Wednesday, September 29, 2010

time for class again

It is already time for me to get ready to leave for class again. WOW that two weeks went by a little too quickly! I have some homework to finish up and print off and I made sure I went to the library and picked up some books on CD for the drive. It is funny how quickly perspective changes on distances when you are driving ten hours each way every two weeks. All of a sudden the six hours to my brothers place for Thanksgiving seems like a walk in the park!
I had to laugh at my books on CD choices this time. Our little library has a limited selection of audiobooks - about three racks. I stood in front of them and went back and forth and picked up one here and one there and then put them back and picked others. I finally chose three and checked them out. When I got home and moved them from the truck I looked at them more closely and saw I had checked out two from the same author! (Elizabeth Berg)
I just  heard on the radio that October was national Book month. YAY! I think I will celebrate somehow - as if I need an excuse to read while I am in school.

My, what big feet you have!

I think I just mentioned he turned four. FOUR.
Dang kid. Where'd he get such big feet?
( I got him a new coat today - he is now is size 6/7!)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why is it that when you are the MOST tired you are least able to sleep?
I am so tired my eye has been twitching for two days straight. As soon as I get ready to roll over and go to sleep at night one of the boys wakes up. Last night CJ was a bear. I don't know what was the problem or if he is just being a wacky two year old. Well - HE IS being a wacky two year old, and though I enjoy toddlers I am ready for this "stage" of development to be over and to have my sweet baby back. A monster swallowed him - and he walks around making monster sounds to prove it!
The amount of things that have to be accomplished in the next two months are just mind boggling - literally I am having trouble keeping track of everything I need to get accomplished on a daily basis.
My mom is in California, coming here next week, but I have been trying to keep in touch with her as much as possible while she is on the same continent as we are.
My brothers 13 month old is in the hospital in Calgary because he swallowed some cleaner accidentally and burned his innards very badly. (Shel moved all our cleaning supplies from the LOCKED cabinet under the sink to the tallest cupboard she could find in the house - even though my nephew didn't get into the cleaning cabinet!)
I have school three weekends this month and one weekend we are going to Edmonton for Thanksgiving with my other brother and family and my mom. I am still hoping to squeeze in getting a tattoo while we are in Edmonton since that was the original plan for the trip to Edmonton in the first place, but now it has turned into a mini reunion, which I am happy for - but I still want my tattoo!
My sister is getting married in Utah in November, and while I am thrilled for her she didn't give us much time to plan - AT ALL.
Somehow in amongst all this I will have to work, do homework, and most importantly find time to hang with my boys. It seems that the hanging with my boys part is the part that is suffering the most. I need to do some kind of shuffling of my life so I am not missing out on them.
I don't want the blog to fall by the wayside, but it is a challenge to come up with a spare minute. As it is I am robbing this minute from something else I am supposed to be working on.

Friday, September 24, 2010

down, down, down, in a burning ring of fire.....

When we purchased our home and moved in a few years ago the land was surrounded by trees. There were trees to the north of our home, not on our property, but beautiful trees that shielded our home from view of the road and from North winds, and above all, were just downright pretty.
We asked the owner of the property, who was leasing the land to a farmer, that if he ever decided to sell to please let us know because we would like to purchase the land and keep the trees. He said he would do so and said as far as he was concerned the trees would never come down.
Well, he sold the property, didn't tell us, and the trees came down last summer. It was very distressing and we have a plan to plant trees, but it will never be the same.
The trees have been in piles right on the boundary of the properties for over a year. This weekend he decided to burn them.
I was away in B.C but Shel was home and said it was unreal. We are literally being smoked right out of our house. The smoke in insane and no-one can breathe, not even the pets.
She tried to call everyone she could think of to see if there was anything we could do and there isn't one thing. We have to wait it out. It's so ridiculous. I know it's his land and he can do what he wants, but there should be some kind of rule about impacting the health of others by what you do on your own property. Here are some pictures of what it looks like today - it's been burning a week now.

 From the north looking back towards our house. That's the barn you can see through the haze.

On our property looking north at the east pile - there are two piles burning.
From the road looking back at the smoke - it's smoke, not fog.

I have completely lost my marbles

I am sleep deprived and I have to head back to BC for class in 7 days. This time next week I will be well over half the way back to class. I have homework to do and reading to do to get ready for class and I have to work this weekend again. Have I mentioned I am tired?
I went yesterday on my lunch hour to the library to return the books on tape I took out last week for the trip. I have to check out some more for next week, but my trip yesterday was PURELY to return the CD's.

Of the 4 CD's I checked out I listened to two completely (one of them was ridiculously long) and I started the third but didn't like it so I stopped listening before the first cd was over. I didn't get a chance to listen to the fourth.

So after I checked the CD's back I just decided to "walk" through and "see" what books they had. I was not checking out any books. I keep telling myself I am NOT doing any "fun" reading until my class is finished.

I picked some books up and put them back. I picked some others up and thought I would check them out "just in case". Just in case what?

I checked out with NINE... count them NINE books. Ai ai ai ai ai. I have lost my mind completely. I am an addict. I told myself I would not read any until my homework was done.  Last night I picked up a book and started it while I was watching tv premieres.
Shoot me now.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

First Day of Fall

I love the solstices.
Happy second or third day of FALL! (I'm a mite late with this post - sorry!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

driving home

I have never been in this part of the country. I didn't see anything other than the road, but it got dark fast.

Stopped for gas here.... I have to look up the name of the place.

Snow in the mountains. Fun to look at, not so fun to drive in!

Construction what?

I DID see a baby bear and tried to get a picture but I was too slow. I am sad I didn't get a photo cause my boys would have loved to have seen it.

All told since I left the house on Friday morning I drove 2617 km. When I was at the 2552 km mark I was behind a semi and got a WICKED rock chip in the windshield. I am so frustrated. It is pretty much inevitable living up here, but I was still mad about it.

things to check before you leave on a trip

If you have two vehicles, and two sets of car keys, and you are taking one vehicle and leaving one vehicle for your spouse while you are away... it would be a good idea to make sure you don't have both sets of keys to the vehicle you are leaving for your spouse.
It can complicate matters - and leave you relying, YET AGAIN, on good friends who seem to never tire of helping crazy people and bailing them out of the messes they get into.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

1534 km later....

Class was over on Saturday afternoon. I thought I would leave immediately and drive to Kamloops but I was tired. I went back to the motel and crashed. I got up Sunday morning and headed out. It rained and rained and RAINED. It was wild!

Of course there was construction.

The clouds were low and much of the time it was as if I was driving in a rain cloud. When it started to clear it was quite beautiful. Shel would be proud of me - I pulled over to the side of the road to take a photo! I didn't go to the bathroom though, and that proved to be a bit of an issue a bit later!

The further south I drove the more the terrain started to look like Southern Idaho/Northern Utah. It made me laugh. Certainly there are differences, but it was weird how it reminded me of "home" - the home we left 8 years ago.
I arrived in Kamloops and checked into the motel. I am unaccustomed to the sounds of the city. I thought there was a lot of sirens until I realized I was right across from the hospital! Since I set out on my trip on Friday morning I have travelled 1534 km. I am tired. I am ready to see my family. I am excited for the next few days to explore the city. My emotions are running amok.

My Baby is FOUR

I am away from home today and it is my number one's birthday. He is FOUR!

I miss him so much and can't wait to get home.

I love you my main man.

(And it makes me laugh that you still have this exact expression!)

Things I learned in stats class

I have been totally worried about stats class. Don't get me wrong, I have no fear of stats itself, but I have not had positive interactions with this instructor and it has had me worried.
I can put all my fears to rest! He is a great instructor. I like how he is approaching the stats for this class - compared to how the last instructor was approaching it.
He has a very dry sense of humor and a few times had me chuckling. He seems to me to be a very stereotypical "absent minded professor" - without the absent minded part! It's obvious he is brilliant and he knows so much about so many things. I learned all about Harry Belafonte's Banana boat song.
It was originally a Jamaican folk song made popular by Harry in 1955. It's about slaves wanting to be finished with the day of work and asking for the tally man (the slave who was assigned a supervisory role) to count the bananas. Slaves were not permitted to learn to read or write, so they use tally marks - like the ones we used in class! He also gave us some history of music and how in the 1950's there was a separation between what was seen as appropriate for white people to listen to - in a racially segregated America. This song by Harry Belafonte became very popular with "white" listeners and was seen as a real break though in the music world. It was a way for the Caucasian kids to rebel - but an interesting topic of song to use to rebel against racism!

I also learned that I have a lot of fun plotting numbers into a double stem leaf....

The other thing I was a little worried about was fitting into the cohort. I was a part of a cohort for my classes here. I think on three occasions we had people from outside the cohort join us for classes and it really had an interesting impact on the class dynamic. I was worried about being disruptive and an "outsider" in the class, so I really made an effort to tone myself down and watch, not jump right in. I had a great experience with everyone in the class, and was even invited to the standing breakfast a number of classmates gather for each Saturday before class. It was great!

I got all the homework done on Friday night that I needed to and MOST of what I needed to get done on Saturday. I still have some stuff to do but it is WORLDS more clear than it was when I tried to do it over the phone. I think this is going to work out just fine! Now if only the weather will co-operate we are GOLD!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Drive to BC

What a night and what a day!

I was up this morning at 4:00am to leave to BC. I had to stop in at work to see if my wallet was there. I went in and looked everywhere and couldn't find it, so I HAD to go back to the house because there is no way I could go away for the weekend without my wallet.
So back to the house, more searching, then BACK to work to try there again. I was freaking out. I had no idea what I was going to do if I couldn't find my wallet. LUCKILY the second time I was in the office I found it. I must have left too fast last night and left it there.

So I was late leaving town, but got on the road at about 5:30am. I have to admit I was excited to spend some time driving without the kids - I went to the library yesterday afternoon and took out some books on CD. I have felt like I needed to put the reading aside for a while now that I was back in class and have my thesis to write, so driving ten hours was a great excuse to listen to a book without feeling guilty! I loaded up the first book and got on the road.

I got to Chetwynd in good time. I have never been there and it was a cool little town. They have all these wooden carvings up and down the main drag. I managed to get a few pictures of them but I didn't stop for long - just to gas up - and was on my way again.

I left Chetwynd and got back on the road and almost immediately ran into construction for the first time. This stop lasted about 15 minutes and I got out and stretched my legs for a while.

Leaving this construction site behind I drove into a wall of fog. It was insane! I thought it would last a few miles, but it was thick for over 100 km. Once I got out of the fog the rest of the drive was beautiful. I didn't stop other than the times I was waiting for construction, but the whole way I was thinking how much Shel would have loved it and how many times she would have had me stop so she could take pictures!

When I actually DID stop to try and take some - knowing Shel would want to see some of what I was experiencing without her - the camera kept giving me a message that there was a lens error. It was so frustrating not to be able to take pictures when I finally stopped.

I made it to Burns Lake in plenty of time to book into the motel and get settled before class started. It was a LONG day, but I am happy to be getting this class behind me. Hopefully nest time Shel can come with me.

Long night. EMS and a RIDICULOUS doctor

It has been a bit of a surreal experience. I was at work at got a call from Shel to come home immediately. I knew something was wrong so I walked out right away and started home. As I was driving home I got a call from a 911 operator asking for directions to my house. She had received a call from our house and Shel didn't know the land location but knew my cell number. I gave directions and sped up. That is a scary call to get!
I called our neighbour and friend and told her what had happened and she left immediately to the house - she was closer than everyone. When I got home she was outside with the boys, she said Shel was bleeding and puking and just wanted to get the boys out of the house. She took the boys to her house.
I went into the house and into the bathroom. Shel was white as a sheet and the bathtub was FULL of blood. Blood clots and clumps of tissue like I have never seen before filled the bottom of the tub. Another neighbour arrived - a nurse - and helped Shel for a few minutes until the paramedics arrived. The paramedics took her vitals and loaded her up to take her into the hospital. I packed up some stuff and followed them into town.
Our small town has four doctors. Each of the doctors takes a turn to work the outpatients in the evenings. Tonight was Doctor A and a student. He is not our family doctor and we have not had any good experiences with him. Our experience tonight tops them all and I am so disgusted I am seriously considering making a complaint about him and his treatment of Shel. He came in shortly after I arrived. He looked up Shel's nose and said something to his student. He at NO time addressed either of us or asked us any questions. He walked over and took out a long q-tip and came back to Shel and stuck it up her nose. Her head jerked back and her eyes welled over with tears and she said "stop! STOP! What are you doing?" He pulled the thing out of her nose and said he was cauterizing her nose with silver nitrate to stop the bleeding. HELLO!
Could you talk to us? Ask us what has happened? Tell us what possible courses of treatment are? Tell us you would like to cauterize it but it may sting... SAY SOMETHING TO THE PATIENT! He was VISIBLY angered by her reaction to his cauterizing and IMMEDIATELY got defensive with every question we tried to ask. Shel asked at least, AT LEAST five times, if he had any theories for why her nose would bleed like that. He never answered her once. The student looks at me and says - "There are many reasons for a nosebleed - maybe she was picking her nose."
Even with the silver nitrate her nose has not stopped bleeding. We still have no idea why her nose was bleeding.
The visit with the doctor went on for a few minutes. he got increasingly angry and started to say he would not stand there arguing with us. We weren't arguing, we were simply asking questions and wanting answers. Shel lost a LOT of blood. Enough blood that the paramedics felt it was in her best interest to go to the hospital and get checked out. Enough blood that they were concerned she was going to lose consciousness from all the loss. The doctor never asked how long she was bleeding, what precipitated the bleed, he got absolutely NO history at all and he does not know us.
I have never met a more egotistical and rude doctor. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I cannot comprehend how people in a "helping" profession cannot find it within themselves to HELP people in need.
This was one of the worst experiences of our lives and it was compounded by the fact that the doctor offered no assistance at all and simply further complicated the situation.
I have left out much of the conversation. It is simply too frustrating to recount here. I will only say that we eventually left the hospital and went home - without being assisted in ANY way. Shel's nose continued to bleed for the night but thankfully the throwing up stopped. we both think the silver nitrate has done more damage than good. Overall we are flabbergasted by the treatment we received.
so would you believe that out of the whole experience we can find a silver lining? Our community - our friends and neighbours rallied to our support fully and without hesitation. Our boys were cared for, we were supported, and we have realized how truly blessed our lives are for the gift of these dear people.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My life in book titles: meme

Basically you just answer the questions with books you read this year!
I took this from Pink Sheep Cafe.

In high school I was: The Book of Unholy Mischief (Elle Newmark)

People might be surprised: My Name is Memory (Ann Brashares)

I will never be: The Witchdoctors Wife (Tamar Myers)

My fantasy job is: The Sorcerer in the North (John Flanagan)

At the end of a long day I need: A Reliable Wife (Robert Goolrick)

I hate it when: Love Walked In (Marisa de los Santos)

I Wish I had: Peeps (Scott Westerfield)

My family reunions are: Small Beneath the Sky (Lorna Crozier)

At a party you’d find me with: Last Known Victim (Erica Spindler)

I’ve never been to: Iron River (Jefferson T. Parker)

A happy day includes: White Picket Fences (Susan Meissner)

Motto I live by: The Season of Second Chances (Diane Meier)

On my bucket list is: A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hoessini)

In my next life, I want to have: Fire (Kristin Cashore)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Clean in time for Halloween?

It has been a wicked week of illness at our house. With three our of four of us down for the count the house has fallen into a state of disarray. Let it be known that four people can make one heck of a mess! Being sick has really mucked the boys schedules also. The baby is feeling miserable so he takes these little cat naps all say, but the medicine he is on really amps him up. He has these bursts of energy at very inopportune times - like when I am ready for bed. When he was in the hospital they were giving him pure adrenaline. Ever seen a 2 year old on pure adrenaline? It's quite something to witness. It's something else to be in a hospital room with one.

It hasn't helped things that this is one of the first weeks back to school for the kids in college, which means work has been busier for me in the past few weeks than it has been since the end of May. Long hours, lots of after hours calls, many days worked consecutively, and coming in on weekends. It WILL settle down, it does every year, but in the meantime these weeks are brutal. Add to that the fact that my classes start in 6 days, and the stress is on!

The weather is changing. The boys want to play outside still but today they had to wear toques for the first time this season. A lady I checked in at work tonight said it was snowing when she left today to travel here from her home - a few hours south west of us. YIKERS!

I spent the morning trying to get a jump start on catching up cleaning. The boys bedroom floor had to be steam cleaned, their trucks and cars washed. I was doing laundry, vacuuming, folding laundry, picking up garbage, cleaning floors, and when I stopped cleaning to get ready for work you couldn't tell I had done anything. It will take two or three times as long to get cleaned up as it took to get us into this mess, and with all the travel we are going to be doing in the next little while that will delay us further. I am hoping for a clean house right around say... Halloween?


12 of 12: September

Chad Darnell is the host of this most excellent monthly meme. Check out his blog and other 12 of 12 participants by linking HERE.
Here is a trip though my day....

Son number one wants to play outside with his wagon - which he calls a "wheelbarra".
He has two planks of wood holding up his platform and then items on top of his platform. He has to stop every now and then to readjust everything. I told him he was not allowed out without a toque because the wind was pretty cold and he dug out a toque on put it on! Long gone are the days he fought to take them off his head.

2. 10:30 am
The leaves are changing colours and it is still the first weeks of September. It feels too soon to me.
3. 12pm.
Trying to get some laundry done before heading to work. There is too much to do and somehow clean items keep ending up on the floor with much help from Great Dane Hugo who knocks them off with his head. The mums the boys got me are looking beautiful.
4. 1:30
Washing the floor in the boys bedroom. It is taking me too long to get this done with all the additional little feet pattering in and out of the room. The boys dumped talcum powder and corn starch all over the floor and the vacuum was just not getting it up.

5. 2:00pm
Shel's idea for washing the boys cars - also covered in powder and corn starch. I thought it was a great idea - anything better than washing each one by hand.

6. 3pm

Headed to work I stop in at the post office. I always "forget" to pick up the mail - translation - I hate stopping for the mail. The flowers are still looking good. Some flowers at our house didn't even bloom this year.

7. 3pm
Town is dead on a Sunday afternoon.

8. 3:30pm
Dropping off an overdue book at the library. I have five more days until I officially begin school again and I have to put my reading on hiatus for a few months so I get my damnable thesis written and my coursework done. I am not happy about my farewell to books. I have four books to finish this week.

9. 4pm
I arrived at work for check in and saw the picture my son drew for me and put up on my office wall yesterday. It brought a smile to my face. he couldn't find tape to hang it up with so he hung it with playdoh.

10: 5pm

Check in orientation. Every time I book this room for a check in something is missing. Today it was the overhead projector. I improvised and used the smart board. For never having used a smart board before I was impressed with my skill of getting it up and running.

11. 7pm. Headed home for the night there was a beautiful rainbow. I was trying to get the Rainbow and this old building into one picture but the angles were all wrong. This picture turned out better than any of the rainbow ones!

12. A rainbow one...

Everyone seems to post a photo of a meal. This is my meal for the day. Salad with lettuce, croutons, cucumber, cheese and mushroom. I was missing my chick peas - which for me is absolutely necessary for a salad to be complete - but I ate it anyway!

Monday, September 6, 2010

we are all sick

Every loving last one of us is sick right now.
The baby was admitted to the hospital his afternoon with croup and the spousal unit and I both have strep throat with other flu like symptoms, including ear infections to boot. Maxie Man has a sinus infection.
The only thing worse than having two sick kids is being sick right along with them. I suppose I should be grateful it all happened at once and not one at a time passing back and forth for months. Then again we have yet to see how long this little doozer is going to hang on. In the meantime I have to work tonight, but I absolutely, positively, WILL NOT be in to work tomorrow. (That was me trying to convince myself.) Sick days are for sick people. I qualify. I need to get my head around it and stay home - or at the hospital - with my sick babies.
Until then - I have to get to work!