Wordless wednesday – rink rats

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Summer days

As the summer approached this year, I made a conscious decision to skip the camp circuit and keep the lils with me all the time. I wanted to spend the summer exploring our city and beyond, and figured that the lils were at the perfect age to accompany me. I jokingly told the lils that they were going to “Mom camp”, and that we would spend the summer going on adventures together.

They bought in, in a big way. After the first week, they would wake each day and ask what our daily adventure was. The plan to go on two or so adventures a week grew to almost daily outings.  We added weekend adventures so that Willy could join us, and the weeks just flew by. Since late June, our adventures have taken us to:

  • Mud Lake
  • Mer Bleue
  • Bate Island
  • Andrew Haydon Park
  • Dick Bell Park
  • The Museum of Nature
  • The Museum of Civilization
  • The Agriculture Museum
  • The Aviation Museum and the Star Wars Identities exhibit
  • The Museum of Science and Technology
  • The National Art Gallery
  • Upper Canada Village
  • Several of the local farmer’s markets
  • Berry picking (followed by jam making!)
  • Glow in the dark mini golf
  • The Senator’s development camp
  • Several public skates
  • Wading pool at least 1/2 a dozen times
  • Splash pads
  • Playdates with friends
  • Photowalks
  • Toronto and Meaford where we spent ten days on the beach, in the pool, playing mini-golf, exploring the farm and it’s fabulous old barn, visiting old friends, Junior Caribana,but most importantly, connecting with family.
  • Montreal for a trip on the train, some wandering, a new Science Centre, the Biodome, and some time with an Uncle.
  • Numerous biking adventures, longer and longer trips for both lils.
  • Spelunking at Bonnechere
  • A tea party at cousin V’s
  • Wandering in a couple of sunflower fields
  • My Uncle’s orchard to pick the earliest apples
  • Wednesday trips to the library, where each lil logged almost 200 books read this summer, as part of our library’s mission to have children read over 14,000 books (the goal was met with two weeks left in the summer!)
  • The ‘Tech Wall’, one of Ottawa’s legal graffiti spaces
  • Parliament Hill to see the changing of the guard and explore
  • The locks where the Rideau Canal meets the Ottawa River, to follow a group of boats as they moved down
  • Ribfest
  • Shakespeare in the Park
  • The Dragonboat festival
  • The Lumiere Festival
  • Greekfest
  • The fire station, for a tour

Last week, I started to write out this list so that we would remember, and have something to add on to. As I kept listing the adventures, it dawned on me that our pace this summer might be why I am so tired these days, and why the lils are somewhat out of sorts. I decided to see if the lils were still interested in attending the hockey camps that they had seen weeks before.  They assured me that they were and I signed them up. I figured it would give them a little bit of structure, and give me a small window of time each day that was mine and mine only.

Today was the first day of camp, and it was my busiest day of the summer!  By the time I’d gathered their gear, made their lunches and snacks, gotten them appropriately dressed and packed the changes of clothing they needed, driven to the rink, signed them in, changed Goose and gotten her on the ice, ensured that Woo ate while watching Goose, helped Woo get ready, got Goose off the ice, and fed her lunch, I had just enough time to quickly duck out and get groceries before I returned to the rink for Woo. It was way more work for me than just hoping in the car and going on an adventure!

With all that we have done, there are still a handful of places that we did not get to, places that I am not sure we would have gotten to this week.  Places like Wakefield, Gatineau park, and Saunders farm among them. These are places that are thankfully still nice to experience in the fall, nice because we can keep on “adventuring” for a while yet, but also because it gives me a time to recover, once they are back in school!

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Wordless wednesday – Upper Canada Village

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Easily led

I knew when I started another 365 that there would be ruts and times when I was stuck for inspiration.  Having been through this before, I have several strategies to help me work through the ruts, one of which is a short list of things that I love to photograph that I use only when I am in a rut.  This was how I found myself on the weedy side of the house, photographing Queen Anne’s lace one night last week.  I was in a rut, and Queen Anne’s lace is on the list.

Satisfied that I had taken a photo that I would be happy with, I walked towards the front of the house and came upon Goose, sitting on the front step.  “Oh there you are”, she said, “I wanted to know if you wanted to go on a photo walk with me.” It was close to bedtime and there was laundry to deal with, but I could not say no.  We set off, and she directed me.

Take this, now that, one with me in it please, for the next forty minutes.  These are the shots she wanted:

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I had such a fun time with her, and she successfully kicked me out of my rut.  I can’t wait to see where she takes me next.



Wordless wednesday – field of sunflowers








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The early bird

This summer has been all about adventures for our family.  We have not had a specific plan, but wake each day, look outside and figure out where to go and what to do.  It’s way outside of my comfort zone as a list maker and planner, but it’s been great.  The lils have really gotten into the spirit, and more often than not, our breakfast conversations start with a “where is our adventure today?” from one of them. 

There are a few things that we have planned out, things that need some arrangements made in advance.  One of these things is our trip to Montreal tomorrow.  I happened upon a great sale from VIA Rail earlier this summer, and booked tickets for the family to and explore a wee bit.  The lils have been asking for years to travel on the train, but this was the first sale that made it possible for the whole family to go.  The catch is that we haven’t told them yet that we are going by train.

Given that I am the world’s worst secret keeper, I have not spoken to the lils very much about the arrangements for this trip. It’s getting harder and harder as we get closer to departure, and today was filled with a multitude of mines that I narrowly avoided.  We can’t bring all of your pillows and blankets because it is only for one night and we are trying to bring fewer bags.  We need more room in the back of the car because we might buy some stuff! We plan on only using the metro while in the city because it is FUN (well that part is true.) They have, for the most part, accepted these reasons without question.

The one story that I thought would be the hardest sell was the really early departure, a necessary evil given the 6:00AM departure of the train.  I built it up and convinced them that leaving early gives us a really full day in Montreal, that it would be loads of fun, that we would beat the traffic… and they bought it.  All was well until I looked at our tickets and saw that the train for this trip leaves at 9:30; it’s our next trip that leaves at the crack of dawn.  I tried to backpedal and come up with reasons why we were now leaving at a civilized time, but Woo wanted to hear nothing of it.  I can’t spoil the surprise, so I cross my fingers and hope that he sleeps in just a bit.  Of course when I last checked in on him, he was trying to set the alarm in his room for 4:30.  I hope that early bird makes the coffee.



Wordless wednesday – spelunking


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Wordless Wednesday – Two days in Vancouver

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