Posts filed under ‘entertainment’

Blog continues…

My blog continues  over at Look for Storygal’s Blog. Come on over and see my posts in my new site. Here’s a few of my recent posts:




September 13, 2016 at 12:28 pm Leave a comment

This is Christmas

Another of my favourite performers. Enjoy and Merry Christmas.



December 25, 2015 at 12:36 pm Leave a comment

A fine Christmas concert





Yesterday afternoon my husband and I, and our friend, Judy, attended a choir concert at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Kitchener with Inshallah (a group numbering 130)and the St Peter’s choir and all the musicians involved. The church was filled and so was the front of the church with singers and musicians.

The choirs sang pieces from around the world—England, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, New Zealand, Latin America, Brazil, USA, Korea, Germany and Poland—in English and in other languages. A few selections were: He Came Down, Helpless and Hungry (Paired with What Child is This?), Come Now, O Prince of Peace. We as audience members were invited to join in on traditional carols as well as the refrain of several choir selections.

Senior pastor, Mark Ehlebracht delivered a moving message on who Christmas is intended for and how we often want to set aside the troubles in the world to enjoy a Christmas for children, when really Christmas is for all of us.

As well we heard from Judy Nairn, Executive Director of Hospice Waterloo Region. That organization is recipient of all donations from the concert. Nairn spoke of how the organization provides services to those diagnosed with cancer and their family members. She said people often think of Hospice as the “end of the road” when it’s so much more than that.

Directors for the choirs were Debbie Lou Ludolph (Inshallah) and Peter Nikiforuk (St Peter’s Lutheran Church) with Bradley Moggach on piano, Bill Gastmeier, Ian Sommer and Don Neville on guitar. Playing percussion were Julie Hill, Don Neville and Daniel Corrigan. Kristine Lund of Wilfrid Laurier University  Seminary, played violin and Joshua Ehlebracht and Peter Nikiforuk on organ for carols sung by the congregation. What a joyful sound and a reminder of  God with us in a world that’s not always so welcoming.

We were delighted to hear that portions of this concert will be used for the Christmas Eve broadcast this year and again on Sunday, December 27th at 10 am EST via CTV Southwestern Ontario and will include vignettes and Christmas greetings from around the world.

The last, a favourite—Silent Night— with candles lit and lights turned down, was our closing carol before the postlude.

Perhaps you’ll tune in for one of those broadcasts and enjoy the music as much as we did.


December 14, 2015 at 1:35 pm Leave a comment

Through the Locks by Boat

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.

DSCF9150 We saw a bird on one of the other boats as we pulled out.DSCF9152Here’s a better shot.  It’s a stork.


DSCF9155Leaving the park behind, I noticed how the boat makes a trail that looks like a dolphin’s or whale’s  forked tail. It’s slightly cooler out here on the water with a bit of breeze.



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

DSCF9166 Some grand boats on this stretch of water. Think we’re back at Buckhorn.


Many interesting cottages and homes along the lake


DSCF9170Getting to be good boaters



Canoe pulled up to that island. Is there even a cottage there?

DSCF9209 The open water, the sky. The sun was hot but we’re cooler on the water. Still a sunburn at the end of the day in spite of  applying more sunscreen part way through our outing.

DSCF9213 Along the lake shore on our way back to the resort. It’s been a good day and the girls are tired.

DSCF9172 A nearly deserted island?

DSCF9200 On our way back to the resort, and the girls slept part of the last stretch. It was a good day.

Photos copyright C Wilker unless otherwise noted

August 26, 2015 at 10:56 am 4 comments

Canadian Canoe Museum –Part 2


As mentioned in Part 1 of Canadian Canoe Museum, there’s so much to see and learn here that one could spend most of a day here.



DSCF7608 This sign says, in part,

Missionaries, beginning with the Jesuits in the 1600s, regularly used canoes to reach the remote parts of Canada… they cheerfully accepted the rigours of life on the trail.



DSCF7609A canoe that folds. Imagine that! I suppose it would help where there is limited storage space.




Here’s a closed-in canoe, somewhat like a kayak in appearance. See the wooden seat, like a lawn chair,  and the attached oar. Perhaps only for leisure and not a working canoe.




DSCF7611 A canoe, with not one, but two sails. The sails would catch the wind and it looks like they could be moved to do just that.


DSCF7612A courting canoe, with cushy pillows for the pair, and music too. See the on-board Victrola?



DSCF7613A close-up of the music machine. I think the courting couple would want to go out on calm waters, otherwise the record player and cushions could get wet. Imagine the courting couple out on the water of a calm lake and they’re listening to their favourite music as they paddle.




In another canoe, a similar type of record player, without the amplifier. We had records like this in a black box gramophone.



Look at this sleek canoe with the cushioned seat. Pretty classy.



DSCF7618 And the very last canoe we saw named for someone special– it’s a good name.


There we are at the end of the canoe museum.  I stopped at the gift shop to look around. I came home with two books, one to read to my granddaughters and one about storytelling. Love the children’s picture book story, One Dog Canoe, by Mary Casanova, illustrated by Ard Hoyt. I also discovered that one story in the book, Mugged by a Moose, ed.  Matt Jackson, was written by a Waterloo Region author, Leslie Bamford, whom I happen to know.


September 2, 2014 at 12:49 am Leave a comment

More of our visit to Lang Pioneer Village

Truly, one can spend a whole day at this village and still come away wanting to know more.

The  Menie General Store in Lang Pioneer Village has  a little bit of everything. The building also served as the local post office.

Are we also going that way with our super centres and one-stop shopping?


DSCF7510outside the General Store (1899)




Here  people of the community could purchase groceries, household items, gifts, toys, even lace. Probably much more. There was so much to see in this building.

Inside, the smiling faces of (l to r) Audrey and Danielle, ready to help a customer and tell them what they have on hand. (Click on photo if it doesn`t open right away)






The schoolhouse, where the children received their education (1880s–1950s). Families were mainly Scots, English and Irish in this representative community.






Here teacher and school guide, Hayley, teaches an actual lesson to children visiting the village. The teacher would write the lessons on the board and the children would write the answer on their slates. Strict discipline was meted out and parents tended to back up the teacher on punishment. The desks facing front blackboard were similar to my one-room school, only our picture of the Queen was here.

Interesting to see that it shows Queen Victoria’s family and not just Her Majesty by herself. And I remember having coloured chalk and single desks.
Then on to the blacksmith’s shop




Steve, the blacksmith, answering a question of a young boy about the coal used in the forge. Coal that was used in the blacksmith’s shop as well as in furnaces to heat people’s homes, a step beyond the fireplace or hearth  in the home.



Steve and his assistant, Joseph,  doing their work with hot metal. This place could get pretty hot. Would it be welcome on a cold winter day?


At S. W. Lowry Weaver’s Shop, we saw looms for making fabric and the guide, Marie, worked alongside her helpers, Hannah 1 and Hannah 2. I collected only first names after I got permission to take photos. This building was also known as Jacquard Loom Interpretive Centre.



Marie cutting strips of fabric for the girl’s braiding project.




Threads on the loom and a completed project.





This is the second place where the students share a name and interest. Hannah 1 and Hannah 2. They’re braiding a cord to sew on a purse they have woven. It will look pretty. Good work, girls.



Back to the hotel now for some tea and cookies. We got talking to a family who were seated at the long dining room table about what they liked best about the village. The weavery and blacksmith’s place were the young people’s favourite. We talked about the wide variance in teaching methods too and I said that the dunce cap was likely not very helpful, though perhaps some of their discipline might not be a bad thing.

Our tea and ginger cookies were delicious, by the way. Thank you, girls.




Here are the lovely young ladies, Sophie 1 and Sophie 2, who took our order, served us and posed in the dining room afterwards. As it turns out, Sophie 2, on the right, is connected to the Milburn Family somewhere back in her family line. Her mother is also a “friend” on Facebook. It’s a small world after all.




Glen Aida Methodist Church (1898)


A simple worship house on the outside



Inside the church. See the pump organ on the left? Not an extreme amount of detail added outside of woodwork, but what’s there served the congregation well. I don’t know if they had cloth banners for the seasons of the church year or altar cloths. Perhaps they did.




Douro Town Hall where council meetings would be held and voting.




And a commemoration of local authors, among them Susannah Moodie and Catherine Parr Trail who were also earlier immigrants, along with their husbands. Reminded me of the storytelling duo Carol Leigh Wehking and Glenna Janzen performing their version of the women’s stories awhile ago.


DSCF7542Another desk of the period inside the town hall.



We had covered most of the village by this point, except for the lumberman’s shanty and the mill, which I’ll save for the next post, lest this one become too long.


Photos by C. and L. Wilker.  Thank you to all guides and volunteers in the village who gave permission to have their photo taken so that I could post on my blog.


July 25, 2014 at 1:49 pm 2 comments

Lang Pioneer Village–Part two of our Kawartha vacation

There was much to see and do in the area, but we’d have to figure out what we wanted to seee.  A tourist information centre in Buckhorn offered  maps and detailed information and so we made several choices for the few days we had left. Based on weather for the day, we had our minds set on several possibilities, one of which was Lang Pioneer Village. The sun came out and the sky cleared and so that’ s where we went.




DSCF7450 This pioneer village represents 1825 to about 1900 although some of the buildings are older. Here’s the visitor centre, the entrance to the village. In one room they had featured photography of the village in different seasons.



A tractor my father would like to see and it’s older than the one we had on our farm.




DSCF7458My husband standing at the gate of the Milburn House, which represents 1870s.


DSCF7459Children’s bedroom upstairs in the home, complete with doll carriage.





And next to the child’s bed, a walker. Who knew the invention was this old? But then the wheels could cause  havoc where there were stairs. See the rag rug and the chamber pot– for when there was no indoor plumbing.



Our guide, Sharon, with her two student helpers Emma and Meriah, having a crochet lesson. A bit complicated teaching the craft when you’re right handed and your student is left-handed, but the girls were sticking with it and making progress. In time it will come much easier for them.

DSCF7465The Milburn house has lovely flower beds too. Someone has a green thumb.




We stopped in at the tinsmith shop that was quite small and the carpenter shop with plenty of tools and wood. There were no guides at those buildings.




DSCF7466Where there are farming pursuits, there will be barn and wagon. Look at the bench-style seat on the wagon.




At the next crossroad sits the Fitzpatrick House. People stop to admire the gardens. This home would be built by settlers once they had some crops growing and can afford a bigger home.  The kitchen has a wide hearth where cooking would be done, and the staff here had dyed some wool. The skeins filled a basket and were dyed in a variety of colours. They used some natural dyes, but the lighter coloured wool got its shades from Kool-Aid, which I thought was pretty amusing. Makes nice shades of yarn for mittens or whatever the family would need.


DSCF7487Around the table left to right are: Hailey, Jennie, Patti and Pierre. Both Jennie and Pierre are French exchange students spending time at the village this summer.




Next we visited the Fife cabin, representing 1825, a simple, one-room log house that a settler would build when he got his plot of land. The large wooden box serves as a bed with straw mattress most likely. Only the most basic furniture would be in this cabin. See the baby cradle.

On the other side was a solid wooden table and a few other things such as a churn and a lamp. Families first coming to a lot would have had to build a shelter first, cut down some trees and plant around the stumps the first year. They might not even have a window in the first cabin as this one does. This cabin was still rather dark. David Fife, a Scotsman, is credited with introducing a hardy wheat grain to Upper Canada in the 1840s—a variety that would survive harsh Canadian winters.

From Wikipedia: David Fife wrote to a friend in Glasgow asking for samples of good seed wheat. His friend obtained a sample of wheat off a ship from Danzig, Prussia, (now Gdansk, Poland) and sent it to Fife. As it came to Fife’s hand just before spring seeding time, and, not knowing whether it was a fall or spring variety, Mr. Fife concluded to sow a part of it that spring,




Guide Cassandra, at the Fife cabin,  uses a drop spindle, and in the pot over the fire pit is wool that she’s boiling to make it clean and preparing it for dyeing. She told us what she put in the water besides alum, but I don’t remember.


Next is the print shop, the Register, where the newspaper would be printed as well as art prints, signs and advertisements of all sorts. Making a newspaper then would be incredibly time consuming, making our process today look like a whiz. Being a writer and using computers, it was interesting to see some of these processes. I wonder if they had as many challenges with their equipment as we do with computers.


DSCF7494                                                                                                                                                    in the doorway;                photo: L. Wilker





In the print shop are, left to right, Andrew and Steven. Andrew told us about the print shop and presses, but it was Steven who showed us how to reproduce a print.


One more stop and then I will continue on another post.

And here we stop into the Keene Hotel (1870s) where a young woman named Sophie took us on a tour of the hotel and her friend, Sophie, came along as support on one of her very first tours. She explained that the tea room on the left was for the women. Sometimes men could be there too, but women were not allowed in the games room across the hall. The place was busy with a tour when we first arrived, and so I didn’t take more pictures at that time. Guest rooms located on the upper floor were rated according to what the person could afford, and the family who ran the hotel had 14 children, 8 of them their own and 6 more who were nieces and nephews they raised when the children’s parents died.




We’ll stop in here later for tea and a treat  a bit later in the day, when we see Sophie 1 and Sophie 2 again.

Watch for more upcoming posts on our visit to the Lang Pioneer Village.


Unless otherwise credited, the photos on this blog are  the property of C. Wilker

July 23, 2014 at 12:55 pm Leave a comment

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