Wednesday, September 26, 2012

it was a good month

September is one of my favourite months. Em goes back to school, we get into a fall routine, I start making more soups and curries, and all the new boots hit the stores. Also, some of my favourite memories of Bill took place in September, during a three day stay at my house in the beginning of our long distance relationship. You know, any time I get annoyed by those little things he does, I just have to remember how torturous it was to be apart! I appreciate every day that we have to love and laugh. Beth has been here for a month now, and she's adjusting well, considering our families are as different as night and day. She says she's never lived in a house with so much laughter; she finds it fascinating to watch the family dynamic and she completely fits in. Both kids got jobs, at the same mall and just down the hall from one another, and I know that Beth is both thrilled and really nervous, as this is her first time working and the first time she's ever counted on a city bus to get around! The other big news is that Jamie met my birth mother - and I have to say, the day I got that call, I just sat down in the living room and started shaking. It seemed like I would never have that day - to see what she looked like, to see where I get some of my traits. Bill and I were cleaning the kitchen with The Irish Descendents blasting away "Catch the Wind" when I got the text. Jamie: OMG. I just met Penny. She jumped out of her wheelchair and hugged me... Me: OMG! Get a pic! Jamie: I will Jamie: The pictures won't really show it, but HOLY SHIT you look JUST like her. Same eyes, nose, lips. Face shape and skin colour Me: holy shit Jamie: If you had lived really hard, and chopped off your hair, you'd be TWINS. It's freaking me out... I didn't speak to her, but from what Jamie says, she's clean and she's living in a halfway house in Vancouver. She's helping other women get off the street, but she is still not in contact with the rest of the family. If Jamie hadn't have gone out to visit my birth sister, I probably still wouldn't know what she looks like. It was a surreal moment, but a good one. One last thing - How can I separate the paragraphs in my posts? All the text is just jammed together!

Friday, August 24, 2012

checking in

Bill and I recently went camping in the Rocky Mountains and spent the day at Crescent Falls, near Abraham Lake. I love this area! How was your summer? It's been interesting here. In early July I was laid off due to shortage of work, but was grateful that I didn't have too much of an interruption of unemployment benefits! I've also been grateful for the time off so that we could help Jamie move (80 miles to the south) I could learn how to grow vegetables (corn, peas, peppers and onions) and I can get the house ready for Bethany. Beth is Bill's oldest daughter, she's eighteen. He'd been estranged from her for fourteen years, but last fall she searched for & found him. Over the last few months we've been developing a relationship with her, and in a few days she'll be moving in! The timing for this is great! Jamie's moving has opened up the basement, which has a large bedroom, laundry room, living space and bathroom. Emily (who is 15 now) will be moving downstairs and sharing a room with Beth. Although Beth graduated from high school this past June, she'll be attending Em's high school to upgrade her classes before heading off to college. She may only live with us for six or seven months, but we think it'll be a good opportunity for us all to bond. Bill should be home soon, so I'm off to see who is still blogging. Happy Friday!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hey! It's almost Spring in Alberta

I think I could start posting again! And reading again - haven't done that for awhile...after being laid off last year, I just kind of went into hiding.
Thank goodness most of you are on my facebook account, or else I'd be in total withdrawal.
Have a good weekend!

Friday, September 23, 2011


I have come to love Portulaca Grandiflora, or Moss Rose.

It's planted all over the front yard but absolutely thrives in hot, dry, sunny locations! This patch is at the end of my walkway, amongst the sedum, allium and Black Velvet petunias.

There's a small chance it'll survive our Zone 3 winter, but only if it gets sufficient cover.


Hens & Chicks, planted in the front yard

Years ago, while Bill was fighting Tina for custody of Emily, he experienced another loss. His ex-wife Susan was struggling with Tina's erratic behaviour. Susan had married Bill a few years earlier, when Bill's plans included a career with the RCMP, and together they'd had a daughter named Betheny. The death of Susan's father, her mother's quick rebound within weeks of his death, and Bill's resignation from the force broke apart the marriage.

Three years later Bill found himself in a custody battle for Em, and Tina began calling Susan. Most of the calls involved accusations against Bill and made the other family very, very uncomfortable.

"She won't leave us alone," Susan explained. "My fiance is in the RCMP and he's a good man. He wants to raise Betheny as his own. She doesn't have to grow up around that, Bill."

When Betheny was four, Bill signed away his parental rights.

Just a few weeks ago, they made contact. Susan has agreed to bring Betheny, 17, to a coffee house to see Bill.

Thirteen years! Bill is so happy and excited to see how she's grown up. We knew this day would come...and we hope things go well when he meets her this month.

Friday, September 9, 2011

alberta reynolds museum

Jamie, Bill and I drove north to Wetaskiwin in June to see Sensei Marr, shop at Liquidation World, and visit the Reynolds Museum, which has both vintage cars and aircraft.
This was one of my favourite cars, because it takes such interesting photos.
I'm so accustomed to plastic/vinyl sterring wheels that I found this one to be stunning! Also, some of the cars felt as though they still carried energy from their previous drivers.

If you're ever near Wetaskiwin, it's worth the trip to see the hundreds of reconditioned cars, trucks and farm equipment.

I've had a camera since last January but to be honest, I wasn't interested in using it. It's not just that I was busy with work, but has more to do with my husband. Bill is the most wonderful man I know, and over the last few years he's gotten better in every single department except one: he has a problem with certain boundaries.

For example, when he gave me the camera, I really wanted it to be mine. I gathered up all the camera related stuff (the disc, the instruction manual, the cords) and put them in the desk where I'd be able to locate it when I had a moment to look it over and figure out how to use it. The next few weeks were busy with work and kids and snowstorms and before I knew it, the camera had been taken out. The manual was lost, as was the disc.

Six months later, I was able to round it all up and start again. I do resent when Bill or the kids just automatically assume that what's mine is theirs - whether it's my laptop, my phone, my camera, or my other gifts. Last Christmas the kids gave me an indoor herb garden and within a few weeks Bill had taken it out, planted it and set it on the window sill. Is it petty that I never even looked at them? They died a few months later.

Obviously, I'm going to have to bring this up again before Christmas, lol.

Happy Friday!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

house leeks

I really enjoy growing Hens & Chicks. There's something about the way they send out these little babies, easily removed and replanted somewhere else, that makes them so much fun. Three of the ones I removed last year sent up blooms.

Others, like the ones shown here, just cluster a littler tighter. I think I have twenty or so right now and it'll be interesting to see how they fair over the winter. We drop down to -35°C and it always surprises me to see what comes back and what doesn't.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

the kids

Yay! My old JS friend helped me figure out how to post using IE9. Here's a pic of my oldest daughter Jamie (L) another friend, and Emily, on the right, at a wedding a few weeks ago.

long time, no see

flowers by the front porch

The flowers in the pic are Malva, which I started from seed in May. To be honest, I had no idea how tall they'd be! I have tried keeping up with heights, widths, sun exposure needs and watering needs, but there is a LOT to remember!

These sprung from three or four seedlings that were about an inch tall when I planted them June 25th. Currently they stand about 27" or 28" and are covered with thousands of little pinkish blooms that draw bees by the dozens. Thankfuly no problems with the bees, lol.