Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Happy Mother's Day (belatedly!)

So I know it's a couple of days late, but then again, so is my mother - late that is. :) This was my second Mother's Day to go by without one. She was a very high maintenance old gal, and she put me through my paces (to put it mildly), but when all is said and done, I do still miss her. She was a huge part of our lives (Brad was like a son to her), and, for better or worse (but mostly better), she will remain so. I think of her and see her in my hands every time I bake a raspberry pie or a rhubarb crisp (one of the latter I made on Sunday), and in the myriad of other things I concoct in the kitchen. She was a teacher and a cook and very good at both. I learned from her a lot.

So on Sunday, Brad and I made the hour-long drive down to her grave site. It's the first time we've been down since she died last April. It was raining most of the way down, but it petered out about 10 minutes before we got to the cemetary. A couple of days prior, I had bought a rose bush to plant at her grave site, but I had second thoughts about that, realizing that roses, like mom, were quite high maintenance. They need a lot of TLC on a very regular basis, which is something I will not be able to provide since the site is relatively far away. Instead, I opted for a solar-powered rose that powers up on its own during the daytime and lights up at night when it is dark. She will be the only one in the cemetary to have such a contraption, and I'm sure she is now the envy of all of the other "residents." It really is not tacky and I'm sure it will look good standing out at night in the dark and otherwise solarless cemetary. I bought another, which I "planted" in our backyard - just so I could see what it looks like at night and beter imagine her's. If I were ever six feet under (which I never want to be, incidently - cremation for me please!), I think I would want one of these standing vigil and offering a bit of light at night. Her grave is still in the proccess of grassing over, but there are wild purple violets (the provincial flower, which she loved) and wild strawberries blooming - she would spend hours painstakingly picking wild strawberries in her day and making them into the most succulent jam imaginable. Very appropriate.

The rain started up again about 10 minutes after we left, so I told Brad that she must have a bit of sway with "our Heavenly Father." (She was very spiritual person, and religious in her own quite way - me, not so much.)

In any case, it was good to get down there. I'll visit more regularly in the future. In the fall, we'll plant daffodils and tulips that will come up in the spring. Colourful, classy, and low maintenance! How she used to be and how I myself should all strive to be.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Watch Your Weight!

So, it's been a while! Just checking in to say hey and catch up a bit...

No really big news to share other than it's two weeks tomorrow that Brad leaves for his month-long hike. It's unbelievable how fast the time goes!
My sister who lives in KSA is now in New Zealand. They are on a trip for my brother-in-law's work. Should be fun. It will be just coming on fall in N.Z. but the weather should still be nice and at least they'll be able to have a glass of wine with dinner!
Me, well, I joined Weight Watchers about 2 months ago! Yes! Can you believe it? Me? In Weight Watchers!? But it works (just ask Jennifer Hudson!) So far, I have lost 16.4 lb.! I joined after I saw that my friend Shaun had lost 10 lb. in just 3 weeks. That did it for me. I knew that I had to lose some pounds, but Shaun's success convinvced me that WW was they way to go. I actually enjoy going to the weekly meetings and weigh-ins. It keeps you honest and makes you accountable. So far so good! I want to lose another 13 pounds, so I am more than half way there. With a family wedding coming up in early August, I am totally pumped! I look better, and more importantly, I feel better!

Losing weight is also better for your blood pressure and cholesterol. I'm going to schedule an appointment with my doc to go over the results of recent blood work and other tests. I want a new baseline that is reflective of my new me!

Here's to the return of a skinner Jeff and possibly more skinny Saturdays!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Le tout Moscou...

... comes to a standstill when Putin arrives to be sworn in. (Moscow, of course is famous for its traffic jams.) Wish I spoke more Russian!
And, of course, the leaves are all out in Moscow, which is more than I can say for here! The huge church you see around 3:30 is Christ the Saviour. Brad and I toured it in '07. I really is unbelievable that there is no traffic anywhere too be seen except for Putin's entourage.