Sunday, September 26, 2010


I am currently in Jasper, Alberta, and it's absolutely fabulous around here! I was asked to go here in preparation of our annual employee forum which will also be held in Jasper, in November.  For some reason, I became heavily involved with the organization of the forum this year, and several of our partners are currently in Jasper to attend the Canadian Institute of Forestry's AGM and Conference. It's a great opportunity for me to make some very valuable contacts, and it allows me to sit in on some of the sessions of the conference and attend the board meetings. The fact that it is held in Japser, really, is the icing on the cake! Below are some photos to leave you with an impression of the area. After the board meetings this afternoon, Nancy and I went for a walk, which gave us a great chance to get a better idea of the area. Enjoy :-)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Some first impressions: photos of the new house

Just some photos this time! More photos will be added later on...

The family room

Living room


Dining room

Stair case

Monday, September 20, 2010

Moved in!

Well, sort of. We had hired movers for Thursday, and that was the best investment ever! They were very professional, quick, smart and amusing, and they didn't break anything! It would have taken us days to do what they did in less than 5 hours. We thought we'd left some 'small stuff' behind, which would be easy enough for us to move (personal stuff, some clothes, etc).  Even that small stuff took all of Friday morning... It's amazing how much stuff one accumulates in a few years. Especially when you have a house where you can hide most of it.  But everything is in our new house now, and the kitchen, living room, dining room, our bedroom and bathroom are somewhat organized. It still needs some (a lot!) of personal touches, but it's getting there. The garage is still full of stuff, so is the basement, and the other bedrooms as well.  Really, we're just spoiled with our new house, and it will take time making it the way we want it. But we have lots of time, especially since this time we're planning on actually staying here for many years.

Tonight, we cleaned up the yard. Nolan cut the grass (lots of it!), and I trimmed the tree down in front of our house. Now we can actually see when we're leaving the drive way. Working outside was a good way to meet some of the neighbours as well, and so far all the neighbours seem really nice. Very friendly, everybody walked over to say hi, and it feels very welcoming. So overall, we are very happy with this house, and it's location. I'll take some pictures tomorrow, and will post them.

This past weekend was also the Army Run. We'd signed up for the half marathon, but with everything else going on, and looking at all the things we still wanted to do at the house, we decided to skip it this time. Maybe not a bad thing...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall is in the air!

It is! The days are noticeably getting shorter, I have to turn the lights on now when I get up at 6 am; the leaves are starting to turn, and the amount of rain we've had in the past 2 weeks definitely makes up for the lack of rain earlier this year.  But I'm not complaining, not at all! This morning, when I finally rode my bike again to work (it's been too wet lately), the trails looked so appealing and beautiful. Time to get our trail running shoes out and hit the trails.  That is one major advantage of our new house, we'll be even closer to all the great trails we are surrounded by.  Love them!

And since some people asked, here are some photos of our new house (we're getting keys tomorrow night!). The furniture, obviously, is the previous owner's. But as soon as we are somewhat moved in, I'll addsome new pictures.
The front of the house.

The Kitchen

The deck :-)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Packing, packing and some more packing

Boxes, lots of boxes! We packed up most of our house now, which is a great feeling. The garage is completely full with boxes, it looks like we're pro hoarders at the moment, but it will be easier for the movers to quickly pick up the boxes, put them in the truck, and hopefully makes the whole move a bit easier and quicker. There are still a few items to pack: all our clothes and several loose items, but Nolan has tomorrow night to do some of that as well... I'm off to Renfrew for an Ontario Woodlot Council meeting.

Fertile decided to pack her own box...

And so did Murphy...

And Nolan...

And I helped as well...

We are taking Thursday and Friday off for the move, but this week is quite busy for the both of us at work as well. We sure know how to stay busy, but also happy! Oh, and we also signed up to run a half marathon Sunday morning, the Army Run here in Ottawa. Not sure how, and if, that will go.

We had a final look at the new house tonight, to make sure everything is ok, and we both felt a surge of excitement through our bodies! We realize there is quite a bit that needs to be done to make it our own, but that's mostly cosmetic. For example, it needs colour, all the walls are some cream colour, and also haven't been painted in 10 years; it still has the original light fixtures, which are absolutely hideous! Similar to the ones we all replaced in our current house, and once that was done, the difference was amazing. So we know what we can do, and will do, to make it our own. I guess we have our work cut out for us this winter, and the coming year(s)...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Montreal Marathon: the aftermath

It’s been 4 days now since we ran those famous 42.2 km, and we’re starting to feel more human. Stated, we both took a hot bath Monday night to loosen up our quads, and we’ve gone for a few walks to prevent those muscles too much from stiffen up. The first couple of days were almost funny: you need about 15 minutes to get out of the car. Going down the stairs backwards? We’re masters at it now! Going to the bathroom becomes an interesting adventure and Nolan and I both admitted to using the handicapped stalls because the toilets are higher…
But today, we can both tell that we’re almost back to normal. Well, except for a sharp pain at the bottom of my left foot that came out of nowhere last night. I’ll ice it with the water bottle (fantastic trick for plantar fasciitis!), to soothe it, and that will hopefully do the trick.

Only 8 more nights in our current house, and a whole house to pack up! But we’re both very excited about the new place, and can’t wait to move in and make it our own. Too bad that a week after we move in, I’ll be leaving Nolan alone for a trip to Jasper. Yes indeed, rough life :-)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Montreal Marathon: a report

Well, yesterday was the day: The Montreal Marathon! We left for Montreal Saturday morning, taking Debby with us who would run the the 10k.  The hotel was right across the Race Expo, so we sure didn't waste any energy there. Afterwards we went for a stroll through Old Montreal, and found a place for dinner (and yes, we had pasta, and a glass of wine!). We called it a night early on, to make sure we'd be well rested. After a very decent night sleep, we woke up around 6 am which gave us enough time to get ready. We took the metro to the start, and after we got on I realized I forgot my Garmin watch. Oh well, now we could not keep track of our pace, and it forced us to listen to our body. Which in the end probably was a good thing.
Luckily there was a bag-check at the beginning, which was great because the start and the finish were not at the same location. The start was on top of the Jacques Cartier Bridge, and during the first part of the race, we ran on the Formula 1 track! At around 11km, we had to cross the next bridge, to get into the harbour, and that's when we really started feeling the wind! And that wind would never leave us alone. The course itself was quite hilly, which we trained for. But the wind was a factor we had not anticipated, and which is really hard to train for! At one point, we turned around the corner, and the wind was so strong, it made my backpack move! It didn't matter what direction we were running, the wind was turning all the time, maybe due to the taller buildings and open spaces? Several times we ran uphill and in the wind, which is fine early on, but after 35 km it becomes very challenging. On the up side, it didn't rain, and the temperature was great.
The finish was great, though. You run a final loop in the Olympic Stadium, and the moment you enter the stadium, we were both swallowing back tears! Very impressing.
All in all it was a good race; the organization was pretty good, and although we did not meet our goal time (4:45), we both feel we should do another one at some point to redeem ourselves! But there is no rush :-) Right now, we're trying to soothe our sore legs, and take it easy. The next half marathon is in two weeks, and we're hoping to do well there. However, it's the same weekend we're moving into our new home, so we'll see how that will actually play out!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Last minute preparations

With the marathon less than 48 hours away, we're really into the last minute preparations. So what did we do? We went out for dinner and shared a small Greek pizza, a nice house salad, and, of course, a beer. Beer is mainly carbs, right? But we behaved ourselves somewhat and didn't go overboard. And we walked to the restaurant, to move our legs a little bit, without overdoing it.
We packed all our staff tonight, made sure we have enough running clothes, gels, beans, water packs, hats, extra clothes, etc etc.
The weather has cooled down a bit; up until today it's been 30 degrees every single day but rain and a thunderstorm broke the heat.  And, the forecast for Sunday is promising: overcast, 17 degrees and a slight chance of showers. Sounds good to me! We feel ready, and are looking forward to the actual race. We haven't run much this week, and our bodies are starting to tell us that we need to get moving!
Of course, a race report will follow early next week. I'll also start writing about other things than running, because trust me, there is more going on in our lives! Such as, moving into a new house...