The last few days Shelley and I have been in
The next day we went to Nellie’s Cosmic Diner on
We drove to
Saturday we walked up
That afternoon there was a bit of a situation when a couple of teen aged kids, a boy and a girl, camping down the site from us got into a fight. Eventually the campground people turned up but by that time it had settled down. They said they would ask the RCMP to come by but they never really did. I have this theory that if two or three of us started yelling “Stephen Harper is trying to Americanize out public services.” They would have been there in a flash with pepper spray but… perhaps this is turning into a rant.
That evening we cooked lamb chops, new potatoes and corn then spend a quiet evening around the fire.
The rain started as we were getting ready to bed down for the night. We cleared up and put most things in the van so when in the morning it was raining, we just packed up and went into town for a little B&B -
At first we thought we’d drive to
The monster scarlet runner bean plant, with not an actual bean in sight was pretty but...basically served no function but to shade my tomatoes. If I am going to get the number of vine ripened tomatoes I'd like, something had to be done so...I cut it down.
I am going to have to rethink my garden planning next year. This experiment simply didn't work.
I just can't seem to get away from work though. So far there has been some kind of interruption on 10 of my vacation days. It is tough to get a clear head when that happens. I serously considered going back a week early but decided "No". We are heading to Banff this weekend.
It is great to start eating things out of the garden. There are lots of grape tomatoes and we ate these Romas as soon as they ripened along with fresh tyme and basil. Not to mention the feta made from our goat's milk. Ok I am kidding about the goats.
The Regina Folk Festival was this past weekend. It was a great success again.
There was a good line up, the stage was bigger and they seem to have solved the sitters vs standers issue.
We missed Friday night but went and stood in front of the stage most of Saturday night. It got pretty crowded by the end of the night and by the time we left my back was killing me.
Sunday I went down to the festival by myself. I had a backstage pass as a board member so was able to sit a bit so my poor aching feet were better. The line up was really good and I had a very good time.
I really enjoyed Amy Millan, a member of the Stars, who was playing her last gig as a solo artist and who is heading back east to work with the band again. That is her in the picture.
Rachelle Van Zanten, who used to be a member of The Painted Daisies while they were together was fantastic and Black Umfolosi, an a capella group from
The evening finished with Blue Rodeo who did a great set then invited several other performers to join them, Amy Millan and Sarah Slean joined the band for a few numbers and the evening ended with all the performers on stage signing Four Strong Winds with Blue Rodeo in an amazing end to the evening
I will trade one fritata with zucchinis fresh from the garden, fried new potatoes, panchetta, garlic, small new onions topped with cheddar and fontina cheeses for:
One black paella with cuttlefish and artichokes.
The zucchinis are starting to produce. A few grew quite big while I was away and we have quite a few which will be just the right size by next week.
My butternut squash is growing flowers but so far, there is no fruit. Soon I hope.
As usual as well, we have a few random sunflowers and lots of weeds.
Our beans were showy but have yet to produce an actual bean and yet to harvest we have carrots and lots of tomatoes. We are getting a few ripe grape tomatoes but everything else is green
It is lovely
From Wolfe Island it was a 4 day drive home via Cleveland, Chicago, Madison, Minneapolis, Fargo, we skirted Winnipeg then home.
We stayed at the Hotel Belley - Une Hotel Particular. It is a small funky spot near the old port. The sort that has regulars sipping beer on the terrace and playing boules in the evening and another group having espresso and croissant in the morning.
I'd love to live in the city for 6 or 8 months, it is a great spot but more that a bit crowded with tourists in the summer
We spent four days doing minor repairs, swimming, paddling, lazing around and eating well. Chris and Brittney spent an amazing amount of time in the water. It is so cool, clear and refreshing.
My mother was out paddling the canoe which is pretty good for an 85 year old.
The weather while we were there was great except that it poured rain the morning we left so we all were pretty damp during the drive to Montreal and on to Quebec City.
Once the tents were up and we were reasonably happy that we were settle in we decided to drive into Ottawa and experience a change of pace from drive, eat, sleep, drive.
We drove in by the Experimental farm and over and downtown along the Rideau Canal. The Byward Market area was full of people and after walking around smelling all the good cooking smells we settled into the Highlander Pub for eats. It wasn't bad at all.
They claim to have over 200 scotches which, if I wasn't driving I'd have made some attempt to sample. Well, at least a few.
Yesterday we drove back in and took in the Museam of Civilization which is always a treat. We coukld have spent the day. We grabbed a bite then went back acrioss the river to Ottawa. Chris and Britney walked up to the Parlement Buildings and I hung out at the market.
Today we drive to Montreal, pick up my Mum and head north to the cabin
It is a great spot. Lots of Manitoba families.
Tomorrow we will drive to Agawa Bay south of Wawa.
We have been spending our day packing the van for tomorrow's departure. Figuring where to put everything is always a hassle the first day particularly with three bikes.
We plan to get an early start . We want to drive into Ontario, east of Kenora.
Chris made a big move and decided to get his hair cut today.
Chris and I finished laying the floor today. It looks great. There is just some trim to work on but I'll do that after I get back from Eastern Canada.
We will have beets from the garden and lettuce as well. The strawberries are pretty much finished and the raspberries are just about ready.
The flowers in the front are coming in to their own. Things look good.
I am back in Regina after a quick but productive trip to Vancouver.
I was amazed, it was quite hot while we were there. Mid 30's which is very hot for Vancouver which is usually cooled bu the ocean.
I went down to Lumsden to try and find the Trans Canada Trail to do a bik of biking but it isn't well marked and at some point what I thought was the trail ends up on private property.
On the way back into town. I stopped at the go-cart track to see what was going on and took a few pictures
Last night's floor hockey was fun but hot. A real sweat fest
I am very happy with the garden so far. Our crop of strawberries for example is so much better that last year.
Vance came over for supper around 7:00 and we hung in until midnight talking. he is doing well.
I suspect it will only be the hard core floor hockey players tonight with an emphasis on beer rather than exercise.
The whole weekend is supposed to be like this. early morning will be the only reasonable time to get any work done.
Saskatchewan is such a contrast these days with the yellow canola fields, the deep blue of the flax and the deep greens. It is very impressive particularly early evening as the sun gets low.
We ate outside again today. Great weather for it.
Things are still quiet at work. Everyone is in summer mode
The weather is great, warm (hot) and mostly sunny. The fish are loving it.
Friday they are predicting 35 degrees. It will be a hot night for floor hockey
It is a beautiful hot summer day. We should see 30 degrees by late afternoon. Annie had a pool day much to her delight. Ginger as per usual was only mildly impressed.
My hand is improving so I will do a bit of work in the garden.
My "wound" looked pretty good today but was still sore, like a sprain. Mid morning I decided it was swollen and went to see the doc. A tetanus shot and some anti-biotic later I hope it is on the mend. It sure has cut into my work plan though. I had a nap in the hammock this afternoon instead.
Chris and Brittney spent the afternoon at Wascana Lake and will go back tonight for the fireworks.
We woke up to a thunderstorm this morning about 6:00. Shelley flew out about 9:00.
I drove south of the city to buy some sod this morning and I patched up a couple of places that were looking a bit ratty in the back and the front.
Later I was digging up bricks and cleaning out the weeds between them when I somehow managed to stick the sharp implement I was using into my hand. It hurt much more that I thought it would. It is still quite sore. I think it has been bruised quite a bit too.
That kind of wrapped up my work for the day.
Chris and I had supper outside and then he went off to work. Morgan is in France.
Today was hot and humid. Tomorrow is supposed to be more so.
It is still seasonably cool however and we really do want more heat. The strawberries are ripening but we may not get one good dessert out of them. They are too tempting and we are eating them one at a time.
Chris is working so Shelley and I ate out side by ourselves. Very good chicken with a great rub and a little Grand Marnier drizzled over them near the end. Yum!
We woke up to 4 degrees this morning. It was a cool bike ride to work. I hope it warms up significantly as the day goes on.
I have a Regina Folk Festival Board meeting this evening so if it doesn't it will be a cool ride home.
I spend the day in bargaining or, as those who have some experiance in these matters often say, "waiting"
The strawberries have ripened over night. They are so much better that store bought. Sweet!
Busy day today.
This was a really nice weekend if hot at the start. We played floor hockey Friday night and the gym was soooo... hot. We were tired afterwards.
I worked outside most of the weekend fixing the sprinkler system and cutting the lawn and working in the garden. We are going to have a good crop of strawberries and the raspberries look good too.
Shelley and I sat out a built a fire in the evening. It was very nice.
It was cooler today with a bit of rain early but it cleared up nicely and we ate out side again. I made one of my favorites, paella and it was great.
Chris has a full workload with the new International program. He will be at the university over 12 hours tomorrow.
We have tickets to see buddy Guy Friday night. Shelley has only a few more days then it is off to Vancouver Saturday.
I rode my bike to work today. I am quite proud of my self. The test will be riding it back home in the heat and mostly uphill.
Chris has been hired to working as a student assistant for the International Program starting next week. He is really enjoying it.
I am working on a web short kids story with pictures for Isabeau and Talya called Morgan goes to England.
We watched My Spanish Apartment on DVD last night. It is a Spanish/French production. I loved it.
We worked outside when we weren't running errands. Shelley and I had a Tim Hortons breakfast which isn't our normal Saturday morning routine. The jury is in - Bad Choice!
Sunday was rainy off and on, mostly on late afternoon. At some point it looked like a tropical shower.
Morgan was in Brighton on Sunday. A far cry from a Saskatchewan weekend.
It was very interesting because the arbitrator was Francophone and they two lawyers first language was Englist. The hearing was held in French, the language in the agreement is in English, the witness testified in English and the discussion switched back and forth between both languages seamlessly, sometimes mid sentence. It was really fun for me to see some people I hadn't seen in over 30 years. It was a real treat
I had the first afternoon free to wander around old Montreal which is always a treat.
I stayed at a hotel in Chinatown so had soup for lunch the first day, met with the lawyer over a meal of Chinese food the first night and had lunch at a great Chinese buffet for lunch. By the time I left I was looking for something else to eat.
I took the train out to Ste Anne de Bellevue and went for supper with my mother and Ruth. Italian food at Romana's in Pointe Claire village.
I spent the night at a hotel by the airport and flew out this morning.
The Toronto - Regina leg was delayed a bit when they had to change a tire on the aircraft before we left but I am back safe and sound.
Floor hockey tonight!
I don't think anyone would have guessed this ending.
Tony won the turf war when acting on an FBI tip the Tony's boys blew Phil away in gruesome fashion. But what a price, Bobbie is dead and Silvio is on life support. Tony has moved back into the family home but there is no question that there is tension in the air.
The ending, with Tony, Carmela and A.J. eating onion rings in a diner was a let down for me.
This morning Christopher and I went to work laying laminate in the dining room.
Christopher was in charge of measuring and I did the cutting. We worked together laying the floor. It took us most of the day but we are very pleased with the result.
The finished product made such a difference to the look of the room. We are looking forward to working on the living room.
The hightlight was planting some peppers.
The onions are doing very well as is the spinich.
For supper I made amoung other things, roasted red pepper, chickpea and roasted garlic hummas. Very tasty.
It got quite cold in the evening. Chris, Shelley and I went out for supper to celebrate Christopher's birthday. The Keg was predictably good.
Today is sunny again and hopefully warm. It certainly was pleasant first thing. I appeared in front of the Standing Committee on the Economy at the Legislature this morning. I presented our brief on TILMA and took a few questions. I thought it went well.
On the upside I found a new Greek restaurant on 3rd Ave, downtown, Koutouki Taverna. It is more in the tradition of Vancouver Greek restaurants which is what I like. I will be back.
Tommorow I have to attend an awards luncheon then it is back to Regina for supper with Chris, Brittney and Shelley. I assume we will be going to the Keg
Monday comes too soon.
I am in Saskatoon this evening for a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Labour Market Commission. It is the first face to face meeting of the Board so it will prove to be interesting.
I drove up mid afternoon but at the last minute I had to write some speaking notes for an open line show to help Donnie out in the morning. By 7:00 my stomach was growling so I finished it up as best I could.
I got a little exercise after that and walked across the river to Broadway for a while then spoiled it all be having a couple of Keith's and some pasta at the Freehouse.
To bed early. I didn't sleep very well last night so I have to catch up this evening.
We had a long talk with Morgan yesterday which was great. We should see if it is possible to get an international calling plan on our phone. It is some much easier to communicate that it used to be with cel phones, e-mail, Facebook and blogs.
It is Christopher's birthhday Tuesday and I will be in Saskatoon so we went out yesterday and got him a new bike. With the price of gas he figures he'll put it to good use.
After supper Shelley and I lit a fire in the backyard and we sat out until the bugs drove us onto the front proch.
It was a good rally. Not as much coverage as we'd have liked. I was scheduled to meet Brad Trost, a Tory MP from Saskatoon but he cancelled on us with 15 minutes notice. There guys don't much like to talk to people who might believe something other than what they do themselves.
I spend most of the day working out side in the garden. I put tomatoes in, Roma, Grape and medium regular sized tomatoes. I planted the catnip and discovered some cilantro growing from last years’ seed. I have pretty much fixed the lawn where the dogs tore it up. We have to just wait for the grass to grow now.
I also bought a few water plants and put the fish in the pond. They look great as always. I think they like the extra space.
We ate supper outside again tonight. It was a lovely evening but to cool to hang out and light a fire.
Back to work tomorrow. I fly to Ottawa for a day Tuesday for a lobby effort about the loss of manufacturing jobs.
I worked outside off amd on most of the day in the garden and patching the back yard.
I also drove down to Cathedral to check out what was going on. there were a lot of people. A bit of a zoo frankly. I only stayed a short while and headed home.
We are going to eat outside this evening. Ribs and corn with a salad and a bottle of Okanagan red. Sounds good. I'm hungry already just thinking about it.
Perhaps we'll light a fire later.
Here it is Saturday and a day off. Yeah!
It was great to talk to Morgan this morning. I am always surprised and grateful how easy it has been to stay in touch.
Today I have my work cut out for me in the garden and the back yard which looks like a war zone. The dogs have left potholes all over. Major repair work to be done there. As for the garden. One set of onions are doing well and the other were complete duds. My squash are coming as is spinich and the beets but my beans look like they got a touch of frost.
This weekend is also the Cathedral Village Arts Festival so I will take a break and head down later.
I will take a garden picture for tomorrow's blog entry.
By clicking on the pictures you get a larger image if you like.
Traffic was good through Calgary and I made good time all the way driving 850 km today. It is a long haul in anyone's books
There had obviously been quite a bit of snow in places east of Calgary but it was for the most part melted. There was a fair amound on roofs and in ditches.
I only saw one antelope on the stretch west of Medicine Hat. I usually see more.
The highway was clear and dry and I was home by 3:30.
The forecast low tonight is 0 degrees. I was expecting summer. Oh well.
Chris and I played floor hockey tonight. Shelley is working on her project. One good game but an energetic one. It is what I needed after the drive today.
We went to Bushwkkers after. A couple of Stubblejumber Pils rounded out the night.
It was a long day's drive, 900 km. I started in Naniamo and when I caught the 8:30 ferry, dropped Donnie off in Vancouver and started east at about 11:00. It was a great day for a drive, It was magnificent up the Fraser Valley. Not a cloud in the sky. Mount Baker seemed huge and still covered in snow.
The drive up to Kamloops was good and right through Revelstoke the traffic was good and the skys were clear.
As I drove over Roger's Pass it started to cloud but it was still very pretty. There is still quite a bit of snow around the summit. I had to slow a bit east of the top where they are still clearing mudslides but by the time I went through it was in good shape.
There was fresh snow around Lake Louise and Banff but when I stopped for the night there was nothing much on the gound in Canmore. I saw a number of elk around Lake Louise and a couple of deer. Had to deal with the usual idiot braking hard so he can pull over to take pictures. I think that is why the speed limit is lower in the past. It gives you time to avoid running into stupid tourists.
It was another beautiful day in Vancouver. Unfortunately I had to spend most of it writing a brief. At noon my brain was mush so I walked down to one of my favorate kitchen stores, Cookworks. I picked up a cookbook and a couple of other odds and ends.
This evening I went for a walk in Stanley Park. What a beautiful evening.
I have to pack tonight after eight nights in this hotel I head out tomorrow. I'll spend the morning in the office then head for the ferry about 11:30.
We went down tp the pier in Steveston and bought 6 pounds of shrimp and cooked them up for a snack. Very good...ummmm.
There were quite a few for supper, 14 I think. Neeley bought 2 good sized sockeye salmon so we had a great feed. There was lots of chat and I think everyone had a great time. It was certainly noisy.
Shelley and I walked around Robson Street in the morning then we drove out to Richmond. Giles had called so we gave him a lift out as well.
As you can see we went down to Steveston to have a bite of lunch and to check out the fish for sale. Almosy everything was frozen or just thawed. I guess shrimp isn't in season but there was lots for sale,
It was an odd day sun and rain then rain again
I didn't get a whole lot of work done however. My computer was having a mental health day but, it is much better now. Almost as good as new after a through cleaning and some upgrades. Another gig of ram will help too.
I spent a quiet evening. I picked up a chicken breast stuffed with scallops and lobster in a nice little butcher shop on Denman. I was a bit concerned the last time I tried something like this. it was pretty bad but, this was quite good.
It is an easy drive from Kamloops to Vancouver across the Coquihalla. There was still snow at the summit but if the sun stays it won't be there long.
Vancouver is lovely and sunny. T-shirt weather. There were even a few brave souls swimming at the beach at English Bay. It still looked a bit chilly for me.
My Hotel wasnt ready so I walked around until mid afternoon.
Here's hoping it lasts
I had breakfast and a good night's sleep and I am about to drive the last leg of this trip to Vancouver.
It is a good day for a drive, no pressure and lots of sunshine.
Today was one of those long days where you can't get any momentum going.
I had to finish up approvals for the conference media release. That involves 3 VPs which of course means rewrites. I then had to start to get my head around our motion in front of the National Energy Board.
Trying to work with an Ottawa lawyer and our Ottawa office made things quite abit slower than I'd have liked and I didn't get out of Edmonton until almost noon. Then I had to stop in a small provincial park to take part in a conference call for an hour a few miles west of Edson. We stopped at that park and had supper one time we were camping.
The rest of the drive was good but long. About 820 km.
I saw a few goats and deer in Jasper but I was already late for sightseeing.
I got into Kamloops about 8:30 B.C. time. I got a room with a balcony so I could sit out and have a beer.
I have decided to skip supper
It also seems like I have become a work magnet with more and more projects being piled on. I have to figure out some way to reverse my polarization.
I am just about done so my main objective now is to find somewhere nice to eat.
I had intended to hit the road fairly early tomorrow and to start to drive to Vancouver but I now have to write a release about the National Energy Board hearings we are involved in over pipeline issues. It looks like a late start but, I still have plenty of time to get there.
I hit the road about 9:30 and drove to Edmonton which is about a 7 1/2 hour drive. It was a great warm ,windy, sunny day for most of the drive but I did drive through a big dark thunderstorm around Battleford. The first of the summer.
We had a good couple of games of floor hockey although we lost them both it was a good work out. A couple of pints of Stubblejumper Pils at Bushwakkers put it all right.