Thursday, December 13, 2012

Plan B

I have started blogging @ a new address- please come visit me 
And thanks for your patience as I learn to maneuver in the new system. 

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Technical Difficulties

I've got a couple of stories to post but apparently gmail/blogger wants me to buy more storage space before they will allow more photos to be posted.
I have to make time to work around this...

Saturday, November 17, 2012


A four-day weekend allowed me to enjoy that balance: new home obligations, fun with hubby & friends, time for Sarah & checking off a few items on my 'to do' list.
A few photos of the highlights (much more interesting than me out for road runs in snow but mild temperatures &/or cleaning)*grin*.
These curtains were made by one of my parents' friends from fabric that was given to us from Alvin's mum. I adore the curtains & am so thrilled to be incorporating tones in our Canadian home from our time together in Zambia.

Over a few beers on Sunday night with friends (thanks to Sega for hosting that lovey function) Tom & Alvin set up a tobogganing date- what fun! Edgar was hilarious to watch- he pretty much pulled Dev down the hill on her sled as the pup focused on chasing whoever was flying down in front.

Canj & Jenny joined us as well- the weather was perfect for the season's first rip on the hills.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I got stuck

One of the things I have found interesting of late is the way people become so much more considerate during times of distress. There have been countless stories regarding communities pulling together in the Eastern USA after the devastating Hurricane Sandy & all the after effects.

On a much smaller scale with the crazy dumps of snow we've received there are countless stories at work and around town of 'good Samaritans  doing everything from helping dust hard-to-reach snow off cars, dig out snowed-in cars, pushing people out of ditches/ ruts, and people generally being a lot more understanding about being late/leaving early/ driving slowly*grin*.

I will admit that today I was the recipient of some generous people. But it wasn't my fault*ha ha ha*. I'm quite confident in my abilities to handle myself in the snowy conditions. I know I lived away for a while & missed about 7 consecutive winters...but my Pop had me out in all types of weather since the day I received my learners licence at 14 years of age. So on my very short commute home I noticed at a stop sign ahead of me...and of course on a hill...that a truck was stuck & had put on the reverse lights. I diligently stopped a ways back & allowed the truck to pull into the Tim Hortons' parking lot. Safely out of the way I took my foot off the brake & tried to start rolling up the hill; to my surprise I was stuck! Completely. One of the guys in the pick-up had come over to try to help push but nothing doing. My tires were spinning...rolling back didn't give me any more traction- oh dear.  Just as I start to sweat at the growing line-up behind me a big truck steams past, pulls over, & a young worker comes to my window & instructed me on how he was going to push me out. This man is my new hero. I've never seen anything like it. He stood by my front tire, gave a little shove & off I went through the Tim's parking lot & back to the main road.

As I drove past the intersection, sighing with relief simply to be moving again, I noticed that the line-up of cars that had built-up behind me was moving slowly- one vehicle at a time. The same two gentlemen were out pushing, shoving, huffing & getting people moving again. Could you imagine if everyday people took the time to be so nice, gracious and helpful?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Good old Snail Mail

The move into our new home has been fairly straightforward. There have been a couple "whoopsies", "wherever could I have put that", and minor adjustments to our new digs. For the most part when I'm out & about I smile thinking about how nice it is to have: a garage these snowy mornings, our very own space to invest in, a luxurious master bedroom. But there's been a little hiccough in receiving our snail mail. For the most part I've joined the masses with email, on-line payments, cell phones etc. I have though, kept a few areas for push backs (still no Facebook for me...but I do LinkedIn) - and I still love exchanging the occasional thoughtful cards via mail/post. And of course I have to support my brother the postie, right?

When we bought this place we didn't realize the mail isn't delivered to the door. A few days after move-in I called Canada Post to see about where we could collect our mail. I was assured that it would be no problem- a mere three days- for new keys to be delivered - noting that the 'superbox' is located conveniently just down the road. Sure enough, the keys are delivered (a few days late- but at the nearby post office). I was so excited I was nearly dancing down the street to the mailbox. Unfortunately the key didn't open the box. I tried a couple other compartments just to confirm I was aiming for the correct lock. I know I'm not good with locks so I called back-up (a very patient mother) to try out the keys as well. No dice.

On the phone with Canada Post on Saturday I was assured a new 'ticket' would be sent to the depot with high priority & that new keys should be available on Monday. I only get the call on Tuesday that the keys will be ready Wednesday. Snow storm= no keys Wednesday. Next day- 3 ladies trying first, to figure out how to spell my surname and second- why there are no keys. I was told I had already collected my keys.
Smoke is coming out of my ears as I get back on the phone with the depot. Unsure of what could possibly be wrong the gentlemen promises to call me at work today (Friday) with news. The keen agent called me back within 10 minutes to admit: "you have the right keys but the lock hasn't been changed".


The keen postal worker promised that he would personally take care of changing the lock for me on Friday. And you know what- he did! I need to call his supervisor & thank him/her for their one agent who took the time to listen to my problem & promptly solve it.

How's that for a happy Friday story?!*grin*

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Back to Work

My week off work flew by (as expected)- but not without getting a lot of work done around the new house & having some great visits with friends. Thanks to the many who made time to troop through our new home & visit.

The only real noticeable change is that our lovely tree had to come done because of a nasty fungus. We recruited the assistance of big strong men & made short work of the tree. I'm glad Alvin & I have the winter to decide which type of tree we'd like plant in it's stead.

Happy Guy Fawkes to those who will be celebrating on the 5th of November:-)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A few days late

...x 2
1. Here are some photos of the 'worker guys'. My folks, Jason & Tom helped us so much in our move from the apartment to our new home- below are a few photos. I don't have any of mom but it's probably just as well- she was doing all the dirty work (cupboards, windows, bleaching bathrooms)*grin*.

2. I mentioned that we were thinking of Zambia on its independence day...well a trip to a South African grocery store had both me & Alvin beaming. We found favourite snacks and even borewors- a South African sausage. We grin every time we dip into the 'cookie jar'.

I am probably also the only Alberta girl excited about our first snow fall- I shoveled my new driveway for the first, second & third time- how exciting!

Now I must dash because the chimney sweeps are here:-)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Ba Zambia

October 24th- Happy birthday Zambia!

A wee personal story to celebrate Zambia's independence day from afar:

Many of you have heard how thankful I am to have lived in a whole different world- to have opened my eyes to different perspectives & ways of living. Alvin & I shared a laugh this morning without exchanging a word. The morning news was running a story of how obesity may start being considered a disease. Alvin has commented before on how odd he thinks it is to discuss obesity as an illness. In his culture you are fat when you eat too much. Being overweight in Zambia doesn't mean someone is unhappy, unbalanced, mentally ill, or struggling with some other demons- it just means you eat too much. As I heard the morning newscaster setting up the story a little smile tugged at the corners of my mouth. I looked up & saw Alvin's expression - yes my dear, we can laugh & it's okay - it's Zambia's Independence Day.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Momentous week

I'm an 'auntie' again! One of my oldest & dearest friends just had a beautiful baby girl & I'm overjoyed after meeting her for the first time today. Alaina (mom) looks unbelievable and I can hardly wait to meet the little Miss Olivia Rose again. I'm so happy for Alaina & Marc & can't wait to spend more time with their family.

The other event that has kept both me & Alvin occupied for months is the purchase of our very first home. We have been preoccupied meeting with Realtors, lawyers, bankers, and then packing, cleaning, and moving for weeks - but today it feels great! We are thrilled with the beautiful place...but I haven't taken any photos because there are still boxes all over. My fingers are raw from all the cleaning (new & old) but we had very useful recruits over the weekend & will continue to be grateful to the folks, Tommy, & Jason in the coming weeks. I thank those who have already passed by & welcome any of you who are curious to see the place anytime- just expect to see random bits of unpacked goods in various corners. We also appreciate the generosity many of you have shared with us throughout this process - it's time to celebrate now (or sleep)*giggling*.

For the couple of you who still send me snail mail just email me & I'll share my new address- yay!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Disaster Strikes my Kitchen

I love ginger. I mean I really love ginger. I have a daily dose in my tea and can chomp fresh ginger root without thinking twice. So I find it odd that I'd never once made gingersnap cookies. And my Gran used to make a mean gingersnap. I copied the recipe my Mom had for Gran's chewy ginger cookies...and boy, did they not turn out like hers. I'll have to ask Ma what I misread...the taste is not bad (can't go wrong with ginger of course) but they certainly didn't turn out like Gran's perfectly rounded cookies with fork indentations*grin*.

After the disappointment with the cookies I decided that it was time for a run. I don't think I've had a stitch in years & my first 4km's were nothing but a moving stitch- a terribly painful stitch at that. I hit my stride shortly after the fourth & then hurt again after about the 6km mark. I did run into a gal I hadn't seen in years so that was nice...& now I'm back home feeling like a million bucks.

Of other note, I harvested what was left of my balcony plants yesterday & couldn't resist showing you all the gorgeous 'hot' peppers (I say 'hot' because they are not hot at all).

We also hit the bowling lanes last night & I thought this picture cute- it was right before little Sophie threw up on Alvin. And he still adores her of course*grin*

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Don't You Miss the Change of Seasons?

That's the question my mom used to always ask when I was living in Zambia. It's funny because I've been so thrilled with the clear change from Summer to Fall - the yellow & orange leaves against the backdrop of the stunning Alberta blue skies. I went out walking & tried to capture the tone of a perfect Fall day.

When admiring the fresh cool Fall air and that sound of crunching leaves underfoot I had to remind myself that I also adored this time of year in Lusaka. With temperatures steadily on the rise the jacaranda & flame trees would be in full bloom & started littering the roads in purples & oranges. I can't quite remember if the poinsettias & frangipanis were also blooming...but that's because I loved those trees all year round- either in bloom or completely leafless.
Ah...reminiscing...and continuing to appreciate life's simple pleasures, breathtaking beauty, and being grateful that I can appreciate living in this moment.
Happy Fall wherever you are:-)

Flame tree/ Flamboyant tree

And Oh that magical jacaranda:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Free Advertising

I don't usually promote products/ restaurants etc on my blog but I'm about to make an exception. It was my brother's birthday last weekend and the whole family got together for a dinner @ Louisiana Purchase. The food was delicious, the ambiance fun & welcoming & we - simply put- had a blast. I most certainly recommend to Edmonton-dwellers or visitors*smile*.

And just so you are all assured that this is still Sarah writing & not a hacker- I must mention here my latest excitement (& you know it's me because I am thrilled with the smallest of events). Many of you know I've been practicing some form of yoga for years. I was first introduced at 'campus rec' courses during my time @ UofA, carried on practicing in Lusaka (either in friend Heather's living room or later with Towani living the dream by being able to enjoy outdoor yoga classes). Recently I received an 'anniversary notice' from the studio I've been stretching & om-ing at for over a year now. The excitement you ask? Being introduced to a new pose- and loving it! With any new pose you can expect that I'm at the beginners phase- not advanced- & had my feet up against the wall for balance. Otherwise I tried to look a bit like this:

I believe the extreme version may end up with one bending one's legs closer to the floor*grin*.

Hahahahah. Happy Wednesday to my few readers...oh, and one last photo to keep your spirits buoyed- my beautiful 'niece' Madeline. How about that smile? I can't wait to meet her.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Same Old

I was telling the ladies at work that re-adjusting to taking the bus changed my schedule up a bit...for the first week I found myself running to catch the bus. I felt just like a little kid- lunch bag in hand tearing through the back route so commuters in cars wouldn't see me ripping up the sidewalk in my sandals. I am happy to report that I have now made the required adjustments to the morning routine & even have time to admire my surroundings these days- one day there was such a gorgeous dew/fog/mist...I had to stop to snap a couple photos.

We've had some beautiful sunsets from the balcony as well.

Tom & Devo received a 'thank you' gift that involved fresh salmon. Being that neither are too interested in fish we ended up with this amazing piece of meat. (We did end up wrapping the salmon in foil & seasoning & it was quite scrumptious)...I just liked this picture to show the size of the fish. Being that I'm still training myself to eat fish this was quite the accomplishment- getting in there with skin & bone...I would certainly do it again!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Changing Seasons

Oh I had such a wonderful weekend. Saturday was chilly so it was a day of movies & a long walk. Sunday the sun came out & Alvin & I had a date to run stairs in Edmonton's fine river valley. That was an experience. And Monday I learned how to pickle beets; I had such a lovely day with my folks - below you can observe the fruits of our labour.

I also couldn't resist including a photo of the perfect little acorns on my Pop's favourite oak tree- apparently the squirrels have a blast trying to eat the tempting acorns. I think that they're so cute!

Rain is in the forecast for the next couple of days so I am going to rip out for a quick bike ride so I don't regret staying indoors really feels like Fall is upon us now...& I'm not ready to bid farewell to summer!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ageing with Grace

I met a beautiful old lady out running the other day. The Olympics were on & I was on a tight timeline- I had to get back home to see Usain Bolt win one of his big races. So I negotiated with myself & decided I'd rip off a quick 5km route rather than complete the 8km minimum runs I have committed to throughout the summer.  I felt great. I was on the homestretch heading up the last hill til home. This is where the aforementioned old lady gave me a big smile and said:  'This is such a tough hill & you look like you're floating up it'.  Really? Floating? I Loved it. I did feel like a million bucks and was tearing up the hill...what she didn't know was that I cut my usual run short by 3km:-) I hope that when I'm old & wrinkled & out walking with a cane on a beautiful summer day that I will think to make someone else's day.

As I'm very behind on photos here are a few. Us!
My first 2 tomatoes from the balcony. Since then many have been pulled off the vine & I made fresh salsa last night- divine!
I was out at beautiful Alaina's the other weekend with Eddie. I Just love all the space, dogs, & of course the best company.
I believe Alvin & I took these photos in June- we were off on a marathon walk in & out of ravines so we thought to take photos that we'll likely eventually send back to his mom/grandma/sister/brother/aunts etc.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Quiet...enjoying the long summer days

I've stored up a couple of stories so I may break them up now that I've made time for my floundering blog. There's nothing wrong with being quiet for 2 weeks & then publishing a couple back-to-back...right?

I took photos from the first hail we received (back in June). I was excited though my pansies got a little battered. Since then we've had one more hit of hailstones.

I was hanging out with Eddie a couple weekends ago & thought he was looking so sweet & grown-up. (More shots to follow from this weekend eventually)*grin*

Heritage Days! One of my all-time favourite festivals in Edmonton. It was smoking hot & we ended up drinking more mango-slushy drinks than we did sampling foods from all over the world.
Candra did, however, suggest we try a plate from the Venezuela booth.  Toston con salsa de queso: deep-fried plantain chips w/ spicy cheddar sauce & banana peppers. I never would have dreamt up the combo myself but I loved every bite...we have decided from that experience that we will seek out a Venezuelan restaurant & try more*grin*. I love being reminded that there's so much more to learn & experience in our beautiful wide world...& of course adding a couple of names to a 'must-travel-to-one-day' list.

A little closer to home I made up a summer-berry crumble with fresh-picked cherries from Tom's yard. It was divine.

And now that the Olympics are over perhaps my posts will become a little more routine. London 2012 was amazing- I was completely hooked through the whole 2 weeks.

Monday, July 30, 2012

I'm broken

Two years back home & my tolerance of the heat is back to a Canadian 'normal'. I was sweating buckets on my walk back up the hill from the library. I was rather surprised because there's a lovely breeze- but I do still love the  heat- sweating or not- I can't get enough. On the other hand now that I'm re-adjusted to Edmonton weather perhaps winter will be a breeze for me this year*grin*.
I haven't been good about posting this month...& I keep meaning to- I've been so busy having fun that making some computer time takes a lot of effort.
What's new?
- I'm hooked on the Olympics. Alvin & I started watching Friday's opening ceremonies & now they are on constantly. I love checking out new sports & cheering for the underdog*grin*
- Alvin & I went to a fabulous comedy show- if you have the opportunity to see Kevin Hart live I'd highly recommend it (though his homepage is not the best). His show was hilarious.
- Did I already mention that we hit one of our favourite festivals? A Taste of Edmonton was grand- Al & I went with the folks & enjoyed lots of lovely food, good weather, and lots of stories.
- My  balcony flowers are once more the talk of the neighbours. The gorgeous cana lilies have started blooming!

- I hijacked Candra's birthday plans & hosted a Thai supper for 6. Carly brought the best dessert ever & we thought of Clara (rhubarb sour cream pie)- deeelicous. And thank you Car- even if you've closed your baby blues for the photo.

- Look at this giant bag of fresh home made white buns! Pop had to use up some milk & I am enjoying every bite of fresh tasty bread. And no it is not good for the waistline. I know I know.