Sunday, 30 September 2012

Markham Fair

If it's the end of September, it must be Markham Fair.

Markham Fair has been an annual event for 168 years, starting in 1844. It's a real old time agricultural fall fair showing farm animals, rabbits, poultry, antiques, homecrafts, baking, art, photography, farm implements.... just about everything you can think of. And this year the weather was perfect!
Could you name all these vegetables if the captions were taken away?
Unfortunately I didn't notice the weight of the grand champion potato but I think it would feed a pretty large family.  Update.... it was 3.92 pounds.
This owl was made of corn leaves, apples, a carrot nose beak all attached to a pumpkin body.

Here's a handsome fellow, all ready to wake you up each morning.
We saw the horse show, the cow competitions, sheep shearing, and gymnastics displays. We petted fluffy baby chicks. We saw the squashed cars left over from the previous evening's Demolition Derby. We watched an immense purple monster truck taking the public for rides. We even saw a real elephant! But Isaac's favourite part of the day was the visit to the Midway and the Rides!

He had a great time. He waved to me every time he whizzed by. And that happy grin never left his face.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Arrrr, Me Hearty....

I spent the whole day yesterday on a bus trip with about 50 other people.... and it was great fun!

The destination was Stratford.... no, not the famous town of Stratford in England with its Shakespearian theatres and the River Thames and swans.... we went to the famous town of Stratford in Ontario, Canada, with its own Shakespearian theatres and River Thames and swans. Yes, Canada's answer to Shakespeare in the Colonies!
A yummy soup'n'sandwich lunch was prepared by the local United Church Ladies, and then we had about 90 minutes to do some exploring before the theatre. My friend and I found a great little discount clothing shop... and we both indulged in a little retail therapy. Well, that's what tourists do, right?
Then it was time for the show.
The Pirates Of Penzance..... Gilbert and Sullivan of course!

The Stratford Festival celebrates 60 years this year. It started with performing only Shakespeare's plays, but now offers a varied assortment of modern and classical productions. Pirates was great! Fantastic voices, colorful costumes, swashbuckling pirates, demure maidens, and of course, a thrilling (and very funny) fight scene.
And don't forget "I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General".... how did he remember all those words?
Then a stop at a chocolate shop to satisfy all the chocoholics on board the bus, and then back to the United Church for a roast beef dinner, followed by a choice of lemon meringue pie or pumpkin pie.... oh, divine!
Then home...... a movie on the bus made the 2 hour drive fly by...... what a great day out.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

High Fliers

What goes up must eventually come down.......
.... and Daddy's there to catch them.

Just noticed.... this is post number 600!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The End of an Era

The last flight of the Space Shuttle program took place today when Endeavour was piggybacked on a 747 from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida across the USA to Los Angeles. It will eventually be on display at the California Science Centre.
 Space Shuttle Endeavour
Space shuttle Endeavour loaded onto the 747.... image from NASA's Image of the Day Gallery.

I'm a little bit sad about the end of the Space Shuttle program. I'll miss seeing those smiling astronauts march out of the building, dressed in their space suits and carrying their helmets, and waving confidently. I always considered it was an amazing feat of engineering to get the shuttle up into space and home again safely, although not everything always went smoothly. Two shuttles and their crews were tragically lost. I watched many of the launches and landings on TV, and I was lucky enough to witness the launch of Endeavour first hand when I was in Florida a couple of years ago. Spectacular!

A couple of additional facts: Endeavour was the replacement for the destroyed Challenger shuttle. It made its debut in 1992 and flew 25 times, logged 198 million kilometres in space, and circled Earth nearly 4,700 times before it was retired. 

Another unforgettable space shuttle moment came on a hot June day in 1983. (Was it really that long ago???) I was at work in Toronto, and looking out of the top floor office window I saw the prototype shuttle Enterprise fly by on top of NASA's first 747 shuttle carrier. Not the normal view from my office window!

Enterprise was on it's way to (or possibly coming back from) the Paris Air Show and made a short side trip to Canada...... probably because Canada had contributed to the space programme with the Canadarm, which was built in Toronto by SPAR Aerospace. Enterprise never flew in space. It was used to practice landings on earth and verify the flight worthiness of the design, and it was retired in 1985. It is now on display at the Intrepid Museum in Manhattan.

Monday, 17 September 2012


My mother back in England used to call them "chrysanths" but here in Canada they're called "mums".... which I always find rather a weird name.... but I love the colours. These beauties are on display at the nursery just around the corner near my house.
I came home with two pots of dark red ones. I just couldn't resist their happy faces.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Getting Creative

I've recently applied for a table to sell some of my Baby Quilts at the local Arts and Crafts sale to be held in November. It is the annual fundraiser for the town Art Gallery. I haven't been told if my work will be accepted yet, but now that summer's over (almost! it's still sunny and warm out there!) it's time to get back to the sewing machine.
Pretty pinks and white, just right for a sweet baby girl.  Just a couple more pinwheel blocks to sew and then I'll start putting it all together.
I love the combination of all these assorted blues, and the tiny red and yellow squares give it that "POP" that it needs.
The fabric collection is Ten Little Things by Jenn Ski for Moda Fabrics.  I love the owls.... and the trucks and traffic signs..... I wish I had more of this fabric!  It's just right for a baby boy.

These projects will show up on my Etsy shop as soon as they are completed.

Friday, 7 September 2012

First Day at School

 The first of many many rides on the Big Yellow School Bus! Are you crying, Mummy and Daddy?
Updated: The Blue Paper Hat identifies a new Kindergarten student, just in case you were wondering!