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, January 29, 2007

Our Travels

The majority of our travels are within North America. I found this cute site where you can check what states you have visited and it generates a map for you. The states visited are in red so as you can see we still have a lot of travelling to do. While there is a version for countries visited there isn't one for Canadian provinces and territories. Hopefully they will add that soon. We have travelled throughout a lot of Canada with the exception of Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories and Nunavat so those are on our travel to-do list.

create your own visited states map

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Winter Thoughts

winter ice in Ontario
Winter Ice

This was the view on the way to the airport on the 16th. Ice on the trees back by brilliant blue skies and bright sun is always a treat. Everything glitters with natural eye candy! The weather in Las Vegas was cool but dry and for the most part sunny. I think the sun makes so much difference as to how we feel. We really do need to get those sunny days to boost our moods and put things in perspective.

We came home to snow, dull grey skies and an air mattress. A new mattress has been ordered so all should be well shortly. We decided on a regular mattress instead of a waterbed mattress. That way we can be away for extended periods without worrying about the bed leaking and we'll save the costs of the heater.

It's snowing again today. Since we are so tired we barely notice but we have noticed the changing view and the water fowl while sipping our morning coffee then later curling up with a hot chocolate. January is almost over so things aren't so bad. February is a short month but the Old Farmer's Almanac is predicting six more weeks of winter. That really isn't too bad since November and December were so mild. In no time it will be time to start seeds and get the garden going. For now, I'm going to focus on genealogy and writing my book. Both are nice activities for cold winter days when I really don't want to go outdoors.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

mime at the Venetian
Venetian, Las Vegas

Mimes intrigue me! Not because they do their job so well and they do but because they can remain so still for so long. This mime at the Venetian in Las Vegas is one of the best I've seen. He or she did a mime of a statue. It was very, very good and very believable.

I wish I could be like that but I can't. I obviously inherited a you must be in constant motion gene. Wiggling and squiggling is just normal for me and it has worsened since being in an accident resulting in not being able to sit more than 15 minutes at a time. It darn neared killed me having to sit through seminars where that kind of movement is simply not acceptable. I managed to find a way to jiggle my feet and do mind exercises to compensate but it got me through and I still rely on those techniques today. Even when in semi-sleep or sleeping I'm in constant motion.

Being a geneticist and into genealogy has be thinking. I know for sure this particular trait was passed onto two of my kids so there is genetic link. Looking back on my genealogy, I've found no direct comment regarding this trait but there have been some very good indicators that this trait is fairly prevalent in my family history. It certainly has been prevalent in newer generation. Now what I would really like to pin point is which ancestor this trait came from. I'm thinking it is autosomal dominant given the pattern in my family history and in our kids. Back to researching...

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Winter Vacation in Las Vegas

Golden Nugget Casino, Las Vegas

Golden Nugget Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada

Winter vacations help break up the long winter months. Generally we like going somewhere warmer than home. We left on the 16th of January for Las Vegas, Nevada. Our home base for this nine day trip was the Golden Nugget Casino right in the midst of the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas. We've stayed in the downtown area of Las Vegas for most of our past trips, preferring that area to the strip. However, since we always rent a vehicle while in Las Vegas, we manage to do a fair amount of sight seeing. Most of our meals were comped. The room for most of the trip. The first night was spent in one of the two story luxury suites at the Golden Nugget. This suit was absolutely gorgeous complete with spiral staircase. Very plush!

We met friends of ours who were staying at the Mirage Hotel & Casino. They arrived a day before we did and left a couple of days before we left. I think one of the first things to deal with is the time difference of three hours earlier in Las Vegas than where we live. That doesn't seem like a lot but when the plane lands it is already three hours earlier and in Las Vegas the time just doesn't matter. We ended up going to bed about 5 am their time or 8 am our time effectively being on the go full tilt for well over 24 hours! From there it was just a whirl wind of activities. While the weather was cooler than expected it was still warmer than home with no precipitation. The sun was warm enough to enjoy a few days and we even sat outdoors by the pool one day taking a break from the gaming floor.

Shark Tank

We stayed at the Golden Nugget in May of 2006. At that time the pool area was undergoing a huge renovation. Despite rumours from other players that they were errecting another tower, they replaced the pool with a pool encircling a shark tank. There is a large two story water tube that you can ride through with clear viewing inside the shark tank. It is very impressive! The pool area includes a bar, hot tub and several seating areas.

We arrived home about 8 am this morning so it has been a tiring day. All in all it was a wonderfully relaxing vacation. Now that our winter vacation is over it is back to our normal routine. I'll be spending a fair amount of time on my book and genealogy. My husband has already started planning our spring vacation. Life is so much more pleasant with vacations!

Monday, January 15, 2007

On Our Winter Vacation

January 16 - 25, 2006
See You Soon!

End of an Era

blue morning glory
Heavenly Blue Morning Glory

When it rains, it pours so the saying goes. Most of yesterday we had freezing rain on and off that continued into the early hours today. I had just settled into bed when I heard a dripping sound. At first I thought it was just the way the ice pellets were hitting the windows but then the rhythm was too consistent so I got up to investigate. Not finding any obvious drips I kept following the dripping sound around the bed and sure enough right by my husband's sleeping head, the waterbed was dripping! Of all times, the day before we are leaving on vacation. I quickly awoke him and we set to work. The leak was right on a seam so the chances of repairing were slim even if we could find the repair kit. So we propped up the spot with towels. I stripped the bed and got the drain kit while my husband braved the freezing rain to get a hose from the greenhouse. Once set-up we tried draining into the bathtub but that was just too slow since there was not enough gravity. Finally we took the screen out of one of the windows and hung the hose outside which sped up the process. With the mattress finally drained we gathered everything including the heater to toss out. Thank goodness we have a self inflatable queen size mattress so we put that into the frame, remade the bed and then crashed. It was only 3:30 am!

Things happen for a reason. Had the bed done this after we left, we would have come home to a real mess! Our bedroom is right over the tv room portion of the great room so there could easily have been a lot of damage. But what we found when we removed the heater was even scarier. The bottom of the heater had several rust spots, a good indication of a potential problem. I shudder to think of what could have happened! Someone in the big upstairs was surely looking out for us last night.

We've had a waterbed almost from the time we were married. In that time we've only had three leaks including this one. One resulted in a new mattress but this time we will likely consider alternatives. Leaks are never fun to deal with! It's an end of an era.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Protecting Genealogy Data

Aberfoyle model train show
Aberfoyle Model Train Show

It's funny how things will pop into your mind just out of the blue and then take a life of their own. This was the case with my genealogy data recently. We are getting ready for our winter vacation so as always I worry. A few nights ago, I had a dream about the Aberfoyle Model Train Show and for some reason ghosts of my ancestors flitted through the dream. I awoke in a distressed state trying to make some sense of the dream when finally it hit me. Consciously, I recognized the great deal of time, love, dedication and effort that went into creating the Aberfoyle Junction display but subconsciously it came to me through my dream the thought it would be such a horrible shame to have it destroyed. The ancestral ghosts forced me to think of my genealogy data and how to protect it. Subconsciously, I recognized the need to protect my data further. It is just interesting to me how it blended together the way it did in the dream. I believe dreams always give us a lesson. It's up to us how we use that lesson.

I have a large genealogical database consisting of almost 7,000 individuals along with notes, annotations, sources and pictures. That database is always backed up each time I work on it. A copy is stored on each computer, each laptop and on a CD then a weekly copy is stored in a safety deposit box. Now this might sound like overkill but considering the amount of time and money I've spent on researching my family, it really is a very small price.

What I hadn't considered was protecting the hard copies! The vast majority of my hard copies have been scanned and of course backed-up but as the information is added to the database but that is not the same as the actual hard copies. I have at least four 4" binders stuffed full of documents, pictures and supporting evidence. It hit me that I've been extremely complacent. While this is most digitalized it is still a work in progress. If we ever had a fire almost 25 years of work would be gone! I expressed my concerns to my husband. He came home the next day with a fire and waterproof safe big enough to hold all four binders!

It is extremely important to scan and back up any genealogical data and it is very important to do regular and frequent back-ups. But don't forget to protect those hard copies!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

CBC - Changing Times

stormy skies
I have been a huge fan of both Coronation Street and Emmerdale for years and before that Country Practice. CBC decided quite some time ago not to air Country Practice anymore but now without any warning or notice to the loyal fans of Emmerdale have now cancelled that program as well. They have done the same thing with Canadian soaps that had loyal followings like North of 60. There are a lot of fans very upset about the cancellation of Emmerdale but life goes on. It would be nice if CBC started listening to the viewers but as they continue to not listen then viewership will decrease. So I will bid goodbye to Emmerdale with tears in my eyes as I watch CBC shoot themselves in the foot once again. Pretty soon when they have no viewers we will wave a tearful goodbye at another Canadian icon called CBC!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Welcome the New Year 2007

grey tones on the water


And so a new year begins. I'm out of sorts and exhausted from all of the excitement of a new grandbaby. But now things are starting to settle down, I'm still out of sorts. My Dayplanner isn't ready for the new year. My desktop is simply over cluttered and I don't even want to think about my inbox! My husband has already booked our winter vacation and quite frankly all I really want to do is snuggle up on the couch. We'll be leaving later this month for a week in the sun but I need to spend time on my planner so I can put the wheels in motion for this coming year. I don't function well without the organization!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Welcome 2007!

Happy New Year