Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Life, Death and Somewhere In-Between

The delirious joy of seeing babies in my babies' arms,
the puzzlement and loss when a parent passes--
These are weightless trifles compared to the cataclysm of a spouse suddenly camping at heaven's gates.

Events over the past two weeks have carried us to the clouds with happiness and
plunged us into the frigid waters of poisonous fear.

Anniversary parties with extended family one weekend,
death of a Father the next.

A close friend hospitalized with stroke, juxtaposed with Thanksgiving Celebrations,
and now...
a brain injury fells one of our strongest and most stalwart members!

The family is reeling.  There seems to be no rhyme nor reason in all this, no choreographed plan.  Chaos is bouncing us like ping pong balls in dizzying directions, careening us off cement walls, dropping us off precipitous cliffs.

What's next?

Life carries noisily on, filling up the spaces, while what's important distills on the inside:








Friday, November 25, 2011

It's All Willy Nilly In My House

Did I tell you about Papa Buz buying a Beta Fish for Grand #3 during the last weekend visit here?  Well, the Grand went home, and I still have a FISH ON MY KITCHEN COUNTER!!!!!  Somehow, this fish invasion speaks about the state of my life these days;  no control, clutter, added responsibility--mayhem.

Every morning, Hubby and I rehearse the responsibilities of the day.  I take notes.  Is my list longer than his, or do I just write in a larger hand?

Sonny Boy suggested I decorate the blue spruce in the front yard to look like a real Christmas tree and somehow it really came off splendiferously cool.  Canadian Tire has the tools of the designer trade a la "Yule Tide Bright" at a good price, but the bill came in a little higher than I am willing to admit.  Hubby doesn't know...does he really read my blogs?   We'll hear about this if he does.  Now all I think I need is a half dozen poinsettias and I'm done in the decor department.  Live music for the company Christmas party is next on my list.

Doors are closing out listening ears, as various Santas in the house consult with far-off family members on the phone.  Secrets are thick in the air here.  It's getting hard to breath, or is that my broken ribs reminding me they're still not whole?  Does your Santa have a handle on all the sizes and colour preferences on her list?  Why are people so hard to choose for this year?

I have already worn my fox fur hat this week as the temperatures dipped to freezing and the ice rain began to pummel the sky lights.  Nelson has begun wearing his high-fashion doggy coat--red with a reflective stripes down the sides.  Today the temperature soared to 16.5 C and we were peeling off layers faster than Santa slips down chimneys.  Here come more sneezes and sniffles.  Let's make up our minds, shall we, Mother Natrure?  Is it winter or is it not winter yet?

I am going to tell you a little secret:  one of my most fav parts of the Christmas season is the small box of Lindor Truffles for dessert at Swiss Chalet.  The only trouble is that once I get even a whiff of that to-die-for chocolate, I can not stop eating them and go on a wild rampage looking for more, more and MORE.

Have a wonderful time enjoying this busy, exciting time of year, she says as she waddles off into the distance, sniffing around for the last bits of hidden addictions.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Black and White Wednesday

This photo was taken in August when the weather was warm and water play was fun.  I love the stop-action in the water fall and the sheer joy in Grand #3.

Come play along with Mrs. Claus in the Black and White Game.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

We're All Winners

Well....here are some more of my new header ideas. 
What do you like or not like?
I'm thinking something like the last one for when I'm ashore, and the others for when I'm at sea.

Each of these headers was created with the My Memories Suite templates.  Notice that the last one has a "custom" background, using one of my own photos.  I really like this option now and again.  I also love the "embellishment" on number two and number five.  I will have to be careful not to go overboard with those.






I simply can not tell you all the other My Memories Suites projects I have been working on, because, well....
Members of my family read this blog from time to time and I don't want to give away any Christmas surprises.  :)

This has been one fun product to play with and review.  I hope our winner will enjoy it as much as I am.  For the rest of you who made so many lovely comments, but alas, did not win, check out the cupon code on the side bar.  There is a combined $20.00 discount if you purchase a digital programme thru this blog using these codes--that's half-price!  No pressure:  the icon and code will stay in the side bar for a LONG time.

And now, without further ado, here is the name of our winner and a link to their blog.  Let's check 'em out and see what they do with the programme. 


Thanks so much for playing along.  Now that you are in the habit of making comments, keep up the good work.  Love hearing from you all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wine Tasting

Way back in the day, Dad used to grow his own grapes and make his own wine.  I grew up dreading the annual uncorking, the day I'd have to taste it...yuck.  It smelled like dirty socks.  As soon as the glass came under my nose, I'd know I couldn't do it.  I just could not bring that vile concoction to my lips.

And then, there were the eruptions, explosions, and run-for-the-hills-the-sky-is-falling episodes that are worthy of a book in and of themselves.  Three months after my Dad passed away and my sister and I reaped his bumper crop of grapes, crushed them, got them into the glass carboy, put in the bubbler and left them to perculate, one would have thought it was the Day of Judgment!  I'll have to tell that story another time.  Enough said.

And so, it's been thirteen years.  You have already read how I came to be making wine for myself this year.  Who knew it would come to this????

October 21st was the day I bottled 31 bottles of Australian Shiraz from the Wine Kitz shop.  At $3.50 per bottle, how bad could it be?  Not wanting to rush the process, even though Gail told me it would be drinkable immediately, I had decided to let it mature for a month.  This weekend made it three weeks exactly!   We had a quorum.  Why wait?

Well, we all thought it was certainly drinkable.  In the heat of the moment, I didn't look for leggs, I don't remember the bouquet, and did overlook the jammy bouche.  I was just glad I could swallow it without gagging!  The remaining 30 bottles are now sleeping in the wine cellar for at least another month.  They need more time.  Yes, I did okay with this.  I did not waste my investment, and I have hope that it will smooth out over time.  Did Day say things like this????

Post Script: 
Here is the last plea for votes.  The polls close on November the 17th.  So far, I am standing at #36 of 160-some Top Canadian Blogs.  Click on the pink circle on the right sidebar and please vote for me. 
This will also be your last chance to comment and qualify for a digital copy of the My Memorie Suites Scrap Booking program.
Thank you one and all for playing along.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fall On Fire

Yes!  I love autumn in Southern Ontario.  The colours are picture perfect and this year, we have been blessed with two whole months of beauty that has lasted well-past the usual short season.

This week has been a gift.  After almost three weeks of continuous rain, we have been out hiking in sweaters, enjoying balmy breezes and non-stop sunshine.

Nelson and his buddy play ball at the dog park on Henley Island.  They don't care what it looks like there, as long as there is an open field to run.

The beauty fades, the leaves fall, and the work begins.

 The weather man is forecasting the white stuff in the coming days.  

What is autumn like in your neck of the woods?  Or are you into winter already?  
While you prepare to hunker down for the cold weather, think about all the fun you could have with your very own digital scrap booking programme.  Every comment from now 'til Nov. 18th at 9 pm will give you a chance to win a downloadable My Memories Suite
 Let me hear from you, and good luck!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lest We Forget

How will you remember?

ps.  You can still vote for the top 25 Canadian blogs....me, me, me!!!
Also, the more comments you leave between now and Nov. 18th, the more chances you will have to win the My Memories Suite digital scrap-booking program giveaway.  Good luck.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Quotable Quotes From Blissdom

It's been three weeks since BlisdomCanada 2011 in Toronto. I am almost finished chewing on all I came away with from that amazing social media conference. There was so much to learn. Blogging, Twitter, Tribes, RSS, SEO, html...and things I had never even heard of. I have decided I will not attempt to learn anything else until I have mastered these. Enough already!

As I read thru my copious notes (yes, I am one of those who scribbles down everything in class) lots of golden nuggets dropped into my lap. Maybe you will remember a few of these if you were there, and maybe if you weren't able to attend, you will find these quotes have some stand-alone value.

"Rule #1: Turn your cell phone ON!"

"They were serenely intense, shmoozing while texting and tweeting."

"Keep calm and Tweet on."

"Tweet about us to win."

"Is your knowledge partial and contingent, or truly factual?"

"Know thyself and strive to know others."

"Interogate your own opinions."

"Make friends, build community, negotiate with enemies."

"Trolls are assholes."

"We all use creative license while blogging."

"Looking for inspiration? What were your goals to start with?"

"Don't let your stats become how you look at yourself."

"Be an agent for change."

"The Revolution Will Be Tweeted!"

"Think, read, research before you re-tweet."

"Write stories with hearbeats where borders have no relevance."

"Own it! Be prepared to defend it."

"Are there any words left?"

"Follow the goosebumps."

"I don't care what you think about me. I never think about you."


Then there was this scenario that kept the entire room screaming with laughter:
(for this one, I think you really had to be there.)

Dee: You're all about poop.
Gail: You're all about sex.
Dee: Gail, you have a REALLY big box.

Me: Does that count as her next swear word?
Shmutzie: No--it's only 3 letters.

CBC rep: We request that Debbie move down the table away from Gail and Dee.
Julie: Panel Moderator's job up for grabs. Right now! Anyone? Anyone at all???
Post Script:
#1   don't forget to click the icon on the sidebar to vote for the Top 25 Canadian Blogs
#2  Remember...every comment is a chance to win a My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking program

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Eyes Have It!

If you had to choose, which would you let go: 
your sight,
your hearing,
or your ability to walk

I am a mover.  Being forced to sit still, in one place, like on an airplane, is almost more than I can bear.  I'm a mover and squirmer and hop-along-energizer bunny. 
Still, I wouldn't choose to keep my legs.

I am currently loosing my hearing, a little bit at a time.  It's very frustrating to repeatedly ask people to say again or to speak up, or to have to confess that I haven't heard anything at all.
That being said, I wouldn't choose to have my sense of hearing.

Above all, I am a visually stimulated person.  I learn visually.  I notice things others don't or can't see. 
I would forever choose my sight over any other of my senses.

Recently, Hubby informed me that he absolutely couldn't stand my sunglasses.  He really HATES them.  He begged me to go get new ones.  Okay, why not?  Being that I hadn't had my eyes checked in the past five years, I opted for a trip to the optometrist first, to check out my prescription before committing to expensive new lenses.

Did I mention I am particularly squeamish when it comes to people poking their fingers in any of my body parts...dentists, doctors, eye examiners...?  You know how it goes. 

-Look straight ahead at the light.  Do not move!  I'm just going to put these drops in your eyes.
-Don't blink.  I'm just going to puff some air on your cornea.
-Hold still.  I'm just going to ....  I hear: rip your eyeballs right out of your head and eat them in front of you.

I have wonderful news to relate.

All the past tortures of the traditional eye exam have been replaced by fabulous, new technology that didn't hurt or frighten me at all.  I was particularly fascinated by the computerized scan of the retina.  No more do we have to re-breath the exhalations of the optomotrist as he gets up-close and personal with his little round light thingy, peering into, and through our pupils, to see a small slice of the back of our eyes.

On my recent visit to the modern world of the eye exam, I got to see all of the retina and the all-important macula.  The macula is so important, because it is where the majority of the cones in the nerve layer of the eye are concentrated.  It is responsible for central and high resolution vision.  Without it, there is no watching TV, no reading, no recognizing faces.  I was told that early detection is the key to treating diseases of the eye.  By the time a person is aware of problems, it's too late to prevent loss of vision.

-Do you wear sun glasses?


-Very important that you do, Madam.  With the thinning of the ozone layer, our eyes are being subjected to unheard of levels of ultra-violet light, burning out maculae at an alarming rate.

Doctor DoLittle told me:
-Thirty years ago, I NEVER had a patient younger than 80 with macular degeneration.  Nowadays, I have several patients as young as 30 with this terrible affliction.

Thankfully, my eyes passed with flying colours.

And so, here I am, in the interest of my readers, my children and my grandchildren, relaying the doctor's good advice:
(warning:  public announcement imminent.)

-Always wear UV-protecting sunglasses, summer and winter.


Post Script: 
 Have you voted for Top 25 Canadian Blog today?  :)
Leave a comment and chance a win a My Memories Suite

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Wedding Album

Well, the unveiling has arrived.  I have been playing with My Memories Suites for a week now--playing and having fun.  I thought that I would show you part of the albumn I made of our daughter's wedding in July.  You saw the posts, you saw my photos and now you can see how easily and beautifully I have made a keepsake albumn of that happy day.

And that's just the beginning......
The hardest part of this project was sorting thru the zillions of photos and putting the appropriate ones together and in order. 

I really like that I can do all sort of things with it now. 
I could publish it as a beautiful, hard-cover book. 
I could print it off in any size and make my own embellished pages for an albumn of my choosing.
I can email them, post them, print and mail them.

Wouldn't you like to have this easy-to-use program on your computer?
Today begins the two week chance to win a downloadable copy for yourself.

The Rules:
-every comment in the next 2 weeks is valid for one chance to win (from now until Nov. 18th at 7pm)
-several comments, several chances, on any post from now til the 18th
-one number from the total number of comments will be drawn at random to select the lucky winner
-the winner will be given a secret code, by personal email, to download their personal copy of the My Memories Suites programme.
I know you will love this programme as much as I do.
This was an easy and enjoyable project, learning and using the My Memories Suites.  Liz was easy to work with on this assignment.  All opinions written here are my own, given without reservation.
one more thing....there's two more weeks to vote daily for the top 25 Canadian bloggers.
click the link and vote for MEEEEEE :)