Lethbridge Part 2

Our last week in Lethbridge saw us continuing and amping up our many visits and visitors. We had great visits with both Marc's family and my family and often combined the two.


Hot tub fun!  

We had visits with old friends . . .
Marc's childhood friend Colin and his wife Christine and family.  Ty loved feeding the horses and seeing the cows.  He has exclaimed many times since that he saw cows that make milk and horses that eat grass at Nolan's (Colin and Christine's son) house.

Visits with new friends . . .

Ty sure loves Ava.  (Marc's cousins daughter, which makes her his cousin twice removed. . .  once removed. . . something removed . . )  Regardless Ty loved spending time with her.  Amusingly he noticed (along with most other members of Marc's family) that Ava has many of the same mannerisms as Shareen and called her Auntie Reen a couple of times. 

Ty and Elijah (the son of a university classmate who happened to be playing at Nana and Papa's) minutes after they met.  They 'stole' apples out of the wheelbarrow and decided to enjoy them together on this newly stained chair.  Cute!

We headed to Waterton for the day and Ty saw his first bear just across the lake here.  A quick hike to Crandall was perfect for Ty's hiking ability.  He was able to hike most of it with the occasional breaks on Marc's shoulders.

Yes Fraser is really inside this large backpack cover. ;) According to the tag it is also fire retardant. Crazy! 

 This little man is becoming so cute and smiley.  I love this stage! 

Lowell was making a walrus face with carrots and Ty walked over to Nana and said "two carrots please."  Here I was thinking he was being extra healthy, little did we realize he just wanted to make a walrus face too.

And what Waterton trip isn't complete without a requisite ice cream stop?

Nana and Papa got to spend lots of time with all three of their grandchildren together . . .

The start of many years playing cars together.

Cute little Fraser's hair

Papa coming home from work!

On the way home we made two hiking stops (one brief, one for lunch) and promptly decided at 6:00 to keep going through and make it all the way home in a day.  Despite leaving at 9:30 am and stopping for dinner and two walks we still made it home by 12:15am.  Our boys are great travelers!

We stopped in Canmore to hike up Grotto Creek, complete with its own rock slide.  I look much braver than I actually felt here.

At this exact moment in time I was thinking . . . 'I can't believe I just let my two year old go down this ten times! It is much more slippery than it looks!'  Simultaneously I was thinking, 'I am such a wimp.  I just watched my two year old go down this without incident ten times!'

A lovely time at home. Can't wait for Christmas.


where the forest songs are

this summer i produced a music festival with my friend robert (who, just before i met him, lived with my cousin robert in namibia for half a year).  after months of planning, the festival took place sept 8.  it was called "where the forest songs are" and was a showcase of indie bands from the fraser valley.  there were folk, blues, rock and trance performances from friends of ours, people we met a month ago, and bands we had never seen before.

the venue was island 22 regional park, a beautifully forested strip of land along the fraser river.  we set up in the corner of a huge horse corral that dwarfed our little festival.  on the right you can see big bessie, who steadfastly formed part of the backdrop as well as a front wall and refrigerator for our green room, an outdoor living room complete with couches, a coffee table, lamp, breakfast cereal and bowls of chips.

the aim was to be a family friendly showcase for local bands, to encourage live music in chilliwack and to throw a big party by the river.  the first and last goals were easily checked off.  we'll see over time if we can accomplish the middle one.
our festival was alcohol free, which unfortunately is a big burden for a concert, in that a lot of people won't show up if they can't drink, and also in that we were foregoing the main source of income for a show like this.  we attempted to turn this negative into a positive by providing activities for kids, offering a family price and making the show welcoming for all ages.

 ty, finn and coby can attest that the kids had a great time!  the above picture made it into the local paper the next day.  coby is now also asserting that she will marry ty one day.  kylie is demanding at least 3 goats, which i think is a bit of an undersell.

first up was abbotsford's old mare.  rob booked them and i didnt realize that 1) they were really good and 2) that they had a full band and drums and amps and pedals and the whole nine yards.
it was a shame to open with them, as only about 3 paying customers had arrived when they were scheduled to take the stage.  in retrospect we should have started with a boy and his guitar, and let the full bands play later when they had more people to play to.
  to that end i got up there with my guitar and played them in, hoping to draw in a little bit of an audience.  thankfully our volunteers stepped up (literally) to listen to the show, providing at least a modicum of crowd.  thanks to patricia for taking these pictures.
  old mare stayed for most of the festival, and we shot some sweet footage to help them make some music videos.  plus they seemed like really cool guys, so they were OK with it.

next up were ma petite and jordan klassen, two abbotsford based bands that (predictably) now live in vancouver.  the music was fantastic (ukelele, double bass, violin and keys) but i didnt get much of a chance to stand still and listen, as at this point there was still way too much logistical stuff going on for me to stop moving.

it was really fun running a show like this, juggling 5 different tasks and constantly being interrupted.  it's a bit like my day job, only no one was bleeding and there were a lot less drunk people.

some things were very thankfully delegated.  our local indian restaurant, shanhdar hut, provided the food, as well as "melted" a gourmet grilled cheese vendor serving out of this world sandwiches.  my friend patricia ran the first aid tent.  kylie made cookies and did bottled water and pop runs and delivered last minute items, like a big carpet to keep the drums from skittering around the stage.  tonnes of rob's friend arrived to set up tents and move picnic tables etc.
next up was adam klassen (no relation to jordan).  he was another wild card and he stole the show!  all over the venue i heard people talking about him, asking who the heck he was and how they had never heard of him when he was so good.
after back to back klassens came the band i was most excited about.  the harpoonist and the axe murderer are a killer blues duo from vancouver, reinterpreting muddy waters all over again, ignoring led zeppelin and moving in a entirely different direction.  their latest album checkered past is straight up blues with a bit of extra distortion, and their live set delivered the same with adrenaline and a pinch of psychedelia.  the tunes got people dancing, particularly ty, finn and coby, as you have seen above.  i figure if this only happens a few times a year their ears will recover.

by this time our crowd had finally thickened up.  our ticket sales were disappointing from a financial point of view, but we sold around 120 tickets and when the volunteers and the members of the other bands who stayed around for the show (most of them!) gathered in front of the stage it made for a sweet comfy vibe.  shawn (the harpoonist) summed it up nicely when he exclaimed from the stage, "i love this show... its like playing at someone's backyard bbq, only they have enough money for a killer sound system, and they have really awesome friends!"  matt (the axe murderer) chimed in "yep, no one's gonna call the cops on anyone here tonight."
ian schram played next, in a cozy little living room set accompanied by two glowing penguins on our side stage.  his laid back songs gave the crowd a chance to catch their breathe before they were moved to start dancing again by

the young liars, a vancouver electronic pop rock indie band with tonnes of energy.  they were another surprise for me.  i had heard their music online and knew i would like them, but i didnt know i would love them live.  a full rock band plus some groovy synth loops gave the young liars an amazingly deep sound.  their single echoists had the whole crowd jumping.  its sweet hook underscored their recent record deal and foreshadowed radio success to come (take me in your arms tonight and i'll be there, i'll be there, i'll never be gone).  the thoughtful lyrics give them a depth sorely lacking in todays music.  pop for a new century.  marshall mcluhon would be proud.
a few minutes after the young liars left the stage, it was time for "the parish of little clifton", a local musician and newly minted DJ, who has stayed at my parents' house on two separate occasions.  his set masterfully moved the crowd from swaying to dancing and back to swaying again, ushering in the soul embracing sounds of teen daze, chilliwack's trance sensation.  a rosedale boy, hipster and personal friend, jameson aka teen daze is well known in the club scene from san francisco to new york to barcelona.  the dictum that a DJ is not recognized in his hometown holds particularly true when the hometown in question doesnt really have any legitimate clubs.
teen daze ended the evening in spectacular fashion, holding the crowd between his knob twiddling fingers.  the atmosphere was intense, euphoric and intoxicating.  one of my favourite moments of the night came near the end of his set, when the daughter of a co worker and her friend, lost in the trance music and the hypnosis of their own involuntary movement, both caught my eye in the crowd with a look of pure golden happiness.  the emotion writ large across their faces echoed the greater throng and resonated with my own utter contentment.  what an awesome day.  already looking forward to next year.


lethbridge part 1

 the last half of august brought us to sunny alberta.  big sky country.  we spent a week with kylie's mom and a week with my parents.  fantastic vacation with wonderful family and great friends.  the weather cooperated as well, with hot sunny days and minimal wind.
    we did the drive out in 2 days, stopping for a picnic with our long lost friend julie, in revelstoke.  julie won't let me take a straight shot, so this is what we've got.  its a good angle for her.
after picnicing with julie, we drove another hour and a half to golden, where we piled into a motel room and promptly (and thankfully) all fell asleep.  starting in golden the next day gave us plenty of time for stops.  our longest stop was on the bow valley parkway just past canmore.  the jeru creek hike leads up a beautiful canyon and quickly turns into easy rockhopping and scrambling.  ty loved it.
 eating cookies and throwing rocks in the water.  what more could a boy ask for?

finally we made it to the in laws.

zeke got more attention than he'd had in weeks.  it was so great to hang out with kylie's family.
we spent a lot of time at henderson pool.  it was a bit surreal to look out over a structure that hasnt changed a tile since we were kids hanging out there drinking slushies and getting in trouble for jumping the fence.  julie then obliged my memory by getting in trouble for jumping over the fence.  right in front of her nephews!
brad and raquel made a lot of time for us and we gathered in cherri's yard, at the park and even ditched the kids and went out for dinner.
cherri had an wonderful time hosting all her grandkids.  kylie's grannie made brad this amazing map blanket and cherri broke it out for ty.  he was a fan.

visits with old friends.  neil convinced ty he could control the patio swing with his arms.  fun for hours, or until neil's quads got tired.

for greg's birthday our family joined with brad and raquel's family for a day at writing-on-stone park.  this was one of my favourite places growing up, and it remains pretty high on the list.  funny though... typically i cant do enough rock jumping.  this time i got in maybe 5 jumps and spent the rest of the time herding ty away from cliffs, but it was still just as fun, if not more.
ty immediately took to rock running and even rock jumping.

i got in a few nicely linked up jumps.
ty was pretty good at climbing, and appropriately fearful for which i often give thanks.

raquel lent me her awesome floral print sunhat to ward off heatstroke in the desert.  i wore it all day and honestly totally forgot what i looked like while interacting with strangers.  i think i pulled it off.

we had a picnic in the park.
followed by a walk to the beach.
followed by playing in the sand.

followed in turn by more running in the rocks.  more glamour this time.

kylie and i really appreciated the grandparents' presence and their desire to interact with our boys and read them stories and play with them in the park and generally show them love.

we also appreciated that, while they were showing our children love, we could go out for dinner.  and eat fresh minidonuts with a selection of sauces for dessert.

the next generation