Sunday, October 23, 2016

Cars, berries, and horses .................

October 23, 2016 blog.

As I mentioned last week in the blog, a lot is involved in keeping up with the vehicles assigned to our mission. The arrival of new cars adds to the paperwork, and a few more new RAV 4s arrived during the week. These are in addition to the ones mentioned last week. And a couple more are due soon and that should do it for a few months. Some of the new cars have been taken to their area of assignment and the old cars they replaced brought back to Calgary. Figuring out where to place the new cars is high on my list of things that need to happen during this week. Word is out that we have these new cars and that they have collision avoidance, seat heaters, and backup cameras. I have to chuckle with missionaries stating their reasons why they think they should have one of the new cars, - especially wanting to have warm "tushies" during the winter months. 

Three vehicles (all Subaru Imprezas) were sold during the week. Others are at various stages of repair and await detailing and pricing. The challenge for me this coming week will be to figure out where the remaining new cars will go and how to get the old cars back into the office.

That said, Kathy and I did get away to the Calgary Temple with our office mates on Friday evening. After our session we did some family name sealings and finally got to dinner around 10:00 p.m.

Yesterday we were able to see some things on our must-see list. First we went to Saskatoon Farms, a farm outside of Calgary where they raise Saskatoon Berries. Prior to coming to Calgary I don’t think I had ever heard of Saskatoon Berries. Since arriving we have enjoyed some jam made of the berries and some pastries containing them. They resemble blueberries and the taste is somewhat like blueberries but different. The berries originally grew mostly on the Canadian Plaines.  The berries are now produced commercially and the farm we visited is one of those “orchards” where they are grown. One of the pictures below shows a berry orchard; not much to look at now as the bushes/trees have been pruned back and frost has taken its toll. The farm has become a tourist spot with a restaurant, farmer’s market, pastry shop, small zoo containing farm animals, etc. The pictures below are all from our visit.

Totem pole at the entrance to the farm

More totem poles

The berry orchard (note the river in the background) Has to be a lovely place during the growing season. Not so much now.
How to make good use of your old stuff
Main Street on the farm. The dead vines over the front of the restaurant are actually cherry tomato vines. 
Guarding the door to the restaurant. (Makes me wonder what they are looking at.....)
Stuff for sale
From the farm we drove a few miles to a rather famous equestrian site in North America known as Spruce Meadows. They are having their version of Octoberfest, which involves eating and drinking while choosing from among a number of equestrian events. Yesterday we enjoyed an indoor horse-jumping contest with horses and riders from Canada, Europe, and the U.S. It was well run and moved right along (20 horses and riders). We stayed for the whole thing (about two hours) and really got into it. 

The riders began by a walking inspection of the course and then the competition began. 

Riders familiarizing themselves with the course

Speed over the course adds to the point total and points are deducted when the horse’s hooves knock off one (or more) of the bars. The horses were magnificent and the riders all looking fine in their riding attire. Most of the horses were very tall Thoroughbreds and were remarkably responsive to the rider’s urges. 

Amazing horses
A few balked at the more difficult jumps and if the horse balked more than once, it was eliminated from the competition. Some riders had two horses entered in the competition. I will try to post a video clip with the Facebook version of the today’s blog. The pictures below will give you a flavor of what we were able to enjoy. 

So, it has been a good week; we look forward to another. Each week brings a whole new set of unique experiences and challenges and we are loving it. Our association with such wonderful Elders and Sisters make it all worthwhile. 

We miss you all and hope all is well. By the way, it is always wonderful to have you comment on what you read and see in the blogs. We appreciate the messages we get back from you. Have a great week!

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