Sunday, March 24, 2019

TV Or Not TV, That Is The Question

Four months back I waged war against my solemn belief that TVs are mind numbing instruments of pure evil.  After YEARS of living a chaste life, I brought one into my home.

I was going through a tough time and hoped the TV could help me unwind at night.
Instead, I continue to stare at its black screen in contempt.
Considering I've watched the idiot box less than 10 ten times since getting it, I'm returning to my roots and making plans to blow up the TV.

Here's hoping my lifelong companions will forgive me for my infidelity.
Anyone have any dynamite???

Friday, March 22, 2019

Lasting Memories

Amid all the outdoor activities during my sojourn in Canada...

and the relaxing...

there was time for family visits.

My Dads.

My uncle Jean and his partner, Leona.

My high school best friend, Anne-Marie, drove up from Toronto.  We shared a cheese course with my aunt Lyse.

Anne-Marie is into compacting a lot of living into one lifetime.  She's gone from being an MBA toting stock trader to a college professor of culinary arts and one of Canada's top cheese judges.  Her selection of cheeses, as you may imagine, did not disappoint.

My contribution to the day:  exercise to burn off the cheese!

Chuck takes us up a mountain in the Gatineaus.

Anne-Marie contemplating murdering us both.
Back home, we turn a plain chicken pot pie recipe into something elegant.  Anne-Marie puts on a cooking demonstration that has me writing notes until we crash around midnight.

The next day brings a visit to my cousins' homes.  Anne-Marie, part of my family, is dragged along to meet her new cousins.
Dax takes readily to Phil and after that we hardly see the dog as he has become one of the pack of children.  I should've figured Dax would love kids!

Left to right: Philippe, Jamie (known as Anyque in Canada) and Fabien.

Left to right: father of three, perennial clown, father of two.

Beautiful, smart and engaging children.

The fam takes a walk down to the local ice rink.

I tether Dax to a sled and tell the kids to go have fun because that's the kind of responsible adult I am.

All fun and games until you realize the sled doesn't have brakes.  

The last night, Anne-Marie puts on a traditional Chinese tea ceremony.

Two hours of sipping tea with my best friend: magical.
With a heavy heart, I load up my posse and aim South.

As with the grueling 36 hour straight drive up through brutal storms, a winter storm advisory hits us.  Once again, no rest for the weary, I have to drive straight through to avoid getting stuck on a snowstorm.

Drained, exhausted, feeble, I creep up to my county road late at night to see a truck overturned, blocking access to my driveway.  I'd made it 1300 miles, one driver, no sleep, four dogs and a neighbor couldn't make a 10 mile round trip beer run.  Wow, I love my life, wouldn't want to trade it for anyone else's.

I brought back with me all the love of my family and some of my mother's creative crocheted lampshades (don't call it macrame, she'll be insulted).

Another long distance adventure with my pack.  If I can't bring my dogs, then it's not somewhere I want to go.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Memories from the Trip to Canada

It's already been a month since my return from Canada. But, I think back to that glorious snow every day.

The gods dropped over a foot of it on us the night I arrived.

Dax remains undeterred.

Before my adventure sidekick and I can go skiing, we must first find the driveway.

Might be -10, but throwing snow up onto the already 7 foot high snowbanks is great cardio.
The snowblower master:

Finally, we escape to the trails.

Chuck's first time on skis in years and both of them their first time skijoring.  A+.

Crashed out after all that fresh air.

Slowly taking over every inch of my mother's house with doggy apparel.

Peter refuses to engage with the white stuff and holds the fort down.

Dax begs to go back out.

"Please, Grandpa, let's go snowshoeing some more."

Burning up the trails.

Chester is well mannered, Dax, not so much.

When he knocks me off my feet, he's irked that I've slowed us down!!!

Unfortunately, it only takes him an hour each time to refuel before Dax is ready to roll again.

Chuck and I fell in love with Larose Forest.

So much so, we returned twice.

Snowshoeing, skiing and mushing trails.

Dax's environment.

And mine.  Where I could stay all day.

Helps to have a stepdad who's a Scandinavian Energizer Bunny.

He keeps going and going...