Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yes, I am still here

It has been a long time since my last post as I have been in and out of town as well as busy with Valentine's Day business in *The Stores*.  So, time for a little catching up...don't you think?

First up...Quebec Canada
On February 9th I departed the San Francisco airport with my younger son, Matthew, and his hockey team for Quebec for the Quebec International PeeWee Hockey Tournament. As previously written, this tournament is one of the largest youth hockey tournaments in the world. Over 300 teams, from 16 countries, participate in a 10 day tournament.
The San Jose Jr. Sharks PW99AAA hockey team - sitting in the San Francisco Airport, waiting for everyone to check in their luggage and hockey equiptment before heading down secuity and the gate.
Our flight took off at 8am and after 5 hours in the first leg of our journey, we arrived in Toronto Canada. After going through Canadian customs, we had enough time to catch a quick bite of food before loading onto the next plane that would take us to Quebec.
Sitting at the gate waiting for our Quebec flight. Matthew is sitting in the middle (he has the Jr. Sharks grey shirt on), on the left is his coach and on the right is one of his teammate. Below, at his feet is the rest of his team, sitting on the floor eating and playing computer games.
The flight from Toronto to Quebec is a little over an hour. Once in Quebec and our luggage was collected, we all boarded the tournament vans which brought us over to the Pepsi Colisee where the boys would meet the families that they would be staying with for the next 10 days.
Matthew...his billete dad: Benoit...and his teammate: Cam
Once Matthew and his teammate, Cam, departed with their new Quebec family, I left with the rest of the hockey families to check into our hotel. Matthew's billete family has two children - a 3 year old boy and a 9 month old girl. During the weekend, Matthew told me that it was fun playing with 3 year old Maxime, but..."he only speaks French." However, friendship and love seem to breakdown language barriers pretty quickly! Both Matthew and Cam had a wonderful time with their billet family during the 10 days. They were treated like princes!

During their 10 days in Quebec, the boys played a lot of hockey. Their 2 tournament games didn't go very well, loosing both, they were eliminated from the tournament pretty quickly. However, the coaches set up a lot of exhibition games which kept them pretty busy and on the ice. There were only 2 days they weren't on the ice - the first one being Monday, Feb. 13 when they went to a huge snow tubing park...which is always a highlight for the team that go to this tournament. And the only other day they were off the ice was Sunday, Feb. 19 when they were getting packed up to depart the next day. If interested in reading a little more about some of their experience in Quebec, we started a blog to jounalize their experience (unfortunately, I didn't get a chance yet to finish it). You can visit this blog by going to:

The last night in Quebec, my son and his roommate had to come to the hotel and stay with us (I was rooming with Matthew's teammate's mother). Their billete family had to go back to work on Monday, Feb. 20th early so it was best for them to come to the hotel. I am glad that it happened this way, for it gave Matthew and I some mother-son time. Three years ago, when Robert (my older son) went to Quebec, this same thing happened and I treasured this time we had together for it just put a nice ending on the whole experience so I was glad to have this with Matthew. So, Sunday evening - the last evening in Quebec - we walked to one of my favorite restaurants in the Old City called Portofino. We had a very nice meal and Matthew filled me in on his wonderful experience he had at his billete family's house, playing in the tournament, hanging out with his teammates, going to the snow park, etc. He was just glowing with happiness as he told me all his stories. After we finished out meal, I took him to my favorite place in the city. Located below the Chateau Frontnac is Petite Champlain, a little cobble stone street with building that date back to the 1600's-1700's. Many of these buildings are now art galleries, shops and restaurants. But with all the holiday lights and the snow it reminds me of something out of a Charles Dickson's novel. It was a wonderful way to end this trip with my son Matthew.

My side of the Quebec Experience
I was in Quebec Feb. 9-12 and then again Feb. 16-20. In between I had to fly home to help DH with Valentine's Day business at *The Stores*.  My side of Quebec was like having 2 "girl" weekends...or should I say "hockeymom" weekends. Throughout the day we would attend the hockey games our boys played and then in the evening we would enjoy the many wonderful restaurants Old Quebec City had to offer as well as ending up in the hotel bar until midnight or 1am. It has been a very long time since I have had time like this...and I don't think that I have ever really had a girl weekend out. It was fun.

The first weekend up there, there were 4 of us hockey moms that hung out together and the second it was just down to 2. But we definitely had fun none-the-less!

Valentine's Day
Well, like I mentioned I came home Sunday, Feb. 12 and stayed until the 16th in order to help out at *The Stores*. It was definitely crazy and I didn't get much sleep. For I worked immediately when I got home on Sunday, Feb. 12. DH picked me up from the airport and I went directly to the store to dip strawberries and apples in chocolate. I finished up around 6am only to go home to shower so I could go up to our other store and work allday. After a full day at Store #2, I headed back to Store #1 to dip more strawberries in chocolate until 2:30am when I just couldn't function any more. Home I went to get 3 hours of sleep so that I could work in the stores on Valentine's Day. I won't bore you with the rest of the details, but lets just say it was a very long and stress ful day!

Well, back home now. Quebec and Valentine's Day is behind me! Life looks like it was be somewhat a little calmer. I hope.

It is time I need to sign off in order to get the house up and going. So, until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often
 (I hope I will be able to soon!)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ready to go...

I'm up and going this morning in the wee hours of a new day. Up at 2am in order to get in a good spin on my stationary bike before heading off to the airport.

Monday I made contact with Matthew's host family in Quebec and they sound wonderful. I know he is going to have a great time there! And I am looking forward to my time there as well. Yesterday I didn't have to go into the store and was able to focus on getting ready to go...well, somewhat...

I received a phone call from my mother regarding my 93 year old grandmother. It sounds like she had some type of stroke sometime Monday evening or Tuesday. She was found lying on the floor by her best friend on Wednesday morning. My grandmother lives in South Carolina by herself (grandpa passes away a little over 2 years ago) but has a plethora of friends! She was taken to the hospital by an ambulance. My uncle who lives in North Carolina immediately drove down there. He is the only closest relative, the rest of us are scattered thought the US.

Anyway while trying to focus on packing and organizing things at home for DH and Robert while I am away, I felt like a huge black cloud was hanging over my head. My mother updated me throughout the day, giving me updates on grandmas prognosis. This help immensely especially since things weren't as bad as they could have been.

I found out she experienced a "bleeder" on the left lower side of her head, which is something that could happened to anyone not just the elderly. And it kind of sounded like a "bleeder" could be better than a clot, for the body can work to heel itself in this situation. Anyway, it has affected her speech and right side, but by the evening she was talking a little and starting to move her right foot. Which was the good news I received yesterday evening before going to bed. My prayers and positive thoughts continue for my grandmother!

My grandmother is like a second mother to me! Growing up in Kansas, we use to go to their house when they lived in St. Louis, MO a lot. We were together for all the important holidays...Thanksgiving at our house, Christmas at theirs. When we moved to Minnesota, grandma and grandpa would drive up every June when grandpa had to go to the toy fair (he worked for Kenner Toys, which is now Mattel. Pretty cool having a grandpa who was a toy salesman when I was a kid!). After the toy fair was over, they would take me and my sisters back to their house and my parents would fly down to get us a week later. When I went to college, I attended one in St. Louis. I stayed in the dorms, but found myself at my grandparents house many times for a wonderful home cooked meal and free laundry service ;). My grandparents moved to South Carolina 20 or so years ago.

Grandma has always been a sounding board for me. I share so many of my thoughts and feelings with her...and she is not shy to share her thoughts too! She has always reminded me of both Dr. Ruth and Betty White! Spunky women who are not afraid to say how they feel!

Dear God...please watch over grandma, she still has some living to do!

Well, it is time to go and get Matthew around for breakfast before we leave for the airport.

Take care my friends! Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often,

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Never a dull moment two days I leave for Quebec Canada with Matthew (my younger son) and his hockey team. They are participation in the Quebec International PeeWee tournament. Sunday he received his assigned family he will be staying with and the teammate who he is paired up as his roommate. Matthew is rooming with the teammate he was hoping for, so all is great! I contacted the Quebec family last night and they sound great; having a couple of younger kids in the house I think Matthew and his teammate will enjoy. They will spending time from dinner thru breakfast at the Qubec family's house and in the morning be dropped off in the Colisee where they will meet up with their coaches and remaining teammates. Daily activities change and will consist of either practices, hockey exhibition games, official tournament games or other things like playing at a snow park, shopping at a great hockey store or doing some homework at a study hall.

I am looking forward to my side of the trip. For while I will also join in some of the team activities, I will be staying with a girl friend in the Old City of Quebec. So while the boys hang with their Quebec families, I will be hanging with some of my fellow hockey moms. A nice break before I have to come back on the 12th of February to work in the stores for Valentine's Day.

I am sure I have disappointed many of you who might be looking for more of a stitching blog. It has been very difficult lately to really find time to sit and stitch. I do feel the ache for the needle and hopping to make time on the long flight to Canada on Thursday. Or other down times throughout the weekend.

Well, it is time for me to sign off. Thank you for visiting and sticking with me through thick and thin. Take care and remember...

Live, love, laugh and stitch always,