Thursday, December 22, 2011


 We left Florida on Monday morning.  The trip was an excellent drive, coming north on highway 65, through Bowling Green Kentucky which was a lovely lovely area.

We arrived in Whitby in time for the Gingerbread decorating fest.

It was a great fun night and amazing how different each person is in their ideas of

There was a bit of dilemna as to who could possibly taste the creations of the decorated men as the amount of icing was only left to how much one could control the piping coming out of the tubes.

Oh, Jeremy, you taste it first!  He did and thought it was yummy stuff.

A lot of time was spent by the boy decorating his man which is the one with the least amount of decoration on it.  Who knew?

On a different note, here is a photo of happiness personified.  Me with the dog on the beach in front of our villa.  The weather was fabulous for December and the dog actually loves the beach walking.

We are returning in January to finish our stay at this place.

Just a photo of how great it is to travel with the dog....the photo is of his favourite stance in the car.

He slept all the way home.  Only awakening when we had a pitt stop or parking for the night.

Truly easy for both of us.

So, dear friends in blogland, Merry Christmas till I connect again in the new year.

We are all like friends aren't we?  We may never be face to face, but it feels like hugs just the same when comments are posted on our sights.  It usually makes my day, so I hope that I'ves spread a bit of cheer throughout the passed year, and that we will all get together again in the next year.

Again, Merry Christmas to all of you and yours.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


 We moved from our so called "beach house."  I am pleased that the landlord was very accommodating and refunded most of our monies that had been advanced.

It just was not what we expected.  We wanted the feeling of being in Florida.

So, yesterday morning we packed up and found this little piece of paradise on the Panhandle, not too too far from where we were.  One
must believe in Karma!  We had passed this pink residential hotel a few times after getting lost, noting that it was right on the beach.

This is perfect!  I mean perfect!  Every unit is different, except that there is the same bedding which has these very very cute quilts on the beds.

 Also our living room has hand painted pillows.  They are very quilty looking and I think I may get into this when I return to the cottage.

Note for anyone older than 50, this is the original typewriter table, painted green and so wonderful to bring back memories.

We have a one bedroom, green walls, retro feel to the
unit, what with Marilyn, Liz Taylor,
and Bing Crosby on the walls. Also the bathroom floor is small black and white tiles.  Now if this isn't just the most perfect place!

The beach is close as you can see from the photos.  We cannot believe that we have found such a place.  It must be the best kept secret by snow birds! 

This morning, I stepped outstide with the dog, to smell the salt air and see the beginning of my happy days.

Helen if you read this, please send email to same address as I have lost my computer address book.  Same address at gmail.

Friday, December 9, 2011


First, I cannot tell you how happy I am to be back after three weeks in limbo and on the road.

We arrived in Florida without any problems, but our computer went into shock and we lost all our data.

Of course the back up system is
at the cottage and we cannot
get to it till spring.  So, I've lost all my email addresses which fortunately, I'm pretty good at remembering family and friends most of the time, but so many of bloggers are just a "reply to" that I don't have those.

Oh, well, work for me while I
am shopping at Joann's Fabrics.

I went shopping the third day here, but without internet, I've not done anything with the fabric.

I bought greys, blues and a few patterns that will make a cute
quilt after Christmas I am sure.

The fabrics were all on sale for about $6.00 per yard. 

I didn't buy enough so am going
back Monday.

 I wish I could say that this is our house.....really, but alas, this was a house in Alabama.  One of about a dozen of these beautiful old houses that are still kept so beautifully.

Our rented house would fit on
the veranda of the above house. It is pretty small, but we are close to all amenities which is good so that I am able to drive to the grocery store and could now go to the fabric stores by myself.

This is the dog.....he slept like this for the whole a
baby.  The motor starts and we put the car in drive and he passes out!  How good is that?  A great travel dog I tell you.

Here in Florida on the pan handle, it isn't a very good economic area and all around us are business, and homes in foreclosure.  It is very sad.  On the street where we are, the  other night a family moved out in the darkness before the sheriff put a lock on their contents.  A young couple too, which was so sad.

How fortunate we are that we can come here and enjoy the wonderful weather, although a bit cool at night.  Everywhere we go, we are welcomed which is something to say for the southern hospitality that is abound.

So, as a neighbour told us that a treat for their children would be a trip to McDs.....we are indeed blessed.

On a lighter note, we have free calling to family and friends in US and Canada, thanks to our generous landlord.  And of course SKYPE.  Lots of laughs before our computer fritzed.

Talk to you soon. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


 A while back my friend Shay (Quilting in my Pyjamas fame)  noted that she had this solitary zipper.

Heh, I blogged to her, send zipper and I will use it.

Well the zipper has arrived.  It is a lonely thing to see, one little blue zipper.

So Shay decided to add other goodies since she was mailing to Canada anyway.

This little item which looks like a pumpkin or maybe an orange strawberry is a bag.  It's pretty wrinkled when one opens it, but it will hold eggs, milk, bacon along with a few more grocery items. 

Oh, I've already tried it out because you know how much I like bags!  The cashier thought it was the coolest thing!

Ah the next goodie!  I cannot tell you how delish these little chocolate candies are.  I didn't even share them with my sweetie as he would have wanted too many. 

Shay said in her lovely little note that they aren't made too far from her home.  I'm thinking I would have applied as a taster for the company.  Very awesome taste.

The package also included this bag of yummies yet to be tasted.  But if they are half as good as the above, I won't share these either.

Thank you Shay for all of it.

We are house/dog sitting while our friends are in Cozumel, and not having the best weather because of rains.  Still better to be served in a lovely place by pleasant staff than having to prepare you own meals.

In Canada we are huge all inclusive people. There are hundreds of planes from Toronto alone that take people to all inclusive resorts to the Carribbean.  It's a very Canadian way of vacationing in the winter months.

The two little outfits on my right were made by my friend Helen at the cottage.  I haven't seen the many many other blocks that will result of this work, but you can be sure the final results  will be wonderful.

We are about 10 days away from leaving for Florida.  I am excited to leave to begin our adventure of the winter.  I know hundreds of thousands of people go south for the cold seasons but this is our first. 

I wish now that I had packed some fabrics to keep me busy when we left the cottage.  I've been knitting and donated a couple of dozen pairs of socks to a charity, but my left elbow seems to have some tendon issues so the little fingerless mittens are on hold for a bit which leaves me with not much to do.  Ah well, soon soon, I will be shopping at Joann's in Florida.

I know the weather in November is not always the best here in Canada and northern US, but gee we could have still been at the cottage!  Yesterday the temperatures were about 70 degrees, or about 18 Celcius.  Of course we are quite a bit further south than the cottage in Whitby, but still we could have been there because it is a mild fall season.

Friday, November 11, 2011


This morning we will be at the ceremonies in Whitby.  We should never forget how fortunate we are.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I have never been a fan of the changing times....It puts my rythym out of sinc for about three months.

What is the purpose?  I remember being told that the farmer could now milk his cows in daylight...duh...they have nighttime milking too!  Ok, I didn't believe that one.

So here we are now in the year 2011 and the Old Indian in my photo had it right.

An update on our life without cottage time for you.  We are at our friends' house in the city, doing this and that as they are almost ready to leave for Mexican holiday for two weeks.  Then we leave for Florida.

Our life has not been without drama.  About the second day we arrived, we saw a pesky mink trying to get into the fish pond.  The mighty dog Wilson scared the mink away.

So, it was decided by the owner of said pond to put out a trap to catch the mink.  The trap caught a little skunk!  The dogs discovered that little stinker!  Yes, they smelled!

So, then the house stank, the dogs stank to the point of airings and de skunking baths for the dogs.   Have you had experience with skunks?  Poor little things....anyway, a towel was put over the trap and then it was released.  All clothing was then put into a garbage bag but it took almost three days for the smell to be gone.

No more minks, and definitely no more skunk in back yard!

The weather has been fabulous, to the point that we think we could have still been at the cottage.  Oh well good to know for next year.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


It's always better to close the cottage on a calm sunny day.  This year we hope to do the same.

Today, we have a bit of a breeze but still managed to get the sewing machine and the equipment that goes with it over to the marina.

My sweetie is in charge of all that.  I have been cleaning out the fridge, preparing our final meals when Bob and Mary come tomorrow to help us close.

Our dear friends Bob and Mary have been, over the passed few years been there for us.  We are in pretty good health this year, so we can pitch in so much more than last year when I had a bad hip.

We are expecting sunny days for our big jobs.  |The docks are to be taken out Saturday morning I think and then we will pack up and leave.

It is always a sad part of the year for us, but this year a new adventure begins for our winter in Florida.

To top off the season, I saw three white tailed deer at the back of the bunkie on Monday.  Of course the bear has been here to take another bin but no damage was done and hopefully he will forget to torment us next year. 

I am now thanking those of you who read and follow my blog.  It is always a good day when blogging.  I never thought I'd get to know so many wonderful people from all over the world.  Thank you all.

I'll see you in a few weeks when my new adventures begin.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Our weather conditions are fit for neither man nor beast these days, but here at the cottage both are being kept busy doing little jobs.

My sweetie has been keeping the generator going in the day time and our wonder dog is so wanting exercise that he has been going up to the workshop to supervise the job.

We are still without power, not to be daunted, last night's dinner was baked potatoes (microwave), then made hamburgers with fried onions to finish off the mains, and as we have lots of pickled beets, we added those.   Not the best of meals, but it tasted so good considering I am able to only use one burner at a time .

Today, the first of our company arrives.  Bob and Mary are here as the advance party to prepare for the week end feasts.  We should have power by this afternoon.  Am making pizza dough in anticipation.  If we don't have power, well maybe the BBQ will help us through this.

Our neighbours have closed their cottage and have just left. Their dog however, wanted to stay here with my guy.

 We are in our last week of living here.  After this, we are off to house sit for Bob and Mary, for a few weeks, then off to Panama City Beach Florida.   An adventure awaits us.

Favourite things Friday is on holiday, but if I was posting this week, I'd say the generator and the guy that makes it work is absolutely my FAV.

NB>  In the last 20 minutes, the power came back on, we started the dishwasher, washing machine and the heater is on in the sun room.  The neighbours weren't even gone five minutes when Helen (just arrived at another dock) shouted to them that the power had just come they came back and finished their cottage and are now on their way home till next spring.   It's like we wait 15 minutes and life changes.....a big thanks to Hydro One for their efforts.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


 We woke up around 4 am to so much noise from the winds, only to realize we were once again without power!

Not only that, but our boat was sitting sideways in the dock area.  The wind and rain on the lake actually caused two of our dock lines to break! 

We couldn't go down to see if there was any damage done, because of the winds and the gusts.  We awaited day light to
find this.   The propellor actually saved
the boat because it achored itself in the

So, my sweetie is having another busy day securing our life here at the cottage, and on his birthday too!

The motor was raised and our boat was then gently pulled over to the dock and secured with new ropes.

I've been saying that the water was very
low, well here is a photo of our beach!  Actually the water is usually up to the top of the blue steps till September, when the water from our lake is diverted to continue the use of the Trent Canal system.

 Amazing that in this day and age, a hundred year old tradition is still in use, and we suffer from it.

Now, we are comfy due to the wood stove,
the beloved generator, and of course my
guy doing his best.

Yesterday, was a great day at the machine.  I tell you, I made lots of big bags and little bags to fit into them.

They are a sight.  I used a shower rod to hold them in display as I have no room in my little corner.

Now, I'm going to buy some little zippers to make more of the little bags as they have multiple uses.

The saving grace of today is that it actually isn't cold, just raining.  The winds are calming by the hour and our neighbours are still coming up to close their cottage. 

Hopefully we will have "the hydro" back up by the time they arrive.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


First, let me say KayJay at My Fat Quarter is having a big giveaway...go see her. I don't know how to must be easy though as everyone does it....just not me.

We now have our power back.  First thing  I did was turn on the dishwasher, then loaded the washing machine, turned that on while my sweetie turned on the heaters in the sun room.

It truly is amazing what we take for granted.  I tell you I try to not forget how
wonderful electricity is.

I cut out and made the first bag on Tuesday afternoon.  I also added the little pouch to go inside it.

I didn't have any strapping that matched, so made my own which, by the way is simply three inches of fabric, halfed, then pressed to the inside again so that the selvages don't show.

I hope that the recipient loves them.

A few more man bags are required, so I've done a couple more.  I bought the grey strapping which was 60 Cents a metre on sale at Fabricland.

I'm using up so many scraps!  I am going to run out of zippers for sure, but I plan to cut more of the smaller bags to insert into these larger bags.

I could never go into production to make any money as I can do a little here and there and then I have duties to do you know, such as put wood in to the stove to keep us warm.
I don't know how people get an etsy business going.  I'm good to make a few a day, never mind even a quilt...

This last bag is for my granddaughter who is at Ottawa U.  She has a computer bag of this fabric.  It's from Liz Claiborne fabric.

Anyway, we are winding down our stay at this place.  The season I feel is coming to a close.  We are planning to be here till the end of the month.  Our neighbours to the east are leaving next week.  That will leave just us.  Everyone on our island has closed up.

Yesterday the dog and I took a walk along the shores of the island to see that even the hardy youthful owners have packed up and left.  It's the water levels more than weather I suspect, although the storms of November do rock and roll the water.

The winds have changed to the east.  Good for me!  The sunroom will be cozy warm, and I can sew.  More rain is coming for the next couple of days.  It's everywhere isn't it?

I don't care.   I'm happy because we have a gang coming for the weekend.  I'm getting ready for that. 

Monday, October 17, 2011


 Yesterday, our neighbours left with the top down, faces into the wind and went for it!

Their dog Mac wasn't so keen though, he's not a fan of boats, but he went because that's where the family was..

There will be a return to close for the season later this week, because without power it is difficult to drain and winterize.

Here we are day three of the storm, well it has diminished to the point of just windy and choppy out on the lake.

Inside, it is cozy as we have this wood stove which gives us the warmth required for even the coldest of days, however, there is no going into the sunroom without heaters.   It's just too cold because that room has no insulating.   Those big windows don't have any of the R factors needed.

We have lots and lots of wood.  We have food, so what more do we need?

The power was supposed to come on last night....nope, now the report says maybe 4 pm today.

There are about 200 customers without power.  Here in Ontario, we call it "hydro" it is the name of the company that provides us, so everyone has come to call it "the hydro".

The hydro is still off is what we are telling Bob and Mary who were supposed to arrive on Saturday...So not today then either.

So, (sew) I am knitting my little fingerless gloves.  What else is there to do? 

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Of course one never loses power in daylight!  Last night around 8 pm, we lost power at the cottage.  We are all without power still.  We probably won't have any till about 10 pm tonight.

We have a generator which we purchased about 15 yrs ago.  When we bought the cottage we moved it here.  It is the best thing we've brought here, honestly.

(nb.  I can hear the helicopter searching for downed wires as I write this)

We didn't put it on last night as we felt that we needed to preserve the fuel.  But this morning we put it on, had a pot of coffee made and stoked up the wood stove too.  We are cozy at the moment.

Just as I was putting on another pot of coffee to take to Kent and Kath, who should appear but Kent with a coffee pot to be plugged in.  "Most important item of the day" says Kent.  He had a coffee while he waited to take his pot back to their cottage.

It isn't cold, so no worries there, but the winds have come up again, the boats are rocking like crazy, but we really may not have enough fuel till the power comes on so my sweetie has gone to the marina to get the gas.

At times like this, one appreciates the little things in life that we take for granted.  Electricity is so necessary and it isn't till we have none that we realize how much we depend on it. 

If I can get some of our precious wood heat into the sun room, I will be trying to sew today as intended.  Otherwise, it will be the knitting.

At least it isn't raining....yet....but oh those winds!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


 Ok, it's not quite this stormy as we are not on Lake Superior (photo), but it's really really windy, and the rain is unbelievable as it comes!

There are four families on the island counting us.  Three of the four boats are at our docks!  The water is low everywhere else so people have closed up.

The not so new now neighbours arrived to
close up for the season.  Not nice weather
so I invited the girls over for a craft session.

The spaghetti scarves took on a whole new level when I let the teens have at it! 

Erin is very artistic so hers was made with two braids, navy and black.  The navy was cut from her mom's scarf (by mistake, but still created)

The girls learned how to use the rotary cutter for the first time and for the girlfriend of Erin, Gina made an awesome yellow scarf, then added a white braid to hers to give it the original look.

 Gina also learned to thread a needle and made a knot.

Needless to say, Gina is very proud of having learned a few things about working with great tees.

Then Mary made her red scarf which is so amazing on her as she is fair so the red is perfect.

She then mixed it with a white scarf which the girls thought she had taken it off her dad's, he has three others like it...

We also found that the tees that have no seams make the very best scarves.  All in all a couple of hours
of spending time doing crafts on a really stormy
afternoon is not so bad!

This storm really began yesterday around dusk which meant we were settled in for the long night listening to the boats and docks rocking.

One of the boats went across the lake to pick up a guest and encountered difficulties so my sweetie went across the lake to bring the men back, to make sure that there wasn't any damage to the other boat and that the men were good.

Today, they all went back to get the boat which stalled one more time, but managed to make it back to our dock!  (This is Helen's boat )

As the photo shows, there is discussion as to where to put the boat which is on the outside of our docks.

  It is very very rough  for a boat to be riding there, however what can be done as it is so crazy weather.

We are alone as our friends decided quite wisely to wait till Monday before making plans to come due to the weather.

 Sixty miles per hour gusting winds is not a safe journey across the lake for anyone.

So, tomorrow I plan to start a new quilting project.  Probably some more bags for gifts and the bazaar at my mother's nursing home.  Should be fun. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Thanks for asking about my tooth people!

I feel great, just a tad sore, but you wouldn't know looking at me that I'd had surgery to remove a tooth, do a bone inplant and here I am, all smiles.

I am to rest, so Mary is looking after me and my sweetie once again with soft good food.  Who knew that scrambled eggs with cheese and even crustless peanut butter and jelly sandwich could taste so good!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


 When we have Thanksgiving dinner at my friend Mary's house, the table is always set beautifully.  The lovely napkin set up was so nice that grandson Jeremy just didn't want to spoil the look by taking it apart.  The black ribbons on the napkins was perfect!

My sweetie carved the turkey while I supervised of course, and twenty pounds
of carved meat went quite quickly along
with all the fixins' as they say.

Pumpkin pie ala mode or whipped cream with apple crisp topped off the dinner.

We were all moaning about how full we were of course which says that the food was great!

 Our rocker has been completed and looks amazing.  I took a photo of the lake view from
the work shop deck which just shows what a great spot we have.

I think the dog figured out that he could
see squirrels better from the chair.  He didn't
mind the chair rocking at all.
I posted my "man bags" last time  and they were a huge hit.  Grandson is going to Halifax training camp for sprint canoe for a week, so he is so happy to have a bag to put all his stuff in.

Grandfather noted that now he can loose his stuff all at once now that he has a man bag.....snort...

Also gave granddaughter pot holders.
"What are they for Nana?"
Me...for taking pans out of the oven!
Granddaughter...well you better send me a pan and recipes for the oven then!:

I didn't laugh in her face!  But her mother told me that she hasn't used pot holders in years so how would her daughter know what they were!  They now have pot  holders.

And....she loved the spaghetti scarf, wore
it as she left the house to go back to
University with the instructions to make
black ones too. 

We are returning from the city to the cottage on Thursday following dental surgery.  If you think I MOANED about my foot, wait till you hear of my dental work!  I'm having nightmares!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


 First, here is my "man bags".  I don't have many manly colours.  Even my black fabrics aren't manly.  But the men in my life need their own little bags for their personal |"stuff". 

Yesterday, being one of those perfect perfect days on the lake, quiet waves, sunshine, temperatures being about 28/82
degrees.  Hot enough for a summer day!

I decided to keep being the bag lady of the family with these two bags.  I had to move the sewing table out of the sunshine which was coming into the sunroom so that I could see what I was doing, it was that bright of a day.

Also, I wanted to show you the spaghetti scarf on the right which Helen made.  As my private teacher, she likes some of my way out there ideas.  She also took her daughter's tee shirt to give to her as a gift!  How good is that idea eh?

Her daughter loves tea, so the little tea cozy is just a perfect thing to keep on your desk while you work and need your tea fix.  It is cute beyone belief.  Quilted of course.

 Also, needless to say Helen made some awesome pot
holders. Quilted scraps and designed so that the back is not quilted.  Since I broke my little Canon sureshot, I didn't carry the big camera over to her place.

The mornings on the lake are usually hazy in the autumn days as the lake is warm, the morning cool hence the foggy looks of the lake in the early morning.

We count all these days as blessings, because usually on Thanksgiving, we've had rain, blowing winds and it is cold enough to send us running to the city for the turkey feasts.   This year, we wish we could stay here and that the family was here as the weather is like summer.

But, it is not to be and we are off to Whitby for my friend Mary's feast.  I am making my famous (family only) pumpkin pie and the apple crisp that is easy to carry on our travel.

We seem to be rid of the bear (fingers crossed) as no one has had a sighting for ages, and the neighbours who offered restaurant fare at their fridge also haven't seen hide nor hair of the creature.   Because it is bear shooting season we suspect that it may have been too close to a gun and therefore we no longer are living in the nightly fear that any little noise is the bear ripping into what ever was available.

I'm aware that we live in this animal's habitat, but he was certainly making us afraid to venture too far from safety for a while now.  I may have spoken too soon though as it may have found a better food source, a place to settle for the winter to have decided to book his spring vacation on our island in 2012.  I hope not, but we are ever vigilant.

On finishing this blog, I've got the radio on listening once again to the stories on Steve Jobs of Apple Inc.  I am not a techie type.  I have a phone to call people, I don't play games on a little thing no bigger than my playing cards.  I don't spend my day texting as I prefer to talk to people.  Oh, I'm getting older by the minute.  But honestly other than a date calender if one is in business, to what has the world descended?

That we cannot move without these bloody devices in our hands?  Have you ever been having a conversation with a person and their phone indicates a text coming in and the world stops while they read that instead of realizing that a real person is next to them.

I have a rule in my car for my grand kids.   Do not, and I mean NOT, use your phone in my car.  Enough said.  Am I wrong?  Does everyone need this 24/7 in their lives?  I'm at the cottage and a land line is my source of talk.  Other than my trusty computer to rant and rave of course.