Friday, October 30, 2009

Good Friends

Good friends share their toys.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Nobody sang Happy Birthday to Lacey yesterday so she decided she'd do have to just sing to herself.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Big 2

Guess who turns 2 years old today?

To celebrate we did her favourite thing.

Went for a run in the coulee's with her two favourite buddies - Coulee and Vito.

She paused briefly from the action to pick birthday cake out of her teeth. :0)

And then went right back to running around.

Happy Birthday Little One!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Nursery

I decided I better get organized before we bring the new baby home. So this weekend I picked up some thing for the baby's room...

This picture doesn't do it justicce. It is a Kata 3N1 bag. I can wear it as a backpack and still access my gear without taking it off. This will make hiking so much more enjoyable and photo sessions much more comfortable. We spent forever configuring it last night and I think we have it the way I want it, but I have yet to try it out.

Marlin is wondering how long the gestation period is for our new baby. He is hoping it is at least as long for that of a blue whale but would prefer that of an elephant. :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Marlin was out all day yesterday.

Coulee waited very patiently by the front door hoping he would come home soon.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Secret Obsession

I really want this.

Do I need a new camera? Not really. The one I have serves me quite well but I have a three main complaints that I believe the 7D would help with. :)

  1. Focusing - When taking pictures of a dog when it is running towards me, my autofocus lags and I end up with their shoulders in focus and their head blurry. I've ruined many a good photo this way. In fact it drives me quite batty. The new Canon 7D has (according to the reviews anyway) a fabulous new focusing feature that will help improve sports photography and "fast moving furry creatures" photography (although surprisingly the reviews don't specifically mention anything about furry creatures).
  2. ISO - If I am trying to get pictures of fast moving furry creatures as mentioned above, I need to have a fairly fast shutter speeds to avoid blur. This isn't always possible when it isn't sunny or bright out. For example this morning, I was taking pictures at ISO 100, and I think my shutter speed was 160 at my largest aperture (F2.8 for you camera geeks). So the dogs pretty much had to be stationary for a picture Even at ISO 400 I wouldn't have quite a fast enough shutter speed (I usually aim for at least an 800 shutter speed) for a dog like Coulee running at full speed. And if I bumped the ISO up higher than 400 my pictures will look really grainy, and even at 400 don't always look that hot. The 7D has much better resolution at the higher ISO's.
  3. I hate hauling my camera back and forth to work every day. I often haul it home and then don't even use it. Then when I leave it at work, I wish I had it. It would be really nice to have a daycare camera, and a "me" camera. This isn't nearly as important as the other two reasons as I can just suck it up and it really isn't a big deal. I wouldn't even need to buy any new lenses. I rarely use the zoom lens at work and I just purchased a higher grade lens that replaced the original kit lens. I guess the point is - both cameras would be used so I wouldn't be "wasting" one.
Tomorrow, weather permitting, I'm going up to Calgary to the Digital Photo Expo mainly to sit in on some of the seminars. And while I'm there I just might check out the 7D. But I promise not to bring it home... yet.

Rainy Morning

We snuck in a walk this morning before it started raining too much.

I left the camera in the car because I wasn't sure when it was going to start to pour. But on our way back, Coulee ran through this huge patch of burgundy coloured shrubs and I couldn't resist going back to the van to get the camera.

We didn't get much for fall colours this year. It got too cold, too quick and the leaves didn't have much time to turn colour before dying. So I was pleased to find this patch of shrubbery that wasn't brown.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Seriously Cute

I love this dog.

She is just so cute.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wonderful Weather

We had gorgeous weather today. I was locked inside working for most of it but did manage an afternoon walk. It was the perfect temperature.

I forgot to bring a toy for Coulee so she decided to make Lacey her fetch toy. Sigh. I can't seem to break her of the habit of going for the jugular.

Lacey never seems worse for wear though.

Coulee wasn't the only one picking on Lacey. Lacey got Vito back later by biting his tail.

Amanda thinks Coulee's theme song should be "Stop and Stare". Apparently, Coulee only does three things - she runs, she fetches and she stops and stares. I beg to differ but I couldn't seem to catch her doing anything else. :0)

She does know how to look cute though.

Using Tools

Marlin and I started delivering papers again. We are just doing it one day a week. Why you ask? Well it definitely isn't for the money (we earn $11 a week which we promptly spend at Starbucks on our way home). My main reason was to get the girls out walking on a leash again.

I hate leash walks. When we first got Coulee, a leash walk was useless. She was so energetic that walking around the neighborhood wouldn't put a dent in her energy levels so we quickly moved on to off leash walks. We didn't have time to do both, and burning energy was our #1 priority. But that meant she didn't get a lot of on-leash training. And it shows. She can be quite horrible on leash - pulling, lunging, barking at people and lawn ornaments, etc.

Delivering the paper once a week makes sure that I can take her out. I know, I could just tell myself we are going to go on a leashed walk at least once a week but I always come up with an excuse to avoid it. This way I can't.

We've done the route about 4 times and I was finally ready to bring her with us. So I went out fully loaded with varies tools.

  • Her gentle leader (which I haven't used in years) so that she doesn't pull,
  • My Wacky Walkr leash so that when she does pull, she will have more resistance,
  • Her bark collar so she wouldn't bark at people or lawn ornaments and last but not least,
  • A pocket full of treats

She was AWESOME! She didn't bark once and she had plenty of things to bark at - people, dogs, wildlife and scary halloween ornaments. The only time she pulled was when she saw a bunny and that was short lived. I am in awe of how well she did and am so proud of her.

Next week will be Lacey's turn. I hope it goes half as well.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dare to Dream

Amanda suggested people do this exercise and I decided it would be fun. I'm not really a "purebred" kind of girl but all the different dogs at the daycare and that I met dog walking, have definitely opened my eyes to the different personalities of different breeds. So....

(excluding your own breeds)

Group 1- Sporting - Golden Retriever
Group 2- Hound - Beagle - definitely! :)
Group 3- Working - Great Dane
Group 4- Terriers - Cairn Terrier (if they are all similar to Angus!)
Group 5- Toys - Miniature Pinscher
Group 6- Non Sporting - Bulldog (shockingly enough!)
Group 7- Herding - Old English Sheepdog

I had no idea what dogs were in each category so I had to look them up. :) I think it would have been easier to pick which breeds I don't want vs. the ones I do. There are lots of breeds I've never met, and if I've only met one or two I don't know if they are typical of their breed. It will be interesting to look back on this in a few years to see how much I've changed my mind based on the dogs I've met.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Long Week

Well it was a very long week. Marlin's grandmother also passed away so we ended up going to 2 funerals in 3 days. We are both exhausted - emotionally and physically - but it was also nice to catch up with family we haven't seen in a while.

We spent a few days in Vancouver and managed to spend lots of time just puttering around. We went to the Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge, Lighthouse Park, and the Lonsdale Quay.

It is definitely nice to be home even though it is really cold here at the moment!

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Beautiful Woman

My mom sent me a bunch of photos to put together into a slideshow for my grandma's funeral. I've really enjoyed looking through the old photos. These are a few of my favourites in no particular order.

I love everything about this photo.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

We Weren't Prepared

No one was.

My grandma passed away suddenly on Thursday afternoon.

After a very normal morning and lunch, she didn't show up for her 2:00 cribbage game so they went looking for her.

She was 87 years old but was still doing so well.

She lived in Toronto for all of my childhood but we still managed to see my grandparents (and great aunt Eileen) at least once or twice a year. We spent summers at their cottage in Ontario, and they usually came out to visit for Christmas. I always looked forward to seeing her. About 10 years ago she had a brain aneurism. It was scary. But she pulled through and after months of rehab, seemed no worse for wear. Shortly after that, she decided to move into a "55+" home in Vancouver. What a huge and scary change that must have been for her. A new city, a new home, new friends... new everything. She was so brave. She seemed to thrive. She had a busier social life than I did. Every day seemed to have one or two planned activities. She volunteered at the church, she made crafts, played cards, walked to the grocery store, went to exercise classes. She was happy.

Three years ago, she moved into another home, that provided more assistance. She no longer needed to make her own meals, and keep track of her 1001 medications. But she still didn't slow down. She still did crafts, played cards, and went on outings. Two weeks ago she made a trip back to Ontario to see my cousin get married. I'm so glad she went. She got to meet two great-grandchildren she had never met, and she saw my cousins and aunt and uncle again for the first time in a few years.

I never spent a bad day with my grandma. She was never in a bad mood. She always had time for me. Some of my favourite memories:

  • The year the power went out for a few days in the winter. We all huddled around the dinning room table for dinner wearing toques, scarves and winter coats. My mom and grandma still managed to pull together great meals for 7 people while cooking on a two burner Coleman stove.
  • Watching her and granddad "swim" at the cottage... it was more of a float. :)
  • I don't actually remember her teaching me to knit, but she must have, because I know how!
  • The way my granddad used to call her "Me", short for Marie. I always thought it was the cutest thing.
  • Her pies.... and one in particular is a little more memorable than the others. She had made a peach pie while at the cottage (a feat in itself if you had seen our cottage) and my aunt Eileen picked it up and promptly dropped it upside down on the floor. Eileen felt horrible, and we never stopped teasing her about it.
  • Her joy every Christmas. It was her favourite holiday. She never wanted to wake up alone on Christmas morning and as I stayed with her every time I came home to visit, I was happy to be the first to say Merry Christmas.
  • The time I went to Toronto by myself to visit. I was in my early 20's and it was the first time I remember having "grown-up" conversations with my grandma and granddad.
  • The way she called you "Ducks". For example, she'd say "Thanks Ducks". I have no idea where that came from or what it meant, but she only seemed to say it when she was particularly happy.

I still can't believe she is gone.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm Just Big Boned

Lately, Lacey has been hearing comments that she is fat. She prefers to think of herself as big boned, muscular and if you must, maybe a bit large chested. But definitely not fat!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fall Walk

Today was a gorgeous day for a walk. Nice and cool without being cold. I can never seem to get out of the daycare without Vito, so he came along again. It is always nice to have someone else to take pictures of!

He is giving Coulee a taste of her own medicine... can you see his little paw on the toy? That is something Coulee does all the time so others won't steal it.

This is not the best photo but Coulee's little peanut head in the background totally cracks me up.

Amanda commented the other day that resistance if futile... I'd have to agree.