Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hockey night and day and night in Canada.

Gotta love Christmas week in the hockey world. I am a Canuck fan. And I was thrilled to watch them kick Calgary's butt 5-3 tonight.

But this was not before we watched Canada beat Slovakia in the World Juniors, which had been recorded to the PVR earlier in the day. (I will admit to catching a few naps during this game.)

Immediately following the Canucks came the Spengler Cup game. Canada against Davos, or someone. Alb is currently watching this game. I couldn't take any more. I'm a Canuck fan, not necessarily a huge hockey fan. And so while Alb lays in bed watching the has-beens and not-quites play hockey, I sit here in the dark at midnight typing out my life for you.

We generally start watching hockey games a while after they actually start. With the PVR you can then fast forward through the commercials and basically catch up to live tv by the time the game ends.

It was 9:35 when the phone rang. We were watching the 3rd period. "Mom, can Dad come pick me up? I'm at 15th and Nicholson," was Jed's response when I said, "Hello."

He wanted a ride because he didn't want to wait until 9:49 when the bus was scheduled to arrive. I explained that even if Dad left now, the bus would probably get to him first, and I convinced him to just patiently wait for the bus.

About 20 minutes later, I could hear a diesel engine running in the driveway. I thought, "That little turkey, he must have convinced a passerby to give him a ride home."

A glance out the window confirmed that, yes, he had gotten a ride to our door. In a city bus. Yes, there was a city bus at our driveway! The bus stop is a few blocks away on a different street than we live on, but the driver was finished for the night and Jed was the only one on the bus so he brought him right home. Now that's service!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Year in Review

Happy Christmas to all our friends and family, and family that is our friends! What a year 2007 has been. We started off the year as empty nesters celebrating our 25th anniversary in January. Quite an accomplishment in today's world, I sit here and smugly think, all the while smiling at how relatively easy Albert has made it for us to achieve this. :)

We had the wind knocked out of our sails shortly thereafter when Albert's sister, Muriel, was tragically and suddenly taken from us. Equally shocking to us, about the same time, we learned that Brandi's marriage had ended.

February we celebrated Albert's Dad's 80th birthday and his 12th anniversary (actually, it might even have been his 13th) as a cancer survivor.

In March, after a few years of talking about it, we started the countdown to our trip across Canada on the Goldwing.

In June, the Ziemer family had its first ever family-only reunion to celebrate Dad and Mom's 60th anniversary. This kind of made our 25 years pale in comparison, but gives a great example to follow.

July 16th we embarked on our journey with great excitement and even disbelief that it was actually happening. The trip was fantastic and we wouldn't hesitate to do it again on the bike. We are little disappointed that we didn't get over to Newfoundland, but 6 and a half weeks just wasn't long enough. Ten weeks would have been better, I think. As most of you know, I blogged along the way and if you are sitting on a winter's day with nothing to do, you can check it out at

September was turbulent as we settled back into real life. There were lots of changes taking place at my work and there were issues arising in Jed's home.

In October we moved Jed back to our house. We are in the midst of making plans to set up a basement suite for him to live in. This will allow him to have some independence, yet still receive the support and supervision he needs. While the home he had been in for 15 months didn't meet his needs, we are thankful that it allowed us to be gone for the summer without too much worry. We learned and grew through the experience and we thank God for the good things that did come of it.

This fall, I took a watercolour art class and will continue with another one in January. Albert is exercising his brain with guitar lessons this year.

Zedd (Ken) and Jade are doing well. Jade went to art school with me. It was fun doing girl-stuff together.

Brandi came home from Vancouver for a short visit for Christmas. It was so good to see her. It was the first time we've spent time with her since last Christmas, with the exception of seeing her at Bernie and Stacey's wedding in May. That weekend we got to meet Kore. He seems like a really nice guy, but as parents it's taking some time for us to accept the situation. But God is good and life carries on.

Well, this is starting to sound like a therapy session so it's probably a good thing the year is coming to an end. We look forward to 2008 and anticipate good things in store. It is our hope that God will bless each of you in a very personal and meaningful way in the coming year.

Monday, December 24, 2007

And just like that, it's over.

Ahh! I sink into my computer chair, glass of wine in hand, and contemplate putting some music on as I set out to catch up on some facebooking, email and blogging. No music, I decide. I'll just sit here in the glorious silence of my semi dark house all alone.

I love my family. I love Christmas. I love all the food. And drinking. And gifts, and wrapping and decorating and parties and food and drinking and.....

After a day of hub-bub and turkey and creative ways of dragging the gift opening out so it takes hours and tests the patience of my children, 5 o'clock was suddenly upon us. Zedd and Jade headed home with their stash of goodies, Alb headed off to work to earn more money in 12 hours than I make in a month, Jed wandered off to Christmas Eve Service at the church and I drove Brandi to the airport after a very short, but better-than-nothing visit.

I climb into my new flannel pj's and light a few candles around me and count my blessings.

2007 has been a wild ride and I thank God for the gift of His Son which has allowed me to hang on for the ride and emerge triumphant to face 2008 with anticipation and vigor. (For now.)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Mom, I'm going to die on this plane.

Those are not exactly the words a mother wants to hear in the middle of the night while on the way to the airport.

Brandi's Jazz Air flight was delayed in Vancouver for over an hour because the plane wouldn't start and it needed to be hooked to a "thing-a-ma-jig" or something for an hour before they could leave.

The little old 24 seater was a step up from a propeller plane and the two girls her age sitting near her helped the flight to pass quickly once they got off the ground. But I'm betting she'll splurge the extra hundred bucks next time and fly West Jet, get her free peanuts and arrive at a decent hour.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

How many trips to Costco does it take?

I will not enter another store, with the exception of ONE more trip to Superstore, until after the 28th of December. I won't, I won't, I won't.

I've repeated this numerous times in the last 4 days. It's not working. Every day I think of just one more thing, and end up cha-chinging my debit card till it nearly melts from the friction of over-use.

The other day, I deposited my pay cheque and my Christmas bonus on the way to "my last trip to Costco," which Alb accompanied me on. He wanted to get a snow shovel. On the way to the shovel aisle we got interrupted by the Dewalt tool aisle. Uh, yeah. So long, goodbye, Christmas Bonus. And a mere $600 later, we exited the store with a piled high cart. It wasn't until after the Dewalt drill, saw and reciprocating saw, and whatever else was in the case, were unpacked and charging their batteries we realized we forgot the shovel.

After work today, I thought I'd just whip into Costco one last time and grab a shovel and a few other items I'd thought of. I managed to keep it just over $150 this time. As I drove into my bumpy snow-packed driveway, I realized ... yup, I forgot the shovel.

I am not going back there! Where are the kids who came around last week offering to shovel it for me for 5 bucks? I had no cash so I had to turn them away. Yoohooo boys! I have cash now. Come Back!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Is it a lie if you didn't mean to say the wrong thing?

Normally I go to church on Saturday night. It just fits my schedule better when I work every Sunday. However this week I was scheduled for kitchen duty on Sunday. This happens every 8 or 10 weeks and I get to go to church and have people ask me if I'm new to the fellowship I've been attending for 10 or 12 years.

This weekend was Christmas concert weekend. I was asked to bring some baking for Saturday night service, my usual service. Because I knew I was attending Sunday to do coffee duty, I just dropped off my baking on Saturday night and left.

On the way home, I took a different route home than I had taken to get to the church. There was a road block for the Christmas Counter Attack. The kind officer asked, "Have you had anything to drink tonight?"
"Nothing, at all?"

Since my mind works approximately 347.82 times faster than my lips, the little red devil on my left shoulder had me thinking I should say, "I just came from the church where they are having a Christmas Concert rehearsal. I keep telling them that if they served beer they'd get more volunteers." But at the same time the angel on the right shoulder reminded that I had just had 2 glasses of wine with my dinner. Ooops. I just lied to an officer. I hadn't really intended to lie. I just didn't think. I certainly wasn't drunk, so it didn't cross my mind to say I had had some wine.

Now what do I do? Do I back-track and confess that, yes, I have been drinking. Or do I carry on with my original statement?

I choked out an answer, "Nothing at all."

My nose grew 3 inches and my face turned red in embarassment in the dark and the kind officer glanced me up and down and I guess he approved of my innocent smile as he said, "Have a good evening."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Have you no idea what you smell like?

There's that perfume that people wear that just gags you when they walk by. You know which one I mean... the one that smells like mildew. It's better known as Patchouli oil. Every time I smell it, I can't help but think, "Person who shares my air space, have you no idea what you smell like?"

The Patchouli plant

I was in the mall the other day and my hands were very dry and in need of a sample of moisturizer. I had no clue that Lush had opened the day before, or else I would not have headed off to Body Shop. But off I headed.

There, front and centre with a large sign saying "BEST SELLER!" was some different varieties of hemp lotions and potions. One was Extreme Hand Protector. Ah yes, just what I needed. I squeezed and rubbed and suddenly realized the unlisted ingredient was patchouli oil. OMG!

Read what Wikipedia has to say about patchouli:
Patchouli oil and incense underwent a surge in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, mostly among devotees of the free love and hippie lifestyles, since the pungent smell of patchouli is known to cover the smell of burnt cannabis and body odor. During the Vietnam war, American soldiers used patchouli to mask the smell of the graves of enemy soldiers killed in combat. War protesters of the time used patchouli on themselves, to demonstrate that "we are all one race, we are the same as the enemy soldiers." Also, the Hare Krishna movement may have been partly responsible for this surge, as the god Krishna is said to "inhabit" patchouli. It can also be used as a hair conditioner for dreadlocks. One study suggests Patchouli oil may serve as an outdoor insect repellent.

I don't think I had body odour to disguise, and it's been quite a number of years since I have needed to mask the scent of burnt cannabis. (And quite frankly, burnt cannabis and unwashed bodies smell better.) I washed my hands and applied a variety of other products to mask the smell. But no luck. For the next two hours, every person I passed in the mall looked at me out of the corner of their eye and I could tell they were thinking, "Person who shares my air space, have you no idea what you smell like?"

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sleeping in: a fantasty that never materializes.

Tuesday was sleep-in day. It was the first day since I don't remember when, that no one had to work, Jed's lifeskills worker wasn't arriving at the crack of dawn and we had nothing pressing on our schedule. We even let Jed stay up until midnight.

Typically, I am wide awake sometime between 5 and 7 am. But I love the thought of sleeping in being a possibility. However, Tuesday it appeared it might be a reality. I was still soundly sleeping at 7:45... when I heard my bedroom door open and the deep bass voice of my 21-year-old baby says, "What's your plan for today, Mom."

I kept the f-words and other expletives contained within my head while I growled, "Shut the door!" But that was it. 7:45 was my sleep in.

Today I have plenty on my schedule, not the least of which is shopping. Jed has papers to deliver this morning and he also needs to shovel snow at his job at the nearby motel, then he has an appointment at 1:00.

Being the loving and supportive mother that I am, I have offered to help him by driving around while he does the papers. As I called him bright and early to ask him, "What's your plan, Jed." let's just say, he wasn't as graceful at containing the expletives as I had been the morning before.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Good things are about to happen.

At minus 20, this morning was the warmest we've had in about 10 days or so. The thermometer has been bouncing between -20 and -30. Yesterday morning it was hovering about -30 when I went to start my car to take Jed to work.

wrrrr-wrr-wrr--- Nope. The poor little Jet just refused to fire on her 7 year old battery. And I had so many errands and things planned to do. Was I frustrated sitting there in my frozen little car? No. I actually began to get quite excited as I thought of all the things that were about to happen: We are going on a tropical vacation, Alb is finally going to get his ear pierced, we are getting matching tattoos on our butts, I'm losing 40 pounds. How do I know these things? Cuz I'm pretty sure hell is about to freeze over.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Guilt? Or a prompting from the Spirit? Either way I think I'll take action.

Sometimes a guilty conscience can cause you to read more into a situation that is really there. I'm hoping that's the case for today when I got a mental slap upside the head.

As I ranted in my earlier blog, I have not even signed my name to a bought Christmas card, much less laboured over creating the fantastic unique specimens of paper and envelope that I usually send out to friends and family. Today I received a couple of Christmas cards in the mail to add to the beautiful collection that is starting to accumulate on the hearth. One was from my Grandparents...

"Merry Christmas, we love you and we keep informed about your family through your parents...." Okay, perhaps it's just my guilt speaking, but does that not sound an awful lot like, "Merry Christmas, we love you. And you, well it seems you have totally forgotten your Grandparents even exist, for we have not heard from you since last Christmas. And you know full well we do not have a computer so we cannot follow your blog and we do not access Facebook. Love Grandpa and Grandma."

I will sign off now and go find a pen and a box of Christmas cards.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A little calm among the hubbub

Two weeks? How can Christmas be only 2 weeks away. I'm running about two months behind right now. Normally by October 1st I have decided on what colour of wrapping paper to use, and come up with a creative way to tag each present in such a way that no one knows whose is whose. Yes, I said "what colour of wrapping paper to use." Doesn't everyone 'theme' wrap so everything matches?

And boxes. I have but 2 boxes in my collection of empties. I cannot wrap a present that is not rectangular or square. There'll be no misshapen packages or gift bags allowed in my house. Everything has to stack in a neat little pile. Okay, I use the term "little" loosely. The pile is normally about 5 feet high and 12 feet across. Not this year.

So far I have one present bought. One. Just one. And I have ordered two online - I hope they come in wrap-able boxes. Well, at this point I just hope they come, I'm running out of time.

I haven't done any baking. I haven't planned a party. I haven't made or signed a single Christmas card. I haven't even lit a pine or cranberry scented candle. But...

Jesus and Mary and the others have been removed from the cellar and are arranged on the coffee table where they sit quietly amongst the hubbub to gently remind us that He came to bring peace and good will.

Monday, December 3, 2007

This is a test

I can create blogs directly in Office 2007 and have them upload automatically. At least that's the theory. And this is a test.

Consider Yourself Reminded.

Ten years. It's been 10 years today since I was branded with that title that no-one ever wants to wear. That is until you receive it. ...