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.

Monday, 7 March 2016

A Sad Goodbye

Many bloggers will be aware of the tragic motor accident that took the lives of EG Camera Girl blogger Tina Forrester ( and her husband Tom. On Sunday morning I attended a Celebration of their lives at the Royal Canadian Legion in Mount Albert, Ontario.
There were more than 80 friends and family gathered when I got there, and more arriving every minute. Tina and Tom were well loved in their community. I spoke to Tina's daughter, and told her even though I had never met her mother in person, I was one of many "internet friends" and I was representing the many bloggers worldwide who knew Tina through her photographs. I'm so glad I went.
RIP Tina and Tom.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Here kitty, kitty.....

I've heard of a junk yard dog, but never a cat. Can you find the black and white kitty on the junk pile?

Photo borrowed from somewhere on the internet.
See the comments for a hint!

Monday, 15 February 2016

TessaDog and baby Pandas

Grand-dog golden doodle Tessa came to stay for the weekend while YoungerSon went ice fishing with his mates (at -25C and -40C windchill they all have to have their heads examined IMHO) and the rest of the family went to visit their other grandma overnight. TessaDog loves coming to visit me because I actually have time to play with her and take her for long walkies (but at -25C she just gets enough time for a quick wee on the front grass, 5 minutes at the most before we both freeze).

When YoungerSon and the Bride came home from their honeymoon, they got a sweet new puppy the very next day. Not even one day to enjoy married life without any responsibilities! Hard to believe Tessa will be celebrating her 9th birthday this summer, she looks and acts like a puppy, bringing her squeaky toy to me so I'll wrestle her for it, and always overjoyed to chase a ball if she can find someone silly enough to throw it. She's very lively. Tessa spelled backwards is asset.... hmmm... I wouldn't go that far.

And more cute fur.... the twin Giant Panda cubs that were born at Toronto Zoo in October are getting mobile.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Marmalade and Art

I think I post about Marmalade every year, but in February the knobbly, very ugly and very sour Seville oranges appear in the local grocery store for a short time, and as soon as I see them, I feel compelled to make marmalade. I think it's in my blood, as Mum made marmalade every year.
I have a vivid memory of Mum trusting me to stir the marmalade while she had to go out for half an hour, and of course as a 13 year old I had better things to do, and when she came home, there was a distinct aroma of burnt marmalade.... I was in BIG trouble. Perhaps my annual venture into marmalade making is to atone for my past mistake.

Squeezing out the juice, removing the membranes and the seeds, and cutting up the orange and lemon peel gets harder work every year, and then standing at the stove stirring and stirring, and getting hotter and hotter.....
 .... but the result is totally worth it. These 9 jars contain 8 Seville oranges, 2 lemons, 1 navel orange, some filtered water and approximately 3kg of white sugar. Enough for a few gifts and to last me a year of breakfasts. And there's even some left over for tomorrow's toast. Mum would be so proud of me.
This week our Art Group were invited to exhibit 40 paintings at the Community Centre in the nearby town of  Ajax. The art will hang in the main entrance hall. We delivered our paintings and the art curator arranged them along the walls to be hung. Some were arranged by size and some by subject and some by colour. These three are on the main entrance wall, the middle picture is a delightful image of an old cement plant... soon to be demolished.... painted by my art friend V. Love that picture!

And at the Art Group session last week, we experimented with intuitive paintings. This involved setting blobs of runny watercolor on wet paper and squishing the colours together with crumpled tissue paper, or wax paper, or even using saran wrap, and letting it dry.

I used some bubble wrap and some netting from an onion bag to create different textures.

Then when it's dry, taking the covering off gently and seeing images in the interesting patterns left.

That was the hard part! I couldn't see much, no matter which way up I held the paper, but other people saw fish and a turtle and flowers.... I'm still waiting for the turtle to reveal itself to me!

Oh well, I can always cut them up to make pretty bookmarks!