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Quote of the Month

"You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do."
Henry Ford, 1863-1947

My First Traditional US Thanksgiving

(December 8, 2009)
So usually Robin and I pack up and head North to visit the kids and grand kids, but we've been up there so much this past month we decided to celebrate the way the US does. We went to the Charlotte, NC, Carrousel Parade (fourth largest in the US), and we headed out at Midnight on Thanksgiving Day and did the Black Friday Mall Crawl! We didn't need anything so we had a lot of fun and got some great deals.

Here's Santa, from the Parade, and find more photos on the photo's page if you like parades or just want to see a little more of what Charlotte, NC is like through it's marching bands and businessSanta Rides a bike here.
submissions. Robin and I thoroughly enjoyed the parade, and had a great spot to view it from. We went home and ate a non traditional dinner of Porterhouse with artichokes (Robin's favorite vegetable which I rarely make, but love). The dinner was cooked perfect and great. If you have never tried fresh steamed artichokes, you don't know what you're missing, give it a try already. How to eat artichokes and how to cook an artichoke is here. After dinner we played around on face book until 11pm and then headed up to the Carolina Concord Mills Mall.

I can't believe people go shopping in the middle of the night...But they do, this was taken at 2.22am.2:22 am, November 27, 2009, Black Friday Shopping
The Disney store had on some great buys if you were there to buy before 10 am the next morning and we were able to buy all the disney princesses, a few disney pj's, a Lilo and Stitch (Stitch), cuddly, soft and big stuffed toy and a Cars (the movie) helicopter that holds lots of cars for well under half price. We spent only $100.00 there. Now if I can be convinced to part with any of them for my grandchildren, nieces or nephews, I would be done most of my shopping. All this and I had to wake for the opening Office Depot at 6am to get the 3 items I really wanted. I didn't wake :o(, however, I did go in and they had them left! Amazing. I bought a 1.5 TB drive to store all my web stuff and photos for only $99.00 and a nice new desk to work at for $49.00 (really it is nice, it was less then half price). The other was a SDHC card on for a great price for more photo storage when I travel. What a great weekend we had. We topped it off with a Motor Bike Ride to the outlet malls to meet friends for lunch on Saturday, and a Car Ride up the mountains to Blowing Rock for ice cream the next day. What a great weekend.

We did try to find a cruise to take for the weekend and never managed to succeed at that but we found a cruise for the next weekend, updates to come really soon with the cruise pictures and info. My most enjoyable cruise so far. No news up date this update, just the catch up entry. News up date will come with the Cruise info.

Features and Games Updates, be Forewarned, HHGregg and Zynga Poker....

(November 25, 2009)
I had a few issues this week I wanted to add info on before the big Christmas purchase push. Be forewarned about return, exchange and warranty issues when shopping at HHGregg. Read the details in Features. I also found a possible security issue with Facebook application Zynga Poker, which you can read about in the Games section. Enjoy and have a Great Holiday Weekend.

Wow, LOT'S To Write About!

(November 18, 2009)
My favourite photo.
Where should I start? Leonard got married to a lovely and sweet girl (Jennifer Parker), who, I still can't believe signed up for the job of taking him over from me. Okay, well no one has ever managed Leonard in the slightest, but you get the idea, she'll be his number 1. Number 1 to complain to, number 1 to have fun with. How fun for them. I hope they enjoy their journey, and I'll just enjoy the pictures and grand kids! More on this in the News and find the full wedding album posted here, on the photo's page.

Why waste a weekend to just get married? Who would do that.....certainly not Leonard, it's not his style. So Saturday was the wedding and Sunday was his college graduation! He had no control over the graduation date but he did make it. He and Shawn, both graduated the same Network Security Specialists diploma program November 8, 2009. It was really kind of them to arrange a wedding and two graduations on the same weekend to save us all that travel time. The two boys wouldn't pose for grad pictures, so I had to settle on taking them when they posed for their friend to get some...Len, Diana (thank you for getting them to pose), and Shawn. I did get a few of them single. Click for Len in his Robe and Shawn in his robe.

Shawn and Len, and a friend.  Best I could do, they wouldn't pose for me!

A good news weekend for the most part. Read more in the News and find the rest of the Graduation pictures here, on the photos page.

Sparty sighting; tailgating on the 24th, before the game!

Sparty meeting tailgating before the Iowa vs. State game, October 24, 2009.(October 30, 2009)

Well I made my second Michigan State game! Robin has been going to Detroit once a year to meet up with friends, Ron Leon and Joe Smith (who is kind enough to invite us each year) for a fall game. No wonder American's love their football, the games are such fun. This is my second time having the chance to go along (I went along in 2007), and it was a great game again. Close and not won until the last 2 seconds. With only 4 minutes left in the final quarter it was 9 to 6 for Iowa, scored via field goals with no touch downs. It looked like it would surely end this way. But as we left we heard the roar of the crowd when Michigan scored a touch down, pulling into the lead. The lead looked like a sure win with less then a minute of the game to go but with 2 seconds left on the clock, Iowa scored a winning touch down and took the game, continuing their undefeated streak. Good close game to watch.

This years game had Joe, Ron, Robin, myself and two new people to meet, Joe's nephew Kyle (in the picture behind Sparty with me), and his friend here.(I can't remember his name, *pouts*). I've put up a photo album on the photo page with all the game shots and other pictures from my fall Canada visit.Lerato and pully

More Canada fun.

(October 2009)
I am back home now, but I did complete a few extra things while I was up in Canada. I was able to stop by Jenny and Len's place and get some awesome shots of the little guy and I have updated Simply Photos with lots of new recent pictures, along with the photo album added to the Parkersspace Photopage. I had a second visit to Balls Falls for more photos when there was less people about. Shawn and I went together. He took along my old camera and started to learn how to take photos with its manual controls. OH! and how could I forget....The Murder Mystery, aboard the Waterloo Central Railway, St. Jacobs train, went wonderfully! I was chosen to play the part of Miss Vicky Olsen, in the Miss Novemberfest contest in the Murder Mystery; of course I won and wasn't the killer either. Shawn won the event over all for solving the murder; thank goodness he knew the scheming handy man and the wife of the pageant organizer schemed to kill off all the contestants, or I might have been found guilty! Shawn has a couple of tickets to Kitchener/Waterloo's Little Theater and a family pass for another ride on the Waterloo Central Railway. Did I forget to mention, I was one of the youngest ladies along? I didn't even qualify to wear a red hat as the Ladies in Red were on our train. Until the Wedding, November 7, 2009, I'm home.

One more important detail. Intrawest came good on their promise.

(October 30, 2009)
While I have been away, Intrawest, via Blue Mountain Resorts, finally sent me a voucher to stay at the resort for two nights to make up for the promise 1.5 years ago when they had a fire in the lodging we were staying in. They also emailed they would do some updated training with their staff to be sure they know how to handle it without the panic that ensued last time for the small elevator shaft fire. Thank you Blue Mountain, we will give you another try.

Canada Fall Visit!

Upper Falls at Balls Falls
(October 13, 2009)
When home is far from residence, there's often lots of things that pile up to help with and this is one of those months. My older son is trying to get through his last month or so of college and needed a hand, mom and dad are having some minor troubles in their job and need a hand with a few things, the younger son is planning a wedding for November 7th, 2009 (which is causing some major family rifts), and then my mother-in-law is quite ill and has been put in hospital. It seemed the best solution was head up to Canada and do a helpful visit.

I am making the best of time when I'm not needed. Robin came up for the Thanksgiving weekend and turkey with his family. I have had the chance to see both grand children and I had my first overnight visit with my 9 month old grandson. Tons of pictures, of course, to add to a Thanksgiving photo album of the grandson (Lerato) and granddaughter (Alida), Natalie and JP, who are growing up so much, and then I have been trying to get some nice fall shots too. There is thanks giving dinner pictures also.

I went to Ball's Fall's on Saturday with Robin where we happened on the annual Thanksgiving festival. I was hoping for some great fall colours but they're not quite full yet. I did get a few nice pictures of the falls though. I also found out that Danny Pollock (my favorite jeweler), sells at this festival. This was particularly good news. I usually get a pin each year at the EX and this year I had missed him with all the people we had to meet I hadn't the time to go pick one. I got three new ones. One is for my mother's birthday that comes up really soon. After the falls we headed to the Niagara region wineries to check out wine for Len's wedding but we weren't very successful on finding what we were looking for. Wrong time of year to get a bargain. The grapes are hanging on the vines with the promise of a good year.

This weekend I hope to get back to Ball's Fall's or somewhere similar to get some fall colour pictures. I have a Murder Mystery train ride on the Waterloo Central Railway planned for Thursday night with my son, Shawn, as part of Kitchener, ON Octoberfest celebration. I may get some interesting pictures from there. The Waterloo Central Railway looks like a very nice little train ride. That sounded like good fun,though I can't convince him to dress up. I may yet add a train link and review small run trains near places I travel. Well that's it for now, lots to come next update, including a news update on Ball's Falls conservation area, Waterloo Central Railway, and the Niagara on the Lake wineries if I get back to them next weekend.

Weider Lodge, Intrawest, and Blue Mountain Ski Hill - Did you lie to us?

Virgian Beach at Dusk
(Sept. 21, 2009)
I was trying to plan my winter ski season when I came across these pictures, I fully intended to post and write about last year. This was taken on January 5, 2008. That's right, 1.5 years ago. Robin and I were staying for a weekend at the Weider Lodge, on Blue Mountain Ski Hill when they had an incident. A small fire an elevator shaft, caused by a motor. The events that ensued from this were not fun and ended a 20 year relationship I had with this mountain. I had purchased a pass of one sort or another from Collingwood for years and my parents have a place there now. Robin won't let me purchase a pass or support any intrawest resort until they come good on a promise made after a chaotic weekend caused by the fire and the Intrawest and Weider Lodge's poor handling of the incident. Read the full incident on the Features Page. I'd love your opinion.

Two weeks away: Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Atlantic City and a New Camera.

Virgian Beach at Dusk
(Sept. 18, 2009)
Wow, I am home from Norfolk, 2 weeks plus is a long time away. I miss home when I'm gone, but I would have pretty boring pictures if I never went along, I guess. I'm going to have a big news article with pictures and dining info on Atlantic City and the Norfolk area (great dining), along with interesting things to see in the area. In the mean time, there's a new photo album already uploaded with Norfolk and Atlantic City pictures. Norfolk has so many photo ops with it's beaches and history it's always hard to decide what to post. The album uploaded very out of order, I'll have to do something about that; try to keep the order sensible. Virginia Beach at dusk above is with the new camera and one of my favorites. It's a great spot!

I also hope to do a camera review on my newest addition, a portable Canon powershot SX110. I have had issues getting this, but the picture quality so far, is worth all the trouble. I hope to put this one in Features. I will have to be busy next week getting these articles up.

My New Photos Only Web Site: Simply Photos

(Sept. 3, 2009)
One more note of news. I have made a new page for nothing more, but to showcase my favorite photos taken on my trips. It is a horizontal page set up, Simply Photos. I've added a few of my favorite photos from the EX it has favorites of some of my older trips and will have changes after my next two weeks in Norfolk, VA and Atlantic City this weekend. Feel free to browse any time; photos will change often as I make trips, it will have higher quality photos then the photo album and will be slow to load on non broadband connection.

Canadian National Exhibition, 2009 - Wow the people the Ex will bring out.

(Aug 29, 2009)
The EX, CN Tower.
At last minute Robin and I had the chance to scoot up to Canada for their last weekend of summer before the return to school. He was finished up his job in Denver early, had Friday and Monday off work, so away we went. We posted on Face Book we'd be hitting the EX on Saturday, regardless of the weather and planned on enjoying the day with anyone that could show up and enjoy it also.

In spite of forecast rain for the entire day, the response to our invite was over whelming. Len, Jenny, Lerato and Alida (both grand children); Lillian (Robin's Step mom at one time), Stephanie (half sister) and niece (we had never met), Willow; John, Melanie,Amanda, Jeff, JP and Natalie, Josh (adult nephew, we all love), and our niece, Ashley (her first time to the EX, at 17). We go to the Ex every year but this is the most we ever had come for a day. Nice to have the Face Book connection to make such an event possible and easy. Any that wanted to come along just signed and said they would meet us at the fountain at 11am. The weather, in the end, cooperated also, it quit raining before we arrived and never rained another drop.

I have uploaded a new photo album to the photo page, where you'll see all the fun, and I'm adding an article of the day to the news page also. What a great time, the only down was Robin's mom was too ill to make it this year and was missed.

Because It Could Have Been Robin, Watch.

(Aug 13, 2009, 2009)

No update today, but I saw this video posted on Facebook and it only made sense to put a copy here. It should be on TV. It's fitting after what happened to Robin in May. We were very lucky he has just returned to work after 9 weeks off. It could have been much worse. So spread the word, it could be your family you save.

An Afternoon at the Zoo.

(Aug 6, 2009, 2009)
This Sloth looked so Cute, there was so many cute pictures I couldn't decide what to use!
So, What's new? Well, we went to the zoo. Yesterday for Robin's Mandatory day off (the day each week his work is cutting back to save money), a bike ride to the Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Gardens, in Columbia, South Carolina, was the order of the day. This is a great little zoo. At just $9.75 to get get in, it is a nice easy walk around, not sprawling like some zoos, making it a fun manageable outing. They have a free shuttle from the zoo entrance to the Gardens on the far side of the river and the zoo has TONS of shade. So even on days like yesterday where it's almost 100 F and the humidity is climbing, it wasn't bad to walk around. Though I have to say, morning would have been a better choice then Noon to 4:30pm. It was a perfect way to spend an afternoon off. I have never had such a difficult time as deciding which picture was the cutest to post on the home page, so go see them all. Find all the pictures on the Photo Page; the album has been uploaded.

Well my updates were getting to be too long and have more to read on the main page they my original plan, so, this is it. Short bi-weekly updates, unless nothing is going on, will be done! Well honest, I hope to do it that way. With News Page updates for the larger articles when I've been on interesting or extended trips. I'll be sure to post the links if the News Page or Photo Page has been updated.

The Boys Came to Visit In July.....

(Aug 5, 2009)
Shawn and Len touring the USS North Carolina in Wilmington, NC.What a terrible Mom I am! The high light of the past three months was, by far, my boys finally making it down here to South Carolina to visit. How terrible of me to do a full update and totally miss mentioning that. So, here they are.

I was chatting with Shawn on line last month while he was waiting for Len to pick him up to give him a lift somewhere and I told Shawn, he should talk his younger brother into just dropping everything and heading south for a few days break. I really didn't expect Leonard to go for it, but his significant other was away for a few weeks summer holiday with the baby, and there was a chance. So after chatting on the 14th of July, Shawn called the next morning to say they were on their way down.

The boys stayed for a week. We managed to get them out to Myrtle Beach for a swim, then up to Wilmington for a tour of the USS North Carolina. I spent my time enjoying their company and didn't take any pictures at the beach . Too bad, we had some great waves and we all played in the waves for a couple hours on the day we went out. There is nothing like a swim in the Ocean on a hot breezy day. Waves pools really don't cut it. You'll find a USS North Carolina photo album on the Photos Page.

New Orleans, Bike Accident, Washington -- Three Months of Updates.

(August 3, 2009)
Well....This has been one busy 3 months. While I was writing up my last entry I was actually on route to New Orleans. I hadn't been before and we were sent 3 free nights by Harrah's Casino. It's really not free, but I just enjoy the benefits and never ask my husband just what he spends to get them. I intended to post all the pictures of New Orleans in the following update within a couple weeks but life happened. On April 25, 2009, Robin was ran over while taking his motor bike to the store, near by. He was not fatally injured but did end up missing 8.5 weeks of work, returning to work on July 17, 2009. I was kept busy running him to the doctors, lawyers, and therapy, hence, no updates have been done. New Orleans was so awesome it needs it's own news story and a photo album upload. So you'll find all the pictures on the Photo Page and a full write up on New Orleans here.

Robin's new toy, though he says the pain wasn't worth it...So after Robin was ran over (a young lady moved into his lane from her lane while he was beside her), I was kept busy changing bandages and wrappings and driving Robin around. As soon as he was feeling a bit better, I spent numerous days taking him to Harley dealers to look for a new bike. He finally decided on this new bike and purchased it.

Three month's is so much to cover. We made it out to Maxton the weekend before Robin was hurt to catch up with the Snart Race Team. They weren't racing but out to the track for a meet and greet. We enjoyed dinner with our friends in Maxton and we ordered a palm tree for our yard on the way out. We ran the new bike up to Cherokee for the July 4th weekend and caught the fireworks there. Robin discovered he needed a lower seat at this point and has installed both seat and lower shocks now. The ride was also a bit much for Robin's recovery, we had to stay an extra night so he could recoup enough to drive home. We have been up to Canada twice, and bought Leonard his first car. Leonard finally found reasonable insurance so he could afford to own a car. We promised him a car (for never smoking) when he could insure it and we found a great deal on a 2003 Neon with under 10,000 km, so he's the proud owner of a safe vehicle to get him and my grand children around. Since Robin returned to work we've made a couple more trips.

Last week old friends were heading to Washington, DC for their holiday. Robin had a day off midweek (new mandatory day off from his work), so we took the drive up to meet Grant and Donna for a day of sight seeing. Grant and Donna aren't just any old friends, they were neighbours and great friends from Ontario, the kind of friends that already fill old photo albums from previous vacations and dinners. We hadn't seen each other in around 8 years. We stop in now and then when we go north but last time we had tried to stop by they had moved! We found them on facebook and they just happened to be heading down so we met up in Washington. Don't miss the video clips of the Air Force Drill Team.

Read more and see the pictures in The News and don't miss the 3 videos of the Air Force Drill Team putting on a great show.

That's all I can fit in this update. Be sure to view the The News for the full stories on New Orleans and Washington, along with the Photos Page for the new uploaded photo albums.

 

 

 

Ontario (Canada) to Norfolk -- Virginia Beach & Avon, NC, sights of the Month

(May 8, 2009)
What can we fit into a month? As I mentioned, Denver was postponed, and now it was off to Ontario for Easter, visit the grand kids. Oh, here's the new The Grandson, first Easterlittle guy. I have to dig out some baby pictures and let dad see just how much he looks like this one. Big brown/hazel eyes and auburn hair. Click for the larger picture. That's where our month started. We also managed to see Alida who is doing great. These two cutie's can definitely make us think twice about our choice to enjoy the Southern life. For now we get up lots and they get down lots so it's all good.

So, from our Easter visit, head South East, far east. We were off to Norfolk, Va. This was instead of Denver's job. The plan was 4 days in Norfolk, then Friday, we were meeting a friend from Ontario who was heading to Avon, NC for a week of windsurfing. Apparently, Avon, NC (it's along the Outer Banks, on route to Hatteras), is one of the best flat water windsurfing spots in NC. Great winds in protected waters when surfing on the protected (non-ocean) side. It's also a hot spot for kiting, which I was hoping to get a lesson in, but since we were only there a day, and not the weekend, I could only take pictures this time.Kiting at the Pull off in Avon, NC
Well, plans rarely follow the rules in our life. But we have grown to love the surprise of every day life for us. When the plant he was working at wasn't quite ready for him, it became quickly apparent this would be an extended stay in the Hilton, Chesapeake, from 4 days to 10 days. We were still able to get away on Sunday of the weekend to visit Steve and Cathy, in Avon. Possibly we'll book a week with them next year and join in the fun.

Being so close to Virginia Beach, Robin and I and the fellah's he was working with in Norfolk headed out to Virginia Beach a couple evenings. This is a great spot for seafood (MahiMahi's is my favorite), scenery and a nice walk. Robin, Paul and Mike, making sure they are holding up the ballHolding up the ball. while in the Beach. There's a large naval showing in Virginia Beach and we had army planes crossing in close over head every 10 to 15 minutes. Virginia Beach has an incredible square, with monuments dedicated to the men and women of the armed forces as a thank you for keeping America free. This is worth a visit to see even if there was no beach. I'll put up a photo album of the month of April and include all the monument pictures in it. Apparently we'll be back in August to complete some work at the plant. If this happens, it'll be a week on the beach! Can't wait, but....I won't count on the plan as is.

A weekend in Atlantic City, NJ

(April 7, 2009)

Well we had a surprise call from Caesar's Casino last Friday and they gave us a free weekend in Atlantic City. This included the flight from Charlotte Airport and the hotel room for the weekend. We had nothing planned and this was just the perfect, inexpensive get away. While we waited for the flight to depart, we received word that Robin's job in Denver has been postponed and had to cancel our flights and hotel reservations. That is a huge downer, not only does not being able to go ski a few extra weeks hurt, but it really smarts that it cost us $150.00 to transfer the air miles back to our account so they could be used at a future time. The free flight isn't always free.

Baby seal washed up on beach.The biggest news of the weekend was this poor baby seal that washed up on the beach in the terrible weather. I guess it was caught up in currents and waves. It appears to have injured it's head but the Police had called for help and it was moving around, so hopefully he is looked after and okay.

That's all for this short update. You can read and see more In THE NEWS. It appears we won't be going to Denver, but on the upside, we will now have time to make it up North for Easter this coming weekend and get to visit the grand kids and kids. Next week will take us to Norfolk on the return trip for Robin's work, instead of Denver, so who knows what interesting things might happen then. Till the next update!

Ski Season not Over?

(March 31, 2009)
Not the final day of skiing for 2009 yet.
Well, Robin and I keep heading out for a final day skiing and then we find somewhere else that will be open when we're near! We have been hoping all winter to get up and check out Wintergreen Resort, in North East, Virginia and as luck would have it, his work sent him up to a Wilson, NC, due South of it, right before Wintergreen's closing weekend. It was a few hours drive, but we had to take the opportunity to extend the ski season yet another day. You can get the details on The NEWS page here.

In the past couple weeks we also made it out to Myrtle Beach to meet up with my sister and her family, who were there for March Break. March break happens to fall over Robin's birthday so we all went to dinner at The Rioz . Robin was thrilled when the staff came and sung to him, below. Robin's Fifty

The Rioz is a must go to restaurant when you're in Myrtle Beach or Charleston, SC. It's pricey, but the fantastic service and Brazilian Grill style is well worth the price. More on the day in Myrtle Beach in The NEWS, with pictures of the nieces and nephew and my sister and her husband, of course.

Well, yet again, it's not to be our last day skiing either. We fly out to Denver, Co in April for 3 weeks. I'll be picking up an end of season ski pass from Arapahoe Basin, which stays open until June. When Robin's working I'll be able to enjoy my days on the ski hill. We should also make it to Vail, Co, for the closing day on April 19, 2009. So, away I go -- Next Update, May when I return.

From Snow to Blooms in a Week.

(March 10, 2009)
Only in the Carolina's can you look at six inches of snow one weekend and jump to blooms the next weekend. Robin and I drove up the mountains this weekend when he returned home from working in Tennessee to check out all the fruit trees starting to bloom. One week after the major snow fall, I have these beautiful pictures taken yesterday of the peach orchards in bloom.

Peach trees in bloom.Just a short up date to show the extremes we live in here and the reason I love it.

Yesterday we couldn't decide whether to ski for the afternoon at Sugar Mountain (where it was going to be 65F) or golf near home where it was 80F. Unfortunately, our rather warm weather (80's is high for this time of year), is going to drop off after today to the 40's, which is 20+ degrees colder then it should be this time of year. We'll be back in the 60's next week, but it's the 70's I'm waiting for. Today I will be getting the bicycle out, taking it for a spin at the near by trails and making sure it's in good shape for the new season. On a side note, we choose to golf yesterday. Both of us played a really good game, must have been the weather.

Whoa, Snow in South Carolina Low Lands.....Head South or Go Skiing?

(March 3, 2009)
Record Snowfall!

I know, it's snowed before here, but not this much. I returned from Vail to cooler then average temperatures, yet still mild, 50ish all week, and then this dump comes as reminder of what we flew out of a week ago.

Wow, it sticks. Snow everywhere I look.

Check out the big flakes of snow in the flash shot here. I've never seen it come down like this here. Usually it's hours of very light snow in cold temperatures to accumulate a trace. This is all grass covered. Hours of heavy rain switched to this snow around 6pm as the cold mountain air moved into the lowlands. The next morning shot shows the back yard as it's starting to melt yesterday. We will be back up to 70F by Saturday and over 60F by Thursday, so the snow will be gone soon enough.

While I'm updating; do go check out the new photo page. I've installed a new photo album program and totally updated the page. You'll find all the great shots from our trip to Vail last week Robin Skiingalong with 2008 in pictures, Disney with Alida, and Cruise 2008. I was going to do new stories on all these, but I think I'll leave it with pictures to tell the story and just start doing more entries as this year develops. I'm really hoping it calms a little from 2008. There was really way to much in a year.

Vail was awesome, definitely had a great trip. I am pleased I dedicated myself to my trampoline for 6 weeks prior to heading to Vail. Lisa SkiingI had forgotten the work involved to make it down a full mountain. Robin's legs start to get in shape after the first few days and he makes some great turns in the snow. 2009 has been an awesome ski year so far for us and it's not over yet. We plan to get out a few more times and maybe a long weekend to Virginia for a few more turns. With this dump, the local mountain got 15 inches. Wish I was heading there today but that's not going to happen. At least it'll add to the base and we'll get up there a couple more times also.

 

What makes a year?.

(Feb. 11, 2009)
First time on a motor bike.
Well a full year to catch up on. There's so much went on since I came back home from Midland, ON, last January 2008. A full year other then my one post. It would be best to tell the year in pictures, but I'll attempt to put it in words. It felt like a whirl wind year. Too much crammed in to too little time, or I can sit and muse now how I ever packed all that in to a year. In one or two lines, Robin spent most of 5 months in London, ON, from April to September, with a couple visits home for special trips. We had tons of time with Alida who was down south here for 2 months (June to August), along with my several visits to London and each time picking up Alida for fun doing things in Ontario. My parents managed to visit twice, once in August and again in December. There was as cruise in December, a full summer with Alida, a visit to Disney and biweekly trips to Carowinds, NC. A weekend adventure in October to Atlantic City, the usual trips to Myrtle Beach, Alida went on the Maid of the Mist, a renewed interest in skiing and teaching the grand daughter, all made a year jam packed. I think I'll do a full new photo album with a year in pictures. Look that for that to come this week or in two weeks when I return from Vail, Co on the 21st of February.

Well my mom and dad made it to visit a couple times this year. Above is my mom, here in August when Robin talked her into a spin around the block on the motor bike. I sent her home with that picture as an 8X10. At two months shy of 74 there's something to be said for taking your first motor bike ride. They made it up to the mountains with us during the August visit and we captured this rare touching moment with my parents. Nice to see my mom getting out still. Her Arthritis is Touching moment getting much worse and they're talking about surgery on her this year. I'm glad she got down here and saw the sights.

Taking Alida to Disney was another high light of the year. When she saw her hero Cinderella, it was all we could do to keep her in line until it was her turn to talk. Cinderella has Alida wide eyed and enthralled. The other princesses were okay and she chatted with them also, but they couldn't hold a candle to Cinderella. She was exhausted at the days end, but had a great time.

There was so much to a year it'll all be in pictures next week. There's trips on trains, trips to Carowinds, trips to the beach. Cruise December 2008 was fun and I'll do a full article on it in the news. Catching up this year is going to take me year! Okay, I promise to have it caught up with all articles in place by the end of this month. The catch up will include high lights of Vail and possibly another main update here.

Alida Learns to Ski! 1st time out, something to remember.

(Nov.28, 2008) Busy, busy!
I said no more updates, but this was something to truly celebrate. I've done so much since I quit doing the page, I'm sure I could write a novel, but I'm still not much up to writing, so just a short blurb and post of the newest picture. Alida, will carry on the tradition and be a natural on the ski hill. Grandma, Grampa and Dad got her out on the hill for her first time this weekend and she loved it.

Alida didn't want to head in to the chalet at all, just wanted to stay on the hill. With a few inches of fresh snow and an unbelievable base of snow for November in Ontario she got her first taste of skiing. She learned to make her first turns on the same hill I learned on 30 years ago at Mount St. Lois/Moonstone. So much fun.

No updates at this time, maybe later.

(June 19, 2008)
Well I haven't been updating, not sure I will update. I will say, I never quite made it to school as planned. Robin did buy a house in South Carolina and I went back to South Carolina in January and cancelled my plans to go back to school. I've taken lots of pictures, done lots of stuff as usual, but I'm just not in the mood to do updates, so one may come later, or not...but at least you know not to check daily.

 

Summer Wow; How much can you do in a summer?

(Sept. 9, 2007) Well another summer past and I don't know where it went to. I just can't believe how short the summers are here in Canada. As I said earlier, I'm up here on a work contract until January and now I've decided to stay for another two years and go back to college yet again. Some of you will remember I returned and did an electrical program in 2003. Now I've decided I would be much smarter to get a diploma in something I actually do...so I'm returning to Georgian College for the Winter semester start of the 2 year Business Accounting Diploma program. I've arranged to stay with my mother in law for the duration and I can do the program in 4 consecutive semesters so I will complete in Summer 2009. One and a half years seems so much shorter for some reason.

This being done, summers up here are way too short. I've been so spoiled the last two years running down south in September and enjoying summer like weather until the end of November. To have it ending in September just seems all too soon. I am looking forward to skiing though and will be buying a ski pass for Blue Mountain, Collingwood. I'll have the opportunity to teach my granddaughter to ski.

The view from the tower.I did get a lot in this summer! Camping at Six Mile Lake with Alida and Joey, a day in Niagara Falls with Shawn and Kaitlin, African Lion Safari, and of course, no summer is ever complete up here without the annual trip to the The Ex. Alida loved the paddles boats, swimming and camp fires, Niagara Falls included lunch in the Skylon Tower (really awesome), and the goats were pleased we brought Alida to nibble on at the Lion Safari, and you'll hear all about The Ex and the rest in the NEWS. I even managed a little golfing with work to add to the mix too.

Okay, I've still no time for a real update, but some information please! After this, January 2008 for a full update.

(July 4, 2007) Busy, busy! Why has there been no update since February? I've heard it enough now to put up a reason. In February I went north to Canada to renew our visa for yet another year and discovered my son had found a full time job, and my daughter in law was working and going to school. They had the typical daycare problems that arise when there's a sudden change in the work/school environment. With his sudden change from part time to full time and part time the poor little baby here was being shuffled from place to place until a permanent answer could be found. Of course, I volunteered to take her to the warm sunny Carolina's for an extended stay!

Dad (Leonard) really disliked the idea but mom handed her over willingly until April when she finished up her semester of courses. That takes me until April answering all they "What have you been doing?" questions. We did tons with her; I'll post pictures in January 2008. Yes, I really said January 2008. You see, after taking her back home in April I did some extensive traveling with Robin for work, then went back to Canada and picked her up again for another two weeks. We swam and had fun every day and when I was about to head home with her and drop her off; my work (old job I do contracts for) called and asked if I would fill in for six month's in Canada (brrrr, that takes me to January) for a co-worker who needed an extended medical leave. Seems a good idea right now to take that position while we work on purchasing a home. Oh yea, that's another story I'll fill in details in January on. By then I'll hopefully be in that home, but stuff happens so I never count on such things until they happen. I will, as usual, keep my camera handy, takes lots of pictures, and when I get back home in January, do a true update with a year to fill in on the most major happenings. Until they, no updates are likely, but feel free to check every few months, since things are always prone to change.

Archived News Stories Here :

2009
2007 & 2008
2004 to 2006

 

This Month

Updates - August 6/09

New Movie Reviews - Julie and Julia, Star Trek, The Proposal

Photo Album - Added CNE 2009

Daily Horoscope - It's in Entertainment

IN THE NEWS

Washington with Grant and Donna - Great time. So awesome to meet up with old friends, and Shelby, you're not 2 any more!

4 Days in New Orleans - What a great get away. We escaped for 4 days and 3 nights to New Orleans.

Atlantic City Weekend - Caesar's invited me for the weekend, free flight for two, free rooms and most meals free. Well it's never really free, but it was nice.

March Break, 2009 - Katrina and the family come to Myrtle Beach.

Wintergreen, VA , Closing Day, 2009 - A day at Wintergreen Ski hill, and we thought ski season was over.

Summer 2007, wow - Catch all the up to date news on who did what, and the latest pics.

New York City New Year - Happy New Year 2007!

Wow Vegas, A Modern Wonder - What a birthday.

Richmond & Portsmouth, VA - What a weekend it turned out to be.

Len and Jo-anne Graduate- Definitely the highlight of my year was these two making it to graduation!

S.N.A.R.T. Group of Racers - Fun weekend, details in the news.

Natalie and Jay at Disney - A surprise visit to Florida for my niece and nephew, details here.

Holiday July 2005 - Rockford and Chicago highlights from 2005,click to go right to the story.

Skiing In North Carolina - Yes, there really is skiing here! See pictures, links to hill sites and more. Click to read.

Cruising the Caribbean - Nice cruise pictures and details.

Fit and Forty - How I did it!