Sunday, January 30, 2011


1st paper done-nervous.
I'm tired of January, good thing it's almost done.
Theresa and Geoff, we will meet in Golden, last weekend of February!
Played Settlements of Cataan last night at some friends. I enjoyed it.
I am trying to convince Richard to go out for a walk today. Neither of us feel like moving much-grey day-which means that we will feel better when we go.
I have successfully fought off a cold that started developing on Thursday.
We are going to Mom's for supper tonight-spagetti-yay.
I bought a flowering jasmine plant this week to bring the illusion of tropics into the house. It certainly smells delightful.
But it does not feel any more tropical.
But as Mom noted, we have seen daffodil, tulip, and croci sticking their leaves up through the dirt.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

good day

I got my first payment today and that is good. It is good to know how much money I will be getting over the next 6 months so we can balance. Wilf is taking a course for three days so I am at home alone, it is finally setting in that I am not working anymore. I am getting lots done in the house, stuff I don't get to usually for instance I vacumed the vents to the furnice today and washed all the vent covers. I am getting into a routine and that is good. The outsourcing company called last week and we are working together. I will be making a trip to Edmonton to meet with them at some point so will get together with folks there then. It is melting right now and the sidewalks are treacherous. The city has not plowed our street once this year and it is not fun driving down it, at times it feels like we are in a tank four wheel driving. Tomorrow there is a party with the folks I was working with it should be fun to see them again. well the laundry is calling so I better get back to it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Year

So, the new semester at VST is a bit later than at many institutions, but in my case they seem to make up for that by handily eliminating any kind of gentle lead in period. It's only the second week of the semester, and already I've got the feeling that I'm a juggler. There are lots of balls up in the air, and I'm praying that I keep catching them all.

Classes are really interesting. One is "Spirit and/as Mindfulness Practise" which is sort of looking at how the notion of Mindfulness, often found in the Eastern traditions, such as Buddhism is present/can be worked into Christianity. Part of what makes it interesting is that the professor is sort of learning along with us. She's done tons of background reading and so forth, and gives a lecture each class, but much of it is discussion, and working through things as a class. The other really interesting class is a class on the book of Amos (a prophet in the Old Testament). It's a class on social justice, so alongside our learning about how Amos called for social justice in the 7th century BCE, we work on social justice issues in our time. Apparently we even get to write oracles at one point! We are working on a case of a Seattle Police officer shooting a partially deaf homeless first nations man.

I tried my hand at Lisa's Christmas Perogies this week! I think they turned out really well. I brought them over to my friends' place, and their 19 month old daughter loved them - much smacking of lips and "mmmm"s. She's not the pickiest eater, but it made me feel good! I had lots of filling left over, so I gave them the perogies, and will make some more dough. I was surprised at how easy it was!

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

sad cat news

I had to put N2, my big black cat, to sleep today. She suddenly lost the use of her front leg, and seemed in a lot of pain. I took her to the vet right away and they did some tests, but couldn't determine whether it was cancer, something neurological, or maybe a blood clot -- but to find out would take many more tests and more time, and prognosis for any of these wasn't good. I said I'd rather she not be in pain or living in the pet hospital, so decided to put her down. I did get to hold her while they did the shot, and I'm glad it was quick. I am also glad I saw that she was hurting and took her in right away, rather than waiting.

Bandwagon jumper

Since everyone seems to be posting this weekend I guess I will too!

This semester has been going pretty well so far. I only have three classes which is nice. I was worried about sitting through 3 hours of pharmacology twice a week, but it turns out the prof is hilarious, and sort of talks like Corky from Waiting for Guffman, so I actually look forward to that class. Last week in my nursing lab we did palliative care nursing, which was pretty interesting.

Last weekend my friend Abbi called to see if I wanted to go to the waterpark at West Ed, so I said sure and she came up Saturday morning to go. When we got to the mall she was like oh by the way, we're going bungee jumping. I wasn't too sure about the idea, but she convinced me, mostly by paying for me so I couldn't back out. Of course she nominated me to go first. The guys working there counted down twice for me to go, and I didn't, so in the end one of them leaned me over edge and let go. I'm a wimp. It was very terrifying, and I don't think I would ever do it again, but I guess I can scratch it off my bucket list. Or I could if I had a bucket list. Abbi insisted on buying us each the video of both of us jumping, but I'm pretty embarrassed of it since it took me so long to go. Of course she jumped right away. Then that night we went to the John Wort Hannam concert which was so great, but altogether it was a bit too exciting of a day.

My friend Samantha from Rocky moved to Edmonton on Friday, so I went over yesterday. She held a dinner party, with me, Leanna, her roommate Katt and Katt's friend all there. It was a lot of fun, although a bit of an adventure getting back home. She lives in the West End, and neither me nor Leanna really know the buses there, but we asked someone and managed to make it home.

Today was so sunny and warm that the snow was nice and sticky, so me and Leanna made a snowman. It was so much fun, especially since it's been a while since I've made one. It turned out pretty well, complete with a scarf, cowboy hat, and of course a carrot for the nose.

Yesterday was beautiful

today I can hear the wind howling, but the sun is out and the sky is blue, so I am going to pretend it is still beautiful.

If you read the comments on the previous post, you know that I have talked T&G into coming with me to New York and Connecticut, not that it took much talking, they were very receptive. Anyone else want to come along? Week of March 14. It is good to have something to look forward to.
I saw the other Sivaks last week, and Uncle George had to go in for a but of minor surgery. His lower eyelashes are curling in and poking him in the eye. Other than that both are well, and have planned a trip to Phoenix at the end of March, into April.

Another person quit at work, so I guess that means more turmoil there, that is the 3rd in a month. I don't think it will affect me too much, might mean more work. I just generally do what ever they tell me and try not to let it get to me.

I had breakfast with Allison yesterday, and she showed me the stuff she has picked out for the kitchen and storeroom, both great choices, it will look so good in her house. Maybe this will be the year I do some renos here, or maybe not.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Rocky Mountain House


Blue Monday

The worst day of the year is either past (Jan 18) or still to arrive (Jan 24) according to Wikipedia.Either way, this week I seemed to be dragging myself around, regardless of actual time spent sleeping.
On a more cheerful note-I booked my flight to New Orleans-hurrah!
I should look up weather forecast for that time of year there-I am hoping for nice warmth-according to website-april and march are best times to visit-warm-avg high 22, short sleeves recommended.
I need to start writing my paper for my class on my vision for where I work. It is a paper that requires consideration.
Maybe writing it on a new computer will make it easier?
Work has been pretty good this week despite my out-of-sorts mood. I led some awesome groups with patients which I love.
On a down note, I left Friday feeling super irritated with someone who consistently annoys me-co worker, naturally. Someone with both poor judgement, lack of knowledge in some situations, and poor communication skills. Though sees herself as an excellent nurse. This is a perfect storm of problems if you ask me.
We were thinking of going to see The Fighter last night, but couldn't stay up for the 1015 show, so plan on going tonight with our coupons.

Ivy League!

Made it to New Haven okay, not without some drama - at the beginning of my flight, they announced that the runway at Hartford was not clear, and if they hadn't cleared it by the time we got there we would turn around and go back to Toronto. A bunch of faint-hearted businesspeople on the flight wimped out at that point and got off the plane. However, we were delayed by de-icing, and by the time we actually made it to Hartford they had just got the runway clear and we landed fine.

By this time, I had missed my shuttle connection and had to wait two hours for the next one. There was an ice/rain/snowstorm going on, so the ride was slow and poor Helena got stuck out in the weather waiting for me for 45 min. But in the meantime the pushy American guy on the shuttle had convinced the driver, on the basis of the terrible weather, to drop us all at our houses instead of at the central dropoff location. (In true American style, I gave the driver a big tip.) In the end I got ahold of Helena, who met me at her place, and all was well.

Helena has been wonderful. She's insisted on giving me her room and sleeping on the futon, and has been making me innumerable cups of tea. I've spent the last few days dealing with paperwork/visa stuff, frantically searching for a place to live, and trying to get set up in the lab. I looked at four places so far: one totally gross student slum, one tiny but super cheap place, with a housemate that (despite being home) would not come out to meet me, one nice room in a grand mansion, but in a bad area of town, and one place where the housemates made me tea and actually had a conversation with me. So I've put in an application for the last place and we will see what happens. It's not the cheapest, but I've talked them into including at least a bed, and it's a nice area. I hope I find something soon - don't want to impose on Helena too much!

I met some people in the lab (which is huge), and have discussed the project. Everyone seems quite excited about it, so that is good. Going to be a huge amount of work, but looking forward to seeing the data. Also got to see a very good talk by the lead singer of The Amygdaloids, complete with a showing of their latest music video. Neuroscience meets Rock and Roll!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dream job

For at least the last 10 years Geoff has said that he wants Vern's job. Vern picks The Mountaineer up in Red Deer and brings it back to the office, plus delivers the paper to the stores that sell it. Well, today he had his first day doing Vern's job. Vern goes to Mexico every year for a month so Geoff is filling in for him. Yay, a paycheque coming in again.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Snowy roads and everywhere else too

Well, it's not as cold here as in GP but it is dang cold enough. And snowy enough. Went to the city partly to drive Will to the airport, partly to go to a concert and partly to deliver Geoff and Will to install Allison's baseboards. Accomplished all three although not without some difficulty.

On the way to the airport to drop Will we hit a bit of black ice and then hit the ditch. Nobody was hurt, but we were worried about Will getting to his plane on time. Phoned for a taxi, but someone stopped to see if we were all right and took Will and his luggage to the airport. So that was our main worry taken care of. Started phoning for a tow truck; there were either long waits (like 60 calls ahead of us) or they didn't want to rescue us on Hwy 2. Then a man in a truck going the other direction stopped, and right after that another guy with a winch on his truck and between them they got us out. Good Samaritans; must be one more often. The taxi never did show up.

The concert was great; it was John Mann from Spirit of the West, John Wort Hannam, Ron Heath and Karla Anderson. Allison, Grace and Grace's friend Leanna joined us for supper at Jude's then we all went to the concert. Concerts would be another good reason to live in the city.

Geoff and Will got most of Allison's baseboards installed, Mom and Lisa will be glad to hear. Al says she thinks she can do the rest now that she knows how to do it.

Roads home were snowy and not too good in places, but we are here. Geoff hopped right onto the treadmill with his iPad.

I am glad this wintry weather is now instead of at Christmastime.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

cold and cold

It is so cold here, -37 with the wind chill yesterday, it is not making my cold any better. We went to the King's Speech yesterday. What a good movie, there was only about 6 people in the theatre because it was the afternoon show. We both enjoyed it and I cried at the end. Today it is snowing and cold so we went out and shovelled about 4 inches from yesterday. It looks like we will have to go out again in a few hours and shovel, some how it is easier dealing with the cold and snow when I do not have to go out to work. One of the other bonuses is that I have been sleeping in to about 8 everyday, this is an anomoly and I find I am able to stay up later at night too. Life is good, I guess I will have to decide what I am going to do with my life soon, but not today.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wired up

we now have wireless. It was the router from Shaw. We got a new one and all is well! and quick.
I am enjoying my class-it's leadership in nursing. I find it interesting how the default nursing position is to complain. I don't wish to be that way.
The professor is good though, she's not a complainer and is bright and cheery. I like the discussions that we have in class, which I think is what I expected a master's level to be.
we only have 2 papers-1 5 page and 1 10 page, and 2 presentations.
In other news. Not much. Got a lot of snow, and today it is all melting. what a mess. I'd rather have it stay as snow.
Theresa and Geoff-what do you think about meeting in Golden and maybe going to the hot springs at Radium for a day or two? It would be a nice mid winter break.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Happy birthday to the Mamacita!

To the best, strongest, awesomest little Mom I know!

Almost Had Some Company This Weekend

but the weather has stopped them.. Laura and Wilf were supposed to bring Henry back this weekend, but after they got up this morning and the roads were terrible they decided to put Henry on a plane instead. Then Geoff called, said he was bringing the kids back, and wanted to stay the night. Then a call a couple of hours later, to say they decided to wait until tomorrow. because the roads were terrible. As I look outside and see the snow still coming, I am happy to be in my house and not out shoveling the snow.

I have decided to change my work hours again, and have gone back to working 5 days a week. I think it will be OK, and I am glad to be home earlier during the day. I have booked a couple of days off in May to attend Will's convocation in Vancouver, I am really looking forward to it.

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Friday, January 07, 2011

top of my lap

I am typing this from the living room. New Toshiba laptop.
Wireless keeps going in and out though-I spent at least 2 hours on the phone with Shaw about this, and it is still doing it. The tech people were very good, except for one woman who just said, well you must be having interference, nothing we can do.
As luck would have it, I was getting dressed for yoga at the same time and accidentally disconnected the phone on her.
Still having the problem though. So will have to call back again. Any ideas on how to fix this.
Week back at work went fine-busy but good. We are having out post Christmas rush. I have had some difficult conversations that have all worked out pretty well.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

2010 in Theresa and Geoff's world

On the home front, we continued the renovation saga. Installed the rest of the windows, after they had matured for a year in the garage. Geoff got really going on the basement and the year ended on a high note with the living room and kitchen all drywalled. Thank you guests. Speaking of renos Tim got a lot done on his house; it is so close to being finished. I went to Kelowna to help with Mom's new place; in case anyone missed it, I painted all the ceilings plus some walls. In November I took Geoff back with me and we (mostly Geoff) installed all new light fixtures for her, which improved the house even more.

There was an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; who would have thought that would change our lives? BP sold most of its holdings in Alberta including the Ricinus plant and Geoff ended up taking a severence package and early retirement at the end of October. It still hasn't really sunk in that he is done work forever. It's still kind of like an extended vacation. I must say I appreciate coming home to supper and having someone to do all those errands that I had to do at lunch time. Plus it is very nice to have Geoff around lots. We still get along.

We didn't travel as much this year as 2009. That year we went to Ontario, Scotland, Barkerville. This year, apart from Edmonton, Kelowna and houseboating, we just went to Costa Rica with Jude. It was a wonderful relaxing two weeks. Since we had what seemed like 3 weeks of summer here, we were glad we got some warm sunshine, even if we had to travel far to find it. It's always good travelling with Jude. The three of us still get along.
Our houseboating vacation was good although cooler than usual. Jovita came along and fit right in. She got us addicted to a new game, Bananagrams. We met up with the Uncle Fred Robins family for part of the time, they are always fun. And got to see salmon spawning!

We have adapted quite well to not having kids around, but are always glad to see them. Grace was the only one home this summer as Sam worked at an accounting firm for the co-op component of his course. Although Will was here for a month after he was done in Sri Lanka. That was great because we could hear lots about his time there as he slowly debriefed. Tim is around of course. He didn't have the greatest year health-wise, spent a week in the hospital getting his colitis under control and had some stressful days waiting to see if his medical plan would pay for treatment. But in the end they did and he feels much better. We got to see Anne in the summer houseboating and again at Christmas time. It's exciting to think about her spending a few months at Yale.

Spiritually things are fine at church. Geoff is on vestry and we both have various jobs for the Sunday service. Occasionally I sing with the music team. We have our house church group that meets every other week. I worked on a Cursillo weekend this fall. After I agreed to help I began regretting my decision, but am so glad I carried on anyway. It was a wonderful weekend. I recommend Cursillo.

Got to see lots of the sisters. We met at Jude's to make Jim's 50th birthday quilt (still not done, I confess regretfully), plus got to see Dave Alvin. Stayed at Jude's again for Folkfest; what a hostess she is, in the hospital for cancer surgery and still is OK with company. Lisa came for ff and we had a nice visit with Uncle George and Auntie Kay. And went to the city for various other concerts etc. It's nice having our pied a terre there.

Found out through the grapevine about Grace's boyfriend CJ and had to confront her to get her to admit it. Will is seeing Maryann in Vancouver; she came out for a short visit in August and passed inspection quite handily. We also got to inspect Del, Anne's guy from the UK, who passed as well. He was here during the Olympics and it was fun watching hockey with him. If Sam and Tim are seeing anyone it is still a secret from us.

Geoff has really got into reading. It's like he is insatiable. I quite often point out how he used to get annoyed with me always having my nose in a book. To his credit, he appears to regret his former attitude.

And the icing on a good year was Christmas. All the kids home with Jude, Allison, Lisa and Richard, and Mom as well. It was such a good visit and a good time playing games, visiting, eating, laughing. We love our family.

Now on to 2011.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Judith: Year in Review

Here Goes, I had to look at my pictures to see what went on in the year
January - Tired all the time, but looking forward to staying in Edmonton for the whole year, working at home is great. I get to meet Jesse's wife Colleen, when they come for breakfast with Will.

February - Anne and Del visit, I make supper ( probably spaghetti). The Olympics are on, and I find it hard to tear myself away from the TV. Month of the musical Grace and I see the Pirates of Penzance at the Jube and Allison and I see Sweeney Todd at the Citadel and Wilco at the Jube.

March -Grace and I see Hawksley at the Winspear. Sisters weekend, and we all see Dave Alvin (a Bad Boy if ever there was one) and eat perogies at St. Basils. Chicago is at the Jube, and T&G and I go.

April - See a hockey game at Rexall Place, still tired, can't stay up past 9:00 pm.

May - Costa Rica with T&G. Fabulous time, wonderful people, and we saw lots of monkeys, I have my picture taken with Don Juan. Find out why so tired, my thyroid does not work, go on pills.

June - Get news from my Dr. that I have cancer, very scary. Go for a second biopsy to verify which stage I have, everything goes well.
July - Waiting to hear what stage (1) and whenI can have the surgery (August) I feel very relieved it is quick, but still apprehensive.
August - Have surgery, it all goes well, lots of company at the hospital and I think I am a good patient. Miss Folk Fest because in the the hospital. Get better and Dr. says OK to go on house boat. Have great time on Houseboat, and lovely visit with the MH Robins and Stan.

September - get the OK to go back to work, every looks good, and surgeon says I don't have to see her again.

October - Go to Chicago (the city this time) have a wonderful time, see muppets and do some shopping. Too much fun.
November - Visit Mom and the Wensinks in Kelowna. Birddog some lights for Mom.

December - Schmoozy with the Ferrey's and Allison. Catch up with Henry. Christmas in Rocky with Ferrys, Sivaks and Wensinks. After 28 years of celebrating Christmas with Will, not sure when the next one will be.

Allison: Year in Review

I'm copying Lisa because I liked her post so much. I had to look at both my work calendar and my Facebook statuses in order to assemble this.

January: I start my second term of two classes plus work. I don't do much work. Did discover the Wikipedia category: Clowns who have committed suicide.
February: Played dodgeball for the UA Libraries Team!
March: Just worked. And accidentally brought a bottle of beer to work in my handbag.
April: New Orleans! Kirsten immortalizes me singing and dancing poorly on video with a group of patient acappellans.
May: Went to San Francisco with my friend Brian! Lots of walking, taking photos, and eating spicy food. Also much time spent in the Castro bars. And I saw several bands, on my own! Brave.
June: Birthday month! My birthday coincides with the Canadian Library Association conference in Edmonton; at several sessions where friends are presenting, they wish me happy birthday! 15 minutes of fame. N2 goes missing.
July: Visit to Kelowna and helping with Mom's house. Lisa feels I do not work hard enough. I work passively on my garden plot at friends Liz & Jim's house.
August: Folk Fest (awesome) and houseboat (also awesome...but I wish there'd been more sun). Also, I finally finish my directed study for my class that started in January. Sigh.
September: down to one class per term; this class is a directed study. I do not have much to harvest from garden. I start bi-weekly subscription to organic vegetable delivery. I also fully step down from the L53 Board. End of an era.
October: CHICAGO and BALTIMORE! Nice hotels and conferences and fun with Judith. N2 comes home!
November: work work work. Feel inadequate. Work.
December: Schmoozy fun with family and Kirsten. I actually get my final assignment in for school on time, and am okay with the fact that I didn't deliver everything I said I'd deliver. Good learning experience re: perfectionism. Wonderful xmas with Ferreys and Sivaks and Wensinks.