Saturday, September 19

And the Winner is...

The giveaway is over and the entries are now closed. I decided to do the drawing the old fashioned way, so I got out this bowl and started cutting and folding.

When I was through, I asked hubby to do the honours.
He carefully mixed up the names to ensure that everyone had a fair chance and then he drew a name...
Tammy from Lattes and Lollipops. Congratulations, Tammy. I will need your mailing address.

Thanks so much to all who entered the giveaway. It was a lot of fun and I appreciate your support.

Blogiversary Giveaway

***This is a sticky post and will remain at the top until after the drawing on Saturday September 19th at 8pm EST. To see my latest posts, please scroll down.***

Chicken Soup for the Soul What I Learned from the Dog will be released on September 22. Imgaine my surprise when my contributor copies arrived by courier today. I knew I would get them but didn't think they'd arrive until after the release date.

Considering it is very close to my two year blogiversary and that this is my 720th post, I am giving away one of these books to one lucky person. My story is on page 182 and I will sign that page for the winner.

This is my first story to ever be published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, though I have had stories in many other anthologies, including Chocolate for Women and Guideposts.

It's always nice to see your words in print. The feeling is very similar to seeing your baby delivered safely into the world.

All you have to do is comment in order to be entered into the drawing. If you post about my giveaway, I will enter your name a second time. Just be sure to let me know. All are welcome to enter. If you don't have a blog, be sure to leave an email addy where I can reach you. The drawing will take place on Saturday September 19th at 8pm EST, so be sure to spread the word. Good luck to all who enter.

Friday, September 18

The Seasons are Changing

Early this morning the temperature was 6 C, which is approximately 42 F. Yes, autumn has arrived. Trees are changing colour and some are even losing leaves. Mom told me last night she is surprised we haven't had a frost yet. So it's time to get the yard ready for the autumn season. Last Sunday when hubby and I went to the War of 1812 reenactment, we stopped at a farm produce stall on the way home. We bought tomatoes (ours are done for the year) and sweet corn. They had mum plants on sale for $2.00 each. I chose a yellow one and hubby chose the lavender one. They look nice on the porch railing and bring colour into the yard.

I also brought my houseplants in from outside. The ivy in the basket is the one that Brandon planted in the spring and the spider plant on the left is one that he gave me for my birthday last year. There isn't much light in our living room and I often have trouble keeping plants alive. However, the entertainment unit has a light in the mirrored shelf, so I sent hubby to buy bulbs for it and we've put the plants there. They will get articifical light all day. I'm hoping that they will live until spring when I can once again get them outdoors.

So, we have been changing things around a little. I'm looking forward to all the sights, sounds and fragrances of the season. Today we watched the squirrels fighting in the large maple at the end of the driveway; the blue jays have been screaming their raucous calls all day long and the Canada geese are flying overhead, honking and reminding us that summer is past.

If you haven't already, please be sure to enter my giveaway. It will be closed Saturday night at 8 pm EST.

Monday, September 14


A couple of months ago, I measured Dakota for length and height. For while we didn't think he was growing at all, but in the last couple of weeks I could actually see a difference. When I measured him today, with hubby's help, he had grown 4 inches longer and 3 inches taller. He isn't a short stubby dog any longer. At one point I thought he might always be that way.

Here he is sitting beside hubby in the yard. I tried to get one of myself with him, but he wasn't cooperating.
Dakota and hubby playing. He loves to go outside and jump around the yard. He also does this with me, but not tonight.

Rough housing. Dakota is feisty and likes to play rough. He is more gentle with me and the boys.
Yes, he likes to dance too. As you can see he has changed a lot since we brought him home at the first of February. He has changed from a biting, scratching puppy to a calmer dog. He still has a lot to learn, but we can leave him alone for hours and he never has an accident in the house. He was one of the easiest dogs to housetrain that I've ever had. The one thing he's still doing the odd time is chewing. However, he is a good companion and very protective, which is just what I was looking for when we adopted him.

Sunday, September 13

War of 1812 Reenactment - Battle of Backus Mills

Backus Mills Conservation Area is located not far from Port Dover. In 1798, John Backus built a grist mill on the site. It is the one of a few mills that weren't burned during the War of 1812.

The Battle of Backus Mills was a turning point in the War of 1812. Sentries were posted in pairs along the shores of Lake Erie and they had orders that when they saw American ships, they were to run back and let their commander know. This let the Americans to believe that the British were cowards.

I discovered that there was going to be a reenactment at Backus Mills today. Hubby and I decided we would go. The weather was to be nice and since we had really enjoyed a Civil War reenactment a few years ago, we thought it would be nice to learn more about this battle.

We arrived at the conservation area, parked and then started walking. I had been to Backus Mills once when I was a child, but had forgotten how far you have to walk. We went down a hill and saw the mill right in front of us. It ceased being a working mill in 1955, but today it is a National Historic Site.
This pond is across a little wooden bridge from the mill. A tranquil place and it is stocked with fish.

This is the sluice of the mill. The water was crystal clear.

Another view of the mill, the sluice and the water wheel.

If you look closely, you can see the water wheel just at the back corner of the mill.

This is the John Backus House. It was just up the hill from the mill and John Backus would have been able to see the mill from the front porch.

Just past the house is where the sutlers had set up. One woman was making kitchen hooks. Others had coffee pots and other household items.

The people who take part in the reenactments camp on the grounds. Quite often the entire family is involved. There were people of every age taking part.
Here come the Americans. They are preparing for battle.

And here are the British at the opposite end of the field. While they stood there, the Americans attacked.

The British are trying to push the Americans back. Here is the first fatality.

The British are gaining ground. They have the Indians as their allies.
The British still trying to push the Americans back. They are gaining ground, but can't break through the American lines.

The Americans are retreating. The drummer boys were very young, just as they were in the original battle.
Americans on the run. They are going to head around and try to ambush the British in a different spot.
These three young men are Americans. The narrator explained that the Americans didn't have the cloth to always have blue uniforms. Sometimes they were grey and yes, even green. The British also had a shortage of cloth and dressed some of their troops in green. This caused great confusion.

American officers rounding up their men for the retreat. Notice the Native lodges in the background. This is where the Native people taking part in the battle were staying. I would have liked to have been able to get closer, but it wasn't possible with retreating American soldiers everywhere.
We walked back down the hill, past the Backus house and crossed the wooden bridge. There is a small dam there. It looked so refreshing.

Across the path from the dam is this gazebo with the old hand pump and trough in front of it. That old pump brought back memories.

We saw these two Americans on the way to the second part of the battle. They are just beginning to take part in the reenactments.
The Americans are taking a stand and other troops are in the woods, trying to hold the British back.

The light blue flag has the most beautiful picture of an eagle on it. Notice the commanding officer stays behind the troops.
More casualties. The smoke was thick on the battlefield. The narrator explained that these men didn't need camouflauge, as often the smoke was so thick they couldn't see the enemy.
The British are gaining ground once more and pushing the Americans back.

More casualties. Those who are "killed" stay on the ground for a while, but not for the entire battle.
Thick smoke and this is only from the muskets, not from the cannons. When they resounded, the narrator warned us to cover our ears with the palms of our hands and open our mouths. The sound of those cannons was loud and the ground vibrated so much that if you were standing nearby, it almost knocked you off your feet.
Checking the fallen to see if any of them are alive.
Only one of them survived and these young drummer boys helped him off the field. The crowd cheered them on.
The Americans are on the run and theBritish have won the Battle of Backus Mills.

After it was all over, the narrator (standing at attention) explained that the reenactors don't condone war but instead do the reenactments to keep history alive. The band in the background is playing a lament and the crowd was asked to remain silent at this time.

It was a little warm when we were walking over to the second half of the battle, but it took place around the woods. There was a pavilion there and lots of trees. We met a couple from Jamestown, New York and enjoyed talking to them. Both spectators and reenactors traveled to Backus Mills this weekend from all over North America.

Hubby and I certainly enjoyed the day. It was nice to get away for a while and step back in time to witness the things that the soldiers and their families went through during this time in history.

I wish all of my friends and readers a great week.