Morning came with the sun shining, but still looking quite cold. The fire was indeed still burning, obviously not as big as last night, but still burning. After breakfast, Brian and Peter go out to check on it, which is their excuse to go out and play with it. Watching them was quite amusing. Like two kids (which men really are) poking at it here and there, moving the wood around while performing some kind of ritual dance, trying to look like they knew what they were doing. Louise and I, however, KNEW better, and the proof was that they damn near killed the fire several times. The only way to get them to leave it alone (once we saw it flare up again) was to call them in to eat lunch, which, other than beer, was our only weapon.
Quiet, relaxing day otherwise. Brian took Peter back to Edmonton, and stopped in to see Stewart, who is doing better all the time. He should be out of ICU in a day or two…J
Fire was still burning some when we went to bed.
Tuesday and the weather is getting a bit better. The worst is over, well at least for now. The fire was still smoldering, and of course, Brian HAD to play check on it. Oh well, it kept him amused while I did a quick load of laundry and packed up.
After lunch, we headed for Calgary. Had a great time at the farm. Thanks Louise and Terry. The roads were good, and the traffic wasn’t bad either. Arrived without incident at Mandy and Dave’s.
It was sooooo good to see them. Nolan is just as adorable as ever (spoken as a true Nana). While Brian was showing Mandy (Dave was playing hockey) a few pics on the computer, I got to give Nolan his bath. I’m not sure who had the most fun, Nolan or me, but we both got wet, and ended up in our pajamas. Ok wait…Not WET in our pajamas… and only one of us was wearing a diaper.
Well Brian and I had an interesting night on an air mattress. It’s not what you’re thinking…Althoughhhh…..Ah, never mind. It started when I climbed onto it first. I guess ‘climbed” is inaccurate, considering it’s on the floor. Anyway, if you’ve ever slept on one, you’ll know how it’s kind of like a water bed only with air, so when you get on, you roll until you find the right spot and then you lay really still or your right spot becomes a wrong spot. So I’m in my right spot, and Brian, whom I can only guess at the time has forgotten this was not a regular mattress, PLUNKS himself down next to me, at which time I am immediately LAUNCHED into the air (albeit gracefully) and onto Mandy’s craft table (not so graceful) where I was assaulted by various crafting utensils…..I KNOW…I’ve still got a color marker tattoo of a happy face on my butt. So anyway, after much wiggling and giggling we both found our right spots and managed to get some sleep. In the morning I tried to explain to Mandy and Dave what all the noise was about, but they just covered their ears, and kept repeating “Too much information” over and over.
In the afternoon went to visit Kim (Brian’s Daughter) Josh (her husband), Olivia and Penelope (their kids). Those girls are also as cute as ever…J Christmas Eve evening was spent at Mandy’s. Great food as always, and then Brian and I beat them at a 90’s trivia game. Not Trivial Pursuit, which usually takes 6 hrs and 14 minutes to get through (5 hrs if you’re team has at least one person with a Masters Degree in stupid questions), but an easier game that, if you’re lucky you can free jump your way ahead. I say it was our SKILL at rolling the dice that kept us free jumping, but Dave used another word that….well….I’d have to use soap just putting it in print. It was a fun evening, for sure. Then off for another round of mattress pong.
MERRY CHRISTMAS! Up to fresh coffee, and a big breakfast. Lordy, we haven’t stopped eating since we reached Alberta a week ago, but then we all know that Christmas season food is calorie free….It’s true, Santa told me…J It was Nolan’s first Christmas, and I so enjoyed watching him tear away the paper, which was really the most fun part as far as he was concerned. It took them an hour to get a picture of him with his first hockey stick because every time Dave put it in front of him, Nolan would just chuck it aside. Dave is obviously hoping to raise a future Calgary Flames hockey player. Ah, good luck with that Dave.
We also spent some pleasant time with my niece Belinda and her husband Richard, before heading over to BJ and Ricks for dinner and a sleep over. My mother (Betty) lives in PEI, and I don’t get to see her much, so I was thrilled that she was in Calgary for Christmas. Plus, she finally got to meet Brian. I’m happy to say that after passing both a written and oral exam, by the end of the evening, she gave him a big two thumbs up. It was nice to see everyone who was there too.
And to all a Good Night.
On Boxing Day, BJ and I went to visit my cousin Bob in the hospital (He’s doing well for any family out there who may be wondering), while Rick gave Brian his test for his Pleasure Craft Operators License (In ’09 it’s mandatory, so I got mine in the spring). Did he pass? Yes, but he drained out his savings account. Hope you enjoy your new big screen Rick.
Later we went over to Kim’s to spend the evening and once again have a sleep over. As you can see, we didn’t lack accommodations while in Alberta. Olivia kept us busy (Three year olds have too much energy…I’m just saying). I learned how to play Guitar Hero, which for anyone who doesn’t know, is when you have this fake guitar and you hook up the program to the TV screen, where it shows you as part of a band, and you have to follow along to the song being played by pressing what’s supposed to be guitar strings, but are buttons (kind of) and you get cheers from the fake audience, and points (if you’re any good), or booed and kicked off (if you’re no good). You can also choose to play the drums or sing along as well (the singing part should only be done if EVERYONE playing has consumed large amounts of alcohol… which we had not). Now it might not be so hard to do if the music and lyrics were recognizable to me. I admit I don’t keep up on what the “young” people are into. Anybody with me on that? Hmmm. So….four adults… strumming… drumming…and singing… with fake instruments…to a fake audience. Yaaaaa, I know. You damn near need a drink just to picture it. Ok, in case anyone thinks I’m being negative here, I’d like to clarify that we really DID have a fun time. I just like to poke fun because….well, because I can. It’s all part of being a Raconteur (After hearing that word on the radio, we looked up the meaning, and Brian says it’s me, so go ahead, Google is your friend…or just use the dictionary).
After visiting with our families over the next couple of days, Brian and I were ready to go home to the RV in the rain forest. I got to give Nolan his bath once more, and after a final night on the carnival mattress, we left Monday for BC. We spent the night in Winfield (near Kelowna) at Lisa’s house (Mike’s girlfriend), and then headed off again Tuesday morning.
The closer we got to Errock Lake, the more snow there was. As we turned into the entrance of the park, we were met with white, white and more white, as in snow, snow and more fricking snow. Here, there and every-#*#@*!-where. The rain forest was now a Snow forest. We had left with 8 inches on the ground (which was bad enough) and came back to 3ft. 2 inches (I swear) of WET snow, which sucks trying to trudge through. And remember the tarp issue? We WILL conquer it one day…or die trying…arrgh. Anyway, the parking area at the office was plowed out as well as the way to trailers with residents, but as we had been away, ours was not. The manager then offered to plow the way, including a bit of a driveway at the rear of the RV…BUT…Oh yes, there is a but here….Brian says No Thank You….I KNOW!… Why you ask? Well your choices are:
a) He’s a man and therefore thinks what he thinks is valid and correct.
b) “It’s not that bad, and it’ll rain in a day or two and wash it all away”
c) He’s out of his mind
Pics to follow. Anyway, at this point, I’m just happy to be home, so after parking the car at the office, I let HIM make a path to the door of the RV (no shovel) and we eventually get all our stuff inside. I’m happy to say that, other than bear paw prints on the floor and in the butter dish, dirty dishes in the sink, a broken sofa and a rumpled bed, all was as we’d left it. Ah yes, there’s no place like home…J
Well New Years Eve started with a noisy furnace. Actually the noisy furnace started during the night, but as it was still blowing heat, we ignored it until morning, at which point, it could be ignored no more. Sooooo…Mr. Fix It removes it from its compartment, and after turning off the gas, proceeds to take it apart. A short period of time later we put Plan B (electric heaters) into play. Not as cozy as the furnace heat, but better than nothing. Anyway, by 3 pm the RV looks like a workshop (albeit a very small workshop) with tools, furnace pieces, and accompanying screws for said pieces, in the shower, on the counter, table, floor, and sofa. He spared the bed, but only by threat of bodily harm. To his credit, he did diagnose the problem. The motor needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, we can’t get a replacement for at least 2 or 3 days. That’s 2 or 3 more days watching where we step, and where we sit, as well as cooking without any counter space whatsoever, and no pizza delivery service…sigh.
We ventured off to the dock and Mike’s boat to ring in the New Year. People filtered through during the evening, and at midnight, we set off flares (stations were notified, so no one thought these were distress signals). Some flares went higher than others, and, if …that’s if….they were shot off over the river, they’d land in the water and glow for a bit before dying off. My flares, however, didn’t take direction well, and although I tried to shoot them so as to land in the river, they deliberately went astray, and landed … well… on land. I would like to take a moment to thank the local Fire Department for their quick response.