Monday, October 16, 2017

History is doomed to repeat itself

Do any of my readers remember who famously made that statement?

I've been reading some books and articles the past while that made me think of that statement.

After the Napoleonic War, the UK had thousands upon thousands of men who had served, now out of work.  The Industrial Revolution was booming and unskilled jobs were becoming extremely scarce. There were many RIOTS.
In 1834, the government came up with a scheme to put destitute people into workhouses.
Families were torn asunder.  Men, women and children were separated and some family members didn't make it into the workhouses.
It was a hard time.
Fast forward to the 2000s. Jobs are disappearing quicker than people can retrain to do something else. The social supports are straining with the load.
Can a modern system of work houses be far behind?

Sunday, October 15, 2017


Here we are right smack in the middle of October. It is extremely warm today. Windy as heck. The rain is just starting. Apparently we are going to get a LOT of it and then the weather front chasing it away is going to be COLD. The dreaded "S" word has been mentioned this afternoon!

My beautiful red tree, the one beside the shed, is looking quite bare thanks to this wind.  The very top has a toupee of scarlet leaves but on the way up is rather sad looking.

We had guests from Hamilton yesterday. After an amazing early dinner of fried chicken, salads and yummy sides, we went for a walk in the bush. My guests were really excited to learn about the different wild things and their applications. Unfortunately one of the gals had a bit of an allergic reaction to something. When we got back to the house I dosed her with allergy medication and I understand she was okay after that. I love to teach folks about the wild things.

My good friend, and former roomie, is celebrating a birthday this week. I want to make a nice dinner and cake for her.  I thought blueberry cheesecake would be a nice change. I found two packages of cream cheese in the refrigerator, but I was sure I had three, so I had to go head first into the big freezer in the basement. What a MESS! No cream cheese, but I did find about six frozen black bananas. There is a banana cake in the oven right now.

I know, nothing exciting, I just needed to babble a bit. Have a great evening friends!

Sunday, October 8, 2017


Wishing all of my Canadian folks a happy Thanksgiving.

I am missing my family something fierce today.

Today, October 8, is also the anniversary of my best friend Bonnie's passing. I am missing her something fierce today too.

So I'm not feeling so happy myself, but I'll get over it.

The weather is just grand. Still! The leaves in my yard are spectacular, but it is very windy today, so they won't be around long. As my blog pal Hilary Quint said "Autumn burns brightly....then burns out." Very aptly said Hilary. 
I have all the windows in the house open wide. I had a little lay down this afternoon and the breeze blowing through was just lovely.
(end on a positive note!)

Monday, October 2, 2017

Sunday Drive

We loaded the dog in the car and went out driving aimlessly. We ended up going all around the Madawaska Valley. BEAUTIFUL day.

Baya was happy to jump into this quiet little lake for a swim. There were campers on the far side but they were packing up to leave. We might camp here next year.

The lovely little hamlet of Cormac in the distance

Eganville. The museum to the right.

Golden Lake as seen from Foymount. 

Green Lake between Dacre and Quadville

Rapids on the Madawaska

They are dropping the Mad. so the water isn't all that rough these days.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Mostly garden stuff with a sprinkle of this and that

IT is FREEZING at my house today. I'm wearing a sweatshirt and fleece pants! I think it's time to pull out the winter duvets too.

I wish I had wonderful photos of maple trees putting on their wonderful autumn dresses, but that isn't happening. I live right on the south east corner of Algonquin Park, and I can tell you the "colors" are blah.  The leaves were turning colors alright, but with the heat they just curled up and many dropped.
I have about 50 maples surrounding my yard. Many are bare, but some (surprise!) are still green. I'm wondering if they are going to show us their finery?
We had frost last night and apparently it's in the forecast for tonight. I was going to do some work in the garden today, but there is rain on our doorstep, so it will wait a bit. My work basket is full of spring bulbs and garlic waiting to be planted. I need to finish tearing out the tomato bed and stir it up for the garlic. The former garlic bed was left fallow this year. It's a raised bed box in back of the house. I'm going to move it out to the front with the other raised beds. There won't be anymore gardening up back where the shade is often creeping over that bed by August.
The lemon trees were brought indoors yesterday. Just in time I would say. They grew like crazy this year. They clearly loved these weather conditions. Both are about three feet tall. One is very lush from top to bottom, while the other has a rather sparse stem but good thick bushy top. I think the skinny minny might need a bigger pot and some soil enhancement.
I can't even cut the grass in the rain, so perhaps this afternoon is a good time to start working on the two quilts I'm planning for Christmas gifts.

Be well my friends.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

There is only one week left in September

If you live in the east of N.America, you know where I'm going with this post.
With only a week left in September, our temperatures average 18 degrees Celcius. Well here we are sweltering in 30 Plus!!!!
I am dehydrating apples in the van this afternoon! It is too hot to have the dehydrator going in the house, so I just put the trays in the van. I wonder if they will dehydrate or cook??
We're laying around watching old movies on TCM this afternoon.

We are heading to the city on Tuesday to pick up the new car. We couldn't find the Toyota we wanted, but heard about this good buy on a Volvo. It has been checked out by a mechanic and the price is certainly right! We have sold the snow tires and now the old truck has a for sale sign on it. It hope it sells soon.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Summers Folly

Well summer has FINALLY arrived in our part of the world. It is very very warm and a bit on the humid side. Apparently it is going to grace us for the next week then turn chilly. Just in time for autumn to come sliding in.
The maple trees are really showing a lot of brilliant scarlet red this year. A couple of weeks from now there will be an eye dazzling show!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Holiday Blues

I haven't really been experiencing the post vacation blues. I'm sad and ticked off because I lost all of my photos from the cottage, Sudbury and points east. I was sure I put them on my computer but no way, they are gonzo.
It has been busy days around here. After a couple of nights with FROST I've had work to do in the garden. The squash and cucs are all finished. The potato plants are toast, but the tubers are fine in the ground for a good long while yet. We dig them as we need them. Surprisingly the tomatoes and peas are holding up just fine. I have no recollection of planted a Black Krim, but that plant is just booming along. They are some tasty tomatoes. I am CRAVING a tomato sandwich on white bread with lots of Miracle Whip on it, but alas, that bread will make me very ill.
I have been planting perennials like crazy too. I sure hope they do well next year.
Daughter and I went to Fiber Fest in Almonte, Ontario on Sunday. It was nice, but I didn't think it was a nice as last year. Daughter seemed to really enjoy herself, other than having a serious allergic reaction to the alpacas. She broke out in blisters! Thankfully she had Benadryl in her purse which helped a lot. I was a very good girl and only bought one skein of very expensive yarn. I gave myself a budget and didn't hardly put a dimple in it!

This afternoon M and I went to a lake in our county to do some fishing. The fish weren't about to be caught at all, but the trip over and around the lake was just lovely. The weather was absolutely perfect. I saw several loons and heard them talking. That just made the whole trip out worthwhile. I had missed them this summer. I also saw a bald eagle drifting around over the cliffs at the north side of the lake.
It was a grand day!

We have some squirrels living in the wall. They are driving me crazy - and the cats crazy - and the dog crazy. Today one of the little ones was scampering across the screen in the diningroom window. I think mom has tossed the little guys out of the nest. (They are flying squirrels so he shouldn't have even been out in the daytime.)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Parry Sound Boat Cruise

Before leaving Parry Sound, we decided to take a little tour of the waterfront. The cruise boat was just loading so we decided to take the tour.

Prop in the parking lot. Isn't this huge? Our boat had FIVE of these props.

Into open water of the Sound

Boats and planes in the harbor

Some BIG pleasure boats 

The Coast Guard Depot

BIG "cottages". The original cruise boat used to deliver groceries, mail and newspapers to the cottages along the shore

Our route around the Sound

Nice seats and big windows. There are also open decks fore and aft.  I get seasick quite easily so the aft deck wasn't my favorite place. 

Our vessel had to get through this narrow channel!

Not sure if these are tugboats or fire boats.  This was an island after all.

Georgian Bay (the Sound is part of it) is known for these beautiful rock outcrops. 

The foredeck

More of those lovely rocky islands

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Lets start again

I got a little scrambled up, so yes, I did delete the two previous posts. For some reason my photos got posted in the wrong places, yada yada yada. Lets start over...........

Most Canadian vacations include this iconic little refreshment!

On day one we drove from east to west through Algonquin park. 
At the gate they have this lovely totem. 
Even though we were passing through, not camping, we bought a day pass so we could check out some of the attractions within the park

Since our last trip through the park, the new visitor center has opened.  They have some interesting stuffed wildlife. I wonder if these were killed on the roads in the park? It seems to be a relatively common occurrence along that highway. I don't have a photo, but there was an interesting aquarium with live fish. 

They had a display honoring Tom Thomson, one of the famous Group of Seven artists group. Tom died in the park back in 1916. There were two "paintings" on the wall. We thought they were the real deal, which had me in AWE. As we walked away from them, the light caught them in such a way that I realized they were prints. 

This is one of Tom's most famous paintings, called WHITE PINE 1916. Today the tree is gone, but there is a bench on site (erected in memory of someone's loved one). You can sit and ponder the far hills as the sun sets. I've been there and loved it for real myself. 

There were some interesting photo vignettes about the history of the Park. 

It was kind of a mizzly day and thankfully not to busy on the highway as we passed through. 

We decided to spend the night in Parry Sound.  Man was that town hoppin'! We had a hard time finding accomodations and ended up in the "Fleabag Motel" on the outskirts of town. It had a nice look from the outside, a nice comfortable and attractive lobby, a lovely pool and hot tub, but the ROOM. Oh my gawd.......lets just say I tore the bedding apart checking for bedbugs..........
The restaurant next door was okay. I still can't wrap my head around a $15 plain jane hamburger though! (And awful fries)
We managed to get some sleep. Day two turned out to be a whole lotta fun!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Do you listen to CBC Radio?

If you do, I would assume you are Canadian. I love CBC radio. (CBC television, I could take it or leave it). I download podcasts and listen to them when I wake up in the wee hours and can't get back to sleep.
One of my favorite programs is the Gardening Show on Mondays over the noon hour. The garden guru is Ed Lawrence, who was for years the head honcho at the governor generals residence in Ottawa. I like his style. He's a pretty laid guy and has a very folksie way about him.
Ed had some great advice for folks who are pulling their hair out over their unproductive gardens this summer. I learned that many plants have a LOT of foliage due to the lack of sun. They need all that green surface to produce chlorophyll. He is telling us not to give up hope on getting fruit from things like our squashes. Our little patty pans are producing but the hubbards haven't done a thing yet.
We get a tomato every day or two and the beans are starting to be a lot of work. I got the first batch into the freezer today.  This is the first time we have ever tried to grow eggplant.  Kind of cool isn't it?

We bought some cuc's to supplement the ones from the garden. 

The wild mushrooms are showing up!

False sunflower.  I have a love hate relationship with them.

The lilies, which I don't remember planting, are putting on a great show. There is another one that is even a darker pink than the one below. A third plant is about to pop. Two others don't have any buds. Maybe next year. 

The white phlox is going to get moved at the end of the summer. They bloomed for the first time EVER this year, but just aren't as nice as they would be with more sun. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

August evening

I love August. The changing light, the cool nights.
This evening I was sitting on the side porch about 7:15. The red pines had wonderful golden glow to them. I wish we could see the sunsets here, but the hills are in the way.
I noticed that all sign of my monarchs are gone. The cocoons are done, no more eggs or larvae to be seen. Sightings of adults are scarce. I think they are on their way south.
Our whip poor will hasn't been out here singing lately either.
Later tonight I'm going to recline on the side porch and see if I can catch a peek at the Perseids.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Algonquin Sunday

We took a LONG drive into the interior of Algonquin Park today. The sign at the head of Achray Road says 72 km. It's a good 100 km. to the Observatory. We had a bit of confusion about the Observatory. There is a website devoted to that spot. There is supposed to be a nice spot there where you can get a meal. We approached a big stop sign and another sign which said entry was forbidden. So what gives on that eh?

Not too far past this is a small parking lot at an interior launch spot for canoeists. I never would have imagined there would be that many cars parked that far into the park!
It's lovely in there. This is the Petawawa River where it enters Traverse Lake. I sure wish we'd been able to see the Observatory.

There was a little beaver on the road, it slid down the embankment into this lovely pond. She was one of three playing there.