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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....

Well there's more snow here at the ranch than at any other place we drew breath during the past four days. And more here than anywhere else in NS. I don't know if the people here are offending the weather gods or what, but I hope it stops now.

We got home at five thirty last night, after twelve hours and a bit on the road, not counting the time adjustment.  It was an easy day really. We departed the Hampton Inn in Portsmouth at the regular departure time of 5am and headed north.

Stopped for breakfast in Bangor and did the shopping I leave till that destination and back on the road in a bit more than an hour. I always buy the following at Hannafords: poblano peppers (can't get them here and rarely at Pete's. I love them. They have a warm taste and have a fuller round flavor than green peppers. Bought eight; will roast them today and skin them and then freeze them in small amts till I need them in egg or chicken dishes, when you can actually taste them. Yummy!! I may save one or two and stuff them tomorrow.); rotel tomatoes (if you have eaten them I need not say more. If you haven't, you have to buy them in the US or the odd store in the east. Judy Briand brings home a case of them every year.); Bush's beans (see previous comment), certain spices in grinding bottles that you can't get here; Betty Crocker pound cake mix  (ditto on availability); good tuna in LARGE cans (ditto); tomato paste in a TUBE which you may be able to find but I cannot; and often assorted other things that we can't find here.It used to be that I would bring back quantities of Key Lime Pie yoghrt by Breyers but you can find that now and then in the local store. I have become a convert to Liberte lemon yogurt which (as you know) is full fat but so good it's a treat now and then so the KLP variety has fallen out of favor with me. Anyway did the shopping at Hannafords and off we went. Stopped at Houlton to do a bit of shopping at Mardens. Mardens...need I say more? FAbric, usually but not in Houlton although I did find some extra wide backing for Carol. Then the border.

Well I was almost disappointed that we weren't searched, except for the time factor. I had every receipt known to man all balled up and ready to flash. Not a problem; typical questions and my driver got them all right. That's a grab bag...occasionally his brain turns to mashed potatoes when the critical questions of Where do you live? or How long have you been in the US? are posed to him. I make him practice now, on the way to the booth. He loves that!!! Hysterically funny...How much do you have to declare?...I prefer to round it to a hundred but he came up with an ending of $...25.00 which is so funny because it's almost impossible to accurately answer that question, with or without receipts. Anyway the lady wished us a good day and we were off once again.

The Tim Hortons tea I had in Oromocto didn't taste as good as the cup I had WITH TEA BISCUITS AND OAT CAKES that I found on the table when we got home. Thanks to JoLynn the treats were there, with fresh milk and bread. The little welcome wagon herself had been there!!! THANKS again JoLynn!!! The kitten seemed happy to have us back and has been quite close by since. He's outside with the neighbourhood white cat which only goes to proove that you can pick your friends but you cannot pick your cat's friends.

At church this morning Father Peter said to MIke...It's Easter Mike, not Christmas! I should have gone back and retrieved the Easter goodie bag I brought to him! Next time I see him I may have to have a word.

So I am starting to unpack We both slept well last night but may need another night to really unwind. I was pretty wound up when we got home and feel better overall today. Three days on the road, twelve hours a day, eleven hundred plus km each day.... Day one was good; I was a bit cranky on day two (I admitted to that before my driver indicated such) and then day three I was fine again. It's sad to leave but once you are on the road, you can't wait to get home. We'd forgotten how comfortable our bed was. I hate to put on long pants again but it's a bit chilly today. Will be out for a walk tomorrow and may do one more summary post in a day or so, more for my own reference. For example, a note to myself not to bring so many clothes next year. What Was I Thinking!!??

Beautiful day. Did I say that? It really bears repeating. Out for a walk in the morning; can't wait, and I'll be back!! Happy EAster Day!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Almost home

We are in Portsmouth NH tonight and will be home before dark Saturday night. I am exhausted this evening and really have to get to bed. A few errands to do in Maine tomorrow, after zipping through eight states today. Mike is a road warrior and drove all but three hours that I spelled him. More tomorrow; just can't think too straight tonight. I'll be back...from home!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Here we are in Richmond VA

Richmond was our target today and we pulled out of 304 at five past five, just a few minutes behind schedule. I had a restless sleep and of course it's so hard to leave The Littles. We went out to one of our favorite places yesterday, The Pub at Pointe Orlando. It's a rather authentic English pub and the food is great. Mike and Chris tried a cask beer which they found tasty. I stuck with that brown  Sam Adams that I always drink in the US. We had as appetizers a Scotch egg, goat cheese with a zippy sauce and deep fried pickles.  Mike had the pot roast, Chris the shepherds pie, Laura had a fab sandwich and I had the Reuben which was the best I had on this trip. :  Apologies for the typos. I am doing this on my tab and it's more difficult than on the lap top.We had two servings of a bread pudding with a custard and scotch sauce and cheesecake for desert.  The interior of this restaurant is dark wood and amber lights. I think Mike took photos which I will add later.

I am amazed at the traffic here in the south. NC and SC have terrible I95 roads. Only two lanes each
way and it becomes so congested. Imagine the road to Hfx with ten times the traffic and not one area with three lanes. Faster faster faster and no where to go. Pass three trucks and discove five more ahead of you and someone on your back bumper. I hate it. Tomorrow won't be much better. Probably as fast but not quite as furious.

It's another bright and sunny day but cool.

 We droppped into the leCreuset outlet in SC and I got a frying pan. I have enough casseroles at this point and one only cooks so much. I have a great sized orange oval casserole which is my go-to pot and last year I bought a big braising pan with a cover that's perfect for bigger things, but not as big as the kiwi big boy that I cook turkeys in. And of course the red one for apple crisp... but now that's it. I have enough. The only problem with these items is that they are heavy. You just don't pick them up with one hand, or even try to for that matter.

So early to bed tonight and we will get out around five tomorrow. I would like to be in Massachusetts or New Hampshire tomorrow night. That will mean another long day and believe it or not, we will go through parts of six states, little bits and seven if we get to Maine. Hope things are well with you. Jane, thanks so much for your comments. I love hearing from you. Carolyn suggested a date for the OBR in August but I had to tell her I was uncertain this year; we are expecting all of the children and spouses and Littles this summer in August so I will need to hear their plans before making any of my own. I am sure it will all be fine.

So thanks for reading. I should be back tomorrow night, from the north!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

One More Sleep

Well it doesn't take quite as long to pack up for the return trip as it does to get ready to come south. There is no deciding what to take and what to leave behind. You have to take everything. Well I guess that's an over simplification: you can leave food if you can't be bothered taking it. We brought any quantities of food to Chris and of course, left over booze. What on earth are we thinking when we get into that liquor store in NH?! It's like free candy. So a month later we are taking it to Chris to enjoy. NOt that we mind that...it's just that we somehow think we will need all we buy. Note to selves: exercise some restraint next year!! And why did I bring so many clothes with me?! If the car was searched, I would have a hard time explaining that all of those well ironed and creased things were like that for the past month, in the drawers here at 304. No, I didn't not buy these new clothes in the US; I bought them in Canada to BRING with me. Another note to self: don't do that next year!! And then there's the new things that are coming back. Not so much clothes; I didn't buy much clothes (see above!) but I bought other things. Anyway the car is pretty well packed except for the small things that will go in when we are getting set to leave. Snacks, sandwiches, and such. Water. Drinking all the way to the border.

We went to dinner tonight at The Pub in Pointe Orlando, a restaurant we all like and for good reason. Great food, wonderful ambience, just a fun place to go. The Littles were especially good and Jocelyn is so entertaining. Just magical.

The people across the street were having a little party this afternoon and we stopped in for a quick hello on our way to Chris's. Like most of us, they have leftover booze and, well.... you just can't pour it down the sink. We had a small glass of wine and said so long; their house faces in the opposite direction to ours, has five bedrooms and a slightly larger footprint but a much smaller pool and patio area. You have to give up something to have five bedrooms in a house that's not much bigger than this one. The house itself is very nice though. They will be in it again next year, with their great exposure, and we will be here. If the month is hot, I would appreciate this shaded patio. We get sun on the outer part of the lanai for most of the afternoon and it's nice to have that shade in the full Florida sun. For my thinking, anyway.

My next post will be from the road, tomorrow night if possible. I have no idea how long we will drive tomorrow but we would certainly like to get to Richmond or beyond. Roger and Maureen do that the first day but it's a long drive. NO matter how you explain it away, it's a haul. Keep your fingers crossed for us that we have a safe journey home. I'll be back when I can. Is that snow melting in NS?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Count Down is on

Yesterday Monday, we played golf at Providence, a lovely club close to here. If we had played often during this trip, we wouldn't have played there as it's quite expensive but seeing as we were on our last week we decided to splurge a bit and off we went. It's a beautiful course. Green fairways that are well maintained and lovely greens that are in top notch shape. Not a lot of chances to lose balls but lots of sand and water if you aren't careful. We had a tee off at nine-fifteen but got out early. Not many people playing in fact we encountered only two twosomes throughout the play. I would love to go there again. On the front nine there are houses, and lovely ones at that but the back nine is away from the homes and there are no concerns about a wayward ball. Nice pacing when you are out there alone too. Two men caught up to us when we were on the 18th. Only one small alligator that was pretty disinterested in us. Home early in the afternoon and ate the last two fish cakes we saved from those made for Chris. Yummy!

In the afternoon we picked Chris up and went off to CBW to have supper with The Littles. I made Chicken Pesto Pasta and of course, KEY LIME PIE for dessert. Home for a swim and called tht a day. I am always tired after a round of golf.

Today is another bright sunny cool-ish day with lots of wind. I pretty well finished off my shopping today although I still haven't found all the things I had on my list. So be it. Unless we get into a store of two on the way home that will be it. I got batting with a coupon at Joann's and also a ruler I was looking for. Did a bit of damage at Kohl's as I wanted new patio dinnerware and got some at a bargain there. A bit of Easter shopping for the family and then home. Laundry has to be finished and now the sorting begins. I will have to bring food items to Chris although we can leave things here this year and the cleaners will "take care of it" (take it home and eat it, I suspect). Tonight we are having supper at the little French bistro in Champions Gate at five. Early. Then tomorrow we are spending the day with Chris and Laura.  It was 10C when we left 304 this morning but it's a bit warmer now, except that the wind makes it feel cool. Still we are in shorts and shirts; it's Florida after all. Dry dry dry. No dampness that you would experience in a 10C day in NS. That would make my joints ache. I haven't had an ache in a joint since I got here. I believe it's the dryness.

So counting down. I will have a post tomorrow after we get back and then the next one will be from the road. Sorry to leave The Littles. They will not notice we aren't there after a day or so. We'll notice every day for a long time. There are many possibilities floating around with everyone at this point. They will unfold as the weeks and months progress in this year. It's our hope that everything works out for the best and that travel plans fall into place and good things result for everyone. I guess that's the best we can do. More as times goes by. I'll be back; hope you find the time to sign in too although this is a rather uneventful story this year. Doing my best!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Florida weather on Sunday

Well it had to happen; there had to be a day of real Florida weather and today was that day. We got up early (for us on vacation) to make it to Mass at Corpus Christi in Celebration at nine this morning. When we went out to the pool before opening the front door, the humidity was sitting right on us. Dressed and heading out, it wasn't rainy but by the time we got to church it was so heavy that Mike had the wipers on but still the rain held off. For the second Sunday, we then started looking for a breakfast place that wasn't packed with people lined up out the door or sitting on the porch. Last week we gave up and had breakfast here at 304 but today we found a gem. Tucked in behind the Publix in Champions Gate is a little French Bistro called Paris Express. So unfortunate that we just discovered it today and not three weeks ago. French French French. Staff with European French accents and GREAT FOOD. I had the Breakfast Benedectine which essentially was Eggs Benedict, my favorite, which was delicious. Mike had an omelette with (French) toast and we both had very strong coffee (which gave me a caffeine rush in about forty minutes). I want to go back for the Croque Monsieur and the Baked Onion soup which I believe is French onion soup minus "French" . As Chris would say, in France they just call it "onion soup". The service was a bit on the slow side but we really didn't care. There were several tables outside and lots of people opted for that location but we sat inside with a tiny view of the kitchen. I can't wait to go back but only have three days.

After a quick revisit here we headed out to Chris's for a  visit. I checked the weather station and saw that there was a band of severe storms sweeping across the state and before we were a mile from the house the skies opened. It poured Florida rain all the way to Cedar Branch and continued for about an hour and a half with thunder mixed in. Other areas were very hard hit with hail and downed trees and flag poles and such. In Florida fashion, the sky was patchy blue as we headed back and the temperature had dropped by 12 Celsius degrees, or as we call them, the BIG  degrees. I was hoping to work with two hours of daylight on a stitching project I have underway but didn't manage quite that much and it's now completely dark at eight o'clock.

We are playing golf in the morning at Providence which is quite near by. I think it's a lovely course but haven't been there before. Our previous property owner played there and told us a bit about it when we saw her. I think it's probably more exclusive than the one we played last week but we were wanting to get out one more time and this option seemed a good choice. I will probably play fewer holes than Mike whose endurance exceeds mine. He hits the ball a lot fewer times than me. And farther. It's the being there that counts!! You good golfers won't agree with that but I have to find some reason to play and that's it. It won't be hot tomorrow either so that's a bonus. I prefer to play when it's cooler rather than warmer.

Time for tea. Then a shower and read for awhile. We will get Chris after work tomorrow. Laura is on her March break and she has plans for the day. HOpe all is well where you are; thanks for reading. I'll be back!!



Saturday, March 23, 2013

Warm Saturday

Well today is Florida warm and Florida humid and my hair is wilting as I type this. Between today's humidity and the chlorine in the pool my hair is looking really bad. Anyway that's ok; that's why they make FrizzEze hair spray. You can have Margaret Thatcher hair that stays put all day if you use it first thing in the morning. I love it!

Friday we decided to take a road tour and headed north to look at some real estate. If we weren't staying close to Chris I would love to camp out in Claremont. It's beautiful in that area and most days that we were there you could smell the oranges, either blossoms or the fruit. It's higher than other parts of Florida and a bit hilly and you feel like you are in a fresh new open area. Just lovely. Lots of places to play golf if that interests you and great shopping and as it's not a huge metropolitan area, it just feels great there. We played at Legends last year and  loved it. From here it's about 40 minutes. We had lunch at a so-so place on the road and were back in time to collect Chris. Friday is pizza night and we ordered in. Home before dark but there was some rain overnight and patchy rain during the evening.

This morning I made fishcakes to take over to Chris and Laura and had a long chat with Wilma. We listened to Weekend Morning, or I listened...I dashed a quick email off to Stan in response to a song he had played (Ballad of Davey Crockett) and after the seven thirty news, he said "Anne Mattie is listening in Davenport this morning and her husband Mike put on his Davey Crockett hat last night while they visited with their son Chris in Orlando." Mike brought that coon skin hat with him and threatened to wear it when we were crossing the border but didn't...it was in the back seat of the car and when we all went out to head home, he put it on and he and Chris had a chuckle over the thing. When the song came on this morning, I couldn't resist sending the mail to Stan.

We headed over to see the kids and went out to one of our regular spots in The Loop for a late lunch. Those Littles are so good in a restaurant and so entertaining. Jocelyn has quite a sense of humour for a four-year-old. Bhreagh calls me Boppie for some reason and it's too funny to hear her call me that...Boppie and Poppie. She is quite a character also. A chatter box like her Daddy was at her age. Chris would chatter on and on in his own language and she's doing the exact same thing.

We have started to count days. Palm Sunday; golf on Monday; Wilma and Lowell may come over on Tuesday and Wednesday we are spending the day with the kids. Thursday is lift off. Yikes. I will have to get my head into that schedule tomorrow. In the meantime, we are still here and it's all good. Hope the snow is disappearing in Pictou County. I can't believe there were two storms this past week. Not performance for late March.

I'll be back tomorrow; stay tuned...

Friday, March 22, 2013

Catching up on Friday

I try to listen to the CBc in the early morning when I am awake as I don't sleep here after two or three in the morning. I was rather surprised to hear that there is no school again today in Pictou County. I guess the dull morning here at 304 is nothing to complain about. I don't complain about the weather here at all this year. It's more to my liking than the blasting heat we have experienced in the past, last year in particular. I know that if you are here for a week you don't want that week to be the cool one in the month and I fully understand that. I just manage better in this climate. It's 64F here today and a bit overcast. Fine with me. It's still a shorts day. And speaking of clothing, I brought way too much with me. WHAT WAS I THINKING when I pressed and folded all of those pants and shirts?! They will go back in my bag the same way in a week.

TERRA FIRMA!  I practically kissed the ground when we got back from Largo yesterday. GAWD but I hate that drive on RTE4 across the remainder of the state through Tampa. Mike of course doesn't mind it but I am in sheer terror from Plant City till we get to Roger and Maureen's. Where are all of these people going and why are they going so fast!? As you know, you have to keep up or you are a hazard all on your own. So we made it over and got to see the Smith kids all at the same time. We hardly ever see them except when we are here and they are so sweet! They went off to do some shopping and we stayed and had fish chowder for lunch. Thank you Maureen! In order to avoid the heavy traffic  (LOL) we left around two thirty and beat it back across. YIKES!! That didn't work so well.  Some trucker was pounding on his door right beside me and I ignored him till we pulled to a stop and he did it again....I rolled down the window and he pointed north and said "Canada is THAT WAY!" and off we went again. I thought we were about to be victims of road rage and it was just a comedian telling me he knew where nova scotia was! A long swim when we got back and a quiet evening. Good day all around.

Wednesday night we had dinner with Rich and Claire Lello at Charlie's Steak House in Orlando. Quite the place. They bring the tray of steaks to you and introduce you to them. Lots and lots of food; too much really. The server ought to have indicated that servings of sides were huge and we didn't need four, but two would have been sufficient. Additionally the dessert sampler was more of a "feed this section of the restaurant" sampler and not a table for four. We actually had half of it boxed up for take away. It was a lovely evening and we enjoy the chance to spend time with them, by ourselves, as two sets of parents. We will do it again, when we are here.  Lots of chatter about everyone being in Nova Scotia this summer. We are very excited about the prospect but so many dots have to be connected before everyone is on a plane. That's when I will start to get excited.

We have a week left. I guess everyone experiences a fast month in Florida. How is that!!?? In the meantime my shopping list is rather exhausted because I am just tired of searching for things that seem to be eluding me. There will be opportunities on the road to check out the stores that aren't being too helpful to me. There is, for example, a leCreuset outlet in North or South Carolina that I will swing into if I don't get to the one here. We always need a little walk at night after pulling off the road so later on, as we are farther north, I may be able to find a few things I am missing. I dread the thought of packing up but c'est la vie. Bitter/sweet...you know how it goes. On the negative side, I didn't do a lot of things...didn't read two books. Read one that was a let down and just didn't pick up another. Didn't get three square inches done on a stitching project I thought I would finish. One golf game instead of four. Couldn't swim every day because of a variety of reasons. I will do better on that next year. Just looking at the news and the weather is all 70's for next week. Love that.

We will be spending a lot of time with the kids over the next few days. I think Chris has Wednesday off and Laura is off this week for her spring break. Over the weekend we will be doing something together. All of a sudden there are six sleeps before we leave. Maybe seven. Off to start the day. Hope all is well, can't believe there is snow happening in my driveway. I'll be back. Thanks for stopping in.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sunny Tuesday

Playing golf in Florida can be a real challenge. Well frankly playing golf for me anywhere is a challenge but here you have to contend often with humidity and hot sun. There aren't a lot of opportunities to be in the shade when you are playing golf. Because of that, yesterday turned out to be the very best kind of day to play. There was far more cloud than sun and mostly cloud in fact and it didn't get hot in that steamy humid day that it can. The day was great and we had a fun time. We played on a course that at one time would have been lovely. Well laid out, lots of water, lots of sand, trees and plenty of houses that were well out of reach except on a hole or two. Unfortunately this course has seen better days but for our first outing, neither of us minded so much. Mike kept saying to me that he was certain we had played there last year but I was just as certain what we hadn't. Finally it donned on him that he and Terry had played one day last year while Norma and I went shopping at The Loop and that's where they went. He was relieved that he finally put the pieces together. We are playing at a better looking course later this week but my game won't look any better. It's a humbling game. A good drive here, a good second shot there but hardly ever in sequence for me. I didn't sink a putt in reasonable time yesterday but I guess I have to remember that it was the first time out and I can only get better. Sure. Better. I'll get back to you on that one.

Bridge last night was interesting with Allan and Carol. Everyone plays that game differently. Everyone has a different way of conveying a strong hand. So we had three different approaches and it made for some miscommunication but hey...we were playing. The night went long and after midnight Mike drove Carol back to her place as she had walked over, not expecting to be so late. She is staying in the complex where we were last year. Allan is just four doors down.

Dinner with Chris and Laura and the Littles today. Corned beef and cabbage. I have to look for a turnip, a yellow turnip, before going over. They are hard to find and sometimes are like softballs, in size and texture. Have you ever tried to cook a softball? Not pretty. Or tasty. Wish me luck.

The pool is warm. Warm. I am not certain if it's not TOO WARM but I can't tell. If the day is cool, like yesterday, you just jump in and it's like a bath. On a hot day, it doesn't feel quite as warm as your body is hot when you get in. Anyway, it is what it is...I paid for it to be heated and so be it. I can do warm but not really cold.

I think we are going out to visit a store or two. It sounds like we are doing a lot of shopping but it's in and out, not long periods of time anywhere. I may check out the LeCreuset outlet for an enamel coated cast iron frying pan. I don't need another casserole. They take up a lot of space and they are so heavy that you don't just flip them in an out of the cupboard with one hand. I see they have come out with another new color...lemon yellow. It's really pretty.

So off to start the day. Hope all is well with you. Carol I hope you noticed that I got your rotating cutting mat and the fusible fleece we talked about. Having trouble finding the rest of the things we put on the Florida list that morning over tea. Needle; haystack. Not easy.

I'll be back; hope it's not sowing where you are!! Tomorrow is spring. Yippee!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Party on Reserve

Last night we went to Anne and Greg Robley's house for a get together with Pictou County People who either live in Reserve or did at one time. There were about 24 people there, give or take a couple. Anne's house is exactly the same as this one with totally different d├ęcor and furniture lay out so in a way it looks completely different. Today, because of how she had her house laid out, I moved the dining room table away from the patio doors and put it up against the wall, giving a lot more room and a better flow from the pool doors. I think it looks better but we will have to move everything back before we leave. Otherwise I think there will be an advisory in the binder to leave the furniture the way it is when you get there. Just a guess but that's probably what would happen. We were at Anne's till almost midnight and then Anne and Alan and Red and Cheryl came in here for a drink before the night faded. It was a great evening and although I didn't know everyone, everyone else knew everybody but us. Carol and Heather Robinson were there too; they are staying near by and are playing golf every other day it seems. There are here for six weeks and then going on to Myrtle Beach with a lot of other golfers. Everyone is having a wonderful winter.

This morning we went to Mass at Corpus Christi in Celebration and visited the Farmers Market afterwards. Quite a show. Lots of interesting food items and unfortunately our larder is pretty full and we opted not to buy food but what great choices. Gourmet pasta dishes, prepared and ready for the oven; great looking bread of all kinds; a bottled olive salad that I did buy and is delicious; a tea merchant; lots of fresh fruits and vegs and jewellery, painting and art objects; sewing which was fine quality and scarves. Just a feast for the eyes and tummy.

Celebration is quite the place. It's a Disney community with oodles of restrictive covenants determining what you can hang where and how your house looks on the outside and what your yard looks like and what you hang on the door. There are all styles of homes from three storey row houses that look like they belong on Beacon Hill to single homes that are awe inspiring. I have never seen homes like those before. GIGANTIC homes. that go on and on, back to attached garages and sun rooms. All styles but the individual homes are strikingly dramatic. Pillars and porches and fences and brick and wreaths and think gorgeous and then expand on that until you think it cannot be more beautiful and then it is. Not a cornerstore in sight; no retail except in closely regulated areas, as beautiful as the homes. Quite the place. Some of those homes have been there for what looks like 15 years but everything looks new and so immaculately kept. Money Money Money and lots more money in Celebration. Interesting, we didn't see many people but it was early, so perhaps there aren't many people out in neighbourhood USA at that time of day.

We tried a few places for breakfast and then opted to come here and have pancakes banana foster and eggs and bacon with good coffee and toast. No waiting. No lineup. Then honey tangerines from the market. This afternoon we are reading alongside the pool and I am in and out of the water to cool off. It's warm today. People are happy.

Beginning week three tomorrow. I have already booked this house for next year. After so many people seeing it, the word will get around that it's a sweet spot so better safe than sorry and I make the commitment late last night. The owner is happy that we are coming back and we really like this house. A few things planned for tomorrow; golf in the morning/afternoon and then bridge at night. I am keeping a calendar these days as the last couple of weeks cram up pretty quickly. Talked to Chris this morning and we will see him on Tuesday.

HOpe all is well in your nest. We are just watching the last of the race from Bristol and Mike's friends are there watching in person. It's not as sunny there as here but I am certain they had fun today and yesterday. Back tomorrow sometime. Check in if you have time.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saturday in the sun

....and in the pool. What a lovely day. Quite warm and bright and sunny. We went to a farmers market first thing this morning and got some great looking tomatoes and some other great things to eat. Finally got to a Joann's in Kissimmee and the longest time I spent there was in the line at the cutting table. I bought twelve yards of fusible fleece for less that $5 a yard. If you are a quilter you know that's $10 a meter at Atlantic Fabrics and probably anywhere else. It was on sale and I didn't have to use one of those valuable 40% off coupons out of the flier. It was on for that price anyway. I wasn't able to find other things on my Joann list and was disappointed. There was a piece of 108" backing for $10/m but it was in two pieces and that rather defeats the purpose, doesn't it?! I didn't find other things I thought would be there and I find that rather frustrating. Nonetheless I did get a couple of things and that's better than yesterday. I hope to run to Micheal's tomorrow. Short list there.

This is pretty high season for the March Break visitors. The middle two weeks in March are noticeably busier on the highways and in the retail outlets, particularly the shopping centers and the outlets. I am staying away from the latter till the last possible day and have only one stop there so it will be guerilla shopping...in and out, doing damage as fast as possible. When we were on our way back here this afternoon the highway going east was practically stogged. Steady close three lanes moving rather fast and then stopped. Nervewracking. We were going west in loose traffic, fast but loose.

This evening we are going to a meet-up with the other Pictou County residents who are staying here in Reserve. Walk over with a drink and say hi. Still trying to put a bridge game together for Monday night. Mike replenished his book supply today so he is good for about a week and then another run to his favorite stall at a flea market. Church tomorrow morning in Celebration and maybe breakfast out after that. There 's a great place called First Watch that I love and haven't visited yet this year.

Feeling great after the swim and shower. The weather looks like it's warming up so a better week on the way. Actually I don't really care what the weather is like.  Brian and Leslie posted a pic on F/book of a portion of Sask covered in snow. They were a bit disappointed!! Home today for them and then work for Brian on Monday. Cruel reality rears it's ugly head!

Hope all is well. I'll be back in a day or so. Thanks for stopping by. Not much exciting to report but this keeps a record for me and I can recall what we were doing from year to year. We would like to be at Bristol Motor Speedway Baby tomorrow but television will have to do!! Gentlemen, start your engines!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

How quickly a week goes by

The pool is warmbut the  air temperature is still pretty brisk but that's really ok with me. It's one of those spectacular Florida weeks. Brian and Leslie just left for a  couple of days in New Orleans and fly out to Sask on Saturday, tomorrow I believe. We had a great time with them and they got to see some friends who are still in the state. They visited some Disney properties and had a general good time. After they left we headed out and looked over a few golf courses. We are playing on Monday for the first time at a course fairly nearby.

Thursday we drove to Apopka and did a bit of retail therapy there. Visited an indredible shopping area in Winter Garden that has everything imaginable. These shopping areas are so well laid out as there is so much real estate in Florida that everything is spread out and there is lots of parking and a real leisurely feel about the complexes. Winter Garden is about a 25 minute drive from here so really it's not even like going to Hfx to shop. I checked out a Joann Fabric there with my long list of things I was searching for but as wild as it may seem, they didn't have the items I was looking for. Or the quantity in some cases. I had a great session in the pool after we got back and it feels so good to be in the water. In the course of swimming around I kicked the side of the pool and almost lost two toes. I think I may lose a toenail on one and they are both pretty bruised and really sore. The olympic swim team has nothing to fear from me.

Today we went to Tampa to a home show first of all and then to a woodworking show. Mike has been inteerested in going to the wws for a few years and we finally made it today. I believe I now understand how he feels when he is wandering around a quilt store with me because I never saw so many things that I had absolutely no idea what they would be used for. Some things were pretty obvious and we sat and watched a few videos on wood turning that I was quite interested in. I guess we were there for about four hours and standing and walking on concrete takes a toll on one's hips. We are both pretty sore tonight. We ate on the way back so just tea this evening. I am actually ready for bed.

Yesterday was Jocelyn's actual birthday so we were there for supper last night and had cake and baloons and all that. She was pretty excited. Her mom and dad had brought balloons and cupcakes to her school  in the afternoon and she got to wear a badge that said "birthday girl" all day at school. Bhreagh is still not feeling very well and the dear little thing was rather unhappy last night when we were there. It's so difficult to console a baby. She would have nothing of ir, just wanted her MaMa. By the time we were leaving she seemed to be a bit better but she had had a difficult evening. They are going out of town tomorrow to help friends pack for a move that none of them are looking forward to.

We have a couple of things on the calendar for the next two days and will start with a farmers market at Hunters Creek which is close to our favorite retail area The Loop. No idea what to expect; kind of hoping for a garage sale environment but not sure. That's first thing tomorrow. I'll be back on the weekend. HOpe all is well where you are and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monday at 304

A good looking day with some overcast and not the clear blue Florida sky we are accustomed to. Brian and I walked this morning, doing loops around the neighbourhood. Not quite the Samson Trail but far better than sitting still. Brian and Leslie will be here for a couple of more days so it was good to spend some time with them today. We were in Saskatoon in October but it's a real bonus to see them again so soon. They are out tonight and are going to Chris's tomorrow afternoon.

I phoned today to add heat to the pool and I am hoping tomorrow to find a difference. Actually I am not even sure the pool people were here. I am hoping that they were but I will phone in the morning to check. It cold take a day or two to bring the water up to temperature.

We picked  Chris up at work this afternoon and he cooked dinner on The Big Green Egg. If you don't know what it is, google it and you will find out it's story. The dinner was great and we stayed till it was time for the kiddies to go to bed. They have a long day and a short visit is really better than a long one.

We have to line up some golf but Mike is still wearing a brace on his wrist that will influence his interest in a game. I can see that 18 holes could very well result in making things worse. I think we may go to the Florida Mall tomorrow. That's one of those things that we do once. It's a huge mall and there are so many shops to visit. Plus it's in the middle of the city but worth one trip during the month.

Another  slow day. Hope spring is showing itself in NS. Has there been any new snow? This one way communication isn't all that great for me.

Living in the bubble

I am convinced tht when you are on a Florida vacation you are actually living in a bubble, just within your alloted space and not encountering much outside of it. You can move the bubble around but you pretty well stay inside of it. For example, I know we are electing a new pope but that's about it. If Anderson Cooper doesn't talk about it at night, then I don't know about it. I miss the morning paper and reading about what is happening in my province at the least or in the country at best. There is really no local news here. This morning as we were heading to the Florida Mall (we do that once a visit) we were in a traffic jam that lasted for a couple of miles till I spied some man lying on the middle of the street. There is no way that we will ever find out what happened to him...whether he was hit by a car or by a bullet or if her survived. Just saw him for a moment and he is gone from my knowledge. Coming home this afternoon Highway 4 wa almost a parking lot for the best part of five miles. We didn't see anything that was causing it and we will never find out. Another moment in time, gone and done. And that really happens every day at some level.

Yesterday we Picked Chris up after work and had supper at his house. He fired up the Big Green Egg and did smoked chicken which was quite delisious. Most delicious was spending time with Bhreagh and Jocelyn. Jocelyn prompts her: Bhreagh sing your ABC's and she sings away, the odd letter appearing where it should. It's so cute.She is a tired little girl when she gets home from school at five. I am actually meaning Bhreagh there but Jocelyn is tired too. She got moved up into another class yesterday because she was ready to advance out of her 'year' and had a great first day. We stayed till just after seven because that's coming onto bed time and the grands need to be out of the equation for that event. Brian and Leslie are there today and I expect they will be back here at 304 by eight or so. They went to Downtown Disney last night after meeting up with a few of their friends. They leave tomorrow for a few more days in NOLA. We have enjoyed having them here, having seen them six months ago and it will be a while before we are together again.

Aaron and Rika are getting married and I can't say exactly when but it will be in this year I believe. We are very happy about that and daughters in law are particularly excited. Actually we are more than happy...quite over the moon to tell the truth. More when we know more; this thirteen hour time difference is really difficult to navigate around. When I am home we often have a Skype visit first thing in the morning but when we are away in March it doesn't work so well. We have to schedule the visits and that turns out to be a bit of a challenge too. So we do what we can!

And The Florida Mall. We go there once each visit and today was the day. It rained today. not that crazy pounding Florida rain we have experienced a few times but a soft rain that went on and on for a few hours. Good day to shop and everyone else visiting the SS had the same idea. I had a couple of things I wanted to get a Macy's and actually got them. We wandered through the mall area as well but didn't buy anything; just looked. Mike looked at watches that were $8k and I stood by, not trying to look too horrified. The FM is a great place to people watch and people listen and we enjoyed ourselves. When I got home I put on my bathing suit and tried the pool but it's still pretty cold. One more day! I am sure it will be warm enough tomorrow.

So all for now. I am having a few problems publishing these posts; hope this goes through. If you find a couple of them are out of order, it's a technological problem, not me going back in time. Have a good day, I'll be cack. HOpe you aren't getting too tired of this rather slow vacation. We aren't!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Quiet Sunday

After three days of being on the hop we decided to keep a very low profile today and stay close to the nest. We visited two flea markets (Mike loves going to FM's) and did some grocery shopping and called it a day. Brian and Leslie had gone to visit friends yesterday and stayed overnight so I cooked supper when they came home. not something I do often...but we didn't feel like doing the restaurant thing so we had Pesto Chicken Ziti and that was supper. Girl Scout cookies for dessert. Not too complicated.

While outside we struck up a conversation with the people next door who are from Ontario and to make it short, they wanted to see our place as they were pretty disappointed with theirs. For good reason as I saw later. They were bowled over by 304 which was less per month than theirs and they have a long list of complaints for the homeowner when they leave. Basically their house is dated and neglected looking. They are pretty disappointed.

 In the course of the conversation, I decided to phone tomorrow and get the pool heated. I would have been in the pool all afternoon today but it's simply too cold. If we get it heated for even two weeks I know I will use it every day. Mike gave me "that face" when I told him I was phoning to get the heater turned on and I told him that he could give me that face all he wanted but the pool would be heated, starting tomorrow. You never know when you come here if you need the pool heated or not. Last year it wouldn't have mattered as it was screaming hot all through the month of march but it's not hot here yet and I feel we are wasting the pool, which we have paid for indirectly, so we will get it warmed up. It will probably take a day or two to get to temp but believe me any help will make a difference. That sucker is cold!!

Starting week two already. This one has been busy but it's hard not to be on the go. I think we will go to see C and L tomorrow after work and have supper with them. Leslie and Brian are seeing friends tomorrow so they will make their own plans. That's about it for today. Another slow news day. Honestly...we miss having bridge partners in residence. Really. HOpe all is well where you are, thanks for reading and I'll be back.



Saturday, March 9, 2013

There's nothing like the way Disney does it

This is a flower and nature month at Epcot and there are explosions of flowers everywhere. These were taken at The United Kingdom and they speak for themselves. Peter Pan is the topiary on the roof!!





A few pics so far

 These were taken at our lunch at BJ's at The Loop and we had such a great time!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday at Epcot

This was the best day in so many respects...incredible weather: just what you want in the SS..bright and sunny with low humidity. Particularly the low humidity part. We left 304 early to get to the parking lot at Epcot by ten to nine to meet with Chris and Laura and the girls. Brian and Leslie departed at the same time. Two cars from here as I knew I would never be able to keep up with them and they planned to visit a second park today so Mike and I took our own car. We all met up with very little problem and started out. Jocelyn was wearing her Merida dress! So cute. The day was incredible with the best weather imaginable. We wandered around and eventually Brian and Leslie went off on their own as they had several pavillions they wanted to visit and I was starting to fade. We shopped at Great Britain which I totally love. I could have bought a dozen things there but resisted the temptation and went with the ubiquitous tea cup and hand lotion. We ate fish and chips which was delicious, and as we were leaving, ran into SYLVIA DINGLE who was there with Janet and Barb and Barb's children. Thousands and thousands people there and we bumped into each other. Pretty funny. Chris and I ate sushi at Japan and took pictures to show Rika and had ice cream as we were leaving the park. Several margaritas were consumed at Mexico by some people and we had fun in Canada and there were other things too but that's the general gist of the day. It was really just a wonderful day and being able to spend it with Brian and Chris and Laura and Leslie and those two little girls was really the very best. The Grand girls were the best!  Back at 304 and we are fine now that we have either had a rest or some tea or both. I took pictures and really hope to get them posted for anyone to see who is interested.

Yesterday we four headed to Chris's place and had a visit which included lunch at BJ's at The Loop. We had a great day there too. It doesn't seem to get any better and then it gets better. Who would have thought!?

Meal times are odd; we always seem to eat out a lot but there will be meals in too. Tomorrow will be another big breakfast day but this morning we ate standing up, catching what we could. I love cooking breakfast but there are days that cereal and toast and fruit has to fit the bill. Tomorrow is a big day with Jocelyn's birthday party. I believe there will be a lot of people there and we will be going over late in the morning for a 1pm start up. I'll be back after that event; could be tomorrow night sometime. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

And hello beautiful Wednesday

This one looks great too...we went for a short walk this morning just to get the feel of the area. Only did a half hour and tomorrow I will shoot for longer. We are going to Epcot on Friday which will be a long day. Yesterday we picked Chris up at work and had supper at the Orlando Ale House in Hunters Creek with Laura and the little ones who were wonderful mealtime guests. You have your own entertainment when you eat with a four year old and an 18 month old. Bhreagh is quite a little character and the sign language is amazing to witness. Wish I had known about that thirty something years ago. I simplifies things when you realize that just because a child cannot talk they still have ideas they want to express and if you find the "language", it makes life a lot simpler for both of you.

Had a pedicure this morning which I promise myself each year when I get here. I have regular foot care at home but there is something special about a Florida pedicure! ... and by the way, in case you are looking for that KLP in Superstore, it's by Edwards, not the brand name I incorrectly used a few days ago. I saw them this morning and realized I had given the wrong name.

Brian and Leslie arrive early afternoon. Not sure what will be happening with them and how it involves us; will have to wait and see.

That's the morning at 304. Still pretty routine. Just like home but in a different location. With no bridge partners it sure has changed the evenings. And the time change this weekend...who knew that was coming up so quickly! I just adjusted to the hour difference from moving into the Eastern time zone and now it's switchback time. Hope all is well where you are. I'll be back...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hello beautiful Tuesday

We deserve this one, I assure you! It's a spectacular Florida day but not hot, low humidity and just the sunniest beautiful day we have seen in a long time. I love days like this in the SS.

 We had a Skype visit with Aaron and Rika fairly early this morning, first time we had seen them in a while. It's hard to coordinate the Skype calls except for the weekends because they are both working and the twelve hour time difference makes it a challenge too.

We had a great breakfast this morning and after doing some coupon searching on line, headed to The Loop and our favorite, Bealls. I got shoes and a Jones of New York shirt and could have bought a lot more but I have to hold myself back in those stores. So many pretty things. Tomorrow I am going to the shops at Posner Blvd which is close and I can go there by myself.  Also a pedicure tomorrow morning. Brian and Leslie arrive in the afternoon and probably out to supper but not sure if we are going to Chris's place or not. Mike and I are picking him up this afternoon at four, from work and then will have dinner out with everyone. Mike likes the Orlando Ale House and there is one close to Chris's, at the Loop.  They like the oysters but I usually pass on those.

When we were here last year we had our very own golf coordinator but this year I find that job falling to me. I am not nearly as good as Terry but today I found that we can play at the Royal St Cloud and Orange River for $25 a person, with a cart. As soon as Brian and Leslie are gone we will check those out, and maybe while they are here because they may have plans to do things on their own. We don't expect them to follow us around as it would make for a rather dull vacation for them!! Mike and I are pretty dull. Still haven't found anyone to play bridge with. Alan MacDonald wants to play but he doesn't want to ask one of two sisters who are here...he thinks they both would want to play but I told him to go for it and ask one of them to come with him for an evening.  Bridge is a game for four, not five!! Every man for himself!!

So that's today. Pretty exciting, WHAT!!?? I can barely contain myself. Mike is already on his second book and I have just learned how to operate the remote control on the two TV's that we use. There are two others but I can only handle the learning curve on the two in the rooms we frequent. The weather is supposed to be cold again tomorrow but the weekend is expected to bring the typical Florida weather with it. I really don't care. We have little girls to see and a Mommy and Daddy as well; it's all good where we are sitting. Hope the same for you and thanks for reading. I'll be back!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Odds and Ends

There are always comments that don't fit in a proper title... odds and ends seems to fit.

 Last night we had key lime pie for dessert. I bought this one at Publix and it's the pie of choice as far as I am concerned. I used to make a KLP when I was here. Key limes are tiny iddy biddy little things that require 16 of them, juiced, to produce a cup of juice. Whe you cut them in half and use one of those wooden reamers to get the job done, it's just like trying to juice a blueberry. My wrists simply won't allow that kind of activity do now, the pie of choice comes from Publix. You can buy one in NS in the freezer section of SuperStore and it's made by Richardsons (I believe). We can get that here too, and it's pretty good but the KLP from Publix is the greatest!

Cold weather in Florida is actually rather fine. It's just a short interruption in otherwise good weather and right now, according to Claire, this is as cold as it's been. Not really a problem but I keep looking out at the pool, which we decided not to have heated, and wondering if it will ever warm up. This morning there was steam coming off it. Un elievable. And the heat pumps in the houses aren't really terribly efficient. In this huge living room the temp has come up by two degrees since we got up and the heat has been turned on for almost three hours. I may just give up and put on sox and sneakers. But it will be hot again in a couple of days, so... not a real problem.

I should have gone out for a walk this morning. There is no ice on the road here to stop me and a couple of miles up to the CVS and back would have been a good idea. Maybe this evening or maybe tomorrow. Should Woulda Coulda strikes again.

I think today is the day to start a good book. I brought The Painted Girls with me and there are several on my tablet that are lined up in the queue so with Mike reading the new Ian Rankin I brought along, I may have to give in and just sit and read for awhile.

Breakfast is done and the laundry is in the machine. No housework to do so, since busy hands are happy hands, I ought to get busy. Michael's is close by and I am going to take a run over there today. Mike is going to wax the car so we need a couple of errands. Our car just can't drive by Publix. We noticed that last year, didn't we Norma and Terry?? and it's the same this year too. Funny about that! 
so I will be back later. Hope your day is great!!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday in Davenport

I just got back from Publix on a bright sunny and cool Sunday afternoon. It's 12C today, starting out at a brisk 4C at seven this morning when we were heading to Chris and Laura's for breakfast. Chris flew to Kansas on business at noon so we won't see him till we collect him at the office on Tuesday afternoon. Breeakfast was great. Chris is a good cook and loves to experiment. He starts this breakfast off with sauteed potatoes which go in the bottom of a (leCreuset braising) pan. The same pan that I have; his is orange and mine is brown. Believe it or not, that matters a little!!! So after the potatoes are cooked, they are topped with sauteed onions and crumbled cooked sausage meat (his choice is Jimmy Dean). Then some wilted spinach and dabs of cream cheese and then several eggs beaten and poured over all. Into the oven till it's set. Yumm-O big time! Toast and good coffee and we are calling it breakfast. Little girls have some but their choice is a cooked oatmeal. Both little ones have a terrrible cold and Laura has a cough. We hope to avoid all germs but it's difficult.
when breakfast was done we all sat down and watched Brave, Jocelyn's current favorite Disney girl. Her birthday party next weekend has a Merida theme. I have to get that movie. Loved loved it. It was particularly sweet watching it with Jocelyn who hid her eyes during the scary parts and giggled at the appropriate times. So many dialogue lines are directed at adults like "never conjure where you carve" recited by a witch who was also a carver. Priceless. No child would ever pick that up or comprehend it's meaning but the adults who are watching it with them are a bit tickled by it. Disney knows how to do it.

Back here by mid day. And by the way, Happy Race Day to all of you. We are watching the race from Phoneix this afternoon. Alan H MacDonald dropped in to check us out and stayed for a little sip. Then a run to Publix as I indicated. I think we have all we need at this time. I have to make an appt for a pedicure, usually my first order of business when we get to the nest. Will call in there in the morning. The weather man says it's going to warm up this week so the fact that I have only one pair of long pants will no longer be an issue.

On it goes, into week one. Hope things are going real well for all of you. I am going to make biscuits this afternoon (Pillsbury whole wheat Grands...hard to find at home.) I brought some good chutney with me and we are going to have biscuits with cheese and chutney for a snack. I'll be back tomorrow and maybe will have something more interesting to write about. Till then...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Link to house

www.vacationrentalbydisney.com

This is the link to see the pics of the house. It's the best I can do till I get some photos but it's exactly like the pics on the website.

Here at 304

Well this certainly was a good choice of homes, sight unseen, on the internet. Hard to believe that things can work out so well. There is a thing or two that  I don't like but it certainly wouldn't have stopped me from taking the house if I had known that the bathrooms weren't quite as nice as I had hoped or that there is very little counter space in the kitchen. I am not planning to cook that much and the bathrooms...well there are three and only one tub, in the guest bath. Not a problem.

We stayed in Darien Georgia last night and I had a terrible time trying to get a post published and eventually just gave up. We had a funny day yesterday. Day three is supposed to be the easy day but it was greulling. Lots of traffic until we got onto the good roads of Georgia where there are three lanes each way instead of two each way as there were in NC and SC. Mike did all the driving, again, and got us here safely through some heavy areas. Stayed at the Hampton Inn in Darien and had a great supper and another early night. This morning, which seems like a very long time ago, we didn't leave till about seven thirty or so. Traffic was quite light and we drove through Jacksonville and then onto Daytona and switched to highway 4 which brought us directly here. The city of Orlando was cloggy even on a Saturday. It's always a bit hariy going through that stretch along the downtown and I was relieved to get through unscraped!

 When we got to 304 the place was ready and we moved on in. Before we got out things out of the car Terry White and Lynda came by and said hello. They dropped in to check out the interior and agreed with us that it is pretty fine. Then Red McKean, who  lives across the street, came over to say hi also. Alan H and Anne Mac Donald are just a few houses down and I am surprised that they haven't been over yet. Chris and Laura and the little girls were at the strawberry festival in Plant City and dropped in on their way back home. This is the first time they have been to see our digs and were quite impressed with the area itself and the house as well. We are going to their place for an early breakfast in the morning as Chris is headed to Kansas for an overnight business event. Huge change in the girls since last year. A year in the life of a child is huge. Bhreagh was an infant the last time I saw her and she is a charming little toddler who makes herself understood with sign language. Totally amazing. and Jocelyn... a delight. Total delight. So expressive and entertaining. I could eat her face.

We both unpacked this afternoon and expect to have another early night. I have a headache which is just from the stress of the day and will be happy to have a bath and some tea. We went to Publix first thing and did some serious damage there. Some things were missing in the house, things that were in previous condos we had here, so it was a whopping grocery order, with everything from eggs and butter and bread to cascade and palmolive liquid and bathroom paper. Imagine going into an empty house and what you have to buy the first day. That's what we did.

It's cool in the SS today.  Apparently there are a couple of more days like this and then it's going to warm up. I didn't bring clothes for cool weather. Last year I brought three pairs of jeans and never had them on. This year...didn't do that but I sure brought a pile of tshirts. What on earth was I thinking!!?? Brought bridge cards and hope to find a couple of people to play with. Can't have my skills going to pot while on vacation!!

I hope this publishes, and if you are reading it, then I guess it was a successful launch. Still no pictures. Just a little glitch as far as getting them from my camera to the blog. Should get that straightened out real soon. In the meantime, hope things are well with all of you and that you will drop by again. I'll be back!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Failure to launch

I have been trying to publish tonight's entry for the past hour with no success.  Major computer failure and it's time to pack it in for now. We had a safe and great day on the roadand look forward to getting into the house by late aftenoon tomorrow. i'll be back then.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

If today is Thursday, this must be WEst Virginia, or Virginia or ...

This is the day of the seven states. Hard to believe you can be in seven states in only twelve hours but it can be done. we started the day in Massachussetts at 5am...skipped breakfast till it became a reward for doing well and getting where we wanted to be in the dark. It's dark at 5am and some signs are small. Found that out pretty quick and ended up going five miles out of the way and then back but did well on the second try. And have you forgotten just how big a mile is???? It's WAY bigger than a kilometer, which ticks off pretty quickly but ten miles is ten minutes! So eventally we ate at an IHop. Now I am seeing eyes roll but Mike loves Ihop and we had a great breakfast there around nine thirty. Already at that point on the road for over four hours!
So back to that STATE thing. Massachussetts, Conneticut, New york, Pennsylvania, Delaware. West Virginia and Virginia...a little of some and a lot of others. We are now in Richmond VA at a great Country Inns and Suites that we like very much. Stayed here last year also. Just had a quick supper at an equally quick diner but we have been eating our way down the Eastern Coast and a light supper is all we needed. Car food is important but we have eaten most of what we brought, with the exception of the oat cakes from JoLynn (which I have been rationing...thanks again, JoLynn!!). We will be fine tomorrow and then will arrive at the house on Saturday and will do grocery shopping and be fine then too.
The trip has been great so far but this Day two is really greulling. You seem to be driving and driving and just not getting anywhere. That western swing out of the way of the major cities takes some time and psychologically you feel you ought to be getting closer but you are heading west and southwest for a lot of the time. Not much traffic. Some of course in Hartford and that string of small towns/cities in Conn and of course that tear through Wilkes-Barre. No precipitation at all today, Thank You Jesus.
And THE TRUCKS! You know how when you are driving to Hfx or to Truro and you get behind a truck and you say "gotta get past this guy" and you do, and then you have  smooth sailing. Well you don't do that on this drive. You pass a truck and there are eight more in front of you. And one by one you pass them only to find there are six more in your sight. We actually wondered if the trucks out numbered the cars but of course they dont. But there would be a quarter the number, as a guess. They never stop coming at you or passing you or appearing in front of you. Part of the scary situation is how fast they drive. Yikes...you are driving along at 120km/hr and trucks and cars are zooming past you like you are standing still.
So here comes day three and we think we have about 1300 km left. We really won't try to do that in a day and hadn't anticipated that possibility at all. We don't plan to be on the road tomorrow till seven so that's two hours later than the past two days. NC, SC, a bit of Georgia and then Florida. Still a lot to go; always fun driving through Jacksonville.... I think this geography lesson is getting dull so I'll sign off for now. We haven't seen anyone we knew yet. Shopped at Target for a break in the action this afternoon and got a tshirt. We just needed to get out of the car.
Hope all is well with all of you. Thanks for reading and I'll be back!! No pictures yet...sorry on that. Will try tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

So here we are in Massachussetts

Day one is done and we are just settling in for the night. We don't really check the time, but just go to bed when it's time and get up when we are ready to hit the road. We left 124 this morning at five o'clock and had a great start, all the way to Waterville Maine. It was sunny and bright and just the best drive we have ever had till mid afternoon when the snow and rain closed in and rather made a mess of the roads and our mental condition.
I will say that the State of Maine doesn't spare the snow plows. We met five in a very short space of time and we encouraged to know that their salt quota was still unsurpassed. They were pouring it on for miles and miles. By the time we got to the liquor store in NH the snow had turned to torrential rain which is just barely better to drive in than snow. So we stocked up at the LC and moved on to Westford MA or something like that. It starts with W and ends in d so it's close. Dinner at the BBC - British Beer Company and I would like to come back for that place alone. Actually we stayed here last year on the way home and tried to get into the BBC but the place was  packed that night too. Tonight we got there just in time and got the last two seats. People were standing out in the rain when we left.
So an uneventful day I would have to say. We stopped at Mardens and I got some theme pieces and not much more. Their double wide quilt backings were plentiful but all the wrong colors. I got a dark brown piece of backing for a brown quilt I have in mind and then several pieces for napkins. I really didn't have a plan when we got there and so that can make for an unsuccessful trip. Nothing really jumped out at me.
We are planning another early start tomorrow, the dreaded day 2. This one is all business; just get in the car and go. Some traffic is unavoidable on this stretch but hopefully we will be safe and sound somewhere close to Richmond this time tomorrow night. Thanks for stopping by; I'll be back!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Saturday things

REally just counting the days away right now and doing laundry and ironing so that the clothes that have been in drawers or storage are ready to wear in a week. I always bring too much along with me and I am going to try to take less this year, some of that completely out of my hands. I had a JOckey Person 2 Person home party over a week ago and although my items were ordered last mOnday, they have yet to arrive. I had planned on taking most of those things with me and my hope is that they arrive on Monday but that's likely over optimistic. Tuesday perhaps. Right now we are targeting Wednesday as our lift off day which gives us four days to arrive in Davenport. On that...

Two days ago I thought I had better contact the home owner and get the final details in print for our stay. I sent email to her and it was returned, so I sent it again and again and again, every two hours, for 24!! NOTHING! By this time Mike was certain we had been taken and suggested I start looking for another place. I made a few contacts and then last night, mail from Debbie. Her email address wasn't working and that was the reason behind the email silence. I told her I was practically frantic by this time and she was quite sympathetic, but we are good to go now with all of the information and codes in our pockets. Also called the US bank today and straightened out a couple of details with them so all we need now is good weather and a bit of a tail wind. I will make a great lunch to have on the road with lobster sandwiches and plenty fruit and some of JoLynn's oat cakes! I have my Florida shopping list made and it's a bit shorter than usual. No LeCreuset casserole this year but perhaps a frying pan. It would be just wrong to come home without another piece albeit a small one! Can't really think about shopping just yet though.

So it's still winter and quite cold at 124. Chris says it's in the 80's in the Sunshine State. Chores and details to take care of this weekend so I am off to check a couple of items off the list. Stay tuned if you can stand the tedium!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Getting Ready to Go!

I don't know if it's really too early to start the preparations for the Florida trip but with two pets, one has to be aware that they cannot stay home alone and fend for themselves. The ideal situation would be them staying home alone. I could imagine they would get up early, listen to Information Morning and gaze out the window at the bird feeder and chortle away as the chickadees giggled at them through the patio door. Then a little nap because we all know birdwatching can take a lot out of one. An early lunch perhaps and then a video designed to entertain cats. There are plenty of them available, in case you didn't know. Afternoon exercise as Leo would chase The Jazz around the house several times, spitting out the fur he collected from biting her on the back would be next on the agenda. Another nap and a check of the birdfeeder and then dinner. Someone would be arriving to give clean water and sweep the litter and then... one day over. Not all that complicated. But not the case. This year The Jazz will be going to stay with Mary and Leo will travel to Halifax to stay with Lynn. Really it could work if both behave themselves. I will have my fingers crossed the whole time in the Sunshine State. Leo will be a year old in May and he has become one handsome dude of a cat. The alpha cat here at 124, much to the chagrin of The Jazz who has been here for nine years. She could tolerate him if he would only stop jumping all over her. He didn't get that memo, unfortunately. So, the cat situation is under control, or as much as it can be.

The list of "to-do's" is on the kitchen table and those details will be taken care of this coming week. I have a couple of quiting projects to finish before lift off. One in particular comes under the heading "what was I thinking??!!" Every year or two the Canadian Quilting Assn has a national quilt show and a part of that show is called the Trend Tex Challenge. Members of the CQA buy five fat quarters of fabric and are challenged to produce a project made from this fabric and to submit it for auction. There's a bit more, but that's enough info if you aren't a quilter. If you are a quilter, you already know about this anyway. Now I will tell you that if you show me how to do something, I will be able to do it. If you give me a pattern, I can follow it. If you give me five pieces of fabric and tell me to design an original piece with the theme "Sunshine and Vines" (???!!!) , that could be a bit of a problem. I won't tell  you how long I sat looking at that fabric and trying to "design" an ORIGINAL  piece to submit to this challenge.  Eventually I simply decided not to do it. That's called the bail out. I might have got away with that if Kate hadn't called me and said "...so how's that Trend Tex challenge piece coming along?" TRAPPED. You can run but you cannot hide. So back to the drawing board and the piece is coming along but now just needs to be finished and it has to be finished by the time I leave 124 as it has to be mailed in March and...........I am not home in March so mine has to be done in Frbruary. But it will be and I will post a photo when it's done. Soon.

I am moving through the things that absolutely have to be finished here and those that can travel, will travel. The short line is that I really waited a week too long to start getting ready but I will be set to go on the morning of the 25th....or 26th, depending on weather.

I changed the background of the blog so that you might think it's a brand new one but it's just a new look. Last year's "stuff" is still there and more than likely you read all that in 2012. I read it all again last week and I will say one thing.........I am not going to be on the hop every day in the SS this year. Nosiree!! A bit of vacation will be included.

So thanks for stopping by. I am off now to make a list or two and to work on a list or two... I'll be back!!