Category Archives: family

The Gift of Green Nature Trail in Pike Lake Provincial Park

For Oliver’s Birthday, we went and hiked the Gift of Green Nature Trail in Pike Lake Provincial Park.   The nature trail starts at the interpretive centre located beside the campground office.  The nature trail follows a 1.5 km loop and winds through an aspen woodland, a swamp, over shortgrass prairie and across sand dunes.

The Gift of Green Nature Trail in Pike Lake Provincial Park

The Gift of Green Nature Trail in Pike Lake Provincial Park

The Gift of Green Nature Trail in Pike Lake Provincial Park

The Gift of Green Nature Trail in Pike Lake Provincial Park

The Gift of Green Nature Trail in Pike Lake Provincial Park

The Gift of Green Nature Trail in Pike Lake Provincial Park

We walked in the late afternoon and it was a great trail to walk.  Pike Lake has gotten a lot nicer in the last several years and this is a great addition to the park.

Happy Birthday Oliver

Oliver turns 7 today which means he was up early opening his birthday gifts and basically celebrating his day.

We picked him up a moon chair.  He thinks it is so awesome that he is worried that we will all be jealous because our chairs aren’t as cool as his.  Not sure he has to be worried but I am glad he likes it.

We had picked up three 1 litre Nalgene water bottles for Wendy, Mark and I.  Oliver was less then thrilled he didn’t get one.  I picked up a 500 ml bottle for him at Atmosphere so now he is thrilled.  We also got him a fanny pack because a) he wanted one b) I will mock him about it for his entire life. 

We also got him an Avenger’s book, a Saskatchewan Roughriders jersey, a hacky sack, and a headlamp.

Tonight, we are off to Pike Lake for a hike and then back for late evening pizza and cake. 

Marley

Mark and Marley

I haven’t really written about Marley since we got her on my birthday.  So here we are in June so I thought I would give that of you who care about dogs an update.

The first few days at home were rough.  She bit.  A lot.  My hands, face, elbows, knees, legs, side.  You name it, she bit it.  She just led with her teeth and my pain was real.  I wasn’t alone, she was biting Wendy, Oliver, and Mark.  She also bit Hutch a lot who took it even worse than we did.

Eventually she stopped ramming us with her teeth and then we only had to put up with her chewing up stuff, biting Hutch, jumping up on us, jumping through the air to get to people food, and kicking me in the face as a I slept.   We have most of the stuff resolved but every morning she gets into bed between Wendy and I and kicks one or both of us in the face while she sleeps on her back.

It has been a harder adjustment for Wendy.  She has never had a puppy before.  It was always been dogs two years of age or older.  Having a rambunctious, defiant, and rowdy teenager for a dog has been an experience for her.  One that she is still figuring out.

With the biting stopped, the boys, especially Oliver were able to bond with her.  Elway was my dog who didn’t even acknowledge Mark was alive.  Maggi was also my dog who acknowledged the boys were alive but saw them more as staff than as equals.  Actually to be honest, she saw Wendy as staff as well.

Marley has become my dog too but sees Oliver and Mark as co-conspirators in her fun rather than staff.  Wendy and I are the parents.  I just happen to be the parent that gives her pieces of steak when Wendy says no.

I find new dogs are weird.  When Elway died of cancer, I never wanted a dog again.  When we got Maggi all I could think of for the first couple of weeks was that she wasn’t as good of dog as Elway.  Within a couple of years she had become my best friend and confident. 

When Maggi died of cancer, I was devastated.  She had been such a big part of the family.  Now there is Marley who isn’t Elway or Maggi but we are slowly figuring each other out and bonding over our hatred of the crow that perches outside our window and makes a lot of noise at 3 a.m.

So like a lot of puppies she goes all out all of the time.  After an epic battle today with her rope and a long walk with Mark, she is curled up in a ball beside Wendy saving her energy for attacking me and kicking me in the head at around 5:00 a.m. because she needs her tummy rubbed before going back to bed.

When Caesar Milan says never let your dog sleep on the bed, always let them sleep on your bed.

Mark is now 15

Happy Birthday Mark!

He turned 15 today.  Despite his best efforts, he has made it 15 times around the sun without being tossed from the planet.

We celebrated in part on the weekend.  On Friday Wendy and I took him shopping and got him to pick out some new sunglasses.  He totally ignored the incredible looking sunglasses I picked out for him and instead picked some sunglasses that look like he is from The Matrix.  Whoa.

On Sunday morning we got up early and I gave him a MSR Pocket Rocket stove, fuel canister, and base.  For $8 the base makes the entire system a lot more secure.  Mark is pretty responsible but he is a teenager and therefore his coordination comes and goes. 

MSR Pocket Rocket Stove

Wendy gave him a one person mess kit to cook with while hiking.  Oliver’s response was, “Only one person?  What’s Mark going to eat?”  He’s always looking out for his older brother.

We then took off to Prince Albert National Park and went hiking for the day.  We hiked the Waskesiu River, the Mud Flat Trail (where we got close and personal with some black bears), and hiked both sides of the Narrows.  Mark cooked us up some lunch with his new gear.  After a day of hiking and exploring, we went to The Angry Taco for dinner and called it a day.

Tuesday morning, we gave him the rest of his gifts.  Oliver gave him a frisbee disc golf set.

We all got him a Altec Lansing XL Soundblade Bluetooth Speaker which he has wanted really badly.  He was pretty happy to get one.

Altec Lansing XL Soundblade

Today after school him and I are heading out for a quick game of golf and then coming home to have some steak that has been marinating for several days.  It is starting out as a nice day.