Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Eckhardt's Corners

The original Eckhardt family probably arrived to set up home in Ontario in the early 1800s, although I haven't found any written proof of this. They may have come from Pennsylvania, as many Mennonite settlers did. If anyone has Eckhardt history, let me know! Some of them rest in the local graveyard.
This corner was first settled by an Eckhardt family member, I don't know who, but was owned by Sam Burkholder from 1853 to 1904. He built this building, which operated as a garage and a store. It's been empty for some time. And ugly new houses are going up all around it, chewing up some of Ontario's best farmland. 
So I decided to record the building at Eckardt's Corners before it disappears, like so many forgotten buildings that nobody has use for any more.

It's not a pretty building, but definitely a landmark.

Pen and ink, with a watercolour wash... possibly destined for next year's Art Show.

Saturday, 17 September 2016


Rain, rain, go away,
Come again another day.

This is the first really rainy morning for a long time. I woke to the sound of raindrops pounding on the roof and the swish of tires on wet roads.. I sat out on the covered part of the deck, staying dry, drinking my morning coffee, and watching the raindrops fall. It's been a hot, hot summer, and a cool damp morning is so welcome.

It's raining, it's pouring,
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed
And bumped his head
And couldn't get up in the morning.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016


Our local art gallery changes it's exhibitions on a monthly basis, currently featuring drawings by Jenna Faye Powell from London, Ontario. 
According to the gallery's website: Her beautiful and playful drawings and paintings present smooth rounded out voids in the earth: x-ray visions of what lie beneath the surface, revealing to us the sinkholes’ topography and geology. Layers of earth are stylized in warm and golden hues reminiscent of old and fading photographs, and fill us with a warm nostalgic feeling. Nothing threatening here, just lovely and quirky depictions of the earth rounded out and sliced and diced to show us what’s inside. 

Mostly done in coloured pencils I think. Some of the other works are done on black paper and more ominous and gloomy, but these are the ones I liked best.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Sky Show

Did you miss me? Awwww, thanks! I've been a wayward blogger for a few weeks, partly due to extreme laziness, and partly due to the fact that I have spent too many air-conditioned days hiding from the hottest July and August recorded, and recovering from hip surgery at the same time, therefore not being inspired to blog.
But now I'm out and about and determined to mend my ways.
The sky..... a couple of evenings ago.
First this:
 Then this:
 And three minutes later, this:

Monday, 15 August 2016

Eatin' 'n' Drinkin'

When enjoying life at the cottage in 30C sunshine, some of the most important activities include staying fed and watered. I was still hobbling about using a walker and a cane, so was pretty useless in the kitchen. But my wonderful family provided great meals that satisfied everyone... hungry kids, meateaters, vegetarians.
The twins celebrated becoming FIVE, yes FIVE! while we were there. They wanted a cake each.... no sharing for these two. And there's no better decoration on a birthday cake than Smarties.
 YoungerSon made good use of the BBQ, providing juicy cheeseburgers one evening and honey garlic sausages on a bun the next.
 A visit to Kawartha Dairy in Minden is compulsory when anywhere near cottage country. This is the best ice cream anywhere, with numerous flavours to choose from. Emma and Callum both chose Birthday Cake, while Max and Isaac had Bear Claws, chocolate ice cream with big chocolatey chunks hidden in it.
 My family likes to try different imported beer as well as samples of all the local micro-breweries that are popping up everywhere. There were quite a few empties to take back.... I wonder what the refund was?
One more canoeing picture. The white building belongs to the cottage at the top of the steps. I would hate to go swimming and then realize I'd forgotten my towel. That's a long way back up!

Rio 2016 Olympics Update.
Andre de Grasse, Canadian sprinter, won Bronze yesterday in the men's 100m race, close behind American Justin Gatlin who won Silver, and the Gold medalist, fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt of Jamaica. Well done Andre!
Currently, Canada has won 13 medals (2 gold, 2 silver, 9 bronze), 12 of them won by women. Andre de Grasse is the only man to win a medal so far. Go Canada Go!

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Cottage on the Lake

At the cottage, we had use of two kayaks and a canoe. YoungerSon is a keen fisherman, and went out on the water every evening to see if the fish were biting. I think he had plans to try his luck at 5:00am every morning, but plans don't always get acted upon at the cottage, specially when snoozing in a nice comfy bed.
The children loved going out fishing. Callum was excited to catch his first fish ever. Emma caught the largest fish of the week, she said it was five feet long but somehow I doubt that. But as I wasn't there to witness it, perhaps it was! She also caught the smallest fish.... about the size of a goldfish. Max is a bit nervous in the canoe so he didn't fish, but he did some fishing off the dock.
On the final fishing expedition, Isaac had a large fish on the line, but the fish got away, taking his fishing rod with it into the water. He was so upset. A new bigger and better rod is in Isaac's future before they go on the next fishing expedition.
 One by one they all got brave enough to jump from the canoe and the kayak into the deep water... PFDs compulsory!
Max really wanted to jump in too, but he's a cautious soul, and held back for a long time, but eventually jumped into the water with a little help from Mummy. I told him he was very brave, but he shook his head. "No! I'm not brave," he said. "Mummy threw me in!"
Lots of happy summer memories being made here.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Cottage Life

Ahhhh! Just what I needed,,,, a vacation!
I just came back from a restful seven days at a delightful cottage by a lake. The weather has been spectacular, hot and sunny every day, just a sprinkle of rain one afternoon. Food was excellent, beer was cold, and the company was great.... OlderSon and family, and YoungerSon and family together for a whole week.
Our cottage was a rental found on the internet. Booking anything unseen can always be a bit of a risk, but this was the perfect place for a week away from the real world. Four comfy bedrooms, big TV, BBQ, 2 kayaks, a canoe, well equipped kitchen, and even a dishwasher... the ultimate in cottage luxury! Enormous deck with comfy lounging chairs and lots of tall trees providing shade if the sun got too hot.
The view from the deck. The plastic owl was on guard against whatever birds might want to land on the railings. Little Gull Lake is small with quite a few cottages along it's shoreline. Monday to Thursday was quiet, but the weekend brought out power boats and wakeboarders having fun on the water.
The lake water was warm and the kids took advantage of being able to swim all day. The first morning they were in the water at 7:30am! I managed to dip my feet in the water but didn't swim with them. Perhaps next time.