Monday, October 28, 2013

Gratitude Monday --Snow Day

Assorted II 232It snowed yesterday. Assorted II 234

 I've already mentioned I love the change of seasons.
 Many people do, and many of them exclude winter from their love.
 Not me, It's there it exists. it is the time of rest and renewal.
It's here by look, but not yet by season. It has snowed, and I am grateful.

The second photo shows the snow falling a bit better that the first.
Your welcome.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday - Colour Guard

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The trees along Highway 11 stand tall and show their colours.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- Date Day

Mike and I had what I can best describe as a date day Saturday.
We went to a rock and gem show in a town just over an hour away and held ourselves done to ten items.
We drove the few miles on to Red Deer for lunch and did a wee bit of shopping ( he got some fall bulbs) and we then bought my birthday gift.
I have to wait a month to use it, but when one gets a camera it's best if the one using it gets to select it.
Then a movie and dinner.
The movie was Gravity and we saw it in a big deal city theatre in 3D.
I hadn't seen anything in 3D since the days of cardboard and plastic. These were like actual glasses. Cool.
Dinner at a big deal restaurant followed and then the hour- long drive home.
It was a long day, but it was wonderful, and I am grateful.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- Fall Along The Highway

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Autumn along the David Thompson Highway west of Rocky Mountain House.
Thrice click for full screen if you so desire.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- This

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It's Thanksgiving and I am grateful for many things.
Today I am grateful that I live a short drive away from the above and sights like it, and I am grateful I get to share it with you.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Please click thrice for full screen.
You will not be disappointed.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- Skewered

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It's a big deal skewer meal with meat and veggies, a plate of veggies, and a dish of rice.
It was on the menu in a restaurant in Lithuania. Wei-Ning Ho, above, an adventurous woman who embraces the whole travel experience with joy, tackled it and won.
She left the rice.
We all agreed it was a sensible approach.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

True Democracy Includes The Right To Not Vote

I never thought I'd take the part of someone who doesn't vote, but I do.
It galls me that people are so lazy or careless they take no interest in who rules over them.
But I will not live in a world where one is compelled to vote.

I used to look to the Australia model and think it was wise.
In that fair land a voter who doesn't vote is fined. I was told by an Aussie mate this was to ensure that no one would ever be intimidated into not voting.
I accepted this at face value. I even thought it was okay.
I've even suggested we ought to do it here.
I am now heartily ashamed of that stance.

The true measure of democracy isn't being free to do what you want: it's being free to not do it.

Why the turnaround?
My husband and I visited Latvia, Lithuanian, and Estonia last spring. We met people who lived under the Communist regime, among them our tour guide Simona Vasilevskyte and her mother, Ona Sagevičienė, also a tour guide.
One evening in Riga Ona Sagevičienė's tour intersected with ours and she joined a few of us for dinner.

She told us stories of her life under Soviet rule.
Drunken college students* sang a song one night about how Lithuania would one day be free.
They disappeared.
A man she was in University with was usually drunk and he never seemed to do any work. It was commonly believed he was there spying on the students.
He had few friends.
Ona Sagevičienė

This brings me to elections.
On election day the ballot was ready and waiting for you to post. If you didn't, then you were never seen again.

I sat across a table from a woman who had friends and acquaintances disappear. It chilled me to my marrow.

We have no such worries here. We are free to ignore elections with no repercussions.
That is freedom and I will have it no other way.

In a final note there are those who say they don't vote as a gesture of protest.
Not voting is an exercise of freedom, not a protest.
While I'd rather you voted, and I will be casting my assorted ballots in the upcoming general election, if you don't want to, then you have my full support in this exercise of our freedom.
In a related matter here's a joke we heard about Soviet election life:
A citizen once opened a ballot and was told he couldn't do that.
"But I wanted to see who I voted for."
"You can't," the citizen was told. "It's a secret ballot!"


*I erred in the fate of the college students. Ona S. has told me via email the two successful third year students were dismissed, not disappeared.
They finished later through distance education.
I apologize for the error. We heard many stories of persons disappearing. I remembered this wrong.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- Seasonal Thanks

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I've always loved the change of season and I am especially fond of autumn.
The trees put their very best colours out in a last hurrah before the wind and snow strike them bare and put them to sleep.
I feel the best in fall. The playful nip of frost in the air awakens me. I am my most alive when the rest of my world closes in on itself.
Perhaps it is the quiet of life this time of year. It's life, but calmer and inward-seeking.  It is the meditative season before the sleep of winter, and I am grateful for it.
The photo is a familiar one to long-time readers.
It's a tunnel under a train track by the river and each fall I go through it as my own personal passage to my best season.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- Protected

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Our guide explained these stairs at the Copan, Honduras ruins are covered to preserve them.