Monday, 30 April 2007

I is for Icecream

A warm and sunny Sunday afternoon deserved a walk by Lake Scugog, a leisurely stroll along the trendy shopping area of Port Perry, a seat on the bleachers to watch the Ladies Baseball team practising, and a couple of Kawartha Dairy Icecreams. On the left is my choice, chocolate & peanut butter, on the right, Cafe caramel for The Space Cadet. Mmmmm.

The Variety Show is history for another year. Watch this space for pics.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

H is for Hats.... and not just any Hats - RED HATS!

Today, April 25, is RED HAT DAY!

75 elegantly attired Red Hatters from far and wide took over the pub restaurant tonight to Paint The Town RED. There were speeches, games, prizes, songs, skits, good food, good conversation, tons of laughter and lots of new friendships made.

The Red Hat Society is an organisation for women who have attained the age of 50, and who want to have fun, silliness, creativity and friendship! Remember that Cyndi Lauper song "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"? That's us!

We wear a red hat and a purple outfit, (as in Jenny Joseph's poem "Warning") , often embellished with a feather boa and lots of sparkle, and you can see us in groups all over the world. Last count was about 1.5 million members!
We meet whenever we feel like it, and do whatever we want... we are especially fond of tea parties! There are NO rules, NO by-laws, and NO membership dues..... how about that for a fun organisation??

Tuesday, 24 April 2007


Breaking away from my Alphabet theme for a couple of posts.... It's rehearsal time for our annual Variety Show.... in fact we have been rehearsing since January, and only a few days left until SHOWTIME!

Dress rehearsal was last Sunday, another last minute rehearsal yesterday, and tonight we do our "Special Show" for seniors, nursing home residents and "special needs" people. I think this is the best show of all, we get such enthusiasm from the audience!

Here's our Blacklight drummer boy.....

and three of our chorus alto section.... that's me in the middle.

Of course, the chorus costumes have to show just the right amount of sparkle.....

... and here's our lead guitarist tuning up.

The dancers are awesome this year...

and they all gave me a wonderful surprise gift for my efforts at Chorus Choreography Director.

We have shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening... followed by cast parties every night.
The Space Cadet and the rest of the family will be in the audience on Friday night. No1Son and No2Son know that they'll be cut out of the Will if they don't show up.
A cast dinner follows the Saturday show, when we all pat ourselves on the back for a job well done, and awards are handed out.... Best dancer, Biggest comedy Ham, Worst Mistake etc.
Proceeds this year will be donated to YDAPA, a local youth musical theatre group.
Watch this space for photos of the show.... I wish you could all come to see it.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

G is for Gardening Gloves

Gardening season has begun! We finally have some warm sunny weather here in S. Ontario.
I found these brand new Gardening Gloves in the local charity shop for $1.50, although the original price sticker says 3.95 UK Pounds. Is that Inspector Clouseau admiring the flowers on his day off?

Lots of jobs to get started on... here's the compost. The pile on the right has been fermenting for a couple of years and is ready to be sifted and spread on the flower beds. Then a new brick container will be built. The pile on the left is last year's compost, ready to be covered with soil and left for another year. It contains grass clippings, all the household veggie waste, coffee filters, eggshells, everything that can be broken down into compost.
Winter isn't very kind to my flower beds. This one is just starting to wake up, and obviously needs lots of TLC.

But at least the rhubarb is starting to sprout. It only takes a couple of warm days and everything starts going crazy, and making up for lost time!

The Space Cadet spent the afternoon cleaning out the winter debris that accumulates in the garage, and fixing some discarded computers that he got from a friend. So we took a well deserved break on the patio, and celebrated the (rather late) return of Spring with a glass of wine. Look closely, Spot was out there too!

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

F is for Falcon

These two magnificent birds are Mariah and Kaver, a pair of Peregrine Falcons who are nesting at the Kodak Office Tower in Rochester, New York.

Mariah has nested here since 1998, mated first with Cabot-Sirocco until he disappeared in 2002, and since then, with her new mate Kaver. Her total offspring to date; 34 chicks, or eyases.
They are currently incubating four eggs. You can get to know this happy family on the Rochester Falconcam.

The Cleveland Peregrine Falcons are nesting at the Terminal Tower, Cleveland, Ohio. SW and Buckeye have been sucessfully nesting here for five years. There are currently three eggs in the nest box. The previous female, Zenith, occupied the nest site for nine seasons before being killed by SW in a territorial battle in 2002.

Peregrine Falcon numbers are steadily increasing since they were put on the Endangered Species List. Nearly decimated by pesticides 30 years ago, recovery programs such as the ones in Rochester and Cleveland are helping to increase their numbers. Peregrines have been introduced to new urban habitats: tall buildings, bridges, and grain elevators, and now flourish in more than 25 North American cities, feasting primarily on pigeons, starlings, sparrows, and other urban birds.

Other Falcon web cams: King Street, Toronto, Etobicoke, Toronto. More information at the Canadian Peregrine Foundation.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

E is for Exhibition

Every spring, our local Art Gallery hosts a juried Exhibition of recent work by artists across Ontario. Artists are invited to submit up to two works of art in any medium.

This year, more than 260 entries of paintings, sculptures, drawings, photography and other creative media were submitted, with 26 being selected to be displayed.

The resulting Exhibition presents visitors with a challenging collection of ideas and themes by numerous different artists from across the Province.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

D is for Doll

This lovely antique Doll was offered for sale at an auction I went to last week. She sold for $55.00. But not to me.

She looked a bit bedraggled, as if nobody had cared for her for quite a while. Her hair needed combing and her dress could do with a wash and a few stitches. I wondered what her name was, and who was the little girl who had loved her.

She has such a sweet expression on her face. I hope she went to a good home.

Monday, 9 April 2007

C is for Canadians

Today, Easter Monday 2007, the Vimy Memorial Monument in France was rededicated by H.M. Queen Elizabeth, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.

It was in April 1917 during the First World War that four Canadian military divisions defeated the enemy in a four day battle at Vimy Ridge in northern France. It was the first time that Canadian troops had fought together as one unit, and the victory has been described as 'The Birth of a Nation".

The Vimy Memorial was first dedicated in 1936 by King Edward VIII, and although it survived the Second World War undamaged, time and the elements erased many of the names of the 11,285 WW1 Canadian soldiers who died in France and whose remains were never found. Restoration of the monument was completed in 2006.

3598 Canadian students were given a project to "adopt" one of the 3598 Canadians who died at Vimy Ridge, and find out more about him, and represent that soldier at the rededication ceremony. Most of those soldiers were not much older than the students themselves when they lost their lives. Those students were at the Memorial to pay their respects today.

Respects were also paid to six Canadian soldiers who were tragically killed in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan today.

I visited Vimy Ridge with my sons in September 2005. The Memorial was completely covered with canvas over scaffolding as the massive restoration was still going on. Still pretty impressive from the back though. Both No1 and No2 have an interest in Canadian Military History, and were able to help me visualise the events of 90 years ago.

No1Son standing in the WW1 trenches at Vimy. 90 years ago those trenches were full of mud, blood, bodies, smoke, ammunition, and were a pretty horrible place for those brave men.
We knew that my mother's cousin John Turnbull Chandler emigrated to Canada from England to study agriculture, and joined the Canadian Machine Gun Corps at Welland, Ontario, in 1915. He was sent to England for training, and then to combat in France, where he was killed 3 July 1917, aged only 20. Perhaps he was part of the troops that fought at Vimy in April, we don't know. We visited his grave at Bully-Grenay, Pas de Calais, France, possibly the first family members to do so. A sombre moment indeed.

Friday, 6 April 2007

B is for Bunny

Breaking news! A humungous giant golden Bunny has been captured hopping around town. He was first spotted rabbitting about in the park, and was finally tied down outside the drug store.

He has been identified as a rare breed of rabbit (Leporidae Chocolatius) only seen in the weeks leading up to Easter. After Easter he feels a little deflated, so goes into hibernation until next year, usually in a big cardboard box.
The appearance of the golden Bunny usually frightens away Old Man Winter, but not this year!

Bloody 'ell.... SNOW in April! It shouldn't be allowed!

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

A is for April...

A is for April.... A is for Alphabet..... and A is for Artist.... and April is the month when Artists have taken over my garage and back workshop.

They are painting the scenery for this year's Variety Show. These are "flats"... a sheet of lightweight 2" syrofoam with a wood frame. Nice and light for the stage crew to handle easily.

These "flats" are repainted every year. Some of them are getting a bit tatty but when finished they look good from the audience's point of view.

(Yes, as you have probably guessed, this is the first of an Alphabetical theme..... can I keep this up for 26 posts? Stay tuned for B).