Posts Tagged ‘Pickering’

Don’t you just love spring time? It is a wonderful time of year filled with a plethora of stimulants for all the senses. The aroma of fresh blossoms on the trees, the colour palette of new buds bursting through the ground, the sounds of birds chirping outside your window…all of these herald a fresh start from Mother Nature.
BLOSSOM TREEHere in Canada we have just completed the first of our warmer weather long weekends. It was Victoria Day. The origins of Victoria Day are fairly simple. Queen Victoria was born on May 24, 1819. She became Queen of the United Kingdom on June 20, 1837, and was until she died on January 22, 1901. She is still the longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom on record. When we were little we sang a little ditty…

Run, Run Away Now!

Run, Run Away Now!

The 24th of May

The Queens Birthday

If we don’t get a holiday

We’ll all run away!

Take a look at this woman would you not have wanted to run away, too?

She scared the you-know-what out of me!

These days Victoria Day is usually held on whatever Monday lies before or on the 24th of May.  Sometimes referred to by the nickname “May Two Four ” weekend…often confused with this kind of “Two Four” weekend.

two four

This is a Canadian Two Four. 24 Bottles of Beer

There is a movement afoot to change the name but, I keep looking at that woman and the only thing scarier would be her haunting me for changing the name.

No matter what you call it, it is the first clear sign of summer for Canadians. Some take advantage of the long weekend to open their cottages, some use the the extra day and head to the US to do some shopping and some stay home to get their yard, decks and gardens in order.

I stayed home for the long weekend but there were lots of things that reminded me that this was the beginning of summer. “What were those things?” you ask. I have a list.


#1 Dandelions and Weeds

They are everywhere!

Dandelions and weeds

My front yard and garden are both full of Dandelions and weeds.

#2 Bees and Hornets

Not the really cute ones like this little ceramic bee or even the annoyingly cute ones like the Jerry Seinfeld bees. Last night after He-Who went to bed, as I sat in the dark watching TV,  I saw this thing crawling across the dark brown wooden floor. My first thought was that it was a big ugly spider (I had chased down three of them earlier). It wasn’t a spider. What could it bee? I turned on the light and there, crawling (I honestly beelieve it was too big and heavy to buzz around) on the floor was the biggest bee I had ever seen. After alerting He-Who to the fact that I might need an epi-pen or a trip to the ER I wrestled it to oblivion and eventually flushed it.


#3 No See-Ums

At least that is what we call them where I am from. Why? Because you can’t see them! They go up your nose and in your mouth. They cling to your clothing. They make you look like a raving lunatic as you walk down the street swatting at these invisible creatures.

No See Ums

I don’t see them. Do you see them? Trust me. They are there.

#4 I can no longer get to the other side.

Apparently I live in a popular spot. I have been walking down to the water since I moved here, walking up one side of the road until I reach the water and then crossing over and walking back home on the opposite side. There are some quaint shops on both sides and I like to look in the windows. Switching sides makes the walk go easier. This time, not only could I not see in the windows for all the people in the way, but when I turned around at the water and came up the other side I couldn’t cross back over to my side of the street because there was so much traffic!

There will be no getting to the other side.

There will be no getting to the other side. (Please click the picture)

#5 Fireworks

Who doesn’t love some fireworks? I’m all for the “ooooooohs” and “aaaaaws” of a good pyrotechnics display but there were a few hours on Sunday night that I would have sworn we were under attack. I have sat through 50+ years of fireworks displays and have never had the windows vibrate and things fall off the shelves like we did that night. I haven’t figured out why the noise was so bad inside our house but as soon as either one of us can hear enough to stop shouting at the top of our lungs we will be looking into it.

Fireworks by Blaine Horrocks



The Chip Wagon at the Beach is open. That is all.

The Beach Chip Truck

For all of my American friends, I understand that your first long weekend of the summer will be this weekend. Good luck with that.

Memorial Day

Google Image


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Still Unpacking in Pickering

It is finally over. The move is done. We are once again in our own place surrounded by our own things. Granted, these things are still in boxes for the most part, but they are our boxes. We were questioned a lot on why we chose Pickering this time. The honest answer is that it kind of chose us. A couple of opportunities knocked and we really had no choice but to open the door or portal if you will.

Two days ago I looked up from the computer and this is what I saw out back. Snow Day April 2 It was afternoon, it was dark and the biggest, fatest snowflakes were coming down fast and furious. This would have been my cue to whinge, “Why Pickering?” had I not made a most important discovery a few days before.

Home Place • Enchantment In The Making

Home Place • Enchantment In The Making

Seriously, this is called Home Place – Enchantment In The Making and exists at the end of  my street.  It turns out that I live just minutes from part of the Pickering Waterfront Trail.  It is actually part of a 900 km Waterfront Trail that runs along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River from Niagara On The Lake to the Quebec border.

Pickering Waterfront Trail Map

Map from Pickering.ca

The Pickering part of the trail is divided into 3 sections:

  • First Nations Trail (3.5 km) – from Rouge River to the west shore of Frenchman’s Bay
  • Monarch Trail (4.7 km) – surrounds Frenchman’s Bay and ends at Millennium Square
  • Peak Trail (4.2 km) – from Millennium Square to the Ajax border

At the end of the street lies Millennium Square which leads along the boardwalk into Peak Trail.

Beach Front Park Millennuim Square


There are several things of note along this stretch…wetlands, a Tern nesting raft, a windmill, a barrier beach, etc., oh, and even a French Fry truck for He-Who…all of which I will talk about another time.  This time we are just going to talk about “Home Place”.  Created by the Sculptor, Dorsey James,

Home Place is all about change; changes that affect our past, our present and our future. Home Place is a coalescence of universal symbols from a variety of times, cultures and beliefs. These symbols are alive but will vary in importance at different times in each of our lives. The concept is realized in three components; The area of Enchantment, The Portal and the Kijimba Kind. This structure, in its entirety is called “Home Place”.

As you walk along the path of Peaks Trail you come across carvings made from discarded cedar hydro poles. Dorsey James calls these carvings Kijimba Kind. It is a term he created from two different words and three different cultures. Kijimba means spirit and comes from the Bambara people of Africa. The word Kind is taken from the word Kinder which means children in German and in English the word kind refers to a type (mankind) and can also refer to the nature of a person (nice). So the term basically means Spirit Children. 

Kijimba Kind 1

Kijimba Kind 2

Kijimba Kind 3

Kijimba Kind 4

Kijimba Kind 5

As you wind your way through these beacons you can’t help but “feel” them as well as see them. They lead you to the Portal structure at the centre.  The portal structure is beautiful in its simplicity but complicated when trying to explain it. Every single piece of it has been created by design, with deep symbolization behind each part. Whether it is the layout, the direction each piece faces, the height of each pole, the number of poles or the carvings. They all have a meaning behind them.  The Portal is seen by different cultures as different things. The most common is that it is a transition point between two spaces. This can be physical, psychological or spiritual space. The idea is that as you pass through the portal. The setting sun (Western side)  takes away or removes all the crap from your life while the rising sun brings in all the good stuff (Eastern side).

The Portal



THE PORTAL 2I can’t  tell you how very kool this place is. You actually have to stand on the ground around it. It is a spiritually magic place.

Here is something I can tell you…if the pile of boxes never seems to get smaller…if winter decides it is not leaving…if nothing seems to be going right…guess where you will find me?  I’ll be the one running around the area of Enchantment  and jumping through The Portal…in Pickering.

You never know…

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