10 December 2012

This is something I just made to demo this tool for my class and since I haven't posted in ages, I thought I would add it here so you know I'm still alive!

I'll be adding a look back at 2012 soon!

19 July 2012

More of the same

The view
A lovely way to start the day. It feels like a rural address on this side of the I-15. Just minutes from downtown and all that the city offers.

the library - lower basement

My vacation office hence the "more of the same" title.  I spent another full day at this table. Today's discoveries included the fact that William Henry Toone and Hannah Webb were married by Wilford Woodruff, and the sad tale of a civil war veteran (uncle to Lilly Root) who committed suicide in a park near his home.  It did not include any of the information I am still looking for - names to extend my line. Maybe next visit.

my dinner companions
After fighting the rush hour traffic, I made it back to the house for dinner with the sister missionaries. Sister Nethercot and Sister Tufuga. Leslie made a yummy meal. The sisters left a sweet message and spirit behind.

Jordan River Temple
The end of the day. Last session of the evening. Such a beautiful and peaceful way to end the day. The temple is beautiful with lots of crystal and gorgeous art works. I couldn't help but look at all the detail work in the ceiling painting and think of Jason working inside our Calgary temple preparing for its dedication this fall.

18 July 2012

My Third Great Grandfather

While shuffling papers  to prepare  for the research I hoped to do on the Rhodes line, I came across a note that gave the address of the last home of Henry Puzey.

Henry is my third great grandfather - his son is Henry William who married Lydia Pollard and their son is Frederick Puzey, and his son is Frederick Elmer Puzey - my mother's father.  Last visit I drove to the original Toone home and also tried to locate the Hunter home but it is no longer standing. I hadn't bothered to look for any Puzeys since I had incorrectly assumed that Henry had been residing with his son in Spring City. I don't know why I thought that since I knew some other details that clearly had him located in Salt Lake City.

Isn't this a beautiful home? It has a large shaded porch that wraps around the south side of the building. It is facing west with the mountains behind it.  It was built in 1890 - 3 years after his son had passed and 6 years before he did. His son Edwin lived in the house after that - I imagine until he died in 1965. It was last renovated in 1985.  Sorry folks, no "For Sale" sign. I wonder if it is still a Puzey living there.  I didn't see any signs of someone being home. 

To see Henry's picture and learn a little about his crossing to Salt Lake City, visit the "Our Pioneer Heritage" wiki.

17 July 2012

Salt Lake Temple

After dinner, we visited the Church History Museum to see the Ninth International Art Competition. You can follow the link and view an image gallery of all the art selected to be displayed (198 pieces from over a thousand submissions).  We voted for our two favourites for the Viewer's Choice awards. You can do that too by viewing the pieces online. Let me know what you liked.

After the museum, we walked over to the City Creek mall newly opened across from Temple Square. Great fountains designed by the same people that did the Las Vegas Bellagio fountains.
Then through the flower gardens - even at night, it is worth it to just smell them! The lights and the reflecting pond made a great end to the evening with this photo as the last one I took before getting in our vehicles and calling it a day.

04 July 2012

Elephants in Downtown Calgary

I know it is traditionally time for there to be a lot of horses in Downtown Calgary but this is is one of my favourite pictures of animals with the "Husky Tower" in the background. This was taken a while ago... and that is me with my cousin Michael and my Grandpa. Did Grandma take the picture? We were attending the Circus! I can't figure out where that would be now.

As an adult, I now know that having elephants in a travelling circus xclearly isn't the best existence for them. Even our Calgary Zoo has decided that they can't serve the needs of the elephants as well as they should. I'm sad that the elephants will be relocated from our zoo but if we can't change the circumstances and provide them a healthy environment that they can thrive in with enough other elephants for their social needs as well, then it is a good move. At least you can see them for the next 4 or 5 years before this will happen. I missed out on the Bathtime with the Elephants program.

I think my love of elephants comes from watching "The Jungle Book" as a kid. My FAVOURITE Disney movie. I even remember collecting the toys from cereal boxes that promoted the movie. Instead of the linking barrel of monkeys, they had linking panthers, Mowglis and snakes. I never found a snake but you can buy one on Ebay!

That movie had such great music (I still think it is the best of all the Disney music - who can go wrong with Louis Prima!!!) and Colonel Hathi's March is just so much fun. What little kid can resist marching around when that scene comes on the DVD!

Wouldn't it be fun to hear one of the bands in the Stampede parade play that as they marched along? A Stampede / Jungle Book mashup! Yee Haw!

Here's a different mashup of the march. Enjoy!

22 June 2012

Flickr Friday

Clear Lake, Alberta, originally uploaded by whistlepunch.

Family Reunion Weekend. I wonder how the tree is doing?

Our family reunion has had some ups and downs in terms of attendance and weather. This will be a turning point in determining the future of the reunion. I hope we get a good turn-out and good weather but both are up in the air at this point. My girl's tent tradition is going to be sparse with a number of the girls not attending. For those that do, we'll just have to make it fun! I am just looking forward to being out of the city and disconnected.

15 June 2012

Friday Funnies: How to Talk to Your Kids

Danny Boyle directs Frankenstein

The National Theatre production with Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC's Sherlock) as the creature and Jonny Lee Miller as Victor Frankenstein will be broadcast this Saturday. They will be swapping places next week in these two weeks of rebroadcasts at the Cineplex - Chinook Paramount theatre. I'll be there Saturday at 12:30 pm! I love the book and am looking forward to seeing this "smash-hit" production.  It would only make it more perfect for there to be another stormy day for the occasion but that doesn't fit with the Father's Day barbeque we have after the play.

It will be my third time to watch a National Theatre production broadcast this season. I've seen A Comedy of Errors featuring Lenny Henry and One Man, Two Guvnors featuring the Tony award winning James Corden (so deserved even up against the other amazing nominees). So even if I can't afford a trip to London this year, it is a great way to see quality productions such as these. 

Starlite Diner, Bowden, Alberta

Flickr Friday: After hearing John Gilchrist's review of the Starlite Diner in Bowden on CBC radio last Friday, I took advantage of my trip to Red Deer on Saturday to stop in. It's a great diner look with the red vinyl booths and counter stools and a long red counter. You'll find it if you look for the UFO on top. Best reached when traveling south on the QEII.  I wasn't hungry enough to sample the selection of pies they had just brought in - including rhubard, saskatoon and lemon meringue. Maybe next time?

26 April 2012

April 25 Photo: Looking Down

After another long day, arrived home just as the sun was setting and saw the first blooms of the year in front of my neighbour's house. And then I played with some new camera apps on my phone. Trippy.

More on my long day to follow - pictures of the Korean Cultural Showcase!

25 April 2012

April 24 Photo: Something I Am Grateful For

After a full day of work and a full night of marking... I am grateful for my bed. Actually, I stopped marking at 12:30 a.m. and did some housework for a couple of hours and then I was REALLY grateful for my bed.


Note:   I am grateful for many things in my life. I don't mean to trivialize this. But I wasn't with my family and I didn't meet up with any friends. I could have taken a picture of work but maybe today I wasn't as much grateful for it as grateful when it was done. Ask me on a different day. I really do have a good job.

I used to keep a gratitude journal. Remember back in 1995, when Sarah Ban Breathnach shared her ideas about acknowledging daily the things in your life that you are grateful for in her book Simple Abundance? Oprah took up the banner and had women all over North America buying pretty notebooks and making their daily list.  I also read about a teen struggling with depression who kept a  daily photoblog of one thing she was grateful for. It's true that by recognizing all the blessings in your life, you can alter your attitude, and uplift your mood. Someday the blessings are substantial and those essential parts of life that keep you going and give life meaning and other days, it is the small and simple things that sweeten life and remind you of the beauty and joy that surround us if we choose to notice. And today, it was my comfy bed.

Gilgal Sculpture Garden

24 April 2012

April 23 Photo: Vegetable

This picture was taken at one of my many meetings and just to mix it up, tonight this meeting is being held in a restaurant. It felt that little bit less like a meeting and more like a night out even if I still had to take minutes. I had the Mayan Salad with chipotle mango chicken, black beans, cheddar and asiago crisps.Quite the title and a yummy choice. Probably more NON-vegetable ingredients than vegetable. (since the tomato doesn't count either). The word "salad" is what I based the picture on.

23 April 2012

Monday Music Break

This came up on my playlist. I really like this band and it is a good toe tapper for a sunny afternoon (and does it make you think that the Stampede is right around the corner and the SuperDogs may be back?)  Enjoy!

And since EVERYTHING must come out in 3D these days, here's the newly released version.
Do you have some 3D glasses somewhere in a drawer to pull out and view this?

World Book and Copyright Day 2012

The New Library of Alexandria, Egypt (2011) built roughly on the site of the ancient library

Today is one of many days to celebrate BOOKS.  Read my whole post on my Page Turner blog. I need to read more so I hope to update that site more.

Did you do something for Earth Day?

Happy Earth Day! Was it something you thought about? This gentleman really wanted to make a statement - I think I would prefer to use cloth bags and recycle any plastic bags I receive.

Park City Silly Sunday

22 April 2012

April 22 Photo: The Last Thing I Bought

The last thing I bought was a bouquet of tulips from the Calgary Farmer's Market. Oranges and Yellows. I love fresh flowers.

Just missing the gelato

Four cheese pizza with honey truffle oil
Sticky Toffee Pudding
After the work week, it was nice to start off the weekend with dinner at Una on 17th Avenue. I had seen someone post pictures of the food on Instagram and since my friend and I wanted to try somewhere new to us, we headed there after work. The pizza was delicious - although the sweet hint of honey may not be to everyone's taste. It reminded me of the pizza I had my first night in Venice. So while the Sticky Toffee Pudding was tasty, I was thinking of how a walk and a gelato would have been a nice way to end the meal. We did fit in the walk as we had some time after dinner and so we headed downtown to check out the newest addition to the city.
Prince's Island (west end)
I like what has been happening with the arts and culture scene in this city. When I travel, I love checking out the unique architecture, structures and public art of a city. This bridge will become something that is featured in photos by visitors from around the world.  I know this was a controversial project --including the length of time taken, the money spent and its location less than 300 metres away from another pedestrian bridge, but now that it is here,  I like the addition of this geometric design to the riverway.

Calgary's Peace Bridge by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava

After our walk, we ended up at Eau Claire Market Cinemas to see the movie "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen". Directed by Lasse Hallström, who directed another favourite of mine, "My Life as a Dog" and written by the screenwriter of "Slumdog Millionaire". 

It is a sweet story about a crazy plan to establish a salmon run in Yemen by a sheik with enough money to make the impossible plausible and the British team of Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt who are charged with helping him.  While it may not be around much longer, add it to your list to watch when the DVD comes out. You can check out the movie trailer below.

21 April 2012

April 21 Photo: Bottle

Lots of bottles to be found at the Calgary Farmer's Market. I met a friend and her daughter for a breakfast catch up there. After we had our blintzes from Margarita's Dishes, caught up on her trip to Moab, Utah and puzzled over our choices for the provincial election, I did a bit of shopping for some fresh vegetables, tulips and a gift for a birthday. One stop I always like to make it at the Cookbook Co. Cooks. Always new yummy marinades and sauces to discover. I picked up my favourite from Stonewall Kitchen - Roasted Apple Grille Sauce.

I didn't realize we had picked the 1st Anniversary of the relocation to their new home on Blackfoot Trail. As one of the first 365 visitors, we got a new totebag.

Tulips from Red Deer
Pussy willows are the mark of spring I love the most. But I didn't pick up any this visit. I also love honey sticks in different flavours. Again, resisted. Something new is Cruffs. (Lower right hand corner). It specializes in Cream Puffs that they fill with flavoured custard creams and a variety of toppings.

So many things to browse and try. I miss having the market close by in the Currie Barracks but I was glad to meet a friend and make the trip.

April 20 Photo: Something I Drew

 Something I drew - I heard about a game at the Technology Testdrive from a number of students and I had to try it out. It is called "Draw Something" and is basically Pictionary as an app. Some people are really good but I typically keep it simple - since drawing with my finger tip onto an iPhone screen is a bit tricky if you want to add any detail. This would be easier on an iPad. But despite the challenges, it is a relaxing little diversion once in a while. I don't typically have a chance to just play a game on my phone. There aren't many times when I am waiting around and looking for something to do. So I have not been playing as much these days. But I have a couple of friends that I have games with and so I check in to take my turn.

Ages ago I took art lessons from the Marion Barker Studio that was on the corner of Northmount Drive and Brisebois Drive. A nice walk a few blocks from our house.  I took them with my Dad. He worked on oils and I worked on pencil sketches. A favourite memory from my youth.  Obviously those skills do not translate to drawing with my finger on an iPhone!!

Here's the first little sketch that I did at the age of 13.  I did a lot of sketches of animals - a mountain goat, a raccoon, a polar bear... eventually I did one of a barn and farm equipment. It found a home on the family farm with my aunt and uncle and years later, it was included in the town history book (Page 9 of "Champion and District"). Does that make me a professional?? Ha - absolutely not! But I enjoyed it at the time. It's been years since I sketched but it was fun looking back at what I did.

20 April 2012

April 19 Photo: Orange

I feel like half of my pictures have featured the colour orange! Pictures with the walls in my house or my tablecloth have always had orange in them. I already shared a picture of my little orange bird - one of my favourite orange items in my home.

Here's another one.  When I was in Beijing and visiting the Forbidden City, I saw the Chinese guardian lions, incorrectly called Fu Dogs in the west,  in front of the Imperial Palace.  I have also seen these featured in design magazines and for a while it seemed like every magazine would have at least one set somewhere in a photo shoot. They are always in a pair  - and for a while every pair I saw was turquoise.  I loved the turquoise - that was the main colour of my apartment back in Brentwood and my kitchen growing up. But I had just moved into my new townhouse and turquoise wasn't the colour I went with. So when I saw this little pair in the Winner's in West Edmonton Mall I was very happy!

Do you follow Nienie's blog? Well, today's post also has her pair of "ShiShi" - just scroll down to the picture of her husband crashed out on her FABULOUS sofa and look on the table piled with books! She must figure that they are good guardians over books as well.

Sorry for the picture quality - poor lighing at midnight with an iphone makes for a stark flash and a bad pic but it is what it is!

Getting ready for Summer?

With the promise of warm weather this weekend, this video made me smile and want to visit Switzerland. But I think our Rocky Mountains will do! Have a great weekend everyone!

18 April 2012

April 18 Photo: Hair

How often do you think about your hair? I bet it's pretty often. At least as often as once a day and probaby every time you are in front of a mirror and sometimes even more (do you carry a small mirror with you?) And how out of sorts are you when you are having a 'bad hair' day? Honestly, I never feel my best if I'm not happy about my hair.  Today, though, I love my hair! Just fresh from the salon and I didn't leave with one of those "I'll just fix it when I get home" treatments. I booked this 8 weeks ago! Little did I know it would be the photo challenge assignment.

I sure appreciate my hair so much more after knowing there are people I love who don't get to have a bad hair day right now - and whether that is a temporary situation which I'm certain it is for one, or a new way of living which I've been part of sharing in with another, it is something that makes me appreciate the fact that I can have a bad hair day once in a while.

How brave does a woman have to be to face the fact that it is time to just shave it off and accept the situation? I think it is a very brave step - to take control of it and face the bald scalp.  I am so glad I was there with a girlfriend as she had her first wig shopping experience. And now try and stop her - how many wigs is it? 

Another friend was dealing with thinning hair and decided to mark a significant birthday by having a party and inviting us all to help her shave her head. She looked fantastic bald!  Her hair is back now but she wears it much shorter than she did before - it really suits her.

And I love it when I see those who are supporting friends and family shave their heads to raise funds to fight cancer. I'm not brave enough to do that myself but happy to donate to those who do!

Now - this is a different story when it comes to men. I know some have their own anxiety about losing their hair, but really, can anyone believe that the Trump comb-over is a good look to hold on to?  My Grandad was a bald man, my dad has a shiny pate and my brother is going the same way. Everyone has their preferences, but maybe you agree with Christine Lavin. Captain Picard didn't need hair and neither did Peter Garrett (that is testing your 80s knowledge - I had a poster of him on my bedroom wall!)


Did you think I might include a picture of my new hairdo in this post? Well, since you scrolled to the very end, okay, here it is.

April 17 Photo: Something I do not like

It's sent out invitations and moved its family into every drawer of my dresser!
Ha! I once again wasn't sure about my opportunity to capture something I don't like in a photo. I was thinking about getting a picture of wind. I really don't like the wind and it is the main reason I left Southern Alberta. But it wasn't particularly windy today.

Then my work colleague came over to show me a page in a book. New books had come in again at work today and as she was looking at the selection, she flipped open directly to this page. If you know what I went through in December, you would understand why she HAD to bring the book to me.

I came home from a month traveling to a house that had been taken over by mice!! They left reminders of their visit EVERYWHERE! Particularly unsettling was finding nests they had created in my dresser drawers.

I got the news while cruising on the Mediterranean (if you have to get some bad new, I recommend getting it while sitting on a cruise ship balcony). Just a quick mention in an email - my nephew had dropped by to use my washing machine and saw some mouse droppings on the basement stairs. So I expected a mouse or two in the basement and wasn't too concerned.

I arrived home a couple days later for a short 6 hour stopover before flying out again for one last week away. I was deposited at my door missing a suitcase, over-tired from traveling for over 24 hours (that is a different tale of woe) and handed a bag of poison and mouse traps by my mom who is deathly afraid of mice. I've had mice before and never felt too bothered by it. Set traps and plug up the entry point. Easy Peasy.

I saw a few mouse droppings here and there - it was late and dark and I didn't look too hard. I was exhausted so I put down some poison on the basement landing and in the kitchen on the main floor and headed upstairs. More droppings. Just a few here and there. More poison and off to bed (after changing the bedding). As soon as the lights were out, and I began to nod off, I heard the scratchings in the walls. Then running back and forth. And then more and more and I switched on the light and one was sitting on the floor by my bed - I screamed and he ran and I freaked out. I knew he wasn't alone!

I really couldn't get to sleep now so I got up and packed up for trip number 2, noticed a LOT of the poison was already gone (how many were there???) and so I put some more out and I got out of there.

One week later, back home and in daylight, saw the full evidence of what they had been up to. In EVERY room, on EVERY piece of furniture and in EVERY cupboard and drawer. Nests! They shredded clothes and towels, a bit of tissue, and mixed in some of the poison pellets from all three floors (I had a couple of different brands) and rice (I had a bag of wild rice in the kitchen on the main floor but they moved it to the upstairs tower block which I call my dresser and the downstairs condo project which was a chest of drawers I used for storage)

I am grateful for the extra hands that helped me scour every surface and wash every piece of clothing, every bowl, dish and spoon. I had an exterminator come and he confirmed they were no longer in residence (whew!) and Dad found their likely entrance (the dryer hose was chewed through) so I feel like I can claim my home as my own again.  I've re-claimed the main and second floor but I haven't gone through my basement yet.  Anyone want to come hunt for mouse nests with me??

So - mice, especially a picture of one in a drawer, brings up some fairly strong emotions of DISLIKE.

Okay - keep calm and go to your happy place... before the infestation...

17 April 2012

April 16 Photo: Flower

When I saw that the assignment was FLOWER, I had no idea that I would have such a photo opportunity present itself! Serendipity again.

The flowers are beautiful inside the renovated Conservatory at the Calgary Zoo.  It was a work day but I was lucky enough to be excused so that I could spend some time with family. We spent a lot of time enjoying the butterfly garden and some of the pictures  above were taken by my nieces.

My niece looking for butterflies.

It was a special occasion because my brother's wife and children were in town. I was excited to spend more time with my four nieces who live so far away.  So glad to get to know them better! Here they are (okay, the cute baby doesn't belong to my brother - she belongs to my sister Belinda)
My brother's sweet girls.
And not just those four but a whole crew of nieces and nephews also made up the ranks!  Getting them all to line up for a picture was a bit like herding cats, but we got most of them to stand still for a minute.  Lots of energy!!

A crew of nieces and nephews!

I enjoyed letting them show me all their discoveries as we looked around the conservatory. They pointed out all butterflies they could find and what they thought were the prettiest flowers.  And kids will be kids --they noticed all kinds of crazy features of the plants! How about this scary look underside of a plant?


But mostly a trip to the zoo is about the animals. They didn't disappoint.Although I think I saw more backsides than animals facing forward.

The highlight though had to be the new Penguin Plunge!!The line was moving well in the morning but we let groups go ahead of us as we collected everyone coming from different directions.  They let 60 people go in at a time which seems like a lot, but it has a good viewing area and didn't seem too crowded. You are right up next to the glass and I can see how some penguins could get some momentum and end up swimming/jumping right over the glass. We didn't get to see that happen though, but there was plenty of splashing going on - one penguin in particular is apparently a fan of directing a good splash at the visitors.There are four kinds of penguins at the zoo - King, Rock Hopper, Gentoo and Humboldt. All fun to watch!!

Rock Hopper and Gentoo Penguins
Feeding the Humboldt Penguins in the outside viewing area

One last flower to end the post. The orchids in the Conservatory are gorgeous!

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