Sunday, October 31, 2010

Flowers in the Snow

Last night, around 8:30, we picked up the phone to fine a somewhat disturbed Nikki Dee on the line. It was bedtime, and she wanted someone other than the babysitter to comfort here. As luck would have it, Cuppa was just then getting ready to head over there to pick up something or other to do with Halloween. However, when I explained that to Nikki, she began to wail that she wanted Buppa to come over too.

So, out we went, me just in a my slippers (Crocs actually), into the snow. In my slippers and ... surprise, surprise ... into the snow. Wet snow. Me in slippers (Crocs actually). My feet didn't get too wet while I was scraping the car, but still ... it was snowing, and I was in my slippers (Crocs actually).

As soon as we arrived to placate the impy doodle, I took her to the front door and shower her the snow. Nikki Dee: "Is it Christmas?" Well, isn't that cute?

Between Buppa and Amma, she was sound asleep within about a half hour. And home we went. Through the snow. Me in my slippers (Crocs actually).

And this is what it looked like this morning from the upstairs window.

It looks like Christmas flowers in the snow, but these geraniums be long gone come Christmas. Hopefully, this particular accumulation of snow will also soon be gone, for it's too early for it to stay, y'know: two weeks to a month too early based on the five winters that we've experienced here. Hope so. Winter is long enough as it is.

And they're not actually Crocs, not actually despite all of my actuallys. They're a knockoff called Frogs, actually. Actually Frogs is what I actually and factually mean.

Of Halloweens Past ...

... and Present

Cuppa and I will be duplicating some photos a today, but she'll weave more of a story, so you may wish to check in at Brown Betty Brew as we pay homage to Halloweens Past. The old pictures were already scanned from a little photo album that we created for Thesha's thirtieth birthday. Althegal is now thirty-two, but I haven't yet managed to make the same effort for her. Perhaps I will someday get my mayhem of old slides in some sort of order (with sort being a rather operative word),, so that I can more readily contemplate doing this for her.

Let us begin with Ancient History by showing four slides in chronological order beginning in Thesha's early childhood up to when she was about ten years old. Althegal made an appearance in the ten-year photo where they are both dressed in Cuppa's rendition of First Nations costumes when such things weren't politically incorrect. It's worth noting that Cuppa designed and fabricated all four of these costumes: creative and talented lady that she is. If I've got it right, the Wonder Woman getup is from 1984, when the tv program was current. It was quite a hit at Thesha's school if I recall correctly.

Nikki Dee's first Halloween was in 2007 when she wasn't even crawling. Daddy brought the cute, little pumpkin to our place while Thesha stayed home to pass out treats to the tricksters.

She was Piglet in 2008 when Mommy brought her over for a little visit.

Sticking with The Pooh theme, Nikki Dee became Tigger last year while Zachary was Winnie. They were taken pre-Halloween last year as became a trifle problematic to shunt two kids about.

Cuppa managed to take a few pre-shots of this years outfits this past week. The kids weren't being terribly cooperative; perhaps I'll manage some better ones when I go over for a little visit while Cuppa mans (womans? persons?) the treat fort here. In our first year in this place, I made an effort to get into the Halloween spirit (the header up there came from that year). I dressed up and played scary sounds with my iPod hooked up to speakers. But, frankly, I don't really dig Halloween and have left the nonsense to Cuppa ever since. The whistles in the following photos don't have anything to do with the costumes; it's just what they were taken with on that day. I think in keeping with her outfit at least the Jungle Book elephant song was being played and marched to, and the kids added their own musical overtones.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Neti Knows Noses

Well, you can never assume; otherwise you make the first three letters of assume true about yourself. Yesterday, I assumed that everyone would be familiar with Neti Pots or Netipots, but that may not actually be the case. We don't all go to Oprah College after all.

It was Dr Oz on Oprah who first introduced me to Neti, and I could scarcely believe what I was seeing. In response to some sort of question about allergies or sinuses I (I think it was), he invited the lady to the stage. There he had her tilt her head over a basin and, using Dear Neti, pour water in one nostril so that it flowed out of the other nostril.

Who knew that such a concept for the cleaning of sinus cavities existed? Well, Dr Oz and a lot of other people knew, apparently, for it is not a new invention by any means.

Following are two excerpts from Wikipedia. Please visit Wiki for the whole article for links and references that I have eliminated from the these sections.

Nasal irrigation or nasal lavage or nose douche is the personal hygiene practice in which the nasal cavity is washed to flush out excess mucus and debris from the nose and sinuses. It has been practiced in India for centuries as one of the disciplines of yoga. Some clinical tests have shown that this practice is safe and beneficial with no significant side effects.[1][2] Nasal irrigation in a wider sense can also refer to the use of saline nasal spray or nebulizers to moisten the mucus membranes....

The simplest method, in that it does not require any equipment, is to snort water from cupped hands. The application of commercially available saline nasal spray is another simple alternative, but it is relatively inefficient for washing away debris although it may suffice for simple rehydration of mucous and tissues.[6]

A simple yet effective technique is to pour salt water solution into one nostril and let it run out through the other while the mouth is kept open to breathe, using gravity as an aid. This is an old Ayurvedic technique known as jala neti, and the container used to administer the saline is called a neti pot. (Neti is Sanskrit for "nasal cleansing". A second neti technique known as sutra neti uses a piece of string instead of water.)

Finally, here's one YouTube demonstration of a plethora of choices. I am surprised that there are so many examples as I, personally, wouldn't care to demonstrate Neti and me getting so close and personal. I'm appreciate, however, that others are not so disinclined to get their noses into it onstage. Or it into their noses, rather.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A New but Dear Friend

It's true; there's a new love in my love, and I have come to cherish the moments that we spend together every day. Like all loves, she does get up my nose from time to time, but our relationship remains committed.

Yes folks, I admit to having fallen for Neti, and the fact that she is a little potty simply makes her all that more precious to me.

Last winter I experienced multiple bouts of ear and sinus problems and found that my body doesn't get along well with all of the decongestants that I was forced to swallow. Neither did I much like being force fed antibiotics on a regular basis. So, this autumn I invited Neti into my life, and, so far, I am happy to say that she makes a difference.

After few intimate moments with Neti, I find that I can breathe easier. It's a good feeling to take those clear, unsnottified breaths let me tell ya.

I know that getting so excited about these short trysts makes an AC's life seem rather empty, but I am deeply appreciative that it's really my sinus cavities that are empty — even though as is true about intimate moments in general, the relief is only temporary.

It's fair to say that my moments with Neti have become an eagerly anticipated highlight of my dreary days.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Her Turn

... and His Again Too

Although I took the camera over to get some new pics of him the other day, I did get some of her while he was sleeping and after he was up too: sorry, can't resist.

She was actually engaging with the camera a bit. Here ↓↓ she tries to make a sad face: which turned out to be funny.

And lookee here ↓↓ two pictures looking right at the camera and me not having to rush too very much before the millisecond became history.

Even outside, she condescended to glance my way. Maybe it's because she loves looking at herself in pictures, and she's beginning to connect cause and effect better. ↓↓

Two more of the blond, curly guy. ↓↓

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Faces of Our Boy

I hauled my camera over to the kids' place yesterday with the specific purpose of getting some up-to-date close-ups of Zach. At his age, we have fewer photo ops with him than his sister. She comes for sleepovers and outings while he stays home. But it was time to make an effort.

So here he are the many faces of Zachary. Actually, they're all pretty well versions of the same happy face. The first two were after his nap around the lunch/computer table, and the other three were taken outdoors a little later. It was a warm day for October, but he had his little coat on anyway as Buppa wasn't quite sure how best to dress him .

By the way, had Amma been present, her likely would have had his hair and wardrobe attended to, but Buppas don't think of things like that. And even they do, they're pretty helpless to do anything about it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The kids seem to prefer watching videos on Buppa's old laptop more than the tv. Mind you, the upstairs tv isn't too much bigger than the laptop. They can get closer to the computer and seem to enjoy the experience. My laptop is old but it's a big screen (for a laptop), and it has decent speakers.

As Zach enjoyed his lengthy, midday slumber the girl enjoyed some video time. ↓↓

Really enjoyed it. ↓↓

Once they were both up and few, both kids watched clips of themselves for awhile. I had wandered into the other room to check email etc on Thesha's computer and was a little concerned to see them both sprawled on the table in an effort to get at or close to my laptop. Officially, "We were not amused," but unofficially, in our heart of hearts, we were. ↓↓

This is a representative clip of what they were viewing at the time. Nikki Dee was requesting singing videos. It took old Buppa awhile to figure out that she wanted to see a series of Thanksgiving videos like the one below. She was being a little manic at the time: really enjoying the attention, and she loves to watch herself, which I guess is typical of us all. ↓↓

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Cool but Colourful Saunter

Friday, on our round trip, there were countless photo ops. But when you're travelling, they pass by quickly, usually with very little opportunity to pull over. So it was that we have no pictures; and certainly none of foxes or wolves who were very quick to cross the road into the forest at the other side. No, you're stuck with either believing or disbelieving that one.

Come Saturday, we were able to take some photos after Cuppa made a picnic lunch to take to the park. As we headed out, it looked promising despite to cool temperatures because the sun was out. So, having arrived at the park, we exited the car and made for a picnic table. Naturally, just as we arrived at the table, the clouds managed to roll across the sun. We sat at the table for a few minutes, but the cool temperatures, plus the wind, plus the ominous amount of clouds in the sky soon sent us back to the car.

We had our lunch in the relative warmth of Harriet the Chariot, but were disappointed not to be able to take at least one photo of ourselves enjoying a picnic lunch in the great outdoors because Althegal so looks forward to these sorts of pictures. In fact, she has often mentioned this to us and pleaded for more: he said, speaking just a tad sarcastically.

We did walk a bit after our lunch; fortunately, there remained just enough colour to satisfy our spirits and to persuade us to snap a few photos, several of which I present below. In the first picture, Cuppa, in the distance, drinks Tim's coffee from her travel mug. However, even carrying a mug around was enough to make the hand cold as I was forced to keep switching my own mug from hand to hand in an attempt to minimize the discomfort. It helped a little, but also informed me that eating in the vehicle had been the right choice.

Before, I mosey off, permit me the reminder that it's only two months until Santa comes down the chimney.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

There and Back Again

Cuppa and I surprised ourselves a little bit yesterday. We drove to the cottage to pick up stuff that we couldn't fit in the car after our extended-family vacation in August because the vehicle was too full of people. We went with our options open: return on the same day; stay overnight; or spend the weekend there. In our heads, option two, overnighting, was what we most expected to do. But with the weather being cold and windy, and comfortable beds at home awaiting, we hit the road home as soon as we loaded up Harriet the Chariot.

It was a good day for a drive, however. For most of the way, both coming and going, there was sun which lit up the tamaracks rather gloriously. And despite the fact that all of the other leaves had fallen, the oaks were still adamant about holding onto their bronze beauties. The drive home was especially pretty as the lowering sun cast the just the right angle of light.

On the way there, however, we saw a first — or two first, rather. We drove the extremely rural backroads, and at one point, I exclaimed to Cuppa that there was a fox trotting across the road up ahead. As we drew nearer, we saw that it was larger and darker and concluded that it was a wolf. Lightning struck a second time a little bit later. This time we got a closer look and decided that this was a coyote.

I suppose we could have been wrong both times, and they could have been regular run-of-the-mill dogs, but, given the backwoodsiness of the geography, neither of us really believe that. Both of these sightings are extremely rare; in fact, having never seen either before, it seems almost miraculously serendipitous as well as synchronous to witness both.

This morning, however, nature's other shoe dropped as we awoke to the season's first snowfall. Yes, it snowed overnight: so lightly that it could only be seen on bare rooftops and not the ground. Nevertheless, it was snow. Sigh: it could be a long winter.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Another Round

Since I have been posting from the vaults, please permit me another round. For all I know, I have posted some of these previously, but since they were more or less ready to go, and I'm in a bit of a rush, here they are. I really just want to post something today because I won't likely be able to for several days. They are all from 1976 0r 1977 as near as I can determine and are presented in possible sequential order.

↑↑ Thesha with our dog. Other than Susie, we've been a cat family. Thesha was reading in our sunporch, which had to be closed off in the cold weather. The couch in the background was a wedding gift from my parents seven or eight years before the picture was taken.

↓↓ Thesha with her grandmother, apparently near Mom's in May of 1976.

↑↑ My dad, the girls' grampa, possibly also taken on grandma's birthday weekend.

↓↓ Grandma reading Thesha a story. I think that same book is on the shelf behind me right now. Sometimes, I read it to Nikki Dee.

↑↑ We went to Centre Island in Toronto with some relatives. Thesha was quite intent on her driving.

↓↓ A horseback ride on that same day. Her cousin is on the next horse.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another Oldie from the Vaults ...

... or The Floor rather

We had a split-second power outage last night, which fried my surge protector. As I was unplugging it this morning, I found this slide on the floor, so I decided to scan it on the spot. It's of Thesha with my mother in 1973 at Centennial Park in Sarnia when she was about a half year old. It always stops me short to realize that mom was younger then than I am now. And she seemed so old at the time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

They Can Drive You Crazy

As I've posted before, taking pictures of my grandchildren can be frustrating. I can't get her to acknowledge the camera, and I can't take a candid of him because he has to react to it each and every time.

Yesterday, I just wanted a simple picture of him intently watching a dvd on my computer as he munched his lunch. You see, he is so disinterested in eating these days, that I find it easiest to distract him with a video or Sesame Street on tv.

I wanted to show how he put cheerios (in this case — you can see them on the tray in the second picture) into his mouth, hardly realizing what he was doing because he was so intent he was on the program. Needless to say, the pictures prove that he chose to play to the camera rather than staying glued to the video.

Kids! They get you every time.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

From Ye Olde Photo Album

Last week I posted pictures of Nikki Dee wearing dresses that her mother had worn. Cuppa is posting more information about their history today. She asked me to scan some old family photos for her post, and having made the effort to do the legwork, I'm also going to make use of those pictures today. But I'll try not to duplicate too much.

In the mid-seventies, I tried briefly tried my hand at developing my own film and photos. I didn't keep at it very long because I didn't have a proper darkroom and found it impossible to keep the chemicals at their proper temperature in our cold basement. However, above and below are two my efforts. I had a good model. In both pictures I experimented with dodging as I was projecting the negative onto the photo paper in an effort to eliminate the busy wallpaper background. Nikki Dee was in that dress last week, and those pictures are on Cuppa's blog this morning.

I think the next one was done at Sears; if not, it was taken as part of a church booklet. She must have been a bit younger than Nikki Dee is because the dress fit her better.

A family portrait from the very early eighties when AC still had hair.. This time Althegal is in the same white dress. Note: I still wear a goatee but I wore a fullish beard most of the time for over thirty years. Although I never thought to go full-beard again, I have lately been playing with the idea of growing it in. My hair isn't very gray, but beards turn sooner, and I am wondering what mine is like now.

In case you don't go to Cuppa's blog I will say that the white dress was smocked by my mother and the orange one by Cuppa's mother. I don't suppose they were even thinking about great grandchildren back then; I know that I certainly wasn't thinking of grandchildren, and I certainly wouldn't have thought of getting out those dresses if Cuppa hadn't.