Thursday, May 31, 2018

first day at the rally

Of course I was right, and believe me, I so wanted to be wrong, but at 6:30 Spike woke up. He lay there for maybe 5 minutes, then jumped on top of me... there was no convincing him that he wanted to go back to sleep. So I dragged myself out of bed, threw a bit of water on my hair (it stands on end when I get out of bed), and riffled through the closet for walking clothes. Ugg.

In all fairness to the dogs, all three of them had done their business before we had walked 200 yards. So I guess it was a legit outing.

They aren't the dogs they used to be though. There was very little tugging as we walked our old route through the 'back 40'. It is a lovely walk, especially so early in the morning on a sunny day. So it wasn't all bad ;-)

Grace is happy to be in her corner window cage. She loved her time outside yesterday afternoon, but wasn't upset about coming inside. This cage is a huge upgrade from the one she was in in (in in?) the old camper. She loves this one.

It was cloudy with on and off again showers thru the afternoon so Carm and I went to the outlet mall. I went crazy and bought two things - yes, grown-up clothes and not t-shirts. I wonder if this is what they mean by 'dressing in age appropriate clothes'? Hummm...

More people arrived in the afternoon so we wandered around outside talking to people, and then it was time for RAXX to cook us dinner again - this time RIBS. Wonderful ribs :-)

By the time we were back it was time for the dogs to go outside, and just enough time before bed to spend a few minutes at the campfire.

We are having a good time!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

on the road again

I started off narrating this to my phone as we roared down the road this morning, but it was quickly clear that I wasn’t a quick talker or a clear speaker.

Here’s my first few sentences before I gave up:

“Ben 10 and we're on the road temperature is already at 23 so it looks like we're going to have a nice sunny day and maybe even if what's the summer for a first ending. “

This is what really happened: It was ten past ten and we are on the road. The temperature is already 23C, so it looks like we are going to have a nice sunny day, and maybe even summer, for our first camp of the year.

We had a safe trip, although there was a question about one of our brake calipers - it seemed seized. Braking was still good so we carried on our trip and by the time we got to Kingston all was well.

Not many people are here yet so we’ve had a relaxing afternoon and evening. We went to RAXX for supper for the chicken wing special - oh, yummy. Perhaps the best wings we’ve ever had.

The dogs are excited, although the heat has worn them out. I fully expect Spike to wake me up at 6am...

Monday, May 28, 2018

having the right words

What do you say to a man standing in the reception line beside the urn with the ashes of his wife? A man that we know was madly in love with his wife. His 56 year old wife. Well, I really don't know and I can say with some degree of certainty that I fubbed it up. "Nice to see you" is not the right thing to say. I couldn't say what I wanted to say or I'd burst into wild tears. Which is probably worse than saying the wrong thing.

We were at another visitation on Friday, this time for Carm's first cousin Aldo's wife. All the family was there, including many aunts, uncles, and cousins from Toronto. So it was a 'good time' (for some, very bad for others).

Saturday was a more up-lifting outing. We drove the 1 1/2 hours to see Olaf & Tammy to help celebrate Freya's 6th birthday. Luckily it was a lovely evening so we were able to sit outside. The dozen or so kids ran around the backyard like a bunch of hellions - they had a good time. We adults sat sedately around tables decorated with lovely tablecloths and bunches of flowers. Very grown up. Our conversation digressed to talks of nail polish, and from there: brazilions (look it up) :-0

We are close to being ready for our trip. A few (if few means 10s and 10s) things to load on and then all the food. I've planned out some meals so I won't be bringing the whole pantry/fridge, but I'll have some 'just in cases' along for backup. Poodles faces have been clipped, a blood letting this morning shortened their nails, and hotdog treats were made to encourage good behavior.

I'll get most of the last minute things loaded tomorrow, like my favorite silicone spatula and tongs, the instant pot, griddler, and my awesome little vacuum. Everything else will load Wednesday morning. It will be a rush: we plan on leaving at 10am but may be a bit later - since nobody is depending on us being on time we won't stress if we are a bit later.

I'm getting a bit excited.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

rub a dub dub

Lilacs perfume the air like a luxurious perfumery in Paris. I walk outside just to bathe in the scent. Heaven. Not much from the apple trees though, they are mostly devoid of blossoms and are certainly not putting on the show that they did last year. Maybe the trees need a little rest this year.

Today we got busy with the hose, pressure washer, and long brushes to scrub the villetta. The giant white whale of a beast was grimy from a winter resting in the laneway, and yes, a fall of camping. She scrubbed up good and now shines in the sun. If we were super energetic we’d get some wax and start buffing, but honestly, that’s a million year job - it would take days of hard work. We are not that dedicated.

I think I was struck by lightening or stung by a weird bee as I have, at the age of 55, developed a shoe thing. I had gone through much of my life wearing nothing but blundstone boots and a pair of sturdy sandals, but now... I can't seem to pass a shoe store. Yesterday I picked up a pair of gold mules/slides/sandals. So not like the old me! These days I don't leave the house without makeup and my hair gelled up. Invasion of the body snatchers.

Friday, May 18, 2018

some photos from the last few days using my new camera

Jo Ellen and the two poodles. Our icy limoncello - Mediterrean sunshine in a bottle.

Around the property. This was a few days ago so the apple buds are a bit more formed. There aren't as many as last year - they must have been harmed by the ice storm we had mid April.

Spike, still alive and posing for the camera.

These were all taken with my new Fujifilm XP130. I'm reasonably happy with it as many of these photos were taken in extreme conditions. The ones of Jo Ellen and the limoncello were taken inside, in the evening, with no flash. The one of Spike is a little dark but we were in blazing sun so the camera overcompensated - I think there is a setting for bright sun that I should experiment with.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

the whole world fell in love in spring

I’m slowly getting over my shock. I relived and ruminated several ‘what if’ versions of the screeching tires yesterday, until finally I gave myself a virtual slap and got busy with something else. That something was putting back all the stuff that we had removed from the camper last fall. Except for food - I’ll do some actual planning and just bring what we need for our first trip, not everything that I can think of that we might use for the rest of the year… Yes, I will try not to overpack this time.

But that means I have to do some serious menu planning, and how can I plan for 8 suppers when these days I’m having trouble figuring out what the next meal will be. The campground is a bit of a ways from the city, otherwise I’d just plan that we’d eat out most every night :-0

Raxx for ribs will be a must-do on the first Thursday night. (just checked the menu - Tuesday is fish & chips, Wed is wings, Thur is ribs, Fri is steak - maybe we can eat out every night after all!)

Another good diversion from my overactive imagination was a visit from Jo Ellen and Don last night. I whipped up a minestrone soup so the meal would be reasonably healthy but then ruined it by baking biscuits, and if I do say so myself, they are the best and hard to resist. We were celebrating the 1 year anniversary of our time in Sorrento where we bought a bottle of limoncello to bring home. We enjoyed a sip of the golden sunshine after our supper last night. Not the same bottle, as that one is LONG gone ;-)

I was walking with the dogs in the field this afternoon enjoying the faint scent of flowers on the breeze. The sweet fragrance of summer buoyed my spirits: summer is surely on the way.

And the birds sang their songs of love. And the flowers serenaded with their sublime fragrances. And the whole world fell in love in spring!”
~Avijeet Das

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

a very close call

The sound of screeching tires assaulted my ears. I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth, the bedroom window was open and Carm was at his computer in the kitchen.

My heart lurched. Were all the dogs inside? I knew that Carm had let them out several minutes earlier, but I had only heard Kabira come in… I rushed out to the hall, grabbing Carm on my way out. Oh, that walk down the laneway was long… Bella was there... I called, and didn’t see Spike, but then Carm saw Spike outside the gate. On all four legs and looking scared.

I can’t get the sound of those screeching tires out of my head. He was almost killed. Who knows how close he was to being a dead dog. I didn’t really freak out until we were on our way to town, then I had a silent cry and I’ve felt slightly sick ever since.

Before we headed into town we did some alterations on the gate to make it harder to get through. That was a start, but I knew that when I got home I’d be beefing up the electric fence and setting up a training session. Yes, I’m a meanie… after a few hours of frustrating work I got the gate charged. Got Spike on a leash and pushed him up against the gate till he got a good shock. Twice. And I’ll do it again tomorrow.

The day started with rain, but by the time we got back from Costco the clouds were parting and the sun was shining. Beautiful day for stupid fence work.

Monday, May 14, 2018

greener and greener

Last  Tuesday (yes, a week ago, oh how I’ve let this blog writing slip), at 5:30pm I declared it to be ‘Green Day’. It might be a stretch as there are still lots of bare patches but I was anxious to hurry things along.

Maybe I was influenced by our job working on the camper fridge that afternoon. We had to disconnect a few things and push the fridge several inches into the camper so that we could access the back panels. The hose that drains the condensation had crumbled with age, leaving us with a near impossible task, but by persisting past the time we wanted to give up, Carm got the old hose off and the new one on. We worked in the sun and it was hot. Joy!


Since then we’ve had lots on our calendar. There have been a few golf games for Carm. A trip to the Acapulco for me to celebrate Leo’s birthday. Carm had another engagement: the funeral visitation for his cousin with the same name. As is often the case, these events are sad but also renewing as well. Death is a time to reaffirm life and renew old relationships. As strange as it sounds, I think he had a good time, and perhaps better as he didn’t have to worry about me and could talk to his heart’s content with long lost relatives.

Thursday was the funeral and as I sat in the church listening to the priest talk about Carmelo’s life, I had to focus my attention on the relics dotted around the premises, lest my imagination take the not so big leap to a funeral hopefully far in the future where the name will be the same…


Since we were just around the corner from where Carm’s mom stays we popped in to visit for a few minutes and then drove around the next corner to the Green Papaya, a fabulous Thai place that makes the best Pad Ki Mao - so spicy that our mouths were burning but delicious.

Friday we did some house cleaning then popped into the car for a trip to Liquidation. From there is was a long hop skip and jump to Freshco which happens to have a shawarma place next door, and gosh could we walk past that when it was hours past lunch… Costco was next and then home. Whew.


Saturday we had Mom & Dad, and Graham & the kids over for a family Mother’s Day lunch. It is so rare that we have them all over…


Sunday we dashed into town AGAIN, this time to drop in quickly to Carm’s mom to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day. The ravages of Alzheimer's were weighing heavily on her though so I don’t know how much she was aware. A few more stops after that and then to Best Buy to buy me a new camera. This little beauty is just a small handful to replace my old pocket camera and as a bonus (well, actually why we got it in the first place), is waterproof down to 65ft. Not that I’ll ever be that deep (I hope). It will be fun to take it to the Caribbean for some beach shots.

All the photos in this post were taken by the new camera either today or yesterday.


Oh, and one other thing. A certain type of madness took hold in our brains and we booked two more cruises. They aren’t till November of 2019 though so we have lots of time to change our minds. The first one is a 7 day trip in the Mediterranean, and the second one ponies up to that for 14 days across Spain and Portugal, ending up with 7 days across the Atlantic to Fort Lauderdale!  Twenty one days away from home. Can we manage it? Will Pat go mad looking after the beasts. Time will tell.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

in the dark on a sunny day

I’m sitting here in the dark… not literally because it is daytime and actually sunny, but figuratively because the power is out. Again. The ice storm was less than 3 weeks ago and here we are, powerless, and rethinking our generator solution.

It was a wind storm that brought us down this time - apparently we had gusts almost to 100kmph. At times the wind would die down a bit, but then, like a runaway freight train it would roar down on the house. Shrubs scraped against the windows, which were flexing so much that I was sure they were going to break. Who knew that glass was that flexible.

We drove around to see where the damage is but couldn’t find anything. Hydro Ontario outage map suggests that we might get our power back by 4pm tonight. We shall see - 3 weeks ago they were several hours past the estimated time.

The good news though is that it is sunny and the grass is an incredible emerald green. It is the impossible green that is only seen this time of year: fresh from the earth and not weathered by the rays of the sun, it is the colour of hope. I can see a few tiny buds on the trees around the house, they are delayed by a few days but the life force is strong and will overcome the autumn like weather we’ve been having.

We saw ‘Avengers, Infinity War’ with Jo Ellen and Don on Thursday. Great movie with lots of action. I was exhausted when we finally emerged from the dark - sitting in my chair tense from the action wore me out.

The poodles are freshly clipped and are breathing a sigh of relief as they were supposed to get a bath today. They don’t know it yet, but it is only postponed, not cancelled. Their last hair cut was a few weeks before we left on our trip to the Caribbean so they wern’t too long, but even still, they are cooler and much more frisky. I think they like the shorn feeling.

It was such a spring day as breathes into a man an ineffable yearning, a painful sweetness, a longing that makes him stand motionless, looking at the leaves or grass, and fling out his arms to embrace he knows not what.”
~John Galsworthy