Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gift Exchange

Wow, December 1st already.  Only 24 more days until Christmas.  Black Friday has come and gone.

Today at the office people were discussing Christmas gifts for fellow co-workers.  Basically, every inside person, has an outside person.  My partner and l rotate, to add variety, and so she can spend time at home with her soon-to-be husband. And l can feel like l haven't totally abandoned my cats.

There were a couple inside people talking about what they were buying their outside person for Christmas.  I don't know how to say this nicely, but l hate getting gifts.  I don't mind the whole idea of exchanging gifts, but l hate feeling the obligation to one, buy a gift for someone, since l don't usually go shopping in malls l have no idea what to get people, and two, l hate getting something l really don't want/need/use.  I know l sound ungrateful but l have been purging my belonging for years now.

I can easily donate, trash, give to a friend any item that l have purchased myself for me, but once someone gives me something, it has strings ropes attached to it and l feel such guilt when l want to dispose of it.

I need to have the "talk" with my partner.  But, will l insult her?  I don't know her well enough, l don't know her feelings on gifts.

My friends and l have all come to an agreement to not exchange gifts, we buy each other dinner on their birthday and enjoy each others company over the holidays.  Let me tell you it is the best.  Instead of rushing around and dropping money on something that may never get used, we spend quality time together.  Even my family only buys the kids gifts at Christmas, not the adults.

I have to address it soon with her, before she goes and buys me something, and then l will have to go to a mall and search for an appropriate gift.  Yuck!



[caption id="attachment_287" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="My Stunning Cubical"][/caption]


Are you jealous of my Stunning Cubical?  I'm back in Toronto for two weeks while my office partner is out on a project in Alaska.  It is a fabulous grey, don't you think?  Ah well, l could dress it up with pictures and nic-nacs, but it's not my style, and l don't spend enough time in Toronto to bother.

It's great to be home sometimes.  I was zonked from all the crazy flights l have taken lately, and l had lots of running around to do.  So l have been a wee bit tired the last couple of days (waking up too many 2:30 am mornings to catch planes) and l am starting to feel human again.

Working in Toronto is predictable, you wake up, fight traffic, work, head home fighting traffic, it gets boring really fast and feels too much like work.  At least when l am out on the road it takes me a couple of days for the project to feel like work, there is much to see to distract me, new sights, new people, new town to learn.

It seems l have the best of both worlds right now.  Having a job where l get to travel, and also get to stay home for a couple weeks every other month.  Although, l can't wait to actually be travelling with my home with me. To be able to take my cats with me, to cook my own meals, to move when l want to move, to stay when l want to stay.  Soon.






Friday, November 25, 2011

Yeah Me!

Lucky me!  I get to fly home tomorrow.  That means l get to wake at the lovely time of 2am on Saturday morning to drive to Calgary.  I can't wait until l get to drive from location to location, so l can part and arrive on my own schedule, and not on a airlines schedule.

My time in Creston was short.  I was way too busy with work to venture out and experience more.  The little town is nestled in the mountains, and it is just gorgeous.  I drove in on a Sunny Sunday, Monday we got dumped on with snow, Tuesday and Wednesday it rained, snow melted, Thursday it was dry but foggy  up in the mountains, Friday the sun peaked out a bit, here and there, and l could see a snow storm up at the top of the mountains, but it never reached the town.

I've heard lots of Albertans retire to this area, and l can see why. The mountains are so close they shorten the day, and make the night pitch black.



Best Gear to take for Shopping on Black Friday

Okay, l'm stealing this idea from some women in the Los Angeles.  The best gear to take with you on Black Friday to help you get your discounted items.


[caption id="attachment_278" align="aligncenter" width="268" caption="Black Friday Shopping Accessory"][/caption]

Pepper Spray


Seriously?  What kind of madness is this?  Does this mentality run rampant in those crazy shoppers?

I guess it's less harmful then the shots that were fired at another store!!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday

It's almost here.  Black Friday.  Who's getting up way before dawn to go shopping?  Wait this year, it's going to happen while it's still Thanksgiving.  To me that is just crazy.

I personally don't think it's worth it to stand in line (at an ungodly hour) to save a couple bucks,  with hundreds other crazy people, in most places in the country, freezing your butt off.  But that's me.

In Canada we don't have Black Friday (although our stores are starting to compete with south of the boarder), our big shopping day is Boxing day, which is the day AFTER Christmas.  When the stores get rid of all their surplus stock.

When l turned 16, l had my new (to me) car, and l had a job, so l had MONEY, l went to my first and only Boxing Day sale.  It was at Stitches ( a clothing store) and l was so excited to buy clothes 2 for 1.  I bought a couple hundred dollars worth.  I thought l had done good.

Imagine my disappointment when over the course of the next couple of weeks the sale then went to 3 for 1, and finally 4 for 1.  That was my first and last time l ever was sucked into the hype of the "deals to be had" on those great sale days.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

[caption id="attachment_272" align="aligncenter" width="297" caption="Gobble Gobble"][/caption]


Tomorrow is the American Thanksgiving.   l wish all the Americans out there a happy and safe day.  Don't indulge too much, drink too much, watch football too much or shop too much.  Ah, screw it.......go for it!  Just enjoy it!!!!


I have been writing a blog for just over a month on WordPress, using Host Gator as my web hosting site.  It has been a learning experience, but l have learned.  I have enjoyed writing on my blog, some days l think "l haven't got a clue what l will write about today", but eventually something happens or an idea strikes me.

It is filling a need in me, and l would like to thank all the people that take the time to read my blog.  Since l have started blogging, l have three other friends that have started to.  I'm not saying that l influenced them, quiet the contrary.  I was blogging in silence.  My friends didn't' even know l was doing it.  They told me about theirs, and that gave me the courage to tell others about mine.

So, if you are thinking of starting one.  Do it.  You can do it free on Blogger or WordPress (wordpress has two levels, one free, the other requires a host - that is what l do with Host Gator).

If you start one, click this link (yes, l will make a commission off of it) and then send me your link so l can follow it.  I also make a small amount of money by you clicking on the ad's over on the right side.  And if you are going to buy anything from Amazon, if you enter from my blog into Amazon, l also get a small amount of money.  It costs you nothing, you just buy as you normally would do.

Thanks for stopping by my blog,  say Hi anytime!





Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fear and Loathing

[caption id="attachment_262" align="aligncenter" width="251" caption="Hitchhiking across America"][/caption]


I saw this article today on a 30 year old man's journey of hitchhiking across America.  It was pretty cool what he did, the places he saw, and the people he met.

He was working full time and realized he wanted to take this adventure so he quit his job and went on his adventure.  The video he made of all the places he went and the people he met is very colourful and the people in it all look like they are having a good time.

The funny thing was the comments section of the article.  A women named Laura piped up and said, "What is it about turning 30 that turns some young men into childish fools? Just get a job so you can retire sooner rather than later". Really?

What if this is it.  What if retirement doesn't come?  What if this is the big stepping stone leading this man to doing his dream job?  I would think this perhaps is the knee-jerk reaction out of fear.  Because if this guy has the nerve to go and live a life like this, perhaps it invalidates her choices in life, and that is probably the most fearful of all.

Big Snow a No Show

They were calling for a big snow dump, and (so far) they were wrong.  It's actually pretty mild outside, the snow is melting and l think the snow they called for might actually end up being rain.

Ah the life of a weather man.  I always thought it would be a great job where you don't actually have to be right with your predictions, and you can remain keeping your job.  How cool is that?

With my job this week, l have a new inside team working with me and they are WORKING me.   They have booked appointments up my wazoo, which is great since the more people l see, the more sales l make.  In turn that means, l don't have much idle time to experience the town of Creston or write my findings.

Have a Happy Day!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Creston, British Columbia

[caption id="attachment_255" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Quiet Snow Covered Street in Creston, BC"][/caption]


Creston is Beautiful.  They say a lot of people retire here from Alberta,  I can understand why.  Mountains surround the town, and they are closer then the mountains in Gunnison, Colorado.  The mountains have more trees, so imagine how pretty it was today when the snow came and settled on all the evergreens up the mountain side.  Beautiful.

With that snow came the tricky driving.  I tried taking a run up a hill,  it wasn't even that steep, but my rental Mazda 3 was not having any of it.  The traction control pretty much stalled me half way up the hill.  I had to back down and find another way out.

We got about 5 inches today. There are mixed messages about tomorrow.  Some are saying rain, and some are saying 12 inches of snow.  I hope the rain wins out, only because l am here to work, and my time is limited.  Selfish, l know.  lol

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Yikes 20 Below

I landed in Calgary, Alberta, Canada this morning just shy of 10 am.  And damn it was cold, -20 below Celsius, which for the Americans reading this  is -4 Fahrenheit.  I'm glad l brought my gloves this time.  It was so cold the trunk of the rental was almost frozen shut and took a bit of finessing to get it opened.

I landed in Calgary, but l am heading to Creston, British Columbia, 6 hours away.  It's a bit of a drive but with the scenic mountains to drive through, l didn't really mind, and l wasn't disappointed.

[caption id="attachment_235" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Rocky Mountains"]Heading to the Mountains[/caption]

On the road, still on the Alberta side l was flagged down by a desperate guy with crutches on the side of the road.  His leg was in a boot cast, hood of his van up, looked like he was in need of some help, so l stopped to see what l could do.

His van wouldn't start.  He had pulled over to sleep and left his head lights on and killed his battery.  He had cables sort of, which isn't saying much. The cables that he had, had alligator clips on one end, and just a circle connector on the other, like l said, sort of.  They wouldn't fit from his van to my rental car.

Two other guys stopped to help, no cables either - and of course, none in the rental l was driving.  They had been hunting and had a deer in their truck; we went over to take a look.  Not a big one, but enough to feed them for a winter. It was kind of sad, the deer had been shot in the head and had been gutted.  I guess it was better that way then being hit by a car and being in agony on the side of the road.

Between all of us, we got the van started and all went on our way.

The mountains were beautiful here, and went on and on.  There were more trees on the mountains then on the mountains down in Colorado, and more snow too.

And one point l was driving and noticed a bunch of boulders piled high on both sides of the road.  It looked like huge dump trucks had dumped load after load.  I've never seen so much loose rock, it was strange.  Then about 500 meters down the road, it was all explained to was the deadliest rock slide.


[caption id="attachment_240" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Boulders piled high"][/caption]

This is what Wikipedi had to say about the Frank Slide.

"Frank, Alberta is a coal mining town in the Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. On April 29, 1903, at 4:10 a.m., 90 million tonnes (30 million cubic metres) of limestone crashed from the east face of Turtle Mountain and covered approximately three square kilometres of the valley floor. The slab of rock that broke free was approximately 650 m high, 900 m wide and 150 m thick.[1] The slide dammed the Crowsnest River and formed a small lake, covered 2 km of the Canadian Pacific Railway, destroyed most of the coal mine's surface infrastructure, and buried seven houses on the outskirts of the sleeping town of Frank, as well as several rural buildings. Frank was home to approximately 600 people in 1903; it is estimated that 90 of the roughly 100 individuals in the path of the slide were killed."


[caption id="attachment_241" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="View from the top"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_243" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Theres a hole in the top of the mountain."][/caption]

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I Got My Hug

A friend of mine has a blog.  It's based on a challenge he has given himself after he saw a video on TED.  He's only been writing this blog a short while, and l've been out of the country the entire time.  Saturday l saw him, not under the best of circumstances, it was a funeral for his Father in law.

He met his quota of hugs that day even before l saw him, but l got my hug.  I actually got 4 that day, not nearly the 8 a day.  I'm lacking, but he's not.  Visit his blog, watch the video, see if you want to take on the challenge too.

Rush Hour


[caption id="attachment_224" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Rush Hour in Burlington, Colorado"][/caption]



This is rush hour in Burlington.  It's a wee bit less crowded then in Toronto, or actually most major cities.  I love that l can get around without all the crazy drivers.  Small towns are great for the ease of commute.


[caption id="attachment_225" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Saturday Traffic in Toronto"]Traffic in Toronto[/caption]


And this is a Saturday in Toronto, not even rush hour.  Yuck!   At the best of times it's busy, throw in an accident and everything slows to a crawl.  Now that winter is approaching commuting time will lengthen dramatically.


[caption id="attachment_226" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Toronto Version of a Tree on a Rock"]Toronto Version of Tree in a Rock[/caption]


As l drove on Spadina Ave yesterday in Toronto, l saw a row of trees in the middle of the road.  I guess this is the city equivalent of trees growing on the side of a mountain in rock.  A thought that ran through my mind was "how does this tree get enough water to survive", it's surrounded by concrete.  The only opening is the 8" by 8" square that you see.




Friday, November 18, 2011

In My Own Bed

Well tonight l get to sleep in my own bed.

No, l'm not a tramp, just a wanderer.  It's the end of my 21 hour day, from Burlington, to Colorado Springs Airport to Denver Airport to the Toronto Airport, to the office for 3 hours then to dinner with a couple of friends.  To throwing in a load of laundry and to snuggling with my cats.

Sleep don't fail me now.

Tomorrow's a busy day.  I'm going to attend a funeral of a father-in-law of an old co-worker, look at a van to purchase, running around to restock the suitcase, pack said suitcase, snuggle with the cats again.

Sunday at 7am  l fly to Calgary, Alberta, rent a car and drive 6 hours to Creston, British Columbia.  I hear it's pretty cold in Calgary, and snowy in Creston, so l will dress appropriately.  It should be a pretty drive so stay tuned for the pictures of the pretty snow capped mountains.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sleep, Why do you avoid me?


[caption id="attachment_212" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Sleep"]Sleep[/caption]


Why is it, when you have to get up really early, sleep eludes you?

The other night l could hardly keep my eyes open at 8pm.  Last night, l could hardly get them to close?  I tried going to bed at 10pm to get 3 quality hours before my alarm would wake me up at 1am.  I felt that l was always half awake.  I'm sure l didn't enter REM sleep at all.

I have a  2 1/2 hour drive to the airport, and my flight leaves at 6:24am.  At least l can catch a few winks on the plane.  :-)


I'm not normal.

Believe me l know!  l love is just sitting in my car on a sunny day reading a book.  Is that bizarro or what?

I don't know why l enjoy it so much.  It could be the sun shining in all windows.  It's a little sanctuary for me.  I even enjoy taking naps in my car (mostly cat naps).  The whole world could look in on me, l could care less.  Of course l park away from people, l'm not an exhibitionist after all, just someone who loves sitting in their car reading, or naping or even on my computer.  Once l roll into town, l quickly learn the free hot spots for Internet, and the quiet places to read.

I also enjoy watching people go about their business.  Sitting in a Walmart parking lot observing people is another past time of mine. You learn alot about people, how different we all are, how we treat each other when we think no one is watching, or even how we treat each other when others are watching.  We are an amazing species.

And l am just one bizarro among many.

Solar Powered

I have experienced more sunny days in Colorado, then other place that l have travelled lately.  It may be cold, with some temperatures reaching down into the teens and twenties (fahrenheit), with the sun, it manages to stay warm enough that l have only used my coat twice.  Once because of the snow fall the night before, and once when it was in the twenties and the sun wasn't shining.  Otherwise, l am just in a light sweater.  It's fantastic.

[caption id="attachment_198" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Solar Energy"]Solar Energy[/caption]


My name is Tammy, and l'm addicted to the Sun.

It only makes sense, if we can harvest the sun and create energy to run our electric appliances, it run humans too.  I  am very affected by the sun.  If it shines, l have way more energy then when it is overcast.  As long as the sun shines, l can operate on far less sleep, l take on projects just to burn off excess energy provided by the sun.  It recharges my batteries just as it does with Solar Energy Systems for our homes and RV's.

I am looking forward to the day when l can follow the sun.  I also enjoy the warmth of the sun, 70 degrees to 85 degrees is my optimum operating levels.

I will miss the sunny days of Colorado.  Both Gunnison and Burlington have been very hospitable to me over the last three weeks.  So, Thank you!  I will be back.  I would like to experience Colorado in the summer, when the trees have their leaves and the wildflowers are out (okay, that's the spring).



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Give me Shelter


[caption id="attachment_184" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Gimme Shelter"][/caption]



On my wanderings yesterday l came across this home.  If you can call it that.  I would tend to call it a shelter.  I don't know the story behind this building.  Was it a home that was blown down by a tornado, did a fire burn the top of the structure and the basement was saved. Or is it the community bomb shelter?

It's located in Kansas, just over the board from Colorado. So tornado isn't too far out of the possibilities (think Wizard of Oz), except that every other home surrounding it is normal.  Nothing looks amiss except this home.

I don't think l could ever live in a hole in the ground.  Sometimes l have wanted to crawl into one after l have opened my mouth and things came out wrong, it wouldn't be my choice of residence though.  And then to block the windows with cardboard or plywood?  How dark it must be inside.  Maybe Vampires live there!

The sign says "No Trespassing"   - Who would want to?

To each his own.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


[caption id="attachment_180" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Greetings!"]Greetings![/caption]

I drove up to a farm today for business purposes.  And l was greeted by these dogs.

My mind raced a million miles an hour, processing, friend or foe?  One of those dogs was big.  l was a stranger going onto these animals territory.  Should l be afraid?  Should l get out of my car? I waited to see if any homeowner was going to rescue me.  It wasn't happening today.

I got out of my car and was mobbed by these fellows.  All of them wanted their pats, nothing more.  They competed with each other for the thrill of the scratch.  They didn't bark once, the didn't snap at me, they just slobbered.  It was fantastic!!!!


Monday, November 14, 2011

The Jitters

[caption id="attachment_166" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Road less Travelled"]Roadless Travelled[/caption]


Wow.  I can't believe l have the jitters.  Why, you may ask?  Guess what, l'm going to tell you.  It's part  therapy, part entertainment, to get it out. And  calms my nerves.

I saw an ad for a van on Craigslist 2 weeks ago.  I was really interested in it.  The catch was, l was out of town for 3 weeks, and wouldn't be back in town until after the person had left the country.  I was a little down about that.  But then l thought, it wasn't meant to be.  My Mom always said "everything happens for a reason".  So with those words, you tend to deal with things a little more gently.

Well, last night l got an e-mail from the guy, and as it seems, his plans have changed and he will be in town longer.  And he hasn't sold it yet.

Last night, l was feeling, great, how perfect.

This morning l woke up and was feeling "Oh shit, l might actually have to buy this thing and go travel."

The feeling l experienced this morning, reminds me of the same one l experienced when l had decided to go across America in my car 10
years ago.  I had the jitters just prior to leaving.  I think when you put a dream out there, and think about it constantly, when the planning all comes together, there comes a point when you have to do it.  You have to jump.

I’m pretty adventurous, l’ve travelled a lot, l change my life constantly for the “new” thrill, and  l still have the jitters about this  adventure?  I guess  experiencing  the jitters again has made me realize, that me, who can change things so easily, can still get the jitters, l guess l  now have to be more understanding for all the people that don’t like change, how DAMN SCARY change can be.

For my first road trip I put all my stuff in storage, dropped my cats off at my sisters then drove around US for almost 2 months.  It was a great experience, except it was too fast.  I did as l call them “20 minute” tours of all the places l stopped in.  l felt l was in a race to finish it.  I didn't take anytime to stop and experience the places l was in.  I wish l had, but l was to programed to feel guilty for having so much time off.

I was planning on staying at hostels along the way, but l also spent many a night in my car in the Walmart parking lot.  It was chilly sometimes.  I wasn't really prepared to use my car as a sleeping arrangement, but l did.

I bought a US park pass and l made a point of at least doing the “20 minute” tour of every park along the way.  This time l want to do it slower.  I want to smell the roses.  I want to breath deep.  I want to write as l go.   I wrote the first time too, little snippets home to a select e-mail list (Blogs didn't exhist then).  My original plan was to write more, but l was too busy flying through all the town, l forgot to make time.  Ok, l didn't forget, l just felt that there was always a fire under my butt and l had to keep moving.

Last time when l experienced these feeling prior to a trip I spoke to a very good friend of mine who travelled all the time.  She had spent year long furloughs in places like South America, Asia, Spain.  She said even she got nervous before a long  trip.  10 years ago l breathed deep and jumped in. That’s all l have to do this time to.  Breath deep and jump.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ghost Town


Burlington, Colorado  is a typical small town with under 5000 people living here and in the surrounding areas.

On Sundays the shops are closed, the Churches are full.  There isn't much to do, there for, not much to write about.  There is nothing to do close by.  There is a small museum in town, a typical "here's our story", with old buildings, old farm machinery, a throw back to the way things were.

But have things really changed?  It really is still a small town, with small town values.  Helping out the neighbors, waving to everyone you pass on the street, whether you know them or not (l know, because no one knows me, and l get the wave from everyone - yes, l wave back).

It is a slower pace of life. A more trustful way of life. Not such a bad life.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lunch Alarm

Lunch time is serious business in the town of Burlington.  They sound the alarm at 12 noon sharp (the alarm being the same one they use to warn of tornados
approaching), then again at 1pm to let people know it’s time to go back to work.

The shop and business owners lock their doors during this time, all except the restaurants l guess, that would just be silly if they did it too.  I’m actually waiting for my 1pm appointment to get back from lunch; they are a bit late now.    Maybe that’s why they started the whole business of sirens, to keep everyone on their toes.  Of course, it doesn’t seem to be working with my 1pm.

I’m enjoying great weather here in Burlington.  Sunny, and in the 60’s today, not bad for November.  So l don’t really mind them being late as l wait in the sun, in my rental car.  l do miss the scenic mountains, its flat farmland here.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Remembrance Day

[caption id="attachment_150" align="aligncenter" width="238" caption="Poppy Day"][/caption]


Poppy day.  A day to remember our soldiers past and present for their sacrifice so we could all enjoy our freedom.  I personally would like to thank all the vets out there.  I love my freedom, and it is all because of your gift and sacrifice.  Thank You.


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Stinky Motel


I checked in last night to an America's Best, not the nicest hotel l've stayed in.  And that's being nice.  The room is stinky, the tub not the cleanest.  Oh how l want to travel by RV, then l know it will be clean, and smelling fresh!!!

I mentioned it to the front desk before l left for the day and they freshened up the smell for me.  Thank God!

Not much happened today.  This is a small town, open fields for miles and miles.  It was sunny and warm, which was really nice for November.

There are no mountains, no snow, there are  just as many, if not more friendly people who nod their head in acknowledgment as you pass them on the street, even if you are in a car.  Love the small towns for that.  I know in the city of Toronto, and many others, that as you approach strangers, they actually avert their eyes, and pretend you are not there.  This friendly approach is much better.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Arrived in Burlington, Colorado

I made it to Colorado Springs in daylight.  The drive from Gunnison to Colorado Springs was uneventful, but beautiful.  I snapped some photos, which don't do any justice to the panoramic views l saw.  The sun shone the whole way (to Colorado Springs), the traffic was light.   It was a good drive.

The sun set quickly behind the mountains and when l came out of Barnes and Noble, it was pitch black.

So l haven't had a chance to get a feel for where l am.  I did leave the mountains way behind me.  The landscape is mostly flat,  l am close to the boarder of Kansas, so that should give you an idea of how flat it is here.

Time to hit the hay,

Good Night!

Christmas - Keep It Local

With Christmas coming, and so many businesses still struggling in our local economy, let’s be the change.  Let US be the ones to help our fellow people in the community.  By us doing a little thing, we could be the grass roots of change.

How about for Christmas presents, we shopped locally.  And by locally l also mean, made in USA or made in Canada (wherever you live), or services offered by local citizens.

There are so many options, this is just a list l’ve got, l’m sure you could come up with more.

- Give the gift of a message, haircut, manicure, or pedicure – keeping local merchants busy and feel good for the receiver.

- Send a maid to clean your Mom’s house.

- Send  a gift certificate for lawn care, snow plowing, light hanging, driveway sealing.

-Buy crafts made by local artisans, sold at flea markets, farmers market, and church bazars.

-Eat at a local restaurant, enjoy each other’s company, and be “present” with your guest.

-Give a gift card for the local coffee shop, when times are tough, this is a nice little luxury.  Or
a local bakery, fresh made pastries are delicious.

-If they have a pet, how about a gift certificate for the local groomers.

-Plan a family outing and go skiing, bowling, a game of pool, the local arcade, the choices are endless.

Here’s one that our family has done for a couple years, on Christmas Morning we go to a homeless shelter and drop off coats, hats, mitts,
gloves, and blankets, and  a lunch bag with homemade sandwiches, cookies and a piece of fruit.  Then we stay and chat with the group for a while, they are so appreciative of the gifts. There are about 10 family members that do it, it’s a tradition that gives as well as receives.

Forget buying stuff imported from other countries/ economies, let’s support our own.  We can’t wait for the Government to fix our problems; they can’t see the forest because of the trees.

Burlington, Colorado

Just after noon today l will be leaving Gunnison, and heading to Burlington, Colorado.  I will be driving back over the Continental Divide.  The driving should be clear on the Gunnison side of the Divide, but l'm not so sure about the Burlington side.  I am Canadian, and l am used to driving in the snow, so that doesn't worry me.  It just makes the drive much slower.  As it is, it's a six hour drive.

I also plan on stopping in Colorado Springs at a Barnes and Noble, l need to grab a book or two.

I'll take some pictures and post them on my drive.  I know there will be some Kodak Moments.



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Leaving Gunnison Tomorrow

Yep.  Time to move on.  I came, l saw, l'm going.

My visit to Gunnison, Colorado is over tomorrow.  I stayed here shorter then my normal work trips. It is a small town.  Most places l visit are small towns.  This one seems to be a bit more financially challenged then most lately.

People l talk to here say that it took a while for the recession to hit this area, but now they are feeling the full brunt of it.  It's too bad, they are nice people here.  In this area and Crusted Butte there are a fair amount of homes that are second homes to others.  It is a tourist area with great summer and winter activities and apparently great hunting in Gunnison. Well worth the visit.

Please, when you come, stop by and rent a room at  the Season's Inn and ask for Laveta.  She's a great lady and the motel is clean and well cared for.

I wrote more about Gunnison on my Squidoo page, check it out!



In case you are living under a rock......


Tomorrow at noon their will an  test of the Emergency Broadcast System in USA.  It will be nationwide and ONLY A TEST.  So please don't go freaking out and  grabbing your guns ready to defend your land.  It's only a test.

I think the government is worried about that since l have seen it advertised many times.

Positive Thinking Positive Doing

While l travel the US l meet a lot of small business owners, and it is really sad how many of them are scared of the economy and the situation in the US right now.

It’s time for the US government to start some positive thinking and speaking.  Their constant bickering and negativity towards each other is passé and hurting the economy.  It’s time to try a more united front.  I’m tired of them, are you?

The world view of the US is starting to go down the toilet. I don’t follow politics that much; it all just seems like incessant noise.  Kind of like a wildly barking dog at 2am.  You try to tune it out.

To have a man who is hoping to get elected for President in a scandal of sexual harassment?  Either he thought he couldn’t be found out, or he doesn’t think what he did was wrong, or it just didn’t happen.  Is it Cain’s version of a Justin Bieber paternity suit?

I think it’s time that everyone STOP watching  the talking heads that are there to ignite the fires and rip the country apart to get the viewers to turn in to their show.  And start writing their government leaders to get to work for the country and not their personal interests.  Stop pointing fingers and just fix it (wait - am l pointing fingers?) .

If l was at work talking about my co-workers as they do, starting rumours, putting my best interest before the company, l would be FIRED!

Okay….l’m off my soap box.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stealth Photo of an Elk in a Truck's not the head shot, that l just couldn't do.  There were quite a few pick-ups today of the hunters in Gunnison driving around town with the same cargo as this guy.  It was like a little convoy.

This Elk didn't make it out alive.  If you click on the picture you can see part of the antler and one leg sticking out of the bed of the pick up.




The Hunters Are Back

The hunters are back in Gunnison, Colorado.  How do l know you ask?  Lot's of orange and camouflage crawling around town again.  Not to mention the odd Elk Head in the back of a pick-up truck, with a mighty fine display of antlers.

I'm sure the body of the mighty Elk are at the butchers, and not back in the woods left for the wild animals to eat.  At least l'm hoping.

I couldn't snap a photo, for a couple of reasons, 1. It was kind of sad to see the life-less eyes staring at me from a decapitated head.  2. I couldn't do it stealthily 3. My camera was in the car.  Not upset about #3, just refer to #1 to know why!

I'm not judging.  I love to eat a good steak too.  I just can't think about where it came from before l put it in my mouth.  Detached, l know.

Day Light Savings Time

It is so much easier for me to get out of bed when the sun is up first.  It doesn't matter if it's 6am or 8am, as long as the sun is up first, l am good to go.  It also doesn't matter if l've had 8 hours or 4 hours sleep, it only matters if the sun is up first.

So l'm happy that we change our clocks with the seasons.

I'll be even happier when l am able to drive to sunny locations.  I definitely know l do better in sunshine.  More energy flowing through me, more life thrown into a day. Musings

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Continental Divide


Today l drove over the Continental Divide twice today on my adventures.  I found it fitting that l passed it today, l have been pondering my decisions, faults, and qualities.  I usually do a lot of thinking when l drive.  Sometimes the radios on, more often then not, l drive in silence, with only my thoughts as company.

There are times that l celebrate my spontaneousness.  I love that l handle change well.  I actually go running towards it.  Stagnation for me is like a little death.  I adapt well to new things.  I go to the well, take a sip, if l enjoy it, a long drink.  If l don't find it to my taste, l put down the ladle and move on, without regret.

I am generally a very positive, optimistic person, and even if l feel l made a mistake, l know in the long run, it was for the best.  Now that being said, sometimes.....

I wish l was a bit more like "the stickers".  You know the ones.  The ones that can stay at a job, or in a relationship they don't like for years and years.  Sometimes l think if l was a bit more like those ones, my life would be easier.  At least in societies eyes/standards.

Alas, that's not me.  I missed getting my share when they were handing that quality out at birth.  Love me or leave me, l guess.

I'm getting more and more comfortable with my decision to travel on a more permanent basis.  There are two friends in my life that know the extent that l want to travel.  That l plan to pick up and move into a van and travel.  I am at my own continental divide.  I can lean one way, and conform to the norm.  Secretly dieing a little more each day.  Giving  up on dreams, smashing them into nothingness, trying to ignore them (until l snap).

Or l can lean to the other and  l can scream out to the world and say, "Who cares what anyone thinks.  This is what l am doing".  I don't know how it will work out.  I will have to live day by day, that is what l thrive on anyways.  And for the people that judge me, Oh well, l'll try not to return the favor.

It's getting closer to the time that l can runaway.  I actually feel it is more of a running to.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Andy Rooney

Andy Rooney past away on Friday at 92.


I remember watching Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes with my parents on Sunday nights growing up.  He always had opinion on little things that we all thought,  he put into words.  And comment on the absurdsity of life.  His segment would only last a minute or two, but were entertaining, enlightening, and so much like what us Bloggers do today.  Observe life, how it is lived, and comments on it.

Thanks Andy!  Rest in Peace.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hunters coming to Gunnison, Colorado

They are calling for another dumping of snow tonight into tomorrow afternoon. I guess l need to go buy those mitts!  That's not discouraging the hunters that are piling into town with their 4 wheelers and campers.  This is a big hunting community and one of the final weeks for them to get out there.  It's done by a draw system, so the ones that pulled this week are going.

The stores are displaying signs welcoming the hunters to town.  Hoping for some of their dollars coming their way.

I'm sure their campers have heaters, and they have all the latest gadgets to keep warm while they sit quietly waiting for their prey to come into range.  I wonder if l will see they coming back nto town with their catch strapped to their pickup truck.  I will keep you informed, with maybe a picture of two, if l can do it stealthily.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Things I take for granted

It’s amazing how we take for granted so many things, and don’t even realize that we do, until we have to do without.

Here in Gunnison, the internet is not the fastest out here.  At least where l manage to “borrow” it from.  And it
really is amazing how all over North America there are places that you can “borrow” Wi-Fi.  My hotel has a poor signal, but at
least it has a signal.  Not enough for me to enjoy Netflix, which is a great deal for the $7.95 l pay.

Of course l have cable in the hotel, but so much of it is a waste of time. Reality shows are not my thing, and with all the different time-zones l end up in, l can’t keep straight when the few TV shows that l would like to catch are on.  So l will just wait to watch them on Netflix, without commercials.

The other thing l take for granted is radio.  Seems simple enough, since it’s not a new technology, in Gunnison, it needs help.  The radio station 98.3 has long pregnant pauses, as though someone fell asleep and forgot to hit the next button.  The only thing is either this guy is really, really tired or they just are very good at it since it happens frequently.  But the worst thing about the radio is the “skipping”
of songs, almost like the tape machine they are using is chewing up the tapes, and no one is listening to figure it out. It is an oldies station (not my preferred choice, but it will do when choice is limited), so the music could very well be still on cassette tapes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The sun is hotter

The sun is hotter here.  I now understand how skiers can ski in the winter with only snow pants and a t-shirt or sweater.  At 7000 feet, it's only in the 30's today, and yet l've had to peel off my jacket and l am walking around with just  a sweater on.

Another thing l've noticed is how many people ride their bikes around here and in Crested Butte.  This morning l saw a guy pushing his bike through all the snow on the road, it's afternoon now, and l'm sure he's riding it.  The roads are clear and steaming from the heat of the sun.


It snowed last night, it blankets everything.

One of the essentials of driving in an area that has significant snowfall is a snow brush.  So why, was there not one in the rental car that l got from Thrift Rental Car in Colorado Springs.  After all, it is November, and even though it has been a lite season for snow fall this year, it doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way.

So l improvised.  Somehow l had to get the 3 inches of snow and ice off my car this morning.  Using a face cloth to protect my hand from the cold (I do have mitts, which are conveniently on the floor of my car – in Toronto).  I then rummaged through the glove box and
found a folder-thingy that they used to keep car documents in, and scrapped my car.  It wasn’t the best, but it worked.

I have always thought snow was pretty when it covers the ground in its pristine white; now throw in some mountains, stunning.  Pictures won’t do it justice. How do you capture the panoramic awe, the fresh air, the warmth of the sun, the feeling of the power of nature?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gunnison, Colorado

Wow, it's beautiful here.  I opened my hotel door today to see mountains in the distance.  The town is surrounded by them.  Gunnison is in a little valley.  The town is quite cute, with lots of character.  The main street has flair and individualism.  Some of the buildings are old but well kept.

I drove up to  Crested Butte, the drive was stunning.  The sun was shining off of the snow capped mountains.  The rivers were flowing and some brave souls were running the rapids (brave l say, because it is a bit chilly today).

Mother Nature knows her job, and she does it well.  Crested Butte is the Wildflower Capital of Colorado,  l can only imagine how pretty that is in the spring.

Residents of Crested Butte say it is unusal to not have snow this time of year.  It is a big ski town south of Aspen.  With only 1000 full time residents that explode with tourist for the ski season and the summer hiking.  I noticed so many campgrounds driving last night, and also between Gunnison and Butte.  Everyone today l saw were very bohemian, a cross between a hippy and a bushman(woman).  It's a very artsy town.  Were the speed of life is just right!

[caption id="attachment_52" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Dragon Slayer in Crested Butte, Colorado"][/caption]


The towns dwellings are mostly log, topped off with a metal roof, and are fitting to the rustic mountain.