Friday, July 30, 2010

It's What I Do

I've been doing more scrapbooking - looking at older pictures lately rather than up-to-date goings on of the family.

These three layouts are ones that I did the basic work on last October when Mickey and I went to a scrapbook convention in Glendale, AZ. I've looked at them a lot since then and finally, in the past week, I got the pictures, words and embellishments right and put them all together. I think they turned out pretty good, in spite of my not liking the basic design/papers we were given to use.

I loved the wording in this one. I had a hard time deciding whether to use me and my sister as the subjects or my five daughters. Settled on Wendy and me. Maybe I'll do one for my daughters later.

I love doing layouts of me and Lloyd and in this one I was able to include pictures of us together from our pre-dating time in 1965 till a self portrait in 2009. The lovebird embellishments were done on my Cricut cutter.

We were given this purple/yellow/green color scheme at the convention. When I went through my photos I came across this beautiful picture of Brooklyn in her purple dress last year.
I hope to do more scrapbooking this weekend.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Quinn Sadie Hardwicke-Brown

On July 22 Quinn finally made an appearance - our 4th child's 4th child - our 20th grandchild, 8th granddaughter. By noon on the 23rd she was home, surrounded by her family and blissfully oblivious to the joy and excitement her birth caused. Sara tells a harrowing tale of pain and tears and fainting husband but to those of us on the outside looking in, it was a healthy pregnancy and easy birth, with the best result possible.

Charlie, Sara and Max with 2-hour old Quinn

Big sister Charlie

At home - 1 day old

Quinn's appearance was a surprise to all of us - our family has a history of bald or blond babies. A few have been born with a light skiff of slightly darker than blond hair, but this little beauty has a full head of black hair, at least an inch long. Now, at the age of 5 days, we notice that her feather-soft black hair is looking like she's been to a beauty parlor and had her tips frosted. The black is turning to gold. It'll be interesting to watch the transition.

Her feet are long and wrinkly.

Quinn with big sister Elly, who is still ambivalent about her feelings for the baby, gingerly consented to have her picture taken close to her.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Quincey's Yard

Sara's husband Quincey loves to work in his yard and garden. He can be seen early in the week-day mornings, dressed for work in suit and tie, out watering his flowers and plants. He spends nice spring and summer evenings and weekends visiting his favorite nursery and buying, planting, watering, mowing, and generally taking care of his front and side yards. His hard work has not gone unnoticed this year. His yard has been nominated for Edmonton's annual Front Yards in Bloom award and tour. Here's a few pictures of his project.

The sign that was put in the garden by the Front Yards in Bloom people. Something to be proud of.

All the rain we had this summer prematurely knocked the petals off of the roses. Quincey has planted a row of roses in every color imaginable. The large bush at the back right of the picture is Alberta's wild rose. The rose featured at the top of my blog is one of Quincey's from last year.

Under the large pine tree Quincey has created a waterfall, pool and rock garden. Keep going to see the close-up pictures.

The two upright rocks flanking the walk are water fountains, with water bubbling out of the top of them.

This creature stands on a low wall in front of the living-room window. It's animated beak opens and closes as water pours out into its basin.

This is the pool at the front of the rock garden under the tree. There's an animated crocodile who 'lives' in it.

This is the back of the rock/water garden.

This beautiful little antique tricycle holding a box of daisies resides in the rock/water garden too.

There are three large hanging planters at the front porch - same flowers, different colors.

I know next to nothing about flowers. Is this fuscia, or maybe bleeding heart?

This unique sculpture is the centerpiece of the garden in front of the porch. It matches the free form chairs on the porch.

This is one of the potantilla (?) bushes we planted when we lived in this house. It's nice to see it growing so well.

And here's the man himself, watering the plants on Saturday morning.

Part of the sidewalk border.

Close-up of one of the fountain rocks flanking the walkway to the house.

Close-up of the second rock fountain flanking the walk.

I love this Inukshuk - made of rock, of course - symbol of Canada's north. I want to get one to put in our yard in Arizona.

Behind the tree at the rock/water garden

The waterfall, which runs into the crocodile pond further along.

The crane standing guard over the rock/water garden.

They call this one the volcano rock. It's at the very back and to the right of the rock/water garden and it too bubbles water from it's top.

I didn't take pictures of all his rose bushes because they're past their prime right now. I've realized while doing this that Quincey's favorite of garden seems to be rose, water and rock. He's done a beautiful job with it this year.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Getting Old(er)

With all the new baby grandkids entering my world this year, sometimes I wonder if I'm getting old.

Hannah - March 28

Tate - May 14

Quinn - July 22

I saw this the other day and it's so true it's scary...but that's life, and life is scary at times. Read and laugh, or not.

A very weird thing has happened.

A strange old lady has moved into my
house. I have no idea who she is, where she came from,
or how she got in. I certainly did not invite her.
All I know is that one day she wasn't there,
and the next day she was.

She is a clever old lady and manages to keep out of sight
for the most part, but whenever I pass a mirror I catch a
glimpse of her. And, whenever I look in the mirror to check my
appearance, there she is hogging the whole thing, completely,
obliterating my gorgeous face and body. This is very rude!
I have tried screaming at her, but she just screams back.
The least she could do is offer to pay part of the rent, but no.

Every once in a while, I find a dollar bill stuck in a coat pocket,
or some loose change under a sofa cushion, but it is not nearly enough.
I don't want to jump to conclusions, but I think she is stealing money
from me. I go to the ATM and withdraw $100, and a few days later,
it's all gone!

I certainly don't spend money THAT fast, so I can only conclude the old
lady is pilfering from me. You'd think she would spend some of that
money to buy wrinkle cream.

And money isn't the only thing I think she is stealing. Food seems to
disappear at an alarming rate-especially the good stuff like ice cream,
cookies and candy. She must have a real sweet tooth, but she'd better
watch it, because she is really packing on the pounds.

I suspect she realizes this, and to make herself feel better, she is
tampering with my scale to make me think I am putting on weight too.

For an old lady, she is quite childish. She likes to play nasty games,
like going into my closets when I'm not home and
altering my clothes so they don't fit.

And she messes with files and papers so I can't find anything.
This is particularly annoying since I am extremely
neat and organized.

She has found other imaginative ways to annoy me.
She gets into my mail, newspapers and magazines before
I do and blurs the print so I can't read it.

And she has done something really sinister to the volume controls on my
TV, radio and telephone. Now, all I hear are mumbles and whispers.

She has done other things - like make my stairs steeper, my vacuum
heavier and all the knobs and faucets harder to turn. She even made my
bed higher so that getting into and out of it is a real challenge.

Lately, she has been fooling with my groceries before I put them away,
applying glue to the lids, making it almost impossible for me to open the jars.

She has taken the fun out of shopping for clothes. When I try something
on, she stands in front of the dressing room mirror and monopolizes it.
She looks totally ridiculous in some of those outfits, plus she keeps me
from seeing how great they look on me.

Just when I thought she couldn't get any meaner, she proved me wrong.
She came along when I went to get my picture taken for my driver's
license and just as the camera shutter clicked, she jumped in front of

I hope she never finds out where you live.

I really do!

© Rose Madeline Mula

Friday, July 23, 2010

Love Grows...

Our 20th grandchild, 8th granddaughter, was born this evening but I promised her mother (our daughter Sara) that I wouldn't blog about her, especially pictures, until after she has a chance to do her own blog. So...stay tuned...and hurry up Sara!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What's The Deal With.....?


When we lived in Nova Scotia...on the east coast...surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean...seagulls were an expected part of life. We'd see them everywhere. We became very familiar with their songs (?) at the beach, in parking lots, everywhere.

These ones were where they the small but famous fishing village of Peggy's Cove, NS.

Why, then, when we moved to the middle of the prairies out here in Alberta, do we still see and hear the creatures? We see them in grain fields, parking lots, and especially in fast food restaurant parking lots.

These ones were at Henderson Lake in the middle of Lethbridge, AB, which is in the middle of cattle and wheat country. Not a likely place for SEA gulls, one would think.

Are they lost? Homesick? Or just different gull families who migrated inland? There must be a story somewhere and I suppose if I took the time to Google it, I'd find out. But I'd rather just think of the gulls as one of those mysteries of nature.

I remember when we sailed from Quebec to Germany in 1960 with Dad's army regiment, we used to watch the gulls follow behind the ship and dive down to snap up kitchen scraps that were thrown down for them. I thought they must be very brave and strong to follow the ship for 6 or 7 days across the ocean with no sign of land.

Interesting birds, for sure. I like them.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Lucky Day?

I used to pride myself on being able to spot things - as a kid I'd often find quarters, dimes and pennies on the sidewalk - Mum used to say that I walked with my head down too much. If there was a 4-leaf clover in a patch of 3-leaf clovers, I'd find it. It's nice to know that 'talent' hasn't totally left me.

Today as I was leaving Sara's house, walking through the back yard, I looked down at a patch of clover and immediately spotted not one, not two, but three 4-leaf clovers.

There are two of the little beauties in this picture.

The first one I spotted...

Then Charlie came out to find some too....I believe these two are the ones in the first picture.

She picked them and took them in to press in a heavy book.

Now I think I'll go out and buy a lottery ticket.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Guardians of the Grain

When I first came west in 1968, I travelled by train from Halifax, NS to Edmonton, AB. Once Ontario was behind me, the prairies spread out endlessly for mile after flat mile. It quickly became apparent that by watching out the window I could easily tell what towns and settlements the train was passing through. It seemed that each little whistle stop along the Canadian National train line boasted at least one 90 ft. tall grain elevator. I had seen pictures of them in history books and knew they existed, but not in such abundance. Over the years I've come to appreciate them for the "Signposts of the Prairie" that they are. They're also called Prairie Giants and Prairie Castles, and, at capacity, hold 25,000 bushels of grain.

Magrath, Alberta

This type of wooden grain elevators were built in the early 1900s in every town along the railroad right-of-ways and quickly became the commercial and social centres of the west.

Raymond, Alberta

They are gradually being phased out in favor of the larger more efficient concrete grain elevators. From a total of 1651 in the canadian west in 1951, there were only 156 left in 2005. 12 have been designated as provincial historic resources. It's sad to see these beautiful old historic buildings torn down, but that's the way of progress. At least some are being saved.

Mossleigh, AB

These three elevators at Mossleigh can be seen for what seems like miles away. They start out as three identifiable specks on the horizon which grow larger as you approach them. They they disappear as you go around a couple of bends and suddenly there they are - right beside the road.

Carsland, Alberta

This is one of the new design grain elevators...huge, concrete structures. Not as many are needed because of their greater capacity so they no longer mark all the towns as you travel through the prairie highways. They have their own esthetic beauty though.
In reading an article about grain elevators last night I was surprised to learn that I didn't have to come west to see one. There is one independently owned grain elevator in Nova Scotia in the small town of Tatamagouche - not far from where I used to live. Huh!
As much as I like and appreciate these symbols of western Canada, my heart still belongs to the lighthouses of my Maritime roots. But I'm adaptable.