Category Archives: home life

What’s in your backpack?

This weekend was more packing and deciding what to put in my backpack.  I had many thoughts about the movie ‘Up in the Air’ and really trying to think about what I really ‘need’ for the next year.  Moving from a house to a backpack is a new level of stress I am unfamiliar with.

This was also the weekend that the cats moved to their new home.  I am so thankful to our friends who will be caring for them in the coming months. They seem somewhat angry in this photo….

Moving Day
Moving Day for the cats

but to cats…or at least our cats…as long as there is a bed to sleep on they are okay

Henry in her new home
Henry in her new home

52 days but whose counting

This past weekend was a fury of cleaning and packing to get ready for the trip but more importantly get ready for the opening of Chateau Dani et Jen.

In the last push to save some additional funds and force our hand at getting ready for take off we emptied out our master suite to make room for some people that would be spending time during the Calgary Stampede.  And I mean – EMPTIED!  The closet, bedside tables, makeup table and bathroom all emptied.  Where did we move you ask?  Oh well naturally to the smallest hottest room in the house – since that is the least desired room in Chateau Dani et Jen. Why there and not the basement you ask? Well, that was also rented out by my resourceful wife.
I am actually amazed that we have managed to move ourselves into it! It is a bit cramped but we can manage….for about a month until we are homeless beginning our new nomadic lives.

I wanted to extend our time in Turkey already.  I know. Already.  I have been reading more and more about the ruins (which according to a friend’s trip dossier get tiring after about 8 days but I am sure I will feel differently) and the delicious food so think that I want to extend time there.  Well, this seems nearly impossible since I have called Turkish Airlines on 3 occasions only to be put on hold for over an hour.  I gave up.  Instead I focused on Morocco.

We have booked a tour with Intrepid for Morocco!  We decided to go on a tour since we don’t speak any of the languages and there are alot of culture things that we want to be respectful of.  It hits all the highlights for me minus a couple of towns that I want to see but since we are planning on travelling to Spain – these towns are on the way.

Hike in Pincher Creek

As my days in Calgary are ticking away before our big trip, I made the trip down to Pincher Creek to go on an awesome hike with my friend Lyndle.

We met in Pincher Creek and drove out to the Carbondale fire lookout hike. But for some reason I thought we were hiking to some waterfalls so I was confused most of the way.
I am what you might call a “novice” hiker – is there something less than novice? If there is something less than novice that is what I am. So we hiked up hill for about 2 hours (like directly up hill) with me huffing and puffing and taking frequent breaks.
About half way up I started asking questions about the water fall. This is when Lyndle had to break it to me that in fact we were just hiking to a lookout.

At the top we were greeted by a cute little fire lookout station inhabited by a sweet man who came out with a guest log for us to sign. The whole situation was slightly reminiscent of that guy in Lost who lives in the hatch and has to keep to pushing that button.

Then we hiked back down which was tons easier than going up so I generally felt a lot better about it.


Then we went into Pincher Creek and ate dinner at this most amazing place called The Grill. The food was basic, but good (we had beef dip and burger). The really amazing thing was the service. Our server was a young Australian girl just in Canada for 2 weeks, here on a two year working holiday visa.

We asked what beers were on tap. We were told that there was likely anything we could want. This was a little startling and we asked her to clarify. She was not able to clarify and we asked if she could go and ask what was available for our beer drinking needs.

She wandered off to the kitchen to clarify what exactly she meant by, “any beer we could want on tap.”

She returned with the information that steam whistle was on tap. Only steam whistle. Which we both had and that was the end of our hiking date.



I had the pleasure of treating my mom to a night with Oprah!  At the Calgary Saddledome, we were able to listen to Oprah speak about her life and listening to her inner voice for 2 hours.  An amazingly inspirational lady.

Not the greatest seats - but the message is still the same!
Not the greatest seats – but the message is still the same!

And it begins

2013 has arrived!  I am so excited for change that I can hardly contain myself.  I really truly feel that this year is going to be the year that everything changes.

I was reading a blog post the other day about resolutions.  It talked about some habits to try to incorporate.  These are some of the ones that I have decided that I am going to try to incorporate.

  • Intentionally laugh everyday – this should be easy.  And because it is so easy I wanted to add it to my list!  Honestly though, laughter is a great stress reliever and brings joy – so why not.
  • Practice solitude – find time alone on a regular basis.  No books, no music, no technology.  There is an open mediation class here in Calgary that I am going to try.  Mostly out of curiosity.
  • Make gratitude a discipline – thank someone or something everyday. I think that when you are trying to frame your mind to look out for something to be grateful for – your mood and outlook automatically changes.
  • Eat more vegetables – serious. Dani and I eat pretty healthy but I want to really try to start snacking on vegetables instead of yogurt.
  • Date Night – once a month I have made Dani commit to a date night.  It is going to be rotating who decides what the date is each month.  I think this will also be a good way for us to get out of the house and find some new things in Calgary.  First date night, Calgary Science Centre Adult Only night.  YAY!

I did not too bad on the things that I said that I would do last year.  I completed another marathon.  I actually ran less kilometers in 2012 then I did in 2011.  It shocks me.  I think I completed at least 20 books last year which is up significantly from 2011.  A trend that I am continuing eagerly this year (already 2 books completed in 2013!)

2013 – will be a year of change, accomplishments, happiness and memories!