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My grandmother, Mildred (Hoyt) Miller "Grandma Milly", passed away today around noon. She would have been 98 years old on March 29th. Rest in peace, Grandma. I love you.
The last email I had from my Grandma Milly was on February 12, 2007. She sent us a Hallmark online greeting card. She was thoughtful that way, always sending cards, notes and emails. The amazing thing, of course, was that at 96 years of age she was using a computer (even more amazing, considering she had advanced macular degeneration and could barely see)!
But that's my Grandma Milly. Always outspoken, full of spit and vinegar, having a huge zest for life and an indefatigable spirit.
After a year in the Glencroft Care Center, Grandma Milly passed from our lives today, around noon. Rest in peace, Grandma. You will be missed and you are loved. (I shall heap upon Alex, tall stories about "my favorite grandmother"!)
Have a look at my first pass attempt to find a pure-CSS photo gallery that be displayed with in-line text. Display as many images as you want to impose on your visitors! Demonstration uses family photos from Christmas photos
First-pass at a Pure-CSS PZ3 Photo Gallery
Around Christmas, I had an idea for a way to display a multitude of images in a pure-CSS photo-zoom gallery, utilizing Photo-caption Zoom v3 (PZ3).
Many people like PZ3, but some try to use it to build a photo gallery. I designed it to add zoomed images (and an optional caption), into XHTML pages. While it works great - is easy to deploy, saves page real-estate, looks nice - it doesn't handle multitudes of images very well (at least, not "out of the box").
I've finally taken the time to play with it a bit (it took most of yesterday morning to hack through the details ... and then most of the afternoon and night to put it all together into a demonstration).
If you're into CSS, like PZ3 ... or want to see 40+ family Christmas photos ... read on! (Dial-up visitors beware ... image data ahead!)
"Pugwis" is the name of the 18-foot, 'Fraser Raider', double-hulled aluminum ocean-worthy boat that's now sitting in our front yard. It may be ugly, but it's a bloody tank! Come round for a peek at the newest addition to the family ...
The New Yard Ornament
Maternal grandparents visited Alex recently, bringing something with them - a boat named "Pugwis". "Pug-the-Tug" is an 18-foot Fraser Raider, built in the early 80's. It's a double-hulled, welded aluminum, shallow-veed 'landing craft'. It's substantially more sturdy than it is aesthetically pleasing.
Originally used as a work boat for hauling supplies and equipment to the 40-acre family property and cabin on the east-facing shore of Indian Arm, it's been some time since it's seen service. With rising moorage costs, it was relocated to dry storage, but with rising Vancouver-area land prices, even this was becoming expensive.
During the evening in which "Pugwis" arrived, we were treated to an oral history of the steadfast aluminum craft and the beauty of the property (which I've not yet visited). Lubricated with vintage grape nectar, we learned that the original name was going to be "Modnoc", a basackwards name that describes perfectly, a vessel which holds sea-fairing chaps.
For more information and pictures about "Pugwis", read on ...
For those feeling sorry for us because we're hip-deep in snow and frosty cold weather, I can only say, "Don't be." While it doesn't look like we'll be hitting the forecasted high of 11°C (52°F), it is currently 6°C (43°F) outside. Not exactly frostbite weather and a far cry from the -8°C (17°F) that is the normal high for this time of year.
Nearly all the snow has melted off of the ground and we're barely getting below freezing at night. I'm not certain if this is a global warming trend, but regardless, our warm blood isn't complaining in the least. We even braved the dark last night, preparing barbequed beef for supper.
So Santa will be in for a rough landing on the very steeply pitched roof, tonight! Skids will scrape the bare shingles, as he comes to a grinding halt. We might even manage to crack open a shutter tonight - something we wouldn't consider most years, for fear of freezing instantly, in our half-naked and sleepy condition.
Speaking of the fat man ... Alex did, indeed, meet the cheerful guy. Yesterday, she went out with Mom and grandparents, to show the other toddlers how it's done. When her turn came to meet the big dude, she raised her arms and waited to be scooped up. He was thrilled to finally meet such a brave little girl, that he managed a chorus or two of song, while the photographer (taken aback by friendly little Alex, was caught unprepared and scrambled to get the camera set up). We think that the photo turned out wonderfully and were only partially distressed to learn that she hadn't bothered to ask for a thing. She still hasn't learned that Christmas equals presents, but I imagine that the naivety will end come next year's celebration.
Alex also managed to woo a local news production crew into filming her, as well. She made a brief appearance on the six o'clock news, though the segment was mainly about waiting until the last minute to do Christmas shopping. Alex was in the reporters arms, while she asked Mom, "Why have you waited until the last minute to go to the Mall?" Mom's answer was, "Well, because Grandma and Grandpa have just arrived from Vancouver." The camera pans to two beaming grandparents thus ending the Oop's first T.V. appearance, in which the back of her head, made a brief, public debut.
So tonight we'll turn on lights, host some cross-town friends and grandparents, watch Alex bounce around from attention, sugar and anticipation, then we'll head to bed, listening for the loud "thump" sure to wake us up from slumber!
Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
Advent Calendar: Dad helps the Oop add another ornament to the tree. Chocolate kisses in the pockets are the treat and so far, Alex has managed to keep her mitts out of pockets that are days ahead! Amazing.
Alex is almost twenty seven months old and unlike last year, is now fully engrossed and involved with Christmas. We haven't been to see "Santa" (yet), but we will, no doubt. Her Gran and Grandpa arrived from Vancouver today and so there is a gathering of family. She is excited with all the hubbub, the decorating and has been chowing down on candies from no less than TWO Advent Calendars.
Tom and Sheila, PCT friends from California, sent up a special Christmas package for the Oop. Inside, was a present to be opened "immediately". The gift? A unique, fold out book for Alex called, "The Twelve Bugs of Christmas". She has been wanting to "read" the book, non-stop, since its arrival. Of course, supervision is required or the unique fold out pages will rapidly cease to function as intended, but this doesn't dampen her spirits any!
Rachel noted that before we met Tom and Sheila, they were sending US presents in the mail (awesome chocolate chip cookies), while we were on our six-month hike. Unfortunately, we no longer get (or need, for that matter) chocolate chip cookies. Again, it seems to be that Alex gets all the fun things in the mail, but no matter ... the joy she has opening up the parcel overcomes our own disappointment. (Sort of). A BIG thank you to Tom and Sheila for their thoughtful gift and bringing joy to Oop's second Christmas ... and being a part of it, even though they're way too far away.
Our Christmas tree looks much more like a Christmas tree this year. Alex helped decorate it, adding many ornaments. She found it easier hanging ornaments having a looped string and she gave them a pass, if they had a metal hook. We held her up, to decorate at higher levels and we did notice she had a slight tendency to apply all the ornaments to a single branch!! But it's much improved over last year, when we had to move all the ornaments out of her reach, otherwise she would pluck them off the tree and into her mouth. This year - (perhaps because she helped decorate?) - she's left the tree alone and it actually STILL looks good.
The Christmas lights are on a timer and when they come on, around dusk, Alex demands that the other lights (which are not on a timer) be turned on. "Lights on," she says to Daddy, "now." We ask her, with a trailing question, "Lights oooonnn ... ?" and she pipes up with a required "pleeze".
Keeping up with the Advent Calendar hasn't been as easy as one might imagine. We typically go for a treat (chocolate kisses), after dinner, though sometimes she's so fussy about eating ... that we decide to give the treat a pass. Yes, our little angel is in the middle of her "terrible twos" and believe me, they're TERRIBLE! She can't hang the foil ornament on the wall-hung Advent Calendar, so she asks, "Daddy help?" To her credit though, she hasn't tried to pinch any chocolates, which we think is pretty amazing (especially as we've been pinching, Rachel more so than Scott, the candies that remain in cupboard). Seems our 2-year old daughter has greater self control!
She's left the presents alone too, though she's certain that each is for her and her alone. (Mostly, she's correct). After all, Christmas really IS all about the children, isn't it?