Friday, September 16, 2011

37/52 weeks

52 weeks of daily life in pictures:
trials and celebrations,
the extraordinary and mundane --

whatever is unique to the week.

Join me if you like.

** Ice hockey season fast approaches, and woe (YIKES!) to the parent whose son has outgrown almost all of his hockey gear! 

Off to a few hockey swaps and the only reward of the moments was the purchase of a new hockey bag on wheels. Everything at the swaps has been too small for this grown up and giant son of ours. :) 

We've already completed several ice hockey skate tryouts, now awaiting contact for this year's assigned coach and team. Here we go.....

** After the humidity and bug weeks, it's definitely time for more bonfires before sunset. 

We had a new-to-us moment last weekend when the entire family gathered after dinner to recite the rosary around the fire, both dogs laying ever quietly nearby, taking in the rhythm of voices in prayer and likely mesmerized by the flames of the bonfire before them. 

That was a highlight for all, a special Sunday evening, and one to most definitely be repeated soon....because the bugs are disappearing and don't surround us so easily when attempting to enjoy the flames and falling sunset at the day's end.

A few crummy photos to follow snapped on my iphone, nevertheless they too tell a story of the tapestry of our days.

** The photo above shows the organization of this year's schooling, and this week our children are becoming more familiar with early morning rising to hit the books for this new school year, as opposed to reveling in those allowable lazier summer mornings. They are truly not great fans of such change. I'm hoping (and so are they) it won't take too long to get rolling on a new discipline because these two used to be early risers, yes, they used to be. Now, they have discovered the novelty of laying in bed a while before plunging feet to floor.

** One of the summer goals we had hoped to accomplish was taking one or two rooms a week, and spending a selected amount of time to perform a deep cleaning and organization of all items resting within. 

It was a reason to celebrate last week when we completed a two day break down of the kitchen, chosen dead last to check off the list. Everyone I know dreads the big kitchen cleaning duties several times each year. We were no exception. As mouse season is almost upon us with cooler nights in our midst, all crumbs and a good scrubbing were highly required. No temptations should lay there to invite rodents inside.

I happily brought this task to the bottom of the list at first. Happily... and now, with bottom cupboards and counters cleaned out one day, followed by upper cupboards another, we are done! 


** Come September, the days grow cooler, but in no way have we been prepared for frost appearing so early.

Thoughts of seeking those more cool autumn comforting morning moments reappear, and hubby and I have revisited our weekly cuppa dates. Conversation carries easily, sharing hearts belong there in our purposeful times together. 

** Slowly rolling into September, we were able to attend our Canoe Club's family corn roast. 

Sitting by the water, it was a lovely evening and a great opportunity to catch up with those we've paddled and took courses with throughout the summer months. 

Our son was famished and couldn't wait, found here standing at the front of the line with my hubby down a bit behind him.

I love this club, it's so family and people friendly and I'm pleased it doesn't end here. Monthly indoor meetings will begin again next month, complete with guest speakers and more opportunities which will soon present for autumn paddling sessions.

** My husband studied his lines from the script formulated after an intensive interview from the media bunch at his respiratory physiotherapy hospital. 

He only required six takes this week and was teased when being proclaimed as a TIFF natural after being filmed for an upcoming movie, which will be used in part as a fundraising promotional tool towards the building of a new wing on the hospital. 

After two photo shoots to obtain stills for the precursor medical journey story, we await and are eager to see the edited version featuring his highly personalized bit of filming content. It's been a brutal and horrible week respiratory wise for him, so this filming was a welcomed distraction in between several sudden required emergent tests in the attempt to try to determine what seems to be going on internally.

As a gift for his part in the fundraiser film, he was presented "prezzies"; a tshirt, lunch bag and pen. It was the lunch bag that really resonated with me (wink), insulated and so handy. :)

** When the local children return to school, we have a list of desirable outings which are perfect for less crowded enjoyment. 

First up last week (besides the beach) was a great visit to the zoo of course, and the weather was just perfect! 

Our children have grown up visiting zoos often in their childhood, and love to spend long lingering moments near the animals any time.

** A new adventure awaits our youngest son this year as he has registered to become a "Sea Cadet". 

Among having to be fast tracked into the program to learn commands, marching and other assorted knowledge bits, formal sailing practice and shooting marksmanship begins over the next two weeks. He is found smiling often over the thought of joining this group. 

Before the first meeting, a haircut and shopping expedition was required to buy him a white golf shirt and black pants. This week he said his hair is still too long (it's short) and he wants another cut soon. Gotta love that.

This is just an introductory photo above, the older newbie cadets were only observing when I snapped the photo and a few other groups were marching outdoors before "colors" began.

** I won this color palette this week during a fun interior guest speaker hour at my local Newcomer group. In case some of you never knew this (I didn't), "Benjamin Moore" has teamed up with "The Pottery Barn" for seasonal color choice encouragement. 

I have high hopes of painting our kitchen/family room this fall, so I'm shopping for colors. Maybe one will be in here? Not sure yet.

** History abounds from the "War of 1812" and is prevalent all over the province of Ontario. 

We are continuing our study using real life field trip outings for getting to know more and appreciating this time period. Next week we are off to "Fort Willow" and the "Nine Mile Portage" for a live time period representation.

This boy is loving this...and so is his mother. (Oh, and photo was snapped before the Cadet required hair cut day.)  

** Did someone say "beach time"? 

The air was cooler and less humid here last week, and moments along this water's edge are always welcomed.

I have been overcome by the beauty and richness of our life together, those early mornings setting out, those evenings gleaming with rivers and lakes below us, still holding the last light.

~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh 

Head on over to Barbara's to check out the invitation to join the

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sandcastle competition at Sunset

Once dinner has been consumed, followed by a kitchen tidy up, and are suddenly given notice that the sun is beginning to descend. That's the family clue, a gentle reminder a few times each week, to begin gathering up for our trip to the water's edge where front row seats to the evening's sunset beckon us.

Several times over the past few weeks, young friends have joined us on our expeditions a short distance away to bid the day adieu. 

It seems there has become a more serious tone this summer to create at the water's edge, to sculpt the sand just so, to dig and dig, to fashion and to form, and the end results always produces a deep satisfaction for the architects of such an activity. 

After a long swim, and riding the gentle waves on their boogie boards, the girls were the first to begin their creative ambitions for the evening. 

The boys followed very shortly, both groups naturally tending to their desired sculptings. And then the idea of a competition began. My husband was assigned the duty of becoming judge for their creative endeavors and detailed commentaries were encouraged.

What a fun and creative evening all had, and although a bit competitive in nature, all respected each other's unique ability to express themselves using the sand and water for their artistic mediums of the night. 

Several hours later, the sun plummeted and darkness began to fall. All celebrated with a final swim, and then it was time to leave when the mosquitoes began biting my hubby to bits.

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely..."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

36/52 weeks

52 weeks of daily life in pictures:
trials and celebrations,
the extraordinary and mundane --

whatever is unique to the week.

Join me if you like.

** The fruits of summer have been many in our cozy part of the world.

Before the summer months had even approached, I placed pen to paper and inked a few goals for the weeks ahead, items of personal preference, and set about a loose time commitment to pursue those intended achievements ... as time permitted of course. 

It was never my intention to adopt a rigid schedule or anything of that nature, just a little memory jarring for remembering to make baby steps during down time with purposeful actions each day, to render myself closer to obtaining said goals, and oh the wonderful feeling when I was at last able to begin checking them off, little by little, and one by one. 

As you can see by the photos above and below, "slurping" up this blog's many posts into a software on my computer, and then slowly working on the editing process, which all naturally took plenty of T-I-M-E.

In all fairness, it could have been a much simpler process, but I much preferred to enlarge photos of choice to a full bleed page, and place photos in text content where I wished them to be, rather than leaving them where the software automatically selected and loaded them after the big slurp up from "Blurb".  

I had thought about switching to another blog publishing system (Blogspot), however after a trial attempt, I was a little shocked to find myself facing more than double the fees, and a whole different way of editing anyway to achieve the same results I have been used to. When I say double the fees, I mean up to two hundred dollars for one book containing about 4-6 months worth of blog publishing (I guess I write a whole bunch), as opposed to much less staying with "Blurb".

If you're an online coupon enthusiast, watching out for those appearing on "WAGJAG" were a big bonus! I was able to locate and purchase four over time, FOUR for a motivating and super fantastic discount! 

My bookshelf is now adorned with heart swelling, published family memory books, in a rainbow of colors - two similar colored books per each represented year. Some hold just over 200 pages, while a few others hold about 400. Can you tell in the photos which are which? 

These published blog books are terrific, though the project yet complete, for I still have four more to edit and publish to have the entire blog preserved within hardcover book format. Whew... so I'm still working, and still looking out for more wagjag coupons.Oh, and p.s., Blurb currently has a special until the end of the month with a highlighted 25% off coupon on their main page. More motivation for onward editing moments ahead.

One more thing, although I LOVE having dustjackets for protection as my book covers, I found after one was recently bumped and a tiny rip appeared after someone replaced it to the reserved area on the designated bookshelf, it became very apparent if something happened to the lovely glossy dustjacket cover itself, the actual book wraps were merely a solid black cloth, nothing pictorial graced their covers, and that was a future consideration for me as a scrapbooker and keeper of family memories here in the east. Instead, I opted to change my format method, and I'm now completely thrilled with using photo onlay covering only, without a dustjacket.

** Yes, that's my suitcase and handbag located on the bottom left in the photo above.

I landed at "Boston's Logan Airport", on my way to visit and spend quality sister-only time, with my one and only sister. 

When she had impulsively invited me two weeks earlier to join her in celebrating her wedding anniversary, a day marked by bittersweetness, as her husband has been now deceased for eight years, I knew right then it was to be a necessary time to unite together. 

Rather than hopping on to the usual bus shuttle, or grab the bus to Cape Cod from the airport, instead I happily took her advice on such a lovely day and boarded the free shuttle heading to a water taxi depot.

Along the waters of the city limits, I found this method of transport a relaxing and scenic way to travel to the other end of town. My stop was the Seaport Hotel to meet up with my sister before the continued commute to her home. 

I love every opportunity I'm able to spend with my big sister, and so appreciate every moment alone together, after spending so many years of living on two different coasts, and concentrating on the duties of raising our families.

It still feels a little odd at times to travel about without our families present, our children mostly grown into adults now also having their own families. These new-to-us sister only visits have become cherished times and really special to me, bonus to be heartily supported and encouraged by my husband. Love him! 

** Taking the "Plymouth Brockton" commuter bus out of the city, I was eager to get to know life on the Cape in summer. I've been able to visit the area both in May and in November, but never in summertime. What a vast difference to be there this time of year, observing the hustle and bustle of vacationers and sight seeing travelers. Did I mention it was HOT and HUMID there too, and Hurricane Irene was on its way north towards the area?

** On Cape Cod, the famous "Cape Cod Melody Tent" was the scene for a concert we attended together watch the performance by "Chris Botti", a famous and gifted trumpeter who plays with a large variety of musicians such as; Sting, Michael Buble and many others. We both very much enjoyed our evening hearing and watching all the incredible musicians playing their tunes upon a revolving stage.

We were all amazed he kept his jacket on the entire performance. It was over 90 degrees and incredibly humid this evening, and the tent was stuffed with humid air and sticky bodies. But what a great venue! I highly recommend checking out the website and perusing the concerts held there from May to September.

The amazing young female violinist from the Boston Pops, and a vocalist brought the stage to life, and wow, this is one artist who very much respects his fellow musicians and highlights them all equally during the show. From the moment he appeared on stage and opened the concert with his rendition of "Ave Maria", followed by happily playing everything from Jazz, and old time standards, the audience was hooked. Happy to report I have all of this Cds and will for sure purchase the new one coming out soon with he and Andrea Boceli together.

** As sisters we are thankful always for having the same nutritional palette, and we opted to eat very well while together again. My sister makes the most delicious summer salads, and dining outdoors each evening was blissful. 

** Happy Anniversary to you and your never forgotten (RIP) hubby my dear sis. I was thrilled and honored to be with you this weekend to celebrate, and to reclaim our sisterhood during what proved yet again to be another memorable trip together. 

** Back home again, the sands of time continued to fall as the summer season pressed onward. 

With the temperatures and humidity becoming safer for beach visits, we beached it with hearty delight.

I've always expressed the truth in fact when, that of taking children and teens to a beach, in that in the calm of the moments while there, everyone seems to discover the beauty of the tranquil shores, and chunks of sand between their toes. ... and wet sand on their legs....??

** The sea has secrets it shares when it desires to surprise its visitors. 

On this day and during a few others thereafter, searching for minnows became a fascination and kept our children attentive to their whereabouts.

Mini minnows discovered were no doubt something of a salmon or trout, without magnification it wasn't clear for sure. The action of the day required a "catch and release" after their observations were complete.

Beware of a brother holding a yellow bucket...or a sister for that matter with another in her hand. One never knows what will suddenly erupt before them, and the sound of those giggles always feel wonderful.

** I love this store, though I've not stepped foot inside.

This photo was snapped in downtown Plymouth, MA, just a wonderful reminder to appreciate every little thing in life, no matter its depth or significance.

** Life is way too short not to honor the simple pleasures of the present, to become sure footed and extremely adamant when rising in the morning that this day forward will be great - even though yet unsure of it, and to accept even the simplest and even heart breaking reminders that abound to constantly remind us we are only here for a time.

Simple Pleasure Reminders;

"Simple pleasures are always the last refuge of the complex."
~ Oscar Wilde

"That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest."
~ Thoreau

"Most of the critical things in life, which become the starting points for human destiny, are little things. 
~ R. Smith

"We do not remember days, we remember moments."
~ Cesare Pavese

"The little things? The little moments? They aren't little."
~ John Zabat-Zinn

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."
~ Robert Brault

"You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need."
~ Vernon Howard

"The aspects of things that are most important to us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity.
~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Head on over to Barbara's to check out the invitation to join the