Back in the Saddle Agaaaain! PHOTOS #maplelakeontario #algonquinhighlands

Ξ December 18th, 2015 | → Comments Off on Back in the Saddle Agaaaain! PHOTOS #maplelakeontario #algonquinhighlands | ∇ flower porn, home, home and garden, maplelakeontario.com, Photography, sunsets, United States |

Back online. Still here. Woo-hoo!

Been gone for the better part of a year, but I’m back. Spent only three days at Maple Lake in May 2015 and it was opening so–work, no play! Moved to the foothills of Phoenix. Happy. Hope to figure out a system of staying with our mutt at the cottage during the three months here in Arizona each summer when you “don’t go outside.”

Best to all in 2016!

Please enjoy and laugh at some snaps from the latter part of 2015.

My backyard in AZ at #sunset #sky #AZ #moon #nofilter. Credit: maplelakeontario.com

My backyard in AZ at #sunset. #sky #AZ #moon #nofilter. Credit: maplelakeontario.com

Love the hashtag “#nofilter,” as it could be a (partial) description of me. Hee.

Dana Point with Catalina Island. #danapoint #catalinaisland #sunset #california Cr: maplelakeontario.com

Dana Point with Catalina Island. Cr: maplelakeontario.com #danapoint #catalinaisland #sunset #california

Went to the Pacific Ocean for my birthday this year. Just a long weekend, but there will be more to come.

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Beach-combing at The Strand in Dana Point. Cr: maplelakeontario.com #danapoint #thestrand #beach #CA

Sailboats in the harbor at #sunset. #DanaPoint CR: maplelakeontario.com

Sailboats in the harbor at #sunset. #DanaPoint CR: maplelakeontario.com

Catalina Island looms in the background in the first shot. What a perfect November day!

Banner: Dana Point The Strand CR: maplelakeontario.com

Banner: Dana Point The Strand CR: maplelakeontario.com

I’ll end with another Arizona shot or two:

#hummingbird #aloe #arizona Cr: maplelakeontario.com

#hummingbird #aloe #arizona Cr: maplelakeontario.com

We now live in a stone castle. My bathroom is bigger than my bedroom in IL was. A lot bigger.

We now live in a stone castle. My bathroom is bigger than my bedroom in IL was. A lot bigger.

It’s a pain because way too much to clean!

(Thank goodness for one-year leases!)

Mission San Juan Capistrano #missionsanjuancapistrano

Mission San Juan Capistrano #missionsanjuancapistrano

What comes next? Darned if I know! Cr: maplelakeontario.com

What comes next?
Darned if I know! Cr: maplelakeontario.com

 

 

From Chicago to Maple Lake – Here. Yesterday. #myhaliburtonhighlands #fall #flowerporn PHOTOS

Ξ September 6th, 2014 | → 0 Comments | ∇ #cottagelife, beach, Canada, cottage country, Dysart Dudley Harcourt and Others, family, flower porn, Haliburton, Haliburton Highlands, home, home and garden, Maple Lake Ontario, nature, Ontario, Photography, summertime, sunrise, Travel/Vacation, weather |

Back at Maple Lake for the final time this year.

Maple Lake Ontario  Sept 5 2014 - Dawn

Maple Lake Ontario Sept 5 2014 – Dawn

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Front planter (Illinois) Coleus and Dusty Miller and (‘some kind of ornamental grass’).

 

Not ready to miss this: Condos garden in back in Illinois USA

Mandavilla flowering vine – Not ready to miss this: Condo garden in back in Illinois USA. Sept 4 2014

They say it’s been a difficult tourist season here due to an overabundance of rainy days and lower temperatures. It’s nice now. Not sunbathing nice but pleasant enough and besides, who knows what later today might have in store?

If there ever was a place where if you didn’t like the weather, you could “wait 15 minutes and it will change,” it is right here in cottage country.

 

Maple Lake: So this happened… #haliburtonhighlands #algonquinhighlands #highlandslife

Ξ August 12th, 2014 | → 0 Comments | ∇ #cottagelife, Algonquin Township, Canada, cottage country, Dysart Dudley Harcourt and Others, Education, Haliburton, Haliburton Highlands, home, Maple Lake Ontario, Ontario, Photography, summertime, Travel/Vacation |

Maple Lake cottage two summers ago but haven’t finished the trim (around doors and windows, windows everywhere)

Raven treed a chipmunk back in the day. My mom would yell at her to "leave Chippie alone!" All the chipmunks were "Chippie." Raven liked chasing them equally. ;)

Raven treed a chipmunk back in the day. My mom would yell at her to “leave Chippie alone!” All the chipmunks were “Chippie.” Raven liked chasing them equally. ;)

 Update 8.11.14:

Our little Schipperke dog Raven died tonight. At about age 18, she was ancient–we’d adopted her in the late summer of 2000.

All-in-all it was pretty quick, stroke then massive heart attack.

RIP RAVEN

chrisravenaug042009A boy and his dog (Haliburton Sculpture Forest)

Putting up new trim on our cottage on Maple Lake in the Haliburton Highlands would be a big job no matter what, but it is made even more impressive by two facts. The bottom layer of 15 or so layers of paint was original (lead-enhanced). The cottage, with its at least 15 coats of white paint, hadn’t been painted in at least 25 years (maybe more) and never, to our knowledge, been stripped of old paint before new was put on. Also, 3. We are starting with the areas of worst peeling and unfinished wood-exposure–the side of the cottage that faces the lake, about 20 feet from it.

Nitty-sand-gritty.It is sandy place to live here in the cottage so close to the lake. Right now,  sandy and paint-chippy:This is pretty much what was and is. Some very fun times in 2.5 Weeks.
Have to finish the window before we go as we don’t know how long we’ll be able to stay next time (Labour Day). Come on up/over and help!First, a couple of these these ancient glass window panes broke when Roger tried to remove old paint. I told him that the paint was the only thing keeping it together.Now we both know.Good news. Panes of glass are not really expensive at the local hardware place.I have a notion that they will be a bitch to get in properly.

EDIT: Roger says they should be “no problem.” Hopin’ he’s right!

From Summer in Ontario Canada – 2014
From Summer in Ontario Canada – 2014
From Summer in Ontario Canada – 2014
From Summer in Ontario Canada – 2014
From Summer in Ontario Canada – 2014

 

Happy Thanksgiving Canada! Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm (PHOTOS) #goebbertsfarm #gourds #pumpkins

Ξ October 14th, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Autumn, Canada, fall colours, family, health/happiness, holiday(s), home, home and garden, nature, Ontario, Photography, United States |

 

Roger and me Goebbert's Farm in So. Barrington, Illinois - October 14, 2013

Roger and me Goebbert’s Farm in So. Barrington, Illinois – October 14, 2013

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Our younger son – Goebbert’s Farm in So. Barrington, Illinois – October 14, 2013 –Off the charts tall!

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Goebbert’s Farm in So. Barrington, Illinois – October 14, 2013

Goebbert's Farm in So. Barrington, Illinois - October 14, 2013

Goebbert’s Farm in So. Barrington, Illinois – October 14, 2013

 Celebrating Thanksgiving with Family, Finding the Perfect Gourd

Not much goes on in the way of celebration of Canada’s Thanksgiving here but since it does often co-inside with the American Columbus Day school-and-government holiday, we use that as a reason to go to Goebbert’s Farm in South Barrington. We usually start our visit by finding the perfect gourds to decorate the house with. Each year, there seems to be a new colour or bizarrely-shaped gourd. This year, there were red pumpkins–as in a full-on Christmas-like red. I passed on them. As far out as I like to go is white mixed with greens, oranges and yellow. Roger always picks the Indian corn for hanging on the door. Since we have no little kids anymore I don’t go all-out with the spooky decor, though I do have some porcelain favorites, with a farm-scene scarecrow, and a little witch and ghost. We have a pretty life-like/life size looking raven, too, but my days of spreading fake webs around are over– so horns-o-plenty with colourful gourds it is.  Oh, we put large pumpkins outside to gives thing some colour. And if I found a cool zombie I would get it to hang up.

To celebrate Thanksgiving without the work we stopped by the always-delish Goebbert’s bakery which is conveniently on site with the gourds, the kid stuff  like animal rides, hay rides, the haunted house and the ones we don’t pass up–the animal farm and the corn maze.  Hot cider and fresh apple pie is my standard and the boys do pumpkin pie. We brought home apple cider donuts, apple butter and pumpkin butter, too. It was a beautiful, temperate day–totally different than how it will be in six weeks for American Thanksgiving.

Hope everyone had as nice a day as we did!

 

 

2010 10 06 011458 425x305 Happy Thanksgiving, Canada! #haliburtonhighlands #canadianthanksgiving

 

Happy Thanksgiving! Have a great week!

History of  Thanksgiving  in Canada

 

The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an English explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been futilely attempting to find a northern passage to the Orient. He did, however, establish a settlement in Canada. In the year 1578, Frobisher held a formal ceremony in what is now the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to give thanks for surviving the long journey. This event is widely considered to be the first Canadian Thanksgiving, and the first official Thanksgiving to occur in North America. More settlers arrived and continued the ceremonial tradition initiated by Frobisher, who was eventually knighted and had an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Canada named after him — Frobisher Bay now known as Iqualuit.

It should be noted that the 1578 ceremony was not the first Thanksgiving as defined by First Nations tradition. Long before the time of Martin Frobisher, it was traditional in many First Nations cultures to offer an official giving of thanks during autumnal gatherings. In Haudenasonee culture, Thanksgiving is a prayer recited to honor “the three sisters” (i.e., beans, corn and squash) during the fall harvest.

Source: Wikipedia.org

 

Maple Lake Ontario PHOTOS Early August Morning #halibutonhighlands #maplelake #ontario

Ξ August 16th, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Algonquin Township, Canada, cottage country, Haliburton Highlands, home, home and garden, Maple Lake Ontario, nature, Ontario, Photography, summertime, sunrise |

Leaving Maple Lake is always a bitter-sweet endeavor (PHOTOS)

Early morning August 3 2013 Photo by Roger Corrao

Early morning August 3 2013 Photo by Roger Corrao

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Early morning August 3 2013 Photo by Roger Corrao

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Early morning August 3 2013 Photo by Roger Corrao

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Early morning August 3 2013 Photo by Roger Corrao

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Early morning August 3 2013 Photo by Roger Corrao

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The new garden on the lake-side of the cottage. Early morning August 3 2013. Photo by Roger Corrao

Having spent part of June, all of July and a wee bit of August living on Maple Lake, it really came to feel like ‘home.’ And it is home–our summer home–so we will keep on making the improvements that both need to be done (they come first) and that we wish to make (that may take some time). In my opinion, every little improvement is big in that it is yet another transformation–sometimes to a state of being that hadn’t been a reality for a decade or more.

The little garden at the bottom of the photo set was in place around fifty years ago. Those stones are the ones that my grandfather put in place. There’s nothing special about them other than that. But, to me, that is quite a bit and that my husband dug them out of the ground where they were nearly buried means even more. You can’t simply plant a garden at Maple Lake. You must treat the soil as the only flowers that will grow otherwise are wildflowers. Roger sort of did this on the fly. After the septic system setback we essentially lost four days of getting stuff done, so we were a bit rushed. Anyway, he mixed in soil enhancers and mulched and we shall see next year what becomes of it. While we have stewardship over it, it shall remain a garden, tho.

It has begun to inspire me to return as many of the aspects of being at the Lake, both physical and social to their former glory. The last time the Lake was the paradise of my childhood memory was when my grandmother was the matriarch of the McCrackan family. She loved having family around as much as possible. And I recall many gatherings of family and friends. It wasn’t fancy but it was friendly. Friendliness was something I encountered a lot when I was out and about this summer.

My mom became the McCrackan family matriarch after my grandmother passed but living in the States our family only made comparatively brief, though regular visits. I hated being referred to as the American because well, I’m not. I’m proud to be a Canadian and so I’m also proud to now be the McCrackan matriarch (I kept my maiden name).

If I do nothing else, I’d like to take a page from my grandmother’s book in making people feel welcome when they are anywhere on the property that is shared by the descendants of  Frank and Alice. My spouse seems to have gotten a jump on the ‘building of good cheer’- thing. Because I work until the wee hours while at the Lake and thus sleep in, I’m not outside as much as he is, but give me some good swimming weather and just try to keep me out of the lake. 🙂

 

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