Thursday, April 28, 2011

Will and Kate's Royal Wedding

There are so many different sources of information to have on hand during the Royal Wedding of Kate and William, I've decided to write a post to keep them in one place.

The Official Royal Wedding site has plenty of photos and background information.

Did you know there's a Royal Family Facebook page? Clicking on 'Like' at the top of the page will show that you're 'attending' the event and you'll receive updates throughout the day. The Facebook page also shows how to submit a video blog to send well-wishes to the happy couple. And they want to know how you're sharing their special day.

Can't watch it all on TV? No problem. The Royal Channel is live streaming the event on it's YouTube channel. Not only can you see it live, but there's access to oodles of videos about anything royal.

My Monday Inkwell Inspiration post was called Royal Coach and Carriage.  It has photos of many processional coaches and carriages you may recognize from tv and photos. You'll see at least one at the royal wedding when the newlyweds leave Westminster Abbey in the 1902 State Landau just like Will's mum did all those years ago.

If you want the ceremony timetable, there's a free download of a very nice pdf copy of the Official Programme which includes an official photograph and route map. If you have the ibook app on your iphone, ipad, etc, then you can download the free Official Programme. Just go to your iphone (it's a free download) and search for Official Programme. This is a very nice digital keepsake.

The information I really wanted to know was the little details like ... when will Prince William leave Clarence House and head to the church? Or when will the Princess Catherine be kissed by her handsome Prince on the balcony of Buckingham Palace? Well, here's the itinerary which lists everything except the actual ceremony but that's in the Official Programme. What you'll find below is when the congregation begins to arrive at the abbey to the Royal flypast while the newlyweds are on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. I've emboldened the really juicy stuff...

Of course, these are all London times. Here in Sask, we are 7 hrs behind which means 8:15 London time is 1:15 am here. Official TV coverage starts at midnight on my local channel and yup, I'm already watching TLC for wonderful shows with background information.

8:15 a.m. - The congregation begin arriving at the Great North Door of London's Westminster Abbey.

9:50 a.m. - Governors-General and Prime Ministers of Realm Countries, the Diplomatic Corps and other distinguished guests arrive.

10:10 a.m. - Prince William and his brother and best man Prince Harry leave their father's residence Clarence House.

10:20 a.m. - Members of foreign royal families begin to arrive at the Abbey. Middleton's mother Carole and brother James will leave the Goring Hotel.

10:25 a.m. - Junior members of the British royal family leave Buckingham Palace.

10:35 a.m. - William's uncles Prince Edward and Prince Andrew and his aunt Princess Anne will leave the palace with members of their families.

10:38 a.m. - William's father Prince Charles will leave Clarence House with his wife Camilla.

10:40 a.m. - Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip are the last royals to leave.

10:48 a.m. - The bridesmaids and page boys leave the Goring.

10:51 a.m. - Middleton and her father Michael leave the hotel.

11 a.m. - The marriage service begins.

12:15 p.m. - William and Middleton will leave the Abbey in a carriage and return to Buckingham Palace followed by other senior members of the royal family and escorts from mounted cavalry in full dress uniform.

12:30 p.m. - The newlyweds arrive at the palace.

12:40 p.m. - The other royals, both British and foreign, arrive back at the palace.

1:25 p.m. - The queen, William and Middleton and their families appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

1:30 p.m. A fly past by aircraft from the Royal Air Force and World War Two planes from the Battle of Britain Flight.


I hope you enjoy the ceremonies. I know I will. Come back here after and let me know your thoughts on the whole affair, okay?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Video: Driving Through the Flood

It took a long time to upload, but here is the video I filmed of our Apr 24, Easter morning flood.

The first part shows how we got the car across. The van's low and the water's rising. We needed it on the other side in case we had an emergency in the ensuing days. 

The second part is where I film from inside the truck - twice. First going to church, then coming back. Let's just say it was easier to film than drive the truck. On Sunday afternoon the guys went out and marked the edges of the road so we could see where we were going. But that was after this video.

Sask Farm Flooded Out

For the beginning of our flood watch, see my post before this one, Operation Wading Boots.

Stayed tuned for more fun when we take the paddle boat out for a spin.

(And please forgive the lack of a smooth transition from normal to zoom on my little Lumix because I have to stop filming to zoom in and then start again. I lose 5 seconds every time I shut down and start again.)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Operation Wading Boots

My new blog header is the scene that greeted us on Easter morning (Resurrection Day). Camera in hand, boots on my feet, I walked straight down the driveway and stopped at the corner where we turn onto the road. That's where I'm standing in this photo, looking west:

I turned to the north and took this photo of our road. Or at least where our road was supposed to be:

Since our van is very low, we needed to get it to the other side before the water level rose any higher. Nelson called the crew into action as spotters. For this dangerous work, Nick donned Nelson's waders. The boys were primed with purpose.

They walked down the road while Nelson drove the van slowly behind them. He left it parked in a safe zone and walked back. It was Easter morning and we needed to get ready for church.

We then hopped into the truck and drove across. I filmed this epic crossing and will post it here shortly. Once across, we switched to the van and went to church repeating the scenario on the way back.

The rare photo opportunities of this temporary lake beneath the western sky is amazing. I marvel at the blessed beauty of this spring.

And look... more snow! There is still lots of snow hiding on the north side of buildings, under trees and in the shadows to keep the water running for many days yet. I stood near our apple trees to take this photo. The road and driveway on the right.

More photos and videos on the way.

So, what's the weather like where you are? Did you get caught in the tornadoes? Live where you're crying for rain? Let me know and I'll pray for you.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Water Covers Our Road

After weeks of waiting through a roller coaster of temperatures, the weather has warmed enough to set off the final meltdown. Here's the sequence of events...

Thurs, Apr 21st at 8 am - The water is one foot lower than the road on the right of the photo. Note the level of water on the fence posts.

Good Friday, Apr 22 at 1 pm - The water is level with the road. A rural municipal councillor stopped at the farm about an hour earlier to say the flood was running over a road a mile away and would reach us soon.

A mere 3 hrs later, the water had crossed the road, aided by the powerful prairie wind and damage had already begun to the road's surface.

4 hrs later the wind dropped at the 8 pm sunset.  The air filled with bird sounds and rushing water.

7 am this morning, Sat, Apr 23rd, we heard the water rushing across the road as soon as we went outside. More water, more damage. Where the dirt had washed away, it left huge rocks - as much as 8" across - lying just beneath the surface.

7 pm tonight, we jumped into hubby's 4WD and went to check the water at 2 different culverts within a mile from home, but our road was the only one under water. We'd been red-flagged sometime during the day. With some places more than 6" deep, the drive down our road was scary. But JJ couldn't wait to get out of the truck and experience the water for himself.

As usual, the wind dropped which allowed for some spectacular photos. Normally if I took a pic from this spot, you wouldn't see a drop of water.

Tomorrow is Easter morning. Resurrection Day. Amen!

I wonder what the water will be like when we head out to church. Nelson thinks the van can make it across, but I have my misgivings since the van is low and the water high. I guess it depends on what happens overnight. We'll see...


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Porcupine Damage

Spring has been a slow melt which is good because many parts of Saskatchewan are flooding even with the cold weather. I've been out taking pictures every day and am working on a neat 'flood' post for you but I wanted to show you photos of the porcupine since it looks like we've seen the last of him for this year.

Several times we found him in the trees, like this photo from April 7th:

But unlike the first day when he scooted down the tree and left, in the succeeding days he only froze when I stopped to take his picture. A good photo op, but no munching action.

On Apr 9th he moved to what would be his highest point before leaving us:

One time I looked out my kitchen window at the right moment to see him slip and hang by his front paws for a second before pulling himself back up. As you can see, he's such a cuddly looking animal...

Apparently the little critter was really out on this limb and at one point he crawled out so far Nelson saw the branch curve down until the porcupine scuttled back.

However, he left plenty of evidence of his visits behind in the manner of branches stripped of bark.

This isn't good because it leaves the tree susceptible to insects which bring disease. And that's if the tree manages to stay alive without its protective barrier against the harsh and drying prairie wind.

Here's the batch of wolf willows at the end of the driveway where we first saw the porcupine.

So, he may be a cute critter, but he's not cuddly and he certainly isn't nice!

If you want to relax for a minute, here's a video I took of some snow geese flying over my head on Apr 7th before the clouds hid the sun and the porcupine was in another tree close to the garage. Turn the volume up if you want to hear the geese. A special day - no wind!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy Dancin'

Last Friday the phone rang while I was writing. It's still too cold to work out in my office so I'm in the living room for a few more weeks. Nelson sat behind me playing a video game, but since he has an aversion for talking on the phone I reached for it. My pulse increased when I spotted the area code because it wasn't a Cdn one. Nor was it an 800, 888 or that one will all zeros.

When the caller said she was Ane Mulligan from the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), I knew it was good news about a contest. I'd spent March entering 5 different writing contests and writers volunteer as coordinators and judges for many different contests. Of the 5 contests I entered, the earliest I expected a response was around Apr 18th from Duel on the Delta.

But Ane called on Apr 8th. I was so excited. And confused. She said I'd semi-finaled. I missed the 'semi' part because writing contests don't have 'semi-finalists'... you go from a contestant to the finals. Even in big contests like the Genesis where there are 60 or so entries in a category like mine - Historical Romance.

When Ane said 'semi-finalist', I heard 'finalist'. She went into details about what I needed to do when my manuscript was returned in a couple days and the deadline for the final round. I read her words... but I was still confused because she hadn't actually said the name of the contest yet.

So I finally blurted out, this is for the Fool for Love, right? It was the first contest that came to mind because it was the last I'd entered.

Ane said no, I semi-finaled in the Genesis.

The Genesis? How can I describe my feeling when she said that one word... a thousand horses galloping through me veins... a landslide of boulders tumbling down a mountain... freefalling before pulling the cord to open your parachute...

She explained that the Genesis had changed. My entry had scored high enough to be in the top 20% of my category and would now go on to a new semi-final round. I know I sounded like a dope. And if I didn't know Ane, I'd believe she thought I was a dope. Thank goodness we've met and she knows better. I hope.
PhotobucketThe word is... I'm officially a semi-finalist in the Genesis and my entry is against 14 others in this next round as there were 73 in the Historical Romance category. The announcement for the finalists will come in mid-May.

To keep myself grounded, I'm telling myself it's no big deal - just another step in a contest. But I've received enough personal congratulary emails from writing friends - some from my favourite authors - to realize this is a big deal. It's the Genesis. And it may be the only call I get from the Genesis people. (Not that I don't believe in my writing, but judges are readers and not every reader likes what I write or how I write it.)

So please allow me to gloat over this 'call'. Breathe Anita ... just breathe...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Book: When All My Dreams Come True

When all My Dreams Come True (Colorado Runaway Series Book 1) by Janelle Mowery, Harvest House Publishers, Feb 2011

This book packs a wallop between its pages. The story is set among the mountains of 1872 Colorado Territory. Lots of space with plenty of rocks and trees to offer rustlers something to hide behind.

The story starts in the middle of an action scene and there’s plenty more between the pages on account of all the bank robbers and rustlers. Suspense and suspicion are maintained so you don’t really know who the bad guys are or how they’re involved until the end.

I like that the heroine, Bobbie McIntyre, wore trousers in her day-to-day work as a wrangler. And that she could shoot better than most men. It didn’t take long for me to see the kind of woman Bobbie was and although so many things changed over the course of the book, she stayed true to her character.

Jace Kincaid is a very likable hero – even when he faltered and I wanted to swat him on the side of his head. But his actions fit his character profile and I knew why he did what he did even if I didn’t agree with his reasoning. His action certainly upped the tension between the characters and increased the suspense.

The roller coaster romance takes us on a ride where our emotions heat up and cool down only to ride higher, faster, and longer as we reach the crest, then plummet in despair wondering if Bobbie and Jace will ever get together on the same track.

And through the story, the Gospel is unraveled to Bobbie who doesn’t realize she’s searching for a heavenly as well as physical home.

This book will appeal to anyone who likes stories about tomboys, Salvation, and the Wild West.

If you'd like to join in the discussion about this book, please join us at Inkwell Inspirations.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Our Witchdoctors Are Too Weak

Book Review: Our Witchdoctors Are Too Weak by Davey & Marie Jank, Monarch Books, 2011

Well now, that title doesn't sound like my normal reading fare... it's because it isn't. But it is a treasure!

Davey Jank is a very humorous guy and writes in an entertaining style that enthralled even my 12 yr old son. Lots of creepy crawlies, rodents and aligators. 

Steadfast in his faith, Davey sets out to learn the language and customs of an Amazon tribe who requested missionaries to teach them about 'God's talk'. Davey faces witchcraft in action, tribal traditions and dangerous situations while struggling to learn the Wilo language.

Yes, yes, but what about Marie? When does he meet her? That was my burning question since Davey enters the jungle as a single man. I scrutinized every name looking for the beautiful lady on the cover. And I have to admit that as much as I enjoyed Davey's stories of faith and perseverance against the dark powers of this world, I thought he failed miserably as a romance writer. Heh.

Although it isn't a guide, Our Witchdoctors Are Too Weak would interest anyone who ever wondered what a missionary's life is about. It entails some of the harsh decisions missionaries face while preparing people to receive God's Word as well as the joys of salvation. And even if you've never had the urge to travel this foreign path, this book will bless you with hope in the knowledge that the Gospel is being spread.

I'm blogging at Inkwell Inspirations today about this book and my thoughts on missionaries. You're welcome to come over and join in the discussion. The question of the day can be answered here or there, wherever you feel most comfortable...

Have you considered being a missionary? Why or why not? I'd really like to know.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Give Me a Break

It's April 3rd today, right? At least I thought it was when I awoke at 4 am and started writing. But then hubby got up at 5, looked out the window and said, "You should get a picture of this."

Of what? A deer? A porcupine? A skunk? No! It's more snow! So here's the pic I took of his truck...

The next pic shows him going to work at 06:30, The sun should've been up at this time. But nope, too much snow blocking it. Nelson weaved a bit heading down the driveway as he surfed through the drifts, but he's been gone 3 hrs and I haven't heard from him so I guess he's okay. Nothing like driving on soft, slushy roads, eh.

So what is this? Payback for the April Fool's Joke we played over at the Inkwell on Friday? But it was so much fun!

Whatever it is, it's kept us from church today. That's about 6" of the heavy wet stuff on top of a couple inches of thawed out mud. The temp was 0c (freezing point) at 6:30 and is now 3 degrees warmer. Ugh. What a mess! And no way my 2WD van can get through.

On one of my writer loops I read that someone was mowing their lawn yesterday.

Wanna come find mine?