Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Our Vacation, Part 5

This last post about our vacation is, once again, about Como Park.  

On the grounds of the Park is a beautiful Japanese garden--wonderful in its elegance and simplicity.  Adjacent to the garden is a teahouse, surrounded by a traditional teahouse garden.  While we were able to go TO the teahouse, it is not made for thousands of people to walk through, so we only got to see the outside.  Traditional tea ceremonies ARE conducted in the teahouse and they are extremely popular and anyone can attend.  However, because they ARE so popular, one has to sign up and have their name placed in a lottery where it MIGHT get picked to attend a ceremony NEXT year.  Crazy. I only got pictures of the 'regular' garden--which was so beautiful and peaceful.

Our last stop of the day was the Butterfly House.  Let's be truthful here:  Butterflies ARE bugs--of a sort--but when you put them in a butterfly house, they are quite neat.  I don't even mind when they land on me.  But out in the outside world--FORGET IT!  ;)  While this butterfly house wasn't comparable, at all, to the one in Niagara Falls, it was really pretty--as were the butterflies they had.

And this concludes my vacation pictures.  Hopefully, by the end of the week, I will have some more pictures to post:  I'm hoping we will go up-north this week to look at the colors.  And if this happens, I will be taking a LOT of pictures.  :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

I Really Didn't Lie

Ever since the 'Do Not Call' list came into being, I don't get nearly as many of 'those' calls that I used to.  And, with Caller ID, I wouldn't even have to answer the majority of those calls that still come through to the house.  But, there are some problems that I continue to have and I wind up answering my share of those calls.

First, I NEED my reading glasses to see the Caller ID displays--and I don't wear my readers all of the time.  So, I don't always know who is calling.  Also, every one of our Caller ID displays will show a number in a different way;  one display will say "Number Unavailable" and another will say "Unknown Caller."  I just never know if it is a call I want to answer.  Sometimes, I may be bored or just not have much to do, so I will take one of these calls.  If it is a survey, I may answer the questions--after all, it just takes a few minutes.  And, there are times when the display comes up a bit funky when 'privacy' is an issue:  As in, when my mail order pharmacy calls.  All of these factors go a long way toward my answering enough calls that most people wouldn't.  I got one of those calls tonight.

Of course, I didn't have my glasses on, so I answered the phone when it rang.  With the baby just getting home, I don't want to miss a call that The Oldest may make--and with K at work, I never know when he might call.  Anyway, this is the way the call went:

ME:  Hello.
MAN:  Hello.  May I speak with a head of the household, please.
ME:  I'm sorry, but no one is available.
MAN:   How about you, ma'am?
ME:  Oh, I'm only the caretaker here.
MAN:  Thank you.
(phone hangs up)

I believe that was the easiest time I have EVER had getting away from an unwelcome, possible solicitor call.  And I didn't have to lie!  :D

Our Vacation, Part 4

The Como Park has a very large building--the Conservatory--that houses some wonderful gardens.  If I lived closer, I would spend hours in this building.  The place is quite peaceful--full of plants of all types and ponds and water fountains.  Just a wonderful place.  And, of course, I took pictures.

Outside of the Visitor Center, there are water ponds--and there were some wonderful plants.

The Conservatory is divided into several 'rooms'--each room houses different plants.  A very humid and warm room was the fern room.  I didn't know where to look first, as there was so much to see.

There was an Orchid House, which was off-limits to all but the staff.  We were able to look into it through a window--not able to take pictures, however--and the flowers were amazing.  I really wished I could have gotten closer to them.

If it wouldn't have been another very humid and warm room, I think the Palm Dome might have been my favorite room.  It had wonderful benches for sitting and a gorgeous pool/fountain in the middle.

Of the gardens, the Sunken Garden was my favorite.  It was filled with flowers and had a beautiful pond in the middle. The openness of the room was much different from the other ones--and it was very bright, which was also different from the fern and palm rooms.

My favorite room in the Conservatory was the Bonsai Gallery.  This room is meant, strictly, for viewing the bonsai on display--it is not a place to sit and relax, as you can in the other rooms.

Golden Wissel Cypress--65 years old

Japanese White Pine--45 years old

 Ponderosa Pine--115 years old

Horsetail Tree--100(?) years old

White Cedar

Japanese Maple

There is one more post that I will do from the park--and then I will be done with my vacation pictures.  We had a great time, as can be seen from the pics.