Thursday, November 29, 2007


These pictures were taken last weekend. We had Owen for the day and I had taken him for a walk in his stroller. It was a beautiful crisp fall day , about 0C(32F). We were gone for about 25-30 minutes. When we got back we did our usual thing with lunch and playing. Then after about an hour and a half, he went and got his coat. He wanted to go back outside.

We got him all bundled up, mitts on, hat on and out we went. He immediately headed for our neighbour's house to look at the the Santa Decoration and the reindeer. He also checked out the decoration around the Birch tree. When we called him to come home, he just looked at us like"You Catch ME". We chased him for a little bit while he laughed the whole time.

We then decided to go for a walk. In the picture we are about 30-40 yards away. At this point, Mrs. Moose decided to catch up with us and we walked about 3-4 house up the street, maybe another 50 yards. He stopped at each house to look at the decorations and even stopped to watch a man on his roof with a
hose cleaning out his eaves trough. Owen thought this was very funny and laughed with glee at the water coming splashing out the downspout.

Mrs. Moose and I thought we better turn around at this point so we didn't have to carry him back. He walked and ran with us all the way. He thought it was great fun. When we got home, he came in the door and immediately turned around to go back out. I guess he wanted more fresh air. So out we went for another 15-20 minutes. All in all it was a very enjoyable day with the best boy that I know.
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Monday, November 26, 2007


So true.


At last, someone who knows all about children…..


1.My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE  
"If You're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just  finished cleaning."

2. My mother Taught me  RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come Out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME  TRAVEL .
"If you Don't straighten up, I'm  going to knock you into the middle of next

4. My mother Taught me LOGIC.
" Because I said so,  that's why."

5.  My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
"If you fall out of that swing and Break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean  underwear, in Case you're in an accident."  

7. My mother taught  me IRONY
"Keep crying, and I'll give you  something to cry about."

8. My mother taught me About the  science of OSMOSIS.
"Shut your mouth and Eat your supper."

9. My Mother taught me about  CONTORTIONISM.
"Will you Look at that dirt  on the back of your neck!"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
"You'll sit there until all that  spinach Is gone."

11. My mother Taught me about  WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks As if a  tornado went through it."

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I've told  you a Million times. Don't exaggerate!"

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I  can Take you out."

14. My Mother taught me about BEHAVIOR  MODIFICATION.
"Stop Acting like your  father!"

15. My  mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of less fortunate Children in this world who don't  have wonderful parents like you do."

16. My mother taught me About  ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."  

17. My mother  taught me About RECEIVING .
"You are going  to get it when you Get home!"

18. My mother Taught me MEDICAL  SCIENCE.
"If you don't stop Crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."  

19. My mother  taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know When you are cold?"

20. My mother taught me  HUMOR.
"When that lawn mower Cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN  ADULT  
"If you don't eat your vegetables,  you'll never Grow up."

22. My mother Taught me  GENETICS.
"You're just like your father."  

23. My mother  taught me About my ROOTS.
"Shut that door  behind you. Do you Think you were born in a barn?"  

24. My mother taught  me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

25. And my Favorite:


My mother taught me About  JUSTICE
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you.








Sunday, November 25, 2007


Yesterday was a reasonably warm day in this part of Alberta. As I was looking out the front window, a quick flicker of red across the street caught my attention. There, in the neighbours Mayday tree was a Pileated Woodpecker. It is the largest of the woodpecker family, being the size of a crow. It is also the bird that was the inspiration for Woody Woodpecker.

The male has a red stripe under the beak that runs to the throat. The female does not. Apparently they are year round residents nesting in the hollows of rotting trees. They make these hollows themselves with their tough hammering beak.

Usually they like fairly heavy forested areas, so to see one here in Spruce Grove , near the open spaces is not an every day occurrence.

They weigh 10-12 oz. When they fly away , you can hear them call-"kuk-kuk-kuk". Once you hear it you won't forget it.

In all the years I have lived in Alberta this is the first Pileated Woodpecker I have seen. We normally get the Downie Woodpecker, who is nowhere near as large . It also doesn't have as much red on the head.

I certainly hope this is not the last we see of this magnificent bird.
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Friday, November 23, 2007


These pictures were taken at our house last Friday. We were baby-sitting Owen for a couple of hours. It was a beautiful fall day- crisp and cold. This will be his first fall and winter where he is mobile. Last year, of course, he was bundled up.

The first picture is him hiding behind a cedar tree near our front gate. He was using the cedar to hide behind and we would pretend we couldn't see him. He would then poke his head around the tree with the biggest grin on his face. He even kept his hood up so his ears wouldn't get cold. Usually he hates anything on his head.

He went there when the dogs in the back yard started to bark. He wanted to see them and so he peeked through the gate and called them. Of course, they were right there and he was thrilled. He laughed and laughed, while they tried to lick his face between the boards. I guess they also looked funny to him because he couldn't see the whole dog.

When he got bored talking to the dogs we called him and he came running out to see us. He still had his mitts (with idiot strings) still on his hands . He also was quite proud of his new running shoes. I am amazed at how well he can move in them as they are a lot clunkier than his other shoes.

This was a day where he was just enjoying life and being outside. Even with his cold, he did not want to come in. The jacket kept him nice and warm and so we stayed out. We also went for a walk and he tried to go up to the neighbours house. When I wouldn't let him do that, I found out he has a real temper. Mean Grandpa!!! The nice thing is that it doesn't last long. Just a quick burst and it is over.

I am looking forward to when he can see his breath. That should be interesting.
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Fwd: Fw: Golden Compass

I sure won't be taking my grandkids to this one. It's good to know.....

> Here's a heads up for any of you with kids or grandkids.
> I'm usually pretty cool on other's beliefs, but his is just plain wrong!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fwd: This is universal!

Interview with God - absolutely beautiful . No matter what you believe, this is worth the 60 seconds it takes to watch.

Click on: The interview


"What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fwd: FW: The Spoon

I had topass this on. I received it from a good friend . Enjoy.

Subject: The Spoon

Makes you think twice about eating at restaurants!

The Spoon
A lesson on how consultants can make a difference in an organization. Last week, we took some friends to a new restaurant, 'Steve's Place,' and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket. It seemed a little strange. When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I observed that he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket. Then I looked around and saw that all the staff had spoons in their pockets. When the waiter came back to serve our soup I inquired, 'Why the spoon?' 'Well, 'he explained, the restaurant's owner hired Andersen Consulting to revamp all of our processes. After several months of analysis, they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil. It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour. If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift.' As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he replaced it with his spare. 'I'll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now.' I was impressed. I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the waiter's fly. Looking around, I saw that all of the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies. So, before he walked off, I asked the waiter, 'Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?' 'Oh, certainly!' Then he lowered his voice. 'Not everyone is so observant. That consulting firm I mentioned also learned that we can save time in the restroom. By tying this string to the tip of our you-know-what, we can pull it out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39%. I asked quietly, 'After you get it out, how do you put it back?' 'Well,' he whispered, 'I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon.'


This is one of my favourite spots in Jasper National Park. It is Athabasca Falls and is about 30 miles south of the Town of Jasper. The river is the Athabasca River and is fed by the Athabasca Glacier which is part of the Columbia Icefield. Lots of Athabascas there isn't there?

As you can see in the first picture , the water is fast moving and crashes over the rocks. It is so powerful that it has actually cut a channel on either side of the rock at the top of the falls. There is a lookout on the bank to the right of the rock where you can stand and look straight down the falls. The drop is probably 80-9o- feet and the water is boiling so much that the mist comes up and sprays you in the face. There is a barrier at the lookout to keep you from getting too close and going over the falls. You would think this would be common sense but every couple of years, you hear about somebody who has gone past the barrier and not come back alive.

The reason they don't come back can be seen in pictures 2 and 3. These "potholes" have been carved out of solid rock by the scouring action of the water. And scouring it is. The water in the second picture is churning around as if in a washing machine . It rises and falls about 12-16 feet every 20 seconds or so. The crashing against the walls produces a mist thick enough that the sun shining through creates a rainbow. he water doesn't just flow out the other end into the river either. Because of the shapes of these "potholes', the water sloshes around and anything caught up in it just keeps getting tossed around and around. Eventually it gets spits out the end and into the river. The log in the 'pothole" is jammed so tightly that it will not budge from that spot at all. I presume it will be there until it rots away

I remember there was a tourist who went over one year and the search for his body went on for the longest time. Two years later they found a body just downstream, where the river calms. It was the tourist. They identified him by what was left of his shirt. He was so battered and broken by being in the "pothole" for such a long time that he was unrecognizable

The third picture is an old "pothole" that only gets water in it from the very edge of the river. The channel of the river has changed over time and this "pothole" is getting cut off from the source. You can see how round and deep they are. Also notice the strata of the rock. Level upon level of rock squeezing itself together over the millenia. And smooth. It is as if someone has taken a piece of sand paper and spent long hours polishing the stone.

The fourth picture shows the opening where the river exits the rock and calms down. The exit is the black spot almost directly below the small break in the trees. At this point, there is a beautiful sand and rock beach. The water has stopped it roiling and crashing and is now moving fairly calmly. It is such a contrast from just upstream. With the mountain in the background, it is so tranquil that there is a spirituality about it. The magnificence of the place speaks and says what a great power has created such beauty.

I love going to this spot and just sitting or standing quietly while the peace sinks into me.
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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fwd: FW: 50's car video.

For those of us old enough to remember and for those of you to young to know what you missed …






  This is one video that really brings back my younger years. For those of you growing up in the 50's & 60's enjoy I'm sure you will even remember what you were doing when you hear some of the songs.







Saturday, November 17, 2007


Where does the time go? I was reminded today that I haven't posted in a week. I don't know why but the time has just flown by.

A lot of my time has been spent with Owen. Kristin was called in to substitute teach yesterday and so I went over to their house at 7:30 in the morning. When you have been off work on disability for as long as I have, this is early. I certainly didn't mind though. He normally sleeps until about 9:30 but yesterday he was wide awake at 8: 20.
He was a little surprised when I walked into his room instead of his mother or father, but not really bothered by it. He is certainly comfortable enough with other members of our family.

We went downstairs and he went to his highchair. He sat there quietly eating a piece of toast with peanut butter and a glass of milk while I made him two scrambled eggs. He loves scrambled eggs. He has this for breakfast just about every day.

After breakfast, it was a diaper change and get dressed, then into the basement to play. I took the paper down with me thinking I might be able to read it while he played with his toys. Ya, right! He expects me to play with him, which of course I FORCE myself to do. UH HUH! He has a ride-em toy that he loves. He hasn't quite figured out how to use his feet to make it go I push him on it. Yesterday, I taught him how to say "Push Grandpa". He hasn't yet perfected it but he is getting there.

Most of the morning was spent going from toy to toy to toy. He finds vwry innovative ways to play with some of his toys.

We did go out for a walk but it was pretty cold and I forgot his mitts. We weren't out long. We came home and he had a snack of old Cheddar. He loves strong cheese. We also had a few cookies and milk.

We did do something new . He has a ball that is about the size of a soccer ball, but light weight. Usually he picks it up and 'throws " it. I thought I would kick it to him and play keep away. After about one minute he had the idea and was starting to kick the ball around and trying to keep it away from me. I'll make a pro soccer player of him yet-- except for the faking injury. He also decided he would like to wrestle. This, too was a first time event.

At 12:00 he had lunch-spaghetti, milk, water, juice, yogurt. While I cleaned up he went to play in the dog kennel. Somehow he pinched his finger in the door when he was closing it. No damage but a bit of crying.Then downstairs for more play.

At 1:30 I was exhausted so I took him up for his nap. As soon as I closed the blind in his room, he knew he was going to bed. As placed him in the cry, he started to cry. He was raring to go. He held his little arms out to me with this "you're deserting me look" on his face. within a minute of me going into he basement, I could hear on the baby monitor that he was asleep. I had to wake him at 3:30 when Kristin got home. He was still very tired. As for me , I slept very very well last night.

I think I am enjoying him so much because when you are the parent and working, you miss a lot of the little things kids do as they grow and learn.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Owen loves music. Ever since he was born he has been exposed to music in some form. His mother sings to him every night when he goes to bed. They usually have music on in the house , even if it is just in the background. A lot of his toys play music when you push , pull or twist certain things on them.

When he comes to our house, he wants music. One of the guys I work with sent me a video of a hippo and a dog singing and dancing to the music "In the Jungle". Owen has watched this "youtube" video since he was three months old. And he wants it on every time he comes to our house. When it finishes, he wants it played again and again. I have probably heard that song 1000 times. Lately he has also started to watch "KOZO" singing "Can't Touch This". It has a very catchy beat and he stands and dances to it. You should see him wiggle his bum and hips. We end up crying we laugh so hard.

He has also started to play the recorder. Most of the schools here teach music and the one instrument schools can afford is the recorder. Both Kristin and Mrs. Moose have their own in the house. Kristin gave it to Owen one day
to play with and he started to blow. He does this very well. He'll walk around for along time just blowing to his little heart's content. Funnily enough when he started, he would be humming while he blew. It sounded hilarious. He must watch when other people play it because he is now starting to move his fingers while he blows. Next will come the piano lessons. He likes to play the keys on our piano. Surprisingly, he does this very gently and doesn't bang at all. He starts at one end and works his way to the other.

He also loves to be outside. I think this is because we go for walks whenever he is here. Now that it is getting colder, we put his hood up. He hates this. He does not like hats and doesn't seem to like anything on his head. We force him to wear the hood because he will need it when the temperature goes to -25C. I love this outfit on him. He seems to more of a little boy than a baby in it. Sometimes we forget he is only 14 months. When we put this on him he screamed blue murder until I put my coat on. Then he realized we were ging for a walk. Quieted right down.

The nice thing is, that most kids his age can make a toy out of anything. We have feather dusters in our houses . He has obviously watched Kristin clean , whether with a duster or a vacuum. He picks our duster from it's storage place. Making sure he has it positioned just right in his hand, he starts to dust. He pushes it on the floor all around the house, from room to room. The best part is that he does behind the refrigerator, under the stove and under the piano. He even does the baseboards. He actually does a pretty good job. I just hope he doesn't want to get paid.

As you can imagine, we do a lot of laughing when he is around.
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Friday, November 9, 2007


Nicest Prayer I Have Heard In A Long Time... Heavenly Father, Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children. Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man
who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student,
balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester. Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking
bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get
a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares . Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this
moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together . Heavenly Father,
remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.
Working for God on earth doesn't pay much......but His retirement plan is out
of this world

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Fwd: Our Veterans

Keep it moving, please,

It is the VETERAN , not the preacher,
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN , not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN , not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN , not the campus organizer,
Who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the VETERAN , not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN , not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the VETERAN ,
Who salutes the Flag,

It is the veteran ,
Who serves under the Flag,


I don't usually suggest that many emails be forwarded, but I'd be EXTREMELY proud if this one reached as many as possible. We can be very proud of our young men and women in the service no matter where they serve.
God Bless them all!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


As those of you who have read this blog for a while,you know this beautiful German Shepherd is my dog Kaito. He came to us about a year ago and was a security dog before that. He is very friendly and meets the standards for German German Shepherd dogs. He is most definitely a pure-bred.

Because he has only one descended testicle we had him checked by a vet. She said more than likely he would never be able to breed . She also suggested that if we got him neutered, it would be a good idea to remove the undescended testicle. Apparently they can become cancerous if not removed.

Today was the day. I took him to the vet this morning at 8:30. Surgery was supposed to be at 10:00. About 10:45 the vet phoned and said they could not get the undescended testicle unless they went in through the abdomen. This would cost a little more. I agreed , figuring, better to pay a little more than have him possibly get cancer. That can be a lot more expensive. I was supposed to pick him up this afternoon.

At approximately 12:30 the vet called. Kaito was alright, but the surgery had been interesting. While they were in the abdomen to remove the testicle, they also removed............ his uterus. It turns out he is a hermaphrodite. Both male and female. When you think about it, it is quite funny. He should be okay and I can pick him up tomorrow. They just want to keep him overnight for observation.

I just wonder what would have happened if we had bred him. Would he be a mother or a father?
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Thursday, November 1, 2007


Happy Halloween Everyone.

This Halloween was actually Owen's second. Last night he was dressed up as a kangaroo. I went over to his house to get pictures. In the first one, he is just running around the house in his costume. How he ever did this I don't know. With all the padding to fill it out, he looked about twice his normal size.

In the second picture, you can tell he is not so happy. He has a cold right now and is really stuffed up. He was starting to get a little fussy but not too badly. He wasn't quite sure what was going on.

Then it was time to go out. I told him to remember the magic words--Trick or treat, trick or treat. "Got it Grandpa."

Everyone thought he was really cute at the houses he went to and he came back with a good haul. He has enough candy to last him for weeks. Not that he eats a lot of candy ! His parents are very conscious of what he eats and how much. That is a good thing ! He probably won't remember much of this Halloween but at least we have the pictures to show him.
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