Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Photos from my trip to Fort Simpson.
A big happening in town, a log house being moved and the guys holding up the wire to let the house go underneath.

Barry with his Cape Breton walking stick, the 2 puppies next door had never seen anything quite like it before.

Bisons grazing along the road, I managed not to hit any of them. There were lots of them along the road.

I stopped at the waterfalls on the Simpson road, this is the Trout River.

I am back in the land of the gorgeous clouds, wow, these are over the Liard River.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Barry with his snap peas

I am still in Fort Simpson. I will leave today about 3:00 to go back to Yellowknife. Barry and I went down to some of the local airlines today to see how much it would cost to fly into the Nahanni National Park. We found out for a tour, with landing at Victoria Falls, (twice as high as Niagara) it would be about $1, 370.0o, for that amount you would land at the Falls and then land at another spot where you could have a picnic lunch and go swimming or fishing. Then we went to another airline and asked there. For about $1,000 we could fly over the falls and they would take us to Tungsten where we could land and go and visit some of our old haunts, the hot springs, look at our house and perhaps see the rec centre, although I do not know if we would be allowed in the building. It would very cool to get back there and I told Barry that one of my dreams was to see the Nahanni before we left the north.

When we were in Inuvik we had arranged to go to see an old whaling station on Herschell Island in the Beaufort Sea. The flight was cancelled and we never rescheduled, I was always disappointed that when we had an opportunity to see a part of the world that not many people get too, we didn't take that chance. Here we are in the same type of situation, so I figure you should take the bull by the horns and make your dreams a reality. I hope to be able to take that flight in 2 weeks time, of course it all depends on weather and there is a large mountain range between here and Tungsten so weather is a huge factor.

Next weekend I have been asked if I want to go in the Commissioner's Cup, a sailboat race from Yellowknife to Hay River and back, a total of 240 nautical miles. I would love to go as it is the 25th annual and I would have a chance to put my name on that trophy again, that would be the fourth time!! I will have to see how things look at work, but I am sure if I asked they would be more than willing to let me go, maybe.

I have some good pictures but am unable to download them in Simpson, I tried on this computer, which is in Barry's office but it just shut down when I plugged in my camera, it must be a sensitive government type computer. Barry has lost quite a bit of weight. He has become a vegetarian and eats snap peas, baby carrots, tomatoes, celery, fruit, peanut butter, cheese and some bread. He has to get to the grocery store very early to get the snap peas and bemoans the fact that there was no cottage cheese this week. We went out for breakfast yesterday and he wouldn't even have bacon with his eggs, go figure. I wanted to have steak for supper last night but all I got was Kraft Dinner and snap peas, lucky me!! He reluctantly agreed to let me have some of his snap peas, he really does horde them, he had 4 packages in the fridge.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I am in Fort Simpson at the moment and have finally tracked down Barry. He is happier than a pig in ...... ,. working his tail off. I am not sure how much longer he is going to be here but I am trying to convince him that if the opportunity should arise he should go back to work in Yellowknife. I am not sure if he sees things my way!!
I had a good trip down here, made it in record time. I left Yellowknife about 3:00 P.M. and arrived here 6 1/2 hours later. The road is paved to the ferry at Fort Providence where you cross the Mackenzie River, about a 3 1/2 hour drive from Yellowknife, then when you turn west to go to Simpson you are driving on gravel for about 3 hours. The road was pretty decent and I had no problems with the car. I managed to make the Liard River ferry crossing in plenty of time, the last run of the day is at 11:00 P.M. and I was worried that I would have to sleep on the other side of the river. With the amount of bugs there are here I was not looking forward to that prospect.
Barry is actually taking the day off work, miracles or miracle, but he says that he has a meeting tomorrow, that would be Sunday at 1:00. I have asked him to put that meeting back a couple of hours so that I can just leave and drive back to Yk. Work is a little crazy. I arrived on Monday night and started Tues. morning. When I agreed to help they had asked me to just finish training their new bookkeeper. Now they have fired the techincal support person and I am doing that job and helping the new bookkeeper and I will be training the old bookkeeper on the technical support position. DON'T ASK, it is all very complicated and I was not pleased to be put in the position where I was writing the termination slips for the person they fired, YECH!! Anyway, Barry being the diplomat that he is, is reminding me that anyone could be reading this so I had better stop ranting now.
I think if I would agree to it Barry would stay up north and work another 10 years. Maybe I should let him and I could just go off and satisfy my sailing habit, but I am kind of used to having him around and would not enjoy myself if I did not have him to share it with. Barry says to let you know that he sails in order that he be allowed to work!!!!! HMMMM what is wrong with this picture.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I finally made it back to Yellowknife. I am staying at my daughter Heather's place. It is a 2 bedroom apartment so when the kids are here, which is half the time, it is a little crowded. I had dinner here last night and the kids and I made muffins after supper. This morning my 8 1/2 year old granddaughter made French Toast. It was really good and I was really impressed that she was able to make and cook them all by herself.

I started work at my old employers yesterday, Coldwell Banker, a real estate firm. I am to do some training of new employees as they were not able to hire new employees in time before the old employees wanted to leave so the newer employees have not completed their training. It was kind of fun to be back working with a bunch of very nice people that are very familiar to me. I worked their for 7 years before we left Yellowknife.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I am still in Edmonton visiting. I worked 3 days at Steven's firm and that was great. It didn't take much brain power but got me back in the mode of getting up and going to work. Good practise for Yellowknife, where I apparently will be required to get up and go to work and think all at the same time, yikes!!! I will visit with Barry's Aunt Flo tomorrow and then with Yellowknife buddies on Monday before I fly home ( I don't know if it qualifies as home anymore).

Sandi and I and Catherine, her daughter, hit West Ed today and I got some sweats and a hat. I really didn't need the hat but it was 70% off and it will be a great cover up on the boat so who could resist, not I!!!

I wanted to show you the condo where I am staying, lovely spot, right in downtown Edmonton so you can walk to get groceries, to the mall, to restaurants, and over to the legislature grounds where you can stoll around and enjoy the gardens and greenery. Hope all is well with all of you. Drop me a line, I am missing everyone.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I have been hanging out with Sandi and Steve and it is great. They have a lovely home and they are no different than they were out on the water. Good to know that sailors don't change their stripes once they get back into their former habitats. I have been working for Steve's company for the last two days. I am doing "clerical" work!! Mostly it is grunt work that needs to be done, folding and then stuffing surveys into envelopes, then I got to shred. Steve runs a research firm so there are a lot of surveys that is being done! Today I actually got to use a letter opening machine, something I did not know existed, did any of you know that?? Then they allowed me to use a computer and I had to scan finished surveys. I was quite disappointed to be taken away from my shredding, I was really getting into it.

I have to be back in Yellowknife on Tuesday morning. I will help train a new employee at my former employers, Coldwell Banker. I am not sure how long I will be needed but it will keep me busy for awhile. Barry has been sent to Fort Simpson to straighten out the human resource situation there so he won't even be in Yellowknife when I get there, how disappointing. I understand he left me the car so I guess I will be able to drive to Simpson to see him.

This morning I took some time off from the office and came back to Steven and Sandi's condo and Sandi and I watched the Capital Exhibition Parade. We watched from their balcony and it was a unique view of action. There is going to be a big car race here this weekend, the pace car and some of the others would just race their engines as they idled along. I kind of wished they would just open up and roar off down the street. Tonight Sandi and I went to the Edmonton premier of Hairspray, if you enjoy musicals you should go and see it. John Travolta does a marvelous job in his role.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I am now in Edmonton! I had a good flight across Canada and so far on my trip I have visited every province except Nfld. and Sask. I might try and see whether I can get to Sask. just because but I don't think I will have a chance. We have good buddies in Saskatoon that I would love to be able to say hi too.
I am visiting with Sandi and Steven from Mungo and it is wonderful to see them. They are just as super as I remember them being. I don't have to be in Yellowknife for work until next Tuesday so I am going to stay here and guess what I will be doing??? Steven has offered me a job with his firm doing clerical work and I will start this morning, pretty sweet don't you think. Not sure that I have the right clothes and shoes with me to be a working girl again, but there are always stores!!!!! Just kidding Barry, relax!
The last night I was in Cape Breton, Jen and Mark opened a bottle of champagne and we had a lovely super and celebrated. As you can see Jen wasn't having much luck opening the bottle. In Calgary I hit the ground running and by brother Bob dropped me off at the passport office to see if I could get the $%#*$% thing renewed. I had stood in line for 5 minutes and the security guard told me I would not get through that day, it was shortly before 2:00 P.M. I left and went and ordered a pair of glasses. The next morning I went to a different passport office that I thought opened at 8:30. I arrived at 7:50 and found that it had opened at 7:30 so I was not the first in line. I was out of there by 8:50 though, and should get my passport in 2 weeks, so that is good. I took the bus to Edmonton at noon.
This is how my brother gets to work most days, all year round. He bought studded tires for his bike last winter. This bike is one that David rode in high school, and apparently Bob enjoys the many repair jobs he has to perform on it because he won't buy a new one! Steve told him last night that he thought he was grown up enough now that he could have his own bike! How about it Bob?????

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I have some pics of Jen and Mark's house. It is starting to look like a home now and not just a house that they just moved in. They still don't have the dining room table and chairs and do not have their office set up in the retreat but things are definitely shaping up. Yesterday Jen and I put up Jen's famous IKEA shelves in the basement and put all her crafts in them. Now she at least should be able to find things and do whatever she wants, since she can't lift heavy things for 3 months, potting is out for awhile, the clay weighs quite a bit so might as well not even tempt herself. William is a wonderful baby, quiet and sleeping a lot at this stage, Jen has to wake him up to feed him so he can plump up. We also hung Jen's hanging plants yesterday so got a lot accomplished. Jen wants to get all the baby stuff unpacked today and I think that is a good plan.

I am off tomorrow to Calgary and then to Edmonton to visit some Sandi and Steven from Mungo. That will be great, I am looking forward to that, it will be nice to see them in their natural environment. They sold their big house in St. Albert and are living in a condo in downtown Edmonton so not quite their normal environment but what they will return to from Mungo every 6 months.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Here are some more pictures for all you that have been clamouring for them. I have not had internet access in the house I am staying or at Jen's house so at the moment I am in a Canadian Tire store uploading these. Give me a break you guys!! I usually put pictures in as soon as I get a chance. William is one week old in these pics, his Mom is giving him a sponge bath. He is doing really well, sleeping lots and getting the hang of nursing. Jen is still a bit worried about the nursing but he is thriving.

Quinn is about 3 months old in these shots, making his Mom and Dad very happy with all his smiles and his energetic Jolly Jumper episodes. Jen and Trish are already planning to have the cousins visit each other once they are older. What great fun that would be.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Robert Lange household in Nova Scotia on Big Island.

The Lake of Shining Waters and Green Gables and Anne and Dinah, having tea with "Raspberry Cordial."
Since I have returned from P.E.I. my days have been busy. I head to Jen's house about 10:00 when Mark heads off to his day job repairing small engines and we spend the day working to get the house in order. I usually leave shortly after supper so Jen and Mark and William can get to know each other. This works well for me, having my own space to be in during the morning and the evening. The house I am staying in is lovely and has everything I need to keep me happy, an exercise bike, a huge tub and room to spread out in the living room when I am cross stitching.

Here are some pictures from my trip to P.E.I.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I am on a little side trip. Jen was not coming home until last night and Mark is taking the day off today because the furniture is coming so I took the opportunity to do a little travelling. I headed out and spent the night with Barry's cousin and his wife at their B and B on mainland NS. That was great getting to know them and talking out the Lange family. Robert and his twin brother were born 4 days before Bruce and Barry, apparently Grandpa Lange was thrilled to have 4 grandson's in one week.
I took the ferry from NS to P.E.I. and drove up to see Green Gables and where Anne lived. It was great, one place I stopped had little re-enactments, I saw the tea party where Diana gets drunk on "raspberry cordial". There was a spot where you could dress up in period costume and that was included in the price of admission so I put on an outfit and several different hats and had my picture taken. There were two men that were convinced to put on women's clothing and they were so funny looking it was hysterical!! I went to the National Park next and looked at the real Green Gables and toured the house, what lovely furniture.
Then I drove to the PEI National Park and tented for the night. It was been quite a few years since I have slept in a tent. It was fun going through Jen's goody bag of gear and trying everything out. I managed to cook an instant meal without blowing myself up using her fancy white gas pressurized stove. I put the tent up and put her fancy dancy saw together and tried to saw up some of the wood. The wood which I had to purchase was very hard to get burning but after much persistance I got a good fire going and sat in front drinking hot chocolate and spitting Spitz in the fire. GREAT FUN!!
The shore is beautiful here, wonderful beaches, sand dunes and rocky sections. The rocks are even that red colour that you see in the soil here. I have forgotten my cable for downloading pictures in Sydney so I will put some on when I can. I have lots and lots of great shots. Today I am heading back. I will drop off my passport renewal application and then stop at the Lange B and B again as I forgot my cross sticthing. I guess I needed a break from it, it would have gotten very dirty it I had done it in front of the fire!!!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Let me introduce you to William Stonehouse, they have not made a decision on the other names as yet. I think William suits him. Jen and William are doing well, Jen was able to get out of bed today and she went for a short stroll around the ward. William slept pretty well last night and let Mom and Dad get some much needed rest. He is starting to get the hang of nursing so Mom is really happy about that. Grannie Annie is content that all is well and she is busy cross stitching like a demon.

William apparently is a real Stonehouse. He has his Dad's ears, chin, hands and feet, he has a birthmark like Jen had as a baby. He has chubby cheeks, that may be a Lange trait. He is quite beautiful with a full head of dark brown hair, with a hint of red in it when the sun shines on it.

The Stonehouse Clan, on the left in Mary, Mark's Mom and on the right is big sister Tracy and below is big sister Peggy. I didn't get a shot of Bert, Mark's Dad. Will try for that later.
Dad getting the hang of fatherhood, he looks a tad tired, it has been a long week!!

Friday, July 06, 2007



He has arrived, finally. This baby decided he really did not want to enter the world, he was in a breach position so Jen had to have a C-section. She was in light labour for most of the night and then they finally figured out that the baby was breach so they whisked her off to the OR and Baby Stonehouse was born at 12:06 P.M. 06/07/07. He has all his fingers and all his toes and he is a big baby. Mom seems to be doing fine and she and Dad are getting to know their little one as we speak. Our family has been blessed this year with 2 healthy babies. Thank you.

Stand by for an update on the name.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Thursday, July 5, still no baby! BUT it should be soon. Jen will be induced this evening, she will be given a slow acting stimulant that gets things going and she should be ready to go into labour in the morning, so I am not sure if any of you guessed July 6, but that may be the date or she may hold out for the triple 7, cool!!

Yesterday, Jen decided that since we can't work in the house during the day, too many workers there to finish the house we should go to the Miners Museum. It was a grand day. We had lunch at a lovely restaurant and then visited the a mock up of the company store and a company house which was a duplex that was restored on one side to the 1870 and on the other side to the 1920's. For those of you that don't know Cape Breton was a huge coal mining area. The English set up the mines and exploited the coal workers and their famiies for years. They paid them very poorly and owned the stores where the prices were inflated so they kept the miners impoverished for years. The miners were mostly immigrants from Scotland and Ireland and then later on, all parts of Europe. We went on an underground tour and the guide related stuff to us aas if he was a worker in the 1920's. He talked about the pit ponies and how they were kept underground for years, and the young boys who were forced to work as young as 8 years of age. If the father of the family got hurt, someone had to work in order for the family to continue to stay in the company house, so they would send a child down. In one area the ceiling was only 4 feet and a boy would take a post at the door that was between the air inflow and outflow areas of the mine. He would befriend the rats because they could sense when something was wrong so if the rats dissapeared you knew you were in trouble. The miners had open flame lamps and they were drilling into pockets of coal that contained methane, not a very safe way to live, the mines in Cape Breton in the 1920 had a workforce of 12,000 and they averaged one death a day! As of today most of the coal mines in the area are shut down as if the steel mill that used to employ thousands in Sydney. The economy seems to have recovered and there is talk of reopening mines in the area.

Obviously I was fascinated with the tour. Jen very gamely came underground and walked hunched over for 40 minutes, the ceiling was mostly 5 foot but at times it was 4 feet, yuck! Then afterwards we went for a drive and Jen took me to one of her favourite surfing spots and we took some pictures of her belly. I got to clamour around on some rocks and listen and smell the ocean. Oh, that made me sooooo lonely for our boat, plus the wind was blowing and there were white caps and the sun was beating down, it would have been a perfect sailing day. We drove home and after supper we helped Mark build the third and last step. We are not finished yet and Jen figures that we can go and do more nailing if she gets to go home after they see how things are at 11:00.