Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday, May 23rd - Belated Happy Victoria Day to those who had the day off!

Well, it's been quite a busy week out here on the island. I worked a couple of days last week and that usually messes up those days. I need to get a little better organized I suppose.

Off and running walking
We had one really nice day last week and that's the day I cut the lawn, as I'm sure almost everyone on the island did. After working outside most of the day, Lloyd and I headed into town for an ice cream cone at Jewells - the first of the season. Good thing too, because most of the weekend was chilly and VERY windy - certainly not ice cream weather.

Brenda, Meghan and I had signed up to participate in the PEI Runway Run. Except in our cases it was a Runway Walk, as it was for a good many people. The total length from one end of the runway to the other and back again is 5 km.
No problem, we can easily do this. What we didn't count on is very cool temperatures and a very strong headwind going up the runway. The plus side of that was that we had those same very strong winds at our backs on the return trip. All in preparation for our walk across the bridge in June. This will be the third time I've made that trip. Hopefully it will be a nicer day. If I recall the last time we walked the bridge, we had very strong headwinds as well. Not a pleasant 13 kms. But we're keeping our fingers crossed that this time will be nicer.

It was fun to see the signs that the organizers had along the route:

     "You thought they said RUM didn't you?"

     "Smile, you paid for this"

     "Oh hell, you've come this far, may as well finish"

     "Don't stop, people are watching"

After the run was finished, and we were sure none of us had won any door prizes, we headed off to the Farmer's Market. While there we picked up some food and took it back to Meghans to eat in a nice warm kitchen with a hot cup of tea - probably the highlight of our day.

Sunday was once again very windy and chilly so not a lot got accomplished outside. It was a laundry/, cleaning kind of day.  Our neighbour came by on Thursday evening and tilled the spot where we've had our garden in the past. Now I need to start planning a garden. But it was too cold outside to do much there. 

Finally the weather broke and Monday turned out to be a beautiful day. I did some work outside and Lloyd helped Bernie with a project he had going on in the morning. The afternoon was spent putting wall panels on the outer part of our kitchen in the garage. It's a separate area but is really an extension of the kitchen. We're still waiting on plumbing and propane hook up. With any luck at all, it might get done this week. Keep your fingers crossed...

 It's that time of year again - the tulips are in full bloom down the road. I picked up my neighbour, Margie, and drove her down to see them. She's not been down before and she was very impressed, as were the countless numbers of visitors at the site. It's really become quite the attraction.

 From the middle of the field, all  you can see are colourful 
blooms as far as the eye can see in both directions.

And every colour in the rainbow...

And finally, last but certainly not least, please send your good thoughts and wishes to Patti and Greg. Very shocking news received from Patti early last Friday morning. Greg suffered a heart attack.(I know, right?)  He was taken to Guelph General and then almost immediately to St. Mary's in Kitchener, who specialize in cardiac care. The original thought was that he would be in hospital for a while but he's actually home now. They performed a procedure and he responded quite favorably. Perhaps it's his young age (way too young for this to happen) and otherwise good health. He will be stuck at home for a while. He's not allowed to work or drive for a month, and will be following up with visits to his family doctor as well as cardiologists.  It was a pretty stressful few days but we're so glad to hear that he's  home and doing well.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tuesday, May 16th - a much quieter week than the last couple have been

After much activity at Patti's it was a much quieter week. Lloyd was away for his rainy week in Quebec City. He met up with two old friends and they managed to have a good time in spite of the weather. It's good that they weren't in the more flood prone areas of the province.

Most of my week was spent out either out in the garage cleaning equipment in the new kitchen or in town putting out cards. I did manage to get into town on Wednesday, after the courier delivered the truck key to me on Tuesday afternoon.

Our weather for most of the week was wet and chilly but was warm and sunny by Friday. Needless to say the goats were sure glad to get outside and get some fresh air and stretch their little legs.  After a great weekend we are back to the cool temperatures and lots of rain. Good news is we should see mid 20' and sunny by Thursday and Friday. Just what I've been waiting for since Lloyd got my Miata out of the garage on Sunday. All I need now is some convertible weather! Bring it on!

Other than that, not a lot to report. We're just about ready for our health inspection to give us approval to opperate.. Just a bit of construction left (some doors to put back on as well as some tiling left) and the final plumbing and gas hookup to be done.

Since it was a rainy day yesterday I took the opportunity to try out some new recipes. I had some pumpkin on hand as well as cranberries. I worked for one I came across for a Pumpkin Cranberry Bread and also some Pumpkin rolls.  I then tried out an unknown recipe for me - a Pork Vindaloo. I don't know what it's supposed to taste like as I'm not a huge fan of curries, but I'm told by someone who knows these things, that it was very good.  Sometimes it pays to just go out on a limb.

Brenda, Meghan and I took advantage of the sun on Sunday to go for a walk. We went down the road to where the tulips are planted to see what stage they are at. Another week will make a huge difference. ( Watch for photos of the progress next week.)  We were pleased with ourselves as I found out that we actually walked 6 km in total. We're getting ready to do another walk across the bridge in June and I need to make sure my feet and legs are ready for our trip to Britain in July!

Speaking of Britain, I was at a local dollar store the other day and saw this one lonely little hat all by itself. It immediately took me back to the days when James was absolutely obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine. He knew all the trains by name and had loads of Thomas stuff. It was ironic that this one lonely little hat had this name on it. I was tempted to buy it for him to wear on British Rail but I can just feel his eyes rolling!

On the other hand, had he been exposed to bagpipes at a very early age, I suspect it would have looked something like this: https


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tuesday, May 9th - it's been a while...

... since I posted anything. Sometimes real life just gets in the way.

Let's see, what's gone on since we last chatted?

I had a great time in Guelph with the kids and had lots of great lunches and dinner with many old friends.

My good friend Nancy invited me and a mutual friend, Marla over for lunch on day. We had a lovely time and a very tasty meal, which is no surprise!

I had lunch with Linda and Joyce (sorry ladies, but I forgot to get a picture of the two of you.). They are both hoping to come back and visit again this summer. Looking forward to it.

I had dinner with my old IAAP friends in Cambridge. They don't see each other as much anymore due to meetings no longer being held so it was a really nice get together for all of them as well.

I went up to Fergus to visit my friend Helen and have lunch at what was once upon a time our favorite pub. It's recently been taken over by a young man that Helen has known for many years, since he was a young boy. They've done a bit of a make over from the previous owners and it's looking great. Best of luck to him in his new venture. They have an interesting menu and I was able to sample Haggis for the first time as it's one of the items available. Helen ordered it and let me have a taste, and I have to say that I quite enjoyed it.

Friday nights, a group of old friends goes out for supper, every week. I had joined them my first Friday night and then again on my second Friday night. The kids were all busy and I would have just been sitting around by myself so I decided to go out. Tristen asked if I was going out with all my old people friends again, and I said I most certainly was!

On Saturday I had invited our friends Fran, Walt, Ken and Katy to Patti's for supper. Fran thought she was being sarcastic a few weeks ago when she emailed me and said she would like to place an order with Wee Bee Catering. She requested Braised Lamb shanks, mashed potatoes, etc. So you can imagine her surprise when I called her and said her order was ready for pick up on Saturday at 6:00 at 222 Summerfield Drive. She said she was only kidding but I told her I'd already purchased the lamb shanks so they better show up!. It was really nice to cook for them again. Hopefully next time I do that, it will be here. Tristen did a short karate demonstration for them and James played them a tune on the pipes. I asked Meg if she would do a little dance and her response was "Oh Grandma, you're so funny!" I took that as a no!

While I was in Guelph I had the pleasure of taking James to Burlington twice for ground school. He seems to be really enjoying it, and it gave me the excuse to visit IKEA while I waited.  We were in Burlington the night Patti and Greg were coming home. We thought they might be home before us, as his class is from 7:00 to 10:00 but we were back home by the time they made it through customs, got their luggage and finally got home. They had a terrific time and got to see some pretty interesting places, but they were glad to be home.

On Tuesday, Patti and I made a quick trip across the border. I wanted to pick up some quilting fabric and it's considerably less expensive there than here, even with the exchange.

Then Wednesday morning it was time to go home. Tristen and James insisted they be woken up to go to the airport with us. So we were on the road by a little after 5:00. My flight didn't leave till 8:00 but the line up at security was very long and by the time I got to the gate, they were boarding. No waiting around this trip!

Fortunately for me, Brenda had an appointment in town so she was able to pick me up at the airport and give me a lift home. 

And what a sight that was. Excavating had been going on the bring the water from the house to the garage kitchen. The entire back yard as well as all behind the garage were dug up. Two large trenches had been dug down four feet deep. Time was of the essence as Lloyd was leaving on Saturday morning to drive to Quebec City.

Fortunately the plumber and the fellow with the bulldozer were both available on Friday so everything was completed underground that needed to be done and the trenches filled back in. I was so grateful for that as we were expecting rain for most of the next week. I could just picture these deep ditches filled with water. But it's all good. At first everything was very soft mud but that's finally starting to firm up and I'm no longer sinking past my ankles to get to the barn.

After multiple days of rain, yesterday was an absolute delight. We had some rain in the morning and them it cleared up and we had sun and 18' weather for the rest of the day. What a treat!

I texted Brenda to see if she was interested in going for a walk after supper. She texted back that I could join them for supper left from Saturday (yes, I was invited over there for the first lobster feed of the season). I helped finish off the left overs in lobster rolls because they really didn't want lobster AGAIN today. Just so glad that I could be of help.

So Lloyd left for Quebec early on Saturday morning. I was planning to go over to Brenda's around 10:00 for a tea, only to discover that I don't have a truck key on my keyring. I must have lost it somewhere but since I rarely use it, didn't notice. Needless to say the only other key was on it's way to Quebec. So he put it in the courier on Monday and I should have it by tomorrow. At least we learned that next time, double check! Brenda has loaned me a vehicle just so I won't be without any wheels but my trips to town can wait till I get the key.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday, April 25th - the kids are at school, laundry is in, now time for my second cup of coffee!

After a very busy few days, it's nice to have a bit of time to myself.

It was warm for a couple of days but....now it's chilly and wet, again. My walk this morning is going to have to wait!  It's going to get warmer as the week goes on and we should return to nice temperatures. The weather was beautiful here in downtown Guelph on the weekend. It was very cold and wet on Thursday when I arrived but had cleared up by Friday. Saturday and Sunday were warm and sunny. The lawns here are all green and driving through the country side is a lovely carpet of emerald everywhere you look.

Patti and I spent most of Thursday running around looking after last minute tasks before they headed out later that night. She just had time to join me for the Cadet Friends and Family concert. James was piping and it was nice to watch him perform. He really does seem to enjoy playing.

On Friday Greg's mom Lynn arrived to help out. Tristen had a Karate tournament in Stratford (Ontario, not PEI) on Saturday and she was here to transport the other two. So I took advantage of her presence to go out with friends on Friday night. After a lovely dinner of Lebanese food, I joined Nancy and Stu, Robin and Marlene and Tom and Linda for coffee at Tim's.  We didn't plan it to be a long coffee but we ended up sitting around reminiscing for a couple of hours. Great fun!

Saturday morning Tristen and I were up and out of the house early to head to Stratford. He came home with a fourth place trophy for one of his events, so well done T! It was a quick trip back home to his friend's house. There was a birthday party that needed attending, so the rest of the day was pretty quiet. Meg's dance class was cancelled so she and Lynn headed out to Burlington to shop.

Later in the evening she did a makeover on both of us. Lynn had bought some new makeup and needed Meg to give her some tips on applying it. I on the other hand, just sat in for the fun of it. The goats and chicken don't seem to mind what I look like in the morning so long as I arrive with food!

Sunday morning Meg had dance at 8:00 and James had band practice at 10:00.  It was a gorgeous day and since I arrived a bit early to pick him up, I could hear them practicing outside the back of the building. It was a lovely day to sit in the sun and enjoy some music.

Sunday afternoon Tristen wanted to make Monkey Bread. We ran out of time in PEI back in March due to their early weather related departure so we got busy and whipped up some dough.  He did a great job and promptly went to school on Monday and told his teacher that I could come in and make it with his class.

Monday Meg was busy after school working on some costume pieces for a play they are doing at school. We had chicken fingers for supper with some chicken breasts that were in the freezer. Tristen was a big help coating all the chicken after we set up a breading station for him.  A quick bite to eat then James and I were off to Burlington for his first night of Ground School.  He was scheduled to be there from 7:00 to 10:00 so I took advantage of the opportunity to go to Ikea. Haven't been there in years so it was a nice treat. I could have done a lot more damage but I had to keep in mind that I had to get anything I bought home on the plane. I managed to control myself. 

Lynn has an appointment this morning and is then heading home so I'll be on my own till Patti and Greg get back next Monday morning. The two of us spent the past few days cleaning so everything is spic and span when they come back (assuming I can keep it that way for the next week!)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tuesday, April 18th - it's been a busy week but things are about to get a LOT busier!

I know it was Easter on the weekend but that didn't stop us from continuing to work out in the garage kitchen.  As of today, the convection ovens are in place. The racks and doors still need to be put back on but at least they are in place and the venting is all complete. All that's needed now for those is some propane and a gas fitter to hook it up. Maybe next week...

There was a LOT of cleaning to be done to those poor old ovens. I contacted Blodgett with the serial number and was told at least one of them was manufactured in 1994. Not sure about the other one. (I have to look up the serial number on that one )I could be wrong but I'm not sure they've seen much  cleaning since that time! I'm sure that's not the case but it took most of the weekend to get them into shape.  No worries though, as we really didn't have any plans other to continue work out there. Now they're looking better than ever - all I have to do is try to keep it that way! Stay tuned for a picture coming soon  to a blog near you...

The mixer has had the top layer of paint stripped off and the next layer given a bit of a sanding so it's also ready to be painted, so things are moving along.

Lloyd and I attended the Food Safety course on Thursday. Hopefully we both passed!

The weather was quite nice the end of last week so we were able to do a fair bit of cleaning up in the back yard as well. We had accumulated quite a bit of "junk" out behind the garage so Friday was spent loading it all into the truck and trailer to take into town on Saturday. What a difference it makes.

The weather was so nice that we just had to get the goats outside. The winter weather had taken down some of the fence so that also got fixed over the weekend. Those 5 little guys and their parents really enjoyed frolicking around in the sunshine. So much so that when I went out to the barn to feed them later, they were all lying down having a little siesta.

Sadly, our nice weather hasn't lasted. Sunday and Monday were pretty cool and drizzly so not the best of days. In fact we had some flurries on Monday evening. Not a welcome sight at this time of year. But it didn't matter to me. I'm heading off to Ontario on Thursday morning so I only have a couple of days to get things in order and ready to go.Lots of last minute things to do around the house, although I'm fairly certain Lloyd will manage quite nicely for the 13 days that I'll be gone. Patti and Greg are off on a trip and I'm spending my time grand parenting.  Looking forward to it.

 But the weekend wasn't ALL work.  We had been invited to the Van Gaals for supper on Friday. After working all day long, I was ever so grateful that someone else was cooking  for me. And as usual, a delicious meal it was with great company.  Then on Saturday morning, Brenda came over to go for a walk. We headed down the road and little Barney followed us. He doesn't seem to realize that he's a goat. He walked the entire way between the two of us - no leash or collar required. He's such a funny little character. I was out raking the front lawn on Friday and he was out with me. He just follows me around like a dog, it's really quite funny. In fact he does a better job of sticking with me than the dog does - Cooper could take some lessons from Barney.

We worked all afternoon on Saturday again, and got a phone call from our friends Jens and Linda, wondering if we were interested in going out for supper. Yay - again cooking duties are looked after by someone else. After working all day it was really a treat.We had a lovely evening visiting and enjoying our meal together.

James was busy on the weekend at The Toronto Indoor Games piping competition. Patti was there and was able to film part of James' performance. It takes a minute or so before she spots him in the group and from there you can see him playing. I have to say, I was mighty impressed


Here's a photo of the band for those of you who find listening to the bagpipes painful! (and you know who you are!)

James is in the front row, second from the end on this side!

Part of the weekend while James was piping, Patti and Tristen went to the Ripley Aquarium. He'd been there before with school and it looks like lots of fun.

Meg has finished her dance competitions for the season but now they are busy gearing up for the recital in June.

Next weeks post will be from beautiful downtown Guelph - wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tuesday, April 11th - warmer weather expecetd - bring it on!

After seeing nice warm temperatures in other areas, we're finally starting to warm up a bit ourselves. Of course with the good, comes the bad - the messy yard and all the clean up that we all have ahead of us - but as long as the sun is shining we really don't mind.

It was a fairly busy few days this week.  We're working on removing the paint from the mixer we purchased. We know it's old but weren't sure just how old. So I did some research and found an instruction manual and parts list on line. I contacted Hobart and they advise it was manufactured sometime between 1940 and 1950. We don't have a serial number as someone along the way has removed the plate with that information. But no worries, we have the info we need. It's a pretty sorry looking sight right now but just wait till we're done with it!   Stay tuned for updates later.

Meanwhile Lloyd was able to successfully measure and cut out a rather large hole in the wall for the venting system for the convection ovens. Still some work to do but the main part is done. I know he was pretty stressed about cutting through the wall in case he measured incorrectly-but he did well and it all worked out just fine 😀...Wee Bee Catering is another step closer to reality.

Getting ready to go on stage

Meghan had a very busy weekend attending the final dance competition for the year. They did extremely well and I know she was very pleased with their results. Rumour has it that a video was made and will be purchased so I'll be able to watch it at a later date. Apparently she and her friend Jill's duet won second place over all duets and trios in the entire competition. Well done, girls!

Just one of the duets

James, in the meantime, was busy participating in Vimy Ridge Anniversary Celebrations in Kitchener.
From the looks of the photos the weather was more than cooperative.  The Cadet web site has some great photos and a video of them being piped along the route

Here at home, Brenda, Meg, Maureen and I had the pleasure of attending a Rose Cousins concert at the Confed Centre on Saturday evening. Since we were going to be in town anyway, it only made sense for us to have something to eat first. We enjoyed the Burger love creation at Mavors before the show. Another tasty treat!

While we were in town the boys all went out and had a burger followed by some wings. They ended their evening in Bernie's shop - a great night for everyone!

Now that the weather if finally improving, the sea of mud in our back yard has dried up a little bit and after some outside cleaning  up  we'll be ready to have the water brought out to the garage. That involves some excavation and plumbing but the required resources have been lined up.

It will also be soon time for my little car to come out of the garage (although we do need to move some very heavy equipment out of the way before that can happen). Yesterday I was coming home from town and there was a convertible in front of me  at the stop light. Then I looked to my right and there was a red Miata at the other corner - yes, it's time!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Tuesday, April 4th - we're optimistic that any day now the sun will shine and it will get warmer

The past few days we have woken up to more new snow - not a lot, mind you, just a light dusting, but just enough to let us know that we're still not quite through with winter. But complain as we will, we really shouldn't. The news yesterday announced that Newfoundland was going to be receiving 45 to 65 cms of snow yesterday and today. So really? What do we have to complain about...

It was a busy week for me - two trips into town to do greeting cards.  This week I only have one store to do so one trip will do it (not counting my weekly trip into town on Mondays... just because!)

The weekend was busy for both of us. Lloyd and his friends worked hard at getting the double decker
convection oven moved home. It's a challenging project that's not finished yet. One oven is in place but there needs to be a substantial hole cut through the wall for the venting. He's taking his time about doing that one as once it's cut out, there's no going back. He has to cut the hole before the second oven can be installed on top of the first so it's a multi - day job. We rented a lifting device from a local place on Saturday but it had to be returned on Monday. So, it will need to be rented again once the second oven is ready to be moved up to the top of the first one. The very large mixer is also home and  proved to be a real challenge as well. It's very heavy and a really awkward shape so it took quite a bit of maneuvering to get it off the trailer and into the garage. It has at least 3 coats of paint on it, and the top coat is all chipped and flaking off in spots and it really looks like a mess, not to mention the fact we don't want paint chips falling into our doughs. So my job today is to use paint stripper to try to get as much off as I can so we can sand it down and repaint it.  Lots of jobs to keep us busy!

While the moving was going on, I made myself scarce and went to town with the girls. Brenda, Meghan and I went in to bottle some wine at the local brew your own place.

We worked up a thirst doing that so it was off to the Factory for their Saturday afternoon blues jam. Some friends of Brenda's joined us and we had a nice time listening to some great music.

That worked up an appetite so it was off to Papa Joe's for the first of this year's Burger Love tastings.

The Grind

Papa Joe's

6 oz Island Beef Patty, PJ’s Signature Sauce, 
Chili Island Gouda, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, 
Pickled Red Onions, Jalapeno Chips 
on a toasted Classic Bun 
After a tasty burger, it was time for some dessert to finish off our meal - a short walk up the street for the first DQ of the season!
Now that our tummies were taken care of, it was off to the Eastlink Centre to find some motorcycle boots for Meg.  

All in all it was a pretty busy but fun weekend. 

Friday was our Meghan's third dance competition of the season. By all accounts it went very well, as I could tell by the text message she sent me.  .."and then we had the overall awards for the whole weekend and my duet with Jill came FIRST PLACE OVERALL out of the whole competition. Like every duet that was entered in the competition, we beat and came first over all..."  One very happy and excited young lady. Well done Meg and Jill! Looking forward to seeing all these prize winning numbers performed at the recital in June.