Saturday, June 30, 2018

St. Jacob's Farmers Market

On a recent trip to Toronto and to Guelph, Terry and I headed to St. Jacob's Farmers Market, in the town of St. Jacobs, not far from Kitchener / Waterloo.

The big draw for me is always the piping hot fresh apple fritters!

But there are other interesting things to see...

... and buy.

This time, I noticed activities for children, as well, like this pony ride.

Next time we go, perhaps we can bring our granddaughter along, too!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Blue Sweater... Done!

For the last few months, I have been working on a long, blue cardigan for myself...

The pattern and the yarn come from a British online yarn store.

I downloaded the pattern but the yarn was sent by mail.

The cardigan is knit in garter stitch...

I loved the pattern and decided to give it a try.

It uses two strands of yarn - something I would only think of doing if I'm trying to blend two colors. (Not sure why the creator of this pattern used two finer strands instead of one thicker one...)

But the sweater feels very cozy now that it's done!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Musings as I Walk to Centrepoint Library

I often walk to the library.

A kilometer away, it's a perfect walking distance!

This time I took a detour past a seniors' condo building that had recently had a fire...

Only the central common area seems to be damaged.

The two attached residence wings appear livable, but I don't know if they are...

A few years ago, a friend in Montreal came home to find firemen in her condo building. One of the units had had a fire. She wasn't able to stay in the building that night - though she was able to go into her apartment to retrieve some personal belongings.

Don't forget your pills, the fireman who accompanied her into the building reminded her.

Oh yes! Her pills! She had forgotten about them!

Her situation reminded me of another, where a friend had to evacuate her home for a few hours because of a suspected gas leak on the street. Repairing the problem took longer than she had anticipated. A few hours later she panicked to realize that she needed to take her medication but had forgotten to bring her pills.

Always keep them in a bag by the door, the police officer told her when she mentioned she needed to return to her house to retrieve them. You should always take them with you whenever you leave the house...

(Good advice perhaps - but not many of us would be willing to follow it...! My purse is heavy enough without adding prescription medication!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Denim Rug

I love denim - and have kept old, torn blue jeans for years now, planning to someday transform them into interesting hand bags.

I tried making a denim quilt once, but found it heavy... So I use part of it as a runner on the piano bench. Larger, it could make a nice picnic blanket.

Recently the topic of rugs came up in our family. Our daughter expressed interest in having some of the rag rugs my mother made. I think this one is braided. The beige strand is cut from old nylon stockings and tights.

I wonder if this one is crocheted.

Thinking about using up all my denim fabric, I wondered: Could I make a denim one in the same style - or would the fabric be too hard to crochet?
Searching for "denim rugs" on Pinterest, I came across this striped one... So I decided to try to make it.

I sewed together three-inch strips of denim.

The backing is also "upcycled" from a corduroy pillow cover I once made.

It sewed up quickly...

I was pleased with my finished rug.

Wondering if it wouldn't be slippery on a tile or wooden floor, I hunted for a rubber under-pad to keep it more secure.

I headed over to Ikea to see if they had rubber underpading for small area rugs.

I found some small bath mats that were the perfect size - and didn't slip.

Perfect to put under this denim rug - and the rag rugs my mother made! I bought a few - a bargain at $2 each!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Advice from a Coach (Lou Holtz)

Occasionally I come across interesting graduation speeches posted online...

Here's one I heard recently - funny yet profound.

In this online speech Lou Holtz, a former football coach, says that a coaching mistake he made was aiming to maintain status quo - not trying to constantly improve.

The speech is well-worth listening to, in my opinion. A little gem of wisdom I gleaned was: Don't tell people your problems. Ninety percent don't care - and ten percent are glad you've got them!

Advice worth thinking about!!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Mother and Son Enjoying HQ!

I'm always happy to find fun things my adult children and I can do together. Recently, one of my sons suggested that I try a free online game that he plays often. It's called HQ...

It's a live show where 12 questions are asked and three possible answers are given. If you err even once, you're out for that game... But there are one - or sometimes 2 - games daily...

If you succeed in answering all the questions correctly, you share the jackpot prize with all the other winners.

One of my daughter's friends won once - but, divided among the thousands of winning players, the prize ended up being about 10 cents each!

(Yes, thousands of people play!)

At one point in the game below 1.69 million people were online playing!

Not sure how much you actually need to have won before you can withdraw the your winnings...

I wonder - has anyone ever withdrawn any?!!

For me, winning money isn't my main motive in playing. My son and I compete with ... each other!!

Every time we play, we email each other and see who got more questions right!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Visit to Andrew Haydon Park

One of the prettiest parks in Ottawa is Andrew Haydon Park on the Ottawa River.

I don't know who designed it...

But it's lovely from every angle!

When our children were young, we'd often come here for picnics.

After eating, the children would play on the play structure...

Since those days, the Canada goose population has grown in the park...

(Consequently walkways are littered with their droppings!)

This visit - for the first time - we saw parents with their little goslings.

So interesting to see how attentive and protective they are!

It's such a lovely park in every way!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Multi-Tasking: Audio Books and Unfinished Projects

Our public library has a collection of audio books that I often borrow...

For a while now, while working on knitting or crochet projects, I've been listening to audio books at the same time.

It's a great way to multi-task!

I sometimes also listen to motivational talks by Joyce Meyer...

Each CD is about 45 minutes long - a perfect amount of time to sit down for a bit.

My current aim is to dig out unfinished projects and finally complete them, while listening to a CD.

Tidying up my craft corner, I was surprised to see how many unfinished projects I have!

Equally surprising is to see how quickly they get completed while I'm listening to someone read to me...

An audio book usually consists of four to six CD's...

And it's a great feeling to get these unfinished projects done!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Purplish-Blue "Mystery" Flowers!

Over the years I have planted - then "lost" - many flowers in my flower beds. Sometimes I pull them out early in spring, thinking they are weeds... (A good reason to refrain from "weeding"!)

Occasionally, years later, they suddenly appear... (or should I say, "reappear"?!)

This is one such flower! The stalk looks a lot like a blade of grass - so it's a wonder I didn't pull it out earlier in the season. I have no idea if or when I planted it. Perhaps it's a native plant that "blew in" or was brought into the garden by a bird or squirrel, in the form of a seed.

But then, again, years ago, I purchased some native plants that never bloomed... Is this one of them?!

A lot of uncertainty would end if I kept a gardening diary...

There are other pink and purple plants in bloom right now, too...

These are carnations (I think!)

I'm glad to see the purple Salvia back.

Mauve/purple/blue, the dominant color palate in my garden these days, are peaceful early summer colors.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Long Sunlit Days

Today is the "longest" day of the year - the day with the most sunlight hours.

I love these long days... though it's hard for me to stay awake for them all!

 At 7 pm - as in the picture - I'm enjoying the long evening light...

But I'm having trouble with 4 am dawn. By 6, when I'm ready to get up, I've missed seeing the sunrise. The day is already bright!

My photo faces west - and the sun is slowly moving to the right (to the north) before it sets.

One of my daughter's friends, currently in Iceland, is posting photos on Instagram.

I particularly enjoyed this one - and the comment, "Yes, it's almost midnight in Iceland."

I didn't realize that Iceland is that far north...

These days of "midnight sun" would be the perfect time of year to be there!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Hot Water Bottles Work!!

When I was a child, my mother would have me lie down with a hot water bottle to ease a stomach ache.Years later, I did the same for my children...

I don't get many stomach aches these days - but recently I've been trying to lower my blood sugar levels using Metformin, a medicine commonly prescribed for type 2 diabetes. One of the common side effects of this medication is stomach cramps - and I've had stomach discomfort most days. One day that was particularly painful, I finally grabbed a hot water bottle and lay down for a nap with it on my stomach. The pain immediately went away!

Was this simply a placebo? I wondered, and turned to Google...

Apparently not! Science has proven that applying heat to pain does work.

According to an online Guardian article, "if heat of more than 40C (104F) is applied to the skin near where internal pain is felt, it switches on heat receptors at the site of injury. These in turn block the body's ability to detect pain." 

It's interesting to realize that our parents and grandparents did have medical knowledge back in the day. But it's always interesting to discover the "how's'" and "why's" of what they simply knew to be true.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Hot Air Balloon in the Sky

Hot air ballooning used to be a popular sport in our part of Ontario.

But over the past little while, I haven't noticed any hot air balloons in the sky.

Is its popularity on the wane? Is it mainly a summer sport? I'm not sure...

But recently I did notice one - early one morning - hovering over the nearby college.

Would it land in the parking lot? They've landed there before...

But it simply drifted out of sight.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Art Surprise

A while back,Terry and I were enjoying a meal in a local vegetarian restaurant - when I looked up - and noticed that the wall art had been painted by a former colleague, the art teacher in the last school I taught in.

These colorful paintings are quite different from anything else I have ever seen her do...

(Too bad the glare from the windows is mirroring the scene behind me...)

I thought Sue must be experimenting with a new painting style, but my friend Kay - who purchased one of the paintings - said Sue had done these a while back. They're not her most recent work.

(A week later, when Terry and I returned to the restaurant, the exhibit was gone.)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

"Vintage" Father's Day Memories!

I recently came across these vintage Father's Day memories...

Handmade cards from more than twenty years ago!

The sentiments they share never grow old!

Thanks also to the Sunday School teachers...

... who shared in making these timeless memories.