Friday, August 31, 2007

Another week

My first week back at work was fun and hectic and breezed by as if it was 3 days not 5. This week.... in our lives...

Michelle spent 4 days at RA camp, which is like a leadership camp. She got home last night at 8 ish, and immediately moved into her long awaited room in Burke. She loves it, and its bigger than she expected. She is expecting a Leather Couch today (provided by the university) because she is Senior RA and you are sort of like a "shoulder to cry on" when your SRA and you definitely need a couch. And when you have 100 brand new frosh and 5 RA's who will use your crying couch, it needs to be leather...don't ya think. Highlights from camp..... Michelle learned a valuable lesson in life. I mean valuable... something she will never forget. When you run out of toilet paper in the girls bathroom, don't use paper towel. She had two over-flowing toilets and waded (in flipflops) in 3 inches of poopy water for 20 minutes or so, with a few other girls.... mopping and learning how the internal parts of the toilet work. She figured out how to open the back of a toilet and flicker around until it stops flowing. She said she never laughed so much, because all the girls were freaking out (including her) as the toilets splashed up on their legs and they were screaming and laughing at each other.. the "crappy" jokes, "Shitty" situations and "Toilet" talk were flowing as much as the brown water was. To quote my father who said today, "If that had happened here, she would have ran a mile before she would have tried to solve it". Way to go Mick, I am proud of you for using your head to solve the problem. Of course they also had to mop up the mess. And yes, I asked if she cleaned her feet afterwards and she said they "JAVEX"ed their feet and legs. ewwwww....

Scott..... loves his new tech nerd job. He is working for the university parttime as a tech assistant helping students and staff with computer problems. He will be working on the "help" desk. His amazing understanding of all computer stuff, but in particular of Mac stuff will be a huge asset to the Tech Squad, as there are all new to Mac's and Scott has been using one and helping Terry for quite a few years. He loves his apt and is happy his friends are back.

Stephanie's ....big Art Fair is happening today and for the whole weekend. it is an amazing craft fair with the finest artisans from New Brunwick flogging their craft in an outdoor market. The weather was not so good last night for set up but its predicted to be nice the rest of the weekend. She has worked amazingly hard to organize this event, and has been under amazing stress with all the little things to do, with her boss leaving the job before the event was finalized, and her stepping in to keep the show going.... with moving into a new apt, and her mate not getting accepted to for a student loan... its been quite a stressful couple of weeks. But, I know you can get through this... I am so proud of you kid!!!

Me............ school.... class lists, staff handbooks, parent handbooks, conference cards, parents registering kids, staff getting hired, then not... then on again. Its been wonderful to see all my friends from school come back, and visits from students who are so excited to be coming back to school. Its hard not to be excited... This weekend, will be mostly work. Goodie bags, first aid boxes, bus routes.... But, some of it will be tossing out my flower pots plants... I am sick of them and I don't have time to take care of them now. I will be ironing clothes for the week, and getting some menu's made, so next week (my worst week of the year) will be all about work... and not much else.

My biggest accomplishment this week though.. is every day at 4:00... I did a 1 hour aerobics tape with my good friend Jacquie. On Monday we started, and we groaned, and moaned and always seem to be two steps behind the girl on the DVD. Then on Tuesday, we could barely walk... good excuse to not do it again... but we did. We exercised and complained... and moaned and groaned. Wednesday... we continued, even though we were so sore...sooooo sore..... Yesterday... it got better.... but not totally. And then today, it was fun. We felt like we were finally catching on, and sort of on time with the gal. We didn't quite get all the arm stuff done, each day, and today we did better, but it still burned too much to continue constantly. but next week...we will be even better at it. This is determination... . Oh, and by the way.... I am running in the Run for the Cure.... on Sept 30., with my Cuzsis Sandra. We have both been working towards this event (physically) and I will be starting to push for some pledges (as its suppose to be about raising funds for Breast Cancer). So watch out!!

Some garden pics. Remember my little froggy from the spring... he left when the weather got hot, and we don't know where he went to. but he is back... and much bigger... Heis either on the rocks, under the ledge (in the water) or floating amongst the lily pads, watching us.

These are my two cats, enjoying a summer evening on the door step. Sonny (my deaf, 18 year old) was nose to nose with my little froggie, who is actually floating in the pond amongst the leaves in this picture. Sonny enjoys a drink from the green slimy pond, and maybe that is the secret to his long life... but if it is, I am not willing to try it. Pika, is my other cat, and he is too "royal" to drink out of that pond. He must have fresh water in the kitchen... and I mean FRESH!!!

Happy long weekend......

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The end of the Summer for me

this is it.... back to routine. Making lunches for myself, Terry and Dad.. ironing work clothes, making supper menus, housework in the evenings, laundry on the weekends..... how luck am I that I have a job that allows me to take a break from all that routine for 7 weeks in the summer. YIpeeeeeee...

We took the kids back to St. FX on Thursday. A sad day for me, but in a way, a bit fun too. They were exciting to go but sad to leave. Nice that they still are sad to leave. We felt the same.

We moved Scott into his new apartment that he is sharing with 5 others, and at first glance, his room seemed fairly small, but it has a surprisingly large amount of storage in it, and turned out to be a pretty cool room. See Scott's blog for his "unpacked" room. This shot is the before picture. We didn't stick around for the unpacking. I thought it would take him all weekend, but he was unpacked mostly by the next day.Then we moved Michelle into a temporary dorm room, because her beloved "house" is under renovations, and won't be ready until next week. This is the back side of Bishops house, under construction.She is off to RA camp this week (sort of like a Leadership Camp) for all the residence assistants. She has big plans for the camp, and she and I worked on, and practiced the dance from Micheal Jackson's "Thriller", so she and her RA's can perform it for the talent night. She msn'd me late last night to let me know that the RA's love the dance and are very excited to perform it. I wish I could be there to see it. We added our own little twists to it. Michelle got the idea from the movie "13 Going on 30", and then after some research we found a few "wedding" versions, yes believe it or not, performed at weddings... hee hee. Scott will be on his own for the weekend at his new digs, but has lots to do. We spent Thursday afternoon doing some Walmart shopping for a new bed mattress for Scott and some grocery shopping. Scotts' very first grocery shopping experience. Well, he often did my grocery list for me, as he says he loves to grocery shop... so I couldn't resist embarrassing him a bit, and taking his pic in the grocery store. I thought his mom would love to see his big cart of stuff. He is such a good sport. Notice Michelle holding the long list and ticking off stuff as he got it. Good system... I need to try that... Just buy whats on the list!!! Of course, who ever writes "Oreo Cookies" on a grocery list, come on, really? Anyway, I have chatted with Scott the past few days on MSN and he loves his new place and things are going along as planned.


ok, I don't golf. But I am part of an elite bunch of cool golfers who participate in a fun tournament that happens late August for the past for years, usually close to the full moon. Its called the GLOW BALL tournament and we actually golf in a "best ball" kind of game, which starts around 9 pm. We have glow in the dark golf balls, and tons of glow stuff... and we are on teams of 3 to 4, and one or two brave souls drive the carts (in the total dark) and the rest of us chicken golfers walk the course... What a hoot..... Debbie and I were on the same team (thank God) and Dwight was our token driver... Ok, that's how the tournament works... but then its the fun of dressing up, glowing up the night. The commissionaire at the gates, just shook his head when we drove up, and told us to go ahead... he didn't question me. I guess he could tell where we were going!!!

Getting ready.... finding your team, getting your glow sticks in the balls, and on your carts... what fun. This was my 3rd year, and I had a ball. And I even made two putts... huge improvement over last year. So, now I think I might practice a bit before the next tournament in 364 days.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

We made Lemonade.....

Isn't that what you do when you are handed a bowl of lemons.!!!(Please notice our smoldering firepit in the middle of a lake of rainwater!!!!)

Camping at Blomidon.... Our first, and possibly our last, camping weekend of this summer season. We camped with Jilly and her family and between darkness, wet wood, smoke, rain, wind, cold and stinky bathrooms..... we had a blast. The weekend started off with the trip to Blomidon, over hill and dale and up and around every farm field in the valley. When what do our wondering eyes see.... A pack of Poodle Cows?

This started my weekend off just perfectly, and I giggled all the way to the camp ground. These are newly sheared alpacas. But just too funny to see them all in a field when your not expecting them. The farmer watched me get out of the car and take these photos and didn't even bat an eye. Guess I may not have been the first "tourist" to stop. But I bet they didn't laugh as loud.

OK Back to camping. Poor Jill, Mel, Meleigha and Tyler arrived at the camp site, a little before dark and we worked at a group and got their camp up and functional before it was pitch black. We had a wonderful supper and a fire and then retired for the night, ready for a fun filled day on Saturday. Early Saturday we woke to the lovely and soothing sound of light rain on the "tent". I love that sound... which, after a pee in the aboved mentioned "stinky outhouse", I was lulled back to sleep by the gentle rain. At 7:30 we awoken to the not so gentle sound of rain... ugh. Our day began.... Mel, the optimist, started a lovely morning fire, after much difficulty (above mentioned "Wet Wood") and we were hopeful... for a few minutes. But then the heavens opened up... and the rains came. (see first picture.... firepit island).
Jill made a yummy breakfast, and I enjoyed all the new camp equipment. I loved the modern stove, nice camp dishes, the heater... very cool stuff. Our stuff... every bit of it... 20 years old. ewwwwww... And I learned the value of a dining tent. Although, the breakfast situation didn't work out for eating in (two hours of pounding rain sort of soaked everything) but great for cooking in. Once Terry and Mel, tarped the tent.. it seemed to dry out for afternoon games and a great supper.
We "old campers" taught the "newbie campers" how to play a game we love called "Dice". Not very inventive... since the whole game consists of 5 dice. The game was a great distraction during the afternoon of constant pounding rain and miserable cold. Tyler and Jill were the big winners for the afternoon... Tyler winning twice. Mea and Jill were excited to teach Mel the game once he got back from the Tarp purchasing trip to Canadian Tire. Tyler and Mea spent part of the afternoon, cruising the camp ground and picking up firewood that wimpy campers left behind when they abandon ship for the comforts of home.!!! We were very well stocked for our mega fire we would certainly have that evening. Sadly, the wood was absolutely soaked, and was very wet before it even started to rain!! Oh well....

We laughed all afternoon, playing dice, eating junk food, and watching the rain pound down all around us. Mel's wonderful propane heater kept our rather cold legs and feet warm under the table and there wasn't a better place to be than in that dining tent, playing cutthroat games of dice by the glow of bright blue tarps that covered the entire tent. We worked together to made a yummy supper of sausage on buns, corn and coleslaw and then on to a rematch. Tyler was looking for his third win, which would give him the ultimate bragging name of "Hat Trick Ty Ty".... Mel and Meleigha were bound and determined to not let that happen. The game was delayed, though, not due to weather... but a sudden change in Mea's health and we decided to wait and finish the game in the morning. The rain stopped, and we enjoyed a smoky fire and some peanut nibbles. We were all very tired and headed to bed much earlier than the night before, but not before we witnessed some terrifying fire lighting techniques by our camping neighbours. AHHHHHH....... The stars were out by the millions when we turned in, and our hopes were high for a bright and sunny Sunday morning....

11 degrees...... (that's 54 degrees Fahrenheit) That's what we woke to. And the winds of fall. Brrrrrr. But there was rain and no clouds. Terry had saved a bit of somewhat dry wood for the morning fire, and he jumped on that pretty early. We enjoyed coffee and hot chocolate while Terry wrestled with the fire. Our morning entertainment was our little squirrel friend who came to explore our belongings for leftovers. He was a hoot, and ended up to be quite friendly. Of course, he had already been in our tent the day before, and got his little busy hands on some sticky buns that were in my "kitchen". He was banished from the tent yesterday, but returned Sunday, figuring his cuteness would wipe the slate clean. Well, it did, and I gave him a few peanuts. This was a good choice because he ended up being our morning entertainment which took our minds off of the cold!!! He flittered around the camp site the entire morning, while we cooked, ate another champion breakfast, fit for a king. He joined the kids while they did the dishes, and then he bustled around, helping us break down our camp.

We got tired of throwing the peanuts, so we sat the bowl on the ground. He moved at lightening speed to get them hidden all over the place for the winter. Tyler had a way with him and after some patience on Tyler's part, and braveness on the squirrels part... Tyler was hand feeding him. Then, they got bored with that and started playing games with the little rodent. Meleigha waited patiently, while it skittered and scurried around her, just not sure if she was like his friend Tyler...but finally after a while, he came to Meleigha and accepted yet another Peanut!!By noon, the sun was directly over us, and warmed our chilled bodies. We finished packing up and sat at a sunny spot on the site, and finished our game from the night before. And after some hugely disappointing rolls and greedy decisions.... the game came to a sudden end with Tyler claiming his third win!!!! Hat Trick Ty Ty won the prize and got to take home the 5 dice. !!!
Thanks guys for a fun weekend despite mother nature's nasty tricks.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Look who came to inspect the Awning!!!

What a fun surprise...

John and Dianna Berry were on a quick Valley tour and stopped by for a visit........yea

Awesome Awning

Done. Terry spend most of the evening "lashing" the awning down, during a rain and wind "episode", and the awning behaved. Remember, we had no idea how this was going to work, as we were inventing the wheel. Anyway, we sat out on the deck and admired the project until fairly late and finally I got too cold and had to come in. I am wondering where the chimney will go for a fireplace so we can sit out longer at night. Ok, kidding.

In the afternoon, one of our Black-backed Woodpeckers that visit the bird feeder came for a visit and literally walked every inch of the brand new wooden support posts, pecking and peeking and then rat-a-tatted the small hardwood disks at the top for a few minutes. It had a very metalica rattle to it... gave us quite a chuckle.

Terry.... lashing, as he calls it.

Last night, in the dark... done. The funny lighting at the top of the awning is one of those Christmas "tubes" of lights. We are going to look around for something a little more "summery" but there is no rush.
Time will tell if this will hold during a high wind. We are prepared for disaster, and Terry has come up with some design changes that need to happen when we take the fabric down in the fall. As well, as the painting of the tubing, etc.
So there you go. Thank you for all the nice comments. We enjoyed putting it all together, and it was fun to blog it too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Almost There.....

8:00pm....sewing is done. We did the hardest sewing tonight, with Scott and Terry holding the whole awning while I sewing the back portion on, and all the velcro for the top of the awning. That was somewhat painful. Terry couldn't wait for daytime.... he was dying to see if it will fit. This was all done on paper.... never a test fit... actually this is it. The test fit
It fit... perfectly. Everything is bolted in place... and the awning gets put on today. YIpeeeeee

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Making an Awning?

Oh dear, I thought I posted this one, and when I went to make a new blog.... oops, I hadn't finished this one... so I will finish it, post it, and start my next blog.

well, this weekend has been relaxing, creative and full of laughs. First off, Joan spent the weekend and we always have fun looking for new projects and we seem to end up on adventures. This weekend, we discovered the amazing food at Vicki's in Wilmot. The fries are better than a chipwagon (my favorite way to get fries) and the poutine was so amazing, even I liked it...
Michelle showed her grandmother just how good she is at dying hair and doing highlights.... sorry Joan, but I had to put the picture up.

Kim and her girls arrived on Saturday for Graces Kentville Soccer Tournament. Caliegh spent the day with her Grandmother and I, as we struggled through trying to make an awning cover for Terry's creation. Caliegh got the fire pit ready for an evening fire by cleaning the chairs, sweeping all the acorns off the bricks, she hauled firewood, watered my garden and picked the snowpeas and cukes. She also kept Mollie busy, with lots of attention. We had a yummy supper... slow roast Pork on the BBQ and taco salad, deviled eggs and fresh beans and new potatoes. Scott and Michelle made their yummy Ice Cream Cake for dessert.

The awning.....

Well, we found fabric for the awning that I mentioned way back in mid July that Terry was dreaming up. It is to cover the entire back deck and to replace the store bought one, that we purchased 3 years ago, to give the deck some break from the hot sun, in the afternoon. The deck is quite large, but the 12x12 gazebo crowded the chairs and made the deck feel quite small.
You will see the fabric we purchased from Fabricville... at a great bargain. The fabric was $15 a meter and we needed 15 meters. Imagine my utter joy when we went to pick out what we needed and the sign said "Buy 1 and get 2 free". Our 15 meters ended up to cost just over $90 including the thread!!!

So, our weekend project was to make this long stripe of fabric into a solid tight awning for the steel frame Terry made conduit being thrown out at the school. What a strange sewing project when you need to use a right angle ruler and a level as sewing tools!!! With many hands (Scott, Joan, Terry and Caliegh) we managed to get the awning sewn together to cover, and then made all the necessary attachments needed to tighten it up.... until it came to the velcro. The stores were closed by the time we got to that part... and up until then, we had no idea how we were attaching the upper part of the awning to tighten it up... Velcro is the logical answer, but when you are inventing the wheel, sometimes there are too many things to think about and you just solve one problem at a time. So, Sunday we stopped for supper, and then the rains hit. Today it is my job to sewing on all the velcro and then tomorrow, maybe, we will actually mount to to the deck and start tightening up the cover. Yipeee

Oh yes, and Mollie. Just couldn't help posting a pic from the weekend... cause she is just so darn cute.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Sunflower Success & Wildlife Dinner Theatre

Well, I didn't really plant this one. It appeared amongst my tomatoes and I just didn't have the heart to pluck it out!!! I did plant some but they didn't material to much. This Sunflower stands 7+ feet tall.

Our Suppertime Dinner Theatre last night. Little birds mad at this red squirrel. The red squirrel mad at the cat down below. And four hummingbirds darting around the beans, to make the whole scene just that much more hilarious.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Well, the long weekend has come and gone with a feverish blur. My, time flies when your on vacation!!! Some highlights from last week...... Meet Sonny..... he is our 18 year old cat. We picked him from a litter of 2 orange cats and 2 calico's. That was in 1989.... the year Stephanie started school. She has just completed her 5th year at university. He is a gentle and kind old boy, who has lost his hearing due to age about 2 years ago. Sonny has this funny way about him. He picks a favorite spot to sleep and then adopts it as his "official" sleeping spot for a month or so, at a time. He has chosen wicker baskets, the downstairs bathroom sink, the wall unit in the living room, Scott's dresser, my pillow, my bookcase...etc. His summer favor place, which has been a reoccurring spot... is the driveway, or on the roof of the car. This summer, his new spot is under the car. We have to do a "under the car" check, every time we go out. Well, on Thursday, I didn't check well enough, because I backed right over Sonny's foot. Well, not over it, I think I squished it, enough for him to give a yell... and I stopped, and pulled forward (after a 3 second delay in which my mind went into shock, and I couldn't even figure out what to do...go forward or backwards). Anyway, I put the car in drive, crepted ahead a bit, and he darted out from underneath the car.... oh my. He limped at break neck speed around the house, up the cat ramp to the deck (which we built for him a couple of years ago... ) and when I finally caught up with him, he was pretty mad. After 2 days of aspirin, rest, pampering and Sardines with stinky oil (his favorite treat), he is absolutely fine and back under the car!!!! Not even a limp!!! You would think he would make the connection that that wouldn't be such a great place to lay. Or, maybe he is smarter than we think...he probably knows that we are going to be so paranoid about him being under there that he knows he is perfectly safe now....

The same day...... while being eaten up with guilt...thinking I have maimed this poor gentle soul, I was taking solice in my garden. I started watering the side garden (which I call my "spare" garden.... I put things there temporarily, until I can give them away). I was planning in my mind... what to put where, who to give this too, and so on, when a blinding stab in my armpit sent waves of hot piercing fire down my body... from pit to elbow, and from pit to ribs... I screamed and dropped the hose... and didn't even know what hit me.... Terry came around the corner and batted off a hornet that had stung me just at the front of my armpit, and must have hit a nerve (he was obviously paying attention in biology class) and the pain went all the way down my side. I was sure I had at least 2o stings down my ribs.... Oh, Ann, I can only imagine how bad your sting under your eye was.... That was quite a shock. So my day was over, as far as I was concerned. I slept with a pack of ice under my pit, all evening!!! It still hurt the next day. Terry found a swarm of hornets living under the siding on the house. Problem has not been solved yet, so I won't be watering there anymore...til its solved.

While I was away in Ontario, the gardens decided to grow like crazy. The tomatoes got completely out of control. You know, when the parents leave and the kids party the entire time your gone.... my tomatoes decided to try this little game. I spent two days after coming home... trimming, harvesting and so on.

The scarlett runners produce huge beans, about 8 inches long. We don't eat these, although some people do. I harvest the seeds for the next year, so if anyone would like some seeds, let me know. These beans are so fun to grow, they grow as tall as you want them to. The hummingbirds love the little orange flowers, and I have morning glories just starting to peak their flowers up though the leaves to fill in the lack of color at the bottom of the beans.
Scott had a birthday on August 1. Supper was easy.... KFC. The once a year I buy it, and why not.... it was so hot that day, who felt like cooking. But we did have chocolate brownies and chocolate ice cream for dessert. We bought Scott his very own Tilley. He has been using Terry's for the summer, and a Tilley is something you will own for life, so he might as well have his own. Its great for camping too, and I think he will continue to camp in the future. Michelle made his birthday a "Senators" theme. They came pretty close to the Stanley Cup, so he now is totally decked out for next season when they win!!!

Michelle took advantage of a perfect day off, to read Harry Potter, again. Much more relaxed this time, since she now knows the ending!

That has been our week and weekend. Little highlights.... making 16 bottles of Raspberry Jam, (oh and picking all the raspberries from my friends bushes). ..... caddying two games of golf (Terry played and I caddied), as well as a day trip to Bargain Harley's.... Church.... & learning how to graft the toe of a sock...(sort of)

Great news, too, Stephanie got offered a winter (during school job) with the NBCC, working 10 hours a week. Just enough to suppliment her meager school allowance, and enough to keep in touch with the council for the winter, in hopes of a summer job next year too....