Friday, November 30, 2007


I went to my first U2charist tonight. It's a Eucharist service set to the music of U2. It was pretty interesting- they are doing a series of ten for the ten Millennium Goals from the UN. Since tomorrow is World AIDS Day, tonight's focus was the eradication of HIV/ AIDS. They had a girl from AIDS Vancouver Island in to talk to us, and tell us her story. She is from Kenya, and is HIV positive. It was a pretty sad story, and she told it well. The whole experience was pretty odd for me - I didn't know any of the songs (all U2 songs, of course) but the live band was pretty good (with a priest on drums...)and they had the words on a screen so you could sing along. Lisa, I think you would have liked it. Not a lot of people there, but it was at the UVic Interfaith Chapel, rather than a regular church, and I think that meant that fewer people came. The prayers and the whole service were pretty directly focused on helping, and overcoming this pandemic, and so were very different than I'm used to. I liked it though.

An Emotional Week

Well, all the guests have left, and I am back to just me in the apartment. It was good to see all the Uncles, and Mom even though the reason for their being here was a funeral.

I thought I would post events of the week, and Mom can correct me if I get it wrong. Mom and Fred and Rhonda, stayed here, Neil was at Sue's house. On Sunday, we got a cold snap and snow, that looked like it was here to stay. Poor Mom, she leaves the warm Okanagan, to come to the freezing Prairies. Allison was picking up Mom, Monday afternoon, borrowing a friends car, and then bringing her here. At about 2:30 I had a message on my phone, from Al, saying the car had to get a boost because it would not start, but she was getting that done and would be there to pick up Mom. At about 3:15 had a call from Mom, wondering where Allison was, so I let her know that Al was on her way. Rhonda and Fred got here around 4, and thankfully the roads were good and they had no trouble with the drive. Monday night we all had supper, and the guests went over to Bill's place, picking up Stan on the way. Neil met them there, and Bob was also at Bill's.

Fred said that the Police in Medicine Hat, were the ones that let him know. He was in the bedroom at their place, and Christine answered the door, and told Fred that someone was there to see him. He had a bit of a shock that it was the police. He was still not sure how the police found him. But Rhonda thinks that there was an alert that went out to the different police depts, and the MH detachment got out to Fred's first. So Fred did some groundwork before leaving the Hat, and got the address of the place that Les was living and a contact who was working there.

Anyway the sib's decided to try and go to the lodge, on Tuesday morning if they could, and then over to the funeral home (Appel's, same place as Dad's service), and meet with the Funeral Director. At the Lodge, they found out that Les had only been there since May, prior to that he had been staying at the Bissell Centre, a drop in Centre, but he had broken his hip, so he got to move to the Starling Lodge, which is situated just around the corner from Al's new place. The people at the lodge, said that Les was a very kind and gentle man, and had a current picture of him. No doubt that he was a Robins, he looked just like Uncle Bill. Anyway, they said at the lodge there were people there who would like to attend a service. At first the sibs thought they would not have a service, but after being at the lodge, changed their minds.

The service was scheduled for Wednesday at 2:00, and the funeral home said they had a person, who is a funeral celebrant, Bob Cully, who could lead the service. Mom and the MH Robins, came back to my place and waited for Bob C to call, so they could tell him a little about Les. Mom also wrote a eulogy. There was also a friend of Les's, Mike, who also lived in the Bissell Centre, that Fred contacted, so that he could come to the service too. All of Bill's Edmonton area kids, except Diana, were at the service, Sue and her husband Mike, George and Kay, Al and I, and the sibs and Rhonda, were all there, along with some people from Sparling lodge, and Mike and John (another friend of Les's).

The service was quite short, but I think it was a good way to say goodbye. Bob C, talked a little about Les and what his early life was like and how he had kind of been lost from the family for a long time. He did not gloss over the fact that Les, had not been seen for awhile, by any member of the family, other than fleeting glimpses on the street. Fred read the eulogy, and it was really touching. I felt sorry for Bill's kids, quite a bad month for them, first Thelma, and then Les, they were very weepy at the service. After the service there was some coffee and tea and goodies, and people got a chance to talk to John and Mike, to hear about the last years. Both of them said that Les was very quiet, and did not talk much about his family or previous life. He mensioned to John, that he had two brothers who were plumbers, but John was quite surprised that there were two more brotheres and a sister. Christa from the lodge, said they had Neil, on file as a contact, but showed Neil living in Sherwood Park, and they moved from there 11 years ago. She was also surpised to see the other 3 brothers and Mom.

Wednesday night, we went to Sue's for supper, that was lovely. Bill was too tired to come, but Stan, came over, with us. Rhonda was a great chauffeur, driving Mom, Fred all over the city. they got the banking and notices to the government done.

Fred and Rhonda, left yesterday morning back to the Hat, and Mom left this morning. Her flight and Neil's were leaving at about the same time, so Sue, offered to drive Mom to the airport too. Neil and Sue came over had some coffee, then loaded up Mom and took off.

And I think that is it.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Theresa and Geoff!

You haven't responded to my emails about Wales!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Geoff,Theresa and Grace (and Jovita)have just come home from an exiting weekend of hockey, visiting and shopping. Grace had a tournament in New Serapta (about 30 km east of Leduc) this weekend, with the first game being at 8:00 Friday evening. Theresa and I couldn't get away until after work, so Grace bummed a ride with Jovita,s family. Jovita then stayed with us. They had one game Saturday afternoon, which left the morning for a visit to West Edmonton Mall. Grace and Jo hasd a good shopping trip if the number of bags they packed into the car was any indication.The hockey results weren't as good, as they lost all 3 of their games, the last one this morning in a shootout after some one minute periods of 4 on 4, then 3 on 3, then 2 on 2 (a couple of those) It was a tough loss- they played with heart and with lots of second effort. It was probably the best game they have played. Hockey aside we had a good visit with J and supper out with Jude Al and Sam.We ate at the Lingnan, and all came away stuffed. Hockey aside, there is not too much new here. It was snowing in Edm, when we left, but we have still had none here. Theresa and I were able to get out for a walk around the trail after we got home- cool breese, but nice and sunny-gotta love Alberta sunshine !

Saturday, November 17, 2007

anxiety be gone

So, I am finally feeling better about my job and not waking up in the morning with my stomach feeling like it is made of twisted iron. Nice analogy yes?
Anyway, I feel like I have it sort of under control. I know how to do the paperwork end of it, I think, or at least most of it. And have gone through all the files and arranged what needs to be arranged and introduced myself to all the clients.
I realized that some of my anxiety was from the woman who is the team leader. Nice, but has not done this before and seems kind of nervous herself, if you look below the surface. She continues to tell me things that already know, at great length and not be so descriptive on the things that I feel that would be very helpful to me, like what do I do paperwork -wise? Or what do I do for an intake procedure? Some people are not good teachers. It helps me to at least understand what is triggering it, then I can acknowledge it and move on. But when I don't know why, I just have the feeling and it feeds on itself until I can figure it out.
Of course, I have increased my Effexor dose for a few weeks, which is probably starting to slowly kick in now, after a week. And have been practising my deep breathing regularly. And forcing myself to push anxious thoughts away. Well sort of. IN any case am feeling much better.
I don't think I want to do the job any longer than 4 months though and may try to cut it shorter. It is a lot of time spent on the phone and at the desk negotiating things with other care providers. No thanks.
Richard is now sorting through a pile of stuff in the office. I'm going to go read The Kite Runner in the bathtub while drinking a beer.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


It's almost getting too easy t0 make chocolates. We were finished in record time - 3 1/2 hours from start to finish, and most of the time it was Jude and I doing it all. Grace took some time off work to help, Sam stirred chocolate a bit and Geoff did some melting, but it was us for the most part and it still went fast. And the chocolates are good.
We went out to the lake on Sunday and took a walk on part of the trail. Very nice. The lake has frozen and looks smooth, but the ice isn't thick enough yet to walk on (we tested it). If we get a few more weeks without snow we may have a bit of skating time this year.
Sam came home with Jude so it was good to see him for the few minutes he was here. He didn't have to go back until today, he caught a ride with Stephanie.
I get to go to the hospital gala tomorrow night. It's a big fundraiser - companies and businesses pay a lot to buy a table, then there's an auction after the dinner. The Mountaineer bought a table and Glen asked me if I wanted to go. No room for spouses though.
Following Jude's suggestion we (by "we" I mean Geoff) put up the Christmas lights yesterday. Much easier to do before the snow falls. We also (by "we" I mean we) bought some more LED lights. And a new light fixture for the dining room. I love Canadian Tire.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

New Floor

Got the call today, from the flooring place, and I am going on Tuesday morning to pick something out. I am excited, but also a little nervous, since I am still not sure what I want. Will have to spend the weekend doing some research on what to pick.
Looking forward to this weekend and chocolates, and especeially since we don't have to come home until Monday, it will be a real treat. I am picking Sam up on Saturday morning, it will be nice to have some company on the drive too. They are calling for snow on the weekend, with any luck it will not start until we get to Rocky, but even if it is snowing we will going in the light.
It was fun to work a little on Allison's new place. I quite like ripping things out, and especially when there is no furniture or anything to move.
Theresa I did get to see the Amazing Race, but had to watch on Monday night. Did you get to see it? Lisa and I also went to the movies on Sunday and saw American Gangster. It was really good, Denzel is an amazing actor, he really makes you dislike him, when he is playing the bad guy. I also got a start on my Christmas shopping, now that is a good feeling.
The guy came about my dishwasher today, he thinks it just needs a little $3.00 part, but unfortunately he did not have it, so he will be back next week to finish up. I was happy that it was something minor.
They have 71 people interested in the reunion, which is good news.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Actually, the most exciting thing about having everyone here last weekend was the fact that they saved my sanity by helping me so much. And Todd's sanity too, by helping pull up numerous staples in his flooring. I feel *extremely lucky* to have you guys! Tim & Geoff looked at electrical, Theresa pulled up flooring and lino, Judith and Lisa scraped and everyone hauled stuff out. Honestly, I'm so grateful for this. Everyone invited to what Jen calls our House Swarming on December 29! And I don't think I brought any bedbugs home from new place, either!

More exciting things: the article on housing in Alberta has been published! Check out my glamour shot. Mom, I do have an extra print copy I'll send off in mail to you.

I am not going to Rocky this weekend due to a strategic planning event that I am trying to pull together for L53, and that is my loss. Sniff.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I am drowning in too much change.....
Must...retreat....back to psychiatric ward....


It was exciting to help Allison with her new place on Saturday. The most exciting part was pulling up the lino in the dining room to see hardwood there! Of all the four places Al's looks like it had the least upgrading over the years therefore has the least undoing to do. I mean, the carpet and lino were not even tacked or glued down.
We did a couple of things over there on Sunday then as we were leaving town we got a call from Grace. She was home already but had just found out that her 6 o'clock hockey game in Rocky was changed to a 4 o'clock game in Warburg. So we drove there (she got a ride with Byzitters), watched the game, and got home about 7:30.
It was good to get together with most of the sisters on the weekend.
Did anyone watch the Amazing Race?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

In Edmonchuk

I am sitting in Allison's living room, considering whether I should be a good houseguest and do her dishes. I may.
I got in yesterday and Allison made a delicious mushroom and barley soup and Jude brought over a delicious garlic bread for supper. I am happy to be here. I am going out tonight for Ethiopian food with Al, Jude, Kirsten, and Isaac. Tomorrow, Al and I are going to Sue and Mike's for supper, and Ferrey's get into town later that evening. I am hopign to get the chance to see George and Kay too.
Life is a social whirl.
Richard, if you are reading this, please water the plants. I meant to before I left, but airporter arrived early.
I am having a hard time believing that I start a new job on Tuesday, and excited and apprehensive about it. I am feeling that I have had a lot of change in the last year. Actually, the last 4 years with school, really. But i guess all the change was related to school so perhaps that doesn't count. So i shouldn't need to buy a sportscar for my 40th birthday as I will have had lots of change by that point. Plus we have 2 new vehicles anyway.