Archive forMarch, 2009

There And Back…

There and Back…

 

Well we’d been in Alberta for 9 days. The weather for the first half was really nice. Mandy and I took Nolan, now 14 months, out for walks and to the park, and it was great watching him step onto the grass and suddenly stop as he realized the feeling was completely different from the floors at home. Taking tentative steps at first, and then laughing as he decided it he liked it after all. Mandy and Dave will have a wonderful summer ahead of them as they watch him discover nature this year. Penelope is 5 months younger, but will still be a joy for Kim and Josh to watch as she too begins to discover a new world outside. And Olivia, 3 years old, should keep them going ‘til they drop. I’d love to find a way to bottle her energy. I sure do love being a Nana. All of the grandchildren are so much fun, but instead of tiring THEM out, they tired us out. So then it was time to go out to the farm (Brians parents) for some R&R.

 

Brian had headed out Friday and I was to follow on Sunday. Well that was the plan, but not surprisingly, the plan changed as soon as Mother Nature threw a winter storm warning at us. There we were, enjoying nice, go outside, light jacket, breathe in fresh air, play in the puddles kind of weather, and then BAM, winter again. Whoever pissed Mother Nature off (And you know who you are) should be sent into the Arctic with nothing but a smile. As we all know she can be downright bitchy unpleasant (I don’t want to get her going again) when she chooses and so before the wind and snow settled in I cut my visit short in Calgary and headed off to the farm northwest of Edmonton. I was doing pretty good too, until, ahead of me, a sport utility vehicle, a half ton truck with a small trailer, a car, and a semi truck began a multi-vehicle synchronized lane change. The only problem being they WEREN’T very synchronized. The car started it all when he (the driver, not the car) didn’t merge into traffic, but rather spewed out black smoke (the car, not the driver) when trying, without much success, to pick up speed while entering the lane in front of the semi truck. Suddenly, cell phones went flying, vehicles zigged and zagged, horns blew, brake lights flashed, tires squealed, and shorts were filled (NO, not mine, but it was close). All the while, I was thinking –You people cannot get hurt right now .Don’t you know I’m on my way to the farm, I’m tired, I’m hungry and damnit I have to pee.– I realize that sounds a little self centered, but I really did have to pee, and you know how I am about THAT…ah huh. Anyway, they did get themselves sorted out and the flow of traffic resumed to normal (I didn’t say safe, I said normal). About 15 minutes later, I began to wonder why the signs and scenery weren’t familiar to me. I pulled off at a gas station and inquired about Hwy 44…Aaack…I’d missed the turn off during the lane dance! Oh well, as Brian says, I had broadened my map. And it included a washroom. 😉  So I headed back, found my turnoff and without further distractions, I arrived safely at the farm.

 

The farm was definitely still in the throws of winter, with more snow and chilly weather expected. It arrived the next morning…brrr.  Brians sister, Jennifer, and her two children, Isaac (5?) and Sophia (20 mo), were visiting from Ontario. His son, James and his girlfriend Natasha were also there. Add us into the mix and it was a busy household. Talking was non stop, food was eaten, puzzles were made, games were played, food was eaten, music and song was enjoyed, and OMG more food was eaten. Kudos to Terry and Louise for putting up with and feeding all of us! We both developed colds (Jenny and Sophia are sharing kind of people) and I almost lost my voice. Oh yes, I realize that most, if not all, think that would have been a bonus… :p Anyway, we were the only ones left at the farm on our last day, and although we really enjoyed seeing all the others, it was nice to spend it alone with his parents.

 

Up early to find breakfast and coffee ready (Thanks Terry). Brian was feeling better, but my nose was dripping worse than a faucet without a washer. We headed out shortly after breakfast, large box of Kleenex in hand. The trip was uneventful, so I don’t have anything else to add. I KNOW…Me short on words. Who’d have thought.

 

Until next time, remember:

          There’s always a lot to be thankful for

          if you take the time to look for it.

          For example, I’m sitting here thinking how

          nice it is that wrinkles don’t hurt.

J

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Alberta Time…

Alberta time…

 

Well not much has happened since I last posted. It’s misted, it’s dribbled and it’s rained. On the plus side, the rain forest and surrounding areas are green, and I can let nature wash the car, although that will quickly change when we’re in Alberta.

 

It’s time:

We headed to Alberta on Tuesday (17th) to visit with the families and go to the dentist. Well I’M actually the one going to the dentist, as I’d like to eat solid foods again. I don’t WANT to go to the dentist, but then I don’t know of anyone who really does. But I have learned through my many years (Don’t go there dear) that if I don’t deal with the toothache now, I’ll suffer a whole lot more later, not only in the pain department, but in the financial department. When you think about it, it’s kind of weird. I mean, you’re in pain and then you go to the dentist and he gives you MORE pain to take away your original pain, and you PAY him to do it. I don’t know about you, but I for one, do not like parting with my money to have someone poke needles in my mouth. Give me one anywhere else and I’m fine, but my mouth simply screams NO! And then they lie and say it’s just a pin prick. I’ll tell you who the prick is and it isn’t the needle (just kidding Dr. hehe). Plus they never leave it at one shot. Oh, Nay Nay. There’s one for the gum, one for cheek, and one for the hell of it. And what’s with the x-ray plasticboard thing they cram in there? It never fits well, and when they tell you to bite down on it and hold until otherwise instructed, it’s, yet again, painful….I KNOW! I’d like to tell them to bite THIS. Then there’s the vibrate through your bones drill, the suction your oxygen out of your lungs thing, the air blowing all the crap he drilled out of your tooth down your throat thing, the soldering (well that’s what it smells like) thing, and the never ending drooling thing. I have a theory that the “hell of it” needle is the dentists’ idea of a joke needle. It keeps you frozen long enough to go back out into the public arena where you of course can’t feel that you’re drooling down your chin and onto your shirt, looking like you’re an overgrown baby in the throws of teething, which really, if you think about it, is what STARTS the whole need to go to the dentist in the first place…hmmmm. On the other hand, my dentist DOES give me happy pills to help keep me calm so I won’t try to wrap my dribble bib around his eyes, while trying to get control of the needle, pointing it at his head and telling his assistant to back away or the dentist gets a brain freeze like he’s never had before.   

And, of course, throughout this experience, my mind is trying to calculate, as I have no insurance, how much this is going to cost. My son-in-law Dave is doing my tax return for me this week…Thank you Dave, and I should be getting some money back…woohoo, which I will then turn over to the dentist office…sigh.

 

Post Dentist Visit Note: Happy to report that my dentist visit went well (New Happy Pills). It cost less than I expected, and no dentist was hurt during this production…J

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Bits and Pee..ses

Bits and Pee-ses…

 

Here’s a Bit: First I should remind you that I’m 4 yrs older than Brian. So, I was listening to the radio (that would be CBC…uh huh) and I heard something about big houses, blah, blah, blah, and I queried why people would want to live a house big enough to get lost in, unless, of course, the purpose was to loose unwanted house guests, to which Brian replied “Well, dear. In a few years, you’ll get lost in the RV”. He thinks he so funny, but just wait ‘til that time comes and he can’t find me, and has to find his (Refer to Dec.4-7 posting) “bag of stuff” by himself…:p

 

A Bit more: I nearly forgot (shame on me) that the other night, Brian and I played our first game of cribbage together. I realize that it doesn’t sound like much, but what makes it worthy of telling (at least to me) is that I WON. As you know I’ve lost many a game of crib to Mike, and Brian has won against Mike. Now as I seldom beat Brian at games, I was quite tickled to realize (my hand was more than enough) that unless he pegged out (which was unlikely due to his location on the board) I was going to win the game. Keeping a straight face was difficult, but I pulled it off. But the best part of the evening was winning the bonus game of …you guessed it…Scrabble…I KNOW! Two games, two wins! I assure you that I was quite graceful in my victories…Really…Well, ok, I might have cheered (a little) and gloated (a little) and did the Dance of Joy (a lot little), but I did it all gracefully…;-).  

 

Not so gracefully, however, was trying to pee. Ok, maybe that needs some explanation. As moorage renters at the Mission Harbour we have a key that IS a key, and a key that’s a card key. These get us access to the boat dock as well as the laundry room and the washroom. Up until this point, I haven’t had to gain access to anything other than the boat. So, we were on our way home from Vancouver after visiting Michael (I got my mothers hug quota for a little while) and suddenly I had to pee. I didn’t immediately bring this to Brians attention as I thought “It’s not bad. I can make it home”. I really DID think I could make it home. Anyway, as the urge grew and grew,  I  mentioned it to Brian (driver) and he’s like ”We’re not near anyplace to stop. We can stop in Mission and you can go at the marina” (we go right passed it).Well Mission was 30 minutes away, but seeing as there was nowhere else to stop before that, I didn’t have much choice. So with 30 minutes to go…

             

  • 7:10pm: Agree to stop at Mission
  • 7:15pm: Shift in my seat. Brian glances my way.
  • 7:22pm: Try taking my mind off it by counting the headlights of oncoming traffic.
  • 7:23pm: I now have to pee AND I have a headache…sigh.
  • 7:28pm: “You ok?” he asks. “Mmm” I reply, shifting again and squeezing whatever will squeeze.
  • 7:33pm: Shifting, squeezing and praying “Lord, help me make it to the marina and I’ll stop cussing, I swear” with Brian telling me to “Hold on, we’re just about there” Like I’m not holding on already to the seat and door handle hoping to minimize the effects of every little bump, which by the way I’m sure he was getting sadistic pleasure from hitting.
  • 7:37pm: Pull up to the marina. Wrestle with my seat belt, and the door handle. Walk briskly while squeezing (Brian referred to it as the “PeePee Dance”) and trying to get the key out of my pocket. Then UP the ramp, the 5 steps (seemed like 20) and around the corner to the door. Put the key in the deadbolt lock. It turns..Yes! Turn the door handle. It opens…NO! Aaaaack! Door handle is locked. Try the key in the door handle lock. Nothing! Squirm, squeeze shifting from one foot to the other as I dance my way around the corner, and down the steps heading back to the car while hoping none of our dock neighbors are watching. As Brian sees me coming he rolls down the window and I tell him the key only works in the upper lock, but not the door handle, all the while dancing on the spot. He gets out and I watch him approach the problem himself. After trying his key, he simply reaches into his pocket and pulls out the key CARD, swipes it over the panel beside the door and the door opens. Well Son of a… (I stop myself. After all, a deal is a deal). But I mean, really, what’s with TWO keys for the washroom? There’s no high tech toilet made of gold that should require tight security in there that I know of…sheesh. Anyway… As I begin the dance back again, Brian goes in to use it, and I’m thinking, as I ignore the ramp and the steps and head straight up the incline next to the parking lot and climb between the fence boards, that he damn darn (I’m trying) well better open that door by the time I get there.

 

In my defense, I’d like to point out that women in a TPB (Toxic Pee Buildup) moment are not legally responsible for their behavior…Really…Ask any female judge…And the running shoe impressions on his body only lasted 2 days…I swear…J

 

                                                      

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Marching in…

Marching on

 

First off…

February ended without notifying me. I looked around and it was gone. Just disappeared without so much as a “Adios”, “See Ya”, or “Hasta La Vista”. And before it left it threw a big pile of white sand at us. Again without notice. I mean really, what the #@%!? One week we’re in t-shirts zooming along the river, and the next week we’re up to our gonads (well maybe only MY thighs, but definitely HIS gonads) in snow. I say once again, Global Warming my ass! Brian had to clear off the boat so the ton of wet snow didn’t make the canvas cave in like it did in December when we were away. The dock was slipperier than a seal covered in virgin olive oil on a water slide.  When I left the RV and closed the door, a sudden rush from the roof brought a small avalanche of snow down on me. But unlike Brian a  couple of months ago, I…being as smart as I am… had my umbrella opened and so it landed and then slid off of it. Whoever invented the umbrella was a smart woman.

 

Anyway…

Suzie Homemaker strikes again. I have CONQUERED the RV gas oven including, but not limited to, the finicky temperature thing, the how to fit a average size roast pan in a space fit for nothing bigger than a soup bowl thing, the how to light it (and keep it lit) while on my hands and knees, with a flashlight in one hand, a lighter in the other and the fire extinguisher by my side thing.  As you can see from the pics below, I didn’t burn anything or set the place on fire (The Fire Dept. is offering to make me an Honorary Member). And YES, they tasted as good as they look.  So from baking in the RV to piloting a 10 ton boat, I am woman hear me roar. Brian says “snore”, but don’t listen to him…I don’t.

suziehomemaker21yummy 

 

Upward…

We’ve been hiking again, and the other day we went higher than we’ve gone before. I seriously think we should take a flag with us because one of these days we’re going to make it to the top. Just our luck we’ll get there only to discover a Tim Horton’s. Like Brian says, the worst thing for an explorer is to reach his destination only to find footprints. Along the way we came upon a beautiful waterfall, and spent some time simply relaxing and enjoying it. There’s just something soothing about watching the water run over the rocks, while listening to it’s crispness, and inhaling the freshness in the air. I know crispness sounds like an odd word for water, but it’s the only one that fits, at least for me. What a wonderful work of nature, and what a nice way to spend part of our day. I could have stayed longer, but the sun has a time schedule and, unfortunately, my wants don’t seem to be one of its considerations… And besides, I had to pee (Squatting in the bush is for emergencies only. At least for me).

 

The Dark Dock Side…

Excitement and mystery filled the air on the Kanaka Dock (not ours, but Mikes).

After a relaxing day on the Fraser River, sipping tea, and watching re-runs of McHale’s Navy on a black and white 10 inch portable TV, The Coast Guard brought to dock:

a)     A long lost (15 yrs) and forgotten fishing boat

b)     A body

c)      A swing set

 

If you chose “a” step up. If you chose “b” step to the head of the class. If you chose “c” go directly to the “special” class.  Apparently two men, who had been drinking heavily, decided to take their racing boat out for a spin on the river (without life jackets!), and while cruising along at somewhere around the 120 mile mark, they hit the wake from the ferry, which catapulted one of them out of the boat, and pretty much destroyed the boat too. One guy was rescued and taken to hospital with undisclosed injuries, while his buddy was dead on arrival, or I should say, dead in the water. For crying out loud, I will NEVER understand why people don’t get why drinking and driving ANY form of transportation is a bad thing, not to mention the whole life jacket thing. Now, as most of you know, I spent 18 years in the Ambulance field as an Emergency Medical Technician in Alberta. My first 7 years were in Sylvan Lake, and during that time I attended many water related incidences, including deaths. So as I listened to this recent scenario, my adrenaline kicked in and I admit I wished I had been a member of the rescue crew.  Then I remembered that, AFTER all the excitement, I had to deal with stuff like paperwork, the press, public morbid curiosity, and cleaning out the ambulance.  I really did love my career and I’ll always have an interest and  a bit of a draw to that environment. But wading through water, running in and out of ditches, during white outs or the dead of night, crawling through the muck, the blood and lord knows what else, is now someone else’s turn. Did I mention the paperwork? Anyway, this kind of thing doesn’t happen often in sleepy little Maple Ridge, so I expect it’ll be a topic of conversation ‘til at least Saturday…OR. there’s a Two For One Latte Sale at Tim Horton’s…Whichever comes first.

 

And now…

We went and saw sailboats yesterday (Tuesday the 3rd).  You DO remember that we started out on this journey with a sailboat in mind, right?  Ok then. Nice to see you’re still on board (couldn’t resist). Anyway, although he bought a power boat, it is still our goal to have a sailboat. So off we went to West Vancouver with two boats to see. One that would have been a good size to do some short “away” trips, and one, which I like to refer to as a “mini” boat, is kind of like a dinky car… in that it’s tiny…only it’s a boat…but dinky boat just doesn’t  sound right. This boat would be fun to putts around close to home with, and it would be good for me to learn on. The first boat has too many problems (as so many others before it…sigh) so it’s out, but the mini is still in the running. We even have moorage for it….I know, it’s amazing. First we couldn’t get moorage for one, and now we have it for two, although one is much smaller and will only take up the space of a tub toy boat. On the other hand, we’ll have two boats, which means twice the repairs…Ka-Ching, Ka-Ching!

Later mates…J

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