Monday, March 13, 2006

Remembering the Past

When we're children, we see things larger than life. Its those memories that make us as adults sometimes wonder about how different things are now than what we remember from the past. I remember going to my grandma's house and having a great time there. The garden was a wonderland of life, birds, flowers, always a dog and/or cat around. Exploring the crawlspace in the basement with it clutter of life - canning jars, antiques, dress up clothes. My grandfather had his rituals, shaving in the mornings with the real soap and brush, his head and shoulders shampoo, watching Tommy Hunter on Friday nights, washing his Plymouth on Saturday mornings, polishing our shoes on Sunday mornings before going to church. My grandma too had the things she did, hanging laundry on the clothesline, baking rye bread from a starter that had been brought from the old country, always cooking, nourishing our bodies and hearts.

Going to my grandma's house now is hard. She sold her home last week, and will be moving in with my parents at the end of May. This will probably be more of a transition to a home than anything else. We were there on the weekend, more to "choose" the things we would like from her home, almost like an odd garage sale, but with not alot to actually pick from. Things she has are old, but not necessarily bad. The thing is, when it comes down to it, there really is nothing I want. And that makes me sad. For her to have built her home, her life, and all her prized possessions are not something anyone really wants or needs. She has an extremely impressive collection of silver and crystal. Pretty to look at, but not practical in our home, we don't do the kind of entertaining at this point in our lives to warrant even choosing to have any of it. I have my own collection of sorts, and we don't even use that.

Grandma is handling it all very well, considering her opposition even 6 months ago to moving out of her home. But she (I think) is starting to see that she really can't even look after herself anymore, let alone maintaining a huge home and everything that goes with that. I did get rather teary the other day, more from the thought that someone else will be living there and be creating their memories in MY grandparents home. Grandpa has been gone for about 15 years, and in that time things have really gone downhill.

When I look at her home, it just looks sad, like there isn't any life there anymore. Oh, the birds are still in the yard, and the flowers continue to grow in the spring, the dog and cat race around. But to see the peeling paint, the warpy roof tiles, the air of neglect... it hurts my heart.

My memories are still there, but the memories of a child, not an adult.

3 things I saw going to work today:

1. The incredible hoarfrost from overnight. It turned everything white, the trees silhoutted against the pale grey sky, the orange snow fencing disappearing into the landscape, but still visible like fishnet stockings.

2. A yellow port a potty.

3. A large Tim Horton's box on the side of the highway. Half wondered if they pitched out the donuts with it.

Friday, March 10, 2006


Wow, what a day!! Worked my butt off, we've had a huge ongoing project with work, same stuff, different stores. I won't say the name of the chain, but we've been relining (basically reorganizing) their hair care (shampoo) sections. They range in size from 16 to 28 feet long, 8 shelves high. I tell ya, it is quite the project. There is about 500 different products within those sections and they are a real bugger to move around. Its not just moving them across a shelf, but because everything was last rearranged higgledy-piggledy, it is just bad. The way they are arranged now makes much more sense, especially for the consumer! All products for each line are now together. That way, if you want Pantene hairspray and shampoo and conditioner (for example) they're all together. But its just one of those things that everything is all over. BUT the good thing was that the 24 ft project we did today, should have taken the two of us about 12 hours, but we were done in about 6 1/2. So, we worked our butts off.

Then, after work, I rushed home from the city to our house, grabbed the boys, and back again to the city as DS #2 had a sleepover tonight at the zoo with his Beaver group. He wanted to take his grandpa. What a riot!! But the best part was that my dad did go with him. They phoned about 1/2 an hour ago to tell us that they were having a great time. That is awesome! I never thought that my dad would go. The crummy part was that both my dad and I forgot to throw a camera in for them to take pics of this great bonding time. Oh well, the memories for our little guy will be his own story to tell.

So, after the mad rush back to the city, DS#1 and I met up with DH to go for dinner. We had a great time! There is a Vietnamese restaurant that we enjoy, and did we ever enjoy! DS and I ordered a bubble tea. What a riot! We have never tried these, they always looked fun, but never did we decide to have one until tonight. We had a mango flavor. Those tapioca balls look hilarious going up the straw! The texture is really bizarre, slimy and chewy at the same time. But it was good! I will definately have that again. The other "special" thing we had for dessert after dinner tonight was coconut surprise. Really. Coconut surprise. And as I type this I am totally having a giggle.

The reason? Because for the last 7 or 8 years at least, when DH would phone me in the morning, he would ask me what was for dinner. And I would reply coconut surprise.

Now, coconut surprise may not be what you think. After the first 4 or so years of marriage, and being responsible more or less for cooking, I ran out of ideas for what to cook for dinner. I still run out of ideas. But coconut surprise to us as our inside joke, is doggie doo doo rolled in coconut and served on a plate. (And this really is a joke, we've NEVER put this on a plate, it was just a goofy thing we came up with!!!)Why is this funny? I don't know. Because after 11 1/2 years of marriage, I really don't know what to cook for dinner most nights! So maybe you'll get a giggle out of this too, or maybe not. But our real coconut surprise tonight was very very good. Amazing rich coconut ice cream with mango sorbet in the middle.

And then I went shopping. But that's another story! I did find some clothes I'm happy with, 2 t-shirts, 1 dressy shirt, 2 cami's, a peasant-y style wrap top and some khaki-ish looking pants, all from old navy. I'm happy! Something new in the closet and time to purge some of my old icky stuff.

And on to the 3 things I saw while driving in the van to and from work and to the city and back again (I'm starting to think I live in the van!):

1. 1 running shoe. Why is there only ever one on the side of the road? Where's the other one?

2. The same car that has been sitting on the side of the highway for the last 3 days. It was there all 4 times I drove past it today.

3. The Garden sign. Makes me think of strawberries and summer. Especially on a cold-ish day like today when there is snow on the ground.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

snow again!

More snow here this evening after a big storm came through this morning after I went to work. It's pretty slippery out there right now, and I'm half hoping that tomorrow will be a snow day! It's been a long week and tonight I have a headache, probably due to weather change. But, I'm happily eating my caramel oreo mcflurry, so there are some bonuses to having to pick up kids from various places out and about on a blowy evening.

I am so looking forward to the S! girls crop next weekend. That has got a smile on my face. Even without knowing what I will actually get accomplished (I'm guessing not alot!) I'm looking forward to getting together with the awesome ladies I know from online.

That's about it for today...

Oh yeah, three things I saw on my way to work today:

1. Two rather amorous ponies

2. A pumpkin head on the mannikin/scary guy at one of the farm gates down the road

3. A llama

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

It has been a while, hasn't it?

I'm sure that whoever has been reading, has probably given up on my blog, but here is an update!

Our lives changed huge on January 23, when our foster son of 4 years moved from our home. This was a big decision that we made, mostly for the well-being of our 2 wonderful children, and well as one that was not without alot of soul-searching. We've been foster parents for more than 7 years. The commitment to the 9 children we've had through the years was huge. We gave up alot with having these children in our home. We also learned alot, but it finally got to the point where the cost to our family was just too much. The upside is that I think we will have a better relationship with our own kids, as our time is now for them and them alone, and the resentment (however small or large) created by the sheer volume of time spent on the other children in our household is no longer there.

We have noticed a huge sense of relief that is now in our home. The stress level has gone down, even though I am now working full time. There are far fewer arguements and disagreements. Our rules are followed and respected. Our home is peaceful.

It's funny how you don't notice how much things can drive you crazy until they are no longer happening.

Now, as for me working, I still love what I do. I guess the best part of my job is that it is always different. No two days are exactly the same. The jobs I do may be similar, but I'm always somewhere different. At this moment, I am booked full time until the end of April. Slightly scary, but at the same time, very very good.

What am I doing with my "real" money now? Hmmm.. this could be interesting! LOL Actually, I've made a couple of decisions about what really is important to me.

1. I HATE housekeeping. I do it, but I hate it. So, to fix that stress, I now have my wonderful, fantastic, amazing housekeeper. She used to look after my home before we had kids and I was working full time. She starts tomorrow. I can't wait.

2. I have a desire to learn more about photography. Not that my point and shoot is horrible, it just doesn't do what I want it to. So I got a new one last weekend. A Pentax istDL. I LOVE it! Still learning, and haven't gotten out to do any "real"pictures of anything, but I am so pumped! But I did take some pics of my B-man the other night, and printed (on my new printer) the pics and scrapped them right away! Gotta love technology!

3. I need to go shopping. I need clothes. I can't stand any of the stuff in my closet. Maybe this weekend calls for a shopping trip! The kids got new stuff last payday, so I think its my turn!

I read a cool layout about random things the other day. It was titled "my completely random life", and there were a bunch of completely random question sort of things, with 3 answers under each. On my way to work, I was thinking I should really be doing more than just driving on autopilot. So my challenge to myself this morning was to find 3 things I thought were interesting on my way there. They are:

1. a black and white collie trotting down the side of the road (I wondered where he was going in the middle of nowhere, but he seemed to have a destination)

2. the hugest silo I have ever seen, laying on its side on a flatdeck truck, being moved who knows where

3. a pickup truck that sported the words "Dick's Liquor Delivery" on the side of it. It gave me a giggle (ok, it was early, I was still tired!)

I challenge you to find 3 things you see as interesting on your way to work! Tag! You're it!