Monday, September 28, 2009

A Birthday and a Funeral

My Nan's birthday was this past Wednesday. She turned 79! Wow! And if she lives to be as old as her mother, she still has another 20 years to go!

The family got together with her for dinner at the "Sunset Cafe" in Trout River. My battered cod was yummy! And then we headed to Nan's house for cake with lots of candles.

When we first arrived at the house, my Aunt Marilyn was outside calling for Pal, their little black dog, to come back inside. He doesn't usually go out of the yard and comes right back to the house if called. This time, Pal didn't show up.

We went in to sing Happy Birthday and cut the cake. Nan was having her picture taken with the little grandkids, who loved helping blow out the candles, and telling us how her mother always said you shouldn't blow out candles because of the germs it spread over the icing. Good point. Doesn't make for nearly as fun an experience. But still, good point.

A knock came on the door. It's strange to hear a knock on Nan's door. People normally just come right on in. Nan's house is a tiny little place where you can literally see who's at the front door from every room in the house except the back bedroom and bathroom. Ti-Ny!

Ryan answered the door.

The voice said, "You guys own a dog?"

"Ah,..." Hesitation seems the automatic response when you don't want to know what follows your reply if you answer with a "Yes".

"Cause a dog just got hit by a car on the road."

Aunt Marilyn immediately jumped up, "Oh me dog!"
And if you know Trout River, you know she did in fact say "ME dog" and not MY dog.

Of course I immediately jumped up and ran out to the road with Aunt Marilyn and Ryan trailing behind. There, laying motionless on the side of the road, was Pal. Not a move, not even a nerve twitch. I felt for a pulse. Nothing. I told Aunt Marilyn he was gone. Melanie, Aunt Marilyn's daughter, totally broke down. Ryan got pissed at the driver of the car. I simply picked Pal up in my arms, still warm, expressed my thanks to the driver of the car for coming back to the scene, and walked to the house.

I sat on the porch with Pal in my arms, my hand tucked under his left paw, just hoping to feel his heart start again. He just looked like he was sleeping with not a mark anywhere. No blood. No sign of trauma. Melanie was completely distraught and Nan exclaimed, "How will I ever be able to stay home by myself now?!" There's little comfort in explaining that he died instantly, the impact having broken his neck. No, there's not much comfort in that at all when a loved one dies suddenly, even if that loved one is the family dog.

Dad stayed with me while I held onto Pal. Ryan went to look for a shovel. Aunt Marilyn got a fluffy towel to wrap Pal in. Sadly, we would have to bury the family doggy this night. I suggested Melanie take a picture. Morbid? Perhaps.

We sat there like that, crying, wondering why he ran away when it was so out of character for him, saying all the good things about him in past tense --- "...such a nice dog.", "...never peed on the floor once.", "...always came when he was called.", "...was such good company for Nan."

Finally, after about a half hour, the inevitable. We walked to the backyard and with the help of a flashlight, found a nice spot under a tree to dig the grave. 9 of us gathered around. Nine.

Dad used the shovel to peel back the grassy sod, trying to keep it in tact, so as to place it back on top to look more presentable. I wrapped Pal tightly in his casket made from a fluffy white bath towel. Behind me, Melanie choked a sob when I covered his face, picked him up, and laid him down in the dark hole that would be his final resting place.

Dad spoke of how lucky we were to be able to stand around in our backyard to pay respects to a family pet. "There are people in the world, " he said, "who will never have the priveledge of a loving family or a decent burial."

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. We carefully laid the sods back in place. Aunt Marilyn would find something to mark the grave the following day. We walked back inside. We ate cake and spoke of how the crumbs would no longer be so hastily licked from the floor.

While I washed my hands, I looked down and held out the front of my white shirt. A final memory - I was covered in black fur.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Jesse Blaine Manuel Hann (Phew! That's a mouthful!)
Born September 20th (I got the call around 11:15 - 11:30 NL Time)
Weighing in at 8lbs 4oz

Welcome sweet baby boy!

Congrats Christa and Kristen - you will make marvelous parents!

Can't wait to meet you, Jesse!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Like a Circle Around Me

I heard the office door open. I looked up, and, with the expectation of seeing someone I didn’t know, I actually didn’t recognize him for a millisecond. He was dressed in green from head to toe, a terrible uniform, but a uniform none-the-less, with a face attached requiring no uniform to make it striking. At least in my eyes. Recognition set in and I smiled the kind of smile that comes from deep in your soul and escapes through your eyes.

My heart skipped a beat and I sighed with joy at seeing him in front of me, of his own accord.

I couldn’t help but think back all those years ago to the first time I saw him. We were five. He was wearing a striped shirt and came running around the corner of our old school-house. I was standing by the wooden swing set. His eyes met mine and I never looked away - not for 13 years.

When Chantal Kreviazuk sang "Surrounded", I always thought of him, still do, always felt I could sing those words to him, if ever I were to sing any words to him at all.

I was there
When you shone as bright as
Bethlehem from afar
I was there
When you were young and strong
And perverted
And everything that makes a young man a star
Oh, you were a star
I was there
And I swear to god
And on my mother’s grave
On everything I have
Or ever will embrace
I was there
And I saw it with my own two eyes

My mind swirled - I was there to join his team and gleam in the knowledge that he would pick me every time. I was there among the boys to celebrate his birthday. I was there sitting behind him in class and counting the 17 moles on the back on his neck. I was there to cut his hair, to cheer him on, to drive him home. I was there when he cried over his cat and the girl that broke his heart.

I just loved him until I thought my heart would burst. Not in the romantic sense although my teenage mind tried to envision us that way a thousand times. It just never seemed right. I was just a girl who loved a boy and wanted to ride in his car for hours on end and smell his cologne on the pages of the letter he secretly slipped into my gym bag.

It amazed me how all those years of memories could come sweeping into my head all in one conjoined moment with just a quick glimpse of him sauntering through my door. And there he was standing in front of me making my heart flutter with the sheer pride of just knowing him and having him be as much a part of me as any other person in my past. He sat down, slumped cooly on the chair, with his left leg turned out, fingers fiddling with the fabric of his vest. Same as always.

We chatted about nothing, the way that old friends can and do because they already know your story. And when he said he had to go, he hugged me and I stood on tippy-toes to hug him back. Same as always.

I hope he knows. I’m not sure what. Not to be told directly. I just hope he knows.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Still Miss Buffy Sometimes

Yes, I realize how strange and pathetic that may sound to some of you dear readers. I have never admitted to being perfectly rational in my tastes. I still catch the occasional cheesy re-run and daydream about Buffy and Spike and the rest of the gang. Ahhhh...

Oh well, back to reality, although I do hear Sarah Michelle is expecting a baby with hubby Freddy Prinze Jr.

I'm so easily distracted...have you noticed that?

The point to this post is to tell you how excited I am about this new show "The Vampire Diaries"....yay!! Another cheesy teenage drama intertwining vampire and human love interests. (Can we say "Twilight" in sitcom form?!) Swoon...

Except , I think, after only ONE episode (dare I admit I PVR'd and watched it twice?...eek! In my defense, I missed the first half on night 1, then it came on again and I PVR'd to watch the whole thing through...OKAY!) that Nina Dobrev may have been a better choice for Bella (Twilight) than Kristen Stewart. But then, I'm not much of a Kristen Stewart fan.

For those of you who are interested in a breakdown of episode one, here it is (simply because I cannot resist writing about it):
A few months after a tragic car accident killed their parents, 17-year-old Elena, and her troubled younger brother, Jeremy are still adjusting. Elena must "suck it up" to go back to school, amidst her sadness, but finds some comfort in the pages of her diary, her best friend Bonnie, frenemy Caroline, and Jock ex-boyfriend Matt. Insert Elena bumping into mysterious and handsome new student, Stefan Salvatore, here. Mysterious boy
can't stop staring at Elena during class and they meet again later while she's running from a spooky graveyard visit to her parents, after she is seemingly taunted by a crow. Elena drops herbeloved diary in the frenzy, which Stefan picks up, and while he is holding it for her, we see his bookshelf full of journals dating from many years, one of which holds a photo of "Katherine - 1849" in the front cover. Katherine and Elena look completely the same (what's this?). Elena's journal is returned and Stephan is invited to a school party. At the nighttime bonfire, Elena and Stefan are obviously attracted to one another but Stefan struggles to resist the attraction and bloodlust. While getting
to know each other, chaos erupts after Matt's sister, Vicki, is
attacked and left bleeding from a savage bite to the neck. Fearing that he knows who is responsible for the attack, Stefan finds that his older brother, Damon, has returned to town. Now these two vampire brothers – one good, one evil – begin a battle for Elena's soul.

If you stuck around for that synopsis, what do you think? Are you watching too?

Sunday, September 06, 2009


I was taking photos the other day, as usual.

Sarah wanted to look at the screen to see what I had taken. She said, "Das Be-yoo-full Mom".

So, I thought I'd ask, out of curiosity, "What do you think is beautiful? Mommy will take a picture of it for you."

And here is what she pointed out:
A carton of milk I had taken out to pour in her cup

And her shopping cart.

Afterwards, she filled it up with her shoes...that's my girl!!!

I guess it's as they say: "Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder!"

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A Wish Your Heart Makes

That's what a dream is, according to Cinderella.

I guess that means Sarah was wishing for a party.

One day last week when she first woke up in the morning, she said something completely random and nonsensical. I didn't get it at first.

Yesterday morning, I woke her up, and after much stretching, she said, "I Yuv Parties."

"You do?" I asked
"And where was the party?"
"At Poppy's House"
"Really? Was Nanny There?"
"Were Mommy and Daddy there?"
"Well, who was there?"
"Maggie and Hobo" (that would be, Marg, her sitter, and Phillip, her little friend)
"I think you were having a dream, yes?"

Of course, she isn't able to understand the concept of a dream versus reality yet.

I remember one of the other moms talking about her little girl waking up one morning and asking, "Where are the kitties?" and I thought it was just so cute. And now Sarah has entered the stage of identifying her dreams. I'm still amazed every day by how she's learning and growing all the time.

What a girl! I just hope she doesn't end up like her father and start literally acting out her dreams in her sleep or she might have to stay in her crib forever!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Zippity Doo Daa

I did some lines for the first time this past Friday. Ziplines, that is. Don't get crazy now! And what a way to start a weekend...woohoo!!!

Marble Zip Tours opened in Corner Brook last summer and I've wanted to go ziplining ever since - especially after seeing how awesome it looked on an episode of "The Bachelorette" - leave it to me to get inspiration from reality tv.

My cousin was home back in July and I was planning to go with him and his fiance. But scheduling did not permit and I was super disappointed. With our (lack of) anniversary celebrations in mind and knowing how saddened I was, the hubster promised he'd go with me later in the summer.

And, of course, I totally jumped on that promise and ran to the computer to book our excursion. If you know Jamie then you will understand my need to IMMEDIATELY take him up on his offer. Here's the guy who wanted me to take a photo of him standing on the first step on a ladder just to prove he's "not afraid of heights"!

I gathered up a few friends (Ryan and Melanie, Autumn, and Dawson - Thanks guys, you're awesome!) and off we went to do the 5pm tour of the Steady Brook gorge with a maximum zipline height of 285 ft overlooking a waterfall. The longest zipline was somewhere just over 400 ft in length. Holy Crap!

When we pulled up to the office, Jamie wouldn't even get out of the truck, said he "wasn't ready yet!" I was pumped and headed on up to sign my life away on the waiver and pay our fees ($79 + tax = not cheap but well worth it!)

We got all strapped in and the instructors did their best to totally freak us out, being sure to let us know that we had every right to be extremely nervous...Thanks guys! That really helped the Jamie situation.

After a bumpy ride to the top, we watched the instructor jump on the zipline and then we were off. Ryan went first, brave soul, and my heart was pounding like crazy. It's frikkin high!! Autumn next, then Mel, then it was Jamie's turn.

He was all hooked in, ready to go, 14 people in line behind us waiting, and he says, "I can't do it!". "Ah, yes ya can," I said.
"No, I really can't"
"You just gotta walk to the edge and go!"
and everyone starts cheering him on.
"But my feet just won't move", he says.
"You have to set your mind to it and go, you can do it, you're gonna have a blast!" I remind him over and over again.
And that was it. He was done. He said his next step was to start crying. I thought it best to save him that embarrassment with all the 8-year olds watching.

I waited with him til the end but he still wouldn't go. And off I went alone. By myself. Jamie was super apologetic and I was bummed. But as I zoomed across I yelled out, "You have to do this, it's amazing!" He wasn't convinced. Apparantly, he wasn't even watching. He said he was too scared to even watch me go off the edge.

Luckily, everyone waits on the next line and I re-joined my group. Yay!! I was excited again!! Holy exhilarating!!

There were 6 lines in total, taking about 2 hours. The zip across itself takes only a few seconds. Unless you get stuck half way across, that is, like 90-lb Melanie. We were told this could happen if you don't have much weight behind you - not so much a problem for me, I was zippin' across in record time. Look out "catch" guy on the other side!

If you're ever thinking about it but aren't quite sure - let me tell you, just do it!! It's not nearly as crazy as I thought. You don't actually feel like you're jumping off and free-falling or plunging to the ground or anything - you actually feel totally stable, like you're sitting in a chair that just happens to have a great view.

And it was AMAZING!! I just wanted to go right back up the mountain and do it all over again. Now I'm trying to convince my brother to go with me while he's home on vacation, minus the hubster, who, in his own words told my parents when we got back, "Yeah, so I basically just paid 86 bucks for a ride up a hill in a Toyoto Tundra." hahahaha!