Thursday, May 15, 2014

In Lakeland Country

We left Edmonton yesterday morning (Wednesday) for points east. Jeanette's mom lives in a long term care facility, in the Town of Two Hills, Alberta, and that was our first destination.

On Tuesday afternoon, we had planned a visit with one of my nieces.  Michelle is the mother of two; Amelia (a three year old) and Angus (a new born baby boy).  It was two years ago when we last had a visit with her.  Her husband, Seamus, was busy at work. 
Michelle is the daughter of my middle brother - deceased over ten years ago.
It was a pleasure to be introduced to her wonderful baby boy.
Jeanette with Angus....only a few weeks old. What a nice little fella he is.  And he's a good baby too.
I got to spend some time with Angus and even fed him a bottle while his mom drove off to pick up her daughter from play school.
L-R  Jeanette with Angus, Michelle with Amelia.
Wednesday morning play time.  Owen enjoys this bouncy toy.
Before departing Edmonton, we had one more piece of business to take care of and that took us to the suburb of Sherwood Park, only minutes east of Edmonton.  I called my nephew, Brad, in the hopes that we could get together for a quick coffee.  It worked out well.  Brad was soon to drive down to the city of Calgary but was up for a coffee chat.  We caught up on his family and business stuff before getting down to some more serious talk about our annual summer motorcycle ride.  More on that once we firm up a ride and the dates.  Can't wait for that ride.
We met Brad at a local Starbucks in Sherwood Park.  He is the youngest son of my oldest sister, Rhea (deceased).
90 minutes after our coffee break, we arrived at the long term care facility that houses Jeanette's mom, Mary.  She knew we were on our way and she was sure thrilled to see us and especially to share some warm hugs with her oldest daughter.  We spent a good bit of time visiting; took mom out for a drive in the town and stopped into a grocery outlet before returning to the facility on time for her dinner. 
A nice treat of poppy seed cake for Mary.  Oh, and she is celebrating a special 87th birthday on May 18th.
By 7:30 pm, we left the long term care facility and drove 30 minutes east and north to my sister and her husband's ranch in the Lake Bellevue countryside; just north of the North Saskatchewan river.
The deciduous trees are budding and it should be very soon now before they leaf out.
We kept Paulette and Rick up till 1:00 am (or was it they who kept us up?) before calling it a night.  We slept very well in the quiet countryside.  

More chat this morning and a walk around some of the corrals brought us to two of Rick's favourite ponies.  While running his chores, early in the morning, Rick saw that one of his ponies had suffered a serious wound on its throat.  It was obviously spooked by a bear or a cougar and ran into the barbed wire fence.  We found the site where this happened.  That poor pony needed some serious attention.
Rick is pointing to his favourite little pony, Rusty.
Their granddaughter, Shania, is a true horse lover and these two ponies are being cared for her.  She has a couple of riding horses, only a few miles east from Rick and Paulette's place, at her parents' farm.
The grass is gray but there is evidence of greening.  A week or more and the scene will look more summery.
It took no time for Rusty to warm up to Jeanette.
Driving south and over the North Saskatchewan River
Back at the house, we enjoyed a true farmer's hearty breakfast before driving back to the long term care facility for another day of visiting with mom.
The river is swollen and the banks are very high.
The weather forecast was for intermittent clouds forming into storm cells with high winds and pounding rain.  As I write this post, that is precisely what is happening.  Following a loud clack of thunder, the rain came down quickly and hard.  The patter on the windows could be heard everywhere.

Living on the west coast, we don't experience prairie storms like this so it is really nice to experience one when we are out in the Alberta countryside.  Shortly after the storm began, it was over and the sun peeked through once again.  This will be today's weather pattern.
Clouds forming up
The sky to the west in this photo is black...and the winds can be felt as we drive to the Town of Two Hills.
That concludes this post from the little Alberta prairie town and the facility that so well looks after Jeanette's mom.

A couple of great family get togethers are planned for Friday evening - on my side - and Sunday - on Jeanette's side.  We look forward to those. 

That about does it from out here for now.  Thanks for dropping in.


  1. Wow you sure made the rounds and visited everyone, looks like a great time was had by all.

  2. For a minute there I was lost--you have a sister and brother-in-law named Rick and Paulette--I thought you had somehow traveled back to Vancouver Island! Enjoy those family times, thanks for sharing!

  3. Great pics of all your family. Jeanette's Mom is looking pretty spry for 87.

    Like Janna, I did a double take when I read you kept "Paulette and Rick up till 1:00 am". Then I remembered you telling us about that!

    Terrific cloud pics - only on the prairies!

  4. Your photos are lovely! Bonjour de Montreal!