Monday, June 30, 2008

A Las Vegas Wedding

It was June 10 or 11. I got a phone call from my brother M. He was opening for my other brother, Br. Could I please retreat to a private area of the house for some very secret conversation? Once the stage was set, the bomb was dropped.

Br. wanted to take his lovely lady (K.) to Vegas and get married. Next weekend. Did we have plans?? He wanted to take us (and the rest of our, and K.'s, extended family) along. The really fun part was that the whole affair was to be a surprise for K. Now tell me, what girl doesn't want to be surprised with her own wedding?!

Oh. And an engagement, because that was still to be done.

Before you think that all involved are crazy or insane, June 24th has special significance to Br. and K. So although Br. had been planning to propose and eventually marry this girl, suddenly, it made prefect sense to get 'er done in the next two weeks.

After much scrambling, Br. managed to book K. a week of holidays, arrange flights and rooms for 26 people, plan a wedding, a reception and a honeymoon. Not only that, but he managed to have custom ordered rings ready to go 4 days before the wedding. Everyone flew out on carefully planned flights to stay at carefully picked hotels with strict instructions to be indoors by midnight on the 23rd so as not to run into the Happy (Half Unsuspecting) Couple before the Big Day.

<--I caught my brother M.'s fiancee peeking at the rings while we were at the airport.

We've pulled a number of adventures in our family but even this was ambitious. In the end, there were minimal glitches, K. was surprised with a special wedding that family was able to attend and even Br. received a surprise - 3 of his bestest buddies made it to Sin City for the big event.

Today, everyone is back at home. The newlyweds have returned to their jobs. It should be fun to hear the news spread through our small town. My brothers have always been known for their joie de vie and their half-baked schemes. The women in my family are masters of the Last-Minute-Plan-Change. We can take a lump of chaos and mash it into some semblance of scheduled entertainment - even if the entertaining factor is watching everyone get where they're supposed to be on time. I think that the success of this latest adventure is the culmination of many years of practice.

I'm looking forward to the next Big Adventure. Knowing Brother Br., he'll need to top this one sometime.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Here's A Hint...

We're home! We had a great time on our impromptu holiday and I look forward to telling you all about it as the week goes on. For now, here's a couple of hints:

...some big firsts on this trip...

...a little sight-seeing...

...a little dressing up...

...a little brother in a boat...

...and some amazing entertainment...

It all added up to one lost bag of luggage and a real quiet weekend doing laundry and filling B in on all the details of our time away.

More tomorrow...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For

Things have been a little Last-Minute-Busy around here and it's not even my fault!!!!

I have a little knitting project on the go. I saw it in this issue of Knitty. It's called BYOB. I think this may be the first pattern I've knit to spec - no colour changes, no modifications, no 'well, I'm sure this yarn will work'. I'm using every spare minute to finish this project.

BYOB, myself and the kids are taking off on a whirlwind trip for a few days. I promised R a Summer Adventure before his surgery and, as such things will, a Summer Adventure has popped up somewhat unexpectedly. It's funny the way things pop up when you put a thought out into the universe.

Another case of Be Careful What You Wish For.

Happy Summer all! I'll fill in the details around the 28th.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Snapping Turtle

I've been trying to walk the dog in the mornings. It really, really is not fun. But then I think about how much B really, really thinks getting up and going to work is not fun and I suck it up and take the silly dog for a walk. I think though that with perseverance, I could learn to like it.

We have a lovely pathway that runs behind our house, along the catchment for the overflow of the local conservation area pond. 'Nuk and I walk there. Last Monday morning I came around the bend and was met with a flooded pathway. I stopped. Considering whether I could go around the extra water, I noticed a turtle at the side of the path, her back end quite buried in the gravel. Some real nature happening there, folks. Hopefully there'll be baby turtles soon. 'Nuk and I turned and headed home where I pulled out my turtle pictures to hopefully be able to identify the type of turtle she was.

Most turtles are kind of dull coloured. I wasn't having much luck with the identification process. I knew she hadn't any stripes on her nor did she have a multi-coloured shell. That narrowed it down to two endangered species or a snapper.

Fast forward to Thursday morning. Same path. Further along, 'Nuk and I stopped to consider taking the shortcut through the greenbelt home, or do we go back along the path the way we came. It's not yet 8 a.m.; these things need to be pondered. Goodness knows where my brain was, because I suddenly noticed that 'Nuk was very nearly standing on a turtle. It was a big turtle. Shortcut it was! I rushed home with the dog and returned with the camera.

There's a funny part to all of this. Not Funny-funny. But weird-funny. Just a week ago, we got a package from the Toronto Zoo. The Package contained information about Ontario's eight turtle species and the Zoo's Turtle Tally program. And here I was wondering how I was going to be able to find a turtle to tally.

Some pics of the beast:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Incomplete Thoughts...

I figure that if I come to the keyboard with the expectation of probably not finishing a blog then perhaps something will be posted.

There's been a number of projects going on around here. Nothing too all-encompassing.
On the homeschooling front, we're finishing math and our current Story of the World reading and activities. I organized a session of Environmental Science at the local conservation area which finishes in a week. K's been writing up a storm and R has been reading on his own. We've been baking and planning and science-project-ing and hanging out and socializing and planting and observing and printing and adapting.
Building management actually managed some managing and our floors were un-carpeted and laminate was installed. New baseboards followed a week later with only a minimal amount of nagging on my part.
B and I bought bicycles, much to the kids' amazement. We've been enjoying some family bike rides this Spring. I look forward to working the kids up to across-town rides this summer.
Summer soccer has started. K decided to expand her repertoire with some team sports this year and has enjoyed her first couple games of the season.
B's job description has taken a drastic change and he's happy to be working from home this last while. I quite like it. It creates a different, more relaxed, vibe for me. For him, I think there's more disruption. However, we bought him a stylin' new coffee maker that seems to distract him from our disruptions. It's working so far.
R's just recently taken a turn for the worse in the kidney department. I've been emailing and on the phone with CHEO the last two days and it seems that surgery will be sooner than later. This is a pretty big blip on the radar for our family. I know a lot of our time and effort will be going toward getting through the prep, the procedure and the recovery - for all of us, not just R.
That's all she wrote for now folks. If I'm not traumatized by blogging for the first time in months, I'll be back.