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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter in Bonnyville

Today is Easter and I am both drunk and hungover on chocolate.

This year, I decided to give Christofer a Canadian Easter. Here's my column I wrote about it in the Nouvelle:

http://www.bonnyvillenouvelle.ca/article/20120403/BNV0903/304039966/-1/BNV09/ashleys-anecdotes

He hasn't had an Easter egg hunt before. Apparently, the Easter bunny skips over Ecuador. So, I decided to show him how we Canadians enjoy Easter.

So last night when we go back from Edmonton, I ordered Chris to go to bed and not come out as I had eggs throughout the house. I also put together the gifts I bought, which included the game Apples to Apples.

Here's a little sneak peak at how it went.





video

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pictures of our new apartment

Okay, so I promised pictures of my apartment. So first, I'll show you where we started:


Here's the kitchen area, if you can tell...


And our bedroom!

Okay, so it was a bit of a disaster. After Chris and his friend Andy had spent about 8 hours driving from La Crete to Bonnyville, they began unloading the truck and trailer. To our surprise, U-Haul trailers are not very secure. EVERYTHING was covered in dust and dirt from the highway. So that's why everything is piled in the kitchen. We had to wash everything before it could be put in its rightful place. ANNOYING!

Anyways, after lots and lots and lots of work, both cleaning and unpacking and of course finding places to put everything, here's where we are now:



Here's Willy and Mimi enjoying some fresh air on the porch :)



Our new TV stand and lamps :)



Living room area :)



Here's our bedroom, finally put together.


So there are still lots of things that we need, such as a computer desk, gill/BBQ, coffee table and end tables, but they will all come. Then we can put up our pictures, paintings and photos and complete our apartment :)

Interview with Clayton Bellamy



While Clayton Bellamy, originally from The Road Hammers, was visiting his hometown of Bonnyville, I took that as an opportunity to meet yet another country music star and write a great feature.

In releasing his latest album, his first solo one, he decided to tour a few schools in northern alberta, providing a small concert and lecture about following your dreams.

To my surprise, he's quite a great speaker. Very inspirations and moving. His voice totally filled the room. He used video, song and his persuasive words to capture the audience. Even stubborn high school kids were totally getting into it!

I didn't have a long interview with him, it was more of an excuse to meet him and get my picture taken with him, but hey, it was great all the same!

Here's the article, enjoy! :) http://www.bonnyvillenouvelle.ca/article/20120313/BNV0307/303139976

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Adjusting to life in an apartment building and welcoming spring

Having moved in the winter, Chris and I haven't really had a chance to experience the beauty of Bonnyville. Judging by the name of the town and all the lakes surrounding it, we had hoped it would be a beautiful place to settle down for a few years.

Today it's about 13 degrees. Nothing compared to Ontario's 20-25, but we'll take what we can get. It's absolutely beautiful and bright; however, with the warm weather comes melting snow. So the muddy sidewalks have made afternoons walks a little challenging, but still worth it.

Last weekend Chris and I finally had a weekend off together - our first one together since before Christmas! It was nice. We relaxed, did a lot of cleaning and organizing of the apartment and watched a few movies. And on Sunday morning, we were even able to enjoy breakfast on our porch with our kitties! :) Now all we need is a BBQ so we can start grilling some steak and burgers and we'll be set!

Our apartment has been kind of challenging, but we're adjusting. We're not used to not having the basement for the cats, so that's been interesting. But it's been nice to be able to sleep with the bedroom door open and not have to worry about a room mate peeking in at you!

With apartments come smells. So many smells. So that's been my major priority right now. I've scrubbed everything and Chris has vacuumed and we've put up quite a few air fresheners. Now it's yummy every time you walk in - despite what the halls may smell like due to our neighbour's cooking or pets.

Now, if I could just convince the baby beside me to stop screaming all the time, we'd be set!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Interviewing and meeting Clayton Bellamy (The Road Hammers)



Above is a photo of myself and Clayton Bellamy, country music star from The Road Hammers, after a performance and inspirations speech at Bonnyville Centralized High School recently.

I had seen him perform with The Road Hammers years ago; however, never by himself. I really enjoy his solo music and couldn't believe what a moving, passionate and inspirational speaker he was. He's entertaining in so many ways with his words.

Clayton is originally from Bonnyville, which was something I didn't realize. Since I love country music, and am a huge supporter of local artists, I was excited when I heard he would be back in Bonnyville for a performance. He spent last week touring a few northern, rural Alberta schools, advertising his newest album and promoting students to follow their dreams - whatever they may be.

Bonnyville offers a lot of country music, which I really love. In April, Emerson Drive will be performing in Bonnyville and Ronnie Dunn (from Brooks and Dunn) will be performing in June. And we're just hours away from Edmonton, where so many other acts are going on, such as Lady Antebellum and outside of country music, my beloved Stars on Ice tour.

Ah Bonnyville, why must you offer so many artistic options. My bank account will soon be cross with you.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Check me out, online!

Okay, so I've been working for the Bonnyville Nouvelle for a while now, so here are a couple of items that have made it to the website that I think you should all check out :)

Here's a link to my first column, just a little introduction about me:

http://www.bonnyvillenouvelle.ca/article/20120110/BNV0903/301109971

Here's my column the next week; a little rant about housing prices in Bonnyville.

http://www.bonnyvillenouvelle.ca/article/20120117/BNV0903/301179972

And finally, my first VIDEO! Be sure to check this out. It's about Malanka, the Ukrainian New Year!

http://www.bonnyvillenouvelle.ca/article/20120123/BNV0801/120129995

Enjoy! More to come soon!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Reflection from my first few weeks in Bonnyville

So, I’ve been working for The Bonnyville Nouvelle for about a week and a half, and so far, I’m loving it.

Hopefully, I’ll still be able to say that a few months from now :P

The community is great and so are my coworkers. Of course, being away from Chris and now sharing these moments with him has been hard, but it’s been good to be able to focus more on my job and getting into routine.

I just finished my first full week and tomorrow we go to production. I’ve done a few features and profiles, as well as cover Town council, school board and other events.

So far, I love working in a newsroom with other reporters, and, surprisingly, I love working under an editor. I always thought there would be some sort of power struggle, or butting heads, but really, I just love not having the responsibility of doing it all: coming up with story ideas, covering all the events, working every weekend and editing all the articles myself. I love bouncing ideas off Melissa and Brendon, even though the three of us are entirely different people with often conflicting views.

Tomorrow, Monday, is our production day. Brandon, Melissa and I will all show up at 9am, which is something we rarely do. We will each go through the pages as they will be shown in the paper. First, Brandon and I will read through the articles, making any necessary changes and initially the page; then Melissa will read through and make the final changes. After that, we have our story meeting.

Here, we all brainstorm events we’ll cover and story ideas. We all help each other come up with ideas or events in the beats we each cover (really, it’s more of Melissa and I giving Brandon all the sports-related articles, while Melissa and I focus on arts, education and political issues.

However, Chris and I are still in need of a place to live and the fact that I’ve taken a pay cut hasn’t helped with the huge rise in living cost. However, even with having to pay more for rent, I still think we’ll be happier living and working in Bonnyville :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Life in Bonnyville

I've been working at The Bonnyville Nouvelle for a few days now, so needless to say, this blog post is far overdue.

The quaint town is lively and energetic. The community has a lot to offer and so far, I'm really finding the warmth of home - although that might have to do with the drastic temperature change!

Chris is back up in La Crete until the end of February and though it's been in the positives here in Bonnyville, Chris said they have been pushing -20 in La Crete. No, I don't envy him at all!

Working for the Nouvelle is a lot of fun. The staff is laid back and fun and so far it's been a pretty easy adjustment - aside from being sick! My new editor is Melissa and I am sharing reporting roles with Brandon. We share the newsroom office space together and so far have been sharing a lot of laughs.

Today was our first production day today. Though Brandon and I are both getting over colds, and Melissa (arguably) is just getting one, it didn't go as smoothly as planned; we also had a giant distraction: our (hopefully) soon-to-be office kitty.

Today, a kitten was brought to the Nouvelle office and hung out with all the staff for the day. The publisher, Clare, wasn't in today, so we all shared a part in coming up with ideas and tactics to justify keeping the cat. Though Clare initially shot down the idea of an office kitty, she then changed her tone. She said we need to deliver a convincing presentation tomorrow, stating why we should keep the office pet and how we plan to care for it. So I drafted a pros and cons list (of course, the cons side was empty) and we'll present it to her tomorrow. I really hope we get to keep her! I wanted to name her Nouvelle, but, sadly, I was outvoted.

I will be sure to keep you all updated on my new Bonnyville life and, most importantly, if we get to keep our office pet.