Friday, June 27, 2014


Our backyard family of raccoons. 
After the birding madness of May, and the stressful events of Peregrine Falcon "fledge watch" in June, July is a welcomed month. A time to sit back, relax and enjoy the backyard.

And were not the only ones who enjoy our yard. The Baltimore Orioles are back for the summer, and it's always fun to watch our year round birds, including Blue Jays, House Finches, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, among others, bring their young to the yard to feed and educate them on the ways of the world. We have an almost nightly visit from a raccoon family who love to drink and bathe in the ground level bird bath after they clean up any spilled seed from under the bird feeders.

Last Sunday we witnessed something in the yard we had not before. A male Red-winged Blackbird was bringing one of his young to the yard. He was a funny looking little thing, still had some down around his beak.

I almost felt like "Daddy" left him with us to babysit. He flew him in, feed him, and then took off. He'd come back every 20 minutes or so, check on him, feed him again, and they'd sometimes fly to a different spot in the yard. This went on for most of the afternoon. I wouldn't let Rob walk to the back of the yard in case he spooked him.

It was fun to watch the young Red-winged Blackbird. He'd stay where his father left him until he returned. He'd poke around at the ground and look around with curiosity. I'm sure we witnessed his first bath, because he had quite the time once he discovered the bird bath.

It was a lovely and relaxing way to spend the afternoon.

Our young Red-winged Blackbird.
Daddy giving him some grub!
Where you can find us during summer weekends.
I'm going to Nova Scotia tomorrow for a week to visit with family and friends, but when I return Rob and I plan on spending most of our free time enjoying the backyard with the birds and critters who enjoy it as well.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


He's such a good sport, going to "Tea" with me!
Rob and I didn't get to spend any time together on my real birthday, June 10th, so we did a couple special things last Saturday to mark the occasion.

We didn't have a lot of time, as we were/are involved with"fledge watch" at the corner of Islington and Bloor. Us, along with others, are keeping an eye on some Peregrine Falcon chicks that are learning to fly and sometimes need rescuing. A pair of Peregrine Falcons have been nesting there since 1996.

I had a really enjoyable day. It started with a trip to the Disney Store, as I needed to pick up few gifts to take down home with me next week. I was wearing my "Birthday Button", and this got noticed in the store, and the whole store sang me Happy Birthday while my name was flashed on the large screen in the store! I had no idea they did this, and I got another button! 

Rob also bought me a stuffed Tigger, while we were there. Tigger and I go way back, as Tigger proposed to me on my last trip to Disney, and less then a month later, Rob and I were married, I think Rob got scared I'd leave him for Tigger and Magic Kingdom!!

After the Disney Store we went to the Victorian Garden Tea Room for lunch before heading off to fledge watch. And for dinner that evening we tried a new tapas style restaurant in Bloor West Village, "Sparrow". Great place for a date night or evening out with friends.  

Tigger's proposal, 2012.
My birthday buttons!
Rob says my personality is a lot like Tigger's. Bounce*Bounce*Bounce!!!

The last birthday celebration for this year is tonight with friends.

Friday, June 13, 2014


Dinner with my girlfriends was a lovely way to spend the evening.
My 45th birthday was this past Tuesday. Most years Rob and I are off work on our birthdays or at least working the same shift, but not this year. I was a little disappointed about not getting to spend time with Rob on "my day", but it turned out to be a lovely day anyway. I had some great surprises at work, and went to dinner with some of my girlfriends.

A bouquet of flowers from my co-workers, plucked from the grounds of St. Mike's! 
Best surprise EVER! First time he's sent me flowers at work.
Another angle. Stargazers are my favorite ( he knew that) and I got to smell them all week!
Cupcake cake at birthday lunch with my co-workers.
It was a great day, and I get to celebrate my birthday again tomorrow with Rob!

Sunday, June 8, 2014


"BEST CAKE EVER!!!" - Andi
For the second year in a row, our friends, Dave and Andi, invited us over to celebrate mine and Andi's birthdays together. Our birthdays are 3 days apart, and her birthday was yesterday. Dave and Rob do not like lobster, Andi and I LOVE lobster, and that has always been her birthday dinner. Now I get to share in that delicious tradition, lucky me! I take care of the cake, and this year with our pending Disney trip in November, her first time going, I couldn't resist adding a bit of a Disney theme to her birthday. It was a wonderful evening filled with great food, wine and lots of laughter.

Disney Tee for the pending trip, I bought a matching one!
My turn at the gift opening.
My orchid was Shelby approved! It came a lovely owl dish.
Something yummy is cooking!
The girls dinner!
Rob with a contented Ashley. Meadow would be furious!
The birthday girls!
We will be having dinner with Andi's favorite Disney characters, Chip and Dale while on our trip. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014


I very rarely go to movies anymore. I prefer to watch them at home in the comfort of my living-room, but when I heard about The Grand Seduction, I had a strong urge to go see it, right away.

I adored it! It has been ages since I have seen such a good movie, it was slap my knee and tears in my eyes funny and heart warming too. It also made me a bit homesick, I could almost smell the salt air. Based in NFLD, it's not just a movie for Maritimers, the thread of the story will touch everyone, as it's about the basic need of wanting to belong, and a sense of community. I will be adding this one to my dvd collection, and can't wait to see it again.

Go see this movie, you'll be glad you did!

Official movie poster.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


High Tea with the girls!
It's been an ongoing joke with my friends for years that I don't have a birth-day, but a birthday month. So, nobody was surprised when the first celebration was June 1st, to start the month off right!

I didn't celebrate alone either, my friend Darlene's birthday was just a couple days prior, so we decided to arrange a small gathering of friends at the Windsor Arms Hotel to have a Traditional Afternoon Tea birthday celebration together.

Lots of goodies.
This was a surprise and a nice touch.
Happy Birthday Darlene!
OH, pretty!
It was good to catch up with everyone and the Tea was lovely. Commence round two! LOL!