Friday, May 31, 2019

It Sparks Joy!

As I organize hats and gloves, putting away winter clothing and pulling out wide-brimmed summer hats, it strikes me that even storage should "spark joy"!

I was looking for a basket large enough to hold our summer hats...

What about this one?!

Over the years, it's been used to hold small plants, photo albums and newspapers. Now these large hats fit perfectly...

Best of all, when I walk past it in the hall, my straw hat with the red ribbon "sparks joy" - as it reminds me of hot summer days... and relaxing in the sun!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

New Spring Flowers in Bloom

My constantly changing perennial garden is starting to look more interesting as new flowers begin to bloom.

I particularly love the white and green leaves of the hostas.

The yellow euphorbia flowers are beginning to bloom.

They sit in tidy mounds like the hostas...

Like the hostas, they are easy to divide.

The delicate white anemones are also beginning to bloom. They are one of my favorite flowers.

The bleeding heart is blooming as well.

I think it's smaller this year than last. Or maybe it's just hidden by the gout weed that wants to overtake my whole garden bed.

Small bunches of delicate blue flowers are appearing here and there in my front garden bed. I've forgotten what they're called...

Are they forget-me-nots?

New tulips are appearing as well - ones I totally forgot I had planted!

So that's fun - but sometimes they are hidden by larger plants springing up next to them.

That's the down-side of a perennial garden: some plants overwhelm others next to them as they grow. They really should be moved or divided.

Looking at these close-ups of my plant photos reminds me that I need to get out there and weed ruthlessly!

But most of the time, it's the total effect of the flower bed that gives me joy - even though, at this time of year, my garden is a mass of leaves with very few flowers!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Not Gone Yet!

Walking around the neighborhood a few days ago, I noticed that the large parking lot snow pile at Algonquin College had diminished in size - but it's still there... It hasn't all melted yet...

What's left of the accumulated snow and debris removed from their large parking lot over the course of the winter now looks more like a pile of dirt - with garbage sticking to it - than a pile of white snow!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Leaking Water Main

Yesterday was one of those awful days when the water was shut off on our street for most of the day...

City workers were hunting for a leak in the water main on our street...

In the end, they found it in the ditch of our neighbor's yard...

Part of his driveway had to be dug up!

I'm so glad it wasn't my flower bed!

As they were hunting for the leaks, the thought crossed my mind: What if it's in our front yard?!!

As we planned our day - without water - I was thankful that we still had electricity. Losing that is much harder, I think...

And the unfortunate people whose homes were flooded this spring lost both!

I really have nothing to complain about!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Guelph Arboretum

Ever since moving to Guelph, my daughter has been intrigued by advertised nighttime "owl walks" in the Guelph Arboretum, presumably with binoculars - to watch owls.

We didn't see any owls...

... or even look for them...

... but on our last Guelph visit, we did wander around the arboretum...

It is made up of a number of garden areas...

We'll have to return with a detailed map on our next visit...

Surprisingly, even in spring - with few flowers in bloom...

... there were quite a few visitors, like us...

... wandering around, enjoying nature.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Breakfast at Guelph's Airpark Cafe

Last week, while visiting Guelph, we had a unique experience - having breakfast at the Airpark Cafe.

The cafe is at the edge of a small airstrip where small private planes land and take off.

We didn't know if we'd see much action... But, surprisingly, in the short time we were there having breakfast, several tiny planes landed.

Then they parked right next to the cafe window!

We saw a truck drive up to another small plane. Not sure if he was the owner...

A fun experience for children... and other plane lovers...

(The breakfast was good, too!)

A unique experience... right on the edge of a farmer's field!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Exploring Galt, Ontario

I once came across some lovely pictures of an old town called "Galt" in Southern Ontario - but I was unable to find Galt on a map.

Further research revealed that Galt is now part of the city of Cambridge, not far from Guelph, where my daughter now lives.

So last week, when Terry and I were spending a few days in the area, we headed off to hunt for this lovely old town.

Fortunately our GPS was able to get us there when I typed in the words "Galt Cambridge."

Construction blocked one road, but we parked and walked around, admiring the beautiful old architecture...

Later we took a path by the river's edge - where we encountered geese, fishermen, and families out enjoying a sunny day.

Several large old Presbyterian churches in this historic part of Galt made me wonder if Scots were early settlers in this area...

What were these old ruins? I wondered... -

I guess I'll have to do a little more research!

Friday, May 24, 2019

St. Lawrence River Is Running High!

Last weekend Terry and I drove along the St. Lawrence River...

Would we see signs of flooding there, just as we had seen on the Ottawa River?

I doubt it, Terry commented. The St. Lawrence is very long and broad. It would take a lot of water to raise it...

But as we drove along, water levels looked higher than usual. Trees normally on shore were now in the water.

This is my favorite island home - a lovely house surrounded by water - with a small footbridge connecting it to the mainland...

Part of the footbridge was under water...

As we drove along, we noticed ditches filled higher than usual...

Our heavy snow last winter - and extra rains this spring - had impacted even the massive St. Lawrence water system!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

My Losing Tulip Battle

I read recently that tulips are good air purifiers - removing formaldehyde, xylene and ammonia from the atmosphere.

They're also very pretty spring flowers.

The book on growing fresh air recommends having potted tulips in the house as air purifiers.

I might try that - and when their season ends, I'll transplant them all in the garden...

But I'm not sure how successful I'll be.

One year, I planted a lot of tulip bulbs - but I didn't plant them deep enough. The squirrels dug most of them up and ate them.

A few survived. Here in my front garden bed, three red tulips were about to bloom a few days ago... Then a squirrel ate one flower... Then another.

I'm not sure what part of the tulip they eat - but the red petals end up lying on the ground.

I have a few yellow tulips in the back yard. I wonder how long before they get eaten, too.

Some years I carefully sprinkle pepper on the tulips. I'm not sure it helps a lot, and it does have to be reapplied regularly.

Some years - like this year - I simply give up!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Another Family Birthday

Today is my uncle Ron's birthday.

My mother's second youngest brother was born when my mother was 15.

Here they are together in their younger years...

As a teenager, he lived with our family for a while in Hay Lakes, where he came to learn to be a mechanic like my dad.

He worked in welding for a while, too. But in the end, following his father's footsteps, he manufactured windows and doors.

Since retiring, he and his wife Evelyn have visited Ontario several times.

My mother always enjoyed their visits...

One year, we traveled to Quebec City - and they tasted their first "poutine."

Here are some older photos, from my mother's photo albums. According to notes in the album, Ron is here being lifted in the air by Erhard, his oldest brother.

This picture shows him with his parents after he moved to Kelowna in the 1950's to work with his dad.

Happy birthday, Uncle Ron! May you have a wonderful year ahead!