Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer Day


Today was nice and relaxing. I started the day off with an Alanon meeting, then had a long, slow lunch with the girls on the back porch, then went kayaking in the canoe canal. That turned out to be way more tiring that I thought. Last summer I could paddle for a few hours without getting tired. Today I didn't make it too far before my arms were burning. As I'm still sore from soccer a few nights ago, now my whole body is sore! I had to rest at home for a few hours before being able to get to the evening chores. Ah, this is the life- play, rest, play, rest!

I've got great pictures, but somehow can't remember how to get them on here! Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Vacation


Today was our first full day of summer vacation at home. We spent it sleeping in, picking strawberries, swimming, and picking and shelling peas from our garden. I am determined to be done with needing sleeping pills, so I went without last night. I fell asleep sometime around 12:30 and woke up at 2:30. I fell back to sleep somewhere around 6:30. Oh how I dread the wee hours of the morning when I'm wide awake and no one else is. The nice thing, though, is that I can sleep in as long as I want so I'm not too grumpy during the day. I played a full game of soccer last night as there were no subs- two 45 minute halves and I am so sore today! But it feels great that I was able to play that much. I'm getting my mojo back!

The girls are so happy and relaxed and today they were a joy to be around. Kaycee picked all the peas from the garden and she and I sat on the porch and shelled them and chatted. It was very sweet. Karina is trying to earn extra money so she weeded the flower beds. Who are these children!!?? I can especially see the change in Karina as she is so relaxed and happy now. She is big enough now to ride in the front seat with me, and on the trip she talked and talked about so many things. She hasn't talked like that in a long, long time. I think I haven't been so available to listen, and she has been stressed the last few months of school.

I also spent some time changing my bedroom from a sick room into a recovery room. I'm not quite done yet, but almost. I love summer!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Last Day in Vancouver

It was our last full day in Vancouver yesterday. We spent it exploring different beaches. I was looking for a certain beach that I thought looked good on a map I had. It ended up being near the University of BC. To get to it we had to park, then walk a few blocks along the side of a narrow road, then down 550 steps through a beautiful forest. We discovered that the beach was a “clothing optional” beach, but didn’t want to turn back after all the walking to get there. I tried explaining to my puritan daughters that going nude is no big deal for many people, but they were horrified at the nude people. I couldn’t stop laughing at the way they would get a glimpse of someone, then quickly look down and pretend not to see them. This trip has been so good for them to be exposed to different cultures, customs, and languages. They’ve been pretty sheltered and isolated from the rest of the world in Eugene, and it’s so exciting to see them experiencing a different country.

As always for us, it can be hard being on vacation because we are all three together all the time. The girls don’t get along too well, so it finally got on my nerves yesterday. I struggled with how to get them to quit bickering with each other, and I finally decided that the consequence for insulting each other was that for each insult, they had to then turn around and give a complement. They wouldn’t stop with the constant bickering and insults, even with this new rule. So, since we were on vacation and had all the time in the world, when it got really bad I stopped what we were doing and returned to the apartment. I had the girls write down 50 things to be grateful for and 10 things they liked about each other. I went across the street and ate a chocolate pastry in the park while they worked on their assignment. When I got back, they had actually completed their tasks and they had a good gratitude list. I had them each read their compliment list to each other and it turned out to be very sweet. Today went much better and they got along very well and we were all happy and relaxed.

My energy level has been steadily increasing. I still get tired in the middle of the day, but with a break and a rest I’m ok for the rest of the day. It feels so good to be getting active again!




Sunday, June 21, 2009



I'm having trouble posting pictures onto the blog, but they can be viewed at my facebook site.

We are loving Vancouver and the feel of being in a different country. The girls don’t really remember being in Germany, so this feels like their first “foreign” experience.

The drive up was grueling and long. My arm started aching from holding the steering wheel. We spent the first night in Grand Mound, WA, at Great Wolf Inn. This place is a kid fantasy come true. It’s a huge hotel with a water park in the lobby. We played there for 2 days. Normally I don’t do big water slides or anything fast and scary. But this is the first vacation post-cancer where I’ve felt good, and I was really looking forward to playing with the girls. This past year when we’ve gone to pools I’ve sat in the hot tub while they play. I was so excited to be feeling better and my plan for this vacation was/is to be a full participant in it. So, I went down the Tornado slide with Karina. It was SO scary! I was shaking by the end. It made me feel so alive, and I am determined to experience all that life has to offer, so I went again. I played a lot with Kaycee too and we enjoyed ourselves so much. By the time we left, my arm was so sore from all the playing and I still had hours to go to get to Vancouver. By the time we arrived I was exhausted and grumpy and in pain from my arm. Luckily we are staying in a very cool apartment so I got together a quick dinner and we went to bed.

Today was our first full day here. The apartment is right across the street from a nice park and a few blocks away from a busy downtown area. Today we saw a dragon boat festival and went to a science museum (like Omsi). I had such fun. Instead of sitting on a bench watching the kids play, I was able to play with them. Everything was hands-on and so cool. And we had a view of the dragon boat races from most of the windows. Our favorite thing was to have our picture taken, then watch as a computer “aged” us. Kaycee at 70 was very funny!

This evening we hung out at the park across the street and went walking in search of an internet cafĂ© so I could post some pictures. The people here are so pretty! The men wear the most interesting shoes, and we keep seeing beautiful young women walking past the apartment on their way down town, dressed in high heels and little black dresses. We are amazed at how far and fast they can walk in their heels. There are people from all over the world here and we are trying to count how many different languages we’ve heard. We heard a little girl having a tantrum in French (tantrums are so much less annoying in French) and bought cakes from a man from Transylvania. I checked a Starbucks for free internet and found out that it wasn’t free. As I was leaving, one of the employees, a young Canadian boy, followed me out and pointed out a local coffee shop down the street that he said had better coffee and free internet. The girls and I headed that way and passed an Indian restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, a Greek restaurant, and a Denny’s advertising their Grand Slam Breakfast. What a neat city. It feels European to me and light years away from Eugene, Oregon.
So far we have seen the following sports being played as we’ve driven around: street hockey, lawn bowling, bad mitten, soccer, and tennis. We’ve seen many, many roller bladers and I can’t wait to try ours out along the sea wall.

Vancouver, the city of friendly, pretty people.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Beginning of the Story


We are packing and getting ready to head out in a few days for our adventure into Canada! We've never been before and can't wait to go. The girls' last day of school is tomorrow- Karina is off to middle school and Kaycee is off to upper elementary school in the fall. They are growing up! I am off to the next adventure in my wonderful life.

I am sitting on my goddess porch as I write this- my great 40th birthday gift from my wonderful friends. My porch has been transformed into a peaceful zen-like area where the girls and I now sit to eat, read, write, and relax. The sound of the wind chimes and the water fountain, and the sight of the plants and prayer flags pull the stress right out of me!