Saturday, December 27, 2008

Spoons - After Christmas Fun

So, it’s 2 days after Christmas. The anti-climax day for me. The rush of getting ready for Christmas is over. The presents are open, the turkey has been served and the clean-up done. Yesterday - Boxing Day here in Canada - meant heading to the city at 8 am to battle...uh...share the shopping frenzy with more people than I’ve ever seen shopping at one time. The city roads were icy and I almost got rear-ended 3 times. Two of those times by the same truck driven by a man who didn’t seem to understand what a stop sign meant. I wouldn’t have worried too much but when he had to drive into the oncoming lane beside me in order not to plow into us, I got a bit worried about the kids safety. Anyway, we arrived home at 7 pm safe, tired and happy with our purchases.

Hubby was late getting home from work so by the time he drove up, we had the table cleared of everything but 5 metal spoons and part of a deck of cards. Yes, we were going to play SPOONS, that fun, ballistic game where it’s every for themselves. A quick glance around the table ensured everyone’s nails were cut. It’s bad enough to smash knuckles during the course of the game while you’re grabbing a spoon, but no one likes being scraped or stabled by a fingernail.

Everybody from Dad and I (the Mom) all the way down to the 10 yo – our youngest was in on the action. It’s a simple fast paced card game and all you have to do is match 4 cards in your hand and then grab a spoon. When one person grabs a spoon, the rest are up for grabs. Of course, there’s only 5 spoons to the 6 of us playing. Think of it as Musical Chairs without leaving your seat. If you don’t get a spoon, you win a letter. The first one to spell SPOONS is out. I was the 3rd one out. And no, I didn’t get any scrapes but teen J literally jumped on me to grab my spoon at one point but I wasn’t letting that baby go although I had dents in my fingers from gripping it so tightly by the time she gave up.

I believe there were a couple scuffles under the table from flying spoons but I wasn't in on those. After a 2 hr game, Dad was declared the winner. He said good-night and went to bed with a smile on his face. He was the only one who had to get up early for work today.

I awoke this morning with shoulder and leg muscles aching and feeling like I’d been dragged behind a horse for 17 straight hours. I’m sure it was from all the tension yesterday of driving the icy streets and jockeying in position with all the other harried shoppers but then, it could’ve been the Spoons game.

I decided today was a Play Day and I’m still in my jammies. After checking my email this morning, I read a bit. Then, I settled down for a few tracks of Wii Mario Kart but my hands cramped up after 2 races so I went back to reading. When the rest of the kids got tired of racing, teen J and I decided to try our hand at the Wii winter sports game we bought for only 8 bucks yesterday at WalMart. I like this game a lot better because I use my whole hand and not just my thumbs. This game is also great exercise because we stand there and simulate the movements. No, we didn’t fact we sucked at skiing but it sure was fun. Now, my arms are tired. Sigh.

The boys are racing again and hubby just went back to work after eating his lunch but his last words to me was to rest up because he’ll be back in an hour or so and then the competition is on! Yippee!!!


Have you ever tried the Wii or any other game system? Or do you like the old card or board game better?


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Greeting and Prayer

I'm in the middle of last minute wrapping after the last minute shopping yesterday, but I'd like to send a Merry Christmas out to all my family and friends.

Sometimes this can be a hard time for those of you who've lost loved ones or are all alone. I'd like to pray for you and maybe even with you.

If you need someone to talk to or pray for you, please send me an email or leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

I'll be monitoring this site and my email today, tonight until I hit the sack, and then as soon as I get up tomorrow - and all day Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas and may God's love shower you with blessings.

Pics of Christmas Cookies and Church Play

As promised yesterday, here is a pic of some of the sugar cookies Dad and the kids decorated on Monday afternoon.

Our church Christmas program was entitled 'It's a Boy'.

I played the part of a Biblical teacher with a couple of students wondering if Mary allowed others to hold her precious baby.

The wisemen, also called the 3 Kings, were announced by a young girl dressed in a Japanese outfit.

The 2 young boys on the left are my real life sons.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Getting Ready for Christmas

I pray that everyone isn't getting too stressed out during this busy time of year.

I've already had a visit by my mother-in-law and my sister's family.

Our eldest daught is finally home from Vancouver, BC for another week and it's such a delight to be spending this time with her.

Somehow the kids have roped me into taking them we'll be leaving soon.

I still haven't sent out any cards and I don't think I'm going to at this late stage.

Yesterday, we made a quadruple batch of sugar cookies. I cut out the cookies and put them on a tray. One of the kids carried it to our large oval dining table where the rest of the family sat waiting with coloured sprinkles, the little brown thingies, tiny gingerman candies, etc. The trays of decorated angels, candy canes, Santas, stars, stockings, presents, holly, reindeer and snowmen came back and I popped them in the oven. It only took 2.5 hours and then we were done but I have cookies galore. Well, at least for a couple days. LOL I try to post a pic here later.

We took about 3 dozen cookies to our church Christmas program last night. We were all part of the Christmas play. The 2 boys were the kings/wisemen. I was a biblical bystander. The teen was a pigtailed kid demanding a story from her dad, played by a church member. Hubby did the lights. And our visiting daughter worked the video and camera. It was hectic getting everyone's costumes ready, but oh the satisfaction of a performance well done. I'll try to post a pic here later.

But now...the kids are awanting to go shopping. At least it's warmer out there with -28C/-18F temps. I don't mind getting out when it's like this at all.

So, how's your holiday preps coming? Are you ready?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My 32 yr Old Wedding Photo

In June 1976, I met a very special man, became his fiancee in Sept and married him in Dec.

He was a young Corporal and I a Private in the CAF. With those salaries, we didn't have the money for an expensive wedding. I bought satin, lace, tulle and a pattern, and a friend of mine stitched my dress.

It might have been a whirlwind romance, but it’s lasted 32 yrs.

Happy Anniversary, honey.

(For those of you who know me now, can you believe that photo?!)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Land of the Sleeping Giant

Okay, so here are the photos of my recent sojourn to Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Thunder Bay is known as the Land of the Sleeping Giant and this photo of him was taken from Crescent Park on High Street. You can see the calm harbour in the foreground with the rough waters of Lake Superior behind the breakwater.

This pic is what you see on the right side of the Port of Thunder Bay. It's rare to look out over the harbour and not see a freighter.

I spent many years of my childhood in this city which is a combination of the Port Arthur and Fort William. I remember when the twin cities amalgamated back in the late '60s.

I was in Thunder Bay to visit my mom and my other relatives. My mom's parents were both from Finland and came to Canada as young adults. Thunder Bay has a huge Finn population and one night, we went out for supper at the Finlandia Club where Finnish cooking is their specialty.

From left to right:

Torsti (Mom's hubby)
Mary (my mom)
Uncle Paul (Mom's bro)
Nancy (my cousin)

One night, we went to visit my brother Johnny and Cathy. Squeeky - I know I said I'd use the other photo but finally decided on this one since everyone was smiling and looking at the camera.

It was the last Sunday in Sept and we decided to go for a walk. This is the walk my mom and Torsti make every few days on a regular basis although they've been told to never walk it alone. It's 2.5 mls from the Finnish senior's housing complex they live in to Tim Horton's and back again. They've been told never to walk it alone, due to dangers posed both by 'bad' people and wolves that frequent the area feeding on the deer population. (Yikes!)

Here is the route:

We went down the road...I'm not sure what Nancy's doing...

I followed Uncle Paul, Mom and Nancy over the bridge.

There had been a heavy rain the day before and the water under the bridge flowed fast. Here you see it head under the hwy. To the left is the pedestrian tunnel under the highway.
This is the tunnel under Hwy 11/17 which is also known as the TransCanada Highway No. 1.

It was weird walking in the tunnel because you have no sense that freightliners, logging trucks and countless other vehicles are crossing over your head.

Or was it that I was so used to them, I wasn't aware of them?

I'm sure you've heard the expression 'The Light at the End of the Tunnel' it is...

Walking along the path with the fast flowing water gurgling alongside.

These Mountain Ash berries were still attached to the branch but they hung in the water - bobbing along with the flow.

It was Sep 28th and plants were completing their cycle all over the place, but these Forget-me-Nots were still flowering.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Go, Riders, Go!

Last night we were in the sold-out Mosaic Stadium in downtown Regina to watch our Grey Cup champion Saskatchewan Roughriders play the Calgary Stampeders.

The last time we went to a game, my 13 yr old son was a toddler, and my 10 yr old wasn’t even a twinkle in his father’s eye...

The tickets were a gift from hubby’s work and the seats were fantastic. We sat on the 30 yard line with only one section below us - maybe 2-3 dozen rows? My little guy was worried that the players would look like ants on the field but when he saw the turf and the players warming up, he said, “This is awesome!” I didn't take this photo, but this is how close we were to the action. So yes, we had great seats.

I’d brought a book to read while waiting for the game to start but I just couldn’t get into it. It wasn’t the noise so much as the excitement around us. The Riders were 5 and 0 for the season, with 10 straight wins if you include last season, and expectations were running high that this game would also be winner.

Within minutes of starting the game, the Riders put 4 points on the board. It would be the last time they scored until the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, the Stamps repeatedly scored. When the 3rd quarter ended, the score was 4-30. When the 4th quarter started, however, the Riders roared to life.

The noise was deafening. When the Riders had the ball, Gainer the Gopher would walk onto the field and incite the crowd. Holding signs, he’d urge the crowd on our side of the stadium to roar ‘Go’ and the other side ‘Riders’ and he’d swing his arms and we’d obey.
When the Stamps had the ball, Gainer would raise his arms, fluttering his hands in the air and again we’d obey but this time, it was a tremendous ‘oooooooh’ which blended in with the fog horns to make a noise meant to diffuse the Stamps’ quarterback. I’m sure the sound carried to the perimeter of the Green Mile.

When the Riders finally decided to wake up and get serious about the game, they scored. On each touchdown, a ‘boom’ shook the stadium. And when the football sailed through the uprights for the point after, 2 sets of green fireworks shot into the air.

Then Gainer would jump into his hole which was conveniently located on the back of a pick-up truck and they'd drive him down the length of the stadium with Gainer waving at the crowd. On the other side, he'd out of his hole, slide to the ground and climb on the back of a golf cart, waving at the crowd on that side. Go Gainer!

Different scents reached me as I sat there enthralled. Gunpowder. Beer. Underarm deodorant. Popcorn. Pizza. Perspiration. Hot dogs. Dry garlic ribs...

When we first sat, the empty stadium seats across the field were rectangles of red, yellow and blue. By the time the game started, it was a sea of green and white. I can’t count how many people were wearing watermelon rinds for hats. Or how many green t-shirts. Or Riders’ insignia tattoos on their cheeks. Even in the stores earlier in the day, it seemed like every 10th person wore a Riders t-shirt.

When the game ended and we joined the hoards of people leaving the stadium, with me trying to keep hold of my 10 yr old, I heard people singing the Riders theme song. Others were still chanting, Go, Riders, Go! Yes, the Riders had lost the game by a 25-30 score, but what an exhilarating 4th quarter!

What a game! Go, Riders, Go!


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

I would like to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day but especially to my hubby of over 30 yrs who allows me the time and space to write my romantic stories.

This is the guy who put down an inspirational romance one day and looked at me and said, "You could write one of these."

As a critique partner, he doesn't want to read it if it doesn't have an HEA (happily ever after).

He is one of my inspirations for writing.

And even when I don't think he has a romantic bone in his body, he'll do something so sweet that it'll bring tears to my eyes.

So, on this universal day of love, I want to say, I love you, honey.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

News from the Pews

I want to tell you about a new blog I've been working on for the past week.
It's for our church and you can check it out at

Because the church blog contains everything you wanted to know about the events in our church, I ended up making 4 extra pages to cover coming events, music, youth and the references used in the Sunday message. Let me know what you think.

Now that the church blog is up and running, I can settle back to my writing.