Posted in Family, What? on August 20th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: My mother is at home tonight. Thank you to everyone who sent good thoughts and prayers, they were a big help. Apparently she developed food poisoning sometime yesterday. I’m hoping, finally, that she can take some time at home, and begin a rest and recovery period.

:: This is way too much fun.


Posted in Family on August 19th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Many thanks to all who sent me notes of support regarding my Mom. She was discharged yesterday, but needed to be go back to the hospital this morning in an ambulance, and remains in emergency at the moment, waiting for, yet again, another bed. This is her third trip there since July, and twice in the last few days. I have no other information. I spoke with my Dad, and he’s exhausted and hoarse from talking so much. Needless to say, I am frustrated and feeling useless, being 1,500 klicks and two provinces away from Winnipeg.

Men at Work

Posted in Family, Random Thoughts on August 15th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: One can never have enough good friends – it’s a blessing. Case in point: Heavy G came by Saturday morning to examine three Juniper trees in the back yard and make a recommendation re: having the trees removed. A quote received earlier in the week from a tree service came in at $200.00. G was sure we could do it with a chain saw and solid effort. Convinced this could be done, we went to Home Depot and rented an electric chain saw. Once home, G got down to work, only the saw wouldn’t cut shyte. Trip #2 to Home Depot revealed that the chain was installed backwards on the bar. D’oh!

We returned with an Echo CS-670, gas-powered saw, and it worked fine for about 2/3 of the work until its chain came off the bar. We tried in vain, for about 45 minutes, to put it back on the bar, and eventually called HD, where the staff told us we needed a special tool to reinstall the chain.

Trip #3 to Home Depot resulted in a third saw, a replacement CS-670, after it was determined that the chain mechanism on the first CS-670 had a flaw of some sort. By now we were on a first name basis with the staff. I thanked Darren and Tyler and Marc, and G and I returned, successfully completing the tree takedowns. I took a turn wielding the machine, hacking away at trunks and branches into smaller, fireplace-friendly sizes. The remaining branches were piled up by the backyard trellis. Trip #4 to Home Depot was to return the saw and peripherals, and the boyz there gave me a 50% discount for the trouble.

In the end, it cost $20.01 to rent, plus a case of Coronas for G, instead of $200 to the tree service. The issue of concern had been grinding the stumps, but because the trees were sitting in a planter about 12-15 inches high, any further work in the planter will begin with fresh soil to fill up the space. The stumps and roots will be a non-issue at that time.

My thanks to Geoff for taking time from his day to help me remove the trees.

:: While typing the above, I received a phone call from Winnipeg, from a friend of my mother’s. She is still struggling with her infected shoulder, and was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance today because of increasing pain and discomfort. She isn’t eating, and has slept a full night for months. This is causing a lot of stress for my father, who at 77, is doing all he can to help her. Please keep my folks in your thoughts and prayers.

Family Stuff: 10 (or more) Weird, Different or Otherwise Interesting Things To Know

Posted in Family on June 18th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

One of my favorite blogs is Tonya‘s brilliant adventure journalist: the notebook. Seemingly without much effort, she weaves colour, shape, love, intensity, creativity and passion into her writing. In her latest entry, she writes of “10 weird, fun, interesting and/or disturbing things about my family“. What I wrote on her site is below, with a few minor editorial changes. Do you have anything interesting to share about your family? If so, let both of us know! 🙂

    1) My maternal grandmother, Marie-Ange, known as Mary, and her sister, Yvonne, married the Carriere brothers, Jean-Charles (known as Charlie) and Armand, and lived in Winnipeg. Two of her other sisters, Florence and Blanche, married the Chale brothers (George and Red), and moved to North Dakota. My grandma and grandpa, Mary and Charlie.

    2) My mother’s birthday is New Years Eve. Her first ever birthday party was when she turned 51.

    3) My dad’s birthday is Sept 12, as is one of my best friends, Lea. On Sept 12, 1983, I was phoned and offered the job I have to this day, working as an academic librarian at the U of Alberta. When I was working at my first job in the early 1980s, a woman with whom I worked, who had been trying to conceive with her husband for years, but was told by her doctors that it wasn’t possible, learned on Sept 12 of that year that she was pregnant. Something else happened on Sept 12 of significance to me, but I’m blanking at the moment.

    4) My niece’s birthday is May 29, 1992, which, depending upon how you write it numerically, could be a palindrome: 29/5/92.

    5) My paternal grandmother used to bake “money buns”. She’d bake buns for the grandchildren, and put coins in each one. Each of us hoped we’d get the one with the 25c piece in it when we got to eat the buns. Then she’d make us tea, which we loved to drink with cream and sugar.

    5) My maternal grandfather got me hooked on eating white bread, milk and brown sugar. I’d dip the bread in the milk, put brown sugar on it, and eat it. I don’t eat bread, milk and brown sugar together any more.

    6) Neither of my parents finished high school, but between my two brothers and I, we have five university degrees. My parentsare nonetheless smart, articulate and talented.

    7) My father is an artist, but didn’t have his first art show until he was 67. He worked full time for 31 years, and never had the time to organize an art show of his own works until he was retired.

    8) When I was small, I tried to break a hard plastic cup by smashing it on the sidewalk. A piece flew up into one of my eyes, and I had to wear an eyepatch for a time while my eye healed.

    9) In junior high school, I slipped on ice and the top of my head hit an edge of the outside school wall. I felt no pain, but a moment later, blood began gushing out of the crack in my skull. I lived.

    10)I had pneumonia when I was 5 years old, one of at least four times I had it. At the time, my body temperature rose to 105.5F, and my parents were told that if it hit 106F, I wouldn’t survive. I lived.