Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How I spent my FIRST Summer holidays in four years!!

* please note - I had written this at the end of September but only publishing it today, just a wee bit of creative license.

At the end of June, I found myself temporarily without a job, after working two jobs 7 days a week since February.  The first few days were a bit unnerving, but I soon got over that.  My Parent’s 60th Anniversary was on July 16th, so I had lots to get ready for.  First my older sister was coming to visit on her way out to Manitoba, so I started cleaning up the house.  I started with the bathroom on the main level because that was the most public loo.  We have lived in this house for 6 years now and I always hated the sloppy paint job in that room, but since I was always working, I just didn’t have time to do anything about it, and my husband didn’t see the point of painting it.  I didn’t think that it would take too much time to paint, so three days before my dear elder sister was to arrive, I started dismantling. What should have taken just a few hours took me well into the next day, but the end results are great!  I have a lovely chocolate paint on the walls and a new back splash.  (ooh...chocolate)
This minor Reno got my husband Jean Louis’ imagination going.  We had a few leaks and usual neglect in our full bath upstairs, and he had been checking out different handy men for quotes on the renovation.  So just a few days before we were to leave for my parent’s anniversary, we had a great guy tearing the tiles off the bathroom walls, dragging our old tub and toilet into the back yard.  Then the next day, there were two guys in our bathroom putting new tiles up on the walls, installing a BEAUTIFUL soaker style bathtub (I can actually stretch out in it, and it is deep too), a new dual flush toilet and pretty slate tiles on the floor.
At this point, it was almost time to go on our road trip.  My parents live about a 12 hour drive away from us, and we needed to get our trailer loaded. Jean Louis is a teacher, so he had the entire summer off, something that I was always jealous of, but not this year!  I was expecting to go back to work at the garden centre at the end of July.
The day before we left Calgary, I had the honour of going with my 26 yr old daughter Mara to the Backstreet Boys/New Kids on the Block concert.  She had won the tickets through a radio station and decided that since I had to put up with the constant BSB music, posters and craziness of her teen years, I should go with her.  It was a fantastic concert!!  I am very grateful for the invention of those little foam ear plugs...how I would have suffered with out them.  I’m going to show my age for just a moment...”does the music REALLY have to be that loud?????”
We had a great trip out to Manitoba, my parents are in their 80’s, and both doing great.  It was a good visit for everyone, my parents got to know their grandchildren en mass, my eldest brother, my two sisters and I had time to get to relax and enjoy each other’s company and our children - the cousins all got a chance to get to know each other, something that may not happen again for a long time.  Well, most of it was good except for my Prima-Dona-psycho little sister who was no help at all for the party and caused everyone around her stress.  But I choose to dwell on the good times! LOL
During our time in Manitoba, we all camped at the lake near town, and it was wonderful to come back from town and jump into that cooling lake.  It has been years since I’ve jumped off a dock, but it felt SO good!!
When we got back to Calgary, we finished the renovation on the bathroom, this time, Jean Louis painted the bathroom and I put up the new tile back splash and grouted.  Now when I go into both rooms, it just feels so wonderful to have these pretty rooms in our home.  Next we need to paint our daughter’s bedrooms.
Then we went north for another short camping trip.  We went to the Drumheller area and the Hoodoo campground.  I really am amazed by the Hoodoos.  They are rock formations caused by the erosion by wind and weather.  What amazes me about getting out of the city of Calgary is that at night time, it is so quiet.  There are no traffic noises and NO airplanes flying right over the house.  (We live right on the flight path, so it can get loud.)
Soon I found out that there was no job for me at the Garden Centre.  I was disappointed, but I soon got over that nonsense.  Now I had time to stay up late with my hubby and my daughters, sleep in the morning and really be on holiday with my family. My garden was slowly getting weeded, watered and harvested.  Carrots just didn’t produce at all for me, but my Romano beans and Sugar peas were fabulous!
Last week we went on our last camping trip of the summer, and this time we headed south to “Writing-on-Stone” Provincial Park.  We were only 35 km from the Canada/US border and the landscape was truly amazing.  Writing-on-Stone is a sacred area to the Blackfoot peoples.  They have been coming here for thousands of years and telling their stories by way of carving pictures in the stone walls.  AND...There were more impressive Hoodoos!  We stayed in that lovely valley for only two nights, and then we started home again.  On the way home we stopped in a small town called Nanton because there is a candy store that is filled with jars and shelves of candies!  Talk about having a moment with your inner child!  LOL
Now we are at home, getting Stephanie (11 next month) and Celia (9) ready to go back to school.  There is some shopping for clothes yet to do, but other than that they are good to go.  I have been putting my resume out again and I am hoping that something really interesting will come my way.
It has been such a hot day – 28C but now a breeze is starting up and I can almost smell rain.  Isn’t that a wonderful smell?  It is almost as good as clothes that were dried outside on the clothesline.  But time to check supper for the family; they need to get back into a routine before school starts up again. 

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