Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Bike Packing Supplies: Panniers, Mess Kit, and Headlamp

A package came in  from China today; woohoo!  I am so excited.
 I opened it up and discovered my Panniers!  I was surprised they could lay so flat; I'd imagined they'd come in a big square boxy package.

The material is nice and sturdy, water resistant but not water proof. I  ordered some waterproof covers for them but they aren't in yet.
 There are three parts to the pannier, a top part, and two side parts.

 The two side parts are connected, and the thin black strip down the middle sits on top of the rear pannier rack on my bike. The top part of the pannier can be clipped onto the top of the side parts.

 I stuffed one of the bags to see how much it would expand, and was happy to see it should hold quite a bit.

 I stuffed the top part as well.  It would hold my laptop nicely, as well as other items.
 A few weeks ago I purchased this Coleman mess kit at the Walmart for under 20 dollars; I think it was 12 bucks.

 The pots and pans are extremely small and would be great for a boy scout or girl guide.  They will also work for backpacking or bikepacking.  There's just enough room to boil water for an instant coffee or tea, to heat up a bit of soup or stew, or to MAYBE make some instant noodles, lol.  The little frying pan would be big enough for a few scrambled eggs, or one hamburger patty.  It's a great little lightweight starter set but if I end up enjoying bikepacking, I'll get bigger, nonstick set.

 I also picked up a headlamp for my bike, for riding at night. It would also be nice to use while bikepacking.  I had hoped to do an overnight bike ride this fall, and I may still, but if I do I will be staying at a motel, not a camp ground. The spiders are freaking enormous this year, and i hate spiders, lol.  I'd still like to try biking with a tent, but that will have to wait until next summer, at the start of summer, when the spiders are still small, lol.  I'd also have to buy a tent first; I have no idea where mine is; I haven't seen it in over 10 years so it may have gotten lost in a move somewhere along the way.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Other Day...I Met a Bear. Really!

A few days ago, I took Benji for a drive out to Pointe Des Chenes, a pretty beach nearby.  Along the way, maybe a mile before we got to the beach, a bear cub ran across the road in front of my truck.  I tried to get a photo but he was too fast. I was a bit bummed that I didn't get a photo, but kept driving. 

Once at the beach, I let Benji run in the field near the parking gate. I followed him, and when he'd had enough excitement, I put him on his leash and was about to walk to the path that led to the beach, when I realized i was wheezing and had forgotten my Ventolin (asthma medicine) in the truck.  So, Benji and I went back to the truck and i took my puffer. 

Benji in field
 I debated just driving home, because my puffer didn't stop my wheezing. Then I decided to just take it slow.  I carried Benji back through the field, intending on crossing to the path on the other side, which leads to the beach. 

I was carrying Benji in one arm, and had my camera in the other hand.  I don't know what made me turn around, but something did, and I saw a bear running at me!  It was a little bear, maybe the same bear I'd seen on the road a mile back; I wasn't sure.  I wasn't sure what to do, so I took it's photo.  The flash scared it and it stopped and headed the other way, thank God.  The first few photos didn't come out, but I managed to get a few of him heading the other way.
Little Bear!
 He wasn't very big, and I wondered where his Mom was. I wished him Mom had been around because she would have made sure he'd stay away from me. I am not normally afraid of bears and have met bears before, but they've always been nice, polite adult bears, not crazy unsocialized cubs, lol.  I was really worried that he would come right up to me, and I was so worried for Benji.  Ben is almost blind and had no idea there was a problem, so he was fine.
Little Running Bear
 The repeated flashes scared him away and he ran, very quickly, into the bush.  You can see by my truck in the background that he wasn't very big.  I don't think he should have been alone so young. Maybe he's been orphaned or abandoned, or maybe his Mom was out of sight in the bush; I don't know. 

I decided to go back to my truck and drive to another beach, Mark's Bay.  When I got there I honked my horn about 10 times to scare any possible bears away, lol. 

Mark's Bay was lovely; the sun was setting and the moon was out.  Benji really enjoyed walking on the little beach.  Pointe Des Chenes is much bigger, with long beaches that go on and on, but this was safer because I could drive right up to the lake and not have to worry about bears getting between me and the truck, lol.

Bike Rides 17, 18, and 19, LOL

I'm really behind on my blog because I'm so tired when I get back from my bike rides and walks, lol.  I'm going to try to be better though, and blog when I get back no matter how tired or sleepy I am.

I haven't been feeling well; my allergies have been bad, and it's been triggering my asthma and migraines.  When I can, I go for a walk or bike ride but haven't enjoyed it as much as I normally do because I feel a bit off.  When I'm really sick I can't do anything at all though, so i don't like to let it stop me if I can help it (if I have the choice).

Bike Route 17
 The flowers in the fields are dying; so sad.  All of the sunny yellows are turning gold and brown.  It's pretty too; I like fall colors, but I wish summer would last longer. 

 My bike really stands out in a fall field; it's such a nice, vivid coral color.

 We always get such amazing sunsets at this time of year.  I love riding my bike just before sunset, and coming home just as it gets dark.  I have lots of lights and reflectors, so it's safe. It's been so hot this year; even now, in September, it was quite warm out riding.
 These creek side trails are all over the place, and when it hasn't rained, they're lovely to ride on. Much nicer scenery than on the roads.
 For bike ride 18 I went to the end of Korah Road again...well, not quite the end, but almost. I stopped at  Garson's Pond to see the ducks, then road further down Korah, as far as the abandoned homestead.  I turned around there (almost at the corner of Korah and Goulais Ave.).
 The ducks were very annoyed that I hadn't brought them anything to eat.  I keep forgetting. 
The moon was out, and although it looks tiny in the photo, it was really quite lovely.  The photos make everything seem so far away and small.

I always wanted to have a yard with a duck pond, ever since I was a little girl. These people are so lucky. They have lots of snapping turtles in that pond too, but I didn't see any.
My Townie.
 Once again, my pretty bike.  I'm amassing quite the collection of photos showing my bike in cool places.  I'm so enjoying exploring the area again.  This bike makes me so happy!
Ducks making ripples on the pond.
Bike Route 19
 I started on my normal route but then rode around through Bayview.  In the past, it was had a thriving mini downtown area.  Now all of the stores and businesses are closed.  I remember when I was younger there was a grocery store, a restaurant, a bowling alley, a clothing store, a furniture store, and several others.
 This red building  (above) used to be a store.  I don't remember which kind.
 The two buildings above were also businesses.  One is a house now, but the other looks like it has an accountant's office now. It was closed though.
 This graffiteed building was also a business;  a restaurant, I think.  There were many others. It was like a mini downtown area, and it's sad to see it gone.
The only business still running is the one that employs most of the Sault; Essar Steel.  The air quality sucks here, thanks to the Steel Plant, but I guess it keeps the economy afloat. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Bike Ride 16, Exploring area Creek Sides

I went on a lovely ride last week, and then forgot to blog about it.  I'll do it now.

 I started out on my normal neighborhood route, but when I came out onto Wallace Terrace near Brookfield, I followed alongside the creek instead of taking Wallace Terrace.  It was a rutted, hard packed dirt trail through the grass, very bumpy but lovely, with the creek on one side and trees on the other.

 Then the hard packed earth trail ended and it was just grass, much easier to ride on.

 Huge grey clouds were following me and I thought about turning back, but decided to keep going.  It was warm but not hot; a nice day for riding.

 Toward the bride, a dirt path appeared again, and goldenrod lied the path and the creek bed.
 One section reminded me so much of a scene from the show Little House on the Prairie (above) that I could almost hear the theme song playing in my mind.
 The Bridge was part of Allen Side Road.

The creek side path continued on the other side of the Allen Side Road bridge, but I decided to ride to it's other end via the street, then follow the path back to this point.

 I rested for awhile and then rode down Allen Side Road, to where it turns into Base Line, and followed along side base line until I came to the other end of the creek, seen below.

 The creek was much wider here, and so were the paths on either side.  On the left side of the creek, there was a rutted dirt path, but on the right side, it was all mown grass, so I chose that side to ride on.

 The photo above was taken from the bridge on Base Line.
 The grass was nice and flat except for one area that had a very deep dip going down, and then up again.  I had to get off my bike and walk both down and up, and when I was at the bottom of the dip, I could almost kiss the top of the dip as it was almost parallel with my face. It's hard to see in the photo, below.

 There were several round  cement pools of water to the left of the trail, behind a fence. I googled to see what it is, and it is a Water Pollution Control Plant, where they divert the creek water and test it for pollution, and clean it before putting it back in the creek and sending it to the St. Mary's River.
Water Pollution Control Plant
 The grey clouds were now both in front and behind me and I was sure I'd get rained on, but managed to miss the rain, somehow.
 The creek was lovely but hard to see at this point because of all of the tall grass, taller than me, growing along both sides of the creek.
 I got off my bike toward the end od the trail and took one last photo before I emerged onto Allen Side Road.  I was worried about the clouds so I didn't follow the creek side trail back to Wallace Terrace; I used the roads instead.
When I emerged onto Wallace Terrace, there was a rainbow, but by the time I pulled my camera out of my bag, it had disappeared.

I rode home, tired but happy.  I loved the feeling of being in the country, so close to home.  There are other portions of the creek that I haven't tried yet, that I hope to try soon.