Trying to Find a Groove

Nothing in particular about these photos. One is from my current personal development course (Managing Conflict). And there’s my dog, of course. She always crosses her paws, very lady-like.  🙂

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Click on the photo below to enlarge it. Jigsaw puzzle of self-understanding and how personal pain from the past impacts one’s life today.

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Posted in animals, architecture, artwork, decorative art, fish and marine life, flowers, food, nature, pets, places, therapy, things | 3 Comments

Nice Horsey

 

We visited TheFreedomHorseClub.com today. Here are a few of the nice horses there!

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Posted in animals, Christmas decorations, nature, scenery, seasonal, snow and ice photos | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Season’s-a-changin’

Been awhile since my last post – like many Canadians, I have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Don’t know how to take interesting landscape photos when the surroundings start looking bare and stark. You may not see much from me until next spring!

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My arts therapy projects, below…

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Collingwood Bygone Days

Visited a museum called Bygone Days Heritage Village in Collingwood (www.bygonedays.ca). Pretty neat, with many things dating back to the 1850’s. But I felt pretty ‘dated’ myself, when I recognized things that were from my own childhood days.  :\

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Walking the Dog and Other Adventures

Went to the Markham Fair today- I highly recommend it! Such a great little fair.

Although my Aunt and late Uncle are founding members of Markham-Stouffville Hospital, and my late Uncle was I believe the first doctor in Unionville, I myself knew little about the area. I’m from Toronto. To me, this is ‘boonieville’!

Sadly, the area is exploding in population, and farmland (here and northward) is turning into suburbia at an alarming rate. Personally, I think it’s important to have a strong base of native-born or long-term resident Canadians to help handle the onslaught of mass immigration. Otherwise, the original character, values, conservationism, and traditions of Canada get lost. That’s just my 2 cents.

Integrity and decency, first and foremost. The stories I could tell you about that!

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Posted in animals, cars, experimental, flowers, food, nature, things | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Slightly Beyond Suburbia

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Enjoying Expressive Arts Therapy

Taking an excellent course: Expressive Arts Therapy with Anna Sousa. Anna also runs a service called Artful Balance ( www.arttherapytoronto.com ). We just create without too much pre-thought, and this seems to draw out deeper issues — for me, at least. Then, we discuss what our thoughts and feelings were during the artistic process. Below are a few pieces that we all did. Bear in mind, the art-making is only half an hour long!

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Summer’s Feast – Part 2

Summer’s quickly coming to an end. Days are shorter, and the weather is definitely chillier. Just learning to shoot pictures here and there, wherever I can grab some light and good vibrations. I’ve only been at this since July, and I’m already at a loss for subjects!

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Anywhere But Here: Elmvale Zoo

Recently visited Elmvale Zoo, out near Wasaga Beach, Ontario. Felt really sorry for this lot of animals, who are mostly penned up and have never known what it’s like to fly or run. Quite small spaces for some really large creatures, like lions, jaguars, lynxes, eagles, and the like.

Never been a fan of zoos. Used to study with people in my Environmental Studies program who actively protest zoos, so I do know the horrors of what happens in these awful places. Marineland is one of the worst perpetrators. Although I love their song, “Everyone loves Marineland!”, what those waters contain and do to captive sea creatures is another story. I know at one such marine park that the Orca Whale purposely killed two of the trainers out of pent-up frustration. Anyway, I did my part by informing people here. I did struggle with whether or not to participate in this zoo adventure, and now I know — it is a sorry tale, indeed.

Some of these animals had more adequate space.

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Crazy for Classic Cars

I’m kinda ‘old school’ when it comes to cars — love the curves on classic models! My first and only car was a 1975 Volkswagen Beetle. It was bright lemon yellow with black trim.

Unfortunately, the only picture I have of it is one a dear friend took while the car was burning up on Highway 401 towards Port Hope and Cobourg. We made the front cover of the local newspaper! This was mere weeks after I had bought the darn thing with my hard-earned summer job savings!

My other favourite cars — back in the day — were Jaguars and other classics like the 1961 Mercedes-Benz Gull-Wing Coupe, the Austin-Healey Sprite, the Morris Mini, and the like. I’ve always gravitated to small cars. I prefer the concept of electric cars, of course, yet car companies have been slow on the uptake.

Actor Jack Nicholson even created a car that ran on bio-fuel way back in the 70s, so it can be done.

I’m quite conflicted over cars. I do love bikes and scooters, and I prefer public transportation. But having just moved to the ‘burbs’ (in with the folks), public transportation is slow, infrequent, and difficult.

I’m too scared to ride out here, especially in winter (having previously dislocated my shoulder and even temporarily paralyzed my arm in a cycling accident — never mind the year of agonizing physio, during which two different physiotherapists said it was the ‘worst injury of its kind that they’d seen’ in 11 years and 20 years, respectively). I feel like I’m wimping out, but I am genuinely afraid of the fast-moving cars, and their lack of awareness of cyclists, in general. And the rate of cycling accidents and even deaths among experienced cyclists is truly stunning!

Building on the TakeTheTooker   vision, I have a dream of making the ENTIRE Bloor-Danforth roadway the longest *car-free* street in a major city in the world! Wouldn’t that be nice?! For elderly folks and those who want to sightsee, there could be a shuttle bus, plus one lane for bicycles and one lane for electric scooters and such. There would be signs leading to all the local green spaces and farmers’ markets along the route, and other fun ways to pump up the tourism dollars and local BIAs in Toronto and the GTA.

Anyway, Sunday I went to a Classic Car Show to snap these pics. I also saw an acquaintance while I was there, which was nice!  🙂

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Summer’s Feast – Part 1

Food, flowers, felines (and maybe some structures and street art, too)…

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To All the Flowers I’ve Loved Before…

A familiar theme: flowers. Can you blame me? So naturally captivating!

I’m worried I’m going to run out of subjects soon. Not because there aren’t great things out there to photograph, but with my social anxiety, it’s not always easy to push myself to go to certain places or events. Taking pictures can be a conspicuous activity.

I’m actually doing much better socially, of late. But photographing people is yet another mountain to climb, especially getting shots of kids.

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Expressive Clouds and Sunsets

This is all a jumble, but the theme is re-examining the ordinary.  And in the case of the sunsets, I tried to capture the glory of it, but it’s never quite the same in pictures.

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Posted in cars, decorative art, experimental, flowers, people, portraits, things | 2 Comments

Entering the Car Era

Living in a car-obsessed culture, how can I not feature some cool rides?

Yes, that includes the wonderful public bus.

When I returned to Toronto from my time in Asia, India and Europe, I was suffering from post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression, so I drove my mother’s car during the first year to avoid being around people. Eventually, though, I was riding the Rocket everywhere, especially as I went to my 33 hospitality jobs across the GTA – from Mississauga to Scarborough, and from the Distillery District to the Granite Club, I did it all. (That’s another story that I may share at some point…)

Our public transportation system could really learn from Europe and Asia about speed, safety, efficiency and keeping fares/costs low. 

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The coolest ride of them all…

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While living near the Danforth for 13 years, I rode my bicycle for quite a few of those years year-round through rain and snow. Who doesn’t want a bike-friendly city? I also like electric scooters, but neither are as safe as I wish. Being fully exposed feels risky now.

Particularly because after I got injured and was wearing an orthotic, I was still working in a bicycle repair shop in Kensington Market, and so all these other cyclists would share their own (often multiple) accident tales with me – and it is a really high rate of serious mishaps. Very scary.

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Exploring my surroundings

These may not be the most thrilling photos, but heck, we find pictures where we can.

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