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Letters to Nowhere

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Continuing an uneasy year

We were forced to arrange an emergency flight from Yellowknife for Jennifer, unfortunately, as we received the sorrowful news that her grandmother had passed away. It has been a challenging year for us so far, and this was just another blow. I jokingly have commented to Jennifer that we seem to stumble from crisis to crisis like a drunken sailor, but that doesn't seem so funny any more. AS of this posting, August 3, in the morning, she is on the way to Atlanta. Then she'll be driving to Jacksonville FL to lend support to her grieving father, and to grieve herself. She asked me to post this note so that folks will know what is happening.

My wife is enormously resilient, but this will be a real challenge for her. I hope that anyone that has read this blog in the past will send their thoughts out to her during this time. We hope to post more later, and regularly. We'll keep you updated.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

So, now that I've started...

I wrote a few months ago about how busy we had been. For a while there we had not updated our blog for quite a while, and we claimed to being so occupied with our lives. It has been a strange time for us.

As we told you before, we had to make a whirlwind trip to Southern British Columbia to have my wife and son officially "enter" the country, and that we had time to visit my family there at that time. We celebrated an early Christmas with them, then went back to Yellowknife. I said it was timely; it certainly was.
I knew that my father had cancer, but we didn't find out until that December trip just how extensive it was. It turned out that it had spread beyond the area where it was first found, and had settled in other areas of his body, including a tumour in his brain. It was a difficult trip, because when we were there, Dad had to be rushed to the hospital, due to over-medication. For a son, especially a youngest son, it's difficult to take the opposite role from the one you are used to. My father has always been larger than life for me; sort of indomitable. But supporting my father as he sat semiconcious in a chair was awful. He was very weak, and hard as it obviously was for my father and family to see him that way, it was especially hard on me, I think. The huge hands that he used to tie a fly, or chop wood, or manhandle a rototiller were still there, but I was holding them, comforting him, trying to keep him awake enough to be able to get him on a stretcher. Fortunately, they were able to get his meds straightened out, and we were able to enjoy a visit, and an early Christmas. The last one with him, as it turned out. The rest of my family were able to enjoy one last Christmas with him too.

My father passed away on January 23, 2008.

Another whirlwind trip for me down to Southern BC, just long enough to help put together a memorial service, and a power point presentation for my father. It was awful, but it was also very nice. It was gratifying to see how many people your parents touch over the years. The small hall in the town were I grew up was jampacked with friends and family.

The time after has been strange. I have yet to weep, unlike my family, who do so daily. Perhaps this will come once we place his remains. It's a wonderful place not far from the first house we grew up in. Most of his ashes will go there, some at Cathedral Lakes Park, which he loved. The view from the graveyard features a scene not unlike the one below.

I miss my father, and think of him every day. A fine man, and though I never told him, a good father.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Duck Bills and Crochet Hooks

My husband and I have been talking about him having a vasectomy for some time. We had an appointment earlier this year but had to postpone.

So.. A few weeks ago he went in for his second pre-op. This was a different doctor than the first because (get this) the first doctor was on a 6 month OPERA School sabbatical. OK is it just me or does this sound like the punch line to a joke? A man who operates on testicles studying Opera?!?

Anyway. He met with a female doctor and scheduled the surgery. There would be one small incision and then they'd root around with a crochet hook type thing to reach in and hook out what they needed to work on.

As it happens his surgery was the same day I had booked my Gyno exam. The night before, I got a case of the giggles. I'd just realized we were going to be in the same building, at the same time, each of us having a member of the opposite sex looking at our works. His doctor was female, mine male. NOT ONLY THAT, but we'd both be in stirrups at the same time too.


Oddly.. He was done before I was. That was almost 2 weeks ago and everything has healed up. Now he's just having to deal with the hair regrowing *snicker*

So that's the story of my duckbill and his crochet hook.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Self Absorbed

My son is 11. The world still revolves around him in his view. This was perfectly expressed when he told me about a song he just couldn't stop listening to.

"It's like the song is addicted to me." *snicker not quite kid*

In other news my mom sent a care package up that had instant grits among other things. I brought in a few packs to work. No one here's ever had them, seen them, or really even knew what they were.

So when I came in with the packages they all crowded around to look at them.

I made a few bowls and we all sampled them. The overall decision "good, but different".

It still seems strange to see snow in May. It's 90% melted off, but still! It's MAY!

But that's life in the far north. So goes.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lofty Dreams

This past weekend we bought my son a loft bed. He didn't know about it. We sent him off to the movies and when he returned his old double bed was gone and his room seemed to have doubled in size.

This bed is only a twin, but hey he's 11. I slept in a twin daybed until I moved out. Almost everyone I know had a twin. In fact, I think a twin bed is one obsticules you have to overcome on your way to being an adult. The day when the knowledge you can have sex isn't enough to make you want to do in a twin bed could well be one of the signs of adulthood.

Either way... We got it assembled and put his toybox and book shelf underneath with a beanbag chair. Now he has even more floor to throw his clothes on... Sigh

My son's words, "It's cool and kinda scary." So there you have it.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

So Where to Start?

Well let's see... I found a job within 72 hours of looking. I work in a small insurance brokerage as an insurance rep. AGAIN.

That's where I'm blogging from so I don't have time to make a massive entry. However, this job, I'm really enjoying. It's small enough that we are all decent friends and get along well. It's such a big difference from working at a large very corporate office.

Our customers bring us treats. Lots of treats, chocolate, cheesecake, candies, muffins, I love this job lol.

The good news is I've not gained any additional work. While my car was broken down I was walking to work and it offset the treats. Once it warms up to zero I'll start walking again. It's only a few blocks.

Well, it's time for me to be off. There will be more later.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A busy few months

First, we must apologize for the length of time it's taken for us to update the blog. We've had a busy few months, and little motivation to do any writing, to be frank. Since the originator of this blog is the real writer in the family (I can only brag about a fine vocabulary), I can only give a somewhat bald account of what's gone on this past little while.

Where to start?....Well, during December, my wife and son received their permanent resident cards in the mail, making them all nice and legal to live in Canada. This precipitated abject panic, because they had to...wait for it....cross the border to ''enter'' the country officially. Now, most of the population of this country is within a couple hundred miles of the Canada-US border. Uh-uh, not us......we had to take two days of fatiguing, rip-snorting driving to make it to the nearest border. Yellowknife NT to Osoyoos BC. All this to drive across, do a U-turn, and re-enter the country. After spending a few minutes talking to members of the Canadian Border Services Agency, we were on our way.

Just in case someone wants to point the out, no, Yellowknife is NOT closer to Alaska! The trip is longer, as the only way you can get there is to go DOWN to Dawson Creek BC, then back up the Alaska Highway. The Yukon is a fine place, but it wasn't the trip we wanted to take at that time of year. Besides, this allowed us to visit family in Southern BC, and enjoy an early Christmas. The visit was timely, as it turned out. More on that later.

Renee will be able to colour in the trip in a later blog, I expect. It WAS colourful (No animals died during filming, although it was a near thing).

I was very tempted to put the bald facts in this one blog, but that didn't seem quite right. Hopefully, we will find more time to tell all of you who read this just what adventures we've had, and the good and bad things that have happened. Thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas

to all and a Happy New Year.

Well Christmas here went well. James woke up at 3 friken AM and we started opening presents.

It was a good Christmas for us all. Les' family had given us our gifts when we were down there earlier this month. Between their gifts and the things we and Santa got for James it was a very merry morning.

Now.. I need to go finish cleaning up from the carnage.

Hugs to all

Friday, November 23, 2007

Great News

Well, I am now officially a resident of Canada. Yay!

We got our Passports back with the Canadian Resident Page added.

The only catch is I have to drive 3 days down to the Canadian border to "check in". We called to verify we had to actually go to the border, and yes even though I am already in Canada you still have to check in at a land border.

The really annoying part of that is we have to do this before December 6th. My temporary visa expires then. So we will be leaving next week to head south.

Still, It's official!

Oh, and to those of you in the States.. Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

November News

Ok Ok so maybe once a month is a bit sparse on the blog front, but hey it's been hectic.

Well, we spent an anxious week thinking I might be pregnant, but we found out on our Anniversary that I wasn't. So, it was a bit of a subdued dinner and movie at home night.
Emotions were a bit torn about it. We were 90% relieved, however there was some disappointment as well. Neither of us had planned on having more children.

Soo.. what else. Oh yeah, I got to experience a true Northern Canada "thing". While we were all three going out to go sledding (yep we've gotten enough snow ALREADY to take James, our 10 yr old, sledding) I had the snot in my nose freeze. You've never lived till you've cemented your nostrils closed with your own frozen mucus. It was -15 C (or 5 degrees F). Just in case you didn't figure it out yet... That's FRICKEN cold!!!!! Still, fun and merriment was had by all.

In the best news of the month.. I've mailed off my passport. Our immigration officer deemed us eligible to be a Permanent Resident of Canada! Yeah! So, no I'm just waiting on my passport to be returned with the official "Resident of Canada" page added.


Friday, October 19, 2007

The Round-up

Well, as usual it's been awhile since I've blogged.

Thanksgiving went very well here. We had 3 men from my husband's job, 2 ladies from the building and the 16 year old daughter of one of the ladies.

The food was good, the company worked out well for it to be such a mix of ages and backgrounds.

All in all very successful. My pecan pies didn't turn out as well as I'd have liked. The gravy was salty, but that's really all that went wrong. You can't ask for much better when cooking for 10.

Of course there were plenty of left overs.

In other news. Les and my first anniversary is October 24. And in true exhausted parent fashion we are going to have a quiet dinner at home.

One of the ladies downstairs is going to keep James for a few hours so we can have a bit of piece (er... I swear I meant PEACE) and time to ourselves.

In other and better news...

I've been asked to submit my passports to the Canadian government. This is a GOOD thing. They have to have the passports to add in the "Permanent Resident" page.

Woo hoo.. sounds like we may be at the end of this long and stressful path.

In really "not so happy news".

We've been having alot of behavioral problems with my son. It's been in the last month.. and it's led both me and my husband wishing we could cry ourselves to sleep on more than one occasion.

That's the real reason I've not blogged much. Sorry everyone..

I still love ya all!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Sunday is Thanksgiving in Canada. It seems odd to have it before Halloween, but oh well.

We've invited a few people over for a southern style Thanksgiving dinner. We'll be eating around 2 on Sunday.

The Menu:

Sweet Tea
Spiced Cider

Pickles & Olives
Cheese and Crackers
Candy Turkeys
Deviled Eggs

Brined, Roasted Turkey
Cornbread Stuffing & baked dressing
Mashed Potato
Sweet Potatoes and Marshmallows
Cranberry Sauce

Apple Pie
Pecan Pie
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls (maybe)


Lots of work, but it should be fun.

So.. Happy Thanksgiving

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Moose skin and snow

Thursday James went on a field trip to visit a local First Nations People (Native Canadians). He took in sliced carrots to contribute to a stew they would be making for that community and the kids on this field trip.

When I picked him up from school and asked what he did, he replied "I don't know"

Grrr.. I reminded him, "How could you not know? You were there!"

Then he suddenly remembers something. "Oh yeah, my favorite part! I got to help skin a moose" (HUH?) He went on to tell me how hard it is. You have to pull the fur away from the meat while slicing and sawing through the fat and stuff.

Bleah! But hey, how many kids can say they skinned a moose while on a school field trip?

The next day Friday Sept 28, we went to buy him some long johns. On the way out of the store I stopped and gaped. It was snowing. Not just spitting down, but really snowing.

James has been having a blast playing in it. In some places it's more than a foot deep.

Les had a good laugh at my expense when I couldn't figure out why all the stores were selling what looked like small push brooms. Duh, they are snow brooms to clear off your car. Pfft, Like I would know that having lived in Florida or Georgia my whole life.

In other news we had two ladies come and visit us last night. They came not just to be neighborly, but specifically to hear James talk. One of them has family in Georgia and I guess it was a taste of home. We all three had a nice time talking with the two of them.

So, all in all, we're doing alright.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Week of Inconvient Trials


This past week has been peppered with unusual annoyances.

On Thursday, James, my 10 yr old son, showed me a small scaly circle on his leg.

Yep, Ringworm.

On Friday I found a fang on the side table in the living room. After a quick cat rodeo in the bedroom, we all three working together, managed to corner the cat so I could examine her. She lost her lower right fang. She'd lost the upper one quite some time ago.

James wanted the fang to put under his pillow. I quickly vetoed that.

Then... And Then.. Sunday

James had his first big, white, pimple. On his chin. My baby is growing up.

But wait... an hour after he'd been tucked into bed he came into the living room to announce that he found a worm in his butt.

Pin worms.... sigh.

What next?