Friday, August 20, 2004


What a busy day!! I now know how fighters must have felt after sword practice... Our family had Vacation Bible School this morning for the last time as the session ended. I had a great time helping out with Arts & Crafts... but it did make getting the order off to the UK a bit more hectic that I would have liked!

Yesterday afternoon a very nice man in a dump truck delivered our 3 yards of topsoil to bring up the area in the backyard that had settled over the past few years and created a lake that kept trying to flow into my basement office window. Nick and Fred dug a proper window well when they replaced the deck, but since we changed where the steps down from the new deck come, we wanted to build up that sunken area as well to prevent any surprises next spring.

When we ordered the topsoil, the forecast for the weekend had been clear and sunny, so we’d planned to do a bit each day and get the project done by Monday. By lunch time today, the forecast had changed drastically and they were calling for heavy rain all weekend. I had visions of the nice topsoil being washed down the driveway before we could get it spread... so Nick and I donned our sunscreen and headed out into the backyard for a four hours mud moving marathon! Erin was just super about answering the phone (wasn’t she Barb?) and bringing us cold water to drink. I now know why they call it SWEAT equity!! At one point during this Topsoil Turmoil, Nick reminded me that we can NEVER sell the house now because we have too much blood and sweat invested in this property...

I am now a bit more scratched (from moving garbage bags of trimmed shrubbery down to the curb) and blistered (shovel calluses) that I’d expected, but almost all of the mud has been spread. The remainder is hiding under a tarp that one of our wonderful neighbours lent to us so that we can see if there are any spots that settle further with the heavy rain tomorrow. After 3 late nights this week, I am going to head off to bed before the Cinderella hour and enjoy!!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Back Home and Blogging Late Nights or Early Mornings Again!

Well, after a wonderful two weeks of holidays and a few days of chaos after we got back home, I am finally back in front of my computer screen to blog again. Funny that it seems to be after midnight again! Thanks to a special charter flight that was happening between Moncton and Paris this summer for the 400th celebration of the founding of the Acadian settlements here in Canada (the ones who became known as Cajuns when they were later deported to the USA), we were able to get over to France to spend 3 crazy days in Paris before joining my brother and niece at their home in Provence, far to the south of France.

As usual, life and business have collided again. Nick and I volunteered months ago to help out mornings this week with the Vacation Bible School at church. This morning we did a Noah’s Ark Relay where you run down a field as different animals (I am sure that many of you would have laughed to see me demonstrating how the elephants, crabs, kangaroos and monkeys should move!) but then we rushed home so that Nick could head down to work at his new school in Petitcodiac for some afternoon meetings and I could finish batching an order from the UK that came in while I was away and needs to ship out tomorrow. There were two new girls working at the copy center of Staples who mangled one of the batches and I had to ask them to redo the job. The afternoon was spent printing out some of the covers for the chartpacks and assembling those I didn’t do between 11 pm and 2 am last night (this morning?) Nothing like hitting the ground running after a vacation!

Our vacation really did recharge my batteries on the deepest creative level though, so I don’t really mind the chaos before the girls head back to school. The colours, textures and light levels of Provence are still mulling around in my heart and head. The smells of olive oil and lavender linger in my drawers and on my counter top from souvenirs I brought home. The photos I took of crumbled castles and weathered stones just begging to have dragons drawn for them are all safely tucked in an album for me to leaf through whenever I get the urge to escape.

It was a wonderful vacation... but it is also good to be home!!!