March 24, 2016

Fail! --On the Blogging not the Midterms ;)

Soooooo I had this GREAT idea that I would start this blog as a chronicle of the adventures and my life while living in Grenada, while going to vet school. HAHA silly me! I thought I would have time to quickly make a few posts here and there on a regular basis. HAHA silly me!! Midterms are over now, and the next round of quizzes is looming only just a week away and I am only settling in to my what is it- 3rd post? -I apologize. The good news is that while I have been busy with a canine dissection in anatomy lab, lectures on the heart and every way it can FAIL in physiology, Histology lectures and labs full of cells, secretions, functions and even embryology, I have not stopped making my little list of things I would like to blog about. So that means that albeit late, you will still get to live it like a play by play. Now its just like PVR instead of real time ;)

So to complete the school update, overall midterms did go OK...While I am not happy with a few of my grades, they are all really fine and at the end of the day it is SOooooo much more rewarding to study about things that interest me--that fascinate me and that I love to learn about! Not one of my classes doesnt fascinate me...actually that's a lie. Let's say "ALL of the CORE classes are awesome" there's a couple small 2-credit headaches I could really do without....that I wonder HOW can possibly be so poorly orchestrated....

Life on the island continues to be full of warm weather and mostly sunny skies. There is the occasional downpour--where the rain comes down in such copious volumes that you wonder how there can even be enough air left floating around for oxygen consumption! It is the dry season now, which, in a way resembles fall weather that I am used to -- leaves on the ground and dry brown grass. But then you look around and although some trees are bare, others are in full bloom! It is a stark and mentally confusing contrast for this Canadian!

Ok: So that update over, my goal is to post again this weekend and include some details about the house (the good, the less good and the plain freaking pathetic) For now I will leave you with these: notice the way the moon is "facing" --its like the cheshire cat!! :)

January 25, 2016

Mario Kart

Driving in Grenada has been a truly life-altering experience. It has contained many firsts for me:
First time driving a tiny car
First time gauging speed in miles
First time driving on the left hand side of the road, in a right-hand side car.
First time I have ever felt overwhelmed behind a wheel--EVER.

My life became WAY less stressful when I remembered all my teenage training (ok- fine, yes I am still guilty of the occasional Mario binge). -What has this got to do with life in Grenada you ask? It has EVERYTHING to do with getting around here. You see, not only do they drive on the opposite of the road as we do in Canada, but they have almost no concrete rules. The roads are very narrow for the most part, and as Lucille would say, "The potholes can be so big that there are roads inside them!" Life in Grenada flows at a much slower pace than in Canada, EXCEPT when Grenadians are driving. The true spitfire inside them is unleashed when they have a steering wheel in hand.

Here are the 'rules' it seems that we play by-- as I have deciphered, so far-- and this is by no means concrete and probably not even very accurate!

1. You can park anywhere, in any direction, at any time if it suits you.
2. If there is someone parked on the road which prevents two way flow of traffic- that's fine, you put your turning signal on and go around if/when you can...and then maybe backup if you guessed wrong and there is on-coming traffic. You might have to duck back in very quickly because on-coming traffic gives you NO grace period.
3. Round-a-bouts are at almost every intersection: When traffic is heavy in the mornings and at the end of the day, just treat these as a life-sized game of Russian roulette and you will probably make it through ok.
4. 'YOU' always have the right of way-- it's the other guy that has a problem.
5. Give an inch, they will drive over you.
6. Horns are not meant to tell anyone off. They mean 'Hello' 'goodbye' 'move over' 'I am passing you', 'have a nice day', and anything else you can think of.
7. Turning signals are for everything EXCEPT turning. They indicate you are passing, that you want to pass, that you think you should pass, that you are planning to stop, that you are stopped, that you meant to stop but you are still rolling etc.
8. Arms are used, alot by Grenadians. They use them as we do for bicycling in Canada. They are the best predictor of what's happening in front of the vehicle containing the flailing appendage. They indicate that you should stop (like actually come to a dead halt), they indicate that they are going to turn, or want to turn (and you just go, when you've had enough of waiting). Arms also flail to indicate that you should pass the vehicle containing the flailing. They also flail when they think you've made an error in interpreting any of the above.
9. If you stop at a crosswalk to let a pedestrian across the street, they will look at you like a little kid on Christmas morning who got the one thing he wanted more than life itself. -- Big beaming smiles and thanks yous, waves and sometimes love taps on your car. haha. I try to do this at least once a day because its a good 'cheer-you-upper' and reminder to be humble.
10. Roads are not just for cars. They are for walking. Even little tiny kids of 3-4yrs will be seen every day walking on a road beside cars travelling between 20-40 mph. (There may be a speed limit? But there are no signs...the roads are so bad that 40 mph feels like 140 km/hr at home) When I say you beside, I mean within 3 inches sometimes. >.< It is hard to watch. 11. You. Know. Nothing. Just when you think you have a hang of something, or have figured out an unwritten driving rule, it will be challenged, just to keep life interesting. And last but not least #12: REGGAE BUSES ARE CRAZY!!!!! Reggae buses are over sided mini vans that constitute the local bus system. They have numbers on them which elude to a loose route that they follow. They are cheap to ride and I think they are meant to hold 8 ppl but usually hold 10-12 at a time. There seems to be a bit of a bus stop system, but it also seems like you can wave them down anywhere in between, and it seems like you can also get off anywhere you'd like-- you just bang on the window. The Reggae buses swerve like mad-men, they go fast and stop all the time, they will pass you if they can catch you--and then stop right in front of you. Best to just let them do as they will and laugh about it. So now you can understand the Mario Kart analogy. For the first few days of driving I was wincing, holding my breath and actually shaking by the time I arrived at my destination. My brain had vehicular overload!! As soon as I took 'reality' out of the equation (Don't get me wrong, peoples-- I am still VERY aware that this is basically life or death daily) and started thinking about the roads more as a game and less as a death trap, my tension and stress became significantly less! Now I just have isolated cases of "HOLY GOOD #)(%&)^$" in a day. HAHA!! So -- this post comes quite a few days after my last one. School is now in full swing and so far its going great. My class seems to have a very broad mix of people and backgrounds. We even have a pair of girls from Grenada which I think is fantastic! I believe the last number I was told was 85 students, and I think I read somewhere that there are 8 of us from the Great White North down here basking in the tropics. Next up will be some of the critters we share the house with, some have names and some are yet to be identified but ALL are super neat -- even the cockroaches-- I could do without those but even their antics are comical. Here's a few pics to entice you to buy plane tickets: They are 'Morning, Noon and Night'


Missing you all, but loving the sun. -Red.

January 14, 2016

The Blur

So after a few hours of sleep, the morning arrived....and I slept through it. HAHA I think plain exhaustion from 2 days of stressful travel after 2 weeks of frantic rushing after 2 months of hectic planning got the best of me. The kids had been warned that if they woke me, they would not live to tell about the wrath that I would unleash...and they had their special xmas gift: an iPad so I was left well enough alone, until the phone started ringing. The first day wasn't very fun... unpacking, unpacking, a grocery run with the taxi and two boys in tow. But the first day ended very well, when after his own set of delays and dilemmas, Gavin flew in and got to the house just before midnight.

When I was here scoping things out in October, we visited and talked with several schools and one in particular stood out as being the most likely (and maybe only) school that would accept the boys. I had a mental note that school would begin after xmas holidays on the Wednesday after we arrived. Except, I was wrong. They had to be at school Tuesday. At 8am. We still had no car, very little understanding of the lay of the land, and nothing to make a bag lunch with. --but come on, wouldn't be my life if it wasn't a challenge! So I called our handy dandy taxi man and he had us to the school 1/2hr early! 2 hrs later, we had the boys set for the day, with a selection of snacks and buns for lunch (thank goodness they barely eat during the day!!)
They are the ONLY non-native kids in their class, and in the gr 4-6 building. In fact, the only other caucasian kids (there's 2) are in high school. Their day was overwhelming as they struggled to understand the varying accents with varying thicknesses but every day since has been a tiny bit easier.

I promised you more about Grenada this post, and I am hoping that as I learn, I can continue to share about this amazing (yet tiny) little place that I accidentally discovered. **SHOUT TO CESAR-- THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME REMEMBER TO LOOK OUTSIDE THE BOX, I always do better there!** So...Geography wise, the island is only 12 miles wide and 21 miles long. There are (ancient) volcanic mountainous rain forests covering the interior of the island and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world along a very calm coastline. One of the biggest differences I have noticed about the ocean in general here is how much more calm the waters are compared to, for example: either the West or East Coasts of Canada and Hawaii.

They claim that Grenada has two seasons, 'wet' and 'dry' but the temperature seems to average year-round at 25-ish celsius. The days so far have ranged exactly around that-- 24-30 degrees and have been mostly a mix of sun and cloud, rainy bouts and a few blasts of scorching sun rays. According to the locals (and my brief research) Grenada is usually spared the wrath of the hurricanes that hit many other parts of the Caribbean, due to its southerly location. It seems that yacht and sailboat owners like to throw anchor here and fly home, since the island is one of the safest places both weather and society wise in all of the Caribbean. Sometimes hurricanes do hit, like hurricane Ivan in 2004, which left the entire island in devastation which is still very evident in abandoned homes and other buildings with no roof, or missing walls. You can also see their attempts to prevent such catastrophic damage in the future such as a new larger sea wall to block storm-sized waves from wiping out roads, homes and businesses that are literally on the water's edge. It seems hurricanes here are very far and few between, and hopefully will completely skip the 3 years that we will call the island home.

Day two also included renting a car. I have continued to be amazed at how hard it was to try to do things from Canada, but that are fairly easy once here and the car (which I had been searching for since November) was no exception to that-- easy as punch now that we are here.
So now we have "Baymax" as the kids have named him and he's rough as can be but he is a real trooper on these crazy Grenada roads...And that is where I will leave you until next time! Oh, by the way....here is where I am eating my lunch today

January 12, 2016

Starting at the Beginning

...So I am reactivating this blog. Mostly because it already existed and I didn't really want to start over... Why re-activate? Not because I am teaching scrapbooking or crafty courses but BECAUSE I GOT INTO VET SCHOOL....and why does that mean my blog needs to be running?...BECAUSE I GOT INTO VET SCHOOL.....IN GRENADA!! -Where the heck is that? Yeah- that was my first question as well. It's in the Caribbean, just a tiny 12 degrees North of the equator (READ: HOT) So the ambition for me to return to blogging stems from a 3 hr. time change and everyone wanting to know what I'm up to and me finding myself wishing there was a way to share my adventure with friends, family and anyone who wants to read :) So, we begin.

We left Canada at the very beginning of the month...New Year's for me was *attempting* to finalize bits and pieces for our epic move around to the other side of the world where they walk around in sweaters when it's 24 degrees celsius (I have discerned, from the locals that 24 degrees is THE coldest it gets here). I have an amazing friend staying in my Spruce View place, and I think she's done a better job with making that house feel 'homey' than I ever did! All of our things are neatly crammed into a sea can.... and into the garage...and into my parents garage... and into their storage area... so: Most of my stuff is all over the place and I hope I can recall 'what is where' when I want/need it.

The boys and I arrived in Grenada in the dark. I love arriving places in the dark. It makes the next morning seem magical, when you wake up and have no idea what, exactly you will get to see. Even when I go to familiar places like Canmore, it never fails to fill me with excitement to look out the windows and go explore on the first morning.
While the views did not disappoint in the morning, Grenada didn't wait until sunrise to fill me with surprises...Within 20 min. of being at the house (After 2 hrs of trying to leave the airport!!) we had a gecko in the kitchen helping me make our VERY late supper of powdered soup, a bat (which, at the time I thought was a bird...I was overtired) circle the living room for several laps and a huge cockroach in my bathroom. (SPECIAL M... WHENEVER YOU READ THE WORD COCKROACH, JUST PRETEND IT SAYS....flower...or butterfly...or daisy...or anything other than HUGE BUG...I promise they really arn't that bad...)

So 'where' exactly did I go? You're still trying to figure that out aren't you. Here's a map! https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zqEr43FTGHNU.k_FnDFvIcmtk&usp=sharing

More about the island later! TaTa for now! Off to swim :)

February 03, 2010

February 3rd? Where did January go?

I can't believe it is February! ...never mind February...it's the 3rd already and WEDNESDAY!! Who sped up the clock? lol....hmmmm maybe that's what happens when I get busy creating. MAYBE that's why it is so easy to scrapbook for hours and hours at a time, because really to me it only feels like a few minutes. Here's what I entered into a challenge on Savvy n' Sassy today.




The goal was to use more than 2 different kinds of letters, and ribbon-of COURSE...because that is really what Savvy n' Sassy is all about. They are the GO-TO girls for ribbons of all and any sorts worth having!! You can check out the site HERE and look for more of my work in my gallery there! Im Froghollow, of course!

Hoppy Scrappin!

January 21, 2010

Here comes a Whizzy Day!!

Seems like 2010 is all about ACTION for me. Do any of you feel extra motivated? Extra focused? I am spending this whole first quarter of 2010 being really focused on TAKING ACTION. -RIGHT NOW!! No waiting to make a plan, no trying to find the right thing to do first. I am just gonna "DO". I was on a really super conference call with Mr. Andrew Barber-Starkey who in my opinion is one of the greatest business coaches going. He has come up with a set of tools to help a person take action NOW. HOW COOL! how did HE know that was exactly what I need these days!! I am so pumped about the beginning of the classes for Frog Hollow. Not only because it is something I am so passionate about, but because I KNOW that you are going to love what is created here! I know there will be bloopers and blunders along the way but i say BRING IT ON 2010! I am ready and I am running! Whoo!!

What do you do to get yourself motivated? I mean 'cmon...EVERYONE has a day where their pillow or a couch look like the only thing worth focusing on. What do you do in that moment to get yourself going. To take action NOW!?!? Well the next time I find myself a bit down I am going to plug in a new playlist I've made into my ipod. It's a crazy list made of all genres-they only rule was it had to be loud, busy song.- One that makes me want to move.

Got any ideas??? If you do, post a comment and I will choose a random winner for a neat little package of tidbit ribbons that I have here. Mmmmmm Ribbon. SO FUN!!!

If you want to learn more about Taking Action- Take Action! and check out Mr. Andrew Barber-Starkey at:

Now I'm off to take action! Off to town with a laundry list of "things to get done"!
Have a SUPER day!

January 10, 2010

SERIOUSLY


Yep- that's the word of the day....SERIOUSLY!
How hard can it be to print little pictures, on the same page as some big pictures and crop some other pictures and stick them around the edges? SERIOUSLY...pretty blinking IMPOSSIBLE- apparently.

So ya...I am not loving the mac today-infact I am hating all technology today. What is WITH this day? SERIOUSLY...it is beautifully sunny out, one of the nicest days in months. What I am doing? Sitting in a hard wooden chair that is too tall for the table fight with a computer. As IF I dont know that it will win- it ALWAYS wins.....ahhh SERIOUSLY!!!! iweb, iphoto, iprint..NOT actually the only thing I've got goin is : ieat....Mmmmm fire roasted hotdogs! There is absolutely nothing better than a hotdog perfectly greasy and sooty from a fire on a snowy but sunny day-well any day, actually.

SERIOUSLY- on another note entirely, I am going to be hosting the first of many "club meetings" at the end of the month and I've just teamed up with Basic Grey to do a page-a-month challenge.....want it? If you complete all the pages for the whole year, you get a FREE Basic Grey Album to put them all in! SERIOUSLY- what an AWESOME deal!!
If you check out my website, you can see some details about the monthly clubs as well as the Basic Greay Page-a-Month Challenge.