Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Child Minding

Shelly and I had a super day with our two new pals Grayson, on the left, and Cole, on the right.  Their mom and dad took off for a date today skiing, and we were all too happy to lend a hand.  The four of us hung out and played some cars on 4th Avenue for awhile, then we walked down 2nd Avenue to child minder extrodinaire Trista's for some more fun and treats.  What a day.  3 capable adults and 4 crazy kids.

This was really not too much work at all = Not considering the fact that Shelly and I have spent next to no time whatsoever with Trevor, Tara, and the kids.  It was great just getting to hang out with them.  They are really well behaved and listen well.  It is so funny to get them ready as they just "know-the-drill" to get into and out of their snowsuits.  They eat like ravenous baby birds; grapes, oranges, toast, and yogurt.  Getting them into bed at nap time was a breeze!

Trevor and Tara made it home by mid afternoon.  Shelly and I grabbed their cross country skis and headed out for a bit of a tour.   We started at Centennial Parking Lot, skied out to Red Mountain, had a beer in Rafters, then made our way home.

Lots of fun today....  Out to Trail for dinner.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas In Vernon

Lots of great things to write about.  Shelly and I had a great time at the hotsprings, but it was time to leave and make our way to Vernon, BC.  The hotsprings were great.  I'd go back for sure.

Shelly and I had lunch in Revelstoke, BC which seemed like a really cool place.  We walked around and checked out some sights.

Tara family lives in Vernon.  Her parents, her grandparents, her sister and her sister's two kids.  There were eleven of us for opening gifts, and 13 for dinner.  It was really fun and not to manical at all.  The expressions prove it.

Other then seeing and being with Shelly, there were a few other highlights.  Trevor and I went for a 8km or so run.  It was a solid pace through and through, great weather, and great company.  Then Tara, Trevor, Shelly and I went for a bit of a nature walk to a beach area.  Tara was really happy to be out of the house I think.

But this is what we really looked like....

And Tara and Trevor....

So Shelly and I are just now hanging out in Rossland.   Merry Christmas 2010!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Halcyon Hotsprings

That is basically it.  Shelly and I made it to a place called Halycon Hot Springs on Tuesday.  It is a really nice place out in the middle of nowhere.  There are three pools here; the 12 degree, 38 degree and 42 degree centigrade temperatures.  We are staying in a cabin which is really nice.

So yes, it has been great being back with my sweet baby.  I have missed her a bunch.  We are going to have a terrific holiday together.

And here are a few other pictures.  Trevor, his two boys, Joel, Trista and their two boys, and I went out to Black Jack Cross Country ski area to watch a race. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sunny Day On The Slopes

Trista and I made it out to the hill.  It was a beautiful blue bird sunny day.  In the sun the temperature was just below freezing, and in the shade it was probably minus 4 or 5.  The only wind was that which blew across your face as your skies went down the hill.  It was a georgeous day to say the least.

We met lots of really nice people on the chair lift.  Chris was in his late forties and he was from Woodstock.  He brings his whole family to Rossland for the winters.  He was saying that they left London aeroport early in the morning, and immediately thereafter they shut it down.  He figures he was on the last flight out in those 5 days or so of that nasty storm 10 days ago or so.

Leslie was another nice lady we rode up with.  She was born in Ontario, but has been out in Rossland for thirty plus years and loves it.  She is volunteering at the cross country ski races this weekend down the road.  Leslie said her sister lives in Stratford.

So a great day skiing.  Just beautiful weather, but I must hope for a good 30 cm of fresh snow soon.  I have even mustered up a few runs this week home from skiing.


I told Joel and Trista anytime the two of them wanted to go skiing for a day, I'll stay home and mind the kids.  It is the very least I can could do consdering their superb hospitality and friendship towards me.  So the three of us headed off to Strong Start at the local elementary school, while mom and dad hit the slopes.

Mom and dad had a great time skiing, and the boys and I had a good morning playing with trucks, puzzles and making a few crafts.  We made it home for lunch where the menu was toast and honey.  It doesn't get too much easier.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

4 Days of Skiing

I have hit the slopes everyday the hill has been open.  It opened on Saturday.  It really has been fun to get out doing, what I have come out here to do.  Have I hit the best conditions yet?  No.  There has been some rain, foggy conditions, and parts of the mountain aren't skiable yet.  But soon enough that will change.

My skiing partners have been fantastic so far.  Every other day I have gone out with either Joel or his wife Trista.  We are all new to the hill and are finding our way around with good success.

They are going out every other time as one of them has two mind these two.  Cohen and Eamen.

So no epic tales of waist deep powder and bright blue skies yet.  We have skied through some very clear Kootney skies and I have found some shin deep snow to blaze through.....  More to come.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rossland, BC

Well I/we made it to Rossland a few days ago.  Andrew Johnston, Joel Wright and I made the 3600km trip in two vehicles unscathed.  We put in 4 hard driving days across US #2, and cut up into Canada in Roosville, BC.  The further west we drove, the windier, colder and snowier it got.

There were plenty of mentionable highlights from the drive in terms of scenery and conversation.....  The best night was probably on Thanksgiving Thursday.  We were in Malta, MT.  We rolled into town and found 1 open bar.  Everything else was closed.  We siddled in for a beer and made great conversation with the locals.  They were extremely hospitable.  The bar-flies had organized their own Thanksgiving dinner and had it set up, pot luck style, in the corner of the establishment.  It was a great scoff of ham, scalped potatoes, and veggies.

I have been very busy since getting here.  I played hockey on Saturday, and Sunday on Trevor's team called the Ice Hawks, and co-ed hippie-hockey on Tuesday with Joel.  I have also ran each day since being here.  That has been tough.  The overall lay of the land it isn't too appreciative of long distance running....  But I will keep it up.
I am missing Shelly a great deal.  But we have talked nearly every day and it is only about 2.5 weeks until she is coming out for the X-Mas holidays.  I can't wait.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Deer Hunting

On Monday November 1, 2010 Darren Scholl and I took to Forbes' field for the first day of the Controlled Ontario Deer Hunt.  It lasts for 1 week, Monday to Sunday, and hunters are able to harvest deer with a shotgun only, in our part of Ontario.  The week is usually pretty manical with hunters supporting their blaze orange up and down and across all the concessions. 

Darren and I set up late in the afternoon.  We got out to the property and immediately saw a small flock of ducks in a pond that were black, but had white bellies.  They were about the size of female mallards.  We kept walking and saw and heard 2 really noisy Blue Jays.  5 minutes later we walked into a flock on 12 turkeys scratching in a combined corn field looking for an afternoon snack.  All this in 10 minutes.

By 4:30 or so we had both settled into our waiting areas.  Darren set up facing into a combined corn field (a different field from were the turkeys were snacking) and I set up in a bush with a mix of coniferous and decidous trees.

It was a gorgeous weather day. 

Lately I have been preparing my hunts like an athlete prepares before a big game; good luck objects.  I always wear a Windsor Lancer piece of clothing and I always bring a copy of Call Of The Wild by Jack London.  I don't know why, but it seems to work. 

I measure my hunting success by the wildlife I see and the tranqulity I feel, not by shots fired nor game received.  Already I was having a lucky day out in the bush.

I decided to start reading Call Of The Wild from the beginning.  I had gotten to about the thirtieth page, about 45 minutes into the story.  The team of 9 dogs was a disfunctional unit at this point of the story.  They were fighting among one another, savagely correcting each others mistakes,  and scavenging one anothers' food.

Over my right shoulder I heard the ruslting of leaves.  Seconds later the doe appeared.  It almost perfectly blended in with the fall colours.  There was no shot.  Not now.

I sunk deeper into the hallow in which I was sitting.  We were quite the opposites of one another; the female deer in its perfectly camoflauged and quiet self, me in bright orange vest wrestling to stay silent among the leaves and twigs.  Somehow it did not see me.

I must have watched it inch towards my ideal shooting position for 4 minutes.  Buck's problems would have to wait.  At 12 yeards away I lost sight of the deer as it was directly in front of a coniferous tree with a rather large girth.  Although it eventually took those last steps in the exact position I needed it to be in.  At a distance of about 15 yards the fateful shot was fired.

I will be honest here.  It was intense. (Some would say violent, and I would have to agree in a way.)  There is no doubt or arguement in the matter. It is not something to take lightly - shooting an animal.  I will forever take my time and be careful as it is an extremely serious consequence one enters into with a loaded gun.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Shelly and I made it to Windsor on the weekend.  We both went to school there during the 90s and Shelly went finished up her studies during the new millenium.  I never need an excuse to go visit.
On Friday night we drove into Belle River to have a quick visit with our friends Bill Ingham and his daughters, as well as Tom Beale and his son.  Both are dear friends of mine and I always try to make a point of stopping in and visiting when I find myself in the area.  I'll be seeing more of Bill in the next few weeks.  See you then buddy!

Shelly and I stayed in La Salle at another righteous dude's and dudette's place named Andrew Marcus Hahn and his wife Kate.  Andy and I went to school together.  We have done a few runs together in the past - Say 1,000 miles worth over the years.  Saturday mornings was a bit slower then some of them have been.  Oh well.   Shelly and I were treated to great food, drink, and hospitality of course.

We all had a fine walk along Windsor's famed sculpture gardens which is adjacent to the Detroit River.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Nathalie + AJ's Wedding

Shelly's brother Andrew got married on Saturday October 9, 2010, which was a picture perfect day. 

The ceremony was in Lucknow at the community centre.

We went out and got some pictures taken. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ripley Fall Fair

Saturday September25th, 2010

Shelly and I made the quick drive over to Ripley to check out their fall fair.  Despite it rainning off and on and being a tad cool, it was really fun.  There were lots of people watching the parade and then most filed into the arena area to check out the exhibits. 
There were lots of animals.  All kinds of different poultry and duck varieties.  There were lots of goats, sheep, and cattle being shown by 4-H members, and there were plenty of horses in different competitions.