Manitoba & A New Slightly Altered Dad

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.49.31 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.48.42 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.46.58 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.47.41 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.47.54 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.48.02 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.48.15 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.48.28 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.48.55 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.49.18 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.49.44 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.49.56 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.50.10 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.50.25 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.50.38 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.51.32 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.51.51 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.52.08 amWell, sitting here in our living room it feels surreal that we were just in Manitoba, Canada for 10 days.  Wesley and I flew over to spend time with my dad who’d just survived a harrowing ordeal which involved a complicated emergency surgery.  Frankly we were expecting him to be in serious shape when we boarded the plane.  The dad that we encountered was walking, eating and generally moving about without too many issues.

His recovery was to put it simply… Amazing.  

Our trip was initially meant to be much longer – but travelling solo with Wesley and trying our best not to get in the way…it became clear early on that we wouldn’t stay longer than we were needed.  So 10 days it was.  My sister and her husband Jordan were our hosts along with the two dogs Odie and Maggie.  Dad was driving himself by his second day and it was really nice to know he’d be basically independent.

The weather at first was quite a shock.  We arrived to -16 degree weather, though over the course of a few days spring took hold and began to thaw the snow and ice.  The dogs were a huge source of entertainment for Wesley which was awesome – we were inside quite a bit of the time.

We’d never been to this area of Manitoba before, and in all honesty – I felt like such a tourist!  There were little details I was noticing that the younger me wouldn’t have really paid attention to.  The plants, cats tails, a red squirrel, the geese flying in for spring and the grass turning from brown to green in only a few short days.  We stayed in a trailer at Ron and Madelines property, which was great to escape and sleep in peace and quiet whilst listening to the geese fly overhead.  The property has a very large oak forest which we also had the pleasure of tramping through a few times.  I can only imagine how much more beautiful it is in the summer with the leaves and greenery.

One of the day’s Wesley and I joined Ron (Liz’s boss) and he took us out to do some bird watching.  We spotted 2 eagles and several different species of hawk.  He also took us into a Hutterite colony and we got an up close and personal view of what it’s like inside these exclusive communities.  I might write more about that at a later time.  I did refrain from taking photos – out of respect.  I didn’t want them thinking we were there to gawk.

Agriculture and mass farming is hugely popular in the region.  We were staying in a little town called St. Pierre Jolys which has quite a french influence.  Most of the accents in the region had a slight french style to them which is unusual to find outside of Quebec.

My twin sister also made it down for a day en-route to Alberta to spend some time with the family and meet Wesley for the first time.  Here he was lunging in for a bite.  She was excellent with him, and gave me a bit of a break to shower and was super helpful.

He picked up a few interesting skills whilst we were there including: biting me when he wanted food, eating dog food (almost daily) and throwing a ball for the energetic and friendly Odie.  Thankfully on the way home Wesley stopped the biting.  I’ve a large bruise on my left are from one good chomp he gave me…and refused to release the skin from his teeth.

I drove on the right hand side of the road, which at first was kind of a dangerous transition.  After a day I was ok… but I did blame it on the epic lack of sleep and jet lag.

We ate poutine a couple of times (it was so goooooood) and also brought back some moccasins to keep my toes warm this winter.  They are sheepskin lined and are like heaven on my feet.

All in all it was a successful trip.  We survived the journey to and from (thankfully Wesley is a people person – he made so many friends during each leg of the trip) and it was fairly easy going to and from…lots of games and singing and horsing around on my part to keep wee man entertained.  Travelling with a little baby is daunting, but at the same time it made it alot more fun than usual.  I probably wont be putting my hand up again for that any time soon – but it is nice to know that Wesley loves the planes and is stimulated by all the people.  He was adorable.

Coming home to New Zealand – it was so beautiful to see the green and even though it’s raining and a little chilly we’re sooo pleased to stretch our legs and settle into our little life here again.  Mike had flowers waiting and firewood stacked along the front of our home.  Such a wonderful welcome!

But… I’ll warn you all now.  We have news.  It involves…relocation.  To another country…

Can you guess where we are headed?

I’ll reveal this to you shortly!

Take care all and be well



What personal item do you cherish most?

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Before I met this ring, I never really wore jewellery.  It caught my eye on a cold winter day while I was strolling through the Chateau Lake Louise in Banff National Park (where I worked) with a good friend (Carly!).  I can’t remember what we were doing there at the time, but neither of us had the intention of buying anything.  There was something calming and pleasing to me in the design.  It was modestly priced for silver and fit my nimble (child like) fingers perfectly.  I think I paid about $32.00 for it.

Do you have a personal item that you love?  Where did you find it?  

I’ve been wearing this ring on my hand now for nearly 8 years.  (Carly if you’re reading correct me if I’m wrong).  It’s the only thing apart from my tattoo, that has stayed with me this long unchanged.  I feel safe with it on.

Mike and I were sitting in a natural hot spring on the side of a mountain road once and we saw the chemical change of silver and sulphur mixing.  The ring changed into a dramatic beautiful blue/red/copper temporarily.  It recently changed colour when I cleaned it in some boiling water, with aluminium, sodium bi carb and vinegar… to this soft pale creamy silver.

I’ve fiddled and spun it on my finger in a sort of trance while I’ve been in a waiting line…and it’s given me great grief if It’s ever slipped off or I’ve misplaced it.

Like losing my mind grief.

Never in the history of loving an inanimate object has someone loved a thing as much as me and this ring.

“My precious”.

We need YOU to judge these photos!

Hello Readers, Mike and I just finished a photo scavenger hunt this weekend against each other and we need your help to decided the winner!  Please take a look at the following images and leave your comments below for the best in each category.

This was a great way to spend our weekend together.

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Something Small.Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 5.16.47 PM Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 5.16.07 PM

Something Red.Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 5.18.35 PMScreen Shot 2014-02-16 at 5.18.00 PM

Something that can fly.Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 5.18.43 PM Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 5.18.52 PM

A Flower.Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 5.18.59 PMScreen Shot 2014-02-16 at 5.16.22 PM S0me thing to do with children.

Friday afternoon, I’d just flopped down in bed completely exhausted.  Mike entered the room, and said he’d like to go for a walk with me.  Some of you may realise I’ve just returned from Canada.  I’d been suffering some major jet lag.  My eyes were burning, and my mind had gone completely mush and I felt nauseated.  I didn’t stop to give myself time to adjust and had been working for two days before the weekend.  Needless to say my energy was really low, and I was not completely game for a walk.  He desperately tried to convince me, and I suggested he might go without me.  This was not the right answer for he suddenly offered to take us out for Mexican at our favourite place.  I perked up and agreed, as I couldn’t turn down delicious Mexican…

As we were driving, Mike and I sat in traffic.  He took us on a different road and suddenly we were a little off target.  I suggested we try somewhere new, in a nearby suburb.


Mike agreed and we continued on our journey.

He then suggested that we should try a place in Subiaco.

As we continued driving I noticed we were way past Subiaco.  I was pretty tired and comfortable so I took in the view and enjoyed the little road trip we were on.

“Holly, how about we try Claremont?”

Not knowing where that was I agreed.

Suddenly we were in Fremantle.  He said we should wander around and see what we could find for dinner.  As we began walking we passed the Esplanade Hotel.  He suggested we try it, and I agreed.  As we were walking into the dining area Mike turned quickly and placed a small plastic card in my hand.  “Room 252, I’ve booked it for you the weekend!  I know you’re pretty tired and it would be perfect to have a quiet few nights where you can relax”.

I started to smile and laugh, stunned and completely blown away (how the heck did I not pick up on it?)…I gave him a kiss.

I’ve never had anyone do something so romantic.  I couldn’t stop thanking and kissing him.

He told me he almost had to give it away when I was laying in bed in a heap, but the Mexican food got me motivated to get outside.  He spent the afternoon, picking out clothes and packed us a bag that was already waiting for us in our room.

We had an amazing weekend, cruising the markets, touring the Fremantle Prison, and enjoying each others company.

I feel so loved and special.

Before I knew about this trip, Mike and crumpled up two pieces of paper I’d made previously in the day. into his pockets.  It was a scavenger hunt that we’d talked about doing for months.  I was confused as to why he just shoved it in his pocked, but did not question it due to my exhaustion.  Anyway, these photos above at the result and we would be so honoured if you could help us decided which photos take top prize.


Holly & Mike

A Brief Encounter with Winter.

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I’ve just returned to Perth, from two weeks in frigid Ontario, Canada (my homeland).  I promptly left Australia to spend some time with my Aunt and Uncle.  I left with next to no warm clothes, and so hide from the wind, snow and -15 temperature just about every single day I was there.

Being back in Canada, I found it really strange to actually hear the Canadian accent on television and radio.  I’d never noticed what “we” sounded like before.  Also, the positivity and acceptance of gay people and transgendered men and women was also very refreshing to hear.  Most days on CBC a positive story would feature.

My beautiful cousin Vanessa gave birth to a healthy handsome boy while I was staying with her mum and father.  We are all very thrilled for her and her growing family.

I’ve missed Mike badly while I’ve been away.  We’ll be seeing each other for the first time in 3 weeks tomorrow!  Though to me it feels like it’s been a year!  I can feel my heart tighten a bit when I think of him…

From top to Bottom:

1. Winter’s sun glowing on the scene.  At my Aunt and Uncles home.

2. & 3.  Toronto’s InternationalAirport has some stunning artwork.  I walked through the centre of the black installation and was wowed by the sheer size and power of it.

4. Dad giving me the stink eye.

5. A Mississauga sunset.

6.  Tuesday, my Aunt and Uncle’s cat.  We had a violent encounter a few years ago, but apart from one instance, she was really lovely, and basically stalked me around the house for my entire 12 day stay.

7.  An attempt at documenting nature in snow.

8.  The view from dad’s house.

9.  Dad’s beloved Maggie.  She really is a sweetheart, however was in a nasty car accident before I arrived.  She looks pitiful in her outfit, but her wounds are improving.  She even gives kisses (much to my horror) while we changed her dressings.

10.  Sunrise through the glazing at the DubaiInternationalAirport.

For those who must endure winter, and want and escape our place has a spare bedroom so please don’t hesitate if you can get away from the cold!  I feel your pain…

I’ll sign off now, as I cannot keep my eyelids open any longer.