This Little Piggy…


This Little Piggy went to market recently (after sleeping in and watching some Saturday morning cartoons with Little Guy, or course)!

Market Stalls

My first summer job was working at a market like this, thanks to my Dad who got to be friends with one of the vendors. Our town’s market was held in the square in the centre of town…we were surrounded by concrete and buildings so rarely enjoyed a breath of fresh air on the hot summer afternoon. I spent three days a week sitting on the back of a truck under a tarp trying to stay cool. We even sat with our feet in buckets of cool water and wet rags on our wrists, to try to stave off heat stroke (I usually suffered with it a couple of times a summer anyway). The worst part of the day was packing up the fruits and vegetables, and loading the truck after sitting in the heat all day. That, and the wasps – never grab a piece of fruit without looking!

Fruits at Market

The market was small, but every table prominently displayed its wares – fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs, and flowers. While an older woman with a walker surveyed the rows of sweet shiny peppers, a family clustered around boxes of fresh berries. The youngest girl sampled a cherry and the red juice spilled down her chin. Then she ran from table to table with her sister, hoping for more free samples!

Girl at Market

I didn’t get any samples but I did bring home with sweet strawberries. I would have come with more, including a box of decadent gluten-free chocolate butter tarts, but I didn’t realize I had more than $4 in my purse…Had I brought them home, I guess I really could be called a “little piggy”. Maybe next time…

Road Trip?


What’s a vacation without a road trip…where you end up getting lost?

It’s not unusual, when I hear the road report, or worse, get stuck in a jam on the highway, for me to head off-road. I know that as long as I keep heading in the direction I want to go, I’ll eventually get where I want to go (or where I’ll recognize a major road sign to get me where I want to go). I wouldn’t call myself an intrepid traveller by any means (my father had to take me on the bus to see how to get to school when I first moved to the city), but I’m not worried. In fact, I’ve been off-road often enough that I frequently recognize intersections and stops along the way.

I knew I was in trouble when I spotted a large body of water. Then I passed a yacht club…I can’t begin to tell you how I got there…

I started from work heading east cross-country. There were a couple of gravel roads with big signs that said “Broken Road – Use at Own Risk”, a U-turn on another highway (I recognized the bridge being built in the middle of a field with no road to it), several constructions zones, a detour or two, and finally, water. We were now firmly ensconced in prime rush hour. So I veered into a parkette with a beach to check the map, and pulled into the only available space…a handicapped parking space, after circling the parking lot three times. I left the car running while I flipped pages in my rather worn map book. The highway was close – I only had to get back to the street I had just detoured off because construction had created an impassable snarl, drive for 2 km, and head north to the highway.

We wound our way along the lengthy detour, sandwiched between two transports, and somehow, ended up on a major thoroughfare with big green signs for the highway. Hallelujah! Nearly 2 hours later (with a second off-road traipse through the countryside), we made it…home! Yup! For the first time in 19 years, I got lost driving to my parents’ home. What a way to start our vacation!

For the Birds


I think I was lulled into a false sense of security by a change in our circumstances. I was also delighted that I had been able to complete the job before I headed to work yesterday morning. And it wasn’t until late afternoon, tired for another full day, that I discovered the damage. My favourite yellow t-shirt, the one that I had planned to pack last night for my vacation, had been used as a target for a bombing run!

Normally, I am careful about hanging out the laundry in the middle of July because we had a neighbouring tree filled with black berries that was aflutter with activity – birds, bees and butterflies. But it was the birds that used my whites for target practice, and I have had to toss a few shirts that were irreparably stained. They had impeccable aim!

This Spring, our neighbour removed all the trees along the fence line, and we put in a new wooden fence. It looks wonderful and our yard is now filled with light (I have to remember that our neighbours can see us better too)! And I thought my whites were safe…

Not so! Some little bird with a penchant for black berries and a twinkle in his eye perpetrated pandemonium in my packing plans by permanently trashing my tee…with puny poop pellets. I guess my laundry is “for the birds”!

Happy Weekend!

Weekly photo Challenge: Relic


My Grandfather loved the ocean. He would start to plan his annual trek to the Southern U.S. almost as soon as he had arrived back in Canada, and he would start packing and repacking months in advance (much to the annoyance of my Grandmother). He loved to rise early and walk on the beach, picking up interesting shells and stones along the way.

My grandparents’ small home was filled with glass containers displaying his treasures. He even made me promise that If anything happened to him, I would take care of his shells and not let Nana just throw them out. My grandparents moved into a retirement home a few months before Grandpa died, and my Mom, knowing about my promise, kept them safe and distributed many of them among all the grandchildren…

Last year, we (finally) went on vacation to the same beach that Grandpa so loved. I enjoyed several walks along the water (but not first thing in the morning)! On the last day there, feeling a little melancholy, I went for a walk by myself. I was sorry to see our holiday end, and I was missing him. Imagine my delight when I spotted this “relic” through my tears, barely visible in the sand. It was a much-needed hug for my weary soul.

Sea shells

The brown shell is Grandpa’s and the blue-gray shell is mine

To see more Relics, click here.

Capture Your 365 (July 2 – 12)


Walter Elliot said “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.” Therefore, I am still racing, week by week, toward completing my goal of finishing the Capture Your 365 Project…and this week I’m also racing to get everything in order so I can go on vacation next week. I can’t wait!

 

Capture Your 365 (July 1 & 4)


I planned and went on a pilgrimage after work yesterday in an attempt to snap prime pictures for my July Capture Your 365 Project!

The July 4th prompt was “All American” and my first thought was “as American as apple pie”. So I stopped at Swiss Chalet on the way home from work. I only wanted one portion, not a whole pie – a whole pie would be packed away and I’d get poochy. I envisioned a single slice of picturesque pie with pristine, golden flaky crust, oozing apple and cinnamon. I would place it on a white plate with a thick slab of sharp cheddar on the side. But when I pulled my petite $5 piece from the paper bag, it looked like…like puke with caramel sauce. But my stubbornness kicked in, I persevered, and I pieced it together enough to get this…

Apple Pie

Little Guy polished it off for me!

My next stop was the grocery store for a luscious lemon to complete the July 1st prompt, “Refreshing”. I envisioned a tall, sweating glass of iced tea with a lemon wedge, sitting in the sunshine. I even thought far enough ahead to make ice cubes. After I found a lovely lemon, I went on a pilgrimage for a bag of Bits & Bites. As I wandered through the store, I repeated the slogan “Kibbles & Bits, kibbles & bits, I’m going to get me some kibbles & bits…” (just like the dog in the commercial). As I wandered without success, accosting 4 different employees who insisted I could find them in aisle 11, the voice in my head got louder and angrier. After my fifth tour of Aisle 11, I convinced an employee to “show me where in Aisle 11” I could find my nibbles. He couldn’t…but he accidentally found 2 bags shoved into a cracker display at the end of aisle 7. . A propitious find! (Bonus – the sun came out after dinner!)

Iced Tea with lemon wedge

Homemade…but it looked better than it tasted

Cheers to a promising weekend!

Rain


I sat on the back porch with a book. From my perch, the sky was blue with no clouds in sight, but it was raining. It was tentative at first – tiny pings as scattered drops rang on metal. I peeked my head out to look for a rainbow until it started to pour. The metallic pings became a cacophony of sounds, like a child playing with a wooden spoon on pots and pans, and the gurgling splash of water on concrete from the downspout of the house roared like a waterfall. The showers continued in cycles that waxed and waned, from a deafening roar to barely a whisper. And still, the sun was shining and my patch of sky remained a steady blue.

“Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.” -John Updike