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Charity Selected

Scribbled down on October 28th, 2013 by she
Posted in Those Who Volunteered

Each year I count poppies and then make a donation to a charity that inspires me. This year, I’ve decided to donate the funds generated through my poppy count to Valour Place. Valour Place is a temporary home away from home for all Canadian Forces members, Families of the Fallen, Veterans and RCMP along with their families who require medical treatment in Edmonton. Through Valour Place, they have the means to face the challenges of rehabilitation in a warm, welcoming and supportive environment. Hope away from home.

I’ve spent a significant amount of my knitting time this month working on poppies for knitmonton’s Valour Place Project. Working on the project has made me run the gamut of emotions;   pride (yay! I figured out how to sew the petals together), frustration (when Nat tried to teach me to crochet and I just couldn’t get the yarn into the correct hands!),  relief (when I FINALLY managed to figure out loopysue’s knitflat pattern).. you get the idea.

I’ve got last night of knitting tonight and then it’s time to put it all together…which I’m told involves more attempts to teach me to crochet. Those poor, patient women who try to teach me things!

2013 Poppy Campaign

Scribbled down on October 25th, 2013 by she
Posted in Those Who Volunteered

Poppies will be available for sale to the general public on October 25th. That’s today for those of you playing along at home.

After last year’s moving experience with Drew and his family in Ottawa, I’m back to honouring Remembrance Day alone. Drew will be on parade in Cool Pool. I haven’t yet decided which of the ceremonies I’ll go to. I’ve never been to the one at the Butterdome; I hear it is the largest in the city. I suspect I’ll go back to the Ledge.

Edmonton, you’re on notice. I’ll be counting poppies beginning on Oct 25th to determine what the $$ amount of my charitable donation(s) will be this year. As always, I’m donating $0.10 for every poppy I see on my wanders throughout the city (Legion poppies, not the handmade ones we’re working on for the Valour Place art installation). I’ve yet to decide which organization(s) I’ll be donating to this year, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your part to make some fabulous organizations very happy. Buy a poppy. Wear your poppy.

I’ll be counting for the next 18 days.

Introducing Bella

Scribbled down on August 6th, 2013 by she
Posted in Terrify’n Space Monkeys

A few years ago we fostered a few small dogs for the CaliCan Rescue Foundation. They are a wonderful non-profit organization that brings small, unwanted dogs up from California to get a new lease on life in Edmonton. After successfully fostering a pup, we ended up self-selecting ourselves out of their foster pawrent pool when I adopted Zoe.

I’ve since learned that we were CaliCan’s first “foster fail”.

After Fenris passed away, we decided to begin fostering for CaliCan once again. CaliCan needed temporary homes for their new dog-izens and we didn’t have any plans to adopt a new pup so soon after Fenris had passed. Drew claims he had no intention of adopting a third pup again.. and I know I sang that song and dance as well..

Since Cinn (Sam), I’ve been pretty specific about the pups we’ll foster. They have to be female. OK, so that’s not really specific but it can limit a rescue organization when they’re trying to find foster homes for pups. But for the sake of our sanity, and the state of our home, any fosters have to be female. Hypnos can be a real handful otherwise.

Thus Angie came to stay with us for a little while.  Angie, an Italian Greyhound & MinPin mix, was a bundle of curiosity and energy but lucky for us, she didn’t fit in with the family or our other beasties.  After a few fits and starts in the trial visit stage, we sent our 3rd foster pup on her way to her new permanent home in Andrew, AB.

Then the CHEESE flight arrived. After some hemm’ing and haw’ing with Kari about which pup we’d bring into our home, Kari decided to give us the bigger of the two. So instead of Brie, we ended up with BabyBel.

Who then proceeded to steal the hearts of everyone in our home. While I gave epic speeches listing all the reasons why we had no intention of adopting a 3rd dog at the CaliCan Fundraising BBQ and Adoption Event, Bella was busy worming her way into our hearts.

Like all our dogs, she’s had a rough start. She was a rescue from a hoarder’s home and had been stuck in a shock collar (despite being far smaller than the recommended minimum dog size for collar use) for a significant amount of time. She’s both timid and fierce, energetic and languid, all at once.

At the BBQ we learned her original name while in foster care in California was Bella. She responded to it so well we decided not to rename her something different upon her adoption. Rather, we gave her back her “old” name.

We’re thrilled to be welcoming Bella into our home on a permanent basis.


We’ve rejoined the ranks of “foster fails”. Once again we’re no longer able to foster dogs for CaliCan.

If you’re looking for a new dog to add to your family please adopt a rescue dog and give them a second chance. For small dogs, CaliCan Rescue Foundationshould be your first choice. Larger dogs (and sometimes puppies) can be adopted from HART or SCARS. All of these excellent organizations can also use foster homes for rescue dogs and, of course, financial support. Please consider helping them in any way you can.

RIP – Ann

Scribbled down on July 28th, 2013 by she
Posted in Friends & Family

Today marks the passing of a longtime family friend. In truth, Ann was so much more than a friend. She taught me to read and write, cleaned up scraped knees when my parents weren’t around, had to childproof her house because of me (her daughters were better behaved), & cared for me when my parents were away. She & Gerry housed members of our family who came from away when my da died. If I had to say I had a second mom as a small child, Ann would be the one I identified in a heartbeat. My heart breaks for her family because she and Gerry have always been such a huge part of ours.

So many things to remember Ann by. Love, smiles, laughter and tuna with relish. Say hi to dad for us. RIP.

It is done

Scribbled down on July 26th, 2013 by she
Posted in Learning & Education, Random Burbling

The final exam in my final course has been completed. Now we wait.

slowly losing track of time

Scribbled down on July 9th, 2013 by she
Posted in new leaf, Random Burbling

I could have sworn I’d written a post in 2013. Apparently not. I do intend to write and backdate a post in April and May 2013 in a few short moments. Mostly so I don’t lose track of the important moments in life; good and bad.

One of the downsides of watching the not-for-profit we’re involved in blossom is that I have less and less time to remember I have a blog of my own.  Which likely explains how nearly eight months passed between my last post and today. I spend so much time working on their newsletter, blog posts, twitter and Facebook page that I find it’s become an extension of my life.

The end is near. I’m busy working on my final paper in my final class in my degree. At the end of the month, I’ll be writing a final exam for the last time. Or at least, for the last time in a while. I’m definitely taking a few years off of school after I complete this degree. I’m tired. My brain is fried. But I am looking forward to walking across the stage at commencement in November.

I fell off the health wagon months back and have slowly gained back about 1/2 of the weight I lost a few years ago. Stress, injuries and laziness seem to have played the biggest part. I’m hoping once school is finished that I can get back on track. I miss fitting into my clothes!

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got at the moment. Today, we write a short post. Rather than making a silly resolution to return to blogging almost daily, I think I’ll try to add a new post to this blog once a week and see how it goes from there.



National Celiac Disease Awareness Month

Scribbled down on May 1st, 2013 by she
Posted in Art, Vittles & Beer

It’s national Celiac disease awareness month (in the US, not sure about Canada) so I thought I’d reflect on one of those “small world” things. Like many new Celiac’s, when I was diagnosed a few years ago the first thing I did was search for resource websites like the Canadian Celiac Association, etc. I found a few awesome Celiac mailing lists and discovered a site that would become my go-to for information: Not Even a Crumb.

I signed up for the newsletter, followed on twitter and became a friend to Ms. Wheaton on FB. ‘Cause I was bound and determined to learn as much about the disease as I could so I could FEEL GOOD again. I’d been sick so long I’d forgotten what ”normal” felt like (or perhaps never knew).

But going GF was more difficult than expected. I missed bread. And oats. Having a nut allergy meant that a lot of standard GF flours or mixes couldn’t be used in our house. We can’t purchase GF foodstuffs from bulk bins (where they appear to be most readily available) due to cross contamination concerns. Then Deb told me all about Gluten Free Prairie and my world became bright and sunny again. We can make meatloaf, hamburgers, and I can have porridge. Oh, and we can bake again.

So of course, many moons later (a year or so I think), when I learned who her son was, I was a bit star struck. In reverse you could say. When I next met up with him in a convention line, we didn’t talk about his career but rather the impact his mom’s websites and the family GF Oat business made on my life. Best.Conversation.Ever.

Today I’d like to thank Deb Wheaton for being an excellent resource for a newly diagnosed Celiac and in the few years post diagnosis. I still read every word and check out all the products and books you recommend!

*psst* He’s really proud of your new cookie line ;)

Fenris Wolf

Scribbled down on April 5th, 2013 by she
Posted in Terrify’n Space Monkeys

Once upon a time there was a young couple living in military housing in Winnipeg. Days after moving in, their house was broken into and the door busted off the hinges. Military housing took 3 days to put a new door on the house. The wife couldn’t sleep and was scared. So they decided to get a dog.

They were told the dog they were rescuing was an 8 week old GSD. After the first trip to the vet they learned they adopted a 1-2 yr GSD/Coy mix, starved & scared of men.

She blossomed. Never grew to the giant size expected originally. Partially due to her Coy genetics. Partially due to a harsh puppy-hood.

She loved. She adored playing in water. She grinned like a fool. She camped. She ruled the house as alpha as two new dogs were added to the family over the years. And always, she kept us all feeling safe & loved.

14 years & 4 months later, she crossed the rainbow bridge. Goodbye Fenris Wolf. We shall all miss you.

Late out of the gate

Scribbled down on November 29th, 2012 by she
Posted in Random Burbling

I struggled picking my charity to support with my annual Poppy count this year. The non-profit I’m involved with supports Equality Now, Kids Need to Read, and Edmonton’s Youth Empowerment and Support Services so as much as I love those three charities, I thought I needed to select a different organization. In the past, I’ve also tied Movember donations to the poppy count. This year I supported a few people in their moo-stache escapades at the beginning of the month, which took it off the list of potential charities…

So that left me with a handful of military related charities and my favourite dog rescue to select from. I was leaning towards a military oriented charity (mostly because I support CaliCan all year long) when the unthinkable happened. A CaliCan pup, on it’s way to it’s fur-ever home, got lost in Leduc in the middle of winter. Poe had only arrived in Canada a few short weeks before and, being from California, had no exposure to bitter cold before. The snow flew, the temperatures dropped, and dozens of volunteers scoured the neighbourhoods of Leduc to find a 6 lb black chihuahua. Reports of sightings came in near daily. After 5 days of being on the run, Poe was finally found and returned to CaliCan. Which, of course, meant a trip to the emergency vet.  Having had experience paying emergency vet bills (thanks Zoe!), we know that it can be significantly more expensive than visiting a vet during normal business hours. So, with that in mind, we’re sending our poppy pennies to CaliCan to help defray the costs of Poe’s visit to the vet.

slow down and smell the poppies

Scribbled down on November 1st, 2012 by she
Posted in Random Burbling

Seems to me that life has become crazy busy lately. In addition to working on my final course for my degree at RMC, the not-for-profit organization I helped establish (Alberta Browncoats) has been growing by leaps and bounds lately. We’ve been attending conventions, planning a shindig, and rolling out membership options over the past month. And, of course, I’ve been knitting like a mad woman so we have convention stock.

Somewhere in there I still manage to work full-time as an eLearning developer.

Next week Drew and I will be taking a much needed vacation to Ottawa. Drew’s been many times but, despite living in capital cities of many states and countries, I’ve never been to our own country’s capital before. In addition to traipsing around museums and spending a few days with Drew’s parents we’ll have a chance to participate in the Remembrance Day ceremony on Parliament Hill.  Something I’ve had on my bucket list for years now.

Time to pack my bags. And knitting ;)