Sunday, June 18, 2017

Boys from the Hood

I took the boys to see part of their hood today, otherwise known as Parliament Hill.  It was very hot when the sun was out but not too bad when it clouded over. We got downtown before 10 am and walked around for about an hour and half. Bad Mum I didn't bring water once again, Luckily at the locks, the Parks Canada office and museum had dog bowls out.

Beckett and Keltic with the Peace Tower

Yes, we would like to vote.

Beckett and Keltic became part of the scenery when they sat on the chair by Emily Murphy, one of the statues on the Hill. You can read about her at the link above and about other women who fought for the rights of women in Canada.

We spent quite a bit of time sitting in the shade wherever we could find it.  Beckett and Keltic were quite a hit with many tourists and even the tour guides on the Hill.

You're in our shot!

Will they never leave?

We walked down to the locks and walked from one end to the other and back.

Looking toward the Ottawa River

Looking back to the Chateau Laurier hotel
Then we walked over the the National War Memorial where we saw the changing of the sentry on the Tomb of the Unknown Solider.

Beckett and Keltic at the War Memorial

Sentries on guard

Changing the sentry.

We then walked the Sparks Street Mall before heading back to our car.  I'm sure Beckett and Keltic will never forget that it was ribfest and I didn't buy them any.  We got home before any of the rain started which was a good thing.

You might not have noticed but Beckett and Keltic are wearing their Canada 150 bandanas. The shot on Parliament Hill was the one I really wanted to get and I certainly didn't want to go down on Canada Day weekend, just too crazy that weekend.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Down Home

Well, it's been awhile since I sat down to write a blog post, I'm falling behind. Perhaps I'll have more time in future as now every weekend will be a long weekend. I'm starting my transition to retirement this weekend; for the next two years I'll only work four days a week.

Any way last month, my sister, brother-in-law and I went to to Halifax, well Dartmouth actually, for a family weekend.  My youngest niece was getting married on the 12th of May. She and her family are Mormons so we were not be able to attend the ceremony itself, we decided to see if my mother's brother and his wife were available to spend some time with us while we were in town.  Not only were they available but they invited us to spend the weekend at their house. Had they not been available I doubt we would have gone.

We flew down on Thursday getting in around 9:30 pm.  We had a great time sitting up and chatting with my Aunt and Uncle who we hadn't seen since my father passed away. We were able to sleep in the next day as the wedding ceremony wasn't until the afternoon.  By the time we arrived at the Temple, my sister, her family and the bride and groom had already gone in. We waited with other guests in the waiting room for their sealing ceremony to be completed. The bouquet had one of my mother's brooches on it so that in a way she could be there too. Afterwards many many photos were taken before we headed off to a restaurant for the wedding dinner.

First Kiss

The bouquet

The dip

Karen, Keaton, Kayla and Kevin, the bride and groom with Kayla's parents

The restaurant was small but we had the whole upper loft area for our group. My youngest sister and her husband who have been travelling the US this past year had worked their way back to Canada and joined us for dinner. The dinner was very nice. There was a choice of  four dinner entrees along with cakes for dessert. It was the first time we had met our youngest great-nephew Haig Arthur the 4th.

Maureen, Steve and Aunt Helen

Juanita, Joe and Baby Haig Arthur
Saturday, we headed over to Halifax, we took the ferry over.  I was born in Halifax and went back there to go to university but this was the first time I ever took the ferry from Dartmouth to Halifax.  We walked along the waterfront to Pier 21 which is now a museum to immigration in Canada. In the 20's and 30's it was a large immigration centre for people who came to Canada by ship. After taking a tour of the museum we had lunch then headed back along the waterfront to meet Maureen and Steve at the Lower Deck pub.

On the ferry

Halifax Harbour

Waterfront walk

Citadel Hill

Local Brew

After a beer with Maureen and Steve we headed back to Helen and Terence's where we had the classic East Coast lobster supper, a little less expensive to have at home than at a restaurant.

Sunday afternoon, some of my cousins, two of my mother's brothers and her youngest sister came over along with other members of the family. We had a lovely pot luck supper.  It was great to see everyone. I'm sure I hadn't seen  my cousins' children since the kids were little now most of them are adults.

My sisters and me with our Aunt Helen

Uncle Terence
We flew back home on Monday. Hopefully it won't be as long until we see them again.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Short Season

We started the Spring 2017 season off with a trial at Absolute Agility. I had entered both Beckett and Keltic in three events.  Beckett had two Snooker runs and one Master Jumpers; Keltic had a Master Jumpers and then later in the day two Advanced Standards.  We got there early but the event was running late because the facility had been nearly flooded out by the spring thaw; lots of effort by the arena crew and with the sump pumps running they kept most of the arena dry. Courses still had to be modified to avoid the muddy parts of the arena. I only went on Sunday and people said things were already much better.

Beckett ran very well. He Q'd the first snooker run and if I had run the second snooker run they way I walked it he would have Q'd the second run too. I got myself in a position where I had to rear cross a tunnel and Beckett, with eyes in the back of his head, turned around in the tunnel and came back out the entrance for a refusal and a whistle from the judge.  He ran a very nice Master Jumpers too but I stopped too abruptly thinking he had committed to a tunnel but Beckett stopped too and spun getting a refusal on an otherwise clean run.

I had started out just fine but as the day wore on my Achilles tendon began to bother me. Next up was Keltic, in the second Master Jumpers.  He ran beautifully but I didn't pick him after tunnel #  12 and he got sucked into the decoy tunnel for an elimination.  My Achilles tendon by now was very painful, I did some volunteer jobs leash running and bar setting and it got progressively worse so I decided that was it. No use rupturing it I thought, as that would take ages to heal.  Poor Keltic, we arrived at 9:30 in the morning and his 34 second run was at about 4pm; all day in a crate for that.

Master Jumpers 2
 This was the course as the judge designed it but because of the muddy parts of the arena all the courses had to be flipped and tweaked. One of judges didn't have the opportunity to re-do the course maps so we had to make do with the original ones and trace them out on the backside.  The hand drawn maps gave you the flow but the tweaking in the ring meant you couldn't really decide on your handling until you walked it.

Mirror Master Jumpers 2

We had our next trial the very next Friday, only four days later. I spent the evenings icing my tendon and hoping I'd be able to run.  I had entered Beckett in 4 Steeplechase runs and Keltic in two Gamblers. Beckett needed two qualifying scores for his Silver Expert title which in Steeplechase is 50 qualifying scores. I ran the first run and my tendon did not feel great at all but we got a Q. I decided to wrap it. I had brought sports tape but forgot scissors so I used vet wrap. I hoped he would do it with only two runs but in the next run I handled one jump badly and Beckett back jumped it. The tendon felt much better wrapped. On to Steeplechase 3, this one looked nice and it ran well for us, the place where Beckett began to spin, I knew would happen. If I had been a little faster I could have gotten in a blind cross there and avoided that spinning.

I pulled out of Steeplechase 4 so that I could rest my ankle a bit and so that Keltic would get his runs. Keltic ran well; I even ran out of things I had planned to do in the first opening.  The first Gamble I knew he wouldn't stay out with me on the other side of the dogwalk, but he did do a nice dogwalk so maybe the winter training was not in vain. The second Gamble we had a chance, if he would just go to the tunnel but no, he wouldn't. I have to work on getting him calm in order to do the gamble, you see when I sit him down he goes right out the first obstacle without hesitation.

So that's it for the 2017 spring season, I had hoped to do more before the Regional Championships in June but I have to be able to run to play agility so it's better to let the tendon heal.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Herding Day

Spring is coming, maybe doesn't seem like it but it is.  One of the local photographers has joined up with a woman who teaches herding.  While you are having your herding instinct test done, Erika will take pictures.  The picture in this year's advertisement is my Keltic. I loved this shot so it is one of the digital images that I bought.

This picture always reminds me of the movie Babe where the pig is asking the sheep if they would kindly move along.

You know the code Baa ram ewe, Baa ram ewe....