January 2nd was the last of my day's off from work over the Christmas break. Since the weather has now drastically improved, I decided to make the most of it. Rather than sleep in, as I have been doing every day during this recent frigid holiday break, I decided to get back into the groove and get up at my regular work time. My middle daughter Annelise was so excited about getting out to do something that she actually got up at 5:00AM. I wasn't quite that early, but was up and about by 7:00AM. Annelise, my eldest daughter Hailey, and I headed out by about 8:00AM. Our first stop was for a big breakfast at a nearby restaurant. After breakfast we headed to a couple of hardware stores to pick up some supplies. Then it was off to my shop to work on some projects. I continued with construction of the doors and door jambs that I have been fabricating in the shop, over the holidays, for our cottage out at Nordegg. Hailey worked on some picture rails that she's building for her room. Anna worked on a jump for her pet rabbit, Simba.
Margarit and youngest daughter Helena slept in late, and then went for breakfast on their own. In the early afternoon they stopped by the shop to see how we were making out. It was about 2:00PM when we all finally finished up what we were working on, cleaned up, and continued on to our next project.
The two older girls and I went out an on owl prowl. We took a drive out to Elk Island National Park where I had seen several owls on a day trip a few weeks back. I knew from experience that they weren't around much during the day, but that they became active at twilight. We arrived out at the park around 3:30PM and scouted around for a while without seeing much. Anna is a big fan of owls and has owl books, owl shirts, and all sorts of owl collectibles. Shortly after 4:00PM, as the sun was setting and there was just that twilight glow remaining in the western sky, we spotted a couple of owls. Both were Great Horned Owls, the provincial bird of Alberta. The first was about a quarter mile away and we didn't get a really good look at it. The second we found was up in a tree, right beside the road. By this point, Anna was running out of gas and fell asleep in the back seat. She missed the first owl altogether, but we woke her up and made sure she got a good look at the second one. We actually saw a third one, along the side of the freeway on the edge of the city. This was during our return trip home and it was quite dark by this time.
When we got home we had supper as a family, and then afterwards the three of us went over to the rink for a skate. I took a stick and puck along and banged around on the rink for a bit while the two older girls skated around and try to regain their feel for the ice. I skate to play hockey at least once a week, almost year round, for about a dozen years now, so I never lose my touch.... what little I have! But the girls don't get out very often and always seem to have to relearn it. It was a beautiful warm day... a nice change after the recent cold snap. Even after dark, out at the rink, it only dropped down to about -6C. By 9:00PM when we finished our skate, the day was coming to an end. To cap things off we went to a nearby coffee shop for a hot drink to warm up and wind down. A very busy and full day, but a most enjoyable one.