Monday, July 11, 2016

Let's Play Ball!!

I'm not what you would call a sport's person. The only physical activity I do, apart from gardening, is biking. I don't play, or even watch, tennis, golf, soccer, etc. and you would never catch me in a hockey arena. However, I do like baseball. To me it's a sport, that's more mental then physical. That is,

An old picture of the Dome

1. It has statistics. I think that it has more statistics than any other sport, I know. Well, the very few I know, anyway. I remember once, a long time ago, having an announcer quote a statistic for the number of times a pitcher's hat fell off during an inning. Now that's detail!!

2. It has history. My father always watched the world series. I knew that I could spend time with him, if I watched too. This is how, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees were, for a time, the only teams I ever cared about and our favourite was always the Dodgers.

3. Unlike hockey or football, it's not a body contact sport. It's more about speed, stealth and timing. I love seeing a well played "double play," a speedy stolen base, or a surprise snaring of a line drive. Plus, nothing matches a running dive or jump for a fly ball, that could go out of the park, except for a well placed glove.

4. It has rules, in the sense, that Chess has rules. Where to stand, how to swing, when to run and when not to run, fair balls, fouls balls, etc. these are the building blocks of the game. Break a rule and you are penalized. Know an obscure rule and you could win!

5. It has science. I have to believe there are more unique pitches in baseball, than shots on goal in hockey or soccer. Fast ball, curve ball, sinker, slider, or the maverick knuckle ball all push the boundaries of objects in motion. When hit, these pitches are further influenced by air pressure, wind, altitude and several other cosmic forces.

No, give me the subtleties of baseball, anytime, over the endurance of soccer, the rough and tumble of football or the noise of hockey.

CN Tower at night

Last night, we went, as a family, to the Roger's centre to watch the Blue Jays play the Kansas City Royals, winners of last year's world series. It was an evening of classic baseball. On a warm summer night, we had great food - popcorn, hot dogs, beer, exciting baseball - lots of hits, some amazing catches, home runs, double plays and nail biting tension, when Kansas City tied the score, late in the game. Fortunately, the Jays won before an ecstatic crowd of nearly 40,000.

Yes, for me, anyway, Baseball, especially at the dome, though we have been to Fenway Park and the original Yankee Stadium, is a great outing, particularly when the home team wins. Do I dare dream of another world series with the Jays in contention? Got my fingers crossed.

Have a great day.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Nature's Bistro

My husband and I biked another 20kms this Saturday along the Caledon Rail Trail. This time, we biked from Caledon East to Palgrave. Every section of the trail is not only lovely, but also has its own unique characteristics.

The special feature of this particular part of the trail is that it has one of the few benches on the entire 36kms of the linear park.  If you time it right, you can reach the designated stone slab about 12:00pm, just in time for lunch. I like to think of the spot as nature's Bistro.

Perched on top of a small cliff, our favourite "table" overlooks the credit river, which flows, at this point, through a broad valley directly below us. As the trail was a little busier than usual, we could nod and chat with the few people who passed by - a bit like being in a friendly restaurant.

Also, did I mention the flowers? They were everywhere. I couldn't imagine a prettier spot for a picnic of tuna sandwiches, seasoned with dill from the garden and cherries, which in another year might have come from our own cherry tree.

We really didn't need dessert, but Caledon East has a lovely little bakery. After we had biked back to the car, I left my husband to chose a pastry, while I chose a table outside, on the main street. It was a little busier than our table in the park, but it was interesting to watch the river of cars, go by.

Have a great day!!

Sunday, July 03, 2016

The only constant is .........

.....change. Our neighbourhood is changing. Developers are moving in and buying up single family homes, planning to build multiple dwellings on the property acquired. Sigh! There are a few of us, though, who do not want to "sell out."

Our lots are very deep. For some, it's a chore looking after a long narrow lot. For me it's a challenge. I had originally thought, that if the price were right, we might sell and move to a 4-plex where we could give each of our children a unit and keep a pied-à-terre, for ourselves, in the city. Then we could buy a garden with a house attached somewhere within driving distance.

However, I'm not sure that -

1. We could find just the right 4-plex.
2. The kids would want to live there.
3. We could find the right place out of the city.
4. I would want to drive to garden.
5. We want to retire just yet.

As a result, I decided to maximize the use of our garden. There has been a patch at the back which has been neglected for years. Now is the time to make it part of the overall plan. Here is what I did.

1. Had a tree company come in and trim up the trees to allow more light into the garden.
2. Brought in loads of Triple-Mix to enhance the soil.
3. Planted vegetables along with flowers.
4. Cleaned the weeds and overgrown perennials from a few of the back corners.
5. Planted more rose bushes.
6. Transplanted, rearranged and generally tamed the original plantings.

The pictures are a result of my efforts. I've been harvesting the thinnings of the lettuce and beet greens for salads and I am anxiously awaiting produce from the tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, peas and cantaloup, ymmmm!!