Wordless Wednesday – cabane à sucre

Fooling around

The lils favourite spot


Decisions, decisions

The new fangled way

Tap a tree

The old way



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It changed me

It’s funny how sometimes the little things sneak up on you. I knew when we moved to India that my life view would change as a result of the move. It had to. I’d lived in Ottawa my entire life, never straying more than fifteen kilometres from the house that I grew up in. In a lot of ways, I was the definition of sheltered.

My world in Bangalore was different on every level from what I have here. I am still, months after we have returned home, trying to process our time there. There were some absolutely fabulous highs, but there were also some lows that led to much soul searching. I am not sure if I will ever be able to articulate how I have changed, or if I really need to.

Still, I tend to notice the little things more and more. One of those little things caught me by surprise the other day. I was in the bathroom when a bit of movement in the tub caught my eye. I glanced in and saw it. The dreaded centipede. I have always been more than a little afraid of these creepy crawlers, because well they are damn creepy, and they crawl so fast! In the past, I would have run screaming calmly excited the room and gotten Willy to deal with the beast, but this time I just grabbed a tissue and squished the ugly beast. Twice, for good measure. Then I raced out of the bathroom to proudly tell Willy of my amazing kill.

Either I grew up just a wee bit in India, or our bugs have nothing on their bugs…

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Wordless Wednesday – Winterlude

Walk of lanterns

Walk of Lanterns

The Barry pose



Canadian Bear


Crystal Fish

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Heart broken

I broke my five year old’s heart on Valentine’s Day.  I didn’t mean to do it, and didn’t think that the news I shared with him would devastate him so.  It started innocently enough.  He cuddled into bed with me this morning, as he does most days.  We just lay there for a few minutes, when he started to get restless.  I knew the question was coming, as it always does on the day after. 

“Who won last night?”

I hesitated, and he thought that meant that Ottawa had. I had to tell him that they had lost to the Penguins.  He was OK with it, even though they are his sister’s new favourite team. He turned and went to leave, but I got his attention again. “There is some bad news. Erik Karlsson got hurt last night, and it was pretty bad.  He is not going to play for a while, maybe not until next season.”

He turned away again, and I thought he was OK.  Then the sniffling started, followed by the sobs.  Why, why did this happen.  Karlsson is Daddy’s favourite player, Woo’s second favourite.  He is tickled that he gets to wear number 65 on his hockey team, and he is often Karlsson when he plays hockey in the basement.  He was crushed.

I tried to comfort him, and he pulled away, not listening.  He got up and stomped off, presumably to give his sister a piece of his mind.  The Penguins are her favourite team after all.   It’s the same way that I would have reacted at age five if one of the Montreal Canadiens best players had been seriously injured.  Heart broken.


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Wordless Wednesday – at the rink


First Time

Shinny with Daddy

Watch and learn

Passing practice

And then she fell

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My grandfather passed away last night, after being hospitalized with pneumonia. Given that he was in his late nineties, his death was not unexpected, but it still makes me sad. When I talked to my cousin this morning, she let me know that he went peacefully, and for that I am glad. He didn’t suffer, and enjoyed life with my aunt and uncle right until he got sick this week.

Poppy has always been an important part of my life. From the time that I was a little girl, I loved to visit my grandparents, where I would first cook with my grandmother, then listen to his stories and look at his pictures. He told me tales of his life in Poland; of the War when he was stationed all over; of joining his wife and meeting his sons in England when the war was over (they were six, and were born after he went to war!); taking the boat to Canada; settling first in Saskatchewan, then Kemptville, and eventually Ottawa… I would just sit and listen, taking it all in. He was a strong man, and I loved him very much.

Poppy spent his life taking photographs. It was his hobby, his passion. It drove my grandmother a little crazy at times, but he loved to wander the city and take pictures of everything that he saw. Then he would share the photos with his family. He bought me my first camera, a little point and shoot that had a great lens. He taught me how to use it and what to look for when I was taking pictures. We never really got out together to shoot, but he came to love seeing my pictures as much as I did his.

I miss him already.

My grandfather, husband and daughter.



Wordless wednesday – Looking for dinosaurs in Toronto


Delicate fingers


Two skulls



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Rink Envy

I think that we are lucky to have so many outdoor rinks in Ottawa.  Pretty much every community has at least one, and the vast majority of them have both a hockey surface and a “puddle” beside it for regular skating.  Most are run by the communities and rely heavily on volunteers, but they do also receive funds from the City.  We love that our rink is so close to our house, and have tried to make the most of it in the time that we have lived in this community.

We missed skating last year when we lived in India.  We tried to replace it with rollerblading and rollerskating, but it just wasn’t the same. In desperation, we did try to find Bangalore’s one and only synthetic, indoor “ice” surface, but by the time we have found it the rink had gone out of business (maybe if we’d used it more…). The lils were disappointed, but we knew that winter would bring us access to all the skating that we wanted.

This year started out promising.  The weather was great in December, and it looked like the local rink would be open by early in the New Year. We signed up for the skating lessons that were organized by one of the community parents* It wasn’t ready when we were, and once it was we got really sick and it got warm, then brutally cold, then warm and rainy.  We’ve managed to get out a couple of times, but want to be skating more.

We packed up our gear this weekend before heading to visit Toronto, as Willy’s Mum assured us that there were rinks open for us to skate on.  I was initially skeptical, as I failed to appreciate is that these rinks are artificially cooled, something that is generally not necessary in Ottawa. The rink that we chose was way more than just artificially cooled.

It seems it this rink was given a facelift by the City of Toronto a few years ago, in a partnership with RONA and MLSE (aka the Leafs). They have a great hockey surface, complete with benches and professional boards. The puddle is as big as the rink, an as smooth as most indoor rinks that I have skated on.  The “shack” is not at all shack-like, with a large open room, plenty of benches, and clean washrooms.  The part that was most shocking to me was the Zamboni that came out to resurface the ice after the shinny game was finished!  It blew my mind to think that a random community rink would have a Zamboni. Sure it is plastered with Leafs paraphernalia, but it’s quite the impressive rink.  I wonder who I need to talk to at the Senators to make that happen to our little rink?

 *I love, love, love that she did this.  Fingers crossed that we get out to them this week!!*