Thursday, September 27, 2012

Culture Shock by the Fire

The other evening, shortly after dark, I was driving past the Misericordia Hospital and there was a fire outside on the sidewalk with people gathered around it.  It looked like they were dancing.  I thought to myself that it was really lovely that this family could gather around the fire while their loved one was in the hospital.  I hypothesized that maybe they were cooking some supper for their hospitalized family member.   It was a familiar scene after living in other countries for so many years and it warmed my heart to see it happening in Winnipeg.

However, as I drove closer, I could see that one of those newspaper vending machines was on fire.  The people weren't dancing, they were fanning the flames with their jackets.  And, they were not big people; they were kids.  Mini arsonists, as it were.   I was so shocked I didn’t know what to do.  The light changed and I just drove on my way.  In retrospect, I realize I should have put on my flashers and honked and perhaps called the fire department and police.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fence-Staining Still Life

I love to see the beauty that is found in real life and in real work.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A First World Problem

We have two remote controls for our garage door and one of them doesn't work very well. The problem is that it doesn't disengage; it's in the "ON" position all the time. As a result, it's very touchy. Driving over a bump or slamming the trunk shut can trigger it to go off. That's actually OK because we only need one. We have been storing the faulty one in the house and use the good one in the car.

The other day I was at home looking out the window and happened to notice that the garage door was open. I could tell that it hadn't been open long because the light was still on and the door cable was still moving. I realized that when I had picked up something from the tray inside, I had accidentally touched our faulty remote control for the garage door. I went back to the remote and picked it up. As soon as I did so, the garage door closed. I didn't even have to touch the button - just pick up the remote.

An easy solution would be to take out the battery but there doesn't seem to be any way to open up the remote without breaking it completely. I suppose I could break it, but I keep hoping that we can fix it somehow.

I put the remote down on the table by the window and the door opened again. I picked it up and the door stopped mid-way. This kept happening. Even the vibrations made when walking past the table triggered it. (We live in a wooden house, remember.) So I decided to put the remote on the window sill because that is more stable than the table. I realized that this was a temporary solution. I had to get the remote far away from the garage.

The next morning, I decided to take it to work with me and leave it there. This was easier said than done. Erik had already left for the day when I left for work. Conrad and Arthur were away. I gently picked up the remote and the door went haywire! I walked to the car and put it in the passenger seat. The door is opening, stopping, closing, over and over again. I drove out of the garage, down the back lane and half-way down the next street where I stopped the car and walked back to the garage with the the good remote control. Sure enough, the door was wide open. I closed it and walked back to the car and off to work.

I phoned Erik from work when he got home and the garage door was still shut.

The faulty remote control is in my desk at work until Arthur gets home and figures out how to fix it.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Our Mini Harvest

On Sunday afternoon I picked some tomatoes, a hot red pepper, spearmint and chives. We will eat them for supper. I took these pictures mainly to show Arthur some of the fruit of his labour. Hopefully there is something left at the end of September when he comes home!

And He's Off!

Conrad is off on his African Adventure -- except they don't go to Africa until mid-October.  Today they will be in Ontario at Pioneer Camp on a canoe trip.  Then over the next few weeks they will be in St. Boniface, Quebec City, Camp Peniel and Montreal.   

Erik and I joined him for part of the day at CMU. There was a program in one of the assembly halls and Conrad sat with his friend from High School who is off to Guatemala. (You can see Erik down at the end of the row.)

During the presentation, they made quite a few references to the Outtatown vans. Apparently, they will be sending A LOT of time in these vans!

Before lunch, they had all of the participants line up for a group photo. The photographer is up in the window moving people around. It didn't take long to get everyone in view and he snapped a few pictures. I'd like to see how they turned out....

We ate lunch outside in the warm sunshine and then Erik and I said "Goodbye" to Conrad. His next step was to fill out the application for the Burkina Faso visa.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Last Day In Town
This is Conrad's last full day in Winnipeg before he joins the CMU French Africa Outtatown group.  We went shopping downtown; here he is posing on Portage Avenue.
Game Day

Erik had a dozen guys over to play games today.
It got pretty loud at times.
Judging by all the laughing, it's been really fun.

They had 3 TV's set up in the basement and just played and played to their hearts' content.

They tied an afghan over the overhead pipe so they wouldn't bump their heads.
I'm posting this as the party is happening.
It's been going on for 7 hours now and they have consumed a lot of pop.
Not counting chips, I've fed them twice.

The kitchen is now closed!
More Highlights from Beautiful BC

Arthur's Uncle and Aunt took me up to Burnaby Mountain.
The view is great from up there.

We also enjoyed the view of their pond in the back yard. So peaceful!

Why do I feel so at home at Cyndy's place?
Because I've followed her around the world (or vice versa)
and many of our belongings overlap!
The view of New West from my hotel room.
Once again, Cyndy picked out the sushi for her prairie-girl sister.
It was delicious!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Phyllis is in Chilliwack!
I'm going to a conference later in the week in Vancouver but in the meantime, I've come early to have some fun with my sisters and parents
On Sunday we went to Minter Garden for the buffet brunch and took a walk through the gardens. 
It was a lovely day!
Here you can see us through a wall of fallling water.  Every time I see this wall of water, I think of how great it would have been to have something like this in our yard in Sudan.  It was so dry there!  Of course it would have been nearly impossible to do without electricity and/or running water!

 We celebrated Cyndy's birthday which is later in the month.  She's holding a "card" with pictures of herself when she was a baby.  The bottom picture shows her at her first birthday.  The party was on her grandfather's farm.  The picture above shows her smelling a tulip at her grandmother's house in Winnipeg.  This was likely at Easter when she was about 18 months old.
 Karla bought some corn to blanch and freeze so everyone (except me) got in on the action.
 Mom's gift to Cyndy is a new tablecloth so we went shopping for that this afternoon.  Here it is on Mom and Dad's table while they calculate and measure.