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Monday, August 31, 2015

William's last day of summer vacation

I had coffee with Leslea and Leif today. William, Teagan, and Kiki were also along but we sent them to indulge at the candy store and make their own way home so that we could talk about them (or so I told I told them as the reality was far more mundane). Tomorrow William starts high school. Teagan and Kiki, living in Winnipeg and Toronto respectively, don't start until next week. George was over for supper and we looked up Kiki's high school schedule and found that she gets out for Christmas two days before William, so I'm not sure where (or even if) the two school years balance out. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Kiki on the farm

I was going through photos that I've taken of the nieces during this past month and discovered that while they spent the majority of their time on the farm, it constituted only a small number of the photo content. Today I went out and almost finished my shingles (just the last top row, which is primarily decorative) and then took a few pictures of Kiki with various farm implements.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Backyard BBQ with Leslea, Leif, George, and all the girls

Leslea and Leif are in town for a few days with the girls, working on the restaurant program and visiting. I made ribs and chicken and we had a nice backyard thing. Chris Cunningham also came over. I don't believe he's ever been to our house; it was great to see him. George and  Kiki were also over, as were Margaret's parents and Paul. Joanne McDonald also dropped in, in part to talk to George about some Blue Jays commercial. We reminisced about jello. All in all, a big feast. Leslea's dog chased Nick. As it was dark, I didn't really get a sense of his response, other than running. This is the first Nick/dog encounter that we've observed. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Practice on broken piano

We went to the farm in hopes of finishing the siding. Margaret helped but even so, we didn't quite finish. The mosquitoes got worse and worse as the evening went on. I think I might have enough shingles remaining to do the front as well as the sides. Afterwards I got William to try to play a bit on the old grand piano that has been on the farm since Margaret was a little girl (in hopes that she'd play it there - she didn't). Many of the strings are broken or undone and even the ones that "work" or ridiculously out of key. I recorded it for some of my new "bad videos" on Youtube

Thursday, August 27, 2015

More cottage work


When we did the walls of our house with cedar, I thought we finished it much quicker. Perhaps the travel back and forth and the heat and mosquitoes and the lack of all the niceties of home close by have slowed me down because I am still only half done. Another 8 hours should do it. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Hammer Time

William and I worked on paneling the outside of the cottage. We didn't get as far as I'd hoped. Mostly I'd blame the massive number of mosquitoes that drove us off the land early. Yesterday the wind kept them at bay, but today was out of control. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Started shakes on cottage walls

Went and picked up cedar shakes for exterior of cottage today. Was stung by a wasp out of the blue while waiting for truck to pull in. Itches a bit but no swelling. Progress is good, got preliminary paper and edges around windows and first three rows nailed in before losing light. Took William and Kiki to Five Guys and then home where they finished season two of Orphan Black. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Catching up on work

I worked on my lesson plans all morning, worked with Saqib on his project for a while in the afternoon, then came home and made a bad film with William about monkeys and watched Heathers with him. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Rob Bos baby shower and trip to police HQ

Visited a beautiful new baby today. Congratulations Rob Bos.
Later in the afternoon we dropped off stuff at the police station. A few weeks ago the car that Margaret's mother gave to her last year, her 1990 Dodge Spirit which was stolen last year but found by neighbour Steve and repaired without insurance claim, was stolen a second time. This time it was the police who found it and had it towed to SGI where, naturally, the cost of ruined tires and window and steering column were beyond the list price of the car. A couple of days ago Margaret's mother went and got the contents of the car which included a number of library cards and a zippered book bag with reading glasses and two expensive new text books on social justice. As these items didn't belong to us and could also be identified, we turned them over to the police. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Family birthday party

As William's birthday stretches near the end of its one week schedule, we had all of his grandparents plus my sister and her family over, as well as George Bessai and the girls. We served lemon meringue pie, peach pie, and cheesecake. While the girls were at the Rider's game, William and I watched "That Obscure Object of Desire" by Bunuel. After the football, the girls returned for some Catan and Carcassonne and we ate some new Lays butter chicken potato chips (wow! these were great! they actually taste like butter chicken!). I was a day behind on my "bad film series" but caught up.

Friday, August 21, 2015

William Fiasco game party

For a birthday party with his friends and cousins, we got Allan to facilitate a Fiasco game this afternoon. This is a storytelling game that can be very interesting if you commit your imagination to it. Each time you play, the scenerio changes. Today they created a story around a space ship with a disaster on board. It got nicely twisted. Thanks Allan. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

William turns 14

 Today was William's 14th birthday. I gave him an updated tablet with our pancake breakfast.
This afternoon we went for his free ice cream at Desarts (and naturally got his photo taken with the crown on).
We took Paul along for supper at Calway Grill. George and the girls came by the house after for Saskatoon pie. Unfortunately we didn't know they were in town, or else they would have joined us for supper, as they also love Calaway's. 

Fireworks party on farm


Last night George organized a huge party on the farm, celebrating a number of things including his daughters' visit, both Kristin's and William's graduation from grade school, William's birthday, and most notably, Gertrud and Fred's 50th anniversary. While all of that is important, it was certainly a celebration of explosions, an excuse to set off an amazing number of fireworks in the farmyard and eat lots of food.


We came out in mid-afternoon and I installed another window in the cottage (which I'd intended for above the door but only discovered once I arrived that it wouldn't fit there.


As we pinned the window into place, I noticed the sun and sky were looking right for a test shot of William on the country road in the style of Wheat Soup. I purchased a 500 mm lens for this eventuality, although these shots were with a Bolex and therefore only short clips rather than the signature long takes. Test only, getting into the groove of it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Spamalot at Edenwold

We went to the performance of Spamalot at the Prairie Skies Musical Theatre near Edenwold last night. They perform on an outdoor stage on a farm and the audience brings their own chairs. I am charmed by the idea of this. The last time we went was three years ago for Wizard of Oz which utilized a large video screen that we were not keen on. This time the stage sets were all practical, no gimmicks. We arrive a few minutes late so sat at the back. The cast of 12 were in good form, singing and dancing quite well. The choreography was decent and the performers all had strong voices and were well rehearsed. Of course, the comparison with the original Monty Python cast in inevitable and unfair. A more just appraisal would be from my nieces who are unfamiliar with Python and who laughed continuously and were very engaged. My only qualm was that often when the script required them to be loud or yell, the microphones they wore often distorted. In an enclosed venue, they probably could have done the musical without microphones. The biggest surprise was that the holy grail was planted behind my chair and a cast member came down to me in the final scene and I was brought on stage as a peasant.

 A memorable thrill. They awarded me with a can of Spam.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Go Cart Go!

Margaret brokered a deal with Richard in which William is now the new owner of Kattie's custom built go cart. Built from 3/4" ply, it holds lots of weight and even steers! I got the distinct impression that Richard wants to see us make some sort of film using it, so we certainly will. Painted in luscious purple, it only cost me the pants off my legs (I tore a hole in some new jeans trying to get out of it myself).

Monday, August 17, 2015

Baking day

With the weather cooling considerably, Margaret made muffins and three pies. I made rice krispie cake and will have to work on my own baking tomorrow. I had a meeting at work and also picked up a surprise present for William's birthday. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Slow Sunday

No real reason for this photo except that I took it today. Nick in foreground with Sylve in mirror.
Slow Sunday. Did some reading, watched "Dead Man" with William, had coffee with Kevin (William came along), posted yesterday's and today's "Bad Films" onto Youtube, and got to the midpoint of reading "The Adventures of Baron Munchousen" out loud (it makes my mouth hurt after 10 pages). 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Motherwell homestead stooking

We went to the Motherwell homestead today. I've not been there before and we had a few mistaken turns getting there but eventually made it. It is made up of the well maintained original house as well as a couple of barns and some vintage horse pulled farming tools which they were demonstrating today. George and the girls left an hour before us so spent more time there, but in truth it is more their sort of thing, so everyone was happy. We played a bit of croquette at the end.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Woolsley Drive In

We piled all six of us in George's truck and got to Woolsley for supper at the Canada followed by Ant Man at the drive in. They played a Droopy cartoon before the feature, which was highly appreciated. Great to be eating left overs during the film. We all sat outside, not only because the six of us wouldn't all be able to see the film through  the window, but because the heat wave still hasn't broken. We'll need to remember to bring something to enhance the sound next time as we listened with a combination of the little speaker and the truck radio turned up.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Weyburn fabric art

 Another very hot day. We road tripped down to Weyburn where they are hosting a multi-venue fabric art exhibition. We went to the four main ones, beginning with the Grace United Church where Margaret had contributed a banner with our cat on it to the project. The Allie Griffin Gallery in the library basement was a nice break from the heat where William got to practice piano.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Paul Stockton visit

We had coffee and a donut with Paul today, visiting from Toronto. It's been a few years so we had a few things to catch up on: career changes, his new book, horses, science fiction, and more than the average number of non-sequitur questions and observations from William. We met at the Robin's donuts on south Albert, which as a bit of strange trip to out past. I'd forgotten just how disappointing their donuts are.
William also suggested it would be wise for me to make a bad video every day. I don't know if I'm up to another challenge, but with the bar set significantly low, I made one with William as we sat there. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

William listening tube contraption

After escaping the heat to the movie theatre (Fantastic Four) on Tuesday, I took William shopping for hardware and he picked out pieces for a prototype listing station made from pvc pipes, a funnel, an old wooden tripod I bought from Darrel Prohor but never found a good purpose for, and lots of tape. It is surprisingly effective.


Monday, August 10, 2015

Live skunk in the middle of the road

We went out to the farm for supper, to finish putting the last screws into the deck (where we ended up eating) and then settled in around a fire and watched the sky for the meteor shower. The sky was very clear and perfect for watching, but the meteors didn't make a strong appearance. What we did see was a lot of wildlife. On the way there, we encountered a flock for about 10 pelicans who took flight as we drove past.
On the way home we saw 5 live skunks (and one dead one) along the grid road and we almost his a large porcupine on the highway near the valley. William saw a coyote in the ditch.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Margaret at the folk festival

 Margaret spent Saturday and Sunday at a tent at the Regina Folk Festival, facilitating artist trading cards in a tent in the park. Hundreds of people sat down each of the days to create new little art works.