Showing posts from 2008

You know its meant to be, when....

I don't often brave the boxing day crowd - unless I just want the challenge and excitement. I always say that I don't need to save a hundred bucks that badly.

About 2 pm on Dec 26 Alb suggested we face the Futureshop mob. I already knew I was getting a new HDTV and HD PVR for my birthday. We could see from our driveway that the Costco parking lot was full from Futureshop's overflow parking. But since it is only a few blocks away, there was no harm in going "just to see" how bad it really was.

We pulled into the parking lot and immediately found a close end spot to park in. We marched with dozens of others through the double glass doors and were met with wall-to-wall people inside. I knew there was no way I was going to stand in that line up that weaved its way half way through the store. But since we were there, we may as well inch and pry our way through the throngs to the TV department.

Of course the one I wanted had no price label on the shelf. Nathan just happen…

Who wants to know my PIN?

Here's a blog I wrote on December 10th. For obvious reasons, I was unable to publish it at the time:

Last year I planned to buy all my children a Wii for Christmas. Simple and sure to please. Not. I'm sure they would have been pleased, but simple it was not. Due to brilliantly successful marketing, people had to be willing to stand in line most of the night in order to score one. I wasn't willing. The kids got socks.

Once again this year I planned to buy 2 Wii's for my away-from-home children. (Jed uses mine, and I had other plans for him this year.) After my simple and successful procuring of my own Wii and Wii Fit (see my bog entries in October) I thought once again I was on to something simple, brilliant and sure to please. I saw them on in October, but since I was off work and it was a bit early to finish my Christmas shopping I decided I wouldn't order them just yet.

Bad decision. Nintendo's marketing is proving brilliant; even after more than thr…

Merry Christmas from the A&L Ziemer household.

Ah Christmas! The wonderful time of year when we take time to reflect on the goodness and love of Our Father who saw fit to bless us with a saviour - a means of reconciliation with Him.

And of course it’s that time of year when we also reflect on our own lives as we consider the events of this year that is now closing and look forward with anticipation to the coming year. It also is the time of year when we feel the urge to bombard our friends and family with the fluffy details of those events. And thus, here is your annual update on the inner workings of the Albert and Liana Ziemer family.

What year 2008 has proven to be. (I believe I started last year’s letter much the same way.)

A few days into January Ken and Jade unexpectedly moved into our house for about two months. With Jed back living with us, this created a crowded nest but it was a great opportunity to really get to know Jade.

Meanwhile we were trying to make some decisions as to Jed’s long term living situation.

In February we …

Aging sucks. But it beats the alternative, I suppose.

I had the ultra sound on my ovaries last week. As I lay there on the table bursting at the seams of my bladder, the technician drove her little toy all over my belly. As I winced and tied my legs in a knot to prevent accidents, she apologized for the uncomfortable yet necessary treatment.

"Have you ever had anyone pis themselves here on your table?" I asked.

"No. No I haven't," she snickered.

"Allow me to be the first."

I went for the results today. Yay, my left ovary looks really normal and healthy. The right one... not so much. It is significantly enlarged. Whatever that means. Apparently its not alarming enough to pursue further investigation at this time, but I will need to have another ultra sound in 3 months and the results will be sent to my oncologist.

So I guess all-in-all that's goodish news.

My family doctor will retire in February. Lucky jerk. Hopefully I won't have to get too familiar with his replacement any time soon. On the bright si…

I Kill Poinsettias

Most years I order at least one poinsettia plant from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fundraiser. Most years I kill it long before Christmas. Last year was the exception. The plant remained lush and beautiful long into the new year.

This year I picked up 3 white ones for the church a a lovely red one for my home. After about a week to 10 days mine started to look a little bit sad so I took it from it's place in the window and set it on the floor in precisely the same position last years plant thrived so well in. Within a few short days it was looking like... well, like this:

I think perhaps it's time to head out to the shed and find the storage bin containing my total score from last New Year's Day:

I figured I'd better scoot on over to the church and take a peek at how the white ones are doing. I'd be totally humiliated to walk into the church on Sunday to find 3 similar looking twigs in pots up on the stage. It's not like it's my fault - they just die on thei…

Oh my achin' eggs.

There are definite advantages to being a girl.

Shoveling the driveway is not my responsibility.

My mechanical abilities amount to, "Honey both my low beam headlights are burnt out. Good thing my car is so dirty no one minds my high beams." And miraculously those headlights will be fixed within 24 hours.

I am entitled to filling the shoe closet- even if I will never wear them. I need only leave space for one pair of men's running shoes and one pair of work boots, the rest is my space to pile up however I choose.

Other parts of girlness are not so fun.

Of course if you've been reading this blog you know that I've been conquering breast cancer and am forced to bring pink things into my life. Pink is a new experience for me - I tend to lean towards black and greens and red.

When a woman decides she will produce no more children the menses cycle should just dry up and go away. However, thanks to Eve and her quest for knowledge and equality, this is not the case. We are cur…

Exercising my option to opt out.

I know the economy is slow and it's Christmas time, and even the people at Capitol One and Synovate need to make an income, but give me a break. If I had a dollar for every unauthorized assault on my phone line in the past month I could pay off my mortgage.

I know they probably all strictly adhere to the 10 o'clock rule (no phone calls before 10 am and none after 10 pm) however I think they all live in Newfoundland or India. Which means I, in the Pacific Standard Time world, get the calls at ungodly times of the night, like 7:30am. I am not a happy camper to wake up to a telemarketer at that hour of the morning.

So this morning I made the effort to register with the National Do Not Call List. Before doing so, of course I did my due diligence and googled about it. I couldn't help but laugh out loud when I clicked on the information site and there, spread across the top of the page is an ad for ... Capitol One Mastercard. Oh, the irony!

I registered my number. Apparently they l…

There's no need to panic ... just yet.

I remember about 15 or 20 years ago, friends of ours put their Christmas tree up on December 2nd. I distinctly remember not being alone in thinking, "That is ridiculous."

But somehow in the past couple of decades, the Christmas season has just kept expanding.

I was in the mall on November 28th, and I crossed paths with a few different acquaintances. Now, I realize that Christmas is a nice neutral subject that most everyone can relate to, so it makes a good conversation starter, however, every person- myself included, was nearly in panic mode because we "weren't ready for Christmas yet". It wasn't even December yet.

In this electronic, high speed, ready-made, disposable world we live in, you'd think things would become simpler and easier. Not so. Back in the day when most gifts, cards and decorations were hand made, people managed to prepare for and celebrate the birth of our Lord in a two week time frame. Now we need two months. And thoughts of the Lord ra…

The flash and dash of Christmas time.

I love Christmas lights - pretty ones, not the gaudy Disney crap. They add brightness and cheer to the long dark days of winter. It should be the law that houses have Christmas lights from September 22 until March 22 while the nights are longer than the days.

However that being said, because the siding is only half finished and inside the finishing touches haven't been added to the addition, I myself have not really gotten into the festiveness of the season. Jed has lights twinkling in his windows so we don't look completely like grinches.

Until 4 o'clock yesterday, our grass was green and as I typically do every November and December, I held a small glimmer of hope that winter wouldn't actually materialize. Of course this yearning is partially spurred on by the fact that I still have aging summer tires on my car. And my drivers side wiper is about as useful as a soggy kleenex.

The snow started falling at 4 yesterday and shows no sign of stopping. Winter has arrived. I le…

My mom sews better than your mom.

This weekend was the unveiling of the Christmas decorations and as expected, everyone was thrilled and awed by my mother's quilting. Friday evening was a dessert night and silent auction to raise funds for a missions project. I had numerous people tell me to make sure I pass on their compliments to Mom.

Apparently they even took time during the Sunday service to acknowledge the displays. Everyone clapped and cheered and many want them left up all year. I however did not witness this display of gratitude because I was playing the role of sinner while I slept in to recover from the said decorating extravaganza.

For the record, the stained glass quilts will not be staying up all year ... that would mean I'd have to come up with something else to wow the crowd with next year at Christmas.

It's like traveling without leaving home.

Ok, so I signed up for this five year drug therapy because I was under the impression that hot flashes were the number one side effect. But can I just react like everyone else? Noooo. I have to rebel and be freezing all the time. However, this has allowed me to justify buying 2 new sweaters this week.

I've been experiencing another kind of weird thing. I don't know if it's drug related, or just that I'm so tired and have had a lot of things on the go lately, but I've had memory lapses it's not really memory loss - just forgetting things.

I have always had a good memory. As a matter of fact it's my memory that got me through high school in as good of shape as I did. It allowed me to skip 17 of 51 classes in the 2nd term of grade 10 math and still pull off a high B+. It's allowed me to win numerous "50 bucks, 50 bucks" from Jimmy. And I've always assumed I'd have it with me.

And you know what assume does.... (and just in case you don't …

Seven hours of deckin' the halls

I should have known by 9:10am yesterday what kind of day I was in for.

That's when I arrived at the church armed with the promised trays of veggies and cheese and a dozen cinnamon buns that I had bribed possible fellow decorators with. Starting time wasn't until 10 but I wanted to make coffee and get the last of the stuff unloaded from my car before that.

The church was locked up tighter than an American airport on September 12th ... Hmmm. Maybe the pastor and secretary don't start until 9:30, I'll go home and have a coffee. Thank God it's only a short drive.

As I sat at home savouring my morning brew, I thought, "I'd better phone the pastor. You never know..."

Turns out he was sick in bed and Wednesday is the secretary's day off.

"We gotta get you a key and the code," was the pastor's response to me. Uh no. I don't think so. Now, I don't mind having a title like "Official Church Decorator" but I don't want responsib…

Can you see a difference?

The siding, facia and soffit isn't finished yet, but I thought I'd post a picture of the house as it looks today compared to 2005.

Christmas threw up at my house.

Yes, Christmas has thrown up all over my house. I'd like to take credit for that hilarious statement, but I plagiarized it from a Facebook comment. But that doesn't change the facts: there is Christmas mess waist deep. And the sad part is, my house is not getting any beautifying benefit from it.

Starting in September, I became the Official Church Decorator and I am taking my job way too seriously. I've decided to totally revamp the seasonal d├ęcor. After numerous years of same-old same-old, there will be nothing red anywhere in the building. I didn't even dig through the boxes stashed under the stairs to find salvageable items to use. With the exception of the 3 huge wreaths, I just bought everything new in blue and purple and silver.

I had a humbly meagre yearly budget to work with. I blew through that in the first 8 minutes of September.

The official church decorating day is Wednesday. I've put out an invitation for anyone who wants to participate to be there. On one…

Face Up On Dash

Jade popped in for a bit after work today. I thought that was nice and was enjoying just sitting and visiting with her when she asked, "What time do you think the medical lab will be open until?"

Oh crap. I completely forgot that she had asked me the other day if I could give her a ride to get some blood work done because she passed out last time.

I'd been cleaning out the shop so I can have my winter parking spot back. My clothes were really grubby, I had only combed my hair with my fingers today and had on no make up. What the heck. It's only a 5 minute jaunt into the lab...

I didn't bother to change my clothes, fix my hair or paint my face. I didn't bother to buy a parking pass.

We got into the lab where Jade was informed she had to drink the orange potion and wait for one hour before she could give blood. The lab was open for 61 more minutes. 1 minute to drink, 60 minutes to wait. Good timing. Good thing I didn't waste time running after a parking meter.


Bring on the hot flashes.

I've been so cold the last week or so. I know that winter is in the air and you'd think I'd be used to it after living here for 32 years, but I still hate it. Thank God we have a hot tub again.

Today I opted for self-inflicted hot flashes to begin. Ahhh!

I had my consultation with Dr. Bishop, the oncologist. The pathology report indicated that my breast cancer was a 4mm tumor classified as DCIS, hormone positive. That means it was "ductal carcinoma in situ" which in english means the cancer cells were contained to a duct and had not invaded the duct walls, or anything else for that matter. It was very early stage. ***get your screening mammograms, people***

Being hormone receptive means that the cancer cells were spurred on by estrogen. There are different levels of hormone receptive-ness, mine was "highly receptive." This doesn't mean I have excessive levels of estrogen, but that the cancer respondes to and is fed easily by estrogen.

They have a formul…

Here's to you, Mom!

Yay! Jed has spent two nights in his new basement suite.

I still need to shovel out the spare room that he had been occupying for the last number of months. Since he has everything he needs for life and survival in his suite already, just about everything in the room is headed for the dump. Except for the items of mine that I've been missing for while and am sure to find buried beneath teddy bears, blankets and past issues of the Free Press. (I'm not even sure what these items are, but I am certain I will find some.)

Sunday night was his last night to sleep "at our house." He was in the bedroom supposedly getting ready for bed for while when he emerged with a present for me. He had blown up a blue surgical glove and drew a face on it. The back side of it said "To Mom. Love Jed. 22" I assume the 22 just stands for his age, but was probably influenced by the hockey signatures he has been around since becoming a volunteer at Cougar games this past week.

I thanked…

Giving in Action.

In January 2005, I became convinced that we were going to have to move into town when Jed graduated in June. He needed to have access to the bus system and other opportunities that were just not available 15 kilometers out of the city. Besides, our 6 bedroom house on five acres was starting to feel a little large and hollow for our shrinking family.

Although Albert wasn't totally convinced about the need to move, I began scoping out neighbourhoods I found acceptable. I wanted a sunny neighbourhood where the snow would be first to leave. That was my first priority. I didn't want to drive up or down long hills to get to work each day. Of course the bus system needed to be accessible to Jed.

I drove around neighbourhoods at different times of day on different days of the week to see how many unsupervised teenagers were "just hangin' out."

I didn't really care too much about the actual house. I knew Alb can fix anything. I didn't want something too big. And I di…

Wiiiiiiii ... what a wonderful surprise!

Last Saturday was the first day that I felt like I might finally be able to stay awake for more than 2 hours at a time. So I celebrated with a little retail therapy.

When I arrived back home from the mall, Al F's vehicle was on the street and there was a strange black car in the driveway. I knew Al was coming to remove some firewood that was stacked behind our shop, and I assumed he brought some help with him.

I parked my car on the street and was walking up my driveway when this cutest ever little blond chick comes walking out from behind my house. I screamed like a girl!! And ran to hug my baby girl.

Brandi and Kore had bought a new car and took it for a little test drive and came for a surprise 24 hour visit. Ahhh! That was just what the doctor ordered. We had a little impromptu family BBQ and spent the evening challenging each other on the Wii. Ok, I mostly just cheered them on - one game of bowling was about all the energy I had to expend.

What a fabulous day.

Jed got home from a …