Sunday, May 8, 2011

...and now, it's May!!

Well I am starting off with a picture of me wearing my Fascinator that I made for the Royal Wedding. You will have to take it from me that it looks great with red pyjamas. I got up at three-twenty a.m. and promptly made tea and had it with Thistle Scones that I made the night before, and with an incredible blueberry/lemon/ginger jam. At four, my son and daughter in law from Saskatoon rang me up on Skype and we watched the whole thing together on CNN for the next three and a half hours. That was far better than watching it alone, which was Plan B. I guess the little hat will go away now until the next royal wedding. I only wish I had bought feathers in Florida so that I could have done a 'better' job!!

I I have not been the most productive quilter this year. There are reasons; none of them good enough. Already I have plans for the next twelve months and I intend to be more organized and busy than in the past.

In the last while I have managed to finish a few things; the little square project was made with a Christmas Charm Pack and turned out rather well. The paper pieced wall hanging will go to the Gyro International Convention in Halifax in July, something for them to sell or offer for auction at the event. I have a few other things that are still on my table to go with the little hanging. I call it "Atlantic" for all of the visitors.

The pink piece is what I did for Sheila as part of our Brown Bag Challenge. I love the way it turned out and will do one for myself. This can be made in three sizes and the one I did is the middle one. I guess it's difficult to determine just how big it is from the photo but essentially it's a table topper or would look fine on the back of a chair for want of another place to put it. The Brown Bag Challenge is one of my favorite projects in our Guild. I wish more people would participate. This year only 12 people took the plunge.

More to come; I have a few pics to take and an hour to find!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Things to remember for next time

It happens quite often...Mike and I will be coming home from something or other and we are already correcting a mistake or two. This year was the same: we have mentally made the corrections for next year, or at least we have noticed what we want to do differently.

Next year will definitely be a longer stay but in the same place. We loved the condo and will be booking ourselves in for the month of March.

I have to shop early and not leave things to buy in Maine. By the time we get there I just want to be home and I can't focus on the shopping.

We will come home in three days. That way, one of us will be very happy and the other one of us will tolerate the long days. It's certainly doable; we just have to start earlier in the morning, not at eight but at six, and stay on the road longer, getting off at six or seven and not at four. YOu can do anything for three days.

Next year we will play golf while we are in Florida.

We will have to find accommodations for the cats. It's too hard on Baby to be alone in the house for a month. The Jazz probably doesn't know we are gone but the older girl is a wreck when we get back. Not good for her.

We want to spend more time with family and extended family. Chris and Laura have been married for three years and we still barely know her parents.

Actually this was a great trip but not long enough.I am not sure it will ever be long enough but a month will be an improvement and we will add on the travel time. HOpefully next year we will have guests; Brian and Leslie may visit and our friends Terry and Norma might come along as well. Already I can't wait to go back.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Back in the nest

Yes it did snow in Bangor last night. It snowed a lot. The parking lot was plowed when we got up at five forty-five and after breakfast we hit the road. There wasn't an option and we figured that if the plows were out, the roads would be passable. There was always a black strip ahead of us; sometimes it was packed with snow/ice but by Houlton, the roads were bare and we were off and running. No problems at the border and as usual, when we cleared, we looked at each other and said "we should have bought more". I eventually got tired shopping except for that foray into the Maine Mall in Portland which I mentioned previously.

Nothing exciting on the drive home. We arrived at The Ranch at about three thirty and the next couple of hours were devoted to settling BAby. She was totally distraught when we got here. She doesn't like being home alone and I feel this is the last year we can do that. Even with Mary coming in every couple of days, that old cat is not in good shape when we are gone. She needs to be with someone...anyone for that matter. Jasmine went out when I opened the door and has been in and out again since. She is pretty adaptable but Baby is on me, beside me or following me since we arrived. She is needy anyway but worse when we have been away.

So the first laundry is done; the unpacking is done. There is cat hair EVERYWHERE. The table in front of the living room window is covered in paw prints. I left the curtains open so that Baby could sit on that table and watch the world go by and it appears that she did just that. Tomorrow I will get out the vacuum cleaner and get rid of the hair on the furniture. I took up scatter mats in the bathrooms and laundry room to prevent the piles of hair on them. Tomorrow then, clean up. Going out for a walk early to get back into that routine. The vacation is done and the blog is almost done too, except for one more entry I am orgainzing in my mind. That one will be for tomorrow.

I hope it served the purpose I had intended. I think it's a good idea because I now have a record of what we did and some of the details I might forget over months are recorded. For whatever reason!! Thanks for stopping in; I have enjoyed rambling on about simple things. Didn't get around to saving a life or performing brain surgery...I'll leave those for next time. Tomorrow is the summary...Till then.....

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday in the snow

We started the day in snow and we finished it in snow although in between, we drove into it and out of it and into it again and out of it...and it went on. In New York state we stayed in Middletown which was past Scranton and in a very nice area, although it looked like a little dot on the map in the beginning. When we got up, Mike said to me " it didn't snow last night did it??" and I looked out the window to assure him it hadn't and everything was white. Breakfast was a disappointment; the first time we had stayed at Hampton Inn and had a less than great breakfast. I had lost my appetite when I saw the snow so the yogurt I had stashed in the fridge was all I could manage. Anyway on the road and off we went.

I always say I don't like shopping. There was a store I wanted to visit in the Maine Mall in Portland and we stopped there in the rain/snow mix. Well it was like I had landed in my favorite spot in the world. All the pretty shiny things!!! But I was on a mission at Coach, and after succeeding, I pulled myself out the door and headed for the car. I could have done some very serious shopping in that store for sure. It was like a miniature version of The Florida Mall. Even a TeaVana with better tea pots. I had already done damage there in Orlando so I just peeked in the window. Then to Bangor.

When we checked in the clerk told us not to park close to the door so that the plowing could be done in the morning. YIKES!!! I hope he is mistaken but only the morning will tell. We expect to leave early and get back to the ranch early. I hated to leave Orlando but now that we are close to home, I can't wait to get there. Lots of things to do. I bought some fabric at Mardens but didn't manage to get things on my list. A few requests from friends weren't found and I am disappointed about that but I looked and didn't find. All I could do!

So it's almost time for bed but Dancing With The Stars has started and that's the next two hours booked. More tomorrow.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday on the road

After a good sleep last night in Selma NC, we hit the road early and drive for ten hours again today. The myth of travelling on Sunday is a real myth as far as we are concerned. We were in traffic all day except for the last two hours when we seemed to be the only people on the go. We listened to the race at Bristol Motor Speedway Baby today as well remembering how we were there last year and just how cold it was there. In spite of the busy drive, I enjoyed the geography of Virginia and Pennsylvania. When you are the passenger, you may as well find something of interest and entertainment and for me, it was observing the geography of the region. Very hilly in Virginia and apparently, full of coal. Likewise into Penn as we drove through mountains and discovered amazing cities tucked in valleys and at 2000 feet. So much coal; then the power plants; then the industries. ... and the population to support all of it. As we looked down at these cities in valleys we also looked across to rows of windmills generating clean power, beside the plants burning the coal. In the cuts where the road went through hills in incinvenient places, you could see the layers and layers of rock that accumulated over millions of years and the forces that drove the mountains up were quite evident in massive layered rocks protruding from the earth at unbelievable angles. I was fascinated. It's still brown in the north, but in both NC and SC the gras is greening up and it's looking like spring there. We saw ice on the rocks in Penn and ski hills still operating although the rest of the landscape is devoid of snow.

Tomorrow I know MIke wants to make it home. I don't think it can be done. I have a few places I need to stop and show. Perhaps my next note will be from the road, at least I hope so. Trusting your day has been a good one; I am too tired this evening to be creative n my writing. The facts today; just the facts!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Ten Hour Day

The first day on the road is always a hard day. This morning we started off badly by oversleeping. Whereas we intended to be on the road at seven, we didn't wake till seven-twenty so already we were behind. Starting the drive at nine wasn't bad in spite of the late rising but we pushed till seven this evening and it seems long. I did only two hours today but it broke the drive up a bit for Mike. So we are in Selma NC and tomorrow we will go on 95 to Fayetteville and then head away from 95 and the cities of the northeast for a route that's a little more driver-friendly. I imagine we will try for another long day tomorrow but no more than ten!

Yesterday, Friday, we picked Chris up from work and had supper with him and Laura and Jocelyn. We had fish cakes and beans with cole slaw...a hunter's breakfast for supper. It was delicious! Then we had a key lime pie for dessert. On the way home, we were caught up in the monster traffic jam on highway 4. Ordinarily it takes us about 30 minutes to get back to our condo from Luge Lane. When we took the ramp onto #4,it was already in a parking lot. It took us an hour and fifty five minutes to go five miles. There was an accident at the on ramp at Sea World and the traffic was down to one lane, at seven o'clock on a Friday night. UGLY BEYOND BELIEF!! Chris had often said how that hightway could be jammed but until you are driving 1.5mph you just don't understand what that means. We got home safely but I was starting to have feelings of panic after the first hour and a half in stop and go...mostly stop! We packed up the shed pretty well before going to bed so when we got up this morning, it was mainly moving things.

So day one of the return is done. Tomorrow should be a good day and then a hard day and then home. MIke is saying he would like to get to Waterville tomorrow but I don't believe that is humanly possible. I can't imagine getting home in just two more days.

As they say, stay tuned. I think we will be back at 124 on Tuesday. Time for bed; thanks for checking in.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday in the Sunshine State

I checked one more item off the list today: the new LeCreuset casserole that's on the large size. I have a lovely sized one that I use for most things but I wanted that giant that I would take out every once in a while. You know the one...the one that lives in the basement because there's no room in the kitchen-----THAT one!! We got to the Prime Outlets off Kirkman/Oak Ridge/International....whatever you call it; went to the directory, found it straight ahead, bought it and returned to the car. That was the trip to the outlets. Good with me. Already today we had gone to Whole Foods for an inspirational walk through, to the cigar store (where I waited in the car) and we had been in an unbelievable jam on #4. So much so that we zipped off at the Animal Kingdom and then proceeded to wander around till we found our way back out of the parks. Went to the Florida Mall, again just to have been there, and bought a gift at TeaVana. When we came out, we thought we had lost the car and spent the better part of twenty minutes wandering around. Who would believe that three sides of JCP all LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME. I was certain we had come out of the same door we went in through, but APPARENTLY WE HADN'T. Well that wasn't pretty. Not even a bit. On the way home we drove through Champions Gate, a golf community that seems rather swanky. Mike decided to go to the pool and as he was getting ready he said to me that he had mixed up a drink using the fruit juice and tequila mix that were in the fridge along with some dark rum and had ruined the taste of each of them!!! We both roared.

Supper will be here at 612 this evening. We ate lunch at the Orlando Ale House at the Florida Mall and had Reuben sandwiches which were really good. Tonight we will work at eating what's left here and I am going to make the fish cakes for tomorrow. Later I will dash over to Publix to get a couple of containers for sandwiches for the first day on the road. Don't know what we are doing tomorrow; afternoon will be to get Chris. He is taking off a bit early...then supper and spend the evening with them.

It's hot today. Beautiful. Hot. Not much more to add to that. Only a few more posts to come; thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Another beautiful Wednesday

If I were home today I would be working on a quilt project with friends but instead I am getting ready to leave in just one small way...I am thinking about it and starting to sort.Visited with Wilma this morning and got caught up on her news and purchases. I had to change a pair of pants at the Bealls store in Largo and we drove home through busy traffic. Mike got tired along the way and I drove for perhaps the last third of the way. One blip on the highway can clog up cars for miles and miles. There was an accident on an off ramp and we were at a dead stop three miles from there; three lanes of traffic stop and go for three miles and then............away we went.

I don't like driving at high speed, by which I mean anything over 70mph, but there is little or no choice on the freeway or highway here. You become a traffic hazzard if you are driving at 60 or even 65 because cars and trucks are mounting up behind you. Cars still pass you like you are stopped. These must be very important people who are headed to do brain surgery or solve the nuclear problem in Japan because there could be no other reason for that kind of speed on a Wednesday afternoon in their Ford Focus. There are many many important people here in Florida. Whodathunkit!!??

Looks like we are in for the night and this might be an American Idol night. Dinner will be at 612TC. Tomorrow I have to make fish cakes to take to Luge Lane on Friday. We will pick Chris up from work and then maybe make those pickles he wants me to do with him. I still have two places to go: the LeCreuset outlet which will be on Friday on our way into the city (I am looking for the BIG round dutch oven at a reasonable price) and the Florida Mall. Not much to do there but I have one kiosk I want to visit and then a meander through. I always love to go to TeaVana to see the do-dads they have and to test the tea of the day.

No pictures today. Just the ramblings of someone who would love to be here longer!! So of us has to get back to work but he has been a great sport about the whole trip so that's not a complaint. More tomorrow; drop by if you have a chance.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Flowers in bloom and looking up at Pointe Orlando

Here we are

Great evening. Pointe Orlando is showing the signs of the economic situation...many empty spaces. When we were here two years ago, it was much more vibrant and it seemed to be a destination for visitors but it doesn't look that way today. The grounds are still beautiful but the people aren't there.

March 15th Already!!

We had a lovely day today. John and Judy Briand are in Kissimmee and have been staying in the same house for the winter months for several years now. They do the five bedroom thing and have friends/relatives/singles/doubles come and stay for week/weeks/months at a time, all of whom share in the costs of the house while they are there. It works for them really well. Their children come and this year, their inlaws are coming as well. Lovely for all.

Judy is a shopper and so is John. She has seven grandchildren now and has seven piles of clothes she buys for each. Also she does all of her Christmas shopping and all of the birthday shopping. I am tired just thinking about it. Again, it works for them.

Lynn Mersereau is there this year as usual but this time, he is without Joan whom you may or may not know, passed away before Christmas. He is very lonely and decided he would drive down rather than stay home alone. It's a difficult time for him; the year of firsts is a hard year.

We dashed home here around three, changed our duds and headed to Pointe Orlando for dinner with the fam at Maggianos. Then to Chris's for a continued visit. We will see them one more time before leaving on Saturday.

So....tomorrow....we will be heading to Largo; I bought pants there a couple of days ago that have to be returned and this time hope to get to see Wilma and perhaps the Smiths on the way back. One thing in rarely have to say, in the month of March, I will see what the weather is like and if it looks good, I will head out early!!! No sireeee, you don't have to say that!!

And the days dwindle down to the precious few.....


We just don't have the time I would like for this trip. I feel like I am running and running to keep up and to check things off the list. Getting into the car at the end of this week is going to be a rest for me. We wanted to spend as much time as we could with Chris and Laura and Jocelyn. With them working, it's hard to visit in the evenings as they are tired after a full day of work and Jocelyn is winding down as well. Additionally that puts us on the road during the absolute worst traffic time when people are leaving the parks or leaving they city or whatever these thousands and thousands of people are doing. Chris and Laura took a day off last week for Sea World and we had a great outing. We had supper together on Friday; Saturday they were busy getting ready for the party and on Sunday they had a housefull of people. Laura was wasted by 4pm. Her rest was going to work on Monday! So here we are: it's Tuesday and we are heading out in a bit; tomorrow we would like to go to the beach. I thought we were leaving on Sunday and had planned to spend Saturday at Luge Lane but it seems we are checking out that day. I've been trying to contact the owner of the condo to see if we can stay another day but she isn't answering my email just yet. YIKES!!!!!! Tick Tock!!! This always reminds me of the little message I saw on a post card a long time ago:
VACATION consists of:
2 weeks during which time you are
2 busy, and after which you are
2 tired
2 return
2 work
2 broke not
It looked funnier on the post card!!!

There will be plenty of time to rest up. We are having a really swell time. Sorry you checked in and got the rant today!!! I will be cheerier the next time!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday of week two

I can't believe it's week two already. The thought of packing up for the drive home at the end of this week is just too much to think about. The weather is spectacular and for the next five days, it's going to be in the low 80's. Wonderful!!

Today we headed to Largo, hoping to see Roger and Maureen; however, Mike isn't into phoning ahead and as a result, we found their driveway empty and only the golf cart standing guard. I also missed out on getting Maureen's coupons from Joann's which she wouldn't be using anyway. Seeing them gone, we headed to Dunedin to Rainbow's End which was on my wish list for this trip. I haven't been there before and I know some of you have...also I haven't been to Keepsake Quilting. You may or may not agree...Rainbow's End is one beautiful quilt store. After doing some damage there, we headed back to Largo and one or two more checks at the Smith's abode with no luck. Then to Sweet Tomato for a great lunch. The last time we were there, I met a lady dragging a bag behind her which contained her late husband's ashes. She volunteered this information to me, in the ladies room!! It was my chuckle for the day. Nothing like that today but we had a great lunch and headed back. Great traffic again today. WE have been lucky the past two days.

Tomorrow we are having lunch with John and Judy in Kissemmee and then to Maggianos with Chris and Laura. That will put Tuesday in the bag.

I am pretty well done shopping till Maine. Getting a bit weary of the stores and seeing the same things in many places. I have bought a few things: Ann Taylor of course; some capris and shorts and of course, a few shirts. A few home things. I still have to go to Whole Foods to check off a few things and in Maine I will get the pablano peppers. The list goes on; in Maine I am looking for fabric bargains. I got none of those today so I will deserve a few when we get there!!

Hope your day is great. HOpe the snow is gone!!! The holiday continues.


These are going to be very handy for workshops and cutting small pieces. I got a fabulous new book on miniature quilts which I can wait to get into. They are lone star quilts and perhaps that workshop I wanted to do next year on lone stars will turn into a mini!!

Rainbow's End

How's this for pretty? It's not easy to find sixteen pieces of fabric in this combination...a green and then five colors, with three pieces of each one. You have to be in a great quilt shop and Rainbow's End in Dunedin is just the place. I have never visited Keepsake Quilting which I understand is the ultimate quilt shop but this one is great too. On the other hand, I would not want to walk into RE and not know what I was looking for. It would be one of those Deer In The Headlights moments that we all hate. This array is to make the background of an applique quilt for our Baby-on-the-way. Probably her Christmas gift as there are a few quilts in the queue this spring/summer/fall.
I am going to add the other pics separately as the blog is giving me a few problems today. Be right back!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Jocelyn turns two!!

Jocelyn's birthday was a great day with a house full of friends and children. We had lovely visits with people we have met over the past two years and ate barbecue and cake and lots of treats. We drove home in what I call loose traffic at six-thirty and it was the best drive back we have had in the past week. That must be the magic time.

Mommy and Daddy and toddler were all pretty tired at the end of the day after so much preparation. Laura is very imaginative and creative when it comes to decoration for a party. She is a scrap booker and has a lot of the do-dads to make place cards and lettering...She did a beautiful job of carrying out the Minnie Mouse theme for the party. She made a scrapbook for us with Jocelyn's birthday pictures and I will post some of those in a day or so. Clever Mommy. She and Chris also made the cake and the centerpieces.

Tomorrow will be a road day; off to Largo to see Roger and Maureen and maybe a couple of others if we can find them at home. We hope to see John and Judy on Tuesday and then, dinner at Maggianos!! We love that restaurant!

Looking like a busy week but we can rest up later in the month!! Hope you all are having a good week and hanging in there!! Thanks for looking in!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Just a couple of pics this time

These are from the Strawberry Festival. Mike took them so unfortunately he isn't in any...will get more of the whole group tomorrow at the party.

Saturday's report

I suspect that it was as warm as or perhaps even warmer in NS than it was on Friday morning in the Sunshine State. It was a beauty to look at but a bit on the chilly side, somewhere between seven and ten celcius. It was a jeans day and I hate wearing jeans when I am here. We headed to Daytona in the morning traffic. Where we are situated is a bit south and a bit west of the city of Orlando and we were headed north and east to Daytona, on highway 4, which is right through/over Orlando. It clogs up here and there and some places have four or five lanes but most often, four. It's fast but it can be stop and go. We had both yesterday morning. March is a busy month here with so many people taking advantage of Break time and then the rest of us are just tired of winter, I guess. So... DAYTONA!!! It's more than cars and this week it's bikes.

I can't really begin to describe what Daytona is like with these thousands and thousands and thousands of bikes and the people who ride them. Picture the stereotypical biker and his babe.....they were the thousands. Some were beautiful and some were tacky. It was quite a mix and they were from states in the union, far and wide. We went to a bike show in a stadium, where we saw customized bikes that were outlandish or mind boggling. Then we went into the city itself and walked along one of the mustering roads. That was something. From there to the Daytona International Speedway where it was bamboozling to see the thousands of bikes and bikers and vendors and everything you could imagine and more related to bikes. We thought we had reached the saturation point and headed to the Orlando Visitors and Convention Bureau to get Chris. Heavy traffic on the way back. More than we expected but we are finding that to be the case most of the time: you think you can do the trip in 30 minutes or 50 minutes and it takes that and half again.

Visited with Chris and Laura and Jocelyn. Got a few cute pics of her and of Chris; I thought they would go in "here" but they popped in at the top of my entry...still a learning curve with the blog!!! We watched the latest Delta rocket mark the evening sky as it carried it's spy satelite into space.

So that was was quiet and now Mike is at the pool for a read and a rest. His cough is improving but the antibiotic is taking a lot out of him. He takes no medication whatsoever so when he is on something, he is hit hard. We will head to Luge Lane tomorrow morning for the big party. This morning we found a Flea Market and it was the biggest one we have ever attended....once more, Florida Amazing. Got a few fleas and the bag of things to bring north is filling up. This time next week, we will be packing. Can't bear the thought!!

Thanks for dropping by today. It has warmed up from this morning and it a lovely day. I can't even think about the cold...this is another shorts day. Another coming along for tomorrow.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A day for the record books

Well this one is almost done and it was a dandy. Mike has been coughing his head off for a few days and for some reason today he agreed to go to the doctor. Now going to the doctor in Florida is not quite as easy as it sounds but not as difficult as you might think either. We went to the pharmacist in Publix and asked if there were any doctors in the vicinity and she gave us the card for a lovely practice nearby. I then called our insurer and that took about thirty minutes to get straightened out. Off to the doctor...the insurer sent his information to the practice and as we went out the door...Mike left the keys on the counter. Now I had a spare car key but not a spare key for the shack. We had to do the first things first so off to the medical clinic. We got a computerized tablet with every question you could imagine to be answered on a touch sensitive screen...another 15 minutes; then the wait; then the nurse; then the wait; then the doctor...three prescriptions and off to the pharmacy. But to get back into the shack.

Called Chris and told him to send an email to the owner. I had her email address but what I didn't have was the "what to do book" which was INSIDE. So Chris sent an email and we then waited again. A long story in with the key which was in the bottom of my bag. DON'T EVEN ASK. This really doesnt' sound like much of a day but let me say, there were a few tense hours in there.

So back to the pharmacy for $128 worth of drugs. The patient is already quite impatient but at least I am off his case. That alone should be worth the $128.

All of this happened after a morning of rain and a lot of shopping. We were pretty tired when the whole drama commenced and now, over a glass of chianti it almost seems bearable.

More on the shopping trip after the wine. Come back!!

To prove we were here...

Florida skies and a few from Sea World...lovely day, great outing.


Thursday in the Sunshine State

Today is our first look at Florida rain but it's supposed to be headed east in a couple of hours so I guess that means it's going to rain in the east in two hours. Or something. We thought about going to Daytona today to poke around Bike Week but we may wait a bit and check that out.Mike has a cough. I think he needs to see a doctor to get a puffer of some kind. The cough is getting worse and it's as though he is going to cough up his shoes. It may be a bit of a problem to find a local doc but I will be on the hunt today and will check with RBC insurance to determine what they will suggest. Then of course, we have to see what the PATIENT suggests. That could be another sotory.Sea World was lovely yesterday. It's our favorite park as you can do a tour in three hours and feel like you have seen something. It's always new. We left at noon and had wings for lunch and then came back here to the shed and napped for awhile. Part of whatever's going on with Mike: he gets tired. I do too and we needed a good rest up yesterday afternoon. He went to the pool for awhile, to read...not to swim. Will add some pics!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I saw my first ultrasound yesterday and while three of the people in the room recognized everything they saw, I needed a bit of a tutorial. Essentially after checking all of the vital organs and bones and sizes, they started looking for something and when they didn't find it, the tech said "it looks like a girl to me!" and that was that. A baby sister for Jocelyn in twenty weeks. Very very exciting and we were so delighted to see this procedure. The baby is going to be called Bhreagh and that is so amazing since I hoped they would call her that, and NEVER SAID A WORD ABOUT MY NAME CHOICE!!! I just hoped Chris might think of it. GiGi said yesterday that she will spend her whole life spelling her name and I said...NOT SO..Ask anyone in Nova Scotia how to spell Bhreagh and they will do it correctly...especially all of those Cape Bretoners!!! That's the big news of the to Sea World...thanks for popping in today!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Strawberries and other things

My pictures need to be cropped to improve the look and I am not used to this computer and what it does; just for now, here is our strawberry girl!!

Hendrick Motorsports in Charlotte

Just to prove I was there!

Dale (SR) signed Jeff Gordon's car after his win at Daytona in 1999 (I believe). Each car in the Hendrick's museum is a winning car from a major race in a particular year. The building below is in Concord NC, the Museum at Hendrick. In between the two buildings you could walk up and watch the pit crews practice, which we did.

Mike is in fine company here!!

NASCAR Hall of Fame

Glory Road, banked to simulate each of the different tracks.

Obviously this is outside looking up; the one above to the right is in the Hall of Honor. So much to see.

A little shopping tour

A beautiful day today; we did a little shopping outing this morning but neither of us is really into it just yet. Lots of time and the list isn't that long.

Mike has a terrible cough and I am not sure if he is going to need a trip to the doc or not. He says no and I guess that's going to be the answer but if he isn't improving in a couple of days, we may have to bite the bullet and go. We both had colds before we left and mine is better now although I was still coughing when we were on the road but he seems worse in the last few days. It's a wait and see situation at this point.

Off to get Chris in an hour and then after the visit for the ultrasound we will likely have Shroves for supper. I offered to bring my box of pancake mix from Cracker Barrell but Chris informed me that's not the way they roll and he will be doing them from scratch!! I thought the mix was a pretty good idea but not for him.

All for now. I am going to read awhile while Mike is at the pool. We checked out the club house this morning and it's quite something with several exercise machines, a pool table and a huge entertainment space as well as the access to the pool and hot tub. There were oodles of people there this morning and apparently you should arrive early to get a chaise. Everyone was as brown as a chestnut...have they never heard of sun damage?! I will look like a sheet when I get there!

Enjoy your day; more when we know about baby!!

A couple of pics

It's difficult to get a good picture of the place; you just don't get a good sense of space but the one on the right is taken looking in from the entrance and the other is from the dining room back. Door in that one goes to the queen suite and in the other pic, just beyond Mike, is the larger one.
There is a balcony which goes out behind Mike. Pics are only so good.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Things and stuff

Well this place is set up. Things I found that I needed/liked/hated/couldn't can figure out which is which:

...lots of those ugly dry flower thing-y-s that are everywhere in Florida (I have been moving/hiding them this morning), including a pretend tree which is now in a closet.

...a needle and thread

...super glue

...baskets of all kinds and sizes

...fluffy white towels of all sizes

...a calculator operating air fresheners

...every utensil known to man, including a lime juicer (being on the key limes for a pie) iPod docking station, a DVD player and a great tv

...walk-in closets that are as big as our bathroom

...a desk for the computer whici is two meters long

...phones to receive calls and make local calls (863 420 6754)

...everything you could want in a kitchen, including a dishwasher and garburator

...and the hits just keep on coming. Watching Regis and Kelly at 9am...I usually miss it here in Fla because I forget it's on so early.
Have a good one; more later.

First morning

It looks grey this morning but you can't tell with Florida weather. It changes like it does in NS except that the swings are faster. This could be a banner day but it could be something a bit less. On the up side, there is no snow anywhere. Later I am going to check the web cams and see what the roads look like at home. Has there been any snow since we will be hard to tell!

I just made tea (King Cole that came along with us) and Mike is still in bed reading. He is tired but I think today will help both of us to get back to normal. He has a terrible cough which I suspect is from the pollen from the thousands of trees which are in bloom. I am hoping to get a main-pedi today somewhere. It's very quiet here, like in the country. However, if we drive for five minutes we are in the midst of it again...the traffic and the little shopping centers and the residential areas.

Speaking of which...this complex is enormous. I saw cars from MA and NY and Iowa and several from Ontario. Lots of Jags..the nice old ones that were so fashionable. Where do all of these people work? Last night driving home from Chris and Laura's, the traffic was amazing. As far as the eye could see, red lights in one direction and white lights from the other. Where were they all going??!! It takes us almost a half hour to get to C and L's from here in all of that, but it's at high speed and it takes almost that to get to Pictou Lodge when we are at home so the time is really relative.

I find food expensive in the grocery stores. Yesterday we went to Publix and whereas one time you expected to find food bargains in FL, I don't see it. It's pretty well dollar for dollar with NS on the things I bought but perhaps these basics are the same anywhere. Plus, I was buying the smaller sizes which are always more expensive. I have seen four Boars Head sauces I am going to bring home and I need all of the Emeril's Essesnces except for the turkey rub. I get that in Maine when I can just cram in one more bag.

Got all of this weeks 40% and 50% coupons off from Joann's. Most apply for one item only but I now have to find a Joann's. They are around and I listed some off the internet last night.

Well this is starting to ramble. Glad you took a look today. I know everyone is busy. Home day for Brian which is always a red letter day on his calendar. You can try out the new car! Aaron I see you are busy too with school and Graduation. Wish Rika a Happy Birthday from us. We are going to see about downloading Skype on this computer but Dad is less interested in it that I am. Also have to see today about getting my photos downloaded to this computer. ... by the way, I looked seriously at the iPads a few days ago. The new ones are coming out very soon so they are discounting the previous/older ones. I may wait...I may not to look. Enjoy your day wherever you are!! Till later!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Catching up

While we were staying in hotels is was very convenient and easy to get caught upon the travel and things done but when we left Charlotte and headed south, things started to change a bit. I am giving the short version this morning and will catch up this evening when we are back in this unbelievable condo. More on that later!!

We left Charlotte and decided to push through to Chris' place and arrive there around six thirty on Wednesday evening. Chris was working late so we visited with Laura and Jocelyn and after an hour or so, headed to the Holiday Inn for the night. In the morning we drove through and checked out these digs from the outside and then on to see Roger and Maureen in Largo for a bit. Then on to WEsley Chapel for two nights with Bonnie and Peter. They are the most remarkable hosts and we loved being with them which was our experience last year as well when they were in Perry Georgia. We played some bridge and ate well and had a generally fantastic visit. They are leaving for NS in a month. On Saturday we met with Chris and Laura and Jocelyn along with Laura's parents at the strawberry festival in Plant City. Thousands and thousands of people. When we were worn out, we dashed off to Largo again for Roger and Maureen and stayed with them overnight, left from there and now we are in our place.

Well we are speechless. You ought to see this place. My description would not do it justice but I will say it has so exceeded our expectations that we cannot believe it. I am unpacked and we will be going off to Publix to fill the larder in a bit. Really it is fabulous and we will be back. Although I hate to leave, we will be going to Chris' later today and will have dinner with them and when baby and parents are off to bed, we will be too. We don't plan to do anything tomorrow. WE have been on the road in one fashion or other now for seven days and it is tiring. Tomorrow we are going to hang around here. I will get caught up on details; hope Aaron and Brian are checking this blog now and then. I know Carol is visiting and thanks for doing that!! Wilma too, maybe. Anyway, if you are reading this, I am glad you stopped by and from now on I will be back on a regular schedule of updates. The next major thing is finding out if we are getting a boy or a girl in July!! Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The good, the bad and the ugly

WEll making hotel choices isn't my strong suit. In fact, between us, Mike and I can make the worst menu and hotel choices. If we are tired, we take the first thing we see and say 'this will do' and then regret it but tired is a factor in decision making. The last two days in Charlotte we definitely had the good. Lovely room. Lovely. Big. Clean. New. And get this...when you registered, you got a card for three free drinks EACH at the managers reception and were invited to drop by for snacks. WEll we did that, with a certain skepticism only to find salad, spring rolls, popcorn chicken and baked potatoes, along with salsa and taco chips and regular chips and dip. ... and the six, beer or spirits. PLUS there was a free hot breakfast. WEll that was the good. $100/a night. We stayed two nights. Worth it.

The bad is tonight's choice. TIRED was the factor and we ended up at a HOliday Inn Express that is as tired as we were. On the plus side, the room is a suite with three rooms and two flat screen tv's, the whitest and biggest fluffiest towels and beautiful new drapes and sheers. There is a full kitchen which we don't need as well as a large dressing room between the bedroom and the living room. No breakfast. $100 a night.

The ugly was a Best WEstern somewhere in New England. Old. Looked good on the outside...the shell..but old. I could practically touch the ceiling. Cheaper than the others but still tired, old and sad. We decided we had seen the last of the Best WEsterns. Haven't been happy with any we stayed in. On the way home last year we stayed in one somewhere in NE and I stayed awake half of the night, thinking someone was going to charge through the door and pummell us to death. Huge room; but worn out. Would have been quite grand in it's day, which had long past.

So going home we will stay in Hampton Inns which we like. At one time, there was a slogan that went "At the Holiday Inn, the best surprise is no surprise". Well I hope they have retired that slogan because this was a surprise. In the halls it looks like a women's prison. The doors have dings. and the sad thing....just around the corner: three newer hotels which were on the right side of the street for easy access. We often decide on a hotel if it's on the right side of the street and don't have to make u-turns to get in the driveway!! Yes I's all our own faults!!

Off to see Bonnie and Peter tomorrow. We visited with Jocelyn and Laura tonight as Chris was working late. What an adorable little girl. Can't wait to see her again on the weekend. Thanks for dropping in. Pretty soon we will be in our own digs and I can't wait to see if it's good, bad or ugly!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The electronics tour

So we are on the road and just how much electronics should two people be taking in the car to Florida???
  1. my camera, battery charger and its cables
  2. his camera and its cables and whatever else is in that camera bag
  3. my GPS because I find his too complicated, and the cable for that, and the mounting gear
  4. his GPS because he thinks mine is too simple and he likes complicated...and the cables
  5. Sirius satellite radio, moved from his car to mine...and the cables
  6. my phone and the charger
  7. his phone and its charger
  8. his computer which neither of us seems able to do without
  9. A PRINTER STILL IN THE BOX (don't even ask me!!!!)
  10. my iPod, cable and ear phones
This seems like a lot to me......

NASCAR Hall of Fame

Well we decided to stay two days in Charlotte because this is the seat of all things racing. Too much to see in one day; too much to see in two but that was all we were willing to devote to this pursuit. We did the reading last night and headed out this morning to Hendrick Motorsport. Hendricks is the team for which Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson all race. Hendrick has a 100 acre 'campus' in Concord NC which is about a ten minute drive out of Charlotte, close to the Speedway (which looked unbelievable from the outside....HUGE!!!!). We visited the museum first and then the team buildings. This is the place where the cars come and is actually the base for these four racers. In addition, any racer can have an engine built here. Of course you don't get to go into the areas where the engines are being built or where the industrial secrets are being executed but what you do see is pretty impressive. We also watched the pit crews practice which in itself was quite something. One person glues the lug nuts onto the rims of the tires so when the tire guy removes the wheel, the lug nuts are already on the replacement. They replace 4 tires in thirteen seconds. After a couple of hours there we headed into the heart of Charlotte for the Hall of Fame.

Charlotte is a very old city and it's laid out in a circle.. very convenient for navigation!!!! The streets are numbered or they have n, s, e or w after their name. It is a freaking nightmare to drive around Charlotte because you are driving AROUND. Mike said he was driving in circles for two days and he was!!! In the end, we stopped the car, I got out a little tourist map of Charlotte and after locating ourselves, gave him the directions right to the parking. Not that difficult really but we had been struggling with the GPS for a bit and finally gave into good old fashioned reading and pointing!!

Once inside, the HoF was amazing. I took lots of pictures for my own personal memory book and it was a great day but there was too much to see in a day. TOO MUCH. It's like an art gallery that you would go to a few times to really enjoy. There is quite a history to this sport (I know lots of people don't believe it's a sport) and the personalities are huge. The people who follow racing are die hards who love the people and love this checkered history. After all, it all began when moonshiners were trying to out race the revernuers and their competition lead to races, the fore-runners of those we love today. In Daytona, originally the races were on the beach and on the streets. It's come a long way in it's career.

Anyway that was Charlotte. The daffodils are all out; beautiful blooms on trees. It looks like spring here. We were in shorts today and it's all good.

Thanks for stopping by. Gloria...I wasn't successful with your list at the Gift Shop at the Hall. Only managed to get a hat for Gerald. The ones you suggested for the kids just weren't there but I will keep my eyes open at other NASCAR stores along the way. Got Gerald's Hall of Fame hat but they didn't have one for 2010. Hope he likes what I got.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Charlotte NC

Well we made it to Charlotte this afternoon, the 28th. Charlotte is the Washington of the South and is a very busy city. Deadly traffic; high speed travel and quite nerve wracking for me. I drove some of the way here and was in a sweat when I turned the driving back to Mike.

We got here too late to go to the Hall of Fame so we will do that tomorrow. We plan to have an early breakfast, go to the Hendrick Motorsport shops and also to DEI if we have a chance. Then a few hours at the HOF which should be fun. Charlotte seems to be all about racing and there are many places you can go here to get your fill.

Tonight there was a tornado threatening the south and we had very heavy rain and thunder. It felt like rain since we got here. There are flowers in bloom all over Charlotte and trees that are covered in tiny pink blossoms. Very beautiful. We did a bit of shopping at the local Kohl's and I decided it was too soon to think about buying anything although there were dozens of interesting things.

Wilma texted that they are in Jacksonville tonight. They take their place tomorrow. We have lots of time and will be at Bonnie and Peter's on the 4th and then to Davenport.

That's about it for day 4. Tomorrow is just tourist things. Mike is asleep already and I think this easy day was good for him. He got his Sirius going this afternoon. My new GPS is easy to use and getting us where we want to be. So far it's all good.

Thanks for stopping in and more as we go.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The dreaded Day 2

WEll day two is in the can at this point and what a day it was. We woke this morning to snow and more snow in Portland and that continued for a few hours. Terrible driving and white outs. We wouldn't drive to Hfx in that kind of weather and here we were slugging along through Maine, NH, Mass and ultimately to Maryland, DC and now Virginia. We are in Fredericksburg for the night and are likely to head to Charlotte tomorrow.By the time we got here, it was 13C which was quite a change from the - 8C we started out in this morning. Mike did all the driving today but tomorrow, in the south, the driving will be easier and I will get a chance to help. He's a trooper.

Forgot to say that we arrived at Mardens last night at quarter past five and they close at five on Sunday!!! Very disappointing for my shopping tour!! As far as the driving today is concerned, Mike and I have two different opinions. I was stressed to the max and he just trucked on through. Boston was fine. Then came NY. We drove down past Yonkers and crossed the George Washington Bridge. That process took almost an hour and then heavy traffic down along the ugliest stretch of highway in the world. Past Newark Airport and through Elizabeth NJ which is unbelievably industrial...oil storage tanks as far as the eye can see. Hard to describe really. We were shocked by the amount of traffic. Hartford was fine and I guess the absolute worst was along Baltimore and then around DC. By that time it was dark and that makes things worse. As far as the eye could see both forward and back...headlights and tail lights. I know that we won't be going home that way and likely never drive that way again. Stressed beyone belief with crazy drivers by the hundreds.

But we are here safely and that's what counts. Easier tomorrow. Will have to check out the NASCAR Hall of Fame before we leave here so as to be ready. I am tired tonight. Mike is already asleep and it's only ten.

So hope things are good with you. Thanks for stopping by and more to follow.

Day 1

Well day one is in the books and we are in Portland Maine at an old and rather sad Best WEstern. They will do what they want to these grand old dames but they are still old. Not bad, but just old. Anyway we got here around 7pm after a long day but now quite as bad as it could have been. Roads in NS were worse than we would have liked but we waited to leave till 9 and things were cleaning up by the time we got to NB. Roads there were great and continued to be better till we got to the bare ones in Maine. Just a long day...nothing much.

Today, Day 2, we are heading on the harder drive. We were surprised to see snow falling this morning but hope it won't be much. Should get through Boston, NYC and beyone DC by evening. This is the hard day; hope it's a good one.

Thanks for dropping by!! Still checking our email just in case!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Getting ready

I guess step one of the process of going to Florida has begun. We now have a place to stay which is in Davenport, south and west of Orlando. We thought this year that we would get our own place as it's very challenging for Chris and Laura and Jocelyn to have the parents there for two weeks or more. With a baby, there are schedules to go by and jobs to go to and I think it will work well for us to be about 25 minutes away so that we can go and visit any time we want and when it's bed time, hop in the car, head down #4 and get to our own nest. It's a two bedroom condo and this will give us a chance to know if we want to be there longer and in what type of accommodations we want to stay. Some friends have their own units in parks; some are rv'ers; some rent homes. It's just a matter of finding what works for us. We are close enough to go to the coast and visit with friends who are there but the main thing is to be able to see Chris and Laura and the baby any time we want. Stay there for the day with Jocelyn and get to know her; have them come over for a visit. Have a chance to entertain the inlaws. I think it will work well. In fact, I am now really interested in getting set to go. Starting to make a list of the things to search out in the grocery store. My new cookbooks by The Barefoot Contessa references 'good' pasta; 'good' canned tomatoes...I am making the list and will be shopping at Whole Foods and The Fresh Market to find those items. Also I need another dozen cans of Rotel tomatoes. There is more to shopping in Florida than outlet stores!!