Saturday, April 4, 2015

Back in the Nest

Three busy days on the road and we are back at 124. Funny thing but we drove one more mile the second day than the first, something that we could never plan or execute. It just happened. We stayed last night in Portland ME and did the early departure as per usual. It was raining when we left, began to snow between Bangor and Houlton and eventually in Northern NB, the snow stopped and we had a fair day of driving. I got to stop in Bangor and picked up the Rotel tomatoes, some chocolate and a few spices I can't find here. Thirty seconds at the border, and we were back. Pretty seamless. We were OK anyway; we never use our full entitlement and I had receipts for everything but there is always some apprehension when someone puts your feet to the fire. Home by four-thirty or five. We never end up checking the clock exactly. There is lots of snow, which we expected, but the car is unloaded, most of the 'things' are dealt with in one way or another,  and the next step is a bit of laundry. We are watching some curling tonight. It doesn't look good for the Canadian team. A miracle may be on order.

We have been in quite a few states in the past two weeks and in every one of them, road construction is going on. Holy Crow!! High speed travel between barriers is unnerving. The economy must be on the upswing because the road work is in full bloom. Huge projects. Unbelievable how they can squeeze the workers and equipment into tight spaces and achieve a great project but they are doing it. I hope it's done for next year but some of the projects are just too big for a quick finish.


Mike is probably going to be retired by this time next week.

Bridge games to get played to finish the Marathon.

Quilt show in two months. Projects to get finished for then.

Big workshop coming up the end of the month.

Time on the road gave me the opportunity to make some plans for 124. Lots of projects to get underway,

The list goes on. We had a fabulous vacation. WEather was outstanding and we had a great visit in St Louis. That is a busy household. Laura is 35 weeks along in this pregnancy, they are packing up the house to move, and life goes on around those two important significant events. Good thing they are young.

HOpe everyone is well. Thanks for taking time to check in now and then. One more post in a few days and that will be it for this season. Back in a bit.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Trucks trucks and more trucks

An early departure from 2014 and off we went. No problems getting avross the Miss and into Illinois. Moderate traffic in the early morning and into Indiana and around Indianapolis. A bit hairy now and then and into Ohio. Thats where the trucks showed up in droves.Who knew that America ran on trucks and all of them were where we were going. Made it yhrough a tiny bit of West Virginia and here we are in Somerset PA. Pennsylvnia is one of those giant states that includes parts of two mountain ranges plus the Lairel Higlands.. Road construction appears to be the major activity of the last three states mentioned and its scary roaring throug these narrowed lanes sandwiched between five foot high cement dividers with massive trucks on all sides. for miles and miles. But we are here safely and thats what matters.

We are planning another early start in the morning and probably another eleven hour day. I find it tiring. I will try to check in tomorrow nigjt to five a brief account of thw day.  Hope everyone is well, be good to each other, till then.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

One More Teabag

One more teabag and its time to go home. I brought  a  box of KingCole tea with me and since theres only one left, I had better get going. It's like spring here in O'Fallon so tinking abour an imminent return to winter is not that exciting but we wre ready to be home. Not ready to leave tis sweet family but they are busy and their routine is a bit disrupted by two more asults in the house. We are going out for supper and after that, I will put away my shorts and put out a pait of long pants to wear in the morning.

Monday morning we dtove north to Hannibal MO to visit a wonderful quilt shop. The Hickory Stick is in the historic section of Hannibal and is probably one of the two most beautiful shops I have visited. We were in a store called The Enchanted Garden in Glendive Montana and it was amazing and of course Rainbows End in Dunedin FL is not to be missed but the HS is really something. Occupying tree storefronts, its a series of rooms each filled with stunningly beautiful fabrics and samples and patterns and finished pieces to buy.  My purpose was to buy fabric in a kit or to complete a project I saw on display in tje fabric they used. Ended up with a pattern and fabric to make, of all things, an apron, and then two fabrics for my stash and another pattern for a purse.:I would have bought a quilt kit had there been one that I couldn't resist but there wasn't a sample that particularly appealed to me for our house. Lots of lovely items though.

Wednesday we started packing the house, or parts of the house that Chris and Laura can do without for six months. I did the china cabinet, then we did pictures and wall decor, continuing today with more kitchen shelves  and  items and bedroom things and Chris worked on his office. Moving is a huge job. The realtor wants the house depersonalized so all of those family items have to be packed away. Their new house won't be ready for almost six months but this house has to be ready for the market next week. Laura is 35 weeks into this pregnancy so her energy is finite and the tasks are gigantic. Timing is terrible on this one but it is what it is. Moving on.

So tomorrow we head out on Hwy 70 and will be on that straight line till Carlyle PA, close to Harrisberg for those of you who know the standard drive to Florida from NS. We should or could be home on Sunday. Easter. I don't know how far we will get tomorrow and will have to check my book for the exaxt location but knowing my driving buddy, it will be a long,day to start. We lose an hour the first day, moving from Central into Eastern and will be good for anoter day before losing another when we move into Atlantic. It's fun to GAIN that hour but not so great to lose it.

Time to make a few breakfast sandwiches for the road. I should be back tomorrow evening to locate us on the map. Have a lovely day or evening, till ten.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Two days on The Road

Two days on the road would get us from Davenport to O'Fallon. The plan was a long first day and then a shorter one to complete the drive. Day one brings us to Atlanta afte about seven hours and that is a mile stone to be sure. If you have driven through Atlanta I need not offer an explanation and if you have not done that trip, nothing I say will sufficiently paint a picture for you. It is UNBELIEVABLE. Fast and eight or ten lanes going each way and knowing where you are going is  distinct asvantage. We made it through, heaved a aigh of relief and off we went. We had left the house ar five thirty. It's  bit of a go to depart because you have a lot more than when you arrived and we try to bring the booze and cheese to Chris so there is sorting in the fridge and into the cooler. Anyway we got out and got throug day one witout any serious incident. We saved the latter for day two.

Made a note to myself never to stay at The Country Inn And Suites in Manchester TN because it is just too close to the interstate and too noisy. We were in bed by seven thirty. In a new time zone. Out the door by fife tirt and off to Nashville.

Where are these people going so early in the morning.?! and why are they driving so fast?! Nashville was a very busy city in the dark of morning and we were happy to have it in our rear view mirriw. On to Paducah. FABRIC HEAVEN, More fabric than one person could imagine. When I ca,e out of the store, a few dollar on the light side, a flat tire.,One of the last things Mike chose to bring was the little air compressor and then off to Goodyear. New tires and on the road again. Yikes! That could have been a whole lot worse. Dodged a bullet.

Heading for StLouis. Sparing the details of THE TRAFFIC, we got here by three and were met by the welcoming committee. Worth the drive, worth the traffic. So good to be here. Will check my notes and add a little more. Time for a break. Doing this on my tablet which is a typing challenge. Back soon, enjoy your day.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tick Tock

We have been entertained by an osprey on the hunt. Almost every afternoon between four and five, it soars over the pond behind the house and watches watches watches for a fish or some tasty bit in the water. He drops like a stone, turns his wings back and plunges into the water like an arrow head. He must be successful because he returns each day. There are fish in the pond, and some cormorants appear to be regulars. Assorted ducks and the tall cranes are all part of the local population. Two nights ago when we were visiting the MacDonalds, an owl perched on the top of their lanai but didn't stay long. It's the first time I have seen an owl that close.

Monday was a bit rainy but the rain doesn't last in this state. By afternoon the sun was back and then a good day on Tuesday. Much cooler. We played golf and it was a great day for that activity. We went out at about 7:20am and at that time, it's a challenge to find the ball. By the second hole we were OK and also going out that early, we got to go by ourselves.  A leisurely game, keeping up with a twosome ahead of us and one behind. We were through by ten thirty. Mike thought his watch had stopped.

The Murrays left this morning for the airport and we are sorting and organizing for an early morning departure on Friday. I am poring over the maps to see if I can find a good route around Atlanta. The MacDonalds and the other MacDonalds were here last night to say adios as they are leaving on Saturday. Several groupings are heading to Myrtle Beach for a couple of weeks or a month. The golfers. The GrandParents are going to StLouis. We are so looking forward to that visit.

I didn't think I had bought very much until I began the sorting this morning. What Was I Thinking??!! The fabric shopping will take place in Missouri at a lovely shop in Hannibal and perhaps at Hancocks of Paducah as we drive through a little bit of Kentucky. What good fortune that the route goes that way!!

It's time to leave. We are down to our last roll of bathroom tissue. We have two pods for the dishwasher and the Tide will be rinsed out to get the last of it. I have some miraculous sheets of detergent that dissolve in the water. Who knew? JoLynn brought that package with her. Convenience at it's best: detergent that come is a sheet and then disappears in the water. Something like sliced peanut butter. Why can't we buy that, like sliced cheese?

The house is being shown this morning so we will be out from eleven till two. We cannot get this residence next year as someone has booked it for three months. Our plans are uncertain but we have something in the works for the last two weeks of March and we will find an alternative for the earlier weeks. Or not. Lots of time.

Hope the snow is melting. Sharon sent pics of our house and it's piles of snow. Hard to believe it's still winter in NS.

Enjoy the day. I haven't been doing a great job with this blog. We have been enjoying our company and by evening, we are often pretty tired. Tomorrow will be an early day and I will be back when we get off the road, points unknown. Happy trails, I'll be back.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday in the Sunshine STAte

Another beautiful day. Is that getting monotonous? Just  a little for me. I like some variety in weather, at home and here. Just a day now and then that speaks to you and says 'do some of those things that need to be done" and there are such things here as well as at home.  You can make a mess in three weeks and you can lost track of things. I need a morning to do some chores. It's supposed to rain tomorrow or at least there is a POSSIBILITY of rain. That could change within the next hour but for now, we are undecided as to what we will be undertaking in the morning. This is our last week, and only a partial week at that. I think we will head for The Littles and their parents on Friday. That will put us on Saint Madeleine by Saturday afternoon. I called Chris this afternoon and am waiting for him to get back to me to see if we are still invited for a visit.

We ate at the Olive Garden last night. I love Italian food and we brought some home, which we finished this afternoon. Even better the second day. Also did a bit of shopping at Joann. I haven't done well with my shopping. Nothing terribly interesting in a pretty bag. I may end up with the bulk of my list being checked off at Mardens on the way home and believe me that won't be in a pretty bag. I have to do the grocery shopping in Maine too. That list is thin too. Rotel tomatoes; poblano peppers; some spices. I got some interesting ones at Penzy's during the art show, when we took a break and sauntered into a shop to cool off. Nothing exotic, just a couple of mixtures that I had not seen before. I have to buy backing for three quilts at Mardens.

Chris just called; publishing!!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Can it be Saturday already?

We just got back from dinner at The Olive Garden this evening. I love Italian food and obviously hundreds of others do too. Lots of people eating out tonight We had a great meal and got back just before dark and by luck, I find that I can watch the last games of the womens worlds curling, at least at the moment I am listening to the Bronze medal game and just hoping that the championship game hasn't been played. Perhaps I will get to see it. I'll have to check the web page, which I find most unfriendly.

Today we went to the Lakeridge Winery Wine and Food Show. A spectacular day for that kind of event. Sitting out under a shade tree, drinking crisp white wine and listening to really fine live music makes for a great event. There was food to be had an eaten and wine to be tasted and bought if the spirit moved you. It's a lovely location, up on a hill in the Claremont area. Yesterday was the sidewalk art show in Winter Park which is in the north east corner of Orlando. Close to where Chris worked in Maitland. That also was a great outdoor event. Both days were hot. As the weather man keeps saying, unseasonably warm. They still call these high 80's 'warm'. I call it hot. Pool days when we are back here at 621.

I cannot believe the snow in Nova Scotia. The more I hear of it the more I realize there will be snow still on the ground, not just in the woods, when we get home. UGH!

Last night was the Pictou County party, here at our digs. I am guessing there were about twenty people here, a few whom I didn't know but most were familiar faces. Always an enjoyable get together. Plenty to eat and drink. Good company. Successful gathering.

We may try to get a golf game in next week. Still some shopping to do but we are going to St Louis so there is still lots of time for ticking off items from the list.

I am a bit distracted this evening, feeling there are things I need to write but just can't form the ideas. This house is now for sale; it was shown today, while we were out. Apparently the person who buys it will most likely want to use it as a rental and we will be informed as to that situation. In that case we will try to get the house again next year for the same time. Our plans for next winter are quite up in the air at this point. Booking the house will just assure us of having a place if we decide to come back.

Hope all is well where you are. We are doing fine, enjoying our company and this wonderful weather. It seems that things are well at The Ranch, the driveway is cleared and that's the main thing. Gloria can get in to take care of the cats without being lost in a snow bank. Take care all, be good to each other, and I will be back sooner rather than later!! It was a busy week!!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Catching up

I didn't realize that I hadn't added a post since Thursday. On Friday morning we drove to The Villages to visit with Sylvia and Duncan in their beautiful vacation home. What a lovely place they have; beautifully decorated with Sylvia's hand all over it. We had lunch and then did a tour of the facility/ Keeping in mind that The Villages is home to 100K people, we probably didn't see it all but what we did see was pretty impressive. If you are here, it's worth going for a look, all you want and need, right there at your disposal. Beautifully groomed land and lovely club houses; just so beyond what I expected to see. Golf carts are the mode of transportation in the local area and they too come in all varieties. Quite an interesting day and wonderful to spend time with our good friends, the Dingles. Home by nine; didn't know the Pictou County party was going on. Out of that loop and missed the email. Too bad but we had a great day.

We have done our usual round of touring, out and about every day. Trying to get some pool time and generally enjoying the vacation. Jocelyn turned six on the fourteenth. I can hardly believe that. She and Bhreagh are such beautiful little girls. We are looking forward to seeing them next month for a few days. Skype visits aren't enough but better than nothing. I cannot help but think of absentee grandparents in the past and how they could be virtually unknown to their precious grandchildren. We miss Chris and Laura and The Littles when we are here because for several years we saw them every second day. Life. Change.It's what happens.

We played golf today and that always takes a lot of energy. I was pretty tired when we got home. It's a hot day here, hotter than I like but it's the kind of weather people want when they come to Florida. Especially in light of the cruel winter that dumped more snow on the Maritimes yesterday. We followed the storm with CBC. What did we do without the internet, I wonder!? I listen to CBC radio out of Hfx every morning and again in the late afternoon. Just while I think of it...this morning when we were heading to the GC, we left here around six twenty, and the TRAFFIC on the interstate was amazing. There is just no time when you can anticipate slow traffic. It's always busy here. I often wonder where all of these people are going, and why they are in such a hurry to get there!!

JoLynn and Herbie have arrived in Orlando and are still in the airport navigating the difficult waters of car rental. You have probably been there once or twice and can relate to the difficulties and misunderstandings that often surround that transaction. They will be here this evening. Time unknown.

This is it for me for tonight. I feel there was something I intended to write about but have forgotten and now I think I need to take little reminder notes so that there is something of interest in my posts. Take care everyone, and be good to the ones you love and maybe to the ones you just like. I'll be back in a day or so.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Roy's Hawaiian Fusion

How much of my life revolves around food?! It's amazing that the last two posts are just about food. Roy's has been a favorite restaurant of Chris and Laura for years. They had their wedding party there and we were there with them several years ago. It's  quite the eating establishment and it didn't hurt that the owner remembered Chris and Laura. We had reservations for six o'clock. Mike went to the cigar store and I went to my favorite Barnes and Noble before heading to eat. Combing two favorite stores each with the meal.

I can only describe what I ate and drank and what the table shared. When we sat, we immediately received the bowl of edamame which seem to be boiled or steamed edameme pods with coarse salt and a light spicy dressing. Yummy. Everyone gets those at Roys when you sit to your table. Then came the ribs in a delicious sauce, and a plate of steaming hot towels for our sticky fingers. And then the tray of lobster pot stickers. Yumm-O!! I had a Mojito with pommegrate juice and a lot of mint! My app was shrimp wrapped in prosciutto and served on a bed of cheddar grits. Mike had oysters, Rich had the Calamari and Claire had sushi which we sampled and was delicious. Unfortunately for her, she mistook the wasabi for guacamole and ate the whole bite at once. OMG!!! She recovered to enjoy the remainder of the dish. For a main, I had sea scallops with pork belly and an apple fennel slaw on pureed potatoes. The servings are small at Roys. You don't feel like you are stuffed and that you have to work hard to finish. Three large scallops presented on a long narrow plate. I have pictures. Mike had the swordfish and Rich, the short ribs because it was a favorite of Chris's and each time they were there together, Rich sampled from Chris's plate. This time he had his own and loved it. Much sharing and sampling went on, everyone loved their selections. Before we had a chance to consider dessert, our plates were cleared and new smaller ones and more hot towels arrived. Then, a tray of two chocolate lava cakes, two pineapple cakes, four scoops of pina colada ice cream and mixed fruit arrived. Amazing meal. The restaurant, on a Wednesday evening, was practically full and it's a big place. A big noisy. That was my only reservation. I would love to go back. Maybe next time.

There is a new fish and chips place in Champions Gate, near by. Two years ago it was a little French bistro that we liked very much but there was nothing there last year. It's in a very out of the way location and needs word of mouth advertising. We heard about it from the people in the next house. We will try it!!

We passed on golf this morning. Every once in a while I have a really low morning and today was that day. I am just getting my feet under me now at noon and this afternoon we will get out for a tour, maybe to Downtown Disney or something over at the parks. We are scoping out Universal for St Patrick's day. Last year we went to Pat O'Brien's for the event but we won't go for eight hours this time. JoLynn and Herbie will be here and we are trying to put together an interesting celebration. There's plenty to do; just choosing the right place is the difficult task.

Another shooting in Ferguson. Two policemen.

A beautiful florida day. It rained hard last night after I went to bed. A deluge. And then it was done.

That's about it for now. Time to perk up and perhaps go out in an hour or so. Had a Skype visit with Aron and Rika this morning. I have missed seeing them for the past couple of weeks. Stay in touch; enjoy the day where you are and be good to everyone you know. Till the next time! Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Whole Foods

This we went to Whole Foods on Sand Lake in Orlando. This is one of the high points of my visit here, going to this store and seeing how some people do their shopping. First of all, we did buy several items. I buy tubes of tomato paste at Whole Foods. I feel rather silly going through the aisles to find that, on the top shelf, and putting several boxes in my basket. It's such a plus to have tomato paste in tubes because, obviously, you use only what you need and you don't have gobs of it in the freezer or in the trash in between uses, Just in the fridge, waiting to be opened when you need it. Back to Whole Foods.

Fresh fruits and vegetables at their finest. Looking their best and displayed beautifully. The smoked salmon display was enormous, offering quantities from the small packs we get at home to full sides. A dozen different types, some in the shape of flowers for the hors d'oeuvre table. The fish! Crab cakes in various types. Ready for the pan. The olive bar. I don't know how anyone would choose which of the olives to purchase as their were SO MANY VARIETIES and combinations. The meat counter. OMG. Samples everywhere and we tasted everything. It was like going to lunch. Prepared foods, breads, deli...all the usual things you would expect to find but so beautifully presented. And of course the classical music in the background. Wine. DID I MENTION THE BAKERY!? Whole Foods is a destination and if you have the opportunity to go, don't miss it. We have been to The Fresh Market in the Dr Phillips area. We used to stop there on our way home from church in Bay Hill so it's in that general vicinity and it's the same thing. An amazing food store. Surpriseingly  the prices are very good. I didn't feel anything was overpriced. We bought shrimp, some wine, some bread and cheese (Cambazola which I would pay between 7 and 8 dollars a wedge at SuperStore...same price) Yes there is a 20% difference, have to say this particular wedge was quite large and generally in the same price point.Also bought rare roast beef deli meat that's very difficult to get here and snacks. A bit of everything and felt we had done well when we left.

Bonus at WF today was the market set up outside offering a lot of the items we find at the Celebration Market on Sunday mornings. Every Tuesday, apparently. 

We had our tea on the deck this morning and our after dinner treats there this evening. A spectacular day. Talked to Gloria this afternoon and got caught up on the antics of Ringo and Daisy. I miss those little guys!! Allan MacDonald just rang the bell so I am off for a visit with him Back tomorrow or the next, be good to each other!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

And yet another one of those days

Beautiful today. We had a tee time for ten to eight this morning and when we set that up, rather forgot about the time change. We got to the golf club in the dark. A few other cars were there and we got out at about twenty to eight which is just about the right time. There were a few people out ahead of us but I decided today I am a nine hole golfer. That's all. The starter let us go out on the back nine, by ourselves, and it was like having our own course. We met up with a threesome on sixteen but that was no problem at all. When we came in, we picked up a bucket of balls and went to the range for awhile and the line up at that time was quite something. There is a big group of people from this area who go out Monday, Wednesday and Friday at ten and there was a big clog as everyone was getting out. We had our lunch and were home mid day. Pool time. We got the sun for a few hours and now with the time change the pool is in the sun for an extra hour. Mike is still out but he is in the shade at this point. I had a great swim, toasted for a while and then took a run to Michael's.....without my list. May as well have stayed home. Another trip coming up but not today. Michael's is about ten minutes from here and I just go myself when I need to pick something up. Exit 57 and we are off 58.

I called Laura's mother last night. We are having dinner with the Lellos on Wednesday at Roys Hawaiian Fusion on Sand LakeRd. We have eaten there before and it was on'e of Chris and Laura's fave restaurants when they were here. The menu is very interesting and the service is absolutely second to none. Looking forward to it very much. There is a great Barnes and Noble store just in the same area and a cigar store that Mike loves to visit when we are here. This will be our big outing for the month. We did steak houses the past two years and a great Italian before that so Roy's will be a treat; lighter more creative dinner options. You ought to check out the menu. Just search Roy's Hawaiian Fusion and there you go.

Mike worked on the pool deck today after we got home. He loves a chore or two. The pool cleaner will be surprised when he comes this week and sees that the deck has been cleaned.

Nine hot air balloons were in the air on our route to church on Sunday. Not for the faint of heart. They lift off just outside our complex, in a gigantic field and I have absolutely no idea where they land. Will never find that out.

So this is our second MOnday at 321. We like the house; our previous residence is empty and I will find out why when we talk to Claire Lello later in the week. The renters are friends of hers.

Hope all is well where you are and with you and yours. I heard there was a bit of snow in Nova Scotia this morning and on CBC Mainstreet they still talking about the mess of the streets in Halifax. I hope the snow banks are starting to melt. Sounds like it's going to be in positive numbers by the middle of the week. Take care and I will be back in 24 or so.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Another one of those days

Today is another one of those glorious Sunshine State days that come along fairly regularly. Low humidity, plenty of sun and a little breeze, temps in the mid-20's. Fantastic. A pool day and a time to take advantage of the outdoors. Just a great all around day.

There is a lot of construction underway in Florida. In those years that we have been coming here, we have seen lots of construction and years of none. The pick up is obvious this March. Lots of new developments underway and road improvement, additional lanes being built, and of course the inconvenience that accompanies that. A good sign nonetheless. Roads that were under construction when we were here last year are done and so great to drive on. Where Interstate 4 begins, just south of Daytona, was a nightmare last year and we just whistled through a week ago. What an improvement. Prosperity. Road and home construction. It's happening.

We went to Mass this morning at Celebration. Picked up the bulletin and saw that 4500 people attended Mass last weekend and contributed in excess of $30 000 to the Church.There were about 500 people there  this morning, at eight thirty. They add that extra Mass in the winter months. The Church was quite full. We went to  IHop for breakfast and before you judge that, let's just say it was delicious. My breakfast joint of choice is Cracker Barrel, for the grits. They do a wicked breakfast and we never eat there except in the morning. Second is IHop. Even the once close to the prison on John Young!!! Chris couldn't believe we ate there, one morning, when he lived several miles away. The prison and the bail bondsman and a gun shop were all within shooting distance. Some of the clientele that morning looked a bit shady but the food was good. Often on the road you don't have the opportunity to be too choosy but here in residence, we most frequently eat in the kitchen. After breakfast we headed to a home show and by the time we got home, it was pool time. NASCAR racing at Vegas and soon time to be thinking about supper.

The Proper Pie Company - found that name in the book here on the counter, left by the owners, to give us some guidelines to follow while in their house. Apparently the English love their pies and this place, a little spot in a strip mall, hard to find but apparently well supported, had meat pies of all kinds, one of which we will be having for supper, with a salad and strawberry shortcake. We bought a couple of small fruit pies as well, one of which I liked but Mike thought the pastry wasn't flaky. No comment. I liked it. Steak and Mushroom for tonight or maybe just the strawberry shortcake. The berries were the best we have had, red all the way through but not quite as tasty as they are in NS in July. A worthy substitute.

I have a jig saw puzzle started on the dining room table.

Brian and Leslie are celebrating their 7th anniversary today in Mexico. I can't believe seven years. Such a fun time at their wedding. And great Gumbo.

Golf tomorrow morning. Changed the time, as everyone did, so we will have a very early start for our 7:45 tee time. Half hour to get there, breakfast before leaving....early start.

Mike washed the pool deck this afternoon. I should have called the management company but he preferred to do it himself. Go figure. Looks better though.

That's it for now. Hope all is well where you are, back in 24 or so, take care!!

Friday, March 6, 2015

And so it's Friday

We went to a Quilt and Fabric Expo in Lakeland. When I see these kind of events put on in an area such as this, I am astounded. ASTOUNDED. First of all, the size of the venue is mind boggling. Who uses this complex?! The show itself had over a hundred vendors. A hundred. Every sewing machine imaginable and every quilting machine and stand you would want. Mike was chatting up one vendor and the set up she had was over twenty five thousand dollars. Now that's for a business. Obviously. There were smaller less complex machines as well, ones that an average person who wanted one could afford (with some consideration). Embroidery machines. All kinds of them. And enough fabric to cover Polk County. I didn't look at fabric because it would have been a guess and a grab and I wasn't into that. I bought a few patterns for paper pieced projects I hadn't seen before and liked very much

. There were hundreds of people there when the doors opened, including us. By the time we left, a few hours later, the crowds were heavy. There were classes and demos, and Nancy Ziemann was there signing her latest book or any of her books you purchased. I watch Sewing With Nancy any time I can find it on the cable system. She is very clever and likeable. There were people demoing rulers of all kinds and gadgets of all sorts. The things we call Gadgets and Gotta-Haves. Things you see and think you cannot live without and then when you get home, you find that you can do the same hing with the tools you have but quilters are a lot like golfers: they will buy almost anything if they think it will make their product better or easier. I have bought the rare ruler that was required for a particular pattern and when that project is done, the ruler goes in the envelope with the pattern, not to be seen for some time.On the other hand, I have bought a ruler that I like how it's used and make a second or third project with it. I pointed out a 60 degree ruler to Mike, indicated it's $19 price tag, and reminded him that he had made one for me out of PelTex which works very well, thank you very much, but having a transparent ruler is definitely a bonus when you are cutting fabric. If you can make the adjustment to using another material, you are ahead of the game.

As far as the show was concerned, it was a dandy. $8 for parking, and an admission charge of $15 each. Chatting with two women on the way in, one of them gave us two free entrance tickets!! That, she said, would make our day and it didn't do it any harm.  We walked through and saw what we thought was everything, had ourselves a lunch nearby and were home by three. That's enough work for two people on vacation.

It's overcast all day today. Tomorrow morning we are going to a flea market about half an hour from here and on Sunday after Mass I think we will go to the market at Celebration which is quite nice. Worked on my music for awhile again today. Trying to do that every day or at least not to miss two days in a row.

I think I will take a little rest, have a cup of tea and get my hors d'oeuvre ready for the party tonight. It will be fun to see some people. We have seen a lot of each other for the past week. A lot!! LOL!! Thanks for bothering to read this latest update. BTW, Aaron you can drop me a note you know; I am still receiving email!! We could set up a Skype chat! Be good to each other. and take care. I'll be back.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Well, it's Thursday and a week ago we were in winter. Today was far from winter for sure. It was our first day on the golf course in almost a year. A year for me, but Mike played a few times last summer. It went as well as could be expected. The first day is pretty ugly for someone who plays as rarely as I do but I had some very nice shots, and as every golfer knows, you only need a few to come back for more. We teed off at about seven, a few minutes ahead of our tee time but we were early (quelle surprise!) and the crowd hadn't arrived. Just the two of us, which was fair for the golfers who were behind us. We certainly didn't hold anyone up and kept just behind the four ahead of us. They were slow. We booked a time for Monday but couldn't get out quiet as early. nonetheless we will be out before eight and back in by noon. It gets hot these days by then. When we got home, I was into the pool IMMEDIATELY. So nice. Then toasted in a lounger and back in for a second time before a shower and rest. Jeepers but I am tired. That's a lot of work, having fun.

On the way back to 321 we stopped at Panera at The Loop. It's one of my favorite food places as their scones are positively delish. My fave is orange but there isn't a bad one there. Also recommend three berry and cinnamon crunch as well. Enjoyed bits of two with some tea and that just perked me right up. I was going to take a run to Michael's this afternoon but luckily remembered that there is a Sewing and Quilt Expo in Lakeland tomorrow. I know there is a big quilt show in Sarasota as well but not driving that far. This will be a biggie in Lakeland and perhaps I will get an iron there! There is plenty going on in the Sunshine State and I am tempted by a seafood thingy in St Augustine but once again, not driving that far. After three and a half days in the car, I am very picky about where and how far I want to drive. Especially since we have been here only five days. I am still finding my way around the house.

Party tomorrow night at Anne and Allan's. Have to make something to take along. I was watching The Pioneer Woman this afternoon and she made Chili Con Questo using an onion, sausage meat, a great big hunk of Velveeta (although she didn't name it) and a can of ROTEL TOMATOES. I am NOT  going home without a dozen cans of those babies this year. Additionally she used a jalepeno pepper  for heat (after the Rotels I am not certain that was necessary) and a couple of cans of shopped green chilis. I believe that's what I am going to bring to the party. I made a batch of my version of the same last year when the party was at our place and everyone loved it. I made it just with the Velveeta and Rotels but the sausage and onion will be great additions and perhaps one can of the green chilis.

The Food Channel here in the SS is a quantum leap beyond the Canadian version. Honestly I could watch this all day. It's on right now. Already this afternoon, while I was doing other things, I have been in the company of Trisha, Rachael. Anne Burrell, Giada and a team of kid bakers. And they're on every day!! No Brier but lots of cooking shows. One has to do the best with what Brighthouse brings our way.

So that seems to be it for today. I tried to get this done earlier today, just now six-thirty. Time change on the weekend. I just got used to EAstern Standard and now another change. Essentially back to where I was a week ago, an hour ahead. On vacation it really doesn't matter what time it is. We eat when we are hungry but tomorrow we will be heading out early to get to that Expo in Lakeland. Not far, maybe an hour? Maybe less. Sometimes I wear out at those things before I have seen everything there is to see and judging from what I saw on line, this could be one of those events. I will do my best!! BAck tomorrow evening, or Saturday morning after the party!! Take care everyone.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

It was the kind of day we drove three and a half days to enjoy

What a lovely day. The kind of day you want to experience in Florida. A full moon tonight and I tried without success to take a photo. You will have to take my word for it.

We did a few errands today and I finally found a tea pot. What an adventure. It was the only tea pot I found that fit the bill: big enough to hold four cups and with a cover that didn't have a rabbit sitting on it or wasn't too fragile looking to risk even taking it to the car. We came upon a new Marshalls just beyond The Loop on the Osceola Parkway, just opened in November so it wasn't on my GPS. It's a beautiful store and I found FitFlops there for $35. I didn't need another pair and I didn't buy them but I was surprised to find them with such a price difference from that store on the East River Road. Even with the exchange those were a real buy.

Still no iron.

Golf in the morning, about a half hour from here. Tee off at seven fifteen so it will be early to bed, early to rise for us.

Just when I seem to have adjusted to the time change, DST starts this weekend. Do we really need this? Ask someone from Saskatchewan. They don't. And they are an agricultural province.

Slow news day. Allan and Anne and Red came over last night. Great visit. Red was in fine form. The PC party is at A and A's on Friday night. That will be a fun outing.

That's it for tonight folks. Like I said, slow day. A lovely vacation day but not a lot going on. Hope all is well in colder climes. Wish I cold watch a draw of the Brier tonight. I had that feed last year but no such luck this year. Hurry Hard! Back tomorrow night.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

I don't know what happened to yesterday's blog!

I did a blog entry yesterday. Has anyone seen it or know where it is? Funny.

So this is Tuesday. Yesterday we did those things that had to be done. Mainly I went looking for a tea pot because, for the first time, I forgot to bring one. People here don't drink tea; they drink ice tea but not hot tea. You can buy lots of tea in the stores but nothing to brew it in. Go figure. I have been in seven stores looking for a pot. So far, no luck.

Yesterday morning we went to The Loop, one of my favorite shopping areas. Saving some of the r eally good ones for later in the month. For you, JoLynn!! We went to Bealls, Kohls and a couple of others in that area and got a few things we needed. No tea pot though. Additionally we went looking for a Harbour Tools store that Mike wanted to check out but we just never found it. There is a new one opening tomorrow morning and we will be finding that one I believe. I went looking for a particular iron I wanted to buy at Joann's but there were none to be found. I guess there are many people who want those particular irons and wait for the magical 50% off coupon to buy one and that's why there were none on the shelf in my first Joann store. There are others, none as convenient as that one, but I will have to be on the hunt till the coupon expires. I would really love to get one of those irons. The trip  isn't over yet!

Tried out the pool this morning. Wonderful!! Really a little on the warm side but I am afraid if I tell them it's too warm they might just turn it too low. I will put up with it!!! Also got a pedicure today and my feet look human again. Winter does a mean job on my feet.

Anne and Allan are coming over for some refreshment this evening.

I forgot to mention the peculiar interrogation we experienced at the border on our way into the good old USofA. After the standard questions of where from, where going, it went like this: Do you have $10 000.00 in American money with you? (you can figure out the answer to that one). How much do you have? How much Canadian money do you have? Do you have any travelers cheques? bank drafts? money orders? How do you support yourself? What are your living accommodations in NS?Where are you staying in Florida? And of course, as I said, the usual ones about food and drink. He didn't ask about guns. or hand grenades as the officer asked in Estevan several years ago. Much more concerned about the amount of money we were (or in our case, were NOT) carrying. Funny.

Only saw one sample of road kill all the way here from NS. That was a bit of a record.

We are more than half way through our first Key Lime Pie. Right on schedule with that one. But we are still tired. I wake in the morning and turn on CBC and find it's almost eight o'clock in NS. We were going to check out a golf course tomorrow; the deals come in around five on my email and if we see something we like, we click ourselves in and pay and then hop up and take off. The magic of the internet. We have done it before so we will give it another go and see how it works.

I don't like the way this program is responding tonight so I am going to post this and hope for the best. If you come upon yesterday's post, let me know. I would love to know where it is!! Till then!!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday March 1st and our vacation starts today

The car is washed, the clothes are unpacked and the sun is breaking through. Good start. I have walked around and around this house trying to find either our room or the laundry or the bathroom I have adopted as mine. It takes a while to get the hang of where things are and where things aren't. For example, the coffee filters aren't here. Neither are bars of soap but there are plenty of glasses, cutlery and dishes. There is no great hose to wash the car but there is a fair sized one on the pool deck and that was moved today and used to clean the Nova Scotia salt and the Maine dirt off the Honda. Washing the car is always Mike's first chore of choice. I am working on my second list of things to buy at Publix. The first list was last night and was the essentials but now I see we missed a few things and a return visit is in order. Later. Got the paper yesterday and cut out the 40% off coupons from Joann's. A very interesting iron is on my list of things to buy and I can only buy it with a big coupon. I may wait for a 50% off but if I see the one I want, it will be mine.

The house. Two master suites with huge walk in closets; two bedrooms with twin beds and a third bathroom. The kitchen is fine; not quite updated to the ceramic top stove and stainless appliances but it's big and open. Flat screen TV's but not huge. The pool is small. In this area the three and five bedroom houses have the big pools and the four bedrooms have a small pool. Who knows why? Lots of patio furniture and the pool is on the inside of the loop, looking out onto the pond. In the past we had a pool that was on the outside of the loop and looked out into the woods. We liked that. Very private. This one will be fine. It's not like I am doing laps; it's just small. But heated. The dining room table is big and I hope we can take the leaf out for bridge. I believe we can.

Yesterday we left Savannah and it rained all day. Rain rain rain. When we got here we checked and there was no one at the house but without contacting the management company, we certainly couldn't come in. As it happened, the house was cleaned and ready by seven last night so we visited Allan and Anne for a couple of hours and then went to Publix and got the groceries. Got everything in and put away, checked out the basics and went to bed. I was awake for a long time; it takes me awhile to get accustomed to a new sleeping arrangement. The beds are great which is always an asset. Occasionally you will hear people commenting on terrible beds. Allan and Anne just got all new beds in their home without even requesting them but they were in need of better matresses.

There are chores to do today. We have a SunPass transponder on the car but no money on it; nonetheless when we stopped at the first toll, they told us we were good to go so along the circumferential around Orlando we pushed through all of the Pass lanes. I have to phone them today and get money on that pass or someone will come and repossess my car!! I tried a few times last night without success. The internet connection here is satisfactory so far but the cable is leaving something to be desired. Didn't find any SPEED  channel and there's a big race in Atlanta today and of course, I was hoping to find some Brier games like I did last year but so far no luck.

So that's the story from here. Not very exciting but the reason for this blog is just to keep our friends and  the children in our lives in touch with what we're doing and since we can't perform brain surgery, we are left with reporting the mundane tasks of the day. We have been meeting up with the other Nova Scotians on the street as they are driving by and checking to see if we are here yet. Linda White was on her walk last night when we were unloading the car so she stopped for a little visit.  I hope there is a Pictou County party next Friday night. Will have to check and perhaps we can have it. Last year we had everyone in the last weekend we were here and several people had already headed to Myrtle.

Perhaps I will get another entry in later today but this is the update for now. March first!! I'll be here again soon, and thanks for reading!!.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Hello Savannah

Day three is tiring.The excitement of starting out is in the rear view mirror and the challenge of day two, working around the major cities is past too.

  On day three, you are leaving Virginia and heading into the Carolinas. The roads are flat and pretty straight and ther are trees on both sides. And trucks. Mike was a little restless so I drove for about three hours and got throug the most boring part of the drive. By the time we were in Southern SC and just into Georgia, the traffic had loosened up and the going,was better. We decided to get off early and then ate early so we are in for the noght at eight Eastern. A shower and new hair are in my near future

Tomorrow will find us in the Sunshine State.our destinaltion is a bit uncertain. We will find something interesting to do and wait till Sunday morning to check out the residence.

Be back soon.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pretty Amazing

As we drove past Civil War territory todat, Mike pointed out the exit to Gettysburg and then proceeded to recite the entire Gettysburg Address. AMAZING! and here is something peculiar- two nights on the road in two different states and in two different hotel chains, and in the same hotel room number 217. I think that vey odd.

Just had to add those little details that I forgot earlier.

Day Two is in the can!

We had a great day today, except for the stretch through PA where it was trucks trucks and more trucks.  It's hard to believe that a corridor such as that stretch is only two lanes divided. The extra lane that we eventually picked up in West Virginia made a tremendous difference in thinning out the traffic. Hig speed travel in very close quarters. not a lot of fun.

We drove through pieces of the following states today..NH, MA, CN, NY, PA, DEL, WV and now VA.Actually we have been throug the most challenging areas. Hartford this morning was fine, largely because the traffic was heavy and thus slower. Usually you are forced to roar through those ups and downs and twists and turns at breakneck speed and as long as you stay under the 84 sign you are ok but if you eve got caught in the wrong lane, it would take an hour to get back on track. We stopped for breakfast at a Cracker Barrel in Fishkill NY and now, at five - eleven, we are ready to eat again. Love a big breakfast. I think its the grits that hold me ove so well. And the fried apples.

We were in bed vey early last night. Mike was asleep before me, by eight o'clock. He was exhausted.I wasn't  too far behind him but I don't sleep well in hotels.

So her we are, checking for our next landing pad, tomorrow night. We won't be in the house on Reserve Drive till Sunday so we may stop somewhere along the way.

I tried to get a few pics attached but had equipment failure. Will try again. I'll be back tomorrow night. Another drive with the truckers through the Carolinal. Fingers crossed for another safe journey. Till then.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

And Away We Go

At five thirty this morning we had a discussion about leaving. The weather forecast wasn't good for anywhere we were headed and the car was partly packed. We decided to pull the pin and here we are in New Hampshire. Nova Scotia was good to us and we actually thought we could out run the nasties but after leaving Moncton, we could almost see it coming. The dept of transportation doesn't salt the roads in NB and we encountered ICE for a stretch of several kilometers. Very slippery and many many trucks. That was the worst we have experienced in many trips, I guess because it was quite unexpected.But we made it throug and after quite an interrogation at the border, we were off.

The drive becomes a bit boring afte one crossword puzzle, two hours of NASCAR radio and several micro climates. Mike is a real road warrior and he goes and goes. he's ready to sleep now and I am somewhat wound up. We ate at Applebees tonight and will be thorsty afte all that salt and fat. However, it was delish!!

I you read my blog last year, you may recall how this platform, typing on my tablet, is awkward. I notice a lot of typos and it's diffocult to go back and correct. In a few days I will be using Mike's laptop and there will be fewer mistakes.

nothing much to report. Day one is in the can, we are ready for a good sleep and will hit the road for a rather challenging day tomorrow. Around Boston, throug Hartford, into the Poconos and then on to Richmond. Won't get that far, perhaps only to Fredericksburg but that will be a good one done. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday night and everything is packed

Everything is ready except...the weather isn't cooperating. Nasty February weather. When I checked each of the points of interest: Amherst, Moncton, Fredericton and's forecast to snow there tomorrow just when we will be arriving. A little disappointing. Each year we head out, we are faced with the prospect of bad driving conditions. We could wait and leave on Thursday which will put us at 621 on time but apparently we are heading out a day early.

Packing is a drag. I could have a whole suitcase filled with hair and body products, soaps and lotions and potions too numerous to mention. Night creams and day creams (can they really tell the difference?). Mousse and the invaluable Frizz-ease hair spray. Curling iron, flat iron; hair dryer? There had better be one somewhere in that house!! Walking shoes and pretty shoes and just plain comfortable shoes. The clothes are really the easiest items to select. Yes or no to the long pants; which jeans? The clothes pack very well - flat. Everything else is bulky and awkward. But it's done. If I don't have it and find that I need it...that's what malls are for.

Food is ready for the journey. We try to eat on the fly for the first day. Sandwiches, grapes, bananas and a case of water. And of course yogurt. And a tea pot. Florida houses don't have tea pots. May as well take one and avoid having to buy one. Who wants tea made in a cup?! and yes, a very large box of tea. I am not even going to TALK ABOUT  the electronics. A few years back, when I was writing a blog for the first time, I wrote an entry loosely titled How Many Electronic Devices Does it Take to Get Two People To Florida. Plenty!! Major Plenty. I made a bag just to hold my cables and chargers. Mike has his in a box (albeit a medium sized one, but a box nonetheless!). we need all of this? Yes. We do.

Do you realize how much space golf clubs take in a car? When Chris lived in Florida we left a bag there and just put the clubs in the car at the end of the packing. Now we need a bag. Mike uses a small Sunday bag but we take a full sized one too.

So the end result is that we are ready. HOpe the drive is safe and uneventful. We got the package for the phones, installed the satellite radio in my car, bought the cat litter and food and new toys and spray cat nip (who knew there was such a thing??). Photocopied the important documents, changed the money (now that's a sad story in itself), and did I mention the BOOKS? Yes I did. Mine are electronic for the most part but I have three that I dropped into a bag. Ten pounds of flour (don't ask). A fiddle. In a case that's almost as big as my golf bag. (When I was buying a case for the fiddle I commented to Mike that cases were very expensive; more than I thought but I knew I couldn't carry it around in a Sobeys bag. His response to me was "Well Anne, it's not like you are going out on tour." OMG!!!)

Well ... time for bed. Thanks for taking the time to read the ramblings. I'll be back tomorrow night, hopefully from deep in New England. Nighty Night!!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Starting the countdown

The countdown has really begun this morning. I can tell because I am doing things that have been on "the list" and today is their day. Unimportant things. Changing the wall hanging in the living room which means getting the next one ready and getting the one that's been there for two months ready to store till next November. Not terribly important but when I come back into this house in April, the first thing I see should be 'spring like' and not red and green holly baskets. Therefore, important. Then there's the sorting of magazines that have accumulated beside my chair and favorite sewing spot. Again, not terrible important, but that needs to be sorted and purged and it will be so good to have it done in April. Once again, relatively important. And of course, there's the dreaded SEWING TABLE. For the most part, I don't have anything that has to be done (started) this weekend but I have a couple of things to FINISH. Important. And yet, there is but one thing on my calendar for today and that's a dinner invite. VERY IMPORTANT. So lovely that I don't have to think about preparing a meal tonight.

I checked the weather sites this morning, the long term forecasts for Maine, Mass and the Poconos and all looks good. Nothing but sunshine. So much better than seeing the threat of snow. Nonetheless, any of those locations could spring a little zinger on us and we could be driving through nasty weather conditions at any time. WEather forecasting is not a perfect science. We all know that. I would like it to be close to perfect for the next week. Not terribly worried about anything south of Georgia although they have had some nasty ice storms there in recent memory.

Packing little bags. Entertainment bags. Mike is stowing books like a squirrel stores acorns for winter. I may not have a conversation with him for the first seven days at 621. New number this year. I am going to stand in front of our previous abode and scowl at the current residents as they drive in. Yes...packing little bags. Making lists. Departure could be WEdnesday at the latest. Tuesday if we are really super organized for the next couple of days. The car goes to HOnda on MOnday morning for the oil change. It will be ready and we will be too, in a couple.

Having a bit of trouble with the blog. It doesn't want to publish as soon as I write. Could be a problem but for now, I will try again. Thanks for catching up. Back soon.

Getting ready

Getting ready to head south for six or seven weeks takes a lot of planning. Really. There is a house to leave. Cats to provide for. Well...I guess that's all there REALLY  is to do but aside from that, the mail has to be up to date, receiving and sending; the fuel oil tank should be full; the car ought to be ready for a long drive (note to self for the day: call Honda!! TODAY!). Go to the bank and get some of those TINY Canadian dollars. Strike many items off the "to buy" list and make sure the things that remain on said list are worth the purchase. Make sure the JoAnne coupons are coming in as they are supposed to or those things on the to buy list will not be purchased. I want a new iron this year that never has to be tipped back on its tail. When you stop using it, little feet pop out from the bottom and elevate the iron till you need it again. As soon as you touch the handle, it drops down into working position. Needless to say I need a 50% off coupon from JoAnne's for that one. It comes in pink and yellow. Choices choices and choices. The list goes on and on but those of you who do this every year know what I am talking about and we all manage.

Mike is stockpiling books like a chipmunk stockpiles acorns. I don't know how long he is planning top stay but he has enough books for an entire winter. I have a few things in the entertainment department ready to go as well. I frequently do counted cross stitch if it rains and I have enough good light. Books too but they're on my tablet. I am going to Water Street Studio this weekend to pick up a jig saw puzzle. They have fantastic puzzles there. I would be doing one here at the Ranch but the cats love to be on a table I work at so that's not going to work. As soon as Daisy hears me at my sewing machine, she is there. Just for company I guess. And to be in the way.

Today I am having lunch with Carolyn and then a couple of errands this afternoon. Winter is here with a vengeance and it will be a pleasure to head to warmer climes. I am loving looking at Sharon's pictures from the DR. I can feel the warmth!

Back in a day or so to get accustomed to this platform. HOpe you enjoy following along with us this year. It won't be groundbreaking and we will refrain from doing brain surgery along the way but it will be just another Florida drive and hopefully a safe and happy one. Till the next time!!