Today’s post is a bit different from most in that I want to share some good news.
You may be sad that summer is sliding away so quickly and the cool air of autumn is here, or you may, like me, have lost a friend to cancer and are grieving. There are days that no matter what you do, nothing seems to work out. But there is hope too, and much to be thankful for. (Well maybe the turkey’s not so happy.)
Today I wish to offer encouragement to you wherever you find yourself and to share good news.
Sixty-one writers, including me, look forward to the release of a new anthology in the Hot Apple Cider series. It’s like Chicken Soup series with a decidedly Christian flair. In it are stories that offer hope and encouragement in many situations. It officially launches on November 1st. Watch my facebook page for news.
Here’s what editor N.J. Lindquist wrote about the new book:
In a complicated, busy world, do you feel overwhelmed and insignificant? The heartfelt stories in this collection will take you to a quiet place and remind you that simple acts of love can make a lifetime of difference.
Until then, I wish you happiness and joy, a warm home, friends and family who surround you with love, food to nourish you, and sun that shines softly on you.
Birds at the conservatory too
Saturday of our holiday week with my east-coast friend we went to the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory. Because it was a bright sunny day outdoors and the light shines in through the conservatory roof, the butterflies were quite active.
What I learned recently from reading the book, The Art of Butterfly Gardening, by Matthew Tekulsky, butterflies have their own behaviour. Some flit around continuously and even as they gather nectar their little bodies are moving as though they had ADHD and then there are the ones with a less dramatic fashion and who sit on the feeding plant as though they had all the time in the world. We were about to observe which ones did what, and of course I didn’t have the book with me as it was from the local library, but still it was an enjoyable time since we had purchased a chart with the birds and butterflies represented there and spent time taking photos and figuring out the names of the butterflies.
Just so you know, no North American butterflies are represented in this place though there are charts showing the Monarch, one of the few that flies to Canada but doesn’t overwinter there.
The Wood Nymph and Rice Paper butterflies are so much alike and both from South East Asia, but we thought this one was the Rice Paper butterfly. Very pretty and it looks almost like lace.
See the tiny white bird sitting on the branch? We saw a few of those but have no name for them.
Easier to see the markings here, though some butterflies’ upper wing pattern differs from the lower pattern when they sit. While sunning they spread their wings, but to protect themselves from predators, they keep their wings closed, like the owl butterfly.
Food dish where butterflies sit and sip and sun all at once.
Spiny Stick Insect
bird feeders for those small birds
The pond from a different direction. Turtle has his head above water again. Liking those leaves.
We stayed around for a cold drink and then checked some other displays in the building. More for another blog post. I hope you enjoyed this post as much as we enjoyed seeing the place and all the butterflies and beautiful foliage.
Photos by C. Wilker
We had a vacation week in July in the Kawartha Lake area, but we had another mini holiday this past week when a dear friend from Nova Scotia came to spend a week with us. We’ve been pondering for weeks what we might do, not rushing around crazily or even shopping, even if we would do a little of that too.
The first day necessitated a trip to the airport to pick up my friend. Fortunately we had good weather and the trip was uneventful apart from a few detours, in the sense that I overshot the essential turning lane to get there, and for parking, missed the cue the first time. Still we were at the gate before she appeared. Maryann grinned when she saw us waiting there for her, then we had only to wait while she collected her suitcase from the carousel.
We had plenty to talk about. It’s different catching up after a couple of years apart. There’s the welcome hug, chatting along the way to the car and loading the suitcase into the trunk and then we’re off toward home.
The first evening we kept light since our traveller would be tired. We sat and relaxed awhile, warmed up the thawing lasagna I had made earlier. Because the evening was a bit cooler than the day, we took a walk in our neighbourhood and talked.
Tuesday afternoon we went to see our eldest daughter and the youngest grandchild and were treated to many smiles.Tuesday evening, it was dessert and coffee/tea with long-time friends who had met Maryann before we did.
Wednesday, we were off to my parents’ home at the farm for an afternoon visit and then another visit with my sister Joan and her husband Ron. A relaxing evening of good food and conversation, along with many laughs and a tour of my brother-in-law’s workshop-in-progress.
Thursday morning we were off to St. Jacob’s Farmer’s Market, a place Maryann had been while they lived in our city and before their move to Nova Scotia, which is ‘back home’ for her. We rose early, bundle buggy in the trunk and a list in hand.
After the fire that had destroyed the old building, the structure was replaced by a temporary building (that remains) and then the new one that looks like the old but is much brighter and more modern with necessary safety measures in place that the older one lacked.
We elected to explore the upper level that even I hadn’t done, and then we’d get the produce afterwards.
This picture was less than perfect, but I decided to include it anyway. The salesperson (shown) asked if I would be sure to say where this picture was taken. So here it is.
We admired little sweaters, big sweaters, mittens, socks and hats
Upstairs there were other shops with beautiful items made from wood, from crokinole scorekeepers to crazy drawers and coasters to commemorate one’s college or university. Go here to see what Paul Szewc makes at his shop in Guelph, Ontario. Might have to do some of my Christmas shopping there.
There were also shops with quilts, clothing and other interesting items.
Keep in mind that we were at market quite early and that taking a picture down the centre aisle is usually impossible once people arrive in throngs. It’s become quite a tourist attraction. We got fritters early before the line-up began that often goes right out the door.
Maryann and I decided to get some tea and a treat before heading out of doors to the produce vendors. Here she is selecting bagels to bring home.
Baden Coffee Company represented here, a local company
…where we purchased our tea that morning early
We sat at a picnic table, drank our tea and enjoyed a fritter while the place was still fairly quiet.
Interestingly shaped baked goods and cream puffs that my Dad would want if he were there with us
Outdoors at the market looking up at the face of the new building
A vendor arranging the tomatoes at his stand–pesticide-free tomatoes, that is. We got tomatoes there. I’ll put them in the freezer for good eating in winter for casseroles and pasta sauce.
Still early, but more people have made their way early on a Thursday morning
We got peaches, tomatoes and maple syrup and looked up and down the outdoor aisles at what vendors had for sale before heading toward the parking lot and to the car.
They even have horse and pony rides up near the quilt shop. A tiny sample of animals showing what’s on a farm
…and some chickens too.
I didn’t see the ducks this time. They’re usually drinking from and paddling in their water troughs which is rather amusing
And so we leave the market and go onto a few other errands before heading home, but it’s been a good morning of exploring. By this time more people are arriving and the parking lot is getting busier with coming and going.
Together Maryann and I made a peach cobber for Thursday evening for a family supper at another daughter’s home.
Tune in again for our trip to the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory.
Back to our holidays and something we did for the first time. My husband and I had watched from the sidelines as boats went through locks in Peterborough and in Midland area, but this time we experienced it while riding in our daughter and son-in-law’s boat.
We had a clear day and my daughter packed a picnic lunch, water and juice boxes, and extra snacks for the children. We set off from the trailer and got settled in the boat, life jackets and all.
Buckhorn – Lock 31 is a very busy spot in July and August, so keep a good watch for downbound traffic as you turn into the lock.
Waiting at the first lock at Buckhorn for all the boats to be secured. As a boater, our son-in-law is a safe operator.
Looking up to the top to see how far the water will rise. She already is a good helper in putting out the bumpers to protect the side of the boat. It was also a very warm day and we’re wearing our sunscreen.
I cannot remember all the spots and which ones they were. We went through Buckhorn Lock, 31, then Lovesick Lock, which was #30 on the way to Bobcaygeon.
LoveSick Lock: There’s a story to that name.
Lock 30 – Lovesick, tucked in on Millage Island, is hard to spot, so look for the red day beacon on Wolf Island to guide you in and around the green buoy to the lock.There is no road access to the lock, so the quiet and beautiful surroundings make this the place to be in this area. In peak season, plan on arriving early and grabbing a space on the lower lock wall.You’ll also find space on the upper walls in a park-like setting.
After LoveSick Lock, we passed many rocky islands, with the wind in our face and the sun overhead, then through Burleigh Lock
By this time we’d gone through two locks, had a picnic at Lovesick Lock and then one more lock
Many interesting cottages and homes along the lake
Canoe pulled up to that island. Is there even a cottage there?
Photos copyright C Wilker unless otherwise noted
Some churches post the title of an upcoming sermon on their outdoor signs. The titles can be entertaining or serious, but they often make me think of what that sermon will address. Good food for thought as I drive through the city. I saw one near the expressway in Waterloo recently on my way back from a networking breakfast. It read: Fed Up. I don’t remember if the sign had an exclamation mark or a question mark at the end, but right away I thought of a quirky twist to it, given the new election signs springing up around us.
Yes, we’re going to have an election, and campaigning is underway which means parliament is closed down until the question is decided who will lead our political parties and win the constituencies.
If there’s a question mark at the end (Fed Up?), one might ask ‘fed up with what?’ Might the pastor be asking if we’re ready for new leadership? Did it mean in Ottawa, Waterloo, or in that church’s riding? I kind of suspect it meant up top, in Ottawa.
Do we really need such a long campaign for political leaders to put-downs at each other? No one is right all the time, and it is a free country, at least it was the last time I checked. We have a secret ballot and no one is standing over us pressuring us to vote in a particular way.
What I want is someone in the community who will work hard for us in Ottawa, to handle things like the environment that seriously needs our stewardship—as in some European and North American cities who want to leave a better world for the next generation, and so would I—and food for children who go to school hungry. There are more issues, but those come up top most for me. Longer contemplation will produce a longer list.
I want someone who will be respectful of the people he or she serves in the constituency, including our aboriginal neighbours, and likewise to each other in the House of Parliament. And perhaps that will show up on the campaign trail what kind of person a candidate is. I want someone who can work with other parties, together, on those really important issues our country needs to deal with.
Of course they’re human; of course they want to win for their party. I feel that we need some new leadership there, but maybe not to have everyone as a newbie, for then we’d be ‘reinventing the wheel.’
Wait a moment! Did the sign mean leadership in their church? Many of us are struggling within our respective houses of worship with our shrinking congregations and changing society. There’s plenty of work to do there too.
I really wish I had known what the pastor meant. Maybe, since I was unavailable to attend that service, the pastor will read this and write to let me know. I’d like that.
Despite all this debate on campaigning, remember our rights and freedoms, the secret ballot and how we have some say in our government. Remember how women such as Nellie McClung and others, early in the 20th century, fought hard for women to have the right to vote. Go and vote on October 19th (or in advance polls). Have your say or don’t complain afterwards. You have many days to decide on your candidate. Make it count.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada offers election resources to help you make your best decision. Go here to read them.
The day at Lang Pioneer Village included a lot of stops. Our next one was the cider mill where people brought apples to be sorted, pressed and made into cider. The girls know about apple picking and they’ve tasted sweet apple cider, but this was interesting.
Here we are inside the mill with the guide showing us how the wheat is ground into flour. I was impressed how the young man there showed the girls the process on a level they could understand. He talked about and showed how the flour was ground, what flour was more valuable, and about all the equipment and what it did. We went up to the top floor of this large stone structure, looked at all the hoppers and tools, and looked out the window at the water below, then back down all those stairs and outdoors again.
We enjoyed the day and the girls were very interested in many aspects of this place. I’m sure we’ll be back again another year.
Thank you so much to all the guides and volunteers for telling us about the village and the people who lived in these places and worked at these jobs. Thank you for taking special interest in the way children understand might view the place and time. You made it a special day for them and us.