Monday, March 31, 2008

My fantastic Ebay dress.

My mother-of-the-groom dress arrived on Friday. I ordered it from Ebay and it arrived via Canada Post. Normally when I get a parcel, the postman knocks on the door, if we are home we receive the parcel. If we are not home, he leaves a parcel card in the mailbox and we go to the post office to retrieve it.

Jed and I were up and fighting with each other before 8 am on Friday and neither of us heard anyone come up the stairs nor knock on the door. (they usually come to the back door) At 10:30 Jed went out to take the garbage can to the street for pick up, and saw the parcel laying on the deck beside the back door. How weird.

The only thing I can think is that as the postman raised his hand to knock, he could see directly into my kitchen where I stood washing the dishes and yelling instructions, interlaced with expletives, towards Jed while I was trying to convey that it was in his best interest to do some chores, like taking out the trash, if wanted to continue to live in my home. It appeared that my method of verbal explanation was not working so I enforced it by projecting a dripping dishcloth in his general direction.

I envision the postman peering in my window just as the cloth fwapped Jed in the side of the head, so he just dropped the parcel and ran for his life. Ooops. Well, social services didn't pay me a visit and Jed immediately took the garbage out, so I guess all was not lost.

And my dress is fantastic.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Scrambled thoughts.

It's Beginner's Show-and-Tell month at the Artist's Co-op this month. I submitted 4 entries. I was a little bit surprised at the number of people who attended the open house the other night.

We are currently on a few week break between classes. The next session starts on Tuesday - one day after I start my digital painting class online. And we are deep in the midst of wedding planning, shopping, surfing, sewing... And homeshow season at work is in full swing (lots of ad and sign design happening) and the NHL race is so tight and intense with play-offs just around the corner, and my hairdresser broke her shoulder and I really need a haircut....

And we received word yesterday that the funding has been approved for us to build a basement suite for Jed. This, I must tell you, I am so pleased and thankful to God about. I realize this venture will be far more labour intensive for Alb than for me, but I am really looking forward to getting a plan and direction in place for Jed.

Then maybe there will be some semblance and order to our lives. Or not. I've heard it said that life is what happens while we are waiting. Doesn't that seem so true? We are always waiting for this or waiting for that before we can get on with our real life. I suspect we'll all be laying on our death beds breathing our last, before we can truly sigh, "Finally, I can get on with my real life."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Here piggy piggy pig...

Okay. So the kids want a Medieval wedding complete with a pig roast. It sounds like fun. I'm carnivorous and the thought of eating from a whole pig doesn't bother me. Even having the head as a centerpiece is alright with me.

However, I have never cooked a full-bodied animal. So it's Google to the rescue. (I seriously wonder how we learned things before the days of Google.) I found a few good sites that detail the procedure. I learned from someone else's bad experience that rigor mortis sets in a few hours after butchering. One thing you do not want to do is store the pig in a new garbage can filled with ice. This will give you a pig on a stick with it's legs splayed and the head peering backwards over its shoulder. You must place it into a neat position before nature takes its solidifying course. I find this information hilarious, yet useful.

Other information I found very useful was not so funny: After butchering you must clean out the nostrils, ears and butt hole. Somehow this takes the novelty out of the whole episode. I started to think that a couple of large pork roasts on a stick would be just as tasty.

Then... I was talking to Brandi on the phone the other night and Kore, from the background, shouted that he'd be willing to cook the pig. Perhaps he was just trying to score brownie points with me, but I called him a "Good Boy" and I plan to take him up on the offer. And by "cooking" I'll assume he means "dressing and preparing" as well.

Bring your largest Q-tips, Kore. You've got a big job ahead of you.

Okay I wrote this blog yesterday and now, today, I have another comment:
I just finished watching "Ed's Up"- the show hosted by Ed Robertson from Bare Naked Ladies. He was touring a pig butchering plant. OMG. I will definitely be buying a pig that's already to go on a stick.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Melding of the Clans: Prepare ye the feast.

I gave Jade a couple of days to revel in the fact that she has a diamond on her finger. I then casually asked what she was thinking as far as dates for the wedding. Although in my mind I wanted immediate answers to: date, location, colour scheme, number of people in wedding party, number of guests, etc etc. I remained calm and casual. And I got a casual response. "I've always wanted a June wedding. And I'd like it outside." Ah good, so I have 15 months to play the part of wedding planner. Not.

All of their friends are telling them to have the wedding right away or they'll never do it. (Apparently some of them have been in the planning stages for up to 7 years now) They obviously don't know Jade's mother-in-law. But anyway, lest their wedding dreams slip away, it shall be held this year.

I totally overwhelmed the poor bride-to-be when I gave her 2 days to find a location and set a date so we could get the invitations on the go and get moving with plans. I did however manage to squeeze in a little more prep-time by convincing them there are far too many mosquitoes in PG in June for an outdoor wedding.

The location is set: Vivian Lake, 29 km out of town on Chief Lake Rd
The date is tentative: July 25-27 (I am still holding a glimmer of hope for an extra month and going with Aug 15-17, but my hope is fading fast) I know David's wedding is the week before this in July, but there are about a gazillion events in the family this summer, so every weekend is either right after or right before something else.
Theme is set: It will medieval. Guests are expected to attend in appropriate garb.
The time is approximately set: Ceremony will be about 6pm on Friday, with pig roast feasting to follow.
Cabins are rented: there is plenty of room for RV camping all around the wedding site and guests are encouraged to bring their families and camp all weekend (I believe its $14 per night; there are no hook ups)

Invitations will go out shortly with solid details, maps and info.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Whipping up a batch of love.

A few years ago we were reading some relationship enhancing book and it posed the question, "How did you know as a child that your mother loved you?" My husband answered within a nano-second, "Because she baked bread." This was a profound moment for me.

My mother baked bread during my childhood as well. And here all along I thought it was a survival method to keep us from starving to death. But it was love? Heck, even I can do that. And so began my venture of being a bread baker.

It's not that difficult to do. It doesn't cost much - time more than anything. I enjoy it. And I enjoy the results. But it seems life just rolls along and before you know it, 3 months have passed since we last partook of the goodness of my oven. It's not that I love my husband any less. Or that I haven't thought about baking bread. It's just that it didn't happen.

It's not unlike a thousand other possible expressions of love that I could do with little cost and effort but somehow time just marches on: Having coffee with my in-laws. Phoning my parents. Sending a treat to my daughter. Having lunch with a friend... the list goes on. It's not that I love them any less. It's not that I don't think about it. It's just that I don't make it happen.

That being said, I think I'll go whip up a batch of love....

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Shack.

I suppose it's only natural to second guess one's own decisions - especially ones made on a whim.

As my children move their belongings into The Shack I can't help but think "What are we doing with this dumpy little place?" And I watch in amazement as they excitedly decide where to hang their pictures and place their limited furniture. And memories fill my mind.

Our first house after living in apartment for a few months when we were first married: The Little House. It was smaller than The Shack, and we had a baby to fit in. It had running water. It didn't have a bathroom. There was a shower and an outhouse. The shower was the dividing wall between the bedroom and the living room. There were basically no kitchen cabinets. My china cabinet became the tupperware/corelle shelves.

The baby's crib was in the closet/pantry/storage room. The mice roamed freely so we got two cats to add to our family. Whiskey and Tequila. They got along well with the two dogs, Cheech & Chong, whom we also housed. We were happy and in love. And I honestly didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. Considering some of the abodes my parents raised 5 children in, I really had nothing to complain about. But truly, I didn't feel I had an reason to complain. We had company for dinners, we had pool parties (yes, we had a pool table in our 20x20 house) and I even hosted a bridal shower for my sister in this tiny home.

I am recently learning that joy and happiness come from within, not from our circumstances and stuff. Well, I think I always knew it in my heart but now my head is catching up and I can really think it through.

As my kids cheerfully accept their unfancy little home I can't help but be proud of them for their lack of greed and need that is so prevalent in our society. And my heart is confident that they'll do alright and be happy ever-after. And I thank God for the 2 months of crowded nest we had to get to know our daughter-in-law better.

Who'd a thunk it way back when I got that phone call "Mom, can we come stay over night?" that we'd be in this position 2 months later.

The cabinets are sturdy but filthy. There had been birds flying freely in the house and they were fed on top of the upper cabinets. It was not pretty. We thought the wood was just a dark greasy dirty version of the cabinet doors. Turns out they were painted bright yellow like the counter top!

We washed. We painted. We added new appliances and wallpaper border. Painted the range hood fan and voila... the 70's tiles become in vogue.

Jade kicked down this little spindle wall with the force of Gladiator.

There were layers and layers of lino on the floor under the disgustingly filthy living room carpet. The little house really smelled bad when we first got the keys. But 2 hours later when the carpet was laying in the front yard, the difference was amazing. I can't imagine how much animal feces and urine was in the fibres.

I love the green that Jade chose for the walls. It really gives the room character. That's an air conditioning unit on the wall. The fan works, but it's hard to tell during the winter how much it will actually cool the south facing living room.

Jade and Crystal learn to use a cordless drill as they put yet another layer on the floor.

There were papers from 1963 between layers of the flooring. This tells me they were replacing the floor in 1963. Makes ya wonder how old the home really is. The paper was interesting to read. Men's underwear was 39 cents and Volvos were cool.

A nice soft yet bold purple in the bedroom, totally transformed the room. Yes, the wood on the floor is the final edition. We sanded and Varithaned the OSB and it looks very good - peasant's laminate, we call it.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Who wants to marry a hundredaire?

... apparently Jade does!

And now we get to make wedding plans. I find this very exciting.
Poor Jade. She has had very little experience with weddings and such. I hope she can hold her own against me, who always has a ton of off-the-wall ideas of what might be cool.

There is no date set. I think she's still in shock that she actually has a diamond on her finger. (Even though it's the wrong finger, cuz the ring needs to be sized) She is sure she wants an outdoor wedding. Here in Prince George, that pretty much narrows it down to a 3 week period. She knows the colour. And it just so happens I have an entire wedding planned in that same colour scheme. But I think I'll just subtly drop ideas one-by-one rather than dump the wedding on her in one shot.

As mother of the groom I, of course, will need a fabulous new outfit so I look great in photos. How one is supposed to look great in photos weighing as much as I do is another matter. I think I'll go make a plate of nachos and pour a glass of wine and consider how I might shed some pounds before the big event.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I hope the Easter Bunny has snow shoes.

It's March and it's been a really long cold snowy winter here this year. But once again, we managed to make it through without plowing the driveway. Almost. We've just been driving on it and packing it down each time is snowed. By the end of February our driveway, which is level with the road in summer, had become a 30% grade.

This was all good until the weather started warming up, and then it became 3-foot thick soft mush - no doubt contributing in part to my lost skid plate last week.

We were having company for supper last night, and I didn't want them to lose their vehicle in the driveway and not be able to leave. I love them. I just don't have room for anyone else to stay. So I hired someone with a truck and plow. He no sooner drove away and the flakes started to come down. And they didn't stop.

The parts of my lawn that were beginning to show through are now covered in 10 inches of snow.
And as we were eating dinner someone came to our door and offered to shovel the driveway. .. where was he all winter???

I don't think there will be tulips for Easter in 2 1/2 weeks.

Words. The most powerful source known to humanity.

I love words. I love to write them. I love to know their meanings. I love to know their origins. But speaking them - not so much.  You can&...