Dec 25, 2019

Merry Christmas

I’ve been very lax in the Christmas music department, haven’t I?

What can I say, these last few days have been insanely busy.

For your listening enjoyment I’m offering a mixed selection of humorous and serious Christmas videos. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do. See you next year!

Dec 16, 2019

Mandylion Monday

mandylion ~ loose outer garment worn over armour

Well, I got the tree up finally. :-D

Okay, so it doesn’t have any lights or decorations or anything, but I’ll get to it. Eventually.

I plan to at least get the lights on it later today, but I’ll probably wait until the grandbaby can help with the decorations. And then all that’s left is the wrapping and baking.

Yes, that’s right. We’ve pretty much got our Christmas shopping finished. We still have a couple of gift cards to pick up, and a couple of little things to add to a gift basket, and that’s it. Woot!

I even have my out of town presents in the mail – some on Friday and some today. It’s like a Christmas miracle.

Actually, what would really constitute a Christmas miracle is snow. There is snow all around us, but in our little bubble it’s been just warm enough that we’ve been getting rain. Saturday it poured rain here, and all the way on our drive to Belleville for the final round of shopping.

When we came out of the mall it was trying really hard to snow, but it was still a little too warm (and wet) for that. However, when we came out of Walmart it was seriously snowing, and sticking too. So instead of going out to dinner in Belleville we decided to head straight home. It was a pretty hairy drive home, let me tell you. And the closer we got, the wetter the snow got until right before our exit when it turned to rain.

I’m starting to feel cheated in the snow department this year.

Normally I only take the week between Christmas and New Years off from blogging, but as I said, I still have the baking to do and I’ve only got 9 days to do it. Plus it would be nice to maybe relax a little too.

So this is the last actual post you’re getting here until the New Year. But don’t worry, I’ll still post the occasion Christmas music video, because that’s just the way I roll. LOL

Happy Holidays, and I’ll see you in 2020.

Dec 13, 2019


I have been waiting for there to be some decent snow cover so I could take a nice Christmasy picture of the lights down in the park. However, despite the snow we got early in November we haven't really had a lot since. Today the temperature is supposed to be on the plus side, and tomorrow it's supposed to rain.

Hopefully next week I'll at least be able to take a Christmasy picture of our tree next week (the grandbaby and I are going to go get it later today). In the meantime, here's a nifty picture of my dragon incense burner.

Dec 9, 2019

Mugient Monday

mugient ~ bellowing; braying

I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues

Well I don’t know about you, but I had a pretty fun weekend. The whole family went to the Doctor Seuss exhibit in Toronto. Okay, so the drive up and drive back weren’t much fun – traffic was particularly heavy so what should have been about an hour’s drive each way was over two – but the rest of it was fun.

First, as pictured above, we explored the Lorax’s forest of Truffula Trees. Seriously, the picture doesn’t do the intense pink lighting justice. I wish I’d taken my good camera with me, but I would have also needed to bring a bigger purse.

Next was a room inspired by There’s a Wocket in My Pocket, a Dr. Seuss book I’m not familiar with.

The center of the exhibit was a huge balloon maze. There was a Grinch themed room where we got to play a fishing game, a Circus McGurkus room where you could ride an indoor carousel, and a room filled with Star Belly Sneetches. And of course let’s not forget the Cat in the Hat.

There were a lot of things to interact with in the Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? room, and a meadow of clover in the Horton Hears a Who room. If you listen hard you might hear a Who.

It wasn’t as crowded as you might expect, but that’s because you have to buy tickets in advance and they stagger the times people can enter. As family fun times go, this was definitely a win.

Dec 6, 2019

Water, Water, Everywhere . . .

I'd fully intended to continue using my homework pictures for Photo Fridays, but last week the grandbaby and I were fooling around and she wanted me to take her picture through our waterwall fountain. So I took one, and we both thought it looked really cool.

Then she got the bright idea to pretend she was trapped in the waterwall and was drowning. This was actually taken with my phone, not my camera, but we both liked the way it turned out. Imagine what great shots I would have got if I'd used my camera!

Dec 2, 2019

Monology Monday

monology ~ habit of offering soliloquies or monologues

The picture above shows what I got to do last week. My girls invited me to go with them to the local Crock-A-Doodle and of course I said yes. Time with my girls doing something creative? No brainer!

The idea was for the grandbaby to work on a Christmas present, with a little help from mom and grandma of course, but we’d never been to Crock-A-Doodle before and we may have gone just a wee bit crazy.

What is Crock-A-Doodle you ask? It’s a pottery studio where you go and have a ball painting pottery. Once you’re done you don’t even have to clean up your own mess, just leave it on the table with your pottery. They’ll fire your piece(s) and you pick them up a week later.

The down side to this is that it’s a little pricy. I’m not going to say exactly how much, but put it this way. I wouldn’t pay that much for one of the finished pieces if I saw it in a store. But it seems worth it when you make it yourself.

We weren’t very well organized. It was kind of a spur of the moment thing, and we didn’t have anything planned other than it sounded like fun. It was that, but we didn’t count on how time consuming it would be. And because we’d never been there before we didn’t think to research designs for painting, so mine ended up kind of plain. I have my eye on a piece for next time though, and that one I will plan ahead.

As well as the present the grandbaby painted, she and her mom did matching mugs that look like whales (for hot chocolate) and I did a pair of mugs for myself. They’re big, and hopefully will replace a couple of large, chipped tea mugs I have in the cupboard. If I change my mind about their size and shape (I waffled for a good 15 minutes before settling on them), they may end up as Christmas presents. LOL

A lot of the fun comes in not know exactly how your piece will look until it’s been fired. The paint looks a lot different when you’re applying it than after it’s been baked. And it depends on how many coats you’ve applied.

Can’t wait until Wednesday to see how they turned out!

Nov 29, 2019

Sunset Dreams

I had my last photography class last night, but don't think that's the end of the homework pictures. It's cold outside so I don't know how often I'll be getting out there to take new ones. LOL

This week's picture was one of the ones I took for this week's homework. As I mentioned on Monday, I went down to the waterfront hoping to take an artistic photo of the light from the setting sun reflecting on the lighthouse. It wasn't until I was going back to the car that the clouds started to part and while I didn't get the sunset picture I wanted, I like the one that I did get.

Nov 25, 2019

Meatus Monday

meatus ~ opening of a passage or canal

I did something this weekend I haven’t done for a very long time, I cleaned the windows in the living room and dining room. LOL

The sun was actually shining on the weekend, and nothing shows you how dirty your windows are, or in this case the sliding glass deck doors, like the sun. Seeing as I already had the cleaning stuff out to do the living room windows, I figured it wouldn’t take much more time to do the deck doors too. Man, they look good!

And the reason I cleaned the living room windows is because I’d bought new curtains for the living room a couple of weeks ago and I got the hubby to put them up for me. No sense putting new curtains on a dirty window, right?

I was a little hesitant about these curtains. They’re the kind in panels with big grommets at the top that you just slide the rod through. The panels are terribly wide, so it took two to each side. And the colour is a deep, rich, purple, which actually looks surprisingly good next to the dark red walls.

After we got them up I decided I’d like a little more fullness to them, so when I was out taking pictures for my photography homework I made a quick side trip to buy another couple of panels. Who knows how long it’ll take us to get those up.

The pictures for this week’s homework needed to be taken outside, and since it was a nice day and I was caught up (finally!) on my NaNo novel, I figure I’d better “make hay while the sun is shining” since I think it’s supposed to be overcast the rest of the week.

I had the idea of capturing the light from the setting sun hitting the lighthouse down at the lake, so I timed my trip to take place just as the sun started to set. Well, the road was blocked off for a “special event” so I had to hike in, it was cold as hell, and as I reached the point of land I’d anticipated taking pictures from, a bunch of stupid clouds covered the sun.


I did manage to get some pretty interesting pictures, but not the one I’d anticipated. Maybe I’ll be able to get a sunrise picture instead.

Nov 22, 2019

The Spark is There

I confess, I didn't do my homework last week, which was to take a portrait photograph of a woman.

So instead I'm giving you another picture from last week's homework. The assignment was to take both a fast and a slow picture. Last week was the slow one, the ghost picture, so this week I'll share my fast one.

Nov 18, 2019

Murcous Monday

murcous ~ having the thumb cut off

It’s cold, it’s miserable, I’m slowly catching up on my NaNo novel.

How’s that for an update?

Not enough, eh? Yeah, well, to be honest there wasn’t all that much going on this week. The weather was cold and miserable and I’ve been feeling singularly unmotivated.

One cool thing happened… Now that it’s starting to snow on a regular basis, the hubby’s father would like to start keeping his car in the garage, so the hubby went over one afternoon to help him clean it out.

As you probably know, one of the up sides to cleaning any building out is the treasures you might find in the process. In this case it was a water wall fountain that was destined for the scrap heap. Wisely, hubby brought it home.

It’s actually meant to go outside, but lo and behold the base of it is exactly the same size as the drop leaf table we use as a room divider between the living room and dining room.

Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? All I had to do first was move the plant hanging over the table to the hanger in my office, and clear off the stuff sitting on the table. This included a lamp, a fairy garden, and the butternut squash (five of them) that my neighbour gave me. *sigh*

Oh, yeah, and the fountain had been sitting in the garage for several years so it needed to be cleaned as well.

Why do brilliant ideas always turn out to be more work than I expect?

But still, it looks pretty cool, doesn’t it?

Nov 15, 2019

Fast or Slow, Which Way to Go?

You know, it’s too bad I’m deep in the heart of NaNoWriMo right now because I could have had a lot more fun with the homework for last week’s class than I did. We learned about aperture and shutter speed, and how to take “ghost” pictures as well as high speed pictures.

I was only able to produce a couple of high speed photos, but I had a LOT of fun with the ghosting. Ghosting happens when you’re using a long exposure, like 30 seconds, and the subject moves leaving behind a ghost image. I bribed talked the grandbaby into being my model for a ghost picture, and for a 4-year-old she’s very good at taking direction. The picture turned out pretty good, but it would have been so much better if I’d had the camera on a tripod to hold it steady. Maybe next time.

For this week’s picture I did use a tripod, which was actually sitting on my desk pointed at the corner where my reading chair is. I clicked the camera, hurried over to the chair, and perched on the edge for a few seconds to get the image. Not bad for a beginner, eh?

Nov 11, 2019

Mangonel Monday

mangonel ~ medieval war engine for throwing stones

It’s Remembrance Day here in the Great White North, and whether you have the day off or have to work at 11:00 a.m. you need to observe a moment of silence to honour those who have fallen in military conflicts.

I wrote this poem a few years ago, but I thought it was appropriate to share with you here today.


I remember my grandfather.
He liked to draw
and when I was very small
he taught me the proper way
to draw a pine tree.
He served
with the St. John's Ambulance
as a driver
in World War I and II.
I will never forget.

I remember my uncle.
He like to read
Louis L'Amour
and to work with
anything mechanical.
He served
as a tail gunner
in a British Lancaster,
in World War II before
he became a POW.
I will never forget.

I remember my father.
He liked to work with his hands;
he loved power boats
and used to take me fishing
when I was a child.
He served
with the Canadian Armed Forces
as a Peace Keeper
in Egypt and Korea.
I will never forget.

I remember my brother-in-law.
He had a ready smile
and loved to play pranks.
He carved wood and leather;
he was an amazing artist.
He served
with the American Armed Forces
and fought in Korea.
I will never forget.

These men are my family.
I do not need
a single day
to remember them.
I will remember them
each and every day.

Nov 8, 2019

F-Stop the Madness!

So . . . we learned all about F-stops in class last week, and our photography homework was to take a series of outdoor pictures of three objects roughly 10 feet apart, with nothing changing in the shots except the F-stop setting.

Honestly, it was kind of boring. I had the idea of using pumpkins, but we didn't get a sunny day until after Halloween and by then there wasn't a pumpkin to be had. So then I tried using three different recycle bins, sitting them on the deck, but I didn't like the way the pictures turned out. Finally I settled on using three plastic adirondack chairs in the back yard.

The idea of the different shots was to show the blur of the background. The lower the F-stop, the more the background blurs. This is the shot using the lowest setting on my camera, F-5.6:

And this is the shot using the highest setting:

While the second picture wins for clarity, to be honest I couldn't see much difference in the pictures in between. Frankly, I found it a little disappointing.

Nov 4, 2019

Micronometer Monday

micronometer ~ instrument for measuring short periods of time

Everyone survive both Halloween and the time change? Although frankly, of the two, I find Halloween much easier to deal with, despite the weather.

I hate the time change, I don’t care which way the clock goes. I’ve heard a rumour though that there’s a movement to do away with the twice a year annoyance. It serves no real purpose and studies show it does more harm than good. I’m crossing my fingers that the legislation passes and turning the clocks becomes a thing of the past.

We had a very rainy All Hallow’s Eve, and I started out feeling bad for the trick-or-treaters but we ended up having more kids show up than ever before. A normal Halloween for us is no more than 10 kids, this year we had 30!

And because it was raining and I wasn’t expecting many kids, I was rather generous with the treats, which meant I had little in the way of leftovers to indulge in afterwards. But that’s what the November 1st candy sales are for. LOL

But it wasn’t just candy that was on sale, decorations were on sale too. The wind that followed the rain pretty much shredded my dollar store ghost that was hanging from the tree in the front yard, but for three dollars I replaced him with a skeleton dressed in rags whose eyes light up. I also got a set of eyes to have glowing from a window, and a witch that cackles wickedly. I’m all set for Halloween 2020.

My ghost wasn’t the only thing the wind shredded. Our next door neighbour lost the willow tree in their back yard. The thing pulled right up by its roots. This was not a small tree, but the damage it caused was minimal – a Halloween miracle. And it was also a miracle that the wind was coming from the west. Had it come from the east the tree would have fallen in the other direction and taken out our brand new fence.

November 1 means the beginning of NaNo – National Novel Writing Month – where I attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I’m only about 5,000 words behind so far. Am I worried? Not really. This is kind of a typical pattern with me. Fall behind, catch up, fall behind, catch up, panic write at the very end to win.

It also means that the blog posts this month might be a little sparse. ‘Cause, it’s NaNo time, and I’m already behind. :-)

Nov 1, 2019

The Egg and I

Our first homework assignment for the photography class was to take 6 creative pictures of a hard boiled egg on a black background. Not as easy as it sounds. I had a number of creative ideas, but I lack the technical expertise to pull most of the off. We weren't to use the automatic setting on our cameras, and that's pretty much the only setting I have any luck with.

I turned the flash off because I wanted to play with shadow and for the most part it worked. Mostly I shot in natural light. I had my egg, fresh from the pot, outside on a piece of black bristol board hoping to get the steam rising from it in the morning sun. Unfortunately, it wasn't cold enough to see any steam. LOL

I did get some other interesting shots though, some outside, some inside. I got creative and had the hubby hold the mosaic bowl from the dining room table up to reflect beads of light on the egg, but they didn't show well in the picture. Neither did light through a prism. But the egg shot through a curtain of smoke looks like it's suspended in mid air (the house still smells like the incense I used).

In all I took 135 pictures to get my creative six. And I got a high five from the instructor for breaking the rules for my last shot - I peeled and sliced my egg to keep from taking any more pictures.

Oct 28, 2019

Malversation Monday

malversation ~ corruption in office; corrupt administration; misconduct

Well I don’t know about you, but I had a fun weekend. I got to go to Boo at the Zoo with the grandbaby and her parents. Admission was half price and kids wearing costumes got in free, so as you can imagine, it was pretty busy. The zoo was gussied up with Halloween decorations like these inflatable dragons near the front entrance.

Unfortunately, it was pretty cold (for October) and only got colder as the day went on. Some of the animals with outdoor enclosures chose to stay hidden inside. One of the first animals we saw were this momma and baby rhino:

The orangutans were one of the animals who were having their habitat revamped, but the grandbaby still got to pose with one outside:

The zoo has changed a lot since I last visited – I’m not even sure how long ago it was. The elephants were gone and a lot of the animals were in little buildings of their own. The giraffes we saw were inside, but at least they had a fitting backdrop for pictures:

We didn’t get to see a live hippo, but the grandbaby and her friend Griffy got to ride on one:

I was kind of disappointed that the tiger didn’t come close enough for a decent picture, but at least the lions knew how to strike a pose:

We were cold and tired and in my case a little foot sore by the time we were done, but I think I’m safe in saying a good time was had by all.

Oct 25, 2019

Winter's Coming . . .

Oops! I almost forgot I was supposed to post a picture today. In my defense, yesterday was crazy busy and it just slipped my mind (usually I pick out the photo on Thursday and schedule it to appear on Friday).

But the good news is, one of the reasons I was busy was that I attended my first photography class last night. At first glance the homework assignment seemed pretty simple, but it's really not. In fact, it's really hard. But I'm not going to tell you what it is until next week, when I post one of the six pictures I'm expected to produce.

In the meantime . . . I had to go back into the vault for this week's picture. I actually took it in April, but I think it could just as easily have been taken at the beginning of winter.

Oct 21, 2019

Multiflorous Monday

multiflorous ~ many-flowered

I thought the title of today’s post was rather apropos when paired with the above picture. :-)

These are the wildflowers that we planted in the spring for the bees. All summer long they looked like a weedy mess in our planters and suddenly, just a couple of weeks ago, they started blooming. It’s a nice splash of colour around the edge of the patio, but the patio furniture has all been put away for the winter.

The white ones have looked like that for the last several weeks, the blooms never fading. And now we have what look to be dark pink ones of the same flower starting to bloom in the planters along the other edge of the patio. Just. Starting. To. Bloom.

We’ve had several frost warnings and even a couple of bona fide frosts leaving their residue on rooftops, grass, and cars for the sun to burn off in the morning. What kind of flowers are these that they’re still blooming? I’ll have to be sure and collect the seeds from them for next year.

And isn’t it too cold for the bees? Maybe that’s why the blooms are still fresh. Of course without the bees to pollinate them, the blossoms won’t turn into seeds for next year. See why bees are so important?

In the meantime, the granbaby can enjoy picking them while they last.

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


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


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.


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. :-)