Tuesday, 30 October 2012

I'm at Hilo!! Sarah and Peter flew in on Tues. evening so after work I met up with mom and dad for some visiting time while we waited for the plane to land. I was in the area so it was a good opportunity to see my parents and to welcome Sarah and Peter. Thursday morning Dan and I raced over here to start my long weekend. It's very relaxed here. People are coming and going and things are happening but there's no rush and no stress to do anything.
So you might be wondering why we just all spontaneously decided to come home to Hilo.... it's folk festival time!! That's right... we love the folk festival. This festival started 9 years ago and our family has been involved right from the begining. It's like a great big family reunion every year. Even though our town seems small and dinky and really kind of sketchy sometimes this festival seems to bring out the best in everyone. It really doesn't start until later tonight but last night the park was already a bustle of activity and when I woke up this morning, half our household was already at the park. There are pigs on spits just starting their day of roasting, tents are going up, stages are going up and the organizers are getting ready for all the vendors to roll in later today. Years back Dad wired the park up specifically for this festival so for the last couple of days Dad and his guys have been wiring up all these stages and tents. When I woke up this morning everyone had already left except for Sarah, who then crawled into bed with me and we chatted for the next couple of hours. Cass and Dan came home with a coffee for me and a report on the progress of the park. Sarah and I made an AWESOME frittata for breakfast (on rye toast!) and since then we've been getting ready for the day. I've got to do up my hair and brush my teeth and then we're off to the park... probably for the whole day. I'm not going to wear jewelry today with the hopes that I'll find something folksy to buy from one of the vendors.
I know this festival doesn't compare with festivals like the Winnipeg Folk Festival (!!!) and some people will argue that point forever but I think that festivals (free ones) like this have their own class. They don't compare.
In other news.. I have seen baby Grace again! There have been some pictures but I don't have my memory stick here. I'll add them later. We even had a few fashion shows with her already. She's totally a different kid from Gavin and Jaela. I love that kid!
More news later...

Saturday, 27 October 2012

War Wounds!!

This weekend I worked for the second time at my new camp job. I really don't remember what I've told you all about the camp. It is set up to run 1 weekend a month (or so) as a getaway for kids who are just having a tough life. I don't know if it is more to give the parents a break or to give the kids a good time once in a while. Either way, there's a big variety of the type of kids there. Some of them have behavioural problems, some are quite mentally handicapped and others are just kids who've had a tough life. This past weekend I worked both a Sat. and a Sun 8-4 shift. What a weekend to go to camp. It was soooo stinkin hot! I couldn't believe how hot it was. Even the shade was unbearable. But nooooo... the activities planners decided it was still nice enough weather to go rock climbing and hiking and play capture the flag. YUCK! Sat. actually was a pretty good day. We had a 3 hour water fight and everyone got completely drenched. Sun. was a different story. By this time everyone is so hot and tired that tempers flare up. Mean kids got meaner and snobby kids got snobbier. The laid back kids got more laid back though. Either way, I had a bit of an incident. They all swear that "this never happens" but still, i think I need some training. Even though I've been hired I'm not signed up for the company training, including PMAB (Prevention and Managemenet of Aggresive Behaviour), until September. One of the much more handicapped kids flipped out. We were walking to another building that was just a bit too far for him and he just got angry. I was with another support worker so I wasn't alone. He started screaming and turned on me. He grabbed the first limb he could reach, my arm, and just dug in his fingers as hard as he could. I had NO idea what to do. I'm a big wimp and it hurt like heck (I was sunburned, of course) but I was afraid to hurt him. He was also reaching in with his head to bite me, which scared the heck out of me. We ended up tackling him to the ground and sitting on him till he calmed down but he flared up a few more times and got my arm and my leg, again. Really, the war wounds aren't that spectacular, but if you ask Dan he'll tell you how much I like to show off my scrapes and bruises. So.... here they are:

Just passed my wrist there's a pretty good bruise but closer to the elbow is where he took some good chunks of skin out. Behind my knee there are some bruises and a few scratches too. I know it doesn't look like much but I'll blame that on the "bad lighting". :)

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Jaela and I

I had the day off today. That's twice in one week! I love it... the bank account doesn't but who needs a bank account. :) I had lots of ambitious feeling good type plans. I wanted to give the car a deep clean (that's a scrubing inside and out), go see Oma and Opa W, rototill and plant the garden and also clean our rooms. Yah right. Instead, I hung out with Larissa and Jaela all day. Larissa had to do some dress fitting so I went along for the heck of it. By the time she was done, which wasn't really that long, I didn't feel like doing anything anymore. We went to the mall, bought some essentials (cute baby outfits are essential right?) and then headed back to her place. She's got to get some more dress fitting done so I'm probably going to hang out here with Jaela while she goes with her mom and sister-in-law. That means that I get to babysit!!! Woo hooo! Larissa will come back and I'll have her dressed up in a million different outfits and probably have her diaper on the wrong way. There was a camera sitting here so here's a good one for the picture frames:

Monday, 22 October 2012

Nicole's day so far....

Good morning Family!!

I only have 3 minutes to post before I have to run off to my first job. I just got back from a quick walk with the dog where I believe I met our first grouchy neighbour. I wasn't prepared for that so I might have taken it a bit personally and would be more upset if there wasn't some more neighbors around to defend me. It's muddy and gross out and I think the mice are out like crazy because Chloe has been digging and sniffing through the ditches like mad. Well, I started to turn a corner and saw 2 dog owners talking to eachother and another one coming towards us walking her dog. So, I put Chloe back on leash and kept walking. The single lady and her dog passed me but both her and her dog hissed a bit and the dog barred his teeth... whatever. Then, as I passed the 2 ladies she turns around and comes half way back to yell about how she's been living here for 15 years and if you guys don't live here you should go away. The one lady called back that we all do and even pointed to where we all lived. Then the grouchy lady pointed at me and yelled something about calling someone on us!! What?!!?!?!! She walked away and the other ladies just told me to forget about her since she's just a grouchy lady. We should make sure we buy her dog tags now. oops.

So, now I'm off to Job #1 and then I have 3-4 hours to kill before Job #2 so I think I'm going to bring some laundry and find a landromat. And a mall so I can find some jeans. I have a dumb story to tell about that one but I'll do that tonight with pictures on my other blog (after I shave my legs).

I hope you all have a GRRREEEAATTT day. Especially those of you who will be in tropical places!


PS. Mom wants us all to post a lot so she doesn't waste her $5 for 15 min. internet time. It'll be fun to try to post everyday anyways.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

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Monday, 15 October 2012

Two and a half years later....

And here I am. For the last few months I've been saying to myself that once I have my new iPhone I'll post. So, to start it all off I'll do a quick summary of the news since then:
•we moved. Wait, that's where I left off.
•I got pregnant again. And miscarried again. It was a much simpler and less traumatic miscarriage than the first time but still not easy.
•Sarah and Peter are still gone traveling.
•Opa (dad's dad) passed away. He had been ill for a while and the family had been expecting it for a while. I am sad for his children and the affects on them but I myself didn't have much of a relationship with him.
•Got pregnant again. This time we enjoyed a full 9 month pregnancy. Despite loads of vomiting, low iron (and the accompanying tiredness), and the heartburn, I LOVED it. Yes, I was one of those annoying pregnant women who talk about how wonderful it is to be preggers.
•Sarah and Peter are still gone traveling.
Had our baby girl: Jordyn Mackenzie She is such a beautiful awesome baby. Dan is such an awesome dad. Both of those things make being a mom so fun. I love being home and indulging in wholesome soul-filling fun. Like knitting and coffee with Larissa+girls.
•Dan got the job of his lifetime. What a huge blessing. We are overwhelmed by the relief of knowing he can settle down into a permanent job that he loves and that will be able to provide for our family.
•Opa (mom's dad) passed away. I am so happy for him. At his funeral we heard again how excited he was to go to heaven. The thought of this relief and joy makes me so happy for him. Yet I will miss him. I had just missed bringing Jordyn to see him. Thinking about what she will miss reminded me of the fact that she still has four great-grandmothers. FOUR. Beautiful. I love the maternal strength she's got behind her.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The American Chestnut Tree

I've found a new hobby/love of mine. I've been talking about it with my family for quite a while and I seem to be pretty passionate about it so I'm surprised I haven't written anything about it on my blog yet.
Part of my Horticulture Therapy course for this saturday is to bring a project. Since the chestnut is what I'm excited about I wrote up a blurb about it. Since most of it isn't really important for this post I just copy and pasted the part that might seem interested. If you click on the link and follow it to other links, you might get excited about it too. check it out.

History of the American Chestnut
Seventy years ago the American Chestnut made up 25% of our trees in our woods and forests from south Georgia up to southern Ontario. The wood was used for furniture and the nuts were used as food. The American Chestnut has a sweeter taste than the chestnuts we know today and the nut harvest could be depended on since the tree was quite drought resistant.
A blight believed to be introduced by the Chinese chestnut tree was introduced in the 1940's and rapidly ran through our forests destroying almost all of the trees. VERY few trees are left standing and because of the nature of cross pollination, these trees are left standing alone with little capability of producing further nuts for more trees. Some tree roots are left from fallen chestnut trees and these send up shoots once in a while but the shoots generally are killed off by the blight. In 1986 the World Wildlife Fund declared the tree a threatened species.
There is research and teams of people interested in ensuring the trees survival. The research involves attempts at cross pollinating with the Chinese Chestnut to produce a version of the American Chestnut that is blight resistance. Other research includes using a virus to kill the bacteria that causes the chestnut blight.
Most people of my generation do not even know what an American Chestnut looks like. People are needed to go out in their own neighborhoods, back yards and woods to find chestnut trees, help the pollination so that we can collect the precious few nuts, plant them, and then, if they die keep planting more.
More information on the American Chestnut can be found at: http://www.uoguelph.ca/~chestnut/

Monday, 8 October 2012

A long weekend and a long day.

I feel like I've had an extreme weekend. I worked 27 hours this weekend, drove 5.5 hours and slept about 7 hours a night (too little for me). The weather was super crappy; everything from rain to sleet and snow. Yuck. I worked at the kids camp job on Sat. and Sun. and we ended up spending quite a bit of time outside in that crappy weather but it sure makes me appreciate my bed and duvet. I went to my parents place to get Chloe bred (done and done!!) and really am happy I did (besides the puppy thing). It was hectic but it was so nice to come home at the end of the day, smell the wood smoke outside, come inside and smell freshly baked bred and have good music playing throughout the house. Mom and Dad got a Wii so there was lots of entertaining there too. At 6ish in the morning mom and dad would wake me up and then go downstairs to make me tea and porridge before sending me out for the day. Isn't that great?! And they sent plenty of scarves (thank you Oma) and mitts and hats for the kids too. Dad felt bad for Chloe and let her in the house so she was so spoiled all weekend too. After her traumatic day (or really good day?) she was pretty soaked so she got to lay by the fire place and dry off, even though she was really dirty and stinky. So, thanks mom and dad. It was definately worth it.
Today Dan and I both had the day off so we went over to a friends place who is putting a HUGE addition on his house. Dan is wiring it up and needed to finish the roughing in part. I didn't really think I'd be useful so I wasn't looking forward to standing around in the cold all day but Dan was awesome and taught me how to do really helpful things so I ended up being busy and working hard all day. My finger tips HURT! I tied the wires into the boxes for the plugs switches and lights. Dan is super picky about all the wires being straight and neat so I took quite a while and I'm sure that it wasn't as nice as he wouldv'e done it but I was busy all day and they said it was helpful. Actualy, I feel pretty good about it all... kind of proud. I'm happy that I could do it and not whine about how cold it was or about cutting myself (I did cut myself).
And now, I'm beat! The dog still had to be walked, but the house is neat (Dan did that this weekend!). I can hardly sit here to type this out now so this is it. I'm going to bed, sleeping in tomorrow (a day off!!) and then relaxing tomorrow... maybe I'll do some cooking.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

OH Oma

I called my Oma today (my mom's mom). What a hoot. She is such a funny lady. I LOVE her. Well, in our conversation she mentioned she got a fwd. from someone about "you know you're dutch when..." I could name a bunch of them before she even told me about it. So here's the list:
You Know You're Dutch When..
  • The temperature is so low in your house that 2 sweaters is a bare minimum if you want to be remotely warm.
  • During the winter it's warmer outside than it is inside. You open the freezer and are excited to find a container of ice-cream, only to open it and discover it's full of homemade soup or stamppot.
  • When looking in the fridge, you never trust that the yogurt or margarine containers contain what the label says.
  • You were green before it was popular. Why recycle when you can just reuse!
  • You have a pair a wooden shoes in your house.
  • Your china cabinet is filled with Delft.
  • You like pickled herring.
  • You've eaten oliebollen at New Years.
  • You enjoy chocolate sprinkle (hagelslag) sandwiches.
  • You have cousins who wear size 14 shoes and are over 6'4"
  • You wash and reuse plastic cups and plastic cutlery.
  • You have soup and open-faced sandwiches for Sunday lunch.
  • The most frequent phrase uttered growing up was "Turn off the lights!"
  • You get a chocolate letter every year for Christmas.
  • All the tables in your house are covered in tablecloths.
  • You like krokets.
  • You know that Vla is better than regular old pudding.(Vla is a runny custard pudding.)
  • You drink tea with breakfast, coffee at 10 am, tea at 3 pm, and coffee again at 8 pm (with cookies or biscuits of course!)
  • You have an afghan knitted by your Oma.
  • You collect coupons like they're going out of style.
  • Your Oma had a calendar with everyone's birthdays & anniversaries spelled out in capital letters (bonus points if it hung in the bathroom!)
  • You've been known to recycle aluminum foil. And ziploc bags.
  • You own a special utensil that is only used for cutting cheese.
  • You know that Gouda is the best cheese ever.
  • You have at least 5 relatives with the same name (and somehow you always know which one is being talked about).
  • You reuse teabags.
  • When you hear all the "new ways to save energy" you yawn and say "I've been doing that all my life!"
  • You eat your sandwiches open-faced. "What? You want another slice of bread? I'll make you another sandwich."
  • You rarely have both meat and cheese on the same sandwich.
  • You have never met half the relatives at your family reunion
  • You have 100 rolls of toilet paper in your house because they were on sale.
  • You put a little water into the jar of tomato sauce and shake it to make sure you got it all out.
  • You have trouble shopping for hats. There should be at least two sizes:'one size fits all' and 'dutch'.
  • You wipe the last of the butter out of the container with your bun.
  • All your cookies taste like almonds.
  • You make the bed in your hotel room.
  • You have lace on your windows but not on your underwear.
  • You like dubbel zout drops, and have occasionally tricked a friend into trying one.
  • You've put mayonnaise on your french fries.
  • Your kitchen is filled with milk bags drying, waiting to be reused in the freezer.
  • You drink Heineken out of pride.
  • You have a front room but nobody sits in it (or it's only used for special occasions).
  • You have a spoon collection.
  • Your favourite mustard comes in jars that can be reused as drinking glasses.
  • You leave a window open year round to get fresh air.
  • You eat stroop waffles.
  • You love the colour orange.
  • You have a vegetable garden because there's no way you're paying that much for veggies at the grocery store.
  • Your fridge is always stocked with leftovers. Throw out food? Never!
  • You go to the "Dutch Store" because the smell brings back so many childhood memories.
  • You have pictures of windmills around your house.
  • Everything is Do-It-Yourself - it's cheaper than hiring someone.
  • You use "washandjes" (facecloths that you can put your hand into).
  • You have to explain what 'om' and 'tante' means when you're discussing your relatives with non-Dutch people.
  • You own tea towels and oven mitts patterned with windmills and dancing women in clogs.
  • You call it "MELK" not "milk".
  • All your cousins have the same names as your brothers and sisters, because everyone is named after Oma and Opa.
  • And finally, you know you're Dutch when..You're laughing along with this list because you can relate to most of it!

I know it's a long list. I laughed at most of it.... the others I didn't understand. Maybe I'm getting a little weak in my dutch genes.