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Friday, July 24, 2009

HEATWAVE

It's been a week of this overly hot shite, and there is no end in sight as the long range forecast for the next two weeks is the same.

Can you say, "heat exhaustion"?

Thank God for the new window in my den, it is still 83*F in the house at night but I at least get any breeze and at the very least, some fresh air in this room now.




The ongoing renovation saga: the wall in my den is primed and ready for paint, but until we buy some paint and I have hubby help me by moving the heavy furniture in this room, that won't get done. Thing is, he's working on walls in another part of the house (back door hallway) where he also ripped out some drywall to insulate properly. That's taking him forever as he's been tired from the heat and from a day's work at his job, so the poor man just collapses in front of his TV for the evening most days. It's truly just too damn hot to do any physical work in here right now.

My vacation time starts (for 3 weeks!) 5 weeks from now, at the beginning of September, and by then the temps will have gone down to normal AND I'll be able to do more myself with lots of days of rest. Once this room is done I will post pics. It will all look so much better when it's all finished, and I can't wait!

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The drought conditions we are in are taking its toll on our gardens a bit now. We've still got lots of lovely flowers but you can tell they aren't as profuse nor will they stay as nice for much longer if we don't get rain and less heat from the scorching of the sun. But for the moment it's still nice to look out the windows and see some colour.












The lily must be very hearty as they are still quite profuse in a few spots in the gardens and hopefully they won't fade too fast on us. Last night hubby came home from work wanting to get out and water the flower beds and trees but within a half hour he was so exhausted he went to bed very early instead.

He got smart and bought 6 rain barrels, and has 5 of them set up around the house and the garage. Actually there is a 6th. one too, and it's HUGE! Thank goodness he got them all set up just before we had our last (and rare) rain storm a week ago. They were all full the next morning. This will save us the water bill as utilities are so insanely high. But the lawns however, will have to suffer I'm afraid. Let's hope this heatwave lets up sooner than they are predicting. If we wanted this we'd all move to Phoenix for heaven's sake. LOL


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I don't know if you noticed or not, but I have joined the world of Twitter and I have installed it on my sidebar near the top. At times when I can't sit here long enough to do an entire blog post I will at least be updating by being a "Twit". Hahahaha Sorry, couldn't resist! *snort*

I must go get my laundry together and try finishing it before the worst of the heat permeates the house today. I hope wherever you are you are staying cool and enjoying the week. Have a great weekend everyone, and take good care of each other.

PEACE!
Love Jude

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

PETS / WILDLIFE WINNERS!



Congrats to the winners, it was a TIE for first place! All the entries were great to look through, thank you to all the entrants and to all who participated in the voting.

At the end of July we'll have our next contest up, the theme will be "Weather". Stay tuned!

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On another note, I've not been online as much (and won't be for a bit except sporadically) as we've just had some renovations at home. The balance of our windows and doors just got replaced with new ones and there turned out to be some "post reno" work needing to be done. For instance (and this is the pain in the arse one) here in my den where my computer is, a window was added to the room and hubby decided when he saw the wall opening that he needed to rip out MORE wall so he could insulate it better. This means that over the next several days we'll be working on new walls, taping and mudding, sanding and painting. So whenever I can, I will uncover my PC from drop cloths and get on here.

I had expected only to come home from work and see a new window in my very intact wall. For the moment, here is my den as it was just before (emptied out and ready) and another shot from tonight. BLEH.


This morning:


When I got home tonight:



Well there certainly can be worse things in my life, that is certain. Buck up Jude and don't complain!


..... you can always kill hubby later..... heh heh


Have a good week guys and take good care of each other. Sending love to Sista Janna!

PEACE!
Love Jude

Friday, July 10, 2009

UPDATE ON JANNA

I've heard from Janna via email today and I've decided to post an update here as she's unable to be on the computer for more than a few minutes at a time at the moment.

She has started chemo (for anyone new reading this, she is fighting breast cancer and has already undergone radiation) and understandably it is making her extremely sick. She's now taking some meds for the vomiting and it's helping but the meds are leaving her weak and very lightheaded.

Also, to make matters worse for the poor girl she's got a horrid upper respiratory infection and can't stop coughing, which is helping to keep her even more weakened.

Whenever she can sit at her computer for a few minutes I know she'll be reading any comments but may not be able to sit there long enough to reply to any, or make any new posts. So if you would like to lend her your support and some good ol' fashioned love, please go to Janna's Blog and do your thing. I know all the support she can get will help boost her spirits and give her some warm fuzzies.

If I get any more updates I will post them here.

Janna darling you are so loved!

Thank you all, and take good care of each other...... which is what we're doing here.

PEACE!
Love Jude

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Peaceful Day

Canada Day on July 1st. was spent with sis Pammie partaking in my favourite hobby. We made a return trip (haven't been since last autumn) to St.Joachim's Cemetery here in the city. It's our favourite cemetery, and sooooo peaceful there. It wasn't a long weekend for most as it fell in mid week, but for me it was as I generally only work the first 3 days of the week. I had the notion that being the holiday it was we could head out to any park and other spots around the city to capture Canada Day celebrations. But we preferred to keep away from the crowds and find some serenity instead.








One of the saddest experiences in any cemetery are seeing the wee ones stones; and after I captured this shot and a few others in the same spot I had to wipe a few tears from my eyes. Of all the losses one can experience in life, losing a child would have to be the absolute worse.

Whenever we visit cemeteries we always have in the back of our minds the respect for those who rest there and compassion for those they left behind. I think the Universe knows that as we always feel very welcome and especially at this place, St. Joachim's, as we can feel a "recognition" of who we are whenever we enter.














It's a most beautiful place to wander around in. At any time of the year there are always so many birds and animals there helping to keep us company. Squirrels, chipmunks, magpies, crows, robins, jackrabbits..... on this trip a crow squacked loudly at me most likely for coming too close to a tree that had its nest in it.

It was a rather perfect day for weather as the temperatures were hovering around 70F and the light was intermittant with some cloud and some sun. The one thing we didn't do this time was bring a light picnic lunch as we were only there for a couple of hours. I figure we must shoot about 100 or so pictures an hour, as we both came away with just over 200 shots. Most times we are there for 3 or 4 hours and we come away with 300 or 400 + shots.









It is that time of year here where baby birds are learning to fly and often end up on the ground. Here, and in my own neighbourhood, we spotted some who didn't make it and were laying on the ground underneath trees. It was sad to see, but I have to steel myself for nature's ways. Still, the amount of wildlife in there assured me that life does go on.

Whenever and wherever I am on a photo shoot, I prefer a mixture of light and shadow. It's just personal preference, but I do like the play of shadows and light on surfaces. The green light from the empty vase laying on the stone in this shot really looked lovely in person and I hoped to capture the same essence of beauty.










Reflections are another favourite of mine when photographing something, whether it is in water, glass or stone. Here, some flowers were growing where family had planted a tiny garden. It's not so much the stone itself in this case, as the world around it that captured my eye. Sister Pammie and I must have very similar tastes as we often end up shooting the same things, perhaps just at different angles. And if I remember correctly she also got this shot.

Of course, the darker the stone the better the reflection's image will turn out. In this case, the flowers were white and yellow so that made it even more possible. There are several stones that have flowers planted in front of them, and water taps scattered around the cemetery for that use.










As we always do, we both had a nice time just wandering in there and clicking away when we spotted something we wanted to capture. As I said already the weather was perfect for an outdoor excursion, and with the exception of a few days in late spring we've really had some great temperatures here. I know, I know..... we'll get hit with some overly hot stuff yet before summer is over and I'll be feeling ill because of it and whining!








The nice thing about St. Joachim's (or "St. Joe's" as I affectionately call it) is that there are SO many mature trees in there that even on hot sunny days there are always shadey spots to be found for a rest and respite from the sun and heat. THAT'S what I love about this place, it's so pretty with it's treed vistas and there are, unlike some cemeteries, monuments and beautiful old stones rather than just rows upon rows of look-alike stones.

I know some people who feel "creeped out" or uncomfortable thinking of wandering around a cemetery. But I also know for certain that if I took them along with us through some of these places that they would see it's much different than they think. There aren't many places that I feel so much peace as I do there.


It was a lovely holiday, and now being Sunday the work week is once again upon us. I'm gearing up for that, and also for the weekly grocery run in a few hours. Need me to pick up anything for you while I'm there? *giggle*



Oh and if you haven't already voted, you can head on over to Stardom Awaits! and place your ONE vote for the "Pets / Wildlife" photo contest!

Have a great week everyone, and take good care of each other!

PEACE!
Love Jude

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

NEW PHOTO CONTEST and HAPPY CANADA DAY!

I can't believe it's already been one year since I last posted about Canada Day! Another year gone by feeling happy and proud to live in this beautiful country. To my fellow Canadians, HAPPY CANADA DAY!

And to all of my American buddies, I know your 4th. of July celebrations are coming up this weekend too, so everyone on the continent have fun and stay safe!

Today the sun is shining and the weather is lovely so far..... just under 70F which is PERFECT for taking the cameras out for a photo shoot somewhere. Which is hopefully what sister Pammie and I will be doing. If we do, more on that in a later post.


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Also, over at Stardom Awaits! this month's photo contest theme is "Pets / Wildlife" and the voting is now open. Head on over and place your ONE vote, and help us determine who will get a cream pie in the face as winner! Voting will be open until mid month or so, and then the winner(s) will be announced. Thank you for participating!

As is usually the case, I'm including here a few shots that did NOT make the cut for the contest, mostly because we can only enter so many!


1. Misty



2. Stagecoach



3. Magpie



4. Cluck! Cluck!



5. Pretty Horse



6. Let Us In!!



7. Lady Bugs




Enjoy your week and any celebrations, and take good care of each other!

PEACE!
Love Jude