Thursday, December 31, 2009

A free day

Everyone is leaving to return from whence they came. Anne just left with Tim for Red Deer where she will meet her ride to Edmonton. Jude and Will left Tuesday. Wah. Sam and Grace will be home till Sunday.
But - I get today off! I am usually the only going to work during the holidays, but today Geoff is the only one. I was going to tidy up the living room today but Geoff and the kids did it last night while I was at the blood donor clinic. And he washed the floor. I hit the husband jackpot when I married that guy.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Home Again

after another great Rocky Christmas. The thing I really like about going to Rocky is I always feel very relaxed while I am there, no pressure to be busy all the time. I had a good visit with all, except maybe Tim, since he has his own place and life in Rocky, I did not see as much of him as the other Ferreys. I managed to catch a cold, and so that made me sleep a lot, which in my non medical opinion, helps me get better faster. The updated bathroom in Jack's suite is very nice, lots of light, and Geoff is continuing with the insulation of the kitchen and living room. I feel very fortunate to have him getting the suite ready for my retirement, although this my come as a bit of a surprise to Geoff, that I am moving in, but I am pretty sure he will be ok with that. I also had a quick tour of Tim's house, what a difference some paint and new hardware make on the cupboards. He has his new hardwood, stored in one of the bedrooms, and it is going to look so good in the living room. It is looking like a brand new place.

Will kept me company on the way home, he had to fly out early this morning because he was going to a wedding in Kamloops today. We made pretty good time and were all unloaded by 4:00 pm. Supper was at a nearby Italian restaurant, which was very good. After we got home from supper, we started watching the Quantam of Solace, I could not stay up to see the end, but the joy of Shaw on Demand, means I can watch the end today. After dropping Will off at the airport, I returned the rental car, and came home. It is kind of a blustery day so I think I will stay home curled up on the couch and watch TV and read.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Kelowna Christmas

Had an interesting Christmas here in Kelowna. Al is here (Kelowna) which is nice. We opened our stockings on Christmas morning and then Lisa and I discovered we had to be out the door in 15 minutes if we were going to make it on time for church at 10. So there we went roaring down the street en route to the United Church only to discover the parking lot empty and apparently the service was on Christmas eve.

Round one begins...
RW-Didn't you know that there was no service today?
LW-Don't hassle me I have been going to church while you were at work!
RW-Well didn't they announce there was no Christmas day service?
LW-Well I didn't go last week so how should I know!
RW-O.k. then let's go to the Christian Reformed Church...they have a service at 10:30

Round two begins...

LW-No! I don't want to go there!
LW- It would just be weird!
LW-Because we used to go there and now we don't!
RW-What's the big deal...we'll just sit in the back and be the first ones out! never works like that!
RW-It's Christmas morning and I just want to go to church!
LW-Fine! Go to the RC church!

Round Three...

(Drive by of Roman Catholic church but it's closed)
RW-now what?
LW- Go to the Anglican Church
(service there is over)
RW-Now what?
LW- go to other United Church
(nothing there)

Round Four...

RW-I,m giong to the CRC... they have a service
LW- Fine!

(silent morning...angry morning...not all is calm...not all is bright)

RW-Ok...if we drive past the Presbyterian church en route and there is a service we'll go there
(nothing there)
RW-(pulls over on side street) Are you ok with going to the CRC
LW-Well I wouldn't put it that way but let's just go
RW-Never mind ...why don't we just go home
LW-No. I saw cars in the Baptist church down the road...lets go there
RW-There was no sign about a Christmas Day service
LW-People wouldn't be pulling in if there wasn't
RW-Fine we'll go there

And the final Knock-out punch...

Service at the Baptist church has really old folks...NO young people...Choir begins to German...yes...turns out the service is in German as well...Lisa eyeballs me...eyes the isle and during the middle of a prayer leans into me and wants to make a break for it...I say not during a prayer...about 10 minutes later people are getting their German hymnals out and stant to sing a song....the time is now and we make an exi!

And that was just the start of the day!


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day

the big day is over and as usual it was a success. Some people here were up very, very early (Grace) and had quite a wait for the rest of the family to appear. I was up second, around 6:45, and I opened my stocking, Grace re-opened hers so I could see what she got. then at the stroke of 8, Grace ran up the stairs to get everyone up, and magically Tim opened up the front door, so we were all ready at 8:02 to start the opening. It seems to me that everyone gave and received the perfect gifts. I am always amazed at the imagination and excellent present finding skills this family possesses.
After the presents had all been opened, Geoff and Tim cooked breakfast for us all. We then slowly got dressed, and some stayed up and watched a movie, others went for a Christmas nap. When I got up from my nap, the kids had made the chili cheese dip (a departure from tradition, normally Theresa does it). Then most of us played a game. Supper was awesome, with all the regular stuff followed by a Charlotte (trifle) for dessert.
I am not sure what today has in store for us, but I know it will be fun, there will be lots of good food and company.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas eve

I took today off and baked a pie and made cabbage rolls. Wrapped presents, Wilf and I are going to watch Love Actually tonight and take it easy. One of the draw backs of a small family is I miss the excitment of everyone being home. It is quiet, but then I get more done. Henry and Boh are both out and Wilf is at work. IT is a winter wonderland here and it warmed up to boot. I hope you all have a wonderful day and talk to you tomorrow.

All the usual suspects

Everyone is here now so it really seems like Christmas. It's a beautiful Christmas Eve outside, smells good inside with cooking going on. Geoff is making buns for dinner tomorrow. And Christmas music is playing. All is good.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

This is for Steph

Anne and Jude have made it safely to Rocky, and brought with them a directive from Steph that I post more on the blog. I made it here last week, after a pretty straightforward paper/ exam period. Two long papers that both went quite well (well, the one I've heard about went well, and I'm pretty sure about the other) and one Hebrew exam that was more difficult than it should have been. Part of the problem was that we weren't taught all that well. It was a very basic introduction in six weeks, and the instructor had trouble fitting it all in, which led to him going very quickly over how to parse verbs in the last class. His hurry meant that I and a friend had to teach ourselves how to parse the verbs, and then I got up the morning of the exam and taught more of my classmates. The upside was that I really understood it all quite well, since I always learn better by teaching. The downside was that, well, my classmates had to learn from me, a dodgy proposition at best.

But it came and went, and it was ok. Not a piece of cake, by any means, but manageable. With a little luck that will be the last Hebrew I have to do.

And now I'm home until the 4th, when I'm going to Toronto for two weeks. I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I'm going overseas with the church for three months next summer. I don't know where yet, but I will be working with an Anglican church in a non-western country. I'll be seeing how they do things and getting a sense of how the church works in the world wide context. The two weeks in Toronto are training and orientations, mostly of the "how not to be a stupid white person" genre. Normally the two weeks of the course would not mean that I miss any school, since VST usually has a two week interterm. However, this year, because of the Olympics, the interterm is cancelled, and we have a two week reading break (during the Olymics). So, I'm going to miss the first two weeks of all my classes. I've arranged for notes, and bought the books and started pre-reading, so if I keep this pace up I'll be actually more prepared than usual!

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Saturday, December 19, 2009


Henry is home and it is a good feeling to have him back. He is getting very fit and has changed on some things. He is really enjoying the forces and it sure sounds like it is keeping him busy. Today he and Wilf are going to get a tree and we will put it up and decorate it this weekend. I got my packages off hopefully you all have it by now. I just realized that I get extra days off because Christmas falls on my regular day off so I get more. Yeah, life is good.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Jude's bad week

Grace is home and told me about Jude's horrible week, poor Judith. We're supposed to go to our office party tonight but Geoff is working late. So I will go by myself and he will join us.


I got the position!
I feel excited and nervous, not sure which is more.
I start Jan 4. Announcement went out yesterday.
Have Christmas lunch today, for the board I'm on. At Summerhill, but have to do evening, so no imbibing. Sigh.
Went to Christmas party for society-it was good. Went to Christmas potluck-it was nice. Friend who had breast cancer got her biopsy results back and it has not spread to lymph-so that is excellent news!
Richard is hosting his work Christmas party on Sunday. I will be doing an evening shift-so will miss that :(
Have to get ready for lunch...
Will and Sam arrived home on Wednesday so that is the day we had Tim's birthday supper. It was also the day Tim finally got in to see the specialist, who was appalled at the time Tim had to wait for an appointment. Whatever. The doctor thinks he knows what's wrong, Tim had some blood work done here yesterday and now he and Will are back to Red Deer for another visit with the doctor. We are all hoping that there will be an answer today.
It's nice to have the boys back. Grace is supposed to arrive today and I think Anne is going to come down with Jude. The cold weather had broken but we have a lot of snow so it is Christmassy out.
Tim has decided on hardwood for his living room but he wanted new stuff so it will now be a darker colour which will look good. The kitchen is very close to being done - the new countertop, putting up the door and window mouldings. Will post the completed room. Once the hardwood is laid the living room will be almost done too.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Last Week

I went for supper with 3 of guys who are over here from India. I had worked with 2 of them on previous accounts, and had a surprise when I was walking down the hall at work and spied them. I was not sure where to go, and of course they made me pick a place, so we went to Doans for Vietnamese. We had a good visit, talking about some of the differences between the two countries as well as catching up on colleagues we had in common. When the bill came, the guys would not let me chip in for my part, what a nice treat.

This weekend, on top of all the cold weather, I felt crummy, so spent 4 days in my PJs, alternating between sleeping on the couch and sleeping in my bed. Had to skip Third advent at Kirstens, which made me sad, but I also did not want to pass along any germs I might have. Today I am feeling waaaaay better.

I have not done anything about decorating my house, so I am not feeling too much in the spirit. However Grace and Anne are coming by on Thursday night to help decorate my tree, and then I will feel much more Christmassy. I still have a bit of shopping to do, but not too much, so no rushing around on the 24th.

Also thanks to all the badgers for posting their pictures of Scotland to Picasa. some of the pictures are the same, but I am amazed at what catches peoples attention and how different the pictures are, even when we were all together.

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They should be holding the climate change conference in Alberta instead of Copenhagen. It would be difficult to protest about global warming when it is -40 out. It is funny how quickly you get used to the biting cold. Of course I don't have to be out in it much.
We had a good weekend in Calgary. It was BP's Christmas party - they send everyone to the Stage West dinner theatre, pay for a hotel and breakfast the next day. It was very nice, the dinner theatre was "British Invasion," and a really great buffet. Again we got lots of shopping done among the crowds.
Tim's birthday yesterday but we are having his dinner tomorrow because Will and Sam will be home.
Christmas edition at work goes out today. It doubles the usual size of the paper so labelling for the post office will be more work than usual.
Still two more parties to go to before Christmas. And I feel ready for everything. Wonderful. Looking forward to the kids and Jude being here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

We'll See

So, just finished a crazy week. Worked all weekend, then did student evaluations, then had an interview for the educator position on the unit, for which I had to prepare a presentation. Interview was 15 minute presentation, oral-1 hour, written-1 hour. Written was impossible to get through in an hour.
How did I do? No real idea. Interviews have an effect of making me feel like I ramble on incessantly. And not really saying anything.
Now, have to get ready for Christmas. Richard keeps buying decorations. So the house looks very festive.
I'm planning on baking this weekend. And have a Christmas party tonight.
I feel tired. But glad to be finished interview.
I took today off to get some things ready for the holidays but I haven't got too far. I think I am a lot more productive when I'm at work. I like my job but sure is nice to be at home. Jude and Laura have the right idea, Fridays off.
We have a ton of snow. It has snowed every day for a week and it is just beautiful out. Driving is not all that great though. I think I will stop procrastinating now and get to work. Or maybe I'll check Facebook for a few minutes.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The end of another weekend

and what a good weekend it was. Laura got here on Friday, we went downtown and ate and did a little shopping, I bought a new coat and Laura a new top, and both of us a some Christmas Gifts. I had a call from Geoff, to let us know that they were not coming until Saturday morning, because of the weather and roads. Which relieved my mind, I was worrying a bit about the roads, and driving in the dark from Rocky. Saturday moring we got up and trekked over to the store to pick up stuff for supper and centres, came home, made the centres. Theresa and Geoff got here and we had some lunch, Geoff left to shop and Allison came over and we dipped for about 3 hours. It was really great to have more than just Theresa and I doing the dipping. Theresa and I went over to Southgate Mall, I ad to pick up some pictures and she just came along for the trip. We took the train and bus, and got there quite quickly, but coming home was not so quick. We waited 45 minutes for the but to the South Campus, and nothing appeared, finally we took the number 9 downtown, and transferred to the train there. After supper, we all boarded the train again to get to Schmoozy. That was fun too, we supported the arts, increased the bids on some of the items, and watched the master schmoozer (Allison) in action.

Today we had a bit of a late start, and after brunch, T&G left to shopping, and I stayed home until it was time to go to the Jube and see Stuart Mclean. What a great show, I am so happy I went. The last Amazing Race for the season was tonight, and Grace and Sam were both here for supper. they did dishes, we visited and they both just left to "study".

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December and May

I wish I could have come home for chocolates! My downstairs neighbours are disapproving because I have not put up any lights or other Christmassy things, but it doesn't seem like Christmas yet and probably won't until I leave... and anyway, I would then just have the depressing task of taking them down again when I returned in January! However, am looking forward to decorating in Rocky (if any remains to be done) and the the winter wonderland that is Alberta (Steph says she walked seven blocks and pushed out three stuck cars!) In preparation for such things, I have bought some new boots that are plaid AND knee-length AND laceup... and totally waterproof and lined! They weren't cheap, but if there is one thing I learned from my aunts, it is that if you don't have a car you must spend on shoes instead of tires.

I have to submit a "Grad Student Progress Report" every semester, in which I try to justify my existence. This semester, I totted it all up and was amazed to learn that I collected data from 93 participants (8 of them substance-dependent and in treatment, which are a million times more difficult), ran and analyzed a pilot study and three experiments, started another study with the other PhD student and the post-doc from our lab, and wrote a review article and a conference abstract (as well as two scholarship applications). No wonder I've been tired all the time. It definitely felt busy, but I didn't realize quite how much till I looked back. However, I further realized that my ultimate goal was not necessarily to add to the annals of research, but to get an abstract in for that conference in Florida next year! All that work to get the studies done before December was mainly for that reason. But they are done, the abstract is submitted, and whether or not my abstract is accepted, I am going to the conference. The most exciting part is that some of the girls from my lab last year are going, and since there are a lot of us, we can rent a house together rather than stay in the expensive hotel. And THIS is the house they have in mind! I think I can live with this... roll on May.

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home again jiggity jig

Well, the flight was delayed until 8:50 but got home by 10:30. #$%$^&*((@#$ cold here, thank goodness to Germain engineering.

Alex the driver was very nice, he had bought me a coffee so I was able to sit in leather comfort and drink my coffee with a worry. He said Judith was one of his favorite customers and that he had been up all night driving people from a christmas party but because Judith is so nice and such a polite person with a big heart he picked me up and took me to the airport. I would highly recommend him and will use him again if I ever fly into Edmonton again.

Chocolates was great and Schmoozy was also. That is the best place to people watch, lots of drama and interesting folks. Great to see everyone (that was the tbest part of the weekend).

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Saturday, December 05, 2009


At about 53 seconds in, you'll see the soul of the town strolling by.

Nostalgic videos aside, things are going surprisingly well. I'm noticing the difference from 6 classes last year to 5 this year, and it doesn't hurt that my classes are more practical (which is still quite a bit of work, but less paper writing). I've nearly finished everything - one paper to polish, one sermon that's about half done and a Hebrew exam. I have lots of time to study for that, so I'm not too worried.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Had an unpleasant start today. Went to buy the chocolate - no chocolate in the store. Panic, trying to look calm. Whew, found it in the back of the store. I hope I got enough, we can't really slip out and get a bit more if we run out this year.
And I have been Christmas shopping! I feel better about it than I have in years. Between the internet and shopping in Rocky I am well on my way.
Looking forward to our weekend in the city, lots of exciting things to do. I think I will probably feel like an imposter at Schmoozy.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Postcards and such

Thanks to everyone for the postcards the pictures are great. Winter is here, -16 this morning an d-30 by Friday. Luckily I will be in the south. Edmonton. I am really looking forward to seeing everyone and getting all the scoop on what happened in Scotland. I only have 2 more days yahoo. See you on the weekend.