Mount Lorne, a Hockey Hero…and Marichi’s Posse for the Letter M

For several years we lived in the Yukon bush, in an area between Carcross and Whitehorse, near what is now the Hamlet of Mount Lorne.

That’s where M played hockey on the outdoor rink. Yes, outdoor hockey in the Yukon. Of course!

But it was cold, I’m not going to kid you. Someone always had to get their early to light a fire in the big old wood stove beside the benches at the hockey rink on game days. The kids used to take their skates off between shifts on the ice and hold their frozen feet up in front of the fire. Parents were recruited to lace & unlace, whipping those skates on and off to speed things up. Sometimes we’d hold up spare socks in front of the fire so when the kids got off the ice we could warm those toes, bright red from the cold up even faster for a quick turn-around. When it was really cold (-25 or so) they could only stay on the ice for about 10 minutes at a time before their feet would start to sting.

The year we moved in, the community association built a proper community hall, complete with kitchen and bathrooms. The year after that, an enclosed warming shack beside the rink, with a second wood stove inside. What luxury! The warm-up shack had two rooms: one for our team and one for visitors. The wood stove was on the home team’s side, but we’d leave the connecting door open for heat during particularly cold weather.  During my hockey-mom years, I volunteered many hours in the concession stand, selling hot dogs and hot chocolate, bags of chips and hundreds of cups of coffee. I drove many miles taking my turn in the carpool, cracking the windows against the overwhelming odour of boys and unwashed hockey gear. Eau de Hockey Bag. Those were the days.

Hockey has its downside, though. Your parents must be moderately wealthy in order to hold your head up amongst your peers. Pity the 12-year old boy who has to shop for his gear at the second-hand sports store and depend on hand-me-downs from wealthy friends.

Thank goodness, most of the families on our team shopped at Canadian Tire – as we did, for the most part. However, there was always one boy who was being fitted for the top-of-the-line brand at Hougen’s Sport Store while another was making do with duct tape and extra socks.

We were not wealthy. We made do. M wore more than his share of second hand gear.

One time, the boys went on a road trip to play a tournament in BC. M was wearing an old pair of oft-mended skates. Wouldn’t you know it; they had to break on the road trip. Rather than poor M having to sit out the tournament, the team’s two coaches took him to town and bought him a new pair. These were not the Canadian Tire, mid-priced ones we would have been able to afford. Oh no – these were Top of the Line skates. Best-skates-money-could-buy skates. Every boy’s dream skates. M was over the moon with pride and joy.  When he innocently presented me with the receipt for reimbursement, I burst into tears. There was no way I could pay it. I was angry, hurt and mortified beyond belief. Did the coaches think that we sent our son out in cheap skates because we were… cheapskates?

They were kind men. Good fathers. Great coaches. They just didn’t think –they probably had a limited selection to choose from and very little time to shop. Really, they probably just bought the first pair that fit, in a rush with a bus-load of boys waiting in the parking lot. They were heroes, really. M’s heroes.

They were kind to buy M skates and not make him sit out the game. They were kind to create a scholarship fund (which hadn’t existed before this trip) to help us out. Because what can you say when the mom is standing in the parking lot crying over a bill she can’t pay?

The very next year, the new scholarship fund bought skates for another little boy whose family couldn’t afford them. We haven’t lived in the Mount Lorne area in decades, but I know that that hastily created scholarship fund has probably helped a lot of families out when they needed it.

And now for the A-Z challenge:

MMarichi’s Pose (marichiasana)

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Marichi,  literally meaning a ray of moon- or sunlight is a wonderful stretch. I always feel good after doing this one. Hockey players like it, too. ♥

Every Good Cowboy Needs a Dolphin

I don’t remember what I wanted to be when I grew up, but when M was very small, he knew exactly what he was going to do.

He was going to be a cowboy.

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But not just any cowboy…

Nope!

My imagination-filled son was going to be the cowboy at Sea Land.

You know the one…

The cool dude who rides the dolphins.

M2

 

Which segues very nicely into today’s yoga pose:

DDolphin Plank

Dolphin Plank is plank on your elbows. If you have wrist pain, Dolphin Plank is the one for you. It’s a great workout for your entire body.

It’s also a great measuring stick for how much stronger you’re getting!

If you can’t hold yourself up on your toes, it is absolutely 100% okay to put your knees down. You can do it! Yes, you can! 🙂

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Susan over at Canadian Abroad posted this cake recipe the other day and I just had to give it a try.

005First you make the batter and  swirl in the filling.

002Then you bake it. When it comes out of the oven, you pour on the glaze.

004Then you quickly cut it in half and share with your neighbour (least you are tempted to eat it all yourself and end up the size of a house.)

010And today is also my son’s birthday. What better reason to bake a cake, I ask you?

Too bad he isn’t here to enjoy any!

Here’s the pinterest link to the recipe.

Enjoy!

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!

My goodness…I opened up the website to write a mother’s day post and saw that this will be post number 201! Now how did that upcoming milestone get past me, I wonder? I think I better start planning ahead a bit better because surely a prize would have been appropriate. Well, never say never, and I will put some thought into that!

Meanwhile, Happy Mother’s Day to everyone, whether you are a mother or not! I have had a wonderful Mother’s Day. Look what I was served for breakfast!

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I adore French toast. And didn’t he set a beautiful table, oh my! I must have raised him very well, if I don’t say so myself!

 

 

 

 

Chef Michael:

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And on the sewing front, I picked up Heidi’s quilt for the first time in too long and did some hand quilting whilst we watched a movie on TV last night.

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Yesterday I worked on my 3×6 bee blocks. I decided to make disappearing 9-patches this time around. Sometimes I feel badly that I make such simple blocks for this group, but everyone makes the best of their ability, and you are placed in a group by first-come, first-served. So there are very experienced quilters making some very advanced blocks in the group, and then there are the beginner “me’s” who make simple blocks. So anyway, I felt that the disappearing 9-patch was going to be a challenge – and it was, but in a different way than I had expected. The challenge wasn’t in the sewing, it was in the fabric selection. A couple of the blocks I made over because while the colours looked like they would be perfect, when the block was actually sewn, they just didn’t cut it.

So what is a disappearing 9-patch, all my non-quilting friends are wondering? Well, you start off by sewing a straight-ahead 9-patch block that looks like this:

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Then you cut it into quarters, like this:

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And then you twist and turn the quarters around until you like the pattern!

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Pretty cool, eh?

What I learned is that strong colours work best, especially a contrasting colour in the center of the original 9-patch. All of these squares are the same pattern, and the colours I used are according to the chosen palette of each person in the bee. See what you think:

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Happy Mother’s Day to you all, and especially to my own mother!

I hope you all had a great weekend, and if you’re hungry, I’ll share my French toast with you.

Bonn Appétite!

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Just Write {5} – Michael’s first bike

You got your first bike when you were four because you had started throwing tantrums and daddy said no way we’re not rewarding bad behaviour but I said he needs his freedom from the daycare kids in the back yard, he is getting older he needs to be allowed to do more, trusted to be a big boy, he is asking us to help him grow up,  and so we went to town and you picked out a purple bike with handle bars that came up to daddy’s knee and white training wheels and plastic streamers in the hand grips and we put clickers in the spokes and a helmet on your head and you were allowed to ride from our house to three houses down and back again. You stopped throwing tantrums, and a year later daddy took the training wheels off and ran behind you, back and forth up and down, one hand on the back of the seat, on your back, on your helmet, hovering, hovering, until you looked back and saw him running beside you, look, look, no hands!

This is my 5th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. I am linking up with The Extraordinary Ordinary. (Please see the details here.)

I remember

…your shout of glee, your sagging training pants and orange striped socks, joyful toddler leaping to daddy’s arms, flying across the open expanse between coffee table and couch without fear, without thought to falling, landing against daddy’s chest to bounce off and do it again and again and again, neither of you tiring until the last leap, ending in the inevitable knock on daddy’s head with tight fist, ‘body home? ‘body home? squealing with laughter as daddy knocked back “anybody home?” and then you lean in, slumping into daddy as he breaths in a slow breath of sweet toddler sweat as you rise and fall against the beating of his heart.