Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Costco Run, Rainy Day Forecast, Winter Preparations

Stratford, Ontario
Bill was up at 5:30 this morning, Wednesday, Oct. 30th, and I followed about an hour later. We had our showers and morning hot drinks. It wasn’t raining yet but the sky looked like it could at any time. It doesn’t look like a washout day by the predictions, only 52% chance but it is just as well we have no outdoor things to take care of. The temperature at 8:30 is 6C/43F so not too bad.

We were under clouds but the sky off to the southeast the sky
looked brighter
Our 2 gps's are set up and ready to go
along with our back up camera for the Suite
Once ready, Bill and I had toast and/or cereal. We left to pick the kids (Bob and Jo-Anne) up at 9 in Tavistock and drove to Kitchener for a Costco spree. 

Driving to Kitchener, this bird went right overhead
He seemed really low, we all ducked our heads

A spree it was as we stocked up on a lot of things, some that aren’t available in the U.S. and others that are just good prices and needed before we travel. Back at the Francis’s we had a coffee and snack with them, further discussing some of our travel plans together.

Bill and I made a pretty fair donation here today
There is an issue that has come up regarding Bob’s trailer that they are dealing with and we’ve just discovered from today’s rain that our laundry closet (where we keep our overstock) is leaking down the inside wall to the floor. The wall is not visibly damaged but the floor is. I guess that will be a spring replacement so Bill contacted Peggy at CanAm right away to get it on file. We’ll just watch it over the winter and pray for little rain.

Higgins chewed on his new toy before he discovered my purse on the floor
When he was too quiet, Jo-Anne went to check
He had managed to pull my camera out, sunglasses and I don't know what else
Too cute - it was my fault for having it on the floor
Back home, we finished putting stuff away and were sad to hear from Bridgette. She had to cancel tonight’s dinner at their place because of a serious illness in Chris’ family. We were looking forward to seeing them before heading out but some things just can’t be helped and she shouldn’t be feeling bad about the change. The rest of the week is busy for them so we’ll just text more often when we are in the sunny southwest.
Madame IP sautes the ground beef, onion and spices first
 I made a batch of chili in Madame IP for taking on the road. It will be divided into meal size portions and frozen. Then the trick will be to remember to take it out of the freezer the morning of a travel day so it will be thawed and I can heat it up on the stove for supper. When the chili was done and packaged, I boiled eggs as well in Madame IP. She is earning her keep! 7 meals of chili will help us out a lot for the occasional home cooked meal.

7 good meals
Tomorrow, I’ll make egg salad and on Friday put together some sandwiches for a couple of lunches on the road. While the eggs were cooking for 5 minutes, I caught up on my blog post. While they were cooling in ice water, I sat with my book. Bill needed a snooze and so I sat beside him in my recliner. Life is good and the little hiccups we experience just make us stronger. It is always good to work on our stress level, looking at the big picture of what to get upset about and what to just deal with.

This was the type of day we had so good to be indoors
I finished the silly book and now look forward to getting onto something good again. I don’t think it was so much the story line as the way it was written. I need to make a note that she is not an author I care to read again. 

Since we bought 2 dozen, I wanted it to be clear which ones were
hard boiled - half of these will be used for egg salad
At 6 pm, I cooked a piece of pepper squash, the last 2 potatoes in my tortilla oven (in the microwave), Bill’s vegetables and warmed up the ham slices. Everything was very good and what is left of the ham we will use for sandwiches while travelling.

Another tasty ham dinner
Good night from the parking lot of Bob's Shop
We took care of the dishes together and then sat to watch a few of our pre-recorded programs. We had a lot on the pvr. This was a wet day but it was good to get things prepared for the start of our travel. I hope you enjoyed your Wednesday as well. I was pleased to see that Bill sat and put out a new short and sweet post. You can check it out here.

Thank you for stopping in.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Yet Another City Wakeup, Dull Day but Warm

Stratford, Ontario
When I woke on Tuesday, Oct. 29th, it was after 6. Lights were on downstairs and Bill was up. We’d turned the heat pump on last night since Bob offered us 50-amp service and we were nice and warm. I don’t think it got too cold overnight but we still needed some kind of heat source. I rolled over and dozed off, dreaming of a vacation at some resort, and got up at 7. That was a nice sleep and I felt refreshed.

Not sure what they were doing but something with the electric lines

I wonder if they draw straws to see who goes up in the bucket?
Downstairs, I made my tea, first one since a week ago last Saturday and I enjoyed it very much. They don’t have cream in Mexico, at least not that part of the country and milk in tea just doesn’t cut it for me. I sat with Bill and we read blogs and laughed at the low usage of our data this month. We each have 10 gb and I’ve used just over half of mine and Bill just over a quarter of his. Too funny but that’s great!

I started cutting and frying things for an omelette
before I remembered that we didn't have any eggs
So, I added hash browns instead and it was very good!
We saw Bob drive in so Bill chatted with him for a bit as he puttered around the shop and their Redwood. We all have little things to take care of this week. Nice, easy things. Bill had some toast and I had a bowl of Raisin Bran with cream. It was good for a change. I truly expected to come home, step on our bathroom scales and to hear “Get off me, you lug!” but was surprised after all those Miami Vice drinks that there wasn’t a whimper. I'm up maybe 2 lbs., if that, so I’m quite pleased. Bill gained maybe a pound so we both did good.

The new wood piece in place
Bob came in and Bill helped him install the wood piece that he’d cut and Bill stained for the backsplash. That fills in the space where the tile had to be cut to accommodate the bigger convection/microwave oven. It looks pretty good and if you didn’t know we’d changed it, you wouldn’t notice. We were on our own for the morning and other than a visit from the local hydro/electric boys, no real excitement. It’s nice to have quiet days after a week away.

We updated our Rand McNally Good Sam gps
Bill went on line and did some brain-storming about our trip and we plan to get together with Bob and Jo-Anne this week to get their thoughts on the route we’re considering. Bill went outside to give Black Beauty a once over using the Shop Vac from Bob’s shop. Inside, I plugged in our own central vac and did the Suite from top to bottom. Lookin’ good now!

I always get the best views, don't I?
Bill getting Black Beauty spruced up for the journey
Tomorrow, we plan to go do some Costco shopping, to stock up on a few things not available in the southwest. Ground beef for chili and eggs for sandwiches as well. I pulled canned goods out of the upper cupboard in preparation for cooking in the afternoon or on Thursday. Other than that, it is just relaxing. 

A walk down the road
This road 111 that we are on is very busy but I may sneak a walk in before too long.  Bill finished with B.B. and he was looking spiffy inside by the time he was done. Jo-Anne returned from a hair appointment looking fab and I think even Bob said he got his ears lowered too.
Looking east - thinking of Bill's Dad and his trains
 I took that walk south to the railroad tracks and beyond to the first house. It wasn’t sunny and there isn’t a lot of room to walk off the pavement but I was careful when traffic was meeting. This is the least I’ve walked in 9 days so hope to get back on track. Every day in Akumal I exceeded 4 miles but then every day’s weather was a lot different than here, wasn’t it? Ha ha I enjoyed the fresh air, we are expected to get rain over the next 2 or 3 days.

and looking west
When Jo-Anne and Bob said goodnight, Bill and I settled in our chairs with our books. Well, for a little while and we were soon dozing. It felt good to just relax without pressure. At 5:30 I ‘dressed’ the pre-cooked ham I’d thawed in juice, brown sugar and dry mustard and put it in Madame IP with a small potato each and a couple of carrots. For 30 minutes it preheated the ham and cooked the veggies.

Off to the east, an interesting old truck in the junk yard
This machine was stable

This guy was in motion
We had ‘possible’ plans for a short visit this evening that cancelled so we have the evening alone to read or watch some recorded tv programs. I chatted on text with Donna for a bit before supper was ready. 

Heading back to the shop

And up ahead The Suite

At 6:30, the ham was done, sliced and we were eating. The potatoes were a little too soft as they were small and should only have cooked for 15 minutes but the carrots were done perfectly for me. We did the dishes up right away and then had some apple crisp with cream for dessert.

Bill's dinner with mixed veggies

Mine - Bill doesn't care too much for carrots so I got the lot
 I sat to finish this post and then retired to my chair with my book. Yes, I’m still sticking it out with this strange story. Why? I’ve devoted over a week to it already so want to see it through now. It won’t be one I’ll recommend to Bill or anyone, really. It’s called Wanting Sheila Dead by Jane Haddam – don’t bother. Ha ha !  The evening was also quiet after a nice day. We have plans for the morning and dinner out tomorrow. All good things!

Dessert with Ridge apples
Good night!
Take care and thank you for stopping by. Your comments are always welcome.

Waking up at The Ridge, Busy Day, First Leg of Our Winter Journey

The Ridge and Stratford, Ontario
On Monday, Oct. 28th things began falling into place. I won’t say that Cancun was a distraction in a negative way because it was wonderful but it was a bit of a detour. Now that we are home again, we needed to take care of a few last minute things. We were up by 6:30 and began discussing the ‘order’ of things that we were doing.

Good morning Priceville

One of the last drives into town this year
 It was our last garbage and recycle pick up so I walked the bag and bins down to the end of the lane. There was a calm about the morning after last night’s wind and at 3C/37F it actually felt good to walk the short distance. 

Driving into the laundromat
(Jamie is doing a good job, it looks great!)

So, our day was going to look like this:

   1)     Take 2 vehicles in to town to do laundry
   2)     Drive to Murray’s to drop Ptooties off
   3)     Fill Black Beauty’s fuel and wash her at Hanover’s Pioneer
   4)     Visit and say goodbye to Donna and Gerry in Hanover
   5)     Visit Rob and Pat on return trip to Durham
   7)     Visit and say goodbye to Mom at Rockwood
   8)     Put laundry away
   9)     Have breakfast, wash dishes
  10)                        Unplug and turn electric power off – lock Bunky
  11)                        Close and secure cupboards, anemometer and satellite dish
  12)                        Around 3 pm dump tanks on our way out of the Ridge
  13)                        Close Ridge gate

Brunch made by Patsy

This is how it really looked:

   1)     Bill found a nail in Ptooties passenger front tire
   2)     I took Black Beauty to do laundry
   3)     Bill drove to Pletsch’s Auto Service, MacArthur Tire and finally found help at       Canadian Tire to repair tire
   4)     Bill met me at Durham Laundromat to help fold 2 loads
   5)     Drove both vehicles to Murray’s to drop car off
   6)     Made arrangements with Donna for them to visit us at the Ridge
   7)     Filled Black Beauty at Esso in Durham (no wash)
   8)     Drove home to make lunch and clean up dishes
   9)                        Donna and Gerry popped out after finishing at the Acreage to say goodbye
   10)                        Drove to see Mom around 2 pm and had a nice visit but I didn’t say anything about our winter trip. She was great for most of the visit but tired quickly and with that came more confusion. She loves my hugs but she REALLY loved Bill’s warm embrace today. 😊 

Because she didn't eat lunch, I encouraged her to eat the layered cookie
the nurse brought
I told her I'd brought it but she still only took 2 bites

She immediately started separating the two layers so we laughed
about that
It was nice to have a photographer along to take our pictures
but I didn't get one of Bill and Mom

   12)                        Visited and said goodbye to Rob and Pat still sad to leave them behind
1 13)                        Back home, finished closing up inside, outside and brought slides in  
1 14)                        Dumped the Suite’s tanks before pulling out of the lane way at 4:30

All ready to go - gate closed for the winter
So, as you can see, things don’t always go as planned but even these were minor burps. No time was carved in stone. Bill noticed last night that our gas hot water heater was not firing so we needed to use electric for the period that we were here today. We’ll keep an eye on it over the coming days in case we need to get a part from CanAm.

I had to borrow a picture from 2017 since I forgot to take a picture today
Saying goodbye to Donna and Gerry
Leaving the Ridge is always bittersweet for me. I know it will be here when we return but it always looks so sad without the Suite. The sky was a gorgeous blue, clear with no clouds. What a wonderful day to take care of these things and not having to be bundled up in layers of clothing. After Cancun's 30C/86F, Ontario's 18C/64F was very welcome. We know what is coming. Destination: Stratford.

Our buddies - we hope to see them in December

The cows watched us pull out

Varney - A skinny Casper in the chair
 We arrived at Bob’s work shop at 6:15 and texted Jo-Anne that the Suite has landed. Within 5 minutes they drove up from Tavistock, planning to meet and greet us. We were set up so Bob helped Bill get plugged into 50-amp service. 

The sun dropping
We were hungry and drove down the street to A & W for another quick meal. The Mushroom Mozzarella burger and fries were surprisingly delicious! I didn’t have either a burger or fries at the resort. The root beer never disappoints either other than too big a glass for me. That is one soft drink that Bill and I agree cannot be diet.

It was a beautiful day!
Back at the shop, Jo-Anne, Bob and little Higgins came in for a short visit before saying good night. I think, if he will let me, Higgins will be getting a fair bit of extra lovin’ this winter. 

From out spot in front of  Bob's shop
the sun was disappearing after a gorgeous day

Our hosts arrive

Jo-Anne quickly turned her back when she saw the camera
I told her she'd better get used to it (me)!
 On the drive to Stratford, soon after leaving home, a whopping heap of sadness hit me that our little bum wasn’t physically with us in the truck. I couldn’t stop the flow of tears and Bill also was feeling the same void. He loved the rides. Enough about that, or I’ll start all over again.

A nice supper
We relaxed for a bit while I finished Sunday’s post and by 10 we were in bed. This was a crazy busy day but it’s all good and wonderful. We are excited for this week with a few last goodbyes to family and some grocery shopping. I hope the beginning of your week was at least half as good.

Good night everyone from Stratford
 Thank you for following along with us!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Home SUITE Home

Bahia Principe Akumal Resort, Mexico – Durham, Ontario
We were awake by 6 am this morning, Sunday, Oct. 27th and rather than call the bus boys, walked our bags up to the lobby by 7. Now that it is over, let’s just get on with it, right?  The forecast was for rain and after checking out, having breakfast with Charlotte, Cory, Yvonne & Dennis we waited for our bus. We were all (14 of us) happy to get a private bus like when we arrived, for the ride to Cancun Airport.

Our last morning
No sooner did we get loaded when it started raining and rained part of the way on the drive. We were all pretty quiet and saddened to depart but figured with the rain, it was a good day to leave! 

Jess, Matt and Easton were staying until Tuesday so they
came to say goodbye to everyone
Little chubby cheeks was still smiling
The process of getting our boarding passes, baggage checked and through security was pretty easy again. We had Krystal’s boyfriend, Matt, with us, who has traveled a lot more than we have to guide us in certain things. Now that we are almost ‘pros’ at it, we’ll not do it again for a long time, I bet!

Waiting for our bus and saying goodbye to Reuben our driver
and all around friendly guy
Our luxury bus ride from Akumal to Cancun Airport
There was a 3 hour wait for our flight at 1 pm which was now delayed to 1:40 because of heavy rainfall and winds in Toronto. 

The runway 'walk' before taking off from beautiful
It was a good flight, interesting to see the sun. We were flying above what most people saw as ‘overcast’, until we made our descent through the white cotton ball clouds. That is the only part I’m not keen on, if I can’t see anything, neither can the pilot. He got an applause when we touched down safely again.

The airport views - I might have doubled up on a couple of picures
The sun didn't really set - we did and soon disappeared into the clouds
Inside the airport, we retrieved our 2 checked bags and then made the long walk to washrooms, through immigration (to hand our sheets in) and then customs. Bill and I walked out of the airport at 6:10 and caught the shuttle bus to the Sheraton on Dixie Rd. pretty much immediately. We hopped in Ptooties, who was happy to see us by the way, and drove home. We hate Toronto, have I told you that? Getting out of that stupid metropolis is always the worst but we caught the 410 to 10 and were home free.

Toronto arrival and sunset
We hadn’t eaten other than snacks on the plane so stopped at Shelburne at a Tim Horton’s for a bite. Bill had a grilled sandwich and I had soup and a bun. I was sure missing our server to refill our drinks and take our plates away but we were back in Ontario and the fast food was welcome all the same. 

hot bacon and potato soup and a hot chocolate
that didn't taste at all like a Miami Vice
We arrived home in the dark around 10 but I refused to unpack before we went to bed. Zonked but sated and happy to be home all in all. This was a good day, hard to believe we left Cancun this morning.

Left picture, leaving Toronto
Bottom right, home sweet home in the dark
My camera time has not been updated,
it was really 21:47 (almost 10 pm)

Good night! Thank you for stopping in.