Friday, November 30, 2007

This Site

..is out of order until Ma is feeling better .

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Bon Voyage Bobbycakes

Have a wonderful time in Dubai and may the ladies on the beach all be impressed with your back waxing , etcetera .....by the way , cute etcetera ... ( did we forget to mention in that part of the world that the ladies are hairier than you ....)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The White Balloons

Yesterday , we traveled to my hometown for the funeral of my Uncle Danny . As we gathered to pay our final respects , I thought back to my childhood and how this man had affected my own life . My uncle was a talented carpenter and his home and cottage showcased his woodworking skills . Uncle Danny was a quiet man with a tough exterior . In his youth , he was a well known northern hockey player . He continued that dream with his grandson when he followed their teams from town to town . Over the years my uncle was plagued with poor health . He had a pacemaker and in later years he had diabetes . Through it all he was never a complainer or one to talk about his suffering . He just ... endured . He loved to dance , to joke and he loved music . One of his favorites was Frank Sinatra . It seemed fitting to all who knew him that at the end of the service , we listened to one of his songs , "My Way " . My uncle lived life his way despite all odds . Later at his son's home , I listened to my aunts and uncles , cousins and friends as they remembered a life well lived and well loved . I see my family circle , warm and loving and ever so slowly evolving into a much smaller circle . In my own daughters' characteristics , I recognize and understand the legacy my relatives leave not only to me but to the next generation .
As we stood in the snowy cemetery , for the final blessings , my uncle's daughter released a multitude of white balloons . It was a strange and yet beautiful moment . A symbolic gesture that we were witnesses to his soul ascending to the heavens . We stood in the wet snow and watched until every white balloon disappeared into the gray skies .
Oh Danny boy , the pipes are calling you home . God Bless you always .

Friday, November 16, 2007

Just Had Too

I stole this off my Bobbycakes and felt I just had to share it with the world of romantics .

Dancing With The Stars New Season

....and can they dance !


video

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Remembering


Like so many others of his generation , my father signed up to protect his country at the tender age of eighteen . Dad spent two and half years in the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve , Fury Division . Off the shores of Newfoundland , my father , a peaceful man , was trained in the use of firearms and war manoeuvres . He still remembers the men who never came back home .
Today , at the 11th hour of the 11th day at the 11 month , we salute you .
Thank you Dad .
Lest we forget .

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Bear Facts #3

I have saved the best for the beary last . To the top of the world . Who among us is not enthralled by the most majestic of all bears and one of the most feared ...the polar bear . No worries . This endangered species does not reside in Timmins but much farther north than I . Although a small northern community Cochrane about one hour away , boasts a polar habitat that has become one of the town's most popular tourist attractions and I encourage you to see the exhibit for yourself if you are ever up this way .http://www.polarbearhabitat.ca/
The polar bear does not hibernate but wanders around the snow and ice constantly on the lookout for its next meal .
Polar bears feed mostly on seals although a beluga whale can be a tasty appetizer as well . The biggest threat to the extinction of these beautiful beasts , besides you , is climate change . Losing the glaciers means losing the polar bears . Powerful swimmers with a thick coat of dense white fur makes the polar bear the king of the Arctic .
Of course for every king there is a clown . My MNR friend had a co worker stationed in Churchill who sent him the following REAL pictures of a playful and perhaps lonely and for sure, very full polar bear who just wanted to have some fun with the sled huskies at his camp . Just goes to show you that some of the biggest mammals on earth can also be some of the biggest goofs .

Thank you to Glen of the Ministry of Natural Resources for sending me these amazing photographs ( one of which is now my screen saver . )

Hope you have enjoyed my ramblings on the bear facts as much as I have enjoyed writing about them . As much as we may fear these great creatures they have just as much right to be here as we do , maybe not on our patios and balconies but to live out their lives in commune with nature . Our subdivisions have infringed on their forests and hunger being the primal instinct to survival they have become modern day pests that we dread meeting face to face .
Working together and using common sense and compassion is the answer .
All BEAR . All REAL .
We have nothing to fear but fear itself .












Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Bear Facts #2






Now we have learned that bears can climb higher than you even without a ladder . Bears can run faster than you . Swim better than you and eat a whole lot more food than you . In fact, the whole time they are awake is a constant quest for more food so that they can go back to sleep again . Similar to our well loved but annoying NGB only much hairier . Bears have been known to travel over 100 miles to find a good dinner . They instinctively know that they must build up on their fat cells and hit their heaviest weight in the fall in preparation for the big sleep . The bears find a hidden area in the bush often fallen trees, crevices and brush before the snow flies . Their metabolism and heart rate slows down to more than half . They do not eat , urinate , defecate or exercise for the winter months . They curl up in a ball with their heavy fur coats to keep them warm . My friend from the MNR said often the female bear gives birth in the den in February without even knowing she has done so . What a cheap way to escape the pain of labour . Momma bear emerges from the den not as one but often with 2 or 3 hungry cubs trailing behind her . Glen told me the story of a mother bear with her 2 cubs who had been foraging around the Timmins city neighborhoods for last minute hibernation treats . An irate citizen shot the mother and left the cubs to fend for themselves . Without Momma around , the babies had a garbage food fest and a party with the family dogs . Chased up a tree , the orphan cubs were tranquilized and contained until they could be shipped to a bear rehabilitation centre down south . Just before the move , nature stepped in and sent the babies on a snooze cruise . Apparently , the cubs were ready for hibernation and it became impossible to wake the little guys up . The local MNR crew made a den for them of twigs and evergreens and left the little teddy bears alone for the big sleep until spring . You have to admit hibernation is a fascinating subject .
Tune in Friday for The Bear Facts #3.
All BEAR . All REAL .

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Bear Facts #1




The next few posts will amaze and enthrall you if you are interested in any of the bear facts . On weekends , a few of my dog walking neighbors and I meet in a wooded clearing near the Mattagami River to let our dogs interact . One of the dog owners works for the Ministry of Natural Resources . One morning we got into a discussion about bears and how they are able to hibernate all winter long . The fact these huge mammals can sleep for months without needing nourishment has always fascinated me . Looking at the blowing snow outside , I sometimes wish that I could do that , but would I wake up twice as old or half as young ? Back to the facts , Glen had some very interesting bear stories to relate to the dog club and was kind enough to email me a few REAL pictures that I am sure will interest you as it did me .
In June , as we all know , bears are exceedingly hungry . You would be too if you had slept for six months without food or water . It is too early for berry season so the little black gremlins sniff their way around until something smells good to the palate . The very REAL photographs will help you to understand why the MNR warns northerners not to feed the birds in the summertime , to make sure our garbage is safely secured , and that we clean our barbecues after each usage . In fact , these particular pictures were kept from the public by the MNR for a time so that people would not panic . It was released to the media when the officials thought it best that it was better to keep the public aware of the possibilities that this could happen to you . This incident of the black bear climbing to the second story balcony of a home took place in South Porcupine early in this summer . Now that I have your undivided attention , ( humor me if I don't ) , I will leave you with this bear cliffhanger (or should I say balcony hanger ) for today and return tomorrow same time same blog with the bear facts #2 including REAL pictures .
All BEAR . All REAL .

Friday, November 02, 2007

About Tragedy , Love , and Forgiveness

When I write this blog , I prefer to keep it light and carefree but an incident so tragic and so sorrowful has triggered my thoughts back in time . I was in grade 6 and one of my best school friends at the time was a slight young girl named Karen . She had just moved to a place outside of Kapuskasing called Lowther air base . She was a quiet sort with the most beautiful long and wavy platinum hair down to her waist . She sat in front of me in class always turning back to smile that shy smile of hers . I never knew Karen for long . She was killed ,along with others , in a head on school bus collision that winter . I remember sitting at my desk , looking at her empty seat , sobbing and sobbing for my friend . The accident was no one's fault . Bad judgment on a icy wintry road.
From time to time , the memory of her innocent young face and flowing pale hair invades the corners of my mind . This week a similar tragedy happened in Timmins not far from my home . School was out and two young girls walking on the sidewalk were hit by a truck . One of them has died . Amelie was 10 years old . Do not ask why , there is no answer . Do not hold anger , it will eat you up inside . Once again , we are reminded of the fragility of life . Once again , we are reminded to always tell others we love them . Once again , we shed tears for a life so young taken before its time . I encourage you to click on the link I have included from our daily newspaper today . It says a lot about a family who in the most tragic of circumstances find it in their hearts to forgive . Behold the power of love .
My deepest sympathies to the Guertin family . Heaven has a another angel and Karen has another friend.