Thursday, June 28, 2007

at Sydney Harbour Visitor Centre
We are almost done packing, moving day is on Saturday. Jen hasn't felt the need to visit the maternity ward yet so she is still sorting through stuff and packing up. The house isn't finished yet but the basement has been approved so we will move all Jen's stuff into the basement and get the apartment cleaned up. The workmen still need to lay the floor in the living room, the kitchen and bedrooms floors are done and I think the water has been turned on. Jen has some very good friends that live in town from med school in Saskatchewan and they will be away for most of July. They have offered their house for us to stay in if we need to, I rather think we are going to need to, at least Jen and baby will need to!!
We finshed the back step the other night. It was an orgy of nail pounding. At the end of the night I had a tiny blood blister on one finger where I had slightly squashed it and a wonderful full sized hammering blister on the other hand . I discovered you do get better at hammering the more you do and I probably got the blister because I choke up on the hammer and hold it about a third of the way up, hmm, will have to work on that. There is still the side deck to reside and put the floor on. There are three steps all together, front, side and back.
We had a lobster feed last night, Mark already ate one of the claws off this monster. It was excellent and I got tips from a Caper on how to open the lobster tail and what parts I should try and what parts might make me really sick!!! Mark said that I could eat the green stuff, but I just couldn't manage to try it although I did eat some of the eggs. This morning Jen and I went and had a pedicure, she wanted her toes to be beautiful when they are up in the stirrups. When we got home I wanted a picture of our toenails and is this shot, we are standing toe to toe, with great difficulty I might add. Imagine standing toe to toe with a basketball between you and taking a picture of your feet and you will percieve the difficulties.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Jen is due today but no signs that baby is ready to make her/his appearance. Yesterday we packed up all the boxes Jen had in the house and then went down to watch a regatta in Sydney Harbour. Today we were headed over to Mark and Jen's new house and a sailboat race was just beginning so we stopped to watch. A woman came up and started talking to me and it turned out she and her husband were going out for a sail and she very kindly asked if I would like to join them. What could I say!! They had a C and C 27 and we went out for a genteel sail up the harbour and back, we were gone for about 3 hours and the Captain let me take the tiller and I was in my glory. Very nice boat, there was another couple on board and the fellow gets seasick so we sailed with only the genoa up, therefore it was quite genteel, but it was just super to be back on the water. They said to give them a call and let them know what Jen has and if there is time they may ask me out again. Wow, could I get any luckier.

Mark and Jen worked on stairs for the house today. There was an old deck that had been on the house that was on the lot before and we took the rails off and the lumber on the floor of the deck off to use for the new stairs. You have to have stairs on the house before you are allowed to move in. I was responsible for taking the rails off, which I throughly enjoyed and then Mark asked me to take the nails out of the deck floor boards, which I did not enjoy so much. Why is it a woman does not hit a nail like a man??? Is it just faint heartedness, hand/eye co-ordination is not as good, or is it just they do not do it on a regular basis? Any other ideas?? It kind of bothers me.

We had the first b-b-q at their new home. Jen and Mark's Dad put the b-b-q together while I was sailing and we sat around in the dirt and had steak, baked potatoes and salad. They tasted pretty good. Tomorrow the step is going to be completed and hopefully more boxes will appear and we will be able to pack more.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

That is the Atlantic Ocean behind us
I am in Sydney, NS now visiting with my middle daughter Jennifer and her partner Mark Stonehouse. Jen is 8 1/2 months pregnant, due on June 24 according to her last ultra sound but Jen still believes her due date is July 3rd. We were at a baby shower last night and someone mentioned that if Jen held off until July 7, the baby would be born on o7/07/07. It was great to meet here friends and colleagues. Jen is in great health and does not complain about being uncomfortable although getting out of soft furniture is getting to be a bit of a trial!

A Diaper Cake, quite ingenious I thought.

I have been here about 5 days and we have done a lot. Last weekend we went to visit some friends of Jen's from one of her placements in Arichat NS which is on the south east side of Cape Breton Island. It was very foggy during the drive so we didn't see a lot but we visited a potter that Jen knew and went to a kitchen party at another house. Jen took along her guitar and we sang and she played into the wee hours. One of the fellows there had a Newfoundland Ugly Stick, which is a noise making stick that you bang on the floor. It jingles and there is another stick that has notches in it that you saw on the big stick with to produce more noise. It you look closely at the picture you can see that the noise makers on the ugly stick are all beer bottle caps. I think you would have a grand time if you constructed the ugly stick in one sitting with a bunch of friends. Sounds like a great boat project!!!

We have been over to Jen's new house several times, taking measurements for curtains, sorting out the tile for the kitchen floor and seeing what is happening. They have promised to have it ready to move into on June 26, so now the race is on, will the baby or the move come first. Jen and I have been packing up her apartment and getting it ready for a baby. For those of you that don't know Jen, she is into almost everything and has the stuff to go with all her interests and hobbies. She has camping, diving, climbing, snorkeling, surfing equipment as well as her winter sports pursuits, snowboarding, kite skiing and ice climbing Add to that her 100o movies and her craft supplies for knitting, cross stiching, sewing, painting and pottery, it all adds up to lots of "stuff". We emptied out some shelves in her bedroom the other day and made room for a baby dresser. Now all the stuff from the shelves is piled in the living room, ready to be moved. I am to empty out a hutch in her kitchen tonight and pack the stuff in there into boxes, but I don't have a clue where to pile the boxes.

Constructing the baby dresser/change table

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Mom and I got a dressed up and went to high tea the other day. It was a very nice affair, held in a private home. This lady apparently does a lot of entertaining. There were 6 tables set up, 3 outside and 3 inside. All were beautifully set with wine glasses, plates, silverware, linen napkins and tea cups and saucers. After we had sandwiches and scones and had finished our wine they inquired what kind of tea we would like. At our table of 4 there were 3 different kinds of tea requested and they brought out 3 different tea pots. I asked where she had gotten the tea pots and it was explained that they all belonged to the lady of the house. Imagine enough tea pots to serve tea to 6 different tables that may have 4 different requests for tea per table. That just boggled my mind.
We spent a lovely 2 days visiting Bill at his cottage on Lake Winnipeg, just north of Gimli. It was a very relaxing time and we managed to accomplish a few things. We had a bonfire overlooking the lake and burned up some leftover pieces of wood and I cut off some dead tree limbs that were annoying Bill. We didn't get the lawns cut because it was very wet there. There was standing water in the ditches and the front lawn of the cottage was very wet. The screened in porches were a great asset when the hordes of mosquitoes descended upon us. Both Bill and I suffered from itchy bites but Mom seemed to be immune, don't you just hate people like that!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I am in Winnipeg, Manitoba now visiting with my Mom (for all you Americans out there reading it is in the center of Canada, prairie country with wooded lake on the eastern side of the province). The day I arrived it was absolutely miserable, cold, windy and raining. It has just improved every day since. My Mom and I have been busy, we went and saw my bridesmaid perform in a trio that sang their way through a number of 40's, and 50' songs. That was great. Then we went out and visited my cousin and his wife. We got a tour of their gorgeous 5 acres of gardens and then we looked at pictures of the Galapagos which we they had visited this winter. It just strenghtened my desire to make sure we get there this sailing season.
I just got back from a visit with my bridesmaid, Susan Mutchmor, now Cowtan. She and her family have a cottage on Lake of the Woods and I managed to wangle a invitation out there. What a wonderful spot. There are just three cottages on her island and she has lake front on both the front and back of the cabin. We went in swimming yesterday and I was reminded that I was in Canada again, but not quite as far north as Yellowknife. We took her canoe for a spin in the evening and saw some lovely birds. The visit, was great and I enjoyed getting caught up on our families and what we had been doing with our lives for the past 30 years. We went to high school and first year university together. We are agreed we have a lot in common, high achievers, athletic, aggresive, loud, love the outdoors and just love to talk. Mom and I are headed out to Gimli to visit Bill at his cabin, then we will attend a high tea, a church fundraiser on Thrusday afternoon and then I will be on my way to visit Jen in Sydney, NS. Thank goodness we had enough points to get me all across the country.

On the way home from the Lake of the Woods which is just over the Ontario border I got a flat tire. Mom has a snazzy Mazda 626 and it has these special tires on it. Well, all of a sudden I thought the car was going over a particularly bumpy part of the road and couldn't figure out what was causing it and then I saw the tire rolling past the window so figured I had better stop PDQ. I still to this day do not know where the tire went. I managed to get the jack and the little spare out of the trunk. I had a little trouble figuring out where exactly the jack should be placed and after struggling to get the car up because the jack handle wasn't long enough, I decided I should probably turn on the hazard lights. I got out the manual to figure out where the hazard lights were and noticed that in a picture describing how to use the jack it seemed to able to turn. I had placed it so far under the car that I was having trouble turning it so went out and let the car down and moved the jack to a better position closer to the edge of the car. I was in the process of jacking the car up when a wonderful gallant trucker stopped and helped me change the tire. I wonder if I would have been able to loosen the lugs, I guess we will never know. I figure I was on the side of the Trans Canada Highway for about a half an hour lying on the ground by the tire, before he stopped. A guy on a bicycle even went by the other way and didn't offer to help. Oh well, I was kind of doing okay by myself and I guess if I really had wanted help I could have waved someone down. I had to drive back to Winnipeg, about a 2 hour drive at 90 km/hour because of the small tire and it almost killed me to go so slow. All's well that ends well, Mom is at the dealers getting a new tire put on.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Quinn, the drunken sailor
(drunk on milk)
I am in Calgary now, spending a few days with my brother, Bob. Trish and Quinn drove me in from Windermere on Monday and on Tues. morning we went shopping and then at noon we had a chance to see one of the choirs my brother sings in, perform. That was a real treat. We headed to MECC after that and proceeded to buy some of the stuff on my list, some that wasn't as well!!! Trish headed home with Grame and arrived safely.

Last night Bob and I headed out to look at bicycles. My brother is quite the miser and procrastinator and he has needed a new bike for awhile. He rides it to work every day and he lives way on the south side of Calgary so he rides at least 10 miles twice a day. At present he is riding his son's old bicycle and has had to repair it numerous times. When he came to visit us last Nov. on the island he exclaimed how nice our bikes were so I was appalled that he had not gotten around to buying himself a new one yet. So, I am on a mission.

Anyways, we headed out in a Calgary thunderstorm. We had a fantastic view of the lightning and the rain wasn't too heavy. As we approached the area where the bike shop was the traffic had slowed down and people were turning around and we couldn't figure out what was going on. The streets were flooded. Cars were stuck in the middle of the street and some were driving on the center boulevard to get by the puddles, it was mayhem. We reversed down the road and got turned around and tried a different route. Once again, traffic slowed down and there were people out in the middle of the street up to their knees in water, waving off the traffic. A bunch of the side streets were flooded, so we decided that it wasn't our night to get a bike and headed home to a game of scrabble. I am meeting him downtown today after work to look at one of his favourite shops.
Isn't Quinn cute,? I could not resist that outfit. The hat is great.