Saturday, March 14, 2009

a small brag

Since this is my blog and feel that this is an appropriate place to brag. This week a received an award from SAS, the programming language/software I use at work. I receive the Customer Forum Leadership Award for my work as President of the Edmonton SAS user group. I stepped down this fall and it was nice to be recognized for my work building up the group for the last 5 years. Then that night, there was a big party for the retirement of the organization I work for. There is a huge government restructuring with health care in Alberta. And to pre-emptively answer the question, my job is very secure. There are not that many people in the province that have my knowledge about the administrative data used to evaluate health care. Anyway, this is me a Herta. She is the longest employee at the Cancer Board at 45 years. I have to admit that I can't imagine working at one place for that long. She is a fountain of knowledge and one of the people that really helped me when I started working.

And another brag, one of my co-workers asked me if I had a secret life as a sexy bombshell. I made my dress for the night and I love it. Some of my co-workers even walked right by me. It made for feel great about myself. Below are my friends Anthony and Amy with Herta. Anthony and Amy are my ranting friends from work. When I need to get on a soap box, they are there for me.


My friend is getting married this summer in a small backyard wedding, and I'm making the cake. I've started with my experiments to find the perfect recipes for the cake and to work on my decorating skills.

This is my first try. A chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream icing. The icing was perfect, but the cake fell in the middle, so I'm still looking for a choloate cake recipe. I think is turned out will and was feeling pretty good about my skills. And then there was the disaster. A plain vanilla cake with lime icing. The cake was dry and the icing was way too runny and I could just add more icing sugar because it was a boiled icing.

Girl Guide Winter Camp

This year I decided to step down from my position as a girl guide leader with a weekly meeting. The best part has been that I can keep doing the things I love best and avoid the things I don't like. And the thing I love best is camp!!!! So every year in the winter we head out to a camp that the Girl Guides own. In the winter we stay in the fancy lodge. The girls are only 9 to 11 years old and their parents couldn't cope with the girls sleeping outside in winter. This year the group has 11 girls. We had tonnes of fun. Some of the girls goofing around when they should be in bed.
The girls at camp do all the cooking. They love it. Most of them aren't allowed to cook at home, so this is their chance to do it. At camp, the girls also do all the cleaning. We divide the girls into patrols and they take turns doing all the duties at camp. You would think that there would be much moaning and complaining about the bathroom cleaning, but that is one of their favourite jobs. They even fight over who gets to do the various jobs. The bathrooms at camp are also the cleanest bathrooms ever, because over the course of the weekend they get cleaned 3 to 4 times.

The girls making bead hat crafts. We had an insane number of beads in the craft boxes, so I came up with a bead horse and bead cowboy hat. We always plan a couple of crafts for the girls to do during the down times.

We worked on the chemistry badge. The girls loved the experiments. We did a chemistry magic show for the Brownies (7-8yrs old) and the Pathfinders(12-15yrs old) that we using the other lodges at the camp. I forgot to get some pictures of the show. But the best part was when our first year guide, lit the match for her experiment. I was a little nervous, because normally there is a lot of crying and fear about using matches, but she had no problem. She was actually the first guide I've had that had no fear and just know she could do it.

This is a video of the girls trying to get the baking soda and vinegar explosions going.

More beading. The girls are always bugging do work on them.

We worked on the life skills and the bird watching badges. So to kill two birds with one stone, we made bird houses. For most of the girls this was their first time using a hammer. There was a lot of pulling nails out and straightening them out on the part of the leaders.

There was also a lot of holding the part of the leaders. I think I may have been temporarily insane to hold a nail while a kid hammered for the first time.

It was very difficult to convince the girls that if they held the hammer at the end instead of choking up on it, they would have more success.

We also give the girls what we call a challenge book. It's another thing to keep them busy when they are finished their duties or between activities.
The food line up. You would think we starve them, given how quickly they come for meal times.

The girls laying around in the snow.

This is the pile of stuff . It's amazing how much we bring out for one weekend.

The girls love sliding everywhere. It works out great for us. Once they finish cleaning we kick them out of the building, so the leaders can do the final check out.

All of us at the end of camp.