random dog-walk musings

One of the greatest things I love about walking Leila is the interaction she creates with fellow pedestrians. She’s a magnet for attention.

Two of my most favourite interactions to date were in NZ…both involving school-aged children (gosh, those Kiwi boys’ charm and character kick in at a young age!):

1. While walking on a boardwalk through a preservation area, we encountered two young brothers (ages 8 and 10), whose father was coaching a nearby cricket game. They insisted on accompanying me the rest of our walk (and holding Leila’s leash), all the while chattering away about their young lives, having to move from Auckland to Wellington and being forced to give up their own dog (*insert heart breaking here*). I had not been having the best day up until that point, but having those two completely enamoured boys keeping me company, helping out with Leila and providing the best conversation I had had all day absolutely boosted my spirits in a way that they’ll never understand.

2. Towards the end of a bike ride with Leila, I crossed the street near my house – guiding my bike with one hand, Leila’s leash in the other. I passed a group of uniformed school boys, about 10 years old, when one of them broke from the conversation and said “I need a woman like that. She has a bike AND a dog!”. It was obvious that he hadn’t intended it for my ears, so I feigned deafness and continued toward home, where I laughed for days.

Tonight, Leila and I meandered through our neighbourhood and there were even more people than usual out enjoying the cool evening weather. I was approached by several groups of children asking, “Excuse me, can I please pet your dog?” (I need to break here for a second to say, I LOVE it when kids ask if they can pet Leila, instead of charging at her. As much as I trust her around kids, I believe that all kid-meet-dog scenarios should be controlled interactions. So, well done, dog-savvy parents!). Anyway, there were two sisters in particular that captured my attention (and my heart!).

They were fraternal twins, but when they first approached us, I thought one was a few years older. They didn’t look anything alike – one was tall, lanky, with thin features and short, brown hair. The other, more cherub-like, was short and with long, blonde hair. They were riding too-big bikes and wearing too-big helmets. They told me they were adopted and had a big family, with several other kids and a plethora of exotic pets. The bikes and helmets were their older brothers’. The brown-haired one told me her sister was initially chosen for adoption, but that the couple then talked to her too and decided to adopt both of them and I said contritely, “Oh that’s so nice that you two could stay together”. With a look of solemnity, she said “We had to. We can’t be apart. We can’t even go to sleep if we’re not together”.

I thought of my sister, 12,000 km away. We’re 20-some years older than these two, and we may not be twins, but we possess that same strong sister-bond. Sometimes I feel ridiculous that at this age, I have extreme mopey days because we’re so far apart. We Skype and text and talk on the phone whenever we can, but I look forward to the day when we’re in the same country. Hell, even on the same continent.

I’m aware that this time last year, I was living with my sister and lamenting over the fact that my boyfriend and I were on opposite sides of the globe. It’s a tricky business, long distance relationships.

Why can’t everyone I love just live in the same place?!


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I just kinda realized….


…summer is half over?! I had such lofty aspirations when I started this post at the beginning of June, detailing all that I wanted to do this summer. I have a tendency to seriously underestimate how quickly time flies though. And I did have two big events take place, which I threw myself into and subsequently lost any concept of time I may have had. They were:

  • My Maid-of-Honour duties for my friend’s wedding (which took place in Golden, British Columbia and was an absolutely wonderful weekend).
  • Hosting the boyfriend’s parents, aunt and uncle visiting from Quebec and taking them to Banff, the Calgary Stampede, and sites around the city.

Now, the rest of my summer is a blank canvas so I can do what I want! I’m trying not to let myself become overwhelmed with all the possibilities (I liken it to the instance where you have so much to do and you don’t know where to start, so you just have a nap instead).
I hope I’m not alone in this?

I’m currently not working at the moment either (my technical writing contract finished the other week, so I’m taking a bit of time off before resuming employment). August is my oyster! Now is the time to catch up on the writing, reading, camping, hiking, star-gazing, life administration, etc. that I’ve been putting off. With more than a few naps in between, I’m sure.


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Southern Alberta flood 2013

It may be a time of devastation, but the people of this city have united in an inspiring, uplifting way to help those impacted by the flood.

I’m proud of all the citizens of Calgary and surrounding areas for quickly providing support on so many levels – people are donating time, resources, money, transportation, even their own homes (to take in displaced families and pets). The armed forces were deployed to certain flood zones and people have come from other provinces as well, to lend a helping hand.

We are so fortunate that our home was not in harm’s way. However, we do know several people that were hit pretty hard. We’re doing what we can to help, but it still doesn’t feel like enough.

There are so many stories and photos floating around the interweb, but check out this photo gallery, which covers the extreme flooding. And this article discusses the damage at the zoo…and the hippos that nearly escaped.

from thestar.com

from thestar.com


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Leila_car_ride horses Leila_road phil and dad

I may be running the risk of breaking some unwritten rule about hating Mondays, but I’m sorry guys. I had a great Monday.

Probably because it was preceded by a great weekend and those vibes just carried over.

It was my birthday and it was the perfect balance of family, friends and one-on-one time with Phil, along with equal parts lazy down-time and late-night shenanigans.

It was also the complete opposite of last year’s birthday, which I celebrated by hoofing it through a NZ forest for a half-marathon. Haha. Each is perfect in its own right.

My favourite part was heading out to the farm yesterday, to have dinner with my parents. It was beautiful outside and everything was so calm and serene and if there were to be a “worst” part of the weekend, it’d have to be coming back to the city.

But then again, we caught this sunset on the drive home, so maybe it wasn’t that terrible after all.

photo sunset2









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Listen Up: “Man Like That”, Gin Wigmore

Gin Wigmore_man like that2


Image Source


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Meanwhile, in the world of Carolyn…

Yesterday was a write-off in the productivity department, on account of Sunday St. Patty’s festivities. The wheels didn’t exactly come off the bus, but we had some friends over for dinner and drinks (conjured up my inner domestic goddess and whipped up an Irish-themed spread) and the weekend as a whole left me with an insatiable urge to sleep for days on end.

I just found out today that a job I’ve been pretty excited about (and have been waiting for the paperwork to come through) has been derailed on account of a hiring freeze. Cue woe. But the universe is kind and in a matter of minutes, I discovered two more job postings that sound more than ideal. Send me good vibes, please! My current employment situation was only supposed to be temporary and it’s becoming more drawn out than I’d like.

My high school bestie is getting married in a few months’ time and I have the absolute honor of being her Maid of Honor! This week kicks off the shower and stagette planning (and if I have my way, there will be NO phallus-shaped drinking cups or other peen paraphernalia of the sort. Ugh. As an alternative, we’ve agreed that nothing gets us in the spirit of stagetting more than panda suits).


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Another bout of winter


We had a bit of a blizzard here today. Several hours (and many inches of snow) later, this is the only reason I left the house.

Would you believe this snow-loving, tolerant-of-minus-30-degree-weather dog is originally from Georgia? When I adopted her three years ago, she didn’t skip a beat while transitioning to Canadian winters. And after our stint in NZ, it became quite clear that she prefers snow over sand.

Meaning: the weather is rarely an excuse to not play outside.


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Please darling, no pictures, no pictures


Hi, Zsa Zsa

If there’s one thing I haven’t gotten used to (not that it happens a lot), it’s having a video camera all up in my face. I get nervous. I become horribly awkward. I get a dopey smile on my face and my brain won’t function and my mouth won’t form words and I blush like mad.

So, I am probably not the the ideal candidate to partake in a commercial. But when I was approached on the street, the guy was just so darn nice and downplayed the entire thing and it was really just one sentence that I needed to recite. 

If you see the Western Lotto commercial with me grinning like an idiot, professing my love for horseback riding in the Rocky Mountains, please be kind with your judgements. I’m probably more suitable for radio.


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Sunday, the unplugged version

Kananaskis sign

Maybe it’s because the days are a bit warmer and a bit longer (just slightly, on both accounts!) and because I feel like I’ve had a fresh start of sorts and am excited for life and love and all good things…that I’m letting go of all those silly, ridiculous things I can’t change and don’t care for. The things that don’t make me feel good. I’m spending less time with my laptop, tv, phone, couch, desk. More time with the people I love; doing the things I love. 

So, when I unplugged from the world on Sunday, I took off to Kananaskis  to breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the rural landscape and watch these two run amuck and play in the snow. If this isn’t therapeutic, I don’t know what is.

Phil and Leila1 Phil and Leila3

Leila face in snow Phil and Leila5

Phil fixing boot

And I couldn’t resist adding a photo of Phil fixing my boot for me. He’s such a gentleman ;).


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A little late, but…I made it home?

p and c

The four month mark since I arrived home has just passed.
It feels like ages ago since I got off that plane and was reunited with Phil.

…ages ago since we took a roadtrip out to Radium and the weather was hot and I got to experience a bit of late summer to break up my back-to-back winters. (I thought I was oh-so clever when I strategically planned my move to NZ so I got back-to-back summers. It obviously caught up with me.)

…ages ago since I spent countless hours scouring the internet for a job; a home for Phil and I; everything to go into said home. (We were both essentially starting over from scratch.)

Time can be quite tricksy.

So I figure it’s time to dust off the ol’ blog. I’m on a new adventure of sorts – but for this one, I’ve traded my nomadic shoes in for ones with more roots.

That’s not to say that I haven’t got a lot of exciting things planned for the upcoming year. It just means that for the first time ever, I have a place that actually feels like a home. Actually, I have a place that I share with a pretty wonderful guy who makes it feel like home.


Leila collage

PS. Leila-dog is over the moon now that we’re home. She loves her new yard, she loves all the snow and she loves being surrounded by (almost) all her favorite people. Particularly Phil and my mum…they have a tendency to spoil her relentlessly. But Marjo is the one that’s missing, as she’s still in NZ. She creates a void that’s pretty hard to fill. 😦

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