Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Recital

Ivy played a number of songs at her spring recital this week. I put together a few of the clips in this short video -- a Fiddlekidz song, a duet I wrote and performed with her, and a solo fiddle tune she likes called Sheepskins and Beeswax:

I also asked Liz the day before whether she'd mind playing one of my duets with me, so we gave it a go, even though we had only ever tried it once a month ago. Despite my apparent inability to brush my hair or wear a nicer shirt than the one that came with pajama bottoms, I think it turned out pretty nice:

We were both interviewed for a local radio station, and clips of it played the next morning:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Life According to Facebook

Facebook seems to get all of my little updates lately, but I miss having a record of them here. They seem to disappear quickly over there, lost in the shuffle. Just for the heck of it, I pulled out the status updates from the last two months, and decorated with some recent photos.
  • This song makes me want to hit the open road, and head east with no timetable, no destination in mind...
  • Once a month, I feature local photographers on Awesome Okanagan -- this month the profile is on Simon and Deborah Kuhl from Penticton. I really admire their portraits.
  • feeling lucky to have had two dates with my sweetheart this week...excellent pasta at Victoria Rd Deli & Bistro last weekend, and great brunch today at Local Lounge • Grille...nice to get awesome food in our little town.
  • loved performing with Ivy at her spring recital

  • ice-arrangement

  • spent the day with Ezra: umpteen games of crazy-8s, a teetering pile of picture books, extended spelling bee, Summerland museum and library, multiple errands, Rolly was hilarious seeing people chuckling at our identical curly heads in town.
  • staggered by the coverage coming out of Japan
  • Jeremy Hiebert was at Boston pizza with Chris Phillips and Jason St. Pierre.
  • found out that the Ponderosa Pine at the entrance to the Peach Orchard campground was at least 300 years old...our lives are a blip

  • winter-thicket
  • coyotes howling at ambulances
  • had a clear breakaway on Tannis Hiebert tonight and couldn't score.
  • should really play noon-hour hockey more often
  • Thanks to Andrew Vandersluys for lending me this documentary (My Architect) at least six months ago. I watched it last night and found it mesmerizing.
  • Colt45 is a very bad beer. I had been avoiding the lone can in the fridge for a month, but finally ran out of everything else tonight when I got in from hockey. Thanks Lorne Hildebrand.
  • Nice tribute to Marj Heinrichs from Mishkeegogamang, where she had many friends and did great work.

  • ice-delicate-edge
  • It's interesting how our kids listen to music. They pick one song and put it on repeat so it plays at least five times in a row, then pick another song and repeat...repeat...repeat...
  • "-13°C Feels like: -20°C" -- Like living in the prairies...and great for making/finding ice. (Feb.25)
  • I'm excited about this reading on Thursday night -- Adam Lewis Schroeder and Darcie Friesen Hossack at Hooked On Books in Penticton. Two amazing authors, both with books nominated for The Commonwealth Writers' Prize.
  • February smoothie from August harvest

  • four-icicles-frost
  • knows Princeton, BC is not an exotic destination by any measure, but had a great weekend anyway (Feb.20)
  • immersed in Mendelssohn
  • off to the Philosopher's Cafe to hear Wolfgang Peter Depner
  • my apologies if you got spam from my gmail account
  • This has been an ongoing photography project these last few years, trying to capture our local orchards in all seasons, mostly within a mile or two of our place. I'm particularly drawn to visual patterns formed by the rows and branches.
  • used up all of the moves and trades in my hockey pool...most of them futile...looks like I'm stuck with what I've got from here on in

  • orchard-road
  • got a kick-ass box of CDs from Melodie Krieger Cliffe
  • No idea how the rink froze solid again...+3 last night and skating in sunny +8 this morning.
  • morning skate with the kids, then out for library and sushi in town
  • I profiled local photographer Greg Gaspari for this month's In Focus feature on Awesome Okanagan. He's got some wonderful photos -- definitely worth checking out.
  • Rare Tuesday-night date with my sweetheart: Mosaic Books, Doc Willoughby's Downtown Pub, and then the Afiara String Quartet ...thanks to Dianne Hiebert and Gerald Hiebert
  • My cellist-friend Martin adds some wonderful sounds to this beautiful song. Sorry to have missed this performance on Saturday

  • ice-pancakes-dense

  • yesterday :+5, today: snowfall warning in effect, tomorrow: +6
  • Great birthday. Felt loved.
  • You say it's your birthday? It's my birthday too. Please feel free to use comments on this post to mock my transition from mid- to late-30s, or to entirely ignore it if that suits you better.
  • Those of you who know Myron and Tracey might get a kick out this one. Myron takes his backyard rink very seriously, and this weekend's skating session also included a goalie in full gear, a campfire, sausages roasting on the BBQ, and beer chilling in the snow.

  • ice-kaleidoscope
  • Our friends Milt and Carla didn't have an easy time getting out of Egypt -- they're in this video clip from CTV.
  • I wrote up a quick article about the opening for the Summerland Art Gallery's first show of the year.
  • was inspired to try some all-star moves tonight at hockey, clearly forgetting that he doesn't have any all-star moves.
  • Thanks to Chris Phillips, my site is back online:
  • can't believe how young the NHL all-stars look...even the veterans
  • tried making sushi for the first time
  • I've been savoring this beautiful book of prairie photography.
  • Thanks to CBC's Canada Reads for getting me to read Essex County by Jeff Lemire -- wow, what an incredible book.
  • - 3 tonight...hopefully cold enough to turn the backyard "pool" back into the backyard rink. Jan.21

  • layers-buds
    Dreaming of Whitehorse and Iceland...why am drawn north while everyone flies south?
  • My old friend Jean Guy from Niverville has started a new musical project, and it's sounding fantastic -- worth checking out.
  • inspired by the wonderful violin performance of musician Jasper Meiklejohn
  • breakfast with the Duecks...French toast, fruit and friends
  • Rain and +8 in mid-January?
  • off to find out the theme for the Summerland Art Gallery's 14-day challenge
  • I profiled local photographer Rick Forgo on Awesome Okanagan this month. He's got a cool style and great outlook -- check it out if you have a minute.





Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ezra Speak 'n Spell

I took this video of Ezra spelling a few weeks ago, then decided not to post it for fear of being the worst kind of bragging parent. But really, the audience for this is the half dozen people (hello grandparents on both sides!) who read this blog and are already card-carrying members of Ezra's fan club. And this is part of his story.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Skating Away the Winter

It's not over yet, but it's probably safe to say that this has been one of our best seasons for outdoor skating. Although we lacked a long cold snap to freeze the sides of Okanagan Lake, it stayed cold enough to keep freezing the backyard rink through January and February, even after a couple of crazy warm spells that turned it into a backyard pool. I felt like the effort I put into it was well rewarded, both for my own childlike enjoyment and to get the kids flying around out there when we're feeling cooped up inside.

I've added a couple of dozen photos to my skating set on Flickr. A few highlights:
  • Our most spectacular skate was on Vaseux Lake just after New Year's. It was incredibly beautiful, and of course I geeked out on ice photos. My mom and dad came along, as well as Myron and Raja and their kids later on. We shot the puck around, explored the shoreline, went to see the swans swimming in the open water, and found interesting things on the lake bottom (even some fish swimming!)...but the real thrill was just to be able to skate for miles on smooth, clear ice, surrounded by mountains and sky.
  • Myron and Tracey hosted a couple of great skating parties, complete with bonfire and sausages on the BBQ. At one, Raja even got fully geared up for goalie duty. Total Canadiana, and the best way to embrace winter.
  • We did a handful of nighttime skates on our backyard rink with Christmas lights and fires for roasting marshmallows -- always a treat, and usually followed by hot chocolate before bedtime.
  • Lots of falls, smiles and laughter on the rink. Ivy got a bit burned out on it later in the season, and I had to clear a lot of snow a few times, but overall it has been awesome.
  • Ezra had started learning to skate last year, but it's been amazing to see him take off this year -- even handling the puck. He's in a few of the little video clips below.

Here's the slideshow for that set of skating photos:

And some of my favourite photos: