Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Harvest Markets

It's official, at least in my mind; it's Autumn.  The nights are cooler, I've brought out the bigger duvet for the bed, I've begun wearing scarves and boots, and saints preserve us, jackets!!!!  Saturday was the beginning of the Grape and Wine Festival, here in Southern Ontario and I have started haunting the downtown Farmers' Market.

Don't you just love the bounty of harvest?  The rich colours?  The fresh fruits and vegetables?  The people???

As I was focusing on the flowers, I discovered someone was smiling and laughing at me....

My friend Brian!  Chowing down on Pepe's Mexican Delicacies.

The ubiquitous Giant Zucchini!

Autumn speaks apples in Southern Ontario.

Harvest ushers in Thanksgiving and Halloween.

Breads and pastries....lunch everywhere I look.


Look!  There's Tom, another friend, doing lunch!  



I'm drooling!

and now....
because it's Wednesday....

Here is my submission for the contest:

Enlarge to get the full feel of the mini pumpkins.

I love the market on a cold autumn morning.  Do you do breakfast or lunch at the market?
Or do you just go for the ambiance and to meet friends, like me?

Monday, September 10, 2012

My Splendid Summer in Maine

Are you like me?  
A summer person?  
One who would welcome perpetual summer?

I can hardly believe that I am home again in Ontario and summer is fast drawing to a close.  This video is a composite of my favourite photos of the season.I will be watching this video all winter long, just waiting to go back next year!
 Be sure to use the "full screen" mode to fully Enjoy.

What was your favourite part of summer, what will you miss most and what are you looking forward to for next year????

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Hippie Revolution

Remember my bewildered amazement on coming home to a new car in our driveway that I had not been consulted about?  Well, it's taken awhile, but I am ready to tell you all about it.

Meet the PriusV!  A hybrid that surprises us all with its many amenities and high-power functionality.
What a feeling to drive using little or NO GAS!  Get the car rolling, keep the rpm's down and cruise around town on electric motor.

Check out the Toyota Site and learn how it works:

  • How Hybrids Work

    How Hybrids Work

    Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive is a full hybrid because it can operate in three distinct modes–gas only, electric motor only, or a combination of the two. It doesn't have to be plugged in–ever.
  • Benefits of Hybrid Technology

    Benefits of Hybrid Technology

    Fewer emissions and pollutants*... More kilometres on less fuel... power and performance second to none... and a ride with the quiet smoothness of a luxury vehicle.
  • The Future of Hybrids

    The Future of Hybrids

    Hybrids are here to stay with the technology being integrated into more and more of the Toyota line up. At present, that includes the Prius, Prius c, Prius v, Camry Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid.

The PriusV has become widely popular.  We kept "seeing ourselves" everywhere in New England.  The Yankee parsimony character trait makes the Prius hybrid a prized commodity there.  We have consistently been getting over 70 km. to the gallon of fuel.  What a savings.  We made the 1182 km., 12 hour trip home from Cape Rosier on less than 20 gallons of gas!  The savings on fuel costs and the lower polluting gas emissions alone make this car one I am happy to own.  But there's more....

It looks nice, inside and out.
The center console takes a little getting used to.  There is so much to watch and play with.  My advice would be to read the 2" thick book on the computer system and navigate around the technology while you are safely parked.  Yes, you can start it up and drive off, but it's distracting at first with so much going on in the right of your peripheral vision.

The GPS system is the best I've ever used.  The maps are large enough to see at a glance and the split screen when you come to directed turns en route is very helpful.

There is lots of room for people...

Our son is 6'7" and he has lots of comfortable room both in the driver's seat and as a passenger in the back.  The rest of us mortals can REALLY stretch out.

All our "stuff" fits in, either to and from Home Depot or on our way back and forth on vacation.

The split back seats allow for customized storage.

There are a number of funny things about this car that I just have to mention.  Each of the drivers in our family has walked away after parking this vehicle and LEFT IT RUNNING.  When it is in electric mode, the car is virtually silent.  Because it has no ignition key (just a fob you have to have close by, like in your pocket or purse) it is so easy to forget that we have to turn the car off.  It only has to happen once and then you learn.

The patrons at the table next to us in a Seafood Restaurant in Maine saw we had our dog with us on the patio.  They rushed off to rescue their dog from their car and brought him to lunch too. 

"We left the air conditioning on so he wouldn't burn up" they said.  

What is your car?  

"A PriusV".  

Yes, they run so silently, using no gas at all, one can leave the dog inside with the air conditioner blowing full blast and no one even notices.  We've done that several times.  The question becomes, "Will someone steal the car, or the dog?  And which would we miss most?"

Hubby's favourite feature is the radar controlled cruise control.  Let me try to explain.  Just like in other cars, highway driving can be made more seamless by engaging the CC.  The PriusV takes it a step further, by accommodating for traffic in front of it, either slowing down to the speed of the vehicle ahead or resuming to the set speed once the traffic allows.  On one trip from home to London, Ontario, Hubby never touched the gas or the brake for over an hour.

Then there is the park assist feature.  No one in our family has had the nerve to try (should I say "trust") it yet.  We need to spend time with the book and a deserted parking lot to practice.  Suffice it to say, when the book says the car will take over the steering wheel and gas pedal....well.....  

One feature that we all love, is the blue tooth telephone and email reader.  Calls come in on our cell phone and get piped over the stereo speakers.  Emails get read to us as they come in by a lovely female voice, which can be a tad funny when we know the man who sent it to us.  HAHAHA.  

-We didn't know he had a female side!  :)

And now on to the Hippie connotation.  Back in the day when electric cars first came on the scene, the politically correct, environmentalists were all over them.  The forerunners of today's high tech vehicles were slow, under-powered, unreliable and just plain geeky.  When people found out we'd bought a hybrid, we got the "tree-hugger" monicker more than once.  When people found out about our mileage, our smooth comfort ride and all the amenities, they changed their tune.  No hippies here, thank you very much. Just good, common sense drivers.

Have you thought about owning a hybrid?  Take a test drive and see for yourself how much fun being Green can be.