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“Canada is a good country to be from. It has a gentler slower pace – it lends perspective.”  Paul Anka

Happy Canada Day!  We don’t really do fireworks here like the American’s do on the 4th of July.  It was quite different for my Grandson – his first Canada Day and his first time being away from his parents over 4th of July.  Luckily, weather co-operated.  It’s been raining off and on for days, but it cleared this evening.  We built a nice campfire by the side of the lake and  spent the evening telling stories and roasting marshmallow’s for S’mores.  I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate . . . 

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“Health food may be good for the conscience but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better.”   Robert Redford, “The Junk Food Companion: The Complete Guide to Eating Badly” by Eric Spitznagel (1999)

We’re at the Lake for a week or so.  The property has the main house, and a smaller one bedroom cabin with no bathroom.  This is where the kids love to hang out and be kids, play cards, sleep . . . oh and suck up all the Coke they can and cram down as many Oreo cookies as possible!  I guess you’re only a kid once eh??  And yeah – once it was all gone, there was no more to replace what only took an afternoon to disappear!  It was intended to last the entire trip . . . oh well!  Good thing I brought lots of water and fruit . . . 

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“It’s practically impossible to look at a penquin and feel angry.”  Joe Moore

There is a new act in town!  My grandson was really excited to go see the new African Penquin Exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium.  They are behind glass and well protected from us humans, but cute they are!  I’m reflected in the glass, taking a picture of him taking a picture of the penquins.  We had a very fun day . . . and he came away with a Penquin back pack . . . 

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“He that climbs the tall tree has won right to the fruit.”  — Sir Walter Scott

I’m so lucky to live where I live.  I have two acres surrounded by forest and parkland, with a creek running along one side.  We live in suburbia, but I feel like I’m living in the wilderness at times.  This is the time of year that I relish the beauty around me as the earth erupts from Winters sleep in all her beauty and splendor.  Last year I captured  a great shot of my Granddaughter up in the Crab Apple tree, so this year I though maybe I could do the same shot for my 365 Self Portrait.  Well . . . I’m not a Spring Chicken anymore .. . but I gave it a good college try!  Oh to be young again!

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“Be the change you want to see in the world.”  Mahatma Ghandi

Love my Cherry trees.  We planted two in the front yard just a couple of years ago.  I look forward to their blossoms almost as much as I do the Stellata Magnolias!  I converted this photo to B&W using Lightroom, did some HDR in Photomatrix, and added some texture in Photoshop.

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This is the original photo – SOOC before any editing.
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104orig-365

“Broken! Busted! Everybody has something to repair. Before buying new, let Mighty Putty fix it for you.” Billy Mays

My almost brand new front loading washing machine went on the fritz last week.  Thank goodness I have a hubby who is really good at taking things apart and figuring out how to repair them.  These machines are like cars now-a-days . . . requiring expensive technicians and parts to repair.  And of course we didn’t buy an extended warranty.  So after much research, and discovering that this model has had LOTS of issues with this exact same problem, he ordered a part for $75 on e-Bay.  It came this week, he installed it, and it solved the problem  My machine is operational again!  Yay for Handyman Husbands!  And NO Mighty Putty required!  (I processed this in Lightroom and Photoshop.  It’s B&W theme this week in the 365  Challenge. I am in the lower left of the photo – my hand and the top of my head.)

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“Though motherhood is the most important of all the professions requiring more knowledge than any other department in human affairs there was no attention given to preparation for this office.” ~Elizabeth Cady Stanton

I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a Mom and a Wife.  In fact, I never had career aspirations like my sisters.  I wanted to get married and have babies.  So I did, two weeks after HS Grad.  Two years later my baby girl was born, and three years later arrived my son.  I have held several different jobs over the years but being a Mother is by far the most rewarding thing I have done in my life.  It was a HUGE learning curve though . . . and back in the day we kind of did it by the seat of our pants . . . with a bit of help from our parents, and listening to intuition about what was right and what was wrong.  Today, I see new parents in such a tizzy over how to raise the little ones.  Information Overload!  They are so worried about doing it “right” . . . with the advent of the internet it is so easy to look for the “answers” and there are many, many differing opinions!  I would love to see new parents slow down, take a deep breath, and go with the flow.  Turn off the information overload and pay attention to what is right in front of you . . . learn to listen and act, not react and panic, or live in fear about what might happen.  And let the little ones learn by doing, making mistakes, falling down and getting back up with encouragement to succeed rather than taking care of everything for them.  Oh what a wise Mom I would have been if only I’d known then what I know now!

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Daffodowndilly has come to town,
in a yellow petticoat and a green gown.

~  Traditional Rhyme

We took a trip to the local nursery as we’re preparing the ground for planting.  As we wandered through , I spied this display of daffodils.  Mine didn’t come up this year.  Either the bulbs rotted in the ground because it’s been so wet, or the squirrels got to them.  I processed this photo in Photoshop with Topaz Labs Black and White filters.  

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“There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers on this planet.”  Brooke Medicine Eagle

Today is Earth Day.  It’s also Day 100 of my 365 Self Portrait Challenge.  As it was another very nice day, I spent some time wandering through my property to see how spring was flourishing.  Two of the sure signs of Spring are the Skunk Cabbage that grow in the swampy areas down by the creek, and the horsetail that is quite pervasive and tends to take over in areas I don’t particularly want it to!  The stink of the Skunk Cabbage goes away as the huge yellow blossoms fade fairly quickly, however the Horsetail is the bane of my existence!  As it grows, it sends out a bazzillion spores that then start more and more and more new plants.  We are constantly spraying to keep it under control.  That battle is just beginning anew for this year  . . .  

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“Go big or go home. Because it’s true. What do you have to lose?” Eliza Dushku

One of the first opportunities we’ve had to get out in the yard and do some work – today’s priority was washing the cars.  Time to detail the X5, and we also were putting the ’92 Toyota Camry on Craig’s list so had to get it cleaned out and sparkly clean.  Nice to be out in the fresh air and working up a sweat.  So – yes I drive a BMW . . . and I love it!  I fell in love with them back in the 80’s when I worked for a Dr who drove one.  However, I never thought I would someday own and drive one myself.  It’s a great example, I think, of holding a vision of something, staying focused, and hard work.  Is it the be-all and end-all of my life?? Absolutely not!  But it sure is a nice comfy ride!

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