Saturday, March 28, 2015


It's a pretty big deal around here, this Maple in the County thing. For those of us in the Quinte region, it is our signal to stretch, scratch our backsides and stick our heads out of our caves (aka the room with the TV) and start to sniff the sweet smell of spring and maple syrup in the air!  

Each spring Prince Edward County beckons to enjoy all things Maple. So we heeded the call and headed out to enjoy the festivities. It was an utterly clear, sunny day but still, oh so cold. The north wind was nippy, letting us know winter is not quite ready to let go....yet. 

So here is a run down in photos - you can't possibly hit all the sites and sounds but we did spend an afternoon giving it a good try. 

First - find a sap house and by all means fill up on pancakes and sausages. One our favourites it Fosterholm Farms, a busy sap house where we all hand in our tickets, reap a plate and find a spot to sit amongst many others stuffing their faces. 

I bought some syrup here to stock up and you can choose between light, medium and dark. I went for the medium this time!

Continuing on our tour, we headed to Vaders. This family has been in the tapping business since 1910! As a child living in the County in the 70s I went to school with a couple of them. One of the best things about Vaders is their huge tub of kettle corn popcorn they make fresh right in front of you. They pour the sweet nectar of the trees over it and suck you in by handing out samples. Yes, please, I will buy the biggest bag available.

There are lots of different maple syrupy goods to choose from all over the place. Here is a preview from Vaders.

Then we headed to Nyman Farms where there were a number of vendors selling their wares including, believe it or not, organic cotton candy. 
And it is. Nothing but the basics of organic sugar and maple syrup for a sweetener. I did try a sample and it was delish!

Then we headed to the barn and I got a little snap happy - so here you go.

Looking a little sleepy I know, but that was part of her charm

Speaking of a sleepy charmer, this little fella was less than a week old!

I'm a little embarrassed I was eating these guys' relatives less than 2 hours earlier....

There is so much more going on - lumberjack show, lots of wineries to visit, tours and everything is scented with maple. Check it out if you are in the area. Wear warm clothing and I would recommend a good appetite and boots/shoes you don't mind getting really muddy. 

So come on! Spring is here! Stretch, scratch your backside, stick your head out the door and follow your nose to the sweet smell of maple!

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Yesterday I heard a woman say, "Ask your heart what it wants."
I thought, now that is a good question! How often do we truly take a moment and find out what the heart really wants. 
Lots of things may come to mind: money, a new house or car, a vacation, a big piece of chocolate cake, a husband, wife or child. 
But then if you are really listening, you will hear what the heart wants:

You think a child because your heart wants Love
You think Money because your heart wants Freedom
You think a Vacation because your heart wants Peace
You think chocolate cake(well, I would) because your heart wants Joy! 

The heart is not interested in the tangible stuff, the heart wants the intangible, emotional stuff. Stuff like healing or absolution. 

Maybe your heart wants all these things. But what is the ONE thing it wants, what is truly your heart's cry and desire? 

Right now, my heart's cry is for Freedom. To do stuff, to help others. No limits. 

I personally have to turn to the One who created my heart.
The One who adores me and loves me unconditionally
The One who says I have a kingdom of Love, Peace and Joy
The One who heals the broken hearted
The One who says where My spirit is, there is Freedom. 

Every now and then it's a good idea to find out what your heart wants and how to answer it's cry. And let's be gentle with each other's fragile hearts. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Hey! It's March Break here in Canada! That means the kiddies in public and high school get a week's break from school! 
Many families are on their way somewhere warm(er) and sunny(er) than the Great White North. 

Sadly, for me, my kids are not at home anymore, but that did not stop me from getting in a little family time. So, although my March Break involves mostly working the 12-8 shift, we did get one day with our son Adrian. 

So, here in a nutshell, was my "March Break", one gray day in Hamilton.  

We had a surprisingly easy drive through Toronto and made it to Hamilton in excellent time. I don't know about other families, but our time together usually involves eating so we started off at a restaurant called "541". 
This restaurant is a unique spot. Food is simple and good with vegan and vegetarian options. I had a bowl of spicy red pepper and squash soup with a cappuccino.

But the cool thing about this place is the clientele, a mix of everyone from the upper crust to the struggling on the street. You can buy your meal and then to help someone else, you can buy "buttons". $1 = 1 button. You buy a button and it is deposited into a button jar. 
When someone comes in who doesn't have quite enough to buy a meal, they can use buttons from this jar!
It is a lovely pay-it-forward-kinda deal. Here is the website:
The staff are friendly and go out of their way to make everyone feel comfortable and welcome. 

After a little face filling and people watching we went to  the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology. This place is a thing of beauty and watching the huge 70-ton steam engine pump and chug was incredible

This is a great spot for any child fascinated with engines!

After that, it was back to food - cause that is what we do. Adrian wanted to check out a Bakery he had seen in his travels so we headed there and loaded up on goodies. It's called the Cake and Loaf Bakery ( on Dundurn St. South. 
Two thumbs up! I ate the taffy tart - the WHOLE taffy tart myself.

Then we made our way down Locke Street to pick up some cheese to take home. But then we spotted this sign:
And it literally points down a small alley off the street. Adrian had heard about it so we headed down the alley to this little counter. 
You push a little bell and this fella pops is head out a door. 
"Fries please"
"That'll be $4" he says - all cloak and dagger like.
Then he disappears into the door and you just stand in the alley trying to stay warm. After a few minutes he pops back out of the door and drops these golden brown beauties, sprinkled with sea salt in front of you. I want you to know I did not "enhance" this photo in any way. 
A generous order, but you sorta feel like you are ordering contraband fries. And they are worth it!

So that was my March Break! Food fun and family. What are you all doing? Enjoy it!!

Sunday, March 8, 2015


I went for a walk on my lunch this week and walked on snowy sidewalks past shards of jagged icy snowbanks edging me on both sides. 

And I thought to myself.....soon, this will all be different. 

So here's a little run down. 

A month from now:

I could be looking at this: 

I could be sitting here, taking in some sun.

I will be walking on a road that looks more like this:

Instead of this:

A month from now I could be:
Riding my bike again 
Kicking my nylons to the trash
Seeing the flash of the red robin's breast and hearing his love song
Listening to the sound of thunder and rain!

Hang in there people. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Things really do change. 

Cause in a month from now....

Sunday, March 1, 2015


Last Saturday night I had the privilege or participating in a fundraiser called "Called Coldest Night of the Year." Monies raised goes towards supporting the "hungry, homeless and hurting" in our local communities across Canada. In our little town, we raised about $20,000. Wow!!! Thanks for all the community support!

My job was to stand on a corner and direct walkers as they made their way around a 2km trek. 

I stood in the snow with a warm hat, vest and some water.

I also had a sign....which I trust I had pointed in the right direction, cause I'm not known for having any God given sense when it comes to knowing which way to go.

Here are a few more of our cheerfully serving volunteers!
Gotta register to walk

Part of the Welcoming Desk crew!

This is Ron, Rose and Bev. I get to hang out with them on Tuesday nights when I volunteer at Nightlight. Hearts of gold....all of em.

How cute are these two?! They are our caterers and made us yummy chilli, vegetarian or meat. I'm not much of a chilli girl but theirs is delish!

We also had a very generous donation of baked goods from Panera. They were practically annihilated by the time I got back for a photo but here is a sample. Thank you sooooo much Panera!

Our stalwart walkers started to straggle in, covered in snow to cheers and applause. We had a break in the frigid temperatures but it was a wet, snowy night!

It's important to give back to your community. To do what you can to help extend love to all, no matter what their life circumstances. I was very proud everyone who gave their time, money and energy!