Day 4 in Del Mar, California Tuesday, Feb 23 2010 

This is a working week for Dwight so he invited us to keep him company as he did some calls in Del Mar, California.  We were up early and on the road shortly after 8:30 this morning…after a stop at Starbucks to get our Lattes we were off and running.  Del Mar is on the coast and the Historic 101 Hwy runs through the “old” “quaint” part of the town.  After much meandering through other parts of Del Mar…after receiving instructions from a couple of people…we arrived at the ocean.  It was absolutely beautiful…blue with the waves rolling in like “splashed milk”.  Joanne and I love the ocean and the sound of the waves; the smell of the water; the wet sand; and walking along the water is amazing.  We went for lunch at the Posieden Cafe which was right on the beach and we had window seats so could look out over the ocean as we enjoyed our lunch of fish and chips/and Mahi Mahi tacos.  It was my lucky day as when I went to sit down at the table, I looked down on the floor and there was a $10 bill.  As Joanne hadn’t brought any money for lunch, I was generous in my heart and gave it to her so she could eat!!!!  I thought that was really nice of me!!! We didn’t get much time at the ocean, but the sun was shining and the sky was so blue…it was a wonderful experience.  We then headed back to pick up Dwight from his luncheon meeting.

We headed back to Palm Desert by taking the route through the mountains.  It was a beautiful trip…with the exception of the build up of traffic because of a 20 seat airport shuttle bus that caught fire and burnt on the highway.  Driving through the mountains was absolutely gorgeous…when we left Del Mar it was around 68F and when we stopped at the Dairy Queen higher up in the mountains it was 36F…it was pretty cool…almost needed our parkas.  Driving down the mountains into the valley where Palm Desert is located is an absolutely breath-taking experience…the temperatures sure change quickly as you climb into the mountains around the valley.

We arrived back in Palm Desert in time to have a light supper and now we are relaxing watching the Olympics and enjoying a glass of wine.  Another great day in California.  Haven’t done much reading, but we are hanging out at the pool tomorrow so it will be a day of enjoying the sun, reading a good book, and just enjoying the relaxing life of vacation.


Palm Desert – Day 2 and 3 Monday, Feb 22 2010 

We had a fun day on Saturday.  Tamara, Benny and Chela arrived around 10:00 am.  We were waiting for them at the entrance to the resort waving and letting them know we were so happy they were there.  It was so awesome to see them and have our little Chela Bela hug us and lay her head on our shoulders.  She was so happy to see us.  We went to a huge flea market that happens every Saturday here and walked around all the different tents checking out all the deals.  We then headed out to Carl’s Hamburgers for Benny to try out their new burger.  He wasn’t too impressed, but we did have fun trying out their hamburgers!  We then headed back to our condo and spent the rest of the afternoon at the swimming pool.  Jerry, Tamara, Benny and Chela spent time in the pools.  So much fun…the water is so warm and the sun shines so hot even though the temperatures were only in the 60’s.  We then watched some of the Olympics while Chela had her afternoon nap.  In the evening we headed out to “The River” to enjoy the food at our favorite restaurant “The Cheesecake Factory”.  We had such amazing food…Chicken Tomato Basil Pasta…Marsala Mushroom and Chicken Bowtie Pasta…Louisiana Chicken Pasta…Jambalaya Shrimp…which we all really enjoyed and the desserts were over the top…Lemon Mascapone Vanilla layered cake with whipped cream and strawberries…Caramel White Chocolate Macadamia nut cheesecake…original cheesecake…of course we didn’t need them but they were sure delicious!  “The River” provides a park-like waterfront with an entertainment amphitheater, live music, fountains and cascading waterfalls.  The River is an unmatched environment of style and beauty providing a place to spend the day and enjoy the evening.  There was  live music which Chela enjoyed and entertained us with her dancing.  In addition to her dancing she climbed up and down the stairs at least 20 or more times and kept her grandpa busy keeping her from falling into the river or down the steps.  We had such a great day.  The weather was so nice and the company was excellent!

Today we woke up to the sun shining and we leisurely enjoyed our coffee while waiting for little Chela to wake up.  Joanne and I had the joy of looking after Chela while the rest of them went looking at new computers and whatever else was on their agenda.  We enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and watching the birds, including the roadrunner we had the joy of watching this morning, and the rabbits that live all over the resort.  We took Chela to the playground, she had fun playing outside chess, running through the grass, climbing up the little hills and running back down…endless energy.  Then grandma and Aunti Joanne attempted to get her to nap and we were unsuccessful.  We then headed out to Sherman’s Deli and Bakery for lunch which was amazing…all meals start with sour dill pickles and saurkraut…we had Pastrami on rye with hot sweet mustard or horseradish mustard…Tamara’s Turkey Clubhouse (fresh roasted turkey breast) was so huge she had to take it apart to eat it…simply delicious…we saw some famous actress but Tamara and Joanne couldn’t think of her name…that’s how famous she is…came back to do some more swimming…then Tamara, Benny and Chela headed home…Dwight, Joanne and I went for an invigorating walk…Jerry napped as Chela had tired him out…we then watched the hockey game and came away very disappointed and disillusioned with the Canadian team…now we are going to play some cards and Joanne and I will drink some good wine.

All in all a couple of great days of vacation!  Tomorrow we are heading out to San Diego with Dwight as he is doing some work on his vacation time.

Day 1 in Palm Desert Saturday, Feb 20 2010 

We arrived at the Mariott Shadow Ridge Condo site yesterday about 4:00 pm.  We each have a studio suite which is on the ground floor looking out over some rough desert and then on to the golf course.  We have a couple of rabbits for pets and lots of birds in the trees making all kinds of noise.  The sun is shining brightly into our big window and it feels awesome.  Tamara, Benny and Chela are heading our way today and will spend today and tomorrow with us.  The weather is not hot but nice and warm.  We were really tired last night as we had to get up so early to catch our flights.  Dwight and Joanne met us at the airport.  We are not sure what we will do today.  We had a good sleep in our “king size” bed and I was so tired I only had to kick Jerry a couple of times to make him quit snoring…too funny.  Jerry was already up and at it this morning and went to some kind of car show…said there was a couple of real nice trucks.  I will try and blog each day to keep my dear sister Doris up-to-date on what we are doing every day.  We have the same place for the two weeks we are here so it will feel like home in no time.  Embrace the snow and cold…all your Saskatchewanites!!!!!  Next year you need to come with us!!!

Palm Springs…here we come Friday, Feb 19 2010 

We are heading to Palm Springs early tomorrow morning for 2 weeks.  We are vacationing together with my sister Joanne and her husband Dwight.  We actually holiday together quite often and actually get along very well.  We have spent time in Palm Springs together before so are looking forward to hanging out at the pool, eating well, laughing lots, playing cards, shopping, driving around looking at new sites discovered by Jerry and Joanne as they do all the research for us…so I will be reporting occasionally from the sunny south.  Looking forward to not having to bundle up to go outside!!!

Olympics… Wednesday, Feb 17 2010 

Have been watching some of the Olympics…enjoyed the two gold medal events…also have been watching some of the curling with Jerry.  We are heading to Palm Springs on Friday morning so it will be interesting to watch the Olympics from the point of view of the Americans…I am not sure we will see any of the Canadians compete but hopefully Canada will be in the Olympic hockey final and I am sure they will televise that in the United States of America!

Olympics… Friday, Feb 12 2010 

I was talking to my sister Joanne last night and I can’t believe that I didn’t plan to head out to Vancouver to participate, not as a athlete, but as a spectator, to just experience the excitement and experience that comes along with this kind of event.  There are so many things you can do outside of watching the sports events.  I am watching the running of the Torch “live” on CTV this morning and thoroughly enjoying it.  My favorite so far was Walter Gretzky!  He is such an avid Canadian and over and over again talks about what a great country Canada is.  Another runner was a 92 year old man who was just so excited to participate and was actually running…it was amazing.  Well, I guess I will just have to participate sitting on my couch wearing my Olympic mitts…a Christmas gift from my sister who is actually to the Olympic Games!

Avatar… Friday, Feb 5 2010 

When my good friend Shawn invited me to go see the movie Avatar, I said “yes” without knowing anything about the movie.  I knew that if Shawn asked me to go, it would be a movie that was not like any other.  What I find quite humorous is the hype that is out there about the movie and I wasn’t aware of any of it until I did some research on it before going with Shawn.  I don’t attend movies because they are hyped by the media or because everyone else is going to see them!  I had no preconceived opinion about the movie!  I have to say I really enjoyed the movie.  The storyline was lame, but there were other aspects of the movie that I thoroughly enjoyed.  The cinematography and 3D dimension of nature and the connectedness of the land of Pandora was awesome.  I loved the experience of the 3D and being right in the center of what was happening.  When going to movies, I try not do philosophize and add meaning to everything that is portrayed.  I know there are opinions out there about the spirituality portrayed and such like, but for me I would go and see it again just for the experience of being in the middle of the wonderful land of Pandora!!!

Quotes… Wednesday, Feb 3 2010 

Whatever happens to me in life,

I must believe that somewhere,

In the mess or madness of it all,

There is a sacred potential—

A possibility for wondrous redemption

In the embracing of all that is.   (From “Straight from the Heart:Reflections from Twentieth-Century Mystics by Dick Ryan)

Healing begins when, in the face of our own darkness, we recognize our helplessness and surrender our need for control. . . we face what is, and we ask for mercy.  (From “Straight from the Heart:Reflections from Twentieth-Century Mystics by Dick Ryan)

Some good words to ponder on!

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger Monday, Feb 1 2010 

A few years ago Jerry and I were traveling in Nova Scotia and while there came upon a book sale in the front yard of the Bed and Breakfast place we were staying at.  While browsing through the books, which by the way were old books, I found a couple of books by C.S. Lewis but I also picked up an old copy of The Catcher in the Rye thinking that someday I would sit down and read it.  Well that time came this past week.  I opened the book and loved the “Old Smell” that comes with books that have been around for a long time.  The pages were yellowed and I know this particular copy had been read by others, who knows how many years ago.  I thoroughly loved the book again and, I believe, I laughed more this time while reading it.  His thoughts are all over the place and basically he is very honest with himself.  Maybe its the conversations he has with himself in his head that intrigue me.  Holden reminded me of myself in some ways, but also of other people I have in my life or have had.  This wouldn’t be a book for everyone to read, but having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Mackenson and Wilson… Friday, Jan 29 2010 

Our good friends, Greg and Jackie Reimche, received their twin boys Mackenson and Wilson from Haiti yesterday.  What a day for them.  They had spent time in Montreal, arriving there on Saturday, and every day waited for their boys to arrive.  They finally arrived, not in Montreal, but in Ottawa…so they drove to Ottawa yesterday and their little boys came in the afternoon.  What a rollercoast ride it has been for them.  We were invited to meet them at the airport last night when they came home to Saskatoon.  What beautiful little boys!  Lots of tears…lots of hugs…lots of smiles!  So awesome to see the grandmas holding their new grandsons for the first time.  What a lot of prayer, time, tears, patience, impatience, anger, frustration, anger, frustration has been experienced these past couple of weeks.  Jackie, totally out of her comfort range, went on National Television to speak to the issue of getting those children out of Haiti as quickly as possible.  Then today they allowed the TV cameras into their home to be interviewed and to show the world the beautiful boys they have…so not who Greg and Jackie are but they realized it needed to be done.

The whole issue of adoption is not easy to work through.  Jerry and I worked through all of that 32 years ago when we adopted our little girl Tamara.  There are many things to work through in your own personal lives to come to the point of moving towards adoption.  Then comes all the interviews where you are asked every question possible about your life and a judgment call is made whether you will be “good enough” to raise a child.  Then once all that is through, there is the endless waiting for a new baby to arrive.  There is not the preparation time of pregnancy and all that brings, and often you feel that you will never be parents and there are no children out there for you.  I still remember telling Jerry that we would never receive a baby, so I put everything away and put nothing together for a baby…so when we got the call there was nothing in place and we had to start from scratch.  I don’t think it really affected Tamara too much and she was fine sleeping in a bassinet for awhile

Now an international adoption certainly has it differences, but there are commonalities in the issues you have to work through to come to the whole idea of being able to adopt.  Greg and Jackie you are amazing and you will be amazing parents.  You will learn like the rest of us, day by day, make mistakes, try again, and your boys will grow up to be amazing men who will change the world!!!  Thanks for allowing us to be part of the journey with you

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