Saturday, October 30, 2010


Halloween is a holiday I like the "idea" of, but I haven't really grasped the whole thing yet - not to the fullest anyway. Where I grew up there was no recognition of this holiday and so I didn't grow up with the idea of celebrating Halloween. I love the idea of carving pumpkins, but so far I have not successfully carved any with my kids. I like the IDEA of trick or treating, but so far we haven't taken the boys every year (this is in part due to their disabilities and not my lack of interest though!)
I want to decorate, but haven't done it yet. I want to  hang little ghosts in the trees - haven't done it yet.
Thankfully my boys are young and I have many years ahead of me to get my desires for this holiday translated into reality.
One of the other things that I don't "get" about the holiday is how it is celebrated on different days depending on where you are... In some places, like Utah, there is no trick or treating on Sunday. I don't think it's a law - but maybe it is? And if it is a law how can you legislate a holiday? If it isn't legislated then it is the culture of the communities that dictate that there is no trick or treating on Sunday - which is also weird to me.
Tonight I am driving home from school and I am in Prince George. I stopped at a red light as I drove into town and walking across the street in front of me were two adults, one dressed as a vampire and the other as a frog. Strange. Isn't Halloween tomorrow? Is it like Christmas - where it is "ok" to decorate early and walk around dressed up? I stopped to get gas and a guy was in the station dressed as a zombie with full mask on. Even though I KNOW it is Halloween tomorrow it still made me feel a bit weird. I thought he was about to rob the place.  I still have some acclimating to do.
Today when I was sitting in class the lady sitting next to me was looking through magazines to find some easy appetizers she could make for a Halloween party she is having tonight at her house. She decided on a seven layer dip with the sour cream on the top layer in the pattern of a spider web and some shrimp arranged on a tray to look like a brain. Easy, quick and fun ideas, but do I need to have a party to make them myself?  She said every year she buys one magazine with Halloween ideas and then keeps them all and goes back through them for different ideas. Apparently the Martha Steward Halloween volume is now recycling ideas they used 7 or 8 years ago. FOR SHAME Martha, FOR SHAME!
She saw this CUTE idea for a Halloween breakfast with fried eggs and bacon made to look like a skull and crossbones. I won't be home in the morning, but my boys LOVE when we cook bacon and eggs, so it's something I will try even if my timing is a bit off!

Friday, October 29, 2010

missing blogging

I have been missing blogging recently. There are a couple of reasons things seem to have been impeding me.

I was on a good run and then I was away from a decent internet connection and it all just slipped away. I can't WAIT until we get a decent connection at home again. Shel and I have decided we want to get a Mac and so now we just need to work out the timing. I have never had a Mac but Shel has and loved it.

Since not having the connection I have gone through  some personal things and I have wanted to write about them but I still need to process them a bit.

I made a decision long ago not to write anything seriously about work here. Right now there is a lot of work stuff occupying my mind. Trying to balance what I "should" and "shouldn't" write about when it comes to work has also been in the back of my mind. I have some things to say that are important to me, but I need to find a way to post without causing myself any potential troubles.

It isn't for lack of ideas, but just lack of organization I guess that I haven't posted as much as I have wanted to recently. I WANT to get back to it, now I need to decide where to start.

This post is just an exercise in getting my fingers moving, like the exercise I used to do in writing class - stream of consciousness writing - just open the computer and start typing and maybe I will get out of my head and onto the "page". It might be easier to get my thoughts worked out if they are coming out of my head, the way it worked when I wrote faithfully in my journal.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I just want a fridge, not a remodel of the whole house.

I live in the North. North of what you say? 
Far North. 56.10788 N to be exact.

Without any frame of reference you might think. Hmn. That's not THAT far north.
Well here are some of the other locations that share a latitude of 56 degrees north.
Places you may have heard of before and thought, "DANG, those are cold places!"

The North Sea,

The Baltic Sea,

 The Bering Sea,

NORTH of Moscow in Russia,
The Sea of Okhotsk

56°0′N 155°40′E / 56°N 155.667°E / 56; 155.667 (Russia) Russia Kamchatka Peninsula

56°0′N 160°34′W / 56°N 160.567°W / 56; -160.567 (United States) United States Alaska - the Alaska Peninsula

56°0′N 79°53′W / 56°N 79.883°W / 56; -79.883 (Canada) Canada Nunavut - Flaherty Island and Innetalling Island

56°0′N 78°59′W / 56°N 78.983°W / 56; -78.983 (Hudson Bay) Hudson Bay

56°0′N 6°0′W / 56°N 6°W / 56; -6 (United Kingdom) United Kingdom Scotland - Island of Jura
The Manse Craighouse Jura

and .....
56°0′N 3°21′W / 56°N 3.35°W / 56; -3.35 (Firth of Forth) Firth of Forth

So as far as refrigeration goes, one might think I don't need it. One might think that I could cool my food with ice and snow, which lasts in my neck of the woods something in the neighbourhood of NINE months of the year.

You would think - she can just bury her food in a hole in the ground and keep it cool all year round. You might be right, but the ground is too frozen to dig a hole in. I've tried.

So I rely on a fridge. That is, until our fridge died a few months ago. I thought we would get a fridge quickly to replace the one that died, but life happened (translation - we never got enough money to buy a new fridge) and we have been living without a fridge for a while now. TOO long.
So it is time to replace that which has been lost to us, and that which we have realized is of IMMENSE value to us. We started looking on the internet. Our tastes are simple. White. Maybe we will splurge on a "side by side". Who knew fridges today came with so many bells and whistles. I am not looking for any Cadillac version. As much as I want a fridge, no, NEED a fridge, I am not about to spend 4 grand on one. HOLY COW there are some expensive models out there. 
And here's the rub..... Our house is so old that the doors are only 30 inches wide. Do you think there is a fridge out there that I can buy that will fit through my front door? Nope. Not a chance Charlie. I mean, sure, a beer fridge would fit. Somehow that does not seat my nudes. I mean, suit my needs.
I guess it's no luxury ice making, water dispensing, side by side fridge for us. Shoot. I'm just not ready to pull apart the walls in the house to get a fridge through the door. Though the sound of tearing out walls is appealing, it's too cold to start that now. 56 degrees north remember.

Friday, October 22, 2010

relaxing this weekend

I am looking forward to this weekend in a way I have not looked forward to a weekend in my recent memory.
I don't have to travel to school. My homework for my stats class has been faxed to my instructor. There is a check in at work on Sunday and I am not doing it! This week was a check out week at work and what we call a "back to back" - which means the kids check out on Friday and new kids arrive Sunday. These weekends are always insanely busy with inspections, cleaning, and getting everything ready for new students, but this was the smoothest checkout I recall in 7 years of back to backs.
I completed the survey of exiting students that I needed to. I submitted the proposal for a contract that I needed to. I took some instructors on a tour which I scheduled poorly, but it turned out well anyway. I can shut the door, turn off the lights, and forget about everything until the craziness starts again on Monday.
Next week I have four events scheduled in four days and then back to school on Friday morning in the winter weather. Starting next weekend I am away for four consecutive weekends, three for school and one to my sisters wedding in Utah where I haven't been since 2003. It will be the craziest 30 days of my life this year.
Maybe we might even get a call that the adoption's are complete? Wouldn't that just be a pip!
Just a stop at the grocery store to get some "supplies" for the weekend and pajamas ..... here I come!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: memories with my mom

For today's post I am going to share some memories I have of my mom. Other bloggers have already posted their thirteen for the day, you can link to them HERE

I have a wonderful relationship with both my parents, one day I will share some dad memories. My mom was just able to spend some time with us and it will be a long time before she visits again. I wish she and my dad lived closer.

1. I broke my leg playing soccer in high school. My mom would drive me to school and wait as I maneuvered my way into the building with a cast up to my hip. When I was about 3/4 of the way down the path - too far to get into or away from the building very quickly - and she would call out to me "  I LOVE YOU HONEY! YOU FORGOT TO KISS ME GOODBYE!" Oh funny lady. FUNNY LADY.

2. On Sunday afternoons when we still lived in Zim we would go to my Nan and Grandad's house for supper. We would play soccer or other games as a family in the front yard. My uncles and their friends all rode bikes - my uncle's friend JJ was a motocross racer. They would all ride bikes around the yard. They would all take turns doing stunts. My mom could do some awesome stunts. I remember her up on the bike seat with one leg up in the air behind her.

3. When I was in high school I was in seminary. For Mormon high school kids this is a daily scripture based study. For kids in Utah or other highly populated Mormon areas this is something you can take during your school day in buildings close to school property. For remote locations this is something you either have at your church building every morning before school or you do it yourself at home. My first year of seminary I was the only student in our area. I had no teacher and no class to go to before school. My mom woke up with me early EVERY morning, made toast and hot chocolate, and studied with me. EVERY DAY.

4. We drove across Canada from Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia when my dad got a job in Sydney. To keep us occupied mom had us memorizing scriptures and nursery rhymes or poems and depending on how long they were she paid us for each one we memorized. I still remember the ones I learned. Do you now how many verses there are to the nursery rhyme "Winken, Blinken and Nod"? I do!

5. My mom sings. All the time. At every task. We would have to do the supper dishes and each of us got to choose a song to sing as we worked. I believe every one of her kids - myself included - still sing all the time. As we were driving home from Edmonton with mom in the car we sang with the boys. Max and CJ are singing more and more every day and I love to listen to them. Singing is an important part of their lives as it was in mine and in my mom's.

6. My mom is wildly creative. She has made all of her kids - five of us - a recipe book with all her recipes in it. in each book she has drawn a little character (mine is a spider, but others have elephants) and the character is featured on every page. All of her letters and correspondence have her little characters throughout, and on the envelopes. It is always a treat to get something in the mail from mom. She makes birthday cards and remembers everyone's birthdays. The cards from Gramma are something special for our boys.

7. Mom can only remember one joke. It is the same joke she knew 20 years ago. She loves jokes and no matter how many times she learns a new one she only remembers one.
"What did one centipede say to the other centipede when a lady centipede walked by...."?
"What a lovely pair of legs, pair of legs, pair of legs, pair of legs..... "

8. She falls asleep the minute she sits down in the day. She is the hardest worker I know and deserves to fall asleep the minute she sits down, but growing up I always wondered why she seemed so tired. HELLO! FIVE CHILDREN! WORKAHOLIC! anyway - she falls asleep in movies notoriously. I want her to watch the movie Princess Bride. She has seen the beginning of it about 400 times, but inevitably falls asleep before the Cliffs of Insanity.

9. Mom stayed at home with us while we were growing up. If I could be one hundredth of the mom to my kids that she was to me then my kids will be lucky, lucky children. I try to be a mother like she was every day.

10. Mom is an athlete. She is a wicked squash player and played basketball in a league when I was young. She held the record for high jump in her school for many years - it was after she was married, had children and we had left Rhodesia for Canada that my grandfather called to tell us her high jump record had finally been broken. By the time it was broken high jumpers had a different "style" of jumping. I wonder if the jumping styles were the same if her record would not still be standing.

11. A harder worker I have never met in this world. Mom is always working on something or the other. We talk to one another about the lists of things we are working on. When mom was here we got a LOT done from my list of things to do. It is a joy to work with mom, the time passes effortlessly when we work side by side.

12. My mother is a woman of faith. She knows what she believes and she lives what she believes. Unfortunately her faith and my sexuality are at odds and we have had some conflict, but no-one in my family doubts my mothers faith. We "joke" about the power of mom's prayers, but there is no doubt or joke in the fact that when she prays, things happen. My sister in law was in labour and my brother asked for mom's prayers. The labour started to proceed with much haste and my SIL said to my brother - "tell your mom to stop praying" !!

13. My mom is my idol. I want to be like her and if my kids love me as much as I love her my life will be complete. A more amazing woman I have never met.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Three Beautiful Things

1. Our great dane puppy. He is 11 months old now and I love him. He is such a baby in so many ways, but he is a great protector of his family. A contractor came to the house today and Hugo didn't leave my side the whole time and made sure the contractor knew who was boss! In our small community in a house with two women and two boys I am happy that we will have a reputation for having a ferocious dog - even if he isn't.
(And by the way - he barks at EVERY person that ever comes into our house or yard and he didn't bark ONCE at my mom!)

2. My sons imagination. I looked after the boys over my lunch hour in my office the other day so Shel could go to the Doctor without them. I have in the office a large size game of Jenga which Max started to play with. I told him he had built a magnificent road, to which he replied - "It's not a road mom, it's a sidewalk." We live way out in the country on an acreage and there are no sidewalks. Where did he learn about sidewalks? In any case, I love him and his imagination.

3. My spouse.  My spouse is beautiful for many reasons, but today she is beautiful because she took Max to school and took the baby with her and so I was able to sleep. GLORIOUS SLEEP.
So beautiful.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

99 things to do.. Number 43

So I have this list of 99 things to do during the year of 2010. On my list, Number 43 is the following:

43. Cook a dutch oven meal!(COMPLETE OCTOBER 2010) Cooked with my mom on her visit and it was YUMMY!

Though I can't pin down where or when, I know I have eaten a meal cooked in a dutch oven and the memory I have of the experience has lasted even though nothing else about the experience did!
So I have wanted a dutch oven for as long as I can remember. We have looked and looked for one - including looking online - and had no luck finding anything we could afford to get. Dutch ovens are very heavy and so to order one online is impossible because the shipping and handling costs are redonkulous.

This summer Shel found one and brought it home for me as a gift and I was thrilled beyond words. I got some dutch oven cook books and cooking a meal for the family jumped to the top of my list of things to do. Unfortunately soon after getting the dutch oven, a fire ban was imposed in our municipal district. No fire = no food. So we waited.

My mom was here with us for just three days. The time flew by so fast but we managed to fit a lot of stuff into the short time she was here and we managed to get a meal cooked in the dutch oven! The recipe book makes me laugh because in my mind dutch oven cooking is something you do out while you are camping and not when you have access to all the amenities of "home". This cookbook we have gives instructions to do things like use your food processor, refrigerator and other things that to me would not be available while camping. Thankfully our fire pit is 20 feet from the back door of the house so I DO have access to everything I need.
We used the food processor and blended bread, garlic, salt and pepper, egg yolk, and lemon juice.
Then we pounded the chicken to 1/2 and inch think and covered both sides of the chicken with the mixture. The recipe didn't call for it but we put potatoes and carrots in the pot also and put it on the fire. The whole thing took about an hour to cook.

I am thrilled that we were able to use the dutch oven even if it was only "once" this whole season. My mom and I had fun cooking together and the meal was awesome.
According to the recipe book you can cook it in the oven just as easily and we liked the recipe enough we might try it. Here is a picture before it was quite finished:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Studying for Stats

I can't believe it is already time for my stats midterm. I have made study cards and my mom has been quizzing me on them while she was here. I have done quite well in memorizing and preparing for the exam... or so I thought.
I arrived in Burns Lake and busted out the study cards and text books for some review before class.
The teacher gave us a homework assignment last week and said that although we don't need to hand it in it is directly related to the exam and so we need to have the homework done if we want further prep for the exam. I have done the homework.

When I checked my school email there was a study guide sent out to the class with some ideas of practise questions from the text that we could do for test prep. I did all the questions on the study guide. I honestly felt as though I had done all I could, I felt I could understand concepts and was ready for the in class review and the exam in the morning. Then I got to class.....
HOLY COW is all I can say. I had my mind completely blown in what I thought was going to be a review session. First we covered completely new material which will NOT be on the exam. Then the prof handed out some articles which had been published so that we could "practise" writing out hypothesis testing formulas.... I was so lost I thought I had gone to the wrong class by mistake. I have been to every class. I have taken notes. I have done the homework and all of a sudden it was as if my brain was not computing a single solitary thing. I was hearing words that people were speaking and I recognized the individual words, but it was as though I was looking at a box of jumbled puzzle pieces. I had NO idea what was being said and what it was supposed to be or where to begin to comprehend.
With the exception of two people in the class, everyone is from one community. They were talking about their study groups and the things they had reviewed and studied together. If I am completely honest I will have to say that study groups never did anything for me and even if I HAD been close enough to participate I likely would not have, but I felt as though they were light years ahead of me in terms of preparation. Some of them had old study guides from other people who have taken this course. Others had copies of exams from other stats courses they were using as study guides. I managed to make it through the class and back to the hotel room. What a lousy night.

30 days of truth meme - an idea for November

Next month is November and I want to participate in the National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), but to be honest November is a nightmare. The problems I have include my travel to school in BC (twice) and to Utah for my sisters wedding (once), and the fact I have no Internet at home on the weekends. In case I DO decide that I am going to try it out in addition to my "regular" blogs I think I might try a 30 days of truth meme that I have seen going around. Here are the topics....

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.

Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.

Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.

Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.

Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.

Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.

Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.

Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.

Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.

Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.

Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.

Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)

Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)

Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.

Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.

Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.

Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.

Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?

Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.

Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?

Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.

Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.

Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)

Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.

Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?

Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?

Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.

Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

I have to be honest and say that although I think there is some value in writing a letter to myself to say everything I love about myself, I will likely NEVER post that online! So although I am all about the honesty thing, I may substitute some of these topics for others... So don't get your hopes up!


I travelled again this weekend for class. I am so tired of driving, but grateful I have a wonderful vehicle to travel in and grateful for the beauty I get to enjoy as I drive. I have listened to quite a few audio books which is nice, and after this weekend my class is HALF OVER! Only three more times to make the trip and I am forever done with classes towards my masters degree. Hip Hip and Hooray! ( I actually have four more scheduled classed but I am hoping that I can write my final here with a proctor and save myself a December trip)

As I started into the mountains it was overcast. I had seen some snow in the tip tops of the tall mountains on the way into B.C. but I was hoping against hope that there would be no snow further down and on the roads for another few weeks of driving.

It was not meant to be. The higher I climbed the closer and closer the snow came until I was right in it. I even passed a snow plow! It was a beautiful site and even though I wanted to get home quickly and told myself I was NOT stopping to take pictures, I did pull over and take a few - but I didn't get out of the vehicle because I was still wearing my Birkenstocks and no socks!

(My spouse and my mother will verify that I DID pack socks and I even packed my boots and my winter coat... I am hoping to get one more trip before having to wear either of them though..... I wonder my my chances of that are?)

Friday, October 15, 2010

back in the car

My mom was with us for a few days and is gone already. I miss her so much!

I am already back in BC for school, it feels as though I never left.

This is how I started out my day! - I treat myself when I am travelling, because there is no Timmies in our town.

Now that I am back in Burns Lake the sky is looking ominous. I hope the snow stays away until I leave Sunday. But now I need to go and study for my stats midterm.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


We celebrated Thanksgiving day today because we have to travel back home tomorrow. My sister in law also has to work tomorrow, so today worked well for us all to cook and eat a big meal.
The kids played, and played and played some more. I can't say enough about being close to family and how wonderful it is.
Shel shared her green bean and bacon dish which I think Des will adopt for their family and we also shared our thanksgiving tradition with rice kernels which we have now shared with Just and his family and Jar and his family. It is something I took from mom and dad and we have done it every year. It is fun to share traditions.
Each person takes rice kernels at the beginning of the meal and sets them next to their plate. Then as dinner goes along, for each rice kernel you have you share with everyone something you are thankful for and put one kernel of rice into a bowl in the middle of the table. The whole conversation around the Thanksgiving table is all about things you are thankful for. It makes the whole thanksgiving meal center around gratitude and I love it.
Another perfect day for which I am grateful!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

fall day

We spent the afternoon at Prairie Gardens north of Edmonton today with the cousins and gramma. The boys had a fabulous time. Max loved the bunnies and CJ thought the goats existed for him alone. Shel said we need to get goats for him!
They weren't too interested in making their own scarecrow, but Max spent a fair amount of time climbing the jungle gym and going down the slide and CJ found a toy backhoe and played in the dirt.
We did go for a ride on the wagon pulled by the tractor and Shel's shoe fell off. Thankfully Justin was there to jump to the rescue and retrieve it for her. Des found a wagon to put all our bags into and Justin became the designated wagon puller, most times with CJ and Max in it as well as all our junk.
Des and Shel partnered up in the petting zoo and made sure the bunnies crates were moved out of the sun and given fresh water!
Right at the end of the day CJ got stung on his finger by a bee - poor baby - but the day was a great success and it was wonderful to spend the time with the cousins. We made some great memories. Tomorrow we are celebrating Thanksgiving with everyone. It has been a LONG time since we have been with family for Thanksgiving, and I am grateful!

Friday, October 8, 2010


We drove, we made it to the city and we are about to spend the weekend with my brother and his family and my mom.
A more perfect Thanksgiving I could not wish for this weekend.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

99 things to do.... update October 2010

Maybe by the end of the year I will actually have 99 things listed, even if they arent all done.

1. Sort through the box in my bedroom closet that I have moved to two different households without sorting through.

2. Write monthly letters to my sons. ( I am thinking this should actually count as 24 "things to do" and not one. Depending on how much I get accomplished I may change this later!) INCOMPLETE 2010 - How did I fall of the wagon on this one when I was doing SOOO well?
3. Start my thesis.
4. Finish my thesis.
5. Participate in Chad Darnell's 12 of 12 every month.
6. Go to a movie, in a theater, with my spouse. (COMPLETE AUGUST 2010)
7. Clean out the bathroom cupboard. (COMPLETE APRIL 2010) - but I need to do this one again! What happened?!
8. Do at least ONE cross stitch project.
9. Get an updated criminal record check (COMPLETED APRIL 2010 - and AGAIN in OCTOBER 2010 - it expired before the adoptions were complete!)
10. Get a carbon monoxide detector for the house. (THIS IS COMPLETE! January 2010)
11. Fence the dugout.
12. Renew my first aid.
13. Find our marriage license. (didn't find it - so I ordered a new one! APRIL 2010)
14. Change our last names - to a blended last name. (COMPLETE MAY 2010)
15. Send my spouse to see her dad in the USA. (COMPLETE FEBRUARY 2010and SEPTEMBER 2010)

16. Get haircuts for the boys. ( I cut it myself in June!) Max got his cut again in August.
17. Take family photos.
18. Finish my stats class.
19. Work on my mom's 60th birthday present BEFORE her birthday! (Unfortunately this was not complete in time to send to mom on her birthday..... FAIL)
20. Get the carpet up off the staircase - remove the staples from the steps. (COMPLETE MARCH 2010!)
21. Get the hallway painted.
22. Lay new carpet on the staircase.
23. Make myself a bookmark.
24. Replace Shels' cell phone (COMPLETE. FEBRUARY 2010)
25. Cancel the contract on my cell phone. (COMPLETE. February 2010)
26. Put up Maxie's toddler bed. (COMPLETE. APRIL 2010)
27. Change the furnace filter. (COMPLETE. January 2010)
28. Hang hooks in the bathroom. (COMPLETE. January 2010)
29. Put together the smart shopper cards from IGA. (COMPLETE. February 2010)
30. Sort the tools. (STARTED May 2010)
31. Work on the boy's baby books.
32. Get an electrician quote on the house. (COMPETED MARCH 2010)
33. Hand in all the paperwork for foster care BEFORE March 31.(COMPLETE March 2010)
34. Take all the furniture from the old guest house to the dump.
35. Get tinkey winkey fixed (COMPLETE APRIL 2010) need to get new brakes, new windshield, and fix the lights before the end of the year.
36. Teach Max to ride a bike. (COMPLETE OCTOBER 2010) - he got on his bike and started riding!!
37. Box up all the clothes too small for the boys and donate them. (STARTED JUNE 2010) We have done this twice and need to do it again before school Starts in September.
38. Go camping with the family. (COMPLETE JULY 2010) We went for one night to the foster family camp and I am counting it! Next year we will have a tent trailer for SURE and we will do a lot more camping. I think the boys are finally old enough.
39. Take a family picture at Lake Louise.
40. Get a Christmas gift to my parents BEFORE Christmas!
41. Send out a family letter before December 31 2010.
42. Get a dutch oven.( Shel and Max found me a dutch oven in June! YAY!) Now there is a fire ban on in the Municipal District where we live so this might take a while to get completed.
43. Cook a dutch oven meal!(COMPLETE OCTOBER 2010) Cooked with my mom on her visit and it was YUMMY!
44. Stain the deck.
45. Get a haircut. (COMPLETE APRIL 2010) for me and Shel! and again in JULY
46. Submit receipts again up to the end of July 2010. (COMPLETE September2010)
47. Order Checks. (COMPLETE APRIL 2010)
48. Start Stats Class in Burns Lake (COMPLETE SEPTEMBER 2010)
49. Get an electrician to the house to start on rewiring (COMPLETE APRIL 2010)
50. Pay my taxes. (COMPLETE APRIL 2010)
51. Put the new windshield wipers on the van. (COMPLETE APRIL 2010)
52. Get a brush for Zuva and brush her. (STARTED APRIL 2010)
53. Prune. (STARTED APRIL 2010)
54. Fix the lamp from Homa.
55. Finish painting the barn.
56. Rototill the garden spot. (Started May 2010)
57. Take the lawnmowers in for repair. (Bought a new one! JUNE 2010) now the new one needs to be repaired. We are hard on our lawnmowers..
58. Get Shel a new pair of glasses. (COMPLETE JUNE 2010) She got two new pairs!
59. Get the septic tank pumped. (COMPLETE JUNE 2010)
60. Start rewiring the house. (COMPLETE MAY 2010)
61. Get new wires installed for HDTV and PVR. (COMPLETE June 2010)
62. Get a new dishwasher. (COMPLETE June 2010)
63. Get the yard pinned.
64. Get the yard fenced.
65. Install new screens in windows.
66. Install new screen doors - front and back.
67. Install new doors. Front and back.
68. Plant a garden. (INCOMPLETE FOR 2010)
69. Plant some flowers. (complete JUNE 2010)
70. Put up the shelving unit on the back porch
71. Submit all paperwork for the LAST of foster care maintenance. (COMPLETE SEPTEMBER 2010)
72. Trade in the van. (COMPLETE AUGUST 2010)
73. Get a new vehicle.(COMPLETE AUGUST 2010)
74. Paint the back porch.
75. Frame some of the prints from mom and dad. (COMPLETE JULY 2010)
76. Make a 2011 photo calendar.
77. Get a tattoo.
78. Dig out my journal and start writing again.
79. Spend Thanksgiving with family.(COMPLETE OCTOBER 2010)
80. Go to Utah for Jill's wedding. (COMPLETE NOVEMBER 2010)
82. Take a risk. (COMPLETE SEPTEMBER 2010)!
83. Get Hugo Fixed.
84. Get costumes for the boys for Halloween and take them out! (COMPLETE OCTOBER 2010)
85. Make curtains for the bathroom.
86. Make curtains for the back porch.
87. Make curtains for the upstairs hallway.
88. Get the sewing machine down and mend some clothing.
89. Buy a new fridge.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Surgery again

This time last year we were just finished with Maxies surgery to put tubes in his ears and have his adenoids removed. A year has made an incredible difference in his hearing and in his speech. Then this summer he started to get ear infections it seemed on a weekly basis. We finally got a referral back to the specialist and Shel took him in today. First of all the appointment was ridiculous.
He was scheduled and on time for the scheduled appointment. Then Shel had to wait with him and Ceejer in the waiting room for TWO AND A HALF HOURS. I do understand that doctors get behind, but to have two small children in a waiting room for that long is outrageous - especially when they have an appointment time and they were there for it! Let's not add that it takes over an hour and a half drive time just to GET to the appointment in the first place.
Poor Shel. I feel ridiculously bad that she had to do it herself. It is difficult to do with two people, let alone one person.
I know that some people reading this might think two kids are easy to handle, but let me assure, you, two kids with FASD .... total other ballpark.
After waiting for an inordinate amount of time, the doc saw Maxie and made his prediction. Another surgery.
His adenoids have regrown (last time he had them out they were the size of plums) and he needs tubes back in his ears. They are booking for November, so we will wait and get a call from the hospital for the surgery.
I know he needs it, and it will surely help his breathing and his ear infections, but surgery again is a nightmare. He does not react well to the anesthesia and coming out of anesthesia is beyond words. Last year he was still "little" enough to hold, but he is a big boy - a four year old wearing sized six and seven clothing. 
And November - winter will have arrived, so it is a trip in the winter. In November I am still going to classes and November is my sister's wedding in Utah which I have booked a flight for already. Another pretty busy month.
My poor boy - apparently these adenoids can keep growing back and back and back. Nice!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Burns Lake Cemetery

On of my favorite blogs is The Bumbles Blog. On September 22nd the Bumbles posted about cemeteries and posted photos from their local cemetery. I love them and the post made me realize how many years it has been since I have visited one myself. I have been thinking about it ever since and so as I was driving to class and passing small cemeteries in the small communities I wanted to stop and check them all out. In Burns Lake I pass the town cemetery every time I leave the motel and go to the high school where my class is taught. After my brain numbing experience with stats today I knew I needed to spend some time outside and decided it was the perfect opportunity to go for a walk and take some photos. Here is what I came away with.

 There was a blend of headstones, from very old to very new. This one was wood and had no inscription anywhere.

 I really liked all the different styles of markers. I have been in cemeteries where the markers are all uniform and not so visually interesting to me. (Military markers excluded).

 I found this inscription particularly interesting - it says "first white settler". I wish I had more time to explore the history of this region and find out more about Jacob. There were quite a few markers with dates from the late 1800's - for the west coast that's impressive.

  I hope you enjoyed that little walk as much as I did!

Friday, October 1, 2010

I have a dream...

My trip to class today: McLeod Lake

The drive to school is a beautiful one. This is McLeod Lake. Unfortunately there are no great places to pull over and take pictures and this is one of the areas where there is construction. The fog on the lake this morning looked amazing. I hope you can get an idea of how cool it was.

My trip to class today: Bijoux Falls British Columbia

I left really early this morning to travel to class. I was tired and travelling in the dark too long and I was starting to struggle a bit. I stopped at every opportunity I had to pull into a rest area. It made the trip a little longer, but it kept me awake! Once the sun came out it was a lot easier to stay awake and I also managed to see some cool things. I stopped at Bijoux Falls Provincial park and took some pictures of the waterfall.

And here's the view as I was getting back onto the road...

I was also drinking a lot of water to help keep me awake. I don't know if the water actually did anything to keep me awake but I had to stop to go to the bathroom FIVE times before I was halfway through the trip - so that sure helped! Last week when I drove I ate sunflower seeds to help keep myself awake but I ate so many that the lining of my mouth was completely fried. I don't know which is better - burning the mouth lining or needing to urinate like a racehorse. Either way, the scenery is sure nice!

I will just add this last comment... Nothing turned me around faster than trucking through the bush to find a spot to relieve myself and coming upon this sign! That little adrenaline burst woke me up enough to put few good miles behind me quickly.