Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Another time another place!

Every once in a while something will happen and I am instantly transported to another time and another place, it is as if I am living in a moment from years ago. I can never plan for such occurrences, and I can never know when it will happen, it just happens, there is something that triggers deep down inside, it is almost as if something snaps - I do not know if I can describe it any better than that. It certainly does not happen very often, but when it does it is just like I am standing in the moment of yesterday or yesteryear once again, it is quite odd but very interesting at the same time.

Tonight it happened as I stuck my hand in a bag of 1/2 stale mini marshmallows - you know the kind, a little bit hard because the bag has been left open but no so hard they hurt your teeth, and they are a little chewier than they are when they are fresh. Oddly, this is actually how I prefer my marshmallows. Strange I know, but i think it is time and space association, for tonight when I popped one of those marshmallows in my mouth I was instantly transported to another time and another place!

I was standing in my Grandma's kitchen in the little house on John Street. Grandma has been gone just over 8 years now, and it has been at least 20 since she lived in the house on John street - however tonight things sort of stood still and I was there. I closed my eyes and it smelled like her house, it sounded like her house - momentarily I WAS at her house standing in front of the sliding door cupboard in in the far corner of her kitchen.

Oh how I loved Grandma's kitchen - it was a huge room that easily covered 1/4 of the total floor space of her little house. It was grand central station, everything that happened at Grandma's house happened in the kitchen ( with the exception of watching Gene Keniski wrestling on Saturdays with Grandpa- that happened in the living room!) I mean everything all the visiting happened around the big kitchen table, card games, skinned knees were patched, boyfriends discussed, tears dried, photos were taken, hair was styled, meals were eaten, sleep overs with my cousins always happened in the kitchen. I learned how to cook in Grandma's kitchen. Everyone was always welcome in Grandma's kitchen.

And tonight for just a moment in time I was there standing in front of the cupboard sliding it open, feeling it get stuck at the same spot it always got stuck, reaching over the nut chopper and the vanilla which were always in the same spot, and pulling out the bag of marshmallows - at Grandma's house the bag always seemed to be only 1/4 full and they were ALWAYS 1/2 stale, a little hard but not too hard. They were always perfectly stale. I am not quite sure how that always seemed to be the case but no matter how often we were there it was like that. 1/2 stale and mostly gone - it makes me wonder if when Gram bought a bag she dumped out a bunch and left the bag open on purpose because she knew I loved them that way. You know it would not surprise me in the least if that is exactly what she did - It would have been a Grandma sort of thing to do.

The mind truly is a powerful tool - for IN a split second and FOR a split second in time tonight I actually felt like I was right there in the middle of the kitchen. I do not know if it was the smell, or the feel of the marshmallows tonight that triggered the memories or if it will happen the next time I stick my hand in a bag of marshmallows - who knows and for the most part who cares - for tonight for a brief moment in time my mind allowed me the rare treasure of living in a moment from another time and another place. A blessing in deed!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Can't sleep. . .

I truly hate nights like tonight when I am tired and go to bed early but can not fall asleep. You would think that I am 10 years old and it is the night before Christmas. It is the night before the first day of school - so I have to ask myself am I awake because I am worried for my kids? I don't think so. They are all looking froward to the return. Ashlynn and Shanna only have about an hour. This being grade 8 for Teryn she has to endure a 4 hour day - she gets to visit each of her classes in the new school - a test of sorts, the right of passage endued by every grade 8 the goal is to make it to each class with out getting lost and get there on time. Good luck Teryn!

Sleep eludes me, I have even tried the celery trick that used to work when I was pregnant - no lucky here tonight. Here is my question to you - what keeps you awake at night and what keeps you awake when you are supposed to be asleep?

Me I get up and turn on the PC - eventually it makes me drift off... I am feeling the effects now, so I will sign off and see if I can actually sleep. The other thing I try is sleeping somewhere else in the house... you know the old "change of Scenery" addage, it works sometimes for me. Not to night I have pulled out all teh tricks I kow.. so far nothing has worked but as I type I fel my eyeleids getting heavy and I am using the backspace key far to often for someone who actually knows how to type.... I am also beginning to type lyrics that are running through my head - Time to try again to fall asleep... Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wedding Crasher

This truly was a weekend to remember for several reasons.
1) I do not recall ever taking a road trip just me and my mom
2) It is not every day you crash a wedding
3) It certainly is not everyday that you meet relatives that just a year ago did not know existed.

Friday morning bright and early Mom and I headed out to Williams Lake - our mission - to meet the surviving siblings that mom has just discovered! What a better way to do that than to crash a family wedding! (Yes! we did well sort of..)

Let me back up just a little, last spring my mom was given her father's name for the first time. (She was 67 at the time!) I took the name plugged it into Google and within 15 minutes I had an obituary for a man I believed to be her 1/2 brother. There it stated that Dougie was one of 10 (add mom that would be 11). From there I posted questions at as well as in hopes of finding some answers & to see if my assumptions were correct. I asked questions to anyone I knew who had any connections to Williams Lake and surrounding areas. Pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place.

A number of months later I received an email from Dougie's son, Mark, asking me how I fit into this picture - wanting to make sure I had received my information from Grandma. That email confirmed what I had pretty much known from the moment I first saw the obituary. My mom who had been raised as a single child now had a HUGE extended family. She is one of 11 - children by the same father - 6 of whom are still living, and Mark is my first cousin on my mom's side! (My FIRST first cousin!) Think about that for a minute. All my growing up years it had always been just my sister and me on my mom's side of the family - no cousins - nothing. Now as Mark says - there are way too many to count, he does not even know and he grew up with them. It has been quite a thing to wrap our heads around. Time lost can never be reclaimed, however we can move forward and make the best of it! That is what we were doing. . . .

Our adventure to Williams Lake was all about meeting as many of the extended family as we could. Seeing the area Grandpa lived, basically filling in some of the blanks for mom. What a better way to do that than crash the party - so that is what we did. Now I have to say that it was not a total crash in that Mark invited us, and the bride was aware that we were coming. The wedding was a very casual affair (smart cousins I have!) in the middle of the annual ball tournament that they organize. It was so fun! We were able to meet all but one of the surviving siblings, tons of cousins, husbands, children - there are so many names and faces our heads are swimming.
For me the highlight was to see mom interacting with her brother and 2 sisters. The happiness on her face and the acceptance that was there for her. They welcomed us with open arms - and are all wondering when we will be back. A huge blessing for my mom! Questions are beginning to be answered, healing - it is a good thing.

The totally amazing thing is how they clicked from the very beginning. Auntie Janet - the sister closest in age to mom - and mom are like clones - similar in mannerisms the sound of their laughs, they think alike. I found that connection amazing. When we first got into town we were to go to a "window" store - that is pretty much the information Mom had... not the full company name (that would have been too easy!) So we come to a "window" store that Mom thinks is right, but not sure, we walk in and I see this lady sitting in the office reading - I knew - this was my aunt! She did not say anything, had not looked at us, but just the way she was sitting there - when she moved it was like looking at my mom! Here are 2 grown women, that share the same blood line but have never met, only talked briefly on the phone - but are so much the same. Genetics are fascinating for sure. It was exciting to make the connection - to SEE the connection and to feel the connection and be totally accepted in the process! WOW!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Minding your P's & Q's

This is one of those things that falls into totally random useless information but was interesting!

Today in the office I was asked if I knew the origin / meaning of the term "Minding your P's & Q's" , something my mother and grandmother used quite frequently - to me it meant be on your best behavior, mind your manners and be polite. I never gave a second thought to where the term originated. Until today! I must say there are times when Google is my best friend, within 20 seconds I had my answer here. . read on if your inquiring mind needs to know. I must say that I laughed out loud as I read, and I would have never guessed in a million years where it all started.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sucessfull swimsuit shopping.... and no babies!

I think that one of the worst things to do, and I know that many women agree, is the task of finding a new swimsuit. Every time a new one is needed I dread it. This year was no exception, and I looked and looked here in town and found nothing - now granted I did not go to the cruise ware or specialty swimsuit stores, that was not in the budget for this year. I just needed something that would cover and be reasonably comfortable (an oxymoron I realize!), and be in the budget, not a huge problem - or so I thought as I set out. Sure there are LOTS of suits on the racks, however once you rule out the 4 racks of mix & match 2 piece numbers with string closures- OBVIOUSLY! Then there are ones that are cut so high in the leg that they come up to your armpits - OUT!. Fabric that is too thin, or even single layer, OUT! Tummy control is a nice option - but hard to find on a suit that does not look like an old iron maiden girdle that my grandmother used to wear (A sorry fashion era for sure!) There is really very little left - well actually there were still a great many styles, just not the size I required! (Must be every women in the lower-mainland that shares my size beat me to the racks this year!) I can not recall how many suits I tried on, lets just say it was LOTS! Some that the girls just rolled their eyes, or shook their heads - a good sign I am about to make a fashion faux pax! (Thank you girls!) All that said I left for holidays with the suit from last year that was o.k. but a little snug in the bust.... so swim with a T-shirt on..... workable but not the best option as far as ease of swimming.
Fast forward Shushwap day two... or was it 3 no matter, a trip into Chase is needed to pick up a suit Mary had ordered for one of her girls. I decide to go along. We are in Feilds - there is no Feilds close to home - and there is one very SMALL rack of suits, I flip through thinking will not find one here.... however I find 5 to try on - amazing! One that if it does not work Mary says, hey I will try that on if you do not take it... It is a Tankini - I am thinking just give it to her, and cut your losses.... The tankini style as a general rule never fit correctly because I have a longer than average back/ waist ! No I decide to try all of them on. Of the 5 - THEY ALL FIT! Now i have a choice to make, as I only really need 1. Black one too boring, Lime and orange one, too bright etc... Brown one not on SALE. I am now down to 2 - a blue one piece and the tankini... both will serve the purpose, both are on sale for the same price. I LIKE both of them, the little voice inside my head is saying just buy both.... my practical side kicks in and says if you buy one you can buy the little skirt you also saw and the t-shirt. That won out - I bought the Tankini because the size label said M - total pshycological choice - I do not remember the last time I bought anything in a M! happy dance..... So for the price of the swimsuit at regular price $69.00 I bought a Skirt, T-shirt and the bathing suit and still saved 20.00 - Successful shopping day! Happy Happy Happy!
We get back to the house, I get ready to go to the beach, my new suit is on and I start to think, it really does fit well, I love the colour etc. It is a bit odd that it is a M as I read the tag more closely just to check.... It certainly says "M" but not for MEDIUM - "M" stands for MATERNITY!!!!! What the heck I just bought a Maternity swimsuit... no wonder the top was extra long...... Good thing I can laugh at myself - because that tops the cake for funny here these days! And No that is NOT a back handed way of making an announcement (That would so NOT be funny!!!) So just to be perfectly clear there are no little ones being added to the Hilstad clan! Moral of the story - if the suit fits wear it! Then laugh.
I still think I got a good suit and a great deal. The bonus I have a funny story to tell to go along with it!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Totally random - Quiz

Found this tonight as I was blog hopping..... have fun

You Are a Glazed Donut
Okay, you know that you're plain - and you're cool with that.You prefer not to let anything distract from your sweetness.Your appeal is understated yet universal. Everyone dig you.And in a pinch, you'll probably get eaten.

Try it and see what kind of donut you are....

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Love this. . .

Love "mini grass daisies"
Love that they are in an egg cup sitting on my kitchen table.
Love that they were just waiting for me this morning.
Love that one of my girls thought to pick some for me.
Love that at 141/2 , 13 or 11 they still do this.
Love that I did not know which one picked them at first.
Love that when I took a photo, my oldest wondered why I would take a photo of her flowers.
Love that she just let on that it was her that picked them with out coming right out and saying so!
Love that when I told her that I was going to blog this she smiled!
Love this life!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A MONTH . . . .

Over a whole month (well almost over a whole month) seems like so much longer since I blogged here! Agh where does the time go...
What has happened in the last month? Way to much! Thankfully God does not give us more than we can handle, of that I am certain.

Over and above the regular routine of life - There has been appointments at children's hospital with Teryn, Band trip for Ashlynn, Youth Conference for Teryn, Dance performances for all 3 girls, Church meetings, appointments for me at RCH (2nd operation went well, I am feeling great and this whole thing should now be over!!!), required rest (hard to not do anything!) helping friends move, sleep(not) overs, extra hours at the store.... All in the day or month as the case may be.

Through it all there is much to learn - we truly are not the director of our destiny (to a point) - there is a plan laid out for us to follow and there are things put in our way to direct us back to that path. However we do have choices to make along the way and we may very well make choices that are way off the path - however in those choices lays discontentment, unhappiness and just a feeling of things not being right. It is when we are with in the path that is ours and ours alone that we can truly feel good about life. I think that is one of the reasons I have been able to deal with the tumor and surgeries I have had with what others have said to me as "an amazing attitude" Sure I could have wallowed in it, but where does that get me, or those around me... I want to be a positive example to my girls. Bad things happen in life, sure that is just one of those facts we can not avoid. However how we deal with those bad things can truly make a difference. I am certain that my positive attitude has aided hugely in my healing process. And that my friends comes directly from God!
Has it been a rough month - sure! But it is the tough things in life that form character and build us into the people we are intended to be! May each of us deal with the tough stuff with the right attitudes! (notice that I did not say that may each of us avoid the tough stuff in life... think on that for a minute!!!)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Random this and that...

First off , it has been quite some time since I last posted.. Time flies by, I did not realize how much time had gone by. (Then I went to post this and realized that there was a draft sititng there that I thought I posted.... so it had not been quite as much time as I had first thougth!) I need to set a date with myself and be here regulary, but then again where is the random in that!

I love to make my kids say "Mom that's so random!" I hear it most from Shanna - and it is not even like I try to it just happens. Take yesterday for example - I was driving down Austin Ave right by the Vancouver Golf Club - for those of you who do not know it - it is a beautiful private "country club" in the middle of the city ( I think Coquitlam is a city?) with beautiful manicured lawns and gardens. As I am passing I notice that just off to the side of one of the fairways there is a HUGE pair of cherry blossom trees - one is white the other vibrant pink.

So in the middle of the conversation about school and friends I interject

"You know one of you should get married in April or early May so that you can have wedding photos taken in front of a beautiful cherry blossom tree"

Conversation stops dead - Shanna pipes up with the

"What ?? Mom' that was totally random"

I smile to myself - it is true - totally random - not planned it just happens! No one is quite sure when odd things will pop into the conversation. I think that it is because my brain is always thinking - seeing - on the other hand likely not totally 100% there in the conversation going on around me (hmm, maybe I have to think about that a little....

Here is a totally random bit of fun - I stumbled upon this while "Blog Hopping" "Blog Hopping" is a allot like pub hopping (from what I hear) you go from one Blog to the next, not quite sure where you will end up and what you will come away with - usually quite fun and always something is learned - except there are not any next morning surprises! (If you read Donna Downey's blog this will not seem quite so random! Poor girl)) I digress.... here is the random bit of fun . . . .

I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!

You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.


I can honestly say that I have never thought of myself as a Corvette! For the most part I do not even like the look of the car, the front end is too long! However - it is a classic - and it would be fun to drive (under control and with-in the speed limits of course!) The description is not so me, but hey it was a random little thing that took all of 1 minute to complete! (And now there is a photo of a hot car on my blog.... how random is that!)

Have a great Sunday - it actually looks like it might be nice!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Fun and other things.

I have made a new discovery - Facebook - and I must admit I feel like a bit of an "old lady" but none the less it is fun - It is like an address book with email and photo albums all in one place. A fun way to keep in touch. Also a great way to find old friends from school or clubs, random meetings etc. It is the place to "hang" if you are the high school to 20 something crowd (so not me but.....)and I guess for us "old ladies" too. A 20 something Friend at church once told me I was a cool old lady when she was introducing me to a friend of hers from school. At first I thought, man who is she calling old... I guess I am that - however for the record I am so NOT old! My grandmother was old (87)! I guess at 20 something I thought 42 was old, I hope not, but probably did considering that is double their life experience! I guess that is my lot in life these days - to be the "Cool Old Lady" (Thanks L.L.!)I guess it could be so much worse!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Stop spinning world - I want a vacation...

We are only 4 months into the year and already I feel like I have lived the whole thing. So many things have been happening. The spinning and buzzing here and there - and it is not things I really have any control over. Sickness, surgery, recovery, death... these are the things one can not control - but that when they happen can be all consuming. I am ready for a serious break! Not just a Sunday afternoon nap! Then on the other hand, maybe if life would be back to normal it would be o.k. But then what is NORMAL! And have I ever been normal? As a teen my mom gave me a button that I wore every day for years that read "Why be normal" then it was a statement of individuality, and a great conversation starter. I do not know how many "what is normal" conversations I have had in my life time. What is considered NORMAL for me would not be your normal. . . this is what makes our world interesting..

Just so I do not get questions re the death reference above.....
My Grandmother (Mom's mom) passed away this past Friday after complications from a broken hip and pneumonia - that and 87 years of living. I have been very reflective of late. Grandma and I were not close, we had VERY different views on life - there are still a great many things that I learned from her, from observing her and her view of life...

One person can truly change the world, even if it is just the little corner that we call home. That change can be either positive - embracing the world around us, enjoying people and places, or negative - shutting out the world and living in quiet solitude. May I influence my world in a positive way!

There is power in keeping secrets - however secrets usually become public information at some point and all power is lost. There is also sorrow in keeping secrets that really need to be told to yourself. Robbing yourself of the joy of seeing others celebrate.

Stubbornness is a family trait - the strength in which I know I have inherited - however I hope I realize that there is a time and a place to dig in my heels. And a time and a place to give in and meet 1/2 way (there is strength and power in knowing when and where)

Honesty is the best policy - it leaves the doors open for communication and closes them to speculation and second guessing. Honestly the truth as steerage as it may be is far less harmful than lies and the stories others think up on their own. Trust me on this one! Truth is stranger that fiction (hmm, who said that first? I think it would be a great title for a book.)

A vacation would be nice, hmm so would a spa treatment. In the meantime I will indulge in a bubble bath and a good book. (which is a mini vacation - it is all in the attitude!)

Thursday, March 29, 2007


This is a small world we live in. And technology and such make it seem smaller each day. Think about it for a minute:

My best friend is working as a Missionary in Niger - one of the larger countries in West Africa - If this were 10 years ago it would have taken a minimum of 2 weeks to get a letter to her and another 2 weeks min to receive one in return. In this the year 2007 we can send and receive email almost instantly - man if our timing is right we can even send 2 or 3 and get answers back the same day. Amazing (not to mention a huge blessing)

At work a while back I was talking to a gal in the warehouse about summer vacations and what we might be doing... She mentioned that she may be going to visit relatives in Windermere - hmm, I say my best friends parents live in Invermere in a home that looks out over the lake. It is beautiful and I love it there. We joke about how oh they probably know each other - I say well I think everyone in Invermere knows Dan the appliance repair man - Sure enough they not only know each other they curl together. Small world.

A scrapbooker that I have had the privilege of having in my store a few years ago in - Ali Edwards is doing an amazing job of interconnecting the scrapbooking world with Autism research and fundraising - her Six Degrees Badge is currently sitting at #1 - if it remains there through to the end of March her chosen charity Autism Speaks will receive an additional 10K in a personal donation from Kevin Bacon (Footloose fame & Six Degrees founder) at this present time she has raised over 30K. I would LOVE to see her be the #1 bage at the end of the month. Not to mention that Kevin Bacon was on the Ellen show recently talking about his website and said " there is this woman in Oregon who has raised 20K for Autism" That is pretty cool! Interconnecting for sure!

The best interconnecting for me personally that has happened in the last little while is finding out that my mom who was raised as a single child is one of 11. Over the past few months and weeks we have had the privilege of meeting a nephew and one of the surviving siblings. All of this from a simple post on my part at a genealogy website and a cousin that happened to be checking the board a few months later. Puzzle pieces fitting together!

Have you ever met someone new while you are away from home and they say oh I know someone who lives in Vancouver do you know Bob.... well... Have you ever tried to see if you know someone who knows the someone they know (whew that was a confusing sentance)? They say it can be done in 6 steps if you take time to figure it out.

If you sit and think about it long enough we are all inter connected! Interconnections are something that are simply just there! And I think that is pretty cool.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Standing in the gap.

Every one of us gets through the tough times
because somebody is there,
standing in the gap to close it for us.
Oprah Winfrey, O Magazine
Oprah is a wise woman, how true this is. I have felt this in a very real way over the past week. Thank you to each of you who have stood in the gap, brought food, offered prayers and loved us through the past few weeks. God is good! His peace is amazing.
Surgery went well, the Dr. was pleased and expects no further complications. This is all great news. Now I just have to take it easy so I can heal. Something that is not the easiest for me to do, sit back do nothing or very little, be careful of what I lift....etc. I must say that I have watched a few movies and read a few books and created a few mini albums, cards and assorted other pieces of art and quite enjoyed it. (And felt no guilt!) I am very cautious, not wanting to split stitches or cause complications that can be avoided. I feel good and am healing well. One day at a time! Patients and trust... both good lessons to learn.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Starting over...

Here we are again. posting the random ramblings of happenings in our home. Blogging is a fine way to communicate with people ( all 3 of you who know we are here HELLO- for those who will find us and join the shenanigans (sp???) welcome). I am here and trying again. The last attempt got mixed up with the business blog and I was not focusing right. So here we are starting over - little bits of random is just that random bits from my life that may or may not be of interest to anyone. But I like to write and you never know you may find something worth reading....