Friday, September 28, 2012

Up and Down

Just a quick post tonight.  It's been a long day. 

I've had frustrations with my computer here in Arizona and transferring pictures from my iPad to the computer, but I think I have it figured out.  Problem is, I wasn't able to edit the pictures so what you see here is raw - straight from the iPad.  They looked amazing on the iPad but lost something in the translation.

Lloyd and I came to Arizona today for 10 days.  He has business down here and I'm along for the fun, the sun and the pool.

I thought I'd use my 3rd generation iPad to take pictures from the plane's window.  There's been so much hype about the wonderful quality of  'retinal imaging'.  They really do look great on the iPad screen.

This first picture is toward the end of our trip, on our descent into Mesa.  There's a huge crack in the surface of the earth.  I think it might be a dry river, but it's hard for me to tell for sure.

The next one is one of a series of shots I took of the fluffy clouds beneath the plane. They were so pretty.  All those dark spots on the ground are actually shadows cast by the puffy clouds.

This last one is low in the approach to Mesa.  That town isn't Mesa - much too small - but one that we passed over on our way down.

I love seeing earth's features from high above it.  Puts things into perspective a bit.

Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Alberta Highways

I was on a solo 500 km road trip from Lethbridge to Edmonton today.  It was actually quite enjoyable, even on my own.  I listened to music and sang along enjoying the beautiful fall day.  I had my camera on the seat beside me and took pictures along the way - some without stopping the car - others  after a brief stop.

Here are some of the sights along the way.  The fuzzier ones are the drive-by shootings.

I followed this police car for a number of kms, not daring to pass him as he was going exactly the speed limit.  So I braced the camera on my steering wheel and took a couple of pictures of the car.  I had no sooner done so when he pulled over to the side and stopped.  Oh no! I was going to get a ticket for distracted driving!  But wait!  As soon as I passed him, he turned around in the middle of the highway and went back the way he came.  That was the only police car I saw all day.

At this time of year, all the farmers and ranchers are busy getting their crops in.  This looked like a busy operation although I have no idea what it is.

A lot of hay and/or straw was baled and stacked ready for storing for the winter, or selling.

The irrigation equipment was still out on the fields, to be put into use again in the spring.

The fall colors were beautiful. This drive-by shot doesn't do it justice.

As on most farms, the barn is much larger than the house and outbuildings.
These large cement structures have been replacing the traditional grain elevators that once dotted the prairies.  The train is waiting on the track to be filled with processed seed (I think)
My one gas stop of the day, Vulcan.  This is a favorite pit stop of ours, coming and going. 
In the small town of Vulcan, across the street from the PetroCan station, above, is a small park dedicated to the Star Trek shows, especially Mr. Spock, the Vulcan character. It features a large model of the USS Enterprise.  Pointy plastic ears can be purchased at the store in the PetroCan.  The small town nearest Vulcan is called Kirkaldy, but I don't think it's named after Captian Kirk of the USS Enterprise  ;). 
This attractive homestead features a large brick house.  I'd like to see inside it some day.
More beautiful fall colors lined both sides of the highway.
And one of the several abandoned barns visible from the highway.  I like how the tree shelters part of it.
In this oil rich province, it's not unusual to see these oil pumps in the fields with the crops.

I love these grain elevators at Mossleigh.  They can be seen from miles away and are approached after rounding a large wide bend in the road.

At this time of year, I love seeing the baled hay scattered through the fields waiting to be loaded and stored.

The ranchers sometimes share their large equipment and drive them from ranch to ranch, backing up traffic behind them.  I'm glad this one was coming toward me instead of me having to follow it down the road.

Those pictures were all taken in the southern part of the province.  By the time I got halfway home, the traffic had increased and it wasn't as easy to stop (or not) to take pictures. 

When we make the drive from Edmonton to Lethbridge, we never take the large highway, the QE2, which goes right through Calgary.  *shudder*.  Instead we take the much quieter, and more scenic, secondary highways and avoid the stress of the traffic and enjoy the scenery.

It's good to be back but I know there'll be many such trips in my near future.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

That Time Already???

When I was at Sara's house the other night I looked out one of her wndows and saw this hovering over the houses and trees.

Scary stuff!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dinosaurs and Little People

It was a perfect fallish day yesterday - warm but cool enough to make being outdoors comfortable.  With Sara away in Germany (fully recovered and feeling great) I was taking care of her four kids.  My friend, Mickey, and I decided to take her grandson, William, and my grandkids, Charlie, Max, Elly and Quinn, to Jurassic Forest, just north of Edmonton.

Quinn, Charlie, Elly, William, Max

We packed a picnic lunch to eat in the wooded picnic area and headed out.  What a great time we all had.

Clockwise:  Charlie, Quinn, Max, Elly, Mickey, William

The park is laid out through a natural forest with boardwalk trails.  Off the trails are life-size automated dinosaurs that are activated by sensors.  That way, everyone on the trail can hear the roars and see the movement of the giant beasts.  Quite spectacular. We had to make sure that the younger ones understood that although they move, the dinosaurs are unable to leave the spot to which they are anchored.

Our first stop was the sand-filled play spot where the kids enjoyed brushing the sand off new 'discoveries' of dinosaur skeletons, and sliding and climbing on dino-like structures.

Quinn was among the younger kids who climbed up the dino's throat and slid down his toung.

Elly, William, Max and Charlie were among the budding paleontoligists who unearthed new skeletons

William and Elly, who struck up an immediate friendship, worked together at
unearthing the skull and neck of a dinosaur
 Then began the fun of the boardwalk and the actual moving animals.  Natural wild grasses, plants and forests lined the route.

Charlie, taken by Mickey

Different types of dinosaurs battled over food and territory.

Photo taken by Mickey
The rope fence kept us from encroaching on the dinosaur's territory.

Charlie and Max, by Mickey
On the trail - Quinn pushed her stroller the whole way - over a kilometer.
Mickey and William
Me and mine, at one of the many benches along the way
Another fearsome beasts.  There are signs telling the species of each dino, but I didn't take note of any of them.
Those two little people were just so cute. William is quite a charmer.
I love this picture of Elly and William
And finally it was time to go home.  After all that outdoor exercise and excitement, all five of the kids fell asleep in the van.  The end of a great adventure.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Travel Woes

Two of my daughters are out of the country today.  Their travel experience began yesterday - travelling from Alberta to Germany on business.

The texts began early in the morning, from the Edmonton Airport:

Sara:  Em's feeling sick actually.  I gave her a gravol.

My baby, at the Edmonton airport.

Me:  Poor girlie.  Maybe she'll sleep and feel better.  It'll be a long day.

Sara:  We're eating pancakes now so I think she's doing better.

Sara:  Em just made her second trip to the bathroom since I started texting you.  Not sure what she's doing, but I'm certain it's not good.

Later, from Sara:  Landed in Montreal.  Emily threw up multiple times on the plane.

Then we switched to facebook.

Sara:  Barf bags on planes are not just for decoration.

Emily:   Whoops, roles reversed now.  I'm doing ok and Sara's in rough shape.

Me:  On no.  What a trip!

Lloyd:  My poor little girls

Sara:  Emily puked from Edmonton to Montreal then I took a shift and puked from Montreal to Munich.  We're both doing better now although we've missed our connection and are stuck in Munich airport all day.


OK.  I realize that's too much information, but I can't think of anything else to blog about.  Since it's September 11, it seemed somehow appropriate to say something about airplanes. 

I've had a soft spot for Germany since 1960 so was glad when Emily went there, first as an exchange student in high school, and now as a business woman, with Sara.  My family went to Germany in 1960 when Dad's Army unit was transferred there for a three-year posting.  Instead of flying though, the entire unit and their families went by sea.  What a great holiday that was, spending a week in November crossing the North Atlantic in comfort.  Except for mild sea sickness on the first day, the 7-day cruise was great.  When we came home the next year, it was by sea too.  I loved it. Had we stayed with the unit the full three years, we would have flown home. Sea travel is much more exciting that air.

Dad, Mum, Me, Ken, Wendy on the Saxonia

I watched the best documentary about 9/11 the other night.  What a world changing event that was...not only the US was affected, but Canada too, among others.  Our whole international travel experience has been changed since then, with long lines at security, etc.  It's become a scary world as we realize just how vulnerable we are.

Take care.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I'm Back!

I wasn't ignoring my blog's just that the last couple weeks of August were so busy that I didn't have time to sign in here.  In spite of being busy, I didn't take pictures either, and I hate to blog without pics.  I'm turning over a new leaf now that summer is coming to a close.

Our move to Lethbridge has been completed - it took the whole summer to do that.  I'll still be spending some time in Edmonton but 'home' is now Lethbridge, a five hour drive south.

Far enough south that cactus grows wild up here in Alberta.

 We've had company almost steadily since moving down here.  I've already posted about the week-long visit from Kenzie and Charlie.  Last weekend  Rob, Cindy and their two kids came down to visit us

Papa teaching Brooklyn to skip rocks in the Oldman River.

Rob, Brooklyn, Cindy and Anson

 and the previous weekend Amy and Curtis and their four kids were down with us.  It was nice having family come and visit us.

2 year old Tate and 'Duck' on our front steps

Now, however, the grandkids are back in school and life is getting back to normal - whatever 'normal' is.  It's nice to see them all excited about this new beginning, especially the ones who are starting kindergarten and grade 1. 

I behaved myself this year and didn't go shopping for school supplies for myself as I usually do - love those pens and notebooks!  I only bought one notebook and one package of pens, just in passing.  I just can't quit cold turkey.

Lloyd and I were talking about pickles the other day and I reminded him about the mustard pickles I used to make - about 30 years ago!.  After a call to my sister in Winnipeg, I had my hands on the recipe.  So today I made my grandmother's 'onion sauce' as she called them.  The jars are all sitting on the counter now making nice little popping noises as they seal.  Hopefully they'll taste as good as I remember them.

I love the sound the lids make as they seal...neat little pop, pop, pops.  Maybe I'll make some more.

So now I'm back.  Hopefully I'll post more regularly than I did during the summer.