Friday, September 29, 2017

Rainy Friday, Inside Cleaning and Prep, Bill Comes Home

I slept in on Friday, Sept. 29th until 7:15. Well, no, I stayed in bed until then but was awake to the sound of the rain at 6. Clemson and I were cozy so just rested for another hour. What’s the rush to get up on a wet day?

I opened things up and made my tea before I texted Bill ‘good morning’. His phone is low on charge, yes, he forgot his charger, so our chats are brief and quick so he can turn it off and reserve power for when he needs it. Hopefully, it will be a short day for him and he is home in good time this afternoon. 

the rain is really pounding the pond
The wind was up this morning and it rains off and on, heavy and light. Another mixed up day. I turned the furnace up a couple of notches from our overnight sleep setting. Yesterday I pulled up Google Maps and marked out a few rough directions to get us to Nevada. Nothing in stone but a general idea that can’t be jiggled. So, this morning I printed them off and highlighted key points.
Printed copies of our first few days

Steel cut oats are better than regular oats
 Today will be a good day to bake a cake for tomorrow and cook a beef roast in the crock pot. While I’m at it, I’m going to make up a batch of steel cut oats for a few breakfasts over the next few days. That is what cool wet weather does to me, makes we want to bake/cook, whatever! Did I stop there? Nope!

I remembered that I purchased a used Toastess waffle/panini maker at the Sally Ann in Hanover a while ago. Today, since I’m plugged in, I’m going to test it out. We don’t eat pancakes a lot but I’ve never owned one of these and if it makes it easy, I’ll keep it. So, I mixed up a batter, enough so I could make breakfast for Bill and I for a day or two. I plugged it in and when the light switched from red to green, poured the batter into the pools.

In two or three minutes, no kidding, they were steaming and I lifted the lid. Oh me oh my! I gently lifted the two waffles out onto a plate. I noted that there was NO sticking! I added butter and real home town (Priceville) maple syrup and savoured every bite. Bill will love these, they aren’t as heavy as my pancakes and cleanup is a snap! Well worth the $4 I paid for it.

I wiped the edges of Toastess and poured the reserved batter into a fridge container. Could someone please tell me how Mom and even I raised children without this ingenious appliance? No flipping, just heat with no oil, pour and serve. I’m in heaven! Did I say NO sticking? I ate them too fast and didn’t get a picture. Next time!

It wasn't to be but it was nice to see the sun and blue sky trying
I stepped out with Clemson for nature’s call and walked to the Restroom myself. The sun was trying to poke through and that 11C felt suddenly like 18C. Crazy what a little sunshine does to our life. I cleaned up the dishes inside and as it looks again like rain, I may as well carry on with my inside stuff. With company coming tomorrow and possibly a full house (depending on weather) The Suite needs a good dusting.
Carrot cake, one of his favs
  What a great day for accomplishments! The oatmeal is done and in the fridge, a cake is baked and iced. It is okay that Bill reads this, it is no surprise, he knows he has a special day tomorrow. I’ve dusted the Suite and washed the interior windows. Tomorrow morning Bill will vacuum and I’ll make lasagna up for 10. I’ll have to make a trip into town in the morning for another tin foil pan though since I only have one here.

With those things out of the way, I grabbed a sweater and walked very quickly down the lane to the mailbox. I saw the mail lady stop. What a nasty wind, but I won’t complain because I want it out of its system today! Yay! A card that I was waiting for has arrived. It just proves that ‘best laid plans…….’ . 

My sister, Audrey, sent my card on Sept. 18 from Montreal and it just arrived, addressed perfectly. It was worth the wait.

I noticed with a lot of the foliage dropping off
I could see through to the ponds on the other side
Yes, fall is upon us and the property is starting to look bare
  Bill called at 2 and is on his way home. Yay! His stop at Dad’s found them not home so it will be sooner than later. It is an hour and a half from Stratford. He’ll have time for a snooze before dinner. I hope the roast is done on time. In all this crazy wind and rain, I look out the window and see a couple of funny things. 

Conference time
Usually I have to fight through the grasses to take a clear picture of our stream
I don't know what is flying over but it looks like a flying fish!
 The gaggle of geese has returned and are floating around in our front pond as if it is a beautiful day.

This is the last year for Daddy's Sunflower box  :(
The other funny thing is our persistent Downy Woodpecker. He is determined to make this tree his own. It is a wonder the strong 60 km winds don’t blow him right off the trunk! Bill arrived home around 4:30 and unloaded the cooler and the groceries as well as his overnight bag. Clemson ran to the door when he realized his Daddy was home. He is the cutest little greeter and needs to be picked up by whoever has arrived home.

If you notice where the bark is peeled off, that is the work of our Woody
There it is, the relief I feel when Bill is back. It isn’t often too obvious although I may say to him over the course of the next few hours “I’m glad you’re home”. He left CanAm today for the last time working for them, in their environment at least. He said his goodbyes until we see them in a couple of weeks for the Toronto RV show. Then it will be both of us. I can do it, yes, I can. Thank heavens for Pat and Rob, our little guy will be well taken care of.

Clemson doesn't just jump up on the bed, he jumps up on the pillow
Such a character

At 6 I checked the beef and it was done and the potatoes and carrots were tender. Bonus! I couldn’t find the new jar of horseradish I’ve seen somewhere so we had the homemade stuff I made in the fall of 2015. It is good, not hot but it is not creamy, which is Bill’s preference. Oh well, it did the trick with our meal.
Supper was good. This was our first taste of West Grey Butcher’s roasts and we were impressed. There is enough left over for a couple more meals and that is enough. We did the dishes up together and Bill sat at his laptop to catch up on his reading. He doesn’t connect to wifi when in London so misses out on not only my posts but other bloggers.

The wind is whipping up out there, even stronger than it has been all day. So, once more I’m glad I’m not alone. The flag is almost at a 90-degree angle out there, that should tell you. Bill hooked up our Blue Flame heater and we turned the furnace off. Now we’ll be warm at more than half the cost.

This has been a productive day, again, so I won’t grumble about the crazy weather. I just hope that in the morning it will be a different story. I hope your day has been an enjoyable one.

Thank you for reading today. I love getting your comments.

God’s Heat Turned Off, Bill Gets an Early Start, Rockwood Visits, Pat’s Projects

I was still in my dream state when Bill woke me to say goodbye at 6:10 this morning. At least I think that was the time. He was set to go and continued to make his ‘travel’ coffee and drove off. It was warm inside under the covers but without any source of heat turned on inside The Suite, I wasn’t keen on crawling out yet. I won’t pretend that the temperature in here of 15C is warm but instead of turning the furnace on right away bundled up when I did get up.
Going to be a mixed bag in the sky today
We neglected to hook up our Blue Flame heater last night and I’m thinking I might need it this morning or tonight. We’ll see if the forecast drops below last night’s 9C and whether I need to rely on the furnace later. Once the clouds show promise to move away, I can at least unplug from electric to save in that department. We haven’t used the panels for 5 days and this has been the longest period of time that we’ve relied on a/c  since living in our sticks and bricks home.
The sun is giving the clouds in the west a nice pink glow this morning

Yesterday Bill and I discussed how we would go about seeing ALL of our children and grandchildren before we leave on Oct. 23. At this early stage of this winter travel lifestyle, it is important to us. Last year we visited with each family mostly on an individual basis. This year we decided that wasn’t the best, lots of travelling around for us trying to schedule etc. Bill suggested we pick the date WE are available and invite them all out to a communal meeting place for dinner.
This little skinny old man was shivering this morning
He has his sweater on and is in the sun
One date, one location and hope for the best. Last night I sent out an email to our offspring with a survey-type thing. No point in us planning this if only 2 or 3 can make it. The results are great! So far only one family decline, which is disappointing, but our fingers are crossed that even that one works out. It will be our only opportunity before we pull out.

The sun has come out and I’m facing a true-blue sky with very minimal low lying clouds on the horizon. I poured myself a second tea and popped the furnace on for 30 minutes to warm the Suite up a few degrees. Clemson is just shivering like crazy! He has now found a sunny spot and I’ve put his little flannel jacket on so I’m turning the heat off.

I took the time this morning and downloaded my countdown timer for heading south into my blog. At first, I was discouraged but had chosen one that isn’t user friendly. Now, I’ve got it in there and surprised myself seeing it in writing that we are pulling out in 24 days! 
Arranging stuff like we did yesterday is a huge accomplishment at least for Bill and I. Remember we are still new at this U.S. travel thing and we are still testing some waters, lots of waters actually.

Around 10:30 I readied myself and drove into Durham to visit my favourite lady. I’m hoping to catch Mom in as good spirits as Pat and Rob saw her in last night. She captured the most beautiful picture of our Mom and she looks so happy and young. 91? Unbelievable! 
I'm so proud to say this is my Mom
Today I caught her sleeping but she woke up gently with her lovely smile at seeing company.
Blue ladies
Dressed in blue today, we both laughed at that and I had to take a picture of us. It was a nice visit until it was time to walk her down to lunch. I missed Aunt Mary though, she wasn’t in her room or anywhere close. After saying multiple goodbyes to Mom, I stopped to speak to her at her table. With a promise to catch her in her room next time, she said bye bye.

I nipped into the Home Hardware to pick up some foam paintbrushes for my little job. These are great because after using them we can throw them out. I was looking at picking up maybe 3 or 4 a couple different sizes but at minimum $1.39 each, at $9.97 this made much more sense. We will definitely use them for one project or another.

Good deal!
When I got home the clouds were still dominating the sky and the wind was quite chilly. However, I had a job to do so I changed out of my good clothes. Even though the place I wanted to work under the car shelter was in the shade, it was also out of the wind. I finished staining the shelf and left it outside to dry for the remainder of the afternoon. It wouldn’t take long and it looks great!

Back inside I went and called Ridgeview RV Resort in Bullhead City, Az. My sister thought it might be fun to stay in a rental unit for a couple of nights while they are there with us. It will give us all a break during their 9-day stay. The price was very reasonable so we booked it for them. We will still be together every day to take advantage of their time in Arizona.
Bill's handiwork
Around 5 I put the shelf away in the shed and cleaned up the brushes etc. I have one other thing to stain and can do that tomorrow. I didn’t hear from Bill all day which usually means he went from one orientation to another and was too busy to call. At 6 pm he made contact and we chatted briefly, me filling him in on what things I have taken care of and him telling me about his day and where he is sleeping tonight. He sounded just a bit too excited over the beautiful Airstream he helped with today.
This dark walnut should be a close enough match to our woodwork
I had unplugged early this morning but needed to take advantage of our electrical hookup so I could nuke my leftovers from Tuesday night’s supper. Supper was good and filling. I'm pretty sure I’ll need the furnace to keep us warm tonight. I've pulled our bedspread out from under the bed so at least it can be kept on low and we'll still be toasty. When my normally reddish pink birthmark turns purple, it means I’m cold and it takes a while to warm me up.
Now Bill can install it after he is home
While watching my recorded programs, The Good Doctor and This is Us, Bill called to say goodnight. He informed me just after 8:30 the International Space Station was going over. He was standing outside in London looking up at the stars. I was too comfy (lazy) in my chair after just being out with Clemson (in the dark) so told him to view it for me. The wind had died right down though, which was nice.
Purple means Patsy is cold

It was a good day for me up here on The Ridge. I hope you have enjoyed your day too!
Just a plain but pretty sunset tongith
Thank you for reading. I love getting your comments.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

And Into One’s Life…..A Little Rain Must ‘Fall’. Getting Cell Phone and Internet Plans Set Up

When I woke on Wednesday, Sept. 27th I was grateful that I still had Bill home with me. Time alone is great, yes, but we miss him when he isn’t here. It was 6:45 and there was a lovely refreshing breeze coming in my little window, as it had been all night. I lay there for a while and got up about 7:15. Bill moved but it was Clemson who joined me. After letting him out and running a comb through my hair, I went for a walk.

It sure was different at 7:30 am than what the day turned out like. Daddy used to say ‘red sky at night, sailor’s delight, red sky at morning, sailor’s take warning’. Today was the perfect example. No storms coming but within an hour, the sun was sucked up by the clouds and disappeared for the day. A light rain began by 9:45 and I went out and folded up our chairs to tuck them under the Suite. The temperature likely won’t get much above 20C today but it is a breather for everyone.

As I said, red sky in the morning
Bill was up with his coffee sitting at his laptop when I returned. He saw me coming up the lane and began brewing my tea. We read blog posts and did some online searches. I find with this crazy lazy memory of mine, I have to write things down throughout the day so I remember them. For example, if I’m doing something away from the laptop and think of an idea to search, a campsite, a recipe, a person or a Youtube, I write it down.

This morning, I went through about 4 of those types of searches. Bill is working on yet another project, I should call him Bill the Project Guy and be done with it. His ideas are great and once they come to fruition, they are valuable things for our lifestyle in one way or another. Today he is solving something more for me than for him and I didn’t even think of it! 

Picture our bedroom television, the cupboards on either side and the usage in both.
Oh heck, I will ‘picture’ it for you. The upstairs tv has the satellite control and a separate dvd player. I love that as it means I can watch movies if Bill is watching something downstairs that I am not interested in. So, in the picture you’ll see that my cupboard contains both these units.

The problem is, and it is all about convenience here, that sometimes at night there is a possibility that I might grow tired and want to turn it off and go to sleep. To use the remote, and who doesn’t want to? the cupboard door needs to remain open so the signal gets through. I have to crawl out of bed to close the cupboard after turning things off. Otherwise, Bill, who comes up to bed after me, usually, or if I have to get up in the night, very rare, we could end up walking into the open door. Ouch!

Going in the other direction for my walk, these two properties are quite appealing

Bill built a small, simple, lightweight shelf that will house the satellite box AND the dvd player side by side. This, installed under the tv shelf will firstly, give me more space in my cupboard plus it will allow me to turn the units on and off without having to get up out of bed and close the door. This will be an open shelf and the equipment will be attached with Velcro strips to hold them in place.

And a gaggle arrives again
My job will be to stain the shelf. Easy peasy. Something else he can cross of his list. We’ve already bought the walnut stain to match cupboard colours as much as possible. Now he can move on to another job almost at completion. You won’t see the finished product today, but when it is finished, I'll show you.

I dumped my indoor compost into the big bin outside and had a peek at the garden. Good for another couple of days before another plentiful harvest of wee tomatoes. I can tell by the amount left that another batch of soup will be in order before we leave.

My cupboard before 'the change'
When Bill realizes he is hungry around 11, he warms up the left over omelette I made on Monday or was it yesterday? I decided to make myself a Skinny Muffin in a cup and it was good. I should know off hand the recipe by now but I can’t seem to retain the details. LOL Anyway, it takes mere minutes to make one and I only had room for half. They are quite big.
Bill's nice neat cupboard
We drove to Hanover to the Bell store. With the information that Bill got yesterday from Melissa regarding a new North American plan we have made our decision. When we found her tied up with another group of customers, she assigned a couple of other staff to set us up. This is going to be something for us to try this year and it will carry on for us throughout our time not only for winter months but also for our summer here in Canada. We both feel a relief with this decision and we’ll each have a phone and our same numbers. Yay! Currently, we still have our Bell turbo hub but not for long.

From there we drove to Healthy Computers on Main Street as well and Bill ordered a new battery for his HP laptop. The price quoted here was $70 cheaper than our last quote of $150 at Best Buy. Bill needs a new laptop but for the time being this will do since it isn’t in our budget right now. So, two more things off the list. It is this type of thing that takes time, phone time, research time and actual set up time. I don't think the job of packing things away and moving things to ready us for our move is as time-consuming. Just more physical strain.

Today we got new FREE phones
 One last stop at Rona for a couple of hinges and we were on our way home. It was interesting to see that the Sunflower field just out of Hanover was cut. We suppose they will plow them under so the seeds will re-sow for next year’s crop. I’m sure that isn’t what you call it, but you get my drift. The rain from this morning had stopped around noon before we left but the day continued to be cloudy.
The sunflowers are cut for this year

We both felt tired so we went upstairs for a snooze. I read a couple of chapters of Beach Road and finally closed my eyes too. I’m not always an afternoon napper and today was one of those days. I felt tired, reading, but my mind couldn’t settle long enough to drop off. No worries, the rest beside my guys was just fine especially knowing that one of them won’t be here tomorrow.

Getting a personal card is so special
On the way back from town we stopped at the mailbox to retrieve the week’s flyers and was surprised to receive our birthday cards from Dad and Marilynne. They have a lot going on right now so none were expected. Thank you! With so much Social Media in our world, it is still nice to receive the real thing in the mail. Speaking for myself, I have certainly received a nice allotment of cards this way.

Thinking ahead as usual for Bill’s meals on the road, I dipped 2 large butt chops in milk and then bread crumbs for supper tonight. I boiled small new potatoes, steamed broccoli and nuked corn as well. It was a good night for an indoor meal and I must admit my small portion of the pork chop was quite tasty. I neglected to get a picture, woops! Trust me, it was a nice meal with left overs.

We cleaned up dishes and Bill prepared his drinks for the next two days. This little bit of prep saves us big time dollars and he at least is in control of what he eats this way. A sausage in a bun will be his lunch either for tomorrow or Friday and he’ll take cereal for his breakfast.

I took a peak out the window and one minute it was a normal looking sky with neatly positioned clouds and the next I saw this beautiful landscape off to my west. The black ones are off to the north. Superstitious? Well, I see that red sky at night and I know what that should mean! This has been a very productive day for us. I hope you have had a good one too!

Thanks for your visit. I’d love to hear from you.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Squeeze and Hold, Last Extreme Heat Day, Golf Cart Run, Dinner Out

On Tuesday, Sept. 26th Bill and I woke up late, together. I say late but it was probably just 7:20 or so when we got up. I had a strange night’s sleep but according to my Fitbit app I slept lightly (which is the most any of us do) for 5 and a half hours.
My Fitbit recordings

If you've never seen one, this is how it advised me of my sleep times
I was awake 1 hour 30 min. and in deep sleep for 54 min. It just seemed that I woke up a lot more last night but the app shows otherwise. I got 6 hrs. and 54 min. of sleep last night between 10:30 and 6:30. Not much wrong with that! There, don’t you all feel better knowing about my sleep? You’re welcome!

This morning's cloud burst
So, while Bill made his coffee and sat at his laptop, I took a shower. We needed to be in the car and on the road to Hanover before 9. Once I finished getting ready, Bill did the same and we put Clemson in charge of the place. There was no wind but we brought the awnings in and closed the windows up before we left. Bill turned the a/c on so it would be comfortable for our Master.
Arriving at the hospital
By the time we got to Hanover it was already 23C. Bill dropped me at the Emergency entrance to the hospital. I was there for my mammogram. From there he had a couple of errands to do while I was inside. These gals inside the hospital are so kind, very special. I’ve never had an unfortunate experience of all the times I’ve been there with Mom or by myself. Well, maybe once with Donna and I.
As I drove back home,  I followed this truck into Durham
Lara put me right at ease and we fell into a comfortable chatter. I wonder if this is just another example of small-town experience. It doesn’t seem to be ‘quantity’ as much as ‘quality’ when talking about the number of patients they deal with. They are quick without rushing and have time to answer questions without really holding anyone else up.

 Because my last test was done in London, even though this hospital had my information, they did not have the results of that test from 2011. This just meant the Radiologist could not compare and give me my results while I waited. She was so apologetic about the delay but I was quite fine with it. I told her that I don’t plan on hearing from them anyway since she said no news is good news.

I texted Bill and he was there to get me in a matter of minutes, having just left the Bell store. Another nice experience in dealing with Melissa again. She helped us get our phone plans last year and Bill was pleased with the information she gave him. She is quite knowledgeable and that is key with any of this ‘tekky’ stuff. We drove to Gerry’s and I left Bill there while I headed to Walmart. I needed a few things for Saturday before heading home.

Bill and Gerry borrowed Rob’s utility trailer to pick up Gerry’s H.D. golf cart from being repaired. He will be tired when he returns because of driving and the heat. At home, I didn’t even notice that my Avon was dropped up here, snug under the Suite until Clemson walked over and sniffed at it. Such a smart dog! I’m happy my regular UPS driver is back on duty and it wasn’t left at the gate.

So, my birthday present arrived. To me from me. I saw this little garden stool on sale in the book and it is exactly what I need. I have yet to find comfortable knee pads that stay in place and I can’t locate my foam pad from the house. Maybe I didn’t keep it, but this is perfect. With pockets all around the sides and underneath, I have room for garden tools as well as my phone, camera and gloves. Even my sunglasses when I’m not wearing them. Yay!

I sat outside in the shade of the awning and the beautiful breeze. Gerry drove in around 2:45 to drop Bill off after finishing their job today. Not really a job but it was something on Gerry’s list of things to do and he needed help to do it. 
Today's harvest
We agreed to drive over to the Acreage for 5 pm and he left. Bill and Clemson went inside for a nap and I continued reading. Walking down the lane this afternoon produced no results from the mailbox. Still watching for a couple of delayed cards.

Gerry leaves after dropping Bill off
 We are still fighting with the house pests, our windows inside are a disaster but I’m not cleaning them until they are all DEAD! As it is, they are dropping like flies, imagine that. At 4:30 we changed, brushed our ‘toofies’ and headed over to the Acreage as planned. Gerry was treating us to supper. He sure doesn’t need to do this but wants to thank Bill for his help with a couple of teeny things while he was laid up.

The Acreage pond
So, we drove to Kettles on Hwy 6, the north side of Chatsworth and were able to be seated right away. Donna ordered chicken, Gerry and Bill ordered the hot beef and I ordered liver w/bacon and onions. 

A very reasonable family style restaurant
And very popular too!

Oh my, it was a big meal. I knew as soon as it arrived that it was more than I could possibly consume in one sitting but I delved right in. We enjoyed our meals and the conversation flowed. With 2 ‘doggie bags’ we drove back to the Acreage.

Donna and Gerry getting into our car

And a bit of sky performance tonight

After dropping Donna and Gerry off with hugs and thank yous for the lovely meal, we drove home to the Ridge. It was 7:15 and the air had cooled to 25C so we shut the air conditioning off and opened windows. It was going to be a nice night for sleeping we think, dropping down to 16C. We settled in for the evening. This is the night when many of our new shows begin.

NCIS, Bull, 2nd Premiere of The Voice, This is Us all on Tuesday night. This is where PVR and staggered programming comes in handy. We have had a good day and enjoyed the hot weather for one last day. I hope you have too!

Nighty night!
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