Friday Two Cents: If Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade


This past week in Ontario many elementary and high schools were out for the annual March/spring break. In previous years I have always worked during this week at various afterschool programs, yet this year I had the need to take the week off. I didn’t want to go somewhere far-flung or exotic, I just wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the students. Don’t get me wrong I adore the children but I was feeling a bit rundown and I needed sometime to be alone with my thoughts. To chill out, ironically speaking.

I decided to take a mini vacation to Niagara Falls and more importantly the Niagara Wine country. I live in the Toronto area and Niagara Falls is only a 1½-hour drive but I have never seen the falls in the winter. Besides I love visiting the wineries in the area for some wine tasting. It would also be a great opportunity to do some drawing and hopefully get inspired.
However Mother Nature had other plans this past week. I left for my vacation on Monday and of course that is the day when a winter storm just happens to blow into southern Ontario.   I am only few kilometers into the trip when the storm really picks up. With high winds and lake-effect snow traffic literally comes to a halt. I continue but the traffic is moving about 5 – 10 km/hr. The slowdown is mind numbing and it is all due to the weather. The truly amazing thing was that after I traveled past the city of Hamilton the weather clears up. It was eerie. On the east side of the highway, the lakeside, you can see the blowing snow and dark clouds yet on the west side of the highway the sun was setting and it was clear. It felt like I was driving through the eye of the storm or at least the edge of it. I arrived at the hotel safely yet the normally 1½-hour drive took 4½hrs!
I was stressed worst then before I left. So much for my relaxing vacation. However I was able to have a great meal at the casino and then soak in the hot tub after. I could feel the stress just melting away in the Jacuzzi. Especially since I could see that the storm had reached Niagara Falls and I was safe inside.
The next day the storm was in full force but that did not stop me. I was prepared with winter gear and I went for a walk to the Falls in the middle of the storm. I was able to get a few nice photos and I was able to talk to a few people who I met there. Yes just call me Mr. Sociable.  

Panoramic view of Niagara Falls during the Winter Storm.

Panoramic view of Niagara Falls after the Winter Storm.

Panoramic view of Niagara-on-the-lake after the Winter Storm.

I for one do not like the winter season. I do not like the cold or the lack of sunlight. Yet I made it a point to not let this winter storm ruin my vacation. The storm lasted about a day and a half but in that time I was able to do all that I wanted.   I was able to draw, read, write, explore and of course enjoy a couple of wine tastings. Call me Mr. Optimist but I simply adapted to the situation I still had a wonderful time. I would imagine that old saying is true…

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  


Comic Strips: Deep Freeze


    I think many of us are pretty much sick and tired of the frigid weather we have been having in Toronto. By the numbers February 2015 tied the record for the coldest month on record, records have been kept since 1842. Not since 1875 has Toronto seen this level of cold, -12.6 o C. We came close in 1994 when we reached -12.4 o C but none of the students today would remember that.

This is where the inspiration for this comic came from. Many of the students, just like adults, do complain about the weather. Let’s face it, it is a universal activity that we all do. Well I heard one student saying that they will be going south where it is warm for their vacation. The other student said they wished they would like to go too. But then I thought, what if, like adults one student wanted to rub it in. That’s were I got the idea of the dialog for the conversation.

I hope you enjoy The Craziest Things: Deep Freeze.


Point of View: When will it end!!!


If you live in Toronto then you would have noticed the blast of winter we just got.   Yesterday in Toronto the temperature was + 10 degrees Celsius, today it will go down to -17 with a wind chill of -31. I don’t know about you all out there but winter is not my favourite season and to be honest I am sick of winter.   I never complain about the summer heat and all I have to do on those sweaty hot days is remember days like Wednesday.

Here are a few images I took while I was cleaning up after this latest reminder that winter is still here in Canada.   Yes the images are inspiring but I would prefer warm breezes and drinking lemonade after cutting the grass.  Anyways enjoy!

Friday Two Cents: In Summer


Well my last Friday Two Cents was looking forward to a new month of wondrous possibilities.  So far I have three words for it “Crash and Burn”.

Near ending winter

Never ending winter

To begin the Groundhog saw his shadow, so six more weeks of winter weather.  We didn’t have to wait long in Toronto we had 15 – 20 cm of snow with week.  The Super Bowl was a Super Bust.  I don’t care who would have won but at least make it entertaining.  A 43 – 8 slaughter is not a pretty thing to see.  Then to top it all off its still cold.

Grumpy, Grumpy, Grumpy.  But that is how I felt on Wednesday but then I say my nieces’ face and we sat and saw a little video from Frozen called “In Summer”.  It placed a smile on my face and now all I can think of is summer too. 

February may have come in crappy but there is still Valentines Day, the Olympics, my B-day, spring training beginning and thanks to my nieces, the thought of Summer. 

Enjoy the little clip, it put a smile on my face and I am sure it will put one on yours too. 

Ailish Sinclair

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