Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Dust Settles

 Hubby and I flew out west for five days of whirlwind holidaying.

There were parties...

Beef Wellington presented by the hostess-with-the-mostest:  Kiki the Wonderful!

Special treats...

Modelling new clothes, sort of...

Presents to open., but when you are only 8 months old, it's hard to know what's the most important part to focus on....

Then there's the assembly of the new toys.

When Papa Buz was asked what age level that toy was for, he answered, "Over 50!"

Everyone agreed that toys that didn't require assembly were the best of the day.

By the time the turkey was ready, the lamb roast was BBQ'd and the table was set, the feasters were drooling!

 It was -26 C outside, but the crew insists on using the BBQ all year round.  Dressed in his island shirt, the Chef was trying to convince himself he wouldn't freeze if he drank enough hot apple cider laced with spiced rum.  His forays outside to baste the roast were lightning quick and few and far between.

For all the hype, excitement and expectation, it sure didn't last long.  We're home again, with a few uninvited tag alongs...a head cold, sinus infections and more snow!!!  Good thing I didn't give away my  snow boots when I was out west.  Who knew I'd need them here in Southern Ontario where it almost never snows in December???

It may be snowing and blowing outside, but things are quiet here inside. We are getting set to head to the boat!!!  Yeehaw!  Steadfast, here we come.  I will sign off for 2012 and wish you all the very best for 2013.  Many blessings to you and your families as we move forward, living lives that will count for eternity.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Six More Sleeps

With less than a week until the BIG DAY and only four more days until we head out west again for the holiday, things are getting a little hectic around here.  Hubby spent the weekend calling up the Grands long distance, impersonating Jolly St. Nick and getting everybody in a tizzy.  The six year old is still trying to figure it all out.  The four year old jumped up and down circles in over-the-top excitement--he could hardly hold the phone!  The three year old just wanted to make sure Santa got it very clear:  EXCAVATOR is what I want, what my baby brother wants and what my mother wants too.  WE WANT AN EXCAVATOR!!!

Grandpa came back to reality today as we drove for two hours to the big city for the annual review with the bank.   Early morning rush hour traffic and bankers will do that to a body.  I always feel like a country bumpkin when engulfed by crowds of high fashion, tech-savy, city dwellers on the move.  Grandpa had to hurry me along as I stopped to oooo and ahhhh over the decorations, both inside and outdoors.  I have already begun to play with my new Christmas present--a 50mm prime lens 1.8  Yes, it's early, but I will still be in love with it next week and can capture the BIG DAY and party life from now till then in good fashion.

Enjoy this Advent week of Love.

Here's a few of today's shots to get you in the mood for some spiced eggnog and Bing crooning White Christmas.  Only six more sleeps!!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Weather Outside is Frightful!

First Place Winner!

Although it's still fairly mild in Southern Ontario, it's been snowing and blowing in Alberta where my Grands live.  Check out Grand #1 in her polar bear hat and long hair.  She's staying warm despite the wind chill!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Open Mouth. Change Feet.

Swaddled in a big winter coat, hat and scarf, she was a slo-mo video of ambulation:
Left foot planted,
Right foot dragged up to match,
Cane moved forward,
Contracted right arm frozen in place across her middle.






Progress was painfully slow and discouraging to watch.  Wouldn't a wheelchair, or better yet, an electric scooter be a much better option, I asked myself?  But then, I didn't know this Determined-to-be-ABLE lady.  I came alongside to see if she needed assistance.

"No thanks.  I'm almost there," she said.

I pulled back her hat a smidge off her brow so her eyes were clear of the brim.  Man!  She could barely see where she was going.

We stepped-paused-stepped in sync for a bit, until a gentleman came up and said, "Oh, there you are!"

"Is this your mother," I asked, giving him my most winning smile?

He made a noise somewhere between a choke and a gasp.  "She's too young to be my mother.  She's my wife and I am older than she is."

G R O A N.

Floor, please swallow me whole.  I'm dying, or want to be.  A classic example of assumptions made, not looking beyond the immediately obvious, to see the real person in front of me.  Is there forgiveness for even this????

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Oh, Oh!

I have done the unforgivable:  I've messed with my blog space.

Now my friends are not able to get to my page, or at least not as easily.  Somehow, they are being asked to sign up with Google Chrome.  All I did was make one small change and now everything in my online world is upside down.  Has anyone else had this issue?  I don't even know how to undo what I did.


Monday, December 3, 2012

In The Dark

We greeted our first REAL snow fall with joy!  Our house was cozy and warm, a white blanket muffling the outside world.  It was starting to feel like Christmas.

And then...

the power went out.

Because I had prepared for Hurricane Sandy several weeks ago, we made a smooth transition from watching TV to reading in bed, complete with candles and flashlights.

Here is my offering for Black and Whites at Like Christmas Everyday.
Second Place Winner.
Please click on the photo to enlarge :)

What do you do when the power cuts out?  Are you prepared???

Thursday, November 29, 2012


The writing prompt was "nuts".  Immediately, I pictured Grandpa digging for his favourites in the mix offered as a Christmas treat.  His eyes would get a certain sparkle.  He'd lick his lips and smile.  "Save the big ones for me," he'd exhort us.

The gleaming, cut-glass bowl sent rainbows of colour bouncing around the table.  The silvered nut cracker and picks were laid out alongside--implements of frustration in young fingers.  My clumsy, child hands struggled to open and dig out the walnut flesh from behind the papery shell linings.  Grandpa was welcome to his favourites--who else could crack them?  Their strong, black shells were too large for little hands to conquer.

It wasn't until I was in my early 20's that I learned, at my cost, that Grandpa's appellation for his favs was completely unacceptable, not their real name at all.  They are Brazil Nuts, not what Grandpa called them.

Having been born in the late 1890's and having lived more than 70 years by then, Grandpa had never learned the politically correct ways of our new world.  His occasional use of an infamous word never raised eyebrows in his day.  

As a mature woman, each time I dig out the Brazil nuts from the mix, I think back to gathering around the dining room table as an extended family, laughter echoing off the walls, piles of shells and litter building, bowls of nuts dwindling and Grandpa calling out for us to save the best for him.  He was a character.  He was my mother's father.  He did a soft-shoe two-step, found silver dollars behind my ears, pretended to steal the last bite of dessert from my plates at dinner.  He was a vicious player of canasta and cribbage, a voracious drinker of rye whiskey and a connoisseur of nuts.

Grandpa, Christmas traditions, nuts; all linked in my memory and evoked by a single word.  What comes to your mind when you hear the word "nuts"?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Extra Thankful

The first weekend of October was when Canada celebrated Thanksgiving this year.  We had a big shindig:  family, friends, turkey "and all the fixins" as they say.  We recounted our many blessings and gave thanks.  Being that we are saying goodbye to friends on their way back to England this week, and being that Hubby is an American Hero, in my eyes, we are doing it all again this week.

Hurray!  Turkey, stuffing, pie, chocolate, music and flowers.

As an early harbinger of the gala season, Christmas Cactus has bestowed upon us a profusion of blooms.  Another blessing.

 To all my American friends, Happy Holiday and may your gratitude be evident for all that is glorious in life.

ps.  The Alka Seltzer is in the bathroom cupboard.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pirates' Delight

It's Black and White Wednesday again!
Look at Grand #1.
She has the biggest blue eyes and the longest ash-blond hair.
Isn't she the VERY BEST pirate you ever saw?????

Papa Buz loves to play along.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sleeping Outdoors

Summer camping. Our young family had finally bedded down for the night, after a fun-filled day swimming, boating, roasting weenies and marshmallows.  Sleeping bags and bouncy air mattresses rustled and sighed.  Peace.

Later, much later, after we'd been floating in oblivion for several hours, hubby and I both woke to seriously suspicious noise.  Strange sounds.  Yes, we decided, they were human sounds.  Male groaning sounds.  Female squealing and moaning sounds.  Somewhere close by, a porno event was in progress.  As we had made camp for the night, we had thought our only concern was that racoons might steal our food stores in the night.  Instead, we were having our hearts and minds assaulted through the thin barrier of nylon tenting.  Please, please, please don't let our children wake up!

Okay, it's been ten minutes.  How long can this go on?  Really?  Still????

Over morning coffee and trips to the communal lavatory, campers gave each other the eye.   Was it you?  Who was it last night?

Our Man did what men do.  Our provider and protector, he takes charge.  He fixes things.  He spoke with the other men doing the same thing, and by process of elimination, they figured it out.  Mystery solved:  two men, one crazy, noisy woman, in a pup-tent next to the red car.   A pup-tent???

Funny how that section of the camp ground cleared out by noon.  Family camping has specific requirements in the decorum department.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


A jiggly blob of gelatin and water in varying hyper-pigments of ugly, it sits with discouraging blandness, not inviting advances.  No glitter, no glamour, no smell, no noise, no thought process.  A void of life force.

Jello and I took issue during battles with tonsils, mumps, Cesarean sections and flu. Each interaction involved pain and sorrow, not conducive to pleasant memories or thoughts of future delightful encounters.  That people valiantly, and unsuccessfully try to enhance the nothingness of this non-food with quantities of mushy, tinned fruits and whipped cream, only furthers my avoidance.

Give me chocolate.  Give me ice cream.  Give me wine.

Hold the Jello!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Full Head of Steam

One of the thrills of Autumn in Southern Ontario is the plethora of fall fairs.  The one we NEVER miss, is the Balls Falls Fair over Thanksgiving weekend in Jordan, every year.  This year, we had two grands visiting, which made the whole event even more fun.

How much fun is it when a two year old tells you he has to pee, right now, and you don't have his beloved potty with you?

What about the fun of missing the bus and having to walk, drag, carry said Grand for a mile to the gate to get in and then back again to the car when it's time to pee?

Talk about the fun of sharing a bucket of apple dumplings, wood fired gourmet pizza and roasted chestnuts while chasing a wee one out from under the hooves of horses, the path of tractors, or the reach of Bald Eagle claws.

We had a TON OF FUN.

We wandered over to investigate the antique steam engine on display.


and then.....
It began to breath fire....

 and explode in billowing clouds of steam.

The whistle was deafening.
Our wee lad ran screaming for the bushes!

The clouds dissipated and the noise was over too quickly.  
I wasn't ready with my camera.
Could we do it again, please?

The engineer was so nice and very accommodating.

For Black and White Wednesdays, over at Like Christmas Every Day,
here is one for Mrs. Claus.

Second Place Winner!

Do you have fall fairs where you live?
What is your favourite part?