Friday, September 29, 2006

Happy One Point Five

It's Simon's 18 month birthday today. This morning he had his checkup and last shots for a while. He's doing well.

I'd post a picture but I don't know if we have any of him...

The Best Man,,,

Rob Ford, his wife Cathrine, and their daughter Carolyn came to Calgary for the weekend just past. We all met at the Zoo for Brunch on Sunday, and managed to arrange this very nice picture of the bunch of us. Everyone has thier eyes open. Go figure!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Home and away

Fiona and Simon ate cucumbers together while watching Thomas the Tank Engine!

Ron and Ann Marie are looking great on a recent visit in Oshawa.

Fiona waits for the Chicken School bus with Mama, Daddy and Gramma, carrying her HUGE back pack!

Brantford Air Show

These are a couple of pix from a wonderful afternoon of visual and ear-shattering fun for Arlene, her little grandson John, and my ownself. After we return from Vermont and New Hampshure around Oct. 10th, I should have some colourful stories to show an' tell you all.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Pre Season Game postings

Walking down to the good seats!

Game on...

The new Gretzky

Sydney Crosby plays for the Penguins this year. He got tossed in the penalty box (our seats were row 5 behind the box) and the fans all came down to take pictures. When he got out he promptly had a few choice words for the ref that got him right back in again and MORE fans swarmed, as shortly there after, did the cops to clear the area. Gotta keep the riff raff away from the good seats doncha know...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Hockey Night in Canada

It was Buffalo vs. Pittsburg. 2-2 tie, a 5 min sudden death then on to a shoot out that took 22 shots to get a winner! We also had passes to the "PRIORITY CLUB", special guest area with food and drinks before and during the game. That's where ya wanna be during intermissions. A great game to see.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Me ol' Bamboo...

So it's been nearly 4 years since we moved into this old house, and have done a lot of things to it over that time. The outstanding sore point has been the kitchen floor. When we moved in we thought we'd wait to see how the other more critical improvements would set out minds to the floor. But we waited. When we saw the place for the first time, this is the picture we took. So now we've finally decided on a bamboo laminate floor, here's a "just starting" photo, and a couple of finished pix.

Oh yeah. And the "Cat is really helpful" picture.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


There used to be a dinner bel that hung in the kitchen. It hung on a little hook. on that wooden plaque was a saying. what did it say?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

International Plowing Match

What is IT?
an ontario event that brings together agricultural folk from all over.
a bit of the CNE without the midway
A bit of the Royal winter fair without the animal judging
lots of educational stuff for kids
we went opening day ... and early
beat the school kids (BUSSES AND BUSSES of them!) to a lot of exhibits.
stayed from 8:30 to 5
thank goodness for the super duper zooper stroller!
a life saver in inches of MUD from yesterday's rain
and then just not having to carry all our Free Stuff
and fiona on my shoulders (with muddy boots - I knew it would be a bad idea with no stroller)

she loved the talking trout fish in the watershed tent. photo of the fish talking to fiona. he moved his body and mouth as the real professor in the booth who listened for questions and used a mike to answer them as the fish (not behind THAT curtain!) they did a great job dialoging with Fiona at the start of the day - she was the only one interested in the whole huge tent!, and then we HAD to go back as it was her fave part.

she rode up to the SKY in a huge hydro one truck lift. must have been 100 feet plus. photo of her in the bucket! my little adventure gal!

WE saw quilts by neighbours, a lumberjack show, egg sorting, spinning, she ground wheat to make muffins with (at home later), helped do weaving, saw lots of baby animals and big ones too, ate fresh apples, saw a parade, met Dalton McGuinty, saw steam engines, danced to music and fiddlers, - SO many fun things for the pair of us.
oh, and I saw plowing in the distance, but not for long. it was up in the hydro truck lift!

tell you more when we see you!

Blogger hates dial up!
I've tried for amost an hour to post photos - shortening the number, the size and it still times me out

the PM and I

Today Fiona met Dalton McGuinty at the International Plowing match
it was a photo op and PR hit for money for the farming community
he's a great pubic speaker.

The media flocked in at fiona and him, not sure if she got on the news, or in the papers, but you never know, so watch and let me know if you see her there.
more plowing match stuff in next photo collection

Monday, September 18, 2006

Today is Monday, Today is Monday, Monday Bread and butter ....

and so
day 2 of school has miss Fiona heading off to the bus stop with a smile
and the same cheery face popped off the bus at 4 pm
The mystery of what happens inbetween continues to grow!
Something about Hondouras, part of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as the movie for rest time, another movie about NOAH so she must have had religion today. bits and pieces trickle out

Pam and Mike have had their inpsection on the new Brampton house and they're getting ready to move from HOTEL live to home life again!
WE're gearing up for Judy and Mum's visit this weekend.
Lorne's birthday present is being held hostage for another visit to the farm, or till thanksgivign

WHAT are you all planning for the turkey lurkey day?

Film Festival Finally Finished

It's over for another year! I saw 24 films, Josie saw 19, and while there were a couple that were not the cheeriest, by and large it was a great festival. Our last film was "Snow Cake" with Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver at the Ryerson Theatre, where we sat and chatted with a gentleman from PBO as we waited. This was his 3rd year of coming to the Festival with his wife, Josie's first year, and I have film catalogues from 1987, so that's 19 years for me! I enjoyed having company to attend this year and to talk about the films afterwards. I look forward to celebrating 20 years next September, and please book early if you want to join me for the 10 days!

On Friday, we saw "Bobby", an interesting exploration of the lives of ordinary people on the day before and of RFK's death at the Ambassador Hotel. Then "The Island" about a monk who lived on a bleak island in Russia, and "Nouvelle Chance", a French film about an aged singer and and a pool boy. Saturday's "Quelques Jours en Septembre" looked into the relationship of a contract killer and a spy's family prior to September 11th. "Takva - A Man's Fear of God", a Turkish film, told of how a humble man can be corrupted when given power and still feared the wrath of his God. "Snow Cake" was filmed in Wawa and related how an autistic woman coped with here life there.

So now we wait to see what comes out in general release, and which films will be nominated for Oscar, and which other movies we can pick up at the theatres. Thanks for the directions to Apple's film trailers, Dave. This will prove very useful in making film selections.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Four new galleries

I've posted four new galleries related to recent adventures:
McMaster Alumni Gallery Induction (June); Climbing in Great Falls VA (July);
Survival Systems Dunker in Halifax (June); and various birthday adventures (September)

The Detour

We planned to cap off my birthday celebrations with a hike up Old Rag Mountain in the Shenandoah today...but plans changed!

Serendipity meant that we had the new GPS that JJ got for my birthday, and all the food and water for an eight hour outing, and hiking shoes, and, just in case of emergency, a cell phone.

When we got to Manassas, the "tire failure" indicator lit up: that meant we needed to get Scooter to a Mini dealer. So long as we drove under 50 mph, we'd be okay...As luck would have it, the GPS gave us a non-highway routing to the Mini dealership (most of you recall that the Mini has exotic runflat tires that are hard to find and not even all Mini dealers have them, and the car needs to be flat-towed, and only to a Mini dealer, to fix it), and while there was no one there, we could leave the car.

The GPS then let us look up the locations and phone numbers of all the Enterprise ("We pick you up") rentacar locations, all of which were closed . And we were way out past Dulles airport, transit not an option really.

JJ looked at me and said, "Well, we could walk home. It's only 24 miles. We have food. We have water. And the Western and Old Dominion bike/walking trail is very close to here." (The last few pix on my Birthday Page -- picture 27 onwards -- are from that part of the trip.)

So off we went, for a very different kind of hike than we had set out for. We hiked for a few hours and then decided we had other things we wanted to do with the day than trudge along a less-than-scenic (though well-maintained) bike path underneath a line of high-tension wires...but came home and enjoyed an unexpected afternoon together.

My horoscope for the day had references to "unexpected road" and something going "flat", and that made us both laugh!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Birthday 47 -- a very good year (both past and begun)

I was going to go climbing with my climbing partner, Linda, but the weather had been rainy and the cliffs would have been too slippery, so we did a long walk in my neighbourhood instead...and after his regular Saturday radio show, JJ and I went out for dinner and dancing at the club..

My birthday is
day on and around which I particularly contemplate the blessings of the year that has been, and renew my commitment to put good out into the world and evoke and invite the best from everyone around me. I also close off my journal for the year, and begin a new one (clipping out the "If today is your birthday..." horoscope to put in the front, of course) the next day.

As I finished the one from the past year, you were all very much a part of the long list of tremendous people whom I am grateful to have in my life.You have each in your own way been a powerful force supporting me for so many years, and especially in the last three as I’ve launched into the unknown territory of really finding out who I am and what I can accomplish. So often I call on you to ask for advice or help…and you know I am keen to do anything I can to help you.

Yes, it's hard to be apart from lovely and smart nieces and nephews, and I look forward to every time I have to be with you and hug you and play (and pilfer chocolate) together...and always hope that the next time will be soon. Toronto trip this week is looking jam-packed until I get to Karen's on Friday night, and will be there through early Sunday morning, when I have to drive back to get an 11 am plane home. Hope I can see you sometime in there!

Love, Judy

Grandpa visiting

After a fussy last couple of evenings, Simon was in a great mood for Grandpa's visit today.

Here he is saying goodbye when Grandpa had to go

and then

sitting down to read while Corinne and I ate dinner, and
Wishing Aunt Judy a Happy Birthday
(and wondering when he gets to see her for more chocolate icecream which he seems to have developed an affinity for. Go figure.)

Nowhere to hide

I was taking out the garbage this week and some guy walking down Woodbine Ave. says to me , "Hey, did you work in Kuwait?"
I'm thinking, who did I have a conversation about Kuwait with lately. I said "who are you?" and he says "sorry I must be mistaken" and starts to walk away...

Hold on there! Not so fast...after some brief explaination, he introduced himself as Fadi Al-Rayes. I taught him grade 9 science in Kuwait.

Turns out he's graduated from Georgetown, lives in Kuwait and is in Toronto staying with relatives for a few weeks to write his GMAT.
Just happened to be wandering down my street, at dusk, and recognized me.

Waaaayyy to bizarre.

Pic has an inset of his yearbook picture the year before the invasion.

Gifts from Grand children (Grandpa's 70th)

Heres the text to edit.

Simon in Burlington

Photos from Grandpa's visit with Lorne and Simon at Burlington's Spencer park in the summer.

Friday, September 15, 2006

More Films

No more stars, but 5 more films on Thursday and Friday.
Took a pass on Thursday morning, but two afternoon films at the Varsity:
"Breaking and Entering" with Jude Law, which will probably come out in the theatres and "Outsourced", about an American Call Centre, and how it was relocated to India and after it got running well through all the comic parts, was in the end moved to China. (Hope Glenn doesn't get moved to Germany, or something!)
Today, Friday, started with "Bobby", directed by Emilio Estevez (he was also in it) and scads of familiar movie and TV faces. First film I've ben to that the audience clapped for each of the stars as the credits rolled. Very moving and well done.
This afternoon, "The Island", a Russian film was long, dreary and grey, with a sad plot line but had a few funny lines; "Nouvelle Chance", a French film was also a hard plod about an aged actress/singer, but did have a happy ending.
Only three to go tomorrow, and then it's all over for another year, except for watching what comes out in General Release or is at the Carlton over the next year.
I've heard both comments that the Festival this year was really good, and really awful. It's all about personal taste anyway. You make choices and hope for the best. I'm sure the Volunteers and programming staff will be happy when they can sleep in on Sunday morning.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Film Festivaling in the Rain

Tuesday: Managed to fit in 3 films, since they were all at the Paramount, and even all in the same theatre, but we had to clear out after each showing.
"The Last King of Scotland" with Forest Whittaker in an amazing role as Idi Amin. Very possibly an Oscar winning performance!
"Macbeth", a very modern version, somewhat reworked, with lots of gangster fighting. The witches were anything but hags, and it was all very "bang up and bloody", but I think I understand the Shakespeare text better now.
"Copying Beethovan", a very fine performance by Ed Harris and wonderful music. When the chorus broke into "Ode to Joy" from the 9th Symphony, a shiver went down my back, and the woman next to me (not Josie) was in tears! Absolutely wonderful. The director, Agnieszka Holland was there for the Q&A, and I even got a picture with her.
Saw Kaye and Derek in line on the way out. Hope they enjoyed their film.

Wednesday: Another 3 film day, even though it was raining and at 2 different venues:
"Strike", a Polish film about the creation of Solidarity and the involvement of a woman welder with the Union and Lech Walesa was very moving.
"Vanaja", an Indian film which is the PhD thesis project by the Indian Filmmaker had all locals playing the roles in a story about a young girl who wants to be a dancer, and move up in the caste system of her village.
"Little Children" started out as a chick flick, and ended up as a suspence thriller, with Kate Winslett. The Director did a Q&A, and I've looked up and odered his previous film from the library.
Josie and I both enjoyed all three films, and hope we can make it to all three tomorrow. It will be tight timing, but should be another good day.

roots and wings

the day has arrived
a bit of drizzle didn't dampen her spirits. She woke with joy and excitement for her first day of school
a small breakfast with books read as she nibbled
then in the outfit she chose, off to the schoolbus
front row seat with a couple of kids she knew from the first tots n tunes days
she'll be full of stories when we see her at four
and us?
mom and dad have a day to ourselves to enjoy and not to work .... just for us
as we mark the change of our life now.