Tuesday, March 29, 2011

And home

Trip home was uneventful. The sky shuttle was late picking me up and said when I called that I had canceled, which I had not, so once I assertively said no and that I would not be charged $20, I was on my way.
Enjoyed trip very much. Spanish people knew what they were doing when designing houses in warm places with courtyards. The way to live, eating outside surrounded by plants.
I ate an oyster coating while in New Orleans, which is as close as I'll get to eating oysters. I did have crayfish etoufee, which is seafoody as I'll get.
Read a whole book on way back home. 9 Lives, about people in New Orleans. Highly recommend it. But still had time on my hands, and thought, dang, shouldn't have forgotten laptop, then could work on essay. But is just as well that I did not, because having time off is important.
Achieving balance is important in life.
Richard is at Jones right now, doing spring clean up. Ug. Will have to be tackled once I am done my essay. That and taxes, and application for masters program. I am going to try and upload some pictures, the last time I did them on here, they took forever, so let's see where we get.
OK, 5 minutes and still not uploaded. go to my picasa site

and look at them there.

Jackson Browne - The Load Out / Stay - Live 1978

Theresa and I went to see Jackson Browne last night at the Jube. What a fabulous concert, he did some old stuff and new stuff. He had about 2o guitars on stage, just in case he wanted to play one of them. He is one performer that I have always wanted to see, ever since Running on Empty (the LP) came out.

Laura was in town, to visit Wilf's Dad, and see the outsource people, so the three of us had supper together and got in a little visit before T and I had to leave for the concert. Very good to see her again.

Back in the swing of work, after my little vacation to NYC. Not too much new there except, I keep hearing about different people retiring, which makes me want to do the same.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Clover Grill

Yesterday we did a little shopping and then went for brunch at the Coffee Pot. It took us forever to get a table, we are finally sitting (after waiting at front of line, saw table that could seat us all, decided to go in and sit), and the server breaks into song for the next table-someone getting married. The we wait and wait, other servers come by, ask if we've been helped, then say, OK we'll let her know. After a couple of these interactions, a server says to us, 'ok she's coming, but (looks furtive), don't say anything.' OK, we say, slightly puzzled. Our crabby looking server (the only crabby looking one) takes our order, which was good food, gets one item wrong, then when Sue tentaively asks about her mimosa, she says, 'oh no, you didn't order that' At the end of our mealshe comes to our table, opens the bill and says 'you owe, 130, are you doen talking about me?' We all look confused, 'no, we weren't talking about you?' 'oh yes, you were, to the other waitresses' Small dialogue back and forth, with us protesting our innocence, finally after snapping the bill holder shut a few times, she says, 'ok, I believe you' And smiles. She was some crabby. If Richard had been there, he would have been quite willing to put her in her place. I would not have tipped, except it was part of the bill. We think the entire restaurant was in fear of her, including waitstaff, and we didn't get seated because others were afraid to put anyone at her table.
All our other interactions with people have been very cheerful though. People are very friendly here. People sit or stand at the side of the walk, and nod and say, 'how's it goin ladies?' 'How ya'll doin?' 'Hey sweetheart, how's things?'
We went to the museum yesterday, it was history of New Orleans from American Indian until just after Civil War. Then we sat on the steps, in the main square, watching people. Went for a drink at Napolean House. Came to hotel for a nap, zzzzz, sticky and hot here-28+.
We went to a bar and watched John Boute. There was a couple guys outside, with typewriters, and Kirsten and Heidi and Sue, got them to do a poem for each of them. Poems while you wait.
We went to The Clover Grill for supper. Greasy hamburgers and malts. Delicious.
We are going to St Louis Cemetary Number One. Then for brunch, and to see another museum. And probably a little shopping.
Food here is really good, but not too many vegetables. I ordered a bruchetta when we went for a drink, thinking, ok lots of tomatoes. It came as cheese loaded, with a bit of sliced tomato. I am hoping that by taking my fish oil caps everyday, I am somehow counteracting the amount of fried things I am eating.
I do like southern accents.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Alligators and snakes

We went on a swamp tour and saw 4 alligators! They were from 5-7 feet long. Which would seem to make them scary, but I was enchanted!!
We also saw effects of Hurricane Katrina, which was sobering. Our driver out out to the swamp lived in Irish Bay, and he showed us some effects as we drove out there. There used to be 3 hospitals in this one area, now there is none. 1 grocery store in an area that had 130, 000 people. And after Katrina, all this people just left the area, their homes are vacant, just left there empty, not torn down or anything as they had no insurance to cover demolition.
It makes me wonder what would happen if there was a disaster like this in Canada, what would that look like? Would there be government intervention beyond a trailer?
I also looked into mental health care in the area, which according to reports is extremely poor. The services have not been restored from pre hurricane.
On a more cheerful note, we also saw several snakes, many flowers, and beautiful birds on our swamp tour.
The temperature has been 27 degrees.
Bourbon street is quite something. As Louise from my work says, debauchery. But of a cheerful type. I think they hose down the street in the morning to clean it up.
Lots of street performers. And we saw a parade in support of the Japanese tsunami. Super cute, they were school kids, playing the tuba etc.
It is a fantastic city!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Back from Kelowna

Just got back from a wonderful visit in Kelowna. Very restful. thank you Mom, Lisa and Richard for their hospitality. It was great to see everyone again. Glad Lisa found you Allison and that you found your wallet. that is a horrible feeling and wound not have been a good start to your wonderful visit. Here are some pictures from my visit, note the lack of snow not something I came back too. White stuff piled high here, sigh.

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work we go

Geoff's retirement has been interrupted this week. He is working at Delta, got a call Monday night that they needed him. He was planning to work on a turnaround that starts next week so wasn't prepared for this. Very sadly, he shaved. Delta is where Tim works, a little strange to be working at the same place. Geoff is trying to impress on them that he doesn't want a full-time job.
Went into Red Deer Tuesday night to have supper with Heather and Auntie Barb, who was in town. Barb just got back from a holiday in Hawaii, where they had to be evacuated from their condo because of the Japan tsunami. She always seems to land in the middle of excitement. It was a great visit, I don't know why we always wait for visitors before we see Heather.


Lisa and I both made it!

We are in our hotel -- terrace view of the courtyard, pool, and palm trees.

She got here yesterday after an overnight flight, and it took her two hours to check in....mixup on the reservation (sigh). But instead of giving in to sleep-deprived despair, she went to Cafe du Monde, had strong coffee and beignets, and watched people go by. After she got in, she waited for me to arrive at 4....except that my flight arrived at 7 instead. So she waited and waited and then went to eat something while she worried that I was dead in a ditch. She said, "I thought maybe Mom and Richard knew you didn't make it but they weren't telling me because I was alone."

But then I arrived! Only to find that I'd lost my wallet somewhere along the way. So phoned the sky shuttle, and the dispatcher was super nice -- she phoned my driver, Mr. Al. Mr. Al did indeed find my wallet. He went out of his way to bring it back to the hotel at 10pm. He said, "Be more careful next time." I gave him $20 and almost cried.

Then Lisa and I went out for beans, rice, and beer in a 1700s building. All is well.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Human Papilloma Virus

You can sing, 'human papilloma virus' to this songs chorus.

It's confirmed, the piece on my tongue was a papilloma and nothing else, so no issue. The dentist said we will just keep an eye on it as they are associated with increased risk of cancer, so he'll just monitor.
Leave for New Orleans Tuesday! Alligators, old houses, music, pastries!
Laura is here visiting and the weather has cooperated for it-sunny today. Richard, Mom, and her have gone to the Greenery to buy pansies, and primulas while I work on my essay on conflict, communication, and chaos leadership theory.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I heart New York

OK, we're home now and I will post and put up a couple of pictures while I am still enthusiastic. As I was saying, yesterday we went to the lower east side to the tenement museum. On the subway! The museum was amazing. How it works is that the organization bought an old condemned tenement that had been abandoned for 60 years and restored some of it. So you choose which of various guided tours you want to take. We only had time for one but it was so good. Then Geoff, Anne and I walked to Battery Park to take the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Jude left us and walked around Greenwich Village. I'm glad we walked because we went through Chinatown and Little Italy plus past the courthouse (and saw the steps that lawyers are always walking up on TV shows). We made the last ferry to the statue then took a bus back to the hotel where Helena was waiting for us. Out for supper, then Helena went to the airport and Anne to the train station to go home. We were up very early today, Jude had arranged for a limo to the airport which turned out to be a stretch limo. With champagne glasses in the back and all. So two firsts on this trip - a driver waiting for us in Hartford with our name on a card, and a stretch limo.
Geoff is not as taken with NY as I am but still says he would like to see more. Oh yes, we went to see Jersey Boys (great) and a play called Good People with Frances MacDormand (also great).
But it is nice to be home and to have a day before work starts again.
Pictures: Top, Times Square: middle, Badgers walking; bottom, obvious.
In the airport in Toronto waiting for next flight. And planning our next visit to NY. We have barely scratched the surface of what we want to see. We have been doing a lot of walking but yesterday was the most. Took the subway to the lower east side. To be continued,flight is being called.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Paddy's!

We are having fun in NYC. I went to see part of the St. Patrick's Day parade today, but everyone else went shoe shopping. Figures. It seemed to mostly consist of soldiers and marching bands again, so pretty much the same as the New Haven one, I guess. Also got to see the Brain exhibit at the Natural History Museum, which was so much fun! Mom and dad went through it twice. They had a good bit about the anterior cingulate - my favorite brain region! Like seeing an old friend :)

Now everyone else has gone to a show and I have hunkered down to get some work done. We will see how that goes.

Anyway, happy St Patrick's. Here is a very Irish video (warning: also includes very Irish bad language!)

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

So far, all good. Our hotel is really really good. An excellent location and we each have a suite with living room and br for an unbelievable price. Thank you, Expedia.
It is wonderful to see Anne again. We met her boss Helena, who is actually younger than Anne with her Phd already.'s Anne has known Helena since Bangor, so she is a familiar face in New Haven. Helena is lovely. She is going back to the UK for a couple of weeks so will meet us on Friday for supper before she gets her plane.
We enjoyed New Haven. Anne showed us her lab and told us about her interesting work. The St Patrick's Day parade was different than the usual parades we see (mainly the rodeo parade). No horses. No floats. Mainly band after band - a bagpipe band, then a fife and drum one, then maybe the firemen then a high school one. Between bands there might be a group walking, like the Irish Society or something. But it went on and on, many many bands.
After an hour and a half train ride, walked in Central Park last night and went to a good restaurant that Anne knew of. Today will be the Met Museum and a show tonight. And perhaps a shoe store or two. It's good to have Badgers together again, wish you were all here. We have made Helena an honouray Badger.

The Badgers in New York

We had a good trip to Hartford, and our Limo was waiting for us as we went looking for our luggage. Just like in the movies, he was standing there with a sign that said "Ferrey". The hotel in New haven was great, I was the highest, as I slept in the loft, there was another bedroom, for T&G, and a kitchen, living room and two bathrooms. The first night we ordered in pizza, all too tired to face going out. Sunday we had some breakfast, picked up the car, and spend half an hour trying to find Anne's, which should have been a 7 minute trip. Google maps are good, but there was a detour and so that made us go around in circles. But we eventually found Anne, and had a tour of her new place. After visiting a bit, we walked downtown and saw the St Patricks day parade. As Anne says the americans seem to think Ireland and Scotland are the same country, lots of scottish pipe bands.

After the parade we walked around, found a bookstore and shopped. Then after coffee, we found Anne's friends Helena and Rebecca. Rebecca had to leave but Helena joined us for the rest of day and for supper. We went out for a yummy Indian meal. On Monday we drove to Mystic a seaport town, does anyone remember Mystic pizza (the movie)? Then yesterday hopped on the train to come to New York. Anne was able to come with us, which is great and we are planning on going to the Met today. Yesterday we walked around Central Park, our hotel is only a block from there, and ate at a great Mexican food place that Anne pointed us to.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mom's hutch and Jim

Jim is here on a visit right now and we are enjoying seeing him.

Went shopping yesterday-Mom bought new dishes for her hutch-which you will note looks very good.

We bought a new camera-so was able to take a photo of the hutch and Jim.

I am waiting for New Orleans. Winter has seemed long. I take my next course all in May, over 3 weeks-6 full days. It is on the history etc of nursing which I like and will find interesting. I have to say I am a little tired of people in the class saying how excellent nurses are, etc etc. Really, sure we have a challenging job at times-but quite frankly we get paid a lot of money and I have seen lots of uncaring nurses. And others working in healthcare don't see us as all that and a bag of chips, so perhaps we should stop congratulating ourselves so much, stop blaming others for what's wrong in healthcare, and instead enjoy what we're doing and work towards making it better in a positive fashion.

Hmm, apparently I am the skeptic in the class.

Big News All Around

Well, it's been a big week. I found out this week that I will ordained on May 8, in Victoria. For those keeping track, this the day before I graduate. Bishop James decided to schedule the ordination for the same weekend as Convocation, so that my family wouldn't have to travel out twice. So, in addition to all of you being invited to Convocation in Vancouver May 9, you are also invited to my ordination on May 8, at St. George the Martyr, in Victoria! Anglicans are ordained twice, once to the diaconate, and then again in six months or a year to the priesthood. So if you can't make this one, you have a second chance!

The other big news is that I've been offered a job! The job is as an assistant curate at St. Luke's, Victoria. An assistant curate is a training role - a little like an intern. We typically spend two years in a curacy, learning all the bits and pieces that we don't learn in school (all the practical stuff. I'm super excieted about this - I was not expecting to be placed in Victoria, or to know where I would be going so quickly. I think I'll start July 1.

The final piece of good news, and nothing to do with me, is that Jesse and Colleen had their baby! Madison Shirley Robertson was born yesterday afternoon at 2:45 in Edmonton. She and mom are healthy and doing well.

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hooray, hooray,we're on our way can't figure how to use this iPad

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Papa's Got A Brand New Bag (Live) - James Brown

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Dr Pag has a New Hip

I went to Dr. Pag today and he had a hip replacement six weeks ago. He seems to be getting around OK, he blames the hip replacement on playing sports. It just confirms my theory, that sports are bad for your health.

There really is not anything new with me, I did not go to jail, did not win any coffee mugs, did not go to Golden, just looking forward to a little break from work next week, with the visit to Anne, and New York.

I have really been feeling kind of blah the last little while, I go and see my Dr when I get back, I think it is my thyroid acting up again, and think I need a boost in my medication. Grace and Leeanna were over for supper on Sunday night, so I asked Leeanna what she thought should I increase my dose (she is going to school to be a pharmacy tech) but she thought I should not, so I will just wait and see what Dr Evans says.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Everyone's Favourite Sign!

Rocky is on the Ellen Degeneres website!!


Sunday, March 06, 2011

Runner up

On the CBC morning show last week, they asked what people are going to do to save money. Wilf sent in a comment, we got a phone call on Friday that he was a runner up. They created a new category for his answer and two CBC coffee mugs are coming our way. The lady on the phone said they laugh at his answer. Something to do with we were not letting our son move back home, teenagers are so expensive. I guess we don't win the supermax, just coffee mugs.

Off to jail

Friday afternoon, my friend Tanya & I went to the Edmonton Institution. She knows one of the program officers, and they had heard about the project that librarians do at the women's prison, where they audiorecord inmates reading storybooks to their kids / grandkids. Then the book and recording are packaged up & sent off to the kids. A few EI inmates had heard about this and requested to have this kind of program. So we are going to do it!

It was a really interesting tour -- way more 'jail' looking than the women's institution. Like TV jail. They gave us all kinds of information about the setup, the programs, they showed us the library, we met some of the teachers... we are going to start in April. I think it'll be super interesting.

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Saturday, March 05, 2011

It was nice to get away to Golden last weekend. Even we don't have anything to get away from. The Alpine Meadows Lodge was very nice. It is out of Golden and though you drive up, up this back road that has only one house on it, once you are at the lodge you are looking down over Golden. We were the only people staying there; Irv and Maria were our hosts. They were very friendly but as I said to Geoff, we really weren't there to visit them. The only thing was the lodge was cold outside the bedrooms, so couldn't sit in the common area to read or anything without a sweater. Not that we were
there that much. Went to Radium on Saturday and spent a couple of hours in the hot springs which felt so good although a bit strange to be in warm water with snow all around. It was great to see Lisa and Richard, they are always good to visit with. Got home Sunday to hear that it had been snowing here all weekend and some people were worried about us driving. But it was all good. Geoff was happy because with all the entering and leaving national parks, we never had to pay the fee.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


I've finally heard the official word about tickets for grad. It's excellent news - a small class and large venue means no tickets. Everyone who wants to watch me graduate is very welcome to come! It'll be first come first served seating on May 9 at Christ Church Cathedral. The guest speaker is Catherine Keller. Should be an awesome weekend!

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