Friday, November 30, 2007

Dad's Eulogy

It is my privilege today to say a few words to celebrate the life of a wonderful person, our brother, Madeline’s devoted husband, Tina, BJ, and Kassie"s adoring father and a "Poppy" that was idolized by Colby, Joey and Allen.

With Brian, his wife, his family, the little town of Hr Main and his friends came 1st: a close 2nd were the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Blue Jays. He loved life and loved being involved with everything he loved... A good example of that was being involved with and volunteering with the Sackville Blazers - he put his heart and soul into doing the best job as equipment manager that he possibly do. His dream job was working at the Sackville Arena where he was lovingly know at the "Zamboni Man" and a good perk was that he got to all the hockey games free.

He never forgot the small town of Hr Main, where her grew up - the highlight of his day was to read the Evening Telegram on line, he knew who died, got married, had babies, got divorced before this family who lived in NFLD. His body may have moved to Nova Scotia 30 years ago but his heart and soul never left the ROCK.

Brian's life was for Madeline, Tina, BJ and Kassie. Madeline is an extension of Brian-we never refer to just one of them, their names were always linked - it was always - have to talked to Brian and Madeline lately or what are Brian and Madeline up to these days? They were not only husband and wife but best friends.

Brian touched so many people - there are many, many people who are honored to call him friend. They loved his sense of humor and fun loving ways - you could not be down or depressed if Brian was around, some how he would get a laugh out of you or a smile - that was just a part of his nature.

The last month has been like a roller-coaster for the family. Everything was happening so fast but Brian never gave up hope. He accepted that he had a serious condition but was ready to do whatever had to be done to fix it. During the brief time that a lung transplant was a possibility, he always kept a very positive and hopeful attitude and right to the end he fought to keep hope alive. Even though he did not give up hope he still wanted to be prepared for "the worst case scenario" - his main concern was for Madeline. He wanted to know that she would be alright and she assured him that she would. He also wanted to be assured that his final wishes would be carried out. He wanted his final resting place to be in Hr Main where his mother, father and brother Joe are resting and this is already in place to happen in June.

The greatest gift passed on to Brian from our Father is the ability to be the greatest "Poppy" he could possibly be. Colby was his pride and joy for 4 years then came Joey and Allan whom he loved equally. He was so proud of them and I know the he will live on through them.

On a personal note from myself, my sister Renie and my brothers Mike and Clar- he was our brother, we loved him and he will be sadly missed.

Mom fowarded this to me yesterday. This is the eulogy that my aunts and uncles wrote for dad. Due to (in my opinion) crazy new rules at our church, they were not allowed to read it in the church, so a lot of people didn't get to hear this.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pay it Forward

The following is mostly plagiarized from OMG's blog, because I am feeling lazy today:

I am participating in a Pay It Forward "exchange" that OMG is doing (You can follow the links all the way back to it's origin to see all the people who will benefit!) I will be performing a few not so random acts of kindness. Here are the rules: I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a Comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange, and who make the same pledge on their own blogs . I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it in the next year. So, you will need to email me your real address.

I don't normally do this sort of stuff but it sounds fun and I'd like to try it. Here's hoping more people want to try it also!

Ferry, What Ferry??

So as I was planning my day yesterday waiting for the manager to come in wand decided the first thing that I was going to do was call and find out what time the truck was going to show up. We receive a truck every Wednesday and Friday which is how we get all of our stock. I decided I would check the managers email to see if there was anything important that needed to be addressed. I learn that the ferry crossing the Mackenzie River near Fort Providence is unable to cross due to an ice dam farther up the river causing the water level to drop too low. Uh oh.. No truck..Welcome to the north. This is not abnormal for here. The ferry usually runs right up until the ice road is ready. During the winter they make an ice road accross the river to allow the trucks to come and go after the river freezes completely over. They are now waiting for the ice dam to clear so that they can resume the ferry crossing, but until they do, looks like The Northwest Company will be relying on Air Buffalo to get our stock in. We will be waiting everyday to see if we get a truck or not. All of our stock comes out of Edmonton and then trucked up here. Now, they are going to ship it to Hay River and then fly it in. Air Buffalo is lucking out here! Well I hope things free up soon, we are all out of Pork Neckbones and we might as well be out of bread, milk and eggs. People are not happy! Nothing we can do but wait! Anyone have a spare stick of Dynamite??

Old Soul

I've always said that Colby has what my grandmother called and "old soul". There's more to this kid than meets the eye, and he's wise beyond his years. Anyone who has spent time with Colby can attest to this. When he first started school, he kept telling me about a kid in his school named David (I've changed the name). He said David kept picking on him and all the other kids. I reached out to the school to find out that David is in Grade 6 and has a severe case of FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome), which in him causes severe behaviorial issues. David has an attendant with him at school to help control him. The school is trying to educate the kids at a young age the dangers of drinking while pregnant. I know this because when Colby was initially telling me about David, he said "I know why David is bad. He's bad because when he was in his mommy's belly she drank alcohol which hurt his brain". Not bad for a kid who's 6 to comprehend this. He kept telling me how everyone hated David, which contributes to his behaviorial problems. I told Colby that it is never right to hate people for something they can't control, and maybe all David needs is someone to be nice to him. Colby appeared to brush this off, and I didn't want to push it any further, seeing as David is probably 5-6 years older than Colby. Colby and I were sitting down talking last night when he told me all out of the blue

"You were right Mommy. I was nice to David and now he's my friend and he doesn't pick on me anymore. I'm going to tell my friends at school that if they are nice to David he will be friends with them to and won't pick on them. Now when I get on the bus David looks at me and says "my friend"." It was all I could do to hold back the tears. My son is really special and has a beautiful heart. There's more to this kid than meets the eye.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I see why teachers are paid so much in the North

Yesterday I did my first day at subbing at the school. I had a class of Grade 7 girls. There were 13 girls in the class. For the most part, it was "alright", and I use this term very loosely. As with all the kids here, if they don't like what you are saying they totally ignore you. I have a REAL problem with someone ignoring me when I speak to them. It is certainly a different world up here. At lunch time yesterday I was sitting the class by myself wondering if the money was really worth it. At this point I'm still not sure. It's really hard to try and instruct a class who doesn't want to be there and has no problem either being boldly rude to your face, or totally disrespecting you. I ended up treating them as I would treat a class of kids Colby's age, and I really didn't expect I would have to do that with grade 7. I'm tempted to tell the school that I will only sub if they need someone either in the office or the library, but that will really limit the amount of times I will be there. I'm going to surf around different job banks tonight to see if there is anything I can do from home when the kids are in bed or for the 3 hours every day that Joey is down for his nap. I had a home typing business when we lived back home where I would type legal letters for 2 physiotherapy clinics and email them back the letters. If I could find a place that recorded their letters and sent them to me as WAV files, I could do the same from here. Anyone have any suggestions for a good place to start looking for work from home?

Joey spent the day in daycare yesterday. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I guess he would cry for a while, then he would play for a while, then remember he was supposed to be crying, and cry again. He took an hour nap in a swing which totally amazed me. I couldn't find a picture of the swing they used, but this is the closest that gives you the idea. The swings in the daycare are suspended from the ceiling at chest height and are lined with flannel blankets. They swaddle the kids and slowly rock them to sleep. Pauline at the daycare said he seemed to really like it because when he woke he didn't cry, he just laid there for a while in it. If nothing else, this daycare will help him get used to the idea of daycare, so when we move and I go to work with Rob it won't be such a transition for him, in case the next daycare isn't as patient as this one.

Monday, November 26, 2007

How to dress to walk to work at -37

I love adobe

I took this picture just before I went to NS and played around with some cool effects I found in Adobe.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

November 25, 1994

13 years ago today, a super cute guy that I was dating told me he didn't want to date anyone else but me, and wanted to know if I felt the same. Now, 2 kids and 10 years of marriage later, he still give me butterflies when he comes home. Guess I made the right decision.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Bedford Sackville Weekly News

This was written by a close family friend who works at the Bedford Sackville Weekly news and this came out today. Check here for the story. I always joked with Dad that it would be a dark day in Sackville when he died, and I guess I was right. Check out the cover of the BS News on the left hand side bar of the article. My sister will be going all around Sackville today to get as many copies of this as she can so we can all have one.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A trip around Colby's school

They had a safety "gathering" at Colby's school last night. EMTs and the fire dept were there. This is all the kids that were there. Colby is in the first row in the blue shirt on the far left and Joey is in the arms of my friend Tracey (EMT) in the back row. Colby's classroom. The group of desks in the front are the grade 1's and the smaller group in the back are grade 2. Colby now sits and works with the grade 2 kids. More of Colby's classroom. Tracey and Peter (EMTs) and the fire chief. Me and the kids playing around. This was the best find in my opinion of all the things I found while second hand shopping. This hat is 100% rabbit fur and cost me a whopping 1.50!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A photographers dream

Pictures of abandoned canoes taken from my front step.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Northern Lights last night

The lights were out dimly last night, but this didn't stop Rob from bundling up in his winter gear and head out side with the camera. You can just see the lights in this picture, but this is a good shot of the snow we have here. As you can see on the left, the lake is completely frozen.

On another note, I don't normally post about the TV shows we watch, because that would be admitting that we are totally addicted to waaay to many shows. We watched the finale of "The Bachelor" last night. (BTW, for anyone who lives in HRM back home in NS, the manager of the Sackville branch of the Royal Bank is a dead ringer for this guy!). I nearly fell off the couch! He didn't pick anyone! WTF?? He's never going to find true love now that his face has been all over the TV and everyone knows he's a millionaire!

Back home in the snow

So we're home and finally all unpacked. Joey was a dream to travel with, and everyone was amazed how well he did. The trip did not start out smoothly, and due to a stupid change in Air Canada's baggage requirements I nearly ended up being charged 375.00 for additional luggage. When we flew down, we brought the stroller car seat for Joey as they are not considered luggage with West Jet and First Air. I stupidly assumed it would be the same for all airlines, since you need a carseat for a baby to travel. The agent at Air Canada told me these rules "had changed months ago", and the carseat and stroller were now considered baggage. This put me at 4 pieces of luggage, whereas when travelling you are only allowed 2 plus a carry on. And to make matters even worse, we were always able to keep the stroller until we boarded and check it at the gate. Because I had a jogging stroller and not an umbrella stroller, I had to check it in with the luggage. This means I had to CARRY Joey throughout the entire aiport, along with my carry on packpack. Needless to say I was PISSED and I'm sure the entire airport heard me ranting and raving about it. I flew with Air Canada from Halifax to Toronto, and then Toronto to Edmonton. We were 1/2 hour early in Toronto, so I carried him for an hour in the airport until we boarded again. We had a 4 hour layover in Edmonton, where I met up with my Aunt Linda. She was a dream to have there, as I had to collect all my luggage and then check it in again with First Air. By the time I boarded the plane to come to Yellowknife, it was 8:30 Edmonton time, or 11:30 PM Halifax time, which is what our internal clocks were running on. Poor Joey ended up falling asleep on my shoulder 30 minutes before we boarded. The staff at First Air were the only people in my entire day of travelling that offered me any assistance at all. The girl who was working the gate carried my packpack right on the plane for me and stowed in the overhead bin, and the pilot carried it off for me, as in the Yellowknife Airport you are not bridged to the terminal but have to get off the plane and walk inside. I have never been so happy to get off a plane as I was when we landed in Yellowknife.

There is a lot of snow here, and a lot more skidoos on the go now. The lake is completely frozen, and I just watched a skidoo with a sled behind it go across the lake in front of my house. Rob and I are insanely jealous, as now we both want a skidoo. The skidoos in front of my house have doubled from 3 to 6, and the keys are now here. Sounds like a test drive to me!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

My last night in halifax

I wonder, if you intentionally set something on fire, could you request a specific fireman???

Friday, November 16, 2007

Pictures from this week

"I'm smoochy" "Boy is it windy" Lots of fun Famous Joey face with Great Aunt Rene My boys all dressed up for Poppy's funeral
Colby's future wife Emily With Nanny Alan and Daddy, slightly out of focus The airport in Yellowknife Joey and Great Uncle Clar

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just had to brag just a bit

For all my Northern blogger friends. I wanted to let you all know that I have been driving around today with the window down in the car and my hand out the window. I haven't worn a jacket since I got here and Joey didn't have shoes or socks on when we went strolling through the mall. I got all my stocking stuffers for Colby at the dollar store, 2 bread pans, 2 scrubbers and 2 gift bags and only spent 18.00. I have gut rot from all the Tim Hortons I have drank over the past 2 weeks and I've ordered a donair plate and having it delivered to my door. Did I mention it was 16 degrees in Halifax today?

Seriously, I'm heading back to NWT on Sunday so I'm enjoying the last few days here. Mom is now ready to start this new journey in life on her own and needs her space to figure out her direction. OHHH! DOORBELL! FOOD IS HERE!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Zamboni man would be proud

This is my dad's zamboni. Kassie and I went to a hockey game tonight and I had to take a picture of it. It's amazing how many people in this community knew and loved my dad, and miss him terribly. He won't soon be forgotten. It's very comforting to know how many lives he touched.

Rob and Colby left for home tonight. It's strange to be here without them. Mom, Aunt Donna, Kassie Joey and I are going second hand shopping tomorrow. I can't wait. I've already been out once and stocked up on extra hats and mitts for us, and I bought the coolest hat for me but I'm going to wait and take a picture of me in it as words just can't describe it. It's "bag day" at one place here tomorrow, and for anyone who loves second hand shopping as much as I do, "bag day" is a big event! Oh, and for my northern blogger friends, I've been reading all your blogs and I had to brag just a bit. It's currently -2 here and it's going up to 13 at the end of the week. I've been wearing just a sweatshirt out for the past couple of days and leaving my jacket home. I'm going to soak up as much as the warmth as I can before I get back! I must admit though, I've noticed already how fast paced it it here. As much as I will miss my family, I can't wait to get back to my simple Northern life.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A heartfelt thank you

I just wanted to take the time to thank you all for your emails, phone calls and comments. It means the world to me to know that you all care so much to take the time to send along your condolences. The past few days have been the darkest days of my life, but we have all made it through and the healing can now begin. My dad will be greatly missed by many people, and it is more than obvious in the amount of people that came to the wake and the funeral. He has touched many lives and will continue to live on in this community. I thought it would be harder than it is to talk about my dad, but surprisingly it's not. There was a line in a scripture read at dad's funeral that really hit home for me, and although I'm not a religious person, it really touched me. The line was

Being perfected in a short time, they fulfilled long years

This is probably the best way to describe my dad, and makes it a bit easier for me to understand why he died at such a young age. I could not have made it through the past week without my family, and I'm now convinced more than ever that I married the most amazing man in the world, next to my dad of course. :)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

We'll miss you Dad

POWER, Brian Patrick - 53, Beaver Bank, passed away November 2, 2007, in the QEII Health Sciences Centre. Born in Gander, N.L., he was a son of Joseph and Rita (Hickey) Power. Brian, otherwise known as the "Zamboni Man", worked as an operator at the Sackville Arena for the past eight years. Brian was an avid local hockey fan who was a proud supporter and longtime volunteer of the Sackville Jr. B Blazers Hockey Club. Anyone who knew Brian remembered him as a diehard Toronto Maple Leafs fan. Brian is survived by his best friend and wife of 33 years, Madeleine (Terry); daughters, Tina (Rob) Schwartz, Northwest Territories; Kassandra, Lower Sackville; son, Brian (Kelly), Amherst; sisters, Rose (Ron) Bryden, Dartmouth; Rowena (George) Street, Newfoundland; brothers, Michael (Anne-Marie), Ontario; Clarence (Rosemary), Newfoundland; Francis Hickey, Ontario. He was a proud Poppy to grandsons, Colby and Joey Schwartz, Northwest Territories, and Alan Power, Amherst. He is also remembered as a great uncle to many nieces and nephews. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his brother, Joseph Power (Newfoundland). Visitation will be held in Atlantic Funeral Home, 125 Sackville Dr. on Tuesday, November 6, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral service will be held on Wednesday, November 7, in St. John Vianney Parish at 10 a.m. Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Lung Association of Nova Scotia or Sackville Jr. B Blazers. On-line condolences can be made at:

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Birthdays and tears

Today Colby turned 6 years old. I can't believe how much he has grown and how fast time has gone. We had a beautiful party for him at mom's today and everyone was there.

For those of you who don't know, my Dad passed away Friday evening. My dad had a lung disease that developed more rapidly than anyone could have predicted. Without going into details, and honestly I'm not up to that yet, Dad went into the hospital Monday evening, Wednesday they were discussing changing his medications, he ate a Jigg's dinner, Thursday my sister called me and told me we had to come home NOW, I told Dad I would be there the next morning (Friday) for breakfast which he said he was looking forward to. I even joked that the joke was on him for spending the money to send up Colby's birthday presents because I was bringing them back. We flew all night and made it by Friday morning, and he passed away at 6:15 that evening. We were all there with him and it was very peaceful. He finally looked at peace and wasn't struggling to breathe. Needless to say we're all walking around in shock. But, Dad wouldn't have wanted Colby to miss his birthday, so in a matter of 24 hours we threw together one hell of a party. Everyone had a good time, there were laughs, and of course tears when I gave Colby his present from Poppy. I'm going to miss him very much and the next few days will be the darkest days of my life. I'm soo grateful that Rob is here with me to help us get through it. I probably won't be posting again until the end of the week so for those who choose to leave comments I'm not ignoring you. For those who believe, I would appreciate if you would include us in your prayers this week and we can use all of them.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Greetings from the South!!!

Just to drop you all a note, Tina and I had to make an unexpected trip to Nova Scotia yesterday. I wont get into details right now. We are all fine and we will be home soon. Colby and I will be returning next week sometime and Tina and Joey will be back after that. Hope everyone is well, and we will blog soon. Tomorrow is Colby's Birthday so this trip has been good timing in some aspects, we will have a nice birthday party with all of the family tomorrow. Take care! Rob, Tina, Colby and Joey!