Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Lady Fest Begins, Bill and Clemson – Bachelors for a Few Days

Tuesday, July 25th meant the start of my sister’s time together. We were to meet at Chatsworth around 10. I slept really well after going to bed around 10 or so, waking up at 6:30, stretching and creeping quietly out of bed. Bill and Clemson slept another half hour or so and joined me downstairs. The blinds were open and the sun was pushing through one patch of low lying eastern clouds.
Owen Sound
I had my tea, read blog posts and went through my check list for packing. Once I was confident that I had everything I would need, I brought the Corolla over closer and loaded her up. Saying my goodbyes to the boys for a few days, I drove #6 to Gayle’s. Traffic was good and the weather couldn’t be better!

I was the first to arrive, that is our trademark (Bill’s and mine) we always seem to be early anywhere. It isn’t planned, we are just that kind of people, I guess. John was outside cutting the grass when I arrived and Gayle had just hopped out of the shower. I brought my many things inside and placed them in the hall waiting for the others to arrive and decide on sleeping arrangements.
Gayle and John's Cedar haven
There is what we call the Garden Room, nice room just off the patio to the yard, on the lower level. Queen bed perfect for two. Then down the lower level hall is another room, Gayle calls the Double Room simply because it has a double bed. Beyond that is the Girls Room. This room has a bunk bed set up and two single beds and it is where their granddaughters sleep when they visit.
Lovely home back in the trees
Upstairs is the Master Bedroom and it is huge. When John vacated, this is where I moved my things and set up camp with Gayle. The others worked it out downstairs. Cathy, Audrey and Donna arrived about 20 minutes later, on time. 😊 We caught up as sisters do and fell into normal conversations.
It only looks messy because of my stuff all over the place 
Today we drove in Gayle’s little Chevy Cruze to Owen Sound to the Artist’s Co-op. This is a neat little refurbished mercantile store which has been transformed into a venue for local artists. Beautiful work on display and for sale. Many framed paintings, framed photographs of the area or otherwise and also a lot of homemade craft projects. Wendy, who lives in this city, joined us here.

This apparatus across the ceiling was used in the mercantile to
send money up the tube to the office and change was returned
the same way
I picked up a card and a small hand-held game to show our granddaughters and we moved on to Elsie’s Diner for brunch. It was around 12:30 so busy but it was no time at all and a table for 6 opened up for us. I ordered Elsie’s breakfast with 2 eggs, hash browns, peameal bacon and rye toast. It was very good and filling. I rode with Wendy for the rest of the day in her little RED car. She jokes that when asked what kind and what year it is, her answer is a shoulder shrug and “it’s a red car”.

We began our shopping spree. The thing with us girls is ‘second-hand, second-hand’ all the way so The Mission Store was first. We poked around there for an hour and I found a few things and the girls found a few things for Mom too. Most of us left with a bag of goodies and a smile on our face.
Tuna, Blue, Bolt
Next stop Value Village (if you say it with a French accent) it feels quite classy. Again, we shopped around for an hour or two, bumping into each other down different aisles occasionally. You name it, we saw it and probably tried one or two on just like it. The shoe aisle seemed to be the popular place today as 3 of us found one or two pair of shoes/sandals before we left.
We drove back to Wendy’s little house on 11th and settled in for a drink. The apple cider drink she served was quite tasty and I’ll have to look for it when next I need to stock up on coolers. The afternoon flowed smoothly with our own silliness, jokes and laughter at Morgan’s birds but mostly at the household cats. Munsch is the black one with the lion haircut and Jet is the soft little calico type one.
Jet watches the birds 
As it approached 6:30 we left to drive to Shorty’s Bar and Grill for dinner. Again, with reservations we were seated almost immediately after a short wait outside on the curb. Supper at Shorty’s was another great meal. This time I ordered a Philly Cheesesteak. Delicious meal!

We left for home, Gayle’s home in Chatsworth and did our typical Fashion Show without the modelling. Showing off our purchases and oohing and aahing. Some things never change with this gang. Gayle had started the family Scrabble game on the dining room table so we each played a turn on that before watching Baroness Von Sketch for half hour. I’d never seen it but I found it quite comical.
Before Wendy arrived
Off to bed around midnight, oh my! No wonder this didn’t get posted until this morning. I had a fantastic day and look forward what tomorrow brings. I hope your day was a great one.
Not very much choice here but room for improvement!

Thank you for reading! You may comment if you feel so inclined.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Laundry Cleanup, Suite Cleanup, Bit of Cooking, Booze Shopping

On Monday, July 24th I slipped out of bed at 7 and Clemson followed soon after. This looks like a drizzly cooler day so I knew I would not be hanging clothes out. No problem. Bill got up before 8 and we had our morning slush together while I posted my blog.

I sorted laundry, only a couple of loads today and I was off to Durham. The laundromat and the adjacent chiropractor just had their parking lot redone and it is really nice to drive onto now. Fresh lines painted on. too. They were lucky to get it done in between rain showers yesterday.

The rain started soon after I got there and didn’t stop. So, when my clothes were dry and folded, I hung around until it lightened up a bit and made a beeline for the car. After leaving there I parked on the main street and zipped into the bank. I like to have cash for our Lady fest (with my sisters) for certain things. I had a Lottario ticket I wanted checked too so went next door to the Becker’s but it was a dud. Darn!

a few cooler choices
If one stands out as a favourite, I'll share it with you

One more stop at the liquor store for a variety of drink choices. I came out with a nice selection of new ones to try and a familiar wine that was recommended to me a year ago by my girlfriends. Laurie B., Laurie A. and Heather suggested I try the Gewurztraminer Riesling white. I did last year and loved it. The nice lady found it for me but that bottle will stay home for Bill and I to share.

 Bill vacuumed the Suite while I was gone, can’t work outside so he did a thorough job. He separated and pulled out our recliners to get that hidden dirt and dust. It didn’t appear as bad as I thought it would look behind and under there. We needed a food break so I munched on some yogourt and a hardboiled egg and Bill had some toast and peanut butter.

A good day for inside reading
I’m sitting here writing and looking out at the dull dreary day and I see our geese have returned. We haven’t seen them for over a month. There are 5 of them all swimming in a perfect line from the big pond at the front back through the ‘islands in the stream’. Cute and welcome back!

Bill and I settled down with our books fighting the heavy eyes. These past few late nights have done us in! We managed to fight the urge and I successfully finished Cat and Mouse. Wow, what a story! Down to the last few chapters and I still didn’t have it figured out, I like a book like that.

Pretty much all packed
Our ‘last supper’ for a few days won’t be anything fancy but it will be a nice meal together. Mini sausages, French fries and either a salad or a vegetable. I’ll be cooking inside for sure tonight. Talking about cooking, I decided I should contribute to the next few days’ morning/lunch meals. I found an easy egg, bacon and cheese casserole for breakfast one morning.

Gayle, sister #3 from the top, is our host every year. She has the largest house and the most beds available. Her place is close to Owen Sound and we are out in the country so it is perfect. She also has a hot tub which is a bonus. Oh, yes, I must remember my bathing suit.

So, my sweetie tends to spoil me once in a while and today was no exception. I was in doing laundry and we both knew the gas tank in the car was dropping rapidly. Since it was a wet miserable morning and I was taking care of the clothes he drove back in to Durham to fill it up with gas for me. I’m taking the Toyota to Chatsworth and now I won’t have to worry about it. Small things are important.

I set about packing for the three days I’d be away. This is new to me, not having to pack up to go ‘camping’ or when we move locations. My clothes are always with me so the overnight on Saturday and overnight in Chatsworth took some thought. What will the weather be? How often will we be outside? How many changes of clothes?
Egg, bacon and cheese breakfast for the sisters

Well, I have packed 2 bags. One bag with clothes and I have another for my laptop, cosmetic bag, shoes, book and jacket. I’ll take my camera (of course!) and tripod to get the group pictures. We have a few adventures planned, new things that I haven’t done before and some that none of us have done before so looking forward to a lot of laughs and possibly tears as a result.
My supper has broccoli and Bill's has mixed vegs
We both have home fries done in our little fryer
I haven’t taken many interesting pictures today, so I hope you don't mind. There won’t be a sunset and the evening will pass with the television playing reruns mostly so nothing exciting to add. I hope you’ve had a pretty good day and that the drizzle hasn’t dominated your day.
NCIS reruns are our favourite

Thank you for reading. Hey! I’m early publishing for once!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Waking Up in a Sticks and Bricks Home, Birthday Celebration


Sunday, July 23rd we woke up in some strange bed and different surroundings. Oh yeah, we are in London. Probably those 7 hours of sleep were the most comforting for Clemson since we arrived. He was snug under the covers beside his Daddy and really nothing could be better. He woke up at 7 to go out and then Bill and I dropped off until 8 before getting moving.
Back on the couch wondering what today brings
Kathy was downstairs emptying the dishwasher, waking up about the same time, I think. We slept well. Their house is lovely and large with all the beautiful amenities of a sticks and brick home but I didn’t once think “I wish we had this space”. I admire their tastes and Kathy’s personal touches throughout their home yet I know when we arrive home to the Suite, I will remain happy with our choices.
Great pond and fishies
We had morning coffee/tea while continuing the conversation about anything that came to mind. Some more chatting about our past winter trip was shared as well as vague future plans for the upcoming winter. All we know right now is when we plan to head out. Last night was great but this morning with just the four of us was more personal, I think.

Back yard
 Derrick offered Bill his Fitbit Charge HR since he had received a new one as a gift in May and didn’t need it. The condition of it compared to Bill’s old one was mint and a very generous ‘gift’. Saved him some money too. He will set it up when we get home.
Kathy explains to Clemson about the little bridge to the backyard
Stretching our legs before breakfast
Kathy was checking for Japanese beetles

We had quiche with egg, bacon and spinach for breakfast and were on the road by 11 or soon after. We drove as far as Stratford Toyota and picked up the car. I like following Bill on the highway. I like the view. Ha ha. Our truck is a beauty in my eyes so would follow it anywhere. Oh, and Bill too, of course!
Clouds leading the way
At Durham, I cut off the main street and avoided the traffic light. I knew I’d get a red and wanted to see if I could sneak ahead of Bill. I pulled out of Rock St. onto #4 just in time to see him coming from the centre of town. We arrived home at 1:30 to cloudy skies but still very warm.
Coming up to the lights in Stratford
Erie and Waterloo Streets
I missed the belly dancer this time but Bill didn't
I’d forgotten that we were going out to eat later but since we had such a filling breakfast, we knew we could last without eating. We lounged around inside for a while, I took a couple of short walks when my Fitbit told me to move and then I sat outside with my book for a while.

We got cleaned up and headed into Walkerton to meet 4 sisters and their husbands for Donna’s birthday supper. The rain came down in buckets as we were driving through Allan Park on Highway 4 with the wipers going at full force. Driving into Hanover we could tell they’d had a steady rain for a while by the puddles of water along the sides of main street.
Derrick and Kathy - check out the sign at this travel agency
in Walkerton
By the time we got to the Old Joe's Cabin in Walkerton, the rain had stopped and the sun was visible in the sky, however briefly. My sister, Cathy and her hubby, Bill were already there. They came from their cottage on the Quebec border this morning to their house in Teeswater. A long drive and they were pretty tired. Nice that they were able to meet us all tonight.

Gayle, John (from Chatsworth), Donna (the birthday girl), Gerry, Audrey and Tom (who drove from Montreal today) all showed up by or shortly after 6. We ordered drinks and our meals and celebrated the special event. Lots of food, good service and fair prices. Tonight, I had Panko Fried Chicken stuffed with brie cheese and spinach sauce and veggies. My side dish was a chicken with rice soup so I’ve had my fill of chicken for a few days. Actually, that doesn’t bother me, each one was prepared differently. No room for dessert!
Happy Birthday, Sis!
Most of us stopped around at Donna and Gerry’s in Hanover for a drink or just social time for an hour before splitting off and heading home around 9:30. I felt exhausted and didn’t plan on another late night. I jotted more in my post and sat down to read until my eyes betrayed me. It has been a great couple of days and evenings.

I hope your day went well also. Another late post means life is good!

Thank you for reading!

A Night Away from Home, Friends Reuniting, Car is Ready

Last night, I was up until midnight so when I woke up Saturday, July 22nd at 5:30 wide awake, I thought “what the heck?” I stayed in bed and tossed and turned. I dropped off at some point and didn’t rise until 7:45. That’s better. The sky is overcast and today’s weather has gone to you know what.

Belly Dancer in Stratford
I stayed in the truck, I didn't
want to show her up
It was a warm night and part way through I opened my side window. Most of the other windows were open in the living room. We had our tea and coffee and I got my late post published. The rain started at 8:45 and is due to stick around for the biggest part of the day. We don’t mind so much since we are packing up and heading to London early afternoon.

Around 9:30 when we realized we couldn’t work outside on the grass and trimming I made us breakfast. Bacon and eggs went down well. 

We’ll probably need a small bite mid-afternoon since dinner won’t be until later than usual for us. We cleaned up dishes and heard that Donna and Gerry were also giving up on the weather for the weekend. They packed up around 12:30 and headed for home.

I decided what to take for overnight and packed a small bag for the two of us. After my shower, I swept the kitchen floor. Clemson is fully aware that something is going on. We close the door up to the bathroom/bedroom when we shower and this puts Clem out of sorts. He can’t hop up onto the bed and get comfy on the clothes we’ve set out. If he saw the suitcase, he’d be even more upset.
Bill got in the shower after me and we were ready to head out at 1:30. First stop, Durham Liquor Store for a couple of bottles of wine. The four of us agreed long ago that a dinner invite between us means you don’t have to bring anything but we also understand manners and take a bottle of wine to the host. I’ll go back on Monday to get whatever I want to drink for my 3 days with the girls. I never really know until I get in the store.
Stratford Toyota
We got a call yesterday afternoon around 4:30 that our car is ready for pick up. The Toyota dealership closes up shop at 4:30 today so we headed there first, paid our bill and picked up the keys. We left it sitting in the lot and took the truck to London. Nothing would look out of place, the Corolla fits right in.
Stoneybrook Heights, where we turn to go to Kathy and Derrick's street
Before leaving Stratford, we stopped in to see Dad for a small visit. He was in good spirits and he and I spent some time on his My Heritage site. Planning it pretty close to ‘just right’, we arrived at Kathy and Derrick’s around 6. How great to see Kathy after the winter! We’d popped in on Derrick at the store a couple of times since our return this spring.
Their beautiful home
We were shown our room at the top of the stairs and tried to make sure Clemson was settling in. He is a real character when it comes to hardwood or floors. Plain and simple, he doesn’t like them. Kathy and Derrick got a kick out of his avoidance performances as he scooted from one carpet to another. Bill set about feeding our entertainer his supper, an hour late.

Our Guest suite
Jeff and Lydia as well as Jim and Sharon joined us closer to 7 and the ‘party’ began. It is always a ‘party’ when the 8 of us get together. Bill caught them up on our winter adventures and Derrick relayed the interesting experiences they had in China. My, goodness it sounds like a wonderful trip!
The girls were having a good time
After appetizers around the kitchen while our hosts prepared dinner, we moved into the dining room. Kathy and Derrick had prepared enough food fit for a king! We had roasted beer can chicken, roasted baby potatoes, a blended carrot mixture, string beans, potato salad, caesar salad and devilled eggs. Yup, lots of food.
3 beer can chickens roasted to perfection
Derrick has the chickens cut up

Jeff pitches in pouring the Swiss Chalet dipping sauce
which we all love with our chicken

Kathy stirs the veggies
Lydia had the perfect addition to this meal when she brought this amazing loaf of homemade bread. I wish I'd taken a picture, it was an awesome loaf of bread! With the first two courses under our belts and stretching our belts, Kathy served strawberry rhubarb pie with ice cream with coffee. I stuck with the Rose wine that Sharon and I were consuming. Such a wonderful meal, company and stories.
And Clemson behaves on the sofa
We hung around their front room continuing the chatter after Lydia and Jeff left at 11 and before we knew it, midnight stage coaches were turning into pumpkins. We said goodbye to Jim and Sharon and it felt really nice not to have to drive anywhere.
OMG this meal was so delicious!

Strawberry Rhubarb pie and ice cream about 20 minutes later

After dinner, Lydia gives Kathy a lesson (and a lecture?) on
their stove. Sharon and I couldn't contain the laughter
I can’t believe I have stayed up until midnight two nights in a row! No doubt I’ll be sleeping in. This was an absolutely fun evening.
And this is who we all are
Derrick, Kathy, Jim, Sharon, Jeff, Lydia and you know Bill and I
Thank you for reading, please leave a comment if you wish to. I apologize for the lateness of this post. Our wonderful life got in the way!