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Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I am very fortunate to be close to my Oma (grandma) both geographically and relationally and have been for most of my life.

She is a gentle, loving lady. 

Oma is adventurous.  
One year she went to Disneyland with my aunt and her family and even went down Splash Mountain!  I have a great picture of her standing on a swing at age 75 or so.

She has a deep, inner strength:  From the challenging war years while she lived in Russia and Germany.  Losing many loved ones during that time.  Raising a child on her own.  Then rebuilding a life afterwards in Canada.  My Opa passed away when I was 14.

She demonstrates a fantastic work ethic, in fact she out-weeded me one summer when helping prepare my garden plot!

Her favourite game is dominoes.

She bakes and cook for us, although as she is growing older the frequency of it is less.  Homemade noodles, perogies and peppermint cookies are long time favourites.

  Despite her calm persona it is easy to see where some of the stubbornness and strong opinions present in our family come from!  
For example: when she first saw our new house in its finished state the first thing she commented on were the black appliances.
"Black?!!! Acch Carla!" (insert German accent)  Obviously she does not like black.

Unfortunately with English being her second language and Oma being very hard of hearing the type of relationship where I could tell her everything and anything was hindered.  But she is always aware of what's going on in our lives and makes sure that we know she cares.

Oma also has a special bond with Sierra and Sawyer.  She babysat Sierra for me one or two afternoons a week while I worked when pregnant with Sawyer.  Oma would often complain that Sierra napped too long and didn't have enough time to play on those afternoons!  Sierra will ask every other week or so to go and visit Oma.

Although we clearly see her the most Oma has no less love for family at a distance, that much is also very evident.

Man, I could go on and on!

Oma had her 89th birthday in mid-April.
Sierra and I baked cupcakes and iced them with purple icing.  Sierra chose a pretty potted plant to give her too.  
Then along with Trevor and Sawyer we brought them over one evening and celebrated.

 We are blessed to have her in our lives and love her very much!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thoughts of the Moment....

It's Friday night of the long weekend and I'm sitting here watching game 3 of series 3 of the Stanly Cup playoffs and our beloved Canucks are currently down 3-0 near the end of the first period.
Not good.
Trevor is already swearing.
I am distracting myself with my computer and a glass of wine.

So what have we been up to?
We've been crazy busy and I am very tired and would love a break or vacation or something - but that is not going to happen so I might as well quit dreaming before I even close my eyes.  
These intense hockey playoffs are consuming a lot of time.  I am really enjoying the playoffs, largely because our team is playing like they want to win, but I am tired of the amount of time they are taking. Our schedule completely revolves around the games.  Ah the life of being married ot a hockey nut and being Canadian!

Ladies league golf started a week and a half ago.  My mom and I golf every Wednesday until the end of August.  Now when the word 'league' is mentioned people's eyebrows tend to raise and you see their thoughts going in the direction of "wow, they nust be good!"
As was stated on opening night, this leagues is purely social and if anyone is looking for competition than perhaps another course would better suit them!  It is, after all, only a par 3, 9 hole course.  That in itself should bring one's expectations down.  It's a night out where we have fun and sometimes manage to hit the ball! 

I feel like I've been living at work.  Well, okay that's a bit of an exaggeration, but the extra ten hours per week lately sure add to the busyness.  I don't mind being a work at all but it's the rat-race outside of work that makes it difficult.  I am grateful for this long weekend and then only two more weeks of added hours.

We had a mile long list of outdoor projects for this weekend.
It's raining.

My Sierra is turning four in three short weeks.
She's going to pre-school in the fall.  She talks a mile a minute and is a regular little person that I have a fantastic fun with 85% of the time.  
My Sawyer is nearly fifteen months.  Practically running and being a pint sized pain 90% of the time.  Still a happy-go-lucky little guy with a twinkle in his eye that makes my heart go to mush.
Time to start thinking about another one.
According to Trevor there is no way.
Well, we are enjoying wine this evening, maybe we should finish the bottle!

I kid.

Friday, May 13, 2011


I wrote this fantastic post yesterday all about my "joys" of grocery shopping and even posted it.  
It.  Is. Not. Here.

 Cyberspace has gobbled it up.

Maybe it will reappear.

Or else I"ll rewrite it.
Maybe not.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

On Grocery Shopping

I'm pretty sure that as far as errands and chores go grocery shopping is my least favourite.  Although does one really enjoy chores to begin with?  They are an unpleasant, necessary, time-occupier as far as I'm concerned.  Anyway, moving on:  I can't stand grocery shopping.
I know that my first mistake is that I shop at Walmart. I'm pretty sure 'polite', 'smile', and 'helpful' are not words most of the employees know the meaning of.  Mind you, if I was an employee at Walmart those would probably be foreign words in my vocabulary too.  Of course this opinion isn't based on any first hand knowledge or anything, just pure impression.  For all I know it could be a fantastic place to work.  So if you work there, please don't take offense.  Now I'm rambling, sorry, must be the not-so-good sleeps that have resulted this week. 
Continuing.  The blue-vested-ones (a.k.a. staff) at Walmart are constantly blocking the aisles with their dolly's of stock, and if I'm traveling an aisle and it's between me and one of them it is almost always me that moves out of the way to avoid a collision.   There was a time when I was perusing some items next to an employee working on that particular shelf and she actually reached around me and bumped me out of the way to stock items.  Seriously!  I was too stunned to say anything.  
Then there is trying to find everything on my list.  It's not like I shop for bizarre and unheard of items, their product is arranged in deliberately inconvenient and illogical places. For example, Crispy Mini's.  I would have thought they would be by the crackers or at the very list by the chips.  Nope.  They are down the candy/chocolate aisle.  There is no doubt this arrangement is to force me to go up and down each row carefully scanning every item on every shelf in order to locate what I specifically want and perhaps see things not on my list that I decided I need and therefore spend more money!  Okay, so it does work sometimes but other times I get so frustrated that I leave without certain items and either do without or go somewhere else.  So I finally figure out where something is hidden and the next time I need it I realize it's been moved!!!!

I could go on with Walmart woes but that would get tedious.  
Why do I shop there if I dislike it so much?
It is so cheap and with the rising cost of food I feel as though I have to shop there.

Then there is the whole shopping with kids thing.  Sierra has reached the age where she asks for everything.  Can we buy this? can we buy that?....and I am constantly saying no.  Her continuous requests also distract me from my item scanning and cause me to forget or miss an item.  This results in backtracking and rescanning repeatedly in order to complete my list and before I know it I've done twenty laps and still don't have everything!  Sierra also insists on putting nearly everything into the cart which isn't really a problem in itself but adds time to an already lengthy trip.  Sawyer isn't too bad yet, he just sits in the card and watches.  Unless of course I've taken too long and it's well past his nap than he repeatedly tries to launch himself out while complaining loudly. 

So I manage to fill my cart with every item on my list - and usually items not on my list! - and pay (while gasping at the amount).  I also deftly and strategically load the bags into the van so as not to squish the delicate items like bread or bananas, strap in cranky kids and pull out of a ridiculously designed parking lot (that's another story too!) and sigh with relief that another grocery shopping trip is over.  

Oh wait.
I still have to unload everything and put it away!

I get home, deal with disgruntled children by quickly feeding them, then prepare to empty the grocery bags.  By this point I'm tired and grumpy myself, and I only get more annoyed when I open my pantry and see it crammed full in a completely disorganized manner leaving minimal room for what I've just purchased.
(Note to self: clean and organize pantry.)

Everything gets a home.  The chaos is reigned in and I flop on the couch for 2.5 seconds of relaxing before the next demand is made and think that next week's trip will be there all too soon!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Brain Matter

I have about a zillion and one pictures with fantastic post ideas to accompany them but we had to completely reboot our computer  a few weeks ago and haven't got all the software installed.  So for now the photos are currently entombed on the camera's memory card.

This means you just get words.  Unless you feel like making up pictures in your head of course!

 I just started a month long stint of working about 7 extra hours per week for a total of 26ish hours per week.  This is to help cover a short-term medical leave. If I thought I had no time to accomplish more than the basics before, I definitely don't now.  I'm in awe of moms who work full-time.  The efficiency and organizational skills required to stay afloat have to be of phenomenal proportions! 

Sawyer figured out how to pull away our makeshift baby gate (the design of our stairs doesn't allow for a normal baby gate) and he promptly tumbled  head over heals down all fifteen stairs.  I helplessly watched the entire event unfold.  As soon as I saw what he was doing I raced over as fast as I could.  Unfortunately only only warp speed would have got me there in time.  All I could do was follow him down the stairs as he rolled and pick up the heap that landed at the bottom.  Fortunately baby's are bendy and bouncy so other than being temporarily mentally traumatized he's perfectly fine.  My heart pounded none-the-less and we will not be pushing our luck by allowing this to occur again.  Later that evening Sawyer confirmed the fact that baby's have limited learning capabilities - or maybe just really short memories? - and tried the same stunt again.  At least I was watching from a couple of steps down and caught him as he began to tumble. 
Now to teach him the proper, less risky method of descending stairs.

Spring is slowly but surely springing.  We haven't had snow for over a week now so that's promising.  We can actually see that the new green grass is starting to take over the ugly, crispy brown, and the trees are waking up with the buds forming very tentatively.  They are rather scared, of course, to emerge into leaves just yet.  The sun has indeed been shining quite warmly and we've been enjoying some long-awaited outside time.

I'm diligently plugging away at the P90X workouts.  I'm one session away from completing the first section.  Then the "off" week.  Except the way I'm doing it one week is taking me two.  I definitely feel stronger.  The scale and I had a fight awhile back so we aren't currently on speaking terms.  I'm a little scared of it.  I'm eating healthy most of the time, making small changes here and there.  I am trying a more whole food approach (less processed and artificial food, not that we had a lot but still) and have cut out most sugar.  I say most because to stay sane I do need a little here and there!  Overall I feel healthy and in control of myself and that is a good feeling.

Some good new is that Trevor is exhibiting and expressing an improvement in is RA.  Day to day isn't as noticeable but comparing to three weeks ago there he is definitely getting better.

I've been discovering that apparently it is rather odd for one to hand wash one's floors.  When I mention it to friends they look at me as if I've grown an extra ear and have green skin.  I feel the need to get down on my hands and knees and power scrub my floors every four to six weeks.   You see, there is no other way that I can get them satisfactorily clean.  I tried steam cleaning only to be told that it is not a recommended method for hard wood, it left a film anyway.  I've used every mop on the market including the Norwex mop.  The Norwex mop by far does the best but the streaks drive me bonkers.  I'm sure it has a lot to do with the darker colour and glossier finish.  So down I go with my bucket and good old Norwex cloth and I manage to achieve a nice, clean, relatively streak free floor for 0.26 seconds before one of my kids destroys it.

Life is feeling rather mundane these days.  
Heck, I'm blogging about washing floors!
There's nothing really to complain about but nothing to jump up and down with excitement over either.  I suppose that's okay.
For now.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Vomit or Vote?

Election time again.
Federal this time.
I can't stand politics.
I force myself to become just informed enough to make a somewhat educated decision.  I personally feel voting is my right and responsibility and therefore have chosen to exercise my ability to do so.  Lately it feels like we are trudging to the polls every year.  We are essentially voting in our Prime Minister this go-round. It  has never been a particularly difficult decision for me.  
Until this year.

Our political system is somewhat skewed in that we do not vote specifically for who we believe would be the best person to lead our country.  Our country is divided into ridings and within those ridings are candidates representing each of the five or six political parties in existence (the number of parties varies per riding).  We vote for the candidate of our choice and the candidate with the most votes wins a seat in Parliament.  The leader of the party with the most Parliamentary seats becomes the Prime Minister.  The leader also has his/her own riding.  It is technically possible that a certain party could win with the leader loosing in his/her particular riding.  Although there are 6 or so parties usually only two or three have any sort of chance of significant representation in Parliament.

We can vote based on who we think would be the best Prime Minister, or with consideration of the platform of the party itself, or just because we like or know a specific candidate in our riding, or a combination of any or all of the above. It all depends how one perceives their vote.


Yeah.  Do you sense my confusion?

My conundrum is this:
I know which party I feel has the best values and who I feel would make the best Prime Minister.  To a certain friend of mine that should make the decision easy and I should vote according to that and solely based on that.  But I cannot, in good conscience, vote for my local candidate of said party.  Our candidate was voted in as our riding representative for that particular party via some sketchy, back door methods that were legal but not morally right in my eyes.  In addition, this person has refused to attend any forums or debates, and has proven to be rude and unapproachable, and shown that he knows very little about politics.  There is much discussion surrounding this person and his utter lack of qualifications as the party candidate.  Should he win than he would be our area's representation in government; our voice.  That voice would be an embarrassment to our riding.  There was an argument presented to me that I should have perhaps joined the party in order to have a say in who the candidate was.  Maybe.  But I know for a fact in this case it would have made not one lick of difference.
Where does one go from here?
Do my best to overlook the candidate and vote for the party?
I really don't know if I can do that.  If we were meant to vote strictly for the party and its leader we would have a more American style political system.

Not voting isn't an option for me.
Spoil a ballot?
No, then I might as well not vote.
Vote for someone else?
Most probably option.
I refuse to vote for either of the other two major contenders.
That leaves another two (in our riding, with a total of five people running) basic no-names that might as well be a throw away vote because they have no hope in @#$% of winning a seat. Since I have already concluded that the person has to be reputable, I have also decided that I at least have to agree with the party platform.  I believe I have found such an option.
So least it will be a valid vote for someone and against the other moron and I'd have a right to complain.

This just isn't right.