"My mind sees that I am nothing, my heart sees that I am everything, between these two poles my life unfolds."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rhapsody In White

Shadow is perfectly showcased on freshly fallen snow

I treasure it's fleeting beauty

Vintage Christmas

These stunning images are courtesy of Magic Moonlight

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chickie's Big Day

Michelle (aka Chickie) is 40 today

Here we all are many moons ago - Birthday Girl in the middle, 
and Beaver making another appearance

She is a great friend and I am proud of the beautiful woman she grew to be,
but she will still always be my little sister...

Have a wonderful day Michelle!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Run For the Hills...

You'll have a better view

This year's winter solstice will coincide with a full lunar eclipse in a union that hasn't been seen in 456 years.

A rare lunar eclipse (which occurs when the Sun, Earth and Moon are perfectly aligned and the earth blocks rays from the sun and they cannot hit the moon) occurs Tuesday, December 21 (8:17 UT/3:17 am EST/12:17 am PST) Winter solstice also begins on December 21 at 6:38 pm EST when winter officially begins. Hard to believe that it's only officially beginning...we are practically swimming in the white stuff!

Your Monday Mews

No news to report...this was probably the most boring weekend on record!

Our back deck on Sunday afternoon...

It didn't let up all weekend - festive isn't it?! 

We didn't dare venture out - it snowed quite heavily each day (if only I had that one-horse-open-sleigh to dash through the snow with that everyone keeps singing about) - that, and it would be sheer madness to try to go anywhere in the city the last Saturday before Christmas. Experience is a great teacher! One bright spot was that our daughter did some last minute shopping for me while she was out; not much keeps her at home. I wrapped gifts on Sunday afternoon and finalized the Christmas menu. I also got much closer to finishing The Dome.  

I thought this was interesting - "Christmas Unwrapped" from the Canadian perspective.

In Canadian news, Liberal MP Justin Trudeau found himself in the middle of a controversy, (he is the son of former Prime Minister, Pierre Elliott Trudeau - highly regarded, but was certainly no stranger to controversy himself) as a result of the Christmas card he sent out to his Montreal constituents. He and his family are all wearing fur-trimmed clothing in the card. Comments after a number of the articles I read were overwhelmingly in Justin's favor. Not sure what that means - maybe opinions are changing regarding the wearing of fur, or perhaps it's purely a regional reaction as most of those commenting were Canadian. 

Vintage Christmas

A Brief History of the Greeting Card

In the old days, greeting cards were mainly used by the wealthy. 
Handmade, hand-delivered; these cards were not often used by the common people. 
It was simply too expensive to be practical.

It is believed that even the early Greeks and Romans used medals and scrolls 
to pass along their "New Year's Wishes" to the leaders of the country.

Throughout the years, the "greeting card" concept came and went with the ages. 
Their history is vague at best and is filled with large gaps.

In the 1400's, Germany produced woodcut "New Year's" and Christmas cards.
Intended for decoration, these crudely made cards were also traded among 
friends and family.

In the mid 1800's, Germany again led the way when they began 
mass producing greeting cards with their new printing methods. 

This, combined with more modern postal systems, created a "new" industry. 
Greeting cards were now more affordable and practical to send to a loved one.

However, the postcard, (which was also evolving during this time period), took away 
some of the popularity of the greeting card. They were even cheaper to send 
and became wildly popular during the late 1890's - early 1900's.

The vintage greeting card survived and evolved itself throughout the 1900's. 
The serious greeting card turned humorous, as cards were made and sent, "just to make someone happy." This trend caught on and continues to be popular to this day.

Most of these images are courtesy of Magic Moonlight  (A few were found in Google images)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What A Difference A Day Makes

After our rotten weather Sunday, Monday was a joy. We certainly have nothing to complain about as some areas in southern Ontario were walloped over the last few days. There were up to 300 cars stranded on the highways in what amounted to upwards of five feet of the white stuff in places. Military helicopters, snowmobiles and busses were utilized in rescuing many people. Here are a few images from my walk that afternoon.

I really need to look up more often...look whoo I spied on a neighbor's house.

One of the cutest bird houses ever!

Wildlife Photography of the Year

I thought our gift subscription had run out, but we are still receiving The Canadian Geographic magazine... I have enjoyed it so much I am seriously considering calling and renewing for another year. Here are some of my favorites from this year's Wildlife Photography contest. Check out the rest of the winners here

My personal favourite :)

Will you walk into my parlour?

Beauty can be found in the most unlikely of places. This doesn't make them any less scary, (or maybe it does?) but I think these pictures go a long way towards disproving the stereotype about spiders being ugly. All of these spiders are known as the Jumping Spider (aka Salticidae).

One interesting fact: Jumping spiders are known for their curiosity. If approached by a human hand, instead of scuttling away to safety as most spiders do, the jumping spider will usually leap and turn to face the hand. Further approach may result in the spider jumping backwards while still eyeing the hand. The tiny creature will even raise it's forelimbs and "hold its ground." Because of this contrast to other arachnids, the jumping spider is regarded as "curious" as it is interested in whatever approaches it.

Jewelly eyes - maybe this little guy should be Jane's Jewels new mascot!

This one seems to be eyeing the camera very suspiciously!