Friday, January 31, 2014

Coriolanus ... thumbs up

On the way out of the theatre, after seeing the 3 1/2 hour production of Coriolanus, I listened to the chatter of other theatre patrons.

"Well, what did you think it would be like.  Knowing that the tickets for the whole season were sold out on the first day would give you a clue."

"Oh yes, and for the day seats that are left, people stay all night in sleeping bags so they will be the first in the line when those go on sale in the morning."

At the intermission Kelvin leaned over and said he wished he had read the reviews and maybe even brushed up on the plot.  I had done both, and after that wondered if I really wanted to go.  A story about a solider turned politician.  This was not going to be a chick flick, nor a play with lots of laughter, I surmised.

Did anyone else get to the play. I was too tired to go when I got in the house after a long day away, but our home teacher was here speaking with Kelvin.  Brooke was on his way to the dress rehearsal for Wagner's Flying Dutchman.  "I am no more tired than he, and so why would being tired stop me from going.  Yes.  I may fall to sleep in half of the show, but I will still see the other half and I am not going to be in Calgary during the encore."  So I warmed up some beets and rutabagas, microwave some meat meat and told Kelvin to head for the car.

The HD audience were treated with a video explaining the history of the Donmar Warehouse.  So cleverly done, showing us the political history around this old London warehouse, now turned into a theatre.  The explanation of the graffiti on the red walls, and the views out of the large warehouse windows onto the street were beautiful.  I was thinking about the setting of MacBeth -- an old church.  And now another unusual setting -- an ancient warehouse.  That is what makes the theatre fresh, I think.

The intermission interview between Emma Freud and the play's director was refreshing.  They were clever.  No spoilers for those of us who did not now how the play would turn out.

 The people to the right of me were talking about other productions of Coriolanus -- how they thought no one could top the performance by Vanessa Redgrave.  I was thinking during the first act, "I am having to work very hard -- the 16th century language, the different dialects."  I confess.  I want substitles, even when the work is in English.

This morning I am remembering the red lips of Volumina, the mother.  Those lips were theatrical with paint and the close-up of the mouth and teeth, and the words coming out of her mouth made a lasting image for me.  And especially beautiful when they were lined-up with her make-up in the second act -- her hair no longer carefully coiffed and her lips yellow-gray.

I loved the costuming on the women as well.  The stiletto shoes on his wife, and the sensible high heels on his mother in the first act.  On the way home I was wondering why I couldn't remember the shoes on the other women -- perhaps I will be watching for those the next time. 

I don't have time today but I want to go to the text and read the words at the ending of the play.  Is the background song part of Shakespeare's original text.  Does anyone know?  There was so much going on at that moment I couldn't take in the text, the play's ending, the images on stage,  the gathering together of all of the themes.  Too rich for me to do anything but sit in silence.

At the intermission Emma Freud suggested that from Mexico to Australia, at the end of the play, theatre goers are cheering with a standing ovation and that is is alright to do that in a theatre.  I couoldn't get to my feet -- one of those moments where the space around me is so dense that it takes a while for me to stand.

If you decide to go to the Encore, know that if you are like me, this is a play that is hard work.  But well worth it.  No triflers admitted.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Building at the Shuswap

Tonia sent me a note saying that due to financial constraints, she may never be able to build at the Shuswap, but she thinks she has found a good alternative.  Check it out.

Or see

I told Connor about this.  He said yes, he is aware of it, having lived in a tent for a couple of summers himself.  He made me laugh when he said that the only drawback is sometimes finding the right three trees with no underbrush between them.  Not that it can't be done.  Just from the perspective of a tree planter, those spots aren't everywhere in the forest.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tomorrow's Date with Coriolanus

Rehearsal shot from Coriolanus

I don't know how tomorrow's broadcast of Coriolanus will hold up against last year's MacBeth from the National Theatre.  Coriolanus is getting rave reviews and it is now sold out at the Donmar Warehouse.  My only hope is to see it tomorrow night.

As well, good news about coming productions.  .
Alan Acybourn's riotous exposure of entrepreneurial greed, A Small Family Business, will be broadcast live from the National Theatre on June 12th.  I am slipping that date into my day calendar now.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Charles Pillow

Charles Pillow
I haven’t been blogging much, it is true. But I have been out so many evenings that there has been no time to sit at the computer.

Pouria has been keeping track of the concerts coming out of the Monday Night Jazz Series. He gave me a heads up that we could hear Charles Pillow (saxaphone)with the UofC Jazz Orchestra on Monday night. Pillow’s programme bio says he is one of the premier woodwind multi-instrumentalists of today.

Pillow composes and arranges. Lucky for us.  We heard a jazz arrangement of Mussorgksy’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”. While watching the performance I remembered again the joy of watching musicians play – the movement of their bodies. Just wonderful. That is one thing a recording can’t give you.


The Walrus Talks

David and Connor Pilling and I went to the annual High Performance Rodeo many years ago. This event is now in their 28th year. My friend, Carolyn Qualle, asked me to come along with her to The Walrus Talks: Tomorrow.

The Walrus Talks Tomorrow features eight of the country’s leading thinkers as they tackle the issues of our times – and those of tomorrow.

Each person gets a blank slate of seven minutes to lay down their ideas on the theme.

This year there were few empty seats in the Jack Singer.

The line-up included some of the country’s brightest minds, featuring:

Giller Prize Award-winning author Joseph Boyden

Best-selling author and journalist, Diane Francis

2013 Governor General’s Literary Award finalist, author, Nina Munk
CBC Radio host and advertising guru, Terry O’Reilly

World-renowned mobile app developer, Michael Sikorsky

Juno Award-winning musician Shad
Professor, author and critic, Aritha Van Herk&lt
Award winning physicist, Neil Turok

Of course I had a wonderful time.  So many excellent one liners, which I thought I would remember forever, but now, a few hours later, I can only remember a few.

I rode the LRT home.  I sat across from a couple who had also attended the event and I listened in on their conversation.  For a flavor of how the evening went, you can go to the

This was a grand way to finish off what has been a lovely day.  I spent the morning and afternoon at Kelve's house ... a rare treat for both of us to have a free day ... and to spend it together.


The Pirate Loppet

Aye, matey.  We are in this picture.

If you look closely, you can see David (blue hat on his coat) and me (black and white skulls 12" x 12" scarf on head) rushing off on our first Pirate Loppet.

I am in the far back, and you will not be able to see the skulls on my hat -- I have more of the black and white checkered look on my head.  David is right by my side and all you can see is the top half of the side view of his head.   We are so far back in the picture that you will only spot us iff you look for something that looks like white dots on a blue hat.

Still ... the picture is proof.  We skied The Pirate Loppet.

We are have not finished skiing for the year, though the lessons are coming to an end.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Victoria Morning SKy

Happy Birthday, Catherine, from your loved ones in Victoria

Today is Catherine's birthday.

This picture of a Victoria morning sky is Rebecca's gift to Catherine.

Catherine's other gift will come this evening. 

The Jarvis's are picking up an ice-cream sorbet bomb from Bilbouqet for her birthday cake.  To check out what this might look like, go to to this link:

You will see a photo of the Sorbet bomb – made with pear, raspberry, mango and vanilla sorbet.  Click on the link then scroll down.  You will be glad you did.

Happy Birthday, Catherine. 


Monday, January 20, 2014


CBT: Cognitive Distortions
I have perfected the art of "black and white thinking". 

I have worked all my life to hone the skill of "exaggeration". 

I have a new plan.

Using the five point scale to acknowledge things can be grey (not just black or white).

Arta asked why the alternative has to be grey rather than some nice colour.

In honor of Arta's question, here is the colour scale I will be using.

I first ran across it in Kari Dunn Buron's material.

She has some free downloads that I have found helpful for myself and others.

My current favorite is her anxiety curve.

Her tagline on her website is "a pretty good teacher from Minnesota".

I am working on one for myself. I have considered sticking close to hers: "a pretty good enough SLP from Grande Prairie". Another I have considered is: "An SLP who is good enough and works in Interior BC." Based on Suzie Orman's recent suggestion to a viewer I may settle with. "An SLP who is more than enough."

New Years Day at Chisholm

Genera: Chen
Two beautiful white swans swimming on the lake.

However, Glen informed me that they were white geese.

They were still graceful beautiful birds swimming in freezing water.

New Year's day we had pasta for all.

Kalina has been taught to eat pasta by Charise and Audra had salad before she dug into the pasta.
Theresa spent a couple of hours playing by and in the sink. Audra and Kalina joined in on the fun.
After playing in the sink for a few hours a girl becomes thirsty so by all means, feed her with a spoon Lurene.
A girl just needs some water running, a few tools and it is a marvellous way to bring in the new year.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

School Cross-country Ski Trip

First School Field Trip XC skiing.
Thank you Mme Weir.
At the Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet yesterday, someone asked David if he was going to attend the Larch Hills Pirate Loppet

David replied, "Of course. Who wouldn't? It's a day you get to skip school and ski instead." 

Life in the Shuswap. It is good.

When I signed David up for Jack Rabbits, I had no idea how much he would love this sport. 

The Pirate Loppet is an event for children grades 3-5 and it will be held this coming Friday, January 24th. 

It will be a 5 Km ski route to be skied at your own pace. 

Hope to see you there. Remember, a pirate costume is optional.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Church in Texas

Calvary Cowboy Fellowship
"Boots, Blue Jeans and Bibles"
Every Sunday at 10:30 am

From Moiya

This cowboy church is close to Curtis's house.

Curtis's neighbour goes to this church.

You can see the church in the background  and it is architecturally like a barn. (editors note: Moiya sent two pictures, but one was embedded in the email, not carried as an insert, and I couldn't get it up on the blog.)

Over to the right  of the church are quite a few acres of land.

When we tried to drive in, there was a lock on the gate, so we went back out to the country road. The minister saw us drive in and back out. When we were taking picrtures he came out to see us and we chatted for a while. We told them that Curtis's neighbour is one of their congregation members.

We were invited to join next week.  We had to leave and come back to Canada.  Maybe next time.  I do love the picture.


Falstaff - Encore at Chinook

Ambrogio Maestri's 202nd performance as Falstaff in Falstaff
All the pre-reading and the viewing of utube videos to get me ready to see Falstaff was good.

But in no way did it prepared me for the surprise of the polish of the performance today.

I laughed so many times – starting with the fascinating comb over worn by Dr. Caius.  The classic comb-over in a wig.  I had trouble concentrating on the music at that point -- I was so interested in the costuming of Dr. Caius. What a great touch to let us see deep into this stock character -- just the hair-do was a riot. The setting of Falstaff is updated from Elizabethan England to the 1950’s which date is pretty well “back-dated” to anyone who reads this blog. Of course, I am lucky.   I have those old memories: the Peter Pan collars on the bodices of the dresses, the bouffant hair dos, and the crinolined skirts.

The intermission interviews were also wonderful: one with Robert Carsen and LeVine where the two of them prepared the viewers for the surprises to come in Act Three. Carsen’s staging is spectacular. Just the staging and movement on stage is worth the price of adminission. 

As well the prop man was interviewed. That is because at the end of Act 2 the chorus empties the cupboards of the large and spacious kitchen – literally 1,000’s of pieces of kitchen equipment are tossed out of the cupboards, into the air and the pieces fall where gravity lets them go. Can you imagine it takes 25 people just to keep the props straight – and 45 minutes to set the props up for the scene. That scene also includes choreography in slow motion, like the scene we see in Billy Elliot: The Musical, where the grandmother describes dancing with her husband when she is young. The movement is stunning.

The show runs again Monday night.

Fazeela, Kelvin and I went to the IMAX at Chinook Centre today. The manager of the theatre has an email list for patrons of the HD Live series. He welcomes people at the door, goes around asking people if they are comfortable, and announces when the show is going to begin. I saw him giving a helping hand to a patron who wanted to go to the top of the stairs but who could barely climb them. How is that for service at the theatre? So sweet.


David's First Loppet

What's a Loppet?  "It's a great gathering of skiers who ski on a groomed trail
of various distances. Enormous amounts of food and drink are consumed. After
there's a party, awards banquet, and a dance." 
Cross Country Canada website.
David and his friend Beatrice woke up early. They headed up to Larch Hills. At long last, the day of the 30th Annual Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet had arrived. 

As we drove up Grandview Bench road we talked about the hoar frost on the trees. We were an hour early and the volunteers were directing us into the second to last row of parking. As we pulled into our parking spot David announced, "I love the Larch Hills." 

In the participant packet, there was a map and a description of the 2 Km route.
We chose to do the 2 Km route. We finished in 33 minutes.

This course is two loops of the 1 km route. Young skiers are welcome to have a personal ski companion accompany them on the course. From the start line, head up Metford Road, turn right through Short Cut and then right down Ermine Frolic. Turn right onto Larch Hills Road and as you approach the start/finish stadium, keep right for the lap lane. Repeat the course heading back up Metford Road. This time, when you return to the start/finish stadium, turn left down the Dark Trail which will loop back to the finish line.
#86 David Camps-Johnson
Heading up the Metford Road and into the fog.
The start line was "self-seeded" said the information in the packet. With 450 participants, we were entrusted to find a spot that matched our anticipated speed.

At 9am the signal for the first heat was heard. We were in the third heat. David and Bea watched the clock and did a count down. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and they were off.

David kept a steady pace going up hill and sailed down the other side with confidence.

As David crossed the finish line the announcer said through the loud speakers, "Congratulations to David Camps-Johnson from Annis Bay who just finished his first Loppet."

Fort complete with dining area (Note Bea's soup) and
an area for storage of building tools built into the inside wall.
There was warm food for the skiers when they were done. Volunteers were serving beef on a bun, curry vegetable soup, and homemade cookies.

David and Bea grabbed some food and headed over to a quiet place on the other side of the lodge. They played for two hours after their sking was done.

They built a fort with "found snow chunks". When they felt the fort was complete, there was a "parents versus kids snowball battle".

A perfect end to David's first Larch Hills Loppet.

The Flying Dutchman

Wagner's Flying Dutchman
Promotional Image from Calgary Opera Website
In the grand scheme of organizing my life around fantastic live events in Calgary, I forgot to mention that Wagner's Flying Dutchman is coming to Calgary February 1, 5th and 7th.

What makes this production one I am going to want to see is that Lurene is singing in the chorus.

There is a full day free Saturday seminar at the University on the opera as well.

How fun is that!


Friday, January 17, 2014

Jewels: Bolshoi Ballet

Bolshoi Ballet Olga Smirnova
in the "Diamonds" section of Balanchine's "Jewels,"
  as performed at the Royal Opera House in London.

Dance is not my forte.

Still I am going to watch the Bolshoi Ballet: Jewels HD Live on Sunday 12:55 pm.  In Calgary it is showing at Crowfoot Crossing and at Scotia Bank Cineplex at the Chinook Mall.

Here is a New York Tiimes Review, lest that is all you will be able to take in.  I clicked on the link in the article, thinking I would just watch a few seconds of the show.  I ended up watching the whole 10 minutes.

If you want to know more about this ballet there is a nice article on Wikipedia about Jewels.  The ballet is abstract and uses music from Faure, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky.

Running time is 2 hours, 30 minutes.


Thursday, January 16, 2014


Tom Hiddleston plays Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse.
Photograph: Johan Persson
Thinking ahead, Coriolanus as presented by  National Theatre Live will be at theatres on January 30, 2014.

Here is a December 18th, 2013 Guardian review by Michael Billington of the Coriolanus production.

Peter Bradshaw also reviews the work for the Guardian.

This will also be an evening to remember.  When Leo and I were talking about highlights from 2013, he said that one of his highlights was see the National Theatre Live production of Macbeth.  From my reading, I think the Coriolanus production will be in that same excellent category.

For those of you who like to book way ahead, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night is coming May 22nd, a repeat of the 2012 performance.  This is one of those performances where seeing the event once is not enough.  In fact, in Salmon Arm the community arranged to have a special showing of this work and the theatre was filled.


Falstaff - Encore

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
Saturday is the Falstaff Encore in Calgary.

It will be 3 hours, 24 minutes, at the ScotiaBank Cineplex, Chinook and begins at  10:55 am.  You may find it at a theatre closer to you.

Here is the synopsis of Falstaff from the Cineplex Page 
An undisputed master of Falstaff, Music Director James Levine conducts Verdi’s opera for the first time at the Met since 2005. Robert Carsen’s production—the first new Met Falstaff since 1964—is set in the English countryside in the mid-20th century. Ambrogio Maestri (last season’s Dulcamara in the Opening Night production of L’Elisir d’Amore) sings the title role of the brilliant and blustery Sir John Falstaff, opposite a marvelous ensemble that includes Angela Meade, Stephanie Blythe, Lisette Oropesa, and Franco Vassallo.
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Costuming alone might make you
want to go to this production
Also look at the New York Times Review by David Patrick Stearns: "In Metropolitan Opera's Falstaff, An Old Rogue Takes on a Dark Edge"

Melanie O'Neil reviews the work for the Boston Performing Arts Examiner.

Tommasini's Review is called "An Outsize Rapscallion Let Loose on Postwar England".  This reviewer says that "this “Falstaff” will enter the annals of opera history. "


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Favourite Birthday Breakfasts

Growing up, I knew I was the luckiest girl in the world because I could ask to have waffles with ice cream for breakfast in bed -- and I would get it.

I don't know how many times I actually asked for it and got it, but it was at least once.  Which was enough to know that if I wanted it, it could be every year. 

Happy Birthday Mary

hope you have a yummy breakfast
For your birthday, David and I will make and eat crepes for breakfast.

I will teach him how and when to give someone a gift, "that comes all the way from Alberta" (In his case, from Florida).

I will tell him a story on the way to school of how you can think on your feet and how he can too because he is related to you (eg "I am a Martian!") Happy 39th!

Happy Birthday News from Mary

"you say it's your birthday? It's my birthday too!"
Thanks for the happy birthday greetings from all.

For my birthday I am starting a glass blowing course.

I have been doing torch work for a few years now, and am excited to do my first ever glass blowing.

Leo met the glass blower at an artist fair before Christmaswhen she found out he was a wood turner she asked him to make her some special wooden disk to incorporate into some new lamps she is making.

Must focus ...
In exchange, I get to take her class!

How’s that for an awesome present. And how fun that the class actually starts on my birthday.

Directors: Michael John Warren, Jason Moore

As the other part of my birthday celebrations, I am also hoping to find a night some weekend soon to sit down with Leo and my kids and watch the Shrek Musical, which you can now access on Netflix. I have never seen it, but the one song I have heard from the musical is hilarious. I saw it in a musical review that was put on by a musical friend of ours who gets together amateur musicians in the stake (and their amateur musician friends who are willing). He does an amazing job, and scores all the music himself.

Anyway, during rehearsals Leo introduced himself to the guy who was singing the Shrek song (called When Words Fail) and I can’t remember his name, but it turns out he grew up in Calgary with Rebecca. Small world. I will have to track down his name for you Rebecca.

Considering making an ice cream cake for the occasion too. I was inspired by Rebecca’s blog post of Duncan making an ice cream cake back in London.

I can’t believe I am going to be 39 tomorrow. How cool is that. Only one more year until 40!!!

Woot, woot.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Best Food Face

From David Camps 

  ... two toasted buttered bagels, one strawberry, and lots of scrambled eggs...
This is the best food face in the world.

It is made of two toasted buttered bagels, one strawberry, and lots of scrambled eggs.

What did you have for breakfast?

What is Aunt Mary going to have for her birthday breakfast tomorrow?


Monday, January 13, 2014

NUTS (Novelty .... Unpredictability ...)

"Oops, I ripped it a little", he said as he opened the envelope.
David got a letter in the mail.

As he slowly peeled the envelope open I heard him mutter, "Please don't be homework."

Seeing his stress as he opened it reminded me of Dr. Lupien's work on human stress.

Novelty and Unpredictability are two elements she identified that create stressful situations. (See her website to learn the other two).

Nope. It wasn't homework in the mail. It was birthday money from a loved one. He has already ear-marked it for his bank account. He is saving up for an X-Box 360.

Double Pleasures

 ... my dad likes me to rest my hand on his chin ...
I have double pleasures.

The first is living at the Shuswap and having some of my siblings live within walking distance of my house.

I can visit them on a whim.

I just have to run along the road or take a short-cut through the lawns of the two-cabins and I can have a quick visit anytime of the day or night.

... so why is he talking to my grandma in person
and my Aunt Rebecca on the phone at the same time ...
"I can report a little further.
Aunt Rebecca wants to know what happens
when you forget to put the butter in the butter horns."
My double pleasure is that in Calgary I live within walking distance of Wyona and in twenty minutes I can climb enough hills and turn enough corners that I can be at her house.

I guess my pleasures are really triple, because right next door I have some grandchildren whom I can shovel snow with in the winter, and whom I can watch on their play equipment in the summer.

Richard dropped in to my house with Alice Saturday night.

He had been up to Mike Card’s house where all of Mike’s brothers and sisters had gathered, as well as Mike’s parents, his grandparents and all of Mike’s nieces and nephews (6 of them under 5, I think). In the course of the evening Grandma Card asked Richard where he lived.

... I've just come back from Mike Card's house.
He is my dad's friend from their teen years ....
“Well, you know Frank who is in the ham radio club with Lester? I moved into his house and it happens to be right next door to my parents,” Richard said. “The only thing that is missing from the house is the ham radio antenna and Frank took that with him.”

“I could drive right to your house,” she said. “I know where that is.”

I am practising getting 2 fists in my mouth
So Richard and Alice slipped by late at night, to tell me they had met old friends of ours at a dinner party. Old friends who know right where he lives.

Only if a mother lives next door to her son and daughter-in-law can a quick visit like that happen.

I enjoy my triple pleasures.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

LRT Side Adventures

I have a side interest in using my crock-pot, a method of cooking that is new to me. I have owned the crock-pot for years. I just haven’t used it. Miranda has a new cookbook called Crock-Pot: The Original Slow Cooker Recipe Collection. She lent the book to Kelve. The cover says the book contains more than 500 crock-pot pot slow cooker recipes. I purchased a similar book at Chapters for Kelve – the same title, but only 350 recipes. A step down. Now I have looked at his book so much I don’t want to give it to him. Why would I pass it on. I have annotated some of the recipes, added a list to the front cover of book, the list containing recipes I want to try. Already I have organized my weekly menus around some of the recipes.

So when Michael and I were on our LRT trip, we got off at the Dalhousie Station so that I could make the purchase of a second book – this time one I will really give to Kelvin.

... these wheels don't seem to stay on this track ...
As an added bonus and in the back of my mind was the fact that over in the corner of Chapters where there are children’s book might also be a nice play to play.

 Michael had already told me that he wanted a hot dog, which I think is code for enjoying an eat-out associated with Costco, but the LRT was not going to drop us off in that direction.

We were well entertained without food.
... we can make it up this hill and over the bridge ...

There is a Thomas the Train play table, not as sophisticated as the two that Ron Treleaven made for Zach and Gabe – but still a table of great stature.

At the table were three engines that work and one that kept falling apart. Michael thought all of the engines were his.
... Do I really have to share? ...
Sharing is not a two year old’s forte.

He could give up some of them up when other two year olds joined him for play.

I sang train songs as I sat there and suggested new train routes or ways to fix crashes that occurred.

One of the fathers corrected me when I said that I was driving my train over to the tower to have it filled with grain.

“That is a water tower,” said the father.

Thereafter I passed all of this knowledge onto other two year olds even making the appropriate water gushing sounds when they would lower the pipe to their trains. It is good to keep learning.

... over one bridge and onto another ... with a hill as an alternate route ...
I did not know how we would make an exit from the store.

I wouldn’t have even been worried about leaving the store at all, but I know from experience that when I keep little people out too long and their mother’s don’t know where they are, that they worry.

So I began to plan my escape from the train table, which escape opened up when another little boy left a dump truck at the train table. Michael took that dump truck and rolled it right up to the front doors of Chapers where I paid for the cook book. I slipped him into his stroller and then left the dump truck there, saying goodbye to it until next time.


LRT side-trips are good adventures.


LRT Ride

... watching the S205 Bobcat from the LRT pedestrian walkover ..
The stars lined up for a trip I have been wanting to take.

Michael and I had the morning together. I have been promising him a ride on the LRT.

I have a pass with an unlimited number of rides on it. The weather was perfect. In January perfect weather means it is above zero. The last time Michael and I went on an adventure we walked so far that he came home with blisters on his heels.  Well, we didn't get all the way, without me carrying him.  I didn’t know that blisters on his heels was why he refused to walk one step further on that trip.

... the 9 am morning sky to the south at the LRT walkover on Crowchild Trail ...
Now he has new boots.

Now I know that I should take along a stroller when we walk.

Since he is tall, I have to keep reminding myself he is not even 2 ½. Just a baby, really.  When we go on our adventures, I cannot tell if he will be pushing the stroller, or in the stroller. The stroller only functions as a way to transport him if he is too tired to walk in which case pushing the stroller turns into a way for me to get more exercise.

... Michael Johnson's  first LRT ride ...
I am on a high learning curve with strollers.

Is it easier to push the stroller through the packed snow at each street corner?

Or should I  turn around and pull the stroller  through backwards?

That is a choice to make at every intersection.

 For one thing, I know the safety bar on the stroller works well. In the alley by the Kaleidoscope Apartment building, the stroller slipped over on its side from the deep ruts. No problem for Michael. His snow suit is padded with bubble wrapped.

We lingered on the corner of the LRT station to watch the bucket of a small bobcat being filled up with snow and seeing it dumped into the Calgary Transit Dump truck. I thought the charm of the trip for Michael would be the ride on the train. No. He wanted to get off at every station and be strolled along the platform.
.... the train platform -- a place to wave to cars and trains ...
Escalators lead to the pedestrian walk overs. I can manage a couple of pieces of luggage on an escalator, but not a stroller so we activated the HELP button to the elevator. A faceless voice asks for information from you, since this is the button where patrons also report crime, vandalism and bullying. “A ride up the elevator, please.” That is all we wanted. Our morning started at 9 am and finished at 12:15 pm. We didn’t get any further than up to the Crowfoot Terminus and back home to the University Station. I am not going to try to get to the Summerset Station in south Calgary until we can shave minutes, maybe hours off of the northern line.

A day I will remember.