Saturday, December 18, 2010

Yes, I'm still here!

I've been busy doing all the usual Christmas preparations, and I think I just might be ready in time.  Christmas is in January this year, right?

Just kidding.  There's no way on earth I will be ready this year.  But, I figure whatever doesn't get done isn't really needed.  I learned a long time ago that the key to reducing stress is to lower one's standards.  It has worked wonders here.   We will have a smallish gathering here Christmas day, and I have the turkey and the wine and some baking done, so really, what else do we need? 

I have big plans to blog again in the near future to report on our trip to Chile, but you know me and my low standards - don't hold your breath!  After all, I have hockey games to attend!

If I don't see you during the holidays, Merry Christmas!  If you're in the area, we would love to have you drop in for a visit!

Thanks for checking in!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Quick update before I fly!

This time tomorrow my mom and I will be on our way to Santiago, Chile, to visit my dear sister.  Hopefully I will have everything ready - you know I have lots to do when I start blogging again!

We're deep into hockey season.  Derek's team is tearing it up again this year.  They lost the A final to an Edmonton team in a Saskatoon tourney this weekend, but they've been playing very well.  Derek gave us a scare last weekend when he tripped over another player and fell backwards on the ice and slid head-first into the boards.  He was treated to a spinal board and the best EMT attention one could imagine, a trip to Saskatoon in an ambulance, a CT scan, an overnight stay in RUH emergency, and then an MRI.   And now we know that he doesn't have any damage to his spinal cord or backbone, and he may have had a concussion.  So he's taking a little break.  His back is pretty sore, but he's eager to get back at it.  He went with his team to Saskatoon, and will try skating this week and see how that goes.  I know some people think we're nuts letting him play again, but this is a kid who could sustain the same injury walking down the street and tripping on something.  I just know he's not going to sit and do nothing for the rest of his life (which really isn't very good for you, either, is it???) so we'll protect him as best we can and pray.  I think that's all you really can do!

The Midgets are back on the ice, and sitting at 2 and 0.  They don't have as strong a team as last year, but they're still coming out on top.

Football is over, but one of the other football moms has been taking pictures at all the games, and even took some individual and team photos.  And she got Stephen to smile!!!  They sure are nice keepsakes for Stephen and his buddies who are done this year!  Most of them make me cry, though.

I got to have a nice visit with my cousin and his wife the other day when I went to pick up Adam's grad pictures.  I don't get to see them very often,  because they live, like, three miles away.  Anyway, Tracy is an awesome photographer, and I'm so happy with how the pictures turned out!  Finally, a family photo I can send out!

 This one might be my favorite!

 These two trouble-makers have been buddies since day one!   Another tear-jerker photo!

Adam is still living in town and working for a guy who does drywalling and painting and that sort of thing.  He's struggling to keep all his bills paid and such, and I am stuggling to button my lip, because "I told you so" is such an appropriate phrase right now!

So that's about it.  I am packing and tying up loose ends and cooking and washing clothes and paying bills and all that kind of thing.  Two weeks is a long time for poor Clem to pinch hit, but I'm sure he'll manage!  I will try to blog from Chile, as I believe they have internet there!!  I sure hope so, because I will need to get the hockey scores!  Oh, and Go, Riders, Go!

Thanks for continuing to check in!  Adios!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Well, Central Butte remains undefeated.  The Rebels fell 70 - 64.  Not a great way to end one's high school football, but that's the way it is, I suppose.  (I am showing considerable restraint here, people - I'll leave it to the other parents to tell the details of the game!)  Apparently the loss wasn't enough to dampen Stephen's Halloween spirits, as he was out late last night and I heard tales of certain shenanigans.  I truly hope that's all it was!

Derek's team handily won their two games at the tournament yesterday.  They should have a good team again this year.  They are off to Kindersley this morning for their first league game.

I misspoke about the Midget team in my last post.  Politics and parents ARE getting in the way of kids having fun.  From what I can tell, it's a case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease.  After getting permission from SHA, having a vote by the team and a vote by the minor hockey board, SHA ruled against our plan on how to manage 38 kids with no real explanation except that they received some phone calls.  Funny how that happens sometimes.    Oh well, there is still a team for Stephen here, and he could also go play Junior B if he wants.  Stay tuned for more details!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 29, 2010

I've got the giggles.  I just watched my favorite middle child leave for school.  He walked out the door, across the yard, and got into his '75 Cadillac Coupe de Ville.  I mean, really, how many mothers can say that?  He didn't leave right away, though.  The car door opened again, and pretty soon I saw a big red hockey bag land with a thump on the ground.  I'm guessing the smell in that car was NOT nice.  Actually, now that I think about it, I don't have to guess at all, having had said bag in my van overnight too often at tournaments and such.   Too funny.

He's off to Central Butte tomorrow for the football Provincial quarter-finals.   In a small twist, the coach of Central Butte's undefeated team is a native of God's Country (lucky man!)  Should be an interesting afternoon, and I hope someone sends me up-date texts, as I have to work in the morning and go to Derek's hockey tournament here in town.  Derek's pretty pumped about being chosen assistant captain for the team. I'm not sure why, since it seems every second-year player is an assistant. But whatever.  He's happy, and that's all that matters to me!

The Midgets are up and running after a somewhat shaky start.  Suffice it to say politics and parents almost got in the way of kids having fun again.  Not sure why this has to happen every year.  I guess it's like Clem says - there's always politics when more than one person is involved!

We had exceptional potato and carrot crops this year, and they are finally safely in from the garden.  The carrots are sweet, sweet, sweet.  And huge!  I'm sure I left half of them out there because they split with all the moisture or were cut off by Clem's magic digging "claw.  It works way better for potatoes.  And we are still eating tomatoes from the garden.  I canned and froze lots of them, but we sure do enjoy the fresh ones.  I am dreading the day I have to buy those cardboard ones from the store again!

I stopped to see my aunt yesterday, the one who had the MS "liberation therapy" in Bulgaria.  They surprised everyone and came home early.  She is doing great - walking without a cane, getting up out of her chair way better, and she just looks like she has more energy, even with the jet lag.  I'm so happy for her - what a wonderful outcome!  I tried my best to steal some of the video of her walking that was on Facebook and put it here, but I couldn't figure out how to do that!  In fact, I can't seem to put any video on this blog.  Velvis, I may need a tutorial!

So no video, but here are some pictures (I know, you're shocked!)  The first is Derek (big guy in black in middle of photo) picking on one of the little guys!

The rest are the last pictures I will probably take of Stephen playing football.  Rather sad, as he really loves the game.  Here he literally launched big #3.  I wish I had the shot of the poor guy on his butt about a second later! 

Not quite fast enough here, although they didn't score, if I remember correctly. 

Love this shot - Stephen and Mike with their fancy moves, blocking a kick. 

This poor little receiver (quarterback?) must have flown about six feet in the air.  Stephen grabbed him and swung him out of bounds.  Then I think he landed right on him.  Nice guy! 

My boy!

So that's about it for now.  I'm frantically trying to get everything caught up and delegated before heading south in three weeks.  Clem is cleaning up machinery and putting it away for the winter.  We've had a couple of trucks come already for grain, which is nice as we need the CASH!  These once-a-year paycheques are for the birds!

Thanks for checking in!

PS to Anonymous:  I don't think I said anything negative about anyone here, so you won't have to anonymously text anyone to have a look!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

We're DONE!!!!

Harvest is over for another year.  And what a long, long, drawn-out affair it was.  What with rain, frost, break-downs, and cool weather,  I wasn't sure we'd ever finish.  But we did.  Yesterday afternoon, with my wonderful sister-in-law and super-sweet niece here as witnesses.  And it was a gorgeous fall day.  Close to perfect, in fact.  After we returned from the rummage sale, where Copper found a beautiful dancing dress (it's really a flouncy slip kind of thing, but we didn't let on) and a snowball (styrofoam craft ball) and impressed the ladies there with her math skills, Stephen gave our visitors a ride on the combine.  

Copper didn't look too thrilled to start with (apparently she's seen the evil combine chase in the movie "Cars"!)  but she came around after cousin Stephen gave them a midway-worthy ride around the field.  

Here's Clem with his slightly over-loaded truck (she said with her tongue in her cheek):

and a very non-chalant Derek who got to follow in the Ford.

My brother, Mark, joined us for a celebration supper.  It was a great evening of visiting and enjoying having a little one around again.   Good times.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from harvest 2010...


I really must commend Clem for his excellent attitude again this fall.  He never really gets too excited or worked-up, no matter what happens (well, there was that one day when I phoned him at a not-very-good time, but we'll let that one go),  and I love him for it.  As he says, we can't do anything about the weather, so why get angry.  What a guy!

Football is winding up.  Derek plays his last two games this afternoon.  I think he will miss it, as he had so much fun.  But hockey officially starts on Tuesday, so he won't have much time to mourn. 

The Rebels lost to Plenty again.  They stayed neck-in-neck for the first part, but, I'm told by at least five dads, they were out-coached in the fourth quarter.  I didn't go, so no pictures.  Oh well, it's just a game.  Maybe I should tell that to Stephen's knee, which is twice as big as it should be.   May be going back for physio!

The Midgets are going through some organizational issues right now, but I'm sure everything will get worked out, as it does every year.  It's Stephen's last Midget year, and I hope they do well and have as much fun as the last two years!

My aunt leaves today for Sophia, Bulgaria, to hopefully have the "liberation treatment" for MS.  We're praying for you, Auntie!  What an adventure!

Now that harvest is over, I am starting to mentally pack my suitcase for our trip to Chile.  One month!!

Better run.  My chauffeur hat is calling...

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oh ya, it's Thanksgiving weekend!

Our weekend went something like this:  hockey, drive to Unity for new phone, learn that the Rebels beat Eatonia, learn that the Flames lost to the Oilers (ughh) and miss Eberle's goal, send Derek to hockey, work at library, go to Kindersley to watch Derek's hockey, Junior hockey game in town, church, more hockey, watch the Riders lose to Toronto IN REGINA (double ughh), drive to Kindersley to watch Derek's hockey, get Derek a ride to Unity for football, then drive to Kindersley to watch Derek's hockey.  Whew!  Derek's team won the 3-on-3 tournament again, which, again, means nothing except that they got to skate lots and have some fun.  And burgers.  Don't forget the burgers!

We had leftover turkey from the fall supper all week, so I finished it off in a casserole for our Thanksgiving supper last night.  It doesn't seem to matter what else we have for a meal when we have all these garden-fresh veggies around, especially the tomatoes.  We eat four or five good-size tomatoes each night at supper, and Clem often has tomato sandwiches for breakfast or lunch.  So I don't have many left to can!  And my wonderful aunt made us some salsa from some of the bounty, and it is very, very good.  Stephen ate a whole jar by himself in less than an hour after we got it home.  Oh well, I guess it's a nutritious snack.
We are still waiting to combine the wheat.  We have 400 acres left (not 200, as I have mistakenly been telling everyone for the last week!!), which should take two good days when they can get going.  It's still testing tough, and these short days are not great for drying it down.  But the forecast looks good, so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

There have been lots of hunters around, since there are loads of ducks and geese around.  The other day some Montana hunters stopped in, and today a couple of guys from Virginia asked to hunt on our land.  I am continually amazed that men will travel such a distance to shoot a gun.  It is definitely a guy thing.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend, wherever you are.  And I hope that you all gave thanks for the wonderful family and friends you have in your life.  I know I did!

Thanks for checking in!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The milestone week

Today is our anniversary.  Twenty-one years ago, on a day very much like today - sunny and warm (but the harvest was finished!) - we were married in God's country.  An evening candlelight ceremony, with many, many friends and family in attendance.  Then a little drive to K-town for the big reception.  It was a great, long, exhausting day,  and I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.  We were young and foolish!  And slim, I might add.
(But we were dressed better than those two young ushers!  Cute suspenders!)

And now we're old and foolish.  And not slim.  

It's also my mom's birthday.  Wasn't it so nice of us to make her host a wedding on her birthday?  What was I thinking????  But she handled it very well, I must say.  

Wasn't she a cutie?  (They're all cute, but she's the one in the middle.) 

These are my favorite pictures of Mom.  She's still a cutie!   Happy Birthday, Mom!

It was my dear husband's birthday yesterday.  I sneakily planned the wedding date so that he would never forget our anniversary, since it is the day after his birthday.  Apparently the hint was too subtle, and it's taken about twenty years for the lightbulb to go on!!  Either that or I should highly recommend all husbands have a Blackberry.  Now I'm the one forgetting (remember the slowcooker?) and feeling like an idiot when he presents me with a gift!   (I'm getting my own Blackberry.)  He's such a sweetheart!

Clem shares a birthday with my mom's oldest sister, who is twenty years and a day older.  Isn't that amazing?  And she's one amazing gal, too.  We had such a nice visit on the phone last night - I love her to pieces.  

So that's our busy week in a nutshell.  Throw in a bit of football, hockey, harvesting, grad meetings, and optometrist appointments, and there you have it - - - life!  Isn't it grand?

Thanks for stopping in!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

I've been naughty

Yes, folks, I know it's hard to believe, but I have not been the good girl that you all know and love.  "Anonymous" left me a couple of comments on one of my previous posts (don't go looking - I've deleted them!), and I...well, know....sort of....replied.  There. I admit it.  I replied.  I let some un-named person get under my skin and I retorted.  I had some really good rebuttals - kind of wish I would have left them for a while - but in the end they sounded a bit childish.  And as I grow older, I have realized, usually through experience, that kind of thing will come back and bite you on the butt.  Hard.  And so, while I stooped low for a bit and wrote a few snarky comments (I'm telling you, they were go-oo-ood!), I caught myself and took the higher ground.  

It's not that I don't enjoy a spirited discussion of the issues at hand.  I can certainly hold my own.  And I'm sure you have all realized by now that I don't really pull any punches.  But this certain someone refused to sign his/her comments, and I've decided that "anonymous" comments will forevermore go unacknowledged on this blog. 

So there you go.  Fair warning! 

Thanks for stopping by, though!

PS:  Barley is done, wheat and flax are still tough.  A few more days left!

PPS:  I had a great debate coach, Anonymous!

Monday, October 04, 2010

A star is born

Clem's grown-up nephew is an actor living in Toronto. (I might have mentioned on here before that he is the Trident Splash speedo guy.)  We just finished watching the premiere of his brand-new CBC sitcom, Men With Brooms, and we are impressed.  We thought he was great (obviously), and the show is good, too.  But mostly what I kept thinking as I sat watching this handsome, funny young man who is related to my husband, is how amazingly humble and unassuming he is.  All we knew about this show, until a couple of weeks ago, was that he was in Winnipeg this summer shooting a series.  I mean, if that was me (fat chance), I would have been shouting it from the rooftops!  Which could probably be the premise for another CBC sitcom, come to think of it.   I did shout about Brendan's show, on Facebook, anyway.  I even went back into the optometrist's office today to tell the workers there to watch the show tonight.  And not only is he in a new sitcom, he's the main character.  But one would never know it to talk to Brendan.  Check out this interview in the Toronto Star (yes, the Star) and you'll see what I mean.  And check out Men With Brooms, Monday nights on CBC!

Way to go, Brendan!  We're very proud!  And so are Bud and Marj - I just know it!

Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall colours


This crew won the Kerrobert 2010 Pee Wee 3-on-3 tournament last week.  Which means... well, nothing.  Zip.  Nada.  But they had lots of fun, and got to skate lots, which is a great way to get back in the swing of hockey things.  Can you tell which one is Derek?  (Hint - look up.  Look waaay up.)  One of the dads said we were a shoe-in, since we had a Bantam goalie and a Midget defenceman.  Clem took the annual height measurement of the boys yesterday, and Derek is now 5'9".  He's 12.  As he put it, he's a year taller than his brothers.  I'm pretty sure he's at least a year heavier, too, but he doesn't want to go there.

Thanks for the photo, Tracey!   And thanks for checking in!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another family gathering

We had another excuse to get together and eat visit the other day when Mom's cousin came to town.  Debbie lives in Ontario, and Mom and I and Derek stayed with her when we went to visit Mom's Uncle Joe, who is Debbie's dad.

Here are the cousins, with a couple of outlaws thrown in:

Debbie is a good story-teller!

My aunts enjoyed the stories!

 Andrew wasn't having quite as much fun as the rest of us!

 We took a drive out to Broadacres to see their Grandma and Grandpa's graves.

 Then we stopped at Jim's to see the old grave marker, which is the traditional iron cross that the Germans from Russia always used.  

It was a very enjoyable day, with lots of laughter and sharing and hugs.  Afterwards, Derek and I headed to the rink for the continuation of the 3-on-3 tournament.  He played very well, as did his teammates, and they ended up winning the whole thing.  It sure is a good way to get back into skating, and the kids had a ball.  

Just when I drove into town, I saw the following sight - a bunch of Grade 12 kids in the back of a half-ton with the Grade 10 students pushing them down the street.  You guessed it - Initiation day!

And, so as not to leave you with that disturbing image, I'll show you a sample of all the geese we have around again this year.  The whole field was white when I stopped, but they started flying off before I could get my camera.  But you get the idea.

So that's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by!