Oct 18, 2019

Shades of Grey

At first glance, this is just a moth. But actually, it was a really, really big moth, and it was clinging to the door just outside my hotel when I was at Writersfest in Kingston a few weeks ago.

Believe it or not, this was a tricky picture to take. The door the moth was clinging to was an automatic sliding door, and every time I got close enough to get my shot, the door would slide open. I ended up using the action setting on my camera and just hoped for the best. LOL


Oct 14, 2019

Mellisonant Monday

mellisonant ~ sweet-sounding

Happy Thanksgiving fellow Canadians! And to all my friends south of the lake, Happy Columbus Day!

Like a lot of people, we do our big dinner on Sunday, rather than the Monday. It’s usually our family dinner day anyway, and it’s just easier. Plus who wants to have to get on with their lives in a turkey coma? This way we have Monday to recuperate.

While most people would post a picture of their beautiful table right before everyone digs in, I never seem to have the time to stop working in the kitchen for that. So I’m going a different way. I’m showing you what it looks like after dinner’s over and the table’s been cleared:



Looks like we’ll be eating turkey for a while. In retrospect, I think a 15 pound turkey for 5 people was a little much. LOL

And yes, the grandbaby counts as a full person this year. You should have seen that kid pack away the mashed potatoes and gravy! And she still had room for pie. But then there’s always room for pumpkin pie.

This year the glazed carrots came from my own garden, as did the green beans for the green bean casserole. Made it kind of extra special for me.

Now I’m off to stuff the daughter’s turkey (she won’t touch raw meat, even with gloves LOL). She’s having a “friendsgiving” dinner tonight – she provides the turkey and her friends bring the sides.

I think in a world where tradition often gets lost by the wayside, this is one of the best.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Oct 11, 2019

Gateway

Despite the fact that we've been having some beautiful weather lately, I've been too busy doing other things to get out and take any pictures. So I'm going to have to go with an older one for this week.

This is one of the pictures I took at the west beach a few weeks ago. This is the entrance to the yacht basin, framed by the trees on the shore - a gateway to the world beyond, and the welcome home on the journey's end.


Oct 7, 2019

Multiloculate Monday

multiloculate ~ many-chambered

The daughter had a conference last week, so I got to spend some extra time with the grandbaby. It was kind of nice because we’ve missed her a bit since she started school full time, and it turns out she’s missed us too.

My parents died when I was fairly young, so my daughter never knew them. I’d like to think she’d have been as close to them as we are to our grandbaby. For sure my dad would have had fun building her things, just like the hubby does for the grandbaby.

Take his latest construction project – the grandbaby wanted a tree fort, so he built her one. And of course she was in on it from the very beginning. First, they had to pick just the right spot:



Then the grandbaby supervised while Grappy got the supports in place:



Of course even supervising is hard work, and when you work hard you need a break once in awhile:



But then apparently Grappy was working too slow, so the grandbaby had to pitch in and help:



Finally, for all intents and purposes, it was done. The grandbaby even got to pick out the colour it was painted. All that’s lacking in the picture is the roof, which went up later that week.



Looks to me like a job well done.

Oct 4, 2019

Writersfest

Sadly, I didn't get as many opportunities to take pictures when I was in Kingston on the weekend as I would have liked. Of course I never thought of it late Friday afternoon when I got there, and Saturday it rained most of the day. However, I did managed a few shots on Sunday.

This picture was the view from my hotel window. The room itself was awesome, the view was just icing on the cake.

Sep 30, 2019

Molybdosis Monday



molybdosis ~ lead poisoning

I’m going to warn you up front that this is going to be a short post. Normally I write this, or at least start to write this, on the weekend, but I was away this weekend at the Kingston Writersfest. If you want to hear more about it, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow and then check out the post on my writing blog.

I will tell you one story about it though, the saga of my mouse. Mouse, as computer mouse.

After settling in at the hotel I unpacked my lap top, plugged it in, and could not find the mouse. Apparently it was sitting on the hassock at home, where I left it.

Fortunately, Google promised that there was a Staples near the hotel, and there was just enough time to get there before it closed. I chose a cheap, pretty blue mouse (and a mouse pad, and a mechanical pencil, and some screen cleaner – I can’t be trusted in an office supply store) and went back to the hotel.

I unpacked my pretty blue mouse and plugged it into the computer and . . . nothing. It didn’t work. And Staples was closed. And I had Writersfest stuff all day the next day. To say I was not a happy camper was an understatement.

The following day, after the Writersfest stuff, I Googled the directions again and . . . that whole section of Kingston was red. It had been blocked off for some Princess Promenade stuff and there were barricades all over the route I needed to take.

Desperate for a mouse, I walked. It was drizzling out and I was in such a rush I forgot the defective mouse in the hotel room. Once again I got to Staples just before closing. I may have been a tad cranky with the sales people when I insisted they try out the new mouse before I paid for it to make sure it worked. I was frustrated, wet, and my feet hurt – I’m sure they thought I was nuts. But I did manage to get a working mouse.

Now all I have to do is return the old one to our local Staples.

Sep 27, 2019

Toddler Gobblers

Everyone knows kids love to put things in their mouths, especially things they find outside. With all the damp weather we've had the last several years there's been a proliferation of fungus growth to be found in lawns and gardens. The son-in-law came up with a unique idea to keep the grandbaby away from them - he called them "toddler gobblers" and told her they'd eat her up if she got too close. LOL

Despite the weather being a little on the cool side off and on, it's still been rather damp and we had a crop of mushroom spring up on the front lawn. Despite the fact they were growing in a semi circle, they did not invoke the sense of a fairy ring in me. These particular mushrooms look more like a ring to repel magic rather than draw it in. Still, I couldn't resist taking a picture of some of them.


Sep 23, 2019

Metabasis Monday

metabasis ~ transition; transfer



Holy rigatoni Batman, why is it so hot out???

There I was, enjoying the super cool (but not quite cold) nights that made sleeping a pleasure, and suddenly we’re sweating up a storm again. I do not like this. At. All!

And I would like to point out, this is the first day of Fall, so cut it out mother nature!

I had the pleasure of the grandbaby’s company for a while yesterday morning (so her parents could enjoy one of the local festivals) and I gotta admit, it was nice seeing her. I think she gets so much play time in during the school week that she just wants to relax on the weekend. Her parents took her to day one of the festival and she was NOT a happy camper.

She declined baking brownies with me (which, given how hot it was, I don’t blame her) so instead we went outside and checked out the gardens and she had fun fishing leaves out of the pool. Then after lunch we did something I’ve been promising for a couple of weeks but for one reason or another we never managed to do – make s’mores.

I might also mention at this point that it was incredibly humid out (which raises the heat by a good ten degrees). This fact is important because it contributed to the quality of fire we were able to build.

I would also like to mention that during the pool building/fencing days, the hubby built a 7 ft long, 3 ft wide, and 3 ft high box to hold all the wood he had kicking around the back yard. This box is filled with wood to burn and there was a pile of dead limbs and another pile of twigs on top of it.

It was either move all the crap off the top of the box or use it for the fire. Guess which I did?

I started with balled up paper, covered it with the twigs in a somewhat lopsided pyramid shape, then put the cut up limbs on top of that (also in a pyramid shape). The boy scouts would be proud. The limbs were a little bigger than I would have liked, but that’s all I had.

So I light the fire and the paper catches and the twigs catch and the logs just smoulder. The grass is pretty wet, which meant there was a heavy dew the night before, which meant the wood was pretty damp. There were not enough twigs to keep burning long enough to dry the wood sufficiently to properly catch fire. I tried adding more paper, even some cardboard, but all I got for my effort was watery eyes and lungs full of smoke.

I cooked one marshmallow anyway, and it was beautifully golden brown, and the grandbaby decided she wanted her s’mores raw. As in, slap some chocolate and a marshmallow between two graham crackers and eat it like that.

*sigh*

Should have stuck to brownies.

Sep 20, 2019

Almost Over

With summer being officially over on Monday, I figured it was time for one last picture of the pond garden and back patio.

Hopefully the plants will survive the winter and it'll look even better next summer


Sep 16, 2019

Manubrium Monday

manubrium ~ any handle-like structure

I was talking to one of my sisters on the phone yesterday and I said our weather lately has been crazy all over the place, like Mother Nature has been using a roulette wheel to pick what the day is going to bring. One day it’s hot enough for a tank top, the next it’s cold enough for a jacket, with wind and rain and overcast skies in between. You just never know what the day’s going to bring.

Take today, for instance. It’s a little windy, a little overcast, a little chilly, but it’s supposed to warm up and be sunny later. And by the end of the week we’re supposed to be back up to 24 Celsius (75 Fahrenheit). Maybe I was a little premature in putting away my summer clothes.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned we had a family outing to the CNE, but I forgot to mention that one of the traditions is that I pick up something . . . frivolous. This is why you’ll see a variety of weird things around my house, like a voodoo stick, wooden chest, dragon holding a plasma ball, etc. This year it was a mask to add to the collection in my office, which is where my story starts.

It’s not that I didn’t have room for another mask, it’s just that we had to rearrange the masks on the wall to make room for it. And then the hubby suggested I might want some of my other keepsakes that sort of went with the masks in my office – things like the didgeridoo, voodoo stick, and rain stick.

Which seemed like a good idea except the only place I had room for them was behind my reading chair. But I also have a pole lamp behind my chair that kind of took up more than its fair share of space because it was too short for the height of the chair so I had it up on a wooden stand.

I managed to wedge the rain stick in behind it, decided it looked stupid and pulled it out again and in the process knocked the glass chimney that covered the light bulb and held up the lamp shade which shattered all over my head – the glass chimney, not the lamp shade.

But I digress.

Once I had the masks rearranged, I realized I had space for one more mask. So on the weekend the hubby and I went to Primitive Designs (a seasonal import store that’s just crammed with really cool stuff), and I bought yet another mask. It’s not the mask I had in mind, but the more I stared at the one I was going to get, the more it creeped me out. There was no way I wanted that thing staring over my shoulder when I was working in my office.

So . . . now my wall is filled and the glass chimney has been replaced and all is right with the world.

And is that the end of my mask collecting?

Probably not.


Sep 13, 2019

The Fog Is Very Thick Today . . .

Every photographer has their own unique approach for taking pictures, and apparently mine is to take as many possible and hope one (or more) turn out okay. LOL

I was down at the west beach a couple of times this week, once to take pictures of the monarchs that are attracted to the goldenrod, and once to take pictures in the fog.

The first time I went down in the fog, the fog was heavier than I expected and obscured a lot of what I wanted to photograph. Then the battery ran out in my camera and when I went back about an hour later the fog had lifted enough to take the romance out of the landscape. *sigh* Maybe next time

Of all the pictures I took (about 90 all in all), this one is my favorite. I may not always get along with spiders, but there's something magical about their webs, don't you think?


Sep 9, 2019

Melopepon Monday

melopepon ~ any of various kinds of squash



Last week I had my yearly eye exam, and I’m pretty sure I had a reaction to the drops the doctor used. I’ve had both kinds before – the ones for the diabetic check and the ones for glaucoma – but never both at the same time. Anyway, I woke up in the middle of the night having a reaction to something and spent the rest of the week getting over it.

Obviously I didn’t get a whole lot accomplished last week. It was my last week of babysitting but it was also a short week so it kind of eased me out of it. Which was just as well considering the way I was feeling.

We offered to take the grandbaby out to lunch, but she didn’t want to sit in a restaurant. Instead we went to good old MacDonald’s so she could play in the play area, and then we went to one of the local parks to visit the ducks and took a short walk to watch the fishermen on the bridge.

There really wasn't much else to see because summer really is over. We haven’t had to use the air conditioner in weeks, and the nights are getting seriously cold. We had a frost warning last night! The temperature dipped to 10 C (that’s 50 F for you Yankees) overnight. Sorry hubby, I don't think there's going to be any more swimming this year.

Today I’m going to spend some time changing over to my fall/winter wardrobe. Normally I’d wait until later in the month – this is Canada after all and the weather is nothing if not unpredictable – but I don’t think there’ll be any coming back from this.

I learned an interesting gardening fact yesterday. If you plant pumpkins too close to squash, the squash become hybrids. My neighbour gave me a piece of what appeared to be an acorn squash and I cooked it up to have with supper last night. It had a definite pumpkin flavour to it.

It was a really short growing season this year - the gardens are starting to look a little rough. I picked a pumpkin, the hubby picked another whole bagful of beans, and I discovered a teeny tiny little pepper hiding behind the broccoli that did nothing but take up a lot of space in the garden. I'm pretty sure the carrots are ready to be picked and I have another tiny orange pumpkin and a bigger green one.

Concerned about the frost, I raided my linen closet for an old sheet to cover the tomato plants. Picture this: me in my jean jacket and the hubby in his pajamas, late at night, cursing only a little as we tried to cover as much of the tomatoes as we can with a sheet.

Oh, the things we do for our gardens!

Sep 6, 2019

Summer's End

Last Friday I went down to the west beach with a friend to take pictures. We did the same thing last summer, but much earlier in the season - while it was still colourful, the colour was definitely fading.

After scrolling through my 100+ pictures, and taking way too long to pick one, I finally decided on one of my favorite flower - the sweet pea.


Sep 2, 2019

Mournival Monday

mournival ~ set of four things

I’m not sure whether I should be saying happy Labour Day, or holy crap it’s Labour Day already!

I don’t know about you, but September never fails to take me by surprise. One day we’re experiencing August’s dog days of summer, and the next day it’s fall.

If you live in Ontario, Canada, as I do, the traditional way to end summer is a visit to the Canadian National Exhibition. It opens the second last week of August and closes at the end of Labour Day.

When the daughter was little we used to go to the CNE as a mommy/daughter thing. However, we did not go for the midway or the games, we went for the shopping. Then she started growing up and discovered boys and we came to an important realization – boys are great for carrying our stuff! LOL

This year we went on a week day, which was far less crowded than the weekend, and it was a rainy weekday at that which further reduced the crowds. It was awesome!

Considering we arrived late in the morning and left again around supper time, we sure packed a lot into our day, starting with the grandbaby meeting Chase from the Paw Patrol:



This took place in the Kid Zone, an area of the fairgrounds set aside for kids activities. So naturally she got to play a few games and go on a few of the kid-sized rides:



While she and her parents were doing that, the hubby and I checked out the arts and crafts building and we all met up again at the food pavilion for lunch. It was pouring rain by the time we were done, but that was okay because it was time for shopping in the international market and that was in another big building.

We also wandered through the Legends of the Silk Road exhibit, which featured fairy tale scenarios like this one:



The hubby and I needed a break from all that walking, so we sat with the grandbaby to watch a group of African singing acrobats perform. By the time this was over it had stopped raining long enough for us to go out onto the midway to try our luck at some of the games. Please note you aren’t seeing a picture of one of the large stuffed animals any of us won. LOL

We hurried back inside to catch Abracadabark – the show put on by the President’s Choice SuperDogs. The grandbaby even got to meet a couple of her favourites.

After that it was time to head for home – tired and broke, but happy. As it should be.

Aug 30, 2019

Monkey Business

This picture was taken about two weeks ago when we took the grandbaby to the Riverview Park and Zoo in Peterborugh. It's one of the few pictures I was able to take with my camera before the battery ran out.

I still can't believe with all the other preparations I made for that day it never occurred to me to check the battery in the camera. And the really sad part is, I have two batteries for this camera and keep a fully charged one inside the camera case. Unfortunately, I didn't have the case with me, I just carried my camera.

Another lesson learned. *sigh*


Aug 26, 2019

Melic Monday

melic ~ to be sung; lyric

Boy howdy, it was a busy week last week. And I feel like I need a vacation from my weekend, it was that busy.

The weekend actually started on Thursday, when the daughter and I went to the Fan Expo in Toronto.



If you’re looking for comics, comic book art, or Funko pops, Fan Expo is the place for you. It was actually the half day preview, so there were no celebrities, but there were lots of people dressed in their cosplay outfits. I bought some original artwork posters and drooled over a Klingon bat’leth and a display of steampunk hats. I still regret not asking the price of the hats. LOL

I had Friday to recover, and then Saturday there was a big open house to celebrate the 65th wedding anniversary of the hubby’s parents. The mother-in-law’s health hasn’t been good the last few months but she rallied for the open house at the hall. There was tons of food and tons of people to eat it.

Even though a good portion of the extended family are local (or within easy driving distance) we seldom get together unless there’s a celebration like this. Sadly, we’re none of us getting any younger so there were many faces missing, but it was great to see all the ones that were able to make it.

Later we all went back to the hall for a catered family dinner. And when I say all, I mean kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. All totalled, the family consists of five children, eleven grandchildren, and eleven great grandchildren. Not all of the grands were able to make it, but we still managed to fill five tables.

And since most of the family were coming together for the anniversary party, the oldest son decided this would make a good time to get married. Which he did, on Sunday. It was a beautiful, intimate affair in a secluded courtyard of a local hotel, followed by an incredibly decadent lunch.

Today is another day of rest, but tomorrow . . . tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow we’re going to the Ex – the Canadian National Exhibition. This is Canada’s largest fair, and the sixth largest in North America.

But that will next week’s post. :-)

Aug 23, 2019

Summer Project

I actually had a picture of some spider monkeys from the Riverview Zoo saved to my desktop, intending to use it as my picture of the week, but I was talking to one of my sisters earlier in the week and she was asking about our “new” back yard.

I reminded her that I did a blog post about it (actually a two part post that you can find HERE and HERE . However, when I went back and checked out these posts, I realized I never posted a picture of the finished deck, yard, and pool as a whole.

So here you go, first the pool and deck (just click on it to make it bigger):



And here’s the pond garden and back patio with the fire pit (which isn’t really a pit, but it’s not a chiminea either):


Aug 19, 2019

Macerate Monday

macerate ~ to steep or soak; to break up; to emaciate



Timing is everything.

Last week the hubby and I took the grandbaby to Riverview Park and Zoo, which is about a 45 minute drive north. Or at least it is when you don’t run into detours and construction. I don’t know what it is about Peterborough, but the north side of the city seems to have been under construction for the last several years. I don’t mean houses so much, although it does appear to be spreading westward, but the roads.

I get admiration from passengers on how well I know the city, but trust me, it’s not because of any great love for it, it’s because I need to know the different routes for getting from point A to point B (like night school or a writers group meeting) just in case the one I’m most familiar with is blocked.

Anyway, we made it there eventually and that’s where my timing went off. We didn’t have a picnic lunch with us, we figured we’d stop at some point for take-out. It was close enough to lunch that we should have done this before we went to the zoo.

Also, it was a beautiful summer day so the place was packed – it’s a free zoo with a splash park and playground attached, why wouldn’t it be? We had to park several miles away and hike in (okay, I might be exaggerating just a little, but we weren’t exactly close).

We meandered along, making note of the snack shop and seeing very few animals because they were mostly hiding from the heat, and at the farthest end of the park was a small train. Grandbaby and I waited 45 minutes in line for a 10 minute ride. Hubby opted to just sit and wait for us in the shade.

Then we meandered back to the snack shop where they gouged us for a very unhealthy lunch. Fortified, we continued checking out the animals, at which point my camera let me know the battery was just about dead. The irritating part about that was that I have a spare battery, I just didn’t have it with me.

Unfortunately, by the time we got back to the gift shop near the playgrounds, there wasn’t any time to actually play. So I bought the grandbaby a stuffed otter (she really liked the otters) and we headed for home with the promise we’d bring her back some time so she could splash and play.

As I said, it’s a small zoo and there wasn’t a huge variety of animals, but the price was right (if you don’t count the lunch). While it was a little disappointing our timing was off so there was no time for splashing or playing, the grandbaby didn’t seem to mind – she had a great time.

And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Aug 16, 2019

The Picture of Summer

As soon as I saw this picture, I knew it was my picture of the week.

It has all the elements of summer - the pool, the green grass and leaves, and the hubby reading a story to the grandbaby on the deck. He's reading her one of her "Walter the Farting Dog" books (yes, there is a series of them) and he has yet to be able to make it through an entire book. He laughs until he cries and he just can't finish. LOL

I'm glad I was able to immortalize this summer memory for the pair of them.


Aug 12, 2019

Murine Monday

murine ~ of, like or pertaining to mice and rats

Move over reading, ‘ritin’, and ‘rithmatic, there’s a new ‘three R’s’ in town – return, reuse, and recycle.



Our town started going green many years ago, but it’s always been kind of a pale, washed out green. Basically they added a recycling truck to the weekly garbage pick up, and in the beginning we just threw everything recyclable into one (or more) clear plastic bags. It was taken to the recycling plant and sorted there.

Then one day, without warning, they changed their minds about what was recyclable. It made for a lot of confusion and a lot of bags that had to be re-opened and sorted through to pluck out the offending items. We grumbled a lot, but obeyed the rules.

Now the town has gone and done it again. While the addition of the green bins (for compostable items) is more than welcome, there is also a new degree of separation for everything else. And just to give us a little more incentive to go to all that trouble, they reduced the number of bags of garbage we can put out.

But wait! It gets better! While the blue and grey boxes came with helpful little brochures telling you specifically what goes in each, the green bin did not. It was supposed to, the ones in my daughter’s neighbourhood did, but someone missed the boat in my neighbourhood so it’s anyone’s guess what goes in there.

There was, however, a single sample of the Glad compostable bags, and a smaller covered pail, presumably to go under your sink – should you have room for it. Which brings us to the final problem. Where are all these bins supposed to go?

You can’t keep them outside because they’ll get blown around by the wind. And the green bin is just regular plastic – the skunks, raccoons, and whathaveyou would have a field day with it. We had to get a heavy duty, critter proof garbage can just to keep our garbage safe overnight (you’re supposed to put the garbage out the night before pick up).



As you can see by the picture, there’s no way we can keep these in the kitchen. You can just see where I keep the current recycling bin beside the stove (the light blue clear bag sticking out). The bag is inside a wrapping paper bin, which is easily half the width of the new bin. My kitchen is tiny – the bins are not.

But back to the sorting for a moment. We can no longer recycle textiles (before we just had to make sure they were in their own bag), or food pouches, or chip bags/candy wrappers, or pet food bags. We can recycle take-out coffee cups, but not their lids. We can recycle paper towels, but not facial tissues.

Did I mention our town is about 60% seniors? Do they really think all those senior are going to deal with these huge bins and all that sorting every week?

I think the town is in for one big headache come September.

Aug 9, 2019

Bunny Love

*sigh* Remember how Monday I made the flippant comment about hoping the bunny left the rest of my squash alone? Well he seems to have lost interest in the squash. My tomatoes and carrots on the other hand. . .

This picture was taken later that same Monday:


Aug 5, 2019

Morkin Monday

morkin ~ animal that has died by accident

The romantic notion of having my own vegetable garden has been quickly deflated. Gardens are a lot of work! It’s not just the weeding – it actually hasn’t been bad for weeds now that everything’s filled in – but I’m having to pick the beans every couple of days and I’m having trouble judging when the peas should be picked – too soon and you’ve basically got pea pods, too late and the peas are big and bitter.

But I have to admit, it felt good getting the first batch of green beans done up for the freezer. And I’m pretty sure we’ll enjoy them during the winter. My neighbour showed me what to look for to see how many pumpkins I’m going to end up with. So far . . . one. All those blooms and only one is going to turn into a pumpkin. *sigh* And that’s only if this little guy:



leaves it alone. He’s already taken care of the squash blossoms on one of the plants, so it’s doubtful I’ll get any squash. But fortunately my neighbour looks like she’s going to have a bumper crop again, and she likes to share.



You might take note of the vines growing through the fence – even they have squash starting under their blooms. And tradition dictates that whatever grows through the fence is mine. LOL

Over the years the neighbours rotate their “crops.” In the past I’ve had enough green beans and peas growing through the fence to freeze, and one year it was cucumbers. I can’t talk her into growing zucchini though, so I guess I’ll have to plant my own next year. Meanwhile I’ll need to look up some recipes to use the butternut squash in.

I can’t wait for the fall to make vegetable soup with my own vegetables!

Aug 2, 2019

Reptile World

I took so many pictures (and a lot of them weren't even half bad) at Reptile World that I thought I'd share a couple more of them for today's picture of the week. :-)

The first is another shot of my favorite snakes. I'm pretty sure there were only two snakes in this enclosure, but it looked like more because they were super long.



And I like this one because it almost tells a story, doesn't it? Sadly, the worst pictures of the bunch were the ones I took of the grandbaby. She had an uncanny sense of when I was about to click and would choose that second to turn her head.


Jul 29, 2019

Malariology Monday

malariology ~ study of malaria

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, I tell you what! Summer is well under way with the weather alternating sunny and hot with damp and hotter. I think the hubby has only missed one day of swimming in the pool so far. But for me the best part of summer is road trips.

Last week we took the grandbaby to Reptile World, which is about an hour north of us. This zoo is famous not only for the variety of snakes, turtles and lizards (not to mention the crocodiles and alligators) but for the fact they’re all rescues. One enclosure had 10 -15 alligators, all rescued from some guy’s basement. Seriously! Who in their right mind would keep a congregation of alligators (and yes, that’s the name for a group of them – I looked it up) in their basement?



It’s not a large zoo, but there was a lot to see. The reptile house had the snakes, lizards, and turtles, there was a separate building for the crocodiles and alligators, and scattered throughout the property were enclosures for various tortoises.



While Ellie loved all the creatures she saw and was particularly fascinated by the crocodiles and alligators, her favourites were the turtles.



My favourite, however, were the green snakes. I think there were only two of them in the enclosure, but they were super long and were constantly in motion so it was a little hard to tell.



The other big attraction for kids at this zoo are the dinosaurs:



These dinosaurs are all animated, complete with sound. You can’t really tell from the picture, but in this one the grandbaby is roaring back at the dinosaur. LOL



We also went for a hike on a nature trail inside the park and I do mean hike! The path started on a gentle slope into the woods, then got steeper, and steeper, and steeper. Just when we were starting to wonder if it was going to be uphill both ways, it levelled out for a few yards before coming to a very sketchy looking pile of rocks masquerading as a staircase leading downwards.

According to the map, the trail went down, along the edge of a pond, and then looped back up again. We couldn’t really see very far down, and we were in sandals, so discretion being the better part of valour we turned back.

All in all, it was a fun day. It’s no wonder both the hubby and the grandbaby dozed on the drive home. I would have too if I hadn’t been driving. ;-)

Jul 19, 2019

Something Fishy

There are two very good reasons this picture isn't exactly the best one I've ever taken. One, I shot it through the plastic of the fish tank, and two, the water itself is a little on the murky side.

However, I really wanted a picture of this for posterity. This is Tiddler the Beta. Tiddler, as far as I can tell, is asleep on one of the leaves of the plastic plant in his tank. Tiddler has taken to sleeping here every day lately. I have no idea why - I'm not sure that I want to.


Jul 15, 2019

Milvine Monday

milvine ~ of, like or pertaining to kites and similar birds

Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?

It’s growing very well, thank you very much. I may not have accomplished the writing I’d planned on doing last week, but I did get some work done on the gardens. Actually, I can’t take all of the credit. Hubby did a lot of work too.



These are green beans – that whole row at the front. And I was able to pick enough of them for the granddaughter to have with supper last night. Behind the beans, almost hidden, are cabbages and broccoli on the left and pumpkins on the right. There are only three pumpkin plants, but there are a lot of blooms on them. Good thing we like pumpkin pie. There are also a few pepper plants hidden in there – whether or not they survive is still anyone’s guess.



This garden plot is a bit of a mess. Starting at the back on the left, we have dill and brandywine tomatoes. Left front are the pea plants that are already producing, a hodge podge of carrots (not my fault! The rain washed the seeds around), and some cherry tomatoes on the right.

The pond garden is finally starting to come together.



I’m not going to tell you how much money we laid out for plants, but at least we were smart enough to spend it on shrubs and perennials. The shrubs went along the back fence, and the perennials went into the pond garden. Even back when we had the smaller pond garden the idea had been to have all permanent plants in there. Let’s face it, it’s a pain in the butt to have to plant annuals every year.

The Moai heads were our gifts to each other for our anniversary. We actually got them a while back. The hubby attached them to cement pads so the wildlife can’t knock them over.

I don’t know how much more ornamentation we’ll be getting for the garden, I think it looks pretty good the way it is now. And we’ll have to wait until next spring to see which plants survive. I suspect this will be an ongoing project.

Meanwhile, the garden needs a name. Something containing the phrase “pond of death” I think. So far we’ve (and by we I mean the hubby) fished out two dead birds, a dead mouse, and a dead chipmunk. The mouse and chipmunk I can understand – they could have slipped in while getting a drink and couldn’t get out again. But the birds? That just doesn’t make sense.

The garden of the pond of death. Hortus Mortis or Mors Stagna perhaps.

Jul 8, 2019

Malagma Monday

malagma ~ emollient plaster

Is it just me or are the birds super annoyingly loud this year?

The dawn chorus doesn’t start at dawn, it starts about a half hour before dawn and takes place right outside my bedroom window. Right now I’m listening to some bird – I can’t see it but I know what tree it’s hiding in – and it just won’t shut up.

There is a family of crows that seem to have taken a liking to the trees at the back of the yard. Or maybe the people that live on that property have been feeding them – I don’t know. That’s one of the pitfalls of a six foot high privacy fence, it makes it hard to be a nosy neighbour.

And as I was sitting at the dining room table having breakfast one morning (it looks out over our deck) I heard one of the most annoying birds making its noise and I looked out and there it sat on the deck railing. My first thought was, how can such a tiny bird make such a loud noise??

We also seem to have a much larger variety of birds than we used to. We’ve always had the robins, red winged blackbirds, grackles, and blue jays, maybe the odd cardinal, but this year I’ve seen orioles, goldfinches, grosbeaks, flickers, and a couple of wood peckers. Those aren’t the only ones I’ve seen, of course, but those are the only ones I could identify.

Maybe it’s time to put the feeder back up. The squirrel population was just starting to make a comeback after the coyotes moved on to better feeding grounds, but the foxes are back so the squirrels have thinned out again. In fact, I’ve been sitting here looking out the deck doors for the last hour and haven’t seen one squirrel – not even in the big trees behind the fence.

Go foxes go! The squirrels are the reason I took down my feeder in the first place. The little tree rats may seem cute at first, but they get very aggressive after they get used to you. I once posted a picture of the squirrel who kept climbing the screen of the deck door, looking for the peanuts I put out for the jays. I’ll take foxes any day!



Hmm. Come to think of it, I haven’t noticed any chipmunks or birds in the back yard either. Do they know something we don’t?

Jul 5, 2019

Fireworks For All!

Oops! I forgot it was Friday (it is Friday, right?) which means I also forgot to post a picture of the week. So seeing as we had both the Canadian and American fireworks holidays this week, I'll give you a couple of bonus pictures. It has nothing to do with the fact I 600 pictures of fireworks. Really. :-D






Jul 1, 2019

Mimosa Monday

mimosa ~ a mixed drink consisting of champagne and orange juice

Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians who have the day off today! And to all my American friends – sucks to be you! You have to wait until next weekend for your holiday. LOL

Traditionally this is the true start of the summer, complete with sunscreen and swimming, parades and barbeques. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, our town hosts an annual arts and crafts fair we call the Waterfront Festival, which draws a large number of people to our small town, swelling the population and mucking up the traffic.

A great deal of the beach was still under water, but Thursday they brought in the heavy earth movers and cleaned up as best they could. I have not been down there yet, but I’m assuming they got the job done.

Not to be out done in the barbeque department, we had one on Saturday for some of the husband’s family that came down from Ottawa. It went very well, if I do say so myself. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food and there were no leftovers – be still my heart! Normally I overestimate the food.

The cousins all get along famously, especially the two little ones. Together with Grampy/Uncle Steve they christened the new pool. The granddaughter especially enjoyed the pool – she’s been dying to get in there since they took down the old one. And she’s absolutely fearless in the water – must be the Aquarius in her.

I don't know how well you can see it, but the grandbaby’s face matches the unikitty on her dress.



Now excuse me while I go sit on the deck with my feet up and have a mimosa.

Jun 28, 2019

The Face of Summer

This week's picture was actually taken with my phone. What can I say? Sometimes it's a little handier than my good camera.

Wednesday I took the granddaughter down to the beach after pre-school. It was a warm and sunny day, and there was still pools of stagnant water all over the beach. But fortunately, our waterfront boasts not one but two splash pad areas. The main one has a bunch of different splash areas and it was pretty crowded. So the granddaughter asked if we could go down to the other play area and I said sure. Smart kid - there was no one using the secondary splash pad.

As you can see, she had a blast!