Component Eagle

Sue, the kids, and I took a walk on the beach by my Mom’s place yesterday. The waves were starting to pick up and the wind was gusting, but there was no rain. A key component to keeping the kids interested in continuing. Beaches are a great place to explore and we did find a lot of interesting things.

The start of our walk was the announcement from the eagle at the top of a very tall tree. It was one of the few times recently where I wished I had my DSLR instead of my phone, but I was still a very impressive sight.

Apples Weekend

Last year our apple tree produced 12 apples. We were very disappointed. Every other year we had a huge crop and always managed to dehydrate, freeze, turn into apple sauce, eat, and share a lot of apples.  We hoped the tree wasn’t on it’s last legs, but this year it was back to normal!


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The last few weeks we have been picking a few apples here and there to test their ripeness. One evening the kids and I cored and peeled a large bowl of them and put them in the dehydrator. Here are Amy and Elliot helping me 🙂 A treat for them is to eat the peel as we work.

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We decided a week ago they were ready, but I was away for the weekend, so we couldn’t harvest them. This weekend though, game on!


I pulled out all our containers, both ladders and set to work. I filled the below container in about 10 minutes.


These apples are a type of spartan we think, and are sweet, juicy, and very crispy. They are great in crumbles, pies, sauce, and just general eating.


As you can see, we ended up with a LOT of apples. Time to start handing them out!


Bus Lapse

Yesterday I had a couple errands to run and took the bus on the way home. Amy was with me since she was sick. We ended up on a double decker, upstairs in the very front seats. I decided to take a time lapse video of part of our trip.

These time lapse videos are a ton of fun.

Matheson Outing

The family went for a walk at Matheson Lake today. This was a place that Sue and I would occasionally go to with Yoshi back in the day. We haven’t taken Heart there, and I’m pretty sure we haven’t taken the kids there before.

It was a great hike and the kids did awesome. We had some good snacks for the walk and took breaks whenever they needed to. All in all a great family outing.



Sting Labour

Today was an interesting day. I worked for half the day, then in the afternoon I had planned to go on a family bike ride with Sue and the kids. I ate lunch, cleaned up a bit, then took the compost out. As I was walking to the pile (with no shoes on), I felt a sharp pain in my foot. I thought I had stepped on a thorn, but when I went to extract it, I saw a wasp.

The sting was on the underside of the big toe on my right foot, right on the joint. I swore a bit, and hobbled back into the house. I sat down and inspected the damage, but didn’t see any stinger.

Sue came back in and got me some childrens benadryl (all we had, and OMG so sickly sweet). She was on the phone to the nurses line, when I started to not feel so hot. I was wondering if it was my imagination, but it got a little worse. I mentioned to Sue that I wasn’t feeling very good. She was on hold to the nurses line, and suddenly I got very hot and light headed. I was fading quickly, so I told sue to call 911. From there I started sweating profusely, and was fighting to stay conscious.

I could hear everything happening around me, but was not able to respond without a lot of effort. I distinctly remember that I was not having any troubles with breathing. The 911 operator got me to lay on the floor, which was difficult. I was now very weak, still sweating, and still fighting to not pass out.

Then I heard the sirens. Phew. Elliot brought me a pillow, Amy watched over me, and Elliot ran outside to flag down the firefighters. I don’t know how many guys came tromping into the house (with Heart in her crate barking at them – Elliot apparently got her into her crate too), but they starting taking vitals and got me going on some oxygen.

By this point I was feeling a little better, but still weak, still sweating, and still a little light headed. The ambulance crew arrived and took over my care. They got me on a chair, checked me over (apparently my blood pressure was very low; I heard them talking 80 over something), then prepped me for a ride to the hospital. They gave me an epi shot, some more benadryl, and got an IV going while on route.

At the hospital they checked me in, and got me settled on a bed in the ER. An intern came by and took my history and informed me on what to expect. My blood pressure was taken a few more times throughout the afternoon, but for the most part I just had to lay there doing nothing.

Sue arrived and brought my phone, wallet, and some shoes. Both her and the phone were good distractions and helped pass the time. I finally sent her off when her parking time ran out. Sure enough the doctor came by soon after, finished making sure I was fine, then said I would be discharged soon. I texted Sue and she came back.

I’ve been stung a few times before, and never had a reaction. The doc pointed out that allergies can develop later, and sometimes can even disappear. They gave me a steroid to help with any symptoms tonight, and a prescription for an epi-pen (already filled). He also mentioned that they like to keep patients under observation for at least three hours post last dose of epi, in case symptoms recurr after the epi wears off. Gotta say, epi is nasty. Gave me the jitters, and a bad headache.

Sue came and picked me up, took me home, and that was my labour day. Not at all what we had planned.

Different Treat

Elliot is done school now, and Amy is taking a week off daycare so that they can both do PedalHeads. Each day I have done something fun and different with the kids, as well as do a couple errands along the way.

Today one of the errands was to take all the bottles back to the bottle depot. We got over $13 back. In return for their help we went to DQ for an ice cream treat. Perfect for a hot day.

Monster Bucks

Recently I learned that the monster trucks were coming back to Western Speedway. After checking with sue, we told the kids and made a family night of it. This was Elliot’s second trip there, and Amy’s first.

We watched a great night of racing that included lots of hit to pass racing, monster trucks, bomber cars, and the end of the night featured a demolition derby (I think this was Elliot’s favourite part). Throughout the night the rain threatened, and at one point we felt a few sprinkles, but it held off until the demo derby.

The kids both had a great time and did very well despite the late night. I really do love sharing activities like this with them. Maybe next time we will be organized enough to eat dinner before we go and save a few bucks.

My videos:

Portland Sample

Last weekend my mom looked after the kids while Sue and I got away to Portland with some friends. The Portland trip was organized by a friend who was turning 40, and who was also running the Portland Rock N Roll Half Marathon. Sue also did the run, while I chose to go mountain biking while they ran 🙂

We started off on the Coho on a dreary Friday morning, then drove down the 101 to get on the I5. Beautiful drive, and it was a chance for Sue and I to spend some time together in a way that we haven’t been able to for a quite a while. Along the way I spotted a plane, and several sky divers.

Arriving in Portland in the early evening we didn’t have time to do much so we grabbed a drink at the hotel bar, then called it an evening.

The next day we ate breakfast at Tasty N Alder. Wow, excellent breakfast place. Likely the best restaurant breakfast I have ever had. After that it was off to the race expo to get race packages and explore a bit. I found the Powerbar tent and they had energy chews that tasted just like the coke bottle candies I used to get as a child. Mmmm. The Clif Bar tent was sampling some bars, and I tried their coconut chocolate chop one. Yummy! I talked to the guy a bit, and mentioned that we can’t get that flavour in Canada, so he slid me a sample bar to take riding with me!

After the expo we headed back to the hotel, then on to outlet mall shopping! At first I was not doing so well, but by the end of the day I had got a couple work shirts, two pairs of work pants, and a new watch. It ended well.

Sunday was the race and my ride. Everyone in our group did well on their run, and Sue set a personal best for a half marathon.

Sunday evening we had a group dinner at the Portland City Grill. This restaurant was on the 30th floor of a building, and had an amazing view of the city. The service was excellent, and I thoroughly enjoyed my dinner.

Monday the organizer, his wife and I headed over to Voodoo Donuts to stock up on some homeward bound treats. Then it was over to Tasty N Alder for our last meal.

After breakfast we packed up, jumped back in the car and headed home. I did enjoy our getaway weekend, but I do wish we had one more day in the city to just wander around and look, or shop. From what we have heard, Portland has some amazing eateries, and some really good food trucks. We were about 50/50 on the restaurants, and didn’t get any food trucks. The coffee I had was excellent though!

I’d love to come back again some time and have more free time to explore.

30 Gear

What a weekend. Dinner out on Friday, Saturday yard work, then a Tour de Victoria training ride, then a BBQ at the neighbours. Today some more yard work, then some time at the beach. All this in the warmest, sunniest weather so far this year. It actually hit 30 today.

My ride was pretty good too. I dropped my saddle a millimetre, and that made a huge difference in my comfort. My knee didn’t bother me at all and I felt pretty good. I went from my place downtown along the water to Cattle Point, then back again. Not a huge ride, but it was wonderful to be out on the bike, and not all bundled up in cold weather gear.

View TDV 2013 Training in a larger map
Total distance: 38.00 km (23.6 mi)
Total time: 1:36:33
Moving time: 1:34:01
Average speed: 23.62 km/h (14.7 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 24.25 km/h (15.1 mi/h)
Max speed: 49.99 km/h (31.1 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.54 min/km (4.1 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.47 min/km (4.0 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 1.20 min/km (1.9 min/mile)
Max elevation: 82 m (270 ft)
Min elevation: -49 m (-162 ft)
Elevation gain: 839 m (2753 ft)
Max grade: 42 %
Min grade: -42 %

Today I went around the yard a took a few pictures of the garden.

The apple tree looks amazing this year.

More apple blossoms.


Mock orange

More Mock Orange

Peony about to burst

More peony

Sheba is visiting, and her and Heart had a great time at the beach. The kids did too, and Sue and I got to sit and enjoy the sun.

Dogs galore

Heart and Sheba

Heart cannot swim. Here she is flailing wildly.

Mt Baker was very clear today.

Climbing Minutes

Yesterday I took the kids to Highrock Park to go “rock climbing”. This just means letting them scramble over any rocks they want to, but it really is an easy way to convince them to go up to the park. The goal was to get Heart out for some exercise.

We had a good time up there, and I think I got some nice pictures. Of course while I was taking pictures and watching the kids, Heart disappeared on me. I soon learned she had made her way down to the field where other dog owners congregate and retrieve.

After collecting Heart we started making our way back home. Once we got out of the park, the rain started and poured for a few minutes. Good timing!