Sunday, July 31, 2005

Just Hangin

Having a nice lazy day. Rhiannon is at a sleepover birthday party (someone we know very well) of her little friend. I got to sleep in and I am still in my housecoat. Kaetlyn got up early and went boating with a friend's family so it is just Drew and I. We just finished watching Star Wars Episode 2, the Clone Wars. We want to see episode 3 but we couldn't really remember what happened in the first 2 so we rented them. We watched Phantom Menace last night.

Harry Potter is going slow as it is hard to get us all together. Hrumph! Hard not to read ahead on my own. I had to give my Canada book back to the library as someone else had it on order. I put my name in again for it as I was like 2/3 done and quite enjoying his opinion and view of Canadian and world politics. But right now I am 17 of 19 people that have it on hold. Luckily there are 21 books so hopefully, it won't take too long and I won't be 'out of it' before I get it again.

Everybody needs a lazy day now and then. But it is around 2:30 so I think I will go and get dressed...

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Joys of Peri-Menopause

I have been having what I think is peri-menopause for almost a year now. One of the most discouraging part is that my periods (menses) have got closer together. So I actually had 2, week long periods in this month. I had one during the first week and then another on the last week. And it will go on for awhile, having a period every 2 weeks and then suddenly I will have a couple that are the normal 3 weeks apart. It wouldn't be so bad if I had the usual 3 - 4 day period but no, I have the week long, lose half my blood kind. How can my body make just as much blood and stuff in one week less time?!

We have also started the lastest Harry Potter book. Kaetlyn, Drew and I always read it aloud to each other (well, mostly me). We read at least one chapter a day - usually at bedtime. We read more if we all happen to be around home together during the day. Most days so far, we have got in 2 chapters. We read our chapter yesterday while down at the beach. Rhiannon went to a friend's house so the three of us hiked into a beach that she doesn't like very much and swam. It is nice to be able to just swim and do whatever I feel like and not have to worry about her drowning... We did indeed get Subway and had a very nice relaxing time. I snorkled about until my foot started cramping up in the position it was held in by the flipper. Then I played on the air mattress with the kids. The water was a beautiful teal yesterday - almost too beautiful to swim in.

We watched "Mr. 3000" last night. I guess we are on a sports kick. We wanted to get the first 2 episodes of Star Wars but they weren't in - apparantly very popular. We want to watch them before we watch episode 3 because I can't even remember a thing about what happened in them. Especially the last one as I made the mistake of taking Rhiannon who was like 2 at the time and only wanted to run laps around the theatre and play the video games in the lobby... Yep, that one is pretty sketchy. I was in a wheelchair then so it was pretty difficult to chase her without being really anoyingly obvious to all the other movie watchers. I think I spent most of my time in the lobby at the video games (at least her kind of 'playing' them didn't involve copious amounts of change...)

We are going for a hike this morning before it gets too hot. We are hiking down to BX Falls which is a beautiful, mossy, ferny hike and reminds me of places on the coast. Jodi had puppies just as we moved into this house. We tried to keep one (named by Kaetlyn, Captain Jack Sparrow - Jack for short) but he turned out to be large, very territorial and only wanting to be out of doors. And while out of doors, he would dig compulsively and bark incessantly. Also, he was an escape artist and no matter what I did, which hole I plugged, he found a way to get out and his treat of choice was other people's garbage. There is a 4-plex across the street and they had a baby at the time and the poopy diapers were his very fave and he would tear apart all their garbage until he got to them. As you can imagine, he was not very popular with the neighbours and started to get blamed even for things that were not his fault at all - things that happened in the middle of the night (he always slept in Kaetlyn's room). And he seemed to always have a smear of baby pooh on his head or throat. Gross. Anyway, it became unavoidably apparant that he was not the right kind of a dog for our corner lot. Sadly we put an ad in the paper and gave him away to a very good home. They live in the BX and their property backs on this trail we are going to hike this morning so it will be the first time we get to see him again. Actually, I have seen him around town in the back of his new owner's truck. I could tell he was bein well loved and that his new life suited his 'talents' much better than our home did. We are having a very nice long week end just doing things around here.

Catchya latah

Friday, July 29, 2005

I keep forgetting to mention that I got my hair cut - a week ago. Nothing really dramatic - just my usual hair cut but it had been since October so it was quite over grown. It gets so dry on the ends and then the curl turns into kinks and just kind of sticks out instead of rounding nicely. So it is a bit more curly and definitely lighter.

I picked my first tomatoe today. I love it when I can eat from my garden. My other vegetable garden beds are begging to be weeded but I got stung the other day while trying to trim the hedge around the garden area and I think there is a yellow jacket nest somewhere in the hedge or the compost or ground around there and now I am afraid to go over there. Yellow jackets are so aggressive...

I finally finished writing up our tale of the bike trip "The Sister's Marvellous Adventure". I will circulate it and you can all add your 2 cents worth (as they say). I just want to scan a few more pictures and add them in. Then when it is all done (and written on by everyone) I will have it printed up and give it to Mom. I want to have it done by the FR s0 that means that you all have that long to edit it. Remember the rules: You can't erase anything someone else has written. You can correct and add on and tell a different perspective but you can't erase. I want it to read like we were all there at once, telling the story, interupting, correcting and telling it like it really was. I'll get it sent out this week end. Anyone volunteering to go next?

I've had several new clients this week. This unusual because I don't advertise anymore (haven't for years) but only do word of mouth. So the counselling I do is usually in spurts when someone I have seen before has a crisis. But this week I saw 3 new clients. I've enjoyed it. I learn something about myself each time I do a counselling session.

Its hot here today - really hot. I think we will do Subway and head down to the beach for dinner and play in the water. Wish you were all here to come along...

happy chick out

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Lake of Many Colours

Last night I went for a hike down to Cosen's Bay with my friend, a local music teacher. It is a 5 km hike (there and back) that cuts through Ponderosa Pine forest and grasslands to a beautiful bay on Kalamalka Lake. We went just after sunset. The air was warm as we talked and laughed. When we got down to the bay, the water was perfect - just cool. I floated on my back in the jade green water looking up at the ethereal blue of the sunset sky framed just on the edges with the hills on either side of the bay. I dragged Jodi in for a dip and she smells much better today! Our dogs ran along the edge of the water, barking and yipping at each other as we floated and lazily swam in the diminishing light. We walked home in the near darkness completely satisfied.

Monday, July 25, 2005

A New Week

Did you know we are supposed to be sending pics to Jordan for some slide show at the Family Reunion (FR)? Apparantly they are supposed to be of our families growing up and of our own childhood or something like that.

Yesterday was a good day. I went out to my friend Bozenka's to celebrate her 53 birthday. I just took her some Royal Jelly as she has this thing with Queen Bees. We went to an orchard in Salmon Arm to pick cherries as her sister was also there from Calgary with her son and wanted to take some home. I don't know how their cherries were so good there but they were great! They were the same kind as we had in Terrace - Lamberts, I think. I got some to take home and they are quickly disappearing. We had a picnic lunch and the weather was just so perfect - although more like September than July. Her sister, Goranka, has a son who was there, too - he's 18 - a few weeks younger than Erin and he was very polite and gentlemanly to Kaetlyn and took her to a movie - 'The Wedding Crashers' in Salmon Arm (his mother drove them). She was very flattered and practically tongue tied. I am glad for her to experience that a very nice, intelligent boy can find her interesting. She had such a hard time with stupid, superficial kids at her high school this last year.

No classes this week. The topic was "Creativity" and I didn't get any kids sign up. I am fine with that. I could really use a week off. Next week is Courage and so far I don't have any signed up for that, either but I do for the week after that. I wasn't sure how many of my 'camps' would go so 3 out of 5 is good. It gives me some time to gather my thoughts and make sure the last week is spectacular.

Blueberries are on sale this week at Save On so my goal is to buy a flat a day and process them. I have one to get started on today. I think I will make jam - everyone's favourite kind. During the day I think of funny things to tell you but when I sit down, they all escape from my mind. Sorry about that.

I started on my Jorge Cruise program again this morning. I have his book '8 Minutes in the Morning to a Flat Belly'. I have done it before and it is really very effective and my core muscles really needed some strengthening after 4 kids and 4 surgeries and all that sitting. It is amazing how your muscles just disappear! I highly recommend his books although you have to dig through the hype - very Anthony Robbins-ish. Just go right to the exercises - well illustrated and scientifically designed. He says that studies show that only exercise done in the morning adds to your lean muscle mass which makes you burn more fat just by being. The diet in the book is pretty sound and reminds me a lot of weight watchers.

I promise as soon as I think of something funny, I'll come and write it down!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Earwig Attack

Remember those earwigs? I was out in my garden yesterday and they have completely devoured the last of my brocolli - only pale green skeletons of broccoli leaves remain. That is so gross!

I couldn't sleep last night - didn't get to sleep until after 3am and now I am staggering around like it is the middle of the night. I can't wait until it is time for Rhiannon's nap and I can lay down with her. It is very quiet here today. Erin is at work. Kaetlyn and Drew are at a slowpitch tournament in Summerland (just outside of Penticton). The Missionaries came by and asked if they could play on the missionary team. They have 2 sisters from asia who have never played and some non-athletic elders and everyone thinks they will be the team to beat so they needed a couple of ringers. (don't get your hopes up now, it is just ball) I had to get up at 6am to drive them to the place where they were getting a ride. Dean is playing Panorama tonight (Invermere) and played Revelstoke last night. So it is just Rhiannon and I. Quiet. So I have been slowly plugging away at things that have been on my 'to do' list for a long time.
Katie, I'm doing my taxes... How are yours? I am part way done and stuck on some part of Dean's. I've sent an e-mail to Josh who won't be able to answer my questions until Monday. At least I have started. I am finished my part.
I am also going to plan a menu today and get the grocery shopping done (after my nap). We do love fajitas and other mexican food and that is always easy to cook. I can remember Mom telling me how much she hated cooking and how she wished she could just sew all the time. At that time, I couldn't imagine it and told her that when I grew up, she could sew and I would cook. I hated sewing then. Now, I feel the same way as she did then. Oh, to have some uninterrupted sewing time... And oh, to not HAVE to cook. I always say that if I didn't HAVE to cook for maybe... 10 years, I could like it again. Maybe when the kids are all gone, I will enjoy it. When Dean and I are alone I have such fun cooking delicious things that either the kids wouldn't like or that are too expensive for us all to eat. We can eat much lighter than the kids. A caesar salad with a grilled chicken breast is plenty for us - not enough for the growing beasts. I am still hopefully awaiting an e-mail from Katie with news of her 'system'.
The kids and I watched "Coach Carter" last night. Very teenager-ish. They really liked it. I liked it somewhat although I did critisize the script a couple of times. But the basketball was good. I put in a few more plugs for one of them to play - I think it is such an exciting game to watch and play. However, I am sure it fell on deaf ears, although they are both good at it. They just don't like it. How can that be? I didn't know there could be people who didn't like basketball...
I took Erin out for lunch yesterday. I am a bit worried about her lately - worried she is letting go of her dreams and getting caught up in just surviving and the rat race of the retail world. We have a little book where I write to her my thoughts and feelings - the rules are never in a judgemental way. So I wrote her about 5 pages last night while I wasn't sleeping. I think she feels so much pressure to be so good at everything and that keeps her from trying things are getting out there and taking a risk. I tried to reassure her.
Well, time to work on something else on my 'to do' list (I made that while I couldn't sleep, too). And it is true, Bean, I do crave sweet and starchy things when I am tired. But today I am just eating peaches. So far...

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Grocery Grind

I love being a mom and mostly I find satisfaction in looking after my family but there is one thing that I hate. I hate planning the menu. I have no imagination and envy those who can whip up nutritious, low fat meals with so little effort and their families never eat the same thing twice in a month... Maybe it is because I always did find eating a little boring and there are other things I would rather do.

Lately I have been doing a particularly bad job of food preparation. It has just drifted now for about a month which means that I don't decide what to have for supper until a half hour before dinner time (or later). Then I have to rush out to buy the ingredients. And then I repeat it the next day. And sometimes I don't end up making anything and we eat tuna sandwhiches... I need to sit down with a cook book or two and look through to see what looks good, make a menu and then do a week's grocery shopping. The irony of my present situation is that it actually takes a lot more time than doing it properly and I end up grocery shopping every-freaking-day! Any supper suggestions would be welcomed. What do you have for dinner in the summer?

My camp ended well today. I think the group of boys ended up being my favourite. When something is more challenging, I put more of myself into it. They painted their own t-shirts yesterday and today they painted a small wooden box (their magic box) and their paper bowls that we made 2 days before. The drama they did today was the most uninhibited. Very rewarding! I will miss them. Right now I have no one registered for next week. I am rather looking forward to a week off to go to the beach and just hang with my kids. It has been mostly run, run, run since the end of school. I have several offers of things to do this week end but I might not do any of them. Some time at home would feel good. My garden looks like I planted weeds and the hedge is obscurring the house...

And I am tired now. I am off to bed with that large, unusual book... Or maybe Kaetlyn, Drew and I will start the new Harry Potter...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Better Day

Well, I had a much better day. I was so freaked out after yesterday afternoon - doubting myself, etc. I was getting into this frantic headspace of having to totally change my agenda and do all these things just to entertain the boys.

I had a meeting last night - it is a group of us (women) who get together once a month. Originally we took the Life Skills Facilitator Certificate course together but we have been meeting together (some of us) regularly since then. It started as a work support thing but morphed into a personal support thing. We just check in and they are wonderful women - strong and kind, always an inspiration to me. We have been meeting for years now and it is a really safe place. (I showed them all the pics of the trip last night) Anyway, the reason I mention it is that one of them was a cub leader for many years and loves the scouting program. She was giving me all this advice about what to do and how to handle them and how I had to do all these things - like crafts - with them. I was getting more and more worried because I wasn't sure I could do those things myself, let alone teach them to rambunctious boys. And I realized, in the midst of my fetting, that their parents signed them up for the Inner World art and drama class, not a scout class. Then I just relaxed and realized I just had to make what I do appeal to them. Today's topic was emotion so we painted 1 mask of emotion and did another in pastels. They really got into it and we ended up with only 30 minutes for drama. But even then, I took them through a series of warm ups and actually got them improvising. Of course, it was boy stuff, but still, it was improvising! I had a firm talk with the super-hyper boy who was much better today. He is quite hyper but he is also very affectionate so impossible not to like!

I feel much more satisfied this evening. I have got to go out and buy the t-shirts for tomorrow's activity - they are going to paing a flag for their own Inner World on their t-shirt. Tomorrow's topic is mind.

Here's a funny thing, Sarah. You gave Kaetlyn the same haircut that Erin has! Erin is hoping you will do her hair at the reunion but I told her you might not be doing hair there.

A happier chick out

Monday, July 18, 2005


I am consumed... This morning I had 5 little kids (3 - 5 year olds and 2 4 year olds) for art and drama. It was what you would expect - a little challenging getting them all pointed in the same direction. Doable. Then this afternoon I had the older kids - which meant 1 - 8 year old, 3 - 9 year olds and Drew (11). All boys. What was I thinking? It was INSANE One boy was so hyper that he practically yelled non-stop the entire time - just a constant barrage of babble - dumb things. What is it about a pack of boys? It is like they can't concentrate on anything for longer than 5 minutes and then it is back to farts and attempting to destroy the surroundings. Success is that nobody was injured and the building is still there... But only when they are in a pack like that. Anyway, that will be my week. All day doing that and then the evening preparing for the next day.


Sunday, July 17, 2005


Here it is Sunday night and I think I shoud write something but anything I think of just sounds dull. Except maybe the bugs. We are having a very buggy summer - I think due to the unusual amount of rain we have had. Right now there are earwigs everywhere. Drew went out to pick up his bike and it was covered in earwigs. When I picked up the cat's dish outside to fill it up for his dinner, it was full of earwigs. I went to pick some broccoli out of my garden for dinner and the head had so many earwigs in it, that it looked like it was brown and rotting. Gross. I hate earwigs. There are only 2 bugs I really hate - earwigs and beetles.

I wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper a couple of weeks ago and it was published in today's paper. You can go check it out at - click on the tab that says "letters" and you will find it there.

Disturbingly I am pretty sure I saw a prostitute on the lower part of our hill as I was driving home this evening. 2 years ago, you would be hard pressed to find a prostitute on the streets here - I had heard you could find them in bars but not walking the streets. But since they have been trying to 'clean up' Vancouver in preparation for the Olympics, they have been arriving and I think since the severe cut backs to the welfare system. This winter was the first time I saw them walking the streets and they seem to be steadily increasing. Sad.

My next camp for kids starts next week. This time I will have the young kids in the morning and the older kids in the afternoon. The older group is all boys - it is going to be interesting! The topic this week is art and drama. One of the things we are going to do is reverse tie dying (you dip a coloured shirt in bleach in stead of a white shirt in colour). I am looking forward to it but a bit nervous, too. Nervous about being cool enough and fun enough for a group of boys...

I am reading a rather strange book. The book isn't really strange, it is just strange that I am reading it... It is called "There Be Dragons" by Peter Newman. He was a writer for McLeans magazine for many years and was an insider of the political scene from Diefenbaker to Cretien. This book is his memoir. His writing style is really easy to read and I get quite drawn in. I have become a bit facinated with Canadian history since Drew and I have been studying it together for the last 2 years. It is interesting to really think about the big changes that have happened in my lifetime.

Well, I am yawning. It is time I hit the hay. I will try not to be quite so boring next time.

Chick out.

Friday, July 15, 2005


Here is me 40 years ago in the nursery of Mount Saint Joseph's

And here is me and Mom on July 6 outside what used to be the nursery 40 years later (luckily I didn't make her carry me around this time).

The sisters set out... (this is the best hair you will see all trip!)

This is in Ganges on the way there - I love the way Laura, disgusted with my angle acts like I am taking a picture of her nude....

Our 'cute' campsite (number 3)

The sistahs change a tire (I think that is the first one...) That must be the one with the 'slime' inside - next comes the one with the 'nifty' thing.

Proud fub waiting for the ferry.

Proud sistas (Sore bum, sore bum, sore bum)

Proud Laursie or maybe she is just SO happy to be off of that seat!

Me smiling waaaaayyyy too hard. Love those gums....

All of us before and after the ferry

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


I am wondering when I will stop being tired. Monday and today I had 3 hour naps and I have had a full night's sleep inbetween and still I am dragging my butt. Today I took my little campers to Polson Park where we watched the ducks and shared our snack with them (we learned about how they don't get wet not matter how much time they spend in the water) and we went to see the beaver dam on the creek and played in the playground briefly. When we got back to the school, they were all rather crabby and ready for a nap. Rhiannon and I slowly trudged home on foot and stopped for lunch at a soup place. She loves going out for lunch - it makes her feel so grown up, I think.

I miss Kaetlyn. She canvasses with me for window washing and just having her with me makes it easier to do. Last night I went out for 45 minutes and didn't get anything (that only happens when she is not here) and I decided we needed a day off - it has just been run, run, run since 2 weeks before I left for my little holiday - then my holiday itself was jam packed and I had to hit the ground running as soon as I got home. I thought we could go to the beach this afternoon but instead, I slept and it wasn't really sunny, either. I still haven't been swimming yet this year. And now I have to go canvassing again tonight and I didn't get anything done that I wanted to. There are no groceries in the house and the carpet is matted with dog hair and the bathrooms are disgusting...

I read the Secret Life of Bees on the bus coming home - it was really good - fitting after the time with my sisters. It isn't about sisters exactly but it is about women looking after each other and mothering each other. And it is about the feminine divine which I am very interested in. I miss all of you. It was hard coming home. It was so good just to be with you. I am yearning for you - perhaps that is the hardest thing to recover from. Sometimes on the trip I would watch you all and just be smiling cornily to myself in sheer bliss. You each should come and visit me, now. There should be a law about how long you are allowed to go without seeing sisters...

Well, I guess I had better get off the computer and buy some groceries.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Toes Like Sausages

I don't know what it was, chronic lack of sleep, dehydration, or just travelling, but by the time I got home yesterday, my toes were like sausages. Funny because my feet have only swelled up THAT big when I was pregnant. It is disorienting to look down and see mishapen feet and ankles.

When Amay says she is not the one to write about the bike hike, I don't know who would be. This blog is only for my sisters and you were there (except Sarah who we told all about it and except Martha who doesn't have a computer) So I will not be describing it here, either. I can say this. I had the most amazing birthday. It was perfect - exactly what I wanted - better even that I had hoped. It brings tears to my eyes and goose flesh to my arms just reflecting on it now. Unlike some eldest children of 12 who might think that their parents had too many children or feel cheated or whatever, that was not me. I prayed for all of you. I wanted every one. Especially sisters. I loved you all always. I am sure you remember even after I left home, I wrote to you and sent you little things like balloons and pencils, etc. from BYU and then when I lived closer again, I would have you over to my house. I look back on those times with only fondness. I missed you all so terribly much; you will never know. It was so healing to be there with all of you. Bethany and Amy, it was especially significant to have you there so that we actually got to know something of each other and to begin our experiences of each other. Maybe one day you will even want me to sing to you (hehe). I was so proud of you both.

Although I longed for sisters and was ecstatic when I finally got one and then two and so on, I was so much older that I didn't really get to have what 'the brothers' had. I always felt kind of alone at the top. It was so wonderful to be together as adults and relate to each other as equals (even if I am still the bossiest). I loved it. Every single minute. (and I was not testy - that is how one talks when one is pulling almost EVERYTHING) ;-) And I don't feel alone anymore. Thank you so much for coming with me - for celebrating my 40th birthday with me. (and I don't have a bounteous bosom) (it's just average)

So I got back to the real world of my life. I taught my first day of summer camp this morning. The topic for this week is "Inner World Explorers". I had 2 three year olds and Rhiannon. I was hoping for more - 1 cancelled at the last minute and I wasn't here to beat the bushes last week. But they are all sweet children and I was really glad there was only 3 this morning... I was still so tired! So todays topic was our bodies and bugs. So we learned about muscles and talked about all the things we can do with our bodies and how to look after our bodies and we watched a video about bugs and coloured some pictures and went for a walk. Tomorrow we will learn about snakes and our emotions and go for a little hike on an old volcano right downtown Vernon not far from our school and look for bugs and snakes and cacti and marmots. Should be fun.

I came home and slept for 3 hours. I feel much better now. I am taking my film in to get it developed today. I will make copies for everyone. (Laura, have you taken your film in yet) (I hope you got the right tone of voice on that!) And Mom wants a written record of our trip. So here is what I was thinking. I'll start and get down the basics of what happened and my take on it and then we will pass it around and we can all add our own perspective. Everyone will have a distinctly different font for their part so we can interrupt and correct each other just like in real life. Only one rule - you can't erase what someone else wrote. Then Laura and I can include some pics for mom and I'll do it up in an album and bring it to the family reunion for her. What do you think?

This is probably way too long of a post but I am just enjoying so much the feeling of being connected to my sisters again.

Love you all! Chick out.