Say cheese!

"You'd think he was the first person to ever lose a tooth!" ~ Judy Blume

Alice lost her first tooth last Friday. It had been wiggling for what seemed like an eternity, before laying completely flat for a few days (gag) and eventually coming out with a little tug from Alice. I must tell you, I have a serious aversion for anything to do with teeth. *shivers* I keep having to remind myself that this is the first of many that she is going to lose, and Jack next. Ugh. It should get easier by then, I'm sure. Oh, man, I pray!

The tooth fairy came that evening, and what a lucky girl she is! She was left $5 and a book with a note stating that first teeth are extra special, and the rest of her teeth are valued at $2 a piece. I checked with other moms to see what they were doing, so we wouldn't blow our cover. I can't get over the rate of inflation on teeth though. I remember getting a quarter! But then, that was 30 years ago... *sigh*

Gotta love a cute, toothless grin!

"Produce great pumpkins....

... the pies will follow later." ~ Unknown

We're not sure what is going to come of these, as they weren't planted until around July 9th, but hopefully these little plants will yield us a few pumpkins to carve and use for pies this fall! It's amazing how much growth we have seen in just a few weeks though. I'm hopeful!

July 25th

July 27th

July 31st

All 4 pumpkin plants, cauliflower and tomatos. There is a row of green peppers at the top as well. I'm thinking we might end up pulling the cauliflower etc to make room for the pumpkin vines...

“We fancy men are individuals; so are pumpkins; but every pumpkin in the field goes through every point of pumpkin history” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

We'll see what happens!

Long Point

Last Sunday we took a little trip to the beach at Long Point Provincial Park. It's a gorgeous park located on a 40 km sand spit on Lake Erie, and one of the nicest beaches I have ever set foot on in Canada.

The wind was up and the waves were quite high on the day of our visit, but the water was warm and shallow. We had a wonderful time "wave crashing" and splashing around in the water. And I, of course, had a marvellous time taking pictures with my new camera. Enjoy!

Jack climbing up on a drifted log, thinking he would be safe from the waves.
Now you see him...

... and now you don't. It hit that log and sprayed right over top of him.
Off the log he went. Alice had a great laugh over it, but it didn't deter Jack from running into the oncoming waves again and again.

A new baby to love!

Oh, exciting news from my front. I have a new baby to love!

Last week I became the proud owner of a Nikon D40, digital SLR camera. I am overjoyed with my new little friend and have hardly put it down since charging the battery!

As a result, I have decided that much of this blog will become a "photo blog". I plan on posting a photo or two each day with a little story attached to them. Yes, I've got the bug again. I lost it for a while, as I was feeling left behind the times still shooting with film in my Nikon F90X. But I'm back, and more excited than ever!

So sit back and enjoy the show! I hope to see some feedback from you. Help me as I grow!


No news is good news!

"For most folks, no news is good news; for the press, good news is not news." ~ Gloria Borger

I don't read the newspaper anymore, and I won't watch the news on TV. Both are always filled with doom and gloom and depressing stories, or stories that just make you mad. Take this morning for example. I clicked on the website for the local newspaper and the following headlines jumped off the front page of the print edition:

"Ecological catastrophe" (referring to the fleet of vehicles Environment Canada uses and how they are gas guzzlers. Thanks to the government of Canada for continuing to fleece us.)

"Body pulled from Huron" (a story about a young man's body, presumed to be a 17 year old who went missing at the beach last week, that was pulled from the water.)

"Crochet pulled from fair's fabric" (crocheting - a mainstay of the Western Fair - has been pulled from the craft exhibit! Atrocious!)

And a large picture in the middle of it all with the caption, "The Pride and the Protest". An older gentleman holds up a sign that says, "Homosexuality is a sin. Jesus calls sinners to repentance.", while a participant in the Gay Pride Parade "reacts with mock horror" as he reads the sign. Can't we all just get along???

And reading it online is no better. The breaking news headlines include a suspicious death on one end of the city, a 3 vehicle crash which has left 5 people in hospital and a body being found after a trailer fire.

Wah, wah, wahhhhhhhhh...... How depressing! Why did I look?

Why can't we reserve the front page for happy stories? "Kitten rescued from the top of white pine tree", or put our birth and wedding announcements there. Save one whole section at the back and call it the "Doom and Gloom" area or something. Better yet, sell a whole paper devoted to gut wrenching, sad, angering or otherwise non-pleasant stories. From my experience, there are people out there who get a thrill from other people's misery, so they wouldn't have to worry about papers not selling. They'd sell more!

Nah, I'm done with the news. Or at least I'm going to be very selective of my news sources. Horror and tragedy just aren't my idea of a good read while sipping my morning tea. Or at any part of the day actually. No thanks. I'll pass. What a waste of trees.

“Never awake me when you have good news to announce, because with good news nothing presses; but when you have bad news, arouse me immediately, for then there is not an instant to be lost.” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

Smeeshy is a great cat...

"Shee-shu Smeeshy...." ~ Jack at 2 years old

I love animals, especially cats. I don't think there has been a day in my 35 years that I haven't had a cat as a pet. My parents took in and adopted several stray cats over the years as well as 2 dogs. I had hamsters, guinea pigs, a rabbit and every injured bird I could find as a kid. In 1994 while in University, I adopted the ugliest yet most beautiful black kitten I have ever seen. He was a scrawny little thing with a big head and long tail. The runt of the litter in size, but the smartest and most vocal of the bunch. He was one of 13 kittens born to a young mother who, with such a large litter, died shortly after they were born and the kittens were hand raised by a vet's office. I brought my runt home when he was 4 weeks old and named him "Marley" because when that cat cried, he wailed!

Marley grew into his body and became a stunning cat, albeit fat later on in life. Sadly, our boy had to be put down last November at nearly 14 years old due to issues that became beyond our control. He was peeing all over the house, including where he slept. Something was wrong and we didn't have the means to treat him, unfortunately. I still miss him and think about him often. He was a smart cat who thought he was a human being, and he was a good, loyal cat.

We have since adopted 2 other wonderful beauties, and they have filled the void left by good ol' Marley. First came Dinah, a gorgeous grey and brown calico. Svelte and beautiful, Dinah is an adventurer. She's smart and playful and very much Alice's cat. When Alice takes off to a friend's house up the street, Dinah follows her mewing. Whenever we return from vacation or a weekend away, Dinah brings us home an offering of a mouse or a bird, probably begging us not to go away and leave her again. She's an amazing cat.

Our second girl is Smokey, aka "Smeeshy". With a coat of almost blueish-grey, Smokey adopted us after being abandoned a few streets over by her previous owners. We took her in, loved her up and she's been with us ever since. She arrived around the time that Jack first really started talking in "sentences". One day she rubbed up against him and he said, "Aww. Coot. Shee-shu Smeeshy..." (translation: Aww, cute. Thank you, Smokey). "Smeeshy" has stuck as a nickname although Jack's pronunciation has improved, and Brad and I still giggle when we call her "Smeeshy". Smeeshy likes to stay closer to home and be around her people, unlike Dinah the wanderer. She's a lap cat and a lover, and "my" girl. Smeeshy is a great cat.

I love our cats. I'm happy that they love us too and continue to make us their "people". We will gladly be their people as long as they will have us.
Have you hugged a cat today?


Happy Birthday, Canada!

“Canada will be a strong country when Canadians of all provinces feel at home in all parts of the country, and when they feel that all Canada belongs to them.” ~ Pierre Elliott Trudeau

A day late, but heartfelt wishes nonetheless! 141 years old. Wow! The changes Canada has seen in that time... Can you imagine?

My internet service has been sporadic at best lately. I will extend my apologies now for starting July off with a rash of posts in one day (that is, if I get to posting the ones I have stored). I have been writing them in a word pad file waiting to be able to publish them and figured I would do that while I have a few minutes of down time today. If not today then soon!

We've been off galavanting once again. This time to Point Pelee National Park in Amherstberg, Ontario. What a beautiful park that is. The kids had a great time hiking the marsh boardwalk, seeing baby swallows being fed and turning their bums out of the nest to poop (Alice! She thought it was hysterical and could have spent the day there watching them). We took a canoe ride up the marsh where we saw painted turtles, red winged blackbirds, a green spotted frog and hundreds of beautiful water lillies dotting the pond. The weather was perfect for riding our bikes up to the education centre where we spent a little time exploring the displays before hopping on the bus to the "point".

Brad and I visited Point Pelee a couple of times pre-kids and loved it. What a difference in the last 10 years though. Back then you could walk out on to the point for about 50+ feet. Now it is basically just a sandbar where seagulls perch and sun themselves, and the cut off for pedestrians is a pile of rocks at a blunt end. The erosion from the lake is amazing but sad.

It is also a very dangerous area. Many people have been sucked in by the undertow over the years and drowned, so of course I was a litte uptight every time Jack or Alice even put a toe in the water. We spent about 15 minutes there skipping stones, finding a few seashells and watching the seagulls do a little air show for us, then headed back to safer ground.

We spent our Canada Day at a Pioneer Village where we saw demonstrations (in full costume!) of activities at the time of Confederation. A vintage baseball game, stilts that the kids could walk on, fiddle music in a church, fresh squeezed lemonade and more kept us busy for a few hours. Then home for a nice little campfire before Alice and I headed out to watch the fireworks. It was a nice display. Short I felt, but nice. I love fireworks. Especially when put to music. I always get a little "rush" watching them.

Brad starts his holidays next week, so I'm sure my time for blogging will once again be limited. I will be back though. Don't leave me just yet! ;o)


PS: If you read this blog before I get some pictures added, be sure to check back later!

I love quotes!

If you haven't noticed yet, I love quotes. All quotes, even quotes about quotes! I use them in nearly all of my posts, so I hope you enjoy them and they give you something to think about.

I quote others only in order the better to express myself. ~ Michel De Montaigne

I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself. ~ Marlene Dietrich

The next best thing to being clever is being able to quote someone who is. ~ Mary Pettibone Poole

... and my personal favourite:

I pick my favourite quotations and store them in my mind as ready armour, offensive or defensive, amid the struggle of this turbulent existence. ~ Robert Burns

A good quote can come in handy sometimes. It helps get a point across with slightly more credibility than one might give you credit for had YOU said it first. Someday perhaps I will quote myself. If only one day I will be so wise as to write or say something "quote worthy". :o)