November 26, 2005
Sunset on the River
Snow Geese
Guess what? I bought my camera. Instead of the D70, I chose the Nikon D50. It came down to the simple fact that the D50 felt more comfortable in my hands. And because of the savings in buying this model, I was able to splurge a bit with a zoom lense.

This morning, I took a walk around my neighbourhood to break it in, and was thrilled to see the Snow Geese were putting on quite a show.

Every fall, tens of thousands of these birds stop in this area on their way south. It is a breathtaking sight, to say the least and there really is nothing comparable than seeing a white mist rise off the bogs only to realize it's a huge flock of geese. The downside is that these birds make a significant amount of noise...and it's not uncommon to be woken up very early in the morning when they decide to do their fly overs. Majestic birds, none the less.

Walking down to the park, I noticed the trees had been knawed on by the resident beavers.

I tried to do some sunset photos tonight, but they didn't come out as well as I would have liked. At the moment, though, I'm still playing around with all the shiny buttons so it'll take some time to create the photos I'm home for.

In the meantime, I've jumped on the Flickr bandwagon and my site is here.
November 15, 2005
The Cenotaph

When I was at the service on Friday, I was snapping away a bunch of shots and when I got home, I noticed this man in the background. In every picture, it was obvious this was very personal to him.

Tonight was the final photography course, and this was my final project. I put the three shots into the main one of the cenotaph, and am pleased with the results. Thought I'd share here.
November 14, 2005
Some Soldier's Mom writes eloquently and heartbreakingly about the funeral of SPC Tommy Byrd, who served with her son, Noah.

Please take a few minutes and read it. This young man who gave his life was just so young. Born in August 1984. I will hug my nieces just a little bit closer next time I see them. They're both older than he was.

He leaves a young bride. Widowed at such a young age.

Here's another post as well worth a read - a poem written by a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan - called 'A Share of November Silence'.
365 days later
It's my first blog-a-versary on Tuesday but I may not have a chance to write then. One year later. I never would have believed the fantastic people I have met through this medium, nor the change or deepening of my perspective.

I wrote two posts in July 2004 but I have decided they don't really count. It was November 15, 2004 when I began writing daily. And since then:

  • 597 posts
  • 23,900 visitors
  • Averaging 60 visitors a day
  • Approximately 175,000 words written
I've had the trifecta of spotlights over the past year on certain posts when I was linked through Blackfive, Instapundit and even Hugh Hewitt. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I appreciate being part of Brian's Weekly Roundup. Because of this, I have met some people who have become true friends - Monica, Teresa, Trucker Bob, Kyra to name a quick few.

The largest one day influx of visitors to the site was when I hosted the Red Ensign Standard in April. Slightly over 3,000 people came that day. To be honest, it actually freaked me out more than pleased me. I like my little corner of the blogosphere quiet and tidy and prefer to have a decent idea of who's checking in on me. But being part of the Red Ensign group was a great honour and I appreciate the time I spent with them. There are many friends I've met through this association as well - Rebecca, Temujin, Rue and Canadianna to name drop a little.

Having said that, it would be nice if more people commented. But then again, I'm not too concerned. If you have something to say, that would be very much appreciated. I have a decent idea from the sitemeter who most people are. In fact, I can see someone from my old work looks on here from time to time and am surprised to not know exactly who it is. I have my suspicions though. ;-)

I have been fortunate to have mostly good-hearted, warm people around who have been a fantastic source of support through the challenges of the last year. When I originally thought about writing this post, I thought I would list some of the wonderful people I now consider true friends but I am incredibly lucky to say that there are just too many kind souls out there. I am truly blessed.

However, I have had three trolls in this time who have not had the courtesy to comment publicly but instead felt the need to spread their vitriol privately in email. One unfortunately was very recent, when I commented on a friend's blog. He chose to attack me so vehemently by email, personally slandering me that I very nearly wrote to my friend to request him to somehow edit and remove my comment. But I took a deep breath and reminded myself that one of the very basic freedoms we work hard to protect is that of free opinion and free speech. This man, even as hurtful as he was, chose to exercise his. And I exercised mine by deleting his diatribe.

I have read absolutely hundred of blogs over the year, and have 157 on my blogroll that I attempt to keep up with daily. It has helped me form a much more informed decision of many of the world's issues today. People like Heidi have showed me the unbelievable grace of living through the aftermath of losing her husband in Iraq. Or Some Soldier's Mom who was a favourite read of mine, even before her son was injured by a roadside bomb. Of course, can't forget CaliValleyGirl who has been a tremendous 'soul sister' through the trials of being a military girlfriend. And not to forget, ArmyWifeToddlerMom who has brought me a lot of smiles this past year as she raises Pink Ninja and Dash. It was because of her inspiration I started giving Hayley and Alex similar pet names. These have put things in perspective for me and helped me understand what it truly means to support the people who serve to make our lives safer. I've read many blogs of those over in the sandbox, and many opinions in order to form my own. I have seen many more that have gone dark, but still miss their insight greatly (Sgt. Devore, I think of you and Wendy often).

In another vein, I read The Scruffy Dog Review blog religiously and appreciate the 'inside view' into a writer's world. Devon and Colin both have been incredibly helpful and supportive in my quest to become serious with my creative side.

Personally, this year, those that follow this blog through my bumbling effort through life have seen my rollercoaster relationship with a deployed American Naval Petty Officer crash and burn, my mother's health decline and my own health issues, my redundancy from my previous job and a few other of life's trials.

Despite the dips, this has also been an amazing year. My grandnephew was born in January, lighting up our lives more than I ever thought possible. And I have finally gotten enough confidence to believe in myself and begin to write. Whether it will take me somewhere or just fill a void in myself that I haven't given proper opportunity to before now.

Either way, I am humbled by the experience and am looking very forward to the next year. Thank you for making these past 12 months the most enlightening I've ever had the fortune to be involved in.
November 12, 2005
Finn Slough
Finn Slough is a historic little community that exists in a tidal flat about 2 miles from my house. From first glance, it looks somewhat abandoned with old houses built on stilts, but a closer examination makes you see the heart and soul of this area. Inhabited now by approximately 50 fishermen and artists, the community was originally founded by Finnish immigrants in the 1890s. The history of the area is rich. Many battles over the true 'ownership' of the land, the people that live here now are dedicated to the enrichment of the area, despite controversy about the property lines.

Absolutely full of character, though, and hard not to take too many pictures walking through. In my one-hour photo jaunt, I took somewhere around 150!

When the tide is out, the boats sit dry on the stream bed. When it's like this, it's hard to believe that in just a few hours, this will be an extension of the river again.

The local residents are doing a fantastic job of restoring some of the older buildings. This picture 'Dinner Plate Island School' is part of a movie shoot, and not a working school.

Other areas are not as restored, but hold just as much beauty and intrigue.

If you'd like to know more about this area, there are some great stories of the residents here and here. And more pictures here and here.
November 11, 2005
Always Remember
My niece just asked me 'How long are we supposed to remember for?', when I told her I attended this morning's ceremony. The answer is simple. Always.

Never forget. Never become complacent. These are the stories of my parent's and grandparent's generation. The new generations don't have that same bond and we need to work on making the history alive. My nieces have grown up in a world where they have never had to see a classmate go to combat, and therefore, it's something we work hard to make them understand. I tell my niece of the friends I've met over blogging who have served, and are doing so. And those that support them. I tell her - imagine your husband is at war right now, and you are raising your beautiful babies on your own. I want her to have a sense of the strength of those women - those military wives and girlfriends and not take for granted the fact that her worst issue is her husband staying out too often with the boys down at the pub.

Recently, when in the States, I had the opportunity to see a couple of soldiers returning from Iraq. In their uniforms, they were a sight to behold and the first time I had ever seen an OIF soldier in the 'flesh'. Sure, I've seen lots of pictures and even of those I actually consider friends. I felt emotional as I watched their families embrace them and those tough, young guys tear up in their arms. It was very moving.

Everyone was soaked to the skin and the CO's kept reminding their cadets to keep moving their fingers and toes, lest they lose circulation. I saw a few cadets lose their balance, and a couple instances, actually pass out but all seemed to be deeply aware of the significance of why they were.

I was happy to see many parents who did bring their children. It's important.

Richmond's Cenotaph. I'm not sure the exact number of boys we lost but these were classmates of my mother and her sisters. These are not just names to them, but living breathing friends they knew and grew up with.

Most of the names here can now be found in the form of street names in the city, but their stories are fading. James Gibbons was our link. He was my Aunt's brother-in-law and was shot down over France in World War II. He was just 19.
Ceremonies and the like

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Think of those words today. Think of what they mean and not just the flowing poetry they are.

After my ranting this week regarding the importance of this day, I found myself drawn to the doing something a little more than usual. So this morning, I bundled myself up and went to City Hall for the Remembrance Day Ceremonies.

The weather was absolutely atrocious. Without exaggeration, there were some areas of the street that were flooded and the rain was torrential with the wind whipping it at a 45 degree angle. But as was noted those that served, and do serve, do not get the option to chose what weather they go out in.

It was a beautiful ceremony, of which I will post pictures later once my fingers start properly moving again. One speaker noted as those that served in defence of Canada during World War I, World War II and Korea become aged, we lose our personal perspective in the true sacrifice that was made. Only 5 veterans from World War I are still surviving today, and the average age of a WWII vet is 82. Now, more than ever, it is important to remember.

Those serving as Peacekeepers and in Afghanistan, as well as other posts are few and far between in Canada. We don't see the military presence as often it is in other countries, and it's easy for many to put it aside.

A few posts worthy of note today:

The story of the poem, In Flanders Field is told here.

Scotland observes Armistice Day here.

The Guardian tells the story of a 104-year old World War I veteran who was a young teenager when he served on a battleship.

Thousands gathered in the capital of Australia to observe the 87th anniversary of the Armistice Treaty, another country that had a notable absence of WWI vets at the ceremony.

In St. Louis, a French ex-pat shares his story and memories of liberation.

The origin of the two-minute silence is told here.

The mother of a soldier killed in the friendly-fire incident laid a wreath in Ottawa in honour of her son's supreme sacrifice.

A new Book of Remembrance is unveiled in Ottawa's ceremony.

John The Mad has a post up about Canada's Unknown Soldier.

North American Patriot reminds us it's a Matter of Valour.

To all veterans, no matter what country you hail from, no matter what length of your service, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
November 10, 2005
Tomorrow is Remembrance Day in Canada. It's a statutory holiday here. In the US, it's Veteran's Day and this is not a statutory holiday as they take their day in May as Memorial Day. (and if I'm wrong in understanding that, please feel free to educate me).

I will quite honest that I was like many Canadians when I took this day for granted. Sure, I wore the poppy and watched the ceremonies on TV. But a few years ago, I started to truly understand the significance of the event. When Todd came into my life, it also gave me a perspective into supporting those that served. Even though my relationship has changed, it has not changed my opinion of the military nor what they do. In fact, it has strengthened even more.

Last year was a very emotional day for me. I now had someone in my life that was serving in combat, and had become friends with quite a few others. It gave me much different view and I took a lot more pride in supporting those that served. I realized the importance of having the day to Remember. The day off that we can think of what has happened in order for us to live the life we do.

Considering this year is also the first year there will be no World War I veterans at the services in Ottawa, it becomes even more important that We Never Forget.

Growing up it was a day that made my Grandad angry. He would become very bitter and sad as it came close. My Mom would tell me to leave him alone and sure enough he would come back to himself a little while after. Now, as an adult I understand what painful memories that must have dug up for him. We remembered and were proud of him. But he lived it. Those were his friends that died beside him.

So with that in mind, I received an email yesterday from our Corporate King Of Purchasing (ok, maybe that's not his real title), who is based in Seattle, requesting all the Purchasing Managers be available for a meeting at 11am.

I emailed him back a polite note reminding him that it was a Statutory Holiday here for Remembrance Day. To which, the response was "It may be in Canada but it isn't in the US. While it may be Veteran's Day, we do not take a day off for this. That's what Memorial Day is for. I would appreciate you calling in from wherever you are."

Well, we don't have Memorial Day in Canada. Tomorrow is our day and that response bothered me greatly. My sarcastic side thought I should mentioned maybe we could reschedule to November 24 or 25th instead.

I am in a somewhat unclear position at my job. My contract currently ends January 2, 2006, and while they have made some overtures to having me here longer term, nothing concrete. This is now only 6 weeks away. Do I rock the boat here in refusing the meeting? In discussing it with other co-workers, I was surprised that they thought I was making a bigger deal than it should be.

One had remarked 'Oh, it's just a day for the Legions to make money anyhow, what's the big deal?'

I considered last night what I should do, and decided it was more important to stand up for what I believe in.

This morning, I responded to him 'Regretfully, I will not be able to participate in tomorrow's meeting due to Remembrance Day activities. I look forward meeting up with you next week to discuss these issues.'

I feel relieved. Tomorrow is a day I do intend to honour those who have served and are currently serving. In fact, I have two packages ready to mail tomorrow to my soldier through 'Angels In Camoflauge' and had held off because I wanted the postmark to reflect the day. Although, in some respects it's somewhat sad that the Post Office (which is also the 7-11) is open so that's possible.
November 08, 2005
Much needed
A first tonight. Ms. Thang phoned me all on her own (well, pushed the autodial button anyhow) to say Hi.

I haven't seen the kids in 3 weeks, but it's a lifetime. Usually I'm seeing them a couple times a week, but with my cold and their colds and travel, it just hasn't happened. I'd been sitting here reading my book when the phone rang.

'Hullo....Annie Sue', a little voice said.

'Hi sweetie, you called me!'

'Yup, I wanted to read a book to you.'

Holding back a cracking voice (hey, I'm feeling sorry for myself today, what can I say?) 'It's about doggies, and kitties and then there was a cow. The horse said he wouldn't play with them. The end.'

'Okbyeloveyou', and then there was silence.

I expected her Mom to come on the phone but nothing. I waited to sounds of a rustling phone and her talking far away.

Her voice came closer and she said 'Hullo...who are you?'

'It's Auntie Sue, sweetie'

'But I said bye. You're s'posed to go now. Mommy, she won't GO!'

Then a click.

So phone manners have a bit to go yet, but hey, it's her first time actually intending to call me and doing it on her own. Gotta love it! If only she knew what perfect timing it was!
A lesson in creativity

I began my third course today in Creative Writing. I have found an online course structure that has been the best so far in pushing me and teaching me in a way that has motivated me beyond anything I've ever tried before.

These courses are all offered through Ed2Go - an online school with reasonably priced 6-week syllabuses. I have used them before to learn HTML, Web Page Design, Photoshop and Digital Photography, but had shied away until now on the creative writing course load.

Since September, I've taken Write Your Life Story and am midway through Writeriffic: Creative Training for Writers.

Today, I began The Craft of Magazine Writing.

Two lessons are released each week, on Wednesday and Friday (although you can usually access them Tuesday and Thursday). There is usually a short quiz, supplementary reading and an assignment. Some assignments are quite quick and others, like this week's one very difficult.

The last assignment was to pick something out of a newspaper and write 400-500 word story based on a fictional account of the article. I couldn't for the life of me find anything in the newspaper that struck me but as I fell asleep last night, an idea came.

The result? Something I was actually quite happy with.

The picture in the paper of an elderly lady was simply titled ‘Violet May celebrated her centennial birthday amidst several friends and relatives’. There was no story. No words to honour the life that she had led.

As she sat there looking at the picture on the table, she thought to herself ‘Do they know all I’ve seen? Have I done a good enough job reminding them of road I’ve walked?’

She was born at the turn of the 20th century in a small native village called Harbledown. Violet was the child of a Da’naxda’xw woman and an Irishman who’d come to the savage world to seek a new life. In those early days, she’d played on the beach while her mother caught oolichans close by. Her brother had a cougar for a pet and they had loved that big cat they’d called ‘Polly’.

She’d been born before the Wright brothers even attempted their first flight, and when Canada was a dominion, rather than a country. She had listened to her elder’s stories in the long house, hearing the history that was her own. When she was 10, the missionaries had decided the longhouses were to be banned. No more gatherings. To think she had lived long enough to see the traditions being returned to them warmed her heart. Her great-grandchildren were being taught of the old ways.

Violet thought back on her life. She’d buried three husbands. Good, decent men. Her first love left her on the fields of Europe in World War I. She had been widowed young, with 2 small children. Her second husband was, a kind gentle soul raising her two babes, and two more before being tragically killed in a logging accident. The loggers today had it easy, she mused. They had no idea what it was like in those days. More young boys lost that way than any other, she thought sadly. By the time, World War II had ended, she’d been widowed twice and was a grandmother for the first time. That was when she met Bob. Her third and final love. She missed him so. To think they’d been married for 25 years and he’d already been gone for 30.

As she thought of the party her family had held, her heart smiled to think that at least 70 people there were her direct descendants. Her own flesh and blood. She had lived to see five generations and she felt truly blessed indeed.

It's a composite of a bunch of stories in one, so not one real person but I think I'd like to expand a bit. I can think of some interesting ways to go there.

But tonight I'm unplugging. No more NaNoWriMo (21,300!), no more anything. Just going to try to relax and read my book and try and get my feet back on the ground.
To realize
To realize
The value of a sister
Ask someone
Who doesn't have one

To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.

To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.

To realize
The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
who has given birth to
A premature baby.

To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one-second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.
You will treasure it even more when
you can share it with someone special.

To realize the value of a friend or family member:
November 06, 2005
Don't try this at home
For anyone still remembering the 80's fondly, here's a little reminder of the past.

November 02, 2005
The Family Door
Since I was very young, I have been interested in where I came from. No, not THAT where, but the family story itself. I can remember being as young as 10, dutifully making notes on a pad what my family tree looked like.

I loved hearing the stories of my Dad's parents meeting in the shadows of Edinburgh Castle in 1910 and emigrating to Canada on the ship that sailed just before the Titanic. Or of my Mom's parents meeting during the Irish Civil War when she was an English Protestant nurse in Limerick, and he was Catholic and in the Royal Irish Constabulary. I begged my Mom to tell me of growing up on a farm in a small town without even a hospital close by. I would bug my Aunt to write down little stories about how they lived during the Depression, with my Grandmother baking cookies and shortbread to sell to the neighbours for a little extra cash, or how she would never turn away a downtrodden soul who couldn't afford to feed himself anything more than 'Ketchup Soup'.

My Mom always longed for cousins. Her parents had emigrated here and began their live in Canada, never to see their own families again. Some of the break occurred due to circumstance of the time. Ireland was a rough and complicated place during those times, and it tore a lot of families apart. Then when things settled, the sheer distance between Canada and Ireland and the rest of the British Isles was just too big. Letters were written but that gap was just too large. So we lost touch with our family overseas.

When I was in my 20s, I read a book on genealogy methods and decided to put an ad in the Cork Examiner. I figured that with my Grandfather having several sisters back home, it was likely there would be some family still left in the area.

Imagine my surprise when I received over 20 letters! The cousins in Ireland, and now scattered through England were thrilled to hear of our existence. They believed, partly through an unsubstantiated rumour, that my Grandfather had perished on the boat to Canada. A couple cousins had begun researching the tree but had no idea where to even begin in Canada.

In 1997, I travelled to England. I had been in touch with my cousin Helen in Andover, Hampshire and it had been arranged for me to meet my Grandfather's only living sister. One he had only known as a baby, as she had been born 3 years before he left home. Sadly, two weeks before I was to travel, we received word that my GrandAunt had passed. However, I was able to still meet with her daughter, Helen.

When I arrived at her home that day, I was struck with her warmth and generousity. Still griefstricken from losing her mother, she took me in as the long lost family member I was. I was amazed to walk through her house, and feel as if I was at home. The pictures on the walls bore resemblances to my own family members and she reminded me so strongly of my Mother's sister that I had to fight the urge not to call her a different name. Helen shared my same love of family history, and we found no difficulty in conversations.

Then she took me out to her backyard. There, lovingly mounted in the garden, was the family door from the Cork City home she grew up in, and my Grandfather before her. When the home was to be demolished, she insisted on having this keepsake sent to her to be kept as an heirloom.

As I touched that door, I could envision my own grandfather grasping that knob as he rushed in breathless from school as a young child. Or he and his mom sitting in front of it on the stoop, as they talked of their days. I could feel the energy from the several dozen children, from my grandfather and his 7 sisters, to their husbands, and then their children and grandchildren that had likely opened that door every day without a second thought. It was a touching and deeply moving experience.

After I returned home, Helen and I continued to write and call each other every once in a while. Then her husband became ill and she feared she would lose him. Last I heard, he was not expected to make it and she was planning to move into her son's home. I wrote her some time after that and the letter was returned. I feared the worst. Meanwhile, I was moving too. I bought my home, and as happens in moves, I lost her phone number.

Over the last few years, from time to time, I would try to look up her son's number. As the internet got more detailed, I felt it was only a matter of time until I found them again. But, their last name is a very common one and there are several hundred in the district I believed they lived in.

I've begun researching my family tree again. Partly because of the plans I have for writing, and partly because once begun, it is a project that I don't see myself ever fully letting go. Over the weekend, on GenesReunited, I noticed a familiar name. Not Helen's name, but what I believed to be her son-in-law. Seizing the chance, I wrote him. Imagine my delight when I got an email back from him with the words from Helen - "You still owe me a letter, girlie!"

Her husband survived, and they moved into a smaller home. I plan on calling her this weekend to catch up, but I am thrilled to be back in contact. She is an older version of myself. She loves the family history, but the ability to scan and share our treasures back in 1997 was somewhat limited. I can't wait to show her what I've found out since then, and I can't wait to find out what she's been up to either.
Evil Monster

Cheerleader-Devouring Nightmare from the Sunless Underground Earth

Thanks, Temujin!

(and on a quick update, the guy from work will be ok. He has a broken pelvis but nothing more serious, thankfully!)
Slow start today
Coming back to work after last week's business trip has been beyond crazy. It's our busy season, and taking two days out of the office has left me in a neck-deep pile o' stuff. Beyond that, I have been feeling a cold coming on and I hope by sheer force of will to be scaring it off.

Last night's photography class went well, although somewhat unchallenging. We took product shots of pottery. While beautiful, I didn't find it all that rewarding. Pottery does not smile back.

Then I came home and in between watching a fantastic Law and Order: SVU, cranked out another installment on the novella. I'm up to 4,318. Now I'm starting to worry that my enthusiasm might stall out before the end. I don't really particularly like what I wrote last night, and intend to go back and redo it before adding any more. Perfectionism is a fault.

This morning, we had a bit of drama and excitement in the yard. One of our shippers was loading rail into a railcar and slipped in the dewy weather. Thrown by the force of the rail, he fell backwards and then down approximately 7 feet onto his back. He was conscious but having a lot of pain. One of my coworkers was the one to push the 'big red button' which automatically calls authorities and shuts down the plant. He's worked here 12 years and said his heart stopped for a few beats when he knew it was time to push that thing. We don't know how our guy is yet. More later, I guess.

In lieu of a proper post, I thought this email I received this morning was a nice feel-good piece and thought I'd share:

What does Love mean?

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, "What does love mean?"

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:


"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore.

So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."

Rebecca- age 8

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.

You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."

Billy - age 4

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."

Karl - age 5

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."

Chrissy - age 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."

Terri - age 4

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."

Danny - age 7

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more.
My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss"

Emily - age 8

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."

Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,"

Nikka - age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."

Noelle - age 7

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."

Tommy - age 6

"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.

He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore."

Cindy - age 8

"My mommy loves me more than anybody.

You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."

Clare - age 6

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken."

Elaine-age 5

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."

Chris - age 7

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."

Mary Ann - age 4

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."

Lauren - age 4

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." (what an image)

Karen - age 7

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross."

Mark - age 6

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."

Jessica - age 8

And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge.

The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,

"Nothing, I just helped him cry"
November 01, 2005
Out of the gates...
and beginning the challenge of NaNoWriMo. Am I crazy to attempt this? You betcha.

But I've got great friends also in the challenge that I'm hoping will push me along. Teresa, Charmarie and Devon to name a few. And also other 3-D friends, Lisa and Mo in England and Scotland respectively.

Out of the gate last night and taking advantage of the 3 hour time difference between here and the West Coast, I began at 9pm and finished at a word count of 2,905. Not bad for the first night!

My premise on this novel is a very simple Chick Lit thing. It's not what I want to actually do as my 'real' novel but my goal here is simply to get my feet wet and break the page fright I'm experiencing over word count.

Speaking of my real idea, I finally told my Mom about the plan. She was all for it and I'm now feeling very energetic. The premise on that is the story of our bakery while I was growing up. My Mom and her sister ruled the neighbourhood with that place for over a decade. During the day, and long before the advent of Starbucks, the bakery was the heart of the neighbourhood. My Mom and my Aunt knew all the stories of everyone in the area and made it a warm, friendly place that everyone came to chat. Even, the kids would come by after school for their free cookies and 'check in' with the 'Cookie Ladies'. But that's my goal next year once I get through some of the writing courses I'm taking, and a little more research in order to give it the voice it deserves.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer, who looks forward to a better Canada. I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.
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Turning thirty and a half
  • July 2004
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  • January 2005
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  • June 2005
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  • January 2006

  • The WeatherPixie