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Grandma Milly

February 3rd, 2008  · stk

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.

March 29, 1910 - February 3, 2008

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"!)

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Updated: 3-Feb-2008
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Filed in:Alexandra

State of the Art

January 19th, 2008  · stk

Alex's art has changed dramatically, over the past year. The growth in her artwork from 3 years to 4 years is amazing. Have a look back at her accomplishments, in this retrospective: "Alex: A Year of Art" (which also includes a pure-CSS 'popInfo' slide show).

Alex: A Year of Art

A simple typo would change the title to "A Year o fArt"! LOL! You've got to love English, eh?

Hey, teasing aside, I love my little girl! It's more challenging some times than others, however. I'm thinking of this morning, when, at 6:15 AM, I woke up with her face 2 millimeters from mine.

"Daddy, Daddy," she said. The sound was muffled through my ear plugs, but I heard her say, "You need to wake up."

"Why?" I asked, still very groggy, "What's the matter?"

"I have to watch T.V.," she said, matter-of-factly.

"Ah, no you don't," I replied, "For one, it's too early and for two, you're going to day-care today."

"Whaaaa!" she cried, running out of the room and leaving me with an unexpected, loud and way-too-early wake-up call.

Even with the temper tantrums and the repetitive questions, Alex (also known as "the Oop", a family nickname) is generally a pretty good kid. If she's not pestering the cat, watching television, playing computer games, turning her room into a disaster zone or "helping" us with tasks, Alex can be found doing artwork. She LOVES art! (What kid doesn't?)

It's been interesting to watch her artwork change, over the course of the past year. She's now almost four and a half years old. She's becoming a "big girl" and it's starting to show in her art.

For one thing, Crayola crayons are less often broken into bits and used as "soup" or "kids" or "whatever" in her play. They're less often found lying about the house, as they're now utilized for their intended purpose - art - and kept in her plastic crayola tub.

This has been a nice change, but it's not as remarkable as what she's doing with the crayons. A year ago, she was learning to color BETWEEN the lines. After she mastered that, it was time to learn color-appropriate drawing. (You know ... elephants are grey, not purple ... plant leaves are green, not multi-colored, etc.) During the year, she began to experiment with free-form drawings. Then, this fall, she drew her first "object" (a "portrait" of Tuxedo, our cat). Soon after, other things began to follow. She went through a "flower" stage. Now she's starting to draw PEOPLE!

In fact, I'm now the proud owner of a self portrait she did, where she drew herself and then me! An "Dad 'n Oop" picture! (Be still my beating heart)!

These developments are amazing to behold and I know that sooner than we can blink, she'll be all grown up and out of the house. I'm already ruing that day, but I try to make each of these moments last, because they are so precious.

As much as I love my little girl and her art, we don't save any of it. I don't want to end up with drawers full of old art. Instead, I scan them into digital files and save them (along with our monthly photos). We think it's a great way to keep her art without taking up physical storage and then we've got a chronologically stored history of her artistic development!

It was after looking back at her art, over the course of the year, that her development became apparent. In an effort to demonstrate her accomplishments and to showcase her work, I've put together a "popInfo" "popInfo" CSS Technique. popInfo is a pure XHTML/CSS method that makes this pop-up information box. It's cross-browser and standards-compliant code (no javascript). It saves page real estate, adds information, interactivity and is search engine optimized. princess oop art Learn more about "popInfo" by clicking the link (or anywhere inside the popInfo box). <-- More "Alex Art"! This drawing is from the "princess series" (she was - still is - enamored by princesses of all kinds). I've probably scanned 20 or so "princess" drawings! show. It includes 13-months of her artwork, from January 2007 to today. There's a representative picture from each month, plus a brief description of each piece.

In fact, the background on this page is one of her recent works. It's titled, "Sidney" (she's the 13-year-old girl that lives next door, who often babysits Alex). You can see that she's now combining her "flowers" with "people"! I wonder what will be next?

To see the "Year of Art" slideshow (or another way of using the "popInfo" pure-CSS technique) .... carry on ....


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Updated: 19-Jan-2008
Web View Count: 39121 viewsLast Web Update: 19-Jan-2008

Christmas Magic

December 28th, 2007  · stk

Alex gets a visit from Santa. Video of Alex's excitement & joy from a personal visit from Santa (courtesy of the North Cedar Fire Hall). Engine 1 arrives with lights & sirens, then Santa climbs down, with a gift for one very excited little girl! (A bit of Christmas magic)

Alex 'n Santa - Christmas Magic

The Oop turned four years old in October and she is fully into the swing and spirit of Christmas. It was a special holiday for us and the guys at the North Cedar Fire Hall made it even more so with a bit of Christmas magic.

First, Oop and Dad joined the other volunteer firefighters and their families for an old-fashioned hay ride, through town, on Sunday night. Candy canes, hot chocolate, music and lights made for a festive, although chilly, trip.

Then came Christmas eve.

And Santa Claus!


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Updated: 30-Dec-2007
Web View Count: 16955 viewsLast Web Update: 30-Dec-2007

The Girls

November 27th, 2007  · stk

Our baby chicks are now 8 weeks old! See how they've grown, learn where they were born, their breed, what great layers they are and see their new (unfinished) coop.

8 Week-old Chickens: An Update

Our four chickens are eight weeks old. (For those that missed it, we got 4 baby chicks, in early October).

At first, we kept them in a file-size, cardboard box. A 100-watt lightbulb kept things a toasty 85°F for the fragile tweeters. Gradually, we reduced the wattage down to 40-watts.

Just like human babies, the baby chicks ate a lot, slept a lot (and pooped a lot). The peeped a bunch too. The louder they peeped, the unhappier they were. They became used to people, as we pulled them out and let them bumble around the house (till they pooped, at which time, it was 'back to the box').

We discovered their breed and even where they were born. They've long since outgrown their cardboard box and (soon) will be moving into their new digs.

To get the scoop ... read on ...

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Updated: 23-Nov-2010
Web View Count: 79163 viewsLast Web Update: 23-Nov-2010

Trick or Treat

October 31st, 2007  · stk

My hurried post about our Halloween festivities. Dad and the Oop carve pumpkins

Alex is four years old and this will be her second year trick-or-treating on Vancouver Island. This year, Alex will be going door-to-door dressed as a unicorn. It's interesting to note that in Canada, the full-length costumes are a big hit (as they keep the young ones warm) on typically frigid Halloween nights. When Scott was a kid, in California, you just tossed a sheet over your head and BOOM! ... you were a ghost!

To finish the ghoulish tale ... you'll need to punch "read full story".

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Updated: 7-Nov-2007
Web View Count: 19642 viewsLast Web Update: 7-Nov-2007