Sunday, January 30, 2011

All Aboard

A ticket issued in 1954 for a trip on the Canadian Pacific Railroad. I wonder where the Labelles were traveling, and why.
This ticket was part of the treasure I brought home from my friend's place - a box of older items cleared out from her basement.

train tracksWaiting on the platform, they may have kept their eyes on the track, and an ear out for the sound of the oncoming train.
This was just a photo I once took through a car window. I smudged out the bottom left hand corner to rid the image of the side mirror.

Time to board.
This railroad car now resides in Kingston, Ontario. You can read about its restoration project here. I snapped this shot while visiting my son, when he attended Kingston's RMC.

Madame Labelle might have brought a book along for the ride.
Another item from the box of treasures. This copy of Julius Caesar was printed in 1937.

Brownie Hawkeye
Monsieur Labelle probably made sure he had his trusty camera for photo opportunities.
This was my second favourite find in the bunch (the first being the Folding Autographic Brownie seen here). A Kodak Brownie Hawkeye, complete with flash (sans bulb). It was in production between 1949 and 1961.

Thanks for joining me. I hope you enjoyed riding the rails of this particular train of thought.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

For the Birds

Just a few photos of my local winged critters and some quotes which I found to be amusing. I hope you enjoy them.

“When birds burp, it must taste like bugs.” ~ Bill Watterson

"Everything at IKEA requires assembly. I bought a pillow, and they gave me a duck." ~ Todd Glass

“I don't like small birds. They hop around so merrily outside my window, looking so innocent. but I know that secretly, they're watching my every move and plotting to beat me over the head with a large steel pipe and take my shoe.” ~ Jack Handy

woodrow the thristy
"It's a good thing we have gravity, or else when birds died they'd just stay right up there. Hunters would be all confused." ~ Steven Wright

"Growing up, my Mom always claimed to feel bad when a bird would slam head-first into our living room window. If she really felt bad, though, she'd have moved the bird feeder outside." ~ Rich Johnson

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Jigsaw Puzzle and Posts of the Week

Along with the usual Posts of the Week, I thought I'd try something a little different this week. Instead of posting one of my photos, I thought I'd let you put it together yourselves. Have fun!

If you receive this post in email, you will probably have to come to my blog to see it.

This photo of frost on a bedroom window was taken last January.

And now, without further delay, here are the Posts of the week.
The icon below is yours for the taking if if your blog post is named as a Post of the Week - either as top post or as a runner up.

There seems to be a larger number of them than usual this week. Because of this, I'm having a hard time selecting just one as the POTW so I'm just not going to do that this time. They're all wonderful and you'd do yourselves a great favour to click on each one of them.

These wonderful posts are categorized below (they may well fit into more than one category but I'm only selecting one for each):

Optimism, Regarding Being Regarded and Training
by Frank
at Baron It All

I Have Come to the Conclusion...
by Bag Lady
at Blag Lady's Blather

by Michelle
at House of Lime

Ring Around the Light Pole (a really cute video)
by Elizabeth
at One Magical Moment Per Day

by Amy
at She Writes

This Story Has No Point
by Jim
at Suldog

Because She Does
by Deb
at Talk at the Table

I See the Moon
by Maddie at
The World From My Window

The Best Color
by Don
at ffocuss

Cycle of Life
by Kate
at Chronicles of a Country Girl

Thursday in the Hood
by Daryl
at Out and About in New York City

January Fireworks
by Friko
at Friko's World

at Life Through Reflections

by Joanna
at The Fifty Factor

Baby Elephant (another really cute video)
by Nancy

at Life in the Second Half

Sun Dogs

by Russell
at Iowa Grasslands

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Found in Snow

The following photos weren't all taken on the same day but they were each snapped shortly after the recent snowfalls or dustings which have occurred over the past few weeks.

first real snow
You'd be hard-pressed to find a dry place to sit once the snow has moved into the neighbourhood. Snow-covered benches have a way of looking soft and inviting in spite of this.

I'm not sure what this is. There were too many brambles in the way for me to get up close to see it, or even get a better photograph of it. At first I thought it was an apple because there are numerous apple trees in the area. Looking at the image, I'm thinking it might be a tomato placed there as an offering to the squirrels or other critters.

for the bunnies
Way across the pond, I found this brilliant green lettuce leaf protruding from the snow. It wasn't there the previous day. Tossed salad, perhaps?

peanut in waiting
This was my own offering to the squirrels. I leave peanuts in several places every time I go out for a walk around the pond. They're always gone by the next day - probably by the time I get home.

Moving on, around the pond, this blue sand toy lay abandoned in the snow. I didn't see anyone around who might have been using it but I did spot their handiwork on the tabletop to the left.

friendly pooch
While I was snapping a photo, I felt a nudge on my leg. I looked down to see these sweet creature hoping for a scratch behind her ears. Unfortunately, the owner didn't want her to socialize with me and she urged her along. I blew her a kiss when she turned to look back at me. I think she received it.

coffee cup2
Making my way toward the homestretch, I saw this coffee cup buried in snow, on top of yet another picnic table. I imagine that if it still contained anything, it was ice coffee.

Thanks for visiting my neck of the woods.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Vintage View

"It is easily overlooked that what is now called vintage was once brand new." ~ Tony Visconti

A while back, when I was helping my friend Carol Anne clear out her basement in preparation for an upcoming move, we found a few interesting items which belonged to her late mother-in-law. One of them was particularly interesting to me.

camera case2
I knew it was a treasure when I saw its case.

autographic sep5
Inside, was this wonderful old camera - a Kodak 2A Folding Autographic Brownie.

Autographic, you ask? I did too. Google tells me that this little beauty which was manufactured sometime between 1917 and 1926 allows the photographer to "write" on the film with a stylus, immediately after the image is captured.

Right in there. The photographer could indicate where the image was taken or what the settings were so that they could be reproduced another time, if need be.

camera closeup
Let's take a closer look at the settings. A bit different from the cameras of today, isn't it?

doll sepia
All right, Mr. De Mille, I'm ready for my closeup!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winner of the Giveaway and Posts of the Week

Thank you everyone for playing along with my Comfort Food giveaway. You all had mouth-watering treats which can be seen in the comments of the previous post.

Names of those who participated and qualified were numbered. I then asked my son (who never saw the list) to select a number for me. It corresponded to one of my favourite bloggers and a really funny lady. She also happens to be one of my very first readers.

Congratulations to.. THE BAG LADY whose favourite comfort food was "anything with melted cheese." And she sure wasn't alone there.

If you don't already visit Bag Lady's wonderful blog, I suggest you add it to your must-read list. She's always has something interesting (and most often funny) to tell about her life on a cattle ranch in western Alberta. If you ask her really nicely, she might even name a calf after you, this spring.

Baggie, the $75 gift certificate for CSN Stores is yours. I'll be in touch to let you know how you can claim your prize.

Thanks again to everyone for playing along. You folks are the best!

And now, without further delay, here are the Posts of the week. The icon below is yours for the taking if if your blog post is named as a Post of the Week - either as top post or as a runner up.

Once again, this week's top two posts are tied. They're both wonderfully done and kind of interrelate. I think that each of the two authors/bloggers will be amused and pleased to see the other piece, as well as their own. And of course, I know you'll all enjoy both of them as well as the rest:

A Promise to Myself
by Beth
at Be Yourself


by Elizabeth
at One Magical Moment Per Day

Other wonderful posts are categorized below (they may well fit into more than one category but I'm only selecting one for each):

Paps, Pedis and Pub Changes Everything!
by Pearl
at Pearl, Why You Little..

Three Spinners and How to Profit from Idleness and Deceit
by Friko

at Friko's Musings

Frame of Mind
by Ethel Mae Potter
at The Adventures of Fred and Ethel

I Am Not Stupid or Blind
by Brian
at WayStationOne

Baby ~ It's been COLD Outside!
by Jillsy
at Jillsy Girl Studio

Black Pine in Winter
by Steve
at Take a Look Around

Morning in Wonderland
by Maggie Gem
at This Life Thru the Lens

by Indrani
at I Share

International Waters
by Bimbimbie
at Bimbimbie

Camellia Days
by Rosaria
at SixtyFiveNowWhat

An Afternoon With Zach
by Anvilcloud
at The AC Is On

by Sue
at Photowannabe

Recommended by:
Merisi at Merisi's Vienna for Beginners

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Comfort Foods and a Giveaway!

Dark ChocolateTortilla Chips with Melted Cheese and SalsaMeatloafSweet and Salty PopcornIce CreamPizzaRye Bread and Butter Cheesy PastaChocolate Brownies Cherry PieChocolate CakeChaiPot RoastRed Wine

This Giveaway is now closed. The winner has been announced here. Thanks to all who played along!

These are some of my favourite comfort foods - so soothing on a cold winter day. Another comfort is settling in for the day and reading your wonderful comments so generously bestowed upon me with each blog post. How can I thank you all for always being so supportive? I know - I'll host another giveaway!

The good folks at CSN have once again come through with a generous offer. CSN stores has a huge variety of housewares at a wide range of prices. You could purchase linens, vases, towels, mirrors, kitchen gadgets and cookware. They have large items like furniture or you could arrange unique seating at your bar with their adjustable bar stools. For this giveaway, they will provide one lucky reader with a $75 gift certificate toward any merchandise you fancy (shipping would be extra) at any one of their 200+ online stores.

Unfortunately this giveaway is only open to folks who reside in Canada or the United States but if you live elsewhere, you might want to consider a friend or relative who qualifies. The same goes for those of you who don't necessarily want something for yourself but might want to help a bloggie buddy double their chances.

So how do you qualify to have an opportunity to win? Simple. All you need to do for a chance at a $75 gift certificate for yourself or someone in Canada or the U.S., is to tell me your favourite comfort food(s). This will get your name into a random draw. It's as simple as that.

The contest closes at midnight, Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, January 18. I'll randomly draw one name from all of those who qualify and announce the winner along with the Posts of the Week on Wednesday, January 19. Please make sure that I know your email address. If I don't receive an email and/or comment reply from the winner within 5 days after that announcement, I'll redraw and award it to someone else.

So good luck to everyone. Now, tell me, what's your favourite comfort food?

Below are a few photos taken over the last few days.

Remember the Coneheads from Saturday Night Live? Anyone for ring toss?

fav spot2
A couple of months back, when autumn colours were so splendid, I posted a photo of this tree and promised to bring you back to that spot once the snow settled in. Consider that promise kept.

Another favourite tree of mine. With the sun so bright and the sky so blue, it cheers me to see it.

This fluffy little darling sat on a slender branch high above me. A curious eye kept watch on me and my camera.

sparrow lattice3
A few moments later, I watched as this cutie fed on seeds which someone had left on the fence. If you look closely, you'll see a sunflower seed in its mouth.

late afternoon sun2
Late in the afternoon, the last of the sun's rays bathed this tree and fence with warm, golden comfort.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Heart of Winter

Winter sure does change the landscape in a hurry, doesn't it? Bare branches, icy ponds and frozen hillsides are softened with a layer of silence.

snowy park path2
Every mile is two in winter. ~ George Herbert

A section of the park pathway which circles around the pond.

lake pattern
Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.
~Bill Morgan, Jr.

When the lake freezes over, there always seems to be an interesting pattern of bare patches. I imagine that the trees protected the lake from the snowy breeze in these areas.

bench pond2
The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? ~ J. B. Priestley

Look beyond this wintry picnic table, to the pond below. That's where I saw Woodrow and the other ducks which were featured two posts back.

brave oak leaf
Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours." ~Robert Byrne

I couldn't help but notice this feisty oak leaf defiantly flickering in the breeze, refusing to allow winter to bury it.

park pines3
Of winter’s lifeless world each tree
Now seems a perfect part;
Yet each one holds summer’s secret
Deep down within its heart.
~ Charles G. Stater

This was just meant to be a photo shot more or less into the sun, of a peek at a park bench as seen between the trees. It was only when I uploaded the image that I saw this unusual sunspot (or something) which appeared to be glowing from the lower branches of the nearest tree. If you look at it closely....

snowy heart

... you'll see that it is heart-shaped and red, and it has me wondering what this tree might be telling me. Whatever it is, it's a comfort in the heart of winter.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mystery Lines and Posts of the Week

The image below was taken shortly after our first significant snowfall of the year. I was out snapping various photos when I noticed these lines. The area around them was untouched. Pristine snow surround them on all sides for at least six feet (2 m). Nothing was dripping from above. The only prints anywhere near them were my own as I approached to capture the photograph. The middle lines were about twelve inches (30 cm) long. I have no idea what made them. Any guesses?

mystery lines

And now, without further delay, here are the Posts of the week.
The icon below is yours for the taking if if your blog post is named as a Post of the Week - either as top post or as a runner up.

This week's top posts are tied. They're both so well written that I couldn't choose between the two. So you all luck out and get both:

by Betty
at Bossy Betty


The Stage Was Set
by EthelMaePotter
at The Adventures of Fred and Ethel

Other wonderful posts are categorized below (they may well fit into more than one category but I'm only selecting one for each):

When the Bananas are Frozen
by Lailani
at The Green Grass Grows All Around

by Reb
at Sibu Pegasus Power

Persistent Little Pest
by Tabor
at Room Without Walls

The Title of This Entry is "Eggplant"
by TattyTiara

Meet Lenito, Lenetia Lenore, Kobron
by Sandy
at Writing in Faith

Peanut Butter Pie
by Brian
at WayStationOne

Guarding the Sunset
by Dawn
at Puzzle Pieces

Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Kate
at Chronicles of a Country Girl

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
by MPM
at Mental Pause Mama

Priceless Days Ahead
by Grizz
at Riverdaze

Wonderful Waxwings
by Keith
at Holdingmoments

Liberated Hero
by Cloudia
at Comfort Spiral


by Hilary
at Crazy as a Loom

Grandpa's 1950s Lionel Train
by Cheryl
at Lake Mary Musings

Remembering the Night
by 365
at 365 Attempts (At Life)

Recommended by: Moannie

Belle and Sundance - a Rescue
by Sherry Blue Sky
at Stardreaming with Sherry Blue Sky

Recommended by: Jinsky

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you.