a story behind each banner image

i’ve added more images to my rotating header (what i especially like about this wordpress theme – aside from just a clean look). i have now 12 images that randomly rotate and appear at the top of my blog each time the page is refreshed.

each of them have a story of their own:

[edited - update] frozen - this is the newest one. i took it just this morning (december 22nd, 2013) after a freezing rain storm which has swepted across our city for the past couple of days. it finally will end sometime later today but the ice will probably remain for a bit. branches were so heavy from the ice, one of our trees in the backyard split in half and our patio is now completely blocked off from one of of that tree.

cropped-frozen-wp-1000x288.jpgRue D’ Baga – snapped from our Port Orlean resort streets while we stayed in Disneyworld earlier this year. the street name was called, “Rue D’Baga” which was where our room was on.

rue-d-baga.jpgrain on windshield – taken during our little day trip to niagara falls on our 8th wedding anniversary. yes, it was a rainy day but actually, it made for a nice, quiet day since not many people were traveling through the niagara wine route.

rain.jpggreen leaves – taken on one of our many visits to highpark.

green-leaves.jpgsea shells – this was from our last full day while visiting ada and hoa in vancouver (while they were still living there). the sea shells were dangling from the deck just outside this little place called Go Fish. best fish taco’s ever!

sea-shells.jpgnorthern california – these next two goes back to 2007 where doug and i did an anniversary trip to san francisco, monterey bay and carmel. the trip also doubled as an excuse to visit friends who just had a baby girl. the below photo is part of the 17 mile drive, followed by another taken along highway 1′s coast.

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cropped-copy-main-banner-3.jpgthe roundhouse – another photo from our vancouver 2012 trip. we snapped this photo while just doug, chaeli and i were exploring randomly on our own through areas of downtown vancouver – gastown, water front and where this photo was taken, yaletown.

cropped-yaletown-wp1000x288.jpgneys park – our first time using our little old trailer! we took a road trip to thunder bay in 2011, tugging doug’s late grandfather’s trailer back, while stopping at neys provincial park to camp out for one night. it was a beautiful park but way too cold to enjoy once the sun set. i was glad it was only just for a night before we drove to a nice, warm motel in the souix.

cropped-lakesuperior-wp1000x288.jpgkillbear park – the next two photos were taken during our summer camping trip of 2010 in killbear provincial park. hobbes was only 3 1/2 months old and had only been with us for three weeks. and what happens? he encounters a black bear!

cropped-killbear-wp1000x288.jpgcropped-killbear2-wp1000x288.jpgpeacocks – this particular image of three proud, male peacocks, was taken when we went to the zoo with tai, B and their kids, m & e. it was their first trip to the zoo as a family. all the kids look so different now. i am favouring this one at the moment because of the beautiful, intense blue.

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hobbes the firecracker

he hates wearing anything so i imagine he wasn’t at all pleased with the costume i picked out for him.

dog halloween costume

“god help me”

i wouldn’t have bothered buying that firecracker costume yesterday except that, well, first of all, it was only a couple of bucks since it was bought after halloween and most of all, we were invited to a halloween party for small pooches at a local off-leash park.

the party was only for small breeds and was held in the small dog, off-leash area. the only problem was that we normally cross through the off-leash area for the bigger breeds to get to the gate of the small dogs only area.

not a second after we entered, a couple of big dogs came running up to hobbes and started to chase him. as we walked, i noticed hobbes was getting quite a lot of attention. it only dawned on me that they were actually after the firecracker on hobbes’ back.

the fact that hobbes would run away from them basically made it a game for them – look! it’s a moving toy! lets get it!!!

poor hobbes.

i also figured out that dooce probably edits her photos of chuck when she requires a modesty patch right within flickr. thought i should try it myself – and the perfect opportunity came about today when hobbes saw me coming downstairs and immediately rolled onto his back as if to say, “ah. you’ve arrived. rub my belly.” typical male behaviour.

hobbes rolled onto his back

a patch for hobbes’ thing-a-ling

new banner for healthy shy blog

i recently changed the layout look and new, customized banner to my healthy shy blog.

i believe this was when i first started to experiment my aperture setting on my nikon. and spring time at high park never disappoints both professional and amateur photographers alike.

there’s always some early signs of life peeking out for a photo-op.

anyway… have a look at the banner.

i think it adds just a right amount of colour to my micro-blog!

another year of ‘boo at the zoo’

it’s not the same as it use to be, really, but still, when i woke up this morning, i could tell it was going to be a sunny day. and while doug is at work, i do my best to make the day productive.

mind you, i brought work home from the office and i haven’t even touched it. a part of me wondered if i should just skip the halloween festivities at the zoo this year but then another part of me said, screw it! why should my kid suffer because of the crap from work? plus, a quick look at the upcoming weeks is proving to be quite grey and wet. it’s not a for sure thing that this rain will still stick around come halloween but just in case, at least we get to do something with chaeli on a nice day.

there was one very cool exhibit. they had this creepy crawly cave display where they pulled out the best of the best of creepy-crawlies. many of these species are from behind the scenes and only pulled out during special exhibits.

the artic animals were very active today and chaeli insisted on visiting her favourite animal – the polar bear cub. here are photos she took from today:

indian rhino

the rhino came right up to us

polar bear

eating his kibble

arctic owl

finally – the owl came out to greet us!

sunday ‘ooz’, library and retro-judy blume books

ooz.

this is what doug started to say for ‘zoo’ when chaeli was young. it was a way to say, “hey, think we should go to the zoo this weekend?” while around her so that she didn’t pick up on the word ‘zoo’ and get her hopes up in case we weren’t able to go.

of course, in the past couple of years, she knows that ‘ooz’ is just ‘zoo’ pronounced backwards. and now calling it ‘ooz’ has just become our thing.

while doug worked his sunday shift, that’s exactly where chaeli and i found ourselves yesterday morning. she came up just after 8:30am to wake me up. the zoo opens now at 9:30am (shorter hours past the summer season) so it was just enough time for us to get ready and head over for breakfast.

chaeli brought her digital camera and spent the hour and a half taking as many photos as possible, spending most of her time taking shots of the polar bear cub. he’s grown a bit but still so small compared to the three adults. and very cute with a whimsical, playful temperament.

of course, of the 100 or so photos, most of them came out too dark or blurry but i told her not to worry. we can weed them out later. so she took a few shots of certain animals or scenes to be on the safe side. in the end, about a third were actually quite good. so i opened up a flickr account for her and uploaded the photos to share with family.

here are some of the highlights:

polar bear

cub swimming

polar bear cub

cub was enjoying deep dives

peacocks

a mid-morning snack – picking at the flowers

anemone and starfish

one starfish and one sea anemone-mone-mone…

prairie dogs

hobbes would object to the word ‘dog’ in their names

rabbits

the bunnies were all still sleeping when we visited them

goat

just chillin’ out on the rocks

we came home for a couple of hours before heading out to a library in our area – one of the many main ones in the city that happened to be open on sunday’s.

for chaeli’s grade 3 leading log, she went through four chapter books in two weeks. we do have a lot of books at home but with the rate she’s going, they won’t last her the school year. nor do we have that much space to continue purchasing books (and we don’t want to get carried away with how much we spend either). i will continue to buy some books from scholastics but going to the library is a great way to balance things out.

the usual library we usually go to does not open on sunday – this gave us an opportunity to try a different location. i’m glad we did. the entire first floor is dedicated to children and young readers with one section dedicated to early readers. it pretty much carried all chapter books and contained the perfect selection for grade 3 and 4 level reading.

chaeli chose three books which i think should last her for the next two weeks. she was quite excited – especially as she got to use her own library card and check out the books at the self-checkout area.

the rest of the day was spent with her reading and playing while i uploaded her zoo photos (and camping photos). as well, i read two chapters of tales of a fourth grade nothing (my own copy from when i was 9 – and i still have superfudge, too) before dinner plus another chapter of it before bed. we were also able to get in one UNO game done before bedtime.

it was a great mother-daughter day!