When lawn-bowling becomes an extreme sport

I come from a large family. My mom has 3 sisters and 8 brothers, so I grew up with a lot of cousins. I think the family motto is “Any reason for a party is a good reason.” We used to have family olympics when I was really young, then we had a golf tournament. I played for a few years, but then I decided I didn’t like golf so much and I volunteered to baby-sit all the kids while everyone else played golf. It worked out well, because the kids and I hung out by the pool all day, then went to the party when everyone else got back all tired and sweaty. Now, we have a lawn-bowling tournament every August.

This is brilliant for many reasons.

1. You can play while holding a drink.

2. You don’t have to be any good.

3. You can talk while playing.

This year about 75 people were there. That’s most of the family. Some people were missing.

These are a few of the lawn-bowling courts. Or fields. Or whatever. I think there were 10.

It was HOT. So hot that the weather channel had an extreme heat warning and was telling people to stay indoors and avoid any outdoor activity. I have never been so hot in my entire life, except maybe the summer I went to Spain.

There was a big tree that gave off a lot of shade where everyone collapsed after a game to cool down a little. Someone also thoughtfully brought freezer pops and water guns so we were all wet and full of sugar. The kids kept pretty cool in the turtle pool.

Here are some of my favourite moments of the day.

This face. I don’t know what she’s doing or thinking, but it’s hilarious!

My partner and I. We didn’t win, but that’s ok, we didn’t really want to. The winners had to keep playing and we just wanted to crash under the tree. I’m all wet because I thought I could outrun all the kids after I sprayed them with water. They got me back.

Dirty feet from the water fights and the dry, dusty dirt that seems to be everywhere!

Trying to get a picture of six toddlers. It was never going to happen.

It was an awesome day. I really do love my family. There are a lot of kids and babies, and that’s my favourite part. I love seeing everyone and catching up on their lives. Many of my relatives told me they read my blog, which was great! My uncle Ray really wanted me to start a yoga session so he could be featured in a special post. Hi Uncle Ray! Even thought it was hotter than the surface of the sun, it was the perfect day.

Also, on a side note, I’m thrilled to report that this is my 100th post! I’m so happy it was a post about my family.

Cottage Country

It’s been very hot and dry here all summer. So dry, in fact, that campfires are not allowed and so hot that I’ve been melting a little bit every day. I’m not complaining. I like the heat, but it does make it kind of uncomfortable to stay indoors when you live on the third floor. It’s perfect cottage weather. Sadly, I do not have a cottage. Lucky for me, some of my closest friends do! And they’re the kind of friends I can call up and say “Hey, I’m hot. I’m coming over. Save me a chair by the water.” I don’t have to wait to be invited.

If you haven’t guessed already, I spent my weekend at the cottage. There were a bunch of people there and it has never felt more like summer than it did at that moment. Or, those many moments.

The lake is accross the street, so we have to walk, like, 3 whole minutes to get to the water! It’s not a beach, and it’s a little weedy, but you just swim over the weeds and hang out in the middle of the lake with a pool noodle. In my case, it was a ginormous pink blow-up ring. A-ma-zing.

There was lots of wildlife, including, but not limited to : a beaver, some ducks, a frog, a purple dragonfly and a turtle. The beaver was swimming at the same time we were. It was strange. At one point, he was coming right towards me, but then he changed his course and headed off into some tall grass. I could hear him munching.

The ducks were obviously used to being fed, because they came really close and had this “Dude, where’s my bread?” look on their faces. We didn’t have any bread, so they dived under the water for some weed roots, or whatever it is they eat.

Also, they came really close to my feet and I was a little worried they would think my toes were berries or something, what with my toenails being painted pink and all.

What great about this cottage is that my friends used to live there, before they bought a house. Yeah, it’s kind of backwards. They’re like that. So, not only does it have everything a great cottage has, in my opinion (water, a deck, trees and beer) it also has electricity and a fully renovated bathroom. I like nature, but there are some things best done inside.

We even watched a movie after dinner on Saturday. On tape. We had to fast-forward through the previews. It was Miss Congeniality and it’s one of the movies my friend Claudine and I know by heart. We tried not to say all the lines at the same time as the characters did, but it took a lot of self-control!

On Sunday it was supposed to rain, and it did, for about 10 minutes. We didn’t even go inside. We just sat by the water and waited it out. Hopefully it rains soon, because all the leaves are starting to droop.

Sunday afternoon, we played a board game called Stone Age. I had never played before, but it was lots of fun. We played for so long that eventually, we had to bring everything inside, as the mosquitoes decided we were a good snack.

All in all, perfect cottage weekend!

Beach day

I went to the beach with my sister today. I lay in the sun, reading my book. I went swimming for the first time this summer and the water was actually warmer that I thought it would be. My biggest decision of the day was Do I want a cookie or a cracker? Sophie, my sister, and I eventually got over the traumatizing event of wearing a swimsuit out in public for the first time, and we had a fabulous day.

Sophie and her fabulous hat.

Reading my very funny book.

A synchronized foot-flip pose.


I love everything about the beach. The smell of sunblock, the sand between my toes, the picnics, the first contact of the water on my feet, the drive home with the windows open, just as the light is going soft.  I love how everything gets sandy and my hair smells like sunshine.

Today was like a preview of what’s to come. I love my job as a teacher very much, but I need the break. I feel like I have nothing left to give. In two weeks, I will be off for the whole summer. I can have as many beach days as I want, preferably with my sister or other wonderful people. I can smell the summer holidays and I love it!

Running with my camera

Today was a gorgeous day! The nicest we’ve had this spring since that freakishly hot week in March. I decided to go for a run. If I want to be a real runner, I have to run.

I drive across a bridge every time I go to yoga, and there are always people running along the water. I wanted to do that too. I discovered that my camera fits perfectly in one of the little elastic pocket things for the mini water-bottles on my fuel belt, so I swapped out one water bottle for my camera. That still left me 3 bottles. That’s 24 ounces of water and let’s face it, I wasn’t going to run a marathon here.

I didn’t time myself, or even check to see how far I was going. I ran, I walked, I took pictures. I kept wandering off the path to get closer to the water. I made friends with a blue-eyed husky. I heard bits of conversations as I ran past people. My favourite was the girl telling her running partner how much she really wanted sweet potato fries.

I encountered quite a bit of wildlife for a run in the city. The first was a groundhog. I named him Juan. At first, I thought he might be dead, but he was just sleeping. He woke up and smiled at me. Actually, I think it was more of a go away and leave me alone look, but whatever. He was cute.

I ran a little more, then I met Dolly and Daniel. They’re ducks. For some reason, they were swimming against the current. Dolly was doing ok, but Daniel kept getting swept away. It was pretty funny and I laughed at him untill I realized it might be bad karma, so I encouraged him instead. He finally caught up with Dolly.

I started running again, only to stop and look at a tree. He didn’t have a name, that’s just silly. But it was a really nice tree. Also, I wanted another little break, so I took a picture.

After my tree break, I ran until I saw some pretty purple flowers. Obviously, I needed a picutre. I’m pretty proud of this picture, because the backround is out of focus. I’ve been trying to figure out how to do that. I’m actually not sure how I did it though.

I was looking for a photogenic bird, because that was the word for my photo a day challenge today. I saw this flighty little thing on a branch. Her name is Raven, even though she’s not a raven. Kind of like when people call their child Apple or Dallas. She kept moving around, but finally she stopped to pose.

I ran some more, then decided I wanted a picture of myself. Let’s hear it for self-timers. I had a scary few seconds where I thought my camera was going to fall off the rock and into the water, but it all turned out ok.

All in all, it was a great day. There was more walking than running, I think. But since I haven’t really been running lately, I feel pretty good about running at all. I had a good time taking pictures and I think my new friends liked having their photo taken. Well, except for Juan, but that’s just the way he is.