Last weekend my husband and I finally had an opportunity to put everything aside and take the canoe out for a paddle. We are lucky enough to live in a city where Lake Ontario, Hamilton Harbour, and Cootes Paradise are only a 10 to 15 minute drive from home, as long as you hit all the green lights of course.
Cootes Paradise, managed by the Royal Botanical Gardens, is an amazing place for birding, amphibians and reptiles. The marsh is quite large, and a perfect setting for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Starting at the Princess Point canoe launch we travelled east along the edge of the marsh, north parallel to the highway, west past Hickory Island, Rat Island, then south before turning east to head towards Cockpit Island eventually ending back at the canoe launch. In total, my husband paddled 7.58 kilometres.
We thought this swan was quite comical with it’s foot in the air.
Turtles catching some sunlight.
A heron taking flight.
In this part of the marsh, there must have been a hundred swans. It was lovely how they parted allowing us to paddle through the centre of them.
On the advice of my friend Suzanne, I’m tried something new today. What did I do different? First I took my rarely used bicycle out of the shed, secured my helmet, and rode off to the local mall. Well I actually had to turn around at the corner and go back home, the back tire was deflated. Unlock gate, unlock house, route in jar of numerous keys for shed key, find key ring with numerous keys – forcing me to try one of many again to unlock shed, find tire pump, pump like mad woman so nozzle can fall off tire thingamajig numerous times, finally re-inflate tire, return pump to shed, lock shed, return keys to house, lock house, lock gate, ride off into sunset to mall.
Finally on my way, I debate riding on the sidewalk (which is illegal) vs the road. Decide on the road, only to almost get taken out by driver who obviously hates bike riders. After my near death experience I arrived at the mall. I go to the Bulk Barn to buy some steel-cut oats (one has to stay regular healthy), and dog treats. Eventually I grab a coffee and breakfast so I can sit down and write. In truth, I went to the mall for the sole intention of writing. It seems sitting at my computer lately just draws blanks.
These past three weeks have been a whirlwind of activity at our house with Suzanne visiting. I have played the tourist with her, as we toured the RGB (Royal Botanical Gardens), The Hamilton Farmer’s Market, Cootes Paradise, Lindsay Ontario, Aylmer Ontario, Port Dover Ontario, and Niagara Falls Ontario. On bad chronic pain days for me, Suzanne went out on her own walking – and boy can that woman walk, 14 kilometres one day alone! (Note: Suzanne came over quite aware, that there would be days, she would have to go it alone while I rested). Middle child graciously did fill in for me a number of times, taking Suzanne to the mall, and for a walk at Albion Falls.
The visit to Aylmer and Port Dover (where our grandmother used to live) was on the invitation of my sister, who was interested in checking out some handmade Mennonite dining room tables. Afterwards, she thought it would be nice to have lunch on the beach in Port Dover. So on a very raining Saturday, my sister drove into town to pick us up. With umbrella’s on hand (I borrowed my husband one and only, supposedly favourite umbrella, which was later turned inside out, and left broken by an extremely strong wind gust, that amazingly left me unscathed (did he ask me that – Nooo!)) Anyways, the furniture was gorgeous, though nothing was purchased, except of course slippers by me, that middle child keeps trying to steal (payback for hubby’s umbrella?)
It seemed the rain was not going to let up, nevertheless it did not put a damper on our lunch, the scene reminded my Wales-born friend of home.
Before you ask, I have no idea why the restaurant decided to plant palm trees on the beach.
Three years ago, one of my Twitter followers (Suzanne) put out a request asking if anyone wanted to write letters back and forth, in essence become penpals. I figured what the heck, if it didn’t work out, we could just stop writing. Well it did, and over the three years we have become good friends. Now my Welsh Twitter friend who is currently residing in Dubai, is in Canada visiting me for three weeks. She has just recently moved to Dubai from South Africa, leading an Expat life with her husband.
I’m not exactly sure how it started, either way, I ended up dressed in a homemade tutu(thank you middle child for your assistance), and really bold tights to wear to the airport to pick-up Suzanne aka @Chickenruby. The young man drove me, and stood by me in a very crowded waiting area, as we scanned for the other woman dressed in a tutu. (The young man is very used to his mother’s antics so is quite comfortable standing beside me when I look ridiculous).
Suzanne has been a wonderful visitor to have here, and has easily fit in with the family. She is quite aware that I can only do so much, and need my rest (I can also tell her to ‘bugger off’ if I need my space), so with a bus pass she wonders off for the day to explore.
Bear loves the hammock, so even though he had only known Suzanne for a day, he easily climbed on and sat beside her.
British bunting decorating our backyard for middle child’s 23rd birthday.