December 09, 2014

Snow for Christmas?

image courtesy of JJ Johnson, Peterborough, Ontario
We received a light dusting of snow last night.  This gorgeous picture was taken of the marina at Little Lake, early this morning.  Unfortunately I can already hear the drip drip of the water through the rain gutters as the day warms and the snow melts away.

Today will be laundry day around here with a nice break in the middle to have lunch with my Mom at Red Lobster and then some Christmas shopping.  I'm so far behind this year, it isn't even funny.  Nary a decoration graces my house.

Did I tell you that my Mother is no longer living with me?  She is with my sister now so there will be some big changes happening around the old homestead next year.


December 07, 2014

Puppy Preschool - Day One

Still no snow.  It sure makes getting around easier but I would like just a little snow; just a half dozen centimetres of snow would suit me.  This time of year everything looks grey and brown and drab and dull.  A little snow brightens up the world and I'm not sure why, but my arthritis seems a little bit better with some snow on the ground.  I know Luke is missing snow.  He just frolics in it!  There's not a better word.

Speaking of Luke, we went to our first day of puppy school this morning.  Oh Luke was in ecstasy.  He was a wriggly little lump of joy.  You know that saying "he could barely contain himself"?  Well Luke couldn't do it at all.

He had two classmates today - Cleo and Moose.  Cleo was a timid little Doberman who brought her parents with her.  She just had her ears clipped and they were tied up and bandaged.  You can bet that I was keeping rambunctious Mr. Luke at a distance.  Besides her haughtiness intimidated him.

Moose on the other hand was a tiny, gorgeous red-bone coon hound with a boisterous bark.  Apparently he just found his voice a short while ago and is enjoying using it.  Luke doesn't bark very often and when he heard Moose bellow, he was startled and stopped.  Then he joyously romped over and jumped on his head.  He loves Moose and wishes he could make that lovely sound.  They are the best of pals now.   By the end of  the class, Cleo deigned to let Luke sniff her lady parts which I am reliably told is a very nice how do you do? in doggyland.  I have so many things to learn as a first time dog owner.

Do you know they make dog chew sticks out of bull's balls? I kid you not.  Teacher passed them around.  Moose thought they were disgusting and Cleo gave them a haughty little sniff.  Lukas?  Well Lukas, doncha know, hunkered down and started to chew the crap outta that thing.  Yum yum!

Moose and Cleo watched him with interest for a couple of minutes and then Moose whipped over and swiped it out of Lukas mouth.  There was a bit of a scuffle and some snarls and tangled leads.  Moose's Mommy and I got them separated without any blood shed.  Moose came out of the pile up with Lukas' chew and Luke was thrilled to have a brand new one.

After this altercation, Miss Cleo decided a taste might be in order.  She had her Daddy sit on the floor and hold it for her while she daintily nibbled one end.  He said it certainly smelled like bull's balls.  Three pairs of female eyes turned in his direction, he turned bright red and said he didn't really know how bull's balls smelt.  Later I heard his wife mutter agreement with him and say that thing was not coming on her carpets.

Luckily I never had to get close enough to know how they smelled.  Lukas takes care of his own stuff, thank you very much.  

We have to crack the books this week.  Teacher gave us homework and Luke wants to impress.  He loves Teacher.  Every time Teacher so much as glanced at him; his butt would lift off the ground and that tail would wag 100 km an hour. Til next week...


PS Luke did learn something.  He can lay down on command.  Otherwise his pictures look like this...

December 01, 2014

Living Life and Blogging

I thought about quitting my blog but was very indecisive.  It felt like I had nothing to say and that I needed to get out there and live life.  I didn't say anything because I just didn't feel ready to make a final decision.  So I took a break, for the whole summer and fall.  But I missed it.  At first I  was reading blogs; just not writing one.  Then I stopped cold turkey.  At the time it felt good.  I was spending a couple of hours every day reading the blogs I was following.  So many of you had become to feel like friends.  And I missed you.

So I have to find a way to fit blogs back into my life.  Not sure how I'm going to do it'll be a little trial and error.  I'm having fun with life and that isn't going to change but maybe, I'm ready to share again.

Today I had a wonderful day...visited with my niece, walked with my puppy and took him to Doggie Disneyland (Petsmart) and took my mother to a Christmas open house at my friend Wiline's.  She has the most gorgeous house and at Christmas, it comes into its own.  Here's a picture of her lovely husband, Dan AKA Santa.

For my poor friends in the US, this is Canada on November 30th but I'm sure we'll have snow soon.


November 20, 2014

Meet Lukas, my Golden Retriever Baby.

This is Lukas on Friday November 7, 2014.

You may know that I've always been a cat person.....maybe on my way to being that crazy cat lady down the street.   While all that's been taken care of, I have fallen in love with and adopted the sweetest little Golden Retriever.

Here's Lukas with one of his sisters.  He's the big boy on left.  He was bred by a lovely Mennonite couple.  Their place was so nice - clean and homey.

Oh my...just look at that irresistible little face.  You can't help but love him and he loves anyone he meets.

I've had this little boy for almost two weeks now.  We've been working on housebreaking and we're getting there.  Some manners have been achieved and a diplomatic detente is still being negotiated with Finn and Eilish.  (Finn's voice is getting strained from hissing).

Luke's first bath.  He loved it.  And yes, honey, you can have anything you want.

We had a little scare this morning when Lukas got into some pain pills the doctor gave me for a pinched nerve.  Better safe than sorry,,,poor Lukas met the vet and they made him vomit.  Poor baby, he was awful hungry and cried all the way home.  But he's fine now.  Time for another trip outside.

Good night from...

Julie, Finn, Eilish and Lukas

November 11, 2014

We Will Never Forget...

Today is a day when my thoughts are always with my Dad.  So many remembrances...not just November 11th, but his birthday on November 2 and his death in October of 1989.  I would love to go to the Cenotaph for the ceremonies but I can't take the crowds.

This year large crowds are expected due to the recent murders of Patrice Vincent and Nathan Cirillo.  
Our hearts are heavy but Canadians are proud of our soldiers and their sacrifices for our country.

There was outrage this year when The Gap advertised a Remembrance Day sale.  They were forced to apologise for their crassness; trying to use a day dedicated to the memory of our fallen warriors in order to make money.  Totally unacceptable.  Some provinces have this day as a statutory holiday.  Ontario doesn't but I believe it should be across Canada and there is pending legislation that will hopefully pass.

So I pray that we all take a few moments to think about the ultimate sacrifice some have made for Canada and honour their memory.  I will be watching the ceremony on Parliament Hill this year on television.  It will be especially poignant due to the recent loss of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot down as he was guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.


July 28, 2014

Garden Glimpses

It's a rainy, overcast, grey day in Peterborough so I thought I'd share some photos of the garden that I've taken this month.

So cute!!!!  A planter made for me by my "honourary" nephew, Josh.  He's still in high school but has a blacksmithing business.  I'll do a post on him soon.

I visited the Laveanne lavender fields a couple of weeks ago.  It was lovely. I just love the scent of lavender and am growing as many kinds as I can find.  At the farm, I bought some Dutch lavender which I had never heard of before.  We'll see how it grows here.  So far, Munstead lavender is my favourite.

I hope it's sunny wherever you are!


July 22, 2014

Rummicube Mondays

Every Monday afternoon, I get together with some of my girlfriends and have lunch and play rummicube.  We alternate hosting duties so you're in charge once a month.  A couple of wine spritzers and a nice lunch.  A more refined version of guy's poker night.

Don't you love my new Ralph Lauren tablecloth?

Who am I kidding???  We are loud...we laugh and tease and gossip and curse probably more than any poker party.  We always have fun (except when Sandy wins yesterday....right, Sandy? lol)  :)

I like to try and think of something different to serve for lunch and lately I'm learning how to make pastry so everything is coming up pies around here...

The recipe is here.

I set out some little snacks with fresh snow peas from my garden.

I'm still a real novice at making pie but they have been turning out fairly well.  Yesterday I had some trouble rolling out the disks and the top had to be patched a little.  Confronted with this, I first thought of Julia Child.  Her voice ran through my head...

I just knew I couldn't help but make a comment about the less than smooth pastry so I channeled my inner Martha and got my cookie cutters out and used some leftover pastry as camouflage.  I think it looked pretty when it was done!  Disaster averted.

I hope you have close friends that you get together with regularly.  It's good for the soul.

Have a great day,


July 20, 2014

On of my Favs - Snug Harbour Bay

Hey everyone...check out Kim at Snug Harbour Bay.  I am featuring her this week because she has become an old friend on the blogosphere.  She is one of those people that feels like an old friend very quickly. Often she has been that encouraging e-mail that arrived in my box at the perfect moment.  Definitely a niche blogger and one of our perfect little village.

Just like most of my other favourite blogs, hers is that slice of life where she takes you on her travels and shares her day to day.  She has some different interests and hobbies than I do that I like to enjoy vicariously.  Have you heard of geocaching?  It's like a high-tech treasure hunt.  One of my great-nephews does this as well.  It sounds like a lot of fun and provides both physical and mental exercise.  Something I could use more of!

Geocaching teaches you valuable skills - problem solving, puzzle solving, reading maps, directions, how to use a compass/GPS, etc.  Read some of Kim's posts on geocaching and you might find a new interest. You can also meet and make new friends like Kim does (see above).

Lately I've been following the posts about Kim's recent trip to Nashville.  A visit there is definitely on my bucket list.  I've enjoyed seeing it through Kim's eyes.

There has been lots of great furniture redos featured on Snug Harbour Bay and Kim's daughter, Chablis often lends her expertise.

I love visiting the lake because most of the time I wish I was fishing...look at this beauty.

For some family friendly good times, head on over to Snug Harbour Bay and tell Kim that Julie sent you.


July 13, 2014

One of my Favs : 20 North Ora

A big shout out to Judy at 20 North Ora. She is my choice for favourite blogger this week.

Judy is one of the nicest people you will ever meet (even if it is only virtually).  I met Judy through Brenda's blog Cozy Little House.  If you follow Brenda, then you will definitely know all about Judy because she has been a best friend and regular lifesaver for Brenda through her recent health problems.  Both Judy and her husband have worked tirelessly to assist Brenda while she recovered from her broken ankle and all the subsequent difficulties.  Even though they have been working through their own health problems lately, it never stopped them from being the most loving and giving friends.  The world is a better place because Judy is in it.

She is also an extremely talented crafter with a great Etsy shop - 20 North Ora.  Check it out! Judy makes such cheerful cushions and beautiful bits of decor in addition to some great vintage finds.  In fact, Judy seems to find the most beautiful things on her shopping trips.  I've never see anything half as nice around here.

Don't you LOVE what she did with this shutter?

Judy's blog is cheerful and friendly and bright; an embodiment of her very spirit.

You will get to meet her beautiful grandchildren and read their stories.

And the beautiful Bella...

Right now you can follow Judy's exploits in gardening.......just as a teaser...there is a snake and bunnies involved.

Judy of 20 North Ora is a perfect member of our little village.  She's that sweet neighbour who is always ready to lend a shoulder or a hand.  Make sure you visit her blog if you haven't already.


July 12, 2014

Fabric Sniffin'

It was a busy week here with all four Shaw sisters in the same town.  Connie didn't have any time off but we did have a great pool party afternoon and potluck dinner last weekend at her place.  No pictures of the bathing beauty sisters (I'd like to keep all my body parts attached).

I've shared our little boat cruise with you but Cathy and Cheryl and I had a lovely lunch out at a Thai restaurant.  Cathy had never had a Singapore Sling before so we ordered them.  I don't know how she got through her 20's without one.

They were very good.

So very good - I need to make some Thai food at home.

Now onto the were wondering, weren't you?

My sister-in-law, Maureen is an amazing seamstress...utterly amazing.  The girl can make anything..from a bikini to a winter coat.  She can't pass up a good fabric store and my brother would liken it to a bloodhound sniffin' out the best deals on fabric.

This comes to mind because Cathy and I went to Homesense.  I swear that I am just like junkie when I hit the linen department...pillows, sheets, towels, tablecloths.  Oh my, I have to stay out of there if I don't want to leave with a full cart. I'll show you my new tablecloth later but here's the towel deals I sniffed out...

I think there may be some bathroom redecoration in my future......hmmmm.


A Tourist in your own Town

My sister, Cathy and her husband, Pat have been visiting with me during the last week.  Cathy had never been through the Liftlocks even though she grew up in Peterborough so we decided to take a boat cruise.

leaving the marina

the floating fountain in Little Lake

entering our first lock

the water level in the canal is high!

The Peterborough Liftlock is the world's highest hydraulic lift lock.  It is Lock 21 of the Trent-Severn system and is a large unreinforced concrete structure that was designed to lift boats 65 feet (almost 20 metres).  The lock operates on a balance system.  Water is let into the upper chamber.  Boats going down enter the caisson and boats going up enter the lower caisson.  The pivoting gates are closed and locked. A connecting valve is opened and the heavier chamber automatically descends, forcing the lower chamber up.  There is no external power needed.  The lift lock functions by gravity alone, using the principle of counterweights.

first glimpse of the Liftlock

in the bottom caisson as it starts to rise, the caisson beside us coming down, nearly at the top

we are at the top, see the top of the Liftlock and lockmasters office and leaving the lock behind

The Peterborough Lift Lock is a designated National Historic Site of Canada and is definitely one of the big tourist attractions of my home town.  It opened on July 9, 1904 and has barely changed since that date.

opening day of the Liftlock

 My family has connections to the Lift Lock that go back to the early days of construction.  My nephew, Ian worked summers on the Lift Lock while he was in school.

My Grandfather worked with his team of horses digging out the channel that would eventually be flooded to connect the two bodies of water that would be traversed by the liftlock.

Just before the Liftlocks was a railway swing bridge.  My Great Uncle Matt lived close to the swing bridge and he operated that for many years.  A boat would ring its' bell or blow its' whistle and Matt would open the railway swing bridge to let them through and then close it for the trains running on the line.  We were told on the cruise that a Canadian National Railway employee bids on a contract to operate the swing bridge.  These days, there are more boats going through than trains so the employee comes and closes the bridge when a train scheduled and during the night when most of the trains go through and locks don't operate.

During my childhood, I spent a lot of time with my Aunt Lil and Uncle Mait who lived just a block away along the railway line.  I remember running to my second story bedroom window or along the tracks in the backyard,  making the motion of pulling the whistle lever.  The guys would always sound it a couple of times for me and wave.  I loved it!

I also remember crossing that railway bridge with Uncle Mait when we were walking the dog.  I was terrified.  At the time I was just a slip of a girl and could have easily fallen down between the ties to the river.  So not only did I never learn to swim but grew up with a fear of heights.  Uncle Mait told me I was being silly and Tommy the dog was much smaller but very sure-footed.  You can bet after a few of those walks, I refused to go on any more.  I was never a shy child!

I love having grown up in Peterborough and recognizing how people and places here are woven together to form the tapestry that is my family.