Thursday, 19 September 2013

Fell in Love with The Feversham Fall Fair

The weather last Saturday was amazing, it was a gorgeous summer day reminiscent of the equally beautiful day my husband and I were married on the dock at Lake Eugenia 11 years prior.  We were spending our morning sitting at the dock having brunch with our friends and family, finding it hard to make plans to do anything else that day.  I have never been to the Feversham Fall Fair and because I was in no rush to leave the serenity of the dock, I was wondering if I even wanted to go.  Finally later in the afternoon I was motivated enough to head to the 146th Feversham Fall Fair to check it out for the first time, along with my small entourage.

Our arrival at the fair was with a greeting display of vintage cars and tractors which my son and nephew were just captivated by.  The kids like seeing the engines of the tractors and it made me imagine how vital the tractor would have been to the success of the family farm.  Today they have been lovingly restored to a show room shine and I was amazed at how many old tractors there were.  I really would have liked to have seen the tractor pull but that is definitely something I will be sure not to miss next year.

We stopped to watch the light horse show, where these girls had to ride their horses up to a barrel with a pole in it, grab the pole, ride around another barrel and then put the pole back in the barrel.  Sounds simple but some of the horses were spooked by it and this was a timed trail.  These young ladies showed off some real horsemanship skills, I was super impressed.  While watching the pole competition, I met one of the Fair’s beautiful ambassadors who let me take her photo, crown and all.  How great it must be to have a crown that you can wear whenever you want, even when you’re just watching tv, the lucky girl.

The display of all the best of everyone’s talents in the arena was impressive.  The flowers, art work, canning, baking, vegetables, knitting, quilts, just to name of the displays was so nice to see.  Can you imagine the bragging rights you would have for winning first place in the apple pie division?  The downside might be that anytime people came over they would most likely expect you to bake them your first place pie recipe.  I still think it would be so worth it when you served dessert to be able to say “here comes thebest apple pie in Feversham, I have the ribbon to prove it!”

I loved seeing the cows, they were beautiful.  If ever you wanted to pet a cow the fair is the time do it.  They were all washed up like they were dressed in their Sunday best on their way to Grandma’s house for dinner.  You still had to mind your step but they were so beautiful, I had to pet them all. 

I really was impressed with how much this fair had going on, so much for everyone to see and do.  I saw lots of kids with painted faces and great balloon sculptures.  The kids in my entourage had to get some ice cream, it was the perfect weather for it.  The hay pile was a hit with all the kids, even our littlest entourage member William.  That night they were having a Fall Fair dance which is another thing I want to plan to attend for next year.    

As we started to make our way out of the fair I really took away the sense of community which was the underlying theme in this friendly competition.   Even though everyone came out to compete against their friends and neighbours, it seemed more just a reason this community to get together and celebrate all the things that made them who they were.  I loved seeing the men gather around someone's tractor.  I loved hearing the ladies talking about their entries in the quilt competition and complement each other on their entries.  I really loved it and will try to recapture it at the Rocklyn Fall Fair this coming September 28.  Hope you can make it out to the Fair as well.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Shopping in Markdale...the ice cream is not the only great thing in Markdale!

Sometimes a girl just has to shop…..can I get an ahem ladies!  The shopping bug hit me the other afternoon so off I headed into Markdale for some shopping fun.  While Markdale is probably most famous as being the hometown of Chapman’s Ice Cream, there is a thriving community that is host to many great area events and some unique shops.

I started my afternoon outing at Peek thru my Window which has always been one of my favourite shops.  This gift shop has been the place where I indulge in special décor pieces which make my home all about me and I have a number of those pieces.  On this visit to Peek thru my Window I fell in love with a metal wood pecker sculpture that I can't wait to put in my garden.  I also keep admiring the beautiful quilts they have in the store, which will most likely be my next shopping indulgence.  Peek thru my Window is full of those things that are artful, decorative and things you just must have!  
My next stop was Country Critters at 1 Main Street West.  This adorable shop has been at the corner stone of my Markdale shopping outings for many years, offering the most gorgeous handmade children’s clothing you can find anywhere.  I always come to Country Critters for that special kids birthday or Christmas gift.  They will even custom make a piece for you, just choose from their selection of fabrics in the store.  Get your kids the perfect jacket, hoodie or pajamas, specially made just for them.  On this shopping trip I ordered a pair of kids pj pants for my niece out of the most gorgeous owl patterned fabric…..I can hardly wait until they are done!  Whenever my kids wear their jackets from Country Critters I am always asked "Where did you get those jackets from?" Janie and the ladies of Country Critters are the best and always do such a great job.  You have to get your little one something from there!

Dreaming of owl pj pants and wishing I had ordered some in my size, I trotted across the street to Then & Now Consignment and Home Décor.  This shop is fairly new  to the Markdale scene and has just blossomed, having recently expanding into the space next door.  The best part about this shop is that its offerings are always unique, interesting and forever changing as new treasures comes in all the time.  I can always spend lots of time looking through this shop and once made the mistake of passing on an item only to find someone else grabbed it by the next day.  There are so many terrific refurbished antiques and original pieces for you to browse through.  This shop has everything from furniture, glass wear, china, art and even a pram and pig collection. 

Next stop for me was the Bargain Centre, where you can find a bit of everything from home décor, stationary supplies, pet food supplies and so much more.   That day I was in need of birthday card and I grabbed my copy of the local paper.  
Next door I popped into and found my coffee dreamland.  If you own a Keurig coffee machine this is the place for you!  The selection is huge and I loved being able to mix and match my selection so I could try all the different varieties of coffee and tea that they have.  My new favourite is the Indian Spice Tea, the hint of cinnamon is very soothing at the end of the day. 

After my coffee shopping I found the strength to carry on to Mrs Kringle’s General Store to find some great buys on bedding and whatever other buried treasure I would find there.  Mrs Kringle’s General Store is full of bedding bargains including brand names such as Ralph Lauren and Brian Gluckstein.  That day I fell in love with a new chair for my desk and a footstool.

While there was still more places I could have shopped like PJ Knickerbockers for great kids clothing and toys or The Quilter’s Line to maybe sign up for a class.  I could have popped in at Susan’s Deli and Café for some european products or Nuture Pet Solutions for some raw diet dog food for my sister who can’t get it in the city very easily but my boys were waiting for me at Sidekick’s Cafe.   

After all my shopping I was not going to make everyone lunch so we all had our favourites at Sidekick’s Cafe.  Coffee came to the table within minutes, gotta love that.  We all had our favourites, all day breakfast!  My son ordered the best looking french toast and it tasted even better than it looked.  And if my eggs, bacon and homefries were not enough I was so happy to read on the big blackboard that they are now serving Williamsford Pies!  I know that Sidekick’s Cafe is where I am going for coffee and pie next time the mood strikes.

That brings me to the end of my shopping trip in Markdale…for that day anyway.  I will be back for sure so this will not be my last you will hear about all the great stuff I buy in Markdale.  When are you planning your shopping trip to Markdale?

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Adventure in the Flesherton Foothills

Play in Greya blog about my favourite things in Grey Highlands

I spent my childhood days at our family cottage on Lake Eugenia.  My sisters and I enjoyed each day with one adventure after another.   Trails - did we know trails?!  We explored every trail we could find - some of which, as children, we probably should have avoided.   But, those were the best adventures of all - the ones we still tell stories about.   Our outings were filled with discoveries, make believe, made up stories that only we, as sisters, had experienced together.  I now have two boys of my own and have been eager to share with them the adventures of my past. 

I was recently introduced to Barbara MacKay’s new guide for hitting the trails  - STEAL THIS TRAIL.  The book is no ordinary field guide.  Barbara cleverly guides you through the trails with stories that cause you to not only appreciate the nature that envelopes you but also envision days gone by with her historical notes and trivia.  Anyone can give you a map to follow; this book gives you an adventure to follow. 
For me, the book fed two of my passions - exploring  the trails and storytelling.


So, with a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of exploration, my boys and I set off for the Flesherton foothills with my sister and her family.  Somehow, the old apple orchard and wild flowers that dotted the fields took on new meaning for me as I remembered what I had read in STEAL THIS TRAIL.  I became the family trail guide. To my own surprise I could recollect much of what Barbara had put into her writings and apply it to our own hiking trip; a family outing that transformed itself into an exciting expedition of discovery. 
In my own mind, I couldn’t help but imagine this setting in glorious autumn colours and sans the bugs... Who was supposed to bring the bug spray?? 
We walked past a large pond and through some cedars.  Wait a minute - ponds and cedars?!! …You gotta be serious about bug spray!  We followed the sound of bull frogs as we made our way to another pond where we discovered the work of some industrious beavers – a real, live beaver dam.  As we walked through the forest loop, the sound of busy woodpeckers in the background , we caught a perfect view of the lily pads with their beautiful yellow blooms. 
Here is by best close up photo .  My sister and my son, I’m afraid, did not fare quite as well in their attempt to get a closer look – always good to carry an extra pair of socks.  Sometimes the best stories come from venturing a little bit off the beaten path.

On our way back we checked out a picnic area.  This cedar fence made for a great resting spot and a great photo.   I plan to explore these trails again in the winter perhaps with a set of snowshoes which have been beckoning me for some time now.  

A little bit tired and in need of nourishment, we decided to finish our adventure with a treat at The Bakery, a quaint eatery in town.  It was late in the afternoon so many of our favourites were sold out but we still enjoyed some of their famous  ginger cookies….I had almost forgotten how scrumptious!!.  If they hadn’t been devoured by the early birds, I would have chowed down on a sticky knot or samosa….Oh well, next time.   While the kids bantered on about the day’s discoveries, I noted a “30% off all merchandise” sale.  My day was complete.