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Merry Christmas 2016

I know I know I have been terrible at blogging. I tried to do it at least once a month, but for some reason I just haven’t gotten to it. School is not as busy or intense, so really I don’t know what is my excuse. Maybe because my computer is not my only source of entertainment and work. I do not even turn it on most weekends! I don’t need to do endless planning and try to watch TV from home, I can just turn on the TV and watch 😉 Again I am using twitter more often and at least once a week I post a picture of something and more often I retweet, reply and comment on things, so you can catch me there. You do not need a twitter account to view my postings there… just click on the link on my blog home page and it will take you there. However, if you want to comment on anything on Twitter you will then need an account.

Merry Yukon Christmas

Merry Yukon Christmas

We are staying in the Great White North for the holidays this year. Hope this post finds you well, happy and healthy. All the best for a wonderful 2017.

Stay tuned…

 

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Categories: Canada, Holidays, Uncategorized | Tags: | 3 Comments

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.

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As one door closes a new one will open: WP

How fitting this week’s photo challenge from WP is DOORS. I love taking photos of doors, but with us leaving China I decided to use the ordinary everyday doors to our apartment. Very soon we will lock the door for the last time.

As one door closes a new one will open.

This is very literal for us as we will leave in a few short days. We will leave Shanghai ‘forever’ as our expat life comes to an end. After 5 years living and working abroad it has been a mix of emotions. Leaving friends and familiar places we love is hard. Going home to family, fresh air and a slower pace also has its advantages. A few tears have been shed, but the one thing I will be sure to miss is the people. The friends I have made -good friends.

As I said in my leaving speech…

The time must come for us all to leave

now I am heading home

We spent 5 years in China

and Asia we did roam.

I taught Year 3 and Year 1

and learned a few things too.

Like Ni Hao, dizchan, itchyzhoh

er, are, san just to name a few.

My time here was well spent

busy with plans and such.

My Chinese language learning,

as you can see — not so much.            CTB 😀 2015

So my doors look at my building entrance and our apartment door that has been decorated by a previous tenant with the Chinese symbols.

Building 23 entrance

Building 23 entrance

 

apartment door

apartment door

Stay tuned….

 

 

 

Categories: Canada, China, Uncategorized, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Team Canada rowers for Pan Am Games announced

The Pan Am Games are this summer in the neck of the woods where I grew up. Many people from my Uni participated in rowing and even a guy from my hometown competed in the Olympics! Rowing is being held a hop skip and a jump from where I will be this summer… Toronto to the host.
Read below for more on rowing as posted by the Canadian Olympic Team Web Site.

Team Canada - Official 2018 Olympic Team Website

Feature photo by Katie Steenman Images, Courtesy of Rowing Canada Aviron

Royal Canadian Henley course in St. Catharines, Ontario will be home to the Pan Am Games rowing regatta this summer, where the sport’s national governing body is sending 26 athletes to compete for medals.

There are four Canadian Olympians heading to the water with this group. Will Crothers, Rob Gibson and Conlin McCabe – silver medallists in the men’s eight from London 2012 – will each compete in two events. Another Olympian doing double duty is Will Dean.

Full list of Pan Am Games nominated rowers here

The men's four team at the 2014 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam (Katie Steenman Images, Courtesy of Rowing Canada Aviron). The men’s four team at the 2014 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam (Katie Steenman Images, Courtesy of Rowing Canada Aviron).

Men will be competing in eight events, while there are six for women. One notable absence in the Pan Am rowing calendar is the women’s eight, which will not be contested…

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Exchange of Views: New Vistas & Views

This morning I woke up to this view…..

Banff, Alberta pure mountain vistas

Banff, Alberta pure mountain vistas -taken with ipad

Just west of Calgary is a small town, Banff, Alberta. Sunday we spent the day exploring the cool shops and relaxing hot springs. We got a great hotel deal, so decided to spend the night. This morning this is the view we woke up to.  A real flip flop exchange of views.

Stay tuned….

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Last Night

Last night a peaceful protest in Hong Kong turned into something much bigger which may make change for the future. Demonstrations started with hundred then thousands of young people, mostly university age students. The reason for their assembly to try to influence the changes that may take away some of the freedoms of the people. From what we can gather, Hong Kong which returned to China in 1997, has been allowed freedoms and government to act somewhat independently from the rest of China. News came that this may start to change. 2017 a new process would allow people to vote, but the candidates would be hand picked by the capital, no longer a freedom from local residents to pick their own candidates. The young people took to the streets last night and peacefully blocked roads in the financial district of Hong Kong. The police tried to disperse the crowds by using tear gas, but the people stood strong.

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From reports only a few were hurt and the and the crowds remained calm despite the police presence. This says a lot about the people. They are staying put, but without violence, disruption, chaos or rioting.

The crowd around Admiralty -HK financial district

The crowd around Admiralty -HK financial district

Today we were in the area and went to see for ourselves. At first it looked like a handful of people on closed roads. Someone pointed us further down the road and on the other side of an overpass we were startled by the crowds still there. Signs were posted on cardboard, on roads and barriers. Thousands of young students dressed in black with yellow ribbons of support with eye goggles and face masks sat peacefully on phones or chatting to friends. A few people spoke to the crowd and people quietly applauded. Talking to some of the young demonstrators you can see how passionate they are. They want to fight for freedom, show civil disobedience, but peacefully resist. One young girl quickly explained to me the reason for the crowd and why they had gathered. She stumbled over her English and kept apologising for the errors. She ended with I just want to help. I am here to help the people. She offered me a wet towel and when I refused she insisted.

one of numerous signs to get the message across

one of numerous signs to get the message across

Some shops were open, but many closed, but the people were not interested in doing any harm. It overwhelmed me to see the support, passion and how they cared for their city. As visitors many thanked us for coming and showing support. We were offered food, water, cold packs and wet towels to keep us comfortable in the heat. A young man gave us a face mask in case of more tear gas and said if we need anything speak to any of the ‘cooling stations’ which were well stocked with food, toilet paper, cases and cases of water. An elderly woman came with a trolley and in a styrofoam box she passed out hot meals to the students consisting of rice and breaded pork. Men and women in business suits came out on their lunch hour. To many people it was a photo op of selfies, but deep down you could see the care and concern that the future may hold. A young business man said he watched it all unfold from his office building and stated how proud he was of the people banding together, but how they remained calm and in control. As we walked along people apologised for bumping into you, offered you whatever they had. All these people demonstrating would cause quiet the mess, but there was no garbage strewn about. A young protester was carrying a garbage bag and picking up the small amounts of litter that were left behind. Again I was overwhelmed.

peaceful civil disobedience

peaceful civil disobedience

Whenever you think protest in a foreign country, or any country, your first instinct should be turn away. We felt safe and everyone wanted to share their message. The genuine thanks for our support, smiles and shaking our hands was like being welcomed into someone’s home. The feeling of acceptance and appreciation was unlike anything I would expect. The diverse groups of people coming together made us realise that this could be a part of history, life changing for many.

Last night as the police tear gassed the crowds the protesters quickly handed umbrellas out to those closest to the police. They covered themselves in plastic wrap, wore face masks and opened the umbrellas to protect themselves.

“The Umbrella Revolution” Last night as the police tear gassed the crowds the protesters quickly handed umbrellas out to those closest to the police. They covered themselves in plastic wrap, wore face masks and opened the umbrellas to protect themselves.

WP challenge for this week was NIGHT. This was a pretty historic night…

OK so my pictures weren’t taken at night and we only watched it on the TV because we had just arrived in HK oblivious to the news until after we checked in. It has carried on all day today and I am sure again into the night…

Stay tuned.

Categories: Culture, History, strange adventures, Uncategorized, unique experiences, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , ,

Feeling Frayed: Weekly Photo Challenge

A teacher’s worst nightmare came true this week with rain on the first day of school. Not just a light drizzle, but a heavy downpour that made the day dull and dark. Meeting a new class and having to spend all day with them indoors left me a little frazzled and frayed. Don’t get me wrong I love teaching, but when 7.5 hours straight is with 5 year olds all talking at once you can get a little tired and frayed around the edges.

Heavy rain storm - July 2014 Fonthill, ON

Heavy rain storm – July 2014 Fonthill, ON

It could be a result of my nerves getting a little frazzled with the weather. At home the last week of our holiday was filled with cooler temps and lots of heavy rain. When we returned to China the first week was typical with hot humid temps with sunny blue skies. That was short lived and unseasonable cool temps and heavy rains rolled in. We had 5 days of steady rain which, wears on your nerves and makes you a little frayed.

What has left you feeling frayed?

Check out Word Press and the photo challenge this week frayed.

With a new work schedule I have not been able to get onto WP as much as I would like, so I apologise if I do not respond quickly. Whenever I get a chance I will.

Stay tuned.

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , ,

Horizons and Silhouettes: Weekly Photo Challenge

Occasionally I take photos of my shadow, so I can be in it 😉 I am always the one behind the lens and that is often a way I can include myself. I think silhouettes and shadows are interesting especially with sunsets.

This week’s theme for Word Press is silhouette and I wanted to show off the Shanghai skyline and this attempt to be creative and different with the long tall grasses at home.

Shanghai Skyline Sunset -May 2014

Shanghai Skyline Sunset -May 2014

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Where’s My Backpack is asking for horizons and this silhouetted skyline fits in perfectly. If you look carefully you can see the Shanghai Tower slowly getting taller as it nears its full height.

 

Check out the links to see more photos or to participate in the challenge.

 

  Stay tuned for more…

Categories: Photography, Uncategorized, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Magic Bank Account

I found this through Traces of Soul’s Blog.
I don’t reblog much, but this seemed an important one to share.

Women Who Think Too Much by Jeanne Marie

04.24.Hill2055 - 24

THE MAGIC BANK ACCOUNT
THE AUTHOR IS NOT KNOWN. THIS WAS FOUND IN THE BILLFOLD
OF COACH PAUL BEAR BRYANT, AFTER HE DIED IN 1982.

The Magic Bank Account
Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest:
Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use. However, this prize has rules:

The set of rules:
1. Everything that you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from you.
2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.
3. You may only spend it.
4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.
5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say,“Game Over!”
It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.

What would you personally do?
You would buy anything and…

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Leaving the Seclusion Room: A Journey to the Far Side of Sanity and Back Again

This is a reblog from Kathryn. She asked us to reblog and share to get the word out. Sometimes we suffer alone and no one knows how to reach out, or what to do. Sometimes things get ignored becuase we don’t understand. The more we share the more we know the more we understand. This is beautifully written… please read her story.

Kathryn M. McCullough

I will forever associate spring with an up-close-and-personal encounter with crazy, with losing my mind in an over-the-top kind of way.   And, indeed, my March Madness of 1990 ended life as I knew it.

Spring brings many forms of madness. Spring brings many forms of madness.

A university writing instructor, I was suffering through what should have been a relaxing spring break, when I began to crumble. In Oklahoma the branches were barely budding, when I started obsessing over trees and their ability to lead me elsewhere, wherever there was. I imagined it was a dimension parallel to the world around me.

A parallel place-- A parallel place–

I wanted desperately to go there, and it was that longing that ached me into action. It muscled me forward, compelling me to bring bare branches indoors and decorate my walls with them. (I kid you not.)  It seemed I was suddenly and acutely aware, as the sculptural quality of those limbs stunned and…

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