Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Better Day ‘Feel’, Laundry, Birthday Wishes

The Ridge
On Tuesday, Apr. 30th we woke to dull cloudy skies. One goes hand in hand but at least it wasn’t raining or snowing! The day has just begun, we are hardly surprised anymore with whatever the weather Gods give us. It was above freezing, but only by a degree or two and it was nice that the wind was 10 mph or less.

If you look close you'll see a finch having breakfast
It was 7 when I got up and I should have taken advantage of the dryness and bundled for a walk. That’s what happens when I miss a few days, it takes a bigger push to get it going again. Instead, I had my tea with Bill and we read blogs to see what our friends were up to yesterday. Thank you everyone for the condolences and kind words over us losing a good friend. Your expressions mean a lot.

Someone needs a haircut, don't you agree?
Bill went down and puttered a bit around 8:30 in the Hangar and I sorted laundry. We had poached eggs for breakfast, Bill’s on toast and mine liberally dotted with butter. Yum, good fat. I didn’t even miss the toast even though that is a breakfast that I love. We cleaned up dishes and I got washed up and dressed while Bill finished something outside.

Ellen had texted just as I’d called Bill in to eat. She was going for a walk and wondered if I wanted to join her. The timing was just not good, darn it! I would have enjoyed the company. We have to leave shortly after 10:30 to take Clem in for his hair cut so I won’t be walking here this morning. In town, I will take a walk to the corner for some exercise and steps. My Fitbit is thinking ‘what a lazy bum, she is!’ The best I could do was a walk down the lane to meet Ellen.

And I think you'll agree here too, that Clemson is
a handsome devil again
Bill showed them both his Hangar and cargo trailer full of planes before it was time to pack the laundry and Clemson in the car. Kate from Bath and Biscuit welcomed Clemson with a smile and told us she’d see us in an hour. We drove to the Laundromat and set 3 washers going. Bill drove to the Home Hardware, still a couple of little things, he loves the H.H. here in Durham. They treat him well. I walked uptown to the bank to get money out for Kate.

The day is turning out to be quite nice and I enjoyed the walk even though it was short. We met back at the Laundromat after Bill picked up a prescription from IDA in town. We were hoping to carry on after getting our little furball to Hanover to wish Gerry a Happy Birthday in person but he was heading off to work for the afternoon so were just as happy to go back home with the clean clothes and get them put away.

The grader works down the road

And then skips off to another road in need
Clemson looks great and I would love to be a fly in a corner to watch how Kate has such success. No one does his cut so well, completing the nail trim, bath and cut in an hour. Her prices haven’t changed since we arrived in this area 3 years ago. The sun was making many appearances on our way home and I kicked myself for not ignoring the weather forecast (of no sun) and brought the clothes home to hang.

And it was great to see some blue sky
and sunshine today
When we returned, Ellen and Scott hadn’t left yet; they had another full day of running around but all for good stuff and they were glad to be in the area, close enough to do it easily. It wasn’t long until we saw them pull out of the laneway. I made myself a coffee and had a piece of my cake. Bill has warmed up to it and was mistaken at which one I had taken. The other one is the one he screwed his nose up to so I felt better about that.

A walk out the lane felt good
With the day warmed up to 45F/8C (woohoo!) I put my puffy vest on and went for a walk. Ellen told me she crossed B.C. Rd and went down the hill on North Line so that indicated to me that the homes along there didn’t have dogs that ran out when you passed by. 

This is a pretty view but the hills are steeper than they look
I’ve always been leery about going too far until I knew either way. So, that was the way I went. The gravel was not as solid or dry as our side of N.L. is but I walked around the muddy spots and went down the first big hill.

Interesting house, eh?
There is no driveway into this property,
meaning no vehicles
the family rides bicycles
It is a nice walk and I’d never gone that far before. I loved the little farm down here at the bottom of the hill, always teased that it was the Hippie’s place. We’d seen it and heard about it after driving down there. Funny how people and places get their nicknames. When I returned up the lane the turtles did their normal retreat by slipping into the water as or even before I neared. Skittish is their nickname.

And on the way home, the hills gave me the exercise
I needed
I got to the top of the Ridge and I saw the road grader coming from the north east. There is a spot in front of our neighbours house to the north of us that is full of pot holes. We haven’t gone that way but we have seen everyone, and I mean everyone, slow down to a crawl as they drive through that section. Someone has complained just enough to warrant bringing the grader down to work on it. The rest of North Line, at our end, isn’t bad at all. Yet.

And that is looking towards home
He made a few runs at it, back and forth very slowly so that should have made a difference. Ellen and Scott, who are visiting friends in Meaford, will notice the change. Inside, I caught up on my post and sat in my chair for a bit. I have things to prepare for the rest of the week but felt a sit down was in order first. The rest of the afternoon was quiet and I read the new book, The Prince of Beverly Hills.

Looking back to the Ridge with our two rv's in the distance
Bill came in about 4:45 and Clemson was still up on the bed, sleeping. His supper got prepared anyway and he soon came down to have his meal. With the tv on, we watched NCIS reruns and soon it was time for me to start supper. I had an eye of the round roast thawed so sautéed it in Madame IP, added beef broth and onions and then cooked it with potatoes for 55 minutes. We had leftover glazed carrots that I warmed up while making gravy in the same pot.

Newly graded road
It was 6:45 when we sat down to eat and everything tasted wonderful. I’d made some suppers and some lunches for Bill and he put some drinks into his cooler. Tomorrow will be a busy day for both of us and his will continue while in London. We cleaned up dishes and sat for the remainder of the evening together. 

Supper was delicious
I should have avoided the potatoes but it has
been a long time since we've had them
This was a good day, the weather was a little better although we still didn’t get over 50F/9C. One day, one day, we’ll make it there.

and time for a selfie

Thank you for stopping in today.

Quiet Day, Cool and Wet Again, Supper Invite

The Ridge
On Monday, Apr. 29th my plans were to just relax. We’ve had a couple of busy days so I’m looking forward to just chilling. And with the temperature only forecasted to rise to 47F/7C that will be an easy thing to do. We’re tired of the rain and April 2019 will not go down in our books as a nice one. After hearing yesterday about the loss of a friend, we look forward to just focusing day to day on everyday living. However, I can still grumble about the weather!

It is nice to have rv company at the Ridge again
We had our tea and coffee together, both up within half hour of each other. It was only 32F/0C and windy so no walk again. The sun rose and then by 8 promptly bid us adieu for the day. Bill drove to Durham to pick up a couple of things for the Hangar and also filled our 3rd 40-lb bottle of propane since arriving in Canada. This is mostly why we grumble about the cool weather; it is time to warm up already!! We do expect costs to be higher in April and October up here on the Ridge though.

They have a beautiful home
Bill worked out in the Hangar, putter putter, but couldn’t put the paint on the Stinson Reliant yet because it is too cold. Scott and Ellen had a problem with their cords so Bill offered ours which meant he couldn’t plug the electric heater in. No big deal, when he gets too cold, he’ll come inside. They took off for the day to Owen Sound where they have a storage unit. They had a big house and lots of furniture that had to be stored while they travelled for the winter.

On my walk to retrieve the bins, I took pictures of how high
the ponds are
Last summer that outlet in the top of the picture was almost dry
We’ll see them at the end of the day for sure and Ellen has graciously extended an invite to join them for supper. They want to thank us for offering them a place to stay for a few nights. That’s nice, another night I don’t have to cook! Bill is taking me out………..across the lot! 😊 After making us bacon and eggs and cleaning up dishes, he went back outside and I bundled up and walked down to bring the recycle bins back. Our first garbage pickup.

If it wasn't so cold, it would be a good time for the kayaks
before the grasses grow up
This is the 'dock' area
Inside, Clemson slept up on the bed with my sweater and I got back into my book. By the way, the keto cake yesterday was a hit. I still have leftovers but enough was eaten that I know it was enjoyed. There were a few glazed carrots left too which I’m happy about since I really like them. I’ll think of my buddy, Pat, when I eat them as she loves them too. I would have liked to know Rob’s opinion of the cake but it will be gone before he returns.

Of course, ElScott is sitting in the garden
Bill is holding his opinion of the cake but I’m sure it is because he overheard me tell Cathy that it was keto. Things like that flavor what would otherwise be a true judgement. Silly guy. Anyway, it has cream cheese icing and I like it so can eat it guilt free even if he doesn’t. We were getting a bit of a hunger on but not for much so I cut up an apple, Bill cut some cheese and we made ourselves a cup of tea. Bill had a few Ritz crackers, which I avoid, with his cheese.

I can't be sure but I think these are hyacinth
We'll soon find out!
We sat for the afternoon inside in the warmth and I managed to finish the Stuart Wood’s Short Straw. It was a fast paced read with short chapters and I really enjoyed the mystery involved. Now, I had to find another one to move on to so I had one more by the same author that I hadn’t read. Maybe I can zip through another one just as quickly.

There is some keto cake left over
Bill falls behind in his reading once we arrive home. With his days working and stuff to do around here, there isn’t the same amount of time during our Ridge time. My cupboard and under the bed stack is lessening and his is filling up.  I decided to make some cookies but because we’ll just eat them (!) I wanted to make something that wouldn’t be bad for us.

Bill and I sat for our afternoon snack and some reading
 George from Our Awesome Travels posted over a week ago about his grandson who is into writing a blog. One of the posts I read of Dave’s was a recipe for peanut butter cookies that he made. It was simple and although one of the 3 ingredients was sugar, I knew I could substitute it with Splenda. I only hoped that because of the different texture that Splenda has compared to sugar, they would turn out just as good. So, I made a batch.

Funny, how snowflakes don't show up in the picture
The first dozen and a half turned out great. I liked them, Bill liked them and other than them being crumbly (solved by putting them in the fridge) we were both very pleased. Thank you, Dave! Since I still had the ingredients and mixing bowl on the counter, I made another dozen and a half. This is a recipe I will keep and repeat and I don’t even need to write it down. Check it out here if you are interested, but I won’t take credit for it.

Go away!!
At 3, Bill looked out and said ‘it’s snowing!’ Here we go again, we thought. What crazy weather. Watching it come down as wet flakes didn’t give us too much concern until it continued and the white stuff was sticking to the ground. LOL We heard from Ellen and Scott around 4:30 that they would soon be on their way and so we were a bit concerned of what they had to drive through. It was pretty white out there for a while and roads can be tricky for driving.

Scott, Ellen, Bill
Great people we met through RVillage last summer
Just after 6:30 we joined them in their Ultrasport home for Caesar salad, garlic toast and chili. What a treat! Thank you guys, it was delicious and we enjoyed sharing the air space with you again over wine. 😊 It was around 9 when we said our goodbyes and walked back to the Suite. The last hour of The Voice was on so we watched what we could of it but neither of us saw much through our eyelids. We let The Enemy Within record on the pvr and at 10 we went to bed.

Dave's peanut butter cookies
It was a lazy day for us although Bill did accomplish some things down in the Hangar. The snow was gone by the time we left our neighbours motor home last night so that was good to see. I’m still waiting for a bit of warmth. It didn't get to the forecast high for today and now instead of wishing for too much I’d even be happy for something in the 50’s/(double digits in Celsius). I hope you had a good day too.

So can someone tell me what the yellow thing is?
Up and down in the days to come but it's better than down, down, down
This looks promising!

Thank you for your visit. Your comments are always read and appreciated if you wish to leave one.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Sunny Sunday for a Easter and Birthday Gathering, Painful Loss, Company

The Ridge
It was nice on Sunday, Apr. 28th to wake up to blue skies and sunshine. We slept in until 6:30 and it was closer to 7 when I gingerly did some stretches before getting up and dressed. Bill had just made his coffee so I made my tea to join him. All thoughts of walking when it is 32F/0C disappear as soon as I see the wind. The wind speeds are much less now, blowing around the 5 to 10 mph mark but it is still darn chilly blowing in your face.

My breakfast this morning
I had things to make today for our gathering at Rockwood Terrace. My family, as many as can come, are meeting to celebrate our Easter and especially Mom’s 93rd birthday. Her birthday was on the 17th and it was quiet for her so we try and do a family get together each year. There are many things playing a part today so we don’t know how the afternoon will go. I am baking Keto chocolate cake with cream cheese icing as well as a dish of Glazed carrots.

glazed carrots
Bill went down to the Hangar and began to install an electrical panel , light boxes and outlets.  That keeps him out my hair while I take up the island counter space in the kitchen. By 10 things were mostly done with the exception of icing the cake with cream cheese frosting. I had clothes that I brought home yesterday, (surprisingly not too many! ) that needed to be put away. Yay!

Keto chocolate (guilt-free) cake
I took the equivalent to 5 bags for donation so I was a good girl. I was very particular in the things that went into the box. Other than swapping out a couple of jackets, I shouldn’t need to weed too much more out. We have another spring exchange, the next one in London at my girlfriend’s place so kept lots of things to take along from the leftovers. How we love our clothes swaps!

When I came downstairs, the carrots were done and I iced the cake so the prep part was done. We need to take our own plates and utensils as well as our own drinks. That just saves a lot of scrambling for one person. The toughest part is finding a cooler to carry everything since we have only one extreme or the other. I have the ticket! The box that I had clothes in will be perfect to carry everything. Clemson will stay home to look after things here since we are only going as far as Durham and only for 4 hours or so.
The temporary mailbox solution
We are expecting overnight company for a couple of nights. Ellen and Scott, whom we met last year from the area and had a barbecue with, are returning home from a winter south of the border as well. The park they will plant themselves in doesn’t open for bookings until May 1st so they needed a stopover. Yay! It will be great to see them again and we can even offer them 15- or 30-amp plug-ins to power. They sold their lovely home just down the road here last fall, I think it was, so are full-timing. We should see them around 6 this evening and get them set up.

A nice display of food
When Bill had toast earlier, I wasn’t hungry yet so at 10:30 I was ready for something. Trying to eat properly without doing bacon and eggs (our big meal is at 1:30) this morning, I cut up an apple with some cheddar cheese. It tasted great and along with my creamy coffee, it will keep me satisfied until we eat. When I finished that, I slipped my coat on and went down to see Bill before going out the lane and to the corner for a walk.

I had some nice ‘new to me’ clothes to wear and pretty much figured what outfit I’d wear today. An outing like this is the perfect time to dress up a bit. That’s why so many clothes, I don’t like the same thing over and over. Bill can tease all he wants but he never questions “are you wearing that again?” He has no need to. 😊 After Bill’s shower, he rested a bit and we were headed into town around 12:45 to meet our family.

Small amount of desserts but they were very good
We arrived first and Cathy drove in soon after. Bill and I walked up to the door and noticed that Mom had already gone up to her room after lunch. We really didn’t want to have her see us until everyone had arrived and we’d had a chance to eat the first course of our meal. She wouldn’t be hungry anyway and we wanted her state of mind to be as good as possible, not sitting idly watching us all eat.

Today, was the smallest crowd we’ve had at one of these Easter gatherings but we made the best of it all the same. There was plenty of food, many different varieties of main course and just a few desserts. At 2:30, my niece, Joanne and I went up to get Mom. I didn’t think it started out very well when we found Mom in the hall and eventually talked her into coming downstairs, however, once we walked in to the auditorium, all the greeters turned her around.

Mom was fawning over the youngest granddaughter, Morgan
It was cute to watch
We learned last year that having name tags would probably help Mom so Donna brought some along. As it turned out, after Cathy, Bill and I set up tables and chairs, only 14 of us were in presence. You just never know! Mom enjoyed having dessert with us and seemed to be in good spirits. I thought it was a good time for pictures and had set up my tripod and big camera. Mom seems to enjoy the picture moments and the whole idea of it even though she doesn’t keep them in her room. I got a group picture and then one of just us sisters with Mom.

Another cute picture of Mom and Gayle
Mom by herself
We started packing up and a couple of us noticed that Mom was getting concerned about being left somewhere. Gayle and Cathy stepped in and took Mom up to her room and to save some upset, we didn’t say goodbye. Trust me, it was the best way to go at this point. The rest of us put chairs and tables away and waited for them to return. It wasn’t easy to say goodbye to her, apparently, and they came back with sad faces. Poor Mom. The only consolation is that she won’t miss us for long and she will forget we were even there.

There were 14 of us in attendance today
We said our goodbyes downstairs and went our own way. Bridgette and Chris had the furthest to go, to Woodstock, with a 2-hour drive and Bill and I were the closet. I felt that the day went well although can’t help but wonder how long we will continue to do this. We’ll see. Back home, we unpacked the food box and cooler before settling back in our chairs. I read my book for a while and Bill tried to catch a few zzz’s.

While at Rockwood, we heard from our buddies, Rob and Pat, that they have arrived at the Hunt Camp on Manitoulin. They left this morning around 8:30. We’ll miss having them close by, me especially later in the week, but happy that they were able to go and get some things set up for the summer. At 5:15 there was a knock at the door and we thought it was our friends, Ellen and Scott. Instead, it was someone we’d never met before.

Mom and 5 of her 6 girls, 5 of her 7 children
back: Wendy, Donna, Gayle
front: Patsy, Mom, Cathy
Aj is at home in Quebec, battling the flooding :(
Michael is home in Alberta
Wendy, Bridgette, Joanne, Chris, Morgan
Mom, Donna, Gerry, Ted
When my sister, Aj and Tom, comes for a summer holiday and spend time with Donna and Gerry at the Acreage, since they don’t have a trailer, they would stay at a bed and breakfast not far from here. They really enjoyed meeting the owners, Sue and Dan. That is who showed up at our door! Introducing themselves, we invited them in for a nice little chit chat about our story and theirs. What a lovely couple! I need to email my sister to let her know.

John, Cathy, Bill

Gayle was in the kitchen cleaning up
Ellen and Scott pulled into our lane around 6:30 and after hugs all around, they unhooked their tow vehicle and situated their motor home beside us. They will be staying until Wednesday giving us an opportunity to get to know them even better. How fun! Once they were set up, they joined us for a glass of wine and an evening of conversation. Their winter in the Florida area and ours in the Arizona area, tips about this and hints about that. It was a nice evening and when left they walked across the lot to their home around 9 ish.

Ellen and Scott arrive from Niagara Falls tonight

We hope they find it comfortable here
This has been a 'mostly' good day from beginning to end. It didn’t get very warm here, maybe 11C/50F. We didn’t see a lot of family but it was great to see those that we did. We met new friends and reacquainted with friends we just met last summer. I hope your day was a great one as well.

Today wasn't as GREAT as I would normally say a day with family and friends would be. On the way to Rockwood this afternoon, I received a FB messenger message from a former co-worker in London. A very special friend of both Bill and I, someone very dear to my heart, lost his battle with cancer. We didn't even know anything about it. 

I wasn't ready to say goodbye to this kind-hearted man
Two weeks ago, while in London with Bill, I mentioned that we have to make a point to see him this summer. Mark worked with me for 30 years and Bill for 27. He retired in 2016, a month after me. He turned 55 that same month looking forward to a life in a new home he and his wife were building. I can't even comprehend how things like this happen. I will miss you in this world, my dear friend. Rest in peace.

Thank you for stopping by for a visit with us.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

April or October? Good Grief, Charlie Brown! Exchange Day!

Priceville, Ontario
Bill and I woke together around 6:30 on Saturday, Apr. 27th. It is April, isn’t it? As I looked out my window after opening the blind I uttered “Shit!” Bill knew what I was referring to without even looking. They did forecast some snow for our area overnight and with those 39 mph winds, we’re really not surprised that this crap blew in. Sorry, why don’t I tell you how I really feel, right? We got up and Bill turned the heat up a bit.

this was the surprise sunset last night after not having sun all day
We had our tea and coffee together and then Bill bundled up to go and get us some fresh water. We were getting low enough to warrant a top up. I chatted back and forth on texts from my chair as I went directly there with my heating pad and ‘blankey’. The wind was from WNW and coming right at my dining area window. Clemson slept on upstairs after another full night’s sleep. While he was gone, I had my shower and I was somewhat overdue with scraggly hair so it felt great.

My scales were my friend as well, my last 3 days of behaving has worked in my favour. I know I can do this!  When Bill returned with the water bladder full, he unloaded the trunk of the Rav of his blanket, sleeping bag and pillow. I, in turn, carried out the purged items I was taking to Hanover later. What a nasty cold day and the winds aren’t about to let up until around 8 pm tonight.

Here, let me move the day shade for you
More ‘Bill’ projects won’t get looked after today again but at least he can pick up the supplies he needs to look after the riding mower blades. I made us bacon and eggs and started my post before sitting with my book for a while. We couldn’t do dishes with the water being transferred, water from the tap was not accessible. Often, I forget it is in the process and turn the tap on. That shuts the pump off and Bill has to go out and start it again. It is best if I just stay away from the sink!

I mixed up some creamy Jell-o
this one is Black Cherry
When the transfer was finished, we had 62 gallons of water in our 100-gallon tank and that would last us for a week +.  At 11:30 Bill left for Mount Forest to pick up the blades and filters needed for the mower. 

I wanted to get my post started before I left
At 12:30 I pulled out of the lane and after picking Pat up I drove to Marl Lakes where my niece, Joanne, was hosting the clothing exchange. I forgot to get a picture of her house, well, I guess I was busy driving. Anyway, it is a beautiful large home and she had things all set up downstairs.

Lots of really nice clothes
And the bottom line = what is left gets donated to a good cause
My 3 sisters, Cathy, Gayle and Donna were already there and the amount of clothes donations was incredible. The price was certainly right and you don’t even need to bring anything. Joanne had a spread of food out for us to munch on, fresh veggies, fruits, cheeses and taco dip with crackers. Something else I didn’t get a picture of.  A couple more people arrived and as usual, no matter how many were in attendance, a good time was had by all.

There is some serious 'shopping' going on here
and the food is on the right hand counter
It was after 4:30 when Cathy, Gayle, Pat and I left. I dropped Pat off at her house and on the way home, I called Bill to let him know. He had a good day and was happy to show me pictures of his work on the mower. The mail box and post had blown over in last night’s wind (we’re still trying to figure the best way to make it work) so Bill had to build a temporary structure to hold it up. He had done that before I got home.

And supper was good
We relaxed for a bit and then I sautéed the spiced pork chops in Madame IP, added some chicken broth and in 15 minutes we were eating supper. Each time that I dish them up and try that first bite, I’m waiting for the old pork chop taste to come back. Instead, I’m still blown away with each mouthful. It was delicious. Even Bill says that the taste is improved when done in the IP. We had corn on the side and it was another successful meal.

Bill found the tail end (about an hour) of The Lion King on tv so we watched that while we worked at cleaning up the dishes. Off and on during the day I still felt my back complaining every once in a while, so when we sat down, I put the heating pad on it again. The temperature today never got over 40F/4C but by the time I’d returned home, it was definitely warmer than when I left. The sun was making brief appearances and at least by 7:30 I knew I’d see a sunset.

I decided not to move from my heated seat to get a snapshot of the setting sun
This was a great day for all of us. We accomplished some things and I had a fun time with the girls. I hope yours has been a good day too.

Thank you for stopping in!