Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Post Sandy

We came through the wrath of Sandy relatively unscathed.  Kristi and her mother were without power for 8 hrs or so.  Some trees down, washed out roads, and coastal erosion, is nothing compared to what New York City and New Jersey are suffering. Dear freinds have lost their entire house to a huge tree in Ramsey, NJ.  No telling when they can even get back to find their cats, as live wires surround the house.  Currently they are at a hotel. 

Our work projects had little or no damage, a testament to the pre-storm planning by our staff.

Thinking of all my NY/NJ friends this morning. May your long climb back go as smoothly as possible, and may a stronger sense of community and help, come your way.

The fisherman continues hours and hours along the coast in the high waters, catching lots of bass.  A happy man!

Tomorrow we head to New Hampshire to visit a couple who were high school friends of LM's back in the '50's.  I know it will be great fun.

Love to all.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Crazy Fisherman

Well, he got a fish, in fact he caught 3 before the police made him leave. That rushing torrent behind this crazy man, is usually a narrow creek!  He threw the fish back into the water, and is now at home with Ms G cuddled in his lap purring. 
The storm is very intense right now with sheets of heavy rain.  The roar of the ocean is deafening.
Hope everyone else is safe. This is a mighty storm.  We have many hours to go before it passes.

Storm Report/My Crazy Fisherman

Left work about 9:30 am. Drove down to the beach, many branches down. reporters struggling to stand up at the lighthouse parking lot. I have some photos as I got out of the car for a quick second and took a few shots.  Winds have really picked up.  Still have power.  Our fish pier is going under water as we near high tide. The storm really isn't even here yet!  Most of our work sites have been secored as well as possible.  One house is right in the path of the major storm surge we are expecting.

The only thing I am truly worried about is that LM is at an ocean creek fishing!  He is so crazy.  Because it is a rising tide, there are many striped bass in the creek making for really "fun" and rewarding fishing. No matter how much I have pleaded, he refuses to go home.  Poor Ms G is alone and it is too risky for me to dare drive over there. GRRRRRRRRRR.  He claims he has fished in major storms all his life and that he will be take is that he is already being extremely careless to be out of his car in hurricane winds standing on the edge of a rushing river!  If he dies he dies doing what he loves. Nothing I can do.  There are several others fishing with him and the police have been by several times asking them to leave. They leave and go right back when the police leave.

Meanwhile, I am sewing and watching the coverage of the storm.

Thanks for all the nice comments and concerns. 

Dark Dawn

A very windy night with some strong gusts but this is nothing yet, compared to what will happen as the storm moves in. The darkness lasted so long this morning and as I went about  making breakfast and getting ready for work, branches were crashing against the house. There are many huge oaks in the yard and they throw branches easily. Otherwise, the house is very sturdy.

I am at work for awhile just to help with a few storm-related issues. So many of our projects are very close to the ocean and in danger.

I will post storm progress as the day goes on, as long as power holds out. So far so good.

This is one of our process of restoration. It is right by the ocean so we hope it stays in place. Since these photos were taken, it has been chained in place, but these winds are so strong. 

LM and Ms G have battened down their hatches and she has taken up residence on a nest of fleece.We are very worried about LM losing the roof on his house, as it is so old and badly in need of replacing. Maybe Sandy will hasten a new roof.

Everyone else be safe, too.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Just Wondering

Eventually you will see the rest of the photos from our heavenly Canada trip, until then here are a few things rattling around in my slightly crazy head:

  • Why are clothing manufacturers so out of touch with reality when they design clothing for real women, leading them to make sweaters, jerseys and blouses with sleeves too narrow (and I have very long and skinny scrawny arms) and way too long??
  • Why is it that when you need it most, a financial opportunity presents itself?  Never fails me.
  • Will we get hit with Sandy??  It has done major damage on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas where daughter Anne and husband, David, have a home.  Awaiting reports. David is flying there on Sunday to assess.
  • Why do public agencies, meant to protect the elderly and disabled, not return phone calls?
  • How two tiny Manx kittens came along at just the right time after losing Bob this week.  Freddy and Friday will be coming to live with Sam and Trish very soon.  Photo below of Freddy.
  • Be safe my East Coast friends and we will do the same......I get to see Teddy tomorrow morning!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012


 A few short years ago, when my Dad could no longer live at home, he went to stay with my brother, Sam, his wonderful wife Trish, and their son, Nate.  At the same time a very remarkable Manx cat, Bob, joined their family. Bob's outgoing and loving nature soon acquired him a legion of fans, many were certain he was my Mum, reincarnated in a cat suit.  He was Dad's very loyal and loving friend until Dad's passing in 2009.  Earlier this year, Bob suffered heart failure and was left with one leg paralyzed, but he brought himself back to walking on all fours and enjoyed the most wonderful summer catching chipmunks and lolling in Trish's lovely gardens.  Through tears this morning, I tell you that Bob died suddenly a few hours ago. 
 Now they are together again......
We'll keep cheering on the Pats for you, Bob. Thank you for all the love, laughs and being the best friend ever.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


We had a 4.0 earthquake shake the house just after 7 this evening. I thought someone dropped something heavy upstairs, except there is no upstairs over the room I was in.  Epicenter in southern ME.  No damage here but some minor damage closer to the center. 
Never a dull moment!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

At the Hop

Saturday morning and Danny and the Juniors are singing "At the Hop" making me dance around the kitchen as I prepare a pot roast for the crockpot. It's going to be a crystal clear crisp Fall day.  At 7:30 I was out hanging sheets on the line, and the air, although cold, brought me a great burst of energy and clarity. After some tea, LM and I are headed out to take a little hike in a pretty conservation area.

This was a fractious and sometimes troubling week as we face the very frail condition of Kristi's mother and the fact that we must get some help for here even though she doesn't want it.  So as we work on a way accomlish that goal, we are thankful for all we have and will head out to walk knowing the answers will come as we work on healing ourselves.

Today is Dad's birthday.......I miss you, Dad, more than you could ever know.

 Some old photos of Dad and 2 are with Jason as a baby, and the R photo is with sister, Bebo (Susan), bottom L has Marty in the background, R is with Jason.  So much love!

Happy weekend to everyone!  More trip stories and pictures to come....
Love to all.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Canada Day 4 & 5- A long way for Little Fish

After a great night's sleep in our guest suite, and a leisurely breakfast, Margaret, her daughter, Ellie, and I were off to visit as many thrift shops as we could cram in to our schedule. I have to say it was the most fun and successful thrift shopping day I have ever known. We all made some great purchases and found wonderful deals.  My favorite was the pair of "Not Your Daughter's" black jeans, tags still on, for 1.50!!  Perfect fit and  my favorite brand. I came home with many new work outfits for several seasons, as well as clothes for Samantha and Kristi.  It didn't hurt that we had a divine lunch at a French cafe in uptown Waterloo that day, as well.

Tradition has it, that when LM visits Waterloo, he goes on a fishing expedition with my niece, Emmy and her boyfriend, Matt, and this year they drove out to a dam area of the Grand River in Fergus, Ontario. It was an incredibly steep walk down to the water and after almost 2 hours of fishing, Emmy was the only one who made a catch - a tiny 2" fish.  Fun and a great deal of exercise was had by all, though.

My fisherman makes his way up the dam access stairs.

                                            Emmy and LM on the "dam" stairs.
That evening, in lieu of the promised fish, we shared a lovely family dinner at Sole' in Waterloo.
                                                         The wonderful LM had to be included!
                                                            Fishing buddies.....
                                          Jerry and Margaret - we so love your new lives and spaces!
                                       Beautiful, talented, warm, and funny nieces - Emmy and Ellie
     We miss you already - thank you for everything, but most of all for being there to greet us when we arrived.

Picking up from his visit 2 years ago, LM arrived to visit Brenda with a full packet of Whiskas Temptations....notice he's on his knees.
                                                        The lovers unite
Margaret's new dining room has the perfect wall to hang one of her quilt masterpieces and their beautiful dining table came along, too!
The feline charmer at work.....note Brenda's lovely napping blanket on the floor.
Some of the lovingly tended flower beds scattered throughout Luther Village. I regret that I didn't photograph the amazing community gardens. Take my word for it that they are truly spectacular and works of artful love.
Margaret and I spent some treasured time going through her collection of projects in progress, and her fabric collection.  The piece below is really fun.  Each coffee cup represents a Kitchener-Waterloo coffee house that the girls have enjoyed through the years. The designs are the actual logos and hand drawn by Margaret.
My favorite is Cafe Mozart....sadly, no longer in business, but on past reunions with my sisters, we all enjoyed their treats with great abandon. I can still picture the boxes of Austrian pastries, with this very same logo.
Brenda relaxes and gazes so sweetly. A lotta fur on one tiny body.
One more picture of my grandmother's chair.  Brenda's napping blanket looks lovely on that arm, I think.

My very favorite picture of Brenda....nestled in her "Mommy's" bed covers. Ah, those green eyes.
Speaking of treats, we did go out to Conestogo to visit my favorite little bakery in the world and acquire some maple tarts.  I have a little supply tucked away now in my freezer, to be cut in tiny pieces and enjoyed once in awhile. The Mennonite ladies were all busily baking that day and the air smelled like my Mum's kitchen in days of old. .   
Sittler's garden....the day was a little foggy and made the garden seem to smile with happiness.
Our last day found me back at another Thrift shop sale, and in the evening Margaret, Jerry, LM and I enjoyed a very nice dinner. Bittersweet, as we made our way back to our guest suite for one last, but short, night. That good-bye was not complete until we were checked to be sure LM was not smuggling Brenda away to Cape Cod.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Canda trip - Day 2 and 3

After a luxurious and wonderful night's sleep at the Wooden Boat Inn, we found breakfast at a very cute oldtime place called The Castle, and then headed north a few miles to Alexandria Bay, NY.  There we purchased our tickets for the St Lawrence River cruise that would take us by and around many of the 1000 Islands. As you can see, the day was crystal clear and warm.  We had time to walk around the town a bit and do some shopping before the cruise.  My darling LM, bought me a beautiful pair of earrings as a trip memory.  At this point we are on the boat and backing out of the harbor.
Passing by Boldt Castle - it has a tragic/romantic history and most fortunately it is now run by a trust that will insure that the castle always remains open to the public and in beautiful condition....well worth following the link.
Many of the houses on these islands are typical of those built at the turn of the century - very lavish and architecturally interesting.

Love the porches on which I could visualize a peaceful nap and beautiful breezes.

Sail along with us and enjoy the sights!

Looking down on some fisherman.

Coast Guard Station! Nice duty.

Beautiful house and stonework.


About to pass under the bridge leading from the US to Canada.  We would travel over it the next morning as we made our way to Waterloo, Ontario, and my sister, Margaret.

We are on the return at this point and I enjoyed standing at the back of the boat and watching the sun sparkling on the wake.
The paddle wheel.

This charming house was my favorite. It is owned by the family of a Canadian gymnast who competed in the 2012 Olympics.

On the way back we stopped at Boldt Castle and looked up to see this seagull.  He stayed with us the entire trip. Freeloader!!
On the dock at Boldt Castle were a wedding party. They'd just been married at the castle.
Leaving Boldt Castle and heading back to the Alex Bay dock!  A glorious afternoon on the seaway, and we met some great local people to chat with and tip us off to the perfect sunset viewing point.
 After we left the boat, we did some more shopping and walking and then decided we must head south to Cape Vincent to make it for sunset, as recommended by our cruise friends.
Cape Vincent is a lovely old town at the mouth of the Seaway and Lake Ontario.  This spectacular house was very close to the point where we would catch the sunset.
A Coast Guard station at our viewing point. Our view was across to Wolfe Island in Ontario, and we were very happy to see a huge wind farm lit by the sunset.
We sat watching until the sun was gone, and felt so very fortunate to be able to share so much beauty. Also, we were virtually alone in this glorious place!
The next morning we were up early, packed, checked out of our sweet little haven, and on the road to finally see Margaret in her new home.   LM heads into the porch/kitchen to gather our cooler items.
The road to the US-Canada bridge in Alex Bay.
The bridge looked a bit steep and scary as it loomed up in front of us.

A blurry look down from the top

Approaching the border....very friendly officer and we were quickly on our way.
A fun tower offering a great 1000 Islands view.
The rest of the bridge.....
The main route from this point would be to take the busy cross-Canada hwy 401, but we made up our minds to drive the secondary roads and get the flavor of the cities and towns along the northern coast of Lake Ontario. 
 One must was to see parts of Kingston, Ont.  A very old city, Kingston has some beautiful and quaint architecture. I managed to catch a few shots between all my gawking out the window.  My niece, Emmy studied for a grad degree and lived in this area for awhile so she encouraged us to take a look.

 Loved this street sign in Kingston!!

After a few hours and consuming a Tim Horton Canadian Maple doughnut (yes, I did!!), we arrived at Margaret and Jerry's new home at the Luther Village Retirement Campus in Waterloo, Ontario.  These beautiful sunflowers volunteered in Margaret's garden....a very sunny greeting.
 Love the cow welcoming  us, and a little view of their new car.
 The porch reflects Margaret's love of gardening.  The Village provides the plants and gardeners to put them wherever you like. The old Mary St rocking chair has a pretty new cover and is a lovely spot from which to enjoy the garden.
 Lovely Fall doorway!

 I love the way Margaret took her collection of old plant containers and filled them with impatiens.
 The side porch.
What a joy to see this beautiful chair in M's new living room. Our grandmother sat in this chair in her sitting room for many, many of her years.  I love the way M has left the arms showing the worn spots from Nana's arms and hands....a lot of Johnny Cash and Lawrence Welk were enjoyed in this chair.  It has  chic new animal print upholstery and I do think our most wonderful grandmother would love it.
 Margaret putting the finishing touches on our dinner for our first night. 

We stayed in a very lovely guest suite in the Luther Village Main building for the 4 nights of our stay in Waterloo. it was heavenly being so close to my dear sister and her family.  Much more coverage to come. Stay tuned!

(sorry for the long space at the end of this post....BLOGGER refuses to allow me to edit)


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