Thursday, March 19, 2015

March Break

There has been lots to write about - and I know a few three or four care and expect and want the updates, so this posting comes late and with some apologies that I haven't written a few things in the past month, plus.  However it is the March Break in Ontario and you would think that has left me with plenty of time and opportunities to get out and going.  And it has....  But it is a bit different this year.

Since I have last written I have hit up Toronto and went to the motorcycle show, Windsor to watch the CIAU Track and Field Championships, and some day trips to London and Stratford to poke around at this, that and the other.

Toronto was fun.  The motorcycle show had all the eye candy, gear, paraphernalia, chrome, and such that a guy/gal could need.  I watch a few demonstrations of stunt street riders, trial riders, and the OPP Golden Helmets who have incredible skills on a 600 lb motorcycle.  Of course every manufacturer was also there and plenty of companies who sell the all important "add-ons" to complete your riding attire or theme.  I picked up a book, of all things, written by a Canadian who rode 5 years, 140,000 km, around the world and back again.  It was an interesting account of financial planning, love, motorcycle repair, local flavour and world culture all knitted together nicely.  He had no real sponsors, or no support or crew, but managed to find his way.  It is called The University of Gravel Roads by Rene Cormier.

And Windsor was a great, great trip just the other weekend.  Ex-Lancer alum Phil Dalton and I made the trip and it was a great, great time.  The action on the track did not disappoint, and seeing a whole whack of familiar faces was super as well.  I was very pleased to see that everybody from whom I met in the fall up in Goderich was doing well, and it was also nice to see lots of current and former coaches at the track.  It is always surprising who you don't see, rather then the ones you do.  However it was the start of the March Break and most people do not have their lives planned around an event like this.  I am really glad to have attended and seen the folks I saw.  I was a tightly packed 30 hours or so, but well worth it.

And things around home are rolling fine.  Half of the snow is all melted which is nice - although there is the odd drip and leak in the basement.  I have to think it is just melting from outside and getting in...  Everything is so dirty.  We need a good rain to clean up the streets and get that dusty/sandy deposit off of the streets.

I had my motorbike out for a spin the other day.  I put the battery in and it fired up.  It weather the winter well I guess because it had no hesitation or stumbles when it was throttled.  In fact it runs so much better in the cold weather as compared to the hot summer.  The cold air over the intake gives it more life I am sure.

So ya - Molly and Wally are well.  Wally is finding himself and finding his way.  Not with me though.  Oh no. There is zero, nothing, zilch I can do to please or satisfy whatever it is that is exasperating him.  I look at him and he cries.  I change him and he wails.  I hold him and he flails and fusses.  I do bathe him with very little trouble.  That is about it.  But he really can get loud and worked up for such a small kid.  Although I seem to think he isn't that small.  People tell us he seems big; that they think he has grown....  But I suppose that is a common statement and observation in the position we are in.  Next time I will post some quantitative stats on height, length and weight.

Molly has changed a bit.  Again, another obvious statement I am sure.  She is a bit more trying and testing. She has resorted into many "donkey-ish" behaviours...  Her over excitement and enthusiasm is getting the best of her.  However, she is not that bad - she has never chucked a harry in public or has been rude.  She never bites or hits - but she will get to and go to that area which pushes buttons....  She doesn't always get on with her cousins or neighbour friends as nice as they are (to her) in comparison.  She'll know what bothers them, and seemingly do it on purpose.

Things here with Shelly, and I, are great.  We continually mention that it is so great being in this house we are in.  It just is nice.  It has everything, but it isn't like it is super fancy or opulent.  The greenhouse was like 25 degrees centigrade today, while it was 5 degrees outside.  It is nice to have a garage to store stuff in.  We are starting to get things organized a bit and we will start some plants in the next few weeks.  Nothing major, just some flowers, tomatoes, herbs, and such.  


Friday, January 30, 2015

End of January

Pretty fortunate to finish off with a snow day today.  It was quite windy and there was some snow accumulation.  however I never did search out and see if the highways were closed.  My work, and there is plenty of it, was done at the comfort of home, and the Goderich Library. 

There isn't even close to the snowfall of last year however.  But I was out with the snow blower to make sure the driveway is accessible to those coming and going.  And we have had quite the steady stream and supply of people over.
So the steady stream of relatives have been mostly represented by the Johnston side of the tree.  But my grandma has been over, and for friends there has been far too many to mention accurately.  Off the top of my head the Grails, Tremainiacs, Kelly, Darby, and Hank, the Grails again....

Wally is doing well.  There are no stories of 5 hour plus stretches of sleep or quiet time...Nothing to write about a cool, calm demeanor who barely fusses...  Each day has stayed the same, seemingly no progress has been made....  But all in all his extremes don't seem that bad, and are just probably regular attention seeking cues for his age.  For needing relatively so little at 3 weeks; food, cleanliness, warmth, being dry, a mother's love, sleep, he gets pretty worked up when one or a combination of them aren't immediately provided.  And especially at night!
*Weed whacker ear protection does not work for a screaming child...  Trust me, I have tried.  Molly is learning the same lesson.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

I researched back a few years to see what I wrote when Molly was born.  At the time there was a news story, and website, indicating that the world's 7 billionth person was going to be born in a matter of weeks. I guess it was weeks.  Low and behold the website is still live and pumping out numbers at alarming rates.

The numbers for Wally show he is the 7,246,419,973rd person currently on earth, and overall, the 83,648,877,411th person to have lived since history began.  Check it out for yourself if you like at

Even if the website has a margin of error between 3 and 6 per cent, that is still a heck of a lot of people. 

Wally is doing just fine, still.  All of the grandparents have been over.  Nothing else really.

Few Pictures

It wasn't too long after I wrote that last post that Shelly was waking me up after 1:00 am saying she had to get to the hospital.  I dismissed her painful plea as indigestion.  By 3:00 she was telling me to get the hell moving, and call my mom to mind the house and Molly - we were on the go!

It was a quiet night at the hospital.  The nurses were more than happy, and extra, more than extra capable of dealing with this situation. 

Skipping 7hrs worth of craziness....

10:23 am - 8lbs 9oz and 21 inches long.  We didn't really have a name firmed up so we left him as the boy for a day.  Later that night we bounced around some family names and other options.  I had thought about Walter for a month or two.  Walter can be called Walt or Wally; 3 decent options.  I have been calling him Wally.  No papers have been officially signed, but it looks like Walter Johnston Macaulay with a few first name options depending on what people's pleasure is.  I like the ring of Wally Macaulay, and I like that it rhymes with Molly.  I think it is a decent name.  And later in life, or in elementary school, if he wants to go by Walt or Walter, that will be fine.
It was unbelievable.  There is so much more of a story because Shelly was supposed to get to London to deliver, but all the roads were closed and the ambulance wasn't going to get through.  Needless to say there was no trip to London.  He was born in Goderich.  He really looks a lot like Molly did, but he does look like a boy just as much too.

It is such a bounding experience with your partner to be there when something like this happens.  It opened my eyes to a whole new world.  I didn't know what to expect.  It did surprise me in some regards, but just the same I knew it wasn't going to be all roses.  The encouragement and teamwork involved was something that struck me.  Also noted was even though it is extremely physical, more importantly is the mental planning and conditioning, more so for Shelly, to push and persevere when you don't think you can take it or go further.  You really have to be in a (mental) place to accept what is coming and not giving in.  So that is the big part of advice that I would recommend.  Then again I wasn't pushing a 9lbs, 21 inch long mass out of a birth canal.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Few Snow Days

It has been a very sporadic week of work.  Monday was a snow day, Tuesday I went out with kids, and Wednesday/Thursday have also been off.  As I write, Thursday, it is still quite windy and roads are closed.  Last year there were 4 snow days this week, and it is looking to be the same....  We'll see. 

There really isn't that much snow however.  Only about 20 cm maximum has fallen.  I have only had the snow blower out and cranked up once.  I have just been shoveling and hand bombing what snow has fallen, but most blew in the driveway for the most part.  So it has been quite manageable in that sense.  But boy has it been windy.  Most of the highways have been closed.  Or at least parts of them have been in between various committees in Huron and Perth counties - It is a dam good thing I haven't had to drive to London with Shelly.  Although I really think I have completely just jinx myself.

On that topic, Shelly's due date basically is/was today according to one of the methods of calculation.  The other date is the tenth of January.  It doesn't make too much sense to me why or how there are two different dates, however it appears to be the case.  Quantitative representation (by Shelly) has always been a skewed in my opinion over the years.  Numbers, times, dates, money amounts have always been subject to a more or less interpretation.  So for all I this baby may be here at Valentine's Day.  Maybe the weather will be more agreeable when it does come.

We are all doing very well though.  It is a big year and there is lots going on.  I am most looking forward to a potential big trip in August to France, the sabbatical from work, and of course some fall travel solo and with the whole family to some exotic location... 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Other Pictures From the Holidays

A few other great pictures that sort of summarize the 2014 holiday season....  Lack of commentary, however insert your own as you see them.

Christmas 2014

It has came and went with a bit more excitement and zest than other years.  Being in the new house was a definite present, Molly having a bit more where-with-all an spontaneity was good, the weather has been terrific, and being with Shelly and the impending arrival of number two in another few weeks was also something to be happy about.

On Christmas Eve we hit up my dad's for a quick hello and drink, then we went over to the Coup's house which has been a bit of a holiday tradition for the past few years.  It was a busy place with extra guest and kids, but the food and drink was great.  We just sort of had the guys hang out in one room of the house, the girls were in another, and the kids seemed to tear recklessly all throughout.  That seems like a pretty regular recipe in regards to how people roll.  It wasn't a long, late evening.  We walked home just after 8 or 8:30.  Molly was pretty tired so after a quick rinse and soaping, she was fast asleep which left us to a bit of wrapping and last minute touches.  It was raining, and quite warm at 5 degrees centigrade or so.  No snow.  Nothing but green dirty grass for this Christmas.

Very simple items satisfied our tastes this Christmas.  I stuck with a gardening and chicken theme for Shelly so I got her a Garden Claw, rubber boots, garden shed implements and such....  Molly got the standard socks, soap, toothbrush, pajamas, clothes and such.  But we also got her a one of those Runner Bikes.  Our house is big enough to scoot around in it and get a bit of steam going.  Molly has a plastic vanity that we got off the street a few months ago while it was being discarded.  It lacked a mirror, and Shelly's vanity has a mirror, so we got her a mirror to put in it....  I just a-fixed it in with a hot glue gun.  We were all quite pleased with our allowances.  I got some stuff for the garage to organize some tools and clutter - stuff I just needed.  I did score a nice decorative porcelain hen for the kitchen table though, as well as this old brass sign from my dad's cottage that was attached to a bedroom which says "Reserved For Master".  It will go on our bedroom door.
Went for a great run on Christmas morning with Jeff:
Molly liking Shelly's gifts more than her own:
We made it out to uncle Larry's for a get together of 30 plus aunts, uncles, cousins, kids of cousins, and friends.  It was busy with people and kids...  We did spy a sleigh and have been promised a ride.  But with little to no snow, we might as well just take the buggy.
We saw the Wright's for a bit of action and conversation...
Last but not least, on Boxing Day we were all back over at my dad's for a fantastic lasagna, caesar salad, few beer, good deserts scoff.  A few more gifts were exchanged and a few more calories gained.  Everyone is great in that direction and again, we headed home fairly earlier.

It is almost goodbye to 2014.  I know we are all looking forward to moving on and seeing what 2015 will bring; well, we know mostly what it will bring, but there are always surprises and unexpected events that make each year unique and special.