Friday, 27 November 2015

All Avery

On leaving the Point. The swans are migrating.

Out to visit in Edmonton and of course I am taking tons of photos of Avery. Unfortunately the cell phone takes better shots inside than the camera so then I have to e-mail them to myself and then download them on to the computer.
First night
Wearing the bib that I bought for him in Maine.
Dressed for bed and playing with his new Ikea ball.
The Ikea tunnel was supposed to be for Christmas but we couldn't resist opening it
Iggy cleaning him up after breakfast.
The downside for Iggy; getting his tail and ears pulled.

The upside; bibs, fingers and face.
Today was the first day, since I got here, that Avery didn't go to daycare and I have him for the whole day. Lovely, even though he has a nasty cold so there's the usual fight over wiping his nose.
Not sure if he likes carrots.
Yep, he does. 3 carrots on the tray. 1 carrot on the floor. Not bad.
Dinner was more carrots, ginger and sesame hummus on pita and fish. He didn't care for his first try at broccoli but we will try again. I love that babies eat regular food now, none of this baby food stuff.
Clean up after is always fun.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Nov 2015 Pakenham visit and MEC Indoor Triathlon

I spent some time with my nieces in Packenham, near Ottawa. Quite a shock to the system - the alarm goes off at 5:45am! Two large dogs need to be walked. Homework supervised.
Aside from the early morning (its dark!!) we had lots of fun.

Seeing way to many of these.
So much walking that Caesar is exhausted. (and totally uninhibited)
Buddy, who likes to go out in the screened room, no matter how cold. I was unable to get a picture
of the other cat, Cloe, too fast.
Monty did some sulking as I wouldn't let him sleep on my bed. These are large dogs!
I wouldn't have been able to roll over. They also have access to two couches and two
large chairs along with a dog bed that they never sleep on (the cat does)
After walking the girls to the bus I would then walk one or both of the dogs up the hill for about an hour. I was lucky with the weather; cold and crisp but little rain and often sunny.
"The first pond", where Monty, Caesar and I watched a beaver break through the thin ice one morning.
"The second pond". I only got this far 3 times during the week but its a lovely spot.
The woods are bare of leaves and in one direction you can see through them to
glimpses of the valley. Chicadees, wood peckers and lots of squirrels keep you company.
Every morning I created a different hairstyle for each of the girls. They did a lot of research on Pinterest and found me tutorial videos and step by step instructions.
I think this was called a reverse french braid.
This was a feather braid as you leave feathers of hair hanging below it. With another layer
added it becomes ....
a ladder braid.
My favourite was this one. The hair is taken up into a pony tail and then strands
pulled down into a french braid. This results in a basket like structure around
the head.
After leaving Ottawa I went to Toronto and competed, with Christine and Jason's sister, Meg, in the MEC Indoor Triathlon.
It was held at the sports complex built for the Pan Am Games held last summer.
It is an absolutely beautiful facility.
Chris and I swam in lanes 5 and 6.
As many lengths of the 25 metre section of the pool as we could complete
in 15 minutes. The water was warm and, after lake swimming, it was lovely
having no waves or gritty sand and a line on the bottom of the pool to keep you straight.
Watched over by the signage I saw so frequently on the TV.
We had 5 minutes to change (we took longer) and then 15 minutes on the stationary bikes. That was the worst part for me as the tension was set as if biking up hill. I had a hard time even getting the pedals to move.
Then 5 minutes to get to the track upstairs. The 15 minutes on the track went fast as there were volleyball
matches in the gymnasium below to watch. I ran the first 4 laps and then alternated walking and
running half laps. I haven't done any running in the last 2 years so didn't want to overdo it.
It wasn't as much fun as the outdoor tri-tri I did a couple of years ago on Toronto Island but it was a good experience and certainly a good workout.
I'm going to close with a couple of photos of Rasta as he hasn't been in evidence in the past few posts. These were taken when I gave him some catnip.
Can't get enough of this stuff.

Think I'll just sleep now.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Collingwood Hikes - Bruce Trail, Pretty Valley Loop

The second day Nicola and I went looking for the Bruce Trail, which passes through the area. This resulted in a lovely drive, past some really nice homes (or maybe weekend places) until we finally found a "trail closed" sign. Off we drove again to find another access point.
We were looking for something a little more challenging than 2.7km but felt
this would be a start. ( a later sign said 3.4km and rather shook our faith in the
measuring process). By the time we finished it felt like closer to 10km.
The low lying parts were wet and boggy but the higher parts gave us
views through the now leafless trees.
Pretty woods and the day was sunny and warmer than yesterday. The 2 white flashes
indicate that the trail is going to turn right.
This beaver all-you-can-eat buffet was next to a small pond with a beaver
lodge in it.

After completing the Pretty River loop, back on the main Bruce Trail, we walked
along side a pretty river.
Beautiful fungi
After walking for quite a while we began to second guess ourselves about the direction we had chosen when getting back onto the main trail. We began to assure ourselves that we had water, snacks, 2 phones and it wasn't getting dark yet. Once, we lost the trail only to find that it had crossed the river. We had walked for about 2 hours (no way was this 2.7 km or even 3.4).
Nicola kept trying to get the GPS on her phone to work but it insisted that we were
in Stayner and we knew we weren't that lost. 
We were very happy to see this sign that we knew lead us back to the car.

I have been home for a few days now and finally had the second day in a row without wind. The lake is calm, little waves lapping at the edge. It is warm. People are bringing chairs to the beach and walking barefoot. I've fallen back in love with Long Point and have been going for long walks on the beach.
I have noticed the lack of "duck rafts" (accumulations of flocks of ducks, out on the lake) this fall but today there was a mass of them in a dark line as far as the eye could see. During a walk on the beach I noticed a couple of the Bird Studies Canada staff with their binoculars on them. They said they though they were Ruddy Ducks (how rude). They also mentioned that they count the migrating waterfowl every day and that morning had counted 47,000 overhead in 2 hours! Amazing!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Collingwood Hikes - Blue Mountain

In an effort to continue "Macchu Pichu Hike Training" Nicola and I stayed for a couple of days at Cyndy and Jim's place near Collingwood. We were hoping to find some steeper hills than around my place, and we succeeded.
We headed to Blue Mountain figuring there had to be some steep ascents at a ski hill. A very nice man, in a parking lot, who overheard what we were looking for, gave us a trail map and told us that Cascades Trail had been recommended to him. As we were parking it started to snow, wet almost rain snow but thankfully stopped quickly.
This started right in front of the South Base Lodge and climbed up the "mountain"  between
two ski slopes.
The trail climbed up a lovely little ravine with a creek.
We came out onto the ski slope to a view over the Blue Mountain Village,
Collingwood and Georgian Bay. But we were less than half way up! No snow though,
it was sunny and cool.
The trail was steep and slippery and we were glad to have the treking poles.
The poles even made the stairs easier.
The views from the top were spectacular and we stopped and had some trail mix, walked
across a few ski slopes and then down a trail called Memory Lane.
This area was accessible from the trail and the ski slope.
The rest of the trail was very steep and muddy so we made our way, rather
uncomfortably, down the ski slope. 
As we entered the Village it started snowing again. We rewarded ourselves with lattes.
Prior to hiking we had checked out the Scandinavian Spa at Blue Mountain and that was our next stop. As a reward and to help the muscle aches we knew we would have tomorrow.
There were 3 hot pools and 2 cold ones, a dry sauna, a eucalyptus steam room
fire pits with chairs around, hammocks in the woods and meditation/relaxation rooms.
It was heaven. We tried everything but the dry sauna and then I settled into a routine of hot pool, quick plunge in the cold, eucalyptus, quick plunge in the cold etc etc. After a while I got so relaxed I was totally immersed in watching a leaf circulating in the water.
I used the hot waterfall to massage my shoulders and loved it when the wind swirled
the steam and you felt like you were alone surrounded by warmth , aaaaah.