Thursday, 26 May 2016

Giant Panda-monium!

I got up really early last Saturday on a mission to see the baby Giant Pandas and was parking the car at Toronto Zoo by 8:15am, as zoo members get to jump the queue and go in at 8:30, ahead of the crowd. No way I wanted to battle the Victoria Day long weekend crowds on a hot day. I was the first one into the Panda building to see them, but little Jia Panpan (Canadian Hope) and Jia Yueyue (Canadian Joy) were fast asleep! Just my luck. Their mother Er Shun was napping too.

 So I went outside to have a chat with Da Mao, the daddy (presumably) but he had had a hard night and he was catching 40 winks too! He looks pretty relaxed.

So the next step was the inevitable Gift Shop, totally dedicated to all things Giant Panda.

No, I didn't buy any Giant Panda memorabilia, but I might go back to the zoo early one morning to see if the babies are awake. I'd really like to see them while they are still little and look like cute balls of fluff.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Private Juno

Juno is the Toronto Zoo's female polar bear cub. Juno was born on November 11 2015 to parents Aurora and Inukshuk. Aurora gave birth to twin cubs but sadly one did not survive, so little Juno spent her first three months in the maternity ward in the Wildlife Health Centre at the Zoo, just to be on the safe side.
As she was born on Remembrance Day, she was named in honour of Juno Beach, the name given to Canadian soldiers designated landing on D-day. She is now an honorary member of the Canadian Armed Forces, and holds the rank of Private. Apparently, she will get a promotion from the army on every birthday, so may eventually end up being General Juno. We'll have to salute her!

Here she is at 2 months old, just learning to walk.

She's just over 6 months old now, and I spent a long time leaning on the fence early this morning, watching her play with her toys. Here's what I saw.....

Thursday, 19 May 2016

The Big Bike

The Big Bike was on the move though town yesterday, raising funds for the Heart and Stroke Society.

Monday, 16 May 2016

It's Time....

yes, dear bloggers, it's high time I got back to blogging. Did you miss me? This poor neglected blog is drying up and getting all wrinkled and flaky (a bit like it's owner!) so I better get on with some rejuvenating spring cleaning.... stay tuned. Looking for a suitable topic......   how about this one.....

The artist group I paint with recently held it's Annual Art Show and Sale, and I was thrilled by selling 5 pieces of art.... two acrylic paintings, two ink and watercolour, and one linocut print.

But four of those purchases were made by people I know, so next year I probably won't sell anything as all my friends will already have a piece of my work hanging on their walls!
But it's not all about selling, is it, selling something is a wonderful surprise and an unexpected bonus. It's about having art fun with like-minded people and creating and experimenting and enjoying what you are doing.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

March Break

Last week was the annual school March Break, and our wonderful local library hosts a number of events to keep the kids entertained and the parents sane.
The keepers at Jungle Cat World arrived at the library with a selection of their animals to show the kids. First was a white umbrella cockatoo who loved to squawk and flap her wings and raise her crest. She was very affectionate and seemed to like having the children stroke her feathers.

Not all the animals were from other parts of the world. This furry black and white striped creature can be seen all around this area. Yes, I petted a skunk, never done that before! This young skunk had been "deskunked", much to everyone's relief.

However, not everyone wanted to take a chance.
 A fennec fox, at home in the deserts of the Sahara and North Africa. Adapted to the hot dry desert, they rarely drink, getting all the moisture they need from their prey. (BTW, that's a poster behind the keeper.)
African serval cat, predominantly found in Southern Africa. The keeper allowed adults to touch the cat's fur but kept the children away.
 And the last animal to be displayed.... a young lioness. She was eating from the keeper's hand.

The next day, a ventriloquising, juggling, unicycling magician was entertaining the kids. When he asked for assistants from the audience, Isaac waved his hand... Me, Me! He didn't get sawn in half or anything worse.... he merely had to hand the juggling clubs to the magician.

The following day we went to Toronto Zoo. As Zoo members we were entitled to see the twin baby Giant Pandas before the general public, however everyone else had the same idea (I should have known!) and there was a 1.5 hour wait to see them.  So we'll see little Jia Panpan (meaning Canadian Hope) and his sister Jia Yueyue (Canadian Joy) next time. 

Monday, 14 March 2016

Pi Day

Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi π is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.
Pi is a constant number, meaning that for all circles of any size, Pi will be the same.
And 3.14 is also Albert Einstein’s birthday!
Image googled from the internet.
So let's wish Albert a happy birthday, and celebrate with some pie!

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Stuff Sorted

I've been a really bad blogger recently, no excuses, I know. January and February weather does that to me. It has been a surprisingly mild winter, with not even one huge blogworthy snowstorm. And I haven't been to Florida, or Arizona, or anywhere hot to get away from Old Man Winter. But tonight the clocks "Spring Forward", the evenings will be longer and signs of Spring will start to appear. Hooray!

Stuff Sorted over the past few weeks:
  1. YoungerSon, my techie genius, helped me change my internet provider to one that gives me 6 times more download room than I had before, and for a much lesser price. And he also set up getting rid of my expensive phone land line and connecting an internet phone. So far it's worked perfectly...... fingers crossed.
  2. Finished making a multicolour baby/toddler quilt for a baby expected on May 1. No, not my family, but very dear friends are becoming grandparents for the first time. So exciting.
  3. While I was in the sewing mood, I cut multicolour strips of leftover cotton quilting fabric, and started making another toddler quilt. Stay tuned for pictures.
  4. Set up a weekly "Dinner Date" with the grandies who live just down the road from me. The 3 of them are always together, so they take it in turns once a week to come to Nana's house for dinner after school. It's good to have some one-on-one time with each of them, and they can't wait until it is their turn. Last week it was Isaac (6). Dinner was sausage, egg, chips (that's French Fries to the non-Brits) and Heinz baked beans (has to be the one with the green label) and ketchup.... mmmm gourmet dining.
  5. Our Art Group has been asked to display paintings at the Town Offices.... there are about 30 paintings exhibited until March 31. The moo-cows are mine.

  6. Grandie Callum celebrated being 8 years old by inviting 14 6 to 8 year olds to Laser Lounge for 2 games of laser tag. It was mayhem!  Warriors are divided into a red team and a green team, outfitted with vests with flashing lights in the appropriate colour, and given laser guns, and the battle is on! The battle ground is filled with smoke so the laser rays can be seen, and parents can watch through the window.... looked like so much fun creeping around shooting people that next time I want to play too. The kids ended up red faced and sweaty, but still had enough energy to consume 8 large pizzas and birthday cake in the shape of a Star Wars robot. 
  7. Birthday parties weren't anything like that when I was 8.