Friday, June 30, 2006


Canada officially turns one hundred thirty-nine years old on Saturday July 1, 2006.

Our town kicks off the celebration at midnight tonight with an awe inspiring fireworks display over the lake. We could watch from the lake in our boat, but the traffic on the water becomes a bit tricky once the display is over and everyone is rushing home in the dark. We prefer to drive to one of the public beaches where we can sit on a blanket and watch the show.

Tomorrow the parade begins at 11:30, but I have to have my daughter at the start by 10:30, because she is riding in one of the vehicles that my place of business has entered. Wee Jenny will be tossing candy from the back of one of the new Ford trucks - one for you two for me...

I will be busy cleaning my van in the shop at work, but I will be able to take a break by stepping out the door onto Main Street as the floats go by. The parade ends on Kinsmen Beach at the far end of town where there will be games, food, face painting, music and vaious other displays.

We have friends coming out from the city this evening to help us join in on the festivities.

Right now, I have to finish making lunches for George and me because we still have a day's work ahead of us!

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Hurray, it's the last morning of school before the summer holidays!

Okay for the kids, that is. As a parent I am faced with the dilemma of balancing the fact that the kids are at home and I am at work.

My older daughter is working full time - which is really a great thing, but I have lost my in-home daycare worker. For the most part anyhow. She works shifts, so can be home at times while my husband and I are not. The two younger ones are still enjoying their childhood, so putting them to work is totally out of the question...

I love the summer and all that it has to offer and our mountain lifestyle embraces these months wholeheartedly. We are a five minute walk to the lovely public beach where there is a small playground, as well as an excellent swimming location with a diving raft just off shore.

There are world class downhill mountain biking trails at Panorama Mountain Village where several events and competitions are held each year. As well, many biking trails undulate throughout the forests lower down in the valley.

Hiking trails wind throughout the trees above the lake and there are many more excellent hikes through nearby Kootenay National Park. The mountain scenery is enough to bring one to their knees in awe.

We spend many of our weekends camping at a favourite site on a small remote lake. It's a forty-five minute drive into the backcountry along a logging road. The lake is cold, deep and an has an excellent supply of large trout - if one can catch them! The fish are so well fed that a tiny morsel on the end of a fishing line holds no attraction for them at all.

I used to ride horseback, but now my horse is retired to pasture across the lake. He is old and living out his days in luxury with his buddies, as a horse should. Once my kids are grown I will take up riding again. It is my passion - or rather - one of my passions!

To say it all, we have some friends from the city who have a cabin around the corner from us. They laugh and say, "What do you mean you're going camping? This is camping."

It's all relative, I guess!

Photo: Lake Windermere, British Columbia

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


It is blistering hot!

The seats in the van are melting.
The trees are gasping for air.
The dogs are panting in the shade, hoping to sink into the cool earth.
The mountains are veiled in a humid haze.

And the pavement is lying in wait for anyone who dares...

We have just arrived home from a walk to the beach where we spent a couple of hours floating neck deep several yards from shore.

And I am now sitting here covered in deliciously cool goosebumps!

Photo: Lake Windermere, British Columbia, Canada

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Well, this is the life!

I am home alone with my stereo - a wee bit of Angus, some Zep and Pete... my glass is not empty - yet.

George and the girls are out on the lake in our boat.

Bob is out on the same lake in a different boat.

All is calm on the home front... well, until a great song kicks in!

I believe this is a well-deserved glass of wine, if I do say so myself.

The oven is beginning to emanate a rich aroma from the prime rib roast, the Yorkshire pudding pans are ready to go (Gypsy) and all that's left to do are the potatoes for mashing and the red wine gravy.

This has to be the life...

Thanks again to all for your kindness and support over the last week.

I love you all!

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Looking back, the past several months have been a bumpy ride.

Last fall we made the difficult decision to close down our auto body business.
The company left us with many large bills and a huge amount of income tax owing.
Since then, this financial burden has been weighing us down and it has not appeared to become any lighter.

After Christmas I became very sick with some mysterious illness.
It was as though my body attempted to shut down, leaving me weak and in constant pain.
It was at least four months before I began to feel myself again.
In the meantime, life had to go on.

I had my kids to love and to feed, my house to look after and I had to be at work. My husband was already working twelve hour days and he had his hands full there.

Then our cat became very ill and we ended up with a huge bill from the veterinarian - but Scat is okay now.
Soon after, our dog became ill and that added to our vet expenses. Unfortunately, Murphy never did fully recover and we had to have her put to sleep just over a week ago. That was a very sad day for all of us - but she is free now.
One of our goldfish, Chicken Nugget, died...

My son, who has a brilliant and inquisitive mind, began having trouble at school.
Apparently he does not fit into that "normal" bracket and the teachers and staff were having a bit of a time trying to deal with it. In the end, Bobby simply refused to do his work...
As a result, he was sent home with his school work to be done here - but George and I have to work!
We attended a meeting with the school board last week in order to get Bobby reinstated in class, but the final decision was for him to continue his work at home. The up side of that is there are only three and a half more school days left.
That has left us with some psychological assessments to be done with Bob.
He is the most gentle and sensitive soul one will ever meet and it breaks my heart.
I have no doubts that the evaluations will come back in favour of our son!

Then there is my teenage daughter, Beth.
She and I have a very good relationship, but she is a teen and I am an adult... I think that might say it all.
Not to mention the fact that I am her mother.
Beth was having trouble - and getting into trouble - at high school.
We ended up having to make the decision for her to attend an alternative learning institute called Open Doors.

We are very happy with the outcome, as Beth has gone from failing grades to a B+ average in just two months!
She has also completed some Grade 11 courses although she is technically in Grade 10.

And just when we thought things were going smoothly, I met up with a friend who was in dire need of a place to live with her two young girls.
So, of course, having a long history of dragging home stray animals, I offered her a place to stay in our camper in the back yard.
I couldn't not do it!
It was an extra burden on all of us, especially me, but I ended up forging a wonderful friendship.
This episode also included she and I having to go with a police escort to where her ex-boyfriend lived to collect her belongings. It was quite scary at the time, as this individual has a history of violence, including assault.
Their family became a part of our family, and it was a very sad parting when they left to follow their own paths forward.
My friend and her counselor both thanked me from the bottom of their hearts.
She and her family would not have been able to move on had it not been for me
The irony of the whole situation being that how could I have been so much help when I could use the help myself...

Yesterday we received the best news in a long time.
We had applied to refinance our mortgage in order to pay our bills and get out of debt.
The area where we live is quite a hotbed for real estate right now and our house is worth over three times as much as we paid for it nine years ago!
We just got word that we have been approved for financing - at a very good interest rate, to boot!

Beth is home.
Bobby is happy to do his school work at home and George and I will take turns helping him with it.
Jenny is our little Jenny - for now.
George is still working hard.
And I have moved away from the edge...

I found a bridge.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

We all must have the chance to learn, to grow and to spread our wings.

The challenge is to do it within the laws set before us.

If we do not, we will crash and burn.

And, unlike the legendary Phoenix, we will not rise from the ashes...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I know he's on the wrong page...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


...what more can I say...

Monday, June 19, 2006


...and yes, I nicked the pic off Pete's site...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Midnight Thunder

The storm that crashed into us last night was phenomenal!

We watched it creep up the valley from the south in the dark over the mountains as it slowly gathered intensity.

The light show was incredible - followed by a wind such as I've never felt.
The rain hurt as the huge drops popped into spray on our exposed skin.

We all watched in amazement while standing on the back porch - thunderstruck...

It had been hot & humid all day, so the storm was not totally unexpected, but the ferocity was!
It raged on for over three hours, which is unusual for a thunderstorm that will often blow itself out after a few minutes.

The feeling was surreal, adding to the unreal events of the day.

I swear I saw Murphy racing through the clouds!


Yesterday Murphy passed away quietly.

She was wrapped in her blankie in her favourite spot on the front seat of George's truck.

The vet was kind.

Murphy now rests wrapped in the same blanket up the mountainside behind our home.

From her place she can see down into the valley and hear the creek as it rushes past, making its way down the mountain before passing our doorstep.

It had been beautiful day and the evening sun set with that particular light that cast every detail into sharp relief.

The night that followed was wild, as though to raise Murphy's spirit along with a powerful blaze of thunder and lightning.

After being ill for so long, once more Murphy can run free.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Our golden retriever, Murphy is not doing very well.

She hasn't eaten in two weeks and is on her last legs, I'm afraid.

Murphy is the kindest dog ever and we will miss her...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

He's looking
more himself

Saturday, June 10, 2006





...and no, it's not me...

Thursday, June 08, 2006


It has been like a circus around here!

We still have our guests staying with us in the camper in the backyard and the kids have been having so much fun together! The weather has been pleasant and that, along with these days of extended daylight, are an open invitation for the children to run wild and free.
Suppper time tends to run late and often, especially on weekends, we don't eat until after 8:00.
That can be particularly stressful on me, as I tend to like things to remain in order...
I have learned to go with it over the years, though.

I feel like I am in the centre of a storm of chaotic events!

It has been very busy at work and I have been in charge of the prep department as of late. I quite enjoy the work, as it is very physical and satisfying. It's fun to see a vehicle come into the shop covered in dirt - inside and out - and see it leave the bay looking like new!
I also have the opportunity to listen to my music throughout the day and it gives me happiness and a rhythm with which to set my pace.
My main position at the dealership is in the accounting department, but I am working in the shop right now while one of our technicians is at school.
Working in the prep bay does not take a degree in rocket science, but it does involve attention to detail, lots of elbow grease, a chance to play in the dirt and a pride in a job well done.
Can you tell I am enjoying myself?

A result of having more hours at work is I have less hours to do my work around the house. The cleaning, meal preparation and even the books appear to have fallen by the wayside. There is always so much to do in the present that my work has been piling up!
I will do something about that on Saturday.

On my way into town this morning I have to stop off at our local landfill to drop off some garbage. We recycle most of our throw-away items, but we do end up with about one and a half bags each week that has to be taken to the dump.
Our landfill has to be one of the most beautiful spots in the land. There is a sweeping panoramic view facing west over our valley, that takes in the fields, the lake and the foothills with the Purcell Mountains as a backdrop.
In order to fully appreciate the sight, I simply have to ignore the fact that I am standing on a garbage dump...

Today is another work day and I have to finish making lunches for all - that means five separate lunch kits.

Wish me luck as I tackle another day in Paradise!

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Not only did our septic tank back up the other week, but we now have a flood in our basement!

When I awoke this morning, I went to gather the laundry and stepped into the lake that was once our laundry room floor...

Apparently the taps had sprung a leak over night and rained for several hours upon the concrete floor.

The other week, roughly at the same time as the septic tank episode, we had to replace our outdoor tap because it was leaking down in beside the house foundation. Not a good thing when the foundation is made of wood...

And our kitchen sink tap has been acting up for over a year now, but only occasionally. The odd time, as it gets turned on, a spout of water will fountain out - often over some hapless victim.

...the spray seems to be directed straight toward the seat at the computer...

Last evening our water was shut off - at dinner time during the birthday party - due to a water main break.

Our plumbing woes appear to be gathering strength - we need a siege engine!

One in the shape of a bilge pump today!

Saturday, June 03, 2006


And what a good time it was!
Keith is such crazy fun!

But alas, all good things must come to an end.

We are truly sorry, if our antics put anyone's nose out of joint...

I now have to get back to real life and prepare for my daughter's 9th birthday party.
It's a beach party/sleep-over party with eight frolicking and screeching girls. I said, all good things must come to an end...

Friday, June 02, 2006

she's gone

I can't find Dale anywhere, but I do have her password.

Can't find that Keith Moon anywhere either.

I got dropped on a drummer - now I think I've been dropped for a drummer.

...a dead one, to boot...

Thursday, June 01, 2006


I consider this both an echo and a response to a friend's most recent post on her blog.

For once I am having trouble thinking up the words to say - so, I will let my fingers do the thinking for me - typing in time to the best rhythmic hard-rock band this head has ever banged to...rock and roll ain't noise pollution!

In my real life I am not supposed to exhibit the manic scale within which I veiw life.
I have to approach this real life with a sensiblility that comes from accepting life's responsibilities, but my other side is always looking for an escape.
Don't get me wrong, I love my Pete, but I get the biggest kick from my lesser known Angus...

To begin with, I approached this blog with my sensible and creative side, but something unforseen has happened - it has brought out a long-buried facet of my character.
Call it my forgotten childhood, or I simply located a long-hidden check valve.

This site has set Angus free - Lord help us all!

I have also met some amazing characters in this ether...
I would like to thank all my friends who have taken the time to visit me on my blog!

I wore a dress to work today...