Morning time plans

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tom has been off for the last two days so we have taken the opportunity to explore Calgary zoo and Banff. There are about a zillion photos, I suggest that you get a large cup of tea if you are planning to stay the course. We also had a really great BBQ at a friends house lots of amazing steak with great marinade, salads, jacket potatoes and the wonderful Canadian invention of jello salad. Jello salad???? It's basically jelly, with other things in from fruit, vegetables, marshmallows, yogurt and you eat it with the main. So the funniest thing that I have seen in a long time is a bunch of adults eating jelly with a fork, in between mouthfuls of steak and macaroni salad :)
Banff was lovely was really amazing to see the river defrosted and fast flowing, and the waterfall falling with water. Some of the photo's are taken from the same place as our last lot, so the difference is striking. We did half the trail of Sulphur mountain, I guess we'll go back and finish it one day.
The other exciting thing we've done is buy a tent, so the great outdoor way of life will be ours next week. We've just seen the weather forecast is rain, so Tom will change his days off tm and we'll head our middle instead of end of week. Should be fun...bit nervous but how hard can it be? We've borrowed travel cot for Heidi to keep her contained and warmer at night.
Tomorrow is due to be pottering round, Tom back to work and Matthew Heidi and I are going to explore Calgary fort (and perhaps get my new plants into tubs) and then tm night is our church anniversary dinner. Fun day :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Calgary Tower slideshow

The movie is fun if you get that far. It looks so much better in real life than pics, but you'll get the idea. :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Poor Heidi has conjunctivitis, or pink eye as the Canadians call it. Started 11 am yesterday and just got worse and worse. So I packed her off to the doctors and the eye drops seem to be helping already. I am amazed at how quickly it can come on. Poor thing looks like she's half asleep at all times, but she is happy enough in herself. The night was not the best, she kept getting lost in her cot as she couldn't open her eyes enough to see where she was and that she needed to turn around. Relocating in the cot and then a quick rendition of a song and she was back to sleep each time.
On the way home from the doctors we were hit from behind in the car. It was a load bang and a bit of a jolt. Praise God there was no one hurt, and there was no damage to the cars (except a tiny amount of his number plate paint chipped onto my bumper but it has since washed off). Heidi got a fright but was no more distressed then when I put eye drops in her eyes later!
The silver lining on my clouds yesterday was a trip to a friends to pick up some more pots and a tamaato (that's how you say it so that must be how you spell it right?) and a cucumber and some 'eerbs' that are further on than mine. Will plant later.
Oo and got 3 more chairs to match the ones we found cheap already so I now have 4 matching (well almost) dining room chairs.
And my joy was complete this morning when for the first time ever my banana loaf rose in the oven and hasn't flopped since coming out!
Off to Calgary tower this afternoon so look out for pics of the city and mountains soon....if I remember to charge my batteries!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Matthew, Tom's brother arrived today. It was very strange and a bit exciting to be back at the airport. Great to have visitors....highly recommended.

Friday, May 23, 2008

British weather

Rain!!!! The most familiar sight, but it seems to interrupt life here more than the snow because it is so unexpected.
We went to the Zoo yesterday with friends from the pouring rain. What a good Brit I am! It really is a great zoo, divided into countries so for instance the Africa building has the giraffes, hippos, flamingos, turtles etc in the same place. And the hippo pool has fish swimming in it, and they have fish swimming there for them to eat.....very cool indeed.
Heidi loved the being Canadian experience of a birthday cup cake with chocolate frosting! Messy, but tasty.
I had the horrendous experience of getting coffee for people. It really should have to be as hard as it is! 5 types of coffee plus decaf, and that before you start messing with ways to have it with cream. (or half and half which you get in cartons in the shops which is half milk half cream). In the end a friend came to help. The strange thing is that people really do know what kind of coffee they want ie bold, or medium, Mexican or Colombian (I'm told the Colombian is more nutty!) Any way I conclude stick to's strong enough, lots of cream a necessity, and I've even started on sugar for my filter coffee (if there's no flavouring like the lovely English toffee I had the other day). Sorry Dad! So come on out everyone, and I'll practice my coffee buying skills with you too, but at least in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wagon riding, splinters and dirt

We had a gorgeous day on Tuesday with new friends from church, when we went out to a farm (owned by some other people from church). It was a gorgeous day, wonderfully relaxing and lots of fun. Heidi enjoyed lots of treats from riding in a wagon to seeing lots and lots of cows and calves (I had never fully appreciated how small a Dexter cow was until sitting in an open sided wagon beside a proper sized cow!), eating two handfuls of dirt, pushing a toy car up a slope on her own two feet, falling splat into her side from her own two feet, getting a splinter in her toe, and being able to watch and play with the other 19 children that were there. I enjoyed lots of treats too like the wagon ride (Anne of Green gables moment except quad bike powered rather than horse drawn), not being the Mummy responsible for Heidi at the time of her dirt consumption, Heidi's afternoon nap (which gave me time to spend relaxing with grownups on the deck), being outdoors, meeting new friends, and realising that flavoured coffee really is the way forward.
Having a chilled out girl is helping to form a more chilled out Mum (although I am sure that the actual cause is God changing me and me learning to trust in him more than in my own strength). Coming to Canada has been a good thing. We have seen so many answers to prayers.
Yesterday we helped dig a flowerbed in a front yard. Calgarian soil is hard work but the recent snow meant that it wasn't as dry as I was dreading. A good soak will help the aches. Heidi and I will go swimming tomorrow. There's a hot tub at the pool!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Well, the lovely weather has ended with the start of an impressive hail storm. Real hot chocolate and good book weather (during Heidi's naps of course). We've got a severe weather warning for 10-25cm of snow.....but all is due to be well again by sat with lots of sunshine! Will I ever get used to this?
Ooh the cute thing of the day is that Heidi has learnt to blow. You blow in her face and she makes the cutest little phheew sound back, with or without spit.
And I learnt that making a baby laugh with their mouth full is a bad idea. Particularly if they are sat near you.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I don't bounce

A hard lesson (no pun intended)! always I was in a rush. After loading my small girl in the car, the pushchair rolled away as I was locking the door. Unfortunately I failed to remember that there is a strip of concrete on the ground, and so at full run I tripped. You can imagine the rest. I don't think that I have ever fallen so quickly to the ground. Well, I landed on my shoulder, followed by head, then the thigh of one leg and the knee of the second. I picked myself up, tried to dust off, managed not to cry, and loaded the pushchair into the car. I was halfway to the office before things started to sting and by the time I got there I was ready to cry. I realised that I was going to be introduced to the whole of Wycliffe at the Tuesday celebration, so I called into the boutique and the lovely ladies gave me a flannel and towel to wash the dust off, and some clean trousers.
So I am feeling very sorry for myself and had to moan to the world. To make matters worse, I sliced my finger along with the onions trying to make tea, and then Heidi pulled at the huge graze on my shoulder. Ah well, I'll mend. I am so grateful that Heidi was in the car and not in my arms, and that there were lovely ladies to look after me, and that we have a car which meant that I didn't have the long walk after the fall.
Heidi and I spent some time in the thrift shops this afternoon (short walk good for stiff muscles) and bought 5 pots for our herbs for a total of £1.35, not bad hey? We also bought the seeds and so tomorrow or the next will plant them ready to germinate on top of the fridge. Our herb garden will hopefully be up and running soon. Hopefully we'll be able to have good supply this summer and then make some flavoured oils and vinegars for Christmas presents. But....that may be counting my herbs before they grow!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I like driving in my car!

Posh cars are nice to drive. Even on the other side of the road. I got my courage together this afternoon and drove home from Airdrie ( a nice quiet town about 15mins north). V lovely. Tom only had to prompt me a couple of times to keep watch out for the parked cars on the right of the car! The width of the car as well as having no spacial awareness for that side of a vehicle are not a good combination. Tom reckons I'll be fine till I get confident and then it's the time you make mistakes. I asked him if he'd made any yet, but he confidently informed me he doesn't make mistakes!
Tom's currently sitting rocking our small girl to sleep. I wonder who'll drop off first?
We met up with British friends today and they asked us if there is anything that we are missing yet. Asides from you lovely people the thing that sprang to mind was gravy granules, and decent chocolate. Strange what you find you want, we'll gt some brought out with our first visitor who arrives in 3 weeks. I'm sure as time goes on there will be other things that seem worth missing.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Cultural inductions

Over the past few days I've been having some true Canadian experiences.
Mt first trip to Tim Horton's was yest. and was everything coffee places look like in the movies, complete with 20min queue for the drive thru (I kid you not) and the police officer coming in, and having coffee and donuts. I made the comment that I used to think that the movies were stereotyping until moving to North America and discovering that they are in fact real life.By the way TH is a coffee chain that is Canadian and not an American import like the rest. To have a complete experience I really should have had a double double which the natives understand is a double sugar double cream, but I was confused about till someone helped me out. I did however have a donut and stayed clear of the steeped tea! What kind of advert is that offering steeped tea! There's a reason that the word is makes it sound drinkable. A box of Timbits to take into the office completed my education. They're the little bits out the middle of the donuts. Good marketing hey?
Then my friend told me that they had seen some loons on a walk, not too strange yet, but these loons were on a I did ask what they were. A national bird, on my dollar coin and the reason that the dollars are called loonies (and the two dollars are called doonies!!!). The thing is that grown people really do ask you for loonies which is still making me smile.
My final education was getting registration today for our new car. Yes our car. How cool is that. We have had a tiny(!) car donated to us, so if any of you need a ride in a Lincoln Continental please do come and pay us a visit. Anyway I had to go today to register it, with my insurance card and a bill of sale aka receipt (for a donated car, but we got around that!).

I hand over the paperwork (plus ID and the fee as always) and she pulls out a registration plate and we're all happy. It's bizarre walking out with a plate in your hand. And it's only one on the can add all kinds of happy or tacky messages to the front by yourself. I actually forgot to hand over the fee, collect my new plates thanked her and turned to leave, when she had to rather embarrassingly remind me that it's 80$ thankyou :) I'll post pics soon. Remember donated...not bought!

So we're off to watch Tom play soccer with some guys from church tonight, in our limo. Fun!