Saturday, February 2

MGM Studios Part Two

If you remember, we entered the gates of MGM Studio in my last post and the MGM Studio Parade was just about to start. If you missed that post, just follow the link. It was terrific.

When the parade was over, we started through the park. Suddenly we heard a loud noise that sounded like car engines - really loud car engines. Before we realized what was happening, a gate opened and out drove Lightning McQueen, the sports car from the Disney Pixar film, Cars. Right behind him came Mater. Now the boys loved Cars and collected the scale models that starred in the movies. They're the same size as Hot Whe*ls and are made by Mattel. So, they were thrilled to see Lightning McQueen and Mater. It happened so suddenly that all I got was a photo of Lightning's backside.

However, I was able to get a better one of Mater. We were actually too close to get a good photo. Look closely and you can see Brandon's reflection in Mater's window.

Just across the street was the Star Wars ride. The boys and Grandpa went on this. Grandma isn't much of a ride person anymore. Brandon got off the ride and said, "It's a good thing you didn't go, Grandma." However, they enjoyed it.

Across from the ride was this Star Wars vehicle. It was there as a photo opportunity and each of the boys sat on it and had their picture taken. Jordan loved it.

Brandon wasn't sure he wanted his picture taken here, but I talked him into it.
Right around the corner from the Star Wars ride was Muppet Vision. Here they had the pipes painted primary colors. Sitting on the top was a little sparrow. Brandon wanted a photo of it. If you look closely you can see it on the wheel.

Then the boys and I had Grandpa take a photo of us standing next to Kermit.
I took the camera and tried to get Grandpa in the picture. No dice! The boys were willing though.
This is the front of Muppet Vision. There were actually two Kermits guarding the doors.
And a fountain showed some of the characters. This was a nice spot.

As you can tell from the photos, it was another cold and chilly day. We wore our winter coats, though it wasn't as cold as the day before.
Jordan has a thing for New York City, so when we stepped onto the Big Apple's streets at MGM, he wanted a photo. He took one on his own camera and wanted me to take one as well. Why not? I've never been to New York City. He and I plan to go one day.

After we explored New York, looked in some gift shops and the boys used their own money to purchase more Disney Pixar Cars, they asked if we could go back to the hotel. They were cold, hungry and tired. We could have seen more but it's no fun if you've had enough, so we headed back. It was about 5pm. We did have a great time exploring MGM though and maybe one day we will visit again.
Have a wonderful Sunday and do a kind deed today. ~Blessings, Mary~

Canadian Black History and Other Bits & Pieces

February is Black History Month and in recognition of that, I'm going to tell you a bit about the history of African Canadians, also known as Black Canadians. These terms are used to describe people of African descent who have made their home in Canada. Some Black Canadians have recent origins in the Caribbean. Others can trace their roots back to slaves who were brought to this country by British and French colonists.

Many blacks came to Canada long before 1833 when the Slavery Abolition Act was passed. The first recorded black person to come to Canada was an interpreter by the name of Mathieu de Costa. He arrived sometime in the first decade of the 1600s when Samuel de Champlain's party landed here.

The first recorded black person to ever live in Canada was Olivier Le June, a slave from Madagascar.

When the American Revolution ended, thousands of United Empire Loyalists immigrated to Canada and brought their slaves with them. Free blacks, known as Black Loyalists, also made their way to Canada after the Revolution. Most of them took up residence in what is now known as Nova Scotia. They consisted of laborers and tradesmen and their families.

The first North American race riot took place in Birchtown, Nova Scotia. White soldiers attacked black settlers for taking jobs that the soldiers thought were rightfully theirs. Blacks were highly discriminated against at that time and the British government broke its promises to them.

On January 15, 1792, approximately 1200 black Africans left Nova Scotia to settle in Sierra Leone, Africa.

The history of Canada's slave trade is not often mentioned in the media. It's as if it slavery and discrimination never existed here. Shamefully, it did.

In other news it snowed here from 3am on Friday morning until about 9pm. Thank goodness it was a very fine snow or we would be snowed in big time. Instead, we have about a foot of snow. That's enough and I can't figure out where all the snowplows are. The roads are in terrible condition and we haven't even seen a snowplow but it sure is pretty. The world is dressed in a lacey white gown, as you can see from the photo below. The tree is in our side yard. Karen, I wish I could box some of it up and send it to you so you could have a little snow. I know you've been wishing for some.

I read in today's newspaper that on February 1, 1908, the city had the biggest snowfall of the year. They got 10 inches. You know the old saying that history repeats itself every 100 years. I guess this proves it. Today was the biggest snowfall of this winter and it is exactly 100 years to the day.
Heart of a Mommy presented me with this award. Thanks so much. You are very kind.

Here are the rules:

Here are the rules for passing it on…By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you have to award it to 10 more people who’s blogs you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want but please award at least 10. Thank you out there for having such great blogs and being such great friends! You deserve this! Feel free to award people who have already been awarded…

I dislike choosing favorites to receive this award, so am going to break the rules, rebellious person that I am, and give it to everyone that visits me on a regular basis and to all of those on my blogroll. I enjoy visiting all of you.

Friday, February 1

February is Black History Month

February is Black History Month in the Canada and the US. It is the one month of the year when we celebrate and commemorate the contributions to our nations by people of African descent.

The first recognition of contributions of these individuals in the US took place on February 12, 1926, the birthday of former President Abraham Lincoln. Thereafter, the second week of February was set aside to recognize these contributions.

When the US celebrated its bicentennial in 1976, the celebration was expanded to one month. February was chosen because it was the birth month of both Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

President Bill Clinton proclaimed February as National African American History Month in 2000.

Canada has celebrated Black History Month since the 1950s, when it was established by the Canadian Negro Women's Association in Toronto. However, it wasn't officially recognized until 1978.

African Canadians have been contributing to Canadian society since 1605. The government of Canada chose February to recognize the achievements, contributions and successes of African Canadians.

Please join me throughout the month of February in celebrating Black History Month. Throughout the month I will be posting articles on noted figures in Black History to promote awareness of the contributions that those of African descent have made to the nations of Canada and the US.

If you would like to read my article, The Eagles of Squamish, please follow this link to my Treasures to Me blog.

Thursday, January 31

It is a beautiful day here today, but yesterday was definitely a different story. The temperatures plummeted from spring like to -11 Celsius within hours and with the brisk 60 kg winds (higher at times) it was not a day to be outside.

The Skyway Bridge that is between Niagara Falls, ON and Toronto has terrible crosswinds. When a strong wind comes up the Skyway is to be closed. Well someone forgot to do that yesterday and the winds blew a tractor trailer onto its side. We saw the picture on TV and you would have thought that big rig was a toothpick the way it blew around on that bridge.

Other places the winds were as high as 122 kg per hr. Trees were blown down and houses were damaged. Electrical wires were blown down and many people throughout Ontario were without power. It was a bad day to not have any heat.

The visibility was zero in many places because of whiteouts and blowing snow and many roads were closed. My SIL was not able to get home from work. His company put him up in a Bed & Breakfast.

Today the sun is shining and it is -5C, but the wind is at 3kg, which is barely noticeable. It is a lovely winter day and a great day to be out and about. Thank goodness. I had errands to run and actually enjoyed being out. What a difference from yesterday.

Mary at Isabella's Closet is having a Valentine Banner Give-a-way. In case you didn't know, Mary made my Christmas banner as well as my current one. She is a very talented lady. This is what she has to say about her give-a-way.

I'm having a
Valentine banner give-a-way.
If you'd like to have this banner please leave a comment between now and Feb. 1.
I will pick a name at 7:00 AM est on Friday Feb. 1..
I will then add your blog name to this banner and email it to you..

Just follow the link I've created to join Mary's Give-a-way. She will personalize the above banner for your blog. Good luck!

Please keep Mary in your prayers. She is still dealing with some health issues. Thank you, Mary for having this Banner Give-a-way. The banner is beautiful.

Deena at Can I Be Pretty in Pink is having an Easter Banner Gift Away on her Tattered Works of Whimsy blog. She will be giving away the above banner that will be personalized for your blog. This is what Deena has to say.

I 'm Gifting an Easter Banner from
Mary , it is the one below, customized for the winner!!
Just leave me a post
about your favorite Easter outfit
as a child!! I so love such fond tales!!
Mine was white patent leather shoes, white patent
leather purse with a flower at the snap, white gloves,
a yellow bonnet and a sweet frilly yellow dress.
I'm going to try to find the black & white picture
of me in this little dress..I know I remember the outfit
because I remember the colors..I think I was THREE!!
I'll draw a winner on Friday February 15th!!
tell your friends..and if you post about my Gift away on
your blog, let me know..I'll add your name to separate drawing
for an Easter surprise from ME!!
Think Spring,

Be sure to stop by Tattered Works of Whimsy to enter and tell Deena about your favorite Easter outfit. It will be a lot of fun to read about the Easter outfits that we wore as children.

Be sure to keep Deena in your prayers. She is fighting breast cancer and was supposed to start chemo last Friday. Because her white blood count was high, she was given antibiotics and the chemo was rescheduled for this Friday. Today is pre-chemo day and she has to have blood tests and see her oncologist. She needs prayer to get through her journey.

That's about all the news for today. I wish each of you a blessed Thursday. ~Blessings, Mary~

Wednesday, January 30

Tagged and Other News

Heart of a Mommy tagged me for a meme. I've enjoyed reading the memes that others have posted and I hope you enjoy mine. Here are the rules:

Rules:Go back through your archives and post the links to your five favorite blog posts that you’ve written.
Link 1 must be about family.
Link 2 must be about friends.
Link 3 must be about yourself.
Link 4 must be about something you love.
Link 5 can be anything you choose.

Post your five links and then tag five other people. At least TWO of the people you tag must be newer acquaintances so that you get to know each other better.(Readers - don’t forget to read the archive posts and leave comments.)

Here are my links:

Family - Thanksgiving Day October 8th

Friends - Hello to All My Friends

Myself - 6 Things Meme

What I Love - Those Were the Days

My Choice - Canada's Endangered Animals

Now I'm supposed to tag five people, but I am just going to invite any of my readers who would like to take part to do so. If you do participate, please leave a comment here so I can come and check out your links.

Take care, my friends and readers and have a wonderful day. It's -11 Celsius here and feels like -24 C with the windchill. A bitter cold day and that winds seems to push the cold right into your bones. If you live in an area where it is cold and weather conditions are adverse, take care when driving and stay warm and cozy.

Anni at Hootin' Anni's has challenged anyone who would like to take part to a 175 Word Challenge. Anni has a very cool word counter that you can use to write an event about your life. The word counter counts the words as you type them and then you can edit the words to fit the word count. There is a bit of a descrepency with mine. Anni's word counter counts the words in my essay at 175. Micr*soft Word counts it as 178 words. So Anni, you be the judge. Here it is:

In 1974, my daughter and I left Toronto airport for Calgary and then on to Cranbrook, B.C. Over Winnipeg, the pilot informed us that there was a blizzard raging and we would be laying over until the storm let up and it was safe to go on.

We were stuck in Calgary airport for 24 hours. This was only my second time flying and I was not impresed. People were sleeping on the floor and on their luggage. An elderly woman from Reno commandeered a lounge seat in the lady's lounge so Michelle would have a place to sleep. Finally, the next day the airline put us all up at the Four Seasons. It was wonderful to be away from the crowds, have a place to shower and a bed to sleep in.

The next morning was sunny, bright day. We saw breathtaking views of the Rockies and landed safe and sound in Cranbrook a half hour after leaving Calgary.

Never in my life do I want to experience this again. It was a horrible nightmare.

Be sure to drop over to Hootin' Anni's and take part in this challenge. Can you write exactly 175 words about an event in your life? Sure you can and it's fun. Have a wonderful day. ~Blessings, Mary~

Tuesday, January 29

A Little Fun

I thought today we'd depart from all the heavy stuff and just have a little fun. Can you remember flying kites as a child? We never had kites but I used to enjoy watching kids in town fly their kites when we came to the city once a month. There was a park by my uncle's house where there was a hill. It was the perfect place for launching a kite and on Saturday kites rode over that park on the warm breezes.

I can't wait to tell all of you about the surprise that I received last night from my beautiful friend, Denise at Samaritan Women. In my meme the other day, I mentioned liking pickle sandwiches. When I was a child, Mom used to send me pickle sandwiches to school. They were on white bread with just a little butter. I think the reason for pickle sandwiches is that we had no meat or other things to put on a sandwich, so Mom had to make do. We never knew that we were short on sandwich makings. Our parents never told us these things. I wasn't something a child needed to know. Well, I LOVED pickled sandwiches and thought it a real treat when I found one in my brown paper lunch bag.

Anyway, last night Denise left me a comment that she had something for me on her blog. And this is what it was:

Denise, I absolutely LOVE IT! I know it was made especially for me and I got such a good laugh out of it. Since I was feeling a little blah last night, it brightened up my evening and I felt a lot better. Thank you for making this for me. If any of you ladies like pickle sandwiches, I hope you will take a copy for your blog. I know I'm not the only one who likes them, so display this proudly. Denise, since you also love pickle sandwiches, I'd love if you would add this to your sidebar. Holly and Katie at The 2 Sister's are having a Valentine's Giveaway. This is what the girls have to say:

We have decided to do a Valentine's Day themed giveaway!
above is a photo of the gift that we are giving away.

~This giveaway is open to all ages as well as International visitors!
~ Here is all you have to do :
1.Leave Us a comment letting us know that you would like to enter the giveaway.
2.Then post about Our giveaway on Your blog.
~ We plan on drawing the name of the winner on February 7th.
So this giveaway will end on February 7th at 4:00pm.
The winner will be posted soon after

My new friend, Brandy at Mommys Quiet Spot is celebrating her birthday today. Please follow the link to her site and wish her a wonderful day. Brandy, here's a card bringing you wishes for a very Happy Birthday.

Karen at Karen's Korner has presented me with The Blessings Award. Thank you, Karen. I'm very honored. The blessing is as follows:

The idea…it’s a game of tag with a difference, rather than looking inwardly, we look outside ourselves and bless, praise and pray for 3 blog friends. By participating in this endeavour we not only make the recipient of the blessing feel valued and appreciated, but we are having some fun too. We’re going to see how far the bloggin’ blessings can travel around the world and how many people can be blessed! Recipients of a bloggin’ blessing may upload the above image to their sidebar if they choose to. If you receive a bloggin’ blessin’ please leave a comment on this thread here so that we can rejoice in just how many blessings have been sent around the world.
Now, I am to pass this Award on to 3 ladies

This is very difficult as all of my blogging friends are a blessing to me. So, because I want you all to have it, I'm passing it on to all of the people who regularly stop by and visit me. Congratulations! You all touch my life in a very special way.

Well, that is all the news from here today. I wish you all a great day. ~Blessings, Mary~

Monday, January 28

Memory Verse Monday and Prayers Needed

It's Memory Verse Monday and Karen at Karen's Ramblings is our host. If you would like to participate, just follow the link to find out how.

It's been a while since I participated in Memory Verse Monday, but finally I'm getting back on track. This week I've chosen the following verse:

Matthew 18:19 (Whole Chapter) Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

The reason for choosing this verse is because there are so many that are in need of being lifted up to the Lord in prayer. I often do prayer requests on my blog because I trust in God's Word and know how powerful prayer is. So let us pray together for those who are in need and lift them up. Miracles DO happen and I for one can attest to that. I have received miracles in my life and you can too. Just keep your eyes on God.

Please pray for the following people:
Deena at Can I Be Pretty in Pink.
Connie at Little Red Hearts from God.
Karen at Karen's Korner.
Grams at Talk to Grams.
Denise at Shortybear's Place.
Denise at Samaritan Women.
Mary at Isabella's Closet.
Tammy at The Pink Magnolia
My great-nephew Griffyn. He has the croup rather badly and is having trouble breathing. He is 7 months old today and is having a hard time. His Mom is pregnant again and is so tired from being up with him. Please also pray for his Mom, Melissa, my niece.
Thank you all for your prayers. I know there are some powerful prayer warriors out there and these people are all in need of prayer. If you would like to be added to my prayer list, just leave a comment and I will make sure that you are added. Have a great and blessed week. ~Blessings, Mary~

Sunday, January 27

6 Things Meme

Deb at Riding Free with Deb has tagged me for a 6 things meme. This means that I am to tell 6 unimportant habits or quirks. Here are the rules:

1 Link to the person that tagged you.

2 Post the rules on your blog.

3 Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.

4 Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.

5 Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

Okay, let's see if I can think of 6 quirky things about me. LOL

1. If I have a snack in the evening, it is usually a bowl of my favorite cereal. Mmm! Sounds good.

2. I hate brussel sprouts.

3. I love to chew gum and when I am anxious, I sometimes snap it, much to the irritation and disgust of my hubby. This quirk is the reason that I never chew gum in public.

4. My grandsons think I say some words in an odd manner. I blame it on my Irish heritage. Sometimes such sayings, as "tiny wee" sneak into my vocabulary. The boys think this is odd because tiny and wee mean the same thing. I also say didja in an excited voice when they tell me of an accomplishment instead of did you. Don't know where that one comes from. LOL

5. When I am hurt over something, I get angry instead of crying. I cry only when something touches me deeply.

6. When I was a kid, I loved pickle sandwiches. Mom makes the best icicle pickles and today I still enjoy a pickle sandwich if I have some of Mom's pickles on hand.

Well, that wraps it up. I hope you enjoyed learning these quirky things about me. Now to tag 6 people.

Carole at Pea's Corner

Sharon at Rose of Sharon

Ladies, I look forward to reading your list. Enjoy!

I have been honored with some lovely awards.

The You Encourage Me to Follow in His Footsteps Award was presented to me by Denise at Shortybear's Place and also Carolyn at Talk to Grams. Thank you, my dear friends. You have touched my heart.

I would like to pass it on to the following people.

Deena at Can I Be Pretty in Pink? Deena is a wonderful friend who is fighting breast cancer. She has just found out she is in Stage 4 and the cancer is in her bones. Yet she keeps her eyes on God and inspires me to do the same.

Denise at Samaritan Women. Denise is a wonderful woman of God and a dear friend who always puts others before herself.

Connie at Little Red Hearts from God. I haven't known Connie long. She is a hospice nurse who just lost her father. She keeps her eyes heavenward even in her loss.

Sharon at Rose of Sharon. It is evident from Sharon's posts that her faith in God is constant and everlasting.

Kathleen Marie at The Open Window. Kathleen Marie always is also constant in her faith in God and inspires me to always look heavenward.

Mary at Isabella's Closet. Mary always keeps her eyes on God and puts others first, even when she is climbing mountains and walking through valleys herself.

Thank you, Ladies, for inspiring me to keep my eyes heavenward

Carolyn at Talk to Grams, also gave me the lovely You Cheer Me Up Award. Carolyn, I'm so glad that I bring brightness into your life. Nothing could make me happier than knowing that I bring cheer to you. I Love Lucy has always been one of my favorite shows and the show that this scene is from is my favorite episode. Thank you, my dear friend.

I would like to pass this award along to the following people.

Karen at Karen's Korner

Anni at Hootin' Anni's

Deena at Can I Be Pretty in Pink

Lady Di at Kitty Justice

As well as these ladies, I would like everyone on my sidebar to have this award. I visit your blogs often and you all brighten my day with your posts. ~Blessings, Mary~

Green Thumb Sunday

It's Green Thumb Sunday, hosted by Tricia at As the Garden Grows. If you'd like to participate, just click on the link to find out how.

This week I'm going to show another of the photos I took while we were on vacation in Florida. This one was taken at MGM Studios. The shrubs have been sculptured to look like Snow White and her favorite dwarf, Dopey. These shrubs give so much character to the gardens and though I didn't see as many of them as I have on other Disney trips, the ones that I did see were beautiful. All of the gardens at Disney are exquisite. Enjoy!

There's not much other news here today. It snowed most of the day yesterday and all night last night. We have about 6 inches of fluffy, white snow. When I took Meeko out last night, it sparkled like diamonds in the street light. There was no traffic and no people around. There was no wind and it wasn't cold. It was quiet and the world seemed at peace - a perfect night for taking a walk in the snow.

Take care, everyone and enjoy Sunday with your family. ~Blessings, Mary~