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Manderz Musings: January 2009

Manderz Musings

Live.Laugh.Love

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yet Another Change

I'm being rather indecisive about my blog background this month.  I really want to design my own, but it's not very high on my To Do list.  Eventually.  I hope.

I'm sleeping much better at night now.  I started turning my music (on my iPod) up louder, so I can't hear any noises Jason makes.  Problem solved.  :-)

Tomorrow I'm starting earlier, and therefore ending earlier.  That extra hour with Jason will be super nice.

At work today, I wore some high heels.  I got compliments, no reprimands.  Looks like I can get some use out of my shoe collection after all.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

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I worked today.  It went well.

Jason and I watched Iron Chef America tonight.  We both suddenly became very hungry.

I'm going to bed now.  I plan on cuddling with Jason so I can borrow some body heat.  :-)

Oh, and Lovely Lady with the Crazy Cats, I apologize, but I have yet to start your letter.  Although, I blame you for setting the standards high with 5 pages (not that I'm complaining – it was a fantastic read).

Tomorrow I might wear some high heels to work.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Lots Done, Lots Left To Do

I had today off work.  I even managed to get a bunch of things done on my to do list.  Actually, I felt like I accomplished a lot today.  However, I feel like I have tons left to do.

Tomorrow is laundry day.  Only having 2 days to do laundry is turning into a logistical nightmare with our schedule.  We can only get 2 loads done a night – 3 if we put in one that doesn't need to go in the dryer.  Jason needs to have all of his stuff washed both days.  That alone makes me happy I have as many clothes as I do.  If I miss a week of laundry, I'm still ok.  Not in great shape for a full work week, but it's doable.  So tomorrow morning, I have to get up, sort the laundry, write out instructions, and then get ready for work.  If I'm up early enough, I can put a load in before I go to work.

I wish we had more space.  Then I could hang up the majority of the clothes to dry like I did when living with my parents.  We could get 3 or 4 loads done a night that way.  Really, it's the dryer (well, the signal at the end of the cycle) that's causing the most problems.  We're trying not to wake the baby upstairs if we can help it.  And that buzzer is L-O-U-D.

I'm finding I really need to plan ahead for everything.  Which is a habit I'm still trying to form.  So I'm going to get Jason to sort his dirty laundry before it goes in a hamper like I do with mine.  He didn't want to before, but I'm sick of sorting his laundry every laundry day.  We don't have the time to do our clothes separately, and I refuse to throw all my clothes together in one load (regardless of colour, material, etc).  I'm thinking I will put instructions on the individual hampers too, then I can just leave a list of what goes on in what order.  :-)

Tonight, I did 15 minutes of dishes.  I didn't finish.  And I'm okay with that.  I wasn't going to do any, but then they just pile up.  Actually, I'm amazed that we use the amount of dishes that we do.  That sink fills up so fast, and the counters even faster.  Anyways, I said I'd do 15 minutes, get what I could done, and be happy with that.  And I cleared up enough space to put the dish drainer down so I didn't have to dry.

That dish drainer is rather annoying though.  It's incredibly flimsy, and it doesn't really work well with the plates and bowls we have.  Perhaps I shouldn't complain since I didn't have to buy it, but if it was a bit better designed, and had a utensil cup, I think it would make doing dishes that much easier.

I'm finding it really hard to go to bed early.  After Jason goes to bed between 9:30 and 10, I just feel like there's so much that still needs to be done.  And I'd say it's definitely one of my more productive times.  I'm not very motivated to do anything when I get up in the morning, and after work, I just want to sit back and relax for a bit.  I've been trying to develop new routines, but nothing seems to work.  I get less done, or I absolutely hate doing it (rather than not really minding at all).  Honestly, doing dishes the other night right after dinner was anything but enjoyable, while doing them tonight at 10:30pm wasn't a big deal at all.  I wouldn't have minded finishing them actually, I just wanted to get some other stuff done too.

Living on my own is great, but you begin to realize just how much there is to be done.  And I have to say, I enjoy cooking a lot less than I did before I moved out (which wasn't all that much).  Whenever I go to the grocery store, I'm always looking for cheap meals that require little work.  Tonight I made chicken with pasta and sauce.  I wanted pasta for a change.  But the half hour it took was just way too much.  Last night I had a PB&J wrap.  5 minutes of prep, and just as enjoyable.

I'm definitely not eating a whole lot of fruit or veggies.  I'll throw some peppers into a dish when I can.  Or slice up some cucumbers on a plate (which I really like eating actually).  But that's about it.  I bought a head of lettuce – but most of it went bad because I don't have a swirly dryer thing, and I'm just too lazy to figure out another way to wash and dry it.  I've been trying to drink some V8 V-Fusion every day – with a serving of fruit and a serving of vegetables, I figure it's better than nothing.  If there were decent fresh strawberries or fresh raspberries I'd probably be eating a lot of those, but it's the wrong season.  There just aren't that many fruits or veggies that require little preparation that I like eating.  And while I've looked for frozen veggies, there's not a lot of room in the freezer, and the stores where I've been haven't had any edible (by my standards at least) mixes.

That's my rant/confession.

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Open House Hunting

Jason and I went on an open house drive after brunch this morning.  Well technically, brunch was followed by a trip to the mall for me to try on shoes, but since I didn't buy any (I plan on ordering some online though to get my colour preference now that I know they fit), it's not worth much of a mention.

So, back to open houses.  We decided to stop into a few houses, just to see what you really can get for you money.  Pictures on the MLS website just aren't very helpful.  The first house (a bungalow, ~1080 sq. ft., built 1970s) was in a great location.  And the list price was lower than we expected (aka potentially in our range).  It had a nice-sized lot, with a double heated garage out back – plenty of room for both our vehicles and storage.  Inside, the upstairs was in great condition, with the only real downside being the small bedrooms.  Even if we wanted to start knocking down walls, there wasn't much room for any real improvement.  The basement was pretty bad.  It looked like they threw a bunch of walls up just to get it suitable for renters.  Horrible design, complete waste of space.  Jason and I both agreed that we'd want to rip it all down and start over.  It did have a separate entrance though, so that was nice.

The realtor was great to talk with.  She answered all our questions (and then some), and seemed pretty honest.

We drove around to look at 7 or 8 more, but didn't go in as one look at the house was all it took to know it was out of our price range.  There was one that might have been affordable, however it was one of the ugliest houses we've ever seen.

The second house was amazing.  A 2-storey, ~1250 sq. ft, and built 2006.  It had a great main floor – open concept living room to eating area and kitchen with gorgeous dark-coloured laminate floors (that were continued upstairs and downstairs as well).  The second floor was interesting in that there was a hallway from the stairs to the hallway where the bedrooms were.  The 2 bedrooms were a nice size, and the master bedroom had plenty of room for bed, furniture, and maybe even a chair.  I loved the closet.  In the basement, it was really well planned.  No wasted space at all.  There was a living area, a gorgeous laundry room with cabinet-space, and a powder room.  The biggest downside to the house was the lack of true storage space – only a narrow room running under the stairs.  There was a deck off the eating area in the kitchen, and a decent yard.  No garage, only 'parking stalls' off the back alley.  However, many of the neighbours have them, so it would be entirely doable (and still have some yard leftover.  Price-wise it was cheaper than the other place too.

This realtor was also pretty great.  He had included mortgage pricing in the little info pack he gave us, which I thought was helpful.  After talking to us, he said he'd e-mail us some other listings within our price range.  And that he'd have no problems showing us any houses we'd be interested in, even if we don't plan on buying until the spring.  He followed up with that e-mail too, and there's a couple houses that look promising.  He also got his 'bank contact' to give us a call, and she's willing to help us look at the finance side of things now too.

It was interesting to see that Jason and I share many of the same opinions about what we want or don't want in a house.  Probably a good thing, and hopefully this will make our eventual decision a bit easier.

It's kind of scary to even be thinking about buying a house.  It seems like such a 'grown-up' thing to do.  Although I definitely would rather pay a mortgage than pay rent.

But I am staying up too late, for a third night in a row.  So I'm going to go get ready for bed.  Then I will sit in bed and study.  That's right, it is 'highly recommended' that I read the notes from a dental terminology course.  So I may as well start while I wait for sleep to come.  Bonne nuit!

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Perhaps a Change?

I am thinking of getting bangs.  It's been a while since I've had them.  A long while.  Back then, I didn't like them too much because I had to 'style' them everyday.  However, I'm blow-drying my hair almost every single day now (and if I don't, it means I'm not leaving the house).  It's too cold outside not to.  Besides, I want a change.  And I'm not going to cut it short again (mistake).  And although I would like to get it dyed again, it won't be anything major – maybe more chocolate brown, maybe some caramel highlights or blocks.

Here's what I have in mind.  Thoughts?

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Lots of layers from the chin down.  It will still go up in my usual ponytail, but it will also look great down without any fuss.  As for the bangs, I'd cut them a bit shorter so they wouldn't cover my eyes.

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I like the bangs better here.  Still a bit longer than I'd ask for.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Sense of Accomplishment

I've actually been doing 'work' at work.  Not just sitting around writing notes about how to do everything.  Or awkwardly muddling my way through booking an appointment while my trainer looks on.  I'm booking appointments by myself, with little to no help.  I'm calling patients that are due back, and booking them in, and sending overdue notices.  I'm going through the files, and clearing out the old and inactive ones.  The past couple of days have gone by much faster.  Plus I'm feeling fairly confident, and am asking questions about how to deal with abnormalities rather than how to do the basic things.

The downside to my later shifts is that I haven't spent a lot of time with my Jason.  Even though he's been going to the gym after work, I've still been getting home later than him.  He's had dinner ready and all the dishes done for me a few times.  It makes me feel slightly guilty for not doing the same when he was working and I wasn't.

The lack of spare time in the evenings means I'm falling behind on my blog reading again.  Although I have managed to cross a few things off my To Do list, which I didn't do once during my time without a job.   Very weird.

As a side note, I have white tips on all my nails.  Why should you care?  Well, you don't really need to.  I'm just excited because my nails usually break, are bitten, or are cut before they reach the white tip stage.  So I put an clear bottom coat on today, and hopefully can get some polish and a top coat on this weekend.  Enjoy the length as long as I can.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Just So You Know

My second shift went well.  I'm already feeling comfortable in the office, and with the people.  Everyone is really nice.  I'm picking up on stuff quickly (even more quickly than I expected even).  And I think I might be on the way to making a new friend.  Yay!

It's time to fold some laundry and hit the sack though.  Good night.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

First Day

I started at the dental clinic today.  As far as first days go, it wasn't anything overly special.  I was learning the computer program more than anything.  It seems fairly straight forward, and semi-similar to the one used at the vet clinic.  The girls that work in the front seem really nice, and it sounds like it's going to be an enjoyable experience.  I was quickly introduced to most of the 'other' staff, but there's no way I can put a face with the names yet.

This week I'm going to be working later shifts (off at 7:30 tomorrow and Wednesday, and 6:30 Thursday and Friday).  Which will theoretically change once I'm done training.  Not that I'm too worried.  Jason bought a gym pass, and is going on his way home from work.  It's actually a great plan – he gets to miss most (if not all) of the rush hour traffic this way.  Much more effective use of time.

I'm holding off on buying a pass until I have a more set schedule.  I also need to go check out the YMCA that's on the way to/from my work.  The college gym was so nice though, so I'm a little worried I won't like it.  But if that's the way to avoid rush hour traffic, then so be it.  I'll make it work, whichever gym I choose.

I'm also trying to let go of my old habits and routines, and make ones that fit my new life and situation.  Like staying up late.  This is a hard one, but I'm working on getting ready for bed sooner, and going into the bedroom to read (until I'm tired, as late as that may be) instead of staying in the living room watching tv or being on my computer.  Another big one is the desire to have a clean and empty sink.  I hate doing dishes.  And I think Jason feels the same.  So the dishes only get done every two to three days.  (Sorry Mom & Dad).  At least we know that when the house hunting time comes, a dishwasher (or room to put one) is high up on the 'like to have' list, borderline on the 'need to have'.   

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

What a Day

It's not even 6pm yet, and Jason and I have already packed a lot into our day.  Even with sleeping in until 10am.  Days like this are awesome.

The weather continues to be awesome, so we took full advantage and went for a walk on some nearby trails.  This was our first time trying out the trails, and we were both impressed.  They go in between the communities in a forested creek area.  So peaceful.  We both want to try out cross-country skiing on them.  The ski club that maintains the trail offers lessons on Saturdays, and you can use their equipment.  Unfortunately there's no place to rent skis in the city (that we've heard of at this point at least), so we have to go on club-only outings unless we want to buy our own.

ab After the walk, we went to the gym.  OMG, the gym at the college has some of the nicest facilities I have ever seen.  And I went in with some pretty high expectations.  All the cardio machines have individual televisions.  So cool.  tricepThere's also a running track (which makes Jason happy).  I quite enjoyed the many machines they had.  I've never seen some of them before, like the tricep extension or abdominal crunch.  But oh man, did I have fun.  I always forget how much I love working out until I'm there.

We ate dinner when we got home from the gym.  At 4pm.  Jason had his classic tomato soup and rice.  I went for triscuit crackers with melted cheese and spinach dip.  Oh, and cucumbers with salt and pepper.  So yummy.  Tonight we're going to watch 'Get Smart'.

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Finally, the picture proof of Jason's 'stache

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A really cool close-up of our blanket (taken by Jason – the amazing photographer, at least in comparison to me).

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Speck.

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Jengo.

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Jason listening to his tunes.

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Jason's eye.

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Off to sushi.

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Rush hour traffic – headed in the opposite direction.

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Jason the Fighter.

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Our tea cups.

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PS – I've updated my 'Blogs I Adore' list.  Took a couple off, added a few.

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PPS – Jill, I miss have you as a workout buddy.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Lazy Friday

Today Jason didn't have to work.

So today, we lazed in bed.

Until 1pm.

Over my breakfast, we talked about going to the gym.

Made plans to start working out regularly.

Get fit, and ripped, and look great.

Then Jason showered.

He went in with a beard.

And came out with a moustache.

I said "No way".

As I laughed.

And as Jason laughed.

He went and shaved it off.

I showered.

We decided to go for sushi for dinner.

It was amazing.

Dinner was followed by Walmart then Superstore.

We got groceries.

The workout plans have been pushed back to tomorrow.

Tonight we watched 'Dragon: A Bruce Lee Story'.

And I fed Jason jelly beans.

Now it's bed time.

So, good night.

Signature - Manderz

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Temperature is Rising

When I left the house today, I actually said "It's warm out today" to myself.  Up until this point, the warmest it's been is –19C.  It was 
–12C  this afternoon though, and it's supposed to reach +5C by Sunday.  Woot, woot.  Which is perfect timing, since Jason has Friday off.

I start my job on Monday.  Finally.  I was getting rather impatient waiting for the call, and ended up calling them myself on Tuesday and yesterday.  Turns out they thought they'd called me already.  Anyways, that issue is cleared up.  Now it's a matter of figuring out what my schedule will be like the rest of the week.  Being the type of person that I am, it's a bit annoying not being able to make plans (even what little ones I have to make right now).

My Google Reader list is down to 127.  It's been up around 170ish for the past week, so it's a really great feeling to be slowly catching up.  Not that I'm rushing or anything.  Most definitely not.  Reading everything is the fun part.

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For tonight I plan on catching up on more blogs, reading the new episode of Flare, and playing Sudoku on my iPod.  Oh, and watching a movie with Jason when he wakes up from his nap.

I took this picture because I needed a picture of something, and didn't have anything else.  That's how

Jason is adapting to my blogging I think.  He used to 'read' all my posts before we lived together (meaning they were
e-mailed to him automatically, and he scanned through them first thing in the mornings).  Now I keep asking him if he wants to write a post.  Or if he has a comment he'd like me to add from him.  The answer is always "no".  Do not fear though, I shall keep asking.

Oh, wait.  He says "Jay doesn't blog".  That's enough for me.

Well, I've got nothing else to write for now.  Maybe someone should 'tag' me.  Give me something to write about.

Signature - Manderz

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's Delurking Time

While scouring the blogosphere today, I found out that it's Delurking Day.

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Other blogs are sticking with Delurking Week.

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Either way, it's exciting.

So what exactly is delurking?  According to Net Lingo:
delurking: slang for coming out of online "lurking mode"; and
to lurk: to read messages on a blog without ever replying yourself

Which means, if you are reading this (whether today, tomorrow, or even next year), you should leave a comment.  It really doesn't matter what you say.  I'm just curious about the people who read my blog.  SiteMeter gives me the statistics – how many people stop by, where they're from, how long they stay, etc.  But that's just so…impersonal.

And guess what?!  You don't need an account or a blog to leave a comment!  Honestly.  I can walk you through step-by-step.  (If you already know how, just skip ahead.)

1. Go to the bottom of the post click on 'Comments'.

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2. This will open a pop-up window.  Type your comment in the box.

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3. Then click on the little circle beside 'Name/URL'.

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6. Type in your name.

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6. Click on 'Publish Your Comment'.

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7. You may be asked to do word verification. 

That's it.  Very, very easy.

Happy Delurking!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Short and Sweet

- My day was rather boring today.
- Jason has decided that hot sauce is the new ketchup.
- There's a snowfall warning in FMM tonight.
- The City was on tonight: I like it way less than The Hills, but I can't stop watching.
- Still waiting to hear back about a start date from the dental clinic.
- Hopefully tomorrow something interesting will happen.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Simple Sunday

My sleep wasn't very good last night.  I couldn't fall asleep, then I kept waking up and couldn't fall back asleep, and finally I was so uncomfortable I ended up moving to the couch.  That whole drama left me pretty tired, and with a sore lower back.  Always great fun.

We went for brunch at Earl's once again.  It was a tradition Jason started before I arrived, and something we will most likely continue.  Jason and Brad enjoy "visiting" with each other (albeit across a bar), and we get a hot meal without making it ourselves.  Nothing to complain about, that's for sure.  Today was a French Toast day for me, and another Egg's Benedict day for Jason.

After eating, and relaxing for a bit, we went to the library.  I was constantly comparing FMM's library to Calgary's, and they balance each other out in the end.  Although I continue to be surprised in the areas that FMM edges out Calgary.  The shelves are a bit messy order-wise, and I don't understand some of the cataloguing, but there was a good selection.  Even Jason managed to find a book (and he doesn't usually enjoy reading).

It was off to Mark's Work Wearhouse to get some more long underwear for Jason (luckily we were able to find his size, as those shelves were almost bare), then we hit up Safeway for some groceries.  It was pretty busy and picked over, so I think grocery shopping might involve a bit more strategic planning in the future (ie. either Jason and I going on a weekday, or first thing Saturday morning).  We were able to get what we needed though, so that's all that really matters in the end.

The rest of the afternoon was spent curled up on the couch with a hot drink reading.  Very peaceful, and very relaxing.  Dinner was soup for Jason and cereal for myself.  Easy and satisfying.  Jason did some yoga, I played a few games of Solitaire, we watched a bit of TV and that was about it for our weekend.

Tomorrow is back to work for Jason, and I will hopefully get a call from my new job about when I get to start.  Hope you had a great weekend!

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Some pictures from last night…

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Jason curled up on the couch…


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Watching TV and napping away…


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He's ignoring me here…


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And here…

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The computer set-up I had – Jason's mac for listening to Nickelback's new album, and my Dell (and wireless keyboard/mouse) for catching up on my blog reading.  The Kleenex and lotion were necessary for the running nose and dry hands that have been plaguing me lately.

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Such a cutie…


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And to end it all – me, making faces at myself in the mirror, and capturing it on camera.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wide Load on Road

Today Jason and I went for a drive.  After a stop at Tim's for breakfast of course.  I'm not very impressed with 2 of their staff members – the ones that make the sandwiches.  They just don't seem to understand the meaning of working quickly, even when there's a line up of people waiting.  It was the same staff, and the same situation last time I went in too.  Maybe if they weren't talking with each other, I'd be a bit more forgiving.  Much too frustrating to watch them though, so I waited in the car while Jason waited for our food.

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On the way to Tim's.

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Jason being Jason – always making faces.

We drove out to the local ski hill first.  It actually looks like a decent hill – bigger than COP with lots of trees like all the mountains have.  Definitely still a hill, but they have freestyle features including a halfpipe, and what looks to be a fun tube park.  Both of us are pretty excited to give the hill, and the tubing, a try.

After that we drove around one of the communities on the south side of town that Jason would like to buy a house in.  There are some nice places there, although I'm not a huge fan of the location since you have to drive through/past the industrial area to get to anything (ie. grocery store, gas station).  Plus then my job would be on the opposite side of town.  Getting a house is still a few months (in Jason's mind) to many more months (in my mind) away, so I'm not too worried.

Then we trekked north of the city towards the oil sands.  We encountered a HUGE wide load on the way.  It was insane!  2 semis pulling, and 4 pushing.

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This was it turning left across the highway.  It's "entourage" took up both sides of the highway (2 lanes + full shoulders each side) and the whole ditch in the middle.

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Just to put it in perspective – those green circles happen to be people standing up.

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A close up of the 4 semis pushing.

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Just a view of the road, and forests, on the way back to FMM.

For dinner we went to Boston Pizza with Renita and Richard.  Renita got a new job this week too, so we were celebrating.  It was great to see them again. 

Jason says "Hi" from his current spot on the couch.  Hope you're having a great weekend!

PS – I am planning on responding to all the e-mails and Facebook messages/comments.  Honestly.

PPS – My new camera is awesome! Thanks again Mom & Dad.