's really important to make your employees feel good about who they are working for and for what cause. It's a whole lot easier to want to be friendly and courteous to customers when the boss makes you feel important and part of a team (unlike another job I had in which we were scolded 100 times for every 1 time we did something right. And if we did do something right, that did not mean that we would get a pat on the back for it).

Tip of the Day: Making your employees feel discouraged and useless will only lead to mutiny and ex-lax in the company cupcakes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Through Hell or High Water....

Sunday was a bit of a bust. The big plan was to spend the day at Champion Lake with Gill and her family. We were to meet Sarah and her family as well and just make a big fun day of it. Well, the weather had different plans. It started off alright. There were some daunting clouds which made us a bit nervous but Sarah's husband was equipped with a tent-like structure which would be assembled over the picnic table and make an alright cover for us if we needed it. The BBQ was fired up, the kids (and of course Chris) were down by the water playing in the mud building a structure of some kind, and everything seemed to be going nicely. Until the skies opened up and nearly drowned us in the rain.

The funny thing about crappy weather when at the lake is that kids just don't care. It was pouring incredibly hard and it just did not faze them in the least. They remained down by the water, laughing and playing together as though it were sunny and 35 degrees outside. Some of us adults took this as a cue to say 'ah the hell with it' and decided to join them. We were getting massively soaked anyway so what would be the difference of just jumping right in. Besides, swimming when it's raining out is just so satisfying. The water seems warmer and fresher and just all that much more enjoyable.

Tip of the Day: Watching kids eat soggy Cheesies is hilarious. The reaction of watching them bit into something which is supposed to be crunchy but ends up tasting like softened foam is just downright funny.

Unfortunately, after waiting and waiting for the rain to let up, it failed to do so, so we decided to pack everything up and get on out of there. This was really disappointing but these things happen from time to time. It's just too bad that it had to happen during the few days that my friends were in town with their kids. The remainder of the day consisted of grocery shopping, cooking, drinking and dice games. No complaints there!

Today Gill and the family had to head back to the US and say goodbye to Canada for a while. I picked up Splash and drove over early in the morning to say my farewells to everyone. We are planning to take a quick trip down to Seattle in a couple weeks to go visit them, but it's still hard to see them leave. I've known Gill since I was 5 years old and I hate that we live so far away from each other. Plus her family is wonderful and I wish that I could spend more time with them on a regular basis. Anyway, after giving their Suburban help with some jumper cables (one of the kids left a DVD player running overnight), they were on their way. I then took Splash and Riz for a walk, already missing my friends. Here's a picture of all of Gill's cutie kids:

Back to work tomorrow. How do my days off go by so quickly?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Explosive Day

Today was a busy day but it was extremely enjoyable. It all started off early with a hike up the mountain to a plane crash site that Pam has been wanting to walk up to all summer. On October 18th 1947, a B25 Mitchell Bomber from the Canadian Air Force crashed into the mountain up in the Plewman Basin. There were 7 people aboard the plane, and all were instantly killed upon impact. The hike is not well known to a lot of people and we were basically relying on word of mouth and some flagging tape on random trees to show us the way up the mountain through some rather rough terrain. It's not a well maintained path like the ones we have been walking lately so our legs were good were scratched up by the end of it. When we got up to the crash site...we just kind of stood back and took it all in. It was very easy to understand why everyone on board were killed instantly considering how mangled and torn apart the remains were. Just a graveyard of scrap metal all over the place. It was sad and eerie to stand there in such a beautiful place of the world and see the destruction that a man-made machine can make.

We headed back down the mountain and drove to Trail to hang out with Gill and her family for a couple hours. Chris went and crawled into my old bed to take a nap (7am wake up is a bit rough on that guy) while I headed into town to help Ralph (Gill's husband) find a couple places to hand out resumes. Did I mention that they're wanting to move to Canada!!! YAY! We went out for a quick lunch and headed back to the house so that I could wake up Chris and head to Holden's birthday party.

Here's a picture of Gill's adorable daughter Piper playing on one of the kiddie rides at the mall:

Holden's 5th birthday party was being held at the Trail Aquatic Center and Chris has been looking forward to this day ever since I received the invitation many weeks ago. Nothing like 14 screaming kids all splashing around in a pool to get your Saturday really going. We played around the pool/hot tub/sauna/water slide for nearly two hours before the party dwindled down and parents started coming by to pick up their kids. I honestly don't think I've ever had that much fun at that pool before in my life.

We went back to hang out with Gill and family after the birthday party again. We took Splash and Riz for a walk then headed back home for some dinner. After dinner, Chris, Ralph and I walked down to the river so that the guys could jump in the water for an after dinner cool down. Eating vast amounts of pasta generally makes you want to drop your body temperature a few degrees in hopes of easing the pressure in the system. I've always found this helps!

After that we played some dice games (both of which Ralph won and got all of our money). It was a truly lovely day and evening. I look forward to the adventures that tomorrow brings.

Tip of the Day: When you go to the Kotyk's house to play games, always remember to bring your money. Winner takes all at our house.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Early Morning Conversations

On Tuesday I learned a very important lesson: never rely on a conversation you have with someone at 5am, especially when that person just woke up. As I was leaving for work I asked Chris to please pick me up after work at Ferraro Foods at 6:30 since I had to pick up some things for Gill and her family while they stay here. I also wanted to get a ride out to my parent's house to drop the stuff off and do some cleaning at the house in preparation for their stay. We talked this over and he agreed and wished me a good day at work.

On my break at work I even sent him a quick email to remind to pick me up at 6:30 and to please water the tomato plants. Reminder #2 seemed good enough to make sure that I had a ride after work.

So I sat there for over a half hour outside of Ferraro Foods that day, waiting on the curb with my heavy grocery bags resting beside me. Where could he be? I called the house but there was no pick up. Hmmm. Luckily an old perverted man who continued to tell me how beautiful I am kept me company for a while. That was nice. There's no flattery as good as that from drunken men with long scraggly hair and overly dark glasses. I think the worst part of the whole situation was the looks of pity from the customers who see me when they enter the store, then once again see me sitting in the same place as they leave. They know that I have been abandoned at the grocery store while my jug of milk warms in the heat of the day.

I didn’t want to bother the people in the store to use their phone again so I hauled my bags over to 7-11 and made some calls on the pay phone in hopes of finding a ride. No pick up at Amy’s house. Parents weren’t home either. My last call was to Pam who was thankfully home and able to come to my rescue. While I waited by the curb for Pam to arrive, low and behold, my scraggly haired friend came moseying down the sidewalk again in my direction; a freshly bought bottle of booze in his hand and a smile on his face. He had found me again. Lucky me.

Turns out Chris had zero recollection of our 5am conversation and was shocked at how in detail I was able to describe his answers to my questions and promises to pick me up. Apparently this is not a new situation for him and told me to ask his mom about just how useless it is to speak to him when he is in that state. I wonder how many people he has left stranded at grocery stores in the past?

Tip of the Day: Seedless watermelon, $4.98. Two bags of chips, $5.00. A bunch of bananas, $1.07. Getting hit on by creepy old drunk men in the early afternoon…priceless.


I wanted to add this picture to my blog because I love it and it made me laugh. It was taken with Pam's camera at the top of Plewman's Trail and she just recently sent it to me. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Past Days

It's been a hectic week...and yet not all that much happened. I mean, lots happened, but nothing that has inspired me to blog solely on one topic. A quick rundown of the past week would be as follows:

-Ended up not going to the lake because the weather was utterly horrible. We had it alright in Trail but over at Woodbury there were storms and torrential downpours and ghastly winds. My dad called up us and basically told us not to bother if we wanted to sleep in a tent or have any kind of outdoor fun over there. He also informed me that their car broke down and had to get it towed to the Honda dealership in Castlegar and that there was a chance that I would have to come pick them up on Sunday afternoon.

-The following day I went and babysat Cadance for a few hours. Eventually Chris came over to the house as well to keep me company. We decided to take Cadance to the mall so that she could play in the ballroom (weather was bad that day) and mingle with all of the children over there. We learned that day that she really really really doesn't like those fake tattoos. She had a bit of a meltdown when I applied a lovely heart tattoo to her upper arm.

-Sunday I took Splash for a nice long walk in the morning. The weather was beautiful and I tried to take as long as I could when walking. As soon as my path steered me towards my neighbourhood, I would take a turn in another direction to lengthen the walk. Eventually I got home and headed out to the lake to pick up my parents and Rizzo. It's amazing just how different the weather is out there compared to here in town. It was hot and muggy when I left Trail and by the time I got out to Woodbury, it was cloudy and the wind chilled me considerable. When it comes to weather, the rules never apply out there. Chris, Jer and Splash all went for a drive/hike up a mountain so I knew that I'd be going home to an empty house, so I lingered at the folks house when we got back to Trail.

-Monday was back to work. Double time and a half is never a bad thing. I made more money that day then I would have gotten on an entire paycheck from my job last summer. Crazy. I also got to drive a Bobcat for the first time that day! I've been wanting to drive that machine since I began work at Teck and I when I got the opportunity, I took it!

-I also learned Monday that Gill and her family would be heading to Canada on Wednesday! After a lot of debate, we decided the best place for them to stay would be with my parents. Pam's house has a few "quirks" to it that would make their stay perhaps not as comfortable then they may have liked. One of them being the ant infestation and another the crappy air conditioning. I wouldn't want a family with a newborn baby sleeping in a house covered in raid and unevenly cooled in 40 degree weather (Yep, it was 39 degrees today). Blah. Nothing special.

-Wednesday is today. Unfortunately I didn't get to see Gill when they arrived because I was already at work. Stupid night shift. Sucks that I have to work the first two days they are here, but I'll have the weekend to enjoy their company. I look forward to it!