Summer 2020

A summer without BBQs, pool parties and campfire singalongs? Somehow we have made it. Lots of time with the boys and lots of outdoors.

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Mini putt and driving ranges were all the rage until Markus got better than Owen.
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Fishing remained popular all summer.
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Trev is now taller than me, a few more millimetres and he will be taler than Chris.
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We went on an epic backcountry trip. Rip in canoe, more portages than you can shake a frog at, deer flies, hornets, leeches but also beautiful lakes, starry skies, happy children and great company.
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Bubbling with friends.
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Brotherhood at its best and worst. Trev makes a lunch for Markus.
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Bike rides and treats are our specialty.
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All the sports are also our specialty.
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There is always something new to discover, like sand dunes in Ottawa!
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Even while enjoying the last long weekend of the summer, we are ready for the fall – check out the new hiking boots!

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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