Rushing

Part of my ‘problem’ of living in the countryside is that when I do travel to an urban area I tend to see all the ‘stuff’ available within arm’s length and go bananas at the shops. Usually I’m with another adult, ie. my husband, and that fact alone tends to reign me in. Not that he controls the purse strings, but when I stop and linger over the 17th pretty object in my sight, he tends to shoot me that decidedly ‘male’ look of exasperation and I then I feel sorry for the poor guy. But when I’m by myself (as in, it’s just me and Little C) there is no telling if I’ll mentally justify an indulgence (or three)!

This morning I rushed to Brandon for camping supplies. Little C needed swimmers, I needed food to plan a healthy menu (after all, I’m trying to be kind to myself) and I had a present to drop off for a friend’s daughter. I have daydreams of a leisurely day in the city, strolling through the shops and enjoying a long lunch with my Mom and sister at Lady of the Lake, but alas today was not that day.

After rushing around Target and making three trips to the car, then rushing around the mall like a chicken with no game plan I finally found all the things I needed. A budding headache made me realize that I had not eaten yet, so a quick (and slightly depressing) sandwich from the drive thru was in order. While eating my food and driving out of the city, I reflected on why I felt so disorganized. Frankly, I realized that in order to be more organized, I must indulge more often!

I kept getting distracted by shiny things and found it hard to focus on my list of essentials. If it wasn’t gorgeous mint sandals on sale, it was ‘oh, I need a new camera, I should look at those’ or it was the desire to find the ‘perfect’ toy for a 2 year old. If it wasn’t all that, I was constantly on the look out for entertaining ideas. Items for my sister’s upcoming bachelorette, or decor ideas for my mom’s upcoming birthday (she’s turning the big 6-0!), or even picnic items on sale were drawing my eye. My list fell to the wayside as I oohed and ahh-ed over paper goods, shoes and cameras.

None of this was on my camping trip list! Hauling myself back to reality was extremely difficult.

Brandon is such a great little city. I can find almost everything I need/want here and I need to make a point to come more often. When I first moved to the country I hopped in my car and drove to Brandon once a week to get my ‘urban’ fix. I need to start traveling there more often again.

Perhaps without my husband so I can linger over all the pretty things 😉

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It’s Alive!

I’m typing this from my camper as I feed Little C. We are here in Austin, Manitoba for the Threshermen’s Reunion & Stampede! Hundreds of volunteers are working their butts off to make history come alive, and as usual they’re succeeding! I can hear the bangs and whistles, motors and flywheels. People are shouting and chatting and laughing. It’s a great place to casually walk, stroll, and hike while you learn about Manitoba’s agricultural history! The reunion lasts from July 24-July 27! There’s entertaining demonstrations on the grounds during the day, a fantastic rodeo at the grandstand in the evening and a ‘kick off your heels’ kind of dance at the Corn and Barley Corral at night!

Drive Inn for Charity

This past Sunday was a slow start out of the gate for our ‘C’ family, which means it was a nice and relaxing morning. Once we were all dressed, we hopped in the car (as fast as 2 people with a new baby can) and drove to Elm Creek for lunch. An acquaintance of ours owns the local Drive Inn and every year he hosts a fundraiser, where 100% of the weekend’s profits are given to a great Canadian charity, Children’s Wish.

We had a lovely afternoon visiting with Big C’s dad (we’ll call him Grandpa C) and his girlfriend, as well as other people who arrived for lunch with their families. The great thing about small towns is that you’re bound to meet someone from a neighboring community that you know and can chat with. Ma’s Drive Inn has a host of summer foods available, including your basic burgers and fries and some great add-ons. I had the Mozza Burger with Onion rings, and a Coffee Crisp Blizzard for dessert. I’d recommend that burger to anyone looking for a basic burger with a little twist.

Drive Inns are a must during Manitoba summers. It’s a great respite from the heat to sip on a milkshake or lick some ice cream. And there’s nothing quite like a drive inn burger! Although I’m a big fan of eating healthy, whole foods, once in a while a drive inn treat is a sweet break, especially when it’s connected to such a great cause. Friendly Manitoba, indeed!

As well as the food, children could enjoy a small playground beside the drive inn and a petting zoo! We’ll definitely try to make it back next year, as Little C will be able to ‘hang out’ that much more with others.

Photo: Enjoying lunch at the drive inn with Grandpa!Little C enjoying some time with Grandpa C at the Drive Inn

In the Summertime

My baby (Little C) and I are lucky to have this summer together, as I am on Maternity Leave. In Manitoba we get up to 6 months for maternity leave and 6 months for parental leave. Usually the mom applies for both and gets a year off to take care of the new baby. Daycare is hard to come by, so we put our name on the waiting lists for 2 local centers and hopefully Little C will get a spot before I go back to work in February!

There are SO many things to do in Manitoba this summer, it’s hard to group it all into sections and explore all our options. We won’t be doing any major traveling this year, as my husband (let’s call him Big C) and I went to Europe (Great Britain, France and Northern Ireland) for our honeymoon last year and we want to ‘lay low’ for a while. I have ideas for ‘big’ trips (I think I was an explorer or a sailor in a past life, I love to travel!) for our family, but we need to save the funds and figure out the practicalities of traveling with an infant.

Luckily for us, Manitoba is brimming with activities! Whether it’s berry picking or attending one of the many festivals or heading to the beach, there is no shortage of things to do! I’ll be documenting all the local things we have to offer under this big prairie sky in an effort to commemorate my time with Little (and Big!) C.