Sunday, September 28, 2014

Preparations are underway to put the boat to bed for the winter.  I really wanted to do some more sailing but the Captain is in no mood so.....  We have taken all the sails off, the oil is changed, there are lines hung over Jennifer's fence to dry, I managed to get the dodger off and things are progressing.  We are hauling out in Sydney at a local yacht club and we have to buy our own jack stands, they will be coming in on Monday and we are hoping to get out of the water some time this week.  
We can move into our apt. on Wed. the first of the month.  Jen and Mark are putting their cabin up for sale and they are emptying it of furniture and have very generously offered us the use of it for the duration of our stay.  I am looking forward to putting up some of our art that we have acquired around the world on our walls. Mark and Barry have been out at the cabin for the past couple of days painting the outside.  Mark has been there for the past week doing some reno's before putting it on the market.  

William is in the red pants. 

Last weekend it was very busy.  William was involved in a road hockey tournament and Jen had volunteered to be the medical attendant for a morning.  William and Leeland were invited to a birthday party and Barry and I had the pleasure of taking the two of them plus a friend to a horse stable, where they got to ride around a ring and then go on a wagon ride (towed by a tractor) to a hut in the woods where they had hot dogs and cake.  The group of seven year olds were very rambunctious and when William had another party this weekend and Jen had to work, I balked at the thought of attending another party and Jen called the Mom who's child we took last week and she graciously took William!!
The boys and I have been in the pool almost everyday after school.  The weather has been quite nice, in the 20's during the day but cooling off quite a bit every night.  The hot tub is a great addition and the thought of it's warm embrace encourages me to get in the pool when the wind is cool and the air is crisp.  The trees are starting to turn and we plan to take a trip around the Cabot Trail once the colours become more consistent.  There is a big festival called Celtic Colours which goes on about this time of year and we plan to take in some activities.   We had the tail end of a hurricane come through here last week and although the boat was securely tied to the dock, it managed to get itself blown over enough to rub against the dock and now there is a very ugly gouge in our new paint job.  I will have to contact the fellow that did the painting and see if I can get some advice on how to get make a good looking repair. There are a number of repairs that need to be made on the sails including trying to fix the spinnaker that I blew out on our trip to Newfoundland.  I had it up when the winds were gusty and on one particular big gust, it just split right across the middle.  It is too old to pay someone else to repair it, there is a lot of sewing involved, and we do not want to buy a new one, so we are in the market for a used spinnaker for a 40 foot boat, if you happen to have one hanging about or know someone with one to spare. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Goings on in Cape Breton

Barry's brother Bruce, who is recovering from back surgery, and his Mom, Georgie.
Quite a lot has happened the last few weeks.  Barry left in late Aug. for a trip out west to visit his family.  He stopped off in Alberta to visit his brother and family and then drove out to Vancouver Island to stay with the remaining family members, his older and younger sister and his Mom.  I think a good time was had by all.  There were reports of Barry getting whipped by Bruce in every golf game they played, they managed to fit in several while completing renovations on Bruce's new home in Red Deer, AB.
Barry's younger sister Kim with the latest addition to her equine collection.
Once they reached the coast they convinced their big sister Sherran and her spouse Doug to accompany them on the course and the games were on.  As a thank you for lodgings for a week, Barry thought that a session with a golf pro was a great idea for his sister. Maybe the next time he heads out there, she will be able to beat him as well!!  Barry also managed to hook up with the crews of Tagish and Cop Out buddies from the Indonesia rally and visit with our old Yellowknife friend,Ian, who is living aboard his boat Nightide, in Van Isle Marina on Vancouver Island.

I was very disappointed not to be able to accompany him, but the reason that I did not go was because my Mom was able to fly out here and visit with her daughter, her granddaughter and her great grandchildren for a week.  We had lots of laughs while she was here, playing cards with the kids and joining them in the pool and the hot tub.  How many children do you know that are able to say they went swimming with their great grandmother!!! 
Three generations of goofy women who know how to giggle!
The final soccer tournament of the summer (or jamboree as it is referred to in Cape Breton) took place on the Sat. while Mom was here and it was a beautiful day.  We sat in the sun and watched as the kids raced around after the ball, the favourite activity while they were sitting on the sidelines was catching grasshoppers!  One day Mark came home from the cabin near the New Brunswick border with a bucket full of Concord grapes.  The next day Mom and I picked them all off the stems, crushed them, then boiled them up to make jelly,  I had added the pectin to the juice for a double batch when I read the instructions saying that you are not supposed to double the recipes, oh oh; the question that runs through your mind is, "Will it set???"  It did and the jelly is delicious. 

A full sized replica of one of the first hydrofoils.
We headed out to Baddeck the next day and immersed ourselves in the life of Alexander Graham Bell, he had a summer home there.  He is known as the inventor of the telephone but was involved in so much more.  He had a think tank that designed and flew airplanes that set flight distance records.  The Silver Dart, a plane he was involved with developing, took part in the first flight in Canada, off the ice in the Bra d'Or Lakes.

 The same group invented hydrofoils and he also developed the precursor to the gramophone.  There was a time line of his life and it included the signicant scientific happenings while he was alive, The Origin of Species was written, the Wright brothers took to the air, and he was a contemporary of Marconi, it must have been a fascinating time to be alive. 
Barry arrived back on Thursday night and Jennifer was off to a conference in Halifax.  She said there was a spare bed and we were welcome to it if we wanted.  We drove the four hours down on Friday morning and spent the afternoon at Pier 21, the spot where millions of immigrants first landed in Canada. 

The typical baggage of a Canadian Immigrant.
 Barry's Mom was sent to Canada as a teenager when London was evacuated in World War II   and she first set foot in our country when she stepped off the ship at Pier 21 in Halifax.  The exhibits were interesting enough but the most fascinating part for me was during the guided tour when the Parks Canada employee was telling the immigrant's stories.  There was a photo of an old woman with her 3 or 4 year old grandson and they never knew who it was until one day a middle aged man visited the museum and said, hey that was me!   That evening we attended the Atlantic Film Festival and saw the premier of a film made in Nova Scotia.  The director and producer spoke about the film before it began and the whole row in front of us was taken up by member of the crew.  It was a pretty good movie, but listening to the group as they oohed and aahed over their names in the credits really enhance our experience.  

This week I am working for Jennifer as her secretary in her office in New Waterford.  I went in for a couple of hours before my Mom arrived and was shown what to do.  The reality of working in a busy doctors office is quite different than just observing.  I floundered around yesterday feeling mostly quite useless, struggling to figure out the software.  Today, Jen worked in the Emergency Room so there were no patients to cope with and by the end of the day I was beginning to get the hang of what I was supposed to do.  Just before I left I noticed in one chart I had posted the same lab result three times because I could not find where it went the first two times I did it, being unsure of how to get rid of the two superfluous copies I just left them there feeling sure in my heart of hearts  that having three copies was in many ways far superior to having none!
I have the feeling that some sailing therapy will be needed by the end of the week. 

Thursday, September 04, 2014

First Day of School for the Stonehouse Boys 2014

The boys waiting for the bus, Leeland striking a pose!
It was the big day today, the first day of school for William and Leeland, William is going into Grade 2 and Leeland is going into Primary or what was Kindergarten in my day.  They have been going to bed as if they have had school all week and waking up early to get them used school hours.  William was up and awake and ready to go about 15 minutes early.  Leeland had issues with what he was given for breakfast and had to be cajoled into getting ready.  I mentioned that if he didn't eat up and get dressed his big brother may go off on the bus without him and that seemed to strike a chord and breakfast was consumed and school clothes were decided upon and off they went.  Leeland's backpack was very heavy and by the time they had waited 10 minutes for the bus he was stumbling around with his over sized burden.  He decided it was okay to take his backpack off and put it on the ground until the bus came.  

After the bus arrived and departed Jen and I hopped in the car and went to school to catch their arrival. William was the first one of the bus. 
Leeland was immediately relieved his backpack as he stepped off, by the bus monitor, a very astute woman.  
William found his buddies and in typical seven year old fashion when they were asked to line up for a picture, horseplay broke out, what a bunch of goofs. It must be great to have a group of friends to hang out with.
Leeland,with his monster backpack, at his desk.
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Monday, September 01, 2014

I am always on the lookout for unusual gifts on our travels.  When we were in New York we went to the Museum of Natural History and there was a gift shop by the dinosaur exhibit.  I pondered about what I should get and who I should buy it for.  I was drawn to a book of origami, it was called dinogami.  The paper was coloured so when you followed the very intricate directions you would end up with a wonderful looking dinosaur.  There was an explanation with every creature which explained where it had been found and what it's characteristics were.  I could not resist, although Barry was rolling his eyes, it was my Natural History purchase. 

The next process I had to go through was, who should I give it to.  Hmm,  there was Cassidy and Eli, my grandchildren, aged 15 and 13, maybe they might enjoy it.  Then there was our very crafty daughter, Jennifer, who is very artistic, and we were going to visit her so, perhaps she and I could enjoy it together.  She took to it like a duck to water, we took on our 9 day holiday on the boat and she spent many happy hours folding away.  I tried one and had to resort to asking her to interpret the instructions in order to finish it.  Her boys, William, 7 and Leeland, 5, took to requesting that she fold their favourites, and they were competing to see how many each had. 
The other day when we were out at the beach we collected some driftwood and Jennifer wanted to make some dino-mobiles.  I had my doubts that we would ever get around to it, but yesterday and today was had some quality mother and daughter time balancing little dinosaurs with fishing line off the end of a stick.  It was great fun and now each of the boys has a lovely reminder of the summer holiday on Cat'-Paw IV hanging from the light in their bedroom. 
P.S. Photographing them was quite a challenge, thanks to Angela and Jen who held up the backdrop to give you an idea what they looked like.