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.


Bozone Wha?

On the way to work this morning I was listening to the local talk radio bring up the Harvard Mensa Team Create a Word Project. Apparently, this happens every year. Although Google tells me different information from the Talk Radio Guy, the word still held my attention. It can be found in the always informative Urban Dictionary:

Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
the bozone layer never goes away, in rare cases, it can transfer from one person to another, but it usually just copies itself

This time of year I find myself loving this word. As much as I wish to be open and generous, kind and light hearted, I look in the face of Bozone on a daily basis.

Why am I surrounded by people who just talk and fail to listen? It’s not that others have ideas that are brilliant, but it is the IDEA that lends itself to possibility. Many ideas floating around often attach themselves to other ideas, suddenly brilliancy is formed. At the very least, a workable idea is achieved.

I was talking to a gal yesterday who, for various reasons, feels like she is being left behind. Her ideas and thoughts are no longer valued in a way they use to be. On one level this is sad she feels this way. On another level, I wish she would lower the Bozone and listen to new ideas. They may work well with hers, or they may not. But the act of shielding yourself with Bozone is preventing new ideas from evolving. Face it people, that is why we are here. We need to evolve. Evolution is a natural procession. Without it we will still be writing blogs on stone tablets. I love my portable tablet, it is much lighter than stone, and handy for carrying around all my books in one light easy package. Stone books are heavy and require a wheelbarrow….another for of evolution or progress.

That is not to say, history and sentiment are bad things. Learning from the past expands the future.

Luckily, I do not have to deal with Bozone any more this week, PHEW… Roll on Christmas Break!


Meanwhile, take a leap over to my Buddy Farren’s Blog, she was featured in the Edmonton Journal this month as one of the BEST BLOGGERS EVER. In my opinion, she fits into a lot of the best ever categories, therefore lacking a layer of Bozone.


Google is Your Friend and Mine

When I get asked questions I do not know the answer to ( Strange, I know! Don’t tell the Offspring, I like to keep the illusion of brilliancy), I always answer with “Google is your friend!” Google has been my friend for a long time and Google refers a lot of readers to me. But did you know that people ask Google the craziest questions to find me? I will do my best to answer them for you people who are seeking the answer and stumbled onto my blog.

Favourite colour yoga mat: Blue, Tiffany Blue actually. If you are going to colour it in a colouring book, then use #7 peacock blue by Laurentian.

My favorite colour: Really? You needed to ask Google that? Google is not a mind reader it is a SEARCH ENGINE. I think your favorite colour is Red.

Iceberg on 11th highway in Edmonton: Hmmm, listen pal, I think you need more science education. Iceburgs are not found on highways in Edmonton. If fact, let’s throw in a geography lesson too. Edmonton does not have any highways. It has freeways and is SURROUNDED by highways. Meanwhile, go to Newfoundland to check out the icebergs.

Do drag queens wear synthetic hair? Yes and No. Some Drag Queens buy hair and some grow it. Now you know.

Am I a control freak or just bossy? Again, Google isn’t a mind reader it’s a SEARCH ENGINE. I think you are a control freak…but that is just my opinion.

Happy birthday in heaven grandma. Aw that is sweet. But Google isn’t a direct link to heaven. You can sit anywhere and just talk to her, even wish her a happy birthday…just saying.

Sick from child licking the bathroom floor. No kidding?? That makes me sick too! What a coincidence!

Express avenue escape rest room. I think you came to the wrong source looking for answers, you need GAME CHEATS…again, just saying…

Sissy wanted Edmonton. Ouch?! Am not! You are! I am rubber you are glue…

Paul Coffey sister. I am not her. Nor do I know her. However, I have met Mark Messier’s Sister and SHE is BUFF! Just saying…

There is bears in Edmonton.  Once I heard about a black bear in the river valley…just once. Don’t worry, they won’t eat you.

Face painter was mean. I was not! But if you have any complaints about my attitude…I don’t care.

“sex-training of boys”. Seriously you googled THAT to find me??? WOW. How does one respond to that?

Bossy teacher. Yes I am.

I am a genius. Me too my friend, me too.

Common sense … don’t leave home without it. That is just good practice people!

гонзо маппет. What does this mean? So I took my own advice a googled it. Gonzo Muppet is the answer. What does that say about my nose?

Master Jedi dishwasher. Yes I am. Thank you for noticing.

Thanks Google for sending all those readers to my blog. I am glad I could help.

These Boots are Made for Walkin’

BOOTS Nancy Sinatra's all-time hits
Image by Nesster via Flickr

No I am not singing the Jessica Simpson version. I have the Nancy Sinatra version with her kick a$$ white gogo boots in my head! I have been thinking about distances since I blogged late last night.

My dad has always been a record breaker, he writes down every book he reads to see how many he can read in a year, then tries to break that record. He keeps track of how far he runs so he can break that record. I am going to take a page out of his book and give it a go!

I am planning on walking/swimming to Tiffany & Co, located on 5th Avenue, New York City. I google mapped it and if I walk a half marathon every day, I would get there in 181 days. I am not sure what pace google thinks I should do it in tho. If I include swimming, I could make it there in 35 days. Maybe add a few more for sight seeing.

Google warns me the route has toll roads and a ferry and worst of all, it crosses through Canada! Well Google, how else do I get out of Canada if I don’t walk across it? True, you would make me walk through hanis parts of Canada called Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s just flat. Flat that goes on forever in a flat non interesting way. Once I cross the border in Manitoba and into Minnesota, I imagine it looks similar. I can’t remember, it’s been a while. I would take the ferry across Lake Michigan, or I could swim. But I think that lake is colder than most glacier fed lakes that I have been in, so I will rest my bone weary feet and take the ferry. Which reminds me…

I will need to budget for new shoes. Apparently I need to replace my shoes ever 400km. That means I would need 10 pairs of shoes x $189 = $1890!!! AND THERE IS NO RED SOLES?!?! That isn’t taking into account the toll roads…screw that, I will walk in the ditch and save me some coin. I would carry a sleeping bag and sleep in Wal-Marts across North America! Or some farmer’s field along the way. I will live off the land eating berries, muskrat and the odd gopher or two. I have enough Facebook and Blogger Friends, I am sure I can bunk in their goat house or balcony along the way.

So far I have walked 125km since April 19th when I started training for the half marathon. I have swam 138km so far this year that makes 263km since I started my fitness journey. That number seems so small compared to the soreness I feel in my muscles. Okay, I am officially depressed!!! CRAP this is going to take me a while.

263km means I have walked to Marsden, Saskatchewan. All I saw was a couple of moose and a billion mosquitos. It has taken me 12 .5 days. I think 181 days is more accurate.

The reality is, I am not walking a half marathon a day. So maybe it might take me a year, but I am going to keep track. I will let you know when I get there.

Ready Boots? Staaaaaaaaaaaaaaart walkin’!