Friday 29 April 2011

The Royal Wedding

My late mom and dad, 1945
What a delightful escape. A virtual trip to escape reality, the election, healthcare issues. And we didn't have to pay too much for it!

The pageantry was amazing. Nary a hitch. A fairy tale fit for a princess. And the fascinators. Even the little boys who got up early loved the uniforms. Nice to see the men all dressed up, swords belted firmly.

The wedding guests varied from traditional hats, to modern hats and gowns. Guests from all around the world.

2002 wedding by the lake
I pulled out my wedding photos, and my daughter's wedding photos, and we will reminisce about those affairs! We have some 2nd hand hats, dress ups, and my late mother's wedding gown to view. We will watch the ceremony tonight, over a glass of wine, and enjoy it.

Traditions are a thing of the past. If you don't honour the past, and understand where you have come from, you will not understand the present and have a vision for the future.

The ladies fascinators are a visible demonstration of the British sense of humour. They take life seriously but take themselves with a sense of humour.
I wore my wedding dress again!

With a loved one running for office, it was a sensible moment to take a break and time off.

Many in the US and Canada have suffered from this latest storm, but this is a brief moment to reflect, to breath deeply, and sigh at the sheer joy of 1 million Brits cheering happily for their Royal Family!

Thursday 28 April 2011

Damage in Lanark County

Obviously, compared to the US, the damage is much less severe. But when you look at the trees that are down, you shudder.

I didn't realize the damage until I drove into town.

Here I was, on my way to do some friendly visiting in the local long-term care.

The news says: 30 - 40 lights out in downtown Ottawa.

 Ottawa Public Health 
We are distributing free bottled water at the Munster Community Centre (58 Dogwood Drive) until 10 p.m. tonight

In Perth, highway #511 is closed. Just closed!

 This poor woman ended up off the road, just nudged the tree. I drove by, then realized it wasn't a parking spot. She told me she'd called CAA, and they were on their way. I asked if she wanted me to stay with her till they arrived (my friendly seniors could wait for me!), but she said she was much better than 15 minutes ago, and better all around!

 This is a field, on which these trusses have sat all winter. They've truly been destroyed.

Two of them have a tractor that must be weighing them down, to prevent further damage.
 My heart goes out to this business.

Then, I went up to Sunset Blvd., they had issues, too. This huge tree was directly across the hydro wire. By the time I visited my senior friends, it had been but into pieces. Go, Lanark!
A little farther down the road, a light standard looked somewhat tipsy!

I was quite happy to relax and visit in the long-term care.

The rescue cats were ambling about.
I played my recorder for a few people. I felt much more relaxed when I returned home!

Dozens of tornadoes kill 231 in 6 southern U.S. states

News Alert

NA satellite Apr. 28, 12:00 UTC
SE Ontario radar
What a set of storms moved it's way across North America. The USA had 173 231 deaths. I am very grateful to have escaped this storm at its peak. Our satellite radar shows the extreme event last night (right: Wednesday, April 27).

Condolences to those who have lost loved ones. Alabama lost 116 alone.

Click on the captions to visit the weather webpages. I find weather fascinating.

Tornado watches are available across this continent.

Severe Studios bring us
the video. I wonder if their mother knows what they do?! You should see some of their videos!

April showers bring May bugs!

They say April showers bring May bugs!
Oh, no. Flowers!

Right now, April is nicely wet.

The wind is amazing. But the bugs are appearing!
I saw my first mosquito, and there are lots of sweet little bugs out there! 
The spider visited me as I sat on the front porch.

The water strider was happily zipping across the frog pond. Frogs have appeared, predator and prey: the cycle of life!

We are on septic and well water. Happy to have the aquifer filled. Although, we live on top of much clay!

The amount of rain is amazing. How can the clouds hold so much?

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Ontario thunderstorms

The birds were singing madly.

I was forced in from the frog pond today.
Thunderstorms rolled through our area. Pounding rain, thunder, lightning. It was glorious, as the grass begins to green up in south eastern Ontario, the rain fills the ponds.

The dead trees sprout fungus. The forest is such a peaceful place.

Transplanting several wee conifers, to fill up what was lawn, I was happy with the rain!

Setting the videocam on my tripod, July 26, 2008, I captured a 20 min. of a passing thunderstorm, trimming it up to couple of flashes, the loons calling, and that lovely sound of rain falling. It was about 5:00 a.m. as the light slowly dawned.

But this is my favourite. Another storm in Muskoka. I set up the videocam on my not-so-trusty antique tripod and let it run. Trying to snap a photo, I knew my reactions were just too slow! The trick is to stop the camera after each bolt of lightning —that way you know better where to find it on the video when you edit it. I use iMovie for editing. The storm lasted about a half hour.

You can see them at 1:22, and 1:32 minutes in. Don't blink! This is a screen shot.

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Volpe handler busy as little beavers!

This is a fabulous video from the Beau River, in Calgary.

These beavers look like Joe Volpe's crew. Ignoring those watching with cameras.
This time around they've been removing Green Party pamphlets from mailboxes.

Orla Hegarty
photographed it all!

A Joe Volpe campaign worker swapping Liberal pamphlet for a GPC flyer
-Liberal Switch-er-roo (Pic by pic)
-Liberal Switch-er-roo (Contact sheet)

Last time around, Volpe had campaign contributions from 5 family members, three from the children in the same family. Now, you know that campaign contributions from one person are limited to $1000.
Sleazy way to get around the law.

Joe Volpe - Canadian Blogs

This fine is in relation to his most recent "irregularities". ... Joe Volpe's campaign is alleged to have paid the membership fees of new party recruits

In September 2005, it was reported that Volpe had claimed $10,891.15 in meal and transportation expenses over an eleven-month period.[72] Opposition MPs argued that this figure was excessive, and noted that Volpe's meal expenses were more than three times higher than his predecessor as Immigration Minister, Judy Sgro, during the same period a year earlier.

On October 15, 2006, the Toronto Star reported that the Career Foundation, a federally-funded charity serving the unemployed, had paid seven of its clients to work on Volpe's leadership campaign. The Foundation is headquartered in Volpe's Eglinton—Lawrence riding and fell under his purview during his tenure as Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2006,
The Toronto Star reported Saturday that the Volpe camp had allegedly paid the $10 membership fee for at least nine party members it signed up in Montreal. The report also alleged that two new Liberal members signed up in Montreal were dead and several had been signed up without their knowledge.

Meanwhile, a complaint was filed Monday with the Liberal party alleging that 60 members were signed up improperly by Ignatieff's camp in two Toronto-area ridings -- including one man in Ignatieff's constituency said to have died two years ago.

Monday 25 April 2011

Handler dumping, election polls, signage,

Here in Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington I can sum up the riding with a photo!

Settlers from Scotland, the USA, put down roots in our region.

A very conservative riding.
The motto of the region: 'back off, government'.

Living in the outskirts of a town, no door-knocking candidates here!

Our Green Party S-I-L candidate is going door-to-door. Hours of campaigning.

Campaign donations are rolling in.
Campaign donation!
Campaign teams have been knocking on doors across the country.

I suppose it is good exercise!
On the other hand, here is an exercise in deception.
In this not-so-surprising photo (below)
you can see Joe Volpe and his handler, the latter dumping a Green Party pamphlet, replacing it with the Liberal red.

A Joe Volpe campaign worker swapping Liberal pamphlet for a GPC flyer

-Liberal Switch-er-roo (Pic by pic)
-Liberal Switch-er-roo (Contact sheet)

Great photo captures by a Green Party canvasser:

Kady O'Malley was in on figuring out what was up.  Finally had a response from Joe Volpe's campaign..."When this issue about the canvasser was brought to my attention by the Green Party candidate... in deference to his concern and to the hard work of my own campaign, the canvasser was released by the campaign."

The polls say:


Strength in Ontario puts ‘squeaker of a majority’ within Harper’s reach

The NDP is at 16.9 per cent support in Ontario compared to 47.8 per cent support for the Conservatives and 29.3 per cent for the Liberals. That’s Mr. Ignatieff’s lowest level of support in the province since the election began and Mr. Nanos said Mr. Harper has been the main beneficiary of the Grit slide. (The margin of error is plus or minus 5.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.)

No, Nanos, no!

Harper's lowered tax cuts for business irks me. Then I read this US-based article: 

9 Things The Rich Don't Want You To Know About Taxes

Basically, it is true. The rich get richer, and in the US don't pay taxes...

' Mad Men who once ran campaigns featuring doctors extolling the health benefits of smoking are now busy marketing the dogma that tax cuts mean broad prosperity, no matter what the facts show.

It’s true that the top 1 percent of wage earners paid 38 percent of the federal income taxes in 2008 (the most recent year for which data is available). But people forget that the income tax is less than half of federal taxes and only one-fifth of taxes at all levels of government.

Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance taxes (known as payroll taxes) are paid mostly by the bottom 90 percent of wage earners.  That’s because, once you reach $106,800 of income, you pay no more for Social Security, though the much smaller Medicare tax applies to all wages. Warren Buffett pays the exact same amount of Social Security taxes as someone who earns $106,800.'

Frog keeps in tune

Down by the frog pond. This little guy was singing. No tripod...I'm a bit wobbly!
I adore the spring singing.

Frog's eggs
It's a relief to get outdoors and get away from the election talk. The polls are crazy.

People are crazy.
Wanting more services, but lower taxes. But I digress.

Frog in our old pond, with Shirley, the goldfish

A spring peeper!

Sunday 24 April 2011

Buds of spring

The glorious spring. When the promise of luxurious foliage fulfills the promise that all is well with the world. The the cycle of the seasons, after the cold of winter, is such a wonderful time. It warms me body and soul.
I do not mind the changing seasons. In fact I thrive on it. You cannot appreciate feeling happiness without feeling sorrow. And after hours shoveling driveways and sidewalk, getting my shovel into the earth feels good. The smell of the earth, the singing of the birds. The cats rolling around on sun-warmed cement steps!

The winter builds character.

The fall colours: delightful. A beautiful frame that helps us celebrate the harvest and remember the summer colours.

But this month; April showers and spring flowers.

The snow has melted, and everything is rising up to greet us.

The spruce trees I transplanted are looking good.

The raspberry canes have teeny, maroon-coloured leaf buds

Caitlin's star flowers, with a bud!

Two running buds!
There are all kinds of buds. Our local long-term care centre has two rescue cats who roam the institution. They aren't much help, but good company!

 Of course, I have photos of spring buddies, too! Then there are MY buds!

Me and my buds were outside playing in the warm sunshine.

Spring means eschewing winter coats.
Spring bonnets.
Shoes not boots!

Climbing trees, waiting for the ball game to start! All is well and good!