Saturday, August 19, 2017

Wash and Triple Rinse Please, Visit with Mom, Little Bit of Country and a Birthday

On Saturday, Aug. 19th I woke up around 7:30. What? Sleeping in is defined differently for each of us. For a friend of ours, 6:00 is sleeping in, for others 9:00 is sleeping in. For Bill and I anything bordering around 7:30 or later is sleeping in. We all have our individual habits and bedtime also has a whole variety of definitions!

Happy Birthday to my gorgeous little brother, Michael
He lives in Cold Lake, Alberta
I always peek under my bedroom blind and there is either a spike in my heart rate or a groan that escapes my lips. Blue sky or clouds and rain. Today, a groan. I had sorted the dirty clothes yesterday and was all hyped to head into town this morning to do a couple of loads of laundry. When we checked the weather and saw that it would be warm, a slight wind and cloudy until noon, I loaded the car and headed in about 9.

Looking to the east on #4 highway
When I walked in only Darlene was there. She is Stan’s wife and now the owner, with her 3 children, of the laundromat in Durham. This is the first time I’ve seen her since hearing the news of Stan’s passing. My heart immediately swelled at this lady’s courage and strength. I expressed my condolences and we hugged. Mind you, I have only met/seen Darlene a couple of times before.

 I was holding my own until she uttered the words “I don’t know what it was, but Stan felt an instant connection with you”. Oh, my, goodness. After thanking her for saying something so kind, I turned away to hide the water forming in my eyes. I said that I felt the same way, Stan was present every day I arrived at the laundromat and we chatted about life. She asked my name again and where we were residing and when I left, she called out the back door to me “Goodbye Pat!”

Seeing this bit of blue was encouraging as I arrived in Durham
I’m not ashamed to admit that I got teary-eyed for the loss all over again on my drive home to the Suite. How can someone be so strong after losing your main focus in life? I admire her even though I’m sure in the privacy of her own home, she is in a different state. I’m sure I’ll see her again and often over the next two months. I hope so.

Looking at the sky as I pull into our lane I’m shaking my head. LOL this is not a day to dry laundry outside. Oh well, it is what it is and they will eventually dry by the end of today. The sun is expected by midafternoon and I’m a glass half full kind of person. Bill was working in the basement again when I drove in and had the tv playing the only station he could get. Our antenna is in the flat position right now so he wasn’t expecting any more than that.

We came in and both watched our clothes get a second rinse out there on the line. That might not be the last but at least it hasn’t been a downpour, just light steady showers. I’d decided not to worry about it and set about making us bacon and eggs for lunch. 

After eating Bill and I played 2 games of Scrabble, each winning one. I also sorted through the freezer, making a mental note of what food is in there. I pulled a package of ground beef out for supper.
I believe he took this game
I got cleaned up for an afternoon visit with Mom and sat with Clemson and my book for half hour. There is a country band called Born Country entertaining the residents and families of Rockwood at 2:30 and I want to share that with Mom. When I arrived, I went straight to Mom’s floor and gave her hemmed navy pants to one of the girls to put her name in them.

I didn’t expect her to be in her room as it was 2:15 but placed the framed picture on her dresser. I signed her board so she’ll see that she had a visitor today even if she doesn’t remember. We all do that when we visit, with the date. I went down to the auditorium and found her just as I knew I would.
Born Country
She was sitting beside who I think is a different Jane than the one she dines with. Aunt Mary was on the other side of her and Sally, Mary’s roommate all there together in the back row. The room was filling up and the music had begun early which is nice when there are so many residents waiting. I greeted Aunt Mary as I walked by to Mom who got up and gave me a hug.
Back row, everyone enjoying the music
A nice lady on the other side of Mom got up and brought me a chair to sit beside her. Mom does get excited with visitors so it took a bit before she settled down and stopped talking. I don’t want her to be a distraction for others. Soon enough she was tapping and singing along to the old tunes. It was great!
As I was sitting there, I noticed this on their huge board
This picture was taken when Mom and I went down to the Dog Show
Sally at the far end holding hands with A. Mary, then Jane (I think)
The four-piece band did very well, they were entertaining and I got Mom up for a dance to Crystal Chandelier. She enjoyed herself and was soon back up with Sally, both tripping a bit over each other but having a ball. One of the staff crept in to take a picture of Mom and I dancing to the last song, You Are My Sunshine.


Mom and Sally

I walked her back up to her room and although she seemed confused as to why I was leaving, a mention of my clothes hanging on the line in the rain helped her to understand my need to say goodbye. She walked me to the elevator throwing kisses until the doors closed. She said she felt like wandering so I hope she found it back to her room. LOL
A couple of dancin' queens
When I came home Bill said it had rained off and on 3 or 4 times so I checked the clothes. They weren’t soaking wet but obviously they needed to stay out there until the sun appeared. Finally, at 6 o’clock while I was preparing our spaghetti supper it pushed the clouds completely out of the way. After cleanup Bill offered to do the dishes while I brought the clothes in. In 45 minutes they were dry, inside and put away.

Noodles cooking
Ground beef and sauce with lots of peppers, garlic and mushrooms
I’m sitting here putting my post together listening to Sirius radio 60’s on 6. How nice when you know every single song! It is my favourite station. Bobby Darin, Paul Revere, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Everly Brothers, Lovin’ Spoonful and so on. Great tunes, a great decade for music for sure. I can tell that Bill will be finishing his book tonight, he is having a hard time putting it down.
Bill gets pasta noodles and I get spaghetti squash - yum
Spaghetti and salad
I hope you have had a great day. No matter the weather, I had a wonderful one, fun with Mom, a couple of dances, the laundry got done and Bill and I spent some quality time together too.

story of the day MY CLOTHES DRIED!
Look at that sky!

Good night from a lovely sunset on the Ridge
Thank you for stopping by today. I love hearing from your if you have time.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Strange Weather for Another Day, Shopping, Sewing, Suite Cleaning, TV Install

When I woke up it was around 7:15 and I was pleased to see my guys beside me. Well, a way over there in our king bed. Clemson was snuggled close to Daddy in under the covers yet it was a warm morning. I grabbed the camera early to get the sun peeking up over the horizon because I knew it wasn’t supposed to last.
It started out like a promising day
The forecast was mostly rain although now it I saying ‘few clouds’. They need to look outside, it is gray with lots of fast moving clouds treating us to brief (10 seconds) interludes of blue sky in their travels from west to east. We got our morning stuff out of the way and I decided today was the day to hem up Mom’s pants. Tomorrow will be laundry day and I’ll take them over to her while I’m in town.
While getting fuel, these guys were parked beside us
The old van remodel was very sharp and loaded for camping
Plate says Vanarchy
VANARCHY: van-ar-chy, noun;...a van of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority 
So, it is now almost noon and Bill is in Hanover to pick up some things for a project in the cargo trailer and our basement. I dusted the Suite and put a few things away. Less to do on Sunday morning. I still can’t get outside; the rain isn’t steady but it is enough to keep me indoors. It is a drizzle right now.
Sorry for the blur, it was a fast snapshot
I got my sewing machine out and hemmed Mom’s pants. It is never perfect but if anyone wants to judge, they can tear it out and do it themselves. I would’ve been more concerned doing it for Mom if she was in a different state of mind. She was an excellent seamstress, knitter, crocheter etc. Now, she won’t care if they aren’t perfect.
Clemson got to go for the ride in his seatbelt
Once I finished that, I put it away (my machine is one thing that will NOT come out of the Suite, I use it too often) and fried up my brunch of egg and zucchini again. It tastes so good and is good for me. I keep forgetting to boil up the water/sugar mixture for the hummers and both feeders have been empty for a while. Today I did it and put it in the fridge to cool.
The bracket is installed on the back of the tv

And the small plate is attached to the bracket
Measuring where the plate needs to be mounted
 Before Bill got home, I had swept the hall, the stairs, the kitchen and even brushed the living and dining room carpets. We agreed that it was a great day for a snooze so after I finished a few chapters in the new book I’m reading, I joined my guys up in the bedroom for a power nap. Thirty minutes is usually enough for me and today was no different. 
At one point the blue sky gave us hope but the gray clouds were moving so quickly, it was soon gone
When we got up Bill went outside and started to get things going on the installation of our television down in the ‘basement’ area.

Bill finishes attaching the plate
We’ve talked about how nice it would be to have one there when Bill is barbecuing. It will be mounted on the top of the storage area on a bracket. Strapped in place while in motion but able to swing down on an arm for viewing. In between rain showers he mounted the bracket on the back of the tv. We needed to go into Durham to get a different size screw at Home Hardware, hamburg buns and diesel for Black Beauty.

Have I mentioned how much I like this view?
Bill called his Dad once we got back home and it was nice to hear both him and Marilynne sound so good. He missed seeing them yesterday when he stopped in on his way home. Not worrying about the weather tonight, I have burgers out for supper and I prepare the last two cobs of corn. They don’t take long to bbq so we should only need 20 minutes tops of dry sky.

Last screw

While supper was grilling, Bill continued working on the tv install. At one critical point, he asked me to use the drill to put the first two screws in. This was the easy part, as holding the tv in place wasn’t going to be easy for me. Before the food was ready he finished the main part and folded the television into place. Tomorrow he can complete the whole process, hookup, strapping etc.

And it folds up and out of sight
Supper was delicious. I wasn’t going to have a bun but at the last minute decided I would after all. With bacon, cheese, mayo, lettuce, pickle, onion and mustard it was the bomb!! Isn’t that a definitive of great? The corn was done perfectly too and filled us up.

The sky has changed from gray to gloomy and foggy out there to the northwest. It is a good night to stay inside. Dishes are done and we’ll have to see what we can find to watch or I’ll get into my book. I’m reading James Patterson’s Cross now. It’ll be a quick read, already I’m having a hard time putting it down.

Bill is also into a good James Patterson story
Clemson is waiting for me to sit with him
I hope you have had drier weather than we have but mostly I hope it has been a great day for you. 
through the rain drops on this picture, you can see the foggy evening we have
Thank you for reading today. Please comment if you wish!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Early Rising, Outside Jobs, Welcome Home Bill

On Thursday, Aug. 17th when I woke up, it was only 5 am and still very dark out. Happy that it wasn’t time to get up yet I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. I’m sure I dropped off a couple of times but for the most part remained in a semi-wake state until 6:30 when I got up.
What a pretty sky this morning
 I made my tea and checked the batteries as I haven’t been plugged into electric since 8 yesterday morning. 12.4, that is pretty good. I didn’t have the tv on at all last night. Bill has learned from the solar techs at CanAm that we don’t need to worry about them as much as we have been. We have a good system and the inverter will shut off when it gets too low without damage to our batteries. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on what that magic number should be.

Checking the weather site for this area, it isn’t calling for sun today. The winds are up but it is still registering 17C already at 8 so a warm day. I wanted to do a couple of things outside for Bill so got dressed and headed out to do that. They are calling for chance of rain later and I want to complete something out there first.

And the sun pops up
With my long pants, hoodie, hat, runners and gloves I took my wagon down to the back field that Bill cuts. He has asked if I could trim some of those lower branches on a couple of the trees for him. When he is on the mower they hang just low enough that he can’t get under them. I think they look neater anyway with the stragglers trimmed up.

First, I brought down the 6 bricks that I found up on the hill early this spring. They were not serving any purpose, just tossed helter-skelter so I got them down beside the Suite. They will be used to mark where our landing gear sits for when we pull out on Sunday afternoon. We like to get back in the same spot……..although we are talking about shifting position a bit. We’ll see.
These trees got a little manicure

This tree needed a lot of lower branches cut
The grass and ground is still pretty wet near the pond end of the field so my running shoes, socks and pant legs were soaked when I finished my jobs. I’m feeling the need for another tea so before I decide whether to start my project down by the fence, I made myself another tea and poured a small glass of Kombucha.

Yeah, I know, something else I’m trying that I learned about at our LadyFest. It is an organic raw substance to maintain &/or improve digestion as well as support immune systems and I enjoy the taste. Bill calls it ‘gobbely guck’ or some such thing but I’ll try anything to fight infections if it makes sense to me. And it does. Of all things, I want to work towards staying healthy.
Beginning to fry my zucchini

Almost done - yum
 Around 10 I was feeling hungry so fried up zucchini in butter with an egg and that hit the spot for now and then I made the mistake of sitting in my recliner with Clemson and my book. I’m getting close to the end so kind of got involved. By 11 am the rain started, pretty much on queue with what the forecast says so I didn’t get back out there.

I had almost everything I need

That’s okay, now it is definitely an inside day. At 1 I thought of an ice cream cone for a change. I obviously didn’t eat enough earlier. I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I think, about having some ice cream last night but it was 9:30 when I thought of it again so I put it out of my mind. Today, the strawberry cone was very good and Clemson got the bottom inch as usual.

Bill called at 12:30 saying he was finished his 2 orientations at CanAm and on his way home. He had to stop at St. Mary’s and then in Stratford to see his Dad but would be home for supper. That is a nice change and now I can plan what to have. With this weather, it won’t be a bbq night so searched the freezer for an indoor meal idea.
My shoes were pretty wet from working in the field this  morning
 The afternoon was definitely a slow one, but after doing my outside stuff before 9 I had all afternoon to read. Laziness overtook me once more and I finished my Tami Hoag book. She goes into a lot of detail, Bill and I found that but we also found where we could skip past things to get to the good stuff. It was a good page turner with another surprise ending.
Even my socks were soaked

Before I knew it, I saw Bill coming up the drive and it was only 3:30! That’s the earliest he has ever been home from working and it was nice to have time to chat and relax before supper. It was interesting to hear about and see a picture of one of the orientations he did yesterday morning. It was my cousin Rob and his wife Sue picking up a new travel trailer. That is very cool and very exciting for them!
For supper I fried up our leftover potatoes, warmed up the gravy and roast beef together and baked some crescent rolls in the convection oven. This meant, of course, that we had to plug into electric. Without the sun, we were getting fairly low anyway on our battery power. We cleaned up dishes and watched a couple of episodes of Family Feud after the news. This is the brightest the day has been now that the rain has finally stopped. It is still warm at 18C.

I had a quiet day with a bit of snooze smack dab in the middle. I don’t do that often but it was much needed after my early rising. I hope you have enjoyed this day and found things to do regardless of the weather.
Good night from the Ridge
I know the sky is going to perform miracles tonight
but this is what I'll close with
Thank you for reading today. I like reading your comments.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Goodbye Bill, Chasing the Heron, Reunion with an Elmwood Friend

Wednesday, Aug. 16th we woke up to the sound of the phone alarm. I squinted to see the clock on the dresser and made out the time to be 5:15 am. Bill began his routine and was quickly finished loading the car. After a warm hug and a kiss goodbye he pulled out at 6. He disappeared into the morning fog which didn’t dissipate until the sun pushed it off around 8.

By the time the sun popped, the fog had no chance

The grass was dewy

I love the view across the pond to the north
Clem and I stayed snuggled in bed until 7. I didn’t think I had dropped off in between but after checking my Fitbit sleep records discovered that I had fallen into a light sleep for 45 minutes. That is good that I am able to do that rather than tossing and turning so early.
Clemson stayed about an hour longer than I did
Too bad we can't teach him to make the bed!
I wasn’t sitting at my laptop with my tea for long when I noticed the dark coloured heron fly by from my view to the east, right across the north to a pond at the front. I switched out my lenses, slipped a jacket over top of my jammys and walked ‘sneakily’ down the lane looking for him.
When it is dewy, these creations are so pretty, even though I don't like their creators

Woody is debating

The pond in its morning glory too

There he was in our neighbours rain-made pond. He started walking to a better vantage point (for me) and I settled myself up against the cedar rail fence for stability. I was probably standing about 100’ away so my zoom ins are not perfectly focused but I was enthralled. Probably the bad focus was my own slight movement, I should have carted my tripod down with me.

The cat and his shadow watching the heron

The distance with no zoom from where I was standing

He was casually walking back and forth
Notice his reflection?
Okay, after 20 minutes of waiting I was anxious for him to fly for more captures on my Canon. After 30 minutes, I was praying for a neighbor to drive by on their way to work. Man, these herons have more staying power than I have patience. Finally, I heard a car coming and readied myself for the flight. Yes! Great way to start the day.
He has walked as he far as he can when the car goes by

When I returned, the fog had not only cleared but so had the sun giving in to the heavy overcast sky. Darn! Bill texted at 8:15 that he had arrived after battling with fog for an hour and a half. He still makes good time. When I talked to him later, he said the sun was out full the other side of Stratford. Funny how we can be so different, well, I guess we are 2 ½ hours apart.

I am excited for today because I am meeting a girlfriend in Hanover for a late lunch. This isn’t an ordinary meeting. It is going to be interesting to see just what a 51-year void does to what used to be a close relationship. Barb and I were friends while we both lived in Elmwood. My family left this small village in 1966 after my little brother was born.  At 10 and 11 years old and about a year and a half difference in our ages, Barb and I had a few things in common. What will it be like now? I couldn’t wait to find out!

So, I fiddled around on my laptop, googling things of interest and reading blogs before making my second tea. I downloaded the 71 pictures I took this morning of the heron and other things on the walk down the lane. There was some deleting, some enhancing and sorting to decide which ones to keep. Don’t you love this digital age? Remember having to snap photos and hope like heck they turned out when you eventually sent them off for developing? I never owned a Poloroid.
and this gorgeous sky stayed around all day
The sun reappeared around 11 and I began to see some blue skies. Goody! On a whim, I went to my ‘Memory’ cupboard. I know I used to have a couple of pictures of my friend Barb, that she sent me decades ago. Unfortunately, taking photos was a costly endeavor in the mid 60’s. If Mom had had a camera, it was a valuable commodity and not something I would be allowed to use. Times were different.

So, I left the Suite around 12:15 and arrived at the corner in Hanover where Queen’s Bush restaurant & pub is located. As I’m turning, I see Barb out on the front sidewalk waiting for me. I waved so she knew I had arrived. She had no idea what I’d be driving. No parking in the back for Black Beauty so I pulled out and right in front was a spot just for me. The lunch gang had departed, and that was the reason for a 1 o’clock meeting.
Today's garden fare
We greeted each other with a warm hug and the years slipped away. Finding a quiet seat inside, mostly by ourselves, we slowly started into the conversation. As I said earlier, we’ve only got to know each other at a young age so there was a lot of things to find out about each other. I felt as if I talked a lot and hope Barb didn’t feel like I took control of the chatter. Usually I am the quiet one so that just means she is quieter! 😊

When I asked Barb how long it had been since we’d seen each other, she reminded me that it was before I met Bill but within the last 25 years. Still, that is a long enough time and the perfect time to get reacquainted. She lives in Point Clark, a touristy town along Lake Huron so next summer Bill and I will have to look her and Paul up.
Friends from waaaaaaaaay back
We had a nice lunch, me ordering the Corn Beef on toasted Rye with creamy spinach soup. Me oh my! That was delicious! This is the 2nd soup the chef in this place has made that blew me away. Yum, yum, yummy! I recommend it! No pictures of my meal today but I did get one of my supper meal.

Leaving Queen’s Bush after exchanging phone numbers, I was facing the wrong direction to track down any little shops so headed back towards Durham. I haven’t been in the Dollarama for a while so stopped and picked up some new facecloths. I was looking for a few nice teaspoons but they looked more like baby spoons. I’ll have to get some at Wal-Mart.
Beside the $ store was Giant Tiger, one of my favourite stores so of course I had to see what was on sale………….. in my size. I’m quite pleased with what I found and they weigh a total of 2 lbs. so I’ll find room for them in my drawer. Clemson and I took a walk down the lane to ‘get the mail’ (aka flyers on Wednesday) and then we sat under the awning for half an hour before coming inside.
I read a few chapters and talked to Bill for a bit after feeding Clemmy.
 My supper was easy, cutting up half of the leftover chicken breast and mixing it with salt, pepper and mayo before adding it on my lettuce, tomato, peppers and onions. I topped it with olives and enjoyed it with a small glass of milk. It hit the spot and I will top it off with an ice cream cone when I’m finished posting. My reward.

On a sad note, today is the anniversary of the death of one of my favourite entertainers. It was on August 16, 1977 that Elvis died. In my opinion, the world tilted a bit off its axles when that happened. As a 22-year old I remember thinking there could be no worse news. 

Now, 40 years later I still get teary-eyed when I watch one of his performances, and downright sob when I see him performing in his later years.

Lovely evening for a walk down the lane
  I cleaned up the dishes and downloaded the last of the pictures I took today. It was a pretty sunset this evening so had to capture what I could of that. I’ve had a great day and I hope you have too!

Getting ready for the last act

Final act

Grand finale
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