2015 in review

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,700 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Elfie Selfie :)

The countdown is on… Santa has started his journey to some parts of the world already, while others may be waking soon to see what the jolly old elf has left under the tree. Here in Canada we are enjoying a cold day -15c!!! and a light snow. It is a Christmas scene right out of the movies.

If you were one of Santa’s Elves what would your name be? While walking through #SouthCenterMall in Calgary we spotted this sign to figure out what your elf name would be. It is quite simple… use the first letter of your name and month you were born.

We had a giggle figuring out names for our friends and family. Please post your Elf name in the comments below.

Make your Selfie  Elfie. What would your name be?

Make your Selfie Elfie. What would your name be?

 

I am Happy Monkey Buns.  John is Puddin Pointy Toes and we can’t leave out Willow (the cat). Her Elf name is Frisbee Toe Bells. I think Sandy Claws is more fitting. LOL

Happy Holidays and all the best for 2016.

Remember it is the season of love not presents or rushing from one place to the next. Take your time to enjoy the time spent with loved ones.

 

Categories: Holidays | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Willow Wrapping Presents

Willow is having her first Winter and Christmas in Canada. She has seen snow for the first time. The first snowfall freaked her out at the big feathery flakes fell from the sky. The second snow she ventured out on the balcony to touch and sniff it. She even stepped into the snow that was 4-5cm deep.

She has also seen a Christmas tree for the first time. In China, we had a small decorative tree about 12 cm tall. This year we put up a 7 foot tree and I was sure she would attempt to climb it, or play with the decorations. Willow has taken it all in stride, a tree in the living room? Why not?

Helping wrap the gifts

Helping wrap the gifts

However, she was not so reserved when I was wrapping the presents. She had to ‘help’ by sitting and laying on the paper. Cats and paper… need I say more?

I love her face in the one shot and I am trying to think of a good caption. Any ideas what she could be saying? Add it in the comment below. I will pick my favourite(s) and post them next week.

What is Willow saying here? Post your ideas below.

What is Willow saying here? Post your ideas below.

Happy holidays.

 

Categories: everyday occurances, Pets | Tags: , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Winter Wonderland

Winter has arrived in parts of the Northern Hemisphere. In the Rocky Mountains of Alberta snow has been falling regularly over the last few weeks. In Lake Louise in a 24 hour period 54cm fell. We happened to be there that day and look at the fantastic views.

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Lake Louise. Along the path to the Lake. A small ‘cabin’ near the Chateau Lake Louise.

Unfortunately the turquoise lake was under a thin layer of ice and the heavy snow blocked out the majestic mountain view. The snowflakes were quiet and wrapped the area in a surreal silence.

Banff -The snowy walk pack to the parking lot from the Hot Springs

Banff -The snowy walk pack to the parking lot from the Hot Springs

You may have wondered where I have been lately. It has been weeks since I posted anything. I have taken to Twitter and have been using it more frequently to do a quick post right from my phone. You can get the link to my Twitter feed to the right of the posts. I don’t think you need an account to view, but may to comment and like. I will try to get back here more frequently and post.

 

Categories: Canada, Nature, Tourist in My Own Town | Tags: , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Fadoodle Faces #7

After a short break the faces are back :) Speaking of BACK, happy #BackToTheFutureDay . Today is the day back in 1989 in Back To The Future 2 that was the “Future”… Oct. 21, 2015. How fun is that? So we can take a time machine back to the past… and see how things look in the present. The native Americans believe the faces we spot in rock are ancient spirits allowing themselves to be seen, showing themselves to the present. OK the link is a stretch, but enjoy the faces in nature.

I spotted this while hiking the trail in Lake Louise to the Plain of the Six Glaciers Tea House last month.

Spirits in the rock peeking out to be spotted.

Spirits in the rock peeking out to be spotted.

How many faces can you spot in this image? I spotted the first obvious face, but looking at the photo carefully I have spotted about 11 faces. One is a pair that looks like they are kissing. ;) Can you see what I see?

Check out more faces in my previous posts if you missed them. In case you missed it, Fadoodle Faces means nonsense or foolish.

Have a face photo you found in nature or everyday items? Why not write a post about it and tell us about it in the comments below so we can see what you see. Then add a ping back over here so we can all share in the fadoodle faces.

 

Categories: Canada, unique experiences | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

My Happy Place -WP Photo Challenge

Last week the theme for WP was “Happy Place. I had an idea right away, but due to travelling home for a few days I hadn’t the chance to post until now. Even though a new theme has been posted I couldn’t let My Happy Place go.

The question was where do you go to unwind, escape and get away from it all? I couldn’t pick just one so I have included a few of my happy places below.

  1. The sky…

In Shanghai we didn’t get clear blue skies often, but when we did I would stare at the clouds and blue sky. Evenings I loved to take in the colourful sunsets with the Shanghai skyline silhouetted.  Back home I enjoy the clear skies, fluffy clouds and colourful sunsets too. Even though they are a regular occurrence I never tire of them.The other night a colourful and unusual cloud pattern danced across the sky. I couldn’t resist.

Patterns and sunsets in the sky

Patterns and sunsets in the sky

2. The beach…

The warm sun and sand beneath my feet with the soft surf relaxing every cell in my body…ahhhh. Need I say more? As a child we went to the Atlantic Ocean and walking on the sand looking for shells or throwing stones into the surf was fun. As an adult I have been lucky enough to visit beaches all over the world. The best was the little cabins we stayed in the Philippines where the sound of the waves lulled me to sleep. The powdery beaches in Cuba are phenomenal as well. Whenever stressed I enjoy looking at a beach pic on my computer desk top.

The waves, soft sands and warm sun

The waves, soft sands and warm sun

3. The mountains…

Since I have been out in Calgary the mountains are a short drive away. The fresh air and smell of pine is so relaxing. The view of the snow capped mountains from the city are spectacular, but up close even better. The surreal blue of Lake Louise is something to see.

The mountains, blue lakes and smell of pine.

The mountains, blue lakes and smell of pine.

4. Books…

Escape with a good book

Escape with a good book

The absolute best is a book. After a long day it is nice to curl up with a book to help you de-stress and fall asleep. A good book is great to lose yourself in and shut off the busy day.

 

What is your happy place?

 

Categories: Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

The Great Wall -Boundary Post #2

This week’s theme is boundaries and as I said in the last post I feel boundaries can be physical, political or emotional. My first post showed something very political with pictures of the DMZ between North and South Korea.

In this post I want to show something that can be emotional as well as physical.

The Great Wall - a boundary physical as well as emotional

The Great Wall – a boundary physical as well as emotional

The Great Wall of China was an easy link to boundaries that are physical and even political. The wall was built to keep out the invaders from long ago. It divided the boundaries between the Chinese civilization and the Huns and Mongolians. However, for me it is also emotional as I think about our time in China. It was a place I never thought I would see in real life. I was lucky enough to visit it twice. We have many fond memories of trips and friends in China. Sometimes it feels a little emotional as we move on across boundaries. The challenges we faced while there and how it changed us crossed cultural boundaries within. I wish there was a photo to show that emotional journey, but this was the best I could do. Feelings cannot always be put into words, or displayed in a photo. It is personal about my experiences then and now, so you will just have to trust me. ;)

There are more interpretations of boundaries here.

 

 

Categories: China, History, teaching overseas, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 26 Comments

Boundaries -The DMZ

Boundaries can be physical, political or emotional… or so I think. My first thought for this week’s Word Press theme was the DMZ (De -Militarized Zone) in between North and South Korea. This is a very political boundary. We visited the area while in Seoul, Korea on a short trip in the Fall of 2012. Organised and guided daily tours leave Seoul; picking you right up at your hotel. The ‘waiting’ area in the DMZ has souvenir shops, food stalls and viewing areas. A place to pass the time as your group awaits their timed entrance. You can read more about that trip and the DMZ here.

A bridge to nowhere

A bridge to nowhere

This photo is showing a part of the above bridge which ends in a large chain link fence. Many people and families have tied ribbons on the chain link and posed for photos.

Messages and ribbons along the Southern side of the DMZ

Messages and ribbons along the Southern side of the DMZ

Can you show a boundary in a photo? Do you want to see other interpretations? Then check it out here.

 

Categories: Culture, History, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fadoodle Faces #6

Depending on how you look at this you can see 2 different faces. One looks like a cat with whiskers, which is what drew me into it.

Fadoodle Feline or Masculine Face?

Fadoodle Feline or Masculine Face?

 

This is a theme I started a few weeks back called Fadoodle Faces, meaning nonsense or foolish. Check them out here:

If you have a cool face and want to share, link to it and tell us about it in the comment section below. In your post please give me a ping back to this post (or a previous fadoodle faces) so we can all share and easily find them. Can we see what you see?

Categories: Canada, Nature, unique experiences | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Flash Mob for Ellen

By chance I saw a billboard advertising a flash mob for Ellen. I love watching the Ellen DeGeneres Show, so I went in search of finding more. The dance was to be held at Cowboys Casino, here in Calgary, to welcome the new Ellen slot machines that the casino just acquired. One of the employees also loves the Ellen show, so she decided to do a flash mob and post it to Ellen Tube, You Tube and on their Cowboys Facebook page. You can watch it here for Ellen Tube and here for You Tube. Can you spot me in the crowd?

Ellen Video Flash Mob

Ellen Video Flash Mob

Cowboys has asked us to share the video and hopefully get noticed by Ellen. Share away on twitter, Facebook and blogs. If you share don’t forget the hashtag #laughdanceplay

 

 

Categories: unique experiences | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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