23 Sep

2017 Fall Edition of the Hepburn Home Page

Yesterday was the fall equinox. A good time to update the Hepburn home page with a new post. The weather outside has been a little dreary and a little cold. Overcast clouds hang in the sky. I’m doing some improvements inside our house, so the weather doesn’t matter so much.  Some drywalling, some mudding, some painting. We still have the band of feral cats outside and they are closer to the house to keep warm and dry. This is a good thing since the mice are very scarce and I have not seen a gopher in our yard all summer. [I don’t have any cat photos right now but will add them asap]

The family managed to get out to Algonquin Park for a little while.  Kiersten was working for a month at one of the camps in the park.  My brother was determined to set up the tent that traditionally went on the point for guests and travelers.  Nobody came to use it, despite out advertising campaign.

We also managed to go and see Ottawa for the first time.  A 2 day trip.  We took in the Byward Market, the Art Gallery and the War Museum.

James and I drove out to the cottage and later I went to Hamilton to pick them up.  I decided to travel along a route covering places I had never been.  48 Hours of adventure between Huntsville and Hamilton turns up quite a few things.

We drove back in the 3rd week of August.  I managed to take a few pictures.

Now that fall has set in everyone has settled down to preparing for the winter-to-come.  One major project that needs to get done before winter sets in is re-shingling the garage in Calgary. If you don’t know by now we have a tiny little duplex in Thorncliffe. The purpose of this duplex is so that the wife does not have to commute one and a half hours everyday to work. We bought the property with the garage already desperately needing shingles. It has now been over a year and I still have not done the job of replacing and fixing the roof. Besides the shingles some of the fascia has rotted and needs to be repaired. Surprisingly the garage does not leak. Yet.

garage roof that has very worn shingles

I think yesterday was International Peace Day. It is quite ironic to be having a Peace Day when the president of the United States and North Korea are playing a tennis match of insults. I had to go to the United Nations website for myself to read Donald Trump insulting, not one, but two nations in a single speech. This quote gets an OMG top score:

Major portions of the world are in conflict and some, in fact, are going to hell.

Remarks by President Trump to the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

here’s the URL for you if you can’t believe it either:


10 Apr

2017 Spring Edition of the Hepburn Home Page

I found a couple of interesting books on the Internet Archives.  The 1917 Brochure for Algonquin Park and another brochure from the company that made the “Rice Lake Canoe”.  We have one in the family.  It was always referred to as “Mum’s Canoe” but I don’t know where she got it.

Here’s a look at what “The Cottage” Looked like 100 years ago.

26 Oct

2015 Fall Edition of the Hepburn Home Page

carrots in a basket

carrots fresh from the garden

Carrots are all that’s left in our garden. Even after several hard frosts, the tops still look green and alive. Fall is a great time of the year when you have a garden. It’s the time to get a reward for all that hard work.

Our garden is in a new location and the soil was “hot”. Not temperature wise, but in the sense that it was too rich. Composed manure takes a long time to break down. It’s sped up by turning the pile frequently. This stuff looks like soil but on closer inspection there is still a lot of straw. The onions, potatoes and squash did not grow at all. The spring was very dry which was more than half the problem. The other half was that we went away for a month in July. The garden turned to a giant weed patch. manure comes with weeds. That’s a fact.

We even got a soil test kit ( the cheapy one) and it told us that the soil had a high pH.  I thought cow sh#t was acidic.  I just have to figure out what to put in the soil to correct the condition.  I think the straw helps with drainage; sometimes a good thing, sometimes a bad thing.

A hand of mulch

A hand full of bark mulch

flower bed with feature rock

a flower garden at last

The flower bed in the front was a blooming success.  I had very little to do with it except to make sure there was a proper irrigation system.  I’m not going to sit by and [have my wife] spend  a lot of money on beautiful perennials just to have them die of thirst.

In the spring I got a load of trees.  I should mention that here since I think I got them after I posted the spring edition blog. I put them in the old garden.  They were fairly beaten up from the ride. It had been a windy day and the trap over the trailer flapped around, breaking and wearing branches off the trees. I think most of them will recover.

A row of little spruce trees

A row of little spruce trees