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.

Leave a comment

cheering on

Is it time for an update? It’s time at least to say hi. I am so indebted to my bed — I owe it at least 12 straight hours of quality time but school is owning those precious moments right now. I am exhausted. After getting home from practicum, I have been going to school for the month of June in a ‘summer institute’ designed to get me enough course credit to be eligible for my B.Ed. Since I couldn’t imagine coming this far and not getting the degree, I had a few days off when I was finished teaching before coming back to Victoria and back to university. It’s been a short month filled with a ton of stretching mentally and it’s been draining physically but it was worth it. It’s been fantastic, it’s over Thursday, and now I need a job. Any suggestions?

June has been fun — it’s my first on the island and I am grateful for it. The month started with my favourite friend’s birthday which seemed to begin his constant reminders to me of my own pending 1/4 century day in a few short weeks. Eep. Then a lot of our family arrived in Victoria for my cousin’s wedding. The weekend was packed with lifetime style memories, especially having Mom, Jay, and Nath in town and getting spend the pre-wedding day with Megan and Steve. I love weddings. And I loved being able to celebrate Josh, someone we see far too little of. It was a fun and special day and we were blessed to be a part of it!

The last few Saturdays have been spent up on the Sooke river where fish are finally biting and the sun is shining (rather than the rainy and crazy fishing trips I’ve been on)… there is nothing better than sitting by the river with one of the books I’ve been putting off reading. It’s such a joy and if I could live out on the Sooke river for almost-ever, I would.

In other news, Dad blessed me the other day with a special Father’s Day invitation for Luke and I to come and see the Empire Stadium…the temporary sports field he built for the BC Lions. Huge treat! We took the ferry over yesterday morning and spent the afternoon watching football and visiting with Dad and Nate. It was so incredibly cool to get to see Dad honoured for his work, not only over the loudspeaker in front of 22,000 people but to see the reception he got from all of the tradesmen and employees of his that were sitting in our section. He’s a BIG deal… but incredibly, genuinely humble and while the Lions lost to the Eskimos in the last 4 seconds and with L being really sick, it still was a perfectly fun and special day, especially because it was Father’s Day! Only thing to make it better? If they were playing the Riders! Oh well, we’re hoping to go back on July 10 for THAT game… πŸ™‚ So so cool! πŸ™‚

Finally, if you think of it or think of me, I’m going to start pursuing my writing dream. After my practicum I was overwhelmed by this sensation of a dream come true. It’s a bit intoxicating, having something that I’ve prayed for and thought of forever finally be realized and tangible, but it also has begged many questions about “what next”. So I’ve started thinking and writing and wondering how to pursue this other dream. I have some ideas on how to go about it but for the most part, it’s a crapshoot. I’m afraid of failing, obviously, but not enough to not want to try. So that’s where I am at — starting to dream another dream. Do you think that is asking a bit much?

Before this turns into an exhausting ramble, I just wanted to say hi. And spend some time with you. And think about how blessed I am. So that’s about it. Here’s some pictures, in no such order. Be blessed. And be rested enough for me? πŸ™‚

(Click on images for larger, gallery-style viewing)


props to my pops

My dad is a rockstar. I don’t know if you know him, but underneath his harrowing, intense stare and his fridge-like body type, one that you wouldn’t mess with, is a heart of both beauty and bravery… where he is willing to enter into the depths of the most difficult and grueling and challenging test in the history of all competitions. He’s a risk taker, resilient, flexible, committed, and an overall genuinely good sport. SO here’s the stage:

Dad (also goes by Jackie, Papa Gee-Joe, ‘the Hammer’, my bff, etc) is the most brutal critic of his most favourite Christmas treat of all time: peanut brittle. In fact, it’s quite possibly the only thing that I know of that my mom cannot make the best in his mind. For a lifetime, he has loved (as we all do) my Auntie Tanya’s brittle… so much in fact that Dad gets his very own massive tin of it for Christmas every year.


This year, in the snowy little oasis of Armena, AB, my dear reserved, gentle, wonderful sister Jes decided to get aggressive and make her own brittle to see how it would measure up against our biggest problem: Dad’s taste buds. Upon tasting it Dad felt that Jes’ set, although very airy, was a little overcooked.

Not to be discouraged, we decided that it was time for Dad to stop talking so much about peanut brittle like he’s a connoisseur of the stuff and prove, once and for all, that his aversion to anything but Tanya’s brittle was simply based on taste. Here in lies the challenge:

Christmas Day, Dad is blindfolded by one of Jayme’s new scandalously fashionable scarves (thanks Jayme). We lined up 5 types of peanut brittle in front of the challenger and in something slightly resembling Iron Chef, Dad, the food critic that he is, hunkered down to decide what was his favourite peanut brittle.

The choices were:

1. Carol Simpson (so Uncle Chuck’s ma)
2. Auntie Tanya
3. Jes
4. Store Bought

We didn’t have any of my Mom’s, thankfully. It was delicious, but that would’ve brought far too much bias. He picked Auntie Tanya’s in the end so at least he’s consistent. Oh well. Jes put up the good fight — he said her peanut brittle “floats” in his mouth… whatever that means.

Here’s some photos of the scariness than ensued:

'talking the talk'

the battleground

the warrior - preparing to fight - with his pallet cleanser of milk

assessing, critiquing, peanut-brittle snobbing

spectator - not into it


graciously losing

ok maybe a little into it

'alright champ, it goes like this..."

1 Comment


To quote Jes “I guess the point of this game of β€˜tag’ is that once you’re tagged you post the fifth picture in the fifth picture folder on your computer… ” And since I am at home in Penticton, I didn’t know what I would find. But this one was too good to be true:


Isn’t my Dad such a delight? πŸ™‚ I love being tagged.

Now, to pass on the love, I tag:


I bet yours won’t be as cute as mine?!


perks of home

I always kind of know what to expect when it comes to four months at home. However, I forget sometimes that children grow up more in eight months than your average teenager or young adult. The child in question is my 9 year old sister. Jayme’s days start so early that I guess she gets lonely in those morning hours…so lonely that she took an empty shampoo bottle this morning and “blew” it in my face so I could “smell” it. Needless to say, I was very unimpressed…and confused why she felt she had to do that. She’s normally a bright kid but she seemed to miss the boat on this one. Maybe she just missed me.

We arrived uneventfully yesterday. Dad had a couple minor scares, he was pulling the UHaul trailer and I guess the weight of “my life” (my stuff, rather) was trying to get ahead of him in the Tahoe so it seemed to gain on him once in awhile…making for a very slow drive. But it was very, very nice to surrender my keys and say “peace out” to 12 Edgepark Villas, retirement community un-extraordinare, where the youngest person next to me and my roommate was probably 64. I am so so so SO glad it’s over. I can’t emphasize that enough.

Now I am home, back to my makeshift room in my parents downstairs den.. and I can’t wait for the summer to start. It was gorgeous today but Jayme and I are anticipating a thunderstorm (my favourite in the Okanagan). I have come down with a nasty cold and sore throat (thanks, Mark) and am very tired, so I am grateful I don’t start at the RDOS until Monday. It’s just been good to be home…when we got to Armstrong I was just thinking “HURRY UP!!” and see my mom. Dad left early this morn for Duncan.

The only trouble is fitting in again… the adjustment period can be tough but I think the older I get, the better at it I am. Funny how that goes!

The added stress of applications is getting to me… I just looked at my GPA…I can’t believe how low it is … I am genuinely fearful for what happens next. Genuinely. I just want to know why when you put SO much effort into something, didn’t hang out with friends hardly, and basically devoted 8 solid months to school, for there to be zip for reward.

In the words of my boyfriend, Michael Scofield, I guess I “just have to have faith.”



moment of weakness

When I came to Calgary the first time, I was soooo excited about moving out, living in residence, and then starting school. But when we first rolled into “Cow-town” as people affectionately seem to call it, I cried. I cried and cried before I saw the school, I cried more when I saw it to a point that Dad and I checked into a hotel before actually moving in. All of a sudden, I didn’t know what to do, why I was doing this, where I was supposed to go… I was fully, completely, illusionarily (if that’s a word) unprepared. You know what my dad said?

“Well Kate, this just proves you can’t be a hero all the time. It’s ok.” and he was right. (I mean, he always is!)

So I have learnt to rather than just keep my head up and never admit to fear or instability, I might as well face it head on. Or share it. And that’s what I am doing… in the next 10 days, I have 4 major term papers due and I don’t have enough time to breathe, let alone prepare for them (and hand in something decent) and I can’t NOT work this month because I need to make rent. That and I have three finals and one more philosophy quiz (which seems to be worse than the finals). So to say I am stressed out might be an understatement, I even CRIED!

In other words, I covet your prayers (as always!!) in the next three weeks, because I am tryin’ to be a hero and I just can’t be this time, Dad!