Monday, May 31, 2010

The Christie Antique Show

This past Saturday was the long anticipated Christie Antique Show - one of the biggest in Canada with over 300 vendors.  The day was a little hot but much better than earlier in the week.

It was my first time going to a big antique show and I have to say I was a little disappointed as I thought the prices were on the high side.  I think I must be more of a thrift store kind of girl as those prices seem to suit me better.   I still had fun though and spent a couple of hours taking in all the antiques.

There were tons of Canadiana things, including skis, tobaggans, and snow shoes which seemed funny since it is almost summer.

 This huge clock and the pretty signs were favourites of mine.

 I loved this booth with all the red and white kitchen things.

I only purchased three things - something for a giveaway (more about that later), an over-priced greeny-blue mason jar without the lid, and a wooden box (you can see it below in the lower left-hand corner).

 And here it is at home on our front porch.  

I heard the seller saying he made the lid and some repairs using boards that he had around and he stained it and varnished it, so I knew it wasn't a valuable antique.  Which was fine by me because I wanted it to solve a problem we have on our front porch.

We do not have an inside door to the garage and must go all the way around and open the big garage doors to put garbage into the garbage cans.  Sooo what often happens is that we toss a tied up bag of garbage onto the front porch if we don't have our shoes on, or it is raining, or ... you get the idea.  There is often a bag of garbage on our front porch waiting for the next person to go out to the garage, so I got this box to -um, cough, cough - hide the garbage in.

 Are you as appalled as the rest of my family was when I told them what I was planning on using this pretty box for?  Sorry about that, but at least our front porch will look tidy now.

Linked to Saturday Night Special - Old Crates at Funky Junk Interiors

Sunday, May 30, 2010


I don't usually win giveaways (or anything for that matter), but I just won 2 in the past week and I'm so excited. 

The first one is this lovely book, Room for Children, from Elizabeth at Pretty Pink Tulips which arrived a couple of days ago.  I had to show it to you with its pretty pink ribbon around it (which happens to match the pink peonies from my garden) and it came with a sweet note.  Thank you Elizabeth - I'm looking forward to being inspired!

The second is the magazine, Home Beautiful, from A-M.  The magazine has an article about A-M's beautiful house that you can also see on her blog The House That A-M Built.  The magazine hasn't arrived yet but it's coming all the way from Australia and that's a lot of ocean to cover.  Thank you A-M, I can't wait to see your amazing house in more detail.

Now on to the winner of my Cottage Charm Giveaway.   I am thrilled at the response to my giveaway and want to welcome all the new followers - I hope you enjoy the random bits of my life I put out here on Sense and Simplicity.  I also have to say I was blown away by the amazing flower and snack suggestions.  You guys are a creative lot and I was having to wipe the drool off the keyboard reading all the yummy things you would put on those plates.  

I used the random number generator to pick a winner and here it is - drum roll -
The 38th comment belongs to Stephenie at Decorating Addiction, who said:
"I would have something bright on those plates -- probably a variety of bright red strawberries, diced pineapple and some mango! In the vase, I would definitely put some flowers my daughter picked for me."
How great does that sound (and healthy too) - I hope you enjoy the plates and vase.  You should pop over and visit Stephenie's lovely blog called Decorating Addiction, where she discusses renovating their 1940s home and more recently the process of selling it.  Once I have Stephenie's address the goodies will be on their way.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Photo - Screened Porch

The screened porch at the cottage is in constant use - the perfect place to read, eat dinner, have tea, and hang out.  I took this photo early on Victoria Day morning when the lake was still misty, and the soft early morning light filtered through the trees and into the screened porch.

Sigh - perfection!

p.s.  There is still one more day to enter my Cottage Charm giveaway.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Front Porch Planters

A few days ago hubby and I planted the flower pots that go on the front porch. 

My mother made this gorgeous wicker chair about 10 years ago.   She had no room for it at her house, so I helped her out and put it on my porch.  What a wonderful daughter I am.

  I even put a pot on my new blue bench.
The watering can beside the blue bench was brought back from Nigeria, where I lived as a child. It was made to water like fine spring rain ... and it does.

Now we have to water and wait and watch while the plants fill in and grow - my favourite part!

Linked to Inspired By link party at The Inspired Room.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Victoria Day Weekend

We had a lovely time at the cottage this past weekend.  

Despite the mosquitoes (some of the worst we have seen at the cottage),

and the sick dog (including a visit to the cottage vet) - she is on the mend now, thankfully.

The weather was warm and lovely.  We even slept with the windows wide open, which is an extremely rare thing for the Victoria Day long weekend.  After all there is sometimes near freezing temperatures at this time of year.

We had chipmunks to feed,

and swimming and canoeing to do.

William showed us the hole in the rock that he had found.  (Too strange that we now have holes at both cottages.  See this post for a photo of a hole in the rock at the other cottage),

There were birthdays to celebrate (William turned 16, and my Uncle turned 61).

an amazing birthday cake to consume,

 yes and even beer to drink - it was the May 2-4 weekend after all (see this post for an explanation, if you missed it).

Sigh!  Another lovely long weekend come and gone.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

William's 16th Birthday

William - our youngest - is 16 years old today.

This photo is one of my favourites of William - taken in London, England when he was 8 years old. 

Here are 16 interesting tidbits about William:

1. He is a bear magnet!  Over the years he has found at least 3, and possibly 4, bears at different times (we've lost count).  His first time finding a bear was when he was about 6 years old and went to the outhouse at the cottage, but came back to report that there was something moving the bushes.  My father thought it was likely a squirrel and went with him to check it out.  They both came back to report it was, in fact, a bear.  Along with bears he has also found a snapping turtle.  I think that is quite enough dangerous animals for one young man to find!
2.  William loves going to the cottages.  It is his favourite place to hang out, to live, to be!
3.  William is nature boy, which is why he loves going to the cottages.  He reads books on how to survive in the wilds - what to eat, how to make a shelter, what to do if you are injured etc.  He started reading nature books at a young age and even learned many latin names of birds when he was about 10 years old.   He also has big plans to live in the woods for a week this summer, taking only his jack-knife with him.  I'm fine with this plan as long as he is home by 9 every night!
4.  Many weekends, William will go out for a walk.  He will be gone for hours and when he comes home we go on Google Earth to look at where he has walked.  It is often up to 15 kms.  He knows our city really well now.
5.   William seeks truth in all thing spiritual - he is a reader and a thinker.
6.   William likes to expand his knowledge of almost everything.   When he was in kindergarten he figured out how to tie his shoes by himself, when he was in Grade 2 he figured out how to multiply numbers, and recently he has been watching physics videos.  You just never know what William is learning about.
7.   William has big plans for world unification to bring about peace.  He has elaborate ideas worked out with roles for everyone in the family.  I've been assigned to be Minister of blogging, since I'm already well on my way to world unification with this little blog of mine!
8.  He loves to hang out with Malcolm and Kate, his brother and sister - I love to see them having fun together.
9.  William is a computer whiz.  He started using the computer when he was about 2 years old.  He was playing city-building games long before he could read, but he knew where all the things were on the screen so he could build his ancient cities. 
10.  He likes classical music, and even prefers it to rock.
11.  He keeps a zen bedroom with plants on his window sill.  About a year ago he decluttered his bedroom into the storage room (thanks William) and now only has a bed, a desk, and some cushions on the floor beside his bookshelf.  He keeps it neat and clean and orderly - where did we get this child from?
12.   Willam likes to try new foods, the more exotic the better.  He will eat almost anything and especially loves hot food.
13.   He loves to cook and has even managed to convince Kate to cook omelettes with him (good job, William).
14.  As a child, William was the best cuddler, and he still likes the occasional hug.
15.  He has a great sense of humour and loves to joke around and reminisce about funny things that have happened.
16. William is patient and kind; calmly and quietly he goes about getting his work done.
17.  And last but not least - he has the cutest dimples ever! 
Here is a photo taken this past weekend of William, doing what William likes best - having fun in the out-of-doors.

Happy Birthday William!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Thank You Queen Victoria

I would personally like to thank Queen Victoria for being born.  Let's all take a moment and pause to remember her.  

Today is Victoria Day in Canada, a national holiday, so we get a 3-day weekend.  Wahoo!!!

Victoria Day is celebrated on May 24th, although that varies from year to year, since it is celebrated on the first Monday on or before May 24.  Hence it is aka as the May Long weekend, or May 2-4.  That last name is a bit of a joke referring to both the date and the name for a case of 24 beer, also called a  2-4, and a lot of beer often gets consumed on the long weekend. - get it!.  

As far as I know we are the only country in the Commonwealth that still celebrates her birthday.  We are just that loyal (or ... we just love a long weekend, but we'll never tell).  The Victoria Day weekend is the unofficial start to the summer season and all good things like going to the cottage, camping, and bbqs.

A lot of communities have fireworks, but since we go to the cottage we usually don't see them.  Our long weekend is more about walks in the woods, eating, playing games, eating, celebrating William's birthday which will involve eating...

Happy Victoria Day to all my fellow Canadians!

p.s.  Don't forget to enter my Cottage Charm Giveaway.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Photo - Hole in the Rock

There is a mystery at our cottage on Georgian Bay - a large, deep hole in the rock and nobody knows how it got there.

I have always found it intriguing.  I'm leaning toward the alien theories, but it could easily be the glacier - hard to tell.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm Feeling the Love

The past couple of weeks have been the time to give me awards, apparently, as I have received 4 of them.  I'm thrilled, blushing, and just so delighted that I was the recipient of these awards. 

Thanks so much to Elizabeth at Blue Clear Sky for the Sunshine Award,

Pamela at French Buttons for the Happy 101 Award,

and both Gina at Three Ring Cottage and Amanda at The Modern Brady Bunch Family for the Versatile Blogger Award.

They all have slightly different rules so I think I will just follow the rules from one of the awards and share 7 things (hopefully interesting things) about myself.  So here goes:

    1. I lived in the Netherlands for a year as a Rotary exchange student when I was 17.   I didn't know a word of Dutch when I went over, but by the end I was talking all day long in Dutch and even sometimes dreaming in it. I've lost most of my Dutch now all these years later, but I still know a few rhymes, can say the alphabet, and frequently answer "ik weet het niet" (translation: "I don't know") when I'm answering my husband's or kid's questions.  When I was there I bought a pair of klompen (wooden shoes) and wore them to school a few times - it was the fashion to do that (I wasn't being a wierd tourist ).

    2. I'm a closet foodie.  I didn't really know this about myself until I kept answering all the questions correctly on the TV show, Jeopardy, when we used to watch it a few years ago.  My husband was astounded and wanted to know how I knew about all those foods and dishes that I had never eaten.  I really don't know apart from reading about them.  I will try eating almost anything and really enjoy a wide range of food, but the only food I'm absolutely obsessed with is chocolate.

    3.  I love to use Google to look things up.  Since I love to learn new things and have a terrible memory I use Google all the time.   I think it is the best invention since sliced bread.

    4.  I love email and can't stand talking on the phone.  I have a theory that introverts prefer email and extroverts prefer the phone - I certainly fit that.  How about you?

    5. I have an excellent sense of direction, but in order to get somewhere I have to go the same way I have always gone (even if it is out of the way).

    6. I am able to read blueprints and can find my way around a building quickly and visualize the space in 3-D.  Maybe it is from studying house plans for years as a teenager.  I wanted to be an architect but couldn't do physics.  It's unfortunate that the buildings actually have to be made so they stay up, not just look good.

    7.  I love symmetry - in architecture, in decorating, and even in numbers.  I find it hard to break out of symmetrical arrangements when I'm styling the sideboard or mantel or arranging pictures on the wall.  For the same reason, I'm drawn to Georgian architecture with its even arrangement of windows and doors.  I even love symmetry in numbers, such as when the clock turns to 11:11, or when the date is 03-05-03, or when my odometer turns to 70507 - love it!

    There it is in no particular order - 7 interesting (or possibly odd) things about me.  

    I'm flattered to be given these awards, but since I just passed awards on to 12 fellow bloggers quite recently, I'm going to take a pass this time.


    Don't forget to enter my giveaway Cottage Charm Giveaway.  You can find details here.