A council estate raised British city girl trying to make it in rural Canada

Hurrah for November 1st.

08:07, Wednesday 17 October 2012 .. 1 comments .. Link

Well it's that time of the year again. No, not Christmas, or the never ending displays in Walmart of plastic old ladies with one tooth and buckets of candy. Nope. It's nearly regular hunting season.

For most people this time of the year would pass without so much of a cursory glance, but in this household it's met with all the excitement of a man stranded on raft for two years with nothing to eat but his own foot, spying a cruise liner full of naked ladies and tequila.

I'll admit, I enjoy the sport. OK when I say enjoy, I mean the 1 second it takes to shoot whatever it it Darcy is shooting and that's about it. The whole preparation rigmarole, leading up to the endless hours of stalking in minus 30 dressed up like a wannabe SAS recruit and smelling of elk urine, can be - how dya say it???? - annoying as buggery.

We leave for our yearly trip up to the middle of bumfuck nowhere next time Darcy gets home (1st November) so this week has been spent preparing. Preparing means checking out areas, seeing what deer are around, making sure whatever gun it is he's going to use is sighted in properly, making sure all of his (and my) hunting clothes smell of nothing but animal dung and of course spending ridiculous amounts of money on shit he only uses for one month of the year.

One such shopping expedition was yesterday.

"ooooh lets go to Bashaw Sports - I need some shells to practice with - come on get your coat"

What a great shopping trip this will be.

Off we go, and as we pull up Darcy nearly jumps out of the truck before it stops cos he's so eagar to get in there. Me? I'd rather sit outside with a bag of crisps and a bottle of pop, but I can't piss on his bonfire, so I make the appropriate noises follow him in.

These shops are full of men that wouldn't bat an eyelid if you ran through naked waving a g string in the air shouting "free hugs and beer for the furst one to grab the pants." There's animal mounts everywhere, guns as far as the eye can see, binoculars, scopes, rangefinders, spotting scopes, bullets, empty bullets, boxes for bullets, bags for bullets, and targets and and and and and ............................

Darcy buys 3 boxes of shells (sorry I shouldn't call them bullets), a new box for his new bullets, his hunting tags and some targets, and then says "do you want anything babe?"

Now he's either very clever or feeling guilty, because if we were in any other store and I was asked if I wanted anything - the shopping trolley would be full before the last word was complete. But I'm not leaving empty handed. My eyes dart left and right, up and down.

Wow. The choice is immense.


Do I need new hunting boots? A camo jacket? Camo coveralls? Camo toque? Gloves / balaclava / deodourant that makes you smell of nothing??? Do I buggery. And the reason I don't need any of this is because my birthday is 12 days before hunting season, so you can guarantee I'll have to feign surprise when I open the latest gift and find it's camo something or other. Because that's what all the other years birthday gifts contain. Remember me telling you that last year he bought me a smoking hot camera??? That was so that I could take good pictures of him when he bags his latest kill!!!!! So I have no excuse no to go, I'm the official photographer.

I end up spotting a rather nice pink and turquoise checked ball cap (made by Browning - they make guns and hunting stuff) which I obviously can't wear in the bush unless we are hunting deer on crystal meth and acid. And we both walk out of the store happy.

He's been shooting his monster gun today as that's the one we are taking up north for the elk hunt. I've been sat inside dying my hair and jumping through the roof every time a shot is fired. I also cooked the goose he shot last time he was home.

The goose that was shot with his new $700 shotgun.

The one goose.


I told Darcy I was going to take up a hobby too. He said I should take cooking lessons.




Happy effin birthday.

04:00, Thursday 4 October 2012 .. 2 comments .. Link

Today is Darcys birthday, and like most important occasions, he's away at work.

We don't have a joint account so he leaves me blank cheques when he goes away to work so if I need anything (shoes / clothes / smokes / food(in order of priority)) - or any emergencies crop up - theres a way to tap into his hard earned cash.

This week there has been a few things to sort out - we are switching home insurance to another company, the ceilings in the bedrooms downstairs need texturing (well not NEED, but Darcy wants them textured so that's how it will go), it's thanksgiving, my truck needs fixing, it's his birthday blah blah  blah and various other bits of running around which all cost mular.

So Monday (the day I had arranged to go and sign the papers for the new policy) comes around and I reckon I'll use this day to do ALL of the fetching carrying that I need to do. It makes sense right, to only 'pop' into town once as opposed to using 1/4 tank of gas every time on the stupid little things.

I have a list and I'm good. it reads - Dump / bank / gas station (running on low) / paint store / shop for Darcys gift (which I don't know what it is yet even though he's paying for it himself) / stuff for thanksgiving as friends coming up on the weekend to help fix my truck as the ball joints are dangerous so I should really feed them / ooooh liquor store as well then / drive an hour north to the insurance agancy - pay premium/sign papers / come home.

Just about to walk out of the door, and I realise I've forgotten something. Well holy jesus sweet mother of god, silly me nearly forgot the cheques. So I run to the safe, crack it open, grab the cheque book and .....................


Flicking through in a panic I confirm that this is the case.

Mortification sets in. I could die, I have no cash, I'm going to starve to death. All the things you need money to do start flashing through my mind - holidays abroad / bottles of Cristal / designer purses.............. the list is long and endless and I can do none of these.

Wait - I also can't do any of my list either.

This has a knock on effect - if I can't get gas - I can't drive up to see Darcy for his birthday - because the last time I looked my truck didn't run on fresh air. I need to see my hubby mainly because he took the "ball joint removal tool" with him to work by accident, and without this my truck can't get fixed.

Holy hell I can't pay the insurance premium people either, and I cancelled the other one effective as of - oooh like right now.

You know when you go through that stage of calling people blind / sobbing uncontrollably at how unfair life is / throwing priceless artefacts at the wall????? I did all of these - although we don't have anything priceless so I doubled up on calling Darcy blind.

In hindsight it's not the end of the world. I sorted the insurance out, I don't really need to go anywhere, theres plenty of food in the house, granted my truck not getting fixed is a bit of a biggy but what the hell it'll wait another month. But this also means I couldn't get Darcy a birthday present.

My inner bitch comes running out and yells "good the daft idiot doesn't deserve anything for leaving you destitute". And momentarily I agree - "yeah" I say to her "Let him buy his own birthday present".

Oh wait.

pffft, fat lot of good you are inner bitch.

Luckily I have cigarettes or this would be a whole different blog entry - entitled "Make your own voodoo doll in 3 easy steps" but it isn't. And after wracking my brains on what the hell I can do for my wonderful hubby (he really is - after all this blog would be shittier than it is already if every entry were something about how many bouquets of flowers he's bought me lately - which incidentally he hasn't ................... I'll get right on that one) I come up with something that I can do.

Downstairs in the basement there are two bedrooms. The smaller of the two WAS going to be a train room (don't ask) but we decided that the grand idea of this all encompassing train set was too much for this little bedroom. So we may turn it into a poker room , so it hasn't been decorated yet.

So my birthday pressie to my hubby is to decorate his poker room with Calgary flames murals (his favourite hockey team) and display all his memoribilia. Granted we don't yet have a poker table - but he can buy one when he gets home (call it his present to himself). Therefore this morning has been spent researching logos / cool pictures / gathering all his "Flames" stuff ( and theres a lot) and painting the background on the walls.

This is the plan for one wall

The background is already painted so we'll wait for that to dry before painting the legend that is Mikka Kiprusoff in the middle of the back wall. The other 3 walls are black and they will have the Flames logo on them and his flags and jerseys displayed.

So I have a week to do this, hopefully it turns out. If not, when he comes home it will be "Happy birthday - I ruined the spare room."






I never want to be a farmer. Like. Ever.

09:48, Friday 28 September 2012 .. 5 comments .. Link

Seeing as we did such a great job installing the inlaws flooring, nana asked if I'd mind helping her retile her plinth for her wood burning stove / around the back of the wall. Huh - she must've thought I did a pretty good job on ours.

Did you read that Darcy?!!!!

Course all over it like a rash because husb went back to work on Wednesday, I'm like "sure I'll help - i'll see you Thursday and Friday"

Yesterday went fine, today I ran out of thinset (mortar) so nana says her daughter (Darcys sister) is in town she'll get her to bring some back. Awesome i'll chill out and have a beer while I wait then, it's 26 degrees outside, what could be better :)

"Hey Manda" says nana "do you need anything else, I just need to go and move some hay bales?"

Well - I know where the hay bales are, there's about 10 of them by their tack room, I can't let this poor retired defenseless old woman move them. I'll offer my assistance. Off we walk towards the bales and nana takes a sharp right hand turn. Perplexed I follow. To the outdoor riding arena. Which has 200 square bales stacked up like the pyramids of Eygypt. Quickly I try and think of a sudden illness that renders me a dribbling vegetable incapable of manual labour.

Shit I'm out of ideas. So feebly I ask (though I already know the answer) if these are the bales to be moved. "Yeah - we'll hook the gooseneck trailer up, throw them on there and move them to the hay shed".


You do realise hay bales weigh on average 50lbs each and are held together with two bits of string which cut into your hands if you don't have gloves. THATS IT - I DON'T HAVE GLOVES. Thats me out then, good morning, good evening and goodbye.

"I have a spare pair of gloves for you"


Then I realise that nana was going to do this all by herself. she's 63, 5ft tall and built like a piece of spaghetti. There's no way out. I know this is going to hurt. Half way through getting the bales onto the trailer, papa comes to help. And by the time they are on, I'm filthy, itchy, thirsty and in dire need of a fag. But it doesn't stop there. "We should get these in the barn today Doris" says papa.






There's no escape. I can't say - it's ok you two, i'll hang on here and watch, it's a bit on the warm side today. And I also can't let them think Darcy married a snivelling wreck of a city girl when it comes to hard work (which he did by the way - just putting that out there)

Now I know nana and papa have farmed most of their lives, and they are no strangers to hauling bales of hay. But I am. I am so much of a stranger to it in fact - that it wouldn't talk to me on the street, because i'm a stranger. So we drive to the barn, and by the time we start unloading it my arms have the consistency of water. Nana takes pity.

"You jump on the gooseneck and just throw the bales down to us - we'll stack them"

I took this olive branch. I unloaded the bales, papa passed them to nana who stacked them.

At this point i'm ready for a bath and bed, but no, Jen has arrived wth the mortar for the tiles. Why do I get myself into this shit eh? Maybe it's because whenever we need help around here - the inlaws are the first people there giving a hand - so I see it as paying it back - or banking a favour whichever it turns out to be.

Right now though it's 10pm - I got home half and hour ago and would just like to say - we are never having more than 2 donkeys - and they will always eat from round bales that Darcy hauls into our storage barn / shed / stable with the tractor and I will fork out to them what they need in the winter.

I would also like a condo in the city.

I have edited this because I have decided to put pictures with some blog entries that I don't have my camera for :)



A womans way

08:35, Thursday 27 September 2012 .. 2 comments .. Link

Nana and papa asked us over to help them lay some flooring on Monday, so being the ever dutiful son / daughter in law we are, off we go.

Now I know before we even get there that this will be a fuck you match of epic proportions.

Darcy will say something like - What the fuck did you push that bit in there for. I'll tell him I thought I was helping, he'll say I'm not so i'll storm off with the ump outside for a fag.

And thats pretty much how the whole day went lol.

However I also noticed something else. His mum and dad are exactly the same :) Flared tempers, very vocal, but when it's all said and done - it's forgotten and they are best friends again.

I reckon I need to take lessons from nana. I am the proverbial elephant. You say something I percieve to be out of order, and you can bet your boots i'll remember it forever. And bring it up. Lots. Constantly.

Of course I think i'm justified in my retaliation, Darcy probably thinks i'm just a bitch with a grudge.

"Why can't you just let things drop babe???"

Let. Things. Drop?????

Are you mad, this is what women do, it's in our nature, we store little snippets of wrongdoing, and KAPOW, we'll hit you with them - usually when we want something. I shouldn't have put that should I. Pfffft no men read this blog so the secret is safe.

But after seeing how nana and papa are - maybe Darcy has a point. Maybe, I should have my little bitch session, and then move on.

Hmmm novel concept, but you tell me this - what the fuck am I going to do when I want some new shoes or something eh EH?




What a summer

01:06, Saturday 8 September 2012 .. 5 comments .. Link

Theoretically it still is - hell yeah - temps supposed to be to plus 26 tomorrow and Sunday - I'll ave some of that son.

My daughter had a great time, so here's a quickie run down of the last month.

Dux family Xmas - all family members camped out for 4 days, we got drunk lots, played games lots, ate lots and opened pressies. That was fun - though I managed to get stuck with the "50 shades of Grey" book and some cooking pots. What the hell does that tell you??????

The we took the now fixed trailer down to Fairmont for a few days, then on to south western Alberta for a couple of weeks. We fished, played games, hung out, and I didn't really do my hair or wear a ton of make up for that time.

That was harsh.

Here's a pic of us all in Fairmont


I also gave up smoking - partly because I felt guilty about blowing the lawn tractor up and costing hubby $1300 for a new engine. The guilt passed, I'm now chuffing away contentedly again.

My daughter and Darcys neice managed to get on the backs of the donkeys (for 5 seconds just to see what they would do - I am fully aware that they are not old enough - donkeys not the girls - to be supporting weight of any kind for another couple of years) which was awesome to see, though Darcys neice is a seasoned rodeo kid and a miniature donkey to her is like me getting on a stuffed teddy bear :)

Actually when the kids asked if they could go and rope the donkeys I said sure, knowing that they know far more than me about this whole issue, after half an hour I went outside to this sight


Well silly me that's what I was doing wrong, I was using their halters, when all it needed was two kids, a no nonsense attitude and to treat them like dogs lol. Actually they literally had them eating out of the palms of their hand. Kids and animals never cease to amaze me. I had these two guys (donkeys not the kids) not 3 days before, attached to the back of the quad, to get them used to being led, and they locked up all four legs and put grooves in the lawn in their efforts not to move. All that really should have happened was the above ;)

One day Darcy started clearing trees from the bush at home, so we can build a storage shed for the rv. I backed my truck in to collect some of the branches and knocked the wing mirror off.

Then got yelled at.

Thats when I started back smoking. ;)

Robyn went back to the UK and it's always hard - so i'm not going to dwell on that point - we're planning for next year that the donkeys will be ready to lead in the local rodeo parade. Both Madi (Darcys neice) and Robyn (my daughter) have planned to dress them up and spray paint them somehow in fancy dress.

Not dissimilar to this sight at this years parade


Course we all know who has to get the animals ready between now and then.

Er no - anyone who said Darcy is wrong on many levels.

So a couple days ago I went round to a friends place (super duper owner of boarding stables / dressage trainer / and horsewoman extrodinaire) for advice.

It went like this

"Ange - how the f**k do I get these friggin donkeys ready to lead in a parade"

She laughed at my disheartened face and gave me the following advice.

1) Lunge whip with a plastic bag on the end. Get the donkeys used to it being touched all over them, waved in front of them.

2) Put some tarp on the floor and lead them over it to get them used to the feel of something foreign making a noise under foor.

3) rocks in coke cans (or beer cans - more likley) put in plastic bags and tied to a saddle bag on the donkeys back.

4) tie said same bag to the tail.

5) leave their halters on with an old lead rope hanging just long enough that they can tread on it, to get them used to yeilding when it gets pulled etc (although do be around near the pasture when you are doing this just in case.

So armed with this advice, and images of my donks looking like bag ladys thats the plan for this weekend. Or should I say tomorrow, because sunday is start of "Dux kids birthday party season".

So i'll take some pics of my rancid attempts to desensitise the furry little buggers and hope I don't die of shame or being kicked in the head while tieing a Walmart bag to one of 'ems backside.

All that said, both Smokey and Bandit are doing great, Anyone who has wanted to own a donkey, really should, beautiful, fun, loyal amazing animals.

Well they need to be to put up with the shit here ;)



Yawn yawn yawn

02:17, Thursday 12 July 2012 .. 0 comments .. Link

That's what I should be doing.

Actually no scratch that, I sould be doing zzzzz zzzzz zzzzz 'cept i don't snore (well I don't think I do Darcy says otherwise).

It's too hot to sleep, and too hot to be doing anything constructive with the time seeing as i'm awake. That's my excuse and i'm sticking to it.

I'd have a smoke if I was still smoking. Although it's getting to the stage where i'd smoke anything if it were here right now. Remember when you were at senior school and you'd roll up random things inside litmus paper to smoke - no? maybe that was just me then - well i'd do that if I had litmus paper here.


So tomrrow when I wake up around lunchtime I have the inevitable list of putted off things to do seeing as time is running out.

Here it is, for my benefit more than anything so I can refer back to this and then shut the laptop and pretend it isn't there.

Tidy more shit in the basement.

Sand some repairs in the basement

Try and rewire the rear speakers in the basement, after i've drilled a hole in the wall for the wires to go through

Clean out the truck

Put the laundry away


sand repairs to the woodwork in the basement

stain the desk (or paint it not quite decided yet)

write a list out of things that need to be packed into the holiday trailer when it comes back next week ready for camping.

Actually it's not too bad of a list, it's just too bloody hot to do most if it. Oh yes it is. Papa is coming over on Saturday to help me replace the engine in the ride on lawn mower after I cough ran it out of oil and had to buy a new one cough.

Seriously I thought i'd ran over a rock or something. It went boom, and then stopped. I thought "shit Darcys gonna go mad" He didn't obviously (I still thik if I do something stupid then i'm gonna get yelled at - call it a throw back from childhood and previous relationships!) Duck just shook his head and for 2 days afterwards kept throwing "well if you'd checked the oil................" into conversations.

I came back at him with "You're the man around the house, that's your job" - feeble I know lol - to which he replied "you're the one that mows the lawn you should check the oil in the tractor - you know like you do in your truck"

Ahem - yeah bout the oil in the truck .......................

anyhoo - I picked up the new engine today and papa is coming to help install it Saturday.

And the best news EVER is..............

My daughter is coming over from the UK for a month on Tuesday yay!!!!!!!

We have a busy month planned starting on the first Saturday she is here with the family christmas :) The dux's (as you can gather are a big family so getting them together actually at christmass is like herding cats - so we have it in july, always the third weekend. Last year it was at our place, this year it's at a cousins house (thankfully - it's super stressful cooking xmas dinner for 50 hungry Dux's!!!!!)

Hhahahaha that reminds me - last year when we were setting up at home for the onslaught of family holiday trailers to descend on the place, Robyn (my daughter), connor and I were putting up the Xmas decorations at the front gates and along the fence on the front drive. (Well it is Christmas). Most members of the family have been to our place, in fact everyone that came has been except for one couple - David and Ashley - (Uncle Kellys other son and his wife) super fun couple love them to bits.

Anyway we gave them directions and on the saturday we saw their truck and trailer drive stright past our house. 2  mins later we get a phonecall (or uncle Kelly does) it went (and I shit you not) - like this

"Hey Kelly we should be getting pretty close to Darcy and Amandas how far down the road is it after you turn off 56?"

"Oh hey guys, it's about a mile down on the right, where are you?"

"Well we came down that road, is it anywhere near the house that still has it's christmas decorations up?"


This is a pic of Robyn and Connor last year helping put the decs up

So the christmas party is a family do for 3 days, then we all (me Darcy Connor and Robyn) head off to Fairmont hot springs for 3 days - yeah cos hot springs are just what we need in these temps right??? lol and then down to Police Outpost for 10ish days (just on the Montana / Alberta border) to do more camping and fishing and relaxing.

I can't wait. Robyn has only ever been camping in a tent in the UK, so it'll all be a new experiance for her.

Darcy then goes back to work and we take Connor home, Robyn and I get a week together for some mummy daughter time. It's going to be super awesome and I can't wait.

Dya want some jealousy pics?

Here's where we are camping in fairmont

That sucks big fat hairy balls doesn't it mwahahahahaha

Here's where we camp down at Police Outpost (quite possibly btw one of my favourite places in the world)

Hmm seems all my pics are upstairs on my external hd, and true to from I can't be arsed to go up there and get it - so whilst Googling some good pics of Police outpost, I stumbled across this blog written by a chap who camped there earlier this year - with pics and video


So there we have it (actually i'm impressed with the amount I can waffle on for havng basically f all to say)

Ooh ooh wait I found a couple of pics of us at Outpost last year (nana and papa came for a few days too)



So that's really it now I'm signing off - probably not to sleep though even though it's 3am. I'll piss about online, channel flick til the sun comes off and then drop off on the recliner.

Sounds like a plan :)

Night all x








Updates :)

02:20, Saturday 7 July 2012 .. 3 comments .. Link

Just a quickie :)

The clock (for Moneypenny :) )


The finished mural - and a picture of it in situ as it were




The two grizzlies which I am about to go and polish and put away (mines the one at the back <3 )


And finally the house with the deck on. his I think is as far as we'll get to this summer, it's now time to have some fun with the family now the good weather is here. Railings and stairs and all that fun stuff can wait til next spring (or when Darcy gets bored whichever comes first ;) )


Thats about it for now. I suppose as I said earlier the next entries wll be our family Xmas party (20/21/22/23/24 July) and then off camping for 3 weeks down south and into BC. (Unless I do something epically dumb then 'll obviously post it here ;)















Home and getting ready to go again!

10:22, Saturday 7 July 2012 .. 0 comments .. Link

Quadding is the best fun EVER.

Doing it in the wild is a bit different to pottering about round the yard. First off, everyone goes faster than I thought they would, and over bigger obstacles, and deeper mud holes :(.

The very first day you head off out into the bush and find some dead trees to chop down so collect wood for the week, the men do the chopping, the girls load it to their quads and haul it back to camp :)

Theres my hubby looking all redneck with an axe!!!!! The two guys to the left are Steve (cousin) and Uncle Kelly, they are both surveyors for an oil company, so their working life entails them going out into the bush on quads and chopping down trees lol, so this was a bit like a busmans holiday for them, although it does explain how the pair of them are such good riders, managing to manouever their machines into and out of places I wouldn't dare think of lol.

The first tricky mud hole I dared go through, I remembered uncle Kellys advice "when in doubt, pin 'er to the nuts". So I did. And got stuck at a 90 degree angle in the deepest rut ever up to my right knee in muddy water with the quad, which i'm sure was thinking "shall I just topple a little over to the right and dump her off????????".

As the quad was thinking that I'm yelling for help, which of course no one does cos they are laughing too much.

All of a sudden I hear my gorgeous hubby come racing up behind, I think "awwwwww how sweet he's coming to rescue me",

Does he?


He floors the accelerator as he level with me and kicks a shit load of mud over me and the quad.

Uncle Kelly said later "I could hear you shout "You f*****g c***" at him from back where I was"

Then Darcy got off his quad and came to my rescue, he stood on the left side of mine to give it traction on that side which was not touching the ground, and I made it out of the hole. He also said "What the f*** are you in 2wd for???????????????"

Hmmmmmmmm I'd forgottent o put it in 4wd obviously so thats why I got stuck lol.

here's a pic of my hubby going through a mud hole properly lol

With all his weight on the left side of the quad BEFORE it starts to tip lol.

Any way aside from all that we had so much fun, it was 5 days of drinking, smoking, hanging out, playing games and quadding. Although the saga with the trailer continues.

We loaded everything up before the trip and were impressed that two full sized quads fit in there. The electrical bits inside worked perfectly and all was going smooth, until we switched the generator on, it was making some funny noises and then something in the main fuse box went "BANG". I go running into the trailer, see the smoke and immediately think "the shitheads at the RV place are going to get it BIG TIME"

So that was that. No generator power.

We had to cut cut our trip short by a day. For no other reason than in the trailer there is a fuel tank which we filled with gas, so when you go quadding in the bush you are not hauling jerry cans of fuel with you. But the fuel tank needs the generator to run, and as the quads were on empty ofter the last days riding and we couldn't fill them up again, we though ahhhh screw it, we'll head of home anyway.  Luckily we had enough bettery power to pull in the slide out and awning.

Needless to say I got home and called the RV people, they came to collect it on Tuesday (it's now Saturday) and I todl them we need it fixed before our next trip in a couple of weeks.

Right now this minute Darcy has just gone back to the rig, and I'm sat on the deck in the sun drinking coffee and NOT smoking. It's been 3 days since I had one and I decided to stop because of the amount that got smoked when we were camping. It was retarded. So far so good, am not making promises but for now I don't feel like one :)

Although a couple of days ago I did :( I ran the lawn tractor out of oil and something when bang. I didn't realise it was out of oil ans thought that I'd hit a stone.

Apparently not. It blew the engine and Darcy wasn't happy. We had to buy a new one which I pick up on Tuesday $1300 for a pissing lawn mower engine :( I was in the dog house and had to borrow nana and papas mower to do the yard with yesterday, which i'll be taking back tomorrow.

So for now, the weather is awesome, the quads just need polishiing up and putting away in the shed and then I thik I'll go and do some finishing work in the basement before my daughter from the UK comes to stay for a month in a couple of weeks :)

I'll take pics of the clock maybe later lol











Quadding in the mud - yay!

10:41, Wednesday 27 June 2012 .. 1 comments .. Link

There's a phrase you don't see everyday eh. Ha - getting smelly and crusty and looking forward to it???? I reckon I've been assimilated!

Picked up the new quads on Monday, borrowed nana and papas see saw trailer. (It's like a big square board with 2 wheels that, when unlocked, goes up and down like a seesaw so you can load things.)

Me and the bloke from the quad shop jumped on a quad each and you both ride up the trailer, til the balance shifts and then it tilts back to being flat again - proper clever.

Strapped em down and drove home. Now nana reckons that if you keep one quad strapped down, you can see saw the other one off. But I don't trust mechanical objects that much really. so I thought it safer all round to just put the loading ramps up to the trailer and drive them off backwards.

Yesterday Cars RV and Marine brought our RV back. (Can't remember if I wrote about it but when we picked it up there were some damage issues).

I'll not go into it because it would take a whole page - but I have yelled at their receptionist, her colleage, the service manager, a workshop technician, and the general manager. (I would have yelled at the cleaner who didn't clean it before it got brought back but obviously shes about as customer facing as a toilet drain.)

They need to collect it (again) to fix stuff that is coming off and that they damaged while they were fixing it last time.

I am tired of being disappointed in their shitty service, after spending so much (of darcys) money.


On a good note I went to the dump the other day. I mean, not like thats super awesome or anything, but as I was driving out I noticed something in between all the baked bean covered egg boxes and shitty nappies.

Someone had chucked away an old wagon (a small size one) obviously because it was falling apart - BUT one of the wheels was still together and it good worn condition. So I pulled up next to it, checked around that no-one was watching - well you feel like an old bag lady crawling over stinky garbage and dodging seagull turds. AHA I have a tool kit in the truck, pair of pliers and a screwdriver and we'll have this bad boy off and in the back of the truck before anyone can yell "stop thief".

I carry on into town with thoughts of what the hell we can make from this hot wheel (bout 2ft diameter so a nice size). A few crap ideas go round your head then after counting the spokes - 12, the obvious solution was clock! So I went into the local second hand store, bought an old clock for the movement and pretended to the little old lady behind the counter that I was actually going to treasure this plastic masterpiece and put it somewhere noone everyone could see.

Got it home, routered out a bit in the back of the wheel for the movement to fit into and waalaa - it looks pretty awesome for costing me a whole $2.

So thats it really, the RV s all loaded and ready to go for some fun with the fam tomorrow (Darcy gets home at 6am so I have to quickly wash some of his shit while we load the quads, we;ll stop at the liquor store on the way and then will be without contact or service for a whole week.

I'll take loads of pics.

I'll leave ya with a song - as it's rodeo season and the second biggest rodeo in Alberta is in town (Ponoka Stampede) and I have friends competing in it this year, here's a gooder for the country lovers among you

Big and Rich - Save a horse, ride a cowboy!







wow nearly a month???????

06:38, Thursday 21 June 2012 .. 5 comments .. Link

It has been eh? Nearly a month. Seeing as i'd love to say that the desperate urge to put pen to paper (or keyboard or whatever) overwhelms me and I lie in bed thinking of this blog - I kinda don't. So thats why its been ages.

More like an "oh shit I should write something" (refer back to the very first entry about putting things off).

Obviously we are still doing home improvements - I've been concentrating since C left on doing Darcy a mural to go behind the fireplace wall. It's looking pretty dam awesome too.

It's taken ages because there was no plan, kind of like a wake up in the middle of the night having decided the next bit to put in and shes about 80% done now.

Hers some pics -

Started with this

Always wanted to do the brick wall effect!

Then did this

Well it is in hubbys man cave so there has to be a least one animal on the wall

Next step

Granted he looks like a skunk at this stage

Phew thats better he looks like an elk!

Then it was piss about foroa while until I decided what to put on the other wall (bearing in mind the chimney from the wood burner will be going out through the side wall so don't want to paint anything that'll be spoiled.

I know we'll throw in some water and bushes and shit :)


And thats where we are as of right now this minute. Still have to do the background proper, paint some leafy shit on the trees at the back but the bones of it are there and I love it (so does Darcy which is a relief).

The tile work in the bathroom is done - I did have to yell at him again, as I did with the people that are fixing the holiday trailer.

Hahaha actually reminds me of the conversation - you know if you've ever worked in customer service and you get trained on dealing with people who are yelling and swearing???? Well they give you a list of standard "calm the irate customer down" phrases.

I was priviledged to be on the recievng end of one such phrase last week.

Preface - long boring story about shit customer service from the holiday trailer service (ha - what a fucking joke word that is) culminating with me being the screamy / sweary / shouty customer


Service manager "Mrs Dux, I am being calm with you, I am not swearing and being rude am I?" (Standard issue line)

Me "Of course not you fucking idiot, you're not the one who's pissed off are you????????????'

Him - Silence.

Upshot is they are delivering the trailer back to us hopefully repaired by the time we go camping next week - which is wicked awesome - and if it isn't fixed they will collect it after we've been camping and fit the bits that need fitting!


Actually talking about camping, we are off out west (into the rockies) with the fam for a week to do some quadding and drinking (not at the same time) and a chance to try out the new trailer.

Downside is we have one decent quad (a 700 Yamaha Grizzly), and one shitty quad (a 250 Timberwolf which the starter is buggered on so you can't take it out to the mountains because if it stalls you need someone to tow it to start it.) So Darcy decided on Monday to go and buy a couple more quads so that we all have one (he promised connor a new one for doing so well at school).

So I pick them up next Tuesday - another 700 Grizzly (in Camo green - that'll be darcys - go figure) and a 125 Grizzly for connor, though the little guy won't be coming quadding with us as he's going away with his mum.


Apparently you go through hundreds (well maybe not hundreds but lots) of mud bogs and get absolutely filthy - how great will that be!!!!!! So i'll take the camera and take some pics and see how messy we get :)

Edited to add just found this link on You Tube of a Griz in the mud / water


Bahahaha I don't think i'd get through that - i'll be the one thats attached to a winch being pulled through :)

Edited agan to add that I think I might go and buy some hip waders at the weekend ...................


























12:41, Thursday 21 June 2012 .. 1 comments .. Link
I'll be doing an entry later I think

Work ethics and tiling.

10:28, Thursday 31 May 2012 .. 0 comments .. Link

Obviously if anyone has read this blog, then you will be aware theres renos that have been going on for a while at home. And 99% of them done by Duck and I.

However - following my apparent abysmal laying of the slate tile for the floor and sides of the wood burner, Darcy very diplomatially suggested that "since you're shit at laying tiles we should get a pro in."

OK no arguements from me on that score

we have friends that have not long built a super posh house and their tile work is incredible, also turns out that after calling uncle Ken he recommended the same guy - with the caveat that "he is painfully slow  - good but slow".

I don't care how slow he is - i don't have to do it, Darcy doesn't have to do it - and if it looks good then we can move the tv and recliners into the only room in the basement touched by proffesional hands.

I contact the tiler (he's german and a trained stonemason / granite type chap) and he mentions he is booked for a while yet. Well thats a good sign, anyone worth their weight is booked up, I'd have been surprised if he said yup i'll start tomorrow.

Skip forward a few weeks and he finally gets time to come over and look at the place - gives us his numbers, tells us how much tile to buy (we wanted to tour around and buy it) and says "I can start next Monday".

Thats frickin awesome.

Now i'm usually pretty easy going, I may be a bit brash but its all bark and no bite. However when things start to piss me off .......................

The precursor to this is that the tile guy lives an hour and 10 mins away (fully aware we would be paying travel time - he estimates if he puts in 10 hour days he can have it done in 3).

Which means rght now this minute I should be stood in my luvverly tile bathroom. Dya think i'm in there marvelling at the stonework? Gasping in awe at the precision of the grout lines? warming my smelly pinkies on the underfloor heat pad? Of course i'm f****g not or it would be a shit blog entry.

So Monday comes - hes here at 8am - immediately decides that the shower pan he suggested won't work so he'll form one himself - only the concrete that he needs is back at his shop. So he waterproofs the walls, lays down and seals the underfloor heat and annoounces at 11.15 that "ok I'm off, i'll be back in the morning with the right stuff as its not really worthwhile driving all the way there and back.

OK I accept that, errors are made and if you can't do anything else, then right on i'll see you in the morning.

Tuesday he turns up at 8.30, builds the shower pan and now says he has to wait for it to dry before he can do anything else (again understandable) so we discuss ideas for the design on the main floor - I tell him what I want - so finally at 11.30 he leaves for the day again.

Wednesday - I have running around to do (going to the dump / into town for groceries / etc etc) so I leave at 8 fully expecting Mr tile Guy to be well underway when I get back.

Oh no - this is where it goes pear shaped - at 10.15 I get a call (i'm on my way home) "Hey amanda, I've tiled the floor in the shower and was just wondering of you really want the design we taked about for the main bathroom floor"

"Yes Mr tile Guy (we'll call him MTG from now on) - thats why we agreed on a design - because thats what I know darcy wants and as it's his bathroom so to speak - if he wants it he gets it"

"We'll yknow i'm not sure if it will look right"

"I hear what you're saying MTG but we know what we want so just do it"

"Well i've laid the pattern out on the floor so you can see what i looks like when you get back"

"I KNOW what it looks like, so what on earth is the problem wih you just fixing it down like RIGHT NOW"

"Well i'm half way back to my shop already"

"You are f****g WHERE????????"

This is where placid me loses it completely - he gets a full on lecture about scheduling his time / travelling time versus working time / bringing the correct materials to a job / prioritising workloads (I suspect he's taken on more work than he can handle at the mo) and his bad hair do (well not the last one but for everything else he got chewed out on it may as well have been said)

I get home to find he's laid all of 10 tiles on the shower floor - now i'm not business woman but even I know driving dor 2hrs 20 mins to do not even 2 hours of work - is costing him money - not me, cos i tols him because he was being an idiot I'm not paying travelling time - seeing as he seems to have spent more time travelling than working. If I wanted to pay someone to drive - I'd find a trucker somewhere and give him a wad of cash for nothing.

Upshot was he turned up here at 7.45 this morning - with his apprentice, and they are now back on schedule(ish)

Darcy reckons I scared him, Although I'll scare him proper if there is just one minute flaw in this bathroom.

Watch this space!

Hmm waas going to add a (small ;) )picture but its not letting me so i'll do it when he's finished. Come back next year for that one.















Alberta in a week

08:48, Wednesday 30 May 2012 .. 5 comments .. Link

We had a fun time when Ms C came to stay. Well I hope she did too - she got to meet firsthand the whirlwind that is my husband.

She drank and smoked a lot that week.

Jus kidding, but we really did chuff away on the ciggies a bit too much - it was like kids at school leading each other astray. Of course we blamed each other, saying things like - "oooh since you've been here i'm smoking waaaay more than normal" but it's all good because I never plan to run a marathon or donate a lung anyway.

It's always tough when you have visitors to give them a real essence of 'life in Alberta' so here's what we did ..............

Day 1 Collected C from Calgary airport where she had dropped off her hire car after driving 3500km from Vancouver (via various sightseeing places etc). Shes not very good at parking luggage carts - they tend to wobble off whenever they want - and the funny thing is, you just stand there and laugh, not immediately try and stop it. You stare and point and go "hahahahaha look at the luggage trolley about to crash into the side of that wall). Stopped off at an expats house in Calgary for a cuppa (thanks Mr P and Mrs P for the awesome scones ;) )Carried on down to Lethbridge to meet up with some other BE's and have a boozy night out and a girly sleepover (Thanks Farjojo!)

Day 2 Decided to go to Waterton (about an hour or so west of Lethbridge so too near not to go really). Grizzly bears live in Waterton, and we spent most of the day trying to find one. But we didn't - so disheartened we took loads of pictures of gophers instead. Drove back home.


Day 3 Went to Drumheller - the Dinosaur capital of Alberta which has some pretty stunning scenery so you gotta visit really. We saw this sight on the way there ............... yup its a dog on the back of a Harley wearing a helmet and goggles!!!!


Darcy spotted a bull snake and C and I got really brave and got close enough to take a picture without being bittem or strangled or whatever the hell it is that bull snakes might do.


Now here is where my hubby gets all - well - 'him' like. As he is always on the go, a day trip to him involves seeing as much as you can as quickly as you can, and to hell with what anyone else is doing lol. Darcy is up a hill, down a hill, back up another one, and taunting us slow coaches. This is where the extreme amount of ciggies thrown down our necks was starting to backfire. We weezed up the side of a steep hill and managed to mouth to each other "thank f*** for that is it time to go home"

Day 4 Decided to attempt to get halters on the mini donkeys. They are smart and fast and we are not very good at lasooing, but after an hour and with a little help from Darcy - they were all shackled up and pretty pissed of - until they calmed down. Darcy taught C to shoot a 22 and she also mastered zipping around on the quad We hung out at home then went over to the parents in law for drinkies and munchies seeing as it was the long weekend.


Day 5 We drove Connor home to Calgary while C had a well earned day of peace and quiet at home

Day 6 Had pre booked a trail ride in the Rockies and it was spectacular - by far and away my fave day out - not just of this visit but of my whole time in Canada. Sure your ass hurts like buggery, and sure you're in the middle of grizzly territory - but aside from being achey and bruised within 2 minutes of setting off, and the possibility of being eaten alive at any moment (even our guide carried a gun on her saddle just in case!!!) it was such a memorable day. More so for the fact that for once, Darcy had to sit down for a whole 6 hours (though that didn't stop him pulling pine cones off the trees and lobbing them at C pretty much all ride lol)


Day 7 Me and C went into town to get groceries and random stuff while Darcy prepped his things ready to go back to work. He went back to work that afternoon and for the first time during the visit, me and C commandeered the couch, flicked on the tv and ate pizza and drank beer (well half a one each - we were knackered lol)

Day 8 C was off on her next leg of her W to E Canada tour, visiting Saskatchewan. So her friend there and I drove half way each and swapped C in the car park of restaurant in a small town called Biggar.

We parted ways and once I got home the first thing I said was "fuck its quiet"

And it has been quiet - i've cut grass, started on Darcys mural in the basement, the tile guy is currently (well not right now this minute) tiling the downstairs bathroom, the donkeys are like pet dogs - running up to the fence when they see you - in fact all in all the world is a pretty good place.

I hope C got a snapshot of what it's like to live in rural Alberta. We loved having her. x







We have royalty coming to visit lol

10:27, Monday 14 May 2012 .. 2 comments .. Link

Well kind of. Through the awesome place that is BE, many moons ago there were a couple of lovely ladies who joined around about the same time as me.

TV's were in black and white, kids played with wooden circles and used polystyrene cups as phones.

But that didn't stop us, we whipped our children into shape to cycle enough electricity to get us internet connection, and waalaa - Clematis (that wasn't her user name back then ;)) and The4Bells and moiself kinda hookedup. A bit like plenty of fish but without the sex and crap profile pictures.

Actually it really was about 5 years ago. Much has happened to all three of us since the early days of researching the big move. 4Bells ended up in Vancouver, and whilst Clematis did  move to Ontario, situations and events occurred, and she sadly went back to the UK last year.

We've always kept in touch (pretty much every day actually!!!!) and this year (well right now actually) Clematis decided to do a whistle stop tour of Canada, West to East - visiting her old drinking buddies (yes we all got together back in 2008!!!).

4$Bells and some of the Vancouver posse (yo shout out to the Westside lol) got the pleasure of MissC's visit last week, and she is as we speak (well not RIGHT now as she has stopped in Kamloops for the night) on the last bits of her long drive from Vancouver to Calgary, taking in some amazing sights, getting some great photos and defying life and limg with forest and boat fires. (You had to be there. Well, she was, but .............. oh whatever you get the picture. She actually did.)

I meet her at noon on Thursday at Calgary airport, from there we go to visit the awesome Mr Steve-P (whom I have to say I adore!) for a quick cuppa, then it's down to Lethbridge for a banging girls night out with some others expats. I of course will fly against tradition and not drink loads, because Friday I  want to take C to waterton - see if we can get some of those pesky bears on filum. Then its around an 6 hour drive from Waterton back home to our place where we have a fun filled week (and hopefully nice weather) ahead.

You'd think it would be a nice relaxing couple of days then eh, I mean - Darcy comes home Wednesday everything is ship shape here. But no.

At the minute Darcy is working on what's called a pad rig. I can't remember if I explained before or not - but a pad rig can actually 'walk' itself to its next location. So they don't need to tear it out and haul it by road, that why his rig has worked through spring break. you ever heard of the phrase "where we're going, you don't need roads?" Well that applies to a pad rig. And there's a bejillion holes to drill in a relatively small radius. So lots of work for a long time up there.

On that basis Darcy and a mate decided to rent a condo, rather than stay in a hotel for their 2 week hitch, even paying for it when they are at home, it's still cheaper than renting a hotel room. So a while back I took the enclosed trailer with some furniture up and they got settled. However, some of the guys on the other crew (their opposite crew actually - ie when Darcy and his buddy are on nights, these other guys are on the day shift) have a house wih 2 spare rooms. So Husb and his mate (Church) are moving in there. It works out about $300 a month less than renting the condo which is awesome, but this means then, tomorrow (their moving day) I have to drive up to Lloyd with the trailer and we have to move all their furniture out. Lloyd is about a 3 1/4 hour drive from here when you are hauling somethig, apparently 2 hrs 30 when you're not lol.

I'll do this after i've been to the bottle depot, as the enclosed trailer is full of bottles which need to be returned.

Will come back home Wednesday morning when Darcy goes to work for his last shift. He wants to get the deck boards screwed down when he gets home on Wednesday evening - I have no idea where he finds the energy!!!!!

But still thats the plan for the next few days, and it will be fun :)



Donkey donks

10:19, Saturday 5 May 2012 .. 2 comments .. Link

Aren't we the lucky ones, 2 entries in one week - on a roll I tell you, on a roll.

Thought today warranted and entry - so you're getting one.

Picked up uncle Kellys stock trailer yesterday. Although uncle Kelly wasn't there and neither me, nor auntie Chris nor cousin Cait had the foggiest idea how to attach the thing to the truck. Luckily i'd taken 2 balls for the hitch as I wasn't sure what size their trailer was.

Miraculously one fitted. Auntie Chris said as I was driving off "be careful the top rear door has a tendancy to come open"

What? Are you kidding me. Great.

The trailer is old and very heavy, so driving home i'm watching the road most of the time, the rear view mirror lots of the time, and the fuel guage all of the time. Blimey - you can see the guage moving down as you stomp on the pedal to get enough speed to get up a hill. :(

Managed to tow it home, and, full of the joys of me being great, was looking forward to waking up today, loading the extra cedar planks into the trailer, dropping it off at Home Depot, swapping it for 8ft planks (which will then fit in the bed of the truck, then driving onwards to collect the donkeys. Oh happy days.

Except when they are not.

Woke up this morning and it was pissing it down. Seriously raining. Marvellous. Threw on some waterproofs and went outside to stack the 12ft planks that needed to go back. Opened the back of the trailer and ............


There's 6ft of space in it, the rest is taken up with a feediing station sectioned off, so you can put hay for your animals whilst in transit. Now, I'm no rocket scientist, but even I know, whichever way you try them, 12ft planks aren't going in there.

Undeterred, but soaking wet by this time - I decide to put the planks in the bed of the truck facing upwards, and tarp / rachet strap them down.

Like this.

That should work.

Apart from when it doesn't.

I get half an hour down the road, and via the constant checking in the mirrors, I see the straps are coming loose, the tarp is flying everywhere and the boards are slipping.

F**K this shit. The roads are wet through, it's windier than hell and at my current speed i'll get to the city next Tuesday.

I turn around and go home.

After unloading all the planks (read - grumpily throwing them off the truck onto the deck), I head off again. Feeling a bit safer, although the weather was still shitty.

45 mins into the journey a car is flashing me. Oh great, what now.

"Your rear top door is open" He says as we both come to a stop. Me now smiling and thanking the guy embarrasingly, is also thinking - great I have to turn off this road i'm blocking, iinto a side road and secure the doors, which means reversing the truck and trailer back onto the highway. Something which I have never done before.

I remembered watching a show on tv that said when reversing with a trailer- turn the steering wheel the direction you don't want the trailer to go.

It worked!!!!!! And I saved my ass from looking very stupid by neatly reversing round a corner and back on my merry way.

I enjoyed doing it so much that I did it again, Twice, as I completely missed the turning (twice) to the donkey mans house :)

Finally got there at 6 (after setting off right at the start at 3pm!!!!!) and felt happy to be stationary. He showed me the donkeys (he has loads - all very friendly and very very cute). Said yup - i'll take em. He wanted me to take another but I said no - 2 is enough KTHXBAI.

Loading the donkeys was funny, they are so small that if they don't want to get into the trailer you just pick up their legs and shove them in - awesome - couldn't do that with a horse!!!!!

So loaded and ready to go, I reverse the trailer in his yard (this is now my favourite trick and am contemplating driving all the way home backwards) and head home. Twice on the way back the doors opened (not I hasten to add the main doors - or they'd be donkeys all over the road) just the top swing doors, but I was watching in the side mirrors periodically, and caught it as it happened.

When I turned down onto our gravel road I was so bloody relieved to be on the home stretch I could have cried. Next time we do this Darcy can leave me his big ass truck and he can take my little one. You could feel every pull and bump in the road AND I had to stop and get gas on the way back - what the hell - I'd used a full tank going 200 kms. Mental note to self - if we buy a stock trailer - don't get one thats made of solid lead.

Drove up into our pasture, and opened the doors to the trailer so the donkeys could see thier new abode. I was happy to see them still standing after the journey, although was half expecting carnage in the back. They fell out of the trailer as soon as the doors opened more or less, and as soon as they hit the ground they started eating. There's a lot of grass there so we'll have to limit their "out' time. As they'll get fat and donkeys don't burn off the energy very well.

All in all then, not too bad a journey. The donkeys (Smokey and Bandit) are happy, super friendly and home.

Took the dogs up to the pasture to introduce them, Rumble nearly had a heart attack and couldn't make his mind up whether he should bark, growl, run around or whine. Tango just hid as soon as he saw them.

The status quo will work out, and I think if Rumble tries to chase them he'll be in for a shock.

Smokey on the left, Bandit on the right. Not sure what their colouring is as they have their winter coats, but thats irrelavent. Will get them gelded in the Autumn (they are only 9 months old and its best apparently to do them around 1 and when there are no bugs around - so I reckon October should do it.

Feet need trimming so will be contacting a farrier, also need to buy a couple of halters in foal size (awwwwwwww), some mineral block and deworm them. Pretty simple keepers, will try and train them to carry a pack so they can have some work to do around here. If not I think they will just get very fat from food and love.









Ready to drop lol

08:30, Thursday 3 May 2012 .. 0 comments .. Link

The whirlwind has gone back to work. My legs, back, shoulders, toenails breathe a sigh of relief.

No no no its not from too much strenuous sex, well it might be, but no it's not.

If there were 48 hours in each day, he'd use all of them. Me? probably about 10% if i'm honest and half of that would be smoking and drinking coffee!

With the exterior things on the house being done - it was dun dun duuuuuuuun - time to build the deck. I always get excited when we do stuff like this, because when it's done it looks cool - but the process is normally a "fuck you' match of lost tempers and short fuses (mainly mine because I always think i'm right, then it turns out i'm not - again lol)

It was my job to calculate how many cedar decking planks we would need, and to check that Home Depot stocked them. So I did - but made one teensy little mistake (well actually it wasn't really my mistake it was Darcys) you see when we built the frame for the deck he put the joists on 16" centres when code is 24". He wanted to make it super strong. So I calculated the lengths for staggering the joints and we worked out that it would fit in our enclosed trailer if HD sold 14ft lengths (and some 8's and 10's) (can you see the mistake yet? - see how long it takes to work it out).

I call HD "yup we have loads of cedar deck boards at 14ft long"

"awesome we'll be in tomorrow to get them"

So off we go. Get to HD lo and fucking behold no - they don't do 14ft, they do 6 - 8 - 10 - 12 and 16's.

So I lose it on the sales guy because after a quick recalculation of the design we can use 16's - but our trailer is only 14ft long. No worries - we do what a good redneck does and bodge it with 2ft hanging out the back and rachet straps holding the door together. There were people passing us on the highway shaking their heads as they drove by lol.

We get home, unload all the wood - lay the boards out and

wait for it


"YOU HAVE GOT TO BE GODDAM KIDDING ME" (that was Darcy not me)


"16's won't work will they"

"Why - they should they are longer than 14's"

(here it comes)

"The ends don't line up with the joists so we can't screw them all down - I thought I asked you to work it out?"

"errrrrrr - ummmmmmm - shit"


"Don't f******g swear at me - you did the 16" centres instead of the 24, if you;d have done it properly they'd have fitted" (that was a feeble attempt at shifting the blame on my part I have to say).

Anyway - we finally worked it out and I just have to return some 12ft lengths and get 8ft ones on Saturday - which as luck would have it I am taking a stock trailer through the city to collect some miniature donkeys we decided to buy :) Kill 2 birds with one stone!

Now buying donkeys isn't an everyday occurance really is it - it's not like  - "mmmmm what do we need, bread? milk? cheese? donkeys - ooh shit nearly forgot those bad boys."

We have a large pasture and catch pen that we used to keep the steers in, but seeing as they are now in the freezer and steers are on my "list of animals never to own again ever" the pasture grass was / is getting a bit long. So we run off a list of suitable animals and donkeys seem to fit the bill.

So I call a guy who has 2 yearling miniatures for sale - do some wheeling and dealing - and bingo - they belong to us as of Saturday (their names are Amos and Andy - we'll change those as they are stupid). I'm a little shitting myself at taking the stock trailer all that way actually but nothing venture nothing gained I suppose. I could get a sign made up that says "Yes I am a woman, yes I am blonde, and no I can't tow trailer - feel free to flip me the bird as you pass by due to my erratic and dangerous road useage"

 I was even toying with the idea of putting the donkeys on the back seat of my truck - bloody hell they only stand 30" at the shoulder - Rumble's bigger than that - decided against it in case they crap on the upholstery. I'll post some pics of the donkeys and the deck (not together - its not like i'm tying them up outside the doors or anything) on Saturday.

The other thing we did this week was go pick up the new holiday trailer.

I won't be towing it. It's on Darcy list of "things the wife shouldn't touch" which includes the propane powered flame thrower, the air nailer, chainsaws and now the holiday trailer. The thing snakes like you wouldn't believe so we need to take it in and get more stabaliser bars put on it.



It's a toy hauler so the rear door folds down and its got a 10ft garage in it so you can take quads and bikes and stuff when you go away. When you are not using the garage there are 2 electric beds that come down from the roof - one of which converts into an extra dining table which seats 8. The trailer in total will sleep 8 people but its unlikely we'll have that many in there ever lol.

we are off camping for a week out west at the beginning of july so she'll get her first outing. I've already downloaded some killer choons to blast out through the speakers of its sound system to annoy all the other campers with.

Result :)





Going back in time - some history!

03:25, Tuesday 17 April 2012 .. 5 comments .. Link

When Duck is away at work for his 2 week shift, my emotions go like this

1st day away - Hell yeah freedom, peace and quiet, can stay in my pj's all day

Next few days - getting on with the 'to do' list of things around here

The last week - I'm a sad faced mardy arsed bitch because I really miss him.

As we've hit stage 3 and, as usual i'm awake at stupid o'clock cos I can never sleep well when he isn't here - I was reminscing with myself about how we got together and the circumstances.

I also thought - i'll share it here too - for prosperity like !!!!

It's a long one so hold on lol

Back in the UK I was living with my ex, he was the one who had decided that he wanted to move to Canada, and did I want to go with him. Well seeing as we were a couple that's the kind of thing you do right - you don't say "nah - i'm good, you enjoy yourself".

So we moved - him on a twp and me on a spousal open work permit.

We arrived, and he was working, I got a job in a bank (which I made some of the greatest friends ever and still have them). You start to have niggly doubts about things not being quite right with the relationship , but I put this down to the move.

6 months in he decides he hates his job and wants a transfer to another location. I'm 99% certain by this time that wherever he goes he'll always be chasing something he'll never find, so for once i said "no i'll stay here in Drumheller - I have a good job which I am not going to give up on another whim for you to be happy. If something comes up there - then i'll move up" It was my turn to take a bit of a stand instead of being a follower and allowing someone else to make my decisions for me. Well thats a bit wrong - I was given the option to move to Canada - but that, looking back, was more of an ultimatum - he would have come here anyway - with or without me.

So he moved 3 hours north, and I stayed - going up to see him at weekends. He was very distant and it got to a stage where the end of the weekend visits were a bit of a blessing and I looked forard to going back home to Drumheller. We'd argue and have nothing much in common, it was a strain just being in each others company.

Eventually (and I could see it coming if i'm honest) he ended the relationship. We had been in Canada for 9 months.

So i'm thinking - wow here is me, in a strange country - totally alone. Wth the support of my buddies I had come to the decision to work in Canada long enough to apply through the experience class stream, and when that time came decide whether I wanted to stay - or to go back to the UK. This was in August of 2008.

This was MY time, my wake up call, my "you're on your own now kid, sink or swim'. And you can bet your boots I was going to swim. I was hellbent that no man would ever have me running doe eyed after him again. I was either going to make a succes of Canada - or have a good time and go back to the UK and be a better person for it. I wasn't really bothered either way tbh.

I was a financial services manager at BMO, and my job meant sitting behind a desk, browsing BE and Facebook whilst randomly investing sums of money / opening accounts etc etc.

One day one of my customers (a girl called Cindy) had asked me straight out of I was single. A bit taken aback I had said yes recently why. She said "you totally need to meet my brother, you are lovely"

Course I politely refused and laughed like a hyena all the way home that night. Another man - are you kidding me - I'd rather become a laboratory rat than even consider another relationship, what with my crappy track history.

I'll admire her persistance. For 3 days on the trot she came to see me, each time saying things like "you really ought to meet him" or "my brothers home this week, he'd love to meet you"

In the end I gave up and said ok - with the reasoning being at least i've expanded my limited network of friends a bit and the company would be good - I was absolutely adamant mind you, that there would be no 'romantic' involvement.

So we messaged on FB for about 3 weeks, and I gradually came to realise that not all guys are as jerkish as the ones I'd met before. This guy was lovely - the conversations never once got round to sex - which is unusual for a guy right, and he was so nice and thoughtful,we eventually exchanged phone numbers, and began talking. We did the all night phone conflabs and all that fun stuff - and I was actually getting really excited to one day meet this super nice guy. I mean, I knew what he looked like and everything but you never know until you meet someone right?

Then it happened.

On a Tuesday night he called me - "Hey it's my sons birthday party at the weekend, would you like to come?"

Me - "umm gimme 5 i'll call you back"

Well of course I (after a quick visit, glass of wine and a conflab with a friend to reaffirm what I was about to say) said thanks but no thanks, citing the reasons as "its your sons party, all your family will be there, we've never met, it would be very awkward all around"

Him as quick as a flash said "Well, i'm driving down to Calgary on Friday morning, i'll come through Drumheller, i'll come and meet you before work, then we can say we've met, and then you can come to the party right?"

I have never been taken that much off guard - and I doubly wasn't expecting this from Darcy, as during our coversations in the past, I'd gathered he is a bit shy.

What could I say other than "eeeeeer ok!"

The thursday morning he had a boquet of 12 roses delievered to my work with the note that says "have a great day"

OMG this guy is freakin awesome - the girls at the bank were jealous hahahahaha and I felt really special for the first time in years.

so we met, I went to the party, met all his family and his son, and from that moment on we were, and still are, inseperable.

We were married on April 10th 2010.

We do everything together (well when he's here lol) we have the same interests, the same personalities (although he is very shy and quiet when in public) and we compliment each other perfectly. His family have become my family and I thank whoever looks down on me every day for finally allowing me to meet the person that I've always known was out there, but was rapidly losing hope in ever finding.

(He also feels the same way btw - just thought i'd throw that in there as it is a bit one sided hahahahaha!)

We have many good things in our relationship (nudge nudge) but my favourite is that we support each other on the negative aspects of our personalities. We have both grown as people since being together.

I can be very lazy at times, moody (well i'm a woman!) and insecure. - He is always on the go and inspires me to be like him, when i'm moody he says nothing - just allows me to get it out, and thats perfect - thats exactly how i need to be handled - he doesn't yell or scream or bitch or whine - he just walks away and is ready with a hug when I need it. He lets me be me, I have found who I am as a person more so in the last 4 1/2 years due to him allowing and encouraging me to BE me than I ever have.

On the flip side, he has more confidence now, more self esteem, he used to buy things to gain peoples adoration, now he doesn''t do that - because he has learned you don't need people to like you for what you have, just for what and who you are.

We have both said that without each other we would be totally lost, although both agreed that we met at totally the right time in our lives.

And he is amazing and I love him more than life itself





Happy anniversary

11:34, Monday 16 April 2012 .. 4 comments .. Link


I logged on to do an entry because it's been a while, now i'm sat here thinking - hmmmmm mind blank.

Most peoples blogs have a theme, bad cakes, horses that are naughty, cute dogs, bdsm whatever. Expats do online diaries about the trials and tirbulations of the move - how super wonderful everything is, how strange Canadians are, oooooh look it snowing again.

Then it stops. Because it fizzles into mundane triviality of life and it's neither new and exciting for the reader or the writer.

I might change the way this blog is to make it interesting and about something - you know, more for my benefit, so I can actually think about something interesting to put. I'm selfish like that.

Problem here is everythings been done already, bad cakes, naughty horses, etc etc so while I wait for inspration i'll fill ya in on the last few weeks of mundane triviality.

Still waiting for ppr from Buffalo ( I say that like it's a foregone conclusion - who wouldn't want me right!) I did something on Sunday I said I'd never do - I sent them a begging email. Of course its pointless I know that - and yes of course it's going to slow their production rate down by the 5 seconds it took them to read it, but it's getting to the stage where even a reply saying "f*** off we'll contact you when you when we are ready" is exciting.

It was mine and ducks 2 wedding anniversary last week (yay go us) and we spent the day picking up the new recliners for the basement and looking at holiday trailers.

Then we bought one. I wouldn......................... jesus h f*****g christ a spider just ran across my neck. I thought it was a random piece of hair so I just wafted it and something hit the wall. Now thats either some hefty dandruff with 8 legs or a blood sucking hairy insect.

Now I can't see it on the floor, so I reckon its gone to tell it's spider mates and there'll be thousands of em, 8 legging it in this direction soon. awesome

K the trailer - I would have been good with some flowers, but apparently you can't camp in those so I took one for the team. We knew this year we'd get a new one, as our old (read Robert Stevenson invented it) trailer is probably not safe for road usage (one of the axles broke on the way back from a trip along with a list of other things).

The options are - bumper hitch (where you attach it to a hitch on your bumper - self explanitory) or 5th wheel (where you have a contraption like the hgv trucks have, but bolted in the bed of your truck so the front of the trailer actually sits over the box).

5th wheels are somewhat safer to tow, can come in huge sizes, are bloody expensive and would mean Darcy would have to take the fuel tank tool box out of the back of his truck (which he needs for work when he goes somehwere remote).

We finally decided to look at bumper hitch toy haulers (won't bore you why but they work for us and our lifestyle) and after a few months culminating in a visit to an rv place we found the one for us.

As soon as we looked inside Darcy said to the guy "we'll take it". I instantly felt sick because I was bought up with second hand Xmas presents, 30 year old ford cortinas and nothing really was ever new in our family. We were pretty poor and very working class. (I still am :) )

So at that point - thinking about the leather recliners we'd just bought, the trailer we'd just bought, the house renos that are going on, I started getting buyers remorse.

I got over it.

So here she is

We pick it up thursday 26th.

I'll take some pics when we get it - the downside is that this thing is nearly 34ft long and I think has a loaded weight of 13000lbs, which dictates my truck doesn't have a hope in hell of pulling it.

Come to think of it I can't even steer the quad with the trailer on the back so i'm guessing Darcy will say "don't even attempt to tow this babe".




We are the champions

10:57, Sunday 25 March 2012 .. 0 comments .. Link

Today I had loads of things I was meant to do. And I really mean loads, loads as in "oh god I don't want to get up cos i've got loads to do' - type of loads. :(

Theres 5 million tools and stuff up here that need going back in the shed (in the right drawers - Darcy has OCD!!), wood that needs putting away, ceilings to texture in the basement, the landmines (read doggie crap) to clear in the yard, dust the whole house, go to the dump to dump the drywall that came off the wall the other day, clean the windows, sand the drywall repairs in the living room by the french doors that replaced a window - and pretty much ad infinitum.

See why I didn't want to get up? I even tried to not go to bed so I didn't have to get up, thats how much there is!

When I did get up (around 7am after managing to stay awake til 4am lol) the phone rang.

A call at 7am sunday morning is like a call at 3am any other time. You look at the phone. Who could this be at this time. Oh god please don't let it be bad news (I always worry about Darcy on the rigs). So you stand there, still looking at the phone in the vain hope that you'll telepathically know who it is and what it's for - so you don't have to answer it.

I answered it. It was Nana.

"Hey Mand, Maddi (Darcys, and now by default my, neice) won her hockey games Friday and Saturday, and now they are in the semi this morning and if they win the finals this afternoon. You wanna come?"

I had one of those moments. Like an "aooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh" (picture angels shining from clouds at this point) moment.

"You bet your boots I want to come - wouldn't miss this for the world, (oh no, I'll not have to do all my loads of stuff - what an absolute kick in the teeth that is) what time?"

"Can you be at ours for 10am"

"already leaving, see you in a bit..................... ;)"

So thats what I did today. Skived off and went to watch hockey. They won, both games. Ponoka Stampeders Atom B team are now provincial champions, and my neice (a very very good goalie) won MVP (most valuable player) in the final too. The result was 7-6, and my stick on nails got chewed off (which is a false economy because you try and bite a false nail and its not the same as chewing your own).

Then the team and parents went back to a local hall, ordered in loads of pizza and beer and celebrated, and for once I didn't take my camera and I got to watch and enjoy the game like a proper spectator :0)

Heres a pic stolen from sis in law that she took on her Iphone. TBH it's that far off in the distance I could have posted  a pic of the Edmonton Oilers or something, and you wouldn't know the difference, but take my word for it - it's the Stampeders, and the banner in the middle tells you they won the Provncials. Trust me, it really does.



I had a couple of beers with everyone and came home (remember 4 hours sleep last night), so am now writing this blog and thinking "Shit, I've got loads to do tomorrow".




12:45, Saturday 24 March 2012 .. 2 comments .. Link

Have a cunning plan without at least 3 maybe 4 backup cunning plans.

Tore down the drywall on the dividing wall - yay that went to plan!

Realised that inside the wall where the electrical is, that it's a bit - well - buggered for what I had planned. No problem - this is covered in the 'cunning' part of the plan. Uncle Ken is coming out this morning and he can fix it.

This is where it goes a bit tits up.

By 10am uncle Ken isn't here. Hmmmmm weird. WTF is he playing at  so call his house and his wife (who we'll call Auntie Laurie - because that's her name) explains that due to the weather / roads / astrological alignment and whatever the f**k else - Ken won't be coming today. But he'll call when it picks up a bit.

That's no shitting good, I have a half tore down wall with electrical gubbins poking out and no goddam way to fix it. He was supposed to be here, he was - after all - the main part of the cunning plan.


So we got to this stage


Ever undaunted I have two options - ask on BE for suggestions or drink myself stupid.

The BE questions got the expected response (the better resoponse would have been - here let me wave my magic wand and fix it remotely for you - but that never came you useless lot) so, ready with a bottle of Captain Morgans in hand I'm moaning to some good friends on Crackbook.

Remeber those brainstorming sessions that were ever so popular at work in the 80'sand 90's? A group of likeminded women on Facebook works the same way - with a bit more swearing.

After a 10 minute conversation and some stellar ideas from the girls we now (thankfully) have a plan B - and i'm not even drunk yet - bonus :)

Just move the outlets to a safe place and still take down the wall :) Well thats easy - Darcy has more tools than Canadian Tire - I can find exactly what I need (proper tools are wicked btw - long gone are the days of using a stiletto as a hammer and a butter knife as a screwdriver).

Reciprocating saw / big hammer / 18v cordless drill at the ready we (and I mean me with the ivisible help of ma crew ;) ) get to this stage


So i'll clean up and am totally happy to leave it at this stage til Ken does show up. That should probably say IF Ken shows up - but we are at least past a point of no return that if it doesn't get fixed by the time Darcy gets home - well it's too late to put it back now :)

This entry then - is dedicated to my little nest of vipers - you know who you all are :)








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