Happy Hallowe’en

….a wet night but that didn’t deter the trick or treaters

The weather for Hallowe’en was suppose to be so bad that there were parts of the country that were talking about postponing Hallowe’en night. Here in Toronto it was decided to leave Hallowe’en as is. We all have memories of going out on rainy and sometimes snowy nights to fill our bags with sugary treats. Back in the 50s crepe paper costumes were all the rage and I remember wearing one on a very wet night. Needless to say the costume fell apart and I was covered in dye that bled from the costume.

We never get a lot of children coming to our door. We are at the bottom of the street and many of our neighbours don’t turn on the lights or are purposely out for the evening. There are about five houses that always make an effort to decorate the yard and/or put out a Jack o Lantern. This year was no exception but it rained very heavily for most of the day and well into the evening. There were brief periods of time when the rain subsided but it kept returning and later in the evening the winds really started to kick up.

The surprise this evening was that the children and their parents came out in droves. Many carried umbrellas, some were driven from house to house but most of the children walked. At first it seemed like Hallowe’en night was going to be a bust but at about 6:45 small groups of kids of all ages started to appear at the door.

Normally we only get 15 to 25 visitors on Hallowe’en but tonight we had a record number of 62. I ran out of chips (56 bags) and only had 6 chocolate bars out of 120 left over. The only downside is that there is no candy to munch on for the next few days, especially since we don’t have any young children living at home any more. In hindsight it’s probably a good thing.

Here are a few photos of some of the decorations in the neighbourhood.

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Our pumpkin this year was a happy fellow and some of the kids allowed me take their photos.
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Our granddaughter is posing next to her father’s amazing pumpkin. She was suppose to dress up as Belle and that’s why the pumpkin was carved in the Beast’s likeness. As you can see Winnie had other ideas and wore her Owlette costume from last year. My theory is that because her father dressed up as Spiderman she also had to wear a super hero costume.
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You can see that it also rained in Hamilton but that didn’t keep Winnie from bringing in this large haul of goodies.
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Black and White vs Colour – November 27, 2017

…join the fun and change your colour photos into black and white

Thanks to the Maine Paper Pusher for hosting the Black and White vs Colour photo challenge.

Which of the two do you prefer?

Standing in the rain, waiting for Santa.

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Where to Take Out of Town Guests?

…..why Niagara Falls, of course

Last week my son and daughter-in-law were visiting from London, England. It was a crazy busy week and the nine days that they were here flew by in a flash. Last Saturday we drove them back to the airport.

The first four days, Brendan and Azadeh stayed at our oldest daughter’s place and for the last five days they came to our house. Tuesday turned out to be one the nicest days we had in terms of weather. For most of the day it was warm and sunny and was the perfect day to drive to Niagara Falls. From our place in Toronto it is about an hour and a half drive.

On our way down we ran into a slow down in traffic because of construction. I made a decision and made a detour that took us through some wine country. Bonus! I wasn’t exactly sure where my decision was going to take us but when we arrived in the town of Jordon and right in front of the Cave Spring Wine outlet I knew I had made the right choice. We got out of the car and sampled a little bit of wine (it was just 12:00 noon) and bought a couple of bottles. Everyone enjoyed our little detour.

My Dad joined us for this outing. He’s seen Niagara Falls numerous times so he was more interested in going to the casino. Once we got back on the highway we had avoided the construction and quickly arrived in downtown Niagara Falls. We went straight to the casino, parked the car and dropped Dad off at Casino Niagara. From there Brendan, Azadeh and I walked over to Clifton Hill and down to the Falls.

Clifton Hill has a carnival like atmosphere. We took a few photos but didn’t go into any of the attractions. Here are a few photos of our walk down to the Falls.

The falls of course did not disappoint. Going in the middle of the week is not a bad idea if you can get away because it’s not as busy as it is on weekends. The line-ups for the boats that go right up to the Horseshoe Falls, however, were very long. Needless to say we gave this attraction a pass, especially since we had to be back at the casino to meet Dad in a couple of hours.

When we got to the top of the Canadian Falls we decided to go into the Table Rock refreshment building for a drink and a light bite to eat.

When we were done we only had 10 minutes to get back to the casino to meet Dad. We knew that it would be impossible to walk back in such a short space of time so we hailed a cab and drove back. Sure enough Dad was already waiting for us, right on time. We went back into the casino and let Dad show us his favourite machines. We all played for a little while. I was the only one who lost money.

When we got outside the skies had darkened considerably and we knew we were in for a big storm. I picked up the car and drove back to the casino entrance where everyone was waiting for me. We wanted to go to Niagara-on-the-Lake for dinner so we headed out on the Niagara Parkway. This is normally a beautiful and scenic drive but today we drove through a torrential downpour. Luckily when we got to the historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake the skies had cleared. We went to the Old Angel Inn for dinner (apparently the oldest inn in Upper Canada). I’ve been there many times so I was pretty sure that the food would be good. It was. When we were done we decided to head back to Toronto so I don’t have any photos of this part of the trip. On the drive out of town we stopped at one more winery but it was just after 6:00 the place was already closed. Oh well, another time perhaps!

If you’ve never been to Niagara Falls you need to visit when you’re in southern Ontario. It is, after all, one of the world’s natural wonders.

A Birthday Party and the Royal Botanical Gardens

….a busy week with the family

On Sunday, after returning from the cottage, Kevin, my father and I went to my daughter-in-law’s father’s 80th birthday party. I knew when we got to the party that my father would make a big deal about being the oldest person there. He quickly found the over 80 table and made himself comfortable and engaged in conversation with people he had never met before. That’s what my Dad has done his whole life and I remember as a kid being so embarrassed by how easily he would go up to perfect strangers and start talking.

The party was a huge success and the daughters actually pulled off surprising their father. The mostly Italian and some Argentinian guests thoroughly enjoyed the food and there was lots of laughter and lively discussions.

On Monday I drove to Hamilton to spend the day with my daughter, Gaelan and her daughter, Winnie. Brendan was working from home that day so he decided to join us for lunch at a great Chinese Dim Sum restaurant. Winnie has been introduced to a lot of different foods as soon as she started on solid foods and I was amazed at how much she enjoyed digging into the sushi.

After lunch it started to pour and we waited in the strip mall while Brendan ran home and brought the car back. I felt badly when he got back because the rain had almost completely died down. Thank goodness it had because Gaelan, Winnie and I decided to go the Royal Botanical Gardens. The part we went to had a lot of indoor displays but the rain was so light that we ventured outside and took Winnie to the children’s area where she could run around and play in the sandbox.

Just before we went back home we decided to go the Tea House for some refreshments. We had tea, coffee and scones. Winnie drank the milk they brought me for my tea.

A wonderful two days.

Cheers!

WPC – State of Mind

….our photos are a reflection of our mood at the precise moment we press the shutter button

This week’s challenge is to post photos that represent a state of mind. Here are some shots I have taken when I’m at peace, happy, sad and curious.

At Peace and in Awe – Early morning sunrise

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Happy – Taking joy in watching my children go canoeing for the first time

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Curious – patiently watching this little fellow and seeing how close I can get to him

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Sad/blue – on this rainy day

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How I Keep Warm on Cold Rainy Days

….last Tuesday it poured at the cottage and it was cool

There’s always plenty to do in the cottage but when it’s cold outside it does limit my choice of activities. Last week we had one of those days. Luckily the rain held off until noon so I was able to cook a nice warm breakfast on the BBQ. I should have gone out for a long walk but I didn’t so I didn’t reach my walking goal of 10 000 steps.

The inside of my cottage holds whatever heat there is fairly well and when the windows and doors are closed there are no drafts to worry about. I did a lot of reading on Tuesday and when I felt cool I put on an extra sweater and covered myself with a blanket.

Close to supper time the rain ceased but the temperatures remained cool. I walked over to CH’s cottage, four roads over, with D and we found her unpacking her car. She had just arrived from Toronto with her 10 year old granddaughter, from Norway. I stayed for a cup of tea and I was then invited for dinner. Wonderful!

CH’s cottage is small and has electricity so it was nice and cozy warm inside. When I returned to D’s cottage, however, it had cooled off even more. D turned the electric heater on but you had to sit right in front of it and then it felt like you were starting to bake. If you moved back a cool draft hit the rest of your body. There was only one solution to really warm up and that was go into the sauna.

Now this sauna is something else. As with most projects done up here it was over engineered but it works like a charm. D’s father did an amazing job with the finishing details. It’s big enough to seat 6 adults comfortably and right next door is an outdoor shower with hot and cold water. What a luxury! Not only did I warm up but I also washed my hair. Heavenly! It’s the things we take for granted that bring me so much joy up here!