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Archive for August, 2010

So as many of you already know, we found a dog last week while on a relaxing bike ride through the countryside πŸ˜‰ As we raced by, he was standing in the middle of the bike path and then dashed into a nearby retention pipe (Danielle’s words, not mine–mine would be: “a pipe thingy”–not as professional, I know).
So we did what any dog lover would do: we lured the little guy out with Jack’s grilled cheese sandwich (incidentally, this made Jack very happy as we’d told him that he’d need to finish his grilled cheese lunch before he was allowed to have a snack–problem solved–maybe that’s why he has such a connection to the dog to date!).
The grilled cheese met its fate and was swallowed by the hungry puppy in a matter of nanoseconds πŸ™‚
After a few minutes, we managed to get the puppy out of the pipe–there was a metal pole that descended down the center of the retention pipe (not sure if this is standard-I’ll have to ask my construction reference–Danielle) –somewhat like a stripper pole (though, I’ve never seen one up close–not since college) πŸ™‚ But I digress! Needless to say, the puppy had to figure out a way around this metal pole to climb out of the concrete tunnel he was in. He finally did do it…smart boy!
Once he was out, we gave him water and some more of the grilled cheese (Jack looked on happily, watching the dog devour his barrier to a much yummier treat) which he gratefully and hungrily, accepted.
We picked up the dog and put him in the trailer with Jack–and rode all the way home.
Now, embarrassingly so, we have to admit something here. We quickly looked underneath at the puppy’s…ahem….plumbing…and quickly made an assessment that the lost puppy was indeed a girl and so we named her Lucy. All the way home we said over and over “Good girl Lucy!” To which she wagged her tail and whined a bit.
The next morning, we took Lucy and Rocky to the dog park and a man very nicely said, “I think your dog is a boy.”
Feeling a rush of the utmost stupidity–we both said, “Oh, we thought it was a girl.” In our defense…how would a couple of lesbians know?? We don’t come across that very often-excluding Jack-okay, there’s no excuse. And as a nurse, can I just say, I did question whether Lucy aka Linus was a boy…I did, I really did.
Okay, so Lucy was now Linus and Linus was now a fugitive…Okay, I know I just threw this on you, so I’ll explain. Like I always do. πŸ™‚
So as good samaritans, we did everything we are supposed to do when a dog is found/lost πŸ˜‰ We printed up LOST PUPPY signs and posted them in the area where we found Linus, we registered him online (first as a female, then we had to change it…agh! Really?!) and we notified the Humane Society who told us to file a report with the city–and call 3-1-1. This is where the problems begin. Naively, I call 311 with the intention of filing a report and the guy on phone proceeds to read me the Calgary Bylaw stating that the taking of any pet in Calgary, even if it does appear abandoned, is considered “theft.” What??! So he tells me he will take my information and send the city animal services out to get the dog and take him to the animal services area aka “the pound”.
Again, I do what any good samaritan would do and I quickly tell a lie and hang up on him!! What? I don’t want him to take the dog….he’s too cute!! And besides, I’ve posted signs and registered him on the lost dog website….
After many tears and explanations to Jack, we decide the right thing to do is to turn the dog in to Animal Services–our hearts are heavy as we tuck little Milo (I’ll explain the name change in a minute) into his warm bed for his last night in luxury at the Bryant Household. This is on Saturday evening. It is now Tuesday–where’s Milo you ask? How’s he doing at his newfound kennel at the pound (or the “slammer” as we call it)?? Have you visited him? Does he appear happy?
Who knows?? He’s still living it up at the Bryant Household in his luxurious kennel! Okay, let me just say–we have been very busy and not had a moment to take him down to the city. Busy with what? Oh…all sorts of things. πŸ™‚
The name change: Lucy became Linus for obvious reasons, Linus became Enzo because I found the name online and loved it, Enzo became Axle for the same reason and Axle became Milo because Jack kept calling Axle “asshole” and that’s not good. πŸ™‚ And so…we end with Milo. Who we love. Who is definitely, most certainly and positively going to the city animal services…TODAY. Or maybe tomorrow…. πŸ™‚ Then again…next week is more open….

Until next time: Please remember to spay and neuter your animals πŸ™‚

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One of the many things I love about Calgary is the bike paths that intertwine, entangle, intersect and connect the entire city. To say it in a nutshell: it’s one hot mess of a bike path! If you don’t know where you are going, that is. And usually, WE know where we’re going. (Translation: only Danielle knows where we are).
So our most recent Canadian Adventure begins with a morning bike ride to church then off to the culinary festival (I highly recommend the organic green onion cakes w/smoked salmon…the spinach pizza wasn’t bad either…)then to Prince’s Island park where we played a competitive game of frisbee and learned there is a certain height requirement as Jack got it in the forehead a couple of times (he’s fine–we only had to tell him who he was and what year it was twice..I think he’s got it now…) then on toward home where I made the suggestion that we continue riding our bikes toward the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary–so after having an ice cream cone at The Dairy Bar (best ice cream–and cheapest–at only $1 for a “baby” cone), we began our ride toward the bird sanctuary. I digress, as I usually do, when I hear the words “bird sanctuary”, I imagine birds listening to soft music, getting a massage or a beak rub-down… πŸ™‚ It makes me giggle…almost as much as when hair gel says “not tested on animals”–I inevitably picture a group of animals, perhaps a skunk or a bear….sitting in a room with the fur on top of their head–spiked or styled in some way. πŸ˜‰
Where was I? Yes…the bike path. So we are traveling along when Danielle spots some other riders and suggests we follow them. She then sees another rider (it’s like ADHD on a bike…)and stops him to inquire about where the path goes. HE informs us that we should continue on the path because it loops around back to our neighborhood! wow! We figure this is very convenient and take off into the horizon. Thank you fellow rider! No, really THANK YOU! Thanks for making our 1 hour bike ride into a four hour one! πŸ˜‰ We end up riding along a canal where the water no longer rushes by like the Bow River, where we have to get off our bikes at one point because the distance between the bike path and the overpass above our heads is about 6 feet…nonetheless nothing will stop us! We continue riding by steel plants, open meadows, homeless men (who, incidentally, are very friendly). We don’t stop until we run into (not literally) a group of riders who inform us they’ve just come from Chestermere, a city east of Calgary. πŸ˜‰ They suggest we turn around, or, we too, will experience a nice ride to Chestermere. πŸ˜‰
They also suggest we turn around and go all the way back to the downtown area in order to get home, but Danielle won’t have it and announces that we will find our own way home sans downtown!
Oh we found our way home alright…eventually. After a much needed trip to McDonald’s for some nourishment, we made our way home where we put our bikes away and prepared ice packs for our bums and well…anyone who rides a bike knows what else…Whew! What a ride! And what a day! Just as I am going into my relaxed state–Jack asks “can we go on a bike ride?” My eyes fly open–of course, he just rode in the bike trailer for 50 km…so the trooper that Danielle is–takes him outside for a little bike ride of his own. πŸ™‚

Until next time: Always bring a map and hike or ride with a buddy…. πŸ™‚

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Ha! I was just driving home from a doctor’s appointment and I am listening to the radio. There’s a commercial about a local juice place Β called Jugo Juice. Now, I know my Latina/Latino and even many of my fellow Phoenicians (who had Spanish in high school) are reading this as: HOO-GO Juice (I mean you Aracely and Irene) –but the announcer says JU-GO Juice…hee hee. It always makes me giggle–if you are going to give your establishment a little Mexican flair-then for Pete’s sake–say it correctly! My favorites are Gullermo for Guillermo (pronounced Gee-air-mo–soft G πŸ˜‰ ), JO-SAY for Jose, and my favorite TOR-TIL-LA for you guessed it…tortilla. Come on people! They’ve found Jesus in a tortilla– it should be said correctly!

Anyway, just a silly little thing that I haven’t only noticed in Canada by the way…. πŸ™‚

Until next time: try a little beans with your tortilla for added fiber–porque esta muy, muy bien para poopoo. πŸ˜‰

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I need to backtrack for this Canadian Adventure because our first introduction to Tim Horton’s coffee was the day our moving truck arrived (only 2 weeks after the expected date of delivery–I know, they’re fast right? ). We had just spoken to and cleared all of our stuff with the nice lady (shaking my head–no, not really) down at the customs office-whom, incidentally reminded me of the criminal mother in Goonies–anywho-we decided to treat our movers to some coffee and donuts to ensure that our stuff would be moved out of the truck with the utmost care (doesn’t work–try a 6 pack next time…in fact, I’m convinced if we hadn’t bought them coffee and donuts they would’ve simply dropped our stuff on the doorstep in the snow!). When we asked where we should go -they informed us Tim Horton’s would be the best place and so they put in their order-and as they gave us their drinks of choice, I felt like an alien who’d just set foot on earth and didn’t understand the language-“I’ll have a large double-double….a large triple-triple…a regular….etc…” We literally had to write everything down because we had no idea what they were ordering–were we going to a coffee shop or the local pub? πŸ˜‰ I could hope for the latter….

We drove to the Tim Horton’s and found much of Canada inside–most of them in a trance–awaiting their turn to order. We placed our order–unsure of what we were actually ordering–and the employees got to work. Now, this place is nothing like Starbuck’s–where wait times can exceed Β the number of hours in a work day–these Tim Horton employees know what’s up! They get your coffee so fast that you’ve barely finished ordering and they’re on to the next person! Love it! So we were in and out faster than Lindsey Lohan completing a jail sentence.

The other wonderful thing Timmy’s has are Timbits aka donut holes. Okay, so they’re pretty much the same as Dunkin’ Donuts, but I never met a donut hole I didn’t like πŸ™‚ Just a side note: Tim Horton’s also sponsors a children’s hockey league knows as the Timbits Flames…a team Jack aspires for some day…okay, next year…

As I was saying-we get our coffees (I opted for the “double-double”-which as we’ve learned, is two creams, two sugars–a “triple-triple” is just as delectable–THREE creams and well….you get the gist I’m sure.

So, that was our introduction to Tim Horton’s coffee–quite possibly the greatest coffee on earth. πŸ™‚ And now–we order our coffee like the pros and I’m sure we have the same look of bliss on our faces too as we sip our favorite morning coffee. πŸ™‚

Until next time: Always use unbleached coffee filters πŸ˜‰

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I was at the Canadian Superstore the other day and I’m sorting through all the french food (as usual)-Franch Fries, Franch Bread, Franch Dressing and to drink… Peru. πŸ˜‰ hee hee..okay, so I stole that from “Better Off Dead”… But, I am digressing (to the point where I don’t recall what I was talking about…)– let’s see…okay, so I’m in the Canadian Superstore looking for olives-I must’ve said I was looking for olives aloud because a woman standing beside me suddenly says: “Are you looking for olives?” Either that or she’s a clairvoyant Canadian…
“Yes?” I reply as I’m looking around suspiciously (I’m from a big American city- people don’t just talk to you unless they’re going to steal your purse or ask you for money). “They’re on the next aisle,” she says. “What kind of olives do you need?” By this point, I am clutching my purse, my head is whipping back and forth and I am acutely aware of my surroundings. I even have a tight grip on my cart of unpaid groceries! “Green ones.” The woman nods happily–either because she’s happy she can help or she’s got me so wound up she’s easily going to steal my purse. “On the next aisle, they are up on the top shelf.”

“Thanks,” I utter as I quickly walk away to the next aisle, still clutching my purse. “That Canadian isn’t going to steal anything from me!” Sure enough…I find olives on the next aisle and I STILL have my purse. Wow.

Another incident that happened to us was when we first moved here. Danielle was driving (as usual-we are like Driving Miss Daisy) and she got stuck in the middle of the intersection at a yellow light–with nowhere to go, she decided to back up to keep the intersection clear (I know, what a thoughtful driver she is). Well, when she looked into the rearview mirror, she was greeted by the friendly driver behind us motioning for her to back up and putting his hand up when she’d backed up enough. I of course, was sure he was trying to lure us to a deserted alleyway and then steal our purses…but, no, just another friendly Canadian. wow.

The friendliness and genuineness of Canadians always takes me off guard, but I am gradually beginning to get used to it. It’s a wonder they say “sorry” all the time, they’ve no reason to be sorry…unless of course, they have stolen someone’s purse. πŸ˜‰
However, my Canadian source says that it’s not like that throughout all of Canada–in fact, she says if I want to get my daily dose of rudeness, just go to the east! I may have to take a holiday there…for research purposes of course…. πŸ™‚

Until next time: Hug a Canadian! πŸ˜‰

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Well, because it’s summer I’ve decided I need to give my readers a little taste of what it’s like to live in Canada during the gorgeous summer months. Picture yourself walking along the Bow River, the clear, cool (Phoenician translation: cool = less than 100 degrees F) water rushing along, carving its path into the lush green hillside, every species of flower you can imagine (and even ones you don’t) sprinkling the riverbank and lining a multitude of bike paths and walk ways. Now imagine a little annoying tickle on your neck, you reach up to scratch it and BOOM! you get your first mosquito bite. Heaven forbid you have forgotten to apply bug spray (note: the word “apply” in this sentence refers to “bathing” or “saturating”) and the mosquitos find out because after that first taste of your delicious blood–even though you’ve swatted it away and it’s gone–possibly even Β dead, other mosquitos have already been alerted and are on their way to get their taste too! Before you know it, before you can react, a mosquito world has descended upon you–leaving you looking like human bubble wrap.

So is a typical day in summery Calgary, Alberta. And so is the reason that we now have a lifetime supply of Citronella and Deep Woods OFF! in our closet. Ha! Down with you Mosquitos! I dare you to come into my backyard now!

Until next time: stay away from stagnant water and grassy areas!

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So aside from the many things we really love about Canada, one of them is free healthcare, and really good healthcare at that. However, the clinics certainly do not match the very competent healthcare workers. They are…how do you say in American…crap. Gone are the days when we go to our fancy pediatrician’s office or the OBGYN whose office looks as good as Seaworld with its oversized fish tank and soothing jade walls, not to mention the cushy chairs and the piped-in spa music…ah! Our doctor’s office is much the opposite. Besides the patient questionnaire being in Chinese–there is no fish aquarium, no soothing walls, not even magazines…there is however, plenty of hand sanitizer and an elevator that says it has an 800 lb capacity, but you must summon the receptionist if you need to use it–by the looks of it, you’re better off just climbing the stairs, even if you are in a wheelchair.
After a few minutes of translating the questionnaire from Chinese to English and getting checked in, we are called in to the exam room…which by the way is also known as the giant storage closet. The “medical assistant” leads us into the room and begins taking Danielle’s blood pressure. Now, the reason I say “medical assistant” is because he is wearing a white lab coat with something embroidered on it, but you can’t see what it says because over the embroidery, there is a white piece of paper with the words “Medical Assistant” written in Sharpie, thank goodness because that makes it more official and permanent. Though Danielle is very impressed by his “fancy” badge, as she calls it. He very nervously takes Danielle’s blood pressure and gets her other vital signs while I peruse the room…all the while threatening Jack NOT to touch anything (though if he does, it’s not a big deal, this clinic appears to have stock in hand sanitizer).
On the shelf next to me: hospital gowns, rheumatology books, boxer shorts….exsqueeze me? What? boxer shorts? What for? Ahem…let’s move on…pharmacology books, Nestea…Yes, a can of Nestea. I was about to help myself when the doctor came in and began performing acupuncture on Jack….just kidding. Though that would be odd right? Almost as odd as the boxer shorts….
As I said previously, the healthcare has been amazing and so have all of our practitioners…so just as we suspected, our new doctor came in, asked Danielle several questions, examined her, gave us some medicine that is probably worth thousands of dollars and sent us on our way. Thanks Doc! Gotta love socialized medicine πŸ™‚
So, all in all…it was a great experience and though the clinic (or patient care centers–as they’re called) wasn’t like Seaworld….who cares? I’ll take good healthcare over a fancy clinic any day!
Until next time….remember to take your vitamins! πŸ™‚

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