Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Stamps

The theme this week from Viridian's Postcard Blog is celebrating stamps or the postal service and I found these ones from Italy and the US

and even a Postcrossing stamp (which I believe someone else posted previously or I would not have noticed the fine print on this one so, bedankt!)

and then we have the snail mail heading off on a perilous journey across the sea from the UK
to this post box in Finland

Monday, April 23, 2012

grave post #17

As you enter Mount Pleasant Cemetery from the west side of Mt Pleasant Rd you cannot miss it.

This monument sits on its own island. It is a complete overindulgence of ego. As far removed in designe from the mausoleum of the Eaton family shown last week as you are ever likely to get.

Steve Stavro was born in Macedonia and now lies under statue of Alexander The Great riding a rearing Bucephalus.

Three snarling lions stand guard around the base and just to emphasize how unfriendly they really are

two of them are resting a clawed foot on an empty warriors helmet

it is worth noting that each of these lions, and the horse, has all of its boy bits.

there are bas reliefs of ancient Hellenic scenes surrounding the pedestal

and symbols and logos of his various interests in business, sports and community and the honours he has received. These include The Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team (former owner after some intricate dealings as the executor of the previous owner, Harold Ballard's will), Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, through which he owned The Raptors basketball team (which interestingly was once owned by his cousin, a rival), soccer, a race horse, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, Maple Leafs Gardens, Knob Hill Farms (his grocery store which was the original big box store), The Royal Winter Fair, the Masons, the Knights of Malta and the Order of Canada

Steve Stavro was born Manoli Atanas Stavroff in Macedonia and emigrated to Canada at age seven where he was given the anglo name Steve by a teacher (as was common in those days). He became a famous and infamous person not only for his business dealings and his ownership of the losingest hockey team Toronto Maple Leafs. His first business after leaving school in grade 10 was following his father in grocery and he soon opened up the first of his 'food terminals', Knob Hill Farms in 1963. These were closed by 2000, but he was not short of investments or interests. His most passionate interests were the Leafs and his racehorses, but he was also a lifetime director of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, honorary director of the Ontario Jockey Club, a founding sponsor of the Hockey Hall of Fame, a director of The Liquor Control Board of Ontario and a campaign chairman of the Emergency Critical Care Fund of the Toronto East General Hospital.
He died on April 23rd, 2006 (though many media sources state April 24th) of a heart attack in his home that overlooked the 18th hole of the Rosedale Golf and Country Club. His monument to himself was completed less than a year previously. He was married to Sally and had four daughters and nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren when he died.

for other late greats, see Taphophile Tragics

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Stamps

are you all tired of Titantic by now? is this too last century, or too last week, even?!
actually, I already had my poetry stamp post ready for Viridian and I didn't get these stamps until last Monday...

they are big, so you have to be careful about which postcard you put them on. 
it is best to stamp it first, then write.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


What a week.
It started off well. My holidays were booked, which is an event in itself not least because I have never booked a holiday so far in advance before. It is not until June, so there is plenty of time to tell you about it, which I promise to do. I had just bought myself a new camera lens and spent way more than I had originally wanted to spend on it, but it had so many more features that I knew I would be unhappy to not have and if I wanted them, then I had to spend the $$$. But that was okay. The timing for my credit card was perfect as it is not due for another month and I was suddenly busy with work so I could hopefully make all the extra money I needed with my clients who I would encourage to keep booking appointments instead of letting them get away with saying "I'll call you".

I was feeling confident. My notice of rent increase wasn't as high as I feared (yay!) and the price of gas has been slowly going down by almost 1 cent each each day. I even decided to save more money by not eating out as often and giving up on coffee unless I made it at home. It was going well until yesterday. I had too much time between appointments so did some grocery shopping then decided I would wait out the next 40 minutes or so having a coffee.

When I came out, the bumper of my car was lying on the ground.

How this could happen is beyond me. How could someone do that and not leave a note - not even an apology with no contact name or number. Or a note from someone who must have seen, or heard, something who could have written down the hit and run's license number. Nothing. Stupidly, I stood there looking at my car, looking around, then back at my car. Maybe if I did that often enough, I would see it was all a mistake and this was not really my car. Or I had imagined the whole thing. Please, couldn't it all have been some bad imagination?

Miraculously, the bumper has barely any scratches on it. The license plate is dented in one corner. But the whole thing was sheared off the car and attached by one small section on one side. I still have trouble figuring out how it was done. Anyway, it is tied back onto the car and looks a bit odd. My car with the odd personality.

Good thing I have that holiday in June. By then I may have gotten over this.

But, wanting to find something good I have some news.

Look who it is!

Still on his lonesome.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

morning is calling

The birds are practicing their glee club songs. Each morning, I think new ones join in and I am sure there is a song I have never heard before. Or maybe his voice is just outshining the others this morning. Even though I was trying to sleep it is a pleasant sound. Much more agreeable than the annoying geese who like to hang out by our creek and take to the rooftop of the building behind every morning to make loud, raucous pronouncements to the world at large. I thought I had a picture of them somewhere... but I am sure you can imagine what they look like.

There are a group of chickadees who live in our awning - about 6 of them - who also make a racket, but it is actually kind of nice to be greeted every time you go through the door. And at least they don't dive bomb you; they just sit there and create a stereo effect of chirping.

On a sad note, some of you may remember the lone Canada goose who stops by every spring, all on its own since the demise of its mate several years ago. I wrote about him - who I named Chris, because I don't actually know if it is a him or a her - here and here. Chris has not shown up this year. I have been keeping alert as I round the corner every night in anticipation of seeing him, sitting in the middle of the road or the parking lot in his usual haunts. But nothing. No sign. Only those other two mates of his (the ones who are at the moment on top of the roof honking). This is very disappointing. Has s/he met with misfortune? Or maybe found another true love? I am hoping it is the latter.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Nelson High School may not be the most photogenic looking building but it begins with an N for our ABC Wednesday tour of Burlington....
Located on New Street,
it was built in 1957 and named after Horatio Nelson - he who defeated Napoleon's Navy in 1805. According to an internet article, the school celebrated the 200th anniversary of that victory "with colourful events and staff dressed as characters from the day". it is nice to see that the namesake of the building is recognized and celebrated.

I didn't go inside, but there is a mural of the HMS Victory painted by former teacher Robert Bateman (who is a naturalist more known for his wildlife paintings).

The school is also located in the former village of Port Nelson which was incorporated into the City of Burlington in 1874.

Among the other places named Nelson, there is a Port Nelson United Church, which I include here because they are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year with a special service on May 6th. A nurturing, inclusive community church it was also one of the founders of the local Habitat for Humanity.
another note of trivia, one of the members of the band Walk off the Earth (with a new video!) which was featured here was a student at Nelson

Monday, April 16, 2012

grave post #16

The Eaton Family Mausoleum, Mount Pleasant Cemetery
A well known name to all Canadians as the family behind the Eaton's department store 
(sadly now gone under due to not quite keeping up with the new generation and era of 21st century).
Patriarch Timothy Eaton came from Ballymena, Ireland and started his new life in Canada in the 1860's moving to several locations and trying his hand at different businesses before buying property at the corner of Queen and Yonge Sts in Toronto and opening his namesake store. By 1907, the year of his death from pneumonia, Eaton's had become the most influential and important department store in the country. Apart from the retail empire, there is also the Timothy Eaton Memorial Church built from donated funds of son Sir John Craig Eaton.
Interred inside the family mausoleum along with Timothy and his wife Margaret are three of their infant children who died at 10 months, 11 months and 22 months as well as three older children including Sir John Craig Eaton who became company president after his father's death until his own in 1922.
There are several more family members inside the mausoleum 
with John Craig Eaton (4th generation) and his wife Sally not quite ready for their place of eternal rest
and a few more in a nearby plot.
For years, the Santa Claus Parade in Toronto was sponsored by Eaton's with Santa ending his trip through the streets at the Eaton store on Queen Street. A bronze statue of Timothy Eaton sitting in a chair was commissioned to commemorate the store's 50th anniversary in 1919 as a thank you to the family for their support and generosity to employees during the war and now sits in the Royal Ontario Museum. It soon became a tradition to rub Timothy's toe as you passed him through the entrance and this tradition still stands at the museum (the only thing in the ROM that is encouraged to be touched!)

There is so much to be said about this family, but I will encourage you to read this excellent article if you are interested.

read about more family legacies in Julie's Taphophile Tragics

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Stamps

Detained in darkness, isolation,
My days would slowly drag in strife.
With lack of faith and inspiration, 
With lack of tears, and love and life. 
My soul attained its waking moment: 
You re-appeared before my sight, 
As though a brief and fleeting omen, 
Pure phantom in enchanting light.
And now, my heart, in fascination
Beats rapidly and finds revived:
Devout faith and inspiration,
And tender tears and love and life.
~Alexandr Pushkin

You will hear thunder and remember me, 
And think: she wanted storms. The rim 
Of the sky will be the colour of hard crimson, 
And your heart, as it was then, will be on fire. 
~Anna Akhmatova

Alexandr Pushkin is considered to be Russia's greatest poet. He lived from 1799-1837, born into the nobility in Moscow and died in a duel with a man who insisted on favouring attentions towards his (Pushkin's) wife. A writer in the Romantic era, his contemporaries were Byron and Goethe. You can read  ore about Pushkin's life here.

Anna Akhmatova, whose real name was Anna Gorenko, was born in Odessa in 1889 and died in St Petersburg (Leningrad) in 1966. Also considered to be one of Russia's greatest poets, she lived through the brutal Stalin years and her poetry ranged from short lyrics of a romantic theme to complex patriotic works. An interesting wiki article about her can be found here.

In honour or Poetry Month for Sunday Stamps

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


There are three shopping malls in Burlington, but since we are at the letter M in our ABC Wednesday tour of the city I live in I bring you this one (even though I detest shopping in malls, for you I ventured inside)

and just for fun, with a bus, which actually a lot of people use
unlike this bike rack...

Mapleview (everyone I know calls it a mall if they use any designation, but it is officially a Centre) was only built in 1990 but has undergone some major renovations in the past 3-4 years and has become much more upscale. We even have an Apple store (only the second one outside a major urban centre. interestingly, the other one is in Waterloo - the home of RIM and the Blackberry. but I digress) Everywhere still has that shiny new look to it.

inside it is bright with all the new skylights
and has stores and kiosks that begin with M (that pink counter is called Magnolia, but it doesn't show up too clearly for all the trouble I went through to make sure it was in the shot...)

there are comfortable padded benches and I like these modern, streamlined garbage containers

and, in Sears,  Men in Black
I probably shouldn't have taken this last shot, but I discovered that they were offering free coffee for seniors who were 55 and older (it being Senior Tuesday) so since I sort of stole a coffee, I figured I could steal a photo....

Monday, April 9, 2012

grave post #15

95 years ago today, co-incidentally also an Easter Monday, began the Battle of Vimy Ridge, long held as the event that marked Canada's birth as a nation when four Canadian divisions of the British army became an assault on Vimy Ridge in northeast France as part of the First World War. The Canadians were determined to succeed where British and French troops before them failed; to capture the key German defensive position.
The Canadian losses were almost 7,000 wounded with almost 3,600 killed.

for those who might be interested in reading about Vimy Ridge here is the link to the wikipedia article

Tonight there was a candlelight vigil at the military section of the cemetery. It was sponsored by Veterans Affairs Canada and the North Wall Riders Association, a group of motorcyclists who are 'dedicated to supporting all Veteran's functions and raising awareness of our Veterans through the motorcycling community. We are an association made up of like-minded individuals wishing to support our military veterans and do so while enjoying the freedom they have fought for and will continue to fight for from the back of our motorcycles.' (from website)

It was dreadfully windy all day (as you can see from the flyer in the first photo that was hanging on for dear life) and it was a never-ending battle to keep all 800 candles lit until sunset (when the wind died down a little). My nighttime photos didn't turn out so well, but here is a sampling of some random shots I took of the very moving event. I did some post processing on some as the sun was getting in the way... and because it is fun to experiment. I also kept some of the pictures small for this post, but clicking the images will embiggen them.

this isn't exactly what Julie expects for her Taphophile Tragics, but it seemed appropriate for today.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sunday Stamps

It is Easter Weekend and somehow I had it in my mind that Easter or Passover would be the theme for
Sunday Stamps...
so I have included two Easter stamps I found
(still waiting on a Passover stamp. or any stamp/card from Israel)

I decided to choose a cathedral for my architecture stamp and this one seemed appropriate for this season as it is the Maria Taferl Basilica. Maria Taferl is the most important pilgrimage destination in Austria after Mariazell. The town itself has only about 870 inhabitants.
Miraculous apparitions, or angels, started appearing around 1658 along with miraculous healings. After all the early incidences were examined by the church, a decision was made to build a pilgrimage church. It became so popular that at one time 25 priests were on hand to attend to the believers.
The cathedral was built between 1660 and 1710. An inscription inside the shrine states that the building of the church gave the inhabitants new courage after enduring The Plague and the 30 Years War. In 2010, the interior of the church underwent a complete restoration in time for the 300 anniversary of its completion and the 350 anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone.

here is a panorama photo I found while researching
(click on the right hand arrow for the second view)

 which came first the chicken or the egg?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

grave post #14

I have no grave stories this time. (last week's effort exhausted me!)
Instead, I am combining ABC Wednesday and Taphophile Tragics and showing St Luke's Church, the oldest church in Burlington, and its accompanying oldest graveyard.

The top photo is the front view of the church, from Elgin St with the right one showing the back, from Ontario St.

I have a found a replacement for Picnik, called PicMonkey and was playing around with their new effects. Above is something called 'intrepid' with the second being a 'daguerrotype - plumbe'.

The graves are in a seemingly haphazard fashion, some perilously close to the building.

For an added L, I include this marker for the Lowe family.
On this side it reads,

Edward R Lowe died June 1st, 1888 aged 15 years 

with I assume his sister below

Barbara L Lowe died May 29th, 1902 aged 25 years. 

There were more names on the other side, but it was difficult to get a good shot, so I will have to try again.