A few months of staying close to home

And somehow it is summer.

First things first, remember this lady?

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This is where I am thinking “One day I will home school my children”. NOT!!!

That was twenty years ago. I have been living like a grown up for two decades now.

We wrapped up home schooling. Apparently actual schools are going to open up in September.

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One room schoolhouse

Of all the things I thought I would do in my life, home schooling was not on the list. It turned out ok though. There was a lot of yelling, sure, but at the end of the day everyone handed in their assignments. Markus was working with nona which meant on a good day he would finish all work before she showed up so he could get out of doing the lesson. On a bad day they would argue for two hours about having to do twenty minutes of work. Ultimately, his reading improved so I guess it was all worth it.

Owen somehow managed to get behind and had two months of assignments to catch up on. I worked with him a lot on this and I am glad I did. It helped me understand what kind of things he finds hard to do and where he gets frustrated. I kept an eye on Trev as well, but once he got used to doing work from home, he was quite independent.

I also instituted physical ed class and got the boys to bike or take a long walk every day.

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After school team practice at Britannia

They got really good at it to the point they can go get ice-cream at Britannia beach by themselves.

We were not able to have friends over to the house, but some ducks came by for a few weeks.

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Houseguests

Since then we have been busy with home renos. The boys are somewhere between fighting and having the best time with each other. Trev made a list of things he wants to accomplish this summer and one of them is to get Markus to like him.

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Best frenemies

Trevor has been busy creating new things like train layouts and aquarium stands.

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Diarama

I was able to get back into randonneuring after a short break last year.

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Before the brevet

Breathe

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In the lineup for groceries last week.
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Shutdown notwithstanding this was a really easy winter with lots of outdoors fun. We got out for a nice family ski before Quebec separated.
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We are in full biking mode now. Paths are fairly good now but I am worried they will get crowded as warm weather establishes.
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We have been walking a lot.
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There has been a lot of knitting.
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But most of all, we are being clever smartasses. Yes, he is wearing a kilt because pants are so pre-virus.

Film: The Marriage Story

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Taylor Lake

Apart from getting out to Gatineau Park to ski, I have been able to catch a few concerts/shows at the NAC.

Last year I noticed the ads for a ballet I liked when I was Trevor’s age when it was too late to go and see it. I decided to be more proactive this year and buy tickets in advance. The choice this year was between Nutcracker and Wizard of Oz. While Nutcracker is a classic, I was intrigued by the Wizard being a co-production of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet – the company that we were going to see. Markus was the only kid that showed interest so off to see the Wizard we went. The show was great, we had a blast and Markus even braved a horde of little girls to meet the dancers at the end of the performance.

Nona and I went to see Joshua Bell Performs Mendelssohn with the NAC orchestra. What I love about these concerts is the combination of classics and well known performers and new contemporary compositions.

Last week Chris and I went to a concert in the NAC Casual Friday series. This one featured American composers and a World premiere of a cello concerto written for the principal cellist of the NAC orchestra. It was tonnes of fun, especially since the enthusiasm of the principal cellist and the composer, who sat for a Q&A afterwards, was contagious.

I am really enjoying these little concerts, hope to see more of them.

Film: Little Women

Ha! I will try to sneak in my 2019 film ratings right before the year is over.

I actually made it out to the cinema a few times this year so here are the notable films I saw.

Best comedy: Two Popes

Best documentary: Honeyworld

Best epic: Roma

Best drama: Shoplifters

Best tearjerker: Farewell

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Happy New Year!!!

Film: Where did you go Bernadette

After absence of many years, this October we returned to the Adirondacks.

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We rented a lovely cabin a little away from Lake Placid and enjoyed almost a week of fun and relaxing.

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Our first order of business was hiking. We climbed Porter and Cascade peaks.

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The next day we checked out the Olympic village and hiked to Cobble Lookout.

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We checked out wild animal sanctuary and went rafting in the Ausable Chasm.

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Film: After the Wedding

There was an excellent turn out for Dan’s backcountry camping trip this year. The setup was similar to last year’s. We camped on Stratton Lake and made day trips to High Falls.

Heading out from Achray

Chris was not able to join us but Luisa stepped in plus Trev brought a friend. I was pleased to put all the kids in one canoe while Luisa and I paddled with most of the equipment.

On their own


The first couple of days the boys still required a lot of help handling the canoe. On the way in we ended up tying their canoe to ours in catamaran style and pulling them. The following days they required help when the wind pushed their canoe to the opposite shore. On the way back though, they passed with flying colours. They paddled with strength, planned their trip carefully and got to the destination first.

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Bailing practice

Every year there is too much of some animal. Mosquitos, snakes and chipmunks have all had their turns. This year was all about frogs. There were frogs everywhere!

Catching frogs

The funniest line of the trip was on the first day just after we landed at our campsite. We were greeted by a young couple from the neighbouring site. The boy had cut himself chopping wood (expert backcountry tip – don’t bring a hatchet, saw will do) and they did not have bandages. While we were helping them out the girl looked at our party and asked if we were a summer camp – no, we just had children!

Camp counsellors