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Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Posted by Lorac Sunday, 29 November 2009 10 comments

This was a present for me on Friday. It had been a stormy day and I just happened to look out the window and saw this. I ran for my camera knowing how fleeting a rainbow can be. Running outside in my PJ's and bare foot I managed to get a few shots before it faded away.


First time I have seen a full rainbow from my house.



Then the wind picked up and it started to pour rain and the rainbow disappeared. Lovely while it lasted!

Scenic Sunday

Posted by Lorac 14 comments

Scenic Sunday

I was able to visit the beautiful Waterton Lakes National  Park in Alberta a couple of years back. It is a magnificent park nestled in the mountains. If you can enlarge the pics it will be worth it!
Wikipedia states: Waterton Lakes National  Park is a national park located in the southeast corner of Alberta, Canada. Waterton was Canada's 4th National Park, formed in 1895 and named after Waterton Lake. The park contains 505 squared kilometers (203 square miles) of rugged mountains and wilderness.


As I first drove into the park I found this lazy little river, striking scene with the mountain in the background!



The beauty was stunning as I drove along the road in the park but nothing prepared me for the sight I would see! In 1932, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park was formed on behalf of Rotary International. This park symbolizes the bonds of peace and friendship between the people of the United States and Canada, and a border crossing is open in the park during the summer. Although the park has a lot of diversity for it's size the main highlight is the Waterton Lakes. the deepest in the Canadian Rockies, and Overlooked by the historic Prince of Wales Hotel.



The Prince of Wales Hotel



There were  many deer. This one I caught munching on the garden at a rest stop. He actually came over to look at me! I thought if he had a camera he would be taking my pic!



There are many lakes,each unique and wonderful! With the mountains as a backdrop I couldn't stop taking pictures. I got 200 pics form this park alone. Standing here I felt like I should be hearing the national anthem!


Little stream turns into a small waterfall which empties into a turquoise pool. To get this shot I had to hang over a rock cliff. I remember thinking that if I fell, it would be years until someone found me as this was just a stop I made on the off road to see something else and found this pool.



Still yet another gorgeous little lake called Cameron Lake. There were too many to show in this post. I picked a few that struck me as the epitome of the park. This I took late into the evening . There are a lot of side roads off the main road and I went down a lot of them . I found this beauty at the end of one, but it was getting late by that time. There was a parking lot, but no one was there, the place was deserted. I got out of the car and walked around a bit, basking  in the beauty. Then I saw it! There was a huge sign saying "Beware of the Bears". There a had been an attack on a human there just a few days ago. The hair on the back of my neck started to rise at this! Looking all around I realized how far off the beaten track I was and alone. I went down to the dock took a couple of quick photos and hopped back in the car where I felt a little safer.

It was such a gorgeous park. I would love to get back there one day and explore some more.
1895 (national park)
1979 (biosphere reserve)
1995 (world heritage site)



To see other Scenic Sunday posts click here.

Wake up and Smell the Coffee!

Posted by Lorac Saturday, 28 November 2009 15 comments

I have been feeling sorry for myself. That's not like me! I usually have "get up and go to it" spirit and I can't believe how down I am this season!. So! No more!
I think I have to look at this "Being broke for Christmas Thing" differently! Time to stop feeling like a deer caught in the headlights!



In a nutshell, I am feeling badly because I can't give to others at Christmas (as in go out and buy gifts) but what my readers have pointed out is that there is no changing that, so it's time to become creative with giving. Many years ago, as a single Mom, I often had to become creative in my gift giving. So by my fellow bloggers suggestions, I need to think what I can give of myself!

Firstly, although I am pleased as punch that the weather has been much warmer than usual, I think this is part of the problem . It is really hard to gain the Christmas spirit when there is no snow and the temperatures are mild. I have done no decorating here as I have been low in spirit. Time to move on!
I will start by pulling out the decorations! Set up the tree. Put out the wreaths and candles and everything else I can find! Maybe this will bring on a bit more spirit and I can come up with some ideas!

When it comes right down to it, Christmas should be about family and love and realizing what is important to us!

I have stated to brainstorm on gifts I can make and time I can share. I was looking earlier on the web and there are a ton of sites on making inexpensive gifts for family, many with things you have around the house.

For friends, I will have a Christmas movie/potluck night! I only have a few female friends I would really want to entertain anyway, so I will get some soppy Christmas movie, like White Christmas, and ask everyone to bring a potluck plate! We can have a little dinner first and then watch the movie. I can have a nice fire going in the fireplace and with all my decorations I am going to put up it should be nice!

I am looking for ideas! If any one has some ideas for making inexpensive gifts for the family let me know! Especially for a 6 year old girl and a 14 year old girl!

The Grinch Has Stolen Christmas!

Posted by Lorac Friday, 27 November 2009 8 comments

 Well it seems to be the Christmas season. At least that is all I am seeing on TV commercials and hearing on the radio now. Even the Christmas Carols have started. I imagine all the stores are set up for Christmas and the Christmas muzak is playing in the elevators!
 I usually love Christmas. I don't really like the shopping, but always look forward to the season. Visiting and entertaining. Shop windows all dressed up and Salvation Army Buckets and Bells to help the poor. The big day, starting with a Christmas breakfast and the smell of the turkey cooking and the kids (now grand kids) playing with all the new things they received from family and friends!
  Unfortunately that all belongs to the Land of the Employed. I don't think I have ever been totally unemployed at Christmas before. I have been employed at jobs that were low on the pay scale or part time in my younger years but never entirely unemployed. I find this to be really depressing  when money issues are so upfront and center at Christmas time. I have been plugging along so far, pinching and scrounging, thinking I am doing the right thing by waiting to see if the funding comes through for college. Unfortunately I am unable to do the type of physical work I have done in the past. Being a paramedic and rescue personnel have destroyed my back. I am almost guaranteed the funding by the sounds of things but won't know until February. Now though I am re-thinking this.


 This waiting has put me into a huge bind. I find I can not afford Christmas. I simply don't have any cash for it. Not at all. That is, not if I want to eat for the month and try to pay bills. I am what they call "Cash Strapped".
 So I am finding that I can't "do" Christmas. I am miserable. I can't entertain so I don't want to visit. I can't shop as I don't have the money. I have to tell everyone to please not buy for me as I cannot reciprocate. I don't want to hear the Christmas Carols or see the advertisements or watch any Christmas shows. The Christmas Spirit has been taken out of my Christmas. The Grinch has once again stolen Christmas. Like it or not, Christmas costs us dearly.
So, I feel awful as I am going to disappoint the grand kids this year. I have no Christmas cheer to spread  so I already feel I am going to be lousy company. All because of our crappy economy. Caused by the greed of  money hungry individuals, institutions and banks. The ones that already had hordes of money. Modern day Grinch's! I am one of the so called "Victims of the Recession".
So this is why I am re-thinking my position.  I had worked my way up and it took years. Divorced single Mom, two children to raise but I did it and made my way up in the world to where I and my family were comfortable. All gone now.
Maybe I should give up the dream and take what ever job I can get so I can make ends meet. I don't know. Can I settle for a job instead of a career?  Again I don't know. What I do know is that if I chose that, there is no going back!

Skywatch Friday -Getting Some Air

Posted by Lorac Thursday, 26 November 2009 31 comments

SkyWatch Friday
It was a grey rainy day. Outside the window looked damp and dull but I couldn't take it any longer. I had to get out for a walk. I went to grab my camera but wondered what I would take pictures of at this time of year with this weather? I grabbed it anyway thinking of all the beautiful blogs that show such wonderful flowers, plants and spring time on the other side of the world. Maybe, I could get something at least interesting to look at. Maybe!


A puddle at the entrance to the clay pit affords us a glimpse of the sky in it's reflection.


We go past the old lonely barn with it's rusty red roof and silo. Sad to see this once useful barn going to ruin.

  The creek is swollen from the rain.
 Pretty to hear the laughing water flowing over the little dams. A bright red Dogwood bush gives a splash of colour.



 On the other side there is a reflection of the sky and the trees in the still area of water. The once colourful leaves are all on the ground making a brown carpet that crunches when you walk on it if it is dry.

Down the road we pass my favorite farm in the area. The new owners have worked hard to bring this back to it's prior splendor and beyond. Look what they have done with the barn! There are two Christmas trees in front of the red barn which light up at night.


Of course these are my favorite cows! These are Black Angus. King of cows. The skies are getting lighter and I even had a bit of sun for this shot.



Across the road, the unharvested corn glows in the new bit of sunlight.


 The sky is showing the breaks of blue sky through the storm clouds. Normally I see the horses in here.



Whoa! What are you doing here gorgeous?



 I have never seen horses lying down, three together before. Their backs are to the wind to keep warm. They are not happy with the rain and the cooler air today!



The donkey doesn't seem to mind the horse company. In fact he faced his backside to them, ignoring them entirely. A small itch disturbed his disdain.



A noise in the bush brings my attention to this shy little fellow. Peering out from behind the tree trunk he chatters to let me know I am trespassing. Squirrels are very possessive of their property.


We have great White Pine trees in this area. In fact are known for them. In the old days there were many wood mills around to process these stately trees.



The sky is clearing, another beautiful November Day has emerged.



 Go check out all the SkyWatch Friday posts! Bloggers sign up from all over the world!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!

Watery Wednesday: Beaver in the Lock

Posted by Lorac Tuesday, 24 November 2009 16 comments

Watery Wednesday

I have often gone to Lindsay, Ontario to give training  to the hydro company. Always with a camera in hand, I thought that the way the town" pretties up" the old locks with flower pots was a great idea. They are at the front and at the back of the old lock.



While taking a pic of flower pots I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I moved to the side and looking a little closer I saw a lone beaver. Busy little guy, he was swimming all around and seemed quite happy. If you can enlarge the pics, do so. In the second one you can see the beavers flat tail and webbed feet that help him swim. so well.



He blends right into the water. If it wasn't for the little bit of movement I would have missed him entirely.

Go see other great pics and posts at Watery Wednesday!

Scenic Sunday, Pond View, Straight out of the Camera

Posted by Lorac Saturday, 21 November 2009 26 comments

Scenic Sunday
Straight Out of the Camera
We have experienced unusual weather here for November. It has been ranging around 10-16 degrees Celsius for the the last three weeks with very little rain. This time last year there was snow on the ground and it was -6 Celsius. Huge difference. I thought a little walk in the forest to celebrate was in order and I wanted to check out this pond I had found before. There was about 20 Mallard ducks at the pond, I had walked in quietly and being unaware of me, all were being very communicative with each other. A cacophony of quacks and honks!



Go and check out some great pics at Scenic Sunday !
Or Straight Out of the Camera

SkyWatch Friday

Posted by Lorac Thursday, 19 November 2009 40 comments

SkyWatch Friday

 The sun lights Golden skies with it's final breath of the day.



 I was driving into this sunset and had to stop . I couldn't keep my eyes on the road. That brilliant orb was blinding in it's last light and the colours were so intense, but different from the colours I usually see in a sunset. The land had already given up it's light and colour for the day and the contrast was stark.

Please go and visit other SkyWatch Fridays Posts from around the world!


Watery Wednesday: Nude in the Pond

Posted by Lorac Tuesday, 17 November 2009 18 comments





Looks a little chilly to be waiting for a bath but she doesn't seem to mind! Go see other "Watery Wednesday" posts from around the globe!

???????

Posted by Lorac Monday, 16 November 2009 9 comments

I have always liked this picture. I was on this site as a rescuer for this job. It was a huge project and this was only one confined space in the area that we provided rescue for. The welder in this picture is cutting through the kiln to be able to remove a section for replacement.






Have a great day!

The Weather is Fine! Come Walk WIth Me.

Posted by Lorac Sunday, 15 November 2009 14 comments

The tail end of Fall is giving us great weather this last week in Southern Ontario. Temperatures have been above seasonal and no rain for a week. I have been taking advantage of this by getting all the things I procrastinate on and usually have to do in the cold, freezing my fingers, toes and nose.
I took a little break and scoured the property looking to see what else may need doing and took my camera "Just in case". It looks so bleak with all the leaves off the trees, the only green left is the grass. I didn't think I would find anything to photo but there was a few things.

Look at the blue skies we have had. Temperatures ranging from 10 -16 Celsius. Unfortunately this is the last day for the umbrella. Time to be stored for the winter.


This beautiful spruce evergreen gets the smallest cones on it. You can already see the buds forming for next spring.



  This vibrant red against the brilliant sky caught my eye.
The Sumac flowers stays late into the year having only arrived in late August. To really appreciate this pic, enlarge by clicking on it!



Only the left over apples are still on my wild apple tree. The leaves long gone. The apples are still feeding the wildlife around. I have seen rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and mice all feeding from these. Some birds as well.


Waiting by the tall Pampas grass, my younger cat, Cleopatra, Cleo for short, is really enjoying this weather. In the fall she becomes a kitten again, chasing leaves around the yard.



The Sedum flowers stay late into fall. The pastel pink becomes this dusty rose as the season wears on.



 Fluffy cattails are blowing their seeds all over the neighbourhood.



Hens and Chicks have settled in for the winter months with their blanket of leaves to help keep them warm.



 A Maple leaf valiantly clings to it's fall colour, enlightened by the sun.



The French Lavender has bloomed much longer than I would suspect and is still giving blooms. I will harvest it shortly for the wonderful aroma it will give in a Potpourri in the winter.



So, there is still colour! Flowers are still blooming and I saw so many birds. Blue Jay's, Chickadees, a Finch , Robins, Hawks and Geese still flying by. All on my little tour of the property. At this time of year we very well could be blanketed in snow and soon will be. But what a nice respite after an abysmal summer, to have such a nice fall. Thanks for your visit today. Leave a comment and tell me, how are your fall chores going?

Miss Manners and the New World

Posted by Lorac Saturday, 14 November 2009 6 comments

Manners... or Lack of


 Thanks to Kwadwo Kwarte on Flickr

  I ensured my children were raised with manners. Old school manners in fact. They open the door for women and the elderly. They offer a coat when their wives or girlfriend get cold. They will excuse themselves if a burp sneaks out in public. I fear though that many of the other manners I taught them have gone down hill with the rest of the world.

 I am amazed at the lack of manners in society today. Oh I can hear you, "The youngsters now-a-days  have horrible manners!". I do not mean just the young, I mean people in general! I am surprised, nay, horrified at how many people seem to have forgotten their manners. I know that in my parents era  and my era as well we were all taught to "do unto others" and politeness was a key ingredient  in that.

 On a recent trip to town, I  seemed to run into bad manners wherever I went. At the supermarket, where an elderly lady found herself trapped by shopping carts. As I arrived I could see she was looking for a way out but the other patrons were blocking her cart and not noticing. I felt badly for her so took matters into my own hands and I asked the aisle blockers if they would mind moving to the side so we could get through. I received rather dirty looks from one, an "Oh, sorry" from another, but the aisle was cleared. I too moved to the side to allow the elderly lady to go by. With out a word, just a scowl on her face, she brushed past me! If someone were to do this for me I would say a "Thank you" on the way by or at the least smile and nod an acknowledgment of their help. She saw that I meant to help her.

 Now of course this is up and foremost in my mind this day, so I notice every little breach of manners that is around me. The grocery clerk, who with his very large cart full of boxes,  I had to move out of the way for when I was standing in the checkout line. A well mannered young man would have said "Thank you.". I guess he wasn't well mannered, as he just pushed by!  The man who cut me off on purpose while I was trying to get into another lane. The women who pulled into a parking spot even though it was clear I was waiting for it. The "lady" who failed to say thank you when I held the door open at Zellers for her and her baby carriage. The rude salesclerk, that when asked where I could find a certain object, pointed and said "over there" and walked away. The man standing in line sneezing away and not one "Excuse me!" to be found.

 Now I  will say this was exceptional this particular day. I do find that for the most part people in my small town are usually helpful and have good manners, from the salesclerks to the general public. Regardless, I am seeing more and more ill mannered persons throughout my travels.

 Manners seem to be dieing away. That is reflected in the young of today as well as the elderly .It will not change me though. I will remain pleasant and mannerly. I will say ( in a loud voice) "You are welcome!" to the lady who didn't say thank you when I opened the door for her. I will refrain from giving the guy who cut me off the finger and just, instead give him and evil smile. The "I'll get you later, my pretty!" type of smile. The rude store clerk will still get an "Thanks so much for your help and concern!" reply and the sneezing man will get a "Bless you!". Does this way off responding to rudeness constitute rudeness itself.? Probably and for that I am truly sorry! (See? Manners!)

SkyWatch Friday

Posted by Lorac Thursday, 12 November 2009 28 comments

SkyWatch Friday


The skies here have been rather uneventful these last couple of weeks. Not that it hasn't been sunny the last week, it has! Just haven't been any where so nothing to see. I went into the archives and pulled out this pic from when I was in Holland visiting a friend. I had arrived that morning, was jet lagged and decided I needed a walk to clear my head. I couldn't believe my luck when I saw this!

The building where all the windows are reflecting the gorgeous blue of the sky which is once again reflected in the canal water! To top it all off, amidst it all is a quaint little  green skiff!




This pastel pink sky reflected in the lake looks warm and the baby blue bottom of the sky blankets the land.




Go to SkyWatch Friday for all the marvelous skies of the world. Enjoy the great hosts and  posts!

Thank You to All the Men and Women

Posted by Lorac Wednesday, 11 November 2009 180 comments

My Dad passed away a few years ago but even though he is gone I still say "Thanks" to him and all the service personnel who fought for our freedom in the great Worlds Wars I and II.
My Dad was a Pilot/Navigator in the RCAF in WWII. He flew in a Liberator Plane shown below. He was stationed in Egypt, India and Ceylon with the 160 Squadron RAF. In Ceylon, they were in the jungle, the air fields cut right into the middle of it. These big planes had scarce room to land.


History of Squadron 160
  • 160 Squadron was originally formed at Thurleigh in England on Jan. 16, 1942.

  • The ground crew were posted to the India on February 12, 1942, arriving without their aircraft.

  • The squadron's aircraft were flown to Palestine in early June, 1942, from where they carried out raids on Lybia and Crete.

  • Aircraft started leaving for India in October; some aircraft remained and were absorbed into 178 Sqn.

  • Initial operations in India were patrols over the Bay of Bengal.

  • The squadron moved to Ceylon and was engaged in shipping protection flights, minelaying, and photographic reconnaissance over Sumatra and the Nicobar Islands.

  • In June 1945 the squadron converted to special duties, dropping agents and supplies over Malaya and Sumatra.

  • After VJ day the squadron carried out transport duties.

  • The squadron was returned to England on June 15, 1946 where it briefly converted to Lancaster GR3's until disbandment on Sept. 30, 1946

  • The squadron only flew Liberator aircraft; Mk's II, III, V, VI, and VIII during WWII.



The Liberator dropping bombs.




Canadians served with all the SEAC Liberator squadrons.



I found this photo on the net, even though I have an original. This is a photo taken Sept. 12, 1943 at Ratmalana Ceylon of my Dad, his Liberator and his air crew. They were all so young! This whole crew made it home safe though. They were pretty tough back then. He received the Burma and Pacific Star For serving under the South East Asia Command. or SEAC.



Shown are: Sgt. Bruce Taylor, WAG; F/Sgt. Jonny Fallis, Nav.; Sgt. Jack Fudge; Pilot Officer Jerry Boyle, Pilot; Sgt. Jack Roberts, and Sgt. Stan Heffer.


I continued looking for information on Dad and came across this article. So interesting to find info on the net about your Dad and one of the medals he received! At this time he was a Flight Lieutenant.


ROBERTS, F/L J.H. (C1083) - Air Force Cross - No.116 Squadron (Canada) - Award effective 11 June 1942 as per London Gazette dated 11 June 1942 and AFRO 1000-1001/42 dated 3 July 1942. Awarded wings at Camp Borden, 28 February 1940. (Dad was only 20 when he got his wings!)
This officer has displayed unbounded enthusiasm during nearly 1,000 hours of flying time, 500 of which were on actual coastal operational duty. He has shown highly commendable spirit and devotion to duty, and has set a fine example for his brother officers by the cheerful, thorough and uncomplaining manner in which he has carried out any task which was given to him. A very outstanding young officer whose spirit and ideals deserve recognition.

That sure sounds like my Dad!



So once again, Thank you to all the Canadian men and women who served in the wars, for protecting our country and ensuring myself and my children have remained safe! Thank you to all who continue to do so, so our country can remain free!




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Lorac
Georgetown, Ontario, Canada
I have lived in Georgetown for 31 years but have traveled around a great deal. I own my own business which takes a lot of my time but try to blog as much as possible! I love to take pictures, no training, just a love of photography. Enjoy the pics but please do not copy them.
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Copyright ~~All content and photos are original to Carol Merten, Ahhh...The Cottage Life! and are copyrighted. Please do not copy, or download any content without express written consent. All content and photos remain the sole property of Carol Merten.

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