Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Life Changing

Amazingly enough, this year for Christmas I got a pretty smoking awesome Christmas present. A new snowboard and bindings. NEW! Brand new!

I've been snowboarding since I first moved to BC, so this is my 7th season now. And for the last 7 years, I have been using a board that was so graciously given to me by my best friend. It is the 'giving board'. It was given to her, she gave it to me, now I will give it to someone else. It is old, and heavy and covered with decals from all the mountains it has seen in its 15 year life. It served me well.

But deep down, I must confess to you, I coveted. I coveted others snowboards. So shiny, and light, and slim, and smooth. But alas, I could never bring myself to make such a large, expensive purchase for myself. Money needs to go to important things, rent, food, gas, rice krispy squares, etc. You know - life things.

But this year, (coincidently enough on the first day of christmas), I was given a new snowboard. It is gold and white and shiny and sleek and beautiful and light and smooth and amazing.

On Saturday night we took me and my new board out. And oh mylanta, it was AMAZING.

I can't even convey to you the amazingness of having a board that doesn't weigh 45lbs. That isn't 4 inches thick, That isn't chipped and scarred from years of beginners learning to snowboard with it.

It was, and I quote myself after my first run, "life changing."

So smooth. So gentle. So soft. So easy to maneuver and adapt to, and go down the hill with. It was the most amazing night of snowboarding I have ever experienced. I'm going to love it, and use it, all.the.time.

PLUS, I look really cool.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

The Bethlehem Star

Yesterday near the end of the day, I was invited to do two things I love to do. Take a random, last minute road trip, and go see something I had never seen before.

So after school, after running home to put on my long underwear, I headed to Vernon to see The Bethlehem Star. A live-nativity story at Emmanuel Baptist Church.

People. Hear me, hear me, it was amazing! When you arrive you are ushered through a Bethlehem market place complete with a bag of shekles that you can use to buy things, animals, 50 stalls of vendors selling everything you would expect to find in Bethlehem, music, and Roman soldiers.

After the chaos of the market place you end up in the Roman-Games, where I totally won a prize for killing a rubber chicken by slingshotting a marshmallow at it's head.

Then to the photo-booth where they dressed you up a-la-Mary-and-Joseph.
I picked the gnarly rooster as my prop. I thought that would be awesome.
After the market and the games, everyone went into the church for a 15 minute Nativity play followed by hot chocolate, cookies, and approximately 20 scenes of frozen people portraying scenes from the Christmas story as well as scenes of how people spend Christmas. They were frozen, and amazing. The only way you could tell that the people weren't mannequins was because you could see them breathing or their eyes move once in a while. It was phenomenal.

It was seriously a great night out. And all completely free! The church did such an amazing job with this outreach and I'm totally going again next year. Super cool.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Booty-Not-Liscious (aka 70)

I feel kinda hypocritical right now, because honestly, I'm sitting here on the couch eating a chocolate bar as I write this blog about loosing 70 pounds. But then I think, "Hey, Nikki, you just lost SEVENTY pounds! Eat a chocolate bar! Just don't eat 12..."
Quick recap: Here is me before: Well over 200lbs.


Here is me now, at a foxy 148lbs!
I thought I'd do some research to see how much 70lbs is the equivalent to, just to put it into perspective for myself and for you. 70 is just a number, but after all my work, it is a big deal that means a lot to me. So, here is a list of things that weigh 70 lbs.

- An 11 year old boy
- $34019 in one dollar bills
- 80 cans of beer
- 175 apples
- 2.25 cinder blocks
 - 5 bicycles
- 300 kittens or sticks of butter
- 50 bibles (the big 'ol KJV version, not the ap)
- A husky dog
- 4 blood hounds
- 3.5 tires
- 3 two year olds

FYI, I'm not at my goal yet, so close, so close. And when I get there, I will TOTALLY do the skinny-Nikki posing in her fat pants cheesy photo. I'm excited about that picture!

Be inspired my friends, it is possible!

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Much Needed Get-Away

I know we all have those times when we just need to get away. We need to not be in our homes, our communities, our churches, or our jobs. And we need to go somewhere different - not necessarily far away or exotic, but just somewhere different.

Oh boy did I need to get away a few weeks ago! So bad. Being in Kamloops and in my home and job was actually painful.

So I left my plans till the last minute, packed my car up with my snowboard gear, some clothes, my ipod, camera, and wallet and headed for the Rockies.

The plan was to meet my dear, good, friend Lillian in Banff for a weekend of snowboarding, relaxing, eating out, visiting, laughing, talking, and encouraging eachother in our friendship and faith. I left on Thursday night, planning on meeting Lillian sometime on Friday. As my travels progressed, Lillians plans changed about 18 times (not unusual). I stopped in Golden for the night, slept in, read my book and continued on my journey.

The roads were glorious, dry, and traffic free. On Thursday night I noticed I was low on gas and decided to fill up in the morning before I left Golden.

Yeah... I forgot to do that.

I drove for about 45 minutes before I remembered that I didn't have very much gas. Shoot. My options were to turn around, drive 45 minutes back to Golden, or hold out another 30 minutes and hope there was gas in this tiny little village I knew I would pass through. I had a 50/50 chance of having enough gas to make it to Banff. Luckily, the little town had one pump. And I got gas.

Then plans changed, and now I was to meet Lillian in Calgary. No biggie, it was only and hour past Banff. I continued on my drive. I had gas, I had some good tunes on, I was rolling.

But my windshield wipers didn't work.

Not a major problem, since the roads were dry, but I realized that if the roads became wet, I would have a little situation on my hand. The wiper blades would swipe, but there was no washer fluid coming out.

I stopped in Banff, thinking maybe the fluid was low. I stopped at a gas station, topped it up, and then walked around town, drank some Chai, read more of my book, visited my very first Lulu Lemon, and played tourist for a few hours. Unfortunately, as I tested the wipers while I was leaving, they still did not work. I found a garage and asked for help. They were gracious enough to let me know that the soonest they could fit me in was next week. Not acceptable. They were nice enough to take a look and speculated that my washer fluid was frozen. All I needed to do was park my car in my heated garage and let the fluid thaw. I don't usually bring a heated garage with me on vacation - and I suppose if we are being honest, I should say that even if I wanted to, I don't own one.

I drove a little further to Canmore and hoped against hope that they would be able to help me. Luckily the Canadian Tire had a heated garage, so I parked m car and chilled out in Canadian Tire for two hours. FYI, as a woman, I found it very difficult to kill two hours in a Canadian Tire.

Two hours later, car fixed, back on the road. First stop in Calgary: Swiss Chalet. I love BC, but it's lackage of Swiss Chalet gives it a -3000 points in my books.

Oh delicious festive special, I love you so much.

Plans change again, Lillian still hasn't left Edmonton. She doesn't expect to arrive in Calgary till close to 10. I decide to shop and kill time with a movie.

Movie over. Plans change again. The roads are terrible. It has taken them 1.5 hours to do a normal 15 minute drive. Is it safe or even worth coming? I tell her to let our hosts know that I'm coming over without her. I totally invite myself over and in and the Snowboarders for Christ Crew were totally welcoming and friendly and super gracious and nice. We chilled for a while. Lillian crawled into the room at 2am.

9am found us at Lake Louise ready to go. A quick prayer on the hill for safety and ministry and we were off. The first ones to make tracks on the upper part of the mountain - not just for the day, but for the season! Amazing.  A great day, bluebird skies, friendly people, quiet hill, fresh powder, warm sunshine on our backs. I was exhausted by the time we got home, but it was worth it.

Sunday was me and Lillian time. Church, lunch, and a visit to Heritage Park - the Calgary equivalent of Barkerville.

Driving home on Sunday/Monday was good too. Just me and my i-pod, my thoughts, and my prayers. A little solo retreat for the last few hours.

I came home feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready to face another week of life.

I need to get away more often.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Calgary Alberta. And when I say 'opportunity' I actually mean, I ended up there kinda randomly. But that is another story. Despite how and why I was there, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

a. Because gas was $1.05/l as opposed to the $1.31/l in BC
b. Because I got to go to Swiss Chalet for the first time in YEARS
c. Because I got to see my dear, good, awesome, friend Lillian
d. Because I got to go snowboarding at Lake Louise

Be jealous of it all. Because it was amazing.

The highlight was spending time with Lillian. Whom I love. Whom I met in a parking lot six years ago, and consider one of my bestest people. The only thing we disagree on is food. Lillian loves any and all ethnic foods, me, not so much. Give me mashed potatoes and gravy any day. On Sunday we were driving around Calgary trying to find somewhere to eat. Lillian kept suggesting Thai, Vietnameese, Sushi, Korean, all sorts of random ethnic foods. I just wanted something straight-up Canadian.

We found a resturaunt called "The National" which, conveniently enough, was a Canadian resturaunt that only served traditionally ethnic Canadian food. Corn dogs, burgers, pork, maple-flavoured-everything etc.

Now, I consider myself a proud Canadian. I love this country that I live in, the freedoms we have here, our land, our diversity, and our food. Including our national dish - poutine. But I had NO idea that you could order the following types of poutine:


Monday, November 05, 2012

One Year

Happy one year anniversary to me and my little sister!

It's been a great year. So much fun, so much laughter, so much silliness, and so much acting like an 8 year old. I love my mini-me. Think about volunteering and changing a life.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Sully was taken hostage by a mouse

The other morning I woke from a deep slumber to the sound of a shrill shriek coming from the hallway. Being the good sister that I am, I ignored it and went back to sleep, it was after all five am. Priorities people, priorities.

When I did finally decide to wake up, I walked with sleep filled eyes to the bathroom, passing as I usually do, our storage closet. Somehow through the haze of early morning I noticed a bright blue note on the door. The note read:

"Do not open this door. There is a very large, very disgusting mouse in here. It scared me and it is really big and scary and me no likey."

A mouse.

I'm not sure that I've mentioned it before, but my sisters have zero initiative when it comes to dealing with things that need to be done. The cover of the light in our kitchen was sitting on the floor for six months before our friend Caleb finally fixed it. We've needed a cable for our dvd player for 4 months, no one will go get it, Vanessa is hilariously terrible at leaving her leftovers in the fridge, forever. I know what you are thinking, 'Your sisters have zero intiative? What about you Nikki?' In my defense, I am the one who does pretty much everything that needs to be done (gardens, cleaning, decorating, cooking, dishes, designing sweet garden gnomes to decorate our yard, paying bills etc) and when I say "I'm not dealing with the light fixture" I don't think it's too much to ask for one of them to fix the problem.

Now we have a serious problem.
A mouse.

I don't likey either.

And so the mouse was locked in the storage room. Holding all our sweet posessions hostage. My Dr. Quinn tapes, all our games, photo albums, Christian romance novels, stationery, DVD's. This mouse was causing a serious inconvenience. We had a games night planned AND I had a very upsetting week and NEEDED a dose of Sully. He is the medicine that cures all my problems. (Ohhh I totally need to blog about how Dr. Quinn has gotten me through every tough situation in my life - true story.)

It's weeks like this where boyfriends would be REALLY handy.

It would also be really handy if we weren't so SLOW in realizing that my best friend Tiersa grows mice for a living. (She sells them to pet stores).

It took us four days to remember that Tiersa could easily fix our mouse problem.

And so, the bestie-iest of best friends came over on Tuesday night and saved my Dr. Quinn collection - for which I will be eternally thankful.

Turns out the mouse was already dead. We dehydrated it by locking it in the room for four days with no water.

Monday, October 29, 2012


So those of you who have been following my adventures via my facebook, probably know that this past week I was doing some hauntings in Kamloops.
It's the week before Halloween and all sorts of organizations are capitalizing on the scare factor of this time of year and putting together events to lure people into their organizations and businesses to make some money or raise awareness. For the last six nights I have been working with the Laughing Stock Theatre Company to bring alive the spirits of a few famous dead Kamloopsians.
Now whether or not you believe in ghosts has nothing to do with what I've been doing. I don't find Halloween particularly sinful or evil, and we all know that I will take any opportunity given to me to dress up.
From Tuesday - Friday night our crew of six haunted various places around Kamloops as we worked with the Kamloops Museum and Archives on their annual Haunted Kamloops Tour. This tour travels around the city and tells the story of Kamloops' past. It's super interesting and we actors added a new dimension to their tour as we popped up from behind gravestones, or showed up in the museum. We each had a monologue prepared to share with the people and educate them a bit more about Kamloops. I played Queeenie - an 'actual' ghost that haunts the museum. Apparently she likes to play with taps, flush toilets, slam doors, and people have seen her reflection in the display cases. I'm not convinced. But I scared some people pretty good. 
 On Saturday and Sunday night our troupe drove out to Tranquille Farm to haunt their corn maze. Now if you have ever been to Tranquille Farm (also known as Padova), you know that this is most likely the creepiest place in the world. It's an old institution for people who had tuberculosis. It was built in 1907 and shut down in the 80s. Since then it has pretty much just sat around decomposing. It's super creepy. Teenagers always break in and look around and my friends have all had some wierd experiences there. Even my Christian friends who don't believe in ghosts have seen some wierd, strange, creepy things. Anyways, the point is, this place is creepy. So you are already being creeped out by being on the property, then things like this walk out at you. In the dark.

It was amazing.

I scared so many people so, so , so bad!

My favourite thing to do was hide in the corn and then just jump out at people. I also liked to creep up behind them when they were reading one of the many information plaques and just stand there until they turned around and saw me a foot away from them. They would scream so much. The best was when this one guy screamed like a girl, then coughed, and said, "uh, yeah. I'm not scared... I just had to make that girl feel good about herself." (Sure you did buddy, sure you did.)

I had a few key lines that I would say too as the night progressed.

"He promised me forever, and I'll wait forever!"

"Have you seen my little boy? I can't find him. I keep looking and I can't find him. Where is my little boy?" (I liked doing that to like 6 year olds and then I'd describe my little kid to look like exactly what the kid looked like. And then have this dreamy voice and make no eye contact, super creepy.)

"Shhhhhhhh, they'll find me!"

And occasionally I'd just run down the aisles and scream like a mad woman. Sometimes two or three of us would end up trapping a group of people and then it would be really fun for us!

So much screaming, so much fun for me. It was SUPER difficult to stay in character and not laugh at people, because some people have the funniest reaction. This one 13 year old full out threw his bag of popcorn at my face and fell down as he screamed like a girl.

Then there was the two young guys and their girlfriends, and the guys screamed and hid behind their girlfriends.

It was a busy six nights, but it was a lot of fun and kept me occupied. I'm totally doing it again next year.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Skim Milk - let's not get too crazy...

I had some amazing plans for this Thanksgiving Weekend that got cancelled at the last minute. So instead of my super-awesome-fun-random plans (which may or may not have included smashing pumpkins off of Hells Gate), I decided that in order to make it up to myself, I would spoil myself with a very special Kamloops-Style thanksgiving.

I'm halfway through the weekend and so far my special Kamloops Thanksgiving weekend has included the following:

Exciting, big purchases like milk. (skim, lets not make this weekend toooooo crazy!)

Being lazy and sleeping in all the way until 7am!


Exploring the magic world of my over-stuffed, very dirty storage room. As I was cleaning it out I pretened I was on my way to Narnia. This Narnia however did not involve James MacAvoy (who is stupid anyways), but instead involved fun, environmentally friendly things like snow tires, extra car oil, camping supplies, a broken fishing pole, way too many tennis balls for one person to own - especially when that person hasn't played tennis for 14 months, Jehovah Witnesses (no joke) and a surprising number of bungee cords that I don't even remember purchasing.

Searching for my 'work sheet' - you know, that old blanket that you use for painting and carrying dirty things - it's covered in 47 different colours of paint, dead leaves, twigs, dirt, and oil stains. When I described it to Vanessa as I was looking for it, she looked me straight in the eye and said "oh, the one that is on my bed?"

Then I put on my Barkerville outfit, bonnet, apron and pretended I was a pioneer as I harvested my garden. Ok, maybe I didn't put on the outfit or bonnet, but I did harvest my garden.

So, as you can see, I've had a VERY exciting, fun-filled weekend. And the good news is that it is only half over! Who knows what exciting things tomorrow might bring!!! I'm thinking a turkey-coma, maybe some rummykub with my pops, a bit o' tv, a nap, maybe even, and I don't want to get tooooo nuts here, but perhaps I'll even read a book! My blood pressure is going up just thinking of all the excitement tomorrow holds for me!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dairy Products.

Sometimes I don't understand how I come from the family I come from.

Don't get me wrong, I love them to pieces, they are fantastic. But sometimes... just.... how?????

We have a tradition in my immediate family where we get together on occassion for family dinners. Usually at my parents place, usually it involves some great mom-made-food and it always involves quite  a bit of joking around and laughing.

The other night was no different. We were sitting around the table sharing about our lives and giggling, eating our salad when Vanessa pipes up, "This cheese is weird. It's fine, just kinda has a weird taste and consistency."

"Uh... that's because it is egg, not cheese." I interject.

"Oh whatever Nikki," my mom says, "they are both dairy products, I can see why she would get confused."

I raise my brow and look at her. She continues eating. No one says anything. I look at my sisters, deadpan expressions on their faces. I look at my dad, he gives me the "really? She said that? And no one is questioning it?" look.

I start sniggering. Which sets my dad off. My mom and sisters sit there oblivious. Finally I have to break out in laughter and tell them that eggs and cheese are both NOT dairy products. Then Mom, and Vanessa realize their blunder and giggle along with us.

Minutes go by. New topics come up. Bethany looks up from her plate, "So... I don't get why that was funny. The thing about cheese and eggs not being diary products. They are both dairy right?"

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Dear Twenties

Dear Twenties,
     First of all I would like to thank you for starting off so wonderfully. I still remember my 20th birthday party on the patio at some resturaunt in Hamilton. (Clearly my mind is starting to go because I don't remember the name of the resturaunt.) I remember that it was a princess themed party and that everyone who came was forced by Karmyn and Christy to wear pink princess party hats. It was fun and ridiculous and it was great to feel so loved and appreciated.
    Year 20 was one of my best years ever. It was filled with fun, friends, shenanigans, university classes, staying up late, napping because of staying up late, road trips, music, dorm life, awesome summer jobs, discovering who I am as a child of God.
     As we progressed through the years I continued to be blessed with friendships, travel across Canada, America, and Europe, my first car, the death of my first car in a cornfield in Nebraska, my first hitch-hiking adventure (in Romania), Greyhound bussing across Canada (thanks to the death of my beloved first car Cheyenne), good food, seeing new sights and learning and embracing my leadership, speaking, and teaching skills.
      I learned in my twenties that my sisters are not just sisters, but that they are valuable, wonderful, hilarious people that I count among my closest friends. To the chagrin of my sisters, I learned to play the violin. To the chagrin of my buttocks, I learned to snowboard. I learned to be content with who I am. I learned to accept my singleness. I learned how to exercise and eat right and have a smoking new body because of it.
     I worked as a bathroom cleaner, historical interpreter, museum assistant, camp counseller, pizza store manager, baby-sitter, youth pastor, waitress and teacher.
     I gained and kept many wonderful friends. I also lost friends.
     I watched almost every single one of my friends get married and/or start having children.
     I was a bridesmaid, wedding MC, life-coach, moral-compass, pastor, friend, and prayer partner.
     I vacationed on a houseboat, went to Vegas, saw the ocean for the first time, canoed part of the Bowron Chain of Lakes, climbed some mountains, floated down rivers, camped for 8 weeks straight, cliff jumped, white-water rafted, and snowboarded a black diamond.
     I paid off my student loans and am officially the proud owner of 2 very expensive pieces of paper.
     I became a big sister to a great 7 year old.
     I volunteered hundreds of hours.
     I remain close with all my people in Ontario.

Twenties, I loved you. I will look back fondly on the 10 years we spent together and although I lament your passing, and am hesitant to look toward the future, I'm praying and hoping and planning on making my 30's as awesome and epic as my 20's were. We are two weeks in already, and so far they have been pretty great.

Thank you,

Saturday, September 01, 2012

I was "THAT" person.

On Wednesday, I was "THAT" person.
The person you look at and say, "really? Reeeeaaaallly? You're going to do that? Why? Why? Why? And HOW?"

Here's the situation. I had just spent a glorious few days on Vancouver Island visiting with some friends and family. I had seen the ocean, visited Victoria for the first time, tried some new running trails, watched some goats live on roofs, been for my first ever motorcycle ride, chilled out, laughed and just had a great, great, vacation.

Wednesday rolled around and it was finally time to finish my vacation (sigh), and return to Kamloops (bigger sigh). I aimed to get on the 4:40 ferry knowing that if I didn't catch it, that there was another one at 5:20. I was *this* close to getting on the 4:40 ferry. I ended up being the 5th car in line for the next sailing. Frustrating, but not as frustrating as it could have been. I was sitting there in my car reflecting on the great vaction I just had, about how fun Barkerville was this summer, and how sad I was to return back to Kamloops and work. The sun was shining, it was warm, a sea breeze was flowing through my open windows and I decided that since I had to wait, I was going to tip my chair back and have a nap. After all, technically I was still on vacation and I knew that I had a long drive ahead of me once the ferry docked in Vancouver.

So I tipped my chair back and promptly fell asleep.

Did the sound of the horn announcing the 5:20 ferry arrival wake me? No.
Did the sound of the speakers announcing the loading process awake me? No.
Did the sound of over 100 cars driving off the ferry wake me? No.

You know what woke me? The parking attendent knocking on my window and pointing out that all the cars ahead of me had loaded onto the ferry and that I was blocking the road for everyone else.


But, dang, it was a GREAT nap!

Friday, August 31, 2012

New Classroom Decorations

Classroom Before

Classroom After

So the newest trend in classroom decorating is to get away from all of the bulleting boards being different, and clutter and chaos. I think my new room looks sharp. You can't see it, but there are curtains and all the boarders are the same (double boarders), the shelves are all hidden behind nice fabric and the whole room is streamlined and connected together with a similar theme (lime green/silver/black/teal). It looks really great. Come visit any time!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Excited & Terrified & My DrySack Killed my iPod so now I am sad.

Despite the epic fail of my dry sack - which really only had two things to do: be a sack and keep things dry, I had a great day today.  I love days off. Don't get me wrong, work is fine. It is important to contribute to society and not milch off the government, but days off are what I live for. Days when I can do what I want, when I want, with whom I want.

Today I wanted to kayak at Bowron lake, at 11am, with myself.

So I did.

And as I drove to the lake through the mountains blasting some excellent Christian Rock, I wondered again how I can live in such an amazing place with such beauty. Blue skies, trees, mountains, rivers, creeks, wildlife, few people, little technology, little connection to the outside world. I love nature. I love being out in it, I love the sun on my face and the wind in my hair, and the water between my fingers and toes. (So long as I can see the bottom - I'm terrified of water where I can't see the bottom - snapping turtles you know). I love paddling until I don't want to paddle anymore (or until I get a blister), finding a random beach and swimming, or napping, or reading, or thinking. I like my alone time with God and nature. The peace, the quiet, the warmth and chillness of being alone on a hidden beach.

I have only one week left here in Wells/Barkerville. One week. I'm excited to leave, and yet terrified as well of the return to 'regular' life in Kamloops. I feel so alive, awake, alert, energetic, happy, relaxed, and united with myself, my community and my God here. As much as I appreciate my job, family, church, and friends in Kamloops, it doesn't provide me with the peace I get being a part of this tiny mountain community. That being said, I do get to vacation for a few days on Vancouver Island before I hit 'back-to-school' mode, and I am looking forward to being with my sisters, parents and bestie again. I miss them.

One more week.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


Arts Wells.
The festival of all things art.
The festival of hippies, dreadlocks, music, mythical creatures, drama, and uniqueness.

This is a shot of where I was staying (the blue building) the night the festival started. If I were to write an entire blog about the festival and all I did, including a 'learn to beatbox' workshop, it would take forever. So instead, using the picture above, we are going to play 'where's waldo?'

The following is a list of things that I saw over the course of the weekend. None of it is made up. NONE of it. I know that I have a tendency to exaggerate, but I really, truly, am really, really, really, really, on my honour being honest about what I saw.

A mule and cart
a bicycle built for four
a rcmp in red serge
a unicorn
a marching band
5 men in booty shorts
134 men that look like Jesus
4 cavewomen
356 women that look like cave women
993 people with dreadlocks
a faun
a man dressed like a peacock
a ying ying
4 clowns
2 - 13 foot tall glow in the dark owls
3 brides
a two legged mule
323 music bands
67 naked hippies swimming in the creek

1 norman person
(oh wait, that was me, and I was behind the camera).

And just to prove that all those things were real, I bring you Nikki and the Faun and Nikki and Waldo
 (please ignore my "craaazy eyes." I was seriously tripping out. Not on drugs, but I JUST SAW A FREAKING FAUN!!! You'd freak out too!)

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


People are always so curious about the fairy-tale-make-believe life that I live during the summer months in Wells/Barkerville. I've been thinking about this post quite a bit and wondering how I can fully convey to you the time-change that I go through every morning before I start my shift.

During "my" time (pre 10am and post 6pm) I can usually be found sporting jeans, running clothes or cute dresses. I spend my time running, biking, kayaking, hiking, visiting friends, going to church, writing letters, watching tv or frantically trying to bum the internet off my buddy so I can keep in touch with all those people out in the world that I like. 

Around 9:45 each morning I enter "The Delorian" - aka our change room, where I transform from the Nikki you all know, into this: 

 (I call this my Anne of Green Gables costme)
 (This is my 'hot-day' costume, or my 'black costume, or 'the really nice costumethat everyone likes the best')
(This is my 'cold-day costume or my 'brown costume' or my 'wow-my-waist-looks-tiny-I-wonder-if-that's-from-running-4k-every-morning-or-if-it's-from-my-corset-costume'

After changing, getting the photo-equipment ready, cleaning up the shop, going up the street to get tea and gab for a few minutes with the other historical interpreters,  I start welcoming customers into the store. I take their money, dress them up, snap photo's, edit, print, frame etc. Nothing too exiting or blog-worthy although I do enjoy it.

But the thing that I thought would be interesting to ya'll, is how when we all put on our costumes at 10am each morning, we no longer are "Nikki" or "Hayley" or "Austin" or "Jessee." No, no no. We are now "Miss. Gerrits, Miss. Archer, Reverand Raynard and Mr. Mogan." We must refer to eachother as such. Gentlemen must tip their hats to us and remove them if they come into the shop. Ladies never leave a shelter without gloves, a hat and a shawl or jacket. We may not carry around anything modern - phones (which don't work anyways), i-pods, even plastic containers, bags or car keys are a no-no. These things for me are not so difficult. What is difficult is conversation.

Conversation. Discussion. Talking with my friends. As plesant and wonderful as a good chat can be, it takes quite a bit of thinking and cleverness to spit out what it is that we are trying to say. You're wondering why? Why can't we just say what we want to say? Ahhhh... because we are in 1867. Here are some samples of how we must speak at work.

"Miss. Hodgkinson? Perchance would you like to join Miss. Archer, Mr. Morgan, Mr. Ferguson, Teacher Chow and I this evening as we take my carriage to Quesnel Forks to see that new theatrical production about the man with bat-like qualities?"

Translation: Hey! Amanda! Wanna go see Batman tonight with us?"

"Miss. Archer! This morning on my journey to work I perceived that today was going to be stifling! I know it is quite improper, but I have decided to forego on some of my more restrictive underpinnings today."

Translation: Hayley, it's ridonculously hot today, I'm not gonna wear my corset"

"Well, this past weekened, I followed the migratory paths of our southern flying friends and purchased a new carriage."

Translation: I flew to Vancouver and picked up my new car.

"Well, I'm off to see a man about a horse."

Translation: These tourists are driving me mental and I need to get away from them.

Most of the historical interpreters and staff are much quicker and wittier in their speech than I am, but I try. After a long day of being Miss. Gerrits a la 1867, I head back into the Delorian and come 6pm, I turn back into Nikki.

(p.s. 10000 points to whoever knows why we named our changeroom "the Delorian")

Sunday, July 29, 2012


These awesome people came to visit me this week:

It was very special to me to be able to share my Barkerville life with my Aunt Dianne, Aunt Marg, sister Esther and my Dad. My life is so different up here and I love that people can come visit me and see what I do and why I love it up here so much.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Feasting like civilized people

I've been in Kamloops for a few days now, a mini-vacation from my working-vacation in Barkerville. I came back for one reason: to see my granny who is visiting from Ontario. I love this lady. She has been a big part of my life from the moment I was born and despite the fact that I now live in BC, we remain in contact via snail mail and phone calls. She makes me laugh and I enjoy just sitting with her and reading Womans World Magazine (where she gets all her medical knowledge such as: Nikki is going to get brain cancer from talking on her cell phone and Nikki is going to get cancer from drinking ice water after supper), watching Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune or just sitting and having a wee little tiny coffee.

Today was Granny day. I took her for a wee little tiny coffee and two timbits at Tim Hortons and then we went to COSTCO. Where we pushed around a cart and collected free samples from every single sample station in the store. Now, most people would get a sample and eat it. That's not how Nikki and Granny roll. These samples are going to be our lunch and boy oh boy are we going to have a feast! And we are going to sit down and eat it proper, like two free loading, cheap dutch ladies. We go around with our cart and collect our free samples. They line the bottom of the cart and the seat and when we have made our way around the entire store, we find ourselves a table, unload our mish-mash of random bites of fruit snacks, granola, nuts, wieners, salad, yogurt and crackers. We sit down like civilized people, and we feast on our samples.
(yup, that's us loaded up on free samples)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Content and Happy

Sometimes, during weeks like the one I am having right now, I really can't believe that this is my life. That amazing things happen, that I get to see what I get to see, and do what I get to do. I'm in awe and baffled that I am so blessed to have this amazing life that God has give me.

The thing that brought on my awe and wonderment this week was a brief overnight trip that I took on the Bowron Chain of Lakes. This chain of lakes is world famous and is spectacularly beautiful. It takes about a week to complete the entire circuit. I was happy with my two days on the circuit, and my arms were happy that we were only on the circuit for two days. 

 Isn't the view unreal? There are four mountain ranges that the lakes surround and as you go through the circuit you travel through four different climates and ecological zones.
 (this is me looking 12)
 Vacation. Seriously. It was AMAZING. They have campsites all around the circuit, and you just pull over, set up your site and enjoy the view. And the bugs. The bugs were CRAZY! At night there was actually a steady hum of bugs like nothing I have ever heard before. It was ridiculous and disgusting at the same time. And in the morning the outside of the tent was plastered with mosquitoes. What could I do but laugh? I laughed a lot at the ridonculous of how many bugs there were. There also was a wicked-gnarly thunder/lightning storm for about an hour that was freakishly unbelievable. How does thunder work? I don't get it!
 I was really looking forward to the journey back because on the way to our campsite we had to paddle against the current, so going home was going to be  a cinch! And it was really nice going through the river, saw a moose and a beaver and just laughed and enjoyed our meandering journey through the slough. And then we hit the lake. And the wind. And a windstorm. Imagine a mixture of White Squall and the Perfect Storm. And me in a canoe. It was scary. We had to turn around and head for the safety of the slough. Eventually we did make it out to the lake, paddled close to shore and after a while of fighting with the wind pulled over on this beach:
Where I swam. And napped. And talked. And napped. And tanned. And just sat for a good hour and a half. Sitting there looking at this view I felt many things.
a. That I finally was getting a summer vacation.
b. That Canada really is the most beautiful place.
c. That the weather and activities and events of my canoe trip could not possibly have been more perfect.
d. That I love having friends, and laughing, and talking, and debating, and joking.
e. That I was perfectly content and happy.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


a. This is me in Barkerville.
b. This is me after loosing 62lbs.
c. This is me in a super cute dress from VV
d. All of the above

The correct answer is d. All of the Above.

Major Pain in the Butt

What a week! I'm feeling so good and happy and healthy! Last Monday, exactly 10 minutes after discussing with a friend that our other friend was going to come visit on Thursday, the friend arrived at the door and was around for an extra couple of days. Very exciting.

Then on Saturday night, I was discussing with a different friend how I wanted to hike up to Groundhog Lake, but was skeptical about doing it myself because it is far, and there are bears, and I don't know where it is etc. Then, 10 minutes later two other friends mentioned that they were planning on hiking up to the lake - on my days off! Awesome.

So, Sunday afternoon, Conner, Sheena and I packed our bags and started the walk through Barkerville and Richfield, down the old Cariboo Waggon Road, past Summit Rock, hung a left at the creek and continued 12km uphill toward Groundhog Lake. 

 I'm sad that despite the beauty of our hike, you can't see the incredibly steep terrain that we traversed. Over the course of our 12km hike we climbed over 500m in elevation.
 Snow, ice, mountains, sunshine, warmth, all great things.
 We spent the night at a cabin that is located beside the lake. It was a beautiful ending to an intense hike.

The thing that I was most excited about doing this hike - other than checking it off my 'list of things to do' was that for the first time in years I felt incredibly fit and healthy. I was not slowing anyone down, Conner, Sheena and I took turns setting the pace, we packed everything in that we needed on our backs and took it back out again, and the minimum 3.5 hour hike - we did it in less than 2. Which means we were booking it! SO awesome. I got to the top - exhausted, with burning muscles, but feeling like I was on top of the world.

The next morning we walked down the mountain and back into town feeling energized and yet exhausted, and proud of our accomplishment.

The next morning after that, I couldn't walk. Did you know that the sides of your bum have muscles? That can hurt? A LOT? Cus I sure did learn about them this week.

Sneak Peak

Sneak Peak:
Once my final costume is done, I'll share pictures of me in all my victorian finery.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Misc. Items

I thought I should blog right now because goodness knows when I will get a chance again. I'm leaving Wednesday for my paid vacation back in time in Barkerville. I guess "technically" it's not vacation time, because I am working, but I enjoy it so much that it really is like a break for me.

Here's my misc. list for today.

1. Go to work. No work to do because I'm super efficient. And also, I didn't want to do anything extra because dagnabit school is over and the thought of planning another lesson or decorating another bulletin board makes me throw up in my mouth a bit. So I looked at ideas for next year on Pinterest for a while, then I planned the workshop I'm leading at the Western Canada Association of Christian Schools International Convention. Then I cleaned out the staffroom.

2. Library. Since internet in Wells/Barkerville is spotty at best, and cable is a new fangled notion that has yet to make it to the backwoods mountains where I will be living, I decided to take this summer to read. I found a list of 30 books everyone should read before they turn 30. I've read about 20 of them, so I feel that I'm doing good, goal 2/3 accomplished already and I haven't even cracked a spine! I had to go to 2 libraries to find the rest of the books on my list.

3. Deliver random items to people. Cupcake holders, art work, a dressmakers doll. The usual stuff people have chilling in their trunk.

4. Look unsuccessfully all over Kamloops for non-absorbent foam. I got a Kayak last week (ohhh - that's another good blog topic). It was suggested that I get some non-absorbent foam to put in the tips of it just for extra buoyancy and stability. There is not one place in town that sells what I'm looking for. Three people (including my dad, who has never kayaked, the guy at Surplus Herbies who was semi-knowledgeable, and a friend who is outdoorsy and pretty much runs Banff) suggested spray foam. So I got some. Problem: Long kayak, short arms. I have a pile or spray foam - yellow and piled up  like a dog turd about halfway down the nose of my kayak. Fail.

5. Refresh the i-pod. Downloading songs = fun, trying to sync my ipod = not fun. It was giving me crazy problems tonight. I am irritated.

6. Put away the bags of random school junk that had accummulated in my bedroom. And by 'put away' you know I actually mean 'stash in a closet.'

7. Start packing all the random things I need for the summer. I originally planned to only bring clothes - because last year I brought copious amounts of 'stuff'. Yeah... not going to happen. I already have 2 hockey bags full off 'stuff'. Haven't even started on the clothes yet.

8. Pay bills and rent.

I feel like I got quite a bit done this evening. I deserve my sleep tonight so I can finish off my list tomorrow and spend my last night in town with my family. Or part of if anyways since Mom is in Ontario, Bethany is in Cambodia, and Vanessa is working. So really just Me, Dad, Esther and the dog. Meh. At least it's the better more cuddly half of the family.

Saturday, June 02, 2012


I just felt SO incredibly clever today! Like I had totally cheated, even though I didn't really, and that I was so much smarter than a hundred other people in Kamloops.

The situation:

Vanessa and I wanted to grab Wendy's for lunch today (Baja salad = my favourite ever). But as we drove into the parking lot it was as if every single family in Kamloops decided to eat Wendy's for lunch at the same time, at the same location. The parking lot was packed and as we drove around to the back looking for a parking spot we noticed that the line inside was ridiculously long.

But you know what line wasn't long?

The drive through. So in less than 2 minutes we had ordered and had our meals. And just as we paid a parking spot opened up right by the door. So we parked, grabbed our food, took it inside, sat down, ate, and laughed at all the people who were waiting in the really long line.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


You know, I'm feeling good right now.

Six hours ago.... not so much. I've pretty much been on the verge of "I'm going to throttle anyone who bugs me" for the last few days. This type of attitude usually is met with me curling in a fetal position on the couch of the staff room every lunch, and dangerous items such as pencils and scissors need to be taken away from me. Don't even get me started with what I could do with a geometry set!

But right now - it's 6:13 pm. Vanessa made us supper and we sat down together like real friends and sisters and just laughed and giggled and ate. We did the dishes and the house is clean other than the creative clutter of my craft area. I'm sitting on the couch looking at the beautiful view in my backyard as a breeze washes over me. I'm on facebook looking at funny things and getting messages from my Barkerville friends who are all trying to find me a place to live this summer when I go back for another epic season.

And this afternoon it was warm. Not stifling hot as it tends to get this time of year, but warm and sunny with a breeze. I came home after an exhausting-pencils-in-my-eyeballs-and-yet-strangely-fulfilling-and-ok type of day, put a blanket on the freshly cut grass in my yard, read a novel and fell asleep.  It was relaxing and wonderful.

And then an ant crawled up my nose.

But I don't care. I'm still relaxed.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

M y students
A re constantly crazy and annoying as they
Y earn for the end of the school year.