Planet Nilknarf

September 2013

Welcome to Planet Nilknarf!!!

First of all I would like to thank everyone for all your wonderful Birthday wishes!! I had an excellent day! Thank you to all my friends and family, readers and everyone from Facebook, even the amazing number who still message me at my OLD account that's been suspended for over a year. I can see and appreciate the thought even though I cannot reply to your messages from there. My birthday was excellent. Ted and Marnie took us out for a lovely drive along the scenic route to Bowmanville where we enjoyed a great supper at Bobby C's at the marina. It was a nice, uneventful, quiet, peaceful and drama-free day!! From Janette I received an adorable little Ty Beanie Baby rainbow sock monkey. Dave gave me a set of lovely little Winnie the Pooh and Tigger figurines that come with a little booklet full of amusing quotes, a DVD of “Oz the Great and Powerful” and the book “KISS FAQ”. Aunt Anne sent me $20 and Ted and Marnie gave me a card with $50 worth of American money to use on my trip to Kansas. The KISS concert was great, however I must say that although I'm crazy enough to spend $220 for a ticket and wear KISS makeup on my face, I am NOT crazy enough to STAND through the entire show! So without further ado, here is the account of our experience:

Margaret and Janette's Great KISS Concert Adventure
Friday, July 26th To say I was “as restless as a fart in a bottle” would have been an understatement. In fact the proverbial said bottled fart was pretty tame compared to how I felt last night. Still I did my best to take it all in stride as the day Janette and I had spent months talking about and planning was just beyond the horizon. I had one of my worst nights of sleep ever. There wasn't even the horrendous heat wave we suffered from last week at this time. However I found it hard to sleep because my nose was stuffy, my throat was painfully dry and I would have to bite my tongue at least two or three times as I began

to drift off. (I wonder if Gene Simmons ever has this problem!!) I hate it when that happens. It makes me so angry and frustrated! My alarm went off at 4:30 and I got up as planned and turned on the radio while I had my shower. Unfortunately, CKDO does not have news or weather reports that early in the morning. At least I got my packing done and had a breakfast of coffee and cereal. I planned on being out the door by seven but ended up catching the 403 Park bus at 6:15. I could never be a bus driver. Even with my sunglasses on, no matter where I sat the sun hurt my eyes! At the Go station I asked the man at the counter for a two-ride ticket but they don't do that anymore. I have to remember to buy my ticket home at the station tomorrow. There is no more Go shuttle so I'd taken the long and convoluted route of the 403 Park bus. It had been my experience in the past that the 403 Park bus usually pulled up to the Go station conveniently at that moment when the Go train is pulling out and I've had to wait an hour for the next one but today wasn't the case. I just bought my ticket, got on the train and that was it. It was barely 8:00 when I arrived at Union Station. Janette won't even be here until at least 10 or 10:30. After I'd been to the washroom as usual, the first thing I did was go to the newsstand and buy myself a pen. One of the first things I must do when we get to our hotel room is charge the battery for my camera. Yesterday I took the battery out of my camera and put it in the charger, unplugged the bathroom night light and totally forgot to plug in my charger. Boys and girls can we say “DUH!” 4:15 pm I've got my makeup on but it's hard to be in a very festive mood after what happened on our way to the pool. 4:30 pm I feel a bit better now that I've gotten Janette's makeup done and it sounds like things have gotten a bit quieter in the hallway. It was shortly after 8:00 when I arrived at Union. Go figure. I actually made my connection and caught the Go train. I worked on my embroidery until Janette showed up. When Janette arrived we bought cinnamon buns for tomorrow's breakfast and bacon & egg bagels for our lunch as well as bottles of orange juice and made our way to the hotel. The walk seemed to take forever and our load felt like it kept getting heavier and heavier. When we finally arrived at our hotel room we ate an early lunch and napped for a couple hours. After our nap I wanted to go swimming so I changed into my bathing suit. Janette didn't feel like changing so she just came to the pool with me, figuring she'd just sit and read while I was in the water. We made it all the way downstairs only to learn that the pool was way up on the eighth floor! So we had to go all the way back up. These elevators are activated by our key cards and we struggled and fumbled with them awkwardly. “I've never seen anything like this before.” I said. “That's because you're lesbians!” said the rude young man who got out of the elevator at the floor before we did. WTF!!!!! It was like a slap in the face!! What did we do to deserve such a rude comment other than happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. We felt hurt and violated and I didn't enjoy my swim or stay in the water very long. Can't we go ANYWHERE without anything stupid happening to us? At around 4:00 I started putting on my makeup without the usual enthusiasm that's accompanied such a transformation before. People in the hallway were being very rowdy and noisy and I hoped they'd be

gone by the tie we left the room. I hope we're not asking for more trouble by wearing KISS makeup. Chances are, however, once we get there we certainly won't be the only ones. When I was taking off my jewelery to change for swimming the chain broke on my Gene Simmons autograph necklace. Neither of us could fix it so I hooked the pendant onto one of the key-chains that hang from the pouch where I carry my camera and MP3 player. I hope the rest of this day goes better. Thank God this isn't my actual birthday. Go figure. On our last big adventure I got screamed at by my aunt when I wasn't even deliberately trying to be rude and now somebody's rude to us and basically gets away scot-free! I'm fed up with always being on the rotten end of the stick! Once we were ready to go we caught a cab outside the hotel. The first driver freaked out and acted afraid of us and took off. While we got into the next cab, the one behind us honked angrily. At least it only cost around $17 to get us there. Once we arrived, my bad mood over today's previous events started to dissipate. It felt good to be around other KISS fans. There were so many people wearing assorted KISS T-shirts and many other people besides us wearing KISS makeup. Several people took our pictures. We were getting hungry so we bought ourselves hot dogs. We also bought ourselves KISS T-shirts at the souvenir stand. There was one I'd seen on the Internet that I'd wanted of KISS' picture on a big maple leaf. I also bought a program. It seemed to take FOREVER for us all to finally be let in and standing around for so long was making my feet hurt. Once we finally made it to our seats, this other band, I think they were called Shine Down, opened for KISS. Their first song was great but I found the rest of them boring. If there's one thing about the Molson Amphitheatre, it's that there's no such thing as a bad seat. There's only one problem; NOBODY FUCKING SITS!!! HELLO?! We didn't pay $220 each to spend the evening staring at the back of some Jolly Green Giant's head!!! If KISS didn't have those huge TV screens on either side of the stage we wouldn't be able to see most of the show at all. KISS opened with “Psycho Circus” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68qdogu8Hhs followed by “Shout it Out Loud” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8LQMBS3vfY and then “Let Me Go Rock & Roll” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJkLAVzMIvc After the third song I sat down and so did Janette. Hadn't we been standing long enough when we waiting to get in and my feet hurt! Surely Gene and Paul weren't going to notice if a few people weren't standing. And besides we weren't the only ones who sat down. There were two people at least a row or two behind us. Besides, who says we HAVE to stand? It's not like we're in church or something. We just don't have the energy to stand through an entire show like everyone else! Another thing that irritated me was the way people in our row kept pushing past us to get in and out. Can't they just settle down and watch the show? I nearly missed Gene's fire-breathing act because of someone pushing past us in our row. I was getting quite annoyed with all these people in my personal space and gave

up standing to let them pass. To think way back when I was a teenager I actually DID stand through entire KISS concerts!...On top of those rickety folding chairs!! How did I do it? And these were people over 40 still standing through the entire show just like they did 30 years ago! At least Gene's act for “God of Thunder” was still as awesome as ever and my footage for that turned out very well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikKQTK0tvt4 However, at some point during the show I had to deal with a veritable CLOWN CAR'S WORTH of security guards pushing their way through our row. At least I found out why. We were only about a dozen seats away from Paul's platform. That was the absolute BEST part of the show! It was well worth the $220 to be that close to him and I was surprised because I didn't expect him to use his “flying machine” in such a small venue. At least I have shot some EXCELLENT footage! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMWnWO0rPiY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqh67ulJGJo The last few songs of the evening were some of the best parts of the show. There were all the amazing pyrotechnics in “Detroit Rock City” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovXHqKe5Qs4 Then they launched into “I Was Made For Loving You” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb0waXuNMHw And, of course no show is complete without “Rock & Roll All Nite” White confetti cascaded everywhere! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Id632yUzbsc We had our picture taken with various KISS lookalikes. I can hardly wait to post these in my Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/media/set/? set=a.286742308132204.1073741829.100003893116310&type=1&l=cf929c5ee4 All in all we had a pretty good time but I think this will probably be our last KISS concert. Getting back to the hotel we ere feeling kind of irritable but we managed to flag down a cap who gave us a flat rate of $30 for the journey. I am exhausted and my feet are killing me. I also found out that the vendor sold me the WRONG Tshirt! I wanted the one with the maple leaf on it but instead got the one with the Canadian flag on it and I didn't even find this out until we got back to our room. Oh well, I guess we're not meant to match. At least this time anyway. Saturday July 27th When Janette and I woke up this morning we decided we'd just check out and go home. So much for going out to lunch at the Lone Star Texas Grill. Why tempt fate any further. We were just exhausted and not in the mood for anymore drama. Once we packed everything and checked out, we took a cab to Union Station and I bought my ticket

for the journey home. I didn't have to wait long. Janette and I said goodbye to each other and I followed the announcement to a long hallway and up a seemingly endless flight of stairs. At least it wasn't crowded this time of day. It makes me kind of sad to know that a chapter of my life has come to a close. The journey home went fast. I bet Dave was quite surprised to see me home so early. One of the first things I did was turn on the computer, connect my camera and loaderize my pictures and videos as I caught up on my email and did my latest Lumosity workout. I actually had a “Good Brain Day”!! I got “Personal Best” 3-point scores on three out of five of the games I played this session! That made me a happy camper. But my feet were still hurting so after I cued up all my videos to upload onto my YouTube account I retreated to my bed and had a Darned Good Nap!!!

1940's Carnival and Circus Footage
Before I show you anything else I want to share this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=825AxSVFMZg The carousels are gorgeous! I notice that one of them has a switchback track like the “Over the Jumps” carousel the National Carousel Association visited in Arkansas back in 2008.

How to Live With Introverts
I thought this link would also be interesting and helpful: http://betweenletters.quora.com/How-to-Live-With-Introverts

Carousel of Friendship
Not much new has really happened in terms of getting any closer to actually building the Carousel of Friendship, but more new quilts are being made. I usually have at least two on the go at any given time, starting with Wild About Jungle Cats! The Jungle Cats quilt is an idea I've had for at least two years and I actually traced out most of the squares when I came back from Denver, Pictures come from a variety of sources including the Carving Carousel Animals book by H. Le Roy Marlow. I've had this book for over 20 years but still haven't had the chance to try my hand at learning to carve. The line drawings are excellent though. I like that for each figure both sides are illustrated, so I used both sides for this tiger!

No doubt if you've been reading my publication regularly you have seen this next one before:

Instead of the usual jigsaw-puzzle silhouette I decided that for my “Title” square, the “Positive Energy” quilt as I call it, would have a group of some of our best animals from previous quilts. This includes Janette's “Gas Sign” and “Honeymoon” horses, Brandy's horse and Britney Zikic's “Flintstone” horse along with my own two favorite menagerie figures. A quote that appeared on my Facebook page inspired this feel-good filly.

It is my intention that my “Magical Journeys” art exhibit captures that feeling of being six years old once again and seeing a carousel for the first time, and like I did, being just blown away thinking this is the coolest thing you've ever laid eyes on! My quilts are a doorway through time where the cherished memories of yesterday meet you where you are standing today along with the exciting hopes and dreams of tomorrow! I hope that visitors to my exhibit will be inspired and leave the place feeling happy and hopeful. You will be able to see the latest quilts I've completed when you visit Bobcaygeon's Settler's Village the weekend of September 7th and 8th to see them at the semi-annual Harvest of Quilts show, along

with many other quilts from all over. Prepare to be amazed!! They say they have this rule about not showing quilts you've exhibited before but it makes me wonder how they're going to top some of the amazing quilts I saw last time I was there, including that lighthouse made of all those tiny squares! Anyway, one of the things I've enjoyed doing when I've made my quilts in recent years is sharing some of the exciting colouring pictures carousels have published on the Internet in order to promote them. This is a convenient segue to my next feature:

Carousel of the Month

Our carousel for the month of September is the magnificent Berkshire carousel, a wonderful work in progress in Berkshire, Massachusetts. The latest image on my quilt is from the colouring picture they published on their website: http://berkshirecarousel.com/BerkshireCarousel/Coloring_Page.html This is Berkshire Belle. I hope they have other colouring pages someday. I collect carousel colouring books and pictures from all over and enjoy the creative challenge of using various designs as embroidery patterns to promote both their carousel and mine. This month I chose a carousel I haven't been to yet because I haven't been to any other carousels since last year's convention and because the Berkshire Carousel is a very special place that I really want to visit someday and support wholeheartedly. This is their website: http://berkshirecarousel.com/BerkshireCarousel/Berkshire_Carousel.html I have no other pictures because I would rather share pictures that I've taken when I actually do go there someday, however you will find a link to their Facebook Page on their website. It is perhaps one of my absolute favorite Facebook pages! Their volunteers are doing a wonderful job and they've always got something exciting going on in terms of promotional events. Every day my Facebook Feed is graced by the latest goings on in their workshop! It's been such a thrill watching this project grow day by day and wishing I could be there myself to help out! This is just the sort of thing I wish I had going on in my own community and seeing all these magnificent steeds take shape is such an

inspiration to me! I already feel like I know most of the horses personally! It’s going to be so amazing to see them all in action when this breathtaking work of art finally opens to the public! Meanwhile they have had so many fun events going on; ice cream socials, concerts, dinners, various open houses, even photo sessions where you can come in and have your picture taken with one of the horses! They have so many wonderful things going on that it pays to subscribe to their Facebook page while waiting for that magical day to arrive! They're even making a very special music video!! It should be out soon. I'll let you know as more details become available. In the meantime they have shared this lovely video on YouTube about their community and the book they have for sale: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SgeR95Q7Uc I hope they will have merchandise for sale at the convention this year.

Joey's Project
Here's what I've got done so far...

The rug on the floor under the table was inspired by the rug that my mom hooked and had hanging in our dining room for many years. I have no idea where that rug is now but I was around 12 years old when she started hooking it and I believe I remember helping out with some of it. So far this is how much I've gotten done on the most recent square:

EXCITING NEWS FLASH!!!!!!!!!!!!
This just in: That Berkshire Carousel Music Video I was mentioning in this month's Carousel of the Month article is FINISHED!! And it is ABSOLUTELY FREAKING BRILLIANT!!!! And I even have the Youtube link for it!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfPWLnm-tvo It's a beautiful, whimsical video with an inspiring message: IMPOSSIBLE THINGS ARE HAPPENING EVERY DAY!

Dear Mom and Dad
A Bad Day to Be a Bird Thursday, August 8th, 2013 Dear Mom and Dad How are things in Heaven? Have you noticed more birds than usual these days? I just heard on the news that somewhere up North THOUSANDS of birds just mysteriously froze in mid-air and dropped from the sky. Nobody knows what caused it and I didn't get to hear the rest of the story because I couldn't settle to listen to the radio any longer. Speaking of birds, we had a visitor yesterday who has probably joined the flock in the great beyond. Yesterday when I woke up the phone was flashing and it was a message from Dave telling me that when he was leaving the house to go to work there was an injured seagull on the front lawn. He wanted me to see if it was still there and if it was to phone animal control.

So I stepped outside and sure enough there it was. The poor thing had a broken wing and couldn't fly. I phoned animal control but they said their only option was to euthanize the poor bird. I didn't really want to go that route so I tossed him a hunk of bread until I tried to figure out what to do next. He never did eat it.

Lisa messaged me on FaceBook saying I should give him some tuna or cat food on a paper plate. We have neither around the house. When Dave came home he ended up calling animal control after all. They showed up at around 5:00. Dave couldn't get to see very much because he'd just come out of the shower and he wasn't decent. A white van pulled up in front of the house and a man in uniform slid open the side door to reveal an assortment of cages. Then he slid on two pairs of gloves; a bright blue pair of rubber gloves covered by a heavier pair of leather ones. He selected a small plastic carrier like the kind used for transporting a cat or small dog. Then he proceeded to corral the bird with the carrier, cornering it against the wall. He then proceeded to grab the bird with both hands and shove him into the carrier. The bird screamed in protest. I felt bad but what could I do? I had actually considered trying to nurse the bird myself. For a moment I grabbed a laundry basket and proceeded to line it with newspaper. But our neighbour across the street told me not to touch the bird. That beak could poke my eye out! Do you remember when I was about seven or eight years old we rescued a pigeon? We kept him in a round, orange laundry basket with a “lid” made from a tea towel held in place with clothes pins. We couldn't let him die because he belonged to somebody. He had that band around his leg. We must have looked after that bird for at least a week until he was strong enough to fly again. I wish I could remember what we fed him, Anyway, I had kind of a frustrating start to my day because today I awoke to discover, after I had my shower, that the answering machine was flashing again. This time it was Jean. She wanted to come today instead of tomorrow to pick up my quilts for the show. She called at around 9:00. I was STILL ASLEEP! I didn't receive this message until QUARTER TO ELEVEN! So I was all upset thinking that if she did come all the way here I was either still asleep or in the shower and wouldn't have heard her at the door so I would have missed her and she would have driven all the way here for nothing. I was feeling so frustrated and helpless because I do not react well to last-minute surprises like this!! At least she phoned about half an hour ago telling me I hadn't missed her after all because she only made it as far as Lindsay and then went home because she realized I probably hadn't received her message until it was too late so she's coming tomorrow after all as originally planned. What a relief!

But as usual I'd wasted the day fretting, worrying and having beaten myself up for no reason after all! At least I can say all's right with the world for now. Dave is doing well but we had another scare a couple days ago. Monday night after work he started feeling sick again. He was burning up a fever and shivering so badly he could hardly speak so he went to bed and stayed home from work on Tuesday. At least he was okay to go back to work yesterday. I was scared because last tie he felt like this it was before his cellulitis flared up and he had to go to the hospital. On our anniversary of all days! We were kind of duped out of our celebration and have yet to make up for it somehow. The KISS concert was great. I'm sure you've already read all about it. I know I said this would probably be my last KISS concert but I'm sure I'd be tempted to go to another someday, provided that it's NOT at the Molson Amphitheatre, but another arena show like the one I went to in Oshawa or any of the others prior to that. As long as they're not FLOOR seats! I think the seat I had here in Oshawa was the best, not to mention the ones Janette and I had at their Reunion tour in 1996. We may have been far away but at least we didn't have to STAND the whole time to see anything!! And I know last year when I came home from the carousel convention Dave couldn't believe his ears when I said I was thinking of skipping the one this year! As usual, within the course of the next few days when I was uploading my pictures and videos and posting about my trip, the Carousel Bug started gnawing at me again as usual. Especially since Kansas is “Wizard of Oz” country, another one of my major obsessions since childhood. “The Wizard of Oz” was also the first major play I'd ever taken part in. I was just in the chorus but I'm glad you came to see me just the same. If I remember correctly it was probably Christmas Eve and you drove me home right after the show and I probably had to go right back to Peterborough on Boxing Day as we were doing two performances each day all through the Christmas holidays. And that movie I got for my birthday is great! “Oz the Great and Powerful”! I'd been wanting to see it ever since I saw commercials for it. One of these days when I'm not quite so busy I MUST continue my “Alice & Dorothy” comic strips!

Lots of love, Margaret

Who's Going to Look After You When You Get Old?
The Baba Yaga House Thank God for CBC Radio! I love it when I happen to be listening to something that just happens to answer a very important question for me! As a childfree individual who also happens to be an only child, I realize my husband is not going to live forever and I'm afraid the odds are more likely stacked in the favor that I'll probably outlive him. Most widowed women I know have outlived their husbands. Okay, I know that last sentence sounded kind of “duh”. What with both my parents being deceased and knowing that my mom's inheritance money runs out when I turn 65, thoughts of my own mortality are not uncommon. I just turned 49, or “19 with 30 years experience” as I like to say. Those past 30 years seem to have gone so fast that I am scared that these next 16 will sneak up on me even faster. Then what will I do? The possibility lies in the idea of a group of retired feminists called the Baba Yagas. They started in France several years ago and more recently started another home in Montreal. Maybe by the time I am 65 there will be another Baba Yaga group in Toronto. Named after a witch, the idea is that the Baba Yagas are a group of women who, instead of depending on a hired staff who make them live by the rules and regulations of a traditional retirement home, look after each other. In a Baba Yaga house there is a common room where everyone can hand out together, but ever woman has her own room if need be. Part of the reason that it's strictly a womens' home is that men would change the dynamic of the situation because men tend to expect women to do everything for them. However, as the population ages we are actually starting to see more independent, self-sufficient men who are used to doing things for themselves. My husband, for example, since we didn't meet until he was almost 40, is used to doing everything himself and still prefers to do the cooking, grocery shopping and most of the laundry. At a Baba Yaga home women work as a team and do everything together, sharing the household responsibilities. We would all be like sisters, one big, happy family. Here is a link about the original home in France: http://www.english.rfi.fr/france/20130305-babayagas-house I realize that I've got many years ahead of me before the time comes and hope to live them all to the fullest, continuing to travel and share my experiences up until then and of course thereafter. So much can change in these upcoming years as have the years before!

Beetlebomb's Book Nook

This month I have FOUR great literary picks to choose from, two of which I borrowed from Janette and the other two being anniversary presents from my hubby! No Children No Guilt by Sylvia D. Luscon says it's okay not to follow the same old script society usually expects from everyone. The author speaks honestly about her desire not to procreate and about how both her marriages ended because both her husbands continued to hope that someday she would change her mind about having kids. It is a fascinating read from start to finish but I wouldn't recommend reading it at bedtime because I've found that at least in my case anyway it had the tendency to rile me up emotionally. One of the nice things about borrowing books from Janette is that we both allow each other to underline things and share notes we write in the margines. Same goes for I Hate Other People's Kids by Adrianne Frost. Personally I don't mind most kids but because of my sensory issues when it comes to noise babies and toddlers make me extremely nervous. The author of this book presents something of a “field guide” to the different types of kids she finds particularly annoying. A good, amusing read. However I am glad I don't live in England because grocery shopping here is bad enough. There, grocery stores have child-sized shopping carts so kids can have fun “helping” with the shopping. Obviously the inventor of such a concept didn't think far enough ahead to consider that children are going to fill their carts with toys and candy and all the things their parents are going to say they can't have and, inevitably, the kids will raise a major stink about having to put all that stuff back! The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin is good but doesn't really tell me much about autism that I haven't already read before. However I like that she shares the results of her MRI to show readers how her own brain is different from everybody else's. In a perfect world EVERYONE with autism should have access to an MRI because it would be so cool for each of us to be able to see what our own brains look like! Believe me, I sure would like to see MINE!! However, it is no guarantee that I actually would see anything different. Some autistic brains look the same as anyone else's. It's just the way we process information and make connections that is different from the neurotypical brain. Last but not least Raising Cubby is the third book written by John Elder Robison. It tells of the adventures he has had raising Jack, his only son who also has Asperger's Syndrome. Jack, who is better known by his nickname, Cubby, was born in 1989 when not much yet was known about Asperger's Syndrome. John remembered pictures from his own childhood of himself being a very dour and serious baby who almost never laughed or smiled. Cubby, on the other hand, laughed and smiled but wouldn't interact when his mother would play games like peekaboo or patty-cake. I enjoyed reading about the stories John used to tell to Cubby; stories about Gorko the Flying Lizard and his friends, his version of the history of Santa Claus, and my favorite; How Cubby was Bought from the Baby Store! That one had me in stitches!! If I wasn't already in the bathtub (my favorite place to read!) I would have been rolling on the floor laughing!! The climax of this story is when Cubby gets in big trouble about his YouTube videos because he enjoys experimenting with explosives!!!! Find out what happens when you read this book!

MARK'S & JANETTE'S MARIPOSA CRUISE Friday, Aug. 9/2013
Janette Tansley

Mark had won a prize package from one of the radio stations he listens to, for a Mariposa cruise around the Toronto Islands. We had a year to use the prize but we liked the idea of the theme nights. Both of us thought the 70's Disco Theme sounded great. I wore a silky top with a purple pattern that had a sheen to it, plus a pink sequinned flower hair ornament (that I fixed up to wear as a brooch). Also I wore a pink and a silver sequin hair

scrunchy on my wrist, plus a leopard spot glitzy ring (from a party store). We boarded at 6:30 p.m. and it was so exciting to see helium balloons at every table. They had bright patterns or rock motifs on them. Disco music was already playing to get us in the mood. It was great to relax and to watch the scenery go by. I kept taking pictures or videos. We saw quite a few ducks, some white swans and other birds. When we rounded some of the islands and the Toronto skyline was no longer visible, it was easy to imagine we were way up North!! I liked seeing this 'wilderness', not concrete and hecticness everywhere. We were fed really well aboard too! Table by table we were served hot food at the buffet, yum! In fact I was glad that dessert wasn't served immediately after because I didn't have room for it just then. Mark & I saw someone who had a lovely colourful drink and we wanted one of those too. These were metal drinking vessels that came in blue, green or red, that was for unlimited soft drinks. Mark chose a green one and I chose red. The sun was setting and there was a gorgeous twilight. It was wonderful to look out at it while hearing the "be-boppy" party music playing. We felt so light hearted, happy and amazed by the scenery. I was still faithfully recording a lot of footage on my iPod so we could relive this evening. Dessert was served and we really enjoyed it. By now the sky was very colourful and the Toronto skyline was so impressive against it, really a postcard scene for real!! We arrived back at the harbour at 10 p.m. People were STILL eating at the restaurants nearby!! We were both so full from the buffet that we wanted to walk up to Union Station from Queens Quay. This had been an amazing night out! Janette Tansley

Food For Thought
The Guy Fieri Every now and then I will discover a recipe that I like to share here. With Diners, Drive-ins and Dives being one of my obsessions I thought I would name this tasty sammich after my favorite TV Foodie. 2 slices raisin bread, toasted peanut butter honey, 1 banana sliced lengthwise and then cut in half Boursin cranberry & pepper flavoured cheese Generous handful of fresh raspberries Spread peanut butter and honey on one slice, top with banana slices. Spread Bousin cheese on other slice, add raspberries. Smoossh together and cut in half. This sammich could possibly be IMPROVED by the addition of BACON!!!! (but I don't have any at the moment!)

Musings of a Frequent Traveller
Sometimes when I have trouble sleeping I write lists. Just for the fun of it, no particular reason. Except to reflect on cherished memories and keep track of all the amazing things I've done and places I've been Recently I figured it out and realized I've stayed in a hotel at LEAST 34 times. Starting with that first time in Flesherton when I was only three years old. It was probably only a month or so after my parents and I moved from Scarborough to Forest Manor in North York, so naturally I assumed we were moving AGAIN!!! No wonder babies and toddlers are so cranky when they travel. A child so young does NOT understand the concept of staying at a hotel or motel and there was no consoling me when I was appalled that we had to leave so many things behind including my big doll, Nancy! Every other time we went away anywhere overnight it was always to a friend or relative's house, so I was surrounded with familiar faces and my young mind always seemed to know we would be coming home eventually. But after having moved recently and being in this strange place with nobody else but my parents, I was scared and didn't know what to expect. Over the years we went on many a road trip but we always stayed at either somebody's house or cottage, or at our own tent or trailer. I was about seven years old when we used to pitch our blue-andorange barn-shaped tent on Uncle Alex's property, and then eventually bought a trailer from him. We never stayed at a motel again until I had just turned 12. The one summer we decided to do something DIFFERENT for a change (not counting the year before when the three of us actually flew to Holland. And yes, we stayed with family the whole time we were there too,) the time we decided to drive out to Gananoque! We stayed at a place with a pool but didn't have time to use it. At least we got to see Old Fort Henry and go on the Thousand Island Boat Cruise but had to bring our holiday to an abrupt halt because something was wrong with our car and I was burning up a fever. Mom kept me amused on the journey home by teaching me corking. I wound yarn around a red plastic spool and every time I ran out of yarn, mom would pass me another skein. My third motel stay was on the way home from my high school class trip to New York in 1982. We were assigned four girls to each room with two beds and my bunk-mate ended up sleeping on the floor because she said I took up the whole bed. Back in those days I used to collect Smurfs and somebody who knew about my obsession phoned our room at around 3:00 in the morning threatening to take them!!

Those were in the days when they still had Voyageur restaurants. Does anybody else remember them? I remember back in my childhood we often stopped there on the way to Sarnia or Wasaga Beach. There was one stretch along the highway where there were TWO of these restaurants right across the highway from one another like a mirror image. I always liked the pointy red roof that looked like a witch's hat. The bus trip home from New York was the last time I can remember ever even having seen a Voyageur restaurant. The next hotel stay was in the early spring of 1984 when my class in college went to Ottawa. Perhaps the most memorable thing about our hotel was that I was the lucky one who was the only one whose hotel had a bathtub instead of just a shower. My classmates and I also got silly with all the extra toilet paper, wrapping it around ourselves, staggering up and down the hallway pretending to be mummies!! It was on that trip I discovered the artwork of MC Escher in the National Gallery and bought an adorable plush unicorn that played “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” when wound. This unicorn was and still is very special to me because not only have I always loved unicorns, but I had just been in a local production of “The Wizard of Oz” that previous Christmas holiday. It was my first big show, even though I was just in the chorus, as was to be my fate in the majority of any subsequent productions. I still have this unicorn and it is still very special to me even though I was considering giving him away during my manic episode. I'm glad I didn't. My next hotel stay wasn't until 1991, which was my first of many associated with regularly attending National Carousel Association conventions. Boston in 1992, Binghamton in 1993, Denver in 1994. After that I could not afford to go to any more NCA conventions for a long time but Janette and I went on several Niagara trips. Our annual overnight trips were in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000. And at the last minute I joined her and Mark on on in 2001. And then, of course, Dave and I went on our Honeymoon, also at Niagara, in July of 2002. http://www.scribd.com/doc/8021590/Wedding-and-Honeymoon In February of 2003 Janette and I went on an impromptu Niagara trip just after I quit my job and in AUgust I went on my first NCA convention in nearly a decade and took a bus to Binghamton. The second time I've been there! The four of us all went to Niagara again in January of 2004 to celebrate Janette's 40th birthday! In August of 2005 I went to my next NCA convention in Pittsburgh. http://www.scribd.com/doc/8512715/2005-Pitsburgh-Convention Then in 2007 all four of us all went to Niagara together.

It felt like an eternity since our last holiday because 2006 had been such a horrible year. Janette and I had been duped out of going to Niagara in 2006 because Dave got sick and had to spend an entire month in the hospital and I basically ended up living on the money I'd set aside for that trip. And then, of course, about a month after Dave got home from the hospital I had my stint of having to stay there for at least two weeks. This was one of the most terrifying chapters of my life and I hope nothing like that ever happens again!! That year I finally had a part time job and I was able to put aside some money so that's when we went on this trip pictured on the previous page. It was also the second of many stays at the Days Inn at Clifton Hill, the first time being Janette's birthday trip. I think of all the hotels I've ever stayed at this is one of my favorites because we've been there so many times now that it feels like home away from home. http://www.scribd.com/doc/7871953/2007-NIagara-Trip It was also earlier that summer Dave and I shared a hotel room in Toronto for Steve Forbert's concert. 2008 was my trip to Memphis for the National Carousel Association convention there. We actually spent one night at a hotel in St. Louis. http://www.scribd.com/doc/7838445/2008-NCA-Convention In 2009 I actually went to TWO NCA conventions! The first one was the technical conference in Sandusky, Ohio. I actually stayed at two different hotels that weekend because the first one supposedly wasn't open on the first night. The first place I stayed was actually one of the cheapest but it actually had one of the nicest bathtubs I've ever encountered. The rest of the time I stayed at Castaway Bay. This is one of my favorite resorts because even though it is a family resort my room was reasonably quiet and I had my own balcony with this wonderful view that I enjoyed when I'd sit outside enjoying my early morning coffee:

It was so peaceful. And they had an excellent selection of pay-per-view movies as well as a terrific convenience store in the lobby. I remember buying myself a can of sour cream & onion Pringles and a jug of chocolate milk and enjoying both “Bride Wars” and “Confessions of a Shopaholic”! One of the interesting things about Sandusky, Ohio is that nearly EVERY hotel has its own WATER PARK!! That was the first time I discovered that there is actually more than one Great Wolf Lodge! Up until then the only one I'd ever heard of was Niagara Falls, of course. The original Great Wolf Lodge is in Wisconsin!!! Meanwhile, it was a rather amusing site to be riding down the highway and seeing colourful water slides snaking their way in and out of nearly every other building along the highway! http://www.scribd.com/doc/15568123/2009-NCA-Tech-Convention-Sandusky

It was in September of that same year I also enjoyed the main convention in Philadelphia!!! I had a room to myself the first night or two and for the rest of the convention I shared a suite with my friend Richard. You can read about that trip here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/21528867/2009-Philadelphia-Convention In early July of 2010 Janette and I took one of our best Niagara trips ever! http://www.scribd.com/doc/34240351/Margaret-and-Janette-s-Excellent-Adventure I also had my trip to Spokane, Washington in September for that year's NCA convention. We spent one night in Helena and the carousel was literally right outside our door! Well almost! Many of us had already seen it when we got there but I went to my room to soak in the tub and have some quiet time before dinner so I didn't get to see it until after super and I was getting cranky and impatient because the speeches went on forever!! When my friends and I finally DID get to ride the carousel we were the last ones to leave that night. We stayed until it closed!!

Okay, I know some people are sick of this picture of me riding a trout but hey, it's my favorite carousel picture of me that isn't of me on a horse! I like this picture because to me it's the epitome of goofy exuberance! You can read more about this trip here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/38664586/Carousels-of-Discovery-The-2010-NCA-Convention This has to be one of my favorite conventions because I rode some pretty iconic carousel animals on that particular trip! Then there was Denver in September of 2011. This has to be my LEAST favorite trip. Definitely my LEAST favorite hotel room, or tied close for worst with the hotel in North Bay! http://www.scribd.com/doc/68781657/Hoofbeats-in-the-Rockies In April of 2012 Janette and I had our next whirlwind adventure at Niagara! We needed it! It was the last time we'd been anywhere together since dealing with my mom's estate! http://www.scribd.com/doc/89749177/Margaret-and-Janette-s-Great-Escape

Then there was the infamous North Bay trip in late June/early July! http://www.scribd.com/doc/100517817/North-Bay-Trip?in_collection=2299478 That hotel was such a DUMP! EVERYTHING in the bathroom was WET! Everything either leaked and dripped or was covered in condensation! And, aside from when we first arrived the staff NEVER changed our sheets or towels. Same soggy towels all week and damp toilet paper because there was nowhere dry to set it. I had a towel of my own but TOTALLY forgot all about it because of all the upsetting circumstances we dealt with on that trip. Then there was my most recent NCA convention in Michigan last September: http://www.scribd.com/doc/108777550/2012-nca-convention That was a pretty nice hotel, despite the fact that it was the FURTHEST AWAY therefore our hotel had to be FIRST on the bus and the last ones to get “home” that night. And, of course the last hotel that I've stayed at was the one Janette and I were at when we went to the KISS concert on July 26th, as mentioned earlier in this issue. It's hard to believe that a month from today I will actually be in yet ANOTHER hotel room. I will have spent my first night at the Econolodge in Lansing Kansas, having landed in Kansas City the night before, likely having had supper at the iHop across the street that night and breakfast from the buffet this morning. At this time next month I will probably be sitting at my table at the NCA archives with my art supplies set up, encouraging guests to design their own carousel horses and showing them all my artwork so far. A continuous slide presentation will play from a digital picture frame on my table and I will be mixing and mingling with all my other fellow carousel enthusiasts who haven't seen each other since last year at this time. I hope it won't be too difficult to get my suitcase up the stairs. There are no elevators in this place. I've actually chosen to leave a day later so I have time to rest the day before my plane takes off. I don't want this year's convention to end the same way the last two did, with me being stuffed into a wheelchair because I'm so tired I can't stop crying! And I forgot to list that time I stayed at the Quality Inn in Hamilton with my former boss, probably because that awful trip wasn't worth remembering in the first place!!! Stay tuned next month when I chronicle the number of times I've TRAVELLED BY AIRPLANE!!!!!

Upcoming Events
Don't Forget! The weekend of Saturday September 7th and Sunday the 8th is the Harvest of Quilts show at Settler's Pioneer Village in Bobcaygeon! Admission is only $2 or 3 for $5. At least five of my quilts will be on display for you to see in person along with many others. It'll be intersting to see how they top the 2011 show! I will be in Kansas from September 24th until the 30th to bring you official coverage of the National Carousel Association’s annual convention! This is no ordinary convention! (Then again there's NO SUCH THING as an ORDINARY carousel convention!! ;)) It is the 40th anniversary of the NCA and much of the festivities will be taking place at the archives!! I probably won't get around to publishing next month's issue until I get back from this convention so you can look forward to more extensive coverage in our Fifth Anniversary Issue for November. This year I plan on having an art table at Roundabout Fair where friends are welcome to deign their own carousel horses for my quilts!

Kerry's Place Autism Celebration, Wednesday October 9th, at Father Leo J. Austin C.S.S., 1020 Dryden Blvd., Whitby Ontario. 6:00 until 9:00 pm. Crafts, resources, entertainment and more.

Ewetopia

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