Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A New Month

It's February, a new month.  A month closer to my departure time in the van.  I really wish l was home and packing and getting the van ready.  The time will come, faster then l think it will, standing where l am now.

Luckily, my time is grouped in two week segments with work, so time basically flies.  It would have nothing to do with me getting long in the tooth, of course.  I remember my Grandma saying years ago, that as she aged, she couldn't believe how fast time went in a day.  It would seem as though she would barely get anything done before it was time to make dinner.

So time flying and having my time grouped in two week segments. Each segment a little mini goal or destination to look forward to, it will fly for me.

Kamloops is a nice little town, it has theater, symphonies, is know as the tournament capital of Canada because of all the arenas, ball fields and great weather in the summer.  I didn't find a lot for me to do while l was here.  It snowed on the weekend so l couldn't really drive out and through the mountains.  Of course, l have been surrounded by them the whole 10 days.

I love towns with history.  Kamloops is a pretty young town.  I'm glad l came, and l would love to return during the summer so l can take advantage of the hiking in the hills, or the camping in the area.  Kamloops had some really cute little stores, but l am not buying anything when l need to go home and pare down all the stuff l do own.

As always, as my stint come to an end, my feet get itchy, and l am ready to leave.  I have a full day Wednesday and Thursday l fly out at 6pm to Vancouver and the red eye home for Friday am.

Of the two places l have visited in BC, Creston is the winner so far.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Snow is Gently Falling

I can't see the mountains today in Kamloops, British Columbia, the snow is falling gently, and it is so pretty.  It was falling when l woke  this morning, and it continues now (10:30 am).  The only problem l have with it is, l've recently discovered, l don't like winter.  I guess l used to "deal" with it.  After all l am Canadian, and winter is a part of our Country.  Not like it was when l was a kid (so much snow then), but we still get snow fall and cold days.

So instead l am choosing to stay in my hotel room for now.  My accommodations are fantastic.  I have a one bedroom apartment.  They call it a King Suite.  I have a king bed with the best pillows, and a separate sitting room with fridge and microwave.  Way more room then l need.  I have two Flat panel TV's in this suite, which have been on for a total of 3 hours all week (just catching the news a bit).

After weening myself off of TV, l find it's all a bunch of junk now.  Any shows l do watch are on Netflix.  Netflixs' marks my spot where l left off, l don't have to remember what night it's on and l don't have to watch commercials.  It's great.

One thing l've noticed about Kamloops is, the days seem shorter.  I think it's just because the sun rises and sets behind mountains, so it takes a while for the sun to get over those mountains.  I'm also trying to stay on Eastern time, somewhat.  I'm getting up at 6am even though l don't need to, just so when l go back home, l won't have to adjust so much.

I wanted to get out and wander by the river a bit today, but the snow may make me change my plans a bit.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pine Beetle

I asked someone l met with today about the fallen tree situation.  It’s the Pine Beetle.  It has decimated the soft lumbar in the Kamloops area over the last couple of years. They are gone now, but over the last couple of years they have eaten their way through the tree population.  Killing the trees by the millions.

Some the trees that l noticed laying down dead were cut by the forest management trying to combat the beetle.  It didn’t really help.

The guy l spoke to also added a bit of useless information (the kind l love) .  Some scientists or someone wanted to know how the beetles were able to broach the Rocky Mountains, because now they are in Alberta and South to Oregon.  So what they did, they staked some huge net up on the mountains to trap/register the amount of pupae travelling in the air currents.  Apparently it was shocking how many were in the nets.

I’m sure the wind last night would have taken the little buggers for miles and miles.

There she blows

Can you say WINDY.  Wow!  The wind started around 2am this morning.  Pretty much a constant howl with intermittent gust that kept waking me up.

Yesterday as l was driving around l noticed on the hills that there were a fair number of trees knocked down.  The hills close to town didn't have too many trees on them to begin with, so you could really notice the ones that were laying flat, broken off at the stem.  And some of them were quiet big.  I guess if these wind storms are a regular occurrence, it would explain the downed trees.

So between the wind and the absence of an alarm clock, okay l don't really need an alarm clock, l do have my cell phone for the alarm function.  But what l really need is to know the time as l wake up during the night.  Since l don't have the time displayed in the reddish light when l wake up to turn, l grab my phone and press it to see the time light up.  Which interrupts my sleep more then l care.

Why do l need to know the time during the night?  Partially l guess because l like to know how much more time l have to sleep.  If l wake up and find out l have 3 more hours verses 10 minutes, that's great.

I woke up at midnight, after sleeping for an hour,  felt totally rested.  It felt like l was already asleep for 5 or 6 hours, instead of the 1 that  l had tucked in already.  If l had the trusty alarm clock beside my bed, it would have been a quick turn over back into la la land.  Instead it was enough movement searching for the cell phone and pressing the button to actually keep me up for 15 minutes until l could catch the train back to dream land.

And with the wind here in Kamloops, l was woken a lot last night.  :-(

Monday, January 23, 2012

On The Road Again

It's good to be on the road again.  Some people may think that is crazy. And that's okay.  But l love it.  4 weeks at home with the gloomy skies and the cold weather was too long.

Toronto Airport was a treat since l didn't have to go through customs.  I grabbed a bite to eat, then got on the plane.  There were just two of us in a three seat section, so that was fantastic.  It is the little things in life you must appreciate!  For a five hour flight, it was a big bonus.  Most of Canada that l saw out the window was covered in snow.  It didn't look too deep, but l was flying at 37,000 feet (l could see green and brown along the way).

Vancouver airport seems nice and new.  I did a bit of circling looking for my gate, that part was a bit confusing.  First circle, l had read the monitors wrong, second and third, signs pointing in the gates direction - not so direct.   I had a half hour between flights.  Made the all important pit stop to the loo, then sat and waited for my flight to Kamloops.  The plane we were flying to Kamloops in was the smallest l have ever been on.  It was a prop plane, not the smallest out there but the smallest that l have been on.  It sat about 50 people.

Jazz Air ( a division of Air Canada) Dash - 8


I was just behind the wing, and had a good view of the wheels.  Boy, they take a pounding.  Speaking of pounding, on our decent to Kamloops we hit a bunch of turbulence.  Enough to evoke nervous laughter from some of my fellow fliers.  It was pretty extreme.  I was more worried about bonking my head on the window then worried about going "down".

I was a wee bit disappointed that my luggage didn't make the trip with me. I wish is was easy to loose 46 pound of fat as it is to loose your luggage!  :-)  There are a couple more flights coming in from Vancouver tonight, so l hope it hitches a ride on them and arrives at my hotel room in time for my meetings tomorrow.  Let's just say, l travel in comfort clothes, and not business attire.

My hotel room is fantastic, it's a suite.  I have a separate sitting room, and a big king bed in the bedroom.

I'll get some pictures tomorrow of the scenery and post them.


Good People

On Friday night l had dinner with a very good friend of mine, and her Mother, who l am honored to call a good friend too.  Dinner was delicious, company was better.

On Saturday l spent the night at a friends 50th Birthday Party.  Of course the guest of honor was busy dividing time amongst all his guest, but it was great to see him and his wife.  And a bonus part was another couple that l knew was there that l chatted with for the whole evening.

On Sunday, l visited my Grandfather who is in the hospital.  He fell at home about a month and a half ago, then just after Christmas he woke up with pneumonia.  I visited him a few days after he came out of isolation.  He wasn't doing too well.  I fed him dinner with my aunts, who have been keeping a vigil around him.  They are really great daughters.  I went again on Sunday and he was so much better.  He was so out of it before that he didn't remember me visiting.  This time we chatted, my aunts were there again.  It was nice to see him on the road to recovery.

And it got me thinking that there are some really good people l know.  Over the years l have collected a few good people l can call friends.  I have met lots of people, not everyone gets into that group, the few that are there deserve to be there.   I am lucky to have them in my life.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kamloops, British Columbia

Yep, that's where l'm heading next.  Back into the mountains.  I haven't had much time to research it yet, but l do know the traffic will be lighter!!!  Thank God!  And even nicer scenery.  Double Thank God!!

That's not until Monday, so a few more days of grey cubicles,  grey skies, and grey moods.  I really think l have a case of the SAD disease.  Season affective disorder.  Every January and February l just want to crawl up in a cave and do nothing.  I'm sure you've noticed a theme with my blog.  I love sunshine.  And l love travel.  So even if there is no sun, one of my needs will be met.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

4 Weeks

I've been sleeping in the same bed for almost 4 weeks (get your mind out of the gutter!), so not much to write.  And it's winter in Toronto, so l have been hibernating like the bears.  And maybe a bit grumpy too!  :-)  Although this morning it was milder (above freezing), and it felt a bit like spring, but we all know that is just not possible.  A cold front is heading our way.

I am really looking forward to finding out where my next trip is.  I need to get out of the gloom.  I don't mind the cold, but l need to see sunlight.  And being stuck in the office kind of negates any sun that shone during the day while l stuck in the office.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

If you live in fear, it's just not living!

I attached these photo's on Facebook today.  I was surprised by some peoples reaction.  Their reaction was fear.  Fear that if they travelled by ship, this might happen to them.

[caption id="attachment_530" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Tear in the side of a cruise ship"][/caption]



I have been on a number of cruises over the years.  I've travelled by plane, train, automobile and by ship.  Never have l felt scared that l may not arrive at my destinations. That perhaps l was taking my life into my own hands.   If anything, l was excited about the possibilities of the trip, not just the destination, but about the journey.

I can't imagine not doing something out of fear.  I won't bungee jump, it's not out of fear, l just have no desire to do it.  Now parachuting out of a plane, l would like to do that.  I think its the view and the floating sensation that attracts me to parachuting.  Bungee is too abrupt for me.

[caption id="attachment_528" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cruise ship off the coast of Italy"][/caption]

One of my cruises l sat at a table in the dinning room of  a couple that had actually been on a cruise where the ship had sunk.  It was an Asian cruise and many years ago now.  They had a great story, and were very entertaining the whole trip and they were full of life.  It didn't scare them to get back on a ship.  They didn't travel with fear.

I think when you can live through moments that are scary, they actually make you stronger and more alive.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm dreaming.......

I can't believe the beautiful weather we are having here in Turks and Caicos.  The beach is beautiful, with white sand for miles and miles.  The sun warms my skin as l relax and enjoy the sound of the surf lapping at the shore. I am almost finished the book l have been reading for the last couple of days on the beach.  My biggest concern is slathering on sun screen.   This is the life.....

Instead, my alarm blares at 5am, l get out of my warm bed into the chilly morning.  Hop in the shower slather on moisturizer because the "fake" heat is drying my skin and head to work in the dark.  Snow is starting to fall, they are calling for a storm, and l'm just trying to beat  the storm and the 3 million other people commuting to work.  :-)


Monkeys!! Or other choice words......

I'm a little bit frustrated today.  Well, actually it's been a slow burn for quiet a while now.  I think there are people out there that work better with a partner, and people that work better solo.  I am in that solo category.  Not because l am hard to get along with, but because l give it my all, and l get pissed off/disappointed when my partner doesn't.

There is only one person in my three plus experiences in having a business partner that l have ever been happy with.  He was the first partner that l had, and funny enough, he bore the brunt of my parents disapproval.  They thought he was taking advantage of me, and that l was doing most of the work in the business partnership, which was so not true.  We each had our strengths, and they complimented each others.

He was the perfect partner for me, he was a hard worker, smart and forward thinking.

Others since have been more lacks-a-daisy, and end up just pissing me off.  They don't have the same work ethic and then l get resentful.  It's as simple as splitting tips when l was a server or a bartender.  To all the way to now with splitting commissions.   There were few l would choose to work with since, for me, work is work, let's get it done, lets do it now.  All l ask is to pull your weight.  Do your job to the best you can, and put in a full days work.

I am in a  position now, and l am irritated.  I don't trust my partner, l don't think she puts in a full day, l am not in the position to 100% prove it, but l have enough circumstantial evidence that l am certain.  I will never be able to 100% prove it since l am never in the same city as her, and l can't really install 'nanny cams'  :-)

This is probably a big factor in why those nails are looking so tempting to my bright shiny new hammer.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What l've learned

One good thing about being in Toronto, fighting rush hour traffic, TWICE  a day is my van seats are comfortable.  They are cushy and have arm rests on both sides.  On the side closet to the window, it even has it's own fold down arm rest.  I don't need to put my arm on the hard plastic moulding of the door, instead a nice padded armrest waits at my beck and call.  Ahhh.. the lap of luxury l say!

Another great thing, that l wasn't expecting in this van when l bought it was, l have cruise control also.  Not that l need it in rush hour, but when l score some driving where l can implement it, its great.  I love being able to move my feet when l sit in the drivers seat.  It's like a little mini "get out of the van and stretch my legs" moment.

It's the little things ya gotta love!  And the little things l am grabbing onto right now.  :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I always land on my FEET

One thing about me, is l always land on my feet.  I enjoy the journey,  my friends and l all know, that l skip around alot.  It's just me.  It's what makes me happy, just like some people love stable it's what makes them happy.



Patience, not something l am known for.  Once l get an idea, l want to act on it.  A friend of mine uses the saying "he's got a new hammer, and everything is a nail".  When he told me that saying a over  a year ago, l immediately understood what he meant.  Not only did it describe him, but also me to a T.

So, right now, l am struggling with wanting to go wander.  I've got the hammer and the nails are popping up everywhere!  :-)

Monday, January 9, 2012


I stopped at Walmart on the way home from work tonight and saw this really interesting thing.  It was a mason jar that had a mechanical firefly in it, and when you pushed the little button, the firefly would light up and bounce around on this wire as though you had captured a real live firefly.

As a kid, in the summer there were lots of fireflies flying around the lake by my house.  Now the only place most people will see them is in a glass jar at Walmart.  What a shame.

[caption id="attachment_509" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Fireflies in a Jar"][/caption]

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Really Back to Work

It's official, l am back to work full steam.  No monkey business today, a full eight hour day.  And l'm actually looking forward to it.  As l write this l am actually staring at my lovely grey cubby.  View's not that great.  :-) At least l won't get side tracked staring at the sun or some pretty mountains.

I arrive at work early to avoid the Toronto Traffic, which is pretty high up on the charts of "worst cities to drive in".  If l leave my house later then 6:30 am, l will get stuck in traffic that bunches up in a couple of places, and that is with out any accidents.  It's a bit like torture for me to sit in traffic.  I would rather get up early and hit the road then sit in that stuff.  I really don't know how people do it everyday.  I would be pissed off by the time l reached the office if l had to deal with it everyday.

This will be the last two weeks that l will be in the office.  My work partner has decided that she doesn't want to go on the road anymore.  I'm okay with that of course until April.  She's not aware of my plans for April, but it's too soon to tell her.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back to Work

I'm back in the office today.  For a half day, l think (don't have a bunch to do, just need to set myself up for next week).  I actually enjoyed getting up and out the door, a little bit of routine, a little bit of purpose.

That's the thing about commission sales, you gotta make the hay while the sun shines.  That's why l'm here today.  I don't have to be,  it will make the next two weeks a bit easier on me by being here today.

I was thinking last night while l was trying to fall asleep, it's probably a good thing that the weather is a bit cold to be doing modifications on my van.  The reason is, l was poking through others peoples pictures online with regards to their van set-ups, and l might change my mind on what l had planned for mine.  This way l get to stew about it, and try to figure out as well as l can, what will work best for me.

Of course l will still be itching to put those plans in place,  in good time.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


It's pretty tough coming up with subjects for blogs when you are stationary.  I can't comment on people l meet, since that is pretty limited when you spend so much time at home.  I can't fill my blog with wonderful pictures of places l'm seeing, since l'm not seeing them.  I don't have any photo's of the work l have done on my van getting it ready for travel, since it's too frekin' cold for me to undertake a project like that.

I've lived in Toronto too long to be interested in the museums here or tourist sites, and l'm not really a outdoor winter kind of girl (skiing, snowmobiling, skating etc...) and definitely not a shopping mall girl, even on the best of days.

So, for a little bit it will be a struggle for me, but don't despair, l will be travelling eventually (maybe, that last part is written for me, Tammy, don't despair, you will be travelling again soon) and will have adventures to write about again.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I just watched a couple of documentaries on Netflix.  One was Let's Make Money, it's about the banking system, it's lack of regulations, it was really eye opening.  It amazes me how many crooked people exist in this world,  and how they are not stopped.

The other was Maxed Out, about the credit crisis in America. Both movies make you sit up and take note.  Maybe the 1% should have been listen to more, and not dispersed.

I guess l am an innocent when it comes to taking advantage of your fellow man.  It just doesn't sit right with me.

Monday, January 2, 2012

One Week, All Mine

Okay, l have one week left of vacation, and it's all mine.  I had some work that l needed to clear up and l sat down and did it today.  Of course, last week was pretty much all mine too, but l did have this weighing over my head.  And When you have something weighing over you, even though you aren't doing it, your free time, just doesn't feel free.  At least in my case, it doesn't.

So now, it's done, put to rest.  Yipee!

We are having a snow storm here in the Great White North.  I always feel so shut-in in the winter.  I know, dress warm and just go out there, but it is like puling teeth with me.  Not the place l want to be, out in the snow.  I was born in the wrong country!!!!

At least when l am living in my van l will have the option to go south for the winter.  And hey, ya never know, my next project might be somewhere half decent again.  I just have to wait 3 weeks to find out.

If anyone wants to go build a snowman, this is the place to do it!  I'll make you some Hot Chocolate for when you come in.  Burrrr!!!!!


[caption id="attachment_497" align="aligncenter" width="582" caption="I'm practically giving it away!!!!!"][/caption]

Winter Sun

One of the things l am looking forward to when l travel is to have sunlight stream in my windows to wake me up in the morning.  With the winter, my wake up pattern has followed the sunrise hours.  Of course unless the alarm is set for times prior to seeing dawn.  A couple of months ago l would wake up at 6am (with the sun) even if l didn't need to get up then.  Now l wake up at 8am.

I have been known to follow the sun with my bedroom configuration as the sun moves in the sky gradually with the morning sunrises.  Not caring that my bed will sit at a strange angle.  (It definitely wouldn't get in any home decor magazines).  I don't move it every hour or even everyday, but after my bed is no longer is in the path of the morning sun, l will rearrange my room so l can catch as much morning sun as possible.  Of course, that is after l have already picked the apartment or  bedroom that will get the most light in it in the morning.

I could not live in the North during the winter time of year and not see any sun.  The summer would be a fantastic time of year, all that sun, l would be in heaven.

So that is another reason why l am looking forward to RV/van living.  I can park in the path of the morning sun, or all day sun, if it tickles my fancy.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Access vs Ownership

Today I have been watching some little snippets of videos of people living small on www.faircompanies.com .  Not by living small, and not enjoying life, but by getting rid of all those things that society pressures us into accepting as normal, and living with smaller homes, less stuff, less imprint on the planet.  But a higher quality of life and to do the things that make us happy, getting out in the world and experiencing life, as to just experiencing the commute, the four walls of the office, the rat race that we have put ourselves in.

In one of the videos a guy said the term "Access verses Ownership".  I haven't heard it put so simply and eloquently before.  Who says we need to own it all, why not just have access to it.  It is usually cheaper, and therefor less time needed to be trapped by those four walls to pay for it.  Think about it.  Our society is actually helping us get there with the technology that is being developed, if only we could pry our minds off  of the need to "own it".

Think about it.  The list is endless.  Instead of owning the land, some of the best landscapes are owned by the government and therefor, we can access them for free or for a very nominal charge (and we don't have to cut the grass or shovel the snow).  Music is now available as downloads for your ipod, MP3 or what ever your device.  Do you really need to store that CD Jewel case?  Movies, same thing, Netflixs or Redbox is so cheap, and require no storage.

We have a storage epidemic across North America, never before in time have we had so many self-storage places for people to store their junk (except for the odd person who is using those storage places for a short period of transition from one place to another).  Garages on homes no longer park cars, but all the little must haves that we possibly think we can't do without.

Access vs Ownership, Freedom vs Chains.  I think the two sayings have the same definitions in this case.