Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

The best thing about having a female boss is that she is totally in to minor holidays. For Easter and St. Patricks day we got candy. Today we have the mother lode! A Halloween themed paper plate, napkin and cup, two "eyeball" erasers and two bags FULL of Halloween candy in plastic Halloween bags. Very cool.

It certainly made coming to work on a day when the temperature is -3o, a lot easier!

~Heidi

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ice Skating & Sushi

After I got home from the retreat and unloaded my stuff Seth and I met Mom and Aaron at the ice rink for our first ice skating session of the season. When I was a kid I took a week of lessons so I can at least move myself around the rink. I don't go incredibly fast and I can't stop abruptly or skate backwards but I haven't fallen in a long time (knock on wood). It was really fun. My legs and ankles were sore during but afterwards and today, they are fine. I'm hoping to get many sessions of ice-skating in this year. It's great excercise!

Afterwards we stopped at the little cafe and Aaron and I each picked up an order of California Rolls since I hadn't had dinner. Seth got Burger King on the way home. Mom and Aaron came over and we played cards for a couple of hours before calling it a night. It was a lot of fun.

This morning I woke up at 6:30 when my alarm went off. Luckily I realized that I had forgotten to re-set it the night before so I got to sleep for another 45 minutes or so. The time change is weird though. It's nice to not have to turn the lights on in the morning while I'm getting ready but I know that in a month or so we will be back where we were last week and it will feel like it's dark all day. I vote for just leaving it ahead.

~Heidi

Mount Baker Retreat

As previously reported, this weekend I went to a scrapbooking retreat on Mount Baker. From my house it was less then an hour drive. We did stop at Bromley's for our contribution to the meals (lunch on Saturday) and we got to the cabin around eight...I think. From the time I left the house on Friday to when I arrived home on Sunday I never really paid attention to my watch. Yes I looked at it and I changed it when we "fell back" but I wasn't bound by it. When I was hungry I ate, when I was tired I went to bed, when I woke up, I got up. It was wonderful.

Last weekend at Darrcie's Croptoberfest I started working on my pictures from my 2005 Pennsylvania trip. I had printed them many months ago, did power layouts in July and finally started scrapping last weekend. Between that and this weekend I have completed 23 pages. Some of them need finishing touches, or journalling. I have a few more that are started but far from being done. It feels good to make this progress though.

The biggest news about them, is I have finally, officially, branched out past CM in my albums. I used Basic Grey for the first time this weekend. I didn't use it for all of the pages but a few, and I *really* like them.

Saturday afternoon we left the cabin and drove into Bellingham to do some shopping. My favourite stop was at Treasury of Memories where I picked up papers from the new KI Collection I've already started using them for cards and I'm loving it.

"I'm Loving It". That's the McDonald's tag line right now and between that and "______ is working for me" those were our motto's for the weekend :)

Big thanks to Deb for pulling this weekend together. I'm loving scrapbook retreats because they are working for me :D

~Heidi

Friday, October 27, 2006

"Customer Appreciation"

Last night I went to a "Customer Appreciation" night held by the hotel where we do our quarterly board meetings. It consisted of a cocktail party, formal sit down dinner and a live theatre production. It was great. A long drive for me but a very nice free dinner, great networking and a show that I wouldn't have taken the time to see or paid for on my own. Just one of the perks of working with high class establishments.

Today I was sitting in on interviews again and now I'm working on prep for the quarterly board meeting planned for the end of next week. Busy times but I prefer that.

This weekend I'm headed up to a cabin on Mount Baker with friends for a scrapbook weekend. I don't have high goals for page completion so we'll see how it goes.

~Heidi

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

"Murder on Music Row"

July 31, 2005 (My birthday) Dierks Bentley and George Jones recorded a duet called "Murder on Music Row". It was a re-make of the one that George Strait and Alan Jackson did. George & Alan's original version won "CMA Song of the Year" in 2001.

Practically since the day Dierks & George re-recorded the song, I have been waiting for it's release. The original story was that it was coming out on a "Song of the Year" compilation that was going to be distributed by Starbucks. Over a year later, the story changed and an official announcement was made stating that the compilation would now be marketed by Cracker Barrel. Here's a link to the press release: clicky

The cd was released on October 3rd as promised. Unfortunately the closest Cracker Barrel to me is in Idaho. I want a copy of the cd but I am not willing to pay $17USD for shipping (and that's the cheaper option!). Instead I've been biding my time figuring I'll get it at some point. (Maybe someone will take pity on me and mail it out ;)).

Today I was on dierks.com and noticed that as a special feature for the fan club members they are playing acoustic versions of some of the tracks from his Long Trip Alone CD (the new one). I listened to each of the three tracks and then expected it to start them again. Instead, I got to hear "Murder on Music Row"!!! Dierks & George's version is just as great as I had hoped it would be.

I still want that CD but at least I don't have to wait to hear the song!

~Heidi

Blood

Yeah me! I successfully donated blood for the first time in months. The last two times I tried to go, I failed. My iron was too low. This time I've been back on my iron supplements and I passed with flying colours. Unfortunately I was really cold so it took over 15 minutes to fill the bag. That means they have to do different stuff with my blood (they can't use all of it). It's okay though. At least they got the needle in this time!
~Heidi

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Blogger Beta

I switched to Blogger Beta. I'm not sure how different it is. So far there doesn't seem to be any difference in the look of my blog but behind the scenes is different. I don't have time to play with it now but hopefully any changes will be good.

My favourite feature is the ability to label posts.

~Heidi

Kenny on Crack!!!

I am on hold with a local hotel. They have Kenny singing "A Lot of Things Different" as their hold music. It is all gibbled though! Kenny on crack :D
~Heidi

I hate being wrong!

Twice today I have tried to figure out why people aren't writing me back when I email them. Twice I've realized that I sent the message to the wrong person. Once because my auto-complete in Outlook is smarter then I am and once because I hit "reply" instead of "forward".

I hate it when it's my fault though!

~Heidi

"Don't you ever get bored with scrapbooking?"

That was Seth's comment to me on Sunday evening. I had just spent all day Saturday at Darrcie's Croptoberfest and he knew that I am going on a retreat this weekend. Sunday evening I was debating if I wanted to go get a movie, sit and watch tv, clean or scrapbook. His comment really struck me though and made me think.

Do I ever get bored with scrapbooking? No, not really. I get frustrated with it, like I am right now. I do have to stop and enjoy other pursuits sometimes but for me scrapbooking is a way of life. It's not just something I do as a hobby, it's who I am as a person. I AM a scrapbooker. It affects my activities and how I am when I'm out doing things. I affects what I read (both in print and online) and who I hang out with. I feel my life is a lot richer because of scrapbooking. How could I ever get bored with that?

~Heidi

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Monday, September 25th

Monday morning I had the alarm set for 8am. At 7:58 Nancy’s daughter Emma made her presence known by exercising her lungs. Perfect timing! At nine Erin, her two kids and Sherilyn picked me up. We met Cheryl for breakfast at Bob Evans. After breakfast we headed over to the Sully Plantation. Erin did all of the photography there so I will have to get copies from her.

The Sully Plantation was very interesting. It really gave me a good feeling of what it would have been like to live in the mid eighteen hundreds.

Our next (very important) stop was for “custard” at Milwakee Custard. It was delicious! I had the cookies and cr√®me which is the flavour of the month. Custard is similar to ice cream but MUCH smoother and lighter.

After our treat Cheryl and I said good bye to Erin and Sherilyn and headed to Mount Vernon. The home of the first president of the United States, George Washington. It was beautiful! Indoor photography wasn't allowed but I did get some postcards showing the different rooms. I uploaded quite a few of my outdoor shots and they can be seen here: Choose the "agent713 - Monday 9/25" album.

After a leisurely afternoon touring Mount Washington Cheryl and I got on “95” and headed North.

We stopped for dinner at a rest stop in Maryland and arrived at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia just past nine. I am eternally grateful to her for driving me all the way up there and then turning around and going all the way home. Thank you Cheryl!!!

~Heidi

Word of the day #28: anticipation

an‧tic‧i‧pa‧tion Pronunciation Key [an-tis-uh-pey-shuhn]

–noun 1. the act of anticipating or the state of being anticipated.
2. realization in advance; foretaste.
3. expectation or hope.
4. previous notion; slight previous impression.
5. intuition, foreknowledge, or prescience.

As much as I enjoy surprises, I think I enjoy the anticpiation of an event more. Anyone who knows me in real life or has read my blog for any period of time should recognize this. I love looking forward to things. To travel, to concerts, to meeting up with friends. I love being there and experiencing the event and the I love following it up by telling people about my experiences and scrapbooking them. I live in the moment but I also live in the future and in the past and I am okay with that.

My time in DC on Sunday, September 24th was an excellent example of this. One of the reasons I made a point of going to the DC Retreat was because it was that close to downtown DC, an area I have always wanted to see. I may be Canadian born and bred but we get A LOT of Amerincan influence up here. In our news casts and publications, pop culture, history etc. To me the White House is way more recognizable then 24 Sussex Drive (I'm not even sure if it has a proper name) and the Capitol building more familiar then the Parliment. Therefore seeing them was a pretty big deal.

My fearless tour guide Nancy, is a DC native. Jill accompanied us as did Nancy's two oldest children, Samantha and Michael. It was a whirl wind trip. I've been referring to it as "My Amazing Race in DC" but "a photo scavenger hunt" would also apply. We saw basically every monument and office building of interetst in the downtown DC area. Because Nancy is familiar with the area she was pointing stuff out left and right. Everytime she pointed something out I'd take a picture. I'm going to ask her to go through and tell me what I actually have pictures of!

Speaking of pictures. I hope this works. Erin gave me permission (and assistance) to upload my pictures to the DC Retreat Shutterfly site. I took A LOT of pictures. Most of them are here. I intend to order them directly from this site. I’m killing two birds with one stone which is why I didn’t bother weeding it down to just the very best. Hopefully you don’t get really bored viewing them. I will post corresponding blog entries to go with each album and try to reference the photos in my entries.

Here is the link: clicky Start with the "agent713-DC" photos. Those have my DC Retreat Photos and the DC photo scanvenger hunt :)

Now, back to the story.

Even driving INTO DC was fascinating. Nancy lives in Fairfax County, Virginia. One of my favourite TV shows is "NCIS" and it all takes place in that same area. We drove in on Route 66 which follows one branch of the "Metro" line. Michael is fascinated by trains and kept up a running commentary of the status of the track (above ground, below, etc.) Our first stop was the Iwo Jimo Memorial which is right beside (or is it in?) Arlington National Cemetary. The Iwo Jimo Memorial is HUGE. Next we drove past the Pentagon...a few times ;) (It took Nancy a little while to figure out which road she wanted). At one point we stopped at a park on the riverbank and looked across the Potomac to the Lincoln, Jefferson and Washington Memorials.

We took the Arlington Memorial Bridge (I think) across to DC. There we got a few different shots of the Jefferson Memorial and then Nancy dropped Jill and I off a the brand new World War II Memorial. It is about mid point on the "mall" and very impressive. Just past it you can see the Lincoln Memorial and directly behind is the soaring Washington Monument.

From there we drove up and actually found a parking spot not too far from the capitol building. We walked up the mall until we were just on the other side of the fountain in front of the capitol building. It was drizzling a little bit but still muggy. Michael had fun chasing the birds and in typical little boy fashion, the bigger the area, the louder he got :) I didn’t mind it though. He made me realize that it’s been awhile since I’ve hung out with small energetic boys!

The Capitol Building is quite impressive. It’s all white and quite large. I am familiar with the dome style architecture from the Canadian Legislative buildings though so it didn’t wow me as much as it could have.

From the Capitol Building, with the help of Nancy’s on board navigation system and her husband on the cell phone we managed to find the Supreme Court Building. THAT was impressive. For some reason I hadn’t been able to summon a mental picture of it so when we finally found it tucked behind the Capitol Building it was awesome. The tall pillars and the stone carvings are impressive.

From there we continued the driving tour of DC. We saw the Canadian Embassy, the Navy Memorial and many, many other buildings that I need Nancy to identify for me.

Our next stop was at the White House. Nancy and the kids waited in the car while Jill and I ran through Lafayette Park and got a few pictures. Nancy ended up getting a parking spot so we were able to spend more time there. The police presence was really strong and there was a requisite protest going on but other then that it wasn’t all that busy. The White House looked exactly like I’d expected, except with more trees around. It seems that on tv and in the movies it looks a lot bigger and more accessible. In person you are very aware of the tall gates and the trees that block it from view.

We walked down to see where the press corps are stationed and another very impressive grey building who’s name escapes me right now.

Next we went around to see the front of the White House. Because Pennsylvania Avenue is closed to traffic and they are doing construction, we didn’t get very close which was fine.

From there, much to Michaels delight, we headed back to Virginia. We had dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s. My first time there. I had the smoky mountain chicken and garlic potatoes. Yummy! We dropped Jill off at the hotel and I was in bed at Nancy’s by just past 9. The early night was needed and felt really good.

Wow! I’m done this entry. I’m amazed. :P

~Heidi

Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday, September 29th

The final day of the conference. My co-workers drove me absolutely bonkers all day. When we needed someone to go to the UPS Store in the afternoon I jumped at the chance. By this time I was comfortable with Philly and with the sun shining, a walk was just what I needed. I took my camera and got a bunch of shots of the places we had been during the rain storm the night before.

Friday night was our formal dinner at the Franklin Institute. It was really neat. The Franklin Institute is basically a science center but with a focus on Franklin’s work. Our cocktail reception was in one of the exploration galleries and dinner was upstairs in a really nice ballroom.

After dinner a few of my co-workers and I went out with some of our directors. It was a lot of fun.

~Heidi

Wednesday, September 27th & Thursday, September 28th

Wednesday, September 27th

Work again. Meetings all day starting early in the morning. I had about an hour of free time in the afternoon but after my experience the day before I chose to stay close to the hotel. We had a staff dinner at a really nice Italian place at Pier 3 and I turned in early again. Nothing interesting happened this day.


Thursday, September 28th

The conference actually started this day. The rest of my co-workers arrived and without going in to detail, if you really want to get to know someone, travel with them.

Thursday evening I had an adventure though. So much so that I almost logged on to blog about it from Philly but I ended up watching CSI instead :P

Thursday evening my co-worker and I decided to go for dinner. We walked over to downtown (I was a bit more comfortable with the city by now so I was okay doing this) and strolled the streets looking for somewhere interesting to eat. Just as we decided we got a call from another co-worker wanting to join us. We told them the restaurant we were planning on eating at was called “Rotten Ralph’s” on the corner of Second and Walnut. We got there and waited for awhile just people watching and absorbing the Philadelphia night life. All of a sudden my eyes registered on the street signs

“Uh, Kel? We’re on Second and Chestnut” Ooops! We called them (thank goodness for cell phones) and it was all good but it was kind of funny.
Rotten Ralph’s was definitely an adventure. It was basically a bar downstairs but upstairs was quiet dining with a view of the street. We even turned off the tv (there wasn’t anyone else there) so it was quite peaceful. I had crab stuffed mushrooms for an appetizer (one of the many crab dishes I had during the week) and a real-honest-to-goodness Philly Cheese Steak as my meal. (I figured I should have at least one while I was there) Unfortunately there was a miscommunication and I ended up with jalapeno peppers along with my green peppers on my sandwhich. It was good but I couldn’t handle that many peppers so I ended up only eating half of it. :(

Afterwards it was still early so we decided to go for a walk. We headed up Second Street, aka, away from our hotel. As we passed Christ Church Cathedral, it started to sprinkle. The further up the street we got, the harder it started to rain. We asked a guy walking his dog if he knew of somewhere we could stop for ice-cream (hoping for an indoor place where we could wait out the rain). He couldn’t think of anything but he directed us towards “Mulberry Market” a on Arch Street. By the time we got there it had started pouring and we were very wet. We went inside and grabbed some ice-cream bars…well, I got a container of Ben & Jerry’s but it’s not that different ;) When we came back out we tried running through the rain but we were all drenched within minutes. We decided to just walk and try to enjoy it. I mean we’re from the west coast. What’s a little bit of rain? LOL I was eating my ice cream while we were walking but it kept icing over from the rain. Quite a unique experience.

When we got back to the hotel, dripping wet, we were confronted with a very busy elevator, at least three board members and our lawyer. Not fun looking like I was. Kelly and I decided to take the stairs. Our room was on the twenty second floor. I thought I was going to die! I am proud to say that I made it though! All the way to the top.

Yes. That was an adventure I’m not looking to repeat :)

~Heidi

Tuesday, September 26th

Tuesday morning work began. My co-worker and boss arrived Monday night and Tuesday we jumped in feet first. Breakfast and then meetings. In the afternoon my co-worker and I took a taxi over to the Franklin Institute where we did a site visit for the banquet planned for Friday night. After our visit we spent a bit of time in the Institute. It is a science museum similar to Science World but with a strong focus on the studies that Benjamin Franklin carried out.

We chose to walk the twenty or so blocks back to the hotel along Market Street in downtown Philadelphia. Had I left Philly that night I would not have had a very good impression of the city. The soaring buildings in the financial district were impressive and the obvious history everywhere you looked was pretty neat too but walking down the street that day I didn’t feel very safe and none of the stores were inviting in the least. Maybe it wasn’t just my style of shopping, maybe it was because I had basically just arrived. Either way, I’m glad I was in Philadelphia for a few more days because my opinion did end up changing.

The rest of my photos are here: in the "agent713 - Philly" album. More blog entries to come...

~Heidi

Saturday, September 30th

As I previously mentioned there was originally a golf tournament scheduled for the Saturday. It ended up being cancelled due to low registration. I convinced my boss to let me stay the extra day because one more night at the hotel was cheaper then changing my plane ticket. That meant I had a totally free day on Saturday. Luckily Shirley in NJ was willing to make the hour drive over to Philly to spend the day with me. Shirley has lived in Philly and worked down town so she was a great tour guide. It was really over cast but we had a really nice, low key day chock full of sightseeing.

Now, remember that I had just come from Washington, DC and from touring Mount Vernon. *Everything* I saw in Philadelphia on this day dovetailed with those experiences. It was fantastic.

Our first stop was at the Betsy Ross house. This is arguably one of the more popular tourist sites in Philly. The guide book describes it as follows:
This historic house commemorates the life and accomplishments of Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia patriot believed to have made the first American flag. An excellent example of Colonial “middling” – class architecture, the Betsy Ross House brings to life the working and living conditions of an 18th- century artisan.”

There is some controversy that surrounds Betsy Ross. Did she actually sew the first flag or not? Shirley and I took the extremely detailed self guided tour (it told you every time the floor sloped up!!!) and it claimed that she did. Even going to the lengths of detailing the visit where George Washington reportedly came and requested her assistance with the flag and how she modified the original design from a six pointed star to five.

The on site guides were fantastic. We spoke with the first guy for probably 20 minutes. He told us all about living in the 18th century, how he met his wife, and the benefits of working in the tourism industry.

The second guide, whom I didn’t get a picture of, was supposed to be Betsy Ross. This chick was unflappable!!! She stayed in character, answering questions as Betsy, no matter what we threw at her. It was fascinating.

Our next stop was Elfreth’s Alley. Again from the guide book:
This is the oldest continuously occupied residential street in the nation and a National Historic Landmark. This streetscape of 32 Colonial and Federal-style homes was once occupied by artisans etc.

Elfreth’s Alley is very senic and it was neat to see it “IRL”. At the Franklin Institute on Tuesday I had viewed a display on “fire markers” Small plaques found on buildings indicating that they had fire insurance. Since that time I had been looking at every building trying to locate one of these plaques. At Elfreth’s Alley I finally found them. It was rather exciting :)

From Elfreth’s Alley we continued our tour of Philadelphia. We walked past the “Arch Street, Friends Meeting House” to the Christ Church Burial Ground where Ben Franklin’s grave is. We were going to take a tour but they warned us that if it started to do more then just drizzle they’d cancel it so we passed. We did see Franklin’s grave though. The US Mint was closed or we would have toured it. At the “Free Quaker Meeting House Museum” we learned a little bit about the Quakers and their way of worship.

Our next stop was the Independence Visitor Center. There we had lunch and dried out a bit. They had a short video called “Independence” which was an overview of Independence National Historical Park. Keep in mind that this area is commonly referred to as “the most historic square mile” in the country. The video really helped lay the foundation for the rest of the day.

From there we went to what is probably the most famous Philadelphia attraction, the Liberty Bell. I was *amazed* at how much security there was there. It was almost as bad as an airport. The security guard had a conspiracy theory explanation that linked to 9/11 too. It wasn’t a huge deal, just kind of a pain. To get to the Liberty Bell, you walk through a long hall full of the history of, and significant happenings associated with, the Liberty Bell. Very educational and informative. The bell itself was pretty much what I had expected. About the right size too. The funny part was while I was standing looking at it I got a text message from a friend asking if she could get a ride to the bible study that night. I took a picture of the bell and texted it back to her saying “uh, nope, not tonight! I’m in Philly!” (Guess I forgot to tell her!)

Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed and the US Constitution was written was only accessible by ticket. By the time we go there they were all out. We were still able to view Congress Hall, where the US Senate and House of Representatives met from 1790-1800 and Old City Hall, where the second president of the United States, James Adams, was inaugurated.

I might be getting Old City Hall and Library Hall mixed up. Either way, it was one of them. Upstairs in one of the buildings was a meeting room that had very similar architecture and accents to Mount Vernon. Cheryl, remember the dark green paint and plaster molding used in the dining room at Mount Vernon? This room was decorated exactly the same way!!!

We also took a very quick tour of Philosopher’s Hall and walked past Carpenters Hall. Our next stop was at The Bourse where we picked up some post cards and then by KYW-3, Shirley’s news station.

To end the day we went for dinner at City Tavern. From the guide book:
Visitors will experience a gastronomic trip back in time at City Tavern at Second and Walnut streets. It’s a reconstruction of the tavern where many unofficial meetings of the First and Second Continental Congresses and the Constitutional Convention took place.

I had walked up Second Street many times during the week. After all the touring we did on Saturday, City Tavern was a perfect place to finish the day. I had the “Martha Washington Style Colonial Turkey Pot Pie” It was really good. It was baked in a pewter dish and had a flaky crust. The wait staff were all dressed in 18th century clothing and the tour guide from the “Free Quaker Meeting House Museum” stopped by to say “hi”.

By the time we got back to the hotel it was dark. Shirley came up to my room to see the lights and we chatted for a bit before she headed home.

My adventures for Sunday are detailed here.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my trip. Now to print all those pictures and scrap them!!!

~Heidi

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Salmon Pictures

Woohoo! Blogger is letting me upload pictures!

This is my family on the river bank. L-R Robert, Seth, Aaron and Mom.

Can you see the salmon in the river?

Here's a close up of a male sockeye salmon. Males are identified by thier hooked snout and the hump on their back.

Those are my best shots. I have more but I don't want to bore you :)

~Heidi

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

busy, busy!

Today didn't go quite as fast as yesterday but it's still gone and I haven't had time to even put the cd in never mind upload pictures. Sorry!!!

On another note, the KMPS pre-sale was today for Dierks in Everett. I just bought the tickets and they look like good ones. I'm a bit nervous because I asked for general admission, not seats, so it's hard to say how they'll be. Cross your fingers for me!!!

~Heidi...officially on a spending ban now. My cc can't handle two sets of tickets in a week!!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Turkey & Salmon: A Thanksgiving Recap

Good news. The pictures are uploading right now. When I have them in front of me I'll be able to recap the rest of my DC/VA/PA trip better.

In the meantime, while it's fresh, I'll talk about Thanksgiving.

It was rather unorthodox but it worked really well.

Oh, first going back to Saturday. I did attend the card class at Treasury of Memories. 30 cards for $30 in honour of National Card Making Day. It took me 90 minutes to get across the border which made me about an hour late (didn't plan that one too well did I?) but it worked out fine and I'm really glad I got to go. There were a lot of Canadians down there. The class ended up running about two hours overtime, but no one was surprised. I only had to finish one card at home too.

On to Sunday. Seth had taken the bus up to Robert's on Saturday so Sunday after church Mom, Dad, Aaron and I loaded up the van. We took all our overnight stuff, cooked turkey and stuffing and raw veggies, pototatoes and four, yes FOUR different desserts. FOUR!!! Anyways, we got to the hotel in really good time. While Dad and the boys watched the hockey game (remember, this is Canadian Thanksgiving, no football for us!) Mom finished cooking our meal (with help from myself and others). we ate around 6. Robert and Aaron sat on the end of one of the beds and Mom, Dad, Seth and I got chairs. We just had a small table and as we served each dish we put it on the cooler or the counter for safe keeping. The food was yummy but spending time with family is what really matters.

After dinner Aaron and I ran to Walmart for some games. I had meant to grab them from Mom's but I forgot. It's not a huge deal because I've wanted to get my own set. Uno for $6 bucks, SkipBo for $10, a deck of cards and five dice and we were set. We ended up sitting around and playing games and eating dessert until almost midnight. We also succeeded in laughing ourselves silly. Fun times :)

Monday we drove up to see the Adams River Sockeye Salmon Run. This is a peak year (every fourth year) and the river was full of salmon getting ready to spawn. It was fascinating. We saw it when we were all really little. (Exactly when is still under debate) but it was neat to see it again. I did get some really neat pictures. We'll see if blogger will let me upload them. If not I'll figure out a different way to share them.

Today I'm back at work. This morning the first time I looked at the clock it was 12:23!!! I normally take lunch at 11:30 so that was crazy. If this whole week goes this fast I won't be sad :)

Have a great week!

~Heidi

Friday, October 06, 2006

Update on T-Day

Looks like we're definitely going up to visit Robert. We'll leave Sunday after church and stay the night in a hotel. Dad booked a suite with a kitchen and a seperate bedroom for him and mom. We haven't determined yet if we'll have Thanksgiving dinner in the hotel room or if we'll go out but either way it will be memorable.
~Heidi

Happy Turkey Day!

Okay, I'm still halfway through my DC blog. Inspiration is just not striking. I did burn my pictures to a CD last night so that I could upload them today but my computer is not recognizing the disk drive. I give up.

This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving. A fact that would have completely escaped me had it not been for the friendly reminders in retail land. I stopped at the grocery store yesterday and said to myself "how nice, the have the turkeys out already!" Ummm...yes Heidi, they need them for this weekend!!!

As far as my plans, they're still up in the air. I'm going to a card class at an LSS tomorrow for sure. Sunday my family *may* go up to visit Robert (we haven't decided yet). I have Monday off but I'll be back Tuesday. Hopefully by then my computer and my brain will be more co-operative.

Happy T-Day!

~Heidi

Thursday, October 05, 2006

You don't miss much!

Man, you guys don't miss much do you? Yes Janik is single and yes I did walk back down the aisle with him at Jenna's wedding (I was supposed to go with another groomsman but we all got switched up at the last minute.) Here are some pictures of us from my album this is my "pre-digital days") (The first one is a self portrait at the head table and the second one is a couple shot that the photographer did for all the attendants.
~Heidi

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Update

Janik sent me a link to a pre-sale through House of Blues Concerts. I logged in just past 10 this morning and got "pit" seats. That is floor, right by the stage. I am psyched! Plus Janik said he'd go to the concert with me. Woohoo!

Now for the Everett tickets to go on sale...

~Heidi

ultra freaky

Last night I downloaded my pictures to Seth's laptop. They completely out of order though and I don't know if he has software that will allow me to rotate them. It's very frustrating. Also blogger hasn't been very co-operative with letting me share pictures so I'm waffling on what to do. I need to upload some of the pictures to shutterfly to share with the people that I toured with. I can probably just share the link here and you guys can see my shots there. Does that work? Then I can comment there too. Decisions, decisions.

Please forgive my split attentions right now but I have to share this or I will burst! Last night after downloading my pictures...no I'm going to start before that. Monday night on the way home from work I stopped at Wong's for fruit and vegetables. On the way there I was thinking to myself "I have nothing sheduled all week! How cool is that?" (Dance has been cancelled becuase our caller is on vacation). Anyways, no sooner did I get into Wong's then I met an ex-co-worker that I have been thinking of calling for a few weeks. We exchanged numbers and will be meeting for coffee sometime next week.

After Wong's I hit the grocery store. There I ran into Jenna and we made plans for dinner last night. Amazing how fast my calendar fills up :) Anyhow, at dinner last night we were joined by Janik. When I graduated highschool most of my friends went to the local university college. I just went to work. There they met Janik. He is from the town where I currently work and has been at a lot of our group events over the years. He also stood up for Jenna and Will when they got married. I sat between him and another groomsman at the head table.

Last night I (obviously) mentioned the Dierks concert in January (keep in mind that Jenna has been my concert buddy for the last three Dierks concerts). I also mentioned that Doc Walker was opening for Dierks. Janik said "I saw them!" I was like "When?" (because they haven't actually been in town that much). He said "At Agri-fair" (which is where I saw them). I said "Me too!" and he said "I know, I saw your comment on their message board after the concert!". Ultra-freaky! That was four years ago!!! Yes I have known him for almost eight years and yes I posted on the message board after the concert (one of the first online boards I had EVER posted to) but I didn't know anyone saw that!!!

Anyways, to make a long story short, Jenna's baby is due around Christmas so she probably won't be in the concert going frame of mind. Janik said to keep him in mind though.

Oh, and I called the radio station this morning. The code for the pre-sale should be coming via email sometime today.

I'm excited. Can you tell? :D

~Heidi

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

So. Much. Music!!!

It is almost staggering how much new country music is being released this fall. Earlier in the year we had new cd’s from Tim McGraw, Blaine Larsen and the Grascals (to name a few). Starting September 19th we’ve basically had a release a week. Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Braid Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban, Doc Walker, Lonestar, the Barbara Mandrell Tribute and countless others. It’s hard to keep up! My rule is that I like to be familiar with one cd before I buy another one. At this rate, I’m either going to have to wait (heaven forbid!) or start listening a lot more. Times like these are why I miss my commute.

Today I'm listening to "Strait Up" on Sirius Satellite Radio (via my computer). They are playing 100% George Strait including all the tracks from his new cd.

The Dierks Bentley Fan Club is also releasing a song a day from his cd which will be out on October 17th. Today's song is the title track "Long Trip Alone". The title was promising and the song has exceeded my expectations. Dierks said that it will be the next single which is fantastic news. I took the time to type up the lyrics earlier. I think this is my new theme song...

~Heidi

Long Trip Alone

It’s a long trip alone
Over sand and stones
That lie along the road
We all must travel down

So maybe you could walk with me awhile
And maybe I could rest beneath your smile
Everybody stumbles sometimes and needs a hand to hold
Cause it’s a long trip alone

It’s a short piece of time
Just enough to find
A little piece of mind
Under the sun somewhere

So maybe you could walk with me awhile
And maybe I could rest beneath your smile
You know we can’t afford to let one moment pass us by
Cause it’s a short piece of time

And I don’t know where I’d be without you here
Cause I’m not really me without you there

Yeah

So maybe you could walk with me awhile
Maybe I could rest beneath your smile
Everybody stumbles sometimes and needs a hand to hold
So maybe you could walk with me awhile
Maybe I could rest beneath your smile
Maybe I could feel you right beside me till I’m home
Cause it’s a long trip alone

DC Retreat

Okay, I promised you guys a re-cap (and I want to do it for my album) so I guess I’d better start. My flight to DC was very uneventful. Seth drove me to the airport, I got through security and customs without a hiccup. On the other side I got breakfast and used the internet for a little while. During the flight they played “Nacho Libres” but I didn’t watch it. Instead I read the latest copy of “Country Weekly” which I had saved specifically for the flight, a copy of “Creating Keepsakes” that I had picked up from the library and a fictional novel. I also slept for awhile and had an “Asian Chicken Salad” for lunch.

We arrived at Dulles Airport (pronounced like Dallas but with a “u”) about fifteen minutes ahead of time. I got off the plane and followed the crowd onto a shuttle which took us to another terminal. I had no idea what I was doing but it worked :P My luggage was the first off the plane and I had just loaded it onto a cart when I saw Nancy (nowimscrappin for those of you on SS/HSS). It was perfect timing!

On the way to the hotel in Chantilly, VA (Fairfax County) we stopped at Target so I could get the Target edition of Kenny Chesney’s new CD LIVE: Live Those Songs Again.

From there it was on to the hotel. There were about thirty people there. A blend of familiar faces and new ones. Some I had met last year in Pennsylvania, some I have known for years online and some who I got to know a bit over the weekend. My table space was near the middle of the room which was perfect because I could interact with a lot of people without leaving my seat.

I had brought a few different projects to work on. Finishing touches for my 7x7 Country Concerts album, assembling my “Washington Friends” page kits and then working on Diane’s visit to Seattle. I ended up getting a lot done. I finished my Country Concerts album, most of the WA Friends one and stuck down most of the pictures from the Seattle weekend. I had very, very low expectations for the weekend (I was there to socialize not scrapbook!) so I was pretty happy with what I did.

We took a field trip to the local scrapbook store where I picked up a few enhancements for card making and then Eve and I hit Starbucks. When we got back lunch was served. My first taste of Chick-fil-A! It was really good. It’s probably a good thing that there aren’t any locations close by.

That evening we went for dinner at the Backyard Grill and Bar. We had a blast. I was at a table with Erin, Jill, Sherilyn, Dawn and her sister Jeanette, Natalia and Consuelo. It’s been a long time since I laughed that hard :D

Afterwards we came back to the hotel and I scrapped a bit and visited lots. Being on Pacific time still I wasn’t tired at all. By the time I decided to make my way upstairs it was really late (BTW, thanks to Jan for sharing her room with me). I got up there and my key wouldn’t work so I had to come down stairs to get it re-initialized. Erin and Cheryl were still up so I stayed and talked to them for awhile. That made it even later :P

I woke up around eight on Saturday morning and told myself “hey, I could still make it for breakfast!” Of course I didn’t get out of bed for a few hours so I missed it.

Saturday night we also talked to Veronica and Melissa in Aus via Skype. It was nice to hear their voices…even if they do pronounce sauce funny ;)

We wrapped up the retreat around 3 on Sunday. I’ll put my experience in Washington, DC in a separate entry.

~Heidi

Monday, October 02, 2006

Dierks Day

OMFSM! I am SO excited. I am waaaaay over due on an update on Dierks so I'm going to do it now. For those of you who don't know or haven't paid attention, I have seen Dierks live three times now and am currently a member of his fan club. A little while ago they announced the "Locked and Loaded" tour. Dierks' first headlining tour of his career. During the summer he told another fan club member that he was coming to Seattle on December 1, 2006 so we were excited to see the confirmation that he'll actually be at the Everett Events Center on that day. I've already lined up with Tonya (the girl I met for lunch before the Kenny concert) to be my concert buddy for that night.

A few months ago in one of his online journals (he blogs too!) he mentioned that he will be coming to Canada sometime in the new year.

Today I was checking out the website for a Canadian group called "Doc Walker". I saw them in concert at the local fair the summer before I saw George Strait and Dierks. They have the honour of being the first ently in my recently completed "concerts" album. Anyway, through a bit of detective work I found Doc Walker's tour schedule. Guess where they'll be on January 8, 2007 and who they are opening for?!?!?!

WOOOHOO!!! Dierks headlining at the Pacific Collesium with Doc Walker opening and Eric Church along for the ride. It is going to be awesome!!! Two Dierks concerts in just over five weeks :D

BTW One of the local radio stations announced this last week while I was out of town. I found it on their website today, AFTER I had done my detective work :D

~Heidi

Starting at the end

I'm BACK! I have *so* many more important things to do then blogging but I haven't blogged in so long that I feel like I owe you guys something. My intent is to blog my entire trip (because heaven knows I won't be scrapping it anytime soon) but that will take awhile so bear with me.

I'm going to start with the end of my trip.

Saturday evening I said good bye to Shirley who had been kind enough to come over to Philadelphia from New Jersey and do the touristy thing with me. A little while after she left I realized that I had forgotten to give her the sidekick that Meg had asked me to deliver. I called her and told her I'd mail it from the airport. Then I called and arranged my wake up call and taxi for the next morning. (4:15 and 5:00 am Eastern, respectively). Knowing I was facing an early morning I finished most of my packing and went to bed around 9:00.

12:30 am, the "guests" next door wake me up with their loud conversation. I lay there contemplating calling the front desk to complain. Switch on the radio to try and take my mind off them. "After Midnight with Blair Garner" is playing (It's a show I've heard about but never actually heard).

4:15 am my alarm clock goes off, Blair is still on the air (you know you haven't slept long enough when the dj doesn't change!) Wake up call comes through a few minutes later.

Get out of bed and get ready. Call for bellman at 5:50. He takes FIFTEEN MINUTES to arrive. Completely unacceptable (Can you tell I've been in a nice hotel for a week ;))

Go down, check out, get in taxi. Direct him to the United Airlines counter at the airport.

Arrive at airport. Oh good they have curbside check in. Walk up, stand in line for a few minutes.

"What is your final destination?"

"Vancouver, Canada"

"Sorry, you have to go inside".

Darn! Go inside, get up to counter "Sorry, your flight was booked by United but it's actually operated by US Airways which is in terminal three. You need to go there to check in."

Double Darn.

Grab luggage cart, walk through rain to terminal three, all the while watching for a post office. There's got to be one at the airport right? There is one in Vancouver!

Get to US Airways counter. I check in but the second half of my flight (after my lay over in Seattle) is operated by Air Canada Jazz. I'll need to check in and get a boarding pass in Seattle. Okey dokey. Note to self, pay more attention when booking flights!!! Okay, I'm checked in but it takes "Ceclia B." ten minutes to convince the computer to let my luggage come with me. It wasn't letting her send it all the way to Vancouver. After pulling out her TRAINING NOTES! she finally convinces it. Her comment "I'm stubborn" Me: "THANK YOU! That is a fantastic trait to have" :D

Okay, so I'm checked in, my luggage is checked in, Ceclia puts the tags on and Ooooph. Can't move it :P I knew it was heavy but apparently it's over weight. She weighs it. Yep, ten extra pounds. Oh man! Go through and remove work stuff and clothes. Great, now my carry on is heavy. Uggh.

Okay, everythings good to go. Ceclia directs me up an escalator to the departure area. Get to the top, Security! Guess I'm not mailing Shirley's sidekick. Maybe in Seattle...

First a friendly visit with the TSA people

"Do you have any liquids or gels in your carry on bags"

"I don't think so"

Wrong answer. Step aside and check please. I open my purse, don't see anything so I say no. (BTW when I got home I realized that I did have hand lotion that I got in my goodie bag in DC. Oops!)

Go up to security. Remove jacket, put purse and carry on bag on the belt. Go to walk through the metal detector and realize my shoes are still on. Take off shoes. Go through detector. I'm clear. Get to other side. Jacket and purse come through along with shoes. Carry on has to be re-x-rayed. No sweat, it's pretty full and thick. They can't see everything. I get it. Re-scan bag. Call someone over. There is a "questionable item" inside. (anyone want to guess what it is?) Go over to a little table with a security guard. "Are there any sharp items in your bag Ma'am?" (Remembering that they didn't appreciate my vague answer earlier) "No". As he unzips my bag I explain what he's going to find.

"The item you are looking for is in the sealed box on top. I was going to mail it but haven't had a chance. You're welcome to open it". So he did. Very, very carefully. He was wearing gloves and he slit the tape on the box like he was doing surgery. He carefully lifted the sidekick out (BTW, for those of you who aren't scrapbookers, this is what I'm talking about: clicky So he takes it out, unwraps it from the plastic bag and gently sets it on the table. Keep in mind that the base is a big suction cup so it doesn't slip while you're using it. When the suction isn't engaged the machine wobbles a lot. It looked very small and pitiful sitting there and wobbling while he swabbed it TWICE! Don't know what he expected to find. It's certainly cleaner now though :P After running the swab and finding nothing interesting, oh, and after me explaining how it works, he called a collegue over and between them they decided it "wasn't a prohibited item" and let me go.

But wait, the story get's better. Remember Ceclia? On the envelope holding my boarding pass she had written my gate number down. I walked down to the gate, saw that it wasn't too busy and I still had plenty of time so I continued on and got a smoothie. Back to the gate, sat down and waited. Ten minutes later an announcement comes on "Gate C21 for flights to Pheonix and San Francisco, boarding will begin in approximately 30 minutes". "WHAT? Pheonix?" Check my ticket, I'm supposed to be at gate C31. Not 21. Gather up my bag, go down to concourse to C31. I still had plenty of time but I felt a bit dumb.

Sitting at gate C31 I struck up conversation with a stranger (remember my previous post? I mentioned that I liked doing that.) We talked for awhile and then she stuck out her and and said "By the way, my name is Heidi". I shook her hand and said "Me too!" She laughed and said "oh, that explains the really weird look you gave me when I gave my name!" We had a good laugh over that.

Finally 7:30 arrives and we board the plane. My seat mate was sitting in my window seat so I booted her over to the aisle where she belonged and settled in. Another announcement. "Attention ladies and gentlemen, someone has left a child..." long dramatic pause... "a child's jacket in the boarding area". Nervous laughter from the entire cabin. Left a CHILD? Yikes!

So we're off. The movie is "The Lake House". I fell asleep during the opening credits and woke up during the closing ones. Guess I missed it. I think I also missed breakfast :( I had to make do with pretzels (keep in mind this was a six hour flight)

We arrived in Seattle and I immediately went to the gate where my flight was leaving from. Of course because my flight wasn't scheduled to leave for another two and a half hours there was no one there. I went and had "breakfast" instead. After eating in really nice restaurants for a week I was tired of fancy food so I just had a burger and fries from Burger King. It was quite yummy. Then I headed back to the gate. I read for probably an hour before someone showed up.

There was no problem checking me in but when I handed her my id she said "Good name" My response "why do you say that?" You guessed it. She was "Heidi" too!!! Three of us in one day!

Anyways, aside from the flight to Vancouver during which I got some great shots of Seattle that Blogger isn't letting me post, the rest of the day was uneventful. My parents picked me up at the airport, we went for lunch (since they had come directly from church) and then they came over to my house where I shared my pictures via Seth's laptop.

That's it for now. I'll report on the rest of my trip in sections as I have time.

~Heidi