LOMAH - Land of Milk and Honey

Just living life here in the Promised Land, Southern Alberta. Where the Mountains meet the prairie in a stunning sunset, surrounded in fields of gold

Kayking - S Bend

An old picture, surfing the S Bend on the Red Deer River with Denali keeping a watchful eye. It was a perfect day, surrounded by perfect friends.

Family in Waterton

A summer hike with the family and Grandparents. It was a typical Waterton day with some wind and sun. Logan hiked the whole way in to Bertha Falls

Loves of my Life

The first two loves of my life together in one picture. I remember when they came into my life, making me whole.

Me in the Broken Group

I think this is my favourite picture from last year. We did a sea kayaking trip to the Broken Group and had 4 glorious days of sun. It was a capped off with the company of great friends.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Paris: Day 4

It is officially 2011 here in Paris and I think this is the first blog post for 2011 and it's in another country to boot! In fact this trip represents the first postings to LOMAH off the continent.  It has been a whirlwind tour with Dora and I barely touching ground before we are whisked away back to Canada.  In fact, we just finished packing for our return flight home in 8hr, with our hotel departure in 4hr!

 Today was a "Work" day with Dora and I in a conference for the morning, learning about how to be a good group leader for an EF tour.  It was surprizing how much good information I got from the people giving the conference.  Things to think about over the next few months.
Our free time after the conference was consumed with walking the streets of Paris, shopping and cafe life.   I think these pictures capture it quite well.

After our free time we met back up with the group to head out for supper and our New Years festivity.  We ended up at a pub called the Great Canadian Pub that was full of Canadian memorabilia such as what follows.

If you can't make out the Ryder pride, then too bad for you!  It would have been perfect if Canada had won their hockey game and there were less foreigners and more Canadians at the bar.  Why do I have to deal with Americans in my pub!
We headed back to our hotel a little before 1AM as Dora and I were both tired.  It was a quick ride back on the Metro and done.  Now if we can get a few hours sleep, it would be perfect.
See you all soon on day 4!

Paris: Day 3

With Dora and I adjusted a bit more to the time change and a night of real sleep we were ready.  Dora had a good sleep and did I, but I found myself up by 5 AM, unable to get back asleep.  With our stuff packed up we headed downstairs for the bus and were off.  With the first part of the tour being a bus trip around Paris, we found Dora unexpectedly ill due to the sudden start stop motion of city driving.   If Calgary driving is bad, then Paris is truly a step up!
By the time we had got to Versailles, Dora was pretty sick.  We walked around for a bit to get some fresh air into her, but it wasn't enough.  Dora decided to have a short break while I went through the palace  It was pretty spectacular, but to be honest, the opulence and wow factor starts to become a bit overwhelming.  Plus the gardens were not in bloom, which I suspect makes the trip of Versailles.  I guess that will have to wait till next time.

We headed back to Paris with Dora feeling much better.  Some free time in Paris had us walking the streets and eating supper in the Latin Quarter.  The meal was delicious and was finished in time for our boat trip and tour up the Eiffel tower.  The evening again seemed to be the highlight of our day with Dora and I running down the Eiffel tower, looking at the sights as we went.  What a day.... I guess we have one more to go!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Paris: Day 1, no wait day 2!

After a night of flying and attempting to sleep as a contortionist with a pillow the size of a large wallet, we arrived in Paris.  EF Tours were easy to find and the transfer to the bus and hotel was easy and simple.   A nice touch considering our French is poor and our cognitive ability even worse. We dropped off our baggage, washed our faces and hit the ground running!

Our first lesson was a quick session on how to use the metro in case we got separated, followed by a quick ride to downtown Paris.  While our hotel was outside of Paris proper, in Nanterre, it was a short 5-10min metro ride to downtown Paris.  Up the stairs and Voila!

We had an excited Dora and some amazing architecture in sight!  In fact, we couldn't help but pose for a quick photo with the standard landmark in the background.  The weather was cool but comfortable as we made our way West to another famous site.

Directly to the West of the Concorde, the largest open plaza in Paris was the Louvre, that famous art museum that used to be the residence of the king before he moved to Versailles.  The size of the building is hard to comprehend, especially considering the size of some of the other buildings.  With some quick instructions we were given about 2hr to explore this monstrosity of a building filled with some amazing pieces of art.  To say it was overwhelming would be an understatement and combined with our sleep deprived state, much of the tour was like a foggy wonderland.  We did of course, see the famous Mona Lisa as well as the wedding feast of Cana, a 20ft x 30ft painting.  While the Mona Lisa was an impressive thing to see, the large format portraits, the paints that took up entire walls were more impressive to me as well as the building itself.  Dora was quite amazed by some of the tapestries as well. Too much for 21 day, never mind 2hr.

At this point we came to realize that we were starving!  So at 5:30 we were off for another quick metro ride to dinner.  The restaurant was this quaint spot that appeared to be out of the way in Paris, the food was good, but left me wanting to explore the culinary options more.  We had planned on heading back to the hotel after dinner, but an espresso later and the offer of a trip to the top of the arch de triumph resulted in a change of plans.  

This was probably my highlight for the day.  The night enveloping Paris and the lights shining bright.  284 steps later and we had much of the city in our sights.  The Eiffel tower was an obvious focal point with may other landmarks in sight.  The arch itself was an impressive site to see at night with a warm glow of light covering its sculptures and art reliefs.  What a day!

Back at the hotel we weren't sure if we were tired, exhausted or on our fourth wind... regardless, we'll try and get some sleep.

Special thanks again for those people that made this trip possible, it's been such a treat to travel with Dora again.  Family... we love you and miss you.  See you soon!

Paris: Day 1

Well as luck would have it, Dora and I managed to squeak out a trip to Paris this holiday without kids.  5 DAYS OF PARENT-LESS BLISS!  We have to thank the grandparents for making this possible and the brother and sister-in-law for watching the dog.  We were already in Calgary, so the drive was quick and painless.  With time to spare after we cleared security, we relaxed and waited for out flight.  No chasing kids around the airport or making silly faces to keep a kid from crying...  Weird.  Well after 3.5hr flight to Toronto and a 7.5hr flight to Paris, we were off.  A little jet lagged, and a lot excited.  Bienvenue Paris!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010 the sequel of the sequel.

Well another Christmas has come and gone, with too much excess and a gut that is starting to show some wear and tear.  Every year I seem to have a harder time dealing with the excess food and beverage and then I come to realize that I'm actually partaking less and suffering more!  On a plus note, the company is getting better in some We spent Christmas eve out at the folks in Raymond which was a nice plus.  No driving on the morning and an easy walk to the tree.  The boys were very excited with all the toys, a good haul of Toy Story items, "Ride like the wind Bullseye!  As were the words from Logan!"  After that day of excess food and fun we headed home for a short rest, to head up to Calgary the next day.  The other side of the family were waiting for more fun.  We opened more presents and went sledding too.  As for the parents.... we get to start our Christmas present tomorrow!

Friday, December 24, 2010

My Manordinary Day

Like Dora, I recently had some time to myself.  While in Whitefish with the family earlier in November, I acquired a new pair of used skis.
From 2010.12.Xmas tree
The skis were a decent upgrade from my previous pair and the bindings were super sweet!  Hammerhead binding, an expensive pair of telemark bindings with some nice features, like a flexible pivot point and step in cables.  I was pretty excited to get them out and as luck would have it, Clay had his annual boys trip.  I refer to it as annual, but considering it's been dry for the past 2 years, once in 3 years isn't really an annual trip!  Regardless, we were off for some skiing!  We ended up with 5 man-child's in total for a weekend of stellar snow!
From 2010.12.Boys Ski Trip
It was nice to visit with Earl again (in red) having not seen him since the last annual boys trip 3 years ago!  A good work friend also came along who knew Clay from way back in Jr. high!  With the 5 of us ready for a new season of snow, we were welcomed with a big dump of fresh POW and the opening of Hell Roaring Basin for the first time this year.  I opted for the snowboard for the start of the day to take advantage of the snow and some actual skill.  I then spent the last 2 hr. of the day on my telemark skis.  It took about that long just to get comfortable on the skis again.  After the 2 days of skiing, I can say my legs were dead and my appetite was back.  Hopefully I can get Dora out the next time!  Here are a few more snow shots!
From 2010.12.Boys Ski Trip
From 2010.12.Boys Ski Trip
From 2010.12.Boys Ski Trip
From 2010.12.Boys Ski Trip

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

An Extra-Ordinary Day

So just another day, kinda. Just another girls day. Except that great stuff and crazy stuff happened all day. Maybe it was just my mood, or the fact that I'd been couped up with 2 boys for too long. Started innocently enough, with a bit of a sleep in as my alarm clock (read: Evan) slept in. In fact he didn't wake until Logan woke him with his yells for me. So, grateful for the wake up call, I headed into the boys room to see what was wrong. Of course by this time, they were both yelling "Mommy!" though not in unison. In response to my question of "what?" Logan replied, "because I was lonely for you. I wanted someone to snuggle with." Perfect logic, perfect plan. So while Evan entertained himself with the aquarium crib toy, I got to snuggle. Nice.

But because I started my morning early, I didn't have time to eat with them, but that also means I didn't have to clean it up. Nice. So dressed and presentable, I loaded myself into my car and hit Tim Horton's where the van in front of me bought my breakfast. Sweet! I didn't recognize the van, so thanks to whoever you are. The coffee was delicious. I picked up mom and we headed off to Vulcan for a quick visit with Grandma June (doing well, thank you) and my cousin Debbie popped in while we were there. Nice treat. Then we continued on to the big city to get our hair done. One stop on the way for a Taco for lunch (thanks mom) and we were at the salon. Didn't even get lost. Amazing!

Now I don't know about you, but I have a hard time finding and keeping a hairdresser. We are SO lucky to have Rachelle in the family for more than this reason, but let me tell you that girl can cut hair - and colour it, but I just stick to cuts. She gives us the family rate and we catch up on various family gossip. It sucks to have to drive to Calgary for a haircut, but let me tell you, she is worth every minute. I do not spend time doing my hair - ever. She doesn't understand how I can not make time to use a blow drier, and I don't understand how she does. But somehow, she gives me a modern fun look, that takes very little effort to maintain. AND she walks me through step by step how she wants me to style it. All this and a scalp massage for the family rate, so great!
She was particularly proud of the profile that this hair cut gives me. "It makes you look like you have a great shaped head, hon." Makes me wonder how weird my head shape was looking before...

After cuts and a colour for mom, we headed back south with a few stops for shopping and supper with Eric. I found some black dress shoes to replace the ones that I bought during my first student teaching practicum about 15 years ago. We tried all the shoe stores in Chinook and wouldn't you know that the last store that we tried had the shoes I was looking for in a 6 and they were on sale. Fate.They are just like these ones but black. And SO comfy. I am looking forward to being on my feet all day in these. Though of course in my quest to find these Clarks, I fell in love with a few others. Namely these ones. I liked the Castoro colour the best, but then they didn't have the Brandy or Red colour in the store, or my size in any colour. Bummer, though did save me some cash.
Eric took us out to Joey Tomatoes and it was really good - except for the drink. A Caesar that was all Tabasco and vodka. As the ice melted it was better. But the burger and company were great. Thanks for dinner Eric.

The crappy/exciting part was learning that my car can drive from Granum to Coalhurst on fumes. We had to hurry back so that Marco, who was selflessly single parenting at home, could head out to Tron. Dad met me at the curb in front of the house with a jerry can of gas (thanks Dad) and mom hopped out while the tank got filled and I was off. I had been joking with mom that if Marco didn't make it to his movie I would have to try to reenact it with my new reflective running tights. He didn't think that it was as funny when I told him. Too bad that Liminal isn't here earlier, I'm sure we could've whipped up a short film "Tron in Lomah". But he's watching the real thing right now. It's probably pretty good too.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Well this is number 100!  The first time in 5 years of posting to this blog that I've reached 100 posts in a year.  In fact, I've posted something like 326 posts in those 5 years.  It's a bit weird looking back over some of my posts and seeing what's changed in the past 5 years.  I can think back to even yesterday, having someone ask me what's changed and me replying "oh, not much".

I can't believe how many moves, marriages, kids and changes have occurred in these past 5 years.  I thought to celebrate this 100 posting I would post 100 pictures from the last 5 years.  You tell me if things have changed!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Xmas Time

Well the time of christmas cheer, egg-nog (oh how I dream of the "Gom-nog"), presents and xmas trees is here.  Like most Christmas we have a tradition of tree hunting, "A.K.A., spend 50 bucks in gas to stand in the snow and chop down an inferior tree."  The funny thing is we prefer the Charlie Brown trees and actually like to stand in the snow!

Last year with Evan being so young and the cold weather, we didn't venture out to cut down our tree.  This year we made a triumphant return with success!  Not only did we find a great tree, but the weather was great and the kids all had a good time.  We finished the day with some sledding and a meal of tube steaks.  Kevin, Rob and the respective spouses came  out too for a nice group and a good collection of trees.  You can see our results below.

Lastly, I was told of this rather fun site, the portable north pole.  You can customize messages from Santa here.  I did one for Logan and you can check it out here.

It was such a fun process, I made one for Dora.  You can check her's out here.