A Tribute to Shirley

…Shirley was a long time cottager up on Big Sand Bay

Shirley O’Donnell passed away a week ago today. I saw her one last time back in August when we were both at our cottages. She looked well but clearly her health was not good. Her log cabin cottage was the envy of the beach. Over 40 years ago she had the logs of the cabin floated over to Big Sand Bay and rebuilt on top of the dune. Every summer she and her two children resided in this rustic cabin. She only had electricity installed in the last decade and like us used an outhouse for most of her cottage life. Several years ago she had a beautiful little building put up next to the cabin with a composting toilet and an outdoor shower.

On the weekend I got up early Sunday morning and took a walk to Shirley’s place and started to take photos of the view and the special little touches that made her place so special. The mist coming up over the lake was very mystical and I almost felt like Shirley was looking down on us and sharing the morning with me.

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An Evening Walk on the Beach

after arriving at the cottage we had a quick snack and then decided to explore the beach

Now that the days are getting shorter my daughter and I knew that we didn’t have a lot of time to walk on the beach before darkness set in. After sitting in the car for over three hours we needed to stretch our legs. We fuelled up on some tea and homemade apple cake and then headed down to the beach. We were pleasantly surprised to find the the water level had gone down somewhat since our last visit so walking on the beach was considerably easier than it was two weeks ago.

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Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge – Any Kind of House

…thanks to Cee for hosting the Black and White Photo Challenge

A Cottage


The Queen’s House

A London Flat

A Home to Rent in Hyde Park

The Tortoise’s  House

A Bird House

In the Neighbourhood

Dundurn Castle in Hamilton

A Playhouse


Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge – August 26, 2018

…..thanks Cee for hosting the Odd Ball Photo Challenge

Just got back from a three day visit to the cottage where I managed to take some odd ball shots on the ferry, on the beach and around the cabin.


A Day at the Spa, Two Days at the Cottage and Cleaning the House

….a busy week

Last Friday my good friend, Arlene and I went to the Elmwood Spa for our birthday lunches, water therapy and facials. My birthday isn’t until the end of August but we decided to have our birthday lunches at the same time. We enjoyed salads, a main course and dessert. The only thing we had to pay for was our wine and coffee.

When you have  a treatment for more than a $100 you can also do the water therapy at no extra charge. This includes the steam room, the whirlpool tub and the salt water pool. We did it all. After 30 laps of the pool I showered and then proceeded to to the rooms where the facials are done. What a relaxing afternoon. We left the spa feeling renewed and refreshed.

On Saturday my husband and I left for the cottage. This was Kevin’s first trip and my fourth. The weather wasn’t great but it was nice to get out of the city and just chill. Sunday was overcast but for the most part the rain held off and Kevin and the dog were able to go for a long walk through the woods. Frances loved the freedom to run and roll in every mud puddle she could find.


On Monday morning we left but not before Kevin made us a delicious breakfast that we affectionately call hopple popple. It’s a fry up of bacon, vegetables (usually onions, potatoes, mushrooms, etc.) and scrambled eggs.

For the rest of the week I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and reorganizing some of my art supplies and paintings. Our son and his wife are vacationing in Toronto and will be staying with us for a several days. I spent most of my time cleaning the spare room and framing and hanging some of my art work around the house. It gave me a great deal of satisfaction to see some of my work hanging on the walls.

On Wednesday Kevin and I went out for dinner at Nodo on Dundas St. W.. The meal was so good that I didn’t get a photo of our meal until it was completely gone. IMG_2737

Our daughter-in-law and daughter were at the baseball game for Josie’s birthday and we agreed to stop by their house to check up on the dog, Olive. After our meal we made the short trip to their house and spent some time playing with the dog and catching the baseball game on their TV. The Blue Jays were behind 2-0 and in the top of the ninth they pulled it off and scored three runs.


A Day of Reading and Quiet Reflection

…..my road to recovery has been painless

After icing my jaw all day long yesterday I was happy not to have to do that today. There was little to no swelling this morning so I guess the ice paid off. I started the morning with a delicious peach mango smoothie that my husband made for me and for lunch I had some creamed soup and leftover mashed cauliflower with an egg mixed in for some protein. Both meals were somewhat satisfying and I wasn’t as hungry today as I was yesterday.

One of the benefits of staying home and having restrictions as to what I’m allowed to do is that I was able to get a lot of reading done. I’m all caught up with my emails and I’ve finally started a new book, Road Ends, by Mary Lawson which I’m about a third of the way into. I’ve also been able to research some great art sites for ideas for upcoming art classes at school.

We also got some good news today. My husband went for his quarterly check-up at the hospital this morning and his blood count is still in the normal range. It’s always a little stressful for my husband on those days coming up to his appointments.

Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Pleasure

Knowing that we don’t have to worry about the return of my husband’s cancer for at least another three to six months brings us both a great deal of pleasure.

Pleasure is Nature’s test, her sign of approval. When man is happy, he is in harmony with himself and with his environment…..Oscar Wilde

As we get older we appreciate the simpler things in life. Here are a few things that give us pleasure:

For more quotes and photographs about pleasure check out Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge.

Daily Prompt: Remembering Summer

Theoretically, summer will return to the polar-vortex-battered Northern Hemisphere. What are you looking forward to doing this summer?

Summer Dreams

Mornings at the cottage

sitting on the deck with a good book

and a cup of coffee

Long walks on the beach

soaking up the sun

running through the waves

Puttering in the garden

turning the warm soil

picking fresh herbs

Starting up the barbeque

sharing food with family and friends

warm evenings with a glass of wine

in the backyard

Painting in the great outdoors

Listening to the CBC

Marathon games of scrabble,

Rummikub and euchre

Car trips to the country

farmers’ markets, antique stores

ice-cream parlours

Dreaming of summer


Breaking into D’s Car

….it’s amazing what we pick up from TV

As we were packing to go home yesterday, D came to my cottage in a panic because she couldn’t find her car keys. She thought she might have locked them inadvertently in the trunk of her car. She rummaged through the garbage first but to no avail. The only explanation was that she accidentally placed them in the trunk while packing and then closed the lid.

Breaking the window was the last resort so we searched the deep corners of our brains where we store useless information looking for a solution. How many times have we seen TV shows where cars are broken into in mere seconds with the use of a crowbar and a hanger? We found a crowbar and managed to pry open the window just enough to stick a saw blade into the interior of the car. Unfortunately the blades we tried were all too short or they bent when we applied pressure to the lock.

Finally D’s daughter found a long metal rod that did the trick. The click of the lock was like music to our ears. If you know what you’re doing and have the right tools you can break into a car in a matter of seconds. Not that we’re contemplating a career change but it is a bit scary when you see how easy it is to break into one’s car. Now all we have to do is learn how to hot wire a car and we’d be in business; another skill that could have come in handy if the keys weren’t in the trunk, which they were.

Off to the Cottage for a Couple of Days

….hopefully the bears stay away

Even though I’ve just returned from a 3 day excursion with some of my students I’m heading north to join my friend D and her daughter for a ‘girls weekend’ at the cottage. We had planned this before I knew about the Mono Cliffs trip. I was too tired last night to make the trip so I’m heading up after I write this post. It looks like it’s going to be a beautiful weekend, weather wise. My lessons for the week are planned and there isn’t anything I can do about the library on the weekend so I think I’ll be able to enjoy myself without worrying about school.

I’ve been reading about bears on some of the blogs that I follow. It seems like more and more bears are moving into communities that haven’t experienced them before. I know that they’re trying to fatten up before the winter hibernation but it makes me nervous to think that they might saunter by looking for food at my cottage. Hopefully they’ll find enough food at the dump, which is a few kilometres down the road from us.

Enjoy your weekend. I’ll report back on Sunday night.