Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's hot.

I don't even have enough umph to put hot in uppercase. It's too hot.

Our region at time plays with heat in a non meaningful way. We reach the odd high temps in summer to the point of thinking, hey, this is neat! I don't need long sleeves in the PM!

However we're in the depths of a heatwave and the temps only promise to climb to 39 Celsius for early next week.

We aren't accustomed to this grade of heat, so I can feel morale and energy shut down wherever I go. All talk around you has the word hot in it.

Yesterday at a workplace I frequent, we were using pressurized bottles filled with water to spray into a big fan offering you a brief rain effect. That workplace decided they were going to start an hour earlier today to beat the afternoon temps beating down into the bays. I was working high up on a ladder. As if it wasn't hot enough down below.

I'd have to believe, what's saving the neighbourhood this summer is Cody's pool. We put up a 4 foot high x 15 foot wide above ground, and until yesterday, had a real chilly bite to it. The water simply wouldn't warm up. Yesterday it finally did. And that's when we all decided it should have stayed cold. Are we ever happy?!?

The pool has been a Godsend. I dunk in the pool, then switch on the fan in the house and start cooking. Dunk again, and do the dishes. It is what it is. Survival mode has kicked in! Not many other projects are getting done around the homestead. It's about getting home from work and running into the pool before you can even THINK about anything else.

I suppose this is why the good folks in those big box stores carry air conditioners. Who knew? I've owned a house variety before and because it was only used about twice a year, I didn't bother in this current house.

I'm still not quite sold on getting one because I'd probably need 2 or 3 in the open floor plan we've got happening in this place. And then we'd just stay inside on a nice day. No doubt the tv and/or computer would be blaring away, wasting that amazing day outside. Nah. This heatwave can't last THAT much longer. (can it?)

Sleep is proving to be an issue though. I do have plan B in effect if need be. Our cute little travel trailer is sitting in the driveway that has air. We will no doubt be using that by the weekend for a good nights sleep. Goofy beds, here we come!

Well, onto another hot day. I only have one wish for today. Please Tim Horton's, do NOT allow those ice cap machines to quit working as they at times do when overused. Not today. I need you.

If you have some tips on how to beat the heat, feel free to share. Really.

Time to go to work and sweat. See you soon, my little ice cap!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A neighbouring community

Before I lived in this home, I was on a dream piece of property. 5 acres, heritage styled newer home, wrap around veranda, and just one big honkin' glorious yard. I tinkered and toyed with house and yard until I got it JUST the way I adored it. And then I moved.

Today, I'm in a tightly knit neighbouring community. By that I mean, the houses are side by side, you have 1-2 spaces in your driveway to park, and then there's your typical boxed in backyard. I happened to luck out as my backyard faces a gorgeous mountain view with a city owned park behind it, so I feel very blessed for that, coming from where I did.

However, tightly knit neighbourhood means a little more than just how close the houses are situated. For when I chose my home, I chose a neighbourhood community. And I had no idea at the time what a spectacular area I was about to live in.

I'm a sole parent, so it's my 10 yr old son and I workin' on our lives. And while I love that aspect so very much, at times you simply need advice or a helping hand from another adult. Most of you may name that other adult spouse.

My neighbours are pretty special. They loan out their spouses to me when I'm in need. Just 2 nights ago Rudy finally busted down 2 wasp nests I had delayed doing out of sheer fear. Apparently he does them all the time with his line of work, so it was nothing to just go out there in broad daylight, spritz the nests and done. Just. like. that. wow.... Oh, I also borrowed Rudy to show me how to use my circular saw safely too. Oh and then he held up the ladder against the house so I could safely climb up onto my roof. I could go on and on.

And Jake, well, Jake is simply too handy to have right next door here. From tinkering on my troubled at times truck, to helping me lug heavy stuff around, and always smiling while he does it, just amazing.

The gals in the neighbourhood help as well. From simply someone to talk to, all the way to Corinne bringing me over a surprise coffee or Janette handing me over something luscious she just whipped up in the kitchen, it's a pleasure to have my girl neighbours close by. Francis and I love to shoot the breeze about most anything, Elizabeth will attempt to tag a walk with me on occasion. As you can see, I'm well surrounded with great folk.

And it doesn't stop there. The kids in the neighbourhood are always brightening up Cody's and my day. Just today, Lucas helped guide my travel trailer hitch onto the back of my truck. Zach loves coming over to see what's cookin' or what Cody's up to, and gives me the greatest advice on what I should do with this or that. (I LOVE to ask Zach stuff because he's just good at it!) Georgian helps me with my gardening while we nitter natter girl style, Kenny likes to rough and tough it out with all the things Cody likes to do, and Ross is that little background enhancement that rounds things off perfectly.

Aside from my road full of good folks, the small town I live in keeps us in pretty constant contact with others nearby. Vic is always bringing me berries from his garden, helping me with all things reno, and he planted my garden this summer! Dan is always offering some kind of building advice and is a good outlet for creative talks. Gord helps me with my truck and trailer needs, and his wife Rosie and I chat it up about all things decorating as well as her sharing her vast stock of plants. Amazing.

Lately with our recent heatwaves, some of these neighbours have been by up to several times a day jumping in our backyard kiddie pool. It's a decent size to cool off in even for an adult.

Can I just say how totally grateful I feel for having something to give back to them? Not that I have to, but that I CAN. Gate's always open, cover's always off, whether we're here or not, it's free reign to the pool.

I'm just feeling particularly blessed today to be right where we are. I was hesitating hitching up the trailer that I had parked on the road to back into my driveway. But when I spotted the street sweeper closing in on our road, I had to go for it. I had power washed my driveway leaving stuff worthy of sweeping on the road. The sweeper does a much better job than I ever would. So I ran out there, fiddled awhile on my own until I spotted Lucas. And he made all the difference in the world. My confidence is once again now intact.

Just another reminder that the good people around here are making our lives much brighter. Thanks all! You have no idea how much we both appreciate you!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

"Home again, home again... reality sets in."

My bub is home! He's tanned, happy and loaded with cool stories from his most recent overnight camp for 5 days.

Cody spent his time at Stillwood, a christian camp located in Columbia Valley, BC Canada. This picture shows the elevation! The views are amazing, the mountains close, creating the most scenic and serene setting for a great adventure.

This is the 'pool with a view.' WOW... off to the right is where I took that elevation picture.

This is the GYM. From a designer's perspective, what a gorgeous building! And no doubt a great hideaway for activities when it rains like it does in our climate.

There were tons of cabins riddled here and there and an amazing massive main hall that resembled a log cabin in the woods.

Aside from the gorgeous buildings and top notch features the camp holds, this is what truly warms up my heart. The buddy aspect you build when you spend time with good new folks for a week. This is Ace, Cody's cabin councillor that hung with his group the entire time.

So as we two unwind from all the excitement, reality sets in. Cody wore ONE pair of shorts the entire time. Morning and night. The last day they dipped in the lake and he threw in his sopping wet towel into his suitcase to come home. And this is what resulted from that. Bear in mind, these were CLEAN clothes.


And I couldn't possibly leave out the fact that we're now back on track to mom confiscating stolen chips for breakfast. Double sigh...

What the heck. Welcome home Cody! To the life we both know and love so well!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


What a different summer this is transpiring out to be. This will be the first year Cody's ventured off to overnight camps. A growing experience for both of us. And two in one summer!

This round is different. The camp is nearby and for only 5 nights this time. I got to drop him off and walk the grounds. We even got to go to his cabin where he chose his bunk. I was kicking myself that I forgot my camera!

When we first arrived on site, I was impressed at how organized everything was. Young adults were everywhere you looked, identified in camp t-shirts. The energy was positive and energetic. I was so impressed that they even flag you to the exact location of where you are to park. When we went into Cody's cabin, the cabin counsellors were so awesome, making the boys feel included and loved. Right then I got that typical sting in my eyes and throat, praying I wouldn't cry so I quickly turned around to chill. But the emotion is so overwhelming when I see other guys in particular being a buddy to my son. He really deserves it.

Cody has been looking forward to this camp as well, so I left him there feeling ok with things. Not quite like the last time when he flew so far away. I could be with him in 30 minutes here. The comfort of knowing that has me more at peace.

So, another quiet week here at the homestead. It's weird changing gears like that. But I'll dive into my work and projects around the house, knowing he's again among a good group and will discover new things that can only enhance his life.

Incidentally, Cody was sent home early from the Tim Horton's camp due to getting ill. Obtaining a fever and scratchy throat, he was placed in quarantine until healthy enough to be escorted home. I was so concerned he'd be sad, but as it turns out, he still had an incredibly positive experience. And the good news is he's on a waiting list to return! Oh no... that 9 day mom-from-son withdrawal again! But he wants to go so if they call, he'll be on a plane once again. This organization has been top notch in every respect, right down to sending a private escort to get him back home. And inside his backpack, I found a homemade get well card made by his friends in his cabin. Very touching and a nice memento. I still shake my head at their generosity. Please make sure you buy a coffee when they have Camp Day at Tim Horton's. It really does make a difference. ALL the coffee proceeds go towards the camp that day only. It's an amazing donation made by the stores.

Because of the return experience, I'm so very grateful he gets this new experience. Funny how things always work out.

I'll be thinking of all you moms with bustling households this week. And may even envy a bit of that commotion from time to time. But I'll try real hard to make it this round. :)