snow woman

It's just about December and already it feels like Christmas is right around the corner. The snow has fallen thickly on this corner of the Prairies, and it's sticking to around -15 C for the last few days.

The driving has been terrible and last week I was inducted into the club of Stupid People Who Cause Accidents. Yes, my very first "real" car accident, insurance claims, tow trucks, and the embaressment of acknowledging to everyone who asks (and everyone does) that I slid down a hill and hit a parked car two blocks from my home. There were many things that I was grateful for (except the fact I was wearing CareBear pajama pants and cowboy boots) and no one was injured. So it's mostly fine, except it'll cost us. The poor little Civic took a big hit. And yes, I know they say "it's not your fault, otherwise they wouldn't call it an accident". But one can't help but feel a wee bit stupid for hitting a parked car. I am driving very cautiously in my sporty red rental car.

But, hey, it makes life a little spicier. Martin ran like the wind (literally) home from work when he heard, and it's a great feeling to know someone has your back and will care for you in a crunch. (No pun intended.)

Looking out my window with a frosty red rental and snowbanked sidewalks, I could handle no winter right now. We've been discussing getting away from winter, and this week we finally made up our minds: In January there will be another white Canadian and one white Swede taking up some real estate on the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I have never had the desire to go to Mexico, but we wanted to go somewhere and didn't want to spend too much, so Mexico it is. I am stoked about it - finally, a "honeymoon" with Mr. Sweden, our first time travelling together instead of off on our own adventures, and a warm, sub-tropical destination. Oh, yes.


blogs aren't cool anymore

Someone informed me today that blogging is out. As in, no longer cool. Oh, and that we were all so busy and had so little time that everybody was just Facebooking now. Blogs are on their way out. So I'm concerned. What about my millions of readers out there? Will they stop caring about me because blogging is now so clearly old school?

Okay, so I think only like five people read this blog, and it was never cool to begin with, so there isn't much to wail about. Also, it's only for my own gratification really, so I won't stop writing however uncool it becomes. However, the recent uncoolness of blogs gets me to thinking, which inevitably gets me to writing. . .

The above photos are of a real moment, a sublime moment, sitting on horseback on a wind-whipping hill, Rocky Mountains to the west, blue-brown prairie stretching east as far as the eye can see. They are captures of a good, real day. A day of easy conversations with strangers, good-natured farm dogs, a cowboy, strong prairie sunshine, and red cheeks. A bit of anxiety at trying something new, fear when my horse spooked, belly laughter, fresh air, and the feel of freedom with nature.

And then we come back from the weekend and get back to real life: you know, work, sleep, eat, repeat. And in between we find a little email and Facebook for connection. Maybe a call or a text on our mobiles. Gets me to wondering: are we slowly dipping into an existence where the real world is overcome by the virtual world? What if all the real moments of meaningful conversation and interesting conversations with strangers are supplanted by our virtual lives?

I'm definitely not saying Facebook, mySpace etc. are not real, but a manufactured extension of our daily lives. And what if we continue down this path? How many years ago did we not even have telephones, and already people have decided they are "too busy" to use one? (I won't even begin to mourn letters and the last time I sent one.)

I am not innocent of this. And I think Facebook is a good tool if people can control themselves on it, but it makes me sorry to hear that in such a short time a thing like blogging, which although accused of giving every hack and would-be writer a venue, at least clung still to the written word. And what when Facebook is out? What will be our next reduced, skeletal venue of communication?

It would be cool to learn Morse code.


don't hate sweden

It's early Friday evening, and the weekend is not starting well. I had a run-in with a dentist, and not only lost but had to pay for the pain, irritation and discomfort she caused me. Dentists are pretty much a .5 step up from con artists. I avoid them if at all possible. Now I have been told my great-grandfather died from septic shock from a toothache. I wouldn't let it go quite that far.

Another profession I sometimes wonder about is family doctors. My poor neighbour had a case of foot fungus (he's an elderly man) and it turned into an very bad infection and the hospital is worried it ate away at the bone of his foot. His family doctor couldn't quite figure out what it was and kept prescribing useless meds. Now the poor old guy has to take meds so strong it clearly states in the info that it can also be used to treated things spread during biowarfare, such as anthrax and the plague. Biowarfare? Huh.

So now I head down to the SEED to help serve supper and my face is all frozen and weird. But I am kinda hopped up on Halloween chocolate bars so it really doesn't matter, I feel okay. It was a good week for a few reasons, one being someone in the US successfully sued the cult leader Phelps and his insane group of brainwashed followers. For a while the man was entertaining in his weirdness but I was so tired of reading of his "Christian" and "church" labelled hate. Plus, he said that God hates Sweden. Now that's just not nice.