Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Everyone had a go with the Wii.
Loads of fun for the whole family...
Chloe! Look out for Gramma's drive!

and a little chip shot to the green.

Twas the week before Christsmas

I finally got our tree photos up.  check down a few posts and you'll see them in with the others.
Here's some of what we were up to the last couple of weeks.
Caroling at Glen Stewart Park

Chloe and Christmas Rice Krispies treats
Gingerbread cookies!

and more photos yet to come....

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Merry Christmas

It's just before 8 am
the gifts have been opened with great glee
there is a lovely smell of someone else cooking bacon
the turkey lurkey is still frozen
Christmas Morning!
Love to all
from all the woolley ones

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Midnight some 27 years later

No pictures for this post.

None the less, here it is, a link to our favourite ghost of Christmas past...

It's about 10 min.  Feel free to skip on ahead.
Do you remember the big styrofoam letter phrases across the back of the alter?


Oh Christmas Tree

Here is our Tree as it thawed and was decorated.

woolley family tree

finally found the camera and here's the photo of the tree topping.

piano recital

Here Fiona does a rhythm number followed by her solo in her first Piano Recital on Dec. 7th. She played Jingle Bells and Ode To Joy (known to her as ode to spider fingers as it was introduced at Halloween in the book)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Calgary Tree

Benjamin and Natalie show off the Calgary tree...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Calgary Christmas Culinary Contest -- parts 3&4

Natalie's the Judge!
Benajmin declared a cooking contest, and put Natalie on the hot seat!

After Sue and Judy each enjoyed a brief turn in first place, watch while Natalie declares the scores for Benjamin's breakfast!

But then JJ and David Do Dinner, the pizza de resistance, aka the Italian Job...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Almost Christmas 08

Hi: Well, this is my tree for this year, and only drops a few silver needles! It's well protected with all the locks too, eh?

The photo below is from my window looking south, about 3 p.m. on Friday, and the show is still coming down! The swirls of snow are going up, down, left and right, and I'm glad to be in and warm, and not having to go out and about. It was far snowier this morning, and we'll see what the next "storm" brings.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Show us your trees!

If you have one. Or some other kind of holiday decoration if you are so inclined.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

J3 year in Review -- a LONG post, with no apologies

Not as funny as Dave Barry's Year In Review, but maybe not as long...

After many years of producing a card with the highlights in 6-point font, we decided to try something different, and offer (for those who care to read it) the highlights including links to more photos and words than we can get into a card. Hope you enjoy it...

The Summary: on the family fr
ont, some happy gatherings and high highs (a wedding on the Bradt side; Bat Mitzvah on the Gertler side; our 20th wedding anniversary) and one very sad low (William Lorne Bradt passed away suddenly in March). Lots of speaking gigs and travel for each of us, and the best year for Summit Insight yet.

  • Judy to Winnipeg to launch a client project, trip includes dinner with John Robinson.
  • Judy charges ahead on matchmaking support for Canadian companies visiting Washington in late February, and has a record-breaking number of projects!

  • Judy starts the month by speaking at the National Association of Women Business Owners' Public Policy Days in DC, travels to Montreal to make a presentation, and then to Ottawa for a little business development, some cross-country skiing and a visit with our former boarder and close friend Meredith Denning before returning home in time to...
  • celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary on our favourite island, Petit St Vincent (aka "Camp"). A flight delay on the way back means that if we don't leave LaGuardia airport at one in the morning to catch a 3 am train and get into DC at 6 am, JJ wouldn't make his noon flight to...
  • Singapore for the Air Show as senior industry rep leading the American delegation for the Aerospace Industries Association. Has a cold when he leaves, and a worse one when he gets back. He mostly recovers in time for...
  • His 12th birthday. For this occasion, Judy engages in great subterfuge... JJ awakes to a call from college chum Chris Bohjalian, a stream of email from more friends, and just when he thinks he will have the cake all to himself, "...strange people (that would include his brother Dave and sister Brie as well as his inlaws the Woolley Ones from Peterborough, down for a visit, who love to celebrate) kept ringing our doorbell," and the weekend concludes with a surprise visit from the lovely and talented Meredith Denning. Amidst which, we begin...

  • With the conclusion of our visit with Judy's sister Karen, husband Glenn and our niece Fiona, who came to Washington for Fiona's sixth birthday as well as JJ's 12th. That meant she was old enough for Aunt Judy to take Fiona climbing at Sportrock.
  • Speaking of Sportrock, Judy is also top fund-raiser for the HERA Climb for Life, raising over $3,000 thanks to generous friends who contributed to research to cure ovarian cancer, and making Sportock the regional champion.

  • Judy does her first podcast of what becomes her signature piece, Four Easy Lessons in Free Market Research, which JJ records and edits into a free online webinar!

  • A happy start to a month that shortly brings great sadness with the sudden loss of Judy's father, William Lorne Bradt. Judy spends a week in Canada with family, JJ joins her, and we all mourn his passing while celebrating his life and honouring his memory with photos and song, amidst the comfort of family and friends, and the magical moment of a graveside flyover tribute by a pair of Canada Geese. David McLoughlin provides compassionate chauffer service, and Peter Neilson, Michael McCullouch, Doreen Conrad, and Ruth Bastedo are among those who provide particular solace in the moment

  • Just after we return, we are visited for an evening by the Delaware Gertlers, and also by Moya Vazquez, Judy's friend from Seattle while...

  • JJ heads to Charleston for a conference, then gets to drive his boss from there to Savannah, Georgia, to the Gulfstream factory to see how expensive bizjets are made.

  • April
    • Geoff Buerger visits, we have dinner, laugh a great deal and remember our fathers and how much we miss them. We manage to help him bring his class of students visiting from Alaska to the almost-opened Newseum.
    • Lorne, Corinne, Chloe and Simon (see photos here!) visit for a few days, and see the Air and Space Museum THREE TIMES as well as walk the Mall and enjoy the zoo.
    • Sue and Sarah Gertler come back from Delaware to hike Old Rag, in the Shenandoah Mountains, with Judy (see more pix) and Judy pauses for a moment to appreciate that running her own business means she can take a day off for something great like this!
    • JJ runs straight from chairing a panel at a big missile defense conference (which he gets asked to do every year by the head of the Missile Defense Agency) to the airport to catch a flight to San Diego, where he chairs a panel on export controls at the COMDEF conference.
    • Judy begins May with a speaking gig in Toronto for Women Entrepreneurs of Canada, visits with Richard Outerbridge for a couple hours as we raise a glass of scotch to the memory of our fathers. Bill Denning also drops by. Judy overindulges on mixed nuts and sleeps very uneasily, promising the food gods not to do that again, honest.
    • JJ runs, back to back, a national conference on the future of the aerospace workforce and
    • For the second time, the world's largest rocketry contest, where he is interviewed for the CBS Evening News (left.) Biggest thrill was when JJ, on handheld radio, directs the actions of a $500 million B-2 bomber, whose pilot is terrified to do anything other than what JJ tells him in order to not be taken out by a stray $20 toy rocket.
    • JJ off to Williamsburg for a meeting of AIA's CEO's. Judy misses all this because after...
    • Judy gets back from Toronto, she heads to Seattle to wait what was supposed to be a couple days and became a hostess-trying week waiting for five other pilots to arrive in Portland Oregon to begin the eastbound leg of the Congressional Flying Club's Coast-to-Coast trip.
    • In order to prevent guesticide, Judy takes a two day bus trip up to Vancouver and back to see long-lost Debates Committee friend Victoria "The Vickster" Yehl, now a gold mining geologist for COMINCO.
    • In mid-May, she catches up with the contingent and spends two weeks flying airplanes across America west to east. Judy is the group's official blogger and publishes her own pix (Waiting in Oregon, up the Columbia River Gorge to Walla Walla for five days of being weathered in, and Beyond WallaWalla to Gaithersburg MD) as well. Truly the trip of a lifetime.
    • (Even if she misses out on the Success in the City movie premiere of the Sex in the City movie, while stuck in Sheridan Wyoming that day.)

    • Judy starts the month with a client group in Montreal, and then hops to Ottawa for visits with friends old and new, including Janice Templeman, Robert McLardy, Sarah Taylor, Sarah Quigley, and Meredith Denning, and clients before returning home to unpack and pack...
    • ...then to Phoenix to speak at the Arizona Biltmore (a few months ahead of John McCain) for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) conference.
    • JJ starts the Race for the Cure as part of his radio station's team, but has to peel off early in order to actually get to the station to do his broadcast.
    • Sam Jelinek visits us in DC on her way to catch a flight to the Netherlands -- yet another person we indeed don't see often enough and are always glad to be with!

    • At 3:45 on 6-7-08, a happy occasion brings us to Woolley Wonderland Farm, hosted by Karen and Glenn in Peterborough for (see all the rest of the pix of) Lorne and Corinne's wedding.
    • JJ, Judy, and her brother David sing and play her Dad's (now her) guitar (which David is playing in this picture), and has the little picture of Dad and his folk group looking back at her as we sang.
    • Oh, and we do make en-route stop in Oshawa for Swiss Chalet lunch with David, Brenda and Chris McLoughlin.
    • After a year of acting as VP at AIA, they finally find someone permanent for the job JJ doesn't want, which means someone ELSE gets to go to the air show in Bangalore in 2009.
    • A sad farewell to Angela and Brett Dark, who return to Ottawa.

    • Areturn to our Summer Camp -- new league record, to go twice within 6 months -- and came back to discover that...
    • After 2 years, the radio station that carries JJ's show is folding, and with it goes the show. JJ gets Saturdays back for the first time since 2006, and is today still agog at the luxury of a full weekend. JJ also publishes an AIA paper on the need for defense modernization.
    • Judy's long travails with a software implementation finally finish and she gets a marketing outreach system running about ten months later than she had planned. Her assistant, Dawn Middlestead, does heroic work on this and everything else all year long, including...

    • When Our Meredith (well, the Dennings' Meredith, but they share) returns for an all-too-brief visit before vanishing overseas for a year, including flightseeing with Judy and JJ over Maryland to Lancaster, Pennsylvania and returning for lunch afterwards.
    • Judy goes to NYC for Fashion Week with fellow Divas of Success in the City, some of whom also learn to climb at Sportrock with her later that month!
    • Judy celebrates her 49th birthday with friends at Co Co Sala, a splendid restaurant based on chocolate.
    • Judy flies commercial this month, starting with Chicago for a NAWBO meeting and a visit with Natalie Cornell, former Trade Commissioner and now chief of Cornell Health and Nutrition.
    • She then heads to Orlando TWICE in ten days -- to speak at Go for the Greens, led by Diane Sears, for NAWBO, and for the Small Business Development Center. She gets reimbursed for one gig, paid for another one, and wins an ACTUAL CLIENT from all that.

    • Judy hears tell of Tom Gough appearing as Gloucester in a Hart House production of King Lear, and with David McLoughlin's help gathers a delegation (see photos) that includes Brenda, Chris and Andrew McLoughlin, Lorrie Lowes, Peter Neilson, Robert McLardy, Ann Mowat, and Bill and Elise Denning to see him.
    • That also left time for family visiting (more photos here.)
    • David McLoughlin decided to drive Judy home and road trip to Washington to visit for a most pleasant two days that included some touring (pix) and an evening with other friends and comedienne Paula Poundstone.
    • JJ travels to upstate New York to test the latest cars from "General Motors," which was in the auto business back then.

    • Something about a federal election. A dramatic evening, and emotional to watch. Obama certainly means change for America; not sure yet what that means for us. JJ starts to get calls from people in the outgoing Administration who want his help getting new jobs while he works with the transition team to find one for himself. About a dozen people from his online humour writing community all want to stay at our house for the inauguration. We consider either leaving town or holding an essay contest to choose who gets to stay. Then reports of 4.5 million visitors, a jammed subway system, cold, crowds and inconvenience suddenly discourage demand down to zero. Joe Pollender drops in for dinner while on a short notice trip to burn use-or-lose vacation.
    • JJ gets paid to do a book review for the first time, of the latest Harlan Coben novel, for the Amherst Alumni magazine, thanks to Chris Bohjalian who kindly referred the job to him.
    • Judy does an overnight indoor camp at Sportrock with Girl Scouts who climb until 5 am, thus pulling her first all-nighter in about 30 years. She is then totally wiped out the next day, and now knows expect from an all-nighter when you're pushing 50.
    • Big event is a happy and rare gathering of Gertlers and Kosts in Delaware for both Thanksgiving and for Sarah Gertler's Bat Mitzvah.
    • Two days after returning from Delaware, Judy gets back in the car to drive eight hours (to Ft Monmouth NJ and back) at the invitation of the U.S. Army to give a 40-minute presentation. At least it's not snowing. Judy thinks a lot about her Dad, who loved long drives, and not so much about her presentation the next day (which also goes well) at George Mason University.
    • JJ goes to San Antonio to tag-team a presentation about the aerospace workforce to an audience of 1400 Texans, many of whom may be armed.
    • Judy moves her business blogging into high gear, and gets her first-ever business lead because somebody read her blog! Wow! She gallivants around at selected holiday receptions, including offering climbing lessons and flightseeing for the American Small Business Coalition silent auction, and steps up using social media to promote her business. (DO visit the blog and sign up for RSS Feed!!) A grand experiment; we shall see what works and what doesn't.
    • JJ publishes a paper on the future of the aerospace workforce.
    • And then it's off to Calgary for Christmas!

    Friday, December 12, 2008

    snow gal

    fiona flopped in the snow on the way back to the barn and the day was typical of the weather up here.
    lots of snow!

    baa baa twin lambs -

    third set of twins born this week on the coldest days of the year.
    Glenn actually pulled trilpets out on thursday - but only 2 made it.
    but its been a good year.
    more on the way this weekend

    Sunday, December 07, 2008

    Domestic Decorations

    Have to ask Mom to confirm which kind of tree they had as kids.
    I remember helping Dad put up the blue eaves lights with those little green clips.
    I think it was some kind of homage to a decoration his dad made when he took a piece of plywood, covered it in tinfoil and put holes in it at the places where lines met of a 5 point star.  The thing was, just those points lit up don't really look like a star.  Well it was shinny and colourful just the same. Another labour of love that we never really appreciated enough at the time.
    He seemed to like making things like that to decorate and celebrate Christmas.  Something he kept up long after into making wooden Reindeer etc..
    It may have been weather or everyone's schedules, but I remember being disappointed on what I recall was the first time we didn't go out to cut down a tree.  I do remember it to be a big deal to actually be able to 'chop' down a real tree and we shouted "Timber!" as it fell.  Then taking turns hauling it back to the car. There was a pride in ownership there that isn't the same as picking one out off a lot.
    There was of course the Christmas Branch Dad brought home one year.  I remember it being pretty late in the season and selection on the lots would have been low anyway.  We gave him such a hard time about it. In the end, once full of all our ornaments (There would have been about 120 tagged ornaments by '84), lights, tinsel angel hair, beads, candy canes and popcorn strings, that tree was as lovely as any other and as always, symbolized Christmas for us.  How very Charlie Brown.
    I remember the house lights being on (I was probably the one plugging them in under the carport each night) as I went out to do my paper route each night.  Twilight when I went out, but the lights were there to welcome me when I came back in the dark.  You could see the multi-coloured tree lights though the front window behind the sheers.  It was Christmas.

    Saturday, December 06, 2008

    at christmas, dad was ...

    Funny, I wanted a pine tree this year as I thought it reminded me most of dad.
    Ikea had only balsam fir's at the super cost of $20, so Fiona picked her fave and off we went. (Home Depot prices soared to over $40 each to start!)
    Lorne and I were chatting and he said Dad was short needle and Mom was long needle.
    What do YOU recall about christmas specialities and Dad?
    stress aside ...
    * guitar strap gift on Christmas Eve for Midnight Mass
    * all being there to have the tree topped (on rotational basis of course)
    * tree cutting expedition
    * blue spot lights and house lites along the eaves

    your turns!

    Le Petit Renne au Nez Rouge

    Ok since nobody else is posting, I will.
    Here's some stuff from the Christmas Spectacle at Petit Chaperone Rouge.
    He sang Roudolf (in french) very nicely and got into the motions too.  After, they fed the lot of them sugar galore and then a visit from Pere Noel to see how wound up the kids could get.

    Here's the video clip (apologies to dial up folks).

    Simon got a present from Pere Noel.

    Chloe got a cookie and was quite content with that.