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!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The big question

A friend of mine died yesterday.  We had sort of gone our separate ways the last couple of years, but certainly remained friends.  We were the same age.  We both married older guys.  We had music in common - we were both involved with the music festival and the local annual Christmas concert, and were both accompanists at our respective places of worship.  Her middle child is the same age as Derek.  She taught both Derek and Stephen playschool, and also taught Adam and Stephen highschool English.  Just a whole lot of connections. 

She was diagnosed with MS a few years ago, and cancer about two years ago.  She has bravely struggled through pain and illness and treatments and uncertainty.  They were very private about the details, mostly to protect their children from worry and small-town speculation, I think.  That was hard for many of us to accept, as we wanted to help and support them and be involved.  But that was the path they chose, and we respected that.  So although we knew the prognosis was not good, the news of her death still came as somewhat of a shock.  I felt like a zombie yesterday, going through the motions but not really "there".  Helpless and empty are two words that come to mind.  Even Derek was quieter than usual, saying only that he can't imagine what they are going through.  Then Stephen said that his class was re-thinking the Grade 10 initiation planned for Saturday so that they could attend the funeral.   That's when the tears started.  Mine, I mean.  I've always had a fairly strong faith, but it's hard to see a "grand design" when three children are going to grow up without their mother's physical presence.  When a husband will grieve the relationship he had and now face a lonely future.  When a father, who lost his wife at a young age, will now bury his only daughter.  When a community will suffer a permanent void.  One really just wonders why. 

Oh, I know she is in a better place.  I truly believe that.  But I'm sad.  Rest in peace, my friend.  I will miss you.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I turned on the slowcooker today.  And I plugged it in, too.   There will be supper at the Schraefel farm tonight.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Oh great, we have another football player in the family!

Derek joined a junior football program in a town north of here.  It's only twice a week for six weeks, and he is having a ball.  He LOVES it.  "I love it more than hockey" were his exact words,  cutting me to the heart.  Football over hockey??  Must be a guy thing.
Today they played their first games.  It's a non-competitive program, but that doesn't seem to matter much to him.  He's just happy trying to make the other team cry.  Seriously.  That's one of his goals.  Again, a guy thing.

Clem says he looked pretty good out there.  He played center on the offensive line, snapping the ball, and was the kicker.  He also played on the defensive line.  He was a tired boy by the end of game two!

The tackler!

The kicker!

Mowing over his cousin!  (This is his favorite picture!)

Stepping over his cousin.

Moving them out of the way.

A little attitude.


He's a little bigger than some of his teammates!

And he looks mean!

He says he caught this guy.  Actually, Clem said he would kick the ball and then run and take out the punt-return guy.  He is really into it!

My favorite picture!

No pictures from the Rebel game against arch-rival Plenty yesterday.  The Rebels lost 30 - 17 or something like that.  The coach couldn't seem to figure out how to stop the two guys who always had the ball.   Stephen got some good tackles, though.  One of the only guys who could catch their quarterback, who Stephen knows from hockey.  Poor kid - Stephen hit him so hard he was puking on the field!  

It would have been nice for the Rebels to win on Stephen's birthday, but it wasn't meant to be.  Didn't seem to put much of a damper on his celebrating though, as he only arrived home late this afternoon to get in an hour or so of bin-cleaning!  

And cleaning bins is about all we're doing, since it froze HARD two nights in a row.  We are so lucky to have the peas safe and sound in bins, but the lentils, wheat, barley, and flax have likely dropped a grade or two!  And more rain is forecast, starting tomorrow.  Here's hoping October will be a warm, dry month!

Thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Book me a room.

Hopefully I can remember to call the nursing home tomorrow and reserve a room for the not-to-distant future.  I know I am going to need it.  This is why.  I spent all morning gathering garden goodies and preparing them for a wonderful slowcooker spaghetti sauce.  I got everything ready, turned the slowcooker on, and rushed to my monthly Avoca lunch.  (We live in the Avoca district, and the women of the area formed a Red Cross group in 1941, which later became the Avoca Community Group.  It has lived on, and although we don't really do any community service or fundraising anymore, we meet once a month for lunch and good visiting.  One of the gals found some old meeting minutes and brought them along today. Hence the little history lesson!)

After lunch, I ran around town doing numerous errands, and then went to work at the library.  The whole time I was thinking about what a tasty supper we would have.  My mouth even watered at times.  At about 3:30, Clem called and asked me if he should plug in the slowcooker.   (You just laughed out loud, didn't you?  I know you did.  My own mother laughed out loud when I told her, so I'm sure you did, too.)

And that, my friends, is a just a small example of how my mind has been working these days.  It's scary, I'm telling you.  My mom's aunts all ended up sitting in nursing homes trying to remember their own names and hiding their own Easter eggs.  A couple of Mom's sisters have been repeating themselves quite a bit and asking questions I've just answered.  It's coming.  Like a dark storm cloud moving in.  There are little rays of sunshine sometimes, but I'm bracing for the impending disaster, folks. 

So I'd just like to ask you to please be patient and kind when you're visiting me in the home.  You will visit, won't you?  And try not to look too alarmed when I want to know who keeps putting their clothes in my closet!

Thanks for ....what did you do, again?

Saturday, September 11, 2010


My dear, dear aunt and uncle are visiting again.  They live on Vancouver Island, are both over 80, and they "drive East" each and every year.  Sometimes twice.  How great is that???  Plus, they are two of the most interesting people I know.  So I really like it when they visit!

And in my mom's family, when someone visits, we "gather".  And there are many to gather.  It was just a small crew last night, but we had fun.  And we ate.  We always eat.  Lots.

And we talked. And laughed.  And watched kids run and play.  A really nice evening!

Aren't they beautiful people!

Thanks for stopping in!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

For everything, there is a season.

And the season I speak of is, of course, BACK TO SCHOOL!!!  Well, and harvest.  But first they went BACK TO SCHOOL!  I have been practicing my happy dance for a couple of weeks now, and I must say I really busted a few moves this year.

It's strange, but the boys never seem quite as happy as I am about BACK TO SCHOOL.  Derek was not too happy about the obligatory first-day-of-school photo shoot, either.  I'll show you what I mean.


Coming around a bit...

Ah, there's my boy!

And he is absolutely loving Grade 7.  He was literally bursting with stories from the first day - he could not stop telling me about how great it is to be in high school.  (He is actually just across the hall from the Grade 6 room, but somehow it's a whole lot different.)  He loves his teachers, he loves the breaks, he loves being able to leave the school at noon, and he can not believe how fast the day goes by.  Oh, I hope this lasts!!!

Stephen is in his final year at KCS.  I'm pretty sure he's actually going to school each day, but I can't say that for sure because he hasn't really said anything about school yet.  Except football.  He does talk about football.  They had their first game on Thursday, won 50 - 20 and he got 15 tackles.   About Math he says nothing.  I do know that he gets on the bus in the morning, because he's taking a month-long break from driving (it must be contagious in this house!!).  That's the only picture I could get of him on the first day BACK TO SCHOOL.

Clem did a little happy dance himself when his new bin arrived.  It is quite a sight to see something that big drive in the yard...

and through the yard...

and around the old bins...

and onto the pad Clem built...

and up...

up some more...


(I thought it might "lift off" here!)

Then Clem used his little bobcat to turn it around and level it.  I was pretty sure the thing was going to topple over on him and his bobcat, so I quit taking pictures and went back to the house so I didn't have to watch that tragedy.

But happily he got it settled, and it is now full of very nice-looking peas.  The guys finished the 500 acres peas tonight just before supper.   Clem's brother and his four beautiful daughters were visiting from Alberta, and they joined us for supper and a little celebration.  

Finally, a good picture of Stephen.  And with his godfather, too!

We still have quite a lot of harvesting to do, but they are calling for rain again.  When it dries up, the lentils will have to be swathed.  Then hopefully the wheat and barley will be ready - both are so far looking like very nice crops.  And lastly, there will be some flax to do.  One of our buyers stopped in last week and told Clem it was the nicest flax crop he's seen this year!  We're keeping our fingers and toes crossed that the frost stays away

I just can't seem to finish a post without adding some shots of our living skies.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping in!