Dec 27, 2015

Happy and Merry and Bright

Happy Holidays everyone, however you choose to celebrate the darkest time of the year!  

We received an early gift on December 19th, this great article by travel writer George Bailey that appeared in the Niagara Falls Review.  George and his wife Ellen had enjoyed our Bed and Breakfast once before (October 2014) and George was very kind to include us in his write-up!  Wow!  The Flying Leap is in print! 

Happy New Year!  Here's to a prosperous 2016!

Dec 16, 2015

Graveyard weather

The weather has been wet and foggy for days, and we've been inside busy baking and finally hanging pictures in our living space... I needed a break, so I said to Mom yesterday afternoon, " Let's do something fun."  She said, "Okay, like what?"  I replied, " Let's go the the cemetery and find Dr. Robertson's grave."  Okay, not your idea of fun?  So we hopped into the car without Willow as the weather was pretty wet and drove to the Elora Cemetery.  

Our house was built for Dr. William Robertson in 1891, and he lived 1865 - 1941.  I had the plot designation, D7-9 and figured it would be relatively easy to find... not so!  The Elora Cemetery does not have any section breakdowns, so you're expected to know where the office is and go there first to locate the grave you want!  Gesh!  We were extremely lucky to be there at the same time as the ground's keeper, who was very helpful and patient.  He phoned the office and someone there looked up Dr. Robertson in the computer:  no hits.  So they looked in the old records:  success!  The plot she gave us was G46, close to the chapel.  The three of us hunted for the grave and after a while Mom spotted it, close to a pathway.  Yeah!  

I've read that at the time of his death, Dr. Robertson did not get a gravestone, his plot was unmarked.  Only afterwards did the citizens of Elora raise enough money to have this monument created.  The questions are:  where is Dr. Robertson's body, is it here?  What happened to the money that he had nothing for a gravestone?  And what of Florence, who died in 1930?  Where is she buried?

What a nice spot, and it stopped raining long enough for us to walk around a little.  

A close neighbour is this lovely stone with the elegant draping.

And we both appreciated this umbrella tree.  We figured the stone never gets wet under this dense greenery!

Dec 3, 2015

Mice are nice, Krampus is coming and a little Baileys for everyone

  If you've read this blog for a while, you know that I am not a very Christmases sort and MUCH prefer the glorious thrills of Hallowe'en.  In fact, I rarely purchase anything new for Christmas decorating (to save space and money for skulls and severed fingers, of course!) but this year there was a notable exception:  mice!!  I spotted these ADORABLE mice during Elora's Starlight shopping event at pod (75 Metcalfe Street) which always has unusual things on offer.  
  Mice enjoy a little Christmas cheer so they appreciate this mouse-sized Baileys... and behind them?  Why, that's a framed postage stamp featuring Krampus. (Thank you again Rose!)  Krampusnacht is December 5th so you'd better watch out if you've been naughty!  

On our door we have some switches for Krampus... they're supposed to be birch but I think he'll be okay with our willow.  Apparently, one Krampus custom is to display the switches all year, to remind children that Krampus will return!  Love it!  

Nov 22, 2015

A snowy Sunday morning

Breakfast this morning:  we served blueberry pancakes.
Yes, the guests said they were d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s, served with fried bananas and toasted almonds and pecans... maple syrup of course.

Just the thing for the first snowy morning of this coming Winter.  This is an early dumping, so hopefully it will all melt away in a few days but it sure is pretty.

Nov 8, 2015

Before the frost

We had to get some aluminum sulfate to try and neutralize the pH level so grass will grow in our yard and Little Tree Garden Market had plants still for sale at 60% off!  Whoa!  We indulged!

Since moving in, we both disliked the hydrangea plants on either side of our front door.  These plants have huge, showy flower heads too heavy for their stems which fold or break from the weight.  A very pretentious, impractical creation, in my mind a ridiculous twist of Mother Nature's glory.  We wanted them gone.

And so we started digging...

And digging... There were huge roots, but they gave in to my ratty determination and mom's axe!  In the end...
this is (part of) what came out of the hole and what went in.  The right side was messier.

Now we wait for Spring and hope that our new babies will survive the wintery weather okay.  A bag of mulch should help cover their roots and tuck them in for a good sleep.

Looks a little naked, but then so does the rest of the property:  we had the hedge that hid the house along the sidewalk cut down to about chest high, and the magnolia cleaned up.  Thank you to Jake Neely at Companion Gardening for lots of helpful information and guidance and a fantastic job of tidying up our whole yard, helping to make our Flying Leap look a bit more loved on the outside.   

Fall treats from the oven

If you're lucky, when you're here at the Flying Leap you might find these coming out for dessert after breakfast!  Yummy!  Toasting the oatmeal makes a big difference!  

(I made these as a Hallowe'en treat... I guess you could call them ghost poop on baked, crushed bones.  Okay, maybe not.)

Nov 3, 2015

Post Halloween Blues

I can't believe it's already November and Hallowe'en is already boxed up and put away... it was a great month, though, and we did Hallowe'en in style!  

Our Hallowe'en definitely has a cute creepy look to it... here's our door wreath, used for years now.  I made the spider from a little kit, cutest little spider around!

Now, having an 1891 house certainly makes it easier to make a respectable display!  Our house back in Stratford never looked this spook-tacular!  

Inside I was all set to greet the trick or treaters in comfort:  our sunroom is just the best for treat giving, zipping a glass of wine, munching yummies and NOT freezing or annoying the poor pup with the constant doorbell ringing.

As night fell... pretty darn perfect!  In the end we had 59 trick or treaters, with the rain falling on and off but getting heavy around 7:30 which certainly curtailed the routes of the ghouls and goblins out and about.  The costumes were amazing, the kids were all polite and enthusiastic!  Just an awesome evening! 

Here's a wee video of our "home haunt": 

The next day we celebrated the Day of the Dead, our Jack o'Lanterns scaring off unwanted visitors so our invited spirits could enjoy their favorite treats.  A lot more solemn than the night before, we lit the candles and left the spirits alone to savour the goodies.

Still, it's a joyful event... this morning I read the following passage from the book In the Slender Margin:  the Intimate Strangeness of Death and Dying by Eve Joseph and it got me to thinking... 
...the silence, the fear of not experiencing a sign, the finality of death is exactly why the Day of the Dead is so appealing.  Break the silence, create the sign, welcome back the dead and appreciate life!  
And now we wait... 363 days to go 'til next Hallowe'en!  

Oct 27, 2015

3 days to Hallowe'en!

The most wonderful time of the year!  Hallowe'en is almost here and we're super excited!  Hopefully the weather will be fair so we can set out our cemetery on the front lawn for the first time ever at this house!    

Inside we're properly spooky, to the delight of our guests.  (Okay, maybe the corpse bride standing in the entryway made a few of them jump!)
Here's my wee Halloween tree! 

And in the kitchen:  has anyone tried these new silicone chocolate molds?  WOW!  They work super easy, I'm really impressed!  Look at those screamers!  (They're screaming because they're not long for this earth... dark chocolate with raspberry swirled in guarantees a pretty short life-span!)

Last Saturday, October 24th, the monsters paraded in the 8th Annual Monster March down Metcalfe Street.  The rain held off just long enough for the parade, which was pretty spectacular with about 100 participants and full sidewalks of spectators.  Sadly my camera doesn't take night-time photos very well, but here are a few of Tim Murton's Twilight Zoo critters!  They are roaming about all over Elora and are just amazing!  
Here is the giant Demon King, at least 1 story tall!

You can see much more detail in this daytime photo... what a scary fellow!  

The dancing demons!  Each demon is at least 8 feet tall, very impressive!  Love the motion captured in these critters.

This monstrous lizard is on the side of the Elora Legion, look at those teeth and claws! 

Oct 21, 2015

October awesome!

Wow, I love this time of year!  It's so vibrant and stunning, your eyes are just dazzled by all the color and intensity... the smells are so sharp and alive too!  

This is on one of our morning walks.

This is the tree in our neighbour's yard, isn't it beautiful!?

These four images are from Bissell Park.

Oct 14, 2015

Tally Ho 2015

Our Horse and Hound Parade took place on October 4th on an overcast Sunday, but that only made it better for taking photos.  Here's a good little write-up in our local paper, the Elora/Fergus News Express.

The parade started at the old, empty Elora Mill where the people could interact with the horses, riders and all the magnificent hounds.

And they made a grand spectacle coming down Geddes Street.  Don't they look striking?  And our house is almost in this photo:  do you see at the top of the hill a white sign and a grey car with a bit of a tilt?  Our house is right there, beside the grey car.  

Of course, you can't have an event like this without the essential poop patrol (the good boys of our local Home Hardware).  Folks just aren't used to the horse poop any more, when of course back in the day horses were the mode of transportation.

For me, it's all about the hounds, how well behaved they are and how they move as a pack.  They say the horses and hounds still run after coyotes.