Thursday, August 30, 2007

Folk Fest Photos by Liam

Some photos that Liam took at Folk Fest. Here we see: the back of dad's head against the Edmonton skyline, a representative assortment of folkies by one of the stages, Terry David Mulligan interviewing Jim Cuddy, and a panorama of the hill.


Monday, August 27, 2007


I got a postcard from Grace today- she was alive and doing well as of Aug. 19. She wrote from Neuschaunstein, which was neat, since that was one of the places that Jesse and I went to.

Jesse was out last week, for a short visit. Sure was nice to see him, and relive some of those trip stories. I met his new girlfriend as well, Colleen, who's really nice.

Home tomorrow

Sam, since you don't answer the phone and we're not sure if you are checking our e-mail and I forget your hotmail address, this is to let you know we will be home tomorrow sometime, later rather than sooner.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Billings Montana

I love travelling with a computer. We have booked places to stay quite a bit on this trip using the computer.
Went to Deadwood yesterday. It's a neat looking place, kind of like Nelson where it used to be a mining town then was abandoned so all the old buildings are still standing. The big thing there is gambling. All those old buildings are casinos, just room after room full of slot machines. Dick and Jo played a bit, but we didn't and I actually found it tedious watching people gamble. It was really cool, though, because there was a gigantic show and shine with hundreds of old restored cars and hot rods parked all over the place. We drove a lot yesterday. I should say Dick did. We went on the old highway 16A around Mt. Rushmore. It's designed so that you can see the mountain framed in the tunnels that go over the road.
We got here tonight after a very long day. Dick and Jo split up with us this morning, they had planned to go to Yellowstone, but I think they are going home. They left early this morning. We went to Jewel Cave National Monument in the Black Hills, a very cool tour through a teeny part of the cave that still took over an hour. Then it was drive, drive across Wyoming. We stopped at the Little Big Horn, it is a national park. I thought it would be kind of neat to see the site of the massacre but I was surprised at how interested I was. Absolutely fascinating. We were there for quite a long time. Got to Billings and after a bit of an adventure found a nice place to stay.
I love driving on the prairie. Those wide open spaces. There are hardly any towns in Montana or Wyoming, you don't see many crops or even cattle. However, we have seen buffalo roaming and deer and antelope playing.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

New Car!

We now own a brand new Honda Accord. (and 2 cellphones, so 1) Richard has one in case while travelling back and forth to Vernon and 2) so scheduling can get a hold of me at all times. Annoying but necessary when being on-call)

The car is silver grey, and a DXG, the plainest of them. Which still has everything we need. It's pretty nice. I ended up having to leave and go to a massage appt., while Richard was getting the 'good guy price', which is for the I am a bad negotiator and also a bad negotiator sidekick. We got a better deal because of him though.

So, we are excited, more me than Richard. But then he'll get to drive it 5 days/week starting in Sept.

Now of course, we are thinking that we definately ahve to get a little truck for camping as who wants to take a brand new car camping? Though going around here would be fine...still what if a tree branch brushed against it?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Trying this again.

Custer SD

You wonder why anyone would name a town after a general who was killed in a battle along with all his men because he was so stupid.
We are staying here 2 nights. Went to Mount Rushmore today. It's really something. We went back tonight for the evening presentation. We were a little disappointed, we were expecting a fabulous laser show or something, but it was still good. Americans really work on the patriotism stuff.
We are having a good time with Dick and Jo, they are good travelling companions. Dick had us all in stitches driving back from Mt. Rushmore tonight. That guy can really tell a story. Geoff's stomach was sore from laughing by the time we went out for supper.
It was really raining this morning as we drove here but it had stopped by the time we got to Mt Rushmore. Still cool, though, it doesn't feel much different than the weather at home.
Am trying to post a picture.

I hate moving, but....

Mom and dad, I'm not sure if you are checking email on the road, so I will blog to you instead. I'd like to go down to Rocky and take the truck tomorrow if it's okay, and bring it to Edmonton for the week. Couldn't get ahold of Sam or Tim to ask if they have the keys. Then I can do a lot of moving in the evenings next week, as it turns out I'm supposed to be out by NOON on the 31st, which I didn't realize. Ugh.

I had a house-cooling party last weekend. The idea is that it's much like a house-warming party, except instead of bringing presents you have to take something away. No one really did except Allison, but it was still fun. I have a huge pile of stuff to get rid of this time around. I'm really trying to pare things down. I feel quite virtuous.

In other news, I heard that my visa is done and on its way! I was quite worried as my Working Holiday Visa took six weeks to get back. My Student Visa, however, seems to have taken them three DAYS. I am very happy and will be glad to have my passport back.

Ugh, too much to do in three weeks.... but at least the main things are now mostly on track.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Pierre South Dakota

Who knew that Pierre was the captial of SD?
We have been driving all day and are taking a bit of a break before going out for supper with
Dick and Jo. We had a good visit with them in Brandon. Yesterday we drove around lots (Dick likes driving), went to an interesting old homestead, the Criddle Farm. Dick and Jo are doing well, we met some of Jo's relatives. Margaret wasn't home, she went on a road trip to Ontario.
North Dakota and South Dakota look just like southern Alberta, except where we see yellow canola fields, they have yellow sunflower fields. And you can't see the mountains in the distance.
Off to Mt Rushmore tomorrow and whatever else there is around here, which seems to be quite a bit.
All is good. We are just hoping the weather doesn't turn bad, there are some threatening clouds out there.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

DNA Results

Here is the information from the mitochondrial dna, we are a part of the haplogroup J. Here is the link to the website DNA Results. I will send you the code through email so you can look yourself at the results. I heard from Jim, and he has submitted his DNA, as well, so that will tell us about Dad's side of the family once he gets his results back. I also registered to share the information with the project, so as they get more information, the results will update. I also registed with the other group Family Tree DNA, and they will email if our DNA matches someone else that is registered. So that is pretty cool as well. We may find a bunch of relatives we did not know existed.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Medicine Hat

We just got back from a great visit with the cousins and Fred and Christine. We went out for supper with Fred, Christine and Ramona, then went over to Ramona's and met Raeanne and her girls there (Rhonda was at work) . Had a great time. They are all doing well. And we want Ramona's house! It is an old one in an old part of town and just gorgeous - hardwood floors throughout, 2 storeys with an apple tree, apricot tree and plum tree in the yard.
We all decided that they should rent a houseboat when we do next summer and we will have a reunion.
Fred and Christine like it here. Their place is nice, they are renting until spring then will look around for something to buy. Fred says he has lost 30 lbs since they moved, he gets out walking an hour or two every day. And he helps the girls out with their yards and stuff around the house. Christine works at the women's shelter occasionally.
Those girls of Raeanne's are so sweet. I can't believe they're so old, the last time I saw them was at Dad's funeral. But they acted as if we were their closest friends, followed us around the house and we each got about three hugs goodbye from them.
Christine's mom lives here now too and they say she also likes it. It's a nice city and apparently the winters are warm.
Onward to Manitoba tomorrow.l

Mounds of Laundry

Nothing really new to report, not like the vacationers. Yesterday was a bit overcast, and we got some rain, so a good day to do laundry. And it did take me all day to finish a month's worth of dirty clothes, luckily the weather has been very up and down and I was in different climates, so I did not run out of clothes to wear. I think it will take me a month to finish the ironing I have though.

I talked to a friend of mine today, she and her husband were new to the Folk Fest, and I am always interested to hear what newcomers think. She said they had a great time and will plan to go again next year, which is good to hear. Esp since I was the one who talked them into attending.

Have decided to take my delayed vacation the first week in Sept. and just stay around home, maybe finally get my house in order. Will start my new project the second week in September.

I finally checked the website, for the DNA results. But cannot remember what they are, since I am posting from work (during my lunch hour, just so people don't think I am a slacker) don't have the access code here. I will look tonight, and send it out to the family, so you can look at it too.

hooray,hooray we're on our way

We are off on holidays pretty soon here as soon as the packing is done. First to Medicine Hat for one night. I called Fred and we will be going to their place for a visit tonight. He sounded really glad to hear from me, very gratifying. Then on to Brandon tomorrow for a few days, then down to the States, doing whatever we want.
We had a busy weekend. There is a trail run every year around the lake. It used to be called the David Thompson 10 k run (there is also a 3k run), and Brian, my old boss, was one of the organizers of it. So this year they renamed it the Brian Mazza Memorial Run,and a few of us from work decided to go in memory of Brian. We did the 3k part, we were just going to walk but ended up running some of it, and I really liked the running. So we make a pact to train so we can walk and run the 10K one next year. It was fun and you get a nice T-shirt out of it. And people are at the finish line cheering you on.
Our English visitors came yesterday and we had a great visit. We went out to Prairie Creek to the original homestead of the Strongs and out to the cemetery here. They are very nice people (as all our relatives so far have been). Wendy lives in Sheffield, not all that far from Wales, so we may pay a return visit in the spring. I still think it's funny that they are all coming over here to explore their roots.
Heather came out from Red Deer for the visit, along with Jackie's two girls. They are the cutest kids. And it was good to see Heather.
Grace phoned on Saturday. I was beginning to worry a bit as we had not got any e-mails, but she said their Internet was not hooked up. She is having a good time, not homesick at all. She says it is beautiful there. They were going to go to Neuschwenstein (sp) on Sunday.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Notes of Uninterest

I am back at home after a restful time away. My favorite group at Folk Fest was Ozomatli (or however it's spelled). I may buy their CD. If I gather up enough energy to do anything that is. Richard and I went car looking (Richard says...looking only Lisa, we're not buying right now). He likes the Malibu. I like Toyota Camry, Prius, or Matrix. Leaning mostly towards Matrix as it seems most functional. Also because Richard's parents drive a Malibu and I don't think we should drive the same car as our parents. Though have been driving Dad's Intrepid, so perhaps this doesn't make very much sense at all. However, Intrepid was free!
Anyway, car shopping = exhaustion. Still have to do laundry, and some other stuff tomorrow. I am weary, Oh Lord.
So is Richard. When we were in Safeway getting my prescription and picking up a few groceries, both Richard and I were overcome with fatigue. we stopped for burgers during the car looking and think they put Valium in them.
On a disgusting note, I have a small, yet painful, boil on the cartiledge part of my ear. I think that's why I lack energy. Doesn't explain Richard's though. Maybe it was from Folk Fest and those dirty hippies.
Off to put compress in my ear. Diiiissssguuussting.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Gracie's gone

Well, Grace left yesterday just after noon and phoned me at work today to say that she was safely at Sam's grandpa's. She said it was long flight but she didn't feel too tired. I can't get used to the fact that overseas calls sound as if they were right here.
So it will be weird without her. With Sam at work most of the time Geoff and I will see if we still get along. Think we'll go out tonight after work to see what the blueberry crop is like. Nothing like living the vida loca.
Talked to Will on Sunday. His trip was good although it was a lot of driving.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I wish I was at folk fest

Well, we made it back from California. After reading all the facebook stuff, and emails from Mom and Dad, and the posts on the blog, I really wish I was at folkfest. We had to rush back from Cali because one of the girls has a wedding tommorow to go to, so we drove all day yesterday, and all day today. I did quite a bit of the driving, so I'm fairly worn out at the moment. I sort of wish that we could have had longer, but it will be nice to have a day before going back to work. The trip was great though- I loved San Francisco, just loved it. LA was good too, but we didn't see much of the city beyond Rodeo drive (the girls went shopping). We spent quite a bit of time on the beach, leading to a sunburn for me, and a minor case of heatstroke, which three hours of shivering in the tent seemed to clear up. It was my first trip to the states, and I was not disapointed. Flags and blatent religiosity everywhere. I think my favorite thing was a bumper sticker we saw today that said "boycott France!" I hope folkfest is fun!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Procrastination is the secret

So, last night Steph came over to help me pack and told me the family news. Hmph.

"Sam isn't coming to Folk Fest", she said.

"What? How do you know that?!"

"Well, it's on the BLOG," she said, rolling her eyes. So I figured I better get back up to speed so I'm at least as much in the loop as Steph is.

So it's been an interesting week. Calgary Folk Fest was great, as described by everyone else, and Allison's friend kindly gave my friend Valerie and I a ride back to Edmonton. I got home and checked my mail to find a letter from the University at Bangor - saying they had decided to cancel the MSc in Psychological Research, but they could offer me an MA instead, which they felt would better suit my needs.

I was somewhat flabbergasted, especially after reading the description of the MA they sent me. No thesis, not suitable to go on to PhD, and basically not much use at all to me (or at least it would cut off a lot of avenues). So I spent two days as follows: 1). Trying to comprehend that they weren't offering my course and I was screwed; 2). Trying to decide if I should go anyway and then try to upgrade later or beg and plead to see if they could transfer me somewhere else that offers an MSc; and 3). Stressing out greatly.

Finally I decided that my best option was to call a professor I had been in touch with previously about the course. She's Canadian and had been extremely helpful and informative, and was a key component of my decision to apply in the first place.

And, it turns out, that was the best decision I made all week. Dr. Raymond was very sympathetic, seemed eager to work with me and help me out, and offered me a place in her lab for the year. Apparently I can sort of cobble together courses that will approximate the ones that used to be offered for the MSc, then do some research with her lab and write a thesis on the results of that. If all goes according to plan, I'll still be done in a year and have the degree I wanted. Yay!

In fact, she also sent an email to her lab to ask if anyone knew of housing in Bangor - and one of her PhD students has offered me a bed for a couple of days while I try to find a place to live! I am extremely grateful and of course much relieved, as I hadn't got around to booking a place in a hostel yet for when I got there. (I HAD, however, bought my plane ticket - so would have really been in trouble had I not had Dr. Raymond advocating for me).

So the moral of the story is: always procrastinate. If you leave things till the last minute, you will never get stuck with a valid plane ticket and a cancelled course!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Odds and Ends

Well, not much is going on, but thought I'd ramble on (though not Led Zeppelin style). I just finished a set of 4. Which other than the 1st day went fine actually. It was less than stellar. I left feeling like, I'm a terrible nurse. However, by the end of the set I felt like I was somewhat better. Still, am looking forward to being off for 11 days and going to Folk Fest! And being paid even when I feel like a loser is a whole lot better than not getting paid and feeling like a loser. Like last summer on the floor from hell. Regardless, I still sure like working on psychiatry. And working on a stat and getting paid double time is really quite super fantastic. Still, I don't think it is the time yet to lower my Effexor dose. I said that to Richard and he quietly agreed.
Richard and I went canoing last week. I think there should be some sort of law limiting the size of house you have according to the number of people living there. We went out past Bertram Creek Park, which is where we all went one summer for Richard's birthday, out at the end of Lakeshore Rd. And some of these enormous houses were appallingly ugly. Money does not buy you taste. (she said acerbically)
We'd like to go camping some more too. A couple weeks ago we went up to the Shuswap for a few days, but haven't gone other than that. The campground was full, and I mean full, of young children. We ate the bad ones bar-b-qued for supper. It cut down a lot on the whining.
Hmmm, what else is new? Nothing really. Sue Robins and husband will be at Folk Fest, so we thought we'd meet in the beer tent at 9 pm, Friday. For all who would like to come.
Richard is still puttering away doing stuff around the house. I think he is looking relaxed and recovered form school.
Speaking of which, it is hard to believe that I don't have to go back in the fall. Doesn't it kind of seem like there is always someone in the family going to school?

6 Days!!

Well, in 6 days I will be on the way to Germany! I am getting really excited. When I was in Calgary for folk fest, Auntie Jude and I did a whole heap of shopping, so I should have enough clothes (and shoes!) for the trip. I even got a skirt. Sam's great grandma is having her 99th birthday while we are there, so I thought I may have to dress up for her party. After her party, we are going to go to France for a few days, first to Paris, then to The Beaches and over to Vimy. Will gave me a list of good places to see in paris, so we will try to do as much as we can. Definately the Effil Tower and the Louvre. I am not really sure what we are going to do in Germany, but I don't really care. Just being there will be enough. I hope we will see lots of castles though!

In other news, I am now the assistant manager at the theatre. Sam quit a couple weeks ago, so I am stepping into her shoes. I will manage on Sundays when I get back. I have to set up the box office and thread the movies. I am still not quite perfect at threading yet, but I am getting a lot better. I managed on last Sunday, but my boss came in to make sure that I didn't mess the movies up. I only had a few mistakes, so that was good.

So I will try to post from Germany. I guess Sam and I are sleeping in her Grandpa's computer room, so that will make it easier.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Well, we're off tommorow night. We're leaving on the 7:30 ferry straight to Washington state, and then an all night drive to San Francisco and points south. Lots of driving, a little sight seeing, and some camping in Malibu. Should be a great trip!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Beach

I am here at the hotel in Kauai and spent the day at the beach, reading my book, listening to my ipod, and generally relaxing. Life is good. I don't think the weather is any hotter here than in Calgary, with a nice breeze coming off of the ocean, it feels really pleasant.

The resort is lovely, with a couple of pools, a waterslide(Grace I thought of you when I saw it) and great rooms. My room has a kingsize bed, and a chaise for when I am feeling as though I have ennui. A small lanai completes the package. Last night when I was down for supper, the turndown service people came by, and left me a plate of brownies, they were yummy.

The hotel in Honolulu was great too, across the street from Waikiki and I had a great view of the ocean and beach from the lanai. It was however a long day of travel to get there. Flight was about an hour late leaving and made up some time, but still a bit late getting into Honolulu. Took a cab to the hotel, and it reminded me of a Dad car, it was circa 1980 (I think) an old station wagon, but at midnight, not much traffic, and so we zipped along. Sat next to a nice aussie girl on the plane, she was on vacation from Uni, and had spend a month in BC, Alberta and Washington.

The flight from Oahu to Kauai was only 37 minutes, but it was funny there was no assigned seating, so people started lining up early to get the best seat. I got a window seat (yeah) and so had a nice view for the whole trip.

And that is all the news from here, think I will go back out to a lounge chair by the pool and get some more relaxing in.