Monday, October 31, 2011

Jungle Book

When JJ was at our house this week we put the Jungle Book DVD on to see if he would like to watch it. He has read the story with Buppa many times, so we thought he might like the DVD.

Well, he was totally engrossed in it. I think Mowgli was in trouble with Kaa at this point in the movie...
and when things got really tense with Shere Khan, he had to move over onto Amma's lap for some protection.
It all ended with smiles though and he was happy when Bagheera and Baloo sauntered off into the jungle and Mowgli was safe in the man village.
I think we will be watching this DVD many more times before this year is over.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Windy walk

JJ has been spending the day at our house most of the day for the past little while because Mommy has been sick, and tasks like getting the fence repaired and plumbing work done, have required us to be at home to deal with workmen.

We are happy to report that it has worked out well for everyone. Mommy has had a quiet house to rest in, JJ has enjoyed playing with Mommy's and Auntie Ally's old toys, and we have enjoyed being home for most of the day.

Another treat has been our morning walk with the little nipper. He sets off at great speed to the end of the driveway, then stops and waits for us.
At some points he rushes ahead of us...
but mostly he dawdles, and needs encouragement to turn around and walk in the right direction.
He talks non-stop during the whole excursion, examines cracks in the sidewalk, bugs crawling up lamp posts, leaves blowing across the path, and anything else that might catch his attention. Neighbours out working in their yards get a cherry hello, dogs get a wide berth at first, but if the owners agree, they get a pat on the head.

The other day he was quite intrigued with his shadow, and how amazing it was that it followed him or walked backward in front of him for the whole walk. He laughed when it waved back at him when he waved, or lifted its foot just like he did. We played games trying to walk on each others shadows or grab them and make them stay put. Total fun for all of us.

Lots of happy memories are being made with this little guy. I wonder what new discoveries he will make tomorrow? I can't wait to share them with him.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Still his buddy

Toys tend to come and go, but good ol' Winnie is still a favorite with JJ these days.
What is it about the tubby little cubby ol bear?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Monday morning smiles

I usually go over to the kid's place alone in the mornings and get Smudge on the bus, then settle in for a morning with JJ at his house. AC takes over after lunch for the pm shift, and I head home for some me-time.

Daddy was on his own Monday morning and we thought he might need some extra help getting things organized, so AC and I both went over a tad early to help out. Smudge was very happy to see Buppa, and snuggled in for some major hugs...
before Buppa took her to the bus stop. JJ stayed home with Amma, but posed for a picture before Buppa and Smudge headed out the door.
It makes it a lot easier when Buppa comes over to help on these blustery mornings so I don't have to get JJ up and dressed in rain gear or other duds when he would much rather sleep-in and putter over breakfast on most mornings.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Everything old is new again...

Mommy has been sick for the past week, so JJ has been coming to our house for the day instead of us going there because we wanted to keep our distance from her nasty germs. Actually it has worked out quite well. JJ is a quieter soul than his sister ever was, and will sit happily on a corner of the carpet and play with one toy at a time. When he wants to get another toy out, he diligently puts the current toy away before he delves into the toy box for the next one. What a treat!

Today I dusted off the old Sesame Street village toy that is well over 30 years old now, and JJ had a grand time playing with it.
Bert and Ernie are missing, but Big Bird, Oscar, Gordon, Maria and Mr Hooper are present and accounted for.
Good old Sesame Street...everything old is new again.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wiggles hats

Sorting through some old pictures I found these two of a couple of cool dudes in their new Wiggles hats.
Yes JJ, you are one cool dude.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Opeongo Trail

OK, this is the last post of our Thanksgiving trip...promise. Grandmama will be getting anxious for pictures of the kids next week.

We set off for the 4 hour trip home from Riverwood on Thanksgiving Monday, and it only took us 7 hours! Yes, we did take the back roads once again and made many stops along the way to soak in the colour and visit a few historic sites.

We had a travel book that outlined the sights to see along the Opeongo Line, and it was not much out of our way, so we dusted off our maps, filled the thermoses with coffee, bought some delicious muffins for snacks, and went exploring along this historic route. The scenery couldn't have been prettier and the little towns were a delight.
Our first stop along the way was this old church in Rockingham. You can read more about it here. Rockingham Church
We parked the car, climbed the hill and wandered around the grounds before going inside to take a look around.
The old organ looked pretty good, but I couldn't get it to make a sound.
The fall colour put on a show outside the windows...
and memories of days gone by swirled around on the inside like falling leaves.
I felt like I was stepping into the past when I walked through the door and wandered down the aisle. I tried to picture the people sitting in these pews; what they would be wearing; and what kind of lives they had. The Opeongo Line was a hard place to try to make a living if you tried to farm the land.

We passed some old homesteads along the Trail, and I wondered what went through the minds of the first women to arrive as they got off their wagons at the end of a long journey and looked around. Nothing but dense bush everywhere you looked, thick clouds of mosquitoes swarming in the air, no neighbours, no corner stores, no electricity, no heat, no running water (or well)....and now they had to set up housekeeping in this isolated area. Where do you start? How do you get through that first night, those first few days, the next long years? My heart went out to those women.

One entry in the guest book in the foyer of the church was from a great grand-daughter of a lady married in this church. My mind wondered back through the years, and I wondered what the young bride wore that day; what kind of decorations did she have in the church; who sat in the pews to celebrate the day with her; what kind of reception followed and what did life hold for her after her big day. What were her hopes and dreams, and did she realize them?

The box you see to the left of the window in the picture below really intrigued me as I couldn't figure out what it was for. It was at the front of the church in the opposite corner from the pulpit. The sides were about seven feet high, and there was a narrow opening in the back corner of the box, with just enough room for a person to slip inside. There was a bench inside, but that was all. No shelves, hooks or table. Just a bench. Hmmm, what could it be for? Maybe it was the minister's prayer closet. Or maybe wood was stored in there for the stove that sits just outside the narrow opening in the box.
After our visit to the church, we once more set off in the direction of home. We did make lots more stops along the way though. This spot was perfect for a wee picnic...
beside this lake. Mmm, the scene was more delicious than the muffin and coffee.
Next stop was the Ghost town of Brudenell. The old Costello hotel is still standing and is for sale. I wish I could have seen inside this interesting looking building. Oh the stories those old walls could tell.
Then we motored on down the road to Balaclava. Below is a picture of the old hotel there...
and the sawmill in Balaclava across the street from the hotel.
We made one more stop in Foymount, an old armed forces radar base from the 1950's. It had lots of abandoned buildings, but we didn't take any pictures there. The buildings were abandoned, but not interesting, so the cameras had a rest.

We were running out of steam by this time, so we got back in the car and made a b-line for home.
We will for sure take this route home again in autumn as the scenery was spectacular and even on this busy Monday of a long weekend there was no traffic. We had clear roads and free sailing all along the route.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


The day after we arrived at Riverwood, we packed a picnic lunch, and hit the road again. This time making tracks for Algonquin Park.
What fun to follow that ribbon of highway through more colorful rolling hills..
dotted with many beautiful lakes.
Just inside the gates to the park we came upon Brewer Lake and we stopped to stretch our legs and take a few pictures.
Please note that it was so warm and sunny that neither of us needed coats. What a fabulous weekend.
We toodled on down the road and stopped at the Visitor Centre to get a map, tour the gift shop...
...and venture out onto the observation deck to take a few more pictures.
AC put his camera to work.....
and seemed quite pleased.....
with the breathtaking views from the deck. Pretty huh?
On our way out of the Visitor Centre AC stopped to have a grand ol' howl with one of his friends.
It was past time for lunch when we left the Visitor centre, so we made a b-line for the closest picnic spot and found a shady table ...
on the shores of this beautiful lake. Sorry, I can't remember the name of the lake, and I left my map at the farm so I can't look it up.
After lunch we decided to go on a stroll along one of the nature trails. We perused the map, picked the shortest trail that promised a scenic lookout at the end of it, and set off. Oh dear, they never mentioned on the map that you almost needed mountain climbing equipment to get to the end of the trail. It was a steady climb, with some really steep areas to navigate. In the picture below you see AC taking pictures along the way. That is one huge rock beside him isn't it, and it was just one of many.
I don't know if you can get a sense of how steep the climb was from these pics, but take my word for was a dandy.
We trudged on, and finally made it to the top. Puff, pant, gasp! I must admit that we had a spectacular view from up there and it was worth the effort to climb to the top, but oh my, what a trek. The decent was almost as hard as the climb.
By the time we got back down to the bottom of the trail and safely in the car it was 4pm and time to head back to the farm. At one of the cross roads we stopped at along the way we saw this store advertising gourmet butter tarts.
MMMMM, tired and hungry we just had to go in and see what they had to offer. Seeing as it was almost in the middle of nowhere, I wasn't expecting much. They did have some interesting chain saw carvings out front so I had a chat with a friendly family of bears before heading into the store.

Boy was I surprised when I got inside the store.
They had row after row of butter tarts of all descriptions - coconut, chocolate chip, raisin, walnut, pecan, coffee, and plain, just to name a few that I can remember. They also had lemon, coconut cream, pumpkin,and banana cream tarts. Shelves were lined with fresh apple, pumpkin and berry pies too. Good could we choose just two tarts from this selection?
We couldn't....we bought six!
AC wanted to back-track a bit and get a picture of this steeple without a church attached, so we headed back there, took a few pictures, then sat in a shady spot to sip our coffee and munch on the treats we had just purchased. MMMMM good.
Then it was back on the road for the return trip to the farm.
It was a great day from beginning to end.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Playner Mill

Once we arrive at Riverwood, we feel the quiet, calm magic of the place soak into our souls and we settle in for a good ol' relaxing time.

One of my favorite places to sit-a-while; sip some wine; read a good book; engage in stimulating conversation; or just stare into space, is the Playner old planer mill that has been converted into a screened-in play room.

Below is a picture of it snuggled down in the early morning mist.
Below is another shot looking at it from a different angle so we can see the old barn too. The farmhouse is out of the frame, but off to the left of the old barn in this picture.
Just outside the Playner Mill, we have this view of the swimming hole, or Benchsward. Thus named for the Friendship Bench that sits under the willow tree.
Below is a closer view of Benchsward. If you look closely, you can see me sitting on the bench looking across the water.
Below is what I am looking at from the Friendship Bench. The Playner Mill is on top of the cliff, just behind the trees you see in the right hand side of the picture.
Below is another view of the river from the Playner Mill area at the top of the cliff.
AC took some pictures of the inside of the Playner Mill to give you some idea of why I like to spend so much time there. I am in the shadows in the picture below, but the fabulous view is all around me. The door in the centre of this picture leads down to the swimming hole.The door in the pic below leads to the old barn, and you can see the white walls of the farm house peeking through the trees, just to the left of the old barn.
From where I am sitting in the picture above, if I look to my left across the room, I see the view in the picture below...
...and this one is directly to my left.
Below is the view straight ahead...
...and the view behind me. Yep, a spectacular view no matter where I look.
Below is a picture of my favorite spot to sit in the Playner Mill.
I gather my books, journals, ipad and art materials...
and settle in for the day.
It is hard to concentrate on anything but the view though.
AC came down to spend some time with me in the Playner Mill and snapped this picture through the screen...
...and this one through the open door.
Once I get there, I never want to leave. With my handy dandy iPad I can check mail, write a blog, or surf the net. Very little time is spent doing that though because reading books, writing in my journals, engaging in stimulating conversation and daydreaming are at the top of the list.
Ben chooses a lounge chair, and spreads out while he is reading.
I prefer to sit up straight and prop cushions all around me. MMMMM, comfy indeed,and easier to get at my wine this way.
Another favorite pastime is chewin'-the-fat. We do a lot of that and once again, the Playner Mill is the perfect spot for it.
Thanks for all your hard work Brian. You did a great job turning this old planer mill into the most fabulous Playner Mill. It's the BEST!