Midnight Badminton

•January 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment

OK so I realize that I’ve been somewhat of a blogger slacker lately, so I warn that this is going to be an epically long post…

Work has been hectic, to say the least! Winter in the oil/as industry is the busiest time of year as the ground is frozen which makes it possible to move big trucks/machinery into new drill sites. Winter picks up for operations as well because all sites that you can only quad to in the summer are now vehicle accessible, so you try to cram in 12 months worth of work into only a few.

And yes the industry is not as busy as it was a few years ago, activity is picking up, and the company that I work for is suuuper busy! The roads that we drive on are owned by a forestry company, and are packed with large log trucks. These trucks are loaded twice as much as the ones you see on the highway because they don’t have to obey highway restrictions, they’re on their own roads. Because of this freedom, they also love to drive insanely fast on roads that look like an ice rink on a good day. This results in the need for road channels (ie CB radios) and kilometer calling. Basically there are signs posted with the kilometer that you’re on and you call that number as well as what kind of truck you’re driving and which way you’re going (“empty” or “loaded”, think log truck terms). Kilometer calling is super helpful because you can hear where everyone is and so you’re not surprised coming around a corner, head on with a fully loaded log truck. It’s so busy out there lately that they’ve had to create new channels for small roads that didn’t have them before because of all the traffic. Our company has even hired a road cop that shoot radar and ensures that everyone’s being safe.

On one road within a few kilometers there are 3 drilling rigs, 2 completions rigs as well as pipeline digs/tie-ins going on. I’ve been trying to log into my work computer from home to upload pics of the chaos, but it’s being difficult so I’ll load pics tomorrow). So my week has consisted of writing permits, observing ground disturbances and just generally trying to navigate safely.

On Thursday I was driving to a remote site (winter access only) and 3 wolves crossed the road in front of me!! (pics tomorrow) it was absolutely amazing!! when I se things like this it really makes me stop and think about how thankful I am to have this job, it’s definitely a unique experience!!

On Friday I was supposed to go to see a multi-zone frac (we basically inject sand and fluid at very high pressure/rates into the gas formation in order to open up the rock and allow the gas to flow easier). But at 9am the supervisor called and said it was postponed until Sunday. So the operator and I needed to come up with something else to fill the day (besides work of course). We decided to try to thaw out a valve that’s been frozen shut for the past 2 weeks. This is not as complicated as it may sound, basically we wrapped the valve in bubble wrap and suck a hose in under it and the other end of the hose into the exhaust pipe (known as an exhaust hose). We napped waited for about 30 mins for the valve to heat up. When we got out to check the temp, it was still ice-cold?! the hose was really hot near the truck but hardly any heat was making it out of the other end. So the operator logically (don’t try this at home) stuck his face over the hose to see what was up and proceeded to gag and heave while screaming “it smells sooo BAD!!”. I was thinking ‘duh’ when all of a sudden the smell wafted my way and I began gagging and thinking I was going to die! THere was obviously something in the hose that was causing a blockage and a horrible smell! so we shook out the hose and what popped out? mouse shit and nesting scraps!! MAJOR EWWW!! The gagging kicked it up a notch when I realized we had been cooking a mouse for the past half an hour!! Not the best way to start a weekend…

Friday night we went out for dinner with some friends and then saw Sherlock Holmes. The movie was a bit long, but I liked it =)

On Saturday night we went to the school gym with some friends. One of our friends is a junior high teacher, so she’s allowed access at all times, so we went on Saturday night and had the gym to ourselves! it was like we were kids again, it was so much fun!! We played basketball, badminton, dodgeball, and floor hockey. We were there for over 4 hours, and were all a bunch of sweaty messes by the end of it!

Well I’m off to cook a late dinner, finish my laundry (yeah right), and maybe catch some of the Grammy’s. Later kids!


My First Expo

•January 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

As some of you may know I am in the very (very) early stages of planning my wedding to my amazing fiance! While we haven’t yet manage to accomplish anything except for setting a date (Aug 6, 2011) we decided to go to the biggest Bridal expo in the Peace County yesterday morning.

Now I have never been to one, and from what my married friends tell me there’s nothing special about them, however I had nothing else to do wanted to see for myself.

Because it was a Sunday morning we decided to stop off at Timmy’s to grab some coffee because it’s like crack really good

When we got to the expo centre, there was a large sign at the front door: “ABSOLUTELY NO OUTSIDE FOOD OR DRINK”.

Well eff, I had just bought my coffee, and it was not welcome. So we decided to casually stand off to the side and sip away unoticed (or so we though). Pretty soon this large booming woman that I was not about to mess with sternly reminded us of the outside drinks policy and told us we had to pitch it or else go stand outside and drink it. Well it was snowing and cold so I mad the obvious choice and pitched it (while mumbling profanity slightly louder than I should have)

So after paying our $15 each we went in and the room was filled with vendors of all kinds and even a fashion show. It was nice until I started to realize that I am not having my wedding up north and really none of this is applicable. So I spent the rest of the morning filling out ballots trying to win stuff and wishing that I had a gazillion dollars to spend on my big day as I’m starting to realize just how pricey things are. Now I’m not cheap, but I’m also not stupid, and I believe that it’s only one day and that I don’t need to go into debt in order to get married!

My conclusion about the event: It would have been much more useful if I was a GP bride

I wish I was able to go to the Expo that happened in Calgary on Sunday as well, from what I hear it was really good

So after an entire morning of wedding related propoganda, I am still no closer to being done. So far these are the realizations I’m making:

  • It is really hard to set a budget when you have no idea what you want
  • Making a guest list is not as easy as you’d think. So far we have 82 people, which is way WAY more than I wanted, but also a wierd number, so I’m thinking either 50 or 100
  • We are debating between Calgary and Canmore for a location. I would LOVE to get married in the Rocky mountains, it is my absolute favorite place in the world (and the pics would be amazing!!), however the venue we’re looking at in Canmore will only hold 50 people, and how am I supposed to cut 32 people from my list?!
  • Do I really want to invite all of my family + significant others? I’m very close with my immediate family, but not so much with the Aunts/Uncles/Cousins… Is it wrong to not invite some of them? the ones I haven’t spoken to in years that have never even met my fiance?
  • I am not yet ready to try on a dress. Not because of nerves, just because I don’t want to be disappointed in what I see. I have a lot of work to do including eating healthy and going to the gym
  • I want to wear a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes on my wedding day. (non-negotiable)

The eternal question…

•January 22, 2010 • 2 Comments

I found this while blog surfing and it made me stop and laugh. really hard.


Now I don’t ever have to wonder.

My new toy

•January 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This ladies and gentleman is my new toy. I am completely in love with it but also at the moment completely overwhelmed! This is my first ever digital SLR and it is very different from the point and shoot I’ve always used.

I bought this camera so that I can really start developing my photography skills. I know that this will take a while to learn (but what else are you supposed to do in the middle of winter in Northern Alberta?). So for right now I’m just working on reading the manual and I’m headed to the library to try and dig up some photography reference books

So exciting!!

New Year, new post

•January 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Ok I know I said I’d post last night, but things got a little hectic and I ran out of time…

I love the new year because it gives me a chance to reflect on the past year and look forward to the next. Looking back on 2009, I think it was in fact one of the biggest and most important years of my life. The major highlights for me are as follows (but not limited to):

  • January: This time last year I was beginning my final semester of University. After 6 looooooong years this was an incredible feeling even though I knew it was going to be a tough one!


  • March: The Iron Ring ceremony was in March. It was a pretty amazing day. you wait 4 years as an engineering student to recieve that tiny piece of precious metal. It is definitely something that I will wear with pride for the rest of my life


  • April: My last month of school EVER!! The semester was insanely hard, mostly because of our 4th year Engineering Design project (if I ever have to hear about Hydrogen Fuel ever ever again it will be too soon!) and because of a little nightmare of a class known as Process Design and Controls *shiver*. After several months of long long days (and nights, sometimes till past 4am) spent in the computer lab dealing with impossible assignments and the occasional drunken group member, I WAS DONE.


  • May: This month began as chaos and finished that way. My Fiance (well not yet but we’ll get to that) and I had planned an amazing 14 days in Mexico to celebrate my 6 year accomplishment. We were booked to fly on May 3rd, when this lovely little thing you may heard of called the swine flu broke out all over! Needless to say we had to scramble to find a solution as we did not purchase trip insurance and would lose all of our money if we didn’t… So with the assistance of a lovely travel agent we found a hotel and flight to Tamarindo in Costa Rica departing on May 5th. We were there for 7 amazing nights and I believe that it turned out to be an even better vacation than Mexico!


  • May (cont’d): Immediately after arriving home I had to pack everything I could fit into 2 suitcases and board a plane bound for Grande Prairie to start my new job. I was up there for 2 weeks by myself, living in a hotel, while Brett stayed behind and packed up our home into several brown boxes.


  • June: I flew home for my Convocation Ceremony, one of the biggest days of my life!! I couldn’t have been happier that day!!

  • August: Brett and I headed to Kelowna for a little family vacation. Little did I know that on August 14th Brett was going to propose out on the dock at sunset, making me the happiest girl in the world!!

Afer summer vacation we returned up north and I began writing this blog. I find this to be such an amazing outlet for me, and I know it’s only going to get better!!

As I look forward to 2010 I am excited for so many reasons, and I have some real goals for myself. This is the first year in my life that I am not in school, that I actually have free time and I plan to make the most of it!

In 2010 I want to:

  • Expand on my passion for Photography: As a Christmas present to myself I purchased a Canon Rebel T1i (which I have not yet recieved but that is another story). Photography has always been an interest of mine, in fact in High School I wanted to pursue it as a career, but on the advice of my family I decided to put it on hold so that I could persue a degree that would afford me the luxury of doing it as a hobby. So now that I decided to spend money that I don’t really have so that I can grow and develop my interests. I am so unbelieveably excited to see where this takes me!


  • Focus on Health: I started this journey late in 2009, and I have learned so much so far! I’m not where I want to be yet, but I am definitely on the right path! I know that through improved diet and exercise I will look and feel better!


  • Plan my Wedding: 1 year and 7 months until the big day!! This is a once in a lifetime experience and I am so excited!!! I also have a team of 3 beautiful ladies helping me out, so I know this is going to be a good time! And I promise I will not become a bridezilla lol!


  • Budget: For my everyday life, for my soon to be husbands tuition, for the wedding and for the future! As an engineer I’m good with numbers, I am however not so great at managing them when it comes to my personal life. I’m not worried though! With the help of my accountant Mother I know that I’ll stick to my budgetary plans for the greater good. I just have to remember to think long term (even though in the short term I really would love a new pair of boots…)


  • Blog: I started late in 2009, but I will do it for the entirety of 2010. It will be pretty neat to look back this time next year at all of my posts! what a trip!!

Bring it on 2010!!!

A little view of my job…

•January 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

WOWSAA I haven’t posted in a really really long time!! I have a great post in mind, but I don’t have alot of time right now so I’ll save it for tonight.

I’m going to be honest with you, it’s 4:25 and I am off work at 4:30 so in an attempt to kill a few minutes I thought I’d post some pics that I took in December while at work. Please enjoy!

Off the charts

•December 14, 2009 • 2 Comments

As you may have heard, it’s been REALLY COLD up here!! it’s been below -40C since Friday night!!

and with a windchill it’s more like -50C, unreal!!

To illustrate the redonculousness of the weather this weekend,  I found this pic on the weather network site

(because I was too busy hiding from the cold to take one myself):












It appears that at temperatures this cold, everything steams.

I could probably throw an ice cube outside and it would also steam…

The weather network has predicted the following:











My favorite part of this graph is how we are currently off the scale.

There is good news however, we will be returning to normal!

It’s so cold that my truck decided to forfeit on the day

and stay parked in front of the house, refusing to start

and doing a really good job of looking like an ice block.


I can’t wait to get home and have a huge bowl of soup!!