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Monday, November 29, 2010

"AUTUMN" PHOTO CONTEST!

I'm not sure why it seems so much longer, but it's only been a month since our last contest. This month the theme is "Autumn" so you already KNOW how pretty the photos are going to be! :-)

If you would like to help us out by participating in the voting process, please go on over to Stardom Awaits! and head for the Vote Caster in the right hand sidebar. The voting will be open for approximately 2 weeks, and then the winner(s) will be announced. Thank you, and enjoy the photography folks!

I've probably taken a thousand "autumn" pictures over the years as it is my favourite season, but I don't have the time or the energy to sift through them all. But here are a couple of my shots that were contenders for this contest but got cut.

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2.



PEACE!
Love Jude

Thursday, November 25, 2010

THE HIPPIE CHICK'S HEART AND SOUL

These past couple of days I've been especially "homesick" for the good ol' days, and mostly for the late 60's and early 70's when it was all about Peace, and Loving Your Brother And Sister.

Really, that's all about me.

Whenever I see the peace sign it makes me smile, and it makes me proud to have been so "into" that back then, in my heart of hearts. I'm even considering getting a tattoo, which I've never really thought of until recently.

It would be some sort of stylized peace symbol, a small one perhaps on my inner wrist.


Those days of my heart are long past, yes, but only in time, not inside me. To this day, although I support our troops because the world IS the way it is, I still long for world peace.

































The mind-set back then, the FEELINGS back then are so terribly hard to describe. It was so strong in us, the young generation. None of us ever said "hi" and waved. Or said "goodbye" and waved. We all said "hi" or "goodbye" and flashed the "V" peace sign with our fingers. Although I rarely use it now (well I did in our Christmas group picture at work last year!) I still automatically think of it sometimes.

We weren't all about free love, drugs and rock'n roll. Some were, especially rock bands. Most of us were in monogomous relationships, and most of us "sampled" marijuana or hash, and then left it alone. But yes, most of us were heavily into the rock music of the times, and frankly there hasn't been a whole lot of rock music that compares (some, yes) since. The very first mention of "heavy metal" came in a Steppenwolf song, one of my favourite bands then.

But it wasn't just "rock", the peace/protest/brotherly love songs back then were a huge part of our mindset as well. I've included some below if you'd care to have a listen and see/feel what we were all about. There may be a couple of you (Bobbie, Janna) who will know just what I'm talking about. :-)


Get Together


San Francisco


Give Peace A Chance


Lean On Me


Imagine




And of course there WERE the songs that began heavier rock and these were just a teeny sampling of some of my favourites:

Magic Carpet Ride


Wow, the lead singer even resembles the man I was married to then!
Born To Be Wild


Sunshine Of Your Love


Whole Lotta Love


DAMN I'd love to go back to those times! I'm actually quite sad right now just thinking about it, and wishing I could re-live it all again. Ahhh, those really were the good old days.

And weren't we so freakin' cool! LOL


HAPPY THANKSGIVING to my buddies to the south!

PEACE!
Love Jude

Saturday, November 20, 2010

WINTER GARDEN

We've had our first snowfall of the season, our first snow shovelling of the season, and now the first photo shoot of the season. In my back yard. :-)

Some say they "hate" snow and winter, and I dislike the extremes myself. But on a sunny day the snow sparkles like diamonds and has a beauty all its own. At least I believe it does. :-) **clicking on the photos gives you MUCH more detail**


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2.



3.



4.



5. HEART shape



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7.



8.



It's fairly cold here now, with daytime highs around 8F and lows of about -4F. But in a few days it's going back up to highs in the 25 - 32F range, which is rather lovely at this time of year. :-)

I hope you are staying warm where you are, have a great weekend!

PEACE!
Love Jude

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

THE YEARS HAVE FLOWN

18 years ago yesterday my late hubby Gary, myself, our puppy Boo, sister Pammie and her puppy Lady moved into this house. That's almost 20 years ago!

It happened to be Gary's birthday the day we moved in. No party that year! It was all about unpacking gazillions of boxes, trying out the hot tub, and trying to live around some almost finished renovations downstairs. The downstairs (basement) was completely finished, but we needed to add a kitchen where there used to be a bar. While that was going on, Pammie and her puppy (Lady, who we lost last year) "lived" in our upstairs tiny little den for about 2 weeks. It was cramped for everyone, but it was so exciting!

In the years since, many changes have taken place in our home. First and foremost, Gary passed away suddenly at home one morning from a heart attack after we'd been here about 3 years. For another while it was just Pammie, myself and the doggies, until I met and married my current hubby.

Once he moved in, things started to change. The house was at that time already 30 years old and it seemed that suddenly everything started getting old and needing repairs or replacing. Over the next decade or so the roof was replaced, the front sidewalk, windows and doors. And WE all got older too. When I moved in here I was all but a whippersnapper of 40 years old. Now I'm almost 59!






Where do the years go so quickly? I know we all ask that question. For me, they have gone into a memory bank somewhere in my heart and head.

The house and yard look so much different than in 1992 as well. Where there used to be just green expanse of lawn, now there are flower beds and more trees. My hubby is quite the landscaper. I actually like this look better, and on hot summer days there is a lot more shade in the front windows.

Of course if I were to take that same "after" picture today, you would see no leaves on the trees and some white stuff on the lawn. Yep we finally got snow yesterday and winter has arrived!

Life isn't static, it is ever changing. And so is my house.

Having grown up an Airforce brat, this is the LONGEST I've ever lived in one house. And I rather like that.

PEACE!
Love Jude

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"URBAN LANDSCAPE" Winners!



Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to all of our entrants for a great job. And thank you to our voters for making it possible!

Next up: at the end of November the next contest's theme will be "Autumn".

Stay tuned!

Monday, November 08, 2010

TO OUR SOLDIERS, PAST AND PRESENT



Every year on November 11th. the Allied countries honour our soldiers past who have fallen to keep our countries free, and we also honour our soldiers today for continuing the hard task of keeping us safe.

For those of us who are of "an age" to have had parents, relatives or ancestors who were in the military in WWI and WWII, or in the present day military, this hits home all the more. And we do our best to ensure that the younger generations are aware of the bravery, hardships and losses borne that keep them safe in their homes today.

It must take gigantic courage to want to serve. And great strength of belief in our countries and our freedoms. This wouldn't be for everyone. I personally salute all soldiers past for what they have done for us, and those who serve today to keep those ideals and hard won victories of the past ours to live by and enjoy today.







Whether Veteran's Day to our friends and Allies in the U.S., or Remembrance Day here and in other Allied countries, we all take this one day of the year to show that year round we keep the memories alive, give our thanks, and remember.......

I dedicate this week to you. We shall not forget.







Once again I share this video, it chokes me up and makes me proud every time I see it....
A SOLDIER CRIES








PEACE
Jude

Friday, November 05, 2010

LIKE A BABY

My body must be fighting something off, and hopefully after getting my flu shot this year it will be successful.

The night before last I couldn't stay awake to save my life, I couldn't even just sit up anymore. So I went to bed at 9:30 p.m. Nine thirty, people! And I was asleep (after reading for a bit) by 10 p.m. Guess what time I woke up? 10 hours later!

Okay, in all of my adult life I've NEVER slept for 10 hours, EVER. Probably the only time I did that was when I was a baby. Holy crap. If I get 7 hours I'm doing really well.

It's a good thing I got that much sleep too, as the next day (yesterday) I worked an extra shift on the job, albeit only for 3 1/2 hours...... but then we had a staff meeting after work and I didn't get home until almost 10 p.m.

The meeting was all about The New Merging coming up next year at work, and it was our Regional Manager (my boss's boss) who ran it. Needless to say we had a LOT of questions and concerns, and grilled him plenty. He has to have this meeting with all of his centers (all of Northern Alberta) and we were his first. So now he said he needs to make some amendments to his presentation as some of it was too confusing, so we "taught" him well, hahahaha.

One other thing he brought up: This past spring we were suddenly told out of the blue that all center hours were extending to 6 p.m. daily. That has thrown a huge screw into things for staff. First, it had to be done without hiring more staff. Secondly, and especially for people with kids to get home to, it makes it even harder to get home later. There was no warning with this, it just happened suddenly and we all had to deal.

In the meeting last night he talked about how it was done all wrong(it was all from management above his level), and from now on they would bring the staff into the picture more to get our feedback and ideas before they make changes like that.

The thing is, years ago we used to have one late night a week. It worked well for our members. But the company chose to take the late night away. Keep in mind, we are all open ALL DAY on Saturdays too. So, when this decision to be open longer EVERY DAY happened, our biggest bitch was that all they had needed to do was bring back one late night a week, instead of making every day longer.

It's a great company to work for in many ways (there are so many employees that have been there for 15, 20, 25 or even 30+ years) but sometimes this "new" president is sooooo out of touch with his employees.

Ah well, that's the drama on the job for now.

Speaking of working, yesterday I had a long conversation with my Investment Broker. When my late husband passed away 15 years ago, there was a little Insurance money, thank God. After taking care of our bills and then paying for the funeral, what I had left I invested in "safe" things like RRSP's, as I have always been the smaller income earner, I knew I'd not have much to retire on years later. I'm glad now, at almost 60, that I thought of those things then. After the economy went into the toilet briefly last year, what investments we all have are now a little lower. So I sure don't have enough to retire on anyway, and he is going to help me see what I can do to help it along. I'd still dearly love to retire early at 60 (which would be a year and a few months away) but I don't think I'll be able to. I'll probably have to keep going until I'm 65. We have to get together again to discuss some things and figure other things out, but I'm not hopeful.

Today I'm home from work and have laundry to get done so I'd best get crackin'. The weather here has been sooooooo nice and warm for November, but this isn't going to last long now. Today I'm going to enjoy it and have some windows open for a bit this afternoon.


If you would like to participate and haven't already, the voting is ongoing right now for the "Urban Landscape" photo contest over at Stardom Awaits!

Only 7 weeks until Christmas everyone!! Get shopping!

PEACE!
Love Jude