Sunday, June 29, 2008

They're Here!!!

I'm going to have some very special guests staying with me this month. Kirsten and Eliisha are coming from Mexico and I'm so EXCITED! Especially since this is the fortune Ben got out of his cookie the other night when we had Chinese food:I'm pretty sure this means the girls are bringing presents. Probably from Bath and Body Works. I'm right aren't I Kirsten?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tee Hee.

Rocky's big brother Spud showed up here today! It's quite a story, actually, when you think of all the things that had to work together to bring him here. After all, it's not like we planned this. He had to be harvested, shipped, and then sent to the exact right grocery store and his bag had to be sitting in the exact right easy-to-grab position at the exact right time for me to walk by. Plus we usually buy red potatoes and we bought his bag at Co-op, even though we usually shop at Stupidstore. Isn't that a wild coincidence?

It really is a small world isn't it?
Rocky wasn't in the room when Spud turned up in the bag of potatoes I was making breakfast with. I've never seen a picture of him before (I didn't even know Rocky had a brother!) but I knew who he was as soon as I saw him! When I brought Rocky into the room to meet his long lost brother for the first time, I can tell you, more than a few tears were shed! There wasn't a dry eye in the house. (Heh heh.)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Happiness is...

Remission. Isn't that the nicest word you've ever heard?

Dad's latest bone marrow biopsy came back clean, so his cancer is officially in remission. He still needs to have the donor bone marrow transplant, because most people with the type of cancer he has relapse within two and a half years or so. This next transplant is supposed to increase that time span.

Of course, my mind is whirling with all kinds of possibilities both good and bad right now, and Seattle is still there looming in front of all of us. Plus, it always seems to me that cancer is much worse if it comes back after a remission, so I don't feel entirely comfortable, but maybe I never really will again... I might have to be okay with that.

For now I'm just going to say that word over and over to myself.

Remission.

Remission.


Remission.

It sounds good. It sounds like peace and rest.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

School's Out For Summer

I've been subbing full-time the last few weeks in a grade four classroom. I liked it and hated it at the same time. The thing is... I like teaching, but I hate subbing, and for those of you who have never subbed and can't figure out the difference here it is:

When I sub, no matter how welcoming the staff and students are, I am still an outsider. I don't have the same responsibilities, and so I can't have the same respect or camaraderie with any of them. Some schools are better than others at making a sub feel like a teacher, (this last one was sensational) but the fact is, we subs are not actual factual teachers. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: We're babysitters. Very well paid babysitters. I want to teach in way that makes a difference in the lives of students, and subbing doesn't really make a difference, no matter how hard I try. Anyone could do the job I do, and when I'm gone things will click on just the same, or better, than they did when I was there.

It's depressing.

I always find it difficult to look around a staff room or school assembly and not feel a little resentful towards the people with full-time teaching jobs. This is completely illogical of me since I don't even want a full-time teaching job right now, but there it is. Everyone has felt that illogical resentment in their lives at some point, so I'm sure I don't have to explain it to you. Just think of the last time someone you knew had something you really really wanted and didn't seem to appreciate it the way you thought you would. I know this is unfair of me, because I'm sure if I had everything I really wanted I would probably eventually get used to having it enough that I could find things to complain about again.

It's still depressing though.

But I'll snap out of it. It's summertime, Kirsten and Eliisha are coming to stay, the paddling pool is waiting to be set up in the backyard, I have days and days of picture taking possibilities in front of me, and endless hours of free time to enjoy my family... And I just know this is the summer that I finally find an awesome plastic picnic table for the boys at a garage sale. I know it!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day Dad!

Here's a shocker: We miss you already. Ben's asked for the last two days every time we get in the van if we can go see you. Today in church I had to explain to him again that you live too far away for us to visit every day. It's a good thing summer vacation is coming soon. I want to be sitting in this picture with you guys in the worst way right now. Two more weeks. Two more weeks. Two more weeks. I can make it. I can.

(The question is: Can Ben?)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

You Don't Say

Picnic time for teddy bears,
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today.
Watch them, catch them unawares,
And see them picnic on their holiday.

Yesterday, on the way into Saskatoon, we were listening to this song in the van and, to my dismay, I realized that I've been singing the words wrong for years. Until that very moment I would have sworn the song went:

 Watch them catch their underwear,

Which, of course, doesn't make any sense, but I think is much better.

In other news, I managed to secure full-time employment till the end of June. And not just any full-time employment... Full-time teaching employment, which is thrilling for me because the longest I've ever taught in any given class was about a week. (Unless you count my internship, which I don't.)

I'm at Mom and Dad's till Monday. We have the big bake sale this weekend, plus hopefully we'll manage to throw Ben a birthday party. Today I'm going to get my hair done after I pick up some Taco Time for lunch, then I'm going to a movie with my pister. (I'm so jazzed.) All is good in the life of Becky.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Birdwatch: They Grow Up So Fast

How did the time go by so quickly? It seems like only a few days ago my little one was a helpless baby and now he's off on his own in the world. Being a parent is like that though. One day they're safe in the nest you provided, and the next day they spread their wings and fly off into the great unknown and all you can do is pray you gave them enough love and support to make a good start. The house just seems so quiet now...

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Birdwatch: The Saga Continues

My pastor has informed me that the bird Ben and I rescued yesterday is a Purple Martin. (Ah, pastors... So many uses. If you don't have one around, I highly recommend them... Especially mine.)

Anyways. As I mentioned in the previous post, I decided that the sour cream container I had our bird friend in was too small. First of all, I was worried he'd fall out. Secondly, I thought that his mommy might like to be able to climb in there with him if he had a bigger nest.
It turns out I'm just as brilliant as I've always suspected, because this afternoon while sitting on the deck with the above mentioned pastor and his wife, the mommy bird came along and climbed right into the nest with baby bird.

And don't you think the new basket nest looks much prettier than the sour cream container? I do.

In The Yard Today

This being the "Year of the Yard" at our house, I've been spending... Well the same amount of time outside that I usually do, but this year I'm doing stuff besides reading books while I'm out there. The first year we lived here we spent the summer recuperating from all the work we had to do indoors to make our new home livable. The next year, I painted our basement and then needed the summer to recuperate again, although we did manage to fill in our sluggy ponds, but that's about it. (And by we, I mean Glen.) Last year we painted the exterior of the house and I did no yard work, although there were some people that did. Okay, I did a little, but it was mostly destructive. This year, I have proclaimed, the Year of the Yard.

Now, some of you gardeny-type people might think this means I'm putting in flower beds, and creating little stone pathways, and fancy waterfalls. Actually, it's just the opposite. Our yard is/was completely over-landscaped. The flowers are beautiful, but I can't keep up with six flower beds, and we have hardly any clear grassy areas. So this year I'm getting rid of all but two of them. I'm keeping the flowers though. (Hopefully.) I've been moving them into new homes and using the rocks from the waterfall I bashed down last year around for borders. Oh yes, it all sounds very industrious and thrilling, but I'm only doing it because I have to. I promise you I'm not enjoying it.
(The tree you see above, is the same freshly pruned tree from this post. Notice the new flower bed around it, and the almost completed rock border. Fancy hey?)

Ben's been busy too. Today he found "a poor little bird" over by his swingset. I was sure when I walked over it was going to be a
dead poor little bird, but it turned out to be a baby that must have fallen from it's nest. (Or got hucked out a little too early.) We made it a nest using grass in a sand pail first, and I dug up some earth worms and mashed them up to feed to it with a syringe. It was quite a process. Did you know earthworms are full of dirt? They are!

Anyways, it turns out if you've rescued a poor little bird, you're not supposed to use grass for a nest, (too cold) and you're supposed to feed it cat food. Who knew? (Glen figures that they only say that about the cat food because they don't expect most people to be willing to find and prepare worms and that my wormshake won't have done it any harm.)

I also learned, via the internet of course, that the best thing to do is to leave it somewhere safe for the mommy bird to find. So we rigged its "nest" (Kleenex is apparently the best nest material) up in one of our neighbors spruce trees (which is where he came from I think) and it didn't take much longer than an hour for her to arrive, worm in beak, to take care of our (and by our I mean my) little orphan. (It would have been nice to know he could eat whole earthworms before I dirtied two bowls, a fork, and a potato masher, and completely grossed myself out making him his lunch.)

He's a spunky little guy, (or girl) and he (or she) climbed out onto the little branch you see there when his (or her) mommy arrived. (I call most things, plants, bugs, animals, inanimate objects "he's", I don't know why.) I was worried he'd fall again, so I made him a roomier "nest" and transferred him to it. Let me tell you, his parents were not impressed with that process. I was a little scared they'd dive bomb me, the way I've seen birds do to cats, but I escaped unscathed. I even managed to climb up there again just before dark to check on him and tuck him in for the night.

So that was our day in the yard. And I only got slightly sunburned.