Apr 26, 2019

These Boots Are Made For Planting

Well, it's a done deed. I signed up for my photography class. And not a moment too soon.

I took the grandbaby down to the beach after preschool yesterday, and I brought my good camera with me in case a picture taking opportunity arose. And it did. Several opportunities arose as a matter of fact. And how many pictures ended up on my camera?


Not a one.

And why is that (you ask)? Because it's been so long since I used my camera that I forgot how it works. I was pressing the wrong button and couldn't figure out why it wasn't taking pictures. Can we say d'oh?

I did finally figure out what I was doing wrong, but it was after we'd left the beach and the grandbaby was down for her nap. And boy did I feel foolish!

So once again I was forced into delving into my store of previously taken pictures for my picture of the week. This one was taken last summer at the local ecology garden down by the harbor. What a cute idea for recycling!

Apr 22, 2019

Mantelletta Monday

mantelletta ~ knee-length sleeveless garment worn by Catholic cardinals and bishops

Yeah, I know it’s pretty much over now, but Happy Easter, for those of you who observe these things.

I have a question. When did Easter become Christmas light? The stores were crazy enough on Thursday, but only a fool would take the chance of shopping on Saturday (Friday being a stores closed holiday) – and I should know being one of those fools.

The amount of merchandise going through those checkouts was kind of appalling. And I’m not just talking chocolate and candy, I’m talking clothes and books and toys and bicycles and other assorted sports equipment. It was a gluttonous feast of excess.

When I was a kid we used to make a pilgrimage to my aunt and uncle’s house for the Easter weekend. There would be a big, hollow chocolate bunny or rooster sitting in our Easter baskets on the dining room table, and chocolate eggs (sometimes jelly beans) to find. My aunt, who at one time worked as a milliner, would have made us hats to wear to church.

When my daughter was little, we still went up to Owen Sound (my aunt had the best house for Easter egg hunts!) We hid jelly beans in plastic eggs because she didn’t like chocolate. I’d get a white rabbit for her Easter basket and I made her a fancy dress for church. Many years later I still bought chocolate for Easter, and we’d get a movie instead of an outfit.

This year I figured the grandbaby would get enough chocolate at her house, but I still couldn’t resist getting her four Disney princess kinder eggs, and one giant one. I nestled them in a basket with a new outfit she can wear to school. The rest of us got a small chocolate bunny and a regular kinder egg.

And you know what? She was quite happy with what she got. There was a little more chocolate than was strictly necessary, and yes, like many other kids she got a bike, but the bike she got wasn’t an Easter present so much as a springtime present that was bought on Easter weekend (when the bikes were on sale).

But seriously, when did Easter become such an occasion for excess? Jesus died on the cross for our sins, let’s celebrate by drowning ourselves in chocolate and a bunch of other crap we don’t need. I’m not a religious person, but I kind of miss dressing up and going to church on Easter.

Maybe I’ll go next year. Wanna come?

Apr 12, 2019

Sweet Pea

Today's picture of the week is one I took last year on a visit to the local ecology garden. I picked it because the sweet pea is my favorite flower. Ironically, it's the one flower I've never had success with in my garden.

A couple of years ago I planted sweet pea seeds and nothing happened. But the next year I had plants spring up that took right over the small garden . . . and never bloomed. They did, however, start choking out the bedding plants I'd painstakingly planted. And boy howdy they were hard to get rid of. All attempts to pull the vines up failed. I think the roots went right down to the center of the earth. So I love sweet peas . . . as long as someone else grows them for me.

Apr 5, 2019

Picture This

Photography is something I was pretty serious about at one time. When I was in high school I was a member of the photo club, where I learned how to develop black and white film, I subscribed to a photography magazine, and dreamed of some day owning a Canon SLR camera. I was going to be a photo journalist and work for National Geographic.

It’s pretty obvious that neither the dream of the camera nor the dream of the career ever came to pass. I’ve owned many cameras over the years, none of which were my dream camera. I came close once with one of the early digital Canon cameras, but it wasn’t an SLR.

About a year ago when we thought we were going on an Alaskan cruise, I treated myself to a brand new camera – a Canon Rebel DSLR. I finally had my dream camera. There was only one problem though –I didn’t know how to make it work.

Laugh if you will, but my first few days with my new camera were very frustrating. The instructions that came with it might as well have been written in Chinese for all I could understand them. I got it to take one picture, but couldn’t get it to take a second one.

Fortunately, the daughter is a real photography and showed me some basics. But she already has a lot on her plate with little enough free time as it is, and I have a lot to learn. So I’m going to take a night school course in photography and hopefully have some fun while I’m learning.

I’m sure the course will include lots of practice – with a digital camera at my disposal, why not? A friend and I just finished a 52 week challenge using only pictures from our phone (if you’re curious you can find the results HERE) and I figured it might be kind of fun to share some of the photos I’ll be taking with my camera as well.

The course doesn’t start until May, so in the meantime I’ll be sharing random pictures from my camera every Friday. After the course starts I’ll post the best picture from each week’s lesson.

To start the ball rolling I have a picture of the lakeshore near where I live. It was taken in September last year. If you'd like to see a bigger version of it, just click on it.

Apr 1, 2019

Midlenting Monday

midlenting ~ custom of giving gifts to parents on mid-Lent Sunday

So . . . I was wrong about not having the opportunity to wear the winter jacket I talked about in my last post. I got to wear it when I went out for coffee Sunday morning. And why was that? Because after a week of spring-like weather I woke up to snow yesterday. SNOW!

I was not a happy camper.

However, this is Canada and the weather is nothing if not unpredictable, especially this time of year. Years ago it was pretty common to have snow right through the March Break and I can remember one year we had a record breaking storm on April second.

But take heart! I was down at the waterfront recently and as you can see by the picture I took, the ice and snow are receding. Those aren’t hunks of rock on the breakwater, that’s just really dirty ice/snow accumulation that’s melting away. At least now they have a thin coat of white on top to pretty things up.

Last week I did something I haven’t done in ages – I went to a poetry gathering. Members of the Cobourg Poetry Workshop, both old and new, got together to honour Eric Winter, Cobourg’s Poet Emeritus and the man who started the workshop many years ago. We started out taking turns reading poems written by Eric, then some members shared poems they’d written about Eric.

I had a great time and I realized how much I’d missed these once a month gatherings. This could be in part because the two more, shall we say, contentious members who tried to turn the group into something it’s not are no longer part of the group.

Anyway, it was enough to make me think about signing up again. Maybe even attend the poetry reading this month. Maybe write a poem or two of my own.

Maybe you’ll even find me upstairs at the Cat and the Fiddle for the next meeting.