Just another Wednesday morning. . .

Heather and I began our walk in the dark this morning.  Sunrise is coming later, and later.  Sigh.

Still, there was a beautiful red sky this morning.  As I stood outside watering my garden after getting back home I watched the horizon turn from a ribbon of fire into a gorgeous blaze of scarlet.  Sorry, no pictures today.

Sadly, my photography class that was to begin tomorrow is more than likely cancelled.  Due to lack of interest.  Only myself and one other person signed up.  Hopefully, I’ll find another class close by.  We’ll see.

Tomorrow is my actual anniversary.  32 years me and my guy have been married.  Just saying 32 years out loud leaves me amazed.  There were times — several — when I didn’t think we’d make it.  But, we hung in there.  Through all the joys, the tears, the screaming matches and amazing firsts we shared together, we’re still together and we’re still having fun.

He makes me crazy, but he makes me laugh.  There’s no one I’d rather share my life with.  There’s a silly little song off of the soundtrack to Love, Actually, that I adore.  It’s called You Take Me As I Am, and I guess that pretty much sums us up.  So, on the eve of my 32nd anniversary I dedicate this song to him.

postscript:  I tried to download the song, but because I am challenged in this regard I couldn’t.  So, I’ll try again later.  If you want to you could search it on YouTube.  The artist is Wyclef Jean. 

The weekend is over. . .

. . . and what a beautiful weekend it was!

Tim and I took off to Miette for our anniversary.  This trip has become something of a tradition with us.  This is year 3.  The weather was gorgeous and the hot springs just the thing we needed to soak our cares away.

We got in around 7:30 Friday night and immediately headed up to the hot springs.  We sat and relaxed til they kicked everyone out at 9.  Then we went back and I made us a late snack.  We sat outside enjoying the cool mountain air and had a glass of wine (me) and a beer (him).  Lovely.

Saturday we slept in a bit then had a hearty breakfast I cooked in a hurry.  Then, we packed up a light lunch and headed off to Mount Edith Cavell and the Angel Wings Glacier.  We took a short trip down to Lake Edith where I took a few pictures of the lake and some fungi.  A very beautiful spot.  Have driven by there numerous times, am glad we took the time to explore it.

Up at the parking lot I was surprised to see a crowded lot.  Apparently many others had the same idea we did to enjoy what could be the last nice weekend in the mountains.  We donned our hiking boots, I slung my camera over my neck and Tim packed along his book, some writing paper and a bottle of water.  I told him he wouldn’t have an opportunity to read or make notes, but he insisted.  (Didn’t turn a page or scribble one single note — hah!)

We decided to just to the glacier loop trail, rather than try going up to the meadows.  Good thing.  The way we dawdled along we’d have been up there in the dark.  We had a great time scrabbling over rock and getting close to the glacier pond’s edge.  Very beautiful, but very cold.  Then we decided to head up to the ice cave, which is hollowed out at the toe of what used to be the tail end of the angel’s body.  Over time the glacier has separated so that now the wings hover far above the ‘body’ or toe.

It’s quite spectacular to get up close to the cave and I had wanted to get some interior shots, but when we heard cracking and rocks falling inside we thought we’d better get the hell out of there.  Others actually went inside, but I think that’s tempting fate just a little too much.  Adventurous I am, fool-hardy I am not.

We spent a lovely afternoon there at the glacier, taking pictures, talking, just hanging out together.  We don’t often get to do that.  Yes, we spend lots of time together, but never just relaxing time.  Later, when we meandered back down to the parking lot, we drove a short distance to where there were some picnic tables in a stream bed.  It was very chilly, but a lovely spot.  We opened our cooler and had a hearty meal of ham sausage, cheese bread and raw veggies.  All washed down with a nice cold beer.  I could have sat there until the sun went down, but we had plans to go soak our weary feet in the hot springs again.

This morning, we were up at 5:30 because I wanted to see if I could get some mountain sunrise shots.  This is when I discovered I’d forgotten my tripod.  Doh!  Decided to go anyway.  So off we set in the pitch dark to find the spot I’d pegged as being a good bet for some morning pictures.  We got there about 6 a.m. only to find a camper parked on the side.  Well, tough, I said.  It’s a free country and they shouldn’t be there, anyway.

We marvelled at the beauty of the sky and the unbelievable multitude of stars overhead.  With all the light pollution in and around Edmonton, we never get to see the kind of sky we saw this morning.  Gradually, very gradually the horizon began to lighten.  I was beginning to despair that, in the mountains, sunrise would not be the glorious spectacle that it is on the prairie, and to some degree, I was right.  But, when the sky began to turn pink and the opposing mountains to glow warm in the emerging sun’s fiery light, I smiled deeply and was glad I was there to see it.

It’s an embarrassing admission on my part to say that in all the years I’ve been going to the mountains I have never once been up early enough to see the sun rise.  Isn’t that sad?  But, then, I think, at least I’ve made the effort now.  And, now that I’ve seen how glorious it is, I will be sure to do it again.

By the time I got my few shots of Ashlar Ridge (most of them blurry) Tim and I were thoroughly chilled.  He had wrapped himself in a blanket and was standing behind me trying to keep me as warm as he could.  I had thin gloves on to keep my fingers from freezing, but, by the time I had decided it wasn’t going to get any better I was shivering through and through.  We hopped in the car and cranked up the heat.  We had been up and out for two hours.  Tim turned the car back towards the resort.  As we drove along I noticed through the trees that the sky had turned to fire.  I pointed out a small pull out on the east side of the road and Tim obliged.

This is where I took the really distinct shots of the sunrise.  Again, cursing myself for forgetting the tripod, I stood and shot until my knees were knocking.  Then, back to the car, back to the resort, back to our room and a warm bed.  We had to throw on extra blankets and we huddled together as though we’d never be warm again, but eventually, we fell back asleep.

Awake again at 9:30 we packed up our belongings, loaded the car and then went for breakfast in the small restaurant attached to the resort.  This resort was built in 1938, and you can tell that not much has changed since it was first established.  It is not ‘fancy’, definitely not 5 star, but it is extremely popular.  Many of the guests who come at the time of year Tim and I have chosen to come have been coming to the Miette Resort for over 20 years.  Some, I believe, much longer than that.

It is a homey, friendly, clean and well-kept little place.  The hot springs are a mere 3-minute walk from the door of your room, and, best of all, it’s quiet.  There are no stores, no streets, no traffic — nothing but fresh air and trees and sky and mountains.  We’ve already planned our trip for next year.  Only next year, if the weather is good, we’re going up on the motorcycle.  That will be truly wonderful.

The trip home was a quiet ride.  It’s always tough to leave a fantasy and go back to the reality of home and work.  But we enjoyed the beautiful scenery, the golds of the poplars and aspens, the near-black of the pines interspersed throughout.  The highway was busy — everyone heading home after what was probably their last camping trip or their weekend in the Rockies.

There is one particular mountain that I love to look at as we leave the park.  I don’t know the name of it, but it is an amazing formation.  And I always marvel that at one time what I am looking up at in wonder and awe was the bottom of an ocean floor.  In a way that I can’t explain that knowledge always puts life in to perspective for me.  What we have in this life is truly beautiful, truly blessed.  And I am grateful.

The sky was ablaze again this morning

Not a great shot, compositionally, but I was in a hurry.  Just wanted to share the colours.

6:30 a.m. Sept. 22, 2011

It is a lovely morning here in Bon Accord.  The sky is glorious, the breeze soft and warm.  The smell of ripening apples is everywhere, and the ground is covered in brown and gold leaves.  When I step out in the morning and am confronted by the beauty of a sky like this it lifts my heart and my spirit and makes me glad to be alive.  I know I am truly blessed.

Today, at work our school is taking part in the annual Terry Fox run.  A Canadian legend, his legacy continues to inspire.  I am glad that we are going to have such a beautiful day in which to celebrate his achievements.  The river valley trail where our run takes place will be a gorgeous backdrop to this event.  I will sit in my G-spot and cheer the kids on as they run, jog, lope, walk and sometimes whine their way past me.

I’ll listen to the sounds of the birds in the bushes and trees around me, and relax to the soft rush of water below as the Sturgeon River wends its way eastward.  It’s a great way to spend an afternoon — don’t know many other jobs that have such great perks.

Enjoy the gifts you are given today.

Hump Day

I have always wondered about the origins of ‘hump day’.  I mean, I know exactly what it means, but how did Wednesday come to be called this name?  Personally, I love hump day.  It’s the beginning of the end of the work week for me.  I can see my weekend stretching out clearly in front of me.  It gives me purpose, and renewed energy.  I’d have to say it gives me hope.  So, for anyone else who believes that hump day is worth acknowledging and revering here is what I found at:

Dictionary.com:

Main Entry:   hump day Part of Speech:   n Definition:   the middle of the workweek, usu. Wednesday Example:   We’re on the other side of hump day, with the weekend in sight. Etymology:   1965; seen as the hill to get over to the weekend

and this bit of silliness at:

http://www.urbandictionary.com

3. hump day

Wednesday, or the hump of the week
The absolute BEST day of the week, the day of maximum hope that maybe, you might make it out of this week alive. A particularly good hump day can last you the rest of the week, and by Doomday morning (Monday) you survive by anticipating hump day. Nothing goes wrong on hump day

Most other days can be defined by hump day. Tuesday is the day before hump day. Thursday is one day after hump day. Except Friday is WOOOH!!! FREEDOM!!! Day, Saturday is Mostly Hungover day, and Sunday is PreDoom day.
Hump day has nothing to do with sex. Unless one wants it to.

So, there you have it.  Why Wednesday is ‘hump day’.  Well, not really.  I tried to find out who coined the phrase, why it started, etc.  But there is nothing.  Just the general observation that Wednesday is the middle of the week, and that if you’ve made it that far, you can surely coast downhill the rest of the way, gaining momentum again for the weekend.

Have a great hump day everyone!

Prairie sky!

Thought I’d share a couple of pictures of a beautiful prairie sky.  I missed it at it’s absolute most beautiful point — the sky was a deep magenta and the air was filled with the most gorgeous light.  I rushed home as quickly as I could and got a few shots off before it started fading to orange and yellow.  Still beautiful. . . but wow you should have seen it before!

Thursday morning

Morning has broken in Bon Accord.  And at least this morning it wasn’t freezing.

We had a fairly heavy frost the night before last, but last night I think we were frost-free.  Still, I am wearing gloves in the morning on my walk.

I love Fall, but I hate the impending cold.  I wish it could be about 10 degrees in the mornings and then warm up to about 25 throughout the day, slowly lowering to a manageable 14 or so throughout the night.  That would be perfect.  It’s the colours of Fall that are so enchanting, I can’t wait to see all the trees turn shades of red and gold.  And then there are the smells: that spicy, almost musky smell of leaves as they fall and collect on the ground; the deep, rich smell of earth as gardens and fields are cleaned up of the decay from another growing season.  It’s an intoxicating mix.

I took my first camera class on Tuesday.  It was a little basic, but I did learn a couple of things about my camera that surprised me.  I’m looking forward to next week, and will be definitely signing up for future classes.  I am hoping to discover the secrets that make some of my fluky photos so good, while others are just abysmally bad.  Not that I ever expect to be a pro, but I would like to have some consistency about the pictures I take, and a better understanding of this lovely camera and how to make it do what I want it to do.

Work is a bit of a trial this year.  New schedules, plenty of changes.  It’s been a stressful couple of weeks.  I think, though, I’m finally settling into the changes.  Me and change — never a good mix.

It’s grandson #2’s birthday this weekend.  He will be 2 years old.  My goodness they are growing up so fast.  Beginning to think I’m an old granny!  LOL.

My son came over last night and helped his father draw up a plan for our deck.  Hopefully, before too much longer we’ll start the building process.  As with all things we do, this one is not as simple as we had hoped.  But with Landon’s help I think we’ll finally get things underway.  I am so thankful, Bud.

Well, I guess that’s about all the time I have for an update.  A busy day, evening and weekend ahead.  Hope I get back here before the weekend is out.

Sunday morning

Well, our lovely late summer weather has broken.  For the past week or so we’ve been enjoying temps in the high 20’s and low 30’s.  It’s been heavenly, except when I have a hotflash.  Today, we’ve got clouds, cooler temps and the possibility of rain.  Good weather for me to get out and get the Fall gardening done.

Ten things I am grateful for today:

1.  Little 3-year-old Kienan was returned safe and sound to his family in Sparwood last night.  This after being abducted during the night on Wednesday.  I think our entire nation was also held captive by this terrible story.  I am so glad he made it home.

Little Kienan, returned safe to his family Picture courtesy Google Images

2.  That there were no new terrorist attacks on this the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  I believe the world was holding it’s breath on this one.

9/11 tribute Picture courtesy Google Images

 

3.  I am so grateful that my three grandchildren are all safe and healthy.

4.  Tim and I got out for a little bike ride yesterday — motorcycle, that is.  It was a stunningly gorgeous day and it would have been a shame to miss out on the beauty of it.  The fields are all being harvested, the trees turning gold; it makes for some awe-inspiring scenery.

Autumn in Alberta

5.  This one’s a little silly — but I am grateful for my new waffle maker.  It’s the kind that rotates, just like the ones in hotels where they provide you a free breakfast and you get make your own waffles.  Tim and I discovered these on our last two trips, and when we got home we decided we just had to have one for ourselves.  It’s the best kitchen appliance I’ve purchased in years.

6.  I am grateful to Doreen, my co-worker, who brought me in the bushel of apples from her trees.  I pared, cored, sliced and diced last night and now have applesauce, as well as apples frozen for pies and muffins.

7.  Which leads me to this:  I am grateful for the manual apple/corer/slicer that Tim bought me all those years ago when we had our own apple tree in the back yard.  I could never have peeled 36 cups worth of apples without it.

makes peeling hundreds of apples easy Picture courtesy Google Images

8.  I am grateful for the upcoming camera class I am going to take.  It is local, it is moderately priced and I’m finally going to get some much-needed instruction in the use of my wonderful camera.

9.  That the people from Sunrise windows have called and I’m finally going to get my new patio doors installed.

10.  I am grateful that I have such wonderful family and friends.  That their love enriches my life, each and every day.

some of the family I'm so grateful for

 

Sunday afternoon

My grandson Ethan is sleeping.  I have tuckered him right out, I believe.

I am taking care of him while my husband is at our son’s house helping him build a deck.  I remain deckless — but, hopefully not for long.

We have been blessed with some lovely weather for this long weekend, the last bit of summer, or should I say nearly the only bit of summer we’ve had in this province this year?  Ethan and I have made 3 trips to the park since I brought him home with me yesterday.  He loves to run, and just as his father was at that age, he is full and I mean FULL of energy.  What better way to let him use it up than walks to the park where he can run and play and climb to his little heart’s content.

Me, on the other hand, these walks and all this playing is taking a bit of a toll.  I woke up this morning with wonderful plans to weed the garden when Ethan went down for his nap, but what I’m actually going to do is go sit out in a lounge chair with my book once I get this short post done.  The sunshine is begging me to come out and soak it up.

I will not disappoint.

The garden centers are winding up the season and have all their perennials on sale, so yesterday I went and bought myself a lovely little hardy hydrangea.  I’ve been wanting one now for awhile, but recently read an article about varieties that are hardy for our neck of the woods.  After learning about the many varieties that can survive our winters I decided to take the plunge.  And, at $17.49 with a year’s guarantee I’d be crazy not to.  So, sometime this week I’ll get my new baby planted in.  Ooh, the excitement!

I’m telling you, I’m loving my new scheduling plan more and more.  It’s been a relaxing weekend of enjoying time with my grandson and not having to worry about laundry, or vacuuming or washing floors.  I’m actually looking forward to next week, so I can get even more ahead of the game.  I’m feeling some major writing time ahead.

Happy Labour Day weekend everyone!

Thursday morning, a little frosty. . .

Well.  Woke up to frost this morning.  The 1st of September.  Granted, it was on the rooftops, but still, it was there.  A chilly reminder that winter is not that far off.  Here’s a picture I’ve posted before of our lovely winters in Alberta:

It's not this bad -- yet.

Sigh.

We have had a couple of very cool days this week and today is going to be no exception — a forecasted high of 17 degrees.  Then cool and rainy tomorrow.  (I think my husband’s motorcycle trip may have to be postponed until next year.)  But, the weekend is supposed to perk up.  Hope so, for all the long-weekend campers.

My husband will be helping my son build a deck.  Not mine.  His.  I think the deal is if they get Landon’s done, then mine will be next.  Fingers crossed!

My daily schedule of house-cleaning has, so far, been a success.  I have a clean and tidy home, I’ve had a little bit of free time in the evenings and I’m getting to bed on time.  So, I’m feeling pretty darn special right now.  Like, wow, look at how organized and efficient I’ve become!

Of course, I haven’t gotten any writing done — I did look up a couple of contests and got caught up on a couple of e-newsletters I subscribe to — so I’m counting that as productive, creative output.  There’s always next week.

I have to figure out a way to squeeze in some extra exercise time.  I need to be doing some weight-bearing exercise — in order to head off osteoporosis, you know.  I walk every day so I’m on top of the threat of Alzheimer’s.  I have all but eliminated most processed foods from our diet (there are a few things left over from previous shopping trips — I won’t throw out food, but we’re almost there) so we’re eating more healthy and feeling much better.

All in all, I’m being about as positive as one person can be without coming off as crazy.

Here’s to new starts, and positive thinking.