Sunday, July 29, 2012

A month of my holidays is nearly done.  But I can’t sigh about it.  No, I’ve been having a wonderful time.  And, I’m looking forward to the next four weeks with a happy heart.

Am I looking forward to going back to work?  No way!  But, unless I win that fabled lottery, that’s where I’ll be heading.  And, it will be okay, because I’ve had such a great summer.

I managed to get the basement bedroom painted and redecorated before my parents arrived — which was a big job.  I decided to cover the ceiling with wallpaper — a pretty idea, but a bit of a trial.  I scraped stucco, I washed until I thought I was going to wash all the paint off and then I re-painted.  Patched and painted.  In the end, I was very pleased with my (and Tim’s) efforts.  I learned how to install a light fixture (got a shock for my efforts — nothing I ever want to repeat), and learned how to install baseboards and trim.  I have now decided I need to go out and buy my own set of tools to handle small repair jobs around the house.

Why have I waited until I’m 54 to do this?  The mind boggles.

But, anyway.  On with my wonderful summer.  I have read three books!  Three!  Sitting outside on my deck in the sunshine.  It has been totally wonderful to do that.  Some of that time was spent in the company of my mother.  The two of us, noses in books just sitting there enjoying the pages and the warmth.  Lovely.

We took my parents up to the mountains for a few days.  Stayed in Canmore at the gorgeous Lodges at Canmore.  Very comfortable condo-style accommodations with a full kitchen, two bedrooms and baths, a balcony with a bbq.  Was nice to be able to get up and have coffee without having to run out to a restaurant.

We spent a day just taking Mom and Dad around sight-seeing.  We went up to Lake Minnewanka with the idea of going out for a boat tour, but it was ridiculously expensive and Mom didn’t really relish the idea of being on a boat anyway, so we opted to take a short walk along the shoreline.  Dad, Tim and I walked to the lower falls at Johnson’s Canyon, a spectacular walk along a board walk built alongside the mountain wall.  We got some pretty shots of the water rocketing its way through the canyon.

We also went up to Banff Hot Springs and had a soak.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t very crowded.  I think the water had a wonderfully soothing effect on my Mom’s knee, which she recently had replaced.  Because of the knee she wasn’t able to do as much walking as I had planned for us, but we still got to see a lot and had a wonderful time together.

I tend to forget sometimes that my parents are in their seventies.  I think of them still as being able to do anything.  The truth is they can’t, and this trip showed me that.  Dad’s hair is white, Mom’s is salt and pepper.  They tire quickly and take lots of little naps.  They’re content to sit and read, or do crossword puzzles or watch the Jays on tv.  There’s no more go, go, go.

Dad still goes out for a walk everyday — he still has some reserves of boundless energy — he just has to pace himself in spending them.  He took my bike out for a ride one day and also went golfing by himself.  Mom, on the other had is quite happy being sedate.  In all, my parents were out West for a few days over a month.  Two weeks with my sister and her family in Manitoba, then a week in Lloyd, then the rest of the time with Tim and I.

I was happy that they got to see their great-grandchildren for a couple of times.  Grandpa played harmonica with all the kids — the noisiest, most raucous, out-of-tune concert I’ve ever heard!  Whether there’ll ever be such an opportunity again, I don’t know.

This coming week I’m going to have my three darlings staying with me.  I have been looking forward to this 

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Spring when I hatched the idea.  Just to have them come and spend a week with us, hanging out, going to the beach, playing at the park, eating ice-cream.  They arrive this afternoon and I can hardly wait.

After they return home I’m going to spend some time just puttering around getting small maintenance-y things done before Fall arrives.  I am determined to have this house ready to go for the coming winter.  Tim will be working hard to finish part 2 our deck, which will be nice.  No more dirt, weeds or ants to contend with.

At the end of August we’ll be heading to Toronto to see Bruce Springsteen and his Wrecking Ball Tour.  I am so excited about that!  I love the Boss — can, and have, listened to his music all day.  I own darn near every album he’s ever made and I marvel at the man’s talent, musicality and social awareness.  He is a modern-day troubadour of the highest caliber.

I have been trying to put together a list of songs I hope to hear him play when we’re in TO, but when I checked out the set-list I haven’t seen any of them on it.  There are SO MANY songs I’d want to hear him play — maybe if I had a private concert?  Oh, one can dream!

Well, friends, that’s my blog for today.  Just a rundown of my happy summer.  Hope yours has been as wonderful.



  1. grandmalin said,

    July 29, 2012 at 10:20 am

    A perfect holiday! And incredible photos to prove it 🙂

    • klrs09 said,

      August 2, 2012 at 7:47 am

      Thanks Grandmalin! This week with my grandkids has been too much fun.

  2. July 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    You have had a lovely time so far. Hope the rest is as good 🙂

  3. wightrabbit said,

    July 31, 2012 at 4:48 am

    You sound relaxed, even though you’ve been working quite hard, Kathy! The photographs are stunning, what a lovely way to spend time with your Mom and Dad! 🙂

    • klrs09 said,

      August 2, 2012 at 7:48 am

      I am relaxed. We usually go away for most of the summer — staying home has been a nice change. I think I may just do this more often!

  4. Sugel said,

    August 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Our easiest trips are generally hotel-based cultural and nature journeys that typically offer light activity. Optional walks and hikes (approximately 2 to 4 hours) through gentle terrain with little elevation gain or loss. Altitude is typically not a factor on these tours. Other activities, such as snorkeling or sea kayaking, are optional. Examples: Indochina, Vietnam, Egypt, Galapagos Islands, Botswana, Tanzania.

  5. August 2, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Kathy, I remember the post heralding the start of last school year, and how much I empathised with it. You have such an exuberant writing voice during the hols! So glad you are having a great time 🙂 May the fun continue.

    • klrs09 said,

      August 6, 2012 at 8:23 am

      Thanks Kate. I forgot about that post! I’m going to try to go in to this school year with a much better attitude and mind set. These holidays have been the best medicine.

  6. August 14, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Because my husband is in the furniture business, our guide Elske arranged for a visit to a village that makes heavy, traditional Asian furniture. Dong Ky was a real highlight for all of us with its narrow muddy streets, open-air workshops with craftsmen at work, houses under construction, herbalist conducting her business on the street, another woman plucking gray hairs out of her customer’s head — all the sights of daily life and definitely NOT a place that sees tourists! We walked around the town for about an hour and then drove on to a roadside tent where the locals stop for bean curd wrapped in banana leaves, peanuts wrapped in sugar and rice wine that is really more of a liqueur. We squatted like the locals (ouch!) and had a unique and very authentic experience. Our driver was somewhat shocked that we wanted to do this, but then was quite impressed by our curiosity and enthusiasm. It is precisely this kind of custom-tailoring — adapting the trip to the style and spirit of the travelers — that keeps us coming back to Boundless Journeys. It was one of the most exciting days of our wonderful trip.

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