Sunday, July 29, 2007

Island Retreat

Well we are finally back safe and sound from being on the island this weekend. We had not been sure if we were going to stay overnight or not but brought a change of clothes just in case. Which as it turned out was a good thing. We had thought the wedding was in Nanaimo but when we were on the ferry going across we realized the wedding was in Parksville. It was at a seaside resort and I don't think I have ever been to such a beautiful setting for a wedding in my life. You walked down a path to a gazebo looking out over the sea and the mountain ranges at what seemed like at your fingertips. We got there right at the very last minute (thank goodness the bride was late) so did not get a chance to get new film before the ceremony. Then the bride came down the path. Now this 20 year old girl is my namesake. We have always had a cool connection but as my brain acknowledged that this was her my mind couldn't wrap itself around that the girl in front of me was this stunning beautiful grown woman. What a knockout wearing a dress that a princess could only dream of!!

Her colors were soft pink and chocolate brown. Very sophisticated!! We visited with as many old friends as we could throughout the reception. Lots of squealing and hugs. I had not been feeling good and ended up laying down in the jeep for almost an hour trying to keep the nausea down. We finally left to come home and by the time we got back to Nanaimo I knew we had to spend the night as I was just too worn out. But finding a hotel there on a Friday night was near impossible but finally found one.

The next day at breakfast we thought we would stay an extra night just so we could continue visiting. We went to the gift opening and there we found out that 2 of the children of our dear friends were heading back to Alberta Sunday morning. We ended up deciding that we would head back together Saturday afternoon so they could visit with the rest of our kids last night etc. we have been family friends since our Regina days.

Well as the old saying goes.. best laid plans of mice and men... we got to the terminal in plenty of time and then got announced that the ferry would not be arriving as it had been turned around due to an emergency. That was it. We waited and waited and waited. All there was there was a coffee stall. None of us drank coffee. Their muffins were like 5 dollars each and juice not much cheaper. Keith to the rescue!! MY knight in shining armor! Only he could find a place that would deliver pizza to a parking lot! We were stuck there we could not leave and we couldn't go back. When the pizza arrived he had so many people ask him where on earth he got them from and we just gave them the phone number. They kept making announcements over the loud speaker that pizza was ready, then it was Chinese food ready. Keith said he should have started his own booth and made money!!!

We finally get told hours later that there had been a bomb threat on the ferry we were supposed to have gotten on!!! How scary is that! This isn't New York! We were happy that they had stopped the ferry but keeping 3 small children amused and happy was becoming a feat. We finally had the ferry arrive 6 hours later and we boarded. We were told that because of the delay our meal service would be free. It took us over 90 minutes of standing in line to get our food only to find out all that was left for us was some small dishes of ice cream and a couple of orders of fries. They had made an announcement about an hour into the ride that because of some customers over ordering they were running out of food and that they apologized again. They asked that although the food was free that people only order what they normally would order and to be respectful of all those who still had not ordered.

By the time that Keith got to the front of the line he said the staff were throwing away PLATES full of food. The staff told him that people were ordering 6 hamburgers at a time and taking all the muffins, cookies, anything that was wrapped and putting them into their backpacks. How greedy can people be???? I realize that the food was free but come on people the ferry was full of families that had been stranded for hours!! Kids were being turned away at midnight as there was no food and they were crying.. how sad!!! I can't believe people can be rude!!!

We got home at 1:45a.m when we were supposed to be home 7:30. We stayed up till 3 setting up beds for 3 adults and 3 children and bringing in bags etc. Then we got up at 7 to get breakfast ready for everyone and our kids and grandchildren were coming over to visit... fresh fruit salad, French toast, pancakes, cereal, fresh juice, homemade blueberry syrup, bacon, eggs... yummy....

Then everyone was gone by 10:30 and Keith and I just left the mess and went back to bed to sleep till 4! I was exhausted. Now it is just sitting in jammies, reading mail and getting messages from my voice mail. We watched the news about the ferry and the bomb threat tonight and found out this is the THIRD threat this year already!!! WHAT?? How come I haven't heard this before!!

Anyway it will be a quiet night tonight on the couch with my Pooh blanket.. see ya!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Book fan

I have been listening to all the hype about the latest Harry Potter book coming out and thought how can you possibly be so wrapped up in a sequel that you would stay up till midnight to get a book? Then Keith so aptly reminded me of years ago when the series "The Work and the Glory" was first coming out. As soon as the next installment was out I would be there first in line and I would do nothing but read the novel till it was done. At one point, the year our children got married, 4 of us in the house were reading the same novel. If you put it down it was fair game for anyone else to read it. The rule was you could not take it into the bathroom with you and if you read it in bed you had to put it in a common place when you were done so someone else could read it.

I was at the last third of this particular novel and had a hard time getting my hands on it. Kim and Lareta had gone to bed. I don't know where Jody was but I went to bed to read. Because the light was on it was keeping Keith awake. Well not the light itself but the noises I was making when I was at a bad part or my legs would twitch cause I was worried or excited about something. He kept asking if I was almost done and I would always say let me finish this chapter. But every chapter always ended on the wrong note and I had to keep reading.

At one point he rolls over, takes the book from my hands, puts it on his night table and turns the light off and says "GO TO SLEEP"!. I laid there very quietly till I heard him sleeping then got out of bed very quietly, got the book and went into our ensuite to finish reading the book. Now I have to explain we had an Irish Wolfhound dog at the time which are very very big. He was my protector and went no where without me. So I closed the bathroom door before I turned the light on and heard him laying against the door.

I didn't realized I had been sitting on the seat of the toilet as long as I had till I went to stand up when I actually finished the book. Let me describe this bathroom. It was only a half bath and was very small. It had a toilet and when you sat on it you could lay your head on the sink. There was only a 8 inch space between the sink and the wall where I had a tall narrow metal shelving that held all my beauty stuff and hair dryers etc. When I went to stand up my legs gave out as the blood flow had been cut off from sitting so long.

I went head first into this metal shelving which knocked every thing off of it and flipped me backwards. But because there was so little room I ended up with my head, neck and upper shoulders on the floor by the toilet, my waist and hips on the toilet lid and my legs over the sink and tangled with this shelving. During all this the dog is literally slamming head first into the door trying to break the door down cause he knows I'm in trouble. Keith is trying to pull the dog off the door but the dog is barking and snapping at him. He has a very heavy chain choker and even yanking on it is not letting him get the dog from trying to bust through the door. Keith called Kim to come and hang on to the dog so he could get to the door.

Keith kept asking if I was all right but the dog was barking so loud he couldn't hear me. He finally got the door open and there I lay not being able to move with the book neatly sitting on my chest cover up like I had fallen asleep with the book on me. Keith finally asked if I was ok and I said yes. I would have said yes even if I had broken both arms and both legs. By this time the dog's collar snapped from his force of trying to jump and I now had a 150 pound dog climbing on me to lick my face. I finally was able to tell him to get off so I could get up. I managed to clean everything up and when I went back to bed Keith quietly asks "Now are you done the last chapter?" and I very meekly said yes.

I had forgotten all that till I was reminded. As I read my DIL's message to her hubby's comment that nothing is going to get done in the house now that she got her latest book of Harry Potter I had to smile as I remembered my racing through the house to clean it and make the fastest dinner possible when I was reading one of the new installments. But I have to say I haven't gotten into books like that series that had such a grip on me let me tell you. I still have all 9 hard cover novels on my shelf and actually just finished rereading them last year when I was laid up in bed.

I am glad that I have raised readers in my family and that all my in-law children are readers as well as all their children. It is a good vice to have if you have to have one :) I think I may have to go buy a new novel of something or other to take camping with me next month!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007


As the cities go into strike mode with CUPE I am reminded of when I was a C.U.P.E. member. When I was a nurse we did not have our own union (that has since changed). We belonged to CUPE which included ALL hospital workers from nurses, lab techs, X-Ray techs, housekeepers, interns, security, office clerks, kitchen staff. If you worked at the hospital you were under the same union. The only ones exempt from this were doctors and administrative.

It seemed we were always on strike. Not the nurses but all the other workers. And because we had to support them, we always had to picket. It drove me crazy. I worked my butt off for 3 years sacrificing my family time, money etc to put myself through school and worked hard at my job yet I would get a lousy 10 bucks a day picketing. I could have saved myself all that money and time and stayed home with my children for all the good I was doing on the sidewalk. The nurses worked with union leaders and with other cities/provinces who had separate unions for them to get our own and just after we moved to BC the unions changed so now all nurses had their own union. Sure wait till I leave!!

Keith belonged to the Carpernters Union when we lived there. Just after we married, the entire union went on strike.. all trades. Keith's particular area settled in a couple of weeks but the plumbers stayed on strike for NINE months! Keith couldn't cross the picket line. We weren't eligible for E.I. as he was employed. We weren't eligible for Social Welfare as he was employed. He picked up as much side jobs as he could doing renovations etc in homes etc but it just barely put food on the table. We lost our home that we had bought when we got married. We had used up all our savings making mortgage payments till there was no more and we had to turn the keys over. We couldn't even sell it as the interest rates had rocketed to 24% and no one was buying homes then.

It was a hard pill to swallow. Now as I listen to the news about the city workers going on strike it grates me. Once again we will be held "hostage" by the union. The job Keith is working on now is a city building which means he will not be able to cross the pickets even though he is not a union man. I support nurses when they go on strike as they deal with life and death situations every day. I support teachers going on strike as they teach my grandchildren. Everyone else? You are on your own. You burnt me twice. I won't fall for it a 3rd time.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Old fashioned vs modern communication technology

I was watching a movie last night about an Amish young woman that was charged with murdering her newborn son. Her lawyer was told by the judge that the girl went to jail till trial or else the lawyer had to go chaperone her 24/7 till then. The lawyer gets there and when her laptop battery went dead she went looking for the "emergency" power supply and she couldn't believe that when they told her there was no electricity that there actually was none. She could not charge her cell phone battery and the nearest pay phone as 20 miles away.

The lawyer asks the young woman at one point if she had friends and extended family away from the farm and she replied yes. SO then she asked the girl well without a phone or computers how do you talk to each other. The girl looked at her like she had horns and simply said "We go to their house and talk". It sounded like a stupid thing to say.. too simple to be true but this afternoon as I was cleaning out my inbox of emails and returning voice mail messages that sentence came back to me. I had to really think other then from my mom, when was the last time I had gotten an actual snail mail in my mailbox?

I used to be so thrilled when I would get my mail and there would be these thick envelopes there waiting for me. It was a whole production... if it was winter I would make a whole pot of chamomile tea, summer meant lemonade and I would wait till the house was quiet and I would read the letters. First I would scan it quickly for the juicy gossip (oh wait not gossip but rather important information!) then I would start from the beginning and read to the end. The letter would stay opened on my desk till it was answered and I would read it many times till then.

My mom still writes to me as she doesn't own a computer but other then hers, I don't get mail anymore. If my mailbox is stuffed it's because it's Monday and all the stupid flyers are there. I can't remember when the last time it was that I wrote a long newsy letter either. I used to once a year with Christmas cards but even that stopped awhile back when everyone got email addresses.

Now my form of conversation is a paragraph or two by email. When our son in law was in the hospital last week I was stuck there trying to call people from my cell and didn't have anyone's numbers. Anyone really important are on my speed dials on my home phone but only my kids are on my cell directory. I had this friend in Regina when we lived there and at 9am sharp every day that I was off we would get on the phone. I don't know if it is still like that but back then at least one phone in the house had to be hard wired to the house as on the wall etc. You couldn't just have phones that plugged in the jacks. Anyway we both had 75 foot cords on our phones and we would talk for 1-2 hours every day as we did our housecleaning and laundry. I have no idea what we all talked about but we did. I had another friend that our husbands hooked up intercoms between the 2 homes because we talked to each other for hours and tied up the lines (this of course was pre-call waiting or voice mail).

Lately I have been working on Facebook looking up people I knew in Regina when we were there.... kids and grandkids plus work just seemed to have made contact all but disappear but as I find people I am surprised how many still don't even have computers or if they do they don't have internet!! GASP!!! Survive without internet?? Bit my tongue!

But today I thought of the old days of sitting curled up on the couch with my letters or talking on the phone and realized that somehow with all our modern communication technology of cells, pagers, Yahoo, emails, voice mails, call forwarding, call waiting, and the constant beeping and ringing wherever you go, we have somehow lost the art of just talking and listening.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Latest Craze

Out here there seems to be an increase of the latest fashion. No it's not the latest jeans or shoes etc. It is the latest craze of walking around in malls with miniature dogs. It drives me crazy. When did mall administrators decide that toy dogs were now seeing eye dogs? And seeing as how the owners are usually carrying said dogs just who are the dogs leading?

And it is bad enough when the owners are carrying them but they are sitting in a food area such as a food court with the dogs, or walking them on a leash. If the dog defecates in the middle of the mall who cleans it up? When is enough considered enough? Am I considered to be unbending and picky if I speak to someone who is doing this? Am I allowed to go to the mall administrators or security personnel to report this? I have to assume I am not the only one noticing this so is anyone reporting them or have we gotten so used to Hollywood setting standards for the rest of the world that we turn a blind eye to it happening?

Do I have a right to eat in a public area without worrying that I have dog hair on my table? Or that a dog is eating people food at the table next to me? (Which is what happened 2 weeks ago at a local mall. When is enough enough and when are we supposed to stand up for ourselves? Will malls listen to us or will they consider not wanting to turn away these customers that have their pets with them? Am I being petty?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Perfected Bodies

Goes to show what happens when you don't get sleep. I spent most of last night in ER watching my son in law's labored breathing and it made me think. Getting into bed at 4 in the morning didn't help in relaxing me to sleep and as I was thinking of Curt I thought of the belief that we all have that after we die, after Judgment Day our bodies and spirits will be joined once again in a perfect body. Well ok.. that is an assumption on my part that "we all" believe that so I will rephrase by saying that is what I believe. It made me think of perfect body. By whose definition will perfection be? Mine? God's? After all man is made after the image of God. But then the analytical part of my brain thinks wait a minute.. He is male I am female.. big difference right off the bat. Yes we both have one head, two arms and two legs but there the images stop.

I thought of all the races on this planet and how different we are. Again the same concept of one head and body parts are similar but some races are predominately taller, others predisposed to be heavier, others more fit etc. Why the difference? Then my brain shifted brain cells and dominoes over to the 70's game show with Monty Hall as the host. Can't for the life of me think of the name of the show but he would give winning contestants the choice of trading their winnings for what lay behind a different door. Sometimes they traded up and sometimes they lost big time. What made me think of that is beyond me. I did say at the beginning I hadn't been to sleep yet right?

Do we get a choice of what is a perfect body? Will it be a multiple choice? IF I don't like what is offered do I get to rechoose? Or pick what the person 3 rows over chose? If I get to choose then that's simple. I would choose to be 6 inches shorter, have thicker hair, and feet that are 4 inches shorter to match my shorter height otherwise they would look like canoes. Will we all be 5'10", blonde haired and blue-eyed?

By this time the clock has moved ever so slowly to now 5 am. I did the only thing rational I could think of.. I woke hubby up. He woke up with a start thinking the hospital had called and asks what's wrong? I ask " Do you think I have a perfect body already?" After quietly looking at me for a couple of moments, he asks "Is this a trick question?" Poor man. I keep forgetting that as a mere mortal male he has yet to figure out how to read my mind. I said never mind go back to sleep. And he promptly does. Now had he been able to read my mind he would have never done that. He would have sat up and asked what was on my mind and did I want to talk about it.

So fast forward to now 6 am and I finally give up trying to decide whose decision it will be for perfection and I got out of bed. This being 50 cough cough choke choke 1 really sucks. Now I am going to go have something very youthful for breakfast in the form of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios and pretend like I never had this 3 hour one sided conversation in my head.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Yea it's summer!!

Well after finally complaining for months now of this stupid rainy weather summer has arrived with a vengeance! A tad too hot for me but I will not complain when my other option is rain. Lareta and I decided to take the kids to the water park and pool today and we had a blast. We also had my oldest grandchild as well who is down for 3 weeks and it was fun spending time with him. Lareta's youngest learnt how to kick her feet in the pool today and she kept saying "Terry watch me I'm wimmmmmmming!" over and over but you can tell he has a young sister cause he was so patient with her and kept coming to see her kick her feet.

We ran into several women from church there with their kids so it was nice to visit with them and see them with their hair down. Fun fun day. I bought this new cool cooler at Costco the other day. It is an insultated squarish one but it is on wheels on one end and a handle that pulls up like a suitcase. Awesome!! Even totally packed that I had it, the thing glided along even on the grass and sandy knolls on the way to the park. I was so happy with it. And the lid has a smaller "peep" window that is velcroed so that if you just want to grab something you just have to lift that little window rather then unzipping the entire thing! Very good buy at 36.99! Because Lareta and I spend so much time at the water park every summer it will more then pay for itself.

I finally got my last suitcase delivered today after 10 days! I was not impressed with UPS. I always use DHL for my courier but this time I decided to use UPS when I was sending all those parcels from my mom. They finally delivered them on Tuesday (after 8 days no less!!) but they were short my large suitcase. They had no idea where it was and I spent 2 days on the phone with them with no results. I finally gave the info to our son Jody and he got in touch with them today and lo and behold my suitcase is found. I was really getting concerned as an idiot I had not locked the suitcase and had all my jewelery in there and all the jewelry that my mom had given me (including emerald and diamond bracelet!) Some days I wonder where my brain goes.

But it arrived safe and sound and everything accounted for. But I will be going back to DHL as they never take more then 3 days for the exact same route.

But tomorrow is another great day as we are going to spend the day shopping in Bellingham! We've made our list checked it twice and we are off to catch all the summer sales! And Lareta and I went to our campground in Fort Langley and we have our sites booked in August. WOOOHOOO! Hopefully our son and his family from Lethbridge who are coming down at the same time will be able to join us for part of their trip, But man oh man have they ever completely rehauled it! Last summer was the only summer we have not been there in years as I had my surgery and then all the complications plus by the time I was able to get up and around I was too busy getting ready for our 25th so it was a huge surprise! But a good surprise.. I think.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

O Canada

I have been wanting to write something for the last couple of days on what it means to me to be a Canadian but I was having a hard time wrapping my head around what I wanted to say. I was trying to think of what is unique about our country. When I think of European countries I think of national costumes, national dance and so on. We don't have that. We don't have traditions that are just ours. We used to have the RCMP as ours with their uniforms. I used to love to watch their shows at the PNE with the horses and their display musical rides. But now they have allowed some RCMP to not wear the whole uniform so because of a very very few officers we now have even lost that one thing that was uniquely ours. I don't like that. I mean if you don't want to wear the whole uniform then don't join it's plain and simple in my eyes.

When we sang our National Anthem at church on Sunday I still sang it in French as I always do. I asked my grandchildren if they still sing it in school. They said yes they sing it once a week but not every child has to participate. WHAT???? Who came up with that rule??? That should be a given! If someone wants to come to our country to live here and we are nice enough to allow them to, then they should become Canadians and sing the anthem when it was played, I was flabbergasted to say the least!

I thought of when it had been the last time I sang the anthem and it had been at a hockey game a couple of months ago. Most people didn't even sing along, a lot were still wearing their hats and some were still talking and joking around and some didn't even stand up. How disrespectful! I even gave them "the look" but that went right over their heads. These were all late teens/20ish young adults. It was very upsetting to me to say the least. When I was watching the Stanley Cup playoff game this season and the cameras would pan the fans in the audience you would see them with their hands over their hearts and singing with enthusiasm even the little children.

Why is that not like that here? I thought of our soldiers at war in Afghanistan. I don't agree with them being there but I do support them while they are there. They are proud to be Canadian and they are there to serve their country to the death if need be. Why is it that they can risk their lives for their country but some here can not even take their hats off to sing the anthem and show respect for their country?

Every Monday night at our house was stew night. My mom would take all the leftovers from the previous week and make a thick stew with it. We loved it! It was a like a melting pot of flavours and always a surprise of sorts as it never tasted the same! As I was thinking about what it meant to me to be a Canadian I thought of that stew. Our country is made up of all these different "ingredients" and nothing is the same as it used to be. There are too many different aspects of our country now to be unique anymore and that is sad.

I am proud to be a Canadian. I love my country. I love living in a "free" country where I am free to worship where I want and when I want. I love living in a country where I can walk outside without fear of being bombed. I love having the same rights as everyone not just the rich.

On the front of my Book of Remembrance I have a page that says "You can't know where you are going if you don't know where you come from." As I was thinking of my family history I came to the final conclusion that seeing as my family lines have been in Canada since at least the 1700's on most lines, I can safely say I am proud to call myself a Canadian. I will continue with the traditions that have passed down from one generation to the next and will teach my grandchildren these same. I will continue speaking in both Canadian official languages. I will continue to stand and sing the national anthem when in public. I can only respect myself as a Canadian and hope that in so doing I will lead by example.