Our Travel Blog

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Driving Miss Donna - what does this mean? Whenever I want to go somewhere, if Don is home he will usually drive. He always says he is driving miss Donna! This blog is for our travels, usually with our truck and fifth wheel trailer, but sometimes in our Journey. Don retired October 2011 so hopefully the travelling part will increase! When we are not vacationing check in for updates about our life at home and our wonderful family:)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Trying to define “normal”

January has been very kind to us.  We settled into somewhat of a routine with Don working away and myself huddled at home, trying to manage 2 jobs.  I have also committed to some new volunteer opportunities.  I know that once April 1st arrives and I say that’s it – neither of us are working the rest of this year, I am going to start feeling unproductive.  So I took inventory of what I was doing with my time and added a couple of new adventures.
Here is my volunteer life: Spruce Grove Ringette Treasurer, Friends of the Stony Plain Library Treasurer, North Central Co-operatives Association Board Member, Stony Plain Family & Community Support Services Board Member, and AURORA Foundation Vice Chairperson.
I imagine this will help my transition from working to non-working!
Did I actually tell everyone we are hoping not to work this year after April 1st?  We are both open to taking some small contracts along the way to “sustain” ourselves, but not hoping for any large time commitment opportunities to come along.  Having said that though this past year has proven to both of us to never say never.
Don has completed his job up north a shift earlier than expected.  Some growing pains along the way for “the department”, but overall not so bad for Don. He has a pile of to do items on his list around home (and no not my stuff!).  For the most part I am quite independent about household stuff, being used to Don being away from home is his government job.  More like things in the garage, ATV oil changes, etc.  I will sneak in some items come spring:)
On January 28 Tracy and Lindsay had a birthday party for me!   I will be turning 50 on February 20, but that is too close to Lindsay’s due date of March 2 for her to venture south, so it was planned for a weekend that still felt safe for travel.  The date was not a surprise for me, but the location, activities and final guest list was.  It was an amazing evening full of good friends, food and laughter.  We have the greatest daughters and love them so much!  Thank you!!
February is a busy family month, and a full work one for me.  March will bring our new baby!! Don and I are going away for April, and looking forward to that.
So as the next few months approach Don and I are trying to figure out what our normal will be in the way of daily routines, etc.  I am privileged that the contracts I have allow a non-traditional work day and for the most part I work at home, and hopefully we don’t get in each others way too much unless we want to!
Have  a great February everyone – and I will let you know how things are going for us!  Call for a coffee if you are near…

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hello 2012!!

So what people call the busy/crazy time of year is come and gone again.  I don’t see it that way, but I am different.
We had a great Christmas break in our home.  I was gifted with 2 weeks vacation, which was a pleasant surprise in my contract.  And Don was able to be home the whole time.  As reported we travelled to Saskatchewan prior to Christmas.
Lindsay and Jeremy were home on the 23rd, and we had some great times.  We visited with Warren and Cherie in their home on Christmas Eve, joined by many of their friends we have gotten to know over the years.
Christmas day started out quietly with just the 4 of us adults in the morning, then Tracy, Cal, Blake, Emerson and Reese joined us mid morning!
We all had a fantastic time opening presents and stockings – thank goodness Santa knows where everyone stops that day.
We took the kids skating as the turkey cooked – yes even Grandma and Grandpa!  It was Emerson’s first time and he was very proud to move on her own.
Of course there was far too much food.  We were happy to have Warren and Cherie join us to help out with that!  Lindsay and I got some boxing day shopping in before we headed to the city, first to babysit the kids while Tracy and Cal took in a World Junior game, then later we were off the Rexall Place for the same.
Rather than host a pre-Christmas party this year for friends and family we decided to have a New Years Eve party, of a quieter and smaller nature.  Isn’t that just when the best parties happen?  LOL.  We saw midnight come and go, and had some sleep over guests as well.  It was quite a party for these old folks.
Some serious conversation took place, and it appears major decisions were made.  (Thanks Eric for the photo)
xmas 2011
January 2 came too soon, as Don headed north for his first 12 day shift.  Working long days, but not in weather too cold.  As it turns out it has been so warm he had to call it quits a couple of days early and colder weather is needed to continue in the northern muskeg.  That means he has 4 days at home this weekend though.
Tracy brought the kids out yesterday afternoon for a visit – it is always so much fun having them here at our house!!
Tonight we had a great dinner with Warren and Cherie (thanks guys), tomorrow a Co-op Board gathering, a quieter Sunday, and Monday back to the race.
I am so excited as this week I received confirmation of a contract with Volunteer Wood Buffalo in Fort McMurray.  Don’t get all excited I will not being working up there, but rather on a home based project.  As part of my contract with Volunteer Alberta, I needed to form a company, and I thought with the approaching end of that contract, I should get in circulation as a consultant.  Some day you can check my website – soulutionsbydonna.com – and it will have content!  Thanks Lindsay for getting this completed for me!
donna jpg
So January is speeding by and fast approaching is a February full of family birthdays – in order – Cal, Emerson, myself, and Jeremy.  Cake and party time!!
Enjoy the rest of the month.