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 everything...like 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 sorry...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 title...you 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.