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Until We Meet Again

My cousin passed away recently and so unexpectedly that it leaves just a wee little hole in my heart. We had not seen each other in person in many years, however, we had some great phone calls. Some on purpose some accidentally dialed.

Way back when, he lived with us, I think I was around 10 or 11, but I remember him staying with us and it was like we had a brother for a while amist all us girls. I would like to say he was here for a year, but it may have only been 6 months. For some reason I related to him in ways that I did not with others. He was a straight shooter, no fuss, no bs, if he disagreed with something he let you know or called you out on it. He was a gifted man with a generous heart.

Not long after he lived with us, he left the East to work in the forestry industry in West. Not an easy life to live in a remote town, but he did it and did it successfully, only returning to the East a handful of times over the years. It is there that he married an amazing woman and created a family. A family to be proud of.

Last week he would have turned 54, to me that is just too young to say goodbye. He left behind four wonderful children, who will miss him dearly but will carry him with them where ever they go. My heart goes out to my younger cousins who must go on without their Dad. He may not have done things the way others would have but that just wasn’t his way. He was the guy who danced to a different tune. He would give you the shirt off his back if you said you needed it, even if it was his only shirt. His laugh was contagious and his smile will forever be ingrained in my mind.

You will be missed. Until We Meet Again.

Two of my favorite images I have of him (both scanned from film prints taken 25-30 years ago).

1984 Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

IMG_0004_21989 Bella Coola, British Columbia

IMG_0003_2

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Ford Fusion Hybrid

This is such a delayed post, but I just had to write about our first experience in a Hybrid car. The Ford Fusion Hybrid to be exact.  If you remember we tried the Fusion Ecoboost in August, well a couple of weeks after that we tried out the Fusion Hybrid.  For the most part the Fusion Hybrid drives like any other car.  There are a few things though that you really need to pay attention to to get the best economy out of your car. The Efficiency Leaves, oh my, the better and more efficient you drive the more beautiful green leaves you have. Well, let me tell you that I wasn’t exactly driving efficiently for the first few days.  Add to that that my battery wasn’t being charged properly I had to figure out what all the symbols meant and how I could get it all back.
I started off with figuring out how the charging for the battery worked and once I found out that the battery charges from the braking of the vehicle, I then figured out that I needed to brake more efficiently.  No hard stops, I had to treat the car a little more  gingerly than I am used to.  Also I should add, in my defense, that I drive a much larger vehicle that requires a bit of a heavier braking foot to stop, especially when we are packed for a trip. So, braking. Got it. My battery remained nicely charged after I figured that out.

Now to grow my leaves. I again had to treat the car a little more gingerly, no fast starts, no passing trucks, but cruising nicely made for a much more efficient ride.

I did take the Fusion Hybrid on a small road trip to Merrickville , ON with the children.  They LOVE the car, the seats were comfortable and the ride is smooth and quiet and J was able to sync his iPod to the stereo and be our back seat DJ.  I enjoyed the ride, nice and smooth for sure, with enough power to pass if needed.  Hubby drove it a few times as well and also enjoyed it.  We tried to compare it in our minds with the Fusion Ecoboost and we both agreed that we are not Hybrid drivers and that we loved the Ecoboost more.

Why would we love the Ecoboost more?  We found that overall we had better fuel economy in the Ecoboost, something that is important when you are traveling on the highways a lot.  And we found that there was just too much going on in the dashboard of the Hybrid.  I am pretty sure you can change what you see, but I didn’t have time to play with all of the settings in the dash to figure that out.  I found I was more concerned about my braking power and growing leaves than I should have been, thus taking me away from my actual driving.  If we were looking for a hybrid for city driving then the Fusion would be it, but for now I think we need to stick with out full on fuel cars and pay attention.

mosaic30c44287151bd3ef5aca2b5004493df7f768a85e

Special thanks to Maxine at Thornley Fallis for giving me the fabulous opportunity to drive these amazing Ford vehicles. One thing I can say for absolute certainty is that these are not the Ford cars I drove as a teenager, Ford has come a long way in 25+ years and we are so impressed that we are still having that ongoing discussion on whether or not we will be switching up one of our cars for a Ford. Stay tuned….

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Blissdom ’13 Dallas, TX

Last February, while it was cold and very snowy here, I traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to attend Blissdom ’12. I went with my girlfriend Krista and made the escape very early in the morning, landing in some very turbulent skies over Nashville. It was my first time in Nashville and I only hope it is not my last. Nashville is a gorgeous city and although we spent most of it at the Gaylord Opryland we did get to sneak out for some fried chicken and cowboy boots. I wrote a post about Finding my bliss at Blissdom.  It was truly an amazing experience and a lot different than attending conferences locally, especially because we hardly knew anybody, which makes you push your boundaries and talk to strangers!!

I'm Speaking at BlissDom!

I acted as a Community Leader in the Photography sessions last year, which basically meant I was there to help out and assist the speakers if needed and answer questions that couldn’t all be answered during the sessions.  This year, I am pleased as punch (if I can quote my Grandma here) that I have been asked to speak. I did put up a post on my Photography blog, but I thought perhaps you would all like to hear about it too.  I will be hosting a “Rock Your Camera” session where I will be essentially teaching you how to use your camera.  It will be more of a workshop than a session, so if you are planning to attend bring your DSLR with a charged battery room on your memory card and be willing to play with the buttons on your camera. You will be leaving with the knowledge on how to take your camera off of auto and use the functions to get great photos.

I will also be hosting a photowalk on the Thursday before the conference officially starts. We will be walking through the Gaylord Texan and photographing all the amazing things that make the Gaylord resorts so special. Look for more information on how to sign up for that closer to the date. And for the photowalk, you don’t have to have a DSLR. You can use your phone, point and shoot or DSLR if you like. If it takes pictures you are welcome to join us!

Here is a shot of the group of us last year before we headed out. To see more of the photos from Nashville, go to my flickr set Blissdom to see.

Blissdom-8

Look forward to seeing you in Dallas!!

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