I'm so glad you could stop by. This is my personal blog of daily life and my journey through life. You will find a strong emphasis on family and friends as well as finding my ancestors through genealogy. Unlike my other blogs this blog is more of a catch-all so any topic is fair game.

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Monday, December 31, 2007

Welcome 2008

Happy New Year snow globe

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Blog Your Blessings 2007

blog your blessings Sunday

On this last Sunday on 2007 I can't help but reflect on our multitude of blessings over the year. It has been a year of turmoil, disruption and chaos all buffered each step of the way with a multitude of blessings. Some have been more discrete than others but all the same blessings. Each have been appreciated, valued and in some way we have learned from them.

I have to say one of my biggest blessing throughout this year has been my husband. Sometimes I can't even remember a time without him being there. He is just always there through thick and thin. Sorry guys but women go through this phase that guys just have to understand and he does. But he's been doing the understanding thing well before. He mellows me out sometimes having to play the role of the Energizer bunny but he is always there.

We started 2007 with a beautiful new grandbaby. We have had the great honour and privilege of watching her develop her own personality. She has mellowed us in ways only grandparents can understand. At the same time I've watched my own baby adjust to the new role of becoming a parent. It's not always as easy as it seems. But with the guidance of those who went before I'm confident these parents will do just fine.

One of our kids is waiting to immigrate to the US to get married. It's been stressful on one end but has been a true blessing for us. It's wonderful getting to know your child as an adult, to be able to enjoy their company. We are enjoying each and every moment!

This year we moved to the home that we will likely remain in until our kids cart us off to a home or worse. I can't begin to even put into words what this house means. The move was very stressful but well worth it. It is so peaceful both indoors and out that when combined with the beautiful view simply can't be beat. I honestly feel like a different person.

We've been blessed with the most awesome family and friends that you could ever imagine! Boy did they do overtime this year. Honestly we never would have got through this year without the blessings they bestowed on us. They mean so much to us! We have a beautiful roof over our heads and an abundance of food in the house. We have been very blessed in this regard. What some might not realize is we talk to our kids almost daily. There are very few days that go by that we don't speak with them. The pictures go back and forth by email as well. Such a close relationship is one of those blessings that is hard to describe but in many ways it is one of the most important.

Now I would be remiss not to mention the many blessings my online friends have brought. Those who visit my blogs, leave comments on my blogs and to my family and friends who visit my blogs daily. I'm blessed that anyone even thinks my blogs are worth reading. To have people from all over that visit daily is mind boggling so thank-you so much!

So many blessings!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Taking a Breather

frost on the branches
December 26, 2007

Our Christmas celebrations were wonderfully filled with family and lots of love. All the hustle and bustle paid off so we were able to avoid the last minute shopping thing. It was a lower keyed Christmas as far as gift giving with more gifts geared towards a need instead of a want. Just the way it should be. Grandbaby who is officially a year old kept us in stitches mimicking every move. Soon to be born grandbaby was anxious to get into the action so booted poor Mom several times and decided that high under the ribcage was a perfect place to be most of the time. We enjoyed a lot of good food as well. It was a most excellent Christmas!

The thing about the Christmas holiday season is it merges with the New Year's celebrations so for us there is usually something going on almost daily. We awoke on Boxing Day to a heavy fog that settled on the trees to form a nice layer of frost. It definitely was a photo opportunity! Now Boxing Day is apparently the day to shop but for us it is a "do nothing" day. That's kind of a misnomer but really it is a day we don't go anywhere unless absolutely necessary which it rarely is. We spend the day in pj's, check out our presents and welcome anyone who stops by. Meals consist of left overs so it is a pretty laid back day.

I was gifted with MacFamily Tree, a genealogy program for Mac so I played with it for awhile. My main genealogy program is Legacy but it is Windows based so I have to reboot in Windows. With MacFamily Tree I imported the gedcom then can use that to check the dates, names etc while doing online searches on Mac something I can't do with Legacy because the Windows partion isn't allowed online due to security concerns. MacFamily Tree has some very nice features. I was also gifted with a 500 GB external hard drive for the Mac. Two of my kids helped set it up and showed me how to use it. Trust me between genealogy, pictures, Photoshop and scrapbooking I'll be able to fill that drive in no time flat. My kids knowing this helped me do a bit of computer housekeeping.

I took a breather today. It has been so busy the past few months I haven't done near as much genealogy as I should be doing and I'm lagging in learning more about Photoshop. The snowglobe from my last post and the soon to be posted New Year's post are my own creations using Photoshop then ImageReady to turn into animations. I've come a long way from this time last year! I'm now using Photoshop for digital scrapbooking so this morning I took the time to work through another tutorial for a reflection technique. This afternoon I turned my attention to genealogy once again chipping away at the brick walls. I uncovered one key little bit of information that may end up being nothing but it might be just what I need to crack that one line. So I'm pretty excited. It's always about the hunt with genealogy. Uncovering that one little key is a feeling that can't be described!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Countdown

purple martin house
Purple Martin House
December 16, 2007

Snowy days give lots of photo opportunities so I like keeping the camera handy. The snow coming over the water provided a lovely backdrop for the snow laden cedars. The Purple Martin house was an added bonus to the gardens. It needs a few minor repairs. Unfortunately, this bird house has been taken over by sparrows but I didn't have the heart to clean it out before the weather turned cold. This will be a job in the spring to get the bird house in condition for attracting Purple Martins.

We are on the countdown for holiday prep work today. I finished up my baking yesterday so while the oven was cleaning I started the spit & shine process. This afternoon we are going to an extended family event for a short time then my husband and I are taking a breather. We are eating out and will be enjoying a concert by one of my favourite performers this evening. A couple of the kids and grandbaby will be here when we get home tonight. Another couple will be arriving in the morning. The morning will be quite busy as we finish the prep for a large family get together we are hosting in the afternoon. Several will still be here after the main event leading to a smaller get together for dinner and visiting. Monday will be quite busy with last minute prep for our family Christmas meal. Normally we have it Christmas day but a couple of our kids has to be at three events that day so I suggested holding our dinner the night before so we can eat out Christmas meal as a family. Christmas Eve will be spent visiting with our kids after dinner and taking in Midnight Mass. All the kids will be here Christmas morning with most staying for the day so that will mean another large meal for dinner but also Christmas breakfast. I love Christmas breakfast and we go all out so I'll write more on that later. We will still have a full house for a few days after Christmas with family but we also have those that just stop in for a visit so it is a rather laid back time. So I think things are pretty much ready to meet the seasonal demands. Now the fun starts :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Crisis Days

Darke-eyed Junco
(Junco hyemalis)
December 19, 2007

Some days are just destined to be disasters. So it is today. My whole mistake this morning was waking up but given the alternative, that was likely a good thing. We spent a good portion of yesterday shopping which added nothing to my mood since there is still a lot of prep work and cooking to do before the weekend. I ended up picking up a couple of pre-made things for entertaining which really bummed me out as I take great pride in serving homemade foods from scratch. However, I'm getting down to a time crunch so need a couple of cheater items (miniature cinnamon rolls, refrigerator crescent rolls). The crescent rolls are for a veggie pizza appetizer and I simply don't have the time or patience to test out recipes to find a suitable substitute. Two projects that are important to me to have finished before Sunday are at a complete stand still. At the moment I'm emotionally numb and physically hurting so my creativity level is at an all time low! But enough about that. It's a beautiful day so I'm going to make the most of it.

Hopefully the bright sunshine and the antics of the Juncos will lift my spirits as I immerse myself in cooking today. There has been a lot of activity at the feeders this morning. The blue jays made their morning rounds as did the cardinals. Both have such vivid colours and the blue jays' personalities always make me smile. Today, smiling is a good thing! One smile leads to another and soon the my mood will lift.

BTW, if you've read this blog for any length of time you will know I'm a Corrie fan (Coronation Street). I watch it everyday during the week. Well it wasn't on last night because of a special but there is a back to back tonight. One whole hour of Corry is a sure mood lifter! Anyway it really looks like things are looking a lot bleaker for Tracey now that Dedre is starting to see the light. And then there is our Lee Ann. I would not have figured her for her new profession. She is such a pretty girl who is going to find out that this choice will bring nothing but heartache down the road. Tsk, tsk!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal
(Cardinalis cardinalis)
December 18, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On the Bird Front

sharp shinned hawk
Sharp Shinned Hawk
December 16, 2007

One of the things I love about living on the water is the ever changing scenery. Each day the view differs and brings something new to ponder. The mute swans visited today as did a large flock of Canadian geese. I puttered in the kitchen while watching them dive for food. There's a group of what I think are Bufflehead ducks out there now but I'm not trecking through the snow to get a closer look since I still haven't found my boots that somehow got lost in the move.

A Sharp Shinned Hawk visited our gardens Sunday. This is quite a welcomed honour as it is a good indicator a good balance has been reached. Predator species like the "sharpie" help to keep the rodent (mice, voles) in check as well as discourage grackles and cowbirds. I can tell when he is nearby as the feeders are suddenly vacated and all becomes still as they smaller birds flee to the safety of the conifers. The normal flittering and twittering in the conifers comes to an instant halt. It is impressive on many levels!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Blog Your Blessings Sunday - Winter Storm

blog your blessings Sunday

winter storm
Winter Wonderland
December 16, 2007

Family has always been one of my cherished blessings. Knowing the kids would be traveling in snow storm last night really put me ill at ease. I was very relieved to get that phone call to say they were home safe and sound. Over night the storm turned everything to a winter wonderland. The thick blanket of snow was quite pretty despite the dull, heavy grey skies threatening more to come.

The water has taken on a cold, bluish grey cast and the snow is still coming down. The winds have picked up causing drifting. The visibility is greatly reduced as well so it is not the time to be out on the roads. As I went about taking pictures of the storm from the warmth and safety of our home, I was reminded how lucky I was to be able to enjoy such beauty. Even though the sun wasn't shining to reveal the multitude of snow diamonds, the view was still spectacular.

Our pantry is very well stocked so there is no need to go out for anything. I've spent the day so far cooking and doing a bit of catch-up for the holidays. The storm is not supposed to let up until tomorrow morning so my husband will work from home instead of going into the office. The electricity has so far remained on unlike our previous house where the power would have been out several times by now with this type of storm. The ability to stay tucked safely in our home during this storm is a blessing that I'm very thankful for.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Icy Waters

icy waters
Icy Waters
February 28, 2007

We are under a storm advisory warning from Environment Canada. A near crippling snow storm is fast approaching. By tomorrow night we should see upwards of 35 cm of snow. We are all set except the expectant kids (see ticker above) are down, traveling home tonight so of course the protective Mommy mode has kicked in. I will be doing the pacing thing until I know they are home safe and sound. I should mention we felt soon-to-be second grandbaby kick today! I affectionately referred to grandbaby as Herman but grandbaby's Mommy wasn't too keen on that name. Go figure! Hermy is a perfectly acceptable name for any baby, male or female.

They are calling for possible power outages with this storm. This is something that has always bothered me since we first bought our first home that heated by a magic button that controlled a thing called a furnace. Now mind you we were coming from using wood heat meaning if the power went out, we still had heat and a means for cooking. Plus, the wood heat was a nice, warm to the bone heat not like the new fangled furnace! The furnace was easy. Just press the button and on came the heat. It was natural gas but the fan is electrical. If the power goes out the furnace will work unless electronic ignite but the fan won't work meaning no heat. So one of my primary concerns has been finding a way to secure heat in the event we lost power during the winter. Ok so fast forward to this house. It too is heated by forced air but unlike our last house with its "oh there is a cloud in the sky" power outages this house is really stable as far as electricity. We also have a natural gas fireplace that my husband is sure will work even if the electricity is out. We haven't tested this but he said it is the same type of ignition clicker that the outdoor grill has so will work without electricity. I know, we should have tested this theory before any threat of winter storms but we didn't. Other than that we are very well prepared. So now we wait.

The kids have left on their way to a smaller Christmas party. They will be on the roads heading towards home about 8:30 pm. The snow has started here but is still really light. Once we hear they are home safely we can relax and snuggle down while we watch the world around us turn into a winter wonderland.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Golden Glow

sunrise through the willow
Golden Glow
December 8, 2007

The winter skies are giving lovely photo opportunities. The kids along with second grandbaby are on their way home. They should arrive anytime. I have homemade pizza dough ready for the oven and made peanut brittle for when they get here. We are quite excited!

We are under an Environment Canada storm advisory. It doesn't matter much for ourselves as we will simply do a couple of days in but the kids are planning traveling late tomorrow night right in the midst of the storm. Those plans may have to change! I worry with them on the road like that in nasty weather. The bottom line is your driving skills mean absolutely nothing if the other driver is under par. You can be dead right when driving!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Shopping

the field in late fall
The Field
December 5, 2007

It's that time of year when there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. We are still working on getting all the Christmas lights and decorations up. This is proving to be a bit of a challenge because we really don't know what we want for this house for Christmas decorating. Lights and decorations that worked at the last house just aren't working here so we have to come up with a new plan. The weather has turned cold with bouts of freezing rain making outdoor decorating rather unpleasant. Even the indoor Christmas lights and decorations don't seem to fit here. Then there is the beautiful fieldstone fireplace with stone mantle that is begging to have stockings hanging but I haven't figured out a way to hang them.

I am not a shopper even at the best of times but this time of year, I really hate shopping! So I tend to put it off as long as possible. Any number of excuses will work for me just as long as I can avoid the stores. Yesterday I was frustrated with the Christmas decorating progress so went shopping. The day before I had broke a dinner plate so needed to pick up a setting for 8 and since I'm getting bored with the ones I have now it provided a bit of an incentive. On my list of things to by were Christmas stockings, extension cords, dishes, LED Christmas lights, a long grocery list and a few gifts. My husband dropped me off at my first stop intending to meet me at my second stop then go grocery shopping. I finished shopping at the first stop with a lot of goodies then stopped to say hello to friends next door. I was shocked to hear the news that he was recovering from a recent stroke! We had not heard the news. After a short visit with assurances he was on the mend I walked to the next destination. That shopping went well and I was in the process of ordering grandbaby's birthday cake when my husband caught up with me. Yes I know I should make the cake myself but the party is going to be a large one two days before Christmas and I'm already tuckered out. It was getting late so we decided to fore go grocery shopping as I could do it today. Wrong, it's lightly snowing and it's cold so I'm staying indoors other than filling the bird feeders.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Blog Your Blessings Sunday - A Great Weekend

blog your blessings Sunday

We've had so many wonderful blessings the past week it is hard to know where to begin. We are in the holiday prep mode so had the carpets cleaned on Wednesday. Since they were drying it gave us the opportunity to do a bit of Christmas shopping. I've been back and forth on the phone with one of my kids (always enjoyable) then got the news another of my kids was flying to Winnipeg for a 60 hr shoot. This is a major project for a young but very, very talented graphic designer who has already made a remarkable mark on the advertising/publishing community. We are very proud of this newest achievement! A true blessing indeed!

This weekend my husband was hosting his monthly games night. The kids were down with grandbaby. In the meantime the dear plumber who was installing the clean-out between the house and want to eliminate our wonderful flooding problem was supposed to come Thursday but then couldn't come until Saturday. The guys were outside in rather frigid weather all day helping the plumber and despite threatening forecasts, the weather co-operated. Another blessing!

Saturday night we were surrounded by a wonderful group of guys, our kids and grandbaby. What a wonderful time we had! I watch grandbaby during these events while being a good hostess which involves cooking. Grandbaby loves being in the kitchen especially the cupboards but the eye teeth are popping through. Grandbaby decided that Grandma was the comfort zone. Baby snuggles and being able to comfort a baby who needs it is a true blessing.

This morning we woke to freezing rain so the kids packed up early to travel home. Two car loads and I'm telling you I worried every minute until I got their one ringers. Thank-you angels! I was so exhausted since the guys didn't stop playing cards until about 6:30 this morning. We had to be at a Christmas party at lunchtime so keeping the eyelids open was a real challenge. It was a wonderfully laid back party with good food and fellowship. Afterwards we stopped at very good friends' house to chit chat and warm up with hot tea. It was so relaxing and a lovely way to end the weekend. As we travelled home I couldn't help but thinking how blessed we are.

What better blessings could we ask for? We were surrounded by family and good friends. Our kids are mainly settled, happy and healthy. They bring us love, joy, support and always amazement!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Road Trip in Michigan

helicopter landing
December 5, 2007

We had all the carpets cleaned bright and early yesterday morning. ''Tis the season for the spit and polish. When the cleaners were finished we headed out for a little Christmas shopping to allow a bit of drying time for the carpets. We go by this little airport quite often. Usually it is smaller aircraft landing or taking off but this time there was military helicopter doing landing maneuvers. We were able to get stopped on the side of the road to take a few pictures. Talk about a photo opportunity. It was quite impressive!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Footprints in the Sand

Footprints in the Sand
September 5, 2003

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ontario Weather

adverse highway conditions
Highway Conditions
December 2, 2007

We've had a couple of weeks dealing with plumbing problems that have resulted in our furnace room being flooded several times. It has been most frustrating but we are keeping a sense of humour. So when the opportunity to travel to visit a couple of our kids with spouses and grandbaby presented itself, I was quite excited. We headed out just after lunch time Saturday into the threatening skies but the roads remained dry so we made good time arriving at our first stop mid-afternoon. We were on babysitting duty for the evening so grandbaby helped me make a lovely loaf of raisin bread for Sunday's breakfast. The kids went to a Christmas party but were home early enough for us to watch Ocean's 13. By then it had already started snowing.

I forgot how early babies wake up and being an early riser myself normally this wouldn't be a problem except I woke with a horrid sinus attack. I should have expected it given the unsettled weather conditions but it really knocked me on the seat of my pants. Grandbaby, now age 11 months, was up bright and early getting stuffed into a really cute snow suit ready to go play in the 20 cm of snow. I managed to get a couple of good pictures from the window! They cleaned off all the cars but by the time they were coming in the freezing rain had started. So on came the weather channel and my husband made the executive decision to head home during daylight hours. This was disappointing as we were supposed to be traveling to another kid and spouse's house. They are expecting and while we have the first ultra sound pictures and talk a lot on the phone I haven't seen the little baby bulge yet. Anyway we quickly packed up and headed out.

Both of us were dressed in flannel pants for comfort but put the suitcase inside just in case we needed extra clothes. We knew it was going to be a long drive home and it was. The view pictured pretty much sums up the entire ride home except it did get a lot foggier as the temperature rose. Traffic was down to a stand still three times and very slow several times so the trip ended up taking a little over four hours in comparison to a normal trip of just under two and a half hours. The closer we got to home the cloudier it got and by the time we arrived home the rain was coming down in buckets.

We unloaded the car then checked the temporary pump. Welcome home, the furnace room was flooded once again!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Monday Funnies - The Shoe on the Other Foot

A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband. Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen. "Careful," he said, "CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my gosh! You're cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter. Oh my gosh! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They're going to STICK! Careful. CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind? Don't forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!" The wife stared at him. "What in the world is wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?" The husband calmly replied, "I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm driving."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Blog Your Blessings Sunday - Love

The ability to love, give love and share love has to be one of the greatest blessings and yet one that is not always appreciated and goes unnoticed so many times. It surrounds us but is often very subtle. I'm reminded daily of how very blessed I am to have a family to love and one that loves me in return. It's an unconditional love, giving and taking, always growing!

Today I watched one of my kids bid a tearful goodbye to their significant other, soon to be spouse. My heart broke for both of them. They will not see each other in person again until mid January. They are waiting for the necessary paperwork so our kid can legally enter the US at which time they will wed. Immigrating to the US is not as easy as it would appear even with the intentions of getting married. So far they have been waiting since July. We've watch their love grow and become stronger despite the obstacles. At the same time our love has grown as we've supported them. We've had the opportunity to get to know the soon to be newest member of our family. We are very blessed that they have allowed us to share this chapter of their lives.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hot Flashes :)

It's time for a little humour and in case anyone is wondering, I can find a lot of humour in my own life. It's not exactly like I'm a spring chicken but I'm young at heart so that counts and it's not like I'm exactly old neither as I haven't hit that four score and something mark yet. The current source of humour here is known as hot flashes. Hey you had to figure that eventually that topic or some reference to it would come up. I am a little concerned when walking to the car on these chilly mornings surrounded by a cloud of steam of my very own production and that's while wearing a t-shirt and shorts! It's discerning to see our house is surrounded by fog when the neighbouring houses are nice and clear with no fog in sight. Seriously I am just "this close" to becoming a nudist and then I would still be too hot. Yep, I can just see the looks on my kids face when they show up seeing me in my birthday suit, stretch marks and all! They would just roll their eyes and give that look "Mom's on a new kick." while silently wondering how long before it passes. Now that's a good question because I'm wondering how long hot flashes last myself. Seriously they can't last longer than a year or so, can they? Well if they are going to last for any length of time, I'll best make the most of them. They are too good to pass up!

Why I love hot flashes:

  • No heat is required in the house ever. Trust me I can produce enough heat to heat the house in a blizzard and then some!
  • I now have a beautiful, glistening glow. It comes and goes but hey it is cheaper than make-up.
  • Sleeping is simply an option freeing up more time for playing online! Who needs sleep anyway?
  • I'm saving a lot of time and energy on cooking food by strapping pouches of food to my waist during the day. By dinner time the food is nicely steamed ready to eat!
  • They are cheaper than either a sauna or hot tube and just as beneficial.
  • Grandma (aka me) makes a good slip and slide :)
  • I'm my own de-wrinkler - clothes and otherwise and I work reasonably well near curtains too.
  • My husband is thrilled I can pop corn on my tummy while watching tv.
  • Border patrol has classified me as a hot spot! They hover over our house to the point I'm going to need a tin foil hat but that would hold the heat in :(
  • I love saying "Honestly officer, there is only me in the car." as they eye up the steamed windows while I'm sitting in the parking lot.
  • They taught me a new game - "Covers on, Covers off".
  • My husband has to put on the fog lights just to get out of our driveway. Thanks to me, he knows those lights work!
Stay tuned for a wonderful side effect of hot flashes called mood swings. Apparently, mood swings are a bit more noticeable to those other than me. They don't bother me in the least so I'll have to get the opinions of others to post a follow-up.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Buy Nothing Day 2007

buy nothing day 2007
Today is Buy Nothing Day in North America. The event is also celebrated in the United Kingdom on November 24 this year. Buy Nothing Day began in 1992 in Canada as an initiative by Ted Dave. He was working in the advertising world and wanted to perform an act against the constant appeal to over consume. His motto was: Enough is enough! Buy Nothing Day highlights the environmental and ethical consequences of consumerism. The developed countries constitute 20 % of the world's population yet they are consuming over 80% of the world's natural resources. This causes a disproportion level of environmental damage and an unfair distribution of wealth. Buy Nothing Day is meant to raise the consumer consciousness in the hopes of encouraging a life long commitment to consuming less, recycling more and challenge companies to clean up and be fair. The idea has been adopted by several countries with Buy Nothing Day activities in at least thirteen countries this year. Participation is easy. Simply buy nothing the entire day. You can also organize an event, hang a poster in your window, blog about it and tell others.

Buy Nothing Day is a good time to reflect on what you buy and how it impacts the environment and developing countries. We've all heard of brand loyalty but does that company really deserve your loyalty? Sure they might produce the product you want but at what cost? Do they have a firm environmental policy in place? Do they pay their workers a fair salary? How do they treat their workers? How do they produce their goods? Are they producing toxic waste during production? Are they using cheap labour in developing countries where the workers are not protected? What about packaging? Are you buying the product because of advertising or because you really need it? Advertisers want us to believe we have to have the product. After all, that is their job. What aren't they telling us? There are so many questions!

This is a great day to write that letter to telling them why you won't be buying their product because of . So please spread the word. Hang a poster. Write a letter. Blog about it. Talk about it. Participate by not shopping!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Mallard Duck Visit

Mallard Ducks
Nov. 18, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Blog Your Blessings Sunday - Many Blessings

blog your blessings Sunday

To participate in Blog Your Blessings Sunday click here.

Last week was slow paced and pleasant despite a couple of dreary, cold weather days. I busied myself with a couple of winterizing projects. The wind was quite strong a few times but that was a blessing for helping me detect drafts. This house is quite solid so there isn't near as much sealing or winterizing needed as our last house. In fact the house is so well sealed and insulated we have not raised the thermostat higher than 19º C (67ºF) and that was only for a couple of hours as I had a chill. Right now 18ºC (65ºF) is a comfortable setting. This unexpected bonus is a nice, much appreciated blessing as well.

Thursday was busy as I got the call to pick up our half of pig, another blessing that came about from a farmer giving up pig farming so the price was well below market value. Since moving here, my second chest freezer is smaller than what I had at our last house. It is new and energy efficient though and it has forced me to be more conscious of my freezer space, all blessings. That meant I had to do some freezer reorganizing as well as get things ready for the weekend. It also meant I had a few pieces of meat to do a bit of canning with as well but that would have to wait until after the weekend.

Then it happened, every drain in the lower level backed up Friday night! Just perfect when Saturday was my husband's monthly poker game that we host and the kids with grandbaby would be home. We thought we had the problem solved only to discover the furnace room flooded Saturday morning! We figured out the pump was not pumping the water/sewage from the reservoir up and out but if we unplugged the pump and switch then plugged it back in it worked (would need repeating until we could repair), another blessing. So my husband used the some of the kitty litter I had for my door snakes to soak the water and odour and we got on with our entertainment plans.

I watched grandbaby (a real blessing!) while making various appetizers for the crowd. What a little sweetheart! Grandbaby is walking now which is really cute but I have to tell you this little one can climb stairs faster than Grandma can. I'm really tuckered out but in a good way.

My husband cleaned out the furnace room this afternoon preparing for the needed repair. Unfortunately a few things had to be discarded. The rest of the kitty litter was spread out to soak up all the water so that will be scooped up later this afternoon. This was a good reminder (a blessing) to keep a large bag of kitty litter on hand and install a water alarm. It's important for anyone with sump pumps and even more important in cases as ours where sewage water could be involved.

So all in all last week was good and even in the midst of problems there were blessing.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Geese at Sunset

geese flying overhead at sunset
Geese at Sunset
October 21, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Remembrance Day 2007

My Great Uncle

[updated 12:oo pm]: Did you go to a Remembrance Day Service? If not, why? What could possibly be your excuse for not going? Give me your best shot. I will tell you now that unless you were infirmed or deceased, you as a Canadian have no excuse for not attending! You have no excuse for not showing your respect for our fallen soldiers and those still battling for our freedom. Sorry, you do not have an excuse! It doesn't matter if it is drizzling, snowy, pouring rain, in the midst of a blizzard or so cold your toes freeze while standing at the ceremony.

This year is the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge (April 9-14, 1917). At least four of my ancestors fought in WWI and two of them were at Vimy Ridge. I grew up in a home were all family members were involved in one way or another in the military. Just about every one of the male members and some of the female members of my biological family (different from home I grew up in) were in the military. My European ancestors were fighting wars from the time they landed in Quebec, my English ancestors under British rule and my native ancestors well before then. All these efforts have made Canada the country it is today. I know my family stories, how the wars affected our family and yet time over time again, our family has enlisted defending our country. Our chests have been inflated at the honours, deflated at picking up the pieces and our hearts have been broken at burying our dead. Men barely out of their teens, still babies themselves buried. They had no excuse but gave freely with their lives.

What possible reason could you have for not paying respect?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Do You See the Baby?

If you can't see the baby in the picture, don't give up.
It's really cool when it actually appears.
This is not a joke and ~ NO ~ Nothing is going to jump out at you!

You have to have an open mind.
Don't look for a Baby, and you will see the Baby!
Once you see it you won't see anything else!!!

This is so cool. Do you see the baby?

author unknown, image source unknown
If you know the author or image source, please let me know so I can acknowledge accordingly.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Sunset Through the Clouds

Sunset Through the Clouds
November 5, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Blog Your Blessings Sunday - The Miracle of Life

ETA April 5, 2008

What better blessing to celebrate than the miracle of life. We are closely watching the development of this little wonder sharing the milestones in vitro and sharing the hopes and dreams. It is a true blessing to share this with our kids as everyone prepares to welcome a new bundle of joy into our lives. Once again our family is growing. This little one like those before him or her will be surrounded with a lot of love and supported unconditionally by family.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Hallowe'en 2007

happy Hallowe'ene 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Beautiful Day

boating in the late fall
Oct 22, 2007

The weather has certainly been unseasonable here, much warmer than it should be. So the kiddies shouldn't have to wear snowsuits for Trick or Treating tomorrow night. We were supposed to go to help hand out candy and grandbaby's house. We were going to leave tonight, babysit tomorrow and head home after the festivities except my husband and son are down with colds. This cold hit my husband quite hard so him driving down tonight was not an option and exposing the kids and grandbaby to the cold . So I did a little Hallowe'en decorating, not much mind you as I only put the decorations up the day before and take them down the day after. It felt good puttering outdoors enjoying the sun's kisses. I even took a break to sit on the dock enjoying the glittering water. What a beautiful day!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007

RIP Dr. Kornberg

sunset through the trees
October 25, 2007

Dr. Arthur Kornberg died yesterday of respiratory failure at the age of 89. He was an active professor emeritus at Standford's School of Medicine. This genetic pioneer won the Nobel prize in 1959 for the synthesis of DNA in the test tube. He compared the nitrogenous base compositions of the DNA template with those recovered from the DNA product thus demonstrating that the templates were replicated faithfully. He also used the nearest-neighbour frequency test to assay the fidelity of the copying confirming that DNA polymerase I seed to be the likely candidate for DNA synthesis during replication within the cell. Out of necessity Kornberg's experiments were performed in vitro.

I have had the distinct privilege and honour of listing and meeting some of the greats in the field of genetics. Dr. Kornberg was one of those that I had the opportunity to listen to, riveted in my seat hanging to his every word. I can still remember quite vividly the first time I separated a strand of DNA. It was a sheer thrill! Then it got better as I visualized the DNA as bands on a gel and realizing each band represented a nucleotide creating a sequence. I still get a thrill at seeing this. The pioneers of genetics left us this legacy. We are indeed very fortunate!

Rest in Peace, Dr. Kornberg and thank-you.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Thoughts on Autumn

sunrise on maple tree
Sunrise on Maple
October 25, 2007

I have a love/hate feeling about autumn. The abundance of the harvest keeps me busy as the days begin to cool and daylight hours get shorter. The sunsets and sunrises can be spectacular. Yesterday the sun peeped just enough above the peak of the house to light up one of the maple trees. The beautiful orange and red leaves just popped against the vivid blue sky! I love the days with blue skies and sunshine but dread the grey days like today. Everything takes on a grey cast including the water. November is my least favourite month because of the grey. It is such a long, dreary month!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine

Now We're Cooking...
October 6, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine loves to help Grandma in the kitchen! I've been told by her mom that she like helping at home as well. Cupboards and cabinets are kid magnets but she comes by being in the kitchen by nature. Our kids were always in the kitchen and still are because of our love of good food so it is only natural she wants to be in the kitchen as well. We just have to work a little on her technique!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - A Beautiful Sunset Over the Water

a beautiful sunset over the water
Sunset Over the Water
October 23, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Final Boat Ride 2007

final boat ride for 2007
Final Boat Ride 2007
October 22, 2007

The weather turned unseasonably warm over the weekend. I wanted to take a final boat ride as our boat was scheduled to be lifted out of the water the week of October 22 to be stored for the winter. Unfortunately the weekend was too busy with preparing and hosting my husband's monthly poker tournament and taking our future daughter-in-law to the airport. I kept my fingers crossed hoping for nice weather yesterday and that they hadn't got to our boat yet.

Yesterday was warm and breezy. My husband called saying he was taking the afternoon off, one of the perks of self employment, to take the boat out for her final ride of 2007. I quickly tidied up my canning anticipating the boat ride. The water was crisp looking in the slip with the bottom and weeds showing clearly through. This is one of the first signs of colder weather coming. As we left the cut the beautiful blue sky with white wispy clouds took on grey tones. The water was a deep bluish green that deepened as we scooted over the choppy waters. The wind was strong going against the current creating some nice sizes swells. The skies continued to darken so we decided to turn around and head towards our slip. I stood for awhile enjoying the wind whip my hair around, drinking in the sights while snapping a lot of pictures. When we arrived back at the marina it was clear that they would reach our boat today ending yet another wonderful boating season. This year is a little bitter sweet as it may be the last year for this boat. We've been looking at buying a bigger boat and already have one possible boat in mind. We'll see what the winter brings. In the meantime we have a lot of great memories and pictures from this boating season!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Blog Your Blessings Sunday - Focusing on Family and Friends

Last week was filled with many blessings. A scheduled procedure had to be unexpectedly postponed so I busied myself canning beef and pumpkin. Both looked lovely in the jars as they took their place in an almost bulging at the seams pantry. Being able to stock the pantry through canning is always a blessing! The weather turned unseasonably warm so we were able to spend a bit more time outdoors, winterizing the house and simply enjoying the sun's kiss. Our future daughter-in-law came mid-week to spend a few days giving us a chance to visit. Last night my husband hosted his monthly poker game to some 20 gentlemen. I had a wonderful time playing hostess, serving up various snacks and chili as well as making sure things were going smoothly. Once again family, friends and good food were the focus - all true blessings!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Problem Solved

hubby fixing the printer
Problem Solved
October 7, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day - The Environment

Today over fifteen thousand blogs with twelve million readers will be blogging on one topic - The Environment. Each of my blogs are participating, each from a different perspective so be sure to read them all.

Readers of this blog know that each Monday the entry is a funny of some type. Remember in humour there is an element of truth. Today's funny is a very good example of that.

Cirrhosis is caused by chronic liver disease. It is irreversible but treatment could stop or delay further progression. and is life threatening. The liver is responsible for filtering out toxins much like a river in nature. How appropriate to compare the current condition of our waterways due to toxins from factories to cirrhosis. We live on the Great Lakes waterway system. Industrial chemical spills are of concern in our area as well as in other parts of the waterway system. These spills are either accidental or illicit discharges of substances such as oil, hydrocarbons, chemicals and waste. Not only are these spills harmful to humans, they also harm marine life and the environment.

What I have noticed though that the problem is not caused just industrial spills. Littering and illegal dumping are common in our waters. The dump may be as small as pour the left-over contents of an herbicide into the water or releasing waste water into natural waterways. Some residents living along the waterways think nothing of dumping their yard clippings into the water. These are the very same people who would be very vocal over industrial spills. How are their actions any different other than being on a smaller scale? Farm chemicals enter the waterways through run-off as does the salt we use on the roads in the winter. Things like Tylenol and estrogen are showing up in our water supplies as well. Compounding the problem is the introduction of nonindiginous species into the waterways disrupting the natural balance.

It is time we as citizens of this earth stand up and say enough is enough! We need action and personal accountability for how we use water. If we don't our water will reach the point of suffering irreversible damage. Each of us has a responsibility to protect our water for ourselves, for future generations and for the environment.

Garden Gnome

Friday, October 12, 2007

Misty Sunrise

Misty Sunrise
October 5, 2007

It's that time of the year with cooling weather and foggy skies. I couldn't resist taking a few pictures of this beautiful misty sunrise. What a photo opportunity!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Blog Action Day 2007

blog action day 2007

October 15 is Blog Action Day. This year's theme is the environment. Imagine 9,898 blogs, the number of registered bloggers when I signed up my blogs, uniting to blog about a common theme. Each of my blogs will participate in this worthy cause. It will be interesting coming up with four very different entries that combine the topic of each blog with the theme of Blog Action Day. Please join the cause, register your blog and blog about the environment on October 15. You can blog about any topic relating to the environment.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Weather Turning

sunrise on the water
October 7, 2007

The days are turning grey with foggy mornings. The clouds reflected nicely off the crisping of the water giving what I thought was a pretty effect. I really don't enjoy this time of year, not with the grey. I love the fall colours but not the greying of the days. The only saving grace is being kept busy with preserving as much as possible. It seems the sun just disappears while the temperatures drop. It signals the end to the warm weather along with needing to get things ready for winter but it also triggers a negative mood swing for me that lasts for most of the month of November. I seriously need every light in the house on! The only things I really enjoy are seeing a full pantry and turning to genealogy.

We haven't had a frost yet even though our ADFF was October 8. Tomatoes ended last week so I'm working on apples and squashes along with canning a few meats to free up room in the freezer. At the same time with the cooling temperatures I'm busy sealing up the house. I'm scheduled for surgery on Tuesday so am working frantically to get everything finished before then. The timing is not the best given our boat comes out of the water the week of the 22nd and I doubt I will feel up to boating before then but if things go well I will be healed nicely before Christmas.

I'm aiming for going to our daughter's on Oct 31 to see our grandbaby's first Hallowe'en and help hand out candy because we have at most one or two little goblin visitors. We are going to babysit her for the day so that will be a real treat and I'm making dinner! I don't think they are planning doing the trick or treat routine with her this year because she is pretty small and they only know a very few people in their neighbourhood. They are going to be dressing her up for the occasion but I'm not sure as what yet. My husband is going to be dressed in his monk's outfit. Now if you know him you would laugh! I'm bringing my witch's costume so if I feel like dressing up I can. We are planning on coming home that night but it should be a lot of family fun!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Blog Your Blessing Sunday - Thanksgiving Weekend

Tomorrow is our Thanksgiving and while we officially celebrated our last weekend the kids were home this weekend so it was still a food fest filled with a lot of love, laughter and good feelings. This time of year reminds me to always be thankful for very family and good friends. They are what really makes our life experiences. Both should always be treasured! They are true blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Grandpa's Love

Grandpa's Love
Grandpa's Love
September 28, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Rainbow Spotted on Our Road Trip

rainbow over highway 401 in Ontario, Canada
September 28, 2007

We left the house late Friday afternoon heading in an easterly direction towards our daughter and son-in-law's home. Safely tucked in the trunk was shredded barbeque pork for dinner and the turkey for Saturday's early Thanksgiving feast. The Canadian Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated the second Monday in October. We had tentative plans for that weekend so an earlier date fit everyone's schedule and it meant that at least two of our married kid's would not have to eat two Thanksgiving dinners in one weekend.

We travelled north then directly east, made a couple of jiggs finally arriving at Hwy 401. Continuing on our journey, I spotted a rainbow. I took several pictures as the car was speeding towards its destination. My theory is the posted speed limit is the speed to be going but my husband's idea is as long as you are within 20 km of the speed limit, it's ok. Anyway, there were no signs of rain and the rainbow just seemed to appear out of nowhere. Somehow it just seemed so fitting. Here we were heading towards a family get together with the promise of a wonderful time. The rainbow echoed that promise.

The weekend was amazing. We enjoyed being with our kids and grandbaby. We even took a trip to a neat apple orchard, did a bit of grocery shopping but more importantly we spent the time with our family. On the way home I realized one of the dishes I brought needed to be used up so called my daughter. Then when we arrived home she called to say she got the message and they will be home this Friday for the weekend. So we are going to be having a second Thanksgiving dinner but lower scaled.