Friday, April 30, 2010

My Friday Five Grateful List

The longer we live the more it seems that we become set in our ways. We develop routines as we prefer how things should be... a “hardening of the attitudes.” Now I am starting to get into another routine, which I enjoy... and that is to stop once a week and make a little list of some of the things that I am most grateful for. I believe this is a good thing and will richly reward me or anyone who takes to the time be thankful.

“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”
–Brian Tracy

1. I am thankful for the Bible and for the handy “app” on my I-phone that lets me read it easily anytime or anywhere. It has become one of my favourite apps. I will easily read the whole Bible thru this year on my phone. One of my favourite places to read is in bed. If I wake up in the middle of night I often read several chapters... and when I start to get drowsy I just lay it down, roll over and go back to sleep.

2. I am thankful to be loved. There is nothing more comforting than to know that your wife, your children and your grandchildren love you... and that they tell you they love you. PTL!  I just love this first photograph that my sweetheart gave me in highschool.

3. I am thankful for good health. It may not be perfect, but it is pretty good... and I am working every day to improve. I am thankful that I can run and be physically active every day.  I am enjoying building rock walls and building some new trail on the steep hillside towards the tree house.
4. I am thankful for spring. I love this season of the year, as life comes to all the trees and the flowers bloom. I love to take photos of nature and spring provides such wonderful opportunities to capture the first blossoms.
5. I am thankful for the Internet. In spite of the problems we have been having with our ISP... it is still so wonderful to be able to access the world of knowledge so easily. What a wonderful invention! And to be able to share with others in this blog and keep in touch with friends and family is pretty cool.  To  be able to send and recieve emails... totally awesome!  Don't ever take it for granted.

"An attitude of gratitude creates blessings." -Sir John Marks Templeton

Thursday, April 29, 2010

You Know You Are Getting Older When...

1.  Your top three favorite pastimes involve sleep.
We are all getting older, but somehow I think it makes it a little easier when you can laugh about it.  Here are 13 attempts to get you to laugh... or at least smile!

2.  Oooops!

3. I know I am getting older when...


5.  Food has replaced sex in my life...
now I can't even get into my own pants!

6.  For sure this is true!

7.  I asked my wife if old men wear boxers or briefs?
She said Depends.

9.  I was always taught to respect my elders...
Now I don't have anyone to respect.


11.  I got married for better or worse...
She couldn't do better, I couldn't do worse!


13. Everyone wants to live a long time, but none of us want to get old.
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Grateful List April 23, 2004

What a fantastic week!  As I reflect over the good things and look at the photos, tonight I am grateful:

1.  For safety in the last storm.  This strong arbutus just across the fence from the cottage came down in the high winds.  We are so grateful after every storm to see our trees still standing.

2.  For a great run with Shelby.  Our family was together in Walla Walla this past weekend. There was great food, good visits, a surprise Birthday Party and a wonderful run in the country.

3.  For the excitement of change.  Shelby and Kim are serious about moving... and in the first weekend listed for sale more than a dozen showings happened.  Wow, is that ever great!

4. For the tulip festival.  On the way home from Redmond we saw signs on the freeway for the tulip festival... so we did a short detour and even though we missed the prime blooming time and events, it was a most pleasant diversion.

5.  For tulips on the golf course.  It was wonderful to see all the flowers blooming at Point Roberts Golf Course...

6.  For my best golfing friend.  I know a lot of guys who wished that their wife enjoyed golfing.  Every day I count my blessings.

7.  For the Oak Bay Beach Hotel progress.  Definitely slower than expected... now almost six months since site clearing and blasting begun the end of October, there is still not a definite date for the pouring of the first concrete.

8.  For a good visit with Kevin & Shawna Walker... and photo op.  After "walking the rock" with other owners/investors we were treated to a lovely lunch at the Victoria Golf and Country Club.

9.  For changing skies.  I like to capture the sunset on Friday evening each week... but we were socked in with rain all afternoon and I had to finish using up the last of the mortar for the rock wall in my rain gear.  I never expected we would see a sunset tonight.

10.  For an interesting sunset evolution.

11.  For the promise in the rainbow. Whenever I see a rainbow I always think of the promise that God made to Noah over 5000 years ago.  As the sun was setting the afterglow to the east was so soft and pretty.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Colourful Canada

Here is a fun little project.  Find the colours in the places near you.  Once I started looking I found oodles of colourful places and learned a few interesting things about the ones I have never been to.
1. Amber Valley, Alberta.  100 miles north of Edmonton. It was the largest community of Black people in Alberta until the 1930's.

2. Black Diamond, Alberta.  In the foothills west of Calgary.  Named after rich coal deposits found in the late 1800's, but the town really boomed when oil was discovered next door in Turner Valley.

3.  Cherryville, BC.  South-east of Vernon 15 miles.  A historic gold panning town.  Final resting place of my Uncle Elmer in the cemetery there.

4.  Emerald Junction, PEI.  A blip on the map along the Confederation Trail... a great hiking trail in Canada.  Hope to hike a part of it this summer.

5.  Greenwood, BC  Once a booming city of mining and smelting... near the border in southern central BC.  It is now the smallest city in Canada with about 600 people.

6.  Hazelton, BC.  This little town in north central BC became famous when Carol Huynh won a gold metal in freestyle wrestling in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

7.  Orangeville, Ontario.  30,000 people call this home.  Some work at Johnson Controls, or making Glad bags, or Clorox products. 

8.  Pink Mountain, BC.  Located on the Alaska Highway at Mile 143... Northwest of Fort St. John.  Over 1000 Bison roam there.  Good place for moose hunting.

9.  Silver Creek, BC.  Close to Hope BC, this little community got on the map by producing cedar shakes.  In the old days before all the BC forest fires, we used to buy cedar shakes from Silver Creek.

10.  Vermillion, Alberta.  A happening farming community 120 miles east of Edmonton. In the winter this place keeps warm dancing and curling.  (that is an Olympic sport now!)

11. Whiterock, BC, This is a retirement community on the Canada U.S. border... where Interstate 5 becomes Highway 99. On the beach is a huge... you guessed it... white rock!

12.  Whitehorse, Yukon.  This is the largest city of the three Canadian Territories... 23,000 people. Located at mile 918 on the Alaska Highway.  When we did the Alaska Cruise we came to Whitehorse to golf... pretty crazy, eh?

13.  Yellowknife, NWT.  This is the capital of the Northwest Territories, with 19,000 people.  Located on the north shore of the Great Slave Lake and 250 miles south of the Artic Circle.  This isn`t the end of the world, but you can see it from there.

Of all these colourful places, I have only personally been to 6 of the above.  What about you?

For more Thursday 13`s go here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Special Grateful Weekend

With travelling to Walla Walla for the weekend on Friday, my grateful list is going to be a day late or so... better late than never, right? This past week we are grateful:
For good weather and great sunsets. We were able to capture several sunsets this past week from our lowest deck, and often ferries were passing just as we were watching.

For Ruby. Sherilees's Airedale has such a happy personality... always looking for acceptance... always smiling... always happy to see us.

For our daughter's home and happiness. We always look forward to anytime we can come to Walla Walla to visit Sherilee, Alan and Seth. They always make us so welcome.

For my walking partner. Every day we try to go for a walk or a run... and if I don't ask her, she asks me. We never refuse to go with each other, if at all possible. This physical exercise is what I call my "sleep insurance."

For Shirley, who is a "Good Finder." More than anyone else I know, my wife unconsciously finds good in everything around her all day long. She sees beauty in places that others don't notice a thing. Like this morning on our walk she noticed the sunshine on the green grass that was growing in the ditch and said, "Look at how fresh and green that new grass is!"

For lilac time. To be able to enjoy the sweet fragrance of the lilacs in the spring brings back many fond memories of the hedge around our house on the farm in Alberta where I grew up.

For my blogging mentor. Both my children are avid bloggers... but Sherilee is always trying to help me learn new tricks. Just last night she took my computer and downloaded the newest version of Blogger and it is much faster and better than the old version I have been working with.

For love. There is a lot of love in fresh baked sticky buns! When our daughter knew we were coming she prepared lots of the favorite things she knew that we enjoy.

For a successful surprise birthday party. It was a trick to bring all the people plus the food together at Doug and Susan's place for Merritt Logan's 80th birthday and still keep it a surprise. Doug's parents arrived three days before the party, so it all had to be arranged before they came. Look how many people it took to light all the candles!

For Merritt's 80 years and good health. It is wonderful to see my oldest sister and her husband active and travelling... really enjoying life. Just to be here to take this picture of Merritt about to blow out the candles made it worth all the effort.

For old classmates and friends. Three couples from Merritt and Dolores' past came to celebrate... and along with our children and grandchildren there were 19 of us at the birthday celebration. We all had a chance to visit and take pictures... it was wonderful.

For catching up on the old times. As we sat around visiting with Dolores and Merritt, Doug and Susan after everyone else had left, my nephew Doug recalled some of his first memories of me. He was about 6 and I was 12. We had come from Alberta to California to spend the Christmas holidays with Dolores, Merritt and family. He remembered me waking up early on New Years morning and announcing, "Good Morning 1959!" the same style as the radio announcer in the movie "Good Morning Viet Nam!"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gratefulness & Alpacas

Gratefulness produces good things. When our neighbours saw Shirley and me trying to take photos of their alpacas from the street, they invited us to come inside the fence so we could get closer to these lovable creatures and get better pictures.

Alpacas are grateful creatures. Here are 13 favorite grateful quotes.
“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.” -Cicero

Buttercup enjoys the attention. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” –John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Meet Shogun, Buttercup, Rudy and Robbie. “Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion if we can simply learn that as well as giving, it is blessed to receive with grace and a grateful heart.” –Sarah Ban Breathnach

Shirley pauses taking pictures to feed Rudy.
“When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears.” –Anthony Robbins

“Talent is God given. Be humble.
Fame is man-given. Be grateful.
Conceit is self-given. Be careful.”
–John Wooden

“Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.” –Edward Sandford Martin

“Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone.” –Gertrude Stein

“No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Jesus Christ.” –1 Thessalonians 5:18

"In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy." –Albert Clarke, photographer

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." – William Arthur Ward, author and teacher

One fur face to another...
“Reflect each day on what you have to be thankful for, and you will receive more to be thankful for.” –Chuck Danes

Buttercup thought we said, "turn the other cheek." We just wanted her to turn around. You have no idea how hard we tried to get these four lovable creatures to pose for the perfect photo.
"If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily." – Gerald Good

Rudy eating out of Gary's hand. “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” –Meister Eckhart

We wish to thank Gary and Diane Akey for allowing us to photograph their alpacas.

For more Thursday 13's go here.