You are currently viewing archive for December 2013

2013/12/30: Curling

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
The local curling club has an open to the public drop-in curling time on Monday afternoons. Ed and I don't know much about curling and have never contemplated learning to curl but decided to give it a whirl.

Turned out there were two other "newbies" beside Ed and myself so a couple from the club, who have obviously taught people how to curl offered to give the four of us a lesson. They were very informative and made the experience fun for us. We plan to return for more practice.

Learning how to throw the rock.

Getting ready to sweep.

2013/12/29: Elmira

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
We drove down to Elmira (about an hour south of us) to meet our friends Doug and Donna for lunch. We had a good lunch and a nice visit.

At home, all the ice has melted off the trees but on the drive to Elmira we saw lots of trees, telephone poles, etc. that were still coated with ice, even with the above freezing temperatures. It made us realize just how lucky we were. Donna lives just outside of the Campbellville area and she told us that they were unable to leave their cold dark home until Christmas Eve because of trees blocking the roads and finally returned on the 27th. She said there's lots of downed trees and branches at her home.

2013/12/28: A New Trail

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
We decided to head out of town today and try snow shoeing on the Brant Tract Trail System. In the summer this is a popular place for mountain bike riders.

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As you can see they have a number of different trails for bikes. In the winter, snowshoers and cross country skiers are allowed to access the trail. Unfortunately, there was a large sign indicating the that the trails were closed due to logging. As it was a Saturday and we didn't hear any chain saws we snowshoed part of the trail. It was a nice trail but not one we'd probably go back to often as the West and East Roads are heavily used by snowmobilers. The sound of the engines take away from the quiet forests. But I did tell Ed that we need to bring our bikes next summer and ride some of the trails --- not the widow maker.

2013/12/26: Happy Boxing Day

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Quiet day today, no bargain shopping for us. As usual it snowed but not too bad, so we decided to strap on the snow shoes and try the rail trail across the river. By the name of the trail you can guess that this trail is flat and straight. The ice and snow on the trees made up for the lack of variety in the trail. We climb over a couple of fallen trees and stomped through the pristine snow.




2013/12/25: Merry Christmas

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Merry Christmas

from Zaph and his new friend Frosty.

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We took these photos after the first major snow fall. The snow was too dry initially to make a snowman but worked great as the snow started to melt. In fact it worked so well it lifted all of the snow off the grass. Initially Zaph posed where we put him but after awhile the temptation of a fresh stick was too great.

Christmas morning and part of the afternoon were spent at home. We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas dinner at Anne and Victor's house.

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Mom, what's in my stocking?

I think Zaph likes his new toy.

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2013/12/24: Christmas Eve

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
The weather forecast for today was wonderful, a little chilly with a high of -10 C (14 F) but sunny with NO SNOW!!!! It was a perfect day to drive to Burlington to celebrate Christmas with my mother and brother. I took a leg of lamb and some dessert with me and my mother provide the appetizers, potatoes and vegetables. The dinner and company were excellent.

The drive to Burlington was like driving in a Christmas card. The trees were ice and snow covered and were sparkling in the sun.

This photo was taken from my kitchen door. The "white hill" is the roof of the shop and the tree is the top of our neighbours pine tree.

As we were driving away from the house, Ed realized just how pretty our trees were. He backed up and took a photo.

The further south we drove the more ice there was on the trees. The more ice there was the more damage. On the route we drove, the Campbellville area had the most damage. I took some photos as we were driving.


Look at the ice on the wires.

We say several hydro crews out working and several road closed signs.


Zaph the wonder dog.

My mom and Zaph.

2013/12/23: Pretty Day

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
The sun was shining and the ice the sparkling, so Ed and Zaph went for a walk and took some photos.

The icicles are long on this house.



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2013/12/22: Ice Storm

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
We've been having a lot of winter weather the last couple of weeks and it only officially became winter yesterday. Hope this means spring will come early as well.

A huge ice storm hit southern Ontario yesterday. Only the edge of the storm reached the Walkerton area, so we did not receive as much damage as other areas in southern Ontario.

About a 1/2 inch of rain froze on everything. It was good exercise but not fun chipping the ice off the driveway. Luckily we went out during the warmest part of the day and were able to get all of the ice off the driveway. Just in time for the next snow fall.

A port in any storm will do. Zaph loves snow but is not enjoying this hard crunchy stuff. If he doesn't go through the snow then it's slippery and hard to walk on, if he goes through the snow then it sharp and hard against the legs. He just can't win. The leaves under the canoe looked like a good spot to rest.

The trailer looks very sad, it would be happier looking in Texas.

The ice on the trees really sparkled with the Christmas lights.

We have two strings of blue lights, one going up each pole. The ice is doing a good job of reflecting it making it look like a blue spot light is shining on the house.


2013/12/16: Walk About

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
It's hard to believe but Ed bought a little point and shoot camera. This camera is rugged and waterproof, just the right type of camera to take snowshoeing or canoing or ATVing. Best of all it was priced to clear. Ed and Zaph went on a walk by the river and took some test shots with the new camera.


Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
When I opened the blinds this morning I was very happy to see that the driveway was clear --- no shoveling this morning. It did snow during the day but not enough to warrant getting the shovel out.

The neighbours on the corner had a Christmas Open House this afternoon for neighbours and friends. What a nice way to spend an afternoon. After the open house, six of us walked downtown (two drove) for dinner. It was a great way to burn off the french fries.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
The snow had stopped, the sun came out, at least for a little while and the air was calm. Perfect afternoon to try the snow shoes. We walked the couple of blocks down to the trail by the river and put on our snowshoes.

An easy task for most of us. Rob did a fancy maneuver and ended up resting on the ground.

It was beautiful walking through the cedars watching the mini ice flows travel downstream. We found a branch hanging from a tree. Rob gave a pull and declared it secure.

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So secure that he could hang from it. Unfortunately, his glovers were slippery and he slid off.

Shoeing through the snow --- not sure what the correct verb is.

This photo doesn`t do the swamp of bull rushes and snow justice.

We came across some ATV tracks and decided to follow them to see where they went. The tracks brought us close to our neighbourhood, so we decided to continue through the ravine to Dave and Joan`s house. We knew they wouldn`t mind us cutting through their yard. We knocked on the door to let them know who made the weird tracks in their yard and was invited in for a drink and a visit. What a nice way to end the adventure.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Ed bought skates a couple of weeks ago and today was the first chance he got to try them out. He thinks he was eight years old the last time he was on skates so it`s been a few years.

Ed did great. He shuffled around the rink for a half hour with only two falls. There was no hanging on the boards for him. I don`t think it`ll be long before he`s skating better than me.

It`s snowed every day since Saturday, so the piles are getting deeper.

Ed digs paths so Zaph can get to the lawn without climbing a snowbank.

It took awhile but Zaph finally walked out into the snow. If it keeps snowing at this rate it won`t be long before Zaph`s belly is dragging in the snow.


2013/12/09: Winter's Back

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Last week while we were away the temperatures soared to around 7 Celsius and melted most of the snow. Mother Nature decided that she prefers white over green so the snow is back. Shoveled about 2 inches off the driveway this morning and have had flurries and blowing snow for the remainder of the day. I guess winter is back. Zaph, of course, is loving it.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Anne, Victor, Gwen and Bob joined us for dinner to help celebrate our anniversary. If I say so myself dinner was very good, shrimp cocktail, my version of Italian wedding soup, pork tenderloin stuffed with spinach, rice pilaf, mashed carrot and rutabaga, green beans, and an apple tart for dessert. Dinner was helped along by the wines Gwen and Bob brought. There was a nice Chianti to complement the port and an ice wine to go with the apple tart. I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of ice wine but it tasted really good with the apple tart. I guess there really is something to this paring of wine to your food.

2013/12/06: Birch Run Outlet Mall

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
About 10 miles from Frankenmuth is Birch Run, home to an outlet mall. This outlet mall had an Eddie Bauer, Merrell, North Face, Columbia plus lots of other stores. We picked up a few good deals then headed to Uno's Chicago Grill. What a great place for lunch. The lunch menu included an all you could eat soup and half sandwich or salad. I had clam chowder and a grilled eggplant, spinach, provolone sandwich followed by a small bowl of broccoli cheddar soup. Ed had the chili soup with a Greek salad followed by more chili. Great deal and great food.

Happily the snow held off till we reached home.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Hard to believe but Ed and I have been married for 27 years.

Today we walked around Frankenmuth and checked out a number of the shops. We especially liked the shops with the "paw print" on the door as it meant that Zaph and Caity were welcome.

One area has a number of shops that are made to look like an old village. Lots of nice stores in there.

Caity was happy to be taller than Zaph for once.

Zaph you can't scratch when you're sitting on a wall --- we don't want you to turn into humpty dumpty.

Zaph the sled dog ... Caity loved the idea of going for a ride.

Zaph decided that riding would be a lot more fun than pulling.

We were in a pet friendly book store when this bird chirped at Cait. She was very intrigued and even attempted to grab it. The woman working in the book store stood beside us and enjoyed the show. She even got the bird chirping again to keep Cait interested.

A river runs through Frankenmuth. In the summer you can go for a boat ride.

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Cait, Carol, me and Zaphod on the covered bridge. Ed and John took several photos of the large beer steins we saw around town.

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The downstairs in one of the famous chicken restaurants has some a gift shop and a bakery. Everything looked really good so it was hard to pick a snack. Ed and I split this amazing cherry strudel. John had a slice of black forest cake that was really, really good (he let us have a taste) and Carol had a blueberry pie cookie.

To celebrate our anniversary we went to one of the famous chicken restaurants and had (you guessed it) the home style chicken dinner. The dinner started with chicken soup made with homemade noodles, followed by four salads (pasta salad with chicken, coleslaw, bean salad and cranberry relish). The main course consisted of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, squash (yum), noodles, dressing and gravy. Dessert was a dish of ice cream. The food came to the table in bowls and if you finished the bowl you could request more. An interesting thing about Michigan is, if you order a bottle of wine and are unable to finish it you can take it home, which is what Carol and I did.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
It's been a couple of months since we have been away and my feet were getting itchy so it was time to go on a trip, even a small one would do. We called up John and Carol (who live in Michigan) and asked if they wanted to meet us in Frankenmuth. As John and Carol are originally from the Detroit area they have to been to Frankenmuth many times but happily they were willing to meet us there. We chose the Drury Inn and Suites as they are a pet friendly hotel. The cost of the room includes a happy hour with three free drinks and a light meal plus a full breakfast. If we ever go back to Frankenmuth I would definitely stay at the Drury Inn.

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An interesting kaleidoscope. You hold your camera (or your eye) up to the scope and the 2nd photo is what you see.

Frankenmuth is known as the Christmas town and in my opinion it lives up to it's name. The streets and shops are decorated and there are lots of Christmas lights.

Even the horse and carriage was decorated.

Bronner's Christmas Wonderland is unbelievable --- I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped when I walked into the store. For a couple of minutes I just stood still in awe as I tried to take everything in it. It's was pretty hard but I did manage to control myself and only purchased three ornaments (one of them a hummingbird that can be displayed all year) and a stand for displaying five ornaments.

I've seen Santa in different modes of transportation but this was a first for me.

The decorations continued to the outside of the store. Lights were displayed around the huge parking lot.