In October, we started selling at the Stratford Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. It was a lot of fun considering we had to be there at 6:00 a.m. – a slight aggravation for someone who likes to be still in bed at that time of the day! We met great food vendors who took pride in their products – Mennonite butchers and bakers, Robin and Richard’s lamb, Oliver’s Gardens vegetables, fresh eggs, seafood, jams and jellies, nuts, Montforte cheese, O’Shea’s fresh breads, honey apiaries, Maria and Sam’s fresh flowers and, yes, great fudge!!! You know I had to try that and I will tell you now that my favourite was the O’Shea’s Belgian Chocolate Fudge – probably one of the best I have ever had. But mixed in with all these foodies were artisans -- the quilt lady, the scarf lady, Peter who makes beautiful wooden cutting boards and pens, Fanny Mae’s bird seeds and feeders, candles, Jaime’s hand-made soaps, natural healing products, and the list goes on!! All these people made it so fun to go to work on a Saturday morning. It was a great way to work and do your shopping at the same time. There is even fresh coffee being brewed as well as those fantastic Peameal Bacon Sandwiches! And before you remind me, I still haven’t got a picture of these as we eat them as soon as we get them! Who has time to take photos when our stomachs are growling and we have been here for 4 hours already!
Also at the market, we met some wonderful people! We met lots of great customers who appreciated our arts and crafts, especially Dawna’s sculptures. We found that when Dawna carved at the booth, we attracted more people with lots of questions! So Dawna created a soapstone carving kit for Christmas that really went over well. We also met other artisans who freely shared their resources and contacts here in Perth County – this information was invaluable to us!
One of the people who came to our booth was Jody really liked our work and asked us to show our products at a juried art sale, StArt, which stands for Stratford Arts. This was their holiday sale held at Factory 163 – a great old warehouse that has a wonderful venue on the main floor and artists studios above. It was a fabulous one-day event where there were a wide variety of artisans attending, as well as great live entertainment, as well as both coffee and wine bars. It was a relaxing event on a cold wintery day where you could hang up your coat, have a drink and visit with all the vendors. Again we met wonderful new people and were able to sell our wares. We had Dawna's sculptures and pendants, Dawna and Holley's line designs, Mom's jewellery and my photocards. We all had a great time and can’t wait for this event next year and have even suggested it be a two-day event! We’ll see what happens next year but I will try and remember to tell you about it before the event – sorry about that! So now back to the changing seasons!
In the late fall, the swans were gently moved to their winter resort. They get to live in an indoor pen complete with, so I am told, a heated swimming pool! What a life these guys have -- but the lake seems so sad without them. It isn’t that they made a lot of noise, but these beauties gave a serenity to the area as they glided up and down the lake. The assortment of ducks, geese, cormorants, minks and the beautiful blue heron are all still around, trying to find the warmest part of the lake. Which isn’t easy as the lake has diminished in stature as they have lowered the water level.
We heard that when the water is completely frozen, you can skate on the lake which should be really pretty! They hoist a green flag if the ice is thick enough to skate on or a red flag telling you not to go on the ice as it is too thin or cracking. Though I am not much of a skater, it should be really pretty to watch the people skate around -- I am sure it will be picturesque enough for me to snap some photos for you!
We had just a sprinkling of snow on Christmas Eve and it stayed for Christmas day, thankfully. But you could still see a little dark green grass under the snowflakes. We had a wonderful Christmas here in our new home and hope all of you had a wonderful holiday time – however you celebrate it!
We got quite a bit of snow two nights ago. There was heavy snow on the ground, enough that Dawna kindly went out and shoveled the sidewalk for us. If you know where we lived before, there was no where near the amount of snow we had to shovel down our 500’ driveway -- thankfully!!! By mid-morning, the roads were all clear to drive on. In fact, Mom and I took a drive through the country to St. Jacobs, and even the northern country roads of Perth County were also nice and dry. This morning we got some more snow, and it continues to snow such little snowflakes that it almost looks like rain. Once again the roads are pretty good for driving on.
So New Year’s Eve is on Monday night and it is the beginning of a new year for us here in Stratford. We are very thankful and blessed that we have found such a wonderful town here in Stratford! We love the people we have met and look forward to meeting even more people next year! I hope the ducks and geese enjoy the winter wonderland we have here and I am sure the swans are enjoying their winter get-away! But I really do miss the swans and can’t wait to see them the end of March when they are bagpiped back from their resort down to the lake. (It is quite an event here to see the swans marched in – you should watch it on youtube – it is quite hilarious to see such a big event of the swans coming back to the lake.)
So in closing for this year, we all wish you a very Happy New Year and best wishes for a healthy, prosperous and fun 2013! Thanks to all of you who have read my blog or visited Dawna’s website to find out what our life is like in Perth County!
Cheers for now!
Heather et al