Friday, March 28, 2008

meme. "If I were..."

If I were a direction I’d be…. north west.
If I were furniture I’d be… a lazy boy recliner.
If I were a liquid I’d be… mercury.
If I were a sin I’d be…. pride.
If I were a gem/stone I’d be… aquamarine.
If I were a metal I’d be…. copper.
If I were a tree I’d be…. a baobab.
If I were a fruit I’d be… a mango, definitely not a kiwi because who would pick up something round and covered with hair and eat it?.
If I were a flower I’d be….african violet
If I were weather I’d be…. Partly cloudy with a high of 25 degrees and a chance of late night showers.
If I were a music instrument I’d be…. plucked and strummed a lot.
If I were an element I’d be.... sodium.
If I were a color I’d be…. green (or purple or blue)
If I were an animal I’d be…. an elephant.
If I were a sound I’d be…. singing.
If I were a lyric I’d be… "come on home, the team you're hitched to has a mind of it's own, it's just the forces of your past you've fought before, don't you recognize them anymore, I'm stacking sandbags against the river of your troubles."
If I were a song I’d be… 3am (Matchbox 20) - but this changes for me a lot.
If I were a music type I’d be…. acoustic anything
If I were a perfume/cologne I’d be… CK ONE
If I were a feeling I’d be…angry
If I were a book I’d be…a classic.
If I were food I’d be… Mexican.
If I were a city I’d be… Seattle, Washington.
If I were a taste I’d be…salty.
If I were a scent I’d be…vanilla.
If I were a word I’d be… breathe.
If I were a verb I’d be… growing.
If I were an object I’d be… a book.
If I were a piece of clothing I’d be… boxer shorts.
If I were a body part I’d be… skin.
If I were an facial expression I’d be… a scowl.
If I were a cartoon character I’d be… Asterix
If I were a movie I’d be…Crash.
If I were a geometrical figure I’d be… a dodecahedron
If I were one of the 4 seasons I’d be… late summer
If I were a sentence I’d be…"hey, can I ride you home?"

Friday Fill in

1. Some relationships are meant to last - but a good idea would be to stay off the show "moment of truth".
2. Heaven only knows what was the last concert I saw; it was so long ago I don't remember it. (that should be my answer for number 4!)
3. Spring should be HERE ALREADY. WHY IS IT SNOWING?
4. Oh no! I forgot to record Survivor AGAIN!
5. I've recently started thinking about my next homework assignment.
6. My son's laughter never fails to make me smile.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to this work week ENDING, tomorrow my plans include going to get paperwork signed by a Notary Public,  and Sunday, I want to nap!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

page 123

The rules are:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.

5. Tag five people.

So here goes:

The nearest book is the book I just finished reading. It is called, "The Calling" by Inger Ash Wolfe.
Here are the lines.
"He thought sometimes that he could feel air passing through his heart and he wodered if, in sympathy, his own heart was refusing the foxglove's balm. It occasionally made him feel weak. He prayed to God to spare the men and women under his care by letting him go on."

I'm not going to tag five people, but if you choose to do this one for fun please leave a comment so I can visit you.

my painting

Check out my "painting" here.

thursday thirteen: trips to take this summer

Thirteen Things about lovesmukiwa

Here are 13 trips I would like to take this summer. My spouse did this list also, and I hope that we have some matches. I am not going to look at her list until I have done mine.
1. Disneyworld. This is a bit of a cheat since I know there is a chance that I will be attending a conference here and I would like to take S with me.
2. The Beaver at Beaverlodge.
3. A bed and breakfast - anywhere really, but a nice getaway for us.
4. Edmonton Pride festival. We haven't been to a pride festival since we left Utah.
5. Toronto Pride Festival. I would LOVE to go to Toronto. I put it on the list but I don't know if realistically we will make it this year. The indigo girls are singing there and it would ROCK to go to a concert. ( Shel asked me about this last night so I think it might show up on her list)
6. R family cruise.
7. Lake Louise.
8. Camping with the dogs. It has been a LONG time since we camped. I thought immediately of how much Muk would love it but silly me, she is no longer with us, so it will be Zuva's first camping trip.
9. White water rafting. There is a place in Grande Cache that would be fun to check out.
10. Utah. With a stop off at Ogden Pizzeria and Burrito Grande
11. Seattle. Again, I don't know how realistic it is that we would make it to Seattle, but I haven't been there in a long time and it would be nice to go as a family to some of the festivals they have there.
12. Edmonton Heritage Festival
13. Falher Honey Festival. I don't really know much about this one but it sounds cool and since I have always wanted my own bees.....

And since I put in a couple that were unrealistic here are some late additions (and I have looked at my spousal units list already so I am pilfering some ideas from her) that will more a little more practical if we don't win the lottery in the next few weeks.


- Children's museum

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

888 update

1. Measure of a Man. Sidney Poitier
2. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Barbara Kingsolver
3. A Long Way Gone. Ishmael Beah
4. Spycatcher. Peter Wright
5. The Places in Between. Rory Stewart (completed January 19th 2008)
6. Infidel. Ayaan hirsi Ali
7. Glass Castle.
8. Fish:

Young Adult Fiction
1. The Canning Season. Polly Horvath
2. Godless. Pete Hautman
3. Autobiography of my Dead Brother. Walter Dean Myers
4. The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Brian Selznick

Pulitzer Prize Winners
1. Middlesex. Jeffrey Eugenides (Completed January 21st 2008)
2. Gilead. Marilynne Robinson (Completed January 13th 2008)

From the NYT Bestseller list. (I don't want to limit myself to books that have already been written. There might be some good ones published this year)
1. Bleeding Kansas. Sarah Paretsky. #15 January 13 2008

Banned or "challenged" books
1. Go Ask Alice
2. The Lorax. Dr. Seuss
3. The Well of Lonliness
4. Steal This Book. Abbie Hofmann

Books already on my Bookshelf
1. I am counting these three books as one. They were already on my shelf and I had never read them but they are young adult books (and totally predictable).
Gordon Korman. Island: Book one "Shipwreck" (completed February 1 2008)
Gordon Korman. Island: Book two "Survival" (completed February 1 2008)
Gordon Korman. Island: Book Three "Escape" (completed February 1 2008)

Books based on or in Africa


Books I will check out from the library
1. Saturday. Ian McEwan (completed January 27 2007)
2. Eat, Pray, Love. Elizabeth Gilbert (completed February 16 2008)
3. The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur. Daoud Hari (completed February 18 2008)
4. Biting the Moon. Martha Grimes (completed March 25 2008)
5. The Calling. Inger Ash Wolfe (completed March 29 2008)
6. Written in Bone. Simon Beckett (completed March 31 2008)

Book: Biting the Moon

This book is by Martha Grimes and is titled "Biting the moon". I have had a real hard time reading this last month and this is just the second book I have picked up since "starting" to read again. I was captivated by the premise of the book, a girl wakes up in a bed and breakfast with amnesia and only has a feeling that something is terribly wrong. She takes off and basically survives out in the woods, living in unused cabins etc. Unfortunately for me there was no plot development along this line. She didn't seem as interested in finding out who she was as she was interested in saving animals who were being trapped or used in canned hunts. It would have been ok if it had somehow tied into who she was, but that part of the plot seemed to be ignored as the book went on.
I do like to read so I can "lose" myself in the story and this one had potential for me, but this story had gaps too big to overlook. There is a sequel to this book and I'm going to check it out of the library to see if the story develops any more.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

Ten things to do before you get married.

Theoretically I have a problem with the whole "marriage" thing because unless you are lucky and live in Canada where we do , you CANNOT get married if you are gay. So that would be me, not being married. I am going to suspend my reality for the purpose of this post and pretend that the world is a just and humane place EVERYWHERE and that gay marriage is allowed all over the world and just respond to the damn topic.

1. Be able to be alone, by yourself. Be able to go to a movie and a restaurant alone and not feel like a freak.

2. Pay your own bills. Car payment, insurance, rent, utilities. Have a job!

3. Date lots. Go out with lots of different people and when you find the one you want to marry, date them lots  - but don't stop just cause you get married. Heck, (wow - that was a bit of latent Mormonism popping out of me in that phrase!) I think you should fall in love and get your heart broken at LEAST once so you  have something to compare this "marriage" relationship to, and so that you don't look back 20 years later and wonder if you missed something cause you never loved anyone else.

4. Travel together. A road trip, whatever, just figure out if you are compatible in a small space together for a long time. You shouldn't eat nuts on this trip though. That might be a bad idea, but it will give you a chance to see how they pack and what treats they bring for the road. Are you both talkers? both silent? Do you stop at every road side pull out for a walkabout or do you have to bring your own pop bottle to pee in because you aren't stopping for hell or high water? Do you listen to the radio? Do you listen to books on tape? Do you sing loudly and off key for hours and hours on end? These are IMPORTANT things to know people.

5. Grocery shop together. You wouldn't think this was important but I've seen some doozy fights in grocery stores. I will confess to having been in one or two arguments myself (in the meat department).

6. Fight. Yeah argue. You have to know if the person you are planning on being with for the rest of your known days fights fair and if you can resolve stuff. Don't avoid the "tough" issues because you don't want to ruffle feathers. Feathers will get ruffled down the line and you should know that you CAN get through these times.

7. Cry in front of them. I'm not recommending that you do this with every person you ever date, but before you get married, when you have found "THE" one, you have to cry in front of them. Pull out all the stops. Watch some sappy old movie from the 80's like "Beaches" or something ("Set it Off " worked VERY well for me) and let it all out. Blubber, Slobber, get the whole ugly cry face going and see if they can handle it or if they run away very far, very fast. If you find someone who can deal with your ugly face cry - they are a keeper fo sho.

8. Do your own laundry. Do I need to say more than that?

9. Listen to your friends opinions of the person you are considering marrying. This may seem stupid and redundant and in reality when you are head over heels in love with some jerk you aren't going to listen to your friends anyway because the jerk will have convinced you that your friends are jealous of him (or her) and he'll tell you "of COURSE they are going to try to tell you they don't like him (or her)." But SERIOUSLY... if your friends think this dude (or dudette) is a loser....


10. How can I say this....... Know what you like.  If that wasn't clear - then you aren't ready to be married.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Adoption frustration

I have not posted many things about our journey to adoption but this past week has frustrated me so much I am writing about it here today to vent. This process is so scary and at every step we are so concerned with saying everything "right" and not making waves because we want everything to go smoothly, and this week I have had enough.
We are foster parents. We have had Max (not his given name (yet) for anyone concerned with privacy issues) since he was released from the hospital at one month of age. He is 18 months old. When he was 6 months old his parents rights were terminated by the court and he became a permanent ward of the province and able to be adopted. Since we were his foster parents at the time we asked if we might adopt him. We were told that we could, but that we needed to be approved as an adoptive home first.
We met with the adoption worker. (Please note here that the SAME office with the SAME supervisor operates in our region as the foster AND permanency placement.) In order to be foster parents we have to go through a process of becoming certified and maintaining that certification on a yearly basis. We have to have medical records, police checks, home inspections and everything for foster care EVERY year. Well apparently this is not enough for the permanency workers, so we have to do ALL of this again. OK. So we do it. All of it. All over again.
And we get approval to be an adoptive family.
While all this is happening we go through three, yes THREE permanency workers. And while I am sure they are all very nice individuals, the first was pregnant and getting ready to go on maternity leave and did..... oh right NOTHING on our file. The second ROCKED and in the SHORT time that she was assigned to our case we met with her a number of times, she kept us informed with emails regarding what she needed, what she was working on, what to expect etc. When the first worker didn't return from maternity leave and the position opened for a full time position we hoped against hope that the lady filling in would be selected. Much to our chagrin, she was not.
We are now on permanency worker number three. Last week she came to our home to meet with us. She sat, took notes, and asked us all kinds of questions about how Max was doing. We updated her on speech therapy issues and other events and asked her how our file was progressing. She did what we know her to do (from past experience) - evaded the question - and said only "your file is progressing." What does that mean? She said she didn't have the complete file from the last worker, but the last worker was waiting on info from HER for the file. Huh? Confused yet? Us too.
After she left and Shel and I were able to process this information we decided that the LACK of information was a problem for us and we called our foster worker to let her know of our frustration. She passed the message on to their supervisor (again, SAME supervisor) and the supervisor called us. First of all our foster worker said that there was a piece of documentation that they still needed from me. Fine. Why didn't the worker tell us that when she was IN our home and could have taken it with her? Has she even opened our file? If we had not called to check the status when would she have asked for it? The supervisor left a message to say she had reviewed with the permanency worker what was on her plate and if we wanted to meet to discuss the priorities (blah blah blah) to call her on her direct line. Now tell me this. What good is a direct line if you don't answer your phone? This is where we sit. I have called that number - enough to be a tad irritating if she is checking her caller id - I have left my name and number and she has not called me back.
I know that the journey to adoption is long and filled with red tape for everyone who tries to navigate it. Somehow I thought since everything was being done in the same office it would somehow be easier. I was deluding myself.
Ai ai ai ai ai.

unconscious mutterings

Money :: money, money, it's a rich mans world
Unhappy :: tears
Joking :: "you said the world was magic i was wide eyed and laughing" - indigo girls song
Chipmunk :: cheeks
Date :: night
Slideshow :: my dad's short shorts poolside
Chicago :: Oprah
Lifetime :: of pain
Skid row :: band "I remember you"-song
Edward :: Prince

Friday, March 21, 2008

friday fill ins

1. Finding a great book is so exciting!
2. Strawberry fields forever.
3. Hot Cross Buns sound like they would taste delicious!
4. Why does sleep make me feel so good?!
5. A show on Broadway is something I've always wanted to see.
6. It's sad when life isn't what you expect it to be.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to reading, tomorrow my plans include making hot cross buns and Sunday, I want to celebrate my favorite holiday with Max!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

level up

I found this when I was checking out Thursday thirteen bloggers and not commenting - like I do. But I will send you there to check it out :

Leveling Up

Level 1
(x) Smoked a cigarette.
(x) Smoked a cigar.
(x) Kissed a member of the same sex.
(x) Drank alcohol.

Level 2
(x) Are/been in love.
(x) Been dumped. (and punched after being dumped for moving on)
( ) Shoplifted.
( ) Been fired.
( ) Been in a fist fight. ( I don't think so, but I would like to have been)

Level 3
(x) Had a crush on an older person.
(x) Skipped school.
(x) Slept with a classmate. (I think we were sleeping together before we were classmates.)
(x) Seen someone/something die. (one of the most painful moments of my life)

Level 4
( x) Had/have a crush on one of your friends who is now on Facebook. (Billy Bugden- yup. You read it here first)
( ) Been to Paris.
( ) Been to Spain.
(x) Been on a plane.
( ) Thrown up from drinking.

Level 5
( ) Eaten sushi. (not in this lifetime)
( ) Been snowboarding.
( ) Met someone BECAUSE of Facebook. (I told you I don't do Facebook.)
(x) Been in a mosh pit.

Level 6
(x) Been in an abusive relationship. (psychologically for sure)
(x) Taken pain killers. (when I was in pain)
(x) Loved someone you couldn’t have.
(x) Laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by.
(x) Made a snow angel.

Level 7
(x) Had a tea party.
(x) Flown a kite.
(x) Built a sand castle.
( ) Gone mudding (offroading).
(x) Played dress up.

Level 8
(x) Jumped into a pile of leaves.
( ) Gone sledging. (huh?)
(x) Cheated while playing a game. (especially Clue)
(x) Been lonely.
( x) Fallen asleep at work/school.

Level 9
(x) Watched the sun set.
(x) Felt an earthquake.
( ) Killed a snake.

Level 10
(x) Been tickled.
( ) Been robbed/vandalized.
(x) Been cheated on.
(x) Been misunderstood.

Level 11
(x) Won a contest.
( ) Been suspended from school.
(x) Had detention.
(x) Been in a car/motorcycle accident.

Level 12
( ) Had/have braces.
(x) Eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night.
(x) Danced in the moonlight.

Level 13
(x) Hated the way you look.
(x) Witnessed a crime.
(x) Pole danced. (eat your heart out - they WISH they had hired me!)
(x) Questioned your heart.
( ) Been obsessed with post-it-notes. (but I do like glue and candle wax)

Level 14
(x) Squished barefoot through the mud.
(x) Been lost.
(x) Been to the opposite side of the world.
(x) Swam in the ocean.
(x) Felt like you were dying.

Level 15
(x) Cried yourself to sleep.
(x) Played cops and robbers.
(x) Recently colored with crayons/colored pencils/markers.
(x) Sang karaoke.(and won a competition THANK YOU!)
(x) Paid for a meal with only coins.

Level 16
(x) Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t.
( ) Made prank phone calls.
(x) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose.
(x) Kissed in the rain.

Level 17
(x) Written a letter to Santa Claus.
(x) Watched the sun set/sun rise with someone you care/cared about.
(x) Blown bubbles.
(x) Made a bonfire on the beach or anywhere.

Level 18
( ) Crashed A Party.
(x) Have travelled more than 5 days with a car full of people. (my family)
(x) Gone rollerskating/blading.
(x) Had a wish come true.
(x) Slept with a member of the same sex.

Level 19
(x) Worn pearls.
(X) Jumped off a bridge.
( ) Screamed “penis” or “vagina”.
( ) Swam with dolphins.

Level 20
( ) Got your tongue stuck to a pole/freezer/ice cube.
( ) Kissed a fish. (huh?)
(x) Worn the opposite sex’s clothes.
(x) Sat on a roof top.

Level 21
(x) Screamed at the top of your lungs.
( ) Done/attempted a one-handed cartwheel.
(x) Talked on the phone for more than six hours (in one day).
(x) Recently stayed up for a while talking to someone you care about.

Level 22
(X) Picked and ate an apple right off the tree.
(x) Climbed a tree.
(x) Had/been in a tree house.
(x) Been scared to watch scary movies alone. (I won't watch them period)

Level 23
(x) Believed in ghosts.
( ) Have had more than thirty pairs of shoes
(x) Gone streaking. (in the winter, DUMB)
(x) Visited jail. - (Actually I think it was a halfway house?)

Level 24
(x) Played chicken. (Not with cars, but the idea was the same.)
(x) Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on.
( ) Been told you’re hot by a complete stranger.
(X) Broken a bone.
(x) Been easily amused.

Level 25
( ) Caught a fish then ate it later.
( ) Made a porn video.
( ) Caught a butterfly.
(x) Laughed so hard you cried.
(x) Cried so hard you laughed.

Level 26
(x) Mooned/flashed someone.
(x) Had someone moon/flash you.
(x) Cheated on a test.
(x) Forgotten someone’s name.
( ) French braided someone’s hair.
(x) Gone skinny dipping.
( ) Been kicked out of your house.
(x) Tried to hurt yourself.

Level 27
(x) Rode a roller coaster.
( ) Went scuba-diving/snorkelling.
(x) Had a cavity.
( ) Black-mailed someone.
( ) Been black mailed.

Level 28
(x) Been used.
(x) Fell going up the stairs.
(X) Licked a cat. (well.......)
(x) Bitten someone. (only if they tell me to)
(x) Licked someone - not in private places.

Level 29
( ) Been shot at/or at gunpoint.
( ) Had sex in the rain.
( ) Flattened someone’s tires.
(x) Rode your car/truck until the gas light came on.
(x ) Got five dollars or less worth of gas.

Thursday thirteen: things I learned as a carny

Thirteen Things I learned as a carny

1. There's lots of drugs at Carnivals.
2. There's lots of unprotected sex at carnivals, in wierd places.
3. Carnival food will make you sick after eating it every day for an extended period of time.
4. You can make lots of money in a short amount of time - if you work the right games.
5. You can spend a lot of time and make no money at all if you are not willing to "play the games".
6. Not everyone who works at a carnival is dirty, but most of them are!
7. People at carnivals spend a LOT of money for crappy prizes.
8. Blowing up balloons without a machine hurts the lips, lungs and fingers.
9. There are ways to cheat every system, even the system of buying tickets to play games.
10. Men have huge egos, and when it comes to smashing beer bottles with
baseballs, and you can REALLY take advantage of that and make a lot of money.
11. I would never ride a carnival ride.
12. Carnival music may sound fun and cheery when you visit for an hour or two, but when you have to work next to a ride all day that is pumping out cheesy music on a two minute loop you want to kill yourself at the end of the day.
13. Wear good shoes.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

18 months old today

Hey there my main man.

Today you are 18 months old. In the month since you were referred to a speech therapist (your first appointment is tomorrow) you have started to be more consistent with your sounds. Everytime one of the pets walks into the room you distinctly say "hi" to them, though why you don't greet anyone else this way still confounds me. You have started to say "ma" with regularity. Your mom can distinguish between your calls to her and your calls to me, but I still struggle with knowing who exactly you are talking to. This month you also mastered drinking out of a cup without spilling everything all the way down your front - which never seemed to bother you anyway!You are learning things in leaps and bounds. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with all your new skills.

Your mom spent some days in the hospital this month and I don't think any of us weathered that storm well, but your visits to the hospital room were a bright moment and you were absolutely in heaven with all the buttons. Believe me, if I could find a bed like the hospital one for us to bring home, your obsessions with all things button related would be well on it's way to being fulfilled. If the hospital in town weren't only full of old dying people we would stop in and visit some of the oldsters just so you could play with the beds. (Unfortunately I think some of them would have a cardiac arrest and we know the hospital staff here are not equipped for medical emergencies so we will spare us all that tradgedy).

This last week has brought to light some of the challenges of the foster-adoption program, but your mom and I are working on them. Don't ever think for one minute that you don't have anyone in this world fighting for you. Your mom is the epitomy of a mother bear whose babies are threatened when she goes on the offensive on your behalf. I'm fairly confident that whatever has been holding up the system and your permanaent adoption will be resolved quickly as we dig our heels in to bring you to our family "forever".

The highlight of my day has become the time we spend playing when I get home from work. The last few days we have played so hard you have been sweaty and breathless from laughing and running. You are such a joy.

Rest your head close to my heart, never to part, baby of mine.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

March in Utah and March in Northern Alberta

This is what it looks like at work today.
I suppose for St. Patty's day we could have been inventive and painted the snow drifts green. Maybe next year.

This is what it looked like yesterday at my alma mater - WSU in Ogden, Utah.
When I lived in Utah I could not wait to leave.
I miss it. When I see pictures like this I REALLY miss it.

St Patrick's day

Yesterday for St Patricks day I stopped at the store for some treats to take home and looked for something "green". With all of his allergies M really is restricted on the treats he can have which worked out ok anyway since the grocery store was LAME and had NOTHING green - not cookies, not anything. What's up with that?

I purchased lime kool-aid and Shel mixed it up. M is drinking from a cup at suppertime now and he was ALL about the lime koolaid. He used his new favorite word.. "more" over and over. Forget about the pork chop or tater tots. For supper last night M had ketchup and kool aid.

Ten places I'd take a tourist to see in my hometown

For the purpose of this entry I will assume that this means the town I am currently living in. This question makes me laugh. I live in a teeny town and thinking of ten things to show a tourist in quite a mental exercise.

1. The four way stop. We only have one in the whole town and it is new since we moved here. I like to think that ouraddition tot he community population influenced the decision to add a four way stop.

2. The pool. We have a nice indoor pool and waterslide. In the summer it would be cool if the pool had a roof that retracted so we could be outside, but the fact remains that we have more winter months than summer months, so the indoor pool is nice.

3. The campus. Especially in the summer months the campus is a beautiful place to be. We have beautiful flower gardens, even though some of the most beautiful are in obscure places. It is nice to walk around campus and the three hole golf course and pond in the summer.

4. The Mall on Main. Don't be fooled by the title, which is why we need to stop by. We have a "mall" but all that is in the mall is a restaurant, a realtor office, a photo lab, a greyhound depot and a novelty store. The fact that it is called "the mall" is humorous - to me at least.

5. The town clock. This is another addition to the town since we have lived here. The clock has three sides and on the side of the clock that is visible when you LEAVE town it says "Welcome to FV". Really, who thinks of these things?

6. Dunvegan Bridge. The bridge is not actually in town, but it is one of the ways to get into town and it is fairly significant as a suspension bridge in the far north. At the bottom of the bridge are gardens and a little store and mini golf spot which are a nice touristy thing. They have an ice cream parlour which we visit at least once a summer and they have maypole dancing (which I have yet to attend).

7. The Northern Lights. I can't really "order" northern lights for guests to see, but we get some spectacular showings. One of the things I LOVE about where we live is the sky. The stars at night are so bright it is amazing. I can even see the milky way - which from a city is impossible.

8. The wildlife. My parents came up to visit and we bragged up how much wildlife there was to see. Of course the whole time they were here everything was in some kind of wierd hibernation. Thankfully when they came back we saw lots of moose, deer, coyotes, and an amazing array of birds. Our garden is quite a bird sanctuary and I am sure once my spouse gets into the garden and does her magic there will be more birds and other wildlife. You KNOW if someone comes here from out of town they will get a grand tour of our acreage. I AM paying a 30 year mortgage, so someone else needs to get some appreciation out of it.

9. A walking trail. I will admit I ran out of ideas and I had to ask a co-worker. She suggested the walking trails which give a nice view of the golf course and small lake.

10. oh, oh oh! A PLAY! I was in a play in the theater. But depending on what time of year a visitor would come to town there are some community events each year, the rodeo (which I have not attended), kidfest (which I have attended), the drag races (haven't been there yet), the car show (been there!), air show (been there!), and in the winter there are hockey games and curling bonspiels(and karaokee competitions where the competition is tough) . The community really does take advantage of the summer months.

the "F" word

I am constantly taken aback by how many people find the word "feminism" offensive.

I will admit that for many years I had a problem with defining myself as a feminist, but my reasons were not because I am opposed to the concepts of feminism as much as I found "femisists" to be upper class white women. I called myself a "womanist" in an attempt to be more inclusive of all races and classes of women but I believe the battle over words blinds us to the issues and so now I have no problem calling myself a feminist.

I was sitting in my class this weekend listening to presentations. A woman in my class was talking about how, as a single professional woman, people still make the assumption that she drives her husbands car, or that she is married and that is why she lives in a nice house. She was offended by these assumptions but then made it pointedly clear that she is NOT a feminist. WHA? HUH? I'm confused. Why does she consider herself to NOT be a feminist? She works and has workplace rights. She expects equal pay for equal work. She votes. She has the right to contract and property, I'm pretty sure she believes in her right to bodily integrity and autonomy (especially on matters such as reproductive rights, including the right to abortion, access to contraception and quality prenatal care). She has the right to protection from domestic violence; against sexual harassment and rape; and against other forms of discrimination. Now I haven't asked her, but I am also fairly confident in saying that she is opposed to female genital mutilation.

This is feminism people. Say it all together now: FEM IN ISM. It won't hurt you. You won't sprout horns and spit fire, and your bras will not spontaneously combust.

Why are you so afraid of it?

From I copied the following:

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (November 30, 1924 – January 1, 2005) was an American politician, educator and author. She was a Congresswoman, representing New York’s 12th District for seven terms from 1968 to 1983. In 1968, she became the first African American woman elected to Congress. On January 23, 1972, she became the first major party African American candidate for President of the United States. She won 152 delegates.

• I was the first American citizen to be elected to Congress in spite of the double drawbacks of being female and having skin darkened by melanin. When you put it that way, it sounds like a foolish reason for fame. In a just and free society it would be foolish.
That I am a national figure because I was the first person in 192 years to be at once a congressman, black and a woman proves, I think, that our society is not yet either just or free.

• I want history to remember me not just as the first black woman to be elected to Congress, not as the first black woman to have made a bid for the presidency of the United States, but as a black woman who lived in the 20th century and dared to be herself.

• Of my two “handicaps” being female put more obstacles in my path than being black.

• I’ve always met more discrimination being a woman than being black.

Monday, March 17, 2008

unconscious mutterings

Paranormal :: psychology
Alarm :: clock
Operative :: undercover
Changing :: seasons
Framed :: for murder
Beer :: gross
Referral :: to a counselor
Unmasked :: batman
Movie star :: beverly hillbillies
Handbook :: residence handbook

Saturday, March 15, 2008

In the City

I am in the city today for class and I noticed, there are a lot of clean cars here. More clean cars than at home.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Friday Fill In

1. Contact may cause my electrons to excite.
2. The parties hereto do mutually agree to enter into this contract.
3. Disney parks are magical.
4. Shower, food, some tv and sleep sounds really good right about now!
5. I positively need to do homework sooner.
6. Rainy days and Sundays always makes me smile :-) Wait, no, thats not right.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting home from work, tomorrow my plans include finally finishing my homework and Sunday, I want to take a nap!

thursday thirteen: things I love and hate about being in school

Thirteen Things about SCHOOL

I am back in school after many years of being full time in the work force. i think if I ever had enough money to never work again I would go back to school full time and be a professional student. There are things I love and things I hate about being in school again. Here is my list for the week.

1. I love learning.
2. I love pens and pencils (especially) and paper and notebooks and erasers and .....
3. I hate working in groups. I hated this as an undergrad also, and as a grad student I hate it equally (or more if that is possible). I don't like that the work, or lack of work, of others affects my grade. I am not all about the grade (no matter what you may think) but if I decide to do a half assed job of a task then I should get a grade that reflects that. If I want a good grade and someone in my group is a half asser, then I will do more work to compensate. I don't think that is fair and therefore I HATE group work.
4. I love being lectured to. My spouse likes classes that are all touchy feely and where people exchange ideas and talk about things and challenge one another. I don't. Give me the facts. Let me write them down. I am paying for someone more intelligent with more knowledge to impart that knowledge to me and I don't want someones ideas or feelings about it to interfere with my gleaning of that knowledge.
5. I love to sit in the back row.
6. I hate people who distract me, or the teacher, or get off topic to hear themselves speak. Just because I may APPEAR as though I am not paying attention (drawing, texting, searching the web in wireless internet) does NOT mean I am not paying attention and it is NOT an invitation to bother me!
7. I love textbooks.
8. I love homework (even though I never do it until the last minute, no matter how hard I try).
9. I love teachers - MOSTLY - unless they are boring, self-aggrandizing, or touchy feely.
10. I love syllabi, I love the details, I refer to my syllabi often.
11. Referring to #3 where I said I wasn't all about the grade. I do like grades, and I like to get good grades, but the grade isn't the be all and end all for me. I don't HAVE to get "a's" in every class and on every assignment, but I like being graded. I LOVE to get comments back on something I have worked on in order for me to know where I stand and how to make improvements if necessary. I used to get worked up if I feared I wasn't going to achieve perfection. I am much more relaxed about it now. I like to get my report card.
12. I love the comraderie. In the group I am in right now we are a cohort. The same group of people will be in every class until the end of the three yer course. There are personalities of course that do not get along, but there are some great people in the class and I am fortunate enough to have made some good friends.
13. Class presentations. I don't like to watch other presentations and I don't like being asked to participate in other group presentations. I will do it, but I don't like it. (Especially when the presentation does not follow the criteria given in the syllabi!) I don't have any problem at all giving a presentation though - and I follow what has been asked for!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ten things I am looking forward to in the spring

2. My mom coming to visit us from South Africa.
3. Sunlight - this is significant because we live so far north there IS a difference in the amount of sunlight we recieve each day.
4. Cleaning up the yard of the new house.
5. Getting a tax refund (fingers crossed)and fixing the bathroom.
6. Spending time outside with the family.
7. Budding trees (pussy willows).
8. Opening up the quonset which was frozen shut then ploughed in behind a mound of snow.
9. No more dripping
10. Shedding my WINTER COAT!

Monday, March 10, 2008




unconscious mutterings

Homicide :: investigation
Divisive :: fighting
Flash :: Gordon
Steaming :: hot cocoa
Crunch :: Captain
Look out! :: heads up
Anticipating :: Butterflies
Slim :: Shady
Navel :: Orange
Help :: I need somebody

Saturday, March 8, 2008

March Zuva

The word "Zuva" means sunshine. We named our puppy Zuva because she brought light back into our lives following the passing of our beloved Mukiwa.

In March the sun in Northern Alberta is higher in the sky and we are getting a lot more daylight. It feels as though we have come out of a long, dark, winter tunnel and I LOVE being in the sun again. The sun is out but our sunny puppy sure loves rolling in the snow. There's plenty left for her to roll in.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

things I wont do

Since mothering M, I have found that my tolerance for all thinks "icky" has become quite well developed.
I was formerly squeemish. However, I have found that my love for the man makes moments when he holds out his grubby fingers, covered in slobber, with something to put in my mouth, endearing rather than revolting. I still can't stop to think about it too long or I have to turn away, but I do manage to eat a lot of things he offers, most things in fact.
I can
1. eat from his fingers
2. share my drink cup with him
3. change his diaper even though he waits for the most opportune "wiping" moment and rolls away from me
4. kiss his open mouth - which he now offers for kisses at bedtime

and yet... there is still a "LINE" which I cannot approach.
We bathe together nightly and he recently pooped in the tub. Pooped. Fecal matter.
At the first sight of the offending floater, this mom is OUT of there.

Just like they tell you on an airline when giving directions for using oxygen masks in case of emergency. Take care of yourself first and the children afterwards. I am getting the HECK out of dodge and when I have come to my faculties I rescue M from fecal water.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

List # 4: Cafe Writing: Seven people who have influenced me.

I checked out Cafe Writing for the first time tonight. I had really wanted to do a month full of lists (challenge from NaBloPoMo) and I just am dragging this month. Tonight I am going to incorporate the Cafe Writing Challenge with my list challenge.

Here is my list of Seven People Who Have Influenced Me.

1. Kathleen L. - I don't know that she would really want her full name here, so I am editing a bit. Kathleen is who I consider to be my mentor and has been extremely influential in my professional life. I sought employment in the field I am currently employed in because of a desire to emulate her. She was/is a university administrator who has "semi resigned" to teach instead of "administer". She is highly intelligent, thoughtful, kind and someone I would like to be exactly like some day. She has helped me navigate some tough situations in my professional life and gives sage advise.
2. Gran Ennis. When I was four years old my great grandmother made me feel as though I was the most important person in the world to her. She was interested in me, in what I was interested in, and in giving her time to making memories with me. She was an amazing woman and I have wonderful memories of her.
3. My mother. A while ago - in November - I blogged about my mother on my original blog. Please click HERE to see what I wrote about here then.
4. My extremely handsome brother Justin, whom I also wrote about HERE.
5. Mukiwa. Technically Muk is not a "person" but a dog. She was our pet for five years and recently lost her fight with hip dysplasia and was put to sleep. But she influenced me. She was my driving companion. My working companion. She used to get SO very excited when I cam home from work that she ran in circles over the road and under the culvert and she brought a smile to my face every day when I arrived home. I miss her desperately and the unconditional love she offered in my imperfect life.
6. Shel. My spouse of 11 years. I have written about Shel here, and here.
7. E. B. When I was 20 years old she kissed me. I had never been kissed by a woman and at the same time that I was thrilled beyond measure and TOTALLY in love, I was terrified by the thought of all it meant for my future, my religion and my parents dreams for me.

girafffe list for S

Today we were in another small community where one of our former foster daughters' has returned to live with her mom.
S was a ray of sunshine in our home and we miss her dreadfully. When she left we didn't get everything belonging to her packed up and as laundry loads were completed and we packed up to move we put a box together of things that belonged to her that we needed to return.
Since she has been back with her mom we have visited twice. Once we stopped by and dropped some things off and they were not home. Today was the third time we have stopped by since she returned home in September 2007. When Shel went to the door there was some discussion about wether it was a good idea to visit or not. Mom's new boyfriend expressed that S became very upset following our visits... so we won't do it again. (We don't have a phone number to call in advance or we would call first)
We took the things into the house and S wanted to show me her bedroom.
If I had giraffe money I would buy the following things for S anonymously - so her mom and boyfriend don't feel bad - and because of all the kids in the world, this one should be surrounded by the things that bring her joy.

1. Princess sheets
2. Princess curtains
3. Princess quilt
4. Canopy bed
5. Pink wall paint for her bedroom
6. Princess towel
7. A castle dollhouse
8. A dress up closet with lots of tiaras, feather boas, high heeled shoes and earrings.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

ten on tuesday: ten favorite drinks

Here is my list from Ten on Tuesday:

Ten favorite drinks

1. Dr. Pepper. I prefer the American recipe to the Canadian one, but I'll make do!
2. Lipton Raspberry Iced Tea. Recently we can't find this in stores - of course.
3. Water. I had to throw this in because I do drink water on occasion.
4. Ruby Red Grapefruit
5. Rooibos. I drank this growing up, LONG before it gained it's current popularity.
6. Coke is it.
7. Cream Soda. Especially from South Africa (green cream soda) when my parents bring it. I also like cream soda candies.
8. Chocolate Milk. I don't like plain milk. I like chocolate milk and even strawberry milk on occasion. Quik - if available
9. Orange juice
10. Apple juice

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Friday fill in

I know I am way late for this but it's been so long since I blogged I am catching up!

1. I'm looking forward to things in our lives calming down next week.
2. I don't handle people around me being sick very well.
3. Peanut M&M's are something I could eat every day.
4. Warmth and sunlight make my spouse VERY happy.
5. Disneyworld (hopefully)here I come!
6.I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and want LOTS more tattoo(s).
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finishing all the room assessments I need to for the check in Sunday, tomorrow my plans include hanging with Shel all day in the hospital and Sunday, I want to watch some good tv after picking up Max!

unconscious mutterings

1.Chemical :: my chemical romance
2.Poker :: face
3.Federal :: reserve
4.Mattress :: king sized ... LOVE IT!
5.Who am I? :: Who are you?
6.Investigation :: Murder
7.In good hands :: granny B being cared for by Aunty Bren
8.8:30 :: Good t.v. starts in 30 minutes
9.Creditors:: Hate them. Hate knowing who they are. Hate ever having had a call from one.
10.Resource :: townhouse (at work)

list #1 "stickers"

Last year I participated in the blog a day every day for the month of November from the website Nablopomo.

This same website is now posting a month to month challenge starting with the Month of March.
I was planning on participating in this months challenge and yesterday I missed day number one which excludes me from the "official" participation list, but I am going to go ahead and continue with my monthly postings anyway.

The theme for the month of March is "lists". I must post one list every day for the entire month. Today I will post two lists.

Here is my list numero uno.

This week at work I have been doing room assessments. I carry a clipboard to write these assessments on. When I was working as a "tracker", tracking kids on house arrest, I carried the same clipboard. I have had it now for a LONG time and it is covered with stickers.
Here is a list of some of the stickers on my clipboard.

1. Big Bird
2. Mickey Mouse with a soccer ball (x2)
3. Vans
4. AAA fasten seatbelts
5. del Monte - Equador
6. Horseshoe
7. Seatbelt warning
8. Wile E. Coyote
9. dinosaur
10. Lightening bolt
11. Cat in the Hat
12. Scooby Doo
13. Coca Cola
14. 2 beavers
15. 2 ladybugs
16 heart
17. Ying/Yang

it still happens