Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Nod to the Farmers' Market

The greatest delight the fields and woods minister is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable. I am not alone and unacknowledged. They nod to me and I to them. 
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peterborough has a bustling and thriving Farmers' Market each Saturday morning and it's just a short walk from my apartment. Outdoors May through to November and then indoors for the winter, there is always something of interest to see, hear and sample. Over 60 regular farmers and merchants set up shop each weekend, ensuring an ample display of food, flowers, crafts, music and activities. Here are just a few of those moments captured sometime in August.

FM Buying Gladiolas
When I arrive, the first stall that I see is full of colourful gladiolus blooms. They attract a constant flow of buyers and I imagine that there are many a cheerful table throughout Peterborough each Saturday night.

FM sunflower
Another popular blossom at the market is the radiant sunflower. Summer on a stem.

FM Performers
A variety of musical performers are scattered throughout the grounds. Some are regulars and some happen by occasionally such as Nhapitapi who also appeared on stage somewhere in town, that evening.

FM performer
He's playing the mbira - an ancient Zimbabwean instrument consisting of metal keys played by his thumbs. The outer drum is the resonator. It sounds something like a plucky xylophone.

Have a quick listen.

FM Instruments
Others had well-used musical instruments on display.

FM and the beet goes on
And the beet goes on... It's the locally grown fresh produce that draws the crowds.

FM sweet carrots
Bumper sticker for a bumper crop.. I'm guessing that she sold a fair number of carrots that day.

pooch and teddy3
It would appear that this handsome pooch and his trusty teddy bear were at least mildly amused.

FM Hula Hoops5
Colourful hula hoops for the youngsters and young-at-heart to enjoy.

FM Hula Hoops4
And no shortage of cute kidlets to try them out.

Each stall offers something of interest.

FM colourful debris
Heading back home past the gladiolus stand - they have pretty much sold out. It makes for kind of beautiful debris.

Thanks for joining me at the market.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Still Walking

Thank you all for your kind and compassionate messages about my Skitty boy. They were all very comforting. Thanks also for so warmly welcoming me back to blogging. I'm not sure how much time I'll be putting into posting and visiting but I'll take it one step at a time. So for now, here's step number two..


He who limps is still walking. ~Stanislaw J. Lec

Peterborough - it's a lovely city. And an incredibly friendly town. I have gone out for walks most evenings and have yet to return home without having engaged in at least a couple of chats with people. There's a river and lake within walking distance of my apartment. All of my shopping needs can be reached by car in just a few minutes. It's a creative town - a musical city - an artsy community. There's always some form of entertainment happening somewhere - or so it seems. Of course, just as in the old days, if I go out walking, my camera comes along - and at least for today, so do you.

evening flowers
Somewhere on the street close to my place, the late-day sunshine was playfully teasing these vivid flowers.

A multicoloured clothesline caught my eye from a distance.

Breast cancer survivors were out for a group paddle on Little Lake. Champions, one and all. That's Centennial Fountain in the background.

Centennial Fountain Rainbow4
As my fellow Canadians can probably figure out, Centennial Fountain began spouting water over Little Lake in 1967 - 100 years after confederation. All week long, the city has been celebrating Peterborough Pride and even the sunlit fountain shows its support with a colourful rainbow.

across the lake2
A view of the lakeside homes across the way.

evening paddle3
Many Peterborians (yup, that's what we're called - I'd have preferred Peterbudlians but I just got here and don't have a say in those matters) take their boats out for a paddle after work.

river boat
Others might go out for a tour of the locks on the local riverboat.

sunny sweet mallard
There is no shortage of ducks, geese and gulls along the shores of Little Lake. I have also seen the occasional heron and I'm told there are loons - though I've yet to see or hear them.

floating candles3
On this particular evening, a group was setting up these floating candles in preparation for a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The candles were later sent out on the lake. I didn't hang around that long but you can see a photo of that here.

world peace flower
Here's a closeup of that world peace flower.

late sun on flowers
Heading back toward my apartment, the sun was still flirting with flowers.

August 9 reds
As early as August 9, a solitary maple tree was anxious to get on with autumn. Slow it down, willya?

And this concludes our first walk together in Peterborough. Thanks for joining me. I hope you'll come along for several more before too long.

I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes
my rage, forgetting everything.
~Pablo Neruda

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Beautiful Soul

Well it's been a long time since I last blogged, hasn't it? There have been a lot of changes in my life - a lot of loss.

I am no longer living in the house on the lake. I won't go into great detail but I endured a lot of unhappiness from the moment I arrived there two years ago and a lot of emotional damage has been done. That's all I'm willing to say about it here. I have difficulties ahead of me but this is where I am now - in the city of Peterborough, Ontario.

brotherly love2
I moved here with my cats, Skittles and Zephyr early in August. Skitty had been ailing for several months. He showed all of the classic signs of feline hyperthyroidism - weight loss, rapid heart rate, vomiting and yeowling at night. The vet was convinced that a blood test would confirm it. But it didn't.

skitty boy2
She investigated further and found him to have pancreatitis. A change in cat food was prescribed along with an acid-reducer to spare his esophagus and throat from the vomiting. He continued to be symptomatic. I was worried that the stress of moving would make things even worse for him but from the day we landed in Peterborough, he rallied greatly.

He ate well and kept it down. He began to gain weight. He played a lot more. And then after about three weeks, he began to decline once again. He had trouble keeping food and water down, and last week I could see he was losing a lot more weight and becoming dehydrated. I brought him to the vet about halfway between my new and old home. She did not feel hopeful.

skitty face
I had three options. We could put him through a battery of tests at his discomfort and my great expense which were very unlikely to yield encouraging results. I could put him on "support treatments" which would keep him as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. That included subcutaneous fluids which I would learn to administer every couple of days along with medication for pain and nausea. My third option was euthanasia.

Skittylooking up2
I opted to try to keep him comfortable with fluids and meds, and though there were wonderful gifts of good hours among the difficult, I could see that my beautiful boy was declining rapidly. Last night, he was showing signs of further distress and I made the achingly difficult decision to ease him out of his misery. My dear friend, Carol Anne who supported me through the whole process brought us to the clinic.

skitty in sunlight
I held him close, kissed him, and tearfully told him what a joy he was to have in our lives and how very much we'll miss him. At my sons' requests I kissed him for them and told him "goodbye." I did the same on behalf of all who had loved him - and there were many - of the human, feline and canine variety. He was such a beautiful little soul. I gave the vet the nod and he died peacefully in my arms.

skitty 2
I held onto my boy for a while afterward, kissing his sweet head and stroking his fur and crying my heart out. He was the sweetest, most fun cat on the face of the planet and I will miss him more than I could ever express.

I still have his beautiful brother, Zephyr - his litter mate. He has the opposite personality, mostly - laid back (okay, lazy) and not quite as bright as Skitty was but every bit as loving and gentle. This morning, it was like Zephyr was channeling Skitty. He spent a fair bit of time tearing through the house in play mode and chasing his tail on my bed. He NEVER does those things. I think it's Skitty's way of letting me know he's still near.

skitty boy
I'll accept that gift gratefully.

skitletGoodbye my beautiful little one. I'll love you forever.

May 18, 1999 ~ September 11, 2015

Skitty through sheers