Saturday, May 10, 2008 in country living, pictures included, travels

I’m taking my camera everywhere now

I work hard all week, head down or lost online, and by the weekend, things happen so fast I need a blackberry or something to post it all in double time.

Last night Sarah, Emma and I wandered upriver. We had been planning to visit this used clothing store that is closing, but it was… closed. So we stopped in a few places. On the way back home, i notcied a car pulled over and a couple people peering off into a field.

Well, shoot, I’m driving so I’m pulling over. I grabbed my trusty camera and headed over to the couple to take the shot below and a half-dozen others.

Baby moose

The guy next to me had his camera in the trunk and it didn’t zoom well I guess. A couple other cars stopped to look, but a few peeled away with a “Geez, it’s just a moose,” attitude. Whatever.

So we were almost home and I see this:

Fly me to the moon

I pulled over so Sarah could get the first shot (the camera was in her hand) but when we went down the road further we realized there were more people watching and it would be a good show. So I pulled over to a dirt road that turned out to be a direct route to the field they used for launch. We had a great chat with a guy who turned out to be the pilot’s dad.

I took about a hundred pictures and a half-dozen videos I have yet to upload, including one of landing. Then we cheered and clapped when he did land. We and another family (of Mennonites) walked down into the field for a chat and a million questions. Emma even gave him a free hug.

We talked over one another as the sun set behind us, having made a new friend.

Did I mention it was awesome? Because it was.

Click on any of the pictures to go see the rest. I’m making the entry short because the house is empty with Ron and the girls on some sort of secret mission, and I have some work I really REALLY need to get to.

Sunday, September 9, 2007 in country living, holiday fun, travels

Falls Brook Fair

Yesterday, in the inexplicable heat, we went to a local eco-centre for their annual fair. The Falls Brook Centre Fair is billed as a celebration of country living. The centre is a collective of sorts exploring alternative energy systems, building techniques and organic gardening. I admit we came with extremely high hopes. We have been into this sort of thing for a long time – like 15 years at least.

When we left, I tried hard to find the word to explain here on the blog exactly how we felt – not disappointed exactly, but hungry for more. It was all well and good, but more Hippie Enviromentalist 101. Yeah, they don’t have to sell me on it, I’m there already. I  wanna know concrete hard information.

There were a few booths of information and people selling their wares, but not a lot. Just two tented areas with a total of maybe 10 to 12 seperate tables between them. About half of them were not manned a good amount of the time we were there. Oh, and a guy off in another area doing wood turning. Tons of food to choose from – a samosa stand, another near the adobe brick oven, a corn boil over an open fire, and their solar powered canteen.  I was surprised at the kinds of things I expected to see in booths but didn’t. No honey or soaps, no alternative washable products for women or babies. They also had live music – kinda loud, and we’re not quite into that.

I feel kind of bad not writing more glowing things – I really want to. Their climate change bus that runs on biodiesel is a portable educational vehicle of potential change. Emma did enjoy that and the puppet show. The craft area for kids was… meh. Understandable if you factor in the organizers most likely do not have young children. The staff all appear to be young adults.

They are pretty cute with their fresh-faced optomistic ideals in their eyes though.

After the puppet show, one guy did remember Emma from when we went to the Exhibition in town a few weeks ago. Emma handed out at least 6 hugs, and I did get to snag a picture of one near the end. See the joy she spreads? She’s getting really good at explaining why she hugs everyone too.

There was a small obstacle course with a half-dozen stops, a short muddy trail through a mushroom-growing & fern habitat, a few gardens, a well-labelled working compost area hiding behind a tent,  and a few others buildings – some of which were off limits I think. You had to go on a tour to hear the good stuff about them.

While this was local, it was off the beaten path – even for the area. It took us a good half-hour to get there – a hot and dusty one at that. The weather was also unseasonably humid and hot reaching 32 C.  Parking was along one side of the dirt road, and the more people that arrived, the further away you had to park. Then admission was $5 per person,  no family rate. On regular days, you can get tours for $2 a pop.
We did manage to snag loads of papers and more information, including details about workshops they hold. Those are probably what we’re looking for, as we want hands-ons info on how to implement solar heat and wind power, plus the chance to just talk to someone about it.

All in all, we might go again – just leave the kids home and take a drink.

Monday, September 3, 2007 in holiday fun, how my children learn, travels

Mommy, I wanna learn about oceans

That was Emma and her wish for what to learn about next. Our recent library trip cleaned them out of at least half of the ocean-related books they had, and behind the scenes Ron and I thought up a couple of related activities we could do.

Seeing as we’re somewhat near the ocean and all… ;)

Ron is on vacation this week and we had talked about places we wanted to go, so after a quick consult over our morning caffeine, we decided to head on down to St. Andrews and visit the Huntsman Marine Science Center. It’s a family favorite and Emma couldn’t remember the last time we were there. Hmmm, maybe it was three years ago…

It was a little over two hours to get there, but the drive down was not bad because we were excited and it was a different highway than the ones we normally travel on. Still kinda boring with all those trees though.

We had a great time at the aquarium, going over all the exhibits, taking blurry pics, trying all the touchy-feely things and watching the seals. They even had a tank with some shiver-inducing GIANT sturgeons. A couple of them were as big as me, I swear.

I had a long conversation with another mom over Emma’s pink hair and how it got that way. She said it was a beautiful color (which it is).

After that, we headed downtown with no clear idea what to see next, but the spirit of whatever looked interesting. Lo and behold, there was the Block House. We explored quite a bit there and scrambled over some rocks as high tide came in. And rather quickly too. We continued on and explored downtown, which did not seem to be doing as well as it has in past years. We also toured an old historical home once belonging to the local sheriff.

Sarah did a write-up on her blog too. I think she maybe had a not-bad time. ;)

Even though we were cranky when we needed food NOW, the drive home was long, and I had to lie down when we got back, I was so pleased to hear Emma say what a great day we had, and how she learned SO MUCH and not just abut oceans and things. She really got to see how exploring one topic can lead in all sorts of unexpected directions and adventures.

Pictures to follow, we have two computers on the go today with three people clamoring to use them.