Friday, April 17, 2009

And the Plot Thickens....

I love conspiracy theories:

1. Weather balloon... or... spacecraft crashed at Roswell?

2. Did man really land on the moon or was it a hoax?

3. Lee Harvey Oswald, was he alone...or..?

4. Crop circles, are they manmade, or some weird message from aliens?

5. Do dryers really eat socks?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Weblog We blog!


I've been jotting down a few things in this Blog of mine for about 2 years now, when it It suddenly occured to me..where on earth did the term 'blog' come from... and isn't it interesting how readily we once again accept another new word injected into our daily vocabulary without even thinking about it.

After a wee bit of research... this is the internet, after all - the speedway to instant information... I found out where the term blog came from! Naturally, the term blog comes from the world wide web... The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger in December 1997. The shorter version, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who, in April or May of 1999, broke the word weblog into the phrase "we blog" in the sidebar of his weblog!

Therefore, we blog on our weblogs!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Saving Grace




I never thought I'd be absolutely hooked on a tv program. But I am and I'm hooked hard and fast.

I love the fact the main character is played by a woman of 51... not some 22 year old just out of college, perfectly coiffed, with unnaturally white teeth. Saving Grace stars Holly Hunter as Grace Hanadarko. Grace is real.. she's a cop who drinks too much, smokes too much, is a liar and is having a wild fling with a married man. She's also compassionate, intelligent, funny.... exciting and honest.

Saving Grace has an edge to it we haven't seen the likes of on tv in years...FINALLY, something we can sink our teeth into.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Book 'em, Danno



I've not been reading as much as I used to, should or want to. And quite frankly, my dear, I do give a damn. Therefore, I've decided to make this the year of the book - life is too short to not read good books!

I'm compiling a list of books I want to read and/or reread. Here's what I have on my "MUST READ" list (in no particular order, just the order I thought of them):

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Rebecca
Catch 22
To Kill A Mockingbird
The Old Man and the Sea
The Great Gatsby
Stranger in a Strange Land
On the Beach
Schindler's List
Pillars of the Earth
Life of Pi
Water for Elephants
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Watership Down
Johnny Got his Gun
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Memory Keeper's Daughter
The Five People you Meet in Heaven

This is just a short list just off the top of my head... Naturally, my MUST READ list is miles longer and ongoing. I would appreciate any suggestions... but please keep in mind - No Jane Austen, Margaret Atwood, Carol Shields... just can't do it, sorry. Please add to my list some books you've read, loved, and think I'd be interested in!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

For all my Baby Boomer Buddies!

I just had to share this...

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.
Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight. WHY? Because we were always outside playing...that's why!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Play stations, Nintendo's and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.
WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.

Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

Monday, March 30, 2009

My foot's too big!


While sitting in the dark (yes, we turned off all lights at 8:30) chatting over dinner with friends about the environment, etc. I realized how much of a failure at reducing my own carbon foot print I am.

If it now takes the Earth one year and four months to regenerate what we use in a year... from my house it's probably taking the Earth 3 years! So, I've made a conscious decision to lessen our impact. Here's some of my resolutions:

1. Remember to TAKE the cloth bags with me when I go to pick up some groceries.

2. Do not allow Matt to fall asleep in the shower any more. Turn the hot water off when he does this... at least if he stays asleep, the water he'll be using won't be hot.

3. Do not allow anyone to dry one item by itself in the dryer... no matter how much they might whine how they HAD to do it because they HAD to have that pair of jeans, t-shirt, whatever right at that moment.

4. Stop being such a baby when it rains and walk to the store instead of taking the car.

5. Figure out how to program the tv so it will shut off by itself when hubby falls asleep in front of it. (are there such a things as snore sensors?)

6. Be less of a carnivore and more of a vegetarian no matter how good that bbq'd steak smells.

7. Attempt to purchase more organic food from the farmer's market... and not freak out at the price I'm paying for something half the size of what I'd normally get.

I already try to use fewer chemicals when cleaning; I try to buy locally and with less packaging; we are already tearing up the grass from the front yard and putting in low maintenance plants, etc. (Mind you, this isn't exactly due to our drive to conserve water, it's more because it's already more moss than grass, but who's quibbling); and I recycle, resuse and reduce... probably not as much as I could be, but at least I've started.

There's room for improvement... huge room... I know. I'm working on it. My awareness of what I'm doing has been tweeked... and I'm paying attention!

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's all part of the learning curve


It's said you learn something new every day. What I learned today:

1. They still use lead when making leaded glass windows, etc.

2. Coca Cola will neutralize skunk odor.

3. That I hate taking the bus (actually, I already knew this, but had it confirmed again)

4. Rice paper has no rice in it!

5. That some people have life plans.

6. That I haven't a clue what pre or pro-biotic means..???

7. Charles Dickens was an obsessive compulsive.

That's it. If I learned anything else, I've forgotten about it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Clean


My Dream Team came again today... that would be Mary and Nadia - the two women who come every two weeks to clean my house. My Dream Team. I thought at one point I should have hired a Dream Team years ago, but realized it wouldn't be the same. The kids would have put sticky fingerprints, muddy shoe prints, peanut butter and jam and God knows what else throughout the house within minutes. Now, the sparkle lasts for longer than just a few hours.

These women clean my house from top to bottom... even so far as to scrub my kettle! It gleams! It never ceases to amaze me what makes me smile.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

His star shines brightly

Today would have been Dad's 80th birthday.

There is an old Eskimo/Inuit proverb that says "Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy."

Shine on Dad and Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kith N' Kin



I've been working on tracing my family roots and building a 'tree'. I did start this a few years ago, but for whatever reason, filed away the data and completely forgot about until now. Recently, I dug out the file with it's bits and pieces of information and started flipping through... I was soon lost in the stories and information.

When I first started this project a few years ago, Nain, my paternal grandmother sent me pages and pages of information. I smiled and had an instant image of her while rereading the information she sent me. Her small, perfect writing was so familiar to me. I'd recognize it anywhere. She not only sent me names, dates, etc. but she was also kind enough give me stories about herself, her siblings, her mother and father, etc. she thought would be of interest to me. Invaluable.

Mom has an excellent memory for family bits and pieces from her side of the family... stories she'd been told by her grandmother and mother. She's now sharing them with me, along with old photos.... she's writing the subject's names on the back of the photo. Mom also tells me she has many stories about these long past family members that she'll share when she's here.

So far, we've been able to trace back seven generations... but what's more exciting to me is I'll soon have the stories about these people who, in some way I suppose, are part of me...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mamma Mia!

I heard them growing up, and now , God help me, I'm saying them myself. I'm speaking Motherese:

Put a sweater on or you'll catch pneumonia and die..
If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times....
Don't make me come over there.
Always wear clean underwear; you never know...
Stop that or you face will freeze that way.
Because I said so!
Get off there before you fall and break your neck.
If everyone jumped off the bridge, would you do it to?
Don't run with those scissors.
Don't wave that sick around or you'll poke your eye out
Close the door! Were you born in a barn?
Don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where it's been!
I'm going to count to three....
Who used my good scissors?

We've all heard them and we now say them!

Friday, March 13, 2009

We didn't start it

I love Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" song, however, it's from my generation and perhaps needs a little modernizing. Here goes:

George Bush, Obama, Sean Finn, Napster,
N'Sync, Eminem, Timothy McVie

ipod, x-box, Schwarzenneger, Darfur
Anthrax, Taliban, Guantanamo

Gretzke, Gay rights, stem cells, Britney Spears
Arafat, Hussain, New Orleans and Spider Man

Tsunami, stem cells, Tiger is our new king,
Montreal! Columbine! Damn it, will we ever learn?

We didn't start the fire,
It was always burning since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
Though we didn't light it, but we're trying to fighting it

Middle East, E-bay, new Pope, Tom Cruise
Brad Pitt, Desert Storm, Indianna Jones.

Twin Towers, Oprah, Tony Blair, Rubics Cube,
Waco, Desert Storm, Trivial Pursuit

Harry Potter, World Series, Princess Di we say good bye
Play Station, Snoop Dog, Are we running out of oil?

Stephen Hawking, cocaine, smart bomb, Pakistan,
Warcraft, e-mail, Pluto is a no go.

We didn't start the fire,
It was always burning since the world was turning
We didn't start the fire
Though we didn't light it, but we're trying to fighting

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Dilys; here's what the astrologer's say

If this astrologer was to guess who came up with the statement "let's try it and see what happens" I would immediately pick the march 12th person. The person born on this day is influenced by Jupiter, which is both the ruling planet for this day and the one of the ruling planets for Pisces. This planet for the person born on this day offers vision, expansion and space. It makes them a presence that can change the way countless numbers of people view the world and themselves.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Facts, nothing but the facts

1. I look horrible in all photos and hence hate having my photo taken.
2. I was perfect at age 38. I've always either been too skinny or now, too fat, for my taste except when I was 38. I should have had a gazillion photos taken then.
3. I can't swim. I wish I could, but I can't. And please, don't offer to teach me, many have tried and failed.
4. I like to collect odd things; Royal Doulton figurines, old fashioned rhinestone brooches, husbands.
5. I'm always amazed at how impressive, talented, interesting, exciting and funny my girlfriends all are. I have yet to figure out why they hang out with me!
6. I made a list of 100 things to do or see before I die long before it became fashionable to make such a list.
7. I can't sing worth a lick. My whole family is musical except me. However, someone had to be in the audience! This is all probably a good thing, since I suffer from massive stage fright.
8. When we were growing up and asked what we wanted to be, my friends all said teachers or nurses. I wanted to be a horse.
9. I always wanted to look like Audrey Hepburn.
10. I love a good laugh and I love a good cry.
11. The book I'd take to a deserted island would be Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca.
12. I hate flying.
13. I'm determined to learn to speak Spanish. Not tourist Spanish, but learn to speak fluently.
14. I'm worried I'm turning into a worry wart.
15. Every time I get the camera, I imagine my photos being on par with National Geographics. It might help if I were on Safari or something.
16. I decided awhile ago that I don't care what others think - I'll dance any way I want, I'll wear a bathing suit to the beach, I'll wear a hat even though I don't look chic, etc.
17. I have only about 10 grey hairs.
18. I've only skied once in my life, and that was enough.
19. I dislike Halloween...as soon as the kids stopped wanting to be cute and wanted to be gory blood dripping monsters, I tuned out.
20. My dislike for Halloween probably reaches back to my childhood. My mother had no imagination - once she pinned a small red tablecloth around my head, handed me an old Easter basket and said "there, you can be Red Riding Hood".
21. I love to cook. I'd love to be a chef - not in a restaurant though, just for my friends and family. I'd hate to work in a restaurant again.
22. I kinda believe in aliens, witchcraft, voodoo, and all that fun stuff.
23. I love, love, LOVE my claw foot bathtub. It has to be the best place on the planet to relax, rejuvenate and read!
24. I adore my family.
25. I miss my Dad... I miss him a lot. A whole lot.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Look Ma! No...hills



AH HA... the sun came out, time to ride my new bike. Admittedly, it was a tad disconcerting when Scott asked me when the last time I'd ridden a bike was and we realized it was on a bike trip we had around Maine Island... 24 years ago! Is it true that once you learn to ride a bike, you never lose that ability? I'm pleased to say, that yes, it's true!

I donned my helmut (a necessity that I detest, by the way) got on my bike and thankfully, was able to keep my balance. While one may never lose the ability to ride a bike, I quickly discovered what one does lose is the ability to ride without care. As a kid, I remember riding for blocks and blocks, as fast as I could, with no hands! These days? I not only have a death grip on the handlebars, I won't even ride down a hill.... I don't like going too fast. Honest... I actually walked my bike down the hill at the end of my street!

And then there's gears. It appears that I have 21. Who on earth needs 21 gears? I'm so busy paying attention to the road, keeping my balance, watching for cars, that I have no time (and really, no inclination) to figure out the damn gears! One skill at a time is my motto.

I'm loving riding my bike... MY way.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bicycle Built for ME

And the adventure begins.....

Last Sunday, while I was quietly enjoying my laziness, Scott walked in and startled me with chirpy "for your birthday, how would you like a new bike?" Sure.. why not? and off we went before I could think things through and change my mind.

Buying a bike these days is a lot different than when we just walked into Canadian Tire, found one that looked like it would fit and was a colour we liked. After Bike Guy established that the bike would be for me, he needed a bit of information: How tall was I, what was my arm span (like I'd know this? Fortunately, Bike Guy comes with a tape measure).. and the best question, what kind of riding did I do? This one I could answer - None. I don't ride. It was therefore established I would need an urban bike, few gears, and nothing expensive. I like.

After Scott asked Bike Guy a few questions about various bikes, gears, etc. (none of which I followed) we picked out my bike. It's gunmetal grey and fits me. Next came the helmut. Bike Guy pointed out pretty blues ones and even a pink one with flowers. Please, I don't want to look like Barbie, I want a bike helmut. I chose a black and gun metal grey one matching my bike.

I was all excited to head home, change into appropriate clothes, and head out on my new bike. Naturally, we walked out of the shop to find the rains started. As excied as I was to try out my new bike let's be honest, I'm a fair weather rider. I didn't get to ride my bike for two days.

More on that later.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's raining it's pouring!

Yesterday's walk home was wet... nothing exciting... just wet, wet, wet. However, I did make it home in less than an hour!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I go out walking, after midnight....

I figure if I make it part of a public record, so to speak, perhaps I might just stick with it! Walking. l've upped my walking regime so that come September 6th and 7th when I participate in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer 60 km walk, I won't be crawling on the second day!

So far I've plodded along the streets of Vancouver, or around the seawall. I'm walking home from work, heading out for at least an hour every day. I don't walk fast... no power walking for me... but I do go further than my body really wants me to. I'm pushing myself a wee bit more every day. It feels good.

We have some gorgeous neighbourhoods... yesterday I walked through Strathcona area. Lovely little homes with some of the most beautiful gardens.

My exciting walking moment yesterday? A teeny tiny little baby skunk. So damned cute! I stopped to watch the little guy playing in the flowers, however, I knew there had to be a mama skunk close by so i didn't linger too long!

Let's see what today brings!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dad

Fine singer passed up career to be near his family
Glyn Williams could have travelled world, but cherished home life
Don Retson
Journal Staff Writer
Edmonton
Edmonton's music scene was abuzzz in 1966 when Glyn Williams received a dream offer to join the world-renowned Roger Wagner Chorale on a tour of the United States.
It was a terrific opportunity that offered Mr. Williams- the first professsional opera baritone in this city- a chance to become internationally known.
A family member recalls that chorale music director Roger Wagner, who had met Mr. Willams at a workshop in Calgary, applied all the presure he could to get him to accept a lead role in the six-month tour, which opened at Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Williams thanked Wagner kindly, but resisted the tantalizing offer. "He chose to turn this down because it would have meant being away from his family for extended times" recalls Ken Smith, Mr. Williams' brother-in-law. "He loved his family more than his job or his music."
A humble mand blessed with an incredible voice, Glyn E. Williams died of cancer on April 14. He was 79.
"Glyn Williams was truly one of the finest vocal talents that his city has ever produced," said former CBC-TV producer Armand Baril.
Baril recalls the official opening of CBXT-TV Edmonton on Nov. 7, 1961, when a live concert from the jubilee Auditorium was broadcast nationally on CBC-TV. As producer-director, Baril said he shared the excitement of that gala event that featured various local musical talents, including Mr. Willams.
"When Glyn started to sing," said Baril, "it was clear to everyone across the nation and in the concert hall that here was a magnificent voice destined to go far".
Edmonton Opera's resident baritone in the late 1950's and early 1960's, Mr Williams did appear occasionally as a guest solosit in the U.S., such as at the Seattle Worlds Fair in 1961 and the Welsh Singing Festival in San Fransisco.
Betty Mae, his wife of 56 years and a talented musician in her own right, would play for her husband whenever he didn't have an orchestra to back him up.
"We were a team," she said of her husband, whom, she added, also had a great talent for leaving people in stitches with his wicked sense of humour. "He didn't tease or he didn't make fun of anybody else,"she said. "He was just witty."
Despite his many opportunities to go on to the world stage, Mr. Williams chose to remain here with his family, where he performed major roles with Edmonton Opera, Oratorio, the concert stage and radio and TV.
In a Journal aricle in 1966, then music critic Ann Burrows said Mr. Williams' invitation to join the Roger Wagner Chorale on tour was an honour and that " no local singer is more deserving of such an excellent professional opportunity."
Born in Vancouver in 1929, Glyn's family moved to Edmonton when he was very young. After graduating from high school, he got a job with Imperial Oil in 1949, staying with them until his retirement in 1987.
He met Betty Mae when they were both participating in an amateur variety show which was put on for several years. In proposing, Mr Williams got down on one knee, giving Betty Mae both an orchid and an engagement ring. They were married in 1952.
Blessed with a beautiful baritone voice, Mr. Williams sang in the Knox Metropolitan Choir for 45 years. His love of music led him into the professional opera society of Edmonton. He participated in its first production of Madame Butterfly, playing the role of Sharpless. He was in several other operas over the years and had the major role of Marcello in La Boheme. This success led him to star in a locally produced TV variety show on CBC Edmonton which ran for 2 1/2 years.
A great family man, MR. Williams would attend almost every sporting event or concert that his children were involved in.
At his recent memorial service, grandson David Donnelly said Mr. Williams was also proud of all seven of his grandchildren. "Grandpa gave us confidence to succeed in whatever we wanted, " Donnelly said. "He showed us that we can do anything we set our minds to."
Besides Betty Mae, Mr. Williams is survived by daughters Judith and Dilys and his son

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tomorrow's another day


I can fully understand Scarlett O'Hara's desire to close the mind off from having to think about or cope with the day's events. God knows I've wanted to shout out "Oh I can't think about this now! I'll go crazy if I do! I'll think about it tomorrow" these past couple of days.

.