Category Archives: May 2013

Birthday celebrations


It appears May is a rather auspicious month for birthdays in our family.

O It was my sister Anja’s on May 1st

O my own and my nephew Michael’s both on May 4th

O niece Jennifer’s May 5th

O our son Tim’s May 13th, which we were thankfully also able to celebrate before I left for Ecuador!

O close family friends, but really, more like extended family, Gary Dawe May 16th and his wife Jennifer, May 20th who …. I have to report this …. I am so excited!! ….. will be adding a November birthday into our family mix! Jennifer’s dad Al, our long time good friend, and his lady Mary, were on hand for the celebrations!! Yes, a baby is on the way!! Wow … seems only yesterday, two six year old little girls were playing dress up games in our playroom in Dalhousie …. flash forward 25 years and here they are, mommy and mommy to be! Hurray …. get to cuddle and snuggle with a newborn again in six months!

O my good friends, but again, more like family to me, Linda and Court’s daughter Jennifer is
May 14th

O Teresa Gauss, my sister Maija’s mother-in-law celebrated her 90th birthday on May 14th!!!

O my sister Raija May 21st

O niece Kellie May 26th

O my Dad’s was May 28th ……

Whew!!! …. but loving all the birthday celebration dinners this month 🙂 We also added Sarah’s June 25th birthday into the celebrating as I will be away.

Aliana and I head to the river to explore and throw rocks and such after dinner …. 22 month olds and restaurants …… hmmmmm, somewhat incompatible after an hour or so 🙂 hence the little walk outside River Cafe! Aliana apparently dressed herself for dinner … independence, it would appear, comes early 🙂 …. current favourites are pink lace leggings and tutu, gifts from her nana Overmann, enhanced further with rubber boots and favourite colourful hoodie!! ….. no such thing as an ordinary dress and shoes for our Aliana!
















Spring 2013 rolls along ….


As a young child, I kept a rather sporadic diary for a number of years …. scribbling down random thoughts here and there ….. that pattern reappears with my adult blog/journal/diary …. realizing it is over two months since my last attempt at arranging my thoughts into some form of written/typed order …. time! ….. sometimes the words, much like thoughts, amble and ramble along, helter skelter, like the ebb and flow of life itself 🙂 Young Aliana continues to draw my attention and presence to Calgary …. any contemplations for dusting off my wanderlust wings has certainly taken a back seat. Being a grandparent is a whole new journey, presenting a myriad of daily delights. It has been a surprisingly easy focal shift from my global volunteering and travels. I have, quite simply, moved into the zen of grand parenting ….. a rather easy slip back into the world of the young exploring mind …. playing in snow drifts …. watching Aliana eating her first handfuls of newly fallen snow was sweet as I watched her little face break out with surprise and delight at the texture and taste …. we play almost daily in neighborhood parks ….. I am revisiting the experience of life through the eyes of a child! Never an indoor sort, I indulge and introduce my love of nature and the outdoors to Aliana. We walk the neighbourhood turf of her home, identifying birds, trees, buses, cars, trucks, planes and helicopters, playing in parks, pointing out the seasonal progression of nature …. trees with their delicate little buds, waiting for the warmth of spring to unfurl and unfold …. all these observations continue growing her vocabulary …. so quick, this progression of human development ….. sigh …… with a smile :).

Many years ago, a tradition was born, or more appropriately, it grew into a tradition, of a yearly ‘girl’s week’ with Sarah …. one year to Vancouver, a few times on high school trips to Thailand and Malaysia, where I was parent volunteer with a hundred grade 11 and 12 students (quite possible a touch of insanity surfaced volunteering for that post :)!!) or visits to my family in Kelowna and Vernon, a summer jaunt to Puerto Vallarta, where we hiked in the jungle …. another year, a heavenly Hawaiian spa week, many trips exploring Banff’s hiking trails, or Victoria’s tidal pools, or often, if money and time were a restraint, as they frequently were over the years, a day hike and picnic in our own beautiful back yard of Bragg Creek or Kananaskis! …. Brian, took our Tim on ‘guy adventures’ of their own in the same time period …. creating a bank of memories and experiences for our children.

So with that in mind, and with Sarah’s husband Rob working part time in Vancouver for the last few weeks, we catch a flight to the coast! …. Sarah and Aliana to enjoy quality time with the other leg of their little family, yet allowing us to also enjoy some ‘girl time’ during the days as Rob worked. Leaving behind a snow laden Calgary to breathe the moist west coast air was sheer heaven …. the contrast is always so striking in spring …. Vancouver is but a short hour or so flight from Calgary yet worlds away …. the greenery is everywhere!! …… trees and flowers in bloom, warm sunshine, moist air and the sea, the glorious sea!! We walk the beach along Stanley Park, the marina pathway, the eclectic and interesting downtown scenes and streets of Vancouver ….. squeezing in a birthday spa day for both Sarah and I, (I will be away for her birthday next month) at the new Fairmont Pacific Rim Willow Stream, a delicious birthday brunch at Hotel Georgia …. we make our way to Stanley Park, play on the beach with Aliana, refuel at the Tea House Cafe, savour a chilled sauvignon blanc, feast on a tasty array of appetizers ….. a fine West Coast afternoon!! ….. we lingered long, with Aliana cooperating beautifully!

Of course, a visit to the coast is never complete without a a drive to Mickey and Gordon’s home near Crescent Beach …. A quick stop and we are off to the beach, a few miles away, where Mickey, Sarah, Aliana and I stop for a delicious seaside lunch of fish and chips (we left Gordon happily tending his garden) … Mickey of course, being one of the best grandparents ever, and always prepared with fun surprises, brings along some beach toys (tupperware dishes, cookie cutters, spoons 🙂 allowing for Aliana to explore the beach, digging up sand, shells and rocks! Love love love the West Coast!! A most refreshing respite from Calgary’s seemingly never ending wintry vistas …….