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Tea, Tea, and More Tea

The last several days the wee girlie has been out sick… and I am now fighting it off myself.  I’m close to losing my voice and my throat is super scratchy and sore.  I have a conference to speak at on Saturday though, so I am WILLING myself (and downing a ton of home remedies including a ton of echinacea and tea) to be better.  Being sick, thanks to my wonderful Auntie Risa, meant new tea.

YAY for Auntie Risa!  YAY for her gift of tea!

We love tea.  And for the longest time there wasn’t any place in Saskatoon to get decent tea.  Thankfully there is now though, and along with the store came my Auntie Risa who runs it.  So not only did we finally get great tea locally, but we got my Auntie Risa home too.  🙂  So go visit her and get some great tea at Tea Desire in the Center at Circle and 8th.

brewing some strawberry rooibos

Rooibos Strawberry Cream

 

Okay, my photos seem determined to post sideways today, and I’m too tired to fix it.  LOL  They were taken with my iPhone and well…  I’m not about to open photoshop to fix them (usually I can flip them from within wordpress and it works, but not today apparently).

Anyway…

Yesterday we brewed up a bunch of Rooibos Strawberry Cream in our bodum press.  The girl was batty for it, and drank several glasses (leaving me only one).  LOL  Today we did up some Honeybush Superstar (which, lets be honest, sounds like the name of a porn star – maybe it should be my drag name).  LMFAO  It smells divine and is sooo soothing on a sore throat.  Seriously, the BEST tea for when you are under the weather.

enjoying tea

sick, but enjoying her tea

 

LOL  Okay, that photo worked.  Jeepers.  LMAO

And here’s one last thing for you!  Have a wee one you need to cool the tea off for after steeping?  Grab an ice pop out of the freezer and stir it until it’s at an appropriately warm-only temperature.  It works like a dream and unlike ice cubes doesn’t dilute it.  🙂

ice pop stir stck

ice pop stir stick

 

Enjoy your tea!

Lily and Marie

I initially planned on sharing a couple stories today…  the girlie had her pre-k graduation ceremony today (no, she won’t be in kindergarten next year, she’ll be in pre-k again – so next year this time we’ll have another pre-k graduation).  She had a playdate too.  I also considered sharing the little tale I shared on FB, which I suppose I still can because it’s short (though I considered telling the elongated version).  But instead I’ll share something else, but only after the story I shared on FB.  LOL

Today, the girlie said to me that she was going to pretend to be a lichen.  But she went on to clarify: “a lichen that grows on trees mom, not the people who turn into werewolves”.  I thought it was pretty cute.  And if nothing else, I think we can safely say that we’ve provided her with a well rounded education thus far.  🙂

So…  early in the evening, I dropped the wee girlie and my husband off at my parents place before heading to a photo shoot.  My parents were heading out and asked if we could watch everyone.  Well, when I came back after my shoot and was making myself a grilled cheese sandwich the girlie came running into the kitchen and asked me to get my camera to take a picture of her and her Auntie Marie (my sister and Lily-Ann Marie’s namesake).

Firstly, Lily-Ann never asks me to get my camera to take a picture of her.  She’s sick of me taking pictures of her.  I have to barter to get pictures of her these days.

Second, Lily and Marie are often not even on talking terms.  They love one another, but they each have a problem with one another too.  With the girlie, it’s the green eyed monster.  Marie gets my attention (or my moms) and the girlie doesn’t want to share it.  With Marie, the problem is that the girlie is three…  and three is chaos.

So, for Lily-Ann to come running into the kitchen asking me to take a photo of the two of them together?  That’s big.  She further elaborated (when I took too long at the hot stove) “Mom, Marie is outside.  I asked her and she said yes.  Go get your camera, I need you to take a picture of us.”  What else could I do?  I turned off the stove and got my camera.  But asking me to take ONE picture?  Nuh uh.

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She can dance and draw…

We spent much of our afternoon and early evening with my family.  Visiting, eating, playing…  it’s always a nice time.  🙂  I’m so thankful to have them near by.  I can’t imagine the wee girlie growing up without family all around her,  I’m happy she can grow up like I did, with a strong supportive extended family.  I really do feel very lucky.

I couldn’t decide between two images today.  One showing off the wee girlie’s drawing skill, and the other showing Lily-Ann and my sister Marie “getting down”.  LOL  So here’s both.

Balloon Boy

Lily & Marie playing "Just Dance II" on the Wii.

Princess Pinky, the Maiden in the Middle, and other finger friends.

A handful of fun friends came to visit with the wee girlie during a break at our Collective Kitchen leadership training today.  And they all fit onto her Auntie Riki’s hand (who also happened to be taking the training).  🙂

Four Friends

 

You can click the image above to bring it up larger if you’d like to see a little more of our four friends.  LOL

Happy Birthday Bug!

My little sister is 16 years old today.

Jewles, you make my travels interesting, and keep me laughing.  Thanks so much for being such a great Auntie, and for sharing with Lily-Ann even when you don’t always feel like it.  Here’s hoping the next 16 years are as wonderful as the last.  Love you tons…  now and always.  Happy birthday Bug!

Lily-Ann and her Auntie, opening the present the wee girlie picked out.

Happy Birthday Bug!

Onwards and Upwards

This month has ended up on the record books (at least for us) as completely chaotic.  Nana passed on very early in the month.  Her death prompted an emergency trip to Calgary.  For those not familiar with Canadian geography, that’s roughly seven hours from us here in Saskatoon (by car).  Because of our animals, we don’t take many trips.  It’s hard to orchestrate things…  finding families each willing to take in someone while we’re gone is tough.  But when push comes to shove, in emergency situations like this, friends are always there to help.

So before anything else, a huge thank you to: Susan and Ray who watched Roo (Chihuahua) and Zenora (Congo African Grey), Dani and her boys who watched Brandibuck (Havanese) and ended up picking up Neddie (Chihuahua) from the airport and watching him for a day too, Amber, Mike and Ainsley who took care of Thora (Lurcher), and my parents who let Liz (Miniature American Eskimo) tear through their house.  Without your help we would not have had the chance to go and gain the closure we so needed.  THANK YOU ALL!

We left Saskatoon on a Sunday, with plans to return home on Thursday (the day after the funeral).  During our planned stay we spent an afternoon at the Calgary Zoo.  Lily-Ann and I are both animal nuts (and Damon loves us so grins, shrugs his shoulders, and humors us), and the zoo in Calgary has a vast array of exotics we  don’t see at the Forestry Farm Zoo in Saskatoon.  So we took in the sights, sounds, and smells on the Monday after we first arrived.

River Otter, Swimming

Lily's favourite this trip was the River Otters

The following day (Tuesday) was Nana’s wake.  It was hard.  But it was nice to see family we hadn’t seen in a few years.  Seems it always takes an occasion like this to pull folks together.  It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.  I wasn’t sure how I’d handle things, so thought it was best that Lily-Ann not attend the viewing.  She stayed with our cousins, Sheena and Madison (who, like Damon, are Nana’s grandchildren).  In the end, she probably could have come…

In the morning on Wednesday we took Lily-Ann to visit my Auntie Risa.  It was the day of the funeral, and that wasn’t something we were ready to bring  Lily for.  We were (and are) very grateful that she was able to watch the wee girlie.  It made the day much easier knowing we didn’t have to worry about her.

I’m not big on funerals.  For some, they can be very cathartic.  For me… well…  they are a mixed bag of emotions, and most are not positive.  I would be much happier with just a group of folks who loved the deceased getting together to share stories.  That, for me, is where the catharsis is found.  That said, Nana’s funeral was lovely.  It was presided over by a pastor who knew Nana very well, and who loved her.  It was personal, and exactly what Nana would have wanted.  It was beautiful, and I am grateful to her pastor and her church for that.

Later in the day, everyone gathered at Debbie and Brian’s home (Debbie is Nana’s only surviving daughter).  It was a wonderful time.  Grief was the order for quite some time… but as stories and memories were shared smiles glowed all around us.  And late into the night we found ourselves enjoying being with one another, and even found ourselves laughing full heartedly as Debbie attempted to sing an incredible (and hilarious) rendition of “Back in Black”.  There was a lot of love in that room.

the whole family gathered around to play Rock Band

"Back in Black" with the whole clan

The next day we set out for home, after many hugs and sad goodbyes.  Most everyone from out of town was hitting the road at some point.  Seemed we were in the middle.  Many had already left, but a few stragglers remained when we loaded into our car and headed onto the highway.

However…  Our trip home was not to be.

About 45 minutes outside of Strathmore there is a stop sign on the highway.  You can turn right to head to Drumheller, or continue straight to Three Hills.  We did neither.  Our car stopped normally, but there it stayed as smoke billowed forth.  Believe it or not, we remained on that stretch of highway for almost twelve hours before being towed back to Strathmore, and then picked up by Debbie who took us back into Calgary.

stranded at the side of the highway

Following Daddy

The next week was a series of highs and lows.  Ordering part after part, having less and less confidence in the mechanics who held us hostage… but having no choices but to just keep waiting.  I packed our bags FOUR times during that week, each time expecting to be going home, only to find out from the mechanics that one more thing had gone wrong, and one more thing was keeping us from our trip home.

We are so grateful to all our friends and family who watched over our animal family members during our extended stay.  And to Debbie and Brian who played host for so much longer than they’d initially signed on for.  And to Auntie Risa who came by one afternoon to allow us to escape, at least for a little while.  And to Damon’s mom who loaned us the money we needed for the repairs.  And to David and his family who tried to help us fix the car before we finally gave up and called for a tow.  So many people came to our aid – including strangers that day as we sat in the ditch.  The semi driver who spent over an hour with us under the hood.  The families who offered us a ride back into town.  The fellow who gave us a car charger for our cell phones when they had died.  The woman who stopped and offered us water (and beer).  It was a horrible experience, but was a wonderful reminder about the kindness of strangers.  And that was something I needed.

Being involved  in politics you often see nothing but the negative.  So much back biting, ignorance, and just a failure to listen to anyone but “yes men”.  It can burn a person out.  I’m involved in the “game political” to give a voice to regular people…  as it’s been too long that we have been ignored.  I refuse to let the game get to me, and I refuse to stop listening, to stop  learning.  But it can get to you.  So it was nice to be reminded WHY I’m involved.  It’s for all the people, like us, who stop to help when they see someone in trouble.  All of you deserve to be heard.  THANK YOU!

So, we’re back home.  Thankful to be back home.  Grateful to be back home.  It’s been a long couple of weeks.  We’re exhausted.  But we’ll recover.  😉  And I’ll be back at it, working to make things better.  And my project 365  blog will be back to its old self in June.  See you then.

Eliana, mugging it up for the camera.

Lily-Ann and Madison playing

Nana's Great Grandchildren

Exhausted, sleeping at the table.

an almost nekkid baby

Making Pizza with Mommy

Wee girlie enjoying her pizza.

At the park with Auntie Risa and Kahlid.

Damon pushing Lily-Ann and Khalid.

Sheena, Madison, and Lily-Ann.

Family

Auntie Risa and Lily-Ann

Family - Nikon D70

A quick cuddle, a quick capture.  My wee girlie, Lily-Ann, and my Auntie Risa.

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