Monday, July 31, 2006

Bye Bye Miss American Pie

Egad! Was it hot outside this weekend. So glad I was at the lake, where jumping into the water was an option to try to cool down.

A bunch of us went up to Falcon for the weekend: Mike, Bethany, Rocky, Rebecca, Emily, Judi, and Jenni-Lynn. Rob & Chey also joined us on Saturday. We didn't do much of anything, just spent time on the beach and in the boat (and flying at dangerously high speeds behind the boat), sitting around a fire, and a little bit of tennis and mini-golf. Such a relaxing weekend. I'm developing a pretty respectable tan, which made me happy until I realized that I have corresponding tanlines... Which made me totally stress out, pretty much managing to cancel out my former state of relaxation. I know, I know - I need real problems.

It also made me worry about skin cancer. And so I checked out this website: Apparently, I'll be okay because I use sunscreen when I'm outside (and there were no questions about tanning beds...). According to the internet - and everything on the internet is true - I am going to live to be 87 years old. Which is a very long time, when you think about it: that gives me another 62 years. Totally enough time left to succeed in my plan for world domination. Or my laptop battery could explode while I'm typing this.

Now there's a weird thought.


PS - Also checked my Personal Day of Death on (must less scientific - LOL) and I'm scheduled to depart this planet on Thursday, September 16, 2060, at the age of 79. I have 1,708,070,947 seconds left... 1,708,070,941... 1,708,070,936... Hey, we should make a Nickelback video about me :)

Friday, July 28, 2006

15 Seconds

Working on planning a bunch of photo shoots this month, and I'm looking for some people, places, and things (some of them admittedly unusual). Can anyone help me out?

- Teenagers around 17 or 18 years old - male AND female ('normal'-looking, but relatively attractive)

- A boring-looking office with cubicles
- A large teenage girl's bedroom (large room, not large girl - LOL)

- 20 feet of barbed wire
- Lots and lots of old suits (men's AND women's)

Don't even try to figure out our killer concepts, suckas. Just fire some pics into my Inbox, please :)


PS - For those of you who care, my taco salad turned out amazingly. Which may or may not have contributed to today being my Best Lunch Ever. Now I'm off to Falcon for a weekend of camping, hiking, beaching, and general adventuring. Two vacation weekends in a row. What a lucky girl :)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Dresses, Work, Boy. And TWO Paragraphs About Taco Salad.

Dress? Check. The Hildebrandt women are apparently freakishly efficient. Jessica's dress is gorgeous and it's ordered, and we even found something we like for bridesmaids. (Watch out... I'm going to be the superfoxiest bridesmaid in the history of bridesmaids!)

And now, back to work. Things are hopping here at Cocoon - the kind of frenetic, fast-paced deadlines that make me love advertising. The kind of deadlines that usually cause me to stop eating, stop sleeping, and stay in front of a computer into the wee hours of the morning. And I might be doing just that if I wasn't currently so distracted by A Boy (who lives in constant fear that I'm going to chronicle every moment of our togetherness on my blog :)

So in an effort to keep eating despite my crazy, crazy life, I stopped at Safeway to pick up a salad for lunch the other day. I grabbed one I'd tried before (spinach with apples, cranberries, and pecans... yum) but was distracted by another offering in the display: taco salad. Curious, I flipped it over and read that it contained - this is NOT a typo - 61 grams of fat. Ugh. Can you imagine??? Some poor soul will probably buy it and think they're being 'healthy.' And then they'll turn into a ball of lard after four bites. They'd be better off at McD's, man.

I'm ashamed to admit this, but it did make me hungry for taco salad. So I bought everything I need to make my 'special' taco salad - another one of those recipes I've tweaked and modified to the point where I feel my final product is pretty darn spectacular. I'm going to bring it to our YA leadership team BBQ tonight.

Wow. I'm busy, but how ridiculously inane is my life when I can write two whole paragraphs about taco salad? Uh oh. This doesn't count as a third paragraph now, does it? It's really more about my inane life than about the salad.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

(Slightly Belated) Weekend Pics

What happens when you throw a bunch of designers and other miscellaneous city people into Cottage Country for a few days?

One the manymanymany stupid tiny perch I caught.

Apparently, it's superfunny to read a magazine while you're fishing. Whatever. I'm a girl. We multitask.

The 'B' team. Jason rather fearlessly taught us all the delicate art of walleye fishing.

Consider this the 'after' pic: our shore lunch.

Hanging out and enjoying the sun while we stop for lunch.

Chillin' at the cabin.

Darn. No pics of ME doing karaoke. I'll just have to victimize Chuck and Orv instead :)

And So It Begins

Ugh. I had my first encounter with One Of Them yesterday: someone who's concerned about 'how I'm doing' with Jessica's engagement. I laughed so hard... They talk about this like it's some big traumatic thing that's going to put me into therapy instead of something that I'm really happy and excited about.

We'll say this once and then close the book, because it's ridiculous:
I chose career first. She's choosing marriage first. I know she's proud of me and what I'm doing with my life. And I'm sure as heck proud of her.

Dress shopping begins next week... Woo hoo! Shopping! For pretty things! And thankfully, Jess has amazing taste so this won't turn into a bridesmaid horror story. Her preliminary ideas are gorgeous.

I am SUCH a girl :)


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Rain, Fish, Books, Pink - Nothing Particularly Important

Finally today, some relief from this ridiculous heat. I woke up this morning and it was raining - quite pleasant, actually. I know not everyone is happy when it's raining outside, so I decided to proactively destroy any ideas my co-workers might have about being grumpy today and stopped at Tim Horton's for muffins and donuts on my way into the office this morning. Great idea until I pulled into the parking lot at work and realized I was going to have to balance my purse, my coffee, two boxes of breakfast goodies, and my umbrella. In heels. And our office is about four blocks away from the parking lot. Brilliant, Linds. Fortunately, just as I was contemplating my dilemma, Orville pulled up and volunteered to carry the boxes. Sweet.

I think something's wrong with Fish. He's just not looking very happy these days. His swimming is a little lethargic, and he's eating less than usual. I moved him closer to me, hoping that proximity to my radiant personality and stunning good looks might wake him up and give him some will to live (he is a boy, after all). I'll keep you posted.

Speaking of will to live, I'm almost finished 'A Long Way Down' - the new Nick Hornby book (he wrote some other goodies like 'About a Boy,' 'How to be Good,' and 'High Fidelity'). I never knew suicide attempts could be so darn funny. His style of writing amuses me, and every once in a while I read a sentence and think, 'Wow, Nick. That's EXACTLY how I would have said it!'

Also working on the updated version of Daniel Pink's 'A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.' I picked it up (autographed, suckas!) in Montreal. Get a peek at the topic at It's making me feel wickedly powerful, and much happier with my high school math and science marks (or lack thereof). The world, according to Pink, will soon be ruled by artistry, empathy, and emotion. Doesn't that sound lovely? :)


Monday, July 24, 2006


Let's see... We're going to do this backwards. Weekend first, then Friday comments. See? I'm CRAZY. I'm living on the edge, playing around with 'traditional' chronological event sequencing. Watch out, world... This chick's unpredictable!

I actually had a really fun weekend. I went fishing and survived (and even touched a minnow). I peed exclusively in outhouses and bushes and survived. I didn't wear make-up for two days and survived. I burned my shoulders and chest, and based on how they look and feel today, I might not survive. I'd say I lost about 10% of my prissiness in one fell swoop. And I was still crooning off-key Madonna classics into a karaoke machine as the sun was coming up at 5 am yesterday. Ugh. I am absolutely without question too old for such fun. It's so cool to have co-workers you actually enjoy hanging out with. I'm so lucky.

On Friday, Geoff came to meet me for lunch and we decided on a cafe right at Old Market Square. It was the beginning of the Fringe Festival, so there was a crowd of people and lots of entertainment - one of the very best things about Winnipeg. Remember my 'moment' in winter, walking to the office early in the morning, when I was just realizing how much I loved my little corner of the world? Yep, this was the summer version. As we were sitting there, I just realized how utterly content I am right now.

It seems like I've been fighting through lots of stressful moments and situations lately, but Friday felt like a new chapter. And then I got to go away for the weekend and worry about absolutely nothing other than having fun. I'm physically tired from the weekend's roster of miscellaneous adventures, but I'm mentally refreshed - and you can't put a price tag on that.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Wildlife & Weddings

So I have no idea how it happened, but I am going camping three weekends in a row. In a row! Even three weekends in a summer would be noteworthy :)

After work today, the gang from Cocoon is heading out to Minaki for some fishing, adventuring, and who knows what else. I'll be back on Sunday night... hopefully sans sunburn, sans mosquito bites, and sans too many traumatic co-worker stories.

Have a great weekend!


PS - Sending an official shout-out to Kari-Ann, who has finally made it to The Weekend Of The Orange Bridesmaid Dress. You're strong, honey. You'll survive this.

PPS - Saving the best for last... A very notable shout-out to my sister Jessica and Kevin, who got engaged last night! Congratulations :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Trauma at the Grocery Store

So I had a tough thing happen to me last night. And I wasn't going to comment on it. But then I realized that these things are born in ignorance, and so talking about it is important.

(Not implying that any of my lovely blog readers are ignorant :)

Yesterday was a Bad Day. I say that not because lots of bad things happened, but because my arthritis was flared up and I was in a significant amount of pain. And doing my famous little old duck waddle/shuffle. But I needed groceries. And I refuse to be a victim (and I'd already had to ask for help, getting Kari-Ann to pick me up and drive me to my car).

So I stopped at Safeway on my way home, feeling self-conscious right away because I KNOW I look weird when I 'walk' like that (using the term 'walk' very loosely - LOL). And there were these kids inside, three of them, around 10 years old. Two girls and a boy. They decided to get some amusement from making fun of me, pointing and giggling and pretending to walk like me.

It was absolutely the most hurtful thing that I've ever experienced. I cried for about fifteen minutes when I got home, those big, hurt-feelings tears accompanied by big, shaky breaths. And then I pulled it together and decided to move on.

I'm not whining or looking for pity. I just think that people need to be aware. Make sure you're not raising these kinds of kids, okay?


High Strung

The Devil does indeed wear Prada.

So, the movie was not the book. Then again, we didn't really expect it to be. When Hollywood decides to turn your absolute favourite book into a summer comedy, you're bound to be disappointed. They made Miranda WAY nicer than they could have. And even gave her a 'human' moment!

In the end, the movie presents the story as much more of a moral dilemma than I'd been expecting. But it was okay. I kind of liked it, actually. Causes you to reflect on the sacrifices you're willing to make for your career, and the person you're willing to become. And some of your own 'Miranda' bosses :)

Meryl Streep was freakin' amazing (of course). Anne Hathaway actually did a good job - much to my surprise. And the clothes... (happy sigh). I'd get lipo and work at Runway for a while...

Now comes the question of the day: Would you rather work for Meryl Streep in 'The Devil Wears Prada' or Steve Carrell in 'The Office'?

In honour of a movie that provides a glimpse into professional hell...

Health Magazine's list of the 10 Most Stressful Jobs:
1. Inner City HS Teacher
2. Police Officer
3. Miner
4. Air Traffic Controller
5. Medical Intern
6. Stockbroker
7. Journalist
8. Customer Service/Complaint Worker
9. Secretary
10. Waiter


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Radio Traffic Reports, Flooding, Lebanon, and Fashionistas on Girls Night

Wow. This post is disjointed, even for me.

I was driving in rush hour traffic last night (a necessary evil because of a mani/pedi appt, but something I usually choose to avoid by staying at work late). Some lady on the radio called in to say that traffic was super-slow on Lagimodiere Boulevard because the cops were pulling everyone over for speeding.

Funniest. Thing. Ever. Irony is so beautiful.

And on the home front... More drama chez Lindsay yesterday. We had a little bit of a flood in our basement last night, compliments of our washing machine. Quick question: Who builds a basement with the drain hole at the highest point in the floor??? Thank goodness for sympathetic dads and Aarons.

Fingers crossed, everything should be fixed in our house now. Famous last words, I know. But I am personally hoping for a drama-free week. I'm exhausted. I must be, because I had to redo my eyeliner about seven times this morning (no joke), because I had the news on in the background and they kept on showing pictures of that Montreal family who died in Lebanon.

It's just so sad. The more I think about it, the less I understand. There's something so very MALE about the whole conflict(s) in the Middle East. Why can't we all just sit down and talk about our feelings? These groups' reactions are so disproportionate. It's like I just poked you in the stomach, so you're going to break my leg. And now I'm going to kill the entire family that lives next door to you. I wonder sometimes if the people who made these comparatively small decisions at the beginning (if you can even locate a beginning in all of this mess) knew that it was going to escalate this way. Did they really intend for this to happen? Are they sitting there celebrating this mass destruction, or are they - in the very core of their beings - feeling yucky because they have inadvertently created this hideous monster? Would they take it back if they could?

Okay. Thinking caps off.

Going to see 'The Devil Wears Prada' tonight. Hoping for a nice, brainless girls night with Kari-Ann (not implying that Kari-Ann is brainless... hee hee). But afraid that the movie will ruin my favourite book.

Life is full of risks, isn't it?


Monday, July 17, 2006

Fishing Buddies

Looking for some folks who are willing to donate about 5 minutes of their time online to test a website we're launching soon.

If you're interested, fire me an email and I'll give you the details. All you'd need to do is create an online profile (like you'd do on MySpace or on an online dating site... not that I'd know anything about that!). We're looking for recruit volunteers over the next few days. The only real requirement is that you enjoy fishing. Which disqualifies me :)

The only fish I like is Fish, the beta who lives on my desk at work and eats bamboo. He's the strong, silent type and we get along pretty well. We made an agreement that he won't get mad if I forget to feed him real fish food. In theory, Fish can survive off the little ecosystem I've created for him with the bamboo... But I don't think he really likes to eat it.

On a somewhat related note, a certain nameless person somehow affiliated with this project wrote something the other day that abbreviated 'fishing buddy' to 'f-buddy.' I giggled for about an hour. Who are we kidding... I'm still giggling about it.


An Illuminating Experience

To make a long story short, we have power (and air conditioning) again. The journey involves extension cords, head lamps, Tristan's minor electrocution, trespassing, borrowed tools, people discovering to much amusement that Lindsay has a 'toolbox' of sorts, and at least one (failed) trip to Canadian Tire. By late yesterday, it had cooled down enough that we could all sleep, and we had phone and internet again.

I have a great pic of Tristan sporting a head lamp that I'll post from home later :)


Sunday, July 16, 2006


Sigh. No electricity. Stupid power-sucking air conditioner. I'm going to pretend I'm an electrician today... If I don't post for a couple of days, I probably electrocuted myself, and it was nice knowing you all.

Totally one of those situations (like when I had to fix my toilet or when my car was buried under seventeen feet of snow) when you realize why it is that girls get married :)


Friday, July 14, 2006


I'm not a sad person. Chuck and I had a conversation yesterday about seeing the glass as half full. I tended to think that his day couldn't be that bad as long as he wasn't on an Indian commuter train that got blown up. And he tended to think that I was an idiot.

The one thing that always makes me sad? Losing a friend. Dating relationships come and go and can be formed or destroyed in seconds, but friendships are an investment. And it's liking someone entirely for who they are inside, and not because you think their butt looks cute in a pair of jeans. Which is why I sometimes think that losing a friend has the potential to hurt more than losing a boyfriend. Maybe not more. Just in a different way.

And that's why - in the midst of all kinds of things going on in my life right now that are making me happy - I'm a little bit sad today.

I'm also sad because the boys in the office have discovered that I hate to be called 'sweetie'... So of course, they've been saying it as often as humanly possible all morning.



Just thought I'd put this out there...

I'm roommate-hunting again. Steph and Bethany are staying, but that leaves us with an extra bedroom as of September 1. I know it sounds like a zoo with four girls, but we have lots of space (it's a duplex split up over six levels) and two bathrooms. It's happened more than once that I thought I was home alone, and then ran into one of the girls on the stairs. Ooh, that actually sounds kind of creepy...

If you know of anyone, please let me know!
(High-maintenance people prone to catfights need not apply :)


Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Shortest Week in History

How the heck is it Friday already???

Something about coming back from vacation... It's never this smooth, relaxed, gradual transition back into reality. Somehow, reality always feels the need to just run up and smash you over the head. Okay, already - I get it. Now please just give me this weekend to slow down and remember what it felt like to not have ten thousand things to accomplish every day.

I'm serious, but at the same time, it was good to be back at work. I love my 'regular' schedule. And I missed my friends. But I'm still looking forward to heading out to the lake as soon as I'm done work tomorrow afternoon! I'm secretly hoping I can conserve enough energy to challenge my dad to a game of tennis when I get there. I suppose we'll see what they daylight situation is by the time I actually finish work and get myself down there. I'm planning to test my theory that bright pink tennis balls - and a hideously expensive racquet - will improve my game... That, and more prayer than usual. (To cosmically cancel out all the cursing I'll be doing as I realize he's winning. Again. As always.)

One thing I did accomplish this week: Montreal pics are developed and in a photo album. Plus the pics I took at Anica's birthday party. In April. Better late than never? I'll have to drop them off for her soon. Not like punctuality matters at this point. I figure, as long as I get them over there before she turns seven :)


Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I was going to post this list on my birthday, but it took me longer to compile than I thought it would. So - without further ado - here it is....

**25 Things I Learned Before I Turned 25**

Don't colour your hair at home. It will probably not turn out. And then you can't blame anyone for it.

You can't plan for every great opportunity. Sometimes you need to just put that plane ticket to London on your Visa and call it the simple cost life experience.

People can only hurt you if you give them permission to. You can control your feelings, instead of letting them control you.

It's not worth crying over work.

There are some things you should always be picky about. A partial list: men, shoes, jeans, glasses, french manicures.

You're capable of much more than you think you are. People with arthritis are not supposed to be able to complete marathons.

No one can possibly know what to do with their life when they're 17. All the most interesting people change their mind. And then change their mind again.

When you act smart and confident, people will believe you're smart and confident. When you act like a superfox, people will believe you're a superfox. People only notice your inadequacies when you draw attention to them yourself. Which is why it is critically important to always smile and walk confidently in a bathing suit, even when you think you probably look like a beluga.

You will never regret taking the time to have freshly shaved legs. You will often regret if you don't.

There are no timelines, other than the ones we impose on ourselves. There is no magic age when you're 'supposed' to get married, to have kids, to have a mortgage, to get rid of your university car, to figure out what you want to be when you grow up.

It's okay to let go of old friendships. Some friends will follow us through life, and sometimes you just needed each other for a season.

Honesty is not always the best policy. Little white lies come in handy when someone's baby is ugly, for example. It would not be nice to tell the truth then.

Live without regrets. The mistakes I've made have helped make me who I am.

There is no such thing as a good break-up. Even in those rare situations when you're both better off without each other - and you know it - something deep inside still hurts. And it should. It means you’ve shared part of your true self with someone else.

Take chances. You have no idea what kind of life experience you might be missing out on. You might fly to Vancouver and start a friendship with someone who turns out to be one of your favourite people in the world.

Make sure you have people in your life who you can be 100% authentic with. Life is too short to spend lots of time in superficial friendships.

Asking for help doesn't make you weak.

Make sure you're content in your own life, because it allows you to experience genuine joy when good things happen to people you love.

There are times and places when you'll absolutely need to pretend you're happy when you're not. It's a good use of time and energy to perfect the fake smile.

Give yourself a reason to get out of bed and do your best in everything. Set more goals than you can possibly accomplish, and make them so big they sound stupid to other people.

There is no possible scenario that could ever necessitate wearing sweats in public. It doesn’t matter what you heard in Transcona. Comfortable clothes – or shoes – don’t ever have to be ugly.

Don't take your bad days out on other people. It doesn't make you feel any better, and it wrecks their day too.

Everyone hates the way they look in candid pictures, bathing suits, and bridesmaid dresses. Get over it.

Go out of your way to say something encouraging to one person every day. You think you're just giving them a boost, but you're actually benefitting yourself.

It is critically important to always have one pair of jeans that make you feel like a superfox.

Swept Away

Ten points for a Madonna reference. You know I seriously love her, but not even I can bring myself to watch her attempt to act. I'll stick to the music, thanks.

I remembered this morning that I hadn't commented on an adventure we had while driving up to Winnipegosis on the weekend. Just before Neepawa, the sky started to get really dark and the wind suddenly picked up. We were looking around - eyeing the clouds rather suspiciously - when we saw it. A tornado. Right in front of us.

My parents and Aaron and Cait were in the car in front of us, and we saw the bottom of the tornado pass what looked like inches on top of their car, and then it dropped and they were in the middle of it. We stopped our truck and the tornado blew into our vehicle, got calm, and then blew us around again. It was so crazy... Must have been a weak tornado because we were all totally fine, the vehicles just got rocked around a little - the cover over the luggage in the back of the truck was okay too. But what a weird experience. I was just happy that everyone was okay.

Maybe it was Mother Nature warning me to stay inside the Perimeter, where I belong :)


Monday, July 10, 2006

The Blog

Shamelessly stolen from Heather's blog :)


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Anyone know the symptoms of Lyme Disease?

Got home from our work weekend in Winnipegosis. Sigh. More exhausted than ever, but a happy exhausted because I know our efforts will have made a big difference to all the kids coming to summer camp tomorrow.

It was a rough weekend for me. I'm not really a physical labour kind of girl (shocking, I know...), plus there was WAY too much wildlife for me: a mouse and a snake within about 60 seconds of each other, plus at least one tick. Ewwwwww. Any kind of recreational activity that leaves you with paint chips and dead bugs in your bra is NOT okay with me. But I'll apparently do almost anything for a good cause.

The good news is that we got a lot done. And I'm home again. And now I'm going to sleep.


We split into three work crews to tackle three big projects on Saturday. My group worked to turn this OLD farmhouse into a new nurses station and staff lounge. This is our 'Before' pic, as we begin to scrape off the old paint.

Jenni-Lynn hard at work

Rocky and his death-defying painting stunts

After the paint job

After the addition of the deck - our whole group that worked at the camp this weekend

Friday, July 07, 2006

Home again. (Kind of.)

Just walked in the door and I am TIRED. Whose idea was it to do a volunteer work project this weekend??? I have four hours to get myself cleaned up, unpacked, repacked, and in Niverville for departure. A bunch of us (seventeen people at last count) are heading up past Winnipegosis to fix up a summer camp before its campers come flooding in on Monday. Sounds like it will be lots of painting and cleaning, which will be okay. The crummy thing is that I won't be allowed to jump in the lake when we finish our work for the day, because of the healing tattoo.

At this point, I'm thinking one step at a time... Shower. Then unpack. The repack. I don't think this whole nap idea is actually going to come to fruition.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

The End

I hate how cliche this sounds, but I can't believe our vacation is over so soon. This past week has flown by, and I'm sitting here realizing that it's 12.30 am and I still need to pack, and we're leaving for the airport at 6.30 am.

Yesterday was a great day. I got my tattoo (totally didn't hurt like I thought it would, but isn't so comfortable now). Went shopping. Had an amazing dinner. This morning, we were up really early for our daytrip to Quebec City. We spent a few hours in the afternoon just taking in the sights of Old Quebec - the harbour, the Plains of Abraham, more shopping, and amazing coffee at an outdoor cafe. After that, we went for dinner at Christine's sister and brother-in-law's place and got to meet her niece and her brand-new nephew, Felix. I drove part of the way there (nothing big, just some highway stuff), but on the way back I drove from Trois-Rivieres all the way back to Christine's house in Levy, which included getting through/past/around Montreal. Crazy stuff, man. It was the weirdest video game I've ever played. I was going 25 km/h over the speed limit in the city and all these cars - cops included - were still passing me. Add the suicide merge lanes, random obstacles and lane closures, lanes that disappear/reappear/expand/compress at will, a giant pile of garbage randomly lying on the road, and three construction workers standing in the middle of the road (no joke) holding these big metal rods and waving for us to slow down - no signage of any evidence of construction in sight. Funny. It was a true cultural experience. And, truth be told, actually pretty fun.

Must go pack. But I'll write more - and start posting some pics - tomorrow.


Em & Christine at a cafe in Old Quebec City

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


When I woke up this morning (after NOT enough sleep), my first thought was that today is my birthday and I am now OLD. My second thought - following soon after - was: there's no running water and no bathroom here. My third thought: what on earth was I thinking???

Actually, the walk to the outhouse at the Groeneveld's cabin was beautiful. It was very misty this morning and the lake was completely calm. It was so peaceful, you couldn't help but smile. It was an absolutely amazing morning to be outside at 6 am.

Our trip to the cabin was short, but full of adventures. The drive up was amazing, and the view of the cabin and the lake totally took my breath away. It was one of those incredible little corners of the world that you don't even want to take pictures of, because there is no way a picture can do it justice. We saw the little log cabin Christine is building by hand. And I experienced about ten things so far outside of my comfort zone that we couldn't stop laughing at me. You know that part in 'The Parent Trap' when the twins go camping with their soon-to-be new stepmother and she looks like a total dork because she's too prissy to be out in the wild? Yep. That was me. We had to carry all our stuff in (including drinking water). We hiked up the mountain over wet, slippery rocks, mud, and leaves. We went skinny dipping in the lake. We washed our hair outside. We cooked in the woodstove. Christine (evil girl that she is) forced us to wear 'special uniforms' of oversized plaid button-front shirts while we were there. I know it was just so she could see the look of utter horror and discomfort on my face. We decided in the end that you can take the girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girl. It was great life experience, but I am HAPPY to be back in civilization. In fact, now that my email is checked, I'm off to bathe and shave my legs.

Today, I think the girls are intent on thanking me for being such a good sport because - after my tattoo appointment - we're spending the afternoon shopping and then going for dinner :)

Tomorrow will be a daytrip to Quebec City to be touristy for the day, then visiting Christine's new nephew Felix in the evening. And then - can you believe it?! - we're flying home on Friday morning. It's ridiculous how quickly vacation time flies.


The lake at the Groeneveld's cabin

Christine's cabin (the one she's been building by hand...). Note the 'uniforms' she forced us to wear. Fine. Forced ME to wear, because I think Emily actually put hers on willingly.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Christine and Andy NOT getting us lost on the way to the Biodome

Emily, Andy, and Christine in the Rainforest Ecosystem


Em being a treehugger

Just one of the Very Gross Bugs we saw at the Insectarium

Update from Montreal

Well, it’s been a busy couple of days… I’ll have lots of little stories and pictures to share in the next couple of weeks, I’m sure. For now – a quick update.

We’ve been rather energetically making our way through Montreal including Jazz Festival, shopping, Biodome, Insectarium, Botanical Gardens, and a bunch of quirky little local stops – compliments of Christine. We’ve spent three evenings at the Jazz Festival and have deliberately seen The Cat Empire, Accoules Sax, Susy Hyldgaard, and No Jazz. We’ve caught pieces of tons of other performers as well. The Biodome was particularly cool… They’ve set up these little ecosystems – in the South American Rainforest area, it was hot and they were piping in mist to make it muggy and humid. We walked along this wooden pathway and were surrounded my trees that had monkeys and parrots and all kinds of animals, with real rainforest plants. Very cool. I’d been secretly hoping it would suddenly drop to minus one million degrees when we got to the Antarctic ecosystem, but it was behind glass (boo). Still, I got to see penguins (and touch penguin feathers and arctic fox fur) and I took so many videos of penguins I’ll put Kyle’s dolphin video collection to shame :)

Today, we’re heading to Christine’s cabin in the Laurentian mountains for the night – without running water, so please pray for me. She’s appeasing me by promising a stop at La Senza. Sounds like a pretty fair trade, actually. Tomorrow’s my birthday and my tattoo appointment.

I'm over being scared about the big 2-5, and I'm actually kind of excited. It feels like a new chapter - a new quarter-century. And this one will be awesome because I have the distinct advantage of having discovered a heck of a lot about who I am by now.

No surprise here, but I totally love Montreal. It's surprising to me how much French I'm reading and understanding. It’s a good thing I love my job, because if I was unhappy at all, I’d be apartment shopping here. I know I could do the big city, small apartment, no car, $500 shoes thing. I think it's the Canadian city I've discovered that seems to fit me best so far. I don’t want to be one of those people who says bad things about Winnipeg because I really do like it at home, but Winnipeg just doesn’t have this kind of culture - and I love the constant traffic and flow of people.

Millions of stories – and even more pictures – but they can wait. I’ll write more soon. Hope you’re all having an amazing week!


Emily has a higher tolerance for history than I do, so I sat outside for a while during her (lengthly) exploration of Mary Queen of the World Cathedral. Awesome name. Anyway. Outside, they were taking down a Canada Day children's carnival, and when they started to deflate the Batman bouncer thing, our hero fell backwards pretty dramatically. I laughed way more than it probably warranted.

In Christine's backyard (and her famous [infamous?] canoe)

Linds & Em at the Jazz Festival (during The Cat Empire)

The Cat Empire

Lindsay NOT getting into trouble at the Jazz Festival