Birthday Week

Tues. Oct. 13 –  We had a rest day.  Win came over to look at a bird bath the neighbour was giving away.  I did dishes and laundry.  Hubby cut down the neighbour’s old apple tree for him.

Wed. Oct 14– I went on a zoom for the audit committee.  Then Hubby and I cleaned out behind the garage and put canvas down.

Thurs. Oct 15 – I went to the knitting group.  I discovered I hadn’t sent in the church income tax so I scrambled to get that done all afternoon and mailed it in.

Fri.  Oct 16–  I painted some scaffolding that Hubby put up to tidy things up behind the garage. He took 2 loads to the scrap yard.

Sat. Oct 17 – My 67th Birthday Hubby worked in the workshop. Win and I went for a hike at the lagoon with the dogs.  We only saw a couple of swans and a few ducks.  #1 Son and T ordered supper for us from the Greek place and had it delivered so that was really nice

Truck sold, Thanksgiving

Thur. Oct 1 –  I went to the knitting club in the morning.  It was nice so we sat outside in our own lawn chairs. A kid in clydes class has Covid. They had to stay home today.  Clyde has to quarantine for 10 days.  Tania has to have a test because she has symptoms but she thinks it’s just a cold.  It came back negative.  

Fri. Oct 2 – Hubby has been helping the neighbour clean out his barn.  He took a load to the dump, to the scrap yard, to toxic waste etc.  He also helped another neighbour clean out a shed.  THey both paid him.  

Sat. Oct 3-  #2 Son and Goober came to winterize the bees but then a guy came and bought Hubby’s old truck but he didn’t need the box so they all worked for quite awhile taking the box off and the gas tank.  The guy gave Hubby $750 for the rest.   By the time they were done it had started to rain so #2 Son came back on Sunday and they winterized the bees.  

Wed. Oct 6 – Gorgeous day here just really windy.  I Pickled the last of the beets this morning. Bro and I had a visit with mom outside at 2:30.  Mom was the same.  Outside visits end Oct 19 unless they postpone it.  So that was our last outside visit.  We would have to have a Covid test to do an inside visit now.  But they may change that if it keeps getting worse and it’s hard to get a test done now too.  The wind was pretty cold sitting out there today. We stayed 20 minutes though.

Friday, Oct 9 -I had lunch with Gwen and E. today.  We sat on Gwen’s back patio.  She made us really good homemade lentil soup, cheese, crackers, grapes and wine. Es daughter got married last Sat.  They had it outside because of Covid but it rained and they only had a small lean to, no tent.  The guests all had umbrellas.  They put down straw because of the mud.  She is here another week yet.  She is planning on moving back next Spring.

Sat. Oct 10– it was too windy for them to go out in the boat today, even though it was nice and warm.  I did church books and cleaned off the dining room table ready for Monday, Thanksgiving dinner.  I baked some squash and a loaf.

Mon. Oct 12 – Thanksgiving 

I got the turkey in by 7:30 and the potatoes and corn in the crock pots.  The Covid numbers have been increasing a lot and we are nit allowed to have more than 10 people inside so I set up 3 patio tables outside on the deck with cloths and chairs so each family could eat at their own table.  The weather had been forecast as 52% rain but it turned out nice and sunny and warm!   The kids and grandkids played an intense game of social distancing hide and go seek, then we had dessert and then they played card games.  They had fun.  Win zoomed with her boyfriend who lives in the US.  They have filled out paperwork to apply for him to come across the border to visit.

September Days Flew By

Wow, where has the month of September gone?!  I have been busy pickling beets and hot peppers,  making tomato sauce, working in the garden, digging out the compost pile, fixing fences, moving perennials, planting bulbs, and baking.   Hubby turned 69 on the 11th.   As usual we ordered Chinese food for supper. I had made a raspberry cheesecake and a pudding dessert and invited the family over for a piece after supper to celebrate.   We sat outside but it was cold once the sun went down. They had fun and lots of laughs looking at some old memories from the attic clean out.  The grandkids have gone back to school.

 Hubby has gone out in his boat with his friends a few times but caught no fish.  His friend caught a 4 lb walleye.   He helped a neighbour build a shed and clean out his barn attic, taking a couple of loads to the dump and scrapyard.  He also helped another neighbor clean out her garden shed.  He keeps bringing things home and I am trying to get rid of things!! We are both such pack rats!

As I said, I have been cleaning out the attic.  It is a big job!  I sorted through a whole file box full of old letters from the 70s and 80s.  I read a lot of them, took the stamps off the envelopes and then burned them out in the burn bucket. There were letters from my friends, from my aunts and cousins in England and from Mom and Dad because they used to go down to Texas for the winter. My mother wouldn’t let me call my friends on the phone if they were long distance because it was too expensive so we had to write letters. It is amazing to think how often we used to write letters back then before the dawn of email and the internet!   Kids today have no idea.   

One Sunday, Win and the girls and I went for a lovely hike in the valley and then stopped at a farm stall where there were loads of pumpkins for sale.  Another day we went for a walk in the park by the lake but there were a lot of people there. We waded in the water. There were actually people swimming it was so warm. I had made a pumpkin coffee cake with maple walnut ice cream for dessert. 

Sat. Oct 3 – Hubby took a load to the scrap yard.  A guy came and bought our old 2002 truck!  He had his own tow truck.  He didn’t need the box so #2 Son and the Goober helped him and Hubby get the box off and then he towed it away.  #2 Son was supposed to winterize the bees but it started to rain.  I spend a lazy day sorting through more boxes and material.

Labour Day Boat Fiasco

Thirty years ago Hubby purchased a cedar strip motor boat.  He spent that summer fixing it all up, and on Labour Day of that year he was ready to take it on its maiden voyage.  He hooked the boat trailer up to his truck and I loaded the three kids, into my van because we couldn’t all fit in the pick-up.  I followed him to somewhere near Queenston where a friend had told him he could launch without paying a fee.  He wasn’t quite sure where he was going and turned down an old dirt pot-holed road with me following.  He came to a very steep hill going towards the river and took it.  I, thankfully, decided not to follow but wait at the top.  At the bottom there were about 10 people fishing on the banks of the river enjoying a peaceful, sunny holiday afternoon, until Hubby descended.  It was not the launching place and he had to manoeuvre the truck and boat trailer around in a very small area and then try to get back up the dirt hill!  He was revving the engine, dust and gravel were flying, his spinning tires were burning rubber and smoking.  The fishermen were choking, trying to get out of his way, not impressed that their idyllic afternoon had been disrupted!  Finally he got back up the hill, we continued on and found the proper launching place.

We loaded everyone in the boat with life jackets etc. and set off.  We rode for 5 minutes at most when suddenly….the engine died!  Hubby pulled the starter over and over and over.  No luck.  He fiddled and pulled, fiddled and pulled, no luck.  Meanwhile, we were rapidly drifting out to the middle of the Niagara River!   The current was very strong.  I wondered aloud, “Are we below Niagara Falls, or above it?”  He made an incoherent answer which meant he didn’t know for sure, at which point I began  to panic!  I looked around for help but there were no boats near us.  Still fooling with the motor to no avail, I finally said, Hubby!  We need to get out the oars and start rowing!  He eventually gave in.  Once we figured out how to get them in the oarlocks and we were both pulling the same way, I felt better until I looked at the shoreline and realized we weren’t going anywhere!  The current was so strong against us we were rowing for all we were worth and staying in one place!  Thinking we were going to die, I suggested we try to get closer to shore where the current wouldn’t be so fast.  We did this but were absolutely exhausted!  Our muscles were aching but we couldn’t stop rowing because as soon as we rested, we lost purchase.  We rowed and rowed and rowed.  We eventually got closer to shore and came upon some fishermen on the bank.  Then it dawned on me, No!  These were the SAME 10 fishermen where Hubby had got his truck stuck!!  Now here we were disrupting them again, plowing through the middle of all their fishing lines!  They were desperately scrambling to reel them in, getting them tangled up.  I was hoping they didn’t recognize us!  I was so embarrassed!  LOL

We continued rowing and rowing and the current picked up but now we were near the shore.  Earlier in the summer I had taken the kids to the Voyageur museum and we had learned how they used to walk on the shore pulling the big canoes with a rope over rapids etc. so I told Hubby he had to get out of the boat.  He jumped in the water, cutting his foot on a rock but got to shore with the rope and started pulling us.  It worked great until we came to a type of weir blocking the way so he climbed back in the boat and we started rowing again.  We made it around the weir and could finally see the dock where we had launched the boat!!  But we were SO exhausted, our arms felt like jelly, we just couldn’t get the boat to go the right way.   Fortunately there were a group of teenagers sitting on the dock and they yelled to us, Do you need some help?  I cried YES!  They all jumped in the water, swam to the boat, surrounded us and pushed us to the dock!  I was so grateful! We are still married but I have never been in a boat with Hubby since!! LOL

And now, here it is 30 years later.  Hubby has a new boat.  He has been fixing it up the last few weeks.  He is ready to take it on its maiden voyage.  It is Labour Day weekend…..2020…..What could possibly go wrong?

35th Work Anniversary

It was my 35th anniversary working at MCU today.  It is really 45 years but they don’t count the first 10 because I quit for 2 years when all 3 kids were small.   My manager called and put me on FaceTime speaker phone in the branch huddle.  The staff each had a letter of my name and said a blurb about me.  Adri had B and said it was because after knowing me for 3 years she found out I’m am Big Badass!  Lol. The others mentioned my puzzles, my everyday cheese sandwiches, my exploring the world and the disasters that follow me.  I wish I could have recorded it!   I also went out for dinner to an outdoor patio with 4 friends from work.  We had a good time, good food, good company. I brought Hubby home half of my peach cobbler salted caramel cheesecake for his anniversary, one year sober.

Pink Eye, Boat and Traffic

Sat. Aug 22 – #1 Son had his garage sale again but didn’t have many customers so closed it up early and packed the rest up and took it home.  I dried out the tent and tarp etc, did 2 loads of washing, vacuumed and picked blackberries.   It was hot and humid today.  

Sun. Aug 23 – i watched the church service on the internet and went on the parish zoom.  I roasted cherry tomatoes and made “zoodles”,  zucchini cut into noodles, fried with hamburger, onion, green peppers, the roasted tomatoes and grated cheese on top. It was good.  Win has pink eye, which is a symptom of Covid.  She booked a test for Monday morning.  

Mon. Aug 24- I did church books etc.  My manager called to see if I wanted to go back to work.  I said, not really.  He says I have 2 options.  I can take another voluntary leave until Dec 18 retirement date, or he is going to see if they will give me my six month bonus now and bump up the date.  I said either option works for me. He got back to me to say I should just take an extended leave, that way I still have my benefits.

Tues. Aug 25 – We,had a big storm last night and it felt cooler this morning so I made tomato sauce with tomatoes from our garden.  

Wed. Aug 26 –  I went to a meeting at church about reopening and then to an outdoor visit with Mom and Bro at the nursing home.  When I got back Hubby wanted me to help him work on the boat motor holding things up.  I don’t know what he was doing.  He tells me and explains and it just goes in one ear and out the other lol.  

Thurs. Aug 27 – Hubby and I took the tool he rented for the boat back then stopped off at #1 Sons for a short visit.  Hubby made a mistake fixing the boat and spent the day trying to figure out what to do about it.

Fri. Aug 28 – Hubby and I worked in the garden, weeding, picking, mowed the lawn.  Then #1 Son finally found somewhere to order the wood for his privacy screen about an hour and a half away and he wanted 

Hubby to pick it up for him in the truck.  I went too to help navigate.  There were 2 accidents on the bridge, one in each direction on the way there and traffic was all backed up and then another bad one on the way home.  Win and girls came for supper and we had fresh corn on the cob from the garden.

Sat, Sun, Mon, Aug 31 – We picked tomatoes, blackberries and green beans.  I made more tomato sauce, froze berries and corn.  We took Hubby’s truck in to be fixed.  I went to Wins after supper and the girls and I watched Hamilton.

Rainy Camping

I went to bed last night at 9:30 as I wanted to get up at 5 because we hoped to leave at 6 am Saturday morning but I woke up at midnight and then couldn’t sleep!  I finally fell asleep about 4 and woke up with a jolt at 6:15!  Even Hubby slept in!  He is always up at 5 but the day I need to get up early, he sleeps in! Ugh.  It didn’t really matter because Laura was late and we didn’t get away until 7:30.  

We got to near Hammertown and Laura wanted to pull over and tighten the canoe straps but she took the turn onto another parkway, Win and I kept going the right way.  We had to stop at Min’s to pick up their tote of pots and pans that they forgot so we told Laura we would fit it in and we’d see her at the Park.  Then Win’s GPS took us a roundabout way!  I hate not having a a paper map!  I like to know where I am not just trust the GPS.   We finally made it to the campsite about 1 pm.  We set up the tents etc., had some lunch and went for a swim at the beach.  The lake water was quite warm.  We cooked hamburgers for supper and Janet had brought a Baileys Chocolate Cheesecake, Yum! 

Min has had OCD for years, she has been seeing a counsellor and is getting better but she is paranoid of Covid! She almost didn’t come this year because she is so afraid but we talked her into it. So to make her feel better we set up a separate little tent just for our porta-pottie.  It has a little “sink” dishpan with a water jug and soap and a towel rack. So we didn’t have to use the public washrooms, we just emptied the pottie into the latrines. It worked quite well.

Sun. Aug 16– we were up early because we heard thunder and it was supposed to rain but it blew over.  We went for a short hike on the Spruce Bog Trail.  We saw lots of different kinds of mushrooms including some NA Destroying Angel mushrooms which are extremely poisonous.  It started to rain just as we were finishing the trail.  We had lunch and it started to pour rain so we sat in the kitchen tent reading most of the afternoon.  After supper I went to get the porta pottie and it was too full and it tipped over and spilled out!  Omg what a mess!  I got a margarine container and scooped up as much as I could back into it.  Jan and Min took it to empty and Cin and I swished water over the tent floor to clean it.  Geez!  Min was not impressed but it was an accident!  Lol

Mon.Aug 17/2020- it was nice this morning so the four of us went canoeing.  We saw a couple of loons, a kingfisher, geese and black ducks. We had lunch and then read our books and snoozed in the sun.  Win and the girls swam at the beach.  About supper time it started to pour rain, lightening and thunder.  We went to bed early listening to the rain.

Tues. Aug 18/2020 – It was much cooler and cloudy this morning.  After breakfast we went on the logging trail and then went to the Portage store.  We had an ice-cream and then went back to the campsite.  We read and the girls came over and I was teaching them how to knit and do needlepoint.    It rained off and on all day.  

Wed. Aug 19 – We got up early to go birding at Mew Lake.  It wasn’t misty like last year and we didn’t have much luck.  We did see a Merlin being chased by about 10 blue Jays.  We went back to spruce bog but saw nothing there either not even a spruce grouse.  We had pancakes for brunch and then sat in the sun when it was out to try and warm up.  We had a campfire singsong after supper with the girls. They look forward to this so much!

Thurs. Aug 20 – We got up late because it was cold and rainy out.  We decided to go on the Peck Lake hiking trail about 1 pm.  It was a nice trail and we saw a moose hoof print and a juvenile loon.  We also saw many different kinds of mushrooms, one black shiny one called a Sac Fungi, some yellow stringy ones called Golden Spindles, orange ones on tree called Orange Jelly Spots, little green mosses are Aloe Mosses, little tiny orange fungi are basidiimycete fungi, beige outer and brown inner with spots is Amanita Brunnescens,  white coral fungi is Coral fungi, Slippery Jacks are beige,  ones like eggs are called Yellow Patches, leafy grey lichen on branch is called Hooded Tube Lichen, yellow with spots is Amanita too, Brittlegills is red,  Pinewood Gingertail is orange brown multiple on wood, painted Suillus is browny pink with flat spots, lobster mushroom and some Agaricomycetes.  

We went back and had supper and it started to rain again!

Fri. Aug 21 – It poured rain all night so everything was soaking wet but at least it stopped by morning.  We were up at 7 and took the tents down. Win had taken their dining tent down the night before so that was good. We got away at 10:30 and drove non stop arriving home at 3:15.  Hubby told us the day we left he was at #1 Sons building a deck and someone backed into his new truck doing $3000 damage!  Geez!  He’s only had it 3 weeks.  

Paint Kits and Patio

Wed. Aug 12 – Hubby and #1 Son picked up a load of free wood.  I got my hair cut and did all the dishes from yesterday and then helped him stack the wood.  Bro and wife came after supper and brought me some irises they didn’t want.

Thur. Aug 13 – I ordered paint by number kits back on April 7 for the grandkids .  They finally came today – 4 months later!  Two days ago I phoned Visa and told them I wanted my money back because I was getting nowhere with the vendor, and what do you know 2 days later they arrive!  Win came over and we got all the camping stuff out  of the barn loft and packed her van.  

Fri. Aug 14/2020 –  I roasted 2 sheets of cherry tomatoes and made another batch of mustard pickles.  Hubby went to #1 Sons to plan out how to build a deck they want, then he came home and gathered all the tools etc. To take with him tomorrow.  #2 Son poured the cement for his patio today.  I went over to deliver the paint kits and pick up some books for Puddin.  It looks really good.  One of the guys brought a compass medallion to make an impression in the middle.  We loaded the big canoe on Wins van and tried the white one on Laura’s.  

2 Parties

Fri. Aug. 7 – I had a lazy sort of day, read my book, picked tomatoes, made potato salad for supper.  Did some more sewing.  Win came for supper.

Sat. Aug 8 – I baked a chocolate zucchini cake for # 6 grandson’s birthday which we are celebrating here on Tuesday.  I put it in the freezer.  Hubby worked on lawn mowers.  We went to #2 Sons party at his house.  It was mostly people we didn’t know.  Win didn’t go.  #1 Son and family went.  We thought we were getting pizza for supper but they didn’t get it until about 10:30. We were starving and the smoking was bothering Hubby even though we were all outside and social distancing so we left about 8:30, went home and ordered our own pizza.

Sun. Aug. 9 – We got another load of free firewood and stacked it all.  Hot and humid again.  I went on the church zoom and then the camping girls zoom.  Win decided she won’t take the trailer this year, just tents.  I read my book most of the day.  Picked tomatoes.

Mon. Aug 10 –  I roasted some of the cherry tomatoes and made a zucchini quiche for supper.  I started packing for our camping trip.

Tues. Aug 11. – Everyone came over for a BBQ to celebrate #6 Grandson’s 5th birthday.  We played Chinese checkers and Snakes and Ladders with the kids.  I made a chocolate zucchini cake and we had peaches and ice-cream with it.

Welding, Pickles and Muskrats

On Monday baked 2 applesauce loaves and some blueberry muffins.  I also sewed some more face masks for Hubby as he was using ones for sanding and they are hot and itchy! Hubby was welding a huge A-frame with a pulley and wanted me to stand by with a hose in case something caught fire.  He gave me his extra welding helmet to wear.  Later #2 Son came home from up North and stopped by just at the right time to help him stand it up using a rope around a tree trunk to winch it up.  He painted it on Tiesday and it looks pretty good.

On Tuesday it was raining today so I worked on church and cemetery books.  I started preserving some mustard pickles with cucumbers from the garden and finished them on Wednesday. For supper I made some zucchini French Fries in the air fryer for supper.   I was in the hot tub after supper when Hubby said, there are 3 muskrats on the front lawn!  I grabbed my camera and snuck out there and finally got some photos of them!  So cute!

Today we thought we would have a nice quiet relaxing day but we jinxed it.  First #1 Son called to say they were on their way to the big city when their car started smoking.  They weren’t too far from our house so Hubby went down and had a look.  They brought it back and decided it was the brake callipers and rotors.  They ended up changing them.  It’s a good thing it wasn’t too hot today to work out on the driveway.  Then the guy we sold the old boat to showed up and wanted some money back.  Ugh!   Win and the Pencil have been fighting about the surprise birthday party for #2 Son and now aren’t speaking to each other.  Ugh!  I started a Wattle and Loop Owl but didn’t get much done.  

Mustard Pickkes
The A frame outside the workshop