July 22nd

Day 204 – Monday, Monday.  Woke up to rain.  A laid-back sort of day.  Read.  Am cruising right through Mr. King’s short stories.  Perfect summer diversion.

Nothing terribly noteworthy.  Just a rather cool, but nice day in the middle of summer.

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January 21st

Day 21 — Monday, sigh, back to work.  But, it went by quickly and, even though I indulged this weekend I was still down a pound when I stepped on the scale this morning.  Yippee!

Monday — the last Monday. . .

. . . of this 2011/2012 school year, that is.

This last couple of weeks has gone by really, really slowly.  Today was our last day with the kids. We won’t see them again until Friday when they come in for half a day to pick up their report cards and attend one last assembly.

We have to switch classrooms — again — seems like Special Ed is the most transient group in the school system.  We just moved into our new digs last year and we had come to really like and appreciate our space.  Next year will be our third time moving.  It’s enough to make me want to cry.  Hopefully, this latest move will be our last.  Our kids need and deserve continuity.  Ah well, here’s to hoping.

I have mixed feelings about what to expect for next year.  We are going from having 5 full time aides and one part timer to only 3 full time aides (possibly only 2).  The needs are the same, perhaps even greater in some respects, but we’re really going to have to spread ourselves out in order to meet the demands.  It’s going to be a challenge, that’s for sure.  Good thing I work in a challenging environment.

 

 

 

Monday, Feb. 27, 2012

Well, the Oscars weren’t much to waste 3 hours on, but I did it anyway.  Sigh.  Billy Crystal wasn’t all that funny; I found some of the comments he made kind of rude, actually.  The gowns most of the women wore were gorgeous, but what was that thing with Angelina Jolie and her skinny leg?  Bizarre.

Unfortunately, the only movies I saw out of this year’s crop were The Help and Hugo.  Hugo was terrible; The Help fantastic.  I was pulling for The Help to win, but The Artist looks like a fabulous film, so I’m going to have to reserve my opinion until I see it.  I was happy for Meryl Streep (isn’t she absolutely gorgeous?) and thrilled for Christopher Plummer — the way he bounded up those stairs you wouldn’t think for a moment that he’s 82.

But, it’s all behind us for another year.  Just one question though, why was there only two songs nominated?  Does no one care about the music that accompanies movies anymore?

We had our blizzard.  Our burrowed into the house with my books and waited it out.  It was lovely.  Tim was away and I had the house entirely to myself.  Quiet.  Long stretches of it.  Bliss.

And then, I had to face the hip-deep drifts of snow that had blown into my driveway.  My doorway and steps and walkway were obliterated by snow.  I headed outside around 11:30 yesterday anticipating a couple of hours of back-breaking lifting and heaving.  I got the steps, landing and walk done, and then the driveway around my car.  As I was getting ready to tackle the deepest stuff, though, my neighbour from across the way came over with his snowblower and did it for me!  I can’t tell you how grateful, how relieved I was that he did that for me.  I finished up in just over an hour.  So very, very grateful.

Now, we’ve got just over a month to go before Spring is here once again.  I love that the mornings are getting lighter and lighter each day.  I can feel myself waking up again.   The world is a wonderful place.

It’s Monday — and 20 days from Christmas

 

 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It’s been a very busy time here in Bon Accord.

Since I finished NaNo I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from writing.  But I can feel that I need to get back to it now.

I have some ideas spinning around the old noodle so I’d best get at them.

I’ve managed to get a little decorating done.  The banisters are decked out, and the Dickens’ Village and other assorted houses inherited from Tim’s Mom are all out.  It takes a while to set them up, what with the fake snow, the lights, etc.  I will post a picture in a couple of days.

Work is going at the frenzied, pre-Christmas, I’m on my last nerve here!, pace.  The kids are wired up and ready to done.  It gets like this every year, I should be prepared for it, but I’m not.  Don’t think too many others are, either.

Weather here in Bon Accord has been lovely — strange, but lovely.  We have days of amazing winds (nothing like they’ve had in Calgary, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, mind you) and mild temps.  I think, the Sunday before  last it got up to +12 degrees.  This Sunday it was +1 or somewhere thereabouts.  Today the temp was +6.  We’re supposed to have 40km – 70km/hr winds tomorrow.  Then, I think the temp is supposed to start creeping downwards.

I’ve heard somewhere that January and February are going to be brutally cold.  Oh joy, something to look forward to.  Maybe I’ll take a leave of absence when it gets really cold and pile up all the books I’d like to read and just stay indoors til it starts to warm up again.

This is a very rambling sort of blog.  It has no purpose, no point.  I just felt like writing.    Unfortunately, this is the best I can do at the moment.  I am very tired, still, and so, am on my way to bed.

Sweet dreams everyone.

 

9:46 Monday November 21st

Well, there are only 9 days left in which to complete my novel.  I am at 32,317 words.  I’m hoping I’m going to make it.

If I sit down each night and pump out at least 2000 words I’ll do it.  But, I’m wondering if I’ll be able to tie it all together in a mere 18,000 words.

And, I can’t believe I’m saying that.

Twenty-one days ago I didn’t think I had it in me to write this much, to keep a story going for this long.  But, miracle of miracles, I have.

I won’t pretend that it’s all good — because I’m sure as hell it isn’t.  But, I’ve managed to allow my characters to develop lives of their own, and I’m still not quite sure how they want those lives to finish.  (They’re not going to die, they just need to tie up all the loose ends and let me get back to my regular life.)

And here’s the funny thing.  Having done this challenge and proven to myself (oops, I’m being a little presumptuous, here)  that I can write a novel, I don’t think I can go back to my ‘regular’ life.  At least, I hope not.

I find that though I am looking forward to the end of NaNoWriMo — it is hard to sustain this pace, and I haven’t always been able to drag myself to the keyboard (I missed 2 days)  — I am looking forward to ‘what comes next’.

If I can do this, I tell myself constantly, then I can find time every day to work on the many projects I’ve got tucked in drawers and file folders.  I can pull out my notebooks and pluck one of the many ideas from off the pages and turn them into something.

And who knows?  Maybe I’ll even see some of it published.

That’s what this challenge has done for me.  I’m so glad I decided to take the plunge.

Monday evening. . . and I’m tired

. . . but I think I’ll make some cookies!  Soft molasses drop cookies.  Because I’ve been thinking about molasses cookies for about 3 days now.

But, wait.  That was my husband just now on the phone.  He says the Northern Lights are putting on quite the display.  So, I think I’ll grab the camera and go out to get some shots.  Here’s hoping they turn out.

The cookies, I guess, will have to wait until tomorrow.

Probably for the best.

Today was a long day.  My Ford Edge had to go in for a check.  There’s an annoying squeak in the front end, and I’ve noticed a hesitation in the engine when I’m on the highway.  Never good.  So, the dealership called and said it’s something with the transmission.  They’ll need to have it for a couple of days.

Lovely.

So, I tell them they need to get me a car.  We live out of town, I don’t work in the town I live in, and, I’m busy every night this week.  Waterloo is good.  They arranged the rental for me, free of charge.  As it should be, as far as I’m concerned.  My Edge is only 1 and 1/2 years old, for crying out loud.

But, I had a meeting after work, so after begging a ride to that, the car rental company had to drive out to where I was to pick me up.  They did.  And happily.  I was very impressed.

Anyone ever needing to rent a car, definitely go with Enterprise.  They were very obliging and professional and went out of their way to be helpful.

The Northern Lights didn’t pan out.  Sorry.  By the time we found a good spot for taking pictures they had lost most of their lustre.  Damn.  Hopefully, later this evening they’ll be bright again and I can go out and try to get some shots from the field across from our house.

The appliance repair guy is supposed to be coming by tomorrow to take photos of my damaged floor.  Now, I’m beginning to doubt whether there was any point in complaining.  It’s doubtful they’ll do anything about it.  But, I suppose I won’t know unless I carry through.  So carry through I will.

Wish me luck.

It’s 8:38 now.  And all I want to do is crawl into bed and sleep.  Think I’ll have a cup of tea first, though.

Nighty-night.

Prairie sky!

Thought I’d share a couple of pictures of a beautiful prairie sky.  I missed it at it’s absolute most beautiful point — the sky was a deep magenta and the air was filled with the most gorgeous light.  I rushed home as quickly as I could and got a few shots off before it started fading to orange and yellow.  Still beautiful. . . but wow you should have seen it before!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sigh, only two more days of holidays left.  I know I shouldn’t complain because I have had six weeks off, but. . .

. . . the thought of returning to work just makes me tired.

I had such high hopes and a ridiculously long list of things to do at the beginning of summer.  Here it is, nearly over, and I got but a fraction of my list checked off.

I did, however, have some great times and created some wonderful memories.  And that is infinitely more important than painting the guest bedrooms.

The time we spent at my sister’s place in Ontario was magical.  Having my son and his family there with us was a dream come true.  Watching my three little ones laugh and swim and run around chasing bugs was pure joy.  Hailey learned how to play UNO and became quite the little card shark!  Timothy discovered that swimming is fun and Ethan, well Ethan he just had us all at his beck and call (he is, after all, only 22 months old).  Well, and with a smile like his, who could resist doing what ever it was he wanted you to do?

The food was fabulous, the drinks refreshing — had my first beergarita — thanks Sis! — the weather absolutely gorgeous and the water cool, clean and blessedly near at hand.  We couldn’t have asked for a better vacation than the one we had at Pistol Lake this summer.

When we left Ontario it was to return home and do a quick one-night turn around before heading to Yahk, BC. to spend a week camping with Tim’s brother, Rick and his wife, Connie.  Two of my most favorite people in the world.  We arrived about 9 o’clock on the 9th with just enough light left to throw up the tent.

Again, we had a fantastic time.  The company was wonderful, and the weather was incredible.  My hubby spent a few hours widening and deepening the natural pool in the tiny river that flows along the edge of the campground (we had a lovely spot right on the river) and here we spent a few  ‘happy hours’ in an effort to escape the heat.

We drove in to Creston one afternoon to buy cherries and peaches and fresh veggies at the market gardens.  Of course, you get taken at these places because they know us dopey tourists will pay anything for a taste of BC’s bounty.  But, you know that going in, so it’s not too bad. And the cherries were wonderful!  The peaches?  Not so much.  a little dry and mealy — I was very disappointed.  However, the cukes, tomatoes, peppers and onions were delicious and fresh.  They made a tasty marinated salad to go with our barbecued steaks.

Creston was very disappointing.  It’s really gone down hill since the last time we were there, about 4 years ago.  Nearly a third of all the stores on the main street were closed and it doesn’t appear that there’s much effort being made to spruce things up. As with all small tourist towns the prices are steep, but in Creston, they’re ridiculously so.

Connie and I wandered a bit while the guys checked out a pawn shop and then went for a beer (or two or three) and we found a lovely little book/gift/coffee shop/store called The Black Bear.  I bought my husband a book called “The Beer Belly Blues”  a very good book about the changes men go through as they age.  I wasn’t sure if he’d be offended or not, but he has had some struggles as he’s gotten older and I think this book is giving him some really good answers.

I also bought a CD by the artist Adele.  It’s called 21 and is amazing.  She has a smoky, powerful, soulful voice.  I highly recommend her.

Eventually, we hooked up with the guys and went for Chinese food.  I was ravenous by this time and I can’t believe how much I packed away — and I don’t even really care for Chinese food!  Then we headed back to Yahk, but stopped in to see a friend of Rick and Connie’s along the way.

He and his wife have built a B&B up in the mountains and are in the process of creating a mini-resort for campers.  They have a beautiful home and tons of ambition.  They’re in their seventies and still entrepreneuring!  Made me feel a little humble, I have to say.  But, back at camp a couple of beers and a few rounds of Crazy 8’s fixed that!

The next day we spent a late afternoon in Cranbrook (where Connie and I found yet another terrific bookstore, this one specializing in used books.  They also had a rather amazing and diverse collection of magazines.  We picked up a couple to help while away the hours spent in our lounge chairs back at camp.)  Then it was on to check out the casino at St. Eugene’s.

Quite a lovely place, as far as resorts and casinos go.  We played games for a while — I came out about $60 ahead.  Then we had a dinner, played  a little bit more and then headed for camp.  Unfortunately, we took the wrong turn and were headed towards Kimberly.  Tim was tired and stressed, Connie gets motion sickness from driving on too-wind-y roads, Rick and I in the back were arguing over which way we should have gone, and we were short on gas.  Great fun!  Luckily, we managed to get ourselves turned around before reaching Kimberly, made our way to only open gas station in Cranbrook, loaded up with coffees and Slurpees and hit the road back to Yahk.  Where we decided we weren’t leaving again until it was time to go home.

We made one other excursion, and that was to take the logging roads up behind Yahk to go find some waterfalls on Hawkins Creek.  We had a great time.  Got some beautiful photos, picked saskatoons that were as big as grapes, oohed and aahed over the scenery, and then, just when we’d given up hope of finding the falls, we stumbled across them.

Some very remote country back up in the hills, and there are all these little campgrounds in there with absolutely no amenities.  Other than an immaculately kept outhouse or two.  We came across a couple of campers, but saw no people.  They were probably off hiking or fishing, and all I could think of was “this is bear country, serious bear country, I’d be terrified to be up here on my own.”

I would not have made a good pioneer.

As with all holidays this one, too, had to end.  We packed up on the 15th and headed back to Lethbridge with Rick and Connie for a night.  There to get cleaned up and get a good night’s sleep before making the trek back to Bon Accord.  After supper I went and soaked in the tub for about an hour.  The smell of my hair when I got it wet was enough to make me gag.  Campfires are lovely when you’re around them, return to civilization, however. . .

So, now I’m back to real life.  A house to take care of, bills to pay, a job to return to.  I’ll start parceling my time out again in weekends and to-do lists.

Whenever I start feeling a little sorry for myself, I’ll remember that I had a great summer and I’ll be grateful that I did.

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Monday, June 13, 2011 — Could this be a day for hockey history?

Well, we’re one game away from the Stanley Cup.  Two games, if the Canucks don’t win it tonight.

I’m thinking it’ll be tonight.

But, then again, my predictions don’t normally pan out.

So, it’s crossed fingers and the shirt with Henrik’s name and number on it today.

I’ve got mad butterflies in my stomach and it’s only 7:13 a.m.  Don’t know how I’m going to make it to 6:30 tonight.

One thing is for sure; it will be a brutal game.  The Bruins are going to be bringing their best street-fighting technique to the ice, and I’m sure Vancouver won’t be holding anything back, either.

I don’t think there is any other sport on the planet that is as physically demanding on a player as hockey.  The speed at which they have to move, the constant movement of their legs, the extreme upper body strength they must have in order to control the puck and ward off opponents while fore- and back-checking all the time, as well as  the mental toughness it takes to compete in such an intense sport makes hockey a true gladiator sport.

It’s do or die, and, when you watch how these players will sacrifice the body you can’t help but think that they have to be a little crazy.  Even the Sedin’s, who everyone likes to criticize,

Wayne Gretzky hoisting hockey's greatest prize -- hopefully, Henrik will do the same tonight. Photo courtesy Google images.

as they once did Gretzky, for shying away from the physical aspect of the game have taken their fair share of smashes into the boards, pucks to the body, sticks to the ribs and ankles all in the name of claiming first place and being able to hoist a shiny silver cup over their heads.

I hope tonight sees the Canucks win, they deserve it.  They’ve worked hard, played hard and put up with a lot of negativity and criticism to get to be one of the two best teams in the league.  Hopefully, tonight, they get to claim they are THE BEST.

Go, team, go!

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