Sunday, December 21, 2008

Counting Blessings

I've always considered the extremely cold weather to be count your blessings weather - because no matter how bad it is here, it's always worse elsewhere. Not exactly true today. It's -31 right now in Regina (-40 with the wind chill), but only -24 in Yellowknife and only -27 in Cambridge Bay. Cambridge Bay has always been my "thank you, Lord that I don't live there" spot, because it's like Weyburn for wind (it's on the arctic coast and well above the tree line) and yet it is generally much colder before the wind than Yellowknife is. Well, it is colder today in Regina.

I can still count my blessings, however.
  • I have a warm apartment (and I don't pay the heating bill anyway)
  • I'm on holidays for two weeks
  • My car starts even in the cold
  • The laryngitis has receded enough that I can talk (croak may be a more accurate term and singing is still iffy)
  • My kids arrive on Thursday!!!
  • I don't have to go out for anything in the cold unless I want to; I have groceries and my Christmas shopping is done.

I have much to be thankful for.

Friday, December 19, 2008

School's out

No school for two weeks! I need the break and I know my students do too. My kids arrive Boxing Evening (if there is such a term). I'm really missing them and it will be good to see them again. I have all my Christmas shopping done, presents wrapped (well, present bags made and presents stuffed inside), everything ready to go. I'm not worrying about Christmas baking.

Unfortunately, I still have the remains of laryngitis. Although I can talk, it sounds like I'm doing an imitation of an adolescent boy with the voice change thing, and I can't sing. Really frustrating! It's been over 10 days now that I've been just working on being able to talk. Hopefully, not having to teach for two weeks will make a big difference.

Now for good news. One of the piano pieces I've been fighting with for a long time is finally coming along. I no longer feel like kicking myself when I make the same stupid error because I'm not making the same stupid error! Feels good. I have a recital in mid January. I'm not ready for it yet, but it at least seems like I could be ready for it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Welcome winter!

It's -30 this morning. The first really cold day we've had. (Well, actually yesterday was pretty cold with temperatures of about -27 and strong winds blowing.) Thankfully today there's not much wind.

I went out this morning to plug my van in for the first time. First of all, I had to find an extension cord. (Who really needs to plug in their Christmas tree anyway?) Then I had to figure out how to unlatch the hood on the van. I also had to get the cord to plug into the outside plug (not an easy feat) and the van's cord to plug into the extension cord. If this is a recipe, the next step is to wait and hour and check to see if all the connections were made. I think I need to get one of those lighted plug things so that I can tell if it's working.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Or maybe not

I just discovered the wheat thins I've been eating are multigrain wheat thins. This means that they had oats as an ingredient. So that's likely why I was noticing that my tongue was going numb when I ate them. I thought it was something in the dip! It is therefore likely the reason I have largyngitis and I'm just lucky that I didn't have to use my epi pen. I can count my blessings I guess. (And read labels more carefully next time).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The sound of silence

I seem to have come down with my annual laryngitis. I generally get it every year around Christmas. Usually I can attribute it to eating the mandarin oranges that are so widely available this time of year, but I haven't eaten any for at least a week - so maybe it's just bad luck this time.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Red Letter Day!

My new piano arrived this morning. I had to run over from school to let them in. It's beautiful! I ran home at noon to admire it (and to pick up the marking I had to do) and discovered that the orchid I had inherited with the apartment is blooming. It has one beautiful fuscia blossom; one bud that will likely open tomorrow and three other buds that will need some time. The other orchid plant is sending out a shoot, so hopefully it will bloom later.

This evening we had the annual Christmas banquet at Western. I really enjoyed that. Good food, lots of fun (there was a limbo contest that I didn't participate in), some good visiting. Now that I'm back home, I need to do some marking and piano practice. In fact, I think the piano is calling my name!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sorry about that neighbour

When I came home last evening, I shovelled the walks outside my apartment, but just before I went to bed I noticed that it had been snowing again and they were snowed in. I decided that I'd deal with it in the morning. However, I slept in this morning until nearly 7 am (yeah, I'm an early bird). I looked out the window to check on the walks and saw that some kind soul had shovelled the front walk but the back walk still needed to be done. So I put my jacket on, double checked to ensure I had my keys, and went out to shovel it. It only took about 2 minutes, it's a short walk. Then I went to let myself back in and found that I only had car keys in my pocket, no apartment keys.

OK, check all the other windows. Any lights showing? Nope. It's only about -4 out; I could wait. Nope. There's only one doorbell that works at the back - the Williams'. I rang it. Waited. Rang it again. Waited. Rang it again. Nothing.

Bright idea now. I had one of the Williams boys hide a key at the front for emergencies such as this. So I hopped the fence and went around to the front door. And discovered that he may have hid a key, but I couldn't reach the hiding place! (The joys of being vertically challenged.) Then I saw a light come on in the Williams' apartment and rang the bell again. Loopie came down and let me in. (Sorry to get you up but thank you for rescuing me.)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I can't believe what I just did

I'm still in shock! I went by the piano store today, fully intending to dicker about a used piano. However, he only had two used pianos left in stock (in fact, he only had two new pianos left in stock) because he has to be out of the store by Wednesday - the building has sold and he's retiring.

I left after having purchased a brand new piano! I still can't get over it. I know it was a good buy (I bought it for just a few dollars less than his wholesale price); and it comes with a ten year warranty and he'll pay the delivery charge - it's just that it's a whole lot more money than I intended to spend. I'm very thankful for my line of credit - and I'll have to go to the bank tomorrow to ensure that I transfer enough money in my account to cover the cheque I wrote.

The brand name is Young Chang; it's a cherry wood colour and has engraved wood on the front panel - it's beautiful! They'll deliver it on Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest.

Now, do you know anyone who wants a used piano? Good for beginners?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Decisions, decisions

OK, I got my licences (driver's and plates). It only took two more trips; so I made a total of four trips to various licensing offices and had all the needed ID three of those times. (What's wrong with this picture?)

I had the piano tuner in yesterday because my piano has been bugging me with this key out of tune, that key clicking, another key double striking, etc. However, he tells me that the problem is with the bushings, and it'd cost me more than the piano is worth to replace them. He recommends buying a new (to me) piano.

You have to realize that I've been considering whether or not I would splurge and spend $100 on a camera for myself for Christmas. (And I did splurge and buy myself some winter boots.) Now a good quality used piano would likely cost me close to $1,000! So, what are my options?
  • Stick with my existing piano (but that low E that's out of tune and is untunable because the block is cracked there, he says) is causing me to have bad technique because I try to either skip playing it or playing it for a much shorter length of time.
  • Practice on the grand piano at school (in the evenings and on weekends); meaning that I likely wouldn't get as much practice in because I'd have to go over there every time and I couldn't practice on it if there was a function in the room where it is.
  • Buy another piano. One of the piano stores in town is closing and apparently I could get a good deal on a piano right now (the tuner took me over there after hours, as he has a key and went through all of the pianos with me). The catch? It'll be around $1,000 once you add in getting it tuned and moved. And... I'd now have two pianos and would have to do something with the other one.

So, I don't know what I'll do. Right now I've decided that I don't have to make a decision right away.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Frustration

I took the bus to Saskatoon Friday after work. My van was there (sort of) and I needed to get the plates changed to Saskatchewan plates. My cousin had been working on it for me, doing the myriad of little things that needed to be done so that it would pass a safety inspection. Then my brother-in-law drove it up to PA to a friend of his to do the safety inspection. It passed once two new tires were bought and the wheels aligned. Then he drove it back to S'toon (which is why I said sort of) early Saturday morning.

Saturday morning I went to the closest insurance office to change my driver's license over to a Saskatchewan one and to get Saskatchewan plates on my van. Apparently you can only get Saskatchewan plates if you have a current Sask driver's license, so that was the first step. Except - I can't get a Sask driver's license without showing either a passport or a birth certificate in addition to a driver's license from another jurisdiction and two proofs of a current Sask address. I didn't have all that in Saskatoon, so I phoned down to Regina and asked them to put all that in an envelope on the bus. It arrived at 4:10 pm, so then I went back to an insurance office. I had to show... passport, birth certificate, two proofs of residence (power bill and phone bill) and marriage certificate! The latter was because I was previously registered in Saskatchewan (20 years ago) under a different last name and I had to prove that I had legally changed my name! Then they had to electronically contact the NWT licensing office to prove that my license hadn't been suspended there. That's where the hitch was. Couldn't do that! Therefore unless I could show a driver's abstract, (which I actually had in Regina) they couldn't give me my new Saskatchewan driver's license so I couldn't put plates on the van.

Now, my plates expire tonight, so I guess I have to get someone to drive me to an insurance office tomorrow to go through the whole rigamarole again. Am I frustrated? Just a little bit.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hope

My sister Ruth gave me the link to this film. I've started a new unit in my Grade 9 English class entitled "It's not fair! The search for justice" We've been looking at historical and current injustices (for example, we looked at the Japanese relocation and internment during WWII yesterday and today). Now that I've seen this film, I definitely will show it - either tomorrow or Monday. Check it out for yourself, it's really impressive: http://www.thedoorpost.com/hope/Volition/

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Traditions

Tonight is my anniversary. I decided that I needed to be proactive and prevent myself from sitting at home alone feeling sorry for myself. So I invited family over. (You have to realize that that's not a very limiting term). I think I fed around 20 and there were another 10 or so that dropped in for awhile. Everyone helped me put up a Christmas tree (I've never had one since I lived at home with my parents) and decorate it. It's beautiful! I'd post a picture but I don't have a camera, so you'll have to take my word for it. It's been a very nice evening and I'm tired - it was a very full day.

Oops

I had my Oster Kitchen Centre out on the counter top because I was using the blender. However, I turned suddenly and caught it with my elbow sending both mixing bowls crashing to the floor. They both shattered. I wonder how possible it is to get replacement mixing bowls? (The original Kitchen Centre only cost me $10 at a garage sale. What do you want to bet replacing the bowls will cost me a fair bit more than that?)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Shopping locally

I left my apartment at 5:40 to walk to the local Extra Foods - a generous block away. I purchased my groceries and walked home, arriving just in time to hear the news chimes on CBC radio for 6 pm. Gotta love it. Got all of my groceries and walked both ways in 20 minutes!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Here comes the sun

I've been feeling for the past several weeks that I was persevering while operating under a cloud. I would do everything that needed to be done, but always felt the feeling in the back of my throat that's the precursor to tears. However, last night the cloud lifted! I haven't done anything differently, but after weeks of feeling that I've been playing a melody written in a minor key, with lots of unresolved chords; I've moved on to the next movement, and it's resolved to a major key! I'm grateful for the return of the sunshine in my life.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Is it finally winter?

It's -19C out this morning. There's snow on the ground. Maybe it's finally winter. I know this has been an unseasonably mild fall; but I can't get over how warm it has been. I've been trying not to fit the phrase "in Yellowknife...." into every conversation, but I still think it. And they've had snow in Yellowknife since early October and it'll be there until the end of April.

So, now that the temperature is more seasonable, does it affect what I wear? Not really. I'm wearing a sweater instead of a blouse, but I'm still wearing a skirt instead of pants. (I like wearing skirts and it's only half a block to get to work). I'll be wearing the same coat (my fall jacket in YK) because it's good to -20 or so, and my next warmer coat is a fur one; I think it's a bit of an overkill to switch to it. I'll still be wearing shoes because I don't have any boots (although I get paid next week, so I might try to find some).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Home once more

Well, I'm back; have driven to Winkler, Manitoba (about 7 hours away); participated in the Bible Quizzing competition there (as a coach) and driven back home. Four of our students came with me. What's Bible Quizzing, you ask? It's a really great program - check out their FAQ here: http://www.cmdquizzing.org/info/faq.html If you want the Reader's Digest Condensed Version:
"The mission of quizzing is to see visible evidence of the application of God's Word in the lifestyle of each participant."
Bible Quizzing is a ministry of Life Impact Ministries/CMA to assist teens to connect with God in a deeper way by Experiencing Him and Expanding His Kingdom.
It accomplishes this by:
Providing teens with an opportunity to be involved in the systematic study and application of God's Word.
Building character, instilling self-discipline, and encouraging prayer and unity.
Equipping young people with the capacity to serve in other areas of ministry.

Our students did really well. They won the first three matches they were in, and then, while they did know the answers after that, they weren't the first so didn't win the next three matches. They had a lot of fun (which is also very important) and they know an awful lot about the Book of Luke.

It was interesting being in Winkler. It's obviously a very strongly Mennonite community; there were at least three massive Mennonite churches that we passed by. Winkler has a population of about 9,000. There was at least one quiz group that visited amongst themselves in German, and this morning in the worship service, the hymns were all in English and German on the PowerPoint slides. The girls and I stayed with a family that had just immigrated to Winkler from Germany and spoke some English but were fluent in both German and Russian. The boys also stayed with a German speaking family.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Reading and growing

I've been reading (again) My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. I find him really challenging. I've also been reading II Corinthians, which I have found really encouraging. For example: I Cor. 1:3-7

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.


Finally, I've been doing quite a bit of reading and studying in Luke, chapters 1-3 and 9-11, because that's where our Bible Quizzing will be on. I'm getting to know it really well (but not as well as my students) and hope to have much more memorized after a seven hour car ride with them.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Newsworthy

It has always seemed amazing to me that something that can be totally earthshattering to me, doesn't make the news. Perhaps that's a good thing; I'm just as happy without having to read about myself in the tabloids (Britney and Paris are welcome to that type of publicity) and it does help me to realize that I'm not the centre of the universe. The really big, important news (like: Joyce and Tony had a girl today - Gloria Jade - mama and baby are both doing fine) seems to be transmitted at high speed.

What's new around here? We had freezing rain this morning, and it's slippery enough that I had to be careful walking to work and I decided not to drive anywhere today. The weather is still incredibly mild, it's only -4 right now. (Yeah, I know, the 20 years in Yellowknife is showing here - but it's only -7 there!) The students had no school today, but the staff had an inservice day. We all have tomorrow off though, for Remembrance Day.

Lord willing, I'll be taking a vanload of students to Winkler, Manitoba on Friday for a Bible Quiz meet. It'll be the first time I've left Regina since I arrived on August 9. (After putting about 9,000 km on the van this summer, I just had no desire to drive anywhere; go figure.)

All in all; the Lord continues to bless, and life is good.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wakefulness

There's many times when I wake in the night (actually it's usually in the small hours of the early morning) and don't go back to sleep for some time if at all. My mother tells me that it's something that goes with the aging process, and she swears that a spoonful of peanut butter helps her to go back to sleep. However, I don't generally mind it. I find there's generally three reasons why I wake in the night.
  1. My Lord wakes me. He does this sometimes I think because I haven't been consistent enough in my walk and talk with him and he knows when he can get my attention. Other times he wakes me so that I can pray for others that he puts on my heart. How can I object to this special time with my Lord?
  2. Someone or something else wakes me. I live in an apartment where people do come and go in the night, and on occasion it wakes me. Or, sometimes there's a noise on the street, a siren or something that wakes me. Fairly frequently on weekends I have house guests and I can wake when they go to the bathroom or something. This doesn't particularly bother me either; it's something I have no control over, so I treat it like I do with the first reason. This is a time to converse with my Lord and pray for the people that he puts on my heart.
  3. Sometimes I wake myself. This usually (but not always) means that I need to go to the bathroom. It could also be that I have had a bad dream or a nightmare or even a really good dream that I want to remember, so I wake up. How can I get upset at myself for waking up if I need to go to the bathroom? I was a bedwetter for a long time as a child, and I assure you that it's far better to wake up when you need to go than not to. I'm also thankful to be able to wake up after a bad dream. Then I can turn that over to my Father and be comforted by him.

I find if I am awake in the night, it's usually for just one or maybe two nights in a row. If I'm shorted of sleep, I can always have a short afternoon nap or sleep in a bit in the morning. I slept in until 7:30 this morning, because I was awake for awhile in the night. It feels so decadent to sleep in, and yet I still have an hour before I need to get ready for church. All in all, it's not really so bad to wake up in the night occasionally. I can be thankful for wakefulness.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Congratulations!

I was privileged to attend a banquet last night - The Fourteenth Annual 2008 First Nations Awards. My youngest sister, Glenda, had been nominated in the Medicine and Health Category. We had a lovely meal (we should have; the banquet ticket prices were incredible!), a great visit, enjoyed the entertainment very much (there was a special performance by Shane Yellowbird) and to top it all off, Glenda won!

I'm so proud of her! She's a dentist in Saskatoon, and is currently trying to set up a practice at her home band; the Flying Dust First Nation, near Meadow Lake. Glenda had been nominated last year as well, and didn't win then; however, she's grateful because last year the winners had to make speeches and this year they just had to walk across stage to accept their award. She was given a beautiful eagle statue.

I don't have a camera, but Glenda had her phone with her and took some pictures, so when she e-mails me some, I'll add them to the blog.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What a good day!

It is Sunday. Sort of a double plus to start with. Then, Ruth and I taught Sunday school this morning. We only do that once a month; when it's a combined Sunday school with all of the age groups up to but not including teens. We usually combine Sunday school with the Anglican kids, who have their service at the same time but once a month meet in the evening. So once a month we do something totally different with our kids, so that the lessons stay in step, so to speak, with the Anglican kids. So Ruth and I get to do whatever we want; once a month. This Sunday we chose to tell the story of manna and quail. This is actually a story about being thankful and not complaining. (A very important concept, as far as I'm concerned). We had just over 10 kids - all but two of them were preschoolers. We told the story, with actions and song (very important) then we made quail from paper plates for a craft. Finally we had snack... manna and quail of course (rice krispies and chicken fingers). It all went over very well. I had made playdough and had colouring pictures as well, but didn't need them.

Then, for lunch we went out to Classic Buffet (Walter P bought). It's the Hinnergardt's anniversary this coming week. They were married 19 years ago. (Lloyd and I were also married 19 years ago, but in November). We all ate a lot, but more importantly, had a really good visit with everyone there.

Before service this morning, I baked cookies, and I'm really pleased with them too. I tried a new recipe, and this one's a keeper. I was wanting a recipe for cookies that I could slice and bake after I had frozen the dough. I remember my Grandmother Orr doing this, whenever she had guests show up; but of course, G'ma Orr made oatmeal cookies and I'm not going there. However, these are very nice cookies. The recipe is from cdkitchen.com; it makes a really large batch, and doesn't contain eggs. All good things. (I doubled the ginger from the recipe and used blackstrap molasses instead of light molasses, because I really like the molasses flavour). It's called Slice and Bake Ginger Cookies.

This evening I'll help with Bible Quizzing practice. I also really enjoy that. Sometime today I'm going to fit in piano practice, my regular letter writing and marking (the essentials of life). Life is good.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I wonder if Joseph

when he spent those long years in prison for something he didn't do, ever went back over the events that had happened to him; trying to second-guess himself. "Maybe if I had told her..." or "Maybe if I had done x with my brothers...."

Even when he was second only to Pharoah, he still felt the rupture from his birth family. "Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, 'It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household.'". (Gen 41.51)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How sick was I?

Lets just say....
  • I have a whole lot of laundry that needs to get done and
  • Immodium is my new best friend
  • My bathroom floor got scrubbed several times yesterday

I'm feeling much better now.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Still challenged

To be honest, I did try to use the time bake feature on my oven on Sunday - with the owner's manual in hand - and it still didn't start and stop when I wanted to. I'll have to try again, because I refuse to be bested by an inanimate object. (TV's, VCR's and DVD players are another matter altogether - I refuse to be bested by an inanimate object that I need to use. I have none of the above three items and I don't need them, so they're free to best me.)

I'm still being challenged by my dominant seventh chords as well. I have a new fingering pattern to try: 3 4 3 4 - and I'm to say the correct fingering before I try the chord. This is going to be the week I get it! I need to be able to move on to other challenges; such as diminished seventh chords.

I have conquered some challenges however; my rhythm exercises have been going well; I've been able to do some cataloguing in the library (the hard way, the internet still isn't working for me to do copy cataloguing and Paul, our resident tecchie, is on vacation) and I'm back to working out regularly after nearly two full weeks off due to illness and having to get other essentials done.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday afternoon

The Pradzynski's usually have potluck at their house Sunday afternoons, however I decided to host it today. The Williams opened their apartment up as well, so we had both apartments to expand into and we likely had between 25 and 40 people (it's hard to tell for sure). Ruth had made lasagne, I had cooked a small ham and Loopie had roast pork. Ruth also had a bag of salad and I made tabouli and homemade bread and apple cobbler and matrimonial cake for dessert. There was lots of food and the young adults/teens are playing various games right now.

I've always been really hesitant about having people over. It dates back to when Lloyd and I were young parents (Rose was either a baby or a toddler) and we invited another couple over after service and they turned us down because they were busy and a couple minutes later I heard them make plans with someone else. I had the courage to confront them and they told me that they didn't like to visit us because our house was always so messy. I've felt very inadequate about that ever since and have never wanted to invite anyone over unless my house was absolutely spotless (and it never was).

However, I've recently come to the conclusion that the problem was more with them than with me - yes my house may have been cluttered, but it was never dirty. Now that I'm living by myself, I don't have any trouble keeping a tidy house anyway (and I haven't accumulated enough stuff to have clutter) and I'm delighted to be able to learn hospitality.

I had an e-mail from Rose this afternoon and she's been feeling ill; stayed home from school for a day or two and is having trouble with diarrhea, etc. I wish I could be closer, but hopefully she'll be with me for second semester. It is hard to be a long-distant parent - but it does ensure that I have a real active prayer life.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was so very nice. To start with, my kids were down for the weekend, and it was so good to see them and spend time with them. In addition, it was Lectureship, so I got to hear great lessons as well as see many, many family members and friends. I have so much to be thankful for.

It snowed this weekend and although the weather has risen briefly above freezing, there is still lots of snow on the ground. I like the snow - I have to, I live in Canada. It's either like it, or be miserable a lot of the time.

I'm having an "adult" supper - turnips, swiss chard and other food that kids generally turn their noses up at. That's fine, I'm an adult, and I like it. Besides that, if I don't eat it, it'll go off and I'll have to throw it out.

The Williams family (Les, Loopie, Thomas and Bailey) have moved in next door to me. I'm glad to have such good neighbours.

It took them over a week, but blogger has unlocked my thankfulness blog. Apparently their automated software and identified it as a potential spam blog and so they locked it until a real person could read it and decide if it was real or not. So, now I can get back to counting my blessings on a regular basis.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ahhh!

I was busy working out a spreadsheet with my students' marks on it. I had been working on it for about 45 minutes to an hour when I figured I would save it and then print. I needed to save it in a different format so that I could read it at work, but when I selected that option, it told me that the earlier format couldn't read all of my formulas. So I hit cancel, which I thought meant cancel saving it in that format, but what it cancelled was saving it - it just closed it without saving!

So, I have just spent a second 45 minutes to an hour reinputting the data. This time I was a good girl and saved it at regular intervals throughout the development of the spreadsheet. I also printed out a copy. However, I hadn't really wanted to do the whole thing twice. After all, how badly did I really want to learn patience this morning?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Staying humble

Well I was feeling pretty good when I started my piano lesson yesterday. Although I had been sick the previous week and hadn't gotten in as much practice as I would have liked to, I had worked on the areas that had previously defeated me and had them fairly solid. However, Lore had me start with my dominant sevenths in B and D flat. Guess what? I'm still struggling with my dom 7ths, especially in those black note keys. (I'm thinking I should be working on my diminished 7ths as well, as I'm betting that the holiday on the minor keys won't last forever.) It's good to know there's always so much more to learn.

The days before Lectureship and Thanksgiving are speeding by. Rose and Bram will arrive, Lord willing, Thursday night - on two different flights. I'm really looking forward to seeing them.

The weather has changed fairly abruptly from sunshine and unseasonably warm weather to cloud, wind, rain and coolness. I had to scrape my window for the first time to drive to piano lessons Tuesday. I am still enjoying the change of seasons though.

My card arrived in the mail yesterday for my extended medical benefits as a STF member. I promptly went to the closest medical clinic and got a prescription for an Epipen. Then I got the prescription filled. I had lost my previous one in the move south and had been doing without. With the extended medical, it cost me $10; otherwise it would have been $110. Now, hopefully I'll never have to use it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's Monday!

I know a lot of people dread Mondays, but I have always enjoyed them. I like the start of the week where (theoretically at least) things start new again, where I'm not behind on things, and I can begin with energy. Maybe it's because I'm a morning person. By Friday I tend to be exhausted. This past Friday was particularly bad because I was fighting a losing battle with a cold. I left work early and went home and slept the entire evening (as I had the day before).

I went shopping yesterday (at Sears Clearance Centre) and bought myself two outfits. One's "dress-up clothes" and I have to put in a new hem (about four inches shorter) before I can wear it. I'm wearing the other outfit, a turquoise suit, this morning. The sleeves were a little long on it, but it's a type of polyester peachskin that doesn't fray, so I just trimmed them with scissors. The sleeves and bottom of the jacket both a very pretty have laser cut pattern of holes making a lacy pattern and then the sleeves had a scalloped edge. The lacy pattern is now just a little shorter on the sleeves, but I reproduced the scalloped edge with my scissors. I will admit it was a little scary taking scissors to my brand new suit though.

One of the things I help with at school is the Bible Quiz group. They had a local meet this past Saturday and did quite well. Although they didn't make the finals, they won one match and came in second in their other three matches. (There are always three teams competing at the same time.) It was very interesting to see how the meet was run too. The next meet will be in Winkler, Manitoba in November. The students are learning (memorizing large portions of) the book of Luke this year. This past meet was only on the first three chapters (not including the geneology), and the questions were really tough. I was impressed by the knowledge of all the competitors. Sunday evening we always have a practice session, so we were able to talk about what went well on Saturday, review which verses they had memorized, and practice quizzing a little bit. I'm really enjoying the whole thing.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Follow-up

I have to follow-up on a previous post on being technologically challenged. My parents were up for several days this week, and my mom brought me a copy of the owner's manual for the stove. From now on I'll have no excuse for being unable to set the time bake function.

A new thing (for me)

This month's Reader's Digest has an excellent article on it on the importance of being grateful and having an attitude of thankfulness. It recommended journalling daily on the things you're thankful for, and why. So, I've started a new blog (it's private, I won't give you the link) of the things I'm thankful for. What a great way to start my day - by listing all the things I'm thankful for!

I'm teaching a creative writing class this semester and have been encouraging my class to keep a journal of some sort (preferably daily). When I read that article in the Reader's Digest, I felt it tied in very nicely with what I had been saying, so I read it aloud to them. However, it's important to practice what I preach, so I've started it for myself. I consider this blog to also be a regular journal, but don't feel obligated to keep it up on a daily basis (and I have to be careful what I write, as I do know it is being read by who knows whom).

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What's the world coming to?

I was in Walmart Sunday afternoon (for the first time for about three weeks) and they had totally eliminated their fabric section! In Yellowknife, Walmart was the only source I had for fabric - I guess it's good that I'm living where there is a Fabricland.

Then I tried to log into Scrabulous.com and the website has totally disappeared! You end up at one of those sites that tries to sell you the domain name.

Is this one of the first signs of the end of the age? No fabric and no scrabble? What's next?

Monday, September 29, 2008

I did it!

I've got my unit plans done for semester one for Grade 9 English!!! I feel good about it. Now to do the same for Creative Writing 10 (the only other class I teach). I like teaching, but I'm not too keen on all the required paperwork.

I think I can celebrate by doing some mindless computer games, seeing as I've also done my piano practice for the day.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Technologically challenged

It's potluck this morning after service. I've got Lazy Man's Cabbage Rolls in the slow cooker. I've got Coleslaw Forever in the fridge and I've got Apple Crisp in the oven. Therein lies the problem. I can't figure out how to do the time bake or delay start on the oven. I've wasted about 15 minutes trying different combinations of push buttons; I can tell it to delay start - but then I can't seem to tell it what I want it to do when it does start - like bake at 350 for 30 minutes. I can't find an owner's manual for the oven anywhere either.

I'd sneak out of church for a minute and run the half block home to start the oven at the right time except that I'm teaching Sunday School this morning. I think I'm going to have to give my keys to someone else and have them start my oven at the right time.

This is the reason why I don't own a VCR, DVD player or cell phone. There's too many buttons to push. (There would also be the matter of not having a TV to display anything from a VCR or DVD player on). I can manage (just barely) my CD player and clock radio; but that's the extent of my technological skills.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"I choose to praise you"

It would be very easy to indulge myself in a pity party this evening. I'm not feeling very well; I've been on the verge of tears all day besides that and I'm missing my kids. I wanted to phone them, but was afraid I'd be crying all over the phone so I chickened out and didn't.

However, I have chosen not to be pitiful. I have so much to be thankful for. We had a very moving Ladies' Bible class this morning. It was a real encouragement - and there's something about a women's only Bible study that is very helpful. My parents were up again for the day and I was also able to visit with Aunt Lois and Uncle Roland for a short while. I hadn't realized how much I have missed being a part of my extended family until I moved south again. I made another quilt block - as did Ruth. (Actually, Ruth did hers first.) It always feels so good to create things. My house is spotless and I was able to have my parents and my sister share lunch with me. Ruth and I are teaching Sunday school tomorrow and we're prepared for it. Last night I attended the City Wide Worship time which was held at the Regina Auditorium, and it was great.

Part of a tune is running through my head, and I can't remember all the words. However the chorus has "I choose to praise you" as the main line, and that's what I'm going to do. It's so much more constructive than indulging myself in the poor poor pitiful me thing. In addition, I'm going to have a lengthy prayer time. There are so many people I know that are needing additional prayers, that I have committed to pray for.

Thank you, Lord, for your grace. The way you love us in spite of our failings and shortcomings. Bless my kids; keep them safe.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Weather

It seems a little cliche to talk about the weather - but I can't get over it. It is so beautiful out! Currently, at 8:30 pm, it's still +11 - and today is the 25th of September. It was up into the high teens or low 20's every day this week. On top of that there are the absolutely gorgeous autumn leaves with the golds, reds, yellows, greens and browns. To contrast, in Yellowknife right now the temperature is 0.3 with light snow. Yesterday had a high of 3.4, which is seasonally very normal.

Now I definitely didn't move to Regina because of the weather - but I can sure say that I'm enjoying it. I walk home at noon everyday, breathing in the acrid scent of fallen leaves and then walk back to school with thankfullness in my heart. Some of the college students had a picnic at noon today on the lawn.

Thank you, Lord.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Technical stuff

I'm supposed to be doing my scales in 16th notes, with an accent on the first of each of the 16ths. This is harder than it seems. The memonic to run through my head for 16th notes is "huckleberry" - count it out, there's four syllables. So when doing four octaves of scales, the "huck" part of each huckleberry is supposed to be slightly accented. However, it's on a different note for each octave. At the same time, I'm supposed to be remembering to put my thumb under the third finger sometimes and the fourth finger other times. Make sure you don't accidentally get the accent on your thumb, just because your thumb is naturally heavier than your fingers. The only way to keep it all straight is to go really slowly. I used to think that doing the scales was the easiest part of my technical requirements. However, I'm learning.

Now, on to arpeggios. Arpeggios should be played in 16th notes, not in triplets. (Back to huckleberry again.) Again, if you go slowly, you shouldn't have too much difficulty.

Then there's the dominant 7th chords. Apparently the correct fingering for those four note chords is the thumb and second finger and the fourth and fifth finger. Except for sometimes when it's the second and third finger. However, keep in mind that I have really tiny hands, so sometimes I have to use my thumb and third finger - instead of the more standard thumb and second finger. Confused yet? If you go really slowly, it's not too bad. (Yes, there is a recurrent theme here.)

The good news is that this year I don't have to do triads. I do them anyways; just because they don't require them this year, doesn't mean that they won't require them another year and I don't want to lose my hard-won skill at them.

I used to think that I could run through practicing my technical stuff with about 5 minutes per element; 5 minutes for scales, 5 minutes for arpeggios, 5 minutes for chords and triads. Lately it's been taking me about 45 minutes. I know it's all good for me, and it's amazing how much I am learning. I guess that's why I'm paying for lessons, eh?

Another day we'll look at sight reading.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bedtime

It's been a busy week. The high school had a two-day retreat Wednesday and Thursday. It was excellent; everyone had fun and there was only one injury. We were out at Dallas Valley Ranch camp. I had never been there before but was very impressed. That also meant two days I didn't have to do any lesson planning; just enjoy myself being with kids (and theoretically being a responsible adult). I can do that.

Friday afternoon three sports teams took off for various locations, which left the school seeming kind of empty. I only had 6 students (out of 16) in my Grade 9 English class. So that was pretty relaxing.

Friday evening my parents arrived. I had a good visit with them, as they stayed at my apartment. Dad hung my thread racks for me, so I can't think of any more little tasks that need to be done. Nice.

Saturday morning I helped Ruth pack up her office. She's bought the office building next door and will be moving next weekend. We packed 72 boxes of old files, that by law must be kept for 7 years. That's a lot of files! Then we had lunch together. In the afternoon I helped Ruth sew her first ever quilt block. She's justifiably proud of herself. Saturday evening I baked butter tarts.

Today, Sunday, is always a highlight of my week. I practiced piano for an hour this morning before service; then attended service, followed by lunch at the Pradzynski's (I brought the butter tarts). Al and Nancy arrived in the afternoon (after my afternoon nap) and we had a short visit before they went to clean. (They have a monthly contract in Regina.) I went to help with the Bible Quiz program (I brought butter tarts again), then helped the Taylor's clean so I could get a bit more visiting in. Stopped by Tony and Joyce's on the way home and visited there a bit. Now I don't have any lesson planning done for tomorrow, but that can be done in the morning. It is definitely bedtime and I'm tired.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday evening

I've had a good weekend - much better than last weekend. I have started the Ladies' Bible Class/Quilting class and it was just so good to get together and share with other women, to study the Bible together and to pray for each other. The quilting is just an added bonus. I've made my first block, and made a correction in my block instructions (my excuse for making a quilt each time). I'd show you a picture, but I think my camera must have been stolen out of my van as I can't seem to find it anywhere. Oh well, it's just a "nice to have", not an essential. It also meant that I had to get the guest room set up properly as a sewing room. It looks pretty good; there's room for four machines to be set up, and yet when my kids come down there's still room for a single bed in there.

This evening I went over to WCC to help with the Bible Quiz group. We're learning the book of Luke. That was also good, to help mentor a group of students who want to know the Bible better. I baked some gingerbread (the cake kind), which also went over pretty well.

I'm nearly completely planned for tomorrow and I've done at least an hour's piano practice; so it's been a very productive day (and weekend). I am so thankful for the Lord who gives me strength in these very tough times. He is my rock and my hiding place.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Warmer

It was actually warm enough this evening that I had to open a window in my living room, subjecting the entire neighbourhood to my piano practice. It's a nice problem to have.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

First Week

I've finished the first week of school. I am teaching only one class, Grade 9 English, plus working as a teacher-librarian. I'm delighted with the class, and also that it's going to be a really non-stressful assignment. I need non-stress in my working life because my personal life surely isn't right now. Hopefully things will improve there too.

This weekend has been productive, despite a slow start. Yesterday I worked really hard at procrastination all day (and having many years' experience at this, I can say that I did it really well!). I therefore finished an entire quilt top; queen/king bed sized. What I should have been doing was working on my unit planning; however I've done that for four solid hours this afternoon, so it did get done too. What I haven't done is practice piano or do laundry, so I guess that's my task for this evening. I also need to write my Sunday letters, but that may be reserved for early Monday morning. We'll see how far I get tonight.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Bereft

Bereft - adj 1. Deprived of or lacking something - usually used with of. 2. Bereaved.

How are you feeling? I'm feeling bereft.

"If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it;
if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him.
But it is you, someone like myself,
My companion, my close friend,
With whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
As we walked with the throng at the house of God."
Psalms 55: 12, 13

Thursday, September 4, 2008

"I can do it myself!"

Part of the joy of being an adult is the realization that I can do it myself. Then comes the further realization that I can't do everything by myself and that sometimes I don't want to do it and sometimes I have to do it anyways. This week has been a little frustrating with a lot of little things that I haven't been able to do by myself.

I bought some high stools to fit under my eating bar (some assembly required) and had to get my nephew to carry them in from the van for me. I now have them partially assembled, but cannot manage to figure out the wordless instructions and will have to be rescued by someone else. I have some pictures that need hanging and they're big enough it's a two-person job. Lots of little things like that.

However, it helps me to realize that we're all dependent on the grace of God and if that grace is acted out through others extending their grace to me, then perhaps I just need to be a better recipient of that grace. Thank you Lord for your grace. Help me to ask for and to receive grace from others when I need it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labour Day

I've decided that I will offer the Ladies' Quilt Class and Bible Study once more. I haven't done it for at least three or four years and I'm living in a different city now. However, this means that I need to pull out all of my materials for the class and check to ensure that they're up to date, find my samples, etc. I can't find one entire (almost) finished quilt, which means I must have left it in Yellowknife (rats anyway). However, I do have another finished set of sample blocks, so I've got them out and ready to go. There's 15 of them, but I think I'd prefer 16 for a queen-sized bed, so I've researched another block that will fit into the lesson series and have cut out the pieces for it. I'm alternating cutting and sewing with piano practice. They're both sort of fun and sort of work.

Today I went over to Ruth's and helped her sort through the clutter in her bedroom and decrease the total amount of clutter substantially. Seeing as she helped me unpack and get settled, it's only fair. Then we went out shopping for a little bit for essentials that either she or I needed, and then I came home to have a nap before doing home kind of essentials.

The one thing I needed to do today and didn't was lesson planning - but although tomorrow's the first day of school, it's not a teaching day, so I can prepare for it tomorrow night. (Nothing like leaving things for the last minute, eh?) The thing is, I always have to think about things for a long time before I can put them down on paper, and I'm still in the thinking, digesting stage.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Year

I don't know why we don't celebrate New Year's Day at this time of year instead of in cold and dark January. Today was the first day of school for me (and the other staff); the kids start back on Tuesday. Tuesday was my first day of piano lessons with my new piano teacher. Everything seems to start new again in the fall.



About piano lessons: she's going to work me hard. She gave me a Grade 1 theory exam to try and see where I am in my theory. (She e-mailed me today that I got 90% - which makes me feel good because I essentially did it without studying). She emphasized the importance of sight reading, and reaffirmed that I have to practice it everyday (sigh, I know. It's just that it's not as much fun as some of the other stuff). Then she gave me a piece to learn for next week! (OK, it's not at grade level, but still!) etc. I'm really going to enjoy this, but I'm also going to have to work really hard.

Ruth and I went to an auction last night. I was thinking that I hadn't been to an auction for over 20 years (as long as I've lived in the north), but Bram reminded me that we regularly go to the Rotary Bike Auction in the spring. However, that's not the same because all they're selling is bikes. This was a real auction, with an incredible assortment of junk that you wonder why on earth people are bidding on, together with real treasures that only you recognize. I got some things from both categories (as did Ruth). I'm not going to itemize because some of them are going to end up being presents. Spent too much money, had a lot of fun, as did Ruth.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Internet!

I now have internet! Life is good. (Previous to this I was borrowing; my own computer is now working, internet and all.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Letters

When I was 15 years old, I went away to Western Christian College for Grade 11 and started writing a weekly Sunday letter home to my family. I've kept up the habit fairly faithfully since, but in recent years I've switched to blogging - to let those who want to know what's up in my life just check my blog.

This morning during service I realized that I really need to start doing a Sunday letter again - this time to my kids, while I'm at Western and they're away in Yellowknife. I nearly lost it right then; what's old is new again. My mom's been hinting (quite strongly) for some time that a blog isn't the same as a Sunday letter, so I guess it wouldn't hurt to keep them updated as well. Finally, my in-laws don't use any electronic medium and I know they really love the mail, so I guess that's a minimum of three Sunday letters. If you're not on the short list - too bad; you can still check my blog. It just gets too unwieldy to do a letter to everyone.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Further update

I now have everything moved out that doesn't belong to me and the mattress and boxspring in my bedroom. I have essentially everything set up except the spare room which includes my sewing stuff and my computer to the internet. Looking good!

Continuing to Settle In

I have my living room and kitchen completely set up (but am still waiting to have the carpets cleaned in the living room before I move my cedar chest in there). I have my clothes put away in the bedroom but am still sleeping on an air mattress until I can get someone to help me pull the mattress and box spring out of the storage room and up to my bedroom. The spare room (looks like it will truly be a spare room as both my kids will be staying in YK) still needs to have some furniture moved out from the previous tenant before I can set it up. I have my computer set up but haven't worked out the mysteries of connecting it to the internet yet.

I have to give credit where credit is due. First of all, my sister Ruth was a tremendous help taking me around so I could buy used furniture and helping me to unpack. Secondly, the surprise shower given by my family and friends here to help me get set up with the things I need was such an unexpected blessing that I'm still teary-eyed whenever I think about it. Thank you so much. Finally, the continued prayers that are offered on my behalf are, I'm sure, the only thing that's kept me going and sane through this difficult time. Thanks to all of you.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Contact Info

If you'd like my phone number and address, e-mail me and I'll send it to you. I'm not posting it to my blog.

The Trip South

Twenty years ago this month I drove up to Yellowknife by myself with all of my worldly possessions in the back of my pickup, hoping to find work. I think that that's the last time I drove that road completely solo. Since then, I've either had my husband, my kids, a friend, or a combination thereof with me on the road. However, on Thursday, August 7, at 6:30 pm I left Yellowknife, pulling a U-Haul trailer with my personal belongings, alone again.

I cried nearly the entire way to Behchoko (100 km away). I was leaving my kids behind, my marriage in tatters and not a lot of hope for the future. However, by the time I got to the ferry at Fort Providence (300 km from Yellowknife) I was in much better control of myself. I had also seen close to 50 bison (2 smaller herds, and for about 25 km a lone male every km), a fox, countless ravens and two pairs of sandhill cranes. I had to wait at the ferry for about 45 min; first for the ferry to arrive from the other side, and then for the ferry workers to grade the landing a bit. Usually when we drive out with our van, we have enough gas to get us to Manning, AB (about 900 km away), but because I wanted to be sure that I had enough gas to get to High Level (about 700 km away) while pulling the trailer, I put in $20 worth of gas just before the ferry.

About 85 km short of High Level, my low gas warning light came on. Now, Lloyd has told me that when it comes on, I usually can go another 80 km - but that's not pulling a trailer! So, if I hadn't been praying before, I commenced to pray without ceasing. I also reset the cruise from the 100 kmh I had been going at to between 60 and 70 kmh. There is no other place to buy gas at night before High Level. When I finally pulled into the Shell station there, I was able to put 98 litres of gas into my 90 litre tank. Thank you, Lord - I wasn't driving on fumes by that time, it was solely by the power of prayer and the grace of God.

After High Level I was really tired, so pulled into a lay-by just before Manning and was able to sleep for about 1.5 hours. That's all the sleep I'd been getting any night for the past while (did I mention I've been under a bit of stress lately?) - so then I got up and continued driving. I drove straight through, arriving in Saskatoon at my parents house Friday evening at 7:20 pm. My odometer told me that I was just 4 km short of 2,000 km - in just over 24 hours! (Don't try this on a regular basis folks, it's not worth it!)

It just so happened that Friday, August 8 was my parents 55th anniversary, and they had a small, impromptu family gathering - inviting just the immediate family who were around. Seeing as "small" is a relative term - especially with our relatives, we had about 45 people there. It was good to see everyone.

The next day I drove to Regina. I've been staying at my sister Ruth's house this past week, until I can get into my apartment tomorrow. Sunday I was privileged to be at Carole Straker's funeral in Regina - but that'll be another blog entry for another day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Where am I now?

God continues to bless me through these hard times. I have a permanent position teaching at Western Christian High School in Regina and I have moved down to Regina. I have an apartment that I will begin to rent starting Friday, August 15 across the street from the school.

I know that the move to Regina is an answer to prayer. I could not continue to live in Yellowknife, a community of only 20,000, where "the other woman" lives and works in the same building as Lloyd, where one of her children is in the same class as one of mine and where I had no work. It would be impossible for our marriage to survive in such a climate. Lloyd and I are currently separated but I continue to pray that he will see that a move was essential for me, that I wasn't running away from our marriage, and that it would be possible for him to move also.

I am also praying that my children (who are still with their dad in Yellowknife) will decide to come to Regina for school this fall. When our marriage is going through such turmoil, I know that the extra strength and support that they would get through attending a Christian school would be a blessing to them. (And it doesn't hurt that because I'm a staff member their tuition would be half price!)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Scrabulous

Ok, I've succumbed. I just read on the news that facebook has banned scrabulous but that their website still allowed you to play - so I found the website and registered. Gotta do it I guess.

Ripe raspberries

Last week they weren't ripe. This week they are. Every evening Bram and I have gone for a walk and lately it's taken us a lot longer because we have to stop and sample the wild raspberries everywhere. Pepsi sees it as a great trial because raspberries hold no attraction for her.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Celebrate














It's so nice in the middle of hard times, to be able to celebrate. Tonight was a celebration. Bram was baptized.



Monday, July 21, 2008

Comfort

I have been deriving a lot of comfort from the e-mails, phone calls, hugs and prayers that I have received from my many friends. Thank you so much.

I am also getting a great deal of comfort through prayer and music. It's amazing the hymns (the golden oldies) that run through my head, with the words of comfort. For example:

Be still my soul! The Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev'ry change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul! Thy best, thy heav'nly Friend
Thro' thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer
That calls me from a world of care
And bids me at my Father's throne
Make all my wants and wishes known
In seasons of distress and grief
My soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the temptor's snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer

Peace, perfect peace in this dark world of sin
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Failure

Today's one of those days when I feel like a complete failure. I just wrote my superior at Aurora College, where I've been teaching for the past four years, telling her that I wouldn't be applying for a casual position there for the fall. Last year was really difficult - I was only offered 10 hours a week initially, which was upped to 15 hours a week after Christmas. In addition, those hours were on a split shift; teaching from 11 to 12 am and from 3 to 4 pm. I made the best of it last year, deciding to home school Bram, which I think was a great decision for him.

However, I just received an email from my superior essentially telling me that nothing was going to change timetable wise for this year. I can't do that again. It was really difficult - not to mention that it was really part-time. This is a time in my life when I should be having my greatest earnings, in preparation to drawing a pension in the future. Instead, I have no pension (you don't get one doing casual, part-time work) and not a great future - at least not in teaching.

I'm sitting here feeling really blue - even though I said I wouldn't be teaching this fall, it's really hard to actually say I won't be teaching this fall. It's also really scary being in limbo. It'd be so much easier if I had something else lined up ahead of time so I could say forget you. You're not offering enough so I'm going elsewhere. It's a lot harder to say you're not offering enough, so I'm going to keep looking. I'm feeling like a failure. Why have I devoted over 20 years to being a teacher, and yet always only had term positions? What could I or should I have done differently? Other people seem to have no problem starting teaching, having a term position to start with and then changing to a more permanent position. If I can't do that, does that mean that I just haven't had the skills? After 20+ years teaching, what should I be doing with my life? The other thing is that I have really loved teaching. I'd like to think I made a difference with some of my students. However, it's not enough to love something if you can't make a living at it.

I know that the Lord will provide - he always has. It's just really hard stepping out not knowing what I will be doing in the future - where will the Lord provide. I'm wishing Lloyd was here (misery loves company).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Housework

I am the first to admit that I don't enjoy doing housework. It's one of those things that all winter when I'm working full-time slides more than a little, and then in the summer I have to shovel myself out of the disaster that's been the better part of a year in the making. If cleanliness is next to godliness, I'll be the first to admit I'm a sinner.

However, in the past two days I've done 5 loads of laundry (hung out on the line, brought in, folded, sorted, bullied the kids to put theirs away), found the kitchen table (that was a full day's job) and found my bedroom floor! I've still got a long ways to go, but we're getting there. I need to do a whole lot of throwing out while Lloyd's still away (today I did all the unmatched socks - half a laundry basket full!). Rose did the living room and main bathroom while we were away, so it's good, the kitchen is coming (still have to do the counters and floor) and my bedroom is much better. There's still the dining room/office, the sewing room and the master bedroom bathroom (mostly a lot of dust - it's not dirty, just dusty.) My goal is to be "company" tidy before Lloyd gets home. Then maybe we should have company to celebrate!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lost and Found

Rose informed us last night that she hadn't been able to find her glasses since Wednesday. They were in her room somewhere, she thought. So this afternoon we worked on her room. A big job! Cleaned up everything; moved everything, found more dirty clothes than I want to think about - and couldn't find her glasses. We had searched everywhere that it was possible to search! Finally, just as I was leaving the room, she put her hand down and said, "Here they are!" She now has a much tidier room and has started doing laundry. (My room is now the messiest in the house - which is really sad. I have a week before Lloyd gets home).

Back Home

Bram and I arrived back home in Yellowknife just before 5 pm Saturday afternoon. It felt really good to be home. Rose has been back for just over a week now, and she had planned a get together last night with her friends. I was totally wasted and went and slept for a bit while she and her friend Katie finished getting things ready. Then I was awake and visited a bit with her friends, before I realized that I might be too much of the mother and disappeared to my bedroom.

According to our odometer, we have travelled over 8,000 km in the past three weeks. I drove a little over half of that I think. That's a lot of travelling. I still feel the hum through my bones, but after a good night's sleep am feeling much better. I'll do a bit about my trip and post some photos a little later.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Oh well

I heard from personnel this morning - I didn't get the job. Oh well.
I got my mark for my piano final - only 78. Oh well.
I've been registered to take a course July 14-18 (Standard First Aid Instructor's); and have just been informed it's been rescheduled to August. Oh well.
Life goes on. I'm still on holidays; would love to be home by now, but Lord willling will be back by Monday. Lloyd's class seems to be going well but he's come down with a bad cold. Hopefully he didn't share.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Whew!

Had the piano recital tonight. Both Bram and I were in it - we both did all of our pieces. Did ok; not great, but ok. Now I'm essentially done except for the exam - a week from tonight in Regina.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

We had a good day today. I had got two presents for Lloyd. One was a new car key. (Not a new car - just the key). We had lost one over the winter somehow, so we were down to just one car key. However the key won't work unless it's been programmed at the dealership, so it's not just a matter of getting a new key cut. So we have his and hers keys again.

The second present we got him was a tiny picture frame key chain. It stores 69 photos and cycles through them. They're only about 1.5" square, but you can show off a photo album and carry it anywhere. Lloyd likes it.

We went to the community barbeque for lunch - had hamburgers and whitefish. Then in the late afternoon we went to Long Lake for kayaking, paddle boating, and just visiting with friends. We had met our friends (one of my former students and her family) at the community bbq and planned to meet at the lake later. They had met us there yesterday and we had had a good time together. Unfortunately this time, Jun Ha rolled the kayak and lost his glasses somewhere on the lake bottom. It wasn't very deep there, maybe 3 feet; but you couldn't see the bottom, so he and Lloyd were feeling around with their feet for a long time, trying to find his glasses. Finally they gave up (they were starting to feel cold) and came in. I suggested I could drive back to town and get a couple of rakes. So I did, picked up KFC on the way back to the lake and was back in 40 minutes. So we ate supper and they decided to go back out and try one last time. By this time, everyone was pretty tired, so they went out in the paddle boat and started raking again. In less than 5 minutes, Lloyd had found the missing glasses. And great was the rejoicing thereof. It didn't take long to pack up and cart the two kayaks and paddle boat back to the van, tie everything on and drive home. One of the things I love about YK is that we're only 10 minutes from a lake. We're 5 minutes walking distance from another lake.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Red Letter Day

I started today off with a job interview. I think it went pretty well. It's the first time in about 15 years that I've interviewed for anything other than a teaching position - and I'm definitely of two minds about that. I love teaching - it's just that I've taught for 20 years and I've never not had a term contract. I'm really tired of going from term to term and never knowing what I'll be doing in the fall; if I'll have a job or not; if I'll be full-time or part-time, etc. If I get this job, I'll be doing the same thing for at least two years. That would be a big plus. It would also be full time (another plus), and I'd be able to start thinking about collecting a pension. However, if I don't get it, I can still teach from term to term.

Bram finished his English today. He's completely finished it; will write the final exam on Monday. Then the rest of next week will go towards finishing up his Social Studies. We're planning on having him finish up his Grade 9 math on our trip south, as he'll have a long time sitting in the vehicle, so he might as well do something constructive. It's about 30 hours to our destination, and that's just driving time. Then he has to get back north again; another 30 hours.

We received Rose's latest report card today in the mail. She still has an A average (just); and we're still proud of her. Her marks have dropped a bit, but she's been taking a really heavy load this year, and doing one course by correspondence, and she's still holding her own. Keep it up kiddo!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The last step

Bram's on his last assignment for English - his Novel study project. Now, unfortunately, that's about 6 assignments; but when he's done that he's done except for the final exam. Sounds good to me. My goal is to get all of that done this week, so he can write the final early next week; and then work all next work on Social Studies.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Strange and stranger

For my entire life, I've always had very straight hair. If I curled it, it would curl, but naturally, it would be as straight as could be. Now I know that people with naturally curly hair always want the opposite, but I've always been fairly satisfied with my hair. However, recently I've noticed that it's started to be wavy. Not actually curly (no ringlets here), but there's a definite wave to it. Too weird. I'd think that after living with the same body for over 40 years, there wouldn't be many surprises, but then something goes and changes. Maybe grey hair is wavier than blonde hair? I dunno. If that's the case, then I should have ringlets by the time it turns totally white. We'll have to wait and see.

Words and Music

I woke up this morning with Thomas Ken's words going through my mind - not the Doxology, but his "All praise to Thee, my God this night" - the Tallis Canon is the music. Now, that may be a bit inappropriate to wake up with that, as it's obviously an evensong, but it is a beautiful hymn nontheless. And it's wonderful to wake up with praise to God on my lips. So then I segued through "Be Still, my Soul" - with Finlandia as the tune. I started in the late 1600's and jumped 200 years to the late 1800's with those two hymns. When I got to church, I was informed that we were going to sing some "golden oldies" - songs from the 1980's. No, I was singing the true golden oldies before I even got to church. It's all a matter of perspective.

Scott started a new sermon series this Sunday - "Don't forget the lyrics" - on how the music in worship isn't worship. We can worship God through music, but worship is far more than just music and we shouldn't limit ourselves to that tiny portion of our lives. It's interesting because I was listening to some sermons by Patrick Mead on instrumental music and the church (here's the link if you're interested: http://rccaudio.christianwitness.us/?page=19); which was also very a propos.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Have you ever noticed?

I nearly always have music running through my head. However, I have just recently noticed that I actually only "hear" the melody - there isn't any harmony. Try it for yourself; pick a song or hymn you know really well, that has harmony that you also know really well - try O Sacred Head - and run through the music in your head. If you're like me, you actually only "hear" the melody, and you can only hear the harmony at places where the note is held so you can switch to hearing another part. Isn't that interesting?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Summer cold

Bram had it first. He was really sick for about 3 days. I thought I must have been immune because I didn't feel anything for at least 10 days after he was over it. Nope. Yesterday and today I've been laying around, moaning and feeling pitiful. I've cancelled out of my sewing lesson for my student yesterday, my piano lesson for me today and the closing ceremonies at school for this afternoon. Just not feeling up to it. Not to mention that I also have laryngitis and can't talk at all.

Mr. Brown can Moo; can you?

Do you remember that Dr. Seus book? Well, our dog, when sleeping, occasionally moos. It's really weird. It's definitely not a howl or a moan, it's a strong moo sound. At 3 am it's really disconcerting to hear that kind of sound coming from Bram's bedroom. However, I've been informed that however disconcerting it may be, Lloyd really doesn't want to hear about it or discuss it at 3 am. It can wait until morning. I just assumed that if it woke me up, it would have also woken him up. Apparently not.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The End is Nigh!

My students wrote their final exam on Friday. I don't have it marked yet, because I was on course all day yesterday and today. However, I will have it marked tomorrow and have their final marks calculated before Friday, when we have our end of year celebration at school. Then I just have my final reports to write. I'm nearly finished!

Bram is on his last unit in English. He's nearly completed his Social Studies and Math as well. He will have his grading in Karate next Thursday. Yes! We can say he's nearly done.

Rose will be finished school June 27 - we're planning on driving down to pick her up. I'm supposed to take my piano exam in Regina while I'm down there. We're all so looking forward to being finished and having a bit of a break.

Bram went camping the weekend before last with a group of teens from church. Unfortunately, he rolled his kayak when shooting rapids and lost his glasses at the bottom of the Cameron River. However, the eye clinic here was very good to him and squeezed him in Monday and he picked up his new glasses today. For the past ten days he's been wearing a pair that was two years old, and much too small for his face as well as being not a strong enough prescription. He had fun camping though.

Lloyd is out tonight planning a Search and Rescue training exercise to take place on Saturday. It's a beautiful cloudless evening to be out on the Ingraham Trail. The sun isn't due to set until 11:30 pm, and right now at 9:30, it's still really high in the sky. However, even though it's still broad daylight, it is time to send kids to bed; they have to do school work in the morning.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

May long weekend

The ferry has started running again this week. The shelves are still looking pretty bare, as it takes awhile for everything to be restocked. However things are looking better. The snow has nearly melted. Yesterday we drove along the Ingraham trail, just to see what things looked like. There are more ducks in town than there are along the lakes on the trail. It's strange; some lakes are completely devoid of ice, others are still totally covered. The two extremes can be on neighbouring lakes.


We took Bram, the kayak and Rose's paddle boat onto Frame Lake, in the centre of town. There's still a lot of rotton ice, but the edges of the lake are clear. Bram had a lot of fun going on top of the ice in the kayak.



This is the first May long weekend that we haven't gone camping. However, there's been some terrific wind storms in the past few days, and we don't have plates on the tent trailer. Somehow camping, when it's dipping down to freezing each night, and there's a terrific wind, doesn't seem as inviting as camping in a tent trailer (with a flush toilet and shower).


I've been doing a fair bit of sewing lately. I sewed Bram a new wet suit. I have also sewn myself a new dress and over jacket. I wore it to church this morning. It feels good to be back sewing again; just for fun, not because I have to get something finished.

I did a practice piano exam at my last lesson. I did pretty well on the technical stuff (scales, arpeggios, dominant and diminished 7ths, etc.) and on my pieces. My sight reading has been improving (it couldn't have been much worse before), and I'm not too bad on my chord progressions or pieces. However, my harmonization needs a lot more practice. Thankfully, I have time to get everything much, much better before the exam.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ups and Downs



There's been both very positive and very negative things happening this past week. On Thursday, I arrived at school to have two of my students inform me that a former student had committed suicide the previous day. None of the other staff knew, so I was the one who sent the message out. Thankfully we were able to arrange some support for those students. The funeral will likely be this week, and as the program that the students are from is the cook's helper/camp cook program, I suggested that when we know the date of the funeral, the students may want to cook something to bring for it.
Saturday was graduation at Aurora College. Always a big plus. Dave Phypers graduated with his BSN (Bachelor of Science, Nursing). He says he still has 6 hours of practicum to finish and he will write his exam in a month - then he'll be a qualified RN. It's been a long haul and we're delighted for him. Another friend of ours, Bonnie H, received her early childhood certificate. She was the only one receiving an early childhood certificate, and unfortunately they forgot to put her name in the program.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

New Toy



Lloyd had a contract building a new database, and he hired Bram to do some of the work for him. Bram therefore decided to spend some money on a kayak. Lloyd bought the paddle and skirt for him. What you can't really tell from the photo is that the water is only about 6 inches deep because the ice is just under the surface. It was fun trying it out though.


The weather has been beautiful lately. Spring has finally sprung. We spent most of the morning indoors because it was graduation at Aurora College where I work and we all went. I went as a staff member, and Lloyd and Bram went to cheer and congratulate a couple of friends.
Sadly we had one bike and three people. What would you do? Bram spent a couple hours paddling around Range Lake. Lloyd and I tried it but we can't go as far because the ice is just under the surface. When Bram first bought the kayak he and Lloyd cut down an old dolly and made the kayak trailer. They added foam padding and tie down straps. Now Bram can pull it behind his bike or ours. :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

How's it going?

How's homeschooling going you ask? (Actually, I've had several people ask.) It would likely work better if I was home more, but it's going pretty well. I usually get Bram started in the morning, then go off to teach, leaving him with an assignment to do. Sometimes it even gets done while I'm gone. When I get home in the afternoon, we get back to work again, until I have to go teach again, leaving him with an assignment. Sometimes it even gets done while I'm gone. (Recognize a theme here?) Our goal is to get three assignments done a day. It hasn't happened the last two days because the latest Social Studies assignment has been a real bear. However, he's almost done an English assignment this morning, and his next math assignment isn't too hard, so he'll likely get three done today (this means that I'll want to push for four to make up for the ones missed yesterday and the day before). We will get through this - and it's mostly fun.

I have to say that Bram and I have developed a great relationship with each other as he sits working at the computer with me beside him, helping out, encouraging, etc. It's really hard to do a whole lot of other things at the same time though - like lesson planning, marking, housework, etc. (All the teacher-type things that I need to do for my job, or the mommy-type things that I need to do at home - dishes, laundry, meals, etc.) I do generally get my 45 min to hour's piano practice in each day, but that's primarily because I've got this exam looming over me. I'm supposed to take my Grade 6 piano practical exam on June 26. I supposed to be ready to take my Grade 6 piano practical exam before June 26.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Only at this time of year....

do I mind only having CBC. I'm not a big TV watcher anyway, so I don't particularly mind not paying additional $$$ each month for stuff I don't want to watch or would feel guilty watching. However, at this time of the year, when it seems like the only choice is Hockey Night in Canada... it would be nice to have cable.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Disappointment

Well, Lloyd went to the fracture clinic Tuesday. They x-rayed him and told him his foot isn't healed enough to remove the cast. Apparently the medication he's on for a toenail fungus is an antagonist to calcium absorption. So he's supposed to drink lots of milk, take a Vitamin D supplement, and come back May 6 (in 3 weeks). That's 9 weeks after he first broke his foot. Hopefully by then it will be totally healed.

After a week of warm weather (above freezing anyway), we're back to below 0 most days. But there's still lots of sunlight, and we're thankful.

Last night Lloyd and I went to a concert to promote literacy. Musicians included: Murray McLaughlin, Connie Kaldor, Ian Thomas, Mike Stevens, etc. The concert was supposed to be from 7 to 9 pm but we didn't leave until 10:20. Murray McLaughlin and Ian Thomas were having so much fun with each other and with us that things just went on longer. We had a hoot! I laughed so hard I was crying. Definitely worth the admission, especially since it supports literacy as well. I was fortunate that I was in a classroom yesterday morning with Murray McLaughlin and Ian Thomas performing. A much smaller, more intimate setting. Also very good.

I sewed myself an outfit this weekend. I haven't sewn for myself for quite some time. It's good to get back to doing something I enjoy.

Monday, April 14, 2008

My latest update

Well, it's been much more spring-like here. The ice road closed to light traffic Thursday and was supposed to heavy traffic today. So we'll be cut off by road to outside world for about a month now. It has been snowing all morning and the roads and lawns are all white again, but we had a full week of temperatures above freezing. We got brave and cleaned up all the dog deposits off of our lawn and took it to the sewage dump area last week. Nasty, but necessary. The annual lake that forms at the end of our driveway is back.

I went to Homecoming the weekend before last. It was good, but too short. I arrived Friday night really late (around 11 pm). I had to fly out Sunday morning at 6:30 am, as that's when flights leave Regina on Sunday and I needed to be back at school for Monday (mid-term reporting period.) So I had a very short visit with my former classmates from as far away as Scotland and Texas, as well as a good visit with Rose and her principal and my sister Ruth and family. I also got to hold Diane's new baby, which was a plus. The highlight of the weekend for me was singing with the rest of the Alumni. Really enjoyed that, but boy, Dwight picked songs with lots of high soprano required; and while I may be a soprano, they didn't all have to require F's or G's or even A's, did they?

Rose got back from Chorus Tour last night, but we haven't talked with her yet to find out how things were. I remember really enjoying Chorus Tour.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring isn't quite sprung yet

Wednesday night it dipped down to -37, and this morning it's -30. However, we do have some signs of spring:
  • They've started cleaning the snow off the side streets - did our street last night. This means that if you haven't cleaned your driveway regularly, you now have a 2 foot drop to street level.
  • The light has returned! It's now light until nearly 10 pm, and it's light in the morning when we wake up. We're gaining about 6 minutes a day; the sun rose at 6:48 this morning and will set at 20:33.
  • We're in the middle of midterm exams and reporting at school (a definite sign of spring).
  • The stores have started stocking up in preparation for the ice bridge going out, when we only have air access for 3-6 weeks. Large semi trailers are being parked outside most stores for additional storage.
  • The ice road north to the mines has closed. This year it didn't close because of warmer weather and deteriorating conditions, however; it closed because they got everything up there that they needed to.
  • The ice roads to some of the more remote communities (like Wekweeti) have opened, so those communities are virtually deserted while the residents drive out to get a year's worth of supplies. They'll pass lots of fuel tankers, driving into those communities to supply them with a year's supply of heating fuel, gasoline, av gas, etc.

Some signs of spring that I'm still waiting for:

  • The temperature to get above freezing for the first time since November.
  • The "arctic tulips" to reappear through the snow. For those of you not in the know, arctic tulips are a winter's supply of doggy doo, left by inconsiderate people and their dogs. It's really disgusting.
  • The snow to start melting.
  • The birds to return.
  • Open water on the lakes.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He is Risen!

He is risen indeed! Such a joyful time - to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. Yesterday was Lloyd's birthday; the first time I think it's ever been before Easter that I can remember. We had ham and scalloped potatoes, veggies and salad. Very nice. I had also made Easter bread (paska, or babka), so we had all traditional foods, except I didn't make a cake. I'll make that tomorrow.

This afternoon we went by Walmart to see what we could do to make Lloyd's walking a little easier. He has an aircast on his broken foot, which makes that leg about 3-4 inches longer than the other leg, so it forces him to walk with a limp. What we ended up doing was purchasing a cheap set of runners and a cheap pair of summer sandals (the kind that velcro onto your foot). We put the sandal overtop of the runner, and bought some extra velcro so it would still fasten. This builds up his foot without the cast so it's nearly the same length as the other one. He's hopeful that will help him walk without such a strong limp. He has graduated from crutches to a cane, but with his legs closer to the same length, he doesn't even need the cane.

Rose has come home for the long weekend, and has died her hair a brilliant red colour. It's supposed to wash out after 10-12 washes, but I think we should call her Ruby instead of Rose. She's been working at Reitman's nearly every day since she got back, so hopefully that will help her build up her bank account a little. She arrived home on Wednesday and still has another week at home.

It seems strange to have two four-day weeks after just having a week off, but I'm not complaining. I'd like to get some more baking done, as well as some lesson planning. I've applied for a new job, and am hopeful that I'll get an interview. Working as part-time as I am is just too hard on our bank account.

Bram is continuing to work hard on his homeschooling. I've given him today off, but he doesn't get the long weekend - he's just got too much to get done before the end of the school year. He's into Chapter 3 of his Grade 9 math and only has one more lesson left to go in Bible, but still has lots of Science, English and Social Studies to do. He wrote his Social Studies mid-term Thursday. One of my co-workers generously invigilated.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Don't look back

Well, I registered for my Grade 6 piano exam today. I'll be taking it in late June, but I don't know where yet - I registered for Edmonton, but in the comments field I wrote that I really want to take it where I can take it the latest date possible in June, whether that's Grande Prairie, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina or Saskatoon. So I'll have to wait and see what response they give me. My plan is to take my exam then pick up Rose from school and come back home. I was a week late registering, so I had to pay a $30 penalty. Now I really need to buckle down to practicing (which is why I'm busy procrastinating).

Lloyd's getting to be pretty good on his crutches. He's going back to work tomorrow, so I'll be ferrying him I guess, as I don't want him to walk the two blocks to the bus.

I've been reading other people's blogs about how nice it is that the snow is melting. It's still definitely winter here. -34 this morning. However we had a balmy week, with temperatures as warm as -4, and it didn't cool back off to "normal" until all the outdoor competitions had been completed for the Arctic Winter Games. I do need to remember to make sure the van's plugged in before I go to bed though.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

AWG Last Day

It's been a good week, if a little hectic. I've mostly enjoyed myself - and it's been a good change from school, although there's just as much running around, I think. Normally, when I'm teaching school, I teach from 11 to 12 and from 3 to 4, and do the shuttle run between times, to help Bram with his home schooling, and to make meals, etc. This week, I've been doing medical most days, but yesterday and today I was wearing my other hat as co-chair for volunteers. So I've spent a lot of time at mission HQ, answering phones, printing out accreditation badges for people who've lost theirs, and generally doing whatever needs doing. Between times I've been running home to help Bram with his home schooling, making meals, etc. (Some things just don't change.)

Today is closing ceremonies and then everyone goes home. The transportation guys have been busy for two days working out schedules and making signs for the different buses that will transport the athletes to the airport.

For those of you that really like pictures, here's a link that will show you some of what's been going on this past week: http://www.cbc.ca/north/features/awg2008/gallery.html

Monday, March 10, 2008

"I've got drugs for the premier"

Saturday, when Lloyd and I were waiting (6 hours) for his foot to be casted, in walked the premier and his wife. Lloyd was going to be the next one called, when they came in and he got bumped. The premier had done a number with a sharp knife and his forefinger.

The next day, while waiting for the Arctic Winter Games' opening ceremonies, I met Shawna again. I know them from church, so I was visiting with her, asking how Floyd was feeling. She explained that he was supposed to have some pain killers, which she had in his purse, but she had not way to get through security to get them to him. (Security was really tight as the PM was there.) Because I was wearing a medical coat, she asked if I could get them to him.

So I went back to the head RCMP guy in our section and asked how I would manage to get drugs to the premier. (Isn't that a great line?) I explained that his wife had given them to me. His first question was, "Do you know her personally?" (As they were just wrapped in plastic wrap, he wanted to make sure I was confident in what I was giving to him.) I assured him, yes I did know her. Then he directed me downstairs, where the security was even tighter, talked to one of the head RCMP guys there, who assured me he'd get them to the premier. After the opening ceremonies I met Floyd and Shawna at the entrance and he said yes, he had got his drugs.

Yesterday I did first aid for indoor soccer. It was just practices because the games didn't start until today. I was supposed to be there from 8 to 12 am. However, it was really quiet and there was three of us first responders, so I backed out at 10:30 so I could get Lloyd's pain killer prescription filled and go to church. Today I was doing medical for badminton. No injuries, not even anyone needing a bandaid. I was interesting for the first little bit, but I was there from 8 to 4, and after the first several hours, it was much less exciting. Tomorrow I'm at figure skating (which would likely be more interesting, I hope) and Thursday I'm doing table tennis (I've bought myself a book to read).

Bram was a ticket taker today at the Arctic Sports venue (which has to be some of the most interesting sports). He said he took Rick Mercer's ticket. He has tomorrow off and then is back on Thursday. Lloyd has been sitting with his foot up for two days. I cut his pants off him this morning, as they were the same ones from before the accident and they wouldn't come off over this cast. He's now wearing sweats, and I went out and bought him two pairs of track pants with zip off bottoms so that he has a change of clothing. He's much better with his crutches than he was on the first day, but I don't think he's ready to brave the outdoors where it's slippery yet.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

AWG Update

Well, Lloyd has turned out to be one of the first casualties of the AWG. Yesterday I was working at Mission HQ at Sissons School, doing volunteer accreditation. Lloyd was going from venue to venue, helping to set up beds. He was helping to load a semi trailer at Con Mine. Coming out of the trailer, putting his foot on the bumper, he turned his foot over and heard it go crack. So he came and picked me up and I took him to the hospital. We sat there from 2 pm to 9 pm, when he finally got a cast put on and we could go home. He broke the fifth metacarpal in his left foot. He says it's not really painful, but he's in a fair bit of discomfort. So he's not going to be doing anymore volunteering - he was supposed to be driving for the cultural contingent, and taking down beds at the end of the games. Not anymore.

Bram went ice fishing yesterday. He caught two pike (we're having one today) and had a lot of fun.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Games Arrive!

The Arctic Winter Games will start (opening ceremonies) on Sunday. I have tickets. However, I've likely been putting in at least 20 hours a week in preparation for the past six weeks. We're nearly there! I've got lots of stuff to do yet. I still need to create the sign-in/sign-out sheets for volunteers. I've got the master sheet made up. I've also got alot of the spreadsheets sent to me from each of the committees, I just have to meld them into one for each venue. (Probably about 20 hours alone, there).

Lloyd is helping set up beds for the athletes this evening and tomorrow night. The athlete villages are in the local schools. Every school becomes an athelete's village. He will likely be doing some security as well. Bram will be taking tickets and serving as an usher. I'll be mostly be doing medical (first responder) but as co-chair of the volunteer committee, I'll also be putting out fires and putting in two days at the HQ. We'll all be pretty busy this coming week.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wear out or Rust out?

I was just visiting with my mother this morning on the phone. When I grow up, I want to be like my parents - and wear out, not just rust out. They're both over 70 and I think they're busier than I am. She was saying that they were just heading out to drive down to Regina again so that they could finish the renovations they were doing on one of the suites in the apartment they own. This will mean that they've completely renovated three out of four suites in the apartment building they co-own with my sister and their husband. In addition, this fall they put a new foundation under the apartment block. I know my dad was in there everyday, swinging a hammer and overseeing the entire job.

They were back in Saskatoon this week because they had agreed to babysit for their tenants who live in their basement suite. They have three preschool children and had a family emergency and had to drive to BC. So, my parents babysat three preschool children for three days. Mom said the first day was tiring but by the third day they were back in the swing of things.

They're getting ready to fly down to Florida for a short holiday. I think they're going on a cruise while they're down there. Good for them! They've earned it.