Monday, December 30, 2013

Running Wild

The Post-Christmas mania at Best Buy was worse than "Black Friday".  We ventured into the chaos to return a point-and-shoot camera that hadn't lived up to its hype.  We gravitated towards the Apple displays.  Lo and behold, we came home with a new Ipad for Rosemary!

Couldn't wait to play with it.  
Scrabble download.  
Sudoku download.  
Skype download.  
And then the books..... Now I won't have to carry a trunk-load of books with me to the Bahamas.

I started reading a sample of an action-thriller and HAD to pay the $1.99 to see what happened next.  I was swept into the storyline immediately and before I knew it, several hours had passed.  Yes, it's just like reading a real book.  It's is even better than a real book though.  When I came to a new concept, I just tapped the screen and got to learn all about "Parkour Free Running".

Hubby and I call them "Flying Ninjas" when we see those Dragon movies on TV.  I had thought it was all trick photography, but this makes me rethink.  Check out the video and be prepared to cringe, gasp, shriek and laugh.  You'll love it!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

White Christmas

The two-day snow storm is over, for now.  The Neighbourhood is buried!

Inside, we are snug and warm, getting into the Christmas Spirit...

...the Spirit of giving.

As we celebrate the third week of Advent,  may your hearts make room for the Prince of Peace.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Swimming in the ice and snow....

I thought our family was brave, strong, courageous for BBQ'ing on the back deck all year long, in rain, in snow, in wind....  Just look at these Jocks swimming in the ice and snow, in the water all year long!


Sunday, December 8, 2013

I'm Different

I am different.  Sure...there are others like me, but I was the "different" one in my family.

It started, and was encouraged, when I began walking and talking as a precocious toddler, the late-born, blond and bonnie lassie to doting parents.

-Isn't she adorable?
-Doesn't that beat all? Look at her go!
-Come here, Sweetheart...let me bask in the sunshine of your radiance.  (not really, but the message was loud and clear.)

I was a walking, talking, 11 month old, show-stealer everywhere I went--to fashion shows, weddings, even to the local pub, of all places!

But then, things changed--not me, but the world around me.  A baby brother, followed two years later by a baby sister.  My world no longer had time or energy to dote on my antics.  Now it was:
-Rosemary, sit still.
-Rosemary, cant you be quiet for two minutes?
-Rosemary, go in the other room and read a book.

The indifference that now met my vibrant explosions of colour and dance only spurred me on to ever-greater decibels of song and pulsing beats of marching.  There were no inhibiting checks to filter ideas that flew thru my head and immediately out of my mouth.  Curious became nosey. Lively became manic.  Expressive became look-at-me-demanding.  I was a one-person band in every room, every situation.  The "children should be seen and not heard" refrain punctuated every performance, deflating any momentary bubble of focus in my direction.

It is only now, in my 60's, as I watch my grandchildren and their parents interacting, that I am seeing myself this way.  It used to be my opinion that I had always been "different", "creative", "artistic", "spontaneous".  Today's catch-words are "busy", "inattentive", "uninhibited", "loud".

When I chose bright yellows, oranges and batik blues for a quilting square last week, the class leader intuited I was a "moving kind of girl, choosing fabric combos that had lots of movement".

Good grief!  Different again.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

For Everything, There is a Season

Yes, the seasons are changing.  

We left Maine on a chilly, but glorious, sunny day.  For the first half hour of the drive home, I kept begging for the car to stop so I could get "just one more" photo.  We found the perfect, red blueberry fields.  This year was my first opportunity to see their festive cloaks and I couldn't get enough.

Although all the leaves haven't fallen yet, we are getting buried in them, back home in Southern Ontario.  10 bags full and counting.....

 The deep, Home Depot bags are what our very particular garbage man WILL collect, as long as they are not over filled, or too heavy.
Hubby, ever compliant to the sanitation department's wishes, 
has a routine and ritual for doing things according to the rules....

All summer, our ancient lawn mower had one problem after another.  New cables.  New levers.  New plugs.  The men in the family took turns fixing and babying it along all season.

Yesterday, first one and then the second front wheels fell off.

Mr. Determination is using it anyway.
Although we are luckily enjoying above freezing temperatures today, it won't be a surprise when we wake up one day soon to a white world covered in snow.  Shovelling snow mixed with leaves is nobody's favourite thing to do.  We are making hay while the sun shines, so to speak.

This weekend was the annual Niagara Life Christmas Home Tour.  I toured yesterday and volunteered today.  I got so inspired and into the spirit of it all, I came home and decorated with Yuletide gloss and glitter.  As soon as Hubby raked away the leaves and disposed of the Halloween Pumpkin from the front door, up went my green boughs and pine cones.

Last spring, when I came home for Easter, the by-then-totally-dead-brown-and-withered wreaths were still hanging on the front door.  Lesson learned:  don't put up more than you can take down before you go away, even though it is still holiday season for another 3 weeks.

I moved Grandma's Cape Rosier Racer sleigh and the snow shoes to inside the front door, festooned with a big red velvet bow.  That's about it...for now.

How about you?  Are you stringing your lights up outside before it snows?  Or do you wait until mid-December and freeze your fingers off?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Maine In November

As our cruising buddies are already heading south, we took off for the East Coast.  Again, it was a two-day drive, but this time it was in the rain and mostly in the dark.  As we were trying to turn on the hydro and electricity once we arrived, we were befuddled. The low rumble of the neighbour's generator finally gave it away.  No Power.  Nada!

A short walk toward Bateman's Cove/Sand Beach revealed the problem.  The 90 km/hr winds had taken out an old spruce.  No, Chrissy, not the widow-maker birch you feared all summer. They are still standing, lurking, waiting.....

A mere 22 hours later, the Bangor Hydro repair men sang out the window of their speeding truck...
-Only another 15 minutes until you get your power back!

Power meant the pumps would work, which meant we would have water, which meant we could flush the toilets (by then nearly brimming with delight). The joys of country living!!!

Saturday dawned sunny and bright.  Although we were quite chilly inside, the sun through the A-frame windows warmed us up nicely in no time.

Visiting Maine in November is quite different from summer visits.
First of all, there are many fewer cars and hikers on the roads (read: practically none)  and the year-round residents seem to come out of hiding, taking over the whole place.

Case in point:  I have never seen this before, although I have heard it happens from time to time...

She says she puts it on her garden.

As per the year-round residents, there are so many crows, but no Bald Eagle sightings so far.

The all-consuming quest for blueberries in August is replaced by the search for the best red-fields-photo.  I did see the "best one", but we couldn't stop to get the shot.  Today I tried my best and got some good ones, but nothing like the totally red field I saw driving in the rain on our way in.
(at Polly and Don's)

(on the way to Blue Hill)

(thru the woods and up the hill across the road from our camp)

The fall scenery is spectacular.
enlarge to further enjoy....

Johnny Apple Seed must have hiked thru this part of Maine in his day...
There are several trees gone wild right across the road from our property.
Maybe it's time for apple sauce?

It is the first week of hunting season.  That means....Neon Orange on anybody that wants to go out-and-about for the rest of the month, man and beast.

I've been trying to get this shot for three years...a morning in summer is spectacular.  However, the green growth and the bog are deterrents, along with the threat of snakes and quicksand my husband alludes to.  In November, I could get close enough to take a shot and be happy.

Another seasonal change is that we get to stay in the Chalet which is rented out in the summers to our many repeat visitors.  Every time we take up residence, we find issues.  This time it was a never-ending-running toilet and a dripping faucet in the upstairs bathroom.



And...yes, we need new, and more, wine glasses in the Chalet.  One thing our guests can be assured of:  your hosts live here too.  :)

How is November treating you guys so far?  Are you gearing up for Thanksgiving?  Are you already shovelling snow?  Has the Channel Crossing given you grief?  Will Spring be a sunny and warm season in Oz?  Tell us how it is for you.  I am revelling in the change of seasons and trying to keep warm doing it---layers.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Why Don't You Be More Careful When You Know You Are So Sloppy?

Thanksgiving was a total success.  All the kids came from out west.  I was completely organized.  I had lists and timelines, which I followed meticulously.  The turkey was delicious, the stuffing superb, the Pumpkin Pie and Whipped Cream didn't last more than one day!  Everything was perfect...

...until...after the feast.

Everyone lent a helping hand.  Clean-up went smoothly, in a timely fashion.  That's when it happened.  A two cup bowl of turkey grease fell down my front.  The bib apron I was wearing took most of it, but the skirt of my brand new dress was longer than the apron.  Thankfully I had ditched my high heels hours before.  Squeals and shrieks amid the laughter and tears.  What a colossal mess!  The apron and stockings went into the trash with the paper towels.  The dress went for professional attention.

And so, I needed a new apron.  Maybe three, just in case.

When I broke my toe running bare foot, Dad asked me, in a very condescending tone, "Why don't you be more careful when you know you are so sloppy?"  It has become the go-to-line for every similar event.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Frost Is On The Pumpkin has finally happened;  we have relented and put on the heat.  When Hubby came into my office to find me fully clothed, boots and hand warmers on, hoody up over my head and my fleece bathrobe over top of it all, it was a no-brainer.  Autumn has made its annual appearance.  Thanksgiving has come and gone.  Halloween is not far off.

I remember having to choose Halloween costumes that would fit over snow suits when I was little, but that was a long time ago and I have moved since then, a number of times, and always in a southerly/warmer direction.  In the twilight of my years, (64 and counting) it behooves me to keep track of the thermal gradient in my neighbourhood, taking all necessary precautions to ward off frostbite and death by hypothermia.  And so....we have put on the heat, cranked it up big time.

As I am warmer now, I would like to share the beautiful autumn of Southern Ontario with my blogging buddies.

 Last Sunday, Hubby and I found a country road we had never driven before.  A total delight! It was like hiking in the woods - 4 wheel driving.

I was surprised to see this pair of shoes nailed to the tree beside the road, in the middle of nowhere.  Maybe they belonged to a gentleman who liked to hike there.  They looked like they still had some wear left in them.  I am postulating that said gentleman no longer has use for them and they have been put up to remember him by.  hmmmmm.....

Queen Anne's Lacy in the middle of a field of soy beans.

I had to use my zoom lens to capture this alpaca.  He was busy munching windfalls under the apple tree and would not be enticed to come closer.

This was a beautiful barn in the distance.   When I got close enough to capture these wild grapes, it appeared the barn was a derelict.  

See how pretty the barn looked from far away?  You probably have to click on the image to enlarge it to fully appreciate...

My Granddaughter from Alberta was enthralled with the Maple leaves when she came to visit for Thanksgiving.  Maple trees do not grow where she lives.  She sees lots of yellow during autumn, but not reds like we have here.

 Two things I have been planning to cook up in the kitchen this fall were Pumpkin Soup and Pumpkin Butter.  For that, I needed cooking pumpkins.  They sold out before Thanksgiving in our local grocery stores.  A trip to the Howell Family Pumpkin Farm was in order.

Who knew there were sooooo many different kinds of Pumpkins?

The stripped Mexican Pumpkin.

The Cinderella Pumpkin.

The creepy Peanut Pumpkins.

The Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkins and the Pie/cooking Pumpkins and things that are not pumpkins, but closely related.....

This time of year in the Niagara Peninsula is all about the grape harvest.  

This cool split-rail fence just begged to be photographed and shared.

Here's to the last glorious days before the clocks go back for daylight savings and we live in the gloom of winter for the next many moons.  Enjoy the change of seasons, Everyone.