Sunday, October 22, 2017

Last Day, Last Visits, Last Sleep, Last Post, Special Lunch at Rockwood Terrace

On Sunday, Oct. 22nd Bill and I were up about 7:30. It was a good night’s sleep, I didn’t hear Bill coughing last night so that is good. I was so pleased for him that his cold was not apparent much yesterday at all, especially at dinner. There is nothing worse than being in a restaurant or even with a group of people and you are sniffling and coughing. Hopefully, we can say goodbye to it when we pull out tomorrow too. This should be a pretty easy day.

We bagged up our last garbage and tagged it to take into Durham, Rob and Pat said they would look after it for us next week. Neither of us ate breakfast this morning since we’d be having a big lunch with Mom today at Rockwood Terrace. Bill plugged in the central vac and went from window to window, room to room and got rid of the hundreds of dead flies that were in the ledges. Then he washed the windows on the inside of the Suite, they were smudged as you can imagine. At the same time, I began putting things away into cupboards for travel and using the bungy ball fasteners to secure the doors.

We got cleaned up and at 11:15 drove into Durham. I could see a table for 3 set up at the corner of the dining room so figured that was reserved for us. We checked with the cafeteria staff and asked how we paid for Bill’s and my meals. We took the elevator up and found Mom walking down the hall in the opposite direction. Being it was Sunday, between Renee and I we talked Mom into changing out of the top she was wearing into something a little dressier.

She was tickled that we were joining her for lunch and soon found out that it was a treat but also a goodbye for a few months. After pleas to take her with us, we had a lovely, very filling meal. Starting with vegetable soup, milk, water, juice, tea, we then had Cheese Dreams (cheese and bacon on buns) and a salad. It was quite good and then we had French cheesecake for dessert. I was stuffed and all for $6.80!

We walked back up to Moms room with her and sat for a few minutes before giving her multiple hugs and kisses at the elevator. She is quite the card and I will miss her funny tales and especially the delight on her face when she sees me. Before sitting down for dinner, I stopped and greeted Aunt Mary. She was also happy to see me and happy for our trip south, however showed disappointment when I said I wouldn’t see her for 6 months. I will miss her too.

From there we drove to fill the truck up with diesel after realizing that FS was closed and we couldn’t get propane on a Sunday. Oh well, tomorrow morning on our way out of town we’ll be able to stop. We drove home to pick Clemson up and back into Durham to visit Pat and Rob briefly. Darn, I meant to get a picture with our buddies! I avoided saying ‘we’ll miss you’ again because……well, it makes me sad. Pat suggested Facetime on Messenger with Mom so we’ll just use to keep in touch with them too.

Back home, I dusted everything. It makes me smile, even though I dislike dusting, to be able to do it from top to bottom, woodwork included in 30 minutes. The stainless-steel fridge needed a really good cleaning and this Orange glow cleaner does a great job on it without leaving streaks.

When that was finished, we were both steamed up so opened up some windows. Not only that, but I poured myself a Steam Whistle beer that was in the fridge. Our friends, Jeff and Joan, brought it for us to try. I’m not a beer drinker but this one isn’t too bad. What’s with the belching though? LOL I’m not used to that! I drank half of the beer and that was enough.

My sister, Audrey, suggested on Friday’s post that we should try cutting our hardy mums off, since the flowers were drying anyway. Water them good and let the goodness go to the roots instead of the blooms. Easy! The blossoms on mine were pretty much dead already. So, I went out and did that around 4. I tossed the clippings into the composter along with my 2 remaining pepper plants. The 4 baby peppers along with them. I can’t take them across the border.

Donna and Gerry came in after 4:30 to say goodbye. We had no chairs outside so we sat indoors and talked about our dinner last night and lunch with Mom today. We look forward to having them visit us in just over a month in Arizona, a place they have never been. 
Gerry and Bill's faces don't take away from Donna's smile
We hugged and promised to keep the texts coming, keep in touch in other words. As they drove away we folded up the patio mat together and put it into the garage, just the satellite dish left to put away in the morning.

The pond picture is for Deb & Tom
Tonight, for supper, something simple. I’m not feeling too hungry and I’m sure that is because of the big lunch I had. Bill is happy with brown beans on toast so that makes it easy for me. I opted for chicken salad on toast with cheese and my last Ridge apple on the side.  

Everything we have planned for over the last month comes down to this. Our last night of sleep here on the Ridge for this year. I walked outside and snapped some photos feeling excited but melancholy too. This is such a beautiful spot and I've enjoyed the various sunrises, sunsets and views across our area. 

And the sun shines on our Mobile Suite for the last evening 
I hope you’ve had a great day too. Thank you for reading, stick around for our travels to the southwest! Love to hear from you. 

Slow Start, Goodbye Turbo Hub, Busy Farmers, Dinner Date

On Saturday, Oct.21st I was awake around 6 but laid in bed for another hour. Bill and Clemson were pretty dead to the world so I ‘sneakily’ got my clothes and crept out of the room. The sky to the east was putting on a pretty show so went out and snapped a picture. The temperature was hovering around 13C so a pretty nice morning for sure.

The sun never actually stayed when it popped up at 7:20 but hopefully it will push the clouds away for a glorious encore. I made my tea and opened the blinds. It didn’t take long to realize that we had no internet connection. Hmm, oh yes, since we bought our hub out last month, the contract ran out today. This gave me cause to use the hotspot on my phone. Bingo!
Clemson had no intention of getting up with us this morning

The sun rises but loses momentum immediately
 It will take a while to get used to, we’ve had great internet up here since we bought it. We haven’t had to think about it at all but that will change. No more email videos or emails with large photos will be opened during the winter. This winter will be a test for our new data phone system and will determine what we do in the summer of ’18.

Sleepy head gets up just before 8:30
After reading some blog posts from friends, I logged off the hotspot and opened a Word document. Finally getting to a project that I have wanted to generate on line for a while. I’ve carried a small page with me in my purse listing the novels we’ve read so I don’t pick up duplicate copies. With my memory, it can happen easily and I don’t remember the stories. Woe is me!

Lovely day for a walk, drive or whatever
I have about 4 cups of cherry tomatoes that I need to do something with so I spread them out on a baking sheet, sprinkled them with olive oil and onion powder. These, I baked for 35 minutes. After they got wrinkly like little ancient people, I removed them to cool. I then blended them with basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper until smooth and creamy. My plan was to freeze this for spaghetti sauce.

Not round bales, not square but wrapped bales none-the-less
Jello. Bill read the list of restrictions about border crossing and it seems unless tomatoes are commercially packaged, they are not enterable. Darn! I know some people wouldn’t worry about it and take the chance. We like to make a list of what we have, in general, and I wouldn’t exclude the tomato sauce since it is an ‘iffy’ item. I continued to make it up and I will ask Donna if she will take it. C’est la vie.

Bill and I grabbed some breakfast around 10 ish, he had cereal and Craisins and I warmed up some of my steel cut oatmeal with some. Then my guy went out and put away the portable solar panel, our Weber Q and the folding table. Everything fit in the ‘garage’ perfectly with just enough room for our patio mat and possibly the solar panel. These things will not be brought out again until we plant ourselves for more than a one night stopover.

I moved the little things from the floor of the outhouse up to the bench so there would be room for the firepit. Everything in its place. I took the broom out there to the window and messed with the multitude of flies covering the window. That got rid of quite a few but about 10 refused to take the hint. I swept the floor as well and the last thing to do is put the roll of toilet paper away. The chipmunks like it when we forget this, trust me!
You can hardly see the tractor ahead of these gulls

Bill had his shower and then went up to rest before our drive today. The sleepies hit him when he’s driving in the afternoon, especially on warm sunny days. If he snoozes, it means I don’t have to drive. 

He took his book up too to get into a few chapters. He just started reading The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly. I know it is a good one……just don’t ask details. I took that opportunity to use the bathroom, putting my face on and messing with my hair.

Then I decided to go for a walk to the corner. Half way there I was caught in the act of walking and texting. The ‘sister and b.i.l.’ police pulled up and stopped. Donna and Gerry were heading to our place to drop off their itinerary for their flights in November. We’ll need this information so we know where to meet them in Las Vegas.

Not sure what these fellows were doing
This baler was busy in the same field as the picture above
I carried on walking and they drove up to chat with Bill. Not sure if we’ll catch them home on Sunday so I gave her my 2 small spaghetti sauce containers for the freezer and my Christmas cactus. Maybe it will bloom for her. It neglected to do so for me over the summer. They left and Bill went up to catch his “zzzz’s”. I woke him at 1:30 so we could get dressed and feed our house sitter, Clemson. I’ll leave the trailer keys out somewhere for Rob and Pat, in case something goes array today.

Dad and Marilynne's home base
Some of the first burgundy red trees we've seen
So, by 2 pm we were in the car and on our way to London. It was a great day for a drive and I thought I would try and capture some of the farmers in their fields today. We arrived at Stratford to get Bill’s parents by 3:45 and in London a bit early at 5. We took the few spare minutes to drive around past our former sticks and bricks house.

We lived here for close to 14 years
It doesn’t look any different although they need to cut the grass! Ha ha, everything else looks great. It was nice to see our neighbours, Gord and Ann, walking around the block with their ‘new’ dog. We stopped to say a brief hello.

Arriving at the restaurant, using Dad’s handicapped sign, we parked Black Beauty right at the door. This way, Dad only had a few short steps with his walker into the main entrance. We were set up in the back room at Southside Grill and very soon after, Bridgette arrived. Jake, Jess, Matt, Yvonne, Dennis, Connor, Zach, Carter, Patrick, Chaela, Nate, and Krystal within 10 minutes. There were 17 of us for dinner.

The two waitresses who looked after our tables were great, one offering to destroy the bill if we took her with us to Arizona. The 4 small boys were well behaved, and had fun together, at one point playing I-spy with Chaela. Just so you understand what a character my son Patrick is here is a story. From the beginning of our invite he kept telling us that we didn’t have to buy their dinners. Unbeknownst to Bill and I he had called ahead and spoke to our servers.

The water fountain in Milverton
Teeswater has the exact same one
They stood at the end of our table to inform us of a special that wasn’t advertised on the board out front. A Surf and Turf meal including all the fixings, a steak and seafood choices for $45.99. When our jaws dropped I noticed a few of our guests turn to look at us with delight in their eyes. I stood to my feet and just said “No, no, no!” Then I realized that my son, the instigator, was cracking up. It was a great joke and the waitresses were wonderful sports to play along.

We all had plenty to eat and enjoyed our meals. Dad, Marilynne and I ordered the senior’s Liver entrĂ©e with bacon and onions. It was just the right amount with a Caesar salad to start. Bill had the hot turkey sandwich with fries. Yummy food! When all was said and done, we said our goodbyes and were leaving the restaurant by 7:45 for the drive home to Stratford and the Ridge. We were sad that 7 of our family couldn’t make it but choices had to be made on an individual basis. Sorry you had to work, Braeden!

Back home at 10:20 we had a very anxious little guy up on the bed. He probably thought we’d left him for good. He is such a good dog. We crawled into bed with no further ado. How nice that it was still 13C outside on a late October evening.

Night night!
Thank you for stopping by to read today. Your comments are very important and I welcome each one.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Easier Day, Hardy Mums, Car Storage, Mom

On Friday, Oct. 20th we woke up together. I was awake at 6 and over the next hour was the first I heard Bill coughing all night. Before I went to bed, I pampered him by rubbing Vick’s on his chest (yes, he could do this himself but……he’s a guy) and then on the bottom of his feet. He put socks on, which is unusual, but it seems to work in preventing coughing while sleeping.

We had our tea and coffee at our laptops before I had my shower. We’re coddling our fresh water more these days as the wells at Gerry’s Acreage are closed off for the winter. We agreed that he do this on Thanksgiving weekend after filling our tank and a spare bladder. If we were desperate we could probably beg, borrow or steal from Pat and Rob. So, a shower today and Sunday before we pull out will leave us with about 25 gallons for travelling.
15 minutes before I hopped in the shower, Bill sprayed the bathroom with Black Flag
 Bill cleaned up and nipped into Durham to get gas for his mower, just enough to cut the rest of the grass and then we’re done for this season. Yay! I’m done cutting grass for a while. We both got our exercise yesterday, our Fitbits were so proud!

Clemson in his morning spot
My first challenge this morning was to put our clean duvet into the cover I had. I wish someone had told me before I bought the cover that I should go smaller than the duvet. We have a king size bed; therefore, sheets and duvet are the same size. The duvet does not completely fill the cover and that makes it slide all over the place. Grrr. Because of that I haven’t had the cover on since the last time I washed the duvet.

Maybe it isn’t a common rule but my sister, Gayle, suggested ‘after’ I bought one, that I should buy a Queen size duvet cover and pin the corners like I am doing now. That way, it doesn’t have sliding room. It just seems one side is always puffier (bunched) than the other. Such a simple thing but it frustrates me. We don’t want a heavy bedspread or multiple blankets; the weight is ridiculous. Been there, done that. The duvet (other than stuffing it) is perfect for us in all weather.

And the duvet is back on the bed with Sergei, Clemson's stuffed friend
I made myself another tea while Bill finished up the back field. We have our leftover omelette for brunch or lunch, whatever, when he is done. I am going in to see Mom this morning before her lunch so can eat when I come back. I don’t feel too hungry yet this morning. I brushed my teeth after having a couple of spoonfuls of yogourt and headed into town.

Once more when I arrived, her door was closed tight and lights off in her room when I peeked. There she was under her blanket on her bed. She was dressed and not in as sound a sleep as the other day because when I said hello, she smiled and started to sit up. I turned her light on and opened the curtains. She said she was so lazy, sleeping so much!

Last time this year
It was a lovely visit and a very nice passerby stopped in and offered to take a picture of us when he saw me trying to do a selfie. Sweet! 

Much nicer than any I take on a self-timer. Another visitor stopped in to see Mom. Bradeep was his name and he is the resident physio-therapist. He wanted to walk with Mom and talk to her about her troubling back.

 This is where it gets awkward with a dementia person, she fluffed her back issues off with a wave of her hand. He asked her questions and I felt for him simply because I don’t know if he realized that she honestly couldn’t remember. It puts Mom on the defensive if you mention dementia in front of her, so I walked quietly behind them. If he caught my eye at one of her replies, I nodded or shook my head.

A very pleasant young man he was and when he offered the simple solution of a hot pack on her lower back for 20 minutes during a day, she flatly refused. Oh my. She said it wasn’t that bad and she would never be able to sit for that long. I tried to encourage her to try it when she is resting on the bed or sitting for her meals but she said she was fine. He said he would come back on Tuesday and see if it is any better. The good news is that the results of the x-rays were negative. None of us know how bad her pain is.

I walked her down to lunch and she was one of the last to arrive. She was in no hurry today. I spoke to Aunt Mary before leaving and said hello to Freida who sits with her. From Rockwood I drove downtown and chatted with Stephanie at IDA about my shingles prescriptions. She wished me luck in Mexico getting what I need at a better price. I picked up some Vitamin D for Bill and got home at 12:30 for my lunch. 

Bill was a busy beaver again today. He finished the grass cutting and cleaned the mower off before putting it and the little wagon away. He was washing the Weber Q and we figured one more use, and it can be stowed in the ‘garage’ of our Suite. 
Clemson gets to go along for a ride
I changed into work clothes and took the Hardy Mum, that Rob and Pat gave me, up the hill. It doesn’t have a lot of healthy blooms left so I hope it isn’t too late to plant. I dug the hole and plopped it in. Fingers crossed it will survive and live up to its name! I forgot to take a picture, maybe tomorrow. The next thing was to compost the tomato and pepper plants. I have 4 little peppers I’ll pick on Sunday to eat up as well.

I had my omelette with fresh little tomatoes and now have to decide what to do with the remaining ones in the fridge. I’ll probably make more soup, something I can freeze rather than give them all away or throw them out. That decision ‘to be continued’. I cleaned up dishes and Bill came in for a snooze. He hasn’t stopped with the physical labour since he got up. My activity has been on a much easier level.

After cleaning up the dishes, we were feeling that there wasn’t much left to do. At 3 o’clock we drove both vehicles to Murray Flemings to store the car for the winter. We called last night to let him know what time we were coming. From there, since we were close to Hanover, I popped into The Independent. They have the Kombucha where the Foodland in Durham does not. I like having it on hand because I’m not sure yet where I can get it once we cross the border. 3 bottles for $10.98 so I got 6. Yay!

On the way home, we discussed supper tonight and also supper tomorrow night in London. Tonight, it is all about simple. Bill requested grilled cheese sandwiches and that sounded good to me. I could include sliced tomatoes in mine and maybe even onion. Hmmm, sounds good. Dinner for us has never really been a big deal, we are easy to please. After eating out so much lately, in Toronto, we can take a night off from a big meal.

We have made arrangements to have dinner in London with our kids tomorrow. I think I have told you this. The day has arrived, holy cow, really quickly too! We wanted to make sure that we could stop and see Dad and Marilynne one last time too in Stratford. Without extending our day too much either before or after dinner, we decided to invite them along. They will enjoy seeing all of the kids too and we’ll get a visit in at the same time.

Following Bill down the lane to drop the car off
Back home again, Clemson got his supper and then we relaxed for an hour before starting our own. Not only are the flies still regular visitors in our Suite but now we are starting to notice lady bugs on the outside of the windows. Enough already! Two days and counting!

Crazy busy grocery store today
After supper, we did the dishes up and I sent an email to my siblings about my visit with Mom today. They would be interested in the xray results, especially. At 7 pm it is dark outside but still quite mild at 16C/60.8F. I can’t hear the wind so that has died down as well. I can honestly say that these accomplishing days have been good ones. 

The pressure to get things done was not pushing us at an uncomfortable rate, we spread it over many days. With just two things left to tuck away, one in the Suite and one in the outhouse, we are in a really good position to leave on Monday as scheduled.

This one speaks for itself

I hope this has been a good day for you too. Thank you for stopping in. All comments are welcome!