Monday, April 25, 2011


IT"S SPRING....sort of. No buds on the trees yet, but the snow is melted in the yard and there are flowers poking up through the mud. That's good enough for me!!!
Speaking of spring- I promised a story about trains and New York so here it is! SPRING STREET!
A few years ago, I took Paige to New York with me on one of my art show trips. We had such a ball, but yes, Matilda, we had a few country hick moments.
We had met Colleen, my art director and Janet, an artist friend of mine who was born a raised in New York, for a walk through Central Park-BEAUTIFUL, by the way! We were thoroughly and completely google eyed at the richy rich houses on the upper East side. The ending to the day was a trip to Soho. We walked to the subway and found it to be very crowded. As the train pulled in, we saw that the cars were cram packed as well. It's always a crap shoot as to which door to stand in front of and you have to make an uneducated guess as to which car will have room for you. Paige and I got our game on very quickly and being the shrewd strategical wizards that we were, decided to walk a few cars down the track, because no body ever thinks of that! Everybody always tries to get into the middle cars, so we would outsmart them. I told Paige be ready and shove her way in! Big rogo on the rogometer! Got it, Mom, over and out.
The doors open and there is no room in the inn! BUT- I am not to be deterred- we are small, we will fit. So I jump into the 4 inches of space that is left in front of the door, and because Paige is a dutiful daughter, she makes the attempt to follow me. I turn around and see her sweet little face with her huge eyeballs popping, with so much determination to get on the train, but to my horror, Paige is flying into the subway car just as the doors are shutting. I have visions of "the 3rd rail"... (what ever that is- I don't really know what it is but I have heard of it on shows like Law and Order and someone is always dead because of it, so I know it's bad)- It will zap and sputter my youngest child into a crispy critter- so I grab her arm and pull.

Interesting side note. I always thought the doors would pop back open if something was caught in them, but not so! OH NO- They just keeeeeep closing.
Paige is sandwiched in the door half in the car and half out and that can't be good so I yank with all I've got and spfwwip! She lands in the car, with a triumphant smile on her face- WE DID IT!!! We got on that subway car when there wasn't a single inch of room- How New Yorker is THAT! WHOOOAHHH! We look around and we realize just a tad too late that our guide to Soho and points south is still on the subway platform with a look of horror on her face. I am thinking good heavens girl, buck up- you are from New York for Pete sake, you should be good at this catching the train and all. I couldn't believe these two rural Sallies had bested her at jumpin the train!!! I know now that this look of dismay was not because she didn't catch the train. She just couldn't believe we were so insane! As the train pulls out, she snaps back into chaperon mode. I will never forget the site of Janet, running along the subway cars screaming at the top of her lungs- and of course in her thick Hoboken accent "Git aff an Spring Street!!!" SPRIIING STREEEEET!!
Spring street- no problem- got cha! SUCKAS!!
We got off and waited for oh about 2 minutes. (This 2 minutes has great significance)
When Janet and Colleen caught up to us, Janet is most wide eyed and asks us "What were you thinking???" Well, this was our train and we had to catch it, right? We were just making darn good and certain we didn't miss our train. Pretty good eh!
" You realize another one comes along in 2 minutes, right? " IF the train is full, all you have to do is wait for the next one. You don't split Paige in half trying to cram into a full car as the doors are shutting!"
OOOOHHHH! Hadn't thought of that, to be honest! heheheheh
They thought we were such hicks, and we were but man we had some fun in the city that never sleeps! I could tell you about going to the Roxy every night and eating cheesecake until we popped and going to WICKED, and the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and walking up Manhattan in the rain so hungry and not being able to decide on a place to eat and Paige is getting low blood sugar grumpies and just when she can't go another step and she is at the end of her rope the wind blows her umbrella inside out!! You had to laugh!! I wet my pants but it was all good because we were soaked anyway. I love New York. I don't even care that I am from Raymond with a population of 4500. I don't even care that I cry when I see the Statue of Liberty and ground zero. Nope- I relish every sight and sound and smell-(well maybe not EVERY smell,) but I do have me some GOOOOOD time in that thar city!
And speaking of spring....
Happy day after Easter. I was so looking forward to Easter Sunday and the spirit you feel at church on that most special of Sundays. I was very disappointed though, when it seems the folks in charge forgot it was Easter or something. No talks on the Savior or his Atonement and Resurrection. So I just had to find things to read and watch on my own. If you haven't watched "The Passion of the Christ" you should. It always gives me such a feeling of gratitude and awe for Jesus Christ, what he went through for all of us, so that we don't have to suffer for our mistakes and weaknesses. I am one very blessed girl from rural Alberta! And watch out New York- I am coming in a few weeks and I am taking on the buses!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Planes, trains, and automobiles.

Well you know about the planes. Enough said on that subject. I don't hate trains. In fact they are pretty fun as far as transportation goes. I had never been on a passenger train so a few years ago, Paige and I had Stewart drop us off in Shelby, Montana, and we rode the Amtrak to West Glacier National Park, which is 8 miles away from Lake 5 where we spend the summers. It was a hoot, and as far as I know, nobody got sick on the train, and if they did they could get to a loo, so no technicolored yawning into a tiny little bag.
SIDE NOTE: Sean Davis-Brads brother, who is an EMT in Calgary and deals with my most hated thing every day, told me to use Vic's Vapo rub, earplugs, and a mask and get on the dang plane already. He calls it the technicolored yawn. Love that- my new favorite saying. Covers all the bases, don't you think!!
I do, however have a love hate relationship with subway trains. I love the fact that once you get your directions straight and you figure out how to use them, you can get around pretty well and for not too much money. But I have had a few mishaps to be sure.
When Whitney and I and Brad went to Greece the spring before Whit got married, we learned the ropes pretty quickly and we were peeling all over Athens in no time. The only problem was that at random, very inopportune moments, the subway workers would go on strike- apparently they had something better to do that day. You would go to get on the train and the doors would be shut with a hand scribbled note stuck to the gate, sometimes in English, mostly in Greek- but we got the gist..ON STRIKE... So we would get stuck in far away places with no way to get back to home base. Well we did try to get a cab. PPPFFF! I am not sure how cab drivers in Greece make money, because all they do is drive around in an empty cab, yelling, honking and smoking. In Greece the proper way to hale a cab is, you stand on the side of the road and yell out where you want to go. So we tried it. All we got was very rude and annoying uplifted chins. Translation- "No freaken way lady, I am not going to interrupt my day to go there. SO we thought maybe they just don't like to turn the cab around. Maybe U turns are some kind of bad Greek karma that might invite the evil eye or something. Maybe we have to be on the other side of the street so that they are already headed North. We tried that- more ignorant chin lifting. We stood there yelling Naonia for 45 minutes until a bus came that was heading north so we just jumped on. We didn't have a clue how to pay, so we didn't, figuring if they really wanted money from us, they could jolly well come and get it-which we knew would NEVER happen because there were 256 people crammed on that bus which seated maybe 40. AND to make matters worse, because of the strike, the bus stopped every 15 feet-(I am not exaggerating) and more people would cram in. The stop and go effect had adverse effects on Whit. I looked at her and she was the color of cotton. I said are you ok? NO I feel like I'm going to...yup... up favorite thing in the whole wide world. So I start frantically pushing all the buttons and pulling on all the ropes I could get my clammy hands on, which really wasn't necessary because the bus stopped every few feet as it was but it gave me something to do other than panic and ZHAZAM, the bus stopped. Out we go spilling onto the crowded sidewalk where Whitney, to my amazement, bent it comes oh crap I can't watch... wait- she held it together! Halleluia! How she didn't lose it is beyond me. When I started walking away so I could pretend I didn't know the girl puking on the sidewalk, she must have got scared I would leave her in the middle of Athens- Brad had sort of wondered off as well. Can you blame us? Well yeah you can but on with the story.
All right, what are our options here. No bus-that's out, can't even buy a cab, let alone rent one, and the subway is still closed. We do know we are headed North, which is where we are staying- Northern Athens, in Naonia, so the only option left to us is we walk...and's 300 degrees in the middle of the day. In retrospect, it was kind of a unique way to see many parts of Athens. Every once in a while we would ask someone if we were going to eventually get to Naonia. Sometimes we got an answer, sometimes not. We figured as long as we kept the subway on our right side, we would get there and eventually, 2 long hours later we stumbled onto our beloved Naonia and our street. It was a modern day miracle of the highest possible order! We fell into our apartment, we each took a cold shower and slept the rest of the day away. We deserved it!
Next time I will tell you about the New York Subway. Gotta love trains!! I bet you just can't WAIT!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Have phobia- MAY travel...

I am trying desperately to make a decision here. Do I go to New York for the huge Surtex art show or do I stay home and cower in the corner? I have a teeny weenie confession: I HATE TO FLY. If I am with other people it's ok, because I can take drugs and be gorked out of my mind, and they just steer me around the airport in a drug haze and I don't remember a thing. But when I go alone- I have to have some wits about me or I would end up sleeping on the floor in the mens restroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma and missing a connecting flight because heaven forbid you fly direct from Raymond Alberta Canada- THAT is not a pretty picture.
SIDE NOTE: That is another strike against going. I have to drive 2 1/2 hours to either Great Falls, Montana or Calgary, Alberta to catch a flight, and there is usually a layover with a connecting flight and it's literally a 5 am to 9 pm day. GGRRRR. You people who zip to the airport in 20 minutes, hop on a plane and fly direct have no idea how lucky you are!!! I may as well live in outer darkness Podunkville- OH WAIT....I DO!!!
The silly thing is, I am not afraid of the airplane ride itself. I am not afraid of crashing- I can think of far worse ways to exit this life. No, my fear is totally insane. It's the shape of the airplane, the claustrophobia, and you can't get up and leave when things get dicey - it's the fact that always, without fail, people loose their lunch on airplanes and THAT, my dear readers is the BIGGEST phobia of all. Yup- I can not stand to see, hear or smell anyone throwing up. I get hot and clammy even if someone tells me they FEEL sick! I have panic attacks and I have actually jumped out of moving cars to escape the scene of a sick person. Can't quite jump out of a moving airplane though- I believe that is frowned upon. But I have wanted to several times.
You may wonder what happened when my kids got sick. For some reason, I was able to handle them- possibly because I started out small-as did they- with just spit up. But as they got bigger I dealt with it. Not all the time. If they missed the mark- Stew cleaned it up, sweet and kind husband that he is. I really believe that because God knows me and loves me and he knew I would have kids that occasionally got the pukes, I would need some help. I do better with the girls too. Kurt is on his own. That might be because he brings it all the way from his toenails. The girls are more lady like- if that is possible.
Ok - enough of that- I am making myself ill.
Another reason I don't want to go is the world is totally and completely bonkers right now. New York is nuts!!!! They are talking about a city wide strike. Just my luck- I would be stuck there forever because there isn't a government in the world who can get anything done right now. I would be homeless in NYC- living with the vagrants under the subway- and they might throw up! Oh the horror of it all.
I wish I wasn't such a travel wimp. I have friends who travel to all kinds of exotic destinations and everything that happens to them is an ADVENTURE. I wish I could be like that. Maybe it's the alone thing. I have taken my kids with me to various places and Stewart and I have gone to Mexico and Hawaii several times. But New York is business and it's just not practical to drag Stewart along for the ride.
So every year, I start in January, trying to decide if I should go to the May show in New York. I fret about it for 4 months. Sometimes I talk myself into it but most times I talk myself out of it.
I love New York most of the time. But travel now a days is a total crap shoot. And then there is the full body grope or porn picture dilemma. Which one of those humiliating injustices do I choose?
I will most likely go... Or maybe not.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

God's little tricks- ooops- I mean miracles.

Life is one of God's miracles to be sure- but sometimes I feel like I've been duped. Do you sometimes get the feeling you are not quite given all the facts so you plunge ahead full throttle, not really knowing the outcome or the consequences? I am thinking that's the way God planned it, because if we knew how hard some things would be- we wouldn't do some of this life stuff. Like kids for example. He doesn't tell you that you will NEVER and I mean NEVER get another good nights sleep! It's just not fair. I am thinking this is just one of God's little tricks, one among many. He has quite a few sneaky little tricks I have found. Like this sleep thing. When you are a little kid, you never want to take a nap or go to bed. When you are a teenager, you can stay awake all night but then you get yourself into trouble... big time. (I say it's God's doing but it's probably more to do with hormones- umm hummm, ok-so maybe the hormones are Gods trick then.) In your 20's, you straighten up and fly right, get married (don't even get me started on that "trick" hormones again) and have a few kids- Right now you COULD sleep but your babies and toddlers keep you awake. In your 40's your teens keep you awake all night. You exhaust yourself raising the kids, all the while thinking when they are all grown and out of the house, THEN you can sleep..OH CONTRARE!!! Just when they are all gone and it's peaceful and you have the entire night to peacefully slumber away- the hormone fairy hits and BAM- you can't sleep. You COULD take a nap, but IF you take a nap- then for sure the night is going to be long and wakeful! I just don't get it. What does God have against sleep??? I have decided that this is what they mean when you die and they say that you enter into "God's Rest." Heaven is just another word for "you finally get to SLEEP!!!" But I am afraid there might be another trick to it- You probably won't NEED sleep in heaven. LONG AND HEAVY SIGH.
Speaking of babies- is that not the most dastardly trick in the book? They come so sweet and cuddly and cute and you could conceivably (nice pun) have 2 or 3 of these things before you figure out what they are like when they grow up. These cute babies are in league with their Father in Heaven. (That is precisely why they can't talk right away- or they would tell you what you were in for) Those sweet innocent babes are tricky too! They slowly turn into two year olds when you aren't looking, then four year olds and then before you have time to stop yourself from making more of them, they are teenagers!! What is with that!!! The funny part of this is, because we are somewhat sneaky and spiteful, we never warn our kids about it. We just sit back with a knowing smile and watch them create the same cycle of torture. HEHHEHEH!
But then God does his greatest trick (miracle) of all- he blesses you with so much love and joy, just enough to keep you moving forward, showing you his hand in your life and proving to you that what he says is right and good and true, that you just keep going with faith and hope of Eternal Life with him and your kids. They should call it Eternal nap. I can't wait!!!