Monday, September 19, 2016

busy birthday weekend

I'm sitting here in a few minutes of quiet, just the ticking of the clock and a train whistle in the distance. After a busy weekend with family and friends it is time for a rest.

a little while later…

My eyes are squinted against the bright sun and my skin prickles with a light sheen of sweat. It may be past mid September, but the sun is at high summer wattage.

Back to my fun and busy birthday weekend.

It started Friday late afternoon when my mom arrived at her rented cottage just across the lagoon from us. She joined us for the evening after she got settled in her temporary home. We talked way past my bedtime.

Saturday Mom went home to pick up my dad. After a late walk with the dogs we hung around the front gate waiting for them, and for my brother Olaf, his wife Tammy, and their 4 year old daughter Freya to arrive at the campground. A mixup in directions meant Olaf didn't arrive till later than expected so we gave up waiting and went back to the camper.

We had hardly gotten settled back at camp when Trudie & Leo showed up laden with presents, wine and a giant cheese tray. Not long after that everyone else showed up at our camper so we all jumbled in taking every seat and standing surface. Nine people is a big load on the camper - it felt like a party.

Everyone left in pairs, leaving us with Tammy, Freya, and Olaf for a visit which is lovely as we so rarely get to see them except in a crowd.  They left at Grace & the dogs supper time so we quickly fed the beasts then joined everyone over at the cabins. It was pitch dark by the time my other brother, Graham and his kids arrived to make the gathering complete (as complete as it could be without Kirsten's family).

(You’ll have to indulge this auntie while I recount a few cute 4 year old comments: Freya asked Tammy why the cabins didn’t have a second floor. Tammy replied that they were little cottages and didn’t need the second floor. Freya responded with ‘oh, you mean a bungalow’.  After lunch on Sunday Freya tracked my mom down to tell her ‘thank you for the lovely lunch’. Cute)

Sunday was much the same: visits at our camper and visits at the cabin. The day went quickly and before we knew it everyone was hitting the road to home. Mom stayed an extra night for a bit of R&R. We were going to the Acapulco for supper but Mom turned us down in favour for an evening by herself.

A night out with friends capped off a fun filled birthday weekend :-)

Friday, September 16, 2016

calm repose on autumn day


Plans for our cruise are well underway. Jo Ellen and Don visited us on Tuesday afternoon so we could pick and book our excursions. Done. It was a hot day and windy so the awning had to be rolled up mid afternoon. We all ventured inside until the shade crept onto our site far enough to fit 4 chairs. It was wonderful to have another day of summer.

Wednesday was grey and cool so there was no sitting outside for us. We did take a marathon walk with the dogs - they were panting and dragging their feet partway through.

Today is a peaceful easy feeling sort of day. I puttered in the morning getting a curried squash soup bubbling in the crockpot, then we went for a long walk. It is just 3.5 km but that is enough for the dogs, and my shin splints (ouch). It is sunny but not really hot - a perfect September day. Until I got stung by a wasp, right on a sensitive part. I rushed in to put some Afterbite on which seemed to work as it only swelled up a bit. Hurt like crazy all night though.

We had a late afternoon visit with Burt and Susan, people we met here but also know from the Titanium rally. They were kind enough to invite us over for a campfire after supper. Back at the trailer, we did the usual pet chores and enjoyed our own supper of hot soup then geared up in lots of warm clothes for the campfire. It was freezing and I wished for some winter gear. Still, it was a lovely visit.


Hot and sunny today. Well, at least it feels hot as the temp isn't due to go over 23C, but with the sun shining so strongly it feels burny.

Carm left in the morning to see about getting our headlight replaced (it is behind one of the batteries so a bit of a trick), and to the driving range for a taste of the golf course. I sat outside with the dogs and Grace until we all needed a break from the sun (how lucky is that!). When he got back we ate drippy tomato sandwiches, then took the dogs for a longish walk. Too hot for the super walk though.

Carm ran into two ladies with their arms full of puppies and had to bring them over to see me. OMG, they were adorable, and thankfully all spoken for as I felt my resolve to eventually get down to two dogs weaken for a few minutes. There should be a special hat or something to ward off puppy breath.

Today the crockpot is host to pepperoncini beef which I'm making ahead for Sunday's lunch with the family.

"The softened light, the veiling haze,
The calm repose of autumn days,
Steal gently o'er the troubled breast,
Soothing life's weary cares to rest."
~Phebe A. Holder

Monday, September 12, 2016

glorious afternoon

We've moved our villetta several (several) miles and are now at our favorite local campground. It's almost like a second home as we've spent at least half a year's worth of nights here over the years. After a summer of not camping it is nice to be in our 'other' home.

It may have been that we were feeling too lazy to load the panels onto the back of the trailer, or maybe we wanted to try a trip without the fence, but either way, we have no fence for the dogs. When outside they are tied up to a few 'anchors' (big water jugs) or the picnic table. It is a landmine of leashes - it will be a miracle if we don't trip and land on our faces. There are pros and cons for each configuration… lets see if we can hold out or will Carm have to drive home to pick them up.

We haven't spent a summer at home since we started camping 10 years ago (oh my gosh, 10 years!), so made a decision to try it out this summer. Between Kirsten's visits and all the hot swimming days we were very glad to be home. We were blessed with a fantastic summer.

I got my birthday present a bit early (or it could be considered late) as we just booked a cruise in the Caribbean for November. We've never been cruising, and for that matter we haven't gone away on a plane together since 1991 - a long time ago. We're going with Jo Ellen and Don who are seasoned cruisers to show us the ropes. It will be fun and I've very excited. They are coming to camp tomorrow so we can make excursion plans.  

We had thought of a simple week in Italy but after checking the temperatures and rainfall we decided to wait till late next spring. We'll start planning now though, isn't that half the fun?

Blustery would be the best way to describe the weather yesterday - we didn't even feel like going for a swim. Our last swim of the year was on Sept 10 and it was lovely (not even the coldest we've been in). We've had a fantastic year for swimming and are glad of our decision to put in the new pool.

I have that 'peaceful, easy feeling' that I get on the first day of a camp. Life is good and I feel so lucky to be so privileged.

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace.”   ~Milan Kundera