Friday, April 23, 2010

Beach Day?

So I'm on day 57 of this nasty cold (OK, so not 57, but I'm sure it's at least 27... that's how it feels) and I have a few questions...

- Did I ever have a voice that wasn't so deep and sexy? 

- Why can't I get $ for the amount of snot I produce?  I think we should develop a vehicle that runs on snot.  I'll supply the fuel, if you supply the research. 

- Why does my sneeze scare small children (and Ken) and send them running for cover?  I used to be able to suppress my sneeze into a nice lady like squeak.  Now I sound like Shrek.  Is it an over 40 thing?  And why didn't someone warn me?

I think that's all for now.  I am getting better little by little.  The loud whining you hear from a northerly direction will subside soon I'm sure.

Onto brighter topics, last weekend we went on an adventure (I was sick of being inside with my you-know-what) out to Kluane Lake.  It is farther along the Alaska Highway from the Junction (about 40 min.) and the views once again were stunning. There is no end to the beautiful sights around here. Brenna was off snowmobiling in the mountains for the day with her buddies Travis and Michael and Travis' dad so she wasn't along with us.

I have to say part of the beauty and fun of the day was going with friends we've made here in the Junction.  We have felt overwhelmed at their kindness since the first week we arrived here!  Dave and Cindi and their children have been here three years now (from Tofino, B.C.) and are warm and generous folk who are downright fascinating.  They have both spent many years as wilderness guides and on the spectrum of outdoorsy -  we couldn't be farther away from each other!  But they graciously put up with how "citified" we are and have already taught us so much.  And not in that condescending way that makes you keenly aware of all you don't know but rather in the arm in arm kinda way that makes you feel like an equal (although I'm really as dumb as a sack of hammers when it comes to the outdoors!).

They have two boys, one in grade one with Jay and one in grade three with Will. Terrific boys (I adore them) and great pals to our boys.   Brenna loves Cindi and has ditched me on occasion to spend time with her.  I'm glad.  Brenna is well loved by her surrogate aunties in Winnipeg and has missed their attention.  Cindi fills that gap in a wonderful way.  Cindi and I have wonderful chats together and I am often inspired by her commitment to making this world a better place.  Dave and I love to give each other a hard time and we too have great conversations.  He is a committed environmentalist who lives a lifestyle that I find challenges me to be a better steward of our earth.  Oh I could go on...

But back to last weekend and some pics of our day.  These pics are from our time on the beach at Kluane Lake.  There's still ice on the lake but the sand was mostly clear and made for lots of fun.  We had a fire, roasted bison smokies for lunch (yum) and enjoyed the amazing vistas!  Cindi helped the boys fly a stunt kite...

The boys enjoyed beach combing and building!

Our good friends and one of their Bernese
Mountain dogs (what wonderful dogs!)

... and then time to head home after a full day of sunshine, fresh air and good company.

Can you believe the views?  I was in awe the whole time I was there.  What a gift of a day.


I think you must smile when you see my reaction to your creation.  You knock my socks off.  And I really love you.

'til next time,


(There's another family here that we've also connected with that I'll brag about another time.  Another neat family that we feel richer for having met.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I've got a cowd...

It's true... I've got one of those nasty cowds.  "Cowd" because I can't pronounce my "l's".  I thought of writing (cough, cough) an entire post with no "l's" and with inserted sound effects (sniff, sniff).  But I won't (hoooonk).  It's just too gross.

The kids and Ken are fantastic.  They've all pitched in so that I can rest and get better. I usually drive them back to school after they walk home at lunch but today they all marched off willingly so that I wouldn't have to.  Ten minutes later however, they were back.

Jay got sucked into a muddy spot (I'm sure it jumped out at him and attacked him.)  Oh, the power of mud!  Brenna had to go in to rescue him (as you can see by the pink laced shoes in the pic).  We'll laugh about it someday soon but today Jay was bawling, Brenna was fit to be tied and Will, well he just look relieved to be a spectator for this one!

The snow is melting in earnest and the ditches are full and running.  Ken is looking forward to floating some boats down them with the kids this evening.  I'll try to get pics!  Living here has Ken getting in touch with his childhood growing up in Cook's Creek, MB.  He's loving doing some things with our kids that he did growing up in the country.  I'm very thankful for our time here.

I've slept most of the day but had a chance to try a little craft I've been wanting to.  Started with a few old records I had picked up at the Sally Ann (where else). 

Then I followed the instructions on and made these.

I'm not sure yet what I'll use them for (planters or chip and dip bowls) and if I'll paint them or not, but what an easy way to reuse old albums!  I'd like to try making more but this time outside on a barbeque as I'm not crazy about the fumes it gives off. 

'nuff said.  I feel the need to (sniff, sniff) go drink some hot lemon and honey (honk, honk).  If I was in Winnipeg right now, our dear neighbour, Mr. Miner, would be at my door with a hot toddy for me to drink to knock this cold on it's ass!  Oh, I do miss Mr. Miner!


Thank you for the fun of spring and puddles and the comfort of memories and hot toddys.  I love you.

'til next time,


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


So you and I both know that my kids are amazing.  Amazingly wonderful and sometimes even amazingly horrible.  But all in all the tally works in their favour and they get the privilege of living another day with the crazy, off beat lady they call "Mom".

Many times they pull themselves back from the edge of doom with a stunning act of redemption that leaves them not fearing the edge for at least a while.  My Will has done just that today.  Of all my kids, Will fears the edge the least, tightrope walks along it, and bungee jumps off it once in a while.  He is outstanding in his defiance but spectacular in his redemptive qualities.

Today he walks in at lunch time with a sweet grin on his face, eager to show me what he's done.  His teacher has given him a new scribbler.  He loves getting a new notebook.  The fresh, clean page lays before him with endless possibilities.  And this is the poem he wrote... (remember, this kid is eight years old)

And if you can't make it out... here it is...

It all starts with the increasing of friendship, the patterns
of love, and the care people have for
each other.


W. Symanski

Am I the only one impressed?  I don't think so!  I must admit that I read the "REMEMBER THIS" a couple ways.  First, I think it means that we're supposed to remember the truth of what he's written.  Absolutely.  But then I think it may just be a message to me to remember this little poem and what a wonderful writer he is when I am threatening to wring his scrawny little neck!  Either way I think it's just brilliant.

And then there is our Jay.  Remember the one who refused to go over the alphabet with me last summer as we were trying to prepare him for Grade One?  I just received my first love note from him.  Delicious!

So both boys obviously know how to work their Momma. 

And Brenna is right in there, being amazing and wonderful.  Last night she made me a wonderful cup of hot lemon and honey to sooth my sore throat (I have a cold). She is a wonderful mix of sweet and funny.  She loves to play a good practical joke and so April Fool's Day was right up her alley!  And it lasted for three days! For example

  •  - corn syrup in the shampoo bottle

  •  - taping the kitchen sprayer down so that when I turned the faucet on I got soaked (she got both Ken and I with that one!)

  •  - swapped out the sugar in the sugar bowl for salt so when Jay put a teaspoon of it on his rice krispies he got a big surprise!

I know I've forgotten some but the best one of all is one some of you male readers might not want to read so feel free to skip the part between the asterisks!


After school Brenna called frantically from the bathroom for me.  When I entered she looked stricken and showed me her underwear.  There were the tell-tale signs of a girl's first period. I didn't believe her of course, it being April Fool's and all.  But she was REALLY convincing.  REALLY.  I was totally on the fence and had to do what I least wanted to do.  I asked for her underwear to examine more closely and thankfully figured out quite quickly that it was ketchup!  Oh my!  The best part is when she did it to Ken later on that evening.  Poor Ken.  He kept calling me to deal with it.  Rather panicked I must say.  She could have kept him going for a while but I am obviously not as good an actor!  The gig was up and a good laugh was had by all!


There.  Stories done.  Hope you all had a grin.


How clever you make each one of us.  So unique and fresh and complex.  You are a wonder.

'til next time,


Friday, April 9, 2010


Things that make me smile in the morning...

Ken - "Bye, I'm going!" (He's walking to work a bit earlier)

Kids - "Wait, Daddy, wait!" (kids run to smother him with hugs and kisses)

Mom - "Okay, guys, it's not like you're not going to see him soon - you all go to the same school!" (ever the pragmatic one)

Brenna (the oldest child, and even more pragmatic than me, responds dryly) - "yah, but he might get trampled by a moose."

Will and Jay - "Yah!"

Hmmm. Too funny. Life in Haines Junction, Yukon.

Like the time a friend and I were stepping out for a few minutes, leaving the kids on their own, and she looks at them and asks them what they need to remember while we're gone.  I know the answer of course and quickly remind them not to open the door to strangers.  My girlfriend looks at me quizzically and snickers.  "No, don't run with food in your mouth."  Me, city girl, afraid of strangers - her, town girl, knows everyone around here and is more afraid of them choking!

On another tangent... I finished another piece of art.  I like the flowers and pot but am undecided about the background.  It looks more mosiac than I was going for.  I'm happiest with the pot.  It's made out of a page from out of an old hymn book I picked up at the, you guessed it, Sally Ann.  It's the hymn "In the Garden" and if you look closely enough you can see the words of the chorus are arranged in a way that you can still read it.

Most of my ideas and my freedom to try to do art come from a wonderful friend named Karla.  The tree in the last post was inspired by her, as well as this piece.  Her use of collage and mod podge made me want to try my hand at it.  She's also a great encourager!  Someday she'll have a blog of her own and you'll just LOVE it.  In lots of ways although I'm a Jesus "wannabe", I'm also a Karla "wannabe". 


Thank you for the gift of playing with paper, mod podge, and fanciful ideas and thank you for people who inspire others by their gift of playing with paper, mod podge, and fanciful ideas.  I love you.

'til next time,


Thursday, April 8, 2010

gasp... must blog... can't go any further... gasp...

ahhhh.... much better. That was a close one!

Okay, enough drama. On with the show/post.

Easter has come and gone. They have a four day weekend here as the school gets Easter Monday off too.  This followed two weeks of school after a two week spring break so we are seriously relaxed people!

We had the privilege of hosting Easter Dinner here for the fam' which turned out fine as everyone pitched in.  It's a real treat to be with my sisters and their families for holidays (my parents are away on vacation for a month).  I did panic, however, the days before they arrived as the walls of our home were bare, white and BORING!  I always have art ideas that I never get to, but this gave me the motivation!

Here's what I came up with... keep in mind I didn't want to spend any money so I used whatever I had on hand here.

First I spray painted black an old frame that I had from the Sally Ann.  Then I messed about with some Mod Podge, newspaper, magazines and pipe cleaners and came up with a tree...

The little tag says "HOME".  I like how it fills the wall and has dimension. I've had some nice comments on it so I'm encouraged (I'm a little insecure about my atrt ability). But then there's my other wall...

I get such a kick out of this piece!  I love the way it looks and it makes me smile when I think of how easy it was and what it is made out of.  Any guesses?  Toilet paper rolls.  Really! Flattened and cut toilet paper rolls, glued together (held with paper clips until the glue dried) and then put up on the wall just a few hours later.  Cost - $0.00! Impact - priceless! (not a original idea - I got it from a blog called "homemade mamas")

So now I'm motivated to do some more stuff.  I'll post whatever I come up with as they get done. 

On a different note... the hours of daylight here now are crazy! I feel like a different person.  It's so energizing when you wake up and it's light and you go to bed and it's still light.  I checked today to see how many hours of daylight we were getting compared to Winnipeg and we are ahead by 1hr and 5min. minutes.  So although I know we'll get about another three to four weeks of winter than Winnipeg, all the glorious light makes up for it.  By the last day of school (June 11) we'll have 24 hours daylight!  We're going to have to put up something on the kids windows if I'm ever going to get them to sleep.


You are a poem.  I love you even when I don't understand you all the time.

'til next time,