Sunday, 31 July 2011

July 31...bliss

The last day of July.

This has been an amazing project for me to do.  At first I thought, "hmmm, a picture a day.  That could be fun".  What I didn't know is how much it would impact me.  Looking back over the last 30 days I am impressed with one word that comes back again and again...


I am truly blessed.   In my Bible I have written these words...
 "the best things in life aren't things"
This is absolute truth.  I have had an incredible month, taking time to focus on these "things" and here at the end of it I am overwhelmed.

So, for my final picture...

this was my birthday supper.

No fancy 5 star wait staff singing a goofy blazing candle filled cake...

Just a weed-infested backyard, hotdogs roasted on a stick over a broken down firepit..
with my family...bliss

The greatest thing you`ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return.

thank you for celebrating with me!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

July 30...comfort food

ok, ok... I know that this isn't technically food - but this is truly my "go-to" choice if I am really stressed.  Nothing chills me out like a "venti tazo chai latte with skim milk no water extra hot with one pump of sugarfree vanilla syrup".  Yes - I am one of those Starbucks long order people.  Don't blame me - blame my Starbucks barista daughter that taught me how to customize my perfect drink...she created me.

Today my drink was on the house, as I was sent a Birthday present from Starbucks in the mail.  Yes, another little tip from my barista daughter about registering your Starbucks card.  You get all kinds of free stuff if you do.  Pretty sweet!

(the drink on the left belongs to my beloved...his beverage of choice is a caramel caramel macciato - iced for the summer)

Friday, 29 July 2011

July 29...leisure

This whole month has been one of leisure.  I have really taken it easy - to the point of often feeling lazy.  Bruno Mars and I have a lot in common I'm afraid...

Tonight we came into Red Deer to help Riley move into their new apartment, so we went to see a movie.  Finally Lys and I got to see the new HP movie in 3D (note the glasses at the bottom of the picture).  Pretty that is my leisure today - sitting in an over-airconditioned theatre.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

July 28...goodbyes

When I first put together this calender of photos, I thought that the topic "goodbyes" was kind of strange to have in celebrations.  It isn't the most happy of times to say farewell to loved ones, whether they are moving away or leaving this earth but it is a fact of life.

This past month I said good bye to Uncle Harry as he was released from this earth's pain to the glories of heaven.  We said farewell to friends that are moving away - one to the next province over, and the other way across the ocean.  Our school community said goodbye to a classmate that in our hearts was taken much to early.  I also said goodbye yesterday to Lucy's puppy, Nika - who went to live with her new family.

These times are so hard for us.  When you love, you run the risk of loss and the deeper the love, the greater the loss when there is change.  One of my favorite quotes is by Dr. Seuss - although I don't remember ever reading it in Cat in the Hat or Red Fish Blue Fish... but I guess he wrote other stuff too...
Anyways, he said..."Don't cry because it's because it happened".  That is hard when you are in the midst of the fresh ache in your heart, but once the tears have slowed, it is great to remember the amazing-ness of the relationship.

   - sitting on the beach in Choroni, Venezuela with Uncle Harry

  - singing in the Community choir at Christmas time

  - transforming Ben into the Beast night after night - while talking about life

 - witnessing life appear right before your eyes


On another note, my family has a tradition that we carry out every year as family members leave our reunion.  We line up on the street as the departing one drives away.  We sing "Happy Trails to you" as the car disappears up the road.  I'm sure the neighbors think we are nuts, but I love it.  It make the Goodbyes a little less bitter.  So...

Happy Trails to you, until we meet again
Happy Trails to you, although we don't know when
Who cares about the clouds when we're together
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather
Happy Trails to you, til we meet again...

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

July 26...trees

We got home last night from our yearly trip to BC for my family reunion.  The route that we took home took us through some amazing scenery.  The snowcovered mountains, gorgeous waterfalls, lush was so beautiful.

Part way through I realized something though.  As much as I really appreciated the beauty of that rugged landscape, I had to admit that I really like the simplicity of the Prairies better.  The mountains and trees have a way of making me feel a little bit claustrophobic and closed in.  I actually felt better once I saw the first yellow canola field.

However, being that today is trees, I include a picture of my view from the top of my convertible.  What a treat to be able to road trip Eleanor with the top down, being able to look up at the sky, mountains and trees...

Loved it!
but nice to be home

Monday, 25 July 2011

July 25...bling

There is not much bling in the car - driving 12 hours straight down a BC/Alberta highway, but I was blessed with a sweet treat last night from my niece in some sparkly gel nail tips.  I had them done a few years ago, but gave them up because I was just sick of keeping up with them.  Now, I decided to get them back - especially before Ri-guy's wedding in September.

Tanya does some pretty cool gel art, so I will have something pretty cool done before the wedding, but this one was so awesome, especially considering that she did them sitting on a picnic table with many eyes watching intently on her work.

Thank you dearest Tanya!  I love them!!

July 24...water

This was the last day of our Family Reunion here on the lake.  Thankfully it was another beautifully warm day so we were able to spend the remaining moments out on the water.

I'm not much of a water person.  I like lakes and oceans but I dislike being cold, so the idea of spending a whole lot of time submerged in icy water until my lips turn blue, is not an appealing idea to me.  However... get me a floating vessel and a hot sunny day with a good book or great company - I can spend hours there.   Today was spent with my nieces and one sister, just catching up on things.  It was awesome!

This is Mason's boat.

He and his uncles and papa found it in the "Sharing Shed"  (aka..the dump) and brought it home.  Amazingly it was sea-worthy and he spent many hours bobbing along on the lake "fishing".  It was pretty ghetto but made for a cool picture with the help of my friends at Picnik.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

July 23...little one

Fresh face covered in blueberry pancakes...bare little pink toes...big brown eyes rimmed with long lashes...chubby fingers reaching up to touch your face...babies are wonderful!

Our family reunion always has at least one or two of these precious little ones around.  This year we have 3...Oliver, Eve and Jaiden - my grand nephew and nieces.  It is fun to watch them discover life in everything they come across - the way they communicate - the simple things that bring them joy.

little ones...

Friday, 22 July 2011

July 22...on the road

Summertime + holidays + TransCanada Highway = Construction

It seems that no matter where you try to go, you will eventually run into the dreaded orange signs indicating that nasty slow down - or sometimes STOP to your cruisin' mode.

This year was no exception.  However, with the right company, even the delays can be nice.  This has been a great time away for me and my beloved.  It's kind of nice being by ourselves again.  I know some couples have nothing to say to each other after the kids are gone.  That really isn't a problem for us.

He's a pretty good travelling buddy...

Thursday, 21 July 2011

July 21...summertime

Summer is just the BEST!

When summer hits in this cold white north - I feel a little sorry for people that live in places that have no real season changes.  It just feels like life and I love it!!

Hanson Family Reunion is a BIG part of summertime.  We have done this for more years than I can remember and I think I have only missed one or two.  I love my family and getting together with them.  We laugh and cry and talk and play for 3 solid days...melting us together again for another year of separation.

I'm so thankful that my parents didn't believe in birth control!  Six kids, their spouses, kids, grandkids, etc- makes for some great times and happy happy memories!

We are taking the Mustang this year.  It will be a little tight for space...however, my beloved managed to fit in HIS golf clubs and bag...

I shall be repacking.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

July 20...fruit

One of the very good things about living in this country is the appreciation for really good fruit.  Apples, oranges and bananas get a little bit bland by around January so when July hits, bringing with it....

It is INDEED a good day!

Another welcome sight is the Deacon's Fruit Truck.  I lived in the Shuswap for a couple of years and worked for a big Fruit stand called Davidson's.  It was one of the best jobs I ever did.  Some times, when it was prime picking season they would take me out of the store and put me in the field.  Picking cherries was my favorite.  Biting into a black red cherry and tasting that sweet juicy treat...nothing like it...sublime!

The season is much to short and canning them is just a crime, so I will wait another 11 months for the next sign of those dark red orbs in fibre green baskets sitting on the table at the fruit truck.  But until that, I think I will have another bowl full...

Tuesday, 19 July 2011


the color of happiness...

I love pink. I wish I wore it more.  I think I will from now on.

My fragrance is called "Pink Sugar".  I love the sweet sugary smell on my skin.
When I walk into places wearing it I often get people saying..."did someone bake cookies?".

I like that.  I mean really, who doesn't love fresh baked cookies?

I have worn it for so many years, that my family has equated the smell with me.  I wonder if after I am gone and in the ground if my loved ones will one day detect that fragrance somewhere and think of me.  I wonder if it will spark the memory of being held really close or snuggling together.

I hope so...

Monday, 18 July 2011

July 17 & 18....anticipation and family

What a weekend I have had!!!  As you can see I missed July 17th so here it is...

July 17...anticipation

and what anticipation it was!!!  I have wanted to see the musical "Wicked" for a very long time.  When I found out it was coming to Calgary - and the day before my birthday... well, how could I not go and with my two beautiful daughters, Lys and Haley.  It was AMAZING!!!  We had tickets in ROW B...That's right!  I had my mouth gaping open all night long.  Tears streamed down my face at the end just because of the sheer awesomeness of something like that.  Having done productions- albeit on a MUCH smaller scale - I can appreciate the incredible amount of time and effort involved in a show.  It was the FASTEST two and half hours of my life... AMAZING!!

What better way to celebrate my birthday than with my GREATEST blessing on family.  Even writing this I am starting to cry because of the overwhelming joy that they bring me.

Today we went white water rafting out in Kananaskis.  Not the normal 50th birthday thing to do, but I never want to be normal...ever.

All day long my Blackberry was bleeping and binging with a constant barrage of facebook birthday wishes.  A few minutes ago I read through them.  If you ever are feeling sorry for yourself or feel like no one loves you... have birthday on Facebook.

I am blessed....

My wonderful brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, and even my grandbabies... all sharing with me blessings on this day.
so so so good!

Friends - new ones and many from LOOOONGG ago... connected by a blue little box with an "f" in it.
so so so good!!

"My" kids - from the dorm and from Colombia teams...I have read messages from some that, although they weren't born directly from me, are equally tied to my heart as if they were.  I wept through notes about turning back to God and growing in their faith and loving and serving others more and my life is so enriched because of the small part that I have had in those journeys.

These are my family....connected by something stronger than DNA...  it is LOVE.
so so so good!

Praise God from whom all THESE blessings flow!!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

July 16...sweet things


I'm not a fan of regular flour-sugar-baking powder kind of cake. I think it is just kind of dry.  However...when it is made from ice THAT is a very sweet thing.

I had the BEST day today!  Day 3 of the celebrations.  Today was the Three Hills parade and the Arts Academy put in a float.  It was pretty much the old Guys and Dolls crew - as many as were around anyways. They are like another family for me.  I really love them. 

After that we went to watch my "other" son, Luke, compete in a Battle of the Axes... a firefighters test of true grit and strength.  Luke was a little nervous since it was his first "battle" but he did amazing!  I was really proud of him.  

To round off the perfect day we went up to Red Deer to Lys and Brandon's for a little birthday celebration with some great friends.  

Couldn't imagine a day with any sweeter things!!!

Friday, 15 July 2011


One would think that I would pick one of the gorgeous flowers around this time of year...nah!

These flowers are made of crepe paper and plastic.

I love a parade....

Tomorrow is the Three Hills Parade. My kids and their cousins used to decorate their bikes and wagons  (well...actually Joyce and Glenn and I would decorate their bikes and wagons).  They used to win almost every years thanks to those skills.

This year I am helping with the Three Hills Arts Academy float...well - the flat bed trailer with paper and plastic flowers.  Going to be great!

I hope you will indulge me on my second flower picture today, although not the official one.  Today I got my 100th workout and got my shirt...with a flower.  It felt pretty good.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

July 14...pretty trash

I suffer from "yard envy"

I hate my back yard.  The people that lived here before us spent a lot more time working back there than Dan and I have committed to.  I gave an ultimatum to Dan this year to fix it up... or else...  It didn't work - like most of my ultimatums.  I guess its because I don't know what the "or else" means, so it is a pretty harmless threat I suppose.

Our next door neighbors are quite old and have nothing better to do than spend hours a day meticulously weeding and tending their lovely garden only to have the dandelion fluff from our weed patch to gently find a place on their perfect soil.  They hate us...

We have a pile WAAAYYYY back where the grass clippings go.  Yes, we do cut the lawn, but that's all...  I went back there today so see if there was anything back there that could be deemed pretty and to my pleasant surprise I came across this huge patch of wild daisies.  I had no idea.  It really was beautiful.

It made me think of how God so often takes the garbage that I make out of my life at times, and turns it into something pretty incredible.  I have made some monumental bad turns and choices and yet, He creates beauty  right smack in the middle of it all.

He is so awesome...

My good friend Erin has joined me on this little photo adventure this month and I just love her version of  "pretty trash".  It is so much like her to have a pretty place for snotty kleenex and dryer lint.  Take a look and enjoy some of her other days too :) ...

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

July 13...eyes

the windows to the soul

By the looks of this picture- my soul looks a little tired...

Tonight I treat my eyes to a movie night with a hot guy!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


I know...NEVER bring a camera into an all-women's fitness center...EVER.

However, I could think of no better place to show energy than my local CURVES club.

I joined Curves about 2 years ago and at first only attended sporadically and of course didn't notice any changes.  Then about 6 months ago I started attending every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I decided that the monthly fee I was spending was too valuable to waste, as was my health.

They give out milestone t-shirts, the first one being 100 workouts.  In April I realized that if I was really consistent, I could get my 100 workout in by the time I turned 50...if I was REALLY consistent.

Today I logged in 98 work outs.  With Wednesday and Friday workouts I will accomplish that goal...


I love this part of my day.  It really does give me an incredible amount of energy.  I have noticed that I am much stronger than I used to be.  My endurance is better than when I was 40.  Lately I have had Shawni- one of the employees there- push me like Jillian Michaels.  Sometimes I feel like I could barf, but it really does   feel good to be able to do it.

Monday, 11 July 2011

July 11...loved


This is huge topic today.  I thought of just posting a picture of my dearly beloved...but there are so many other  people/things that would just be left out.  As I "picniked" today's collage photo I pressed the "choose random" and this is what it came up with.  I really didn't need to make any changes because it picked a great selection of what I love.  The collage would have to be about 1000 times bigger to include everything, but this is a good start.

It includes -
* family
* friends
* events
* locations
* things
* blessings

God has given me so much.  More than I deserve.

I don't ever want to forget that.

Thank you! is more loved things...apparently I forgot someone... :o)

Sunday, 10 July 2011

July 10...friendship

I know... I have a lot of pictures of the puppy this month.  However, it is kind of like having a new baby in the house.  It's just a little bit life consuming.  Those of you that are not animal people, I hope that you will bear with me one more day.

Alyssa came to Three Hills today to sing with Andi and me for Senior Quest.  It's great singing with them.  We had a minor flub up, but on second start it went beautifully.  Good to keep us humble.

Lys spent the rest of the day with us, and decided to stay overnight.  I love it when she comes home.  God has taken our relationship in taking us from mom/daughter to friends.

I am blessed!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

July 9...wrinkles

This weekend my Dad came to Three Hills for Senior Quest and has been staying with us.  He has been living with my sister and brother in law in Sherwood Park since January.

It has been an adventure having him here.  I am not very good at remembering all the medication times.  Everything takes about 3 times longer than normal.  He loves to walk...or should I say shuffle, rather slowly- often blocking the poor unfortunate souls who happen to be stuck behind him unable to pass.  It reminds me of that Mr. Bean episode where he is stuck in the staircase behind old person after old person.

Today being "wrinkles", I had to have a picture of my Pops.  He has always been an animal lover, so having the puppy for snuggling has been a real highlight for him.

Friday, 8 July 2011

July 8....childish

Okay... I know that today is slated to be friendship day but I am changing
The rules. Hey...its my celebration so I can do what I want!

 Deal with it

This day was filled with nostalgia.  Not only am I volunteering some time at PBI's Senior Quest (nostalgia and reminiscing event of the world)  but I also made the journey to Southern Alberta to remember my dear Uncle Harry.   Memorial services are just big family reunions without the potato salad.  It was great to see many of my cousins, aunties and uncles as well as countless other shirt tale relatives that looked really really old.  I kept wondering if they were thinking the same thoughts about me.

Driving to Taber we pass Vauxhall.  Home of millions of memories of my childhood.  My Grandma and Grandpa Johnson lived there pretty much their whole lives, so no summer was complete without a few days enjoying Grandma's incredible food and this sweet little southern Alberta town.

I told Dan we HAD to stop on the way home so that I could get some pictures of the places that I loved.  These are just a few...

...the church that my Dad helped to of MANY anniversary celebrations and summer church services
...the drive in on the soft icecream anywhere
...Great Grandpa Malmberg's park.  He helped to build the coolest park in the world.  It had HUGE metal swingsets, merry go rounds, a monkey bar elephant, a slide that looked like a light house, a 5 seater horse that rocked back an forth...

As we drove through that town, so many things have changed.  It's different, but the same.  The old metal playground equipment has been replace by "safer" ones, Grandma's house has been replaced by a new little townhouse, the gravel roads are now paved...but when I closed my eyes I could still hear, feel, smell, and taste...

-the squeek of the swing in perfect rhythm going higher and higher and higher
- the slam of the wooden screen door of Grandma's house
- old hymns sung by old saints
- the scalding hot metal of the slide on my backside
- Grandpa Malmberg's whiskers rubbing on my chin in a big hug
- fresh apple pie out of the oven
- the smell of peppermints from Grandpa
- soft ice cream cones melting down my hand faster than I could eat it

ahhh...memories good to go back

Thursday, 7 July 2011


So thanks to today's topic for my photo a day celebration I have this wonderful song from Napolean Dynomite going through my head...

I love technology
but not as much as you, you see
but I still love technology
always and forever

 I could have had a picture of my Blackberry, or my ipod, or my HP laptop, or my Dell desktop, or my Nintendo DS or my wii system or my is ridiculous how many gadgets I have at my disposal...

No, I decided to post a picture from Quest.  I have been involved with this weekend event on PBI campus off and on for the past many years.  I really like hanging out with these sweet old saints with such young hearts.  They are pretty awesome.

I will most likely put in more pictures from this event over the next few days.  Tomorrow is Friendship.  That should be a gooder!!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

July 6...i read

Today was a beautiful day.  It was one of those days that make those of us that live in ice and snow for 300 days of the year decide to stay just a little bit longer.

Although I really couldn't afford the time, I took an hour off to sit in the sun and enjoy my summer read.  I buy a book from Costco every year in the spring and wait until summer to sit and read it.  It usually isn't anything very deep or philosophical, just fluff and relaxing. This book is Silver Girl by Erin Hildenbrand.

In the process of my hour reading time, I got a little burnt.  I's not good for me and one day I may pay dearly for it...but for today - it was good.

** sigh and smile **

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

July 5th...breakfast

so... this was my breakfast this morning.

actually... THIS was my breakfast before I remembered that today's photo was "breakfast"

I slept in because I had the volume off on my ipod- which was my alarm clock.  I had a meeting at 9:30 and a whiny puppy woke me at 8:45.  A quick shower and slap on the paint and I was ready to go...until... I remembered the photo calendar thing.  The thought to fudge it did cross my mind as I was gulping down my vitamins (and chewing the chewy ones), but then I decided to keep the integrity of the project and "do" breakfast.

Now, I have a bit of a conundrum... (new favorite word)...  I have this sense of needing to be like some of my other blogging amigos that post pictures of exotic and aesthetically appealing food on their blog pages...not mentioning (krista-makiko-erin) names or anything, but it really is a lot of pressure.  Often my breakfast is toast- with plain IGA bread- smothered with Smuckers grape jelly and Jiff peanut butter.

SO not blog cool!

I felt myself break into a cold sweat with this one...crazy.  Anyways, this really is one of my more usual breakfasts on the go.  You can ask the people I work with.  They faithfully tell me that I have blackberry seeds stuck in my teeth on a regular basis.

oh, and the Chai.  I simply just can't live without the Chai.

What a nice start to a great day.  Now I head to Red Deer to enjoy a nice pedicure with my sweet Alyssa...

Life is really good!

Monday, 4 July 2011

July 4...clouds

independence day...

I am married to a good old american boy.  Although he has lived in the true north strong and free for most of his life, his blood still flows red, white and blue.  I celebrate his homeland for him today.

I also celebrate the independence of someone I love dearly.  This afternoon my dear Uncle Harry went to his "homeland" as well.  He has always been my favorite uncle.  I celebrated my 16th birthday in Venezuela and my 21st birthday in Peru with him and my Auntie Marion.

When I was editing the photo of the clouds today I couldn't help but think about his bursting through the clouds to see Jesus for the first time.  What an incredible independence day for him.  He is free of all the pain and hurt of this world.

I love you Uncle Harry!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

July 3rd...Hands


Sunny day...

love it.  today we went to red deer to see the kids.  we do that a lot.

we took eleanor and she was topless for most of the day-until the hail storm- no damage though  :)

today is "hands" day.

these are my hands texting a love letter to my beloved...well not really... just trying to get him out of Canadian Tire... but in a loving way...sort of

good times...great life!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

July 2nd...feet

I know, this sounds kind of weird.  I like feet.  Baby's feet are so soft and chubby. They are just perfect for kissing and playing little games like peek a boo.

Well, I can't get my feet up to my face any more, but I still like feet.  I like pedicures and massages, red nail polish and tiny little flowers.   I like shoes (oh I like shoes!) and fun socks.  I like feet.  I even got a tattoo a few years ago on my foot just to make it a little more pretty.

Today I went to  a wedding.   The perfect excuse for wearing really great shoes.  These shoes (I am on the left) I picked up at a sweet store called Last Call - a outlet for Neiman Marcus.  The tag on them had the starting price of $290.  I got them for $90.  "They" say that you get what you pay for.  They are right.  These shoes are the kind that you can wear for hours without a single grimace.

So great...

Today I celebrate great shoes.

My buddy Irene is in the "cougar shoes" on the right...equally cool

Friday, 1 July 2011

July 1st... Me

First picture of the month long celebration.  Me and Nika-Lucy's puppy- on Canada's Birthday.  Beautiful, sunny day!

Celebration Time!!!

It's July!!

This is the month that I am going to celebrate every day!  I have so many things to celebrate and I want to share them with the world.  I have been BLESSED with 50 amazing years.  Some of the moments in those years may not have been filled with "peace and love and happy good times" but they have been blessed by the presence of an amazing God and some pretty incredible people.  This is my month to celebrate that.

I have chosen to celebrate with pictures.  Right now there are lots of scavenger hunt photo things on blogs and I LOVE following them.  I have such talented photographer friends that have inspired me.  Although my pictures will never rival the skill of Krista, Melissa, Janine, Loreen, Erin, Bobbi, Jason, Joyce, Stacey...etc (oh mercy, when I make the list I suddenly wonder why in the world I'm doing this)  but oh well- this isn't to impress anyone.  Just to remind myself of how good I have it.  That's easy to forget sometimes.

Anyone that wants to join me, please do.  I would love to see your stuff that you celebrate too.

Here is the list...
July 1- Me
July 2- Feet
July 3- Hands
July 4- Clouds
July 5- Breakfast
July 6- i read
July 7 - Technology
July 8 - Friendship
July 9 - Wrinkles
July 10- Childish things
July 11- Loved
July 12- Energy
July 13- Eyes
July 14- Pretty trash
July 15- Flowers
July 16- Sweet things
July 17- Anticipation
July 18- CELEBRATE!!  (my 50th Birthday!!)
July 19- Pink
July 20 - Fruit
July 21- Summertime
July 22- On the Road
July 23- Little One
July 24- Water
July 25- Bling
July 26 - Trees
July 27 - Words
July 28 - Goodbyes
July 29 - Leisure
July 30 - Comfort food
July 31- Bliss

I will try my best to post every day.  One of the sweet things about this month of celebration is that I am off work the entire time.  Now, this doesn't mean I won't be busy, but I've made a vow to myself to be busy with only things that give me bliss.

So with that, I leave you with two words...