(Mis)adventures on the Alderville Prairie

The Alderville First Nation Black Oak Savanna is Canada’s easternmost pocket of surviving prairie. It’s a beautiful and wondrous place that I discovered shortly after moving here 15 years ago. It inspired me to learn more and begin my own tiny prairie pocket…I’m now looking forward to an autumn visit to capture in my memory (and maybe in photos) the beautiful waving prairie of the russet Indian Grass and the magnificent Bluestem, along with all the native Asters. Then in the Spring…

Sidestepping: My Foray into Vintage Linens & Laces…and Etsy

The new venture was precipitated by many cartons needing to find a place to land in this small house. The cartons were filled with dozens and dozens of beautiful antique linens and laces, some other antique items, and some things more correctly called “vintage” these days. The 1920s & 30s for my mother were a tad different than now – the laundry woman visited once a week & a seamstress outfitted young ladies.

Hand-made Soap: What does saponification mean?

Smallbones Pure Castile Soap

Do you use lye-based products to clear clogged drains? Would you put it on your skin? Of course not! You probably remember references from days gone by that lye soap is scary stuff. This is the reason soap-makers use the term “saponification” for our natural, hand-made soaps. Most people think of lye as only a strong caustic chemical that can burn your skin, or worse. Actually, through the process of saponification and curing, the lye becomes inert and you’re left with a beautiful bar of soap. You can’t make soap without using lye!

Mother Nature Scratches Her Head

Sign: Please keep off the grass

MOTHER NATURE: Grass? But, it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It’s sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?
FRANK: Apparently so. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
MOTHER NATURE: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.
FRANK: Apparently not. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.

The Cab Ride

The Cab Ride

“After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.”

PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID ~BUT~ THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.

The Story of Jack & Jane

Jane & Jack the Walker Hound

Fast forward eight years and a move from Toronto to the tiny hamlet of Gore’s Landing…I was working at Hospice Northumberland and the day of Hospice’s 2005 AGM was Maggie’s last day in this realm. I won’t go into details. I was devastated. I would never become attached to another dog — never, ever! …As I was opening the door to leave the pound, there was a blood-curdling howl. Naturally, I turned around and headed straight back for the cage that housed the hound.