Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter is fun


This weekend we headed up to the Neills to catch up on tall tales and enjoy the great outdoors. We skied, we tobogganed, we played hockey, we roasted wieners over an open fire. There is no doubt a-boot it, Canadian winter is fun.

Tobogganing Burning the bush pile

Sunday turned out to be a glorious day thanks to some fresh snow and sunshine. After a monster sized breakfast, we all piled into the Neills' 4x4 vehicles and drove out to a friend's cottage on Hurds Lake. We skied around the lake while Mike hung back and sparked up a fire. After the ski, the kids played a few hours of boot hockey on the lake with the odd Charlie chase when he decided that the orange plastic puck was too hard to resist.

Classic family ski Run Charlie run!
Lakeside rink Lakeside hockey

This place is a winter wonderland. We were well sheltered from the wind up on the shoreline and when the sun decided to tuck behind the clouds we had a roaring fire of pressure treated wood to warm our frosty fingers.

As perfect as the afternoon was I can't wait to come back and test out the orange-juice-jug curling and the corn broom broom-ball events that are already in the hopper. Good times.

Fire by the lakeside Sisters with sticks
Best Friends Serious talk
Having a laugh or two Funny guy

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A cold cold day

Science experiment on a bitterly cold day

Woke up this morning to a sunny but bitterly cold day -39°C. Ouch. Decided to test out an idea I had with the kids. We boiled up a kettle and then stepped out back and tossed a few cups to the sky. Poof!! Instant fog. Very cool. We tried to colour one of the cups but that didn't amount to much.

A bitterly cold day A bitterly cold day A bitterly cold day

Later that same afternoon I was getting cabin fever again so I headed out for a two hour ski in the Greenbelt. It was still bitterly cold but that just made the hot chocolate taste that much better. Cheers.

40 below

A backwoods ski

Refusing to fall

Today I self-diagnosed myself with a double dose of Mother Nature. I had been fighting at least two different colds now since Christmas. It hasn't been a very enjoyable time for either myself or my family. As mentioned in previous blogs, my personal "cure-all" is a jaunt in the great outdoors.

Ski bridge IMG_4826
Family of porcupines Making duck prints

Originally my intention was to head up into Gatineau Park but after spending 20 minutes in a traffic jam I bailed and opted for another ski location Ontario-side.

The Kanata Lake Trails have been fending off the encroachment of urbanization for several years now. I skied down each and every side trail I could find and several were cut short by various construction projects in mid-stride making the odd bushwhack necessary but that just added to the day's adventure.

One of my side treks brought me to a large rocky hill with lots of nooks and crannies, one of which was home to a family of porcupines. The babies were all jammed inside making some very loud grunting noises while mom was left forming a rather uninviting door with her backside. I took a short video but unfortunately the microphone was turned down low from the last moe. concert I filmed. Anyhow it was an interesting find and I'm thankful that porcupines can't really throw their quills or I'm sure I would have been plucking a few out of my camera after this close up.

As a side note, we still need more snow. My skis took a couple of nasty nicks thanks to some rocks that were camouflaged under a thin blanket of powdery snow. Arg.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

A dusting of snow

Out for a ski

We finally got a dusting of snow on the ground. Barely enough to work with but as they say, beggars can't be choosers.

Friday I took a stroll around the neighborhood to check out the new OC Transpo route yet to be opened. I found an entry point to the Transitway extension and walked the length of it without spotting a single person - worker or pedestrian. Snowshoes were not required.

The latest addition to OC Transpo 049

Saturday was the start of the new and improved Futsal season for the kids. Top teams have been promoted to tougher divisions in an attempt to re-balance and improve the state of competition. So far so good. They both lost their matches.


Sunday was a xc ski day. Despite the recent snowfall we are still in dire need of more white stuff to cover all the sticks that are still poking up through the trail. Nevertheless we enjoyed the outing.

You Them

More snow please.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Christmas turns to 2011


Christmas morning was another hit all around. The highlight would have to be a toss up between the round of new snowshoes for the family or the ringing present that proved to be my daughter's new cell phone.

After the over-hyped unwrapping of presents we settled into the all too familiar routine of cleaning up, packing suitcases, eating lunch, and loading up the van for out trip to Peterborough for Christmas dinner. And yes, it's as tiring as it sounds.

Sara and Delaney McMullans pop in for a xmas visit

Boxing day was slightly more relaxing. We all slept in until about 9am and then pulled ourselves together for some visitors. First the McMullan clan (less Steve as he was working) and then the Weirs (complete with three wee ones). Luckily the weather was holding up and we were able to keep the kids outdoors while the adults got to unwind and sip adult beverages.

447 Emma and her new oranje touque
Here are the girls sporting their newly knitted touques from Oma. Not bad.

Thankfully the weather was great and we were able to get out for a cross country ski and even a test run on the snowshoes. A little holiday exercise is helpful in combating the extra calories consumed.

Amber and Emma
Out for a ski 570
061 090

We also managed to fit in an Arsenal vs Chelsea match with a gaggle of friends at the local Peterborough sports bar. The core crew consisted of Glenn and Donna and ourselves but we were joined by various other high school friends throughout the afternoon/evening. Froggatt, Swinson, Brennan, Dixon, Adams, and various (non-Kenner) spouses sat around sharing stories, drinks, and even a meal next door at Gertie's Pub. Oh, and fyi, the Gunners won the match 3-1.

The gang at Gerties

All in all it was a busy holiday but well worth the effort. It's going to be tough holding my nose to the grindstone next week... well, tougher than usual.

Fire in the sky