It’s just stuff

He’s fascinated by the Tiny House movement.

He wants to live simply.

He wonders if I can. He wonders if I can live in a smaller space — smaller than a three-bedroom home in suburbia — and with less stuff.

I chuckle.

My first one-bedroom apartment in Calgary was a tiny little dungeon off Edmonton Trail in Crescent Heights. The bedroom was just big enough to fit my queen-sized bed (no boxspring, mind you; we couldn’t squeeze it down the stairwell) and six-drawer horizontal dresser.

It had no closet space, just a couple of those Rubbermaid shelf racks screwed into the wall.

wire closet shelf

It was exactly what I could afford on the salary of a lowly sports reporter for Sun Media.

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An immunity idol to get off the island

Today, I met a doctor with a wry sense of humour.

When it comes time to head to Vancouver and have the medical for my K-1 visa application, I have to prove I’m immune to a lengthy list of communicable diseases, including chicken pox, mumps, measles and rubella.

Survivor immunityA Canadian girl in the 1970s remembers well her trips to the school nurse to get stuck up like a pin cushion, the boys not needing any rubella shots.

And chicken pox? Yeah, that scar on my right temple is from picking a chicken pox scab. (The one between my eyebrows is from bouncing on my parents’ bed and landing forehead-first on the corner of their dresser. It was a sometimes rough childhood … all my own fault, sometimes Kevin’s.)

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spokane engagement

A new journey

I knew 2014 was going to be a big year.

By now, many of you know My American popped the question.

spokane engagement

And thus, a new journey begins. Today, we received our NOA-1, a Notice of Action that our K-1 visa application is now under adjudication at the California Service Center.

That’s right.

The girl with the tattoo of a Maple Leaf and old pipe-blade hockey skates is getting ready to pack up her stuff and make a run for the border. I joke about cheap beer and wine but many of you know how difficult it’s going to be to leave Canada and become an American.

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1 second everyday

Blowing off the cobwebs

<tap tap tap>

Is this thing on? Can anyone hear me? Have I completely lost the legions of people who kept coming back here for more?

You know what I hate? Checking in on someone’s blog and seeing sporadic posts—one every three or four months— apologizing for being absent, for not writing, for not having anything to say.

Now look at my post history. I wrote something last July and then again in November when Shep got sick. It isn’t any better on my adventure blog, Our Great Escape.

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Calgary flood 2013

Twitter: is it still optional in communications?

You seem to like Twitter a lot. Should it be part of our communications strategy?

It was a question posed to me during a recent job interview. Many of my friends should be surprised to hear I responded ‘not really.’

The company for which I was interviewing is based in a smaller city, one where social media — at least Twitter — hasn’t really taken off as a business communication tool.

Sure, I said, the competition is using it and that means we should be listening and posting when necessary. Twitter should be a bit player in the overall strategy, I said, but our key communications tools should be traditional media.

It made sense at the time.

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beer cans

Getting the cold shoulder on Twitter

Imagine for a moment that you’re looking for a specific item.

You approach the salesperson in your favourite store or boutique and ask, “Do you have any navy pencil skirts?”

The salesperson responds: “All of our skirts are on the second floor. Just go up those stairs.”

That doesn’t feel very helpful, does it? You were probably hoping she might lead you to the correct spot and even say “Can I help you find something in your size?”

The helpful reaction isn’t just what I might expect while out shopping. It’s a reaction I have gotten, which made me happy to spend hard-earned money in that store.

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A Walk on the River 041