Monday, October 30, 2017

All Creatures Great and Small

Well, maybe not great...or does great refer to being wonderful or being large?

Ever wonder where a phrase (like All Creatures Great and Small), that rolls off of your tongue comes from? Well thanks to the Internet, we have to wonder no more.

Seems there was a veterinarian surgeon and writer in England named James Alfred (Alf)Wight (1916-1995), who under the pen name James Herriott, wrote a series of books about his practice. Then in 1978 a popular British television show, All Creatures Great and Small, was based on his books. 
Who knew?
* well, obviously my cousin did. Seems it predates Wight and is from a 19th century hymn by Francis Alexander Luthor.

Still don't know the answer to wonderful or large...

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Being Sassy

I am taking several fun courses again at the local University, taught by volunteers.
The title of one of the courses intrigued me. Being Your Sassy Self. Turns out it is all about centering yourself and loving yourself more. One thing our instructor suggested to get out of our ruts, is to change things up. Like if you go for a walk, don't always walk in the same direction. Go the other way. I have shown you a lot of the mansions nearby, that are fun to walk by. ...but yesterday I went the other way.
 There are still some smaller homes around here, that have not been demolished to make way for mega mansions.
Most are small and have one story
and the majority seem to be lovingly cared for.
This one looked really old,
and this is one of the larger ones. Personality, I like that they are still here.Next time I walk, I may go in yet another direction. No telling what I may discover.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fall Flowers

Now is the time that most people are planting Fall flowers in their yards.
A lot of folks in town plant pansies. They come in many colors and seem to take the cooler weather, even a light freeze.
While some folks actually landscape this time of year with ornamental cabbages. I will probably put in pansies.
Although, as you can see, the Pentas that we planted in Spring are still flourishing.

I hate to pull these out, so I guess I will wait until they can't take the cold weather and plant my pansies.
Do you put in Fall flowers in your yard? If so, what kind?

Sunday, October 22, 2017


Ole' It's October! Just kidding. A Mexican Fiesta party has nothing to do with October, it is just one of the many things I have been up to...that has caused my absence.
Tom and I have been back in Texas since the beginning of October, and have had his three grown nieces from California visit, followed by my two daughters and granddaughters.
When my girls come into town they want to see the rest of the family, so we had twenty nine here for fajitas! Everything was great, except I burned the beans! One of the slow cookers that I borrowed wasn't working, which I discovered too late, and tried to finish them on the stove...only to burn them Me oh My!
I am going to get out there and take some pictures in between going to classes at the University and working out at the gym (ugh)..... that I have joined....promise!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The New Neighbor

In our absence this summer we got a new neighbor.
My granddaughters, much to their delight, noticed that something was watching us through the window.
So, I am guessing that our new neighbors have a cat,
whose favorite pass time seems to be watching me through the window .
I am allergic to cats, but I figure there is no harm in us being friends from afar. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

End of the Road

Sadly, it is time for the King and Queen to leave the castle.
We headed north to Calagary where we would catch our flights back to the U.S.A..
Calgary is cowboy country, so our last excursion  was a stop for a steak lunch at a very pretty ranch,
where our bus was met at the gate by these two friendly cowpokes.
While the steaks were on the grill, we were taken on a wagon ride through this beautiful forest.
This very real (and friendly), cowboy was giving all of the horses a drink prior to a trail ride.
Some of our guys even tried their skills at roping, while others were busy learning how to line dance.

Thanks for coming along with me. If you if get a chance to tour Western Canada, I can highly recommend it.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


If you are still with me, I am documenting our recent trip to Western Canada.
We departed The Chateau at Lake Louise and headed the short distance to our next destination The famous Banff Springs Hotel built in 1888, also a Canadian Pacific Railroad Hotel. Even though there was a major fire in 1926 the hotel regained it's original Scottish Baronial charm...looking much like a castle.
Our bus driver took us to a nearby lookout point, where we could get a better shot of the hotel. This is the first place where we could noticed a little smoke in the air. Sadly, western Canada had a very dry summer and an awful fire season.
This place was right up my alley, and since we had two nights here, I got lost several times snooping around
Could not get over the pretty views through the windows
and since the place is enormous, there are a lot of windows to look out
The Cascade Ballroom
and almost as many ballrooms to explore. This one had a particular interesting story attached to it.
click on photo to enlarge
Back in the late twenties a bride was headed down a staircase, all dressed for her formal wedding which was to be held in the Cascade Ballroom. She tripped and fell to her death and has become quite famous as the Ghost Bride...people report sights 
of her floating down this staircase...aww no that's not her, that's Tom :)
to be continued

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Chateau

The excitement builds as we arrived at the Chateau if only for one night.
No, I did not take this picture I think the credit must be given to some drone,
but I did take this  of the friendly doormen. The whole resort had a Nordic feel starting with their uniforms.
I didnt realize(and maybe you did), that The Canadian Pacific Railway way back at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th built a series of five star hotels across Canada to attract the European vacationers.....of which most stayed the entire summer season.
I won't bore you with pictures of my food. ...but this was unusual. They fed us well on this trip, here we are dining in The Chateau's Fairview Room. My friend Kathy ordered the above dessert. The waitress came out and covered it with a sheet of white chocolate (to me it looked like a small tortilla), and then poured hot raspberry sauce over it melting the chocolate!
I talked Tom into upgrading to a lake view room (amazing)! This is the early morning view.
After breakfast we had time to walk around, as we didn't check out until almost noon.
I have to tell you what I think is a funny story.
Coming down the Ice Field Pkwy from Jasper, we stopped at a series of lakes (previous post). I was taking my photo of Peyo Lake from the lookout point. There were other tourists, and everyone was taking their turn and letting the next group  move forward. When I got to the front this lady next to me keeping poking her elbow into to me yelling EXCUSE ME! EXCUSE ME! Now if she had asked nicely, I would have stepped out of her pose. ..but the fact that she was elbowing me ticked me off, and I just gave her the look. Seems when she got here to the Chateau, she was standing on these rocks doing the same thing. Well, guess what? She fell in! No, she didn't drown and wasn't hurt but everyone sure had a good laugh :)

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Lakes

After two fun filled beautiful days in Jasper, it was time to head south along the scenic Ice field Parkway of the most scenic drives in all of Canada, to our next destination Lake Louise.We walked on a glacier in the morning (previous post), and the afternoon consisted of stops at several scenic lakes.
This one which I believe is Warrior Lake had a great reflection of the mountains on it's calm surface.
We got to view Peyo Lake with it's unusual shape, from a really high vantage point.
Arriving at Bow Lake, our tour guide told us about an English trapper..Jimmy Simpson, who built a lodge here before Jasper became a Natl. Park. and it is still in the family. I guess if it can't be sold or it too becomes parkland.
Called the Num Ti Jah Lodge, I read that it is great (rustic) place to stay.
Next stop the glamorous Chateau at Lake Louise !

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Jasper to Lake Louise

The last few posts have been a documentation of our Western Canada Tour, which encompassed a lot of different activities.
It was now time to head south out of Jasper, Alberta Canada through Jasper National Park 
First stop would be the spectacular Athabasca Falls. The area around the falls is nicely groomed so that you can hike about and view the falls from several sides. It was a cool crisp morning and an eerie steam was rising from the Falls.
Next stop would be the Columbia Ice Fields, also part of our tour.
That is the Glacier spilling down the mountain
Across from the ice fields is this very nice pavilion with restaurants, restrooms and of course to ever present gift shop. It is also the staging area for our trip up to the Glacier.
We left the comfort of our touring coach, and boarded what I would call a snow coach, but in this case is referred to as an Ice Explorer
The Ice Explorer actually delivered us to the center of the Glacier, where we were given twenty minutes or so to slide around.
For me it was just that, a slippery experience, but an experience I would not have wanted to miss! 
The rest of the day consisted of stopping along the way to Lake Louise at some pretty lakes....stay tuned.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Rafting the River

Things have been crazy around here since we arrived home. We have had two sets of guests (one set is still here), plus Tom and I must have picked up a virus on the plane. Not to mention, we had twenty nine here for dinner on Saturday night whew...I need another vacation!
Our excellent guide on the river
I did promise that I would post some rafting here they are.
We were all eager to climb aboard, since it was the perfect weather to raft.
This is The Athabasca River that run through Jasper, Alberta, Canada. The river originates from the Columbia Glacier north of Jasper. Therefore, since it is glacier melt the water is a pretty color of blue.
They offered us these yellow trash bag looking ponchos. None of us wanted to wear them, until they explain that the splash could have you sitting in a puddle. So all of the women put them on.
Although, several of the men declined. I figured they were either too macho or vain....and I knew which in the case of this guy. We sure had a beautiful raft, and next on the agenda was walking on a glacier!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Hello Jasper

On my previous post I explained that we boarded the VIA Canada Train in Vancouver for and overnight to Jasper. We arrived about 4pm the next afternoon to to a lush and beautiful small mountain town, and stayed in a very pretty lodge that had an open courtyard with a huge fireplace.
 The next morning we went by tour bus to the largest natural lake in The Canadian Rockies, Maligne Lake, to have a wonderful breakfast looking the lake.
I went down to take a picture of the picturesque boat house, and this popped out in front of me! I took a quick photo and then ran back up the hill.There were so many people around that I was afraid he would charge up the hill directly at me.
Although he paused to munch on a bush, and I zoomed in for another quick shoy. By the way, Moose can be dangerous.
When everyone finished eating, we took a boat ride out to Spirit Island, pictured above.It was probably one of my favorite places on the whole trip.
I was of course also delighted that some of the snow that had fallen the week before, was still there.
My friend Judy was simply delighted by everything.
Next up...Let's raft a river!