Thursday, 28 June 2007

Z is for Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah!

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, Zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin' my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, Zip-a-dee-ay!

And why am I skipping about and singing happily, you may ask? Well, you may not have noticed, but I just changed my Blogger profile from Semi-retired to Retired!

Yup, this was my last day at work.

Actually I took early retirement from my job in September 2002, but by January 2003 I had a phone call.... The work's piling up, can you come back on contract for six months?

Six months turned into 4-1/2 years!

And today I decided that 4-1/2 years was quite enough. So now I am looking forward to enjoying a relaxing summer. One problem, minor surgery on a bone spur on my foot in July, but that's OK, it just means I'll have time to sit under a shady tree and catch up on my reading.

Can anyone recommend any good books?

Oh and by the way, that's ZED, not ZEE!

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Y is for York Durham Heritage Railway

Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga Choo-choo? No, actually it's the York Durham Heritage Railway!

The York Durham Heritage Railway opened for business on September 14 1996 and runs between Uxbridge and Stouffville on an old CNR track, and has been running on summer weekends since then. The opening ceremonies were held on the 125th anniversary of the grand opening of the Toronto and Nipissing Railway in 1871. The Uxbridge Railway Station was built in 1904 and is one of the few remaining "Witches Hat" stations in Ontario.

Caboose (Van) #434908 Built by Canadian Pacific Railway in 1953, used in regular service on YDHR.
Rules Car #15041. This car contains a classroom for instructing railway personnel on the correct & safe methods of operating a railway. And originally contained living quarters for the travelling instructor. This coach was built for Canadian National Railways by Canadian Car & Foundry in 1930 as a Solarium and Lounge coach. Each time C.N.R. modified this car they moved walls and blanked out windows.

There are 3 locomotives in use:

RS-3 #1310 Built by Montreal Locomotive Works (MLW) in Nov. 1951
RS-3 #22 Built by Montreal Locomotive Works (MLW) in April 1955
RS-11 #3612 Built by American Locomotive Co. (ALCO) in Sept. 1956
Need to know more? Take a look here.
See you on the train!!

Thursday, 21 June 2007

This Little Piggie.....

..... went to buy a Jeep and got roasted!

The local Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership celebrated the Grand Opening at it's new location tonight with a pig roast and live entertainment by a country music group. We got an invitation and so....

... we had a free supper of roast pig on a bun with all the trimmings, potato salad, coleslaw, even beer (but I was driving, and The Space Cadet doesn't drink), and strawberry tarts for dessert.

Great supper, but we didn't buy a Jeep...
......we left them all sparkling in the showroom while we drove home in my faithful VW.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Father's Day, Red Hats, and a Sunset

Breaking away from the Alphabet theme again (only Y and Z to go, folks!), Sunday was Father's Day.
The Space Cadet and his younger son D headed for Timber Creek, the local driving range.

I joined them, and hit a few balls, but Tiger Woods has nothing to fear from me! I don't think I was cut out to hit a little white ball into a hole, unless of course, you're talking about Mini-Putt, I'm pretty good at that!

D was fully equipped with golf shoes and a golf bag full of expensive clubs, obviously a keen golfer. He and his brother are planning to take The Space Cadet out for 18 holes next weekend.

D could whack that ball for miles, The Space Cadet wasn't quite as skillful, but he hadn't played for ages.... or at least that was his excuse. I thnk they'd better rent a golf cart next weekend for sure.

A fun way to spend a sunny Sunday Father's Day afternoon.

Well, that was the excitement on Sunday.... on Monday the Whistle Stop Red Hat Ladies met at Janette's for a Strawberry Tea! I wish I had taken photos of all the strawberry treats.... so yummy! Janette's husband has a strawberry farm.... more about that in the future.

Every year the Red Hat Banner is presented to a deserving Red Hatter.... here's Queenie making the presentation speech...

.... and here's the recipient for this year, our lovely hostess Janette.

And tonight.... Tuesday.... a huge violent thunderstorm, and then a wonderful sunset.

Back to the Alphabet theme tomorrow!

Sunday, 17 June 2007

X is for eXtreme

Well. nobody said the X has to be at the beginning of the word..... and it's MY blog, so I make up the rules.

This store advertised the sale of rescue equipment and safety harnesses, but their main business seemed to come from BMX bikes and rollerblades and all the latest gadgets for skateboarding.
Unfortunately, probably as a result of the enormous new Wal-Mart that has opened on the outskirts of town, it's now just another empty store for rent on Main Street.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

W is also for Wendy

When the hot weather strikes, dogs get hot (and stinky)!

Wendy is our family's Golden Retriever, the best dog that ever lived!
She'll be 13 years old on August 1st, and lives with OlderSon and his beloved, The Equestrienne, on their country estate (well, it's only 2 acres but we like to refer to it that way).
In the past year, we have noticed that Wendy's losing her eyesight, and is almost totally deaf, although she can still pick up the rustling of candy wrappers at twenty paces.

Poor Wendydog.... she feels so sorry for herself in the hot weather and has to lay on the tile floor and stick her tongue out to stay cool.

But a trip the the Doggy Beauty Parlour can work wonders for a hot dog. A nice scented shampoo, a total body shave and a smart new Canada Maple Leaf kerchief round her neck and she feels (and smells) like a 6 month old puppy again.

Doggy Photos courtesy of OlderSon.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

W is for Water (the HOT variety)

The Space Cadet (emerging from the bathroom): The water's not very hot in the shower.
Me (testing the water at the kitchen sink): Hmm... you're right. Check the water heater.
- Water tank was checked.... yup, making all the right noises.
- Water heater outside exhaust was checked.... uhoh, stone cold! Water heater is kaput!
- The result: Lukewarm shower for me!

Gas Company Serviceman: Yes, we will be happy to replace your rental gas fired water heater, but there must be 3' space between the water tank and the electrical panel, and you don't have enough room, so you'll have to build a wall before the installers come tomorrow.
The Space Cadet: groan.

The Space Cadet builds the required wall.

Water Tank Man: I can remove the old water heater, but I don't have enough room to install the new one.
The Space Cadet: Why not?
Water Tank Man: This wall's in the way.
The Space Cadet: Ahah! I knew you would say that so I made the wall removable.
Water Tank Man: Why did you build the wall?
The Space Cadet: Gas Company Serviceman said there must be 3' between the water heater and the electrical panel.
Water Tank Man: Hmmm.... looks like there's tons of room.... you definitely don't need a wall.
The Space Cadet rolls his eyes heavenward and removes the wall.
Water Tank Man and his helper turn off the water, drain and remove the old tank, only to discover a big hole in the concrete floor where the old tank stood. Believe me, nothing is a surprise in a 110 year old house.
Water Tank Man: You'll have to fill that hole up before we can install the new tank.
The Space Cadet: I'll mix some concrete.
The Space Cadet goes to the workshop, gets the concrete ready to mix.... but no water available.... Water Tank Man has turned it off! TSC throws the dry concrete mix into the hole keeping his fingers crossed that any dampness in the ground will turn it into concrete, puts a board on top, and the new water heater is installed on the board.

The removable wall is returned to the workshop in pieces.

Within an hour we have hot water again! Oh YESSSSS... a hot shower...what a luxury!

Sunday, 10 June 2007

V is for View

This is the View of the back yard while we're having breakfast in the sun room at the back of the house. The sun room faces east and gets the morning sun. The Space Cadet enjoys his bacon and eggs while I have my usual toast and coffee. The binoculars are close by to watch the birds flying in and out of the bird house (NO, we don't spy on the neighbours.... well, not often). Pass the marmalade, please!

I'm not a garden expert, but here's a few of the flowers in the garden.

Can anyone tell me the name of the flower at bottom left? It blooms very early in the spring, and when the flowers are over, has dark green leaves with white spots.

Thanks, Martin, for showing me how to do a collage!

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Update on the Seven Wonders of Canada

The Judges at CBC have made their decisions and have declared the Seven Wonders of Canada to be:

Go to any of the above sites and scroll down to Photo Gallery for some great pics.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

U is for ..... Untitled!

I bet you're thinking "Hmmm, how pathetic, she can't think of a title that starts with U. That alphabet theme is getting the better of her." Well, you're WRONG!

There's a Sculpture Walk along the river, and this is one of the exhibits. It's title is UNTITLED created from cast aluminum, sheathed copper and concrete by Ted Bieler in 1983.

According to the local Library, the official description is:

Perched on a small hill the upward force and movement in Ted Bieler's piece is accentuated. The sculpture consists of two cone-like shapes that ripple with activity. Many images come to mind including lightning bolts and energy waves. The colour of the painted copper also derives its sources from nature revealing the power and mysticism of flowing water or the sky.

Now, if I was going to create a scuplture that reflected lightning bolts and energy waves, power and mysticism rippling with activity, I'm sure I could think up a name a little more descriptive than UNTITLED.

What would YOU call it?

Update Saturday June 9 2007:
Thanks for all your bright suggestions. I googled Ted Bieler, and found a picture of this specific piece, and it seems to be called "Towers" so perhaps it's not "Untitled" after all!

Sunday, 3 June 2007

T is for Tulips

One morning on my way to work back in February or March, I passed a house fire. The fire was under control, and there were fire trucks and police everywhere, lot's of smoke and steam, and an acrid burnt smell in the air.
Thankfully no-one was home and there were no casualties.
The little house was completely destroyed. Nothing left but the basement walls.
The snow has gone now, spring is here, summer's on it's way and I was happy to see a few brave Tulips had managed to survive the flames.

The moral of the story: I guess you just can't keep a good Tulip down!

Friday, 1 June 2007

S is for Seven Wonders

There are Seven Wonders of the World, right? Ancient and Modern, I believe.
So why shouldn't each country have it's own Seven Wonders....... starting with Canada.
The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) has been searching for our own Seven Wonders of Canada by asking Canadians to submit their favourite places, and so far there have been over 25,000 suggestions.
The list has been narrowed down to 52 nominees.
Some are natural wonders, some are man-made.
I have to admit I haven't seen them all.
I've driven across the Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island. An amazing piece of engineering.
I've toured the Library of Parliament in Ottawa.
Niagara Falls? C.N.Tower? I've been to both places so many times that I could apply for a job as a tour guide.
I've enjoyed a bagel in Montreal and I've seen my hockey team competing for The Stanley Cup. (Go Leafs Go)
I've visited The Vimy Memorial in France (it was closed for renovation) and the wonderful Museum of Civilisation in Quebec.
Gros Morne in Newfoundland is a stunningly beautiful World Heritage site, you shouldn't miss it, and Old Quebec transported me back to the old towns in Europe.
I've walked along the banks of the Rideau Canal in Ottawa (but not skated on it cos I can't skate... never learned) and I've strolled through Pier 21 in Halifax, where over a million New Canadians saw their first glimpse of their new country.

Obviously I have many more of the wonders of this great country of Canada to see and experience.

How difficult it is to choose just Seven.

Which ones would YOU choose?