Sunday, October 26, 2014


I had to hunker down this weekend and get some lawn clean up done. Before we know it the snow will be falling and the shovels will be calling. 

So this post is all about the beauty and the beast of fall clean up.

Here's the backyard - this falls under the category of beauty. But that is a lot of leaves to rake up! 

Hence the beast - raking and bagging, raking and bagging...

Found another beast....she is "helping" me round up those leaves. I use the term loosely as her idea of help is to rip through the piles with glee. 

Beauty - Firebush

Beast - in the midst raking I have to stop and clean up Lulu's special treasures that she leaves me. Here are my weapons of choice.

Beauty - leaves are bagged and ready to go! 

Beast....definitely beast. Hope you all appreciate what it took for me to get in close and take a shot of this fatty.

Beauty - the dahlia are still blooming but I will have to dig them up soon. 

I'm ending this post with one last beauty. After a back breaking day, I made a meal of roasted cornish hen with mushrooms, rice and vegetables and finished it off with apple crisp. Then I enjoyed a well earned glass of tummy warming wine. 

I was speaking with my neighbour who is battling a serious illness at the moment. She was commending me for my hard work and she noted "it's great that you are well enough to do it." So true. 
The beauty in the beast of labour.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


On Saturday, Sheldon and I drove up to Hamilton to meet our son Adrian and his girlfriend Carolyn for a fall adventure. Lulu tagged along, cause she had really nothing else on her agenda and it really is a great time to get out and see the colours. 

Adrian has wanted to take us on this little hike for quite some time and I'm glad we went! I'm increasingly aware of the fact that it is a blessing my legs (and hips and knees) still allow me to do this. 

This will be a photo heavy blog - it is really so beautiful out there right now. 

I really don't mind a grey backdrop and the colours are amazing. We went to the Webster's Falls Conservation area. If you ever get the chance, I would recommend it! 

There were a number of waterfalls to enjoy, but this one was my favourite.

I expected Gandolf and the Elven King to show up from behind a tree anytime.

I know the name of the blog is Lulu's fall adventure - and she was a real trooper taking on the rocks and  hills, though we did have to carry her up some stairs....but she charmed most everyone we met along the way! This is Lulu with Carolyn - talk about a couple of cuties!!!

Afterwards we went to this very hip restaurant called "The Burnt Tongue". It is a hole-in-the-wall kinda place that seats about 18 people and run by a bunch of young lads. I don't think there was one whippersnapper over 30. 

The menu is small: fries, burgers, soup, ice cream, maybe salad. But what they do, they do real well!
I had a lovely squash, cauliflower and fennel soup topped with crumbled feta cheese and sunflower seeds. It came with a roll the size of an average loaf of bread. HELLOOOOOO NURSE!

I'm not a big eater, but I like and enjoy good food

Now here is a confession and I mention this restaurant (you can find them on Facebook) partly to make amends . When you order your meal here you pay up front, which we did. But after we received our meal the boys decided some fries would be good with their burgers so we asked for an order of fries as well. Then we left....dined and dashed as it were. Somewhere on the way home between Oshawa and Brighton I realized we did not pay for those fries. Sorry young whippersnappers who made me a really yummy bowl of soup. It does not make a good impression when you publicly pray before a meal and then walk out without paying.... I texted Adrian and he went back and paid the wayward fare. 

This morning, while it was still dark and all were snug in their beds, I took Lulu for her walk.... in a snowstorm. Little white flakes swirling all around me. 

So get out there people and take a Lulu adventure in the fall, before it's too late! 

Monday, October 13, 2014


When my kids would come home from University, one of the first things they did was open the cupboards and fridge to check out what there was to eat: Sooooo much food, sooooo many options! Above is my fridge door - nary room for one more jar or bottle. This is what you call a "first world problem." And it is not uncommon. I'm sure many of us have a grandparent with a full fridge including 30 year old Miracle Whip. 

But not all of us in Canada have this problem. In fact, there are a number of fridges with nothing but ketchup, white bread and maybe some juice on empty shelves. 

At the drop-in centre I volunteer at the patrons want triple-triple coffee and hot chocolate made with 3 packets. They want the sugar rush and energy kick. We always have a snack of cookies, chips or sometimes  cheese and crackers. Occasionally we have a cake to celebrate someone's birthday. Many struggle with addictions and mental disabilities. Their fridges are usually bare and most are dependent on ODSP, the Ontario disability support program, for finances. At the beginning of the month the cheque is fresh and there is food to be had, but by the end of the month, the cheque is gone and they are hungry. 

This is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada where we celebrate our abundance. And rightly so. At my in-laws there was so much food we had no room left at the table. Everyone had more than they could possibly need to eat. The next day at my parents house was another amazing meal - except for the mushy peas (blech...)

I hope you have all had your favourites and celebrated the abundance most of us are privileged with. But, let's remember not everyone has such plenty, which is even more reason to be thankful for what you have. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014


A few weeks ago I was challenged on Facebook by a childhood friend of mine to name 10 books that have impacted you the most. 
Thus began my dilemma...
The problem is, I'm not so sure I can name 10 and I'm likely to bleed into authors. As much as I enjoy books, I enjoy how they are written too. Writing is a hobby of mine so I'm fascinated in the writing process and how people come up with and write down their thoughts. 
So, Billy, sorry I'm so late at answering your challenge. I have not forgotten, I simply did not know how to proceed. I will take a stab at it, more or less!
1. The Bible, for sure. This is a book I've read almost daily for about 30 years. I particularly love Proverbs and the verse that kept me afloat when things were (and are) dark is Proverbs 3:5,6. 
2. My world opened up when I learned to read and I can thank Dr. Suess for that! What a wonder! What a sense of understanding and clarity! Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Suess' ABC, The Cat in the Hat - boy I went through the school library like a candle in a dry forest. 
3. When Marnie Was There - this is also a childhood book but I just loved it! For years, I would wander in second hand book stores trying to find a copy to no avail. Then one Christmas, my good friend Denise surprised me with a copy that she had hunted down from somewhere in England. 
4. Speaking of children's books, Four Puppies was a book I read to my kids often. "Leaves as crisp as cornflakes" - love that!
5. Pride and Prejudice - classic. Writing perfection. 
6. Not My Will - not sure what to say. This is a cheesy book from the 50s or 60s but for some reason was the catalyst for me writing my own book....guess I thought if she could do it, so could I.
7. I'm bleeding into authors here - I Love Elizabeth Goudge - love the way she writes, love her novels. So I could rhyme off about 8 books here but let's just say, Elizabeth Goudge.
8. C.S. Lewis- the whole Narnia series and almost anything else the man has written. He's a genius who can see around corners while the rest of us walk blindly until we turn the corner and things start to come into focus. 
9. J.R.Tolkien - another genius who takes me into worlds full of fantasy and detail so I can forget all my troubles and live vicariously with the elves. 
10. L.M. Montgomery - wrote the Anne of Green Gables books and one of the only Canadian authors I enjoy and appreciate. For some reason, Canadian authors are inclined to be somewhat macabre and miserable. But not L.M. Though her real life was difficult and quite unhappy - her books are pure joy.
So there you have it - there are so many more, authors and books but I'm keeping it down to 10. 
Winter is coming. I suggest you find a good book, blanket, cat, and a cup of wine or tea and escape.