Search This Blog

Monday, May 31, 2010

What a man leaves behind...

How do each and every one of us leave our mark on this world? 

 Yesterday, I wrote about the farming blood in my veins. The people of my family also write, paint, draw and build. We create and grow things to make our mark and what we each leave behind will be a measure of who we are and how we lived and thought.

 Henry and Clara Ford. 
 Dearborn, Michigan.

 Each of you will say: "Oh Yeah! Henry is the Ford of the Ford Motor Company! 

 ...And you will be right. 

 But.... Did you know they also built an enormous museum and pioneer village?

 We went there this last Saturday and it was my fifth trip in my lifetime. Each and every time since the first, I have chomped on the bit until I walk through those doors yet again and every time I leave, I just want to go back as quickly as possible!

 What a legacy!
 Admission is a mere $15.00 per person. (No, we're not seniors yet!)

Henry Ford began collecting historic objects as far back as 1906.  Trains, automobiles, aircraft, farm implements, personal and household artifacts,  guns and rifles, any and all types of glass, china and metalwork, Clocks and just about anything else man has built!
The 12 acre site is a true testament to man's ingenuity and perseverance and you just cannot imagine the things on display inside!

If you can't read the inscription, Edsel on the left, Clara and Henry! (Click on each photo and they'll pop open bigger too!)

(Wouldn't you have loved to have Clara for a mom? Look how sweet her smile is!) 

Henry Ford once said:

“ I am collecting the history of our people as written into things their hands made and used.... When we are through, we shall have reproduced American life as lived and that, I think, is the best way of preserving at least a part of our history and tradition..."

Originally, the museum was named the Edison Institute, dedicated to his good friend and inventor of the light bulb: Thomas Edison, but now is known as the Henry Ford or the Ford Museum. 

 Grand hallways lead you into the buildings of the museum proper. You can only stand with your mouth open in awe at the work the craftsmen performed to create opulent splendor and yet it is there for all fingers and eyes!

 You walk through the arch and into the museum's expanse and looking straight ahead, you are immediately floored by the huge airplane suspended from the ceiling! (The Heroes of the Air Exhibit.)
And that's not the biggest airplane they have in there either!

To the right is the automotive section and there! There's the lineup of Presidential Limousines! (To come is a separate post!) Campers and camping equipment. (Did you know Henry and Clara were avid back to nature folks?)

Swing your head to the left towards the farm implements and household section and .. Oh! There! The history of the Automobile and The Human Rights Exhibit! (The museum switches up several exhibits yearly so there's always something new to see.) The original engines and pumps and factory machines!

 Marble, granite, sandstone and brass were used everywhere. (Walmart can't keep their brand new bathrooms clean, but here in the almost hundred year old museum, the sparkling white floors shine!) 

Televisions are everywhere running vintage programs, commercials and documentaries. Each exhibit has a plaque with a full and interesting story about what you are seeing. Several areas have interactive displays for children and you can climb into the cab of a locomotive train's engine! 

Benches abound for resting tired feet and the food in the restaurant and snack bars is tasty and reasonably priced. You can just imagine Henry announcing that things were to be touched and in full reach of the general working public. No gouging here!

To enter the adjoining Greenwich Village, go in at the gate and pass by the  Josephine Ford Memorial Fountain and Benson Ford Research Center.  This village was constructed to show how Americans spent their days both at work and at home. Almost one hundred buildings were moved to the site. Some as old as from the 17th century and some quite recent. You will be delightfully surprised by the costumed workers performing period tasks of home making and their work. Pottery, glass blowing, ice cream making and a tin smithy are all there to see. You can also purchase the goods as souvenirs.  You can buy a ride pass and tour the grounds in a vintage Ford car or by horse and buggy. Only 90 of the over 240 acres is currently occupied by the village. The rest is forest,  river and pasture for the resident sheep and horses of the village.

There are special themed weekends at both the museum and Village, but this weekend past, being Memorial Day, they were re-enacting the Civil War complete with battles! 

These are just a few of the pictures I took during our visit. You can expect many more over the next few weeks and there's some I want to write stories about separately.
  If you ever get a chance to visit this place GO! I cannot explain how wonderful it really is, but I want to personally thank each and every single person who every had a finger in this marvelous place.

You must be so proud to be a part of this legacy!

All of these photos were again shot and loaded directly from my Nikon P90 and then posted without alteration of any kind.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Need....

 Agricultural roots run as deeply as the long fingers of the tree's roots that stands in your backyard. The 'rule of thumb' is that however wide you see the canopy, the roots actually reach that far out as well!

 Our own personal roots run much deeper and take hold with much more tenacity that mere vegetation.

 The traits that pass down through the generations have been gained through years of hard work, dedication and yes, even love. Where we walk and talk is exactly where our ancestors trod. Those words from our mouths are words spoken by mouths that gave us life:

Our Mothers
Our Fathers
 ...and so on ...

 My family is just now one generation away from the farming life.

 My sister and I grew up on a farm, but left. Drawn by the siren called Lake Erie.

For my sister and I, it is absolutely necessary to turn the soil in gardens and planters as soon as our Canadian winters allow. Our bodies crave the feel of the soil sifting through our stiff, arthritic fingers and our senses demand the sight of spindly, opalescent green bedding plants. Our nostrils sing with the odor of the damp, rich earth!
 I feel validated when I can pick a succulent red tomato or a few leaves of aromatic Basil from my own planters. I weep real tears when the frost takes it's revenge on summer's glory and my plants are black and shriveled.

My sister had one daughter who grew up on a farm, but left. Drawn by the needs of her family.
 She has a fabulous garden with fruit trees and raised vegetable beds. 

I never have to worry about a gift and only need to buy a certificate from a build-all or the local nursery for this woman.

Two weeks ago, she gave me this planter...

Called it my:

"Your not my mother's day gift..."

...And I am sooo proud! 

She chose and planted it herself and it is perfect for me and our house!

 My niece has had two daughters born in the city and I am wondering if the traits of the generations of farmers who have gone before these two precious girls will wend their way through into their future?

 Will I see them plant and till the soil, growing abundance where only dirt and moisture exists?

Will they stay city girls?
Will they be Lake girls like their Grandma and Antie?

Or will they go back to the earth and our roots of hard working farmers?

 What will they be?

All of these photos were again shot and loaded directly from my Nikon P90 and then posted without alteration of any kind.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Stumped Saturday

Stumped again!

 ....Gosh I hate that!

Torn from the soil and abandoned to summer's dry arid winds...

 Still many rings could have grown...

 .... Still birds to support and squirrels to house

Waiting for a flame? Hungry tongues of red and yellow heat...

What I find on a drive in the country.....

All of these photos were again shot and loaded directly from my Nikon P90 and then posted without alteration of any kind.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Field of Cows

Notice I said cows?

 ...Actually, cows and calves.

 I went out for another drive tonight, but not as far as last night.

 Isn't this a pleasant sight? A Charolais mix of some sort and there's a holstein over in the corner too!

The I spotted this almost pure white cow and wondered why she was watching me like a hawk! See the little guy to the right of her?

Oh! Look who's come to dinner! And totally unconcerned about me!

That must taste good! Look how the eyes are half closed in bliss?

This girl needs for one of those calves to wake up and have supper too. That looks like it must hurt?

I think this must be Daddy? 
OOOH! I wouldn't want to meed him in a dark field at night!

The air was so humid today you can actually see it in the pictures. 90 Degrees F the thermometer in my car said.  

Ah! An afternoon in the shade!

All of these photos were again shot and loaded directly from my Nikon P90 and then posted without alteration of any kind.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Meep! Meep!

I took a drive today after work.

 I know, it's only Thursday... 
But the weather was so brilliantly warm and the air felt so lush, I just had to!

 Off in the distance I saw a plume of dust....

 The Road Runner I ask?

Is Wylie Coyote in hot pursuit?

 But no...
 The farmer's are out in full force planting.

 This chap was pulling a set of harrows

Without going to that Wikipedia link, Harrows are flat farm tools pulled behind a tractor to level out the ground. Also breaks up the soil to ready it for planting. I've pulled a few sets around in my day!

All of these photos were again shot and loaded directly from my Nikon P90 and then posted without alteration of any kind.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Pond in Spring!

Remember our pond from those icy days of winter? 
I took several photos all frozen and glistening! Use my new search box at the top if you want to compare winter to spring!

 For those of you who haven't seen our pond yet, Dick and I dug it and built it ourselves. The huge Lava rock was drilled at Silverthorn's Landscaping, near Aylmer and was boomed into the hole.

The hole is about five feet deep and full of rocks. We heat it in the winter and the sound of the bubbling water was worth every back breaking, sweating, miserable minute it took to build!

It serves as a bird bath and deer watering hole. Every morning when I come out to go to work, the edge is soaked from animals dripping.

This was a gift from our marvelous neighbors, the plant fairies...

Our other sweet friends gave us a half dozen snails. (See up in the top right hand corner? ) These puppies are about two inches across. I think this is the only one that survived.

If you're thinking about building a water feature, take it from me: Do it!

All of these photos were again shot and loaded directly from my Nikon P90 and then posted without alteration of any kind.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Beauty or Pa-Tootie?

First of all! I've added a Search box at the top of the page!
I've got way too many topics to find easily and so I hope you all approve!

I want to be a beauty!

 I look in the mirror and wish upon a star, a candle's flame, a lucky head of clover and wish:

 I WANT to be a beauty.

 Not someone that you could pass by on the street and not turn your head as you walk by....

 Not something that you will forget the instant a new sparkly thing catches your eye.

 I want to be that special something that lingers in your mind's eye and later that day, that night, maybe that next week...
You will pull the memory of me back out of the layers of your subconscious and revisit the unique experience of meeting me... 

Talking with me....

Someone that once met, you will never, ever, EVER forget.

 Someone who makes you smile even twenty years after meeting me and you'll say:

"I remember her!"

 I want to be a beauty.....

All of these photos were again shot and loaded directly from my Nikon P90 and then posted without alteration of any kind.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Foggy Barn

It's been a few days since I posted a barn and yesterday was maybe not the best day to be out shooting pictures, but oh well! 

There I was...

 Because the lake is still cold and the air was so warm, yesterday was foggy almost all day.

This field also contributed to the mist because the dirt is still really cold too...

 Makes the picture sort of spooky, don't you think?

Happy May 24th: Victoria Day!

All of these photos were again shot and loaded directly from my Nikon P90 and then posted without alteration of any kind.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


As a child, I would climb the lilac that had grown wild beside my parents garage. We lived on a farm as you know and my mother was an amazing gardener. We had more flowers and plants than anyone else I knew for many years! (Flower gardens not being high on the priority list for rural Canada when I was young.)

I would climb the old shrub and feel on top of the world! It grew way higher than the roof and I recall it was very big.

 Of course being small myself at the time, it seemed I was climbing to the land of Jack's giants and even to this day I can remember how smart and strong I felt while scaling those limbs.

 I would scooch over onto the asphalt shingle roof of the garage and sit out there for hours watching traffic going up and down the dirt road.  I was positive I was invisible, but of course I know now that I was not. 

How funny the thoughts of a child?

I was a lucky girl! My folks never said Boo about me climbing that tree. It was my secret garden and they were smart enough to let me have it!

 Did you have a secret spot too?

All of these photos were again shot and loaded directly from my Nikon P90 and then posted without alteration of any kind.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

May Two Four Weekend

This is our long May weekend fondly nick-named the May 2- 4 after a case of Canadian beer, which you can buy in a box of two dozen bottles.

Picture all us frozen Canadians released from our parkas and artifically heated homes and with the doors thrown wide, Barbeque - ing and patio-ing and yes, party - ing. (With our cases of beers!)

Really, it is the anniversary of Queen Victoria's Birthday.

Also this is the time of year when we finally might be able to think we'll not have another frost until September! And so out we all truck to buy bedding plants!

 Dick and I stopped at a landmark in our area, the mother of all greenhouses, Canadale Nurseries in St Thomas, Ontario.

This shelf of yellow greeted us. Really, even with the gloomy day we had today, who could feel sad with these in front of you?

Going to the nursery is such a family thing! I was glad to see a lot of little ones with mom and dad.
(Hey kid! Don't finger the hostas!)

If I could, I would just buy one of each geranium.

It's good to see the little ones with mom!

Peonies in June! Memories of the farm where I grew up.

With all these people, I'm impressed Dick stayed with me!

What did you do today?

All of these photos were again shot and loaded directly from my Nikon P90 and then posted without alteration of any kind.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Grackle

Grackle (Link to Wikipedia)

Sure, I can get a Grackle to sit still, out in the open and looking pretty!

This photo is cropped so you can see him better!

You'd think that a bird that a lot of folks think of as trash would hide more, wouldn't you?

 Myself.. I like the way their necks are iridescent and I actually like their call.

The first photo was again shot and loaded directly from my Nikon P90 and then posted without alteration of any kind.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

American Canada Geese?

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

 Canada Geese are flocking to the US for foraging and frolicking!

No Grassy expanse is safe! Warn your neighbors! 

Keep your children and dogs in the house!

You cannot be certain of their intent! Do not approach!

They may look harmless, but before you know what's happening all the bugs will be skimmed from your blades! 

Ok! So I went cross border shopping again last weekend and spied this gaggle of geese feeding on the median at the Outlet Mall?

New Americans or would you classify these as illegal aliens?

All of these photos were again shot and loaded directly from my Nikon P90 and then posted without alteration of any kind.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Maybe I stopped a tragedy from happening today?

 No pictures today. No cute dialogue. No brilliant recipe.

 I'm just going to tell you what I did today.

 On the way home, I decided to whip in to the ice cream store located on the highway. This is a landmark ice cream store and folks drive for miles to get their fix and it's always busy. Being on the highway home from the beach doesn't hinder it's popularity either, but it is open all year long!

 I got my scoop and a half of Raspberry, Chocolate trifle and was just walking back to the Magnum when I heard the high pitched screeching of car's tires! I looked towards the parking lot entrance and here came a tiny little silver car just flying in off the highway! 

 As usual in a situation of danger, I scoped out my own safety and escape route and because there was a row of cars between me and this speeding car, I wasn't worried about myself, but the Magnum! In seconds, I was reassured that the driver would not hit my car as he flung his little jet into a parking spot and to my disbelieving eyes, the male driver got out and the 6... Count them... Six young girls got out one by one. Squealing in glee and laughing as young people do when they are having a time!

It just took me about two seconds to turn my cell phone on, get out of my car with pen and paper in hand, write down the plate number and dial 911!

It wasn't five minutes before they had a pair of Ontario's finest down, (the Ontario Provincial Police Station is only a mile away!) As I left the parking lot, they were having a little visit with the young ones.

Now, you might think I'm mean or just miserable, but I'll tell you this. That car only had four seat belts in it. ( I knew that because I used to sell cars for a living.) Four of the girls had been all one on top of the other in the back seats! ( I think they had laid the back seats down?) The car was so tiny and quite old, that if the driver had seen fit to stop suddenly, all of these your girls would have been thrown right through the front window!

About ten years ago, my own son was injured by being nothing more than a bone head teenager. He had just turned 16 and was sitting on a girls car at a birthday party. She got in the car and started it, threw it in gear, took off and proceeded to do donuts in the parking lot! To everyone's horror, he was of course thrown from the roof to the gravel below. (She was running about 40 miles an hour!)

He has teeth implanted and had to suffer bone grafts and resetting of a broken wrist that still doesn't function properly. His back is a constant agony for him.

 He refused to watch Walker Texas Ranger after that.....

 God how I wish someone had just called 911 on him that night!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Elusive Red Winged Blackbird

Still not good enough...

 Still taunting me....

Still, the elusive photograph...

I'll get it before the summer is over and they once again fly south. 

 If I would just give in and crop one or buy Photoshop and fix one up, I would be able to present a perfect picture, but I want to frame one and shoot one and just download it fit to post.

 ....And I want it perfect!

 Want to live in my head?

All of these photos were again shot and loaded directly from my Nikon P90 and then posted without alteration of any kind.