All in a day

All in a day
Bring it on 2015, I'm ready for you (or so I like to think!)

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Family That Plays Together Stays Together

It's become a tradition for me, my adult children, and
naturally my one sweet precious granddaughter, to all
come together at least once a month for a family meal
and to spend some quality time together. 
We did this on Saturday and the time we share together
... priceless.  

Auntie Michelle, my youngest child, bought
Elyssa a few different magic tricks and gave them
to her for Christmas.  They had to practice a bit, 
then it was showtime! 

Uncle Derek had to blow on the magic bag
which was empty in order for the magic to happen.

and ta da... boxes of flowers came out of the bag!

They performed a few other tricks as well then
 Elyssa informed us that she has magic money ears,
she got her Daddy to show us. 

It was a wonderful evening, phenomenal food, tons of
laughs, and I experienced the real magic...

the magic of love my family shares
when we all come together and play! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Motorcycle Show

There's a motorcycle show in my city yearly and there's
some awesome bikes on display.  I found myself back 
in the Harley area more than once and here's a few I love. 

This first photo the sales rep shot for me, he
suggested I enter this picture online where
Harley is giving away riding gear and lessons. 
Both I'd love to win! 

This Super Low Rider is something for me to consider
when I'm ready to buy, it's comfortable for me and doesn't
intimidate me as much as some of the bigger bikes. 

Ran into a friend and she asked for a few shots, 
I obliged and played with the photos and I'm
rather pleased with this one.

There's also something about the colors of the Indian motorbike... 
I love these colors! 

I also had the opportunity to chat with the author of this book, 
Motorcycle Therapy and you bet I bought his book, 
I'm interested in what he has to say.  The author is Jeremy Krocker, 
he has two books out, this one and Through Dust and Darkness. 
I'll read this one first, it's a shorter read and soon enough I'm going
to be totally immersed in reading academic readings...

Speaking of academics, today I applied for graduation in June...
mixed feelings over this one but it's time to get it done and move
forward. It's been a long haul, some years more challenging than
others, however, I know that one day this too will be a distant
memory, a positive experience for sure! 

One more course, I've got this one in the bag...
I hope! lol 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Lighting Up My Life... the saga continues

Thank goodness I have some pretty amazing friends, 
I've wanted to have new lighting in my home for some
time now and it started with the LED strip lights behind my tv...
that was a few posts ago but I'll include a few more photos to 
show what's been added now...

I had a single light (which was beautiful) off to the one
side of the tv, but it didn't put out hardly any light. 
My friend went on Kijiji and found this pot lighting for
$10, then he painted it and installed it today, 
he even added a dimmer switch to it and I'm absolutely
loving this!  But we didn't stop there. 

In my kitchen I (I bought it and my friend did the install)
 added pot lighting as well and I also used strip lighting on top 
of my cupboards, loving this too! 
And the old ceiling fan, it was huge, way too big for the small
space it was in. Today I found this smaller ceiling fan
and I absolutely love how this looks. 

It's amazing how lighting can change the look and feel
of a room, now what's next on my agenda... hmmm 
maybe finish decluttering. I'm starting to get concerned, 
I'm actually doing things I've wanted to get done for
a long time... what's up with this? lol 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Amazing Talent

I went out to listen once again to Sarah Smith, 
this lady has an amazing voice, one which often
gives me goosebumps when I hear her sing.  I didn't
take along my DSLR this time, only my P&S but
I hope to get better photos of her in the near future. 
For now, my P&S photos will have to suffice. 

Sarah Smith, from Ontario...

Shine Bright, if you click on the name of this song it'll
take you to one of my favorite songs sung by this talented lady.

Here's another name to watch for, Karen Claypool, (in this video Karen is
in the white gown... wow, I just found this rendition of Hallelujah and WOW!)
This young lady is astounding! Sarah invited her up to sing a song and
Karen obliged!  

It was a real treat to hear Karen sing, she
has an amazingly powerful voice. Karen does a solo
act and is also a part of The Dirt Road Angels Band. 

We are so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing
 talent.  As for me, well I love music, music which makes my 
heart dance and caresses my soul. 
I also enjoy music which  makes my feet dance but when I get 
goosebumps (people-bumps) like I did listening to Sarah and later 
by Karen it's been worth it to venture out in -100 and drive on icy roads... 
okay a wee bit of exaggeration on the -100 but enough of winter
already!  It was only about -30, only being the key word there! 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Lighting Up My Life

I was in Ikea the other day and noticed they had strip lighting
tucked in behind a tv in one of their displays. I went and sat on 
the couch in the display to see if the light would be distracting 
and it actually made it much easier on the eyes to watch the tv.
 I sat on another couch where there was no lighting behind the 
tv and I knew what I was going to do with some of this lighting I'd 
ordered off of eBay... it started out
a friend who is into his lighting wanted some of these and I thought I might
as well get myself some while I was at it, to do what with I wasn't sure, 
until the Ikea trip.  So today my friend comes over to install a new kitchen
lighting fixture for me, then we start to play with the strip lighting and WOW! 
See for yourself... the top left corner is no lighting, there's 16 different colors 
and I can dim or brighten each color... personally I like the clear, yellow and 
light orange the best. 

I've also ran a strip of this lighting on top of one of my
cupboards, that too looks awesome. The nice thing is these 
are LED lights, I can leave them on all the time if I choose 
to and not worry about the power bill, wasting energy or
the lights getting too hot. 

Yup, I'm enjoying lighting up my life! 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Last Day of the Year

As I sit here this morning reflecting on this past year
I love what I'm reflecting back upon. I've done what
I've set out to do, nearly completed my degree, I've spent
as much time as possible with family and friends and
I now have one more year of sobriety, 9 years in total now
and that's reason right there to celebrate!  

Christmas Eve, my family came over and we
had a feast, Princess Elyssa opened tons
of gifts and we all had such a good time. This year
I gave each of my children a short video from their
youth, I found one old 8mm tape and converted it 
onto a disc and we all laughed, me until I had laughter
tears running down my face! What a beautiful way to 
spend Christmas! 

A few photos from our family Christmas...

Elyssa and Abbie patiently waiting for dinner.

My oldest son on the left, holding our princess Elyssa, Elyssa's
Mommy, then me holding my Abbie girl. Behind me is my gorgeous
daughter and behind her is my middle child, we tease him about
being the problem middle child!  I am extremely blessed, I'm surrounded
by love and laughter! 

 A blast from the past, Derek, my middle child, used to dote on his sister
when she was a wee girl.  As you can see from the photo on the right this
love is still shared and what a joy it is to see! 

Moving forward to how I spent Christmas day, 
first a feast, then karaoke. Fun was had by all! 

This was/is hilarious!! 

And now comes time to get organized, literally! I've
installed this closet organizer, not sure where I'm going to
put everything I took out of here, but it's the year of decluttering
in the upcoming year... I just got a bit of a head start on it is all. 

Finally one spot for all of my camera gear! 

Whatever you have done or might want to do,
 wherever you may be, it's time to start a new chapter, 
one which we get to choose the words we write. 
Don't worry about spell check, we don't have to write
perfectly, just write it from your heart and allow your
heart to dance! 

Wishing you a blessed and a very Happy New Year! 

Monday, December 22, 2014

It's late but...

It's going on 2am and I'm getting tired but not too tired to 
squeeze in one quick post.  This past few days have been busy
once again, but what a fun busy!  It started on Thursday night, 
I shot photos of at least 100 children with Santa and this one
is my favorite! 

Friday night was an evening out, then off to 
a friends to sing karaoke and we danced the night away. 
It was a late, or early morning by the time I finally
called it a night... 4am before my head hit the pillow, 
but what an amazing time! 

Saturday I had a visitor spend the night, actually two house guests.
A friend came in from out of town and her dog stayed at my place
for two nights. Elyssa LOVED having two puppies
to play with! 

We got creative and made some gifts...

These are so cool, what we did was paint Elyssa's hand, 
then she held a Christmas ball which left her hand print 
on the ball.  Then we decorated the balls and this is
what they look like...

These are a priceless keepsake which I fully
intend to do with Elyssa every year, til she's at
least 30! ;-)

Right and the joys of being a photographer,
Christmas gifts are getting much easier to 
put together...

I should be back before Christmas, if you don't hear
from me I would like to take this time to wish each
and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas!  I hope
all of your dreams and wishes come true, okay maybe
most of your wishes..only the 'good' ones! lol 

Yup, Santa laughed at what I wanted and I 
laughed because I shocked myself by actually
telling Santa what I want! ;-)


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

Hmm where to start?  I'm done my Christmas baking 
...if I quit giving it away this is.  Here's just a few photos of some 
of it to tantalize taste buds, I've done way more
than this, but to post it all would be overdoing it. 

 These shortbread cookies literally melt in your mouth, my new
favorite Christmas goodie! 

 I've been to two Christmas parties, the first being the family
Christmas party and the other was this past weekend
at a good friends house. I've been having the time of my life!

This is a dear friend and I'm on the right... even got my hair 
done for this party! 

I've got my outdoor lights up, not all that I wanted to but such is life. 

I volunteered at one special event held not too far from home,
and one that hits home with me.  It was taking photos for the
monthly Aboriginal Family Night and there was an awesome turnout.
They had a couple of traditional dancers as well as two drummers,
 here's one of my shots of one of the dancers. 

I have another function to shoot photos at, more volunteerism and
this next one will be the children with Santa... one event I LOVE doing! 

Oh, and last night I went to visit a dear friend, he'd called me and
asked me to come over but wouldn't tell me why. So I went over
and WOW!  He bought me a gift and wanted me to open
it early, he said he figured I could use it before Christmas...

I am so excited to start working with these lights, and he's
so right. With the photo shoot coming up on Thursday, 
you bet I'll be setting these up!  I'm so excited, I've been
playing with them and tonight the only model I had available...
yup, poor Abbie! lol 

So as you can see, even though I'm finished with my studies
for this year, I've still been extremely busy. Tis the season to
get out and be active, be involved and to give back within 
community. It's a time for me to spend time with friends and
family and to experience the true joys of Christmas. 

My hope is that you're all doing the same... 
taking the time to make new memories. :-) 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Family Christmas

This past weekend we had our annual family Christmas party, 
and what a party it was!  I love getting together with family 
I haven't seen in some time, and the laughter we share, priceless.  
Here's the crew who could make it this year...

Right, I guess this is where I should mention that
we do a theme each year, this year as you can
probably guess it was a pajama party.

We play games and one of the games this year involved
a team of 3, each team was given white and red tissue
paper, one black garbage bag and a roll of tape.  We
had 5 minutes to turn one of the team members into
Santa.  Here's how this one turned out... 

 It was hilarious! I'm on the left, turned out my
oldest son standing next to me was one of the
Santa's, and my other son, who is on the far right
also turned into a Santa. 

A princess showed up at the party as well, I asked
her what she did with my granddaughter and she
told me "She's under the dress!" 

And for those who have been following my blog for
some time now will be familiar with Awesome Austin, 
he is doing amazing!  Our miracle boy without a doubt. 

And back at the ranch, it's time to get my home decorated
for the holidays.  I had a helper tonight and the work isn't 
quite done, but there's always tomorrow and with this
kind of help we'll get it done. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Festival of Trees

Yesterday I went with my oldest son, his wife, and my granddaughter
to the Festival of Trees.  I sure enjoyed myself, the decorations were 
amazing and naturally I was toting my camera.  Here's just a few shots
from this event...

There were tons of beautifully decorated trees
 yet I chose to go after the close ups to avoid taking
photos with people in them. There was a super high
attendance and at times it was even difficult to get
the close up shots, but I managed. 

I adore this next one...

The thing which I absolutely love about this 
Festival is that there's plenty for the children to do,
and Elyssa sure enjoyed herself.

She first of all got to ride the train, the LRT, to the Festival.
After we arrived she decorated a tree, 
took some shots at a net, listened to stories,
got to see tons of amazing gingerbread houses,
and she even got to write and mail her letter to Santa.

The big surprise was Santa was there and she was more
than excited to sit on his lap! 
The joy for me, I got to shoot her Santa 
photos for her this year... now that's a treat for me!