Wednesday, July 8, 2020


Hi everyone - if anyone is out there :) I thought I should explain myself and my recent post of nothingness except for ripe wild garlic!

I was just messing around trying to remember how to access my photos, how to write a post etc. It's been about a year since I was active on this blog and I've forgotten a LOT! I'm not even sure that I'll be able to get this blog going again or if I might change it up a little, switch to Wordpress or whatever.

Those of you who are on Facebook know that I am keeping very BUSY with cycling, hiking, & I even did a virtual hike (the hiking was real, the location was the Ridgeway Trail but not really). My feet are getting a lot of miles since I'm not playing volleyball anymore. Not allowed due to covid.

So, what I'll do is keep you up to date with my decisions. I'm thinking about writing about the challenges of "aging" as that is something I've been struggling with...a lot. Figuring out how to move forward will be the biggest hurdle - once I have that sorted I can get back to writing and taking photos.

Talk soon.
PS I hope the challenges of Covid 19 haven't been too difficult for you and your families - I've missed everyone and think of you often. Just picking up my pen (laptop) is a major achievement and I feel encouraged to continue.

Let's see if I can post a picture:
I did it! This is a big old house in London, where I live, (the Canadian one!) and guess what is taught here???

Sunday, July 28, 2019

I Love my Deck! Now if it Would only STOP raining!

I'm a little naive when it comes to building projects - I had no idea cement would be involved in the making of my new deck. 
I also didn't realize that my old cement steps in front of my patio doors would get
broken into a bunch of pieces and tossed away. But I am just fine with that. Over
the years many animal families (skunks, chipmunks, raccoons!) have lived in the hollow
area behind the cement steps. I'm not  going to miss them!

 Wasn't he a tidy worker? After each step of construction he would clear up the
area he'd been working in. Of course it was not a very big area so I suppose
he had to clear up to make room.

He thought my plan of maximizing the space made sense so he worked around the A/C but every other square inch went to the deck.  The floor was raised by 8" so that the deck would meet the bottom of the fence. And a lot of old materials - flagstones, smaller bits of broken up concrete, stones and rocks were buried beneath the deck.

Et voila! It's wonderful! 

 I need to take more photos as I've bought a couple other chairs, a new lantern, new table cloth
etc. As it's currently sprinkling that won't be today...but soon.

Some of you may recognize my hanging chair - I had it at my trailer hanging from a tree and also
in PEI on a tree. I hung onto it in the hopes of using it again someday - and found out a month
or two ago that there are stands you can buy to hang the chair from! 
So happy!
It's now my favourite reading spot :) 
Doesn't it look great?

We've had a LOT of WEATHER lately, if you know what I mean...pretty much everything
you can think of except for snow...and that wouldn't surprise me much. Even tornado warnings.
It's been very unsettled with lots of events being cancelled unfortunately. 
I haven't been hiking around Fanshawe Lake as much - just once this week - instead I've switched to my bike as I can't escape the bugs when I'm hiking but I'm a blur on my bike! ZOOM!

No flies on me! (or mosquitos)!!

Have you noticed the infestations of bugs lately in the news? 
Las Vegas is full of grasshoppers, Orillia and North Bay (in Ontario) had literally billions
of shad flies descend upon them!

The major news story at the moment in Canada is about the two teenage boys who are wanted in connection with three murders in British Columbia. They are on the run and were last seen in Northern Manitoba. This sort of thing doesn't happen too often here so the whole country is 
caught up in this awful event. Hope they are found soon!

Keep cool everyone!
It's my favourite day of the year - The PRIDE Parade!!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Deck has Begun!

This is the way the deck used to look - pretty grim.
Nothing but clover and weeds would grow between the flagstones. 
Nothing like sitting outside, reading a good book, surrounded by dirt.

Oh, and a small patch of myrtle which Lily
used to bury herself in.
Sorry Lily. You'll have to make do with potted plants!

The deck guy spent yesterday measuring and making 
giant post holes. Not sure what he is working on at present though I can hear a 
lot of whacking! I'm afraid to look! A big pile of wood was just delivered. 
Hurrah! Progress!

Oh thank goodness....COLOUR! Saw these gorgeous fuchsia coloured
flowers on my most recent trek around Fanshawe Lake.
Wild Sweet William? 
A feast for the eyes!

 I am in love with this trail. New growth trees, old growth trees, turtles,
snakes, deer...21kms of great trails.

Isn't it lovely?

I could build me a wee cottage! Well, not me...but 
somebody could build me a wee cottage. 

Hope you're enjoying summer now that it is finally here. Around here we had a cold wet spring - it wasn't nice AT ALL and then it instantly became summer complete with blisteringly hot days and hot sticky nights. But I'm not complaining! I look forward to sitting on my deck soon (hope he's a fast worker) shaded by my huge maple drink to hand....mystery novel to hand (because I have two hands!) and hopefully a nice breeze.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Fanshawe Lake Trail


So the one day I don't go OUT into nature...nature comes to me! In the form of a fledgling
bluejay. I noticed Lilypad throwing herself against the screen patio door and went over to have
a look and there was a beautiful little bluejay. As sweet as Lilypad is she desperately wanted
to have a go at the fledgling. So I closed the glass door to the patio as well as I really thought
she was going to break the screen. It's ok Lilypad, I know you're just acting on instinct.

The fledgling seems to be in good shape and looks healthy.  It just can't flutter very far, basically hopping around on the patio furniture. I looked up on the local London Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Centre, called Salthaven, and this is what they had to say:

Fledglings - have proper feathers, can perch and may even be able to flutter short distances. These youngsters often leave the nest and sit on branches nearby, waiting for their parents to return with food. Unless they are in immediate danger, they should be left and observed from a distance. The parents usually come back within a short time. Keep cats away from the fledglings. 

That means YOU Lilypad! While I watched an adult bluejay landed beside the fledgling and popped something in its mouth. So it wasn't going hungry. As I watch its flying skills seem to be improving and it is hopping and flying slightly higher distances. I wonder if it's better off inside my enclosed patio, where it is now, or whether I should place it outside the patio where it would be more vulnerable but possibly closer to its nest. I think it's best to continue to keep an eye on things - it's safe, it's being fed and it's growing stronger. If anything changes I'll call Salthaven and see what they recommend.

NATURE is so fascinating!!

Thursday, June 13, 2019


Hello my neglected friends.  I'm back to get caught up - lots has been happening, mostly good I'd say. First off - we are holding our own health-wise. Kazi has the first of her quarterly pap tests booked for July. We hope that her next four tests remain clear. She is changing jobs in a few weeks and hopes that it won't be as stressful as her current position. Anxiety is a b--ch!! As for me I have no complaints. Feeling strong, hiking a LOT!  I would like to do an 8-10 day long distance walking trip to the UK but not sure if I can make it happen this year. A lot depends on Kazi's health and of course I want to be close by her just in case.

That's not to say I'm not spending any money - quite the opposite. I finally got my deck/patio project approved by my condo board - yippeeee! But cha-ching!! Wish I was a handy woman some days. But also know this is not a job for an amateur. At least not this one :)  Actually it's not too complicated - there's an A/C unit to work around as well as a window well and the concrete steps. I've let "my guy" know that the project can go ahead - he's thinking around the first of July and it'll take two days to complete. Can't wait to put my patio furniture out on a level platform instead of wobbly flagstones.
Hopeful the chipmunks move on to the neighbour's yard while they're working in mine!

I've been doing a lot inside the house with lots more to do. Yes the spring cleaning will soon become "summer cleaning"! Things are not getting done in a BIG hurry because we've had SOOOOOOOOO much rain that whenever we get a decent day I am out on the trail hiking or biking. We have a lake on the outskirts of London called Fanshawe Lake and there is a trail all the way around it totalling 20kms. It takes me between 4 and 4.5 hours to hike all the way around. It's one of the nicest areas I've ever hiked and I'm so happy it's near me. I bought a yearly pass for only $25 which allows me to drive in, park and then hike the multiple trails as often as I want. A very good deal.

I don't know if you've ever seen something called "Privacy Pop-up" tents for sale in your facebook feed but as soon as I saw them I thought that's for me! I love love love sleeping in a tent and this design is great - your mattress goes inside and there are zippered openings on all sides. Luna and Lily love it too and nap in there. The only problem is I sleep that a real problem? When I posted about it on facebook Carla said they'd got one for their youngest and she loves it and that it was good quality so that was the push I needed to go for it. I really look forward to going to bed now :)
That's not me LOL!
In addition I bought a new mattress and a new bed frame and new bedding - $$$$. (I decided in a conversation with one of my brothers that the retirement money I've been saving since I was in my 20's is for me to use now that I am retired - makes sense right? ) Not all of it at once obviously :)

I'll close with a few photos as usual:
There are hundreds of these bad boys!

Trillims are Ontario's provincial flower - the white ones
are more common than these beauties. Also come
in pale pink!

Sent this photo to my brother who has been in Ireland the last
three weeks - they've got nothing on us!
Green as green can be!

Gorgeous trails, a wee bit of mud here and there but not bad considering all the rain and flooding we've had.

Phlox is in bloom now.


and beautiful blue skies!

That path is calling to me!

Fanshawe Lake

More of Fanshawe Lake

Fisherman on the right side of the Thames during flood season.
Today I am thankful for a rainy day as I promised myself to get caught up on the blogs on the next rainy day. As long as it doesn't last for the next few days!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY...(and grandmother and great grandmother....)

When my uncle Fred died a couple of years ago I took the opportunity to take pictures of photos
that were in an album made by a cousin. The page above shows my maternal grandmother and
grandfather. Ida Belle and Laurence Frederick Catton. He went off to fight in WWI already
carrying a bullet in his shoulder from shooting practise.
When he returned from the war they were very poor and sadly he died just
when my grandmother had given birth to their fourth child.
In spite of great poverty my grandmother raised four children single-handedly and
lived to be almost 94 years old. 
Ida's mother, Lydia Jane, is shown above. She had good genes as well and lived
to be 104 outliving a couple of husbands.
She was very feisty despite losing her sight as she aged. No one
could tell her what she could or couldn't do.
I like to think that in addition to receiving her middle name that I also inherited
her feistiness. 

My mother, Edith Jane, was very photogenic! This is the house she lived in as a girl. A well-to-do uncle
owned the house and allowed her, her mother and three brothers to live there. Those were the depression
years and money was scarce as were jobs.

I have a Brownie camera though not the same one my mother used for a lot of these photos. She
loved to pose and get her photo taken - I love this one with the old bike and newspaper-sized basket.

I see myself in this photo.

This is the house I grew up in.
Me and my mom.  She was a great mom - always had good advice when I had a problem. In the 1990's she
was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, late onset. It wasn't long before dementia took her away from us in 2000, almost
20 years ago. But she is as alive to me now as she ever was and I feel her presence every day.
Here we all two older sisters, my two older brothers and my handsome parents. This house didn't
have a furnace only an oil stove in the dining room to heat both floors. The girls' room had a wooden vent in the floor to allow heat to rise (not much haha! The linoleum was bitterly cold on the feet winter mornings!)
Eventually my dad excavated underneath the house raising it up and creating a basement.
Here's my mom and I in my dad's garden - he had quite the green thumb.

Mom - I'll keep cycling just like you did. One of these days
we'll meet up on the same road.
Love you Ma.