July 3rd

Day 185 — Spent the day visiting with a good friend.  Good lord I didn’t know I could still talk that much!  But it was great.  Took a break from the house and my list of chores, which felt really good.

Got out into the yard for a few hours tonight — pulled a ton of weeds. Now I can actually see things.  Some of my lilies are about to bloom, and things I’d thought hadn’t made it are actually peeking up through the mass of poppies that have sprung up in the middle of my main perennial bed.  I love the poppies — they’re such a happy flower — and they require zero care.  With all the rain we’ve had things are actually pretty lush, plus, an added bonus is that the weeds are super easy to pull.

Started reading the Game of Thrones series today.  On my Kobo.  I”m 26 pages in and loving it.

Saturday morning

This is just a quick post to say I’m still alive and well.  It’s just that It’s nearing the end of the school year and that means it is particularly busy.

Even as an education assistant this means there is a lot of extra work.  The teachers have it harder, believe me, but we EA’s work our butts off, too, during this time.

Last night, I attended our Grade 9’s Farewell fling.  Most of the time these kids make me want to scream because of the way they act, but last night they were wonderful.  They looked so gorgeous dressed up, pretending to be adults.  They’re on their way, that’s for sure, but they still have a way to go.

Though our school has toned down the farewell thing for grade 9’s I still can’t quite wrap my head around how much money parents (some) spend on this.  At least the dresses are not in the $500 – $800 range.  But they are still pricey.  A few of the girls were dressed a tad too scantily, but they conducted themselves appropriately.  All in all, I’d have to say it was a huge, beautiful success.

I wish them well as they head into exams and contemplate the years of high school ahead of them.  Oh, the Comp is going to be such a different world!  Many of them have such an awakening coming to them, it’s going to be tough at first.  But if last night’s glimpse at their potential holds true, they’ll do just fine.

In between school stuff and CUPE stuff I’ve been trying to work out in the yard.  So far, I’ve only managed a couple of hours a week, but I’m hoping to get more time in this weekend.  I’m currently clearing my rock paths of all the poppies and dandelions.  Armed with a paint scraper (great for shearing them off at ground level) and a bottle of undiluted vinegar (kills weeds without all the toxic side effects) I am determined that once again I will be able to clearly see the paths I so painstakingly laid two years ago.

I have big gardening plans this year.  I want to grow as many vegetables in pots that I can.  This was inspired by one of Soul Dipper’s Occupy Blogosphere posts from a while back.  It has become so important to all of us to try to eat as much self-produced food as we can.  Not only because of the fear of unknown contaminants and genetic modifications, but simply because it is better for us in all ways.

Growing even a  tiny bit of the food you feed yourself and your family provides a sense of pride and accomplishment.  It teaches responsibility and the need for diligence.  It’s good for the soul — gets you back to the earth, so to speak, even if it is potting soil.  It adds beauty to your surroundings and provides a sense of holistic balance.  And, it saves you a few dollars.  Which, these days, is mightily important.

Anyway, folks, I just wanted to come in for a quick touchdown, say hi, and then vamoose for a little while again.  Until the holidays are here my posts will be very sporadic.  I do try to sneak in for a peek at many of your blogs just to see  what you’re up to.  I comment when I think I have the time.

Take care; I hope you’re enjoying your summer (or winter).

Tuesday. . . Grrr!

My old chair and a bunch of poppiesThis is a photo of the poppies in my front yard from last summer.

I am sick.  This cold Ethan gave me is a doozy.  I feel entirely like crap.  I wish I could stay home from work and plod around in my pj’s all day, but, alas, I cannot.  Damn responsibilities!

The Grrr above is because Montreal lost in overtime tonight.  Not that I’ve ever been a big Habs fan, but I really wanted two Canadian teams in the playoffs this year.  So, all our hopes are hanging on Vancouver.  My God it would be sweet to see them take the trophy!

It’s funny, I haven’t been this excited or involved in hockey for a long time.  But watching the Vancouver/Chicago series and a couple games of the Montreal/Boston series has got me all geared up.  It’s just pure, nail-biting, let out a scream now and then, fun.  Go Canucks!

Unbelievably, it seems, we are near the end of April.  Come next Monday there will only be two months left of my work year.  Summer is just around the corner.  Although. . .

. . . there is still snow in my front yard.  Hopefully, not for long, though.  We got a small rain shower tonight, and if the gods are good there is more rain in the forecast.  That should make short work of any remaining ‘white stuff’.  Then I can get out and start cleaning things up. That is, when I am over this damn cold!

Checked my rose-bush yesterday — it has lots of colour in the wood and I could see the starts of buds.  That made me smile.  Also, my rhubarb is starting to emerge, and I can see poppies leafing out.  So, within a month I should have a few bright and cheerful yellow poppies nodding in the garden.  And right behind them should be the anemones.  Maybe I’ll go buy some spring bulbs and get them in the ground — grape hyacinth, glads — stuff like that.

Well, I have work I need to get to, and I want to be in bed by 10:30 tonight so I better get a move on.

November 13, 2010 — Remembrance Day weekend — Part II

Okay, a couple of hours have passed since my last post.  I’m telling you — weeks go by without a word — then, wham!  2 posts in one day!

So, Thursday, which was Remembrance Day we have plans to attend a service in Vauxhall, and then lay a wreath at the cemetery in Lethbridge where Wilf is buried.

The morning gets off to good enough start.  Connie makes us all french toast — yum! — and then Rick starts with ‘organizing’ everyone.  We need to be in Vauxhall by 11 a.m.  he tells us.  Okay.  Rob, who has a broken arm and is facing surgery on Monday, decides he needs to go wash his rental truck.  (His own truck was broken in to and vandalized — for the second time this year —  and is in the shop for repairs.)  It’s a rental, we all say — why bother?  Well, because he’s a Larson, that’s why.

Being a Larson will be a recurring theme throughout this account.  Just so you know.

Rick tells Rob to be back by 10 so that we’re not late.  No problem.  The rest of us then set about getting dressed and organizing cameras, gathering up wreaths, boxes of Kleenex, etc.  By 9:30 there’s no sign of Rob.  Rick is becoming frantic.  “We need to get out of here.”  he keeps repeating. That’s that Larson thing I was mentioning.   But you told Rob 10 o’clock we keep reminding him.  Well, he should know enough to be back early, Rick counters.  It’s decided we’re not waiting.  We go to get in Rick’s vehicle.  There is a ton of stuff on the back seat.  I say let’s take our vehicle.  I’ll drive.  (I’ve been through my apology by this point.)

So, we pile into my vehicle and are out on the highway when Rick asks Connie if she locked the doors.  Of course, she says.  Well, how are Rob and Kelly going to know where we are, he says.  And then they discover they’ve forgotten their cell phone, so it’s spin around and go back.  Rick and Connie rush in, get the phone, make a sign for Rob and Kelly.  We’re just about to pull away when I see them coming down the street.  They pull up, the time is 9:56.  Rob is a little miffed — “you said 10 o’clock, it’s 10 o’clock!”  Anyway. . .

. . . we finally leave.  We’re out on the highway again.  It’s been all of five minutes since we left the house and both my husband and Rick are haranguing me from the back seat.  I’m driving too slow, I’m stopping too fast, I’m in the wrong lane. . .  I tell them both to shut up or they can get out and go with Rob.  But Rob is now passing me and tearing off down the highway at super-speed.  More haranguing from the back seat.  Connie and I just look at each other and do our best to ignore them.

Rick starts telling me that if I don’t step on it we’re going to miss the service.  It’s just after 10, I tell him, you said it starts at 11.  Well, I want to get a good spot he says.  We’ll get there, when we get there, I tell him.  I’m doing 120 kmh and both him and Tim are telling me to go faster.  I ignore them.  This is as fast as I’m going to go. If we’re late, we’re late.  Nothing to be done about it.

We roll through Taber, take our left at the sugar beet factory and head towards Vauxhall.  Still the bitching from the back seat.  “I will kick you to the curb,”  I tell them.  “Ha,” says Rick, “There is no curb!  This is a country road.”  Him and Tim laugh hysterically at that.  Connie and I roll our eyes.  Finally, we see the entrance to Vauxhall.  I, amid a flurry of new instructions and directions, turn onto main street and head towards the 4-way in the middle of town.  The Legion is to the right.

“We’ve missed it.”  says Rick.

“How could we have missed it?” I ask.  “It’s only ten minutes to 11.”

“Look at all the cars.” he says.  “Well, that’s it.  We’re too late.  There’s no point in going in.”

We all look at him in amazement.  “We’re going in.  We didn’t drive all this way NOT to go in.”

Connie marches towards the hall, we all follow.  As we enter the building we hear the familiar sound of Revelry.  Then, a voice intoning everyone to observe 2 minutes of silence.  We aren’t too late!  We’re just Larson late!

After observing the 2 minutes of silence we tiptoe to a doorway.  And are turned around and told to go to the other door where there is a bit more room.  Off we go.  We’re standing at the back of the Legion hall.  The place is packed.  My husband is holding the cross of poppies they’ve brought to lay in memory of their father.  We stand for a long time.  There are scripture readings, followed by a song from a couple of local girls, then prayers from a local minister, followed by a speech from another.  Then, there is an interminably long reading out of names of the local business and community organizations — some of who are placing a wreath, but most certainly not all.  At some point I turned to Connie and asked if Rick had called ahead to tell the organizers that they wanted to place a wreath in honour of Wilf.  She frowned.  Shook her head no.  I grinned.  Next thing I know, Rob is asking if anyone has a pen.  I dig through my purse, find a pen.  Connie finds an old receipt and writes on the back of it:  In memory of Wilfred Larson.  Wreath laid by his son, Timothy.

Then Rob, with his bright purple cast/sling slinks through the back of the hall, sidles up along the side of the hall and stands waiting for a pause in the reading of names so that he can pass along his note.  Quite a bit of time goes by.  We see him start to nod off.  Finally, he is motioned to step forward.  The presenter reads out our note.  All eyes in the hall have now spun around to stare at our small group.  My husband’s name is spoken.  He steps forward with the cross.  I get out my camera to catch the moment.  What I catch is his head concealed by a drooping flag.

Huge sigh.  But the moment is past.

The service is finished.  The colour guard marches out and we head into the recreation side of the Legion.  It’s time for a drink and a donut.

. . .to be continued.

Father’s Day

Tim has gone golfing for the day with Landon and a couple of friends.  Hope they have the best time.  I know I’m grateful for a day to myself.  Have plans to get much done.

I feel so peaceful today, don’t know why.  I’m just so relaxed and looking forward to a day of puttering in the yard, maybe sitting outside with a new book and a cold beer a little later on.

There is nothing weighing on my mind; I’m heading into the last 2 weeks of work before the summer break and all is good.

On the way home last night, about 9:30, the sun was setting and it was so gorgeous I just had to try to get some shots.  Of course, camera still at home, (I’ve got to remember to take it with me EVERYWHERE I go!) so had to drive like a fiend to get home and get it.  Then raced through town to find a high point.  I don’t the shots are particularly good, but at least I got some.  Experimented with different settings — hopefully next time I’ll know better what I’m doing.

Also, here a couple of shots of a bee in my poppies — I wanted to capture one of the big B-52’s, but the buggers wouldn’t come back around.  Instead, I got one of the smaller, less spectacular type of bees — still, they’re amazing.

Hope all the Dads out there have a wonderful day — enjoy your time with your kids doing whatever it is that makes you all happy.  Here’s a little video that kind of puts it in perspective (though it is a commercial for Sprite, it’s very well done).  Enjoy.

Sorry, I couldn’t download the video — but if you go to YouTube and type in Sprite – Love you should be able to find it.  Hope it works, because it really is a sweet little video.

Heather wants the rain to come

Heather, my walking partner, was really, really wishing that we get some rain for her gardens today.  So, this is for her:

Heather wants the rain to come;
For the ground to be drenched,
For the leaves to sing a muted
city-dwelling forest song
as water cascades and drips
and dribbles to the earth
off their green and slender backs.
For the rain to seep and soak
and expand the rich black dirt
that holds this years plantings
of leeks and onions and chard.
Not to forget the tomatoes
. . . and pumpkins and corn!
So, gather the dark clouds
like  an umbrella of hope reversed
and bring on the blessing of rain.