Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas wishes

"Joy, Joy. May God shower joy upon us. Christmas brings us all good things. God give us grace to see the New Year; and if we do not increase in numbers may we at all events not decrease."
Traditional Scottish Christmas Toast.

Well it's here! Christmas Eve, it's so hard to believe that the year is almost gone, but so great that it is this time of season. I was up the Malahat and into Duncan yesterday picking up our Farm Turkey and it was snowing up near the turn off for Shawnigan Lake. It was really Christmas'y. This is our first Christmas not using a mass-produced, and drug filled Turkey. yes it cost a bit more than our usual "Stupor Store" one. I expect though that it is going to be a much higher quality tasting bird, as all the other meats we have purchased have been. They have local farmers, that do not use the typical growth drugs, the only drugs they do use are ones that would be needed to look after  the animal should they become sick, (or prevention of course), they are grain or naturally fed, and are free ranging animals. The steaks, Chicken and Pork products have been fantastic. They have better than 20 different types of sausages too. It is called "The Meat Market" and is located on the right side of highway(heading North) just as you enter Duncan. Just past The Old Farmers Market, a great spot for fruit and produce. So the bird goes in today just after noon, although I spent a good deal of time doing the prep work yesterday. We are really looking forward to our Christmas dinner, the Wife is working through the holiday's this year but her Sister is over to spend the season with us.

We've purchased ourselves an early gift a new Camera. We bought the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi, as well as a 70mm -300mm lens in addition to the 18mm-55mm that came with the kit. I also picked up a couple of filters. There is a lot to learn about using it properly, it is going to be quite fun taking this new stuff in and getting good at it. I have already been out with the camera trying various styles of shots, spent a couple of hours at Hatley Castle shooting both the wildlife and the castle itself.  During the Turkey run yesterday I took a few shots around Shawnigan Lake. I have also been learning a lot about different photo editing applications. All in all it has been fun, even printed off some 8 X 10 and 4 X 6's of some of the shots to see how well they print off. Very impressed. Will need to get some of them posted.

You don't have to send money or anything else, just some Christmas thoughts.
Write the Troops, ( here  They do really like to hear from us all, they get printed out and posted to a board so all can read them!), let them know that they are missed and that their and their families sacrifices are appreciated and recognized, no matter your political views let's remember these folks sign up and go where they are told to, they have been presented with a monumental task (especially in Afghanistan) they have not shirked their duty and neither complain, nor hesitate to do their best in their role.

Let's make sure that those of us here who live our days in relative peacefulness surrounded by our friend and families, not left wanting for for any item, with opportunities that many citizens of less fortunate countries do not even dare dream of, show our support for those who put it all on the line, to assist others.

Seems lately like the Media likes to focus on the armed response that Canada has provided yet does not give the troops their due when it comes to the humanitarian activities, whether it be rebuilding the soccer stadium for the kids to play safely, rebuilding/restocking classrooms, encouraging the reopening of schools for all children and the removal of threats against those teachers/instructors who put their lives at risk by teaching classrooms of mixed sexes.

A Scottish Christmas; Linking to tradition:

Just some links to traditions form my cultural heritage. Some interesting reading.

Scottish Traditional Christmas 1

Scottish Traditional Christmas 2

Some Scottish Christmas Music:

Wishing all of you the very best wishes for the Christmas Season, hoping you all are healthy, happy and have everything you need.

May the best you've ever seen
Be the worst you'll ever see;
May a moose ne'er leave yer girnal
Wi' a teardrop in his e'e.
May ye aye keep hale and hearty
Till ye're auld enough tae dee,
May ye aye be just as happy
As I wish ye aye tae be.

by Allan Ramsay of Ayr
Merry Christmas!


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