Thursday, October 6, 2016

Pen and Paper ... PenPals of Yore!

Once upon a time, in a time far away ... no, no, no ... not that far of course, but at least 10 or more years ago. Which is long enough in today's technology. Some younger folks will think that's ancient times, but it's still pretty fresh in my mind.

A note card with stamped envelope, pen and a pair of glasses.
I was thinking this morning how I miss communicating with "real" written letters. Oh ... very true that instant communication through email or messengers is, well, "instant", and convenient in most cases, but it really isn't the same. Most likely a lot of the folks under 30 won't understand this yearning for the "letters on paper".

I used to have a dozen penpals all over the world. I guess that started in my late 20s. Looking for others to learn about their countries and lifestyles first hand from someone who lived there. Today of course, this is possible through many websites and blogs, but there is something unique about getting a real letter in the mail. It was almost like having a friend arrive at your door for a good chin-wag and a coffee.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Slice, Slice, Slice!

After spending several weeks looking for a decent kitchen slicer and at a decent price that would slice things "paper thin" ... I finally found one. Well, I found a few, but not many were available locally in stores, and those that were cost a whole lot more than I was willing to pay in order to "try" a recipe out. One site online had some that cost over $200 (some over $300) ... yeah, to slice taters.

Initially, I was looking for an old slicer that my mom had given me after I got married. She used it for Old plastic slicer from the 50/60s. years in her kitchen, until my dad got her a big old fully-chromed electric meat slicer. She used that meat slicer for just about everything ... veggies, fruit, bread ... and meat of course, but anything she wanted to slice thin, she used the electric one. The Dial-o-Matic ended up in my kitchen until I got a food processor. The food processor (big, expensive, and a pain in the rear to clean all the time) got it's fair share of use before I finally got rid of it. As my family grew, I stopped "canning" things, and had no need of the bulk or cleaning chores (back then, the food processor parts couldn't go in the dishwasher). But by then, I had already gotten rid of the the Dial-o-Matic as well.

Today, when cooking for two, a knife usually handles most slicing in the kitchen, but I needed to slice some potatoes super thin and as even as I could, and the one thing I'm not great at is slicing things evenly (doesn't matter if it's bread, meat, or veggies they're always thick at one end, and thin at the other).

Monday, September 19, 2016

Furnace Falls, Kinmount & Head Lake

Sign at the edge of the historic park in Kinmount, Ontario, which is also a snowmobile trail.
Sign at park in Kinmount
Last year (2015), as in other years, we spent a day over by Kinmount, leaving Orillia along route 45 (aka "Monck Road") and stopping over in Kinmount, where one of our favourite parks is. Kinmount is a small and sleepy community once the summer is over and the cottagers have gone back to their city lives, but during the summer months it's bustling with cottagers, hikers, and sightseers.

It's a quaint little area, but I would warn you in advance that your best bet is to pack a picnic lunch because the very best place we've found to lunch is either the historic park at the dam and mill in Kinmount, or over at Furnace Falls, which can be busy in summer.

Old wheels and parts from a mill make unique garden art.
Millwheel 2016
Rusted millwheels used as outdoor art at Kinmount.We've been to Kinmount several times, specifically to visit this historic park, but we often go just after Labour Day, and during the week. It's usually fairly quiet and peaceful, with only the odd local showing up while we're there.

We've never been to the park when it was crowded with visitors, but I suspect if we visit during the height of the holiday season, we'd be hard pressed to find a parking spot (the parking area isn't very big, all things considered).

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