Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tuesday, 24th - a enjoyable as well as productive week in the sunshine!

What a great way to enjoy the beautiful summer weather.
Tuesday evening, Lloyd and I met up with the Van Gaals and their daughter Meghan at the beach. We

each brought something so we had a feast as we sat and enjoyed watching the sunset over the water. Probably the best part of  supper at the beach is there are no ants and no mosquitoes.  That alone is worth the trek through the sand.Not to mention the beautiful sight of the sun setting over the water.

By the time we arrived, the folks who had been there all day were leaving so parking wasn't an issue. Lloyd left a little earlier than the rest of us, but once the sun went behind the few clouds that were hanging around, there was a noticeable drop in temperature. So we decided to call it a day and headed for home.  It was the first real opportunity we've had to enjoy an evening at the beach. While we were eating Brenda commented on the fact it wasn't lobster rolls and that got me to thinking. One of our last trips to the beach was during lobster season and when I checked back it was on June 30th last year. What a difference this year!  But perhaps we'll still be able to make trips to the beach in October?? Time will tell!

The rest of the week was pretty quiet. Friday was a vacation day for me so Brenda and I took advantage of the opportunity to venture downtown for a little stroll along the waterfront on Thursday evening. We started with some ice cream then after touring around and discovering some new activities, we explored the little shops at Peakes Quay. Most were closing by the time we finished so we ended our evening with a beverage and a snack on an outdoor patio on Victoria Row. A great way to start the long weekend.

Friday morning Lloyd and I started into stacking wood into the woodshed. He hadn't been feeling too great so called in sick Thursday evening but after a good nights sleep and some drugs, he was a bit improved in the morning. So we worked away at the pile until around lunch time. By then it was getting very warm and we were both starting to fade from the heat. After a shower and clean clothes, it was time to take the tiny convertible for a spin up to St. Peter's for ice cream. Before we got to our destination we changed course a little bit and and wound up in Souris, for some lunch first. Before heading back to St. Peter's for the previously mentioned ice cream. we took a side trip over to the Inn at Bay Fortune to check out the new renovations.

What a gorgeous spot! I can't wait to have dinner there some time. They are booked up through most of September and will be closing for the winter, so we may have to wait till next summer. But I strongly suspect it will be worth the wait! The kitchen that has been built there is really a sight to behold and the vegetable gardens out back are absolutely gorgeous. They've really done a spectacular job with the place.

After a stop for ice cream we headed home and relaxed for the rest of the evening as Lloyd had to go to work later.

Saturday morning the VanGaals put out a call for assistance. Bernie and the boys were working on putting the new tarp on the barn - not an easy task. So after coming home and changing, he went over to help out while I finished  stacking up the last of the wood. Such a great feeling to get that job out of the way.

When I was done I headed over to see if there was anything I could do to be of assistance. Other than picking up a few things and help carrying some refreshments to the hardworking guys, there really wasn't that much that I could do. So I headed home to finish cutting the grass, that Lloyd had mostly finished earlier in the week. Once he got home, it was off for a nap as he'd not slept since getting home. That was pretty much it for the day. We spent a noisy night, with intense rain, and loud thunder and lightening well into the night. A little past midnight the power went out and was off for some time.

Sunday was a quiet day as well. Lloyd worked out in the garage and I did a few odd jobs around the house. I had purchased a picture frame at Michaels that was originally intended for graduation photos but with a bit of imagination, it worked perfectly for Meghan's recital photos. 

Brenda and I had hoped to get a drive in but the weather wasn't really cooperating. It did clear up somewhat later on and we attended the Strawberry Social at the Rec Centre. Strawberries and more ice cream made for a pleasant afternoon.

After a quick supper Lloyd and I were off to town to see 'Anne and Gilbert'. What  a treat! It was an excellent production and we both really enjoyed it. What a great way to top off a very productive and enjoyable weekend.

Monday was a bit drizzly as I loaded the dog into my car and dropped him off for a Spa Day. Needless to day, he looks quite sleek and will probably be much cooler without all that fur. 

One last note: Friday morning I opened up my email to find a email message advising that Sir Paul is doing a North American Tour, with the first date being Saturday, October 17th at the Air Canada Centre in ..............................TORONTO!!!!! I went online Monday morning when limited advance tickets went on sale so I'M GOING TO SEE PAUL McCARTNEY --- AND SO IS JAMES!  I'm very excited to be taking him to see a real Beatle perform those songs live. Not too many kids of his generation will be able to say that in years to come.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tuesday, August 18th - what a delightful week it's been - Happy Belated Birthday WIll and welcome home Meghan

When we last touched base, Ian from Guelph was here and we were preparing to go into town to watch him perform. He called to get a bit more information only to find out that he wasn't going to be playing till at least 11:00 which is WAY past our bed time. But Brenda, being the trooper that she is, agreed to go with me. Because of the late start, Lloyd was also able to come with us for a bit. Ian was already there and had asked if he could perform second in the lineup because he knew we old ladies were coming out. Neither of us had ever been to this particular venue so it was a new experience for us. Perhaps because the university crowd is away, and it was a Tuesday night, there weren't a lot of people there so we were very glad that we attended. It was a great show and we all really enjoyed hearing Ian perform.  When Ian was finished, Lloyd headed off to work and Brenda and I headed back out to the country. It was quite late when we got home, not something we do very often, especially on a week night!

Wednesday Ian slept in and got a good sleep before heading out onto the road to Montreal. He and Lloyd really hit it off and they shared several lengthy conversations. He left mid afternoon, stopping into the dealership to say good bye on his way out of town and off the island. Thank you Ian, for stopping by and visiting - we really enjoyed getting to know you.

The warm weather continued the rest of the week and into the weekend. I worked on Saturday and then Lloyd and I both went over to the Rec Centre to help out at a wedding.  Most of the usual volunteers were either guests at this particular wedding or another one that was taking place the same day. It was a pretty light crew, but we managed to get everything finished, albeit somewhat  later than usual.

Sunday dawned bright and sunny so I met Brenda after church and we picked some raspberries at the corner u-pick farm. She was making some raspberry pies, Will's choice for his birthday supper on Sunday.  I planned to make some jam with my berries. We ended up picking more than we planned on. They were so plentiful and delicious looking it was hard to stop once we got going. 

Lloyd and Bernie had gone biking early in the morning, with the plan of being at the bridge in time to meet up with Meghan(1) who was arriving by shuttle for a few days holiday. She rode on the back of Bernie's bike with her luggage nestled nicely into the sidecar.  I think she must have been a little surprised to see the boys roll up on their bikes to pick her up!

When Lloyd got home we went out  and picked some wild blueberries. I love this time of year and the bounty that is PEI.

 The fat, ripe red berries hanging on the bushes at the farm down the road - they're the best!

And the wild blueberries seem to be very plentiful this year as well.

 I love taking the dog for walks down the back lane, and seeing all the fields bright with wild flowers

 Even the grain field on the way back is a beautiful sight

Of course, no walk is complete without a stop to visit the pigs on the way by.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tuesday, August 11th - can it really be Old Home Week in another week? Summer just got here!!!

It's been a busy week in some ways but a quiet one in others.

We were pleased to welcome a couple of visitors from Toronto last Thursday evening. Gilberto (aka Berto) and his girlfriend Lauren stopped in to share a meal with us. We'd not met Lauren before and she was just lovely, a really sweet girl. They were staying out in Cavendish but were heading out towards Souris the next day, to spend the weekend exploring the eastern end of the island, then they were heading to Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail.  It had been an absolutely gorgeous day but a sudden downpour during supper freshened everything up. Just as the rain stopped, I looked out the kitchen window to see a beautiful rainbow. Lauren had her back to the window so as she turned around, she took a photo through the glass. She sent me a copy of it the next morning, and what a fabulous picture! The light was just perfect to get this amazing photo.

Thank you Lauren for sharing with us. After supper, we took a drive down to the Spirit Spring and then over to Lakeside to the beach. By then it was dark and we said our goodbyes and parted company. A great evening with some wonderful people. Thanks to them.

The rest of the week was pretty quiet. I worked on Saturday and Lloyd met me in town at 2:00.  We went out past Summerside to attend the open house of the "Earthship" that was recently completed by a young man here on the island. I had no idea what an earthship was but it's a very eco-friendly style of building where you fill old tires with dirt, pack it all in really firmly and then stack them to form the outside walls. They are usually packed into a hill but in this case they piled dirt in behind them. It was quite fascinating and has gotten Lloyd's little brain whirling once again - at times a good thing (as Charles once said to him,"inside your head must be a pretty scary place).  But I have to admit, it's never boring.
The completed project

A glimpse of what's under all that dirt

Speaking of Charles, we stopped in to visit briefly with him and Laura on our way home. Their organic farm is doing wonderfully this year. Their gardens are pretty spectacular and they have their produce stand at the end of their lane this year, instead of down the road and it's working much better for them. 

Sunday we had planned to go to Roma for brunch but they had a festival going on so there was no brunch. We decided to wait for another time. Instead I spent the day doing some laundry, picked some strawberries and raspberries at Coffins down the road, then took a walk back through the fields and picked a few wild blueberries. When I got home I made a batch of Raspberry Blueberry Jam. James and I had made a batch a few years ago. We'd gone down the road and picked some raspberries to make jam. As I was looking through one of my preserving books we found this recipe that also needed blueberries. He was lamenting the fact we didn't have any to try this jam. I informed him that if he took a walk down the back lane he might find some blueberries. A little while later he came back with a bowl of berries and the biggest smile on his face. It's a great memory for me whenever I made this particular jam. 

Monday started out rainy but quickly cleared as the day progressed. We were waiting word from a young singer from Rockwood who was on his way to the island. The last time I saw Ian Reid, I think he was about 3 years old. He and Patti were in the same nursery school in Rockwood many, many years ago. Fast forward to the present and he's working his way across the country singing and playing his guitar at small venues along the way. It's not necessarily an easy life but he's loving doing something he's always wanted to do.

He called me when he got on the boat and I gave him directions in small pieces ie - when you get to the round about, stop and call me. etc. He arrived here about 15 minutes before I did so the timing was perfect. We enjoyed pulled pork on a bun, new potatoes sauteed in butter with fresh chives, and green beans, followed by strawberry shortcake for dessert.

Lloyd headed off to bed and Brenda came over and joined Ian and I for a walk on the beach.

It was a beautiful night for the beach and by the time we arrived back home, it was getting dark.  Ian headed off to the bathtub and I cleaned up the kitchen while I waited for Lloyd to get up for work. He had coffee then left. Unfortunately for me, I had taken his car to the beach (as there were three of us) and I left my keys in his car. Of course I didn't discover this until after he was half way to town. So that's why this morning's post is a little later than usual. I didn't see much sense in getting up at the crack of dawn if I can't go anywhere until 8:30. A bit of time to sleep in and a gorgeous morning to enjoy - it's all good!

...and lastly, this witty bit of wisdome from friend Katy in Ontario...

Monday, August 3, 2015

Tuesday, August 4th - can it finally be summer???

After a wet and cool May, June and most of July, we are finally getting some real summer weather. The middle of last week it started warming up and now it is HOT and SUNNY!!!

The week started of great on Wednesday. As most of you already know, Ethan VanGaal and I share a birthday. It's just my good fortune that Lloyd and I get invited to birthday supper at his parents house. Because Ethan's brother was not available on Thursday, birthday supper was held on Wednesday instead. A great meal of roast chicken and all the trimmings was enjoyed along with a delicious birthday cake (home made, of course) and ice cream.  Thank you so much Brenda and Bernie. I also received a large number of birthday wishes from facebook friends so thanks also for that - it really made my day.

Patti sent me a text mid week to let me know they had gone to visit Greg's mom and dad in Port Elgin, ON. It seems James took his bagpipes with him and parked himself on the beach and played for approximately an hour. Apparently people starting putting loose change into his case and he collected quite a tidy sum - $63.00 . I think he may have just found his new summer job!

Meghan returned from camp and had another great year. So much so, that she plans to go next time on a longer trip that involves camping and a canoe trip, including portaging. Her mom did advise that there would likely be spiders out there in the woods, but that hasn't deterred her spirits (she really, really doesn't like spiders). We'll see how that goes.

My little car was in the shop getting a bit of work done for most of the week so I didn't get her back until Friday. So after supper Brenda and I took it for a spin.

We took the scenic route to Montague where we enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the river before stopping to enjoy some tasty ice cream.

Up the stairs and through the trees to the ice cream stand

It was a beautiful evening to be outside. On our way back home Brenda mentioned that she was going into town to see Will, who was participating in a wedding that evening. She wanted to see Will and drop off a card for the new bride and groom. No worries - I'll drive as I had nothing else going on. So we headed into town about 9:30 (which we noted was our usual time to be heading home!) and visited the wedding party at the Confed Centre.

A blurry Will and his mom (the photo, not the people!)

There were lots of people out strolling the streets because it was so nice out, so we joined them and headed over to Victoria Row. We found a table on an outdoor patio and enjoyed a bite to eat before heading back out to the country. The bustle of people on the city streets was a direct contrast to the peace and tranquility we'd experienced out in Montague - just a short drive away. It was actually midnight when we got back to the country - with the top down on the car all the way - LOVE IT!!!

Lloyd arrived home from work on Saturday morning feeling very poorly and that was pretty much it for him for the weekend. I had taken Saturday morning off work and spent the morning cutting grass while he slept. He didn't feel much better when he woke up at 4:00 but after a bite to eat, he felt he could handle a little drive. It was very warm and sunny so nothing much was going to get done anyway, so we headed out for a drive, with a stop for ice cream along the way ( same route as Friday night).

We took a scenic route home and that was it for the day.

Sunday was again hot and sunny but he still wasn't feeling well, so I left him to go back to bed and joined the Van Gaals and Bairds who were on their bikes (I was the support car at the back!) as we headed out to Brackley for some breakfast. After a tasty meal outside on the deck, we all parted company and went our separate ways. I headed into town to run a few errands then went back home. It was just time to get changed and venture over to the Rec Centre. The church was hosting a fundraising Lobster and Ham supper. I agreed to help out. By all accounts it was a success. There were two seatings - one at 4:00 with approximately 106 people and a second  at 6:00 with close to 140.  A delicious meal was enjoyed by all. They hope to make this an annual event and if yesterday's turnout and positive comments are any indication, it should be a successful event for them.

The Dennison family was very busy this weekend, attending the Maxville Highland Games. James competed in solo events on Friday, coming in 2nd out of 18 pipers in one category and 3rd out of 14 in another. Well done, James!  He was also pretty excited to participate in the Mass Band - comprised of 50 to 60 pipe bands - one of the largest mass bands in North America. Patti sent this photo of the 1521 musicians involved.

It must have been a pretty spectacular sight. James also took advantage of his island connections to chat with the drumming instructor from the College of Piping here on the island.(He also happens to be Bernie's nephew).  By the sounds of things a great time was had by all.