Backyard Adventures Canada

A German Christmas

December 5, 2014

The Christkindl Market in Kitchener is the largest of it’s kind outside of Germany. This is the 18th Annual Christkindl Market in Kitchener, while the Christmas Market itself dates back to 1310!

There was skating, German food, Crafts, and Vendors, where you could by the famous Christmas Pickle. There was a candlelight procession to the tree lighting ceremony where Christkindl himself and the Angels spoke in German to open the Market. They opened the ceremony with the Prologue, a poem spoken in Germans between the Angels. The tree was then lit, and the Market declared open.

It is so amazing going to events like this, even they are so close to home. It makes this part of the year, my favourite part, so special.

I found a translated poem, which I have included below:

You men and women, who once yourselves were children,
You little ones, life’s journey just beginning,
Each and all, who troubled tomorrow, are full of cheer today,
Pray listen to what Christkind has come to say!

Every year, four weeks before the time,
To decorate the Christmas tree, to celebrate the season,
Appears upon this square, your forebears knew it too,
What you here see, called Christkindlesmarkt by you,

This little town within the town, of wood and cloth made,
Whose short-lived splendor so fleeting seems to be,
And yet it is eternal. My market shall forever young remain.
As long as Nuremberg stands, and the memory of that market’s fame.

For Nuremberg is both old and young at once,
The many features of its countenance beyond all count.
Here this noble square. But now adjoining it,
The tall buildings of today, the factories of the modern world
The new city of so much green. And yet, you men and women true
It will remain forever the Nuremberg that is you.

Now as the old year ends there comes the day,
When wishes can be made and presents given,
When the market shines forth far and wide,
With decorations, and crystal balls, and blessed Christmastime
This you may not forget, you men and women, heed my word,
He who has all needs nothing more,
There are the children of this world and poor,
Who know the best what giving’s for.

You men and women, who once yourselves were children,
Be them again today, happy as children be,
And now the Christkind to its market calls,
And all who come are truly welcome.

Backyard Adventures Canada

My 10 favorite things about Fall

October 30, 2014

Fall is without a doubt the best season. I can work through my brain fog of allergies to enjoy the gorgeous and breathtaking wonders of fall.

This fall, I have had the privilege of spending it on both sides of the country. Ontario still is #1 when it comes to the amazing colours.

Here is a list of my favourite things about Fall and a few pictures too look at along the way.

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Backyard Adventures Canada

What a show!

July 27, 2014

The Whitecourt Hometown Heroes Airshow just concluded.

I have no more words other than: IT. WAS. INCREDIBLE.

Here are some photos I took and you can find more on my flickr!

Backyard Adventures Canada

Up we GO!

July 15, 2014

I was invited to go flying and did aerobatics in a Pitts Special Biplane with pilot Stefan Trischuk at the Whitecourt Airport. We did some loopty-loops, barrel rolls, and even flew upside down. (Those are completely technical terms.) I think we got to 2.5 or 3 Gs.

It was awesome.

Also, FYI, I am not screaming in fright. I am WOOHOOing. It’s different.

The Whitecourt Hometown Heroes Air Show is July 26 and 27, 2014.

[vimeo 100771681 w=500 h=281]

Up we GO! from Olivia Rutt on Vimeo.

Canada

This Crazy, Addictive Rodeo Life

July 10, 2014

I recently wrote a features article about the ups and downs of being in a rodeo in the Whitecourt Press. I interviewed a number or rodeo competitors from the area and a rodeo announcer.

My article in the Whitecourt Press

My article in the Whitecourt Press

It’s a long read but here’s the article. I’ve also added in some photos from the Sangudo Rodeo.

This crazy addictive rodeo life

Your hand is secure. You can feel the muscles of the bull underneath your legs, hoping it will stay calm in the chute. You breathe. You clear your mind and nod.

The gate flies open and everything happened at once. The bull is out, bucking, as it takes everything in you to stay on. Those eight seconds are the longest and shortest eight seconds of your life. Then it’s over, whether you stay on or get bucked off, it is over.

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Backyard Adventures Canada

Doing things that make you proud: Climbing a 100ft fire tower

July 9, 2014

I woke up yesterday morning with a mixture of nervousness and excitement fighting within me. I was going to climb a 100-foot fire tower.

When I set up the climb with the Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, they told me not to worry if I can’t make it to the top. I shouldn’t be ashamed because not everyone can do it.

That made me more nervous. What if I couldn’t do it? I was more nervous about not being able to do it than the climb itself.

The TOWER

The TOWER

Arriving at the site was a bit of a struggle. I don’t have a 4×4 and driving those oil roads were a feat in themselves.

I received a brief orientation, was harnessed up, and clipped onto a metal cable. A clip the size of my fist and a cage surrounding the ladder were the only things stopping me from falling to my death.

I looked up ready to take my first step. My mind was filled with tips from orientation: take one step at a time, always have three points of contact, alternate between left and right, and most importantly, don’t be afraid of not going all the way.

I just told myself – okay I said it aloud – “Let’s do this!”

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A little bit about the ladder: It is 100 ft straight up. It is surrounded by a metal cage. It is the only way to and from the lookout booth.

About 40 feet up, I’m at the tree line. It is my first real view of my surroundings. The first thing I notice is how tired my hands are. I have been gripping those ladder rails hard and my grip is going numb.

At 50 feet, I do the one thing I was told not to do: I look down. Thank goodness I am not afraid of heights. When I looked down, I smiled. Look how far I got. Then I look up. Oh god. I have so far to go.

At 80 feet, I am done. I can’t go on. My hands, my arms. I won’t be able to make it. But I made it that far. And there’s no way I’ll be able to climb down right away so I pushed myself 10 feet farther. As the hatch opened, I stumbled on the floor of the booth.

My arms were like noodles. My hands were forming into claws. My throat was dry. However, the best thing is I MADE IT.

The AMAZING view from above

The AMAZING view from above

I felt, literally and figuratively, on top of the world. So my advice: do those things that push you. As Babe Ruth said, “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”  Maybe I should start this saying: “never let the fear of failure keep you from climbing the tower.”

Stay Curious,

Olivia

Watch for my article in the Whitecourt Press out on Tuesday

Backyard Adventures Canada

Summer Solstice

June 22, 2014

Yesterday was the Summer Solstice. June 21, 2014. It is the beginning of summer and the longest day of the year (although scientifically it is not the day with the earliest sunrise or latest sunset, but I won’t get into that)

For millennium, different civilizations held great significance to the summer solstice. For me, it coincides with my mother’s birthday (Happy birthday Mom).

One of the items on my bucket list* is seeing the sun never set above the Arctic Circle. Although this wasn’t exactly what happened this year, I am farthest North I have ever been. Whitecourt sits at the 54th parallel, compared to home at the 43rd parallel. The farther North you travel, the longer the day is. For instance, today I had 17 hours and 10 minutes of daylight; compared to home that had 15 hours and 26 minutes.

It was a busy day for me running and covering so many events. I stuck around and watched the beautiful traditional dancers at Rotary Park for National Aboriginal Day. Also, bad on me for not wearing sunscreen, I’m a little bit crispy. So here are a few photos from the longest day of the year.

People practicing yoga for the Summer Solstice in Hard Luck Canyon

People practicing yoga for the Summer Solstice in Hard Luck Canyon

Traditional Dancer at Rotary Park for National Aboriginal Day

Traditional Dancer at Rotary Park for National Aboriginal Day

This little Caterpillar is so happy that it is finally summer.

This little Caterpillar is so happy that it is finally summer.

Sun will be up at 5:09 am tomorrow morning and as my dad would say, “The days are getting shorter as we head toward winter.”

Or as Ned Stark would say, “Winter is coming”