26 Oct 2014

The week that just won't end

This was one of our busiest weeks ever.  It started with our Thanksgiving celebration almost a week after most did theirs (hint - turkey's are cheaper a few days after the Thanksgiving weekend). We decided to have the big dinner a week late because Wendy's parents were out of town over Thanksgiving, and we could combine the dinner with her mother's birthday.

After the turkey was all prepared and in the oven, of course we had hockey. Parker did a great job and even reported to us that he got a goal (we didn't see it, but sometimes we aren't watching closely). They won the game. 

Parker staring me down, wondering when I will stop pointing the camera at him
Everyone arrived and we had a big turkey feast. Our niece and her family, Mel and Murray, and Wendy's parents joined the 5 of us (Stanley got back from Toronto early in the day). 

Laura loved the piano

She's a natural!

Marion opening presents

The busy weekend was followed by a busier week. Adam had a week off college (mid-fall break), and Wendy took several days off to use up some vacation and get things done around the house with Adam. He ended up spending a lot of time with friends and at the haunted house he volunteers at every year (they feed him...). Wendy and I started an evening financial course offered through her work - a way to learn more about keeping finances in order and planning for the future. It was an interesting group of people, but we hope they will have some good information to provide us. The class is held at the hospital next door to the Cancer Centre where I used to work.

Tuesday I gave one of my usual lectures and spent a lot of time on email reviewing with students over the next few days. Wednesday evening, Adam took my car up to Murray's to replace the rear brake pads. One seemed to have seized and made lots of noise, but it turned out to have twisted the pad so that a good portion of it wore right off. Not expensive, but glad it is done. On Thursday I gave the first 'exam' of the year, and it was a busy time running between 4 different rooms to make sure all was OK.  The TA's did a fantastic job, so I mostly went in each room just to show my face.

Wendy and I were preparing madly all week for a stained glass show at a church in Hamilton on Saturday. Wendy's friend and work colleague was running the show, so we rented a table. Lots of last minute rushing to get it and the display apparatus ready, but we got it done. We even went out to dinner with Mel and Murray on Friday then headed to the nearby hospital (same place as the financial class) to visit Mel's father as he recovers from surgery. They headed out for a vacation the next morning, so we took all the leftovers home ourselves. 

We got up early on Saturday and headed out to the Olivet Church bazaar and craft sale. Below are a few photos from the show.

Since Parker needed to get some volunteer hours for high school, he signed on to help the organizers for about 6 hours. We barely saw him the whole day. He is proud to announce that his very first duty in the very first hour of his very first volunteer job was to help take a bucket of water up the stairs. 

It didn't make it. 

Below, he and his supervisor are mopping it up. The mop bucket was apparently a little tippy as they both lifted it up the stairs. Gravity took care of the rest. Parker reports that it probably would have been more balanced if the mop wringer was removed first! He had somewhat more success helping sell lunch tickets, although Wendy had to have him count out her change several times.

Parker at his volunteer job
We ended up making about $220 - it was our best craft sale event so far, since most have been pretty dismal. Below are a couple of the larger custom pieces that we made. We sold the first one (a heavy cast iron stove pipe holder/grate with an 8" circle of glass) and the larger framed piece with a tree and leaves has not yet sold (22"x 17" glass area).

Antique cast iron stove pipe standoff with cardinal

Tree with leaves in reclaimed frame
If you want to see more, check out the stained glass page on this blog.

As the sale was winding down, I drove Parker the 30 minutes back to Dundas to drop him off at his Saturday hockey game. Back I drove to the sale to pack everything in the car. We immediately turned around and headed back home to drop off the stuff, then quickly over to the arena to catch the last period of the game. They tied the game, although they were ahead until the last 30 seconds of the game. It was very exciting. After a quick dinner, we headed out to Mel and Murray's to feed their cats, then drove all the way back to the hospital (yes, the same one where the financial course is held) and had a great visit with Mel's dad.

Back home, we watched Amazing Race online (we missed it Friday night), then collapsed.

Today (Sunday, finally!) we decided we weren't busy enough, so we got up and prepared for our normal 5 km hike. Of course, we got awoken early (6:45) by a cadet calling to ask why nobody was at the pickup spot for the cadet trip to gliding. All cadet events were cancelled across Canada due to the attack in Ottawa, so Adam had the day off since they were not allowed to go gliding. Some people don't watch the news, I suppose.

After we got home from the hike and got the kids up (3 teenage boys and Sunday mornings don't often go together), we headed to a pumpkin patch in Ancaster to pick out our pumpkins. No need for a hayride, so it was just get the pumpkins then get back home. Parker wimped out and stayed in the car. On the way home we also stopped and fed M&M's cats. Adam then took Wendy's car and went to the haunted house to get ready for running hundreds of people through today.

Adam found this one quickly - notice the 'vacation beard'!

Stanley with his pumpkin

Just playing with the good camera again
They day couldn't just end and be relaxing - not that lucky. Hockey time again!  Wendy and I dropped Parker off at practice then headed out to do our errands and buy groceries. After dropping the groceries ($365 worth) off at home with Wendy, I drove to the arena, picked up Parker and went back home. Now that we had food in the house, I had an unscheduled nap (fell asleep sitting on the couch) then prepared dinner.

Thinking that it was time to rest, we realized that we needed to go to the haunted house or we would miss it altogether. Stanley, Parker, Wendy and I went to check it out. Got a good tour, a few frights, then Adam took us behind the scenes to see all the work they had done over that last 2 months. They had completely transformed a barn into an electrified, computerized, video monitored, mechanical marvel of Halloween spirit. Below are a few images from the haunted house. Adam plans to video the whole sequence of the many rooms, elevators, video mirrors, , rotating platforms, etc., so we may be able to show it another time.

A skeleton in a model A greets you as you enter to line up

Adam in his glory
Just one of the control areas - mostly the mechanical systems are operated from here
Adam's friend Nick - scaring unsuspecting visitors
Adam's friend Mike, watching the many cameras

After getting through unscathed and with a little candy in our pockets, we finally headed home to crash. Well, after cleaning up the kitchen, paying the bills, reminding Parker to do his homework, and posting on this blog.

Finally. The week is over!

Now we can look at what's on the schedule for next week...

11 Oct 2014

Yup, it's fall - time for a family photo!

Kind of a strange week this week. Although there seemed to be a lot of interesting things going on with the moon (a lunar eclipse, a really big moon the next day, etc.), none of us got up early enough to check out the shows. However, Tuesday morning started off with an unusual show - a full rainbow visible just after arriving at work. Not a great picture, but it was a nice sight to see.

It was a beautiful, if cool, fall day today. Took our usual hike with Maddy and enjoyed the colours. Below is one tree that hasn't dropped as many leaves as most of the others.
A beautiful fall day
I used my camera phone to take all the photos during the hike. I think the one below of Maddy turned out very well (I used the dual cameras on the back of my HTC phone to detect then blur out the background). The photo of Maddy and I below shows what the phone produces without using the extra camera.
Maddy, wondering why her humans wanted her to stay still.
Maddy and I resting in the leaves.
I guess Maddy was too tired - the picture below was taken of her flaked out on the bed after the hike and getting her feet washed.

What really clued us in that fall was in full swing was the resumption of hockey practices. Parker went to hockey evaluations for the Dundas Minor Hockey League last weekend and was assigned to the Dundas Blackhawks. He is actually quite thrilled, mostly because he has a great relationship with the coaches. Today he got his uniform (#8) and they practiced as a team.
Parker, #8 Dundas Blackhawks
Last weekend we literally dragged the kids from their beds and took them to the hiking trails near the train station.  No, we didn't force them to hike (that might be considered as torture for teenagers). Actually, we went to do our annual family photo (with my real camera). Wendy made sure we all wore a coordinating colour and we had scoped out the location the day before. It is almost underneath the big tree in the picture above (2nd one of this post).

Took a while to get a good image while Maddy was looking, especially since my wireless remote control for the camera had a dead battery (it worked when I tested it the day before...!). I had to do a lot of running back and forth between the family and the camera, but the result turned out OK. After that fiasco, I bought more batteries but won't put them in until I need them...

I have pasted our picture below in a size that is larger than this blog recommends, so it will likely overlap the background a bit. 

Here it is - the official 2014 fall Seidlitz family photo:

Seidlitz family October 2014