September 11, 2009

The Leaves Are Changing Already...

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Autumn colours in Sant'Elena, Venice, Italy

I love my area of this planet, partly because we have all four seasons and we have them in spades. There's no doubt when each season arrives.
Each one shows up with a flourish.
Each one shows up, stomps her feet and announces her presence with trumpet fanfare.

I spent a few weeks in October in Venice a couple of years ago, and one of the things that surprised me was that autumn showed up right behind me. Followed me into town, literally.
Surprised me, because I never thought of a country in the Mediterranean having all four seasons as noticeably as we do in Canada.
But, in fact, Italy cycles through the seasons just like here.
Maybe not as radically announced, but nevertheless, present.

The first traces of autumn in Venice became very visible very quickly, as the leaves changed colour from green to russet to orange and red and gold. I particularly noticed the vines covering the walls by a cathedral in Sant'Elena...

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Autumn leaves gracing the brick walls near the cathedral

As the vacation in Venice came to an end, I took a last long walk around the city, taking photos of the fall colours and letting the beauty of this city soak into my soul.

When I arrived home, I found that autumn had crept into the countryside around my home town while I was away! The colours weren't as brilliant as in Venice, they weren't as varied, but they were still breathtakingly beautiful. And, they were the colours of my home...

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Autumn leaves beside Medicine Lake, near Jasper, AB ~ Jasper National Park

"Bittersweet October.
The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter." ~ Carol Bishop Hipps

September 8, 2009

Long Time Gone...Back, Now!

Nope, I didn't disappear from the face of the earth, my peeps!
I know I've been absent from my beloved blog for a couple of months.
I sincerely appreciate everyone checking on me, phoning and e-mailing me to make sure I was alright. That was so sweet of you! It helped to know that you cared and that you missed me. Niiiice!

Just a few health issues that needed my full and undivided attention. I didn't have the energy left over to blog and so, along with a few other lovely things in my life, blogging was set on the back burner for awhile.

Now, I'm back with a vengeance and I'll be bothering you with my funny, slightly sarcastic and heartfelt stories again.

Wow! This has been an amazing summer, full of a rainbow of things for me to do.
I have been going for acupuncture on a regular basis. I highly recommend it.
Even to skerdy-cats like me, who tremble and faint when having blood work done in a lab.

Needles, lots of needles stuck into my body at various places.
The good thing is that these needles are hairlike and very thin.
They don't hurt.
Much.

I've been treating a few physical ailments with this ancient form of Eastern medicine and really truly, the needles work! It's a partnership between 3 people...my medical doctor, my doctor of acupuncture and me. Together, we've created a healthier human being. That's gotta be nothing but good.

The bottom line is this...I'm responsible for my own health and it is my job to get out there in the hard cruel world and find out what is available for me. There is a ton of information and help available, and all I had to do was get going and get discovering. I did, and so far, so good!

So, here I am, back on my blog and I promise to catch up with all of the articles I haven't written for you and all of the jokes I haven't told you, yet.
Thanks for your patience over the past couple of months and thanks for checking in!
You need to know...it helped me more than I can tell you.


One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind. ~Malayan Proverb

July 26, 2009

My Favorite Cat Cartoons...Another One...

Recently, I posted a few cartoons by Simon...cartoons about cats.
This guy KNOWS cats inside and out. He draws their characteristics to perfection.
So, I was delighted, totally and completely, when a friend emailed me Simon's new cartoon!
Here you are...I love sharing these!


Rules for Cats Who Have A House To Run:
#78 When walking among the dishes on the dinner table, be prepared to look surprised and hurt when scolded. The idea is to force your humans to reveal that they tolerate this behavior when company is not there.

July 22, 2009

AdamAdam...I...I Just Love You, Too...

Well, this'll bring tears to your eyes...
Adam recorded this exquisite song for a friend of his, figure skater Nick LaRoche. Originally recorded by Five for Fighting, Nick wasn't crazy about the arrangement. He talked to Adam about it, and Adam offered to record the song for Nick.

Here is a video version of Adam's recording...and you can read the story of their collaboration right here.



Here's Nick skating to Adam's version of I Just Love You...


Lonely, yeah that's the word
I leave my heart when I leave her
The days go on forever and the nights do too

One evening out on the road
A half a world away from home,
I thought she was sleeping
When the call came through...

I said, 'Darling, it's late, is everything ok?'
Silence took over the room,
Til she said,

'I... I just love you
I don't know why, I just do.
When are you coming home?'

'I'm coming home soon
And I just love you too.'

Five For Fighting - I Just Love You lyrics

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July 19, 2009

AdamAdam...Stay Safe, Stay Strong...

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Top 10 Finale ~ Los Angeles Staples Center ~ photo credit - Just Jared


A while back I wrote an emotional piece on this blog about the need to speak up and stand tall for Adam Lambert and his decision to talk openly and freely about his sexuality. At the time, I initially felt like it was completely irrelevant, that there was no need for him to feel like he had to talk about his life with anyone. I think I said something cavalier like, "Who cares?" What I meant was that I saw no reason in this 21st century for a person to be put in a position of explaining his or her life to anyone.

I also wrote about my own realization that as long as there is one person in the world who doesn't understand the basic human right of freedom to live one's life without criticism and judgment, then it is important for everyone to care for and to speak up in support of that person.

Fast forward to today.
I just learned that a small but vocal group of church-goers has published an incredibly offensive, viciously-worded brochure attacking the American Idols as a group and Adam Lambert as a fellow human being. I read the obscenely-worded handout that this group of so-called "Christians" has been distributing, and I was sickened to realize that there still are pockets of such ignorance and shocking narrowmindedness existing in my corner of the world.

Thank God for the intelligence and kindness of Adam's fellow Idols, because they have closed ranks around him, circled the wagons, so to speak. Michael Sarver, who finished in the Top 10, is a married father of two from Texas.
He writes on his Twitter page about the relationship between the ten Idols in the show, "We are together in this thing. You mess with one, you mess with all ten. We are strong and we are 1."

A few hours later, he writes, "Funny how people think it's a good idea to mess with a big Texan and his AI family. Lol! Adam is just fine, shakes it off and so should we."

I know that they are protected and kept safe.
I know that they have each other's backs and are supportive and loving with each other like a true family.
What I don't know is what the hell makes people think they have the right to attack some young kids who are doing nothing other than making music together for our benefit.

Music!
It's just music, people!
These amazing human beings are simply making music, not selling illegal drugs or smuggling weapons of mass destruction.
Where's the harm in this, I ask you?
They're singing their way across the continent, entertaining tens of thousands of people, putting on a show for fans from eight to eighty.
They're giving so much time and energy to give back to their fans that they are exhausted and running on fumes some days.

So, rather than organizing a string of protests, making picket signs and hurling obscenities across the Universe at these ten Idol winners, it seems to me that a much more productive and much less toxic way to change the world might be to feed the hungry, house the homeless and strengthen and support the weak.

The Idols are singing their way from city to city. Yet, at the same time. they are dealing with the same pressures and pain that we all deal with in our lives...the death of a beloved grandmother, a violent case of food poisoning, being away from a wife and 2 tiny children...everyday things for everyday people.

I wish for one thing...that those protestors learn how to channel their abundant energy towards a more productive cause, one that heals the world and not one that causes more pain than already exists. I know that I'm blowing air up a dead dog's butt in wishing for this...I know that nothing changes that type of mentality.

Here's the only thing I can offer to the Idols tonight...my favorite Irish blessing...

May those that love us, love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles
So we will know them by their limping.


"God was just showing off when he made Adam Lambert!"
~ Source unknown


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Top 10 Finale - Tacoma concert - photo credit unknown

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