Western education 2013

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A week of reflection... and yes, a little planning...

I have some downtime now that the school year is officially over for high school students.  There are opportunities to volunteer this summer for new technology based daycamps which I will consider participating in.  For now, I am puttering endlesly (and loving it) in my urban garden.  It is easy to get lost in weeding, photographing and blogging on a passion for growing and learning new techniques.  

This week saw the passing of a friend's mother Lynda, who tirelessly devoted her time, love and energy into her grandchildren and volunteering at the LRCP.  You will be dearly missed by all whose lives you touched.  She died of a massive heart attack and her brave eldest grand daughter re-started her heart in time for the arrival of the paramedics....that is a testament to good parenting!!!  Dana, Glen and the kids.... our hearts and prayers are with you all at this time.

The funeral was on Monday and I chose to spend the time with my Mother after already planning to speak to her about her and Dad's funeral arrangements.  Her friend Fred was showing me a list of charges that he paid for his wife's cremation.... so what did he get for just over $7,000??  Well, her ashes are still sitting in a velvet bag in his room.  For just two days of obituaries in the paper..... was $1,000 dollars???????  The box she was cremated in was just over $400.... and the list goes on.  So I went online and chose the basic cremation with ashes presented in a free plastic container... with no service, no expensive announcement cards, obits in the paper and it came to $2300.  I then contacted an online Urn company and came up with some really neat ideas for what I thought was appropriate...

ECO PODS - these little charming pods are made for either storing ashes or directly planting them in the ground where they will bio degrade.  They are $15 per pod.  I particularly love this idea... and it will neatly feed a lovely rosebush planted right above it.  If your family wants a keepsake Kree (small urn) or jewelery to hold a tiny amount of ashes.. then that too would be a lovely touch.  Depending on the amount of ashes... you could have them sent to Switzerland to have them compressed under extreme pressure to make an 8 faceted diamond... to the tune of about $2700.  Even this last option with the cremation would have been cheaper than my friend Fred's wife's funeral. Of course the most inexpensive route is to donate your remains which will then be cremated and returned to next of kin for free.

I have decided to go with the Eco Pod and a little locket to hang from the wall or a Christmas tree... depending on the season.... as a reminder that I am always close by.
Thelma has a seizure.... as I am texting a friend and HOLY CRAP, she just keels over sideways and flops onto her back where I catch her eyes rolling up into the back of her head!!!  I yelled so loud that she simply rolled back over and stood up.  Poor Max came tearing up the stairs just as I began to tearfully cradle her in my arms.  She just ambled over to her sleep pillow in the corner and went to sleep as if nothing had happened.  Of course this gets posted on FB and low and behold.... I have some pretty twisted friends who though my posting was pretty funny...looking back, I guess it was kind of comical..... after all, I did yell loud enough to wake the dead or prevent Thelma from going skyward. I remember yelling at my Dad when his eyes rolled into the back of his head a few years ago on his way skyward.... only he didn't return until he touched the ceiling.... I now wonder how loud I really am... please reserve comments.

My Mom's dog has now started peeing in the dining room and is completely oblivious to the not so happy glare.  All the animals in this house are reaching the same age...O-L-D... and I am sure we will be saying good bye to at least one this year.  Despite removing the neuroblastoma from Thelma's paw... I believe she has one in her belly as well..... sigh.  She is a great dog and so loving.  

OK, now that we have all the 'morbid' items on this week's blog... and after Max has been elected to bury the baby bunny that looks suspiciously like it has been mauled by our cat who walks nonchalantly past me when I opened the sliding door before coming upon the evidence.  Max buries the bunny next to the compost Max, no worries honey... you did a great job.  Personally, I would have had a quick burial across the street where once a city tree stood before being mauled by the unpleasant occupant of the house.  

Since we are talking about wildlife... Monday, while minding my business watching the electrical crew through the backyard on the street behind us... a large shadow approached our backyard and HOLY Freakin' COW..... its a big Heron come to visit our pond!!!!  Only it sees me waving frantically and yes, calling Max (good thing he works at home undisturbed by his wife who is now home full days) to come check out the big bird landing on the roof.  He manages to meander up the stairs to see me relocating our King Fisher statue to let big bird know, we already have a solitary pond predator.  He does not see the quickly departing Heron as it soars overhead to find a quieter fishing hole.... I am sensing a theme this week.... yelling for Max.... and then today....

...... yelling AT Max... Passport Picture Day.... happens at Shopper's Drug Mart where we likely paid more than Costco and which took the girl behind the camera about 25 shots to try and catch a pic of Lydia without the demonic red eye look.... you would think with the $4 extra they charge, they could afford a camera with red eye reduction... finally after many many many attempts, we got what might pass for a good picture.... and then we got home.  I asked Max for the pictures after I had filled in all the information on the sheets and he said he gave them to me in the store.... No, the young lady gave me the receipt and you paid for it which means you should have them in your possession.  Apparently, after dumping my purse out.... I should have done this a long time ago.... there was so much unnecessary hand wipes, kleenex, wrappers etc but alas no pictures.  "Call Shoppers"  I glared at him after having a loud melt down. He was on the phone and then he was gone from the driveway... it seems he left the photos on the counter of Shoppers.  A sheepish grin upon his return and we were on our way to completing the rest of the paperwork. Tomorrow we go to submit it and pay what amounts to being a lot of money for 4 people!!!!  This, just in case I find myself somehow crossing the border for a shopping trip...or two over the next few months.

Kale Kale.... and more Kale
I have grown so much Kale that I am now looking for takers on this veggie... I do juice it but sometimes it causes spasms in my liver.... I still like it but now I need to cook it.  I really prefer eating raw.  So tonight I had to remove about 12 plants to make room for the ever expanding squash growing on either side of the trellis in the Kale and Beet bed.  I juice every morning so I think I will just have to juice the Kale anyway.  I do have some takers for plants and leaves.....enough to feed the whole neighborhood.  I am thinking that instead of having a yard sale this weekend, we should build a veggie stand and just sell to whoever meanders by!!!!  The peas taste yummy and are almost ready to harvest the first crop.  Tomatoes are beginning to grow well and I should have my first crop of these in about 2 -3 weeks.  Yummy, can't wait to make salsa... and the peppers are growing fast as well.  The sweet yellow banana peppers have grown overnight.  

My eldest son William has officially received his Artillary cap badge and entry into one of Canada's oldest regiments on Monday 23rd of June, 10 months after entering bootcamp.  He is pictured here with his cousin Chelsea who ironically moved to this base last summer.  I am so glad he had his amazing cousin to share his really special day and of course, his new gal pal.  I am so incredibly proud of my son and the dedication and hard work he has shown all along in his military career.  xoxoxo

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