Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sword Play

Wendy's 20ish year old cousin, Douglas has been here for a couple of days visiting between other obligations. He is young and foolish enough to not just indulge, but actually encourage me in some of my crazier antics. The girls helped him warm up with a pool noodle war. Then he was ready to take on something a bit more substantial.

Don't know if I mentioned it before, but I picked these swords up last fall (I think) from The Cutting Edge, in Saskatoon. They have, perhaps, the worlds most pathetic website -- but it is a great store. They in turn purchased the swords from this company(coldsteel.com).
So, Douglas has a couple of inches reach over me and, though my age gave me some wily advantage, he is 15 years younger than me. It wasn't long into our combat session that I was thoroughly exhausted and he had to keep waiting for me to catch my breath. I'm still running 4-5 times a week (and just today did 12k and a 6k cycle) so that may give you an idea of how much effort this sword play took. We were pretty evenly matched accept for a couple of mighty blows that Douglas managed to score on.
Here, he caught me a good blow to the neck. I put my dramatic background to good use to let him know that he had definitely scored a point.

As you can see from the pictures, we are wearing gloves as our only protection. They are lined with lead bearings on the back of the hand and fingers. I picked up a couple of pair for $40/each, but I think I might try to make my own, if these ever wear out. With some care, they help make for a relatively safe way to bash at one another. We still have to pull our killing blows, but mostly you just have to be on your guard or you'll acquire some nasty cuts and bruises.

The rest of the pictures and some video of us with foamy swords that Douglas made are here

Sword Play

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Visitors

We recently hosted Tim, Sherry and their boys, Ben and Jonah, for a couple of hours. We just began to become good friends as they left town, but we were excited to hear that they plan to move back to Saskatoon after one more year in Regina. Our kids are close enough in age to enjoy playing together and in so many ways we are kindred spirits (sorry, we just watched Anne of Green Gables last night and it makes me a little more romantic than usual about such things).

Their visit was too short, as usual, but I consider it a good warm up for all the company that we have planned. There are a couple of pics of their sword wielding children here. Speaking of warm ups, Tim is one of the valued people in my life who is willing to pick up one of my dueling katana's and try to give me a whooping. I was positively out of breath from our brief, but aggressive, swashbuckling session.

My summer is looking to be pretty busy (I can sense your shock as you read this). Our visitor roster currently reads thusly:
  • Teela, Peff, Merlin and Viola -- some or all of them for a month-ish
  • Heidi Naimen -- probably a week overlapping with Teela
  • Lee -- Two weeks overlapping...
  • Greta, Max and possibly Gus -- overlapping...
  • Jodi and Brad -- currently big (hopeful) question marks...
Not all of these people will be staying with us and not the whole time, but I think you can see some trends here. There are a lot of people converging. It's going to be crowded and boisterous.

I have an invitation to go camping with Peff in Montana that I'm seriously considering and I plan on going on an adventure with Dave again this year. Oh, and I have a family of an age disposition that they want to be camping and canoeing as much as humanly possible. Overly ambitious? I think it will all work out fine.

This post has too much thinking and planning in it. I have to go and do something unstructured now...

Father's Day

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... There was Father's Day. Some time much, much later, I posted about it...

I did a crappy job of honouring my own father this year. I guess that's part of the reason I've been reticent to make this post. Every time I think of how great my kids were I just can't start to type. Oh, well. Keeping it in just doesn't work for me. Dad, I'm sorry I was a jerk this year. I hope, with our long history, you can give me a pass on this one.

Sour Cherry Crepe
Don't let the disclaimer above take away from my fatherly pride. Leora will be 13 soon and Anwyn is 11. They have some mad skills in the kitchen. They are both talented (I compare them to myself at 25), but on this occasion, Leora made the crepes and did composition (she certainly has Wen's eye for design). Anwyn created the filling and acted as the prep cook.

In the picture below, Leora shows her level of tolerance for my preoccupation with photography while Anwyn displays good manners ;)

Mortar & Pestle, honey, fine salts and cinnamon mocha soap
Although the food definitely stole the show, there were other rewards to be had. The mortar and pestle are the finest I have ever had. I've been longing for a nice big one like this since seeing Anna and Ian's a couple of years ago. My patience was finally rewarded and I returned the favour by making a few batches of really great pesto now that our basil is really producing.