#tbt20 – Edmonton

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Egad. Brett and I are going to Bray’s high school graduation this weekend in Edmonton as I mentioned in a post a few days ago… the first I’ve attended since my own in 1993… I’m interested to see the trend in dresses. Will I see some dresses from the ’93 ahahaha?! I’ll let you know…

So you’d think I’d be tbt-ing about my 1993 grad from WCHS, but I’m actually throwing it back to my Edmonton days in general.

So Brett and I rented a house in Old Strathcona/Mill Creek – which I always equated with some shabbiness. Yes, there’s still some dumpy buildings, but there is a lot of rebuilding and it turns out it’s a great little place. Good location for running in Mill Creek Ravine and walking over to Whyte avenue for lunch, drinks, or just walking.

We ran a nice four mile distance this morning down the ravine and into Rossdale. We actually ran part of our old route when we used to live in the river valley.

We finished running and decided to just keep walking to get coffee. We noticed some different places on Whyte Ave; ones I thought weren’t great like The Tilted Kilt, but there were a few decent changes since I’ve lived here like a couple of new bierhouses. I had fond memories when I saw some of the places I used to frequent in my university days – places like Funky Pickle Pizza, Queen Donair, Elephant & Castle, Fat Franks. There are now the trendy froyo and cupcakes places which I’ve seen my last couple of visits that add some new flavor to Whyte Ave, which I like. We met mom for a nice lunch a Packrat Louie, a restaurant we should have visited more often when we lived here.

coffee you love

coffee you need

Something I’m looking forward to is going to the Strathcona Farmer’s Market on Saturday to pick up our steaks and veggies for the BBQ on Sunday – after my Community Action 5k Dash of course! I’m trying to get better at taking pictures when I’m here, so stay tuned for more Edmonton.

tbt #11 – Happy Days Coming Soon

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July 1st – 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, …. 1975.

Summer, freedom, sunshine, happiness, smiles, beaches, boats, friends, parties, Canada Day events, fireworks, water falls, bar-be-ques, picnics, love.

No alarm, no thinking, no deadlines, no disingenuous drivel, no mounds of paper, no BS.

Welcome spring 2014, and I look forward to your summer too. 🙂

#tbt 9 – Grape Happy Pop

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Love Pop Shoppe!

Love Pop Shoppe!

I was excited to find Pop Shoppe pop at Bed, Bath & Beyond’s new specialty foods area. Not that I’ll ever buy it, but it was a fun memory.

I used to love the grape Happy Pop, in the stubby bottle of course. Even now, I still love the smell of grape pop… unfortuntely it’s just too sugary for me to handle a couple of decades later. But every once in a while, a little grape pop is all a person needs.

Throwback Thursday #8 – White Bread, No Crust

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Things I miss about childhood…

white bread sandwiches that my mom would cut the crusts off of

riding my bike to Tags with Joc for daily donuts and slushes after school, or a little brown bag full of candy

wearing knee-high socks and knickers

being care-free

not doing work after school (don’t really remember doing much homework)

eating popsicles and jumping on the trampoline

biking and walking around for hours, for no reason

packing my little bag with snacks and dolls and going “camping” down by the creek

skating on the creek

tobogganing down our hills

driving my little Honda 50 around

rainbow ice cream from Pioneer Ice Cream

watching Family Ties, The Cosby’s, and Who’s the Boss on my little TV

performing Chicago songs to various “audiences”

dressing up like a fool for reason

the smell of Strawberry Shortcake

setting up the Barbie houses then not playing with them



Throwback Thursday #5 – Veggie Dinners

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Wordless Wednesday posts are sometimes clues to Throwback Thursday posts, in case you had or hadn’t noticed… well, this is what I’m trying to do anyway.

So my Wordless Wednesday photo of my veggies, cheese, salami and breadsticks dinner is my topic. That plate of goodness is a pretty typical dinner during the week for Brett and I. Heavy on the veggies and hummus or tzaziki, lighter on the cheese and crackers.

This throwback only goes back just a few months, but I was thinking about when Brett and I decided to start eating raw veggies for dinner during the week, instead of regular dinners. He was finding that eating a larger lunch then coming home to dinner a few hours later was too much food. So we came up with a plan for weeknight dinners. We would eat raw veggies, hummus, maybe crackers, salami and cheese, but mostly veggies for dinner during the week. Weekends are early “regular” dinner days. We’ve kept this new routine going since October and we’ve been successful with it. I think this eating “plan” even makes me feel less guilty about the limited running and gym time over the winter! Yay!

Maybe you want to give it a try!

If You Think It’s Too Good to be True…

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… maybe it’s actually just that good!

When someone approaches you with a “great deal” or something “free”, what do you do? Dive right in? Run away? Well, Brett and I like to dodge the bullet. We are usually skeptics in these situations because usually there is some fine print.

Well today was the day I bought into an attractive idea. Pay without paying?

See, this really happy girl from PayPal at Ground Central Coffee shared the magic with us.

So here’s the deal: you pay with your phone using the PayPal app instead of your with credit or debit card. It’s kind of like the yelp deals, but those deals show up at the end of your dining and are deductions on the bill. Here’s the beauty of the PayPal app purchase: when you go up to pay, your PayPal photo ID comes up and the transaction is done without doing anything! Awesome. This is something I actually found useful! On the app there are coupons, so you locate a place that uses this PayPal feature and use it in an instant. The promotion at the coffee shop was a $20 coupon, so Brett and I enjoyed our cappuccinos and artisan sandwiches in the cozy upright chairs courtesy of PayPal! Sweet!

Sometimes it’s okay to let your guard down and enjoy something a total stranger is trying to share with you.

Ground Central Coffee coziness

Ground Central Coffee coziness

JJ’s Throwback Thursday #2 – Holiday Edition

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I would like to dedicate this Throwback to my brother and his family for the good time this week.

Me and my bro long ago (1976 and 1982-I think)

Me and my bro long ago (1976 and 1982-I think)

My Canadian Christmas 2013 was spent mostly with my mom, dad, brother, sister in-law, niece and nephew (Brett had to work this week so he stayed in NYC, and we will be meeting up with the kids in Phoenix soon). Although I did get to see Jill and her family and had lunch with Joc and her kids; a little more friend time was scheduled but had to cancel due to feeling under the weather.

Anyway… I could throw way back and dig up some crazy old memories from our childhood (stuffing dirty socks in my mouth or getting concussions, for example), but I can call yesterday’s firecracker debacle a “Throwback” memory.

December 25th rundown:

Mom, Dad and I drive from Wetaskiwin to Leduc yesterday morning for gift openings and a day of eating and relaxing.

Gift opening: Great! Lots of smiles and happy faces.

Relaxing: Awesome! From table to kitchen to couch and around again and again. A little nap for Trent and dad, a little run for me.

Eating: Delicious! Corn chowder for lunch. Steak, crab legs, smoked salmon, potato skins and more for dinner. Mmmm!

Games: Scrabble and Beat the Parents. A little thinking involved but successful.

Fireworks: First round – great! Second round – not so much. Run for cover – literally! After Trent set them up, they fell over and started shooting at us towards the house. Ty yells: “They fell over! Get in the house!” while herding us all like sheep toward the door. Trent dove into the snow and tried to take cover. Meanwhile, dad is standing at the end of the deck enjoying the show, no big deal. Keely’s camera records the Griswald type of event that is taking place. After a delayed reaction, we were all back inside. No injuries reported. Usually this type of thing happens at the Borneman family Christmas events… 🙂

After all calmed down and tried a third and final round of fireworks, all was good. And then ended the night ended with a regular Coors and the Griswald’s.

The few days of relaxing with the fam was needed and great. So thank you guys for your hospitality and the new throwbacks! ❤

Wordless Wednesday #2 – Holiday Edition

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It’s Canadian Thanksgiving, Not Columbus Day

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Let’s take a moment to evaluate this weekend – the second weekend of October – and it’s meaning to North Americans. And sorry if I get a little controversial.

For 31 years, this weekend in October always meant gathering with family for Canadian Thanksgiving and for the last 10, my niece’s birthday. Naturally first celebrated by natives (being the first people and all), it remains a day to give thanks for the harvests and all of bounty the earth provides in my home and native land.

For the last 7 years, this weekend means commemorating Christopher Columbus for his exploration and his supposed discovery of America!

So if I live here I should be proud to celebrate this day? Ummm, no! Canadian Thanksgiving it is!

Regardless of the fact that I now live America, I choose to hold true to my roots and be grateful for our tradition of Thanksgiving. I may not be able to find a place that serves a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner, but I can have turkey dinner any time. What I will do is always look back on Thanksgivings past and remember those times with fondness. Being thankful for having my parents to take care of me, my brother to beat me up, and my group of loyal friends to hang with throughout my life (old and new) is all I could really ask for. And throw in a little pumpkin flavored food at this time of year and I’m good.



On the flip side, here in New York City, tomorrow will be the annual Columbus Day parade – messing up travels across 5th Avenue and all through mid-town. Columbus may have sailed to find “The New World” first, but he also destroyed the very existence of thousands of people along the way. And he’s a hero?! He didn’t discover America, there were already people living here. They just weren’t Europeans.



But you know the story, and you know me!… So instead of being a Negative Nelly by starting to bash the idea of celebrating Columbus, I will revert back to my positive thoughts and fond memories of my Canadian Thanksgivings. Family, turkey, food, food, food, pumpkin pie, food, sometimes snow, food, maybe watch hockey, pumpkin pie. Yum.

So I cordially invite Americans to celebrate with Canadians this weekend! Celebrate both Thanksgivings instead of paying “homage” to Columbus! Giving thanks to a peaceful people, who were willing to share the land and resources with newcomers.

Enjoy and be thankful for those who bring meaning to your life and for the harvests the earth (and farmers) provide.

Happy Thanksgiving Canadians and Americans!