Birthday Celebrations

A day of celebration in photos.

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Fancied Up

B and I were so excited to get dressed up to attend our friend’s wedding. It has been a while since both of us attended a wedding or even dressed up this nice!  We had to take some photos for the blog!

Congratulations C & T on your marriage!

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Lancaster County in Photos

As part of my husband’s graduate course, he went down to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to do some research on rural planning policies in farming communities.

He came back with a collection of these photos, so he gets full credit!

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Beau’s Brewery

I went to Cornwall for a few days for work.  Included in my day’s work, was a tour to Beau’s All Natural Brewery in Vankleek Hill, Ontario (about 20 minutes from the Quebec border).

What a sweet place! Makes me sad that I can’t drink beer anymore.  I couldn’t leave without trying a few samples and suffering the consequences, though.

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Niagara Wine Touring 101

It’s pretty nice being only 1.5 hours away from Niagara region. Once you get through the traffic and into over-populated “rural” Niagara region, you’ll find vineyard upon vineyard.

Mama Sharpe came for a visit this weekend, and our first stop was at the Kitchener Farmers Market for some Ontario in-season goodies like beans, tomatoes and corn on the cob, and then we set off to wine country via Hamilton.

It was a lot of driving and a lot of traffic, but it was all worth it to stop at fruit stands to buy just-picked peaches and cherries.  What a treat!  We stopped at a couple of wineries and then called it a day.  It can be very draining driving through construction traffic.

I think next time I attempt wine touring, I’ll opt for the bicycle tours.

What a great time!

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Beauty in the Garden

I have a small garden, but my plants are really coming along!

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11:00 p.m. Lights Out!

Happy 2nd birthday to my little nephew, Jordan.  The family drove many hours to camp out at Mikisew Provincial Park, an activity we haven’t done in many years, despite the many years we spent camping as a family when I was young.

Camping with family and friends in photos.

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Summer Solstice

What a beauty day.

Another adventure with my husband and Banjo. One of the biggest reasons why I wanted a dog is to force B and I to experience new places and have more adventures. Banjo is definitely helping us with that, and I am loving our outdoor explorations more and more.  As she grows and starts to understand what “fetch it up” means, it makes taking her places to fetch even more fun.. especially when we’re teaching her to swim before our backcountry camping trip next week.

It was also summer solstice yesterday! I had some fantastic errands to run picking up items for our camping trip while B was working, but when we were both done it was time to get outside. I would have loved a fire, but our new spot on the Speed River was definitely satisfactory.

We’ve found this amazing trail that has been taking us 1.5 hours to complete after all the play time with Banjo in the river.  It’s a flat trail for the first 30 minutes and then wraps around into more of a hiking trail with an incline and a few great views. I will post photos of that section of the trail on another blog post.

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We cut through the cedar forest to find a rocky island surrounded by the Speed River.  It was a perfect spot, and shallow enough for Banj to rip about and a few deeper areas for her to work on her swim.

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This is a bit of an advertisement.  This insulated mug that I purchased at Coast Mountain Sports in Whitehorse, Yukon (although you can buy online and at any outdoor sports shop) is amazing!  It keeps cold drinks cold for HOURS, and hot drinks hot for HOURS. This photo is obviously keeping a cool one.


Here are a few of our sweet little retriever loving life on this summer solstice.


Where’s Waldo?  Can you spot the minnow?


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Here she is swimming in deeper water AND against current.DSC_0997 DSC_1001


Yeah, more of Banjo. I can understand now why parents take so many photos of their children.  Banjo, she’s growing so fast!

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Tying one on. HAPPY SOLSTICE!!!

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This guy came out of the woods on a tear.  I think his name was “Yoo hoo” because that’s what I think I heard being called from the woods.

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Loving life.

– C



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With an early morning rise, trip to the Farmer’s Market, and coffee Planet Bean, our day was off to a fantastic start.  I had heard many good things about Elora’s gorge, and B and I have been through the quaint little town only a couple of times, so it was a definite to explore the conservation area and town.

It was a beauty day and Banjo was ready for many meet and greets. She’s a real magnet and we don’t mind the extra attention either.



While the gorge itself was beautiful, most of the trail was set back (for safety reasons) and it was hard to get a real good look.  I wasn’t overly impressed with the Elora Gorge Conservation Area. I guess I had high expectations or perhaps there’s a better area to actually see the gorge.  I would like to do further investigation.  Something tells me that the best vantage point would be riding down the river in an inner tube with a floating cooler, if you catch my drift.  Either way, there are tube rentals and I think it’s going to be worth checking out when we’re ready for a swim.

Now after saying all of that, it looks like they do have a really nice campground and somewhere that we could go if we wanted to leave the love nest for a weekend.

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And, here are some photos of our little stroll (can’t really call it a hike) along the trail.

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I just find cedar forests so beautiful. (Photo taken by B).DSC_0542


Under the canopy.DSC_0545



Crystal clear spring water!DSC_0525

We went back into town for some lunch and a leisurely walk around town.

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And, back home to see our chickens Satchel and Pickles!




Satchel and Banjo are budding friends.



I like the family life.

– C



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The Shield

Any chance I have to get out into shield country, I take.  Usually on the May long weekend I brave the blackflies, mosquitos and take my first dip in one of southern Ontario’s beautiful lakes.  That didn’t happen this year, or last.  I can’t complain about last May long weekend because B and I spent it in Skagway, Alaska.  So, it has been a couple of years since camping.

I often wonder why no one has made a reality show about camping.  There is so much nonsense on television these days.  I would find it interesting to watch a show where people camp and/or backcountry in parks around Ontario.  Maybe I’m onto something.

With all this speak of camping, I can tell you that I didn’t camp this weekend, but instead B and I took his parents for a drive through Prince Edward County.  It was a beautiful day. We went antiquing, yard saleing, window shopping, and stopped at the Waupoos Estates Winery for some sampling.

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This would have been a wonderful shot if the magnolia flowers were in their prime.



Our chauffeur for the day.




The next day I took Banjo for a walk near my folks’ place at Burnt Dam.  I wanted to get into my shield country.  We went early so that we could withstand the blackflies and mosquitos, and see and listen to the forest wake in a beautiful bright morning sun.

I decided to call this hike the “Ol’ Moss Back” because this sign reminded me of a turtle’s head.


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I could really smell the shield as the sun grew stronger and the temperature rose.  I realized that I really need that piney, rocky sweet smell to infiltrate through my lungs on a regular basis.

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The trail was lit up with batches of rainbowed dew.



We hiked to the power lines and then back.




And while Banjo decided to stop and play, so did I.  I call this “Life on a Shelf.”

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With some encouragement from my nephew David, I tried to snap a couple of shots of the bluebirds on their farm.

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– C


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