Out and About in Sheguiandah Feb 19

Everyone I talk to these days is finding it a pretty hard winter. Glad today is not quite so bad, a little milder temperature today. I hope there will not be too much more snow, it is so hard on the deer—they are up past their bellies wading through the bush. When we lived up the North Shore we use to set up feeders for the deer in the winter. It was such a beautiful sight to see them coming in to feed. The Ministry of Natural Resources had a feeding program going on as well and brought people who had feeding stations big bags of food. It sure helped with the cost and kept a lot of the deer herds looked after. I have not heard of any programs here on the Island like that but if the deer are in such danger there should be some help for them.

My bird feeders are sure getting lots of visitors this winter as well, especially woodpeckers. There are about four different species coming to the suet blocks. There are many European starlings, blue jays and the odd crow has been seen peeking his head out of the feeders. The crows are a little big but manage to get in to fill up. It is interesting to watch them as they also sit up in the trees and see where the other birds are hiding their seeds and suet, and of course they go help themselves to that as well. I don’t see too many little nut thatchers or sparrows and have not seen any goldfinches. Probably because of all the big birds hanging around.

It is sad to see one of the historical homes in the village had to be taken down. The house was built by Ralph Batman’s grandfather Thomas Batman, apparently in the early 1900s. When I talked to Ralph Batman about it he said it was no longer safe for anyone to live in. I remember when Dean Batman, Ralph’s aunt, lived there. A lot of the furnishings and household items from that time are set up in the Batman room at the museum.

The Sheguiandah Centennial Museum has been keeping busy over the winter months. The membership drive for the year 2014 is now on. I hope you will consider taking a membership to support our local facility. There is so much history and interesting things in this area, not to mention all the activities that are provided for the surrounding communities.

The quilting classes are still on Monday afternoons until the end of February. These have been a real learning experience for me and others as well. The ladies have done some really nice projects and Linda from the Needle Box has certainly been a patient and gracious instructor. The drop in arts and craft times on Tuesday afternoons have been well attended. Some people go to paint, do more quilting, crochet and other handwork. It is nice to just get out of the house and join in to have a chat and work on your projects.

On February 27 there will be a seed exchange at the museum at 7 pm. This is a great opportunity for anyone who likes to start their own plants for the garden. You are asked to bring any seeds, commercial or ones you have saved from your own garden, and trade them for other seeds that you are interested in. It is a good way to get some of the seeds you normally have to buy every year. If you do not have any seeds you are still welcome to come and get seeds you may like. A small donation to the museum would be appreciated. A lunch will be served. Hope to see all gardeners out to share in this first seed exchange.

The museum will not be having any activities after the end of February while a new floor is being installed in the gallery. I will keep you informed when programs start up again.

The Manitoulin Fine Arts Association will be holding its 20th annual art tour on July 18, 19 and 20, 2014. Any artist and artisans in the Sheguiandah area wishing to take part in the art tour are asked to contact Lorraine Loranger at 705-859-3325 or email loranger@amtelecom.net.

There have been a few birthdays this month, so hope everyone enjoyed their special day. Best belated wishes to our friend Norma Hughson she turned ? (she did not want to share the number of this one—don’t know why) on February 3. If you have birthday announcements or would like to send some anniversary wishes, call me at 705-368-1826 and I would be happy to put them in this column for you.

We all send our loving thoughts and prayers to Irene Cadieux of Little Current. Irene wrote the news column for several years and we had a few good phone conversations about news in Sheguiandah as well playing euchre at the Sheg hall this summer. Your lovely farewell message in the paper touched everyone very much. You are a very brave and gracious lady.

Also get well wishes are sent to Sandra Keatley. Hope you are felling better after your surgery.

Lou and Julie Shortt have returned home after their cruise to the Caribbean. They said they were sure glad to get back home, as we all know there is no place like it. Lou’s mother Erma Short had been here visiting with them for a couple of months. She has returned home to Meaford. While she was here she came out to our quilting classes and other programs at the museum. It was nice to have her as she is an avid quilter and had lots of tips to share with us.

I was out walking the dog the other day when Bob and Donna stopped to have chat with me in their new car, a Kia Soul 2. Bob seemed to be really impressed with it. They were on their way to Sudbury for the day.

The Sheguiandah Senior hall hosted a Valentine dinner on February 16.

Euchre is still on Monday afternoons as well as Taoist Tai Chi on Fridays.

We attended the Manitowaning horticulture meeting on Wednesday afternoon. Debbie Robinson gave a very interesting talk on the language of flowers. She had several readings from some of the books she had from the library. Of course I enjoyed the talk, as I am a flower nut, so found it interesting how much flowers play a part in our lives.

A husband and his wife attended a couples’ retreat, during the presentation the facilitator ask how many married men knew their wife’s favourite flower. One man put his hand on his wife’s knee and said, “Red Rose all purpose, right honey?” Keep smiling.