Saturday, 21 December 2013

New 52:  The rest of the year….

I was supposed to do this weekly, but you know how life gets in the way, and what happens to good intentions. So picking up where we left off and quite abbreviated… and before I forget,
my incredibly handsome son graduates with
his finance degree from the University of Lethbridge.

Week 34 ~ Jess & Todd visit

Week 35 ~ Jennie
 Jess & Todd have just left for Calgary and Ross' mom has a stroke and is admitted to the Victoria hospital in London. From there she goes to University hospital and then to Parkwood stroke rehab until
she gets a nursing home spot in Nov. Initially it looked pretty bad but she has recovered nicely with her speech remaining as the last big challenge. Still new words are coming every day. Ross and I spend much of this time driving into London and bringing his dad to the hospital to visit.

Week 36 ~ Coprinus Plicatilis ( say that real fast)

Since Dawson died I have been quite obsessed with identifying the mushroom around here. Whenever it rains our yard is literally covered in these delicate and very short lived mushroom. Turns out they are not poisonous.

Week 37 ~ Perennials
Wasn't planning on doing any gardening this year but stopped by the greenhouse
 (mistake) and could not resist these, coneflowers along with some lavender.

Week 38 ~ Puppy socialization with Hanna starts. It's a bit of drive to Varna for 9 am on a Saturday morning but the class is a lot fun and she loves it. Besides who can resist "On Golden Paws".

Week 39 ~ Pinery Hiking 
By now we have hiked all trails, but each time we go we spot something new.
This time it was a Sassafras tree with its mitten leaves.

Week 40 ~ Fall colour, planted a beautiful Japanese maple (hope it survives)

Week 41 ~ Fall Planter

Week 42 ~ More mushrooms
These giant puffballs are all over the neighbours yard - they are supposedly edible
 but I'm not about to take any chances.

Week 43 ~ Pruning  Had to hire someone to trim the tall oak trees at the front. In order to save this tree we moved thehouse back on the lot about 30 feet. This gave us a longer driveway ( more snow to shovel) and necessitated a retaining wall with about 90 tons of stone. Keeping that tree was expensive!

Week 44 ~ Chipmunk Habitat, turns out all that stone is multipurpose!
Week 45 ~ At the Beach
Our Hanna loves the beach!

Week 46 ~ Darwin ( the grand-dog)

Week 47 ~  Nursing home.  Ross' mom gets a spot at the nursing home in Parkhill and likes it much better than the hospital!
Week 48 ~ Winter Birds


The feeders have been busy with a parade of birds including Junco and Titmouse above.
 We also get woodpeckers, nuthatches, chicadees, doves, crows and wild turkey.

Week 49 ~ Christmas tree    

Finally located some Christmas spirit and put up this gorgeous tree ( only $35 at the local greenhouse - it would have cost easily twice that much in Calgary)! Must admit I am rather pleased with it.

Week 50 ~ Red-bellied Woodpecker Returns, put out suet and they will come :~)

Week 51~ A delivery, this lovely Epicurean gift basket arrived today. Thank you Doris!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

New 52: Weeks 29 - 33

And now for part two of my catch up post….

Week 29 ~ That's Entertainment

Ross & I have a date night and go see the "Buddy Holly Story" at the Huron County Playhouse. We are really fortunate in Grand Bend to have quality theatre ( talented actors and musicians) in our small town.  The venue is pretty nice too… This is also the week that our friends from Kitchener come to visit and we decide to go to the Starlite Drive-in to see Despicable me II, proving that we aren't snobs when it comes to entertainment :~)  It must be one of the very few remaining drive in theatres anywhere!

Week 30 ~ Hanna

It has been really quiet here without Dawson and in spite of just having been through the whole puppy training thing we (well mostly me) decide to go ahead and get another dog.  But what kind? After spending hours online checking out different breeders, and trying to sort out if I want to adopt an older dog, get another Pom or maybe try a Papillon I decide to go back to the breed I know and love. I'm home alone as Ross has gone canoeing with a buddy from college days for a week so what better time to start training a new puppy!  Whitland Shelties in Corunna, is not too far and has a couple of pups available so I drive out to see them. I had initially chosen her sister, the runt of the litter, but after spending over an hour observing the pups it becomes apparent that cute  and tiny as she is ( I love tri-coloureds) she's much too hyper for me. This one, however snuggled into my neck and went to sleep when I picked her up - I knew I had found my girl. She is incredibly calm and cuddly without being fearful or shy - the right temperament for me. Her colouring is sable/merle so a bit unusual. Meet Hanna…

Week 31 ~ Bugs

The area we live in is a rare habitat ( Carolinian Forest) and we have our share of unusual critters. I confess not all of these were taken this week but it made sense to put them together. The very noisy cicadas are super cool in close up - amazing eyes. Blue dragon flies, very strange and very long Pelecinus wasp that does not need a mate to breed - it is parasitic and uses that long tail to lay its eggs in beetle larvae in sandy soil, a moth with a mane like a lion…bees that kill cicadas ( no photo of  that one) they are huge and scary looking but for the most part docile - the males are stingless …always something new to learn


Week 32 ~ About Town

Welcome wagon dropped by with some nice coupons, so we took the time to check out some local businesses.  Some we'd been to before and others new to us. Ross loves Best Ice Cream ( he has yet to try the bacon flavour), and our neighbour Anne Fullarton has some work in a local gallery so we stopped by there and tried out the restaurant next door for the first time. For years we have been driving by Dales Antique Market without stopping in and consequently missed out on a really cool place to shop

Week 33 ~ Homer

For the last few day we've had a racing pigeon frequent our backyard bird feeder. I think that means he's opted out of the race. He has red & green leg bands, and I've been in contact with a racing association to see if we can locate his owner.  We're calling him Homer. At the other end of the spectrum we have hummingbirds pretty constantly and I managed a pretty good shot.  Lastly there is a large flock of turkeys around but we never seem to have the camera at hand just when they come through.

New 52: Weeks 21~28

You know what they say about the best of intentions…I have to confess that this project still  hasn't made it to the forefront for me. Much has to do with how crazy busy it is to build a house, move, have company and get a dog… So this is a sort of catch up post and also a bit of a change of focus from all "new" things to a bit of a chronicle of what's been happening in the weeks since I last posted. I am still mindful about opportunities to try different things or simply to look at the world with new eyes.  Thank you Lynette for providing the nudge…again!

Week 21 ~ Garlic Scapes

Our friend Stan, who grows organic garlic as a profitable hobby, dropped off a large bag of these. Scapes, in case you didn't know are the edible top of the garlic plant.  A quick google turns up tons of recipes… we tried them raw, in a salad, and cooked in a stir fry. Very tasty! It was a large bag, so I chopped them up and froze most of it to add to soups and anything where I want a hint of garlic.

Week 22 ~ Maggie

The highlight had to be a visit to Toronto see my "aunt" Maggie ( she's actually younger than me), her lovely daughter Stephanie,  Dan and of course the unforgetable dashunds - Biskit & Brandie.  Can't believe I forgot to take photos, we were only there for about 8 hours catching up on about 20 years.

Week 23 ~ New Braces Again!

After just over 3 years in braces it turns out I have to go back to the beginning - you have no idea how pissed I am about this whole thing.  Got opinions from 2 highly qualified orthodontists, and it seems like there is never going to be space enough for the planned implant and the attempt to create it has left me with an awful overbite. Suffice it to say I couldn't bite into a tomato if I tried. So, for only $4500 and another 22 months in braces (joy!) we are trying to restore my bite, at which time we'll see what to do about the cracking teeth…crowns most likely. Moral of the story - always see a specialist and get a second opinion or better still, a third before taking a big step like messing with your mouth! Moving on… on the bright side, the new orthodontist is in Stratford and that means a trip to Madelyn's Diner 
( ) for one of the best buttertarts ever. Rumor has it that it's Justin Bieber's favorite restaurant in his hometown, but I don't hold that against the restaurant. Stratford also means a chance to visit the swans - which I find incredibly beautiful! 

Okay one of those isn't a swan - but these geese were hilarious trying to chase Dawson.

Week 24 ~ Sting!!!

Our very good friends Gord & Rebecca had a pair of tickets they could not use, so they gave them to us along with the use of their new townhouse. First time to a live concert in ages - the acoustics in an auditorium aren't the best, but still it was fun to hear the music live with a huge crowd and a light show!

Week 25 - Pride

My nephew, the very handsome  Adam Campbell, graduates with honour.  He pulled this off while working part time and after a not so great grade 11. Nothing this kid can't do when he sets his mind to it!

Week 26 - Move in at last!

We have the keys to the new place, some furniture yet to be delivered as well as all the stuff from Calgary and lanscaping to finish off … but we're in. So happy with how it all turned out.  Home at last. Feels wonderful!

Week 27 ~ Visitors 

Marie-Rose (aka MR), my niece Reanne & Doris drove out from Saskatoon & Calgary to visit. They were the first guests in our new home and got to see the place before we finished unpacking and while it was still a bit chaotic here with people dropping by to finish up odds & ends and hook up cable, work on the yard….Still we managed to get out to the beach, fit in some shopping( Doris models the new shirt) and see a show ( Spamalot was hilarious!).  Reanne is growing like a weed - she's as tall as I am already!

Week 28 ~ Heartbreak

Our beautiful Dawson died of a seizure on July 26th, the day after getting his heartworm medication - we'll never know for sure if that was the cause, but the autopsy performed by the drug manufacturer found no underlying defects - up until that day he had been a very happy, and healthy little fellow. We miss him terribly, in just a few short months he had captured our hearts.

Monday, 20 May 2013

New 52: Week 18 ~ 20

Life has been hectic to say the least, so this project has not been at the forefront
of my mind. With both of us heading off to Calgary to spend some time with the kids and
take care of business, (Ross has an exciting new project in works - more on that later if it
goes according to plan). Add a new puppy, packing and a move, plus all sorts of
decisions ( stain colour, stair rails, more light fixtures...) and we've been kept busy.
It's becoming more of a what's happening with life, but that's okay as it still makes for
 a great excuse to take out the camera most days.

Week 18 - Rose Breasted Grosbeak

The investment in seed pays off -
what a year for new birds! This
handsome fellow let me approach
and shoot several shots before
flying off. Beautiful!


Week 19 - Temporary Digs

Truck was a bit of overkill for what
we had to move, but it went fast!
Now only a 5 minute walk from our
building site and the final move in
date fast approaches. Getting a taste
for life here amongst the sand dunes.
Being serenaded by a whippoorwill
most evenings, but yet to see it.

Week 20 - A Gift

The landlord ( who's becoming a friend - 
              I know we're so easy!) 
       left us a welcome bottle of wine. 
It's a Peter Lehmann "Layers" from Australia.


It's going to be a favorite.  

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

New 52: Weeks 16 & 17

Week 16

Flew to Calgary and spent the week at Jess & Todd's new place for the first time. So nice to see them settled in and loving their new house.  One of the main reasons for my visit was to pick up my new puppy from Meadowlark Arabians and Jess & Todd also got their Corgi the day before I left.

This Darwin at 8 weeks,
He is easily twice as heavy
as my little guy!

So mellow!

This is Dawson the Pomeranian
   at 11 weeks,
            he's a little hellion
                   by comparison!
Week 17

Back in Ontario and low & behold it's actually spring out here! Took my camera and macro lens to 
check out the wild flowers around the acreage and got these shots. The blue ones are grape hyacinth and the whole plant is only about 6" tall - so pretty! The red one is a trillium - have seen load of white ones before, but never this colour. Spectacular!  The yellow is very like the pink shooting stars we see in Alberta - no sure what it is.