Thursday, August 31, 2006

Off to Work!

Back to reality today! Hope you have a good day - working, playing or relaxing! Think of me, okay?!!!

And the lovely Meadow came for a visit last night. She was playing and watching Grampa while I looked over his shoulder and captured these pictures. She kept looking over at me like "Alright, enough already!" - so sweet!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Last Day of Summer!

And it's raining - lots! Gloomy, dull, stay in front of the fire kind of day. Just the perfect kind for loading cattle onto the trailer and sending them to the auction! Now I know why cowboys wear big hats made of canvas - so the rain doesn't run down your neck! Anyway, 26 head are gone this morning and it's off to school for just a few hours, before Meadow comes to play.

You know, I'm going to really miss this blogging thing when school starts for real next week! But I guess I'll have lots to write about, won't I? Hopefully blogger will be more cooperative about loading pictures later this afternoon. Do you know that it's been 12 days since you saw baby pictures?!!! Are you in withdrawal?? Later, I hope!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Photography Tuesday Assignment

Time to challenge myself -and the rest of you too!

Yesterday when I stopped over to visit Naomi and Meadow for a little bit, I found this photo op in the nursery. Meadow was having a snack and her and mom were cuddling in the rocking chair. The sun was shining on these 2 pairs of runners and it just made me smile. I'm sure she's going to be an athlete - just like her parents!

So grab your camera and take some pictures of your shoes today! Maybe lined up precisely in the closet - maybe lying in a heap at the front door - maybe stuffed in a bag to give away. Wherever they are, record the shoes that take you through life everyday.

Have fun - and let me see what you capture!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Meeting Rhonda

In Calgary we met up with Rhonda (from the Scraptivity design team) and her sweet kids, Alden and Lucy. Alden was enthralled with the cartoons on TV - smart move on the store's part to offer a TV, I think. Lucy was just happy to have Mom hold her and then she devoured some cool rice cookie-type biscuits and sweet potato casserole for lunch.

I'm so glad we met up, Rhonda - look forward to seeing you again soon!

Aren't they just a gorgeous family?!!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Home again, home again!

Highlights from my little tour to Calgary:

- fun hanging out with Heather and Kelsey at IKEA and dreaming about all the cool stuff we'd like for our homes
- meeting up with Rhonda and her 2 sweet kids ( who were so well behaved) at Bliss, the scrapbook store
- finding a few new cool scrapbook supplies (that make me just want to sit down and create!)
- shopping for maternity clothes - they never made such cute stuff in my day! - and finding some jeans and tops to fit Heather
- eating yummy salads from Quiznos
- admiring all the sweet, sweet baby things you find in stores these days
- checking out "Once Upon a Child" - a gently used store - and finding great deals
- picking up the furriest white snowsuit for Meadow for the grand total of $10! Heather says she'll look like a little Russian princess. It is SOOOO sweet - I'm sure you'll see a picture or 2 of her in it when the weather gets cold.
-getting a body pillow for Heather - looks pretty comfy, doesn't she? It made a huge difference for her sleeping that very night. Jonathan's not so impressed with having it in the middle of his bed!

- eating supper at "The Broken Plate", a very nice Greek restaurant in Calgary. And yes, they did break plates!! The waiters even did some Greek dancing and ouzo shooters. Definitely a must-try place if you are in ever in the area. I suggest the flaming cheese for an appetizer and the Greek spiced ribs for an entree'.

- fruits, vegetables, soups and pies from the Calgary Farmer's Market. I just love going here! I had corn for lunch today and it was delish! And I ate alot of blueberries on the way home yesterday.

So it was a great break and I got to spend some quality time with my beautiful darling daughter, who is even more serene and relaxed as her pregnancy progresses, and her husband. She's got these 2 huge tomato plants in pots on the front steps and they are loaded with fruit. Great tastes of summer!

Now, in the spirit of the last week of summer holidays, I must go to school and spend some time arranging my desk and bulletin boards again. Not really what I want to do but it's what needs to be done.

See you later!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006


for Calgary today to have a visit with Heather and Jonathan. It's been a very long time since I've gone to stay with them and I'm looking forward to it. I think there's a trip to IKEA, some photography, Photoshop tutorial and ice cream in my near future!!

Hope this summer image of the sun shining on Pigeon Lake (as captured by Melinda and Tyler) makes you marvel at our world! ((( HUGS )))

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


shopping day!! Started out with a visit to the optometrist and an order for new glasses. Which, by the way, are crazy expensive!!! I seriously need a better vision benefit plan. But I can't see with the old ones so it had to be done. The glasses are pretty funky - let's just say Versace with bling! More on that next week!!!

Then I got some clothes for school, on a very good sale, at my favorite store - Northern Reflections. Found a cool "Dream" word and a bunch of bulletin board and book stuff for my classroom, got beautiful autumn teatowels at Winners, and did a little Grandma shopping, including books and a CD.

All in all - a good time was had!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Seriously cool inspirations, designs and other stuff over at -
I love this one! Life only gets better, doesn't it? If only we would recognize that every day.

Behai Park, Beijing

In the center of the city, we found this jewel!

66 hectares of imperial gardens, including a 39 hectare lake and boats of all sizes

built more than 1000 years ago during the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) and enhanced over several dynasties

The White Dagoba (Tibetan style monastary) sits on a hill - it was believed that it would protect Beijing against floods

lotus blossoms on the lake

the emperor and empress would come to the garden to fish, admire the moon and watch fireworks

A must-see spot!!! The Dagoba is closed for restoration, as are many sites in the city, all in preparation for the 2008 Olympics.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


with our friends, Darlene and Don, this weekend at a reception for their daughter Chandra and her new husband, David. Our very best wishes go with them as they begin their new adventure in life together in Provost.

Darlene and I have been friends since we were little so it was great fun to share this joyous event with their whole family. We got to do lots of visiting and enjoy great food!!

Friday, August 18, 2006

More Meadow!

I just can't get enough of this sweet, sweet baby!!

I was babysitting her last night while her mom and dad went to a meeting so we had a little phot shoot, the 2 of us!!
Do you know how hard it is to capture a baby without getting a blurry shot?!! It took some doing but I just kept snapping and these are the results.

Meadow's starting to respond now - so amazing to watch!! I totally think I missed these moments with my own kids. I was probably too busy feeding them and doing laundry. Maybe that's why being a grandparent is so special - one can take time to enjoy each tiny development. I tell you - I am loving it!

One of the gifts this family got was a change table/dresser and they have it set up in the nursery now. It's so perfect - no more bending down to the bed for Naomi when she changes her. Of course all 3 drawers are crammed with baby things!

Mel and Tyler's Last Day

This is our last day together as Mel and Tyler are leaving by train for the East tomorrow. Man, I hate when our kids leave - no matter if they are going home (Heather and Jonathan in Calgary - Naomi and Jerry just 20 minutes away - Darrin in Calgary too) or going around the world! Good-byes make me cry! And yes, they will all tell you that Mom cries everytime!!!

Anyway, I digree -
These 2 are taking the train across Canada, with stops along the way in Ontario and Quebec to visit friends and family. They'll be in Nova Scotia in early September to spend some time with Tyler's family and deal with stuff (and there's lots of stuff!). Then on September 23, they are flying to Poland where Tyler will begin his medical school studies at the University of Silesia in Katowice. Our hearts are full of joy that these 2 have so much faith and confidence to consider doing such a monumental thing, and they are full of worry and concern at all that they will have to face so far away from home. I need to do a whole bunch more praying as I bake pumpkin cheesecake and make a special supper for them. I need your prayers for me today, my dear friends - TIA!!!

So they are going to be in Poland for 4 years - and yes, I am going to visit ASAP!!! Europe - here I come - at long last!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

He's Here!!!

The septic pumpout guy is in the yard!! I'n going to have a shower!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Reality Check

Man oh man - it was a crazy day between vehicle trouble and sewer problems!

Mel and Tyler had taken the car to Calgary and on the way home, the alternator belt broke. They managed to limp in to Wetaskiwin to a car dealership and then called me. So I took them Heather and Jonathan's old Toyota (the trusty one!) so they could get to Tyler's appointment at the health unit in Camrose. Meanwhile Bob got the power snake (you insert it into your sewer line to hopefully unclog it), helped Jerry with something, picked up a car carrier and then came to get the Neon and me in Wetaskiwin. When we got home we inserted the snake but it seems the lines are clear. SO we go out to the backyard and proceed to dig up the lawn to find the lids for the septic tanks. We were pretty lucky finding them (did this about 14 years ago!) and found out they were both full. We have a tank but it empties into a septic field under the ground so we don't normally have to pump it. Hopefully the guy can come tomorrow and pump it out and we can return to normal living. The only good thing about this is that it didn't happen in the middle of winter - and I got some major cleaning and hauling out done in the basement. Water on the floor will do that for ya everytime!!

We now return to regularly scheduled programming - well, hopefully tomorrow!

Still no cooperation from blogger for posting pictures. Plan B goes into effect tomorrow here too!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Nights are much cooler

Leaves are gently turning colors

Apples are ready for picking

Darkness falls by 9:45

O, sweet summer

Don't leave me here!!

Adventures on a Summer Sunday

We had a fabulous day - great weather, good company, relaxing time, lots of laughs - all the things that summer is about! My niece, Jill, and her friend brought their horses and they did a trail ride while the adults rode the quads. I cannot think of a better thing to do on a summer afternoon!

Chloe and Joy (the horses) are called the "Princesses" by their owners. I was amazed at how fast and far they went. It was a cutline trail with lots of growth and there were some wet spots but that didn't stop these 4 gals.

On the homefront, I spent the day doing laundry and dishes and then later getting groceries and dropping off the recycling. I stopped at Rona for something and as soon as I entered the store I heard a baby crying. I thought it sounded like Meadow so I went searching and I found her!! Na and Jerry were getting pieces for the hot tub hookup and the baby wasn't too happy. I cuddled her and rocked her to sleep. Meeting them was a great surprise!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Love These 2!

These 2 are just the best!! My sister, Esther and her husband, Larry, are such fun to be with!
We went quadding near Whitecourt with them yesterday on a gorgeous summer Sunday. This birch tree has 3 trunks coming out of 1 root stock and it's a favorite of Larry's so we had a little photo shoot right at it. I call this one "Tree Huggers"! The tree is on Larry's uncle's land and it must be very old. A real gem, hugged by 2 other gems!!

And Blogger and I are having issues so that's all you get to see for now. Maybe more later - keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Gone Quadding...

be back tonight with some pictures, I hope!

Have a lovely Sunday!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Isn't she cute?!

One of the things I enjoyed most about our time in Asia was watching the children! This sweet little girl was walking with her Mom in Behai Park in Beijing (near the Forbidden City) totally enjoying being dressed up and swinging her parasol. When I asked her to pose she got the sweetest smile and set herself up just perfectly. Chinese children were so well behaved and gentle by nature. We saw lots of grandparents with little ones which is a cultural thing as they provide childcare while parents work long hours. Mel and Tyler's friends, Meg and Simon, have a 2 year old daughter who lives with Meg's parents during the week and only comes home on weekends!! As a parents, that would be strange, I think.

It's been rainy and cool the past couple of days. Today we visited Leduc #1, the Canadian Petroleum Interpretive Center, with our friends from Nova Scotia. Then we couldn't decide what to do so we wandered to West Edmonton Mall and showed them all the attractions, had supper and shopped a little. Totally an "on holidays" kind of wet day!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Happy Birthday to my Mom and Dad

It's my mom's birthday today and my dad's tomorrow - so cheers to them! 73 and 74 years of good living, hard working, and strong faith in these two. I am blessed that they enjoy good health and are still living on the farm. Country air does that! We are taking them out for supper tomorrow night - nearly 20 of us going along to celebrate with them.

It was a major blitz at our house today - inside and out!! Everything is spotless, shining, swept, mowed, moved or else has been hauled to the dump!! Mel, Tyler, Bob and I did an incredible amount of work in 4 hours - and we are good in the cleaning department for a very long time. I don't think I've every polished the tub and surround as well as I did today!! I think this effort deserves a big SB day now!

Our friends, Linda and Edward, from Nova Scotia arrived today. They have been in BC for nearly 4 weeks including one week on an Alaskan cruise. Melinda stayed with them in their beautiful house in Chester, Nova Scotia for 2 summers so they are like her second set of parents. Their home was our base during the wedding celebrations 2 years ago. We are glad to have this opportunity to host them. Tomorrow we're off to drive around the countryside - after Edward joins Mel and Tyler for a morning run at the lake.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

People everywhere! And yummy summer foods!

One of the things that struck me most about Asia was how many people live there!! Mel and Tyler had talked about this but until you are actually there, it's hard to believe. In the downtown areas, streets and sidewalks are crowded from about 10 in the morning until 11 at night. This picture was taken in Hong Kong along Electronics Street (DH was shopping for a camera!) about 7:00 p.m. one night.

Sometimes keeping track of each other when we were walking was a challenge. One morning, Bob was confused because he wasn't accustomed to what Audrey and I were wearing yet! When we were in the markets or on the transit system during very busy times, we had to keep checking back over our shoulders for the next person in our group. Mel and Tyler had red coolmax Canadian hats that helped us to spot them and Aime' was taller than any Asian men (he stood head and shoulders above them) so we didn't lose him. There weren't alot of foreigners around but the people were so friendly and helpful that we never once felt different - except for the fact that we couldn't understand a word of Mandarin!

Did you spot the KFC and Pizza Hut signs in the picture?!! We saw lots of these places plus McDonald's in our travels. In Taipei there was KFC that was 4 stories high! You ordered on the first floor and then could sit on the other 3 floors to eat. Starbucks had the same arrangement. But -- I never did find chai lattes in our travels :(

I'm saving my impressions about pedestrians and traffic for another post. That topic warrants its own discussion!!

I had the best salad when we had supper at the White Spot tonight - Chicken Veronica with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red peppers, grilled chicken, cashews and red grapes. It was delish - I highly recommed it!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

August Long

weekend is officially over! It was busy and lots of fun. Some highlights:

- Darrin came home and together with Bob, Tyler and Aime'(our good friend), they finished the second part of the shingling project on the roof of the house. It's finished and it looks fabulous!! Definitely good for another 28 years, I hope!

- Mel was able to successfully sell many of their things, that were in storage at our house, at her yard sale. She and Tyler have also sold, via email listing, many of their things in Nova Scotia, as they prepare to move abroad.

- Sunday afternoon the 4 guys (Bob, Darrin, Jerry and Tyler) went golfing at the Black Bull Golf Course - good times and good stories to tell!

- today Bob, Darrin and I golfed a round at Breton - my first time out this year!! I still like the game as much as ever - perhaps one of these summers I'll actually go regularly and make some improvements to my game!

- headed over to Johnsonia Beach on Pigeon Lake to see our friends, Audrey and Aime'. They took the boat out and Mel, Tyler and Audrey all waterskiied. Tyler got up twice but didn't get a long ski in. Hopefully later this week he can try again. Mel was a natural! Even after 4 or 5 years of not skiing, she was up and at it the first try. We had a weiner roast and sat around the campfire and even made S'Mores.

- we had great weather, family to share fun with and an awesome summer weekend! I hope yours was as good!

While the guys golfed on Sunday, Mel, Na and I hung out with Miss Meadow. She is awake and alert for longer periods every day and we are thoroughly enjoying her. Her and Auntie Melinda had lots of playtime together over the last 2 days. It truly is amazing how a baby enriches each day. I love sharing her with you - I hope you enjoy seeing her too!!

Saturday, August 05, 2006


YEAH!! After a 6 week hiatus from my studio, I created a layout today! I am ecstatic that at long lastI have had a chance to play in the space that I love best.

This is a direct lift from a magazine that I picked up (in Thorsby no less!) on my trip to town to pick up supplies for part 2 of the roofing project. I snuck a peek at Simple Scrapbooks "Scrapbook Shortcuts - Quizzes and Questions" and was immediately inspired by the very first page. I answered the questions Cathy Zielske posed on her LO and voila! The pictures were all taken in the last 6 months and the paper is from the July S! kit.

Just in case you are wondering, the journalling reads:

The last person I sent a card to: my S! friend Roslyn
What I ate for lunch today: meatloaf, mashed potatoes with creamed corn, coleslaw, chocolate zucchini cake
Something I just learned: how to make Nova Scotia hodge-podge, a summer vegetable soup (Mel and Tyler taught me last night!)
My favorite song this year: 525,600 Minutes from the broadway musical, Rent
The last book I read: True Believer by Nicholas Sparks
What I'm wearing right now: black track pants, grey Calmar WhiteHawks tshirt, flipflops
The last phone call I made: Hoffman's Home Hardware
Inside, I don't feel very different from when I was: 40 years old
The last restaurant I ate at was: Subway - a Tuscan chicken sub
My favorite TV show is: ER and any sporting event
The last shopping I did: at the Lakedell Farmer's Market, got fresh fruits and veggies last night
(I added the last question because I had a bit of room on the paper!)

Life is complete today!

Sampan Tour in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong harbour, more than 10,000 people live on sampans - and some of them have never stepped on land!! One afternoon we took a little tour around the harbour on one of the boats and saw a whole other side of life in this busy city. Our driver used to be a fisherman but he can't make a living doing that anymore so a group of them have formed an association that works with the tourist board to offer boat tours. You see everything on these boats, especially the bigger ones. There are lines of laundry drying, people cooking, men fixing stuff, children playing - even saw some dogs! I'm so glad we got off the street and out of the hustle and bustle downtown to experience this little snippet of life on the other side of the pier. I'd do this again in a heartbeat!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Summer Days

Will you just look at her?!! Miss Meadow is so strong and getting more alert every day. Bob took this picture of her last night. She was so engrossed in him waving his fingers at her - concentration with a capital C! Have I mentioned how much I love cuddling her??!! And soon I'll get to cuddle Heather and Jonathan's babe too - life doesn't get any better! And not to worry - I WILL come to Calgary and find that sweet baby!

Decided today that I better tackle some of the summer jobs that are piled up around my house. Accomplished these:

- cleaned off DS's dresser in what used to be his room - threw stuff away and packed some up for him to take to his house

- did loads of laundry - and there are still loads to do! I think it's multiplying!!

- burnt CDs of the pictures we took in Asia - just in case the computer crashes.

- did some handwash-only laundry and hung it outside to dry - smells so good now.

- made zucchini muffins - with zucchini from my very own garden!

- helped Mel sort some stuff for a yard sale she wants to have at the lake this weekend.

- sorted through my everyday dishes and filled a box for the sale.

- pulled weeds out of the potato patch - and sacrificed 2 plants in the process because it was getting so dark. It looks MUCH better now!

- grated zucchini for relish and left it to sit overnight.

- got strawberries ready for jam making tomorrow.

- finished my Nicholas Sparks book "True Believer" - ho hum read - he's written better.

- washed all the dishes tonight - I must tackle the floors tomorrow.

- had a chai latte and a dish of fresh raspberries with brown sugar and cream - my favorite summertime dessert!

Am I caught up with all the jobs? Sad to say, there are many still waiting. Where is my housekeeper when I need her????

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Food Courts

Of course eating was a large part of our holiday adventure!! One day we went to Taipei 101, which is the tallest -uilding in the world (at least until a taller one is finished in the United Ara- Emirates), and then had lunch in the food court. We spent the first 15 minutes wandering around and considering all the options which included McDonald's! There was so much to see! Most of the workers wear masks, which is different and also reassuring. This lady was cleaning off ta-les and returning the various -askets and trays to their respective owners. It was cool to see - rather than all the paper products we use! The amounts of rice and various other dishes were huge. We settled on a variety of different dishes - all of them unique, interesting and tasty. Of course we used chopsticks! Audrey and I even mastered them eventually!!

Purchasing food in Asia is quite reasona-le and we quite enjoyed the variety and tastes. Some in our group were more adventurous than others and we did try lots of unique things. This food court was very different from the street vendors that we saw everywhere - more on that another time!!!

We got to take care of Meadow tonight while her mom and dad went to Leduc! She was very good - Grampa fed her, she looked around for a while, went outside to meet the dog (who came home after his holidays today!), slept with Grampa, slept in her chair and cuddled with me! I hope we get to do this again soon!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Taroka Gorge

Here they are!! Pictures from one part of our Asian Adventure!

We left Taipei one Saturday morning and headed north to the coast. We followed the highway around and headed down the east side of the island to this awesome mountain area, Taroka Gorge. It was formed when the oceanic plates collided and pushed straight up to form this narrow gorge with tall, tall walls of mar-le. Since it's all formed of such hard rock, the river hasn't eroded the sides so it remains nearly the same as it was formed. The ocean plates are still pushing on each other and the cliffs continue to rise a tiny amount each year. The river-ed has giant -oulders scattered everywhere. You can see the highway snaking along the side in the first picture. There are many tunnels to pass through - some of them so narrow that traffic has to take turns. The second picture shows a temple at one of the waterfalls along the way. The whole area is so picturesque - I took alot!!

I went to pick straw-erries today instead of getting a key-oard. The 5 pails of -erries are safely put away so tomorrow Mel and I are going to do a little shopping. Thanks for hanging in to make sense of this post!