Angels watching over me

Graveyards have always fascinated me.

My grandmother used to take me with her to Beachwood Cemetary to plant flowers as she was nervous to go alone … not from the permanent residents of course but, rather, those who may be visiting or, as she said in thick Scottish accent from “men waiting to attack women that are alone”. Uh huh so what is a young teenage girl supposed to do to help an old lady I thought but that wasn’t the point…safety in numbers I guess.

Sorry I digressed there.

It was the old ornate stones, the history of those who were there now resting from the mid 1800’s in many instances.

These ornate larger than life in some instances guardians watching over loved ones are an art form in themselves. Hand carved and lovingly created by a master craftsman so that his creation would forever stand the test of time and watch over those long gone.

The lichens growing on the stones just seem to add to the character of them.

In any event, I had fun phtographing histories and GP had fun exploring history an old cemetary yesterday in Elizabethtown-Kitley just west of Brockville on Highway 2.


A new grandchild

There is nothing like becoming parent. You wait nine months to see the precious bundle you have been carrying that will become to depend on you his or her lifetime.

First words, first steps, first day of school, first love, first heartbreak, first day of high school, first day of college or university, first job, first time behind the wheel of a car and then marriage or committment in relationship. We as parents are there throughout the life of our children for these firsts.

Then the cycle somehow carries on. You get to see your child start carrying a new life to term, seeing that child arrive to the world and you yourself are not only then a parent but, you become a grandparent.

I have become to be known as “Gangie” (pronounced gang gee (hard g’s)) now for some time to “My Favorite Model” as I call my eldest granddaughter having seen my baby’s baby being born back in October of 2005 (an experience that I will forever be thankful to have been a part of).

We are a blended a family with mine being two girls, his being two boys that I raised and a girl that came to live with us for a short while when she became 16. As such, I have become to be known as Gangie to eight grandchildren now with the newest coming into this world three weeks ago.

Our legacy lives on as people. Those children we raised have become adults, they in turn are having their own families and so long after we are gone our decendants will hopefully be still here if man has not destoryed the earth. They can look back see why they say a phrase that makes people think they are an old soul, see where that artistic talent may have come from or, wonder why they have red hair and freckles when their siblings don’t.

A new grandchild brings hope to this world, a new grandchild brings love and above all a new grandchild just brings a smile to your face.

Unsung heroes – they are everywhere and you don’t even notice them

Meet another Unsung Hero

For those of my Canadian pals who have been watching the new fictional television show on Global TV Combat Hospital we know this is just entertainment depicitng a country where our Canadian Forces Medical Corps personnel happen to be.

Here at home, I know these real life unsung heros as members of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. I have the good fortune of working with the finest trained medical personnel here in Kingston.

At our CO’s coffee break recongnition is given to those at our unit who may be getting promoted, who have had a letter of commendation, have assisted where they were needed and of course we always recognize those fallen but not forgotten.

On Friday, two unsung heros who were in a real life Combat Hosptial setting were awarded a commendation from when they served with the Royal Canadian Regiment as their medical support personnel.

Let me introduce you to an Unsung Hero

Normally I don’t post my photos from work however, I wanted to introduce the world to two unsung heroes of Canada’s Health Services Group “Med Techs”. There are many, many more unsung heroes out there and they go unrecognized in day to day life. You pass them in the grocery store, you are along side them filling up your car for gas, you may be in a line at the bank with them. They have to live with the horrors of war that they have seen, the commrades that they have not been able to save and send home and, we cannot comprehend what they may be having to re-live when the lights go out. They are unsung heroes because you don’t know who they are, what they have done or, how they have helped many young men and women so that today they are home, alive with their families.

Thank God for unsung heroes.

Happy Canada Day!

Friday marked the 144th birthday of our country.

We are a young country compared to the rest of the world but we have a big heart.

Canadian soldiers are known all over the world for their accomplishments from Vimy Ridge to today in foreign lands.

The Canadian People are as diverse as our country. We are known at the “polite” people of the world.

Whatevery we are known as, I am very proud to wave this flag and to stand up and say I am Canadian.

Sailpast on a beautiful sunny Canada Day

And then there were two

Quite sad really to see nature at work.

We went down to the lake to feed the ducks as many new ducklings were seen when GP and I were down the other evening.

Of course, the seagulls had to swarm my two daughters, their boyfriends along with, my five year old granddaughter. My granddaughter was in awe of the baby ducklings noting that she would love to just pick one up and cuddle it and then give it back to his mummy.

However, we were not prepared for the horror of nature, survival of the fittest and all. A gull quickly swooped in and took a baby ducking right out of the water and flew off with other gulls in persuit.

My daughters’ and their significant others along with my granddaughter went on ta “wild goose chase” we feared, as the fate of the little duckling was a lost cause.

Nature really is quite cruel and to a five year it can be devestating however, not as devistating to my two daughters who had hoped to save the duckling and return him or her to his mum. That, was a futile exercise.

So, with that, saddened that we had to witness nature at work we left but not after making sure that mum and the two remaining ducklings were safe for now.

People Photophobia

Strangers on a bench

This photo was taken last night when we were out for a walk along Lake Ontario shoreline by Fairfield House in Amherstview.  The idea of walking up to a stranger and asking if I could take their photo still makes me break out into a sweat.   I want to call this fear of mine People Photophobia.

After all there are phobias for everything.

Rather than walk up to this couple that decided to sit on the bench to enjoy the view I took a shot from behind as a candid capture.  Something about it though works for me.  If I would have taken it from in front of the people it would not have given one the sense of the photograph and what is going on.  Perhaps from the front they would have focused on my camera versus the candid shot that I managed to capture.

There are times when the candid capture is the one we want to be able to show and there are times when the subject needs to be seen head on.  Soon I hope I will be able to tackle this people photophobia and start posting to a group of 100 strangers that I joined on Flickr.

I took a workshop several months back with Bernard Clark a professional photographer here in Kingston.  Our assignment was to try to capture people and if possible approach people on the street and take their photographs.  My buddy Joan and I both broke out into a sweat thinking how could we do this.  That’s when I ended up taking photographs of the many men and women soldiers at CFB Kingston’s medical clinic to become more comfortable with the whole people shots idea.

Today, I was home with my knee that the ortho surgeon told me some eons ago “well you will look forward to arthritis in the future thanks to the drunk driver that hit you”.    At the time, the future seemed to be something that was out of the starting credits of a Star Wars movie…you know the ones… “in a galaxy far far away”.

As a result of keeping the leg elivated higher than my heart because I also am lucky enough to have ankles that swell like balloons  and having my knee bathed in lakota (i figured it can’t hurt as nothing else is really working) I thought the best place was flat on my back with my legs elivated for the better part of the day prevented me from venturing out to take a photo.  Besides, the dog is not too keen on having the camera shoved in his face although he will “tolerate” it if need be (and a treat is a reward for posing nice) so he hid under a blanket for the better part of the day as well.

So there you have it, no “new” photo today because of my “cankles” (short for ankles the size of my calves) and my arthritic knee that required a day of rest off of them.  But, tomorrow is new day so stay tuned.  Perhaps I will yet, get that first photo of 100 strangers that I have challenged myself to take.