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Monday, August 31, 2009


It's that time again folks! Over at Stardom Awaits! this month's photo contest is now officially open. The theme is "Gardens" and there are some truly AWESOME shots entered. I feel sorry for you voters! LOL

Please just vote for one picture, once. The voting will be open for a couple of weeks and then winner(s) announced here and at Stardom Awaits!.

I have too many multitudes of garden shots to post here, but I took a few flower shots that I did NOT enter and did a couple of collages.

Thank you for participating in the voting process, and enjoy the photography!


Sunday, August 23, 2009


I didn't get my first digital camera until about 4 years ago or so, and therefore I don't have a picture of this now gorgeous and tall Russian Olive tree. This is the best I can do, and it was taken 4 years ago. We actually planted it about 3 years before this was taken, and at the time I could get my forefinger and thumb around the spindly trunk. It wasn't much taller than I am (I'm 5'2") either.

When this picture was taken, I had lost (over the years) both my best friend, my father and a beloved husband. That was definitely some changes in my life that brought growth to my spirit, but there was (and will be) still more to come.

Life and nature both bring growth and changes to us and to what is all around us. Thank God for that too, or we'd be stagnant for certain. Although some changes are hard for us, still it brings growth to our spirits and to our lives. Like this spindly tree, it started out this way but change and growth over time has allowed it to grow into something beautiful inside and out.

Now this beauty towers over me so much that it's higher than the roof on our house, and it's NOT a bungalow either. The house is almost as tall as a 2-story but not quite. The trunk on this tree is now very substantial, and the umbrella its branches create now dictate that we walk UNDER it when on the sidewalk.

Since the time between the first and second pictures were taken, I've also lost my mother, making me an orphan even if I am older. More growth, and change. But like this tree, growth can bring beauty to the spirit of us. We can stand taller. It can bring determination to carry on the best we can, and make no bones about it we will learn to bend gracefully in the wind, or in adverse conditions. It only serves to make our roots even stronger and even more grounded to the earth. And the stronger and taller we get, the easier it is to reach the sunlight that nourishes and replenishes the spirit.

Other changes are lighter and easier, something to look forward to. Like my upcoming vacation for instance! In 2 weeks time I will be home on 3 weeks off from work and boy do I have plans! I look forward to this time of year every time I head back to work at the end of September. I know then that I've another entire year to wait, and I count the months. Well it's almost here and it can't get here fast enough.

Some of the things happening around our house dictate that I need some time off to do some work, and cleaning up / organizing some rooms is one of them. The old hot-tub room windows and doors are now gone and the new ones have replaced them, and although the room is still crammed with stuff and it's not organized yet, it still looks good.

It's almost too difficult to wait to get this all finished and looking good, especially when most of the things that go back in here are still all piled up in my living room and dining room. I hate this kind of mess that renovations bring to my life and my home, but this is the kind of change that takes something I don't always have a lot of: "patience". Ah..... this Grasshopper has much learning yet to do.

Knowing that we are getting close to what will look so nice helps though. This is the new look in there, and it's quite pretty in person. The view from my rocking chair in the den looks out this window onto the garden of flowers in the backyard. So at least I can still enjoy the changes made so far, even if I do have to remain patient for the clean up and organizing to begin.

In my den itself is where I'll be doing the most work on my vacation. I don't have any "after" shots yet but I will share them here with you once it's done. I've been waiting for almost 2 months to get this room done, and as it is the room I "live in" (computer, TV, stereo) the most, I've been hard pressed to dig deep for the patience needed to W.A.I.T. it out. But I'm hangin' in there!

Waiting and patience. More growth potential. I just have to keep reminding myself that I musn't live life "fast", but rather live it "well".

I'm learning.

Meantime, while I am (im)patiently awaiting things around here, I hope that you are all doing well and coping with life's changes and growth as well. To my Sista Janna, I'm walking beside you on this path you are on holding your hand dear friend. Take good care of each other everyone, and until next time.......

Love Jude

Friday, August 14, 2009


Over at Stardom Awaits! we have tallied the votes, congratulations to the winners!

We had some beautiful photos, so congrats to all the entrants for a job well done. Stay tuned, at the end of this month the next contest will be "GARDENS".

Thank you to all who voted, we couldn't do this without you!

Love Jude

Friday, August 07, 2009


The temperatures have been hovering more around the normal mark for the last week or so, and it's been soooooo nice. We've even had a bit of rain, not enough but it's better than naught. It's been quite enjoyable compared to the horrid heat we had.

It's really too bad that Ma Nature can't spread out a bit of everything equally all over ~ with the flooding rains out east and the draught in Western Canada we could all use a bit of rain and a bit of sun. Ah well, 'tis what 'tis!

At least so far most of our plants and flowers are surviving the relatively dry summer, even throughout the heat we had. Hubby's 6 rain barrels around the house and garage have been a Godsend, because what little rain we've had has been captured for garden use.

We've had this kind of summer in the past but without the barrels, and had to watch a lot of our garden plantings go ta-tas up without enough water. I believe here in our city this year we must have been *this* close to having to save water by not watering lawns etc. It didn't happen, however if it had the lawns would have had to suffer but at least not our gardens.

While I was out with my camera the other day sister Pammie came out for a doggie bathroom run, and I was able to capture a few shots of "the girls". This is Misty, who is turning 12 yrs. old in 10 days. You'd never know it to look at her though. She will always look and act like a puppy, that one!

Misty is the one who is afraid of noises. Thunderstorms set her to quivering by her Mamma (sister Pammie) and even the infrequent "clicking" of the electronic air filter on the furnace drives her to trembling. We actually have to shut it off whenever we leave the house! We call her the "little buck-buck" (chicken) and at times I wish there were such a thing as doggie ear plugs. Poor baby, I wish we could make her understand that noises aren't going to hurt her.

And this is Lady ("Ladybugs" or "Bugs") and she is 17 yrs. old now. This little darling is losing some of her sight and hearing, and is getting pretty shaky on her legs at times. She has arrhythmia and is on heart medication for that, has been for a few years now. It's SO hard to hear/watch her go through those, she is unconscious but she cries pitifully. I wish we could make all of our beloved furry babies young and healthy and keep them that way!

Bugsy is the independant one (at least compared to Misty) and although she loves being by her mamma (sister Pammie) the only thing that makes her want to run away for cover was overzealous, loud and fast moving kids. Both of these doggies are used to soft female voices and gentle touches. I love these 2 so much!

I now have just about everything I need to finish fixing up my den. We got to a paint store and I picked out and purchased the colour I want to get on the walls in here. And last night hubby took me to look for the second chair I wanted for the room too. Whenever he or sister Pammie wander in for a visit while I'm in here, I have my rocker and they were always stuck sitting on my computer chair. I'll be rearranging where my desk and everything go in here, and will finally have the room for a second chair. I've also bought new curtains and rods, and can't wait to spiffy up the look. I begin my 3 week vacation at home in 3 weeks, so I'll most likely get the majority of the work in this room done then. However, I'd like to at least start some of the painting sooner. Most definitely I'll post before/after shots!

And if you haven't already, you can head on over to Stardom Awaits! and place your ONE vote for your favourite shot ~ this month's theme is "Weather". The voting is open for another week.

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

Love Jude

Saturday, August 01, 2009


Hey chicks and dudes, welcome back to voting central! This month's theme over at Stardom Awaits! is "Weather". There are many great shots to choose from, and if you'd like to participate in the voting process you can head on over there now. The voting will be open for about 2 weeks, just click on the "Vote Caster" on the right hand side in the sidebar.

This time I'm short of time to look for and post any of the shots of mine that didn't make the cut. Best of luck to all of the entrants!