Monday, September 30, 2013

Road Trips in Alberta

Home again after spending time in Medicine Hat and Rocky.  I picked up the car on Sunday morning, a little Fiat 500, very cute and good on gas.  As I was approaching Red Deer, I thought hey I could just swing by Rocky, have lunch with Theresa and Geoff, and then pop by and say hi to Tim, Court and the boys, so that is what I did.  Everyone was pretty surprised to see me, and it was a nice little break in the drive.  After some of Geoff's famous waffles, and a quick hello to Tim and Court, back on the road.  I got to the Hat around 6:30 just in time for supper with all the family.  Annalise and Evangeline have really grown, and are becoming more and more different from each other , so much fun to see the changes.  I went with Ramona to the Library for the story time, though there were no stories but lots of action songs.  I helped a bit with the big cook at Ramona's with Rhonda and Leila.  Spent the first while playing, I mean watching the girls and then when Ramona took them up to feed them and for their nap, I pitched in with the cooking and dishes.  The house smelled so good, all those different flavours.  Christine took a couple of days off while I was there and we had some good visits.  Mostly we hung around Ramona's, the weather started to get a little colder.  I came back to Edmonton on Thursday, worked on Friday and to Rocky on Saturday.  Geoff made some borscht for lunch, and Kane and Grady were visiting so lots going on there.  Court was in Clive and Tim at work so we had the boys all to ourselves.  Tim came over after work and we all had supper together and then watched Geoff and Kane race around the house.  Sunday Court came over to visit with the boys, Tim came after work they stayed for supper.  Lots of time spent with family in the last week, very satisfying.  And some pics from the visits.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


I finally made it here. I had called about the connection in LA, as 1 hour did not seem enough time to catch my plane. Despite United's assurances that an hour was enough, no it is not. I ran through everything (and just so you know, it is a big airport, with many slow people in it) and got to the gate 2 minutes before the plan was leaving, which was not enough. I have done my exercise for the day. FYI, I have been keeping up on exercise-please feel free to keep me accountable, as I mentioned earlier.

However, I got booked onto next flight which was only an hour later. Well, supposed to be an hour later, ended up being 45 minutes late.

I slept on plane and was beside quiet young guys through, so all went well. Trip from Kelowna to LA was beside an entrepreneur, who used to manage Safeway, but now does stuff with those bar code scanner thingies you use with phones.

There are many different jobs out there.

We talked for a while, then I did some reading, he did some work, when he finished his work, I could tell he wanted to chat more-he tried initiating conversation a couple times. I would have none of it. Entrepreneur=extrovert, nurse=introvert.

I found out that I can't do doctorate-my thesis chair went all the way up and down to make it work, but university said that since I was in 3rd year and cut off is 2 years-no dice. I am quite fine with it, I knew that it could go either way, and that things work out the way they are supposed to. I now have a bunch of reading to do for this course, but it all looks interesting-qualitative research, feminist research methods, and post-modernism stuff-all things I like reading about.

Work had been busy before I left, and I was busy too.

Laura and Wilf were in town for a little visit before they went on their way to the island. It was nice to see them, though I felt like I didn't get to see them enough as I had to do stuff after work, and then was tired and needed to go home and go to bed. I know Laura understands this though-being tired at 830 for her life. Now I am too! Once again I ask, why do nurses need to start at 0700?

I am looking forward to seeing Chicago, Allison gets in tomorrow evening, so maybe I will have dinner with other exam reviewers? Ack-making lots of conversation. However, since they are nurses they are more likely to be introverted, though that can be problematic if they do not make conversation easily. I think they are from all over Canada-we could talk about the weather and our distaste for being mistaken for Americans?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Success (I think)

Today was the last visit of the exterminators, and I haven't seen insects in at least 2 weeks. I think I have won. And now unpack all my stuff. sob.

And now the end is near

And so we face the final curtain here. 

We went up to Coit Tower yesterday, a tall tower on a steep hill (the only kind of hill they have here). You can see the tower from all over the city and I kept telling myself all week that there was no way I was going to climb that thing. So up we went our last day here and it wasn't that bad a climb. The tower has some really good murals painted there in the thirties. We could have taken a bus but somehow didn't. We are getting quite familiar with the buses. Then we took a cable car to the cable car museum which is also the place where the cars are run from. I love industrial places where real things happen. Had supper in North Beach. Geoff fit in with all the hipsters there and I fit in with the middle-aged tourists.
Went to Alcatraz on Monday. We bought the tickets our first day here and Monday was the first day they were available, it's very popular. On our way over on the ferry I was wondering why we were even going, I was not that interested in Alcatraz, but it was a really good day. It is a national park and we went on a great tour with a ranger (dressed just like in Yogi Bear) about escapes from the prison. Then there is a very good audio tour through the cell block. The whole thing was great.
So we've walked through Chinatown, seen painted ladies, gone to Golden Gate Park, shopped. I will be ready for some down time at home before I have to go back to work.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Badger Cardigans For All! Shall we put in a mass order for the Badger excursion to Cornwall?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Getting around

I was a bit apprehensive  before this trip that my knees wouldn't hold up well with lots of walking but they don't feel any worse than usual. Take Tylenol at night and am ready to go again in the morning.

We are having a good time. Seem to be seeing lots without feeling rushed. I used to think travel needsto be filling the days with as much as possible but realize that iif you give yourself time in one place you can take it easy and just get the feel of things.

Yesterday we took the trolley bus to the bay and went to the aquarium, then found a bus to get us to the Golden Gate bridge. Taking the bus involves a lot of map looking but we got city passes so don't need to be concerned about fares, and you see a lot of the city on the bus. Anyway, walked across the bridge ( it's almost two miles across), it was beautiful seeing the bay and city from there. Once on the other side we didn't much feel like walking back. There was one of those hop on hop off buses there so. Asked the driver how much it would be to hop on to get back to the city. He was going to Sausolito, but he said we could pay for a night tour for which we would get on another bus in Sausolito. So we did that, had a bit of time in Sausolito, which is so pretty and peaceful. The tour was ok, we had already seen a lot of the places, but the guide was very knowledgeable so were glad we did it.

We went to Haight-Ashbury the other day, after some wrong buses and so on. It's a sort of sad little area I found.

Going to take the cable car up California St. this morning to go church at Grace Cathedral.


I keep getting this strange message when trying to post-saying that I am logging in from another location? Had to do a circuitous route to get here and post.
I met with thesis advisors who suggest that I apply to do a doctorate fast track and not do my masters, I have to decide by Monday.
It would mean being done 2017, not 2015. and more work. But then would have doctorate. Am leaning towards doing it, but feeling like it is such a big undertaking. I'd have to quit the boards I'm on and be so immersed in it. The plus side is that of course it is doing something that I am interested in.I don't know career-wise what advantage it would give me-obviously would look good on a resume, but in terms of jobs I would want to do-not really sure how it would impact me. To be honest, that is not really a motivator for me though-I didn't start my masters wanting it for work and what it would do for me there.
what do you guys think?
In other news, I'm famous! UBC nursing website has me on it. Richard took the picture in our backyard. The words are all my own.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Our first day in San Francisco and it was a a good one. Our trip here was fine, the only glitch was that I changed the time on the clock when i was setting the alarm and got up at 5 a.m. So was pretty tired by the end of the day. Geoff is smart, he booked a direct flight. We figured how to take transit from the airport and our hotel turned out to be only a couple of blocks from the train. Nice hotel. Geoff still doesn't know how much it costs and understands that it's better that way.

We went to bed early and slept in until 10 a.m.! Even Geoff! Surprised ourselves. We walked to Fisherman's Wharf. It's not that far but there are steep hills between us and the bay. Had our first (of many, I hope) bowl of clam chowder for lunch. Went on a bay cruise. The America's Cup is on right now and we saw a couple of the boats racing in the bay.

Spent a lot of time walking, then took our first cable car ride back to the hotel. We had to wait for 45 minutes to get on the car, but it was such a cool ride up and down those hills. 

Weather is nice but it got quite cool as evening came on. Just resting in the room before going out to eat. There are many many choices around here.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Eaves troughing

Richard cleaned eaves here and at Jones the past 2 weeks, and I painted and cut grass. We're productive.

I should be more productive with school though. I am doing this directed study and haven't met with the prof yet, so have been pretending that I don't have to do anything. What if I do some stuff and it's wrong?
I did find a good looking book on ethics of mental health research, which I think will come in handy.

Squirrels have been busy gathering nuts in our walnut tree. I suspect they will have gotten most of them before we do. I know they're rodents, but I sure do like watching them race around.
Cats are chasing each other around house right now.

I am teaching a family info course on mental illness through BCSS this fall. I will likely regret taking this on. But someone needs to do it.

I have had low level anxiety this weekend-not really sure why? Seems centered around work, though all went well this week, except for realising that a protocol we have started to roll out needed some changes-agghh. This kind of stuff is so painful-committee develops-which actually is the easy part-and then it has to pass through all these other committees. Who may have their own ideas.
Plus co-worker situation seems to be getting a little more intense. I've been (I think) clearly delineating my role more, but that means co-worker has to do more stuff, which she has not been  unpleasant about,  but it seems to be showing in her stress level. I know this is not my problem, but I feel like a nag. Richard would likely have a comment about this, if he were here right now.
I did get IV certified though, which was on my learning plan fore the year! We don't get many people who need them, but is good to have someone around who is able to start them. Co-worker is also supposed to be doing this, but has made no effort to do so. This is not my battle to fight though. Up to manager.
But in 2 weeks I will be away for 2 weeks! I am looking forward to this. I found some things that look like they would be good to do. My stuff is done on Wed early afternoon, and I go to Ontario on the Friday and should get to St Catharines at about the same time Richard does. So will be able to look around Chicago in the evenings and for a couple days.

Saturday, September 07, 2013


It has been quite a month.  A little more than a month, but it has seemed both long and short.  I got back from holidays in Alberta at the beginning of August, and it has been almost nonstop since then.

When I was in Alberta I was talking to the Bishop about what church  I would be going to next.  Several options he suggested didn't work out, so  I finally told him what I thought, which was that I wanted to go to Tofino.  Long story short - they were in the middle of accepting applications, but agreed to take me on for six months, and if it works out, I'll stay on, and if it doesn't, I'll move on.  It's good for both of us - Tofino is a really remote town, so I may not be able to hack the winters here.  Of course, I think they got the better edge, as I will always err on the side of getting a paycheck.

Anyway, by the time all that was sorted out, it was the second week of August, and suddenly I had to find a moving company, pack, and do all the bits and pieces of moving.  The good news was that I wasn't working, so I had lots of time.  I did a bit every day, and had actually begun packing in June, so it worked out OK.  The moving company was a tremendous pain though, the move was really expensive (though the church paid for it), and after I had booked the move they told me that they don't deliver the furniture the same day when it's a really remote location.  And since I was moving right before the long weekend, it wouldn't be til sometime the next week.  I was furious, but since it was just over a week before the move day, didn't have time to hire anyone else.  So I had to try and think about everything I would need for a week or so, and then try to fit all that into the car, along with the cat.

Tofino is beautiful, a really lovely town.  I'm living in a brand new, just built, house that the church owns, right beside the church building.  It's very nice - I'll post pictures later.  Laminate floors, lots of windows, a dishwasher, a spare room, a washer and dryer.  The view out the living room windows is of the inlet - water and trees and mountains.

The first week here was pretty uncomfortable.  Sleeping on an air mattress is one thing when one is camping, but another when one is supposed to be at home.  All I had to sit on was two old lawn chairs, one of which broke half way through the week.  My only table was the cat carrier!  I had everything I needed really, but it wasn't very fun.  Jeff came up for the long weekend, which was really nice.  He kept introducing me to people, since he's much friendlier than I am.

But today everything changed!  My furniture finally arrived!  Last week they had told me it would be here on Monday, so I had to be very polite and very firm and get it delivered earlier.  The company pulled through for me, but I still wouldn't use them again, or not without a firm delivery date agreed to beforehand.  I'm so happy now though - I have soft chairs, the internet, a mattress...wonderful.  I'm going to for a walk on the beach in a few minutes, because that's the sort of thing you can do easily in Tofino.

One more story, which I already shared on facebook:  the guy who lives across the alley grew up in Alhambra (near Rocky), and when we were talking about Rocky, I asked him if he remembered the garage.  Turns out his dad used to work there sometimes in the winters when the farm was slow!  Very neat to find someone who would have known Grandpa and the garage.

Friday, September 06, 2013

I'm going toooooooo

I'm going to to go to Chicago while Lisa is there! Right before, I go to Winnipeg for a workshop that I have co-coordinated (work pays) and I am going to have a little vacation right after.

My proposal is in. It was very hard work, and I felt exhausted right after. I know it'll need editing, but it feels free. Two days after I put it in, I had the exterminators come for their second visit (standard). The guy said that I should probably have a third, which made me feel defeated. But I think it is getting there. But another 4 weeks of things in garbage bags and storage totes. Almost all my clothes are freshly cleaned / dried now but bagged up in the basement until upstairs is clear. I am thinking of it as the chance to move in again in a more thoughtful, organized way as opposed to when I did move in first.

Today the bank appraiser comes to look at our building for our new mortgage approval (prepping for the subdivision).

Lots of tomatoes ripening in my garden. Purple beans, and I think beets will do well.

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Lisa are you still working out?  You said to hold you accountable so I hope you are sticking to the plan.

I just got back from my first full walk since my operation sure felt good.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Summer . . . there it was, gone

September already and we are now having our summer weather. It has been almost a week since we last had rain and it has been very warm. But it gets dark out early, so it feels strange.

Grace and Dallyn were around for the long weekend. They had planned to go camping but ended up staying at the cabin - a lot less getting ready involved. However, when they got out there on Saturday, they found a mess - the bathroom tank was full and had backed up, there were dirty dishes and towels and garbage in the cabin. Some friends of Kim's had been there sometime in the summer and left all that for us. Grace and Dallyn are troopers, though, and cleaned up the bathroom. Geoff tried to find someone to pump out the tank but the lagoons are closed on the weekends so no luck. He was so angry. He said, "That's it, we are selling the place. We don't use it, all we do is pay all the expenses, and this mess is the last straw."

But we went out on Sunday for supper and a campfire, and so did Tim and Court and the boys, and it was so much fun, and felt so great to be out there, that he came around by Sunday night. We have been looking at cabin plans and getting some input. It's going to have to happen next spring. We will build as much as we can afford, hopefully to lockup, then finish the inside as funds and time become available.

So Sunday was Grady's first time at the lake, and Kane's first campfire. That place is made for kids.

Grady is growing fast. And he smiles and coos. Today I was over there after work and Tim handed him over to me and he gave me a big smile. I held him for a while out on the deck - Kane came over and said, "Put Grady down, jump." Meaning he wanted me to jump on the trampoline with him. I put him off for a while, but eventually went with him. Not that Baba actually jumps, it's sort of standing there and swaying. I love those little boys.

Geoff has been busy pressure washing and staining the deck, hoping to get it done before our trip. We leave for San Francisco on Wednesday, going for a week. Usually I regret booking holidays on the days leading up to our departure, but I am looking forward to it so I hope that doesn't mean we will have a bad time.

We had a good visit with Doot. Kane sure loves her. When Grace was here he called her Doot a few times. I guess he gets those aunties mixed up.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

recovering, new windows, finished sweater

I am finally feeling more my self after my surgery, it has only been two weeks but feels a lot longer.  Soon I might make it through the day without a snooze.

We got new windows for the front and they look fabulous.  They sure brighten up the house and they open so we can get some fresh air.  Lots of the neighbours went for a walk last night past our house, one even took a picture.  We are currently deciding on what coverings will work there.  It is like a wall of windows, sure is interesting to watch the people take out the old ones and put in the new ones, they make it look easy, but I am sure it is not.

I finished Henry's sweater and I am very happy about it.  It fits him perfectly, (happy face).  Both he and Ally have given their notice at work and will be leaving for Europe in a couple of weeks. Sure hope they have a great time.  I also finished the blanket for Grady, not as happy with the yarn but turned out alright.

Looking forward to our trip out west, Wilf's boss is away for 2 weeks so he will be working lots in the next few weeks therefore will be very ready for our holidays.  The weather is great here right now so I am looking forward to some time with sun. 

Monday, September 02, 2013

In Honor of Labour Day

We cleaned the house. How do we get so dirty? It's not like we're farmers or anything-we stay very clean at while at work. Always washing our hands. Where does all this dirt come from?
Also going to go and put primer on windows at Jones. I scraped on Sat-at least as high as I could go. My fear of heights prevented me reaching the very top.
We went to the Armstrong fair yesterday. I think my new favorite thing there are the things people put in for judging-like best collection of miniatures, best Lego construction, best mud pie. We were there for about 3 hours-went with a friend of Richard's from work, her son, and a friend of hers. We were all exhausted afterwards. And had naps.
OK, avoided going and painting long enough. Sigh. If I had tons of money I'd hire people to do housework and this type of thing.

Hard to believe it is September.

It feels like summer just got started.  The weekend in Edmonton has been wonderful weatherwise, but pretty lowkey otherwise.  Allison came over on saturday night and we watched Game of Thrones together.  Sunday, Sam had me over for supper with Nancy,pork  chops, yummm.  Today I am going to start trying to get organised for the sale of the condo.  Theresa gave me some good advice, do an hour a day and then it won't seem so overwhelming.

 I had a good trip to Rocky last week, though the time flew by, I think because of the good company.  I got to see lots of Grady, not so much of Kane because he was at his Dads part of the time. Grady is growing like crazy, and I am pretty sure he gave me a real smile, not just gas.  Kane wasn't feeling too good on Saturday night and Baba had to clean up some throwup during her babysitting stint.  Theresa and I went out to the Twisted Barn on Saturday afternoon, a wool shop just outside of Rocky.  I could have spent hours there, so much cool wool.

I am going to Medicine Hat on the 22nd to catch up with the cousins.