Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Change in Weather

So as to not make everything about kids on here, the weather is the next easiest topic to write about.  On January 8th we had quite the wicked snowfall and wind.  Enough that school was cancelled and it turned out to be a miserable day with cars in the ditches, a huge pile of snow to get off the driveway, and temperatures that were well into the mid teens below zero.  Fast forward to Wednesday and Thursday, the weather has done a complete 180.  The temperatures are in the teens, and it is raining.   I don't ever remember the fluctuations like these.  I know in Calgary they get such swings due to certain winds, but here it is unusual.

Shelly and I were on the road this past weekend and had a great late afternoon and evening with my good buddy Drew and his wife.  There were lots of laughs and lies!  Of course there was great food and drink.  I see Drew often, but we hadn't had a evening with spouses in 7 or 8 years.  It was a shame a few other people couldn't attend, but the weather wasn't great and staying at home rather then driving 100km was the wise thing.  I suppose that doesn't make me wise.  No surprise.

So onto the kids.

Wally had a third birthday the other day and it was a party!  Shelly, Molly, Wally and I had an incredible hot dog and french fry dinner.  No one else made it over, nor did we invite anyone.  So it was just the four of us.  Wally opened the most stunning gifts of a pair of pants, underwear, and bubble bath soap.  The pants got puked on the next day at day care.  Wally is still in diapers, thus the underwear for now is a bust.  Finally the bubble bath soap does not live up to its intended use - to provide bubbles in a bath.  But at three years old, Wally, I am afraid, neither cares or knows the difference of any of these events.

The real highlight was the cake created.  That we all got something out of, and importantly I know Wally did too.  Shelly created a scene, well you can see the pictures, but a scene where a number of diggers arranged Smarties into the shape of a number 3.  It turned out and tasted great.  It took a few tries, but three candles were successfully blown out, and Cotton Candy ice cream was consumed too.

In the near future we will have to invite a few of Wally's friends over on an afternoon for a few hours to have a play and eat some treats.  NO TOYS OR GIFTS!  He has plenty and will not care nor realize that gift giving goes hand in hand with birthdays.  He'll learn that lesson another year.

But the best part of it all was being together, the four of us, as a family. Having a few laughs is always part of our dinner routine, as well as telling stories about the day.  We do very well to consistently eat a home cooked dinner, generally always better then tube steaks, together each night.  But on a birthday or an anniversary it feels different and has more meaning.  It seems to be more symbolical in a way that is not easy to put in words. 

Maybe the words I'd choose is that these yearly events, these milestones, are important to pass. It is not just that they arrive, but they get passed-over and people are together.  One gets that YES feeling (fist starts at forehead, elbow bent, down ward motion with arm and nod head slightly down).  We got through another one.  Keep them coming. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Bar Up

We invited people over on New Years Eve, and when it all go settled about 12 people showed up for a flamboyant-less evening.  The big event is raising the bar.  For 360 days a year it stays hidden from view.  It is tucked away in the basement waiting for some special event or occasion to be summoned to use.  I somehow managed a water hose repair as one of them was had a 3cm split up its side.  But that will happen.
The whole ensemble is quite the engineering feet.  Perhaps it has been mentioned.  But tucked away under the living room is a 2x4 foot bar.  It is plumbed with water and has a sink.  It has an electrical outlet and working lights.  It has a mini refrigerator as well.  It is rigged up on an old 1980s Craftsman garage door opener.  It is counter weighted and balanced with an old steel railroad track, bricks, and different pulleys to make it all just so.  Neighbours told us back in the day people would drive past the house and purposely click their garage door openers so that the bar would raise to the surprise of Ken and Dorthy.  I think there is a bit of exaggeration in that story, but I'll go with it for flare.

So there it is and it is a fun party attraction.

So we've just been hanging  a lot around the house and haven't really gone and done too much outside and in the community.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Bouncing Around

From being over at friend's houses, to being with family, and also just having the four of us together, we have been pretty busy since the 22nd of December.  There has always been an occasion to go out on an adventure and bring the camera along with us.

It started with a cool nature walk out to a cabin near Bayfield at the Butler's.  Then it was over to the Coups' for Christmas Eve, we went to Holyrood on Christmas Day, on Boxing Day we spent the day with my dad and Wendy, then I met up with Joel and Trista and we all went to Bayfield, and then off to the community ice rink for a bit of a skate.  It has been quite cold and there has been lots of snow to make this time of year seem apropos.

Christmas morning was kind of exciting.  Molly was really appreciative of the things she got.  She didn't really need anything, but there were wants and she got a good number of her trinkets, Shopkins, Hatchimals, a Barbie, and stuff like that.  The needs were some new clothes and she got the basics which will come in handy. 

Wally didn't really say too much of what he wanted, but we knew he'd like a table top train set with the wooden tracks and supplemental Thomas engines and such.  So that was his big thing, along with a sundry of diggers, a punching bag, a bouncy ball that he sits on, and cars.  He, like Molly, has more then enough!  And it is his birthday on January 9th which just adds to the bounty of loot already possessed. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

First Sign of Snow

The roof shows about 20 cm of snow I guess.  It started on Monday, and has been steadily falling since.  It got gusty enough that buses going to and from the more rural areas of the county were cancelled, thus schools are effectively cancelled as well.  There is a bit of a newer directive which is schools are going to remain open to those whom can get there safely; kids and staff.  It is quite the exit from past practice because schools have always simply closed.  Closed to students and closed to staff.  There have been many times when the call has come early, the storm hadn't been so bad, and it probably seemed like a foolish decision.  Although this is certainly the exception and not the norm.

Now there is every intention to keep schools open.  This means try as you might to get to school.  If it looks bad don't continue on and risk it, but try again the next hour.  Try again the next hour after that.  If it gets to noon, and one's attempts have been exhausted, then stay at home for the duration of the day.  I don't know what to think of that.  It is the message and I guess don't shoot the messenger as they say.  Very few if any kids will be at my school, but some parents might have to drop off kids because they have no other course of action to take.  It is a super easy call when the roads are actually closed by the Ministry of Transportation, but they weren't from time to time over the past 48 hours.

I blew and pushed lots of snow today.  My neighbour Nancy is older and isn't in a position to move the white stuff herself.  So by the time my drive was cleared I was over to her house and made sure hers was in a reasonable state too.  She is a great neighbour to have and I have the time and the means to help.

Had a decent-ish breakfast with Santa in Bayfield a week ago.  Shelly was playing with her band.  They rehearse at an old age home, so the rehearsal for the quartet doubles as a concert for the residents.  It is a win-win for all.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Joy To The World

I always think of the movie Christmas Vacation when Clark has the family gathered on the front yard, and he is going to plug in the X-Mas lights for the first time.  He dedicates the house, asks for a drum roll, and then belts out Joy To The World moments before his epic failure of the lights not working.  Maybe my playing is failure enough, but thanks for the help and fill Shelly!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

I'se The Bye

Since I haven't posted much lately - I'll get a few videos up this month in the spirit of the holidays.  We'll get some Xmas songs from different people in the house.  I can't guarantee they'll be that good, but they should be entertaining.

First of December

I have spent the same amount of effort on this blog, and churching up the house for the season;  Ba HumBug.  I made the wreathe myself actually out of vine from the farm, and was quite happy with how it turned out.  The plug-in reindeer is quite special.  As for the planter creation - that was Shelly and there are another two or three at the front of the house.  All in all the effort (blogging and decorating) gets a low level 2 or a high level 1.  As for inside the house - nothing yet.

We have all been fine.  There has been no disaster or destruction - just apathy in updating and posting.  Molly fired through a sixth birthday in November, Shelly's parents flew through 50 years of marriage and so there were a few different parties to celebrate those milestones.  I was down in Windsor for a weekend to see some friends.  I had been out hunting a few times north of Lucknow.  Our chickens made their way to their winter country estate - although the weather has still been quite nice.  They could have still been here.  No matter they'll be in their element on a student's farm with a few other ladies and a rooster.  The rooster will be a new experience for them at any rate.  I told the student he is under no obligation to return them in one piece come this spring.  I know life on the farm can be tough.  Despite being in first grade, he understands farm animals have to categories; alive and dead.  So they will be either or by Easter.  

So anyway, hello to all the 4 regulars again.  Enjoy these few pictures, and I will be back soon with more to report....  Again - those diaper boxes sure can be used for a number of different things.