Monday, December 29, 2008

How we spent our Christmas

We had a fabulous snowstorm over the Christmas holidays this year. Although it was abit sad to choose to play it safe and stay home rather than visit with family, we postponed our family visits and flipped our Christmas alone to plenty of board games, pj's all day, neighbour visits and snow fun!

This is Cody's idea. Originating from Zach next door, Cody informed me he now knew I was santa and he wanted to catch me in the act by camping out under the tree. Well, he didn't catch me at all. I waited till he was sound asleep and silently placed the gifts under the tree, snickering the whole time.

Why look. 'Santa' left footprints even! (baking soda sprinkled around my boots, but shhhh...)

Cody's first gift bought with his own money. I love this brush set! And each morning he is checking to see if I'm putting it to good use.

And we sure enjoyed being snowed in our beautiful home this year. Check out the home reno blog for pics of my new island top. It is to die for.

Here's hoping your Christmas and holiday season also has special memories attached!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Ho! Ho! (funny) kinda stuff

Who says cats can't decorate?

Cody had a new hobby while the renos were taking place. We like to call it 'toilet chipping.' He is using my cordless drill to chip at the ice. This occured every morning before school.
Yes, interesting I agree...

Hey, and only two more to go! I was the talk of the town with these unique lawn ornaments.

Merry Christmas friends!

Cody's unique photography

So I found this picture on my digital camera and freaked out! WHO is this dude? Was he a homeless guy around Cody or ?!?

I freakingly scroll down through more photos and find...

... this guy... what in blazes is going on! Wasn't quite clicking in yet but something felt vaguely familiar.
This next pic of Sugar had me snorting with laughter. Cody was taking pics of the TV show Survivor!

Can you spell 'hugely relieved?!?' Oy but my boy is unique.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cody's BIG morning plans

Cody had been getting up abit too late for school mornings lately. You can tell when the kidlets are due for another break soon when that stuff starts to transpire nearly daily. But since we still have to ride out a couple more weeks before Christmas break, we had to come up with a plan.

I asked Cody what he thought was a good idea on how to stay on track. We came to the conclusion that writing a 'to do list' for school mornings on his dry erase board in his room was the ticket. So I requested he go ahead and write a morning list up so he'd know what he had to do the next AM.

Morning lists aren't new to us. They've worked well in the past, but are forgotten when they are originally formatted on his dry erase board, then eventually disappear because his new volcano picture required more room you know...

So here's what Cody came up with...

I gasped when I noted starting time. 4 AM?!? Get dressed at 5? TV at 6?!? I don't think so! Oh, then he's going to wake me up and expect breakfast 10 min later. Now THAT was funny.

Before turning in for the night, I checked his alarm clock. Yep, set for 4. Youch, I just got an earful checking his clock, nevermind changing it! I'll change it after he's asleep. So I laid down with him for 'just a moment.' Then I fell asleep. I woke up later only to make my way to my own bed to crash.

Well guess what. I woke up at 4 to the sound of his alarm. Bah! And before you knew it, the tv was on. No way... I stumble towards the racket and find Cody fully dressed watching cartoons. At 4 AM.

That didn't fly one bit. I commended him on his promptness, but told him it was just too early and come back to bed. TV and lights were shut down and all was dark and quiet again until normal wakeup time.

Cody certainly has ideas of his own. This next one is also humorous. You know that channel on TV where the entire screen captures a crackling fireplace? THAT is what Cody wanted to watch while eating breakfast.

Oh.. and the action scene of course.. "Mom, someone's moving the logs! LOOK!"

Ah.. gotta love my boy.. May your mornings start a tad less exciting than ours do.

Monday, November 24, 2008

On a cool fall morning walk, love is in the air

You can tell that fall is upon us when our walks on the way to school get a little too cool for comfort.

Today was such a day. There was a good sized chilly breeze that hit us face on all the way to school. So Cody and I decided to walk backwards.

That got old pretty quick when you stumble and can't see what you just tripped over. So we faced up to the fact that it was just cold out, so let's get busy and just get there.

I get a kick out of how Cody looks all bundled up. Half his face disappears behind his cushy winter coat zipped up right to the top. And with a toque pulled down, only eyes and nose appear. It's just, well, cute!

He reaches for my hand. "Mom, is my hand warm?" "Ohhh yeah, very nice!" But it's still cold out. So on we go.

We reach the school grounds and slow down. Cody then cuddles against me as a means to snuggle to keep warm, and to also add, "Ohhh Mom, I just LOVE you!"

With the big 'ol smile I wore on my face right after that comment, I forgot about being cold.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cody reaches a milestone!

Cody wears a caesar haircut, that's a #2 buzz on the back, and longer on top so he can flip it up. When he goes in to get his haircut, he's most particular about just how long the long part is to remain. There has to be enough to work with after all.

In the mornings, he generally runs behind schedule but catches up pretty quick. Hence, what most would call, we're in rush mode. So some things get missed.

One battle is tweaking his hair. I do remind him at times he didn't 'flip' yet but most days my comment goes unheard. Whatever. I tend to allow him to be responsible for his decisions, whether good or bad. Plus, after only one coffee at that given time, my caffeine hasn't kicked in high enough to take on more unnecessary battles anyway.

So we drive to school today as we were running late. We like to walk when we can, but today just didn't work out that way. We drive up to the school and park. I say my usual Monday morning spiel, "Bye honey! Remember the Doghouse today. I love you! Have a good day!" I reach for him in the backseat, kiss his forehead and he normally runs off.

Today he glanced towards the sidewalk as he was about to open the door and quickly grabbed for the hairspray in my console instead. He douses just the front of his hair and holds the entire front up for a moment with the length of his arm. That would be the 'rush method' of the flip.

"Why now?"

No answer. I look towards the sidewalk and there are two girls walking by, glancing our way now and then. Ahhhh....

I inwardly am laughing out loud to myself. My boy is 9 and this matters big time to him!

"You look handsome! I'm sure the girls will appreciate it."

"NO mom! It's NOT the GIRLS! I don't LIKE them! They're EVIL."


Ok. That moment took me back to when in school at his age, we use to take ink pen and write down our arms, "SDSDSDSDBFP." Translation: super duper super duper super duper super duper (more if you had a longer arm) boy flea protection.

My boy has hit the super duper girl flea protection phase! Awwww....

I no doubt will not be saying awwwwww in about 5 years, but for today, at least I know my boy is stylin' and he's growing up just the way he should. Makes a mom right proud!

I'm not going to tell him about my outdated flea protection thing. I'm sure today's kid has other tricks up his sleeve. So I wait and learn and watch him grow up right before my very eyes. A day at a time. I speculate I have much more to learn too... eee... I need another coffee...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A day to remember.. to be quiet!

Today was our official Remembrance Day in Canada.

Cody and I had discussed the minute of silence on Nov 11, at 11 AM previously. But as the day dashed by, we simply forgot. I sadly remembered at about noon.

So later today, we were driving home around dinnertime, and Cody says, "Mom, we weren't quiet for that minute. Was that suppose to be today?"

Gulp... "Yeah it was Code."

"Can we do it now?"

While still driving, I answer, "Sure! Good idea!"

It's quiet. I look at the clock to figure out a minute...

"Now mom?"


I start timing...


"Ok, starting... NOW mom. DON'T say anything!"

(I'm not going to say even an ok as it officially started this time I think...)


"Just tell me when it's a minute, ok?"

(to myself, OK!!!!!)

So in my mind, I'm thinking of what it must have been like to get a dreaded call home that your loved one wasn't returning. On what it was like to fight while missing your family you loved so. And what it must have felt like to bury a dear family member. I didn't live in a time of all this happening, but I have heard some stories from my parents and grandmother about the past. I just took the time to put myself in their place for just a moment.

We rounded the corner and thumped into the driveway.

"Minute's up. So, what did you think about?"

I turned behind me to see Cody had his head bowed and hands folded together on his lap... I was touched.

"I wasn't thinking of anything mom. I'm just tired."


Saturday, November 8, 2008


Oh my goodness. Instead of going to bed like I should have earlier, I was browsing the net from blog to blog to blog analyzing how beautiful blogs are created. I suppose it's simply website building but in abit of a simpler form.

Check out how this gal revamps BORRRRRING blogs like mine into something spectacular... you must look at the before and afters via 1 column blogs, 2, 3, etc.

This stuff just really interests me! It's so creative!

And here's one of the most incredible blogs I've come across to date. Look at these pictures! Layout of the blog! What she creates! She puts Martha Stewart to shame. I like just looking even if I don't learn something because everything is just so beautiful.

Looks like I have a little more work to do on the designing front. But not too bad so far for having 0 time to currently invest in new and wonderful things. I didn't even know what a blog was before April 2008.

It's already been SIX months since blogging and my renos. Wow. Time is flying. I'm so enjoying the busy-ness and progress of everything, but now, I'm really looking forward to learning how to build websites and blogs (among so many other things) with a one day shiny new laptop in my newly renovated home. I think I'm finally morphing into a world beyond dust and wall paint. I'm starting to think about a future. And THAT is huge. That right there is what my wonderful Extreme team is helping me to do. To move on from just renosrenosrenos. Gosh I am so grateful..

Let's just say this little blogging habit is slightly turning into a passion rather than an excuse to whittle away time. There is sooooo much to look forward to!

Friday, November 7, 2008

A pittance of time

I just came home from Cody's Remembrance Day assembly at his school.

Each year I go to this assembly. It truely moves me to watch a schoolful of children show respect for those that helped give us the kind of life we have today.

In tribute to the fallen soldiers and others affected by the war, I thank you. Please honor those fallen a pittance of your time and watch a short video below.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Why I blog

What a hobby. For those that enjoy writing, blogging is one VERY fun thing to pass time with. But with my slug of a laptop with missing keys, even something so cool can become one annoying hobby pretty quick. One day I'll do something about that...

However, funny when we follow our hobbies (which actually shine as hidden passions, don't they?) that things start to click.

I've long wanted to mess with websites as my biz doesn't have one and I have customers at times that indeed ask if build them. Prefab blogging types of sites such as the one I'm using offer you templates to work within. And I play on them daily to attempt looks that please my eye. But it can be frustrating when you want to do something you can't seem to or don't have the option to. I came across a blog that was totally custom, yet used blogspot. Now I HAVE to figure that out so I can tweek to my heart's content and get my blogs to cooperate with my artsy mind.

Some may see this blogging or playing on the net as a total waste of braincells and life. But in my world where I'm still building up to what I wish to do for a living for my retirement years, every crazy hour I spend on this stuff, even if it gives me answers I don't want, is worth it. For me.

My retirement package will no doubt have something to do with a laptop nearby. Whether it's selling something, teaching, writing or building, I've yet to figure out. But each day I'm most certainly finding what works and doesn't work for me, which brings me one day closer to figuring out what I want to do when I grow up.

I have so much on my plate right now. My work and home and Cody need me 24/7. But as a wise friend once told me, it's important to carve out even 10 minutes a day on a passion of sorts. It gets you 10 minutes closer to your finished goal.

Now I just have to figure out how to only spend 10 min a day on my laptop... heh

The best rainy day ever

In good 'ol rainy BC Canada, we get a tremendous amount of rainfall. And yesterday was no exception.

A sudden downpour released from the sky. The rainwater rapidly made it's way down the road in true river form. Those kinds of cloudbursts always have me scrambling for the nearest window so I can better enjoy the show.

The sky was heavy overhead as if there was a dark ceiling hugging your surroundings. And then the coolest part happened. A burst of warm sunlight came sneaking in from the sideways window, warming up the darkened outdoor room. THAT is the very part that made me run outside. I LOVE those moments when it's raining and sunny at the very same time!

I had to quickly run back inside again for my camera, for THIS is what happened next, right in my backyard.

The rainbow was massive, and doubled up after this picture was taken. It was simply one of those moments where you felt like calling all your neighbours to get outside and enjoy!

Instead, I quietly stood in the rain with my camera buried under my shirt, enjoying the awesome show all to myself, wearing a huge grin. Nature most certainly does it best!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Being ultra selective on Halloween

The night before Halloween, we carved up the pumpkins. The entire house is being renovated with only a couple rooms that allowed some elbow room for carving, so into my office we went. Perfect! Never before have we carved on nice clean tables.

And Cody surpassed what I expected with the carving. I was whipping out freehand goofy simplistic faces but he wanted to do a pattern. Good for him! And he did a fabulous job of a skull with flames coming out of the head.

Cody wanted to be an army guy this year again. So he piled on every camouflage item of clothing he could muster up from his closet, complete with a matching backpack I just found at the thrift!

To my surprise, Cody wasn't in a huge rush to get out there. He wanted to stay home for abit to give out some candy. So that we did. We decorated up our front entrance enough to invite kids to come on over so we waited. And waited. And waited. A sprinkling arrived and the costumes were exquisite! I really liked these two ghosts that had sheets covering over the tops of their heads but wore glow sticks around their necks underneath the sheets. It was an eerie new technology kinda cool. Gotta appreciate that kind of uniqueness.

Then we put up our sign (a skeleton instructing kids to Please Take Two!) , a cooler full of candy at the front door and off we went.

We had just begun when our friends 4 yr old Phoebe and her mom Bec drove down our road. I invited them to join us so off we 4 went. Phoebe was an adorable little dragon that took great delight in growling at folks after receiving her candy. Priceless...

The weather held up perfectly! The roadways were wet but no rain fell. It was actually a beautiful night. And we hit a road that didn't have half the lights turned out.

As the night grew on, Cody was getting tired and decided only the houses that were decorated up were worthy of his presence. So here we were 1/2 hour away from our house and he was only wanting to go to half the houses?!? Common sense mom didn't see sense in that so I encouraged him to go for it. So what if they didn't have a welcoming pumpkin grinning back a him? They still had candy! No go. Oh well. Common sense mom speculated we only had to walk 1/2 as far as we did if we hit every house. Ah well. Even though I was exhausted from renos that day, I pushed my sorry body along, silently grunting with every step. This was Cody's night.

Little did I know, the boy was so respectful and visual. He pointed out to me that this house or that house probably didn't want to give out candy because if they didn't decorate, they didn't really like Halloween. So I respected his decision and marvelled how smart this kid is becoming right before my very eyes. So heads up people, if you want things to shut down early in regards to trick or treating, don't carve that goofy grinning pumpkin and those just like Cody will not be by. LOL

Traditionally we head over to the local yokel haunted house after trick or treating. But this year, Cody just wanted to stay home. Fine with me! I had been working on the house all day with hands over my head working on the ceiling and I was beyond just T I R E D. So we dumped his haul and munched away before bedtime.

Ohhhhh my bed sure felt great that night! But the entire event and preparation involved is so worth it and appreciated by Cody. That in itself makes it worthwhile for me.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Morning people ~ a different breed

Allow me to start off by explaining, I am not a morning person.

When I wake up, there are cobwebs everywhere. The room is black and it feels just, well, wrong to get up. But my radio alarm clock tells me otherwise. I listen to the jibber jabber of traffic issues, some bad joke or bright happy song, and allow myself to morph into the land of the living. To wake up to an incessent buzzing would not be a good thing. Easy does it here.

I rise to the fragrance of my morning brew waiting for me. (thank goodness for timers on coffee makers!) With my eyes still shut, I shuffle into the hallway, feeling my way for the furnace switch (yeah, need to look into a timer for that too) and slowly make my way down the hallway and downstairs to open the doors where the cats hibernate for night. I then make that massive effort with sleepy legs getting upstairs and plunk myself in front of my laptop.

I pour myself a coffee and plunk myself down. Slowly, the brew does it's magic and the morning fog begins to lift.

It's only then, in about 30 minutes or so, I am ready for Cody.

Cody is not just a 9 yr old boy. He's a ray of sunlight. A puff of fresh air. Swirling good energy and lighting bolts radiate around him in the AM. I don't get it, but I like it. When I'm ready.

We have to leave the house by 8:05 AM. If I wake him up at 7:50, we'll STILL be on time, but I do aim for 7:30. The boy only requires 5 minutes to wake up. Amazing. He's ready for breakfast as soon as his eyes flick open.

Now at times he wakes up on his own early when I'm not ready. I've made breakfast and packed him last minute lunches many a times while in my sleepy stupor so it's not like I can't do it. I do it and often. But a good morning for me would be, I wake up on time (7:00 AM) and have time for the caffeine to kick in. Then lo and behold, I become that angel from happy land, and float into his room in annoying wake up song.

Today was such a day. The song on the radio that woke me up wouldn't leave my head. So I loafed into Cody's room to give him a dose of what he normally does to me. "TAKE ME AWAAAY.... TAKE ME AWAYYY..." I sing away and jump into his bed. Jenna the dog goes a little crazy when I sing (I'm not exactly sure why..) so an extra 100 lbs pounce on Cody's too small bed at this point.

I'm met with a few protests, but the show must go on. I start up breakfast and happily challenge him to see who's first, breakfast or him fully dressed. BOOM. Up he goes.

This is the part that simply amazes me. Cody is HAPPY in that morning fog. His eyes are still shut but his smile is plastered from ear to ear as he hops skips and jumps into the kitchen fully dressed. I'm greeted with, "I'M SOOO HUNGRY!" He's such an easy AM sell this boy.

I'm so grateful he isn't like me in that way. Now, before you think I have this angelic boy 24/7, there are some mornings where he isn't quite ready to be up in 5 min. That generally indicates to me to simply make his bedtime abit earlier, which I do. It's just about like an adjustment switch on him. You just have to know how far to turn the dial.

I love my happy happy boy in the AM! Natural caffeine I call it. I'm just very grateful that the unnatural caffeine is available for others just like me.

Cheers! (*gulp*)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween candy be gone!

In my mouth, that is.

It's been a very long time since we've stocked any kind of chocolate in the house. During summer, I have the odd Dairy Milk for making s'mores, but generally, it's just not really a great idea.

For Cody and I are both addicted to chocolate in a baaaad way. If it's there, it's inhaled.

So naturally, with Halloween fast approaching, gee... I had to get some. Costco gave you a choice of three different bulk boxes of mini chocolate bars. Not wishing to worry about missing out on any of them, I just bought all three. There! I can sneak a Snickers AND Aero bar here and there.(did I say that out loud?)

I'm really finding that having all this chocolate in the house again to not be the best idea. No matter where I stash the boxes, you'll find Cody hovering around them. (and yes, of course they are open... they were ripped open on the way out of Costco before I even got to my truck, pathetic, YES) Cody is busy trying to justify why it's OK to have some for breakfast, right before bed, bring wad fulls to school 'for all his friends you know', you get the idea. Today when I picked him up from school, he got in the back seat and stated, "WHERE DID ALL THE WRAPPERS COME FROM? Hmmm, strange..." Guess I'd better check those early AM pockets a little closer tomorrow. I caught him on the road tonite with the whole box giving some away to Zach while playing basketball. Oy...

And then there's myself. Where is one box? Right beside the laptop I'm typing on. I'll count the empty wrappers... huh.. only three. I thought there'd be more. In fact, I KNOW I ate more than three. At least six. Maybe the dog is getting high on chocolate fumes from the wrappers, who knows. When there's something cool in the house to eat, generally all the animals hover around us salivating.

Worst part? I don't even like some of this stuff I'm scarfing down.

Well, I plan to give it away anyway. Good riddance! I'll be dumping all three boxes in a massive bowl with a sign politely explaining to take 2, while I take Cody around the neighbourhood.

And in exchange, we'll haul in an even better variety than what we started out with. Great. For our sake, I hope we detest what's coming our way. But I seriously doubt it...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Productive, CLOSED and hugs, all in one day

Weekdays seem to be days designated for high productivity. We get the kidlets off to school, go to work, come home, make dinner, make sure homework is done, the kiddie bedtime ritual, clean the house abit if time, do abit of renovating if my eyes can still stay open, then sit and blog. (ok, that last one maybe for a selected few...)

Ah, and then there's the school field trips you don't want to miss (that you REALLY don't want to get up so early for), trying to figure out if you have flowerbeds or weedbeds (and the confusion so overwhelming you just start calling them beds), your black truck turns a lovely shade of 10% grey (graphic designer kinda talk), your dog silently begs for a walk that would never end by means of staring at you ALL DAY LONG, on the list grows.

Today after school, Cody and I had plans to go pick out some pumpkins. He was soooo excited! Last year he slept with his pumpkin so I know this shopping venture meant alot to him. So off we go. Gitter done! Lots to do, so let's do it!

But first, I swerved into the local yokel hairdresser's. Cody needed a haircut. Cody protests loudly. Why kids don't like haircuts I'll never get. Wait till they get older.. it's called a DAY OFF of work. (for women's 4.5 hr appts anyway) I finally bribed Cody to get the hair deed done so off we go. We are smacked with a CLOSED sign. No.... I got my boy out of the truck. Don't they understand how difficult that was?!? Cody yelped for joy and RAN back to the truck. Drat.

Ok, next stop, pumpkin patch. Now we're talkin' Cody's language. It was a gorgeous sunny fall day to boot and I actually remembered my camera. We were all set! Flashbacks of last year's pumpkin hunt happily drifted through my mind... We drive into our favorite nearby place and quietly... pass... by... the... CLOSED... sign. It's like 3 days before Halloween and they aren't open to sell all those oodles of pumpkins they just have sitting outside in the open! (I give Yarrow credit. A Yarrow Pumpkin Stealer doesn't appear to be anywhere near a wanted poster anytime soon.)

Now we're heading home after not even going anywhere in the first place.

I didn't even THINK to head out of Yarrow for some reason. I like shopping local. And when local was closed, I just wanted to go home. So we did. With the promise of trying all this fun again Thursday after school.

Some days just aren't as productive as others. But that's ok too. Gives a person more time to play and enjoy each other. When cuddling in Cody's bed tonite, I gave him one of my lingering heartfelt bear hugs. He hugged back hard and said, "I LOVE hugs!" Me too buddy. Me too.

Doubt he'll feel the same come Haircut Thursday, but a mom can always dream...

Waiting for the next chapter in life

Many times over the course of my 46 years of life, my path has travelled in directions I didn't plan for nor participate in. At times, I'd struggle and fight it because I wanted MY way to work! Because we think our way is the best way. Until you look at the much bigger circle outside of you.

Others are affected by what you do. So generally, your actions will not touch just you. You are most certainly delivering them, but for every choice or action you make, you will indeed affect the others around you.

Does that mean you should just do what you want regardless of others? Or does that mean you should think of others first?

I believe it's a recipe of both, in just the right doses. Really think before you act, but keep your perspective where it needs to be. Simply pleasing others when it doesn't equally please you is not the way to go.

What's your main purpose/goal for your action? Don't look at the garbage circling it. Pinpoint your goal. Then work on reasonable alternatives to make that goal feasible.

And hopefully your hard work will be reciprocated or materialize in some way. If it isn't, it wasn't the right choice.

I go through lots of internal struggles as a sole parent. Life takes different twists and turns and are generally new, so there's a continual learning curve to most situations I take on. Some good, some unfortunate. You try and make sound choices along the way, but inevitably, something won't go your way when you think it should.

Or should it? Whenever something hasn't gone my way, something good and often better has come out of it in time. It's hard to wait, but time can be a wonderful twist. And I do pray when I'm troubled. I ask for strength for Cody and I to get over the next hurdle. And then wait for the next chapter. Sometimes it's all that's left to do.

In my life, many times I didn't just want to be right. I just wanted things to work. But I don't think that's quite right either. Although the biggest goal isn't to be right, I believe you have to make choices for the right reasons.

I can only implement what I think are good and sound ideas and try to be reasonable. But I can't dive into poor or unreasonable choices. Generally, when we settle for those types of things, more of the same are around the corner. No. You have to continue to make good sound choices that just make sense. No matter how awful it feels at the time.

So before me, life continues to challenge me. I'm thinking it's not the challenges that count, but what you do with them that really matters.

And praying doesn't hurt either. Please say a small prayer for Cody and I today if you would. We just need a little help while waiting for the next chapter.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall campsite splendor

Over the weekend, I dashed off to the campsite to winterize the trailer. My friend Bob was bringing up his air compressor to blow out the lines in his trailer and I requested a 2 for 1 so I knew how to do it myself next year.

As I was driving up, I was just astounded at all the gorgeous leaves everywhere in sight! Pulling into the campsite this time of year is quite a surreal experience.

For one thing, not many folks are milling around. And those that are, wear warm coats and generally are carrying antifreeze around.

But the biggest change of all was the foliage! Oh wow. Not a green blade of grass in sight. The entire grounds were covered with a glorious blanket of thick thick leaves! Every square inch!

The campsite houses many large maple trees. So it was finally time for them to shine, autumn style. Apparently Bob had cleaned up my leaves the day before I came so I didn't track them into the trailer. (awwww...) But the day I came, they were all back to pay me a visit again! Cool... I was so ticked I didn't bring a camera!

Generally in our part of the country, there are only so many exquisite leaf days. Those that live in wet and rainy BC know what I speak of. The day the leaves fall, it's generally on a nice warmish gusty sunny day and they all fall at once. The leaves are actually dry as they fall and are too fresh to crunch. It's the NEXT day, if still dry, that they start to sound like leaves under foot with a mild crunch. That, in my opinion, is the perfect leaf day when you are able to pile them high and romp through them.

That was the day I came up. I was in leaf heaven as I raked up piles and piles. Just for fun. The campsite owner blows them all when it's due time, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to just enjoy the sunny cool day with all that colour around me.

Then Bob wandered over and showed me the ropes on air compressors and travel trailers. Another learning notch for me!

I had planned to take Bob out for lunch or dinner at the log cabin pub to give thanks for helping me out, but he left early, so I treated myself to a nice dinner. They just have the best food there. I ordered up their chicken enchalada and it proved to be the most awesome choice.

After dinner, I joined Bob and Chris at their campsite. They had Bill over that played guitar later in the evening. Sitting by a fire listening to the soft strums of guitar strings under the stars... that right there is the magic of camping among friends.

The next day it was time to get back to work. I packed up a bunch of things into the back of my truck that normally stayed outside. I winded closed windows, locking everything up, wiping many surfaces down. I enjoyed one last coffee with Jenna as my company as I sat at my picnic table overlooking my waterfront property (minus the water). And then it was time to leave.

I may be back throughout winter to check on things and spend an odd night here or there. But it was pretty much a 2008 farewell. And what a way to exit, in that exquisite colourful wonderland!

I crunched out of the driveway and took one last look back. The place looked so deserted with many trailers missing in action and few folks stopping here and there to chat.

But the beautiful fall scene made me smile, for spring is just around the corner...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I had a social life for a week!

In my world, a website exsists where I post and chat with alot of sign kinda folk from all over the world. I've been a part of this wonderful group for many years. Over that time, I've met many of 'those pretend internet people' and have come to know quite a few very well.

On Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, I was presented with another such great opportunity right in my own little town in the middle of nowhere. My artist friend Dan held a router workshop and many of our friends we have in common were on their way!

Put together the tiny community of Yarrow, plus being on your own and throw in working alone for a little twist. Sometimes that can spell the recipe for Hermatitis, aka ~ a somewhat lonely exsistence. With the exciting prospect that foreigners were coming to little 'ol Yarrow, your world tilts just a tad for the excitement you KNOW will follow.
And I wasn't disappointed. Many of my friends arrived early. So there was an opportunity to show Henry from Sweden Hell's Gate. And at Harrison, the sand castle competition had just been held so he had plenty of sandy kind of eye candy to take pictures of.

This picture displays some of Dan's work. That was one of the main focal points for the trip down there. Fantastic stuff!

"Smile!" with the dude that works at Hell's Gate. He didn't want me in the picture alone. Uh, ok, sure!

I frequent Harrison alot over the year for our campsite is situated there. But I've wanted to go see Hell's Gate for many years. How many of you can honestly say you travel to your local yokel touristy places in your own backyard? I don't do nearly enough of it. I'm so glad I went!

The rest of the week and weekend was spent hanging out with my buddies at Dan's shop. I was at the workshop as Dan's assisted background help, but plenty of jokes and fun started to come down early and ran late into the night. These folks that travelled from afar are serious signmakers but when you get a group of folks that have alot in common and have time to laugh, well, you naturally fit that in!

The time spent together was constant, intense, a learning experience as well as just plain social safe kinda family type FUN! I have the best friends.
The above pics are only a small smattering of the craziness that went on. The Henry (left) and Rene (right) Show at Whitespot will be imprinted on my mind forever. Henry has this proper english accent and Rene is this boisterous hilarous french dude. Rene would pull a "Ohhh Reeee Laaay..." and Henry would attempt a French twist. My only regret in life is not filming these two!

The group shot is only a portion of the meet folks. Dan took Henry to the airport and these guys had great fun defacing Dan's equipment.

Raymond from Texas is the guy in the train. We had great fun with Raymond instilling upon the rest of the world how small we could make him appear on camera. He's one of my best friends (and soooo easily influenced to pose for hilarious shots!)
As you can see, loads of memories are attached to each and every picture.

There's a syndrome that commonly hits when you've had this intense amazingly wonderful time for a week or so straight. We sign folk call it the Letterhead Blues. It's much like when you leave a wonderful party of your dreams and go home to the quiet of four walls surrounding you. It's a let down of sorts.

I indeed travelled through it, but had gone through it before, knowing how to tag my emotions well. You cry one minute and you're laughing in hysterics to yourself the next. NO rhyme or reason. For that week Cody kept saying to me, "Mom, are you laughing at the french guy again?" LOL!!

Luckily, during the blues week, I had plenty to do to keep my occupied. My work was crazy busy and so are the renos on the house. One truck I lettered I don't even remember doing it. I was going through the motions and at one point yelled out, "Where's Dan?" to the guys in the bay. Uh ... Dan doesn't work there, Glenn does. While I was putting stripes on the truck, I was back in the shop laughing with my friends, or painting artsy panels and getting dirty. Most fun I've had striping a truck in a long time. LOL

The memories will last a lifetime of that incredible time when all those folks came from Quebec, Sweden, Germany, Texas, New York and many other places, to our cute little remote town of Yarrow.

Life has now again, slipped back into normal mode. It's back to work fullforce, as well as meeting the deadlines put upon the house reno project. It feels good to be back in full swing again!
My mind creeps back once in awhile to my big adventurous week in Yarrow. And my memories will always bless me with new smiles. And it was a major heads up to quit being such a hermit! It's fun to laugh and have fun too!

Today is about getting to the campsite to winterize my trailer. So off I shall go and no doubt enjoy a few laughs with my fellow campers.

Life is good with people in it! Don't forget the people, people! Get social on occaison and have some fun!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Teddy, the squeek toy

We have a very fluffy chocolate brown cat named Teddy Bear. We also have another cat, fluffy black and white named Beethoven. And both have very different personalities.

Beethoven is the quiet one that rarely meows for anything. Teddy on the other hand, is very vocal. If you look at her the wrong way, she meows. If you touch her, she meows. If you talk to her, she meows. If you pick her up, she actually squeeks. The squeeks are about 1/2 an unoiled meow coming out. They are hilarous and adorable at the same time!

So Cody and I were sitting on his bed tonite while reading. Cody first selected a Thomas the Tank book, which is well under his reading level. What he gravitated towards were the sound effect buttons. While you read the text, there's a little picture of the proper sound effect button to push at that time so your story becomes somewhat alive.

So after he went through his Thomas book, he started to read another. Teddy was laying beside him purring away like a little motorboat, content as ever.

Cody got the bright idea to utilize Teddy to his advantage. Taking cues from the Thomas book, he started to read.

"Franklin then said to his friend...", then he'd simply touch Teddy's back to hear her little squeek.

I didn't catch on right away what he was doing but after a few squeeks, I started giggling...

Then Franklin went outside to (squeek!)
The game stopped. "I don't have my (squeek!)", said Franklin.
Franklin looked around. He saw a (squeek!) on the ground.

I knew I had to step in when the happy little purrr filled squeeks turned into purrless full blown meows with an edge. Ah, kitty language...

Cats shed hair and tend to squeek and meow some on occasion. And we sure enjoy cuddling with them. But for their entertainment value alone, they most certainly have a place to call (squeek!) here!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saying good-bye to Dr. Seuss

I just read the school newsletter over my leisurely Saturday morning coffee. I love to go through the newsletter word by word and document pertinent dates straight to the calendar. That huge day planner kind of calendar is a big part of my life. (with my failing memory issues and all) I get up in the AM and travel on down to the calendar. I'm obviously not entirely in charge of my day, that calendar is.

Anyway, among the many tidbits, a teacher has found her Dr. Suess books missing and is requesting donations of that very thing if we had some to give. Gulp!

Yes, we do. Eight, to be exact. I just retrieved them to know that.

Four years ago, some previous neighbours were building a new house and throwing out a lot of riff raff on a regular basis. It was fun to bike past there occasionally to see how the progress of their new home (on the same property) was coming along, as well as to see what cool stuff was going to be trashed. (therefore, possibly scooped up by antique kinda gal me!)

One day I saw this old tub in the yard that drew me in. I didn't need such a thing, but it was always fun to look anyway. They had a pickup backed up to it, FILLED with kids books. They were throwing all the loose books into the tub. I immediately asked what the fate of the books were. They were going to the dump!

No no no. I need those! Cody wasn't reading yet but I most certainly was reading to him and we went to the library once a week religiously to get 25 new books. (always 25, so I'd remember how many to search for when due) This option offered me to not have to make that library run! We'd have our own!

I asked if I could have them ALL for Cody. They were most pleased. And I was excited!

I went home to trade my bike for my truck. I was thrilled to see the books hit ALL ages. I knew I'd get an excellent run out of these small treasures. First I'd read them, then as Cody grew, he'd read them to me! Perfect!

I get home and find the perfect place for them. Every night instead of grabbing from a library pile leaning against the wall, Cody would excitedly run to the 'new' bookshelf and choose his book or three for the night.

To this day, we are still reading those books. Cody is now into chapter books so many of the books are too young for him. Yet I hadn't relinquished even one yet.

The reno process in the house is going to take me through Cody's room within two months. I had mulled over getting rid of the books. But was putting it off. They are filled with memories of early attempts of reading by Cody, giggles at silly stories, they are just like little quiet friends of ours, allowing us to transport into their simple worlds for pure enjoyment upon request.

So the hard part. I scooped up eight Dr. Suess books. I just glanced through them and each one evoked a moment back in time that will always put a smile on my face. They are silly books but those are the best kind. For they thoroughly entertained my boy! (and me) I mean how can you NOT smile at:

Three fish in a tree.
Fish in a tree?
How can that be?

And the funky drawings of figures that only exist in these books.

Ahhh, the memories. And Cody is a clutter bug, just like me. I've tried to let go of some previously and asked him what we should do with them since they are too young for him. "KEEP THEM MOM! I LIKE THEM!" That didn't help one bit.

Perhaps I'll stash away just one with a copy of this writeup so Cody will one day know just how hard it was for me to relinquish such a special token of the past...

Ok, so I just went through a couple. I shouldn't have done that. I want them all!

But I do have the good sense to know, the teacher requiring these books will be able to spread that same joy around we recieved from them many times over. They'd get much better use in a school than on our quiet private book shelf.

I'll use that for motivation to bid farewell to Dr. Seuss. But I don't have to pretend to like it!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lindeman Lake pictures

Cody's school class went on a wonderful hike up to Lindeman Lake a couple weeks back. I mentioned in a blog I entered in Sept that I'd add pics of the event, so here are a few. (more in the slide show)

Such a beautiful setting for a leisurely lunch! And trust me, the leisure part we indeed needed.

Cody loves his first aid kit and put it to good use.

The water was a refreshing aqua green. And as still as glass.

This path proved nice and flat, but they most certainly all weren't like that!

I love hiking! And this event was just wonderful. Nature truly does it best.

Monday, September 22, 2008

What does Lindeman Lake have to do with camping?!?

This past weekend, I knew I'd be tired. Cody's schoolclass had a long wonderful hike up to Lindeman Lake (near Chwk Lake) planned for Friday. Never having been on the hike, I geared up just for a day of beautiful surroundings and unknown adventure!

The hike was even more than I imagined. I LOVED it! Somewhat strenuous for these 'gettin' old' bones, but in a good way. The lake was gorgeous, the company the best!

(I have pictures to share, but as today is a work day, I'll load them at a later time)

Anyway, I had to figure out what my weekend held before me. I knew I'd be tired on Saturday. so how did I want to spend my achy Saturday was my goal to figure out. Let's see... tired, aches, (I know, boo hoo), shall I tile a bathroom floor or sleep in, watch a movie, do a little sight seeing while I 'recoup?'

Was this even a contest?!? No. lol... I escaped to the campsite.

Was I tired the next day? Oh yeah. But first thing I did was stop feeling sorry for myself and got out on that beach in the AM for my morning speed walk. Whadda place to walk! Hard to believe that beauty surrounds us. Mountains, lake, other morning walkers. It's really a special place.

Now that I was wound up, it was time to figure out what else to do. So I hit a few amazing spots in Agassiz. I had read in the paper about these cool places in the area that offered you wonderful specialty lunches, antique shopping, you know, just a true girl's kinda day out. I was solo that weekend so I knew I could do this at my total leisure.

Going by memory and sure to get some names wrong without my literature I've handed to Janette already...

I visited Lindbert (sp??) Farms. They specialize in gourmet lunches, herb gardens, nice places to wander about. I wasn't disappointed. I ordered up curry chicken crepes with oven roasted potatoes, corn on the cob and a basil tomato salad and watched it being cooked up. Oh my... I love eating good food! The grounds to wander around were spectacular. There's a turkey coop to boot! Oh and I have a wonderful cooking tip to share. For the best ever oven roasted potatoes, cook your potatoes, then cut smaller, baste with olive oil and soy sauce and bake in the oven. They have the most lovely slightly greek flair to them. The three tiny chunks I was offered weren't nearly enough... *urp*

Then came The Back Porch. This place I visit regularly. They roast their own coffee beans (avail in many varieties), have a pottery shop (she works while you watch) a stache of antiques outside to browse through, and the coolest character buildings you've ever seen. There's even a feed dispenser so you can feed the chickens and goats. (Cody's fav part when he's with me) I donate for my sample exquisite coffee and wander the antiques and grounds there. Nice! I'm shopping for my renos after all.. yes, I am!

Then the Cheese Farm. (don't know the official name). I one I loved best was this soft white basil/goat cheese. They make all their cheese on site. Just a cool place to check out on a coolish day. My eye darted to the old farmwood furniture benches outside... yup, some extreme talent going on there. Trust me, when my eye goes for decorating rather than good food, you know it has to be really good.

Then the local thrift store. I was a good girl though. I had a couple things in my hand but I put them back before exiting the store. I had to tell myself, "And just WHERE do you think you will put this?!? In storage???" It's not the right time to shop yet. I'm still purging stuff. But at least I got in my small 'seek and find' excursion.

Then I got invited out for dinner at another campsite. I learned how to grill up asparagus (marinated in an oil italian dressing) and that alone inspired me to get my silly waiting waiting waiting bigger bbq just off my kitchen finally put together so I can try out my new culinary skills at home! Bob and Chris had done up a prime rib roast for dinner on the bbq. Oh my oh my oh my.... good eatin' that night!

The next day, I knew I wanted to get home fairly pronto. I wanted to buy some corn on the cob and get that in freezer bags before the corn was done and over with. But not before digging in and gutting the campsite in preparation for the upcoming winter. I even played with the idea of having time to tile some floor if I really got a move on...

I get home only to be welcomed by Janette inviting me to walk with her. So off we go! Corn and floor can wait... (I got my corn done when Cody was in the bath but no floor)

Anyway, it was a neat weekend of visiting what our area offers us. There are many hidden gems in Agassiz and Harrison. It's what keeps me going back for sure.

And now it's time to warp into Yarrow again. Anyone try the donair's yet at The Steam Kettle? They are fabulous...

Ok, back to the point of my post. Lindeman Lake and camping all have their place and diversity is indeed the spice of life. But now it's time to include renos to make things even spicier.

Dust kickin' time here I come!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My dog stinks

I really like my dog. That isn't why I'm saying my dog stinks.

THIS is why...

Over the last weekend, I was happily reading in the quiet PM flicker of my propane firepit at the campsite. Jenna was chewing on her bone in the grass near the water. All was well, all was quiet.

Jenna stopped chewing and growled. This isn't normal. I didn't know she had a voice box until creepy creatures of the Harrison Lagoon ooze out of the murk. So I knew something was headed our way.

There was a slight breeze to the evening, so just moments before our uninvited guest arrived, I had moved a bench in front of the firepit with a chairpad leaning against it to break the breeze.

So now the growl changed to 'get on your feet and BARK! NOW!'. Oh how I wish she didn't do that. The skunk walked into plain view! No running, nothing! (talk about self confidence here). But I didn't stop and chat. I saw the black and white fluff just above my chairpad and yelled to Jenna, "JENNA COME! COME HERE! NOW!" I may as well have played a little tune on Cody's new recorder as my instructions had the same effect. I was put on ignore.

My last view of the skunk was watching it spin around and simply lift it's tail...

Whatever! I RAN, dog or no dog. Jenna followed me soon after, coming out of the nasty mist sneezing, wheezing and shaking her head.

Then the smell hit full throttle. The musk (yes, this nerd has searched out info on this topic for your reading pleasure) was so overwhelming you actually lost your breath for a moment. Remember, I was basically standing in the eye of this storm and I had to get out some way.

I turned around to see if it was running after us. I mean, 'a skunk carries enough musk for FIVE sprays!'. Well, I wasn't armed with this info at the time but I kept running anyway. Can't be good to not know where it went...

So it's 10 pm and I have a dog that I don't want NEAR my trailer, let alone sleep in it.

This isn't our first encounter with a skunk and Jenna. She has a history of barking at them and then gets a good douse for her trouble. The first time I cleaned her with clamato juice (I didn't have the old wive's tale of tomato on hand) and she ended up smelling like a spicey tomato skunk. So I had stocked up on some expensive skunk removal stuff from Pet-we-got-it-all-Smart.

I dashed for that, read the label and soaked that dog while I gagged. A wet dog never smells good anyway but now she was wet and putrid.

I took her for a walk while this magical potion so to speak did it's job of neutralizing the odor, rather than masking it. I was so hoping this would work. But it had to dry before becoming effective. As we walked down the road past other campers, nearly everyone mumbled, "EWWWW I smell skunk!" Yeah, me too. Saturating my dog and me at this point. I had a furry walking skunk room deodorizer, the most unuseful thing known to mankind. And it was all mine.

It took a long time for this stuff to dry, but once it did, I could handle being around Jenna. It was not sitting right with me to leave her in the truck as it was suppose to be a hot AM the next day. So in the trailer we went with every window open. Oy... in closed quarters, I knew I had to get to sleep quick before it was too late, so I just did.

A week later, if Jenna gets wet, skunk perfume fills the home. If she licks her paw, she's wet. If she drinks water, she's wet. If it rains... it hasn't rained yet thankfully but I'm getting scared...

I could tell you so many useless things I've learned about skunks tonite, but rather than bore you with that, here's a link where I learned my skunk lessons from. There's even a skunk quiz! (I heard those oooos and ahhhhs) So I expect you good folks to do your homework and pass with flying colours here, for when you least expect it...

Skunk Lessons to date:

-carry that expensive skunk neutralizer at all times or try the cheapo recipe from the internet
(I already bought more of the diluted gold so good enough! I mean who wants to cook when your eyes are watering anyway?)

-ensure chairpad armour is locked into position when sitting near the campfire
(that thing saved me! Janette my neighbour commented she smelled skunk in her yard.. my loaded chairpad is next to her driveway. I should move that..)

- do NOT forget to bring in the dogfood from outside
(skunk was after the dogfood I forgot about the night before. I had a baaad feeling when I saw it partially eaten the next day)

- share my story worldwide to prepare others for this insane kind of attack on an innocent bone chewing non barking variety dog just being a good girl and enjoying her camping

Summary: Just buy the stuff and be ready to RUN.

Because I guarantee you, the skunk will not.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Last weekend at Harrison

As you may have noted, the current pictures on the slideshow are all from one special place.

Click on the slideshow 'center area' to open the picture website for larger viewing options. You just really have to see the pictures bigger to appreciate the extreme beauty Harrison Hot Springs offers.

I went camping on the weekend solo. I was sort of in the mood to socialize rather than wind down that weekend, so I joined in a few more activities with my neighbours at the campground.

I'm just really glad I did. I read this article in a magazine how this one gal tested herself to say yes to a few more new opportunities and she found it really enhanced her life. So inspired by her wisdom, I followed suit.

There's some real truth to that theory! I had a wonderful time! After several walks with the ladies and our dogs in tow, Chris organized a hike up the mountain that lead to it's own private beach. My kinda hike!

It was so beautiful. I had an inkling it would be so I brought my camera in my backpack. It was hard to put the camera down. Everywhere you looked was something breathtaking. I've never hiked looking pretty much just through a camera lens before. Watch your step... ohhhh yeah. I stopped constantly. Jenna came scampering back a few times to see if I met up with a real live teddy bear or not. All was well. It's just that there's art in so many everyday things you take for granted!

The dogs were armed with bear bells so it brought a little Christmas spirit into our adventure to boot... I like the bell idea! As a bonus you always knew where your dog was hiding out.

As we finally reached the hidden beach destination, I was quoted as saying, "Oh look, we walked all the way to Hawaii!!" One moment you're in this lovely wooded forest with only filtered sunlight, to the bright whiteness of all that sand! Ohhhhh, the sand was soooo deep! Walking out of the forest resembled walking right into Survivor, ready for 'today's challenge.'

The dogs had an absolute beach party. Any dog owner knows well how much a dog enjoy's their walk. You get a group of them together and you'd better watch your back! They bolt by in play FAST!
All too soon it was time to head back again. But the fun didn't end there. Chris and Bob invited me on their boat for a nice leisurely afternoon in the sun and water. I packed a quick lunch and off we went. I even brought my camera again. Too bad I left it in Bob's truck...

Life on a boat is quite a different beach experience. You can pick and choose whichever beach you prefer that given day, spec out the crowds, look for a nice shallow bay so the water's warm, you have the pick of the lake! We pulled into what I called Mexico. Sandy beach with some rocks and loads of driftwood, perfect for shopping later.

It's just not a bad life on a boat! You can sit anywhere on these gizmos in comfort! Go for a quick swim then hop back on board and lay in the sun. Partake in the goodies you brought and enjoy the quiet swishing of the waves around you. I forgot about lawn chairs that day.

We rode about an hour away from Harrison beach, so there was plenty to see along the way. Wonderfully secluded cabins dotted the shores everywhere you looked. With fun 60's tunes cranked way loud to beat the roar of the high speed, you couldn't help but sing along!

By the time we got back to the campsite, it was time to pack up and head home. Sigh...

I have some wonderful memories of this past weekend. Thanks to my wonderful campground neighbours for an outstanding weekend!

Monday, September 15, 2008


What can I say. I love to write.

Earlier this year I started a blog on my home renovation project. I love sharing what's going on in my reno world as it's one pretty exciting ride that is changing daily.

However I kept finding myself desiring to share everyday run of the mill occurances most generally label, just another day.

So here we are. Except I like my 'just another days' wonderful! I'm a true believer in we make where we are. So I hope you enjoy my everyday ramblings as much as I'll no doubt enjoy entering them!

Here's to all your days as wonderful as ours are!