Friday, May 31, 2013

Rally 2nd Day

What a beautiful day we have had - which is sharp contrast to a few years when we have had cold rain. Today was a day for lots of sunscreen and a hat. By the time we got the dogs out for their long walk this morning it was so warm that they were reluctant to go far - or maybe that was us! Oh - we did see a giant snapping turtle.

As crazy as it sounds we did a quick(ist) trip into Kingston to pick up a few things at Costco (where else), and even Princess Auto. Unfortunately just when we were the hungriest we passed an A&W... after frosty rootbeer and onion rings we were on our way!

The afternoon has been a lazy one with another walk, followed by showers in our new camper! The last camper had an awkward tub/shower thing - this one has a full corner shower - sweet :-)

In just over 1/2 an hour we are off to catch the bus to the dinner cruise! Should be another fun time!

Happy Tails!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tally-ho to the Rally-o!

It was as beautiful morning as anyone could have wished for. I lay wide awake since 4am so by 6 I was up and getting on with the day. I think if I hadn't had a million things that I wanted to get done before we left this morning I might have gotten another 2 or more hours of sleep, but I did, so I didn't!

I was happy to be out with my camera to get a few photos in the early morning light. I still have lots to learn about taking photos into the sun, but I think these two shots turned out okay.

We got on the road at 10:01 - one minute past our scheduled departure time - not bad for retired folks ;-)

We pulled into a rest stop about 1/2 way into the trip for a short break. We'll have to get better at long trips though as we'll never get to Alberta if we have to stop every hour or two! Look how huge the camper looks!!!! We are actually going to drag that beast all the way to Medicine Hat (and beyond). Crazy!

It was a short 2+ hours and we arrived at our destination - Rideau Acres for our 4th time at this Titanium Rally. What fun! As soon as we pulled into our site we started to reacquaint ourselves with friends from last year. I didn't even need to study my cheat sheet very hard to remember most of the names. There is a pretty good turn-out this year - around 35 rigs! Not all Titanium's anymore though as the company has been out of business a few years and some people have moved onto other brands - they still show up though.

This afternoon people started gathering for the "meet & greet", this evening there is an information session that will lay out the activities for the next week. So I'd better post this, spray my ankles with mosquito spray and head over to the campfire!

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
Helen Keller

Monday, May 27, 2013

We are Home Again, Naturally

Of course, it was a lovely day today... just in time to pack up and come home. It does make tearing down easier. I'm always struck by how beautiful our property is when we return from away (aside from the long grass!).

Some photos from around the property.

The back of the barn.

Carm spent 3 1/2 hours working hard this afternoon and got all the grass done!

Happy Tails!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Just Some Random Photos

I had a lovely time today visiting some distant cousins with my Mother. It is so interesting to learn more of the family history.

Bella being a partially unwilling subject. It is hard to get the camera to focus on her eyes rather than her big shnoze.

Look! Some sun! On the night before we leave - it figures :-/


Kabira in front of the fire. I've got my tablet tuned to a site with photo tips. I think I was testing manual focus at this point.

Spike being spoiled as always! Life is rough when you are a little poodle.

Happy Tails!

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Cold and Rainy Day

We woke up to the sound of rain again today. I stepped out of bed and FROZE! The temps had dropped overnight, leaving the inside temperature at 60F... burrr. I quickly got dressed, turned on the furnace, added another sweater, and then a coat and took the dogs out for a quickie. After a cup of coffee we realized that the rain wasn't really going to hold off for a long walk so I dashed out with coats and rubber boots.

Spike took my place on the sofa whenever he got a chance. He just has to lift his head up and then he can see out of one of the many windows. Hummm... lets count.... 10 windows all together, including the bedroom and the hall (yes, one in the hall).

Much of the rest of the day was spent with the fireplace flickering (and adding heat). I played around with my camera a bit - it took some amazing shots in really dim light. The one of me in the mirror was taken in the bedroom with the blinds closed on both windows. It was seriously dim in there, but look at the brightness captured! I am getting more and more thrilled with my Nikon p7700.

Tea was a welcome warm-me-up in the afternoon. Of course I had to take a photo. All the photos on this page were taken without a flash, in very dim light.

Love keeps the cold out better than a cloak.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Let the Rain Kiss You

It was a bit of a yuck day today, but it could have been far worse. There were wicked thunderstorms overnight and the rain continued into the morning. I was able to dash out between the raindrops first thing in the morning so the pooches could have a quick p... then we had to wait for a break in the pouring rain to get them out for a proper walk. We love having internet here - it is easy to check the weather radar to see what is coming and... what kind of a break from the rain we will have. We were in luck! The rain was ending and it looked like the next wave would slip to the south of us, giving us a good chance for a long walk.

As you can see from the photo, they are getting more tired by the day. All of them were lagging way before we were 1/2 way though the walk. This is pretty typical for the first few camps of the year.

The rain held off for the rest of the day, with the sun playing hide and seek behind huge banks of clouds. We used that as an excuse to go for a drive - destination? Ice cream! With a quick stop at a local RV dealer to look for a part to make the trip more official.

I got to test taking a photo from a moving car. I think it turned out okay.

Even though we treated ourselves to frozen treats, we stuck with a healthy salmon, quinoa and green bean supper. I got to test the "food" setting on my camera. I discovered a handy white balance adjustment by using the flash setting button (note to self, no flash in this scene setting). As the days pass I find myself more and more happy with the camera. I'm gonna have fun with all the settings :-)

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
Langston Hughes

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lenses on Time

This morning with the mist still heavy in the air.

Later in the day. Still overcast.

Our walk this morning. Notice the dogs in their new harnesses. So far so good!

We've been using the pull-out desk - it is great and then tucks back away with a little push of a finger.

The sun came out for a few minutes after supper so I ran out to get a few pictures.

I was playing around with the macro lens here.

This was this afternoon.

Happy Tails!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Almost Rain

We really got to check out the inside of the villetta today as it was cool and on the verge of rain all day. Luckily we got out for a long walk in the morning, and another short walk late afternoon. I had just finished feeding the dogs outside (messy meat needs to be eaten outside!), when a big thunderstorm rolled in, complete with pouring rain.

With the weather I didn't get to test out my camera in bright light situations, but I guess it is a good thing to figure out the dreary day settings. I'd been playing around with it on and off all day when I finally sat down and read the manual a bit, and discovered yet another dial for setting something or other. There are so many settings that it may be next to impossible to get the good shot!

Since the weather was so bad we decided to treat ourselves to a club sandwich at the Basket Case - the best club anywhere! We really should have gone out and walked another few miles... but I took the dogs for a short walk while Carm went and helped someone. He was still there when I was finished walking so I meandered over and got caught up with Suzanne (who we met last year), and make the acquaintance with Colette. One of the things I enjoy about camping is socializing.

Since we had such a naughty lunch, we had a healthy supper: sauteed onion, garlic, mushrooms, red peppers and bok choy, with Chinese 5 Spice and fresh Thai basil. It was very tasty - I hope I can remember how I made it for a redo! I have some tofu that I was going to add, but forgot - dooh. (p.s. pretty nice kitchen eh!)

We have had CNN on and feel for the people affected by the Oklahoma tornado. What incredible destruction. Did you see the interview of the older lady who had lost her dog, and then a small sound and there it was buried in the rubble? It was very moving and of course I cried.

I am a being of Heaven and Earth, of thunder and lightning, of rain and wind, of the galaxies.
Eden Ahbez

Monday, May 20, 2013

Camping at Riverside for First Time This Year

Riverside is our "local" campground that we spend the most time at. It almost feels like home. We had a leisurely morning doing the last minute trip stuff and were on the road not long after 12:30. After checking in and having a visit with Kent (the campground host), we started our set up. It was a bit slower than normal as we figured out the new camper. Everything went well though and it wasn't long before we were enjoying a cold adult beverage. Well... that was the fantasy anyway. Instead we futzed around with satellite setup for what seemed like an eternity... THEN we enjoyed a few sips of our cold drink.

Before we knew it, it was time to harness up the dogs and take them for their little outing. Not a super long walk though as the mosquitos were out in full force. Carm went to say hello to campers from last year, while I took the dogs to the "pooping" field. Of course I had my new camera along (NO! not to photograph poop!). I played around with settings to get a few photos, but with a trio of dogs pulling to go somewhere it was difficult to focus (pun intended) on the landscape.

I've been having Asian food cravings like crazy lately, so for supper I made rice paper wraps with black glutinous rice, snow peas, red pepper, Thai basil and mint, with a spicy peanut dipping sauce. The salad was mushrooms, red pepper, cucumber with a Chinese 5 spice dressing. All good and made better with a bottle of bubbles! I hope I remember how I made everything cause it was good!

Happy Tails!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

In Focus

On our way to our great-nephew Georgio's birthday party we took a little detour to a camera store! I'm sure you know that the first thing I did when we got home was plug in the battery and then copy the manual from a cd to an sd card. I've been pouring over the manual ever since, and I'm not that ashamed to admit that I'll be spending more time reading it.

My new Nikon p7700 is not a simple point and shoot. It isn't a full fledged dslr either, it is sort of in between. I've taken all sorts of photos of the dogs, and my feet, and Grace, as I try to figure out the basics (like getting an in-focus picture in dim light...). I'm not sure if I'm ecstatic yet, it is too soon to decide.

This afternoon we had a lovely time at the birthday party. Much of the family was there, from both mother and father's side. It is fun to have a new generation to celebrate.

I was running the water this morning, for some reason or other, and I couldn't help but marvel at how wonderful it is to have running water, and even more so, running hot water. I let the water run through my fingers and marvelled. Hummm.... maybe I did need that extra cup of coffee!

Happy Tails!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

So This is What Heaven Sounds Like

Sitting on the front steps after a day of chores, I finally stopped long enough to let the beauty of our property wash over me. The whole property throbbed with vital life force. Everywhere I looked there was evidence of this force. Birds were busy feeding their young. The perfume of a million blossoms scented the air. Every plant and tree seemed to be covered in flowers. I closed my eyes to better enjoy the symphony of bird song. Suddenly it didn't seem enough to be sitting on my little island of civilization - I had to immerse myself in Nature. I crunched across the gravel laneway to the apple trees, the closest destination.

Standing surrounded by apple blossoms with the sound of bees buzzing echoed in my ears I felt it. Everything else faded into the background and the life force around me washed through my limbs. For a few moments I felt one with Nature.

The moment passed and I decided to bring some lilacs into the house to enjoy them throughout the day.

When we first built this house the property was barren of everything but grass. Now, there are flowering trees, spruce trees, peonies (to be enjoyed in a few weeks). All manner of birds make their homes here. It is beautiful, if a little wild. When I think back to those first few years I marvel at the changes.

I couldn't decide between quotes (and there were a whole bunch of other ones that were in the running).

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.
e. e. cummings

Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes.
Carl Friedrich Gauss

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Theatre Full of Trekkies, and me

What a day! I feel like I've been to Alfa-centuri and back!

It started off at 6am with a little walk outside to enjoy all the birds singing and the perfumed air. Then it was coffee at the computer - I was making "calling cards" for our up-coming trips. They are just little business cards that have our names and email addresses on that we can use to exchange details with people we meet.

The rest of the morning was spent with a pair of clippers in my hand. Yes, it is a bit early, but with our travel schedule for the next few weeks it was the only time to fit in hair cuts for Bella and Spike. They came out unscathed, unlike last time. The poor wee things though shook and shook at first. My heart broke, knowing it was my fault they were so scared. They were so good though and did relax by the end of the grooming.

We did a few things to get the trailer ready for our next trip, and then... went to the movies! You've probably already guessed that we went to see "Star Trek - Into Darkness" in 3D IMAX. It was a pretty good movie with a bit of humour and lots of action - that's all I'll say! Other than the 3D view while they were flying over the city caused serious vertigo.

Oh! And I almost forgot. This morning I had to stop clipping Spike for a few moments as we had a long earthquake. The house shook and shook - gosh we have a lot of stuff that tinkles (no, not that tinkle!).

It is written on the arched sky; it looks out from every star. It is the poetry of Nature; it is that which uplifts the spirit within us.
John Ruskin

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I'm on the Top of the World

I was watching "Dark Shadows" (with Johnny Depp) and one of the songs that played was "I'm on the top of the world" by the Carpenters. Memories came rushing back of singing this song while sitting at the top of doorways. I know, weird sounding. I was 11 and I'd put my back against the door jam or wall and with my feet against the opposite side I'd "walk" my way up the doorway till I was sitting at the top. Hummm.... I was perhaps a bit of a strange child!

BTW - good movie. Johnny Depp as always plays a terrific "character". He's mesmerizing.

Tomorrow I'll be cutting some lilac to bring into the house.

The apple trees are fully in bloom now - one good wind and the display will be disbursed onto the ground. But now - wow!

I pretty much try to stay in a constant state of confusion just because of the expression it leaves on my face.
Johnny Depp

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Woody the Woodpecker

Finally, here's a picture of Elvira, our 2013 Subaru Crosstrek. She's a cute little thing and fun to drive. We have taken every opportunity to take her for a run - although I've only gotten to drive it once! She's even been to the car wash.

Today I was outside cleaning the truck (gasp) when I heard this loud metallic clatter - WHAT was that???? It stopped for a bit and then started up again. This time I took a walk around, first thinking that it was some sort of equipment stuck on the bridge. No. More clatter led me to look over at the satellite dish where a little woodpecker was hammering away at the lmb. The cheeky little devil let me get pretty close before it flew away - alas I had no camera with me. It wasn't long after I was back at the truck when I heard it again. This time I ran into the house to get my camera and got a picture.

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
Thomas A. Edison