Saturday, December 31, 2011

Highlights Of 2011

My Dad used to tell me that the older he got, the faster time went by.  I am old enough to completely relate to that statement. 

The past year has almost been a blur.  So much happened, good and bad, I have to quietly sit back and contemplate all that was of import, to relish the high points...they were so fleeting, and yet so worthy of mulling over and enjoying again. 

I wonder what the New Year will hold?  Probably a good thing we don't know in advance.  There are some things to look forward to--a new Grandchild due in later April, birthdays and anniversaries, trips, sunsets, fishing for the Big One, and so much more.

Best Wishes to all my Blogging Buddies.
See you in 2012. 
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Many Faces of Christmas

 Outside, the world was white and silent.

Inside was another story!

As the extended family gathered for Grandma's 90th Birthday, 
reunion and celebration revelry abounded.

Xman got right into the spirit of the day 
and his impish grin let's you know 
that he knows 
he's over-the-top cute!

Med is officially documenting the event.

Men in the kitchen.  
Supper for 17 meant there was enough work for everybody to have a job.

Champagne for breakfast, 
Baileys with coffee, 
Screech while we opened presents.....

"Just what I wanted!!!!!"

Queen of the Day, Grandma wasn't the least bothered by the paparazzi.

and the group shots begin...

This was an amazing feat of genius.  
Even though we 
 got everyone looking in the same direction at the same time, 
got the camera to delay long enough for the camera man to 
crawl under the table and make it into the picture, 
one person got left out as she was still in the shower.
You can see her spirit over there in the top left corner.

Party hats.

The feasting begins.

Waiting our turn at the buffet...

Some of us were more interested in the prizes from the Crackers than in the food.

 Making a demarkation between Christmas and Birthday has always been of primary importance.
Grandma raked in the loot!

As the evening unfolded,  the Three Musketeers
or the ZZ Top guys got into full swing.

Then, there was Rip Van Winkle.
(no beard)

Moving on to "Second Christmas" in a second location....

Santa gets to EVERYONE, eventually.

Even if they are puking their guts out,

with fevers and new molars trying to make it thru swollen gums...

Poor sickies.

Something for everyone....even those not quite here yet.

Well, due to the Plague, not everyone showed up for Second Christmas.
Looks like there will be a Third Christmas later in the week.

Here's hoping all my blogging buddies had a 
Mary and Joseph Christmas, 
with lots of love and laughter.  

Happy New Year comes next.
Best wishes to you all.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Five More Sleeps!

The tree is decorated,

Nelson is getting into the spirit of things...sort of...

Special florals are arriving by delivery vans,

I think I'm all ready.
As a matter of fact, I am getting really excited!

As Christmas is "under control" here, I have focused my attentions elsewhere this week.  It's been an entire year, and the curtain issue in the living room has still not been addressed.  While I sat writing a cheque to the designer and co., to remunerate them for thinking about us at all, I decided to take the bull by the horns and do something with it myself.

Over twenty years ago, I made the curtains that still hang here.  Mr. Designer said half of them should go, as they were "too much" and that they "caused the eye to stop inside and not venture out to the view".  Taking his advice to heart, I pulled down one panel per window and waited for what was to come next.  Turns out, nothing at all came for the past twelve months.  hmmmmmmm.......

 This is how things looked until today.
This is how things look now.  I prefer the one Roman Shade that hangs longer, but as the men of this household are giants, they want to be able to see out without having to bend over.  Hence, the two shades pulled up to their maximum retraction.  Three windows done, three to go.  At least this project didn't cost anything as the fabric and lining were already here.  :)

Are you ready?  If so, what are you working on in the meantime?

This present is for you, my Blogging Buddies.  Merry Christmas and have a safe and happy New Year too.  My the joy of God's Incredible Gift to us all fill your hearts with peace and love.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Crowd Sourcing

Have you heard of the new way of doing business in the world today? It's called Crowd Sourcing.  Skills traditionally used by individuals, specifically trained to perform them are now being sourced through groups, communities or crowds.  "Open Calls" for help from the community usually results in those best able to help in coming forward.  

Extreme, Radical Collaboration

Groups have greater pools of talent to tackle big challenges and to solve complex problems.  Crowds approach their task from outside the "box" of traditional thinking and established ideas, using remarkably new and fresh innovations.  Tapping into collective intelligence of the public at large to complete business-related tasks is becoming the first line of approach in the world of commerce these days.

As with most things, there are pros and cons to the concept.  Pros are the enlarged talent pool, the free labour, the innovation and new thinking that crowd sourcing offers.  Cons would be the blurred lines between producers and consumers, the loss of control of those in the driver's seat and the demand for satisfaction of the crowd.

Here is a wonderful example of Crowd Sourcing at it's finest:

Where do you see this concept at work in your world?  
Have you been part of the crowd?

(hint:  think blogs, wikipedia, MySpace, YouTube)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Black and White Wednesday

This photo has so many different patterns and designs in it.  The little guy was huddled under his blankie on a rainy afternoon, while I snapped him from the other side of the window.  See the reflections in the glass?  The arm of the Adirondack Chair on the deck looks like a plate on the little guy's head!

Visit "Like Christmas Every Day" to play along.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

And Now...For Something Completely Different...

I found this compliments of Alfi.  Thanks for the breath of fresh air.  Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride!

JP Auclair Street Segment (from All.I.Can.) from Sherpas Cinema on Vimeo

Monday, December 5, 2011

Make a Smile

It's that time of year again.  Everybody and his dog has his hand out, looking for a little something extra to make ends meet:  Mortgage-Reduction-Weekend at church, Balance-the-Budget-End-of-Year-Drive at the club, Put-something-in-the-pot Sally Ann bell ringers on every corner.

And now, there's me.
I want to offer you a wonderful opportunity to DOUBLE YOUR MONEY, making a small donation go twice as far. We have until this Wednesday (only two more days) to share a smile with someone who doesn't have one.
For only $250.00 a child living with no hope can be given a new face, a smile, a chance at a full and productive life.  All doctors, nurses, and anaesthesiologist fees are waived.  Hospital fees are donated.  Smile Train has the very highest donation-to-end-result ratio of any charity, bar none!
"Clefts are a major problem in developing countries where there are millions of children who are suffering with unrepaired clefts. Most cannot eat or speak properly, aren't allowed to attend school or hold a job and face very difficult lives filled with shame and isolation, pain and heartache. Their clefts usually go untreated because they are poor – too poor to pay for a simple surgery that has been around for decades."

Smile Train STOP CLEFTS Burundi Initiative 2011 from Smile Train on Vimeo.

Our family was one that experienced having a baby born with a cleft lip and palate. I grew up being told, "Be thankful you were born normal." My early memories are of doing tongue and mouth exercises with my siblings, learning how to roll our tongues, suck and blow by pursing our lips and make long vowel sounds clearly.

Repeated surgeries, clinic visits, orthodentia, self-esteem issues were things we took for granted in our family.

Today, 60 years later, things haven't changed much for people dealing with this congenital anomally, but there has been a dramatic development in sharing the technology for surgical repair.

Smile Train
is a not-for-profit charitable organization that has to date given over 700,000 children in third world countries a new face.

Will you consider making even a very small donation today?  Whatever you give, will be doubled for the next two days. 
Don't wait.  Do it now. 
Share a smile. 
Make a smile.
You'll be so glad you did and so will I.