Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm just sitting here in the office looking out at the sunshiney day (which isn't all that easy with windows as dirty as ours), enjoying the peace and quiet (read: trying to ignore the songs Adam is downloading off itunes), and thought I'd write a little hockey recap for all of you faithful readers.  Because I have time, since there is NO HOCKEY at all today.  It's a little wierd, like I forgot to put something on the calendar.  But I'm sure someone will phone if that's the case...

Back to the recap.   Derek's team won, and then won, and then won again, and, oh yeah, they won yesterday, too.   It's a good thing there are always some parents to visit with at those games, because the hockey is not all that exciting.  They are booked into a Tier II tournament at Martensville next Saturday, so I hope they run into some real competition there.   They really need that.

And I'm glad I'll have to miss the next Midget game that day, too, since a team with a real reputation for dirty hockey and fighting is coming to town.   There is certainly no shortage of testosterone on any of the teams in this league.  They are dropping gloves at the drop of a hat (helmet?), and our team is no exception.  Adam in particular likes to mix it up a bit.  The coach and two of the dads told us how well he held is own in the fight at North Battleford.  I'm so proud...  Anyway, he's been sick this past week, so he didn't play last night against Unity.  We saw some pretty good hockey, though.  It was a fast, tight game, and Stephen certainly showed up for it.  He got our first goal, a hard slap from the blue line (we're pretty sure it's the new stick - not!), and an assist on another one.  Plus he managed to stay out of the penalty box.  Good thing - it was standing room only in there.  So the Midgets are 5 and 1 so far this year, and looking to stay at the top of the pack.  

Clem is babysitting the neighbor's cattle, and remembering once more why he isn't a beef farmer.  It's a very good reminder.  

I am trying to get geared up for Christmas, which means I am in a state of paralysis, thinking about everything that needs to get done in the next 24 days.  I like a challenge, though, and seem to work best under pressure, so I'm sure I can put it all off for a little while yet.  I may even iron - a sure sign of procrastination.

Bye for now.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 17, 2008


I figured since I haven't posted in such a long while that I should catch you all up on the happenings around here!


We have new steps to our front door!


I finally got a photo of Adam in his new car.  He just loves it when I do that!

So does Stephen.  Don't they look thrilled to have mommy snapping pictures?


Some moose have decided that they need to make camp in our yard.  They love the apples on the trees, and actually just the trees in general.  The dog freaks out, but she doesn't scare them one bit.  We have taken to shooting the pellet gun at them (yes, even me!), or getting Stephen to throw rocks at them.  That scares them away for a bit.  There are three of them, but there are only two in this photo (look to the right, in the garden).   I took a video right after this, standing right on the edge of the deck, and the old cow didn't even blink.  The moose, that is.  I screamed and ran back into the house when she snorted at me, which is why I can't show you the video.  I sound like a sissy.  And the boys are laughing at me.  All digitally recorded.


This is the boys' upstairs laundry hamper.  I have fondly nicknamed it Mt. Washmore.


I walked into the office the other day and found this.  Somewhat disconcerting, until I realized that it was just shortly after Halloween.


Derek has taken an interest in abstract photography.  I think it started one evening when he was grounded from both TV and computer, and just had to get his hands on something electronic.  Some of the shots were surprisingly good.  Judge for yourself.  (Or it could, just possibly, be a mother's bias...)

This one just makes me laugh.


Hockey has resumed with a vengence.  Adam and Stephen are both on the same team this year, the Prairie Thunder midgets.  They are undefeated after four games.  Stephen is proving himself more than able to handle things around the blue line as a first year player.  Adam is learning that he is more of a lover than a fighter, and received a broken nose last night just to drive the point home.  We are learning that it is AWESOME to have another driver in the family, as they can now get themselves to and from practice quite nicely, thank you very much.  They players aren't allowed to drive to away games, which is just fine by me.   I'd feel silly following them to the rink.


Derek's team took first in yet another tournament.  I think I could count on one hand the number of losses that team has suffered since they first started playing together.  It's a bit embarrassing.  Derek is having a ball again.  He was literally jumping up and down today when he remembered he had practice tonight because "I just love skating, Mom!"  I'm sure the hockey politics will soon knock that enthusiasm right out of him.  In the meantime, we're enjoying it!

So thanks for continuing to stop by.  I know some of you have been checking in, wondering what in the heck is going on, and I apologize.  It's crazy, I know, but sometimes little things get in the way of blogging - laundry, hockey meetings, choir practice, cleaning toilets (my mom was coming, remember?)  But I will try to be more diligent from now on!


Return from the Center of the Universe

Or Toronto, as some people call it!   Clem received a call a few weeks ago about a retirement party in Toronto for a fellow he used to work with at CP, so we took advantage of that opportunity and turned it into a four-day get-away.  It was great!  Well, the 30 mile drive on glare ice on the way to the airport and the fire alarm that woke us in our 19th floor hotel room weren't great,  but the rest certainly was!

Clem took his first plane ride in 12 years, and I must say he handled it very well, considering he said 12 years ago that he would never get on another plane.  Actually, he said it was way easier to take than the cab ride from Pearson airport to the pub where the retirement party was being held!

Clem and another friend, Dave, surprised Vince at his retirement party, and I must say the look on Vince's face was worth the air fare to get there.  It was a great evening of reminiscing and catching up, and we were so glad we went.  Clem, Dave, and Vince were the three managers of Work Equipment for CP in Canada from 1993-1996, and they were apparently quite the characters.  Clem has seen Dave since then, but not Vince, so the three of them had great visits over the weekend.  Here they are at lunch the next day.

 We took in the fantastic Hockey Hall of Fame, but only for an hour, so I'm sure we missed some things.  But as Clem says, there are only so many ways to display sticks, sweaters, and skates.  He also thought it looked a little like our porch, only without the smell.  This wall of pucks is the first thing you see when you arrive.

Then it's on to the great ones, like Gordie Howe...

Wayne Gretzky (Clem's favorite!)...

and Larry Robinson.

We were a bit disappointed by the display around the 1972 Canada-Russia series, but they did have Paul Henderson's jersey. 

And it is really a thrill to see Lord Stanley's cup in all it's glory.

Here's the puck used in the 1901 championship game where Winnipeg defeated Montreal.

I loved the sculpture outside the entrance, which really captures the spirit of hockey.

The architecture of the building itself is amazing.  They kept the outside facade of the buildings, and completely renovated the interior to create one huge space.

This last little bit of information we learned from Clem's cousin, Cliff, who invited us and Clem's nephew, Brendan, for a truly exceptional fine dining experience.  Cliff is the director of business operations for a group of restaurants in the Toronto area, as well as part owner of four of them.  We met for drinks at Canoe, a pricey place frequented by corporate types, on the 54th floor of the TD tower.  We had an incredible night view of downtown Toronto, including of course the CN tower, which was all lit up with changing colors.  Cliff gave us a tour of the kitchen and the chef treated us to a sample of some of their wonderful appetizers.  We then walked over to Jump, a trendier and popular bar and restaurant, and took a quick tour.  Then it was off to Biff's for dinner of French cuisine.  Great food, great wine, and great company.  It was truly a night to remember.  

We got to see Brendan again before we left on Sunday.  He and his girlfriend, Kristy, invited us for brunch with Brendan's dad, Cam and Gail.  I had never met Cam, and Clem hadn't seen him since about 1981, so we had a wonderful visit catching up and learning about each others' lives.

Another highlight of the trip was a bus tour to Niagara Falls.  It really is a must-see place.  Even though the weather was dreadful - raining, windy, foggy - we had a very enjoyable day.  

These are the American falls.

This is the power generating station, a massive structure on the Niagara River.  Cars drive on the top of it.

There is a whirlpool down the river from the falls.  Some foolish people chose to take a ride over it - but not us!

Aren't we fashionable!  We met a very nice Belgian fellow on the tour, and he agreed to take our picture.  

Back in Toronto, we stopped in at St. Michael's Cathedral, situated close to our hotel, and it is an impressive building.