Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Nice visit with family today.....

Our Location: Walmart Front Lawn, Hamilton, Ontario 

(all pics taken over the last two days with my phone)

The overnight was a bit chilly but the heater warmed us up pretty quickly. Of course the rain drops were loud on the roof but it wasn't too bad. The rain came and went most of the day but toward late afternoon it seemed to end and while things didn't really clear up it at least seemed to be getting a bit less wet outside.

We spent some time this morning sorting thru our purchases from the US. We needed to get some separated as we have a few things that need to be given away while we're here in Southern Ontario. We've now managed to sort, bag and label all the goodies for easy giving when we arrive were they will be handed out. With two weddings on the horizon we brought back a bit more stuff than we normally would have but at least we are assured that the gifts will be unique, truly one of a kind. 

St. Catherines Skyway Bridge.

Shortly before 11 am we locked the door to the Igloo, climbed into the Dogsled heading toward an appointment in downtown Hamilton. However as we were just pulling out at the end of the row sat a mini van with the hood up, booster cables attached to the battery but sadly the other end was just sitting waiting for someone to offer a boost. I stopped, popped the hood, shut down the Dogsled and gave the guy a boost. Seems he left his tablet plugged in and drained the battery (that was his story at least). He cranked it over and after a couple seconds it came to life!! He unhooked his cables, dropped my hood, and we were off. Our good deed for the day accomplished. 

The canal that runs under the sky bridge in the above photo

Riley's 11:45 am appointment was in the Font Bonne building at St. Joseph's Hospital with a Dr of Internal Medicine and Endocrinology. We arrived right on time but waited for an hour before getting in to the doctor. Dr Braga is originally from Brazil but now lives and works in Hamilton. This is Riley's second appointment with her. Blood work for this appointment showed improvements, she's happy with the weight loss and wishes to be kept updated with the rest of the appointments with the Gynecologist (when we have an appointment with the new one), wants to see Riley again in 6 months time. We were hoping to be finished with Dr. Braga but appears that isn't the case. We're booked again in late October which will be on our way when we head south again in the fall. 
In Hamilton this little bump is referred to as 'the mountain'
From there we headed to our old pharmacy to drop off a couple of scripts, one for Riley and one for me. We'll pick them up tomorrow. After that it was a matter of getting back to the Igloo for lunch. We were both starving. Left overs were the only things on the lunch menu today. 
That ugly brown is actually Lake Ontario, it's very churned up but the brown is actually water!!
The afternoon found us at the Dollar Store picking up a few little things that we needed, finding some other things we didn't know were available here in Canada but have purchased and used in the US. It's a moisture collector that helps to reduce some of the moisture content in the the Igloo especially in the closets. We also have one just sitting on the top bunk in Riley's room. The air circulation doesn't seem to be too good in Riley's room at times and a definite mustiness can be detected at times. These little containers have helped to rid the room of that problem. In the US they are called Damp Rid, I didn't notice the name here in the Dollar Store but the container shape caught my eye and it's the same kind of product. We're happy knowing we can buy them here in Canada as well. 
Not much green here is there?
We spent the rest of the time reading and just unwinding. I finished the book by Bette Lee Crosby called Spare Change. It was okay, not the best but not the worst either. A feel good, chuckle at times kind of read. I would read another book of hers if given the opportunity because I think she could truly settle into being a fairly good writer with more experience. 
I called this home for about 30 years, Riley was born here.
A couple of text messages between Bradey  (middle daughter) and I brought us to Wimpy's Burger Place on Queenston Rd at 6 pm for dinner. Bradey and David arrived right on time. They even parked next to the Dogsled in the lot. Since neither have them had seen the new truck I asked how she knew it was mine. With a big grin on her face she said, "First, it had no front plate,  second, the back plate was an Alabama plate and third, I looked into the drivers seat and saw all your cushions! With that many cushions it HAD to be your truck.". She must take after her father because I would never think to say such things. ~laugh~ 
We know these roads very well....
They both look wonderful, David will be getting his front teeth in late July. David lost some of his front teeth last summer playing baseball in a rec league. It's a long story but needless to say a painful one. He has only just recently had the posts implanted to hold the teeth that will be implanted in July. It's been a long process. 
Bradey is enjoying her work, and moving upward in the company. She works with Autistic children and enjoys the challenges they present. It's always a treat to watch her face light up when she speaks of different children (never by name or location) attaining a new skill, or level of advancement. She's always excited about different ideas for introducing new items to learn or play, new ideas for songs, etc. It's an area in which I wouldn't have thought she would have an interest but as she's matured she seems to have a found the perfect calling. I'm very happy for her and so very proud of her achievements. Bradey was recently given more managerial responsibilities which she seems to also enjoy and is looking forward to the future with this company. 
The fog was curling down over the edge of the mountain this morning
David is doing well also. He is enjoying his new job in which he wears many different hats and I don't want to give specifics in case I get it wrong. ~laugh~ David spent some time between graduation and this position looking for just the right place. It seems he's found it as it sounds as though he is well liked, well suited for and truly enjoys this job. I'm happy to know he's found something that suits him, that he enjoys and seems to be excelling at. 
We discussed a number of possibilities for their upcoming vacations and the July wedding this summer. They will of course be traveling to the Island for Jason and Leah's wedding. They will stay with us in the Igloo but will have to leave their dog, Leia behind for the weekend. Leia is a sweet thing, she is a Golden Retriever/Sheltie cross and is full of energy!!! A very pretty dog!!
Not as thick in some places....
After dinner at Wimpy's they followed us back to the Igloo where we visited for another hour and a half. Discussing various things, David even took the Dogsled for a little run, just to check it out. ~laugh~ They finally decided they had to leave shortly before 9 pm, taking with them a bag of goodies we brought back for them. Hugs all around, it would have been nice to have another visit with them before we leave but they are busy folks. 
It's greener in the city...
After they left we tidied up a bit and headed off in our own directions. Again, not a lot of excitement for anyone but us in our day but we truly enjoyed it. Plans for tomorrow will have us doing some work, visiting some old friends, old neighbours, and a trip to the dentist. Hope it doesn't rain tomorrow. 
Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed the visit. Until next time...be safe...take care... 

Monday, April 24, 2017

We made it....

Our Location: Walmart front lawn, Hamilton, Ontario CANADA

No pics today, I'm too tired to do the editing. Today's post may be a bit more detail than you want to know but it's for myself and perhaps to put some sense to the reality of crossing the border with a vehicle purchased in the USA.  If it helps ease the worries for even one person out there, its worth having written it. I was stressed out about this crossing, the broker made it seem very daunting when in fact the whole thing was quite simple. I'm sure it could have been much more time consuming, difficult and even more expensive but I truly had no problems. If I ever do this again I will be certain to use the truck lanes as it's easier to get to the proper place using their lanes. I would also use a broker again, it simplifies things and you pay less GST using a broker.

Morning dawned in Le Roy, NY with a bit of a cool tinge to the air but nothing we couldn't handle. We noticed the overnight temps didn't seem too much different than the evening temps which meant it didn't drop much in the overnight hours. We've found that when the sun starts sinking the temps drop fast but last night the dip seemed to stop when the sun sank behind the horizon. Maybe that's a good sign!!!

About 6:45 am I rolled over, hopped out of bed (not literally of course) and started my day. Moving day is always a bit of an interesting event. Upon rolling out of bed every morning the first thing I do is make the bed, EVERY MORNING. So as I finish each morning ritual on moving day I also pack whatever items need to be packed away when I finish using them. When I finish in my room, and my bathroom, I move on to the living room and kitchen area. Some things get tossed on my bed, others get put into the sinks, etc. You know the drill, it never takes long but I always do at least a couple of quick rounds just to ensure it's all taken care of. So this morning by 7:15 am I was ready to start packing up outside. Riley takes care of her bedroom and 1/2 bath, she is also responsible for getting her cat into the carrier, moving the litter box and food/water. It's amazing how easily she's slipped into the routine. 

By 7:45 am we were doing the last checks for getting under way. Checking of the lights/signals/flashers is the next to last chore, always one last walk around and picking up the leveling boards, etc storing them in the back of the Dogsled. Then we're off. We hit the road running at 8:04 am with the big Dogsled itching to get going. I will admit I made a mistake. I told Riley to find the Queenston-Lewiston bridge but to avoid the tolls which are on the thruway I-90.  Our RV GPS whom we call Phoebe took us to Rochester and wanted us to go some wild way that I can't remember. I realized we were going too far east and managed to get turned around but couldn't seem to get where I wanted to go. We opted to just go back to the campground and start again, which we didn't really do but you know we headed back on 490 toward Buffalo and took the thruway paying the tolls anyway. I'm always amazed that I never get charged the same price twice when towing. Today's tolls added up to about $20 US. I think that's outrageous for the amount of distance we travelled. With just a car or when not hauling the tolls are much more reasonable but add the Igloo and it's nuts. Anyway, I'm getting off topic. 

We arrived at the Queenston-Lewiston Border area around 11:15 am. With the construction going on there finding our way to the export office wasn't signed quite as well as I think it should have been.  I wasn't completely sure where it was so I jumped out of the Dogsled, asked a fella on the US Incoming side of the barrier while I was standing on the other side,  the US Outgoing barrier. (When approaching the lead up to the Duty Free building (this building is on the right) off on the left there is a road that leads to  building beyond the cement barriers, you need to turn left and cross in FRONT  of the incoming cars at the border check booth (these cars haven't yet entered the USA as they have to talk to the Customs officer in the little booth), going left in front of the building to where the big rigs are parked on the EAST side of the building. DO NOT go behind the building, it is for trucks being X-RAYED) He pointed me in the right direction, told me which door to go to etc. Nice fella. Another fella came along as I was pulling in to the area, pointed me in the direction of parking for big rigs and before I knew it I was shutting down the Dogsled, gathering my papers, passport and wallet, heading inside. Easy, peasy, go thru the red door, follow the hallway signs, end up in EXPORT, two nice fella sitting behind their desks not doing much of anything, one asked a lot of questions and before you know it the other one is coming out to check the vin number. He okays that, tells me to have a nice day. Took less than 10 minutes. I asked him if I should go thru the truck lanes on the other side but he didn't know, said if I did and it was wrong they could call him up and yell at him. I laughed, he grinned and I thanked him for his help and told him to have a great rest of the day.  (Leaving the parking lot, look for the sign that says TO CANADA with an arrow pointing to the left or west, take that road, it will merge into the traffic heading over the bridge)
Back into the Dogsled, across the big bridge on which there was only a single lane Canada bound due to some kind of watering/washing of the bridge surface about half way across. It was odd, just some guy hosing down the middle of the bridge, no one else around.  Weird. Past the slow down but decided to head  on in with the cars, just in case they didn't feel like yelling at the other guy. ~laugh~ Talked to the fella at the little  booth, explained about importing the truck, he wrote up the yellow slip, sent me to the parking area which ISN'T set up for a smart car hauling a bicycle never mind a truck with a trailer of any length. Parked where he told me and entered the building. The nice lady in there started chatting about non commercial vehicles, I explained it is a personal truck but it will have commercial tags as all pick ups have them, you can't get a truck tag that isn't commercial as far as I know. All four of my trucks have had commercial plates. I explained about the broker saying I needed to go to visit the brokers office first. She checked with another person in the office before informing me I needed to go around to the back of the building. Another officer came out to my truck told me where to get around the building and park, he even came round a bit later to ensure I had found my way. I thanked him for his help, we locked up the Dogsled and headed inside.  (Canada Customs building on the right, commercial vehicles, brokers, big rigs are reached by going to the end of the building, turning right and parking in the big lot behind the building. Go thru the glass doors at TRUCKERS ENTRANCE, brokers are upstairs to the right down a long hallway. Find the right broker suite, give a name, collect the paperwork, go back down stairs to the IMPORT office, step inside to the big long desk, find the IN BOX, drop your paperwork in the box and go back outside the doors to the waiting room. They will call your name when it's your turn. When you are ready to leave (you may have to go back out to the waiting room and wait some more) you return the paperwork to the brokers office, they give you what is YOURS, and your done. When you leave you will still have to pass thru the PAY booth but customs is finished. You can go to the duty free shop from the broker level of the building).

We climbed the stairs to the brokers office, picked up the paperwork (which I didn't need to print out after all even though the original guy told me I had to print it out), went back downstairs, dropped the stuff in the inbox in the import office, we headed back out to the waiting room. Chatted with a nice fella hauling cars, said he'd been there since 8 AM it was now pushing 11:30 am, said he'd been called in twice already. So I'm thinking this isn't going to be fun. We chatted for about 15, maybe 20 minutes, they called my name, I went inside, they handed me my paper work said, "You're good to go." I grabbed it, headed back to the brokers office upstairs, gave them what they needed, came back down, slid out the door and we were free to go. It was just about Noon. Took us less than an hour to do the entire thing. I can't tell you how easy it was, how relieved I was and how good it felt to be finished. ~laugh~ 

I called my dad right away as I knew he would be worried. He of course wasn't home but I left a message anyway. Jumped into the Dogsled, turning the nose toward Hamilton and we headed out. We enjoyed the drive along the QEW, it was uneventful, a bit windy but otherwise very calming and pleasant. The leaves are starting to pop out here, the waters of Lake Ontario were choppy and churning with white caps quite visible. We pulled into the Wally World, tucked ourselves up against the curb, checked with Customer Service, we were given the green light to stay for a couple of nights and hurried out to have some lunch. We were unhooked, and finished lunch by 2:30 pm. Shortly after 3 pm we were back inside stocking up on a few things that didn't buy in the US as they are about the same price but actually cheaper as there is no exchange here. Riley headed for the Tim's while I brought home the groceries. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon doing a few little things, calling a few people, reading and just kind of settling down a bit. My dad called around 7 pm and we chatted for a quick couple of minutes before he had to go which was fine as it was time to start dinner. Tonight we added a few more things to an already made but frozen 4 cheese pizza. Popped that into the oven and shortly there after we were enjoying piping hot pizza. 

After dinner we pulled out the Yahtzee game for a bit. I can tell you that Riley is such a little stinker, she rolled TWO Yahtzee's in one game. Can you guess who didn't win that game? ~Laugh~ I did roll a Yahtzee in the second game though and I even won the second game!!! I was glad we called it at a draw, I'm sure I wouldn't have won another one. ~laugh~ 

After that it was off to our own ends of the Igloo to do what we do to amuse ourselves every night. So there ends the busy day and the crossing of the border with my new to me Dogsled. It was an excellent day, I have absolutely no complaints, I'm happy to be back in the beautiful province of Ontario, and before long we'll be visiting with middle daughter Bradey and her partner David. I'm tired but it's a good tired. 
A huge thank you to cousin Craig for his wonderful information in helping me to get thru this process. It was as easy as you said it would be. Thanks again. 
Welcome to George and Susie from Our Awesome Travels. I've been reading their blog for a few years and have enjoyed their travels. George and Susie winter in the southwest most winters and I've enjoyed reading about their many adventures both there and here in Ontario. George prepares the most amazing things on his Weber Q, and I've taken many ques from his posts which has led us to enjoy some amazing things on our own Weber Q. Thanks for the tips George. I hope you enjoy your visit here, thanks for stopping by. 

Thanks for stopping by, it is most appreciated. Nothing too exciting but it keeps us entertained. ~laugh~  I hope you enjoyed your visit, feel free to leave a comment. Until next time...be safe, take care...

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Our last full day here at The Ridge.......

Our Location: Frost Ridge Campground, Le Roy, NY

(all pics taken with my phone)

Cool over night but it warmed up nicely today. The warmth was welcome but the wind made it cool at times throughout the day. We had sunshine all day which also helped to brighten up everyone's mood around the place. The gloom and doom seems to have lifted and happy, smiling faces seem to be norm today. 

We started off today cleaning as tomorrow we'll be pulling out so our cleaning day would have been messed up. We gave extra attention to some things as it may be a while before we have shore power again. We're undecided about where we're going when we arrive in Hamilton tomorrow. With only two appointments left, one Tuesday, one Wednesday we're thinking we may head out late Wednesday afternoon to miss Toronto traffic. If we leave after 5 pm we should be good to get north of Toronto to one of the service Ontario locations where we can stay the night.  However I'm getting ahead of myself or  my fingers can't type fast enough to keep up with my mind. ~laugh~ Since we are looking at only two nights in Hamilton I'm debating about just putting the feet down at the local Walmart instead of getting all set up at 50 Point Conservation area. We'll be busy doing stuff in the city anyway which will mean a 20 minute drive each way to 50 Point Campground. The Walmart is located close to everything we need to get to. We stayed there three nights on our way south (I hadn't realized 50 Point was still open) and we managed just fine. So all things being what they are I think we may just do that again. 

Interesting sort of chimney on this fire pit (sorry for the rainbow, sun was shining thru the trees)

I'm so easily lead off track when I type, I started off talking about changing cleaning day and look where I ended up!! ~laugh~ Some days it's tough being me. Cleaning was accomplished in a short period of time of course as there really isn't too much to clean. I did however tidy up a few cupboards later in the day, just kind of refreshing my mind as to what is in them and what we may need when we return to Ontario. A mental shopping list of sorts I guess. Plus those particular cupboards hadn't been straightened up for a couple of weeks. 

We opted to head out for a bit of a walk after cleaning was finished, neither of us were hungry so we delayed breakfast, or in fact actually skipped it as we didn't eat upon return as we had planned. We once again walked up the 'tractor/atv' road to the top of the ski hill, along the top but instead of stopping at the open area across from us and heading down we continued along the top of the ridge heading south. The country is very nice, lots of steep hills, an abundance of trees, and with the new growth not quite out yet you can still see around the area a bit. We managed to walk the ridge all the way to Oatka Rd which butts up to the campground property. The way down was pretty steep but with some help from me Riley was able to navigate her way down the somewhat steep and at times slippery slope. It was quite a good walk in that it used up a great deal of energy and also  helped to get us once again used to walking trails and bush roads which we haven't done for at least a year. 

Wonder if this is an apple tree of some sort?

Back home at the Igloo I spent some time puttering outside doing a few chores but will leave all the hook ups for tomorrow. I don't want to get to the border during rush hour as I'm certain the place will be a bit busy at 8 am when the office we must visit opens. I'd like to get there between 9:30 and 10:30 am which I think will work best for us. I'm assuming 1-2 hours at a minimum and 3 - 3 1/2 hours at the most. After that I'm hoping for smooth sailing to Hamilton. 

Among the outside chores I accomplished today was fixing our propane tank holder in the back of the Dogsled. We carry a small 25 lb tank for the BBQ and heater and the holder I bought was just a bit too tight to make it sit properly, so I managed to break the tray out of the bottom which allows the bottle to sit more firmly in the ring. I also managed to use my handy dandy cordless drill to punch a hole in the bed liner of the Dogsled that allowed me to tie the rope holding my step stool higher in the box so I can reach it (the rope) while standing on the ground. Thus making my stool once more accessible to me for working around the box loading or unloading, hitching, etc. Being less than tall has it's disadvantages. ~laugh~ 

There must have been a dozen of these birds, vultures, buzzards or something on the ridge top today

I tried reading outside for a bit but it was just too chilly for me. We had the big door open though, it was nice out of the wind. The windows opened allowed the Igloo to cool off to much so they didn't stay open long either. We really are Canadian but we just can't seem to manage the cold. 

After that it was time for me to make lunch and once again I made a large garden salad, chopping up tonight's dinner veggies at the same time. I also made a salad for tomorrow, as I have no idea how long it will be until we can have some lunch. If we have something ready perhaps we can head outside and grab something quick while we wait. If not we can find a spot to pull over after crossing to have some lunch. This way we don't have to prepare anything and if necessary Riley can eat hers while we travel and I'll just have to wait until we manage to find a spot. We will both definitely have breakfast tomorrow. 

We came down this steep hill side nearing the end of our walk today

The campground has been a busy spot today, people coming and going, a few people doing some repairs to the decks, patios, etc in or around their units. Another fella had Greg (one of the owners) come by with the little tractor and knock down his small metal shed, crunch it up so he could put in the back of his pick up and clean out his spot. He's leaving the campground due to a trailer issue, something about not winterizing it and trying to get the insurance company to pay for it's complete loss. I didn't listen to closely to the story. 

The flood water is slowly receding but it's taking time. Everything is certainly green and lush or ready to burst in to flower or leaf at least. The sunshine today helped with the water as well. The wind of course helps everyday. The daffs are starting to lose their fresh crisp look but the tulips are starting to show their eagerness to bloom. The buds are getting bigger with a few hints of colours along the seams, it won't be long now. A true sign of spring, don't ya think? 

A sure sign of  spring

I finished my book this afternoon, I forget what it was called. ~laugh~ The problem with an e-reader is that I don't always see the 'cover' like you do with a book. When the e-reader isn't on, it' s closed like a book cover but without the title and author name. I'm starting a new book, Spare Change by Bette Lee Crosby, I'll let you know how it turns out. I'm saving a couple of actual books for up north when I can sit outside and hold them in my hands, but for now the e-reader has given my hands  a rest which is a good thing, they've been aching a fair amount the last few weeks. 

Riley is responsible for dinner tonight and I get the night off from cooking. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know we're having pasta/veggies and some left over chicken but I have no idea what she will be doing with it. I'm looking forward to it though, as we all know meals we don't have to cook ourselves is always best. ~laugh~ 

This tree is right outside our door

I was looking at a few pics taken earlier here and I'm amazed how fast the leaves have come out and the colour of green in the distance where before there was none at all. Amazing this season of spring, isn't it? Life renewed, a rebirth, a new birth, all signs of promise, hope and better days ahead. It's a special time of the year and each year I enjoy it immensely. 

Dinner was good, Riley combined a number of smaller pasta shapes, added the mixed veggies I chopped earlier, added some diced up left over chicken.  She didn't combine it, but layered instead with salsa on the side. It was good with a hint of garlic in the veggies. We followed that with some peaches. Good dinner. 

I can now grab the rope to get to the stool.

Quick clean up, showers, and early to bed tonight. She even headed out to the dumpster in her jammies. She hustled, telling me it's much nicer inside than outside. ~laugh~ After that she headed off into her room. She, like me, is looking forward to getting tomorrow behind us and the next appointments finished. I asked her if she'd like to stick around Hamilton for a few more days but she's in a hurry to get north. The one thing she's mentioned missing over the winter is the solitude that we have in the summer months. I  miss that myself at times but I don't think I missed it as much as she did. She's very much a loner and enjoys time spent on her own. She has done amazingly well this past winter season being out of her comfort zone, meeting new people, going new places, seeing new things, trying new foods, trying new activities, and all the while maintaining an even keel.  I'm so proud of her and her accomplishments!! 

There is pasta under there and soon cheese will be on top

So on that note, I'm going to end this rambling post. Sorry I just can't seem to keep my mind in one train of thought, it wants to wander off in various directions. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit. Feel free to drop by again. Until next time...be safe, take care...


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Out and about today.....

Our Location: Frost River Campground, Le Roy, NY

A coolish overnight that turned into an so-so morning but later in the day the sun warmed up the air to the point that a light jacket was the key to staying warm. Nice in the sunshine even with a bit of wind, but out of the sunshine in the wind wasn't nice at all. Can you guess where I stayed when outside? ~laugh~ 

Can you see the white water in this river?

This morning was a bit of cool one at first, we enjoyed the warmth of the propane heater and HRH(the cat) parked herself right in front of it and wouldn't budge. She was totally ticked when I shut it off. She huffed her way to the back of the couch and glared at me like I was the enemy. ~laugh~ 

This river isn't usually over about 4 feet wide.

We pointed our nose in the direction of Bativa for a few reasons this morning. One of them was diesel food for the Dogsled and at $2.53 per gallon we were happy to top up the bowl to almost heaping. I'm shuddering to think what a fill up will cost back in Ontario with such a big tank.  

Pretty blossoms, almost like cotton balls.

Back on the road we noticed the many blossoms that are showing on the trees in these small towns and along the ditches. I'm not sure what kind of trees they are but there are everywhere, the white blossoms almost look like cotton ball fuzz from a distance. We've also made note of the vast amounts of water laying in fields, but running fast enough in the ditches to cause white water rapids. The banks are threatening to over flow in some places and truthfully I can see how cars could be swept away by the fast moving water if the ditches are any indication. In some places it's sweeping debris from the sides of the rivers/ditches and causing log jams or pile ups around other trees or high spots in the river which then causes the water to spread out even further where it's not far from lapping the road. A very dangerous situation for anyone foolish enough to go near it. 

These trees dot many parking areas, streets, and parks in the city and surrounding area.

Our time here in Le Roy hasn't been spent doing the things we normally do in a new area which is seeing some sights but today we did manage to see/photograph a few things in the area. According to local history the Jello Corporation used to have a plant in this little town and many locals worked at the Jello factory. The houses in the surrounding area are a snapshot in to the past. Factory towns historically have 'large' homes and for this little town the homes are truly wonderful. They are built in the true 'small town USA' sense with lots of porches and fancy windows, columns and banisters for hanging flags and  draping bunting, turrets, both round and square, as well as big front doors to welcome visitors. The houses aren't mansions but are large with lots of room for big families. Also dotting the streets are numerous churches of various denominations with massively impressive buildings often only a door or two down from a small sided structure but I'd be willing to bet the voices are just as strong and ringing in both buildings come Sunday. A few small local watering holes and restaurants of course fill in the rest of the spaces on these streets. Some newer more modern stores and signs of growth are evident as well but it just exudes the small town feeling. Le Roy has a Post Office, a liquor/wine store, a Tops Market, and a couple of other small stores but no Tim Horton's. It is truly a very warm, welcoming community. We've enjoyed our time here. 

These Super Mario characters in front of Target

Arriving in Batavia we managed to find our way to something called Batavia Downs, (we didn't enter but noted the signs) according to the web it's a horse racing track with live betting on site. Odd place to have a horse track in the same area as many big box stores but then again, they've probably been built around the track due to the expanding city. After circling this new found area we ended up at a Target store for a quick peek around. Riley enjoyed seeing Super Mario and his cousin depicted on some kind of fabric over two of the red cement balls in front of the store. Some sound associated with this game kept sounding each time the doors opened which caused Riley to giggle at the look on my face as I tried to figure out why the alarm went off on our way INTO the store. She found it very amusing. ~laugh~ 

This big chair sits outside a local restaurant near Le Roy.

From Target we headed out to Wally World as we needed a couple of things. Always interesting to shop at Walmart, such a diverse and unique crowd find their way to these stores. I'm always fascinated by the 'normal' variety of consumer. ~laugh~ We still haven't managed to get a cheese pizza from Walmart in this area. Today was no exception. 

One of the many houses in Le Roy

From Wally's we stopped at a small shop on Main Street to browse through the wine selection. We managed to get a nice bottle for someone back in Ontario. Since it's a gift, I'll just say nothing else. 
Love the windows and columns
 We stopped in Le Roy at another wine and liquor store where we managed to secure a bottle of Barcardi's Gold for my dad. They only had one left and we managed to grab it pretty quickly. We've been looking since we left Long Beach, (not too hard but looking) and this was the first 'gold' we found, lots of white or clear not few gold. Seems dad was fortunate today. 

Interesting colour.....
Back at the Igloo Riley put away the groceries while I headed down to the office to pay for a few more days and ask about getting my propane tanks topped up before I leave. Greg was using a wet vac trying to get some water out of the carpet in the office where it has once again flooded. He asked if I could come back later when Dave is back since it is a new system and Dave is more knowledge than he is, Dave will be back around 4 - 4:30 pm. Works for me. 
Same house as above, different angle. Big isn't it?
Back home I enjoyed a large garden salad for lunch. I've been trying various new salad dressings and have found a Raspberry Vinaigrette that I like. It's not as good as Mike's Apple Pecan but it's still good. I've stashed a few bottles to bring home with me!!!
Same house, different angle, big isn't it?
I spent most of the afternoon just reading. I enjoy my e-reader but sometimes find it a challenge to remember which way to flip the pages. The new hard cover I bought recently helps to keep it on the proper page when it's stored. I've found before that it seemed to flip pages on its on when I would accidentally bump the screen while turning off or on. 
Not the best shot of a church in town but it gives an idea of grand it is.
Around 4:15 or so I headed outside to disconnect the small propane tank from the heater, bringing it down to the filling station. Dave came by and got one of the bigger tanks (which was about half full) out of the spot and carried it down for me. He filled both of them, bleeding them of air as he filled them. Then inside to pay for the our final few days and propane, a quick chat with the fellas and thank them for all their help, their kind, caring and thoughtful gestures during our stay. I will definitely come back if I find myself in this area looking to stay for a day or two. 
This big cup sits on the roadside heading out of Le Roy back to the campground.
We pulled mild Italian sausages out for dinner tonight and I spent a bit of time finding a new recipe for dinner. Easy Smoked Sausage Skillet. It took no time at all to prepare or cook, it was good and we will definitely have it again but spice it up a bit with a few different veggies and perhaps pasta instead of rice. It was a simple recipe, sausage, rice, peppers, mushrooms, asparagus (it called for broccoli but I didn't have any), chicken broth, tomato sauce, garlic and onions. Add some cheese at the end. Good stuff.
We would add a few more veggies next time and perhaps a spicer sausage.
A quick clean up and Riley headed off to her end of the Igloo. My dad called just as she headed off. Not much new on the Island but it sounds as if spring is making her way there, slowly but surely. Sounds like most other places with lots of water laying around and more coming. Hopefully it warms up in the next week so it actually feels like spring. ~laugh~ 

Service men and women from the Batavia area on display at Walmart
So that's our day, nothing earth shattering but we enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by, feel free to leave a comment. Until next time...be safe, take care....

Friday, April 21, 2017

Out and about today......

Our Location: Frost Ridge Campground, Le Roy, NY

(all photos taken with my phone, even the blurry ones. The phone takes great close still pics but not so crisp distance or moving pics)

Cool weather these last few days with more rain, rain, rain, and yet more....rain. The flooding has returned to about the same level as when we arrived. It seems almost like deja vu in reverse. As we will be pulling out on Monday. The nights have been much cooler than we'd like but we're toasty here in the Igloo. We turn on the propane heater thru the day as well to help push away the dampness that seems to invade after days and nights of steady rain and drizzle. The wind, did I mention that? Well it's still here, blowing constantly and at times it's strong enough to make the Igloo shudder. 

Taken Tuesday, April 18 on our way BACK to the US after a day in Ontario

It's been a lazy couple of days here with not much happening. The Custom's broker has been s-l-o-w-l-y sending me instructions for the upcoming crossing. I mean one a day for the last number of days. Print this, print this, READ this, etc. I waited until today to find a place to print all the emails and forms necessary for the crossing. However on top of that I spent some time on the phone this morning with one of my favourite cousins who is a long distance hauler and he basically told me exactly what I have to do, where I have to go and what to look for. He made it seem so simple, not at all like the custom's broker. Apparently it's a common custom's broker trait, making things sound really complicated and they can't answer a direct question no matter how many times you ask it. ~laugh~ Thanks again Craig, I do appreciate the pep talk and the help, made me breathe a lot easier!!! Looking forward to catching up with you in the next few weeks or so.

A fairly long line but it went pretty quickly

After my chat with cousin Craig, Riley and I loaded ourselves into the Dogsled and headed out to the public library in Chili, Ny, a suburb of Rochester. Now I can hear all of you out there saying Chili, but it's not, it's pronounced  CHAI - LIE. Fooled me too. ~laugh~ One of the nice librarians pointed out the pronunciation. Another very helpful librarian helped me print things out as I'm not a window's person but love my Mac. I in turn helped her to learn that they cannot print a 'Pages" document, nor can they print right from Hotmail unless one uses the library computer. She helped me to remember all the reasons I love my Mac and hate windows. Seemed like a fair trade to me. ~laugh~

This guy and his dog were checking most cars.

The town is a nice little spot about 15 miles away from the campground, not a busy place but with a local Timmies and a Wendy's as well, unlike in Ontario they aren't in the same building. We stopped at the Walmart Supercenter to grab a pizza for lunch but they didn't have any  cheese only pizzas in the little pizza heated tower. They offered to cook one for us, we agreed and waited around for about 15 minutes only to be asked by a different person what kind of pizza I had ordered, I explained Cheese, hmmmmmm....want to guess what happened next? ~laugh~ Yep, they didn't have any cheese, just pepperoni and meat. I'm still trying to figure out why the lady at the counter told me it wasn't a problem to cook us a cheese pizza and then didn't tell us they didn't have one. ~shaking my head~ Needless to say, we didn't get a pizza. 

We'll be on the other side of this fence Monday heading INTO Canada

One of the most interesting things we noticed in the town of Chai -lie, was pink trash bins. The big rolling kind that are placed at the end of the driveway for dumping. These trash bins we the exact colour of pink used to promote breast cancer awareness. We must have seen at least a dozen spread out in various places throughout the little town. Must have been special order of some kind. They didn't appear to be 'painted' such as pink over or blue or green, but appeared to be the originally colour. What an interesting idea.

Fuzzy but that's where we're heading in the next week or so.

Our drive thru the country side was interesting as the blossoms are coming out, the water is high and laying in fields everywhere, we even seen a Tulip Tree in full flower. Amazingly pretty tree, but we didn't get a picture we were flying past and couldn't get the Dogsled stopped in time to take a pic without causing an accident. We opted for an accident free day. ~laugh~

Note the water puddles, lots of rain, see the pink trash bins?

Last night's dinner was a change of pace for us, we tried a new recipe and thought it was pretty good. We had Salsa Potatoes, made like Scalloped potatoes but with salsa instead of milk. I also added some Parm Cheese during the baking and some grated cheese after the baking process. It was very good, the salsa gave it a bit of zing to the taste. We had Honey Pecan Chicken Breast along with Rosemary Mushrooms/green beans. It was pretty good. Tonight's dinner will be different as well, Ham Steaks (which we've never had), Garlic Mashed Potatoes (with chicken broth instead of milk) and Italian Steamed Veggies. I think it's safe to assume we're back into the cooking mode again. ~laugh~ 

Timmies doesn't look quite right but it's still a Timmies

I talked with middle daughter Bradey today for a few minutes. We are tentatively getting together for dinner on Tuesday night. Not sure where or exactly what time but it'll be nice to see her and David again. It's been a while!! She's looking forward to her Honey Roasted Peanut Butter. ~laugh~ 

Rear entrance to Wendy's

Dr. Dube's (the OBGYN) staff called me yesterday regarding the message I left on their machine. When I explained the nightmare we've had trying to get ultra sounds and appointments accomplished she was very sympathetic and offered to squeeze Riley in next week but Riley said no. She's not interested in seeing this doctor, she's lost confidence in the whole bunch of them, staff and doctor. The lack of professionalism and competence by the office staff speaks volumes and Riley just doesn't think it's worth the emotional upheaval to book the appointment and possibly or not possibly see the doctor and what if she needs another appointment?  So I explained the best thing the office can do for Riley is to forward ALL the findings and test result to the new OBGYN when contacted. We left it at that.

Pretty nice back here

Dinner was fantastic, we both enjoyed the ham steak but found it to be salty. I think I would soak it next time, maybe change the water a couple of times as well to try to get rid of at least some of the salt. It's one of the reasons we don't eat a lot of ham, we find the salt is overwhelming in taste.

Water laying or in this case running in the fields

We have a few errands tomorrow and we're both looking forward to getting the last of the shopping handled before we start packing up things. The freezer is full of a number of items that are much cheaper here than back home. We can buy a big bag (8 cups) of grated cheese blend for about $9 here and back in Ontario it's $14 for the same bag. We bought a number of extra pounds of butter as well, along with some sauces we can't get back home. We like the ground turkey here as well so we've added a few of those too.

See the water around the trees

When we finally get across the border we need to go thru all of the goodies we've purchased and sort them out. We bought some things for both Bradey (David) and Courtney (Matt) that I know they like and can't get in Ontario. Bradey will pick hers up but Courtney is in Switzerland so I think I'll have to leave it with Matt's sister Amy. However Courtney will give me an answer I'm certain. ~laugh~

Well tended grass and gardens in Chili

After dinner did a quick clean up then pulled out the Yatzee game. About half way thru the game I forfeited to Riley. ~laugh~ I couldn't roll anything, barely getting doubles on any roll. ~laugh~ She was rolling huge numbers and big scores. I folded, I admit it. ~laugh~ She laughed and laughed. Of course I did too!!! I told her another night my mojo will be better. So we'll have to wait for another night to find out.

Tonight's dinner.

She's off doing her thing and I'm busy doing this so the place is pretty quiet now. The tick tock of the clock is the loudest noise in the Igloo. We're looking forward to more of these nights in the near future as well. With a zillion stars overhead and perhaps a campfire with some wood smoke in the air. Hmmmm...it is looking promising, isn't it?

Some blossoms on the trees

A birthday wish goes out today to my oldest nephew Allan, who's birthday falls on this day. Allan is my sister's only son and lives in North Bay, Ontario. Happy Birthday Allan, may this day bring only good things your way!!

Thanks for stopping by, feel free to comment. Until next time...be safe, take care...

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A truly good day.........

Our Location: Frost Ridge Campground, Le Roy, NY

(all pics taken at or near Radium Springs Garden, Albany, Georgia 2013 - 2017)

A cool over night followed  by an overcast, gloomy sky, breezy, with a soaking rain would be the best description for the day today. It was a stay in day due to the weather anyway. I ventured out twice today for short trips but otherwise stayed out of the moist air.

Yesterday was a tough day, for a number of reasons I won't go into except to say the Ultra Sound fiasco last week was compounded yesterday when the Dr's office was closed. They didn't call to give us notice of this cancelled appointment and to say I was extremely ticked off would be an understatement. Riley was very upset, she's been hoping for some answers from this appointment and now we'll be waiting longer, although not for this dr. We're getting a new referral to a different doctor. I wouldn't trust this doctor's office ever again for any reason, no matter how good people say she is, I think it's a disgrace the way they've handled Riley's appointments. 

We managed to get blood work taken, banking accomplished, lunch at Swiss Chalet, a quick trip to compare a couple of prices on some groceries we want to bring home and my Rheumatologist appointment all completed by 3:15 pm at which time we headed back towards the border and our Igloo. The day was cool with a breeze that didn't allow us to sit outside in the sun but instead made us retreat to the car. 

We took our Jet Pack with us as Verizon's package allows us to use it in Canada as well as Mexico. We used it for a bit but didn't go over our usage, so imagine my surprise when we arrived back at the Igloo to find a charge of $150.00 USD on our device. Since it's a data only device I couldn't understand how that would be possible. I decided I'd call them today to find out and so just ignored the email until this morning. 

An email from Southern Chevrolet's Laura waited for me telling me that the tracking number indicated the package had arrived, did I have it yet? Since I was away pretty much most of the day I knew it was in one of two places, either in the park office or at the couriers office. I lucked out and the UPS driver had left it with Dave in the office. There were smiles all around when I went in to pick it up, even a couple of hugs were managed. ~laugh~ They truly are super nice people here. 

So today was a day of 'telephone and research' work for me. First off I called Verizon about the charges on the Jet Pack. She explained that I should have been given instructions and information that states the usage outside of the USA is also charged a $2 per surcharge for international use. Meaning for every day I turn on the device while away from the USA I am charged an additional $2 for a 24 hour period. If I don't go over the usage allowance there will be no other charges above the regular bill plus $2 for each day we turn on the jet pack. She credited my account and installed the automatic 'international' coverage as well. So that was a good way to start off the morning. While I dislike the fact that it costs me $2 extra dollars a fact that they assured me wouldn't happen, but it's a day and if I don't turn it on every day it won't cost me a lot extra. However without turning it on, I can't use it. It's a dilemma isn't it? On the one hand $2 doesn't seem like much but in a 30 day period that's $60 on top of the bill. So it's not as 'free' as they tout in their literature. It seems the plans aren't always what the sales folks seem to think they are and the fine print can be very telling if you can read it!!! These are in USD of course, so it's not actually just $2 is it?

After that I went to the office to get my package, which of course I already told you about. That made 2 great things happening today and it wasn't even noon. ~laugh~ 

After that I did a bit of research for OBGYN's and dermatologists in the Sudbury and surrounding area. I asked a number of my family members and friends for referrals and received some good ones. I'll call my own family doctor's office tomorrow and get the referrals going. I also managed to find a clinic that will deal with Riley's planter warts if the wait time is long for the dermatologist. So that was more good news. We're on a roll!!!

By this time it was just around lunch hour and we decided to watch a movie since the weather was crappy. Of course right about that time my email starts beeping. Broker is starting to send stuff. Can you guess what he sent? Yes, yes, yes, my ITN number for the crossing. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We now have a firm date for crossing. The earliest we go is Monday morning. So you know where we'll be on that day, don't ya? ~laugh~ It takes 72 hours AFTER receiving your ITN before you can cross. You must cross between Mon - Fri between the hours of 8 - 4. You must stop at both border customs offices as well. According to the broker it could take roughly 1 - 2 hours to get this all settled. I'm looking forward to getting this behind us and I'm sure you're tired of hearing about it. ~laugh~

We are both looking forward to getting across the border and finishing up the last few appointments before heading north. We truly have had a wonderful time this winter but it's time to get back to our home spot and enjoy some peace and solitude for a few months. It's one of the things we've truly missed. 

We watched two movies today, Fast 5 and Fast 6. We've seen them before but of course we enjoyed them anyway. It was a good park your brain outside and enjoy the sights, sounds and action, not to mention some easy to look at fella's. ~laugh~ 

Dinner time found us reading and enjoying the quite after such noise heavy movies. Dinner was pretty much a fend for yourself type of meal tonight. We're getting so lazy without using the BBQ. ~laugh~ I had a couple of turkey dogs cooked inside of course, Riley had some left over chicken mixed with pasta. 

A game of Yahtzee after dinner and can you believe Riley rolled TWO  Yahtzee's? Can you believe that? She even rolled the first one on her FIRST set of rolls. Can you say ..cheater? ~wink~ She claims she's back in her 'groove' now. She's such a sweetheart. ~laugh~ 

After a quick clean up I called my dad to say I'd received my ITN number, he was pretty happy by the sound of his voice. I know he's been worried about this but in truth there really wasn't anything to worry about, it was just a matter of putting in time, lots of time. ~laugh~ 

I would like to welcome Patsy from "Chillin' with Patsy" to my blog. I commented on her blog a few days ago and she's dropped by for a visit. I hope this font works better for you Patsy.  Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, feel free to do so anytime.

So that's it for news today. A boring but truly exciting day for us, if you know what I mean!! We'll be doing a few last minute things over the next couple of days but I expect it won't be too exciting and I may just write a post every couple of days until we cross. We'll see how things go. 

So thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed your visit, feel free to leave a comment. Until next time..be safe, take care...