Friday, July 28, 2006

This Is The Year Of Upgrades For The Do-Dads.......

We always believe that there won't be any things in the house that need to be repaired. Of course this is a fallacy, because when you own a home you have to constantly fix it.

I am not a decorating freak. I painted and wallpapered my whole house between the years of 1991 and 1993. Then I did nothing else to the bulk of the house. Then two years ago we worked on the kitchen because it was starting to need repairs, but we didn’t upgrade anything else in the house.

My rule is if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. If the paint isn’t chipping off the walls and the wallpaper still looks as good as the day it went up, don’t touch it.

I don’t upgrade colour unless it is worn out or broken.
This is why I still have chocolate brown carpet.
In the early 1980’s when this house was built it was outfitted with the most awesome carpets in the main living areas. Chocolate brown in the living room and dining room, and rust in the family room.

We have had 4 dogs, 1 cat, plus 700 pet rats and mice, in this house. A total of three families with 8 kids from 2-18 years lived in this house (sometimes at the same time, other times as previous owners) and the carpet hasn’t got one bit of wear.
I cannot justify ripping it up if it isn’t ruined.
One run with the vacuum and the fibres fluff right up with no flat spots anywhere!

So I won’t tear up the carpet and put down hardwood until the carpet gives up. The way it is going, that may be never. I figure at some point the colours will come back in style. So until then I decorate to suit brown and rust.

There have been a few jobs on the go this year though. You already know about the flood. Alex is still plugging away at the hole, and we will get the new deeper culvert in the window well and the window well drain unplugged by the end of next week.

In the mean time it has been very hot and hard to work outside or in. So I decided to save energy and not heat up the house using the dryer we would put out the laundry tree. We have had this tree since 1992 and it is great in the summer for hanging out laundry.

The laundry tree needed an overhaul. Alex and I went out and got new wire for the tree. Alex affixed the wires individually, for me, so there can be no sagging of the lines. By doing this each line has a loop on the end, perfect for hanging shirts on a coat hanger on the line to dry too!

So we have our great tree on the go again.

The last big project to repair was our front window. Carl and I have a sore spot with this. We replaced the windows in this house in around 1996. But the front window was never right. It leaked under the window and then the thermal pane seal went and allowed moisture to get in between the panes causing condensation to permanently be in the window.
The company would not honour their warrantee because the manufacturer went out of business, and the installation company changed owners. The new owner only upheld the warrantees of installation for one year.

The new guy tried to fix it but he couldn’t.

Finally this year, with all the storms and tornadoes the wall just couldn’t take the constant pounding of rain and pouring in of water and it began to pull away from the frame.

So we relented and set out to replace the window.

Gone is my lovely painted stain glass. I removed all the painting I did, so the window could be removed. I had done the effect to cover the humidity condensation in the thermal panes.

When we did the new counter tops in the kitchen 2 years ago we got Home Depot to do it. The work was done very well, and we liked the fact that they used local installers. So when it came to the window we did the same. The window was a $1000 dollars cheaper than the first time we did the work. That made me happy.

So on Wednesday Alberto, Luigi, and Mike put the new front window in.

Now we will have to paint the living room. Time to get crack-a-lackin.


This Is What Happens To The Sky When Nature Tries To Make A Tornado And Fails

The sky over our house 2 days ago.

See how the storm clouds are turnin?

Now the Storm Clouds are droppin'

Then Poof! fluff tornado


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Bedtime Story

Sometimes you are touched by words uttered in the night..................

When you lay in your cosy bed while your Mother sits along side you. Or maybe she sits on the bed side-saddle while you huddle under your warm covers as she rubs your feet when they are swaddled in the bedclothes.

I sleep on my stomach, and my mother used to rub my back when she told me stories. Her stories were with purpose. She would tell me stories and rub my back when I wasn’t sleepy. Most times it was because I was excited about something that was going to happen soon. The other times she told me stories were when my knees would ache with growing pains. I suffered with them for my whole child and teenagedhood. She would rub my knees, warming them, and soothing the unimaginable pain I had as a young girl. In either case my mother’s touch and stories always comforted me.

Dreams are fuelled by the bedtime story. Always the hero and the villain characters struggle to the end of that story. Every story has a moral teaching. Whether it is to always be good, or to look at the regular world with a more fair eye.

As children our imaginations are stimulated by the story. Those stories may start the wheels in motion to create the imaginative artisan, or develop the staunch moralist, or move the next inventor or screenwriter.

Children are sponges that take in information and use it as they must. Dreams make us what we become as adults, and experience is the result of following the dream.

Is there anything other than the famous “American Dream” that pushes North Americans to become more than they hoped for? I believe yes.

I believe the child’s dream is the true fuel of success. For in our childhood we are moved to explore everything in our world. We form opinions of what we like and don’t like. We find our heroes to mimic, and we create our imaginary worlds when we play. Play is like work. For in play we create our pecking order, and we work out problems that life poses upon us children. The dreamer in us sets goals from which we build the foundation of our life as we live it today.

Once upon a time there was a boy.
He was a very quiet boy.
He was always reading.
When he became a teenager he could not exist in the world he was in because it was not stimulating enough. So he was bound to create a world that could temper his mind and stimulate his soul just enough for satisfaction.

When he was a very young man he needed to open his world to others. He needed to share the worlds within his mind so those who were not easily stimulated would also be satisfied.

As he became older and had a family he was compelled to create a world which he could share with his children.

As they lay in bed he shared a tale.

Can you imagine a story that could be told to you, as the adult you are today, that could capture your soul? The same as the ones you heard as you Mother sat along side you, when you were wrapped tightly in your bedding, so cosy and warm.

There is one story. One that will stimulate the faith of the regular man, and will draw him into a world where he has great purpose, and can see the importance of everyone in this mean world of ours. It will take each of us to place where we weep uncontrollably yet feel so fulfilled and satisfied. You must take the journey. If you do not you will miss the story that explains YOUR life.

Click on the Icon

If you go see it please leave a comment. But only tell how it made you feel. We must swear to not give one tidbit of the plot to the unknowing ones.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Here Is A Slideshow Of A Roadtrip of Newmarket and the Surrounding Areas


I have broken this slideshow up to help you have an idea of where you are travelling.
Each photograph on this page is a link to a piece of the slideshow.
Each map above the photograph shows you the ar
ea you will travel in the slideshow.
This will give you an idea of howmuch area we covered.

Alex and I did this road trip in the daytime, of the day two tornados touched down here after dark.

If you pay careful attention you will notice a place or two where the trees are in tact, and in our after storm pictures you saw last week, the trees were sheered off by the tornado.

I will put one before and after picture below this post so you can say, "OOOO Look at that!"

I also have created many links for your interest. Everything underlined is a reference link. I actually was really psyched after reading some of the links I researched. I learned alot about my area that I did not know. Make sure you back page your way back to the blog after looking at the links.

I left a couple of blurry shots in here just to remind you that all of the road shots were taken from a moving car doing the speed limit. Remember that a few of speed limit signs you see are in km/hr.

I hope you enjoy your virtual tour of our area. I suggest that when the slideshows come up that you go to the top right corner of the black box and adjust the speed to be fast, like 1 or 2 seconds. That will give you a more realistic feel like being in the car. After each slideshow use the back page button to go back to the blog.

This map shows you where you are heading

Click on the photo for the first slideshow

We will travel just North of the Downtown following the river.

The map shows you where you are heading next

Click on photo to resume slideshow

This is the Old Davis Tannery. One of the Original businesses of the area.
The tannery itself was closed for years.
Then it was transformed int
o a beautiful indoor mall with marble facades and indoor waterfalls.

We will head back up Main Street, to see how quickly the area becomes rural.

The map shows you where you are heading next

Now we are at Rogers Reservoir.
This used to be a large pond, but for environmental reasons, this man-made reservoir has been allowed to flow to its natural state.
It is now a small creek with a marsh area around it.
This area is protected to preserve rare plants and birds that migrate to this area.

Click on photo to resume slideshow

The map shows you where you are heading next

Click on photo to resume slideshow
Now we are turning onto the Queensville Side Road.
This is approximately an 14 minute drive from the Newmarket Downtown area. We have travelled through alot of farmland since the reservoir and now we are at the bottom of the tributaries of Lake Simcoe. You could call it the delta of Lake Simcoe.

All of these tributaries you see in the farmland called the Holland Marsh come from the Holland River and the Humber River. The Holland River joins up with the Highland Creek that goes to Lake Ontario. The Humber River also goes directly to Lake Ontario. Two ways to head North from Toronto(or 'Muddy' York as it was called in pioneer days).
We will now head into the Marsh to see the produce in the fields.

The map shows you where you are heading next

The Holland Marsh is legendary in the agricultural world. It is a dark silt and black loam farmland surrounded by canals created by burms and dikes like in Holland.
The Dutch were the first settlers in this area. We have a large population of Dutch families here.
The DUCA credit union was one of the first money lenders around here.
Our population has a high Christian Reform base, because of the Dutch families here.

Click on the photo to resume slideshow

Today the closest town to the Marsh is Bradford. After the Dutch settled here, the Portuguese began to purchace the drier fields and what was left of the Marshland, so they could grow produce on the Marsh and grain in the drier fields. Bradford is pretty much split in population by the Dutch and the Portuguese. There are Dutch and Portuguese cultural centres in Bradford, both ensuring that the pride of their residents' heritage is honoured.

The map shows where you are heading next

Click this link for historical burial references for the area

We are at the townline between East Gwillimbury and Bradford here.
Crossing over Yonge Street in Rush Hour Traffic.
(Yep this is rush hour here)

Click on the photo to continue slideshow

The map will show you where you are heading next

Click on the photo to continue slideshow

This wide area of the river breaks up into canals around the Holland Marsh.

It is deep enough in the canals to take a small boat.

Beyond the bridge ahead the delta area before Lake Simcoe begins and you will see the masts of larger sail boats moored in the distance.
Alot of folks in the area have sail boats and yahts they drive up river through the delta, into Lake Simcoe.

The map will show you where you are heading next

This is a bridge over one of the canals.
We just saw a fisherman catching dinner.

We will head North again. Through the last of rural area.

Click on the photograph to continue slideshow

The map will show you where you are heading next

Click on photo to continue slideshow

The wooden buildings you have seen, and will see are more of the Dutch influence, and the brick buildings are more of the Portuguese influence.

You will notice how quickly the rural area is taken over by the town's more urban setting.

The map will show you where you are heading next

That sign is what every Canadian looks for. Tim Horton's Coffee. Canadians are probably the #1 consumer of coffee. There is literally a Tim Horton's coffee shop on every intersection of Urban Canada. We call it "Timmy's". Tim Horton was an NHL Hockey Player who decided to open a chain of Coffee and Doughnut shops. They have been a hit with Canadians since I was a small child.

Tim Horton's went big this year when they began selling public shares in their empire.

Click photo to continue slideshow

This map will show you where you are heading next

Click here for the last part of the slideshow

This corn field is walking distance from my house. We live in a subdivision that was built in the early 1980's. Until a few years ago a large farm Estate of the late Dr. Ballard was across from us. Now it is developed into the Big Box outlet stores like Walmart, Home Depot and Costco. They moved the home to preserve it.

We end our tour back at the edge of the urban sprawl of Newmarket. Oh yes, and we are still in Rush Hour!

It is very quiet here in our area. Most of the town is asleep by 10:00PM each night. There is so little traffic that some of the town's traffic lights blink amber lights (turning them into yield intersections after midnight) to save energy.

We have little crime here. There are enough Moms at home in the day to deter criminals from tryin to break-in while folks are at work. The folks at home don't miss a thing. Everyone knows their neighbours here. They are all friendly and we could turn to any of them for help if we needed to. Some neighbourhoods have folks that have lived on the same street together since the streets have been created. The towns will often let these folks close their street for a day to have neighbourhood celebrations like BBQ's and fun days.

Only Newmarket has a paid Fire Department. The areas around have volunteer fire departments. The East Gwillimbury volunteer fire department has one of the best repell rescue teams in Canada. That is dedication. Newmarket's Police have a helicopter. We have a drug enforcement, an anti crime unit and a traffic unit that make use of the helicopter. They have heat sensors to spot grow-houses, Search lights to chase criminals, and we have alot of our larger roads monitored by the helicopter for speeders.

We have Timber Wolves and Coyotes that eat the Calves at times and give the farmers misery. We have alot of Deer here and alot of Birds of Prey. Once in a while a Black Bear, or a Moose will make news here when they follow the Morraine Southward and come out of their territory North of Lake Simcoe and end up in our backyards.

Until recently Timber Wolves' territory was 200 km North of here, but the search for game has them travelling south getting closer and closer to the city.
Until recently Possums were not found in Ontario. Eventhough Michigan has the same forests as us it seemed that the Possum(also Opossum) population stayed on the USA side of the Great Lakes. Now we have small numbers of Possum migrating as far north as our area. We are still getting used to the idea we have Possum. They are protected here because they are so rare. Our annoying pests are the Raccoons. Ontario is riddled with them. The urban sprawl has not reduced their numbers. They have learned how to adapt to the setting and create a ruccus when they try to nest in our rooves.



"Ooooo, Look at that!"

I hope you enjoyed the Road Trip.
So did you ever expect an area so close to the City of Toronto would be like this?
Did you notice all the Canadian Flags? Our towns are so proud of being Canadian.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Oh Let’s Eat At CW Coops!

Tuesday was a big night for CW Coops!
They opened their Aurora, Ontario location, and they are ready to serve you!

What is CW Coops? You Say…..

It is Ontario’s awesome Chicken Wing and local Pub Emporium.

CW Coops has Wings. Wings, Wings, Wings, in a Bazillion (exaggerated) varieties of flavours and seasonings.

They also specialise in Taco Salads, and Wraps.
There are other sides to fair as well. They have veggies and dip, and fries, poutine, onion rings, ribs, chicken strips, and kiddie choices too.(plus more!)

This is local family meeting place.

It is located at Aurora Heights and Yonge Street in Aurora, right beside the new Shoppers Drug Mart, with easy parking. This makes it handy for families who will be at the ACC arena or at the Ball diamonds or Soccer Fields, so groups and teams can meet for a treat!

In a rush between games......gettem' to go!

With it being on the way to and from the St. Andrews Golf Club, folks can enjoy a quick meal and a cool beverage before or after the game.

How do we know about it?

About a year ago, Fall The Loss started to have their weekly Monday, after band practice, meeting there.
Many a song was discussed at the Holland Landing location. (Old Yonge St. and Thompson.)
The guys like this venue a lot.
CW Coops is the restaurant that fits the poor musicians’ budget.
They could load up on some good wings and veggie sticks and a few soda pops while discussing their next big dream.

If Fall The Loss goes there, so do their families.
We support who Fall The Loss supports.

It is all about givin’ back. The guys get treated really well by the folks at CW Coops. Deanna has always taken the time to find out what Fall The Loss is all about, and make the guys feel special every Monday. There is nothin’ like home-town support when you are the “little guys” tryin to make it big!

CW Coops is a licensed facility. They serve COLD beverages.

(Upp! Caught Carl doin the chicken dance!)

Tuesday the Tuckers went to CW Coops in Aurora. Wings and Fries and a few veggies to munch! That is good eatin’ !

Carl had a Rickards Red on Tap, and Al had one too. I had a Cherry Citrus Fresca.
That was my first of that new flavour.
The fries were crispy on the outside and tender inside.
The Honey Pineapple Wings I ate were great, and the Guys’ Medium BBQ wings were delectable!

(Joy, Erin, and Deanna)
The Friendly Girls of CW Coops, Aurora

The Girls at CW Coops are friendly. They go out of their way to help out if you don’t know what the ingredients for the wing flavours are.

In Holland Landing ‘everybody knows your name’ when you enter CW Coops. Let’s make Aurora the same! Make CW Coops your family hang out today!