Thursday, October 22, 2020

How Not to Pack!

 

In order to save on the cost of going to festivals and events and to eat healthier meals, Judi has been making and packing picnic lunches for us to take to the festivals and events we visit! We’ve been doing this since the beginning of August and it’s been going very well, until now! Each time Judi carefully thinks through what we are going to eat and what she needs to pack. She includes such things as forks, knives, spoons, salt, napkins, etc., all of this along with our food and beverages. To preserve the food in the hot weather and to keep our drinks cool, we have a thermal lined picnic bag. 

As I said, all was well until last week! Judi prepared and packed the food as usual. Our recyclable water bottles were freshly filled and also packed. We loaded everything into our car and then headed for our destination! We were going to visit the event in the morning and then head to Wellington to visit my brother Chuck and his wife, Flo. After the festival visit we went back to the car, ready to have our picnic lunch. We wanted to eat before we headed out to Chuck and Flo’s. Judi opened the thermal bag and let out a loud scream and then a low moan! This was followed by a few well chosen words! I can’t repeat them here! The bottom of the bag was completely filled with WATER! We had just purchased new water bottles and had not tested them out! The contents of the water bottles had leaked! Everything was soaked and the water bottles were empty! Even though the sandwiches had been carefully wrapped, the water had managed to seep in! They were just nicely soggy! I was hungry and needed eat, so I suck in a big breath and bit into the soggy sandwich! Needless to say, the lunch was not quite what we had in mind when we started out that morning! 

So, here is my NOMAD advice for the day… “Check out your new water bottles for leaks BEFORE you pack them with your lunch!”  Also, take your mother’s advice, “Never eat a soggy sandwich!”

Friday, October 16, 2020

Participation… (Part 2)

 

We arrived at the Village on time for the pre-show information meeting. There we others, like us, who had never “dressed up” before, so we didn’t feel alone. Once the meeting was over and the instructions given, we walked to the dressing area, Judi to the women’s and me to the men’s area. Everything had been laid out perfectly. Each outfit was labeled with the participants name and a volunteer “helper” (the outfitters husband!) was there to lend a hand! A good thing for me as the boots I was given were VERY snug! After I was completely dressed, I decided that my look was “interesting”! With the transformation complete I walked downstairs or should I say, I nearly slipped downstairs. The shoes had hardly been used and were VERY slippery! Many of the other participants were dressed and waiting outside for further instructions. It was great to see so many wonderful period fashions! I found Judi amongst the crowd and went to her. She looked fantastic! I little too fashionable for me and my outfit! Eventually we were all lined up and ready to play our part in the Festival of Textiles period fashion show. One by one we were summoned to the stage and posed while the commentator described our ensemble. From there we left the stage and walked on the “catwalk” to the applause of the audience. It was all great fun and most enjoyable. As a matter of fact, I am not sure who had more fun, the audience or the participants. My monies on the participants! 

Judi and I both enjoyed our experience and we thank Laurie and the Village staff for making us feel part of their big family!

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Participation… (Part 1)

 Every once in a while, Judi and I get to participate in one of the events we visit. Sometimes it’s by chance and other times it’s by choice. Whatever the circumstances, we always have fun and feel privileged that we were asked. 

The Festival of Textiles at Lang Pioneer Village is a good example. It all started with a simple e-mail from Lang’s Special Events co-coordinato.  Her e-mail simply said “Are you still coming to our Festival of Textiles and if you are, would you and Judi like to be one of our period fashion models?” The answer to the first part of the question was “yes”. The answer to the second part of the question wasn’t quite as simple! If I was going to participate, I wanted Judi to do it too. Judi doesn’t like too much limelight! She likes to stay in the background! This was going to be a big “leap” for her! Finally, after much hesitation, Judi agreed to participate with me. 

The next hurdle was finding out if they had clothes to fit us. It would be no problem fitting Judi, but for me, that’s another story! We sent our measurements to Laurie and eventually received a message that we were both in. Fortunately, the women who had made and was supplying the outfits had a relative with a similar size and shape to mine! We were now committed! Soon the Festival date arrived and we made our way to the Village. We had never participated in anything like this before, so we didn’t know what to expect. As I have said before, at most festivals and events Judi and I like to fade into the background and not be up front and central! Actually, there were going to be some 44 models, including us, participating, so our “spotlight” was going to be fairly short and sweet! Still, we did have to dress up and become something we weren’t use to. 

(Continued in Part 2)

Thursday, October 1, 2020

What To Do? What To Do?

 

With COVID-19 still with us, and caution still important, communities and facilities are trying to figure out how to celebrate two significant events ~ Halloween. I’ve got a few ideas to consider.

Halloween

First, I’ll give you a little background to the idea.

·         Each year the community of Waterford Ontario hosts the Waterford Pumpkinfest. When Judi and I have visited this event, we were impressed by how involved community residents were. Many homes had fun carved pumpkins and Halloween decorations. (NOTE: This event has been modified because of COVID-19)

·         Each year the community of Meaford Ontario hosts the Meaford Scarecrow Invasion. The main street and some of the side streets are “alive” with scarecrows! Scarecrows can be seen on the street, store fronts, hillside park and even from the town’s lamp posts. (NOTE: This year’s event has been cancelled due to COVID-19)

·         The community of Buckhorn, held, a few years ago, an event called Colours and Crows. Members of the community would create different scarecrows and scarecrow scenes. A list of scarecrow locations was prepared, and visitors and residents were invited to try to find each location. This was like a fun, scarecrow “scavenger” hunt! While searching for the scarecrows, participants were treated to the areas spectacular fall colours.

I am sure that many other communities hold Halloween events, but do they allow for COVID-19 and “social distancing”?

So, here’s my concept ~ hold a combination of each of the above events, keeping the current challenges in mind.

·         Develop a Halloween theme for the whole community

·         Encourage all downtown businesses to decorate their premises

·         Encourage all residents to participate by decoration their home or balconies

·         Hold a contest for the best decorated businesses (perhaps the best 2 or 3)

·         Hold a contest for the best decorated homes (perhaps the best in different categories – kids, adults, etc.)

·         Create a fun “Halloween Scavenger Hunt”, one that both residents and visitors can participate in, as they “drive” through the community

·         Based on the community’s Halloween theme, have selected individuals or families create “secret displays” and then make up a “Halloween Scavenger Hunt” list

·         Have fun prizes that people can win if they find all the “secret displays

·         Tie all 3 programs together in one event

·         It would be great if the town would decorate some of their facilities

·         The event could run two or three weeks

If you’d like further information about these concepts, please e-mail me at gary@ontariovisited.ca.