25 Dec

2018 Christmas Edition of the Hepburn Home Page

Photo by Tj Holowaychuk on Unsplash

Welcome Dear Reader.

Jumped right past the Spring and Fall editions of the home page. It’s not like we don’t have room to put all the ideas.  It’s the time that’s hard to fit everything into.  Time just isn’t big enough even though the scientists say it’s infinite.  Humbug.

We Did a lot of renovations on the duplex

A new bathroom upstairs was the first project for 2018.  In the summer we ripped out the concrete patio and used some of the slabs for other projects (see below), then we hauled in some bricks and made walkways.  Next spring we will landscape and plant new grass.  Thanks for the truck JDH and the help PL.

Jasper and Jayden got married

Wedding day photo

Wedding day photo

A great wedding in June.  everyone had a lot of fun that day.

We made retaining walls

a garden retaining wall

Our garden retaining wall was finished. well almost

Some of the concrete from the duplex was repurposed into retaining walls on the acreage.   Another wall which lines the south edge of the driveway is not quite finished.  Winter set in early.

Gracia went to Seattle Washington with her mom.

I don’t have pictures on this site to show, but the two people who went have some on their Instagram accounts:



Kiersten started her second year of college

She’s been working at DQ for pocket money and entered her second year of a Science degree.  It’s possible she may be able to complete the degree in Red Deer, but as it stands right now the last 2 years will have to be done at U of A.  If RDC adds the necessary courses in time, it would save a lot of money for us.

Gracia is Famous [Sort-of]

Gracia is still working for Terra Centre and the program she runs is the focus of their current funding drive.  They have pictures of her on the corporate website.  Check it out here:


We are celebrating Christmas at home

This year we chose one of the trees in the yard to decorate.  There was a spare string of lights and some extra large ornaments which we put on the live spruce tree.  A nice addition to the decorations for the holidays.

A lit christmas tree at night in the snow

Our little Christmas tree in the front yard

Everyone have a safe and merry Christmas holiday

This form goes to our family inbox.  send us a card.

    25 Dec

    2017 Christmas Edition of the Hepburn Home Page

    Kiersten and JonahPlans were afoot for a great party!  Kiersten and her cousin, Jonah were the guest of honor.  Weather was good. There were lots of drinks, chips and a little bit of healthy food just in case scurvy attacked future’s best hopes. From grade 12 diplomats to diploma recipients was reason to party. One of the many great get-togethers of the past year.

    Over the last winter Kiersten went through a number of vehicles.  She started winter driving the Volvo 850, but it decided one day not to start.  The replacement was Gracia’s old Acura Integra that was stolen-then-recovered.  Within weeks the engine blew due to excessive abuse by past thieves.  Car number 3 is a black Honda Civic and just happens to be the exact same make/model/year as Gracia’s car.  Whenever I give a nice part to one daughter the other daughter becomes jealous. When they’re home together I fear that pilfering of parts will occur in the middle of the night with either daughter tearing parts off their sister’s car. Working light bulbs, wiper blades. Mud flaps.  It’s open season

    Gracia’s been enjoying a good starter career helping young adults navigate various government systems to achieve education and become good parents simultaneously.  She’s liking the job immensely although she’s finding compensation is never equal the effort. Isn’t that true for all of us?  Gracia’s current apartment is quite adult-like.  In some respect she likes the “grown up” atmosphere but worries when friends and high-octane fun fills the apartment. Dinner and a comedy movie shouldn’t be outlawed.  Management posts rules and helpful advice such as designated laundry room use schedule. Guess who gets the Friday evening time slot? No roommates to deal with anymore and that’s the best part for Gracia.

    Gracia came out to the cottage for the first time in many years, airplane mode with Laurie. All of us headed off to tour Ottawa for a weekend. Gracia arranged accommodations on AirBNB which worked out great.  Byward Market, the Museum of Art and War Museum were on the must-do list.  We couldn’t get into the Parliament building tour due to a four-hour lineup for tickets. Thankyou Canada’s 150.  Weather was wonderful, and the outside tour was open, free and uncrowded.

    Kiersten drove out east with myself and her uncle James.  Kiersten was eager to participate in the driving and do a straight-through drive meaning no hotels or stopping.  The land speed record is 36 hours (within the family).  We managed to do it in 38 hours. Start time was 12:30am.  While driving the US portion of the route, we saw a car with a bumper sticker supporting Trump.  We attempted to get a photo, but the car’s evasive maneuvers prevented a clean shot.

    Gracia and KierstenKirsten also worked at camp Northway, just down the lake from the cottage, for one month over the summer. She worked in the kitchen preparing food for all the campers. It was a great experience and she had quite a bit of fun but made little money.  Being on the same lake, Laurie, Gracia and myself saw quite a bit of Kiersten over the summer.  Now that we’ve all returned to Alberta, Kiersten is into her first year of a Bachelor of Science in Ecology which starts at Red Deer College and finishes at U of A. I am still doing the odd website and carpentry, Laurie is working at Pembina Pipelines.

    Have a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

    Thomas, Laurie, Gracia, Kiersten



    A few extra scrapbook style photos from the past few years.






    23 Sep

    2017 Fall Edition of the Hepburn Home Page

    Yesterday was the fall equinox. A good time to update the Hepburn home page with a new post. The weather outside has been a little dreary and a little cold. Overcast clouds hang in the sky. I’m doing some improvements inside our house, so the weather doesn’t matter so much.  Some drywalling, some mudding, some painting. We still have the band of feral cats outside and they are closer to the house to keep warm and dry. This is a good thing since the mice are very scarce and I have not seen a gopher in our yard all summer. [I don’t have any cat photos right now but will add them asap]

    The family managed to get out to Algonquin Park for a little while.  Kiersten was working for a month at one of the camps in the park.  My brother was determined to set up the tent that traditionally went on the point for guests and travelers.  Nobody came to use it, despite out advertising campaign.

    We also managed to go and see Ottawa for the first time.  A 2 day trip.  We took in the Byward Market, the Art Gallery and the War Museum.

    James and I drove out to the cottage and later I went to Hamilton to pick them up.  I decided to travel along a route covering places I had never been.  48 Hours of adventure between Huntsville and Hamilton turns up quite a few things.

    We drove back in the 3rd week of August.  I managed to take a few pictures.

    Now that fall has set in everyone has settled down to preparing for the winter-to-come.  One major project that needs to get done before winter sets in is re-shingling the garage in Calgary. If you don’t know by now we have a tiny little duplex in Thorncliffe. The purpose of this duplex is so that the wife does not have to commute one and a half hours everyday to work. We bought the property with the garage already desperately needing shingles. It has now been over a year and I still have not done the job of replacing and fixing the roof. Besides the shingles some of the fascia has rotted and needs to be repaired. Surprisingly the garage does not leak. Yet.

    garage roof that has very worn shingles

    I think yesterday was International Peace Day. It is quite ironic to be having a Peace Day when the president of the United States and North Korea are playing a tennis match of insults. I had to go to the United Nations website for myself to read Donald Trump insulting, not one, but two nations in a single speech. This quote gets an OMG top score:

    Major portions of the world are in conflict and some, in fact, are going to hell.

    Remarks by President Trump to the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

    here’s the URL for you if you can’t believe it either:


    10 Apr

    2017 Spring Edition of the Hepburn Home Page

    I found a couple of interesting books on the Internet Archives.  The 1917 Brochure for Algonquin Park and another brochure from the company that made the “Rice Lake Canoe”.  We have one in the family.  It was always referred to as “Mum’s Canoe” but I don’t know where she got it.

    Here’s a look at what “The Cottage” Looked like 100 years ago.