Monday, June 26, 2017

Reconnected!

Nice to be back in a larger city with WiFi connections everywhere....yay Edmonton!

What a glorious, hot, wind free summer day. I am so used to the constant winds in southern Saskatchewan that for awhile after our arrival here this afternoon I couldn't figure out why I was enjoying being outside in our relative's back yard so very much. Then I realized it was because the air was still. What a calming scenario: outside in the warm sun with nary the slightest breeze to contend with...a true delight.

We had a great weekend visiting friends. The first couple has just returned from gorgeous, green, historic Croatia, as well as a small boat cruise through the Greek islands. They put together an amazing collection of digital photos and video clips that have us quite determined to travel to Croatia before many more western tourists discover the beauty of the place.

Next we attended a 50th wedding anniversary...at a Smitty's restaurant....yes...a Smitty's...hahaha! Although our group had a separate room in which to hold the party, we all had to get in line with the other patrons of the place to access the buffet. It was hysterically funny watching the other customers eyeing the buffet table with ill concealed concern as our group of 50 swarmed the food warming trays, loading our plates, and looking as if our small army was going to strip them bare and leave everyone else to starve. hahaha Yes, the food was terrible, but I have to say that the group of old friends we were with fit into the place so well and enjoyed the meal so much we didn't care about the food quality. We had a ton of fun reacquainting ourselves with people we had not seen in nearly 20 years.

After the banquet we drove a half hour into the countryside to spend the rest of the weekend with members of my husband's second family. We feasted together, we enjoyed a church service together, we talked and talked about all manner of topics, three of their kids and other extended family members arrived Sunday evening to spend time with us and it was a most special time together.

We took our time travelling on to Edmonton this morning, stopping in Leduc for the best fish tacos and spicy chicken/Italian sausage pasta we have had in a very long time. Thank you Kosovo's restaurant for fabulous food and exceptional service.

The rest of the day was spent feasting and visiting with my husband's sister and her husband. My diet went right out the window as I sated myself with German potato salad, greens with white balsamic vinegar and uzu, fresh Hutterite grown, beer can bbq'd chicken stuffed with fresh garlic and ginger and well rubbed with cumin and paprika, cucumber and beet pickles, with a ricotta and raspberry mousse for dessert! We had all ready indulged in rice/bean chips and pecan rice crackers dipped in freshly prepared hummus, as well as far too many huge black olives! What a feast! My husband's sister could have been a professional chef in another life!

Now it is nearly 11pm and tornado force winds are forcing us to close and "batten down" windows and doors in order to be prepared for a possible severe storm. The severe storm watch has upgraded to a warning, so I think I will go now and spend some time in prayer for the safety of the city of Edmonton and the surrounding area. So much for our windless day! Talk about an abrupt end to the stillness!

Holidays...never a dull moment! Yippee!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Just Quickly

Not much reliable internet access for a few more days, but so far all is well.  We are having good visits with friends in the Olds and Didsbury and Carstairs areas and in the morning we are heading to Edmonton for a few days to see my husband's sister and her husband.  The weather has been fabulous and we have had lots of opportunities to feast with our friends here there and everywhere.  I forgot what great cooks they all are! hahaha
More in a few days when we can get a more stable connection.  We are out in the country this past 2 days and internet is sporadic at best, so should close for now.  Thank you for praying for our safe travel.  We appreciate it.
Blessings everyone!

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Quiet Day With the Parental Unit

After an uneventful drive into Calgary on a warmer, sunnier, drier, but no less windy day, we spent the rest of the day with my parents. Is it possible both of them are even more frail than when we left them two weeks ago? Sigh.... But the are happy and positive in outlook and managing fairly well, so that is about the best we can hope for at this point. Glad we stopped here again so soon.

We took them to Plato's for lunch. Oh my, they did enjoy their steak sandwich with fries and chicken rice soup. They were so happy to be out at a restaurant they even complimented the wait staff on how the tea was presented. Sooooo cute! They were both tired by the time we ran an errand with them and brought them home. We enjoyed dinner in their suite and they retired for the evening at 8pm. Two weeks ago they were still able to stay active until 9pm. It is giving my husband and I the evening to ourselves.

It became very warm by mid afternoon but a brief rain shower cooled everything down. There is no air conditioner in this guest unit, but I think it has cooled sufficiently that we will sleep tonight.

Off to Olds tomorrow. Don't know when I will have internet connection again, but hopefully I will have at least one more chance for blog blither before we get to Edmonton.

Ain't We Got Fun?

Yes, we do!

At 7pm yesterday we looked out our hotel room window and realized there is a theatre complex across the road. There weren't any movies playing that appealed to us, but we decided to see the latest instalment in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, "Dead Men Tell No Tales". It started at 7:30pm, so by the time we got ready to go we only had to sit through about five minutes of advertisements and useless blithering on screen, pre-movie. Yay for that. This movie, amidst the usual silliness, had a plot this time that actually was a plot...sort of....so that was a good thing. Lots of silly jokes made it fun as well.

While standing in line for tickets we met another couple also staying at our hotel. Fascinating! They are not much younger than ourselves and are cycling enthusiasts. They are pedalling their way across Canada. They began in Vancouver and are cycling all the way back to their home in Prince Edward Island. We didn't have time for a long chat, but it was fun meeting them. Yesterday's teeming rain drove them out of their campground and into the comfort of a hotel. She loves that, he wasn't that thrilled. haha. She claims to be a wimp....as compared to who I wonder! Cycling across Canada in her 50's?  Not wimpy in my opinion! He is making one concession to her perceived state of wimpy by taking a short dip across the border south so they do not have to tackle an apparently wicked ride across the north shore of Lake Ontario. We wish them well.

Came back to the great news that our son not only may have a gallery position for September, but now has temporary work for the entire summer with the same artist he apprenticed with on his last stay in the States. Cheney Thomson and his also artist wife, Eileen Quinlan, have been most supportive of Eli. He is blessed to know them.

So, off to breakfast and on to Calgary for lunch.  Why do holidays make me feel so hungry all the time? Yum!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Terrific First Day Out

Despite the consistently strong wind gusts and several hours of pouring rain along our route today, we have had fun! I did all the driving, allowing my husband to doze, philosophize and meditate for the entire trip. He needed that.

We stopped for lunch with the priest in Maple Creek, enjoying the excellent conversation and a meal of "better than" old fashioned small town Chinese restaurant food. Every meal in the place includes a choice of soup or juice and three or four choices in flavours of iced cream or banana custard for dessert.  How cute is that, right? There was too much salt in my meal, but several glasses of water took care of that....hopefully. There are better restaurants there, but the staff at this one were so friendly and attentive it made up for any deficiencies in the food. The veggies were perfectly cooked, slightly el dente, just the way we like them and my husband's Cantonese chow mein was loaded with meat. The barley soup starter was piping hot and delicious.

As we drove west from Maple Creek the rain reduced itself to a trickle. By the time we arrived at our hotel in Medicine Hat the sun was peeping out from behind the clouds and the streets were drying. After we checked into our hotel we went for a LONG walk, picking up a few books in a Value Village and some supper "fixin's" for a relaxed meal time in our room. Now we are just visiting, checking emails and phone messages and preparing for tomorrow's drive. I am so hoping I can go for tea with my mom, just the two of us, for an hour tomorrow afternoon while Dad is napping. Hopefully he will be able to come out for lunch with us first. He has his shower in the morning and that still tires him a bit.

So far this little trip seems to be coming together just fine!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy For the Turnaround

We are both so happy with the change in mood since we worked through our work related stress and depression last week.  Guess we just needed that down time to get over it all and get ready to move on.  YIPPEE!!  Movin' on...that seems to be a major theme in our lives.  

My husband spent 10 hours at the office yesterday.  It was a necessity and I was wondering how he would cope with having to return to work in the middle of his supposed month off.  He coped very well.  Whew!!  It would appear the place really can't manage longer term without him and I think his fragile ego needed that little boost, haha.  Seriously, he accomplished what needed to be accomplished before the end of this month and he came home very happy indeed.  He found people able and willing to deal with some other issues that don't absolutely need his hands on touch for the next couple of weeks so he was most grateful for that.  We spent the evening giggling at a comedy show on television and figuring out what we need to pack up for food items for Leg Two of our holiday journeys. 

It feels great to be over the whining and complaining that we weren't going to go anywhere more exotic or "big city" on our holidays this year.  It is irritating to be whining, that is for sure.  My husband's sister has reserved some live theatre tickets for a play I think we will very much enjoy when we are in Edmonton, there are some excellent restaurants near her home so no one needs to do any cooking during our short stay there, I am going to try to meet up with my former roommate from "the good old days", we are having lunch with a colleague of my husband's along the route on our first day out, my parents are thrilled we are coming again so soon, we are going to see some old friends in Olds, many many old friends from there at an anniversary party, we are visiting members of my husband's second family before going to Edmonton to see his real family and will be seeing other old friends at a church service on Sunday morning.  This afternoon we are supposed to be having coffee with seminary friends from Australia we haven't seen more than once in the past ten years. How exciting they are visiting our city this week and want to see us.  Hope it works out as they are so much fun. 

I think one of the things that was depressing me was that I thought there wouldn't be too many visits with friends this second half of the holiday, but the original scant few visits have morphed into plans to see people every single day of the trip. YAY!  NOW I feel better.

Our son completed his final day at his job yesterday and began the long process last evening of preparing his little suite for his subletter.  I cannot believe he will be leaving for NYC the day after we return from our own trip.  It could be 2 years or more before we see him again. I have such peace about it though.  Of course I am sad that he will be so far away, but it is certainly the right move to try to make at this time.  We talked about his chance to use this move as an opportunity to reinvent himself personally, not just in terms of his career.  He has some pretty big baggage to get rid of and heal from, so what a wonderful opportunity for him to do that.  In terms of distance from Vancouver, well, he will be about as "far as the east is from the west" if he is staying in North America.  I am most excited for him.

Off for breakfast and a nice visit with my husband over a cup of orange Tazo tea. Then the serious packing up of the rest of our stuff begins. As far as weather, it is one beautiful day in the neighbourhood and it appears we should be a day or two ahead of the forecast rains along the way!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Little Excited Perhaps?

We are not leaving for our next road trip for a couple of days.....and yet.....my suitcases are completely packed apart from my toothbrush and makeup bag. Sigh....guess I am overly happy to be leaving home once again. Teehee....ya' think?

Confession: I am so ready to leave again I have even arranged with two different friends we are visiting to use their irons during our brief afternoon visits at their homes to prepare my clothes for
other events later the same day! Blush.....

What can I say? I love going on trips, no matter how short the time away.

It's just the way I am......

Go! Go! Go!