Tuesday, October 16, 2018

home again... no camping for seven 1/2 months

I'm sitting on the sofa, back home after a few weeks of camping. The house has warmed up to 61F from the frigid 53 that it was when we arrived home. The day is grey and it is actually raining, keeping us from the gargantuan task of unloading for the winter. That's okay, we left camp without breakfast and the necessary 2nd cup of coffee, so chilling out for a bit is okay.

I do wish the rain would stop though - I'd like to get started...


The house seems huge and starkly white after so many weeks in the villetta with its warm wood cabinetry and floors. The cosy space seems warmer, even when it is cold (although to be honest, it never got as cold as this!).

The dogs are huddled up on their various beds and Kabira is still wearing her double outfit. Grace is enjoying the extra space of her giant cage. She may be missing her corner windows though.

Time for a tea.


The rain finally let up around 2pm giving us time to unload the food and appliances. Everything is more or less neatly stored, although there is a pile of stuff on the table. Most of the laundry has been done.

It's not over yet though... all the extranious stuff that we use over the winter has to be unloaded, and more importantly, the trailer has to be winterized.

We have some special company coming on Wednesday, so our filthy house has to be cleaned and guest bed sheets washed. The patio furniture has to come in before it rains again. We need to dig another garlic bed and get that planted in the next few days. The list of to-do's gets longer with each passing hour. I had my vacation and now it is back to reality.


The next day:

Monday night Trudie & Leo dropped by with our mail. We had a rousing discussion about the 'metoo' movement and what it means for woman. Trudie is one of the few women that were never victimized by men so I don't think she really understands what it is all about. Lucky her.

I read a really good article about the topic not long ago, but I can't find it and don't remember the details enough to use it as a discussion point - very frustrating! I would like to redo the conversation as I have given more thought to the problem and could perhaps articulate better. Society blames the woman: she is too provocative and the men can't control themselves - not their fault. Well, who is to define what is provocative? Some men would be sexual predators no matter what. And whose fault is it that some men can't control themselves? Woman's? And when people aren't victim blaming they don't believe. Where's the proof? Without proof the victim isn't believed. And sometimes the situation is such that the woman can't fight back. A job might be at stake. She believes it is her fault - society tells her it is. Victim shaming... and some women are just as guilty of that as some men.

I'm left feeling sad for some women, but angry at the others who can't seem to put themselves in another's place.


"If telling men "don't rape" instead of telling women "don't get raped", is like telling thieves "don't steal" instead of home owners to "lock your houses", why don't we hear more victims of home invasion being told "you got what you deserved for having such a beautiful house on display for everyone to see" ???” 
― Miya Yamanouchi


Friday, October 12, 2018

a brighter day

It was raining when I got up yesterday. The sky was dark and the day seemed dreary. Around 11 am the day brightened, inside the camper with Jo Ellen and Don visiting us. We were cosy and warm in the villetta with spirited conversation and laughter. I made gnocci with mushroom sauce (easy to make in one pot on my fantastic gas stove).

Their tire tracks were barely cold when the phone rang. It was Trudie and they were heading to the Acapulco for supper. I put our supper back into containers (leftovers from roast beef dinner), threw on some nice clothes, then got into the truck for the rough and muddy road out to the highway.


This morning was grey with the hint of sun off to the west. Cold and a bit windy. This camp really feels the wind as it blows cold off the St. Lawerence. A quick walk, a hot coffee, then into the truck to Cornwall so Carm could get some bloodwork done. We stopped at Cora's for a ridiculous breakfast of pancake, 4 bacon strips, 1 sausage, 1 ham, and 2 eggs. And toast. And potatoes. Oh my... I had to let my belt out a notch :-0

A Value Village was across the road so we dashed in to look for a few things. Miracle of miracles we found both. We wanted a basket to cook eggs in the instant pot, and I wanted a very small black "purse" to carry my phone, passport and boarding pass when travelling, and my camera and sail card on the ship. I found something that pretty much does the trick. I might still look at a pacsafe purse though, if I could fine one tiny enough.


Once 'back to camp' we gathered the pack of dogs and went for a long walk. At group camp A the dogs got a bit of time off their leashes for some running time. The joy on the poodles faces was delightful.

It was quiet for the rest of the afternoon with a few short walks to check out all the trailers coming in - apparently it is a sold out weekend. Lots of dogs to pass (note to self: refresh treats in the walking pouch).

We had time for a quick Moroccan soup for supper (oh yeah for my stash of soups in the freezer), before Caroline and Mike arrived for an evening of discourse. Nice.

And that brings me to now. I'll do all my pleasures in one today as I am almost overwhelmed by how lucky I am. Here I am, with someone I love and who loves me, a nice camper, a cold evening which makes cudddling up in the camper all that more great.

I am blessed.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

delayed thanksgiving dinner

Well... this post starts in yesterdays voice. We ended up being too busy for me to finish, especially as I wanted to add some photos.

Bright sunshine greeted us as the wind tried to fling the door open. Yes, it is still windy, but we walked in short sleeves. The dogs were happy that we took the slightly longer loop, especially as I gave them some time to sniff. Aside from food, smelling the wildlife is the next joyful thing for the dogs. We heard there was a flock of 40 turkeys along the road yesterday, so maybe they could smell thanksgiving.

Last night we slept with the fan on above the bed instead of the 2 electric heaters that had been running previous nights. It was an easy 10F warmer in here than a few nights ago.


A funny story: the road down to this campground is 2+ miles of rough gravel road - everything gets rattled and bounced around; we wondered what the state of the inside would be. Well, when we got here, I opened the door, and there, sitting on the counter was a bottle of water and our super expensive dish soap container. Yup. Sitting on the counter almost exactly where I left them. I breathed a sigh of relief and made a mental note not to forget again.


Last night Christina and Hans biked by our site so we were keen to drive down to where they are camped to meet up with them again. As luck would have it, we caught them just as they were leaving so they dropped their bikes and we all went for a rather slow and hot walk. The dogs were dragging their feet in the heat... oh, they looked so old.

After our walk we drove to Ingleside for some groceries then came back to camp for a relaxing afternoon. Plans of Prime Rib supper swirled in my head. I did the planning and got to work. Prime rib, yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts was heaped onto plates and carried to our little table. An effervescent of bubbles washed everything down. Oh yeah!


The kitchen is small but functional. It does require some gymnastics to get everything cooked. The extra pots from the oven were stashed on the bed to get them out of the way. I cooked the brussels sprouts in the actifry which takes up a whole counter. If I didn't already have the table set I could have used it for the giant appliance. The little table that I gave back to Mom would have been handy as an extra surface. I wouldn't have thought of using it though.

After supper Christina and Hans dropped by for an hour.


This morning it is raining. Jo Ellen and Don are due at 11 - I guess we'll be huddled inside.


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

wind

Yesterday was moving day and to be honest, we almost moved back home. But we have several more days booked at the bird sanctuary so we'll give it a try. The days have been dreary, occasionally rainy, and cold. It hasn't been the glorious fall that we've had in the past.

Friday Carm played bridge (I think I already talked about that), and by the time he was back to camp I was ready for a diversion.  Too many romantic comedies had rotted my brain. Oh, and a marathon of 'Flight of the Concords'. He got home safe and sound so I was glad.

Sunday we had a late brunch at the Basket Case and then poked around the flea market for a bit. Actually, we didn't poke, we flew through those buildings with our eagle eyes straining to see a wire basket that would fit in the instant pot. No luck, but I did see a really pretty pendant that I have to sleep on as it is a bit pricy. It had lovely blue stones and we all know how much I love blue things.

We didn't do a traditional thanksgiving dinner as I had forgotten to pack the meat thermometer and didn't want to risk ruining the prime rib by winging it. Carm is bringing it down today. Instead we had ravioli with a fresh tomato sauce using the last of the tomatoes from Trudie's garden. We are spoiled with fresh.

Yesterday we dilly dallied around camp until it seemed that the dump station would be clear. Then we said our good-byes to Riverside for another year. This was the 11th year that we'd closed out the park - every year except the first year camping. We love this park, especially our fav campsite. It is easy to walk the dogs without passing many campsites, and actually this time of year they are usually all empty so we feel we have that end of the park all to ourselves.


Today Carm played golf, leaving me to my own devices for much of the day. I walked the dogs first thing, then we all crawled back to bed for a few hours. Spike woke us up at 9:15, which is a fine time to get up. I had my coffee then tried to take a short walk, but was sent back to the trailer before we got too far as it started to rain, and I had left the door open.

Breakfast, then the sun was out luring us into a long walk. The wind was up (big surprise), and it was warm. Far too warm for the longsleeves and vest that I was wearing. Kabira wasn't too sure about the walk, perhaps she remembers from last year how far we can go. Bella and Spike were keen mentally, but their bodies couldn't hold out the enthusiasm. All three lagged for much of the walk.

It might be time to start scaling back the walks... my heart breaks looking at them trying to keep up... Kabira has been looking so old... there is a fading in her eyes that is new this fall. She's 12 1/2 which is old for a Rhodesian. She can still move pretty well, but doesn't have the spark to keep going.

Maybe we'll load the dogs into the truck so we can start our walks further down the road.



Saturday, October 6, 2018

surely

Surely one of these days the weather is going to switch into glorious October days that are slightly reminicent of a September day...

As it is, both heaters are going and I have a light on overhead because the sky is so grey. Not even a hint of sun graces the horizon. We've had rain a few times so far, just light sprinkles, but enough to keep me from a nice walk.

Carm is at his annual bridge tournament for the day, so I am left here to eat all the pancakes and bacon by myself.

I've just come from the freezing cold showers. A trickle of hot water dribbles out of the shower head and there doesn't seem to be any heat in the building. Brrrr. Bracing. Isn't this one of the things that is supposed to put hair on your chest?


Yesterday was nicer, or at least sunny, though cold. We ended up driving around hell's half acre, going home to pick up some stuff, to Costco for a few things, Liquidation for kicks, Giant Tiger, and finally the car wash. Whew! What a marathon. It was too long for the dogs though... when they heard us come to the door they started howling and carrying on. They are usually quiet as a mouse so they must have been desperate to get outside.

We took them for a long walk then had a bit of time for supper before we headed to Caroline & Mike's for a campfire. There was some rousing conversation. Carm is like a dog on a bone sometimes...


Oh! Grace laid an egg the night before last. It was huge and only fell between the grate at the bottom of her cage because it broke from the fall. This is such a weird time of year for this - spring is when we might expect an egg, but not fall camping where the nights often drop to the low 60s inside.


I bought a great puffer coat at Costco a few months ago - I thought it would be great for travelling as it can stuff into its own pocket. As it turns out, it's great for camping, especially with the cold we've been having. It wraps me in a warm embrace.


"And myriad leaves, on which the Summer wrote
Her blushing farewell, at my feet were strown."
~Albert Laighton 


Thursday, October 4, 2018

another rainy and windy day

The rain was pouring down this morning when Spike woke me out with his demand to go outside. Usually if it is raining he holds off, but I guess if you gotta go, you gotta go. The three dogs and I dashed out and managed to get most of the peeing done under the canopy of the big trees. It wasn't that bad, although to Spike's joy, I did get the towel out for a good rubdown when we got back inside.

I climbed back into bed and as soon as they had their breakfast the dogs were up in the bedroom as well. The patter (more than a patter really, more like a pelt) of rain lulled us into a relaxed state.

Later in the morning the rain did let up for a time so that I could get the dogs out for a quick business. They were not thrilled with being out in the gusty wind even though it wasn't raining.


It's now past 3:30. The rain has stopped and the sun has come out. There is a fierce wind drying the earth. Coats and vests were shed, Kabira's outfit put away. Grace is outside. We'll enjoy the nice weather while we can as the forecast calls for 0C overnight.

We had a nice visit with Caroline and Mike this afternoon and have made plans to get together here after supper.


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

blankets and heaters

Spike is cuddled against my legs and I've spread out a blanket to cover him and my lap. The fireplace is flickering and the little space heater fan is roaring. It is cold and drizzly outside, and I'd like to say it is toasty in here, but I'd be lying. Carm is out playing golf; I wonder if it is his last round unless the weather changes. If it doesn't we'll likely pack up and cut our camp short.


Monday afternoon Mom came for our annual mother/daughter night. Carm went home, leaving Mom and I to hours of conversation. Laughter and tears. Needless to say, we had a great time and can hardly wait for next year.

Carm went home not only to give Mom and I our time, but also to be there when the electric company and electrician came to install the generator. Hurrah! According to Carm, it seems to work well but glitches when the heat pump starts up. I guess it calls for so much electricity that the water pump fails. It is a simple case of repriming the water tank, but it isn't as seamless as we had hoped.


My toothache is much better but not 100% by any stretch. I'm taking asprin at 4 hour intervals and that seems to work. Last night I switched over to ibuprofin which might be better. I'm gaining weight from all the eating I'm doing to keep my stomach from aching. I guess I have a good excuse, but jeesh.

The straps to replace my broken fitbit strap arrived in the mail so I am counting my steps again. It's about 1200 steps to do the figure 8 loop that I do first thing in the morning and last thing at night. The mid afternoon walk is a bit longer, although not for the last few rainy days. Even Spike, who is always keen to go outside, is lagging at the door (and letting all the cold air in!). There are good things to having older dogs - they aren't driving us crazy with the inactivity.


The sound of that space heater fan is driving me crazy. But there is something nice and cosy about being curled up on the sofa with some music, and the bright windows behind and beside me. Inside, but a little bit outside. If we were home I don't think I'd be doing anything different, and at least being here wipes out the guilt about not painting the basement.

What can I say? Life is good.

My pleasures over the last few days (let's see if I can think of any over the ache of my jaw): salty lox from Trudie; sharing stories with Mom; being outside in the drizzly cold and then stepping into the cosy warmth of the villetta; some of the leaves are starting to change; peacefulness of having the park almost to ourselves; soft warmth of my black merino wool blend top and leggings; talking to Kirsten on my cellphone - yes! from the trailer.


"The time of the falling leaves has come again. Once more in our morning walk we tread upon carpets of gold and crimson, of brown and bronze, woven by the winds or the rains out of these delicate textures while we slept.
      How beautifully the leaves grow old! How full of light and color are their last days! There are exceptions, of course. The leaves of most of the fruit-trees fade and wither and fall ingloriously. They bequeath their heritage of color to their fruit. Upon it they lavish the hues which other trees lavish upon their leaves....
      But in October what a feast to the eye our woods and groves present! The whole body of the air seems enriched by their calm, slow radiance. They are giving back the light they have been absorbing from the sun all summer."
~John Burroughs,


Monday, October 1, 2018

not the tooth fairy

I'm sitting here in slightly less pain than I've been in for the last few days. The toothache started Wednesday night, barely there and not worth taking note of. Thursday, when we were coming to Riverside there was slightly more discomfort. Friday...OMG... it was brutal. I called the dentist and got an appointment for 11:40 Saturday morning. Whew. Only one small problem: we'd be 6 for lunch at our place.

Anyway, the dentist poked around, testing cold & hot & air & tapping - nothing. Oh brother. His conclusion is that I was grinding my teeth (which I know I do), and inflamed all the nerves on one side of my mouth. It kinda made sense as the pain was not localized to a particular tooth. So what to do? Take asprin & tylanol 3 for a few days, then get fitted with a mouthguard to wear to bed. Oh bother.

So yesterday I suffered in not so silence, the tylanol sending me to bed for much of the day. This morning, after keeping up an asprin regime I'm somewhat okay, or at least not in agony.


I think I left off on my last post Friday afternoon after Jacques visit. Our socializing didn't end there - we had the people across the road from us (Caroline & Mike) over after supper for a lovely visit.

Then Saturday was the mad dash to the dentist which was a hurry up and wait situation. While I was there, Carm went home and got some (more) stuff. Stuff that we'll just have to remove at the end of this trip... although some of it was food, which we'll probably eat.

We finally arrived back at Camp around 1:45 and had just a few minutes to walk the dogs before Mom & Dad arrived. Ed and Lynne showed up not long after that so we all sat around and had a nice visit. I dashed inside to get lunch ready - Italian beef (which luckily I had cooked a few days before), rice in the instant pot, and green beans in the actifry. It was a nice day but cool, and with clouds racing across the sky obscuring the warming sun, I decided we'd eat inside.

Six people for a sit down meal in the trailer requires a bit of organization. Carm moved the dog beds from behind the table and dug out our extra chairs. The little round table came inside and voila! Room for six. We crammed in and had a good time with lots of interesting conversation.


After a rather late lunch we piled into cars to drive over to the Harkness house which is for sale. This pretty stone home is where my great grandmother was born. It was fun to walk around the property and imagine her growing up. The property is beautiful, but I couldn't help but notice how much work needed to be done, aside from the grounds care.

Mom and Dad left straight from there, while Ed and Lynne came back to camp where we gabbed till almost 11pm!


Sunday morning (too bright and early for me as I'd been up for most of the night in agony), we went with Ed & Lynne to the Basket case for a hot breakfast. My omlette hit the spot where a giant lead weight was banging away. I felt strange from the codine in the tylonal 3s. I was miserable and didn't even want to go to the flea market, instead crashing on the bed as soon as we got 'home'. I spent most of the rest of the day dozing with Spike cuddled up against me.

All that sleep seems to have done some good. I cut out the tylonal instead taking asprin. I ate like crazy with each dose and not longer get a gut ache. My mouth almost feels back to normal, but I am being very careful to not bite down (soft food only for me!).


Friday, September 28, 2018

geese & sun & wind

It is a glorious day, alibet a bit windy. In fact, not long after I took this photo I had to furl the awning as the wind was starting to gust and whiffle the small sail. But I did get a few minutes in the sun, and more than a few minutes in the shade, and then some more sun time.

Carm golfed at Upper Canada Golf Course which was a big thrill for him. He loves that course and I don't believe he's played there at all this summer. He is just over 50 rounds for 2018 - he was hoping to hit 64, but it seems unlikely seeing that we are at the end of September.

The end of September!!!


from my spot on the sofa

It is early in the day, and maybe I'll come back later to update my list of pleasures. Waking up to a sliver of blue sky through the ceiling vent. Blessed sun. A quiet walk with the dogs. I love the tall pines and the soft hush of walking on needles. Cooking pancakes on the gas stove. I used the white frying pan and the coating is so slippery that it was hard to get the pancake onto the spatula. Looking over the empty park. No one is near us except for people across the way. I still have a nice view of the water. Spike lying peacefully outside... no sooner did I write this and he was growling at the dog across the way. It was nice while it lasted. Better still it only lasted a few seconds. Watching Grace take a bath. She fluffs and puffs and splashes water all around. Meeting Carm's new friend.

What were your pleasures today?

Not so much pleasure: toothache and gut ache from the asprin.


later on...

Carm brought his golf buddy Jacques back to the camp for a beverage. I was very happy to meet him and delighted that he is such a great guy. I'm glad that Carm met him.

The day has continued with blue skies and racing clouds. The wind blusters. I think I have a sunburn on my face.


Thursday, September 27, 2018

gratitude

I watched this TedTalk the other day and had to watch it again. I found it motivating to keep working on changing my thoughts and how I experience things. When I am well I don't have much trouble doing this, but when depression sets in I find it more difficult. I'm hoping that following the steps at the end I can build habits that will carry me through a depression and maybe even stop one altogether. Wishful thinking? Maybe, but I owe it to myself to try.

https://youtu.be/LqeAiz691-s

When I started this blog part of my aim was to write down what I find to be grateful for every day. I've fallen out of the habit, but now is a good time to restart. I actually wrote them as pleasures, but I think it is more or less the same thing.


My pleasures for today:  Cold floor of the trailer on my hot feet. I had my coffee on the sofa with sunlight streaming through the windows. The sun didn't quite reach me but it bathed the dogs; I know how much they love a sunspot. Backing into our campsite and getting the trailer exactly where we wanted it. That first sip of beer on a new camp.

Not so much pleasure: the hearings for Kavanaugh... darn that satellite dish.


We almost didn't make it down here - the truck wouldn't start and needed a boost :-(  Hopefully it is the battery and will just need a new pair. As it was, we arrived at Riverside at 1:06, checked in, got parked, setup and the satellite done by 2:20pm. Once we got settled we wandered across the lane and sat down with Caroline and Mike for an hour or so. Then a nice long walk, long enough to wear everyone out.

This stupid hearing is on now and they go on and on - it is sickening.

But it was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine. The clouds have gathered which will hopefully keep the heat in overnight.


"The days may not be so bright and balmy—yet the quiet and melancholy that linger around them is fraught with glory. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell—some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power."
~Northern Advocate


Sunday, September 23, 2018

geese

Lots and lots of geese swirl in the sky looking for a place to land. They sound like so many couples nattering at each other as they try to decide where to go.


We didn't have any real plans for today but both wanted to get out of the house. What could we do? Where could we go? I got a really funky bracelet last week which will go well with my onyx necklace but I was missing earrings. Could Carm suffer through earring shopping? It seems he could and he did and we were successful. I even found the right thing at a bargain basement price leaving some extra $ to buy another funky bracelet.

This is all rather weird for me as I am not fashionable at all!


the bracelet that started it all

I've already scanned the new buys into my closet app and paired it with some outfits :-0

Invasion of the body snatchers.


"There is no season in all the year so beautiful, so radiant with glory, as the early autumn. There is no time when the human soul drinks in so fully the glory and beauty of nature. All objects of beauty are more beautiful while passing away from us. The closing up of a beautiful life—the fading of the holy stars in the dim light of morning—the ending of a quiet summer day and the passing away of the bright summer glory, are all more sweet and lovely as they are lost to us. The death-glow always beautifies anything that wears the trace of beauty ere it goes back to nothingness. We do not understand the secret of this principle, yet we know that it is some law of the infinite mind."
~Northern Advocate


Saturday, September 22, 2018

first day of fall

The perfume of slightly decayed leaves was released with each step I took. The dogs ran happily, hither and tither, hunting for some imaginary creature. The sun shone brightly in the impossibly blue sky. The air was crisp and dry. It's the first day of fall and it feels like it.

Last night we anxiously checked the weather radar every few minutes as we were under a tornado warning. The news showed devastation in the west part of the city and we wondered if we'd be hit. Thankfully, the weather gods spared us yet again yesterday. My parents got a glancing blow that destroyed some trees in the area, and apparently their lawn was covered with 6 colours of shingles. What a night!


"I step outside and the chilly air tightens the skin on my bare arms. Summer has ended all too quickly, and some of the leaves on the trees have already started to burn with the colors of fall. Fall colors.... so bright and intense and beautiful. It’s like nature is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary." ~Siobhan Vivian


Friday, September 21, 2018

good timing

I awoke with a start early this morning when my leg stretched out to a different part of the bed and encountered a cold, wet spot. Yikes. The rain sensor for the bedroom vent failed to deploy leaving a puddle where the rain flooded in overnight. Oh well, no big deal, I knew that today was the day for going home so the sheets would go directly into the washer when we got home.

Some rain had just passed so I grabbed my phone to check the weather radar - yup, we were in a bit of a hole, enough to get the dogs out and walked before the next bunch of rain. Bad news though: there was a weather warning for high winds this afternoon. If you've ever driven with a 37 x 12 foot sail behind you will know that it isn't very fun. Maybe we should start getting ready now? Now being 7am...

I walked the dogs then had a coffee. Another lull in the rain and we got cracking. Carm picked up the satellite, then the water hoses. He folded the carpet and loaded the chairs and other detritus into the front. I got busy putting stuff away inside: Grace's cage and coffee table against the back window, vaccuum, roll up carpet... and on it goes. It seems we have a lot of stuff to stow.

The rain held off.

We got to the dump station and drained our tanks. We cleaned off all the dumping stuff. We got in the truck and started to pull away.

The heavens opened up and dropped all the water that it had been saving for us. Our timing was perfect.

It rained for much of the drive home, but miraculously stopped just before it was time to back into the laneway. We were home, safe and sound and nicely dry.


I experienced the usual slight disorientation when we settled into the house. The huge great room feels strange after our walls were so close together in the camper. It didn't take long though and I was readjusted. Unloading all our junk took a while but before I knew it everything was stowed and I had eaten my breakfast and was thinking of a hot bath. Oh yeah. That's the only thing that I miss about being away from home: my lovely bathtub. That, and being able to let the dogs out the door in the morning - getting dressed and walking for 15 minutes gets old fast.


"The days may not be so bright and balmy—yet the quiet and melancholy that linger around them is fraught with glory. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell—some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power."
~Northern Advocate


Thursday, September 20, 2018

the sun declined

Wednesday:

I had three new dogs this morning. With tempretures in the low 60s the dogs were pulling on their leashes again - eager to explore. Which was good... except with no coffee or breakfast yet I got a bit cranky with them. Even so, it was good to see them energized again.

I just found a previously unknown feature on my tablet: if I press a little button that looks like a keyboard, the tablet's keyboard takes over and shows spelling tips... I always use the bluetooth keyboard which has no informative functions like this. Hurrah! I'll be able to check those words that trip me up.


Thursday:

Dogs were energetic again this morning, and it was so cold that I didn't sneak out in my short pjs but instead put on long pants and a jacket. Boo Hiss... but I suppose we've been lucky enough so far. Mid morning we had a brief shower, and the clouds never did go away for the whole day.

Since we weren't inspired to sit outside we jumped, (make that climbed - the truck is so tall), into the truck to go out for breakfast. Country Kitchen in Winchester got our business as they have a good, cheap, breakfast. From there it was a quick drive to liquidation. On our way back to camp we passed a little country gift store where I found a fantastic black bracelet.


With cold in the forecast for the next few days we can say for sure that Sept 16th was the last swim of the season. The pool had a good run this year.


"The sun declined, and we both fell into twilight silence. Night, which in autumn seems to fall from the sky at once, it comes so quickly, chilled us, and we rolled ourselves in our cloaks..."
~Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

new friends and guests

I thought I would get a start on my blog now, while we are waiting for Jo Ellen and Don to arrive, but my blog is going crazy and won't load. I have to read what I wrote last time as I can't remember at all where I left off. I think it was just before supper with Lynne & Ed, but I'm not certain. And I can't remember what I wrote about Janet, Brian, Mary and Gary. Suffice it to say, we've had a busy and wonderful few days.


I guess I'll go back as far as supper. I whipped together some rice with sausage, and some roasted cauliflower; Lynne and Ed brought a ceaser salad and a pie for dessert. We were able to eat outside and enjoyed a beautiful evening with lots of interesting and sometimes spirited (I mean that in the best of ways), conversation.

Sunday morning I had coffee with them and then we headed out as a group to Upper Canada Village for the Fall Fair. It was (bloody) hot - I think it got up to 30C with a humidex of 37C. Middle of summer weather in the middle of September. Wow. We walked around for an hour or two and then met with Trudie & Leo at Willards for lunch. A bit more walking around - we were all like limp dishclothes at this point - and then parted company with a promise to meet at camping again in a few weeks.

After a quick discussion and a check of the dogs, Carm and I were on our way home for a swim. Oh! The exctasy of cool water on hot skin. It was worth the drive.


We were hardly back at camp for a minute when plans for supper in Cornwall were made with our new camping friends across the way. Again, we all piled into Brian's buick and drove the 20+ minutes to a fish & chips place in Cornwall. We had a good meal. There is something about breaking bread with people that draws us together. It must be an ancient memory from our caveman days when gathering with other tribes around the campfire cemented ties.

I turned 56 yesterday and had a quiet celebration with my parents. It only seems right to celebrate with them as I am only here  because of them.


This has not been a camp of quiet reflection with only each other to distract, but one of creating new friendships and celebrating already existing ones.

It HAS been a camp with a pesky earworm that just won't quit. LAST TUESDAY (that's a week), I was on the treadmill listening to music... 'Patricia the Stripper' by Chris DeBurg came on and darn it all, the music has not left my brain for more than a second. Over and over, 1000s of times, that song has spun in my head. I'm going crazy.


much, much later in the day...

It is 7:30pm and we've said good-bye to Jo Ellen and Don. We had a lovely day with them - coffee in the camper, lunch outside at the picnic table, afternoon in chairs in the dappled shade, supper at the Acapulco. We've travelled with them (in fact they were the people who got us started on cruising), so it was hard to see them go - it seems like should have been in the 'cabin' next door.


I'm too tired to get the photos off my phone (and where exactly is it? oh yea, over by the door in the dog walking poop bag carrying bag.) Tomorrow.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

is it better early?

We were up and walking by 7:30 this morning. It is another beautiful day with high heat and humidex in the forecast so we figured it might work out better for the dogs if we went early while it was still cool. They made it for longer but lagged for part of the way. But it was definately better for them.


I didn't mention that yesterday Carm spent a good amount of time with the people across the way (Brian & Janet from Napanee), helping them get their satellite set up. He was in his glory being the know it all ;-) Brian & Janet are camping with friends (Mary & Gary) and they invited us to join them for supper in Cornwall. We went to a nice Thai restaurant and had Pad Kai Mau which was good, but not like the Green Papaya that we go to.

Brian gifted Carm with a lovely bottle of wine which was totally unnecessary!

They all came back to 'our house' for a glass of wine and the conversation turned to bridge. Well... this is in Carm's expertise so he carried forth with lots of tips, etc. I think everyone was happy (except maybe me). It was a fun night: they are all a lot of fun.


Ed and Lynn showed up this afternoon with their amazing new camper. We quickly toured each other's rigs and then sat down to enjoy some of the afternoon. Conversation was lively, but thankfully we are on the same side for the most contentious topics (big sigh of relief).

I had Spike outside for much of the afternoon and he did NOT BARK AT PASSING DOGS!!!! That is either a really good breakthrough or really bad news. Let's hope that 10 1/2 is the age that his brain finally kicked in.

It is almost 3:30 so I'd better get cracking doing some prep for supper. It's at our house tonight :-)


Friday, September 14, 2018

spectacular September

I was out walking the dogs at 6 am this morning, but it was no hardship. It was a spectacular dawn with the sun below the horizon and a red glow colouring the lake. It was dark enough that I needed my headlamp to pick up the business. The air was still. Carm was out the door as soon as I got back - golf...

We arrived here at Riverside yesterday a few minutes past 1pm and got set up and settled in quickly. Even the satelitte setup went well. I don't know how they knew, but yesterday morning the dogs started crying and running to the truck anytime they went outside. I'd been loading stuff into the camper for days (not piles and piles of stuff, but enough trips to be noticable), but it wasn't until yesterday that they got excited. I must exude a sense of urgency or something that they pick up on.

The forecast for the next few days is great: highs in the mid 20s, lows in the high teens, and sun, lots of sun.


I had a shock on tuesday morning when I fired up my tablet. The words 'Lady is dead' flashed on my screen. What????? I opened the message from Jo Ellen and got the whole story. Poor little Lady dropped dead with a massive cornary. If I was shocked I could only imagine what Jo Ellen and Don were feeling. I messaged her... but it wasn't until late in the day when I figured I could speak to her. I was too choked up to be any help.

Dreams of Spike getting killed and Bella dying haunted my night. I woke up many times to think of my dear friends and their tragic loss. Lady was central to their lives. When visiting us, she was rarely out of their arms. She was a charming tiny poodle, perfect in conformation and perfect in temperment.

A toast to Lady and all the love she brought.


I can't think of anything else that happened this week... surely something interesting happened. Well, yes. We had supper at Trudie & Leo's - the final bbq of the season and we even got to eat outside. It was a lovely evening in her spectacular garden, although the late flowers did attract bees and one of them stung Leo.

Most of the week was spent getting ready for our camp. I have to say that thoughts of selling the villetta crossed my mind. Were our camping days over? I certainly wasn't in the mood but reminded myself that I've felt this way before and have always been glad once we were here. I never want it to end. So I guess it is pure laziness that colours my thinking.

I took the dogs out for a 35-40 minute walk later this morning when the heat was already starting to rise. We didn't do the whole walk, but cut it short when Bella was panting like crazy and Spike was lagging behind. Kabira didn't seem keen to carry on either. I guess it will take a few days for them to get back into the groove. I'll try to get out earlier tomorrow to beat the heat. Imagine having to beat the head in mid September!

Have I mentioned lately how much I love our villetta? I love puttering around the small space, music playing, and dogs snoring. My little vaccum makes short work of the floors, and a swiffer duster skims the surfaces easily. I didn't wash the floor this morning, I'll do that tomorrow.

Oh wait! I see a bit of dust that I missed.


Monday, September 10, 2018

truer than true

We celebrated Pat's birthday yesterday. She came over for a supper of bbq chicken (done in the instant pot and then under the broiler for 5 minutes to crisp the skin), our favorite rice, and roasted zucchini salad. Yes, we used some roasted red peppers!

I had struggled with the stand mixer in the kitchen in the afternoon wrestling out a cake and some buttercream icing. The cake turned out okay... it tasted fine but was a disaster looks wise. I didn't decorate. I am not my mother's daughter in this regard - she produces some lovely cakes.

The celebration was a good reminder to be grateful for all we have: health, prosperity, love.


One of the big complaints that I have with my waterproof camera is it's dismal battery life. I thought the battery had to be charged in the camera, but Carm found a battery with a charger on Amazon for an amazing price. It arrived today and charged up quickly. So now I am free to take photos to my hearts content. How many more photos of the dogs do you want to see ;-)

It is a dreary, cold, rainy day... if I had a gas fireplace I would have had the flame on for some heat and ambience. Alas, a sweater had to do.


"Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!"
~Dr. Seuss


Sunday, September 9, 2018

midway

Written on Saturday, Sept 8: I was pretty sure yesterday that it was the last day for swimming and unfortunately I was right. The pool was a crisp 69F this morning - my cut-off is 71F... so I wailed and cried and carried on... in my head. The prospect of a cool swim is what keeps me going on the treadmill some days. Somehow a shower just doesn't cut it.

We have been up to the usual stuff, in other words, not much but enough to keep the boredom away.

For starters, last Sunday, my brother Graham came for a visit with his two kids. I thought for sure they'd be in and out of the pool in a flash as we'd had a few cold days, but no, they had fun for over 1/2 hour. It was great to see them splashing around.

Monday I clipped the poodles while Carm roasted 1/2 bushel of red peppers. We got them for such a great deal at Freshco that we had to make the trip into the city to get another box. That was Tuesday.

Wednesday we had another power outage - unbelievable! And us with a generator beside the house, not yet hooked up. So we futzed around the house, went to the village for lunch, and then got a start on the next batch of peppers. It is amazing how a giant box roasts down to a few little stacks. But now we have 20+ meal sized bags of peppers in the freezer. Now I just have to remember to use them.

Friday we had Jo Ellen and Don here for supper. I had hoped to eat outside, but I think those days are over (although the forecast for late next week looks good). Still, we managed to enjoy some time on the back deck before and even after supper.


Sunday... we got busy and I forgot to post my blog yesterday. We remembered in the nick of time that we planned to spend the afternoon at the Russell Fair Craft Beer Fest. It was a beautiful day, although slightly cool, with not a cloud in the sky. The fair was busy with kids and parents enjoying the sights. We headed straight to the beer tent and got busy testing :-)  Lots of vendors with kegs of their wares. A band played.

Partway through the afternoon there was a trampoline show which was a lot of fun to watch. The acrobats were talented!

After we had had some lunch and tasted all we were going to taste, we wandered through the rest of the fair. There were 4H shows (which we missed), a petting zoo with cute goats and sheep, displays of garden and field produce - we were proud to see that neighbors and friends had won some prizes, and of course a rinky dink midway. I couldn't convince Carm to try to win me a stuffed prize.


"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 
~Martin Luther King Jr.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

out of power again

power off... generator not installed... but at least we are still swimming!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

2nd last day of August

It seems that the violent storm yesterday blew summer away as there is a definite feeling of fall in the air today. It was cool and cloudy when I took the dogs out for their morning stroll, in fact, I had to wear a sweatshirt. A far cry from the 30C steam bath of yesterday.

September asters are starting to bloom. When we first moved into the property the fields would be a sea of purpleish blue, now the Goldenrod has taken over, pushing out the pretty blue flowers.

The power came back yesterday just as we were heading into the city to have supper at Jo Ellen and Don's place (and to meet the lovely grandson Shawn). Carm rushed around restarting the UPSes and then we were on our way.

We are so relient on power... probably if the electricity was on we would normally have been reading or puttering around. Without power though, the books seemed like the farthest thing from our minds. We were antsy and unsettled. I got some water from the pool, put in a bit of lavender bubble bath and got to work on the dog noseprints marring a few windows. Those washed up well, leaving sparkling windows, and bonus: soft hands! I washed a few other things so as not to waste the precious suds.


Back to the weather... After the treadmill I braved the cold (it was 18C), and dunked into the cold, but warmer than the air, pool. I wonder how many more days I have left of swimming? The nights are getting cold so today might have been the end.


We have been keeping busy with company - Trudie & Leo came for supper one night, Pat was over tonight, and of course we were at Jo Ellen & Don's last night. Whew! No wonder I'm not losing weight :-(


August is that last flicker of fun and heat before everything fades and dies. The final moments of fun before the freeze. In the winter, everything changes.” 
~Rasmenia Massoud


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

lights out... again

propane tank sitting partially filled but unconnected to anything... 22kw generator sitting unconnected to anything... power out. So close and yet so far. No implementation date either.

We were on our way back from shopping in a neighboring town about 30 minutes away when all heck broke loose. The sky turned from a sunny blue to an ominious black. Rain began to spit and then spew from the heavens. The wind buffetted the car. Our phones kept beeping with tornado alerts. Powerlines blew in the wind. We were on a back road with nowhere to stop (that wasn't under a power line), and no shelter so we just kept on driving, no, crawling, the center line almost obliterated by water.

By the time we got home the rain had mostly abated and the wind had died down (were we perhaps in the eye of the storm?). It was with GREAT trepidation that I stepped out of the car to open the gate... let see: metal gate attached to 1000' of metal fence. Lets just say that I was fast, although by then the thunder and lightening was distant, or at least a few miles away.

Got into the garage (the door was strangely open) - no lights. Yup. Power outage. Third in 4 months.


So here we sit. Not literally in the dark. They say it will be back by 4:30 so maybe we'll be able to have a hot supper. Why is it that as soon as the power is out I want a tea? If we had a gas stove I'd be able to fire it up to boil some water.

Luckily in the summer we have a good source of clean water for washing up - it is just steps away to get a bucket of water from the pool. And I always keep bottled water for this very reason.


We haven't been up to much this past week. Carm's been golfing - he's up to 42 rounds so far this year. I've been on the treadmill - it is almost a month and I've only missed 3 days. I've discovered the joys of youtube. Time passes so quickly when watching a video about some inane subject, or a ted talk about something equally inane. Today I managed to walk for 40 minutes, with distraction.

We are still swimming, and perhaps had our last late night swim last night. Tonight is supposed to be colder so the water temp is going to start to plummet. It seems impossible, but summer is almost over. WHAAAA


Friday, August 24, 2018

in denial

It seems like just the other day that I was rhapsodising about my swim after the treadmill. I enjoyed day after day of near delerium as the sensation of cool against hot skin washed over me. Yesterday, not so much. I got as far as sitting on the top step of the ladder and then chickened out. The water was a crisp 69F/21C and I just couldn't convince myself that I'd survive the shock. This morning I finished exercising later in the day (60 min on the treadmill!), so the water had warmed up to 72F... cold, but do-able.

Yes, there is no denying it... summer is coming to a close. Oh, there might be another week of swimming, but with the nights getting colder, realistically, who knows. Today it is 29C, so we can still delude ourselves.


It has been an uneventful week. Company on Saturday night (Jim & Cathey) entertained us for one short evening, but since then it has just been the two of us. Not that this is a bad thing. Carm has golfed a few times, we've been to the grocery store a few times, and once into the city to change my Koodo phone plan to a pre-paid plan which will likely save me $20 or more a month.

I saw the AVON lady and later tried out my new bubble bath for washing cabinet doors and floors - the lavender scent made it nice to work with, and it did a bang-up job on cleaning.

We went to liquidation cause I was looking for another skort like the one I have worn almost everyday this summer. It is a silky black fabric which wears well, and feels like a dream - I wanted one to send to Kirsten in NZ. I hope she will like it as much as I've liked mine. It is seriously almost as comfortable as wearing nothing at all, and much more decent for running out the door with the dogs. I never in a million years thought that I would wear a skirt around the house - I rarely wear one going out - but this is just too comfortable.


We've been eating scads of tomatoes: bacon & tomato sandwiches, tomato salad with black olives & basil, tomato salad with feta. And sopping up all the juices with big crusty buns from DiRienzo's in Little Italy. Oh yeah.... so, so good. If you crush the tomatoes slightly when you are tossing them, it makes a nice tomato juice for dunking.

When Cathey was here last Saturday I planned to serve 'Creamy Italian Lentils' that I make in the instant pot. Cathey has had a pot for 1 1/2 years but was too scared to try it, so I waited till she was here to make the lentils. I think she got her courage with the demo as the next morning I got a phone call from her with a few questions. She was making the lentils herself :-) Once she gets the hang of it she'll wonder what took her so long.


"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients.” 
~Julia Child


Sunday, August 19, 2018

16 years ago and other random photos

Photo from 16 years ago when we built the retaining wall. It is still standing :-)


Really bad selfie. I have to look at some youtube videos to give me some tips so my head doesn't look like a bowling ball.


Huge frog by the front door.


Thursday, August 16, 2018

mid August's night dream

Mid August and there is a slight change in the air. It isn't so stinking hot and to be honest, I'd acclimitized to the heat - now it doesn't feel hot out until it is in the 30s with an even higher humidex. The smells have changed, it smells like late summer, and the days are shorter and the sun is lower on the horizon, all changes it that portent September's arrival.

It's not like it has been cold though: yesterday was 28C, today cooler at 24C...

Out of 17 days since I started on the treadmill I've only missed 2 days. It is starting to become a routine, although I do have to trick myself to get on some mornings. To help myself succeed, I get dressed into my workout clothes as soon as I get up. After a big drink of water I take the dogs out for their 10 minute walk, and then it is time for coffee. After that, I get my music lined up, then step on the treadmill, sometimes telling myself I only have to do 10 minutes... once I'm on I can usually get myself going for the desired 30 minutes. I do pat myself on the back for a job well done. Then I jump into the pool! Which is heaven and makes the whole energy depleting exercise worthwhile.


I've been infected with some sort of brain worm or disease. Go ahead and laugh... I found an App, (MyCloset), that lets me take photos of my clothes, etc., then I can assign them a category, and from there put them together into outfits. The outfits can be tagged to a calendar and a packing list. It is actually kind of cool.

The last week has been spent taking photos, editing them to remove the background, and importing them into the app. I have only done my better clothes.

Are you laughing yet? The funny thing is that I have never been much of a fashion plate: jeans and tshirts were my staple clothes for my whole entire life. Now that we started cruising I'm paying more attention to what I wear. And shocker of all shocks: I'm even wearing makeup!


We have been busy with friends too. Pat was over for supper on the weekend. It was a beautiful evening for eating outside, and then winding down the night on the swing. Last night we had supper at Jo Ellen and Don's. She had some chicken shwarma 'flown' in for a yummy treat.



"People who love to eat are always the best people.” 
~Julia Child


Friday, August 10, 2018

is he gassy?

Oh my gosh! What a beautiful day. The humidity has disappeared leaving us with crisp air in the mid 20s (C). There is just enough breeze to gently sway the leaves in the trees, but not enough to make them sing. The sky is the most amazing blue, with just the odd fluffy white cloud. Yes, it is heavenly.

I was 1/2 way down the laneway this morning with the dogs when I saw a trailer backing down. I called the dogs away so they didn't get sqashed and then watched Mike expertly back the utility trailer to the edge of the garage. Secured in the back of the flatbed was a giant white capsule... the propane tank needed for step one of prepping our house for a giant generator.

Using his brain as much as his brawn, Mike from MacEwan muscled the heavy tank to its new home.


Last night we had a fun night with Jo Ellen and Don, and little Lady, a teeny tiny poodle. The weather held out for us to have our supper on the back deck which to me adds an extra dimension of delicious to any meal. Doesn't everything always taste better outside?


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

oh what a feeling

There is nothing quite like the feeling of going hard on the treadmill, getting all hot and sweaty in the process, then stripping down and slipping into the refreshing waters of the pool. The water is cool, but not cold, the perfect temperature for floating with my noodle for ages. So relaxing. Seriously, it is almost euphoric.

When I opened the back door I stepped out into an oven, a steam oven. Oh my, it is hot and humid. We've been keeping the house at around 78F, which in the summer we've been having, feels cool.


Our friends Bruce & Tina arrived at our place Monday afternoon. After the echos of hello and how are you's settled we jumped in the pool to escape the 33C heat. We floated around, talking and laughing, until all our fingers and toes were pruned. Late in the afternoon, or was it evening at that point? the rumble of thunder drove us inside. No eating outside last night - rain lashed the air.

We were comfortable inside though and everyone gathered at the island while I got the instant pot and actifry busy with our supper. Italian beef in the instant pot was accompanied by roasted zucchini & red pepper tossed with feta, and our new fav, roasted potatoes with sun-dried tomatoes and arugula. Oh what a feast. We ate and ate until buttons popped.

I can't forget dessert though! Tina brought her most excellent blueberry pie, oh my! Now we were really stuffed, but managed to stay upright (oh to lie flat for a few minutes) until late in the night. Luckily they were sleeping over so there was no commute back to the city for them until this morning.

We had an excellent time!


Carm and I had a brief rest after Bruce & Tina left, and then dragged ourselves outside to prepare for the generator installation. Oh, have I mentioned yet? We have bit the bullet (and it is a BIG bullet), and are having a 'whole house' 20KW automatic generator installed. After the two power outages we had this spring we were concerned about leaving Pat with the house with no generator. This giant unit will take care of her just in case.

Anyway, the side of the garage has been a depot for all sorts of rocks and wood.

Years ago a bit of insanity struck... we were dropping off a horse about 1 1/4 hours from here, and on our way back passed a construction site with all kinds of flat rocks for the taking... we loaded up the horse trailer thinking they'd make a good quasi flagstone path in the garden... once home we decided we needed another load so drove all the way back. As it turns out, they did NOT make a good path and have been in the way ever since. We've moved these ^&*# rocks a million times and today makes a million and one times.

Another time we collected rocks from all over our property, thinking that we were going to make a wall or some such fool thing... we've moved those rocks countless times as well. Finally they ended up along the back of the barn and are now overgrown with shrubs.


"Remember, 'No one's more important than people'! In other words, friendship is the most important thing--not career or housework, or one's fatigue--and it needs to be tended and nurtured.” 
~Julia Child


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

the distance they have travelled

When I opened the car door, the smell of newly cut grass mixed with the fragrance of the vetch growing beside the road, welcomed me home from the city. I'd been to visit my brother for a few hours and while the visit was good, I was glad to be home. The dogs welcomed me with the news that they'd like to go outside for a walk in the field. I obliged.

My head was still spinning from the rat race, umm.. I mean the drive home, but soon birdsong and cicadas soothed my mind and the wonderful smells were an elixer. I saw what I think is a monarch catepiller on a tiny milkweed.

These are my mindful moments, and perhaps that is what makes them so wonderful. I notice what is around me and revel in every beauty. Worries and stresses leave my mind for a time.


This morning I was reading back to some blog posts from 2012 where I was writing about all the time I was spending on the treadmill and how fit I was feeling. Hum. That's sure not happening now, but I encouraged myself from all those years ago and got on for 20 minutes this morning. Can I make this a habit?

I dug out my old journal notes from 2012 and could see that I wasn't just on a treadmill kick, I was also well on my way to a decent weightloss. In 6 or so weeks I'd lost over 15 pounds... could I do that again? I'm back to that long ago starting point, maybe I just have to dig out my food log to use for menu planning. I could do this!

So with that in mind (and without the old food log), we just loaded some onions, celery, green pepper, green beans, garlic and hot peppers, along with some dried red beans, diced tomatoes and chicken broth into the instant pot for a healthy, diet friendly, supper.

Lets hope that my 'past' self can motivate my current self. It is sort of like one of those riddels where you write down what you'd say to your future self, only I did it without knowing that's what I was doing.... oh gosh! I'm going in circles.


"We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.” 
~Henry Ward Beecher


Monday, July 30, 2018

on this day

entering Alberta - 2013

On this day, 5 years ago, we arrived in Medicine Hat, Alberta. We had our villetta with us, and the dogs in the back seat. I was excited beyond words - Alberta is the home of my heart and we were finally there. The buildup from so many days on the road had me so wound up I was practically exploding with excitement.

http://pursuitofidlepleasures.blogspot.com/2013/07/savouring-it-for-its-beauty.html

What a trip that was!


wild raspberries along the fenceline

This summer we don't have anything as exciting planned, instead we've had day after day of quiet pleasure. Carm has golfed 29 times so far. I've relaxed on the swing. It is a different kind of summer than our trek out west and our days at Presquile, but enjoyable as well.

There has been time to count my blessings and to realize that even though there are some challenges, I've got it pretty good.


How many pillows does it take to make a poodle comfortable?


"Though the road's been rocky it sure feels good to me.” 
~Bob Marley


Sunday, July 29, 2018

walk with Nature

The pots on the deck are heavy with water... there has been no time to dry out since the epic rain a few days ago. Every day since has seen some showers, at times heavy.

The weather has been variable with some hot sun, so the pool is still swimable - I was in 3 times yesterday. It is such a treat to have a cool dunk during/after my pre-bedtime hot flash :-0

It was a beautiful afternoon yesterday, so I piled up the placemats, dishes, etc. by the door so we could eat outside. NOT. It poured right before supper. Pat was over and I know she likes eating outside; we were all disappointed.

There has been a glut (and I mean that in the most positive way possible) of zucchini here this week. I've been roasting it, along with some sundried tomatoes, cauliflower and red pepper, tossing it with feta, and sometimes some cooked sausage bits. Yesterday I added some baby tomatoes. It is enough for a one-dish supper. I love zucchini. I love my actifry which makes this whole thing easy.


I've been slightly discombobulated the last few days: sometimes I've got that pef: 'peaceful easy feeling' going on, and in a flash it will change over to a sickening anxiety that tightens at my chest and clenches my stomach, making me want to escape into a dark room. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to this rollercoaster. I just carry on, trying to distract myself from the topsy turvey misery.


A sure way to re-capture the pef is to step outside into Nature. Yesterday I was walking around the yard in wonderment after an afternoon shower. Everything was sparkling in the sun and there was something magical about the light - it was golden and bright. A butterfly flittted among the Queen Anne's Lace that bounded my path. It was one of those moments that you'd like to somehow capture in a jar, or on film, or at the very least in my memory.


Shopping is always a good diversion... here is my new $10 dress from liquidation. It will be perfect for dinner on our next cruise. No wrinkles and takes up hardly any room in the suitcase... now the shoes, that's another matter ;-)


"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."
~John Muir


Thursday, July 26, 2018

still snoring, even louder now

It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring...

I am NOT complaining!!! We desperately needed the rain to quench the earth and quell the thirst of wilted plants. I believe we got the equivalent (or close to it) of July's rain in two days. It poured at times yesterday. Grace's outside water dish was over-flowing.

No rain today, and when I got up at 5 something to let the dogs out while Carm got ready for his golf game, I couldn't see across the creek to the farm next door. The fog was thick as pea soup. Talk about 100% humidity. And it was warm - stepping outside was like stepping into a sauna. Have fun golfing dear...


By 11 am the fog had burned off leaving us with a beautiful day. There is still humidity in the air, and the sun is bearing down on us. By noon we'd already been swimming.

Thanks to Trudie, the kitchen counter is piled with cucumbers and zucchini, along with a few cherry tomatoes and some yellow banana peppers, all ready to eat. Yesterday we gorged on some of them: a cucumber salad with vinegar and garlic for lunch; roasted zucchini with sun-dried tomatoes, red peppers, and feta piled high on our supper dishes. Oh boy... I love roasted zucchini.


I put on my tall boots this morning for our am ramble around the field. The vegetation was soaking wet, and exactly at tummy height for Spike - I don't think he loved it. The clover has exploded into life, the purple pompoms colouring the ground. I felt like I had stepped into a Monet painting.


"Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life."
~John Updike


Monday, July 23, 2018

the old man was snoring with garlicy breath

I woke to a light rain yesterday morning, just like Environment Canada had forecast. We hoped that it would continue throughout the day, but unfortunately not much water was released from the grey clouds. In fact, I went for a little wander in the late afternoon and the earth was dry and still cracked. We need several days of a good rain to quench the earthly thirst.


I went to visit my Mom & Dad yesterday and had a delightful day hearing about their trip to Norway. Dad had photos on his phone to illustrate the narrative. Another trip to add to my bucket list.


later in the day...

We gave into my burger craving and dashed to St. Albert. 1/2 a burger and a huge pile of fries are waiting in the fridge for my lunch tomorrow. Too much food to eat all at once.

On our way back we watched huge billowing clouds shoot lightning. We could see swaths of rain but not a drop at home. Too much lightning for swimming though which is a crying shame as it is hotter than the hinges of hell out there.


Last night we met up with Kari and Trevor for some nachos and a beer at a local brewery. There were some lively conversations that were, at times, hard to stop.

We are blessed in this area with 3 fantastic craft brewers within a 20 minute drive.


I almost forgot! We harvested our garlic today. They are nice, but not as big as we'd hoped. We'll have to save at least 1/2 of them for next year's planting.