Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's a poopy job, but I'm up for the challenge.

I know I said that if I ever see my sewing machine again, it'll be too soon. But all Granny's must sew, or knit, or quilt, or crochet and so it is my duty to haul out my trusty old Kenmore once again.

Jade has decided she's gonna use cloth diapers. It's cheaper. It's environmentally friendlier. Did you know that every day, in Canada alone, 1,000,000 diapers go to the land fill. Thats ONE MILLION. Envision that. A pile of one million poopy diapers. Every day.

Now I'm no tree hugger and I participate in this disposable world as much as the next guy, but I'm shocked by this realization. And so I decide I will support my children in their quest for cloth. (And keep a bag of pampers under my bed)

As I was doing my pre-baby shopping and price gathering, I checked out the cloth diapers. The all-in-ones with rubber pants attached (as seen below) are $48 for five. Yup, that's over nine bucks each. Without rubber they are eight for $37 - Still nearly $5 each, and you need to buy rubber pants as well. So I decide I can make 'em.

I find some patterns online. Mentally calculate the price of flannel, terry, vinyl, elastic and thread. And we're probably sittin' about $3 each. Still more than I was expecting. ... Lets try Ebay. Holy crap. Even on Ebay they range from 13 to 21 dollars. Per diaper! No wonder so many people opt to fill the dump.

So I'm back to sewing. It'll all be worth it to have little baby bum wrapped in Granny-love. It'll help to pad against the Granny discipline that I'm sure will come eventually.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I get by with a little help from my friends.

Because the wedding was different and certainly not North American traditional, there weren't the traditional events like a bouquet toss ( we had an ax throwing contest instead) garter throw (there was archery) first dance (the bride went fishing) toasts of the bride and bridesmaids (there was a huge fireworks display) entertainment (the children went on snake hunts) candlelight ( there were citronella torches around the field) no corsages and boutonnières (there were swords and helmets)

While this made for a unique and memorable wedding, there were a couple of things that didn't fit the program, yet need to be done. I want to acknowledge the people that traveled and/or took time off work to attend: Grandma Cross, Grandpa & Grandma D, Matt & Cindy, Kore & Brandi, Ted & Di and Colin & Mikaela, Uncle Gilmour & Aunty Gerri, Jeremiah & Carmen, Patrick, Tamara and kids. And like a traditional wedding, when you thank people you always run the risk of forgetting someone important. Truly we are thankful for each and every person that attended. And we are equally thankful for the high costume participation factor. Our friends and family rock! (For the record, I was showing the pics to someone today who had also attended a medieval wedding this weekend. One in which she described as rushed, unorganized, few costumes, and the ones that were there paled by comparison. Kudos to the Ziemer/Cross clans!)

And heartfelt thanks and appreciation go out to many. Again I run the risk of omitting someone important, but to name a few:
Jim for his fantastic job at officiating his very first wedding ever.
John for using his legal ability to actually marry the kids.
Lucy for her unmatched expertise with a sewing machine making the most perfect wedding dress ever.
Aunty Joan for her skills as baker extraordinaire, and her emotional support and love for the bride. And the use of the Cape Cod glassware.
Aunty Connie and Grandma & Grandpa D, Jim, Michelle, for all the set up/take down help - there were many others involved as well. Dan J, Diana, Brandi, Patti, ... long list. Just imagine your name here in print.
Aunty Barbee for the fantastic banners.
Albert for his support of my wild imaginings and his loose wallet strings. AND his ability to make great babies who grow up to make handsome grooms.
Brandi for her vision and skill providing the perfect hair and makeup for Jade. And her wine serving experience that kept mama chilled out and de-stressed.
Kore whom I cannot thank enough for his chef ability. Bet when he offered to 'roast a pig' he had no idea what I would throw at him.
Kyle, Kore & Jed for their contributions to the amazing fireworks display.
Grandma Jean for the most amazing wedding cake anyone has ever seen. Seriously.
Tineke for her unparalleled photography skills. (which we patiently, yet anxiously, await to view)
Crystal, Angie, Savoryann, Tyler, Neil and all the little girls for their roles in the wedding party.
God for His supply of fabulous weather that just topped the weekend off.
And finally Arlene and Brian from Vivian Lake Resort. Their hospitality and service was way above and beyond. If ever you need beautiful lakeside accommodations for an event call 'em 250-967-0027. There's cabins and camping and fields and kitchen facilities...

Perfect. Just Perfect.

You know how it is when you plan a big event. You organize and stress and spend and work and then it comes down to the day. And poof! It's all over. It's almost a let down.

Ken & Jade's medieval wedding was not like that.

Oh yeah, there was the pressure of pulling off a wedding in 4 months. But I thrive under pressure. Okay, maybe not "thrive." But I procrastinate until I'm under pressure. My most creative work is done last minute. Perhaps that's the reason I take little brown blood pressure pills every morning.

Either way, the wedding was a huge success. And the fact that it was held at a fantastic lake location and the event spread over 3 days, meant that there was no "crash and burn" let down when it was all over. And God, He graciously supplied the perfect weather. 27 degrees and sunny with a light cloud cover appearing just as the people gathered under open skies to witness the ceremony and feast in the open field.

I was so pleased with the 80-90% crowd participation in the costume donning. It was fantastic and I'm so glad so many people have posted albums on facebook. It's great to get to spend more time really examining the different costumes.

The ceremony was quite unique. And unrehearsed. Yes, there was no rehearsal. And yes, some people in the wedding party had never been to a wedding before. And some became members of the wedding party a 1/2 hour before the show. Due to a death in a family one of the flower girls could not attend. One of the bridesmaids, from far away, had just found out her husband's job was ending and decided it was best not to spend the money on travel. (I think the truth is that she found out that every other adult woman in the wedding party was 2-3 months pregnant and she wasn't willing to risk participating :)

But we had the dresses and flowers. And we had willing participants. I'll bet no one in the crowd even knew that 2 of them were stand-ins.

The event was casual and relaxed, yet organized and smooth flowing. It was just a great weekend of family fun with unique events like ax throwing, fishing, archery, great fireworks and snake hunting. Things you'd only find at wedding organized by yours truly. Thanks for participating.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Better Early Than Late.

We arrived back from Dave & Dallin's wedding in Quesnel. There were 2 messages waiting on the phone.

First one:
"Hi, this is Arlene from Vivian Lake Resort. I know your big day is nearly here so I just wanted to touch bases with you. Have a good weekend."

Second one:
"Hi, this is Arlene from Vivian Lake Resort. Again. Ummm. You're chairs from PG Rentals have just arrived."

I called her back but got no answer. I called PG Rentals to get the scoop. "Uh, yeah. We screwed up," he said.

I confirmed that I was still booked for next week. And here's hoping that any other screw-ups that are going to occur will be that easily rectified.

I feelin' the stress, but it's all good. Things are coming together. In 7 days it will all be a memory and we can all chillax and enjoy a weekend of camping with 100 family members, eating left over wedding cake and pork roasts.

Friday, July 18, 2008

In a small town, midnight isn't really 12 AM.

Remember 20-30 years ago, everything in our family was babies, babies, babies. So it only stands to reason that now it's weddings, weddings, weddings.

Four weddings in five weeks.

This puts the pressure on the wedding planners to come up with something different to make the event unique. Dallin (and her entourage) managed to pull that off quite nicely. The ceremony was on a Thursday, after dark, in candle light, and the reception was the next day.

This of course meant it was after 10pm before the ceremony started. It was after 11 when we got to our hotel room and we were all hungry. So let's order something in. Not. A quick glance through the phone book showed us that the booming town of Quesnel closes down by 9 pm on a Thursday. Closer scrutiny revealed that Boston Pizza was open until midnight. Yay!

At 11:10 I placed the call to make my order and received this reply, "Sorry, we've decided to close." I guess midnight doesn't mean midnight in a small town.

David & Dallin Ziemer, July 17, 2008:

Lighting the candles and torches in preparation for the after-dark ceremony.
The setting was beautiful to begin with, and enhanced with lights and candles.

There were enough flashes going off that I managed to get a lighted shot of the bride walking down the aisle.

Imagination was needed for the ceremony visuals. The ceremony included traditional Irish Hand-fasting and was really cool and unique.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Retail therapy: I did it for my health.

Thursday was a day off work. A day to stay home and finalize my sewing projects: make 2 pair of boots, hem a dress, make some arm bracers and alter my dress (yay - it's still too big. I didn't want to alter it early cuz I began to believe I might grow into it :)

It was also yet again another day for Alb to work on the house. He's working so hard and things are coming together quite nicely. I really am proud of him. Glad I snagged him from the throng of women chasing after him all those years ago.

But here's my issue: When I have lots to do and concentrate on, I like silence. I like to be left alone in my own little bubble with thoughts and visions running back and forth ever so silently through my brain. Alb produces much better with music playing. And his work also requires a compressor to be running. And an air nailer. And he sings. And I had my sewing machine zinging along. And Jed had the TV blaring so he could hear it over the symphony of sounds within our walls...

About 3 o'clock I literally thought I was going insane. I had to get out. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that I was bleeding to death in a female cycle I've had no use for for 22 years. Or that I hadn't eaten anything yet that day. Or that I tried to make an appointment with my hairdresser and she's having a difficult pregnancy and won't be working this month. (Dammit, why couldn't she plan these things around my family wedding!) And I was supposed to be going to my doctor for analysis of my blood pressure and the medications he's got me on. Turns out he's on vacation for 2 weeks and I'm running out of pills. And my house was chilly cuz it's a cool day and all the doors are open with the construction going on. I'm stressed. I'm cold. I'm hungry. I need a haircut. I need some silence. I just have to leave. (I can see it all now- menopause will not sit well with me when it arrives.)

I kissed my hubby and said, "There's too much noise. I gotta get out. I'm gonna see if I can find someone to cut my hair."

I got into my car. My black leather car had the sun shining on it and it was like an oven. A glorious therapeutic oven. I pulled the door shut with a thud. Ohhh, the silence contained within. Hot leathery, coconut air freshener silence. I burst into tears at the pure joy of it. I didn't want to go anywhere. I just wanted to sit there basking in the quiet heat. But I covered up my red eyes with sunglasses and drove away.

I tried a few places to walk in off the street and get a hair cut-and-colour but no one had immediate openings for me. I made an appointment for Friday evening and headed off for some retail therapy.

I promised myself I wouldn't go Granny-crazy and start baby shopping until after the wedding. But I only promised myself. I didn't say it out loud, nor did I put it in writing. So I caved. And I shopped. I keep being drawn to the boy things, but I bought a gender-neutral little yellow sleeper and a pregnancy journal for Mommy Jade. I priced out a lot of other things. Okay, perhaps I picked up a couple of other items and tucked them away. They were on sale. It was therapy. I did it for my health.

Hopefully I can remember where I stashed the items come February when baby arrives, and before he grows out of them. ... And if he's a girl, what the heck, there's always next time.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Not Exactly a New Fridge, But a Winfall None-the-less.

We had Christmas in July today!

We were just barely rolling out of bed this morning when Purolator came to the door with a delivery for Jed. And just like every Christmas, he excitedly helped to haul the boxes in, hoping with all his heart for a new snowmobile or laptop. And while his fantasy once again did not come true, it was exciting to go through the seven large boxes of stuff.
We are plugging right along on his basement suite and new front entrance on our house, with move-in day projected to be September 1st.

While I am ever grateful for the grant from Giving in Action towards the construction, I am not above looking for further hand outs. And as such, I called the Disability office last week to see if Jed could get some help financing the new appliances he is going to need.

"No, sorry. We can't give financial support for appliances," the kind lady on the phone told me. "But..." She got all excited to tell me about a one-time project of the government to supply "tenant starter kits" to qualified individuals who are 1st time tenants.
And so, 3 days later, we had Christmas in July. The products are not items you'd likely find in the aisles of Tiffany's or Saks 5th Avenue, but we still consider them fantastic gifts from God that came through Zellers, President's Choice and Canadian Tire via the Provincial Government of BC. And for that we are truly thankful!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Awoken with a start and a stopped heart.

I had just fallen into a deep sleep about 6 am after Alb left for work this morning.

Crash! I was awakened with such a jolt, I thought someone had driven into my house. My heart stopped momentarily before leaping to 800 beats per minute. I laid there a few minutes trying to decide if I was brave enough to get up and see what happened.

Courage gathered, I tiptoed out to the living room. The front of the house seemed intact. I wondered if I should grab a knife from the kitchen before I went to the back of the house. I checked out the window and Jed's tent (his temporary bedroom) was still standing seemingly untouched. My car didn't appear to be broken into. So I stumbled back to bed, heart still racing.

I laid there trying to repeat the sound in my mind so I could decipher what made the noise I was certain had really happened, it wasn't just a dream.

About 10 minutes later I decided either someone had slammed the side of my bedroom wall with a shovel or else a crow slammed into the window. I jumped up and opened the bedroom window (which rather than hang blinds, I have painted black.) I looked for feathers smushed into the glass. There were none, but the thick dust seemed to be disturbed. I think I was on to something.

I looked down to the walkway below, and there looking up at me with large blinking white eyes was a rather huge wood pecker (or some other such winged beast). I ran for the camera and managed to get a shot just before the little sucker took off flying.

While it would have served the creature right had he met his end, I was rather glad he was able to fly away and I didn't have to clean up the carcass.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Team work: I talk, he works.

We went to pick out our new front door for the addition on the front of our house. I don't like really ornate looking stuff, but since this is the front door, and we live in town now, I wasn't going to get away with just the standard nine-pane version that gives lots of light.

We settled on a style. Alb leafed through the stacks of doors to find the right size and hinge side. The one that we needed already had a door knob on it - weird. Closer inspection revealed that the door had obviously been installed somewhere before. Alb pointed out a bit of damage and some screw holes in the frame. Other than some finger prints, the door itself was unharmed.

"There should be some kind of discount on this," he says to me. A customer service rep was walking towards us. Alb did want any man worth is salt would do. He turned to me and said, "I have to get a piece of plumbing, you talk to her." And off he went.

It's probably not the door knob I would have chosen first, but for a $212 discount on the door. I'll happily live with it.

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. ...