Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Icky Poo Poo

Ever have one of those days where you were up and down like a yoyo? Where your day couldn't make its mind if it was going to be nice to you or not? The kind of day where at 7 at night you wonder if it is too early to go to bed? Well that was mine today.

It started last night.. we had planned this family temple trip with some of our family members and our very close friends from the island. So that was good

Then our daughter and son in law could not come for health reasons which was totally understandable but was still sad

We left this morning with our 3 oldest granddaughters - that was good

We get to the temple expecting a very quiet day being mid Christmas week but it is jumping with activity - good for the temple not so good for us as we are going to run behind as the group ahead of us were behind which in a way was still good as our friends had not gotten there yet which was bad

It finally is our family's turn and that is good I am excited to watch the girls

I keep having to run errands while there so ended up missing seeing the girls which was sad

We had made this really nice picnic lunch for our family to share after we were done but the girls had to leave with our son and daughter in law so we didn't get to feed them which was sad

Because our group got to start late we were late finishing and so never had a chance to have our lunch before we went to do a session together which was sad

But I got to go through with our best friends which was good

And we got to go through with one of their sons, his wife, one of their daughters and her husband which was very good.

But as the doors closed and Keith still had not come in I knew he would miss going through with us and that made me very sad. I had no idea where he was

The session before us was so full that they went way overtime which made our session late starting and ending which by the time we got done our friends had to hurry up and leave to get back to the ferry in time so we never had a chance to visit over our lunch which was sad

I found Keith and he said the evening shift were very short staffed and had asked if we could cover it. He said he had to talk to me first which was good that he thought to ask

I had not brought my proper shoes and had had such a bad night last night that I just did not feel up to staying till late tonight which was not good as I normally LOVE working there

Our friends left and I went up to the dressing room to change to come home when I came across the shift coordinator who was happy to see me and asked if I could possibly help them with the shift. I said no problem I figured I would get blessed which was a good thing

I told her to give me a minute I had to find Keith to let him know. I ran into her husband and asked him to pass the message onto Keith that we would be helping out. I go back upstairs but after about 30 mins the coordinator comes in and tells me it is ok they are good I can go..oh ok..so I was kind of sad but kind of happy as I was really tired and sore.

I get changed, get Keith, find out where he had been all day and that I had really wanted him to be with me in the celestial room to talk about this job offer and pray about it and that we had not been able to and that made him sad that he felt he had let me down which made me sadder

We come home and I made supper and as I am curled up on the couch I go back to thinking about the temple and how it was that we were needed to help out and 30 minutes later we no longer are so I asked Keith what the coordinator had talked to him about and Keith tells me that he had told the leader I was tired and my back was sore so knowing me like they did they decided to tell me they were ok as they knew I would have kept working.. which was good that they thought of me but it made me so sad that I let them down.

But by that time even if we had hurriedly changed and driven back it would have been 8 before we got there and would have been too late which made us both sad... miscommunication is not a good thing by any definition.

So here it is..8pm and Keith has already gone to bed and here I sit all by myself. Taking the words from my 2 year old granddaughter yesterday "Sally is sad, I need chocolate".

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Traditions Old and New

Boxing Day...What a weird name for a holiday..I did google it once and found out that in the "olden" days it meant that people would box up their leftovers and take them to the homeless and food kitchens. With the amount of leftovers in my fridge and freezer today I can certainly understand why one would want to do that.

Today has been a sad day..Keith and I have spent many hours since all our children and grandchildren went home from our celebration Christmas Eve night talking about problems and why things don't always turn out the way you want and mostly about stuff. After many hours I finally came to the conclusion that I am trying to hang on to traditions that are a huge part of me and my childhood. Traditions that have made me who I am today. What Keith finally got me to realize was that they were MY traditions and that I cannot expect my family to have the same ones or want to keep them.

At this time of year I get very homesick for my extended family, my mom, brothers and their families. I truly do feel like I live on another planet at times. We always open our presents at midnight.. have been since I was born...the little grandchildren were having a hard time waiting this year...by 9pm they were just so cute going around saying pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease pretty please over and over again. So we figured we would let them open their stockings which again was very different as Santa is who brings the stockings. It confused them as one of the little girls figured Santa would not come now.

But we opened them and it became chaotic. I want to see each child opening their stockings and gifts to I can take pictures but some family members did not like this. They kept telling the little ones to just rip through the papers and to just open them. I missed seeing one grandchild open up all his presents and his stocking. Not one single picture and that upset me. I kept telling everyone that it was fine to wait that no one ever collapsed by waiting a few minutes.

After everyone went home Keith I just looked at one another and kind of just sat here in our living room wondering what had just happened. Yesterday we stayed in jammies all day and just cleaned up the cyclone. One son had misplaced a receipt so all the bags of paper had to be emptied and each piece of paper had to be unfolded and checked. Never did find it even after all that searching. We threw away plates of food that were everywhere....A couple of times there was someone upset because one food item was all eaten and they felt they were "ripped off" even though there was soooo much food leftover no one would go away hungry.

Things will definitely have to change for next year... Keith feels our house is too small for our size of family but our house is bigger then anyone else. I think of my grandparents homes and they weren't bigger then ours and their families were much larger then ours..but....I finally agreed that change needs to happen. This coming from someone who HATES change, who firmly believes in traditions and things being the same ...

So what I think we finally have agreed on is to not do a big family Christmas dinner with everyone here. Each individual family can come over when they are free on Christmas Day to open their presents and this way I can see each one open their presents, no one will have to feel like they have to rush opening up their gifts and stockings etc..and there won't be any more food issues, no more having to clean up after all these people for 2 days afterward, .....

after all.... traditions aren't everything are they?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mothers in Law and Sewing

But this particular memory is about Keith's mom. When we were first together my sewing machine was a very old treadle one, and in case some of you have no idea what that is, it is a machine that only goes as fast as your foot can make it. There is no power other then your own. You use your foot to push a pedal up and down. It is not electric, it had no reverse stitch, didn't do buttons, fancy stitching or anything. I sewed all our clothes, jeans, parkas, bedding, dress shirts and even suits for Keith and the boys. I didn't know any different as it was the only thing I had ever sewn on.

One mother's day, my MIL called me to say Sears had a sale and this machine was on for only $125.00! She may as well have said it was 125,000.00! I told her there was no way Keith was going to "allow" me to spend that kind of money. Now you have to put things into perspective, our mortgage payments were $87.00 a month so paying more then a month's mortgage on a sewing machine was not going to happen.

The next time we were over visiting, Keith's mom tells him about this machine and with all the sewing I did it would really pay for itself. He said there was no way. Now you have to appreciate his mom, she never backed down from anything, when she felt she was right, you knew about it, ...so she just kept giving him more and more information. That Mother's Day I opened up this present thinking it was something that the children had made me, but to my wondrous eyes there was this what to me was a very fancy sewing machine. Not only that but it came with a $100.00 gift certificate to the fabric store. I'm not quite sure what kind of conversation went on between Keith and his mom when I wasn't there but I was not about to look a gift horse in the mouth at that point!!

That was 30 years ago, and I still use the same machine. It has been in for repairs only once about 20 years ago. It runs like a dream and this month as I put the finishing touches on 5 sets of jammies, 2 dresses, 2 quilts, 2 shirts, 2 skirts and 1 pair of pants, my heart remembers my mother in law. Bless her heart, and bless her for raising a son who knew to listen to his mom.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

UNpolitically INcorrect

In a world that seems not only to be changing, but even to be dissolving, there are some tens of millions of us who want Christmas to be the same it used to be, with the same old greeting "Merry Christmas" and no other. We long for the abiding love among men of good will which the season brings believing in this ancient miracle of Christmas with its softening sweetening influence to tug at our heart strings once again.

We want to hold on to the old customs and traditions because they strengthen our family ties, bind us to our friends, make us one with all mankind for whom the Child was born and bring us back again to the God who gave His only begotten Son that "whosoever beleiveth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life".

So I will not "spend" Christmas nor "observe" Christmas. I will "keep" Christmas - keep it as it is, in all the loveliness of its ancient traditions that has made me who I am...I see in me my mother, my grandmothers and their mothers before them as I make my tourtieres, my buche de Noel, my tire a neige, sewing the new pyjamas for the first night, put a lit candle in my living room window for those who will never be with us again in this life so they know I haven't forgotten them. I will keep telling my children and grandchildren that yes there really is a Santa Claus and that in this house there will always be cookies and milk laid out for him and carrots for his reindeer. I will continue to keep Christmas in this family, and when I hear a 6 year old granddaughter tell me (as in the other day) to not forget to get a present for Jesus' birthday when I am out shopping I know that I am doing a good thing in balancing the traditions in our lives.

So if you want to be politically correct you go right ahead...but as for me and my house???? We will continue to keep Christmas and to believe.

May you keep it in YOUR heart so that we may be kept in it's hope.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Twas the Night Before...

Genealogist's Christmas Eve

'Twas the night before Christmas
When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even my spouse.

The dining room table with clutter was spread
With pedigree charts and with letters which said...
"Too bad about the data for which you wrote;
Sank in a storm on an ill-fated boat."

Stacks of old copies of wills and such
Were proof that my work had become too much.
Our children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.

And I at my table was ready to drop
From work on my album with photos to crop.
Christmas was here, and such was my lot
That presents and goodies and toys I'd forgot.

Had I not been busy with grandparents' wills,
I'd not have forgotten to shop for such thrills,
While others bought gifts to bring Christmas cheers,
I'd spent time researching those birth dates and years.

While I was thus musing about my sad plight,
A strange noise on the lawn gave me such a great fright.
Away to the window I flew in a flash,
Tore open the drapes and yanked up the sash.

When what with my wondering eyes should appear,
But an overstuffed sleigh and eight small reindeer.
Up to the house top the reindeer they flew,
With a sleigh full of toys and 'ole Santa Claus, too.

And then in a twinkle, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of thirty-two hoofs.
As I drew in my head, and bumped it on the sash,
Down the cold chimney fell Santa--KER-RASH!

"Dear" Santa had come from the roof in a wreck,
And tracked soot on the carpet, (I could wring his short neck!)
Spotting my face, good 'ole Santa could see
I had no Christmas spirit you'd have to agree.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work
And filled all the stockings, (I felt like a jerk).
Here was Santa, who'd brought us such gladness and joy:
When I'd been too busy for even one toy.

He spied my research on the table all spread
"A genealogist!" He cried! (My face was all red!)
"Tonight I've met many like you," Santa grinned,
As he pulled from his sack a large book he had penned.

I gazed with amusement--the cover it read
Genealogy Lines for Which You Have Plead.
"I know what it's like as a genealogy bug."
He said as he gave me a great Santa hug.

"While the elves make the sleighful of toys I now carry,
I do some research in the North Pole Library!
A special treat I am thus able to bring,
To genealogy folk who can't find a thing."

"Now off you go to your bed for a rest,
I'll clean up the house from this genealogy mess."
As I climbed up the stairs full of gladness and glee,
I looked back at Santa who'd brought much to me.

While settling in bed, I heard Santa's clear whistle,
To his team, which then rose like the down of a thistle.
And I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight,
"Family history is Fun! Merry Christmas! Goodnight!"

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Three R's

I bet you thought I was talking about Reading 'Riting and 'Rithmetic huh?? Although those are probably the original three r's the ones I am talking about tonight is reduce reuse recycle. Anyone that knows me well knows I am big on environmental issues, I separate my garbage, I don't throw something away if I can change something into something else etc.

The reason why I am talking about this is if you read my last post you know we had an unexpected monetary expenditure with our car last week of a thousand dollars when the head gasket blew...(whatever that is)..and then the next day I got pulled over for this magical suspicion of a DUI and have since had the costs of 2 tows, ICBC inspection, mechanic's bill, a new windshield, new brakes, new plates etc..all 2 weeks before Christmas and it has depleted our Christmas fund..for this year and probably next's year. We are very adamant to not use our credit cards either so have been thinking of what to do.

I usually do sewing and other homemade gifts for extra gifts but still bought the bulk of gifts but this year our daughter and I are on a mission :) We are on the search for perfect gifts from second hand stores which I love to shop in. A lot of times we find items that still have new tags on but for whatever reason people no longer wanted/needed them. I mean when you think of antique furniture it's used and people pay big bucks for them so why would this different. I love buying clothes from there for myself. I started doing that when I was losing all my weight as I couldn't be bothered paying a lot of money for something I would only wear a couple of times..by the time I lost all my weight I had been hooked on searching for really good quality stuff. I collect a certain kind of crystal and have bought many pieces over the years at a fraction of the cost at yard sales or second hand sales.

So this Christmas that is what we are doing. Reduce Reuse and Recycling. And if anyone is thinking ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww..well too bad...I hear coal is making a comeback for stocking stuffers :)

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Under the Influence

well well well..how do I tell this story..let me say it right up front that this really did happen to me yesterday I am not making this up even though it does really sound like something out of a Three Stooges movie.

Last night Keith and I went and worked a shift at the temple.. it was a wonderful night..got to meet up with some friends, worked with one of our best friends from the island..good evening all around. Because I finished half an hour before Keith and Ted, the guys were going to come back home with his car and I would leave with ours. While I was waiting for the car to warm up I called our daughter to say I had to stop at the grocery store on the way home and did they need anything. We had gotten a drop in the temperature since the afternoon as there was a thick sheet of hard frost on the car so I knew the roads would be slick.

Off I go down 200th till 64th avenue where I turned right. I was in the right hand lane and turned into the right hand lane. Now some yahoo was also traveling on 200th but was going northward where I had been going south. This car also turned onto 64th but turned left when I had turned right. In my world of idealism, when you turn left at an intersection you turn into the left hand lane. This driver obviously did not understand my idealism philosophy as his car never even touched the left hand lane but cut me right off as he flew in my lane. I hit the brakes to refrain from sitting in his back seat with my hood but because the road was icy I fishtailed for a bit but I got the car back under control. Thinking that driver was an accident looking for a place to happen and wishing he got 4 flat tires that night I kept on going.

I drove for about another 15 or so minutes when all of a sudden the driver in front of me started sliding around as he had been wanting to turn right at the intersection but had not slowed sufficiently for the road conditions. Because I never tailgate, I never ramrodded into him when I braked but once again I fishtailed for a short bit. Thinking that it was a good thing I am a cautious driver, I was very happy to be almost home. I get to King George and getting ready to turn onto it from the exit lane when out of the blue a police car turns its sirens and lights literally not one foot behind me!! That idiot scared the daylights out of me!! I thought it had to have been a full moon... I hurried onto the road and pulled over to let him drive past me thinking that with that much broohaha noise there had to be some emergency but he pulled in right behind me... huh??

So he comes to my window and asks me for my license and insurance. I gave him my license and while I am searching in the dark for our insurance papers in a compartment that has kids toys, baby wipes, juice boxes, and all sorts of paraphernalia, the officer asks me if I had been drinking...I very politely tell him no while I am still rummaging...He asks me again so I finally stop what I am doing and look at him telling him in no uncertain tones that I had not been drinking.

He then tells me I have to step out of the car..are you serious???but being the good girl I get out of the car finally getting my whits around me to ask him why I had been pulled over and why I had to get out of the car. He said I needed to take a breathalyzer test.... I ask why..he said because they had gotten 2 -911 calls about my driving erratically on the road..and that when he had turned his lights and sirens on I was driving erratically and had hit the curb....uhhhh..oh gee let me sneak up behind you then lay on the horn to see how well you keep your car in a straight line.. besides which I had barely touched the curb as I had already been turning ..I hit the curb way worse then that trying to park our SIL's van in their parking spot!

Once again he asks me if I had been drinking and all the while my brain is telling my inside voice to stay INSIDE my mouth and not ask him if he is old enough to even shave yet as he looks 12! But I told him now I was not drinking, I told him I do not drink and that in fact I had just left the LDS temple where I had been for the last 7 hours. He was not impressed.. whatever.. karma is wonderful tool..so I take the breathalyzer...nothing.. he looks at the screen and tells me I had to do it again...why...well apparently I did not do it properly because it never registered..uhhh goof it didn't register because I had not been drinking! But if it will satisfy him bring it on...but then I remember that I had been using Listerine breath strips and maybe that has alcohol in them and I was imagining myself explaining to my grandkids why I had to go to jail for having fresh breath...so I take a couple of really big breaths and then blew away..he kept saying keep going keep going keep going.... buddy step away from my face or you will be eating this thing...

It beeps and he looks at the screen..once again...0.00...duh..now can I go.. no...we will be impounding your car... WHAT??? Why? Well you obviously have not been drinking ( Really? I haven't been? You could have fooled me.. but thank you for telling me) so obviously your car must be mechanically unsound... no officer we JUST got the car out of the garage yesterday and paid a thousand dollars so pretty sure it is mechanically sound as it would not have been released if it wasn't. Nope can't convince him that it is safe and sound..

So now I have taken 2 breathalyzer tests, my car is about to be impounded, we only have one car so that would technically mean we are car-less, our garage is not open on the weekend, we just paid a lot of money unexpectedly for the car repair the day before and now my brain is starting to think up of how I cam going to explain this all to Keith. The tow truck arrives...can you say something stinks in this story?? I mean I have had to call tow trucks before and there is usually at least one hour wait.. how does this one just happen to show up within minutes of being called. The driver asks me where I want it towed to? I don't want it towed anywhere I want to get into it and drive it home. He apologizes and asks how I want to pay for the tow.. by this time my inside voice is really struggling to let loose but I bite down on my tongue and tell him I wasn't planning on paying for any tow as I did not call him in the first place. He asks if we have a regular mechanic and that he could tow it there and I wouldn't have to pay for it then. Seriously... do you think I was born yesterday? Of course I won't have to pay for it right then but I will see it on the mechanic's bill! I gave him the name of our garage and he goes back in his truck to see and of course why does it not surprise me when he returns to tell me that that garage is not on HIS list of approved ICBC places so he can't take it there... I don't get it.. what list... oh he explains to me that when a car gets impounded for being mechanically unsound it has to be taken to an ICBC place to get an inspection.. how much does it cost?..well it depends on what has to be done.. what do you mean it depends on what has to be done.. aren't they just doing an inspection.. well yes but if they find something wrong you HAVE to get it fixed before they release it.. seriously? and what if you don't want to get it fixed or can't afford it... well then you don't get the car back..

At that point I called my SIL... I am freezing as I have bare legs, wind is blowing and I have been outside for about 30 minutes at this point.. At one point I noticed the officer scrunched down by our back bumper so I go ask him what he is doing.. he calmly tells me taking off my plates... uhhh why? Well so you don't go get the car from where it is after I leave and drive off.. really??? ok at this point I have convinced myself that this is one of two things happening...one I really did get home, went to bed, fell asleep and dreaming this is happening or there is a hidden camera somewhere and I am being punked.

By now all of a sudden Keith appears out of the blue asking if I was ok and if I had been in an accident.. They had driven by and Keith comments to our friend on how that car looks like ours then as they drive by he realized it IS our car and I am sitting there!! Our SIL had just gotten there so I said I was all right. Keith asked me what happened then made me go warm up in our friends truck. He took care of the tow truck telling them to get it towed to our house. So now we have a car in our driveway but no license plates on it, a tow bill to our house, another tow bill on Monday to the service station, an ICBC inspection bill and who knows what repairs etc will have to be made to have our car released. All 3 weeks before Christmas.

Seriously this is all true facts. Not even someone with my imagination could come up with something this bizarre. The moral of this story: I have no idea... but am sure one of my fans could come up with one.. right now I am waiting for Keith to call the RCMP officer and have a chat... this should be good!