Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Okotoks, Alberta

We actually moved to a small town south of Calgary which has become a booming bedroom community.  I arrived and immediately did my "Jane of all trades" thing.  First, I house and horse-sat at a ranch for a few weeks.  I mucked out stalls, drove an old truck around dropping off bales of hay to various horses in fields.  I harnessed and turned out two of his prize horses to a corral daily and put them to bed at night.  I didn't ride them though.  I know how to ride both english and western style but it had been a long time and it was too risky - if I got hurt, I was all alone out there on the ranch.  But, I got a little bored, so I signed on as grill cook at a tiny cowboy cafe nearby.  Breakfast and lunch.  Mostly eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, toast and then hamburgers and fries for lunch.  It was a local regular crowd and they usually all came at once so it was hectic for short periods of time.

Alberta is cattle, horse and oil country.  Kind of like Texas north.  Wide open spaces, big sky. The only province in Canada that has a history of limited government, low taxes and entrepreneurs.  My kind of place.

From the cowboy cafe, I moved on to sous-chef for another, more upscale but still small restaurant.  The owner had previously worked as head chef in a fancy Calgary restaurant and had started his own.  Very creative guy.  I learned a lot.  Then, I went to work as a cashier in a liquor store for a while, and then a receptionist/assistant bookkeeper at an accounting firm.  I had a bad experience at that job and left after 3 months, suddenly and without notice.  The owner was a psychotic, verbally abusive woman.

Mike finally moved up after finding a senior consultant position at a Calgary firm that did Documentum consulting for mainly the oil companies who are big users of Documentum and other document management systems. He worked as an employee there for three years and then, in 2006, went out on his own starting his own consulting business.  We had settled in to Okotoks and bought a house.  My sons lived in the same town and were in high school there. One of Mike's sons came to live with us from Nova Scotia.  I finally found a good job at a Calgary driving school and was kicking ass as the inside sales rep, making great commission cheques.  Ahhhh, normalcy.

1 comment:

  1. Susan - I'm enjoying getting to know you and Mike better through your blog. I'll keep up onit this summer from home. Gail