Thursday, September 30, 2010

Western arrival

To be on vacation is to have the time to blog. Ahhh.

The frantic last minute preparations have paid off and I am sitting in a Super 8 in Red Deer at 8:30 p.m. with absolutely no domestic responsibilities at all. Mind you, it's almost midnight in NS time so I guess I should be taking it easy.

Home from the night shift, napped a few hours, packed and got the household organized then rushed off to catch the lawyers office before closing time to sign the (finally) correct version of the will. Remembered we had left tomatoes ripening on the kitchen windowsill so a text message to the boy housesitter on the way. Stopped at the teacher daughter's and took her out for dessert at the newly renovated Cafe Chianti which was very close and noisy (so not sure we'd do a full meal there) but the decor was beautiful and the desserts were wonderful. Collapsed onto the air mattress getting up in time for our son-in-law to drive us to the airport on his way to work. He will drop the vehicle back in time for us to pick it up when we fly in.

The flight was uneventful but a day spent on an airplane is not necessarily an easy way to spend it. I have gotten into the last book of the Steig Larsson series and it is good enough to warrant dragging a hardcover across Canada to read it. The oldest daughter dropped over to the hotel this afternoon when we checked in and we caught up on the news, headed out to supper for Chinese food and then to Bowers Lake for a post prandial walk, followed by a stop for homemade ice cream. Everything here is brilliant yellow now and very western pretty. There were a few things out of place in our hotel room and so.....when the daughter approached the front desk and they checked, it appears we were given a room that hadn't been cleaned. So, we have moved to a new (clean) room and are resettled. The daughter was a bit concerned about us traveling on our own and we were glad to not have crawled into someone elses bed or have them return later tonight and join us. When hicks travel she says.

Tomorrow is her 26th birthday and we are planning to spend it visiting Elk Island National Park, the Ukranian Village and possibly more. The evening is already booked for the Beach Boys concert - and YES they are still alive - a young co-worker asked me that last week. So I shall let you know how that goes. Later.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Westward ho

Friday was another errand filled day which included a trip to the lawyers to sign the will (which turned out NOT to have been done correctly) at a cost of $345 for the two copies. A run to Frenchy's where I scored some good finds as I waited for the 1 p.m. staff meeting which I learned had been rescheduled to 2 p.m. unbeknownst to me.

I headed back out for provisions for the boy who will be feeding the animals and watering the plants - didn't want to take a chance on him pining away and not be able to fulfill his household obligations. And of course I had to pick up the fixins for casserole as the baby daughter was headed home for the weekend. This turned out to be home at 1 a.m. on Saturday morning while I left at 6 a.m. for a LD, supper and a short visit while she packed up furniture for her new apartment - yes she found someone to assume the lease and is on her own in an (albeit slightly more expensive) one bedroom apartment - then off to a dance for the evening and staying in town. She did appear (significantly worse for the wear) at the door to the triage office on Sunday morning on her way back. Stanley did not make it back to stay with us as he has again escaped from his apartment and although there have been multiple Stanley sightings in the area he has not answered and continues to lurk in the woods near his former apartment. So, the baby daughter decided to come home for the planned visit and her boyfriend will have to bring Stanley home to us when he's located at a later time.

The staff meeting was not an experience I'm planning to repeat in the near future as it was frustrating without resolution. Retired people don't have to have staff meetings I keep telling myself as I cut short my attendance at 3:30

Sunday was a hectic work day with 15 minutes to myself at 3 p.m. standing in for a lunchbreak. I used the time to book a rental car for the western trip. I rewarded myself in the evening by watching the movie The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo which was long and fairly true to the book, although a lot was left out. I think it helped to have read the book first as it's a complex story. I have made my way through the first two Steig Larsson novels and am taking The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest with me in hardcover - which should prove what a good read it is that I'm breaking my 'only paperbacks' or in this years case e-books only rule.

Monday was a day to sleep in, bake an apple pie (had to use up those apples in the fridge) and invited the summer neighbours over for tea and a piece of pie. Off to work a LN and the gang surprised me with a birthday donair pizza, snacks, cake one of them baked and ice cream. Had lovely gifts to boot of candles and a Hallowe'en sign. Ahhhhh - nurses know how to party. Slept like a log all day, not everyone gets to do that on their celebratory day, and woke up to phone calls from my sister and two daughters (both were excited to be seeing us soon) before heading off to another night shift.

So, after a short nap when I get home there is a very long list of tasks on the to-do list which begin with packing. Supposedly the shore captain was getting out the luggage and putting his stuff together last evening. We are needing to leave in time to stop at the lawyers to (again) sign the wills before heading to the city to overnight with the teacher daughter before catching the plane westward in the morning. Hopefully a few moments along the way to catch you up on our travels in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories. To be continued.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Catching up on days off

Days off are good times to catch up on the blogging if.....I wasn't keeping such a busy schedule.

I slept until noon after my night shift, walked the dog, organized things for the union meeting BBQ, headed into town and picked up groceries, a framed photo as a gift for the bridal shower being included with the soiree, decorations, pink champagne and a cake. I consider my tax dollars as having been poorly used when I had to write down how to spell congratulations for the top of the cake and the teenager working in the bakery department of Sobey's STILL made a mistake which had been corrected when I returned to find it sitting on the counter - she likely didn't dare face me! The cottages are beautiful and we had a productive and very enjoyable evening with over a dozen members attending and the soon to be married member was tickled with the surprise. The remainder of the gang left and I stayed overnight as the cottage had been reserved so wouldn't want to waste it. I didn't climb into the double whirlpool tub as I wasn't sure I'd be able to get out in my exhausted state but I enjoyed the neck warmer after I put it in the microwave for a few minutes and read my book. Ahhhh.

When I awoke in the morning I thought I'd been transported to vacation before I remembered it was just a day off. I packed up the remaining stuff and headed off to meet a lady in the parking lot of Tim Horton's to give her the computer monitor which I'd advertised on the Freecycle. If you haven't heard about Freecycle it's a worldwide organization where folks post what they have to give away or items they need. Sure made me feel better to think that someone would be able to use it as opposed to recycling it for parts. This trip to town also gave me the opportunity to visit with a former co-worker, get caught up on the news and treated to lunch at The Old World Cafe and Deli - here's a review which I happen to agree with on Yelp:

On the way home I stopped at the local Home Hardware/The Source where I'd purchased the underwater camera in June. The battery doesn't hold a charge for long and I was only able to take 67 photos with it after charging the battery - Fuji tech support told me that I should be able to take approximately 165 frames with a charge. I was looking to have them print me a receipt (since although I am a pack rat who keeps everything I've lost the receipt) so I could return the camera, charger and battery to Fuji as they had instructed. I was more than pleasantly surprised I was ecstatic when the clerk simply opened the case and gave me a brand new camera and battery as there is a two year warranty on Fujifilm products. Wow! I've charged it up and am enjoying it fully but will really need to test it on vacation to see if I can do 165 frames on a charge. I stopped on the way to take some photos of the home where the friends we will be visiting in Saskatoon used to live in the 70s. Enjoyed supper with good friends on Wednesday evening and not only was it a great meal, fine company and turns out that I missed a call from work looking for me to work today - what a shame that I wasn't here to answer the phone. Will be nice to not have to worry about the begging for the month of October.

Speaking of all things vacation....I found a good deal on Hotwire for accommodations in Red Deer and so we are making progress towards our western trip. I printed off the tickets, dug out the suitcases, stacked up my jeans and socks (I am still wearing capris and sandals here in balmy NS) in anticipation of packing and reordered my winter boots from Sears as the first ones did NOT look like their catalogue photo. Just need to download some e-books from the library on Monday now.

Today was a beautiful, balmy day to equal any of the summer. I hung a clothesline full of laundry, read my book on the deck and generally enjoyed myself - in between obligations such as appointments which must be fulfilled on days off.... Until it was time to head over and scrapbook that is. I managed to craft a wedding card and put together a few pages in my travel album. Planning to get some scrapping off before I head back to work of vacation as well.

Tomorrow is another day of errands including a staff meeting and preparation for the baby daughter's visit this weekend while I head back to work. This will also be the reintroduction of Stanley to the household - sure hope the other felines remember him fondly.

Sent off this photo to daughter # 1 as she had requested it to compare with a snap of some modern day goats she had visited on this summer's travels. Ah, good times, good times at Ross Farm Museum. Hopefully she wasn't as distracted by them this time around. When we camped we took an au pair to help out, it's amazing what some teenagers will do to have a vacation. Hasta.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It's a dog's life eh? Here the fur daughter looks as if she's saying "well it's an okay book but I need a nap" as she reviews my copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. After I made it through the first 1/4 of the novel (the Swedish names were a bit off putting) I found I got into it and now I'm making my way through the second at good speed. I can see how the series is so popular though.

On my days off - which begin in about 30 minutes - I'm planning lots of social activities such as a union meeting/wedding shower which will be an overnighter, supper with friends, scrapbooking evening, errands day in town and perhaps if I'm feeling strong enough taking in the staff meeting which is booked. The list of topics for discussion looks long and rather fraught with tension so.....we shall see.

All in all the night went very well. We were entertained by one of the paramedics who I had not seen for 20 years or so who just happened to be working in our local area this night who was telling us about his trips north to do medevacs and his trip to Tanzania to see the Serengeti and plan to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Not a bad response when somone asks you what your up to eh?
Speaking of trips, if you would like to travel vicariously here is a great blog which highlights Corsica:

Ahh, definitely got to go on the bucket list. Or how about these travel photo contest winners I found on Twitter:

Or how about writing the costs off for taxes, earning CMEs and having fun:
On May 22, 2011, Royal Caribbean's 5-star Allure of the Seas will depart from Fort Lauderdale and visit ports in the Western Caribbean. CME sessions will be led by one of the nation's leading diabetes experts, Condit Steil, Pharm.D., CDE and will focus on diabetes management. The Allure is the largest cruise ship ever built, an amusement park on water that is ideal for families
Okay, time to stop drooling now.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Days off? Would be nice

Even though my Kindle is really entertaining me with the latest Kathy Riech's novel and I am involved in the second of the Stieg Larson books I felt I should update the blog. This as I'm starting the first of four shifts in the a.m.

Actually the shifts I did last Thursday and Friday were fairly decent nights and a surprise (or should I say a gift) with the way they have been going. I was off Saturday morning, slept a bit and the daughter and son-in-law arrived for an overnight visit and to attend her cousin's wedding. We readied for the event and the weather gods smiled as there was no backup plan for the outdoor event. It was a bit unique (camouflage shirts and ball caps for the men in the wedding party and very dressy outfits for the ladies) but to each her own. We visited with family, partook of the meal and headed home electing not to 'get our dance on at 9 pm' as announced. Sunday morning brought a breakfast buffet of eggs benedict, scrambled eggs and a egg and bacon muffin which kept yours truly busy. The teacher daughter entertained with stories of the grade P/1 classroom adventures before they headed back to their city nest.

Monday was a pajama day here where I finished The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo and began The Girl Who Played with Fire. Just wanting to find some time to watch the movie of the first book as my summer neighbour kindly loaned it to me. The rest of my afternoon was spent being a widows champion by providing assistance to one of my neighbours who was recently left on her own - the bureaucracies of government and business do not help out the vulnerable. And speaking of funerals I attended another visitation for a friend's sister-in-law on Tuesday evening. Am unfortunately getting to be a regular at the funeral home. There were lots of folks I hadn't seen in years all sharing stories so a bit of closure. Especially nice as I was unable to attend the service on Wednesday due to an all day union meeting.

I elected not to travel to the regional location to meet face to face for the union/management session so instead headed in to my workplace to phone teleconference. This turned out to be an error in judgment as I stared at the speaker phone for six hours in total, was shuffled room to room as the board room was to be used for a luncheon for 14 due to physician recruitment, got caught by the Nurse Manager who begged me to do a LN (I am weak - so much for unbroken days off) and rushed around to do the errands I'd planned before I headed back in. My situation was noticed by one of the kitchen staff who asked "what is that woman doing sitting in that room talking to herself all day?" so that should explain how much of a loser gig it was.

The LN last night was reasonable but I was too tired - when the patients notice and comment you are really looking haggard! I did have a short chat with a former work team mate who is headed north to Iqaluit to a position I referred him to - I am so jealous! I promised to call Sunday evening for all the details as he readies himself for the transition. I found myself fighting to stay awake on the drive home which is something I have generally mastered though.

I fell into bed for six hours of shuteye to manage the turnaround as I work a day shift in the a.m. and didn't want to miss too much of the beautiful afternoon - which I spent on the deck with my reading materials. Did manage to pull off laundry, brown bread, rhubarb pie and readying the house for the cleaning lady tomorrow as well. Had a chat with the western daughter as I crawled out of the nest and yes now that the shore captain has finally gotten himself together and booked his tickets we are getting excited for our vacation - Beach Boys concert, visiting family and friends and even a side trip north for a couple of days. Since I have the month of October off I will even have time to recuperate from the vacation before heading back to work.

And speaking of work - I found photos on Face Book this evening which were posted of the prodigal son as someone tuna fishing captured them in their natural habitat - would make Workboat Atlantic publications proud. Appears they were having nice weather (none of that Deadliest Catch theatre) at least yesterday or today, rain forecast for tomorrow and they're in Saturday. You can see here on the left as they pull alongside and below... .......a close up of the heir to the fishing throne (he's the guy in the day glo oil pants with the big grin) - not hard work if you love it eh? I'll tell myself that at 5:15 a.m. when the alarm goes off tomorrow and see how it feels. I have packed myself one of those honey crisp apples for a treat to cheer myself up if needed. Hasta

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Kindle has Landed

My work schedule has been messed with so that's my excuse for not getting much accomplished. The real problem however, is that my new Kindle arrived in my mailbox this afternoon and is charging as I type.

To catch up, as many likely know by now...Hurricane Earl was a bust according to it's publicity build up but at least the storm cleared the humidity we had been suffering. We all managed to make it home safely from night shift as the wind and rain were just getting serious and I caught a short nap before the shore captain (having given up on Earl patrol) came home loudly. Unfortunately the lack of weather meant the Fire Dept. bingo wasn't canceled and I fulfilled my community obligations there by selling bingo books and being a floorwalker in the evening. Not an easy task when you consider my math phobia to begin with. Sunday was spent readying for a BBQ where we entertained a few friends for supper - great evening.

Monday was a lovely day where I had to return to work for a night shift and I had one of those nurse intuition spells in the afternoon where I had a "bad feeling about what was going to happen" and the shift turned out to be a real doozy just to prove it! Napped on Tuesday and then dragged my carcass to scrapbooking. I was quite sleep deprived but haven't been able to make any of the sessions lately so kicked myself in the butt and headed out. Did a bit on an album from the first Maritimes/New England cruise I lectured on and it took me most of the evening to remember what I was working on as it'd been so long since I picked it up. Think I have it sorted out now and hopefully will connect with some of the scrapping sessions. I stayed on to pick up groceries but only dragged in the perishables from the car before I called it a night. Today has so far been spent in a bit (a very little bit) of housework, walking the dog before the showers began, a run to town to have the will revised as life changes, monitoring the life partner to register the car - since he insists on having it registered in his name and doesn't deal with the small details on time such as government rules and I am the one who will be stopped if not, a sandwich and tea at the Tim Hortons drivethru and home to find.....the Kindle in my mailbox. Yeehaw!

Agreed to examine the head of young fellow (who obviously needs his head examined when you hear the description of the event) who required suture removal. Apparently he was on the back of a pickup truck the other weekend and fell off and thus received approximately 40 stitches in the shape of a Y on the back of his head, major bruises and some road rash. Clearly ETOH was involved and he's lucky he wasn't one of those examples on 10,000 ways to die! His excuse was that this was his sober drive home and there was no room in the cab of the truck. Hmmm. I made no Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman promises - just that I would "have a look at it" and if it was too big a job to get those stitches out he could make his way in to ED or the Dr. office but it went very smoothly as the ED Doc had put in thick sutures which reminded one of fishing line so it was a short visit not most of the afternoon as I feared. He was very brave (of course you'd have to be what choice did he have?) and the procedure went smoothly.

I'm including a photo of the pansy which the oldest daughter brought with her when she came for the wedding. It's the cutest thing where the seeds are inside and you just add water. Now just waiting for it to bloom. Wouldn't her grandmother be tickled with this concept eh? It would meet with the repurposing, craftiness and pansies she was so fond of.

And yes, Stanley had gone missing from the newly moved to apartment of the youngest daughter but returned after six days in a rather haggard state. I should say so - he is not an outdoor kitty. The roommates are not particularly responsible (apparently one of them has moved in a snake and both are refusing to leave the windows without screens closed) so the plan is that Stanley will be returned here in a couple of weeks to remain with us until a different living arrangement is organized - likely to be another year as that is the term of the lease but at least he'll be safe.

Just checked on the status of the Kindle it is fully charged. Life is good.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Earl and more

The emergency planning at work for hurricane Earl has kicked in and there are all sorts of arrangements for staff accomodated at a local motel overnight etc. An interesting ride to be working overnight while the hurricane makes landfall somewhere in our area. There is some dispute as to whether it is just a tropical storm now, but it has already started to blow and is raining so as long as we make it home that is our main goal. I am sure the shore captain and prodigal son are doing storm watch in the office along with a few others and polishing off a pot of coffee. This is likely to continue for at least the early part of the day and may impact on the schedule for bingo so there may be a silver lining to this storm cloud if cancellations occur.

It was good to hear from the new teacher daughter about her first day in a real job - always great to be doing something you enjoy for pay. Apparently one of the grade primaries told her that she was "the bestest French teacher he'd ever had" which was a great compliment but considering that she was the only one he'd had it may not carry that much weight. It will be a good year for both students and teacher from the sounds.

Caught a brief exchange between two of the sisters and it appears that Stanley may be having another outdoor adventure. Sure hoping he's safe and sound and indoors with the inclement forecast as he's not a kitty used to braving the outdoors.

I keep watching the mailbox but still no card announcing that my Kindle has arrived. Boo ya to Amazon who announced that I would have it in my hands by September 4th. Mind you, I'll be a while yet deciphering the 165 page instruction manual so I should be patient.

Well, time to start the morning work as we are determined to get out of dodge.