Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Scrapfest 2009: Away we go!

Spent the long weekend before last in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Mall of America for Scrapfest 2009 Sponsored by Archivers. Edwina accompanied me once again and may I just say that she is the worlds best traveling partner ever - seriously!

Lot's of new things and some more of our old favorites too...

It was quite the merry-go-round - but we had a blast!

Got lots of goodies... (tip of the iceberg folks, tip of the iceberg!)

And can't wait to go back again next year!

Stay tuned for more eye candy...

as the excitement builds for about thirty days of Scrapfest fun! (In an effort to post in this century - I'm gonna do a vendor a day.)

This could be the longest sustained finer than frog hair series ever!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Banned Books Week - no Firemen allowed

Did you know we were in the middle of Banned Books Week? It runs September 26th through October 3rd this year.

Read a bit more about it here on the American Library Association Web Site.

I shudder whenever I think about folks who have the ability to read who are kept from greater knowledge and understanding of themselves and the world by those who are too afraid of truth.

Let's not even get into all of those people, particularly women, who are banned from even learning to read. I've heard so many quotes and statistics lately dealing with the quality of life improvement for women and their children by simply teaching mothers to read.

Words do have power.

We must protect our freedoms, even if it means that occasionally content we do not agree with might be available.

These are dangerous times...

Celebrate your freedom to access the written word - Read a book this week! Maybe Fahrenheit 451? Or go crazy - Be brave - read one that is banned somewhere in the world!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Over the Falls in a barrel

As promised - the vacation within the vacation!

Took a detour on the way home from fishing to see Niagara Falls.

Enjoy some of the photos from our walking tour to see one of North America's finest natural wonders!

Our hotel was very nice and very reasonably priced - just a few steps from Casino Niagara and a hop, skip, and jump from the Falls!

Our Canadian neighbors have done a beautiful job landscaping the walking path along the falls.

You can see the proximity of our hotel using the Casino Niagara tower as a landmark.

The Skylon Tower - next trip I'd love to see the view from the top!

The American Falls

I was excited to see that the binocular stands for closer viewing are still there! I remember these from a trip here as a child. (I think the cost has gone up!)

The illumination station used to light the Falls after dark. Serious wattage here folks!

Me in front of the Canadian Falls: Horseshoe Falls

Be careful! Here be spiders! (Seriously, as we waited for dark when they lit the falls - out came the bugs and spiders to feast on them...The wrought iron provides awesome web building potential!)

Beautiful sunset!

A quick visit to Fallsview Casino

Last but not least - the Sky Wheel. So cool! Next time I'm on it!

One more stop for next time - even John couldn't finish a chocolate dipped in chocolate THAT big!

And no - I didn't really go over the Falls in a barrel - after all, only ten of the seventeen who've tried it survived to tell the tale! Who would have written this post!?

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's Canada, Eh!

We've just returned from another year of Canadian fishing wonderfulness. This year we visited Woodland Echoes Cottage Resort in Magnetawan, Ontario. As usual, we picked a week where "they weren't biting much" but since we just put 'em right back in again, I guess it's all the same in the end.

I've come a long way since the first year John took The Boy and I into the wilds of Quebec. That time we had a propane stove and refrigerator, a wood stove for heat, and there were no electrical outlets, but we did have light from the generator from dusk to midnight - special! And it was only about three hours to the nearest store that sold canned food and beverages - neat! Did I mentioned it rained every day that week? And yet I signed up for a second vacation filled with the same amenities the next year. During that second year I added amateur exterminator to my list of many skills...

Like I say - I've come a long way!

This place was a resort with many activities. Not only did we have power, we had satellite television (my new favorite show is Trailer Park Boys - don't judge!), a jacuzzi tub, fireplace, microwave, and wireless Internet. Yup. Welcome to the new millennium!

Enjoy this random photo montage prepared especially for my friends here in Bloglandia! Um, you may want to get a frosty beverage while they load!

big (enough) sky country!

tether-ball anyone?

lovely gardens all about the grounds

ah... sunset!

morning herbal tea on my Adirondack chair

meet my new guy for mani-pedies

I think the black queen is looking at me...

just dipping in my toes


can't get enough of these awesome skies

morning comes to the dock

steam boat tours

one of my loonie friends

an end to another gorgeous day

our neighbors the ducks

you should know by now that I can't resist a flower

hello Mr Bee!

Freddie Froggy

(don't ask John how many shots I took to get this one...)


more flora

Mr Blue Jay

seriously, I sat for about 30 minutes waiting to get this shot of the hummingbird, wondering if it would even come back! it is awful - but I'm claiming it anyway! he's right there in the upper left in front of the flower... really.

this more sensible model posed much better

brightly colored sails

and another brilliant sky!

Next up: the vacation within the vacation! Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My cup runneth empty

The Boy is fond of telling me lately that girls are the devil.

He is very bright - but confused. It is not girls that are the devil: coffee is the devil.

Now do not get me wrong here... I have spent many a morning worshiping at the altar of the percolator. Okay, afternoons and evenings too.

Straight up black no sugar that is the way I take it. But I will not turn my nose up at a nice latte or cappuccino or espresso or fancy flavored iced coffee or you know, anything with copious amounts of caffeine.

But I recently decided that I must give it up. If I get too much - it's not cool. Too little? Very not cool.

I did a fast last spring and actually became physically ill from lack of caffeine. Coupled with the migraines I went through you would think I'd have stayed off the junk.

But no.

I put that monkey right up there on my back again. Tight grip too, I'll tell you. Apparently, I am not capable of being a social caffeine indulger. It's like heroin for me - just a little taste and it's over with.

So I gave it up. One more time.

No coffee, no diet coke, no ice tea, not even Excedrin.

Not even the fake unleaded kind.

I've been clean for about three weeks. Is there a chip for that? For that matter is there an entire 12 step program?

Let me know.

I can still go to Starbucks for the Indulgent Chocolate Cookies right? And Lemon Loaf?

And maybe a decaf latte.

Someone better call my sponsor, just in case.