Fire!

A year ago, my parents sold everything and decided they would spend my inheritance and travel the world. We track their travels an a page called Postcards from Everywhere. Its been fine. They have a home base set up at my sisters new Dynasty/Dallas Epic Soap Opera type home. The sister lives 1.5km away from me. WAY farther than before which was 1.5 blocks. They are super happy. We refer to my parents as ‘foreign workers’ who live in the basement suite and make the dinners and tend the garden when they are in town. Soon they will be back on the road living in Kent, England for the summer.

I have become accustomed to not calling or texting my mom because she doesn’t answer her phone anyways, so I text Sister who then gets mom to call me. Its like I have become the centre of attention again. Its awesome. AND the best part is Sister gets the help calls…not me. So I win!

I didn’t expect to feel so lost yesterday… I’ll explain.

Saturday morning at 4:00 AM MST, my parents old home burned down. It was gutted. Nothing is salvageable. It was a couple of blocks away from me. My parents lived there for 15 years. It wasn’t my childhood home, but it was the home of my kid’s grandparents. The home they would go to after school for milkshakes and cookies. They home we hung out at for Christmas and Summer BBQs. The home where my puppy like to visit because Grandpa gives great ear rubs.

I received a text from my neighbour saying, “Please tell me your parents no longer live in that house a few blocks away”

Nope…Wait…Why?

We had heard on the news that a house near the park burned to the ground. I had thought, “I hope no one was hurt” but because it didn’t effect me, I was fine.

I felt the need to go and drive by. We drove past the house and I was stunned. I told the Hubs to stop because I had to get out. I stood in front of the house and told the Firefighter that my parents used to live here. I was in shock. I couldn’t process what I was feeling. I wandered around outside the temporary fence investigators put up, covered my mouth and just stared.

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It was surreal.

I swear I saw ghosts of Christmas Past wandering around through the rubble. I saw my kids run through the house and their giant cousins chasing them. I saw my parents sitting on the front porch. I saw my niece and Chatter Box sitting in the kitchen window decorating cookies.

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I didn’t know how to process what I was feeling. It was final now for me. It was no longer my parents home.

I went to my Sister’s home and shared the news and photos. Sister was stunned like me. My mom seemed okay…. it wasn’t her’s any more. Dad said he didn’t know how to feel.

But still…

I posted the photos on Facebook. I received a lot of lovely comments from everyone. But really…it was just a building that my family had no claim to anymore. Why was I sad?

Then my mom wrote something that snapped me out of my dazed and confused feeling,

“Actually I was relieved when I saw it burned. The new owners never looked after the yard so I can only image what the inside looked like. For some odd reason it feels better having it destroyed than abused.”

There you have it. None of us would drive by it because it was upsetting to see how those people looked after it. Sure it was their home, but they did not have the same values as us. No pride in their home. Thats fine, it was theirs to do with as they please. We just didn’t want to see. So we traveled a different way.

I have come to realize that I am melancholy for a different reason. My children are no longer small. Everyone is growing up with girl friends and boy friends and careers and life plans. I don’t want to hold onto them as little beings. I love that they have become amazing adults and have made great choices for their future. I love that they are so independent and our family moves together through the future independently, yet come together to celebrate success and support each other is time of stress and sadness.

My family is safe and sound. That other family needs to rebuild. They will somehow figure it out. We all do in the end.

My Backyard Adventure: The Milky Way

 

Working hard already this morning on my new courses for University, only to discover that my last practicum is only offered during the winter session. The profound sense of disappointment is overwhelming. This will push back my graduation. Not that it really matters in the grand scheme of things but…still!!!

This leaves me with two choices, 1) I can defeat me or 2) I can look at it as a stress reliever and be thankful I won’t have a full schedule.

Meanwhile, I need to think back to my day adventure to relax me. I truly did have the best day with my kidlets. Even the trip home was fantastic.

We reached Edson and decided we needed to eat. Something for the road, so we needed a drive thru. We are NOT McD fans, so we looked for an A&W. I remembered seeing one one the way through the first time. But now it was dark and I was tired so I had my kids ask Siri. Siri is my personal iPhone assistant. She is as aggravating as she is hilarious. I have commanded her to call me Danger Girl and she complies, much to my delight, because no one else will come me Danger Girl without laughing. The conversation went something like this:

Girl: Siri, where is A n W?

Siri: I do not know what that is, shall I search for it?

Girl: Where is A AND W?

Siri: there are several quite far from you.

Girl: I want one close by.

Siri: What does that mean?

Girl: Where is an A AND W CLOSE BY?

Siri: There is one close by.

Girl: Where is it?!

Siri: I do not know Where is it? Shall I search for it?

Finally we figured out where it was….thanks Siri… geeze. But the street signs in Edson are printed red on white. I cannot read red letters. Obviously some sort of colour blindness. That and I never could read yellow chalk on a green board, weird.

We packed our food and got back into the car. Apparently we were starving. Who knew? It wasn’t until the hot fries hit our gullet that we became aware. During our conversation over dinner, it was decided that my phone needed to call me Dark Wing – being named Robyn and all, my boy thought he was hilarious. So now call me Dark Wing. The least cool superhero EVER after Superman.

It was only 5:30 pm but to felt like midnight it was so dark. The stars were brilliant out in the country, something that I had forgotten by living in the city for so long. My son is an amateur astronomer and was thrilled at the sights. We saw Betelgeuse, Bellatrix, and Jupiter right away. It was a little harder for me to search the skies because I was driving, but my kids were able to spot the Milky Way Band and Pleiades Cluster, Taurus and Orion from the car. I knew if Orion was visible then Cassiopeia would be directly behind us. My Grandpa always told me that was God’s initial in the sky – Short for Warren, his name. Obviously my Grandpa thought he was hilarious because his name was Warren too. My boy wanted to stop and look at the stars. I was not too crazy about stopping on the side of the road in the pitch black of night, so I suggested we head towards Seba Beach. It was a summer village that I use to visit frequently in my youth and I knew the stars there were brilliant on the lake. The boy was eager but the girl had watched too many Fringe episodes and was worried about Mole Babies and Observers, not to mention Aliens and Serial Killers. I convinced her that it was perfectly safe and it was a VILLAGE not an episode of the Fringe.

We made the turn off of Highway 16 and headed south. 3 minutes later we turned onto Main Street. I realized I hadn’t been here for 20 years. It had changed slightly, the gas pumps were gone and so was the ice cream shack. But the Hall was still there at the Beach. I parked the car and told the kids about a movie that was filmed here. Bye Bye Blues. I talked about how much I loved that movie and that eased Chatterbox’s fears somewhat. We walked towards the Main Pier only to discover it was gone. It was stacked up on the boat launch. This also surprised me because I remember many a stroll along the main pier at night to look at the stars. Even without the pier in place, the sky was brilliant with stars. The Boy had a nerdgasim. He was excited and was showing his sister Jupiter, various constellations and the Milky way which was a brilliant white against the dark sky. Jupiter from my iPhone

Jupiter with the iPhone

The Milky Way

The Milky Way

Then ChatterBox’s thoughts retreated back to death and she asked me if this was where the accident was.

While ChatterBox was training for her lifeguard certification, she asked me what was the most traumatic first aid case I had come across. There was two that stood out. A preschooler had his finger cut off in a door, and the worst one happened here. Two men were driving their skidoos out on the lake at night. They must have been new because they didn’t know about the main pier out on the ice. They both hit the pier at full speed and flew into the air. One man was thrown clear of his machine and landed on the beach. I ran over to discover he was conscious but couldn’t move. I suspected a broken collar-bone was the worst of his injuries. I covered him with my coat and ran to the other guy. He had landed on the pier and the skidoo crushed him and bounced off. He was unresponsive and not breathing. I removed his helmet and my hand felt his skull compress. His head felt like a bag of jello. I knew he was dead. My friend started CPR but I knew it was pointless. I ran to find someone home. Being a summer village, not many people inhabit the village during the winter. I found help and ask they call and ambulance.

My son looked at me in horror and said “you watch someone die?” I replied with  – yes.

We looked out at the sky and now I knew why the pier was no longer in the ice, aside from winter break up, it was just plain old dangerous.

Back into the car and we needed to bring the mood back to fun and light. So the boy played his playlist of sing-a-longs.

There is nothing I love more than spending time with my children. I learn more about their hopes, dreams and bucket lists. I learn more about what makes them laugh and how close they are to each other. I had hoped they would be friends when they got older, but realize they are friends now. I learned lots about them that day.

They learned a lot about me too.

 

Canada is not filled with Bullwinkles and Do-Rights

For the record, Canada is falsely depicted in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Don’t get me wrong, that is a GREAT bit of animation and humor. The Dudley Do-Right is a great hero in spite of his bumbling efforts. Nor should you believe the depiction of Mounties from the Canada Pavillion in EPCOT. The RCMP are not rescuing helpless maidens from train tracks. Don’t get me wrong, the WOULD rescue one but the maidens here in Canada are brilliant, strong and independent women – at least the few million ones I personally know. I know for a fact the RCMP are smart, strong, professional and I am thankful every day they protect us.

For those of you not in the know, RCMP stands for Royal Canadian Mounted police. They only wear their Red Serge on special occasions. You will not see them riding around on horse back in their dress uniform any old day. It is only on special occasions, like if the Queen comes to tea or if a member gets married (which I am proud to say I will witness this September!)

During my Big Adventure to Saskatchewan, I had the privilege to visit the RCMP Heritage Centre. Regina is home to the RCMP training facility. I toured it and I haven’t had the same surge in pride since I went to Vimy Ridge in France.

I went with ChatterBox and Godmother – not Fairy Godmother, she is different. It happened to be Graduation Day for the latest Cadets. They were walking around in their dress uniform showing their families where they trained for the last 6 months with their Regiment. You could see the pride on the parents faces. This is a tremendous deal. The RCMP have a long and honoured tradition here in Canada, and now those graduates will be privilege to join those who had valiant careers before them.

While we were in the Center itself, Chatterbox went to solve some forensic mysteries – and did. While I was watching her examine bullet markings I had a real sense that this may be the start of something huge for her. I had a flash-forward moment of her part of the civilian forces in a forensic lab somewhere in the future. She could do worse, the RCMP are world renowned for their blood spatter identification and solve mysteries for other police departments world-wide. Not too shabby for a country of 34 million.

We took the tour of the barracks and training facilities because, who are we kidding, it all started there 139 years ago. Canada is 145, so what the heck did we do without them for 6 years? Canada was in chaos I tell you, CHAOS!

The highlight for me – other than  fire hydrant #11 ( said to my Godmother, the tour was worth the price of admission to Saskatchewan and there it was #11 agreeing with me) standing in front of the parade square at the RCMP memorial when a new Graduate in her long skirt and surge walked by the memorial and saluted. THAT was a powerful moment. Pride swelled within me knowing that Respect is still a value upheld by Canadians.

Although you can find Squirrel and Moose Street in Banff, Alberta – it is not anywhere in the RCMP HC. We saw Street signs that were named for fallen members. On the sign was their regiment number. In 139 years, 222 RCMP members have fallen in the line of duty. There were parts of the training facility civilians did not have access to. Rumors are to be had, and out of privacy and respect I will not share what is beyond the walls in the name of training. Let’s just say the amount of intense training that occurs during the 6 month time where 32 cadets live, eat, sleep and study in the same room every minute of the day leaves me safe and secure in their ability. The RCMP would be considered elite police force. Pride does not even begin to express the feelings that were conjured up while seeing these graduates.

Next time you drive west to visit the Rockies, or East to visit the Hockey hall of Fame, stop in Regina to visit this amazing place of history and honour.

 

 

 

 

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The Edmonton Tourist’s Really Big Adventure

Somewhere around spring time, ChatterBox asked me how come we never go East. In Canada that typically means Ontario. “Down East” means Toronto. The Maritimes – the East Coastal Region of Canada, which is truly “East” are never called anything but The Maritimes. I live “Out west’ which is funny because British Columbia is west of Alberta. They are called BC interior or west coast. Odd I know by that is how things work around here. So when I said to ChatterBox “East is too far to drive and I don’t want to go there again. I would LOVE to go to the Maritimes but that is some serious cash for flights. Maybe after our Eastern European trip.”

“No Mom, East to Saskatchewan. We never go to Saskatchewan.”

True, we never go for several reasons:

  1. It’s flat – and I mean flat – Flat Stanley flat.
  2. It’s filled with Rider fans – not cool when you are an Eskimo fan.
  3. They don’t have a Hockey Team. They have jr. teams – and it is some great hockey – but…no NHL
  4. It is cold in the winter and HOT in the summer. There is no shade in Saskatchewan that a farmer didn’t plant himself.
  5. Did I mention flat?

My family came from Saskatchewan. My Dad born was born in Regina and he always said, “What the hell do you want to go to Saskatchewan for?” I figured he would know, he was born here. But ChatterBox wanted to go. I did a mother/son trip last year and maybe it was time to do a mother/daughter trip this year. So I called my Godmother – not “fairy godmother” she is a different person – and asked if we could come to Regina for an extended weekend.

She said OF COURSE! I believe it is in the standard issue Godmother handbook that she can’t refuse me. So we made plans to go to Regina, Saskatchewan, capital city of said province. I always like to think “Go big or go home”.

To make this trip more exciting, (because really – do you remember what my dad said?) We decided to plan a Big adventure. We were inspired by this: Warning * this is hysterical and don’t be drinking coffee while watching. Hang in there until 1:47

With this in mind, we planned a trip of BIG THINGS. If nothing else, it would be fun. So off we went on our really Big Adventure!

First stop, Mundare Alberta. Home of Stawnichy’s garlic sausage. Quite frankly, the best you will ever eat. It is now just called “Mundare Ukrainian Sausage” by people in the “know”.

We laughed like 12 year old boys. Really, who thought THIS would be a good idea? We were off to a great start. 9:00 and we had the giggles. Next stop Vegerville, Alberta home of the giant pysanka.

A Pysanka is an Easter Egg decorated with layered dye. They have it down to an art form. Various symbols on the egg represent the symbols of Easter and the Ukrainian Culture. They are quite beautiful and labor intensive.

I was expecting bigger, but it was nifty. We passed by some bales of hay and one was wrapped in a Big Rock Beer lable. That was big but we couldn’t stop on the highway. Then we saw a farm sign that said Beef Jerky for sale and it was surrounded by cows. Obviously the jerky is fresh – I wasn’t going to wait for it though. I was disappointed, but then I thought back to Mundare and once again was happy.

Now it was time (11:11 am to be exact – 11 was very prominent on this trip. So prominent that Chatterbox was beginning to think it was creepy) to head to Lloydminster, Home of the Alberta/Saskatchewan Border. It is in a town? City? All we wanted was a Tim Hortons, did we find one? Eventually but seriously – what kind of town makes you SEARCH for a Tim Hortons? How very unCanadian. While driving thru the centre of town we saw these giant red markers pop out of the pavement. We parked at Arby’s and went to have a closer look.

There was an entire street of these things incase you did know you were about to cross into another province.

While we were standing astride of the border one foot in each province. We noticed this:

The dude couldn’t move the boot before spraying for road work? Seriously? Is that another union workers job to move debris?

Moving east we planned to eat lunch in The Battlefords somewhere overlooking the North Saskatchewan river that runs through Downtown Edmonton – thought it would be cool to see the river somewhere other than the head waters in the rocky mountains. There was not a rest stop insight. We got lost in the middle of Nowheresville, Saskatchewan – yet had cell service for the first time since leaving Edmonton. The road sign said “MountainView Road”. We looked around and thought “Are you freakin’ kidding me? Where is the Mountain?” We are born and raised a couple of hours from the Rocky Mountains, some of the most rugged and beautiful mountains in the world. I am pretty confident I could recognize a mountain if I saw one. This is not a mountain:

But it IS the North Saskatchewan River that COMES from a glacier in the mountains, but not a mountain. It’s barely a valley. However, it was still beautiful.

ChatterBox noticed that this place could have been where mole babies are buried. HUH? It was a reference to Fringe, and after the long and very frightening explanation, I am talking to Chatterbox’s papa about never letter her watch that show again…yikes.

We drove all the way to Saskatoon thinking we would stop and shop or poke around to see this “city” on the prairies. We googled a shopping center and figured we would go there. It was on 1 Avenue. We went to what we thought was 1 Ave and it was I Ave. The west has alphabet avenues and the east has number avenue. WHO DOES THIS? 1 & I look too similar – how do people find their way around? We gave up. We decided to go find the worlds largest Postage Stamp, in Humbolt. My grandfather came from there and it was about 1 1/2 hours from Saskatoon. It was 3, so we figured sounds good to us. We found the right road, asked dead great grandpa to ead the way. For some reason, all the roads I got on would not let me got straight. This is SASKATCHEWAN where STRAIGHT was invented. We kept having to turn and each time ended up on Hwy 11. (again with the 11) Hwy 11 leads to Regina. Obviously Grandpa didn’t want us to go to Humbolt. Follow the 11 Tourist, was what he kept saying (which is ODD because my gramps always bragged about the awesomeness of Humbolt and thought we should go and see the picture of his mom in the museum.) We gave up. Clearly we needed to get to Regina on the 11.

We past a handful of stores that all had 11 somewhere in the name and ChatterBox was starting to be freaked out. Obviously we were meant to be going this way, and that is when I saw it. The most beautiful Big Thing in my life,

The cup was bigger than my car. It was a joy to behold. Apparently in Davidson, Saskatchewan coffee is an important part of daily living. I found my roots.

Number 11 hwy is also known as the Louis Riel Trail. All along the was are giant Metis men with a Red river cart.

Okay, now it was 4:11 – obviously someone was telling me I needed get rolling (quit with the nagging already dead grandpa).

The further south we drove the flatter Saskatchewan got. ChatterBox suggested that Canada need to put a pleet into Saskatchewan so we could time warp over it. Obviously J.J. Abrams has a big influence in her life.

We see a sign that said “Welcome to Regina” except Regina was missing. This is the CAPITAL CITY OF SASKATCHEWAN and there was not a skyline of buildings to see. What kind of crazy voodoo was this place? It was so flat that I could see Edmonton to my right, Toronto to my left and and if you squint you could see dolphins frolicking in the gulf of mexico for crying out loud. Where was Regina? Didn’t matter, we had arrived! 6:11 by the time we found the A&W where ChatterBox needed a veggy burger and a rootbeer. Next stop, my GodMum’s house. I hadn’t spent any significant with her since I was young. We stayed awake while Chatterbox slept, drinking a REALLY BIG bottle of wine. It was lovely. We made plans to head to go to Coner Gas in Rouleau the next day – but that is it’s own story – and Moosejaw the following day.

Moosejaw, home of the Snowbirds (The Canadian Airforce Precision Flying team) Mac the Moose and The famous Tunnels of Moosejaw. Did you know Al Scarface Capone Had his hooch made there? Then he would bootleg it to Chicago. Me neither, it was cool. Moosejaw was a charming city.

The city market was happening on main street – not a farmers market like I expected in Farm Country but quaint none the less.

I stepped into a shoe store and tried on my first pair of Vibrams

These puppies were very comfy – I may buy some once I get home to the land of no Provincial Sales Tax.

Then I saw some brand new goloshes, overshoes and rubbers. I haven’t seen these since I was a kid and my dad and grandfather wore them to work in the winter to save their dress shoes.

On the Prairie, rubbers mean a whole different thing. I couldn’t believe this blast from the past. It felt like I had set my Delorian for 1974.

My really Big Adventure isn’t quite over, off to the home of the RCMP. I am sure I’ll see more Big Things…I’ll keep you posted.

Our Fish Died Today

I am feeling surprisingly sad today. I came home to news that our Betta Fish Optimus Jesus died.

He was actually a foster fish, but we loved him like he was our own. He came to us because a friend of ChatterBox’s was moving to Toronto and she couldn’t take him with her. Funny thing is, she still lives here, so I suspect OJ was abandoned under the pretense of fostering. Luckily for OJ and for us, we are the type of family who embrace everyone who enters our fold. We instantly consider all who enter our home – family. We benefit from this kind of acceptance as much as the person or fish receiving it.

When OJ moved in several months ago, he seemed sad and lonely. We jazzed up his room to make him feel more at home. We gave him mood lighting, a Nemo pen to look at through the glass and a Tiki statue to swim around. Chatterbox played music for him every day and talked to him constantly. She was concerned that she wasn’t providing him with enough. All parents feel that way towards their offspring. So off she toddled, down to the local Pet Smart when she inquired about a water purifier. Within days something when terribly wrong. The water clouded up and OJ went blind. He was crashing into things with his little cataract covered eyes. Chatterbox was guilt ridden.

She the cleaned his tank and transferred OJ to a holding cell while his home was being refurbished. He was left on the dining room table over looking the backyard when Chatterbox went to school. Her brother came home to the grizzly discovery. OJ had committed suicide and jumped from the tank looking for freedom. The strange thing is, there was no note left behind.

The family had a quiet memorial service and burial at sea.

Due to the distraught nature of the my children during this ordeal, I do not think it is wise we get a dog. The chances of ChatterBox making the dog blind are too great, and the aftermath too traumatic. I shall wait until they leave home and THEN get the BEST DOG EVER!

Insecure, Incapable and Inferior

I am stuck and not sure how to move forward. I read this quote the other day,

It takes the same amount of energy to wish for something as it does to plan for it.

Eleanore Roosevelt

She was a smart cookie.

The outside me feels pretty darn good, nice nails, goodish hair, slimmer clothes, good stamina and great skin. I couldn’t say that a year and a half ago. I have made great Edmonton Tourist style progress and feel quite proud of what I have accomplished thus far. Lately, the inside me is just not feeling it.

I found out some information that would have made a HUGE difference to my life if I knew about it one year ago. And ya, I am a bit angry and bitter about it. So what do I do with this information now? The reasonable answer is to accept it, move forward and peaceably. However, it makes me feel insecure, incapable and inferior, ESPECIALLY inferior and that annoys me. I have a decent amount of self confidence on a normal day, lately…not so much.

This is affecting my day to day living and I need to snap out of it except:

  • Work feels weird, like I should be walking on egg shells or I’m outathere! Not by my choosing but it feels different like I am doing something wrong and no one will tell me. The crazy thing is, I work with people who have no problem telling me if I am doing something wrong, so maybe it is just perception on my part.
  • Friendships feel weird, like I am walking into a conversation about me and everyone stops talking. It’s not really happening like that…but it has that weird feeling.
  • University feels weird. I get my assignments, do them, get my marks back and I feel like I didn’t earn them. They are great marks but it feels weird. I have a major project due asap and I have re-done it 7 times. SEVEN TIMES! I am NOT that person who re-does stuff!! I do things once and hand it in, I will proof read it, miss a ton of stuff like Capitalization, get marked down for thatand still get a brilliant mark…but it feels weird.

It could be because what I WANT and what I HAVE just don’t measure up yet. I can SEE where I want to be and I am a good year away from being there. It was suggested to me to write down my goals and make a plan to get there. The goal I have, it is the plan that is difficult because so much of it is reliant on other people and their pieces that need to fall into place. It’s like waiting for rope drop at Disneyland. Time ticks away and I am anxious to start now!!!

I guess I need to write my plan. First of all, come hell or high water I NEED to get my 8th version of my project done, hand it in without over thinking it and wait for feedback. I feel like Mozart and his death requiem, how he couldn’t get it just right and it was killing him. Dramatic…absolutly, but you know how it is when something hangs over your head and you HAVE to get it done? Well that is this project. I have had a couple of set backs and -HOLD THE PHONE – I just had an epiphany. I know why I am having a hard time with this project! It just dawned on me. The person who I need to ultimately hand it in to announced her retirement and I am devastated. Extreme…absolutly, but for those who know her understand. Wow, I am crying just thinking about this being the reason. If anyone says you can’t work out problems by writing, they are liars. Writing is cathartic – well for me anyways.

Earlier today, I received an email at just the right time in my life. (I haven’t heard from my bestie in a while, the odd text message now and then. They just got back from a fabulous trip and I felt left out which is RIDICULOUS but true. It adds to the Insecure, Incapable and Inferior complex I am suffering from lately.) Anyways… I read this email. I was nominated for another blogger award. I understand that these are chain mail yadda yadda yadda, but she wrote THIS about me:

5.  The Edmonton Tourist.  The first thing I like about this blog is its premise — the idea of being a tourist in your life, taking more risks, being more aware and more stimulated and more curious, just like we are when we’re in a strange place or strange circumstances.  I love her dry humor and constant ability to reach for the silver lining, without being self-righteous about it.  E.T. has the kind of presence and poise about her — and her writing — that I suspect would draw me to her as a friend were we to ever meet.

Wow wow wow… I really needed to hear that today. Thank you so much That Precarious Gait! I am touched beyond words and I feel the same 🙂

So to end this post with a silver lining, I must list the women I am thankful for in my life. They have made a HUGE differnce for me over the past few days:

Barbie Arm, Chicken Hawk, Crayonmelterhoarder, Chatterbox, Life Coach and 1/2Marathon Coach. You ladies have the unique ability to know at just the right moment when I need some girly love and hugs. xoxo me

Ego, Oracles and Stupidity

This has been the LONGEST WEEK EVER! The standard issue 7 days did not happen. How do I know? I was talking to a gal about a scenario that happened last week. I was told it didn’t happen LAST WEEK it happened Tuesday. Oh… What the… How come this week lasted two weeks? Lets have a closer look shall we?

First of all, I live in a freezer. It takes twice as long to do anything when it is freaking cold – and by cold I mean my nostrils froze shut this week. Winchills in excess of -45C That means busses didn’t run. That means students didn’t come to school except maybe 2 or 3 of them. That means there are MORE adults in the room than children. That means it’s hard to stay motivated. That means lots of cleaning and sorting happens. That means…whatever. Suffice it to say, it is Friday night and I heart Fridays.

Then when all was rosie, Ego came for a visit and kicked me in the stomach, not once, but TWICE. Oh Ego…. I do not heart you. I had two excellent learning lessons this week…feel like crap… want to run away and hide from the pain of it. However, I must “suck it up Buttercup”. Face my wrong doings. Apologize. Realize I am too big for my britches. Then FIX IT. Ug… the worst. This was the Edmonton Tourist’s FB Page status this morning

‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot
change; the courage to change the one I can; And the wisdom to
know that person is me.’

Just when I thought things were awesome the universe kicks ego in the head and says smarten up dirt bag. Humility is a humbling thing.

THEN I was minding my own business  – building 3 different puzzles with 3 different students (upside down because I am awesome like that….there goes Ego again) When a colleague comes up to me and says she  needs motivation so lets do a half marathon together. Huh? I’m good with the motivation thanks ( BIG FAT LIAR) Cold weather sucks the motivation out of me…activity wise. Food wise I am still doing it! I hope to meet my goal of 50lbs this year. If I train for the half in Calgary, then do the one in Edmonton in August, I will be WELL on my way to 50lbs down just from hours of exercise. Although you don’t lose weight from 30 minutes of daily activity, it does help with all sorts of other things that are associated with weight loss. When training for a half marathon I was working out for 90 mins or more a day. This is where your body will start burning body fat….that’s what I want it to do. So after thinking about it for about 11 seconds, I said sure! May 27, Calgary Alberta, see you at the finish line. I will be the one sporting the belt buckle odd looking cowboy esq medal. My sister says I should just wear a garbage can lid if I want a big belt buckle Calgary style (you should know there is a huge smack fest between Calgary and Edmonton – none of it means anything….or does it?). I’m all about the goal. I see the finish line in my head and I am all over it. This is what I need to light that fire I need. Stupid? Probably. Doable? Absolutely!

THEN – I hear the universe talking to me again through a Rootbeer Bottle. Some people see Elvis in fruit, others see Jesus in their toast, I have an oracle in my Jones bottlecap. True Story. Okay… ACTUALLY, I bought the bottle for GeneticOffspring. He opened it and inside said

Adopt a Pet

We all know I am a big believer is signs. This one has actual words like a REAL sign. I think I will wait for the Universe to bring me the dog/puppy/small/medium sized canine. Then I will adopt it if it is meant for me. The other bottle cap – ChatterBox’s – said “You will be successful in your work” If I apply the same logic as I did for the pet lid, then this one is meant for me too. All I can say is “universe, after the ego kicking you did to me this week I hope so, today I have doubts.” I doubt it because I have that sick ego smashed feeling in the pit of my stomach. I will recover. However, it feels icky still. I did get my ducks in a row in regards to my university project, so that’s a step in the right direction.

Winning the Stars Air Ambulance Lottery is looking pretty sweet right now as a viable option for helping me to run away. Winning it means I could just go to school and not work. THAT would be sweet! I would be done asap. Then get a summer job at Tiffany & Co. because who doesn’t want to work surrounded by sparkly things?

Or….kick ego to the curb and get back to reality planning my puppy’s future.

I heart Fridays people!

 

 

Random Musings from a Tourist in Her Own Life.

Friday afternoon of the most relaxing Christmas Break I have ever encountered, and I am lost in thought. A bazillion things flit through my mind in a random pattern. If you are wondering the inside of my brain looks like this:

I spent time gazing out the window looking at this:

I was reflecting on the new things I tried this week. I vowed to give 12 new things a try, so far I am up to 5 +

6. I played the Guitar on Rockband! Sure it was Lego RockBand, but the guitar is from the Beatles set and looks like Paul’s. It’s a niiiiiiiiiiiiice one. I only ever sing when playing RockBand. The guitar was pawned off on me by ChatterBox. She wanted to sing a Jackson 5 song. The setting was Super Easy, I got 5 stars because I am awesome like that.

7. I am learned a new piano tune that I have never played before.

8. I had my Tea Leaves read.

9. I refinished ChatterBox’s dresser in MacTac. I usually paint or stain furniture, but the look she was going for was more than I could bear with coat after coat to give it a high gloss finish. So I went to Home Depot bought 2 rolls of Mac Tac and covered it. It looks so fantastic! All it cost me $20 and 2 hours of work. Sweet!

10. Took my first Italian lesson. That’s right Italian. How very European of me. It is on the 50 in 50 list and a New Thing List. I will write soon about the reasons for learning Italian. Today I learned to say  una bambina è sotto un cavallo. Impressed? You should be. It means A girl is under a horse. Yes it is pornographic. I haven’t learned enough prepositions to say on or enough verbs to say riding. Baby Steps People! Cut me some slack!

That leaves 2 more new things to do. I have 3 more days because I don’t go back to work until Tuesday. This weekend I will be touristing downtown Edmonton to see Metropolus and the new Art exhibit at the AGA if all goes according to plan *spit*spit*

The new bloglove of my life nominated me with the Versatile Blogger Award. *blush* When in fact it is HIS blog that deserves all the accolades. Run – don’t walk or saunter over to Brian Westbye‘s page. His stories are magical. I want to have them put into a collection and onto my ereader. I need to figure how. His stories are short delicious visual bites that will transport you to another place for 3 minutes at a time. Here is a link to my all-time favorite so far. I haven’t read through them all yet, but I will. I am OCD like that.

 

The 12 Days of New Things

Welcome to 2012! I have used up a full week of Christmas vacation and find myself enjoying pure laziness…aside from painting Chatterbox’s room, I have done a whole lotta o’nuttin’! Well, that isn’t strictly true. I did stay in bed past noon one day, yes I was by myself, yes I was caught somewhere between dozing and reading. It was a lovely lazy day! I do remember promising myself I would try 12 new things over the break. How have I fared? Pretty good so far!

The first day of New Things I Zumbaed? Zumbaded? Zumed? Whatever you call it, I popped Zumba party out of the WII box I received for Christmas and gave it a go! First of all the freaking belt fit! WOOHOO and not just a forceful fit, there was extra room, and it may get too big soon…love that! Secondly, I am no longer a Zumba virgin. I am not sure why this is important, it just is.  Sadly I ended off that day with Salsa Ass. Using muscles that aren’t that useful for swimming or running but apparently are useful for Salsa…New = Good

The second day of New Things my true love gave to me I imessaged with Kelly in South Africa! How incredibly cool! I have chatted and IMed with folks before but South Africa is so exotic to me. So far away and so foreign! I have never been to Africa. The closest I have come was standing on the beach of the Mediterranean and gazing off to the distance. I couldn’t see Africa, but I knew it was there.

The third day of New Things I called my Uncle Bloefeld, who apparently is 45% less evil than he was in the James Bond movie. I have never called him in my life. He had lost my number and wanted a Christmas Chat. There are several things wrong with this. If you are at all familiar with my facebook wall, then you know how obnoxious Uncle Bloefeld can be. He can be quite hilarious too, but he also is a born again Catholic. That just spells yikes. Yes I am Catholic and I am a believer in the higher power and enjoy a great conversation about the possibility of the after life, (my stance is yes there is one) I made it clear to Bloefeld that I was not at all interested in his views being forced upon me. He tried, I changed the subject. The worst of it was…He is a call screener. He convinced me to phone him, long distance to the Godforsaken city of Calgary, where he laid on his bed and SCREENED MY CALL! Of course he denied it. Some lame ass excuse about not being able to move fast enough to reach the phone before the answering machine got it…bla bla bla… He then called me back a few minutes later. To which I accused him of being a CALL SCREENER. It is just his way of controlling the situation no matter how much he denies it. We did have a fun conversation. He is a great story teller of the Old Country Days and I challenged him to write a guest blog post about his Hoochy Coochy Man days and how the Gypsy predicted it. If he does do it, I will post it on his birthday as his gift from me. Maybe I will give him advice too, but that seems a bit too generous and thoughtful, but we shall see.

The fourth day of New Things I read Science Fiction. Sorry, I should have told you to sit down. Book of choice after bad advice from Uncle Bloefeld? I settled on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The result? It was funny AND informative. I learned some valuable lessons that will last a lifetime, or the very least until I read the next book – Slaughter House Five. Science Fiction for me is something you watch, not read. It is hard to wrap my mind around space junk and weird creatures. Fantasy is also a difficult read for me. But I persevered and did it. Will I do it again? Not bloody likely, unless I am forced too or I am trying to impress some putz with my vast knowledge of book learnin’.

The fifth day of New Things I played the drums. That’s right Keith Moon is rolling over in his grave at this moment. ChatterBox is a Jazz Percussionist. For Christmas Santa – not the real one  – gave her a Drum Kit. Yes it is electric, yes I have lost my marbles, but she is talented and I want to nurture that and support music bla bla bla… ANYWHO… I am a pianist, kick-ass cowbell player and awesome spoonist. I can play the kazoo and am FANTABULOUS on the comb and tissue paper, but have never played the drums. I have never even played drums via Rockband – and we own Beatles Rockband! I don’t even play Guitar Hero. In my defense, I always get 100% with the mic and can kill the hardest song selections. I rock at karaoke as does my sister. I have never even tapped a rhythm out with pencils on my desk. I convinced ChatterBox to  give me a lesson. The first thing I did was tap out a beat – over my head – on the sticks. My girl rolled her eyes and said…that is rock, not jazz. So? Rock is AWESOME! No Mother…. Yikes – she called me MOTHER… On with the lesson. I got the simple jazz beat down then I went in for my rock solo crashing tom-toms, cymbals and high hats….Suddenly I was in front of thousands of screaming fans as I beat the crap out of that drum kit. Then I heard a needle scratch on a record…suddenly coming to a stop when ChatterBox informed me “Maybe Drums aren’t your thing” OUCH! ChatterBox, OUCH!

Worse…there is proof Ed kills it on the Drums! If you wish to see the video, be my guest. That is ChatterBox laughing at me in the background. But HEY! I played the drums…new thing #5

There you have it. One thing a day since Dec 27th. This week the plans include more reading (YAY), a visit to Metropolis ( a new winter city festival downtown I am checking out), a visit to the AGA to see the new photography exhibit, signing up for a Vata workshop…I really have no idea what that is, and a visit to the Expo Center to see the Team Canada exhibits (if it isn’t to late) Apparently there is some great Hockey Hall of Fame stuff which I have never seen! I am liking this 12 New Things thingy…so much so, I am going to try 52 new things for 2012…what the heck, if nothing else I may learn a thing or two.

Happy New Year my friends! May 2012 be everything you hope it will be and filled with things you had no idea it would be. Buon anno (one of the new things I will give a try, learning Italian)

The Edmonton Tourist aka Robyn