#Winter Fun – Wordless Wednesday

This post was inspired by a small exhibit my mother had at the library a few years ago titled Winter Fun. My mother often paints her memories, but many of our favorite winter activities have been popular forever.
You can never build too many snowmen….
Real or…..
….on canvas.
Outdoor skating party – 1902 – photo courtesy of the county archives. In an area blessed with lakes and rivers skating has always been popular, although it must have been difficult to skate in a long skirt and coat. I remember my dad saying he had saved up $5 to buy a pair of skates towards the end of the Depression. He was thirteen. My mother recalls a boy she liked asking her to go skating with him but she didn’t have any skates so she stayed home. Later that afternoon he went with another friend and drowned in the river. No wonder arenas are so popular here, especially now that the river never freezes over. The city used to have an outdoor rink but any dad will tell you how much work they are to maintain, especially during a mild winter.
Skating on Lake Chipican – a small inlet off Lake Huron – photo 1961.
The same lake today – but not quite as busy. Sometimes you see games of pick-up hockey, but often it isn’t cold enough to freeze other than a small patch near the shore. (My photo – 2022)
Hockey on the Pond (2015) – with the family dogs. When I was a kid we used to skate on the pond behind the barn with my cousins. The boys would play hockey and we would pretend to be figure skaters.
Me at age 6 – and are those corduroy pants? I remember being upset that I had to wear black boy’s skates, but by the time the arena opened in town I had white ones. The nicest thing about skating in the arena was listening to the music – all those great 60’s hits blaring over the loudspeaker. Note the wide open fields – once we skated all the way to the bush at the back of the farm when a layer of freezing rain/ice had formed on top of the snow.
Another version of Skating Behind the Barn (2016)
The Barn in Winter (2005) – behind the house was a large yard, where we would play fox and goose in the snow (google the rules) and build snow forts. I only remember the bus being cancelled once for a snow day….it must have been an exceptionally bad storm as we were off school for 3 days.
Tobogganing was another popular (and sometimes dangerous) sport if there was a steep enough hill nearby. When I was a teenager I broke my tailbone on the slats of the toboggan when my neighbour who was pulling us with his skidoo went too fast and we hit a bump. After I had almost passed out from the pain, I ended up on the couch and missed a whole week of school.
Winter Fun (2017) I remember an after-school tobogganing party in grade 8 in a gully with trees – it horrifies me now to even think about it.
A small man-made hill in a nearby park (with a gentle slope and no trees in sight) still attracts a few kids.
Including this little one with the neon-pink-glow-in-the-dark sled. Not sure who was having more fun, the kid or her parents!
Horsing Around (2014) – On the day my mother and her family moved to their new farm in the country, it was snowing and bitterly cold. Looking out the window, she saw my dad and his brother coming up the lane with a team of horses to see if they needed any help setting up the wood stove. (The year was 1944, and tractors were not common yet, nor furnaces.) They were both 18 and eventually got married. I guess you could say she married the boy next door!
On The Way to Gramma’s House (2014) – After a day spent outdoors there’s nothing like a cookie and a warm welcome at gramma’s house.
How many more days until Spring Thaw (2005)?

Signs of the Holiday Season – 2022

I was so late decorating this year that I bought my outdoor decor instead of doing my own. By then it was too cold to hack branches off my mother’s pine tree and with a $40 urn on sale for $15 who could resist? Plus the plaid ribbons were so cheerful!
$30 hanging baskets were $11
and door wreaths were $5. The matching plaid ribbons from the dollar store were $1 – I do love a bargain.
I have a neighbour who is very talented at bow-making and can be bribed with cookies.
The partridge was finally hung in the pear tree where he can twirl around in the wind.
I was gifted a chocolate truffle Advent calendar the first of December. I’ve never had an Advent calendar before and have to admit it’s a nice idea, portion control and so many sleeps until Christmas and all that, but I have no idea what it has to do with Advent? Nevertheless, I’m thinking of buying a cosmetic one from Marcelle my favorite skin care line, in the Boxing Day sales as what better way to sample new products, and I saw a tea one in the grocery store for a tea lover. (yes, this is how the mad men merchandisers get you.)

The season started with the Swiss Chalet Festive Special which is basically the same as their regular meal except for the dollop of cranberry sauce, the scoop of stuffing and the box of five free Lindt chocolates which you pay for with the increased price. Inflation inflation….
and ended with the big turkey dinner and all the fixin’s…..
which encored as turkey stew (today) and turkey pie (tomorrow) – that turkey was the gift that kept on giving.
Henceforth, it’s back to salads. (New plaid Christmas plates, courtesy of Winners, and the shallow bowls/plates are from the mission thrift shop – 12 plates for $1 each. Just what I need – more china! I kept four and gave the rest away. It makes me sad when I see all the lovely china that must have graced someone’s dinner table at one time so I feel it’s my duty to redistribute it to people who will appreciate it.)
Salads…..
and more salads. New Years resolution – eat healthier.
I was happy to hygge at home…
With a bottle of mulled wine – the non-alcoholic kind.
and a Christmas puzzle
during the big blizzard of 2022.
We got off rather lightly – only six inches of snow but the winds were wicked and the whiteouts fierce.
The partridge was not amused.
Here’s to a calmer and more peaceful 2023. Happy New Year’s to all my Readers!

#A Blaze of Glory – Wordless Wednesday

More tree pictures, some from the old camera, some from the new. It was a good year for color.
Mellow yellow.
The end result.
Out of focus orange.
Somewhat better the next day but the wind blew a lot of the leaves down.

An Autumn Blaze – 14 years of height.
A closer view.
An Autumn Fantasy.
Hanging on….
Going…
going…
Gone!
A river birch.
Same view – daylight savings time.
The day after Halloween – red and green already?
Puzzle – Fall Quilts – snuggle down for winter.

#A Walk in the Park – Wordless Wednesday

Please join me for a walk in the park to admire the fall leaves.
Orange
Red
Yellow
There’s no one hiking on the trails this quiet October Sunday – everyone must be home watching baseball.
except for The Great Pumpkin – trying out the new zoom lens.
And Mr. Chubs here – not quite ready for his camera moment.
The beach was deserted.
and the beach grass all dried up.
They’ve moved the old log cabin and rebuilt a replica.
And put a new little library in front of it. The pioneers would have loved that.
The animal farm was closed but you could still take a train ride.
or buy an $8 frozen yogurt as the weather was still warm 70 and sunny.
A last look at the Carolina forest trail, which could have been a better picture if the camera person knew what she was doing with her new camera – 77 photos on the wrong setting…

Puzzle – fall at the lake.

#Beach Blues – Wordless Wednesday

When those September clouds start to roll in – the end of summer blues set in.
Dock sitting seems desolate when the sky is cloudy and the river water is a dark blue. (Note how long the freighter is in the background.)
It makes you grateful when the sun comes back out and sparkles on the water.
But there’s still time for one last trip to the beach.
There were lots of sailboats out, behind the beach grass.
We’re lucky to have a hundred acre park with a beach right in the city. This photo is from the 1950’s before the parking lot was paved and before erosion set in.
The section in the top of the photo is private property with deeded beach rights, so you seldom see anyone walking along there. I’ll take the house with the gazebo!
There were lots of different variations of blue, depending on the intensity of the sun.
Darker blue with more sailboats.
The circle of smaller sailboats in the distance is the beginners class from the yacht club.
I like to check out all the colorful beach umbrellas.
It was a picture perfect day – something to store up until next year.

#August Flora and Fauna – Wordless Wednesday

Beach grass.
River birches along the beach. I love to watch their silver leaves blowing in the breeze off the lake.
Fall flower beds at the entrance to the park.
Woodland path in the park – an example of a Carolinian forest according to the sign. I intend to walk this some day when tick season is over, as it is home to a snowy white owl and many species of birds.
Another park with beautiful beds. I’m always happy to see pinks in the park.
A shady spot to sit and watch the water.
A riot of color in front of a riverside condo.
My harvest of “novelty” purple bush beans. The verdict – pretty color – tasted like a bean when sampled raw – but somehow lacking in flavor once cooked.
Zinnias for sale at the farmers market.
Walking past the dill reminds me of my mother canning pickles.
Summer fruit…..one of the best things about August.
And now for the fauna part – kittens at a fruit stand out in the country.
A big attraction for the kids.
And last but not least – my new summer favorite flavor. Hey, it’s green!

#May Flowers – Wordless Wednesday

Lately I’ve been taking pictures while walking in the neighborhood
These purple irises deserve a a second shot
I’ve never seen a peony with multi-colors like this one before
The owner said it’s a woody shrub not a bush, and blooms earlier than other peonies.

She said this is catnip – a lovely sight if you’re a cat!
My rescue basket of pansies post CPR – the nursery was going to throw them out but all they needed was some water.
My Virginia bluebells are always nice but one strand came up albino this year.
It’s right beside the lily of the valley, so maybe I’ve created a new species?
Inhale the scent!
Lilacs over my neighbor’s fence.
Make for a nice place to sit and read a book!

#Yellow and Purple – Wordless Wednesday

Yellow and purple are complimentary colors
Common in the first flowers of spring – like crocus
and Hyacinths
Which contrasts nicely with yellow daffodils
Cheerful pansies in bright
and pale shades
Violets sprinkled across the lawn
make the dandelions look sunny
Bright purple vinca stands out
as does the regal purple iris.
And last but not least forsythia – the welcome sign of spring!

#March Madness – Wordless Wednesday

A photo recap of March.

First sign of spring – pussy willows for sale
Reading The Maid – a charming murder mystery with a maid turned sleuth – instead of spring cleaning!
Leftovers from the Mediterranean Diet
A March hare munching on the Mediterranean diet.
Lawn damage from the Merry Band of Moles who wintered under the front deck.
Anxiously awaiting those 80 bulbs I planted last fall. Note the piece of dryer lint the moles have scavenged for lining their nests so they can go forth and multiply….
Saw this magnificent spring garden painting by a local artist at a gallery opening.
A friend’s spring-like quilt – if it hadn’t already been spoken for I would have bought it….like I need another quilt….
This week’s excuse for not writing a blog post – that second dose was wicked.
This week’s excuse for not walking. It’s hard to find a spring jacket in a nice color. Plus there’s freezing rain forecast to send March out like a lion, which is kind of what that mustard color reminds me of….
Better to stay in and do a cozy puzzle….this one has it all…..fire, cat, dog, book, drink, snacks – what more could you want.
And for true March madness – imagine being shot in a lineup while buying bread. I remember reading the book The Cellist of Sarajevo. It’s sad and disturbing to see history repeating itself – prayers for Ukraine.