Thursday, December 31, 2020

Reflections – Good and Not so Good - Last Day of 2020 👏👍

Paisley, On

On New Years eve day, Thursday, Dec. 31st, Bill and I were up to greet this last day of 2020 by 7:30. He rolled over first thing and said ‘it’s the last day of the year, sweetie’. I just wanted to jump up and do everything in hi-speed, like our hi-speed wi-fi. Let’s get at it and blink through this day. Enough of 2020, I say!

Christmas tree box all packed up for another year

Aside from wishing the day away, there was nothing about this year that we wanted to hang onto any longer. So, while Bill went down and made his coffee, I had my shower. Once dried and dressed, I went down for my tea. Last night I’d read most of the blogs so was up to date other than new ones from today. When my tea was done, I set to work.

And the ornaments tucked away too

Between us, we got the tree box and ornament boxes down from the upper closet. My goal, even though earlier than what we normally follow, was to take all the decorations for Christmas down and put them away. In the hopes that we can make it to Durham in the morning to clean, we’ll take the boxes and deposit them in the already stuffed bunky at the Ridge. There will be much sorting once April comes but it gives us a bit more space here in the meantime.

Poached eggs on rye with a piece of Pat's yummy
Christmas cake for dessert

I finished that and at 11:00 we were ready for another hot drink. For lunch (brunch) Bill just wanted toast and peanut butter and I chose 2 poached eggs on rye toast. That was good and filled us up. We sat for a while at our laptops and time passed. It was around 1 that I decided to go for a walk. Taking the mail key and my library book with me, I headed out without my ski poles. It is too difficult to carry something with them in my hands.

Looking outside, I knew I needed to get out for a walk today

It didn't take a lot of convincing

The walking was a bit dangerous so I slowed down considerably to my normal pace. Any snow that was left on sidewalks had hardened and made things slippery and rough. After dropping my library book in the ‘drop box’ I walked a couple of blocks (carefully) and crossed at Cambridge St. to Ross. This is a dead-end street so I turned and found the snowy trail that would take me along the river and back to the main street.

The Foundry Chimney in winter snow

I used the 'Burlesque' setting for this picture, just playing

I could hear excitement as I approached the bend and was thrilled to see a family with 3 children sledding down the hill. The young parents informed me that they’d been out there for 2 hours and were hoping the little ones would tire soon. 😊 Ah, yes, I remember those days. Finding hills was difficult for us, as a young family, living in the small town of Zurich and then London. We didn’t go out much other than up and down the sidewalks and out to my parents.

You can see that the roads were not great to walk on

And the sidewalks were no different so
I crossed at the picture above to the hilltop trail

I heard them before I saw them

There was a nice little 'bump' which usually lifted
their sleds
You can see the little guy flipped over instead
He didn't get hurt, just laughed

Dad told me he went down once and that was enough
I said I'd be down at the bottom after one run sayiing
"Help me!"
Kind of like the little girl laying down there.
I think she was tired out. 😅

I took some pictures and moved on. Lastly, before coming in I walked to the post office. Fingers crossed made no difference, there was still no parcel for me. Bummer! But we did get mail, Christmas cards, so that was nice. K & D from London had to redirect theirs with the correct address but it wasn’t too late after all! Yesterday, we got one from our youngest daughter with this lovely picture.

I carried on towards town

the cold Saugeen wasn't too fast today

I felt sad for this duck, swimming all alone

He kept going under and coming back up 6' behind where he just swam from

Back at home, I joined Bill and started my blog for the day. I was just settled on the bed when I realized that it was bright enough to work in the garage on my puzzle so went down for a couple of hours. I made great progress today and ended up sorting the remaining pieces into shape categories. It’s what I do for myself to help in the process.

At 3:30, I was losing the light so made a cup of tea and took a Z Coke upstairs for Bill. The rest of the afternoon was spent reading, snoozing and crocheting. It will take me forever to make this shawl but it is something to occupy my time, my mind and my hands. At 6 I told him to finish his chapter and I went down to begin supper. We had fried burgers with brioche buns and they were really nice for a change. After dishes, same old routine, we retired upstairs. 

Just a juicy cheeseburger for supper
with pecan pie for dessert

It’s New years Eve and there are some things to reflect on that happened this year. Some sad, some happy. The winter of 2019/20 began happy with us heading south with friends, meeting more friends and eventually starting our slow trek home in February. 😊 The trip soon turned sad when we learned of the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping across the countries. We turned our slow trek into a fast trek, arriving home 3 weeks sooner than planned originally.

Home early, Mar. 21, 2020

We dealt with the virus fall out, quarantining for our 2 weeks on the Ridge. We got happy again as the weather turned into a beautiful summer for gardening, our hobbies, bird and critter watching. We even hosted a week on the Ridge for our rv friends, keeping under the maximum # of the allowed groupings. Woops! My pictures are out of order. Oh well.

Ridge Campout
Aug. 2 to 9th

Canada Day, July 1st

We celebrated Canada Day with Bill’s 2 sisters, husbands and Marilynne. I was also able to spend time with my 4 of my 5 sisters during our July LadyFest. These were very happy times. 😊

Ladyfest with my sisters
Aug. 11 to 14th

The pandemic continued to rear its ugly head throughout all of this, keeping us distanced and masked while shopping. It was very sad that we couldn’t visit Mom in Rockwood and outside visits were very difficult given her current state. Bill and I both worked pretty steady all summer and were happy to be earning some extra $ to put us in an easier financial position. 😊

Suite goes to CanAm for the winter 😢
Oct. 23rd

However, we were soon saddened when we realized that the border between Canada and United States would not be opened for us to travel to our favourite destinations for the winter. We had moments of disappointment, confusion, unrest and just down right panic. We needed to find a place to live.  

A new granddaughter on the horizon
April news

During the course of all this, we learned that ‘our’ youngest daughter was expecting her second child. This brightened our spirits. There were friend visits, children visits and many good times throughout the summer of 2020. We needed each and every one of those moments. 😊

Moved into Paisley home
Oct. 17th

In September, we were once again swimming in relief and a state of happiness when we found a home we could share for the winter. Things were looking up even though we couldn’t follow our hearts and travel to the southwest. The glee was short lived as in October we lost Mom. The ensuing month passed in yet another state of sadness although we knew it was time and things happen for a reason.

Saying goodbye to Mom
Oct. 15th 😢💔

Mom, in her prime 💓

As we wait out the last hours of the last day of 2020, we are once again filled with happiness. We learned in the last week that ‘our’ 4th oldest daughter has become engaged to a wonderful man. This couldn’t be happening at a better time, when they, as well as all of the rest of us, needed something bright in our lives. 😊

Congratulations Krystal and Matt
Dec. 24th engagement (her birthday)

So, with that, I will close saying that I don’t know if we’ll make it bring in the new 2021 or whether we will greet it in the morning. The older we get, the less important it is to stay up until midnight. We’ll see. However, your 2020 played out, I’m sure you can say a lot of the same happy and sad moments took place for you too. Looking forward to bigger and better things ahead, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

And my last memory this year
Dec. 31, 2017
good night everyone!
all the very best in 2021!

Thank you for your visit.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Hump Day, Taking a Chauffeur to Durham or Visa Versa

Paisley, On

Because my first blog picture would be the first picture I took of the day
and a FB friend would say it was nasty, this is for Earl
Taken on Dec. 30, 2019 at Pilot Knob RV Resort

On Wednesday, Dec. 30th I’d planned to drive to Durham to clean the laundromat. It was so clear yesterday and last night that I told Bill I could probably go alone. Ha ha ha ha! Famous last words. We woke this morning to snow covered vehicles and roads and it was still coming down. If it were me on my own, I wouldn’t have gone.

However, this is the real deal for our drive this morning
to Durham to clean the Mat

As it turned out, Bill stepped in and drove me. No point in him sitting around while I cleaned so he shoveled the walkway and entrances for me. He sprinkled ice melt in those spots and then came inside and did the floors. No one was doing their laundry so it made the job that much easier. It was snowing pretty heavily when we left Durham for home but #4 highway was track bare in most places.

We are half hour from home and still crossing the Saugeen River

The snowbanks at the laundromat and it's only December

Bill didn’t have a problem but I had to entertain myself on my phone so I wasn’t making myself nervous. I’m sure he doesn’t need to hear my ‘jeez!’ comments and sighs etc. 😊   The snow turned to rain part way home and we know the temperature is rising to 3C/38F this afternoon. A lot of this white stuff will be disappearing and that is a GOOD thing in our books. It won’t hurt my feelings if it is back and forth (snow and rain) all winter.

The drive home was a bit clearer

My timing was bad but this little green guy was completely in the ditch

We stopped at Walmart in Hanover and encountered nothing different from what I’ve encountered over the last 6 months. Easy in and easy out to get a few essentials, milk, cream, bread, Clementines and oh, a pair of mitts for my walks. Good suggestion by a commenter and worth a shot. I’ll try them out next time I’m encouraged enough to go.

Driving through Hanover, we met the snow plow

 At home, it was 11:45 so while Bill shoveled the walkways here, I started chopping bacon, peppers, onion and mushrooms for omelets. It has been a while since we’ve had them and they were very good. Filling too, we were both hungry. After dishes, we retired to our room and puttered around. Bill finished his Lee Child book last night and I will be done with mine, Count to Ten, today. Bridgette gave me a book yesterday that was recommended to her so I’ll give it a shot next.

Keep your eyes on the road, Bill
Patsy, keep your eyes on your phone!

But first! I decided to get my wool out again and attempt something else. I found a pattern for a simple crocheted shawl and since I have a lot of balls in one colour, I need to use some of it up. I sat on the bed beside Bill, and in between working a basic stitch I played my Scrabble Go games on my phone. Oh, for lazy afternoons. 

And the Saugeen River on the other side, as we headed home

I admit that I'm not good at some online things (quite a few)
Instagram being one. I just don't get it. Why?
But then, I should learn it. So, Bridgette helped me yesterday.
This is me practising and I posted it to Facebook as well
The windshield was a mess but I took this one on my phone
so I could get with the 'in' crowd. 😁

At one point, around 2:30, I’d got dressed for out-of-doors and walked to the post office.  Still waiting for my parcel, plus Bill has one coming as well. No parcel, but 2 cards arrived for us. It was quite mild outside but the snow that was falling was very wet and a walk, had I felt so inclined, would have had me soaking wet by the time I got back. Instead I came home and I made a cup of tea and returned to my hobby.

and then I did another with a # (hashtag)

At 6, we went down and got supper on the go. Leftover ham, a sweet potato and still bean casserole for me, an Idaho potato and corn for Bill plus a piece of delectable pecan pie each. I had homemade whipped cream with mine. 

It was tasty and colourful meal

Topped off with pecan pie

After dishes, we returned upstairs and spent the rest of the evening together. This was another good day with a countdown to the end of 2020 ever closer.

A different year, Dec. 30, 2018
This is where we should be today!!
Beautiful Freddy sleeps at Happy Hour
Good night y'all!

Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

A Day of Fulfillment, The Best Medicine for What Ails Us

Paisley, On

On Tuesday, Dec. 29th Bill and I were up at a better time. 7:30, so by all means still not rushing to get up. Bill had his shower and I went downstairs to make my tea and have a nibble of breakfast. Upstairs, I got washed and we were ready to leave the house by 9. We’d been going back and forth with my daughter over a date to see them at their country home and today was the day we landed on.

It was a few minutes before 9 when we hit the pavement

Sections of the highways were like this as we started out on Bruce County Rd. 3

It was the best day of the week for a drive. We were all very comfortable with the idea of a visit. They were both home, Bridgette works from home anyway, and Chris has been on vacation for over a week. His work protocol practices safety procedures so we were not concerned in the least over Covid. We are and will continue to be careful. 😊

Lovely sky, we hoped it would stay

Low lying clouds reminded us that it could change at any time

The sun tried, throughout the 2-hour drive to Woodstock, to break through those clouds and with blue patches of sky, we were not surprised that it beat the odds for a while by the time we arrived. They live in the country, miles from town and have not left the house or seen anyone other than her son, my 2nd oldest grandson, in over a week. They were really pleased for us to come.😃💓

Blue skies are so rare during the winter
This is beautiful!

It was 11 when we made our appearance and knowing it would be a visit over the lunch hour, I came bearing ham. I’d cooked it last night in Madame IP and sliced it this morning for sandwiches. I hate dropping in at meal times so needed to do something. We thought a late morning visit was better than an afternoon one where the weather (which is at its best = unpredictable) and darkness could be an issue.

this church and cemetery as we enter Tavistock 
always catches my eye

The highway before turning onto their road
up there at the row of evergreens on the left

Told you they lived in the country
This is not a blizzard, this is a terribly dirty windshield!

Their homestead entrance

What a wonderful time we had, and boy was I thrilled when I saw that Jake was still home! We caught up on all things and life, in general. We didn’t dwell on the world crisis as that goes on every day all around every one of us. Instead, we talked tattoos, dogs, cats, family, books, motorcycles and records. I was able to present Bridgette with Mom’s personal necklace with a locket picture of Daddy. She was touched almost to tears.

Bridgette and Chris have 2 black cats
Jack, who has reigned the household for 1 1/2 years
and here you see Trinity Bronx (?)
Just 6 months old and she is dainty but brave
She wanted to play with my camera cord

The 'forbidden' apple cake Bridgette made was wonderful!

She collects MANY things
This is just one of the collections
good thing they have a large house!!

Bridgette is the grandchild who has spent the most time with Grandma and Grandpa ‘Sunflower’. My ex and I lived within 5 miles of their home when my two children were born. For 5 years, my parents were close by and helped by sitting for us, the times we needed them to and we were at their place for supper more often than I can count on those weekends. Because of that closeness, I’m happy to give her the locket. 😊

Bridgette displays her two momentos from her Grandma
The Sunflower pin and Mom's locket with a picture of Daddy inside

Bridgette holding Trinity, with Jacob

And I had to show you Jake's hair
He has cut and donated it to cancer once already

So, time flew by, as it does when you’re having fun and at 2 we said our goodbyes. The sun had warmed up the day a lot even though it still only said -3C/28F. Many of us know how hot that sun can be, especially when we’re in Arizona. 13C/58F feels much warmer. It was a good drive home. There were a few things I’d noticed on the way down that I wanted a picture of but on our return trip, I either forgot or missed the opportunity.

A peak at the bikes in the garage
One of the topics of our conversation

Therefore, all you get is scenery. Bill stopped at a Pioneer gas station to fuel up and we carried on home. 

Typical beautiful narrow stairway in an old home

Arriving around 4:15, I walked to the post office. I’m expecting a parcel from Wish so even though Wes had checked earlier, thought I’d try my luck. Nothing. If you’ve ever ordered online from this company, you know that there is no tracking and not much communication. It is a China vendor and they tell you upfront that it will be minimum 6 weeks for delivery.

Saying goodbye to the lovebirds
so glad we went

Their prices are so good and their products unique enough that I was willing to be patient. Hopefully tomorrow it will be here or I will be losing that patience. I made myself a cup of tea and joined Bill upstairs. Listening to the weather forecast on the drive home we learned that we could have snow overnight again and possibly more tomorrow. I hope it isn’t too bad as it will be a cleaning day for me.

As Bill backed out of the laneway
I snapped photos

The evening was a quiet one. Our lunch with the kids was ham and cheese sandwiches, homemade potato soup (YUM!)  and Bridgette’s Apple Crumble Cake. I don’t know what she called it but it was wonderful too. I added some cream to mine because I love that combination. We won’t be needing much for supper tonight so we’ll decide later. This was a wonderful day. I feel fulfilled after seeing in person one of our children.

a windy day at Pilot Knob RV Resort
Rob and Pat's Silverback on this side of us
Bill loves his flags!
Dec. 29th, 2018
Good night!

Thank you for your visit. Your comments are always welcome.