Saturday, July 28, 2012

Resting in Peace

The other day a group of friends went on a road trip. Trixxi & Big Lexy, Techno-Pastor, his bubbly-prude wife & FlowerPot, Auntie Red and GeoJimmy all crammed into a stylin 4Runner and headed west and south – to the sticks, and to where another dear friend’s body is resting peacefully. The beast that is cancer took over our friend Megs’ body and took her from the world 4 months ago…. And about 50 years too soon!!!

This was the first time we’d all been together for the trek to Overland. GeoJimmy, the only who’s ever been to visit, drove and gave us a fascinating tour of his old stomping grounds. We traveled along some dodgy pavement, hilly/rollercoaster gravel roads, wide open prairie, and a back trail but finally reached our destination. Armed with a bouquet of purple plastic flower, potted in our last French Vanilla Cappuccino mix can, we all took a deep breath and headed to the center of Overland Cemetery. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing a perfect breeze through the long grass and wheat fields that border this hill top sanctuary. We were silent for a long time. Quiet tears streaming down all our cheeks. We miss her. Everyday. She was a strong, passionate woman who lived life and fought right to the end. Coffees and hanging out just aren’t the same without her laugh, opinions, and her “insider” gossip! Overland is the perfect spot for her body to rest. And I could feel her energy there with us that day.

There was a lot of energy in the air. I wondered around the fenced space, reading the headstones and name plates and giving silent respect/mourning all those who are buried in that land. I was struck by how many children were in there. Infants with no names, 6 months, 2 years, 8 years. I said a silent prayer of thankfulness that I have not known this type of heartbreak. Thought of my 3 beautiful kids and what it would be like to have one of them die. I’m fascinated by the early ‘pioneer’ days, and have often thought I could have lived in that era. But the all too common death of children is a painful, scary thought.

I have a type of fascination with cemeteries. Reading the headstones – I love the names, doing the math of how old they were, imagining what type of life they may have had. The variety in markers is interesting too. Telling of the era, the beliefs of the deceased and their family that was left to mourn. I have a bit of a fantasy of traveling the country/world photographing cemeteries and headstones… somber, creepy, peaceful…

GeoJimmy took us to another small country cemetery on our journey home. This one, home to the teeny body of an angel-baby. Sweet Gabriel was a heartbreaking loss. His death was caused by the same horrible cancer that stole his mom from us. I mourn the loss of this little friend we never knew, but take comfort that he is in heaven and Grandma Lene rocked him and soothed him for the year before his mommy could come to him. (and hope megs still lets Gramma Lene have a few snuggles!)

If I can find my way, I will be back to both resting places. To sit and feel the energy, listen to the wind, and shed tears of sadness but also of incredible gratitude for all that I have and all that I know/have known….

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Bedside Table is starting to resemble a library!!

Stacked on/around the small table which also hold a lamp, alarm clock, Kleenex box, cell charger and lotion is: 5 magazines – Running: Trail Special, Self: June, Cdn Family: Summer, Cdn Running: May/June, Women’s Running: May/June

And 8 books, yes E.I.G.H.T. !

-Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood. 1st in a series. Young Adult Fiction. Follows the lives of young witches in America during the time of the witch trials. Impulse buy @ Wal-Mart last month.

- The Rainy Day Book. A Hallmark gift book of quotes, lyrics and stories to “pick you up when you’re a little blue” Another impulse buy from Hender’s Drugs in April.

-I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb. Loved ‘She’s Come Undone’ by W.L. so really want to read this one, started it a few times but hasn’t made it back to the top of my pile. Bought at a garage sale over 3 years ago.

-This Isn’t What I Expected – Over Coming Postpartum Depression by K. Klienman and Y. Raskin. Just browsed this one a few times, as this is a journey I have been traveling for 5 years. It’s a textbook type of read. Bought at the thrift store before Christmas.

-Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman-Rubio. No idea where it came from and I haven’t cracked into it yet. Jacket looks interesting and it’s an Oprah book club book, so it has to be good, right? Probably should go back to my library to reduce clutter…

-The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards. I’m about 3 chapters into this one. Interesting, but can’t get to it. Has been collecting dust on bedside table since at least December. Another book of unknown origins, thrift store or garage sale…

-Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom. Started this in March and about 2/3 done it. It’s a true story about a rabbi who asked Albom to write his eulogy and the stories/life lessons he learned from the remarkable man he calls Reb. Will likely finish this one soon. Bought in Parmasave in 2011.

-Busy Mom Bible. Truthfully, I haven’t done as much reading in here as I would like to. It’s a wonderfully set up study/reflection bible. It’s broken down into manageable sections and questions/discussions that a busy mom can (and should) relate to, reflect on, and pray about.

I love books. I love to read. But I don’t read nearly enough. Need to fit more reading time into my crammed schedule. If I write it on my calendar/list and make it a priority I will do it. (and I should)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

where would i live if i didn't live here???

Recently, a friend was joking (I hope!) about moving to Drum-Hellcat, Alberta. This got me thinking about where I would move to. I have no plans to leave my current farm, hometown or the great green province I love, but just for fun, for the sake of letting my imagination wander on a hot day, I’ve made a list of places I would live.

Abroad: Denmark. My Grandpa’s home land and a place I feel a great connection to. Any town there would work for me. Plus living there would force me to learn the language, something I’ve always wanted to do (see future post on bucket list…)

The UK. A man with an Irish accent can knock me to my knees. I’m fascinated my Scotland (I think it’s the ginger in my hair…) and I’ve been to England several times and am in love with the quaint countryside and fairy tale castles.

Domestically: Alberta. Specifically the foothills, somewhere south of Calgary, where I could see the mountains everyday. I love the mountains.

Town Envy: there’s a few small towns/cities I’ve been to that made me think “hey, I could live here!” Camrose, AB; Lacombe, AB; Moosomin, SK; Mount Forest, ON; Guelph, ON; Souris, MB;

Saturday, July 7, 2012

June Round Up

Alrighty, let’s try this… I feel like I should have been taking notes throughout the month, maybe for July. But I’ll look at the calendar and my camera and try to remember everything that happened. This month flew by! As Bud would say it went by “faster than a cucumber in an ice cube” lol He’s big on synonyms, but his almost 5 yr old brain doesn’t quite get it…

Read: - the Oxbow Herald (local weekly newspaper)
- other mail; flyers, bills, Western Producer
- bedtime stories to Bud, Toodles and Tuff (nn in prgress...)
- my lists and calendar to keep me on track
- browsed magazines; western horseman, self, running, Canadian running, women’s running, today’s parent, chatelaine, Canadian living, Canadian geographic,
- my favorite blogs (see future post re: blogs I follow)

Learned: - Horsemanship techniques. We hosted John and Jamie Tilley from Tilley’s Custom Colts for a 2 day horsemanship clinic @ our arena. It was an awesome weekend and I learned SOOOO much!
- Re-learned my way around Edmonton. It’s been 10 years since I 1st lived there and 2 yrs since the last time I’ve been there. It was the first city I ever learned to drive in. It took a bit but after a week of being there it felt like I’d never left!
-A bunch about Kindergarten – Had Bud’s Orientation Day this month. Gulp!

Entertainment and Fun with Family & Friends are combined this month: The kids and I headed out on a trip of near epic proportions: It started on a Thrusday. I packed the truck and 2 of the 3 kids and headed west. (Bud stayed behind with his dad.) We made it as far as Auntie Pennie’s place. It was a great place to stretch our legs, scare some cats and give The Voice some quality baby-fever time. The next morning we were up bright and early. We headed north to K’s place. Toodles, Tuff and I were on the “Relay for Life” team Cancer Sucks! with her. It’s a 12 hour walk in support of cancer research. We walked in memory of all the people who cancer has taken away or who are fighting against the beast. Cancer has touched my family over the past 10 years, most deeply in the past 2. I walked in memory of my Grandma Murph (liver cancer, 2000), DT’s Grandpa (lung cancer, 2007), my mommy (brain cancer, 2011), my friend megs (lung cancer, 2012) and in celebration of survivors like DT’s mom (thyroid cancer, 2006) and a one-nut wonder of a cowboy (testicular cancer, 2007). After this marathon of walking and emotions we slept for a few hours and then headed to a rodeo near by to meet up with DT and Bud. The next day myself and all 3 of my monkeys, along with Auntie K and Chunk headed towards the mountains and the big city of Calgary. We did the zoo (penguins were Sooo cool!), went swimming in the hotel pool (first time swimming for both Chunk and Tuff) and some shopping. After 2 fun days in the city I used to call home we said bu-bye to K and Chunk and headed north to E-Town and the Tober family. Fun in Ed included: The Sea Lion show @ WEM with Papa, 2 different times at Galaxyland @ WEM with papa, grandma G and auntie A, Lunch with Levangs @ Derrick Club, Jurassic Forest with grandma G and great grandma D, Schmidt-Knudsen Farm Visit, 90th b-day bash for great grandma D, backyard BBQ with some of the Greater Edmonton Area Tober fam. Other entertainment this month (non trip related) included swimming at town pool with Moir friends and Farm Auction Sale with lots of fun finds!

Gfts received - maybe. can't remember, sounds ungreatful, but really my brain is a mushed banana....

Gifts Given: a baby gift for newborn Baby Katie – got her 2 of our favorite board books (barnyard dance and on the night you were born) and a super cute peacock car seat/stroller toy.

Since we spent more time in the city than I do in 3 months there was of course some ‘special’ purchases. For myself I got new running shoes, running clothes, and a LiveStrong watch/bracelet thingy for tracking my runs (distance, pace, etc), a few books from Chapters and more Starbucks than I’ve drank all year!!! (may be in withdrawal now) The big kids got super cool new lawn chairs – Camo, from the new Cabella’s store, some new books from chapters, Bud got a new cowboy hat, Toodles got a “buckin’ horse cap” (pink, sparkly AND has a bronc on it!) Can’t think of anything new and special that Tuff got.

Thankfully, no one was sick or injured this month.

My brain must be shutting down ‘cause I also can’t think of any accomplishments/disappointments or anything else noteworthy.

All in all not a bad 1st Round Up! Yee-Haw!! I will take notes for July (maybe…)