I haven’t been at my computer a lot lately which is great as my bottom tends to take on the shape of my chair when I sit here for too long, ya know?  Or at least it feels like it.  We’ve just been really busy.  My Dad and brother are up from California for a visit and also to help us with the plumbing in the basement.  My Dad is a plumber so we begged, pleaded and cajoled asked him to come up and help us.  I’m so thankful that he and my brother agreed to make the trip.

Not only is the progress on the basement coming along beautifully but we are really enjoying our time with them.  My brother, Phil, has the uncanny ability to make me pee my pants laughing more than once a day.  Fortunately I’ve managed to retain most of my urinary continence despite his repeated attempts at the contrary.  And when I am not about to pee my pants laughing, I am usually squirting vast amounts of laughter induced tears out of my tear ducts.  Few other people have this power over me, with a couple of noteworthy exceptions.

Besides plumbing we’ve been just enjoying the wonderful weather and scenery and getting out of the house together.  The other day we went out to Banff.  We took Dad and Phil on a hike up Johnston Canyon where we went just about a month ago for the first time.

Mr. Bear greeted us at the beginning of the popular trail.


I can’t take a hike without taking pictures of tiny flowers and berries and such along the way…

purple flower

white flowers

perfect berries

This time I actually saw the lower falls and it was so beautiful.

JC lfalls1

JC lfalls2


These little falls are nothing like Yosemite Falls or anything spectacular like that but the color of the water just makes me want to leap in and go for a swim.



After buying a dry suit of course…  And after taking a course in “What to do if you or a part of you suddenly freezes.”



Here’s my boy in front of the falls with Uncle Phil.

B Uncle Phil

Why do I love this picture so much?

B smile falls

Can you tell from this picture that his front left (his left) tooth is very loose?  It is.  He will not let me pull it though, the little turkey!  I want nothing more than to get my grubby (I would wash them) little hands on that tooth and yank it to kingdom come but he wants it to fall out naturally.  Nature boy.  Probably will start buying organic milk and raising free range chickens the minute he leaves the nest.

Here he is flaunting his loose tooth to me and yet not letting me yank it to kingdom come. (Actually you can’t really tell it’s even loose from this picture… but it is, I promise.)

B close up loose tooth

After the short hike up the falls we ate lunch and then headed to Two Jack Lake for some relaxation in the warm summer sun.  It was so hot that my daring big brother decided to take a dip in the not quite tepid glacial run-off waters of the lake.

Phil swim


And in case you didn’t catch the sarcasm there, “not quite tepid” is French for “human goose bump.”

phil swim2

Phil swim1

In other words, I think he wished that he had brought his wet suit.  The crazy fool brave soul made it half-way across the lake before realizing that his heart rate was about to slow to that of a frog’s in a Canadian winter.

The rest of us smart folk wimps  stayed safely in the warmer waters on shore.

b in water

C water

T log

t look

I love this lake.


I want to come here often.  I think I am going to have to buy a canoe one of these days.  How fun does this look?  (Nevermind the man who looks like he wants to take my head off for taking his picture without permission.)

clipper canoe dog

The Dads napped and the children played in the water and tried to catch minnows and I took pictures.



t life preserver

bfishing5 BOKEH




T lake

After our afternoon at the lake we had to take my brother to The Banff Springs Hotel.  Everyone has to go there and see how beautiful and majestic this place is, the building of which was comissioned by Queen Victoria.

I am now about to try and sound like one of those cheesy tourist videos that you buy before you go on a trip and you are super annoyed because the  music as well as the clothing on the people in the film suggest that the place is stuck in 1989 in the vortex of  an eternal time warp.  Some of its noteworthy features are its grandiose facades…


The countless number of Canadian flags…

Canadian Flag

Impressive size…

building stretch

Cool light fixtures…


light fixtures

Intimidating great halls…

great hall

Striking terrace views…

terrace view

and Expensive Gift Shops…

The place is filled with all sort of shops that I am afraid to go into because I have children and the likelihood of them breaking something seems to multiply greatly when there are high dollar items involved.  But can I just confess something very materialistic to you all?  I really want this bird.

art bird

He’s so stinkin’ cute!

And then we all went home and promptly fell fast asleep.

The End.

8 thoughts on “We've been busy…

  1. Nan,
    Random question here-is the Uncle Phil in your pics an OPCer? Hope I don’t freak you out since I am really just a lurker on your site, but that guy looks so familiar, and I attended the OPC in SF for a while…

    Leah’s last blog post..Houston BBQ

  2. What a beautiful place. I’ve never been to Canada but would love to some day. And that bird is cute…how much is he?

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