Friday, August 25, 2006

They have arrived!!

Just a quick post to say....the travelling offspring have arrived safe and sound.

I'm sooo glad!!

Sleep well my deserve every moment of rest .... it's been a marathon!!

I'm so proud I could burst!!

Love and Hugs all round!!


Sounds, sights and scents.....

This Kamloops morning.....

...the phone ringing at 5:45 am with our dear daughter on the other end telling us that they were through the border, visa acquired, and were now halfway between Buffalo and Rochester. I then got up, put the coffee and computer on....and checked out Google Earth to see where they were.

...Chloe and Mrs Tubbytoes (aka Putz) whinging for breakfast (our feline housemates)

...the train whistle of the Rocky Mountaineer as it wends it's way onwards down to Vancouver.

...incessant yammering of magpies at something or other...all around the neighbourhood!!

...the said Rocky Mountaineer as it wends it's way onwards to Vancouver as seen through our living room window through binoculars (we do have an awesome view!!)

...the morning sun shining brilliantly on our patio table and chairs and showing off the hanging baskets magnificently!!

....a tiny bird (sparrow??) hopping between the grape vines in the garden (the cats watch unblinkingly)

...mate and Chauncey dog stepping briskly off for their daily walk


...the "zesty" smell of the deodorant soap in the shower this morning....and the lavender shampoo!!

....the wonderful smell of Starbucks beans, ground and brewed in the early morning... there's nothing quite like it...except for Zack's beans (a Kamloops specialty!!)

...mate's aftershave as he gives me kiss before said walk...(he just recently shaved his beard it's noticeable!!)

...basil, basil, basil....I cut the basil regularly to prevent flowering and it's a job I love to do. The scent of the basil is unbelievable and it stays on my fingers as I take the leaves from the tougher stems. I have two tubs of pesto in the this batch will be for fresh use and possibly freezing in oil Still lots left in the garden as well. I also have tarragon to do and sage....and catnip and lemon balm (my sleep combination!!)I will no doubt freeze the tarragon and/or make vinegar and dry the sage, catnip and lemon balm. I also have some winter savory, 3 mints, lemon verbena and rosemary to decide what to do with.

....the leftover night time scent of the stocks as I pass by during my daily "deadheading" routine. We have a large patch of Night Scented Stocks in the front and during the nights when I can't sleep...I stand by the open window and the smell of them just wafts up and envelopes me. I want to plant a lot around the patio next year. This year and last, we had one plant...which was pretty good, but I think another, plus some sweet peas would just stink up the patio nicely!!

And as I finish off this blog entry, I still smell the basil on my fingers...sigh...and I have found a site that calculated the driving time between Buffalo and Shrewsbury....6 hours and 43 minutes....not too bad....the travelling offspring should be nearing their new home in about 1 1/2 hours (it's now 11:30am PST).
I love and miss them sooo much!!
I'm such a Mom!! :-)


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Happy Birthday to me!!

So I turned 58 today (August 21). I mention the date because I'm in one of my "Sleepless in Kamloops" modes and it's now early morning on the 22.

On reflection, I think I'm finally getting somewhere with this "finding my creative spirit" thing.
Whilst lying abed this night with no sleep, it occurred to me that there seems to be a common thread in all my creative meanderings......the past. Irish History and Irish family history, old family photographs, historical journals, reading old letters and early attempts at poetry and prose....I think that I have always been more comfortable in the past rather than the future (with the exception of the computer)...and somehow I think that's where my spirit lies in some way, shape or form.

So that's as far as I've got.....some further cogitation required.

As for my was good....restful morning, and in the afternoon a little exploratory expedition in the car ending in Chase by the lake for some paddling and sketching while my mate binoculared and photographed and walked the dog. Home for a nap and then out for dinner at Kelly O'Bryans (free for me 'cause it was my birthday)....ending with a yummy strawberry shortcake which I just could not finish...more's the pity.

I am still sad, but having talked to the travelling offspring, I feel a lot fact I downloaded Google Earth for my laptop (we already have it on the PC) so I can follow their's an easy and novel way to see how they go.....and you don't have all that unfolding and folding of maps!!!

So now I should try to get some sleep.......such a necessary part of our lives, but sometimes so hard to accomplish!!


Saturday, August 19, 2006

....and then they were gone......

So....yesterday morning the travelling offspring said their farewells (well I think we ALL blubbered our farewells!!) and took to the road, heading for Edmonton down the Yellowhead.

It was a good visit....lots of conversation, still some long distance tweaking in arrangments to do, and lots of good food and good conversation. "J- little bro" arrived about 15 minutes after T&D and Bastet on Friday so we all sat on the patio and caught up for a while.....after which we decided that a heavy dinner wasn't on, so we made up plates of bread and many cheeses and veggies and and other snackies and sat around the dining room table and talked more. Gradually the menfolk faded out to their respective beds and mom and daughter finished the wine and chatted 'till after midnight.

Thursday was spent making last minute calls and checking on arrangements, laundry etc.... and then T and "J- little bro" took off for some brother/sister time and shopping for a while. we were having lunch, they arrived home and lo and behold.....a gift for Mom....(it's my birthday on Monday you see)....a wonderful Mediterranean style appetizer set of several small dishes (all difference shapes) and one large pasta or salad bowl. It was just so amazingly appropriate for style totally!! The birthday/bon voyage celebration continued with a dinner at Ric's Mediterranean Grill downtown and then finished off the evening with a wonderful cheesecake and wine at home. T and I finished off the evening (and the wine!!) out on the patio chatting again...whilst the menfolk watched Two for the Road.....:-)

Everyone was up early to say goodbye on Friday and after they left and we settled down a bit "J-little bro" joined us on a trip to the Wildlife Park and we all quite enjoyed it....especially the Raptor exhibit. Our dear son left around 6'ish and phoned when he reached Chilliwack.....(it's a tradition you see....just to let mom know he made it over the Coq ).

Finally got word (after a phone call) that T&D had reached Edmonton safely, at which point, I retired to the bathroom and soaked in a foamy tub of lukewarm water which smelled strongly of lavender, chamomile with a hint of rosemary, with a nice glass of Desert Hills Gamay close to hand!!

It has been an emotional three whizzed by just too fast......and I still can't believe it!
I think it will all sink in when I finally get emails from Ontario and Shrewsbury.

Their adventure has started.......and it will be good


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wine and Appys on the Patio.....

Our family will be here in the next little while.....our two children and one son-in-law. We will all be gathered to bid a fond and loving farewell to T & D and Bastet!! It will be an emotional few days, but I am going to try to make it also a relaxing and tasty start to a long road trip. (How can you tell that T and I are mother/daughter :-)'s all about good food and good wine!!)

To that end.....I have roasted almonds, will be roasting chickpeas, making jumbo raisin cookies ,(which I would have baked today, but I had no eggs!!), maybe making Welsh cakes, chopping veggies, making dip, buying wine, cheese and interesting bread...and especially for T.....GARLIC SAUSAGE!! short, all the things that the travelling offspring find enjoyable..(I hope). Also there will be a good supply of "Mom's comfort food" for all the family.....which comfort food it is, I have no idea....but I shall be prepared for anything!!

After the mad panic of the departure, some down time relaxing on the patio is definitely in the cards for both of them.....while Bastet reclines on the bed!!

It's interesting.....up until last night I was wondering how I was going to cope with these few chest was tight, I was verging on tears and all in all I felt like s**t!! So this morning....after sleeping rather badly, I got up and we did a whip'round cleaning up the house and getting the beds ready. I had a lovely phone talk with my 95 year old aunt about everything....I so love her to bits....she knows me so well... because she is me.... in about 40 years.

After the chat we had lunch and I decided to nap. (Naps are a good thing) When I got up .....I decided to cook and bake......well...cook maybe (it's the almonds you know??) and leave the baking until tomorrow after we get some eggs now....I feel so much better, like a load has been lifted. It's all about doing things to make people happy......thinking about how they feel rather than how I feel.....sigh.....what a relief.

I will still be sad when they leave, in fact I can guarantee that I will weep copious amounts of salty H2O, but now I will think of the positive side of it all and send them on their way with all the support, love and prayers I can provide.

But's about that wine and appys on the patio.........


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Not yet.....

As yet, I am unable to write about the forthcoming travels of our dear daughter and her beloved.

I may be in denial...I don't know.....but I cannot yet change the lump in my chest into words on a screen about this change in our lives.

Maybe in the days to come, I can do this.....

....but not yet.....

It has been a long day......

We did one of our marathon visits to the Lower Mainland today.......
Our reasons for doing so were return my brother-in-law to his home after a week with us.....and to connect with a friend from my past.

It is the latter that I write about now.....

It has been 33 years since I have seen PMc. She was my room mate and travelling companion when I was studying in England in the late 60's and early 70's. We were close as any two friends could be. After I finished at college and came home, we kept a somewhat infrequent correspondence and then after a time, it fizzled out as our lives progressed and got busier. A few years ago, I did some research on the net and came up with her email address. So I emailed her and asked if she was who I was looking you the PMc that was in London in 1969 attending......blah blah etc....and wonder of wonders...I got an answer!

I replied and I think we had about 2 emails and then they too fizzled out. I managed to get her on my MSN contact list and chatted somewhat hesitantly once.

So....about 2 weeks ago, out of the blue, I got an email from her saying she is going to be on a flying visit to Vancouver and can we connect. We could and we was wonderful and heartwrenching.......
Two hours is definitely not time enough to catch up on 33 years of a lifetime. However, I did find out enough to know that we have in many ways followed a similar path.....and I want to continue the contact.

So....on the drive home to Kamloops, I decided that it was so much better to curl up with a cup of tea or coffee or a glass of wine and READ a snail mail letter, than to read an email on the computer.

Tomorrow, I shall start a written correspondence with my friend and hopefully it will be like in days of old....where you don't just necessarily talk about what you're doing and who's doing what, but you also discuss ideas and exchange thoughts on everything that matters. Whether she will answer in the same vein I have no idea....but I'm willing to give it a try.

I also have made a mental list (I'll make a written one tomorrow) of people I would like to write to in non-email form......and as my mate is going to be down helping the travelling offspring this weekend (yes he DOES get to go down there again, only in his truck this time), I will start my writings. Not all can be written in the same way, but I'm interested to see what kind of response I get to an actual letter on paper. I believe that I will also put my travelling offspring on my list as well....beware T&D!!

I will not be writing these epistles by hand.....I am unable to do that I will type them in script and print them out and then sign them, no doubt with handwritten PS's.....

I'm looking forward to this as not only a writing exercise, but as a way of keeping in touch that seems to mean so much more than words on a screen, even though they start out that way.



Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My Passion for books.......

When I was growing up, my father was an avid reader....and he passed that along to me as I grew up. I remember him telling me to never throw out a good book as you may want to go back and read it again. I still remember him in his recliner in the rec room reading until all hours of the drove my mother crazy!! I was reading adult (meaning for adults not children) books from age 8 onwards.....I would find them in the book case and half the time I wouldn't have a clue as to the meaning of some of the words....but I got most of the gist of the story. Then I discovered Zane Grey....and devoured every book of his that my father had. I did manage to come across Lady Chatterley's Lover when I was in my early was hidden in a closet, away from prying young eyes, but I snaffled it nevertheless and read it through and then replaced it in it's hiding place!!

I think it was just the need to read (unintentional rhyme there!) that caused me to read everything in sight. When I got older I did start being selective. I don't remember ever really reading very many normal young people's books, but some of the children's books that I had, dated back to the early part of the century.....from my mother's childhood.

At some point in time, I discovered romances.....ah!!... the delight of it!!...and my aunt had a stack of them!!!....and they were easy to read and would take me away to exotic places that I could only dream of visiting!!

I pretty much stuck with the romances and magazines throughout my 20's, 30's and 40's, mostly due to the fact that I was so busy with study and then marriage and kids, time to read became a precious commodity and as time was short, I wanted a quick read that would liberate me from the stresses of daily life....(doesn't every person want that at some point??).

As the kids got bigger and left home and "mom" had more time....I, along with my mate, re-discovered the local library. What an amazing resource!!! I found that I had certain tastes in my reading.....mysteries....British mysteries......drama....British drama.....some humour, biographies, was a wonderful experience.

So now we are in present Kamloops.....and I have a stack of books that are just waiting to be read. I have discovered Peter Robinson....and writer of Inspector Banks mysteries, Ian Rankin, a mystery writer of Scottish origins......and I have a collection of books by Anne Perry, Maeve Binchy, Carol Drinkwater, Charlotte Bingham, Erica James,Gerald Durrell, Jacquie Durrell, Anya Seton and many many more (after all I DID inherit my father's collection), ....and they are a mixed bag....mystery, drama, biographical, nature ....and that's not even counting the 2nd hand books on Winston Churchill!!! I believe I have about 7 or more of them. We also have many classics, Canadian writers, poetry, English, Canadian and Irish.....the list is endless. The Kamloops Symphony Book sale was just a major source for me especially considering I was one of the volunteer sorters and had first divs!!

Lately I have been focused on Irish books....anything to do with Ireland and it's history, culture, geography, and of course literature. That is because I have developed a longing for information about the land of my ancestors....and it started with the reading of Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt...I then did some research and found that he was not the only McCourt to write, so I ordered anything by any McCourt family member from the library. I then found a list of Irish authors and poets and historical books on Ireland...which I copied and will work my way through. Trinity by Leon Uris was suggested to me....and so I got that and read it...and am now soon to tackle the sequel Redemption. The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherford is also in my stack of books as are Roddy Doyle and Nuala O'Faolain among others.......I'm a tad obsessive with this particular subject.....but it's a good obsession!!

So..... in between all the "Irishness" I have also re-discovered Lucy Maud Montgomery.....I'm not so much reading Anne of Green Gables and others, but I'm reading Maud's journals which give an incredible insight into her life in PEI, and later years. She not only talks about her day to day life, but also how she's feeling emotionally and physically as well and her observations about people and life. There are several books of letters by her and 4 more volumes of journals that I'm going to tackle......and then I will go back and re read all the Anne books that I have. That should give me a wonderful basis to enjoy them with!!

My passion for books.......almost overwhelming at times.....but one that will never leave me.