Sunday, June 23, 2013

Alberta Floods 2013 - My beautiful Calgary... under water.

If you haven't heard, our province was hit with devastating floods the past few days. I have lived in Calgary my entire life (almost 30 years) and have never seen anything of this magnitude before. The boyfriend and I are lucky enough to live way up high on a hill and a bit away from the river so we were not effected. 
The city of High River on Thursday afternoon. Via Twitter.

I did however have to go and rescue my sister on Thursday night who lives in an area close to the river and doesn't have a vehicle. I left my home immediately when they announced the evacuation of her area and was there within ten minutes. If I would have left even five minutes later I would have been driving though water to get her. It was creeping up just a few feet from my car and starting to flood homes as I was driving by. As we turned the corner around her house and passed over the bridge by Bowness Park... it was devastating to see an area that should be an ice rink in the winter and then park and picnic areas which are normally spread out and far from the river now completely submerged. Water so high that it was half way up the trees in the highest elevation areas. 

Old Man dam being opened on Thursday night. via Twitter. 

These photos below were taken very close to my home. This is normally the area I walk through to get home after work. Those trees should not be under water...

This video (found via twitter) was taken in this exact area.

Water flooding all areas near the river. 

Calgary is supposed to have the Stampede (the biggest outdoor show on earth) in less than two weeks. TWO WEEKS! But this is what the Stampede grounds look like right now.

It would be a complete miracle to pull it off this year. But crews (and all citizens) are determined. It may not be the Stampede we normally see but it will happen and I will be there full of pride.

These are photos I have taken myself (unless noted differently) and they don't even show the beginning of the damage and devastation all across the province. Thousands of people have completely lost their homes, many washed away in the river.

This truly has been devastating and as far as we know there have been three fatalities in the extremely hard hit areas outside of Calgary. The damage will be insurmountable when the water finally all recedes.

Although this has been completely unbelievable to live through, I have honestly never been more proud to be an Albertan. Approximately 75,000 people were evacuated from their homes and only about 1500 had to go to the evacuation center's. Everyone else was taken in by friends, family and some even by strangers who are in safe areas. That is remarkable.

The entire province (and actually all across the country) have extended a helping hand and are willing to help out anyway they can.

Food trucks offered their services and took post at the evacuation center's. Restaurants have opened their doors (and menu's) for anyone who had to leave their home.

Anyone and everyone has lent a helping hand and this is just the beginning. The clean up will be a long and daunting process and we will all be there for each other as a community.

The biggest thank you's have to go out to our Mayor Nahid Nenshi and the entire city counsel as well as all City of Calgary crews, Calgary Police, all fire crews, all military crews (including my boyfriend's brother) and all media for keeping the entire city well informed and most importantly, safe and dry. Your efforts and hard work is truly amazing and does not go unnoticed. We as a community cannot thank you enough.

My thoughts go out to everyone effected by the flooding.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

30 Before 30 List - the (almost) halfway point update

I am about halfway through the year I gave myself to accomplish everything on my 30 Before 30 list and I think I'm doing pretty good so far! 

30 Before 30

1 – Host a dinner party for 6 people. - Not crossed off yet but I plan on having an outdoor dinner later in the summer :) 
2 – Lose at least 30 lbs - Working on it... 
3 – Lay on a beach in the sun while drinking margaritas 
4 – Blog 30 days in a row
5 – Sing karaoke - CHECK! Sang Shania with the bride at a wedding last weekend. It was quite the show. LOL 
6 - Have $_____ in savings (I know the number but I don't think I need to put it onto my blog) - About half way to the goal. Right on track. 
7 - Celebrate my 30th b-day in style! - Can't be checked off until the end of the year obvs. 
8 – Write a good chunk of my book - This is a work in progress. And it has been on my mind a lot lately. I need to take a few days to myself and type out what is all in my head. 
9 – Host a theme party - I have plans... oh do I have plans! But for later in the year. 
10 – Have a completely Sober October
11 – Do something that is completely selfless - Not quite sure if I am counting this as my "selfless act" but I just gave away about half of my wardrobe. FIVE suitcases worth. 
12 – Do something that scares me - CHECK! Done a few so far this year: Went into this CREEPY (at first) cave at Ainsworth Hot Springs, still need to blog about that trip! And I also pet a manta-ray in Vegas! 

13 – Send 5 people cards for no reason in particular except to make their day.
14 – Forgive my sister…
15 – Wear red lipstick (not on Halloween)
16 – Write a poem that I’m proud of
17 – Fly a kite
18 – Play hooky from work and get day drunk
19 – Watch every movie that has won an Academy Award for Best Picture (already started this one! If you want a copy of the list let me know) - This is a work in progress, I've watched 27 out of 85 so far. 
20 – Create a funny youtube video. - CHECK! There are actually 3 or 4 different videos technically. BiSC was truly amazing. 

21 – Try 10 foods I’ve never had before. - CHECK! - dried mango, gnocchi, Shamrock Shake, spaghetti squash, buffalo, fennel, crawfish, ever-clear, biscuits and gravy, snapper. 
22 – Sign up for a fitness class and attend all classes. No excuses. - CHECK! - Zumba, two rounds. Boom! 
23 – Cook a new recipe every month. One that I’ve never tried before. - Right on track! January was a buffalo chicken meatloaf. February was roasted butternut squash soup. March was scalloped corn. April was roasted spaghetti squash and then May was a spicy turkey spaghetti sauce on spaghetti squash. Can you tell I really like spaghetti squash now? 
24 – Go on a vacation, somewhere hot. - CHECK! ... VEGAS!!!! 
25 – Put a tag/sticker on ALL articles of my clothes and shoes. If I don’t wear it by the end of the year, get rid of it. - I didn't put stickers/tags on but I went through EVERYTHING a few weeks ago when I was getting rid of a lot of clothes so I know what I have worn this year and what I haven't yet. 
26 – Try to only wax my legs for the whole year, no shaving. - Totally been doing this all year and it's been awesome so far. I may even stick with this forever? 
27 – Buy coffee for the person behind me in line at Tim Horton’s. - CHECK!
28 – Teach someone something new. - CHECK! Taught a few people how to gamble in Vegas! 
29 – Figure out the “art” of liquid eye liner. - CHECK! 
30 – Drink tea everyday. - Been pretty much on track with this too!