Friday, June 24, 2011

Credit Valley Explorer Tour

I don't know how my husband finds these things, but for my birthday he took me on a Credit Valley Explorer train ride.  The train has grouped 4 person seating (so two of you go backwards each way) and has riders swap sides at the halfway point so everyone gets to see out both sides of the train.  It also includes a 'light' lunch and drink service.  The tour starts in Orangeville and goes south towards (but not reaching) Brampton.

After passing several golf courses, the train goes around forest and then farm land.  We saw a surprising number of animals, specifically horses and cows.

There's even a nice waterfall.  The train slows down a strategic spots to aide in the enjoyment of the view.  Much to my surprise, they also served desert!

It's a fun tour and a great way to spend an afternoon.  They run tours throughout the year, but I imagine the fall tours are packed.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Mini Bonsai Kit

Everything that comes in the box.
A few years back I got a mini bonsai kit for Christmas.  It's been sitting in its box in my office since, as I waited for a time when the bookshelf in my office - one of the few places in the house that gets sunlight without fear of cats eating the plants or playing in the dirt - freed up.  I've been using the spot for my winter herb garden, but now that the herbs are outside I decided to see how this kit worked.  I was all ready to plant to seeds last week, when I read the instructions.  Apparently the seeds need to be soaked in water for 24 hours, then given 7 days of cold stratification.

Now that that's taken care up, I was able to soak the soil pellet so it expanded, and, finally, plant the seeds. It's now sitting in the sun.  Hopefully in a few days I'll see some sprouts and in a year or so I'll have a mini bonsai tree!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Library Day

I've been hearing all sorts of doom and gloom stories on the internet lately about how libraries are defunct and should be closed.  Of course, not everyone agrees that it's the right thing to do, myself included.

My local branch was closed for over a year.  I got by by going to a further branch and trying to wait for my holds all to arrive before going so I wouldn't have to make the trek so often.

Well, I'm happy to report that my local branch has reopened today.  Given all the talk about the usefulness of libraries (that everyone's using the internet at home for research and ebooks are cutting the need for paper books, etc.) I expected the place to be pretty empty.  I mean, aside from myself, who would be anxiously waiting for the library to open again?

Apparently quite a lot of people.  The library was packed.  There were adults on the computers, youth in the youth section talking about OSAP and universities and how to pay for school when you can't find a job.  The magazine section had lots of comfy chairs and a fake fireplace, where I sat to browse my findings.  I heard students studying at a nearby table and saw parents getting their children books.

And the staff were ecstatic, welcoming everyone back to the library, raving about the renovations and dishing out suggestions for books as well as computers.

As I walked home I realized something.  For all the home computers, for all the advances in ebooks, for all the other things that take up our limited spare time, I've never yet been to a library that was empty.  We take for granted the free access to computers, books and professional help libraries offer.  If we're not careful, someday our descendants won't have that luxury.