Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008

Wishing all of the family all the best for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2008, and may at least some of your wishes come true!!
Much love to all.......Mom, Gramma, Grammer, Bernice

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2008 everyone!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

family tradtion of recorded music

Fiona meet Dennis Pendrith - Gramma's Bassist who was part of the team recording the Music For Moppets CD today!
Here she gets to play her first Bass,
Watch as we warm up on the Nursery Rhyme Polka
and poses with the team too.
We recorded 30 tracks - 16 songs including the Trout Fishing BANDAID song, 3 karen originals featuring the names of her nieces and nephews, a couple canadian specials.
Due out on ABC Family Literacy Day, watch your mail boxes later in January for you own copies.
It was fun
It was exhausting!
can't wait to hear the finished product shortly!

meet Mike Graham, Dennis Pendrith and The woolley gals

Dennis has played with Raffi, many other kid recordings and was most recently on the road with The Vinyl Cafe xmas tour just this month.
Dave would have seen him in Cow Town.
hugs from the laming farm - wow - there are 8 babies hopping around out there!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

more pix, Now with added vitamins and text!

Opening belated birthday presents for Francis and I before heading south to Corinne's parents home in Vergt.
The harbour at St. Jean de Luz in Basque country, in the south of France.
We left Simon to visit with Mamy and Papy in Vergt while we went on a little trip south into Spain for a couple of days. Chloe seems to like the hotel lifestyle...
Market day in St Jean de Luz. Bread, and the local specialty cheeze and ham.Breakfast of hot chocolate and pain au chocolate before heading to Spain to Pamplona.

As we arrived, the schools were having a traditional christmas festival (last day before holidays) dressed in traditional outfits carrying the basque version of Pere Noel and playing music.

One of the signs along the 200m of streets where the Bulls run in July.

A statue near the bull fight stadium. Get'em el Toro!One of the residential streets in the old part of the city.

Chloe and her fashion namesake store.
A funky night scene in a small french town where we stopped for dinner on the way back from Pamplona.

Noyuex Joel!

Hi folks. It was great to speak with/see you all yesterday. We spent the morning opening presents, the afternoon eating (Was it 6 or 7 courses? I lost count.), and the evening recovering from all the eating.

I told you We'd be posting some pix and stuff from here, eventually...
Overall, not a bad flight. Chloe was great, Simon wasn't too pleased that he was supposed to sleep in a seat that didn't fully recline like the ones in front of us in first class.
Simon's first Eiffel tower visit. First of more to come I'm sure.
Taking in the xmas windows at Galleries Lafayette and Printemp department stores in Paris.
The family 4some Christmas Eve.

And the sockings were, laid, by the chimney with care
More to come...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Natalie's 1st gift of the year...

As you may know, Natalie's been in Piano lessons for a number of weeks know, and Gordon graciously agreed to buy Natalie a gift for Christmas. See for yourself!

It's a 1939 Heinzman, well loved, but in pretty good shape, despite more than it's share of nicks and dents in the finish. But the sound is lovely.

More christmas goodness...

Being the Canadian to the bone family that were were, we never really got a taste of some of the stuff from England that others took for granted. "A Child's Christmas in Wales" is a classic reading that many families experience year over year, but we never did, and it wasn't until lately that I came to appreciate it. It's available in two mp3 parts on the web here:

I read on this page that Dylan Thomas died at age 39. In the recording, he sounds like an old man. Probably too many cigars....

I love Christmas eve...

There's something about Christmas eve that makes it better than the rest of the year. The build up is almost at a max, but it gets sustained for just one more day. Invariable, I end up in a drugs store, ususally Shoppers Drug Mart, or London Drugs, on Christmas Eve. I have to chuckle to myself, watching all the last-minute shoppers looking desperately for that one more thing they need to get. I half expect to see Lorne there.

Traffic is always light on the city streets, although the malls are packed. I stay away from the malls, where possible. And drivers are, for just once in the year, polite to each other. It's almost worth going for a drive on Christmas Eve JUST to have that experience.

OK, so what are all the RIGHT Christmas specials?
Frosty (1), Rudolph (including the original (2) , the Christmas in July (3) , and shiny new year(4) )
Santa Claus is Comin to town (5) and The year without a Santa Claus (6)
Charlie Brown's Christmas (7)
The Grinch(8)
The Muppet Family Christmas (9).
What am I missing?

And then there are the not-to-be missed movies:
"It's a Wonderful Life"
Miracle on 34th Street
A Christmas Carol (NOT colorized)
and my personal favourite
Die Hard.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Peter Pan 2007

Peter Pan, with Kurt Browning playing Peter, was this year's show at the Elgin Theatre, and Fiona, Simon and even Chloe, as well as the parents, enjoyed it. Gramma too. We all stopped to see the Swarovski tree at the Eaton Centre after the show as well

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Another Ikea Tree

Out of coincidence, we too went to Ikea last weekend and got our tree. The weather wasn't great and since we will only have it a week, we passed on going out to cut one down this year. None the less, tis a lovely tree. And Chloe also has her stocking now too.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Yes, Calgary is still here...

Yes, Dave has fallen of the face of the Earth. Oh. There. He's back again...

While the rest of the country gets hammered with snow, we just get the cold. The long range forecast calls for a warming trend, but by the time the long range turns into the short range, it continues cold. No justice.

Pre-Christmas activities are rampant. Much secret preparation is underway, and not appropriate for publicating in this medium.

Natalie finally lost one of her top front teeth, and is thrilled to have a GAP. For some reason, thisis desirable.

Speaking of teeth, I now have a date for the removal of my braces: Jan 7th they come off. That's the good news. The bad news is that my teeth still aren't finished moving yet, so the orthodontist is going to employ another device called a POSITIONER. Sort of like a full upper & lower retainer, but instead of keeping my teeth where they are, it continues to force them into the place she ought to be. It's a neat idea: they took new moulds of my teeth last month, and from the castings, the create a form of what my teeth look like now. Then they send it to a specialized lab who reconstructs the teeth into the position they really should be. then they build the positioner based on the ideal positions. So I clench on this form for 4 hours per day (and all night) for some number of months until the teeth move to thier final destinations. Only then do I get the retainers. Fun, wow...

We're getting ready for the Christmas season at the Church, and the contemporary music group will be doing the 7:00 pm Christmas eve service, with a total of about a dozen songs. It'll be the first time we play in the church proper, instead of the adjoining Gym, were we have our usual Sunday morning services.

We picked up the christmas tree at Ikea on the weekend, and for $20, with a $20 off coupon for next january, it's a good deal.


Halloween saw Natalie as a BAT and Benjamin as a Cereal Killer.

There's another strike brewing at the CPR. The CAW, to whom the Car shop employees belong, has finished negotiations and has entered conciliation with the railroad. The management staff have begun strike preparedness training. After spending the better part of a month in Salmon Arm in May, I've told the company that I'd be happy to work the strike, but that I need to stay in Calgary. They've told me they happy to accommodate me. So we'll see. It'll be the end of January, if it happens at all. My job will be servicing locomotives: cleaning the cab, changing brake shoes, filling the oil and water reservoirs. Not rocket science, by a long shot. And Buzz Hargrove has MANY years of negotiating, so I really don't think he'll drop the ball on this one.

As for the Rudolph quiz, I got only 1 wrong. Without Googling. There's a book of Rudolph facts which I read last year, and it covers most of that stuff.

More soon, I hope.


It's a Rudolf Quiz!

Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer was on last night. Have you ever watched it and thought "that was a little different than I rememberd it."
You may be right. There's a lot of background to what is now the longest running television special.
So, here is a little trivia quiz for you. It's complete with popup answers when you click "The Answer" so no GOOGLING!. Write a comment to tell us how you did.

1. What was the first year Rudolf was aired on TV? The Answer

2. Who was the original sponsor? The Answer

3. Who did the voice for the elf who wanted to be a dentist? The Answer

4. What was that elf's name? The Answer

5. What network did the show first air on? The Answer

6. What did Yukon Cornelius do after he threw his pick-axe in the air? The Answer

7. Why did he do that? The Answer

8. What was misfit about the doll on the island of misfit toys? The Answer

9. Why were there only 6 Reindeer plus Rudolf flying away at the end of the show? The Answer

10. Why did Santa drop the presents by umbrella out of the sleigh rather than land and go down the chimney? The Answer

11. And finally, the question that got me looking into this stuff in the first place, What is the name of the Burl Ives narrator snowman character? The Answer

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


We had a little dump of snow on the weekend so Simon was eagar to go out and play in it. I had to.. ummm, supervise.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

This Week in our T.O.

Hello folks.

Another little storm is passing by today but I did manage to put up a feeble bit of christmas lights yesterday.
Where are the Calgary Bradt's? Seems they've gone AWOL. We emailed/talked to everyone else this week. How about a reply Dave?
After the fun from earlier in the year, we bought a little safe. It proved so safe that it wouldn't open at all. Back it goes. I got my new glasses. That only took 3 months and 10, count 'em, 10 pair of lenses to get the order right. It wasn't even a change of Rxn.
Chloe is on the edge of sitting up on her own. She says she's been faking the whole falling over thing for months now.
Simon had another mom and child "swimming" class and actually went underwater without a huge fuss! He was pretty much the last in the class to to it but on the other hand he's about the only one in the class who talks about it in detail. A standard progress chart from his daycare states that a child of his age should be able to make a sentence with 3 words like "me want food". Simon comes up with, "I think that I shall go to the museum today and then to the zoo."
Then he says it again in French, and I ask his mom "what did he say?".
The cats are finally behaving themselves, just in time to get shipped off to the farm for vacation.
We have a couple of million things to do this week before we go to visit with Corinne's family etc.
We watched a few of the classic xmas specials this week. The Grinch (the original of course), Frosty and a new one that wasn't too bad called Shrek the Halls. This week we'll try to squeeze in Charlie Brown's Christmas and Santa Clause is Coming to Town. Still debating Rudolf (it really does have more than a few bad messages in there). I'll watch it anyway. We have it on vhs. I got a set of original Christmas tapes about 15 years ago (from Judy as I recall) when overseas for a taste of home. I always appreciated the things that were sent. David once sent a couple of tapes of TV that included the new years eve Leafs game (Don Cherry was decked out in his finest). Karen would usually come up with a box with lots of little stocking stuffer things along with at least one if not more items of clothing that stayed in my wardrobe for a long time. David sent as pkg with little science toys like a gyro top, fun for me and my students! Of course Judy would always include at least one book which, after David sent me Arthur Black's first book of stories that were just long enough to read on the subway in to work, started me reading, so I learned to appreciate the other books even more. At least half my 'library' is Judy books. I'd usually take as many of the gifts that was practical along with me to so I'd have something to open wherever I was Christmas morning, whether it was on a beach in Bali, a cafe in South Africa or atop a mountain in Nepal. It was still a piece of tradition that you all helped keep alive. Thanks for all the stuff guys. Especially when I was overseas.
None of us need much 'stuff' any more, but I was thinking of those early years when it was all so much fun to shop for everyone (it was easier when we didn't already have so much) and the pile of stuff each of us was left with on christmas morning. It occurred to me that, as in those early years non of us had an income, ALL of that great stuff really came from Dad and Mom, regardless of who it was tagged from.
Thanks again for it all Mom and Dad.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

meet Jerry!

It was a wintery day and an early drive up to Dwight - way up by algonquin park, but we bought our chevy Tahoe Blazer which Fiona has named JERRY (the Jimmy is the "brother" and the one we didn't buy on Friday - Jimmy and Jerry are brother gourds on veggie tales)

We've got to get him in for safety and e-testing this week. Nice to have 4 wheel drive up here and the ability to tow - now to get the trailer stripped and ready for animals in the spring.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Trees at the Gardner Museum

Simon and Gramma went to see the "12 Trees of Christmas" at the Gardner on Tuesday. The trees were fun, and very lovely, but Simon REALLY wanted to see "all the kids" who were coming to see the trees. Very social, that boy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

the first SNOWman of the season

Fiona used the great MAKE A SNOWMAN kit that her cousins got her a few years ago to make an amazing snowfriend.
Zen and Piper were NO help whatsoever.
Great talking to you ALL yesterday
ho ho happy end of November
love us

Monday, November 26, 2007

today's blog

hmmm.  Last week ... it snowed some but other than that not much happened really.  Saturday we went to Canadian tire and Old Navy.  Yesterday Corinne made some yummy chocolate dipped chocolate chip cookies. Then the Lees came by and Samantha and Julia wound Simon up for a couple of hours till we had some Crepes.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Oh ya better watch out...Santa Claus is Comin' to Town

The Queen's Band is approaching. Simon always asks for them to play "oil thigh" which is the Galic Queen's fight song that he knows since the Queen's UofT football game. they play the song after every touch-down and Queen's scored 54 points so there was much opportunity to learn it!

A cool but sunny day was perfect weather for it.

There he is!

The Gingko tree leaves in Queen's park made a lovely (although smelly) backdrop for pictures.

the maple leaves were a better choice for these shots.A good time had by all.

First Haircut for Simon

After the Santa Clause parade we took Simon to a special kids haircutter for a special kid's haircut.Here's the before in his chair of choice, the Spiderman speedboat.

He seems to be enjoying it!

The stylist said she had rarely had such a good client, especially for a first cut!

Admiring the new look

Mom, Grandma, and friend (aunti) Zara admire the after look.

And a little video clip

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Santa Parade

Music for Moppets has it's first Santa Parade entry.
Glenn walks with other wee penguins.
The float with our super south pole penguin. the black holes are for our sound. Lovely spotty lead car. and the whole crew. now to see if the crowds come out tomorrow. for the open house at Moppets.