Sunday, June 29, 2008

I Had A Great 45th Birthday
We Introduce "Maulder"
And We Catch A Rainbow And A Rose In Their Splendor

So here is the newest felted creation. Maulder. Cam named him.
He is a free-standing alien who defies all odds of balance an can stand up with his very sway back!
He has no wires inside him. He is strictly all felted.
So far, all the creations I have made are only stabilized by the felting process itself.
Maulder took about 25hrs of work.

I have one set of felts to finish, then I am putting the block of them up on ebay.
Please keep coming back this week to see when the website debuts.
Please come to the site and look around when I get it all running.

I need lots of feedback on the look and the ease of use of it etc.
So you all can help me out by giving me feedback and telling your friends about me.

Alex came this weekend for my Birthday, and for a stag the guys were supposed to go to.
He studied the needle felting stuff and has told me that this summer he will make me an official brand and he will take the time to revamp my dot com and dot ca websites to really enhance the sale of the needle felted creations.
He spent some time online looking at other needle felting creations for sale or auction, and he is quite interested in my stuff. He thinks this might fly.

Like him, I really didn't know the interest folks would have in this hobby of mine.
I am getting tons of feedback on facebook and on the blog and in emails about my photos of my work. So I am really excited about this.

Saturday Dad came up for my Birthday. Mom wasn't feeling well, so she stayed home.

My Dad and Al

Cheers Cam!

Al, Carl and Dad

Dad, Carl and Cam

Me and Al

Me lookin all 45!

A lovely rainbow over the park

Tea Rose Out Front

This week we have also been very busy prepping two rooms to take on student boarders in the fall. Seems like all of our spare time has gone into painting and recarpeting and furnishing the rooms.
One is taken, and the girl is the daughter of an old friend of mine, and we hope the second room will be taken this week.
It is really exciting taking in the students. They are all Seneca at King, or Seneca at York Students or York Students who are looking.....
So if you have a kid going to these schools this fall and they are looking for off-campus housing...the Tucker Inn is in business! LOL
The great thing about our town is we have all the stuff the big city has but it costs less and it is safer here. Plus we have a direct bus to Seneca at York University and a quick transit to Seneca at King from the bus stn right near our home. Plus our home is walking distance to the big mall, movie theatre and all the good restaurants.
I can walk to everything within three min of our home. That is the blessing of being on the edge of a town surrounded by farmland. It is funny to look up the road and see the Costco, and a few feet from it three huge barn silos! We have a huge super movie theatre called Silver City. It is surrounded by fields.
The downfall of the smaller town life is you can look up the road and see modern stores and shops of all kinds and at certain times of the summer if you take a deep breath you can smell the sheep manure on the farm fields just behind all that.
Guess it still smells better than city pollution.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Weirdness Of Blogging

Once in a while bloggers get comments from other bloggers asking if they can exchange links.
This is a common courtesy and is done so out of respect for what each person is writing about.

But unfortunately this fellow who wanted to link has decided to write about how a person can make money from blogging. They are journaling about how they are/will be successful blogging for money.

It is really hard to take the word of a person who is basically making an experiment out of blogging, then writing like they are an authority on the subject.

And basically in his blog he cuts up folks who journal for pleasure. And in the next breath says we need to be polite.

Yep and he is Canadian.
A bit embarrassing to admit a fellow Canadian has just "bladed" all the folks he wants to link to him.

I thought about letting his comment in on the comment line so folks could go check him out, but I am a bit concerned about the second blog on his profile, he may be setting it up to mess up folks with pop-ups and stuff.

Blogging is a journal for lots of us. It is about sharing with whoever is important to you.
It is not for one blogger to decide if other bloggers have a worthiness, and then speak slanted about them if they don't.

I just wonder how long his little experiment, of being the expert blogger of less than one month, will take to fizzle out...........

If I was to give advice about Blogging for money.......
Ask folks who actually make a real living at it, how much work that living is.
Those I know who make a living at it work hard. Very hard at what they do. They are a constant presence on the net, and they are always busy writing.
In this world you cannot get something for nothing. Everything takes work. It isn't luck.
There are no successful get rich quick schemes. Everything requires effort.

For those that use this tool for networking in whatever capacity....I salute you for bringing a bit of your knowledge to the bloggosphere.
My life is enriched by learning from others.
For those who wish to try to climb on everyone's back to get a free ride......good luck with that. And I suggest in the climb you better not talk trash about the person holding you up, or you may just fall.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lucas Has A Baby Sister!

At 2:14AM this morning Becky and Mike Delivered their second child Emily.
7lbs, 7oz

Emily tried to come about a month or so ago. Becky had a leak in the placenta. But it healed up and she has kept her in almost to term, but while on rest.
She was scheduled for a C section on Friday the 26th, but I guess she started labour before her date. Her due date was close to my birthday on the 29th.(mine is the 28th)

Mike says Emily has great lungs and was heard down the halls!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Great Father's Day, A Really Nice Anniversary Day, And A Surprise Visit From Someone From "The Old Neighbourhood"

We did our Father's Day Celebration on Saturday. This was so Al and Amber could come from Peterborough to see my parents and us. I was excited for them, as they have a car now. Yep, my oldest baby is now paying his own insurance as a couple with Amber. (sniff, sniff) All grown up and almost completely independent of Mom and Dad now!

Dad hurt his back, so it was iffy if Mom and Dad could make it up this week, but he improved each day and wanted to come up to visit more than his sore back would bother him, so they drove up from the city.

I made flattened chicken again (click the link for the recipe from a past post), which is a low carb type of Cordon Bleu, with roasted potatoes, salad, fruit and a low carb cake with fruit and yogurt frosting. It was really good and we had a great visit. It was really awesome that none of the kids had to work on the weekend so we all got to be present for the family dinner.

Sunday was our wedding anniversary so read on about that too.

Dad, Mom, Alex and Amber

Me, Carl, and Cam

Amber and Me

June 15th Was Our 24th Wedding Anniversary!

24 years has gone by very quickly. Our Sons are men now, and we are older now, and our parents are older now, but it seems like yesterday........the day we had our Wedding.

It is always a time to reminisce and think about all we have gotten to do. We know our life has been very fortunate, and we have had opportunities as a couple, that others never got. We really appreciate all we have gotten this far.
It has never been perfect. But in the scope of life, we have never had much complaints about how it has panned out.

Now we look at our kids and see them building their life success, and it is really amazing to watch these Men make their way through life as adults now. It is really cool that through our kids we now have a legacy!

Next year is our 25th anniversary. We only share the "big ones" with friends and family. Other years we just enjoy the day without a lot of hoopla.

This anniversary we had a really neat experience.

The Old Neighbourhood Remembered

We have decided to rent out two rooms to College/University students. Since the kids have grown up there is virtually one whole floor, with three bedrooms on it, that no one uses in our home. So we figured we might as well not waste them. So we have been showing the rooms and answering inquiries for the rooms we posted on the student housing website for the two schools in close proximity to our community. Seneca College King and York Campuses, and York University Campus.

We live in a small town in the countryside North of Toronto. Carl and I grew up in a suburb of Toronto called Scarborough. In the past I have written in here about my life in Toronto and a bit about school and stuff.

Well yesterday a little bit of my childhood greeted me by surprise, in a family who came to look at the rooms. The girl who is interested in one of the rooms came with her family and best friend to see our place. Surprise, surprise, her Mom(Colleen) went to school with me in elementary school and high school! This is a miracle in itself. They live in a different city now, and Toronto's population has grown from our day at around 100 thousand people to 5 million people today. So the chances of my rural town(a rural poplulation of 75 thousand) having folks come and look around here from the old neighbourhood is still low.

When I was a kid I attended two different elementary schools. From kindergarten to grade 2 I went to John A. Leslie PS, and from grade 3 to 8 I attended Chine Drive PS. Us kids would tell you these two schools were the BEST in all of Scarborough. Each school was a rival of the other, but our schools got to do way more activities than the other schools ever did. Chine was really tiny, and got an experimental scholastic program because it was so small. John A. Leslie had a very very advanced music program and a lot of sports and it was a huge school. The two schools feeder boundaries were only divided by one main road. If you lived on the North side of Kingston Road you went to John A. Leslie, and if you lived on the south side of Kingston Road you went to Chine Drive. Chine drive was built in 1957, and John A. Leslie is much older than that, because my Mom went to John A. Leslie school in the '40s when she was a kid!

My cousin Ian and I are only a few weeks different in age. I remember Colleen was in his grade 1 class with Mrs Coulson as their teacher. Mrs Coulson was even my Mom's grade 1 teacher, so she was quite old when I was going to school.

Me In High School.....Grade 11

Because I went to both of these elementary schools when I was young, I had an advantage of knowing a great number of kids from the two schools who all ended up at the same high school (R.H. King CI). I went to the same elementary school as my Mom, I went to the same High School as both of my Parents and my Grandfather. Our neighbourhood had all really good kids. Our families were the first group of parents to not have to go to war, and most of us had immigrant parents who's families migrated to Canada post WWI or WWII. We never had much in the way of material things. Our parents were all young and making ends meet, living the dreams of owning their own homes and hopefully giving their kids everything they never had. We lived in a time when Canada really was experiencing world life in peace. We had simple fun, and families in the old neighbourhood were really close, and friendly.

My grandparents lived in a big house on the "main drag" right between the two school areas. So their home was walking distance from everywhere in our little world. My grandfather was born on that street. His parents immigrated from England. My Grandmother immigrated from the US via England. My Dad lived in the next school territory over, and his family immigrated from England.

Our neighbourhood was the United Nations of Life. It was made up of folks from Germany, Poland, Italy, Greece and Macedonia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Belgium, Spain, Japan, Romania, Estonia, China and Hong Kong, Portugal, Jamaica, Korea, Austria, The Ukraine, and Czechoslovakia. Just to name the countries from where the kids I knew personally, came from. We never knew prejudice because we were never farther than a 3rd generation away from being an immigrant family, and most were 1st generation immigrants. We were the epitome of what Canada really is. A "salad bowl" community of folks from different lands who keep their own language and culture while at the same time working to be citizens of Canada. Proud Canadians we all are. Plus proud of where our roots come from, and proud of our neighbour's roots too.

I know Canadians are well respected throughout the world for this life of ours. We really really enjoy the fact that everyone in our country is culture rich with heritage from other places. Our mix of folks is fantastic for everyone to learn about life in other places, and we get exposed to the world right in our little neighbourhoods.
One house would have amazing gardens, the next house may have a deck with grape vines growing up a terrace and over your head, the next house might have a Scottish bag pipe player, the next house may be one that smells of amazing Greek cooking, or be a big Italian family with tons and tons of kids, and some folks may stand proud, tattooed on their forearm having survived the Holocaust. All of our famlies moving foreward living the North American Dream.

Our parents dreams of a great life here in Canada reflected upon all of us kids. We were happy kids without a care in the world. Free to play and have fun. While our parents worked hard and built their pride as their families grew, and they got their homes, and had good jobs as tradesmen...................... The very average middle class life for us here in Canada.

We were all "good" kids. So when someone from the old neighbourhood walked through my door on Sunday. All of the great memories of our really fantastic childhood came flooding back. We chatted about all the kids we have kept in touch with over the years, and it felt really really good. Colleen was from a crowd of girls I knew from "the block". In our block I had a set of first cousins and two sets of third cousins and in the next block one second cousin, which was pretty typical from that time. Families stayed in neighbourhoods close to each other. Not everyone had a car, so you wanted to be walking distance from everyone. Even our parents knew each other, as our folks volunteered at kids groups like Brownies, Girl Guides and Scouts, plus teams like hockey, Lacrosse, and Baseball. My Dad was one of the neighbourhood Cops, so everyone wanted to know which house was ours, just in case there was an emergency and they needed help. Cuz there almost always was more that one Cop at our home at any given day, as police cars would stop by day and night to come for their coffee break.

It was unheard of that anyone would go to a restaurant and waste money on a coffee when a Cop's house in a neighbourhood they were patrolling would always have an open door policy for a coffee and a snack.

Those were truly different times. We rarely would go to a restaurant in those days. Restaurants and movies were real luxuries. If you had a TV it was a luxury, and if your family had a stereo you were rich! When we were kids telephones were a luxury too. We take for granted now all of the material things like cell phones, digital TV, DVDs and MP3s and getting to go to College or University. Most of our parents never graduated high school, and a lot of our parents had to learn English as adults so they could get work here in Canada. All they dreamed about was making sure their kids got a good education and they would get the opportunity for College or University they never had. A lot of Moms were stay-at-home in those days, and if a Mom worked someone in the neighbourhood would mind their kids for free.

When I get to meet kids from the old neighbourhood this is the stuff I reflect upon. Memories of how much our parents sacrificed and saved so we could grow up in good homes and get to live "The Dream". I get so filled with good thoughts from this reflection.........

Today has been a truly awesome day. Thanks for the Memories Colleen, and it would be so great to have your daughter with us this school year!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy International Web Bloggers' Day!

International Weblogger's Day 2008

It is finally here! Ode to the joy of bouncing around my cube with elation because our Geekdom is being recognized once again! Whooot!

I think this is my 4th yr participating in the celebration.
I had really hoped to do something spectacular this year, but alas the timing for planning was all wrong for me this time.

Rio has put some amazing little information tidbits about how the blogging community has evolved, plus news related to blogging on the official InWeDay website. Please click on the site and read his front page, then go to the tab for participants. Click on each participant to read what they have put down on their blogs to honour today.

For me, honouring today is still about the innovations and trends in blogging and how amazing a communication tool it is. I travel the world each day as I surf through my blogger friends' posts from the far corners of the world.

Oh and as a note for the regulars. Carl and I have been busy this week. We are prepping the house to take two student boarders in this fall, and the redecorating and reorganizing has taken longer than I thought. So, I will delay the bidding for the Miniature Felted Animals for a few days. Check the previous posts so you can see these lovely little collectibles.

Please come back each day this week to see new posts. A few will have new pics of new items that will be put on Ebay for auction.


The first InWeDay I participated in was 2006. Most of the bloggers I read regularly came from the list in that year. I went through every listed blog and read them, and surfed around as much as I could on the blogger roll, and a few blog traffic generator sites. I made a comment to each person, even if I had to write in another language.......AND I COULD DO THAT, THANKS TO AMAZING TOOLS LIKE BABELFISH. I wrote my piece and cut and pasted it into the tool and the tool would generate to the best of its ability a translation of my work. I am sure it sounded like some foreigner was trying to speak the language of choice to them, and I didn't fool them a bit LOL.

I started blogging at a time I was unable to speak. The journals helped me tell my family what was going on in our world, and I didn't have to dwell on my disability at the time, and explain away the reasons I could not talk to them on the phone.

My lifestyle has changed since I started blogging too.
Once I was able to speak again, I never went back to telephone communicating. I rarely pick up the land line any more.

Noticed I said land line. For good reason too. I rarely talk on any phone but this year my cell phone is quite busy following family and friends around through their day on TWITTER. I even have a widget for twitter here folks who come to the blog can see what I am doing in the land of Tweeting. You can follow me on Twitter. I am WitchAmy.

The new medium for blogging via your mobile phone has changed our whole familie's life. We tweet most days and we can follow our friends and family through their day. We can find out the newest funny thing at work, or the new face the cat can make, or where someone is going for coffee. In the mobile blogging I was able to learn that Amber was in the deep bush collecting bear fur samples for DNA evaluation in real time to when she was there! IN THE DEEP FORESTS WHERE THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A TELEPHONE LINE! How cool is that!

I learned in real time when my Son had finally finished his first big integration on his laptop, and how the first days at work went for him in his internship.

The most amazing thing about the mobile blogging is there is a very select group of folks who are dedicated enough to tweeting, and it is really nice to know that all geeks don't think alike. We are not some cookie cutter group of nerds who all look the same, or act the same or view the same. I thought though that the group was sooo unique that I would never make any friends on there. But Voila! Folks looked at keywords and my profile and wanted to take a look! Folks saw photos I posted, and they showed an interest in my personal hobby, and now they follow my day on their computers or cell phones.

In my right margin you will see a group of folks that have blogs I read. These folks are the ORIGINAL InWeDay participants, and they are very international.
In the InWeDay Official site there is a list of the latest participants for 2008.
Wow! .....2008
Lots of us are on there.

So if you haven't guessed it, this blogging stuff is all about communication. Free world speech, in which one can share a tidbit, or lie to their heart's content, or teach us something we didn't know. We can have an opinion or post others' opinions or just try to bridge the gaps of the world by being friendly evangelists for our home, country, and culture.

I ablsolutley love reading about other folks pride in their homeland. I enjoy with all of my imagination looking at photos other people have taken, and I am in awe of videos folks do, or the interesting hobbies other folks have.

I have learned how to organically grow my plants, I shared quotes from Robert Kennedy Jr in real time on Twitter. I saw pics of one of my students latest trip to Paris. I spent a year reading an elaborate travel-log of a Norwegian who loves his homeland and writes like he hopes every reader will come to Norway and look him up to go for coffee! I read about other women who have weird medical troubles too, and then I feel so blessed to be here, and I often don't feel so hard-done-by my own medical problems. And best.......I get to share my life with my family and extended family.

They can follow my tweets or my RSS as it marches down the world wide web highway, or they can just browse me when they aren't busy.

The world gets smaller and smaller as we get connected with new friends, find old ones with a name search, and post records of our days (even the boring ones)

My blog is my big pride, super bragging, very grateful discourse.
I love it.
I appreciate all the folks who have stayed blogging on with me too. Dedicated readers and blog rolls, and link lists of friends.

For me blogging is about awareness. The veil of ignorance lifting, and a huge chain of folks who are willing to just let it all hang out there in cyber space, so we get the chance to learn.

I feel ultimate joy while reading blogs.. It lets me know humans are waiting to know me, and are happy for me to know them.

Bless you all on this big ole world bloggosphere!
Whatcha gonna teach me today!? (happy hands are rubbing together in an anxious gesture as I click away to a blogger on my list.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Friday's Trip to The ROM

On Friday I took the train to Toronto. I accompanied my husband Carl on his commute to the banking District of King and Bay Streets in Toronto , from our ruralish home in Newmarket, north of the city.

We have a commuter train that takes about 45 minutes to travel right to Union Train Station in the downtown of Toronto.

I then bought travel tokens for Toronto's transit, with the intention to use the subway to its fullest that day.

I went up to see Carl's new office, and I had the pleasure of also seeing my My Son Alex's new cubical, where he is doing his internship (practicum) in IT at the bank in a group close to his Dad. Alex getting offered this internship is really good for his future. The banks like to hire their interns. He was also told that if he takes an opportunity for full-time employment after his software engineering degree, he will have options for the company to support a part time masters for him later.

Amber also got her first job in her field now. She is working for the Ministry of Natural Resources as a fish biologist. Her DNA specialism will get put to great use in this research position. She hopes this gets her in on the ground level for future positions in the DNA cluster.

So all being well she will work doing this research for a bit, then decide what she wants to specialize in in genetic studies for her Masters.

This Thursday, Amber has her convocation for her Honours Degree. And...she has had a poster of her research published and has presented it at the great lakes conference! WHOOT! We are sooo proud of her.

So, Friday , after seeing the guys' office I went to the subway and went to the ROM (the Royal Ontario Museum). I spent about an hour and a half there, then traveled back to the guys' office to take Alex to lunch and go for a bit of a walk with him. Then I went back to the ROM (I can do that cuz I am a member) and looked at another exhibit before heading West on the subway to visit the director of PSICAN to chat and catch up, and to discuss a future investigation.

The Third floor has an exhibit of African, to Asian exhibits

Most of the pieces below are interesting to me as ideas for new felted sculptured items

I found these seal stones really interesting

I thought that this was the cutest figure. To me, it looks like a sheep, but it is supposed to be a hedgehog.

When I went back to the office to meet Alex for lunch, we went out to get some sausage from the street BBQs (which we call street meat), then we went for a walk in the underground to the TD bank building. They have turned this building into a hotel now, and they turned the vault into a chic restaurant!

On my second trip back to the ROM I went to the DARWIN exhibit. I couldn't take photos inside because they had some live animals in there.
I learned something really cool. I am a distant relative of Charles Darwin by marriage.
Yep that is true!
Charles Darwin married the daughter of the Wedgewood family. The Wedgewoods are famous British potters. My family are part of the Wedgewood clan and a few distant cousins are still potters for Wedgewood or china painters for them.
In June, and through the summer the ROM will have a partnering exhibit to the Darwin exhibit, on the Wedgewood family and its porcelain.
I am very excited about it!
If the Wedgewood exhibit is as good as the Darwin one, I will learn a lot about the type of folks the potters of my family are.