Friday, July 27, 2007

The Big Canoe, Beaver Tails, and the Little Tub

Our day trip in Tobermory:

I took my students and my nieces on a trip to Tobermory for the day. Instead of taking my vehicle on the boat, we walked on. While waiting to board the ferry, I started chatting with this lovely lady who was also walking on. She had several pieces of luggage, so I asked the boys if they could help her out. They were more than willing to help (they are such sweet kids) and our new friend was so pleased. We helped her bring her bags to the dining area of the boat and to our surprise, she bought all of us drinks. My niece, Toad, was surprised that I started talking with the lady in the first place and even more surprised that she bought everyone a refreshing drink since the day was already a very hot one at 9AM! This was the kids' first lesson of the day: Random Acts of Kindness.

Below photo: Dancers performing traditional dancing styles and techniques. It was really interesting and fun for everyone to see!

Tobermory is a quaint little water-side town that is brimming with excitement and lots to see and do for all that visit. Overlooking the Little Tub Harbour, you can find many one of a kind shops and places to dine. Tobermory is a beautiful, breathtaking place and I highly recommend that you visit sometime. You can go hiking, scuba diving, or even take a tour on one of the glass-bottom boats and see FlowerPot Island and the shipwrecks.

Something I miss from living in Quebec for most of my life is...BeaverTails! In Quebec, they are known as les queues de castor. I haven't had one in years, but I wanted to show the students what they were. They are essentially, fried dough, sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon (but there are many variations and toppings now). My students were shocked because they thought they were actual beaver tails!

We took a cruise on the Blue Heron so we could see the shipwrecks.

View of the lighthouse as we sail out of the Little Tub Harbour.Looking down through the glass-bottom boat, you can see bits of the stern of an old schooner. The kids thought it was really cool. It reminded me of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Imagine waking up every morning to see the remnants of a majestic sunken ship (okay, perhaps it's not so majestic, but it's still cool!) from your bedroom window?

I thought it was really neat, and I know the kids did too.

I just had to take photos of some of the gorgeous houses by the water. I used to dream of having a house overlooking the water. I wonder who lives in these houses!

We saw the MS ChiCheemaun while on our tour on the Blue Heron. The ChiCheemaun is the ferry that transports people to and from the Island from Tobermory. ChiCheemaun in Ojibwe, means "big canoe".

Flowerpot Island.

I coudln't get over how stunning the colour of the water was! It was the prettiest shade of turquoise/aqua ever! Who would have ever thought we would have such beautiful lakes in Ontario! There were also some really fascinating rock formations and caves. The reddish moss on the rocks are fungi. My little niece, Pook thought that was really neat.

My absolute favourite shop in Tobermory has got to be Marco Polo. They have the most interesting and one of a kind items in there.*ahem* Just thought this blue hammock was really neat. It looks so comfy and I just love it. Hubby...are you reading this? ;)
I just had to take a photo of this for my friend, Steve. Steve! Look! The Sweet Shop in Tobermory sells your company's candy!! Sooooooooooo cool! Those of you who haven't tried the JonesSoda candy yet, you should try some! They're deeeelish!

If you are someone who loves sweets, you have to stop by Sweet Shop. I just don't like going in there with all the nuts and nut products. With Toad and Pook's nut allergies, I get very nervous around places like that.

The kids wanted ice cream because it was so hot out, but we searched high and low for ice cream they could eat. I was surprised that none of the ice cream shops sold Chapman's Ice Cream. Not only is Chapman's ice cream nut free, but it's also gluten free! It's perfect for Toad and Pook. A few of the ice cream places on the Island sell Chapman's. In our home, we eat Chapman's when the nieces are over and other than that, we are Farquhar's Ice Cream supporters.

Since we couldn't find an ice cream parlour that sold Chapman's, we did the next best thing. I went into Foodland and bought a carton of Chapman's ice cream and also purchased an ice cream scooper, plastic cups and plastic spoons. It was a little bit of improvising on my part, but everyone got to eat ice cream! :)

A pirate came up to me and invited us to dine at his restaurant. Okay, it was a guy dressed up as a pirate and he worked for Shipwreck Lee's Restaurant. Because I have become a frugal lady, what sold me was the fact that kids under 10 eat FREE. Pook, Student2 and Student3 are all under 10 and that meant that I'd only have to pay for Student1, and myself. That was a sweet deal, if you ask me!
It was all you can eat fish and chips, but no one went for it. I think Students 1 and 2 had fish and chips, but couldn't eat another piece!
The food was standard fare. Chicken and ribs, fish and chips, hamburgers, etc. Here's a photo of an order of chicken fingers, just because we thought it was a tad entertaining that the students thought that it was actual "chicken fingers". A little bit of explaining was called for, and everyone had a good chuckle.

Alas, the time has come to say goodnight and bid Tobermory farewell until our next visit. It was a long day. We began our trip at 9AM and returned to the Island at 9:45PM. It was a great outdoor lesson. I have a sneaky suspicion that the kids enjoyed their Tobermory trip better than they enjoy studying "count/non-count nouns", "subject/verb agreement" and all those other fun grammar points!
ChiCheemaun Ferry rates (walk-on passengers)
Children (5-11 yrs) $7.05 one way, $12.30 same day return
Adults $14.20 one way, $24.50 same day return
Thursday, July 26, 2007

Meme me in the morning and in the afternoon....

The lovely Louann, from 3BoysandaLady tagged me for this really great meme. I haven't done any memes for a while now, and apparently everyone seems to think it's time for me to do more of them! The wonderful and most endearing 'UncivilOne' tagged me for a meme too. The students are back from baseball, have all taken their showers and brushed their teeth. They've all done their homework and are watching The Chronicles of Narnia. This means...I get to blog now! Yay!

Now for Louann's meme:

The Great Eight

The rules:

1. Let others know who tagged you.
2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.

3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and write their 8 random facts.

4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them that they have been tagged.

Here we go!

1. I am in my early (very early!) 30s, but look really young for my age. When I went dancing with some girlfriends in Toronto, I got carded!

2. I'm a cry baby. I cry when I watch TV commercials, Disney movies, and when I hear a beautiful song.

3. I'm impatient and hate it when people are late. I used to just go with the flow and was more free spirited when I was younger. Now that I'm older, I like order and being on time. I'm not totally anal about things, but I'm not lax either. Though I'm impatient, surprisingly I am not impatient with my students. It's weird! I have all the patience in the world for my students, but not for much else! ;)

4. I talk to my dog. When I brush his coat or feed him, I talk to him. He always has a calming effect on me (except when he's being overly playful when I'm tired). Chance entered my life almost 5 years ago when he was only a few weeks old. He really is my first baby and always will be.

5. I sometimes don't know if I deserve to have such a wonderful husband. He's sooooooo good, kind, patient, understanding, intelligent, and loving. I'm soooo lucky to have him as a husband.

6. I am a pro at propagating Christmas cacti. Yeah, this is such a random fact!

7. I love the Bronte sisters. I can read their books over and over and over and never get tired of them...and cry each time I read the books even if I already know the outcome of the story!

8. I graduated college in Liberal Arts and graduated from university with a B.A. in Honours English. Even if my friends and family make fun of me studying Liberal Arts and say it's a totally useless program, I am happy that I did graduate in that field. I loved my philiosphy, history, archaeology, humanities and lit classes! Oh, and for the record: Not all Liberal Arts students wear Birkenstocks and believe in free love.

Finally, Jimmy's meme:

FIVE people who will be annoyed you tagged them:

Mist1, DoggyMama, Curiosity, Dina, Louann.

FOUR things that should go into Room 101 and be removed from the face of the earth:

1) child pornography 2) nuclear weapons 3) animal abusers 4) child/women abusers 5) racists

THREE things people do that make you want to shake them violently:

1) make assumptions or judge people without even knowing the person or finding out the facts. I absolutely abhor any kind of injustice or arrogance. I find it hard to not speak up when I feel someone is being treated unjustly.

2) hurt animals or children. It infuriates me to no end if a person inflicts any kind of pain on an animal or a child who is defenseless against that person's power and authority.

3) drive wrecklessly. If you're going to endanger your life by driving like a maniac, then that's your prerogative. Just don't put other people's lives in danger because you can't drive like a normal human being. I really get angry when I see people cutting people off and weaving in and out of lanes to get a whole two spots ahead of where they were. It's ridiculous and dangerous.

TWO things you find yourself moaning about:

1) Never having enough hours in the day to get everything done. Eventhough I clean my house or try to tend to the gardens, everyting always seems to be in such disarray all the time. Even after I wash dishes, it seems that a million more seem to magically appear! :)

2) The price of gas! Although, I have stopped asking what the price of gas is now, since I have to buy gas anyway. I just remember back when gas was 64 cents a litre. I even remember a time when it was 39 cents (during the gas war in Montreal)!

ONE thing the above answers tell you about yourself:

I am getting old and my tolerance level for stupidity is not very high. Am I really this irritable? I didn't think I was that bad!

RULES• Link to the original meme at so people know what it's all about!• Be as honest as possible. This is about letting people get to know the real you!• Try not to insult anyone - unless they really deserve it or are very, very ugly!• Post these rules at the end of every meme

Throwback Thursday #6

In keeping with this wonderful new tradition from the ladies at PinksandBlues, here is my latest Throwback Thursday post. It's so much fun to look back at old photos and remember some really good times. Unfortunately, I grew up in a time where the latest fashion left a lot to be desired! *NOTE* All of the photos used for this post have been "borrowed" from some friends from elementary school and high school. I was tagged in these photos on their Facebook (Steph and Stacy, I hope you don't mind me using them)!! :)
This photo was at a birthday party. The birthday girl always had the best parties! I think this was when we were in grade 5.

Ohhhhh....the 90's!! Look at my poofy hair!!! Ick! Oh, and the teased bangs! Thank goodness this wasn't one of those "crimped" hair days! Just looking at this picture makes me think of Rick Astley, Samantha Fox, Debbie Gibson, and all of those pop bands from back then. Too funny!

This last photo is from our high school grad year. Okay, this is going to be like "Where's Waldo?". Can you spot me? I'll give you a prize if you can! ;)
Monday, July 23, 2007

Grrrrrr! much as I love living on the island, the one thing I do miss is getting together with my girlfriends. Gaviesgal and I used to go for Korean food, Indian food, and we once attempted to drink every type of martini on the drinklist at The Green Room in Toronto.

I'm kinda bummed because tomorrow I'll be missing a lunch date with CuriosityKiller, Gaviesgal, TheMommanista, Nathanial'sMommy and Karen. Boooo hooooooooo! :(
Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Boys (and Girls!!!) of Summer

Fun Friday: Part deux! This time, I've got pics! The above photo is of the Bridal Veil Falls in Kagawong. The kids and I usually spend our afternoons at one of the many beaches on the island, but this time, we ventured to the falls.
Having fun, splish splashing the afternoon away.

Going behind the falls.
The boys were so cute! Hunting for treasure!!!

This is what they found! LOL! A crayfish! I can't even tell you how fast I jumped out of the water when my student brought his latest find to me! LOL I'm a girlie girl! I admit it!

More fun swimming and splashing. I had to drag them all out of the water! LOL! We then went on a hike. This was not just any hike though. These kids were on a mission. They each collected some samples of leaves and flowers.

Check out the smiles on their faces! Who says studying isn't fun?!?! :) In my opinion, outdoor lessons are wonderful!

The kids had to identify the samples they collected. Hubby's got a BIG book of plants, trees and flowers that are indigenous to our area.
I got each child a canvas and I brought my art supplies to the falls. The kids found a nice picnic table and got busy!

The finished product! Pretty and creative, don't you think? I just love kid art. The neat thing I noticed is that though there were mixed paints and many different shades, the kids mostly opted for bright primary colours. Interesting.

I didn't get to post photos of my cousins' annual visit to the island. We went fishing with my dad with the hopes of catching some dinner! Okay, I lie. "We" didn't go fishing. The boys did. I was there...sort of sitting under a tree and wondering what I ought to cook for supper lest they not catch anything!

Waiting...and waiting...

...and yet more waiting. Finally...Supper!!!

The catch of the day??? Nada. We ended up going for fish and chips at Island Fish and Chips!! LOL!

The fish and chips at Island Fish and Chips are reeeeeeeeeeeally good! Hubby and I don't usually eat anything oily or fried, but every once in a while isn't bad. The batter is delicious and the whitefish they use is soooo tasty! Everyone who knows me knows that I don't like any fish except for salmon, so this whitefish must be good! LOL! I am very picky when it comes to eating fish. I don't like eating anything with bones...even tiny bones!
Another telltale sign that this place serves really good fish and chips...My entire family (okay, maybe not the entire family!!! Just about 30 of them) went to the fish and chips place the weekend of our wedding. Haha! All at the same time! LOL! That must have been a sight! A barrage of people from our wedding all entering the restaurant at the same time. One of my uncles from Wisconsin even went to that restaurant several times during his one week stay with us! LOL!
If you are ever on the island, Island Fish and Chips is located right by the ferry terminal, next to the post office. It's before the South Bay Guesthouse and the South Bay Art Gallery...two other must visit places if you're here in the summer season!
Friday, July 20, 2007

Fun Friday

Today started out sad because my cousins had to leave for Montreal after a five day stay on the island. I always get so sad when my family and friends have to return to their respective homes and I just feel like something is missing when they go. The house gets so quiet, and I don't have to play 'tour guide' anymore. You have to understand that I come from a very large (and loud) closely-knit family. If there aren't a dozen people in the house all talking at the same time and if there aren't never ending meals to prepare or never ending piles of dishes to wash...then it's not 'home'. I'm used to sharing my space with my loved ones and I really, really miss them when they go home.

At least I have my students and my nieces to keep me busy. The kids just cracked me up this morning when we were studying "Question forms" (who, what, where, when, why, how). All the laughter in the room just made everything seem all bright and cheery again. We were also lucky that today was a spectacular day. It was warm, sunny, and the sky was a beautiful shade of blue with puffy, soft white clouds.

We spent the afternoon at the Bridal Veil Falls. The kids went swimming under the falls and had a lot of fun! After nearly four hours of baking in the sun, we took a little stroll on the hiking trails and I had the kids collect 5 leaves and 5 flowers each. I had bought enough canvasses and paint for all the kids to do some nature painting. They used what they found to create nature art. We then went for a scenic drive around Kagawong and then had to get home in time to cook supper.

All I did was baked some chicken and the students and one of my nieces did the rest. The girls made cucumber salad and the boys made rice. I also cut up some cantaloupe for dessert. It is so much fun having the students and my nieces at our house. There is never a dull moment! The kids are so well behaved and sooooo polite and respectful!

Those of you who know my sister-in-law, know how amazing she is. If I think my life is crazy busy, I'm not nearly as busy as my sister-in-law! Anyway, my wonderful sister-in-law came to pick up the kids and she is having my students over tonight for a camp out! Tonight Hubby and I have a children-free night! Wooooo hooooo! ;) What are we going to do with no kids in the house, you ask???? Hehehe...We're going to....sleep!!!

So sad...I know! What's even sadder is that I think I'm going to just be doing laundry, cleaning and gardening tomorrow while the kids are still at my sister-in-law's. I would like to go to the Farmer's Market and go on the Art Tour though. We'll see...

PS. Photos to be posted at a later date.
Thursday, July 19, 2007


I've been away from the blog for a bit these past few days and I really miss posting and reading comments from others. I also miss writing comments and catching up on my favourite blogs.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the wonderful girls at PinksandBlues have awarded me with yet another blog award! Seriously...I was shocked! :) Audrey, Jane and Sharon are three of the most amazing, intelligent, kind-hearted souls ever. You can always count on the 'girls' for a kind word or some helpful insight. You can always count on the girls for a good laugh or an shoulder to lean on (Thanks, Jane!) and they've also got the lowdown on all your family needs. If you need info on baby stuff, kids' stuff, mommy, daddy, grandparents' and pet know where to go! They are definitely on my daily 'must read' list of blogs. Be sure to check out their site too!

Rules of participating:
1. Copy these rules.
2. Reflect on five bloggers and write a least a paragraph about each one.
3. Make sure you link this post so others can read it and the rules.
4. Leave a comment and let them know they’ve been given the award.
5. Display the award icon on your site.

It was difficult to choose, but my five recipients are:

1) The lovely Ms.Mamma always amazes me with her stunning photographs. She's a true gem and a rare find. She's beautiful, intelligent, talented, funny, and very cool! She's a breath of fresh air and so down to earth. She's a great friend to have on the days when you just need your spirits to be picked up and on the days when you just want to share all your good news :) Ms.Mamma would definitely be one of those people you'd pick to go on a girls' trip to the Dominican Republic or Mexico with...or just lounge around with a margarita on a lawn chair and pretend you're in Mexico :)

2) Judy from Judy'sJournal is such an incredibly talented artist. She's got a wonderful spirit and her posts are always so thoughtful. I frequent her blog often so I can be inspired and wooed by her creations. Though I have been to the art shows on the island and have seen some of Judy's work, I don't think I've ever met her in person. I would love to meet her sometime soon, because I already know what an amazing person she is. Her art and her writing reflect her personality and her character. Judy, maybe I'll see you at the upcoming art tour! :)

3) I truly adore Pavel from ProbablyPavel. He's such a thoughtful blogger and a great dad. I really enjoy reading his funny posts and seeing pics and videos of his adorable kids. One can really tell just by reading his blog, that Pavel is a wonderful dad. That's why I love returning to his blog regularly. The love he has for his kids is so special and so evident.

4) Lotus from HappyCows is such a special person. She's got a great sense of humour and I love that she is such a well-read and knowledgeable person (on many different subjects)! Her affinity for gardening and her culinary skills never cease to impress me. I also love that she is 'sharing her love of food while trying to tread lightly". The photos of her amazing and delectable dishes just make my mouth water.

5) CanineCologne is one of my very first blog buddies. I think I started reading her blog (and Ms.Mamma's) around the time I started my own blog. My friend, Jill introduced me to the incredible world of blogging over a year ago, and ever since, I've been checking out CC's blog on a regular basis. What I noticed about CC almost immediately, was the fact that not only was she super cool, but she just seemed like a genuinely nice person. I love her restaurant and food reviews, as well as her amazing photos. Like Lotus, Canine has a way of making her blog readers' mouths water when they see pics from her reviews. She's just a fun person...and she's soooo funny! By the way, Canine, I just finished that calamansi juice you sent me! LOL! I know you sent it to me a while ago, but I was hoarding it like the good miser that I am. I caved and drank it and it was soooooo good! Thanks for that! ;)

I wish I could nominate more than 5 bloggers, since my list of fave blogs is quite long!!! Check out all the other blogs on my side-bar. They're all great!

Throwback Thursday #5

Once again, it's time for another walk down memory lane. Inspired by the girls at Pinks and Blues, here's my weekly installment of oldies but goodies! Looking at this first photo brings bittersweet memories. This photo was taken in my grandparents' home when my grandfather was still alive. I really miss those times spent there. I loved going to my grandparents' house!

This pic makes me feel happy because I remember how wonderful a bond I had with Baby Bro when he was a wee one, but it also makes me sad because I really wished I could have frozen time and kept him as teeny tiny as he was then. He had the most adorable red cheeks all the time, and he was such a drool monster. I love that kid!!!

For my grandparents' 50th Golden Anniversary, we had a HUGE party for them. They renewed their wedding vows and celebrated with all their loved ones. It was quite the spectacular and memorable event! My grandfather has since passed away and every time I look at this picture, I remember all the fun times we had and what an amazing and wonderful man my grandfather was.

In case you are wondering...Yes, we are all wearing gold, since the theme was their Golden Wedding Anniversary! We had all our dresses custom-made and designed by us. My dress looked a lot nicer on paper! Once I had it on, I was shocked at how poofy it looked! LOL!

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About the Blog Author

City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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