Septemberfest 2017

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We closed down our bed and breakfast this past weekend.  The Milford Fair was on Saturday and we invited 25 of our closest family and friends to join us in this small town delight.  Most of our friends rolled in from Toronto, with a thumbless handful from Peterborough.  The kids decorated our float, we ate well, played Capture the Flag, laughed, reminisced, sang, drank well, played Milford Fair games, had a bonfire, stayed up too late, swam, and generally had a fabulous time together.

Pool Septemberfest

We have all been friends for a long time.  Some of us went to high school together, others met in university, my oldest friend and I have been good pals since we were four.  We had a slight crush on each other in Grade 5, but let’s face it, he was more into me than I was into him.  He has always been able to make me laugh.  He is one of the three funniest guys I know, ranking up there with Jess and my brother.  I always feel like I am one of the guys with him but in a good way.  As our jokes get more obnoxious, raunchier, and sometimes a little cruel, it only makes us giggle more.  He has a heart of gold, and he is family.  I love you N.B.!

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Really I love all my friends who were up last weekend.  Not to get too mushy on you but they are all so awesome, and the only downside to their friendship is that they live too far from us.  Granted we were the ones who moved away from them, but isn’t that more their fault than ours?  They should visit more, or simply ditch city life and move to Milford.  We could have more of everything we had this past weekend.  And then I could get better at playing Capture the Flag, and not feel like I was going to have a heart attack as the under 20 set effortlessly chased me down.

Our core group has been celebrating Septemberfest since the year 2000.  It was originally a birthday party for Jess up at his dad’s farm just South of Collingwood.  His birthday would always coincide with the Flesherton Fair, and we would all make a weekend out of it.  Now our group has grown exponentially with our gaggle of children.  It was a naturally progression to move the party to Milford where there is little need to camp and there are a few more luxuries to enjoy.

As always, the Milford parade started at our place.  We get a close up look at all the fantastic people, animals, and floats to grace our streets.  Here are some of the few local attractions this year:

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The owner of this horse use to be a student at South Marysburgh school.

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The Kiwanis guys are here every year.  They have a Middle Eastern float with stuffed camels.  The Middle Eastern theme is odd to me as it has no association with the County, but it is always my favorite float.

IMG_0958 These guys were just hanging out.  I offered them a coffee but they would have none of it.  The guy on the left was much friendlier than he looks.

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This was the best tractor name in the parade.

I am now going to proceed to bore you with all the ribbons we as a family raked in!

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Second place ribbon to Alysa H. for Any Flower Floating in a Bowl.

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Second place ribbon to J.P. for Peppers, hot, 3.

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Third place ribbon to J.P. for Pumpkin, Field.  Please note, pumpkin was picked by seven year old Theo so we let him take home both the pumpkin and the ribbon.

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Second place ribbon to Alysa H. for Felting.  There were only two entries.

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Third place ribbon to Ruby P. for Any Baked Item Judged on Flavour and Appearance.

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First place ribbon to Wini P. for Any Baked Item Judged on Flavour and Appearance.

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Second place ribbon to Alysa H. for Miniature Arrangement, over 3″ but under 5″.

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First place ribbon to Ruby P. for Any Collection.

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Second place ribbon to Alysa H. for A Photo Showing Motion or Action.

And there you have it folks, another successful Milford Fair/Septemberfest weekend.  Now I have to go and start working on my fair entries for next year.

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The Show.

Scooter in Hall

We were not the stars of the show.  We were more like twinkles.  I believe our trailer was longer than our segment on the show. Nevertheless, my girls and I watched HGTV Great Canadian Homes with bated breath last night.  There are some awesome homes on that show and a little glimpse of ours.

For all my friends and family far and wide around this great earth, the full show is right here for you to see.  If you are not interested in fabulous Canadian homes and want to just see me and the family then skip to minute 32:58.  It should take you about 48 seconds to watch it.

Please let me know what you think of the show.  I’d love to hear.

And, yes, Tommy did mispronounce my name.  But I forgive him after all those nice things he said about my place.

 

HGTV Here We Come!

HGTV Filming

I woke up this morning and found this in my Facebook feed.  My lovely neighbour up the street had posted it.  It was a long day of filming back in October. You wouldn’t believe how many times they made us repeat “We bought a school!” while being filmed by a flying drone.

I haven’t seen the full show, but am told it will air June 18th on Great Canadian Homes.  If you don’t have cable like me, you will be able to see the show online after the 18th.  I will most likely post a link as I am pretty excited about seeing it myself.  Mostly I love that some of our journey has been documented outside of my blog.

Today also happens to be the day that we took possession of the South Marysburgh School four years ago.

Happy watching!

 

Bees.

Hive

I’ve got a hive! It is only wee but it is buzzing with activity.  We’ve been wanting to keep bees since we moved here but there always seemed to be a long list of projects that took priority.  Little things like heat, clean water, a new roof, renovating 11,000 square feet, and starting a new business stole most of our attention the last few years.  It took the bees a while before they got to the top of our list.

Our project list was intentionally lighter for 2017, so I signed up for a bee keeping workshop. The workshop is being run by my neighbour Gavin, who is a master bee keeper and runs Honey Pie Hives and Herbals with his wife Bay.  The workshops are once a month for 6 months.  I’ve only completed two workshops, and look at me, I already have bees!  Really I haven’t done much since I got my bees, as I am not suppose to open the hive for another two weeks.   Bees have been taking care of themselves for centuries so I’m quite sure they are not waiting for instructions from me.

I have to admit that my sweet tooth was partially my inspiration to keep bees, but after a few hours of observation, I am finding them quite fascinating. During our workshop, Gavin opened one of his hives so we could have a look inside.  We discussed bee living while hundreds of bees flew around us.  I really wanted to take some photos, so I bravely yet cautiously took my glove off to snap some shots of pollen legs.  Bees have an arrangement of hairs on their hind legs that is referred to as a pollen basket.  When bees collect pollen, they mix it with their saliva and pack it in the hairs on their back legs so they can transport it back to their hive.  The result is some chunky bee legs in the colour of the flowers they were harvesting.  I’ve been in the bee dark most of my life and had never seen such colourful bee legs before.

Pollen Legs Red

Pollen Legs Yellow

I came home Sunday night with a box full of buzzing bees in my back seat.  I drove real slow, and rolled through every stop sign as a few bees had escaped their box and were buzzing around in my van.  Once I got home, I suited up and Jess lit my smoker for me. I kept my cool, and the transition from bee box to bee hive was a smooth one.  Now I just have to wait for the honey to roll in.

Hive Set Up

Early This Morning

Bird in Wini's Hand

We woke up extra early this morning, 5:30 a.m. to be precise.  We got dressed, tucked our pants into our socks, hopped in the car and drove 7 km south.  We arrived at a 450 acres reserve that has been donated by a local family to be used for research.  This area is not open to the public, but we were allowed to enter under the guise of volunteers.

The Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory has set up a bird banding station on the reserve, and hired a guest bird bander to conduct the research.  Lucky for us, their guest bander has been staying at our bed and breakfast for the last month.  There hasn’t been much banding going on due to the cold and rainy weather, but now that the sun is out, the banding has begun!

We were the only volunteers this morning so we had a close up view.  There were 5 foot high bird nets set up amongst the trees, that looped at the bottom.  When a bird flew into the net it would fall into the bottom of the net.  It doesn’t hurt the birds, it’s more like a wee bird hammock.  The nets get checked every 20 minutes.  Lucky for us, there was an adorable Chipping Sparrow caught in the net on our first net check.  I tend to categorize all small, brown and black birds as chickadees.  It falls in line with my lifelong belief that all dogs are male and all cats are female.  Even though their junk may look different, I am still convinced that both species are monosex.

We gathered up our little Sparrow and brought it to the makeshift banding station.  His wings were measured, weight documented, age determined, and leg banded.  There is such a large variety of birds out there and therefore a wide assortment of sizes for bird bands to accommodate all leg sizes.  The most adorable bands are those for hummingbirds.  They have the tiniest legs, hence the smallest bands.  They are so small that they need to be carried on a diaper pin.

Bird Bands

After our sparrow, whom we named Cairo, did his part for research, he was placed on Wini’s hand.  He so generously paused for a photo opportunity, and then flew away.

We all fell in love a little bit this morning, with Cairo, the early morning light, and with the hidden life of birds.  We all agreed our trek was worth our shorter sleep.  Our guest bander says she had heard 47 different bird songs on our property, and has made me a list on her chalk board in her room.  We better start paying attention to our feathered friends.  Spring banding is coming to a close, but there will be more to do late summer and early fall.  And we’ll be there.

Bird in Band

Mother’s Day Special

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Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday!  How best to express you appreciation for the mother in your life than with a trip to Prince Edward County!  Because we think mothers deserve the best for all their hard work, we are having a Mother’s Day Special this weekend!  We have reduced our rates for this weekend in celebration of all the wonderful mothers out there.

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On Saturday,  Picton is hosting Terroir at the beautiful Crystal Palace.  There will be over twenty vineyards from Prince Edward County showcasing their newly released wines, and pairing their wines with local food from the County.  Winemakers will be telling their unique stories about how they started their vineyards, their passion for their vines and how they make their wine.  We have 50% off tickets for you at South in Milford to enjoy this fine event.

Now we are not suggesting that the mother in your life will love you more if you take her to Prince Edward County, shower her in comfort, excellent food, and great wine but we do know that she’ll appreciate it, and she most likely deserves it!

So go and do a good deed and book now!  You can find all you need at South in Milford.

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A Few Spots Left

OLD SCHOOL BGC POSTER 2017 UPDATE

We are very excited about our 3rd annual Old School Bluegrass Camp!  Only 55 days until our first day of camp 2017.  As per usual, we have an amazing lineup of instructors this year.  The whole cast of the Foggy Hogtown Boys will be here, in addition to the awesome Adam Shier and the fabulous Kristine Schmitt.

Although Kristine has been with us each and every year, this year she is our vocals instructor.  Our campers have been asking for more vocals training, and we just had to listen to them.  Kristine is a power house on stage and comes with a wealth of knowledge about singing bluegrass and training your voice.  Last year she organized our bluegrass choir and private vocal lessons at camp.  We also had a singing parade around our school.  I can’t wait for what she has in store for us this year.

If you are thinking about joining us for our Old School Bluegrass Camp, don’t hesitate! We are already 80% full.  There are spots left in each instrument category but not many.

Sign up here, and see for yourself what all the fun is about!  It really will be one of the best weeks of your 2017!