Monday, January 8, 2018

Week one.... is done!

Mmmmm, the mountains! The cold spell over the holidays finally released its grip (temporarily anyhow!), and a beautiful weekend was Week One of 2018's treat for us out west.

In between the plumbing and electrical projects at my place in Canmore, we did spend some time having actual fun as we pedaled the fat tire bikes around the trails and enjoyed the loveliness of the winter landscape. There still isn't all that much snow, but I'm sure it'll show up at some point!

A new kitchen faucet!

A new dining room light fixture!

The condo 'upgrades' were minor but they give it a rejuvenated feel. A downside of making minor changes is that they can lead to more major changes.... and I have a list as long as my arm of things I'd like to change! Oy.

Anyway, it seems like forever since I've had to show up to work on a Monday, much less put in a full forty hours.... But, one down, three to go! Yeah!


Monday, January 1, 2018

Day One....

Two thousand and eighteen is here people! I can hardly believe it, and along with that another 'holiday season' is over. The past few weeks were like being on a tilt-a-whirl - a really, really, REALLY cold tilt-a-whirl that is.... but it's been a lot of fun.

I headed to Medicine Hat to visit with the family and finally meet their newest addition - Jack. He's a 6-month old French bulldog, and he's super duper cute and a smarty pants to boot!

Driving the back roads to the Hat.

Jacques... c'mon, he's French, right!!?

The first couple of days were the usual eating and drinking with the occasional card game thrown in. On the eve of Christmas Eve however, the shenanigans began. A visit to 18th Street from the jolly old fellow himself started off a night of serious merriment.

Just a sampling of what 'fueled the fire' so to speak....

We've been BFF's and getting into trouble
for more than 35 years.... why stop now?

If you've ever been here, you know how it goes!

Who wouldn't be all smiles, riding in a limo?

A group of about 20 of us invaded the timeless classic of a bar called the Royal Hotel, in downtown Medicine Hat. We arrived in a stretch limousine, and I'm certain the live band kicked it up a notch just for us, as we all drank and danced and hovered on the edge of causing trouble, right up until the lights came on. It didn't quite end there though, and reminiscent of my college days, I dragged a couple of diehards back to my parents' house with me and we continued the party.

The next day was a long one for a few over-indulgent friends who had to travel home. I on the other hand felt not too bad, and preparations for my Mom's Christmas dinner ensued.

I you-tubed how to make napkins look
like Christmas trees.

Dunkster and Elmo.... best parents EVER!

Christmas dinner.

Totally stuffed with turkey and all the yummy fixins, I rolled back to Red Deer late on Boxing Day. With the entire province dipped into a major deep freeze, aside from leaving the house to pick up necessities, the last five days have been spent hunkered down indoors. Brrrrr!!

Only in Alberta.... a 30 degree temperature
swing, in five days. Woot!

It has been an incredibly relaxing, much needed break from the craziness of my job, although the insanity will resume shortly. I head across the continent for business once again mid-January, subsequent to which I expect to be working long, long days and likely several weekends. But I'm not complaining - I am happy to be employed and am grateful for the challenge and opportunity I've been presented with.

Speaking of challenges, and to completely change the subject, here is Chris's latest project.....

A new dirtbike, you say? Yes, it's a Husqvarna FC450!

Isn't that his lovely KTM in the background?
And what happened to the rear wheel of this one??

Huh???? OMG it's a skeleton bike!

He is currently in the process of building a snow bike - that's right - SNOW bike. It's a dirtbike that is modified to ride on the snow.... a TimberSled kit is in the garage and he's impatiently awaiting the delivery of the fit-kit so that he can assemble it all, so stay tuned for the 'after' pics!

Next up - we're looking forward to seeing Kristen.... Lindsay and Nichole spent Christmas with their Dad, but Kristen was in Vancouver for the holidays this year. Hopefully she'll be traveling east sometime soon! There is a tree and your presents waiting for you Kristen!


Happy New Year to everybody - may 2018 bring you love, laughter, health, and prosperity! Out with the old, in with the new!


Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Final Countdown

Ten more sleeps, and another year will be over. Wow. Doesn't it seem like just yesterday that I was sitting here, pecking away at the keyboard, describing how quickly I thought 2016 zipped by??! Wow.

It's been an interesting 12 months to say the least, and 2017 is rounding out as busy as ever - it has been non-stop since returning from Vancouver! I volunteered at the always entertaining Festival of Trees along with several of my fellow employees, where we served brunch to somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 lovely ladies over the course of two action-packed hours. Next up was the office Christmas party, which was a great excuse to get all dolled up for an evening of dinner, drinks, and dancing. The night following saw us decked out in Flames jerseys as we took in the 'battle of Alberta'. And then there was the Sunday afternoon company family Christmas party - it always makes me laugh - I signed up to hand out gifts to all the little kiddos who attended.

Serving up some attitude! LOL

Great turnout at the kids' party!

We clean up pretty nicely!

A girl's gotta have accessories!

Not exactly the outcome we had hoped, but.....
still fun to watch the Flames in action!

The next stop for me after a few days in Canmore was South Carolina, which was a full-tilt week of all work and no play.


Yes this was my luggage for an entire week!

Things are now winding down at work, and after today I will be off until the New Year. I really need a break and am excited to spend time with the Parents, as well as out in the mountains.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2018 to everyone! Be safe and have a fabulous holiday season!


Monday, November 20, 2017

Fun Times in Van!

No, not like in a van, down by the river.... I'm talking like in the BC lower mainland city of Van, or Vancouver. We spent an extra-long weekend in the metropolis, celebrating the very first Cooke girl to graduate from college! Whoo hoo! Kristen followed her dream, she persevered, and she successfully completed the Pro Hair program at the Blanche MacDonald Centre. Congratulations beautiful girl! We are all so very proud of you! 💖

What an accomplishment! Great job Kristen! xo

The graduation ceremony on Friday afternoon kicked off 48 hours of festivities. The whole crew hung out for dinner and drinks Friday night, and then we regrouped for a late breakfast at the famous Jam Café on Saturday morning. With bellies full of one of the most fabulous brekkies any of us have ever eaten, the girls took us on a tour of downtown before turning us loose to do our own thing for a few hours prior to meeting up again for supper. After which, the girls ditched us to go see a show, leaving us 'responsible' parents/adults to carry on into what we thought were the wee hours of the night. However, it turns out we were back at the hotel shortly after midnight..... LOL! Can you say OLD!!! But what a riot! Everybody had a kick-ass evening.

Sister love!

Proud sisters with the graduate!

As Lindsay describes her and Kristen: Womb-mates!

Jam Café..... you need to go there!

Vancouver Public Library - it's quite the building!

I am likely going to hear about posting this vid, but....
I think it says a lot about how our evening went!
We had tons of laughs - thanks Janet and Tracy!

See video, above.... LOL!

The mystery bar - this was our last stop but nobody knows what it was called!

The getaway flew by, and before I knew it, we were on the plane home. I had a stellar time - I hope everyone did - and I am really stoked for Kristen. She is loving life in her new environment, and I know she is going to continue to succeed.