Thursday, July 27, 2006


I have one hour and now 10 minutes are left. Whew! We're at an internet cafe, with prices exorbitant, that charges by the hour. Canada is beautiful. I am homesick though. The worst of it is, as you may have guessed by the lack of activity, our satellite evidently cannot connect to our assigned satellite from this far north. We are kaput with internet. We think it's due to curvature of the Earth? It's been awful. Kara, and Michele, and Elvea, I will write soon! I want to write now but I must, must, do a bit of research for homescholing.

We're in the great province of Manitoba. We came in at Alberta and drove clean across the grassy prairie land of Saskatchewan. We must have passed millions of acres of canola. And 54% of all of Canada's wheat comes from southern Saskatchewan. Riding Mountain National Park has been wonderful. We'll be heading for home in the next two weeks.

TransCanadian highway1 Posted by Picasa

A spider at the laundromat Posted by Picasa

Everything is in French and English Posted by Picasa

The Boreal Forest is waiting for YOU! Posted by Picasa

Waskesiu Lake at Prince Albert National Park Posted by Picasa

Kids learning about bison Posted by Picasa

I played a bit of bingo Posted by Picasa

Predators of the insect world Posted by Picasa

Clouds in afternoon Posted by Picasa

Canola fields Posted by Picasa

Looking at me Posted by Picasa

Saskatchewan farmland Posted by Picasa

A bird Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Hooray for warranties!

Arrow points to repair Posted by Picasa

Our truck repair went well. It was a warranty item! It was the turbo intercooler which was under warranty still because it's part of the engine and we're under 100,000 miles. We're on the road again. Praise the Lord. Thank you for praying for us. Thank you, thank you. :)

Fire in CA

It's summer time! Southern California is burning. (Every year near our old house we'd get fire in the same place behind the neighborhood. Every year. Kids.)

A good day, a bad day

The day went badly. Homeschooling was horrid.

I love my husband who makes all things possible and he makes the best decisions for our family! I can't make decisions for doodly. I did when I was single and I had to, but it doesn't come naturally for many women, now does it. I mean the big decisions, not regular day-to-day decisions.

It sprinkled today and I washed my hair. Actually I could have gone without washing my hair. It was doing fine even after two weeks and a scalp wash in between. Sometimes it seems it doesn't get so oily for the longest time. Other times it's oily and I can't stand it. It's been hot so I went to the camp showers to cool down and clean up and figured I may as well wash my hair there. I'm nearly out of my Body Shop shampoo and creme rinse. Yikes. Somehow I don't think I'm going to find any here in the province in Saskatchewan.

I bought a sweatshirt. It's darkest forest green and has a small embroidery that says "Saskatchewan - Easy to draw, hard to spell." Cute. Last time I found a sweatshirt this color was 1989. The hue of the fabric is a shade that brings out the green in my hazel eyes. Had to buy it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tallest tepee in the world

Medicine Hat Alberta Posted by Picasa

Here's an example of the public art by the First Nations People. Really beautiful pictures are at the bottom of the tepee (example below).

We had to stop in Medicine Hat just to say we'd be to Medicine Hat, Alberta!

Plains Cree

Plains Cree Way of Life Posted by Picasa

I photographed this one because it mentions beads and I like beading.

Art at the big tepee Posted by Picasa

Near the tepee

No explanation Posted by Picasa

There was no information about this in the area, but look at the detail and you see obviously it took a lot of effort. I wonder if it's a dream woman taking a younger girl into a dreamland.


Good news on the truck. Hopefully they will be done with it tomorrow and it wasn't a transmission problem. The big bang sound was, um, my husband's asleep so I can't explain it till he's awake, but it's a thing that's not going to put us in the poor house. God is watching us! Amen.

Since I turned 47 I've been setting aside time more formally for prayer. I do it after dinner. It's gone well. I started feeling like a problem prayer because praying before sleep in my bed I started going into overdrive. I was praying for everything I could think of and I couldn't stop. I was keepin' myself awake! I'd finish prayin', start to nod off and think of someone or something I forgot to pray about. Also, one of the books I'm reading explains that we should stop yakking so much and be sure to be quiet. Settle into it first. Don't just start yammering right off the bat. Let God examine you and your heart just like an x-ray that goes through you and sees everything. Or like sunshine and let it cleanse you and refresh you, burn up all that bacteria so to speak. I might need a torch for that though.

I finished reading Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Who said, "I shall fight no more, forever." Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce. And where did Manifest Destiny come from? It came from our very own American government. It's a brutal read. And who said, "The only good Indian is a dead Indian." General Sheridan said that. Those were not his original words. They changed as the saying became more popular, but it's close enough.

Here in Canada the Indians were not treated so well either. But I notice more museums and art by the Indians here. Well done stuff. I'm growing fond of Indian art and I never much cared for it before. Indians were true conservationists. In Canada, they're not called Canadian Indians or American Indians. They are called First Nation. And the people are called First People. They call themselves such because they have to argue with the French and the British about who got here first so to cover all bases they went with First Nation. Pretty good idea I must say.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Canadian Ding Dongs

Canadian Ding Dongs Posted by Picasa

There's got to be a story here. Both products are by Hostess but they have different names and the cakes are slightly different. King Dons have a darker chocolate covering (which I like), less filling, are a little taller, and very soft cake. Delicious. I like both kinds but 'Ding Dongs' is a dumb name and now Canadians eat 'King Dons?' Who came up with that?

They look like undercover Ding Dongs to me. Who knew this existed?!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Here we are in Canada

In the province of Saskatchewan Posted by Picasa

A grueling day. And this is the first time we've had our own internet connection since, yipes, June 28th. We've been going stir crazy. We feel so disconnected when we can't email or read the papers or listen to radio online.

We are by a lovely lake and we may be here awhile. Today our torque converter blew up - very loudly. We were driving north and suddenly the truck made a huge pop sound. It sounded like a blow-out but way, way louder. And the sound came from the front, not in the back where the trailer is.

Pulled over and husband couldn't find anything wrong. Strange for such a loud noise. No flat tires, no gauges showing trouble on the dashboard. We got back in, started up, and drove gingerly down the side of the road and lo and behold, truck wasn't shifting. He's taking it in to a Ford dealer tomorrow. Called two and they're booked solid and couldn't even do a diagnosis so he has to drive to a third one and hope they will look at the truck. The truck goes one speed, slow, so it'll be an hour drive tomorrow.

This repair promises to be expensive. If it's not the torque converter but the transmission instead, then it'll be worse. We just had a hefty, unexpected expense last week, $1200.00, for new front leveling jacks (and motor) to replace the busted one on the trailer. We can't take too many more hits like this. As it is, we've had to slow down and stay at places longer than we did last year because fuel prices are so high. One day of driving is $100.00 now.

But the good new is, we can fix it. The good news is, truckie got us to a campground that by the grace of God we passed right before our blow-up so we turned around, got one of the last sites available (electrical hook-up is all that was left), and we weren't stuck in the middle of the prairie grasslands needing a tow. The good news with the jacks is, when one busted the trailer didn't tip enough to fall over. It just tipped and wavered once. That'll put hair on your chest! Structural damage incurred to the trailer would end our travels instantly.

Mechanical trouble are one of the things I hate most in life. But I'm glad I'm married. My husband can fix any problem that ever comes up. Men are problem solvers. I know I don't need to be scared or worry too much. I'm not afraid when I'm with him.

Other topics: I had imagined us traveling forever into the wild blue yonder and this morning even before the truck trouble my husband said we'll need to settle and buy a house next year. Boo hoo. I'm sad about it! I can't picture myself in a house. I don't want a house.

I have to wait and see how it all works out. I know Jehovah works things out for the best. He has good things in store for us. But this is how I feel today.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Letting it all hang out

For many young women, one size fits all - no matter how that makes them look.

By Robin Abcarian
Times Staff Writer

July 4 2006

THE Sausage Casing Girls are everywhere this summer, their muffin tops hanging over their hip-skimming jeans, clothes shrink-wrapped around fleshy bodies that look as if they've been stuffed - like forcemeat -into teensy tops and skintight pants.

Read the article at the L.A. Times here.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Ink is out, over, done, kaput

My tattoo is no longer cool.

When I got mine in 1990 - western traditional, a heart with wings and a banner with my husband's name on it - no other women had such a tattoo, let alone had it on her right arm. Sure some women had tats but they were mostly hidden, mostly small. Mine was neither. I got many comments and compliments and sometimes derision. I loved it.

A previous shock I once experienced and I will describe it. It's relevant because it was the same heart stopping, reality popping shock that changes you. It happened coincidentally, both times, at a supermarket. You wouldn't think a supermarket could be a place of instantaneous self-realization, but there you go.

It was a Lucky supermarket in southern California the first time it happened to me.

I was walking down the cereal aisle trying to choose between Captain Crunch and Life cereal. Deep in thought as I often am at the market and this particular day, I heard a good ol' tune by Deep Purple being piped in. I was at once jolted from my island of thought. The song was "Smoke on the Water." A good ol' tune, eh. I stopped in my tracks, I listened, I pinched myself to see if it was a dream, and I almost died. They were playing 'Smoke on the Water' in Muzak. Muzak! I was officially old that day. Guess I was about 30 years old. The topper was, later that same week I was watching Van Halen on MTV, rockin' out, and our then 12 year old eldest son asked me if those people were still alive.

What's this got to do with tattoos? A few months ago I was in the Safeway supermarket in southern California buying dinner and a regular girl, neither particularly young nor old, wearing regular clothes, (meaning not a whit of fashion whatsoever), plain hair, glasses, overweight, and ringing up my groceries, had a brand new, shiny tat on her arm. My heart fell. Top it off with we're now in Montana, not exactly the fashion capital of the U.S.A. and there are tattoos everywhere on everyone. That's when the shock hit me the second time.

Tattoos are no longer cool.

Ink has gone mainstream. I only just now noticed it.

I guess you can argue the notion of what defines cool, but I submit that once everyone is doing it, its lost its coolness. Mainstream is by definition mainstream. Tattoos have entered the mainstream not only for men, but for women. I find my fascination with them is dulled when I view the same ol' similar design placed on the same ol' exact body part on every girl I see. It's tired. It's old. It's done. And it's not that I'm against everyone doing it. Hey if everyone wants to, fine, but don't think it's making a statement anymore, other than "Everyone's doin' it and so am I."

I still love tattoos. And unlike Cher who had her's removed, I'll never have mine lasered off. Even when the best comment I get on mine these days is from a guy who hollers across the parking lot "Hey, I can still read it."

Ah well. Life goes on.

(Filed in Dynamic Christianity to check spiritual growth and development on this issue.)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A mosquito bit my face

Aw man. We were watching fireworks last night and a mosquito bit me under my right eye. I never felt a thing until I noticed my eye felt like something was in it.

Today my eye is swollen all underneath and I look funny. I hate looking funny! I have one little eye.

I did my email and now my battery's almost dead. I'm using the campground Wifi in the office because there are


[blink blink]

trees all over this place. Our satellite can't work with trees in the way! Why I oughta.

So I've been reading. I finished a book about the JonBenet case (read it in two days!) and now I'm reading Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.

I've been using my Good Hair Days hairpins exclusively. I do need to redo in the afternoon but that's no biggie. I've found that they never pull any individual hairs out like my metal hairpins do. A hair lost here and there can add up so I suppose every little bit counts.

Been wearing a twisted figure 8. You know, you take a pony, separate it into two and then twist them round and round each other. I don't use any elastics, just twist and pin. It's kinda pretty I think.