Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lloyd's Wheels

Now normally I wouldn't bother blogging about something as mundane as a car but Lloyd asked me so nicely to blog about his latest acquisition what choice did I have??? He's so cute when he begs!

When he was down here a month or so ago he found a car deal he couldn't resist. He had been wanting a cool car for us to drive while we're down here in the sunny south - the van just wasn't cool enough! After searching for a couple of days he found a 1992 one-owner white Buick Roadmaster Limited.

As well as having all the bells and whistles available to luxury cars in 1992, this beauty has just 48,000 miles on it. So he figured it was the perfect "senior's" car, since that's who owned it in the first place. We spent time this week cruising in it - I felt like Miss Daisy being driven around.

I must admit he made a good choice - it drives like a dream and the automatic seats have three lumbar support controls for those of us whose backs are starting to wear out.

Another good reason for us to come down as often as possible.

Monday, May 24, 2010

There's Always Something New...

As usual when we come to Surprise, AZ, I take pictures of plant life. I was particularly excited to come in May because that's when the Saguaro and a few other cacti blossom. Lloyd and I drove out to the nearby saguaro forest to take some pictures of them.

And here's the cholla (I think) that Q. planted in our yard.

Quincey did an amazing job with the landscaping on his last trip down. He hired a crane to come and carry/lift the large Mexican fan palm, which is gorgeous. He also planted the cholla, three small bushes with orange blossoms, a really ugly tall skinny cactus clump that I'll try to find the name of, and rocks - large rocks - one 1200 lb. rock. (I didn't take pictures of the rocks but you can probably see some of them in the other pictures). But with our desert landscaping, it all looks beautiful.
The tall, skinny, prickly one.

Our lime - the first year it's producing - we have three so far!

And our lemon - the first of many, judging by the number of tiny ones sprouting there.

The large Mexican fan palm

Orange blossoms on one of three bushes of unknown name (so far)

Then to finish it off, he put spotlights behind the palms along three sides of the fence. With the lights off at night and just the pool lights and the spotlights on, it looks wonderful - romantic and fairy tale like - in the back yard.

The pictures don't do it justice.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Nachos a la Cory

Lloyd has this friend who, whenever they're together with the 'guys' on a golf trip or business trip or whatever, makes a nacho platter that according to Lloyd is a work of art...a gastronomic delight of unheard of proportions...a must-have for every nacho lover in the world. Sometimes in his enthusiasm to share this culinary event with me, he'll call me from hundreds of miles away to tell me all about it - usually when I'm sitting home alone eating my soup and toast dinner.

Cory and his Nachos

This past weekend when we were in Lethbridge - just a few miles from Cory's home - we invited Cory and his lovely wife Cara over for dinner, on the condition that dinner consists of Cory's nacho platter. It was fun having them over and watching them work together to create two pans of this treat - one with jalepenos and olives, and the other without (because I don't like those two ingredients). Cory is very precise in the way the peppers, onions, chives and tomatoes are chopped. The cheese must be freshly grated Kraft marble, the chicken breasts barbequed and chopped. And as he works at creating this masterpiece, he cleans up. By the time the nachos are ready to eat, the kitchen is totally cleaned up.

One platter ready for the oven

And the finished lived up to all of Lloyd's reports. We ate and ate until we couldn't eat another bite, and still there was some left. I guess now I'll still be jealous when Lloyd tells me that Cory is cooking nachos for the guys, but at least I'll know what I'm missing and can try to duplicate it in my own fashion. Thanks Rasmussens for sharing this with me...finally.

Cory and Cara Rasmussen

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Generations Connect!

I had a brief, but interesting and uplifting conversation with 5-year old grandson Max today. Here it is, pretty well word for word. I'll set the stage for you first. It was 12:10 pm and Max and I were heading out to get him to Kindergarten. It was a drizzly, misty day. Max looked down the street and said:

Max: It looks fuzzy down there.

Me: Yes, it's foggy today.

Max: What's fog?

Me: It's a cloud that is just about sitting on the ground. (He's too young to understand a detailed meteorological explanation, which I'm not too sure of anyway).

Me (getting into the car and pointing to the tiny raindrops on the windshield): Clouds are made up of tiny particles of water.

Max: I didn't know that. -pause- I guess old people really are smart!

He made my day...except for the part about being called old.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Introducing - Tate Curtis Woolf

On Friday, May 14, just before 8 am, we welcomed our 19th grandchild to the family. Tate Curtis Woolf arrived 4 weeks ahead of schedule, weighing a whopping 5 lb 10 oz. Such a tiny little guy, not without a few respiratory problems to make life interesting, if a bit unsettling, for a couple of days.

Amy had a chance for a quick cuddle before baby Tate was whisked off to the NICU for some specialized care.


Later that night Curtis was finally able to hold his son.

Amy was discharged on Saturday, coming home without Tate. The kids were glad to have their Mom home but disappointed that the baby didn't come too. He should be home in three or four days. He's doing really well in the NICU so far after a rough first night.

When Lloyd and I went with Amy to visit him today, we were finally allowed to hold him. He was hooked up to several monitors and a feeding tube so we had to be very careful, but it was so nice to hold the little guy and talk to him. He's so sweet. This is his third day so he's a bit jaundiced - quite yellow in fact - but that's normal. I have yet to see his blue eyes open.

Little yellow wired baby. That's his feeding tube in his mouth.

He's making good progress and we hope to have him home to love by the end of the week. He's our sweet little Tater-tot.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Scraplifting, Cousins, Geese, Etc.

Scraplifting - a wonderful tool for those of us who have a hard time coming up with our own ideas for scrapbook layouts. You look through scrapbook magazines, online galleries, websites, blogs,etc. until you find a layout that you would like to model one of your own after. I scraplift - a lot. When Mickey and I were out the other day we visited a couple of scrapbook stores. My eye was caught by a lovely layout that I thought would be perfect for using one of my pictures of Mum. So, after getting permission from the store clerk, I took out my camera and snapped a picture of the layout. I then bought the materials I needed to duplicate it, and, after making a few 'tweaks' to the original, ended up with this layout. I am very pleased with how it turned out, especially the pearl details.

I think I want to do a layout of this Canada Goose I saw in Winnipeg last week (one of many).

...and a layout or two of these sweet cousins (my grandkids) at my birthday party on Sunday.

James (Jammers) Quist - 2 years old

Nathan Quist (8) and Mackenzie Woolf (7)

Sydney Woolf (4) and Nathan Quist (8)

And there's just got to be a good layout for this one - our oldest grandson, Jonah Quist (13), was proud to demonstrate that he has passed his grandfather (Lloyd) in height. Guess it pays to have a Dad over six feet tall, especially when your mother (our Jenny) is only 5'2".

So I'm off to search for more layouts to scraplift.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Mum - May 28,2009

We just got home from a visit to my sister, BIL, and mother in Winnipeg. It's always fun to see Wendy and Randy, but is getting sadder and sadder to see Mum. She's in late stages of Alzheimer's now, living on a secure unit in an extended care facility where she's safe and is treated very well. Our visits with her only last 15 minutes or so. She has no recollection of us nor of anyone in her family except occasionally her mother and father. She can still speak very quietly and indistinctly, but can't carry on a conversation. Still, we can see the occasional glimpses of her former self when something makes her chuckle and in her familiar hand gestures. We reassure ourselves that she's in no pain (arthritis) - her brain seems to have forgotten how to register pain - and is cared for and is as content as it is possible for her to be. It seems that she has no emotions left and has forgotten our visit before we're out the door. She spends her time wandering around her unit tidying up, folding papers and small laundry, and resting in whatever room she happens to be near when the need for rest comes over her. I don't think her need to be busy will ever leave her. The staff keep telling us how sweet and cute she is and they seem to genuinely like her. It's hard to reconcile the person she has become over these past few years with the vibrant, energetic, funny, happy person we grew up knowing. That's the person I'm trying to focus on this Mother's Day. She'll be 89 on May 28.

Mum's 88th birthday - May 28, 2009

I checked my email when I got home earlier and there was a lovely Mother's Day quote that a dear friend sent me. Maybe you'll enjoy it too. Thank you Mickey.

Your Mother is always with you.

She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street,
she's the smell of certain foods you remember,
flowers you pick and perfume that she wore,
she's the cool hand on your brow when you're not feeling well,

she's your breath in the air on a cold winter's day.

She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep,
the colors of a rainbow, she is Christmas morning.

Your Mother lives inside your laughter.
And she's crystallized in every tear drop.

A mother shows every emotion........... Happiness, sadness, fear, jealousy, love, hate, anger, helplessness, excitement, joy, sorrow.....and all the while, hoping and praying you will only know the good feelings in life.

She's the place you came from, your first home,
and she's the map you follow with every step you take.
She's your first love, your first friend, even your first enemy,
but nothing on earth can separate you. Not time, not space.......not even death!

"The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched - they must be felt with the heart." ~Helen Keller~

Happy Mother's Day to all you mother's and potential mothers out there. Live long and prosper.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Global Warming???

It's hard to imagine global warming when we're hit with a series of spring storms here in Alberta. Don't you just hate these depressing storms?! I'm just glad I haven't taken my snow tires off yet. It's been nice and warm and sunny here - the trees are budding out, tulips are blossoming, grass is green, and then...wham...this morning we awoke to piles of snow and fierce howling winds. It was over by suppertime, but it'll take a few days for the snow to melt.

You'll have to excuse the quality of the following pictures taken in Sara's front yard - they were taken with my phone - but you get the idea!

Beautiful frosted tulips.

Rose bushes bowed down by the heavy wet snow.

Almost buried yellow tulip

Ditto - red tulip

And a final shot of the rose bushes.
Lloyd and I are off to Winnipeg tomorrow morning. Hopefully when we get back on Sunday it'll be spring again.

Monday, May 3, 2010

You're Never Too Old swing at a pinata for the first time. My 62nd birthday party was as good a time as any to try my hand at batting the super strong saguaro cactus pinata.

Since Sara and her family were going to be away on Mother's Day and my birthday, she and Charlie decided to have a small birthday party for me this past weekend. Charlie (6 years old) loves birthday parties and insisted they go to the Party Store for special decorations. We ended up with a Hawiian themed party. Here are some images from it.

Elly has a turn.

My new pink Cricut.

Kenzie, Charlie, me, Max, Sydney singing Happy Birthday

The pinata before it got bashed.

The Hawiian hula girls, Kenzie and Charlie