Monday, March 18, 2019

Monday, March - hope you all had a great St. Patrick's Day

What a crazy busy week we had.

Thursday night I arrived at the VanGaals to make supper as per our usual plan. Things were well underway once Brenda got home from work. This week we had Chicken Picatta - basically a boneless skinless chicken breast breaded and served with some angel hair paIsta and a lemon cream sauce.

I left early on Friday morning to meet up with our friends Mike and Willow for breakfast at the Culinary Institute. Then it was quickly back out to the country to make my phyllo tarts to take to our basket weaving open house.

We've all finished our 3 baskets and now it was time to display our talents to the rest of the community. A representative from the government was on hand as well. We had a lovely and impressive display of baskets and an even more lovely and impressive display of treats!

I stayed out in Fort Augustus on Friday as Brenda and Bernie were leaving early on Saturday morning. Meghan came out from town and brought pizza from town that I was happy to share with her and Ethan, Will and Amanda and of course, their parents.

I woke up early on Saturday morning while they were getting ready to leave, but I was able to go back to bed. After a little bit of drama. they arrived with their friends John and Janet, in New Orleans. I hope they enjoy it as much as I did many years ago.

I headed into town at 8:45 on Saturday morning as James was flying over from Halifax. His flight was supposed to land at 9:01 but due to heavy fog in both Halifax and Charlottetown his flight was rescheduled many times. Eventually he arrived at 11:45. After some lunch we headed over to the Inn to move our stuff out. I had previously packed up a lot of stuff and and he helped me bring it all downstairs and pack it into the car.

It was mild with light drizzle when we headed over to Patti Lane. We packed some of the boxes of stuff that we won't need until we finally move, into the storage trailer. The rest we brought over to Brenda's. There's still some sorting to do but I have all week.

We had picked up some chicken for supper and the rest of my week. We spend some time cooking together. I showed him how to cut up a whole chicken, and several ways to cook chicken pieces. We also did a little bit of knife skills.

We then went back in to town to see a movie - They Shall Not Grow Old. It was a really interesting documentary about world war 1. Needless to say, James really enjoyed it.

Sunday morning we headed into town to the Old Dublin Pub for their St. Patrick's Day charity breakfast. Another pub had a line outside waiting to get in, at 9:00 in the morning. The Dublin was not quite that busy but was bustling just the same. We invited a friend of ours to join us. Eric had an uncle who was killed in the war and he's been invited to travel to Scotland in April for a memorial ceremony. I knew that James would enjoy talking history with Eric and I think they both enjoyed their chat.

Live music at breakfast

After breakfast we took a drive out to Wheatley River.  James had a really quick tour of the winery  before we left them to get all their work done before they go away next week. 

Then it was off to Iona so James could tour our mini home,  picked up some food for Cooper and stopped in at Rosa's for a visit with all of them. While we were touring around, we received a text inviting us to the Duffy's for Irish Stew. Great way to end a St. Partick's Day.

James was flying out at 8:00 so I dropped him at the airport at 7:00. I stayed in town until I knew he was on his way. I went back to the Inn and finished packing up the last bits of stuff, while I waited.

Monday morning was a slow morning but I went into town around 11:00.  I finished packing up the rest of our stuff and tidied up and vacuumed before I left for the last time.

For the first time, I'm truly feeling homeless. Even though thanks to the kindness of friends I have a place to stay but I still feel a little uncentred. I'm assuming that after a good nights sleep I'll feel better. I have a whole week here then I'm  out to Wheatley River for a month. I'm hoping this next move will be the second last one. Weight restrictions are in place on our roads so nothing will be happening until those are lifted. Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later. I know it will all work out in the end but I can't wait for it all to fall into place.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Monday, March 11th - hello longer afternoons!

Now that the time has changed, it's such a joy to have that extra time in the early evenings.
Last night I decided to take myself out for supper a little after 5:00. After enjoying some sushi at my favourite Japanese location, it was such an uplifting walk home. We enjoyed sunny, slightly milder temperatures all weekend and it was wonderful walking home in broad daylight and sunny skies after 6:00. You can almost feel spring in the air. There's some heat in that sunshine now and it feels glorious.

This morning I'm waiting for my car to get an oil change so I'm enjoying a coffee at my favorite little coffee spot. It's raining this morning and should get to 6' later. It's nice to get all the salt from my trip to Halifax washed off the car.

My week was mostly quiet after getting home from Halifax on Tuesday. Thursday was once again supper at the VanGaals. I was expecting to be receiving some lamb from our friends Charles and Laura but it wasn't going to arrive in time for Thirsty Thursday. But I had my taste buds all primed for some lamb burgers so a quick stop at the  farmer run grocery store provided me with my main ingredient. My menu this week was lamb burgers with tzatziki sauce, red onions and lettuce, accompanied by a greek salad and lemon roasted Greek potatoes. Of course, some wine to go with that was a given.

Brenda was off on Friday so we went into town early to have breakfast at the Culinary Institute. One of the options was a Vietnamese Breakfast Bowl. I thought I'd give that a try and it was absolutely delicious. Brenda opted for the lemon meringue pancakes with bacon and fresh fruit. Combined with coffee for a total of $6.05 each, it's a pretty great way to start the day.

Vietnamese breakfast bowl
Friday was also our last basket weaving class and all projects are now complete. Next Friday is our open house when all are invited to come and view the fruits of our labours. Watch this space for photos next week.

We completed our afternoon with a short snowshoe trek in the woods.

I was back out in Fort Augustus on Saturday after picking up my lamb from Charles. and dropping it off in the freezers stashed at friend Richard's.  Remember those chicken pot pies I helped with in December? They are mighty tasty in the middle of March. I was able to enjoy some of those at the VanGaals for lunch.

After lunch Brenda and I headed out to Iona. Because of the amount of snow we took our snowshoes with us to visit the mini home. Good thing as we needed them to get in. We poked around and discussed some possible redecorating ideas. I'm getting anxious to get started.  Since we were in the area, we wandered over to Belfast to the Mini Mills. I picked up some needle felting supplies to take with me to Wheatley River so I'll have something to work on.

On our way home we made a detour to Montague and stopped for a beverage at Copper Bottom Brewery. It was my first visit. Lovely views out big windows of the Montague waterfront.

Sunday was the home show here in town. I spent a bit of time touring around there and asking some questions. It was another absolutely beautiful day. I had several things hanging around in my car that I needed to find space for so I made a trip out to Fort Augustus. On my way out I stopped and had a quick visit with Jens and Linda and after dropping stuff off at Patti Lane I checked in with Anna. It was a visiting kind of day.

Then it was back to town for something to eat and some time to contemplate packing things up. I've collected a few boxes and that will be my focus this week. Can't believe it's my last week in town. I can't help feeling that things are moving along, even if it's only me that's doing the moving!

I saw two movies this week at City Cinema, both old ones. The first was an Alfred Hitchcock called Vertigo. It was really interesting, especially to see what passed for special affects in 1958. The second one was a bit of a cult classic  - An American Werewolf in London. It was from 1981 and one I'd never seen, It was a little gruesome but I suppose nothing compared to what we see today. The treat for me was one of the main characters was a very young Jenny Agutter. I knew the face and voice but it wasn't till the credits that I realized that she plays a beloved character on Call the Midwife.

And finally this blast from the past. I was surfing through the TV channels on Saturday evening and on CHCH tv out of Hamiltion Ontario, what did I find but an updated version of an old, old TV show called Tiny Talent Time. It was on the air when I was a kid. In fact, I actually tap danced my way to stardom when I was 12 years old. Unfortunately all the old tapes have been destroyed (maybe that's a good thing!). Anyway it was certainly a trip down memory lane for me.

The older version with host Bill Lawrence

The new version

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Wednesday, March 6th - welcome back winter!

Winter hasn't really been too bad the past few weeks. But this weekend mother nature wanted us to remember just what winter really is.

I took a little vacation away from my house sitting duties and wandered over to Halifax for the weekend. After a delicious supper on Friday night at the VanGaals I left earlyish on Saturday morning.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day for traveling. Brenda, Meghan, Will and Ethan were going over to New Brunswick to ski and we passed on the road. I arrived in Halifax in time to take James out for some lunch. We had a lovely meal at the Old Triangle and spent a long time chatting. When we were finished we headed out to Bedford to check into our airbnb. It was a very comfortable and roomy basement apartment with it's own entrance through the back door.  There was some snow in the yard but not so much that it was difficult to get through, although the hosts were very welcoming and kind and suggested that we might prefer to come in through the front door. But we didn't like to disturb them so we usually used the back door.

When I was booking the airbnb there were some activities that you could sign up for, through their site. One was to learn how to make crepes. I've made them before but wanted to get proper instruction as I know the consistency of the batter is crucial. I signed us both up and it was scheduled for 7:00 on Saturday evening.

The weather was predicting a big snowstorm to start around 4:00, We left shortly after 6:00 and there was no sign of any snow as yet. We made our way to Dartmouth and found the location, It was a private home and we were warmly welcomed by our host, Davis. He spent several years in Paris and was very knowledgeable. There was only James and I and we felt like we were just going over to a friends kitchen to cook. We each made our own batch of batter (it's a totally hands on experience).
Once the batter was made it was off to the stove to learn how to spread the batter on the buttered pan, cook one side, then flip the crepe over to finish the other side. The first few flips were not totally successful but after a couple of tries we both were flipping like pros.

Mixing the batter

Cooking the crepes

Once all the crepes were cooked it was back to the table to enjoy them with some nutella, various cut up fresh fruit and whipped cream. We were even given some to take home with us. All in all a really fun way to spend a Saturday night.

When we went out to leave, the car was covered in snow and it was coming down quite heavily. By this time the roads were treacherous and there was no sign of any plows yet. The drive home was very slow and I was very grateful to have James' help in watching the signs. With the heavy snow you needed two sets of eyes for sure. It's especially tricky when you don't really know your way around and you're trying to navigate in the dark, in a snowstorm. But we made it home safely and spent the rest of the evening watching a movie on netflix.

Sunday morning I was scheduled to attend a class on making wax infused fabric food wraps. It was to start at 10:00 but needless to say no one was dug out yet. The hostess of this experience had emailed me and we agreed to reschedule the start time to 2:00. The sun was out and it was a gorgeous day and by lunch time the roads had been cleared, and my car shoveled out. James stayed behind and caught up on some tv.

It was in Chezzetcook, a fair drive out of Halifax.  Wendy, the hostess, lives in an absolutely beautiful log house on the water. While everything was frozen and white, you could see just how wonderful the views must be in the summer.  Again it was a very hands on experience. I was the only guest and I was able to make two food wraps, one of which I used when I packed up to go home on Tuesday.

Fabric pieces are cut to size and shape

Grated bees wax is sprinkled on top
The finished product is used to wrap foods instead of using plastic wrap

When I got back to Halifax I picked up James and we went into town for something to eat. We chose Piatto Pizza. I've aways enjoyed the food at the one in Charlottetown and I was looking forward to sharing it with James. We had a nice meal and then it was back to our apartment. We both put on our PJ's and sat down to watch some more movies. It was a very relaxing couple of days for us both.

It snowed again on Sunday night and once again the roads were treacherous. We ventured out around 11:00 to find a local place to eat. The roads were quite hilly in the subdivision we were in and a couple of spots you literally just slid down the street. Needless to say we didn't venture out too far. After a lengthy lunch and more chatting, we went back to watch some more Netflix. We had a bit of a movie marathon going on. Patti was scheduled to arrive in Halfax around 6:00 pm. This is where it got really interesting!

We arrived at the airport around 5:30 and Patti had texted us that she was on her way. There were no seats available on the flight but as she had just returned from Paris she was still in uniform. This allows her to take the jump seat in the cockpit if it's not already occupied.

Flights were slow coming in because there was only one runway open. We had been getting text messages from Patti that they were circling along with a few other planes, waiting for an opportunity to land. Several flights were diverted back to Montreal but at the last minute a second runway opened up and Patti texted that the captain was going to try to land.

They were told the runway was wet but in fact it was actually icy. There were a very scary few seconds in that cockpit as the plane came down and started to slide on the ice. The pilots tried to get it under control by cutting engine power etc, but just as they were approaching the red lights that mark the end of the runway, the wind caught it and spun it around and into the snow to the side of the runway, where it came to a stop. Needless to say it was quite the experience for Patti to have a front row seat to all of this. In the photo below you can see the lights on the runway on the right hand side. That's the side of the runway that should be on the left hand side of the airplane! 


There were no injuries as it was a pretty smooth slide and there wasn't any damage to the aircraft. However they had to wait for Transport Canada to give them instructions, as now it's technically an "incident". Complicating matters was the weather and the lack of buses at the airport. Eventually after almost 3 hours, the passengers were picked up by the little park and fly shuttle buses.  By the time Patti got into the terminal CTV news was already set up to interview passengers. Golly news travels fast!  By the time we were leaving the airport the story was on several networks websites including CBC, CTV, Global and even on the weather network. Must have been a really slow news night. But in reality it was an experience that had a very happy ending.

We made our way back into town and stopped at a McDonalds for a quick bite to eat as it had been a long evening. When we got back, we  changed into our PJ's and watched a movie and chatted about the evenings experience. Tuesday was check out day so we were packed up and on the road by 8:45.
 We had spotted a local restaurant that was serving pancakes on Tuesday morning (shrove Tuesday)  so we headed there for breakfast.

 After a leisurely breakfast together I dropped Patti and James back in town. James had a class after lunch and Patti had a couple of things she was wanting to do in town. Her plan was to try to get a flight out on Tuesday evening.

It was another gloriously sunny day after all the nasty weather over the weekend so it was great for traveling. A stop and tour around Ikea and then back to the island. PEI pretty much got the same snow that Halifax did so now it looks like we're back into the winter weather once more. But the sun is shining today and snow clearing is under way. It's a good day!

Patti also shared another picture with me that another flight attendant shared with her. This is what happens to a plane when it comes in contact with a bird in flight. Looks like they were both losers in that battle.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Monday, February 18th - Happy Islander Day - or whatever it's called in your province

Good Monday morning from the gently rolling hills of Wheatley River. I'm house sitting here later in March but an unexpected trip came up so I'm here for 10 days or so. Charles was planning to fly to Ontario last Wednesday to visit family, but due to the storm, he didn't get out. So instead, they decided they would both drive. I came out here on Friday afternoon and they left on Saturday morning.

It's such a treat to have a whole house again, not just one little room. Having a full kitchen at my disposal is also really appreciated. I brought what food I had in town and then went shopping and picked up more things to cook. I'm a happy camper at the moment!

My duties while here include monitoring the wine that's in the vats, looking after 8 ducks and one very large dog. Not too bad a gig.

Last Wednesday we had a snow day. I had finished all my cards on Tuesday so didn't have to go anywhere. It was predicted we would receive 20 to 30 cms of snow in town but in the end it was only 19, but enough to make a royal mess of things.

Thursday I went out to Fort Augustus to cook dinner for the VanGaals. I had asked Brenda earlier in the week if Bernie had any great plans for Valentines. I didn't want to intrude. She suggested that Bernie was hoping I was coming out to cook. So that's what we did. Our menu included a mixed salad, roast pork tenderloin with mashed sweet potatoes and carrots and parsnips for vegetables. Dessert was heart shaped chocolate brownies topped with ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce. All in all not too bad a night. Some wine and Grey's thrown in and it was pretty much perfect.

I stayed overnight then went into town early to do a couple of errands. Then it was back to the Shamrock Club (after a sandwich at Brenda's) for a double basket weaving class. We missed last week due to freezing rain so we did a four hour class this week, instead of the usual two hours. I finished my second basket just in time to head out to Wheatley River.

Saturday was mild and rained for a good part of the day. It did melt some of the ice that was hanging around but it's still pretty slippy in spots. It did turn cold overnight but fortunately it wasn't an issue for travel on Saturday evening. I'd been invited to the Bairds for supper on Saturday along with the VanGaals. We had a lovely evening along with Jackie's parents. When I left to come home it was still slightly above freezing so my apprehension about icy roads was unfounded.

Sunday morning was cold but very sunny. It really was a lovely day. The sun came streaming in the windows for most of the day. Brenda and Meghan had gone down hill skiing out at Brookvale and stopped in for tea on their way home.

I built a fire in the wood stove and settled in for a movie on Netflix, after making myself some supper. I'm going to enjoy my time out here, I can tell.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Monday, February 11th - a lovely winter visit,i spite of the temperatures

After many days of frigid temperatures, it looks like we may get a ton of snow - 20 to 30 cms on Thursday.  Too bad it didn't arrive in time for Tristen's visit this past weekend.

Last week was fairly busy leading up to his arrival. I visited my friend Donna in Montague on Monday afternoon and stayed overnight. She had just gotten out of the hospital and was happy to have someone arrive with food, and to cook supper. We had a lovely visit before calling it a night.
On Tuesday I came back into town to start my card shop visits for the week.

On Thursday I went out to the VanGaals to make supper but I didn't stay over as Tristen was arriving at 11:30. As per usual, that late flight was delayed, finally arriving at 2:00 in the morning. But at least he got here.

Friday morning was quite slippery as the result of some freezing rain, which unfortunately cancelled our basket weaving class. Later in the day it turned to rain and temperatures were well above freezing. Tristen and I took advantage of that to head out to Patti Lane. I had trimmed some trees in the woods a number of years ago and the stack of branches was still there in a pile. My goal was to move those branches out to the middle of the lot so I could burn those at some point later on, without setting fire to the rest of the trees. There were also quite a few branches that I'd trimmed this summer. So Tristen and I set about moving all the branches out to one big pile. All I need now is a nice dry day without wind so I can go out and burn them.

Biscuits and jam before heading out to the woods

By the time we finished that we were both soaking wet, and just a little bit cold. I had it on good authority that Brenda had made cinnamon rolls that morning, so we called her a nd asked her to put the kettle on. While we enjoyed our hot beverages and warm cinnamon rolls, we discussed what to do for supper. It was decided that Tristen and I would go back into town and get changed into dry clothes and head back to Fort Augustus with pizza. On our way out, we stopped at the second hand store and pocked up a board game. We chose Clue, as neither of us had ever played it.

After our pizza, we played a game of clue before heading over to watch some TV. Tristen had also bought a jigsaw puzzle and he worked on that.

We were out fairly early on Saturday morning. The whole point of being there overnight was so that Tristen could go out to the woods with Bernie in the morning, but it was just really cold and Bernie had another project he was hoping to get finished that day.

I had contacted the owner of the mini home we're in the process of purchasing and had him leave me a key. Tristen and I drove over there to view it. He was pleased to see that he'll have his very own room when he comes to visit.

Back to town to grab a bite to eatm -  some fresh steamed mussels -  and then off to the movies. We had the pleasure of seeing The Lego Movie 2. It was actually quite cute.

Sunday morning was quiet, with not a lot to do. Tristen worked on a second puzzle he had and I read my book. Finally noon arrived and we headed out to Island Hill Farm. That's always one of Tristen's favorite places to visit when he comes to the island. It was extra special this time with a visit with Celery (our rabbit) as well as the new born baby llama. It was another very cold day but not so bad inside the barn with the warmth of all the animals.

After returning to town and getting changed into clothes that didn't smell quite so strongly of goats, we went for supper. We had our meal at Mr. Sushi. Unfortunately we both left our phones at home so weren't able to take a picture of Tristen using chop sticks.

After supper we went back to my room to watch some TV. There was a movie on that was of some interest, along with popcorn.

Monday morning I was surprised to wake up to Tristen having packed up all his stuff. It was an early morning visit to the Culinary Institute for breakfast. I'd heard that it was good and it was indeed.
I had a few errands to run so we drove around completing those until time to take him to the airport.
I waited till he was safely on board and headed back out to Iona.

I spent a fair bit of time there, taking some more detailed measurements than what I already had, and just contemplating what needs to be done. I still really like the layout and I think we're going to be very comfortable there, once we finally can move it, and move in.

On the way out and back, I was amazed at the state of farmers fields. The winds have been strong for a few days and it was like driving through a sandstorm in places along the Transcanada. I stopped at one spot and saw that what looked like sand hills along the side of the road was actually 4 to  5 inches of sand on top of the snowbanks. Then it was on the news last night about the amount of topsoil that's being blown off fields. Not a good thing for farmers. It's just really disturbing to see all the bare fields and high winds in the middle of February. However, that could change significantly in the next couple of days.

Monday, February 4, 2019

February 4th - live and local from...

...9 Euston Street. Feeling a little lazy this morning, so doing this post in my jammies from the comfort of my room!

What a busy week I had last week. Tuesday was spent out in Mermaid helping my friend Helena learn to make guacamole. We tried three different versions and then did a taste testing when they were all finished. They varied somewhat in flavour but all were more than edible! I was even sent home with some as well as a container of home made chicken soup. Much appreciated.

Wednesday and Thursday were card days followed by "Thursday Thursday" supper at the VanGaals. The Bairds joined us and I managed to push them slightly out of their comfort zone with a dish that contained a totally foreign starch - soft and creamy polenta, topped with chunks of Italian sausage in a tomato type of sauce.

Creamy Polenta with Sausage and Tomato

I made this one cold snowy night when I got home from work and was absolutely starving. It was very quick to put together and really tasty. Polenta is something most of us non-Italians are not really familiar with. My understanding is it often replaces mashed potatoes. It's a nice change from the ordinary and very quick and easy to make.

Ingredients:  (for 2 servings)

  • 2-3 hot Italian sausages
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 - 14 oz tin diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and onion - do not drain (if you just have plain tomatoes, saute some diced onion and garlic, and add to tomatoes with a bit of fresh or dried basil - to taste)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano (or 1/4 tsp dried)
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley (optional)

Putting it all together:

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
Add sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
Transfer to a cutting board to cool slightly.
Add tomatoes to pan and simmer for a few minutes  until a bit of the juice has reduced.
Add sausages to tomatoes and continue simmering
While this is simmering, mix the milk with 1/2 cup water and put into a saucepan with the oregano and salt.
Bring just to a boil and slowly whisk in the cornmeal
Continue whisking until thick and creamy - similar to mashed potatoes - I found this took  about 30 seconds
Remove from heat and spoon into the centre of serving bowls.
Top with some of the sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and parsley (if using)

I stayed ovenight at the VanGaals after we watched our program, following supper.

I was going in to the Bairds to make some squares that Lloyd had made before Christmas. Jackie had asked for the recipe, so armed with glace cherries, I arrived bright and early  on Friday morning. I left them cooling on the counter and headed back to the VanGaals to hang out till noon. Our basket weaving class was starting at 12:00 this week instead of 1:00. Those of us who were finished our baskets helped others get caught up so that this coming week we can all start on the second basket together. 

I dropped in to visit Cooper at the Rosa's for a little bit then it was off the the Rec Centre for Trivia, which Brenda was presenting. Unfortunately neither of us captured the Queen. But a pleasant evening was had by all. Then it was back to the VanGaals to spend the night before heading back to town on Saturday morning. 

Saturday evening I met up with them  as well as two other couples at The Old Dublin Pub for Winterdine - sweet potato soup, strip loin steak with fries and cheesecake.  Again, another very enjoyable evening.

I was asked by Sharyn how to make corn beef hash. Lloyd and I had made it for Pat before he went out west, when we were staying at their place. Apparently he quite enjoyed it. So I suggested to Sharyn that I could come out on Sunday morning and show her how to make it after church. Our friend Mary Leah joined us and we enjoyed a nice breakfast together.

I was back into town soon after as I was attending a bluegrass concert over at the Carriage House at Beaconsfield, (where I'd been the Sunday before.) Within walking distance, it's one of the advantages of being in town. People ask if I'll be sorry to be leaving town once I finally get moved, but in reality I can't wait. I much prefer the country. 

The concert was lively and very enjoyable but I left quickly when it was over, to go home and get ready to go out for dinner, yet again!

Our friends Charles and Laura invited me to come out to celebrate their friend Geraldine's birthday. We had celebrated her husbands birthday just before Christmas. Once again, a lovely evening was had by all. 

I'm expecting this week may be a tad quieter, although Tristen is coming down to visit this weekend. He's arriving on the late flight Thursday night and will leave again on Monday morning. Brenda and I were hoping to go to Halifax this past weekend but in the end plans changed and we stayed here. This coming weekend we're volunteering at the Heart and Stroke Gala on Saturday night. I'll find something for Tristen to do while I'm out. 

It would appear Lloyd's run into a bit of an obstacle on his travels. We'll see how that turns out -

Monday, January 28, 2019

Monday, January 28th - Live and local, from Timothy's... in downtown Charlottetown. It's Monday morning once again - the start of another new week,

Things have pretty much settled down into a routine, somewhat, however that is always subject to change.
I joined a local women's fitness program last week. I had a coupon to buy one month and get one free (thank you Brenda). I went on Monday at 2:00 to register and do a bit of an orientation. It's not a big place but has more than adequate equipment for some low impact strength training. At that time there was no one else there so I had the place to myself. I finished my circuit and found it not too bad. I went back again Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I went around the same time each day (right after "Escape to the Country" on TV) and there was only one other person there each time. This should get me through to the last week of March, when I move out to house sit in Wheatley River.

I also have a friend who's in the hospital so I spent part of my mornings there as well visiting with her. With those two activities as well as my card calls, my week went by fairly quickly.

Brenda and Meghan were in town on Thursday evening for a music concert that I backed out of. I'd tentatively made other plans to go to a movie but in the end I spent my evening reading, having just picked up the next book in the Outlander series.

Because we didn't get together on Thursday to watch Grey's, we decided to do it on Friday instead. Friday feast lives!  Many years ago, when I was first here by myself, Brenda and I started Friday Feast. That entailed us taking turns planning and prepping a meal for Friday nights supper. They were great evenings and we had opportunities to try some different recipes. Bernie, being the good sport that is, was always most generous with his compliments.  So, I suggested that I could bring supper on Friday. I had a pork roast in my freezer in town and put it into the slow cooker overnight. When I went out to Fort Augustus I dropped it off and plugged it in at Brenda's.  Our friends Jackie and Helena came out for supper as well so it was really a great night.

I had to go out to Fort Augustus early as I was having lunch at Sharyn and Pat's. On my way I stopped in to visit with Jens and Linda. Good opportunity to catch up with everyone. After lunch we had our basket making class. I'm obviously not as diligent with my work as I was the only one who was finished by the end of the day. Next week I have to take something else to work on so everyone else can finish theirs and then we can all start the next project at the same time. All in all I was pretty pleased with my first completed basket.

After spending the night at the VanGaals, I headed back into town on Saturday morning. It was a pretty quiet and relaxing weekend. I spent Saturday tidying up my room and organizing a few things, then it was out for a nice long walk. I've set myself up on a website that helps you keep track of calories so I've been trying to stick to some healthy eating. That's required a few trips to the grocery store for fresh veggies, fruit etc. But that gives me a destination to walk to.

Saturday Brenda and I were scheduled to volunteer at an event at the ski park with Biathlon PEI. Unfortunately we had rain and mild weather so it was cancelled. They were hoping to reschedule but there are no weekends available so it's put off till next year. Too bad for those who have worked so hard.
Saturday evening I decided to go out instead of sitting in reading. I checked what was playing at Cineplex and saw that "The Green Book" was playing. Brenda told me she and Bernie had seen it and enjoyed it, so off  I went. It really was quite a good movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sunday was again really nice weather - sunny and not cold. So after going for a lengthy walk I came back and made something to eat (low cal of course!)  In the evening I walked over to the carriage house at Beaconsfield. The Vinland Society (Icelandic people) were hosting a presentation. One component was instruction in making "Skyr", an iceland recipe that is really a cross between a soft cheese and a yogurt. We got to sample it and it was very delicious. When I finally have a kitchen again I plan to try making some at home. It's essentially the same process as making cheese.

I was home early enough to catch the final episode of Outlander, Season 4. Now it will be a long wait for Season 5, that hasn't as yet begun production. But that's okay, I'm reading the books.

Brenda and I are tentatively looking at going over to Halifax this weekend. She wants to visit her aunt. It will be a short trip - going over on Saturday morning and back on Sunday afternoon. That should give James and I a chance to catch up. There may also be a stop at Ikea on the way home !

Lloyd is enjoying his trip so far. Check it out at '' and click on BLOG for his latest posts.

One more thing:

When Lloyd retired we were invited to supper at our friends Charles and Laura's. Charles is quite the creative fellow and came up with this little piece of literature that he read, quite expressively when we were there. I wish I had taped it. Here's what he said -

Lloyd's working days are done

Lloyd'll eat when he's hungry, gonna sleep when he's tired
Cause Lloyd didn't get laid off, sacked or fired.
Now that he's out to pasture he's gonna do just as he pleases.
Life for him got better with age, like the finest of cheeses.

His adventures are just beginning, it's time to start anew.
You might see this gentleman in Hanoi, Singapore, or Kathmandu.
No more night shifts for Lloyd, unless he wants to watch a lunar eclipse
No more life labouring interruptions till the last puzzle piece fits.

Sandy won't have to calculate his sleeping routine
Before accepting an invitation to any social scene.
Lloyd likes to  ponder, and tinker, to putter and think
And if the mood strikes him he can enjoy a stiff drink.

No more splitting wood or moving everything they own
Juggling houses or chasing goats that do roam.
Carefree as a schoolboy with a coin in his pocket he's a real dandy
He doesn't have a care in his head and the world's just a big bag of candy.

Oh the places you'll go to, the things that you'll see
I hope one day day the carefree man will be me.
The folks that you meet will inherit bits of your knowledge
Some of them old beggars, and some will be Rhode's scholars in college.

But one thing's for sure, and of it, I'm certain
He'd never utter a complaint no matter how much he's hurtin.
Lloyd's always been caring, the king of the kind
Always ready to lend a hand, leave no one behind.

Though he begrudgingly endures the notes of the Highland Piper's sonnet
He will suffer the sounds in silence, with his hearing aid in his shirt pocket.
Lloyd likes to walk, and walk, and walk some more
But with tired old soles, he paid the cobbler that works at the store.

Let's pause a moment to discuss his diet.
His motto has been, 'if you make it, I'll try it'.

He's not too picky about his veggies, few men are humbler
But the one green he can't abide is the common cucumber.
It's not the taste, the look, or the feel he despises on his pallet
It's the way those cukes rebel when concealed in his salad.

We look forward to stories of Lloyd's travels by boat, plane or car
We certainly know that you've worked mighty hard to get this far
 Yeah, we do think we're lucky enough to count him as a friend
All can agree that he deserves all the best things in life that his future will send.

Here is a quote that a wise man once said, since it fell on my ears, it's been stuck in my head.
"There are many things that I don't know how to do, but there's nothing that I won't try"
That's the motto that I try to abide, it's the difference between the mighty and the meek
The man that taught it to me, just retired last week.