Month: April 2012

Wine Ink, Calgary

I found another great wine shop.  Hmmm, lots of wonderful places to taste and purchase wine in Calgary. 

A few weeks ago I was in Brandon, Manitoba.  I was working at the Royal Winter Fair.  Across from me was a gentleman promoting Canadian Cheese.  We managed to find the time to talk wine and cheese during our breaks and he told me that his son had a wine store on 17th Ave in Calgary. 

We finally made it in the other day.  As we approached the counter, Tim, the proprietor was pouring a couple of glasses of white.  I did like the fact that he did not ask us but just poured. I really don’t know if he does this for everyone or just took a good read on me.  Either way my thinking was that ‘of course’ if someone walks into a wine shop, odds are they would like to taste some of the wares.  I did end up purchasing what we tasted; though I limited my total purchase leaving an excuse to go back and try more next week. 

One can check out the website here: Wine Ink but really, go have a look at this beautiful old brick building that houses his beautiful selection of wine.  And have a sip.

Posted by faffyrd007 in alberta, calgary, wine inc, wine ink, wine tasting, 0 comments

Royal Tea in Brooks, Alberta

I’ve been drinking coffee for years and have been trying to do without it for years. I actually quit for some time about 14 years ago. I’m not sure what else I was doing or not doing at the time but but some back pain that had been giving me trouble for years completely went away. Needing that morning hot drink, I gradually went back to it. I started with Decaf but after a while just went back to regular coffee and espresso. Although I do like espresso, I tried to stop a couple of times since. I would get very tired for a few days and be fine after that but always would go back to it.
I working in Brooks, Alberta recently for a few days and while I was there planned to pick up some tea from Angela at Era Wellness. She makes and sells all her own teas. All natural. I had purchased some a year ago and thought they were wonderful so I made sure that I got a years supply this time. As I was drinking the tea over the weekend I realized that what I really needed was a replacement for my morning coffee. I like that warm cup as I go to the computer in the morning.
Angela suggested one of her black teas (one that I had already purchased). Add a bit of honey and a dollop of milk and for some that just isn’t coffee but for me is perfect. Tastes wonderful, is warm and much healthier than coffee. She suggests two cups will have the caffeine of one cup of coffee. So, far I’m doing pretty well with no coffee.
Angela will have a website up or at least a way to order her wonderful tea later in the summer. We’ll keep you posted.  That will be the subject of another post.
Posted by Martin Jones in alberta, back pain, brooks, coffee, royal tea, tea, 0 comments

The Art of Writing Letters

I profess no great skill in the art of letter writing.  I’m speaking here not of business letters but personal letters to friends and relatives.  My mother had this down cold.  As a child and a teen I would watch her sit every evening and while the rest of world was watching television she was writing letters – likely one per evening – to friends and relatives across the world. 

Her letters were a joy to receive – they were full of news of her life.  Mom moved to Denmark and lived there for 20 years.  In that time I felt that I knew personally her friends and new family.  Over time I learned who was related to who(or whom) and had a pretty good estimate as to how far everyone lived from one another.  Likes and dislikes etc.  Her letters were long and newsy.

Through Facebook and Twitter I feel like I have become a voyeur.  So, lacking paper, pen and stamps I’ve moved one step back and have started working my rusty letter writing skills into emails.  “We went here” “We went there”  “We visited Aunt Hannah” “We had to fix a flat tire”. 

The thing with getting a real letter or newsy email, you know that the person who wrote it did so because they minimally like you or more likely cherish you as a friend.  It is such a great feeling to send or receive a great newsy letter (or in my case, email).

So, pick someone and start telling them as an individual the boring and not so boring parts of your life.  Personally, I would love to get a letter from any of my kids with a photo and some news of how they sat around all day Sunday with Bob, Jim, Andrea and Andy watching the football game without any nachos because Andy thought Andrea was going to pick them up.

One thing me mum said regarding this was “NEVER wait for the other person to communicate”.  Always start and if they don’t reply, send another one.  One day they will write or call or something.  Know that they love getting your emails.  I know this as I used to send newsy mail blasts about family stuff and after 5-6 years one of my friends that I had pretty much never heard from told me in an email that it was one of the highlights of his year getting my news.

So, try it.  Write a letter(or an email) of some length to a friend or relative and see what happens.

Posted by Martin Jones in art of writing letters, 0 comments

Drumheller – Heartwood Inn and Spa

Earlier this week the weather was pretty nice and we had a few extra days off. I had not been to Drumheller and wanted to see it in some decent weather and hopefully before the mosquitoes set in.  I don’t really like mosquitoes.  Besides I like hiking when it is a bit cooler and we wanted to check out some of the canyons in the area. 

Our stay at the Inn was marvelous.  The owners, Zeke and Patrice were both friendly and helpful.  I travel some and wanted something that was not just another hotel room and this certainly fit the bill.  The room we had was very comfortable and quiet.  Big beautiful jacuzzi tub with a huge frosted window.  Allowed us to glimpse the night sky. 

You can see more and contact them here: Heartwood Inn and Spa
If you are going in the summer or on busy weekends book early – I can see no way that this gem of a place is not booked solid through the summer season. 

We didn’t have time to do everything and as the weather was good were more interested in hiking than inside pursuits such as the museum.  We drove up to Horse Thief Canyon.  Great hike – was really windy that first day – it seemed the wind found us no matter what side of the ‘hill’ we were on. Wednesday on the way back we stopped at Horseshoe Canyon.  About 10-15 miles outside of Drumheller on the way back to Calgary.  The hike there down into the canyon took us out of the wind and with the sun it was plenty warm enough.  In the summer I’m sure it can get bloody hot down there – I would advise bringing lots of water.  The initial bit of climbing into and out of is a little steep but once you are down inside it is pretty easy walking. 

Posted by faffyrd007 in alberta, badlands, calgary, drumheller, heartwood inn and spa, hiking, 3 comments