Friday, 31 August 2012

Jennifer at the Nationals

Just finished our plans for a two week stay in Port Charlotte, Florida over the Christmas Holidays.  We have rented a lovely property with a large salt water pool.  It also is right on a canal which will make the kayaking easy and convenient.  Just need to find out if it is salt or fresh water....alligators or not???  The flights are booked and we are organized.  Get those kayaks ready John and they have repellent for alligators?

My stepdaughter, Jennifer, just returned from Vancouver where she completed in the Canadian Nationals.  She didn't place this time but she deserves a big round of applause for all the hard work she did to get into such awesome shape.  Here are a few of the pictures taken at the competition.

She has been doing body building and gymnastics for years and has competed in numerous competitions.  She is really dedicated and works extremely hard at it.  Not bad for an old lady that will be 35 on Christmas Day!!

After the competition she had a photo shoot on the beach with her fellow competitor and friend Emmanuela.

Jen is back in Ontario and back to work but the gym time for her never stops.  She is lucky she has a job that allows for many hours in the gym and no kids to keep track of.

On Sept 9th she will be participating in the big move cancer ride.  In honor of her late friend Sasha she will be rollerblading 50k.  The money raised will go to support the Walkerville Cancer Centre.

We had met Sasha a few times.  She was a lovely girl and she lost her life to cancer at such a young age.  We will be cheering Jen on and applaud her effort to raise cancer awareness in her age group.

We are proud of you Jenny and love you lots.

Until next time - safe travels.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Suzy Carpenter

In our 5th we have an entertainment area which is comprised of a desk with a roll top, a fire place, television and stereo components.  The stereo equipment that came with the 5th is what would be commonly referred to as a "POS".  We brought our tuner, dvd player and tv receiver from home to replace it.  All of the equipment was  held in one of the little cupboards above the television.  There were a ton on unlabeled wires from the satellite, the antenna, all the surround sound speakers, etc., etc.  Our friend, Craig McAllister, was up earlier in the summer to help us sort out all this mess.  However we still had to try to find a way to get the components out of that little cupboard to make things more accessible.  The only solution we could come up with was to use the area under the desk.

We had some heavy plywood, paint, etc at home.  I sanded and painted the boards.  But we are not very good on the business end of a saw.  We couldn't cut a straight line if our life depended on it.  Craig to the rescue again.  He was kind enough to use his table saw and good eye to cut the boards into the sizes needed to make a shelving unit.  I put it together last week, finished the trim and re-painted.  Here is the final product.

 We headed up to the park on Friday night and Saturday morning we worked on getting this installed.  We drilled a hole behind the fireplace and pulled all the wires down into the back of this new unit.  Voila!!  It worked.

   Not bad.  If it hadn't worked we found one in the Ikea catalog that might have worked.  That was Plan B.  They wanted a $100 for it but we made this for the price of the trim - $12.00.  Just need one more wire to move the receiver down into the unit, a cover to conceal all the wires behind the tv and we have put another  personal touch to our new home.   We are still thinking about  swapping out the tv, removing the roll top and installing the big 42" flat screen we have at home.  Time will tell.

Saturday afternoon our friends Bob & Val Burgess arrived for an adult sleep over.  Val brought along a yummy blueberry coffee cake for desert.  We made short order of that.  It is always nice to see them.  They are a great couple and we had lots of laughs.

The weather was beautiful over the weekend.  Lots of sunshine but cooled off nicely at night for sleeping.  Hope we have lots more of these great weekends before the summer is finished.

Until next time - safe travels.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Cowapolooza 11

Saturday morning we headed off to Woodstock to meet up with the Hollinger's to take in the annual Cowapolooza in Woodstock.   A donation to the Food Bank was your price of admission.  McDonald's was giving away free coffee, someone else was handing out free cold bottled water, free walking sticks, etc. etc.  How nice is that!!

The first event we took in was the Strong Man/Strong Woman Competition.    In the  Log Press  the men lifted 405 pounds and the women 275 pounds.  It was a lift, curl and straight arm press over the head.  My back hurt just watching.

 This was followed by the Farmers Walk.  For this event the men carried 211 pounds in each hand.  That is 422 pounds up a slight incline, turn and back to the finish line.  The ladies carried 121 pounds per hand.

Off to the canal to watch the Ducky Derby.  Unfortunately by the time we arrived all the ducks were sold.  Judy had one in the race but I think her duck turtled along the way.  A dump truck dropped them into the canal and a fireman on the top of the bridge used a hose to get them moving in the right direction.

It took awhile but eventually some of them made a break for it and headed down to the finish line.

 From this excitement we headed over to watch some cow milking.  John and Judy could hardly contain their enthusiasm!!.  The participants were pretty lousy at their work but managed to get a little milk in the pail.  And most people managed to avoid the fairly large cow paddies that were left behind.

 Kristina, Chris and Gwenny joined us for part of the afternoon.  Here Gwenny and Grandpa are checking out some of the entertainment.  She spent her afternoon clapping and waving at everyone.  I now have a Gwenny picture on my blog also!!
A Nascar vehicle all dressed up for Cowapolooza.  Had to catch a picture of this.
 Canadian Pro Wrestling was the next stop for our enjoyment.  This is basically well choreographed gymnastics.  These boys are entertainers that work very hard at NOT hurting each other.  They were competing for the Bovine Belt.    The first guy was supposed to be a jerk from Philadelphia (I think), then the local boy, a Russian and then the hero - Robbie McAllister and some guy dressed up like Spiderman.
 The local boy beat the American (of course).  The Russian didn't want to play nice and was nasty to Spiderman.  So Robbie McAllister had to come to the rescue and save Spiderman from the nasty Russian.  He DEMANDED a match with the Russian to get even......oh boy.  That is where we left to go for some dinner.

 After dinner we returned to the park to watch four 15 year old boys performed on stage as a group known as The Beagles.  They performed The Beatles early hits and did a great job.

 Then to top off a great day we were entertained for an hour and a half by The Stampeders.  We have seen some old rocker bands that can no longer sing.  They make up for the lose of voice by volume.  But these guys could still carry a tune, laughed at themselves and were very entertaining.  They mentioned that they were sorry that they had enticed the big crowd by using pictures that were 25 years old as shown below.
They also mentioned "we are "even bigger today"...  Which they certainly are. Rich Dodson, Ronnie King and Kim Berly were all still on their game and put on a great show.

 Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day to spend visiting, playing in the pool and enjoying the company of good friends before we headed back home Sunday evening.  A great weekend in Woodstock.

Until next time - safe travels.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The River Runs Through

This past weekend the rains fell on Southern Ontario.  There is no more talk about drought,  brown grass or fire bans in this area.  We headed up to Grangeways on Friday night and arrived to see our lazy little creek turned into quite a river.  Normally this creek is about 8 - 10' wide and about 6" deep.  As you can see it has risen due to all the rain they received in the area during the day.

Saturday morning  the kids were loving it after the rain stopped for awhile.  Normally the tubing in the river is mostly walking and pushing.
The bridge was not quite under water but close.  An old George Jones song seemed to fit the scenario (with a little adjustment).  "The Bridge Washed Out and I Can't Swim and my Trailers on the Other Side".  I am sure John and Judy can hear Tom singing this one!!!

We headed into Uxbridge to pick up afew things Saturday morning.  Upon our return our neighbor came over to let us know that he has been watching squirrels climbing into the hole where the water hose and cable go in under the trailer.  Oh Great!!  If it doesn't rain - it pours.  Back into Uxbridge to pick up some things to stop the little critters from having access.  Some hardware cloth and pot scrapers later we are keeping our fingers crossed that this is the only entrance.  We have not figured out where their exit is yet but hope they are all out of the underbelly of our trailer.

While we were relaxing in the lawn chairs having a "pop" after the work was done a squirrel arrived with a big pine cone in its mouth.  It ran over to the hoses and sat there with its paws in the air and a stunned look on its face. It sat and shook for a minute and then took off.   I tried to see where it went but it was too fast.  Hopefully next weekend we will be able to get this situation under control.   Mother Nature.  Got to love her.

Until next time - safe travels.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Trip West

I spent a great week in Alberta visiting with my daughter and her family.  When I arrived on July 31st Twyla was at the Edmonton airport to pick me up along with two of the Grands, Karmen and Jake.  A quick 1 1/2 hour drive to their house and then off to Karmen's riding lessons.

Joe and Twyla were having a reception for friends and family that were not able to travel to St. Lucia in May for the wedding.  Plans for a pig roast and a barn dance have been in the works for a couple of months.  Lots of planning and hard work has gone into getting this all organized. By Friday the US Army tent that they had rented had arrived and was set up ready for the dinner.

 Joe and Twyla headed into Drayton Valley to pick up the most important buildings and the tables.  Here Joe's Dad, Leonce, is giving them a hand getting them unloaded.
Joe had picked up the 100 pound pig in Edmonton Thursday night on his way home from work along with a giant bbq.    Taylor (Grand #1) and boyfriend Cam arrived to help decorate the barn and get lights up in the tent.  Fred was put in his corner to keep an eye on things.
Early Saturday morning Twyla headed to Wetaskiwin to pick up the sound system.  The caterer arrived to get the bbq fired up and the pig cooking.  His wife arrived later with salads, baked beans, potatoes and a beautiful cake.  By 3 pm they had things all under control but had to leave to take their daughter to Jasper for dance camp.  Friends and family were arriving, many with their campers, toy haulers, 5th wheels and tent trailers.  The cover went on the pool to keep the flock of little kids safe and the quads were put away.    Taylor and Cam's Mom, Kim, arrived with numerous vases filled with beautiful flowers from their garden.  Joe got the bonfire started.

With the caterers gone we got the food organized, Joe carved the piggy and by about 7 pm everyone was enjoying a great meal.

Just as we were finished dinner the skies opened up, the thunder and lightning took over the entertainment and it poured rain.  It lasted about 20 minutes and then cleared off and everyone started to gather around the bonfire to visit.  The evening was warm and there were lots of puddles for the little ones to play in.

At dusk the fire works started.  Cam, did the honors of setting them off and did a great job.
The evening ended with people moving into the barn to listen to the music and have a dance of two.

 Twyla, Joe's niece Jenny and Tawyna (who was Twyla's maid of honor at the wedding) kicking up their heals.
Joe's brother Shane and his wife Karen sans shoes.  With all the rain the sand floor in the barn was pretty wet.  The little kids were not the only ones with dirty feet that night.

The gathering was a great success.  Over the next couple of days we had the campers start to move out and people head for home.  Karmen had three little cousins (Jenny's kids) out to visit the horses. The two little ones are 3 year old identical  twins.
Early Tuesday morning Joe headed back to the Cold Lake area to work.  Twyla, Karmen and Jake took me back into Edmonton to catch the plane home.  We stopped at the White Spot in Leduc for lunch along the way.  (thanks Twyla!!)

It was a nice trip.  I am so happy that their party was such a success after all the work and expense they went to.  It was wonderful that so many of their friends and family were able to come.  A good time was had by all.  It is always great to spend time with Twyla and her gang.  I miss them already.  But it is always nice to get back home again too.

My oldest Grand, Taylor, finally obtained her police check (takes forever out in the sticks!!)  so has been able to apply to write her final exam in September to get her license to be an Emergency Medical Responder.   In the meantime she has been working at a gas plant painting pipes, buildings, etc.  And having some fun by the looks of this picture that I grabbed off her facebook page.  You are just too cute Pookeroo!!

Until next time everyone, safe travels.