Ottawa, eh?

I’ve been up in Ottawa, Ontario, this week for some fun at work. All of the locals are celebrating the fact that winter has finally loosened its grasp on the city. Apparently they have had 20+ feet of snow this winter. The sight of dirty snow piles in the shade of the big buildings is a strange scene, especially when it was nearly 80 degrees here yesterday. Needless to say the clothes I packed are a bit too warm.

Ottawa seems like a nice town. I’m sure it will be beautiful in about a month when things are cleaned up a bit and everything starts to bloom. Apparently there’s quite the tulip festival toward the middle/end of May.

This is the scene outside of one of the art museums. Julie would love this:

And here are a few more scenes from the Ontario tourism site:

Luckily it doesn’t look that cold outside my window.

I’ll be home very early Saturday morning, which should guarantee that I’m all but worthless for the weekend. It sounds like my lovelies are all doing just fine without me. Maybe Gwenyth is starting to miss me. Love you girls.

Gardening at Night

The mercury currently reads 92 in Surprise. It’s supposed to be hot again tomorrow and then go down 10 degrees once more. I read one forecast that taunted me with one more reading in the 70s for the foreseeable future. Of course that prediction is a week or more from now, so it could be wrong. In any event, spring has sprung and is a little warm. I was hoping to set a record for the going the longest without air conditioning, but when we got home last night, the upstairs thermostat said 85. Even my poor little lovelies can’t sleep in that. So, the no A/C record has stopped.

We planted a garden this year. I don’t remember if we’ve posted about it before. With food prices going crazy and inflation inflating faster than the fed can print greenbacks, we might be eating tomatoes all summer. They’re already starting to come on, which is pretty exciting.

Cherry tomatoes:


Early girls:


For stuffed peppers. Mmmm yummmm:


Chili peppers:


I told the girls that I would help them plant some pumpkin. So we threw some seed down and I kind of ignored it. A week later, we’ve got a full-on pumpkin patch, to go with the zucchini in the front:


Full view:


I’m heading out to Ottawa, Ontario, next week for work. I told them I’d be glad to go. In August. But I guess I’m needed there next week for whatever reason.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

If I go there will be trouble
But if I stay it will be double . . .
This indecision’s buggin’ me . . .
So come on and let me know
Should I stay or should I go?

Deep thoughts from that incredibly sophisticated band, The Clash. They seem to pretty much sum up the last month or so of our lives. It’s been more intense than any of you probably know. An agonizing thing to consider, really; something not taken lightly. One of these days I’ll chronicle the whole thing out for this vast audience, which I’m sure waits with baited breath on each word.

Either way, I knew it was time for a change in my life, both professionally and personally. Mercer has been a wonderful experience for me, mostly due to the great people I’ve been able to associate with there. That will certainly be the thing I’ll miss most about Mercer. Through all of the nonsense that goes on in a highly political corporate environment, the people I’ve been able to work with have really risen above it all and created quality work. And, more importantly, have remained quality people. So kudos to you.

The personal aspect of it has been the most agonizing. That’s surprising, I’m sure, to many of you who know much about me. I’m not one to wear emotions on my sleeve. Julie always tells me I have my crusty shell and use my sarcasm to ward off people getting close to me. That’s certainly partly true, or maybe fully true, who knows. What I do know is that I won’t argue with her (I know better by now). What I also know is that there have been some wonderful people we’ve been able to meet here in Surprise and elsewhere. It’s comforting to know that there are people so devoted to their families, friends, faith, and communities, and the people here have epitomized that devotion in many ways. If it were the same in just a small fraction of households, I think this cruel world of ours would be a much more inviting, forgiving place.

My family has attempted to disown me. And they probably would have gone ahead and done so if it weren’t for my lovely daughters. It will be a struggle and a huge adjustment. They’ve all been very supportive over the time we’ve been here.

We’ll be heading up to Utah on Monday for the week of Thanksgiving. It should be fun to look around and see what the market has to say. I have communicated with some property owners up there who think that they’re still in a pricing run-up. It’s been interesting to watch them pull back over the last few months. Of course I’ll also experience the other side of that down here. Our home is, of course, wonderful, but no one will ever think it’s as wonderful as we do, which inevitably causes some sort of emotional disconnect, which makes it hard to sell a “home.” We’ll see what happens.

That’s enough sappiness for now. I’ll come through with more details soon.