Archive for October, 2011

Scary Good Fun

With Halloween just around the corner, thoughts turn to ghosts and ghouls and dark and stormy nights. It just so happens that my backyard shares a fence with the local cemetery. Spooky? Not in the least. The word I would use is lucky.

Run run run run runaway

When you’re a kid growing up in the biggest city in Canada, space is at a premium. If you are fortunate enough to live near a park, I can almost guarantee that it houses a swing set and little else. So here is a secret that I learned long ago. When I was a kid, my mom used to take my brother and I walking in the city’s biggest, prettiest and best maintained outdoor spaces…cemeteries.

Run run run run run to me

Our backyard cemetery is huge. Today Zach and I ran a loop of just half of the property and we clocked 2.25km’s! The grounds are beautiful with 40ft tall oak trees, colourful maples and flowering bushes. It has rolling hills and perfectly paved roads where it is rare to see a car. I admit that cemeteries are for quiet walks and runs and shouldn’t be used for horsing around, but I urge you to take respectful advantage of these meticulously maintained spaces. As with all out of the way places, use common sense and take a buddy and cell phone with you if visiting in the early morning or evening. Enjoy your city and find beauty where you least expect it.

A Fairy Good Idea!

Apparently there is a fairy housing boom happening. Who knew? Fairy dwellings are popping up all over the place and the construction workers on these precious projects are plentiful.

While urban fairy house development is on the rise, backcountry fairies could sure use some quaint cottages of their own. What better time than now to provide shelter from the cooler weather for our winged friends.

photo courtesy of

I am always looking for new forest friendly activities for the kids…and myself.  I was happy to find an article in the Toronto Metro news publication that brought the practice of building fairy gardens to my attention.  This is definitely not a girl’s only activity. Building miniature houses with natural found materials is a fun activity for the whole family.  Dad’s can really get into the planning and construction and it brings out the creativity in everyone. Don’t think your boys are gonna go for it?  Why not make the diminutive dwellings for action figures or LEGO minifig’s instead?

photo courtesy of

So how does one build a fairy house?  Think Lincoln Logs.  Sticks stacked up to make miniature log homes with bark or evergreen roofs.  Tiny furniture, mud huts, pine cones, rocks…the sky is the limit.  For even more ideas, visit the website  The best part is hiding these little houses in out-of-the-way spots, to be found by unsuspecting future visitors.  Wouldn’t it bring a smile to your face to stumble on a little fairy house deep in the wilds of your favourite park?

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