2014 was a busy year, full of happys and sads, and thankfully only a few bads.
The year started out with a major sad. A talented motocross rider, and close friend of our son, broke his back while attempting a double front flip on his bike. He’s paralyzed from the waist down, but his spirit is incredible and he continues to live life to the fullest. We wish him all the best.
Roxy had her 11th birthday in January. She’s starting to go blind and it’s rather heartbreaking to watch as she becomes timid and unsure.
We vacationed in Ixtapa, Mexico mid January. Despite all sorts of setbacks, we had an amazing time, and I hope one day to make it back there.
Beautiful sunsets awed us every evening.
Isla Ixtapa from our room
The crocodile habitat gave us many hours of fascinating entertainment
Playa Cuachalate, Isla Ixtapa
We spent one lovely day wandering around Zihuatanejo. This is Playa Municipal.
As usual, I did several posts about the trip with tons of photos. You can click Here for the first one, then use the ‘next’ button on the top right-hand side to scroll through to find the rest.
When we returned home, Hubby bought a recumbent bike and started pedalling every morning. Still off work and waiting for an MRI, the bike offers a good workout without his knee pain flaring up.
More upheaval at my work in January resulted in a promotion to acting administrator. I wasn’t keen to take on the job and talk about stress…
Our youngest son (S#3) attended the Sundance Film Festival in January.
February was an excellent month and a torturous month.
My sequel to Show No Weakness, It’s Complicated, was contracted with Sweet Cravings Publishing. I immediately became immersed in edits, blurbs, and all those (not so) fun things.
Poor little Roxy developed some weird affliction on her nose that had us worried. It eventually healed up and is shiny black now.
But it was nothing compared to the worry when our DIL in NL was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Thankfully, after having part of her thyroid removed, she needed no further treatment. What a scare.
Around the same time as her cancer ordeal, our bright little lawyer moved from private practice to the prosecution’s office. Look out bad guys!
We got a new roof on our house in March. We also did bathroom renos. It looks so much better, although the tub reglazing fumes were deadly and nearly did me in.
I flew to Alberta in March to visit my oldest son (S#1) and his family. My grandson’s skating lesson brought back memories of all the rink time with my own three boys.
The unseasonably nice weather enabled us to visit the Calgary Zoo.
There’s more zoo photos HERE
Hubby finally had his MRI in April. His meniscus is basically pounded flat and surgery won’t correct it. So, he embarked on a strenuous exercise and rehab program and has become much fitter, currently having lost about 45 pounds. I strongly admire his drive and dedication.
As part of the whole healthy and fit philosophy, we sold our powerboat and bought a kayak last spring. Although neither of us had ever used a tandem sit-on kayak, we anxiously awaited the warmer weather to try it out.
Every month my yard offered a new delight, starting with the NanKing Cherry.
A post with many more blooms from my yard can be found HERE.
We made a quick trip to Vancouver at the beginning of May. We managed one long, lovely walk between rain showers.
Notice little Roxy sitting at the base of this Granville Island totem pole.
Naturally, I have more photos HERE
Not to be outdone, my own little rhododendron put on a spectacular show.
Buying the kayak created a snowball effect. We sold the truck and bought a Nissan Rogue, then outfitted the SUV with roof racks and a bike carrier.
Hubby filled the void for my missing boys on Mother’s Day by fixing Mom and me a lovely brunch, then we spent the afternoon at Knox Mountain and the waterfront.
I blogged about it HERE
My grandsons were thrilled with a visit from Thomas the Train.
My middle son (S#2) and DIL went to Florida in May, wisely not telling Mama about their skydiving plans until afterwards.
They also had some fun at Disneyworld. (Look at that smile. Once a boy, always a boy)
They capped off a great trip with scuba diving and swimming with the manatees.
I set a goal to trek the entire length of the Mission Creek Greenway this summer. It’s 33 kms of there-and-back hiking on varied terrain. We did about 7 kms in mid May.
I submitted a manuscript to Wild Rose Press in April, and in May they asked for revisions and to resubmit. Luckily, my changes were accepted, and in June the story was contracted under the title Dare To Risk All.
Hubby’s father visited at the end of May. Despite drizzly weather, we managed to take in some fresh air. We even visited the Kettle Valley Trestles.
At the start of June, we hiked Knox Mountain’s lower Apex Trail and then over to Paul’s Tomb. 5.5 kms total distance and vertical climb of 190 metres.
We did lots of walking and biking in our neighbourhood throughout the spring and summer. Nerve pain in my neck and shoulders occasionally prevented me from carrying Roxy in her sling, and I became one of those people. She loved it.
All eight siblings celebrated Mom’s birthday in June.
Just because I made Roxy sit beside her cousin Ace, didn’t mean she had to look at her.
The tiger lilies were exquisite this year.
Later in June, we hiked Knox Mountain’s upper Apex trail. It was longer and more strenuous than the lower trail: 2.5 kms compared to only 1.8 kms for the lower trail, with a vertical change of 170 metres compared to 90 metres.
The end of June, we took a 600 kms road trip to Alberta. We hadn’t driven that route for years and were pleased with the road improvements. The Rocky Mountains were still as picturesque as I remembered.
Kicking Horse River near Field, BC. Love the colour of the water.
I posted many more mountain shots HERE
While in Alberta, we went to the Science Centre with the kids.
And took many spins around the neighbourhood while Grandson #1 learned to ride his new birthday scooter.
Roxy didn’t like her cousin Sukie any better than her cousin Ace, but that didn’t stop her from being bossy.
As usual, we spent Canada Day taking in the sights and sounds on the waterfront.
At the beginning of July, I made the tough decision to quit my job. It had become too stressful and the negative impact on my health was no longer worth it. Coincidently, the week after I finished work, Hubby happily returned to his job after having over a year off with his injury.
Look at the brave little cowboy riding the mechanical bull at the Calgary Stampede.
And this little cowboy is totally adorable roping cows.
Finally, in July, the lake was warm enough to venture out in our new kayak. We picked Sutherland Bay for its quiet surroundings and ease of launching, and had a remarkably good time.
Good view of Knox Mtn from the water.
The third week of July we tackled another part of the Mission Creek Greenway. 13 kms of mostly flat trail.
We kayaked the south end of the lake, the end of July. While we enjoyed it, too much boat traffic made us nervous and the resulting waves made for hard paddling.
The most anticipated visit of the summer happened when S#1’s family came home in August. I had a full week of Grammy heaven.
Littlest grandson wasn’t too sure about his new birthday scooter.
The bunkbeds finally got some use.
We took many trips around the block.
A day at Rotary Marshes and Waterfront Park
The boys got reacquainted with their cousins. What’s more fun than a bunch of little boys and some bubbles?
True to their personalities, our oldest grandson had a blast in the pool, while the younger one was more cautious.
After numerous problems with both my ancient laptop and the little travel netbook, I bought a new laptop. It’s an HP Pavilion convertible and only 13.6 inches, so good for travelling. Surprisingly, I’m not having much difficulty with Windows 8.1 or the new Word program.
I finally started my brain retraining in August using the Gupta Program. I noticed almost immediate improvements in some areas, but have since slid back a bit and need to renew my efforts in the New Year. I blogged about my experience with the program HERE.
We did lots of biking in the summer, the bike carrier allowing us to explore other parts of town. We biked the Abbott Street corridor and on to Knox Mountain and back. Great fun. My first off-road adventure was at Mission Creek. I was a little nervous in places.
We also did the Rails to Trails. An easy trail where I felt secure.
Our third and last kayak of the season took place in August. Again, boat traffic took the edge off our enjoyment. I look forward exploring smaller lakes next summer.
S#3 took a trip of a lifetime to South Africa in August, spending six weeks in Johannesburg directing his own full-length movie. He capped off the trip with a visit to St Lucia, on the coast. What an incredible experience.
As always, the petunias put on a cheery late summer display of colour.
Lucky S#2 and DIL went to Italy at the beginning of September. Two beautiful people in beautiful settings—what could be better?
We did more biking along the Mission Creek Greenway in September.
On our various strolls along the waterfront, Roxy and I got up close and personal with the infamous Ogopogo.
We hiked part of the Scenic Canyon section of Mission Creek Greenway in September. I’d been looking forward to this one for quite a while. Only about 6 kms, but far more vertical than other parts of the greenway.
An unexpected dump of snow gave my little grandsons a few days of outdoor fun in mid September.
Directly after returning from his trip to S Africa, S#3 stayed with us to work on the third of the Nightmare movies, A Wife’s Nightmare, being shot locally.
We wrapped up the final section of Scenic Canyon at the end of September, completing the entire 33 km length of Mission Creek Greenway. This was by far the most arduous hike, about 6 kms, with plenty of steep vertical challenges.
I received my cover for Dare To Risk All in September. I absolutely love it, but am waiting for a release date before I do a cover reveal.
After sulking all summer, the alyssum showed their gorgeous colour as the weather cooled.
On a balmy, sunny day in October, we returned to a section of Mission Creek to explore it further. Bonus for me was spotting this little snake. It disappeared quickly into the grass, so I had to haul the little guy back onto the trail to take its picture.
I posted many photos of our summer adventures HERE, if you care to see more.
Edits on Dare To Risk All were completed in October and I’m now just waiting on a release date. Hopefully it’ll be soon in 2015.
We took what I hope will become an annual road trip to Alberta to celebrate Thanksgiving with S#1 and his family. Once again, I was thoroughly in awe of the spectacular scenery.
Kicking Horse River
Our grandson has progressed from skating lessons to hockey practice.
We spent a day at Heritage Park. We hadn’t been there for years and I found it quite nostalgic.
More on that visit can be found HERE
Without delving into the whole sport hunting controversy (which I abhor), I quite enjoyed Bass Pro and all their amazingly realistic displays.
Such fun to watch my favourite CFL team practice at McMahon Stadium. I spent many teenage years watching the Stampeders play there.
We celebrated S#1 and DIL’s birthday’s at the Calgary Tower Restaurant. Hubby and I had gone there on our honeymoon, so it was special to go with the little ones.
Our Christmas cactus is actually a Halloween cactus and this year it outdid itself.
So proud of my tiny little niece for all her hard work and dedication. She took 1st place in a body building competition. Meet Miss Fit.
We had a cold snap in November with a big snowfall, but it soon melted and we ended up with a green Christmas.
My adorable little 6 yr old grandson lost a bunch of teeth all at once.
I’m having to adjust to my Christmas traditions evolving a little bit every year. This year, S#3 and Mom joined us for turkey dinner on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning was quiet as Hubby, S#3 and I opened our few gifts while pigging out on tasty cinnamon buns. We spent the afternoon at my sister’s, so I could get my little children fix, then home for leftovers, which tasted just as good the second day.
Two of my best gifts.
As the year closes, I’ve finished another book, and I now need to decide where to send it off.
I wish everyone a healthy, loving and fun 2015!