Summer Evening Paddling Trip



A call of a loon;

Quiet splashing, rhythmic sounds,

Kayak glides along.




Yesterday’s warm temperatures and sunshine beckoned.

So, following the family supper, some of us embarked on an evening’s paddle.  Well, as many as could fit into two canoes and a single-person kayak.  😀

We launched our craft onto Taylor Lake and eventually made it to the channel leading to adjacent Clayton Lake….and ultimately the village of Clayton where we finished just as it was getting dark.

It’s a lovely paddling excursion….usually taking about two hours.

There are quite a few cottages along the shores of Taylor Lake, with avid boaters and fishing enthusiasts sharing the water….and everyone respecting the speeds near other boaters.  By contrast, Clayton Lake is quieter.

We were lucky and were treated to multiple loon calls, the sighting of a loon family of three, and a pretty sunset.

Here are some more photos…




A juvenile loon…






Sunset on Taylor Lake

From the time the sun was just touching the top of the trees to my extracting my iPhone from the protective plastic box tucked inside my life vest and then going for a photo, as you can see the sun went into hiding – moved so fast! Anyway….still looks pretty over the water like that.




Kayaking is a lot of fun!

(Good time to add in a selfie….)  😀





On Clayton Lake

I took a photo of the view behind me with the pretty clouds and the pinks and purples…..getting darker fast.







An Unusual Singer

Yesterday I found heart-warming inspiration from an unexpected source.

I happened to glance at the activities of some of my Facebook friends and stopped at one where I read that one of my friends had liked a particular video post…..about a deaf singer performing at a talent show.

One other time I had come across a Ted Talk in which a woman was talking about her experience about being deaf and being involved in music, and she had been deaf at a young age.  She had overcome various challenges in her life and had fulfilled her dream of being a professional musician, or more precisely, a percussionist.

So, with that in mind, I was especially intrigued with this new post.

What increased the intrigue was that this other young woman – singer/songwriter – was appearing on the show, “America’s Got Talent,” which I generally don’t watch.  But now being somewhat savvy  that deafness doesn’t mean that a person can’t achieve their musicianship dreams,  I had a hunch this would be a ground-breaking experience.  Ever since Susan Doyle wowed the judges on the British equivalent show – where she overcame her hurdle of no formal training and wavering self-confidence – I keep a keen eye and ear open to those more “unique” aspiring singers.


What an incredibly momentous experience for this young lady!

Mandy Harvey – inspiring and amazing – how she handled overcoming her biggest obstacle….herself.

No spoilers from me, but I encourage you to watch this clip.



The Art of Falling


I just came across this gem via one of my girlfriend’s posts.

It gave me goosebumps.

I found it impactful and beautifully done.

It has a profound message.

The Facebook page Access Oneness posted this clip with this lead-in comment:

“So, you lose balance and you fall … but, what do you do next? Stop? Or go on? Make art out of falling …”


P.S. Re-watching it…..I just noticed something else. Look at the colouring of the trees from the aerial view.


My Beloved “Born Free”

Here is a montage of photos from a youtube channel I just found, when I went searching for links to go with my beloved “Born Free” song.
I say beloved, because from the first time I heard the song and saw the movie, it made its home in my heart.

Something about Elsa, the lioness, and her caring human friends touched me deeply.

Every time….and I mean EVERY time I hear that song, I get all choked up inside. It’s a good choked up. My eyes water. I have no idea why, but it gets to me.

I suppose because it’s a song that speaks of freedom, which is the joy and true being of every creature on earth – human and animal – and to be born free and to live free is so important.
Thank you, Spotify algorithms for sharing the song again with me…..Matt Monro sings it.  I forever associate the song with his voice, too.

I love Elsa’s story.
I have had a soft spot for the large cats, since I was a young girl.
Panthers, tigers, leopards…..and especially lions.
The movie “Born Free” came out in 1966, so I was 6.
It made a lasting impression on me.

Even when watching the movie again years later, that child-like love resurfaced.

It’ll also explain why I felt compelled to get all THREE books at one point in my teen years. The two movies were based on the books (Born Free, Living Free, Forever Free) – written by Joy Adamson, describing the adventures she and her husband, George, experienced, when they lived in Kenya. Among their adventures was when they rescued orphaned Elsa, raised her and successfully (with some challenges, of course) returned her to the wild.
And Elsa managed to be part of a lion pride again and have her own cubs.

But mostly I fell in love with Elsa. Her wild and gentle spirit.

Here’s the song…..perhaps you’ve heard it before?


NOTE:  There are photos in this montage excerpted from Joy Adamson’s books and from the movie, “Born Free.”


For A Daily Inspiration



Positive thinking;

Reinforced if seen daily

To view life’s beauty.




I noticed this plaque of positive thoughts mounted on a school wall with perfect lighting, at the best height for all to view it with no other distractions nearby, thereby being highly visible to students and teachers – and visitors, like me – walking past this spot, for however many times, during the busy school days.

As soon as I noticed it, I took a picture, because I wanted to add this to those other inspiring quotes and ideas I have collected over the years.  And I’m sure this plaque has an equally powerful effect on many other viewers.

We humans tend to get busy with our individual lives and get so wrapped up in things, which can sometimes cloud our thinking.  It may not take much to slide toward seeing our glasses half empty instead of half full.  Reminders such as this plaque help us keep focus also on the big picture of enjoying our lives in all of its simpler activities as well as the bigger ones.  That life truly is beautiful…..and meant to be fun and joyful.



Country Road Race!

So….rewind back to Saturday – Sept. 24th – and picture, if you will, a pleasant day, and I’d been busy working at Pickerel Bay, cleaning the one big cottage, plus another side cleaning job. I started later than usual and didn’t realize it would take as long as it did, so when I was done and checked my watch – eek! – I realized I would have to hustle my butt to get back home as quickly as possible……refresh myself in 5 minutes flat (fastest hair wash EVER!! )….change into my black outfit for serving work and JUST make it in time at Temple’s!

Now, imagine my thoughts as I found myself behind a car, going the exact speed limit all along Peneshula Road…….patience, girl……he’ll probably turn left at the Bellamy Road intersection, and then you’re home free. So, I bide my time, trundling behind him……checking my clock…..cringing…..

As we get close to the Peneshula and Bellamy Road intersection, and I’m HOPING the left indicator light comes on……NOPE! The right one comes on! NOOOOO!! Oh well, I say to myself, I will find a way to pass, like I had to before – it CAN be done!

NOW…..though, visualize my surprise-turned-to-glee, when just after both of us turned right onto Bellamy Road, heading for Clayton, and the car in front of me kicks up into high speed! BOOYAH!! Had he read my thoughts? Probably not. He’d just stayed within speed limit, until such time as when he could let ‘er rip. So, he revved it up to 80, and I followed right behind!

Ooooohhh! What a thrilling ride that was! We both knew to slow down in the curves – and most of this being gravel road – and speed up again in the straightaways. It felt like we were both on a race track. I had the wind blowing through my windows…..and away we went. When we came to the 50 zone, we slowed right down again…..and then resumed, when it was safe to do so.

I don’t know what the driver in front of me was thinking, but I was LOVIN’ it!!

Oh yeah….as I had calculated, I DID get home and did all those things AND got to work with a minute to spare! That’s probably the closest I have ever come thus far.

And here a photo of the blue car in front of me…..something about little blue cars and…..speed, eh? Maybe it was a standard, too?



The news intrudes…

I heard about it on Tuesday, when Stephen, Conrad, and I were driving into Kanata….and the subject came up.

I am not part of that crowd that sets their pettiness, nastiness, small-mindedness, gossiping into motion. For one thing, I don’t dock in that harbour of negativity. Secondly, though because I think of these two as people, whom I have admired – and continue to admire – for what I know about them. I have always rejoiced in their happiness as a couple and as a family. I just feel sadness at the news. I had fervently hoped that they’d be in the small minority of celebrities who would be able to keep a marriage going in their BUSY world of show business and philanthropic activities…..and six children. I am happy they lasted as long as they did!

Clearly, I do NOT know what goes on in their lives and in their hearts and minds, and they have to deal with whatever they have to deal with – it’s none of my business. I don’t make it my business. I respect them. The gossip fodder magazines and shows don’t make money off of me.

The only reason I am sharing this news post is to show a write-up of an author on how this news affects the children of Brad and Angelina, and in our world of small-mindedness, I gravitate towards those who write and think differently…..with understanding and compassion.

I am also sharing this news post, because right at the bottom is included a clip showing 12 loving moments captured from their lives.

And as you know me, I am always focused on the positive….projecting the happiness.

And that is how I like to remember them.

Here is the  news link

Looking for Puffins



Cute little faces,

Well-adapted to their homes;

The much-loved puffins!




The Puffin – Iceland’s National Bird

These photos were taken on my very brief introductory visit to Iceland in May of this year.  I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and am keen to go visit there again!

As part of a guided day-trip from Iceland via ferry to the island of Heimaey in the Vestmannaeyjar Archipelago, included was a bus tour around the island with a side stop to where the puffins and several other seabirds have some of their nesting grounds.



I brought two cameras with me, one of which had a small built-in zoom.  For the landscape views I used my regular DSLR.  Then depending on how the visibility would be for finding puffins and capturing some photos of them, I ended up relying on the other smaller camera for that.  As you will see, they were quite a distance away, so the zoom came in handy!


Smack dab in the middle of this photo, you can see a small white dot.  Yes, that’s the puffin.  And I’m standing right up against a fence, which you will see further down.


Here you can see it more distinctly, sitting on what looks like a precarious spot along the edge.

Needless to say, even after this shot, I realized that I would have to try the smaller camera to zoom in better and get more close-up photos, like the first two in this post.

Except that didn’t automatically ensure perfect photos, because, as our tour guide explained to us, we were on the “windiest part of all of Iceland.”

I took as many photos as I could – many of which were blurred – because the wind kept bustling my camera around, so my hands were more shaky than steady. There were even more advanced birders and photographers on this trek, who brought their HUGE cameras with LONG lenses…..tripods, too, I guess. But even so, I’m sure the wind was giving them a challenge as well


This was the path to follow, towards the cliffs… where we might find the birds.


An amazing view!


On the right side is the fence we could use as our guide to hike further down the path, and I suppose, to preserve the distance between us and the puffins.


I went just a little further down from where I’m standing as I took this photo, and I think all those people below just went to that edge and then turned back.


Taken from a little further down and quite near the edge……with the fence nearby to keep us safe.


Only once in a lifetime…but what an experience for Philippe and those who witnessed his amazing adventure!

Last night when I came back home, I joined my son, Stephen, in watching a movie via Netflix. The amazing true story of Philippe Petit as the “Man on Wire.” A well done documentary of his feat of walking on a high wire cabled between the two towers of the World Trade Center….in 1974! Spellbinding, breath-taking, a bit crazy…..haha! Totally compelling and enjoyable to watch and learn how this amazing feat was planned and executed by Philippe and his circle of friends.

I highly recommend this film.



Here is a shorter clip on the subject of Philippe Petit and his high wire adventure with the twin towers. I like how it became his dream and how he pursued it all the way, in spite of whatever bumps and setbacks happened along the way. He pursued it with care, detailed planning, with his incredible high wire skills, and the dedicated assistance of several friends.

To many of us it seems a ridiculous dream, but when I listen to him talk….how he felt about this dream, how he worked at it, how it filled him with joy and happiness… could apply that to any other kind of dream out there. He embraced this life with love and passion…..and I like how he became “friends” with the two towers. I find his dream absolutely fascinating and inspiring.

We all have big dreams inside of us; I wonder sometimes how many of us manage to discover them and then pursue them with such love and passion as Philippe did.

In spite of it seeming impossible and being illegal, in the end it all worked out extremely well.