Monday, November 29, 2010

A very old meme

I've swiped this from Pink Sheep Cafe. He got it from Dead End Follies and Too Many Books, Too Little Time. I have completed this already on facebook, and what I heard was that the BBC put together a list of 100 books claiming that the average person will have only read six of them.

I have never actually verified this. HOWEVER.....


According to this list I have read 46, but I thought I had read 48.....  I need to check my other list and see what I am missing here.
 
I don't know why they include the complete works of Shakespeare as one book - obviously it isn't. My personal belief is that they should list individual books - the same for Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, Chronicles of Narnia, and The Faraway Tree Collection. Anyway, if it was the BBC that put the list together they didn't consult with me.

The books in BLUE are the ones I have read and the ones in RED are the ones I started, but couldn't finish and the ones in BLACK are the ones I have not read. I am adding books in GREEN - these are books I doubt I will ever read! And what about the ones I HAVE read that aren't on this list? I think I should be able to brag that I read Atlas Shrugged!

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma -Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis 37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry - I am PRETTY sire I have read this, but I just can't verify that belief!
87 Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery --
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare -- Isn't this part of the Complete Works?
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

One Word Sarcomical Sunday: Meme

I am posting quite a few memes lately, not because I have nothing to say, but I am processing how much I want to post on this blog or whether I should go "private" so I can post whatever I want to.....
In the meantime I don't really want to stop posting, so I am filling the gaps until I decide what to do.



Link to the original HERE

1.Your holiday decor: Developing...
2.The weather where you live this time of year: Extremely Cold
3.Your favorite smell of the season: Pine (Christmas tree)
4.Your favorite beverage of the season: Coke - from cans with Santa on them!
5.Something you wish you could avoid during the holidays: Cleaning up
6.What you typically bring to the potluck: I typically don't attend.
7.What you wish people would stop bringing to the potluck: eggnog
8.A word to describe how you feel about the word 'potluck': interesting...
9.What is on your feet right now: Vans
10.How many layers you are wearing right now: Two

11.Where in the world you would rather be right now: South Africa with my parents.
12.Something that makes you feel invigorated this time of year: The thought of spending time with my boys.
13.Something that makes you feel challenged this time of year: Darkness - driving in the dark to and from work.
14.A cold weather comfort food you crave: Soup
15.Something you wish you were doing right now: Sleeping
16.Something you SHOULD be doing right now: Sleeping
17.Your opinion of snow: LET IT SNOW!
18.Your opinion of those big furry-looking hats with earflaps: Warm
19.A tradition you'll be sure to keep this season: Family time.
20.A tradition you'd like to start this season: more giving

Conversations in the car

Shel: The temperature is dropping the closer and closer we get to home.

Me: That's cause we live in a depression.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Currents: November 2010

Current mood: Happy

Current movie: I've been watching the Bee Movie with CJ today

Current TV Show: Right this minute I am watching the Grey Cup. The only CFL game I have seen this year.

Current book: DragonQuest

Current song: Christmas music!

Current album: none....

Current food: Pasta

Current drink: Water

Current color: White

Current Beauty Product: Sleep

Current celebrity crush: Cally - Sara Ramirez

Current Project: Finishing my Stats Class and getting ready for the final exam

Current need: Pasta

Current guilty pleasure(s): Roasted Chestnuts

Current annoyance: -39 temperatures

Current excitement: Finishing my class this weekend.

Current triumph: Finishing Stats!

Current anticipation: Going for our first ever FAMILY (post adoption) pictures.

Three Beautiful Things

1. Chestnuts. YUM!
2. Faxing in my LAST homework assignment! HIP HIP HOORAY!
3. Snuggling with my baby.

Friday, November 26, 2010

99 things to do: Update November

This is the last weekend of November so I plan to get a few more of these items checked off!


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. ( COMPLETE - I cut it myself in June!) Max got his cut again in August, and both again in October.
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. (LIGHTS and PLUG fixed NOVEMBER)
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 and NOVEMBER!
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. Pin the Yard
64. Fence the yard.
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)
81. EAT MEXICAN FOOD IN UTAH! (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.
90.
91.
92.
93.
94.
95.
96.
97.
98.
99.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: Gratitude

Thursday Thirteen is hosted HERE. Check out other participants!

This week, in the spirit of Thanksgiving (even though I am in Canada and our Thanksgiving was over a month ago) Here are 13 things I am grateful for.

1. I am grateful that the adoptions of our sons are complete. I know I have posted on this a lot this week, but I am not ready to stop talking about it. I know we are blessed to have two adoptions of two unrelated children complete on the same day. In spite of all the challenges we have faced throughout this process we are blessed.


2. I am grateful for the HUGE bag of M and M's which my friend greeted me with in her driveway in Roy.




3. I am grateful that the seasons keep changing and that I can find pleasure in some aspect of all of the seasons.

4. I am grateful that I was able to travel and attend my sisters wedding in Utah. I saw my family, I saw my friends, I ate great food, I laughed so hard my stomach hurt and I loved every single solitary minute of the trip.

Here is a photo of one of the laughter moments. This guy in a kilt with a skateboard was walking through the mall - totally random. I was running to take a picture of him, my friend was running behind me. Here's this trail of people running through the mall. Kilt man, fat lady with a camera, skinny lady busting a gut. When I caught up with him I asked him to pose for a picture. I could not stop laughing. People were looking at us like we were from another planet.




5. I am grateful for my spouse who made the trip possible and who stayed at home with the boys and suffered sleep deprivation while I was away. ( I had to find a picture of he she would not object to having posted).....



6. I am grateful that I have ONE exam separating me and the end of my grad statistics class.


7. I am grateful for all the LUXURIES which I enjoy in my life, they are many.


8. I am grateful for the relationship I have with my parents and with my siblings.




9. I am grateful for the access I have to medical care in Canada.


10. I am grateful for early intervention programs which support the learning and development of my son (s).


11. I am grateful for my oldest son whose laughter and ingenuity amaze me every day.




12. I am grateful for my youngest son who is the healer of my heart.




13. I am grateful.

Is it cold yet?

Look what we have to look forward to!
Oh Canada, The true north strong and free(zing).

Who knows better....

We had a visit today from our foster care support worker. We are on hold as foster parents for six months because we have just completed the adoptions, but we haven't seen our support worker since late this summer and she wanted to stop by. She is wonderful (as long as we remember that everything we say to her can and will be documented!)  and Max in particular is fond of her which is great since he isn't really fond of many people. (Sounds like he IS genetically related to his mother and I!)

Anyway, she came over and brought us a beautiful bouquet as a congratulations on the adoptions and we were sitting at the kitchen table when Shel arrived from picking up school kids and brought in some groceries. She put the bags on the kitchen floor and went out to the vehicle for more. Max went over to the bags and started to unpack them and put stuff away. He brought out a frozen pizza and went to put it into the freezer of the mini-fridge. I said to him "That won't fit in there Maxie, it needs to go downstairs." He said "It will..." he put it in and shut the door. It fit.

Then he went to put something else in and he had to move a jar of pickles in the door to fit everything and he put the jar on the top shelf of the door. The lid of the jar was taller than the space allowed for and it hung out and appeared as though it would impede the closing of the door. The support worker and I both said " The door won't close Maxie." He said, "It will." and shut the door. I said to her, "I think we need to stay out of it, he obviously knows more about putting away groceries than you and I do!"

Shel called me tonight at work to see if I had any idea where he put the cucumber. I had no idea and would hate to even try and guess, but I was tempted for a minute to suggest to Shel she wake him and ask him where it was - in payback for EVERY night when he wakes us in the middle of the night!

Shel made Maxie and the support worker a cup of tea each. Max LOVES tea. They were sitting at the kitchen table together drinking tea and she said to him, "We both love tea, we will have to drink more tea together" to which he responded "At your house?!"

I know, every part of me knows, that he has disabilities, but in these moments like today I am just SOOO grateful for all that he understands and does and I put out of my mind for just one minute my concerns for the future, his and ours, and I bask in his personality. His growing, glowing personality.

My number one.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Looking back

I have been looking back at some old blogs that I wrote a few years ago. It is wild to think I have been blogging for a few years already. I used to do some things that I really enjoyed. One was Ten on Tuesday where a topic would be posted and people would all respond to the topic with their own ten responses. I haven't done it in so long I had forgotten about it and when I went back to the place it was originally hosted it is no longer there.

I liked it so much I wondered if I could start up a new Ten on Tuesday blog myself. Is there some kind of Internet etiquette about stuff like that? Is it possible for me to start up my very on Ten on Tuesday blog for people to come and participate in? Is that stealing an idea and is it "unacceptable"? And if it IS an "o.k." thing to do, how do you get people to participate in something like that? I have been thinking about it all night and all day today.

Another thing I used to post quite frequently were "conversations in bed". Things that came up in conversation with my spouse that I found humorous. I don't know why I stopped that one either except that we had children and our bedtime conversations lapsed into stupors of exhaustion. If we DID talk I likely forgot about what was said before I ever made it back to a computer. But I enjoyed those posts and I would like to start them again.

Last night I had a conversation with Max at about 3am when he came into the room for the tenth time and I finally gave in and let him onto the bed.

I actually did not converse much because I was still in a dream state, but Max said to me
"When I get big I am going to wear your pants and eat peanuts." (He is allergic to peanuts, but I have some peanut M and M's from the USA which he has seen and asked about.)

I can see his interest in Peanuts, but wear my pants? Really?!

Job Comparison

When Shel and I lived in the USA, I worked for the Utah Division of Youth Corrections. At that time I was a college graduate and I made 12 dollars an hour. I was thrilled to have a job and to have insurance and I loved my job. There were issues about budget (it seemed as though there were ALWAYS issues with budget) and so one of the things we were told at that time was that we would not be getting yearly wage increases.

I worked in a facility where stressed out parents could come in with kids, meet with a counselor, and if the issues were too volatile or a resolution could not be reached and the families needed a time out, we would provide a very short term time out for the families by having the kids stay with us in the facility for a night or two. Of course, the most stressful times for families was always around the holidays and the facility was usually filled to capacity around this time of the year. For staff this meant that getting a day off on a holiday was highly unlikely. In all the time I worked for the division I worked on either Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day - or all three. It was just how the cookie crumbled. It was something I hated, but it was "life", there just wasn't another option.

When we moved to Canada I got a job in the Education sector. Schools close on all the holidays and so all of a sudden I had Thanksgiving off, Christmas off, New Year's Day off in addition to the vacation days I accumulated each year.

For the school I work for until you have worked seven years you accumulate 15 days off per year. This year a new contract was signed and now after five years of employment you earn 20 days off per year. 20 days off per year is a MONTH of vacation. I earn a MONTH of vacation! I can't believe what a thrill it is to say that. I am more excited to use it, especially now that the adoptions are complete and we can get passports for the boys and travel to visit family and friends who live far away.

When I was in Utah I visited with friends who still work for the State of Utah. They still have a freeze on wage increases. They still have to work on holidays.
Granted in every job there are things I have loved and things I have hated. I will always cherish the years I worked in Utah for the things I learned and the friendships I have made that have lasted many, many years and will last my lifetime. Now I will use some of my vacation days to visit my friends who work all the time! Oh Happy Day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

365/14: Cael

Last year I started a blog posting project called x365 which is supposed to be a year-long journey, writing short vignettes about 365 people who have touched your life.


The idea was started and finished by someone else. His project is completed but you can check it out by linking to him HERE (and you can check out those written by others.)


I got thinking about it. It is something which completely captivates me and yet scares me at the same time. Obviously the people who have had an impact in my life have not all had a good one. Do I even remember or KNOW 365 people? This is something that has the potential to be offensive, and yet I keep coming back to thoughts of the project and thinking I will do it.


I have not posted anything on my project 365 in a long time, but I thought I would get back to it... so here we go....


Cael.
My son. My baby.
It is amazing to me how someone so small, so young, could impact my life so much in such a short time.




Cael came to us when he was one day old. I have known him his whole life!
He was tiny, under 5 pounds when he came home.


This boy is my heart.
When we knew he was able to be adopted, we immediately planned to adopt him ourselves. In January of 2010 we met with caseworkers and adoption workers (3 people in our tiny kitchen) who told us that although we had applied and been accepted to adopt him there had been a "problem" with our file and we were not "correctly matched" and that Cael would be put onto the adoption website because babies were highly adoptable and there was probably a family who had been waiting longer than we had who would be a better match for Cael than we were.
I cannot express in words the agony and anguish that I experienced in that moment. My entire world completely collapsed. This baby who we knew and had cared for from the day after his birth was going to be taken away from us. They also told us at this time, even though we had been through the adoption process to become an approved home, that we were no longer an approved home and if we wanted to adopt a child in the future we needed to start at the very beginning and have a worker come to our home to do an assessment. (This had been done already.)
I thought I was going to lose my baby. I thought he was going to be taken away. I thought at that moment that I could not handle it and I could not allow myself to love him, or to bond with him any longer. I thought I needed to steel my heart for the inevitable separation.

My little boy would not have any part of it. He loves me. He RUNS to me when I come in the door at night. when I call out,  "I'm Home!" He yells "YAY!" He hates to see me leave to work in the morning and he cries when I leave. We watch tv together. He snuggles into my shoulder. He melts into my body. He loves me completely. He laughs and my soul sings. He is my light.

We fought the decision that was made in January and the fight was a brutal one. We jumped through more hoops and went to more meetings and signed more papers, and had more intrusion into our lives and 11 months later (11 months and 6 days after we were told we could not adopt him) a judge signed the adoption order and made us a family.

Cael has danced his way into my heart. My little humpback whale.

video

favorite poetry

I love poetry, this is a favorite of mine which I wish I were closer to living...

"Love after Love" by Derek Walcott.




The time will come

when, with elation,

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror,

and each will smile at the other's welcome,



and say, sit here. Eat

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you



all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,



the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

Monday, November 22, 2010

ADOPTIONS COMPLETE!

I can hardly believe it is true but it is.

We have been working on the adoption of our two boys ( placed with us at birth through the foster care program) since they were able to be adopted. For our oldest the wait has been over three and a half years, for our youngest the wait has been over a year and a half.
We got the call on Friday that the judge has signed the paperwork and we are legally and lawfully a family now.
I cannot express in words how grateful we are. The process has been painful and exceedingly long. We have suffered drawbacks at every turn. We have cried, yelled, had more meetings than I care to remember, and we have filled out and signed more papers than for any other thing in our lives.
Our boys are OURS and we are THEIRS and we cannot be happier.
I thought at one point that once it was all said and done I would rush to post all the agonizing details which I was not permitted to post while we were in the thick of it. I may still post those details at some point, but for now I want to put all the ugliness behind me and live in the joy of the moment.

Here are some photos for you so you can see our beautiful boys.....






It is a joyful moment indeed.
Our happy family......



 


Monday Movie Meme

One of my all time favorite blogs, THE BUMBLES, host a weekly movie meme. I love it, but since we have no movie theater in town and my viewing of anything on television is dumbed down to Dora and Mighty Machines I hardly ever feel as though I have anything worth contributing. It has been SEVEN years since we moved away from movie theaters. Oh, it hurt to realize it! But, I think this week I will participate...

This week the week's movie topic is all about Mind Games...


We all have forgettable moments. When we do something embarrassing or stupid that we hope no one noticed or will quickly forget. The movies love to make their characters forget. Memory loss. Hypnosis. Spells. It makes for interesting plot possibilities and entertainment for the viewers. Here are some of those films we came up with. Share on your blog unforgettable movies with characters who forget, linking back here at The Bumbles. And don't forget to visit your fellow participants!

Here are my favorite movies that have to do with Memory Loss....
 
1. Memento.
FANTASTIC movie. I liked it a LOT.
 
2.50 First Dates.
Not the greatest movie of all time, but cute!
 
3. Finding Nemo. (not really about memory loss, but Dory had short term memory loss and I loved her character)
 
4. The Long Kiss Goodnight.
This is also one of my all time favorites, absolutely my favorite of Geena Davis movies.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Three Beautiful Things

It has only been a week since I was with all my family for my sisters wedding and I think I am still enjoying the "glow" of it. Today is also my sister's birthday... Happy Birthday Jill!
Three beautiful things for me today are all family:

#1. My beautiful inquisitive nephew looking into the bush because there was a hole in it.
"Just sticks" is what he said when I asked what he was looking at.

 #2. My cousins taking my camera and taking self portraits.

 3. The beautiful bride.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Cake

My boy calls birthday cake "happy cake".
Today we need to make a happy cake.
We are lesbian- which in translation means - "celebrators of many anniversaries".
We celebrate the anniversary of when we started "dating" officially and the date of when we had a commitment ceremony. We celebrate birthday's, hopefully we will SOON celebrate adoption days, and just about any other day we can think of.
Add to the mix the day we were OFFICIALLY married under the eyes of the law in Canada and we have something to make happy cake for just about every month of the year!
Our official day of wedded bliss was November 19th in the Year of our Lord 2003. That's right. We have been married 7 years.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MY DEAREST!
On the night of our wedding we stayed in a motel room with 8 cats and 2 dogs and we had pizza for supper.  We know how to celebrate weddings, but I don't think we will try to recreate that moment anytime soon.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: My Sister's Wedding

My sister was married in Utah on Saturday. I travelled to the wedding and had a magnificent time (and I don't even care I spent my layover in the Denver airport on the way home puking my guts out!)

Here are thirteen photos from her wedding day (actually 12 from the wedding day and one from the day after!) Link to other Thursday Thirteen participants HERE.

I just need to say that this wedding would not have happened in such a beautiful way if not for my aunts and for my cousin's Shanna and Ashleigh. Shanna has a wedding company in Utah - Platinum weddings - and they did all the decorations. My mom lives in South Africa and my sister lives in Idaho and my extended family pulled this wedding together for Utah on short notice and it was awesome.

1. The wedding dress ready to go...
 2. MARRIED!
 3. Bride and Mother.
 4. Bride
 6. Sisters and the Groom.
 7. Bride and her brother. It was freezing cold so Jared was following Jill around and every time she wasn't in a photo he was putting a coat around her. He surprised everyone by showing up the morning of the wedding, no-one thought he was coming but he drove his family from Calgary to Salt Lake overnight to make it to the wedding o Saturday.
 8. The happy (and cold) couple.
 9. Finishing touches on the cake.

 10. Sister putting bows on the lanterns at the reception entrance.

 11. Cousin Rich holding a pin. My aunt told him to hold it and walked away - she never came back!
 11. Rich pinning flowers on Jared. He didn't have a suit so right before the reception my uncle Marvin stripped off his suit and gave it to Jared to wear. Thanks Uncle Marvin!

 12. Leaving the reception mom sat in the back seat and held the flowers.

 13. Jared and Brad saying goodbye after the weekend was over.  Cousin Love.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

12 of 12 - Utah (November)

The purpose of 12 of 12 is for people to take 12 photos on the 12th of the month and post them. I took a LOT of pictures, but I was not at home so I didn't download them and post them to my blog. because I had such a great day I decided to post them here anyway....
Here is one THIRD of my awesome day (the camera battery died can you believe that?)

1. This is the view from my friends back deck. I cannot express in words what it is like to miss these mountains.  Seeing them again after 7 years away made my heart sing. I think it made me a little "happy drunk".
 2. Weber State University - or more specifically the building where I spent the majority of my undergraduate years. Mel is doing a Brigham Young Impression... "This is the Place!"

 3. This is my attempt at photography creativity. Mel did not appreciate my attempts and was hassling me wondering what I was wasting my time doing. Please note the statue AND the logo in the background on the side of the stadium!
 4. Student sleeping in the hallway. We were laughing so hard I was worried I would wake him up. Unfortunately we didn't get a good enough shot and so it looks like a headless person. University is tiring, especially before lunch.
 5. This picture is actually better if you see the three photos preceding. We were trying to get an action shot, but it wasn't working out. This is "faux" action cause it is action "POSED".

 6. If you leave a place and you are gone seven years, you may return to find the places you one liked to eat no longer in business. In the years we DID live in Ogden, this building turned over more times than I can count so I don't think any business is destined to be successful here.  So sad.

 7. MEXICAN FOOD!
I did it! I ate Mexican food!

 8.  Window displays get more and more realistic every day. The glass in these windows wrecked just about every picture I took of mannequins. It's sad really cause there were some SWEET photo opportunities.

 9. The thinker.
Between glass in the windows and me laughing so hard I couldn't hold the camera steady, the photos are not a great representation of how much fun we had.

 10. See's Candy.
Mel wanted to take my photo here but I wouldn't let her cause I am twice as big as her - times two!
The lady in the store was trying to tell us some interesting fact about chocolate and we were laughing so hard we couldn't even hear her. I actually thought she was talking to someone in the back of the store but apparently not. She was completely oblivious to our peals of laughter. She must have been on some other planet.
 11. So this guy walks by in a kilt with a skateboard. I go chasing after him to take h picture but people keep stepping in front of me. I am chasing him ( he had long legs he was cruising), Mel was chasing me laughing so hard she could hardly walk. I did manage to catch up with him though and I asked him to pose with Mel. He thought he scored, but Mel had to hold her nose - he was less than fresh.

 12. Leaving the mall we passed this car again. The owners left the window down and the door unlocked, so of course I DOUBLE dog dared Mel to get in for a photo.
Unfortunately this is when the camera died.....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thrifty Car Rental - what you should know if you are a Canadian (or a sucker)

My second online booking story...

I booked a rental car online (on Expedia.ca) It was a great price.

I went to pick up the vehicle and the man asked me for proof of my own auto insurance coverage.
I had nothing ON PAPER to prove I was insured. My credit card insures me, AND I am covered somehow through CAA (I am pretty sure) because I am an CAA member and I have personal vehicle insurance through CAA.

NO-WHERE on the website where I booked the vehicle does it say that I need to provide WRITTEN proof of insurance when I booked the vehicle online. No where does it say there may be additional charges. He could not prove to me - in anything he had written (like a policy manual) other than saying "It's company policy" that I take their insurance if I cannot prove in writing that I am insured. In fact, I'm calling the company. It is complete garbage that they can advertise and rent cars on a Canadian website and then when you get there tell you that because you are Canadian there are additional charges to you.
What a crock o' garbage.

When I returned the car to the parking garage I couldn't find where to drop the keys and there was no attendant. I looked outside in the parking garage, which happens to be the furthest away from the terminal and there are no luggage carts nearby, and since I couldn't find anything there I went inside, carrying my three bags with great difficulty.

THERE WAS NO PLACE TO DROP KEYS AT THE THRIFTY RENTAL COUNTER IN SALT LAKE.

So I had to go BACK outside, and did I mention it was the FURTHEST away from the terminal? I finally found a drop box and dropped my keys, but I hated it (mostly because I was still carrying my three bags with difficulty). There was no-one to verify mileage. No-one to verify the condition of the car and the gas level. I had to just walk away and trust that they would be honest - and I already didn't trust them! We will see what happens when I get my credit card statement.

And oh - to the man in Salt Lake that works at the National Car Rental -you are not a great rep for your company! I was completely lost and didn't know what to do with keys and I asked him for help. He said he didn't know what I was talking about. I simply don't believe it. Even if it was his first day on the job he must have had a guess as to what goes on in the parking garage. I know it wasn't his company - but he was not interested in even TRYING to help me. So I wont ever rent from National Car rental in the future either!

United Airlines SUCK

I just flew to my sisters wedding. I booked my flight and rental car on Expedia.ca
I have to just say that I have now used online booking for three different things and for all three I have not had a good experience, so I won't likely use it again. In all cases I DID read the small print and in all three cases there were additional, UNEXPECTED charges, which I think is completely unethical.

My flights were booked on Air Canada. My confirmation and my itinerary states that for all legs of my journey I am flying on Air Canada. In fact, from Calgary to Denver, Denver to Salt Lake and back I was on United.

When I went and checked in on my return flight (everything is automated now and there is only someone there to give you a print off for your checked bags and not assist you in any other way) I went through the steps and checked in and was told that because I was checking ONE bag - I had to pay an additional 25 dollars.

I think this is a load of garbage. I paid for my ticket. I had ONE bag, not even a suitcase, and when I checked it in Canada on my way to the USA I didn't pay anything, why should I pay anything to bring it  back?

It wasn't an additional bag. It wasn't an over sized bag. It wasn't even a suitcase. It was a piece I checked on one leg of my journey and had to pay to bring home. If I have a choice I will never fly United again. What could I do? I had absolutely no choice. I had to bring my stuff home with me - the stuff I took with me. I couldn't leave it there. They trap you and then make money off you and they don't notify you in any way in advance.

Their line-ups suck, but that has something to do with people not knowing how to use automated check in's in airports. However, the lady next to me checking in kept getting a message that her passport would not be read. Whose fault was that? Certainly not hers. What was she supposed to do about it when there wasn't anyone to help her? What is the point of having automated services when you need as many bodies to make sure they work as you think you are replacing by spending so much money to have them installed?

Oh - they also break guitars:

Friday, November 12, 2010

12 of 12

I'm in Utah!
I am taking loads of pictures and I can't wait to post them. I am excited to be doing something fun on a 12 of 12 FINALLY!
Post more later :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday 13: Things to bring back to Canada from the USA

http://thursday-13.com/

Today I am travelling to Utah for my sister's wedding.
I am testing this "scheduled" blog post option to post this blog while I am actually in the air on the plane, so we will see what happens and how it works!

We have lived in Canada for 8 years. We have become accustomed to living in Canada but without doubt there are items we miss from the USA and which I need to find space for in my luggage.
Here are some things I am bringing back with me....

1. Chewy Spree. "It's a kick in the mouth!"
2. Mrs. See's Nuts and Chews. (or my spouse will put me right back on the plane!)


3. Dramamine. Gravol just doesn't cut it!














4. Ketchup. Canadian Ketchup has a LOT of sugar in it.


5. Doctor Pepper. Yes it's true - the USA has a different recipe for D.P.


6.  Peanut M and M's

7.  Almond Mars Bars


8. Snelgrove Chocolate Ice Cream - but I guess they don't make it anymore. We would have to make adjustments to our lifestyle even if we had stayed in the USA!

9. Chorizo.

And some things I can't bring back with me, but that I will have while I am in the USA:

10.  A seven layer Burrito from Taco Bell...

11. A bacon, egg and cheese biscuit from MacDonald's


12.  Mexican Food....... (Taco Bell does not really count as Mexican food)

13. Oh, and Mexican Food.

(and I am going to bring back a sweatshirt from my alma mater - Weber State... (pronounced WEE-ber, not  "WEB - er").