Thursday, July 30, 2009

Post Wedding Confusion?

My job doesn't need me over the 7 weeks of summer. Well 7 weeks of my summer. I start my summer the second week of July and go back to work after the third week of August is done.

Last summer after my dad passed away and June being so hectic... I relaxed. I read, cooked, cleaned, gardened and read. In amongst renovations, kayaking and family gatherings.. I rested, I mourned my loss, and I reveled in my free time. It was my first summer, ever, that I wasn't taking care of someone. It was foreign, yet comfortable.

This summer has been very different. We have planned for a year for Scott and Michelle's wedding... sewing, creating, cooking, renovating, gardening, phone calls, MSN'ed, surfing the net and networking with friends. When I finished work this summer, I slipped right into 24/7 wedding preparations. I was surrounded by friends, three young wedding helper nieces (seen here making autograph books) then, the real fun began with all the arrivals.. which took place over the week preceding the wedding.
The wedding was only a weekend long, but it felt like a week, all in itself. Understandably so, with over 50 people dining here on Friday night, after the rehearsal, and another 20 having lunch here on Saturday before the wedding, and then 30ish people having brunch on Sunday morning. By Monday evening, it was just my Ontario family and Terry and I (oh, and 2 dogs, 3 cats, 2 guinea pigs and 2 praying mantis). We relaxed, we talked, we laughed, and even played a few games, but mostly we relaxed. Just 5 days ago.. everyone was gone, including all the extra pets..and it was quiet.

The first day, we kayaked, the second day.. Terry went back to work... and I was home alone. I was positively giddy. No kidding, I had soooo many things to do... but I puttered. I did very little other than laundry. It was foreign but fun at the same time.

I am on my 4th day home alone. It is starting to feel like last summer and it feels nice but I can't help but feel guilty for laying out on my bed, listening to the rain, and read my new book from Paula (via Donna D). What is wrong with me.... guilty!!! I know, but its there... and I didn't feel it last summer. I must be going mental!

Post wedding confusion... it has to be that... ugh. It better go away! I want to enjoy this!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Skunk, anyone!

Well, I am learning all about the Webkinz craze that has been around for a few years now. When my kids were little it was beanie babies and it was crazy then, but with Webkinz, it seems so much bigger and more expensive!!
As a little thank you gift for the kids who were flower girls and ring bearers, Michelle and Scott gave each child a webkinz. My wedding helpers (Aubrey and Caleigh) chose them, and gift wrapped them for Michelle so on the evening of the reception, she simply had to hand them out.
Well, go figure, out of 7 kids and 7 different webkinz, one of the kids got a double of something they already had. We didn't know about it right away, but soon after, and we promised to solve that as soon as possible.
Caitlyn was a real trooper about it, but I know how disappointing it must have been when all the other kids got these new treasures and she got a double (and actually, it was a triple).
Once all the dust settled from the wedding, I contacted my sister (her grammie) and asked what she would like to have.
After a day on the website she made her choices...

Her first choice... the Guinea Pig.... 2nd choice... The Skunk... 3rd choice... the spotted Dinosaur..

Piece of Cake... how hard can that be. Off I went to the Mall where we got the original bunch of Webkinz. They had a wall of them... like 200.... geesh... none of her three.... I walked the entire Mall for more... and.. oh.. apparently.. only a select few stores are allowed to sell them... GEEEEEESHHHHH.....

Where do I find out how to find the stores that carry these little prizes... FACEBOOK... and my friends. I put the question out there and bang... within minutes I had 6 locations, all within a half an hour of here...

Today... my shopping day out..I started off at Balloon Boutique at 9:30... ok.. NOT OPEN UNTIL 10AM..... geesh.. off I went to coffee break with the staff for a couple of hours and then to Balloon Boutique... NONE of my chosen 3.....

Cinnamon Creek... Middleton... NONE ... well, tons... just not any of the three... geeeeeshhh..

Home I go and start phoning... the drug store in Aylesford... has a skunk... her number 2 choice... another store had the spotted dinosaur.. no Guinea Pig to be found.

Now, I am under a little time restriction because I need to put it on the bus today.. so it arrives in Fredericton by Thursday.. because Gail has Caitlyn all to herself on Thursday and it will be a special trip to the bus station to get it...

Piece of cake.... after supper I devise a plan for my evening. Head out and hit the drug store at exit 16... buy the skunk.. and drive on to Berwick...exit 15 to fill a "bus bag" with some forgotten items, some picture CD's and a few little treats.. and skunky poo... then on further down the highway to exit 14 to go to the hospital to visit my friend who is on the mend after suffering a blood infection... piece of cake.

Music blaring in my car.. I head out.. with all my goods... and armed with a toonie for the stupid parking at the hospital. Get to the drug store... reach for my wallet.... no wallet. ARRRRGGH!

I can't believe it, but yet.. I know exactly where I sat it down after checking for the toonie... and curse myself for not putting it right back in my purse... I drive the 15 minutes home, retrieve my wallet and call the hospital to see when visiting hours are over.. and realize, I won't make if for any more than a 15 minute visit before the 8pm limit. I gave up on the visit, and called my friend and we chatted on the phone until 8pm instead and then I hit the road for the drug store... purse with wallet in hand. Bought the skunk, drove to the Petro Canada in Berwick where the bus station is, and ask for a bus bag.... she hasn't got any.. and has no idea what they are... she is a "trainee"... arrrrrgh.. I tell her what they look like, and ask... to really look hard because I NEED one... she calls her boss... (eyes rolling, I might add) and explains that there is a customer here asking for some sort of bag ...... and then she blankly stares, says.. "I don't know, she standing right here".......... she then opens the bus drawer and lo and behold... a BUS BAG!!!!! She says oh, its and "Express bag".. frig..

Anyway, I take it out to my car, address it, and stuff it with all kinds of goodies... and bring it back in. She says to me... "am I suppose to charge you for this?" What a hoot!. I point to the bill of lading, and show her how to fill it out.. and tear off hers and my copies, stick it on the bag and then I pay her!!!!!

So..... Caitlyn... little stinky Skunk is on the way to you and you will have her on Thursday... and I now have a deeper understanding of the science of Webkinz!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Shoe Game

One of the funnest and lighter moments of the whole wedding was when it was time for Ashley Walker, one of Michelle's longest and best friends to give a little speech. She proceeded to make the newly wed couple sit up on tall chairs. They had to each hold a shoe belonging to themselves in one hand, and the other hand held their mate's shoe. Then Ash began asking them some questions, of which they needed to hold up the shoe which was the right answer......
Some questions they answered very quickly... and they answered the same... other questions.. they had to think about and then answered the same... and the crowd was in stitches the whole game.. and we all learned some very funny facts about this very funny couple!!!
The questions......

who is the biggest flirt

-who made the first move

-who's the better cook

-who said "I LOVE YOU" first

-who has the wackiest family

-who's the better driver

-who's the faster driver

-who spends the most time in front of a mirror

-who is in control of the checkbook

-who is most likely to eat desert for breakfast

-who wears the pants in the family

-who is in charge of the remote

-who spends the most time getting ready to go out

-who will be doing most of the yard work

-if you haven't already... who is most likely to pass gas in front of the other first
-now that you're married, who will be the first to say... "not tonight"

-who's the better kisser

-who will be the first to fall asleep tonight
-who has the smelliest feet

-who steals the cover's more

-who says "I love you" the most in one day

-who talks more

-who's most likely to use up all the hot water

-who's most likely to get lost

-who's most likely to ask for directions

-who's the 1st one to make up after a fight

-who's the one that started the fight in the first place

-who's the most likely to wake up grumpy in the morning
-who's most likely to be running late

-and finally... Who do you love the most in the whole wide world

Thanks Ashley, for a very funny speech and a great way to end the supper.!!!

there are about 300 pictures now on the website linked below... the reception, the dance, the church, etc.... if you feel like having a look!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What to do next.....

Michelle and Scott's wedding was just a small part of the last 2 weeks, really. We had more people through our doors, than Via Rail. Today, is my first day with just the small group of Terry, me, Mollie and Pika. Feels very strange. I have mountains of laundry, every floor needs a moppin', plants need care and I can't even talk about what the garage needs.

With all that hangin' over our heads, and the fact that Terry goes back to work tomorrow.... we decided to go kayaking with our friends Bill and Robin.

Robin is new at kayaking and McGill lake was a great place to build up some confidence. It was calm in spots, a little choppy in others and windy on the way back. But each different situation was not long and she was with three other people so by the end of the paddle, she was feeling pretty good. It felt so good to be out there, and this was our first trip out this year. Can you believe it.. not the last.. we may go again tomorrow night.. somewhere closer.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Finally, I can show pics!!!!

The girls. All special. All Family.
Top row (girls in black)

Ashley (BF) Stephanie (Sista) Mick (Girl of the day) Lyndsey (BF) Megan (BF)

Tall girls in white

Meredith (Cuz NF) Emily, Jessica (Cuz NB), Caliegh (cuz NS), Aubrey (cuz Ont)

Smaller girls in White

Amelia (cuz NF), Caitlyn, Grace (cuz NB), Gillian (cuz Ont) and Laura (cuz BC)

Aurora -
God daughter (and cuz NB) and toddling show stopper, sneak peek at Mitchell, cuz from NB Grace
(cuz NS- usher) The boys

Jeremy, Pat, Scottie (the man of the day) Matty and Drew (cuz Nf)

Mitchell (cuz NB) William (cuz NF)

The day was special for everyone involved. Michelle and Scott wanted all the family in their wedding and even though I thought it wouldn't work, it worked beautifully and was a wonderful experience. What a great way to bring two families together.
I am having trouble with this blog, getting pictures to go where they need to go, so please go to the below website to see more pictures. If, you have pictures, you can also upload to this website, so that we can all see them and use them in future blogs, albums and storytelling!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wedding Memories

I sit here, early on a Wednesday morning and think back to Friday when I wrote my last blog before the wedding. As I wrote Friday's blog, I thought it would never be over. I sit here now and wonder, Did it really happen.
It happened for sure...... and it was a beautiful wedding full of fun and laughter. I can finally blog about all the fun wedding things we did.... but as for pictures, I don't have any right now, but if you go to my sister's blog, she has posted the ones she took.

Michelle and Scott are away until Friday, and therefore have not seen any pictures themselves, so I don't feel I can post them without them seeing them first. Let me tell you a little about the weekend, though...

We had 45 or so people at our house on Friday night, for a BBQ and to meet each other. Two families from all corners of the country, all ages, all together. It was a world wind night and Trudy, Mark, Terry and my sister in law Kelly and mother in law Marie worked so hard to make everything so perfect. It was mayhem for us, but the guests were happy to sit and chat, eat and drink. The weather was on the edge of rain all day and evening, with a heavy humidity. I would like to do the whole evening over again, without all the stress in my body, so I could really enjoy taking to everyone but we did get to do it all over again on Sunday for Brunch.

With a year and a half to prepare for this wedding, we were 100% organized.... but... there is just so much you can't do before the week of the wedding. There were so many last minute things to do that every day last week was filled with wedding errands and projects.

The Wedding Cake.....

Michelle loves to bake and has always maintained that she was going to make her own wedding cake and that it would be cupcakes. Over the year or so, she had tried different recipes for the cake part, and the icing part, she had baked, froze and thawed them to see how they would taste. She had played with Fondant and papers to find what she wanted. The time had come, and the unforeseen challenges loomed. Humidity was her worse setback. Fondant becomes a shiny sticky mess when its damp and although the flowers she made for the cake were stiff and slightly curled up when she made them, the humid turned them into shiny flowers that were glued onto the top of each cupcake.

Other setbacks... with the new apt they moved into, came an old oven. 2 weeks before the wedding, Michelle began making the cupcakes, a batch or two a night was her plan. After burning the first 3 batches, she gave up. She packed up all her baking stuff and headed home where she did a marathon baking session one afternoon and baked 153 Vanilla cupcakes. One of the neat tricks she used to make them look good was to put her batter in a ziplock bag and "pipe" it into the muffin cups, so there were no blobs on the papers or pan. Neat trick.

She decorated 3 of them in chocolate icing and sprinkles so that our houseguests to test the cupcakes before wedding... and the girls approved.

At the beginning of the last week before the wedding, Michelle gathered butter, icing sugar and pure vanilla and created 10 batches of icing which she stored in the fridge. Her plan was to assemble the cupcake tower on the friday night while we were setting up the reception hall. She took the icing out of the fridge on Friday afternoon so it would be soft enough to pipe....

Poor thing, during the dinner, and clean up, someone put it back in the fridge where it turned into concrete. Not a spoon, nor electric mixer would soften the problem. So, all the cupcakes, pink flowers, and icing were hauled back home for a "morning of the wedding" assembly party. Michelle got up bright and early, and she and her aunt Kelly started piping a big fat swirl on each little cupcake and they were all iced and packed in boxes within an hour. At noon, when the reception hall was unlocked, Kelly, Marie, Aubrey and I headed to the mess with the fondant flowers, the tower, the trays and the cupcakes and we assembled the whole thing for Michelle. She wanted to be the one to assemble it all herself, but time ran short and she had a hair appt with all her girls at noon. The top part of the cake when through two setbacks before a piece of fondant covered the tall topper good enough, with the help of some decorative flower patches. Humidity is a cake decorator's enemy! All in all, the tower was cute and tasty, and they enjoyed serving all there guests. There were less than 20 left over, leaving enough for the caterer and barstaff to share in the treats.

Sorry it took so long to get this out, but I didn't take one picture, so I had to gather pictures from friends and family. Michelle and Scott will be back on Friday.... I will blog a few other fun things we did before I can actually get some pics in.. remember.. please go to my sister's site to see some of her pics.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Day Before

Its the day before ..... the last minute day is here. Of all the days in this whole process, this is the day I have feared. This is the day when things can go wrong.

Today is raining, and the forecast for tomorrow is cloudy with sunny breaks. Perfect for a wedding day, in my opinion. But today it rains. Today we have about 60 people coming to my house for a family BBQ. They say rain til noon.

All the big stuff is ready, the little things are waiting....and everyone is on the move. My sister, her three daughters and their families are on their way here. A 6 hour drive. The decorations move to the reception hall, and decorations move to the church today. The wedding cake gets assembled.

Arrivals continue now that parents and grandparents have arrived, we are waiting for groomsmen, bridesmaids, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends. Who is driving with whom, and where is everyone sleeping.

Phone calls to make.... reception hall, florist, priest..... groceries to buy (and find room for). Those insignificant meals to think about, like breakfasts and lunches for many.

Here I sit, 5:45am, thinking about the flowers that didn't flourish or bloom, in my garden. The carpet on the steps that didn't get replaced, the recroom walls that didn't get repainted... the pictures that won't get postered and displayed....

That is what today is.......the day before.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A rocky beach....

Margaretsville... on the Bay of Fundy. Highest tides in the world. Also, a good rock picking beach. This beach has round rocks, long stick rocks, smooth black rocks and crystally white ones too. It also has a fun little lighthouse that everyone sketches or photographs. I would recognise it anywhere... my little pet peeve is that when I see sketches of it.. people actually sketch in that stupid telephone wire. I mean, COME ON... that annoys me. Its one thing to take a picture of it and then not know how to "Photoshop" that wire out, but sketching... geesh....
That being said, the girls and I drove to the beach in Margaretsville, on a very hot day this week, to enjoy the rocks and the cool breeze. We walked the beach (with much difficulty, as crocs are not the best footwear for a rocky beach) and then we stopped, sat for a while and snacked. then the girls ventured off to the waterfalls and Mollie and I stayed behind. The kids are a dot on the shore line. Mollie kept a watchful eye on them, as they explored the rocks beyond the waterfall.

We are so lucky to have a cooling off place to go when the weather gets above 30 Celsius.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Oaklawn Adventures..

What a magical place. Oaklawn Farm is a zoo of sorts, but built on love of animals and caring beyond business. Gail Rogerson started this farm out of love and compassion for animals who needed homes and its grown into a collections of exotic and local animals. You have the freedom to roam amongst lamas and goats, you can pet the camels and be amazed by the hand raised lions and other cats. The morning started with this baby pony, upon seeing these three energetic girls watching down the fenced path, pranced over to see them and stayed while they all petted and babytalked her. It was like she picked these girls as her favorites, or that what the girls felt like. She chose them! The deer were adorable, sweet, gentle and somewhat hungry... but the goats...oh, the baby goats... they kept those kids mesmerized for ages.

We spent ages with the little baby goats who had escaped from there pen (because they were small enough to sneak out!) and then we moved on to see the other animals. We made our way to the main house again, but only to get quarters so we could go back to the goats and deer to buy corn bits. We spent ages again there feeding and petting... before we headed home for an afternoon of crafting. After supper we drove back to the farm (we had stamps on our hands to get back in free ) and it was suppose to be that we were there to watch Gail feed all the caAdd Imagets (lions, tigers, panthers, etc) but Gillian was all about those goats. We stayed only a second to see the big lion take TWO steaks out of the wheelbarrow and she lost interest. So, we broke off from the crowd and went off to see those goats again. They were frisky and full of vinegar, but they didn't want to come out of the gates.. they seems to be more interested in playing with each other than Gillian. She moved on to the deer and fell in love with their gentle faces, as she feed them the corn she had picked off the ground. She was amazed at how gentle they really were. She hadn't given them a second thought in the morning, because she was focused on the baby goats.

When we were about to leave the deer, we saw a momma goat, who had tried to get some grass from the other side of the fence, and her head got stuck because her horns prevented her from pulling her head back through the hole. So, we decided to be the "goat hero's" and we went to find Gail, the owner of the zoo. She was patiently walking through all the cat cages telling lots of facts about this particular cat, and what they ate, and little funny stories about them. After she was done feeding the Ocelot, we told her about the goat and she went with us to help get her unstuck.

Gail, has to be in her early 60's, and she hopped the 4.5 foot fence as if it was a 2 foot bench, and walked through a gaggle of geese, dispersing them in all directions, to get to this goat. She gently talked to it, trying to get its head straight enough to get it out but the goat was having no part of that! So, Gail said, "well, I didn't want to have to do this, but your asking for it!". We all held our breath..... and she flipped over the goat onto its back, and folded its chin down to its throat and pulled the head, out of the fence... just like that.... We all cheered, and the goat ran off to be with its family... not looking back to say thanks or anything. Gail said, it happens once and a while and she had to develop a technique to get them out. They don't like being on their backs but it was the best way... I never took one picture... can you believe it... I felt so bad for the bleating goat, I didn't want to take its picture. Now I wish I had!

One last thing... in all my years going to Oaklawn farm (20 plus years) I have never given the camels a second thought. They are ugly, stinky and rather scary looking. The girls never gave them a second look either today... like.. blah, who cares. Well, in the evening when we went to see the goats, we passed the pen with the friendly pony... and we gazed across the field in search of her. All of a sudden.. Mr. Camel trots along the fence to us... with a purpose.. like, he walked right along the fence, and stopped in front of Aubrey. He turned and we all backed up... ewwwwwwww..... but then he stuck his big brown nose through the fence.. and waited for us to pet him.

sorry about the double picture.. I can't see to delete the double. Anyway, we did, we petted him and the girls fell in love with his big brown eyes, soft nose and gentle manner. He was a bit drooly, and that was gross.. but other than that he was pretty cute. I have never seen a camel so friendly.. it was a fun night for sure.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wedding Shower fun

Our dear friends gathered to have a wedding shower for Michelle in preparation for her wedding. It was a beautiful day and Lyndsey and her mom hosted us at their beautiful home with a magnificent view of the valley (and a herd of horses entertained us for part of the afternoon). We played some hilarious games, one being a relay race out in the yard (we entertained the horses, I suspect, with our running, screaming and laughing). The other was a grocery game which had you guessing prices of ordinary grocery items. I was taken aback at how poorly I did at that game, but the old girls won the relay so I guess you can’t win them all.
Michelle received so many awesome gifts and great ideas for gifts too.

Lyndsey and Cricket are getting ready for Lyndsey’s wedding which is two week after Mick's and we hosted a shower for Lyndsey last week…. Michelle came up with some really fun games and cute prizes. There was tons of laughing and story telling, and Lyndsey got the boobie prize in one of our games which was a sort of Yankee swap.. and although the other 3 prizes where pretty cool, our little bride to be scored the Pink Sunglasses.... what a hoot.

the snacks were a challenge to come up with because we wanted this spread to be friendly to people with food sensitivities... We had lots of crackers and veggies, and a few dips that were gluten free (thanks Karen Brewster for your recipe) a very nice gluten free carrot cake and a fancy fruit display. Below are a few pics of the building of the fruit bouquet!