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Archive for the ‘vacation’ Category

Ella’s Castle

Since we were in Toronto, I thought it would be a great time to visit Casa Loma.  I’ve been there many times over the years and thought Ella was a good age for a first visit.  Ella loves princesses.  Beauty and the Beast is one of her favourites.

It was rather hot last weekend and the castle isn’t air-conditioned.  I’m not sure why the staff didn’t have windows open.  I’m sure when the Pellats lived there they had plenty of ventilation.

As you can see, Ella was quite taken with the outdoor fountain.  I had visions of fishing Ella out, luckily there was a wide edge.

A nice man saw me taking a picture here in the stables and offered to take a picture of all of us.  He joked and said his wife had him well-trained.

Uncle Stefan was home again when we finished, so he took us to a park near their home.  Uncle Stefan brought along his remote control race car (yes, Uncle Stefan is a big kid 🙂  )  He let Ella do some driving, but she was having trouble not running into things.  So Ella decided to run and chase the car.  The car is actually faster than Ella!  They had nice play equipment at the park too and some shade for Momma and Auntie Belinda.

Heading home Monday.  Ella says turn around and shows me Dasha.  Ella says ‘Dasha looks like a real movie star’.

It wouldn’t be a vacation post if I didn’t include a sleeping Ella.  This time it’s Ella and Dasha having a snooze.  Good thing too, she was starting to drive us nuts with the “are we nearly home yet”.

This picture doesn’t really do this hill justice.  It is a huge hill coming down from Foymount and heading into Cormac.  Foymount is actually the highest populated point in Ontario.  On clear nights we can see the tower lights at Foymount from our bedroom window, even though it is about 35 miles away.

After a long day of driving this is a happy sight – home!!

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As you probably know, last weekend the Girls headed to Scarborough for a short visit with Auntie Belinda and Uncle Stefan.  We let the GPS find us some back roads and actually found some roads that we have never taken before.

Here’s a sight I never thought I’d see.  It’s a little community just outside of Fenelon Falls.   It’s a little place called Glenarm.  Even though I grew up in Bowmanville and was often in this area, I’ve never been here.  Recently an old order Amish community have made Glenarm their home.  I discovered this thanks to The Amish Cook website that I like to read.  I was unable to find the bakery, but I did find a lovely farm stand that was selling baked goods too.

It’s hard to see in this picture, but this farm is set up perfectly for us.  There are two large white houses beside each other and then the large sheds/farm stand that you see at the front.  The entire place is surrounded by beautiful, well-tended gardens.  That’s one of the first ways to notice an Amish/Mennonite home, gardens!  You can tell which houses are old order homes, they have the power lines removed.  Bet Ontario Hydro charges a pretty penny to do that.  The Zehrs were very friendly and we had a great chat over the vegetables and pies.  If you are in the area, the apple pie was delicious, almost better than mine.

Just outside of Kinmount we came across this sight. Two trees and a couple of fence posts just covered with shoes!  I’m not sure why people start doing that, but Ella sure got a kick out of it.

Saturday we took Auntie Belinda and Uncle Stefan to St. Jacobs.  We actually got there nice and early and the crowds weren’t too bad.  I picked up the perogies and sausage that I always like to buy.  But the best thing was I finally got to ‘meet’ one of my Bloggy friends.  Magdalena and her husband Nicholas made the trip up to the market too.  Magdalena can be found over at Anglican, Plain.  It was so nice to see them.  It’s too bad it was close to lunch because Ella was really getting fidgety.  I think we could have visited away the afternoon.  Too bad Magdalena doesn’t live closer.  I was happy to see how well Nicholas looked.  He had a bad stroke last year, but seems fairly well recovered.  I forgot how blunt straight-forward Mennonites are.  While sitting at the table visiting, 3 teenage Mennonite girls came over and asked us something in their German.  Well it’s been a very long time since Magdalena or I had spoken German (let alone the Mennonite dialect) so we didn’t have a clue what they were asking.  Finally the girl switched to very accented English and asked ‘are you Mennonite’.  Magdalena told her no, that we were ‘all Anglican’.   With that the girl said ‘oh’ and they walked away.  No small talk  🙂   I know I caused some conversation up here when Colin and I were first married too.

A trip to St. Jacobs isn’t complete if Momma doesn’t get to Floradale for fabric shopping.  There is a Mennonite general store in the village.  It has basically everything a home could need (and what’s not there is at the feed store).  Upstairs is Momma-heaven.  Row after row of bolts of material!!  The Mennonites in the area mostly wear polyester dresses, but the last two rows are beautiful floral cottons.  Their prices are very reasonable, especially considering how long they last.  Ella still wears dresses I made from material there that I made when she was 1 1/2-2.

Thought I would share this picture of my sister’s front lawn (in Scarborough),  Look closely and tell me what you see??

Yep, that’s corn growing in her front lawn.  The bird seed that the former owner fed the birds must have had fresh corn in it.  That’s unusual because corn usually has to be dried to get the moisture down low enough to store.

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Fun Weekend

I’m so far behind.  I think I’m going to start with this past weekend and then go back and tell you about last weekend  🙂

Maureen, my home school friend, sent an email around the ‘community’ about a special even going on at Madonna House in Combermere.  It’s about an hour away so we thought we’d head out there to spend a nice Saturday afternoon.  We used the GPS and found a short-cut.  You find all sorts of beautiful things taking the back roads around Wilno.  This is just the side of someone’s barn.  Another special thing is found at crossroads.  Back when this area was settled by the Kashubs, they couldn’t get together for regular church services.   So families erected crosses at various cross roads and gathered there.  Many local families have  replaced these crosses and it’s quite the scene to come upon, not what you expect to find when you come around a corner.

Madonna House has a museum and lots of antiques.  I found the most beautiful old wood cook stove that I’ve ever seen (antique anyways).  I would love to have an old stove, though I would need a bigger/better laid out kitchen.   I always laugh at places like these.  Kitchen displays often show many of the utensils that I still use.

They had a balloon guy.  He had a whole book of critters for the kids to pick from.  Ella chose a snail.  We had a really nice afternoon.

We headed into Barry’s Bay and went for ice cream!

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Home School Fun for Momma

Ok, I guess it’s not such a ‘wordless Wednesday’ but I have so many things to share that I wanted to get started.

We’ve been suffering in a heat wave the last few days.  These last two days have been unbearable.  I was out to a home school meeting last night.  A bunch of us Mommas got together to discuss some field trip ideas for the upcoming year.  We had a lovely evening outside in Maureen’s backyard in Wilno.  It’s a cute little village.  It’s the first Polish settlement in Canada.

The first Saturday in May is Kashub day.  We try to go, we missed this year because Belinda and Stefan were up for a visit.  I always kid and tell Ella not to look too “German” and blend in  🙂  No one would care, we always get a warm welcome and have a great time.  Ella loves the music too.

We usually got for perogies  and cabbage rolls at the ‘famous’ Wilno Tavern. Every one in Renfrew County knows the Tavern.  It’s obvious they are proud of their Polish heritage.

This is the absolutely beautiful Catholic church in Wilno.   If I had of had more time I would have stopped and gone in for a few shots. It’s the most beautiful church I’ve ever seen.   It was built mostly by hand by local parishioners.  All during the height of the Great Depression!

If you are up that way in Renfrew County, spend a while in Wilno.

Thanks for the nice evening Maureen and for including me in your group.

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