Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chinook Grand Opening Gala

I, along with my mom, got the opportunity to go to the grand opening gala night for Chinook center on Tuesday Sept 27th, and was it ever spectacular! During the whole construction of the expansion to Chinook mall, it was kept as secret as to many of the stores that were going to be opening, so we got a sneak peak at what was new!

Mom and I went early, of course, and actually got into the event before anyone was supposed it! We got into the new underground parkade, but when we went in through the main entrance, they were still setting up! There was a nice gentleman that took us up and through the new mall, and out the closed off section. We did some of our own shopping waiting for the gala to begin, and once it did, we were blown away! We all got to walk down a red carpet, which was actually the train of a model wearing a red dress, we were greeted with a glass of champagne, and of course there was food and alcohol stations set up on both the upper and lower levels! They had dueling piano's for entertainment, and of course we got into all the stores for some first chance shopping. There was 20% off at Guess, so I picked up some fancy new sun glasses - and of course a nice new case for them, and I vow to keep them in there whenever I am NOT wearing them! Let's pray I don't lose them within a month! We also got a 10% discount card for a year for Bluenotes, so I purchased some new fall sweaters. As we left, we were also given a gift bag which was full of goodies! Large bars of Godiva chocolate, Calvin Klein underwear (?? kinda strange, but they fit me so I'm not complaining!) a book on Chinook mall, a couple different gift cards or discount cards for stores such as Nine West, a free photo shoot and an 8 X 10 photo, and a 2 for 1 for Willow Park wines and spirits wine event. Some of the stores even had real models in the show cases, something I had never seen before.

If mom and I wanted, I'm sure we could have gotten very drunk at the event, however mom had to leave for Vancouver very early the next day, so we limited ourselves! Most of the new stores are more on the "high end", Guess, Coach, Nine West, and my favorite, is the new Apple store! The only other one in Calgary is way on the other end of town and I refuse to drive all the way up there, but now, it's close!

It was a kind of event that I had never been to, and was blown away at the extent that Chinook went to for the grand opening. I'll take tickets to another Gala event, Anyday!

Below are some of the photos taken that night.

Monday, September 27, 2010

are you ready for some football??

After going to San Fran a few years ago to see the 49ers play the patriots, I have enjoyed watching the NFL more and more. Now that I am home, not going anywhere, and don't have a permanent job, I have some flexibility to do stuff! So mom, dad and I are flying down to San Diego in December to see the Chargers take on the Kansas City Chiefs. I am super pumped about going to the game, and we even got a great deal on 'club' seats! Bring on the service, food and drinks!
It has been ages since I've been to San Diego and we are leaving on the Friday morning meaning we have friday afternoon and all day Saturday to check out the city and eat some fresh seafood.

Other then this exciting news, nothing else is new. I have been working quite a bit, even working a double, 16 hours in total, night shift last Thursday as one of the RN's did not show up for her shift. I have been applying for shifts like crazy, even applying for positions at the foothills which is a bit of hike for me to get to. However, the way I look at it, I only have just over a year till the new hospital will hopefully be open, and the sooner I can get a job, the sooner I can move into my condo!

I have been keeping myself busy, this past weekend I went and tried on Bridesmaid dresses, which was a success, and went to the baby shower of one of my good nursing friends. It is so nice to be home to be able to attend these events, and I am so excited to be a bridesmaid this winter!

I went for my first outside run this morning as well, and it went great. I clocked it this morning with my car, almost exactly 5km's around Sundance and did it in about 36min. I don't have a digital watch, so I kind of estimated, but I think I did well! The weather has been great, and it is supposed to be nice all week so I will try and get out for a run as much as I can. There is a 10km run in December that I am thinking of running, something a little bit closer then in the spring!

It is Autumn here in Calgary and the fall colors are in full force. Below are a couple photos I have taken over the past couple of days.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


When I was in Australia I complained because we never had routine, and were living out of our backpacks. And now that I have routine and a closet, I'm getting bored! Typical, I'm never happy!
That isn't really true as I am happy, but it is taking some adjusting getting back into, what I call, 'the real world'!
I have been able to get shifts at the hospital, and I am just finishing up orientation on a second orthopedic unit, but it is hard adjusting to all the different shifts. In the past 2 weeks, I have worked 5 day shifts, 4 evening shifts - with my 5th tonight, and 2 night shifts. And they all have there negatives. Days are SUPER busy, and I am not keen on the 0530 wake up call, evenings I don't get home till midnight and am not in bed till usually 0130, and nights, well, sleeping during the day can be tough when the phone doesn't stop ringing. Next set of night shifts I will be turning the ringers off on ALL the phones!
But, I can't complain as I am getting a paycheck :)
I did not get the part time night position on day surgery, nor any other positions I have applied for, which sucks, but I just have to keep applying and chugging away hoping that something will come up very soon! I will also consider casual on day surgery as it sounds like there is a lot of changes which will mean I will have a better chance of securing a part time job, one step closer to me moving into my house!
The one nice thing about casual is I can pick and choose my shifts! I can always say no to a shift if I have something planned, but I will try and give myself as close to full time hours as possible. I know it has only been 2 1/2 weeks of working, but I am already close to that goal. My first full paycheck will be October 1st, and bring on the shopping!!! (lets see, new winter jacket, new winter clothes as its been about 2 years since I've had new ones, new scrubs, and putting together my 'blog book' from my australia blog!)

I have been sticking to my goal of running 8-10miles per week, but have mainly been doing it on the treadmill which is totally different then running outside, but I have to start somewhere. It takes me about 28min and 30sec to do 2 miles, and if the weather holds out I will attempt it outside. I am waiting to speak to one of the orthopedic doctors at the hospital to see if I can get in to see him for advice as well. I am still really pumped up about the idea, and the more I talk about it and the more people I tell, the more likely I am to stick with it!

I am still raising money for the Alzheimer's walk October 10th, so donations welcome! Please see post below for the website. My goal is to raise $500, and I am 51% there! Thanks for all that have donated, it is greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thanksgiving Walk and Run

So I have decided to participate in the Thanksgiving Walk and Run and help the Alzheimers Society of Calgary in raising money. Since I have been away in Australia my grandma's Alzheimer's has gotten to the point that she is now in an assisted living as my Grandpa cannot support her, and when I went for a visit upon my return to Canada, she did not know who I was. It has been a long battle for my Grandma, and to come home and not have her remember me hit me hard. My sister and I have now decided to help the Society so this does not happen to future generations, including my parents and my own.
If you have a few spare dollars, I would greatly appreciate the help, however I understand if you are unable as I know it is impossible to support everything out there.
If you can, the website is: and enter my name under 'pledge an athlete.
Thanks for your help and support!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Half Marathon by Spring next year?

After working 4 days in a row last week, which may not seem like much, but its the most I've been on my feet since the injury, my foot wasn't doing too bad. I've stopped using my right foot orthotic and just using the regular insole for the shoe, and it seems OK. I do need to see a podietrist though, and I will be booking in to see one as soon as I get a position and benefits!

Last weekend when we were camping, we realized that we forgot something in the truck, so I went back to get it, and I realized that I was jogging back to the truck, and wasn't having any more pains in my foot then regular walking. So after these last work shifts without much problem, just a generalized ache, I decided to get on the treadmill and see how things went. I ran for 20 minutes Monday, well, it was more of a jog, and another 20 minutes Tuesday, and the most that hurt was my right leg muscles, not so much my foot.

I have always enjoyed running and participated in track during school and have done one 10km run, but that was ages ago. I have now decided to set a goal for myself and aim to do a half marathon by the spring time, which will be my one year anniversay of breaking my foot. There are some in November that I could aim for, but I think I need to start back into running consistently and seeing a podietrist before pushing myself to run 20km's in less then 2 months time! So for the next couple of months I will try to get on the treadmill and run 8-10miles per week, and hopefully after christmas and the new year, I can start training for the half marathon. I checked out a training schedule on line and it doesn't seem too bad. Every Saturday would be the big run, starting off with a 3 mile run, and each week it increases by 1 mile until 2 weeks before the half marathon where you run 12 miles. And of course there are 2-3 mile runs during the week, with 1 rest day and 1 'easy' day. Crazy I know, but I really think I can do it!

Plus, I am in a wedding party in February and it is being held in Mexico so its a great way for me to get in shape to look decent in a bikini!

Mom and Dad have a treadmill that I will use for now as its flat and consistent which is what I am worried about with my foot and running outside. Stepping on a rock or accidently rolling my ankle as I am prone to do. The other day I stepped funny on my foot when I bent down to pick something up and somehow hurt my foot, but it only lasted for a minute and it went away. Hopefully once I get a decent orthotic, and maybe an ankle brace for a little extra added support (just not all the time as I don't want to have to rely on one) I can and will start running outside. And when the weather is bad, I have the treadmill as a back up.

I am super pumped about my new goal and hope to stick with it!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to work

And just like that, I'm back to work! I received some e-mails over the weekend, and they started me back
today orientating on a day shift. I have one more tomorrow, and Thursday/Friday evening
shifts, all buddy shifts. I wasn't expecting to be back THIS quickly, but I'm definitely not
complaining! It may take awhile before I see a paycheck as I don't even have an employee
number which means I can't get an ID badge, or passes into the medication room or
narcotic cupboard. But at least it gets me back onto the ward and familiar with what is new, even if I just have
to watch what the other nurse is doing. I may be able to get this weekend off as I'm not
sure if I can start on my own without my ID badge, ect, but once that gets in (early next week?), I can start!
I've also applied for a PT (5 shifts every 2 weeks) nights position on day surgery that I had
heard about. Fingers crossed that I get that which will be a huge bonus. There are many
nurses that are still on the same ward so I wasn't a total stranger as some of the nurses
remembered me. And the same goes for the other 2 wards that I will hopefully be working
I left work with a very sore foot today, its been the longest that I have been on it, which I kind of expected, lets just hope it gets better with
time. Once I get a permanent position, I will get benefits which means I can make
an appointment with my podiatrist which means I can get re-fitted with a proper
orthotic for my right foot.
I'm not overly looking forward to these early mornings working day shifts - I was up at
5:30 this morning, and really not looking forward to getting called in at 5:30 in the
morning to cover sick calls. But I just have to keep telling myself that it will only have to be for about a year
and a few months and then I will hopefully be working at the new south Calgary hospital :)

News on the other front, still waiting to sell my car. I am having difficulty getting it onto, as well as Marketplace on facebook, so it really sucks!! But I have put
the word out on my facebook status as well as a website which will
hopefully help too! Its just a bit frustrating, but I'm doing all I can.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Enjoying my last weekend off

So things are finally coming together!
Last week I spoke with a couple managers from the hospital and left with good news. I am being hired back into the Calgary health region, as a casual, to work on 2 wards at the PLC, however I have some restrictions. I am not allowed to call ahead and book shifts. They are not in any position to be hiring casuals as there own staff are complaining that there are not enough shifts. So I am basically a casual/on call RN. I can get called to come into work in an hour, or up to one or two days in advance, but I cannot call ahead to book shifts. Kinda sucks as I never know when I will get work, but its better then not having any work at all!
I also spoke to another manager, of day surgery, and she said she was in the process of posting 2 PT permanent night positions. Didn't really want to have to work so many nights, but I'll take what I can get, and if its permanent, then I can get benefits, and it sounds like I have a chance at one of those positions. It just might not happen right away as they haven't even been put up on the website, and they have to be up for a week, then go through interviews, ect. But at least I can get started covering sick calls!

So, we went camping this weekend and I enjoyed every moment of it as I am sure I will be called in every weekend covering those 'sick' calls. We went on a bunch of hikes, I even dragged my mom and dad up a mountain, and the view was stunning! Sarah enjoyed the hikes as well, she is currently crashed on the couch! Laura and Dan came out for supper Saturday and they left Hercules with us for the night. I forgot what its like to have a puppy, and man is he hyper!! But he was a delight to have around and made us laugh at how clumsy they little guy is! The weather however, turned sour late afternoon Saturday, and Sunday was not much better! So we packed it all up, and came home a day early. We had a great weekend playing cards, hiking and lots of good food! (Gotta love Taber corn! Yumm Yumm!)

So now, its going to be a lot of working, paying for my car, and saving money for when I move into my place......whenever that will be :)