Sunday, July 27, 2008

Men in skirts

It was very nice of Jesse to invite all of us to his wedding. The only one who couldn't make it was Anne. It was a great wedding. But the best part was at the beginning after everyone had gone up the aisle, the groomsmen in their kilts (and swords!), the bridesmaids and of course the bride and groom. The minister, who was the youth pastor at the church here in Rocky when Will and Jesse were in the youth group, stood in front of Jesse and Colleen and said, "Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethaw today. . ." Some of the old people looked mystified but the rest of us were laughing. Anyway it got serious after that.
We went shopping in between the ceremony and the reception. The reception was good too except it was so hot in there. There were lit candles everywhere which I'm sure added to the heat. Those poor groomsmen and the dads were all in their wool kilts and socks with jackets.
It was a dry wedding; the toasts were made with sparkling grape juice. So afterwards we went to the Hotel MacDonald for a drink, since Grace can now come with us. Sat on the outside patio, it was great.
Had a fleeting visit with Jude, we really appreciate her letting us just descend on her like that. I'm guessing that Folkfest weekend will also look like a hostel.
Sam got a letter last week from the University saying he had been awarded a large scholarship from the school of business. Very exciting, except he said he didn't apply for that one. The application deadline was January, you had to submit an educational reference and an essay and he didn't do any of those things. I said he should call the awards office but he's just going to wait and see if the money shows up.
Can't believe Jesse is married.

Sunday Morning at Home

I am posting this from my deck, the sun is out, not too hot yet, I am listening to Tom Waits, as I wait for the Ferrey's to get up. Not that I am trying to compete with you Lisa, and how much you work, but flew to Toronto on Sunday, worked all week, flew home Friday, got home around 7:30 pm, and leaving again at 2 pm to go back. Less than 4 twelve hour shifts (back to back) at home, work all week again get home next Friday at about 10.

The flowers on my deck look amazing, Thank you Allison for the good care you took of them, I was pretty sure I would get home and they would be dead, after more than two weeks of no care, since my designated gardener was also away. What a nice surprise.

All of the Ferrey's (that are in the country), are at my place right now, it was Jesse's wedding this weekend. My living room looks like a hostel, and I feel as though I am back on the boat, trying not to make too much noise, so I don't wake up the sleeping beauties. Most of the company arrived on Friday night, so we walked across the bridge to the High Level Diner, had supper and came back home. Saturday we got up and had breakfast, then everyone left to get ready for the wedding, and I went downtown to shop a bit. As I was leaving the restaurant I ran into Rem, doing his weekly fruit and veg shopping at the Farmers Market. He said that this year he and Stef were not going to lay a tarp, but visit with others on the hill, so I said they should make sure to come and sit with us for awhile. I am always surprised when I run into someone I know, randomly like that, not sure why, but I feel good when I do.

Mom and I got the cd of the history that Hugh Robins put together, it is very interesting, some great old pictures, and now I am starting to remember who belongs to who (e.g. Hugh is Frank's son). If anyone wants to download it, I will gladly share the cd with you.

Looking forward to seeing Laura and Lisa in a couple of weeks, also looking forward to working from home in another week, then I can really enjoy my flowers

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Saturday, July 26, 2008


We went to new Batman movie last night.
It was v. g. +, even though I was tired from working 6 12 hour days in 8 days. I put this in as Richard says that I keep adjusting my work week to make it sound like I am putting in more time than others.
Since I have only had to work 9 shifts this month, I truly cannot complain. Plus I slept in until 11 am today as we didn't get home from movie until 130 am.
Plus, I heart my job. Psychiatry is where it's at.
I am looking forward to time off for Folk Fest though. I wish that we didn't live as far away from the rest of the family as we do. But I would prefer to live here, so would you all mind living here? I'm sure Mom agrees with me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Family Reunion

As Mom said it was lots of fun. House that Rhonda and John rented was pretty spacious, Mom and I shared a room on the main floor, the only bedroom on that floor. There was a bedroom in the basement, and one on the 2nd floor, so not a lot of bedrooms for the amount of space. Rhonda organized a Barbecue on Friday night for the descendants of Duke and Jean, so Neil and Marilyn, and their families and Stan came. it was John's birthday so we had birthday cake. Christine was so proud of herslef, she went down the zip line at Whistler, she is certainly braver than I am. I had a nice long talk with Geoff and his partner Genny, about buying houses, since they just bought one and move in in two weeks. I think that is the most I have seen Geoff in my entire life. The MH Robins, as always were lots of fun. Hannah took Mom under her wing, and kept an eye out for her. Cousin Hugh's youngest son Patrick was the MC, and kept us all on track, a bit like herding cats I think. Aunt Dora could not make it, she is 98 years old, and still doing great, the last of Grandpa Robins sibs. Her daughter brought addressed envelopes with stamps on them, and asked people to write to her, let her know how the reunion was and send pictures if possible. What a great idea, she gets mail and feels involved. Hugh and Molly's two daughters were there, Laurie and Bea, with their spouses, and both of Laurie's children. What nice ladies, they look almost exactly the same as when I last saw them, so they were very easy to pick out. Mom and I got a special mention at the dinner, one of us for being the oldest, the other for the longest distance travelled. I am sure you can figure out who got what. Stan and Fred and Neil, were tossing around the football on Saturday, and I think were a little sore on Sunday. There were all kinds of pictures, and a huge Family Tree, showing all of Grandpa's brothers and sisters, and their offspring, for some reason Mom's line did not show any of us, so I added them, luckily I knew everyone's birthdays, but if I ran into trouble I knew Christine would help me out, she is the queen of remembering birthdays.

I was a little nervous about finding the house that the Macneil's rented, more about actually getting out of the city, because I had some excellent directions that Rhonda sent, but I remembered how to get to Marine Drive, which connects to the Trans Canada, from when I worked in Vancouver, so that was good. When I got to pick up the car, I gave my name, and the guy said our cars are parked in stalls 8 to 50, pick one out. I got a nice little PT Cruiser, it was fun to drive and I like being up a little higher.

And on Sunday it was all over. Fred, Christine and Raeann drove Mom home, the MacNeil’s were staying at the house till Wednesday, and Ramona and Leila and Hannah were heading to the island on Monday. Stan took the bus home on Sunday morning, Neil and Marilyn, Geoff and Genny were going home, and the Robins/Waddington/Horne’s were heading to Nelson for a bit of a vacation. I drove back to the airport and caught the 2:00 pm to Toronto.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

learning plan

I should be working on that for my mental health course, but instead here I am updating.
I just finished 3 days, which on the whole were pretty great days at work. I planned a picnic in the park on Sunday, and 10 patients, me and another nurse, and 1 undergraduate nurse all went there.
It was fun, we played bocce, ate watermelon and cookies.
The rest of the days were good, except at shift change when things rapidly went downhill, resulting in me having to stay an extra 30 minutes due to a Code White. Sigh.
But we saw Fred and Christine, and Raeann that day on the way back from the reunion and we saw Fred and Christine on the way to the reunion.
As always, we enjoyed their company! They make me laugh a lot.
reunion sounds like it was lots of fun, I wish we could have gone.
It is hot here, supposed to get up again to 32 degrees today. The cats just lay around the house with their fur coats on trying to keep cool.
Did you know that they were originally desert creatures?

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Conversion disorder

Ha ha. That's when someone has a physical manifestation, such as let's say, blindness, with no physical basis, that is due to psychiatric/mental concerns. Just a little nursing humour
Anyhoo, I found a website to convert and here it is for Theresa and Geoff.
It's for our Nigella recipes.

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I got to drive a Porshe to work today! My roommate James' dad has an old beater of a Porshe 944 that he stores in our parkade. He's sort of planning on fixing it up someday- one of those kinds of projects. Anyway, he likes it to be driven every now and then, so James asked if I wanted to drive it to work. Pretty snazzy- the inside is in pretty rough shape, but the outside looks good, which is all that matters in a Porshe. No radio, no power steering, and a touchy clutch, but I loved it!

Back in Bangor

Back safe in Bangor and just barely over the jet lag, a week later! Came back to rain, rain, rain. Blah. However, it is an incentive to get some work done.

My supervisor can hire me to do her fMRI project after all, which is excellent news as it's great experience for me. I am also looking around for other work, though. There is an Australian student coming over here from Sept - Dec who would like to be my housemate, so that will help the money situation immeasurably. She sounds nice. I'm not sure if I can stay in my current house or not - the landlady might want me out to make it easier to sell. We'll see. Everything up in the air as always!

It's graduation this weekend, so lots of people in fancy clothes wandering about. Adds a lot of colour to the scenery! I wasn't very happy to get back here, but now that I'm here I remember how much I like it. It was a great holiday, though. I'm glad I went to Canada for the whole three weeks. Was so good to see everyone (and needless to say the houseboat was awesome). Next stop: Christmas...

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

On the whole, I'd rather be houseboating

Yes, I am still dreaming of the long lovely days on the Minto Ellen, even though I've been home over a week. Things hadn't slowed down at work at all in my absence. I came back to the news that one of our Wardens (the people responsible for the buisness of the church) was in a horrific motercycle accident in Seattle. He's older, probably 70, and drives a huge motercycle all over the place. He was on the I5, and a truck who he thought was turning decided not to, and hit him, dragged him along for a while, and ran over him. His family was following behind- I think the son saw it happen. He survived, but is in intensive care in Seattle- under heavy sedation. I also found out that another parishioner has terminal cancer.

The happy side of getting back was that my desk was full of presents! I got a couple cards from people I had helped, and a bottle of wine from a very demanding couple whose wedding leaflet I typed. The nicest of all though, was that I got a home communion kit! It's from our priest who died recently- her husband thought I should have it. I was really touched. It's made out of an old cigar box, with a beautiful chalice and glass wine container inside, and a sterling silver bread box. I can't use it for three years, of course, but it is very nice to have.

The Long First Day Back

Although coming back to work after 2 weeks' vacation doesn't suck as much as 1 week, the day does seem long. When do I get to take my nap again?!

Winnipeg Folk Festival was very good times. It was cruddy weather the Friday & Saturday, but although we all left the site early on Friday, I was the sole person of our little team to stay for Saturday, because I wanted to see Calexico. Worth it. Jim White was excellent -- he will be good in Edmonton's festival, I think. Some other highlights: The Acorn, Apostle of Hustle, Forro in the Dark, Basia Bulat.

Kirsten and I took turns driving back and did the trip in one day. Went surprisingly fast. And Isaac was quite good during the 12 hours in car. I've never done one of those long drives with a kid (except when I was one).

Cats are super clingy and chirpy now that I am home. Lettuce and swiss chard coming up on the front step, and tomatoes slowly growing (though not ripening yet). Haven't been to the other garden to see what's what. I imagine I'll have lots of weeds that are flourishing.

I'll be going to the Calgary folk fest, since Kirsten is going & I managed to secure a ticket. This is a Good Music Summer.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Another Week Gone

The happy crew aboard the Minto Ellen.

As most of you know I spent the weekend in TO. I was feeling kind of anti social, so it worked out pretty well, since I don't know too many people here, did not feel I had to call anyone. On Saturday morning, I walked across the street to City Hall, where there was a big art Festival, about 500 vendors, with almost every type of art you could imagine, jewelery, paintings, mixed media, photos, pottery, ceramics etc. I finally had to leave after a couple of hours because I was not sure I could put anything more on my Mastercard, I wanted to buy everything!! The trip to TO from Kelowna was good, I tried the new scanner thing to get through security, mostly because there was no line up there. I love direct flights. Weather has been pretty hot and humid, I find it hard to get used to. Yesterday I hung out at the hotel pool, it was very relaxing, but no matter how hard I try I always miss a spot with my sunscreen, so end up with some red. I also took a walk down to the Harbour, lots of people there.

A few more days here, then off to Vancouver for the reunion. Looking forward to it.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

you have learned well, grasshopper

It is also going to be sunny for my days off, of which I have only two.
We were very glad we went to Uncle Bill's funeral. It was nice, I hate to think that I am getting to be a connoisseur of funerals, but there you are. I guess the Robins are getting practiced at planning them. The ppt was v good, I would love to get a copy of some of those old pictures. I was disturbed to discover that I was looking carefully at each one to see if I was in them. They had a bagpiper bringing the family in, then he piped us over to the crematory place.
I sat with Sue at the lunch and we had a good visit. I don't think I have ever really talked to her before, I quite enjoyed it. It was good to see Uncles Neil, Fred and Stan also. And the aunts. All kinds of people came over to talk to Mom, people she had been to high school with. We didn't go over to Patty's after, just came home. All the way home I kept thinking of how dirty my house is so when we arrived Geoff made supper and I dusted and scraped away some the most disgusting surfaces. Felt much better by bedtime.
And now finally the sun is shining and I am out in the yard at last. I'm pretty sure there are some vegetables under all those weeds, am going to find out soon.


And staying that way for all my days off.
I went back to work for 2, and am off again for 6. Thank you shift work, there is a big advantage to doing 12 hour days.
I talked to Mom last night and she got back safe and sound. And that trip went well despite obviously being a sad occasion. No mention of photos according to her.
Fred and Christine will be here Wed. and we're looking forward to seeing them.
I felt very pleased with myself for talking with a co-worker, who I suspected was being condescending and/or passive aggressive. I approached him and talked with him about it. He said that no, no that wasn't what he was thinking, and was quite happy to work with me. So at least if that was his not-so-good intention, he will not use those words again. Despite the fact that my stomach tightens and I stutter when doing it, I much prefer to use my words rather than going home and brooding about it. Although I also require much discussion with others about the whole event anyway.
I spent most of my 2 days on the adolescent psych unit, which is uber nice. And since when I'm up there I am doing 1:1 nursing, a pretty easy day, though with great potential to get boring. I didn't feel that way too much this time though. plus they keep telling me they like me up there, which makes for some good ego reassurance.
It seems that while we were gone, floating about the water, that weeds have taken over the yard. How can so many grow when I pulled so many of their brethren out, only a little while ago? I have a mental list of what I need to do on my days off and it seems to keep growing. Go to the dump and get rid of cans of weeds in their compost so that they don't sprout in our yard. Clean out garage, kind of. Who am i kidding-that won't get done. Clean house, grocery shopping, weed, clean siding and windows. Get someone in for window quotes. Do rest of my mental health course. Go to library and meet with librarian--Sarah and I are going to do a presentation to library staff on mental health issues.
This perhaps does not seem like too much to do in 6 days off, but it feels somehow that in the middle of summer, that all i should be doing is laying on the hammock thinking and eating Summer Brings.
Oh, I bought the Nigella cookbook. Made pork chops. they were as good as they sounded.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

take me back to the Shuswap

Getting back from holidays sucks big time. On the trip back Grace was feeling car sick. When we got home about 11 Sunday night, there was a note from Sam not to forget Grace's dental appt on Monday. I had totally forgotten that she was supposed to get her wisdom teeth out on Monday. She had already taken a lot of time off work and now had to go in and tell her bosses that she would be off Monday too. And had to get teeth pulled. Happy birthday Grace.
Then on Monday morning I was reading the obituaries in the Journal (as is my habit) when I saw the one about Uncle Bill. Checked the phone messages and sure enough there was one from Uncle Stan.
We were going to go out for Grace's birthday supper on Monday but it's not the same when the birthday star can't eat. Anne made a cake anyway. The rest of us enjoyed it.
Although we got back Sunday I didn't talk to Sam until tonight. He worked at A&W last night and didn't get home till I was in bed.
We are short staffed at work because of people on holidays and I was thinking that I probably wouldn't be able to go to the funeral. Also Anne's plane leaves Calgary Thursday afternoon. But I found somebody to come in to work and we are going to put Anne on a bus in Red Deer that goes right to the airport. She will be quite a few hours early but will be there at least.
And it is raining.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Back home!

Well, I've been home for over two months now. It's nice to be able to eat real food again. That's what I miss most when I'm at school.

Not much is really new. I started my summer student job at Husky's Ram River gas plant, about 50 km outside of town. It's interesting out there. It's just unlike anything I've ever seen. Some of the people out there seem to do no more than the absolute bare minimum of work. There's too many examples to go into, but some ones that I wouldn't believe unless I saw them myself are the insulator sitting outside the shop in a lawn chair doing a crossword puzzle in the middle of work hours (he also keeps the current issue of Maxim and Rolling Stone on his desk in the shop), and the horseshoe pit hidden behind the carpentry/welding shops. Or that the guy I was working with fell asleep when he was supposed to be doing safety watch for some welders (on my first day). Or that a pipefitter slept in his truck before lunch because he had nothing to do. Or that a group of people, rather than picking garbage in the woods and the rain, drove into a cutline out of site of the plant and sat in the truck for the entire day. But anyways. Whenever I start to hate the plant, I remember the Ram River mantra: "We're paid by the hour".

I'm on the maintenance crew. It's hard to explain exactly what that means, but when something breaks, we go fix it. The students usually get paired with an experienced hand and sent out into the plant. We also do general housekeeping stuff and support the ticketed maintenance guys as required, just doing various jobs around the plant.

I'm also working a couple shifts a week at A&W, which helps keep me busy. I've been biking quite a bit this year, trying desperately to reach my 3 000 km target before I have to go back to school. I might actually make it, too.

Speaking of school, I've been officially accepted into the U of A's School of Business for next year. I don't have to pick a business major until the end of this school year; all second-year students take a bunch of basic courses in all the business areas to have a solid core. So hopefully I'll find something that I show an aptitude for, and that interests me as well.

Next year's schedule looks pretty full, so I'm hoping that I'm not overstretching myself by working for Career and Placement Services at the U as well as for the residence system as Food Ombudsman. I think I can handle it, as long as I make efficient use of my time. I opted to take second-year German both semesters as my option, and I know 200-level languages are a lot of work, so that is worrisome. But, it would be cool to know a second language, there's no doubt about that.

It is, however, difficult to believe my summer is already half over.