The end of an era

While we are definitely ending the era of a childless household, we have also ended the era of perpetually wrinkled pants. I have written many times on this blog about my laundry woes (see #45) and my extreme hatred (no that is not too strong of a word) of it. Well that hatred has turned into a mild dislike or dare I say even partial LIKE after having purchased a new frontload washing machine and dryer.

I was skyping with Marc's mom back in November telling her that we were going to buy a new dishwasher soon as ours was on the fritz and she mentioned that we should also buy a new washer dryer at the same time. As I have lamented many a time on this blog we have an extremely small washing machine and a dryer that likes to tie things in knots. I suggested to Marc that we get a new washing machine and his initial reaction was that we have a perfectly good (okay maybe he didn't say perfectly, he was fully aware of how wrinkly his pants were for work) one right now. After Christmas when I did a load of laundry at my moms and showed him his straight from the dyer wrinkle free pants that are usually full of creases and folds, his mind was changed! Hallelujah! Goodbye wrinkle free pants, good bye small loads of laundry, good bye baskets of laundry sitting in the hall for days (well maybe not quite there yet) and hello laundry bliss!

The last load of wrinkly laundry done in our dryer, and no these pants were not tied in knots by us for added wrinkle effect.
And goodbye moustache! I don't think we have yet posted a picture of Marc's new look! He is moustache free but not yet facial hair free. He has what I will call "chin chops."
We ended up getting a great deal on a washer/dryer and dishwasher combo. We pulled out the washer dryer for installation and were greeted by this:
We quickly cleaned it up and our new beauties were put in. The only problem is they are a couple of inches too big for the closet because of the dryer vent at the back. Marc thinks he can cut a small hole in the wall to push the dryer vent into but I am happy to leave them like this if we have to.

Presenting our new babies, including the one in my belly!



it has been hard to put up pictures of us romping through the forest or brag about the beautiful weather in chilliwack with the spectre of the earthquake in haiti in the background. what can i say that matters much when so many died, so many lost so much, and the road ahead is still long and fraught with danger.

a spontaneous international congress, the 'friends of haiti', met in montreal yesterday to discuss the best way to organize the priorities and practicalities of aid in the next years. some have called for an economic and political restructuring to go along with the rebuilding of infrastructure, demanding a marshall plan for the new millenium. i agree that some forethought is certainly needed. however we must not tinker with another country's economy without looking at our motives for doing so.

naomi klein's 2007 book "the shock doctrine: the rise of disaster capitalism", discusses the degree to which natural disasters and war are used as an excuse to engineer developing countries' laws to facilitate the entry of multinational corporations and financial organizations with the intent of burning through the country's environmental capital to fuel continued western excess. i haven't read the whole book, but kylie has, so this blog is still able to claim some credibility on this topic.

there's some smart, well informed people making these decisions but there is also a lot of $$ being thrown around, so let's hope we do this right.

with that sincere regret and hope out of the way, we can get on to the important business of mkginbc: showcasing the exquisite surrounds and climate of chilliwack bc.

last week we climbed the steep rocky trail to lindeman lake with chad, ang, maddie and adriel.

we have also taken advantage of the early spring to walk the cultus lake trails that are empty in the 'winter'.

finally i have to recommend the movie kylie and i just watched:
"Anvil - The Story of Anvil" is a hilarious and poignant documentary about an aging toronto thrash metal band with more heart and optimism than business acumen. happy and sad and quirkily funny, plus a cameo by shirley, the plastic canadian talk show host that haunted my youth. this movie is right up there with "king of kong" in my favourite movies. don't worry if you don't like metal, if you like people you will like this movie (and maybe buy their album just to encourage these guys). there's some swearing, and one male nude, but the honesty of the characters will win you over.


hello warm fraser valley

back in alberta i took full advantage of the snow and the cold crisp weather. one day after christmas my dad, colin and i strapped on some snowshoes and set out to explore the promised land, a small plateau tucked up in the rocky peaks just south of the crowsnest pass.

the trek took us over 5km up an increasingly snowy and beautiful valley. my dad took this picture of me at roughly half way along the approach. the pass we were aiming for is just at the left of the frame.
we made it up to the bowl, approaching the treeline, but the snow was around 2 meters deep and the going became extremely tough. we stopped at this beautiful spot for lunch.

we could see the steep final ascent rising directly in front of us, but decided that if we used our energy getting up to the promised land, like the israelites, we would never return (a destination like the promised land makes for a plethora of old testament puns).

instead we turned around and clumped back through the snow, contenting ourselves with the amazing views and trying to guess what animals made the many tracks we crossed.

fast forward to one week ago, and a short hop over the majestic rockies, a la westjet.

back in the balmy fraser valley i was able to bike up a similar elevation gain and enjoy dry grippy singletrack, wearing only shorts and a hoody over wool long underwear. pictured above is one of my favourite stunts, recently crushed by a falling tree. typically one would ride along the fallen log in the bottom centre (~15m long), pop hard left and hurtle over the smooth kicker on the far left of the frame.
this picture shows the jump head on. when i first encountered the newly fallen tree a few weeks ago it took me almost half an hour to clear all the detritus from the trail and open the jump for use. the balance trick unfortunately is no more. in the top left you can see the remainder of the double trunk that kicked off its twin and spawned such destruction. thanks nolene for helping me get these pics off kylie's cell phone.

on thursday i went for a run up elk mountain with niko. i take too many pictures of niko, so this time i gave him the camera to get some shots of me. not bad, but he has trouble holding the camera steady, and all his pictures have a very low perspective.
again the trail was dry, even halfway up the mountain. thank goodness for the moderating influence of the pacific ocean!
i love the snow. i particularly love going to visit the snow, when i choose to. i love mountain biking and trail running in january. i love the west coast.


Goodbye Big Sky Country **

For those of you paying close attention (or not so close as it takes up a lot of his face), Marc still has a moustache. Although, some of you older ladies may find this surprising (many of you find him quite distinguished?!?), I am not the stache's biggest fan. . .
It does look a bit better when Marc is smiling. This is our Merry Christmas Eve picture.
Christmas Eve is always spent with Marc's family and Christmas Day at my moms. I like this picture here framed by Julie and Lowell with Marc mindlessly eating in the middle.

Christmas Day was a little different this year, we usually open presents in the morning but my brother came down with a nasty stomach bug on Christmas Eve and so Marc and my mom and I spent the day playing games and went for a walk at Alexander Wilderness Park. It was an absolutely beautiful day, although a bit cold in the shade!

Brad finally made it over around 4:30 but spent most of the night like this or laying under his blanket on the floor. Fortunately he felt better the next day. He did perk up a little to open presents and was pleased with his new ipod!

Marc was delegated? relegated? to carving the turkey this year.
Marc threatened to shave his head while he still had his moustache and while I realize I really have no pull when it comes to his hygiene, he was informed that under no circumstances would he be sporting a shaved head and a moustache. Thankfully he complied and his mom gave him a hair cut while in Lethbridge. The best kind of Marc cut too - FREE!
We played Guesstures one evening with Shareen and Craig and Marc's parents. Here is Marc's dad trying to get the boys to guess something. Unfortunately they were unsuccessful in their bid to beat the ladies, whose acting abilities far outweigh theirs.

After spending a wonderful 10 days in Lethbridge, we arrived home just in time to celebrate New Years with some friends having a fondue night. Our neighbour had come over about a month ago with a garbage bag full of crab. Marc and I don't usually eat crab so we brought it to our party. It was huge and similarly delicious!
Marc spent part of his evening playing with Maddi - dancing and cooking apples in the microwave and then using her toys to make a fort on her dad's ear!
Happy New Year everyone!

**Yes Montana is called Big Sky country but the top picture demonstrates Alberta's challenge for the title. It was taken just outside of Chin on beautiful Alberta winter day.