Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Campfire Confessions #1

Happy Day 5! Once camp season hits I generally have no idea what day of the week it is and if you ask me what day it is I can guarantee I will reply with "Day 3" or whatever camp day it happens to be. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with camp sessions are usually organized by days. At my camp Day 0 is the day that all staff come back to camp after a session break (the days between each group of campers) campers arrive on Day 1 and go home on Day 7. There are always a few days between Day 7 and Day 0 for staff to go home and get prepared for the next week.)

I have decided though that I will keep track of Wednesdays because that means it's time for Confessions with Kathy! And between living/working/eating/sleeping/breathing with the same group of people (mostly in their late teens and early 20s) I'm going to have somethings to rant about   confess.

- I should probably be more stressed about the current staff situation, especially the lack of a head cook…but stressing really isn't going to fix anything so I can't be bothered. Finger's Crossed that sometime between now and June 2nd a cook materializes?

- I have been listening to a lot of Taylor Swift lately, it helps me deal with life.

- Daily "Let it Go" sing a longs have also become a coping mechanism.

- I started elaborate Pinterest inspired start of camp gifts for the head counsellors but ran out of time to finish them before camp started. I put the final touches on them last night and in typical Pinterest Project fashion they are far in superior to the original idea.

- It's been an emotional couple of days but I haven't hidden under my desk to cry yet and I've only ate gummy bears in bed once. I'm doing okay.

- Being surrounded by a bunch of 18 & 19 year old counsellors makes me feel old.

- Being surrounded by whiney people makes me cranky.

- Since moving to camp my coffee consumption has increased by 500%. By the end of the summer it will be the only thing flowing through my veins.

- I feel like I haven't written a real blog post in months. Everything is link ups and lists and random ramblings. Then again, I have no idea what constitutes a "real" blog post so you can be the judge.

- A few counsellors have walked by my office and clearly think I'm really busy doing work at 8:00 a.m., little do they know I'm just blogging.

I do need to wrap up this first confession session of the summer so I can finish planning my sessions on the Budget (Why we Don't Use Broom Sticks as Swords) and figure out how I'm going to stay warm for the rest of the day. Seriously Canada, Get your act together.

Monday, 26 May 2014

And Then...On The Bright Side

Years from now when I reminisce on the summer of 2014 "and then" will be a heavily used phrase. Since we arrived last Friday it has literally been one thing after another. We've had 4 staff quit at the last minute (one at 6:20 a.m. on the first day of staff training) and one just didn't bother to show up…we've e-mailed and phoned and left messages for her but so far no response. We're pretty sure that at this point we can assume she quit and just didn't tell anyone but it's still a mystery.

Aside from all the staff stuff it has been bitterly cold. And while the East Coast of Canada isn't known for it's tropical climate as a general rule it does get warmer than 10 degrees by the end of May. I've been sleeping with my heat on 20 wearing a sweater and multiple pairs of pants and layers of blankets to stay warm. 

Through in some building repairs that need to be made after an exceptionally snowy winter and a broken kitchen appliance and you have a full recipe for a whole lot of chaos and a much more stressful start to the summer than anyone was prepared for.

The good news is that amid all the chaos I have gotten to practice with my camera on a bunch of different occasions. I've decided that escaping from the fast-paced camp world even just for 15 minutes by stopping to take photos of flowers or grabbing my camera and shooting the sunset is going to be my go to stress reliever this year. So maybe that means more consistent blog posts? I'm not making any promises though, especially considering it's past midnight and I have words typed up and one photo watermarked but I kind of wanted to to share a few more photos and write some more words…I would also really like to get more than six hours of sleep. 

The moral of the story is I'm still here, making an effort to document the summer as often as possible. 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Happy Summer Camp Eve!

There may be a frost warning in effect for the next couple of nights, temperatures below 0 and snow on the ground but all the same my bags are packed and this time tomorrow I will be on the road towards camp! 

Myself and the Camp Director are heading up tomorrow for a week of cleaning and opening camp, the four head counsellors arrive on Thursday for a couple of days of leadership training before the rest of the counsellors arrive on Saturday evening for a week of staff training. Our first session of campers happens the first week of June and even though that seems so far away right now I know it's just around the corner. 

I'm a weird mix of nerves and excitement. There are a lot of contributing factors. One of the main ones is that odds are this will be my last summer at this particular camp and it will almost certainly be the last summer working with this specific staff team. On the flip side I'm feeling a lot less overwhelmed about the summer than I have in the past.

I still have a lot of things on my to do list for the day but I'm not really worried about getting them all done. Yesterday I made an impromptu trip to town for shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste - all the exciting things. I did snag a pair of $6 aviators from the little boys' department of Wal-Mart. There are a lot of downsides to being petite but being able to buy things from kids' departments is not one of them!

I've reached the stage in the packing process where I start to panic that I'm forgetting something important. To counteract that feeling I just start throwing anything and everything into my bags "just in case" regardless of the likelihood I will be in need of multiple pairs of black panty hose or a pair of high heels over the next few weeks.

I am off to spend the next few hours eating my last pre-camp meal (it's pizza, duh) and strategically loading things into my car and putting the finishing touches on my road trip playlist.

I have a post scheduled for tomorrow but it will be a while before the internet gets hooked up at camp and probably even longer before I have an hour to sit down and write something worth publishing!

Until then, send your sunny weather my way and extra prayers of a summer full of love, happiness and no trips to the emergency room!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Weekly Confessions

It has been weeks months since I've logged into Google Analytics to obsess over my blog numbers. It wasn't a conscious decision but it's certainly been nice.

I love watching Four Weddings and pinning wedding favours on Pinterest as much as the next girl but I just cannot fathom the idea of spending large sums of money to get married. There is no way on God's green earth that I would ever spend thousands of dollars on a dress I'll wear for 8-10 hours.  (And I kind of judge the people who do.)

Along the same lines, the money that goes into professional sports also blows my mind.

I just want to go explore things and take lots of pictures, but I'm SO self conscious of using my DSLR. I have no idea why, 90% of the time I whip out my iPhone at any given moment to snap a photo of a cookie or a flower or my cup of coffee. But the idea of taking out my 'real' camera and using it to capture the perfect shadow or sun stream makes me feel so nervous and I'm scared people are going to think I'm crazy.

Sometimes when I need a mood boost I search "Funniest Game Show Moments" and am instantly cured of my crankiness. Family Feud ones seem to be the best.

At the end of the summer the director & I give the counsellors a staff gift. It's usually something homemade and relates to an inside joke from the summer. Last year we made each of the counsellors a calendar. Despite our best efforts the calendars didn't get made until the night before the staff banquet (aka the last night of camp) and we were both exhausted and kept getting interrupted by various tasks. Long story short this is what the calendar looks like for the month of May. #fail

I need to step up my Twitter game. It's atrocious. I semi-regret creating a second Twitter account just for my blog. At the same time I don't because I would never tweet links to my blog posts on my personal Twitter (#closetblogger) but I never think to just tweet random things on my blog account. 

I keep trying to think of more confessions just so that I can avoid doing work/getting dressed/packing etc. But I'm all out so instead I'm going to finish the last of my coffee and hop on over to another blog to read your confessions! 

Liking up with Kathy & Liz


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Whirlwind Weekend & Manic Monday

First off…check out my new design!! The lovely Erin from Love, Fun & Football designed it and I'm in love. If you are in the market for a blog design I highly recommend talking to Erin! I had only the vaguest idea of what I wanted and Erin was so patient with me and collected all of my ideas about colours and fonts and things I did and didn't like and made it into what you see now!

Now to catch you all up to what's been happening over the last few days.

Saturday I was up early to make the three hour drive from the City to a meeting with a bunch of other camp directors from across the province. The main topics of discussion surrounded mental health at camp for both campers and staff, healthy eating on a budget and a look at numbers from camps around the province over the last few years. After the meeting I headed home to my parents to gather my stuff for camp and work from home for the week.

Sunday and Monday were so hectic. We had a bit of a situation happen at the office and for a while it looked like I was going to have to drive back to the office to go in for a day and then head to camp…which would have been a serious pain and inconvenience. Luckily things are sorted out now and I can get my life organized and hopefully spend a little bit of time relaxing and preparing myself mentally, physically and emotionally for the weeks ahead.

Most of what that involves is eating a lot of yummy food, making lists, enjoying satellite TV & reliable internet access and appreciating quiet time. I've also been thinking a lot about my summer goals (stay tuned for a post about those). I put just as much, if not more, effort into establishing my summer goals as most people do for their New Year's Resolutions.

I intended for this to be a much longer update but I keep getting interrupted by phone calls & e-mails so I suppose I should take the hint to stop blogging and get back to actually working from home!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Coconuts & French Fries

This was my last week in the office before camp…so things have been a little hectic. I also moved out of my apartment and am staying with my cousin and her family for the week because the friend I was subletting for was moving back in and it just made the most sense. My commute to work did go from 10 minutes to 45 but overall much better than toughing out the week with four of us girls living in one apartment sharing 1 bathroom and 3 bedrooms.

Since it's been a hectic week blogging has (once again) fallen to the bottom of the to-do list. There are a bunch of things I planned on blogging about this week but since the week is pretty much over the condensed version of all those things will have to make do.


First off, Sunday night I went with a group of five other girls to the Backstreet Boys' concert!! And while I won't tell you it was the best concert I've ever been to it was pretty great and I'm glad I went! They played all of their old hits and some of their new stuff. There was the classic 90s boy band choreography one would expect to see at a BSB concert. Plus, a really impressive acoustic set! If you haven't seen them in concert I would recommend seeing them at least once! 

For weeks now I have been craving coconut. I've convinced myself that the only thing that can satisfy this craving is a real coconut. None of the sweetened shredded stuff or dried pieces in trail mix or coconut flavoured yogurt can satisfy me. The problem is I have no idea what to do with an actual coconut. They are readily available at my local grocery store but what happens when I bring it home? Google tells me I need a hammer and a cleaver and a very sharp knife? Please leave your coconut related experience and suggestions in the comments. 

It's that time of year when I listen to all the newly released country songs and declare one to be my summer song. Every other year I hear a song and that's it, I fall in love and listen to it on repeat for days on end. So far this year that song has been Yeah by Joe Nichols. Although I still plan on listening to Luke Bryan sing Play it Again over and over over again all summer. 

I was really looking forward to next week. The plan was for me to work from home and get things done like Cabin of the Week Awards on my Cricut and staff name tags and putting together sample crafts and things for programming. Unfortunately it doesn't look like that's going to happen now. I hate the thought of starting the summer out in such a stressful way but I'm trying really hard to be understanding and go with the flow because I know it's not just my plans that are getting messed up. The situation makes me grumpy though. And the last thing I want is to start the summer off in a grumpy way!


Up until last week I was doing such a great job eating healthy, balanced meals. The only junk food I was eating was the occasional can of pop. And even last week even though I was craving Wendy's last Friday I resisted and went home instead and made cajun chicken and potato wedges. Then things went downhill. Saturday night R. came into town for BSB and we consumed mass quantities of bread with roasted red pepper dip and chips with guacamole. Sunday we went out for pizza before the concert. I've had cereal for supper multiple times this week. And yesterday for lunch I ate graham crackers, a mars bar and a coke. I grabbed fast food for lunch once this week and it's pretty likely that it's going to happen again today. I just want to eat all the french fries. And drink all the fountain pop. That will definitely make me feel better about the chaos of next week. 

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Elusive Pause


I have always been a supporter of the theory "slow & steady wins the race" and that "good things come to those who wait". Over the years I'v had many friends voice their strong opposing theories; good things come to people who work for them and the quicker the better, all that jazz. On some level I understand…unless you give me the chance to elaborate you may assume I'm someone who sits around all day and just hopes for the best. 

The truth is my "good things come to those who wait" philosophy is more about having faith in God's timing and believing that even when it doesn't seem that way He is in control and He has only my best interests in mind. 

And sometimes He says "no". 

And sometimes you think He is saying "No.", followed by "Absolutely Not.", followed by "seriously, I said no. Stop. Move on." So you take the hint (sort of) and slowly start to move on but the question never really leaves your mind. 

And sure enough, slowly but all at once just when you had stopped asking everyday (and only asked on special occasions) you start to realize what He has really telling you is "Not Right Now.", "Not Yet.", "Now is not the the time." and in that moment you hear "Not quite yet…but someday".

There is no doubt that 'someday' is several calendar years away. 

Things will unfold slowly and steadily. One step at a time.

Be patient, therefore, brothers & sisters, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:7-8 

I fully realize this post is pretty vague and such but for now that's the way it needs to be. The specific details are few and far between and right now they are the tiniest of threads being woven together. It's a beginning though, the strongest ropes start with a single thread. And I am overwhelmed with hope and faith that even if these threads aren't going to produce the final pattern that I'm hoping for whatever the end result is will be nothing short of amazing.

God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever ask for or imagine. - Ephesians 3:20

Friday, 2 May 2014

Five Exciting Things

Just when I'm starting to feel like I'm getting back into the swing & routine of blogging May happens. And May = Camp. Which is extremely exciting for a whole lot of reasons! And kind of a downer because camp is not conductive to blogging.

I have the best intentions of blogging two or three times a week during the summer. Realistically I know that might not happen. Especially for the first week or so before the internet is set up. And the week or so after that during staff training…Basically what I'm saying is if I disappear off the face of the blogosphere over the next few weeks I'll be back. At some point.

In an effort to end the week on a good note and start the weekend off on the right foot my Five on Friday is dedicated to five things I'm looking forward to over the next few days. Many of which earn lots of High Fives for Friday!

I was sitting at my desk this morning pondering what to make for supper. (I like to think at least two meals ahead.) And I realized that's it's Friday, it's been a chaotic week. I've earned a treat. What I'm saying is I see a Wendy's drive-thru detour on my way home from work. #noshame


On my schedule for this weekend is the ultimate in Girls' Night activities! Backstreet Boys concert! I was never a huge BSB fan back in the day (Spice Girls were my fave) but I do remember thinking Nick Carter was totally cute. There are six of us going to the concert and I'm really excited about it! We've had tickets for a while but it seemed so far way, I can't believe it's happening this weekend. 


This gelato is the most delicious thing I have ever eaten. It was totally an impulse buy. I ran to the grocery story for yogurt & granola bars and came out with this container of pure awesome. I am way more a salty/savoury person than I am sweet so I am all over this whole salted caramel trend that is all over the place. 

I'm working with Erin from Love, Fun & Football and she's designing me the most perfect layout ever to exist in Blogland. I am so excited! I assure you there will be an entire post about how great it was to work with Erin and how happy I am with the design!

I can't believe there are less than 2 weeks until I move to camp! My to-do lists (plural) are miles long but 90% of the things on those lists are what I would classify as fun things. Getting supplies ready, finding new games, packing, making warm-fuzzy envelopes for the staff. Things that I can easily (and happily) do in the evenings while watching TV. 


Thursday, 1 May 2014

You Win, Thursday.

Thursday May 1st, 2014

8:35 a.m.: Swipe my thingy to exit the parking garage and instead of flashing green, opening the garage door and letting me drive to work it flashes red and the door remains shut. I try a few more times trying to process what I'm going to do to solve this problem. Luckily a nice lady comes along and lets me out and suggests that I was just hitting in the wrong place.

8:44 a.m.: Driving to work still pondering my near death experience in the parking garage and realize that today is May 1st. Thus, the reason my thingy (does anyone know what those electronic chips are actually called) stopped working was because my parking permit was only for February, March & April. Alright, let's start praying now that there's a spot opened in the overnight visitor parking.

8:50 a.m. : Arrive at work. There was a brief power outage last night and when the power came back it tripped our phone system and as a result none of the phones were working. Normally a major annoyance but not a colossal issue. Today is the deadline for camper fees. Meaning a constant stream of people calling and asking if there's still spots in specific sessions or wanting to pay their balance over the phone with a credit card. Or assuring us that the paperwork is in the mail etc. Basically mass chaos.

9:00 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.: Work, Work, Work, Work, Work.

5:15 p.m.: Realize I'm still at work. Completely surrounded by sticky notes and highlighters and folders overflowing with forms and to-do lists and to-call lists. Surrender for the day, pack up my things and leave.

5:45 p.m. :Arrive home from work (there was a parking space, Hallelujah!) get into my apartment (on the 7th floor), put chicken in the oven for supper (that hasn't defrosted nearly as much as I wanted it to), put away dishes and tidy the kitchen before reaching for my phone to tweet about how excited I am to watch last night's episode of Survivor. Except my phone is nowhere to be found.

6:00 p.m.: After searching the few places I've been since I arrived home from work conclude that I must have left it in the car. Exit apartment and go down seven floors and outside (where it's now started to rain) to my car. Search my car. No phone. Conclude that my beloved iPhone is almost certainly still sitting on my desk at work.

6:30 p.m.: Realize that although my chicken is cooking my limited groceries mean I don't have an obvious side for my chicken. (I'm moving this weekend so I'm trying to eat all my groceries so I don't have to move them). Conclude that perogies are really my best option for a side.

7:00 p.m.: Chicken & Perogies for supper!

I am going to enjoy every bite of my weird supper and then I'm going to take a long hot shower and just get through the next two weeks.