Sunday, December 30, 2012


WE did some house cleaning today after church.
Now we are going to go to pub with Mom for lunch, I will make  acake for tomorrow's supper, and toHobbit tonight.
Jim left Boxing Day-we were sad to see him go. Allison leaves New Year's Day at 0700.
We have had snow off and on, but not that much, so roads are ok in valley, but things look pretty.
I had to work this past week, but am hoping I don't get called in for tomorrow-I told Louise to call me if things looked grim tomorrow, so we will see. Work was pretty nice this week though, everyone was cheerful-it didn't seem very much like work, plus I only worked 0830-1500, as I got called in. Short day!
We went swimming Boxing Day, it was nice to float around. The new pool is quite something-surf thingy, wave pool, water slides, and best of all, 1 child hot tub and 1 adult only.
We are enjoying our holiday season.

Christmas List

Mom has Richard
Theresa has Mom
Geoff has Jude
Jude has Lisa
Laura has Theresa
Jim has Allison
Sandi has Grace
Lisa has Laura
Richard has Geoff
Allison has Anne
Anne has Sandi
Will has Jim
Grace has Will

Here is my disclaimer, I had assistance from Dallyn who drew the names, so if you don't like your draw, it is his fault not mine!!  I was also not sure if anyone else wanted to join the draw, so if there is anyone out there let me know and we can do a redraw.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Back Home

After another great Rocky Christmas, I am back home again.  Sam and I left yesterday morning after a quick stop at Tim and Courtney's and the Mountaineer to say goodbye to the people who not at T&G's when we left.

It seemed like a houseful, of people at 5024, but everyone had their own space.  Grace and I were the first ones up on Christmas, a bit different from other years when Anne was usually with us, but she slept in. We opened our stockings and then Grace passed the time by reading her Archie comic before she could get everyone up at the agreed upon 8:15. After the chaos of gift opening, Geoff and Sam made breakfast, everyone showered and waited for the next round of gift opening.  Tim had gone to Clive to spend Christmas Eve and morning with the Lubbers, but came back to Rocky because he had to "work" on Boxing Day.  He came over with his gifts to everyone and we followed the new tradition set last year, when Grace had to work on Christmas, while he opened his gift from someone, that same person opened Tim and Courtney's gift to them.  Then everyone settled down with some chili cheese dip and some played games, others read or just visited or napped.  Very fun.

On Boxing Day, we had leftovers for lunch (and Breakfast for some) I had a nap, and I woke up to the sounds of a commotion so I got up, and who was in the entrance but Will!!  Tim's "work project" was picking up Will at the airport. That really made Christmas complete to have the whole family together on Boxing Day. 

One of the other good things about this Christmas was having more family with Del, Courtney and Kane.  It is fun to watch Del's reaction to some of the things that we think is normal and he has never heard of, for example cabbage rolls as a part of the traditional Christmas meal.  And there was enough time to get good visits in with the family that I don't see as often as others.  I really like that Tim, Courtney and Kane live so close and can pop over.

On December 27, more company, first was Dallyn, coming for a visit before he and Grace left on the 28th for skiing around Banff for a few days.  Then the Mishra's Anne's friends who helped her move from Guelph to New Haven, who now live in Regina, and were in Calgary visiting family.  More hilarity ensued.

I don't have to work for a bit, so will enjoy being home and the warming up of the weather.


It's funny how having the people who used to live here all the time back for a visit makes the house feel so full. Hard to believe we had that many people living here at one time. I guess they used to take up less space. Our company kept gradually arriving, than suddenly yesterday they almost all left.

It has been a great holiday. The kids went out on Saturday to get the tree (we left it till they arrived so Del could take part). Geoff and others went into Red Deer Sunday to pick Jude up. Tim and Courtney went to Clive on Christmas Eve but Tim came back Christmas afternoon and had dinner with us. He came back because he had to "work" Boxing Day. His "job" was to pick Will up at the airport, we later found out. What a great surprise that was! So we had a day all together (except for me at work) along with Dallyn and Sandeep and Christine, who drove up from Calgary and stayed overnight.

Then yesterday Grace and Dallyn left for a few days in Banff and Anne and Del went to Calgary with the Mishras. We've still got Will though until next week. I think a few people will be back for a few days after New Year's.

Christmas Day was good. It really is fun seeing what we give each other. I made out very well, especially with this new iPad.

Del was under the weather a bit, then Anne and Geoff but it seems there is always someone sick during the holidays.

Anne has been researching wedding venues. It looks like it will take place in the UK. They are thinking of maybe renting a manor house for a weekend, then lots of guests can stay right there. There is a Ferrey ancestor, Benjamin Ferrey, who was a noted architect, and Anne found a place he designed that is available for rent, I voted for it, but realize it is not my decision. No date has been set. But Anne has a very nice ring.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Boxing Day

Just a few pics from yesterday.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Well, it was a busy and merry Christmas in Victoria.  This month has been crazy with getting ready, and leaflets and sermons and so on.  Christmas Eve we had four services, so I was planning on relaxing all day.  Then  I got a call that there was a man dying in the hospital, and would I come pray?  He's not a parishioner, but that doesn't really matter when someone's in hospice.  That interlude aside, the day was a good one.  The evening services went off with an acceptable amount of hitches.  We have candles in the window sills, protected by glass chimneys.  We took off the chimneys, lit the candles, and replaced the chimneys.  However, at 7 one didn't get put back on straight, and shattered just before the service from the heat.  Luckily no one was hurt!

Dennis and I were trying to find supper before the 7 (and after the 4).  It was about five past five, and three restaurants that we went to closed their doors pretty much in our faces.  We were forced to reduce our standards and go to McDonalds.  It was surprisingly busy - the old men who always seem to be there were still there, so I guess they don't let things like holidays interrupt their schedules.

Today I got up at the traditional Christmas time (7 am) and opened presents.  I have to say, Christmas on my own wasn't totally fun, but it's nice to be able to reasonably indulge in the Tradition of Christmas without a lot of back talk from lieabeds.  Then we had the morning service (successfully) and I took communion to a fellow who wasn't able to get to church.  Tonight was supper at another parishioner's house.  The supper was wonderful, including a real Christmas putting with custard!  Then after supper, the several musicians began to play.  There were three harps, an incredible guitarist, and a flute. 

I'm glad the rush of Christmas is over, and I'm looking forward to a few days off!

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Busy Week

I got home on Saturday around midnight, the flights home were uneventful, but it was a long day.  Sunday was a pajama day, which I really enjoyed.  I worked on Monday, Business was steady but not crazy.  Tuesday I had a bit of shopping to finish, which did not take too long, then a little clean up around the house.  Wednesday morning I had my friend Norine, her two daughters Natalie and Nikki and her grandson Emmett over for a visit.  Emmett is 7.5 months old and really does not look like a baby, he really has a little boy face.  I have not seen the girls for a very long time so it was wonderful to catch up with them.  Natalie is on Mat leave, and really loving it, Nikki is taking the accelerated nursing course at the U of A, which she also loves.  Norine is having Christmas at her house this year, so she is very busy getting ready.  It is hard to believe that I have known Norine for over 37 years, I met her when I started at AGT.  On Wednesday night, Vicky and I met for supper at Doans, generally I have the vermicelli but I decided to lash out and had something completely different, when it came I was not sure what to do, so I had to ask the server.  The dish was chicken and vegetables and noodles that you were to wrap in a rice tortilla kind of thing.  It also came with a big bowl of hot water, I was  not sure if you put the vegetables in the water or what, it turns out the rice tortilla thing went in the water to soften them up so they would bend around the chicken and stuff.  It was very tasty.  After supper we went out to see the musical Oliver! (exclamation was not mine, but how the title appears).  Each Christmas the little theater group in Sherwood Park puts on a musical, it was really good, and we both came out singing Food Glorious Food.  On Thursday I had a lazy morning, then met up with Grace, Anne and Del downtown, had a coffee, then more Christmas shopping.  It was fun to shop with them and visit.  Thursday night, I went over to the store and we exchanged some small gifts, then over to Normands (a french restaurant) for supper.  I really enjoy the ladies I work with so it was a lot of fun. After I came home from supper, I wrapped gifts.  I worked on Friday, and on Saturday more wrapping then Nancy and Allison came over for coffee and a visit in the morning.  I gave Allison my gifts for Kelowna and she gave me some gifts for Rocky.  I did some more wrapping.  Today I am off to Rocky, taking the bus to Red Deer, where someone will pick me up and take me to the Ferrey's house.  Everything is wrapped so all I have to do is relax once I get there, hurray!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

We also got flowers yesterday and today.  thanks everyone.  they are beautiful and make the house smell sweet.  We had a change of plans and will be going to Edmonton to spend Christmas with Henry and Ally and her family.  We have booked a room at the Coast Edmonton House.  Hope everyone travels safely and has a great holiday.  I will call on the 26th to talk to all.  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Came home today at lunch time to three flower arrangements. Thank you, flower givers. So tired. Work has been so busy with getting out two editions this week plus rearranging the office due to renovations. However I am now off until Dec.27. Most of our holiday visitors arrive tomorrow. Looking forward to having almost everyone together for a few days. Wish Will was not so far away. Went out to our last Christmas party last night and stopped over at Tim's for a minute on the way, Kane came running to the door and laughed when he saw us. I hope he was laughing for joy at seeing us and not because we look weird. Although Geoff is looking a lot like Santa these days. Talked to Grace yesterday, she said thay she and Dallyn were going out for supper with Anne and Del. Wonder how the two gingers got along.

Monday, December 17, 2012

and home

Jude and I went to Disney World on Friday-Hollywood Land.
We went on Tower of Terror, other assorted rides, which were good. Tower of terror was the best.
There is a Muppet thing there, which is also excellent and enjoyable.
I did like Disney, but one day was ample.
How do people vacation there all the time? Kris has been there at least 3 times with all her kids.
I would likely end up yelling at any kid I went with. We went at a quiet time of year and it was crowded.
Sitting in the hotel breakfast area was excellent people watching.
I think Universal Studios is better than Disney World though. Universal does not feel as scripted-the people working there are not as intensely, 'Hi, I am smiling at you, even though as a man your hair is slightly too long. I was reading about Disney employment practices, and also found out that up until the 70's, you could not come into the theme park if as a man, your hair was deemed too long.
I wanted to wear my t shirt that said 'serotonin and dopamine, technically the only 2 things that make you happy'. But I likely would not have been allowed in with it.
Saturday, Jude left. I went to outlet mall-ack. I kept thinking, 'can these people seriously afford these things?' I was in the Coach store, and saw a woman buying 4 Coach handbags. Really?
I think to understand the true meaning of consumerism, Orlando is where to go.
After that, I went and sat beside the pool at the hotel. Weather was lovely and pool was warm.
Trip home was long but uneventful. Had a 4 hour layover in Seattle airport-which is really a very nice airport. I really much more Pacific northwest American than Florida American

Interesting comparisons between the 2 airports:
Orlando-no recycling                                     Seattle-recycling, as well as food compost in food court
Orlando-contemporary pop Christmas music   Seattle-Charlie Brown type Christmas music
Orlando-Merry Christmas signs                      Seattle-Happy Holidays, along with a Happy Kwanzaa
Orlando-people wearing bright colours and shorts      Seattle-people wearing black and waterproof

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Tim (a little Late)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Butterbeer, Harry, Dr. Seuss, Blue Man Group

A very full day. It was a bit cooler yesterday, around 16, but when you looked at what people were wearing you might have thought it was -16, lots of hats, scarves and even down vests.

After breakfast we took our knitting out to the pool area, not surprisingly we were the only people there. The hot tub felt good, and so did the pool which was also heated. Then we were off to Harry Potter (and Universal studios). We had been told that there could be up to a two hour wait for the ride, but the park was not that crowded and I think we only waited about 10minutes. Hog warts was so cool and the ride was great, we flew with Harry. The lady at the tour desk at the hotel advised us to wait until after the ride until we had some butterbeer, just in case the ride made us queasy. So we had a bite in the pub. The butterbeer was vey tasty. After lunch we went to see the wand store which was fun.

Once HP was done, we explored the rest of the park, went on the Jurrasic Park ride, Spider-Man ride, through Dr.Suess and more rides there. A ton of fun. A little supper and saw the Blue Man Group show, which was really good. A great day in Orlando.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Health care+ disney

We just got back from downtown disney. Wow. We are now tired. There is Disney everything.
We will go to Harry potter world thursday. I am super pleased about that.
Hotel is nice. It is a suite, so when either Jude or I are awake in the middle of the night due to jet lag, we can go out to couch and read. They have bath and beyond products, which I take everyday, as it is nice for patients on the unit to have quality hair and bathing products.
Conference is quite good, the business of healthcare is quite prominent here. I plan to go to the hall with sales products tomorrow and take all the pens I can carry.
The best workshop so far has been the British presenters on being an organizational radical. The woman was all about social justice and access to health care. She had some quite good ideas on how to help convince people using stories.
The one that has been the least interesting was on addressing racial disparities, in which the presenters talked about data collection on racial and ethnic indicators. I am pretty sure we all, know that racial minorities don't have the same access by this point in the game. We need to know how to deal with it!
Weather has been lovely. About 27, and when it rains, it does not cool off at all.
This is also a very driving place. There are no sidewalks anywhere.
People are very friendly and polite.
My theory at the conference is that the people who are dressed in full business attire are from the east coast or south. West coast seems to have a more casual feel.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Should we buy these in bulk?

It's time to get serious.

Baba. Baba. Baba.

Tim, Courtney and Kane were over the other day. Kane saw the iPad and started saying "puppy" because he likes to look at puppy pictures on it. There is a picture of me on the desktop; he looked at it and said, "Baba. Baba." I was so happy! He still doesn't say Tim or Grandpa. Tim says just because he says your name doesn't mean he loves you more than the others, I'm sure he's right.

I have been getting ready for Christmas, admitedly more thinking about it than actual activity. Except for shopping, that is almost done. We went to the city last weekend and had such a good time. Just did some shopping at a slow pace, then went for a nice dinner on Saturday. Jude had Allison over on Sunday for lunch (she had invited Grace and Sam but they didn't come), then we went to the Vinyl Cafe Christmas show.  It was great. I know if you try to describe it to people it sounds kind of hokey. He tells stories about these ordinary people and there are some musical numbers. Wow. Sounds great. But it is all so genuine. It was snowing and blowing on the way home but we still made pretty good time.

Forget if I have mentioned this, but we are going through a huge renovation at work. The 70s wallboard is gone, as is the orange carpet. The front part of the office where I work is the last section to be done and it is getting close to the end. It's going to be so fresh and  clean.                                                                    

Geoff is all done work now, his company has shut down. He might look around for something after the holidays but he is enjoying being at home for now. If he does decide to go to work he must remember not to mention that the last two companies he worked for don't exist any more.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Home Again

I am back in Victoria after a quick but wonderful trip to Ottawa.  My friend from school, Patrick, was being ordained, so I went along for the service.  I left here early on Tuesday, and just got back tonight, so it was pretty compact, but well worth going.  The ordination was on Thursday night, and was almost as wonderful as mine!  Other than the ordination, it was good to see Patrick and Mallory, and Esther.  Esther is three now, and brighter and more exuberant than ever.  Also, more exhausting.  She had tons of questions about everything.  Happily, Patrick and Mallory don't have much in the way of technology, so she was completely fascinated by the ipad and my Blackberry.  She was learning to spell out a few words on the blackberry, but most just like typing nonsense.

When Patrick and Mallory came to visit me last Christmas, we went to tea at the Empress. This time around, we did tea at the Chateau Laurier. I thought the food was better at the Empress, but everyone got to choose their own blend of tea at the Chateau.

Patches seems to have coped well with my absence.  A friend came in to feed her every day, so she wasn't totally neglected.  She does seem now that I'm home to be simultaneously ignoring me and keeping me in sight. 

The flight home today was long - I chose it based on when it left (2:00, Ottawa time), which was nice, because I got to go with Patrick and Mallory and watch Esther's swimming lesson.  However, it meant a nine hour day in the air, which was a bit much.  We stopped in Winnipeg, Edmonton  (where I changed planes) and Kelowna.  Got here a little after eight.  Tomorrow's Sunday, so back to it, and since it's the first Sunday in Advent, we're having a special Advent Carol Service in the evening!

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