Friday, July 31, 2009

My Reunion

My trip to Toronto was a lot of fun. It was nice to go home alone although I did miss my family. The main purpose of my trip was for a little high school reunion. This was not an official one of course, just one that a bunch of girls (women) who hung around together in school organized

The reunion ("Chicks Rule, Boy's Drool") was so much fun! I think there were 18 people invited in all but just 9 showed. It was really great to see everyone. One of the women, V, I did not hang out with in school but she was close to one of the others (Denise) and she works at the same hospital as Ramona. Apparently she had gone through a bitter divorce and told us all about it. Also, she announced just before she left about 6pm that the only reason she had come was to see Sharon who was a no-show. Gee, thanks.

About 6:30ish Megan showed up (she was arriving from work). Megan, Ramona and I were one of 8 girls who skipped from Grade 3 to Grade 5 so we were in the same class those two years in a row (and Megan was also in my Grade 6 class). Anyway, our Grade 5 year was really special. We had a great teacher - Mr. L. He was young and fun and handsome and on Fridays he would bring in his guitar for music and we'd sing songs. My favourites were "Jamaican Farewell" and "She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain" if only because "...she'd be drinking Pepsi-Cola when she comes..." and Chris Kyle, if he had been well-behaved during the week, would get to let out the loudest burp he could. Our class loved it so we would all work together to ensure that Chris was on his best behaviour during the week.

I loved Grade 5 (can you tell?). We learned all about Australia (and what marsupials are - I did a project on the platypus). We went on nature walks in the ravine behind our school and laughed when two boys brought what they thought were "owl pellets" to the teacher but they were really just rabbit droppings. We studied owls and dissected owl pellets (I can still remember the musty smell of them). And the whole class seemed to love the teacher. He received five bottles of
Hai Karate aftershave for Christmas. I wanted to buy him a bottle too but my mom made me give him a book entitled "The History of Scarborough". (BORING!).

Mr. L was originally from South Africa. He was of mixed race and he told us that he came to Canada because of the Apartheid in his homeland. This was the mid-70's and there were many teaching moments for him on racism and I remember many of them.

This past year, Jax was in Grade 5 and I would tell him over and over again that it was my favourite year in school and I hoped it would be his too. He had a good teacher but I know that this year was not the magical year for him that Grade 5 was for me. I really had hoped that my kids would have a year like that.

Anyway, so that is the connection that Ramona, Megan and I have. One other person who was going to try to make it, Joan, was also in our class and one of the 8 girls who had skipped. She unfortunately did not make it because her dad passed away a couple of days beforehand.

So, back to the party.

Megan showed up and I noticed that Ramona was a little antsy. A few moments later a car stopped in front of Ramona's house and a couple got out. Ramona kind of nudged me away from the window and said "Oh, those are just my neighbours". I noticed the man getting a guitar out of the trunk and they started walking up the driveway. Ramona said "They are just stopping in to say 'hello'". I thought nothing of the guitar because Ramona's dh is very musical and in fact was away that day working as a guitar tech at a Sass Jordan concert. Ramona's "neighbours" walked in and everyone looked at me expectantly. This man and woman looked a little older than the rest of us. "Do you recognize him?" Ramona asked. It was Mr. L! I could not believe it!! First of all, that he came to our party (Ramona and Megan thought they might as well as because the worst he could do is say no and Megan was able to track him down) and the fact that he looks 15-20 years younger than he really is! It was a wonderful surprise!

Mr. L wanted us to call him by his first name (hard to do after 34 years!). His wife is lovely and it was nice to meet her because we always heard so much about her during our year (she had given birth to their second daughter that year too). They stayed about an hour and we chatted and Mr. L broke out the guitar and we sang some songs. I know it sounds really, really corny but let me tell you, I was so touched by Ramona and Megan arranging for Mr. L come to the party. And, what a great man for taking the time out of his day to come. He told us that our year was his favourite year teaching which is really nice considering it was just the second year that he taught. He later became a principal and superintendent and a race-relations liason in the district so perhaps he did not really "teach" that many years. He retired last year and is now working as a consultant.

The whole party was so much fun but that was the highlight of it for me. There were old yearbooks there and we poured through them and talked about who was married to whom, who we had crushes on, we listed the names of people we knew who had died, who we still kept in touch with, etc. The party broke up about 1am when Denise had to go to bed because she had to get up at 5am for work in the morning (she stayed at Ramona's). I drove Megan home because she lives with her dh and son in the house she grew up in.

I did not take any photos so I have had to rely on others' photos.

Grade 5 picture. Megan is on the very left in the first row, I am three to the right from her (my dress was pink and white but looks just white). Ramona third from the right in the second row.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer O'Fun 2009 Day 29

I arrived home from my trip last night to 107F degree heat. Ok, it was91F when I got home but it had been 107F earlier in the day.

It is still super hot so we went to the beach today. The beach is a private one on the opposite side of the lake but it was so much fun for the boys so well worth the admission fee. Jax and Dex jumped off the floating dock and slid down the slides into the water for nearly 3 hours straight! Cars just swam and waded along the beach.

It is 91F in my house. The weather is supposed to drop into the 80's by Saturday. That sounds funny because normally the 80's is pretty friggin hot. The kids have slept in our room all week as we have the one room air conditioner!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer O'Fun 2009 Day 24

I spent a good part of this morning crying because of course my plan to go to Toronto is falling apart. Well, that is not entirely true. My plan to easily go to Toronto is falling apart. Stephen had said "No problem" about him having time off but of course something has come up and he has to be in an all-day meeting on Monday. So, after a lot of frustration last night and this morning I was able to get it worked out. Ash will take the kids in the morning. My friend Jane will pick them up at 10:45 to take them to golf (her kids go too). Then she will deliver them back to Ash's house about 4:15 and my babysitter will pick them up on the way home from her summer job and she will take them home and watch them until 9pm when Stephen is due home. Sounds so simple now but it was very frustrating when I had no prospects earlier. I am so grateful that I have some fabulous friends who are willing and able to help me out.

Oh and tomorrow after Stephen takes me to the airport? He is taking the kids to work with him. And people say comment on the summer activities that I plan like the dentist and school supply shopping... ;)

I certainly hope he does not plan to take them in on Tuesday and Wednesday too.

Oh and somewhere in there I have thrown together a birthday party for Cars for a week and bit away and hopefully at least one child will be able to make it to the bouncy place where we are holding it.

I finally started packing and realized that virtually everything I own is black and white with one or two blue things thrown in there. Looks like I have packed for a funeral.

Ok, now I have to finish packing and decide if I am taking my laptop with me. I won't be able to use the data/network with my iPhone while I am gone because the cost is astronomical in Canada to use the data network. I will just have my phone on for calls only. If I take my laptop I will be able to check email (and farm at Farm Town!) without my mom looking over my shoulder while I use her computer.

Ok, I am taking it. Now...time to finish packing. Few updates between now and my return next week.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer O'Fun 2009 Day 23

We went to the beach today. A different beach than we usually go to (but still on Lk Sammamish). The weather was just perfect! Sunny, warm but not too hot and a very nice breeze blowing. The beach had a little pier that the older boys spent their time jumping off into the water. I loved watching them having a blast doing it. I really hope we are making good memories this summer (even with dentist appts and boring stuff!). ;)

I am going to Toronto on Friday. Alone. Aaahhh... It came about in a weird way but some high school friends are having a reunion of sorts and I wanted to go to T.O. for that but not as a family due to the cost. So in the end, I am going alone. It will be nice though because I will spend a day with Ramona (and other high school girlfriends), a day with my mom (including a visit to my brother's house and to see him, his wife and their girls and then some time to see friends whom I would not normally see if I had the whole family with me. I am really looking forward to it.

And I will admit that went out this afternoon and I bought an outfit for the reunion even though it will just be an afternoon party at Ramona's house. The reason I did so was due to the last two times I was in Toronto ('07 and '05) and I went out to dinner with Ramona and Alicia, I would show up in a t-shirt and capris and they would be dressed to the nines! Seriously! It was so embarrassing. And even after Ramona swore that she would wear capris last time, when I came to her house in my capris she ran into her bedroom and changed into a skirt! Aargh! I felt like such a frumpy stay-at-home housewife.

Anyway, I'll post photos of the reunion and hopefully you'll see that I won't be under dressed this time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer O'Fun 2009 Day 22

Today we went to the Mall so I could pick up the make-up I had pre-ordered from M.A.C. at the Nordstrom's sale. Then we went to the kids' shoe department and I bought Cars two pairs of shoes. He had been wearing his sandals a lot lately then when he put his shoes on, he realized that they were too small. Almost 2 sizes!!

Then we went to the Lego Store and the kids entered a contest to guess how bricks in a Lego Pirate Statue. One of my kids guessed 500 000. I don't think he will be winning.

Then we went for swimming lessons. The pool was deserted until 3:30 (swim team starts then). I guess people were at the beach or elsewhere enjoying the 90 degree weather.

After dinner, Jax and I went for haircuts. I love his! He looks so much older!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer O'Fun 2009 Day 21

The boys had golf today. I dropped them off right at 11 (drop off is 11-12 and the program starts at 12) then hustled over to the emissions testing centre for the van. Passed! Then I went to Target to get the bulk of the school supplies purcha$ed. Ouch!

Jax is going to get all of his hair cut off. He says it is bugging him. I had jokingly said I would pay him $30 to cut his hair short like Cars' not knowing that he had been considering it himself so now he is going to get it done and I am going to have to pay up. I will miss that mop but it is time. His hair is so coarse and wavy. I am taking him to the fancy salon (it is only $5 more for a kids' cut than SuperCuts or SuperClips or CostCutters or whatever it is called).

Dex still likes his hair the way it is and Cars likes his short so he can spike (but he never wants it spiked - he just likes the idea that he can do it).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Summer O'Fun 2009 Day 19 & 20

On Thursday, Jax and Dex had swimming lessons that we had moved from Tuesday due to camping. Cars and I swam in the rec pool while the other two swam in the much colder pool. Later that evening, I had my guitar lessons. We are ready to move onto another son. So far I have learned "Hey Jude", "Maggie Mae", "Brown Eyed Girl" and "Let it Be". I think that only Maggie Mae is recognizable when I play the whole thing. But, I'll keep practicing but it is time to move onto another song. I am thinking of "Fire and Rain". I bought The Best Fake Book Ever so there are plenty of songs to chose from.

Jax and I also finished making the light box for their Lego videos.
I think it will work well for them because it takes the glare away and the camera will focus where it needs to be.

Today, it was very, very hot and we did not do much other than a trip to Costco, gassed up, got a car wash and then hit Safeway and the liquor store. We had our first Cosmo Friday in about 5 months and the kids decided that they wanted to have a Lemonade Stand at the end of the street so they set it up and sold lemonade (25 cents) and cookies (Chips Ahoy! 2 for 50 cents). They made $13 (net, not gross - I insisted that they pay me for the cost of the lemonade and cookies). Last year they had one and made $38 (I did not take out funds for my cost that time). So now that kids have $51 to split 8 ways.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer O'Fun 2009 Day 16, 17, 18

We went camping at Lake Wenatchee State Park on Sunday and returned home today. It is the same place we camped last year. We arrived Sunday afternoon and I was bitten 8 times by mosquitoes while I checked in. Ouch!

The first night there was an incredible storm. The rain was coming down in buckets (and we found out that our tent leaks!!) and lightning and thunder. The ground even shook at one point. Dex was terrified but Cars slept through the whole thing. Jax awoke, sat up, then went right back to sleep. The next day was a little chilly and after burning through $30 worth of wood, we decided to head to Leavenworth which was about 30 minutes away. It is a cute little town that the built in a "Bavarian" style. Very cute! It was so much warmer there too.

The next two days of camping were warmer and far less windy. My kids had a great time hanging out at "Fort Wenatchee" (a little wooded area near the beach) and looking for frogs, horseback riding and burning sticks in the fire.

Stephen and I decided to take up both cars in order to cram everything in. I took Jax and Dex and folded down the 3rd row seats and he took Cars and put our new second cooler in his trunk along with the camp stove and all of the pillows. The drive there was not too bad but coming home was a little frightening for me. Driving down through the mountain pass with a steep drop off on the right made my hands very clammy. Let's add fear of heights to my fear of driving across bridges. Yikes!

Anyway, we missed Spy and her family but hopefully next year we will be on the ball and will book our campsites earlier so we can go over the weekend rather than through the week.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

We are off in the morning to go camping. No car hissy fits this time because we are taking two cars.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Summer O'Fun 2009 Day 15

The boys all went to Spy's house for a playdate this afternoon and I did some camping prep work (including a stop at Oil Can Henry to have the oil and washer fluid in my car topped up). This morning, I had the tires rotated and balanced on my car and we all walked to Target while we waited.

Best summer ever! ;)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Summer O'Fun 2009 Day 14

The kids went to Ash's house for a couple of hours this morning while I ran a few errands. Then they tidied up while I panicked about camping. Now they are all resting quietly. We are heading to a park shortly to meet a friend and then we have to drive to the brewry so Stephen can return the keg of beer (he did not want to put it in his car in case it leaked so now we have TWO cars driving up there since he did not leave the receipt for the deposit). *sigh*

Toyota apparently has changed their minds about not selling us a car and have located what we want a mere 1900 miles away. I guess we'll need to pay shipping or something. Stephen asked for a price on the car and they gave us the sticker price. I don't want to play this game. I told Stephen we should just tell them our *only* price and let it go if they won't meet with us. That back and forth stuff sucks.

Ok, off to fold laundry and try to get the kids' clothes packed.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Summer O'Fun 2009 Day 13

We were up at the crack of dawn to get to an 8am orthodontist appointment. Of course the office is less than a mile from here and originally I thought it might be fun if we walked but then I was having hair issues so, in the end, we only arrived 3 minutes early (not good for new patients).

All three kids were x-rayed and photographed and assessed. The orthodontist, Dr. N is as cute as everyone says, btw, although Ash thinks that he is too grey now. I guess she likes younger guys. ;) Anyway, he was super nice and explained everything. Jax has some crowding and a couple of baby teeth fused to his jawbone which Dr. N believes will fall out on their own - they will just pop out from the pressure of the teeth beneath them, not get wiggly first. His jaw also cracks when he moves it (Jax later told me that he thought that was normal). He has a bit of an overbite and some crowding but Dr. N suggests we wait a couple of years before we start any treatment to see how his molars come it.

Dex has no jaw issues. :) He has a huge overbite and a lot of crowding. It was recommended that he gets a palate expander and then braces. Dr. N said Dex's issues were "moderate" but he thought it might be a good idea to wait on treatment until he gets more permanent teeth.

Last up was Cars. *sigh* I thought I saw dollar $ign$ in the orthodontist's eyes. He said that Cars will definitely need early treatment but nothing would start until he had lost his 8 front teeth. He will need a palate expander to fix his cross-bite and then maybe braces. We'll see about that though.

So, it looks as though all three kids will start treatment about the same time. Maybe I need to find a job to pay for all of this?! Yikes!!

In the early afternoon, we went to the pool at the club and Ash and her kids were there. Afterwards, her kids came over for a couple of hours.

Tonight, Jax and I started on a light box/tent for their Lego movies. They get some glare on the pieces and sometimes the camera cannot focus due to that glare so we'll see if the light box will help. I forgot to buy bristol board today else we would probably have completed it. He is itching to get going on their next movie.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Summer O'Fun 2009 Day 12

I worked out again today and put Cars in the daycare centre at the club. We headed back to the club in the afternoon for Jax and Dex's swim lesson and I had Cars evaluated to see what level he would be placed at in the group swim lessons.

We then met Stephen for dinner and I went shopping for supplies for our camping trip.

Stephen is irritated that our camping trip is nearly here and we do not have a new car. I am packing super light this trip to try to keep the van from scraping the ground as we cross the mountains. ;)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Summer O'Fun 2009 Day 11

It has cooled off considerably so it was a little chilly at the golf course today for the kids. They survived though. I spent the day running errands (including going to AT&T and getting them to explain my bill to me line by line - our plan is touted as $89.99 for two lines then $9.99 for each additional line but billed as $80 and $9.99 for my phone and $9.99 for the extra line{emergency for Jax}. Weird that they would not just have $89.99 for mine and Stephen's then $9.99 for the other).

After I picked the kids up from golf we went to the garden and harvested these:

Yes, that is broccoli! And it was yummy! The kids mostly picked the raspberries - 1.5 quarts! I made raspberry tarts which were very tasty although Cars would not try one because they looked yucky. I still have tons'o'raspberries left so tomorrow I may try a cobbler. Or maybe freeze them to make freezer jam at a later date.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

I have been a bad blogger lately! I have to admit what the problem is...Farm Town on Facebook. I spend way too much of my free time there. Gotta stop!

Last week, I took Dex and Cars to the dentist to have their cavities filled. Well, they just resealed Dex's teeth but Cars had a cavity between two teeth. What a nightmare trying to get it done. I was ready to say forget it and take him out of there and find a pediatric dentist who would put him out. I was tearing up because he was crying and so uncomfortable. Just awful! Hopefully things will be better when we go to the orthodontist next week.

We spent the end of the week getting ready for our annual 4th of July bbq. We had a great time. It was very hot so we had the slip'n'slide out for the kids but the water pressure from our hoses is not great so it was a bit of a bust. Especially when Dex tried to slide across it when it was not quite wet enough and his body stuck to the mat and his face banged onto the ground. He ended up with a bloody nose. He told me today that once he stopped bleeding and his nose stopped hurting, he thought it was pretty funny and wished that someone had taped it for "AFV".

After the party, we all walked up to the Commons (city centre) for the fireworks show. It was a great show and the moon was full which made a great back-drop for the fireworks.

Before the party, I called my MIL to ask her to interpret the potato salad recipe that Stephen had scrawled down once upon a time. When she answered the phone I asked her how she was and she said "*sigh* ok I guess". Oh. "What's new?" I asked and she started complaining about the weather (rightfully so - terrible weather in Toronto). We chatted for a bit, I got the info for the salad, etc then Stephen came home so I passed the phone to him. She told him that they had booked their flight to come visit us and that she and FIL were going to France in September.

I was pissed. Why could she not tell ME that stuff? I don't get it. She is always like that. When her brother was ill and they thought he might have stomach cancer she called and we chatted about the weather and different things for about 20 minutes before Stephen got on the phone and she told him about her brother. Same when her sister died. Etc. I am really angry about this. And I guess I am hurt else I would not feel angry. I have known this woman for 23 years yet she still treats me like an outsider or at the very least, definitely not family.

I know that if I mention something to Stephen he will say "Oh, that's just the way she is". Fuck that. Well, just the way I am, I am not going to call her again to let her know what is up with us. She can find out from Stephen.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Summer O'Fun 2009 Day 8

We met Spy and her kids at the park today for lunch and then I brought all of the boys back here for a couple of hours. They played SuperSoaker, "swam" in the hot tub and then had a hose fight. Great summer time kid fun!

I finished reading "The Reader" by Bernhard Schlink and I loved it! I want to see the movie now. It is our book club selection for this month (we'll discuss it next week).

My neighbour noticed that some of her small trees along her fence had been chewed and she found a hole under the fence that made her think it was a mountain beaver so she bought a trap and this morning to called me to come over to look at what she had caught. Sure enough - a mountain beaver. I had never seen one before so it was neat to see him (her?). My neighbour planned to walk back in the woods behind the church that backs onto her property and release it. The kids were intrigued too.

We also have a weird deer on the loose on our street. It keeps trying to get into our neighbour's backyard. And last night it was eating the small shoots that are coming off the tree roots in my yard before I chased it off.