Tuesday, August 30, 2005


One of the results of the hedge trimming is that it is now clear for me to get to my garden and also clear that there wasn't actually a wasp nest in the hedge - I was just gratuitously stung, I guess. So it was safe for me to approach that part of the yard. My garden was almost unrecognizable from the tidy, productive patch it was when Laura visited. That horrible weed sometimes called bind weed and sometimes called morning glory had taken over the garden as surely has the thorny hedge took over Sleeping Beauty's castle.

I pulled and pulled and pulled weeds and lettuces and brocollis that had gone to seed. I only got about 1/5 of the first raised bed done. Tomorrow morning I will work on more. There is space now to plant for a fall harvest - lettuce, spinach, cilantro and chard, which all like cooler weather. I harvested mint and taragon and have it drying on my picnic table. I'll give the taragon to Bozenka as I am really good at growing it but not so great at using it. I am still using taragon I grew 3 years ago. It is so nice and yummy and licoricey but I don't know what to use it on other than in fall soups and roasting lamb.

I am off now to the Inner World School to help Bozenka with the afternoon class.

Monday, August 29, 2005

yucky japanese feet things

The lady who owns the place in Kelowna where I am going to be doing my dance classes gave me these things that go on the bottom of your feet while you are sleeping. They are from Japan and have some weird name that I can't remember. The point is that they 'detoxify' the body of 'heavy metals' through the lymphatic system - through the accupressure points on your feet. There are these little sachets of stuff - herbs and dirivatives of Birch trees - and you tape them to the arches of your feet for 10 hours and they draw 'gook' out of your system. So I put them on my feet and Dean's last night to try them out. You have to put socks over top - dark socks so they don't stain your sheets.

For starters, sleeping with socks on is torture for my burning feet. I didn't need any other blankets at all as I was so hot from my feet. Secondly, it was very uncomfortable. My ankles ached and it felt funny on my feet. Sure enough in the morning it was full of brown gooky stuff. Mine weren't especially full, though. Dean's were over flowing. It didn't bother him at all, either. I don't know that I would do that again - maybe a little too powerful for me. It makes sense that Dean's were more full as he takes more toxins into his body than I do (coffee, alcohol, etc.) Your are supposed to apply them for 30 days in a row or until it stops drawing gook out of you. No way could I do that. Maybe in the winter with the window open...

Another bad's night sleep. In addition to the uncomfortableness of my feet, Rhiannon and Drew were sleeping out in the tent in the yard last night. A thunder storm roared in between 3 and 4 in the morning. The lightening must have been striking very close as it was SO loud right outside my bedroom window. So again, up in the middle of the night. When, when will I get to SLEEP through the whole night?! When?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Hedge Trimming

My hedge is finally trimmed. I had got a start on trimming my hedge this spring - just before our garage was robbed and the hedge trimmer stolen... Since then, in fits and bursts I had hacked at it by hand. Yesterday the missionaries showed up with an electric trimmer and spent the afternoon trimming it. It was a lot of work and the trimmings make an imposing heap over by the firewood for the winter - kindling. They came for dinner after that. I fed them spaghetti. Very nice of them to do.

I am tired and tired of being tired. How is it that young children are relentless. Rhiannon wakes up between 7am and 8 - regardless of what time she falls asleep. That whispered "Muuuuuum" in my ear jolts me awake. "Put me on a movie". She can put them on herself but no, not in the morning. I must get up and do it for her. If I resist, she only begs and begs and argues so there is no point in resisting... Then I can't get back to sleep. And Dean was horrible to sleep with last night. After getting in late from a gig in Kelowna, he snored loudly enough to wake the dead and was almost impossible to get to turn on his side. Truly the loudest snores I have EVER heard! Then once he was on his side (after considerable effort on my behalf) he is evidently in the midst of some violent and angry dream and yells out at intervals "Shut up! Shut the f--- up! That's not very nice!" and other angry things. All this between 3 and 4 in the morning. So what did I have maybe 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time. And I love sleep. My eyeballs feel like they were taken out, dried and replaced and are super light sensitive. Ahh sleep....

Today is the day of the family meeting. It is evident that some organization needs to be imposed on our family. I have been feeling lately like it is somehow my family and all the rest are just guests that can take it or leave it as they choose. I am too stretched. We are going to divide up responsibilities and make some charts and schedule a weekly family meeting to monitor progress. Ambitious. But it has got to work. I think I have been too enabling.

I am back to reading my book about contemporary Canadian history "Here be Dragons" by Peter Newman. Still enjoying it. It makes me think and it is good to have such an overview of our country and the changes that have occurred in my lifetime.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Grateful, VERY Grateful

I am very grateful to still be the mother of a living 18 year old. Erin had a terrible accident on her way to work just after noon. She was crossing traffic and was slowing pulling out and someone didn't see her and bashed into her full force without breaking. If she hadn't been wearing her seatbelt, she would probably be dead. Her car was completely totalled. She is okay - just bruised. I took her to out Dr this afternoon and he checked her out thoroughly and documented all her injuries. She doesn't have whiplash but her shoulders are sore and she has a gigantic bruise on her shin just below her knee and various other small scrapes, burns and bruises - mostly from the seatbelt.

The tow truck driver that came to collect the car wouldn't let her take anything of her personal belongings from the car - like her CD's and her novel and clothing. Weird. I am going to kick some tow-truck driver butt tomorrow! He said something about having to clear it with ICBC first. Right. Like they somehow insure her personal belongings?! I just hope they don't have some scam going where they clean out cars like that for their own personal gain...

Well, that event has rather over shadowed my entire day. I am so glad she is okay. Can you imagine if she wasn't? That she could have been taken from me so quickly, so unexpectedly and unpreparedly. I am so grateful I didn't have to experience that today...

Before that, I arranged to teach some dance classes in Kelowna in the fall. Weird that my dance classes are so popular - it is just something I did for a lark because I love dancing so much. And little kids are such innate amazing dancers.

I'm tired tonight. Too much excitement. I think I am off to bed.


Monday, August 22, 2005


I went to the Farmer's Market this morning, early with Rhiannon. I love going and getting all the fresh produce so cheaply. Right now in the Okanagan, cantaloupes are ripe. There is NOTHING like a 'vine ripened' canteloupe - the flavour, the juice, the way the melon just melts in your mouth. (Almost as good as a peach). I served my family cantaloupe and blackberries for breakfast. Those go so well together! Delicious!

Still haven't completed my taxes - Dean's part is so complicated. I probably should have had it done professionally. I think I can finish it today. This will, of course, totally screw up my CTC (otherwise known as family allowance) and my pharmacare. I won't get any CTC until probably October, now. sigh.

I would really love to do the triathlon in Vancouver but there is really no way I can. I really appreciate you calling me, Katie and including me. I REALLY want to do a triathlon relay with you and Laura. Lets plan one for absolute sure for next year. I will be thinking about you both. I hope you can actually swim that far, Laura. If she is unable to, what about Dad? He's a good swimmer.

Gotta get to work.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Shorter Days

Sadly, you have all been commenting on each other's posts but not on mine... But just in case you might be reading, I will post again. Ronni will read it eventually, anyway.

I hate it when the days start getting shorter. I don't think I would like living in California where the days are all about the same length. I love the long, hot, lazy days of summer. Now it is dark by 7:30 and serves as a reminder that it may be hot now but it won't last and soon the days will be cool and short. I love summer. Every year some illogical part of me, hopes and wishes that this year it will last a little longer...

The Courage workshop was very enjoyable. Some ladies who I like but don't get to see very often came from Calgary. It was fun to see them again. Our little classroom was packed and we used every single last chair we had besides the 20 we rented. I actually had to sit on a chair in the hallway just outside the door. I really didn't mind that as it was cooler out there. Bozenka was in fine form and it was a well spent afternoon. Then last night Kaetlyn, Drew and I cooked up corn on the cob (again) and bbq'ed chicken together, quickly cleaned up and then watched Guess Who. It was good just to hang out together and laugh at the movie.

I finished reading a novel - Rockbound by Frank Parker Day. It was really good. It is set on Nova Scotia's south banks and all the dialogue is in the quaint local dialect. I had a client once who was from there and spent his whole life after dropping out of highschool at 13 on the fishing boats and he talked just like that so it was easy to hear it in my head. It is a good story, too. I heard it first on CBC. I highly recommend it. I finished Harry Potter, too. On my own, though, so I am still reading it to Drew. Although some cousins gave him a heads up on the terrible ending which kind of ruins it for him.

All my focus now is on planning the fall schedule for the Inner World School. We have generated a lot of interest in all our classes. It is going to be busy.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The End of Summer

Wow! So much packed into August. The week before the FR, I ran a summer camp:
"Week 5
Aug 8 - 11 (Mon – Thu)
Topic: Children as Producers, Actors, Dancers and Stage Crafters

Jr. group 9am – noon 4 – 7 year olds
Sr. group 1pm – 4pm 8 – 12 year olds

Using all 3 modalities, children will stage their own story with the help from their Friends from the Inner World. What fun to grow inward and express outward. There will be a performance gallery for parents to visit on the evening of the last day. Come and join the theatre. Let your imagination go happy and wild. Let this be your summer to remember, to shine, to share."

I only had the younger group go so we did our performance at the end of class on Thursday. Basically it was performance based and we worked together getting it ready (roadshow style). The kids did everything from design the scenery and paint it to costume design and script writing. I had 8 kids - 4 four year olds, a 6 year old and 3 seven year olds. It was really fun and rather exhausting in a very good kind of way. The parents loved our performance (I even got a big bouquet of flowers and thank you cards)

Then Friday, Kaet, Drew and I helped Dean with the window washing so we would have enough money to come. Saturday we packed and cleaned and left on our way. We all had great fun at the FR - as you all know. Kaetlyn and Drew struggled a bit as they didn't want to hang out with each other but they wanted to hang out with the same people. Although, I think Drew is a bit more active than the rest, anyway. They always wanted to sit around and talk and he wanted to be jumping on the trampoline and swimming and stuff like that. It was good to see him spending time with his uncles and Zach and Josh, too. Although sometimes his feelings were hurt. Rhiannon is going through withdrawl and holding it against me that she doesn't have more younger siblings... I think Jodi was in dog heaven - all that food dropped in the ground and all that time spend out of doors with us - beaches and all those new smells! She was such a good dog, I regretted that this is the first holiday we have taken her on.

We had a 1 sailing wait when we got to Nanaimo so we were on the 4:30 ferry. We had supper on the ferry and got gas in Abbotsford (thanks for the tip, Katie, it really was much cheaper there). And a gas tip for all of you: I used the premium plus for the van on the trip and we got more than 600km's to the tank. I have never got more than 450 - 500 before. So it was worth it in the long run (not to mention that it is better for the engine and you won't need as many tune ups). I used Husky/Mowhawk gas. We got into Vernon at midnight last night. Dean had to get up early this morning and left for Kaslo. I had a 3 hour nap this afternoon and am now quite recovered.

I did have some sad news just before we left. Dad, Doug and Evan told me that they are going to have sell our house. This was very sad news for me. I love this house (it is nothing fancy as Laura can attest to) but it suits us very well. Also - just the whole instability thing - and uprooting my kids and going back to renting from someone else. I had no clue it was coming. I cried most of the way home. I told Dean on the ferry but I haven't told the kids and I won't until it is inevitable. Talking to Dad today, he said he is going to try a few more things but not to count on it. I don't know if I am in denial or not, but right now it doesn't feel like it is really going to happen. I think something will happen and I won't have to move. I am glad they at least left it to the last minute to tell me so it didn't wreck the rest of my holiday.

I have been so grateful to have this house. It has enabled me to get involved with the Inner World School and be at home with my kids. It has meant the world to me. I hate constantly struggling with the basics of life - like a roof over my head and I wonder when it will ever end. I have loved working on my gardens and planning on how I will fix it up. I really don't want to move.

Enough sad stuff. I love this time of year in the Okanagan. It is bursting with abundance. Apples are coming ripe and peppers and melons and corn. Food is so plentiful, so yummy and so cheap. We went to Davison Orchards (an orchard that went to agri-tourism) and bought fresh corn and peaches and Drew and Rhiannon played in the park as I ate a basket of blackberries and looked over the valley. Beautiful, peaceful, restorative. Tomorrow we have an adult workshop at the Inner World School - "Courage". I think I could use that right now. I need courage to believe that even as the sparrows of the field are looked after, so will I.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Ups and Downs of Summer Holidays

My friend is gone. We had such a good time and she is such a good friend that I miss her so much when she leaves. It is one of those friendships that you feel so blessed to have - at least, I do. She is a bossy older sister, too. Yet, we don't get on each other's nerves (as other bossy people do). It is just so easy to be together. Her daughter, too is just so easy. She just fits right in. We cook together and plan our outings and it just really seems to work - everytime. It is times like this that I think how wonderful it would be to live with another woman. Things just get done so quickly. I wish we lived closer together.

We had so much fun. We went to the water slides on Thursday. We went to a matinee at the cheap theatre on Friday and then out to Ellison (Okanagan Lake) which is a spectacularly beautiful beach with rocks to jump off of and stayed until the sun went down. Saturday we spend the afternoon at Juniper Bay (Kalamalka Lake). I feel like it is really summer now. I have been to all the beaches around here and I am loosing track of how many times I have been swimming. We usually went in the late afternoon when the intense heat of the day was subsiding. The kids would just run around playing together in that loose kind of summery way before then. I feel like I was just on vacation, too - a totally satisfying holiday.

And we talked and talked and talked and talked. She is truly the smartest woman I know and we always have such interesting discussions. We have been through so much together and supported each other through so many things that there is great depth to our friendship. It is really a miracle in my life. I have always been able to share my deepest thoughts, fears and joys and although we don't always agree or see things the same way, that has always been ok. I hope she always knows how lucky I know I am to have her for my friend. To me it feels like our souls are connected in some irrevocable way and I cannot imagine my life without her in it. Everyone should have a friend like that.

I dropped off Ronni and Meg early this morning at the bus depot. Then I was out at Komasket Music Festival to work in the Kid Zone. The Inner World School volunteered. We were there from 10am - 1pm. It was fun. We had the kids make masks from paper plates that showed emotions. They seemed to really enjoy it. The other two teachers were there, too. Rhiannon and Drew enjoyed being out there. Drew found a friend and they ran around together. We didn't get a chance to stay and take in the main stage (just the children's stage was near by and Rhi went over for a bit to enjoy some singing). I had to leave as soon as we were done and go pick up Kaetlyn in Kamloops where she was visiting my sister-in-law and her best friend/step-cousin. We just got home.

One more week until the FR. It will be a busy, intense week. I have my last camp - starts tomorrow morning - I've got to get to bed early tonight. So where is the sister's marvelous adventure? We only have one more week to complete it. Beth, do you still have it?

Sleepy, happy chick out.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

"New blog please!"

I had slowed down on my writing for 2 reasons. One is that there were so few comments that I thought I must be very boring, despite your reassurances to the contrary. The second is that I have company.

My best friend is here from Calgary. Her name is Ronni and she has a daughter Megan who is 2 years older than Rhi (and is the source of all those great clothes, Katie). We met in Winnipeg and served in the YW's together which is where we began to be friends. She was in Winnipeg working on her PhD and teaching at the Universities. She left for Grand Prarie and we became best friends through e-mail. We have been taking in the sun together and just doing lazy things. We've had dinner at the beach and stuff like that. Today we are thinking of the water slides but we are not totally sure as Rhi and Meg stayed up too late and got up too early - not interested in taking crabby, disobedient girls to a place like that. It would be miserable for moms.

The local paper did an article about the Inner World School yesterday. It was a disappointment to me. We had given them our booklet with the list of our summer programs and then we had written up a little thing in addition. They like you to do that at our paper - it saves them having to interview you. And that way one can have more thoughtful answers to questions instead of sounding dumb. But! The editor of the lifestyles section in which we were to be featured is in the midst of a Chinese adoption and it is summer and she just got lazy, I think. She just published the thing we wrote 'in addition' and she has it as being by me.... So it looks like I am tooting my own horn, for one. And for another, it doesn't mention anything specific about upcoming programs or workshops. Argh! Rather embarrassing, to boot! But there is a nice picture (which I took and submitted) and you can check it out at www.vernonmorningstar.com - in the lifestyles section. Tell me what you think. How bad does it look?

Had the missionaries for lunch yesterday as they are currently not allowed to have DA's. No one is feeding them and I just always have had a soft spot for missionaries. They are so sincere and I always think of my brothers and sisters who have been out there and I have hoped that someone was feeding them. I made tacos and they really ate a lot! Poor, hungry missionaries! It truly is weird though, to see missionaries now young enough to be my children...

Drew and I have left Kaetlyn behind with Harry Potter. She has gone for the week to Dean's sister's place in Kamloops and there is no way we can wait. This book seems different from the rest. We just finished the chapter where you find out what Lord Voldemort was like when he was picked up at the orphanage by Dumbledore. This book seems more mysterious than the rest. I am also reading a book called 'Blink' - nonfiction. Very interesting - it is about how the brain works (I think you would like it, Laura). It is short and easy to read. It is about how we make snap decisions. Fascinating.

Well, there is my update. Sadly not as funny as Laura and not as dreamy as Sarah and not as full of interesting bits as Beth and Amy... But this is happy chick out.