Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hearing God Laugh

 There's a saying: If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans.

The week beginning Dec 11 had an agenda that I was apparently unaware off. My plans including hanging out with Bryan and our friends Brian and Cheryl, two curling games, the Holiday Train and perhaps some baking.

The evening of Dec 10 threw those plans right out the window with a hearty HA! At a company Christmas party bowling event - during which there was not nearly as much drinking as circumstances might indicate - I mis-stepped whilst delivering a ball, fell awkwardly and severely strained my right knee. At the time it seemed a minor incident. At around 2 am I knew I was in trouble and the next morning (the Goldsmiths will vouch for me) the left knee was approximately twice the size as the right one. Pain? Oh yeah. Nimble dexterity? Zip. Nada. Zero.

Didn't curl Tuesday night. Did on Thursday, but delivering rocks with a 'stick' (if you don't know curling, I'll forgo the explanation other than to say one doesn't knee down into the hack to throw the rock). We lost, but it wasn't all my fault!

I haven't had a serious injury like this for a long time - I'm thinking when the cow beat me up during calving season about 13 years ago. The one that first came to mind, though, was a year or so before that. 

I had been doing chores, heading back to the house from the chicken coop with a  bucket filled with eggs. It was late spring; the yard was rutted from driving the tractor through soft spring mud and not yet disced level. I mis-stepped and tried to correct the fall, and in doing so wrenched my left foot either side of the instep, then fell heavily. The bucket was tossed up as I went down, and as I lay stunned on the ground, eggs rained down all around me but none hit me. 

I knew I was in trouble, but also knew I had a few minutes to get to the house (or try to) before the pain really kicked in. Made it, grabbed the phone and called Bryan (he wasn't worried, said what could he do? and I'd be fine), hobbled to the couch and passed out.

When I regained consciousness (in the immortal words of Sgt. Renfrew, CBC fans) the left foot was quite ugly. It was a few weeks before I was walking properly, and to this day if I do a lot of walking, the foot is achy on both sides.

Wednesday we did go to Salmon Arm to watch the CP Holiday Train roll into town. Not as long a train as last year but fun nonetheless. A bit cold, and so with Bryan's arthritic back and my damaged knee, we were quite the gimpy couple heading back to the truck.

Upon our arrival home that night, what did appear? No, not Santa, but there was a delivery. Socket had four brand new little puppies in the kennel with her!

She was a bit nervous about allowing us near her little treasures, but we scooped them and her out of there to quickly switch out the soiled bedding and put in clean. Three girls and one boy (Bryan's initial assessment was all girls but a few days later Becca finally was allowed to check them out more thoroughly).  They've already doubled in size but their eyes won't be open for another few days.

Saturday was Bear Day at the office. The paper has a seasonal promotional that involves people buying $300+ from participating retailers, qualifying them for one of 50 limited edition Gund bears. I don't know how many years the promo has been going on but there are diehards out there - they start lining up at the door around midnight to get Bear #1 or whatever. There is also a draw from the 50 qualifiers for $500 cash.

As the rest of the community is getting totally wound-up for the Big Day, the office is winding down, our work for the seasonal madness now mostly done. Even the Boxing Day promos are already out.

I have no baking done. I have gifts purchased, even wrapped. Cards got mailed last week - something good came out of being laid up with a bum leg! And I'm totally fine with the state of things.

Merry Christmas to everyone. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Celestial Treat and Quick Review

Good morning, good morning! 

You'd think after the rousing grand time we had last night with Brian and Cheryl that I'd be bleary-eyed and a bit crabby, but no. I managed to moderate myself very well (I think Cheryl might be hurting, though) and was up at 5:30 (did you know if you type that with the 'caps' key locked, it looks like swear words?) as usual.

The extra treat was a perfect, absolutely perfect, view of an absolutely perfect total lunar eclipse. I don't have photos because I was driving to work, watching the eclipse in my rear view mirrors for the first 30 kms; wasn't until I turned north at O'Keefe Ranch that I got a good view of the event. When I pulled up to Tim Horton's for my morning coffee (Starbucks isn't open at 6:15 - go figure) the eclipse was complete. Clear sky, still above the horizon (and above the land line which can be tricky, living in the mountains) and just so ..... well, perfect.

I have a quiet morning at the moment. Got the first section of the paper (which is actually B section, but the first to the plate room and hence to the press) to Travis by 7 am, and it will be awhile before Graeme is in to finish the sports pages. All this is leading up to the fact that I have some 'down' time to finally get some writing done!

Recap of Recent Projects:

Baby Quilt

Mom Sarah is delighted with it. Young Declan, born Oct 29, has yet to render his opinion.

Watercolour Class

Last class was Nov 22 and much as I was exhausted come Tuesday morning with the late hour of said class, I truly enjoyed it and learned so much. And I miss my classmates!

This was a still life arrangement for my watercolour classs. I was excited about capturing the oyster shell in paint but it turned out to be a real bitch-kitty. I think it will be an on-going challenge.


Preparing for the exam took up an extraordinary amount of my life, and yet I hardly looked at books the last few days - busy with work, curling, work, laundry and work. Was at TRU bright and early, felt a little foolish sitting amongst a group of undergrads most of whom are younger than at least one if not both of my children. However, when the exam administrator stood up to get things started, we were all equals in the face of the challenge.

Four and a half hours later, I felt good. That's no guarantee that I did good but the deed was done and all I can do is wait patiently (!!!) until January when our marks are announced. And meanwhile get my admission application papers in order and pray for some benevolent funding to descend.

Big check.

We're 7-1 for the season to date, with two games this coming week (lots of double-game weeks in our schedule this year). Our volunteer icemakers are doing a fabulous job this year and playing conditions are great. We commented on Thursday night that it's so much more fun playing smart instead of playing lucky (on iffy ice, even the best player is the fool of fate).

On Deck:

The CP Christmas Train
The most beautiful train in the world will be pulling into Salmon Arm on Dec. 14 (between curling games, thank goodness!) and so we are going with bells on. Meeting PK and Gary, taking in the event that signals the beginning of the Christmas season for me.

Maybe it's hard to tell from this photo but that is one very pregnant little Jack Russell curled up in Becca's lap.

Socket had an illicit rendezvous with a studly Maltese while up north with Bryan. Ergo, puppies are expected on or about Dec. 23. 

Hannah Banana has a new home in Vernon with a family consisting of another Jack, a large dog of undeterminate breed and two young boys who absolutely adore her and mutually wear each other out. All in all, a good move. Socket has quieted down as an Only Dog (the heavy baby belly may also be a contributing factor) and is totally into being a Good Dog. We like it.

Val's Last Book Project
Publishing partner Val delivered her last manuscript to me a few weeks ago. I'm ashamed to say it's been languishing on the back burner (so to speak - it's actually been in my face on the kitchen side counter, glaring at me every time I glance that direction) while I cleared the deck of other projects (can you spell LSAT? of course you can). I've now created a home for it on my laptop and got the layout set up. Monday I'll sort through the photos, move the text onto the layout and begin work on the design. Piece o' cake ...... stay tuned for future temper outbursts..... Seriously, I want this off for proofing before the end of the month.

Quilts and other things Fabric
Yes, Juliette, your quilt is still on the list. I also have two large quilts to finish for a co-worker, tops inherited from her grandmother (yes, tugging the heartstrings with this one). One only needs to be bound around the outside (some church ladies quilted it already); the second is a remarkably complex pattern of Texas stars and tumbling blocks. But it will have to wait until Juliette's rebuild is done.

I have a backlog of other sewing projects I've been aching to get at: a Burda dress pattern that both excites me and intimidates me all to hell. I think I may consult with a sewing diva in Vernon before getting too far into it. Also have some shirts for Bryan and a wool-&-brocade top for me in the lineup.

Christmas Baking
I'm not ready for Christmas. I'm never ready for Christmas and yet it still arrives just fine. I am booking next weekend for baking, to at least get some gift boxes done.

So now, do you forgive me for being delinquent in posting? I've been thinking of you. Really!