Saturday, September 29, 2007

Geoff's blog

Here is Geoff's new blog address:

Welcome to Lister.

So I'm all settled in Lister Centre, the premier residence for U of A first-year students. I actually moved in on September 1 - Mom and Dad brought my stuff down, since we had to move Anne anyway.
Move in went smoothly, considering there were about 1000 other first-years moving into the Lister compound with me. I was reminded of something Will told me once: "Get used to lines at university." And it's true. Lines to pay fees, to get food, to get into class, to pay for textbooks. But I was ready for it.
Once inside the Lister gym, I had my picture taken for the ID/meal card, and I was informed my new home would be on the third floor of one of Lister's four towers: Henday. So after checking out the room, we moved my stuff. I also met my roommate, Carlos, who came in at almost the same time.
The best part of the whole experience was at the end of the check-in process, when I was issued my keys and handbook by a sketchy-looking individual who said solemnly, "Welcome to Lister." I was reminded very much of a scene from the Shawshank Redemption..."Welcome to Shawshank."
The following Monday and Tuesday I went to orientation, which was pretty helpful in introducing all the facilities and services on campus. It was also a good opportunity to scout out the locations of my classes.
Classes are going okay. I have German, English, Religious Studies, Statistics, and Math (Calculus) this semester. My instructors are all pretty good, and seem helpful. I'm also taking an extra math help class to get me through the year.
Turns out the difference between high school and university is that you spend less time in class, but still have a considerable workload. So you are expected to do a good deal of work and mastering concepts and the like outside of class.
I get along well with Carlos and everybody on my floor, no problems. I go out with some friends from Rocky that are also going to school here every once in a while too.
And that's the story from 334, Henday Hall.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Purr Machine

It's been a long time since I posted. Magda is sitting on my shoulder, purring in my ear, sometimes cuddling but sometimes biting my chin. I kind of see why the other cats hate her.

Actually, Petra's mellowed out, and will let Magda sit on her back or attempt to wrestle for a full 3-4 seconds before she growls. I need to get a picture of it.

House stuff is progressing. We are looking at people to do contracting, and my job was to research costs of putting in bathroom fans and stove hoods. After phoning 20 HVAC places & leaving messages that weren't returned, I started trying contractors, and after phoning several of those, I found out that an electrician does the job. Except for the finishing which would be a general "reno person." We apparently don't need to upgrade to 100 amp (unless insurance requires it) and can just insert a grounding wire, and then change plugs to those bathroom plugs with the red & black. Geoff and Tim, does this make sense to you? I'm probably not fully explaining it... We don't think we'll get to move in til January, probably.

I'm going to London (Ontario, that is) and Ottawa in October for conferences & get to see friends in both places. Latitude board stuff feels good & like it's taking off. My motivation is back at work and that feels good. I'm still behind on my PhD application. I'm also working with a local library association and we are doing a project with the women's prison library! I'm excited about it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cleaning out my closet

I just went through 2 closets...linen and my side of the closet...and sort of the spare bedroom, but that doesn't really count as it's still pretty messy. Have 2 big bags to donate to SHARE, and am seriously considering giving away my wedding dress. Like, it's been 14 years and it's still in the dry cleaning box, why on earth would I hold onto it? I have the feeling that Richard will want me to keep it. He is much more sentimental than me. But i don't think he'll be wearing it either.
I went to work this morning for 7 am, only to discover I don't start until tomorrow. As it turns out, I happily went home, as i had just gotten off my last set on Monday 7 am. I had a nap, met a friend for coffee, went to Value Village where i got 3 pairs of pants, and 5 shirts for $80. Still, I felt some things were somewhat overpriced for thrift store shopping. $7 for a shirt is too much...even if it is Mexx. I bought stuff anyway. Every so often you'll find a shirt, where the clothing pricer doesn't know it's value brand new.

Greetings From Woonsocket

A nice thing about travelling back to a place you have already been, is that you know how to go where you need to be, and it is always great to catch up with people, and they are generally happy to see a familiar face too.

The trip out was a bit a gong show. I caught the 6:30 am flight to TO, which meant leaving the the house at 5:00 am. Flight was pretty uneventful, I was supposed to have a 4 hour layover in TO, so decided to eat lunch, in the nice part of terminal 1. From experience, I know there is not much in terms eating establishments once you get through US customs, and besides I had lots of time. So I had a leisurely lunch, then headed over to pick up my bag from the transfer belt, and go through customs. Even with going through lots of time, I still get nervous about it. Finished with that, went through security again (I have going through American security, and having to take off my shoes, I always make sure I have socks on so I don't have bare feet), did a little shopping at the duty free, looked on the board to see what gate my flight was leaving from. And it shows cancelled. Arghh. Over to the Cust Service desk, it seems the pilot got sick, and they had no one to back up for him.

Air Canada offered to send me to Boston, but I decided to wait until the next day and take the first flight out. So AC paid for the hotel, with a couple of meal vouchers. Had to go through customs again, this time it was Canadian. Next morning on the shuttle at 6:00 am, tried to use self service to check in, that did not work, so into a long line to get checked in by a person. Back through customs, pick up Duty Free that I had to leave, because I did not leave the country, then breakfast with a voucher. They would not take the voucher at the food court because it was date the day before. Back to customer service, agree with the person there that the Food Court was wrong, but nevertheless, I need a new voucher, and get one and have breakfast. I head over to the midfield terminal, the flight is half an hour late leaving because the pilots are held up in customs.

The flight itself was good, clear so a good view most of the way here. I don't think I have seen how pretty the countryside looks from the air, except for the very first time I was here, the other times it was dark, or clouded over. some of the trees have started turning, but most are still green. Weather is warm around 25 or so. Not sure how long that will last. And that pretty much is all the news.

Monday, September 24, 2007

toot toot

We got to go on the Alberta Steam Train out of Stettler this weekend. It was a BP social club event. Went to Stettler on Saturday, took the train to Big Valley, had a roast beef supper there and took the train back to Stettler where we stayed overnight. It was fun. It was a mystey train tour, so there were actors on the train setting up the mystery, and after supper they finished up the play and we had to be detectives and try to figure out who committed the murders. The train part was the best, it was just such a nice day.
Got home yesterday and finished some yard work. Fall is certainly here and it has been so cold that it feels as if winter is just around the corner. So I get anxious that everything won't get done. The house painting is pretty well done so that's one thing out of the way.
Grace said Anne called while we were away, we were sorry to have missed that. I have to get the time difference in my head again.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's booked!

So, I have booked our houseboat!!!!!!
Dates are slightly different, due to availability, but I am hoping that will not make much difference. We preboard June 29th, so spend the night on the dock, getting on between 8 pm and 10 pm. And return July 6th.
Total cost (including everything) is $5335.06 = $444.59 pp/week (not including gas). If we have 12 people.
I put down the $750 deposit, but no need to send me money now. we can figure out all the money stuff when we sail.
I am excited already!
In other news, work is going well. I got approved to take the post RN mental health certificate course. It's distance ed, I have a year to complete it, and they pay for the whole shebang. Thank you nursing shortage. I sure am happy that I have a job where I am pleased to get up and go to work in the morning. (or night as the case may be)
Richard has finished his 1st week of school. With subsequent feelings of being overwhelmed and defeated. However, he had his 1st quiz yesterday and did well. In my head he is now saying, 'Lisa, you shouldn't tell people that. It really wasn't that good, and furthermore, it's the first quiz, and really I don't do well in school'. So, now you've heard both sides of the story. Nonetheless, I think he is a superstar for returning to school, taking sciences, which he never liked in high school, getting the leadership award in his 1st year, and succeeding! He is brave!
We went for a walk along the Mission Creek Greenway on Sunday and saw the salmon spawning. Weep, cycle of life. And saw these enormous birds. Thought, are those huge ravens or weird looking turkeys!? Nope, they were vultures! It was extremely interesting.
Diane, Richard's sister is coming for a visit at the end of the month'ish. I am afraid we will not be very good hosts with work and school, but I think she is good at amusing herself.
Also, I was called again for jury duty. This is the 3rd time. I end up missing a day of work, and will plead being sole income earner if i actually get to the point of being a potential juror. Though I think I would be very interested in being a juror. Too bad that I don't get paid unless i am in a position and not just relief.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

sunny Saturday

A sunny Saturday. This is the weather I always remember from fall. Cool in the morning, then sunny and warm with a tang in the air the rest of the day.
We are painting the outside trim on the house. We should finish today. It's green again but a softer shade, sort of mossy. I feel bad because Geoff has to do all the high windows on the ladder due to my ever-increasing fear of heights. He always seems to get the bad jobs.
Talked to Anne and Will last night at Will's. Anne said the travel to BC on the train was long. She was here last weekend with her friend Andrew from Edinburgh for a couple of nights. She brought another load of stuff. Her corner of the basement is getting full.
Had a cold all week and it's still there.
Has anyone seen the movie or read the book The White Masai? We saw the movie at the library movie night on Wednesday. It was really good.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Annie's here

Anne made it here safely this afternoon, after what sounds like a very long trip through the mountains and over the water. She got here a bit before I was done work, but they let me go early, so I showed her around the Cathedral a bit.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


OK, for week of June29-July 5th, the Mirage 54 would be $4147 with tax. For the Mirage 56 it would be $4740 with tax.
Which one would you prefer? Once I know I can go ahead and book...presuming that there are 12 of us, it would work out to either $345 per person or $395.
Richard and I would be fine with either one. I'll send out an email about this too. So replies will be required!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Houseboat again

OK, I sent out another email message about the houseboat. some have responded, others are derelict. Would y'all like 4 days or a week? And How many will be coming? I require numbers, so I know what size to book.
Our trip to Victoria and Nanaimo was v.g. We saw J pod orcas. A whole bunch, I think about 10 in total. Beautiful and amazing. I want to be a marine psychiatric nurse.
We had a tour of the church Will is working at. He greeted us with 2 bottles of wine in his hand. Apparently the staff were having their Christmas party, and Will was getting the alcohol.
we went out for supper with him 2X and walked along the seawall. Apparently my fear of heights is still with me. I couldn't deviate from the middle and when people were coming in the other direction, I kept thinking,'What is with these people, pushing me toward the edge?' And refused to give up the middle ground.
Our hotel was right on the inner harbour and Mom's room had a fantastic view.
We drove to Nanaimo and had a nice visit with Neil and Marilynne. They are really easy people to visit. Very welcoming.
we went to Coombs before we caught the ferry home. The store is most excellent. Full of things that are cheap and attractive. Among other things we bought a birdbath and vanilla from Mexico.
We were hoping to catch the 1040 ferry, saw that it was full on the roadsign. Got to the dock and found out that the 1250 ferry was full too. However, we did get on that one.
Today I hope to get out the scythe and get rid of some weeds. I'm taking a course tomorrow and Tuesday on Cognitive Therapy for Depression.
I like being a nurse. You get lots of education opportunities.

binge and purge

After years of a collecting binge, we are now purging. We have too much stuff. We got rid of a lot a few years ago but after Daphne died, a big pile accumulated in the basement. After moving Anne, Geoff has come over to my side and has been piling stuff for a garage sale and has taken loads of stuff out to the dump. Part of the inspiration was Tim, who also took loads of stuff from his basement to the dump. I hope we can keep this up. We need to think about the future without kids - this house is already way too big and when they are all gone, it will be ridiculous.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


I put most of my Germany/France pictures on facebook the other day, so
you can look at them there. Posting a picture on here doesn't really
seem to be working for me, but since almost everyone is on facebook it kind of works out okay.

I'm back to school now with a fairly easy semester. I have a spare, English, social, and french. It is all going well except I am not very fond of my social teacher. But what can you do.

Yesterday I went to the football game with Jovita and another friend. We painted our faces and had air horns and #1 fingers. I could only stay for the first quarter because I had to go to work, but it was lots of fun while it lasted.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

September Already

I can't believe it is September, the summer as usual went by so quickly. Not too much new with me, but have not posted for awhile, so thought it was time. Theresa and Geoff and Sam, were here for the weekend. Getting Anne moved out, and Sam moved in. We had a nice visit, the Ferreys are good company, very undemanding. On Sat morning, Anne and I went to the Farmers Market, to pick up some things for her party (Anne) and some BC Fruit and Alberta Veg (me). I love the downtown market, even though there are lots of people there with it being on the street, instead of an enclosed space, it does not seem crowded.

On Sunday off to Anne and Liam's party. That was fun, met some of Liam's family, who were lovely. Re-met some of Anne's friends, which was fun, and Tim was there too, always good to see him. Although almost did not recognize him, since he shaved off his mustache, looks like a different person. Liam made an awesome bison chili, I forgot how much I like chili til I tried it again.

Have not been doing much this week, just puttering around, which suits me just fine.

A couple of authors, I just read Earlene Fowler's new book, Tumbling Blocks, all her books are named after quilts, you quilters out there should try them. And I have just started one of Nelson deMille's old ones. I read one of his newer ones over the summer, realized I like him, and was happy to find that he has several books out. I like finding an author who has been around for awhile, then I don't have to wait so long between books.


I'm home!

I made it home from the best time of my life. I loved Germany. In the Black Forest where I was there was lots of trees (of course), and lots of towns nestled in the mountains. As soon as I get my pictures off the camera I will post some of Weisenbach.

We landed in Calagary at 6:00 last night, and dad was waiting at the airport to pick me up. I was really happy to see him, and also glad that I didn't have to ride home with the Gordon's because Sam and her brother probably would have fought the whole way. I told dad about the whole trip on the way home so I was all talked out by the time I saw mom.

I was glad to see Rocky and just be home. I had such a good time, but there is something about being in a place where you can understand what everyone is saying with out having to have a translator.

I will post about the actual trip later, hopefully this afternoon. I have to go get ready for school now, but I just thought it would be good to let everyone know I am still alive.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Cat lady

These pictures are for Allison.
Mom, Richard, and I are leaving on a roadtrip to Vancouver Island for a couple days. we are going to Victoria, seeing Will, and hopefully watching some whales. Then to Nanaimo and seeing Neil and Marilynne.
It will be fantastic to drive in Our Brand New Car.
Also because I worked 72 hours this week. What was I thinking? Though seriously, it went fine. Strangely I didn't feel tired at all. I was scheduled for 4 shifts. Then they called me in for an extra before I started, so I thought sure. I worked 3, had a day off. Worked 2, then they called in for another night shift, and I thought, it's a super stat, how can I say no?
OK, must go get ready for the day and pack. Richard's at a dentist appt, then picking up Mom, and we're on our way.

Monday, September 03, 2007

holiday end

I'm sure all my faithful readers are on pins and needles wondering how our holiday ended. It ended like it began with a whole day driving punctuated by a few stops. We drove back to Alberta through Glacier Park through Logan Pass, a beautiful drive through the mountains that is only 53 miles but took us 2 or so hours as we kept stopping at viewpoints and for a couple of short hikes. However I think the most beautiful drive of the whole trip was on the way home north of Pincher Creek on Hwy 22, with the mountains on one side of the highway and the prairie on the other.
It was good to get back but we didn't have much time to sit around. We packed up Sam and his stuff on Thursday and drove to the city where we helped Anne and her very good friends finish packing up her apartment. She had a big pile of stuff that she couldn't take and which we would not have room to bring back to Rocky, so she posted free stuff on Craigslist. It was amazing, a large pile of bookshelves, furniture and other stuff just dwindled away as people showed up and very happily took what they wanted. A great way to dejunk. The things that were left from that Geoff and Sam took to Value Village.
We went over to her place Friday morning for the last bit of hauling and cleaning, the landlady came over for the the inpsection and we were all done by 11 a.m.
We took Sam shopping for school stuff and went to Steph and Rem's for Feast which was great food and conversation with some very nice people.
We spent a large part of Saturday waiting in line at Lister Hall to get Sam all set up. Went out for supper with him and Jude on Sat night and that's the last time we saw him.
Went to Anne's goodbye party for a bit on Sunday. Tim drove up for it, that was nice. A good brother. The party was good, Liam had made some delicious bison chile and there was lots of other good food as well.
Now we are home alone unpacking Anne's stuff from the truck. We are both feeling a little melancholy with Sam gone. But Grace will be home tomorrow.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Welcome, tortoise

Mom suggested that I'm on the way to Cat Lady, but here is the new animal in my home! Her name is Magda, and she's settling in quite fine. Only mild hissing has happened between her & Petra & Natasha, and a bit of swatting. She's tiny tiny, and very squirmy, and purrs like a small wind-up motor.

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