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The Adventures of Rainbow Mouse

Hi Folks:

Things have been quite around here for a while, but there’s been a good reason for that… 🙂

Watch for more details, coming soon!!

Hugs,
M&M

Reindeer on the Loose!!

Hi Folks:

Krinkles, Twinkles and Mrs. Claus

Krinkles, Twinkles and Mrs. Claus

This is Krinkles and Twinkles, and Mrs. Claus, of course. Continue reading “Reindeer on the Loose!!

Happy Holidays!!

Hi Folks:

Whether you celebrate Christmas or Festivus, Solstice or Saturnalia, the arrival of Sinterklaas or Grandfather Frost, Hanukkah, Mawlid Un Nabi, Kwanzaa or something entirely personal, we send you love. Create an amazing 2018!!
 
 

2018 Photo Calendars

Hi Folks:

This is the eighth year now that we’ve made our MS Word photo calendar templates available, and as with the past couple of years, we’ve also created a series of templates and calendar images you can use with Lightroom or other graphics software. As we’ve done before we’ve also added a full-page calendar option, below. 

I created a template in MS Word that allows people who don’t have Photoshop, Lightroom or the equivalent to make their own photo calendars, so we’ll cover that first; the Lightroom stuff is below that. I used MS Word 2007 to make the template, but saved it as both a Word 2007 file and a Word 97-2003 compatible file. Basically it’s a series of tables, one for each month, that look something like this:

Continue reading “2018 Photo Calendars

It’s Our Birthday!!

Hi Folks:

We are 8 years old today! Wow… Whodathunkit? Well, we did, one day and one post at a time. So far we’ve posted 549 blog posts (including this one) and 138 pages on a variety of subjects, and we’re just getting warmed up! Those 138 pages include 50 of our short stories (and how many have you read? 🙂 ) We’re certainly not alone in our celebrations, either. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was first printed 152 years ago, this month!

Follow the White Rabbit

How far down the rabbit hole are you willing to go?

In a world that often seems polarized, today we want to celebrate two words that are most often misunderstood: respect and competition.

We use respect as a stick, and wield it over others. Respect your elders, respect your boss, show some respect for ___

Respect isn’t external, it’s internal. Re-spect: literally to look twice. To live with awareness of your ideas and your choices not because someone else told you that it was necessary but because, after giving it careful thought it makes sense to you. It’s about action, not re-action. Respect is the essence of life, to be true to one’s self.

Competition has an equally bad and equally undeserved reputation. We think of competition as some twisted version of Darwin’s theory – survival of the fittest (Darwin never actually said that by the way, but that’s another story).

We start instead with the Latin word competere: to strive together. One does not compete against anyone. To compete with someone is to seek the best in yourself AND to encourage the best in those around you.

FEAR can seem a powerful voice, but fear is just an acronym:

False
Expectations
Actualizing
Reality
(author unknown, but appreciated)

So, in closing out today’s post we want you to join us in celebrating kindness. Here are a few places to get you started:

Remember to hug someone you love today. Or a stranger. Or, preferably, both!!

Hugs,
M&M

Suffused

Hi Folks:

More than halfway through October and we have yet to do a Photo of the Month post for September… oh, well. A part of the reason for that is because we’re currently on vacation in northern BC. We’ll have more to share about our adventures as we go along, but just to give you an example, yesterday we took a walk along the Butze Rapids Recreational Trail outside of Prince Rupert. It’s a 5½ km trail, and most people would likely complete the loop in 1½-2 hours, but being photographers we managed it in just shy of 5 hours. As we walked along, racing the snails as we went, we were endlessly captivated by what we saw and captured with our cameras. However, as often happens for us, the longer we were there the more the forest seeped into us, suffusing itself into our Being and making us a part…

Tree House

Tree House (photo by Marcia)

Suffused

I have been suffused.

 

It began with the rain, rounding off my hard edges, wicking away doubts and fears and forming a fertile ground.

For the roots that began to seek the cracks, crevices and hidden places, gradually separating my bones and joints…

And planting a tree in my heart; a great cedar that outraced the wind to the sky then settled, staid…

An elder, passing wisdom to the young and listening to the travel songs of the birds, gathered over millenia…

Then leaning, tired, finally coming to rest and drawing a blanket of earth over my skin to sleep…

Only to be awakened by the calls of the young, nursing themselves with the tenderness of accumulated time…

 

Complete once more.

Nurse Log, Butze Rapids Trail, Prince Rupert, BC

Nurse Log

Hugs,
M&M

Eating Our Way Through Kelowna - Masala Fusion

Hi Folks:

Last weekend we left our island hideaway for the Okanagan valley to celebrate Mike’s mother’s birthday. As part of our stay we stopped for dinner at Masala Fusion. It’s a small restaurant on the NE corner of Harvey and Cooper, across the street from Orchard Park Mall and beside A&W (although we recommend the former rather than the latter for food!)

Masala Fusion

Masala Fusion Restaurant, Kelowna, BC

When we walked through the front door we immediately felt welcomed. It was like being wrapped in a favourite warm, fuzzy blanket… 🙂 We took a table for two at the back, but when we delivered our order to our server she pulled over an extra table for us. We expected to have leftovers, but (somehow) we managed to eat everything! It was just that good. We had a bit of deciding to navigate Marcia’s food allergies, but we did just fine.

We started with Chicken Tikka for an appetizer. From the menu: “Chicken breast marinated in ginger and garlic paste, hung yoghurt and spices, then slow roasted in clay oven.” The flavours of chicken and garlic and cilantro and more enveloped the mouth without overpowering. 

For the main course we chose Tandoori Salmon, Vegetable Korma, Garlic Naan and a side of Cucumber Raita. As mentioned, we thought that was probably way too much, and we couldn’t believe we ate the whole thing! When we ordered the main course items our server asked us if we wanted mild, medium or hot. Since Marcia is a little more sensitive to spices, she decided on medium and it worked out perfectly. There was enough spice to provide flavour without being overwhelming. Unfortunately, we didn’t have room for dessert (next time!) Mike had an iced tea, and Marcia had a soda water with a slice of lemon.

If you’re visiting Kelowna this is well worth a visit. We told our server the food was almost worth moving back to Kelowna (but we can do without the 37°C summers!)

Hugs,
M&M

Photo of the Month – August

Hi Folks:

August was a pretty quiet month for us, photographically at least. However, we did have a couple of interesting images to make. Marcia’s first:

ST EVAL

ST EVAL

One day while we were down at the Inner Harbour, we spotted this yacht in port. She looks to be a converted fishing trawler, beautifully done up! We took three of Marcia’s images and combined them into one triptych.

Happy Faces

Happy Faces!!

About a week later when Mike went to the grocery store he encountered this group, all with the most beautiful, happy faces! It was too good to pass by without making an image!

Okay, that’s it. Now go out and make some photographs!!

Hugs,
M&M

Be Prepared

Hi Folks:

In January, 1908 Lord Robert Baden-Powell published the first installment of the handbook Scouting for Boys, successfully launching the Boy Scout movement in England. The Boy Scout movement began in the US in the following year and has since spread around the world. The Scout Motto (as any Scout can tell you) is Be Prepared. Lord Baden-Powell intended that every Scout should be prepared, both mentally and physically for any eventuality.

More than a century later, we have done much with these two words. We prepare ourselves for disaster, in our personal lives, in our cities and towns and in our countries. We stand ready to defend against invaders, ready to deal with the aftermath of natural disasters, and ready to do battle with those who might accost us in our personal and professional lives. Given the current torrent of natural disasters both in the US and abroad there seems little question that we were right to do so and the only question is what more we could or should have done.

That addresses one side of the idea; we’d like to explore the other for a moment. In our ant and grasshopper world we’ve invested countless hours, untold amounts of money and effort preparing for and dealing with the negative influences in our lives. While that is arguably a good idea, let me ask you this? Do you invest an equal amount of time and effort preparing for joy? Are you prepared for kindness? For love? For community? Or do you accept such things as haphazard, not to be relied upon, pleasant if present, but that expectation of same too often leads to disappointment? Are you prepared to be happy, or are you so worried that you won’t be or can’t be happy that you prepare yourself for the (eventual) alternative instead?

There are many answers to this, of course, and everyone of us must face it differently. Whether you believe your future is underlain by God, chance, fate, destiny or choice there remains at least one thing that you can choose. You can choose how to face the challenges in your life and how you engage those precious moments of connection. Choose love, often enough, and it becomes habit. As such, love begins to inform your perspective and as it does it affects not only what you see around you but how you see your world.

Just a little something to think about. It’s always a beautiful day. It’s only our perspective of it that changes, and perspective is everything. 🙂

Be Prepared for Joy

Be Prepared for Joy

Hugs,
M&M

Hugging Puff...

Hi Folks:

Last Sunday was our 17th hugging session of the year, but it was remarkable in 2 other ways, too! First, we met our first Hugging Ambassadors from 2 more countries (Costa Rica and Nicaragua), bringing our total for this year to 32 countries and our combined total to 62 countries in the 8 years we’ve been doing this! Second, we had our first hugs from Puff, the Bearded Dragon (he may be a magic dragon but he doesn’t discuss such things with those he’s just met). Although you might think so, this was not our first bearded dragon hug; we got to meet and hug Puff’s compatriot, Sid, back in 2014.

Hugging Puff, the Bearded Dragon

Hugging Puff, the Bearded Dragon

As for that nimbus surrounding Marcia, well, that’s just her natural inner glow (although she doesn’t always let it be seen. ssshhh…)

Remember to hug someone you love today. Or a stranger. Or, preferably, both!

Hugs,
M&M