Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Wave of Change

Humans love their metaphors and symbols and because I’m human I will agree with this statement.

In the early 90’s I began searching for an understanding about how humanity grew to be where it is today. We haven’t always lived with factories, cars, electronics and plastics. We haven’t always lived with environmental issues such as desertification, a thinning ozone layer, warming ocean currents and piles of garbage that need lights perched on top to warn aircraft of their existence.

I was introduced to a book entitled ‘The Third Wave: Future Shock’. This book takes the reader on a journey to view humanities changing history from our birth, through many milleniums, ending with our present situation. A ‘wave’ refers to the moments of massive civilization changes.

During the first wave of humanities existence we were hunters and gatherers. We were nomadic, moving with migrating animal herds, eating fruits and vegetation that grew along our travel routes. We had simple tools and weapons.

After many hundreds of thousands of years humans began to create more complex tools. We became agriculturalists, taming our landscapes with farm fields and orchards. We began to build communities and marketplaces. We developed a formatted language with text symbols and hieroglyphs. We developed a sense of wonder towards our world and created gods and mythology. This way of living began before the end of the last ice age - in areas situated near the equator – lasting for over 12 thousand years.

About 3 hundred years ago, a third wave of evolution swept over the Earth. It was named the Industrial Revolution. Many people envisioned a future Utopia gracing the Earth, with an end to poverty and a beginning of a better life for all humans. Unfortunately, this vision became lost as stronger forms of greed, hatred and power dominated throughout the ruling structures of our societies.

These last 3 hundred years have changed the world and societies so completely that now we are facing challenges to our very survival on this planet. This has me concerned, greatly, and as I move through my life I find no ambition greater than to inspire everyone to realize that a most significant change is needed if life is to continue on the Earth.

I’ve dedicated many previous blogs to explain how our societies have destroyed ecosystems and the environmental integrities that hold this ‘Web of Life’ together, so I won’t repeat myself here, today.

Today, I just want to share a simple photograph that I took in my garden a few weeks ago and talk about what this photo means to me…

As I stumble my way through life, I’m always looking for symbols of inspiration. Things that fill me with awe as I contemplate the Earth’s mysteries. Things that fill me with hope to realize that humanity will overcome its present dilemmas so that our environments can be healed so that future generations won’t be burdened with the consequences of all of our present day actions.

I’m reminded of the metaphor that speaks about global change that comes in the form of waves. This photo is a clear symbol for that metaphor.

To the right side of this massive cloud wave we see small wisps of clouds that seem to cut a path to allow the wave to continue. It might be more correct to also think of these wisps of clouds as guides – possibly not cutting a path (for the coming wave will surely dominate whatever lies in its way). These guiding wisps are society’s scientists, artists, musicians and truly enlightened dudes who may be called philosophers.

They are the ones who question society’s conditions, allowing us to think about the ways that we live on the Earth. They are the ones who challenge our governments, speaking up for human rights and animal rights. They are the ones who create documentary films about what goes on behind the scenes in our cosmetic industries and food industries. They inspire the ones who write books that inspire more individuals to become activists for just causes. They might not be the ones who rule our societies but they are the ones who lead the masses within our societies.

The world is poised and ready for change. We can all feel it. It is almost impossible for anyone to deny it. The massive swell of cloud that is following the smaller wisps is this change. The Fourth Wave. A wave of human consciousness that will reestablish its relationship with the Earth and every living thing on it.

As I looked up from my vegetable patch to witness this spectacular site, a warmth crept through me. I recognized this symbol immediately. It seemed to vibrate at the same frequency as my DNA. I felt blessed.

Although it brings me much joy to be able to share this photo and the thoughts that swirled through my brain as I regarded this small instant in time, my main purpose for writing this blog is to inspire you to recognize the Earthly instances that surround and embed themselves into your life. Symbols surround us all and if we were all to become more sensitive to these instances then our collective evolution could blossom more fully, more completely, more gracefully and with a higher survival rate!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Rainbow of Colours

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my gardening photos and stories on this blog, so I thought I’d do a little catching up, today… only highlighting the best of the best photos for you to enjoy!

I really enjoy taking all of these ‘in progress’ photos of my flower gardens. It allows you to see the story of Nature in simple yet profound ways.

This series of four photos spans almost four months, beginning in March – believe it or not. We had such a warm and dry spring that many flowers started to grow and bloom weeks ahead of schedule.

In the second photo you can see some Daffodils in bloom. They were one of the few spring flowers that survived this constant weather roller coaster. Near the bottom and to the left of this same pic, you’ll see my patch of Tulips – errrrr… I mean their leaves. The warm weather brought them out of the ground much earlier than usual and a sudden cold snap killed the flowers so I didn’t see one bloom this year. The same thing happened to my Allums – in the back garden. These conditions are what caused most apple, cherry and peach farmers in Southern Ontario to loose their crops – quite a blow to the farming industry and to the fruits that should have ended up in my belly.

It’s a good thing that humans have absolutely nothing to do with the world’s changing weather conditions – or I may be a bit worried about our future! Sarcasm, that is.

In the last photo you can just make out the red/pink colours of my Bleeding Hearts.

Here’s a beautiful close-up shot for you to enjoy!

These next four photos begin near the end of June and take us all the way to the beginning of September. Over the last few years, I’ve spent a bit of time learning to plant my gardens so that there is always something in bloom. In the spring this garden fills with many yellow and red flowers. They do their thing and then die as the summer flowers fill in this space more completely. I took the first photo, in this series, on the day when my first Day Lily bloomed!

Over the next many weeks, I was daily delighted with so many brilliant flowers!

In the second photo (above) the orange Day Lilies are reaching the end of their season, but my garden still looks attractive as my Hostas and my ‘Wine’ Lilies are in bloom.

I call them Wine Lilies simply because their colour reminds me of a nice bottle of red wine. I’ve ‘arted’ this photo to add some interesting textures to enhance their already lovely appearance.

In the third photo, you can see what remains of these lilies – browning, dead stalks. These pull easily – for the most part – right out of the ground and I collect them for my autumn fires. I like to use all parts of my garden to help other parts of my garden and this is one of the ways that I do this. My autumn fires happen in my veggie patch and the fires burn away the roots of ‘would-be’ weeds and the ash adds nitrogen to my soil for next year’s crops.

Just behind the Hostas, you can see my small Rose of Charon plant. In this series of photos you can see how the plant – or maybe it would be more correct to call it a bush – gets larger and larger until the fourth photo where it is in bloom.

I fell in love with this plant several years ago and I’m very grateful that one of my neighbours let me snatch several plants from their garden. The flowers are beautiful and they bloom for almost six weeks!

Right beside this plant are my Cardinals – which are in bloom during this same part of the year.

Their flowers are very bright and oh-so delicate. My mom introduced me to this plant and she was right when she told me that hummingbirds are attracted to them. I’m still trying to get a shot of a hummingbird feeding on these flowers… Maybe next year.

When photographing my garden, I don’t just look to my flowers and veggies for inspiration. Sometimes I look up… to the sky!

I also try to teach my son, Devon, to also look up… to Nature! This is a image that I created for this new school year’s Peacebus (yes – Peacebus artwork coming soon!).

When looking for inspiration in any garden it is important to also look down… way down! This small dark spot on my lawn turned out to be a colony of small black ants. I’m not sure where they came from or where they were heading but it was interesting to witness this one-day event as it happened.

This is another interesting insect that made a special appearance in my back garden – and again, I had to look down to find it. It’s hard to get a size perspective from this photo, so I’ll just tell you that this wasp is huge. It’s the largest wasp I’ve ever seen! And the most colourful!!! I wasn’t sure what it’s name is so I named it myself – the Golden Wasp. I posted this picture on Facebook, asking if any of my friends knew what it was and I smiled to learn that I was not far off when I had named it. Its full and true name is the Golden Digger Wasp and from my photo you can see that it is digging. The two images that I’m sharing here, are the best pics that I was able to get – although I took many others. I sat and watched this busy wasp for almost half an hour on this day. I was completely amazed!

My Facebook friends also informed me that its habitat is found in some northern states that hug the Canadian border along the lakes of Southern Ontario. I find it unusual that we share the same habitat and yet I’ve never seen this wasp species before!

Since most great things come in, or happen in threes, I’ll end this gardening tale with this calming photo of a butterfly – the third insect/animal in this story. Since my wife is so focussed on taking photos of Devon – it’s her newest favourite passion – I was surprised to find this photo on the camera, one afternoon when I came home from work.
I told Joanne that I just loved this photo. I love the focus of the foreground with the abstract appearance of the background leaves. I love the angle and density of the butterfly’s wings. I love the contrast of the light and shadows in the background.
As you can see, my garden fills my heart with a lot of love. My main purpose in sharing these images with you is to inspire your own passion for gardening, so that you can also enjoy the wonders of Nature to enjoy the peace and love that surrounds us all… shared with us at no charge!

Thanks planet Earth!!!!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Vote For Mr. Jim Is A Vote For…

My life’s journey has filled me with many visions and silly dreams o-so-grande! Many of my visions have never been realized… after all, I am but one spirit and visions are like a field of clouds endlessly disappearing on the distant horizon and I can only hold onto one at a time.

Today, I will share with you my most recent vision that will not be realized because I am but one man and this dream would require the voluntary participation of all persons living…

Mr. Jim for Mayor of London, Ontario, Canada

A few years ago, we had a Mayoral Election, here in London. A vision/idea/inspiration stirred within me. Over the weeks, it developed into quite an elaborate scheme. The time was too short to instigate my ideas and soon enough the dream began to evaporate as most unattended dreams do.

A while ago, I saw this image posted on my Facebook newsfeed page and I was profoundly inspired by this short and simple statement. It moved me. Our planet has a long history of great minds and I have grown to realize that most things that I think about have already been thought about… and they are usually expressed far more eloquently than I could ever.

Over the next several days, memories of some past thoughts began to swim through my mind. I embraced them. I challenged them. I tried to let them go. I couldn’t.

In moments like these – I’ve grown to learn – it is best if I follow them… and so I did.

For the next several weeks, I put pen to paper – taking the ideas out of my mind… releasing them. Oh my! How the pages of my notebook began to fill!! I was actually in the initial stages of beginning to attempt to bring these ideas into a reality when I realized that this task I was setting myself up for would be beyond my scope of capability – thanks to the input of the few people who I had trusted my idea with.

I also realized that this outlandish scheme would go against my destined life’s path. I was not born to seize a position of power, but rather I was born to seize opportunities to empower others and share inspiration!

…and so I stare at my notebook pondering its value.

I have decided to share my vision with you – my blog readers – with the hopes that these rather grandiose ideas may simply inspire others in some way, shape or form… and with a smile!!!

To begin my campaign to become the Mayor of London, I had to have a platform – a set of plans by which I would govern the community. I first began to look at the subject of transportation.

Presently, London is spending far too much time and resources building and maintaining its roads. We always hear the points that road construction creates jobs and that wider roads are needed to prepare for future traffic flows. I believe that both of these points are false.

Road construction does create many jobs, there’s no disputing that, but it also allows huge percentages of budgeted monies to leave the community – and this is not good. The workers are local and hundreds of families are provided for – and this is good - but I would calculate that the smallest percentage of the project cost goes to these families. Where does the rest (the majority) of the money go?

As my campaign unfolds, I would be investigating points, such as this, to shed a clear light on how London taxpayers’ money is being pulled from our community with such ventures. I would then inspire the community to think of new and different ways that London could use tax payers’ money to create a stronger local economy with the goals of such ventures leading to a more self-sufficient city.

The most important point is the fact that we are building communities that require large roads and this must be stopped. We build subdivisions – isolated from the commercial, retail, entertainment and business sectors of our city. If we reinvented community planning, we would be able to create a scene where people lived close to where they work, shop and socialize – walking, or riding bicycles to most appointments.

If we think about it, we really have an easy task ‘reinventing’ our communities. All we would have to do is look at the historical plannings of our communities that thrived at the beginning of the last century when cars were not as abundant.

If elected Mayor of London I would promote a greater use of local transportation. I would have extended bus routes, servicing areas that presently have no bus services. I would extend the hours of bus operation.

London buses begin their last routes around midnight. By extending the hours of operation, more jobs would be created in the bussing sector, people would be able to attend late night concerts, coffee houses, bars and other social events, thus circulating more money within our local economies, thus creating more jobs. More food would be served, thus creating the need for more local produce, thus ensuring that our farmers wouldn’t need to look at distant locations to sell their products, thus keeping more trucks off of the roads.

I’m starting to see the local, interconnected structures that would benefit from one simple and small change?

The cost for bus transportation does absolutely nothing to encourage citizens to ride the bus. Even if you had to travel from one side of London to the other, for work, it is cheaper to pay for nonrenewable resources (fuel) to get you there.

If you buy a bus pass and don’t end up using it for two trips a day, five days a week, then you would have been better off paying for each trip separately. This point really irritates me!

As Mayor of London, I would lower the prices for bus fares. If you buy three monthly passes you would receive $20.00 towards your next monthly pass. This is a saving of $80.00 a year… almost one month free! Because you would be not contributing to the wear and tear of the existing roads, by driving a car or van, I would offer a discount on your home property tax – even more savings.

The best inspiration is example. If elected Mayor, I would be encouraging all City worker to use the bussing system – Me, council members, city officials, etc. This would at least double the number of passengers on the bus. If more people are riding the bus then less cars on the road, less wear and tear occurs, less repair is needed, wider roads and expansions become obsolete. Now… where have I read the word ‘obsolete’ before?!!!

So… I have been a school bus driver for several years and isn’t it funny that one of my plans to alleviate the strain of smog and pollution would be to work with transportation companies to make drastic cutbacks in school transportation?

Last spring an article appeared in a local newspaper, showcasing how small groups of parents have organized to create ‘Walk to School’ programs. Parents have organized to walk and collect students along the sidewalks as they make their way to school. I smiled when I read this article. Their inspiration was simple – by walking they realized that they would not be contributing to pollution!

Here’s the link to that news article - http://www.londoncommunitynews.com/2011/10/walk-to-school-day/

Also, last year, a new City plan was put into motion that would see that the distances that a student lived away from the school before they had to attend a school bus was actually shortened. This meant that students who previously did not qualify for bussing service now did. This means that more buses are needed, fewer students had to walk, more pollution is created and the roads take more abuse, needing more repair. This means that a small handful of local jobs were created and that larger sums of money would be leaving our community, lining the pockets of the large resource extractors!

As Mayor of London, I would council with parents and teachers to work on a plan that would significantly increase the distance that a student can walk to school. We would create larger ‘Walk to School’ programs.

Uh-oh! This means job losses in the bussing sector.

Let’s take this a step further…

How many people work at large firms throughout the city? The City court house, the Bell building, Victoria Hospital, large manufacturers, law firms, etc. As Mayor of London, I would work hand in hand with these businesses that employ many local workers to organize set routes and times throughout the City that would allow a large percentage of workers to take a bus. Yes! The school busses that are no longer needed to transport children, will now be needed to transport their parents! Jobs saved!! Again, fewer cars on the roads, less wear and tear, less maintenance needed and above all… less pollution!!!!

Currently, Londoners create around 200, 000 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide emission every single day. We need to start working and thinking together – as a community - to reduce these numbers significantly, with further ideas waiting to be introduced to reduce these numbers even more!

Okay – that’s page one of my notes!!!

Let’s take a very quick look at a few other ideas…

We all know what a factory farm is, but we never think that factory farmed animals actually end up on our dinner plates, when much of the meat that we eat actually is! What would we do if the Mayor of London inspired all food based industries to stop using or selling factory farmed animals?

We’d be a lot healthier for one thing. We would be acting in accordance with the laws of conscientious behaviour ensuring that the millions of animals that feed us do not live a life of suffering and misery!

This one simple – community agreed to action - would change to entire landscape of our City and neighbouring communities. Suddenly, free-range farms and food manufacturing jobs would spring up like a Canada Day fireworks celebration. I see a future of jobs, jobs, jobs!!!!

Human beings are biologically vegetarian. We are not designed to eat meat. Fact! As well as introducing ideas that would ensure a more humane existence for millions of animals, I would, as Mayor of London, introduce ideals that would change our eating habits to embrace a more vegetarian lifestyle. We don’t have to give up chicken burgers entirely… maybe just not eat as many. This would lead future generations to better solutions, better philosophies and a more sane existence – but for now this radical change would be a soft beginning.

As Mayor of London, I already practice what I preach. I may not be 100% vegetarian, but I embrace a very heavy vegetarian diet – you’ve all read my gardening stories. I would encourage City Hall to go vegetarian! Workers could bring ham sandwiches to work with them – after all… vegetarianism is a voluntary choice, not a rule put in place by a dictator. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to think that at City Hall only vegetarian meals would be served in the cafeteria?

So… I mentioned early the fact that our present day building practices in regards to subdivisions is completely wasteful. As Mayor of London, I would set a course of action to allow the City to go into business for itself. One plan… the City would begin buying residential subdivision properties in order to create restaurants, convenience stores, postal outlets, etc. Imagine at least two houses on each subdivision street being renovated for such a purpose. Hmmmm…. more jobs! Designing, building, landscaping, etc. Local residents can now walk to find a few of the amenities that they previously had to drive to - one step closer to an ultimate solution!

Another action that I, as Mayor of London, would instigate would be to inspire the community to create more locally owned and operated retail stores. Between the year 2000 and 2002, I lived in Nelson, BC where such an ideal presently exists. This is not new! Many communities have already embraced the fact that this community plan allows the growth and development of local manufacturing and retail. Local jobs, local merchandise, local economies have been blown out of London by Wal-Mart and Rona stores (to name just two) … and now it’s time to grow them back!!!!

For more information about Nelson, BC - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson,_British_Columbia

To see a nice collection of photos that I took while living in Nelson - http://bitsandpeaces08.blogspot.ca/2009/01/up-on-roof.html

The new school year for our children has just started. All parents want their children to work towards receiving a good education for their future. New backpacks are purchased, along with notebooks, pens, calculators and lunch bags. Isn’t it ironic that the purchase of these items is ensuring that our children have a more dismal future than the world’s greatest minds could ever calculate?!!

The landscape of China is becoming a wasteland as more and more products are manufactured in this country, thus depleting their forests and other natural habitats in the pursuit of the resources that are needed to create these products. Once manufactured, they are bound in plastic wrap, packed into transport containers and shipped across the oceans in the largest ocean freighters ever built, to be unpacked, redistributed, bound in plastic again and again, until they finally end up in a landfill.

Can’t we make backpacks out of agriculture fibers here in Canada? Here in Southern Ontario? Here in London?

Imagine a landscape full of fields of hemp. The roots help to prevent topsoil depletion. The plants need no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides. Imagine local processing plants that turn these plants in useful fabrics. Imagine these fabrics being locally processed to create clothing, belts, backpacks, paper, notebooks and possibly (I’m not quite sure on this point) ink for our pens! Imagine one or two trucks being employed to transport these items throughout our City, thus eliminating so many wasted barrels of oil, thus eliminating millions of tonnes of Carbon Dioxide from the air that we need to survive!

And whilst I’m rambling on about creating a community labouring in local manufacturing, let me state that as Mayor of London, I would work with existing retail stores to promote and sell more of these types of products.

Imagine you’re in a record store and on the front counter there is a display selling local manufactured chocolate bars. Or you may be in a clothing store and along with purchasing a new hemp T-shirt, you decide to buy a calendar for the new year filled with the expressions of a London artist. All of this sounds like more and more local jobs. All of this sounds like a city that will soon be developing a new sense of local culture. All of this sounds like a break from premeditated economic slavery that is presently governing the power structures of our world.

I’ve listened to many examples of communities who are trying to create new forms of currency, to promote many of the ideas that I’ve stated here. I’ve never believed that this radical approach to economics is necessary. Money and it’s value needs to be reexamined and reevaluated – yes – for sure… but the basic philosophy is the same. Money is a form of determining value (for product or service) and is designed to smooth financial transactions. It’s a lot easier to take a $10.00 bill to my local sandwich shop to pay for my lunch that to carry a goat under my arm to barter for a bowl of garlic and potato soup!!!

But… local currency – working alongside existing territorial currencies - can help to promote new and growing local cultures as well as to promote a pride for the places that we live.

To this point, I must say, that as Mayor of London, I will be working with the economic sectors of retail to create London’s very own loonie. This loonie will be locally manufactured (yeah – more jobs!) using recycled metals (yeah – more recycling!). The London Loonie will be designed locally, with the assistance of local artisans, with the intent on showcasing the vibrant lifestyles that we take so much pride in! This loonie can be used to purchase locally manufactured items.

Remember that chocolate bar that you wanted to buy at that downtown record shop? It has a cost of $2.00. You can buy it using good ol’ regular Canadian currency, or you can use the London Loonie – you’ll just need two of them, or a combination of the loonie with Canadian currency.

This loonie will make a great collectors’ item or souvenir for out-of-towners and can also be purchased at any local retailer for $2.00 – with the profits of this sale going to the City trust fund. As the City trust fund grows, the City will then be able to offer its citizens additional tax breaks concerning property tax payments. This means that we’ll all have a bit more money in our pockets so we won’t have to work as many hours at a job, thus making it easier to spend more time with our families and in our gardens.

Since education is of such importance, especially when considering the mess our world is in, I, as Mayor of London, will be establishing a continuous series of lectures and conferences to share new ideas about the new social structures that our city should be inspired to embrace. Each time you attend one of these lectures, you will receive a property tax cut (putting more money into your pocket) and one London Loonie – for free!! This is how the loonies will begin the process of circulation – a reward to citizens for taking the initiative to become more involved in creating a healthier and more stable community.

As Mayor of London, I will reduce home property tax for all of those who wish to plant and harvest a family garden.

As Mayor of London, I will work with our neighbourhood planning departments to create new residential constructions using geo-thermal technologies. Asphalt shingles will become obsolete (there’s that interesting word again) as we install locally manufactured metal roofs, complete with small wind powered generators.

As Mayor of London, I will work with existing power companies to create a City that is energy self-sufficient where more and more homes will have the opportunity to be powered ‘off the grid’.

As Mayor of London, I will inspire homeowners with large lawns to reduce the size of their lawns, thus reducing pollution and increasing natural vegetation. I’m referring to those homes that have 1-3 acres lawns… this is very wasteful.

As Mayor of London, I will create a system where retailers are responsible for recycling packaging materials such as styrofoam.

As Mayor of London, I will involve myself in the local music scene – and possibly create my own band “Mr. Jim and the Renaissance” – to keep the heartbeat of this city upbeat and happy!

The Alarm – Marching On - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDNvWDV7eTU

I had a bit of fun with my list!!! If you can’t have a bit of fun with some of your crazy dreams, then you’re not really livin’!

My notebook then continues with campaign strategies, media agendas, interactive web page designs, etc. How I would organize my campaign is of little concern, here. What is of concern is the inspiration and the motivation behind a set of values that could change the world for the better… for my son and all the world’s children! I love you Devon!!!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Devon’s First Vacation

Just a few months ago, I was very happy to share the task of writing this blog with one of my Peacebus students, Ava, who is in grade 4. She was my first guest writer and I’m sure that you will enjoy her story…


For today’s blog, I’ve asked another very special person in my life to help me write a story. My son, Devon, is only 9 ½ months old, but as you will soon see, he is already a very talented and funny author…

It’s been a lot of hard work growing up over the last nine months – what with all the growing, eating and playing – so I thought that it would be fun to relax for a day and go to a lake side cottage with my mommy and daddee.

We packed my Opa’s van very early in the morning. Just before we left, daddee went over his checklist…

Bathing suits – check!

Yummy food for the bbq – check!

Toys – check!

Devon – check!

Alrighty then… it was time to leave!!!

During the ride, mommy was always asking daddee if he was sure that he knew where he was going. We didn’t get lost – not even twice!

It was a long drive, so I helped out, too.

When we got to the cottage, we left all the unpacking for later and rushed straight down to check out our beach.

Daddee said that this beach was made especially for me. “A golden beach for a golden baby boy!” is what he said.

Since my bathing suit was still in the van, we spent a few minutes flying over the area, just getting our toes and fingers wet.

The water was so warm that we had to go for a swim, right away, so we quickly changed into our swimming outfits. Daddee wore swim shorts and I wore my swim hat!!!

I’m not sure what, “swimming in the buff,” means – it’s what daddee said I was doing – but it sure is great!

While we were swimming, mommy relaxed with a cold Ice Tea on the beach.

Having mommy and daddee together for such a long period of time is hard to do. We’ll have to have more vacations in the future.

This is the cabin that we stayed in. It is very small, so we spent most of our time outside on the beach.

We sure did a lot of swimming. Koly also loves to swim and he joined us most of the time.

Daddee spent a bit of his time taking photos of nearby flowers…

… and the always changing clouds in the sky.

Mommy likes taking pictures, too. She took seven photos to make this one really long image. It was very beautiful staying in Northern Ontario, with all the trees, hills, rivers and lakes.

One of the games I love to play is called ‘Making Bubbles With Mommy’. Daddee’s not very good at this game… or else it might be called ‘Making Bubbles With Daddee’ – but it’s not.

It was sunny, then it was cloudy. Sunny! Cloudy!

It drizzled for a little while, so we all had a little snack, staying dry underneath the tent awning.

There was only one small bit of cantaloupe left… and I wanted it! So I showed mommy and daddee my newest trick – I CAN CRAWL!!!!

Daddee said that if we all clap our hands together really loudly that the clouds would crack open so that it would be sunny again… and it worked!

Then we saw three golden ducks swimming on our golden lake. Daddee said that this was a good sign.

We could see the sun’s light on the trees, across the lake. See how the distant hill only has a little bit of light on it – near the waterline? Well, for the next few minutes we watched as the sun’s light moved higher and higher until all the trees were bright with sun.

And then, we saw a rainbow. And then, there were two rainbows!

Daddee said that it’s not often that you will see a rainbow touching the ground, but if you do it’s a lucky sign. One of these days I’m going to have to ask daddee what a ‘sign’ is.

Boy! The weather sure changes a lot when you’re on vacation. After daddee took this photo of the fog, he said that his photo looked a lot like U2’s album cover ‘No Line On The Horizon’. I’m going to have to ask daddee what a U2 is, as well!

And then it was sunny again and I got to play with a turtle that mommy found for me.

After some more swimming, daddee and I relaxed with a cool drink as we lounged about on a beach chair.

I told mommy that we should get a family vacation portrait before we all had too many cool drinks and forgot. I told her that Koly wasn’t in this photo…

… so we tried again. This time daddee was making funny faces and I remembered that I was wearing just my diaper – not a very classy family photo…

… so we tried again! This time we got it perfect!

Just before dinner time, we all decided to have a game of ‘Bang The Ball With A Stick Hammer’. Daddee was winning for most of the game and then I decided to help mommy out with my expert advice. “A little to the left, mommy. Oh! That’s too far. A little more to the right! Perfect! Now hit it hard!!!!” I was a great expert advice giver and mommy won the game!

And then… guess… guess… it started raining really hard. Daddee said that he didn’t care if it was raining or not, “we’re here to have fun no matter what.” He set up for another ball game and then we all played in the rain… under our umbrellas!!!!

It got really cool outside, with lots of lightning and thunder, so we had to spend the rest of the day playing inside. Daddee and I played my favourite game ‘Peek – a – Boo’ for hours and hours!!! Did anyone notice that I’m standing up in this photo? This is one of my newest tricks, too. First, I crawl over to a piece of furniture and then I climb it until I’m standing on my two feet. I can get up alright – sometimes it’s the coming down that hurts a bit!!!

I’m sure glad that I brought so many toys to play with. Mommy is a great friend to have around during toy time. We can play for hours and hours and she never gets bored. In fact, mommy spends most of our play time laughing!!! She thinks I’m funny!

Another of my favourite games to play is called ‘Godzilla’. Here’s how it works… first mommy has to build a tall tower out of blocks…

… and then I destroy it! What a great game!!!!

All this playing has given me quite the appetite. I think that it’s time for lunch. Mommy asked daddee to feed me. When mommy came over to see how things were going, I heard a whole bunch of new words that I’ve never heard before… she was directed them to daddee. Daddee said, “I’m not teaching Devon to play with his food, I’m teaching him how to be creative – a great artist!”

Near the end of the day, daddee likes to play me songs on his guitar. He says that he’s putting music into my head so that I’ll have musical dreams when I go to sleep.

Daddee’s been playing me songs for my whole life. I’ve been watching and listening very carefully and today I decided to show daddee what I’ve learned. He told me that I will grow up to be a fine musician.

Just before I go to sleep, I like to have my bedtime bottle. While I’m drinking, I’m thinking of all the wonderful adventures we had today on our first ever family vacation!!!! Thanks very much, mommy and daddee – I hope we can do this again really soon!!!!


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Thanks very much, Devon, for writing your first blog story to share with my friends from around the world. I’m sure that they will all enjoy it.

As your editor, though, I do have just one comment to make – just so you’ll know for the future. This vacation that we all enjoyed lasted for a whole week… not just one day. I’ll have to remember to teach you a little something about a thing called ‘time’… but that can wait until you’re a bit older!