Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tune Time - The Lion Sleeps Tonight

I don’t think there’s anyone who isn’t at least familiar with this song. You may not like it, but you’ve probably heard it at some point, most likely in one film or another. It’s been covered by many bands, but my favourite version is the one that became a number one hit in the U.S by The Tokens, a doo-wop group.

Saturday Silliness

Tomorrow is Canada day, so this week’s silliness is all about Canuck land...

Canadian Tourism Humour

The most unusual questions tourists have asked at information bureaus across the country.

**From Tourism Toronto, a toll free info and reservations line

"How do I apply for the Canadian Express Card?"

"What's this Boxing Day in Toronto, do you box on that day?"

Caller: "How far is Boston from Toronto?"
Counselor: "About 900 kilometers, or 565 miles."
Caller: "So if I drive using miles, it won't take me as long to get there? Is that what you're saying?"

"Can I take the subway to Vancouver?"

"Good afternoon, I'm entertaining some executives, and would like to know where they can ride llamas."

"What information do you have on Italy?"

**From Check-ln Nova Scotia, the province's toll-free information and reservations number

"Do you have automatic bank machines up there?"

"Are you connected to Greenland?"

"Can you tell me about the ferry from Halifax to Europe?"

"Does Nova Scotia have a dress code?"

** From Alberta's Banff/Lake Louise tourist bureau

"That's such a lovely flag," said a tourist admiring the Canadian flag. 'Does it come in many colors?"

Visitor: "How far is it to Lake Louise?
Staff member: "40 miles"
Visitor: "How long is the trail?"
Staff member: "Five kilometers."
Visitor: "What's that in English?"

"At which elevation do the elk change to moose?"

** From the information kiosk at Niagara Falls, Ontario

"Is the water coming over the falls real?"

"What time do you turn on the rainbow?"

"Are the CN Tower and SkyDome within walking distance?"

"What kind of dye do they put in the water to make it change color like that?" (From a tourist who was admiring the falls at night, when they're lit up with various colored lights)

"I have to be at this address in Vancouver for dinner at 5 o'clock this evening. How much time should I allow myself to drive there?"

"Why do you Canadians have fireworks tonight? The 4th of July is still a few days away."

"Which way do we walk to get to Montreal? We'd like to go there for lunch."

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Special Trip To PetSmart

So I ended yesterday’s post with this image...

...and told you if you stop by tomorrow, I will have an interesting story relating to this place. And oh, you must have been dying of suspense, weren’t ya? Well fret no more; today is the tomorrow I mentioned yesterday (still with me?), so here’s the scoop.

Let’s start at the beginning...

On Tuesday, June 26th, my older daughter celebrated her 20th birthday. YAY!

She doesn’t live with us in Kingston; she lives in Montreal and is a student at McGill University. She came down in the beginning of May right after she finished school and was planning to stay until the end of August, right before school started up again. But since she hasn’t been able to find a job here, she decided to go back earlier, move into her new apartment that she will be sharing with a roommate and work for the rest of the summer, and then part-time when she returns to university.

This will be my daughter's first apartment, which is very exciting for her, and slightly unnerving for me. On one end I’m very proud of her for wanting to make it on her own, and on the other I worry. I'm a mom; it's my job to worry.

Anyway, for her 20th birthday I decided to send her back home with a friend, so the day after her birthday, we went to PetSmart (one of the satellite adoption centres of the Kingston Humane Society) where my daughter walked down one of the store’s aisles... get to this section... pick up this furry girl.

This is Lori, a beautiful 3 ½ year old female cat that my daughter had instantly fallen in love with when we were at this store a few days prior to this day. Lori's been at the humane society since January of this year, which is quite heartbreaking. No domesticated animal should be caged and isolated like this for that long.

So we went to get her and bring her home with us. She’ll stay at my place for a couple of weeks and then she’ll drive to Montreal with my daughter.

Here is my daughter signing the adoption papers. My daughter was a little embarrassed by my photo snapping. She may as well get used to it. I think I’m going to become one of those people that photographs everything.

Lori is wondering what’s going on as we finalize her adoption.

She was very quiet throughout the whole ordeal. She’s such a sweetie.

We were very excited about taking her home. But our cats didn’t share the sentiment. Nacho, quite the alpha cat, is made aware of Lori’s arrival.

She immediately goes over to investigate.

She doesn’t like it. Not one bit.

Mocha, shy, fearful and passive, doesn’t want to know; doesn’t want to get involved. She runs away and goes into hiding.

Lori on the other hand, gets very comfortable, very fast.

Nacho (the black cat) is very aggressive towards her for the next 24 hours, but Lori doesn’t care. She ignores her and doesn’t retaliate.

(By now as I write this post, things are much, much better at home. They’re all tolerating each other.)

My daughter changed Lori’s name to Dany (Daeny), which is short for Daenerys; a strong-willed and intelligent character in the TV series ‘Game of Thrones’. I don’t haven’t the foggiest who Dany is since I don’t watch the show, but from what I’ve been able to gather on the internet, it seems like a good fit.

Dany is a people lover. She is very social, calm, affectionate and sweet-natured. She follows us around like a puppy and enjoys being near someone. She will be a very good companion to my daughter.

Yesterday morning, I woke up to find this sweet little kitty waiting for me outside my bedroom, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, clearly excited to see me. Within less than 24 hours, I was in love with this precious cat. I will miss her terribly when she leaves.

Let’s celebrate this adoption with some chocolate fudge cake. Here, I saved a piece just for you!

It’s also a great comfort food for the upcoming broken heart I’ll have when Dany and my daughter go away.

Sunny Side Up

“In only a century and a quarter since Confederation, Canadians have shaped out of the North American wilderness one of the most privileged societies on the face of the earth. Ranking among the seven most prosperous nations in the world, Canada is rich not only in the abundance of our resources and the magnificence of our land, but also in the diversity and the character of our people. We have long been known as one of the most tolerant, progressive, innovative, caring and peaceful societies in existence.”
- George Radwanski and Julia Luttrell -

My beautiful country’s birthday is just around the corner, so this week’s sunny side up is a funny video about Canada by fellow Canuck, Jim Carrey.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Green Space Behind Our Home

One of the things that attracted me to Kingston the most when we considered moving here is the abundance of green space around the city. There is plenty of parkland and large green spaces dotting the area, making Kingston a very beautiful place. And I needn’t go far to enjoy some of that eye candy because there is such a space right behind our home. Let me show you...

In between some houses on the street where I live, there is a trail.

And that trail connects with another trail...

...that leads to the area behind the houses where you will find this:

This pond may not be very big, but it’s quite lovely. Quite often, you’ll find ducks and geese hanging around. Even a heron occasionally drops by.

You can sit on the bench and take a load off...

...or if you’d like a closer look, you can stand in front of the pond between two lovely trees...

...and enjoy the view.

The pond is on the northern side of this space, but this area extends quite far southward. Let’s take a look at that side.

But before we go, this space, which is west of the pond, has a building sitting on it. Can anyone guess what it might be? (I’ll reveal the answer later in our tour.)

So, as we turn towards the south side, you will notice a large area of open green space. A lot of people bring their dogs here to walk and exercise them.

If you continue walking south, you will notice a pathway between the trees. Where does it lead? Let’s find out.

It takes you to...

...another large, beautiful green space.

This is a nice place to walk and enjoy the tranquility of your surroundings. You are surrounded by greenery and the sights and sounds of birds and other small animals.

Along the way you may run across small surprises like this one:

It took the snapping of a few photos to figure out that the bird inside is a fake!

But you’ll see plenty of real ones. (I have no idea what this bird is. Anyone?)

Now that you’ve seen this green space let’s head back north past the pond...

...along this trail. Can you guess what’s up ahead?

How about now with the car in the image?

If you guessed a mall, you’re right!

Five minutes walking distance from my home is Kingston’s largest shopping mall: Cataraqui Centre.

Did you guess what that building was way back in the tour? Here’s the answer:

There are five library branches located in the city of Kingston, and we are fortunate enough to have one of them within walking distance of our home, right across from the Cataraqui centre, and situated on the green space.

That concludes our tour. So let’s head on back to my home on this path behind the library.

You are all welcome to come in for coffee or tea, and some cookies.

And if you stop by tomorrow, I will have an interesting story relating to this place: