I took my mom southwards to the Edmonton airport, and figured since it was so close to home it was a good excuse to hang out with the family for a little holiday time while I was at it. Unfortunately, I caught a cold from Amanda's kids only days before heading down there, and the excessive talking I am prone to do on a 7-hour trip in a van with another adult caused me to lose my voice. And by "lose it," I mean it was so bad that I could barely even squeak. It was that gone. The worst day was Sunday, when I wanted to take a strip off Noah for disobeying again, and could barely manage a hoarse croak. If I hadn't been so mad, I would have laughed at myself.
Anyway, since I was too hoarse to actually go visit anyone, and my father's house and yard were too hot to actually enjoy them (Saturday night set a record as being the hottest night in 52 years!), my brother Logan and I hid in the basement, I let my children watch excessive amounts of animated videos, and I read a book. Yes, it was so bad I was forced to delve into the novel I had brought with me as likely the only "summer reading" time I will get. It was tragic.
Seriously, though, I felt I did almost nothing but read all week, until bad-girl times of the morning, and barely finished the book before I came home on Friday. That fifth Harry Potter book is a doozy.
Of course, I didn't actually read all week. Last Monday we moved home base from Dad's to my in-laws, and thankfully, my voice had started to come back a bit (it was so bad the day before that I had JUDE tell Mom Winters on the phone when to expect us), so I did some visiting there. Then on Tuesday, I went to my friend Candace's for lunch. I hadn't seen her in over a year. Her two daughters are a few months younger each than Noah and Jabin, so it was fun to see how they changed. Not only that, they recently moved to an acreage, and Candace is busy fulfilling her farm-wife dream, with gusto even. You guys think I have excessive energy. You should see this woman--two kids, two alpacas, a goat, a passel of baby chicks, building coops, and stalls, and soon to have a cow and calf (said goat and cow are both for milking). Candace, you leave me speechless.
Also on Tuesday, I went and had a follow-up appointment on the Photo-comparative Blood Analysis, which I know I still have not explained here. (I'll get to it, I promise. Just like someday I'm actually going to update my survey on the right-hand side-bar!) At any rate, suffice it to say that things were much improved over last time--I had expected they would be, as my psoriasis has virtually disappeared, except on my hand, I have loads more energy than I have in years, and other than this present cold, have not been sick since the last time I was down there in April. We're not at the end of the tunnel, but Floyd (the expert) was very pleased with the improvements we saw in such a short time, and we can definitely see the end of the tunnel!
Wednesday night I got to have dinner with my dear friends Chris and Tegan, who are currently living near Lacombe. They only moved onto their acreage recently, so the driveway does not extend all the way to the trailer, and with all the rain they've been having the field they live in is a big slop-hole. Chris had to come retrieve us from our van with the quad. Here is a picture of him taking us back after supper, the older two boys tucked cozily in fore and aft positions. Also, self-portrait of Tegan and I on the flatdeck trailer behind him. (Never mind my "I'm concentrating on aiming this" smile.)
By Wednesday, I had been so inspired by my sister-in-law Ang's super-cute, super-flattering short hairstyle that I decided to go get a haircut while the getting was good. In Peace River, you have to book your hair appointments for a month in advance. Plus, I have only found one hairdresser I like, and she is on hiatus since she just had a baby. So I managed to squeeze in an appointment in Red Deer and got it chopped back up to healthy, pre-moulting-from-having-three-babies length.
I had originally thought I would head home Thursday, but decided to take the extra day and head to Calgary to see my dear friend Vicki. Every time I go there, I come home with more toys for my kids--the really cool ones, too. She gave us the slide playset in our backyard, as well as a tricycle, and this time she sent us home with a chalkboard on an easel. Jason commented, "You just can't go to Vicki's and not get stuff, can you?" I guess not, but that's okay. She gets the kids' old toys out of her house with the satisfaction they will be used, loved, and appreciated, and I get to spend time with her. It's a fair trade, I think!
The thing I heard most commonly on our trip was "Mom, today I'm going to be a _____." The blank was most often filled in with "dragon, elephant, lion, cheetah," or "tiger". In fact, I think I heard that phrase nearly a dozen times just this last Friday alone, with a different creature to role-play each time. So much fun. Well, except for the part where every single animal of choice roars. Loudly. For eight hours in a van. Ahem.
On Wednesday, as we were headed up to Lacombe from Red Deer during rush hour traffic, I had to laugh as Jude looked around our van in amazement. We were heading north on Gaetz, and he first checked in front, then beside, then behind our van.
"Mom!" he exclaimed. "There's cars all around our van!"
Do you think we live in a small town?
We got to see a LOT of farm animals this trip--plus a really, really big puff ball.
Happy New Week, friends! Hope you are enjoying your summer!