meandering simply

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

sorry to bore you, yet I must

My life revolves around dragon boating currently. So here's tonight's update. I keep improving. The lady behind me tonight said, "didn't you say this is your first year?"

Then she said I had great technique and that I move a ton of water. I wanted to invite her on vacation with us, fill her gas tank, or at the very least take her out for a coffee. She's my new hero.

Just that little bit of affirmation is just what I needed. I'm so happy.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

dragon boating

Most people don't know much about dragon boating. I found this video and wanted to share it. The producers of the video lie the whole way through it, saying hilarious things like, all it takes is water to do it. That's a load of crock, let me assure you. Anyone watching the video can see it's not easy.

I'm getting better at it, but it's very hard. It doesn't get easier. The coach keeps bumping up the intensity. Some nights I think I'm going to die before it's over. Last night was one of those nights.

I compete in my first festival (tournament) next weekend. Two days of racing. I'm anxious. Watch this and see why.


steam engine

Saturday we went to Fort Edmonton Park, an old fashioned place that goes back 100-200 years in time. When the steam engine train arrived at the station to pick us up, Rachael and I turned to each other and said in precise unison, "I feel like Anne of Green Gables."

Family dynamics. They can be so amusing.

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happily married? i doubt it.

There's a winch that Gordon works with that invites him to coffee and lunch. I do not like this woman, mind you I've never met her. From a wife's perspective (me being the wife in this case) she's inappropriately friendly. The bitch. (Oops, I didn't mean to say that).

Anyway she sent him an email last week inviting him to lunch. I was offended. Gordon naively thinks she's just an extroverted person who loves socializing. (Pity the poor fool, will you?)

Anyway we were having this discussion in front of the kids who were equally offended that another woman asked Gordon to lunch. Gordon defended the winch with, "I really think she's happily married. She's just very social." (Again, pity the fool, will you?)

To Gordon's expression of her being happily married, I countered, "Yeah right. She's happily married like,... like,..." I couldn't think of a fitting expression. However my darling sweet Hannah, who got my intuitive wisdom, quickly came to my rescue. As I tried to articulate my disdain for this woman, Hannah piped up, "She's happily married like a praying mantis."

I love that wise child.

(For those who might not know this, once a praying mantis mates, she eats her husband.)

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Prune Juice

Gordon has this issue that periodically requires prune juice. It's especially predictable after Chinese food. Well, we had Chinese a few nights back. So he's been kind of, uh, uh, in need of prune juice.

Tonight we went to the store to get a few things. He bee-lined it to the prune juice.

In the car he started drinking his prune juice. I said he shouldn't chug on prune juice while driving. He took a big gulp then declared, "here's to hoping for a better life."


Monday, June 23, 2008

Menopause Jewelry

My friend Shelly just sent this to me. I thought it was cute.

Here it is, Menopause Jewelry:

My husband, being unhappy with my mood swings, bought me a mood ring the other day so he would be able to monitor my moods.

We've discovered that when I'm in a good mood, it turns green. When I'm in a bad mood, it leaves a big frickin red mark on his forehead.


Friday, June 20, 2008

I am sooo excited.....

I have never done this before. This is my very own video. (I just learned something new, watch out!)

I've been wondering what to do with all my digital photos. I think I know now. This was so much fun.

Sure it could be better, but I think it's pretty great as is. Please watch our record of a 2004 holiday.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Mama bragging, again

It's a busy time of year. School is nearing the end, ("the end" is the 27th), as are extra curriculars. We're gearing up for a great summer. Holiday plans are made, we're going to Glacier National Park in Montana.

And the very best thing is that Romie Boy is coming for a visit. He's bringing his mommy and Mimi too. I can hardly wait to see my sweet Stephie Pooh, Roman, and my mom. This is all such great news.

Hannah and Deborah had their piano recital last week and I wanted to share some pictures from that.

Hannah had her Grade 6 Graduation and I want you to see some of those pictures too. In a nutshell, this post is all about shameless bragging. My kids are really really wonderful.

Hannah at her Grade 6 Graduation.

Hannah and her best friend Hannah. Yes, two Hannahs. We call them Hannah D and Hannah B.

Deborah and her best school friend, Teresa. Teresa is such a sweetheart. So is Deborah.

Deborah at her recital. She did wonderfully well.

Another shot of Deborah at her recital. I love this one because it shows her baby fat. I love cheeks.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

charlie bit me

We watched the video months ago. It's still being quoted around here. "And it's still hurting."


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Happy Birthday to Stacie, my bff

Today is my sister Stacie's birthday. I wrote a story a long time ago (in high school actually) that I was planning to post today. I know I have that story somewhere but it wasn't in my "Stacie file." Take heart, I will find it eventually and I'll post it then.

Stacie is my best friend. She always has time for me; always ready to laugh with me, always ready to listen to me wax less-than-eloquent about my hardships; always available to get mad at people with me.

She's very generous, actually paying me to work for her. Occasionally she'll ask me to pray for her business and I'll joke that she'll have to pay me for my time. She laughs at all my corny jokes. Some days she'll phone and ask what I'm doing and I'll chirp, just praying for your business at $12 an hour. Other times she'll want to know what I did on such and such morning and I'll say something snide like, oh just $24 worth of interceding. It means a GREAT deal to me that I have someone that I can joke that way with.

Stacie is very funny. My siblings have such wonky senses of humor and are nothing less than hoots to be around. Something this morning that has made me smile as I've thought about her is this: When someone we know and loved had an affair and left his wife, the whole lot of us were abuzz with concern, pity and compassion for the wife. During this time, we all analyzed our own marriages, evaluating if we might be next. On a drive to the grocery store, as Stacie and I were once again re-hashing what we knew about the situation and voicing our concerns for our own marriages, Stacie somberly asked, "I wonder if he's (the wayward husband) given any thought to how this has affected me?" Stacie's like that, always bringing a funny, zany spin to the table. (As if someone as selfish as this man would have given Stacie a nano-second's worth of thought regarding how his actions would affect her.)

When she was a young married woman she moved and developed a life far away. She and Jimmy had other couple friends that they played games with. They were intelligent friends. (Disclaimer: we aren't stupid, but we are much more interested in fun than philosophy and rhetoric.) Stacie was really impressed that her new friends liked intelligent games. She wanted to bring this kind of culture to our family.

The following Thanksgiving when we were all together, she wanted us to play one of her smart little games. As I recall the game went something like this: someone would open a dictionary and randomly choose a word. The other players would then write the definition of the word or if they didn't know what the word meant, they'd fake it with something that sounded intelligent. We would then decide which definition was the best or closest to the dictionary definition. Stacie was adamant, if we didn't know the meaning of the word, we had to construct plausible definitions that at least sounded like they could have come from the dictionary.

This game was fine and good among her city friends, but her family had other ideas of how the game should go. Stacie chose to be the dictionary person because she wanted to nurse us through the game, going from easy to harder.

First word. MEED. Some of Stacie's family members responded like this. "commonly used to express me in past tense," "compound usage for me and Ed." No, things weren't shaping up smart enough for Stacie. She pressed the issue telling us to "be serious."

Next word. NUDNICK. "The art of seeing Nick nude," "resident of the planet Nud." Oh it was such fun, but not nearly what Stacie wanted. She finally abated the game and with it all hopes of impressing Jimmy with our smarts.

Stacie just buzzed me on instant messenger. I told her I couldn't talk that I was writing her birthday tribute. She was impressed and willing to let me continue my "work." I quickly wrote back, "yeah, I'm telling about that time you had a dog tick in your belly button." Stacie has a poor memory. I can make up all kinds of stories about her youth and she'll wonder why she can't remember it. (So if you see Stacie today, ask her about the dog tick that once lived in her belly button. Get her really confused.)

In closing, Stacie is the best friend in the world. She supports me like no one else. She's my number 1 fan in my one-person fan club. I love her so, so much. I'm blessed beyond words to have Stacie as my best friend and sister.

I love you, Sister.

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the hunger site

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a website called The Hunger Site. Simply clicking on the orange button feeds a hungry someone somewhere in our world. I hope you all checked it out and signed up for the daily email reminder to "Click." I receive the daily reminder to click at home and at work. Do you know how good it feels to know I've helped feed hungry people each day?

In that previous post I mentioned that perhaps one day I'd learn it was a hoax. Well guess what. It is NOT A HOAX. I've checked it out in three different places and all three confirm it's legit. Urban Legends and Folklore describe it most succinctly, so I'm quoting them here:

In the July 22, 1999 edition of the Internet Tourbus, Patrick Crispen confirmed the site's integrity through one of its sponsors: I know this whole "click on a button, feed a hungry person" story sounds too good to be true, but I called one of the Hunger Site's sponsors and they confirmed that they were indeed donating 3 cents for everyone who clicks on the site's "Donate Free Food" button. The sponsors are donating the money to generate goodwill (and, truth be told, sponsoring the Hunger Site is also a brilliant marketing move -- once someone clicks on the "Donate Free Food" button, they are taken to a page that shows a small ad for the sponsor. The click-through rates for these ads must be phenomenal!)

In response to my own inquiries, Anthea Webb of the United Nations' World Food Program confirmed that the organization indeed receives donations via the Hunger Site and characterized the project as "innovative." Says Webb, "Cash donations equivalent to more than a million servings of food have been donated since the site opened in June 1999."

Please please become a clicker. If you become a clicker, I'd love to know. You can visit the Hunger Site itself to learn more:


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dragon Coaches and such

Last night was another practice. I think I'm getting the hang of this dragon boating business. Is it ever a good workout. In other words, Boy do I nearly die out there on the water. I keep thinking it will get easier but the old timers say it never does. They say that the coaches continually push you. So when we can race 4 minutes of quality fast paddling, they bump us to 8 minutes. When we can do 8 minutes of high quality fast paddling, they move us to 12. I honestly don't know how I will cope with more than 6 minutes of fast paddling. Lest you think 4 of 5 minutes of hard paddling is nothing, well you don't know what dragon boat paddling is like. I told my mom it's the hardest thing I've done since leaving the farm.

On a slightly humorous note, I keep learning things about dragon boating that make me smile. Somehow I ended up on a competitive team when there are recreational teams available. I didn't know to specify recreational, so here I am on a competitive team. I'm glad I didn't know. Had I known I had options, I'm sure I would have gone recreational. Now I'm forced to apply every muscle I've got to dragon boating and I'm sure it is GREAT for me.

Our coaches are two Chinese men who are kind of cute and very muscular. On the first night I thought they were charming and well built. Now their once lovely smiles are nothing short of evil ways to show their fangs. WahineKeiWaka means "women in canoe." I wish many times during practice that they'd fall out of our women canoe. It is all very hard, especially for me being a few pounds overweight and all. But this is the year of getting in shape and I'm well on my way.

Did I mention I fell into the boat two practices ago? I was kind of woozy on the dock and for reasons I can't explain, I flew headlong into the lap of my bench partner and a few others. Back in 1998 I began a life journey of aspiring to walk in humility, daily praying to recognize pride in myself and chose humility. God has made that prayer a reality, and reinforces it nearly on a daily basis. Dragon boating, and falling into the boat, are just two more exercises in humility. So along with aching muscles, I'm sporting bruises on my torso and legs. Poor girl who took the brunt of my fall, I broke her sunglasses and stunned her into oblivion. Last night she didn't show up. I hope she's ok.

On a non-dragon-boating note, I'm actually getting writing assignments at work now. I've been doing little writing jobs along the way, but now I'm getting real writing work. I'm very happy about that.