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.