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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"ARCHITECTURE" PHOTO CONTEST

Yep, that time again folks! This month over at Stardom Awaits! the "Architecture" theme photo contest is underway. You can head over there and place a vote for your favourite shot ~ ONE vote for ONE photo only please!

Architecture can be buildings, nifty windows and doors, bird houses, bird nests, bridges, spider webs.... lots of interesting things. We hope you enjoy the photography and have fun participating.

The winner(s) will be announced in a couple of weeks when the voting is closed.

I'm including in this post some of my "Architecture" shots that did NOT make the cut into the contest. There's just too many to choose from!














Thanks, and good luck to all of the entrants!

Peace!
Jude

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

AUTUMN HAS ARRIVED!



My favourite season has made its appearance, albeit a little late this year with its colours and flowers that bloom only in autumn. We have two "mum" bushes in our front gardens that every year around the end of August begin their change from green leaves to the addition of profuse amounts of raspberry coloured flowers with bright yellow centers. They are just now beginning to get some buds on them, so I hope this means that winter will be late this year and we can still enjoy the colours in the gardens for awhile longer.


Another lovely bonus to autumn is that it happens to be the time each year when I take my vacation. I can hardly stand myself, both Autumn and Vacation in the same breath!

I am already on my last week at home, each year I have a rough time believing just how fast 3 weeks goes by when you're NOT at work! I have been getting some rest, but I also have managed to get a lot of work done around the house. My den, in particular, is FINISHED! Finally! I promised "before and after" shots of that, which I will include in my next post.









Something else I have a love for is my photography hobby, and again this vacation I have been able to make a couple of trips out into nature with my camera. Almost 2 weeks ago my best friend Michele took a day off work for a "Pal Day" and we headed to 2 of our parks in the river valley, in the midst of our city.

We first headed to William Hawrelak Park , where the first 2 photos were taken. The lake with its fountains is not only pretty to look at, but is also home to many types of ducks, birds and Canada Geese. The day was rather hot and we broke into a sweat in the blazing sun while heading for the tree-lined paths on the river. Once there, it was a blessed relief from the heat in the cooler shade.

Then we headed across the freeway for a walk along the river at Emily Murphy Park. As we both snapped away with our cameras, we had a great visit and lots of fun. Michele's birthday is Thursday, and we're going out for her Birthday Dinner tonight on the eve of her big day. Michele if you're reading this, Happy Birthday, I love you!

In all, Edmonton has over 460 parks. The 48-kilometre long city stretch of the North Saskatchewan River Valley has 22 major parks. No wonder it's become known as the "Ribbon of Green". It is also the largest expanse of urban parkland in North America. *grin* I love where I live!








This past Sunday, Shilo, a young girl I work with picked me up and we went west of the city to the acreage she lives on. She has a penchant for photography as well, and we headed out on a few minute's drive to an area called "Chickakoo", with several small lakes and lots of horse and foot paths. It's gorgeous in there, and we happily kept our shutters clicking away as we walked with her big gentle dog "River".

Although this time the day wasn't hot, there was an unrelenting wind and the sun was overly bright, making for a lot of "washed-out" shots. Still, it was a pretty day and a really lovely time spent together. We went back to her place after and made sandwiches and iced tea, and had a visit with her horses, cats and dogs.







This is that particular moment during Autumn where I find conditions perfect. There are still plenty of leaves on the trees for colour, but lots on the ground as well. I love the sound of leaves crunching under my feet as I walk, and there is that wonderful scent in the air from them that only happens at this moment in the season. It's so fresh, and I wish there were laundry products that had that exact scent.

Shilo has ridden her horses and walked in this pretty place often, seeing as she lives so close by it's perfect. We were talking about maybe catching it again during the winter months. I bet it's beautiful then too, especially when there is a soft new snowfall on the branches and bushes.











There were lots of people there while we wandered the paths, but we only came upon a few now and then, as it's so big. I could get easily lost in there! At one point we came up to one of the lakes and there was an older couple sitting at the picnic bench with a picnic lunch, watching a young couple at the water's edge who's dog was having a swim. It was a perfect setting for a Norman Rockwell painting.

The only thing that was a bit unnerving were the quantities of wasps. They are really bad this year in Alberta, perhaps elsewhere too. As I have an uncommon fear of them I said a few prayers before we headed out, and although I saw tons of them, for the most part they left me alone. Normally they chase me!!








I have missed the company of my photography-partner-in-crime, my sister Pammie, on these outings this year. Normally on my vacation her and I grab cameras and head out to a few places, cemeteries most of the time. But this year she is working all through my vacation. We'll have to try and get out somewhere before winter hits. She loves Autumn too.

Next up will be Halloween, as it isn't far off now! Whenever the leaves start to change I always think of pumpkins, witches and ghoulie things that go 'bump' in the night. Pammie and I will once again have fun decorating our front yard for the kids. But that is still more than a month away yet and with the hot temperatures we're still getting (unusual for this time of year here) it still feels like August.

I hope you are all enjoying the season, and taking care of each other!

PEACE!
Love Jude

Friday, September 18, 2009

5 YEARS OLD!



Another year has gone by in Blogland, and that means that this week my little blog is 5 years old! On September 16, 2004 I made my first entry which was short and sweet, kinda like "I'm here, don't like the basic blogger template need to learn how to get my own." LOL That has changed a few times over 5 years too, this template I have now is my 4th. and favourite, something in a basic black which I added my own touches to with the header pic, colours, subtitles and such.

Also changed over the 5 years here are my bloglinks. At the moment the only people on my blogroll who were on my original one are Danni and Janna. Both have come and gone so this is their second shot at blogging. There are several others that showed up on my bloglinks shortly after, and have been with me ever since. Nancy, Xavier, Karen, Rhonda, Patty, Michael, Rich and Sandy. Not every one posts as often as before but they're still there!

Hell, I don't post as often as I used to either. It's not because of lack of interest or things to post, but more because I'm so much busier online than I was. And my blog has changed to more of a "photo" blog with some stories/news in it. It wasn't until a few years ago that my photography hobby became a huge part of my life when I got my first digital camera. One thing that has NOT changed over the years is how blogging brought me many great online friends. You guys all rock!

Now what would a 5 yr. old (blog) want for their birthday? I briefly thought of a new "dress", but I like this template and it suits me, so no that's not it! I'll have to think on it ~ maybe some cake and candles? (guess who gets to eat it?) Mua haha!

PEACE!
Love Jude

Monday, September 14, 2009

"GARDENS" CONTEST WINNERS!



These are the winning shots over at Stardom Awaits!, only ONE vote apart and waaaaaay ahead of the rest of the entries. Congratulations ladies, job very well done!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the voting again, you make this happen for us. Stay tuned, at the end of this month the next contest will be "Architecture", that should be interesting eh wot?

Thanks everyone!

Jude

Sunday, September 06, 2009

VACATION ROCKS!

All year I longingly look forward to my time off every September, and it's finally here again! This is my 3rd. day off and as I sit enjoying my morning coffee I'm reflecting on how on the first 2 days I have already partaken in 2 naps. LOL Hey I was tired, what can I say.

I've already begun some work in my little "den" where I spend most of my time when at home. I have MUCH more to do in here, as well as some other projects around the house that need doing before I go back to work. Not to worry though, I intend to keep getting lots of R&R in!

One of the reasons I love taking my vacation in September each year is the weather. Autumn is my absolute favourite time of year. It's usually not too hot nor is it cold yet. That is perfect weather for this hippie chick! And don't forget the autumn colours, so pretty! Some of the trees are already beginning to show some gold.

The most perfect timing this year happened as well. We were going through yet another %#!@! shite hot spell of weather and I was getting sick to death of sweating whether at work (yes we have AC there but someone keeps turning it down) or outdoors or at home until I went to bed and turned on the AC in my bedroom. Well, my last day at work was as usual, HOT. That evening about an hour after I got home and my vacation officially started, a terrific thunderstorm blew in and the temperatures went down about 10 degrees in a hour! We got tons of MUCH needed rain and the temps have stayed cooler ever since. What a great start to my vacation, I love it! *grin*

Something else I need to get done while off work is get out my sewing machine and do some hemming and taking in of some clothing. I've several pairs of new pants and being a short-arse (or vertically challenged, as they say) most every pair of slacks I buy need to be shortened. I also have several blouses that need to be taken in a touch. Stuff like that is too time consuming and a huge PITA unless I've some time off.






I got one set of curtains hung with new rods in my den yesterday too. I still have about 3/4 of the room to paint yet, and the larger window (sliding glass doors to the hot tub room) still needs to have the new rod and curtains put up once I paint that wall. The whole room is going to be rearranged and I'm really looking forward to getting to that stage. The colour scheme is taupe brown walls, red lampshades, black curtains and rods, with brown (some faux leather) furniture.














Hubby already ripped up the carpet last night in the hot tub room, where eventually his BowFlex and exercise bike will be going.

It looks like there has been some water damage under the carpeting by the windows, most likely from the old windows we had. Hopefully none of the staining is since the new windows were installed. We'll keep our eyes peeled next rain storm.














He started lifting carpet in one corner of my den as well. That he's yet to finish, but it was getting late. He bought me some nice quality cherry coloured wood laminate flooring for in here, but I'm not sure if that will be installed before winter or not. At the moment he's still got so much more to get done outside so he's been concentrating mostly on that while the weather is good.










I'm still keeping my NooYawk Sista Janna in my prayers as she goes through her rounds of chemo treatments for breast cancer. This last treatment seems to have hit her quite hard, poor girl. Janna if you read this my friend, I'm sending you lots of positive vibes and much love.



If you haven't already, you can participate in the voting over at Stardom Awaits! for the current on-going photo contest, "GARDENS" being the theme. So far 2 entrants are battling it out neck and neck, it's exciting and there are some beautiful shots!

It's Labour Day long weekend in North America and Monday is a holiday. Have a great weekend everyone wherever you are, and take good care of each other.

PEACE!
Love Jude