Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mother-of-the-Bride: Post #3

Family tradition dictates the wedding cake to be of the rich, fruit cake variety.  When Papa Buz and I got married, he insisted he have a cake of his own.  He hates fruit cake and wanted chocolate cake with chocolate icing.  My sister instantly agreed and produced a masterpiece forthwith, totally breaking away from all British/Canadian tradition.  For the Bride of the Moment, it is to be the traditional cake.

The recipe has been handed down from Great Grandma and used eight times in my life time so far.  Bridie-Dearest asked for a copy to be inscribed into her special recipe book for future reference.  Heaven forbid it should go missing!  

Because we doubled the recipe to fill the bigger, three tiered rounds, the ingredients included 8 pounds of candied fruit.   Family, friends and neighbours came to help stir the batter.  The more people who stir it, the more good luck and well-wishing goes to the Bride, or so tradition says.  Three and a half hours in a slow oven produced a festive, fragrant atmosphere in the kitchen as we gossiped and sipped coffee and tasty treats.  

Aren't weddings fun?  The build-up to the big event is as much part of the fun as any of it.  
The party has begun!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mother-of-the-Bride: Post #2

The penultimate shopping extravaganza ended in tears:  mine, not the bride's.

Out the door and away at the crack of dawn, we sallied forth, seeking adventure and at least one dress.  Our spirits were high despite the ominous clouds threatening heavy weather to come and the hour long drive to get us there.  Adventure found us sooner than we expected.  Wow!  the passenger-side windshield wiper went West without us.  

Pulled over on the side of the 6 lane highway, we studied the enclosed instructions for installing the new one Bridie-Dear had on hand.  Wonders never cease.  Next step was to stand in the gutter over-flowing with run off and the fattest, longest, most disgusting worms I've ever seen, lean against the wet car and fiddle with the thing until it snapped in place.  Success.  Now we were proud of ourselves and ready for more.

We hit the Mall a mere 20 minutes after they opened the doors.  Being a holiday weekend, the weather forcing people indoors, and 250 stores to filter, we joined the hoards, the milling throngs of those worshipping in the 
Temple of Want.  
Now this was serious shopping!

In almost the very first store, we found a treasure-trove of fabulous gowns and dresses.  
All smiles.  
Yes!  A decision.  
After lunch and debriefing, we bought the dress, we bought the shoes, we bought the accessories and a hundred and one other essentials.

Achievement and happiness spread grins across our weary faces.

Back in the Trans Canada Highway rush-hour, in pouring rain and encroaching fog, we were 96 km. from home when we got a flat tire.

What?  No spare???????

It wasn't until Bridie-dearest had departed in the taxi with the car keys (or at least, I thought she had) that I decided it was time to lessen the load behind my brimming eyes.  Yes, we had accomplished an amazing amount in two weeks time, and yes, the Bride was ecstatic, 
but I was:

Hungry:  do pizza deliveries come to the side of highways?
Tired:  my feet hurt and I wanted my bed?
Needed to pee:  where's a porta-pottie when you need one?
Wanted to go home:  not just in Alberta, but all the way home to where Hubby is.

Please, now?  Sniffle, sob.  
This is where I fade out to the strains of "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" playing in the background.
Being Mother-of-the-Bride has it's dark moments.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mother-of-the-Bride: Post #1

It's two and a half months to B Day (Bride Day).  Wedding boutiques require 5 - 8 months to select, order and deliver a dress.  Who knew????

Okay then: plan B.  Upscale shops proffering lady's apparel of the "fancy" kind is where we'll shop.  Every city has them, right?  And then, there's always the online shopping.  How hard can it be?

Well, let me just say, after two weeks and over 300,000 dresses--it's a whole lot harder than we knew.

Arnold, can you say, "Grandma Roe is loosing her mind"?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spring Sounds Different

Spring sounds different in the country than in the city.

 I love visiting my relatives out west, where they live in the country and life sounds so peaceful.
What does spring sound like where you live?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Please Give My Daughter a Bib

At 89 years, Mum has lost the art of conversation.  Visits at the Home can prove challenging.  Keeping up a one-sided flow of chatter, recitations of family happenings and entertaining accounts of life trivia is an exhausting ordeal.

Brainstorm:  Stay for lunch!

And so it happened that during my last 4 day visit, we did lunch every day.  A table of four in the dining hall, catered to and served by personal care attendants, OT's and nurses, we dined on senior-sized rations of nutritionally-balanced, calorie-counted offerings.  I needed to loose ten pounds anyway.

The daily ritual never varied:  the residents began shuffling towards the dining hall a half hour early, like cows to the barn without being called.  Each one knew her place and guarded it territorially.

You sit here, Mum directed me.
Can you please bring my daughter a bib, she asked a server?

Glancing at each grey-headed one around the table, indeed around the whole room, one was struck by the checkered pattern of blue or white bibs across each breast.

It's okay, Mum.  I'll use my napkin.

You need a bibwas her determined reply.

For three days I managed to avoid The Bib.  Servers and other guests smiled and joked about my ability, or lack thereof, to consume tomato soup without mishap to my new sweater, or spaghetti sauce on my clean blouse, or gravy on my fleece vest.  There must have been some reason for Mum to be unstoppable in her quest to have me bibbed.

Please bring my daughter a bib.

My daughter needs a bib.

This is my daughter, Rosemary.

We need a bib here please.

You need a bib.

 A rush of butterfly flutters swelled in my chest as the humiliation of adults in bibs began to be pressed upon me.  In the entire dining room, I was the only one seated at table without one.

I didn't need one.

I didn't want one.

My face grew hot, pulse picked up...and...I gave in.

Was I better than these seniors who so sweetly welcomed me into their midst?  They willing wore their bibs with grace.

"When in Rome...", I quipped.

Lunch was done.  I looked forward to supper.  My bib was unblemished as I finished my diced pears for dessert, but what was completely finished, was the angst about the bib.  Had my mother taught me a lesson in political correctness and manners, or had her few remaining synapses fired repeatedly in predictable patterns related to eating without a mess?  Either way, our four days of visits had passed too quickly and I left wishing they could have stretched out longer.

By the way, Mum's last words at table to me were:
You are wearing your bib inside out.  I can see the label.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Over the Hills and Far Away....

My daughter has classified me as a vagabond.  I get around a lot.  I am hardly ever home for long.   I got home after 4 months away and packed up and left 2 weeks later.  My son doesn't think I even unpack between trips.  At least I can look like a queen while I'm at it!

No moss grows under my feet. I am on the west coast of  Canada, visiting my family.  Well, really, it's been 6 months since I've seen them all, and I really don't want them to forget I am still alive.
There's nothing like a change of geography for inspiration and to get the creative juices flowing.  My new, underwater camera (read:  small and easy to pack) is in melt down mode.  Click, click, click...there is so much to document. You will remember I mentioned the encroaching has to document daily, or one tends to loose track of where one has been. 

I love where my sister lives:  beside a river, in a valley between lots of mountains.  This winter's heavy snow fall is making for very high water this spring.  The Kettle River is in flood and is still rising.

While the water is rising in the river, the air and land is dry.  Pinwheel water sprinklers are hard at work, making sure the spring plantings are hale and hardy.  This area of BC is an arid zone.  Sunburn is a greater risk here on a clear day than ever it was all winter in the Bahamas.

Saskatoon bushes are in full bloom here now, while the apple blossoms are getting ready for their debut.

Just down the road from where I am visiting, there is corral housing rescued horses.  If you were a horse, what colour would you choose to be?  I favour the appys myself.
Watch out for the deer!  my brother-in-law warns, as I head out at dusk.  Is it me, or his car he is concerned about, I wonder?

You need to exercise more, my sister admonishes me.  Calories in less than calories out, is the only way to loose weight, she advises.  And so, to the BMX track and trails.....

Because my butt and inner thighs are in revolt, I am languishing in front of the computer this eve.  Here are some photos of the the local yellow sunflowers to finish off tonight's post.  Enjoy the sunshine and beauty of spring in whichever agricultural zone you find yourself.  It only comes once a year and one has to appreciate its fleeting beauty while it lasts.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

Sheer curtains billow and flutter at the open window of my bedroom, inviting me to dance into the new day.  As I peer down into the back garden, yellow, pink and red tulips turn their happy faces my way.  Celebrating life, they chorus
 -Come join this glorious day.  It's spring!  Everything is coming alive.

The bane of green lawn worshippers...the ubiquitous dandilion.

The trilliums are just opening.  The Provincial Flower of Ontario, they are protected by law and not allowed to be picked.

I am now buying the biggest size bag of Thistle Seed available to keep up with this feeding frenzy.

How is spring coming along in your neck of the woods?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On The Hard

Our baby has been put to bed.  Crossing of the Gulf Stream went smoothly enough (read:  nobody got sick).  We arrived safe and sound in Stuart, Florida from Lucaya after 7 hours of clear skies and moderate winds.  Once we had cleared customs and immigration, got a new Foreign Flagged Vessel cruising permit, said goodbye to Captain Bill and Joan, we moved her to River Forest Marina/Storage Facility.  There she will be cared for in climate controlled comfort through the summer and hurricane season, until we are ready to do it all again.

For those who have never seen this process, and for those who can't get enough (me, mine and ours), I am posting the photos of the hauling process.

Steadfast approaches the 50 ton lift.

In the slings.

George, the man of the hour!

Hand controls

Captain Buz comes ashore

Up and Out

On the hard.

The storage barn.
 If you click to enlarge this picture, you will notice the shutters/awnings and fake windows.  These endeavour to mask the nature of the building, as it is surrounded by residencial neighbourhoods.  Although the words "hurricane-proof" seem an oxymoron, this new facility was designed and built to withstand sustained winds of 140 miles per hour.  After what we saw around the country last week, one wonders if anything can withstand the forces of Mother Nature when she has a mind to blow.

So now the Captain and Crew of M/V Steadfast are boatless for the summer.  Does anybody have a 20 foot, center console runabout for sale?  I want to go fishing.