Today Emile and I were walking around the sea wall in Stanley Park and we came across this:
It seemed a strange place for paparazzi to be gathering despite the Royal Baby not being born yet at that poibt, so we directed our attention to what was causing the fervour: a full moon right at the horizon:
July 21st, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: One of the very rare times that I wish I had a real camera and not just a cell phone.
We sat and ate French Toast and sausages with my grandpa at his retirement residence. The room was filled with nice touches like Happy Easter place mats, tulips, and decorative little chicks (not chicks, but baby chickens). During dessert, the staff started to gather up the daffodils from the tables. We thought this was strange because there was still a second seating at 1 pm. When we asked, the woman told me that there was complaints that they were too big. Imagine! Complaining about Daffodils in the Spring! A little crotchety in the place today.
Then it was off to grandma’s house who was feeling a crotchety herself. Her knees were aching and she – well, frankly was feeling sorry for herself. I guess I would too if the signals that I sent from my brain to my legs were ignored. Fortunately, a walk on the boardroom cheered her up – and there was no complaining about daffodils.
Emile disappeared to play with depth of field and perfect lighting.
March 31st, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: Flowers make us all feel something!
We opened boxes today that I packed in Midland, Ontario in August 2011. Things that were wrapped up with the expectation of being enjoyed again in a couple of months (or weeks?). Instead, they spent time in a storage warehouse in Gravenhurst, then into first floor of our rental house in Huntsville, then into a storage locker in Huntsville, then across the country to Vancouver where they have sat until we could find time and place for them.
I’ve moved many times, and one thing I’ve learned is leave the pictures on the wall as long as possible. Take the pictures down when you need to feel a sense of accomplishment on how much you have packed. White walls with nail holes tell you the end is near – it’s soon time to go.
We’ve still got much in our storage locker to go through, but Sunday we opened the pictures. Because you can’t have blank white walls and be able to call it home.
Back in 2004, we moved to Huntsville – and moved into our first home together. It was the first home I had ever owned and the first house my husband (then boyfriend) had even owned. It was perfect for us then. We had moved from Toronto and separate apartment living to our own house with many blank walls and empty rooms to fill.
It was while embracing our new home town that we attended our first Huntsville Fall Fair. The fall fair is what you’d expect from a small rural town. There is a carnival, local entertainment, farm animals and many ribbons in several categories to compete for.
I was utterly charmed by the fair and by my new town. When I viewed my husband’s pictures (taken on his then brand new Nikon D70), I enchanted to find what remains to this day one of my all-time favorites images. We took two from that day (and another one of stacked Ranier cherries at Granville Island) to create a series of 3 perfect large prints for our kitchen.
They were our first pictures together in our first home. And we hung them again in our Midland home.
January 6th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: Today they were hung in our Vancouver home. I’m glad to see them again.
November 28th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: It’s a toss-up between Utah landscape, the fact that I took this picture through a hotel window with a cell phone while on a treadmill (with no post processing)l or that I was on a treadmill at dawn while on a business trip. You choose.
Greetings from Havre, Montana and the Town Inn and Suites.
Hours on the road: 15 hours
Kms Traveled: 1366.2
After a short night in Grand Rapids – well it seemed pretty short – and a grand breakfast, we hit the road again. You know “Breakfast included” in an American Hotel is significantly better than the lousy “continental breakfast” offered in most Canadian hotels. In every hotel we’ve stayed in during the last month, the American ones include make your own fresh waffle, oatmeal, biscuits & gravy, yogurt, fresh fruit, eggs, bacon/sausage, or a various combination of these. It’s fabulous. Emile usually grabs a hardboiled egg and I an extra yogurt and we’ve got our stops for the day. Pay attention Commonwealth!
We were excited to get to North Dakota – it adds another state to both of our collections (we only count states that we have actually been outside in – Emile’s 2 hour layover in LAX does not count). I’ve been to 21 (California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming). Emile has been to 23 (Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming).
The most exciting part of North Dakota was visiting the Geographic Centre of North America. I guess that should be Center – but I think that is ethnocentric of the US to use their spelling, don’t you think?? There it is. Built in 1932 (the monument not North America) Emile was more excited about the fantastic cloud formations, I think.
As we crossed into Montana, the Big Skies were evident:
Both of us had to sit as tall as we could with the sun visors down while squinting and wearing sunglasses to be able to see. Fortunately, Highway 2 – north of the main freeway – is very quiet. It is not uncommon for us to spend a half hour without seeing another vehicle. The sun sets in the west, I’ll tell you – I hope there is no permanent damage.
While in the US, we don’t use our cell phones due to the high data/roaming rates. I engage in the practice of War Driving – so named from the movie War Games. I race to see if I can connect to unsecured Wi-Fi and download my messages before Emile pulls away from a red light. I like to see what people call their Wi-Fi points: hurricane, tornado, getyourown, notyours, mine, thelassie, or my favorite “Linksys”. If you laughed when I said “Linksys”, you failed the geek test. Each time we stop for gas (or peeing), I am wandering around the parking lot trying to find a strong unsecured connection.
We had an early evening relatively speaking and pulled into Havre – land of the low-end casino – at 10 pm. We’d stopped to get Oreos and milk for Emile and he was eager to relax while watching TV and eating his American treat.
September 6th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Being exceptionally disappointed that the honeymoon suite bed (the only room left at the hotel) didn’t have the heart-shaped king bed like the clerk said it did. Who doesn’t want to sleep on a heart shaped bed once?
Greetings from Grand Rapids, Minnesota and the Country Inn!
Hours Travelled: 16 hours
Kms Covered: 1368.8
I’m not talking about any tears or heartache today, so I will begin our trip 30 minutes out of Huntsville. We stopped in Rosseau for a little pick me up in the form of a cream cheese smothered (and I mean drowning) raisin free cinnamon bun. I got Emile a day-old sticky bun – we need to watch the budget you know. We wrapped close to Georgian Bay this time whipping through Parry Sound and the French River area. Last time we swung out to North Bay, and I think hugging the bay is faster.
But then again I was working on catching up on EOs and not paying full attention:
There is an aside here for anyone who is married to or is connected to a photographer. I am in dire danger having my picture taken doing the most mundane of things with little warning. I mean who wants to have their picture taken while stuffing their face full of carb delicious Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwiches? Or while driving? From today alone, here are the indignities suffered:
I am certain that this is a statement of the skill of the photographer.. . right? I mean I couldn’t possibly really look like this. Even when I know I am going to have a shot taken, I end up looking like yahoo because I am trying to suck in things that cannot be sucked in. I check myself in the mirror fairly regularly and find that my arms while needing a little more tone are not the size of leg of lambs. My hips while curvy have not yet gone the way of the middle age spread. But then he takes something like this, and I wonder…
In Blind River – or somewhere around there – we stopped for the aforementioned Wendy’s. While enjoying our meal, a women began coughing and choking. Note coughing. Not to let the women suffer, her husband (?) grabbed her from behind on the way to the bathroom and started vigorously performing the Heimlich Maneuver I must say this is the first time I have ever seen it done in a real “emergency”. Funny thing though – if the victim is coughing, that means she can breathe. If she can breathe, then the food is not blocking her airway and there is no need for such heroics. In fact, it can make the situation worse by moving the food around and then blocking the airway. Fortunately, a security guard waiting for his Baconater leapt to the woman’s defense and pulled the guy off. The poor woman – embarrassed for such a scene – slunk into the bathroom to cough out her fry.
We crossed the border at Sault Ste Marie and were really grilled by the customs officer. “Have either of you ever been arrested? Years ago? Perhaps as a juvenile? You can tell me. I need to know this stuff.” I was left feeling like I should have confessed a phantom brush with the law.
Our trip through Michigan journeyed through the Northern part where neither of us had ever been before. And before we knew it we had passed by the Michigan Skateboarding Hall of Fame and six or seven bizarrely finite rainstorms and moved into our 2 hour jaunt through Wisconsin. It was too late to buy any cheese and I am regretting that as I write this now.
We drove into the setting sun while swirls of mist wrapped around the tires of our Fit. Through Duluth as it didn’t seem just far enough and so into Grand Rapids (the other one). Judy Garland was born here, you know, it seems a fitting to sleep where “A Star is Born”.
September 5th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: I’m a sucker for sunset shots – you know it! I love the evidence of the movement in the trees due to the shutter being open a little longer. I took the picture with Emile’s recommended settings, so I’d say this is a team effort.
Again, my hands on the camera, Emile’s advice from behind me:
Today we travelled to Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast to stay with some friends for a couple of days. Although it is not on an island, you have to ride a 40 minute ferry to get there. That ferry ride gives you a feeling of a true journey and that you are exceptionally isolated – it has also saved the area from overwhelming development by Vancouver commuters.
We caught the 9:40 ferry, but that required a drive through Vancouver during rush hour, but it was surprisingly easy to move to Horseshoe Bay for our journey.
We had received exceedingly detailed directions to head to the house and found to our delight the perfect lake house. Built and obviously decorated in the 1970s, the house with our friends quickly invited us to shove off your city stress. We spent the day on the beach despite the cooler weather, and I watched as my husband charmed yet more children.
The adults enjoyed quiet time once the kids hit bed, despite knowing an early morning would quickly be upon us. And we were right – the kids were up trying to be quiet right in the early morning.
July 30th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: The full moon shone over us – clear skies promising tomrrows weather.
The day was perfect – not a cloud and a soft summer breeze cooling our skin. And it showed, we were in bathing suits all day. Well, except one of us – Emile borrowed a motorcycle and spent hours driving the roads. I learned how to stand-up paddleboard, enjoyed lime margaritas, burned my nose, tickled little children, pulled up prawn traps and even managed to even sneak in a long 6 km run.
My friend’s two-year-old son is adorable and well-mannered. And – Parents, listen to this one! – he pulls himself into his crib every afternoon for a nap. Yes, that is right, he decides he is tired and then goes has a nap. A 2 year old!
Four adults tried to figure out how to make a butterfly birthday cake using cupcakes and 2 square cakes. It took much longer than you might think. So did the streamers.
July 31st, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Neighbourly Kindness – after helping the neighbours with their prawn traps, they gave the entire haul (peeled and prepped) to us to enjoy for our dinner. Afterall – they had ordered pizza already.