Monday, March 21, 2011


This past weekend we were in the Toronto area, due to the AGM of the Ontario Woodlot Association. I’m on the executive, and am also the chair of the business development committee, so a busy weekend! Nolan dropped me off at the hotel in Milton on Friday afternoon, after which he went back to Toronto to spend the night and next day with Tina and Riley. I, on the other hand attended a very successful, albeit long business development committee meeting. By the time the meeting was done, I was done as well! First a long drive, then a long meeting. But it was all worth it. The next day was the actual conference and AGM, which was interesting. It always provides great opportunities to network, as well as to catch up with people you see about once a year. Every year, there is a silent auction in support of the AGM, and last year Nolan tried to get a miniature wooden skidder, but in the end someone else got to take it home. This year, they had a very similar one, and I decided to bid on it. Luckily for us, I was able to offer the highest bid, which was well under last year’s highest bid J
The highlight of the business meeting was, of course, the election of the board members. I was once again elected to the board, and on top of that, I received the highest number of votes (together with the current president!). I have to admit I stand out a bit with most members having reached retirement age, and male…
Nolan picked me up at the end of the meeting, after which we went back to Toronto (again), to visit Carrie. She lives really close to downtown (you can see the CN tower from her window, which is about 3km away…), and we walked to a nice little Mexican restaurant on
Queen Street
. The food was great, but the margaritas and sangria made the night! The next morning we left fairly early to drive back to Ottawa. The weather was awesome, lots of sun, which made the drive so much easier. All weekend, and most of last week, it felt like spring was in the air, so nice! But today we got a brutal wake-up call that winter has not forgotten about us just yet. As of yet, we received about 10 cm of snow, covering the grass that had just started to appear again. Ironically enough, we are getting our summer tires put on the car today. Maybe not so wise?!
The Invisalign is going really well. It’s an adjustment that I have to take them out every time I eat, which can be a bit of a hassle at events such as last weekend’s, but nothing too crazy. And most of all, they don’t really hurt, which is nice.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Invisalign time!

Today was (finally) the day that I could pick up my first set of Invisalign aligners (see previous post on Invisalign here). They are clear, so they are not super obvious to see, but you can definitely tell they're doing something. And they are really hard to take off, so I'll only take them off for a meal, but will have to cut down significantly on coffee and snacks. However, that could be a really nice side effect!  I wonder if my teeth will really be as straight and perfect as my dentist makes me want to believe. I guess to be continued?!

This past weekend we were in Brockville to celebrate Aimee's birthday. It was a fun, relaxed and great weekend. We ate some amazing foods, albeit too much, but it was  worth it!  I'm very blessed with my in-laws, that's for sure.

Not much else to report on. The weather has been pretty good, and the forecast is even better so hopefully some of that snow will melt soon. I went for a run on the trails today, and that was challenging, trying to manoeuvre between ice, slush and deeper snow where the sun doesn't hit the ground. But it was really, really nice to get out there again!

Oh, I guess one last thing. We have some additional animals around the house. With some of the snow melting, the raccoons decided to get out of their hiding places.  Not sure we're very happy with them, but they make for some cute pictures:

I guess it's time to bring the bird feeders in...

Good night!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Winter Wonderland

I had the pleasure of spending the past couple of days at the Petawawa Research Forest, and helped facilitate the session for the National Research Forests Research Program. Our training last week came in very handy, and the techniques we used then were a perfect fit this session.
However, part of the session was spent outdoors. We all know that the best conversations take place in the bush, right?
The PRF got close to 30 cm of snow on the weekend, which created some pretty amazing pictures.
Needless to say I love my job :)
We're apparently in for another snowstorm tonight as well, so perhaps another change to go snowshoeing!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Murphy's love affair

In one of my previous posts, I talked about Murphy's love affair with our humidifier. Here are some photos that tell the story better than a thousand words...

Training and the return of winter...

This past week I was lucky enough to take a three day training session on Learning Organization Community of Practice (LOCoP) for advanced practitioners, focusing on strategic planning. The session was facilitated and led by Sylvie Lapointe, who is an absolutely fabulous teacher. She started her own company, L2Emerge, a few years ago but used to work for CFS. If you ever need a facilitator, I highly recommend her!
The days were intensive, but very productive. The funny thing is that we never thought that we would actually talk about strategic planning, vision, etc. Beforehand I thought the session would more focus on the preparation before you facilitate a session, which we talked about as well, but it was so much more! And on top of it all, it fit in perfectly with our National Research Forests session that we planned for Monday and Tuesday.  We received some great guidelines for a 'Taking Stock' exercise. Guess what was on our agenda for Tuesday morning? Indeed: Taking Stock. We thought we would just talk about it for a bit, and move on, but now we actually have the tools to make it successful. Same for a mission statement we're trying to come up with; we now know how to tackle this effectively without it being too dry, and making sure everybody is involved and have their say!
This training also fits in very nicely with the SRI International training I took in the fall. The approaches are slightly different, but they both offer very valuable points and advice, and we'll be using both strategies next week. It is just really nice that an investment in training is actually useful.

I was supposed to leave for Petawawa this morning to guide a group of university students around the PRF, but woke up to a crazy blizzard! It was a bit unexpectedly, especially since we received 30mm of rain yesterday, and were maybe secretly hoping that winter would come to an end. No such luck! So I decided to cancel my trip, and now I'll go up tomorrow morning instead. Missed my coffee date with Krista though :(
We almost went running as well, but decided last minute that it would probably be a disaster and went snowshoeing instead. Never knew that snowshoeing in wet, fresh snow could prove to be such a great workout! We were both sweaty and had our heart rates racing! We put them on about 5 minutes from our house, and just snowshoed down the streets. There was more than enough snow, and now plough in sight! Until this afternoon of course, when we could go out and shovel the end of our driveway again. I guess being on a corner lot does have one disadvantage: we seem to be getting an awful lot of snow dumped on our driveway. And consequently, our snowbank is the highest in the street!