Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Some Of The Crabs Have Been Named

Cam helped me name some of the Crabs. Some posed for photos today.
(you can click on any photo to see it larger)

The un-named crab looks a lot like Crabby Jack, yet it is bigger.

Crabby Jack




Short for Chupicabra

Like I said, "Cam helped."

Video Of The Crabs Playin With Water and Sponges
Its funny how Chupi climbs on Conch who is Much Smaller

The Crabitat Gets A Facelift
(there is another new post or two below this)

We now have 6 Hermit Crabs. Crusty did not survive his molting (poor thing). We now have old Crabby Jack still, and we have added a really little one called Sebastian (he has a really unique shell), and the rest are still un-named. I believe the other crabs will be named Sponge Bob Square Pants Characters. If you have any ideas for names, please put them in comments.
Over the next couple of days I will try to get photos of the crabs

The new hamster is yet un-named too. She is all black with white paws. Remember the other Hamster is Kiki...... What do you think we should name the new black friend of Kiki?

This is a video of Sebastian Strolling around the Habitat

Now I Have Seen Everything!

(click on any picture to see it larger)

On Tuesday, Carl and I decided to take a late afternoon drive to Rama Casino in Orillia. We drove the scenic way (Up Hwy 48 to Hwy 12 and North from there).

We went up and had dinner at the buffet and played the slots for a few hours. We didn't win but we played our money for a long time.

On the way home we stopped at a gas station (the gas was 103 a litre there) and I noticed this machine! Talk about fast food!

Its a pop machine that has been converted into an automatic dew worm dispenser. Now you can go to the local pop machine to get your worms for fishing! Someone had their thinking cap on straight! Wish I had of thought of it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sunshine and Lollipops

Well I think we have all decompressed following the emotional upset of last week.
I saw people I haven't seen for years.
We were surprised by friends from work, and friends from long past.

It is always so great to see so many people come for a funeral viewing. The atmosphere is sad, but the talking makes it better.

It is these days....the after ones where I sit and reflect upon the blessings of those few days, and I think, "Why is it that we can never quite find enough time in the year to keep in touch with all these people?"

I don't know if it is like this in other people's lives, but it seems that these days we only see a lot of our friends and relatives at funerals, baby showers, wedding showers or weddings.
The greeting cards pass between us at the significant times, but our lives just seem to be too full for the social interaction............Or is it that we are lazy?
I ponder this often.

I am sure it is the Only Child in me that makes me wish to keep all the contacts fresh and close. Maybe I am just a dreamer.

I am not saying that anyone is to blame for the way it is. I just wish I could see everyone often. I am sure that this blog fulfills something of the dream. It all started so I could share with my friends and family at a time I found it hard to communicate verbally. And now it is like my weird visual telephone.

I rarely speak on the phone any more. I email.....and blog.
In the old days you couldn't get me off the phone. Now I hiss at it when it rings, "Damn Telemarketers!"
Its funny how some media became so much easier on the psyche.

My family is all email and MSN savvy. I like the visual of messaging.
We use many forms of messaging.
We play Pogo around here. Pogo is a games site. Card games and word games and puzzles that are free. There is a live chat in each game room so you can talk to your friends and family while playing. My friend Pauline and I Pogo and chat as pretty much our only form of communication.

I sometimes sit in and watch my Parents play Gin, or play with them, and we gab about the day.

Carl and I even play Pogo together. That is kinda funny. Carl and I used to sit in the same room and play on two computers-a game together.

If you Pogo you can add me to your friends list. I am witchamy9. Send me a Pogomail. I am usually on around 11PM EST. Sometimes I come on in the day. Do you Pogo? If so, which is your favourite game?

So back to Sunshine and Lollipops. I have taken quite a tangent here.
I am seeing sunshine, but there is a cool wind here.

The lollipops will be the feeling if we get a bit warmer days so I can hang out -outside more.
I am looking forward to blogging from the grotto via my wireless and laptop.

Tuesday morning Carl and I are going to Home Depot to get supplies. Carl cleaned out the garage and is taking on the task of building storage shelves. Woo Hoo!
He found some plans on the net.
We also are going to price out Bath enclosures. Time to redo the area around the tub. Not what I really wanted to do, but I think we have a moisture problem behind the tiles which needs our attention. It is always something.

Do you know how many bikes we have outgrown that were in the garage? Oh 5.
One is really tiny. Must have been the second bike Alex had. A couple Cam has outgrown and wore out. And one is Carl's from high school (with skinny tires).
Mom and Dad gave Carl and I bikes a few years ago, so we don't need the old ones. And both Al and Cam have new bikes.
We had to rent a storage locker to put boxes in while Carl makes the shelves. Twenty-four years of stuff and documents takes up a lot of tote boxes. There are flutter boards in there that I had since I was like 5yrs old as well. A few toboggans, skis, carpet, and so much more!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Eulogy- The words I said.

Carl and Roland

Roland William Tucker

We all can say that Roland was a modest and quiet man. He loved a great joke, and he had a wonderful sense of humour, and he was a man who smiled with his eyes.

If you worked with him you would say he was a great man, a fair man, and never harsh. But he also never pretended everything was ok with work output or quality if it wasn’t. He would be gracious when he had to point out someone’s work needed attention or his guys’ needed to focus more on the task. And he did it so respectfully for 38 years, and all who worked with him and under him were happy to do their best.

They followed by example and respected him greatly. And they all say his was so talented. The best lead hand, the best brake operator and such a wonderful machinist. When it came to anything mechanical -this man was an artist, and instinctive. And he was quiet, and he was funny, and he made the guys feel like they mattered.

Every man who knew him would agree he respected the men in his life so much. And he made the guys feel so welcome. His Brothers and his Son, Son-in-laws, Brother-in-laws and Nephews were all treated the same, and felt like they were accepted into Roland’s brotherhood. And you knew you were in the brotherhood if you were called Buddy, or Sonny Boy, and you got the secret handshake.

Many thought they were the only ones who were given it, yet the story is told over and over by many folks who did it with him.

So today we are gonna do that handshake one last time. As a tribute to Roland. Take your right hand and prepare to shake your neighbours hand. Dont do it yet until I count to three. When you shake, you each scratch the palm of your shake mate with these two fingers.

Ready?....ok lets try the shake. And we will say, “To Roland” as we shake. On the count of three: TO ROLAND!

All the women saw a man who loved to see his wife and daughter happy, and would be on the sidelines cheering them on, and supporting them for whatever they wanted to do or try. He really enjoyed living vicariously through his family. A really balanced and supportive way to be, to never hold anyone back from their dreams.

A man who enjoyed simplicity.

Roland William Tucker was born June 3rd 1950. He was 56 years old when his life was taken away from us so suddenly.

Alma says it is not for us to question when a loved one dies, but to accept when it is your time to go, it is your time.

We are much to small to understand the higher purpose of it all.

When Roland was about 12 his family moved to settle in Ontario.

Those were quite adventurous times. Roland was the middle child of three Sons born to Lillian and Bill Tucker. Clyde the oldest, then Roland and followed by Carl. After Bill got good work in Ontario he made a quick trip back to Newfoundland to fetch the family.

Most of you know Roland as modest and unassuming man...but if you had of asked his Dad if he was quiet on that trip, he would have looked at you funny as he rubbed the big lump upon his head.

Well it seems that Clyde and his sidekick Roland got to pingin' rocks out the side window of the Sedan. Laughin' and carrying on as they watched the chunks of stone skipping off the banks of the highway.

But as all fun has it, misfortune would strike, and one rock with a mind of its own stuck the window and ricocheted off the glass right into their Father’s head.

There are three versions of who actually was at fault that day. Three versions from those three innocent lads in the back seat. But Bill sure knew one thing... Pull over: and each culprit was equidistant to one swooping back swing of Father’s arm. SMACK! Of course, Carl was 5 at the time and he found a great source of entertainment watching his brothers get in trouble all the time. Needless to say Clyde and Roland made it pretty clear to Carl which behaviors would get their Dad riled, so Carl learn to just not do them.

Even in those days when Roland was a kid it was easy to see what kind of soul he was. He found his greatest comfort around home and family.

He was a home-body and never went in for frivolity.

And he was stubborn. If Roland got in his mind that he wanted to do something, there was no changing his mind.

This became really noticeable when he was adamant about not returning to school and wanting to go out to work at a young age.

After a few odd jobs Roland embarked upon his career at Viral Metal at the age of 17 in 1966.

And with that job came his desire for a nice car. So he purchased his first mean machine. And this quiet modest man who seemed so interested in taking his grand ole time all these recent years actually hid the real speed demon within (only from the older folks in his life). Guys like Freeman can attest to Roland's love of fast cars, speeding and tailgating...."just cuz"

When Roland was 16 he met this lovely woman named Alma who arrived with her Brother David and their Dad, from Newfoundland, to find work. They spent some time at Roland’s Parents home while they got themselves settled.

By age 18 Roland was compelling everyone to prepare for a July 20th, 1968 wedding to Alma. Once he decided to Marry, he wanted it done quick, with as little fuss as possible. And there was no swayin' the man once that decision was made. Again, Once Roland put his mind to something he would be determined to see it through, and only when the goal was met would he be satisfied.

In April, 1969 Roland and Alma had their first child Joanne, and in March, 1975 they had their Son Robert. Their children were their pride and joy. With parenting, Roland faced uncertainty, fear and challenges to being a new Dad, and never hesitated to ask for help or advice from his Parents, in his new world of parenting.

As time progressed Roland and Alma bought their first home in Oshawa. They were involved in a great Parish out there and made some great friends while living in the neighbourhood.

Guys like Jim Tilly will attest to Roland being the biggest practical joker. You could compare Jim and Roland to the characters of 'Kenny vs Spenny'. Two guys in their thirties on journey of oneupmanship. The competition to see who could pull the wildest prank.

After years of prank abuse from getting his steering wheel greased, or finding his bed short sheeted, or coming home from holidays to find dried split peas covering their sheets after an exhausting trip, Jim thought he finally got the better plan.

One Christmas Roland put out a great wreath on the door, and had some really nice lights outside the house. Jim took the wreath in secret and put it on his own front door for a lark. And over the week the Christmas light bulbs went missing one or two at a time.

One day when they were visiting Roland, Roland was carrying on about how the neighbourhood was goin' to pot. Someone had stole his wreath and wrecked his lights. Jim never swayed. He consoled his buddy. Soon it was time for Roland and Alma to come over to Jim's. They walked over for their visit commenting on Jim’s lovely wreath.

I can imagine Roland saying something like, “Yes Buddy, that’s some lovely wreath, alot like the one we had got up. You better be careful cuz yours might be next!”

For some reason, that night Roland never clued in that lovely wreath was actually his, which was even more funny.

There came a time when Roland and Alma decided to look for a larger home with a bigger yard. They found the lovely home they have today in West Rouge. As their children grew up exciting times evolved. Roland and Alma’s daughter Joanne was the first Tucker grandchild to ever go to College, and Roland was so proud and happy to be able to send her. He supported her every step of the way. He built her a little room for her to start her fashion design business and outfitted her with all her needs to flourish with. Roland and Alma have been so very proud of her talent and accomplishments.

Soon, Robert would grow up and follow with an apprenticeship in auto mechanics trade. Roland loved to be able ponder mechanical problems with Robert and watch Robert’s talents grow until Robert became a great mechanic, as Roland had done with Alma’s little brother Freeman, all the years before.

There was a very profound moment in Roland’s life though. Something that drew up a blessed light from within this man, for which he glowed. It became a time where we all saw the child in him surface and shine over him, and there was a joy so dense within him that there were no words to describe it. Roland could only show everyone with his actions. On the day when Alyssa, his first grandchild came into this world, Roland was filled with another love which radiated out of every pour.

There is a peace that comes to a man when he has grandchildren. It is his chance to give his grandchildren his soul. Older and wiser, and less worried about providing and shuffling work and home, the man can now dedicate so much energy to being a grandfather. There was just no way to do that logistically in the years before: just as a father.

And when Joanne had Emily, Her little one set Roland up to see for himself both of his children were settled, and it was now his job to just enjoy these lovely grandchildren. And know he never had to worry about his own kids, for they were all grown up.

Roland did not need much in his life to feel satisfied. All he wanted was to enjoy his wife’s company, and he had that. A nice home to putter around in, and he had that. And to see his children successful and happy, and he had that. He was a man that did his job well, for the sake of a job well done, and he was satisfied with that.

Others may not have understood why he wasn’t outgoing, or why he didn’t aspire to be the life of the party, or why he wasn’t compelled to visit folks all the time..... and he never felt the need to explain himself for that. He was truly happy and one of the most satisfied people we all know. He was a man with true peace.

A measure of a man’s accomplishments is really not how many trophies are on his mantle or how many times he went to Florida, or how many badges on his sleeve or how many times he got new carpet, or whether he was promoted alot at work.

It really is: the effect his truth had on his fellow man, and when he passed was he truly happy and truly satisfied? By the numbers of people at the visitation last night and the services today it is proof a quiet man effects many people, even when he thinks he is really invisible.

Sometimes we lose site of what it is like to be truly happy. Perhaps it is because our expectations in life are way too high, and the kind of happiness we imagine we are striving for is really a fantasy we will never attain, and we travel too tough a road to try to attain it, yet never do.

If we must take away a lesson from Roland’s life, his ethics, and his love ..we have to take this: He set simple, attainable goals. He never expected ANYTHING, and he was happy to do his work well, be in the presence of his wife, and to ensure his children were happy, and to be comforted by home life, and he expressed true joy from being a grandparent.. because he could see home and family solid and without change every day, he was truly satisfied. He is proof positive that happiness is what YOU make it and you must be the one to feed it and sustain it. And if you suddenly pass away.... living by this example would ensure you died in the emotional presence you always dreamed of.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

She Said She Has Problems With Long Weekends

This is what my Sister-in-law Alma told us as we sat in her living room Monday night, where the family gathered for comfort. It seems every significant death has happened on Alma's long weekends.
Suddenly late this morning Carl's Brother Roland died.

Right now we are waiting for normal business to begin tomorrow so the funeral arrangements can be finalized.

Carl is the youngest of three sons. His oldest Brother Clyde moved to Newfoundland in the fall for retirement, Roland the middle brother has been off work as long as me on medical leave from Arthritis and other issues.

Roland died in his sleep this morning.

Yesterday he had a great holiday celebration with his granddaughter and played with fireworks sparklers in the front garden, and they feasted on Swiss Chalet.

This evening we all sat together talking about what "was".

Roland was a quiet man.
He worked for the same company for 38yrs.
He was a very talented machinist.
Father of two.
Grandfather of two.
He and Alma married when he was 18yrs old. They have been married 39yrs.

He was 56.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My History As A Bird-Lundy

Recently I created two shadow boxes, for my Dad, of the coins and stamps that are created in our name.

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you may remember that I spoke of The Children of Peace who settled in our region in the late 1700's here in Canada's York Territory (The Toronto and surrounding areas).

Our family started out in Canada with these pioneers. Then our Lundys moved to Burks Falls to seek more land. The connections and marriages in that area would create the two direct descendants who are the only ones left of this particular line, left in Ontario today. Dad and me.

My Dad has 3 cousins in Michigan and Hawaii.

Before the trip to The New World, the Lundy's had a fascinating past. I do not know it all, but I will tell what I understand.
The Lundys share the tartan of the Lyon clan. The name is broken down in a few ways. Lundy, Lund, Lundi, and Lun. The names changed depending on what place the families settled in Ireland, Scotland, or England, or Wales and France. Those with the full name Lundy passed through Scotland and settled on the Island of Lund (known today as Lundy island). The name means Puffin. Those that kept the Y on the end of the name saught the approval of the Scottish and British subjects, yet settled on British favor, and only then were they accepted into the Lyon clan.( I don't know the exact marriage that did this)

Lundy Island got its name when those Lundy's settled there and took the Island in the name of England as the Knights Templar. This was not a known fact to us till recently, and I find it very interesting as the Knights Templar are intertwined with The Masonic Order, a fellowship in which my Father is a Past Master, and active member of.

The Island contained settlement farms. But the income and commerce of the Island has always been two things. Coins and Stamps. The shadow boxes below contain collectors stamps and a coin from the 1920s and 50s.

Today, one can take a ferry several times a day from the Port of Devon to the Island during the good weather months, but in the winter the Island is only accessible by helicopter once a week.

Stamps and coins are still produced on the Island, and there are only a few permanent families on the Island now.

(you can click on any photo to make it larger)

The Lundy Coin
with the puffin on it.

The Puffin below is painted on Walrus Tusk
which has been extracted and used
by an Eskimo for his art.
These ivory pieces are excavated by Eskimos
from the areas of the North West Territories and Alaska
where the snow and ice is receding to reveal the claim.

The 1954 First Day Editions
The Lundy Island Millinary Stamp Collection

Monday, May 14, 2007

Baby Lucas Is Growing Up!

You may remember that on October 23rd, 2007
We had a surprise, when Becky had her baby a month early!
And with a bit of a shock baby Lucas came in to this world.

On Saturday I snapped these pictures of Lucas visiting Grandma Charlotte
with an early Mother's Day greeting for her.

You would not know he was a premature baby, would you!
Cute Huh!
(he looks like his Dad, Mike)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Weekend


It has been a relaxing Mother's Day Weekend.
I am feeling quite tired from the diet.....but I am not cheating!

I built two big soups: chicken, and lean beef with vegetables.

I got to see baby Lucas, and I will show pics of him tomorrow.
Today for Green Thumb Sunday I want to show you a few pictures I took on Saturday which turned out awesome, by fluke!

I like photography, but my idea of the perfect shot is the accident among hundreds of photos.
If you are just a so-so photographer, you can be awesome with volume!

Here is the testament to that!:

Bleeding Heart

Arrow-Tipped Tulips

Yellow Varigated Tulip

This one is my favourite shot!
Feathered Petals
Feather Red

Speckled Violet

Love this one too!
Rosey Straw Flower.
White Peone
Short White Mountain Iris

Bleeding Heart


Cascade Of Bleeding Heart

Indigo Violets

Two Lion's Head Narcissus