Thursday, November 29, 2012

Minden Meandering

The lovely town of Minden is just a couple of hours north and a bit east of where Frank lives, and another hour or so from my place. It's one of the towns where we've been looking to find a home on one of its surrounding lakes.

During the summer and into this autumn, there was a lot of construction going on along the main street, so I stuck to walking routes which kept me away from town.

minden gull river
This is the Gull River. It was about a ten minute stroll from our motel, and while we stayed there, I walked along its shores and beyond for about an hour, twice a day.

minden second visit
There's a walking path alongside each bank, and a couple of bridges along the way allow us the opportunity to cross over to the other side.

Along the walkway, various wood sculptures turn dead trees into art. It's a great way to keep their beautiful spirit alive.

This whimsical design made me smile.

Speaking of whimsy, I found this cool bicycle rack sculpture made of recycled springs, pipes and other metal parts.

Once I was over the bridge, and walking away from town, I discovered this small but charming pioneer village. It seemed to be unattended and yet, most of the buildings were open for exploration.

minden schoolhouse2
There was a blacksmith shop, a post office (which was closed) and this quaint little schoolhouse - The S. S. Stanhope No. 9.

minden church]
I loved all of the beautiful old wood in the little church.

minden labryinth
The Peace Garden Labyrinth beckoned me. I walked it a few times (on various strolls) and sat on that tree stump in the middle. You can read about its significance here.

Wits end drive
The labyrinth might be a calming place for folks who live on this street.

minden sunset
This was the view from one of the Gull River bridges at the end of one of my evening walks.

timmies sunset5
And the next night, with a classic Canadian coffee and donut shop in the forefront, this was what we saw while sitting in front of our motel room.

I hope you enjoyed exploring Minden with me. More photos coming up in a few days.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Colour Buzz

I love color. I feel it inside me. It gives me a buzz. ~ Damien Hirst

November can be a dreary month. How about a little splash of colour from previous weeks, to help get us through it?

purple aster
Purple asters make an appearance in late summer and live through until the first hard frost of the autumn. I noticed a small patch of them still growing near my place just the other day but this photo was taken back in September.

tiny orange flowers
While we're admiring nature's art, let's enjoy these bright orange blossoms. They're called Orange Hawkweed - I only know that because I just Googled it.

riley colourful sun
I'm sure you'll remember this cutie. Riley is one of the many cute kidlet neighbours on the street. He's wearing a pretty colourful top but I think his smile outshines it, hands down.

coloruful soccer ball and bag2
Doesn't this look like more fun to kick around than the traditional black and white soccer ball?

On one of our house-hunting trips, we saw these colourful kayaks outside of a shop. They'd make a fine looking fleet if out on the water together.


Theresa birthday cake 60th
Frank's sister Theresa celebrated a milestone birthday in October. The colourful cake was reminiscent of flower power of the 1960s.

Frank's niece did a wonderful job with these cupcakes. I never tasted one but I'll bet they were at least as yummy as they look.

Not everyone dressed up for the party, but Geisha did. She belongs to Frank's cousin, Trish, and she's modeling her little geisha girl outfit. She's a very patient little canine.

Thanks for sharing my colour buzz. Please be sure that you're straight enough to drive before moving on to the next blog.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

That Flirty Sun

“The sun was as flirty as Scarlett O'Hara with the Tarleton twins, breaking through the clouds in spectacular bursts that seemed like personal favors and then retreating for hours, days, and making us all ache for just a glimpse.” ~ Lorna Landvik

In my previous post, I brought you along to a football game at Toronto's Rogers Centre. It had been a rainy day but by the time we were ready to head home, the sun had made a most welcomed appearance.

union station2
Since we've now met again at Union Station, perhaps we can ride the train together.

from go train
Lucky for us, we were able to get a window seat. The sunlight is barely peeking through the still-heavy cloud coverage but it's enough to illuminate towers and treetops and add a bit of drama to our journey homeward.

train view
At various points along the way, we get a good view of Lake Ontario.

from go train6
There's a lot going on here - sunlit shrubbery, trains at rest, a tower, tractors, lamp posts and the reflection in the window which offers a glimpse of the view through the other side of the train.

from go train3
Another view of the lake before we reach our destination.

oshawa go station
As we're pulling into the station, another train works its way westward.


at go station
There's a bit of construction going on at the station during the week. Although at rest on this day, the sun seems to have awakened the brilliant orange, yellow and turquoise of the equipment.

go station bike rack
Just before we found our car, Frank pointed out the top of this bicycle rack shelter.

For some reason it makes me think of this scene from The Wizard of Oz.

frank driving sunset
You might as well get in the car with us. Doesn't Frank's beard look cool in the sunlight?

oshawa church
One last sight before we arrive home - the church Frank attended in his youth. The cross appears to be lit from inside but it's catching the last rays of this beautiful sunshine.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends. I think I can smell the sweet scent of turkey wafting up here, over the border. 

One more thing, please...

For those of you who may not know her, Laura is, among many talents, a spiritual director, poet, photographer and of course, a wonderful blogger. She has asked me to include the following Thanksgiving message in today's post so that you can share in her gratitude for life and perhaps be a part of her fine project yourself:

“The Mega Mobius Gratitude Quilt was an idea born in November of 2009 when I had an MS exacerbation that made it difficult for me to communicate through words. I did not know at that time if proper syntax and missing words would return, but I wanted to write something for my Thanksgiving blog post, because I felt so deeply grateful for the goodness in my life. I was concerned that I would not be able to write it myself, so I asked friends and family to be earth angels and help me out by sending me brief messages about what they were grateful for in the moment. Thus began an annual tradition, and thankfully speech and the ability to write returned not long after the first quilt was created. This year more than two hundred people came together to create the quilt with me! You can view the quilt on November 22nd, Thanksgiving Day in the United States by stopping by my blog Shine the Divine. Additional offerings are welcomed in the “leave a comment” box beneath the post.

Gentle steps,


Ps. It is called the Mega Mobius Gratitude Quilt because a mobius form never ends... may that be so for expressions of gratitude as well.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Slaying the Dragon & Posts of the Week

Until a couple of months ago, I had never tasted a Dragon Fruit. I saw them at the grocery store one day while visiting Frank and decided to buy one for us to try.

I have to admit, it comes by its name honestly. I certainly resembles a dragon, some exotic tropical fish or perhaps a pink armadillo. Its brilliant, magenta skin is not tough like I would have thought. In fact, it's rather soft and easy to cut through.

dragonfruit cut
Slicing it lengthwise reveals a smooth, white flesh with numerous seeds, much like those in a kiwi. In fact, I'd say the taste also resembles kiwi and maybe a bit of pear.

One more cut and you can easily peel the skin back from the fruit and enjoy. Or cut slices into each quarter to make triangular shaped wedges.

It's not overly sweet and it's quite juicy. If you get the chance to try one, I recommend you go for it. They're full of nutrients, low in calories and have those wonderful antioxidants which help keep us healthy. In fact, you can have this piece. Yum

And now, without further delay, here are the Posts of the Week. The icon below is yours for the taking if if your blog post is named as a POTW.



Longest Time Out Ever!
by Dianne

at Do You See What I See


A Different Way of Remembering
by Carmi
at Written Inc.

Spiraling Return
by Laura
at Shine the Divine

Thanksgiving Comes First

by Lime
at House of Lime


by Don
at Quotography

The Last Leaf
by Daryl
at Through My Eyes

Eurasian Eagle-owl
by Bob
at Birds and Nature in the Forest of Dean

Small Town Remembrance Day
by Daniel
at The Pixel Collective

Drama in the Skies
by Glo
at Porcelaine Rose

Sunday Sunset

by Scott
at Just Used Pixels

Frosted Flowers
by Fiona
at Lady Fi


The Rainy Fox
by Sarah
at Plastic Acid

by Betty
at Bossy Betty

Last Minute Friday 55
by Cad
at A Trellis Fencin

Key Sharing
by Cloudia
At Comfort Spiral


I'll Hook Ya Up
by Dianne
at Forks Off the Moment


Spilled Secret
by Pauline

at Writing Down the Words


Recommended by: Gail
Love and Other Drugs

by Beth
at Be Yourself

Recommended by: Lady Fi
Portrait of Proud People
by Francisca
at View Thru my Global Lens


Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I'm certain that I've written about my wonderful neighbours in the past. Good friends who also happen to live on our street.

Mark is one of those really nice guys, and he is relatively new to the area. Jen has lived next door to me for about a dozen years now. She met Mark a few years back and he's become part of the gang since he decided to share Jen's home a few years ago.

Typically, on a Friday summer evening, Frank and I will be outside on my front deck. I might have a glass of wine or a cooler and Frank will be enjoying a shot of tequila along with an ice cold beer. Mark will pull up from a long day of driving his limousine, peek over the fence and know that within seconds, Frank will be waving him over to join us. Like all good neighbours, he rarely even hesitates.

I mentioned that he drives a limousine but actually, it's his own business and he has a fleet of cars which see some pretty famous passengers seated within. One of the perks of his work, is that he has seasons tickets to the Canadian Football League Toronto Argonauts' home games. On several occasions, Mark has kindly offered us tickets whenever we'd like and we finally took him up on that when we had plans to meet some friends for the very first time.

laura stephen
Enter Laura and Stephen.

A bit of back story: Frank and I initially met when I wandered into an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) trivia room. I'd played in other rooms before but as characters come and go, the mood of the room and ensuing chat changes. I had grown disenchanted with the last room I'd joined and was looking for something new. That something new happened to be where both Frank and Stephen played trivia - and very well, I might add. Of course the best part of the trivia chat room is the people (much like the best part of blogging) and that particular group was an intelligent, funny and interesting bunch. I stayed for few years and got to know the people pretty well. Once Frank and I crossed the line into real life, we spent less time playing trivia, as did others. The room evolved into less of a draw for all of us and eventually it just faded away. But through the years, Frank and I have kept in occasional touch with a fair number of the regular gang, and among those is Stephen - a bloke from England.

argos ticket
When Stephen and Laura traveled to Toronto early in September, Frank and I had been generously gifted with four tickets to the Hamilton/Toronto game and our guests were eager sports fans.

The Rogers Centre is located close to the world famous C.N. Tower.

argos outside band
We connected with the pair while we were walking, and were soon greeted by a band upon our arrival. Of course they weren't really playing just for us but you already knew that.

rogers centre
The Rogers Centre is also home to baseball's Toronto Blue Jays, as these banners along the building will attest. Evidently, they read better from the other direction.

argos game
We had a great view of the field from our seats.

argos booth view
But we had more fun in one of the booths where we could order snacks and drinks while watching the game.

argos bar
A glance to my right revealed the bar and some of the many cocktails we could have (but didn't) order.

argos crowd
And to my left, was a small section of the crowd.

argos cheerleaders
Of course, some of you would probably be more interested in the game or even the cheerleaders than in the various other surroundings. Go figure.

argos fireworks
The crowd and pyrotechnics went wild any time the Argos scored (Arrrrgoooooos), which was often. They beat the rivaling Hamilton Tiger Cats that day.

After the game, we parted ways with our lovely visitors but I know they'll be back some day, and I look forward to spending more time with the two of them.

union station time check
Frank and I headed back to Union Station to catch the train home. Public transit is great but if you ever want to ride through Toronto and the surrounding areas in style, you couldn't go wrong with Mark and his amazing fleet of limos at Cameron Limousine.

In a few days I'll post some photos taken on the train ride and subsequent drive home from the station.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Drive-by Sunsets

Outside, daylight was bleeding slowly toward dusk. ~ Stephen King



It was a lovely time of day. That hour just before the sun lowers itself behind fields and fences, silos and barns. The  only way to snap multiple silhouette images of the changing landscape was to sit in the passenger seat of the car, on our way home toward the south. This allowed me the perfect view to the west and the setting sun.

drive by 

Before the dusk began to greet the day, there were a few drive-by scenes which caught my eye, Among them, this lovely but cluttered peninsula with its colourful trees showing off what's left of their best autumn attire.


The sun was shining proudly on this little bay, saturating its colours with rich, warm hues.


sunset horse
Before too long, it ws difficult to make out disticnt details of the countryside, but my camera still picked out this grazing horse. You might need to squint.


sunset cattle
Well, if you could see that horse, how about this cattle? They're way over on the udder side of the field.

driveby sunset trees
Bare trees look quite dramatic with the sun setting behind them.


sunset barn trees2
Many of the barns look the same whe the night steals away with its hues and shades.

driveby sunset barn and trees
Quite a few of them are worn down enough to allow at least some sunlight to shine through them.

driveby sunset through old barn2
And some - quite a bit.

driveby barn 

Before long (several dozens of photos), it became too dark to focus on the countryside. This was my last shot from a most amusing drive home. At least for the passenger.

More coming up soonish.