Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I know the theory that renovating is slow and frustrating, but secretly I think that is for other people, not me and my projects. I am rethinking. Everything you do seems to make more work. Must focus on the progress.

Clint, Tim's drywall buddy, sprayed all the ceilings at his place. What a difference that makes. Tim has also decided to paint the kitchen cupboards white and Clint has offered to spray them too. So that means cleaning and prepping them. Which I offered to do. Cleaning was a big job, there was a lot of grease to scrub off; it was kind of gross. Now we will fill the holes and Clint can go to work. Tim has painted the hallway and bought new light fixtures. He is also working on the upstairs bathroom. He has ordered a new window and wants to tile around the tub up to the ceiling.

Geoff is working downstairs at our place but is at a bit of a standstill until we do some shopping in the city this weekend.

Tim still hasn't heard about his test, but they told him he is on the priority list. He is on short term disability at work, he just can't do much without being pooped out.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Yea or nay?
Responses please.
Will post on Oregon shortly.

Time to bring out the Tights

The weather has definitely turned autumnal, instead of those freakishly high temps from the last couple of weeks. The leaves are all turning and that smell of fall in the air.

I had a great visit with Laura on the weekend. I got there on Saturday afternoon, the wind was really ferocious, which made the landing a little scary. Laura was there to pick me up and we took a little tour of the old haunts. the city has gotten so big, I could hardly believe it. We spent most of the afternoon just sitting in the living room working on our projects and talking. On Sat night Laura Henry and I went out for supper. I did not get to see Wilf, he was working all weekend at the hotel. Sunday we went out to O'Brien Park, the trees looked like they were glowing, all yellow in the sunlight. Then before I knew it, it was time to catch the flight back. The picture above was taken at O'Brien Park.

I got home on Sunday, around 5, and Grace came over and we watched The Amazing Race, it was very exciting, but we were watching on the Detroit channel, so we saw the first group come in, then the channel switched to the Canadian channel and we missed the the rest of the checkins, very annoying. I did not find out until the next day, who got kicked out, grrrrrrr.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009


This is a stuffed kitty doll that I made in a workshop at Latitude yesterday. The show is by Chris Reid (from Saskatchewan) and it's this great mix of very colourful paintings, stuffed kitties and bunnies, and Baba Yaga chicken-leg-house sculptures. I made the kitty out of a sweater that Magda wrecked. I still need to make its eyes.

Things are rolling along. I have one presentation done for school, and two more that will be done by next Saturday. I have my final paper topic for one class, so will start to find material for that paper today. Surprisingly, being busier means that I am more motivated to work at my job; much less ennui than I was experiencing during the summer.

L53 had our AGM this week and I am officially past-president, meaning I don't need to do much for next 12 months. Very few people other than the Board attended the AGM. Either that means that people hate us and what we do (I can think of at least one example of this), or that they think that AGMs are boring, or that we are probably doing fine. Our Board is an excellent group, I think, and I am really happy with them. The freedom I feel is the reason I was actually able to go to L53 and do the workshop...usually I have seen so much of what we do as 'work' that I can't always relax and enjoy it. It's a new era.

I paid the deposit of 100 pounds for our Tobermory rooms. I won't collect just yet; it might be that I could just take this off my room cost at the end of the trip. And I did book my flights! I arrive Nov 11 and leave Nov 20. My flight home is direct, London-Edmonton. But it does leave Glasgow at 6:45am. Maybe I should stay my last night in Glasgow instead.

I think Lisa should go ahead and arrange for houseboat for 7 day trip....

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Of Accidents, School and the Canadian Government

I've been meaning to post here for a long time, but things keep getting in the way. I'm back in Vancouver, and back at school now. As mom mentioned, I was rear ended on the way down here, just outside Clinton (a couple hours from Quesnel). I was stopped at a construction flag, and the lady behind me didn't stop. It was pretty bad - the truck will be a write off it looks like. The tailgate was hanging on by just a thread (well, by a wire). I managed to wedge it into place, drove to Clinton (after the police came and talked to us), where a mechanic and I strapped the tailgate on to the truck so my stuff wouldn't all fly out. Then I just kept driving. After all, I can't let a little accident keep me from my schedule!

School will be good, but busy. I have a couple jobs - I'm the chapel assistant for the Anglicans, which means that I organize a lot of the worship that we do (8 times a week), and make sure the first years know what they are doing. Lots of baking communion bread and ironing altar linens! The other job is as the research assistant for the Liturgy Professor. This is really interesting- he's doing a paper on the changing attitude toward the Jews in the Good Friday liturgy. I can't wait! I'm also in 5 classes, ranging from pretty straightforward (Skilled Listening, Homiletics) to the interesting but full of hard work (Global Cities, Spirituality and Ecological Justice and Greek/Hebrew).

I went to Victoria last weekend, where I was inspired to take part in some political activism. Our diocese there has a companion relationship (ie we pray for each other) with the Church of the Province of Myanmar. Our bishop had invited 15 people from the church there to come to the Island for a visit, but only 4 got visas from the Canadian government. The others were considered a flight risk, despite the fact that the church is paying for and sponsering them. Apparently that wasn't good enough for the Canadian Governement. So I spent last night writing letters to 4 MPs, 4 Cabinet Ministers, the Leader of the Opposition, the Prime Minister and the Governor General.

I did get to meet the four who got through- all very nice. We are doing a return trip next year, in November/December, and I was asked to go along! Assuming it will work out with school, it will be awesome.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back at school

Finished up at the historic site in the last week of August, and boy was I glad to be out of there. How can somewhere with so many young workers have so much office politics? However, I got a promise of a good reference from my boss, so that's good, particularly as I'm looking for a co-op position.

My first two work terms are back to back, supposed to be January to August. So I've been really busy applying to anything that sounds like it's remotely applicable to my major (accounting) or my minor (operations management) or not even close, but sounds all right (HR, management consulting, finance) so hopefully I'll get picked up by somebody out of the 20 or so organizations I'm applying to. It's pretty stressful, especially since accounting is so competitive.

My courses are pretty rough this semester, two ops management courses, two accounting courses, and intermediate macroeconomics to top it off. I'm finding it really difficult to keep up with everything normally, never mind when group projects and midterms are surfacing already. One that looks like it will be difficult is about where to put receivers for reading utility meters on the sides of houses in the most efficient way. Now, that might seem pretty banal to you (ie. Who Cares?), but it's the kind of thing I like doing and it's a real-life problem facing operations people.

I'm still working as the Food Ombudsman this year. The position, which I did last year, is basically the three-way communication link between ARAMARK (the food contractor), the university administration, and the students on a meal plan. The meal plan is a mandatory part of living in Lister, so it's a touchy subject. Anyway, this year ARAMARK's contract expires after 15 years, so the university is putting together a request for proposal. I'm involved in this through focus groups and advising, and as always, transmitting the information between the three stakeholders. The workload has increased as more students want to get involved and I'm personally involved in the process, but at least it's interesting and pushes my portfolio from the back burner into the spotlight. The Lister Hall Students' Association (LHSA) president seems really interested in food this year, so I got office space and a computer, which is sweet. Plus I know more about it than anybody, and it's nice to be an expert at something.

I'm also VP Academic for the Operations Management Club. Mostly what I do there is coordinate the OM tutor program. Half the people in business are on the exec of some sort of club, so I thought I'd better start up for resume material.

This year I also moved floors, up to 9 Henday from 3 Henday. I have a roommate again, for the third year. He's an offensive lineman for the varsity football team. Somehow the smallest guy on the floor got put with the biggest; his legs stick four inches over the bed. However, he is pretty chill and we get along really well.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I work with a chap from Scotland who is from around Stirling. He was quite excited to hear that we were going there to visit so I am bringing a map to work and he will show me some places to see.
I can only hope I understand what he tells me. He has a thick accent. Maybe he could write it down. So does anyone have any questions about the area or things that you have wondered about doing? I can ask him.
Lisa, did you watch House last night? The mental ward looks like fun. And it is easy to cure people there.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

busy weekend

Just finished the last coat of paint in Tim's living room. I must say that we did an outstanding job of choosing colours. And Grandma would be happy since it is green. A beautiful dark sort of mossy green on two walls and a much lighter green (hardly green at all) on the other two. Tim's friend Clint sprayed the ceiling so it looks like a totally different room. All the trim will be an off white, it is going to look great. Even with carpet instead of the hardwood.
Tim worked on the downstairs bathroom. If all goes as planned and depending on his energy level, it should be done by the end of the week. It is painted, he has to lay the flooring and put in baseboards and the fixtures and bob's your uncle.
Had to make a flying trip to Red Deer yesterday afternoon. I really do not like Red Deer. The closer we get to it the more depressed I feel. I don't know why. Anyway we couldn't really find what we wanted but we did get to Chapters so it was not a totally wasted trip.
Tim called the colonoscopy people and they said they would let him know next week when he will have the privilege of that procedure.

I Went to a Wedding this Weekend

It was the daughter of my friends Rob and Norine Nadeau. It felt pretty weird because I can remember going to their wedding, and it sure did not feel that long ago. The wedding was at the Assumption Catholic Church, and what I really liked about it, was that the Natalie and Mike (bride and groom) sat facing us, instead of sitting with their backs to us. There was an uneven number of people in the bridal party, maid of honour, best man, 1 groomsman and 2 bridesmaids, so the groomsman was escorted by the, the two bridesmaids. When Rob and Norine walked Natalie down the aisle, Rob kept stepping on Natalie's train, and you could hear Natalie saying DAAAD, everyone laughed,it was a very Nadeau moment. I realized yesterday that I have known Norine for just about 35 years.

The reception was held at a conference centre, that is attached to an Indian restaurant, dinner was delicious and very international, there was roast beef and potatoes, pyrogies, butter chicken and naan bread, spring rolls. Vicky and I went as each others date, since Dick was gone hunting. During the slide show, I felt a little choked up seeing how young Rob and Norine looked, when Natalie was born, it brought back some really lovely memories. When people were coming in and signing the guest book, they had each group sign on a single page and then took pictures of the group to be posted in the book once developed. A very nice idea.

I went to get my hair cut yesterday morning I was sitting in the salon, when all of a sudden all the power went out. Nadine (my hairdresser extrodinaire) said she had been outside, and heard a couple of loaud bangs, so we were thinking that there was an accident, and something hit a power pole. I am lucky I don't need my hair dried, but there was also a wedding party in the salon, about 7 people, so that was a bit stressful for them. I still have to go back and pay, cause I did not have any cash and of course their cash register was not working.

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School and What I'd Like to Do On My Summer Vacation

School is going well so far. One class is every 3rd Saturday (8 hrs) and the other is every Wednesday afternoon. Both are interesting -- a qualitative research methods and a multimedia literacies class. Multimedia class more interesting just because we get to do things like watch Dr. Seuss adaptations and talk about them. Lots of work and reading, but I'm trying to get assignments done earlier (presentations, etc.) if I can and that will free up some time later in term. I really like it so far.

I'm also hoping it gives me a bit more motivation for work....I seem to be more likely to even work on boring things if I have more interesting things going on.

I'd really like to go houseboating next summer. Anyone want to also?

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Natasha Come Home

Natasha's been missing for the last two weeks. I had a couple of false leads, but no luck. One was from the pound, and I dealt with a super rude woman who got mad at me because I didn't have the file number for the cat I thought was her, and who then said, "Well, if you called two days ago, anything could have happened to that cat here. It could have gone to another rescue agency, or its owners might have come by, or we might have put it down." The second was a super nice teacher who contacted me but it turned out to be another person's cat.

I am thinking that maybe she was sick and left to die. She had been irritable the last few weeks and was spending all of her time outside, and wasn't as cuddly as usual. Maybe she had an illness. Poor kitty. I'm still keeping my online 'lost cat' post on the pound site, but I am not thinking she'll come home.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

We are slowly getting used to being alone again, but it still feels odd.
Had one of those phone calls you don't want to get last week - Will on his way back to Vancouver got rear-ended by an old lady going way too fast in a construction zone. He was able to drive the truck to Vancouver but we are suspecting that it will be a write-off. Too bad, everyone liked that truck. I guess that's one way to get our vehicle count down. Although Geoff keeps buying new ones.
It feels like summer again here. We have again been eating outside. And it is supposed to stay like this for at least another week.
We spent some time at Tim's last week getting his living room ready for painting. We washed the ceiling - it was disgusting. It is now primed and Tim's friend who is a drywaller is going to spray the ceiling so it will look much better. Tim has to decide on his colours then we can help him paint. I am sure wishing he would get that hardwood refinished but he is adamant about carpet for now. He's got to go to Airdrie for a couple of days' work even though he is still not feeling well.
Geoff has been working on the basement fix-up. We are putting potlights and track lights in the living room so he is figuring out and installing the wiring. I think it will look really good, but renovating is so slow. Really can't do much during the week, by the time he gets home and we eat it's 7:30, and he just doesn't feel like working. But bit by bit it is getting done.
In two months we will be in Scotland!

Travelling in Luxury

Mom and I were able to use my coupons, and we are now bumped up to first class for the Edmonton/London London/Edmonton portion of our trip. I am very happy about it. Allison have you booked yet? The direct Edmonton to London flights leave on Sundays and return on Sundays.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Return to Summer

It feels as though summer is back, the weather has been very nice all week, kind of an Indian summer I guess. It is kind of funny that we have more nice weather in the last part of summer, than in the beginning.
Work has been kind of slow right now, we are getting down the last couple of weeks before we go live, and the users are supposed to be testing, but it does not seem as though they really are. That means more issues once everything is in production, and a lot more pressure to get it corrected. Sigh, that seems to happen on every project I am on.
Nothing much going on here, I am getting excited about the trip to Scotland, the Windy Yett Farm looks fabulous, especially the library in the loo. Mom and I are going to stay overnight one night in London, on the way home. I am not too sure we will do too much while we are there, but then we will both be refreshed when we go get on the plane on Sunday.

Monday, September 07, 2009


Here's a new font just to shake things up a bit.
We arrive in Scotland, Edinburgh on Nov 11, around 130 pm. Stay until Nov 23. Allison, when are you planning on coming/going?
I emailed the proprieter of Windy whatever farms to ask re:prices as our week would be broken up. There are also driving instructions on the website which I could try to memorize prior to arrival. So that I am not shouting at Richard to read and look for road signs at same time.
If we went to Mull the weekend it was not available (Nov 13, 14,15) that would work well. If it didn't work that way due to Allison's schedule perhaps look for another place?
Driving in Britian gives me some terror, but if Geoff is brave enough to do it, perhaps I should be? The Richard and I could rent car from airport and return it when we go back. Shudder. Will our marriage make it?
I like idea of staying in castle too!
Feedback required.

Summer gone

I guess summer is officially over now that the Sept long weekend is here. The weather last week was so nice and warm, we ate outside almost every night. But there was a big wind storm on Thursday night and it has been cooler ever since.
Jude was here for the weekend. I'm thinking I didn't wear her out with too many activities. I hope it wasn't too boring. I certainly enjoyed just puttering around and visiting. She finished up my birthday movie and we watched it last night. It certainly was enjoyable, I could really identify with the main character. Two thumbs up.
Sam and Grace could have come home with Jude but both decided not to.
Tim has not been feeling very well and probably won't be until he has some further tests. However, he is working in his house between bouts of sickness. He pulled up the carpet in the living room. The hardwood underneath is beautiful. If it was refinished, it would look like Allison's. It is in very good shape. A bit of paint in the house and sprucing up the upstairs bathroom will make a lot of difference there.
Have to work today but I don't mind. Holiday Mondays are nice because there are no pesky customers intruding on the office. Really, they are all so demanding.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Back at work

Had my 1st set of shifts and worked 3 days and a night. Went very well-knee was a bit sore 1st and last day, but otherwise good.
Was nice to be back-I missed work, despite all its' trials and tribulations. I really enjoyed seeing patients again.
we are going to Oregon at end of month for Kirk and Sue's son's wedding. We both work Friday, will leave after I am off, drive until we are tired, then go rest of way Saturday. Their wedding isn't until 530, so we figure it's doable. The we will actually have a few days until we have to be back at work-Richard due back on Wed, me not the Friday, so we can spend a few days on the coast.
Had another 'conversation' with The Weasel. The good thing about this is that I did not react nearly as emotionally as I have with other interactions with him when I feel that he is being a passive aggressive, manipulative sniper. I am getting a grasp on my reactions to this situation. Not that I like it, but I feel more able to detach from the intended effect which is to make me feel like I am doing the wrong thing and should just look the other way instead of doing what I think is the right thing. Sorry, you were unsuccessful at intimidating me, jerk.
I had some patients who I felt that I was helpful with and felt really good about that. Which, after all, is the point of the whole thing.
How is nursing going Grace? I felt totally overwhelmed the 1st week and thought, 'What have a I done?' This continued for the whole 1st year. Then I liked it.


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Back at school

I had my nursing orientation today. It was pretty much the most boring thing ever. Just people talking for hours about stuff I already figured out for myself. So it seemed like a waste of time and didn't ease my nerves at all until the very end where we got together in our seminar groups. Each group has 14 students and a tutor, and my tutor seems really nice and also fun. That is in the class that I was most worried about, but I feel better about it now.

I moved back to Lister on Monday. Dad and I stayed at Auntie Jude's Sunday night and I got all my stuff unloaded early on Monday. My floor seems really nice so far. The FC is a girl I'm friends with from my floor last year, so that is nice, and my roommate is one of the orientation volunteers. She moved in early, and when I got here and was being introduced around everyone said that they already heard a lot about me. I guess she was lonely being here for a week before me. It made me think that maybe I'm not actually a terrible roommate.

I went to get a new phone yesterday at the mall. Telus has a good student deal on, but it only is for blackberries. So I went and picked out the blackberry that would be free with the plan. Only telus wanted to charge me $99 for it. So I stood there for about an hour while the girl was on the phone with them. She kept me updated on what song she was listening to on hold. In the end they didn't get it figured out, so I am going to go back right away here and see if I can get it yet.

I have my first day of classes tomorrow and I am really looking forward to them. I have anatomy, physilogy, and medical microbiology,and I think they will all be interesting. A lot of work, but interesting all the same.