that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.


i recommend driving

I used to think that road trips were a nuisance. Aside from being squashed into the car with my five siblings, particularly grumpy when I had to sit by my older brother, on a summer vacation, when we’d both wear shorts and his prickly legs would rub against mine. The coveted spot would be if Mom would let one of us squish up front with her… and even then, as one of the oldest my days for cuddling were numbered.

So flying in an airplane seemed like the most amazing thing going, until I took my first plane ride (and subsequently, all the ones afterwards) and I learned that the air pressure and the ear drums God gave me do not have a cohesive relationship. So for the take off I hold my head firmly against the headrest and for the descent, probably a full 45 mins, I cup my head/ears as tightly as I can against my shoulder, massaging my earlobes until they feel like they are going to fall off, and then I am clogged up for about 5 hours minimum after the flight. When Ken and I flew home for Thanksgiving one year, I actually starting crying because it actually HURTS SO MUCH… fortunately, he got to chill and just enjoy the movie that was playing on the WestJet headrests… at least one of us could! I don’t enjoy it for any other reason than it gets me from A to B in a heartbeat.

So I’ve changed my mind.

My heart shifts into overdrive when I am driving, it’s +37 degrees, the sky is reflecting on Kalamalka Lake in the overwhelming, deepest shade of turquoise-blue you’ve ever seen (add Kalamalka Lake on your list of places to see…it’s a true marvel of God’s creation), the sun’s rays are undoubtedly burning my shoulder, the window is wide open and my perfectly coifed blond locks are in distress all over my head, as I round the corner into Vernon to see Paul (my MBFF) and Matchbox 20’s ‘3 Am’ is humming through the stereo.

This is the kind of stuff people dream about. I think so, anyways. Then seeing Paul was like God’s cherry on the top of the valley’s beauty because I miss him so much being so far away and even though our visit passed by in a breath, I am just so thankful that our friendship is what it is that even the shortest breakfast conversation can somehow be enough; even if it only happens once a year. (Go back and look at this post HERE…though I didn’t get any pictures of us this year, I just noticed he was wearing the exact same shirt this time around…things really DON’T change!)

I think that I am learning to be blessed by the little things… not distressed by how short a visit can be or how the fleeting sun seems to hide behind the clouds just as I am leaving work, tucking itself away until it shines again while I am stuck inside the office walls…but rather, joyful that we get hugs by people we love or even get glimpses of the sun.

That’s why I recommend driving. You’d miss out on too much if you chose a quicker route.

(Like I said, seeing Paul was absolutely unreal, I think I had perma grin the whole time and whole way home. And his other BFF, Jeff, was there who I hadn’t seen in two years so it was amazing to catch up. And then, just about two weeks ago, Mark called and he said he bought Jes and plane ticket so we didn’t tell anyone and I lied to Mom and Dad and picked her up at the airport Saturday night…much to their shock upon our return! She is here until Thursday. And yesterday I had a quick visit with a girlfriend of mine from way back in the day in Smithers, Alana, and this picture is of us enjoying the scorching heat in Pentic-lifornia):


climate action dividend

What are you spending YOUR $100 from the BC Government on? My office members were throwing around ideas of low flush toilets or energy efficient lightbulbs or pooling personal funds for “green” initiatives… I think I am going to buy myself a new pair of running shoes. Ignorance at its best.

Update: I just looked at the pamphlet and it shows on the front cover a girl daydreaming about a running shoe. So now I don’t feel guilty at all, they seem to recommend it!


starting week three…

So this cleanse has been fabulous.

It hasn’t been that difficult, either. Basically, I’ve cut out processed foods, specifically packaged foods and breads as well as limiting my dairy intake to almost nil… and maximizing on fruits, vegetables, and salmon. It takes a little be more planning but the results have been great.

I feel fantastic. Healthy. I am more alert (not that I am not usually but office work and school work are not the excitement-peaking things so when I am at it all day, I wanna doze off around 2:30).

Working out feels better, too. Like I am actually doing more than trying to fight the bad foods I am putting into myself but that when I’ve burned 650 calories on the elliptical machine I know that it’s a good thing, not the sandwich I had at lunch.

And I think in my mind, psychologically I believe this is a great step so I think that in changing my thinking and my diet into realistic things, my working out and end results can’t be anything but positive. And that is a good, excellent feeling.

I am firmer, too, but I don’t know if that’s the last 18 days of cleansing or just finally seeing results of working really hard at taking care of myself.

Also, I love coffee… in any form, but specifically Americanos or Starbucks latest thing, Double Shot on Ice… but for my cleanse I also gave up caffeine… well, more for the summer. What my ultimate goal is to be in a place where my love of coffee becomes a treat and not a dependency. Especially while going to school. So that I can sleep a bit more if I don’t have to make coffee, save more so if I forget to make it I won’t buy it, and truthfully, just to find the beauty in a cup of coffee with a friend or family as a delicacy and a treat that I love more than cookies or ice cream.

So even though I quit caffeine immediately upon my arrival here, it seems heightened-ly brilliant since I’ve been cleansing. It was really hard at first, I definitely had withdrawals and headaches and was tired earlier than I should be…but now I am great. So I recommend doing it, especially to students, during the summer versus the busy time of school because it’s a lot easier to justify falling asleep while writing a board report for work over sleeping through a final exam.

There you have it, this mild cleanse I recommend to anyone. The beauty of this situation is that the gent at the gym told me that I should not be discouraged by other people who are fitter than I am that work out as much as I do (5-6 days a week) or by smaller people than I am who never work out/exercise at all because exercise and eating well is very, very important to anyone… so I am becoming an advocate for that change.

And just the subtle confidence that I am doing something to better equip myself for my life. Period.

Very cool.


always one foot on the ground

It’s time for a Kate-date (as in up-date?).

Last week my fantastic friend JEN from Calgary came to Kelowna where I drove up for a fantastic evening of yam fries and edamame beans (still cleansing) and fantastic conversation. It was doubly fantastic to see her — one of the 10 things I miss about Calgary. She encouraged me about living in freedom with Christ, not constraint, and how it’s about time I started saying YES to the gifts and fantastic things in my life rather than always NO to the things I am assuming are NOT part of His plan. So it was fantastic fantastic fantastic.

Also last week, Heather, my friend Sue’s roommate in Vancouver (and randomly, a girl I went to Camp Emmaus with when I was 11) tracked me down at work which led to a glorious evening of watching her boyfriend play soccer (he lives here) and having a beer (Kokanee) while basking in arguably the first glorious warm Penticton evening of the year, giving me a glimpse of what is to come. While it was fun to get caught up on Sue’s life (Heather gave me the 411) it was glorious to get to know Heather all over again. I can’t wait for her to come back. Glorious.

This week my BFF Jocelyn is coming to the Okanagan and my mom and I are convinced it’s about dang time that she comes to Penticton. In fact, other than a fleeting moment when Sue and I had a rendezvous on the Lakeside Casino dock four summers ago, not one of my friends from Smithers have been to visit. Either way, a visit with Jocelyn will be fabulous, as they always are, even if it means driving up to Kelowna again (that would make it three times in two weeks). Fabulous.

K I have no more descriptive words so that’s it.

And then next Friday I get to see PAUL…finally finally finally! I haven’t seen my MBF (male best friend) since last summer at this time. Every summer he comes out to go to his BFF Jeff’s cabin in Vernon so I will pick him up from the airport in Kelowna (I know, again) and then spend some QT with him before dropping him off. I have that Friday off of work… and I am just shaking in anticipation of seeing him. Since he moved to Ontario and I moved to Victoria, our visits are few and far between. And since neither of us are good at Facebook or text messaging, our old fashioned relationship really begs for these times. Yay.

And then in July, Brian and Louise, my travelling-hobo-married-friends are coming for the weekend. It’s been two years since we’ve seen each other… current;y they are in Hawaii celebrating Brian’s grad from U of C Engineering and I guess they figure Penticton is a good place for a vacation after their extenda-trip to the Hawaiian Islands. Go figure.

So much to look forward to.

In current news, I have taken on “random acts of kindness” at work. Basically, I bake. Sometimes mom helps me. But yea. So far I’ve only baked for the Public Works department because I like them the best. Plus the guy I have a crush on is in there. But that’s not the reason, I just enjoy making people’s days. I’ve so far made Auntie Conni’s cinnamon buns and Mrs. P’s surprise cupcakes (well, mom made those really) and they were both hits. Any ideas for my next baking endeavour? My crush loved the cupcakes so much that today, when mom accidentally gave me one in my lunch (cleansing), I gave him mine again…and he looked like a kid on his fifth birthday.

Speaking of 5th birthday, Happy Birthday Logan!!


Do any of you watch CMT? It’s on right now and Ashley Kranz just came on the screen. Have you ever seen her on there? Just thought I would throw it out there that she and I used to figure skate together in Smithers and her dad used to work for mine. I guess now I can officially say I knew someone famous “way back when”.

And I miss Mark and Jes a lot.

I guess this post should be labelled “random thoughts” or something lame like that… but it just felt like a good night to blog. Actually, I just got home from the gym and I keep forgetting that if I work out at 8 pm I am wide awake until way later than I deem necessary.

Other than that, I am nursing a nasty sunburn from this weekend, anticipating the visits that are coming my way, going through Scrabble withdrawal, and wishing I could be celebrating with Logan today!

Oh and finally: father’s day is lame when your dad isn’t around. Even though my Dad is the coolest, wisest, funniest, random-est, strongest, toughest, intense-est, kindest, weirdest, helpful-est, loving-est, sweetest Dad in the entire world… it’s unfortunate that we have to prolong the celebrating until he gets back. At least it gives me time to get him a gift.


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what a steal

Meg, this is for you: I was in Kelowna today shopping with Mom and Jayme and naturally had to go into RW & Co. Not only did I find some awesome work shirts… but I found a JACKET for $19.95… originally $108.00!!! Can you believe it? It’s kind of like a trench coat (not really) but it’s black, goes to mid thigh, and super classy…and for $20!!

ALso, my cleanse is going great — I cheated once and ate a cookie at work. Not too stressful. But I feel fantabulous.

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eggplant, yams, and no processed foods

I am doing a thirty day cleanse.

No caffeine, bread, dairy, red meat, processed foods like condiments, pasta, watermelon, grapes, or sugar.

I’m doing it because I work out h-core and haven’t seen the results I want and my kinesiology specialist old roommate said I need to clean out because my body is confused by how much I am working out that it is overcompensating mumbo jumbo.

Basically, I feel like she is trying to prove how much I suck at life and am a chronic cheater, especially when someone says I can’t eat something as simple as yogurt for thirty days, my inner voice kicks in and motivates me to go eat it out of spite.

Kind of like when I cheat at Killer Bunnies.

But either way, I am cleansing.

It’s day 2 and I am ready to give Julie what-for.

I think it’s affecting my hormones because I’ve never felt so close to a total rage blackout as I do now. And it’s not even the caffeine thing. It’s the pills and instructions telling me I can’t that’s killing me.

28 more to go, think I can?