Monday, June 30, 2014

garage sale anyone?

Let me take you back to May 30.  Or was it the 31st?  Is there a 31st in May?  Whatever.  It was Saturday.  And it was time for a garage sale.  Since mom moved out of her place back in February, we stored a bunch of her stuff in our garage until such time as "garage sale season".  Specifically, Mitchell garage sale weekend - the town where my sister lives (but 5 minutes away).  They do this each year - where probably about 40% of people who live in this town have a garage sale on the same day.  Okay, maybe just 25%, but it is still a lot.
Organizing and pricing for a garage sale is not fun.  Really, it isn't.  Don't let anyone tell you differently.  The upside was that I have been to approximately 329 garage sales since we left Ecuador (a year ago!!! yikes - has it really been that long?  still miss it so much….), plus my weekly visit to the thrift store.  So I know second hand prices, baby.  I know.  That made it not quite as miserable as usual - trying to figure out how in the world to price things.  But it still isn't fun.

What also wasn't fun was the kids.  Well, the kids were fun, and they were also having fun.  On Friday evening when we were setting up, they were off playing, riding bikes and all that good nonsense.  But good nonsense took a bad turn and landed Mia on the ground in a bit of a bloody mess.
So we rinsed her off and doctored her up, using up a bunch of Kim's bandaids.  Then, maybe 15 minutes later, another Ackermann child - Lucy - also bit the asphalt.  Scraped up her knees pretty bad.  Luckily Auntie Kim had two large Sponge Bob Square Pants (Lucy's favourite…. oh, so not) bandaids.
Saturday arrived, scabs formed, and the garage sale started.  And the clouds lifted. 
Once the pricing and organizing is done and the whole thing is underway, it is fun.  Especially since their aren't a lot of over-hagglers here.  There are some, but this is nothing like Ecuador.  We had a great time hanging out together, joking around with customers, and of course - for me at least - doing a little shopping myself.  I scored a free - yes, that is right - FREE solid wood table and four chairs.  Yes, so they are in dire need of fixing and paint, and the table needs a new top.  But it was free, people.  And will be a great addition to our new room above the garage.  Happy Carla.

Timaya made some snicker doodles to sell, and they also made lemonade.  So the cousins all hung around the food station and took turns fighting over who got to sit in what chair and got to take the money serving the customers.  Kim and I were tempted to post a disclaimer that we were not liable for any dental work needed after indulging in the baked goods, but we chose to abstain.  More for comedy purposes of course, not for real.

What a bunch of weirdos.

The only real lowlight (is that an actual term?  I mean in regards to things other than haircolor?) was the "snow".  There are these trees here, forgive me for forgetting what type right this moment (perhaps poplar?), that give off a whole lot of fluff.  The females of these trees, that is.  Well, it "snowed" fluff all day and there ended up being piles of it all over everything.  Kind of crazy.  Although kind of entertaining too.
Kim and Glenda, being the amazing mothers that they are, provided snacks and a sumptuous lunch for all of the kids (our kids, that is…. not all the neighbourhood kids).  By sumptuous I mean boxed macaroni and cheese, of course… oh, and with ketchup.  And what did I provide, you ask?  Nothing.  That's right - nothing.  Because I stink at being a mother and even after 16 and a half years of it, I still don't think ahead to thinks like food.  Okay, I don't stink at being a mother (most of the time) but I still don't think ahead about stuff like feeding people.
But I did bring my phone - as evidenced by the photos.  And if you were stranded on a deserted island, what would you rather have?  Snacks and a sumptuous lunch or your phone?
Don't answer that.

stuff going on

Oh my word, I am so behind.  Ridiculous.  I'm going to try to commit to working on this for half an hour (almost) every day until I catch up.  Sometime blogging is such fun and I want to write for hours and hours.  Other times?  Well, not so much.  In fact the words guilt and drudgery come to mind.  Hmmm, kind of like today.  
You can usually guess those days as they are posts with a serious lack of humour and "energy" - not that you can really see the lack of energy but perhaps, if you are relatively intuitive, you may feel it.  I'll see what I can do to bolster the levels today, but I ain't promising anything….
This is going to be another one of those random, catch-up posts.  One big conglomeration of all kinds of stuff.
On our last trip to Fargo (those pictures have been posted for quite some time…. not that they are doing much could hanging out in cyber space), We ordered a trampoline and had it sent to the hotel at which we were staying.  Yessiree, that is what we did.  Don't worry, we called the hotel first.  The goal was to send it there in order to avoid a $25 charge from the place we usually send parcels to (much cheaper and less hassle than trying to ship to Canada).  They even helped haul the 80 lbs worth of trampoline into the car when we left.  Smart place… I'd stay there again in a heartbeat.  Service with a smile - it goes a long way, I'll tell you.
Anyhoo, Eric promptly began to assemble it.  Assemble it in the only possible spot in the yard.  Most of the yard is taken up by a very large, lovely tree.  Absolutely great for shade, wonderful green and sparkly, sunshiny mornings to wake up with, but not so good for growing grass or placing a trampoline.  It was rather wet when he was putting it together, so he made quite the fashion statement with his goomshtivels - rubber boots.  The is the phonetic English writing of the low German name for rubber boots.  Yes, it is a lovely sounding word.  Like most low German.  It is considered a romance language for things like slugs.
Eric had a not-so-romantic time putting this thing together.  It was one of those start-off-with-enthusiasm-assemble-the-bike-Christmas-morning-only-to-want-to-punch-someone-in-the-face type situations.  We all stayed clear.  And it got done.  And there was much rejoicing.

My mommy had breast cancer.  That was the yucky part.  
The good part is that she had a lumpectomy, and its all good now.  They got it all.  She may still have some treatment after, but we don't know that yet.  She was a trooper through it all and hardly batted an eye.  Here she is just a little bit after her surgery and she only looks a tiny bit stoned.  That woman can hold her drugs, let me tell you.

Maddy's choir concert (she's kinda in the middle, second row from the back).  And the other choirs from the high school.  It was phenomenal.  I mean like really really good.  Their choir teacher (some third cousin or something of mine) is amazing.  She does all kinds of different pieces with them - from current popular songs to weirdo-sacked-out stuff.  But it is so so good.  
It made me really miss my involvement in things like choirs and drama (choir especially) and made me quite sad that none of our kids have any passion for these areas.  Maddy isn't even going to do choir next year - break my heart.  But whatever, they are who they are, and I can still attend choir concerts regardless.

This next picture is upside down.  I'm too lazy to do anything about it.  So turn your computer upside down if you want to get the picture.  And if you don't, I guess you are too lazy too!
It is Lucy's calendar.  I think we have a budding planner in our midst.  She has been diligently marking off days, scheduling in activities, making list and all of that good stuff.  It is kind of fun seeing these little bits of future personality and gifts.

Finally, after much shaggy delay, I gave Cade a real haircut.  Most of the time I liked his longer hair - longer than it had ever been before - but he was developing certain characteristic that other boys with longer hair have that drive us crazy.  The annoying flipping your hair out of your eyes-throwing your neck out of alignment type stuff.  We'll pretend that it was annoying for paranoia-health reasons and not for wouldyoujuststopdoingthat!!!!! reasons.
He was not cooperating with allowing me a before picture.

In fact, he didn't at all let me take an after picture.  Very uncooperative.  He did provide his own self of his nose (surprisingly clean), the generous guy.  But rest assured, he looks handsome.  The top is a little longer than the normal twice a year cut but the sides and back are shorter. Very dapper.

Another wrongly placed picture.  Hmmm.  Does it have anything to do with Lucy?  Another picture of Lucy's stuff, although this time you only have to turn the computer on its side.
I received a very late mother's day gift (timed more for fathers day) from Lucy and her friend Emily.  A lovely assortment of nature.  I would truly have kept it a very long time had the dandelions not died and turned into a rotting brown mass.

This Christian, former missionary, also found what I thought was an interesting method of dusting, so I took a picture.  You can find the hidden message of what he thought about me laughing at him and taking his picture.

The other day, Mia, Cade, Lucy and I rode out to one of the parks that has a bike track.  It was rather entertaining watching them, in their various levels of skill, attempt the track.  I will tell you that Cade has some skill, and then I'll just leave the rest at that.  Pictures are worth lots of words.

The world cup is going on.  It consumes Eric completely, Maddy a bit, and the rest of us little splatters here and there.

We've been having a little bunny-foo-foo hopping around our house lately.  Very cute.  But he better stay away from my tomatoes and peppers!!

June 24 was "have two handfuls of m&ms before lunch" day.  Yes, we celebrated.  We always do.  A very important family tradition.

And then the last few days of school.  Last week Tuesday - also the 24th - was apparently also "clean up your desk and unload all your school crap at home" day.  Cade and Lucy came home with piles and piles of paper.
As I went through it, I found out a lot of very helpful information in Cade's stuff.  Notes that were sent home, information that was needed - all that kind of stuff.  Very helpful information.  Helpful if it had only arrived at home when it was intended.

This is what is happening outside right in front of our house.  On the road we live on.  I'm sure I'll post more pictures of that someday soon, especially as it is supposed to take at least two months, but suffice it to say that it is no longer a simple task getting to and from our house.  Not to mention in and out of our driveway.  They are tearing up the road and redoing all the pipes.
Good times.  We love the 7:00 a.m. start up - especially now that school is done - with the beeping, just so we know that somewhere there is a truck backing up.  And there is lots of shouting and many engines running as well.  Oh, and crunching of asphalt being torn up and lovely things like that.

June has been a busy month.  But now I am done work for two months and the kids are done school.  Schools Out For Summer!  Schools out for ever! (think Alice Cooper - and yes, Eric did play it for the kids on their last day!)

I've started to make bread.  The goal is to make most of our bread now and not buy store bought at all.  I am loving doing it and it tastes so good.  And smells so heavenly.  But I may just not go too crazy with it over the summer because of heating the house, lack of fridge space for the dough, and all that.  But I love it and I'm doing it.

And lastly, but certainly not least, mosquitos.  This is Mia.

Who needs the jungles of Ecuador to inflict pain and torture on the legs of my children?  Why go there to get chiggers when you can be here with the mosquitos?  Yes, after the worst winter in 100+ years, now we get to endure one of the worst summers for Manitoba's provincial bird - the mosquito.
Just in typing that, I noticed a link!  MosQUITO!  Quito - Ecuador!  Ecuador - bugs (don't try to get all technical on me and point out that the bugs are not in Quito - just roll with it!) bugs-Quito, MosQuito.  It all makes sense!