Wednesday, 23 January 2013


 I spent 4 days in Rossland with the twins and here I am to tell abou it.  Friday, I had Dave to help out for the morning and everything went so well - they love Grampa!  Saturday, the boys went in the chariot behind their skate-skiing father and had a good walk at Black Jack.  Andrea figures Atley walked about a km on Saturday.  Saturday afternoon I looked after the boys while A & D ski toured.  We played for an hour and then they slept for two so that went well.  Monday, I looked after them on my own and we had some challenges.  Getting them ready to go outdoors is the formidable task - while one is getting dressed the other is playing with the floor lamps.  They love those lamps and really want to see some breakage, I fear.  At Strong Start everyone played well although Miro did manage to bop himself with the small snow shovel they had at playtime.  Glad to see he's getting ready for snow shoveling in his future - Rossland gets snow! I had two sleeping and tired guys by the time we walked home from play time.  Luckily, a bright sunny day allowed them to have a sunny snow snooze in the chariot.   The boys love walking around in their parents' hut booties as shown here.
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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

More NJ

 We took Callie for a walk at Great Swamp, a fine birdwatching place in NJ.  It's amazing how many "wild" places you can find in NJ when there are roads EVERYWHERE.  There's a couple of feeder stations where we observed, chickadees, nuthatches, a titmouse and juncos.  We saw several cardinals while visiting, but only in the residential areas.  I do like Great Swamp; it's got a few km of hiking trails, some good observation posts, and plenty of birds.  The din of civilisation is constantly heard, however.
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Tuesday, 15 January 2013


 We saw so many homes exactly like this one while in NJ.  The Americans are BIG on wreaths, wreaths, wreaths.  There are also hundreds of homes in this basic style.  I was a bit disappointed in the "winter lights" (I'm still using ours because it's so darn dark in the Koots), but decoration with greenery is huge in the USA.  As I ran many of the roads, brightly garlanded mailboxes greeted me along the way.  Happy New Year, all!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Visiting Duke Farm

 One place that we visited while in NJ was Duke Farm, a huge old estate that has become an environmental education centre.  It was a great place for a walk and the building which housed the "environmental education bit" was lovely.  The billboards didn't really say anything we haven't heard thousands of times before.  The estate was originally owned by a tobacco baron,  and his daughter who inherited the property,  left her fortune to environmental and cultural heritage enhancement.  It's estimated that she left over $400 million to "charity".  I liked the electric vehicles shown here, and the old Victorian greenhouse was a gem.  There's some interesting female statuary in one "garden" and plenty of places to walk.  Of course, the entire thing is bordered by several of NJ's very busy roadways.  Plenty of Hurricane Sandy damage evident on this estate, too.
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Sunday, 13 January 2013

Hurricane Sandy

 This is a pretty typical scene from the area around Bernardsville, NJ.  I managed to do quite a few runs during my days in the east and everywhere I walked or ran, scenes of partially cut up logs, new power poles, piles of brush awaiting pickup, and snapped off trees were a major part of the landscape.  On the last two days we were in NJ, I could hear plenty of  power saws and chippers going - it was just like being back in B.C. during springtime.  There are lots of "dining out" stories from the residents - how they were affected by Sandy.
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