Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

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Strike the Pickets

September 1, 2011

For the first time today I’ll be exposed to a job action where the employees are in a legal strike position and are picketing their employer. I’m sub-contracted to work at one of these sites and I’m hoping for a quiet day tho I do expect to be delayed at the line for an ‘information session’ as I enter the property. Today I think I’d rather be bored than overly involved. Oh, and as for the title of this piece – it isn’t intended to have a violent slant, tho I can see where it could.

how high blue sky?

Saturday we were at a nephews wedding on Lynda’s side of the family. All 5 of her sisters and 9 of 10 brothers showed up (plus Mother Mary, spouses, kids and a few grand kids) so, quite a crew from the groom’s side. And a good time was had by all; we didn’t make it in the door til almost 3 a.m. Sunday was a low key, rest-up for the workweek kind of day.

where else would you see a shot like this? really!

Well, in my FB albums titled Randomness and Randomness2, perhaps…. but nowhere else I bet.

My daughter-in-law and brand new baby girl were home from the hospital over the weekend and out strolling the park come Monday. Both doing very well. 

 

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Nascent; a celebration of new life

August 26, 2011

def: coming or having recently come into existence; a new consciousness.

Caitlyn Isabel

3:38 P.M. local time, Calgary, AB

I was at work when my daughter texted me that her sister-in-law had just been delivered of her daughter, Caitlyn. High-fives all round with co-workers; I had been on pins and needles waiting for the news. Other than her ‘C’ section being delayed by a couple of emergency deliveries there were no problems. By the time I arrived home a few hours later and called out west to speak with my son, mom had already been up for a short walk around the hospital room. Lord, the resilience of women! Mom and baby are doing fine. Everyone is healthy, happy and relaxed.

pretty in pick2

Now I’m itching to hop a plane and get introduced. Maybe in a few weeks…… let them get home and into a routine first.

That’s all the news I have…. but happy, happy, happy news it is! We are all blessed. 

 

 

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Media Break

August 10, 2011

Swoosh

So,….. I haven’t been around again for a bit. I find I’m getting really tense so I’ve taken a bit of a break from the computer, TV news and the hard news at the front of the newspaper. Between wars, uprisings, financial meltdowns, factious politicians and their parties, yadda, scandals, yadda, trials,…. I’ve had enough for awhile.

Feel free to share some good news. That’s all I want to hear about these days.

Into another memoir; this one called ‘Running With Scissors’ by Augusten Burroughs. I didn’t like the way it started off; the ‘voice’ it was written in but I’ve gotten used to it and am enjoying it now at about a quarter of the way through. (It sounded more like narrative fiction than personal reflection {to me}).

Work – Stayng at the same location but new shift hours beginning next Monday. See how that goes….

Previous workplace – They are to finally re-open the facility after Labour Day. All the same counselling personnel are returning so no opening for me & that’s okay. I’m not going back to my old night position. But I had a major WTF moment when I heard who they had hired as the new manager. Still trying to pick my jaw up from the floor, still shaking my head. Can NOT believe it. What are they thinking?????

objects may appear wet

 Owen is coming for another week long visit. Woo-hoo!!

The chip truck (my stepson’s) was broken into last week. Glass everywhere and a bunch of cases of pop missing. A couple of days missed from working it but back in business now. Must have been the proverbial ‘gang of yoots’. (as per Joe Pesci) 

 

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29/07/2011

July 29, 2011

How’s that for a catchy title, huh?? A real eye-grabber.

What’s new…. hmmm…

Well, my grand-daughter Madison turned 3 the other day. If you didn’t catch this post on FaceBook here is the link to a photo session that her parents arranged: http://video214.com/play/O​5eCA4jJ7Y394cYFdiecSw/s/da​rk . Such a sweetie. I sent a message to my daughter-in-law Melissa saying I wish I could visit way more often so I could see the changes in Madison as she is growing. It is also less than a month before Melissa is due to deliver baby #2, ‘C’ section scheduled for Aug 25. They had some prego pics done as well, here: http://video214.com/play/DMyKs0m4wzgJVdj2360mUA/s/dark

Oh, glory-be!

Last week I marked off another successful year of ongoing sobriety through working the miracle which is the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. I know I have thought this previously in this my twisted life’s journey but….. if I can stay sober through this past year I can survive anything. One day at a time and all that good stuff.

straight around

I’m glad I keep book review columns that I see in the newspaper otherwise I likely would have missed out on reading Rodney Crowell’s ‘Chinaberry Sidewalks’. I finished reading it last night and it was a terrific piece of memoir. He had me hooked from the first page and didn’t let up till it was all done. Highly recommended – 5 stars.

rush

Lynda and I enjoyed having g’son Owen with us for all of last week – he’s quite a character. We’ve also been getting out doing a few social things due to the fact that I have my weekends off (PTL). Tomorrow night we’re heading into Toronto for an evening with some of the folks I went through my Addiction Studies course with…. probably be a dozen or so of us. We haven’t done one of these get-togethers for a few years so it ought to be interesting.

 

lazing around at the flea market

Have a good weekend, folks. Time to get cleaned up for work tonight.

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Exploring

May 9, 2011

Our little corner of the world through a small boy’s eyes:

Our g’son Owen has been out for more frequent visits lately and now his big thing is stretching his boundaries. ‘Walks With Pops’ started when he found a suitable stick for walking a couple of weekends ago and he asked if I would take him out through the greenbelt behind the house. That led onward to the creek, checking both banks as far as we could go, and the train tracks. Left a penny on the tracks and marked the spot so we could find the penny later. Chucking big rocks into the creek to see who could make the biggest splash. Finding the best stones for skipping and seeing how many hops we could get. Testing his boots in the shallows at the edge of the creek. Collecting souvenirs – a patch of moss, a special stone, a fiddlehead fern, little things…. his pockets were chuck full.

Atop the bank

Oh, and me imparting a little wisdom about how the banks get undercut by spring runoff enough that the edges are dangerous to stand on. He’s a funny guy. We had been walking for about a half hour along a trail that followed the creek’s path when he turned and asked. ‘Are we lost?’ Well, you’re leading this expedition, O. Do you think you can find our way back? ‘Sure Pops… but I’m not ready to go back yet. Let’s keep going this way.” Okay buddy; lead the way..

 
I like the opinions he offers on what he sees, the questions he asks, the little things he takes note of. ‘Inquiring minds want to know’, doncha know.
 

Ridge banked by cedar

Lynda describes O as an old soul, and the embodiment of her father Victor. He certainly is a sight to see trudging along in his rubber boots and his ‘just the right size’ walking stick.
 
Our walk done, we sit to enjoy a drink of milk and a couple of cookies while filling his parents and gramma in on our travels. ‘We saw…. we did….. it was so cool when ….’
 
You’re not the only one who had fun, Owen. Thanks for one of the special times of my life. 
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More Good News

April 19, 2011

I was at work last Friday night when I received a text message from my sister Linda. She and her fiance had been on holiday in Florida all that week and come home this weekend. The text was brief: “We’re MARRIED!”

The buggers went and eloped…… and we’re all very happy for them. She and Mike make a great couple and they’re really devoted to one another.

So, there was a flurry of phone calls and texts between them, Mom, Lynda and I and we’re to have a meal and drinks when they return. Good stuff!

Shine On

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Hectic

March 4, 2011

I’m done with apologizing when I don’t get much of a chance to post here. Life keeps perking right along with lots of dips & dives, which is to be expected I suppose. Needless to say there is lots going on that prevents me from spending time plunking away at the computer.

A couple of weeks ago my work schedule was changed suddenly – little notice – so my hours have changed; shift rotation, too; and place of work. I’m hoping this will be another longish-term post. I was also studying for and wrote an exam to re-certify for my licence to work in this (#!&*%%#$) field. Got a 77% which I was quite happy with considering the gawdawful quality of the exam. Truly had no idea how I might have done.

The kitchen was coming along quite quickly but there have been some hang ups because a couple of the appliances were damaged in shipping…. the plumbers discovered the damage when they went to install them. Lots of back and forth regarding that. The cabinets are all in and the granite countertop is a thing of beauty – predominantly dark grey; lots of solid black offset with swirls of quartz and highlights of various minerals. Love it. Pics to follow, promise. Oh, okay…. maybe one.

Granite

We’ve settled on handles for the cabinets but they haven’t been put on yet. Still trying to nail down final decision on backsplash but that should be figured out tomorrow. Then a bit of final trim & we’re finally done. PTL.

I mentioned on Facebook that I had gotten my shortest haircut in 40+ years primarily because it’s thinning so much; mostly in back. Check this out…

Yikes - whole lotta scalp!

Last week I saw a couple of dogwalkers out in the greenbelt checking somethings out on the ground & yelled to them asking what it was. ‘A hawk’, says he. And it clicked, we’d heard a bunch of crows – probably 30 of them – raising a ruckus about an hour before. We have such a thing about birds of prey that I couldn’t let it lie out there and be picked apart by other birds, or cats, dogs or coyotes. Out I go with plastic garbage bag and work gloves and collect the poor thing. It had it’s wings scrunched up as if protecting it’s head but had no obvious signs of injury. Beautiful even in death…. and surprisingly light. WARNING – picture below.

Red-Tail Hawk

I sent this and other photos yesterday to a woman who writes a nature column for the local paper. She said in a prior email that she hadn’t seen this happen before – that usually the hawk can make it’s getaway. I think it was overwhelmed my sheer numbers and had a heart attack through panic and exertion. With the constant dive bombing the hawk isn’t able to gain enough altitude to soar and outpace the crows.

What else? Mom is good – got together with she and my older brother on the weekend. My sister Linda got engaged to a great guy last weekend – they were celebrating going out together for a year and he popped the question. Leafing through the calendar the other day and realized my daughter Sarah will be 30 this May. 30!!!!! Holy carumba!

That’s it for today. Time to get cleaned up for work and make something tasty for my lunch(es). I’ll do another ‘books’ post but thought I’d mention I’m reading Sara Gruen’s ‘Ape House’; which is great and got wonderful reviews.

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Blessed Events

February 10, 2011

My son Russ and I don’t talk nearly as frequently as we ought to. We both work wonky schedules and hours and there’s the time difference, too. So, when I do hear from him and it isn’t simply a response to my having left him a message it’s a pretty good indication that something is up.

He called one evening early last week and we spent quite a while catching ourselves up on family news. All the while I’m wondering when he’s going to let the shoe drop….. Finally, as we were getting ready to sign off he says, ‘Oh, and one other thing… maybe you could stand a bit of good news. You’re going to be a grandfather again come September!!’

In a word? How about ‘beaming’? Best news I’ve enjoyed hearing in such a long time. Fingers crossed for a smooth, uneventful pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Said to Russ that it fit in nicely with the aside I threw in at the end of my toast at their wedding to the effect that: anytime they decided it was time for Madison to have a little bro or sis would be just fine with me. That comment raised a few eyebrows and caused a few laughs but Hey!, I meant it!! Come on baby & welcome to the family!

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A Little News

December 3, 2010

… nothing special, really.

Did a 400 km trip last Saturday in order to attend my uncle’s 90th b’day celebration (BJ’s dad) and it was great to see him so happy and looking especially healthy that day. The drive down was a bit wicked through a mix of rain, sleet and a little snow; took 2 1/2 hours. The drive home was somewhat better tho still wet and took just 2 hours. Mom kept telling me I didn’t need to be doing 130 to 140 kph but no harm, no foul.

BJ & I

I can’t recall how long it is since BJ and I got together – must be 2 to 3 years now – and she must have one of those Dorian Gray portraits in her closet. She doesn’t change!! BJ was kind enough to supply me with a big bag of books to keep me going through the work nights ahead, including a couple I’ve been looking forward to laying hands on.

We had our first ‘stay-on-the-ground’ snow the other day and it is just about gone again now. PTL!! I’m hoping we don’t get any amount that sticks until Xmas.

Back pain update – much better now & thanks for askin’. I’ll try not to do anything stupid enough to aggravate it again.

I know I’ve posted a couple of similar pics in the past but I found myself in similar circumstance – stuck in the car waiting for the rain to let up – and I sorta like these two.

coolbluewaves

pox upon hand

Anyway – you never know what you’re going to get here, do ya?

Books – Gave up reading the Dalai Lama’s book; it read like a textbook… which is actually what it is for those studying Buddhism. I found it a tough slog because I really don’t know the basics.

Grinding away at Hunter S Thompson’s Gonzo Letters II – I’ll be reading in small doses. I don’t find most of it that interesting anymore….. and it’s a l-o-n-g book.

Had Nic Sheff’s book on reserve at the library and picked it up today – ‘Tweak’. Ah, life on methamphetamines. Should be a ‘speedy’ read. (Groaner)

Music – from library…

Jeff Beck’s new release ‘Emotion and Commotion’.

Lucinda Williams ‘West’.

Cassandra Wilson ‘Thunderbird’.

Leonard Cohen ‘Live in London’.

That’s it; that’s all…. gotta go have a nap before work tonight. It’ll be a busy weekend with 36 hours to do between tonight and Monday morning. Wish me luck.

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Revisiting Calgary and the Wedding

September 25, 2010

Zeph - Lemme eat cake!!

Escorted by Dad

 

Maids in a Row

Best of the Men

Tiny Dancers

Russ, Sarah and I

Sarah, Zeph, me, Vicki

First chance I’ve had to return to the wedding weekend. Seems all I’ve done since is work, sleep, cut grass, and run Lynda around town. When I’m not working or sleeping Lynda and I are pretty much joined at the hip (which is a good thing).

The weekend in Calgery was great. Typical Calgary weather tho – if you don’t like it; just wait 15 minutes cuz it’s sure to be different. Coming from consistently 30C+ weather and getting into the low teens was a shock to the system. As I said previously Vicki and I spent quite a bit of time together and it was great having a chance to catch up. She’s in town next month and is invited for dinner and drinks with Lynda and I.

Kel asked about the cake….. which, such things, I have no clue about. It was a beauty! Light golden cake with a layer of some fruity stuff between layers and a very sweet dense icing. Tasty!! That’s all I got, kiddo.

Night before the wedding I joined Russ and his friends (8 of us) for an evening at a local billiard hall. Russ and I teamed up and ruled the table taking on all comers. He and I played off at the end and he got me on the black ball – a very even game. His friends apparently hadn’t mis-spent their youth chasing the game.

Zeph is a very, very active 3 year old boy who misbehaves as if on cue. Good when left to his own devices but don’t ask him to be quiet during the ceremony or pose for a picture. Madison is a wonder…. Lynda and I couldn’t believe what a good natured child she was duing last years visit around her first birthday. Same nature now except she has words; still sweetness and light and cuddles….( and no bias here, ha, ha, but a wee beauty, too.).

The flights there and back were smooth and on time; no problems. I had parked my car at Lynda’s eldest son’s place close by the airport and Jay jockeyed me back and forth. Saved about $150 on the outrageous parking fees there. On the return flight I landed about midnight, got home around 1:30 and was really happy Lynda waited up for me. Good to be home and in the arms of my honey catching up on all our news.

Next post: I’ve been reading a ton. A list and maybe some mini reviews when I get a chance.