Tag Archives: nature

somewhere, over the rainbow…

30 day photography challenge

day #27: from a distance

i confess that i took today’s official snapshot three weeks ago today, way back on wednesday june 6th. i was just leaving toronto after aunti wednesday, turning onto the gardiner expressway to head home, when look what i saw:

rainbows are always a remarkable sight

at that moment, my immediate thought was, “take a picture!” [notice the traffic light is red!] “you’ll be able to incorporate the rainbow in some way into the 30 day challenge!”

rainbows deserve two shots

so the rainbow is our at a distance choice for today.

i know i said this before at some point on the blog because i remember gina leaving a comment (not sure why that memory has stuck so prominently in my mind) but whenever i see a rainbow, i think of our childhood bible story book entitled “God keeps his promise:”

(source)

[this is the book – wow!!! i google-found this image as i think the brother has our actual old copy].

it never fails: if i see a rainbow, i get a warm-fuzzy feeling, and am reminded that God loves me and is watching over me.

what’s a sight in nature that fills you with awe? i also find waterfalls spine-tingling for both their visual and aural impact.

(source)

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a day of awesomeness

it’s not my usual blogging style to write a “here’s what i did yesterday“-type entry; however, we’re going to venture into that journalistic territory today because i really want to share my tuesday with you.

do you ever have one of those days that just seems too good to be true? that was my tuesday. by the time the evening rolled around, i was craning my neck out the window, trying to spot the lucky star (or flock of cardinals?!) that i was sure must be hanging over my head.

my “good karma” bird

[don’t worry, i do not live with a horseshoe up my a$$; one day last week, i endured a pretty craptastic evening at work that soured my entire day – happens to us all, eh?].

let’s go through tuesday’s events in chronological time order…

~ i worked at the store from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. during the first six hours of my shift, i was able to: organize the month-end paperwork for our home office package; write the weekly run club email; transfer out a ton of shoes; unpack a ginormous box of new product; complete a markdown report; do a spot audit for inventory purposes – oh, and assist customers with their purchases! it was so satisfying to get so much accomplished. during the last hour, a girl who i had not seen since we ran together with “tri city track” eons ago came in – it was fun to catch up with her!

~ i received a performance evaluation that filled my ♥ with joy.

~ tuesday’s blog post introduced the great may grocery challenge, and it was so much fun reading your responses and comments! one of the best parts about blogging is visiting back and forth. i do hope some of you play along with tracking your grocery expenses, too, and we can all compare notes at the end of the month.

~ i received a phone message from a member of the mcc quilt committee. the kind lady wanted to let me know that my blanket was selected to be part of the quilt display on from now until the end of the month at the joseph schneider haus in kitchener.

log cabin blanket

~ after work, it was time for errands. first stop: the library. finally, i was able to snag emily giffin’s “something blue” after a few weeks where it was already signed out every time i checked for it [reading something blue makes for my third e.g. read in a row! i’m enjoying her style very much].

~ then, it was on to valumart. i got the grocery challenge off on the right foot by taking advantage of a number of super deals, for example:

  • tin of tuna – $1!
  • salad dressing – $1!
  • chicken pot pie – $1!
  • lettuce – $1!

i spent $18 and change, and had a good haul of items to bring home.

~ as i walked into my building, i ran into (not literally) my superintendent. he asked me, “i think it was you who left a NIKE cardboard box in the recycling room??” i thought, uh oh…guilty as charged. [background details: a couple weeks ago, at theOTHERstore, i took all of the cardboard boxes out back to the recycling receptacle. there was one box –  the NIKE one – that i just could not cram in nor break down…so i brought it home with me to *hide* in the building recycling bin]. super doug continued: “i have to tell you that i saved the box because it is absolutely perfect for using when we wax the floors. what a great find!” whew! (while i am tempted to count this positive outcome as a r.a.o.k., i will not!).

~ up in the condo casa, i attacked a to do list as long as my arm. i was determined to pull an erv and get everything checked off, tickety-boo. after a couple hours, my list was complete except for one last thing: make more recyclable bags for the compost bin. i didn’t really feel like doing this task, but decided to get it over with. i trotted down to the recycling room to get the needed newspaper. as i entered the garbage room, an item on the dumping shelf lending library shelf caught my eye:

one dozen brand new golf balls!

i scooped these up for dad! too funny: if i had not gone down to get the newsprint tuesday eve, i am sure the golf balls would have been gone by morning. i bet dad will get a hole-in-one when he uses these lucky-find golf balls!

and then i enjoyed a good sleep!

what’s one activity, moment, blessing, *coincidence* that RAWKED (as my friend derek would say!) for you, this week, thus far? hopefully, sharing good karma begets good karma!

today i am going on an outing with dad, and we are going to pursue something that i had hoped would be a new experience LAST year! [no, it is not a hot yoga session.]…i’ll fill you in tomorrow because i am not sure if we are going to succeed on our mission, or not!

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to Camp YOU Go!

A couple weekends ago, The Brother and Uncle B took Little E on her first overnight, sleep-in-a-tent, pee-in-an-outhouse camping trip:

home away from home!

Little E rocked the experience. They hiked…

walking in a (june) wonderland

Set fires:

looks like a very scenic spot!

And made s’mores!

everyone's favourite camping dessert!

Aunti does not camp.

I did give it the old college try about seven or eight summers ago, now. We went up to Haliburton Forest for what was supposed to be a four night stay. I lasted two nights then begged to come home before we called it a success! and returned home. It’s just not my cup of tea to sleep on the ground, listening to bugs and bears and creatures of the night. I do enjoy a day hike where you can catch some sun, feel a light breeze on your face, admire flowers and ripples on lake water…then come home like civilized people do, to tv, a shower, and air conditioning. Now, that’s a nice day!

I have super-fond memories of our family vacations, when we were little. Quite often, we went and stayed at my grandparents’ trailer (later cottage) in Goderich.

Some years, we rented a cottage, most often on the shores of Lake Huron. My favourite cottage, ever, was in Point Clark, the summer I was five:

i still remember it was an A-frame cottage...

...and i adored these open stairs; i used to do "gymnastics" on them, hanging by my arms or legs, off the back of them!

Other cottage stays, over the years,  included rentals in Port Elgin, Barry’s Bay, Tobermory – good times, each of them!

The summer I was twelve, we went out East on a road trip for a couple of weeks:

as you can see, we were in prince edward island, here; this trip was the first time i ever took my own snapshots and made my own photo album

Then the summer I was fourteen, we flew out West:

in british columbia, somewhere (?) - i shoulda made detailed notes!

[Each of these trips deserves more in-depth coverage; I see “Way Back Playback” blog posts dedicated to those trips, at a future date!].

The summers when we didn’t have “anything major” going on, we’d do day trips: to Toronto (Wonderland, the Zoo, a Blue Jays game), Niagara (Marineland), Goderich (the beach), Grand Bend (the beach)…all very fun (and you can come home at the end of the day!).

day trip to dundern castle, hamilton, the summer i was twelve

Anyway, I explain all this just to show that camping was not a part of our summer vacations. And I honestly don’t feel like we were deprived…it just wasn’t my parents’ *thing* to camp. Oh, and I never did overnight summer camp, either (or even day camps). As a reserved and rather shy little girl, the thought of staying for a week or two in a cabin with tons of other kids did not appeal to me, at all!

So, how’s this for a wild ‘n” crazy thought: a multi-generation, overnight camping trip (nudge, nudge, family members)…if Little E can have an enjoyable New Experience, I bet there’s hope for Aunti!

What types of family vacations do you remember, from childhood? I have the most fond memories of Goderich.

the summer i was six, up at the lighthouse, in goderich

I learned to blow a bubble in Goderich! I totally remember I was chewing grape Bubble Yum gum and we were sitting out on the pier, in the Goderich harbour.

How about you? Do you enjoy camping? B is a hardcore pro. Self-supported hiking trips are his thing. Right now, he is eight days into a six week hike of the almost-500 mile Colorado Trail. Thus far, he’s already experienced water shortages, hot temps, and snow eight feet deep. Yikes!

Forget His Shadow, Where’s the Groundhog?!

Just as predicted, the major “snow event” did indeed move in overnight. All schools are closed, right from preschools through the universities and colleges.

Thanks to the stormy conditions, Groundhog Day has taken a backseat!

if i was a groundhog, i'd be in no hurry to stick my nose out of my cave! (photo snapped this morning when i ventured out)

(source)

It is kind of funny, all the hoopla this weather situation has generated…while the snow is for sure accumulating, it’s by no means a Storm of the Century, or anything!

B was quite disappointed that his college closed down today – ironically, his third semester students were supposed to have a practical Ice Rescue training day! Quite the hassle, now, to reschedule and make up this missed class day.

Things did not seem too bad at all, earlier today:

clear sidewalks on the main downtown thoroughfare!

It was better to be out on foot than driving, I do believe!

how can the sidewalk be in better shape than the road?!!

Mom and Dad K, I was totally thinking of you this morning! You’ve got the right idea, enjoying some Florida time!

A welcome sight for commuters who had to be out:

man's best friend!

Wouldn’t want anyone to be deprived of a java fix (hey, I get. it. now!) – some places never close:

business as usual

Good timing, buddy! Thanks!

my own personal snow plow!

Mid-morning, B and I scornfully surveyed the outdoors…the snow had stopped, and it seemed relatively calm as we peered out the windows of the Condo Casa. A premature decision to shut down the city?? But now…

it's looking pretty white out there....

Needless to say, Aunti Day in Toronto has been shelved for this week…first time this winter that I haven’t been able to visit, though, so we haven’t done too badly.

Plan for the rest of this snowy day:

  • errands: bank, health food store, grocery store (again – twice daily trips are not that unusual, actually!)
  • purchase iTunes?? (this has been on my To Do list since late November, no kidding)
  • knit! (the second sleeve of mom’s sweater will be finished up today!)
  • Jersey Shore tonight!!! (We’re on Episode 8, Season 2)

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Thank you for sharing your comments on the last post, Oprah Goes Vegan. This “hot topic” generated a lot of discussion around the blogosphere! Quite a few bloggers have discussed the Oprah episode. Angela, vegan and author of the wonderfully enjoyable blog Oh She Glows, wrote a beautifully comprehensive summary of the show. Read it here if you’re interested.

I casually mentioned the vegan-for-a-week concept to B this morning…he didn’t say no! His only response, actually, was we’d have to do it during Reading Week when he’d be home, and close to…*the facilities,* if you catch my drift! Such a man…

*#*#*#*#*

Seems like today’s snow closures stretch from Dallas to Boston to Rochester, NY! That’s a lot of groundhogs not seeing their shadows! A near end to winter, then??? We can only wish!

In Honour of American Thanksgiving

Happy American Thanksgiving!

OK, it’s not a national day of feasting and celebrating for us, exactly, but I’m in the mood to celebrate giving thanks! And in the mood for a little lighthearted fun!

Thus, here are FIVE THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR in FIVE DIVERSE CATEGORIES:

CATEGORY: NATURE

1. rainbows

2. sunsets

3. clear blue skies

4. clean, white, newly-fallen snow

5. a forest of brightly-hued leaves in autumn

CATEGORY: SWEET TREATS

1. apple crisp

2. butter cream frosting

3. Starbucks Pumpkin Scones

4. chocolate chip ice cream

5. bread pudding

CATEGORY: HOBBIES

1. knitting

2. blogging

3. giant jigsaw puzzles

4. easy crossword puzzles

5. Woody Allen movie watching

CATEGORY: SPORTS IN WHICH I CAN VICARIOUSLY PARTICATE, THANKS TO TV

1. Hawaii Ironman Triathlon

2. The Olympics (Summer and Winter)

3. Hockey

4. Figure Skating

5. Football

CATEGORY: INVENTIONS IN THE RUNNING WORLD

1. chip timing devices at races

2. Walkman cassette players –> handheld CD players –>iPod Shuffle

3. vaseline (for face protection on a cold day)

4. shoe brands galore!

5. a solo sport (every runner for him/herself) that you can make social

Take a moment today and give thanks for the big and/or little things in life that you appreciate!

Oh – and we’re one day closer to Christmas now – haha! 🙂

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We watched Movie #33 last eve – see here for the review. It was really a close call as to whether to award 2.5 or 3 stars…

Comments have been posted here on Recipe #35 (Childhood Bran Muffins). We have a differing of opinion concerning one ingredient, in particular!…

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Tomorrow is a special day for a special person….we’ll pay tribute to a certain someone’s birthday!…plus, I hope to check a Christmas To Do off my list (I don’t mean to make this sound like a chore…I do enjoy this part of Christmas prep!).

Them Thar’s Snow Clouds

Just as I was leaving for the drive to Toronto this afternoon, it started to snow big, wet, gobby flakes. I was in such a state of “snow shock,” I didn’t think to take a photo. Typical for November, the snow spurt did not last long and had stopped by the time I hit Kitchener.

The sky sure looked menacing outside of Cambridge:

those would be snow clouds over yonder way, i do reckon

 Not two minutes later, the sky looked like this:

that's more promising!

Once arrived in Toronto, we were back to

brrr!

So, today we’ve had snow, sun, rain, pellets, blops, here, there, near, far…very confusing all this up and down.

Some days are just like that.

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Remember Movember?! I thought of my Movember friends when I saw this sign today:

another participant!

Too fun! I hope more of my guy friends participate next year!…or how about it, B?!

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The cornmeal muffins were a grand success tonight! See here for my comments, plus those of Little E and Baby C!

Change Is In The Air

early morning calm...

Can you believe that we have enjoyed nothing but consecutive days of beauty since I last commented on the weather here and here! Unfortunately, it is supposed to be rainy and cloudy tomorrow…which is too bad because The Brother and I are on for our special annual adventure! I am terribly excited! I’ll report back tomorrow!

The weather is not the only change moving in…Wednesday this past week was my last official day as Aunti Nanny to Baby C.

I first took care of Little E when she was one. From September 2007 through July 2009, E was my little gem Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Since August, Baby C has been the apple of my eye on Wednesdays and Thursdays. When I looked after then-Baby E, B was working at home, and I worked minimal hours at the store – when I was home at the condo casa, we had a lot of time here together. Now, B has moved on to a challenging and involved role with the firefighting program at the local college. I have picked up more shifts at the store. This fall, while I adore spending any possible time with “my girls,” we have found it somewhat challenging and sometimes stressful to balance our responsibilities with my time with Baby C, away from home three evenings/nights and two days each week. 

After serious soulsearching, contemplation and discussion, we approached The Brother and SIL Ana about alternative arrangements. Happily, solutions presented themselves, and Aunti will still get to visit her favourite family every week, yet remain primarily at home with Uncle B in Waterloo.

clarity

We can’t fight the natural progression of seasons; likewise, we need to acknowledge when our hearts and minds are asking for evolution in lifestyle. When one door closes another one opens.

A new season awaits!

A Very Lucky Day Indeed!

We are so lucky to have another November day to enjoy that looks like this:

trying to be artistic with the tree spacing

that sky deserves two shots to capture the beauty!

And I do believe today is even warmer than yesterday!

This morning, I received a message from my manager at the store – I won $150 in a contest that recently ran (haha, pun!) in our stores…zowie! Even more fun than the amount, is just the fact that I won! I have to say that over the years, I have been fairly lucky in winning contests…remind me to tell you some time about the time I won a gloriously huge door prize at a book signing appearance with Jeanne Beker – that story is classic. I also have won a door prize of yarn on two separate occasions at the K-W Knitter’s Fair. That’s the luck o’ the draw!

This afternoon, I was lucky enough to meet these fine people…

mama and da papa!

for an afternoon coffee break. We were lucky to get our favourite table at The Huether, too!

Today is also Remembrance Day. We are so lucky to live in a free country like Canada…regardless of your political or religious views, I hope we can all recognize the sacrifices that others have made in efforts of peace and freedom.

i love b's poppy modification with the canada pin in place of the straight pin - he says the poppy stays on much better...apparently, this is a fire dept idea!

My luck continued when I filled up the gas tank on my car earlier this eve: the gas price was two cents less than it was this morning!

Just think what coulda happened should I have stumbled across a lucky penny on the sidewalk, today…but maybe that would have been too much of a good thing!

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i’m a veritable blog-a-maniac today!

I have updated the “40 Reads” project – click here for review #39!

I made a new recipe…that didn’t quite turn out as I anticipated! Read about it here!

Is It Really November?!

We are enjoying some fan-freakin’-tastic weather this week:

check out that sky!

Honestly, if you didn’t know any better, would you not swear that looked like a summer sky? Helloooo, tanning opportunity!

Well, not quite…because small details like this…

more leaves on the ground then on the trees...

...and autumn-ish decor

…remind us that days like this need to be appreciated! Snow will be a-falling soon enough (sigh).

Some people appear eager for the next big seasonal holiday…

Baby C, for one, is NOT sad to see christmas in the stores!

*Ho Ho Ho!* 🙂

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Tomorrow is going to be Baking Thursday. I had a recipe all picked out…then saw a cookie recipe on a blog that immediately gave me cause to scrap my original plan. B is going to be one VERY happy camper!!!

So Far, So Good!

Did you remember to turn your clocks back this weekend?

 (source)

Our (slightly anal) ritual is to make the change Saturday eve before bed…actually early evening just so that we don’t forget. OK, why am I saying “we,” as in our relationship this is a task that falls to ME not WE!

So here’s the experiment that we are going to try out: of late, I have been getting up in the morning at 6:00 a.m. and then going to bed about 10:00 p.m. (Back in the spring and in the summer until I went to Florida, I was getting up at 5:00 a.m. – loved it. Fell out of that routine on my vacation and never did get back to the earlier wake-up time). ANYWAY…so here is my major brainwave: even though the CLOCKS changed, why not keep my circadian rhythms the same?! Makes complete sense to my lifestyle and to my brain: I am a morning person, so why not have an extra hour when I am at my peek, both mentally and energy-wise? So last night (Sunday eve) I was up in bed by 9:15 p.m., read for a while, then snuggled down to sleep. Then BING! this morning, I automatically woke up shortly after 5:00 a.m.! So I’d love to keep this schedule…we’ll see if it stays manageable. Happily, being the fan of hibernation that he is, B has agreed to try the anti-clock-change plan with me. B really loves to sleep, so it wasn’t too hard to convince him to go to sleep earlier!

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Finished another book! For a review of “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall, see here!

 (source)

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When I’m out and about, I always have my knapsack on:

i wear this so much, it's an extension of my back!

proof: pottery sale, april 2010!

The knapsack makes perfect sense for when I am getting groceries, going to the library, completing errands, taking care of Baby C…it totally fits my lifestyle. Most of the time.

I do feel a little silly taking the knapsack to the movie theatre, out to a restaurant or to a social outing. Today I remedied the situation:

meet the "razor-cut" shoulder bag! made in nepal - produced ethically!

It’s Kiki-ish in style, yet a bit more presentable for certain social situations.

just what i was hoping for!

I can never be bothered with transferring stuff from purse to purse, so I like that I’ll be able to just dump in my wallet, keys, Blackberry, camera etc and run out the door.

Have a great night! It’s been dark (or nearly) for a good 2.5 hours – 1.5 hours til bedtime!