Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yes, I am a crazy dog person!

Ignore the mess of toys and fuzz she created on the floor.

Project Complete

Here is a photo of my latest project in its final resting place. It didn't turn out exactly how I had hoped, but I am still happy with the outcome.

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Latest Project

Random Photos

A glimpse at a project I have been working on (keep checking for an update when it is finished)...
A photo I took this summer of a canola field...

Izzy lounging after a tough day...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Last night I made a double batch of Chicken Tortilla Soup. We had some for supper tonight and I froze the rest in single serving containers so Jason can take them to work for lunch. It was so yummy I thoguht I would share the recipe with you. Here you go....

*4 or 5 cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you could even use 3-4 as I used about 5-6 for a double batch).

*3 cans (14 fluid ounces each) reduced sodium chicken broth

*2 cans (10 fluid ounces each) mild red or green chili enchilada sauce

*1 can (12 fluid ounces) evaporated milk

*1/2 onion chopped

*2 cups matchstick or shredded carrots

*1 cup uncooked long or medium grain rice

*1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

*2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed

Cook over medium heat until rice, simmer and garnish with tortilla chips, sliced green onions and sour cream.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm a Stay-at-Home Wife, so BITE me!

It donned on me this evening - I'm a stay-at-home wife. So what! Should I feel guilty? I mean, sure I haven't 'worked' in 14 months, but what's the big deal. Let me explain....

  • Rewind to July 2008. I was working for a daily newspaper selling advertising. I didn't hate my job, and I have to admit I made some good money, but I didn't love it either. So, I decided to leave my current 'career' behind and go back to school full time. I had been working on my Masters degree part time for a few years, but quitting my full time job meant I could concentrate on school and actually finish my degree. And that is just what I did, thanks to my very supportive and budget-nazi husband. In August 2008 I enrolled full time as a student at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and began 'working' as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, teaching two public speaking courses each semester. I use the term 'working' lightly in this case, as I loved teaching and I barely consider teaching in the classroom six hours week and working in the Speech Center four hours a week work. I also picked up a few hours a week babysitting in order to make a little extra cash. So begins my journey to becoming a stay-at-home wife.

  • Fast forward to March 2009....My husband took a job for a company in his native Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He moved to Edmonton in March while I finished out my school year and prepared for a move to a different country. We immediately began my permanent residency process. Originally we thought that as soon as we 'passed' the first phase of the residency process, I would be able to apply for a work permit...WRONG!

  • NAFTA to the rescue! After about a million emails and a couple of meeting, I was offered a very part time job teaching online courses at a university in Edmonton. Thanks to NAFTA, I was able to get a temporary work permit and begin 'working'. (That was after three versions of what turned out to be a two-page offer letter, a one night stay in an Econo Lodge, crossing the border only to cross back over it again. Well, that's a story for another time.) Again I use the term 'working' lightly as I love teaching and meet with my students two hours a week. Sure there is some preparation and grading involved, but nothing close to 40 hours a week.

So that brings you up-to-date. Yes, I slept in until 11 a.m. today. Yes, I did a little laundry but nothing else when it comes to housework. Yes, I ventured out for the first time in two days to get some milk, garbage bags and a new shovel. Yes, I went out for drinks tonight with my husband and his friends and no, I didn't worry that we didn't go out until 10:30 p.m. Yes, it is 1 a.m. and I have no plans of going to bed anytime soon. Who cares?

Sure I worry about what this looks like to future employers when I do finally get my permanent residency and can begin working full time. Sometimes I feel guilty that my husband has to go to work every day and I get to sleep in. Yeah money is tighter than we are used to, but we are getting by. Yes I get lonely staying at home all day by myself. I could probably keep the house a little cleaner and cook more elaborate meals for my husband, but I am enjoying playing with the dog, working out occassionally at the gym when hardly anyone is there and taking the time to discover new hobbies and revisit old hobbies. When we first moved and I would meet people who would ask what I did, I jokingly said I was a stay-at-home dog mom before explaining the whole work permit issue. You know what, I don't care anymore. I'll admit....I am a stay-at-home wife and I LOVE it!!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Back in September.....

My parents came to visit. They went on a road trip to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. While they were her we went to an Edmonton Capitols baseball game. The plan was for me to ride back to Nebraska with them so I could fly out of Omaha to go to Houston.

Their trip was cut a bit short because I was offered a position teaching part time for a university here in Edmonton (I will do a separate post about this later). In order to start teaching I had to go down to the border, get a work permit and then back up to a city about 2 hours over the border to get my social insurance number. So, while Jason and I went down to the border to take care of my work permit 'stuff', my parents headed to Glacier National Park. Jason and I met them there a day later so I could ride back with them.Izzy even got to go.I spent about a week in Nebraska and then I headed to Houston to see my cousin/friend/former roommate. Emily and Rich are getting married in April in Denison, Iowa. We had such a great time catching up, shopping and more shopping. I miss her terribly!!!!

I also went to Galveston while I was there, just to go to the beach.
After a week in Houston, I headed to Vegas to meet Jennifer, my other cousin/friend/former roommate. We also had a fabulous time. We went to a Cher concert and to Mystere.
Now I am back in Edmonton and wondering where September went. I'm also preparing myself for the long winter ahead. Until next time....

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October is here

Jason here.

Well, with our late spring we got lucky and had a magnificent September with temps in the 20s and 30s most of the month - high 60s to low 80s even for you Americans. But October is now here, and the cooler weather has arrived. Snow is forecasted for tonight.

And with the arrival of cooler weather comes the arrival of hockey and curling! Amanda took her first try at curling on Sunday and threw lead while I threw second. After a rough start, she seemed to pick up on it quickly and did a decent job. We won 11-1 but the competition will get stiffer. It'll be a fun way to spend our Sunday evenings. We play with another couple in an eight-team league at the GARC in Sherwood Park.

Hockey is also here, which means reffing is back in the swing. I had my first game (Jr. B in Leduc) last Friday. This is the same league I used to play in and some of the games can get kind of wild so it stays fairly interesting for us linesmen. I am also of course following the hometown Oilers closely and helping a friend do colour commentary for him on Internet Radio when they come to Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove or St. Albert for a Junior A team out of Lloydminster, the Lloydminster Bobcats.

Besides that, work is going well. Amanda has picked up a couple part-time teaching online classes, but we are still waiting on her permanent residency stuff to get through so she can start to apply for some full-time work.

Hopefully we can keep updating you and get some pictures of curling. Our next curling isn't until Oct. 18 because Thanksgiving is here on Monday. Take care, and GO ESKS and GO OILERS!