Posts Tagged ‘summer’

It seems like it was just my last post I was complaining about February never ending and all of a sudden it’s September. Oh, wait…that was my last post. Shame on me. I won’t insult you with a long list of excuses. I’m pretty sure we have all been there done that. It just seems that I have become quite consistent in abandoning my writing. Truth be told I don’t abandon it entirely. I do continue to write. It’s just that I write for other people.  Most of my day is spent in front of the computer writing blog posts, web content, brochures and social media posts for clients. Much like the cobbler’s children not having any shoes, my personal blog tends to be the last thing that gets written.

Some of you may recall a couple of my posts about the area I live. Picking Pickering and Living Next Door To William H. Macey tell you about a couple of my favourite places in the Durham Region. There is, however, so much more. Most of my clients are all over Canada and the US, but I have one, The Stacee-Free Team from Mincom New Choice Realty Ltd., who is local. There is no one in the Durham Region who knows more about their community than these people and they make it their business to be the go-to people about it. Their blog is called “Discovering Durham” and that’s exactly what I get to do for them. Since my last post I have gone to a Maple Syrup Festival, witnessed people Floating Their Fanny Down The Ganny, participated in a Run To Remember, celebrated at a Pow Wow, laughed my butt off at people using a Marshmallow for a Golf Ball and wrote about a family that has made Tree Top Zip Lining a family affair. Granted, I usually end up burnt to a crisp, dehydrated and sore but I have a blast gathering what I need to write about this stuff.

On a personal note, I broke a couple of toes and lost a dear cousin and a lovely sister. None of which I felt like writing about. I also had quite a few visitors this summer. My always whining about no one coming to visit kind of backfired on me this year and I almost installed a revolving door. Truth be told, I loved every minute of it. As you may have gathered, there is no lack of places to go and things to do when company is here. There are beaches and trails to explore, butter tarts to sample and race horses to bet on, but the number one place everyone wants to go is “Primitive Designs“. It’s not easy describing this place. From the second you drive in every one of your senses goes into overdrive. They tell us,

“Our 8000 square foot gallery (as well as numerous outdoor tents), can occupy your time for hours! Our marketplace atmosphere, complete with music from around the globe, takes you on a journey from Bali, Thailand, & Nepal, to Morocco, India, & Vietnam! Everything in the gallery is hand-made, and the company owners handpick every item. In fact it’s rated #1 on Trip Advisor amongst Canada’s Top Roadside Attractions.”

It can be overwhelming, especially when this is one of the first things you see.



This guy is over 20 feet high, 40 feet long and made entirely out of recycled motor vehicle parts. If a T-Rex doesn’t do it for you…how do you feel about giant robots?


Keep in mind we haven’t yet ventured inside. This place is a feast of colour, textures and things made out of other things you would never have imagined.

outside horse

outside tiki hut

outside welcome

Ok, I’ll put you out of your misery. Let’s go inside.

inside 1

inside 2

Let’s face it. There is no way I can show you everything. I’ve been there several times and still haven’t seen everything. You can’t just look at what’s in front of you. You have to look up and down and all around. Here’s a sampling.


A recent news story has proclaimed Primitive Designs definitely a selfie-worthy stop.

Believe it or not I saw Theresa Caputo (The Long Island Medium) here locally, attended “The Queen’s Plate” (picture Kentucky Derby but Canadian) and drove to Connecticut for a few days, where I fell in love with Mystick ( of Julie Roberts’ Mystic Pizza fame). I guess you could say I have managed to keep myself occupied.

So, how was your summer?

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Labour Day has come and gone. The days are getting shorter. The air is getting cooler. The end of summer is finally upon us. Can I get an “Amen”?
For most, at the first sign of summer’s end, around the world you can hear a hear a resounding ,”no,no, no…say it ain’t so”. Not this girl! I couldn’t be happier to see the back end of this summer that never was.

To be honest I almost wish I was young so I could go back to school.  The first assignment of the semester would be “How I Spent My Summer Vacation“.

My summer started out with the spider bite that wouldn’t quit.  I’ve already told the tale here (Bite Me) so I will just remind you with this.

Fat Hand

I know. Gross!

By the time our 1st of  July, Canada Day long weekend rolled around, I was able to use my hand well enough to shift gears in my car again.  I decided to head home to Niagara Falls to have some fun. Long weekends are not fun on the highways in Southern Ontario.  A drive that normally would take two hours can turn into four, six or even an eight hour drive.

TorontoTraffic Jam

I would like to say this was Holiday traffic but the reality is this is pretty much every day on the 401.

The truth of the matter is that any journey that uses the Ontario 400 series of Highways is… well…hell!  At the best of times you are in for a situation that is much more like  a parking lot than a highway. Having conquered the 401 West and maneuvered my way through most of the 403 all I saw were break lights and more cars stopped as I approached the QEW to Niagara route,  which I consider my halfway point.  As I often do, I got off the highway looking for an alternative way to reach the QEW. Dundas Street across the top of Oakville was clear sailing all the way. Do not ask me why but there were few cars on the road.  All I can say is thank God!  As I approached the stop lights at Dundas and  Neyagawa Boulevard they turned yellow and I hit the brakes. Except…there were no brakes.  My foot went right to the floor and my car went right through a red light.  As I approached the next set of lights they were green and I was in the left lane.  Somehow I had to get off this road.  I made a left hand turn in front of cars approaching the intersection with my heart pumping and horns blaring in my ears. I was able to gear down and use my hand brake to come to a full stop. May I just say, “That was one of the scariest things that has ever happened in my life!”.  I was stranded half-way between here and there on a long weekend.  CAA came to the rescue. I was towed back to Pickering to a garage someone recommended.  The good news was that no one died. The bad news was that the brake lines did and the cost of fixing them was more than the car was worth.  Yes, that’s right folks. The girl who spends most of her spare time driving to Niagara Falls on both sides of the border no longer has a vehicle.

Im walking here

These are now my wheels.

It was time to practice my big sad eyes with He-Who now every time he wasn’t using his car so I could still cruise.  For the record, my big sad eyes have never worked on He-Who, I don’t know why I thought they would now.  It seemed there would be a lot of walking in my future.

Near the end of July I was happily starting training on a job I would be doing for a few weeks while someone was on vacation in Ireland.  The location of the job had their parking lot under construction so you had to park on the street and walk in.  I drove in with the woman training me  and we both walked from her vehicle . And then this happened…


Just be grateful I cleaned up all the blood before this shot.

I don’t remember a lot. Walking. Something catching my foot. S-l-o-w  m-o-t-i-o-n as I try to right myself a few times and then being surrounded by a lot of people.  As I lay on the ground trying to figure out what happened I could see the bent pole sticking out that had interrupted my stroll into work.  I was carrying files in my right hand and a camera bag over my shoulder so I wasn’t able to put my hands out to break my fall and I landed flat on the right side of my face.  A three-point face-plant,  if you will.  There have been x-rays and CT scans, Doctors and hospitals since then.  Broken glasses, chipped teeth, nerve trauma to my face and a pretty severe concussion.  Most have been fixed or healed or at least they will in time I’m told,  with the exception of the head injury. My memory is toying with me right now.  Concentration is difficult. Words are not my friend when I am talking, reading or writing. This  post has taken me a little over a month to sort out.  I’ve been having a really hard time keeping up with the blogs I follow. I have started commenting again and hopefully there aren’t too many mistakes.  He-Who has had to write some for me so I don’t miss a deadline. Fortunately, he is a better writer than I will ever be so that works. He will also look at this and edit it so I don’t embarrass myself too much with grammar, spelling or thought process.

It’s October now and everything seems so alive with colour.  We went for a wonderful drive yesterday and I took some pictures.  A sure sign that summer is over and I for one am glad of it.October 1 2013

wagon wheel

Looking up at leaves

over the fence

pumpkin line

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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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