Posts Tagged With: family

Birthday bash

This is a video made at my nephew’s birthday party.  There is a quite a bit of dodgeball footage so fast-forward it if you like.  Enjoy!

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Categories: Family & Friends | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Camping – backwoods style

Well, we had a successful first camping trip with my niece, Charlotte, and my nephew, Oliver.  It was their first time off the grid and they did very well, despite Oliver not liking dirt on his feet (he soon got somewhat used to it!!).  We spent a couple days in the first bit of the Sayward Lakes Loop which is a great spot to kayak or canoe.  This was a short test trip and the kids passed with flying colours; they are game to go again and do a bigger trip!  Enjoy the video!  (To get the best resolution, make sure you select 1080HD from the cog at the bottom of the youTube window)

Categories: Family & Friends, Trips & Events | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Thanks for your support…

As many of you know, my little brother Tim had his second heart transplant on 23 December 2014.  He’d been on the transplant list since early September with one false start in October.  When the beeper finally went off, it was a go – a new heart was ready and a new life pending.  I won’t go into all the details here as I’m putting together a movie which will have the whole journey.

The support for our family by our friends, co-workers and community has been amazing.  Thank you for what you’ve done and what you’re doing.  Stay tuned for more as Tim moves through rehabilitation and into this new chapter of his life.

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A monster night…

I haven’t been to Saratoga Speedway in years, probably decades.  This past Saturday some family and friends ventured up to the speedway for an evening of monster trucks, smash to pass car racing and some overall noise, burning rubber and action.  It was quite a fun, family-friendly night and I really enjoyed it.  Here is a small sampling of the action we saw:

Categories: General interest | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

California dreamin’

We just spent a week in SoCal, headquartered in Anaheim, maybe 2km from the Magic Kingdom.   It was a family holiday, highlighted by my niece and nephew Charlotte and Oliver, and we had  great times, lots of laughs and some fun bombing around Legoland, Disney, California Adventure and Universal Studios and a ridiculously low-priced NHL game.  The kids seemed to have a wonderful, if perhaps a little overwhelming, time visiting the theme parks.  A few impressions:

  • If you can avoid it, don’t visit the above noted theme parks at Christmas unless you enjoy sharing your personal space with seven other people.  Disney was especially bad – crowded beyond belief.  We even heard a rumour that the gates were closed at one point due to numbers of people inside.
  • Legoland was good but not worth the admission.  I preferred the one in Denmark, although admittedly I visited that twenty years ago so it may have changed significantly.
  • At the risk of making a sweeping generalization, I was very surprised by the overall lack of recycling.
  • Take advantage of the fast pass options at the Disney parks; you can reduce your wait time from interminable to tolerable.  California Adventure had less wait times overall.
  • Definitely visit the California Screamin Roller Coaster – amazing.
  • The house we rented was great for a family and close to I5  and Disney (five minute drive).  Buzz me for info.
  • We had to fly in to LAX due to subsequent itineraries but consider John Wayne as it is closer – LAX was 45 minutes from our house.
  • The CityPass from Costco gave us 5 days admission to various parks and was a bit of a reduced price.
  • Overall, the theme parks were fun (I’d been to Disney a couple times, Legoland in Denmark and Universal in Orlando) but busy.  The days were long (the kids did a magnificent job and I was very impressed with them), crowded and very noisy but for a short visit – very fun.  I was very glad we did LA-Hawaii and not the other way around as it is sure nice to have a quiet getaway after the hustle and bustle.

We had a really fun trip although it was so busy we didn’t actually get much time to socialize with each other!  Days were frenetic and then we were in bed early due to theme-park exhaustion!

Next update – Big Island Hawaii.  Have a great 2014!

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Fence phase 2

So this past weekend, Manuel and I joined by Josée and Tim finished off the east fence, about 150 metres.  I still have some grading and landscaping to finish off but that will happen over the next little bit.  The fence ended up very straight (thanks to the survey!) and very tight.  We used my come-along attached to Bob’s bucket as a stationary pulling point in order to get the fence taut.  Overall, I think the finished project is pretty good, all things considered.  I now have to finish the front fence (about 50 metres) and then eventually the back-side (another 200 metres).  More to follow!!

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Categories: projects | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Merry Christmas!

IMG_3088Another year has flown by – where does it go?  We had a year full of challenges and heartbreak but also with some wonderful memories and events.  Please click here for more.  From our family to yours, please have a safe and enjoyable Christmas season, happy holidays and a great 2013.

Cheers,

Ben

Categories: Family & Friends, General interest | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

My little pig Monty…

Early Tuesday morning, about 2am, my little pig Monty died in my arms.  I felt his last breath on my cheek.  He looked so peaceful when he finally died, his spasms and seizures over.  He was a brave little pig and really fought hard against the poison the vets think was ranging in his body, causing him to basically bleed to death from the inside out.  I haven’t stopped crying in the last 24 hours and I’m sure it will be a few more days before the fountains stop.  To be honest, my relationship with Monty is the first close relationship I’ve had which has ended in death.  I’ve known acquaintances who’ve died and my grandparents as well but they were all slightly distant relationships and many of them died when I was young.  I’m not trying to say that pets are more important than people but I’m sure you get my drift.

I guess I’m writing this mostly for myself as I don’t really expect people to understand how one can love a pig.  After all, he was an uncommon pet and, unfortunately, no one except Josée and I spent enough time with him to see how sweet he was, how he loved us and communicated with us (pigs can make up to 20 different noises you know!!) and how his cute little habits, like poking his head out of the dog house when we came home or knocking over the metal food bowl so we’d let him in at the door or sneaking away to a quiet corner to eat a bun, grew on us til he held a most special place in our lives.  Some people couldn’t get their heads around the fact we had a pet pig and he lived in the house at night, just like our dogs and cats.  Some people experienced the dreaded Monty nip as he tried to keep his place in our social hierarchy; but they didn’t see the intimate nuzzles he gave us, the endless times he would curl up and spoon us, grunting and oinking softly as we rubbed behind his ears or along his (rather ponderous) belly.

Our vets and their staff, at Shamrock, were wonderful, very supportive and concerned, as were my parents and our friend Lynn.  Monty was near death Monday morning, his red blood count at 10 when 40-45 is normal.  Joan and Saskia said if it dipped below 10, life was not sustainable.  Through a combination of treatments, they managed to raise his count by late Monday afternoon to 15, an increase they said was encouraging.  We took him home Monday evening, scared but a little more optimistic.  We fed him Gatorade, trying to help re-hydrate him and he gulped down syringe after syringe, obviously thirsty for the fluids and nutrients.  He had a few min-seizures or spasms but these last just seconds and then he relaxed.  Eventually, he started to breathe more regularly, even snoring gently a few times – as sign of improvement we thought.  Around 2am, Monty started into a seizure from which he just couldn’t recover.  I told him he could die if he needed to, that he didn’t need to fight anymore, that he didn’t owe us anything; anthropomorphizing, I know, but I loved him and I think he knew that even if he didn’t understand my words.  He started to hold his breath between spasms and then finally took one big breathe, exhaled over my cheek and he was gone.  I never knew the meaning of the expression broken heart until that moment but I do now.

I lay with Monty, soaking his peaceful, smiling face with my tears.  Mum and Dad arrived and gave us some hugs, as they’d done at the vet in the day time.  They didn’t say much and didn’t need to as just their support was nice.  We wrapped Monty in his blanket and I slept in the room with him; Josée slept with Tegan and Jack, our dogs, who were aware something had happened but weren’t quite sure what.  This morning, I got up and in the rain, dug a grave for Monty, a nice spot on the ridge near our ponds.  I think we’ll plant a dwarf apple tree on his grave because he loved apples!  Mum and Dad came back down and helped us move Monty to his grave; it was a very sad moment but I’m glad we buried him on our place.  Maybe I’ll put a bench up beside the apple tree as well for us to sit and reflect on the fun and loving times we had with Monty.

My grief is made worse by the tremendous sense of guilt I have.  Monty stopped eating on Friday and that should have been the number one warning sign but I downplayed it, thinking he maybe had a cold or just was feeling under the weather.  I should have taken him to the vet at that point to be sure and, while Monty probably would, I will never forgive myself.  Everyone says that I shouldn’t feel guilty, that it was “just his time” or a cliché of that ilk but they really don’t know and it doesn’t make it any easier, nor does it ease my feelings.  My guilt may never leave me but I know in time I will be able to remember Monty without the pain.  Until then, I will keep my pain beside me as it serves as a reminder of how much I loved Monty.

Thank you for your messages and condolences.  We have no children but Monty was our baby.  I think he had a short but sweet life with us and we were blessed to have him in our lives.  Rest, my little pig Monty – I’ll always love you.

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Categories: Family & Friends, Pets | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Merry Christmas from Knight Rd!

Another year nearly done and dusted.  It’s been a good one for us out here on Knight Road but busy – very busy.  I want to say that we’re going to tone it down a little in 2012 but it’s probably not true.  I’ll have to examine that in my 2012 goals – details to come!

Anyway, please click here to read our Christmas letter and we hope to see you over the holidays.  Josée and I are staying home so if you’d like to come over for a visit, please do!  Have a very happy and safe Christmas season and a prosperous 2012.

Cheers!

Categories: Family & Friends, General interest | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

And the winner is…

The 2nd Annual Trivia Tourney was a good success once again, with over 70 participants who helped raise $1500 toward cancer research in BC.  The silent auction was a big hit; many thanks to our business sponsors who included Blackfin Pub, Colonial Countertops, Gordon Hearing Services, Home Depot, Ben Davies Financial Planning, Flip Flop Shops, Steve Williamson Photography, Tami Varney Massage, as well as a few individual donors.  Winner of the jelly bean draw was Mike Sutcliffe who submitted an amazingly accurate guess of 247 when the actual number of beans was 244.  Following five rounds of trivia, one of which was a speed round, we had three teams which rose to the top; the outright winners were Myra, Trevor, Theresa, Steph and Amy with a score of 52 out of a possible 70 correct answers.  Congratulations!  Last years winners provided strong competition, finishing in second.

Thanks again to all players – we appreciate your support.  Our ride is in mid-June but we’ll have some more updates before we depart.  See you next year!

PS..don’t forget – Boccé approaches…

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Categories: Family & Friends, General interest, Trips & Events | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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