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Saturday, July 26, 2008

AWARDS DAY!

Thank you to my friend Bobbie in the neighbouring province of beautiful British Columbia ~ who received this award herself (then nominated me as one of her 7) I am a proud recipient of the Brilliante Weblog 2008 Award!

Thank you Bobbie, and now it's my turn to pass this along to some of my worthy bloglinks. I just wish I could choose more than seven!





Tracey over at Skylark Meditations:
From Illinois, Tracey's been an online friend of mine for a looong time, and we share the same wicked, evil sense of humour and a love of Def Leppard. So what if she goes for the lead singer and I drool over the bass player? Tracey's blog is all about sitting together over a cup of coffee and sharing, about life, her Monsterkiddo, and her big heart shines through there and everywhere she leaves comments. Tracers, you give the best cyber hugs I know, and I love you to pieces!








Vince at Rocker Guy Ramblings:
The Rocker Guy from "Noo Yawk" is just that, he ROCKS! A Christian guitar playing/singing rocker with a band, he not only lives with a hawt lady ("The Wife") who keeps him in line, he's also going to be a big shot IT boss one of these days on the job, mark my words! I forgive him for not being a particular fan of Def Leppard, but he's a HUGE Queen fan so it's all good. His blog is all about family life, fun and not so fun stuff on the job, spiritual life and his love for his wife and 2 boys. Rocker Guy, you're almost up there with my favourite bass player. I AM going to get to see you play in person one day!





Orion at Orion Hood:
Orion is a hoot!! He's in Oregon and his blog is a nice mix of laughter, politics, laughter, world news, army life, life at the fire department and did I mention laughter? He's a great guy with a warm heart and is always ready to help people in need. (this is the same man who spent days helping me finally get this blog whipped back into shape when Blogger screwed it up by changing to the new Blogger) Talk about your good looking firemen, maybe one day we can talk him into getting a calendar together for the ladies before he deploys to Iraq or regions thereabouts. Orion, I have to meet you someday and give you a bear hug!






Jay (Jamie) at Kill The Goat:
Jay is a fellow Canadian from Ontario, and if you like reading someone who has more than excellent writing skills, this blog's for you. I simply adore this lady. She's straightforward, saucy, naughty, funny, and boy does she tug at your heartstrings when she talks about the more serious side of life. This young lass (just like funny Lois) should be highly paid professional writers, and that ain't no guff. Jay honey, you've got a piece of my heart.






Kate over at Rigel's Wheel:
My friend Kate in Iowa is someone I have the deepest respect for. This lady is a phlebotomist (draws blood like a vampire, bua haha) who works with very sick babies, something that would break my heart just to be around. Her friends call her an Angel, and that's exactly what she is. Kate's blog is a mix of funny stories, family life and the heartbreaking happenings at the hospital ~ featuring what she calls her dear little "Warrior Babies". Kate, it's people like you that this world needs more of and I'm proud to be your friend.







Danni at Ramblings Of A Mama:
Danni is my link to Australia, and this Ozzie lass is one of the very first online friends I met! Another Def Leppard fan (and we "share" the bass player) she is a rockin' mamma of 2 beautiful little girls, Paige and Summer. I love going over to read about the antics of her girls, her love of all things rock music, and how to celebrate Christmas during summer! LOL (still trying to get used to the fact that she is in the midst of winter right now!) Danni, you make the prettiest baby girls!








Xavier over at Xavierism:
I've saved this one till last, as I've so much to say about this dear friend and I need to try to pare it down. Xavier resides in Arizona which in my mind is much too far away from me. He is my spiritual counterpart, I don't know how best to say it. A warm and loving spirit, he and I have shared some conversations that inspire and humble me. Xavier's blog is all about his favourite music, spiritual matters and the struggles and absolute joys of living this life. We can't remember exactly how we "found" each other in blogland (in somebody else's blog comments I believe), but we're just happy that we did. Xavier I love you dearly and I truly believe I must have had my head stuck up my behind until I met you!






And to kinda sorta "cheat" a little and because now I can get his photo in, in case you missed my last post you should visit my friend (and another Def Leppard fan) Michael and Michael's Blog whose skills with a camera inspire me so much in my own photography hobby. (just like the professional rock band and sports photographer, my talented friend Rhonda ~~ SEE?? I need more than 7!! LOL)





This was REALLY hard because how do you leave out so many of your favourite reads? (Including the one who nominated you!) Let me just suggest that if you aren't a visitor to all of my bloglinks, check them all out.


The Rules: Put the logo on your blog if you wish with a link to the person who awarded it to you (if you want). You need to nominate 7 other blogger's for the award and put links to them also on your blog. Finally, leave a comment for those you've nominated - so they know they've received a special award! This is only IF you want to!


Have a great weekend everyone, take good care of each other.

PEACE!
Love Jude

Thursday, July 24, 2008

ART AT ITS FINEST!

Okay I just HAVE to do this. One of my blog linked buddies is an extremely (not a strong enough word) MEGA talented photographer and artist. Michael is a young man who is a whiz with a camera AND an art pencil, and his "specialty" is nature for his subject.

I've been a fan of Michael-The-Person almost since I started blogging 4 years ago, and a huge fan of Michael-The-Artist for almost as long.

If you want to see beautiful nature shots, you simply must do yourself a favour and check out these next 2 teaser links. I say "teaser" because if you surfed through his entire selection of blog posts you will be amazed.

Michael's Blog

Michael's PhotoBlog


And if THAT'S not enough, this is just ONE sample of some of his art.

Michael's Art


I'm telling you Michael, nature magazines NEED to have you on their artistic staff. They should all be fighting over you, for pete's sake!


PEACE!
Love Jude

Sunday, July 20, 2008

NIGHT LIGHTS, and LEADING A SPARROW TO WATER

ROBIN: "Hey Sparrow, there's water in the eavestrough, come on let's get some!"



ROBIN: "Really, it's safe, come ON!"




SPARROW: "Hey Robin, you're right there IS water!"






ROBIN: "Silly darn sparrow!"




























When the full moon hits, it calls to my camera and tripod. And being that my camera can't do much without me, I needed to go outside to push a few buttons.

It was somewhere around 11 p.m. and the solar lights in the garden were quietly doing there thing, while the full moon was peeking through the trees across the street. Between the mailbox and hubby's one-ton flatbed parked on the street, I was reminded that unless you head out to the country there are always going to be little nuisances that get in the way of a shot. However, seeing as I DO live in the city, those things are a part of what I see. And the whole idea behind sharing photographs is showing you through my camera lens what I am seeing.







Peekaboo!




Being held in the sky by the tree boughs.





I hope you all had a perfectly lovely full moon experience. Today it's going to be hot outside, thankfully hubby has A/C in his pickup because that's who I'm going with this time. Have a good week everyone, and take good care of each other!

PEACE!

Love Jude

Friday, July 18, 2008

IT'S ALL ABOUT ME ~ AND SUNFLOWERS

I've always enjoyed munching on sunflower seeds, or as we used to call them ~ "spits". It's actually been years since I've partaken in them though, and recently at work someone got these candy coated babies. Yum!

Well sister Pammie bought me one of these the other day, how sweet! (in more ways than one) Satisfying for the soul, and the sweet tooth.

There are 9 oz. (255 gm) of these in this package and it costs $10.00 so not an inexpensive treat by any means, but what a treat. Thanks Pammie! *muah*

















These are chocolate and candy coated, pretty "autumy" colours (my favourite) and packaged as a sunflower (my favourite) and they ARE from sunflowers. How perfect a gift is that??


She picked this up here at Home Outfitters (which like Zellers and The Bay is part of the HBC chain here in Canada) but they can be found in the U.S. as well, or online for that matter.

If you like the taste of sunflower seeds AND you like chocolate, you MUST try these!



I hope you all have a sunny, sunflowery weekend wherever you are. Take good care of each other!

PEACE!
Love Jude

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

ROSES AND RAINBOWS

First, some good news for those of you who might remember Terry (Tal) from a couple (or few?) years ago, TERRI is back and has a blog again! She shut down her blog a long time ago and I've missed her so much I've been bugging her to start another one. Welcome back Terri!

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Everything in our garden is coming up roses, hubby has been weeding, feeding and watering, and it's pretty out there.


Well okay not everything is roses; take for example my lavender which is blooming nicely. This year these 2 lavenders were transplanted from another part of the garden where they were new last year, and they're doing quite well. They're a lot bigger now!













Lavender is one of my favourite scents, as a matter of fact I use a lot of it in my soaps and sprays. (and yes I still make the bath products if anyone is interested just let me know and I'll email you a product order sheet)






Back to the roses, we have 5 "mini" rose bushes, and they are now blooming like crazy. There are a lot of plant varieties like these and our 3 lilac bushes that we deliberately chose dwarf varieties of so that we could have them in our gardens but not take up a lot of space as we're short on room.














Red is probably my least favourite colour for roses, but they're so popular and we did want some red in our garden too. These and the pink ones above are the most profuse at blooming though.

And we had no idea they would be so hardy! I thought roses took a lot of "fussing" but when winter is on it's way hubby just cuts the bushes right back, and the next summer look at what they do. Amazing.










My absolute favourite of the roses we have is this baby. It reminds me of the colour of fire:




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From garden to a sisters' day out! Last Friday 2 of my sisters and myself went out garage sale hunting later in the day. From my house in the west end of the city we headed to a new subdivision southwest of us. (Often times the newer and more expensive homes have the best "stuff" in their garage sales.)

As we were driving around out there getting plenty lost (and then finding ourselves again, hah!) we had lots of laughs and bought a few things each. Here you can see at one point we stopped when I spotted the city center miles away, a field separating the newer subdivision we were in from the rest of the city.




The weather was fabulous and we enjoyed the beautiful combination of sun and rain. One minute it was sunny and warm, and the next black clouds would move in for 5 minutes and rain would fall. I loved it!

We'd be driving in sunshine and ahead of us would be black skies and rain. At one point I saw this gorgeous rainbow. How sweet is that, a rainbow over the Bubbles carwash!



It was a fun day, and something I'm glad we got to do.

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If you missed my previous post, we have a winner for the June Photo Contest over at "Stardom Awaits!", congrats to Kim! In a couple of weeks I'll be sending you back over to vote for your favourite "Skies Theme" contest, so stay tuned!

I hope you're all having a good week, take good care of each other!

PEACE!
Love Jude

Saturday, July 12, 2008

JUNE CONTEST WINNER!

Over at STARDOM AWAITS! the voting has been tallied and we have a winnah!!

Kim won with this gorgeous flower shot:


Congratulations to Kim!


As I mentioned, this contest was VERY close. There were FOUR runners-up, each with 4 votes (to Kim's 5 votes):

Fullmoondolphin


Tracey


Jude


Orion




Good job to all the contestants, and thank you to all who voted!

Next month:

In a couple of weeks we'll be asking for your vote on July's "Skies" theme contest, so stay tuned!


Hope you're all having a great weekend, until next time.....

PEACE!
Love Jude

Thursday, July 10, 2008

MORE ON THE BIRD DEBATE!

Wow, I've been looking at tons of links for this bird, and so far I've learned that there are at least a few varitations of its song, which could account for Orion and Tracey not finding it sounds exactly the same....


So here's another video I took just now, this time it's a bit closer (so louder than last time) and by the time I got the camera rolling you can hear it is JUST finishing it's usual long call, and then you can hear it switched to a shorter call! Interesting!







And another:









Now, here's a couple more links I found this morning where you can compare the sound:

After you click on this link, click on "Play Song".

And another, here it actually changes on the second call! (click on "Listen") Two Calls


In reading up on the White Throated Sparrow, everything about it's habitat points to both Ontario and the part of Alberta where I am. But please indulge me, if any of you can find another bird song that sounds like this but is a different bird please tell me what you found? I can look up the song for that bird. I'd love to know for sure what this bird is! LOL!

****Oh and until Haloscan fixes its "glitch" I guess all of us who use it will be replying to your comments differently.****

PEACE!
Love Jude

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I FOUND IT!!

It's the White Throated Sparrow! Click on the link and then click on "Song".

White Throated Sparrow

This is what reminds me TOTALLY of growing up around Everett, Ontario!

PEACE!
Love Jude

Saturday, July 05, 2008

MIXING IT UP

Just a few things going on at the Hippie Chick's house this week, a bit of a hodge-podge post!

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Can you tell what this is going to be? **does happy dance**



Finally!! After 3 years since we got our new windows put in (and I didn't have a way to vent this AC out the new windows) hubby finally drilled a hole in the bedroom wall so I can vent it!


It's been BRUTALLY hot here until today, and for the last 2 nights its been heaven to be able to sleep.

For the next few days at least (hopefully longer) we're going to be down in the low to mid 70's. YAY!

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And in our garden here are some shots of the Hippie Chick's bloomers. Hah!


Nice macro of a pink rose



And another of our lilys



Hubby was watering the garden and I captured the Spikebroom getting showered


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Not much else for news, other than it's early Saturday morning and I'm off to work. Extra shifts as we're short handed. It seems like this is going to go on forever, bleh. So I'd best get my arse (and the rest of me too) in gear and head out.

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Another reminder if you haven't yet, please head on over to Stardom Awaits! and place one vote for your favourite photo. (just ONE please!) Voting is open for another week. Thank you!

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For all you bird lovers out there, can anybody please tell me what bird this is? Turn up your sound, you can only hear it near the beginning of the video.





Hopefully one of you will know. Thanks!



Hope you all have a great weekend, take good care of each other!

PEACE!
Love Jude

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

GARDEN TOURS

Four days ago (last Saturday) my best friend Michele and our "next" best friend Leona got together for what I've called our "First Annual 3 Chicks Gardens Tour".

You all probably know by now how much I abhore outdoor duty, and the fact that hubby and I have an agreement. I do the indoor work, he does the outdoor stuff. I DO have a big hand in picking out what we want for plants, and where they might be placed in the garden, but he does the planting and maintenance.






My 2 friends however, both LOVE getting their hands in the dirt each year, and they both have fabulous gardens to prove it!





We started off at my house when Michele came to pick me up (I don't drive). My roses were mostly just budding at the time, except for my favourite one, the yellow and red baby shown above. It isn't showing all of its colours yet though, mostly just yellow.

And our Pear tree that had its very first spring with us last year and produced one pear, this summer has I bet 50 of them. At this stage of the game they're still very small of course, but how exciting! I'm hoping that as young and small as this tree is, the fruit it bears will be bigger this year than last year's little pear.













And the Snow In Summer was at it's height of lovliness, sitting against the bright red of the "Flashing Light" Dianthus. Four days later (today) and after a LOT of heat here, the Snow In Summer is finally finished it's flowering.








From my house, we went on to Leona's beautiful home. There, we sat out on her deck and had coffee and brownies while we admired her shrubbery heaven and caught the wonderful scents.

Leona's garden is well established in that her lilac and rose bushes are large and have lots of flowers on them. Of course at this time of year the lilacs are pretty much done.









But OH! how beautiful is this rose bush!!

The bright pink petals were almost too bright for a sunny picture, but you can see just how colourful this was, and can't you almost smell them? YUM. As I wandered around her yard with my camera, there were so many flowers that even the wasps didn't pay us much attention. And I'm terrified of them, so that was a bonus.








Up against her deck is a garden profuse with so many different types of flowering plants that I'll bet I only recognized a couple of them. (what do I know though!) These pink darlings were just begging for a close up (macro) shot.










From Leona's we went on to Michele's home, where I've spent a few lovely hours in the past with my best pal, surrounded by her angel figurines and pretty plantings. I zen out with her every time I go there. AND, she fed us lunch ~ my favourite one too! She makes the BEST chicken fingers and fries, and caesar salad. We had wine that Leona brought, and lemon squares for dessert that I baked.










Michele, unlike hubby and I, has several really pretty garden art pieces tucked here and there, like this sweet angel on a swing hanging under a shady tree branch.

Michele's garden has also been well established, although she does change things out from time to time. I love how peaceful and quiet it is back there. And there are some really huge trees in neighbouring yards, which brings out one of my favourite sounds. Other than rain falling, I adore the sound of the breeze in the tree leaves.






Another pretty little adornment, how simple but how beautiful. A cross on the side of her garden shed.








Michele has an abundance of different flowers in her garden, but this one's bright colours really caught my eye.

Naturally I got a lot more pictures than these, but it would make for a very photo heavy post so I've pared them down. Just know that we had a really nice time doing our garden tour and we're thinking we might just have to make it an annual chick get-together.

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4 days later, back at my house our lilies are opening like crazy, the roses are in full bloom with lots more buds coming, and the Spikebroom looked pretty against the watering hubby was giving it when I was out there after work tonight.












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Just a reminder, if you haven't yet, please go on over to Stardom Awaits! and place one vote for your favourite photo. (just ONE please!) Voting is open for about 10 more days. Thank you!


We're still in the midst of a bit of a heatwave here and it's making me quite sick. I'm hoping this doesn't last all friggin' summer.

I hope you're all having a good week, to my American readers I wish you a safe and fun 4th.of July! Get pictures and post 'em!

Take good care of each other, and until next time.........

PEACE!
Love Jude