Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Morning and All is Well...

Meet George.


George is my 11-year-old Snowshoe Siamese Cat.  He is the most laid-back, mellow kitty you will ever see.  There are only 2 things that excite him:

1.  An empty food bowl.  This is cause for alarm and immediate action!  No matter the time he will hunt you down and behave erratically until you clue in that he has no food.  Now, George is a tad overweight...and don't say FAT because that will hurt his feelings!  So he wouldn't exactly starve to death were he to miss a meal or two.  In his eyes however an empty food bowl is a TRAGEDY.

2.  Other animals getting into trouble.  He loves it.  It's better than being brushed, eating or any other exciting thing in his life.  The second he hears a scuffle, a reprimand, or a scolding going on he IS THERE.  Usually he'll hop up on something and then flop down, casually peering over the edge so you think he was there all along.  He doesn't want you to know he just appeared in time for the show.  If he could smirk or smile he would.  He knows he is pretty much exempt from getting into trouble, based on age and longevity in our house alone.  Besides that, if you are so laid back, how do you ever get riled up enough to get into trouble anyway?


he has been a part of our lives since we moved to alberta 10 years ago and now for the last year back here in n.b.  imagine my horror to discover an enormous sore on his neck that seemingly came out of nowhere earlier this week!!

It first appeared as a smallish clump of fur and skin matter; perhaps a small injury occurring during a scrap with our other cat - who HAS CLAWS!!  In the space of 2 days however this spot grew to enormous proportions and then George did a horrible thing...


Oh, that felt like the kiss of death! Without a moment to lose, I rushed him to the Vet.  Thankfully it is a skin infection and it was caught before it became very serious.  This patch on him is termed "a hot spot" on a dog....however it doesn't normally spread as fast as it did on our kitty.  Any nick, big or tiny, can let bacteria in and depending on the animal and its immune system, the infection can be slow and mild or fast and scary, as with George.

A cleaning, some ointment and a run of antibiotics were the order of the day.  George took everything in stride and just kind of flopped on the table and let the Vet do her thing.


He is feeling so much better today and is much more like his regular self!  I am sparing you the grisly sight of such an ugly area on such a beautiful cat.  All of us (yes, including you rotten-good-for.....dogs) are relieved and happy to have our old boy back.

Here's to many more happy, relaxed and illness-free years buddy.


As if that weren't enough for one week my daughter gave herself quite a scare earlier this week.  As you know she belongs to the theatre technical crew at her high school.  On Monday (yes, EASTER Monday) the crew was out in full force, painting props and doing other tasks for the upcoming play on site at the school.

Kristen on cliff

My fearless daughter was at the top of a ladder...not exactly sure if she was painting or what... but she fell off.  At the precise same moment her teacher told her to come down as she was too high!! Nothing like perfect timing.  She fell about 6 or 7 feet.  Her toe got a bit smushed up so on Tuesday we went to our local outpatient ER to make sure it wasn't broken.  I snuck a peek at her xray... such cute toe bones!  All in one piece though, I am happy to report.  So, aside from some bruises and sore muscles (and toe) she is in good form. 

Tonight I join her at her school, for a fundraiser the tech crew is holding.  They are showing a movie in the school theatre, complete with popcorn and cotton candy!  For $5 you and your loved ones can enjoy a theatre experience of seeing "National Treasure:  Book of Secrets" and support a good cause.

Oh ~ me?  Heh heh heh.... I'm security.  Don't worry.  I make sure yer leetle ones behave.  Hands to themselves, no hanky-panky or loud noises allowed.  Loving daughter has requested we be assigned different areas of the theatre so we don't argue.  Gosh....argue?  We never do that!  One of the grade 12 teckies thought it might be even more fun than the movie to put her and I together and see what sparks fly..... seriously though, I have to behave.  She doesn't want me to embarrass her.  *sigh* No fun for this Mum. 

She does plan to take me on a tour, to expressly show me the evil ladder that booted her off.  A righteous dignity and an unforgivable offence in her mind.  And look ~ I thought the school was KIDDING when it sent home the health insurance coverage information when she first started this job!!

Ella and Kristen smiling 


Hey - don't go!  I'm not done ~ the week isn't finished I'm going to whine about the weather again since winter came back.  Not that it ever left....but it has been 7 weeks since that nasty, rotten, little groundhog saw its shadow.  Math could not have been its strong suit because it said 6 weeks more of winter...not 7...not 8, do you hear me you wretched little animal??


Granted we do not have this much snow anymore but we're getting the big, wet flakes!  The kind that sticks to everything and makes it seem so dull and grey out there.  Hey, give it a REST already!  We get it - this was a fallback to old winters and YES, we have suffered enough, thank you very much!  Now I want to see some of those buds and daffodils that are popping up on blogs from warmer places!


That is STILL not all folks!!  Son is sick again.  NO school on Monday, came home sick yesterday and is off today.  He still sleeps as I write this.  The flu has hit the area and the seniors homes have been locking their doors to visitors off and on for the past month or two, to keep the germs from spreading.  Whatever son has, as much as I love him....please keep it to yourself!  My week has been hard enough without adding anything more to it!

I am looking forward to what is hopefully, going to be a relaxing weekend.  Somehow in the past few weeks I did manage to read a couple of Jane Austen books, for you book lovers out there.  My favourite is still "Persuasion".  Has anyone else noticed that Jane's characters seem to be quiet types?  That they get pushed around and looked down upon?  A reflection on what type of women stayed single perhaps?  Although in Pride and Prejudice the main character isn't shy or retiring at all....never mind, ok, only some of her characters are the quiet types!  I have a few more to go before I look at all of them and decide which are my favourites and why.  What a shame Jane's life was cut short by illness.  Who knows what further works she could have produced with advancing wisdom and experience if she had lived longer?


Another Birthday snuck through!

Sam My nephew turned 14.  He is part of the "second pack" of grandkids, as I call them.  My daughter starts the second group, with her birthday on 26 Feb.  Then comes this cousin, followed by 2 more boy cousins, in June and July respectively.  Starting in the fall, 3 of this pack will be attending the same high school.  All I can knowing this lot..... the high school has NO CLUE about what is about to hit it!

Sam and Connor This birthday boy is quite a character.  He loves to joke and kid around.  You just never quite know what he is going to do or say next.

He is an active teen and enjoys playing hockey.  I had the privilege of watching him play a game and as any good auntie does... I got very vocal in cheering him on!

Sam and Kristen

Here is the birthday boy with my daughter - and George! - looking at her like she is CRAZY.

It is amazing how fast these people are growing!  I remember when these 2 first met when they were about 5 months old.  Two babies eyeballing each other curiously.  Nephew was a BIG baby - my SIL had HUGE babies, while I thought my daughter was huge at 9lb 4oz!!  As you can see, birthweight does NOT predict later size!. I know these 2 are checking to see who might be taller....depends on those genes, kids.  There are tall people on all sides of the families ~ it's all about how they got distributed!

Sam and Ben carving It can be a challenge catching my nephew long enough to get a picture of him!  He is always busy doing something. 

So happy belated birthday (it was last weekend) and we are happy to be around to watch you grow.  Even if you don't remember to call me "Aunt".  Or hassle me when I insist that you do!  It is an honour for me to be your Aunt, and I want the title so others recognize I'm related to a great person like you.  Although once you start high school next year, all bets are off.... you can advertise being related to your cousins but we'll have to rethink the auntie thing then.... your mischievous nature... propensity for stirring the pot here and there....ha ha, just kidding.... I think!

Many very happy returns of your birthday ~ Love your Uncle, Aunt and cousins


Monday, March 24, 2008

 Easter Greetings to You!

I hope the Easter Bunny found all the kiddies out there!  That rotten cute fluffy critter skipped past our house but that's okay.  We are all cry-babies anyway mature, responsible people who can handle disappointment well!

Hubby worked Friday and Monday; being in a 24/7 industry now....someone has to man the equipment.  In lieu of these 2 holidays he gets them as floaters; he can schedule them throughout the year.

Hubby started renovating the basement over the weekend.  The basement bathroom is being moved and updated.  It might have something to do with the second sewage backup in a month with that second freaky storm updating that place.  It is moving from its current location to another part of the basement and will be bigger and much nicer with no freakin' chance of another backup....

It is beautiful, sunny weather just perfect for gazing out of your windows.  Unfortunately it is cold, as in very cold.  I saw some Canadian Geese honking as they flew north ~ indicating the beginning of spring for us.  Ha!  Mother Nature fooled them too!  The forecast is for snow or rain later this week.  Wait...oh freakin' great... that'll be when the kids are back in school oh how wonderful... trapped inside on another rainy day!  No wonder I am losing it and  have spring fever...

Now back to reality.  It is 1pm and I have just a few things left to do today:

- wash breakfast dishes

- fold and put away that mountain pile of laundry

- drag something out for supper

- wash a stuffed bedtime bear before it walks away on its own

- finish a scrapbook I promised someone months ago....

- wash the floors

- wash off the cat drool, dog slobber and kiddy prints from the walls and windows ~ oh, and the floor too.

- entertain bored 15 year old son

- pick up dog poop in backyard

- exercise

- try not to hyperventilate when reviewing above list


Drink until i'm happy and forget the list!!  Ha ha ha...*burp* to relax now...hiccup....


Friday, March 21, 2008

Have You Ever Heard of Ogopogo???

Please tell me you have heard of Ogopogo - especially if you are Canadian!! I say this because my son has chosen Ogopogo as his project for the upcoming school social studies fair. He had to choose something Canadian and when he submitted his choice, his teachers and classmates looked at him blankly. They had NEVER HEARD OF HIM!!

So ~ Have YOU??!!
Here is Ogopogo as depicted at a park at Lake OkanaganOgopogo is a water creature who lives in Lake Okanogan. This lake is situated in British Columbia, Canada, by Vernon and Kelowna. The lake is 169 km long and almost 1,000 feet deep in some places. It was believed Ogopogo resided in an underwater cave at Peachland as most of the sightings take place around that area. Part of my childhood was spent in Vernon and I grew up with Ogopogo as part of my Canadian culture. It is my duty to let all other Canadians know about him!!

The Salish Native people first described Ogopogo over 100 years ago. They called it N'ha-apitk or "Devil of the Lake". They travelled the waters carefully and sacrificed animals in the hopes of keeping the water creature happy.

The first documentated sightings came from settlers in 1860. The first mass sighting happened in 1926 at Mission Beach. Approximately 30 cars full of people claim to have seen Ogopogo at the same time at the beach. People who have seen him say he is a greenish-like serpeant with a large head a several humps. Witnesses seeing Ogopogo swear by the sightings but others believe it is only a myth. Sometime in the first half of the 1900s he was renamed Ogopogo. I don`t know how that came about, so if someone out there knows, let me know!

I have seen bits and pieces on tv about Ogopogo (as well as the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland) and some believe he might be a prehistoric fish that got caught in the lake and somehow survived. Or perhaps an enormous Sturgeon fish. There are a few kind of blurry photos of Ogopogo and the argument continues as to whether these are real or fakes. Here is one such existing photo of Ogopogo...

Do you know Ogopogo?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ice Fishing Update

Today is the first official day of spring. Yahoo! Can someone please let Mother Nature know ~ as our area undergoes yet another winter storm, I fear she forgot...

In February I showed you the temporary fishing village that sets up yearly on the frozen Kennebecasis River. Saturday was the cut off for removing the fishing shacks as the ice on the river is supposedly soon to start breaking up. So, on Sunday I went back to see how the place was doing.

Here is a "before" photo, when the fishing party was in full swing:

This is what it looked like on Sunday:

Most of the shacks were gone and the rest were removed that day. In the centre of this photo you can see a couple of people on the More on that later. On the right side of the photo you can see some sheds in the process of being removed. Next I will show you those sheds actually coming off the ice.

These sheds are almost off the ice. The truck is about to drive through a depression in the ice, filled with water. I wondered if the weight would cause the ice to break up but it did not. Some shantys were dragged off the ice without anything beneath the structure ~ once on the concrete, they were pulled to the side until something with wheels could be shoved underneath the structure for the road home. Another structure was on skiis!! Once that one moved onto solid ground the harsh grating sound caused your eyes to water and your ears to cringe with the frightful noise.

Here another shed is coming off. This fellow had a bit of difficulty when his building tipped a bit going into that hole in the ice. When he tried to gun the engine the vehicle's wheels spun madly and the truck slid backwards towards the shed. I was hoping for some true excitement for your viewing pleasure but ~ alas ~ he got everything under control and drove off safely with his ice house. Sorry, no drama here!

Remember this photo our intrepid fisherman? I introduced you to Norman last month. He is a die-hard fan of ice fishing and is one of their champion fishermen. He assured me last month that he would be still out there on the ice when the village was removed. Let's go see if we can find him...

...wait a minute...LOOK! Look what I see in the distance!

...holy smokes, could it really be Norman??

It is! Hi Norman! Still sitting on his white pail and catching smelt! He and his buddy were pulling in a LOT of fish; in the few minutes I visited he caught these ~

They made eating these little suckers sound so good I almost convinced myself to try one someday. Note that I said ALMOST...

Now Norman worked hard to clean up his fishing area; earlier that day he had tried to burn his leftover wood and other stuff. Someone, he never said exactly whom it was, ran out horrified and said he couldn't burn anything on the ice: an environmental hazard apparently. By this time the fire had reduced his leftovers to ashes so no problem. He threw water on the fire and kicked some snow to douse it. So, think about that for a minute. He had some ashes left over. That might blow about, sink a bit.

What about this stuff?

I'm not referring to the chair. Look at the other garbage left out. Is that left to sink to the bottom when the ice breaks up? Who cleans that up? How is it anyone is allowed to leave their site with any garbage/wood/hay left behind?

Norman thought about dragging that chair over to his fishing hole, for something nice to sit on. Although it looked inviting, I couldn't help but wonder how many birds might have thought so too.

Thus ends the ice fishing season for this winter. This is what some Maritimers do for fun during our long, cold winters. Those who love this sport, swear by it and already look forward to getting back out there next winter. For the rest of the shivering folk, like me (your friendly tour guide), I'll keep to my camera and hot chocolate if you don't mind!

Monday, March 17, 2008

When Irish Eyes Are Smilin'

Yes, you might enjoy your Green Day with fanfare, green beer and Irish drinking songs.

But I have my own Irish eyes....

Which belong to a special fellow of mine....

My fifteen year old son (on his birthday)...

and you can't get more Irish than that!!

A Very Pink Party!

Someone turned five yesterday –

and we were invited to her party! She was definitely the princess of this party…check out the cutest throne a little girl dreams of! This nifty chair hid jewels in special places; there was a tiara, earrings, rings, a mirror AND a key for a special hideaway beneath the chair!

While the adoring masses feasted on chilli and stew in the royal kitchen,

the princess and her very special guest were served a delicious banquet in the party hall.

There, the two lovely ladies snacked on delicacies such as fruit AND whipping cream, jelly beans, little cakes

and their substantial meal of chilli.

Following the meal the royal cake was delivered by the Princess Mum

and who knew she had sliced strawberries hiding in that very yummy Kim Possible Cake?! The candles were blown out with much fanfare and then the par-tay continued in full swing.

NO party is complete without gifts and what treasures this princess received!

The princess and her special cousin danced away with the Enchanted Barbies while the

chain-gang crew removed packaging and twist ties from each freakin' teeny, tiny package…until even our fingernails bled the scissors became dull! Finally all was unwrapped, untied, uncut. Then everything had to be put together. Have you ever tried to build those cute little Barbie rooms? It was sheer hell delight! It was about then that the party wrapped up with out-of-town guests beating a hasty retreat retiring first. Why those no-good….oops…uh… let's see, what came next…

Oh yes, a few random shots of the Princess's adoring fans...

What fun to watch these two enjoy their special little party! It would have been perfect if the third little cousin was there, but that sweetheart lives in that far, far away land of Nova Scotia.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

So Much for Graceful!

Humorous Pictures
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Monday, March 10, 2008

Happy Birthday To My Son!

Today is son's birthday; he is 15 years old. Yes, that is 2 weeks after daughter turned 14! For 2 weeks they are the same age and neither like it much...they don't care to share much these days!

Fifteen years ago today my boy showed up early - almost a month early. Hubby and I had moved to British Columbia, Canada from Germany 3 weeks prior to this date and had only purchased a stroller for the baby. Fortunately I had received a nice baby gift from my workplace in Germany, and it included some baby clothes... we were not prepared for his arrival, AT ALL. I missed the signs of impending labour; that very nasty, low backache? Yeah. I missed that chapter in the baby book. My water broke with no warning and that was the beginning. He still wasn't in a hurry to show himself and 23-1/2 hours later I wondered if we would EVER meet. Less than half an hour after that he finally decided it was time to meet the world.

The first month he was quite ill and was hospitalized twice. From there he made progress and things went quite well until he was 1. At his checkup the doctor noticed he hadn't passed certain milestones. That was the beginning and the tip of the iceberg. Who knew then it would take 8 years of various hospitals, doctors and specialists before he was finally diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and an Anxiety disorder? Who knew the 8 years of wretched bullying and taunting he endured until Feb 14 of last year when I finally pulled him out of the regular school system in Alberta? Who knew how utterly heart-wrenching and difficult those years of violent tempers, explosions, migraines, and frustration would be? I'm glad I didn't know. Sometimes ignorance is bliss and when I look back at all the years.... how did we get through it all in remarkably decent shape?

What a journey we are on! It started by letting go of our dreams and hopes and accepting what is. We learned to push on long after we wanted to quit, to adapt our home and life to our situation. Our beliefs and values were stretched, snapped and re-aligned through the years. I learned tolerance, understanding and developed a sense of humour. Gifts from him to me.

No one outside of a special needs family can understand the terrible days or the difficult decisions and unpopular actions we took. Imagine spending years not knowing what the developmental issues are or how to help your child. Or being told there was nothing really that you can do but knowing the family unit is falling apart with the status quo.

Somehow, along the way, we found a formula that works for us on most days. Our lives changed from the mundane to the humungous. I dropped out of University when he struggled in school; I couldn't focus on my studies and help him at the same time. Those were the days when homework took 2-3 agonizing hours a night and the screaming and tears because he was completely overwhelmed. The sudden, violent tempers that erupted without warning or seeming reason. The days of his headaches and severe migraines. The many, many days when his peers were cruel and hurtful to him.

He has taught us so much along the way. I learned to push for more when faced with "no" and "nothing"...and discovered there is always something beyond "no". I learned that I'm tougher but more fragile too, than I thought. That even though something breaks my heart I put on a brave face and teach him how to accept what life throws at him. He taught me to take my time and to decide what are the most important issues and values in raising a child. We learned a lot about Asperger's along the way and discovered another side of life that the average family never sees.

I, for one, am a better person because of my son. As with any child, or teenager, he can drive me crazy sometimes! He is a kind-hearted, friendly person who cannot break the rules because of his neuro-development. He has a particular sense of the world that is endearing and funny to those who know him. He has a kind heart for babies, kids and animals. He is a gentle spirit, who spent many years enduring the horrible treatment by his peers, who has battled depression, anxiety and fear on a daily basis.

This year he had one of his best birthdays ever. He wanted a party this year because we were with family and for the first time in years, he knew people wanted to celebrate with him. He spent a long time deciding on the menu and type of meal we would have. He wondered daily what his relatives would get him although he knew it would come from his list he gave them. He really wanted a cheesecake for his birthday but insisted on another dessert/cake for everyone else because he knew they didn't like cheesecake. He wanted to be the centre of attention, for a good reason, for once in a very long while. He wouldn't let anyone sing Happy Birthday to him and he didn't want candles on his cake for that reason. In his world it doesn't make sense and so it was done his way. He loved his party. He also loved this evening; he and his cousin went to see a movie together. As an adult I wasn't permitted to sit with them, that would be embarrassing! I still had to be in the theatre though; he still needs that security blanket! He laughed with his cousin and they thoroughly enjoyed the movie, "Road Trip". When the evening was done he crawled into bed, tired from the time change and his long day....but happy for this great birthday this year.

So, in closing I'd like to take this opportunity to thank our extended family for showering him with love and attention this year and for making him feel special. It breaks a parent's heart when no one wants to be with your kid on his special day and we had quite a few of those in Alberta. Out there I'd pull him out of school for the day and he and I would cruise the West Edmonton Mall for the day, hanging out and shopping. He loved doing that too, but this year he got his "warm fuzzies" (feel good moments) from family and although he cannot express emotions very well or even appropriately, I know this meant everything to him. And that means everything to us, his parents. Thanks you guys, we love you all!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A VERY Funny Website has some very funny pictures to lighten up your day. This one was darned tootin' laugh out loud funny! The picture is a bit bigger than my column, so the first line reads "2 of us look stupid"...

Humorous Pictures
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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Spring Break is Here

The kids are off school for a week. I'm being run off my feet ~ so I will take a break from posting this week and should be back after 10 Mar 08.

See you in a few days!

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Geez, talk about egg on my face. You know that post below, the one where I talk about hubby's work? Well...hmmm...apparently that is the POWER plant and NOT the pulp mill.

Sooo...let's just say where he works is really close to that building....

and I'll just mosey along and find out where exactly he does work and get back to you... soon...

A Hilarious DVD to Rent!

It isn't often that a movie will have everyone in this family laughing themselves sick. "Death at a Funeral" is one of those gems.

This is a British movie...and if you object to foul language then pass up on this one. Otherwise, this is a devilishly fun movie! It exemplifies why I love British movies so much and find them hysterically funny.

Let me know what YOU think of it!