Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 90 - Take time to be grateful

It was a busy day full of frustration. We've been having some difficulty with the service department for our vehicle. I won't go into details but basically they said they fixed a problem that they didn't and we had to take the car back multiple times. We weren't frustrated that they made a mistake but that they lied and tried to cover it up. We had a friend (man of course) step in and help out. For some reason people who deal with cars seem to respond better to men. The saga is not yet over but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
So, you're wondering why the flowers and and the title? Well, as we were walking this evening I was contemplating what I would put up here tonight. As I heard myself complaining about the car, I stopped and thought back to Susan's blog entry shortly after the tragedy in Haiti. It doesn't take long to get wrapped up in our own lives and forget how lucky we are. I realized that although the day might have been frustrating, I have soooo much to be grateful for. Metaphorically speaking, I took time to stop and smell the roses (or Hydrangea in this case) and change my perspective.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 89 - More Flowers

With all the flowers in the house I couldn't resist taking some more pictures. Above is a closeup of a Tulip and below a Daisy that's getting ready to bloom. It's great getting up and having all these beautiful arrangements to look at. Soon, I'll be able to capture some flowers outdoors.

Day 88 - Spring Snow

This morning we woke up and everything was snow covered. We got close to 10 cm of snow during the night. There was almost no wind and the flakes were big and fluffy. Since they were announcing rain later on in the day I figured I better get out and take some pics. Although the world is beautiful when covered in clean, white snow I have to admit that I'm hoping that this will be the last snowfall of the season. With temperatures over 15 degrees Celsius later this week there's a good chance I'll be able to put the shovels away.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 87 - Birthday Flowers

Peg received many beautiful flower bouquets for her birthday yesterday. Not only do they look nice but they smell great too. Today I brought them all into the living room with my cameras and tripod. I played with different cameras, lenses, angles, aperture and shutter speeds. Since they were her flowers, I had Peg choose today's picture. She chose the one above. She liked the angle and thought with the forecast ahead we could all use a little sunshine.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 86 - Happy Birthday Peg!

Find a penny pick it up and all day you'll have good luck. Hmmm, if one penny brings you good luck I wonder how much 50 would bring you? I hope these 50 pennies bring Peg many more years of good health, friends, times, and of course luck. Happy 50th, Peg!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 85 - Love of Reading

As a teacher and someone who LOVES reading, watching students lose themselves in 'The Reading Zone' is a remarkable site. We read in class every day, students are required to read 30 minutes a night, I introduce new books, we discuss what everyone's reading. Some say the goal is to help students become better readers. For me, it's to hook kids on reading, plant the seed of enjoying a book so it will bloom. If a student enjoys reading and does a lot they will inevitably become a better reader. My love for reading is NO secret to my students but what they may not realize is one of their greatest gifts to me is seeing them fall in love with books.
Thanks for the pic A and A.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 84 -Weather Extremes

It's definitely Spring in Quebec, snow one day and then rain the next. Today plus 8 and tomorrow 18 below zero. Inside, closets are full with attire from both seasons because one day you may need your warm winter coat, hat and mittens and then the next rubber boots and raincoat. The good side is that whether in the form of snow or rain, the precipitation brings moisture to the plants, grass and trees to help them be at their best once the indecision is over and Winter packs up and leaves its place to Spring.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 83 - Lonely Snowflake

Finally managed to capture a single flake. Who'd have thought that I would have to wait until Spring to do so.

Day 82 - In the hands of Mother Nature

Although the calendar says it's officially Spring Mother Nature has her hand in the snow today. We should have expected it. After all March did come in as a lamb so must go out as a lion. High winds and heavy snow pelted the provincial capital for most of the day. We were supposed to get our Winter tires off today but decided to change the appointment when we saw the weather forecast. Hopefully, next week will be a go.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 81 - Purple Power

I forgot my camera at school so the iPhone came to the rescue one more time. Despite barely avoiding two wrestling and running Great Danes, I managed to get a few pics. These Violets are growing through the rocks beside our above ground pool. Standing outside with only a sweatshirt and admiring the blooming flowers, it's hard to believe the weather forecasts. Apparently, we are supposed to receive 15-25 cm of snow over the next 2 days. Part of me hopes this is one time the weatherman is wrong. On the other hand, it might make for some interesting pictures.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 80 - "S" is for ...

...sunshine, Spring, sweets and Skittles. I was experimenting with different subjects and lens this evening while the dogs romped in the muddy yard. I like the colours and gloss of the Skittles. They almost make my mouth water looking at them.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 79 - Shades of Blue

This is one of my favourite trees in the neighbourhood. It's a Linden tree. Soon it will be full of leaves and then in the Summer, fragrant white flowers will appear.
The tree is at the entrance to our crescent so I see it everyday on the way home from work or from walking the dogs. It never fails to make me smile, no matter the season. I'm not sure if it's the shape, the fullness, the smell or maybe all of it.
This picture was taken at sunset. The sky was striated with shades of blue and purple. I couldn't resist the combination of my favourite tree and favourite colour, blue.

Day 78 - Hey Bud!

Even though we see the beginning of life every Spring, each year when the brave plants begin to appear it seems new and miraculous. Despite the remaining snow banks, cool nights and frost the plants are charging up. Hope you're all enjoying Spring in your neighbourhood.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 77 - Portrait

Went out with my class early and brought the camera along. I decided to experiment with portraits. Some of the kids wanted me to take their picture so I decided to play a bit with portraits. It's interesting how a part of us can reveal so much about our whole. Maybe the sum of our parts really is greater than the whole.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 76 - Happy St. Patrick's Day

Although I completely forgot to wear green today there was no mistaking the date when I walked into the school cafeteria. This not so little leprechaun was there preparing activities for the daycare groups. He was a good sport and let me take his picture.
I wish you all the luck of the Irish today and every day. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 75 - An Apple for the Teacher

As usual I had my camera at school. A few of my students had lunch with me in the class. When we were done eating one of my students asked if she could take some pictures with my camera. She found an apple and was experimenting with 'artistic' shots. At one point she was having a hard time focusing so we switched lenses and it seemed to go better. I've seen a few of her pictures and she really seems to have a photographer's eye. Her shot of the day is posted above. So, while some teachers get editable apples, I get one that will last forever. Thanks Ari!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 74 - The Ultimate Comfort

This bus stop caught my eye the other day so I had to go back and get a picture. It's not everyday that you see a bus shelter wearing a toque. I went back with my camera and took a few photos. I was also curious as to its significance. Apparently it's there to promote milk and some of the activities that 'le lait' is sponsoring. Their slogan is, "The ultimate comfort". I guess this toque is acting as a comfort to the shelter. It's definitely the biggest hat I've ever seen and it's made out of real knitted material. Below is a close up.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 73 - A Walk in the Park

Another beautiful day here in Quebec. Peg and I loaded up the dogs and headed to the Plains of Abraham to meet friends for a walk. It was a bit windy but a perfect day for a stroll in the park. We are indeed very lucky to have such a picturesque place so close to home.
Little 'L' joined his mom and dad for the outing. While the rest of us were walking he checked out the scenery from his backpack. He seemed to enjoy being on his dad's back and was, as always, in a wonderful mood. I couldn't resist taking a picture of him with his cool shades. It was quite easy to capture his smile while his dad (seen in reflection) was entertaining him. Fresh air, exercise, friends, and baby smiles...all the ingredients needed for a great outing.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 72 - Veins of Life

Out walking again today. It was near sunset so I thought I tried to capture that Blue 60 thing. Peg was standing under this tree and called me over. She said when she looked up the branches looked like veins seen on an angiogram. I'm not sure I see it but I like the blue background. Either way, it's all about life.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 71 - Reminiscing

I was working on the computer this evening and decided to take a walk down memory lane. I opened up iPhoto and started looking through photos I've taken over the last few years. I came upon this one and I was reminiscing about our trip to Scotland. It was an amazing trip. We met so many friendly people and saw so many beautiful sites. My favourite B&B was Glengorm Castle on the Isle of Mull. It's a castle that feels like a home and it is surrounded by land, water and livestock. Once we checked in we went for a walk in the fields and 'visited' with the sheep and the Highland Cows (pronounced Highland Coos). Amazingly enough, the cows were friendlier and much more eager to pose for pictures. The fellow below reminded Peg and I of the hair in the face style that was popular at the time. If ever you go to Scotland this place is a must.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 70 - What am I?

I'm all about opposites. Hot or cold, clean or dirty, stinky or fresh, and finally restful or busy. What am I?

Day 69 - Tabs

Stayed at school late to do report cards but took a few minutes before supper break to do the picture thing. Looked around the staffroom and found the bag of pop can tabs that we've been accumulating. Poured them out on the table. I tried different lenses and angles and came up with this macro shot. I had a few others that revealed the amount of stuff that sticks to tabs but thought I'd stay away from disgusting.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 68 - Makeshift Tapping

Didn't feel like lugging my big camera with me today on our walk and my new Canon had to be sent back for repairs (sniff, sniff) so I brought my handy iPhone with me. I've been thinking about heading to the outskirts of town to get some maple pictures. Well, today I discovered that I could get one right here in town. We were walking the dogs when we noticed this setup in someone's front yard.

I tried to catch the sap in action. The iPhone takes pretty good pictures but it's tricky to keep a steady hand to get a clear shot. The sap seemed to be running steadily as the container was almost 2/3 full. I wonder what they plan on doing with the sap. If they're going to boil it to make syrup they're going to need to eat a lot more meat sauce!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 67 - Slow and Steady

Well, March break is officially over and we're back at school. We're not complaining but we were all moving a little slow today. It's a busy time with reports, portfolios, student-led conferences and other regular tasks. Hopefully, it's like the tortoise says, "Slow and steady wins the race."

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day 66 - Waxwings Return

We have a Crab Apple Tree in our backyard and each spring a flock of Bohemian Waxwings grace us with their presence. They snack on the leftover berries. They dropped by today but only stayed a few seconds. I'm not sure if it was our dogs or the neighbour's cat who scared them away but they weren't there long enough for me to take out my camera and snap a few shots. Luckily I still had my shots from last year so I borrowed one of them for today's pic. Hopefully, they'll stay a little longer next time so I can get some new pictures.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Day 65 - Power of Words

I LOVE reading and do it every chance I get. I just finished reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It was a very thought provoking book that showed both the beautiful and ugly sides of the human race. This book amplified the important role words play in our lives. Words create messages that move people to do great things, good and bad. Words, like pictures, are precious gifts. The question is if the above picture captures one word is it still worth a 1000?? Hmmm.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Day 64 - Reminders of home

Another beautiful day here in Quebec. It was a busy day so we ended up walking just before sunset. Now don't get me wrong. I really think Quebec is beautiful but two things I miss from Saskatchewan, other than friends and family, are the forever sunsets and the dancing wheat fields. Seeing this decorative grass in front of the sunset made me think of home so I snapped a few shots. Unfortunately, the houses in the background are blocking the nicest part of the sunset. C'est la vie.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 63 - Loveable

Sorry, another puppy picture. However, this one is a bit different from the others. This is a picture of Dexter's chest. The heart seems right side up but actually it's upside down. I took the picture while Dexter was lying on his back.
As I've mentioned before, Dexter was born blind and the breeder gave him to us. She wanted him to be with a family who already had one of her dogs.
I fell in love with him the first time I saw his picture. Not only did he have (and still has) the cutest face but the upside down heart sealed the deal. It says, "I may be mixed up but I'm still loveable."

Day 62 - Grocery Store Adventure

Went with Peg to the grocery store and she suggested I bring in the camera and take some pics. I wasn't sure if I was allowed but she seemed to think it would be okay. Convinced, I grabbed the camera and followed. She suggested I check with someone at the front desk but feeling more confident, I said, "Nah, it'll be fine." We were halfway through the store when a lady, I think she was the manager, came up to me and informed me that I was not allowed to take pictures in the store. She was very kind about it. I apologized, put the camera away and pushed the cart for Peg.
Fortunately, I was able to get a few shots before I had to shut down. The above shot was taken in the coffee section. Although I don't drink coffee myself I do like the smell and I was attracted by the row of shiny funnels.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 61 -Aspiring Photographer

Another night with godkids and friends. I took the opportunity to get some snapshots of 'S' and her little brother 'D'. Unfortunately, the cameras and lighting (or maybe photographer) weren't at their best. When we took the camera off to check things out, 'S' decided she'd take some of her own pictures using the tripod as her camera of choice. The photo itself isn't won't receive an A for technique, however the subject gets an A+ for cuteness. Of course, as her godmother, I may be just a little bit biased.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 60 - Bath, Bubbles and a Buddy

Had a lovely supper with our godchildren and their parents this evening. We made puzzles, hung a picture, listened to music, played "Buck Buck" and finished up with the bath time ritual. Peg and I decided to give the parents a break and give 'E' his bath. We had a great time filling up containers and watching them slide off the side of the tub and into the bubbles. The bath time buddy, affectionately known as Mr. P.U., stayed afloat after the festivities were over. I decided that would be a pleasant reminder of our evening.