Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Lesson Learned and Gratitude

Daughter learnt a valuable lesson last night about the solidity of moving vehicles.  She is fine, just to put that out there, just a bit bruised.

All season she has used my bike to commute to her job, mostly returning home between 10-11pm.  All along I have suspected that she is not a defensive rider but borders on a little aggressive.  Back in her youth, we delivered papers in a small town in the darkness of morning.  She learnt then to feel comfortable in the dark, with a misguided sense of safety.  A small town at 5:30am is very different from night-time city traffic. 

She was bumped when she tried to scoot past a car turning into a driveway.  An older woman was driving, and promptly gave Daughter proper shit about riding on the sidewalk, and not being careful.  I sympathize with the woman, she was probably in as much shock as Daughter.  

I admit that I ride on the sidewalk on that busy street as well.  But I am a very defensive rider, having found out at age 20 how it feels to be knocked down by a car.

So daughter is 'grounded' so to speak, having to bus and walk again.  Today she will lick her wounds, and take hot baths to sooth her muscles.  She knows how lucky she is.  I am grateful that this lesson was not a serious one.  A month ago a man I know was hit by a car on his bike, and ended up with a lung punctured in two places.  He did not go to the hospital until he began to drown in his own fluids, and ended up in intensive care.  He survived.

So daughter had a wake-up call.  I know she learnt from it.  My bike is off the road until the front wheel is repaired or replaced...  

My sad bike in better days...

Lucky girl.

Monday, 27 October 2014

The World Moves On

It keeps on spinning even when you are on holidays.

Being in a different country when tragedy strikes is bizarre, you are both connected and disconnected.  It was surreal actually, because we found out from Americans at the pool, that our young Soldier was shot guarding the monument at the Parliament buildings in Ottawa.  And anyone we met after were just as shaken as if it were one of their own young men.  I think that Americans are not used to hearing such news from Canada.

And then the school shooting in Washington, another shared sadness.

Election day has finally arrived here in Ontario as well.  Finally the blather will be put to rest.  Because of all the news coverage of Toronto and the mayoral race there being [a bad joke] overblown, it has been nearly impossible to decide about my own riding in Hamilton.

Vacation was good.  We relaxed on the beach.  We swam in the sea.  We walked miles and miles along the shore of hard white sand.  There is nothing I love more than walking on sand, searching for shells.

But home is wonderful.  Autumn colours are the best, and I am happy we did not miss this latter edge of Fall.   After 6 days of eating out, simple fair of chili and stew was marvellous.  Now to focus 'in' and start nesting for the cold season.  My summer clothes are washed and stored.  Soon the geraniums will be brought in for the winter.

My house was in decent shape when we returned home.  The cats had water.  The young adults had food.  The dishes were done.

All is good.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Mysterious Snowing Photos

As I have written before, I don't know how to get photos from my phone...
But Somehow this popped up and I have no idea why the photo is snowing.
But it is pretty.

I remember taking the picture though...

But it is snowing in ALL these old photos!
Blessedly, it is not snowing in Southern Ontario yet.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Planning, planning.

  • I am getting SO excited about mushroom foraging on Saturday.  Yes Francie, it will be safe.  We are going with a very experienced guide!  I would not undertake mushrooms without one, but once I know how to shroom, I will be let loose in the forest.  I look forward to many mushroom-y walks in the future.  
  • this weekend is our Canadian Thanksgiving.  Ours is early, and completely distanced from Christmas, which is nice.  We see Thanksgiving as an early autumn holiday, with no pilgrims involved.  I do remember many pilgrims from elementary school, but we learned way too much American history in those days.  Thanksgiving is about brightly coloured autumn leaves, gourds and chestnuts, feasting of course.  
  • Sock #3 is going very well.  The yarn I am using is an easier fibre to use, not as slippery, and the colours less difficult for the eyes.  I have made fewer errors, but am far from a perfect sock-knitter yet.  I am heading into the gusset, which for me is the diciest part.  
  • Work has been insanely busy, husband is so stressed, we are taking vacation on the week of the 20th.  First we were going to go to PEI, then to the Carribean, now maybe Chicago.  Husband would like to take a train from Detroit to Chicago, and we'd like to explore all the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings and walk around the city.  He was there a few years ago and loved the city and always said he'd like to go back with me.  I love this time of year, and find it silly to escape it south.  Plans could change again, in an instant as we co-ordinate with the boss, for our travelling is often a 'perk' of the job, we appreciate.  So long as I can get him away, it does not really matter where.
  • Lots of visiting happened over the weekend, with friends and with family.  It was a bit draining but at the same time it was a welcome break from the house.  We did end up turning on the furnace, poor Youngest was freezing to death in his room while studying for midterms.  The cats are happy to have the furnace going as they all find the furnace grates they like best.
  • And I somehow missed my hair appointment on Saturday, so tomorrow I have to drop by and apologize and give Rachel a $10 Tim Horton's card.  I don't know how I missed, I guess 6 weeks went really fast this time 'round.
  • The weather has been fabulous lately and I am loving the colours and smells that come with the cooler season.  My park-garden will be put to bed this weekend and spring sprouts are already germinating in my mind...  Home is unruly.  Much pruning needs to be done in preparation to listing the house [hopefully] in spring 2015.
  • Oh!  looks like the trip will be south after all....  Now to see where.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Plans and Thoughts for October...

My second sock is nearly done.  A bit of a mess-up with the toe, some rows to remove [it's a wonder I can still see the stitches are so tiny] and then I can move on to closing the toe.  Phew.  Then I will wear them.

When I was taking my knitting lesson, my lovely tutor told me about the sweater knit-along, and I geared myself up for that.  Surely I could undertake a sweater, I thought.  Yesterday they posted 5 different sweaters to choose from to participate, and I did see one I thought would suit me, but later in the afternoon I decided that I am not ready, not just yet.  My small projects do not terrify me the way a sweater does.  I am nearly ready.  My main concern is investing in the yarn, and then getting bored halfway through the project.

I think I will try after my next pair of socks, and the Larch Cardigan [see link above] looks like a classic style to try.  Maybe.

In October on the Saturday of our Thanksgiving weekend I have booked Husband and myself to go Mushroom Foraging.  I've been dreaming of mushrooms since our weekend away, and Puck's Plenty offers foraging sessions near Stratford Ontario.  I am so excited, Husband not as excited, but always up for a [weird] outing with me.

Some badly behaving gardeners at the community garden have me concerned.  One is Bev, who can be aggressive and forceful, and puts off the other gardeners.  She is conflicting with Joyce, our older gardener who is a little bit mad, but usually in a friendly way.  She is sure that Bev is a psychopath, and that she has been selling the community beans.  Not so funny in the flesh, but ridiculous to type.

Gardens are never dull, and community gardens attract a whole range of hippy and survivalist types.  On Wednesday night one of our gardeners is bringing his apple press and we're going to make cider.  Hopefully all the cider making will be calm with no drama, just yummy.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Just a Cottage in Muskoka...

Last weekend we visited a cottage in Muskoka...
Aside from this first photo, all the others are not of the cottage where we stayed.
Geoff indicated that he would not like his family cottage on the interwebs...
Which is fine, because I much prefer the old and dank.
His family cottage was warm and cozy.

[from the dining room window in Geoff's cottage]

Geoff's family received the chunk of land in the middle 1800s from the Government of Canada.
Free Land Grants attracted many families to the rocky north.

They soon learnt that there was no farming to be had on their claim, but his family  managed to keep the land and succeed elsewhere, south in Toronto.

[See the owl in the window?]

They became wealthy in the south, and the land in Muskoka grew enormous 'cottages' where the rich would retreat from the humidity of the city.

Although most of these buildings are still owned by the original family, upkeep is not so easy in modern times.  These same wealthy folk in Toronto now have huge mortgages, and by the time the money filters to the cottage, it is pretty much gone.  The structures are wood,

[sinking slowly...]

I had a wonderful time traipsing through the wet forest.

In speech and example, Geoff still drips with that aura of entitlement that tends to rub me the wrong way.
It was a safe visit, all adults behaved, conversation stayed neutral.

[The roof of the boathouse from the other photo]

Living in Costa Rica has not been a walk in the park.  It has not been endless swims in the sea and breezy living.  It has been difficult for my friend, who is a hard worker.  It has been mold growing on everything, business partners cheating, lawyers failing, law suits pending.  It has been draining.

[Servants' Cottage from a time long ago, copper roof]

Again I am reminded about that grass on the other side of the fence.

[entrance to servants' cottage]

Not always so green.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Chilly Friday Ponderings

Autumn thoughts :

  • I would love to run away.  In my imagination I can.  
  • New neighbours.  Very nice.  Old neighbours gave us 2 old doors which he was going to take to the dump.  New neighbour saw them and asked about them.  Apparently old neighbour took them off 2 bedrooms and didn't replace the doors!  New neighbours happy to have the doors.  
  • A bad smell in the basement.  We suspect someone with 4 legs made a mess and we will need to investigate.  Will make husband do so.
  • Work week long and arduous.  Lots done though.
  • Lovely chilly nights and mornings.  The sky over Lake Ontario was dark grey and the lake even darker.  I took a photo from the car, but it was not as intense looking.
  • Eldest and Lovely Lu have been slowly moving to their new grown-up apartment in the beautiful end of town.  Tonight we will help them pack some more.  
  • And tomorrow we leave early, early to visit friends at a family cottage.  I will take my knitting.  I hope to breathe and relax.  I will take photos, on my camera.