Sunday, December 14, 2014

Community Supper and Bears

It's so quiet in the house this morning ... just me and my coffee pot. The laundry is all done. The floors can wait until tomorrow because I'm going to do some baking this afternoon, so there will be debris - that's just the way it works. The Husband is over at a buddy's house for a few hours.

Am crocheting a scarf, simple pattern, easy to pick up when I need a break.


The perfect set-up for writing letters and posting a few pics from the last week or so.

Our annual community Care-a-Thon aka the Insurance Supper was a few weeks ago. The Community Association and various local clubs get together to host a supper, silent auction and general get-together. The proceeds are then used to help the organizations offset the cost of their insurance premiums. Insurance rates for public use facilities like the community hall, district museum, curling rink, rodeo grounds and outdoor skating rink can be high, and it can be a burden on the membership. This event is a real boon to all of us.

Silent Auction in the Seniors Hall (an annex to the main hall).
Many items, all donated.

A wide variety of things to choose from, and the bidding can get quite competitive!

The old hall is very festive in its holiday gear. This is looking towards the back
- the kitchen to the left and bar on the right. Behind me is the stage
and to my left is the doorway to the Senior's Club.
The Hall was built in 1934.

Last weekend was busy - the company party was held on Saturday night at the Vernon Curling Club. 32 people on the ice, of which only 3 have active curling experience, a few more played in high school for phys. ed. class ... and all who had been (or still were) imbibing in 'seasonal cheer'. The miracle was that no one was injured and only a few tumbled onto their butts. The word 'amusing' comes to mind.

Our curling club's Turkey Bingo was on Sunday, and was the most successful one in recent years with over 110 people taking part. That will help our coffers tremendously.

AND yesterday was Bear Day at the newspaper, the 16th year we've had a sales promotion in which readers bring receipts from participating merchants of a stated amount to qualify for one of 50 Gund bears we give away, plus the chance for one person to win $500 in gift certificates from the merchants


The day starts with Lynnaya bringing us hot chocolate from Timmy's,
to which she adds a little somethin'-somethin'.
What a way to start the morning.

I'm the first person at the office because it's my regular work day.
I get to run the gauntlet of people who've been waiting outside the building since midnight.
These people take their bears seriously. Some have all 16 bears.

The bears all have numbered name tags, so they are set out in a line in numerical order.
Lisa is checking tags while Stephanie works on the line-up.
Do NOT give the bears out in the wrong order.
These people take their bears seriously. Seriously.

Checking the line-up.

Lynnaya double-checking the line-up.

And there they are - 50 bears.

Say, 'Aah!"


People are admitted three at a time (you do not want to know what a mob scene it was in years past).
Lynnaya, Trent and Lisa checked sales receipts and then handed out the bears with a smile.

Stephie kept the bears flowing to the front counter.
Ian was out front doing crowd control. Graeme interviewed winners and participant. Lisa the Other took photos. And me? I helped wherever - setting up, cleaning up.

And then everyone left and it was quiet, and Graeme and I went back to our regular Saturday.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Getting Through the Days

I have a little time this morning to take a deep breath and enjoy the quiet. It's the peak of the Silly Season in the newspaper business, and my co-workers and I are pretty much in coping mode.

So I thought I'd share a few photos of places and events through the last little while.

The Husband and I went to Kamloops on Monday a few weeks ago, early enough that I had my second cup of coffee in my 'go' mug. I know.

I'm always packing a camera and on the look-out for landscape shots to use on the cover of the weekly real estate supplement. Hwy 97 travels alongside Monte Lake, and the sharp temperature change that day provided some nice pics:

Monte Lake early morning, looking southeast

Monte Lake early morning, looking northwest

I was scrambling for photos to use this week, so during a brief lull on Wednesday afternoon, I grabbed the camera and went for a walk down the street from the office, hoping for something before the light faded.

One of the problems this time of year is the short daylight hours. I drive in to work in the dark and drive home in the dark. Saturdays and Sundays are busy, so my photo ops are limited.

This is a few samples of what I found within a block or two:


Looking up to Bella Vista, and above it, The Rise
(housing and golf course development area)
west northwest view from 25 Ave.

Waxing moon over Coldstream.


And I've thought several times about posting a photo of this sign, on the property next door to the newspaper's:


The lot and building belong to the Fraternal Order of Eagles (a brief Google search on the origin and history of fraternal organizations is surprisingly interesting … or at least I found that to be, when I did some research in the Modern Woodsman of America, a group one of my great-grandfather's belonged to). The Royal Canadian Legion local branch is experiencing financial challenges (as are most of the legions) and so entered into a partnership with the Eagles to lease-share the space. And the Lions Club does as all of them do (in my limited experience) which is to not invest in capital but to use existing community facilities and focus on directing their efforts to helping others.

All in all, I think this is an excellent example of co-operative alliances. And I bet the bar in the back is showing a profit.

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With the taxing environment at work, I'm mostly tapped out when I get home. If I don't have a curling game in the evening, I mostly veg out on mindless activities to try and still my tired brain. I save things that need concentration, like sewing, for the weekend.

This has been the brain drug of choice:


and it helps that The Husband is as drawn to the pursuit as I am. Thank you, Friend Cheryl, for bringing us new puzzles during your visit this summer. We've completed two of the three you brought, although the third one is proving somewhat daunting … I'm scared to open the box.

You'll note the wine glasses are mostly empty. And that nary a drop has been spilt. Also will explain that the blue bowls are holding all the 'window' pieces and 'roof' pieces until the pieces on the mat are placed and there is more room to work with. Strategy. Not my first rodeo.

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Tonight is the company Christmas party, and the social committee has selected curling as our activity (we've gone bowling before, which was a blast). Some people can't/won't go out on the ice, so we will also have games of cribbage (cards), crokinole (board game) and use of the club's shuffleboard table set out in the lounge/viewing area.

Classic curling rink. 


Classic cribbage board and a perfect hand of 29 points.



Classic crokinole board


So we have the classic three C's of Canadian entertainment: curling, cribbage and crokinole.

Meanwhile, of the 32 players taking part in the sport, only three of us regularly play, and several others played in high school …..  many, many years ago.

Let the mayhem begin.