Friday, August 31, 2012

Kingston Blues Fest

Kingston, Ontario is about an hour and a half away from Ottawa. We often pass quickly by on the highway, en route to Toronto, but we don't often stop to wander around.

I'm not sure why - because we always enjoy a walk along the Lake Ontario waterfront.

Their annual Blues Fest brought us here a few years ago, and we decided to come back for more outdoor concerts this year.

It's always fun to listen to music in pleasant outdoor surroundings.

And of course, afterwards...

... White Mountain ice cream hits the spot!

Apparently ...

... we're not the only ones who enjoy this "tradition"!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Late August Flowers

I've noticed some new fall flowers in our front garden bed: "Anemone tormentosa" or Windflower "robustissima." (Both names are on the label.)

I purchased the plant last summer. It has been growing steadily. Now, for the first time, it is in bloom... in late August, when so few flowers are still blooming. The front flower bed still has some brown-eyed Susans (also called black-eyed Susans) visible behind the windflowers. They are native to North America and really brighten up the yard.

 ... and (nearby) some echinacea flowers...

 White and mauve phlox are still blooming in the backyard...

The sedum autumn joy is beginning to turn red (next to some late daisies).

This is the time of year I really appreciate seeing new flowers...

... or spring ones returning, like this solitary Canada anemone which is back in bloom!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Amazing Sky!

I remember - as a child - lying on the ground and watching the clouds. I rarely lie on the ground anymore, but I am still astounded at the sky!

To the north - pink and blue, this August evening...

While to the east, shades of blue and grey!

It makes me want to sit down - right where I am - and watch!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Back to Drawing Again

I was back at the Central Experimental Farm again recently, drawing with several others from the spring botanical art class.

Every time we come, we have to look around.

The gardens always look different - different flowers are in bloom.

Again there were volunteer gardeners working around us, weeding the flower beds.

Again I saw a groundhog - but he ran off before I had a chance to get a better picture!

This time I drew some tall purple grass...

Looking for a second subject, I noticed a tiny pine cone overhead...

So I tried to do that too...

But before I had completed it, it was time to leave.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Family Vacation

We used to take family vacations.

It was challenging to find activities both parents and kids would enjoy.

Recently we spent some family time together again - the five of us.

What does an all-adult family weekend entail - to make everyone happy?

This one included a a stop at the popular Brockville Rib Festival...

(a fund-raiser for the Boys' and Girls' Club.)

Then, in Toronto, it continued...

 ... with a soccer game.

... a trip to the Steam Whistle Brewery.

(They serve free samples.)

And there are bikes to sit on!

 Later on, a meal of burgers...

... at the Burger's Priest hamburger stand.

Then, to keep me happy, we all took a walk along the Lake Ontario harbor front...

... where a kind stranger offered to take our picture.

After all these years, it's nice to know we can still enjoy family time together!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

An All-Purpose Prayer

Some of us are searching
For the right word,
Like the Centurian who asked: "Lord,
Only say the word, and
My servant shall be healed."
Others are lost and
Need only a gesture from you
As Philip did:
"Lord, show us the way."
Some of us are still struggling
With prehistoric monsters
Like resentment. And we
Bite our lips because
We have to go back and ask you once more
So dumb a question as Peter
Blurted out: "Lord,
How often can my brother offend me,
And I still forgive him?"
Finally, there are those beside us
Who do not have the heart
For any more questions.
They don't even know what to ask
And pray blindly
Through their tears
Simply for you to sit beside them
As you did John that night.
And if there is anyone
Who could not bear that much light
Would you please nod to them, or
Glance their way, or remember them,
Lord, as you promised you would the thief,
"When you come into your Kingdom?"

(Before You Call I Will Answer by David A. Redding, p. 83)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Outdoor Farmers' Market

Summer Farmers' Markets are popping up all over.

Here is one that sets up once or twice a week in the parking lot of a shopping center.

I wander over to see what I can get...

 ... eggs - straight from the farmer.

 ... bread from a popular bakery.

Does food from a farmers' market taste better than food from a grocery store? I don't know. But it seems to be selling fast!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Update on Finding a COLOR VALUE FINDER

I have been hunting for a quilting (and sketching) tool - a color value finder that helps distinguish between colors that look the same at a distance.

Ottawa has a number of quilt shops, but I don't visit them too often... the temptation to buy is too great. I rarely need fabric - I have a stash on hand. And I usually have several unfinished projects on the go, so I don't need more "inspiration"!

The Ottawa Valley Quilters Guild website lists the quilt shops in our area... I decided to start with one I know quite well, The Running Stitch. I was lucky: I bought their very last color evaluator!

 This Cottage Mills Color Evaluator has both red and green viewers - one that blocks out reds...

 ...the other greens. (Other colors appear like shades of grey.)

I was delighted... but of course...

I was "inspired" to buy a few patterns while I was there. Soon I'll have more projects on the go!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I came across an interesting quote the other day -

"It is better to create than to be learned, creating is the true essence of life," by Barthold Georg Niebuhr (Not to be confused with Reinhold Niebuhr, author of the Serenity Prayer.)

I'm not sure if creativity is better, but - for me - it definitely is more fun.

I would rather be baking, knitting, gardening or working on a quilt than studying for a test any day!