Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summer Haircut

Hi Cousins, 

Elven Archer Legolas Hair
I got my hair cut yesterday at a barbar shop that used to be called "The Chop Shop" but now is called "Chopping Crew". It is still at 330 Alexander St NE, Salmon Arm, BC V1E 4S4. The persons who cut your hair are nice.

I am growing my hair out so it will look like the great archer Legolas from Lord of the Rings. I am going for the hair, not the ears. 

Bow and arrow is my weapon of choice in Minecraft. I am professional with a bow in minecraft. Duncan gave me a bow that was enchanted. He named it "The Bow of the Gods". I killed an Ender Dragon with it.


Gardom Lake

Hi Cousins,

Today I went to Gardom Lake with the Shuswaps Kids Club. It was my first time there. It is an awesome lake. It's a pretty big lake. It has three docks. I saw kids jumping off them, like wild.(There are some beautiful photos of Gardon Lake by a local photographer at the following URL:

At Gardom Lake, some people say there are leeches but I am not sure exactly. They said to swim in the water but stay out of the swampy areas.

My, there was a lot of duck poops (not dog, duck).

If you go there, I hope you have a lot of fun swimming.


Waterslide Time

Hi Cousins,

It's funner where it's faster.
I want you to come to the Salmon Arm Waterslides with me.

I go there every Wednesday with Shuswap's Kids Club. It's a summer camp and winter camp. You get to play with the kids that are in it. And you have a lot, a lot, a lot of fun.

At the Salmon Arm Waterslides, the scariest slide is the Corkscrew. Kamikaze has a tunnel near the end , and there's a tonne of dips as you go down. The slowest slide that you can go with two persons is Twister. Double Trouble is the only one you can't go with two.

It's fun to go with friends.
 And there's some little ones that are pretty small, kind of medium, but not that fun. They are for the littler cousins, like Miranda's kids Michael and Alice.

For cousins six and higher, I suggest the longer ones like Kamma Kausi, Twister and the other two.

I hope you will be able to do it and have fun. I hope you can get there.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

You know you are in Winnipeg when...

So after 3 days of driving through Ontario, my kids finally hit the prairies and Monday evening was Winnipeg and a hotel with a water park.

A good friend of mine  is also in Winnipeg right now.  It is her home town.  She sent me this photo.

Photo Credit:  Tanya Osiowy

Gotta love it!!

Wildlife in White River, Ontario

White River, Ontario is best known for being the birthplace of Winnie the Pooh -- that is, the real, live black bear that inspired A.A. Milne to write the Winnie the Pooh stories.

You can read more about it at:

Brooks kids and Winnie the Pooh.

More wildlife spotted in White River.

More Lake Superior -- Agawa Bay

A second favourite spot on the northern shore of Lake Superior?  Agawa Bay.

A short trail, winding between massive split boulders, leads to Agawa Rock, a cliff-face rising 98 ft. above Lake Superior and decorated by 35 pictographs, many of which are centuries old.  This is a sacred site where generations of Ojibwe came to record their dreams and spirits in red ochre and grease. Among the images are a fabulous panther, a serpent and a rider and galloping horse.

You can walk out along the cliff face to see the pictographs as long as the weather is good and the bay is calm.  There are ropes anchored into the cliff that you can use to pull yourself out of the water should you fall in.  Of course, Xavier wanted to jump into the water so he could test out the ropes.  This is discouraged. 
Photo Credit:

The kids had their picture taken with Mishibijiw (Great Lynx or Underwater Panther) who controlled Lake Superior.  Mishibijiw is one of the most important of several water beings among many Great Lakes and Northeastern Woodlands Native American tribes, particularly among the Anishinaabe peoples. It has the head and paws of a giant cat but is covered in scales and has dagger-like spikes running along its back and tail.

Brooks kids and Mishibijiw.

Photo Credit:

To the left of Mishibijiw you can also see a canoe with people and below, two giant serpents called Mishi-ginebikoog.

Lake Superior

If you have never driven along the northern shore of Lake Superior you are missing out on a spectacular piece of the wildes of Canada.  Our family has done this drive several times and have found some "favourite spots."  Number one is Katherine's cove, just west of Sault Ste Marie.  Leo and the kids stopped for 3 hours to dig in the sand, catch frogs and play in the waves.

 Eventually, Rhiannon got right into the hole she was digging.

 Naomi, happy as can be catching frogs.  She has become quite the catcher of toads this summer back home in Gatineau.

The Brooks kids and the Canadian Sheild.

Photo Credit:

Beautiful, beautiful Katherine's Cove.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The sweet smell of a new grandchild.

Alice and Arta
The dinner is over. The night is falling. Miranda has taken the dishes off of the table. I am trying to comfort a crying 14 day old Alice. It cannot be done... by me.  I must change places with Miranda.

What is that thing?

Can anyone guess what that is?

Xavier exploring Science North in Sudbury

A waterfall of rootbeer?

Today, a stop at Kakabeka falls for the Brooks family. 

Just west of Thuder Bay on the Kaministiquia River, the falls have a drop of 40 m, cascading into a gorge carved out of the Precambrian Shield by meltwater following the last glacial maximum.  The rock face of the falls and the escarpments along the gorge are composed primarily of unstable shale, and are eroding. These rocks host sensitive flora, and contain some of the oldest fossils in existence, some 1.6 billion years of age.

No climbing down into the gorge to find fossils!!!  Due to falling rocks, it is too dangerous.

And while the falls looks like they are a mix of rootbeer and orange pop, they taste just like water.

Ontario goes on forever

If you have ever driven across Canada, you know that Ontario goes on forever.  Three days to drive across it.

Leo has planned lots of adventures for the kids along the way.  One stop was in Sudbury at Science North -- a huge science centre.  One of the interactive exhibits was a stone polishing station.  The kids got to pick a rock and then go through 6 stages of polishing it.  I think they spent an hour doing this and had a grand time.

They also got to pet the Science North beaver because they happend to be hanging around at feeding time.  Evidently, its favourite treat is blueberries.

Travelling across Canada -- Big Joe Mufferaw

Leo and the kids left early Satruday morning for their road trip across the Country.  I will be meeting them in Calgary on Friday night. 

They made a stop in Mattawa, Ontario and had their picture taken with Big Joe Mufferaw.

Big Joe Mufferaw was a French Canadian folk hero from the Ottawa Valley.  His is best know today as the hero of a song by Stompin' tom Connors.  Like Paul Bunyan, he made his living chopping down trees and is the subject of many tall tales. 

Xavier did a presentation about Big Joe for his Cub scout troops this year.  Fun for them to come across this great carving of him.

Friday, July 19, 2013

London Bates-Treleaven Travels Part 2

This is Marcia again. I just posted all the 'good' things that have happened since we arrived in London 24 hours ago. Now for the bad things...

It is impossible to sleep on the plane. Gabe and I tried several times to close our eyes, but we both kept peeking at each other and giggling. So no sleep was to be had, and we arrived at 8am London time.

When we got to the Best Western Hotel, Wyona (my mom) had switched to a family room in the basement. It was larger than our original two rooms, but Gabe was aghast at how small the bathroom was. When you sit on the toilet, your knees touch the sink plumbing, and the sink is the size of a tissue box. There is a very small shower in the corner and the shower head is no higher than 5 feet. If you stand in the middle of this bathroom, you can touch all four walls. Cozy for sure.

It is so hot here. It is hot on the tube, on the new busses, in the hotel, in the airport... but it is supposed to cool off in the next few days. Can't wait.

We had a 3 hour nap at the hotel, but then Wyona woke us up at 1:30pm. Gabe and I would have slept the day away if she hadn't. As it was, he was hard to wake up, and when he did, he woke up with a tummy ache. I went to the matinee show 'Once' while Gabe and Wyona went to 'Billy Elliot'. Can't say anything bad about those to shows, they were so entertaining. I did get a little nervous just before the show when I went to look for my money wallet and couldn't find it. I was a little bit sick to my stomach, and then I remembered taking it out at the hotel room and not putting it back in my purse. Oh well, as least I had my show ticket and a drink and snack in my purse for the Interval.

I went to Trafalgar Square to meet up with them, and they didn't show up for 45 minutes. My mom had forgotten the evening tickets for Merrily We Roll Along, so she and Gabe went back to the hotel before meeting me. He kept telling her to call me on the cell, but that is too expensive and we both know there is nothing the other person can do anyway. Funny how available we all are with our phones and texting. It is really fun to hang out in Trafalgar Square and watch the people and the traffic. Those cyclists weave in and out of traffic. I saw so many things that would have caused many vehicle honks in Calgary, but didn't phase the drivers or riders here.

We couldn't find a place that Gabe would eat at, he is sometimes quite picky. We were hunting for that ever elusive McDonalds, but found a Burger King instead. Not my first choice, but the fruit smoothie was good.

Then we were nervous about making our next show and the bus wasn't showing up, so we hailed this 'rickshaw' driver (for lack of a better word, not sure what they are called), and he drove us to the show. Gabe was on my lap since it was a little squishy. We were laughing so hard out of fear and embarrassment... packed in like that and being in bumper to bumper traffic with the busses, cars and cyclists. Three minutes down the road, and Wyona realized we were headed to the wrong theatre. We checked the tickets, the driver pulled out his phone to check where that was (I had a mild coronary watching him peddle and check his phone map at the same time) and we realized it was back where we had started. The massive coronary came a moment later when he did a u-turn in traffic! I just had to numb myself and close my eyes, it was so crazy!!! And no one honked at us. I just couldn't believe it. A wide rickshaw being driven in the narrow spaces between vehicles. Oh if only I had had my video camera out. I was trying to keep my 11 year old from falling off my lap into traffic. He drove us back to where we started (literally), we through him 5 pounds for his troubles, then ran. We ran past the Burger King we ate at, then past a McDonalds (!!), and right around the corner from the McDonalds was the theatre for Merrily We Roll Along.

It was 7:27pm and the show started at 7:30pm, so we rushed in, showed our tickets at the entrance, then again at the dress circle door, and ran in to this empty theatre! As my mom was saying "When does this start", I was checking the tickets and realized they were for 2:45pm. We had matinee tickets instead of evening tickets! Oh my! Exhaustion and the frantic last 20 minutes made me want to cry, but we laughed instead. Honestly, there was only 3 other people sitting in the theatre at that time. One of the fellows sitting in the theatre told us he thought it started at 7:30 as well, but he looked at his ticket when he arrived and saw it was a 7:45pm start time instead (he probably thought we were crazy for not looking at our own tickets for the start time). We laughed about rushing, we laughed about the 2 ushers we showed our tickets to not seeing the time, and we laughed about the mix up in theatres. W didn't dare leave the dress circle area just in case on reentry an usher would see we had the wrong time. Five minutes before the show started the seats started to fill up. We hung out at the back and took seats in the back row just as the show was starting. It was a fantastic show.

I was happy to get back to the hotel that night to find my wallet right where I had left it. We laughed again at all that went wrong. Gabe fell asleep at about 1 a.m. and Wyona and I kept talking. At 1:45 a.m. Gabe woke up and wanted me closer, so Wyona had this wonderful idea to move the beds around. Now my family knows how important Wyona's environment is to her. She moves furniture (I mean, has us move furniture) around every few months. There I was, executing her new bed arrangement... going from single, double, single to single, single, double so that Gabe and I could sleep side by side on the singles. I didn't completely clear the path of shoes and purses, so the single bed got stuck at the foot of the double bed. Not to mention that the room was just wide enough for the length of the double and the width of the single. It was a nightmare. At one point Wyona said "maybe we should just sleep like this" with the T-shaped bed arrangement and the beds blocking one side of the room off from the other. Laughing and crying again, we got it all set up properly. Of course, thinking it through afterwards, we realized we should have just slid the single and double together, and then had Wyona sleep on the single on the outside. But that would have just been too easy. As it was, Gabe reached out for me several times in the night, probably a time-change-induced restless sleep. But he was still asleep at 9 a.m. when I came to the foyer to right this blog.

As always, loving London. Here for my 3rd time and still can't get enough. I wonder what adventures this next day will bring.

Cheers, Marcia

London Bates-Treleaven Travels

This is Marcia typing from Wyona's account (my mom). Gabe and I arrived in London 24 hours ago, and a lot has happened since then. I don't know whether to start with the good list or the bad list. Let's do good first, it is shorter.

We saw Life of Pi on the plane. Gabe had never seen it before, it was my second time. We both really enjoyed it. We arrived at the London airport, and we took an express train from Gatwick to London, quite an enjoyable ride.

Wyona had switched things up at the Best Western we are staying at; originally she had a single room on the top floor and we had a double room close by. It has been so hot in London, so she went and checked at the front desk about other rooms available. They had a family room with a double bed and 2 single beds available in the basement. We switched to that instead and it has been fun to be in the same room. When we arrived at 10am she was still sleeping. She had switched to that room the night before because it was 10 degrees cooler than the sweltering upstairs room. Gabe and I checked out the room and really liked it... except for... that will have to wait for the next list.

We had a 3 hour nap while Wyona went to get us show tickets. Then at 2:30pm she and Gabe saw Billy Elliot and I went to Once at 3pm. Oh, Once was so beautiful. What talented musicians/singers/actors. Is it ok to cry in a show when you are by yourself? I wondered if Gabe was crying at all the right parts in Billy Elliot. He loved it and spent the evening singing 'Solidarity'. He also bought a hoody with Billy Elliot London on it, he loves that jacket already.

We met at Trafalgar Square after our shows. There was some big screen Opera event being set up, the crowds were already converging, and we snagged 6 free inflatable seat cushions before going to find a bite to eat before our next show. Always resourceful, those Pilling Aunts! I'm just not sure they will get used before we return to Canada, so far we haven't sat long enough to have sore bums that need seat cushions.

We took a 'rickshaw' ride to our next performance (more on that later), and we saw Merrily We Roll Along. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. A little too adult-themed for Gabe's understanding, but he still enjoyed the musical numbers. Gabe and Wyona went back to the hotel room during the interval (intermission), he was so tired... he put on a brave face, but with only 3 hours sleep in the past 36 hours, he was fading fast. The best number was in the second half. When they started singing The Blob, I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes, yet another show I cried in.

I went to Trocadero on my way home... what a lively place at 11pm! Took the tube back to the hotel room, called home to see how Art, Zack and Audra were doing, then slept soundly until 8:30 a.m. the next morning. Oh yeah, those two were still awake watching Waterworld on tv when I got back to the hotel, so we didn't go to sleep until 1 a.m.

What a wonderful first day... although now for the post about all that went wrong... 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Wilderness

Electronically speaking, I am going into the wilderness -- no access to the internet for a few weeks. How backward is that!

I will still have a fridge, a stove, flush toilets and a roof over my head, so it is not quite the wilderness.

And I will survive with the help of some of my loved ones who will also be there:  Mary and her kids; Rebecca and Duncan; Bonnie and David; Miranda and her babies; Trell and Ina, so I won't be totally alone.

If I ever get a chance to go into the Sicamous (pop. 3,015) public library where there is internet access, I will check up on this blog to see if anyone who is not in the wilderness is posting.  Go at it.  Remember it is  "Being in the Main a Blog of the Life and Times of the Wood, Robertson, Pilling, McLoone, Johnson, and Bates Families and their Several Hangers-On".


Monday, July 15, 2013

Multi Seed Bread

I don't know where I got this recipe.  Since it calls for Robin Hood flour and Crisco oil, it must have been from one of their websites, so I freely give them credit.  What I want to say about it, is that this is absolutely the best bread I have ever made in my life.  I don't know if it can be made without an electric mixer.  I let the bread dough hook do its job for eight minutes before taking it out of the machine and letting it rise.  I now triple the batch and get four large loaves -- four super-larger loaves. At our house we call them Hutterite loaves. 

The boarders and I try to figure out what is the secret ingredient, since before this our favorite loaf was a Country Seed Bread.  We have decided it is two things: the bulgar and the pumpkin seeds, but we will back up on that since it is only on this last baking that we have had pumpkin seeds.  Previous to that we just used sunflower seeds and the bread was equally as good.

I looked all over for pumpkin seeds -- even at the Indian spice store.  I finally found them at Calgary's Community Health Food Coop down on 10th Avenue.  If you are going there -- take extra money for you will buy things you might not have planned to get.

So here goes for Multi-Seed Bread which should be renamed The Best Ever Bread in the World.

Prep Time: 35 minutes + 10 minutes
Baking Time: 40 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours, then 45 minutes
Makes: Two 8.5” x 4.5” loaves


2 cups (500 mL) warm water (105°-115°F/40°-56°C)
1/2 cup (125 mL) cracked wheat or bulgur
2 tbsp (30 mL) active dry yeast
1/3 cup (75 mL) honey
1/4 cup (50 mL) CRISCO® Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped walnuts
1/2 cup (125 mL) sunflower seeds
1/3 cup (75 mL) shelled raw pumpkin seeds
1 tsp each (15 mL) sesame and poppy seeds
1 tbsp (15 mL) salt
3 1/2 cups (875 mL) ROBIN HOOD®Best for Bread Whole Wheat flour, plus extra flour for kneading

1 (1) egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp (15 mL) sesame seeds

1. In bowl of electric mixer or large bowl, pour warm water over cracked wheat. Let stand for 15 minutes. Sprinkle yeast over this mixture. Let stand for 15 minutes or until foamy.

2. Add honey, oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame and poppy seeds, salt, and 1½ cups (375 mL) of flour. On low speed, beat in the remaining flour, ½ cup (125 mL) at a time, until the electric beaters/paddle attachment won’t beat anymore and a sticky dough is formed.

3. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface. Sprinkling surface with extra flour as needed to prevent sticking, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm, draft-free area until doubles in size, about 2 hours.

4. Preheat oven to 375ºF (180ºC). Lightly grease two 8.5” x 4.5” (1.5 L) loaf pans. Punch down dough. Divide in half, shape into rectangles and place in prepared pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise again until doubles in size, about 45 minutes. Brush tops with lightly beaten egg; sprinkle with seeds.

5. Bake in centre of preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until breads are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Can you take the heat?

From Wyona:

Here I am in London, hearing about others having fun at the Calgary Stampede. I used to have a lot of fun walking around the Stampede for free when I was younger. My Dad would give us each a dollar and we would go on our own. I can remember standing in front of the freak show and just stare. I spent the rest of my time in front of Club Lido looking at the show women. I spent my dollar on buying ice cream.

My biggest regret is I never had enough money for a lizard (you could buy a chameleon and keep it on your shoulder.

I am off today to get 2 pound seats for Merrily We Roll Along for me tonight and Gabe and Marcia and me on Thursday night. I have a list of the other tickets I want to buy today.

Yesterdayt afternoon I bought a salad and a great chocolate-whip cream dessert at Sainsbury and brought it back to the hotel to eat. Two hours after the dessert sat in my room there was a puddle of cream and chocolate. What a waste!

I am having a great time in London but wish everyone else I love were here and that we had our New Cavendish place. Oh well! What am I doing here by myself and I am a year away from 70 years old.

Moiya checked the night before I left to see if she could come but the air fare was $2500.00. Too steep and hot here. I hard some Brits complain on the bus about the temperature and the new double decker bus. New award winning design apparently. You get on and off the bus front, middle or back. There is a ticket taker standing at the back of the bus. There is a set of stairs at the front and a set at the back of the bus to get upstairs. This means people can get on and off faster. The Brits were complaining about the heat on the bus. The lady beside me was laughing because there might be a week of hot weather in London for the whole year. The rest of the time one needs an umbrella for the rain. However, the Brits now carry a fan along side their umbrellas.

Our scarf shop at Camden has moved. Bilal's brother was there yesterday. They are near the same spot but back in the corner, a smaller space. I still found them and have four delightful new scarves.

Signed me, scarfed up in London,


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Wyona's London

Post from Wyona: 
\i arrif3ed in London. Am using a Dell from the hotel. \my fingerts do not work right on this keyboard. \it is sooo hot here and no air conditioning in the hotel. \i arrived Sunday at the hotel around noon. Went oout to get tickets. \i was soo tired by 4 pm and \i remembered \i slept about one hour on th e plane. 

Today was the pink Run for \Life, cancer run so a lot of the buses were not running. \i spent a lot of time going the long way and walking.

The airplane was packed! \just had time in Toronto to run from the domestic terminal to the international terminal in time to get my plane.

\i booked a shuttle for 15 pounds to the airport on the day \i leave, \july 24th from the hotel;.

\i slept in my hot small room for a couple of hours 7-9 pm. \if anyone stays one night with me it will be cozy but good price.

Merrily We Roll Along at Harold Pinter theatre, London.
Tristram Kenton for the Guardian
\just waiting to here back from Chai Chin about tickets for \MerrilyWe Roll Along.

\\\\\\\\\lopve to all of you. What a stup[id keyboard!


Tom Sawyered

Richard told me he was driving out to Olds to see if he wanted to pick up a second-hand power washer: $300 and now $80.

When he got it home he told me that this tool will even take the grass out that grows between the cracks in the sidewalk.

I just bought some Round-Up to do that job, but couldn’t help wondering if Richard’s new tool would be as good as he thinks.
I am not a master of the tool yet.

Mud was splashed all over my pants, my hat, my glasses, and the feeling in my mouth was the gravelly one that you get in the dentist’s chair when they have just polished your teeth and need to rinse the compound away.

In the dentist’s chair the feeling is mud-like. Today the feeling was just mud.

On the bright side, there are no more weeds growing out of the cracks in my backyard cement.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

My Electronic Friend(s)

The Preamble

In the early 1990’s just as I was learning to use the Internet I saw a letter to the editor in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, inviting interested people to sign up to that list. I didn’t know what a list was, but the sign up instructions were simple enough. From that vantage point I watched what is known among Mormons as the September Six -- six members excommunicated or disfellowshipped by the Church, allegedly for publishing scholarly work against Mormon doctrine or criticizing Church doctrine or leadership. I was horrified Later a new list opened up (ELWC) – this time mostly women, but interested men, – people who some feminist background or leanings, organized to talk so that “the wheel of equality for women in Mormonism didn’t have to be invented again”. Again I read along.

Not finished yet, I began reading a smaller group of Mormon women – this time ones with age on their side, self selected. We chatted our hearts out from California, Arizona, Utah, the eastern seaboard, some Canadians. I met some in person – one who attended a Fawn Brodie Conference with me, another who travelled to Alberta – “just because”, a third who came for the Mormon Historical Association Meetings 2012, although I had met her before.

I had never met Nancy Kader. I was pleased to receive an email from her saying she was coming to the Calgary Stampede and would I be in town – perhaps we could meet at Tim Hortons for a Coke, she said.

The Body

“Move heaven and earth to meet this woman,” Wyona told me, which increased my anxiety ten fold. Now that Nancy was on a pedestal, from Wyona, at least, would she like me? Think I was an imposter? Would I have anything to say, and believing I would have something intelligent to say would just be a pipedream.

Still I left to get down to the Westin Inn far too early – there was some bit of excitement in me – a potential meeting with a foreigner whom I already knew so well, having corresponded for far more than ten years with her on one list or another.

The ice-breaker to the conversation was Nancy who introduced me to her husband and niece as a Canadian, though I do have American citizenship she said. He then asked, as an American, how I felt about the invasion of Iraq.

“As an American, I am more worried about Snowden this morning,” I said.

 “I have a take on that not everyone has,” he said, offering some suggestions of how whistle-blowing / or traitors (whichever one deems Snowden to be) went about political activism in the civil rights movement. “We were organized, arrested, taken to jail, and let right out – all symbolic acts to let our government be aware of how deep our commitment was to this case.”

And so the conversation took off in that direction for a while, but then shifted for three wonderful hours, through our common Mormon roots, Proposition 8, DOMA, immigration, Mormonism as a political force, old email friends, cruising possibilities, and finishing with an invitation to visit their home – a rich day, topped up by a Stampede float, Western Music and a fabulous display of First Nations’ ponies and riders as we exited the hotel. Nancy and Kelly had their pictures taken on the float. While they were doing so, Omar told me that I should read the June 2009 Atlantic Monthly for a good article about a long-term survey of 100 Harvard graduates asking them over the years, “what matters most in their lives”. Although Omar did to me, I am not going to give away the answer to you until I have read the whole article. Right now I am stumped, for knowing the year, the month and the name of the magazine is not enough. I should have also remembered the name of the article.

A wonderful morning.

I am adding to my list of “I believes” a new item – “I believe that reading email lists is true.”


Goodbye Grade 2

Provenance of a Ramp

  LtoR... mystery child, Trell and Rebecca ...

A family discussion about the provenance of the ramp at Annis Bay was the topic of discussion one day.

 Not just about the exact date it was built according to legend, but we were trying to get some firm evidence about that date.

Here Rebecca and Trell stand near the ramp.

Does anyone know who the little girl in the yellow suit is?

Rebecca thinks this picture was taken before she started school.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Nose Hill – a Prairie Poster Child

Marie-Claire Belleau, Francois and the twins, Sophie and Alice came to visit. Marie-Claire is Rebecca’s French -Canadian colleague and academic collaborator – but more than that – dearest of friends. On our meeting she said as many do, yes, you and Rebecca are alike.

I know that I am the older model of Rebecca and I know people smile when they see similar mannerisms.  But I can't figure out what they are so that I can stop them.

Francois wanted to have an oil change done on his car before the courageous travellors headed off to the Stampede, so Marie-Claire and the twins and I walked up to Nose Hill, pushing Michael along in the stroller. The twins have passed their Baby Sitting Course. They were happy to get some practical experience – manoeuvring the stroller around street closures, across gravelly intersections and through wet urban grass as we made it to the prairies.

I have a hard time selecting what is the best example of Canadian prairieness if I have only time to show people one thing. There is a terrific view to the west should I walk the visitors to the Children’s Hospital.

And I always think that nothing can match the free view of north, east, south and west Calgary from the 10th floor of the library tower.

But my top pick is Nose Hill if anyone has an hour and a half to invest. On the hill you can get the feel of the dry grass, smell the dust kicked up by the heels of the person in front of you, smell the fescue and sage, experience the Chinook wind coming over the mountains, see glacial erratics and tee-pee rings,  look out over the glaciated valley, and hear the Richardson ground squirrel. Hawks will be circling high as the clouds move across the sky. I just think Nose Hill appeals to all of the senses and can make a prairie imprint. Calgary sits right on the border between the prairie and the foothills – one to the east, the other to the west and getting the feel of Nose Hill is a good way to begin the climb from the prairies, through the foothills, to the Rockies.

The twins don’t speak English yet. Coming as they have, from Quebec, they have stopped along the way in the U.S., previous to the visit to Calgary, stopping in Glacier National Park. Marie-Claire said that they went on educational tours done by rangers. She would tell the rangers that the girls didn’t speak English and that she would be doing simultaneous translation for them, as the rangers spoke. She tells rangers she will be discreet and as quiet as possible so as not to interrupt them. So the girls have been getting lots of naturalist information. I thought they might be interest in the jaw bones and racks of horns that Richard has sitting in his garden – evening wanting a picture with them. No. A fawn had been following them in Glacier National Park and the idea of celebrating nature by way of having a picture with a pair of horns isn’t the memory of Alberta they wanted.

They did have a good time at the Stampede: the Indian village, the chuck wagon races , the evening show, time in the agricultural tent and in the Big-Four building, hot-dogs and chips at Weadick Ville. A good start for first-time Stampeding.


PS  I had to put in a google link to chuck wagon races, for when Marie-Claire asked what the word meant, I could not remember off hand what chuck wagon meant.  Now I know a lot more than before the moment she asked me that question.  Imagine -- there is even chuck wagon etiquette!  Only a prairie person would care.

100,000 mile check-up

I was at the neurologist’s office on Thursday by 7:30 am, having part one of a three part 100,000 mile check-up. The nurse began by telling me to sit at a beautiful wide desk. I thought, “Well, I guess I am going to be doing a lot of paper work for her to give me such a large space.” She sat down on the small chair beside the desk and then said, “Wait a minute. I am supposed to be sitting in your chair and you are supposed to be sitting in mine.”

That was fine – she asked for some simple data: do I drink, do I smoke, am I allergic to any medications, do I have any metal in my head, etc.” Then she walked to a faint ballpoint pen mark on the floor, leaned over and used her own pen to make the line much darker, saying to me, now stand behind this line. I stood where she had stood and from behind me she said, “Now read the eye chart.”

“You are not going to believe this, but this is bad. I can’t even find the eye chart no matter how hard I look at the wall.”

“Turn around. It is on the wall behind you.”

Hoping the rest of my tests go better than that those two did.


Modern Day Camping

Bonnie sends the following picture -- worth a thousand words.

no hardship here... even ruffles on the curtains ...

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Alice - Day 4

Alice and her mom are doing great.  Her dad even provided her with 30 seconds of sun outside today whispering to her, "Don't you just love the sun and the wind.  She cried, wanting to get back in to her mom.
Alice and Miranda - Day 1

Michael isn't thrilled with the noise pollution of his little sister.

His little face wrinkles up with the sound of her cries.  Other than that, he seems to be fine with her. 

I told Miranda I had a picture up on the blog of Alice, and one of Richard and Alice, but the pics that I saw of Miranda -- I couldn't put one up, for I  want to perpetrate the myth that there is a certain glow about a woman who has just given birth.  Richard said, "Well, I have a picture where she is looking great and I will send it to you."

Thank goodness! She does look terrific.


Survey -- if you are interested

Catherine writes,  to me, "You probably have no time to fill this survey, but if you are interested, two PhDs are surveying women who describe themselves as Mormon Feminists and are looking for people to fill a survey on this topic.  Just FYI."

Arta speaking now:

I took the survey. Why not, I thought.  If it takes too long, I will just cancel half way through.  But the survey took less than 20 minutes.  What I liked about doing the survey is that I could remember again, no survey can give enough options so that I feel as though my real responses are tallied.  I would read some of the questions and think -- well none of the possible responses are the ones I want to mark.

Taking the survey I found myself having fun reading about initiatives Mormon women are taking so that they can feel their leaders are really hearing them.  I only knew about 2 of the initiatives, so I am not sure I can even call myself a Mormon feminist.  I have to get out to the internet more.


Roasting Marshmallows

Posted for Bonnie Johnson from Pierre's Point, B.C.
...  faire griller des guimauves ... (at French camp, of course)

David Camps with a perfect roast

Optical illusion or large marshmallow?
You decide.