Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Katie's Birthday Weekend of The Sisters (and Mom)

So this past weekend was the momentous occasion when all 7 sisters plus Mom were all together at the same place at the same time.  I think that is a first--at least, since we've all grown up.  The whole time we were there people would point things out, 'you should make a cartoon of that Bethany!' And I wholeheartedly agree that almost every moment we were together there were cartoon-worthy events happening.  I've had to narrow it down to some of the highlights.

At first, when we were all together, we were all so giddy.  The excitement level was so high.  Almost everything anyone said was hilarious.  We got pretty silly at times...
It's been a long time since I've laughed that hard that much.

After dinner the first night we all tumbled into the outdoor pool at the condo we were staying at.  It didn't take long before we somehow began enthusiastically putting together a synchronised water dance.  We made it in honour of Katie's birthday and sang 'Praise You' by Fatboy Slim in what turned out to be very creepy voices.  It ended with all of us gathering in a  circle and hefting Katie up and throwing her into the water.  (In one of the practice rounds they ended up throwing Katie on me. And another time on 'fub.  What gives?)
The next day (Saturday) was stuffed full of activities.  It was a clear, hot, sunny day on the mountain (Mt. Washington), and Katie wanted to go for a hike.  Well, I always forget how much I hate relentlessly walking up hill (aka, hiking) until I actually start. Maybe if I was in better shape and not huffing along with a beet-red face.  Anyhow, after maybe 20 minutes, Mom, Laura, Martha and I stopped to rest in some shade, and then decided to make our way down and wait for the others at the bottom.  I had by this time mentioned maybe about 50 times how much I wished I could ride a chair lift up the mountain--it looked so fun and breezy and with such a spectacular view.  But it cost money.  Martha sauntered off to go sit on a bench, but Laura, Mom and I decided to go and sit on the chairlift that wasn't moving and have some fun of our own.
It was so nice to sit in the shade on a gently rocking padded chairlift and talk and joke to each other.  Mom initiated a leg dance which had us laughing pretty hard, and Laura took pictures of us on her camera.  I included a shout-out to Mom's athletic black cap because it was so funny to see Mom in a baseball cap.

And then Amy, Sarah, Katie and Andrea showed us up by pilfering rides on the moving chairlift and shouting at us as they drifted down.

Then we went home, made and ate lunch, cleaned up, and then squished into the van to drive down into Courtney and go tubing.

Now, tubing was an adventure and a HALF.  We went in two groups, and tied the tubes together with rope so we wouldn't get separated.  (Katie and Amy went in both groups). Katie warned us over and over again to paddle hard to the left so as not to get caught up in the shallow, right branch of the river, right at the beginning.  And we might have made it too.  Except Martha's tube flipped over, depositing Martha in the river.

We watched helplessly as she stood alone in the current as we were carried farther and farther away.

Katie (who obviously would be invaluable in any stressful/scary situation) Is the one who took action and hopped out of her tube.  The current was too strong and just pulled her along, so she urged all of us to get out.  Obediently, Amy and I scrambled out of our tubes, (and immediately got tugged and pulled in the strong current) but Laura didn't want to get out because she was afraid she couldn't get back in.  Sure enough, as soon as she got out of her tube she got swept away by the current.  Meanwhile, Martha had made her way over to us, but she too got caught in the current and basically there was a moment when both her and Laura were clinging to the same overhanging branch, and things looked pretty bleak. ('stop looking so scared, Bethany!' Katie barked at me good naturedly, and I quickly wiped the anxious look from my face).

Finally we managed to all cluster in the same place, we got a battered Laura and Martha into their tubes, and Amy, Katie and I began to tug the tubes over the shallow part into the deeper branch of the river.  This was very painful and hard, as the current was strong and it was hard to keep your balance, plus the rocks were slippery and sharp.

But we did it and the rest of the time was fun and nothing else untoward happened.  We made up our own 'Sisters Floating Down the River' song complete with harmony and it was really fun.  And it was exciting to have been through an adventure.  Added some spice to the day.  Of course, I wasn't the one who got swept down the river...

Anyways as the second group had their turn, Martha and I waited  in the river, sitting in the cold current and finding pretty rocks.  We got cold eventually and moved to the shore, and we weren't there long before the second group arrived.  Martha and I observed them as they came one by one into shore.  'Sarah got drenched,' we noted.  'Andrea's head looks dry...' and then Amy hobbled onto shore.

It turned out Amy's tube had punctured on a  nasty branch sticking out of the water, which also ripped her bathing suit bottoms.  I wasn't there, so I can't tell (or draw) how it happened, but 'fub's legs were covered with raised welts, her feet and knees were purple with bruises and dotted with internal bleeding, and she had two giant bruises on her thighs, one of which (the most impressive one) was shaped like a giant slug.  ('it's a banana!' Amy would protest.  'banana slug' Laura would reply without blinking an eye.)
Amy even named slug bruise 'Burlunky'. (name courtesy of Sarah).

After our tubing adventures, we found and invaded a McDonalds, got dressed into fancy clothes and applied liberal amounts of make up, had a sister/mom photo shoot (taken by my talented sis, Laura) and then went out to eat.  (It was 10 in the evening by that time).

It was all so fun--every moment.  I wish it could have lasted longer, or at least that we all lived closer together.  But I'm so glad that we got to have that time together at least.

I love my sisters!

Monday, 9 July 2012

The Seven Sisters and a New Cat

One day Ben and I took our kids to a petting zoo.  There was a batch of fluffy grey kittens.  And that is the end.  Meet Frieda:

Ben and I got her as a pet for the kids.  While I have always loved animals, when I started having kids they sort of fell in importance a few rungs.  So much of my energy was taken up in taking care of my kids, I didn't feel able to give much more energy and love to a pet.  But since Angus has been getting bigger and bigger (sad), I have felt a little more able to spare a little love towards an animal friend.  And apparently animals are super good for kids.  So Ben and I thought it would be a good idea.

So far it's doing well.  Owen plays with her lots, she acts like she owns the house, etc etc.  At first she meow-d a LOT.  We marvelled at the the volume of sound that came out of her little body.  But that has died down now.
Oh and also I am now sporting scars all over my legs because she likes to climb up them.  It hurts.
But other than that it is going well.

Other things going on in my life:  I am super excited for a special gathering of all my sisters this upcoming weekend!  My sister, Katie, is turning 40 and to celebrate we are all getting together and getting a vacation rental on Mt. Washington.   A while back when my oldest sister turned 40 we all got together and went on a bike hike on Saltspring Island.  So it is a tradition now.

To celebrate this hopeful gathering of us 7 sisters, I decided it was the perfect time to celebrate each individual sister.  Starting with the youngest!  (this may be long, I would apologize except it's my blog and I can do what I wanna.)

Amy: Amy has the knack to perfectly tie and arrange a scarf. (she will deny this but it is true).  Amy patiently ironed my butt-length hair for me back when I hated the curly.  With an iron.  Only a true friend.  Amy wrote me hilarious notes full of cartoons, anecdotes, and funny gossip back in high school.  Even the most mundane activity will be fun if Amy is with me.  That is Amy.

me: you know too much about me already.
Sarah:  Commonly known as Sarahstottle, she brings a unique vibe to each sister get together.  She is the only straight-haired one of the bunch and the truest blond (although it is more of an enviable strawberry blond).  I go to 'Stott when I need a sympathetic ear, or hair advice, or some one to watch chick flicks with unabashedly. Everyone who sees her is always like 'Sarah is so stylish'.  And it's true she's got style.

Martha: When I was growing up and people heard that my sister's name was Martha, they always thought it was weird because it was an old fashioned name.  But when I was little it was always one of my favourite names.  Martha was so beautiful that her name was beautiful to me.  And her personality matches her outward beauty perfectly: she's always good for a laugh and has a keen sense of the hilarious, and is just overall sweet and kind-hearted!

Laura: Laura is impossibly fun and funny, and pretty much everyone loves her on sight because she just makes people feel good about themselves, helps them relax and makes simple things fun.  And she is other 'fub's and my swimming partner and the rest of the family commonly refers to us as seals.  We like to call ourselves The Women of Piper's Lagoon' but that is a whole 'nother post.

Katie: Katie used to grab me up and twirl me and dance crazily to her loudly playing music.  She painted my toenails when I was a little girl and taught me that 'beauty hurts' (as she did my hair and pulled it so tight it pulled my eyes back).  She always has a sympathetic ear (I think this is a common theme among us).

Andrea: when I draw cartoons of people, there is usually a significant feature that I can use to make it look more like the person.  With Andrea, I find it doesn't look quite right unless I draw her with a wide smile.  I think that says a lot about her.  Everyone knows that they are welcome in her home, and have kind of surged in in overwhelming waves.  But they always get a tight hug and a characteristic wide sincere smile.

Don't I have great sisters??  I have always felt lucky to be one of them.

Can't wait for this weekend!