Monthly Archives: August 2013

Sarasota Weekend


We drove over to Sarasota to see Dan and Jaclyn Friday night.  They came for pizza dinner.  I woke early Saturday and took the dogs for a walk.  This is a photo of Sarasota Bay at about 7:30 a.m.

Sarasota Bay

On Saturday afternoon Peter and I drove to Nokomis, just South of Sarasota.  We drove around the area and then had dinner under the Tiki Hut  at Spanish Point Restaurant and Pub.  It rained on and off during dinner, but there was a nice breeze and we watched a lot of jumping fish action.  Then, just before the check arrived at the table, a pod of Dolphin swam though Blackburn Bay in front of the restaurant. I ran out onto the dock to see them up close and try for a photo.  Of course, no luck with the photo, but I did see the dolphin and then up in the sky a Pink Flamingo flew by!  That was the  first time I have ever spotted a Flamingo in the wild.  Very cool to witness a wild Pink Flamingo! Unbelievable! 

Blackburn Bay, Nokomis, FL


Morning Moon


Yesterday morning at the pool I was looking at the full moon with Coach Gordon.  He said it was a Blue Moon.  There it hung, amazingly beautiful in the  dark morning sky.  This event was the silver lining to waking up at 4:45 a.m. to swim. 

I looked up the definition of a Blue Moon on Wikipedia:

A blue moon is an extra full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year, either the third of four full moons in a season or, recently, a second full moon in a month of the common calendar. Metaphorically, a “blue moon” is a rare event, as in the expression “Once in a blue moon.”
The phrase has nothing to do with the actual color of the moon, although a literal “blue moon” (the moon appearing with a tinge of blue) may occur in certain atmospheric conditions; e.g., when volcanic eruptions or exceptionally large fires leave particles in the atmosphere.

When I stepped out the front door this a.m. to take the Puppas on their walk, this is what I saw:

Morning Moon

We had thunderstorms last night which made the morning air heavy and hot.  Lucky for us, there was a cool ocean breeze blowing which made walking at 6:45 a.m. tolerable, if not pleasant. 

With the usual tangle of three leashes and a few barks, we struck out and around the neighborhood in time to see the sun reflected off of one of my favorite trees:

Favorite Banyan Tree

As we rounded Juno Crescent, we once again, came upon the morning moon, still clearly visible in the Western sky.

Morning Moon, August 22, 2013



Finally, I can bring everyone up to date as we arrived back home in Hobe Sound, late Saturday night. 

We woke Sunday morning to no internet service and no coffee.  I could not do much about the internet as Comcast said it was a billing issue to be resolved Monday at 8 a.m.  But, I could do something about the lack of coffee.  I took off for Starbucks, and on my way, I was greeted by a beautiful rainbow!

Rainbow photo taken at Red Light

Vacation is definitely over now.  We are back in Hobe Sound,  and there lots to do, to clean, to unpack, and to fix before we are completely settled.   Still, it’s kinda nice that when you least expect it, one good rainbow can turn your day around and brighten any chore, no matter how big or how small!  

It’s good to be home! 


Still seeing the Rainbow at Starbucks!


Gas Station Garden en route to Queensbury

After a good nights sleep in White River Junction, we took off for Queensbury, NY to visit Peter’s family.   Three hours later we arrived, parked the car and walked up to the back yard. 

Backyard view

Mom and Dad were home with Nellie their beautiful black Lab.  Peter’s brother, Brian was at work.  His sister and brother in law, Karen and Andy were driving in from Buffalo that evening for dinner.  So we had lunch and caught up with Mom and Dad.  Then Mom and I went and looked at her quilts.  She is a very talented quilt maker and her collection of quilts is extensive.  I enjoyed seeing all of them, but my favorites are the 1930’s style quilts.  

1930’s Fabric Style Quilt!

After looking at the quilts, we decided to take the dogs for a short walk around the neighborhood.


We found the brook, and saw all the beautiful gardens.  The dogs loved exploring the neighborhood. Shortly after our walk, Bri arrived home early from work. 

Kar and Andy arrived in time for dinner and a nice visit.  After dinner, they took off to visit Andy’s daughter and son in-law, before returning the next morning with their adorable, grandson, Lucus.

Lucus, Andy, and Karen

After a big, delicious breakfast of homemade blueberry pancakes, made by Peter’s dad, we were back on the road headed to Florida.  Although short, it had been a lovely visit.  We were happy that we were able to stop and see everyone and we are already planning our return, next summer!  

Oh, and of course, I almost forgot to mention it was a perfect visit, except that Nutty Bee turned into Mr. Bossy Pants with Nellie.  We all know Labrador Retrievers, are kind hearted dogs.  Nellie, however, is extremely kind, plus she is sweet and very gentle, too!   Bossy Pants, Nutty took advantage of Nellie and screeched and barked at her on every encounter.  I so wished she would bark or smack him  like Cooper does to Nutty,  from time to time.  Other than Bad Dog Nutty Bee, both Chewie and Cooper were very good and I think they are welcome to return, next summer.  Nutty remains a question mark, as he is currently on the Very Bad Dog List!

Mr. Bossy Pants with Sweet Nellie!

Down the Road


In the midst of packing and getting ready for travel we had a bit of excitement courtesy of Nutter Butter.    After dinner the night before departure, I cleaned out the fridge and pantry, put all of the groceries in the car and drove directly to the Millers.  I do this every year as it does not make sense to toss items when others can enjoy them.  As soon as the car was down the drive, Peter took the dogs out.

Although he may be small, Nutty Bee is very smart.  He knew something was up because I had been packing the car earlier in the day.  The minute he got outside and saw that the car was gone, he panicked and though that I was gone, too.  Apparently,  Nutty decided that he needed to go find me.  Peter turned his back and Nutter Butter took off.  He ran like a bat out of hell down the driveway!  Peter called and called, but no Nutty Bee.  He put the Papillions back in the cottage and set out in search of the little guy.  It’s difficult to say how far Nutty traveled at dusk down the drive and through the woods, but he was definitely out of site. Peter called and called when  suddenly a small brown fluffy animal with tongue out and tail down, appeared on the ridge of the drive.  Defeated, but  none the worse for the wear, Nutty was found before an Owl or other predator, picked him up for dinner!  Oh, Nutty, you are a very bad dog!!

The next morning we woke at 3:45 and took off for the Digby ferry.  Once we landed in St. John we traveled  toward Queensbury, NY.  Our route was beautiful taking us though Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Vermont, again.  As we approached Hanover, VT.   Nutty started barking and so we pulled over at a boat ramp to take a break.

This is what we found:

River at Boat Ramp

Walk to Boat Ramp

Adjacent to the ramp was a small town hall and this charming building! I had to investigate!
And so we walked over and met the force behind the Gardner Roberts Memorial Library, Peg, a retired school teacher.  Together with her husband and with a little financial help from the author, Stephen King, this building was moved from Howard’s Pond to it’s current location.  After moving it, they renovated, adding heat and insulation. The library functions on grants, and donations.  Every Wednesday Peg makes banana bread to sell for the benefit of the library fund.  Our time was short, but Peg recommended we take a detour up the hill to Howard’s Pond.  


And so, we did just that and this is what we found: 

The Pond is ringed with charming small cottages, boat docks and there is even a floating dock! Howard’s Pond is a rare find and maybe next summer we will stop for a picnic and further explore the area.

All too soon we were back on the road headed to White River Junction, VT for the pet friendly, Comfort InnIt had been a long day, but thanks to Nutty Bee we found more than we could have imagined down the road to Queensbury! 

And Peg, thanks for the delicious Banana Bread.  We did enjoy it! 


Tiger Lilly found in front yard

Sunset, August 12, 2013

Last night when we took the dogs out Peter noticed an orange glow to the north over the bay and forest.  It was not a fire as it extended a very wide area.  I can only describe what we witnessed as a  luminous stream of light wide in the Northern sky.  I do believe it was the Aurora Borealis, in spite of the fact that the Northern Lights are often green or blue.  

This morning we woke to an overcast sky.  That did not stop the mossing boats from visiting Jordan Bay. Now it is pouring rain.  The rain makes it a lot easier to focus on packing and preparing the cottage for departure.  Still, I would have preferred to get out today for one final adventure on the rocky shore.  We usually always take a walk to explore the coastline, climbing the large boulders and balancing on the smaller rocks.  We like to inspect the tide pools while searching for buoys, line, unusual rocks, shells and sea glass.  You never know what you will find washed up on the coastline.

Mossing Boats, this morning , August 13, 2013

As the morning progressed, the weather turned very wet.  We will schedule a rock walk adventure for 2014.  There’s lots I am already looking forward to next summer.  We never did get to Charlotte Lane this year.  The Miller’s said that next year we must watch the amazing draft horses pulling at The EX.  We will miss the annual Pirate Festival next weekend.  The list goes on . . . 


I feel like we just said hello to Grandview Cottage, and now it’s time to say goodbye.

Goodbye, Grandview Cottage,  see you next summer!

Into The Woods


The great feature at Grandview, is Jordan Bay.  Although I do not often mention it, The Woods is the other beautiful and constantly changing part of the landscape.  About three quarters of the property is woodlot.  The rest is the open lawn and rocky coast. 

The first thing you notice when arriving at our location off of Sandy Point Road, is the driveway. 



The driveway curves down and up and around and through the woods.  Finally, you arrive at the top of the hill and see the cottage and the water beyond. 

On our walk today we were surprised to find a tree down on the driveway.  Good thing we had no plans to go anywhere.  Peter got a saw and in a matter of minutes the drive was cleared and we gained more firewood for the woodpile.  

From the driveway there are several side trips to take.  Our first excursion into the woods was in search of the Hessian ruins.   The German soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary war for the British were given land in Nova Scotia, for their service.  This property was at one time, home to a Hessian soldier and family.  Up on a ridge, behind the cottage is the ruins of their homestead.

Ruin of Hessian Homestead

After checking the Hessian home, we went back up the driveway toward the road and soon heard one of the Babbling Brooks that cut through the property. 

One of Three Brooks in The Woods

Then, we headed toward the pathway that Mr. Miller uses to check on our property in winter.  Just before Miller’s Path, we explored the rusted out remains of an abandoned truck in the woods.  

Mossy Path to The Miller’s Place
Rusted Out Truck in The Woods

Fungus on a Birch tree

Finally, we threaded our way back down toward the meadow to follow the woods along the water and over to the Northern property boundary. 

The Bay View from The Woods

View Through the Brush

Over the years the woods has transformed as the Spruce trees die of disease.  In their place hardwoods such as Birch and Maple are growing.  There are also several very large and ancient Oaks on the property.  Like Jordan Bay, The Woods is constantly changing except for the fact that it surrounds the cottage on three sides and remains home to the deer and a variety of other wild animals. 

Found Things


Sunrise, Sunday, August 11, 2013

I have a tendency to poke around looking for things that interest me.  Over the years visiting Canada, I have found a few unusual items. 

Ox and Cart, Craft Sale Find
Oxen Team, Garage Sale Find

First and foremost,  I have stumbled on a few original pieces of locally made Folk Art at garage sales and craft fairs.  That is where I found the handmade wood carvings, above.

Stuff found at Beth’s

Although I consider the carvings collectable Folk Art, my favorite source of good junk has always been Beth.  A local woman, Beth spent every winter combing the Maritimes for vintage clothing and unique stuff.  She had a keen eye and being native to the area she knew all the places to search for special one of a kind items.  Each summer she would set up her yard with tables and put out a YARD SALE sign.  

I never knew exactly when Beth would be open for business.  It was always a hit or miss proposition.  But when I drove into town and that Yard Sale sign was out, we pulled over to check out the sale tables and also to see what was inside her cottage, as the front rooms were her shop.  Most all the good stuff I have at the cottage was found at Beth’s.  Beth’s is where I found a beautiful jar of vintage Christmas balls, a Canadian stand mixer, Cinderella sewing machine, and a  patched up piece of Roseville pottery, the list of items goes on and on and on . . . While I shopped the housewares and books,   Lisa would explore all the vintage clothes and accessories.  She played dress up every time we visited Beth.  Even Dan would explore and find a knife, or a book, or other unusual object.  We never left empty handed.

Looking back I wish I had taken photo’s of Beth’s Sales.  A few years ago we came for the summer and there was no sign of Beth.  I finally asked a shop keeper in town about my friend.   The lady told me that Beth had been diagnosed with cancer the previous fall and did not survive the winter.  My heart fell.  This news came as a terrible shock.  I still find it difficult to believe that Beth is gone.

As much as I miss Beth, she does live on for me.  I cannot come to Shelburne without thinking of her.  Just about every small item in the cottage reminds me of Beth.  I will always miss her beautiful smile and all the fun and knowledge she shared with me over at least 10 years of many summer visits.  She cannot be replaced and there will never be another Yard Sale, of the scale and quality of Beth’s. 

The EX


After hanging out reading the paper online this morning we cleaned up and headed into town to The EX.  I will admit that compared to evenings at The EX, the daytime experience is rather reserved.  The large crowds arrive at night as that is when the action happens.  Once the sun sets around here we hardly ever go out at night so today’s events were fine for Peter and me.  There was lots to do and see. 

The Team Arrives!

We purchased wrist bands and made a beeline to The Ox Barn.  Ox Hauling was well underway.  Today it was The Free for All, so anyone could work their team.  We immediately found our neighbors, Ralph and Brenda Miller in the stands watching the action.  Brenda said that they buy season passes in order to arrive at 10 a.m and hang out until closing time at 10 p.m.  The EX is a community event where The Millers see neighbors, family and friends while taking in all the different venues.   

Ready to Haul

In the evening, it’s all about music and contests.  There is the Little Miss EX Pageant,  The Burnout Competition, and a Demolition Derby.  If your like me and never heard of a Burnout Competition, the Burnout is an anchored and chained vehicle burning rubber for one minute.  Whoever creates the most smoke, wins! This year there is an all new Seasoned Ladies Pageant, which is certain to draw a crowd.  And, as always, there is a large street parade to jump start The EX. 

Each Box on the Sled Weights 200 Lbs. This Team Won The Free for All!

Before farm equipment, Oxen were used daily for all heavy tasks on the land.  In Shelburne, the tradition of Ox Hauling continues today with children’s, women’s and men’s Ox Haul events.  The animals are beautifully presented with shiny coats and red yolks.  Each wears elaborate headgear, and a large bell on a collar around his neck.  Some of the teams just stroll right into the barn following their Master.  Then they are hooked up to a sled and weight is added.  A man with a long stick measures the distance of each weighted haul. After a successful haul, more weight is added to the sled until either the team refuses, or the Team Master decides to stop. Also, the team must stay inside of the lines taped like a runway down the barn.  

I posted a few videos of the hauling on my YouTube channel.  Please email me if you are interested in seeing a video of a live Haul.  The Team Master has a whip, but does not beat his animals.  Mostly it’s a tap or a wave over their heads.  The Oxen are amazing to watch and their power is astounding as most teams pull more than double their weight. 

Red Ribbon Rooster (red is first place in Canada)
Good Looking Guy!

After watching the Ox Haul competition, we took a stroll though the 4H Barn and then over to the Country Kitchen to see all the homemade and homegrown items on display.

Prized Pickles
Prized Woolen Socks

In addition to the animals, there was a botanical display, baked goods, jams, jellies, quilts and even recycled items on display.  Our visit to the EX  was the perfect way to spend the day.

Recycled Glass for The Garden
Indian Items

Bragging Rights

First Signs of Fall

I now claim bragging rights to having mowed the entire lawn.  It only took me five days, including one day of near heat exhaustion.  Maybe not such a great feat to some, but the view has transformed from scrabbled grass and weeds, to  manicured lawn.  Admittedly, the perfection will last only a few days, but I plan on enjoying  the pleasure of the accomplishment at least through Tuesday.  Our departure is scheduled very early Wednesday morning. 

Today is a day off.  No Yoga, no mowing, no Nordic Track, no brush clearing.  Just a day off to go and visit the  Shelburne Exhibition, affectionately known locally, as THE EX.   After the EX, we plan to visit Charlotte’s Lane for a well deserved lunch treat. 

Leaf stems turned red

And, to my friends that live in the North, no I am not trying to wish away this beautiful summer with thoughts of fall.  It’s just that when you live in Florida, you tend to search for signs of the seasons.  I most miss the Fall.  It is fun to recognize the small hints of the next season while here in Canada.  Please do not hate me for this small pleasure. 

Evening Fog Rolling In, August 8, 2013

Fogged In, August 8, 2013