Saturday 31 December 2011

Have a Safe & Happy New Year!


Our Year in Review-2011

To me, our first winter in our house was a blur. I remember some snow but mostly we just got through it. Gordon enjoyed doing some winter photography. I wasn’t happy about not being able to walk every day due to snow, ice and unplowed sidewalks. We have now discovered that our new community centre has a walking track which we’ve used quite often in inclement weather.

I do remember a winter drive we took on a loop road to the Ompah area. We were supposed to do it in warm weather but we only did part of it this summer. It is a very pretty drive even in winter.

On March 1st, our great nephew, Jack was born to my nephew, Nicholas and his wife, Becky. He looks a lot like his Daddy. We’ve seen him a few times, mostly at family gatherings and is growing up to be quite a boy!

In April, we started Taoist tai chi and we continue to go twice a week having only missed a couple of times when we were away. It’s supposed to help with balance and all kinds of ailments including arthritis and joint problems and a few of our members can testify to that. If nothing else, it gets us out to meet some of the locals and gets us off the computer and out of our chairs.

Also in April, Gordon bought a Fujifilm FinePix F550 EXR compact travel zoom camera and I inherited his Panasonic Lumix ZS7 compact travel zoom camera, so now I have two cameras. I’m starting to feel like a photographer LOL!

In May we changed the living room carpet. I couldn’t stand the deep burgundy one that came with the house. It reminded me of  a funeral home and just couldn’t keep it clean. We now have a nice light coloured carpet and are very happy with it. It sure brightens the place up! We also put on a new roof which we knew had to be done. Gordon did some outside work, including painting our little shed.

RVing friends, Dee & Jim arrived for a visit in June and stayed for a couple of weeks at our local RV park. We had fun getting to know them and taking them on tours around the area. In July, Gordon’s daughter and her family visited for a few days. It seemed like a long time since we had seen them. The grandkids had really grown!

Gordon fought a box elder bug infestation all summer. I think we went through six or seven bottles of Ortho Home Defense. For a while, he was out killing them off every hour during the daylight. Hopefully we’ll have a cold enough winter to kill them off as we’ve had them now for two summers.

August found us back at Betty and Garth’s cottage near Lindsay, Ontario for our annual cottage weekend. We hadn’t gone in 2010 because of my cataract surgery.

Also in August, our niece Danica came out and had dinner with us. She was playing soccer here that evening and they won their game! Also in August we discovered that egrets had come to Ottawa so we went to Ottawa a few times on errands and wound up taking photos of the egrets at Andrew Haydon Park and Mud Lake. We were excited to see them come to us since we can’t go to them!

n September we took a day trip to Kingston to celebrate my birthday. It was a beautiful hot, sunny day and we enjoyed spending the day there. Kingston is a beautiful city.

We took many Fall foliage drives in September and October and took many, many photos. Our Spring was wet, our Summer hot and dry and our Fall warmer and drier than usual this year. There was even talk of a green Christmas however Christmas Eve and Christmas Day came through and we had our white Christmas.

At the beginning of October, we made another trip to Garth and Betty's cottage to be with them for our Canadian Thanksgiving.

For our 21st anniversary in November, we tried a new restaurant called Calamity Janes in Addison, Ontario, about 20 minutes drive from us. It was an excellent dinner. I had emailed them about our food problems and they were able to accommodate us so it was very enjoyable and nice to get out for a good meal.

I am still fighting with food problems and plan to see a naturopathic doctor in the new year to hopefully be able to find some alternative foods that I can eat. I’m very restricted in what I can eat right now which doesn’t allow for a lot of variety. Consequently I’m always hungry as I think I’m missing something that I need. It’s also causing weight gain as I’ve turned to cookies, something I rarely ate in my lifetime.

Betty flew to Ottawa for Christmas and stayed with Margie & John. As usual, Gordon and I drove in for Christmas dinner at their house. It was an enjoyable day but unfortunately the worst of a snowfall was coming down as we started for home and a 50 minute drive turned into two hours, but we made it.

As I sit here writing this, snow is again coming down hard and we’re supposed to get really hammered overnight.

We’re enjoying living in the little town of Smiths Falls and getting to know it better. It’s not like a lot of small towns where everyone knows your business. We know our neighbour right next door but not really well so it still feels as if we’re in the city. There is pretty much everything here that you need on a day to day basis and Ottawa, Brockville and Kingston aren’t far if we need something we can’t find here. Our doctor is still in Ottawa and we wouldn’t give her up even if there was any taking patients here in town, however we have found a dentist and a chiropractor here that we like and the hospital has been remodeled so I’ve had various tests done there.

We’re fixing up the house little by little so it’s feeling like home! 

Friday 16 December 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Today we got some sun, so we went out and took our annual Christmas card photo. We are lucky that very close to us is The Country Christmas Shoppe complete with two female Siberian reindeer, Star and Spirit. We were lucky that they wanted to become part of our Christmas Card.

Merry Christmas to all from Gordon and me and Star and Spirit!

Sunday 4 December 2011

Out and About

It was such a beautiful morning we decided to go for a little drive. We ended up going south of town around the Frankville area checking out back roads.

The scene above reminded us of Texas as did the two below (without traveling 2000 miles). The sky was so pretty!

This was quite a herd of goats. It was much bigger than seen here.

 We saw lots of pretty red barns this morning and one yellow one.

This is called Mother Barnes Homestead.  
 Mother Barnes was quite a colourful lady. You can read about here here.

We weren't out very long but it was an enjoyable escape from the confines of the house and it was just too beautiful to stay cooped up.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Smiths Falls Santa Claus Parade

It was a warm, grey day for our Santa Claus parade but I think everyone in town was there. The main street was lined up forever. We stood on the corner of Elmsley and Beckwith Streets and had a good view of the parade coming toward us and turning the corner. The Macy's parade it's not but for a small town it was well done.

The Gordon Pipe Band playing Jingle Bells as they passed us. Nothing like Jingle Bells on bagpipes!

Our mayor, Dennis Staples

Chimo Cheerleaders (elementary school)

And finally, the jolly old elf himself!

Someone's little dog was doing tricks on command.