It’s Hockey Time

It’s Hockey Time

Hail Bravehearts

Now is the time, when you’re young and free, a time to learn a skill and a time to play.  This is the time of your life.  An adventure is here, it’s waiting for you, an all Canadian sport that is precious to us.  Play!  For the time of your life, play!  The great Canadian wild beacons to us, the ice is here, it’s strong enough, grab your skates, your hockey sticks, a proud sports hero might come of this.  Play!  The air is chilly the ice is thick, the ducks have flown and the quiet of winter is calling to us.  The world has changed in this frigid climate, the bears are denned, the dear retreat, the goose have flown and soon the snow will pile high.  Now is the time for ice skating on the lakes, hockey and fun, chilly with hot chocolate on a chilly fall day, refreshing and cool, we can play for hours in this quiet pre-Christmas time.

Each season has it specialties, but the month of November is so underrated.  The doldrums of grey, which is not yet winter, but cold and dreary.  The trees have dropped their leaves, the harvest is in, the pantry is full and the feast is over.   Snow is in the mountains now, with rain in the valley, but freezing overnight, to keep the ice solid.  It’s the early season start to a great Canadian winter.  Still warm enough for lighter coats, but chilly enough for snow.  It’s a time for baking and winter shopping, Christmas is coming and find a tree.  November is grey, but the ice is here,bringing it’s winter sports to us in an exciting and refreshing and spirited way.

On these chilly autumn days, when the ice is clear, you can see to the bottom of the lake, to view the lake foliage, sometime swimming fish, sand, rocks and weeds.  A new perspective  or a simple pleasure, ice skating is a superb pastime for sport and fun.  It’s early in life that we learn these skills, how to skate, pass a puck, hold a hockey stick,be a part of a team.  That’s it!  Be a part of a team!

Come out all of you, come out to play, the frost and the ice are calling you.  Bring your helmets and your skates, we need you for the team.  From the time that you were a little tot the ice has called your name.  The outdoor skating rink is one of winter’s finest feats of sporting pleasure.  To glide on the ice, to try tricks and spins, to enjoy the company of friends and family.  This cool dreary November has become a dazzling delight, of fresh fallen snow, ice and sport, hockey and friends.

We move with ease from one season to another, each with it’s great outdoor specialties and indoor charm.  We’re thrilled with the enthusiasm for the November chill, it only gets better from here.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

November 26, 2017

The Great White Mountains

The Great White Mountains

Hail Bravehearts

It is with great pleasure that this winter is warm and snowy, and that it brings us sport.  Fabulous pleasure, a great day for a ski.  Downhill skiing is the easiest sport in the world.

The balmy mountain weather hovers above -10.  A warm, sunny February, brings us out of our snug homes, to smile and greet yet another sunny day.  Stay home this winter, no need to travel south.  As the snow birds fly away each year, to sunny summer climates, in the warm tropics, those hearty winter lovers, stay home, for the delightful winters time.  Peace to us all.  This is a great one.

The drive to find snow, this year, has made this an easy, more carefree year.  The pussy willows are out, a sapling in a warm spot has started to bud,  the snow melts on the sidewalks, energy bills plummet.  Global warming is a nuisance. It brings too much cold in the East and fabulous, warm, sunny skies in the West.

A day on the slopes, warm enough to stay out all day!  Our weekly snowshoe day has taken us on excursions to find that soft fluffy snow. We lather on sunscreen and snowshoe in our shirts.  Too warm for winter coats.  The birds sing to us as we pass and flocks gather in the trees.

It’s beautiful and warm and a day on the ski hill is just so easy.  No frostbite, no frozen cheeks, no frost beards, or icicle eyelashes.  No chalet skiing, from days too cold to stay outside.  No complaints of frozen toes and frozen fingers, too long in food lines and too long drinking hot chocolate.  The warm winter weather gives us a boost of excitement. We can play outside in the snow!

I push off from my spot at the top of the mountain and fly down my usual terrain.  Easy, easy, it’s just so exhilarating. After thirty years of this, skiing is easier than walking.  The mountain is so familiar, I know these runs well. Perfectly groomed, all the holes have been patched and we compliment the groomers on yet another year of snow moving, that makes the mountain more enjoyable and less dangerous.  No slipping over rocks and crashing down the hill.  No entanglements with saplings as they catch your skis.  No snow monsters or snow snakes, tripping you on your way.  No, this is just perfect.  It’s a perfect day for a ski.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilRI4zKoBPo  extreme skiing

Global warming has it’s drawbacks, we gloat to one another, as the snow is starting to fall.  Our winter wonderland of fluffy white stuff is now a drive away.  Smiles and nods as the weather is co-operative.  The roads are open. Tourists flock to us and fill our town.  Trapped.

I know that the joy of today, is the doom of tomorrow, as our glaciers are slipping away.  As yet another natural wonder crashes off the mountain, and our water supply is threatened. That harsh reality will rear it’s head again this summer.  But for now, push off that mountain and glide your way along those dreamy snow covered slopes.  Fill your mind with winter.  Winter fun and winter play and how much we still adore it.

Written by Dr. Louise Hayes

March 2, 2016

Own The Game

Own The Game

Hail, all you brave ones.

The time is near.  Your path is chosen.  Your team is ready.  Skills and knowledge, trust and harmony, experience and expertise.  The team is everything.  Team building is a skill and a goal in itself.  A strong, directed team, with knowledgeable leadership can achieve insurmountable tasks.  Focus and dedication, building those skills, training and development, nurture and care.  The inexperienced can learn, their energy and enthusiasm helps to drive the team forward.  Push yourselves, the goal is in sight.

That small step of a minor achievement, when the course was finished and a new skill achieved.  Now this!  On to that path.  The goal of your dreams, the impossible dream.  That single, small step, to earth moving potential and striving for success.  Concentrate on the goal.  Step by step, follow that path. Don’t give it up.  This is the adventure of your life.

Choose well, oh brave ones, there are many paths.  The straight, the narrow, the high, the low, each with challenges, obstacles and pitfalls.  Clues to success glitter in the corner of your eye.  Whisperings of sweetness echos in your ears. The chalk on the board draws your attention.  Learn your lessons well. The time spent on nurturing a fine aptitude gives you the knowledge you need for your life.  Don’t let this pass.  You must achieve it.  The road becomes narrow, there are dead ends, circles and confusion.  Time passes, it doesn’t stand still and your aptitude must be nourished for it to flourish.

Your fortitude is with your comrades.  Strength to you.  A trusted system of mutual support and life skills, building knowledge, courage and your team. A trusted team of mutual respect, connectivity and sharing.  Educate and learn, trial and error, practice, practice, practice, you will get it right.  Devotion to your cause and focus.

The game has already started, it’s been playing out forever.  Mentors line the walls to help.  Each with skills  and wisdom to impart.  Nothing changes, this is the game.

Climb on board, you winning team, handpicked for your expertise.  It is your time, your armour shines, the spotlight sees you, the crowds cheer.  Achieve it, oh almighty ones!  To victory, to eternity.  This is your day, your hour, your second.  All of your life’s work comes down to this moment.  The moment that you dream for, that you risked it all for, that you dared for.

Now, in that imperceptible moment, when your mind is sharp and the world stands still, quietly waiting for you.  Now we know who you are, your name and your game.  All that you’ve trained for, all that you’ve worked for, all that you have ever been.  Now you, and the merit of your team, will be counted.

written by Dr, Louise Hayes

February 2, 2016

Those Snow Bridges

Those Snow Bridges

Good Day Bravehearts

The world is welcoming you to this brave new day. A blanket of snow lies covering the earth and the sounds of silence are echoing in our ears. Silence, quiet, peace. The calm of the snow in the dead of winter, where all of the world lies in peaceful dreaming.
Hello! It’s playtime now!
The sidewalks are shoveled. The snow is piled high in deep drifts. The snow plows have worked steadily to clear the roads and traffic is still at a minimum. This awesome day is upon us. Grab your skis before it’s gone, this winter won’t last forever!
The gently falling snow, swirls in large flakes and keeps us shoveling. Up on the ski hill the flat light, keeps us cautious. Picking our way down the familiar runs, twisting and turning and flying like birds. The fabulous rush of the ease of this sport, downhill skiing is just plain fun. Such a nice day and there’s no one around but us.
The joy of a remote place, like a wilderness setting in Canada, is that we have all of the fun.
The rushing, open waters greeted us as we went snowshoeing last week. Snow bridges over open rivers, opening up caverns of cold, icy holes for us to fall into. Down we went, one by one, into the drink. Struggling now to pull ourselves out as our patient companions watch helplessly by. Encouraging words, laughter and abuse, battered and bruised, but onward and onward we brave stalwarts persisted. Up the creek, up the creek, to nowhere. It’s just another afternoon outing into the great outdoors! A chance that we can’t miss, for a warm spell is coming and we’ll loose all of this precious snow.
So although the creek is not at it’s frozen best, we go anyway. The warm winter has left us no, choice. It is wintertime and winter fun is here and we’re going out to play.
The groundhog saw his shadow, of course, he always does. Another bout of stormy weather, more snow, more skiing, more snowballs, snowmen and angels. More shoveling and icy drives, treacherous really, but we’re happy today, in our warm cozy homes. Happy for the winter, the snow and the sports.
Global warming is a curse to us. The warming trends are comfortable. Warm winter full of snow, The icy chill is abating and we can easily go out to play for hours without the threat of frostbite, to curb our healthy habits. The windchill that plunges us into the deep freeze is passing and with it the dangers of freezing skin. This is a good thing, but there are other results. Open water that should be frozen, freeze and thaw, freeze and thaw, pushing the frost further into the ground. This creates conditions of uncertainty with some of our favorite past times. Avalanche hazards, melting snow, thin ice, caution, beware.
This is the dead of winter, when the cold is at it’s chilliest, but those rivers aren’t frozen yet. Beware!
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
February 8, 2015

Those Grey Days

Those Grey Days

Good Day Bravehearts.

Welcome to this bleak, wintry, grey day.
Get out your snow shovels and start working. It’s the crack of dawn at 8 am and the weather is socked in for the long haul. Pull on your boots, your warm mittens, coat and hat and with shovel in hand,start your day off right,with a little vigorous exercise.
The cool wind blows damp flakes into your face. Your hair and eyelashes freeze. Your damp breath creates a fog around you and the shovel slides a few inches in the ever accumulating snow.
Paradise! This is what winter is all about.
While we lay dreaming in our snug, warm beds, the soft, wintry white stuff was falling gently outside. Swirling flakes of powder to hide the frozen ground. A winter wonderland of snow covered land to entice us outside to play. The shoveling continues and the path to the road is nearly complete. We’ll be doing this a few times today, as our spirits start to soar, with the possibilities that this climate presents. It will have to stop snowing soon and then we go out to play.
For us, the fabulous cold, is not a harsh, dreadful climate, but rather a change of life. A new joy of living. A chance for a new adventure. The snow presents a new challenge in sport and fun. For us, this is awesome. It’s not all that cold, and snow is fun. Joy! for what this season brings. Strap on your skates, your skis or snow shoes, pull on you boots and build a snowman, drag your sleigh or toboggan to the hill, pile up your defenses for a snow ball fight and smile. The cold, frosty, white north, is a superb play land. When this snowfall lets up, we’ll be raring to go, for we pride ourselves in the skills of these sports. What was once survival, is now a calling. Come on out of your houses and enjoy this day!
The raw elements burn our cheeks and the fresh, crisp, cold enhances our complexions. Rosy cheeks and rosy glow. Beneath layers of insulating fabric, our bodies remain warm against the chill and the adventure of the day starts to begin.
Now, as the flakes are piling up again and the seemingly endless task of digging ourselves out of the house resumes, the exercise bike and barbells lay in wait, as our strengthening task becomes the monotonous shovel, shovel. Will it end? Not until spring. And thankfully, spring is a way off, months of endless winter play away.
The barbells and weight rooms lay in wait for us as we gladly clear our path to the road. The temperature is a balmy -12. Warm enough to be outside for hours.
Now is the season for those much desired national past times. We put on our hats and coats with pleasure and slip into the peacetime of winter escapes, winter sport and winter fun.
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
January 7, 2015

The Real Santa Claus

The Real Santa Claus

Hail Bravehearts

The holiday season is upon us, filled with love, light, peace and happiness.
Joy to the world, even nature sings!
Some lucky people witnessed the unusual event of a caribou sighting at Marmot Basin Ski Area, Jasper National Park on December 17, 2014. Eight handsome caribou, made a grand appearance on the ski run. These are eight of only 41 left in the Park.
The significance? Come Dasher, come Dancer, come Comet, come Vixen, come Prancer, come Cupid, come Donner, come Blitzen, and the rarest of them all, the Mountain Caribou.
My photo shows a female caribou and her calf on a snow patch, taken from the top of the Mt Edith Cavel Meadows, in July 2014. We needed binoculars to see them.

http://www.thejasperlocal.com/caribou-make-rare-appearance-as-closures-loom.html Caribou sighting at Marmot Basin, Jasper,Alberta, December 17, 2014

The Christmas season is heralded by a merry old gent in red who brings us gifts of Christmas joy. No poverty during this warm season of friendship, worship and brotherly love. The real Santa Claus is not an elf, but a real person, so revered for his abilities to enact miracles. A marvelous human being with powers so great that he could raise the dead and bring gifts of gold to the needy.

Miracles! The holiday season is filled with joy and fellowship. A miracle of humanity and community sharing, of peace and goodwill. The merry old gent, who fills your stocking, is a saint of immense proportions for humanity. His story is told and his contributions deserve our continued respect. Jolly old St. Nicholas who helped to ease the needs of the poor in his day, is remembered still as Santa Claus.

http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/who-is-st-nicholas/ Who is St. Nicholas, the real Santa Claus.

Merry Christmas to all of you. Happy holiday season.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes
December 24, 2014

Winter Play

Winter Play

Good day Bravehearts!

We rise to a day of fresh falling snow. The wonder of our lives changes with this new season of fabulous fun and adventurous winter. A fine day of fresh tracks at the skihill, of snowshoes and ice skates and warm winter snuggly clothes. Winter is an awesome time of hot chocolate by the fire, of tobogganing, sledding, of building snowmen, of snow shoveling, snow ball fights, ice hockey and winter play.
Gone are the grey days of late, cold fall weather, the end of the mating season and the end of the harvest. The last of this years produce is put down and the seasons canning and storage are complete. Now the snow is falling and winter fun is here!

Rise, oh bravehearts to a glorious day of warm winter fun. Zero is a fabulous temperature, even minus 1. The warm, winter weather of freshly falling snow and the quiet of the snowfall, the crunch of our footsteps on the sidewalk, the clean, white blanket and the fresh, clean air. Gone is the brown of late autumn and the trees curl up for a long winters sleep. The grass is covered with clean, protective snow and the vegetation lies in slumber, beneath it’s warm white canopy. Rest for the weary. For the constant blooming, the constant growing, the constant photosynthesis, the constant producing, leaves the world, at a time like this, and sends it into peaceful slumber, as the winter sets in and whispers to us. Come out to play in the snow!
The snow!
Soft white swirling flakes of snow, each one different, no two snowflakes exactly alike. Each one unique and there are millions and millions of them. A cascade of play, falling to earth, bringing sport and fun. Don your hats and mitts, your scarves and toques, your warm winter coats and warm winter pants. Pull on the long underwear and the extra layer of clothing. Be warm and cozy in the chilly minus temperatures, and play!
This season could last a long time.
The logs are already cut for your fire, the fireplace awaits, it’s crackling flames and the kettle is boiling and calling you, to make another hot cuppa. Chocolate! and tea and warm winters brew. A season of cold remedies and flu shots and days off to recover. The occasional broken bones from falls on the ice, but still, the joys of the season are plenty and duty calls us. Be happy! Winter is here!
Lash on your skates and grab your stick. The very best of Canada and our favourite past times, are winter sports and play. That clearing on the ice, brings about a game. Our national sport, hockey is here. From the time that you are little, until you grow old, the passion of the ice rink or that shoveled spot on the lake, are the call of winter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4–iEOftLZ4&spfreload=10 the beauty of hockey, the greatest game on the planet.

Our mission, to have fun. Our all Canadian dream, to win. This is the time for sport and play. Come on, Canada, get on with the game.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes
November 26, 2014