Category: summer

Bike Trip – Last Stop – Welland Canal

By , August 25, 2019 2:10 pm

Val arranged an amazing bike trip for us again this summer. We just got back after six days of riding, starting in Cambridge and ending in St. Catharines.

Since the last day is freshest in my mind, I’ll start with it: the Welland Canal. Both Val and I (but more Val) love large industrial things. For instance, we enjoy going to the lift lock in Peterborough. Well, it’s mini compared to the gigantic locks in the Welland Canal which I have never seen. Val, he’s an old hat at it. We spent at least an hour, maybe more, watching a ship – the Algoma Equinox – enter into¬† Lock 7 at Thorold, rise as the lock filled, and exit on its way to Thunder Bay to pick up grain. It was awesome to see.

All photos by Val Dodge, with permission.

Zim Sculpt

By , August 3, 2019 3:15 pm

Truly beautiful works of art, sculptures by Zimbabwean artists at Edwards Gardens. Each one is perfectly placed in just the right location in the extensive gardens. There are a few other photos in my July post. I’ve been twice now and would love to go back at dusk.

https://torontobotanicalgarden.ca/enjoy/special-events/zimsculpt/

This is not the first time I’ve seen Zimbabwean sculpture. Near our cottage is ZimArt: Rice Lake Gallery, another fantastic place to see outdoor art.

I love the variety of subjects: human, animal and geometric.

Summer Reading

By , July 20, 2019 7:51 pm

With more time to read, I’ve recently finished Ross King’s Mad Enchantment. It’s the story of Claude Monet and the painting of his water lilies. Obviously I’m a fan of Ross King having read five of his other art history books. I quite liked the style of this one but I can’t quite say the same for Monet. A person can love his art yet think he was a big whining old fart. At least in the later stage of his life, Monet was a disagreeable codger who got a lot of favours done for him during World War I. Otherwise, it’s an interesting portrait of Georges Clemenceau, a figure I knew little of.

I’m nearly done Jack Weatherford’s Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, a really intriguing book. To say that Temujin had a hard life is a gigantic understatement. But to say that he was smart is too. The author is fairly heavily biased toward the great khan, but he backs it up with a lot of details about how he unified the Mongols. Unfortunately not all of his children and grandchildren were so intellectually inclined. I’m just at the part now where Kublai Khan takes over China. It’s quite a different story than what we read in the textbooks. Where the truth lies, I’m not sure. I’ll have to research that more. One thing that has struck me is the religious openness of the Mongols – aside from their own form of spiritualism, there were also Mongol Christians, Buddhists and Muslims. In this book the Mongols are painted as early globalizers. Fascinating and timely.

I’m well into The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. However, I can’t seem to keep with it. I absolutely love the writing and am enamoured of the main character, Aminata; it’s just too sad. It’s rare for me to read fiction so I’m kind of daring myself to finish it despite the horrible subject matter.

 

 

The Vegan Who Can’t (or Won’t)

By , August 5, 2018 11:02 am

I have been organizing my bookmarks on my laptop, which means I have been procrastinating: avoiding school work I need to get ready and blog writers I need to search out for the fall issue of Rapport.

I checked out a bunch of vegan blogs thinking they’d give me lots of ideas. They have, of course. I’m not culinarily creative so I rely on other people to catalyze my thought process. However, I find very few vegan recipes I can use “as is”. That’s because I have a list of things I can’t or won’t eat (in addition to the basic things vegans don’t eat). My poor mother!

  • chocolate or cocoa
  • nuts and seeds (except for peanuts and peanut butter)
  • beans and lentils in large amounts
  • tempeh
  • nutritional yeast
  • pre-made vegan mayo or butter
  • fake cheese/vegan cheese
  • pickles
  • deep fried food
  • fake bacon and veggie dogs
  • any kind of “milk” (with the exception of vegan ice cream)
  • most desserts (with the above-mentioned exception of vegan ice cream and sorbets/gelatoes)

Practically a staple in our house.

I hope you can see my problem. Yes, it is self-imposed due to stomach problems and personal dislikes (or super likes, as in the case of chocolate). But it’s my reality. Again, my poor mother!

I wondered what my title would be if I were to start a vegan blog. That’s how I came up with “The Vegan Who Can’t”. Sounds bad. Sounds bathroom-related.

Maybe this fixation on a vegan blog is just summer boredom. Or maybe it’s just to keep my mind occupied so I don’t think about all the bad things that have happened lately (the barn burning down, Danforth shootings, Bailey’s death).

Sometimes my fixations turn into real things; I did learn to play guitar in this obsessive way. And anyone who does macro photography knows it only works (not to say mine does) if you’re obsessive. Yesterday, I went out around the golden hour and took macro photos down by the shore of the lake. Only a few worked out despite the time it took to set up the tripod and get down on the ground to be at eye-level with the “greens”.

Tangled garden twirly is minuscule in real life.

Other times, fixations don’t work out for me. After going to one of those group painting sessions, I bought a small set of acrylic paints and some starter canvases. I tooled around for a few weeks and even created a little kit that would make it easy for me to set up and clean up. But nothing came of it, mostly owing to my very uncreative mind. I love colours but I don’t know what to do with them.

I have even been practicing taking food photos. Val definitely sees this as a fixation. I told him it won’t last once school starts; who wants to see photos of a frozen meal fresh out of the microwave?

Panzanella

Maybe I’m just temporarily challenged by the “if they can do it, I can do it” of looking at so many blogs. I already have a blog – why not do it? Maybe the fear is that it would just become one more project started and not finished. Probably the fear is that my life is just not that interesting. I’m not complaining: I have a great life for me.

At any rate, if I do decide to blog about my version of veganism, I’ll wait until I’m finished with Rapport. My history blog – as I call it – is taking up too much of my time during the school year so I am sadly but smartly (I think) quitting as editor as of mid-November.

For now, I will just go along with whatever happens. It is summer, after all.

At the lookout near our house after my 43 km ride day.

 

 

 

 

Belated Happy Canada Day

By , July 15, 2018 8:03 am

East York Canada Day parade took place on a very hot July 1.

Ward 29 Bikes had a small “float” of riders, with the star of the show being Felicity in her fabulously decorated balloon bike.

Yes, she is actually in there somewhere.

Captain Canada emerges!

A lot of people took pictures of Felicity!

The streets of East York (at least those on the parade route) were lined with red and white (mostly white, to be honest) viewers.

That was my first ride, albeit at a snail’s pace. I am now practicing for my August ride around Lake Simcoe with Val.

 

Bells on Danforth

By , June 25, 2017 7:31 pm

Val’s car came out for its second appearance, the first being Halloween, this Saturday for Bells on Danforth. It has been repainted in anticipation of the East York Canada Day Parade on Saturday.

Rouge Park

By , September 8, 2012 7:51 am

Signs of fall were emerging even on the lovely afternoon of August 26 at Celebration Forest in Rouge Park.

 

August at the Cottage

By , August 19, 2012 2:50 pm

There’s not much happening, so here are a few random pictures, including some from a hike at Nature Areas 1 and 2 at Trent University in Peterborough.

 

Cottage Creatures

By , August 19, 2012 2:42 pm

A heron, four carp, a Muscovy duck and a hummingbird – all on one May day at the cottage.

 

 

Summer Flowers

By , July 16, 2012 12:24 pm

My latest attempts at photographing the shapes, colours and little creatures of summer.

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