Saturday, June 30, 2012


Red toe nails for Canada Day!
Last month when I had my pedicure my 12 year old niece, Ashlee chose the colour. This month it was her 6 year old sister, Tayler's turn.

Tayler's favourite colours are pink and purple, so I was surprised when she chose red. That was the colour I would of picked myself, just in time for Canada Day. What a smart little cookie Tay is!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Enjoying a cold Keith's in the beer tent.
This past weekend at Toronto's Harbourfront was the "Redpath Waterfront Festival", promoting New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. I was really looking forward to it, and was joined by my good friends Jenn and Darlene right after work to go. Jenn's husband, Darron, joined us a little later, as did my friend/co-worker, Sabrina. We all had a great time enjoying the East Coast music, beer, food and products. Hoping this event comes to Toronto every summer!

The entrance to the festival.
Sand Turtle.
Sand Lobster.
Not the Blue Nose, but it still looked nice.
The "Saltscapes General Store" where I picked up some products made in Nova Scotia.
They were selling "Farmers Dairy" ice-cream!
Jenn and Darlene enjoying an ice-cream.
Jenn and Darlene being silly.
Do you know your tartans?
They were even selling Bird Houses!
These chairs were for sale too, but they were scattered around the grounds for use.
East Coast cooking demonstrations went on through-out the day. 
The Kilted Chef.
Lobster in a box!
With directions!
The food tents were right along the water.
The Seafood Chowder was delicious, Jenn enjoyed 2 bowls!
Jenn tried a Lobster Roll for the first time, she liked it!
I ordered my subscription to Saltscapes Magazine while there.
Being a little silly.
Darlene's turn!
We all had a Keith's in honour of Mom.
Like any good Maritimer, we spent most of our time in the beer tent enjoying the live East Coast music.
This guy felt right at home.
It was a grand time! You could almost smell the salt air......almost.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


They make an awesome Riesling!
Rob and I have a few "road trips" planned for the summer, and we did our first one yesterday. The "plan" was to go to Beamsville to a winery, have lunch there and come home.

We had tried to find "Angel's Gate Winery" a few years back, but had no luck. This time we had no problem finding it, having proper directions helps.

My first look at the winery.
Pretty pond along the way to the winery.
It's not just pretty, it's a home too!
The entrance to the winery.
Waiting for Rob at the doorway.
Hurry up Rob!!!
Riesling, my favourite!
We didn't realize until we got there how close the winery was to the quaint village of Jordan. We decided to go there for lunch after my wine purchases. I had been wanting to visit Jordan since last Fall, when we drove through it after our first visit to the "Owl Foundation". We weren't disappointed and will definitely be going back.

We had lunch here, and will again.
I had garlic wine mussels with a warm mushroom spinach salad with goat cheese.
My delicious salad. Rob had a bacon swiss burger with salad.
Great place for an awesome meal!
After lunch we walked through the village and browsed the shops. It's a great place to spend a day; lovely little shops to visit, a museum, a pathway along the river, fruit and vegetable markets, lots of wineries and great places to eat.

Cave Springs make a great Riesling too!
    Our waitress at Jordan Tavern recommended an ice-cream shop, so we had dessert there after our walk.

Yummy home-made ice-cream!
Rob enjoying his white chocolate ice-cream, I had honey lavender, both were delicious.
A purchase at one of the shops, we love it!
 It was a great day, and I highly recommend this area for a road trip, we're already looking forward to visiting again.

Friday, June 15, 2012


A Mama Peregrine Falcon keeps a close eye on her chick as he learns to fly.
Reflective windows kill millions of birds every year, it's a fact. I started volunteering for an organization earlier this year called FLAP. Every year during spring and fall migration volunteers comb the streets of Toronto picking up dead birds and looking for injured ones to save after window collisions.

I knew it would kill me to do that, so I volunteered to input data, and trust me, even that gets to me sometimes, so many dead birds, in my opinion, needlessly. Put a special coating on the window and the problem is solved, the birds no longer think it's "open space" and they won't try to fly through it. You can read more about the wonderful organization, FLAP here.

I also volunteer for the Canadian Peregrine Foundation, as does Rob. We do a few different things; help out at events when needed, pitch in at the barn where the educational birds for the organization  live, and also help with "fledge watch".

When a Peregrine Falcon first learns to fly, they aren't very good at it. They end up on the street, get stuck on balcony's, basically they can get into all sorts of trouble, so volunteers  keep an eye on them, all day long, and rescue them when needed for close to 2 weeks until they know the young ones have finally mastered their wings. Peregrine Falcons are on the endangered species list and are a protected bird, most buildings where they choose to nest and the people in the area to a nest site are very interested and accommodating.

Tonight my FLAP & CPF worlds collided, and it broke my heart.

There is a nest site close to our home, and Rob and I try to help out with fledge watch there. Rob has been spending much more time there then me, as his shift allows for it. Still I try to go down when I can, like tonight after work.

Tonight I watched in horror as a young Peregrine Falcon went to fly up onto the nest ledge from another building to meet her Mom, but instead she collided with the reflective glass below, not even realizing it was there, because it looks like open space to them.

We heard the awful thud as she collided head first, and watched her spiral down to the lower roof top below. The Mother falcon flew down after her young, calling.  Frank and I immediately crossed the street into the building to get security to let us out to the roof top. The minutes seemed like hours, but finally after lots of ladder climbing I reached the bird, but she was gone, the hit was too hard. Reflective glass takes another one.    

The thing that really pisses me off about this, is that the Sunlife buildings at the corner of Islington and Bloor make a big deal about the falcons nesting there, they even hold an event there when the chicks are banded. You'd think they'd want to do something to help them survive.

It makes no sense to me. If you knew birds were going to hit your buildings and die, the question I ask isn't only why aren't you doing something to prevent this, but why wouldn't you want too?!

These birds have enough obstacles in their lives, needless window collisions shouldn't have to be another one.

I have my fingers crossed for the other 3 chicks hatched at the Sunlife site this year.

You can see how reflective the windows are here.
Safe on the nest ledge.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I love birthday cake!
After the festivities of Saturday night I wanted a pretty quiet birthday spent mostly at home. Here's how I spent my 43rd birthday in pictures.

I woke up to a pile of presents from Rob and the critters.  
Fuzzy Butt, AKA Meadow wanted to play with the wrappings.
I decided to wrap her.
Meadow wasn't a fan of the bow.
I received lots of great gifts.
We tape up our birthday cards for a week following the big day.
Brunch at Dr. Generosity's! I had already eaten half my omelet when I remembered to take a picture.
We went down to "fledge watch" after brunch for an hour. This is O'Connor, Mama to 4 chicks this year. The Peregrine Falcon nest site is close to us, and we sponsor it.
Rob and his princess hanging in the backyard where we spent most of the afternoon.
The birds enjoyed the afternoon in the backyard too.
An unexpected gift, a baby Blue Jay in the backyard!  First time seeing one.
Mommy Blue Jay was never far away. Feeding the baby here.
It's becoming a tradition for me to have lobster rolls on my birthday.
My third birthday cake!
I ended my birthday by Skyping with my brother, sister-in law and two nieces!

I had a great day and am looking forward to a great 43rd year!