28 February 2005

Happy Birthday, Mary!

27 February 2005

Home again, home again ...

Nina didn't make it over to see Chelsea when she was here, and she was gone when I got home 'cuz she had to go to work, so I still haven't seen her since before Christmas. We're going to see what we can do to remedy that in the near future.

Barbara and Anailese did make it home last Monday and we got to talk to her on the phone a couple of times. She got her car from where it was being stored, got it insured and was getting the oil changed and the tires checked yesterday so she could come get me at the airport (bless her heart), but since we all caught a cold this week, we're going to avoid contact for a few days. Darn it.

Chelsea, Darwin and Bernie are in Costa Rica. Chelsea and Darwin are getting married on a beach this week.

The sky was brilliantly clear and blue over the valley, so we didn't get diverted to Penticton. We did clear-sky thinking for the trip home, too, 'cuz taking off with a low ceiling isn't a problem, but landing is, so if the ceiling's low, there'll be no plane to take off. Well, it turns out that there's no plane to take off if it gets caught in a storm somewhere up north, then gets into Vancouver late and then gets into Castlegar late. My flight left Castlegar about 40 minutes late and lost a little time on the way to Calgary, so I was an hour late getting in there. The check-in guy checked and there were no seats available on any Edmonton flight from Calgary 'til Monday (nor on any Edmonton flights from Vancouver, the only other place planes go from Castlegar), in fact, they were all overbooked already, but he thought there might be a chance that someone would have grabbed an earlier flight and taken my seat on the flight I was missing, leaving an open seat on a later flight. So I claimed my luggage in Calgary and went to see the check-in guy there. He said there was no space on any flight to Edmonton 'til Monday night, in fact they were all overbooked already, and sent me off to the ticketing agent to see what she could do for me. She tsked and tutted and typed and frowned, then hmmed, asked what I had for luggage, handed me a boarding pass, pointed over my left shoulder and said, "Gate A16, RUN!!" So I ran! And then I got stuck in security because of all the stuff I put in my checked luggage (which was going to have to be a 2nd carry-on on this flight) ... the knitting needles (dangerous, those ... pencils are fine, though) and nail clippers (imagine what you could do with a pair of nail clippers ... nail files are fine, though) and scissors (which they decided were blunt enough, even though they're considerably sharper than a knitting needle). In the end, they let it all go to deal with the lady behind me who who was obviously a terrorist, having two lighters (one is fine, though) in her purse. I ran some more and managed to get on the plane only because they were waiting for four other people to clear customs from an overseas flight. When we took off, there were nineteen empty seats on the plane. Nothing 'til Monday night, my eye.

It's busy at Patty and Jaime's, and very good therapy. Every morning, I was woken by one or more girls coming to cuddle (the leaping and pouncing and shreiking and dropping annoyed cats on my head and tickling kind of cuddling), then there's the colouring and dress-up clothes while breakfast is prepared part, then a quick clean-up for breakfast and breakfast and clean-up again and play while Patty does a 20-minute work-out and has a shower and getting ready for the day (by which time Raye could be on her 4th change of clothes and Ally would probably be naked). All of this leaves half an hour or so for an activity before it's time to start getting lunch ready. Then there's clean-up before lunch, lunch and clean-up after dinner and maybe some stories to be read and a little time for an activity (after getting one or more girls dressed again 'cuz naked happens) before it's time to get ready for dinner. Then there's clean-up before dinner, dinner, clean-up after dinner, bath on bath nights, snack, stories and bedtime. In between, there are play groups, play dates, Moms' groups, walks, trips to the store, company over, spontaneous performances by the girls, time spent being cats and horses and unicorns and bears, tipped over house plants, ninety-four trips to the bathroom, owies requiring bandaids, vaccuuming, dusting, floor washing, bathroom cleaning, song singing, nose-blowing, question answering, pretending, and tea. Dishes and laundry are constants to fill any spare moments. Kinda woven through all that, there's the comings and goings of Jaime and their boarder. This was a week off school for Sarah, so it was a slower pace than usual. When she's in school, Patty is up a couple of hours earlier to get her ready and out the door and works a couple of nights at the school, cleaning 'til midnight.

It was a few degrees above freezing and sunny every day and a few degrees below freezing and clear every night. It sounds like it was about the same in Edmonton all week. We had a picnic in the park one day. It really wasn't warm enough for it, but it sure felt good to pretend it was. Patty and I had some time together all alone one evening, a very rare thing! We went for tea at the Maté Factor - Preserved Seed Teahouse then out for a drink when that closed for the evening. One day, we went to look at a house that Jaime figured was perfect for me (it would have been perfect for them, too ... too bad there's an accepted offer on it). Jaime's still looking for houses for me 'cuz ... no pressure, though, says he. When Billy and I were thinking about it, I was about 50/50 on the Edmonton/Nelson issue, but Edmonton had inertia on its side. Right now, I can't imagine doing it alone, picking up and moving there ... for one thing, the idea's way too tangled up with a life Billy and I pictured for ourselves.

Walking out the airport door in Edmonton, I ran into someone I used to work with. We got talking and it turns out her son is living in Nelson, kitty corner and one house in from Patty and Jaime. She was there last weekend.

I'm doing a mountain of laundry and waiting for Les from Kitty City to bring the monsters home.

I'm very glad we're more than halfway through the long haul between the Solstice and the Spring Equinox. It's not when it's getting darker and darker that drags, it's when it's ever-so-slowly getting lighter again.

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 10:42
Hours of dark: 12:10ish
Sunrise: 7:27 am
Sunset: 6:09 pm
Start of twilight: 6:52 am
End of twilight: 6:44 pm
Current weather: Mostly Cloudy. -5°C (23°F), -9°C (16°F) with windchill, humidity 79%, wind SSE 8 km/h (5 mph.), barometer 30.11 in. Hg.

Today.. Sunny. Fog patches dissipating this morning, High 2°C (36°F).
Tonight.. Clear. Low -2°C (28°F).
Monday.. Sunny. High 2°C (36°F).
Tuesay.. Sunny. Low -9°C (16°F). High 5°C (41°F).
Wednesday.. Sunny. Low -5°C (23°F). High 7°C (45°F).
Thursday.. Sunny. Low -3°C (27°F). High 6°C (43°F).
Normals for the period.. Low -14°C (7°F). High -3°C (27°F).

19 February 2005

Off to Nelson

The cats have been bundled off to Kitty City. My bag is packed. Chelsea is coming over in a couple of hours to drop off some stuff for me to take for Patty. Nina is coming over at the same time, I think, to visit. She's going to house-sit. It's snowing. I'm thinking clear-sky thoughts for Castlegar tomorrow, so I don't end up diverted to Penticton and having to bus to Nelson from there.

I'm also thinking smooth travel thoughts for Barbara, who will be trying to fly home on Monday missing a key piece of paperwork that's caught in the mail somewhere between here and there. She was to have been home Thursday, but Anailese caught a nasty flu and couldn't travel.

I'm thinking good journey thoughts for Vince, who's on a different type of journey altogether.

I miss my Billy. I also miss my family. The APs are down south, having a wonderful time, sounds like. The rest of us have all been sick and unwilling to cross-infect. When I get back from Nelson, we have plans to get together. Mary's birthday is a happy excuse.

11 February 2005

Smart ...

I ordered one of these.

There's a waiting list. I won't see it 'til sometime in July, probably. Aside from the gas mileage and not having more car than I need, I particularly like this bit and that it crash tests so well.