Saturday, April 27, 2013

I Lost My Grandma Today

This Friday was a day I will always remember.  I got up, like any other day.  I went to work, just like any other day, and I got a phone call from my Sister...but she phoned with some bad news...that's where the day took a turn for the worse.  Our Grandma had passed, sometime early this morning, peacefully in her sleep, sitting in her favourite chair. She had just turned 95 years young in March, and although, she was getting up there in years, it came as a shock.  For 45 years, my Grandma was a part of my life, and suddenly, with a phone call, that piece of my life, was no longer there.

I sat in my office at work and immediately was flooded with hundreds of memories from childhood, some good, some bad, all memorable.  As I aspire to be somewhat of a writer in my spare time, I decided to immortalize my Grandma's memory on my blog, and try to share with you, the Grandma, who I knew and will miss.

I will miss the kidding.  Any get together we had, I would come out of my shell and play the comedian.  Grandma always had a sharp mind and sharper wit. The only problem with getting older was that she started to have trouble hearing me.  That didn't matter.  We would joke and she would make fun of me, and I would make fun of her, and everyone would laugh. Except my wife, who always thought that I over did it.  But I knew Grandma loved it and it was our little thing we did. In hindsight, I came to realize it was a real blessing to be able to trade jabs with my Grandma and she would stand toe to toe with me and not back down.  This was our way of telling each other "I love you".

I will miss the  name "Bulldozer".  Here I am in my forties, and my Grandma still referred to me as her little Bulldozer.  I recall a long time ago, I asked her what that nickname meant.  She explained that when I was a wee lad, I would come running to her so fast and hard, I would almost take her legs out from underneath her.    I of course just wanted to say hi and to hug her, but then it became a game.  I would run at her and hug her legs, or hit her legs with my head, or just do a "geronimo" dive and ... any ways, you get the picture.  Bulldozer was born, and that is a name I will gladly hang on to, as I have earned it, and maybe someday,god willing, I will have a bulldozer of my own, and will be able to pass the torch on to the next deserving young family member.

I will miss the buns.  Many, many years ago, I remember going to Paul Blvd, and getting out of the car to the sweet aroma of fresh baking filling the air.  Grandma was baking buns!  I remember we used to make a meal of those buns.  Buns, butter..and the special milk she used to make for us.  IT was better than any store bought milk and together, it was absolutely amazing!  The home made milk I later found out was just 1/2 canned evaporated milk and 1/2 water...but I was a kid. What did I know.  What I did know was that those buns and that milk was a reason for me to go and visit Grandma and it was a special time that will be held in my heart and memory forever.

I will miss the stories.  Oh the stories!  Tons of them.  Stories of her life when she was young.  Stories of Grandpa.  Stories of the Family.  And stories of things I couldn't wrap my head around. I'm sure all of the family have heard these stories at one time or another. All of the stories of when she was young and looking after her small siblings when she was a child herself were her favourites.
She always made herself look like the martyr.  I would smile.
Then she would tell a story of her daughters growing up, and how much she loved them.  I would smile.  Then she would tell me stories of the days, weeks, years past, and in great detail no less. And I would smile.

I will miss the smile.  The smile she had could light up any room she was in.  Grandma always had aches and pains and problems for as long as I could remember, and she would wake up every morning with one goal in mind.  That goal was to tell you about every little thing that was wrong with her.  Some of the pains were probably made up, and so too were some of her problems.  We are all guilty of doing this in one way or another but she made it well known the extreme.  If you would call her up, just ask her how she was doing.  The rest of the call, all you would have to do is listen and throw in an odd word or two to let her know you were still listening.  As she grew older though, we knew the aches and pains were all too real and they were getting close to unbearable, but through it all...all the pain, all the issues, all the problems.... she would still smile.

I remember on her birthday, we all got together...and bought her Robin's coffee and her favourite fried chicken.  Later, as we were leaving, some more family came, and we had cake and drinks and sang happy birthday (one of the worst renditions I've ever heard). It was a fun time and I could see in her eyes, that she had that twinkle back, if only for the moment.  Her pain and her troubles were gone for that time and she was surrounded by family and people she loved.  None of us knew that this would be her last birthday and we were blessed to all be there to celebrate it.

Grandma. You may not realize how much I loved you but you were, and still are my Grandma. There are a lot of things I'm going to miss but the most important, is you. Those are some memories I have, things I won't forget.  And these memories will keep me going, and keep me from being sad.  I know you're still here in my heart and in everyone else's as well. I know you're happy and together once again with Grandpa. I'll see you when it's time. I promise.

Remember It's not a good bye, It's just a "so long."

I love you Grandma....
Love always, Your Bulldozer.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Spring in WINNIPEG 2013

Well, It was a cruel joke that Mother Nature was playing on us, the first day of Spring on March 20th, 2013.  I woke up to a frozen snow filled landscape with a wind chill, the temperature felt like -28C.  I then started hearing reports of the weather last year at this time was at the exact other end of the spectrum, +28C.  My neighbour graciously provided this picture to prove the point and add to my misery.<

This picture was taken exactly a year ago to the date of March 20th.

As you can see, they are enjoying the sunshine and are nowhere near freezing  in there short haired fur coats.  If you can use your imagination, the same picture, only white.  40" of snow has fallen and it is slowly melting now, but temps aren't getting much above 0C.  Since the weather is not co-operating, I have to do other things to help me get into the Spring mood.  I have begun to plan our garden this year, which will be following the Square Foot Gardening method.  A lot of this blog will be about my challenges, projects and fulfilment of the gardening done in my small backyard.  I hope to share with you the fruits of my really! :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Where are you Spring Time?

What is going on with the climate these days?  Another week has gone by and more record lows for Winnipeg.  Last weekend we were treated to more soft fluffy white stuff and I woke up this morning to hear that there is an Alberta clipper heading our way dropping up to 15cm of snow on Monday and up to 30cm in North Dakota.  I don't know about you but I am wintered out.  The cat won't quit yelling at me to let him out as he needs to get out and eat some cat is part cow.

As you can see, my backyard, as small as my yard is, there is still many inches of snow that needs to melt.  And mother nature keeps dropping her bounty like it is never going to end.  I love snow as much as the next guy, but every season has it's place, and today's season is spring.  Where are you?  Looking at the bright side, there are no mosquitoes, and so far the threat of flooding in Manitoba has decreased immensely because of our slow melt.
Still, my dreams of gardening are fresh in my mind and I can hardly wait to get my hands dirty.  I know I will look back at this post in the summer and say something crazy like, only 120 more days til Christmas.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Voice of The Night by Dean Koontz

The Voice of the NightThe Voice of the Night by Brian Coffey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fantastic read. Great story, engaging plot. The tension building up right to the end, and twists and turns in the story. A great roller coaster ride. I didn't find it too terrifying or creepy at all, just a fun ride in the Koontz car. Finished this one in two sittings. I love books that cause me to lose sleep.

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