Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trick or Treat

I can’t believe another Halloween is upon us. Where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday my kids were really little and I would take them around the neighbourhood to beg for collect treats. We lived in the big city at the time, and you could fill up an entire truck just by going around a block or two.

My younger daughter's first Halloween. She was three days shy of four months old.
Back then, I used to dress up with my girls, and people would give me treats, too, just for making the effort of putting on a costume and joining in on the fun. So I got my own candy and didn’t need to dip into their stashes while the kids were sleeping. But I did it, anyway. The rotten mother that I was.

Dressing up with my girls on Halloween was always so much fun.
When I was a wee one (many, many moons ago), the streets were flooded with children (baby boomers) and homes would run out of candy faster than you can say “trick or treat”. There are a lot less kids these days, and a lot more chance you’ll be left with a bowl full of sweets, which would have been wonderful back when my metabolism kicked butt. But at my age, it lounges around, and everything sweet goes straight to the hips and thighs.

Anyway, we haven’t celebrated Halloween for the past two years. My daughter complains about that, but when I ask her to help with candy duty at the door, she refuses because she’s ‘got plans with friends’. So I’m left holding the bag. Or the door. Or the treats. Whatever you want to call it. Maybe next year, I’ll get back into the spirit. Or the year after. Or when I (hopefully) have grandchildren. We’ll see.

Well, whether you celebrate or not, here’s a fun tune to kick start this ghoulish day. This well-known novelty song by Bobby "Boris" Pickett was released on August 25, 1962, and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart on October 20 of that year; just in time for Halloween. It's been a recurring holiday favourite ever since.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Photo Dump – At The Zoo (1)

"The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But can they suffer?"
- Jeremy Bentham -

In august of this year, we visited the Toronto Zoo; one of the largest of its kind in the world, encompassing 287 hectares (710 acres). We had taken a trip there last year, and just like our previous visit, I was conflicted. While I enjoy seeing the animals, I do not enjoy seeing them behind bars.

It breaks my heart knowing that the survival of many of these animals is threatened, and that it is our species that poses the biggest threat. Imagine how lonely the human race would be without the companionship of these beautiful creatures. This planet belongs to all living beings, and we must do right by them.

This week’s photo dump focuses on some of the animals at the Toronto Zoo with quotations accompanying each image. Because there were so many photos taken that day, I will post more in the future.

"Until he extends the circle of compassion to all livings things, Man will not himself find peace."
- Albert Schweitzer -

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
- Mahatma Gandhi -

"If all the beasts were gone, man would die from loneliness of spirit,
for whatever happens to the beast, happens to the man."
- Chief Seattle -

"Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character; and it
may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man."
- Arthur Schopenhauer -

"Love of animals is a universal impulse, a common ground on which all of us may meet.
By loving and understanding animals, perhaps we humans shall come to understand each other."
- Dr Louis J.Camuti -

"Our task must be to free widening our circle of compassion
to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty."
- Albert Einstein -

"By ethical conduct toward all creatures, we enter into a spiritual relationship with the universe."
- A. Schweitzer -

"I want to realize brotherhood or identity not merely with the beings called human,
but I want to realize identity with all life, even with such things as crawl upon earth."
- Mohatma Gandhi -

“One cannot look deeply into the eyes of an animal and not see the same depth,
complexity and feeling us humans lay exclusive claim to.”
- Nan Sea Love -

"The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different." 
- Hippocrates -

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Chuckles and Chortles

I’m back from my trip to Montreal! Did you miss me? Well, I sure missed all of you. It was wonderful visiting my family, and I sure could have used a little more time to see more people, but there’s only so long I can stand being away from home.

While there, I took some lengthy walks around my childhood neighbourhood and snapped an abundance of photos. I also had an opportunity to walk around downtown Montreal and through China town for more pictures. In order to travel light, I had left behind my main photography equipment and taken along only my point and shoot. But I was very satisfied with the results. That small but trusty compact camera always seems to come through.

Taking a stroll down Saint Catherine Street, the primary commercial artery of Downtown Montreal.
This photo was taken on a weekday morning, which explains why it's so quiet.
Another thing I enjoyed while away was being completely disconnected from the computer and all social media. It was a great way to relax and rejuvenate. Eventually, I will put together a few blog posts to share some of the pictures I took in the area I grew up in, and the memories they stir.

But for now, let’s start the week off right with some Halloween humour!

A happy Monday and a great week to all of you!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Give Me A Ticket For An Airplane…er Train

Good morning, fellow bloggers. Did you all have a nice weekend? I certainly hope you did. Mine was very nice, thank you for asking. The weather on Saturday was not that great, so we made it a stay-home-and-lounge-around-the-house kind of day. We need some of that, too.

Yesterday was filled with sunshine, so we headed out to the country to see what we can see. The weather has started to cool off, and as you can see from the photo below, autumn’s beautiful colours are quickly coming to an end. Many of the trees have shed their leaves and are looking quite bare; a reminder that winter is headed our way.

The trees are starting to look bare. Autumn splendour is coming to an end.
Monday mornings are usually reserved for humour, but because this will be the only blog post this week, I wanted to explain my absence before I disappear on you.

I’m ditching my hubby and teen daughter this morning, hopping on the train and heading to my hometown of Montreal to visit my family for a few days. I want to spend some time with my wonderful brother and gorgeous sister-in-law, my mother who is getting on in years, and my beautiful 21-year-old daughter who I don’t get to see often enough, and miss terribly. There may be other visits, but my time there is short, so we’ll see how it all comes together. We don’t live that far away, anyhow, so whoever I miss can easily come visit us in Kingston at any time. All it takes is a little effort. And the desire to do so.

This is where I'll be around 9:00 AM.
I’ll be staying with my mom in the neighbourhood I grew up in, so I’ll be taking walks during the day to take photos of the area that holds a million memories for me; the schools I attended, the parks I played in, streets I walked along, and so on. It will be a very nostalgic time, I’m sure.

I’ll be returning Friday night, and will get back to blogging next Monday. But before I go, I want to wish you all a beautiful week. Take care of yourselves. Take care of each other.

So long, blogging friends. See you all soon!

Enjoy the week, and keep on smiling!

Friday, October 18, 2013

I Am Thankful For Each Rising Sun

With arms outstretched I thank.
With heart beating gratefully I love.
With body in health I jump for joy.
With spirit full I live.
- Terri Guillemets -
This month has been spectacular. I am so grateful for it. I’ve spent a lot of time outdoors soaking up the beautiful weather, making friends along country roads, being in awe of the autumn shades, capturing these precious moments with my camera, and sharing each day with people I love.

I am grateful for all the special friends I make along country roads.
Time passes quickly, and life is fleeting. Not all days are sunny. Not all days are good. But all days are a gift, and I try to make the most of each one. No matter what’s going on and no matter how I’m feeling, I am thankful for each rising sun that includes me in it.

Let’s end the week with an upbeat song that reminds us to have a good time while we’re here.

Wishing you all a great weekend!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

On Being Kind To Animals

"We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so
badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the devil in human form."- William Ralph Inge -

As many of you have noticed, I take a lot of photos of animals. I do it every chance I get; it is one of my favourite photography themes.

I love animals deeply, and I am very sensitive about them. When I was a child, I used to cry when animals on TV shows or in movies were injured. And never mind the devastation I felt if one of them was killed.

Fast forward to the present and not much has changed. I’m still left shaken when animals face tragic outcomes in movies, television shows, even books.

And that’s fictional settings. Imagine how I feel about animals being intentionally hurt in real life.

Stories of animal abuse leave me disturbed. I am unable to look at photographs or read news articles relating to such news. And I absolutely never watch videos that depict that.

This sensitivity towards animals is becoming more profound as I get older, and as I spend more and more time photographing them.

I cannot understand how anyone can be intentionally cruel to an animal. It is beyond me.

We share this world with other living creatures that have as much right to be here as we do.

I believe that if we can be kind to animals, and respectful and empathetic to all living things, we will ultimately be more compassionate with one other.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Single Photograph

"Sunsets, like childhood, are viewed with wonder not just because they are beautiful but because they are fleeting."
- Richard Paul Evans -

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Photo Dump

“Life is fun. You’ve got the picture to prove it.”
- Pentax Advertisement -

Life certainly is fun. And I’m reminded of that every time I look through photographs I’ve taken over the years. The places I’ve been, the things I’ve seen, the moments I’ve’s an endless, spectacular adventure.

Below are images I’ve taken while out having fun.

Mrs. Ostrich is not amused. (taken at the Riverview Park and Zoo in Peterborough, Ontario)

Nothing captures my eye quite as quickly as an abandoned structure.

Gooey but colourful candy. Go ahead, try some. Just reach into the screen.

Somehow I get the feeling they don't want us to enter.

During the autumn season, even the ground is a photographic opportunity.

This little critter was happy to pose for the camera. (Taken at the Toronto Zoo)

One of the beautiful roads we traveled along this past weekend.

I meet interesting individuals everywhere I go.

"Me, take peanuts? What makes you think I took any peanuts?"

Can you believe this is the first time I've ever seen a pumpkin patch? It's true.
I squealed with delight when we ran across one while out in the country this past weekend.

A beautiful Tuesday, to all!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Chuckles and Chortles

Another weekend has come and gone. Did you enjoy it? I hope so. We spent most of it outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather and all that Mother Nature has to offer. I made more friends along country roads, and took about a gazillion photos. Again. Some of which will eventually end up on this blog.

It is Thanksgiving weekend for us, so today everyone is off. We didn’t celebrate yesterday like many people do because my daughter was working, so we’ll be doing that this evening. I’m preparing a pumpkin pie this morning to enjoy after tonight’s supper, which only hubby and I will do. My daughter does not like it. Do you like pumpkin pie? You do? Well, why don’t you come on over later today? I’ll save a slice for you...

Well, enough of the blah, blah, blah. Let’s get to the humour.

Make it a great day, everyone. And happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canucks. We have so much to be grateful for, don’t we? We certainly do.