Ice Cream

A few days ago I had the opportunity to go to Stone Cold Creamery on highway 3 just a few miles past Wyndel, BC.  The ice cream was fantastic!  They stock a great variety of flavours to ensure that there is something for everyone.  Bubblegum and moose tracks were the popular ones in my family!

The stone fountain was not only beautiful, but my kids loved playing in it – despite my chastising them.  The younger two loved the kid sized picnic table; and I loved the fact that there was ample seating for all who stopped.  And the seating was spread out so you didn’t feel like you were sharing the place with other ice cream lovers.  The other thing I loved was the little hill that had a path up it.  This was great because I eat slower than my children so while I finished my ice cream they ran off their excess energy from being cooped up in the van!

So take my advice and follow the ice cream signs past Wynndel and take a break, enjoy the beauty of nature and sit down for a nice cold ice cream! (Or coffee, or pop or water). And don’t forget to tip the server – it’s REALLY hot in there!

Razor Blades

Yesterday as I was chatting with a friend I realized that what I knew about Razor blades wasn’t common knowledge as I had thought.

For years I have been using my venus razor handle with my husband’s mach 3 and 5 blades. His blades are WAY cheaper and they actually work better.

Besides if you buy the replacement blades at Costco, as we do, it takes a long time to use up the ginormous package!

So if you are still using the “women’s” version, you are paying too much!

Just look closely at the end of the razor handle, then the attachment side of the blade to see if they’ll work for you. Or run out of blades (like I did!) and sneak one of your husband’s (it can’t hurt to try right!)! That’s how I discovered this years ago!

The Dentist

I am a self-professed wimp when it comes to the dentist.

I have had a number of bad experiences with regards to fillings, and the short story is I do not like visiting the dentist.

My front teeth are quite sensitive to the probing that is inevitably done by either (or both) the dentist or hygienist. I have had several fillings on my k-9’s at gum level and despite the freezing have felt every excruciating part of the filling process, including the drilling.

My dentist said that I have an extremely small mouth (he’s the only one who would say this! LOL!) But seriously it makes any work at the back of my mouth quite painful as my mouth just can’t open as far as he needs it to.

All this led me to do sedation dentistry last spring when I required 2 root canals. I found the sedation was great, I actually loved the rest afterwards too! Peace and quiet for an entire day! However, I hated the extra expense and the loss of an entire day!

So I have been diligent this year in getting my teeth cleaned every 6 months. However, a few weeks ago one of my molars cracked and had a gaping hole. I knew this would have to be fixed, but dreaded it. Dreaded probably isn’t really a strong enough word, but it’ll do.

I finally made an appointment and went in. I found out that this break would require a crown to fully repair. So I took a deep breath, asked how much it would cost, and prepared myself to agree to normal dentistry (sedation free). Regardless of my fear and ill feelings I was determined to see it through. That was Tuesday. I booked my appointment for Thursday. They squeezed me in as I am leaving the country in 2 weeks and a crown takes a week to make.

I came today with fists clenched and terrified of the pain I was certain I would experience.

However, Dr Archie Tang was awesome! There was no pain on the affected tooth. My mouth was quite uncomfortable, and he had me do funny things with my jaw so he could try to get where he needed to on the tooth. But he was incredible. The experience was a positive one. Uncomfortable, absolutely. But I even un clenched my fists for awhile. Dr Tang was great, he walked me through the entire LONG procedure, and kept the mood light. ( Let them know that Christy Komar sent you!)

So, my mouth is sore, but not unbearably so. And my tooth is almost fixed, a temporary crown is on and in a week I’ll get the permanent one on.

The permanent one, I’m calling my “savings plan”, because it’ll be gold. Apparently gold is the best material for crowns. Who knew?

Family Day at the Calgary Stampede

Each and every year, without exception (so far) we have attended the Calgary Stampede since our children were born. (Actually since we were married, but who’s counting :)) No matter how pregnant, or how young our baby – we have come.

Why do we come every single year, often 2 times, especially when you realize that it really is virtually the same, with some changes from year to year? And most of the time the second and third visits I am alone with the kids as Jason has to work.

Well the truth is there is something magical here. No matter how many times the kids see a horse shoe being made, or a calf roped, or a cow milked, or rope being made; they still stand transfixed by it all. I love the looks on their faces when they do something new or learn something interesting.

Where else can you take a “barn tour” and ask the silly questions us city folk have to a genuine farmer-rancher; and not only do they refrain from laughing at you, they answer it knowledgably and with a smile. The volunteers are all happy to be here and to be able to help you! The enthusiasm is contagious, and even us city folk barely complain about the odours from the barns.

Where else in the city can your child say “I want to milk a cow!”. Where your 14 year old plays a video game teaching him how to make the most nutrient rich soil and thinks it’s like tetris.

Where else can you see the Canadian forces and some of their equipment up close and personal and have the opportunity to personally thank them for their service to our great country.

Where else can you go sit down, enjoy a free kids show, let your kids play in an indoor play area while you relax, let your kids play play dough and make crafts, and ride cool cars, and jump in a bouncy house all for FREE; Buckaroos of course! And if you come by at the right time, maybe I’ll be working at the Southland Transportation booth and I can make you a cool paper bus (for free) or give you a bag to hold all the cool free stuff you got in the agricultural tent and other places throughout the grounds.

Where in the city can your child see and pet llamas, goats, pigs, cows, bunnies, chickens, ponies, work horses, and more.

Where can you buy a small carton of milk and a wagon wheel for $1 and all the monies go to the flood relief and the food bank.

Some say that the Calgary Stampede is expensive, I don’t argue this. However, if one would like to eat for cheap it is entirely possible with a little looking. For $1 you can buy a salad at the Hidden Valley sample booth (over near the corner of the Corral and the kids midway) and it comes in a Glad salad container (which you get to keep). If a hot dog is more your style Weadickville always has food at a cheaper rate.

Water is VERY expensive on the grounds, and everyone wants a cold drink on a hot day. We fill water bottles half full, freeze them and in the morning top them off with water. We also freeze our juice boxes which makes a great slushie treat.

Each year the first Sunday is Family Day and Wednesday is kids day. This means that if you are on grounds before 9 am you get in free. However, I found out EVERY day you get in free before 9am. Also every year Coca Cola puts free kids entrance on their 12 pack of Cokes. As well children 6 and under are ALWAYS free.

So although the stampede can certainly take a huge bite out of your wallet, with a little thought and planning it sure doesn’t have to! But I must admit you better be prepared to say “no” to your kids – a lot!

So, even though the Calgary Stampede is much the same from year to year I will continue to bring my family for a few days of good old fashioned fun and a few new and exciting fun things! But I must admit that this year we all wore our bright flourescent yellow shirts (for our Disneyland vacation in a few weeks) and I haven’t regretted it for a second! It has been easy to find an excited child who has run ahead, or a captivated one who has fallen behind :).

Just please don’t stay home because you’re afraid to come with your children, all by yourself! Certainly be careful, plan ahead, and tell your children YOUR safety rules. But if I can manage the stampede with 5 kids all by myself, you can do it too!

So maybe I’ll run into you at the Calgary Stampede this week or next year!

Bed Time

Have you ever noticed how once “bed time” rolls around your child has SO many un met needs. They are suddenly STARVING! And they are So thirsty, it’s like they’ve suddenly been rescued from a long stay in a desert – and they couldn’t possibly sleep until they quench their thirst…a number of times. Or they managed to talk their way out of a bath earlier in the evening, and suddenly find themselves so filthy they couldn’t possibly fall asleep in their grime! Or they would like just ONE more bedtime story, and now you’ve read 10! Or their bedroom is in desperate need of a good thorough cleaning, and this is the ONLY time they can do it. Of course when they were asked to do it this morning it wasn’t even slightly dirty. Pyjamas are always lost at this time of the night and require much searching to find (because their pyjama drawer is a VERY difficult place to find pyjamas!).

Bedtime Story

I find my children’s creativity in stretching this time of day out is second to none! My children become very cuddly in the hopes that we will enjoy their attentions and “forget” it’s bedtime! And honestly…sometimes it works!