the best NFB short ever

I think I must have loaded this film into the projector at camp about a bazillion or so times. A few years ago, I bought a bunch of copies on VHS; I'm pretty happy it's here now so I can share it with even MORE people! If you ove it, contact the NFB and buy a copy - only $10 I think - and support home-baked Canadian crackery!

for mein seestor with love

I think our twin Cinderella Barbies danced to this song a lot with their twin princes (naked girl Barbies - how come Mom never bought us Ken dolls?) I think we liked playing Cinderella beause we only had one of every pair of Barbie shoes.

M & V

I think I have a crush on these two.  They are the funniest and most fun little girls to hang out with, with such vibrant personalities it's impossible not to develop a crush on them  M (the older of the two) is completely theatrical, a uproariously funny little hambone with the most intense eyes you can possibly imagine, while V with her myriad of facial expressions doesn't have to speak a word to put you into fits of giggles - instead, she'll try jumping into the dragon's mouth, or squinch up her eye in a quizzical way when you say something she isn't sure she is buying...

I can hardly wait to meet your little brother, ladies!



perks

As a parent I know my own children are growing bigger because I have to buy them new clothes.  Otherwise, there are no visible increments.  Sure they pick up a few new words and get a report card, but there's no shock value like when you don't see someone for a few months and they have somehow changed dramatically.  

Little E was nursing when I first met her, and her big brother was barely stinging together sentences.  When they stopped by for some pictures a few weeks ago, E was scamming candies off Serejane and her big brother was re-enacting scenes from Spiderman.  



I think that's one of the best perks of being a photographer with regulars.  That shock value of how much these children grow and change and learn is like a drug.

laundry

This autumn has been brutal for me. The extended season brought with it a multitude of extra clients able to get leafy pictures, leaving me scrambling to find time for my family, my housework, my friends, and my regular events like the Holiday Photobooth... ~sigh~ Add on the network meeting, start of school, a bunch of trips to the eye doctor for me and my middle child, a few birthdays (husband, sister, goddaughter, stepmom...), visiting sick kids in the hospital (enough already!) and switching over the computer systems and I tell ya - I am fit to be tied.

Ever notice how when life gets busy, the first thing that slips is the housework? Maybe not for everyone, but for me, I know that when there is very little time to spread around, the housework is the first thing to get ignored - the plants get watered a little less often, dust collects on my piano, the switch plate covers develop visible finger smudges. And the laundry gets ignored. With a family of 6, that is a LOT of laundry to ignore. So I took Friday off work to catch up. Between batch-processing a bunch of colour corrections (ALWAYS calibrate your screens - BOTH of them) and nursing a stomach bug that is still giving me intermittent upper-abdominal cramps, and since I am owed a few days from all the overtime I socked into the network meeting, I spent the day re-burning CDs, mailing out client prints (I'm SO sorry they are so late coming everyone!), plotting my diabolical takeover of the world, and washing virtual mountains of laundry.

I am ---> this <--- close to getting all the kinks ironed out of the computer transfer. I have only 2 clients waiting for online proofs. I have a stacks and stacks of Holiday Photobooth cards sitting here to be picked up. I have the Powerpoint presentations for the first two DLS workshops ready. And today, I will be doing my *own* family's annual Christmas picture. Equilibrium isn't completely restored - my 2006 taxes still need to be filed - but we're getting closer.

There is only one load of laundry left to be washed. And at the rate I am going, I might actually be able to go to bed at the same time as my husband tonight. Life. Is. Good.

let's talk tampons

The majority of the male population reading this just got the heebie-jeebies. The majority of the female population reading this just let out a collective sympathetic groan. However, the reason for today's post on girly inserts is quite serious.

A week ago today, my best friend's daughter was complaining of flu-like symptoms - dizziness, nausea, weak knees. By Friday she had spiked a temperature and started going into shock. On Saturday, we almost lost her. She was one of those statistical anomolies that ends up with TSS - toxic shock syndrome, the whole point of that little piece of paper folded up in every box of tampons. Not so you men can open it to ogle the creepy cartoon of the sectioned woman spreading her labia with her fingers. (We know you've looked. It's OK.)

Now, her Mom isn't sure if her daughter was using tampons for too long, or too powerful of an absorbancy, or if her vaginal pH just happened to be off enough, or if other infections she had going on contributed, but the fact of the matter is, a little 13 year old girl laid up in the hospital fighting for her life the other night - something that, quite frankly, was avoidable. Here are the facts, straight up:

Tampons contain bleach and other chemicals to make them all sparkly white and government approved. Although they come in standardized absorbencies, many women lean towards the higher absorbencies to minimize the frequency of having to change it; if the tampon has not absorbed enough moisture, removal can be painful and can actually cause damage to the vagina. Tampons are made from cotton and/or rayon, either of which can leave fibres in the vaginal canal. Tampons screw up the vaginal pH, and interfere with the vagina's natural process of sloughing cells and bacteria. And unless you tuck, there's pee on that damned string after you go to the bathroom. You can use Sea Pearls (re-usable sea sponge tampons) but again, any use of tampons is associated with a risk of TSS, especially once you've already had it.

Let's talk pads now. You can buy commercially made disposable ones, or you can wear reusable, washable cloth pads. Most women prefer tampons over pads for comfort and convenience reasons - it ain't fun waking around with a banana-sized wad between your legs. It makes swimming a no-go. It's more discreet tucking a tampon in your sleeve and sneaking off to the potty than whipping out your winged panty surfboard. And if you're wearing Lulu Lemon yoga pants... never mind. The other problems associated with mentrual pads include increased possibility of yeast infections, transfer of bacteria (e coli) from the anus to the vagina or urethra, and allergic reactions. My personal biggest beef with pads is the fact that they don't lock in that odour - and yes, ladies, let's admit it - menstrual blood in a pad or a tampon smells no different than raw hamburger. Or raw hamburger with baby powder shuffed on it if you're into the scented pads. It's simply because blood meets air and smells like *that.* You won't get TSS from a pad, though. A UTI maybe, a week off from synchro practice, but highly unlikely you'll be laid up in the hospital with your liver and kidneys shutting down.

There is option C, which I am still shocked to know how few ladies are aware of: menstrual cups - little discs specifically designed for internal use, made from hypoallergenic, surgical silicon, perfect for Lulu Lemon even. The most common ones around these here parts are the Diva Cup, and Instead Cups, though there are considerably more on the market.

The Diva Cup sits in the vaginal canal and collects the flow as it travels down the canal. They are reusable up to 10 years (wash with hot soapy water and re-insert), can be safely worn for 12 hours with no history of being associated with TSS, and hold way more flow than even the highest absorbency tampon. Because they are worn in the vaginal canal, it could make intercourse interesting...

Instead cups are silicon cups worn further up in the body, positioned high in the vagina right at the opening of the cervix where a diaphragm would go - so it doesn't interfere with intercourse at all (sorry - they have no contraceptive abilities.) They are marketed as disposable, but it's fairly widely accepted that you can in fact re-use them for up to an entire cycle if, like the Diva Cup, they are washed with hot soapy water. Silicon is silicon - run 'em through the dishwasher if you feel so inclined... They cost only slightly more than tampons and pads. And although they, too, can be worn for comparatively long periods of time with no risk of TSS, they do not collect as much flow as the Diva Cup can.

Both the Diva Cup and Instead option produce considerably less waste than disposable cloth/paper feminine hygiene products. However, they are not biodegradable, and as a 'disposable' product, that might be a concern for you. You can buy special washing products for menstrual cups. I guess the biggest drawback is to clean up while using the Diva Cup and/or Instead - I imagine it might be weird to be in a restaurant and see someone standing there in the bathroom with their pants around their ankles rinsing the blood from their feminine hygiene products...

Though they were introduced around the same time as tampons (which almost failed until the applicator was introduced) the number one reason menstrual cups haven't caught on is because women are weirded out at the thought of putting their fingers in their vaginas. Especially while they are bleeding. Get over it.

My girlfriend's daughter is lucky - she's doing much better now, and may get to go home today or tomorrow if she continues to improve, but will likely be off schoool for at least another week. The doctors said that had she not been such a healthy athletic young woman, she likely wouldn't have pullee through. I'm confident she'll be OK in a couple of weeks - she managed to muster the strength to kick me in the butt as I got up to leave yesterday for teasing her about how hairy her legs were...

For more information about TSS please go here.
For more information on tampons, please go here.
For more information on fabric pads please go here.
For more information on Diva Cups, please go here. (They even have a handy store locator...)
For more information on Instead cups, please go here.
For a comparison of menstrual cups, please go here.

by popular demand - editing software tutoring

Dirty Little Secrets - The Workshops will be going live in just 6 weeks time. It appears, however, that people are interested in learning photo editing as much as they are interested in photo taking. From speaking with a few of you, what i've discovered is that you often only have 4 or 5 things you want to know, and don't want to commit the time and/or money to taking a full course.

Although I am unable to provide a workshop as I don't own enough hardware to set more than 2 people up at a time in a classroom, I am pleased to announce that I will be offering private tutoring starting in January. I am a photographer, not a photoshopper, and limit my use of photo editing software to applying techniques I learned in the darkroom such as burning and dodging, saturation, hand-tinting, minimizing or removal of minor blemishes and flaws, contrast, and layering to my digital images; I'm happy to share what I have learned.

Based on a simple questionnaire the client completes, I will custom-design a private workshop to help you learn and/or improve your photo editing techniques. Please contact me via the main website to arrange for your private session!

by popular demand - editing software tutoring

Dirty Little Secrets - The Workshops will be going live in just 6 weeks time. It appears, however, that people are interested in learning photo editing as much as they are interested in photo taking. From speaking with a few of you, what i've discovered is that you often only have 4 or 5 things you want to know, and don't want to commit the time and/or money to taking a full course.

Although I am unable to provide a workshop as I don't own enough hardware to set more than 2 people up at a time in a classroom, I am pleased to announce that I will be offering private tutoring starting in January. I am a photographer, not a photoshopper, and limit my use of photo editing software to applying techniques I learned in the darkroom such as burning and dodging, saturation, hand-tinting, minimizing or removal of minor blemishes and flaws, contrast, and layering to my digital images; I'm happy to share what I have learned.

Based on a simple questionnaire the client completes, I will custom-design a private workshop to help you learn and/or improve your photo editing techniques. Please contact me via the main website to arrange for your private session!

Schalk & Lynn

Weddings are always exciting, and always nerve racking. One never knows what to expect: the weather could turn ugly, the otherwise sane bride could become bridezilla, the caterers could not show up, the groom could faint... and when it's all over, all the little thing that go wrong become the stuff that wedding lore is made of, the stories that are told and re-told a million times over, causing fear and trepidation in the hearts of all brides- and grooms-to-be...

In that context, Schalk and Lynn will have a very boring story to tell, because their wedding was, well - simply Perfect. The weather was beautiful, the guests were full of sincere joy, and the bride and groom were so much smitten with each other it was hard not to become smitten with them. Schalk and Lynn, thank you so much for having me there on your momentous day. It really was Perfect (even if I did think I was going catch a shot of the groom wiping a tear, only to let out the tell-tale audible click just as he, er... brought the tissue up to wipe his nose...)



an exercise in determining perspective: blind man's guide to the world

Here's how it works.  First, copy and paste the statements below into a Word or Text document. Read one statement at a time, close your eyes, then fill in the blanks with the first thing that comes to mind.  Once you have completed the sentences, copy and paste them into the comments.  DO NOT spoil it for yourself by reading other people's answers first - it's WAY more fun to compare afterwards!  Have fun!

1.) The number 6 tastes like______.
2.) Yellow feels like_____.
3.) The smell of warm laundry is the colour______.
4.) Happiness smells like_______.
5.) On its next birthday, the letter Q will be ____ years old.
6.) The word ' hello' is the colour ______.
8.) The texture of fear is________.
9.) Anger tastes like________.
10) The emotion number 10 always feels is _______.

a big beef about online Scrabble

I love Scrabble. I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but I do love Scrabble. A. Lot. So imagine my joy when Facebook added the Scrabulous application. Now, I don't mean to sound arrogant, but I *am* pretty darn good at Scrabble, on my own steam. So there I was, happily playing along, when all of a sudden, people who I'd previously played have suddenly quadrupled their previous scoring ability! People were using obscure words that I am absolutely 100% sure that they would at the very least have HAD to look up in the dictionary.

But wait. No. It's better than that. There are even BETTER cheats available online. Anagram solvers are bad enough, but there is actually a site where you can go and plug in the letters on the board, plus the tiles you have in your hand, and it will scan the dictionary and give you all the possible options, plus the point values.

Let it be said that I do NOT use online cheats when I play online Scrabble. There's no challenge and no real glory that way. For all of you who have been going around 'kicking ass' at Scrabulous because you've discovered these wonderful cheat boards, you may score 450 points and improve your playing stats, but there are lots like me out there who prefer to 'lose' with the measly 286 we earn all on our own.

who says big families are a thing of the past?

J. brought along her scrumptious brood of 5 (yes, F-I-V-E, - count 'em!) for some family portraits. I was also treated to meeting Great Grandma and Great Grampa, who are about as adorable as they come. I'm just sad my living room wasn't big enough to fit Grandma and Grandpa and Mom in, too!



(I'm still sad I missed out doing last-minute maternity pictures for this little bean, too - I was on my way out of town!!!)







monkeys to peanuts

Landon was nothing but a bump in his Mama's belly just a few short months ago. For his newborn pictures, he slept. This time, not only did I get a tonne of smiles, coos, and gurgles, but I had the pleasure of being there for his first ever front-to-back roll-over. (I cause that a lot, actually - I can count a number of times I inadvertantly made a baby roll over while I'm trying to take a picture with the angel wings on their backs... not that I mind - I get just as excited as Mom and Dad do!) In Landon's case, Mom and Dad better watch out - those mysterious brown eyes and that devilish little grin is going to make him hard to say, "No!" to. ~smirk~








ska-WISH!!!


Evan wasn't quite sure what he thought of me when he first met me. I think I asked him for his shoes - it put him on his guard - and then made him and his Mom climb over the barbed wire fence right next to the sign that said NO TRESPASSING. He did, however, discover the beauty of mashing rosehips with his fingers, which was all the more hilarious if one were to say with great inflection, "ska-WISH!!!!" when he pinched... (Crazy hair, too - can hardly wait to see #2, Momma!)










fabulous disaster

Last year we had to rearrange up all the living room furniture to accomplish the impossible task of making this family look ugly. I failed miserably, and failed again this year when we headed over to Rafter's Landing for some pictures... Couldn't you just EAT these boys?









down with brown!

Alright. It's official. I am sick to death of autumn. It's bloody abysmal outside - grey, lifeless, colourless, spiritless. Even the wind is boring - whether whipping furiously and pelting us with bits of airborn litter or puttering listlessly along the gutters and toying unenthusiastically with the once-yellow trampled flakes that were cheerful, crunchy leaves over a month ago, it no longer carries the sweet, earthy, musky smell of rotting pumpkins and leaves, nor has it moved into the biting freshness of a chilly winter wind. It is a dusty grey small, about as inviting as sniffing a clod of cakey, dry mud. And it's dark - with the sun setting earlier and earlier there's none of the white stuff to reflect whatever remnants of sunlight there might be at 4:30 or beam back the sickly orange glow of the streetlights as I hit the street; I am pedalling in blackness, which is really just a darker shade of the same crappy grey I see all day, every day, everywhere I look. And I tell ya, the longer it stays grumpy donkey grey outside, the crankier I'm getting.

Bring.

Me.

Snow.

some quality time with Murphy

I'm glad I never met Murphy. I'd probably punch him in the throat.

Bought 3 pairs of much-needed pants a few weeks ago, then promptly dropped about 15 pounds. Now all three pairs are (literally) falling off. I wouldn't be so upset - I could stand to lose a few pounds - except that I really really REALLY like all 3 pairs of pants that I bought. And I hate shopping.

What do you vote: wear longer shirts and pin the pants in at the waists, or start eating lots of pizza and chocolate?

Introductory Workshop Unexpectedly Rescheduled!

Apparently, the person in charge of opening the hall for us today couldn't make it to the hall on time to open it up. As frustrating as it is, I'm hoping she just forgot, and that there wasn't an emergency that prevented her from coming to let us in!!! I sincerely apologize to those who came out - I am currently shopping for a date to try again. I'll let you know when it's all sorted out!!!

Regards,

Hope

mein seestor speaks on the topic of John Acorn

He mailed the autographed lyrics of the following to me in 1997 or 98 after I met him when he was a banquet speaker for the Prairie University Biological Seminar annual conference that was held at the U of Alberta that year.

(melody was twangy country folk-esque. You could two-step to it - with enough beers in your belly. Lyrics are typed verbatim)

Love is a Creeping Mahonia

I could be your Tall Lungwort baby
And you could be my faithful Blue-eyed Grass
Love is Pearly Everlasting, a Creeping Mahonia
The plain and Yellow Toadflax says that we were meant to last

Our love is like a warm Wooly Fleabane
But you don't be a False Asphodel
Just use your Common Skullcap, don't Henbane or Pucoon
I'm tired of playing Hound's Tongue, howling at the moon

Chorus

The Strawberry Blight is a Viper's Bugloss
So Touch-Me-Not you Stinkweed Bladder-pod
I can't stand the Agrimony, it makes me want to Milk Vetch
Like Nodding Beggar's Ticks I turn my head down to the sod

Maybe I'm a Heart-leaved Alexander
There's no Contorted Lousewort left in me,
Oh please Flixweed, I'm crying in my Ragwort
I'll bounce back like a Stemless Rubberweed

Chorus

So when love gives you the Clammy Hedge Hyssops
An Earlly Yellow Loco Weed you'll be
False Gromwells might be Yucca, but with you I'll soon be stuck-a
I'm jolted by Skunk Currant when you are next to me

Chorus


[Signed: To Danna, Botanophilically, John A]

I have it framed. I'm not really a packrat -- all my "sentimental stuff" fits in two plastic crates. However, this is one of the items I move with me faithfully. It's pretty darn special to a dork like me. My favourite line is "I can't stand the Agrimony, it makes me want to Milk Vetch". Every time I see vetch in the field I think of that stupid line and I smirk. By the way I've seen most of the species mentioned :) It's okay if I accumulated a few more dork points just now.

a humbling experience

As many of you noticed, I've been absent the past few weeks. I was entrenched in planning a newtork meeting for a large group of environmental engineering geeks from all over the planet. I'll be the first to admit I was more than a little intimidated when given this task - me, with my humble education, lack of social grace, and limited experience, responsible for the care and well-being of people with multiple sets of letters appended to their monikers. Turns out, they were an amazing, dynamic bunch of people.

Planning for this meeting began several months ago. For those of you who have planned a wedding, imagine doing a four-day version of it, with a one-day budget you are going to have to beg off other people. Daunting, to say the least. My intrepid boss looked after chasing money down, inviting speakers, and writing the technical agenda. I was responsible for, well... almost everything else - venue, accomodations, food, entertainment, transportation... Mostly, it was an exercise in creative problem-solving. For example, one of the tasks we were given to tackle was an evening event that would somehow showcase the spirit of Edmonton. For a lot of international travellers, Edmonton means simply: The Mall. To engineers specializing in CO2 capture and storage, Edmonton is merely located in Oilberta. So how would we show them all the other wonderful things that Edmonton has to offer, like our festivals, especially when there aren't any festivals happening in, say, early November...

No man is an island. I had some amazing helpers along the way - I want to give a shout out to the people who made it happen, from the sidelines and the frontlines. Tannis, who suggested I bring the festival to the people by hiring in Paul Wallace and Randy Brososky aka the Wombats to entertain our delegates. (Get them - they're good...) Sally, who walked me through the process of hunting down and securing catering. Michelle and the driver at Greyhound. Michelle and Tracy in the office, Patti the good-humoured but broken-footed bartender, the buffalo butcher and all the rest of the tireless staff from Elizabethan Catering. Ines for keeping the fire stoked at Clerk's Quarters in Fort Edmonton. The servers, techies, and the amazing Mansour Berih at the Fantasyland Hotel. Sandra, Anne, the techies, and above all Christina at the University for helping me run a satellite office from a Mac and a cell phone. The early morning staff at the Tim Horton's on 170th street and 111th ave for making it possible to serve up true Canadiana for breakfast by having enough coffee and donuts for 36 people ready, on time, at 6:30 on a Saturday morning. Sian back at the head office in the UK for guiding me in my (many) hours of darkness. Toby for not making the Mac too icky with his dirty fingers and Brendan for loving the pastries. Gonzalo for being a familiar and friendly face (and for not laughing at me while I laid down on the waves of summerfallow to check out mouse holes.) Rick, for trusting me to actually pull this off - thank you. And last but certainly not least, Bill and the kids, for their understanding and encouragement to do it up, and do it up good, even when that meant chauffeuring me to a remote parking lot to serve coffee on a moving bus at indecent hours.

I'm drinking wine tonight, to celebrate a successful meeting, and to toast the launch of the Dirty Little Secrets Workshops tomorrow. Sleep is, after all, for sissies...

$10 gift limit?

Tanya said...
Ok not Spacey related. I am actually looking for some gift idea's for a secret santa exchange I am involved in, the price limit is 10 dollars. My recepient really likes photography so I was hoping to get some help maybe figuring out a book or something I could get her. Do you have any suggestions? or am I out to lunch with the price limit being what it is...

I got one of my favourite photography instruction books in he cheap-o bin at Chapters, and most of my most beatiful photography anthologies are finds from scouring places like Value Vllage and Goodwill. Another option would be a magazine - the nice photography magazines will run you $10 or better. The only other suggestion I would have would be to buy her a set of 'actions' or 'layers' or 'brushes' if she uses photoshop - there are about a bazillion out there, lots in the $10 rage.

Hope that helps!!!

sore bum

I'm a pretty modest person for the most part. I don't require any fanfare or silliness or reward for doing my job. Perhaps this is merely what spending almost a decade working for a tyrant does to a person. "You're not fired today," is the equivalent of, "Hey - good job little buddy..." and so when I do my job, the satisfaction I feel from doing it well, to the satisfaction of others, has always been more than reward enough.

Today, my bum is sore from having people pat it. It's uncomfortable, unfamiliar territory. It throws my humility all out of whack. So now I'm curious - how many of you feel genuinely appreciated on a daily basis, simply by the fact you aren't fired and know you're doing an OK job, and how many of you feel like if you don't get that pat on the bum, you never really know where you stand?

the anticipation is killing me...

I'm back to processing - all of you who have been so infinitely patient, my deepest gratitude. Now that the structures are in place, I can hardly wait to share my BIG NEWS!!! I may even have to let a few hints slip at the open house on the 11th... or not... ~smirk~

I'm in conference for the next couple of days, so no promises in making the rounds regularly just yet. But al y'all better watch out - I'll be harrassing you slackers in just a few more days. MUAH hahahahahahaha!!!!!

welcome, daylight savings

Fall back. Kind of sounds like a nice euphemism for reclining into a nice EZ chair. Once the leaves had long since made an exit stage left, we were left with an atypically long and eventually colourless grey autumn, wrought with weird temperature - icy cold one minute, shirk out of your hoodie the next - and of course abysmal looking tree skeletons everywhere reaching their hands up to apathetically snag the listless wisps of cloud drifting by in the pale sea above. Though Halloween was the warmest I ever recall, the boys managing to stay warm enough to loot 2/3rds of a pillowcase worth each, the sky lost its healthy azure glow and turned to a sickly pastel blue a good three weeks ago, exhausted, devoid of any energy or enthusiasm for the extended season.

I'm perhaps naive this way, in that I believe there are no coincidences. This year, the seasons are impeccably attuned to my particular state of being. It might be the other way 'round, but no matter how you slice it, we're in sync this year. After weeks of working like a madwoman I'm at a particularly crucial junction, both professionally and personally, publicly and privately. I spent October digging up skeletons, wrestling with them, watching them dance off into the sunsets one or two or bunches at a time. I laughed, I cried, I regressed, I grew. As I sit here watching the new computer upload thumbnails of my photolibrary 2 or 3 frames per second - college, my first wedding, the old house, the boys as babies, as toddlers, as kindergarteners; my trips to the states, my trips to Europe, my trips around Canada; my marriage to Bill, the renos on this house, the subtraction of my beloved cats and dog and the addition of Madisyn and then Serejane to my family; Christmases and birthdays and anniversaries, my fathers death; friends, family, clients - as the old computer mirrors it with the deletion of those same thumbnails, it seems only fitting that we got hit with the white stuff tonight. And it's daylight savings day, to boot.

I am ready to say goodbye to the busy, exciting, chaotic, and sometimes caustic months that were Autumn 2007, as I bask in that deafening silence that always accompanies the first snowfall of the year look forward to reaping the benefits of the seeds I have sown and harvested. November will be a month of inventory - taking careful stock of all that has been collected, collecting the cream, driving onward and upward, in preparation for showing off, with no small amount of flourish and fanfare, all that I have been working towards as it comes to fruition in the next 8 weeks. I share this with my sister, who will receive that almighty piece of paper with her name extended by a P-H-D on it in December.

I just wish I had listened more closely to the forecast - we should have put the firepit and chair and garden hose away yesterday while the sun was still shining, dammit. Luckily, I live in Alberta, and will likely have the opportunity tomorrow or Monday to slip into my tankini and sunhat to shlupp the snow off it all and put it in the garage where it belongs...

mein seestor

We have our first Dr. in the family. Please congratulate my big seestor on becoming DMS, PhD, or, 'Doc Schock' as she's always told us to call her when it happened...

Danna - I love you, I am SO proud to have you as a sister and friend. I wish Daddy was here to celebrate with us.

why you MIA?

I want to apologize to everyone who's been expecting more frequent blog posts - we're in the process of a hardware upgrade Chez Nous. As a result, I have been unable to access the pictures on my now-external hard drive, and haven't even processed a single picture in over a week. I'ts killing me - I feel SO behind. However, along with the new technology, I promise there are some VERY exciting new features and offers I have for my fantastic clients. Thank you for all your patience - I hope to be back in full motion after this weekend when all the networking and emails and everything have been re-established. In the meantime, I miss you all, and promise you LOTS of pictures when I get back online!!!