Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Slightly overwhelmed

The enormity of what needs to be done makes me feel like I have a dark cloud over my head. Forgive me if this post is a little all over the place.

Let me go back to Monday.

Those Reebok shoes I won in the Design UR Own twitter contest finally arrived.

On Tuesday I headed to the airport to pick up the rental, again haven't driven in 6 years and while I did a week ago this time I was renting for 4 days. I asked for an economy and I got this...

It's a Chevy Orlando and by far the biggest thing I've ever driven. I've never even heard of this vehicle. So my first stop was the Walmart in Olds (1 hr from Calgary) as I needed to pick up supplies for Dad's house later that day the highway was hit by mega hail so my timing was good. Parked far away from the store as it was the first time I parked in a parking lot in a long time.

Then I headed to Sundre (30 min from Olds) I parked at the Sobey's as I didn't get groceries in Olds,as I didn't want them sitting in the car forever, just cleaning supplies and replacement stuff. Sundre is so small that it's pretty walkable.

My next stop was the lawyer were I promptly burst into tears. I despise crying in front of people so this is torture for me. The Will will be in probate anywhere from 6 months to a year. The lawyer is hopeful as it's pretty straightforward that it will only be 6 months. Now I need to find an accountant to do the final tax return for my Dad. I'll deal with Canada Post back in Calgary.

My next stop was the bank to open an "Estate of" account, were I burst into tears for the 2nd time.

Then it was off to deal with vehicle insurance. As neither vehicle is being driven currently I got the insurance changed to cover fire, theft sort of stuff. My Dad's neighbour thinks her son would be interested in the Aveo, now she told me that over a week ago. I talked to her today and I still haven't heard from her son.

Then I went to Sobey's to pick up a few groceries and got to my Dad's house just as thunderstorm started. After all that I was wiped but I did wander around Dad's house and looked at the enormity of stuff. Remind me to downsize when I get close to retirement. That's when the overwhelmed feeling hit high gear. My Dad was 90 you accumulate a lot of stuff. I can also tell that since I saw him at Christmas his energy level probably wasn't great as his house was a mess. I almost bought a mop and then didn't I wish I had. The mop in this house is not so great.

My mission for the days that I'm here is just to clean the top floor. The basement is pretty much all stuff that can be given away or tossed. I'm going to need to help with that so it's not my priority at the moment.

I slept on the couch again as I was just more comfortable. I did go through his photo album and found some neat pictures.

Dad is in the center, dark suit. This picture made me think of Mad Men and there are very few pictures were my Dad smiles, he's a little like Victoria Beckham in that regard.

This is 1954 somewhere in Saskatchewan and I suspect my Dad's first Canadian winter. See the no smiling.

There were loads of pictures of people I don't recognize but I found some cute shots of me.

Me in my christening gown, could I pose or what.

Both my parents say I never crawled I just used furniture for stability.

Can I say I'm super happy I bought this

The Avivision personal scanner that's been a huge help with all the documents people need.

I actually slept pretty well on the couch last night and woke up at 6 am. Today I got cleaning, I cleaned up the messes I noticed when I was last here. Cleaned both bathrooms top to bottom, the kitchen floor and have 10 garbage bags sitting outside. I intended to sleep in my bedroom in this house so I cleaned this room too and I got new sheets. This is also the room where my Dad passed away but I was at peace with that. The only thing is I bought the wrong size of sheets. It was a guess. The sheets can go to Calgary as they fit my bed there. So now I'll stay on the couch for the rest of my stay.

I couldn't bring myself to clean Dad's room today.

Then I called all the bills and got them changed into my name, only burst into tears once. The only people who are charging me a deposit is the gas company, two places had to set up new accounts under my name. I also called the life insurance.

I got the house insurance sorted for the house in Calgary but they had no record of the house in Sundre. My Dad only used one insurance company but multiple brokers for example vehicle was in Sundre, Calgary house was in Cochrane, no clue where the Sundre house is I need to still find that.

Tomorrow I wan't to tackle the rest of the kitchen, the dining room and finish the living room. I'm not in a rush to get to Dad's room.

Friday I need to clean out the fridge.

I'm also trying not to push myself, slow and easy as I'm still pretty raw. I couldn't phone the cemetery people either to see if they have spot for the urn I'll try to do that tomorrow.

Let me end on a brighter note. I did buy this today

The Stampede is selling these and all  proceeds go to the Canadian Red Cross for Alberta Flood relief, they went on sale Monday afternoon, by Tuesday afternoon over 10,000 were sold. They're $19.95 and available here.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

One week ago

My entire world changed when my father passed away.

He was my rock, the one I always looked up to, the one I went to when I had a problem, the one who's opinion mattered most to me.

This week I need to contact all the bills, banks and registrations. I want to have it 99% sorted before I go back to work on July 2nd. The only thing I want left is get the vehicles back to Calgary as that can happen anytime during the summer. My neighbours to the west like to park in front of my house instead of their driveway or in front of their house so I'd like to claim back my street space. I realize that's a little spiteful.

So Tuesday I head out and will be back on Saturday so I have few days to get sorted to start back at work on July 2 at the home office which probably won't open until mid week due to the flood waters downtown.

Oy vey this picture is as of yesterday, I will be working in the reddish brown tall building in the upper left of the picture next to the really big one. I've always thought we had one of the prettiest downtown cores compared to everywhere I've visited.

I don't even know if my boxes are there and I was thinking about going in on Canada Day (July 1) to unpack my desk. I'm not sure where my laptop is but I think my old boss has it. It blows my mind that two weeks ago this is what occupied my thoughts getting ready to be back working downtown. Right now downtown is still closed and I'm hoping by July 2 transit is running again.

I have to say I've never been more proud of my city. There have been no injuries, crime has been almost nill during this time, no mass looting, no mass price gouging. The entire city has come together and that's over 1 million people. There are multiple Facebook groups coordinating volunteers. I chose to give a donation to the Red Cross as to avoid chaos.

A huge amount of kudos needs to go our Mayor Naheed Nenshi, I didn't vote for him in the last election and I wish I had. I definitely will if he runs again. As you can tell from the quote he also has a nice sense of humour during this crisis. He and his team have worked tirelessly along with all the amazing people in emergency services like Calgary Police, The Calgary Fire Department, the employees of the City of Calgary. Not to mention all the help from the Edmonton Police and the Canadian Military. I am so proud to call this city my home and birthplace.

In search of a little normalcy and to stop buying food at a convenience store. My eating has been pretty awful since last Sunday as my desire to cook is gone. It will come back.  I ventured to the mall today. I was in Walmart and I stopped dead when I saw this.

I love love love these, stock up whenever I'm in the US heck about a month ago I bought some on Ebay. Up till now we've only had one flavour Chili Lime well this now makes two. Not sure if the other bold flavours will launch here. A little bright spot in my day.

I was thinking about social media today too, and just how much worse this flood situation could have been without it. Sure there's been some incorrect rumours and fake pictures roaming around but I don't think the word could have gone out or people contacting each other without it especially with power outages (as long as your phone is charged of course).

It's so weird how things work out to. The suitcase I packed with my camp room stuff pretty much can go straight to my Dad's house just had to take a few things out and add a couple of things.

In another bought of normalcy I think I have my hotel sorted for the Glass Slipper challenge. I'm trying a different travel provider. I was disappointed that GET travel only had one hotel option at over $200 a night and when I looked on my own only the high price properties were available. I booked one just in case but Wishing Well Travel came through with All Star Movies. I've been super impressed with their customer service. Last time I stayed at All Star Music. So the hotel and park pass still comes in about $300 cheaper. Now I just need flights but I'm going to keep my eye on seat sales.

I was having trouble with my FitBit I kept getting an error when it tried to sync. I uninstalled the program and re-installed and it seems to be fine.

So that was my day.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hell or high water

It was a surreal morning as I woke up to sunshine and dry neighbourhood but my city is still under State of Local Emergency.

The Stampede grounds under water

A view of the downtown core and the spillage of the rivers

Of course when I turned on the tv news was on and while water levels were steady we're still a long way to back to normal. Slowly evacuated families are being allowed back into their homes. The Bow River is supposed to be stable in 24hrs. The news was not all day like yesterday but it was hard to think of nothing else.

Some areas have water receding and now you get to see what the water dragged with it, loads of debris will be left behind.

The below completely captures the spirit of my city.

The Stampede is supposed to start in 2 weeks, well no matter what it's happening. What it will look like we'll have to wait and see but I'm supporting it 100%. This brings Calgarians together.

This morning the funeral home called today to say they could bring me Dad's urn this afternoon.

I needed to sign a few more papers and they told me the pendant with Dad's fingerprint should be ready by Wednesday.

The moment they left I just sat and hugged the urn bawling. It's heavy and strong and I didn't realize when I picked it out that the border around it has etched flowers and leaves in a very manly way almost Grecian. It is so my Dad. The last time I saw him was at Christmas though we talked every day so those memories are burned into my brain.

I made mac n' cheese for lunch and totally overcooked the noodles - it was by accident but that's exactly how Dad liked it. I didn't even consider going to weigh in as I figured the meeting would be cancelled due to all the chaos.

Now my original plan was to pick up the rental downtown tomorrow at 9am but the entire downtown core is cut off with many power outages so that office is closed. I phoned Enterprise to see what my options were and they said I could transfer the reservation to another location. I went online to check locations and 99% of them said sold out which makes perfect sense as many probably had to rent to evacuate.

I cancelled that reservation and booked another one to pick up a car up at the airport on Tuesday, hey at least I'm now familiar with the way the airport is set up. I decided on Tuesday as the rivers should be more receded and that's the day I absolutely need to go. I'm picking it up right when they open so hopefully traffic won't be too bad as I'm heading out of Calgary. I also went back to a smaller car then the SUV. So now my plan is to go from the airport to Olds, Alberta stop off at the Walmart and get my supplies, then continue on to Sundre, Alberta for my appointment with the lawyer then go on to Dad's house. This way I go around Calgary. I'll need to make a second stop in Sundre at some point to take care of some things and get gas.  Now my trip back I'll have to think about as that might mean dropping stuff at home and then dropping off the car however the sun rises early.

They say they'll open the downtown core midweek at minimum but that could be Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.  It's so strange a week ago  I was supposed to start back in the downtown office as of this Monday. How fast life changes.

Friday, June 21, 2013


I don't know where to start my friends.

Let me go in chronological order.

As I said I flew up to site on Thursday to pack my camp room. I've never flown up on a Thursday before as that's normally the day I fly home. I was hoping that I wouldn't run into anyone I knew at the airport. Low and behold the Senior Vice President of the business unit I support sits next me. Then he says "I'm sorry about your Dad". Well that set me off into tears, not full out bawling but serious dabbing with the kleenex.

Then we got to site and it's the first time I've ever gone straight to camp, it was a ghost town as of course most people were at work. I went to my room and start packing. Then I thought I should show you guys what the room looks like as "camp room" can bring many things to mind.

This is the view when you walk in.

Sink is outside with mini fridge and microwave.

There's a desk and amazing storage including two drawers under the bed. I will miss that room.

Well I had the whole room packed up and into a suitcase in about 30min. I got there at about 8am and I wasn't flying out till 1:30pm so I sat on the bed and watched daytime tv. A few weeks ago I was wondering what I'd do with all the duplicates i.e. hair dryer, straightener, WW scale then it hit me I can bring it to my Dad's house. It's going to take me awhile to stop calling Dad's house.

It was raining like crazy when I left so I wasn't sure if my flight home would be on time but it was. Then I got home and my first instinct was to call my Dad as that was my routine and to tell him about the crazy weather which we often talked about. It was raining like crazy. Then a friend phoned who I used to work with at the previous company I worked at. She had heard from my old boss that my Dad had passed away, which blows my mind as I don't know how she knew. Teary chat with her.

So it was a rough night then today this happened.

A portion of downtown Calgary
 The military were called in to help

 There is normally loads of space between the water and this bridge.

 I have no words

 The Stampede grounds, the Stampede is supposed to start in two weeks. That curved roof building is the Saddledome and apparently water was reaching the boxes inside.

My city had a massive flood. In fact most of Southern Alberta has been hit hard. I was already sad and now my heart is broken at all this craziness. I can't even give photo credits as these pictures were coming in from Facebook and twitter at a crazy pace and I was just saving ones that spoke to me. Up to 100000 people were evacuated as of evening yesterday and then it pretty much rained all day. Now the sun is out but we'll have to wait and see what the damage is when the water recedes. Luckily I live on high ground but I have friends who were evacuated.

I called the rental place in the morning and changed my pick up date to Sunday. We'll see if I can get downtown to pick it up. Then one my Dad's friends phoned as she tried calling him and no answer so I told her the news. Then I phoned one of Dad's neighbours to find out if they were effected and word had already spread about my Dad. The closest town was evacuating low level areas. Pretty much anywhere with a river was dealing with massive amount of water.

The funeral home were going to bring me Dad's ashes today but with all the water they couldn't make it. I was surprised they'd attempt so now I'll probably get them on Sunday.

I spent the whole day watching the news and while yes I'm sad my heart goes out to my city and surrounding areas. We are strong and we will rebuild.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The funeral home - surprisingly way better than I thought

I have to say this was the step I think I was dreading most. I've never walked into one before and all I had going through my head was my Dad telling me don't let them talk you into the most expensive of anything. Then it was images from movies.

I was super calm though and when we walked into the selection room. I was picturing full caskets but when I walked in they just displayed the corners.

I spotted my Dad's in a heart beat, he wanted simple, simple, simple. The urn was also an immediate pick it's silver and I thought of the word strong when I saw it and that was my Dad.

It's a crazy amount of stuff you can choose though. I saw one casket that looked like it was solid metal. It was and the Funeral Director told me it cost $5000.

I did get one thing that Dad might think was frivolous. They have a pendant where they can put a scan of the fingerprint. The minute I saw it I knew I was going to get one.

I left calm and in fact found that process not as remotely horrible as I thought, however it helped knowing his wishes and not having any other family. I can just imagine how it can get far more complicated.

I'm hoping to have the ashes by Friday so I can take them with me when I head out to Dad's house on the weekend. I went through my cell phone looking for a contact and saw all his numbers so I deleted them. I kept the land line but renamed it "The Land" which is what we called the property before my Dad built the house. While a relatively calm day I know this is going to be a long process. I'm trying to make sure I'm flipping into a be strong facade and just let myself feel.

I now need a new ICE (In Case of Emergency) number in my phone not sure what to do about that.

I booked the rental too and asked for a Ford Escape. I was to go for a week visit in the 3rd week of July and I was planning on renting a car and going up to surprise him. We had talked about me buying a vehicle this year and the original plan was in the winter which it might still be. I'm also pondering getting a Ford Escape so it's an opportunity for a week test drive. My Dad had a Chevy Aveo standard transmission. While I learned how to drive a standard it's been awhile and in the city you're shifting every 5 minutes. I am going to have to figure it out or get a friend to drive it to Calgary and I go back to the days of practicing in the early mornings in empty parking lots.

The decisions are truly endless but I'm not yet feeling overwhelmed and I know I have huge support around me should I get overwhelmed.

In a moment dedicated to what I normally blog about the attempt to be fit and the races.

This came today

I don't really get the Vinylmation at Disney but when I saw this I had to have it and I intend to put it on my new desk at work. As I will soon have to stop off at the gym after work not just go 4 doors down from my camp room I think the determined look on his face is a good motivator.

Speaking of camp room. Tomorrow is my last trip to site as I'm going up to pack. It's kind of weird as it's not like when I normally fly. I don't need to bring anything with me as the purpose is to permanently leave site. I did finally get a Calgary office number today which is cute as I would normally be starting in Calgary this coming Monday.

Thank you for being patient with me as I work through this process, normal scheduling will return.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Another Day

Day 3 - and I don't know what stage of grief I'm in. I downloaded a few books from Kobo and it does say they don't necessarily follow a pattern. 

I did do some normal stuff today like take out the garbage/recycling, do the laundry and wash dishes. Peppered with teary moments. 

I also scanned through the bank history of Dad's account, which he added me to years ago, just to make sure I caught everything that needs to be closed off. 

Early in the morning there was a phone call from the Government of Alberta but they asked if it was my Dad's doctor office and then realized they phoned the wrong number. I knew it was the medical examiner. 

They did phone back later to tell me that the funeral home had picked up the body yesterday. She also told me they're calling the cause of death high blood pressure of course she used a more technical name for it plus she said not unusual as he was 90. He was on blood pressure medication. 

Tomorrow I go to the funeral home so I'm expecting a rough day. I'm taking a cab for that as I'd rather not attempt to drive. Thursday I'm taking a super quick trip up to site to pack my camp room and I scheduled that so I could just zip in and out without running into to many people. I continue to receive amazing messages of support but I know this can make people awkward and to be honest I wouldn't even be going if this wasn't supposed to by last week up there anyway. Plus I need the suitcase currently sitting in my camp room for next week. I'm on the uber early flight so I'll chill in my room until it's time to fly out which I'd have to leave by 1:30 pm anyway. 

On Friday I'm thinking about meeting my team for lunch or after work just to re-enter the world of the living. 

I'm making a list of supplies I need to take with me when I go back probably Sunday morning. I'm planning to rent an SUV for the week so I can haul the cleaning and odds and ends out plus take back anything I need to. 

I haven't run at all as I don't have the get up and go.I don't feel comfortable running at the acreage only because it's bear season and super isolated. I just want to get Dad taken care of, clean his house and then return to a more regular routine for awhile. I did get this though to go on my Pandora bracelet, while not Pandora I still think it's neat. I will get back at it soon as while I cancelled my trip to Portland for FitBloggin I'm still going to the Dumbo Challenge at Disneyland at the end of August. 

In fact the mention of high blood pressure today brought back my last physical where my doctor said mine was a little high so that's enough of a push to get back at it. I may run tomorrow to work out the emotions of the day. 

I've received a few flowers over the past few days and wanted to share them with you as they are beautiful. 

These are from my co-workers in HR, aren't pink roses amazing. 

These ones are from site, wowsers is all I can say. The roses are massive. 

This is from my boss, I laughed out loud when I received it as it's a tree. When my Mom passed I got loads of flowers but I admire the originality of this just no idea where to put it. 

I ordered pizza tonight as my desire to cook is nada plus this gives me something to reheat tomorrow and probably after I land on Thursday. I got a salad with cheesy bread o.k that was an emotional decision. 

Thank you for being patient while I work through this process. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Thank you for your support

I have to say thank you for all your comments and messages.

It's all a little surreal still and I accept that. After my Mom passed 11 years ago I often say to people that the process of grieving is different for everyone. There is no right way or wrong way. It's an independent and personal journey.

Last night I slept on the couch in my Dad's house. I knew he hadn't been feeling well and let's just say I found the evidence in the two bedrooms. He did tell me he was using the room I usually stay in as he hadn't cleaned the sheets in his bedroom. The couch wasn't so bad it brought back memories of when we had a few cousins from Germany visiting and I got the couch then too.

When the Victim Services ladies were talking to me I told them how I had read the book "Facing a Death in the Family" on Saturday from cover to cover. As I told you I had a bad feeling all day Saturday.  I had originally bought the book when my Mom was ill but I never read it as my Dad took care of all the details after her death. I just had to close one bank account. I told them I had a notebook and was making lists. One of them asked me if I when I have a list and I do something not on the list do I then add it to the list. I said of course then I know how much I accomplished. She did too, a moment of levity from yesterday.

I was looking over my FitBit data and on Saturday I had a record of 65 awake times.

 Now this next part may seem weird to some of you but I take comfort in it. At one point I woke up around 1 am and saw a bright spot of light in my window. My curtains were just a little open. At first I thought it was a street light but there is no street light there. I now know that was around the time of death. I believe it was my Dad's spirit coming to say goodbye. When I got home today I went to that window to see if there was anything else that could cause that and there's nothing. Call me crazy if you wish.

I decided to come back early this morning as I wanted some space to sort through all that needs to be done and that's just easier in the city. My Dad had given me a copy of the will but it was not signed so one call was to the lawyer to see if they had a signed copy on file. Thank goodness they did. One thing I learned from the book is that it looks like a nightmare if there is no will. I don't have a will but you can bet once I have everything flipped to my name I'm doing that asap.

Now normally when I stayed at Dad's we'd only travel on the weekend. So I knew that this morning I would run into Calgary rush hour. Hey after driving for the first time in years why not go all in. I was trying to just hit the early start but again I made a few wrong turns. I bought a Garmin Nuvi a few months ago on the Shopping Channel as I knew it would come in handy. I was not familiar at all with route Garmin was suggesting but I've also never gone to the airport from my Dad's house. I drove on the Trans Canada highway, Coventry Hill Blv which I've never done today and lived to tell about it. When I did my license it was around my neighbourhood. Actually despite a couple wrong turns it was pretty uneventful. I even spotted 3 deers along the way and would chant "just stay there" as I didn't want them to run across the road and I hit or wind up in a ditch avoiding it. I passed a few road kills.

Called the funeral home and have a meeting on Wednesday, I'll bring loads of kleenex for that one. They were asking what sort of service I wanted. My Dad didn't want a service as he would say it's just a bunch of people saying nice things about that they never said when you were alive. I have to agree with him, that is something that's for the living not the deceased.

I had to cancel all my FitBloggin travel plans and found out that Air Canada will indeed refund your money in this scenario. Just need to send them a death certificate and the original itinerary.

That's one lesson right off the bat have many copies of the death certificate. Of course at this point the body has not been released. However the funeral people said they'd contact the medical examiner's office to let them know that they're involved.

Then it was dealing with the Canadian government. I called the Old Age Security and Canadian Pension Plan people to inform them. Super nice people and one reminded me of the GST credit but of course that was a different phone number. I called 4 1-800 numbers today. Got one guy who told me to send the death certificate and SIN number to the local tax office and reminded me I have to do the final income tax but that's not something I need to do now.

One of them needed my Dad's bank account number so I had to log into my bank to find it, and I notice he had written two cheques in early June, turns out to two life insurance policies that I didn't know about. Funny how things happen. Well I think I knew about one of them but the original policy was under a different name.

One of the amazing things my Dad did was add my name to the property titles and all his bank accounts a long time ago. Very smart move.

There's still a long list to take care of but I can't do anything without the death certificate and to be honest I just wanted to do what I thought was crucial today while I had a calm moment to deal with it.

I'm planning to spend the week up there next week to clean the house and go through all the stuff in a not hurried pace. My company is cool with me not coming back till July 2. I have a list of supplies to get but I think it will be cathartic.

Out of curiosity I stepped on the scale when I got home. Down 4lbs in jeans, yup that's stress and I have to say WW is not a huge focus for me at the moment. Though I still intend to go to weigh in this weekend to maintain regular routine.

In fact this is turning into one giant learning moment, not just about what needs to be done when someone passes but just what to do to not leave a burden on those left behind.

Once again thank you so much for your kind words, they mean so much to me.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Goodbye Daddy

I don't even know why I'm blogging today. I just had the need to get this day down.

My father died today, Father's Day will never mean the same thing to me again. He passed in the early hours of the morning.

I talked to him everyday. On Tuesday he was telling me he didn't feel well. I said you should go to the doctor but my father was stubborn and doesn't trust doctors. I talked to him on Wed -he seemed better, Thurs he said the same and Fri he said to stop bothering him and wanted to back to bed. I thought he was describing food poisoning. The way he was on Friday really worried me. I waited on Saturday hoping I'd hear he's feeling better.

I had a progressively bad feeling. On Saturday he never answered the phone. So today I rented a car for the first time in my life, drove for the first time in 4 years to get to my Dad's house. I couldn't get into the house it was locked down like Fort Knox. For the first time in my life I dialed 911. The fire department, EMS and RCMP came. They found him on the floor in his room. I couldn't go into the house. I wanted to remember him the way I last saw him. I did have to ID the body and he looked liked he was napping like he always did in his recliner. They asked me questions, they took his medications, he would now be in the Medical Examiner's office in Calgary.

His house is a mess that I can't deal with right now.

He was 90 years old. I know he's at peace now and no more aches and pains. He always told me never get old. He died where wanted to. No matter how many times I brought up moving in with me or closer to home it was put off or maybe next year. I got a visit from Victim Services the most huggable women you've ever met. One of them said something profound. He died where he wanted. Had I swooped in and made him go to the doctor he would have been miserable. They're right.

One of his good friends called so I told her the news. A neighbor dropped by to make sure all was ok after the slew of emergency vehicles outside the gate.

Tonight I spend the night at his house. Then I start the incredible paper process when someone passes.

And I begin the grieving process. Tonight it's just tears and memories

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I do it for the bling - you got my number runDisney

Hello my friends,

I took the day off today and got down what I had originally planned which was get the flower beds ready and get the patio set out of the shed.

This week I packed up my office for my return to the home office in Calgary. When I went to site I had 4 boxes and I'm coming back with 5 boxes, mind you there's a mini keurig and steel toed boots so it's probably only 4 boxes of actual office stuff.

The Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend went on sale on Tuesday, I knew when it opened but I still wasn't 100% sure I would attempt to go. The thing I was most interested in was the Glass Slipper Challenge, now I'm doing the Disneyland version at the end of August - the Dumbo Challenges. It's a 10k on Saturday followed by a half marathon on Sunday.

The Princess Half was going on sale at 10 am my time and I had a pretty busy day so I remembered at around 1:30 pm. I thought if it's still available I'll do it. Well the Glass Slipper Challenge was only 88% full when I logged on so I'm going. It sold out in 6 hours. I also signed up for the race retreat which gives you a more private area to eat, stretch, private bag check and port a potties.

Then I saw this

The pink Coast to Coast medal....I got the regular Coast to Coast medal in November when I went to Disney World for the Wine and Dine Half and I did the Inaugural Tinkerbell Half  the previous January.

Well I have to have it in pink...hello. Right that minute I signed up for the 2014 Tinkerbell Half. That means a half in January and February. I have never done halfs that close together before.

Which might actually be my problem as I do one get home stop training then I sign up for another one and have to start training from the start.

So I got a little crafty and put this binder together

It holds the Jeff Galloway training plans for Dumbo, the Tinkerbell Half and the Princess Half found on I didn't see a training plan for the Glass Slipper Challenge but maybe that's coming.

This is purely the run portion of training, I need to get a whole lot better at cross training and I do think my move back to Calgary will help with that as I will have access to the Iron Reps class at SpaLady more often.

I've also found my Hal Higdon and John Bingam training books. I definitely like the Jeff Galloway Run/Walk method so I'll stick to that for running. The pieces I need to add are strength training (Iron Reps) and flexibility (Yoga).

This means I also need to get over my lazy attitude about training in winter. Before I bring on the tech long johns it will mean continuing training after Dumbo to keep building and not fall off the wagon.

Hope you are all enjoying your Thursday.


Sunday, June 09, 2013

Long time no type

No longer having a lap top in my camp room does curtail my blogging as I find it far easier to type on a keyboard that plunk away on my iPad.

This is what happened this week:

This is what I saw out the window as I flew to work on Monday, it made me think of the ocean not a layer of clouds in the sky. I thought it was cool how flat they were.

On Monday it was my birthday, now last year they totally decorated my office and I thought I was safe this year as my office locks and I had no meetings...I was wrong and this what I saw when I walked in.

Throughout the day more balloons and were added. The funny part was when I got to work and saw this I think I said "OMG" out loud as the meeting room next door said "Sylvia's here".

The work week flew by and I started packing. I have two weeks left at site and my replacement starts on Monday. Mixed emotions on this one. I am happy to be coming home but I'll miss these people and as we fly in from all over Canada I'll never see some of them again.

Now I've been stressed about this move as I didn't know where I was shipping my stuff. The person I'm taking over from is on vacation plus I'm still busy with my current job so I can't even think about the new job.  A location has been found and I'm sharing with the co-worker that just went back to Calgary this week.

I'll need be packed up this week so the boxes can get to Calgary in time, the warehouse told me they can sit in Fort McMurray for a week.

I did have to start thinking about going back to home office so I ordered the July bus pass and was super impressed as I ordered it online on Thursday and I arrived in my mailbox at home on Friday. Now I need to remember to keep the receipts and passes as months pass as I can get a tax write off.

I'll have two days of new job and then it's off to FitBloggin, I have loads of cards left over from last time so these will be used again. Even though my twitter avatar has changed hopefully they'll still work. I will write a FitBloggin post soon with what I learned from my first one last year and what I hope to accomplish this year. Stay tuned for that.

When I get back from FitBloggin it will be Canada Day the next day so booyah an extra day off then a mere 3 days later Stampede begins. Most of Calgary and especially the downtown core goes all Western during Stampede. Windows are painted with cowboy type scenes, hay bales on the street, free pancake breakfasts everywhere (there is even an app to help find them)  and almost everyone is dressed Western. So I got me some boots, my first pair as an adult. The thing I learned you shop for Cowboy boots like you do for running shoes. It's all about the fit, room in the toe, snug at the arch and a slight lift in the heel. I went with classic brown though I really liked the black version of these too.

I also picked up a few more Western shirts, this makes 5 in total in my wardrobe so I should be good to go to cover 6 work days of Stampede. Now I just need a denim skirt and some accessories. They has some pretty impressive blingy belts and Lammle's Western Wear but the one I like was $100, I figured I can get cheaper elsewhere.

Before I went Western wear shopping I did go to weigh in. I was down 1.6lb and boy that was a surprise. It was a rough week, a rather awful run on Monday then super late days Tuesday and Wednesday. I did do a last chance workout on Friday of 3 miles.

Today was supposed to be 6.5 miles. By 5 miles I was pooped. I had my hydration pack with me for the first two miles then I realized it was leaking so I dropped it off at home and kept going. I need to figure out my hydration as runs will be getting longer. I'm thinking of using my mailbox as fuel station. I'm not fond of wearing a belt and even the sloshing of the hydration pack plus added weight was a wee annoying.

The other thing I promised myself as I went through the neighborhood was I will not do race then stop training as after Wine and Dine I pretty much stopped and then I find myself having to rebuild. Speaking of continuing so I have the Stampede Road race on July 9th and yes I will do this one as opposed to just picking up the t-shirt. Then it's the Dumbo challenge at Disneyland which leads me to....should I attempt to sign up for the Glass Slipper challenge at Disney World that goes on sale on Tuesday?

Now that I've done a run at Disney World, I better understand the logistics and the timing of flying across the continent. Though I have not done the 10k and Half back to back yet....well I have till Tuesday to decide.

I hope all of you had a great week. I'm off to bed soon as I have an early flight to work.


Saturday, June 01, 2013

Back to Basics

I think I've used that title a few times but you know what I'll keep using it if it gets me back on track.

This past week has been a little nuts. I had 3 super long days in a row which didn't help and I didn't plan well or at all really. Adding an extra 5hrs to a day needs to be planned.

It was a week that our little two floor office building was covered in sweets. We had communication sessions, good bye parties including mine and every where you went there were cookies, nanaimo bars (my absolute favorite and brownies.

Long days with a little added stress as I know have 3 weeks till I return to the home office and start coming home every night. It was the last week for my co-worker as they're replacing us with one person. Next week I'm on my own but I was on my own when co-worker was on vacation for 3 weeks so that's no biggy.

Then my replacement and I have 2 weeks together.

I need to go back to basics this week and take it day by day. In the meeting today we were talking about emotional and mindless eating. I've certainly done both. Stress is the one that really gets to me and of course I've been a wee stressed lately.

I talked about how I used to write down the times I ate on my tracker to see how long my breakfast kept me full and where my danger zones were. It also made me really think before I ate anything for example I don't need a snack one hour after breakfast.  Mid-afternoon is mine. Well the leader suggested everyone do that this week so now I feel obligated to do my best and track really really well.

I did a little grocery shopping. My birthday is on Monday so I got myself a little treat to have tomorrow as I'll be flying back to work on Monday.

Then I had to conquer jungle lawn. The drawback of only being home for 3 days is gives me a very short mowing window and with all the rain Calgary has been getting super tough. However today it wasn't raining. It rained on Friday and will rain tomorrow so this was my chance. Well it took 2 hours but it's now done. I really do like my electric cordless mower but I had to recharge the battery between the front and back lawn.

Friday I cleaned my house from top to bottom. Tomorrow not sure but I think it would be a good rest day.

Next Friday I want to go get some cowboy boots. I've got a coupon that needs to be used by June 9th. I'm a native Calgarian and the last time I had boots I was 5. As I will be in the Calgary office for the Stampede this year I will have to dress western during Stampede week. I have a couple of Stampede events to go to too. A charity event for a children's charity, the company party and a Dixie Chicks concert.

I'm thinking these might the ones but not sure if to get black or brown. I'm aiming for classic and invest in a good pair as Stampede comes every year.

My company hosts a breakfast during Stampede and I heard you could volunteer. All 140 spots were taken in one week. Oh well not went to be.

So my back to basics week comes with simple goals.

Track every day
Drink a minimum of 6 cups of water a day
Have 4 days of planned activity

Hope all of you are having great Saturday.