Tuesday, October 21, 2008

photos from my life

Here are some photos from my Thanksgiving weekend in North Dakota. There was family and cake and a wedding, oh my!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

working title?

My faithful readers will have noticed that things are changing around here. I am also tyring to come up with a new/better title for my blog.

Which is where you come in! Any suggestions?

Monday, September 15, 2008

a picture of a baby



Here she is! My adorable neice Helen Lynne. This was taken yesterday, when she was six days old. I love her.

My weekend was packed. Actually, the whole week was packed! First, of course, this little baby was born and we have had to go and gaze at her/hold her almost every night since then (M&K are SO gracious) and then (and this isn't nearly as awesome as a baby) Kylie and I were asked to make a cake for Grandma Klassen's 80th birthday party, which was yesterday. (Pics to come some other time.) (The above photo was taken at the party. No one has commerical carpeting like that in their home).

So it was full of cake making and baby holding. Which over all, are pretty good things to have in your life.

Monday, September 08, 2008

new beginnings indeed...

Last Friday I got a new brother-in-law.

Today I got a niece!

M&K gave birth to thier baby girl around 3:30 this afternoon!! I can't wait to meet her!!!

More soon!

(I know this news isn't particularily mine to share...but I am so excited!! I won't share her name yet, just in case some of you know M&K and want to hear it from them...)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Things to tell you before I leave

1) Tomorrow is the day! Since Friday at 8:30 am I have been waiting for Monday at noon. I can't wait to see my family! I'm really looking forward to having the week off and being in Toronto. It's only the event of the year.

2) On Thursday we went to our show that I blogged about months ago. Jack Johnson concert at the Thunderbird Stadium. Thunderbird is at UBC, which, according to Google maps is 73 km from our house. We arrived 1hr and 45 mins after we departed home. Yeah. It's also an outdoor venue, and of course it had been raining off and on all day. BUT! The sun broke out in the afternoon and it was great for the concert. We sat on a blanket on the grass, so our butts got wet, but then when Jack came on stage we stood for the rest of it anyway.
There were two opening bands - both really good, we enjoyed them. JJ finally came on around 8 and did about a 2 hr set. It was fantastic! We really had a good time and enjoyed it all, minus the two drunk people that were wrestling around in front of us and all of the pot in the air. But what else would you expect at a Jack Johnson concert? I mean, the guy is a pro surfer turned musician. We found out later that our friends Brandon and Cayley were also at the concert. We wished we would have known 'cause then we would've gone with them. Still a great time. We would for sure go again to a Jack Johnson concert, and also we would go to Thunderbird Stadium again.

3) On Friday night we had our friends Evan & Jen and Brandon & Cayley over for a wiener roast. This was when we discovered that they had also been at the concert. It was great to hang out with the four of them. Glad we did it before the rain takes over for the rest of the year.

4) Our apple tree fell over. We don't really know when this happened, but it did. It's in a low spot in our yard, so we think that basically the roots rotted and then they couldn't hold the tree up anymore. (We live next to a river, yo.) Dan chopped most of it apart yesterday, so we've now got to clean up those unripe apples and get the main stump/branches out of there. We were sad because we were actually going to eat those apples this year. (If they were good.) Ah well.

5) Also on Thursday night we bought a digital slr camera that we found on Craigslist. They guy lived at UBC, so the timing couldn't have been better. I, of couse, have wanted one for a while and have looked periodically on Craiglist for anything affordable. This one was. (And obviously not stolen, dad, fyi.) So we met up with the guy before we went into the show and everything worked great, looked good etc, so we bought it. It's been fun to play with, but we have a lot of learning ahead of us! (Or I do anyway). I don't want to be those people who have a fancy camera and never play with it or take it off automatic settings. Because why did I buy it if I don't play around right? So I am not trying to be a professional or anything, but we figure if we are going to travel (and we would like to do) and if we are going to have babies running around (which we would like to have one day) then this was probably a pretty good investment.
Also, thanks to Heidi who taught me that Canon is the way to go, and also for the helpful camera advice. She is a great photographer and really knows her stuff. (Check out her blog and photo site - links on sidebar!)

Well, I'm hungry now and should have some breaky before church. Have a great week everyone. The next time I post Hill and Mike will be married and my blog will likely be about their wedding and time in T.O.

Can't wait!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Summer Sampler

Well it's already August....here are some pictures from this summer, so far. Most are from this past weekend at Loon Lake with my parents, but there are some in there from a wedding we went to in May, random farm events, and the before and after pics from when I painted our bedroom.

On to the photos...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Julie, this is for you! (and for anyone else...)

As you may have already read....

Leah and I have started a new joint blog!

Presenting....

The Greatest Pleasures

Check it out and enjoy!

And if you have any recipes or book recommendations, pass them on to either of us and we'll be happy to post your suggestions!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy Brithday

One time Hillary made a banner for my birthday party that said "Happy Brithday Erica!" Nobody noticed the spelling mistake until a few weeks later when mom got some photos developed and sure enough, "brithday" in massive letters printed over two sheets of computer paper - the kind you had to tear apart and rip the edges off.

Anyway, Hill's birthday was yesterday, and mom's is tomorrow. Happy Brithday to you both!


Love, Erica

(Hillary took these photos with my camera after I accidentally forgot it in Lethbridge at Christmas - and yes, that is Value Village, and yes, mom is making coffee. We like to document the regular parts of our lives.)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Timeline: Zero through Five

1985: I am born in Killarney, Manitoba. My mom and dad had been tobogganing with my sister the previous day. No one expected a girl, and for the first couple days I was nameless, until my aunt realizes that if an “a” was added to Eric, the name my parents decided upon, it’s a name for a girl.

1986, age 1: We move to Lethbridge, Alberta, a month before my first birthday. I don’t remember the move. My dad is going to go to college. My parents move themselves and their babies into an apartment site unseen. We only live there for 3 months.

1987, age 2: My dad works in Blairmore for the summer, leaving Hillary, mom and me in Lethbridge to play and live in our one-above-ground-level apartment. We have friends there, and play hairdresser at least once a week. The game involves me sitting on an upturned laundry basket with a towel around my shoulders while Hillary sprays my hair with water and combs through it. We entertain ourselves for hours.

1988, age 3: Hillary starts kindergarten that fall, and me and mom bake cookies almost everyday. I pretend we are on a cooking show every time and mom plays right along. I always wear an orange and white polka dotted half apron, which comes out of the dress up box.

1989, age 4: I go to Wee College in a big white church just a few blocks from our house. It is there that I meet Jackie, my friend to this day. At Wee College we play games, learn Bible verses, sing songs and eat snacks. One spring day we have Rice Crispy squares that are in the shape of nests, and each one has three jelly beans in it, for eggs. Mine are purple, pink and yellow.

1990, age 5: I have my 5th birthday party in the house that my parents still live in today. We also have a housewarming party with the friends from church. There are about 10 kids close to our age in the neighborhood. I start kindergarten in the fall. I’m in the afternoon class, and this way I can still watch Mr. Dressup, Under the Umbrella Tree and Sesame Street in the mornings. Hillary and I stand on the front steps for a picture on the first day of school. We stand there every year after that on the first day of school, and on our graduations.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

us two


Just saying hi,
and because I know you've probably missed seeing our lovely faces....
new post coming soon.....

Sunday, June 08, 2008

to Dan

Suddenly, it's been a year.

One year ago today, I woke up at 7:30 AM, and the house was quiet. Mom & Dad had gone for breakfast with the relatives and Hillary, Mike and Lindsey were still asleep. I watched Breakfast Television because it was a Friday. Someone delivered a tray of baked goods - muffins, cinnamon buns, bagels. I couldn't get the tray open, even though I was hungry, so I had to wait for Hillary to get up so she could help me open it. I don't recall seeing Mike in our house that entire morning.

The cousins came over while Lindsey was doing my hair. It was a brief visit, but I am glad they were there. Then Heidi was over, and Jenn was taking photos and Lindsey was doing our makeup. We laughed a lot.

Then came the last moment of singlehood. You stood on the neighbors lawn and I snuck up behind you. This was it. No more goodbyes. No more driving for hours to see each other. No more sleeping in our own beds.
One family. One home. One bed.

Next thing I knew, we were married.

It's been a good year, although a difficult one. One full of changes. Finished school. Moved. Changed my name. Started a career. Hung out with you on a permanant basis.
We still drive a lot of kilometres. We still say goodnight. You still don't get over onto your side of the bed. You still always want to be in the same room with me. Just now you were kissing my face so I couldn't see what I was typing.

"Love is a marathon, when it's good, it's a long, open road."

We still have our whole lives ahead of us. You are a good husband Dan. And I love you. Probably more now, than I did 365 days ago.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fifty

Today my dad is 50. This is a brief look at his life in pictures...well, his life since he's has kids anyway.

Showing us stuff

Making me sit still

Playing with his babies

Working


Happy Birthday Daddy! I love you!

Eating candy

Thursday, May 15, 2008

inspired by leah...

...and because I am tired of seeing that previous post!

And if you came here only to read about the goings on of my life, well, you should just call me up and talk to me, really.

Several key things people don't know about you? I love to bake. I don't like chicken wings.

What are you allergic to? Chocolate. The sound of styrofoam squeaking together.

Where does your family originate from (if you can trace it)?Germany/Russia (I think???)

How many languages do you speak fluently, and what are they?English.

What did your last text message you received on your mobile say? "Cool"

What is your favorite ring on your phone? Tone 8

Do you experience "road rage"? Sometimes.

Where were you born? Killarney

Where did you grow up? Lethbridge.

Any secret admirers? None that I know of.

What is the last book you read? "The Room-Mating Season" by Rona Jaffe.

Do you know how to whistle? Yessiree

What do you buy at the movies?A ticket

Do you know how to play poker?No.

Do you wear your seatbelt?Always.

What do you wear to sleep? Capri pant pajama bottoms and a tank top.

Is your hair straight or curly?Curly and sometimes a pain in the ass.

Have you ever been in love? Yeees....

What is your favourite restaurant where you reside? Oh I don't know...Jim's Pizza is up there.

Do you Work Out, and if so, how often? Heck no. I admire those who do though. I want to be one of you.

What things make you roll your eyes? Dan. Just joking!!!

What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Juno!!

Do doctors or dentists scare you? Well, dentists don't anymore, but I really don't like doctors.

What do you usually have for breakfast?Toast with peanut butter.

What is your middle name?Faye.

What food do you dislike?Shrimp. Eggs.

What kind of car do you drive?Corolla.

Favorite item of clothing? Definitely jeans. I love jeans.

What color is your bathroom? Green.

Favorite brand of clothing? SmartSet. Jacob. Ricki's.

What was your most memorable birthday?19th. I was at Bible school and my friends kidnapped me and gave me a birthday scanvenger hunt. We collected more and more people at each stop. It was fun. I have some of it on video and it still makes me laugh when I see it.

Favorite saying? "PUnched!" I can't even think of how I would use that, but it's fun to say.

Are you a morning person or a night person? Mostly a night person, but I can do both.

What did you want to be when you were little? Ballerina, hair dresser, child care worker, teacher....

What are you today? Wife, daughter, sister (&in-law!), soon-to-be auntie, architectural tech.

What is your favorite candy? I like them all!!

What is your favorite flower? Daisies, tulips, daffodils, orchids.

What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to?
May 24 (wedding in Kelowna)
May 29-31 (to Lethbridge!)
June 8 (a whole year already!)
Aug 29 (Hill's wedding)
Sept 9 (hello baby Wall!) (NOT OURS)

What are you listening to right now? Dan mowing the lawn

What was the last thing you ate? Supper - sausage in a bun, bean salad, caesar salad.

If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Teal. Or red. Probably red.

What is your pet peeve? People who are late. People who don't answer the question you just asked them. People who wear knitted sweaters with sweatpants.

Last time you actually a letter, not an e-mail? A couple weeks ago. To Heidi.

Last person you spoke to on the phone? Dan. Or a client. I can't remember.

Favorite soft drink?Coke or 7-Up.

What was your favorite toy as a child? Barbies and the play kitchen are high on the list. Lego. We had this sweet Fisher Price mix master. Do we still have that mom?

Summer or Winter? Summer! And today it feels like it!

What is under your bed? Blankets and boxes I believe.

Who is the friend you've had longest? Probably Heidi or Jackie.

What did you do last night? Went out for wings with some people.

What are you afraid of? Asking stupid questions. Being unsure of myself.

How many keys on your key ring? Three.

Favorite day of the week? Thursday. Saturday is nice too. And Friday.

How many towns have you lived in? 5. Killarney. Lethbridge. Caronport. Calgary. Abbotsford.

Do you make friends easily? Not really, but I wish I did.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

forward and back

Many of the people that have wandered in and out of my life over the years have resurfaced with the advent of Facebook. I love that I can connect with someone I haven’t talked to in so long and find out what they are up to. What I love even more is that we are typically intelligent, well-informed, and more experienced individuals. People that I thought were ignorant or annoying or a snob or a loner or whatever label I put on them back in the day no longer fit into the category I had once filed them in. (I hope this is mainly because my perspective has changed, and because I no longer know everything) We have all changed over the years. And I think I would really like a lot of these people again now that we are all older.

One girl who worked in the concession with me in grade 9 (seriously, who was I to label anyone back then????) is currently in Lima, discovering Peru as a solo traveler.

The girl that was so awkward for years in elementary school went on to get a full ride volleyball scholarship and is now trying to get into med school.

The boy who always borrowed my #7 peacock blue pencil crayon in grade 4 is living in Germany and getting paid to play soccer.

A girl I always found too impassioned about everything throughout jr. high and high school has worked on a political campaign.

The shy girl I shared my first plane ride with in grade 11 is learning to be a pharmacist.

Others are graduating with their Masters. Getting married. Seeing the world. Starting companies. Having babies. Buying houses. Growing up.

I like it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

on vacation

I know I have said this a lot since being married/moving to nowhere, but blogging is hard without a high speed connection. And a high speed connection is hard to live without in these days of email and google and ipods.

Also, looking at a computer for 8 hours in my work day, and then blogging on a slow dinosaur computer at home is tiring. And so, along with me having waited close to 45 minutes to upload 5 pictures from our time in Mexico, I am not enjoying being a blogger lately. If I am one. I guess I am since I have a blog. And I realize I don't have to do this. It's not required of me. So don't be disappointed when I call it quits ok? I'm not yet...but maybe soon.

Anyway, here is a little taste of our holiday, which was wonderful. (visuals to follow...hopefully??)**

We left our house at 10 AM on the Friday, and got into our hotel room at 2AM Saturday morning. It was a very long day of travelling. A bit stressful too since neither Dan nor I really knew where Park & Fly or the Airport was. We made it though!
Once we were in Cancun the Transat Tours people told us to get in a bus and then we drove for about an hour to get to our resort. We had to stop along the way and drop off some other people too.

Me on vacation. Actually, I am at the lobby bar in this picture. No wonder why I look crazy. And it was windy and I had been in and out of a pool all day, so that accounts for the hair.


Our hotel was nice. The resort we stayed at has a lot of beach front, but our actual hotel was not on the beach. They have 3 hotels at one resort, it's kind of weird. There was lots of food and alcohol of course, and sun and water and old ladies who shouldn't wear bikini's but do anyway. Our days were usually spent by the pool reading books and cooling off in the water, then we would go have lunch, then go back to the pool, then go to the room because it was air conditioned and it was so hot there. Then we would go for supper and then walk about and look at stuff or just go back to our room. We went to the beach a couple times too!

We did get off the resort during the week. One day we went to a brand new tourist thing called "Rio Secreto" (Secret River). We went on the second day it was open. It was a fresh water river that was underground and it has stalagtites and stalagmights (I don't know, or care, how to spell those words). We wore helmets with headlamps and wetsuits and water shoes. It was a little scary going down there, but the water was refreshing and it was very neat. There was me and Dan and a lady and her daughter from Ottawa in our little tour group, and of course the guide. And then another dude who took pictures of us the whole time down in the cave and would suggest having group photos at various points, which none of our group cared about at all, but we did it anyway just to humour him. At the end they wanted to sell us a cd of images for $25. Thank you but I don't need pictures of me in a wetsuit, with a helmet on, in sweltering heat.

We also took a collectivo, which is a public bus, or a 15 passenger van, about 25 minutes south to Tulum, where there are some Mayan ruins. They were kind of neat, but the best part was that there was this stairway down the cliff to the most beautiful beach! It was all white sand and no rocks at all, unlike the beach at the resort. We went for a dip, because you have to when you have that opportunity! The beach part was really narrow, but it was packed anyway. It was more of a place you just refresh yourself in, not really a lie in the sun for 8 hours kind of beach.

By Thursday I was ready to come home, but now I am ready to go back. Work has been really busy this past week and today. And I just want people to stop phoning us asking when their drawings will be done, because really, we'll tell you when they are done. We don't want them any longer than necessary. The effects of relaxing and doing nothing all day were short lived. The stress has returned. For both Dan and myself. Ah well....it was fun while it lasted!

** I came in early to work on Tuesday to add some photos. However, with the exception of the above picture none of them seem to want to load. Some internal problem or something. This is turning into quite the episode....

**** You can see all our vacation photos here:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=48992&l=c2bd7&id=583170389

You're welcome.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Farmin' - Part 2

My wonderful father reminded me that there was something I had forgotten about in my last post. That, of course being the rest of the kajillion chickens.

Yes, this farm is also a chicken farm, meaning chickens that end up as supper are raised in great big barns for about 6 weeks and then the chicken catchers are called in (seriously, they are called chicken catchers) and they come with their chicken Zamboni and take them to be butchered. There are three broiler barns over at S&K's place. There is a main floor and an upstairs in each barn, and each floor has about 15,000 birds. If you do the math, it adds up to around 90,000 chickens. So you see there really ARE a kajillion chickens on this farm, not just the 12 or 13,000 I told you about before. You may think 90,000 birds is a lot, but think about how often people eat chicken. I bet you are having chicken tonight. We are. (It's Shake&Bake, And I helped!)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Farmin'

I know. Only 2 posts in March...I'm definitely not keeping up with the Joneses.

I have been reading a lot of blogs though. And enjoying them.

****
And now, without further adieu....

Welcome to our home. We live in the stix.



Our trailer. And our car. It's a Corolla! I wanted to show how close we live to the train tracks, but I couldn't get a good picture, because IT WAS SUNNY! The tracks are behind me in this shot. The addition on our trailer holds our laundry/storage room. The next window to the left is our bedroom, and the opposite end is the living room. It's nothing special, but we like it. For now.


The view (on good days) from our living room window. Actually, this was taken from a walking path between our road and the Fraser River, but we CAN see these mountains from our place if it's clear out.

And here is the view from our kitchen window when we have horrible wet snow. It's not like prairie snow. It's heavy and sticky, and it's usually only -2 out when it snows, which makes leaving Glen Valley (where we live) almost impossible. In the distance in this photo, although you can't really see them, is the hog barn and the layer barn (where the eggs are layed!!). Right now there are about 500 hogs in that barn, although as of May or something there won't be any! The farm got their last shipment of wiener pigs a couple weeks ago. Everyone is glad.


Back to sunny days...this is the Fraser River, looking North Eastish. (It flows to the left, toward the pacific.) Abbotsford is 57m above sea level, but we are lower than that ( I don't know by how much) and the river moves up and down with the tides. We can especially see it in the summer months. Sometimes we see seals in the river too.

Our house is about 1.5 km from the in-laws, which is where the dairy is, but there is also a barn at our address, and that is where the cows that aren't producing milk (dry cows) and heifers (cows that haven't had a calf) are kept.


Oh wait! This is my birthday cake that Kylie made for me, not a cow!



The calves live in the white plastic domes called hutches over near the dairy.


The milk that is fed to the calves is milk from cows that have recently given birth, or from cows that have recently been medicated. Colostrum and medication chemicals can't go into the milk tank.

"I want more!!" I actually like the calves, because they are still pretty cute. I have yet to see one being born...maybe in the summer I will try to see that. Sometimes if they are really hungry and know milk is coming and if they see you walking by the hutches, they will break out. In fact, one time Dan came home from a morning milking and said a calf was standing in the middle of the driveway when he got there. Like in front of his parents house. He just picked it up and put it in the back of the truck and drove it back to it's hutch.

Ok, Milking!
My favorite milker.
This is the milking parlour. Cows get milked twice a day, once at around 4:15AM and once at about 3:30PM. The guys are milking about 94 cows right now. There are an additional 40 or 50 dry cows. Ten cows can be milked at a time. They come in through a door on the left (not pictured) and then line up in two groups of 5. Their butts get backed against the wavy metal part and then Dan wipes off their udders, dips each teat in iodine and then puts on the milking unit. The milk goes into through those tanks, then is piped into the milk tank, which is behind me from where I was standing to take this photo. Dan can usually finish the milking and parlour cleanup in about 3 hours.


I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, "Erica, you've talked about hogs and calves and cows, but what about chickens? Aren't there chickens on the farm?" Well to you I say YES! There are chickens on the farm. There are about a kajillion of them....

(photo removed)


This is from inside the Layer barn. Chickens are startled by bright light, so you can imagine how funny me and Dan thought it was that they ALL would stop squaking when the flash went off. This picture doesn't really do justice to how many birds there actually are. There are two layer barns, and each barn houses about 12 or 13,000 birds. Yes, TWELVE OR THIRTEEN THOUSAND. It's pretty incredible to see actually. It's also fun to see the eggs being collected. If you ever come over, we will try to go see it.


There is an identical stack on the opposite wall. One side is from barn 1, the other from barn 2. Those pallets are about 5.5 to 6 ft tall. 30 eggs makes up one flat.

What farm tour would be complete without introducing the dogs? This is Angus, only one of the four that live on the farm. The other are Rosco, TinTin and Marlie. They've formed a pack.

Hope you enjoyed the farm tour '08!

Friday, March 14, 2008

in a nutshell

This morning I realized I STILL know all the words to Allstar by Smash Mouth. I don't even know how I know all of them, but I do. Guess who was playing it on their computer, loud enough for me to feel the bass over in my office...yep, you guessed right!! But really...Smash Mouth? Who has listened to that since the late 1990's?? Not that I'm any kind of authority on music....

In other news, here are two things that Dan and I are looking forward to:

We're going to Mexico!!! We leave April 4th and get to spend an entire week playing in the sun. Well, hopefully it's sunny. We didn't do any weather research, or rather, I haven't, but we're going to the Caribbean side so probably it'll be fine. We're staying here, and I think it'll be a great time! I hope we can go to the Mayan Ruins. I don't really know what those are, but it sounds exotic and educational and like it would be interesting and cool.

Also, we will go to our first "real" concert together in August. You have to understand, we've never lived in a big city together or gone to free shows or what have you in all our dating years. Dan saw an ad in the paper yesterday that said Jack Johnson was playing at UBC this summer, so today Dan bought tickets. We know, not a hard core show, but still should be a good time. It's so far away still..I'll probably forget to blog about it by then, so I thought I'd tell you now!

And here is something for you to look forward to: I'm planning on doing a blog post all about the farm, complete with pictures!! I know you can't wait. Calm down, it's coming soon to a computer near you.....

Monday, March 03, 2008

and then there were six...

Well, these two got engaged on Saturday! You can read the whole story here.
Congratulations! We can't wait for the big day!!
Love Dan & Erica

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

23: the purse-iversary?



Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes and cards etc! I had a pretty good day all in all, although a stat holiday would have really topped it off!
Dan had arranged for a little birthday party at the Wall's house with all the siblings and Grandma & Grandpa Klassen. We had ice cream cake and a cake Kylie made that looked like a cow! It was cool - I should try to get a picture of it from someone. Both cakes were yummy and I made off like a bandit...a bandit with two purses!

Mini Eggs, Lindt Chocolates, vitamin D, ice tea mix singles, an iTrip (not pictured), $100 cash (also not pictured) and two purses....yep, what more could a girl want?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentime's Day!


If you were over I would share this cake with you. It's a box of chocolates, but it's a cake! I think I outdid myself this time 'round!

Also, I just heard on the radio that the Vancouver Aquarium is getting a new beluga whale - a baby that is! One of the whales there is knocked up, so a baby beluga is coming in July or August. The radio announcers even started singing the song, just like you did now.

I had something else to mention also, but it's slipped my mind. So, until I remember, here is another picture to look at....

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Worst News Ever


I have just discovered some terrible news - Natural Ice Medicated lip stuff is discontinued! I have been using Natural Ice for quite a few years now and right now am on my last tube. I have been having trouble finding it in the last few months so today decided to check the website in hopes of discovering where I could buy such a fabulous product. Instead, I learn that Natural Ice Strawberry, Vanilla and Cherry are being sold at Bargain Shops everywhere. Nothing about my beloved green kind (obviously the best kind if they don't even have any to sell at Bargain Bin).
Yes, it is a sad sad day for me.....
If you see any green Natural Ice, please buy all you see and send it to me!

February

In grade 2, or maybe grade 1, maybe both, every week my class would sit in front of the poem board where Mrs. Bingham had about 4 or 5 poems written on big pieces of paper that were laminated. Some had drawings on them, too, if the poem was a short one, and some of the poems took up two big pieces of paper, because they were so long. The poems would change each month or so, when we started a new theme. There were dinosaur poems and poems about birds, poems on colours or cowboys or trees or whatever. We recited the poems as a class - twenty some 6 or 7 years olds following the words with a pointer stick that had a yellow tip on it. My favorite poem was always this one, from Chicken Soup With Rice by Maurice Sendak....

In February it will be my snowman’s anniversary,
With cake for him and soup for me!
Happy once, happy twice, happy chicken soup with rice.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

a trip to the library

Since I haven't been working for the past 2 months (I'm going back Monday!) I have had some time on my hands. I've come across some good books lately and thought I would share them here. Happy reading!

Title: Snowflower & The Secret Fan
Author: Lisa See
Genre: historical fiction
Summary: Snowflower and Lily are girls growing up in China, back when footbinding was the thing to do. They become “secret sisters” and their lives are forever intertwined. This book tells their story – their lives, their companionship, and most of all, their secrets.

Title: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
Author: Mark Haddon
Genre: fiction/comedy/humanity
Summary: Christopher is an autistic boy with an interesting perspective. Written completely from his point of view, this story is about his life as a 15 year old. A very fun and easy read, but also a story that stays with you and makes you think. It’s very real.

Title: White Oleander
Author: Janet Fitch
Genre: fiction/slightly disturbing
Summary: This story follows a girl through several foster homes in California. Her story is heart wrenching, dramatic and funny all at the same time.

Title: Cockeyed
Author: Ryan Knighton
Genre: memoir
Summary: Ryan grew up in Langley, BC. He started to go blind when he was 14. Although I have just started this book, it already makes the list. He is witty and has a very real perspective on his blindness, and how it won’t get him down.

Title: A Thousand Splendid Suns
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Genre: historical fiction
Summary: This is the story of Miriam and Lily. They are two women who’ve grown up in different parts of Afghanistan, in different social classes, and whose lives are fated together. Much of the story takes place around 2000 – 2004, and it’s mind boggling to think about what was actually happening just a few years ago in Afghanistan. A great read.

Title: Plain Truth
Author: Jodi Piccoult
Genre: fiction/mystery
Summary: What happens in an Amish community when one of the youth gets pregnant? Find out in this story, which brings an Amish girl’s repentance and the American justice system together in an unusual way. (I will warn you, I found this book a bit slow, and it had some annoying characters, but overall was a pretty good book.) Also, I discovered it was made into a movie in 2004. It was on tv just a few days ago. I didn't watch it.

Title: The Glass Castle
Author: Jeannette Walls
Genre: memoir
Summary: You will not believe this is a true story. It follows a nomadic family who seems like they have deliberately chosen to live in poverty. Jeannette is one of the middle children in a family of six, and her life is constantly a struggle – often they are without food, water or electricity, and even more often the children are the ones taking care of their alcoholic father and “artist” mother. Quite the read.

Title: When All You Have Is Hope
Author: Frank O’Dea
Genre: memoir
Summary: This story is about one of the co-founders of Second Cup. Curiously, before he came into his success, he was a homeless alcoholic in his 20’s living on the streets of Toronto. (Alright, I liked the first part of this book, which was about his growing up and his decline to homelessness, but the second half put me off, as it was entirely about how great he was. Still an interesting read, but be prepared for a bit of arrogance toward the end.)

Title: Adam’s Peak
Author: Heather Burt
Genre: fiction
Summary: This story is about two neighbor kids, Rudy and Claire, whose lives almost never intertwine, yet inexplicably do. Set half in Sri Lanka and half in Montreal, this book reveals the lives of some late 20-somethings and the never ending thought that they are going nowhere in life. Interesting read, though I just made it sound boring – but I can’t give it all away!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008

room for squares

“Squares,” her voice called from across the dimly lit room. Who did she think she was? This girl whose name I learned from someone else and had since forgotten only 2 hours previously. We didn’t actually meet one another. How dare she brand me with such authority. It felt like a flashback to grade 7, or 8 or 11 or 12 – years when I was desperately trying to be someone I was not – someone who fit in completely with the so called cool kids.

I am, for the most part, ok with me. As best a 22 year old knows how, I have come to terms with who I am. I know my opinions and my beliefs, and I know I don’t know everything. I am ok with not being the cool kid, because I like to think I’ve moved past that whole stage in life, and really, there are no cool kids anymore because we are all adults anyhow.

My dad once told me that the first time he drove me home from college (Briercrest) was when he realized he had had a surly teenage daughter. It’s true, I was like that in high school, but college, college was where I started to be myself and like it. I like that I changed. I grew, I learned, I made friends who were good for me. They loved me, prayed for me, wanted me around and missed me when I wasn’t there. It was good. In fact, it was great. Never before, or since (with the exception of my own family), have I had that community experience – that feeling of belonging, where your heart is light and you know whatever you do, or don’t do, won’t result in judgment – perhaps concern, but not judgment. Not from your friends anyway. Not from your community. I am wholly convinced that my two years at Briercrest shaped my life in ways I still haven’t discovered. The people I was united with shaped my life. (I did end up marrying one of them after all!) They were the people around me and who loved me when I really started becoming a human. Becoming myself.

After Briercrest, when I attended SAIT, things were different. I thought I could maybe find that community again, that sense of belonging, but it was a different school, and different people and a completely different atmosphere. I still loved it, but there were traces of what I dealt with and went through in high school, and I wasn’t interested in going back to that place. I still made some great friends and had some fantastic experiences, but it was painfully clear that my Briercrest experience was just that – a one time thing. Which is ok. I am thankful for it.

These reasons are why last night was so upsetting in a non-upsetting way.

One of Dan’s mates, Stacy, from Australia has been in Canada the last month or so getting her money’s worth from her seasons pass at Fernie. Yesterday she traveled to the Fraser Valley to catch up with Dan and Brandon, an obviously fun thing to do. A whole bunch of us went out for wings – Dan and myself, Stacy and Brandon and a bunch of Brandon’s house mates/friends. Mediocre pub food and people you sort of know always
makes for an alright Wednesday night.

Afterward, we all went back to Brandon’s house, and that is where my realization of things past happened. Someone (the aforementioned square girl) suggested a pipe be lit. Others agreed. I knew I was leaving soon, because I don’t condone (that’s for you Hill) any type of smoking or pipes or anything that looks like it could be drugs but isn’t. I don’t like it, and I don’t mind saying so. Plus, I am not into hanging out in basements sitting in a circle listening to Cat Stevens passing a hukka around. So Dan and I left.

I know everybody changes after college. People move on. You can still keep in touch but it will never be the same. It just amazes me how much people change and in what ways.

I am not exempt from it. I am different too. I’m married and am starting a career and I think about having kids and I live in BC and pay for car insurance. I clean on Saturdays and make meal plans and go grocery shopping regularly. Laundry and dishes are a recurring part of my life. And sometimes my idea of a good Friday night is going to look at new carpet for the living room

And I am ok with that.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

another attempt at starting to blog

Sorry for the looong hiatus. Again there has been nothing too thrilling to blog about. I know that the more I post the easier it will be to post.

Christmas was great. We stayed here for Christmas day spent with Dan's family, and then we drove through the woods and over the mountains to my mom and dad's for a little visit in between Chistmas and New Years. I love my family. It was fun to see them and it was great for Dan to be able to rest and not work for 5 days.

I didn't work at all in December, which was actually really enjoyable. I still have my job, it's just a slow time of year for residential projects. I am supposed to hear from my boss soon though...hopefully I can work again shortly, although really, who wants to work? I think it'll be a bit of a shock to the system when I do go back!

I have been typing up recipes lately from last year's Canadian Living magazines. I get into a "spring cleaning" mode around New Years - just feel like I have to get rid of stuff I don't use and organize what I do use, and it's a good way to use my non working days.

I just saw a bug outside the window. It's January 8th for goodness sake. BC is strange.

I'll try not to make it tooooo long until next time.