Thursday, June 30, 2016


Driving to the grocery store in our little town gave me a quick view of the impact the last few nights of rain has had on the countryside. The corn, which was barely out of the ground, is now a foot and a half, or even two, feet high. A miracle. A small seed was planted into the ground a month ago and with only sun, a tiny bit of rain, and whatever nutrition it can get from the nutrient depleted soil, it is now a thriving plant. Think about it - everything we eat comes down to those three things. In a way it is like a small, slow, big bang.

Since the switch from Spring to Summer, we have had some glorious weather. Today, after bathing the dogs and other housekeeping chores, I have been relaxing on the swing. I've been in the pool. Last year and the year before, I wondered if we should just skip the pool. We weren't home often to enjoy it and Carm does spend a certain amount of time maintaining it. It is clear to me now what a mistake that would be. Summer is too short to not eek every last minute of enjoyment we can.

Slipping into the cool, blue water is heavenly.

"It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”
~Maud Hart Lovelace

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

our link to parardise

The dogs are all spiffed up with fresh haircuts and I'm wondering if I should get mine done as well. We all want to look our best for my sister's arrival. Actually, I don't think the dogs really cared but they will be cooler. Bella has a few more lumps on her, a sure sign of aging. Nothing alarming though, they all feel like fatty lipomas.

I sometimes wonder how I can get so little done in one day - yesterday was one of those days that I hardly moved. I did walk to the other end of the property to release a trapped chipmunk, and I did help Carm fix up the mailbox. Canada Post got us to move our box a few years ago and specified the height and distance from the road. It seems they want it a different height now. So we got some tools and a chunk of wood to make the necessary (?) adjustments. I wonder how long they'll be happy with this configuration… They are subtly putting on pressure to move to the post office in the village, but it is a few km away so it would mean driving there everyday to pickup mail. We'll hold out as long as we can.

"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

Monday, June 27, 2016

Meals on the deck

I finally got a chance to reciprocate a meal with Trudie & Leo on Friday. I made pasta with a mushroom, tomato, sausage sauce, but put too much pasta in. Everyone had seconds so I guess it wasn't that bad. We had fun (perhaps a bit too much fun), on the back deck overlooking the fields. Fireflies came out the same time as the mosquitos so we didn't enjoy them for long, instead taking cover in the house.

Saturday we drove down to the Sol de Acapulco (gosh I wish this was easier to spell), for a schnitzel. It had been Alicia's birthday 2 nights earlier and we had hoped to celebrate with her, but of course the restaurant was busy, keeping her in the kitchen.

Sunday we drove into town to meet up at my parents place to go pick up my niece Shenna from the airport. At a grown-up 18 she has travelled 1/2 the world by herself, all the way from NZ. We were all happy to see her, but I might have been the only one that cried. I'm not sure what is wrong with me these days but the tears are closer to the surface than ever before. At times I am almost overcome with emotion with a sob choking me. It is embarrassing…

Mom, Erik & Juliette, and I went to meet her and as we stood at the bottom on the long escalator I watched for her. Faces were blurred by distance as they stepped onto the moving stairs and I wondered if I'd recognize her right away. I hadn't seen her for 3 years and she's grown from a young teenager to a young lady. A group of people started their descent. My hand was up in the air waving before I even knew it - of course I recognized her. Aunties do. Of course this was before I started tearing. Which aunties also do (at least this one does).

On Monday I spent the day with the family, culminating in Mom & Shenna coming out to our place for a swim and light supper on the deck. It was a beautiful day in more ways than one.

"Society is great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."  ~Anonymous Greek Proverb

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Nature can be ugly... I feel sick

Spring was long and cold, the climate bordering on winter, but summer has come with a bang. It started just before we left for Niagara Falls with hot and humid and continued to just before we got home. A little stretch of Fall convinced us that we'd just had the shortest summer on record and had no hope of swimming in our new pool. Be-dang! Hot and humid for day after day. The water temp in the pool rose till it was in the low 80s and we sweltered in 33C sun.

The last three days have been more seasonal,but seasonal is good. June weather is often some of the best of the year. I'm sitting on the swing (where else) with a slightly cool breeze. It isn't hot hot hot, but is comfortably warm. It is a perfect day for going to a festival, or for golfing (which is where Carm is).

Yesterday was a lazy day and today turned out to be one too. A little break to rest up after having so much fun with Merikay and Craig. I have very little stamina and tire easily, but didn't want to miss a minute so I pushed myself to keep going, even though my head was spinning and I had trouble forming a sentence. Thankfully there were lots of people to carry the conversation!

I'm left with a slight feeling of loss - what are we going to do next? Oh wait! In just a few days my niece, Shenna, arrives from NZ, and a week after that my sister, Kirsten, and my other niece, Nissa, arrive. There will be plenty to do as I try to steal as much of their time as I can. It has been years since our last dose of sister time. Sure, we talk on the phone, but that doesn't make up for face time.

(I might have messed up all the commas in the last paragraph…)

I'm on the back deck away from the peonies, but the air is still perfumed. There must be something else that smells wonderful. The wind is rustling the leaves in the tall poplars making them sound like static on the TV. I have the feeling that if I listen closely enough I'll hear Roy Rogers singing a 'Ghost Riders in the Sky', but I can't quite make it out.

Yippie I ohhh ohh ohh
Yippie I aye ye ye
Ghost riders in the sky

… Carm just stuck his head out the door to say the chipmunk was eating the Cardinal baby :-( I feel sick.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


I kept an eye out the front window, waiting for the big white RV to show up, with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Sure, I knew Merikay from her blog, but in reality I didn't really know her at all and her husband, Craig, was a big question mark. Would we like each other? How would our meeting go? Would we have divergent beliefs and views? Would our online friendship turn into a flesh and blood one?

I glanced out the window again and there they were, a giant white box obscuring the top of our laneway. I rushed outside and as I caught sight of Merikay a surge of emotion threatened to choke me. Here she was - in person. After a big hug and a few words, I turned back to the house to let them do their stuff without interruptions. With Craig in back of the rig directing, a hand-held walkie-talkie his link to Merikay, she backed the RV down the laneway to its temporary resting spot. They were here!

It was clear almost immediately that my trepidation was unwarranted as conversation flowed easily and our views were compatible. It wasn't long before Trump came up in the conversation and we were all pleased to find we had similar views. Political discussion became a favorite topic over the next few days to Carm's delight. 'They' say to never discuss politics or religion and we covered both with ease, a sign that we were becoming good friends.

Saturday (the day they arrived) was spent getting to know each other, sharing stories of travel and adventure. Merikay and Craig have covered plenty of ground over the last few years and had many stories to tell. I managed to get a meal on the table (forgetting the asparagus) amongst all this discussion; afterwards we retired to the deck with champagne to celebrate, until the mosquitoes drove us in. We talked and talked until I said I was going to bed. I was beat from all the excitement, plus I try to keep regular hours to keep my mood in check.

Sunday morning we were all up early and with coffees clutched in our hands,  Carm scrambled up some eggs and I toasted waffles. Maple syrup from our friends Trudie & Leo topped it all off. It was a leisurely morning but we had 11 am set as our departure hour so kept an eye on the clock.

I don't think I've mentioned yet that the temp was set to rise to 33C (91F) both Sunday and Monday. With that in mind we all wore hats and I brought water in the car as we had an outdoor destination for Sunday. Upper Canada Village was having a Father's Day celebration with free admission for fathers, free train rides, and best of all a performance by the RCMP Musical Ride.

Trudie & Leo met us there, getting us in for 1/2 price (Merikay picked up the bill - thanks!). We wandered through the village, visiting the mills and blacksmith, until it was time to meet Trudie & Leo for a quick cold drink and snack before the ride started. Then we found a few seats in the bleachers and settled down in the blazing sun to wait for the performance. Dumm deee dumm dumm and the red serge atop beautiful black horses was entering the arena. Gosh they were beautiful and they were ours. My Canadian patriotism surged in my chest and tears trickled from my eyes. I was happy to find a tissue in my little bag… The show was great.

After the show we were all limp from the sun but staggered around some more of Upper Canada until we had enough - back to the car and on our way home for a swim.

I had a quick swim then dried off to see to supper. Hummm, that's strange, the beef pepperoncini could not be pulled apart into shreds. OH NO!!! One of us had turned off the power bar and I had a chunk of raw beef in the pot. Trudie & Leo were joining us for supper and I had nothing to feed everyone.

With panic in my head I scrambled to think of what to do. Oh, I could do pasta with tomato green olive sauce and grilled asparagus. My head swum and I couldn't think straight… I thought it sounded good… then Trudie came to the rescue with promise of schnitzel, sauerkraut, and more - leftovers from her cousin's funeral the day before. Leo dashed home to get the food while I spun around the kitchen in a confused state. I think my mind was addled from the hot day. Merikay disappeared, returning with appetizers to tide us over. It wasn't long before 6 hungry people sat down to full plates.

Again, we sat outside watching fireflies until the mosquitoes drove us in. It was a good day.

Monday morning started with Craig calling around to local RV shops to find somewhere to fix his hitch thing a ma bob that had broken. Luckily he found someone, unluckily it was on the opposite side of the city. Off went Craig and Carm, leaving Merikay and I to talk. It seemed like they were gone a very short time (we still had so much to talk about). When home they had a quick breakfast and we bundled up in the car for another hot day of touristing.

First, drive around the city showing them Parliament Hill and other sights downtown and through the city. We had to keep an eye on the time though as we were due at the Aviation museum for a tour with my father. We got there - 5 minutes late - and had a delightful tour. Dad has stories and anecdotes that bring the machines to life - some of the planes he's flown and his dna has been left behind in the thing that twirls around until you pass out. Interesting stuff.

The wind was blowing hard when we left the museum - it looked like we could have a thunderstorm that evening.

We got cleaned up, I grabbed a bag of food things, and we drove over to Trudie & Leo's where they were hosting a BBQ for our guests. My parents had been invited as had Jo Ellen and Don (who unfortunately were unable to attend). On the menu: Canada Goose burgers, a true Canadian meal. My mom brought butter tarts, another Canadian invention. Between the two Canadian offerings, and the multitude of other salads and dishes, we were all full to the brim. We had been able to eat outside in the garden but the skies were getting darker so we headed inside.

It was hot, but conversation was easy and soon the topic turned to how everyone had ended up in Canada (or the US). It was interesting to learn people's histories.

The storm passed around us but the winds were still high. It was time for bed so the party broke up without a bedtime swim.

Tuesday - leaving day - but not before Craig and Carm drove back across the city for the part. Merikay and I got in the last of our conversation,,, but suddenly the guys were back and it was time to get moving. And then, just like that, they were gone.

I crashed on the swing with a serious case of lunchbag letdown. I was exhausted but pleased that we had gotten the chance to get to know two wonderful people.

Saturday, June 18, 2016


I’ve alluded that we have special guests coming, and finally today is the day they arrive. We’ve never met Merikay and Craig but we know them quite well. We have been following each other’s blogs since sometime in 2011. I’ve followed along with them as they readied their house for sale, as they went through the trials and tribulations of purchasing their RV and getting it in their driveway. I rejoiced with them when they finally sold their house and headed out on the open roads to live life as nomads. Through their eyes I’ve visited many US National Parks and countless museums.

You can visit their blog at

They take terrific photos and bring each place they visit to life so a visit to their blog is well worth the time. Go back to their older posts to see some interesting sites in the US, it just might fuel your travel bug!

Friday, June 17, 2016

rejoice as summer should

Quiet except for the song of a multitude of feathered creatures. A plane flies overhead, its drone another sort of birdsong. An occasional car passes on the road which is behind some trees, across the hayfield and behind some more trees - background noise. The wind picks up and chatters in the leaves of the poplars. The warm air caresses.

On the breeze is the sweet smell of freshly mown hay. It's too early for clover but there is a dusty, dry smell that you'd like to dry your sheets with. Occasionally the smell of dry manure wafts past. Not a bad smell, it is the smell of childhood summers at Auntie Rena's farm and then later learning to ride, and later still a barn full of my own horses. If there is any one smell that embodies summer for me it is this.

This morning Carm left to visit his mom in town and I stayed back to finish up some cleaning. Just as I was about to scrub the kitchen sinks the phone rang. Carm had forgotten his wallet and needed to do some shopping. I hopped in the truck and met him halfway between here and town so he could go back into town and finish the shopping. I am so lucky that he doesn't mind this horrible chore because if it was left to me we'd go hungry. I am not a shopper. But he does it and brought home lots of luscious treats to have with our guests.

The pool is up to 77F and is very swimmable. I may even go in before bed.

On day 3 of perfect summer, I sit here on the back deck gently swinging and wondering why I'd ever want to leave here. I'll probably think the same thing when we are camping: why would I want to go home?

Rejoice as summer away sorrows by living.”
~Melissa Marr

Thursday, June 16, 2016


The house is clean, or at least presentable. Still have to do the bathrooms but I'll wait till Saturday morning, just before our visitors come. Our sheets are washed and the bed is made. The guest sheets are washed and drying in the sun and breeze. I don't think it will take long for them to be dry.

I'm sitting on the swing with a lemonade and herbal tea within reach. It is hot, but the breeze makes it comfortable. Carm went swimming (73F), but I'm not hot enough. I remember days many years ago that 73 would be my prefered temperature… not so now. The water does look inviting though. I could lay my towel down on the deck and bake for a while.

Speaking of dry: I'm surprised that the hay wasn't flipped over and fluffed up today. With a dew-free night last night and a perfect drying day both yesterday and today the grasses should be drying nicely.

Lots of farm machinery up and down the road and someone is making square bales kitty corner to us. clunk clunk

These last few afternoons of swing time have restored the occasional Peaceful Easy Feeling (pef). Whenever they hit I take a moment to memorize the feeling in an effort to train my brain.

A little while later…

We cut down a big branch from the tree directly across from the swing. It opens up the view into the center of a group of trees. I feel like I'm in a glade. I cut off a big swish of branch for Grace's cage and stuck it in beside her. It half fills her cage but she didn't blink and eye and quickly set to work making toothpicks.

All that work made me hot so I slipped into the crisp pool water. Sunshine sparkled off the ripples. I even dunked my head. Every moment of summer should be savoured.

“At these times, the things that troubled her seemed far away and unimportant: all that mattered was the hum of the bees and the chirp of birdsong, the way the sun gleamed on the edge of a blue wildflower, the distant bleat and clink of grazing goats.”
~Alison Croggon

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

summertime and the living is easy but busy

Swing is out (finally), Carm was in the pool yesterday (65F), and the hay was cut this morning. It must be summer. I gently rock the swing with one foot. Birdsong fills the air as they go about the business of feeding their babies. There's a robin's nest a few feet behind me. Grace is outside playing in her water bowl. It is a huge one in case she wants to take a bath.

A few hours later: the dogs have been bathed and are relaxing in the sun. While I did that, Carm cut a bit of the front grass. We were both hot enough to go in for a swim - the temp has risen to 71F which I believe is close to 21C. Brrrr. Refreshing. A flash of orange in the trees reveals an Oriole.

Yesterday I left Carm home and drove into town to take my mom out for lunch. It was her birthday so we went to her favorite Thai food place. Yum. We had a sampler plate for two, but next time I want to see if they have Pad Ki Mao, a spicy version of Pad Thai. In my working days, once a week I used to treat myself  to take out from the Thai restaurant across the street from my office building. It was a popular lunch spot that was usually all booked, and there'd be a line of people getting takeout as well. Getting hungry just thinking about it.

Last night we had a spur of the moment supper with Trudie & Leo. Carm had called to see if they wanted to meet for Chinese food but Trudie had the makings for a pizza so we joined them in their lovely garden for a low key summer evening meal.

This is the first day that it really feels like summer. It has been hot before, but all the accoutrements were not in place: swing, table and chairs, pool, we even planted up a few pots. I tried to think back to what it was like when we were working and just had weekends to enjoy the summer, but couldn't, and didn't try too hard.

Green was the silence, wet was the light,
the month of June trembled like a butterfly.”
― Pablo Neruda

Monday, June 13, 2016

Age of Majority

Gosh, the days have slipped by and I haven't posted this yet. I'll edit and hope I get the correct tense.

Grace turned 18 Thursday, but still has no vote or say in matters. At 18 she still isn't middle aged or even half way through her expected lifespan; with African Grey Congos having an average life expectancy of 50 she is still a young bird.

I wanted to look for another skort so we drove to Liquidation on Friday. Merely stepping through the doors sends my anxiety levels skyrocketing. Shelves piled to the ceiling, dim light, and loud country music do not make for a relaxing shopping experience, at least not for me. But with prices set at 50% off the store tags I can get some good deals. I don't remember what initially triggered anxiety, but over the past several visits I think it has become a conditioned response.

Friday night we met friends (Trudie, Leo, Marie, Vashek) in Ingleside for a dinner at Sol de Acapulco. Trudie & Leo were helping the owner make a few of the ancient motel rooms liveable, the rest of us were just there for a hot meal. It was a lovely time and we even got home before dark, with no deer sightings (but how many didn't we see).

Speaking of deer, we haven't seen any around the house yet this spring. I wonder if there are fawns tucked away in the rough area of the farm, but with everything so overgrown we'd be unlikely to see them, unless mama brings them into the hayfield when we happen to be looking out.

Carm made a herculean effort Friday and got the rest of the lawn cut. It is a huge job normally, but with the grass extra long from 2 1/2 weeks away… let's just say that he's my strongman. I wouldn't be able to manage even a fraction. I keep suggesting that he get a ride'em mower, but he still likes the exercise - something about good for golf game. There are so many trees and other impediments that I wonder how much help a ride mower would be anyway.

Sunday we drove into the city for the 'Dog Festival'. It was a bit of a disappointment as there was no agility demo area. There were a couple of cordoned off areas for a dog to try its foot at lure coursing and dock diving. Perhaps if it had have been a nicer day there would have been more going on. It was fun to see all the dogs that people had brought along. We saw a cute Berner-Poo puppy and a couple of lovely red miniature poodles. It was chaos though with people letting their dogs range at the end of long leashes, dogs peeing on everything. Mayhem. I was pretty glad I hadn't brought Spike as he would have had a meltdown having dogs rudely in his face all afternoon.

We took advantage of our time in town to visit Bruce and Tina, who we don't see very often. Thanks for letting us drop in with just 10 minutes notice!

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald

Thursday, June 9, 2016

pool installation

We weren't even back home for 24 hours before we had to go to the city for appointments, etc. I could have used a day to just slouch around, but had to wait for today. As soon as we were back from our commitments Carm started the lawnmower and got to work. He did an amazing amount of work, getting the front and sides done. The place looks great, although (and I think this happens every year) it is completely overgrown. Not just the grass, but the trees are now fully leafed and it seems like they've stretched their limbs farther. The spruce trees have budded with bright green extensions to every branch. There is no holding back Nature's wish to return to the wild.

We got a welcome phone call yesterday evening - Pierre, the pool installer, called to say he'd be by today! We are thrilled to have this work done so soon after we got home as we had visions of being bumped to the bottom of the list. Not so. They were quick to get to work this morning and had much of the work done by noon. A few more hours of finishing touches, including a few truck loads of water, and we are good to go. Or we would be if it wasn't just 14C today. I used a jacket to go close the gate.

Not only did we get our pool installed, Pierre gave us a giant bottle of 'homemade' maple syrup. Very thoughtful.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
~Albert Einstein

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


The traffic on the 401 was reasonably light and with only 2 minor construction zones we made it home right when we expected to. We had a bit of a kerfuffle backing the trailer into the laneway, but once we got past the tricky bit the maelstrom was over and we were home safe and sound.

The heaviness of responsibility of being back hit home when Carm saw the long grass. He's going to have a big job to get it tamed again. We had wondered about the peonies and hoped we hadn't missed them. Nope, like everything else this spring they are late. Lots of buds promise a good display, and with any luck they'll still be around when Merikay and Craig arrive on the 18th. The irises are at the end of their bloom - it looks like they were battered by recent rain, shortening their pageantry.

Re-entry to reality is hard. House home didn't feel like home for a while - it is so big, and green - the paint seems really green, partially enhanced by the sun coming through the fully leafed trees. Speaking of trees, the locust is in bloom now. It does smell good here - at least outside. Inside smells musty, like a house that has been closed up for a few weeks. We've got the HRV circulating on full to refresh the air.

The dogs seem mildly depressed, although they did enjoy a bit of freedom from leashes. Now they are laying on the futon, tired and bored. Grace has a dish of food that she is picking at. While we were camping she gobbled every plate of food we gave her. I think she needs a window seat at home too.

But, oh joy, oh bliss. A hot bath! The bathtub is the only thing I miss when we are away from house home. I love a long soak, but campground showers have to make do.

Our busy holiday wasn't quite over yet though - we had an invite to supper from Trudie & Leo. I'll be honest: I tuckered out not long after we were finished eating and insisted that Carm bring me home…

I think it will take a couple of days to rejuvenate.

Monday, June 6, 2016

swaney river

Beautiful, sparkling water is visible when I lift my eyes from my tablet. I catch a glimpse out of the window, or can put my tablet down, slip on my shoes and walk across the road to get the full monty. Lovely.

The dogs and I had an abbreviated walk this morning - I found a few areas for business, but not many steps. The swans were already out on the road, blocking us from our traditional morning march. After our short walk I went back to bed for hours (literally), then after coffee we loaded everyone up into the truck for a walk at Lighthouse Lane.

The wide, grassy field was welcome footing after so many days of asphalt sidewalks. With the wide expanse of Lake Ontario to the south of us, and bright sunshine warming the cool wind, it was a lovely walk.

These dogs are not what they used to be - their age and lack of fitness is apparent when we walk a long way. We reminisced about the long walks we used to take our first years coming here when we were all much younger and fitter. I know Carm and I could get in shape again, but I feel a sadness knowing that the dogs could not. I suppose it was then that it hit me that the dogs are no longer young. I knew it intellectually of course, but didn’t know it in my heart.

We met up with Brenda and Bill last night for supper, then we all came back here for a campfire. Around 10 there was sheet lightening in the distance - I called it quits and started packing up to go in. Everyone followed suit and it’s a good thing - the rain came down in buckets not two minutes after the party broke up.

Today we stopped at Brenda & Bill’s place to see the pair of swans nesting in the pond behind their house. Beautiful.

Brenda and Bill came over for another campfire tonight. We had a roaring fire burning when the first raindrops fell. The chairs were quickly stashed under the ‘fifth’ and we dashed inside to enjoy the rest of the evening. Later in the evening hugs and kisses sent them on their way.

Tomorrow morning we leave for home. Bittersweet.

“After all," Anne had said to Marilla once, "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”
~L.M. Montgomery

Sunday, June 5, 2016


I don't know where to start. You already know that we left Niagara Falls in a bit of rain and with gale force winds. Okay, not gale force but Environment Canada clocked the wind at 30 kmph gusting to 50 kmph which was enough to buffet us around when it was hitting us broadside. Thankfully, after an hour or so, we turned east which gave us a nice tail wind. We were running with the wind, our spinnaker the backside of a Titanium 5th wheel.

In Toronto the traffic was reasonably light, or at least not heavy. We must have missed the big slowdowns that Dru talked about yesterday. We sailed through Toronto and at the other side exited at the Enroute rest stop. The pit stop, which included breakfast, ate up some time but we weren't in a rush. We made it to Presquile at 1:15 (we left at 9:25). By the time we were checked in our site was vacant.
The weather is drizzly and buggy so we didn't unload much for outside, just some mats to cover the mud, and our chairs tucked under the 'fifth'. We'll unload Grace's cage if it looks like she'll get some outside time.

The dogs seemed to remember where we were and were anxious for a walk. We headed down the causeway, our traditional business walk area. WHOA NELLIE!!! Two giant swans reared their stately heads and looked our way. They were parked on one side and didn't look like they'd let us get by. A small grey bundle of fluff at their feet revealed the reason for the protective stance.

After one and a half weeks at Niagara Falls slightly complaining about the walking opportunities and looking forward to our 2 mornings here, a pair of swans have built their nest on my route… what did I do to deserve that? I didn't even really complain this morning when the train roared by, trapping me on the other side of the tracks from our campsite even though some rain was threatening. Now I have absolutely nowhere to walk to in the early morning… it's ironic I guess.

Still, we are happy to be here, even if it is for a short time.

First glimpses of Lake Ontario.

Carm vainly looking for a satellite heading thru the trees.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
~Ursula K. Le Guin,

still still

repost with photos:

I think today is the last of a 2 week string of wonderful weather - at least that's what the forecast is saying. From our first day out we have had unseasonably warm, no, make that hot, weather. It has been fantastic.

We spent our last day here at the Falls doing some running around: Picards Peanuts, return empties to beer store, groceries. That left the afternoon free for some r&r. Carm did some light reading, if the Economist could be considered light. I wasn't able to settle into reading but managed to pass the time anyway. At 5pm it was time to pack up the outside stuff that we didn't need anymore to prep for leaving tomorrow morning. Dru suggested leaving by 9 or 9:30 to avoid the Toronto cottage rush. Sounds like good advice.

I was proud of Carm today - we were talking with Brenda from Alabama and he didn't bite when she made a few political comments against Obama. We can guess a Southerner's attitudes about him just from his colour, although it would be wrong to assume. But Carm stayed quiet (it must have nearly killed him…)!

Grace was happy to spend some time outside, especially when Brenda stopped by. She has a lovely Southern accent that seemed to mesmerize Grace. While Grace loves being outside, she's happy to be inside as well. Her corner location gives her plenty to look at. She's inside now, gobbling a huge bowl of food - she can't seem to get enough to eat these days - she's eating like a horse!

We are having leftover Green Acres for supper again tonight - wowzers what a meal.

“Time passes so fast. Make time to be still.”
~Lailah Gifty Akita

white knuckle

gusty winds tossing us around. Black clouds ahead... Toronto too.

Saturday, June 4, 2016


I think today is the last of a 2 week string of wonderful weather - at least that's what the forecast is saying. From our first day out we have had unseasonably warm, no, make that hot, weather. It has been fantastic.

We spent our last day here at the Falls doing some running around: Picards Peanuts, return empties to beer store, groceries. That left the afternoon free for some r&r. Carm did some light reading, if the Economist could be considered light. I wasn't able to settle into reading but managed to pass the time anyway. At 5pm it was time to pack up the outside stuff that we didn't need anymore to prep for leaving tomorrow morning. Dru suggested leaving by 9 or 9:30 to avoid the Toronto cottage rush. Sounds like good advice.

I was proud of Carm today - we were talking with Brenda from Alabama and he didn't bite when she made a few political comments against Obama. We can guess a Southerner's attitudes about him just from his colour, although it would be wrong to assume. But Carm stayed quiet (it must have nearly killed him…)!

Grace was happy to spend some time outside, especially when Brenda stopped by. She has a lovely Southern accent that seemed to mesmorize Grace. While Grace loves being outside, she's happy to be inside as well. Her corner location gives her plenty to look at. She's inside now, gobbling a huge bowl of food - she can't seem to get enough to eat these days - she's eating like a horse!

We are having leftover Green Acres for supper again tonight - wowzers what a meal.

“Time passes so fast. Make time to be still.”
~Lailah Gifty Akita

Friday, June 3, 2016

Green Acres is the place to be

It took forever this morning to get our day started. We are usually slow, but today we dragged our feet for ages, putzing around the trailer doing odd jobs and putting off our 'touristing' activities. At 12:30 we decided that the Hornblower boat ride under the falls wasn't appealing. Instead we turned south towards Fort Erie.

We dashed through Fort Erie in November of 2000 to see Valena, a pretty Fjord filly that we ended up buying, but hadn't taken the time to visit the city at all. The waterfront is lovely, with lots of small pull-offs and parks, and we ended up driving Niagara Drive on our way back. It snaked along the river's edge - water on one side and gorgeous houses on the other. My favorite was a pale yellow stucco that could have been from the south of France.

Before we started back to Niagara Falls we had to have lunch at 'Green Acres' which was highly recommended by Ellen and Orval. Oh my. I had the 'Angus Roast Beef Dinner' which had two thick slices of roast beef that covered the large oval plate. A huge heap of mashed potatoes with gravy was on another plate, and a bowl of coleslaw in a bowl - not only did I stuff myself at lunch, I have enough for at least 2 suppers. Carm had the fish dinner which had two giant pieces of haddock, a mountain of fries and a bowl of coleslaw. More leftovers. Oh, and I had rice pudding. Without being asked the waitress showed up with a stack of take-away containers, and another one for the rice pudding. I like having some rice pudding in the fridge - such a treat.

We are both a little slow today… I think we'll take it mostly easy tomorrow to rest up for our trip on Sunday.

I was reminded by something that I used to write down a few things that were my pleasures everyday. Today I'd have to start with dogs getting all their businesses done quickly in the early morning - this meant I could get back to bed! Long sleep-in with a leisurely wake up was lovely. Having a lunch that lived up to expectations. Driving along the river. Seeing the spray from the falls from several miles away, the sun was shining making the mist shimmer.

“A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.”
~Naomi Wolf

Thursday, June 2, 2016

the end

We walked around this morning saying final goodbyes to everyone who hadn't left at the crack of dawn. We all hope there is a gathering again next year but nothing is certain. Our 'wagon master', Mary, has bowed out of the job and no one has offered to pick up the job. It may turn out to be something ad hoc, or perhaps this was the last year.

Yesterday afternoon most of us gathered at the campfire location for Carm's trivia event. I think people were happy with the difficulty level of the questions, one of the advantages of having me as the guinea pig!

I spent much of the rest of the afternoon chilling in the shade by our camper. A big class A pulled into the site next to us. They are from Alabama - their thick accents a concrete clue that they are from somewhere else! One of the ladies came over to see Grace and to say hello.

As the afternoon started drawing to a close, Edna came over, bringing gin & tonics - the perfect pre-dinner drink.

The Farewell Dinner was at a resort a few blocks away. The meal was fine and the company excellent.

So there you have it… a week of social interactions and too much eating. Here's hoping we do it again next year!

We are here for a few more days so ventured out for a drive along the gorge, all the way to Niagara on the Lake. We stopped at a few scenic lookouts. We passed many vineyards, but weren't in the mood for tastings. I was barely able to keep my eyes open as it was and would have preferred a really long nap! I suppose it is no surprise that I didn't have a miraculous cure just by coming here…

I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”   ~Laura Ingalls Wilder