Thursday, May 31, 2007

Another Round of Banners

Creating Banners is just too much fun. Here's another batch of banners to add to my collection. We took about 350 pictures in May, and these were the best banner candidates (in my opinion). I tried to get the proud parents into a few of these, just so I don't overdo it on the baby pictures and scare Tara away.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Summer Sleep Safari

According to this week's BabyCenter, we can now expect to see some genuine smiles out of Scott. These first few weeks, we have interpreted grins as a signal that his digestive system is about to pour out some exhaust. However, we've already seen a few bigger smiles recently. Often, one of us will see the smile and call out to the other to come look -- but the sudden noise chases it away. We need to be a little stealthier.

Stealth is essential on safari.

I had one of my first baby-sitting stints this evening as R had to go out to a meeting. She was only gone for 1-1/2 hours, but it was long enough for me to put a camoflage boonie hat on Scott and take a few pictures. I have been searching all over for a decent sun hat small enough for a newborn. Old Navy had this one, which is still much too large. Fortunately, no one will notice that it's too big because the camo makes it nearly invisible.

BabyCenter also noted that babies start sleeping longer in the night by this point, somewhere around 4-6 hours in a stretch. Each evening we put Scott to bed at 8pm, and he usually sleeps for about 5 hours that first shift. Unfortunately, we've normally stayed up until 10 or 11pm watching hockey games or DVDs, so we haven't taken full advantage of this sleeping opportunity. Last night we did. We went to bed at 8pm and got out of bed at 8am. Scott let us sleep for nearly 6 hours (until 2am) and then only woke up one more time (5am) before 8am. It was absolutely glorious.

Well, the second period of the Senators' hockey game is on, but we're going to tape the rest of it so we can go to bed.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Male Pattern Baldness

When Scott was born, he had a full head of hair -- all fairly short and tidy. It's funny how a bit of hair can make a child look so much older. Well, if that first hairstyle made him look mature, his current hair (or lack thereof) has begun to make him look older still -- in the neighbourhood of 40 years old, I think.

Perhaps this is a glimpse of Scott's future hairline? I've observed similar scalps among the men in R's family.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Weed Whacker Won't Cut It Anymore

How much grass do you need before you have to buy a lawn mower?

This is the question we asked ourselves back in 2003, when we bought our little townhouse and seeded an area of grass about 8 feet wide and 12 feet long. It seemed silly to spend a few hundred dollars on a power mower, since we'd hardly have room to turn it around.

We contemplated getting a reel mower, because they were inexpensive and kind of cool/retro. However, even that seemed like overkill on our miniature lawn. Finally, we decided to just get a $60 weed whacker. It takes me about five minutes to cut the grass. I think it probably takes longer to get it out of the shed and plug it in than it does to do the actual cutting.

When we move in August we'll probably have to upgrade to something with wheels, since the grounds at the new place appear to be expansive (I've only seen the house in photos, but that's the impression I got).

Maybe I could just get a really large weed whacker.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Baby Blog Banners

Perhaps you've noticed the new banner I put at the top of the blog. I try to copy everything that my famous cousin Kage does, and blog banners are no different (I'd like to point out that I put ads on my site before she did).

I'll post a few banners on here from time to time, and then rotate them from my stock. It should be absolutely fantastic fun.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Sizzling Ice Cream

In Calgary it has been snowing, but in Ottawa it is hot, hot, hot. Unfortunately, the newly "fixed" air conditioning in our car has not been working. Yesterday, we decided to go out to the park alongside the Rideau River near Billings Bridge (the destination of the ill-fated Wednesday trip)., and then we were going to drop by the grocery store. Apparently, some sort of curse surrounds Billings Bridge, because this trip was also a mini-disaster.

Getting into the car was like climbing into in a pre-heated oven. We switched on the air conditioning with a certain amount of gleeful anticipation, but nothing happened. Worse than nothing happened -- the vents started blowing hot air. It's a short drive -- only 5 minutes, so it was tolerable. The whole way there we kept thinking, "the car just needs to warm up, and then the a/c will kick in."

No such luck.

The walk along the riverbank was fairly nice, particularly because there are plenty of mature shade trees towering over the pathway. We took a few pictures, but our hearts really weren't in it. Once we got out of the shade we just turned around and went back to the car, which had continued to simmer. On our way to the store we decided to abort and head for the comfort of our air-conditioned home. Scott was already pretty red in the face, and we worried he was going to cook through before we could get to the store and back.

Today the car is back in the shop and we'll probably have to pay some more money before we can get the car running the way it should. With no car, we decided to take a walk through some uncharted sectors of our neighbourhood this evening. We found the community center, complete with courts for playing Bocce, an old Italian bowling game. Then we stumbled into a street festival hosted by the local Italian community in support of their church, the Madonna Della Risurrezione.

Despite the games, food and entertainment, many of the people at the festival seemed most interested in looking at me carrying Scott in the baby sling. I felt a little self conscious to hear "oh, there's a baby in there!" every time I walked past someone. It didn't bother me that much, though, especially since I found enough cash in my pocket to buy some "chocolate-chocolate" gelato ice cream.

It's strange that we've lived in this neighbourhood for 5 years and we've never heard of this street festival two blocks away from our house, even though it's been going on for 22 years. Well, we may not have heard of them, but it seems like they've never heard of carrying a baby in a sling -- so we're even.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Barn Sighting

According to this week's BabyCenter, parents of perfectly healthy children can experience feelings of disappointment for various reasons. Aside from disappointment that the gender wasn't what she'd hoped, a mom might be sad that the baby "looks like an exact clone of Daddy and not one bit like her". Well Scott surely doesn't look like anyone's clone at this point. In fact, we can't really pick out any features that seem obviously from one side of the family or the other. I think he's got the tiny ears that I have, but that's a tough call. I suppose I'll be a little diappointed if the ears thing doesn't work out, but I'm not too stressed out about it yet.

Here's a tale of real disappointment: We wanted to go down to the river, but we locked ourselves out of the house, so we ended up seeing this barn. In the meantime, we nearly ruined the lasagna.

Originally, we'd hoped to go for an afternoon walk along the south shore of the Rideau River, near Billings Bridge, but we decided to take a nap first. When a call from the dentist's office cut the nap fairly short, we decided we still had time for a walk. We popped one of those frozen lasagnas in the oven with a timer set to cook for an hour and then hold it at 170 degrees. We figured that would be enough time for a quick jaunt through the riverside park.

After gathering the stroller, carseat, diaper bag and a blanket, we stepped out of the front door. Only after it closed did we realize that we'd left our keys inside. We used to keep a spare key hidden, but we've changed the locks since then. The bathroom window happened to be open, so I entertained the idea that we could find someone with a 15-foot ladder and climb inside. After wandering around the condo group for a while and knocking on a few doors, we decided that wasn't going to work. I had all sorts of strange ideas about stacking recycling bins high enough to get in the window, but they were all dangerously bad. Eventually, we found ourselves in front of our house again, so I decided to check the hidden key, just in case. It turns out that I did have the sense to hide the new key, but I didn't have the sense to remember doing it.

With much of our time spent, we decided to just go down the street to the Central Experimental Farm and look at the different buildings. We didn't have enough time for a thorough examination, so we'll be going back soon, and we'll provide a complete report at that time. We'll also get some close-ups of Scott's ears.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tulips Part Two

We moved to Ottawa in the month of May, back in 2002. One of the first things we ever did was go to the Tulip Festival down at Dow's Lake. We really had no idea what it was, but we figured we couldn't stay in our apartment every day doing puzzles and listening to Vinyl Cafe. I remember how we were both surprised at how little English we heard during that first outing. We didn't even hear that much French. It was clearly a big tourist event, with a lot of picture-taking going on.

Today we went back to Dow's Lake for our own round of picture-taking. When we went a few weeks ago, when R's mom was here, it was too early for most of the tulips to be blooming. This time we waited too long to go back, and most of the beds had already begun to die -- including President Kennedy. Considerable controversy still surrounds the sudden demise of that particular flower bed.

Fortunately, there were a few beds of late bloomers still around for us to take some pictures. A few years ago, we got some great pictures out in the middle of one of the tulip beds. We tried to create this magical moment today when R went out into this bed of pink tulips. I would like to point out that she is wearing a pink shirt. This is a rare, rare event. The shirt is one of several that she borrowed from her sister's maternity storehouse.

The main purpose of our return to Dow's Lake was to get a shot of Scott among the tulips. We had to wake him up for the pictures, and it was pretty bright outside, be he was a good sport. Perhaps he was too dazzled to fuss.

He is such a cutie.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Tickle Time

When do babies become ticklish? Obviously, it's not at 3-1/2 weeks. I tried it today and Scott started crying. I was hoping for giggles.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Golf Periscope

My good friend E has his birthday this weekend (it's actually on Monday, but it's a long weekend, so that still counts as the weekend). As part of the celebration, his wife sent him off golfing with friends. Since he's turning 30, and that is quite a big deal, I decided I would dust off my clubs and swallow my pride for a round of golf in his honour. Although I have played a decent amount of golf in my time, I encountered something on this course (Manderley on the Green) that I'd never seen before: a periscope.

Apparently, this is not the only course in the area with a periscope. These have been installed primarily for safety, but they also serve defensive purposes quite well.

The other gift that E received was a big playoff win from the Ottawa Senators to send them to the Stanley Cup finals. We were at E's house for a barbeque and we watched the game there. On our way home after the game, quite a few cars went by with horns honking and red flags waving. It seems that everyone was in the spirit of E's birthday.

Scott slept through most of it, but he woke up for overtime. He's a big Sens fan.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Calgary Bound

It is official: We are Calgary-bound.

Yesterday we inked a deal to buy a house in NW Calgary for August. It's a cute little bungalow with a walk-out basement in the community of Ranchlands, just 7 or 8 kilometers from the University.

It is official: I am going to the University of Calgary.

After a long process of testing and applications, I was accepted into their business school to do a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA). I had also applied to the University of Alberta (in Edmonton), the University of British Columbia (in Vancouver) and to Brigham Young University (in Provo). I thought I should apply several places, just to make sure I got accepted somewhere. Fortunately, I got accepted at each school, so we had our choice. Unfortunately, the choice wasn't easy.

As each acceptance letter came in, we started to envision ourselves at that school, living in that city. Then another letter would come in and we'd have to shift gears. In the end, we decided it would be best to go to Calgary, because most of R's family lives there, and it would be nice for R to be close to them while I am so busy with coursework. The program suited my needs and there are plenty of good job prospects in Calgary, so we probably wouldn't have to move again after graduation if we didn't want to.

With those long-term prospects, and given the mind-boggling increases in house values these last few years, we decided it would make good sense to buy a home, instead of renting. It is no small matter to purchase a home in such an expensive market when you are about to leave your job. It is also difficult to do when you live thousands of miles away. Luckily, we have Luke on our side -- Luke and his team of professionals.

My brother-in-law Luke has been involved in a few real estate purchases lately with his dad, so he was primed and ready when we mentioned that we would probably like to buy a house in Calgary. He agreed to be our "man on the ground" when we needed someone to look at properties and work with realtors. Speed was essential, because the houses we were interested in did not last very long on the market. Luckily, Luke is a speedy guy.

After several weeks of watching the listings, and even driving by or visiting a few properties, Luke sent me an email late Monday night about a new listing in Ranchlands. We hadn't really been looking in Ranchlands because we wanted a place nearer the university that had potential to rent out the basement. However, this place in Ranchlands was too good to pass up. It was way cheaper than the ones we'd looked at and it was bigger, nicer and newer. It's pretty tough to argue with that.

I saw Luke's email in the middle of the night when I went to change Scott's diaper, and told him we were interested. By lunchtime, R's sister J had already gone by with her mom to look/take pictures, and by 8pm we'd written an offer. The house had MAYBE been on the market for 24 hours by then. The following morning (yesterday), the offer was accepted and the deal was done. It's pretty thrilling. It's especially nice to have that uncertainty out of the way. We are also thrilled about the ceilings. J took plenty of good pictures of all the ceilings.

Although we are excited, it seems a little bit like we are just going in a circle. Each time we have previously moved, we've gone somewhere new. There's something exciting about going somewhere new and unknown. Ranchlands is not that foreign to us. R lived in Ranchlands when she was a little kid, back when the community was brand new (our newly-purchased house was built the same year we were both born). I used to live in the community just to the NE of Ranchlands (Edgemont). Still, we'll be starting over in a new house and it will be a huge adventure to have Scott along for our second crack at student life.

So, thanks Luke for all the help. The check's in the mail.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Things That Go Beep In The Night

In the past, a new week was marked on Mondays. Since Scott was born on a Wednesday, it seems more appropriate to move the week marker to Wednesday. continues to provide week-by-week coverage far beyond the delivery of the child; however, I still find it a little confusing to tell where we should be in the progression. If a child is born 2 weeks early, do you subtract two weeks from the development information? Instead of week 3, should we be reading week 1? Probably not. We'll stick with week 3.

Week 3's BabyCenter talks about post partum depression, colic, and pacifiers (aka binkies, soothers, etc). I think don't we have any of the first two, but we certainly have plenty of the latter (ie: pacifiers, binkies, soothers, etc). It's a good thing, too, because they are pretty easy to misplace -- given Scott's tendency to spit them out whenever and wherever he feels like it. I was interested to read that the American Pediatric Association encourages the use of pacifiers at naptime and bedtime, because it is believed to reduce the chance of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). That makes a pacifier double-plus good, since I believe it reduces the chance of crying and screaming at naptime and bedtime.

Speaking of crying during bedtime, I was up for an hour with Scott listening to quite a lengthy harangue at 4:00 this morning. He's usually quite good at falling asleep on his own, but something wasn't clicking on this particular occasion. I tried every strategy that I've learned so far with no success. Finally, I gave up and subbed off, letting R take the floor. She gave him a soother and he dropped off to sleep right away. I had tried the soother several times in the preceding hour (unsuccessfully), and I like to think that I had loosened him up for her -- kind of like when someone easily opens a pickle jar after you've been tearing at the lid for a while.

One thing I didn't try was the car seat, although I was nearly that desperate. We've started to suspect that the carseat is lined with some sort of sleeping agent, because Scott zonks out almost immediately after we strap him in, and doesn't wake up for HOURS. We took him to wedding receptions on Friday and Saturday night and he didn't budge through either one. In fact, Saturday evening he slept for almost 6 hours straight, even after the DJ started blasting "Mamba #5". Tonight I tried a similar trick by tuning the radio just a little south of a classical station and cranking up the static. He quickly stopped crying and went back to sleep.

Scott seems to like all kinds of music. This afternoon, for "activity time" R played the piano and sang a few showtunes (from "Les Miserables", "Jekyll and Hyde" and "Avenue Q"). He was completely mesmerized in my lap while she sang, but as soon as she stopped to choose another song he went into hysterics. I think it would be better manners to shout "encore", but he is still fairly new at this sort of thing.

While I enjoy a good musical number, I don't share all of Scott's audio tastes. The static thing would really bother me, I think. What really bothers me, though, are devices that beep intermittently in the night. Our cordless phones do that when they get low on batteries. They let out a little "beep-beep" every few minutes. It pulls you gradually out of your sleep as if it were dragging you by the hair. I absolutely hate it. We had a new disturbance lately, but in the same vein: the smoke detector battery ran low and started beeping every 30 minutes or so. Finally, I leapt out of bed, tore it from the ceiling and ripped the offending batteries from it's bowels, leaving the mess in the middle of the floor until morning.

When a man has been up most of the night listening to baby screams and static concerts, he does not want his sleep violated on account of weak batteries.

You should not cross such a man.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Papa Kangourou

Here are a few great pictures taken in the last day or two:

Father & Son Blogging

Going for a walk with Scott in the "pouch" sling from Mama Kangourou

Here's a face Scott likes to make when he thinks no one's looking

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Meaning Behind The Middle Name

In case you didn't know, Scott's middle name is Dustan. You might be inclined to misspell it as "Dustin", but knowing some of the history behind the name will hopefully help you remember the correct spelling and avoid any embarrassment.

As I noted in a previous post, we arrived at the decision to pursue IUI fertility treatments (ultimately resulting in pregnancy) through a process of careful consideration and prayer. During that time, we also counseled with the man who was then the head of our church congregation, our bishop. He listened to our worries, provided us with encouragement and advice, and prayed for us every day. His name is John Dustan.

During his lengthy commute into Ottawa from a small town called Moorewood, he would pray for us and many other members of congregation. Also, on 2 or 3 occasions, we sat down together and he pronounced specific blessings upon us. In one such blessing, in April 2006, he promised me that I would soon be a father. As we were considering adoption, it was comforting to hear that, one way or another, we would eventually have a family of our own. Four months later, R got pregnant. After so many years and so many prayers, we considered the child a blessing from God. We wanted to honour this miracle by giving Scott the middle name of Dustan.

We could have given Scott a bunch of middle names, like "Miracle", "Gratitude", "Blessing", "Priesthood", "Melchizedek", or perhaps something subtle like "Power of God Manifest", but we thought "Dustan" fit perfectly. Furthermore, we like how this name also represents our time in Ottawa, since Scott may not get the chance to see the place that holds so much meaning for our little family (we considered "Ottawa" and "Nepean" to be poor choices as middle names).

The youngest daughter in the Dustan family was married just 3 days after Scott was born. I've included a few pictures from her Ottawa wedding reception. Since their eldest daughter managed to avoid getting in the pictures, I dug up this photo from my archives of her and her dad eating cake. Enjoy.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Maman Kangourou

As much as we love our stroller, we've really wanted to get a sling-style baby carrier so that we could tote Scott around a little more without a bunch of extra gear. Having no experience with such things, we were pretty much feeling our way through the dark. However, we finally made our selection: two slings from Maman Kangourou (mama kangaroo).

Maman Kangourou is a company based in Gatineau, Quebec -- just across the river from Ottawa. They sell three main styles. One of them is this crazy wrap-around thing, which is basically a 10 or 15 foot band of cloth. At first it seemed a little intense, but we had a little demonstration from the lady there and we were both surprised what a snug and secure fit it was. We bought one of those (elastic wrap) and got a $10 discount on the less sophisticated pouch version (the lady helping us was the same person modeling the pouch on the site).

We took the stretchy wrap out for a test drive this afternoon, on a walk to the drugstore to get more baby wipes. R got quite a few compliments on her baby carrier. Most people did double takes, only figuring out she was carrying a baby on the second look. I love it. It's so, so, so cute.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Calgary Catan Commemorative Clothing

In honour of the great achievement that we made back in March for "The Highest Altitude Ever For A Game Of Settlers Of Catan Played In A Tourist Observation Deck", I have designed a commemorative t-shirt AND a wall clock.

I think the design turned out quite nicely.

The Calgary Tower and the Pengrowth Saddledome (formerly the Olympic Saddledome) feature as game pieces, symbolizing our significant accomplishment. The altitude of the observation deck (3,935 ft above sea level) is also noted. Now you know what I do in the middle of the night after I put Scott back to bed. It's no wonder I'm so tired all the time.

I really can't decide which I would like more: the shirt or the clock. Maybe both.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cold Tax

Ottawa can get pretty cold in the winter. It can also get pretty hot and humid in the summer. It has both extremes of temperature. The first year that we moved here we learned how essential it was to have an air conditioner. After lying awake for a few nights, stuck to the bedsheets, we went out to buy a window unit for our little one-bedroom apartment.

Strangely, there were none to be found. We learned that all the stores typically sell out their stock by the end of May. Every year, if you wanted an air conditioner after May, you were out of luck. For the life of me, I could not understand how this was possible. You would think that somebody would have figured out that people might still want a/c during the summer. It's like only selling winter jackets in October. So, we bought a little fan and spent a lot of time at the mall and going to movies that first summer.

By the following spring, we had moved into our townhouse, which had central air. It was absolutely fantastic. We never turned the temperature down quite as low as I would like to have it, but it was still wonderful to keep the house several degrees cooler than the outside temperature.

As pleasant as it is to have air conditioning in your home, it is at least as important to have it in your car. Unfortunately, the a/c in our car broke down last year. It hobbled through the end of the summer, but this spring it had nothing left. This morning I took it in to get it fixed.

It cost 787 dollars.

I think it is worth a high price to get the a/c working, especially now that we have little Scott in the back seat, but I wish I didn't have to pay so much stinking tax. When I was talking to our mechanic on the phone, he told me it was 70 bucks to diagnose the problem. Then it was another 620 bucks to fix it. That comes to $690 -- a fair bit higher than I would really prefer to pay. When I paid the actual bill, it was a bit of a shock to have to swallow the extra 97 bucks in sales tax. You would think I would be used to the 14% tax by now.

Nope. I'm not used to the heat yet, either.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Best Clone Trooper

Within the last 24 hours, three packages arrived at our door -- all from my older siblings (and/or their spouses). I don't how they arranged it, but it was like having a baby-shower-by-mail. Each of the gifts was quite thoughtful, and we were able to put the blankets to immediate use. I just couldn't resist snapping pictures of the little shirts that my sister's kids had decorated with fabric markers. The shirts included such themes as:
- a purple "elfint"
- "Scott the lion-tamer"
- Star Wars droids R2D2 and R4D2
- a chicken
- A Star Wars clone trooper

We felt a little bad that all of our family had given us gifts, since we had not done the same for them when they had given birth to any of their several children. Apparently, we are on the hook to give presents now that we are fully-initiated parents. My siblings have mostly finished having kids, so we'll have to focus our attentions on R's side of the family.

WhenI was talking to my sister, I recounted to her an experience I'd had while waiting for R in a medical clinic on Monday. I had Scott in the car seat and sat down in the waiting area. A pregnant lady sitting nearby leaned out to see under the car seat canopy and said,

"My daughter was much larger than that. She was 8lbs-9oz."

I didn't really know how to respond. This sounded like an affront, but I figured it was probably just a poor conversation starter.

"I guess you win," I ventured. I added, "He came a bit early," as if in apology. She leaned further to get a better look and said,

"Yep, my daughter was WAY bigger than that." She started nodding for added emphasis. As silly as it sounds, I just couldn't help but think she was slagging off my cute little boy. I really didn't know what to say, so I said,

"Good for you." (note sarcasm)

I am a total jerk, I guess. I just wonder, is all of parenthood going to be like this? (ie: "My son/daughter has wider fingernails than yours does.") If so, I'm going to have to work on my restraint.

Monday, May 07, 2007

No Flat Heads

When I see people these days, they generally ask about three things:
1. How my wife is feeling
2. How much sleep I am getting
3. How much I enjoy changing diapers.

Well, R is slowly feeling better, but she still takes it slow and easy when she's moving around. She's not on any pain killers anymore. As for sleep, I am starting to adjust to the schedule. I take more naps now, so I manage. Diapers really aren't as bad as I thought they would be... at least they aren't right now. Now is the good time -- after the tar and before the stink.

The first few diapers I changed were filled with black, sticky tar. It's this stuff called "Meconium", which builds up in the baby's digestive system before he's born. I'd encountered the name numerous times in my reading, and I thought it was ridiculous that people would go as far as naming the baby's first bowel movement. Now that I have tried to scrape that sticky ooze off our baby's behind, I now agree that it deserves a long name like meconium. But that stuff only lasts for a day or two, and then the mustard starts. The stink comes with solid food, in a few months.

Today's walk was to the Lincoln Fields mall, where I had to fill out some paperwork to take the next 8 weeks off as paternal leave. Not quite as scenic as the Arboretum, but it did have a Walmart. I hate going into Walmart on a busy day, like a Saturday. I still don't like it much on a Monday afternoon. I didn't bother to take any pictures in Walmart.

The pictures on this page were taken during "tummy time". Every day, Scott is supposed to spend some amount of time on his stomach, so that he strenthens his neck muscles and learns to move his head around on his own. That way, he can do his part for "Prevention of Positional Head Flattening" or "Plagiocephaly". At the tender age of 12 days, Scott is already good at a few things:
- flailing his arms
- arching his back
- lifting his head

I'm so proud of my round-headed boy.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Bye Bye Grandma

R's mom flew back to Calgary today, after helping us out for 9 days. It was wonderful to have her here, because she took on the lion's share of chores and other tasks around the house. R was able to relax and take it easy and I was able to focus on taking care of Scott and blogging -- two important priorities. Hopefully, now that she's gone I'll still be able to manage both.

On the way home from the airport early this morning I noticed a hot air balloon high in the sky. It made me wonder, "do airplanes ever run into hot air balloons?"

The answer is yes.

Yesterday's walk was at the Arboretum, which is a part of the Central Experimental Farm. It is an area on the south shore of Dows Lake (see previous post), which has been planted with hundreds of beautiful trees, each of them dedicated to the memory of an individual. Most of the people who we saw were there to walk their dogs, but we also saw several strollers.