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.

22 Dec

2015 Christmas Edition of the Hepburn Home Page

Looking back on last years Christmas letter, I found a few gems. One of Laurie’s favorite moments of 2014 was “Planning flower beds for next year”.  That plan came to life, but not by Laurie’s hand alone.  The flower garden is possible only with a ribbon of family and friends weaving through it – both past and present. Feature rock [Jasper, Jonah, Brian, Tracey].  Patio and retaining wall [Jim, Judy, John, Karen], Dirt: [Jim, James, Cathy], The flowers and plants that give the perennial beauty, attracting birds and butterflies: [Phil, Wendy, Teresa, Karen, Heather, Dave, Judy]  And making sure visitors find their way in the night; the landscape lights [Stewart, Cathy].  If you’re wonder why your name is, or is not shown, it is either you, or me, have forgotten something.  Most likely me.

A quote that rang true: “Didn’t build a dock – that’s next summer”.  Sure enough, we did it.  The logistics of getting the dock material out east could fill an hour-long comedy show.  Cargo:  3500 lbs of reclaimed fir, a stove, a boat, 4 passengers with luggage.  Vehicle: Abandoned and resurrected-from-the-dead Ford F250 oil-field truck, gross capacity: 3000 lbs.  You do the math.   While using both hands and all strength to navigate a turn in the highway, I hear Kiersten say to her cousin “It feels like we’re going to tip over”

It was a fun summer, but Gracia was not there to complete our foursome.  She was working for the YMCA chaperoning a bunch of exchange student to the best spots in Alberta, which brings in another quote from 2014 “Gracia didn’t get her car fixed (Greyhound ahoy!)” listed under things we did NOT do. Chaperoning requires a car, so we got to fixin’ the classic low-rider Acura.  At the end she took them home via train to Montreal.  #WorstTripEver.  No. Er yes. Maybe.  Definitely no.  In her words there were some really fun parts of the trip and not-so-fun.  No beds?@!  True.  3 1/2 days, no bed.  At the end she got to poke around Montreal and have some fun.  Meanwhile back at the cottage, the dock got built.  It was me who drew the short straw and drove the truck home.  Laurie flew.

There was another gem titled “Things we didn’t do” and the quote is “Laurie didn’t get fired in the great PennWest layoff of 2014”.  True, however she got fired in the great layoff of 2015!  Layoffs became a  a bad habit with PennWest as oil prices dropped.  It was a few months of stressful job hunting, but finally found work with fabrication company Bilton Manufacturing.

Kiersten is tearing away her dependency by learning to drive.  She’s proclaimed that I gave her the old blue Volvo wagon, but I have ulterior motives.  The sooner she’s driving herself to school the sooner I can get a full time job. The requirements to ownership were that Kiersten help fix the car to a safe roadworthy standard.  So far she’s learned about CV axials and lower control arms and other can-I-have-the-keys-now related stuff. As for my career, I’m studying at home to become certified in Mapping software know as ArcGIS.  I’ve come up with a quick map showing where we were this year.

25 May

2014 Spring Edition of the Hepburn Home Page – SPECIAL EDITION