Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Can't stop smiling

When I say everything I need is right here - I'm kind of short *one* thing. We don't have a library in town, and for someone who likes to read as much as I do - its something I really miss. I'm not French myself, but I can see that having a library with materials in French would be a great benefit to a community that is largely bilingual. So, a few years ago we organized a group of people who are interested in starting a bilingual (French/English) library for our community. We worked pretty hard at it for a year or so, and then the road seemed blocked in too many directions - and I had a baby and was busy with that, so it was sort of left hanging for about a year.

This fall, I thought I'd be able to work on this project and lots of other good things if I took a seat on town council. I've been a council member since November - its lots of meetings and work but we have good things happening and its worthwhile. Last night was one tof the many meetings, but a special one for me as the two councils decided last night (and read the bylaw for the first time) to establish our library.

And, so - we're on the way! The renovations are getting underway, we are finding donated shelving and desks and computers - here we go!

This has been a dream for me for a long time, and its really happening. I can't stop smiling. We're going to have a LIBRARY.

It almost makes me forget that a blizzard and road closures kept me from getting to the city to get my passport yesterday. I'm going to try again Thursday/Friday. Wish me luck!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Passport stress

On Monday we went to the city for no other reason, except for me to submit my passport application. I knew to expect it to take longer because everyone is applying for passports right now as the new policy came into place this week and nobody can fly into the US from Canada without a passport. I thought I had plenty of time with almost 8 weeks before travelling. And I thought going to this "Service Center" would be the best option because they could check over my whole application and make sure its right so that it won't be rejected. Imagine my surprise when they told me that they cannot take my application - I have to go to the nearest Passport Office and apply for it in person. For us, "nearest Passport office" is either 3 1/2 or 5 hours away. And at these Passport offices, people are having to wait in line all day. My aunt went before Christmas (before the big rush) and waited over three hours. Now, I am hearing that people line up at 6 in the morning when the office doesn't even open until 9. Its just crazy and I am worried sick that I will make the 3 hour trip in and STILL not get in to submit my passport. I am hearing that people wait all day only to be turned away when the office closes at 4:30, and they have to return the next day. Living 3 1/2 hours away, I can't afford to be going home and coming back the same day.

I did as much of my application as I could online, and they say that's supposed to make the wait a lot shorter. I sure hope so because I don't have another chance to go, and I have to be back home for a Very Important Meeting at 7 pm. Everyone please cross their fingers that this goes smoothly - I'm just sick about it. I'll pack a good book and an Ipod and just plan on spending the day there, waiting.

Any Canadians reading this blog - if you have plans to go anywhere in the US in the next 6 months, get your passport application in NOW. If you can mail it in or drop it off at a service center, you can avoid the waiting and line-ups. But they told me at the Service Center that anyone planning to travel before May/June won't be guaranteed to get their passport on time unless they apply in person. Craziness!!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Alarm clock issues

Before Christmas, my husband bought me an alarm clock. For years we have been resetting his alarm clock on any morning when I need an alarm - he gets up around five and I will re-set it to 8 or whenever, and that has worked. But considering there are alarm clocks with TWO alarms, it would make sens for us to have one of those, no?

Uh, no. This alarm clock is posessed by the devil. I won't go into its evil behaviour on Christmas morning which ended with me ripping its batteries out and throwing it against the wall, and using profane language not fit for this blog. It has been on good behaviour since, so we let it have its batteries back and I took the time to carefully set it, following the beyond complicated instructions to the letter, to make sure its not a user-error problem. I've had various alarm clocks since I was 12 years old and never needed instructions until now - but this one is a beast, I tell you.

ANYWAY, I don't trust it enough to set the alarm. I read every letter of the instructions to make it NOT GO OFF, ever. And for a week, I've had peaceful mornings. But, suddenly Sunday morning at 8:03 - its going off. The crazy thing is, it even *knows* its Sunday. I think I gave it too much information when I carefully programmed it. It says "SUN" right on the front, even though it has a handy "Weekend Cancel" feature that should mean it NEVER EVER goes off on the weekend without specific instructions, it still chose Sunday to go off for no particular reason.

That thing has one more chance - ONE, and its out to the dump. And I will not be the least bit surprised to hear anyone saying they went to dump garbage at 8:03 and heard this obnoxious beeping. Not surprised at all.

Even though we had a rough start, I did get a page done today - a great kit from Faith True.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Busy, busy...

Is it Friday already? Can that be right? I've been busy all week with one thing or another. Gosh, this house looks like it too. Maybe I should invite someone over so I have motivation to clean things up. As you can see I have a couple of new LO's done - full credits are in my DST gallery but those kits are basically Valorie's "Goodnight Moon" at DSS and Tamra's "Color Me Happy" at PDP. I had lots of fun with both of them.

Yesterday, DH and the kids went skating after school - they're really getting the hang of it and spend much less time lying on the ice. The girls had their first skating lesson this week and even though they missed the first half - it seems to be making a difference. M was making "bubbles" with her skates, C was practicing skating BACKWARDS (yes, backwards) and I've noticed them both girls letting themselves glide a bit instead of just taking steps on the ice. I took more pictures, of course.

Then, I tried taking pictures for our minor hockey teams. I know now that I need to take a class or something because I am pretty hit-and-miss. I stood in exactly the same spot and would take two pictures in a row and one would be great, the other not so hot. I expect if I took a class, I might be able to figure out why. Never having played hockey, I had no idea how to pose the kids so they looked spectacular - finally on the last couple of players I figured out a pose that looks really good and natural, shows off their faces and everything - but I wasn't about to drag the rest of them out there for a do-over. But it goes to show that sometimes the only way to learn is to keep doing it until you get it right. One thing I know for sure is, every bone in my body is still frozen solid.

I won't post the hockey pictures since they're not my kids, but THESE ones are mine:

I skated to you, mom!!

Concentrate! Concentrate!
Take the picture so I can GO!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Expanding my horizons

I spent the weekend at my mom's, working on a couple of sewing projects. Usually, I just do the stuff I know how to do (cut and iron) and I make my mom do all the sewing because I can't sew a straight seam to save my life. Before Christmas I was desperate to make a Peanut Shell-type sling (pouch sling) and attempted to make it at home with no help from mom. It was a disaster and would have been graded an F if it was for Home-ec. It stretched the wrong way and the baby would fall right out. And that's not even considering the hemmed edges and the crooked pocket. It was just a bad job, all around.

So, I decided - I should make an even more COMPLICATED baby carrier. To heck with this easy stuff with one seam and a pocket, I am going to make a Mei Tei. My friend Beth has this awesome pattern and I found some fabric I loved, so I kidnapped my mom for a day and forced her to help me with it. But it was just before Christmas and all the kids were home so I only got about an hour of slave labour out of her, and had to do most of it myself. And to my huge surprise, it turned out great. So good, in fact - that the person I was supposed to be making it for as a gift will just have to wait, because I am keeping it. I have a hard time parting with homemade gifts - I should know that by now. No wonder I couldn't part with it - how cute is this?

Anyway, this weekend, I bought some more fabric and got a good start on the replacement gift - and so far I have done all of the sewing myself - even the nasty straps that require me to fold the edge under, and under again and sew straight along the 1/4 inch edge. Mom's new sewing machine can go really slow - 'tuck.....tuck....tuck.....' so we get along fine, way better than her first sewing machine that had one speed 'RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR' which scarred me for life.

Also, I skated this week. That is right, I strapped on some skates and joined my girls and my husband on the ice. It was short-lived because the skates are unbelievably uncomfortable - but I skated. I took the skates off and went out there with my boots on to get a few pictures - and also finished up a new layout with those this weekend. The girls love skating - even though C. looks depressed in this photo, its because of some sibling-rivalry unfairness, not because she hates skating.

Credits are in my DST gallery, but I have to say this is digiscrapshak's January Challenge kit, and its well worth participating in the challenges to get the kit - lots of great papers and I love the glass alpha.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I had a pink and girly kit to use for one of my CT's and these pictures of the girls that I didn't use for our Christmas card, but I thought were cute anyway. Every year I try to get a good picture for our cards and its just more impossible than ever now with three giggling girls. They can't get close enough to eachother to fit in the frame - and they're all laughing or moving or making silly faces. This year I ended up throwing each of them in a snowbank and taking individual pictures while they were partially immobilized by their snowsuits. They were still giggling, but it worked like a charm.

So, these didn't quite make the card but I thought they'd make a cute page.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Onward then!!

The Christmas pictures have been scrapped. I packed as many as I could on one page, and if I get around to making a few more pages, great. If not, I think I've got it just about covered with this one.

Now, the Halloween pictures are a whole other matter...

As always, full credits in my DST gallery.

"The Best of 2006" - Photos

I took a lot of pictures this year, especially after I got the new camera in May. I picked out a few of my favorites for the "Best of 2006" Not surprisingly, they were all taken at the lake this summer.

This might be my favorite, ever. My girls are walking back to the cabin from the playground across the road. I love the sunlight on their hair and the way their arms are swinging as they walk.

I have a gazillion sunset pictures (I'm beyond obsessed) and usually the water is like glass and the sky is a million colors. On this night, there was a storm brewing and an eerie orange color in the sky and on the water.

This was taken in the playground, the very last weekend we spent there in the fall. The colors of the leaves were so bright and the weather was beautiful - blue sky and warm all weekend. I have so many pictures I love from that weekend but this is my favorite. I recall we also saw a fanastic display of the Northern lights that last night. Its so hard to leave when everything is so beautiful - its a LONG winter here but well worth the wait when spring comes and we're back at the lake again.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Back to normal life - almost.

I can't believe the holidays are over already - M. is back at school again on Monday. The girls are already asking "When is summer? When is my birthday? Is winter over yet?" - they are driving me wild. THREE MORE MONTHS, at least, so get used to it!!! As far as they are concerned, after Christmas, summer is 'next' on the agenda of things to look forward to.

I have a bunch of things I want to scrap - lots of Christmas pictures need to get done because something tells me I won't feel like looking at Christmas papers and decorations for much longer. I guess I'm already waiting for summer, too. I'd kind of like to crawl into that LO of my nephew blowing bubbles at the lake this summer. *sigh*

I also did one of my dad and the baby at our family Christmas party. I wanted to see if I could make a sepia-toned picture on my own - that's my best effort. I had Laura Berger's "Shenanigans" kit to scrap for DSS - so much in that one it was hard to decide what to use. I like how it turned out, though. Full credits for both LO's are in my DST gallery.

Christmas Hits

Well, the girls have had over a week to sort through their loot and decide what they love the most. C's clear choice is "Bella Dancerella" which is driving me insane, but she loves it. She shows up in the livingroom in her pink tights, ballet slippers and tutu, and the show goes on for hours. She takes it very seriously and will not be disturbed when she's dancing. As an added bonus, the girls got "12 Dancing Princesses" movie for Christmas, and she dances to that, too.

M. loves her Jungle cat - which is this mechanical cat that purrs and growls and drinks from a bottle and (thankfully) goes to sleep. The Bilibos went outside and played in the snow the other day - they're finding all kinds of uses for them. There is also a Barbie house with 123456789 little pieces included, and a whole set of new Disney princess dolls and new Barbies who like to hang out in the house and spread all of those pieces from one end of the livingroom to the other.

We have some new games - Cranium Hullabaloo, which is great and really gets the kids moving, and Disney DVD Bingo which is also great game for us to play together. I love those two games because I don't have to constantly intervene to enforce the rules/prevent cheating/explain the concept of being a good sport, and its okay to lose, etc. But, then - there is Disney Princess Monopoly which is a whole other thing. Its very good - the girls understandd exactly how to play and its more interesting than the rest of their simple board games that they're getting tired of. HOWEVER, its also enough like real monopoly that DH was able to ignore the fact that he had to be Pocahontas and quickly got into it and had castles all over the place. M. had the worst luck I've ever seen - kept landing on his castles and spaces where she had to give money and she never got around the board even once. She only had one castle, and nobody ever landed on it. She started crying when DH won the jackpot on the loose change space (cause most of the money in it was hers and we'd been telling her if she hit that space she could win it back) - then C. didn't like that M. was crying and in true form, tried to give M. some of her money and then kept taking off to the livingroom or hiding under the table because she didn't want to be a part of anything that was making her sister cry.

DH was incredibly disappointed because he had 3 groups of castles at this time and was looking forward to bleeding us all dry. He loves Monopoly. LOVES it. Even with princesses and pink and purple castles - its still Monopoly and he was winning.

So, I had to call the whole thing off since nobody but DH was having fun. We packed it away, and M. collapsed to the floor in tears and howls. The baby came out of the livingroom to investigate and found her sister in a heap between the kitchen and livingroom, sobbing her heart out. You could tell she *wanted* to go back and watch Baby Mozart, but there was something wrong with M., and she couldn't just leave her there like that. She kept trying to move M's hands to see her face, and when that didn't work, she'd walk away a few steps. Then, came pack and patted her gently on the back. That didn't help - Oh, well, back to baby Mozart (huge racking sobs from M.) - Ok, maybe not - and she came and sat against M's belly and leaned back against her, tilting her head to see her face. So sweet, I almost cried. She also kept leaning around the corner to see if she could catch a glimpse of the tv - she was trying to be a good sister but she really just wanted to get back to her show.

C, also in a great demonstration of solidarity, announced that she doesn't like princesses anymore. :lol: After 2 1/2 years of near obsession and every princess costume/game/movie on the market, a homemade quilt and a full collection of princess dolls - she's done. :lol: She wouldn't even wear princess pjyamas to bed and said we could give away all that stuff.

Two days later, the girls actually asked to play Monopoly again - they're did a lot better with it the second time around. DH acted like a carnie the whole time in the hopes that he could make it fun and interesting enough that they'd stick around to finish the game. That seemed to work, and M. had a lot better luck so she didn't freak out. C. is even playing with her princesses again, things are back to normal.