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Kimler Adventure Pages: Journal Entries
Grandma Pilley made the trip out from Vancouver because it's hard to pass up a round-trip airline ticket for less than $100 (well, a bit more, actually, because of fees, taxes & an airport improvement 'donation' - don't you HATE that?).
She came out to visit us, help with some window-coverings (she runs her own 'soft furnishings' company in Vancouver - upholstery, covers, drapes, pillows & such). She was a BIG help and instrumental in getting two very nice sets of drapes up in the dining room window. We think that the neighbors appreciate the drapes too, because now, when Scott gets up in the middle of the night for a 'midnight snack', in the buff, he's NOT flashing the neighbors when he flips on the kitchen light!!
Anyway, we didn't leave Gran locked in the basement sewing ALL the time! We took her & the Oop out for a picnic lunch at one of the big Edmonton parks - Goldbar Park. We took the Oop, because we wanted her to have her first experience feeding the ducks, but even though we ate our lunch by a pond, none came.
Later, when we walked back across the North Saskatchewan River on one of the pedestrian bridges, we spied a bunch of Canadian Geese hanging out near the parking lot. Dubious about both the size and nature of these pooping machines, Scott was hesitant about letting Geese be Oop's first experience with fowl (FOUL?). Rachel had her heart set on a bird-feeding experience, however, and convinced an over-protective Dad that we should try. The birds were interested in food, no doubt, taking all the bread crumbs that were brought for that specific purpose - even FIGHTING over them. Alex laughed with glee and squealed with delight! Right until the very end, when the food was gone and the birds decided that MAYBE the Oop's fingers could be consumed.
Thanks for coming out Gran! It was a fun visit.
This is the last year for the Edmonton Triple-A baseball team. (We're not sure about the full details, but they're headed to someplace in the States next year - financial reasons, no doubt. It's up in the air whether Edmonton will even HAVE a team next year). We got two tickets, courtesy of our neighbor across the lane, Paul. We got to watch the Edmonton "Trappers" play against the Tacoma, Washington "Rainiers". We thought we'd introduce Alex to baseball!
It was a WARM day (by Edmonton standards) ... probably somewhere in the mid-80's. Warm enough that people were flocking to get out of the sun and all the seats around us (way up in the nose-bleed section, in the shade) were jammed with people. Paul's seats were in the VERY LAST row, well protected from the sun (and rain), under the canopy.
Alex took it all in with her usual aplomb. She got pretty fidgety after the 6th inning and we even contemplated heading home, but Scott was adamant that she experience her first "Seventh Inning Stretch", so we stuck it out. By the end of the song, heck, the game was close and near the end, so we just stuck it out. We're glad we did because it was a GREAT finish. Edmonton went down a run in the top of the ninth and with two outs, two men on base, the Edmonton batter blasted one into right field to score both the tying and winning runs!! The Oop clapped and cheered (mostly because everyone else was clapping and cheering), but she was really in good spirits, despite the sweltering heat.
It's a great ballpark and we're thankful to Paul that we were able to add another experience to Alex's growing list. They were handing out "Trapper" rub-on tattoos to the kids, so Alex got one and sported it on her shoulder for two days (until her every-other-day bath, anyway). We even had a ball-cap for her to wear, though she kept pulling it off, because those of you who know Alex, know that she HATES HATS! Some things never change.
I've updated the weather button on our web page, using a new Edmonton-specific service. Temps are reported in degrees Celsius, which may throw off some U.S. readers. Scott thought about putting up a conversion table, but decided against it because he didn't know where to start: -50 degrees ? or -40 degrees ? It's just too depressing.
An example of the new button is on the left.
Scott finally DID put together a temperature scale. He made is very simple, so everyone (especially those relatives in Arizona) should be able to figure out just how miserable we'll be, come December.
We're on the prairies now! We've been here approximately 3 weeks and we've already had two major storms. Those babies roll in fast and are accompanied by flashes of light and loud rolling boomers! The drops are big and we've even had a bit of hail. And when it pours ... it POURS! (Both times, Scott has been in the middle of barbecuing dinner and gotten soaked!) This ain't no Vancouver drizzle!
We're very happy to have so much extra space in our rented home! We were able to set up a guest bedroom in the basement, without too much of a problem. Rachel's friend, Michelle, along with her new beau, came up for a visit just after the U.S. 4th of July weekend. They stayed with us two nights and we had a great time. (They were planning on attending the Calgary stampede, so they took a 3-hour detour and swung up to see us).
Having visitors so soon after we moved was nice. It gave us impetus to get things sorted out quickly AND it meant that we could put 'unpacking' on the shelf, for a couple of days, while they were here. We barbequed a great steak dinner, drank some wine, played games, talked a lot and took them to nearby Rundle Park, for a picnic lunch. The weather was great and everyone had a grand time. Especially Alex, who already likes Michelle a lot and found a new playmate - Bruce!
Alex was living 'high on the hog' because she got all sorts of extra attention! They took her along while they ran errands, giving mom and dad the opportunity to go for another bike ride. (This time, we following the North Saskatchewan River Parkway in the other direction. Can you believe that we saw a red fox and a deer on our ride?
They left just this morning and we were sorry to see them go. We hope you come back soon!
The move from Vancouver took place a couple of weeks ago, as scheduled, on the 17th. It took a complete day to load the 26-foot U-Haul truck (see slide show above). We were bushed, but very thankful to have Grandma and Grandpa Pilley there to look after the Oop, while Rachel and Scott were busy loading boxes, bikes, tools and STUFF.
The next morning, we hit the road early. The fully laden truck had a slow time of it, making it over the Canadian Rockies and we were slowed to 15 km/hr on some of the steeper grades (seems like we could have just jogged faster)! Still, it was way better than hauling each box by hand! The truck sucked some fuel too -- about $600-worth to get our STUFF to Edmonton. We got a hotel in Valemont (just shy of Jasper National Park).
The cat (who had spent the balance of the first day's drive hiding under the passenger seat), was relieved to be out of the truck. He immediately sniffed around the room and promptly sat in the middle of the bed (I guess he thought he deserved to have the king-sized bed after being cramped under the bench seat all day). Alex slept a good part of the way, but she too, was happy to be out of her cramped car seat. I think we were all happy to be out of the cab, even if it was just overnight.
The next day we drove through Jasper National Park (we saw a bear, a big-horned sheep, some elk and a few deer on our drive through). We figure that Edmonton can't be all that bad if the best way to get there from Vancouver is to drive through Jasper National Park! We pulled up to our new home early in the afternoon and began unloading. We did half and then left the other half till morning. The goal was to get a bed up so we would have somewhere to sleep for the night. Whew ... we were "home".
The next few days were hectic, as we found ourselves deep in boxes, packing paper and trying to find a home for all of our personal possessions.
Two weeks later, we're beginning to have a semblance of a "home". Computers are up and running again. Rachel has an "office" area downstairs, where it is nice and quiet, where she can study and also work on crafts. (She has not one, but TWO desks - Scott is jealous). He has an office too, on the main floor, where he can better look after the Oop while Rachel is in school. The kitchen is functional. Bedrooms are still a mess, with boxes of clothes stacked on top of one another. The Oops room is pretty organized, but her dresser drawers need some handy-man attention, so her assortment of clothes are stacked on make-shift cabinet of cardboard boxes. (She doesn't care). She's just happy to be out of the truck and in a house with lots and lots of carpeting (softer on the knees).
We love the neighborhood. We've now met our immediate neighbors. Fortunately, the neighbors to our south - Wayne and Diane - were willing to look after Alex while we unloaded the truck that first day. THAT was a huge help, allowing us to concentrate on getting the couch and bed into the house. She even brought over some dinner for us that first night, because of course, we had no food, dishes or silverware. What GREAT people!
The first Sunday we were here, we took the day off and went for a cycle ride along the North Saskatchewan river parkway. It was a pleasant outing and we took a picnic lunch. We followed something like14 miles of dedicated bike paths during the 20-mile ride, opting to following city streets back, getting a flavor for the east-side.
We still have much to do before we're "settled", but the major things have been done and now we can relax some, tackling them in smaller chunks (rather than non-stop all-day for 10 hours).
Tuxedo loves his new back yard. He's found a place in the flower garden off by the back door, nestled in tall Irises that just finished blooming. He'll sit in the middle of the grass, lounging in the sun or poking around Anna's backyard (our neighbor to the north, who is pet-less and has wonderful gardens in her backyard). We think he likes Edmonton a lot, but we haven't yet told him about the cold winters. No doubt he'll survive by finding himself a warm lap to sit on.