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


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.

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


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


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.


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


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!