Sunday, December 17, 2017

Dec 16 - Cottage chores

Bring in wood, clear driveway, shovel deck ... yes, it takes more time to deal with everyday life in the cold.

This morning the temp is -17F/-27C - not a record by any means but cold. The good news is that it's supposed to warm up from this low, but at the moment the temp is still falling.

The snow blower got a good workout yesterday. I love the heated grips ! Wood burns quickly when you're constantly feeding the fire and I made multiple trips to the woodpile.

Otherwise, not much happening.

The ice is about 4" thick but it's at least two layers. The weight of the snow makes for a lot of slush at the shore and there's not enough ice to walk far out ... yet. The snow blanket insulates the water below from the cold, so it won't build up quickly.

With a lot of shoveling I unearthed the grills and we had tuna. It wasn't as good as fresh in NSB. Some fish gets fishier with freezing; tuna goes tasteless, as do shrimp.

Today I may head to Parry Sound for Mass rather than Britt, and pickup wine that's awaiting us at the LCBO. The cold is a bit of a deterrent. We shall see.

Onward !

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Dec 15 - lots of snow !

We arrived at the cottage at 2:30 pm, after stops in Barrie to see Stef, Barrie Costco for a few items and then Parry Sound Sobeys and Canadian Tire.

The drive was mucky from south of Parry Sound right into the cottage with snow coming down heavily at times and limited visibility.  That's par for the course.

I'm sure that it's not a record for this time of year but I had a lot of digging to get into the place.  Clearing the steps to get down and then the entrance to the barn to put the X5 away took most of the daylight that we had left. 

The new snow blower did a great job but I only did what was necessary to get in. I'll finish it up today.

The generator started right up ... that's good.  With all the heaters on, the place gradually warmed up but it's never 100% comfortable on the day of arrival; it's toasty now.  The outside temp was about 22F when we arrived and it's now in single digits F, heading for zero at day break (about -18C), and then -8F (-22C) tonight.  Brrr.

I brushed off the satellite dishes and the internet came on.  I thought that I still had a problem until I realized that no, I've got a new phone and it's not connecting to the wifi automatically.  duh. 

There's ice but I have no idea how thick.  I'll go out this coming morning and check that out.  I'll need to get organized to do some ice fishing !

Onward !

Friday, December 15, 2017

Dec 14 - extended travels

Touch and go - we weren't sure if Sandy was going to make her train. At one point the Nav said that she'd be 15 minutes late. We crawled from Brantford to Hamilton. Had the train not been 2 minutes late ...

I backtracked to Hamilton, found parking and the passport office, expecting to spend an hour or two in queue. I was out of there in less than five minutes, checked paid and scheduled for pickup next week.

More backtracking to Jason's and picking up a salad on the way, I caught up on some emails, packed the car, then Cassie and I said goodbye to Kim and headed back into stop and go traffic to Hamilton and Oakville. I made arrangements with Sandy on the fly, picking her up at the Oakville Go, dropping myself at the dentist and she went to meet Joyce.

Two temporary crowns later and she picked me up and we headed to the restaurant on Lakeshore in Port Credit, had a glass of wine with Angelika, Pat, Joanne, Janet and Denise. It was good to see some of the old work gang ! Patty and Dawn were missing from that periodic get together; other commitments.

I should mention that this is the first time that I've had wine through a straw, my mouth way to frozen to do anything else !

Off again, this time to our hotel by the airport only now we were ready to call it a day.

Whew. Northward Ho !

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dec 11/12 - prep and go; Beckley

Loaded up, I had a conf call with my Canuck club while Sandy headed to the airport to pick up Jim and Sheryl. I was through in an hour, just after they were back.

The 12th was our first driving day, mostly uneventful until the last hour in WV where we had close to zero vis and blizzard conditions. Traffic was heavy and we crawled.

Safely into our hotel at 6:30 pm, Cassie was bounding in the snow, so excited. She had a blast.

We walked to Ruby Tuesday for dinner only to find it closed due to the weather. Wimps ! So we walked a mile, measured by Sandy's watch, in the blizzard to Outback. They had a problem with their heating ! But we had a good meal anyway. We decided once we were back at the hotel that it was stupid to walk .,,

Today we're onto Brantford and then tomorrow we've got appointments to keep.

Northward !

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Dec 10 - ice ?

Ice on the windshield this am; must be partly an evaporation effect because it didn't hit freezing. Yikes. A sign of things to come ! We'll definitely see frost tomorrow (Tuesday) night as we travel north.

Patti Himes was over for dinner last night. The ladies had a good time. I missed yet another opportunity for a good picture. Rats.


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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dec 9 - major excitement

I installed my snow tires, prepping for the trip north. That was relatively easy but even with the helper pins, the front wheels are still a pain without someone on the brakes stopping them from rotating. I was lucky with the drivers side and then cursed at the passenger side.

In the house later, Marda and I heard sirens. Soon there were three police cars in the cul de sac and two fire trucks. Fearing the worst, I went outside but a neighbor's friend told me that they'd called 911 because of some fellow swimming up to their place.

He was swimming with T-shirt and shoes, told Jim that he was from China. He wasn't Asian. He asked Jim if he could cross their property and Jim said no. As the fellow was at their mangroves, Jim decided to call the police.

A while later we also had a lifeguard and they launched a pwc up at the park. Apparently they did retrieve him. We don't know any more. There's nothing illegal about swimming out there but it's decidedly weird.

It was Christmas party day at Jim and Joanne's so that ended our day. They try to time it with the boat parade but it didn't work out this time.

I've got a bunch of stuff packed. I will finish up tomorrow planning an early departure on Tuesday. We are planning on making it to Beckley WV.

Northward.... soon !

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Dec 8 - this is getting to be a habit !

Another Disney day, most of the day for Sandy and Marda; afternoon and dinner for me.

It was a 6pm close day, due to the "Mickey's very merry Christmas Party" that started at 7pm and ran to midnight; that's right, for more money.  You have to have a special arm band to be recognized as having paid your dues and they block you from moving around in the park, eating or partaking in any attractions without the band.  Our dinner reservations were for 6pm so we got to Tony's before 6 and they gave us special bands that allowed us to hang around on Main Street for a little while after dinner -- they don't want to stop you from shopping !

We did have a good dinner.  The weather was perfect.  We sat outside at Tony's, which is close to the entrance. 

Lisa looked after Cassie, giving her dinner.  I was home just after 9pm and Sandy & Marda soon afterwards, so she wasn't alone all day.  I'd left around 2:30.  I'm sure that Lisa played with her !

Three days -- today, Sunday and Monday.  We leave on Tuesday.  Our exit should be easier this time because we're not closing up; Jim and Sheryl are returning on Monday.  We'll actually leave before Marda; J&S will take her to the airport on Tuesday.  It wasn't supposed to be that way but I've got that dentist / crown appointment on the 14th and now Sandy has a hair appointment that same day.

Today, perhaps, I'll get the snow tires on the car.  Kim sent us pictures of snow on the ground at their overnight stop on the way back to Brantford.  We'll see cold temps and snow pretty soon !  Ugh !!!!