Monday, March 31, 2008

Wow the end of the Month!

Hard to believe that its Mars 31st! Seems just like yesterday it was the 1st, then my birthday and a blizzard on the same day. Then we had March Break which coinceded with my b-day as well. Next came the first day of spring and then Easter. Now we are knocking on April 1st for the Fool's day.

I did manage to get some knitting done this month. Lucky me! lol Two scarves and 2 baby hats made it to the done pile. The hats are going to Sarnia Craft Supply to be given to Save the Children charity. They are looking to collect 3000 by May 1st. Hopefully I can knit up a few more to go with it.

Oh!! This past Saturday was the Lambton Stich N Bitch! What fun! I had a blast and the girls are great. I even started and finished a scarf there. Okay! Okay! I had two rows to finish when I got home. Will post pictures later.

Speaking of photos: here are a few I took of Ingall's Fall at Easter. Its near Harrison Park in Owen Sound, ON


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour

Well Earth Hour here in S-W Ontario is about 1 1/2 hours away. Some of the people I have talked to are going to particpate. Go Lambton SNB's!!

Some fun links: (the video where it all began)

The sails of Sydney's famous Opera House were plunged into darkness Saturday as Australia's largest city voluntarily switched its lights off Saturday night.

The event, known as Sydney's Earth Hour was billed as a sixty-minute demonstration of Australia's resolve to curb global warming. Thanks to a reliance on coal-fired power plants, Australia is the world's single largest per-capital emitter of carbon dioxide.

If nothing else, the lights of Sydney's skyline were noticeably thinned by Earth Hour, which began at 7:30 local time. Officials had arranged for all non-essential city lights to be switched off, and residents followed suit by darkening their homes and unplugging unnecessary appliances. Hundreds gathered at Sydney harbor to watch the spectacle, while clubs and restaurants served patrons by candlelight.

While billed as something of a party, Earth Hour kicks-off a serious 12-month public awareness push by the World Wildlife Federation-Australia and the Sydney Morning Herald. The immediate goal is to cut the city's greenhouse emissions by 5-percent. In the long run, Earth Hour organizers hope to expand their concept to other cities in 2008, coupling it with a focused initiative to make deep and permanent cuts in the amount of carbon dioxide being pumped into the Earth's atmosphere.

Sydney's mayor, Clover Moore, told Sky News Saturday that his city is serious about addressing climate change.

"Tonight is really important because it's a call to action," said Moore. "We are asking people to think about the action they can take to fight global warming. We all have to act to reduce out ecological footprint."

Scientists worry that global warming -- which the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change links to manmade greenhouse output -- may already be exacting a painful toll on Australia's most treasured natural wonder: the Great Barrier Reef. Marine biologists report unparalleled coral bleaching and dry-off, with a domino-like effect rippling through the aquatic food chain. Australia suffered its hottest and driest summer on record, and some climate change experts wonder if last year's violent typhoon season may have been made more severe by rising ocean temperatures.

While Australia's Conservative Prime Minister, John Howard, is a bitter opponent of the greenhouse emission reductions proposed by the Kyoto Protocols, his government has recently responded to political pressure to take action. Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced in February that Australia will enact energy regulations essentially banning the sale of conventional incandescent lightbulbs after 2010.

So -- what can the average Australian (or anyone else) do to curb global warming? It all starts with small, meaningful changes in our personal energy habits. Australia's WWF Futuremakers website lists Lighter Footstep's article How to Live with CFLs as a good place to start.

You can also take your first Ten Steps toward a lighter lifestyle, give your home an energy audit, investigate local recycling opportunities, and talk to your family and friends. Share a few of your ideas, and you may get some back in return.

Were you in Sydney for Earth Hour? Please share your experience in our comments section!

The Sydney Morning Herald has a photo gallery of Saturday's Earth Hour here.

A Changing Antarctica Draws 'Doomsday' Tourists

I was reading a really great article on the Antarctica today and thought I'd post it. With Global Warming its nice to see people not wanting this Vast Wilderness to change or to have man kind destroying it.

Climate Connections: Solutions
A Changing Antarctica Draws 'Doomsday' Tourists
by Gwen Thompkins

Audio for this story will be available at approx. 7:00 p.m. ET

Jessica Goldstein, NPR
Antarctica is not as remote as it once was, as thousands of tourists a year visit the continent.

View Gallery: Destination Antarctica

Jessica Goldstein, NPR
Visitors have had a more positive than negative effect on the continent, some say.

More NPR Antarctica Coverage
Antarctica's March of the Tourists
Visits by thousands of tourists each year could damage the world's most unspoiled continent.

Cruising to Otherworldly Antarctica
While travel to the icy continent has become cushy, Antarctica's allure remains powerful.

Antarctica's Sea 'Babies' in Limbo
Antarctica's seas depend on microscopic animals, but global warming is changing that balance.

A Bright Spot of Life on the Icy Continent
What kind of people come for months at a time to live in the most difficult place on Earth?

Jessica Goldstein, NPR
Fleets of ocean liners chug through Antarctica's waters, but tour guides say keeping Antarctica pristine is their top priority.

All Things Considered, March 29, 2008 · At one of the finest cocktail lounges in the Antarctic Circle, Carol Hughes is sipping a mystery drink from a wine glass. It's after dinner onboard a luxury cruise liner. And Hughes, an English clinical nurse, says whatever it is she's tasting is better than anything else she has had tonight.

"It's lovely. It feels cleaner, much smoother," Hughes says, savoring the taste in her mouth. "I'd say there's probably something in there slightly ... something to do with fish, I'd say."

What Hughes doesn't know is that she's sipping an iceberg. When she finds out, she laughs and says, "Is that the one that the penguin was walking over?"

Antarctica, like every other continent, is too big to describe in one take. But Hughes's description of the melted iceberg water is an awfully good start. Antarctica is lovely. It does feel cleaner, and it has something to do with fish.

Still, much of the continent remains a mystery, a cold and curious void. So most people learn the facts and fill in the rest with feeling. Every cabin on the ship has a book that touches on how remote the continent is — what can live here, what can't. And yet all 159 pages amount to a few lines of verse from the poet Pablo Neruda:

There all ends
and doesn't end:
there all begins:
rivers and ice part,
air is married to snow

A Sense of Place

Karin Strand, the expedition leader on the ship, expresses a sentiment similar to Neruda's. "Take some time and simply stop and reflect a little bit about what you're seeing," she advises, "because it's pretty overwhelming."

Put down your camera and get into the spirit of this place, Strand says. You've got to appreciate the beauty, the loneliness, the unlikeliness of this continent that Aristotle suspected was here but could never prove. Only a smidgen of the world's population has ever seen Antarctica. So Strand says that if you decide to come this far, don't blow it.

"Unless you stop and take a look once in a while you will miss it," she says. "Yes of course you will see it, but you won't see it. ... I mean, I am Norwegian and I thought that I had seen enough snow and ice for the rest of my life just living where I am. ... It is a feeling — it's not like you can explain it with pictures or film, really. You just have to be there."

Many of the people who visit the perpetual winter of Antarctica are in the autumn of their lives. They want to unlock the mystery of the place. They also want to learn about the effects of climate change here, why the ice is melting. But more than anything, they want to have fun. Aroon Patel is 70 years old and he walks with a cane. And at one of the boat's last landings on the Peninsula, which stretches north from the continent, Patel slid down a glacier on his tush.

"It was like a roller coaster on your bum," he says, smiling. "Best ride I've ever had in my life. At age 70, you find something like this, different ... it's wonderful. Wonderful."

And that's not the only thing that got his backfield in motion.

On the tail end of the voyage, the ship's crew put on an evening of entertainment that included music and lyrics by Usher, Lil' Jon and Ludacris. There's something surreal about being on a boat in the near-frozen middle of nowhere — and listening to men sing about women in their birthday suits. But you know what they say: Hip hop is the poetry of the streets. Even here, where there are no streets.

Changing the Continent

What the tourists onboard the ship don't know is that they are testing an important scientific principle. Does the very act of observing something change it? In Antarctica, the answer is "probably." Antarctica — so clean, so pure — is now a hot destination. Armadas of ocean liners are troubling her cool, heavy waters. And tourists are sharing terrain vital to the continent's wildlife.

Wherever humans go, Karin Strand says, "we have sort of a brutal way of imposing on nature." But there is a prime aim in Antarctica, she says: Keep it as a wilderness.

That means if anyone drops so much as a plastic bag in the water, Strand says, the ship will turn around and retrieve it.

Robyn Steegstra is guiding a group of Americans onboard the ship. She says Antarctic tourism has actually helped the continent. Bases that conduct scientific research along the coast have been prodded to clean up their act.

"I remember 20 years ago ... some of these bases, they looked like nothing more than dumps," Steegstra says. "The rusted material, the 20 or 30 years of rusting tin cans out back, the old machinery. We've had bases where they would go, 'Oh, you want to see a penguin?' and they would go pick them up. They were just pushing them out of their way; there wasn't this concern for the wildlife.

"But when people started visiting and seeing this, there's been an enormous change in the way bases operate ... regarding the environment and the wildlife. And that was largely due to visitors," she says.

So the industry's bottom line appears to be that sometimes you've got to risk a little to get a lot. An international treaty prevents mining, drilling and dumping here. But tour operators say that the world's last great wilderness also needs goodwill ambassadors for its continued protection. And people like Carol Hughes, the English nurse who drank water from the iceberg, can make pretty poetic ambassadors.

"It's just absolutely magical. I don't think I should be the same person when I get home," Hughes says. "It really makes you feel so humble to think that this is such a wilderness and that we have to preserve it at all costs, really. It's a special place and we mustn't spoil it. We must look after it."

After all, the best lines about Antarctica have been uttered by the people who have been here. "Glittering white, shining blue, raven black, in the light of the sun the land looks like a fairy tale," wrote Roald Amundsen, the first explorer to reach the South Pole.

And perhaps Fritz Klein said it best. He and his wife came here from York, Pa. Klein is no expert on the threat of climate change to Antarctica. But now more than ever, he's dead set against anything or anyone marring the continent's beauty.

As he put it: "They betta' neva'."

Produced by Jessica Goldstein

Also here is a good link of photos of Antarctica:

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What a wonderful weekend we had

I can't believe that Mother Nature actually gave us a nice weekend! Wow! It started friday and went till today. Though we did see some snow flakes this morning they were gone by noon.

I am still knitting on my foo foo black scarf and my Celtic Cable scarf for the Project of the month group. I have quite a way to go on it.

My sons leg is coming along. Each day it gets alittle easier to get up. He still won't be back to school this week - though hubby and I would like that alot! Our daughter goes back tomorrow which reminds me I better tell her to go to bed or she will be cranky in the morning.

Oh! A neighbour of mine saw a robin either during the snow storm or the day after. I bet the little bugger was cold! lol Spring is coming and the snow is melting.

Have a great night. Keep knitting!

Leigh Ann

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Here's a photo of my birthday present from my parents.

Its a James Lumber ghost painting called Grandpa's Boat. Can you see grandpa?

March 11/08 update

Well no knitting done but I have bought some new pattern books and some yummy yarn! The yarn is called Cicciobello Hyppo by Paolo Scettri made in Italy. I bought 5 balls of it and I will make a hat and scarf for my daughter. I love the colours! Blues, greens and white.

Here are some photos of the day.

Geese flying over Mike Weir Park

Snow frost on some trees at Mike Weir Park.

Evergreen and pine cones in snow frost at Mike Weir Park.

Another dumping of snow on my car tonight.


Monday, March 10, 2008

We interrupt this birthday

I posted this on my wrong blog so here it is from march 8, 2008;

Well Happy Birthday to me! Nothing is going right for this one. First with my sons femur getting broke at school, then I get a nasty head cold and of course it wouldn't be March 8 with out a snow storm (aka blizzard). I am so use to it that I have decided to reschedule my birthday for a different day. Hell! Maybe I will just legally change it to a month that doesn't get snow. hehe

I have been doing some knitting not alot as the tendinitous flares up. But my Project of the Month group is doing the Celtic Cable Scarf. Oh my gosh! Its turning out really nice. I love it!

Also on the needles is a black foo foo scarf for a craft show this fall/winter.

Any... its now March Break and I am sooooo glad that I was off yesterday as the headcold made a major invasion of my head. Took a night time sinus tablet and went back to sleep. Felt alittle better in the afternoon.

Well will post pictures and more later.