Happy Victoria Day

….to all my fellow Canadians

As far as long weekends go this one was pretty uneventful. Daughter number two went up to the camp to continue cleaning out their cabin that they’ll be living in this summer but they only stayed one night. The black flies are pretty bad this time of year and it was cold.

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On Saturday I got some gardening down and cleaned out part of a flower bed and trimmed back the Rose of Sharon and the ornamental grass. Even though it was warm enough to garden without a jacket it wasn’t warm enough to sit outside without a jacket to enjoy a cup of coffee.

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On Sunday daughter number one and our daughter-in-law came over to drop off their dog, Olive so that they could camping in a yurt up in Tobermory. While they were there my husband felt well enough to make a fabulous dinner that he had seen on Jamie Oliver’s show, Dinner in 30 Minutes. This is a photo of the salad he made with fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, roasted peaches, olives and salad greens.IMG-2326

Olive seemed to settle in quite nicely and she certainly made herself right at home when her mommies left. Unfortunately night time was a bit rough and I ended up sleeping on the couch with her until 4:30 in the morning and then my husband took over.

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Today started out promising but the winds picked up and the temperatures  were well below normal. Later in the day I bundled up and took the dogs for two separate walks. Frances would only let me take her around the block but Olive went five times as far. We ended up in Col. Sam Smith Park. The water levels are still high and one of the pathways was completely under water.IMG-2346

No sunburn or tanning this long weekend but the good news is that I walked over 13000 steps today. How was everyone else’s weekend.?

Out Like a Lion

….good-bye March

I know that if March comes in like a lamb it’s suppose to go out like a lion. I’m not sure that this qualifies as a lion but before I went to bed just after midnight I saw this:IMG-1831

….this morning I woke up to this and it’s still snowing.
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I don’t know why I’m surprised by this. We get snow in April sometimes. Luckily this won’t last long and it will probably be gone later today.

Snow Angel

…I’m glad that someone is getting joy out of this crazy weather

Actually seeing this angel brought me joy and it brought back memories of me as a kid doing the same thing in freshly fallen snow. I saw the children who had probably made the angels with their parents when I was walking through the park to catch more ice designs with my camera. It was a bit treacherous because beneath the snow was slick ice. I had visions of falling and sliding down the banks into Lake Ontario. I saw another photographer out looking for interesting shots and he was walking very gingerly over the ice as well.

We had lots of rain last night. Could this be the end of winter? I doubt it but we’re getting closer and closer to spring.IMG-1022
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Brrrr!!!

….it’s sooooo cold

At first it looked like winter would never arrive but then the snow came and the temperatures dropped to -13 degrees Celsius  with a wind chill of -20. For my American friends that would be the same as -4 Fahrenheit.

It’s even too cold for my dog, Frances. When nature calls she goes out and comes right back in.IMG-0163
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A Green Christmas in Toronto

….no White Christmas this year and no snow in site

For some the prospect of no snow this winter would be heavenly but for others like me it would be disappointing. Others just want snow for Christmas and then it can be snowless for the rest of the winter but for many, winter in Canada wouldn’t be winter without a good snowfall or two or three. Those people include skiers, snow boarders, chalet owners and of course children who dream of a snow day when the schools are closed (a rare occurrence in this neck of the woods).

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were both clear and cold with no snow in site. On the upside there was no wind and it was very comfortable for walking. I convinced my father to dress warmly and get outside for a walk through the neighbourhood  on Christmas morning. We donned our Santa hats until my Dad decided his wasn’t warm enough and we took a leisurely walk along Lakeshore Drive and up Ninth Street, which my father fondly calls Santa Alley.

It was fun greeting other walkers with a Merry Christmas and stopping here and there to take a few shots of peoples’ decorations. Here are some of the sites we shared together that morning.P1070324
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Right now it’s 4 degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit) and the high on Saturday is going up to 9 degrees Celsius (48 degrees Fahrenheit). As for snow there’s none in sight until January 6 and then it is only snow showers.

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.

Late August – Wind, Waves and Rain

….can always tell when August rolls in

The nights get cooler in late August but it tends to warm up during day. On this last trip to the cottage the winds picked up and we had huge waves. I’ve never known the waves to come up the beach as high as they did. On our little section of beach the waves came up over a wall of sand and created an new lake in the middle of the beach. When I took these pictures the wind and the waves had already died down somewhat but the little lake remained.

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Luckily we had gone swimming the day before and the water is still quite warm.

Hopefully when I go back tomorrow the winds will stay away for awhile. When the waves are too high the barge won’t run and that means we would be stranded on the island. Not a terrible thing but my daughter has already lost one day of work because we couldn’t get off the island.