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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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Majestic Beauty

Majestic Beauty
April 4, 2009

Garden Gnome

Tuesday, April 28, 2009



Go placidy amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and agressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism

Be yourself, especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it transcends time and space.

Take kindly to the councel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome disipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labours and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be careful. Take care.
Strive to be happy.

Found in Old St. Paul's Church, Baltimore ~ circa. 1692. The author is unknown.

Garden Gnome

Sunday, April 26, 2009

BYBS - The Power of the Internet

Blog Your Blessings Sunday
This past week it dawned on me that something I take for granted really is a blessing. I'm so used to having internet access at home and with the growing availability of wireless finding internet access (for laptop/iPod Touch). This week I used the internet for two very important causes and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to do so.

First, little 8 yr old Victoria Stafford was abducted on April 8 in Woodstock, ON and she is still missing. Two of my blogs show the Canadian Amber Alert for her. I don't know her but just felt in my heart I had to do more and what that meant to me is to use both this blog and twitter to get the word out. I made a post about her (here) and make three to four tweets daily on twitter. In some small way hopefully this will help spread the word of this missing little girl and bring her home safely.

Second, many rural hospitals in Ontario, Canada are under threat of full or partial closure. This would present a huge hardship and possible death for rural residents of Ontario. Already, many living in Ontario do not have a regular doctor so have no choice but to use emergency room services at times. Rural areas in Ontario are particularly hard hit even in the best of times but even worse during winter driving conditions. Personally I know from recent experience that drive to the emergency room can extremely stressful especially if you have to travel double the distance to get to the closest one. So when a good friend sent me the information on Help Save Our Local Hospitals rally, I turned to both blogging and twitter to help spread the word. I posted the rally info here and try to get out three or four tweets on twitter daily.

Too often we hear about the negative of the internet rather than the positive. The internet reaches people world wide and therein lies the power of the internet. I think it is such a blessing that in some small way I can use this power to get the word out about both these very important events. In even in some small way, I hope it is helping.

Garden Gnome

Friday, April 24, 2009

Help Save Our Local Hospitals

[Important information from my email files. Please support the cause.]



This past Saturday, concerned citizens from communities across Ontario showed their anger and frustration over local hospital cuts and closures by waging protests outside the offices of their local MPPs. From Sudbury to Niagara Region, protesters’ rallying cries were the same: Save Our Local Hospitals: Hospital Cuts Threaten Our Health! This is a critical time in the fight to protect local hospital services, and as these protesters recognize, the future of health care in Ontario really does rest in our hands. This is the time to make the government aware that you will not stand idly by and let them put your health, and the health of your loved ones, at risk.

A strong and visible challenge to the provincial government’s hospital restructuring plans will be the only thing that will change the government’s current direction.
Together, we can stop the cuts and closures!!

On Wednesday, April 29th, we will continue our quest to stop the cuts with a MASS RALLY at Queen’s Park, in Toronto at 11:30am:

Thousands of people from cities and towns across Ontario facing major hospital cuts or closures are joining in solidarity to demand that McGuinty protect our local hospitals.

The legislature will be in session--
This is our chance to make McGuinty listen to the concerns of our communities!

The rally has been called by the Town of Fort Erie, working in alliance with municipalities across Ontario. The Ontario Health Coalition and local Health Coalitions across Ontario are supporting this important endeavour.

We have about 40 buses already booked, and we want to increase that number substantially--
If you can help arrange buses, carpools, and/or can help get a group together, we want to hear from you.
Please contact us at 416-441-2502 or at ohc@sympatico.ca.

People in TORONTO: Please join in solidarity with us at Queen’s Park. Your hospital services are being threatened too!!



St. Catharines:
Buses leave St. Catharines at 9:30am from CAW Local 199 (124 Bunting Rd.),
returning by 3pm.To reserve a seat, contact Sue at 905-932-1646 or Susan at suzanha@yahoo.ca.

Buses leave Strathroy at 8am from Food Basics at Kenwick Plaza (Front/Head Streets)
returning by 5pm. To reserve a seat, contact Joyce at 519-245-3633 or Sandra at 519-245-8829.

Buses will leave Wallaceburg at 7am SHARP from the Sobey’s parking lot,
returning by 5pm. To reserve a seat on the bus, contact Shirley at 519-677-4474.

Buses leave Hamilton at 9:45am from Limeridge Mall: corner of Upper Wentworth St (across
from the Legion Hall and near The Bay), returning by 3pm. To reserve a seat, contact Nancy at 905-385-1933.

Buses leave Welland at 9am from Welland Market Square and will be back by 3pm.
To reserve a seat on the bus, call Fiona at 905-788-0756.

Buses leave Sarnia at 7am from the north municipal parking lot at Centennial Park (across from
Stokes By The Bay) To reserve a seat, contact Arlene at 519-542-1895. A $10 reservation fee is required.

Buses leave Petrolia at 7:15am from the parking lot across from the VPP, returning by 5pm.
To reserve a seat on the bus, contact Helen at 519-882-0357. A $10 reservation fee is required.

Buses leave Belleville at 8:30am from the Quinte Mall, behind the Shell Station/Denny’s, returning by 4pm.
To reserve a seat on the bus, contact Michael at 613-968-5550.

Port Colborne:
Buses leave Port Colborne at 8:30am from West Side Arena on Hwy 58, returning by 3pm.
To reserve a seat on the bus, contact Pat at 905-835-8249.

Contact Barb at 613-476-4097 for information about the bus leaving from Picton & to reserve a seat.

Fort Erie:
Buses leave Fort Erie at 8:30am from the Leisureplex (1 Municipal Centre Dr.), returning by 3pm.
To reserve a seat, contact Al at 905-871-1600 x2543.

Buses leave Trenton at 7:45am from the Holiday Inn parking lot, returning by 5pm.
For more information, visit www.city.quintewest.on.ca

Rally together your friends, your families, your neighbours, and your coworkers, because the reality is, that when we get sick or have a health emergency, each and every one of us counts on there being a hospital close by that is able to help us in our time of need.

Garden Gnome

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Help Find a Little Girl

[Note: This is one of the very posts on this blog that have more than one picture but I feel it is very important. Please read and help spread the word!]

Victoria (Tori) Stafford
abducted in Woodstock, Ontario April 8, 2009

Today, I would like to draw your attention to the Amber Alert on this blog. By now if you are Canadian especially living in Ontario you will have heard the story of how Victoria (Tori) Stafford was last seen leaving her school with an unknown woman on April 8, 2009. Little Tori Stafford is 8 years old. At the time the police were hesitant to rule this an abduction but have since ammended the ruling from missing to abducted. The police have made a couple of public press releases and the OPP have taken over as the lead for the intensified search for Tori. Her mother Tara McDonald talks to the press daily at 1:00 PM. She is also active on Facebook in an attempt to get the word out in the hopes of finding Tori. There have been several candlelight vigils for Tori. Purple (Tori's favourite colour) balloons were released in Woodstock in show of support for Tori and the family. A website has been started for Tori to keep those interested in up to date information (click here). If you are on twitter, please follow me (click here) as I'm trying to make up to date tweets as they happen throughout the day. If you read any tweets on twitter including mine regarding Victoria (Tori) Stafford please re-tweet!

Please if you have any information on the whereabouts of little Victoria Stafford please contact:

Oxford Community Police 519-421-2800
Woodstock Police Department 519-537-2323
Crime Stoppers (anonymous) 1-800-222-TIPS

Video of Tori and the search for her safe return:

Composite picture of woman seen with Tori when she disappeared (story here):
composite in Victoria Stafford abduction

Garden Gnome

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Canadian Geese

Canadian geese
Canadian Geese
April 2, 2009

Garden Gnome

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Why Parents Drink

[Here's a good from my email inbox files.]

A father passing by his son's bedroom was astonished to see that his bed was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then he saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow that was addressed to 'Dad.' With the worst premonition he opened the envelope with trembling hands and read the letter.

Dear Dad:

It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you.

I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is so nice.

But I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercing, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I am. But it' s not only the passion...Dad she's pregnant.

Stacy said that we will be very happy.

She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children.

Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone. We'll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people that live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy.

In the meantime we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Stacy can get better. She deserves it.

Don't worry Dad. I'm 15 and I know how to take care of myself.

Someday I'm sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren.

Love, Your Son John

PS. Dad, none of the above is true. I'm over at Tommy's house.

I Just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than a Report card That's in my center desk drawer.

I love you.
Call me when it's safe to come home.

[I know my kids would have pulled this if they had thought about it :)]

Garden Gnome

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Ultimate in Recycling

Have you ever wished you had a better way to use those pesky pop cans? Putting them into the blue box then carting it to the road for collection seems like such a waste when these cans can be put to good use. Pictured is another photo from my email inbox that illustrates just how useful those pop cans can be. [This is not my photo so I cannot take credit for it.] Ladies and gentlemen, now is the time to be saving up all those pop cans so you too can create one of these gorgeous holiday season icons :)

Garden Gnome

Sunday, April 19, 2009

BYBS - We All Need a Tree

Here is a great message from my email files, very fitting for Blog Your Blessings Sunday. Please click on the tree.

Have a great week!

Garden Gnome

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I started spring cleaning in the house last week so in my spare time have been blogging. It has come to my attention that my Yahoo inbox is now sitting at 8, 432 email messages while our personal email account inbox has 1097 messages with 302 unread. In reality the personal email account is much worse because some messages are automatically filtered into folders. So yours truly is going to be spending a bit of time doing some inbox spring cleaning. And what does this mean for you? Well, I am so glad you asked! It means I will be sharing some of those neat little tid bits that come into my inbox and I squirrel them away just in case they would come in handy. The important thing is each one I share with you means one more purge from my inbox. I hope you enjoy these little gems of wisdom, humour or whatever else they may be.

Hmm, at this rate I could make a whole new blog based on the contents from my inbox!

Garden Gnome

Friday, April 17, 2009

TGIF - Live Long Enough to be a Problem for Your Kids :)

I just love opening my email inboxes each day. There's always a surprise of some sort :) This photo was included in a recent email so I can't take credit for it. I do think it is rather cute and could easily see either my husband or myself doing such a thing just for a laugh! We already play Ma and Pa Kettle Go to the Big City when we visit the kids so this would just up the ante a bit - LOL!

Garden Gnome

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Grandma's Train Ride

I stayed at the kids for a couple of days after the baby was born then decided to come home to give them a bit of private family bonding time. I feel it is important for the Mom, Dad and any sibs to have a few days by themselves just to get to know the newest member of the family and to get into their own routine. Instead of them driving me part way home where we would meet up with my husband for the rest of the journey home, I thought it would be easiest for all if I took the train. The kids took me to the train station and waited until the train arrived so oldest grandbaby could wave goodbye. All was fine until she realized the train took Grandma away!

I always have my digital camera close by so riding the train was no different. I so enjoy riding the train too! There is the swaying and the hypnotic noise that just is relaxing but the real treat for me is snapping pictures of what seems like a whole different world. It gives me ample time for reflection and pondering. Here's one of the short videos I took to email oldest grandbaby. It's nothing fancy but will give her a bit different perspective.

Garden Gnome

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Crocuses

Grandbaby's Crocuses
March 28, 2009

Garden Gnome

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Family of Foodies

Red Lobster Seafood Platter
Red Lobster Seafood Platter
March 21, 2009

It just dawned on me that readers of this blog seldom get to see pictures of food, unlike my cooking blog where food pictures are the norm with most posts. On the Saturday that I went down to stay at the home of oldest grandbaby we met the kids at a Red Lobster for dinner. I thought I would share a picture from that meal just to get your mouth watering ... LOL!

Breaking bread together has always been a very important part of our family. The end result has been we are all pretty much foodies! I am pleased to say that both oldest and second grandchildren have all the makings of foodies as well. I'm sure our newest grandbaby will be a foodies too :)

Garden Gnome

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Garden Gnome

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

late sunset March 18, 2009
Fire in the Sky
March 18, 2009
Garden Gnome

Sunday, April 05, 2009

BYBS - Newest Grandbaby

Newest Grandbaby
b. April 2, 2009

As many of you know I have been away from home for the past two weeks awaiting the arrival of newest grandbaby. It was a blessing to be able to welcome this little darling into the world. He is very much loved and cherished by his Mommy, Daddy, big sister and extended family members.

Garden Gnome

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Back Home

Just a quick note to let everyone know I'm back homeside. I am exhausted so tomorrow's BYBS post might be a bit later in the day especially since we are entertaining tonight. I just need to get through tonight :)

Garden Gnome

Friday, April 03, 2009

Baby Coming Home

My how times have changed!  The baby is not even 24 hours old yet but Daddy and oldest grandbaby left to go pick up Mommy and baby from the hospital.  He was being circumcised this morning.  They sure don't keep the Moms and babies in the hospital like they used to!  I can remember being in for a full week with my first baby under the premise that new Moms needed bed rest.  Now they have the Moms up and walking about as soon after delivery as possible!  My husband had to wear a mask and gown when around the baby and the baby slept in the nursery.  Special clothing is no longer required and the baby sleeps in the Mom's room.  One of the biggest changes is the Moms are expected to bring a package of diapers and clothing for the baby as the hospitals no longer supply that.   One good change is parents can no longer take the baby home without a CSA approved and properly installed car seat.  Gone are the days where the baby can ride home on Mom's lap.  I think this change is wonderful!  

Our vehicles do not move until the seat belts are fastened and I'm a real stickler about that!  Did you know that police stations across Canada will show you how to properly install the car seat if you ask?  They also hold free car seat clinics where you can even get help with the installation so there is no excuse to not have a properly installed car seat!  Remember the car seats are protecting one of our most precious resources!
Garden Gnome

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Baby (5)

Baby Aiden entered the world at 10:18 AM weighing in at 9 lb 3 oz and 23 inches long.

Garden Gnome

Baby (4)

The kids called.  It's epidural time!

Garden Gnome

Baby (3)

It's now 5:16 AM.  I tried going back to bed but my mind is racing.  I tried turning on the tv but can't figure out how to so I'm blogging in between pacing.  Several years ago, a year and two days after having our first baby, I was in the same position.  Less than three hours of getting to the hospital even though the original plan was to go for a Tim Horton's long john aka preggy craving of the day we ended up with the most beautiful baby girl you have ever seen.  She was so very tiny and very, very red with a massive amount of dark hair.  It's funny they say a lot of hair causes heart burn but I had none with this little one.  For the first four months of her life, she never stopped crying unless she actually passed out.  The colic was horrid!  Then one day there was silence and I seriously thought something was wrong.  When I rushed to the crib I found a happy giggling baby and she's had a smile on her face ever since :)  

Over the years we watched our little girl grow to be a very accomplished woman.   She is intelligent, loving and kind!  In 2000 she married her high school sweetheart and so our family grew.  A little over two years ago we made the journey here to welcome oldest grandbaby into our lives.  It had been a very difficult time to get to that point and even then we knew it would be the only grandbaby for them so it was a very, very special yet bittersweet moment.  But mother nature in her ultimate wisdom listened to that longing and surprise, surprise granted the wish of another baby to hold, nurture and love.  It's been a long struggle for this little miracle baby!

On this day as our youngest grandbaby takes the journey into the world I want to be there to hold my baby, to tell her everything is going to be ok, wipe away the tears and share the joy.  Instead I will be looking into the face that is the spitting image of her mother, watching yet another Dora if I can figure out how to get the tv to turn on and waiting for my husband to arrive.  I know this is helping immensely since they know oldest grandbaby is safe and sound so can focus on the little one coming.  In the meantime there will likely be at least one melt down because that's what toddlers do.  Grandma deals with melt downs a bit differently which causes oldest grandbaby to get this puzzled look on her face as if to say "hey, why aren't you paying attention to me?"  Now get this, yesterday she said "granma, granma, granma, tention!"  It was too funny!  Grandpa will arrive then if it looks like baby is taking a bit longer we'll go for coffee.  Oldest grandbaby likes to pretend to drink coffee and that will keep her attention a bit better than waiting in the hospital.    By then it should be time to visit mommy and hopefully baby -----.  We will soon be able to hold the new baby with all the hopes and dreams of yet another chapter of our lives...

Garden Gnome

Baby (2)

The kids just called from the hospital.  They checked her in. She's a little over 4 cm dilated so depending on how it goes it could either be a long day or not.  Second babies usually go a bit faster but it's no guarantee.  I'm hoping it will go fast just because she has been so uncomfortable for the last couple of weeks.  I called my husband who will be coming down in a few hours as there is no real point of rushing.  I'm going back to bed for a bit more sleep before oldest grandbaby gets up.  Trust me when that little whirlwind is awake nothing stands still!  By then I should know more.  Stay tuned.

Garden Gnome

Baby (1)

This will likely be a busy day for posts.  The kids left at 3:46 AM for the hospital.  I'm waiting for the call to say it's a go before calling everyone else.  Baby is coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Garden Gnome

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Evening Splendor
March 18, 2009
Garden Gnome