Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Another graduation for Alec

We are still busy here.  And very tired.  Caitlin left Sunday morning at 3 am.  She originally planned to be here for Alec's graduation but the date was changed twice after she booked her ticket.  Monday morning we headed for Kingston, picking up my parents and Kevin's mom on the way.  We spent the night in a hotel but first our good friends L & G had us all over for dinner.  They are wonderful hosts and what an amazing spread!  And very brave to have 7 extra people over.  We have known them since our New Brunswick years and Alec has visited them often over the last 15 months. 

 Tuesday morning at 8:30 am we all watched Alec graduate from the Land Communication Information Systems technician course .  Kevin wasn't around when Alec was sworn in but he was able to participate in this ceremony.

Alec will be moving to Edmonton, likely within the month.  He is posted to 1 CBG HQ & Sigs.  I am sure everyone understands what that means.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


We had a crazy, busy, great week with Caitlin.  We had hoped to go canoeing while she was home but the days we were free were too cold and windy.  So we decided to go geocaching instead.  We haven't been in years and Caitlin has never been.  Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt using handheld GPS units.  The "treasures" are usually tupperware containers filled with booty such as key chains, pens, traceable coins or bills, dinky cars etc.  You remove a piece of the treasure and leave one you have brought.  Then you sign the log and replace the treasure chest in it's hiding spot.  Most of the hunts we have done are through county forests or parks and some are quite rugged.  The first one yesterday was like that.  We were bushwacking for 10 minutes and going in circles.  We realized the map didn't match the GPS co-ordinates and we were right beside a construction site so we think that cache is gone.  We moved on.  The rest of our caches were very open.  The first was at this old pioneer cemetery.  

This cache is a micro or nano cache.  You can see how small it is in Caitlin's hand.  No treasure - just a piece of rolled up paper to sign. 

Our next cache was also in a cemetery.  Strange because we have never been to a cemetery to geo-cache before.  The cache was way over the hill hidden in the branches of a pear tree.   
Then we went to scenic Creemore, where we had hot drinks and home-baked goodies and found 3 caches.  Shown below is the historic jail and a picture of the 3 of us.  The picture was taken by Amanda who came along with us for the day.  Amanda has been part of our life since we moved here.   Connor and Amanda have almost always been in the same class.  I babysat Amanda and her brother for years, then Tori did.  One year Amanda's mom watched Connor.  Amanda is horse crazy too and loves hanging around Caitlin.  She gets most of Caitlin's horse hand-me-downs.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What we've been up to

Caitlin got her taxes done.  Here she is with her accountant.  Note the accountant's professional attire (pyjamas) and her well coiffed hair. Poor woman can't afford a desk or computer. 

We have walked the dogs, biked, biked with the dogs, run with the dogs, biked again - at least two activities a day.  Caitlin has seen her best friend and gone to the movies 3 times (the rest of us went once). Yesterday we went riding.  The last time I rode a horse was 25 years ago on holiday in Waterton Lakes.  Since then I have led a lot of horses with kids on them and watched a lot of lessons but was never able to ride again.  I wasn't nervous but my horse likes to find his own way around obstacles and mud and ran me into a bunch of big branches and scratched and bruised my leg.  It was still fun and we will have to go again together. 

Then we went for pedicures.  This was my second professional pedicure.  An event of that magnitude also needs pictures.   See our pretty flowers?  Can you guess whose feet are whose?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I've been too busy to blog

Wednesday Kevin and I, Connor and his friend Marcus and my parents went to the Sportsman Show for the day.  We had a great time and I think I spent more than Kevin!  That didn't even come close to the $1000 Connor spent on his new kayak though.

 I got dropped off at my parents and stayed there until Saturday morning.  I got to see all my siblings (which is pretty rare) as even my sister and her kids were up from New York.  It was a very relaxing time.  My youngest sister does not like to cook and has discovered Supperworks.   I had the chance to go with her this trip.  I enjoy cooking but I think this is a great idea for a busy person or someone who doesn't enjoy cooking.  Basically the company does all the buying, prep work and clean up.  There are stations where the recipes are posted and all the ingredients are organized and you measure and bag your whole meal and attach a label with the name and cooking instructions.  I think it costs about $15 to feed a family of 4 - 6.  Cheaper than a restaurant and there is a great selection.

Kevin was coming down to get me Saturday morning and replace all of his mother's smoke detectors.  He wanted to pick me up at 8:30 and I kept saying no.  I would be up but there were 9 other people in the house who might not be.  So he did the smoke detectors first.  About 10 the doorbell rang and everyone said it would be Kevin.  I had just talked to him and knew he was still at his mom's so I knew it wasn't him.  My mom answered the door and said "It's Alec" (my sister thought she said it was Elvis).  I wasn't really surprised though I wasn't expecting him.  Caitlin was right behind him.  I knew Caitlin was coming in the next month but nobody would tell me when as they wanted to surprise me.  Her flight landed around 6:30 am and Kevin planned on picking her up and coming straight to get me.  However,  Alec decided he was coming home and said he would pick her up so Kevin went straight to his mom's.  Alec left Kingston at 4 am so he could meet Caitlin - isn't that sweet?  I am going to miss him when he leaves for Edmonton after graduation.

So I will be much too busy enjoying her visit to blog much for the next week -she is out jogging now so I have a few minutes alone.  We already biked for hours today!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What's new

When we got married Kevin's parents gave us this Corelle pattern as our wedding gift. A year later we bought our dining room set. 
I completed this cross-stitch. 

And it was good.  Everything was co-ordinated in shades of rust and neutrals throughout every room of our little house.  We lived in Alberta and loved they way everything represented the prairie wheat theme.

 Fast forward 26 years.  When I put the old Corelle into the new cupboards I realized how chipped and stained they were.  Then I realized they don't match much any more.  The living room furniture is at the dump.  The rust carpet is long gone.  The house is mostly greens and beiges and florals now.  So last week I went shopping.  I don't really like shopping.  It is a necessity not a hobby and I do it as fast and efficiently as I can.  I knew I wanted Corelle again because it is lightweight, durable and easy to find.  I like all the different accessories you can buy and the fact you can often get open stock to replace broken pieces.  I knew I wanted something more colorful - like fiestaware.  I looked at the department stores in town without success then I headed off  to the Corelle Factory Outlet at Cookstown Mall.  And this is our new Corelle!

And it is good again. 

So far, so good

Since posting about how much fun it is to walk Shasta I have gone back to using this joiner thing.

Darcy pulls Shasta ahead with her and this prevents her from ramming into the back of my knees and diving into snowbanks. It also stops her from chasing cars and bolting around scary sewers. The down side is that both dogs now pull badly and my shoulders are getting quite the workout.  If they both see a squirrel at the same time it is not fun for me but I can control them.  I think the good outweighs the bad most days. As long as I keep on seeing the chiropractor and massage therapist regularly.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

First Bike Ride of the Season

It is 6 degrees and the snow is melting slowly so this morning Kevin and I went for a bike ride.  He figures we did about 18 km.  I don't know how long it took because I didn't look at my watch.  Actually I didn't even wear a watch.  I rode one of his bikes because mine is still in the loft and it felt pretty good.  My left knee was a bit sore riding but is fine now.  Even though I wore my bike shorts (with track pants over top) I know my butt will be sore for days.  Usually when I ride (and when I paddle) my hands start to tingle and I have to stop and stretch and flex several times.  For the first time in years I had no tingling!  Whether that is because his handlebars are in a different location or angle, or because I have been rebounding all winter and keeping up with regular massages and chiropractic appointments I don't know.  I don't actually care - as long as it lasts!

Connor has been out several times already.  He has been riding his new heavy-duty unicycle in the snow for weeks.  He gets some strange looks and comments.

Friday, March 5, 2010

What Kevin brought back from the Olympics

I picked Kevin up about 7 last night.  This is some of what he brought home:

A bell for my bell collection (first one that I can wear)

 A beautiful decorator tin of Roger's chocolate miniatures (when I was a kid and my dad travelled a lot he would bring them home for us as a very special treat)

Some decorative coke bottles (remember Kevin loves coke? See here and here

We can add the coke bottles to our large collection of Olympic memorabilia, which until now consisted entirely of this can of beer we believe is from the 1988 Olympics.  Connor fished it out of the Nottawasaga river a few summers ago.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I've Been Busy

This is Tori's Christmas present. Due to kitchen renovations and sheer size of the cape I just finished it last week. It has 165 stitches per row so each row took about 15 minutes to knit. If you knit, you know patterns generally start at the bottom (for sweaters, hats etc) and at the top for socks. This is different. It was knit side to side. If you enlarge the picture, you may be able to see that. My girls have always loved capes or ponchos. I really liked them when they were little because they could put them on themselves and there were no buttons or zippers to fiddle with. I hope she enjoys this one and wears it in good health.

I have also been making diapers for a mission in Haiti. I was following their blog before the earthquake and when they asked for volunteers to make diapers I jumped at the chance. The sample they showed was very similar to diapers I designed and made for Connor so I had a pattern. I have limited access to supplies - I couldn't even get white flannel! Shown below are the finished pink diapers against the striped material I am still working on. The material cost roughly $20 and made 13 diapers. For the sewn in soaker pad I used terrycloth leftover from bathrobes I made years ago.

Monday, March 1, 2010


This is my good friend Grace.  We get together a few times each winter to do puzzles and play games.  Her name suits her so well. She is wise, even tempered and easy to get along with.  She never complains or has a negative word to say about others.  Grace and her husband have recently helped his daughter and son-in-law buy a bed and breakfast and they will likely be selling their house here and moving 3 hours away.  I already miss her.

Tori gave Grace and I this puzzle Christmas 2008.  Because Grace was sick for a while and then involved in setting up the bed and breakfast it took us longer than usual to finish it.  It was difficult because of the limited colour palette.  But here it is finally.  Thanks Tori.