Friday, 31 August 2007


7:30am... the sound of heavy machinery outside. I look out of the window.... 4 trucks, an army of burly men in hard hats, and a scruffy little guy in a bandana carrying a massive chain saw.

They're here to cut down the dead maple tree. The trees lining this street were planted when the houses were built. This one must be at least 100 years old.

The cherry picker lifts the skinny chain saw guy to the top of the tree and he starts cutting the main limbs, which are lowered to the street by a mobile crane.

The branches are fed into a shredder that chews them into sawdust instantly.

The final trunk is cut and lowered onto the flatbed with the rest of the wood.
The chain saw cuts through the wood as if it was butter, or jello.
No problem.

And less than 90 minutes later the crew is ready to move on to the next tree surgery.
They have trimmed the dead top branches of one 75' high maple, and completely removed another. They have swept and vacuumed the street, and there's not a twig or a grain of sawdust left to show that they were there.
Just a stump remains.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Chip 'n' Dale

I was relaxing under the patio umbrella, reading, and suddenly I caught movement out of the corner of my eye.

I grabbed my camera and a handful of bird seed mixture.

There were two of them. Filling their pouches for winter. Little greedy guts.

They live behind the downspout in the flower garden.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

St. Lawrence Market

In 1803, Governor Peter Hunter issued a proclamation, following recommendations made as early as 1796, that all the land north of Front, west of Jarvis, south of King and east of Church Street in Toronto (then known as York) was to be designated officially as the "Market Block."

The City of Toronto was incorporated from the Town of York in 1834 and for the first eleven years, city council members met in temporary quarters in a market building which once stood on the south-west corner of King Street East and Jarvis Street. This brick structure, the second market building to occupy the site, was built in 1831 but burnt down during a great fire in 1849. It was replaced in 1850 by the St. Lawrence Hall which still stands today.

The St. Lawrence Market building was the site of Toronto's City Hall from 1845 to 1899.

Toronto City Hall in 1899. In 1899, Council offices were moved to the "New City Hall" on Queen Street. Renovations were made in 1899-1901, and the building was transformed into a farmer's market. The market is open all week, but Saturday is it's busiest day.

I don't often shop here as it's quite a distance from my home. But it's great for a day out enjoying lunch at one of the many restaurants and snack bars in the market, and some sightseeing.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Tea Party Time

There was a Tea Party and Wedding Shower in the back yard this weekend.
Raspberry Mousse White Chocolate cake from the Italian Bakery.... need I say more?

Gifts, laughter, friends meeting friends, a celebration of the happy couple. Less than two months to go until The Big Day.
And one of the Guests of Honour slept right through all the fun!

Well, you can't blame her, Wendydog had her 13th birthday a couple of weeks ago. Far too much excitement for an old lady.

Monday, 20 August 2007


Look what's growing at the end of the garden.....

.... tomorrow's breakfast.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Markham Jazz Festival

There's nothing like strolling along the street on a warm summer night, listening to fabulous jazz played outside. (Note: it wasn't really a WARM summer night, it got quite chilly, I was glad I had my jacket. The singer looked frozen.)
This is the tenth year for the Markham Jazz Festival.
The highlight of the evening was the Hilario Duran Big Band playing in the Unionville Millennium Bandstand.
Cuban Jazz with a decidedly Latin outlook.

Great stuff.... Encore!

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Putting a lid on it!

Remember all those little wedding favour jars of Strawberry Jam?
The Bride (in pink) and The Bridesmaid (in blue) spent a sunny afternoon adding fabric tops to the jars, and embellishing each one with a ribbon and a label.

Brown and gold and contrasting ribbon with an autumn theme.

They look gorgeous, even though I say so myself. I hope I get one!

Baby Robin Update: I haven't seen the baby robin since the previous post. His leg injury, and his boldness made him an easy target for predators, so I hope he found his mother.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Baby Robin

Today a baby robin came to visit. He (or she?) still had baby feathers and was probably not old enough to leave mummy yet.

First he flapped about on the patio umbrella, then the garage roof. And then he tried to land on my head. He didn't have full use of one of his legs, and was limping quite badly. He managed to perch on a patio chair and allowed me to stretch out my hand to within 1/2" of him, made some cheeping noises, and opened his beak asking for food.
Unfortunately I didn't have any worms close at hand. Silly of me, I know. I'll make sure I'm better prepared next time he comes to visit.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Lucky Stars


The lucky winner of my 100th BlogPost Commemmorative Giveaway has been named using a foolproof selection method! Twentyfour names of lovely Blogsters who left comments on my 100th post were put into my Red Hat Lady hat and The Space Cadet closed his eyes, counted to ten, muddled them all up and the Blogger name he came up with was.....

HOORAY and Congratulations to

OldOldLady of the Hills in L.A.

Your prize is a lovely glass suncatcher star... in fact I think it's a Lucky Star! Your choice of colour. Let me know your address and it will be in the mail quick as a flash!

Wasn't it Louis Armstrong who sang....

You are my Lucky Star

I saw you from afar...

Friday, 3 August 2007

Condo Living & Scoring a Century

Twentyfive years ago, when OlderSon was in Grade 4 and YoungerSon was still in his pram, my husband built this Bird Condo. There were no blueprints or plans, he just created it in the back workshop one winter.
It was supposed to attract Purple Martins but the Sparrows got there first.

Many generations of Sparrows have taken their first flights here over the years, but eventually the harsh weather took it's toll, the roof fell in, the plywood buckled, the paint peeled, and it had seen better days. Not many of the 27 apartments were still warm and dry, and the birds decided to look for more suitable accommodation.

Then The Space Cadet came along and magically rebuilt it. And the birds moved back in.... still no Purple Martins, but lots of Sparrows.

The rings around the holes are repairs made after an enormous black squirrel climbed the post last summer and made a meal of some of the babies, and tried to make a meal of the birdhouse too.

Ha! Damn tree rats!

This year we've enjoyed watching lots of families grow up and take flight. This hardworking mum spends all day feeding 4 hungry bossy squawking noisy chicks. And it's mum doing all the work, I've only seen dad there a couple of times.

I suppose he's busy at the office.

Try to imagine this: these pictures were taken by balancing a chair on the small patio table, then balancing binoculars on the chair with the left hand, and holding my little Nikon Coolpix 2100 digi camera zoomed in to the binoculars right lens with my right hand, and trying to hold the whole contraption steady without wobbling until there was a picture worth taking!

Scoring a Century
Guess what, this is my 100th post! Yes, I've pressed the "Publish Post" button 100 times since last November. And to celebrate, there's a little prezzie for somone... not sure what the prezzie is yet, but it will be something nice. All commenters on this post will have their name put in a hat and one of you will be the lucky winner.
Thanks to everyone for reading this. I'm having so much fun getting to know you all. And I'm ready to start the next 100 posts ASAP!

Thursday, 2 August 2007


It was HOT here today, 35C with high humidity making it feel like 40C.
For you people who still count your degrees in Fahrenheit, that's 95F and 104F.

I know lots of places are experiencing even hotter temperatures, so here's a picture from last winter to cool us all off.

Feeling any cooler?