Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Few More Awards Have Arrived!

It’s about time I thanked a couple of kind blogging friends for their support and generosity in bestowing me a some new awards.

In March, Mama Bear Musing gave me the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

Award Inspiring

I thank dmauldin53, and since I have been awarded this award before, I refer you to my previous post about  what I have said about myself.

In May, The Seeker passed on the Sunshine Award, I Am Part of the WordPress Family Award and Super Sweet Blogging Award, and stipulated no rules.

Sunshine Award fromTerry1954Wordpress Family Award from ShilpirajputSuper Sweet Blogging Award from Shaun

I have a sweet tooth, and so I am pleased to accept again the Super Sweet Blogging Award from dmauldin53 a couple of days ago.

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The questions I have to answer are:

1.  Cookies or Cake?    Cake    2.  Favourite sweet treat?   Crème Caramel, made from real ingredients  3. Sweet Nickname?   Sorry, I don’t have one   4. What is the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for you?   The first one that comes to mind is that my daughter volunteered to make (her first) a Christmas cake for the family and spared me the work last year   5.  What is your sweetest memory?   I accepted a challenge and ate half a dozen Chinese egg tarts

I am now nominating 5 people/blogs for the Super Sweet Blogging Award (alphabetical order):

Bea’s Bites

Breathofgreenair

Hanno Phenn

Janet’s Notebook

Sassy Earl Grey

On the same day, The Seeker sent out several awards as a token of appreciation. I thank The Seeker and accept the following tokens to be passed on.

fWordpress Family Award from Shilpirajput

Here are the bloggers I wish to thank and please feel free to accept one or more of these Awards (Very Inspiring Blogger Award, Sunshine Award, Super Sweet Blogging Award, I am Part of the WordPress Family Award, Best Moment Award and Inner Peace Award). To avoid duplication, the only rule is that you write a post to accept the award(s) with a link to this post, display the icon(s) of the award(s) and pass it on to five to ten bloggers. Feel free to talk about yourself if you like.

A New Day

Add Grain On Earth

Allyson Mellone

Bam’s Blog

Mary Gilmartin

Francine in Retirement

It’s In The Picture-365

Restlessjo

Sequins and Cherry Blossoms

The World is A Book

It is wonderful to know you in blog sphere. Blog on, everyone!

Family Day Canada = Maple Syrup Day

My son who works in the Prairie Provinces has come home to visit and suggests that we spend Family Day  (President Day in USA) together by visiting a maple syrup farm, because there are no maple trees in the Prairies. Interestingly, we have found out that the Bering family, which has been farming in southern Ontario for over 75 years has gradually switched from dairy farming into maple.

We could not have chosen a better day to spend the day out. It was cold, but the sun was shining. There wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. The drive was smooth and we soon arrived at the front gate of The White Meadows Farms in St. Catharines, Ontario.

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We were welcome by greeters who dressed in costumes dating back to the days of the pioneers, and the next thing we found was that we were embarking on what was called the Sugar Bush Adventure.

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We rode in a tractor-drawn wagon, sitting on bales of hay to out to the Bush. There were many families with children and looking at them, I suddenly felt very proud that I had completed my life task of raising my children; mine are all grown up and left home. I recalled my last visit to a maple syrup farm with my children and their elementary school classes.  I was very distracted because I had to keep an eye on the kids. This time, I felt totally relaxed walking along the maple  trails and soaking in the winter sun and the beauty of winter.

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The Sugar Bush Adventure was a well-orchestrated interactive tour which took us from one station to the next to learn about how maple syrup was discovered by the pioneers by serendipity, how tapping was done (then and now),  and how sap was turned into syrup by old technology and new. I was pleased to catch up with the tube sapping method that was introduced only about 10 years ago and was still evolving.

There was a station demonstrating how to make taffy on snow with tasting offered, and how to use a two-person cross-cut saw and you could keep a branded piece of wood you cut as a souvenir. You could buy a bag of maple syrup coated popcorn, or test your knowledge on maple syrup by answering questions as you found your way in a maze.

The presentation was done by energetic and articulated young people, who probably were students doing their part-time job as long as they did not mind the cold weather outdoors. We saw a demonstration of how natives would heat up the sap by dropping burnt wood into the liquid, and using fur to sieve the ashes to get the syrup. Then we saw the use of pots and flat pans, and we were reminded that for every litre of maple syrup, forty litres of sap was needed.

We not only learn about the story of maple syrup, we also enjoyed the winter air and the beautiful scenery of the grounds.

When this was done, we were feeling hungry and ready for a pancake breakfast with maple syrup. Unfortunately this was when we had to stand in line for over half an hour. We were ravenous by the time we ordered and we ended of the biggest meals on the menu–The Pioneer and the Canadian.

The syrup for the pancakes was delightful and so was the maple syrup baked beans. I even ordered a  maple coffee to complete my maple syrup day with my family on Family Day.

The Rail Trail

I was introduced to the Hamilton-Brantford Rail Trail by a group of walking buddies who walk with me on Saturday mornings.

The trail begins from Ewen Road, off Main Street West in Hamilton. Although the sign at the entrance is almost covered by the foliage this season, the rider on horseback is still visible–yes, this trail is open to horseback riding. Don’t be surprised, therefore, when you encounter the excrement of horses in the country section of the trail. Better still, train your discerning eyes for hoof marks. I am still waiting for the occasion to share the trail with a horse and its rider. The trail is surfaced with stone dust, hence bike friendly. I have never seen anyone on roller blades, isn’t this nice?

The trail I have walked so far have distance marking every kilometre. Between the 5K and 6K mark, already in the grounds of the Dundas Valley Conservation Area, you’ll see the old railway track and a rail engine. Fill your water bottle or use the washroom NOW. If you miss this facility, you have to use only what nature can offer.

In the section close to the city, there are signs indicating the intersection with the main road. I never feel lost.

My most recent visit to the Rail Trail was for a casual walk. My mind was not on my workout. I allowed myself to bathe in the shade,  pause to savour the colours of the wild flowers,

and study this curiosity piece–half a grapefruit cleverly balanced on a branch to feed the birds. Mind and body are relaxed.

I have walked different sections of the trail, but have yet to complete the entire distance. Even though a motto of mine is “Never say never”, it is unlikely that I shall ever walk the Trail out and back, from Hamilton to Brantford and return. This will be an Ultra distance of 65 K. However, with proper planning, I may still be able to complete this trail in sections, or walk the entire trail one way.