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Very often, in writing this diary, we tell of the less pleasant things, as well as some of the good things about the area. Our purpose in providing this information is to enable buyers to beware. No-one else will tell you the unpleasant things about an area. We have never seen information like this made available before. Buying a home is the most expensive investment you will ever make. We are not sales people. Apart from our own homes, we do not own any property in the area. Please do not write to us telling us the good things about this area .. any sales person or the local tourist office can provide that information. Of course, they are only interested in selling. That is the only information they want you to know. For other such matters of interest about Guelph go to http://www.sentex.net/~oficserv/Guelph.html
Tuesday 11th July 2000
This morning I was sorry to read in the Globe & Mail (and other papers) that Guelph, along with many other towns in Ontario , has accepted thousands of tons of toxic waste from the States. Also, there is another problem with water in the North Bay area.
Yesterday morning I went to a lecture about herbs. We planted a cuttings bag. This is a zip-top plastic bag. It is filled 1/3 with a mixture of vermiculite and a soil-replacement. The mixture is watered until it holds together - but not floating in water. The fresh cuttings are taken from the newer tops of the plant, not the woody part. The end of the cutting to be rooted is dipped into rooting hormone, then put into the mixture in the bag. I put two types of mint, lavender, rosemary and sage. The cuttings should be placed in a north-easterly window. The bag should be opened for an hour or so each day. It should not be watered as long as condensation forms inside and the mix is damp. Roots should form in a few weeks. The cuttings can be potted when the mix is filled with their roots.
We also made a Mason jar of strawberry/mint vinegar. This is quite quickly made: Rinse the jar with hot water and a teaspoonful of bleach. Wash 2 cups of strawberries. Wash the mint leaves thoroughly and strip them from the stems. Put the strawberries in the Mason jar, top up with as many mint leaves as will fit. Put two tablespoons of sugar on top of the leaves. Fill the jar with vinegar - I prefer apple cider vinegar. Put plastic wrap over the jar top, before you put the lid on. The vinegar is very corrosive and will damage the jar without the plastic. Leave the mixture to pickle for two to three weeks. Pour into bottles. If you want to give the vinegar as gifts, or to use for sale, the bottles may be bought by the dozen case, with proper corks. After corking, the tops should be dipped in decorative wax. The paraffin wax can be just candles with the wicks removed, or regular wax, with coloured crayon mixed in. The instructor emphasized that the wax must NEVER be melted in a pot directly on a stove .. as she had done this and severely burned herself. She had a bain-marie made: use a large coffee can to contain the wax. Put the coffee can in a saucepan with hot water.
Sunday, 9th July 2000
The weather was quite hot, but thundery, today. We had a lot more rain. I went to see the movie "Me, Myself and Irene". Jim Carey played his "Mask" character - but without the mask. In his schizophrenic state he became incredibly rude, crass, violent and quite unfunny (now I come to think about it) .. but I had a good laugh just the same! The rest of the audience alternately roared with laughter and gasped with shock at the terrible antics of this unfortunate policeman and the vulgar monster he became after suffering a complete mental breakdown.
Sunday, 2nd July 2000
Yesterday was Canada Day. It was also the Canadian 133rd Celebration. Last night there was a big firework display in the park, organized by the Rotary Club. It is a very popular event. I had to park about two miles away and walked. It was a beautiful night and an excellent display.
This afternoon I enjoyed my usual Sunday afternoon treat at the cinema. It was "The Perfect Storm". .. and I thought it was a perfect movie. I really enjoyed it immensely. As a pilot and a person who has enjoyed sailing, I have always loved meteorology. While some thought "Weather Ways" was a sure cure for insomnia - I found it fascinating. If I had been a younger person, that would have been my calling.
Link to the Movies Pages at "movies.yahoo.com"
Visit a site for many photographs of North American Birds and animals.
Rhona Raskin Home Page at http://www.rhona.com.