Sunday, September 11, 2016

wooden churches

Here is a joint issue Ukraine and Poland featuring Wooden Churches (Tserkvas) of the Carpathian Region. There are sixteen of these churches, with eight on each side of the border. In 2013 these were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
These Tserkvas  are Eastern Orthodox and Greek Catholic and were built of horizontal logs with octagonal domes between the 16th and 19th centuries. The two depicted on this stamp are 
the Greek Catholic Parish Church of St. Paraskevi in ​​Kwiatoń Poland built around 1700 with the tower added around 1743 (left)
St George's Church of Drohobych, Ukraine (right). It is the oldest and best preserved church of the region, built around 1500. It was last renovated between 1678 and 1711.

find your way to other worshipful places at Sunday Stamps II
sharing with InSPIREd Sunday

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

watch out for pedestrians

here are a few road signs I found on my recent drive through Quebec 

the stop signs all give you precise diagrams of where to stop, and who else at the intersection is expected to stop
the area I was in was mostly rural and I saw no buses - but there seems to be some sort of car-pooling
these ones in the middle of the road always took me by surprise!
not entirely sure why they are in that location instead of at the side of the road 
(chausée partagée means shared road 
underneath, it says to watch out for pedestrians)
and this one on the left I found quite endearing - watch for our children, 
drive with love
but the one on the right was rather off-putting - watch for our children, 
it could be yours

something to ponder for signs, signs

Monday, September 5, 2016


If you are a carnivore, 
then my city was the place to be this weekend.

For Burlington is home to 
Canada's Largest Ribfest
held at Spencer Smith Park for over 20 years on the Labour Day Weekend. Consider it our way to tastily mark the unofficial end of summer on this holiday weekend.

It can get pretty hot working over the grill
    and smoky
Past trophies are on display and there were 19 ribbers this year. Prizes go out for best ribs, best sauce and best "pig rig".There are long lines for the hungry - I don't particularly like ribs, but I was happy to sample the sauces. My vote for favourite would be the one with apple butter and a taste of Jack Daniels.
and there are other foods, like funnel cakes, beaver tails, and poutine
 a short walk on the pier and you can get an overall view, but you can't really escape the smoky smell coming off the bbqs. I live five blocks from the park and some years when the wind is blowing in the right direction I am almost tempted to join the queues...

but for this year, it was just a walk around to share the fun with Jo's Monday Walks

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Star Trek

This month, Star Trek will be officially 50 years old. Earlier this year Canada Post put out a special commemorative set of stamps featuring five of the stars of the original series: Captain Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, and Klingon Commander Kor. Three of these men are Canadian born - William Shatner (Kirk), James Doohan (Scotty), and John Colicos (Kor). The other two are Leonard Nimoy (Spock) and DeForest Kelley (McCoy). Why there are only five stamps and not, say, seven to include Sulu and Uhura is a mystery.  And a huge oversight, in my (and many others) opinion.

Scotty, "Bones" McCoy and Spock are shown in their respective positions: in the engine room, in sickbay, and on the bridge while 
Kirk and Kor are shown with their respective spacecraft, The USS Enterprise and the Klingon battle cruiser

each of which also got their own stamp in this domestic coil (though I used mine all up, so am showing the souvenir sheet here)
At the very least, every morning, afternoon, evening or late night, you should be able to find an episode of one of the Star Trek shows.
Which does not disappoint this trekkie.
And, in case you are not a trekkie and are wondering, William Shatner (age 85) is the only one of these five still alive. Although, the unrepresented Starfleet Command officers Nichelle Nichols, who played Lieutenant Uhura and George Takei, who was Sulu, are both also still very much alive.

boldly go to Sunday Stamps to find more commemorative stamps 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

grave post - Dionne and Fraser

On the south shore of the St Lawrence River, about 400 km northeast of Montreal is the small town of Kamouraska where you can find this small memorial park. 
Since 1994,  300 years after the first settlers arrived, it has been recognized as a heritage site.
Berceau translates as cradle in English and there is a rest area, a cemetery, and a memorial chapel

I was pleasantly surprised to find this slightly askew explanatory plaque in English
There is a monument dedicated to the early settlers with the names of 220 families. This seems extraordinary as there are less than 600 people living there now. I don't quite know how this works, but from the individual family gravestones many seem to have a 'family association' who have researched their genealogy and erected markers in homage to their ancestors.
Canada is a very young country and it almost felt like an honour to see a marker erected for a family who arrived here in 1698

My family is quite small. I never knew my grandparents and the rest of my mother's family (which consisted of one sister and three cousins) are scattered around Scotland and England. The Dionnes of Kamouraska had numerous descendants of the first three generations who lived here. I cannot imagine what that must be like. 
Grand-père Antoine and Grand-mère Catherine were married at ages 19 and 16, likely in France in 1660. They would have 12 children of which Jean would be their third born. Jean and his wife Marie-Charlotte would have eight children, with Jean-Baptiste being the second born. Jean-Baptiste and his wife, Marie-Madeleine would have nine children. Of all those 29 children, seven would die in infancy. There were too many cousins to continue counting.
It seems to have been a common part of life at the time to have a series of haphazardly spelled names, (as I discovered when researching another grave post from this cemetery for Kerouac) and here, John Fraser, born in Inverness, Scotland, also went by the names Jean Le Gros and Jean-Baptiste Grosjean and even Jean Phraser and Jean Fraiser. However he or his descendants (or the clerks who wrote it down) chose to spell it, John arrived here as a member of the 78th Fraser Highlanders during the Seven Years War. When they were disbanded in 1763 many of the soldiers chose to stay in Quebec. Jean/John would marry Marie-Josephe – aka Marie-Josette – Dumont on February 10th, 1777 when he was 47 years of age and Josette was 24 years of age. Things are a little murky on the genealogy site, but it seems there were two children born in 1777 – an Anastasie and a Jean-Baptiste (twins?). But, there's also listed a Pierre Fraser born 1772 (when Josette would have been 16) and a Jean-Michel Dumont whose father may or may not have been our John/Jean Fraser born 1771. Another daughter, Marie-Theotiste would be born in October of 1780, a mere two months before John/Jean died.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Heritage Village

I had never heard of Backus Heritage Village until a friend suggested we drive down to partake of the Bluegrass Festival that was being held there this past weekend. 150 musicians from Ontario, and places such as Michigan, New York, West Virginia and Wisconsin would be performing at various locations. No stages, just informal gatherings for an old-fashioned jamboree. 
Sounded like great fun.
Not sure what it was like on the Saturday, but when we arrived before noon on Sunday it was strangely quiet. Very few cars and certainly no music. It was advertised as a two-day event, but nobody was playing anything on Day Two. There were several trailers around and people were sitting and resting, or packing up.

Disappointed, we decided to make the most of the visit and wandered around. 
Backus Heritage Village is part of Long Point Conservation on Lake Erie and is now a National Historic Site.
 The 1852 homestead of John Backus is one of about 15 buildings that comprise the village. 

Inside you can find interesting things like this indoor teeter-totter with a photo of the family enjoying the fun - though the seats in the photo seem to be longer than the one exhibited which would allow for better and safer teetering, I think.

Scattered around are carriage houses, barns, a bake oven, an ice house, a blacksmiths and, of course, log houses

you can guess by the size of the chimney that this is a kitchen 

but just look at the details - the varied stone, the rough hewn logs
and the wood eaves and downspout!

The Cherry Valley octagonal schoolhouse was perhaps the most unusual building. Built in 1866, each side measures 36 feet and the outside walls were constructed of three layers of brick. It is only one of two octagonal schools in Ontario and was in use until 1929. It was relocated to this spot in 1982.

The pièce de résistance, though, was the Mill.

When John Backhouse (no idea when his name changed spelling to Backus) arrived in 1796, he acquired 600 acres at this site on the condition that he build a grist mill as one was sorely needed in the area. First order of business was a saw mill and used the lumber to build this grist mill. It is one of the oldest and best preserved water-powered mills. The entirely wooden structure has survived through two centuries of continued use - even making it unscathed through the War of 1812, probably due to Major Backhouse's influence. It was in use until 1955, and is now used for demonstrations.

By now my camera battery was prematurely dying, so mostly I just gaped open jawed at the interior as the excellent interpreter explained the inner workings. It was a jungle of wood spouts and chutes. As newer innovative methods were introduced, they were simply added to the older spouts. None of this tearing down and replacing that is done with abandon today.

a little walk for Jo's Monday Walks
and some treasures for Tom's Tuesday Treasures

Monday, August 22, 2016


While wandering around Wiarton one quiet evening, I noticed some interesting creatures lurking. Wiarton is home to the albino prognosticating groundhog which I previously wrote about here. He is everywhere in town, but now he has some friends (at least I hope they are friends, or it could get nasty with wood chips flying...)
footprints along the sidewalk
and then a few more creatures...
there were no doubt a few more to find, but it was very warm out and I had an ice cream in one hand and a camera in the other...
then down the road aways, just south of town, was the source
Edwards Outpost has tree sculptures, carvings, a gallery, antiques, wool, and a chip shop if you get peckish run by Bobbi Switzer and Edward Knopf. But none of that was open at the time.

These tree sculptures were made by Bobbi Switzer. When a tree needs to be cut down due to rot, or other damage, often the stump is perfect for a transformation. She has done several carvings in the area over the last ten years or so, (another example is here) and now even her daughter has taken up the chainsaw.

a little something different for Jo's Monday Walks
and some signs for Lesley's signs, signs