Posts filed under ‘Nature’

Off to Palmerston today

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Today I’ll be in Palmerston for a book signing, featuring my newest book, Piece by Piece, and I’ll have copies of my other books along too.

This book makes a great gift for a mother, grandmother or friend. You can treat yourself to a new book to read as well.

Glynis Belec, from Angel Hope Publishing, will be joining me for this event at Family Home Health Centre on 237 Main Street West in Palmerston. From 11 am-3 pm.

We have small treats and a draw prize, and you can get your book signed too.

Time to get ready, hope to see you there.

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April 13, 2019 at 11:17 am Leave a comment

Changeable Weather

It’s that time of year when the weather is a little fickle, when it’s not completely spring and winter still wants to hang in. We woke Sunday morning to a thick coat of snow on picnic table and lawn, and the car covered with a coating of white.

When we thought we might be done with winter, snow and snow shovel, it made another appearance to keep us guessing. It did look pretty and it was very cold. And very much a surprise.

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However, we are in April now and there were flower stems shooting through the ground and buds on trees before this snowfall, so surely we’ll feel the warmth coming again soon.

 

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shoots poking through the ground for lilacs and other early spring flowers only last week

In a few days, perhaps, we’ll smell spring in the air. We’ve seen the robins and know they’re back. I’m ready for spring. Maybe you are too.

 

April 1, 2019 at 12:36 pm Leave a comment

Winter in our part of the world

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a tree silhouette in the snow

 

In southwestern Ontario we’ve had snow and cold, then mildness and rain. After that it turned cold again and all that rain that melted the snow froze on sidewalks and driveways as well as the road, so that everywhere we went there was ice to contend with. There still is ice.

We have winter tires on our mid-sized car so it handles the roads pretty well as long as we go slow. In the extreme cold a week ago, though, our car refused to start. I turned the key and it went “rrr” and refused to turn over. It did the same thing for my husband.

My husband said it was likely a dead battery and that it needed to be replaced. Handy husband had an extra battery in the workshop that he used to try to get the car started while I called the local shop to ask if we could get an appointment.

The car started with a bit of a boost and we let the car warm up to increase the charge enough to get to the shop. Thus that afternoon we did not get to where we had planned to go, but we did get a brand new battery in the car and now it starts again like a charm.

 

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winter gardens

 

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snow on the planter

 

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my shadow in the snow

 

 

All photos on this blog are © of C. R. Wilker, unless otherwise noted. Please ask permission if you wish to use a photo.

February 9, 2019 at 12:02 am 2 comments

The things we do as grandmothers

 

 

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on holiday outings together

 

First I’ll declare outright that I am a grandmother. Have been for awhile and our count is up to five. I don’t have to raise them or pay attention to their financial keep. But I can spend time with them and I enjoy being with them.

We bake cookies together, plant garden in season. We play, read and do puzzles together. Those things I like. And recently we had a cookie decorating session, with plenty of icing and add-on decorations.

 

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Decorating Christmas cookies with all the trimmings

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supervise their play

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Enjoy the out of doors, even the shadows the sun makes in our paths

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join in their make believe

When we dare to sit with our small grandchildren, we learn a little about what they’re thinking. When we engage with their play, they learn too.

We have no guarantee how much time we’ll have to enjoy these young ones and so it’s a good thing to build the relationships at an early stage. It builds trust too.

There’s no doubt that it takes energy to play with them, especially the smallest ones, but the time we spend together and the smiles make it worthwhile.

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Looking after the garden we planted together

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checking on the fairy garden and building the path for fairies

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climbing into his car

I’m grateful that my grandchildren all live in the same city. It takes only minutes to get there. We get together for dinner, for play and special celebrations.

I look forward to spending time with them at Christmas, to see the delight on their faces as they open their gifts from us, for the hugs too. And today we will go to the older grandchildrens’ school for the holiday assembly. We sit back and watch them perform and then see their surprise when they see us on the way out. Blessed beyond measure.

 

 

 

 

All photos on this site, unless otherwise noted © C. Wilker

December 19, 2018 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

Winter

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Early November in southwestern Ontario, we had a real first snow. It coated trees and covered roofs, nearly buried the gardens and gave drivers a reason to haul out their snow brushes. It was cold too.

 

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like how the snow mounds on the picnic table top and benches, like a marshmallow top

 

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Ceramic birdhouse made by my friend Valda. It may not be the most comfortable place for birds, but it’s a pretty decoration.

 

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Time to put the watering cans away. We had to turn them upside down and drain them first.

 

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snow on the trellises, and fence, a neat pattern

Weather in Canada, at least where we are. It comes and it stays.

Today I’ll share a poem that I wrote years ago, published by Tower Poetry Society.

 

Frozen Beauty

maples wave skeleton arms, patterning a cold blue sky

exposing abandoned nests and fragile papery globes

work of birds and bees

 

silvery icicles and white patches weigh down

evergreen branches, they sag

like an old woman with a heavy load

 

paw prints parallel booted feet

imprinting, crunching the cold white blanket

over frozen soil and city concrete

 

gardens, a silhouette of frozen stalks, dried seedpods

waiting… at rest until spring

like hibernating bears

 

©Carolyn Wilker

 

Published by Tower Poetry Winter Edition 2004-2005 Vol. 53 No. 2

December 12, 2018 at 2:18 pm Leave a comment

Another breakfast with our hosts

 

Though I knew we were going home and had a good time, I looked forward to that last breakfast at Between the Maples. Gord and Maggie had such interesting experiences in their lives that it was good to chat with them. They asked about us too. And our breakfast was delicious. I could have sat longer to talk, yet we had a few places we wanted to see before we left Owen Sound.

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Maggie and Gord, an unbeatable team

While we said our thank yous, Maggie handed me a small envelope. Gord helped us carry our things to the car and we were on our way.  I had to check what was in the envelope. It was a little note handwritten by Maggie, wishing us a happy anniversary and wishing us well. That was sweet. And she’d bought a copy of Harry’s Trees for their small grandson.

 

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Tom Thomson art on display at this time

First to the Museum, but it wasn’t open yet. No problem, we went to the library next door to discover that part of it was the original Carnegie Library. I was intrigued also by the decor by the stairs, what looked like a shelf of books was actually placecards for donors who contributed to updating the children’s library.

 

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Such an appropriate way to recognize donors

The children’s area showed great thought and appreciation for children’s literature and for those who spend time in this place. Certainly inviting.

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The library had received permission for an artist to create a stained glass piece on art by Marie-Louise Gay, a Canadian artist and book author. Love her stories about Stella and Sam. This was perfect for the children’s area

 

We looked around a little more in that area before heading downstairs. Whoever had designed the changes had young children in mind too.

 

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I had permission of the parents to take this photo. This is just one example of a kid-friendly library.

I spoke to a librarian sharing my delight in their space and how it was so inviting for children and their parents.

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The original Carnegie library kept as it was. I could have spent more time here.

 

 

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Needs no further explanation

 

We headed over to the art museum next door. I didn’t take photos of the art for obvious reasons, but we did take time to look through the selection of Thomson’s art and pieces by other artists inspired by Thomson and the Group of Seven.

By this time we had some rain and wind. We’d decided to go to Harrison Park, just to see it, before we headed home.

 

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A family bought this land and dedicated it for a park

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One of the children’s play areas

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A well kept park near the end of season

We left this pretty park in drizzly and windy weather and began our drive homeward. We’d stop in Varney for lunch at Pebbles Restaurant and go on home from there.

It was good to get away for a few days and we certainly enjoyed our stay.

If you have the chance to go to Owen Sound for a holiday, check in with Between the Maples B & B and enjoy some time with Gord and Maggie.

 

October 19, 2018 at 1:56 am Leave a comment

Blue Mountains

 

We finally made it to Blue Mountain, but there’d be no skiing.  It’s too early and I’ve never learned to ski down a mountain. The barn hill with kid skis that we shared, when I was ten or eleven, was the closest I’d get to the real thing.

We headed for Blue Mountain and after our stop at Meaford with the Scarecrow Invasion, we stopped in Thornbury for lunch and then it wasn’t far.

 

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The lake right by the old station

We found the place we were looking for, the Craigleith Heritage Depot, a former train station, now a historical site full of interesting things.

 

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The platform where people would have boarded the train or gotten off

One part of the station was the landing area where people would have gotten on and off the train. It had artifacts significant to the era or travel, a conductor’s well worn jacket and cap, a train crossing sign and much more. I took fewer photos here.

 

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Might remember these signs?

 

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One of Trier’s picture books

This building is part The Blue Mountains Public library, part archives and part historic train depot and more history of the area. One other thing intrigued me there and that was a poster “Add an Animal” in recognition of Walter Trier.

Trier, an animation artist, once courted by Disney, was a forerunner  of Canadian picture books for children. Andrea Wilson, archivist at the Depot, told me he’d turned down Disney because he wanted his own name on his work. If he were to work for Disney, his art would have the company’s name on it. Therefore he went on to publish his work independently.

Wilson shared a wealth of information on Trier and pulled several of his picture books for me to look at. When she asked about my interest in picture books, I told her I’d published a picture book too. She was interested in seeing it and when I got a copy from the car ( always carry books with you), she decided to purchase a copy for the library. She also asked me to draw an animal for the poster. I declined the opportunity to draw an animal, but I was delighted in her interest in my book.

 

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story of a sinking boat

 

Andrea and the young woman at the front desk also showed me a picture book by an artist and writer from Clarksburg, not too far down the road. We’d be going that way though I didn’t know if we could look her up that day. That coming weekend was a Fall Open Studio, where this artist and many more would be participating. We’d be heading home the next day and still had several places we wanted to take in before leaving the area.

Our intention was to check out someone’s new home in Clarksburg. We felt it unlikely that we’d see them today as they were still in the process of moving last furniture from Waterloo.

We drove down the highway and  took the road into Clarksburg. It’s not that large a place but with no more information other than the address Betty gave us, we were at a loss. And so, I asked. The woman I talked with had lived in Clarksburg all her life and didn’t know the street, which I found a bit surprising. But she did think of someone in town who might know. As stores were still open, she directed me to the hardware store and a gentleman who’d been running it for many years. He was able to help us, showed me a small map of the area and gave me a few directions.

Andrea, at the museum, knew Clarksburg and said people often called it ‘Artsburg.’ Which it was. I didn’t count the shops on my trek to the hardware store and back to the car, but I saw several shops that were galleries or names of artists.

We found the  Smith’s new home, alright, and who should be sitting on the front porch with a cup of coffee in hand but Ron. Betty came out when she heard us arrive. She’d sent a text, but we’d been off driving and seeing things and I hadn’t checked my phone. As it worked out, they’d just finished unloading the van and were sitting down to relax. We had a tour, then I had a quick tea with Betty and we were on our way. Next to Thornbury, at their recommendation, to see the fish ladder.

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The fish ladder. Fish have to jump out of the water to the next level. We saw them swimming around and jumping and evidence of some that didn’t make it.

After this stop, we made our trip back to Owen Sound, first to go back to the B & B and then out for dinner, wrapping up our interesting and eventful day. We’d have one more breakfast at the B & B before packing up and heading out. I looked forward to our next visit with our genial hosts.

 

October 16, 2018 at 11:50 am 2 comments

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