Monday, August 10, 2015


Last week I participated in the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen.  We have a coworker, Jody, who wanted to try this last year.  I read the list of items and said, "No way, not going to happen."  As did everyone else in our office.  So without any support from us, she didn't sign up.  Optimistically, she asked us again this year, but for some reason, this time a few of us said, "Sure, what the heck!" and threw our names into the fire... probably because she moved to Salmon Arm in May and we realized the hole she left in our office... or maybe because she just finally wore us down!

So... long story short, I signed up for GISHWHES along with 3 other coworkers and a few friends and family.  At the end of registration we had a respectable team of 13, only 2 short of the required 15.  We were the Impalas, ready and waiting, and I was pretty freakin' nervous.  This isn't your average scavenger hunt...

Gishbot (the computer that generates all things Gishy) assigned us our last two members, a lovely American couple stationed at a military base in Germany, their team being Battle Appa, and we were reborn, "Impalas Love Battle Appa!" 

Jody arrived in Vanderhoof the night before the challenge, planning to stay for a few days.  We had no idea how this was going to go but were excited for Saturday morning to see the list which would be posted the next morning, at 6am. We gathered at Sylvia's house for brunch at 10 on August 1st, called up our Germany peeps on Skype, and plotted our way through a rather daunting, 216 item list assigning the seemingly impossible items to various team members.

Now we weren't able to achieve everything on the list (I don't have access to a military helicopter and a humvee to complete one of the items, and funding to head to the Great Wall of China was in short supply), but between the 15 of us, we gave what we feel was a pretty freakin' respectable showing.  Turns out we have some pretty wild, completely uninhibited, awesome people with some pretty decent connections.  I surprised myself, too. I did things that I would never have dreamed of doing. I did things I've wanted to do but haven't ever made time for. I shared things I never would have shared with coworkers, and they slipped a little further outside of the "coworker" role and into the friend role.  All in the name of mayhem and goodwill.  

I can't wait to do this again, next year!  I'll probably be caught up on sleep by then!

Here's just a smattering of the items we managed to check off the list:
Recreate an optical illusion...

We weren't able to to submit this because the actor playing Arrow never retweeted our brony homage, but I'm still pretty pleased with how this turned out and count it as a win, regardless.

Jody and Kirstin putting inspiration bookmarks in the lockers at High School.

Our conspiracy theorist party

Ancient Egypt, cosplayed

The kale tutu we sewed for Kirstin to model in front of our town landmark

Our going away party for a board game that we then donated to the local transition house

Jody's macramed holster (notice how long Jody's hair is in the photo... she cut 13 inches off to donate for one of the items!)

Jody and Andy, donating supplies to a school art program

Mary Lou reading "Call of the Wild" to dogs at our poorly attended Storytime (for dogs) in the park

My Dad's sketch of Stephen Harper turning into a Clicker Zombie

The post office workers doing a conga line

Peddling hugs at the Farmer's Market

Jody donating a backpack of school supplies to Neighbourlink

Lady and the Tramp, the classic scene

Our "Your bedroom is a pigsty" interpretation

A dress made out of flowers and foliage set against a contrasting urban back drop

Sylvia's Leaning Tower of Pizza

Camaflouge three people in a domestic setting. Laundry day, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone.  And yes, there are three little people in that phote.

Our team (almost), dawning our moustaches.  

My Supernatural short story using only letters from the periodic table, no more than once.

There's a ghost working at a local coffee shop

Nice buns, Leia!  Tammy's gluten free Princess Leia.

Tracy's children who, apparently, are half alien!

Wes and Michelle's storm trooper, resigned to working in an office setting since the Death Star left him unemployed.

Robert's car meets Mary Lou's talent!

The Gishwhes drink special that the Byrons created.  It was a short-lived phenomenon.  

And so much more! I think we completed approximately 100 items, but we weren't able to count them all before the site closed down.  Next year... next year we top that! :)

Whew.  Now only 72 more days until Nanowrimo...


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sheer, muddy joy!

The first jump was all her idea!  We didn't see it coming.  After that... well, the dress is probably ruined anyway, so I figured we might as well let her have fun!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Napowrimo again

Well, it's April! 30 poems in 30 days.  I'm just not feeling it this year.  I think I might actually, officially, be too busy to do all the hobbies I love to do. But, I gave it a whirl.  Not my best.  Not my worst.  Which is surprisingly in keeping with the theme of my poem.

Or... maybe I'm not too busy.  Maybe I spend too much time binge-watching The Walking Dead.  Regardless, poem #1 is posted on my neglected writing blog. Check back there this month to see the rest of them.

Just to save you the click, here's the poem here, too:

1. Happy Hump Day

You are not the slow, sleepy build up,
Nor are you the thrill of the release,
People don't disdain to face you,
Nor greet your arrival with relief,

While they don't exude enthusiasm,
They don't fervently wish you on your way,
You're somewhere in the middle,
You're just kind of, sort of okay.

You fall somewhat short of greatness,
Landing this side of resignation,
You're not all that exciting,
You're weak with anticipation.

You're not the beginning of the work week,
But you certainly don't signal that it's through,
I can't say that you're all that bad, and yet,
No one ever says, “TGIW.”

© 2015 Laura Freeman All Rights Reserved



Friday, January 16, 2015

Making Tracks

Went for a walk with the kids tonight.  We came across deer prints on our street.  I pointed them out and we all stopped to admire them.  A little further on one of my kids says, "What kind of tracks are those?"

"Cat," I reply. "That looks like cat prints."

"What about those ones?"

"Those are the deer as well."  We continued to follow the deer tracks up the street, watching as they criss-crossed with the path of our neighbour's cat. My youngest, getting in on the game, got excited and said, "Those?"

"Those are people tracks," I say, wisely.

"Ooh," she says, impressed. Then she got really excited... "Wook Mommy, Wook!  Pikachu tracks!"

I laughed, as did her siblings, who then got into a heated discussion about what Pikachu tracks might look like.

We walk a little further and she exclaimed delightedly over the "car tracks."
Then, towards then end of our walk, we came across a huge footprint. Huge.  She squeals, absolutely overcome with excitement, "Wook! Wook! Daddy Tracks!"

BAHAHAHAHAHA!  Walking at the kids' meandering pace might not be very good exercise, but it sure is good for the soul!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Never a dull moment...

We didn't make the decision to have a fourth child lightly.  Or quickly.  She's 4.5 years younger than Kirstin.  Our family of 5 felt right.  We almost stopped there.   I'm so glad we didn't.  This two year old makes us laugh every day.  The other night after we'd tucked in the older kids and it was Brooklynn's turn to be tucked in.  Heading upstairs to her room, I stopped to put a couple of things away, and turned my back for a second.  She was gone.  I found her in Alex's bed, covers pulled up to her chin and Alex laughing so hard tears were flowing.  "What's so funny?"  I asked.  He replied, between giggles, "When she ran into my room she said, 'Shew, that was a close one!'"

Yup, never a dull moment with a toddler in the house.  

Here's a couple of photos for you to enjoy!

 (Yes, that is the dog's water dish...)

"Hey, has anyone seen Brooklynn?"

"Oh, never mind, I found her.  She's taking a nap!"