Monday, April 23, 2018

Visit with family, blown circuit, warmer weather......

Our Location: Buttercup Ridge, Roseneath, Ontario
(Today's pics were taken a few days ago when we arrived.)
It's been a wonderful few days since we've settled in here. The sun has been shining every day, warmer weather has arrived, things are starting to green up and we managed to have a wonderful visit with Courtney and Matt. 
The field in front of the house the day we arrived.
The temperatures have been nice enough to sit outside with the big door open at least in the afternoon as long as the wind stays down. The wind is the big equalizer of course and we try to avoid it if possible. 
The field in front of the barn on the day we arrived.
Courtney and Matt arrived much later than anticipated in the original plan but they did manage to find us in the dark. They arrived just before 11 pm on Friday night. We chatted for about an hour or a bit more before all going to bed to get some much needed sleep. 
The muddy drive on the day we arrived.
Saturday morning found us all up before 7:30 am, gathering around the table having breakfast and chatting non stop. In various ways and times we all spent some much need time just enjoying the stories and details of the last number of months since we've been together. We heard more about Switzerland and the European nations as well as their busy lives now in Toronto from C & M, and they of course heard about what you folks already know about our travels. 
The garden shed, putting green and drive net on the day we arrived.

 We went our own ways during the afternoon doing various things. I grabbed my book, sat out in the sun and read most of afternoon, soaking up some much needed rays. 

Heading toward the barn on the day we arrived.
A few minor issues with circuit breakers in the house had us scratching our heads for a bit. A call to Janet and we figured things out, reset things and continued on. Matt did most of the cooking for the short time they were here and I did the clean ups. With various forms and offers of help along the way. 
Where we parked last fall, on the day we arrived this spring.
Courtney and Matt drove to the farm in an electric car. A Chevy Bolt. Cute little thing, very quiet of course, but we needed to leave it plugged in most of the day and all night Saturday to ensure they could make it home. A number of areas have plug in capabilities between here and their Toronto home so we weren't overly concerned but wanted them to have as  much in the battery as possible.  Note for my own reference: Garage breaker is behind the barnboard panel in the basement. 
Evidence of the recent ice storm.
We spent Sunday morning having breakfast and chatting more, we moved outside as they were packing things and bringing them to the car for the trip home. Alma, the neighbour dropped by for a few minutes and we chatted for a bit before she was off doing whatever it is she was on her way to do. 
That's us up there by the house on the day we adjusted the Igloo.
Shortly before 2 pm C & M headed off homeward bound and Riley and I once again settled in for more relaxing. I of course did a house tidy, and we brought our groceries back to the Igloo before I sat outside to read for a while, had a bit of a nap and just enjoyed the afternoon. 
From the front, after our little adjustment.
We watched some more of our Hawaii 5-0 series before calling it a night. We didn't shut it down until shortly after 10 pm and I didn't feel like starting a blog post then. So this is my catch up Saturday and Sunday post combined. 
The back patio on the day we arrived.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit. Feel free to leave a comment. 
The side of the house where we are parked. See our power cord?
Until next time.... take care, be safe, 
The welcome front door of Buttercup Ridge.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Sunshine, warmer, muddy....

Our Location: Buttercup Ridge, Roseneath, Ontario
We woke this morning to cold temperatures, 28F/ -2.2C but there was something different about today. Some big bright yellow thing was showing itself over the pine trees. I believe it may have been something called the sun but it's been so long I'm not sure. 

We are located up at the house this spring, instead of by the barn.

It warmed up considerably throughout the day with our high reaching 53F/11.6 C. A regular heatwave it has been. The morning started with us moving the Igloo about 5 ft to a better location, not quite the same down slope as our original park job and while we were pretty level I just didn't feel comfortable with the front feet extended that far. With the soft ground, melting snow and all things being what they are, I was more than happy to spend the half hour adjusting our location. 
Drive shed on the right, the cedars/pines on the left. We are to the left of the cedars and pines.
Catching up with our friends scattered across a vast couple of countries while enjoying my hot drink. An Igloo adjustment, showers and some housekeeping duties in the Igloo pretty much took up most of the morning. 
This is the flat middle part of the drive way. I turned around from the taking the above picture to snap this one.

It was a quite day with birds singing, squirrels giving us a chattering at, and of course Mike's cows in the barn giving off an opinion every once in a while. I noticed Mike out at the barn this morning too, well actually that's not quite right, I noticed Mike LEAVING the barn area this morning on his way out the driveway. When we left last fall Mike had a half dozen cows and some baby pigs in the barn. I haven't ventured out to chat with Mike or look in the barn since our arrival. It's extremely muddy out there and I've only got my little low top Sploggers, so I don't think a trip to the barn will be in the future until it dries up some. Mike rents the barn and the farm land from Janet and Dennis. He also plows the drive and cuts the grass. Pretty sweet deal I think for all of them.

Coming up the drive.

The sun is melting the hard crusted snow which we could walk on this morning while we adjusted the Igloo but now you can't walk on it, you sink. It's not deep but again without the proper boots wet feet would result in a short period. I did however manage to dance around the mud as I made my way down the driveway to the road to collect the flyers from the mail box. A walk around the outside of the house also let me report to Janet that everything was good, the downed branches all appeared to be in the front of the house. I've hauled a couple of them out to the big wood pile past the drive shed and have a few more trips to go to get all the bigger stuff out of the way. That's how I know it's too wet/muddy to venture to the barn. The wood pile is extremely muddy to reach and the barn is past that.

A garden shed along with the putting green and practice net, all back behind the pond.

A text to Courtney to find out when they are arriving so we know what to do about meals and turning up the heat in the house. They should be arriving later tonight just around 9 - 9:30 pm. They are coming from downtown Toronto and are stopping for dinner on their way. Works well for us, we've had the day to do our own things and get caught up on a few things before company.

The barn area is quite muddy and wet.

The afternoon was spent doing some reading and watching some more Hawaii 5-0. The afternoon sun through the windows helped to heat up the Igloo and we spent most of the afternoon without any heat on inside. It wasn't nice enough to open the door but with the curtains open on the sun side it was nice and warm. Helped with some of the condensation as well. 

That's the big wood pile where I pulled a few bigger branches today, and in front of that pile is where we parked last fall. Couldn't park there now, it's just all one big mud slope.

Around 7 pm I slipped into the house, turned the heat up, and turned on some lights. I hauled a can of coffee inside for morning coffee and tomorrow I'll bring in some groceries to feed the crew. We'll really only have tomorrow as a visit but that's okay, some is better than none. I've missed them a great deal.

The house, you can see we are plugged in at the garage. We are parked just in front of the cobblestones.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit. Please feel free to leave a comment. 

Until next time.... take care, be safe, 



Thursday, April 19, 2018

Arrived at Buttercup Ridge today....

Our Location: Buttercup Ridge, Roseneath, Ontario

 (MOST of tonight's pictures were taken yesterday)

We arrived here at Buttercup Ridge right around 8:30 am this morning, only a short jaunt from the ONRoute in Port Hope. The temperatures are hovering right at the freezing mark and as long as the sun stays out it warms up about 4 or 5 degrees, but if the sun slips back behind the clouds it drops back to around the freezing mark. The problem is it's pretty cloudy, so we're not seeing a lot of sun. 

Toronto is always busy these days, no longer is it just rush hour that is crazy busy.

The overnight at the ONRoute was cool but not cold. We slept well and under the many blankets we were toasty. Even HRH Miss Kitty was happy to be nearby but not under the covers. She doesn't like being under any blanket. We left the ONRoute right about 7:30 am, so not bad in the way of getting to where we want to be. 

Interesting looking buildings, don't you think?

The driveway has been plowed of course, but it's terribly rough and bumpy, we also needed to use 4x4 to get us up the hill at the beginning of the drive. Some pretty ugly spots and some pretty soft spots too. We managed to make it to the house and get up into the circular drive this time. Last fall we parked out by the barn and on nice days that's nice, but in the wind, it's brutal. It comes from across the fields and hits us broad side, so we opted to park closer to the house. We are literally just off the cement at the garage door. We ran a cord from the garage to hook in and give us use of our furnace for a few days without worrying about the solar panels not producing enough in this weather. 

Welcome to the 401 East bound.

I called my dad to let him know we've arrived, he was happy to hear from us. Cold there too, cold here and I think just cold everywhere. Things are starting to ache much more intensely today as I think I stood too long on the cold wet pavement last night. So I'll probably be taking some extra meds and having a nap this afternoon to help get past the worst of it. However we shall see. 

The Collectors lanes over there were often stop and go, while we in the Express lanes just kept crawling along.

I've kind of caught up on Facebook and my email but not my blog reading yet, although I did manage to answer all comments on my last few posts. With the internet connection so slow in Hamilton it was difficult to even do that much unless I was up early. Here at Buttercup Ridge we have much faster service, and we don't even have the booster on. So we are very happy!!! 

The skyline often looks familiar in most cities, I think. Unless one sees a major 'famous' building, arch, etc, all cities pretty much look like each other.

The temperature as I write this at noon is 38F/3.3C and dropping as the sun is behind a cloud. A somewhat strong gusty North, Northwest wind is not helping with the temperatures at all. We need some of that desert warmth right about now and to think we were too hot in Borrego Springs. Never satisfied are we?
We are getting closer to being out of Toronto. Traffic is much lighter here.

I had a nice nap this afternoon, seemed to help alleviate some of my issues, along with a bit of anti inflammatory medication. So I can say that my afternoon was pretty quiet. Riley and I decided we'd do a little tv watching, we have the series Hawaii 5-0 on DVD and are currently just finished disc 3. We still haven't found season 5, so we have just 1- 4. We're hoping to find the next seasons also bundled. We'll see how it goes. 
Double decker Go Bus passes us as we leave Toronto and head toward Ajax and Oshawa.  Two GO trains were also running along on the tracks to the south of the highway.

 Sister in law Janet called and we chatted for about a half hour. They are still in Indian Wells, CA enjoying the weather and golf. She and Dennis are both very avid golfers. Janet is very good, and very serious about her game, Dennis plays drop and giggle golf as she calls it. Nothing too serious about his game. They are the proud owners of Buttercup Ridge. They won't be returning until May 10. She found it hard to believe that there is snow here at the farm and thought we should stay in the house instead of the Igloo. I assured her we were very appreciative of the thought but the Igloo keeps up pretty warm and with being able to plug in we can use the furnace to help keep us warmer. Looks like Tuesday is the last unspring like day here. After that it will warm up and hopefully usher in spring. 
This old car went past us on the 401 East bound.  It looks to be in great shape but the back window was missing.

So as evening falls here the wind is still gusty at times, it's still around the freezing mark and will drop a few degrees below tonight. Tomorrow will be more of the same, as will the next few days. Although  we'll be busy on the weekend visiting with Courtney and Matt as they will arrive tomorrow for a visit, so hopefully we won't notice the less than wonderful weather. We will be using the house for that visit, but Riley and I will be sleeping in the Igloo. I'm excited about the visit. We haven't seen Courtney and Matt for some time. 

I'm not sure but I think this might be a BBQ place, its on Highway 45 near Cobourg.  We pass this on the way to Buttercup Ridge.

That was our day. We've arrived, set up and are enjoying ourselves very much. Feels like home! Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit. Feel free to drop a comment, I appreciate them all. Readers only are welcome too. 

Until next time... take care, be safe, 


Met Jake from KalTire today.....

Our Location: ONRoute, Port Hope, Ontario
(April 18, 2018 post)
A quick post today. We were up early, cold in Hamilton but the sun looked like it might shine for a while and that seemed to boost the temperature a bit. 
Search and rescue plane flying the shore line of Lake Ontario as we leave Hamilton.
We had a dentist appointment at 10:40 am where we once again managed to get a little chat time in with Marianne and Lisa. The lovely ladies at the front desk. Always a treat to see their smiling faces and sparkling eyes. Thanks ladies for all the giggles!! See you in the fall. 
Heading up the Burlington Skyway with Lake Ontario on the right. That lighthouse marks the entrance to the harbour where all the freighters go to load and unload their goodies. 

 From there we once again headed back to Walmart, hooked up and were heading off toward Roseneath, Ontario, about 100 miles/160 km farther east. Climbed onto the QEW, 427, then to the 401 where we continued on to the ONRoute located just WEST of Port Hope. Pulled in to check the tires as I didn't like the feel of the way it pulled. Found another spot that scared me so once again I decided to err on the side of safety. Called CAA, went through the whole crap thing again, finally they agreed to send KalTire from Peterborough to help us out. Wait time 3 to 4 hours, but ended up being 5 hours as they sent him to the WRONG ONRoute about 40 minutes PAST us, so he had to come back.  

Lake Ontario looks so very cold doesn't it?
Jake was fabulous. He discovered two leaky valve stems were the cause of today's issues. Neither he nor I can figure out why no one caught that at the other ONRoute or the Tire place in Hamilton. Jake and I had a bit of a discussion about what I should do. Since we will be sitting for the next couple of weeks I feel confident that I have time to make some reasonable plans without feeling pressured in a hurry up decision. So when we leave Buttercup Ridge will be heading through Peterborough on our way northwards and will stop at KalTire to have them replace 2 but probably 3 tires before we head out. I'll keep ya posted. 
Just past the Ford Plant in Oakville and topping the rise heading into Mississauga. That is a continuous skyline all around the top end of Lake Ontario as far as we can see. Off to the right but not in the picture is the CNN Tower in Toronto.

The night wasn't too bad, a bit chilly to begin but once under the covers we all  managed just fine. I even managed to get a couple of miles of walking in waiting for the service truck to arrive. Jake arrived just around 9 pm and left about 10:30 pm. So it was a bit cool standing outside but not too bad. 
We have reached Etobicoke but not Toronto yet...lots of traffic and it's right around 1 pm, long time before evening rush hour. Toronto is just busy all the time now.
So there you have it, we were less than an hour from out destination but didn't want to arrive in the dark and I think we made the best choice. 
Kind of quiet here on this part of the route, not much snow here.
Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed the visit. Feel free to comment if you like, or not. Either one is fine. 
Heading along on the 427 North we pass close to Toronto's Pearson International Airport. Lots of planes.
Until next time... take care, be safe
I can see those folks all shivering up there as they come home from the sunny, warm south.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Quick note

We are heading out this afternoon for Buttercup Ridge in Roseneath, Ontario where we will be for some time, at least until the beginning of May. I have no idea if the jet pack works there as we didn't have it working when we were there in the fall. The internet isn't turned on in the house either so I can't promise to post any posts or answer anything while we're there. So if there are no posts, don't be concerned about our safety dear friends. It just means we have no connection. 

Take care, be safe, 


Very busy productive day, visit with family....

Our Location: Walmart, Rymal Road East, Hamilton, Ontario
(yesterday's post)
It was cold when we woke this morning. Cold inside and out but we started the heater and before long it was toasty warm. I didn't tarry long as I had an appointment downtown at the Rheumatologist's office. I always dislike going down to the downtown area, the parking is a bear to begin with and with the Dogsled it's not fun. The spots aren't meant for anything bigger than a Tonka toy.  
Eventually I got parked in my favourite lot and headed up the hill to the Carlton Building where the good Dr. Bobba is located. After a years wait for the elevator (I won't climb 6 flights of stairs) I managed to snag a ride upwards. Ever notice how no one speaks in an elevator? Haha..ride with me sometime, I talk. Never know what I might say but I talk. 
Before I even managed to get checked in I was hustled into a room by the good doctor himself. We chatted for about 4 minutes, I answered the same 6 questions, did a few new bends and twists, told to come back in 4 months, which I said I wouldn't be in the area but would be back in 6. We agreed that would work and off I went. I managed to get checked in as I was leaving the office. How good was that? I was getting out about the time I should have been getting in. I like Dr. Bobba as I think he's pretty good at what he does and there is never a long wait for your appointment. You're almost in and out right on time every time. I never feel rushed though and I know if I have questions or concerns he'll take the time to answer to them for me. So I have no complaints. 
Downstairs I headed to the blood lab, I'm a bit late on getting my blood work done. Oh well, that's the way life goes. I waited for about 15 minutes before I was called in. Fast simple and easy except they kept my blood requisition form which they shouldn't have done. I need it to get blood work done every two months. So now I'll have to get in touch with the dr's office to get another form sent to me. I should have remembered to take it but well I just didn't. 
Back at the Igloo I picked up Riley and we headed for the bank. Her debit card stopped working earlier when we were away but since mine worked we managed. I thought it was the strip in the back looked a little hinky. So yes they replaced the card but also there was a lock on the card, use for deposit only. So we had to call the Loss Prevention Center. Long story short, after about 40 minutes we had that corrected as well. Thanks to Colleen at TD Canada Trust, Rymal Road branch for all her help. 
From there we headed a bit further down the road to Queenston Tire on Upper Centennial Parkway. I've used this tire place before in the past and had great service there. Also the one down by the traffic circle in the east end of Hamilton is good too. I went in to explain my tire issue and we came up with a great solution. Go back get the Igloo bring it there, park there for the night, they'll have the tire replaced, back on, and the spare back where it goes by the time we finish our appointment tomorrow around noon. Sounds excellent right? So off we go, pick up the Igloo, drive the 5 minutes to the tire place, turn in and I've got a fellow directing me to go NOT were I had been told to park. No problem, I know this guy, not his name but I know his face, he works here. So I pull up where he directs me, get out and guess what? It was all done within 15 minutes and I was told I could still park there overnight. Is that service or what? Thanks to the folks at Queenston Tire, Upper Centennial Parkway. We were back at the Walmart (less slush here) within a half hour and set up in no time. 
A quick lite lunch and the rest of the afternoon was spent reading. Around 7 pm we hopped into the Dogsled for the 3 minute ride to the Vicar's Vice, an old church converted into a restaurant. Yes we could have walked but it was cold windy and we'd have to cross a very major roadway with no lights available, easier  and safer to drive. Very nice place, a bit on the expensive side but not overly. We met Bradey and David, (middle daughter and her fiance) there for dinner. Unfortunately they can't make it to Buttercup Ridge for a visit. It was nice to see them and catch up, they are full of excitement with a house purchase perhaps in the future, as well as a wedding tentatively set for late 2018. We all came back to the Igloo to continue our visit but around 9:30 pm they headed out for home. They both have to work in the morning and a dog that needs to be walked before bed. 
So no post as it was late for me and I was tired. I'd had a very busy day. Again no pictures as the internet slows down extremely the busier Walmart gets. Even though it's our own jet pack there are so  many cell phones being used it slows everything down here. 
So there you  have it, our busy day yesterday.  We had a change of plans late yesterday with regards to our travel to Buttercup Ridge in the next few days. So I'll be filling you on that in the next post.
Thanks for stopping by, hope you all had a fantastic day. Feel free to leave a comment, or feel free to just stop by without leaving one. I'm always happy to hear from you should you chose to make your presence known. 
Until next time... take care, be safe

Monday, April 16, 2018

Arrived Hamilton, wet, rain and a bit warmer.....

Our Location: Walmart, Rymal Road E, Hamilton, Ontario

(again, no pictures, they just won't load)

The wind stopped last night in the oddest manner. It just stopped. One big gust rocked us a bit as I was getting ready to climb into bed and then nothing more. Didn't hear anything, didn't feel anything, and no I wasn't asleep either. It was the oddest feeling when I realized there was no more wind. It stopped so fast it was scary. The rain also stopped but I did hear it pitter patter once or twice through the night but not hard, just a soft sound. 
This morning's temperature was 37F/2.7C which wasn't too bad at all. The tiniest of winds kicked up a bit but nothing you'd notice at all. We were out of bed by 7 am and decided we'd pull out this morning as it was supposed to warm up the further we came to the north east. Hamilton was predicting a high of 48F/9 C this afternoon. A quick pack up, checked all the rubber and we were good to go by 8:15 am. 

We cruised along in the slow lane until we reached the next ONRoute at Dutton, Ontario and while Riley visited Tim Hortons for coffee and a couple of timbits, I checked all the rubber once again. It all looked fantastic and soon Riley was back outside with our nice hot drinks, and a wee treat. The temperature was still steady at 37F/2.7C and we continued motoring along. The roads were wet, with a bit of slop coming up, mist appeared to settle over some of the country side which actually turned out to be more fog than mist but it had the same effect, we had to use the wipers sparingly the whole trip. 

As we approached London, Ontario area we made note of some ice still coating the roadside grasses, trees, bushes and some of the fields as well. The temperature was a steady 37F/2.7C here but it didn't appear to be melting. Again the roads were just wet. We also noted traces of snow and slush that had piled up along the roadside due to road cleaning but nothing on the road except wetness. Still fog/mist lingering in the area making it appear to be brightly gloomy if you know what I mean. 

As we rolled along the 401 East bound we waved to our friends Bill (On Our Way), Patsy (Chillin' with Patsy) & Clemson ( no known blog url) as they are still tucked away in the fair city of London, Ontario. 

From London we headed on to Woodstock, then 403 to Brantford which like the 401 was simply wet. The further north east we travelled today the less it seemed as if spring is on it's way. The bare brown fields turned to lakes of muddy water and  cold looking ice patches, the trees remain leafless and barren, the grass while showing hints of green is mostly that mottled brown/black of dead winter. Soon we started noticing more snow in areas that are protected from the wind, such as ditches, tree lines, etc not much but a dusting of sorts. Even further along we noticed more snow in the open areas not just around the tree bottoms or protected areas. Soon the fields were covered with no dirt showing through, just the hint of dirt. A few cornstalks poking their winter weathered heads up through the white frosting proved to us that it was indeed a field and the little stalks shivering  as they stood guard in lines like soldiers. 

As we approached Brantford the rain started to fall, not hard but in dribs and drabs, making things seem promising but disappointing at the same time. Promising because spring rains means warm weather, flowers, etc. Disappointing because so far they have just meant more cold, more ice, less sun, no warmth. Oh, the burdens of being Canadian. 

Again the roads were wet and the sky's dark but the temperature which dipped from a high of 37F/2.7C to 33F/ .5C had jumped back again when we reached Hamilton to the high temperature of 36F/2.2C. So we can't complain, now can we? It's at least figuring out which direction is the right one, so soon it will be pushing higher in the right direction. We found the Lincoln Alexander Parkway to be rough, misty and not quite as busy as I expected. We sailed along the top edge of the city until our exit at Dartnall Road which we took to Rymal Road, thus leading us to our current destination. 

Richard, the girls and I lived about 1 mile/1.6 km from this very store for 20 years. Actually Richard, Courtney and I lived there for 20 years, while Bradey and Riley were born after we moved in to the house. So we know the area pretty well. Riley and I commented a couple of times of the lack of activity around the schools as we came further north east. Turns out the schools were all closed today for a weather day. The thing is we didn't really have any weather. We pulled into the Walmart lot at 11:30 am having been on the road for about 3 hours. We travelled approx 155 miles/250 km . An easy travel day, the weather other than rain was perfect for driving. 

We were told when we asked about parking here that Walmart doesn't own the lot and can't give permission but others have stayed. If the owner of the parking lot wants us to move they will have to tell so. There are no signs and so I'm happy here for the next couple of days. I have an appointment in the morning with the Rheumatologist and we have dentist appointments Thursday late morning. I want to have the tire on the Igloo replaced, the spare tire put back where it goes and we need to do a few other little things as well. I need to have blood work done as I forgot about it last month. Oh well, the worst that will happen is the good Dr. Bobba will tell me how important it is to have it done. The best that will happen is he won't mention it.  Since he asks the same 6 questions and I give the same 6 answers I doubt it's imperative but I'll have it done quickly here. 

So there you have it, our travel day. We have a few more to go before we reach our summer location but we won't be heading there for some time as they are still getting winter weather. About a foot of snow fell on Manitoulin Island over the course of the last 24-36 hours. They had some hail, sleet, freezing rain, snow, ice pellets and just about anything else that could be tossed their way. When I spoke to Dad this afternoon he said it was starting to rain. The snow is too wet to push with the quad, so the big tractor blower will have to be used to move it. It's mid April for goodness sake, this isn't appropriate weather at all. 

A quick HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother Rick today. We enjoy the visits we manage with him and his lovely wife Barb, along with their children and grandchildren during our stay at our summer location. Rick is always helpful when I ask for some help with things or advice about something. It'll be nice to see him and Barb along with the children, grandchildren when we get back to the island. So Happy Birthday big brother. We hope it's been a fantastic day!!!

Thanks for stopping by, feel free to leave a comment, I appreciate them all. If you don't wish to leave a comment, that's okay too and I hope you enjoyed the post. 

Until next time.... take care, be safe, 


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Wind, rain, flat tire.......

Our Location: ONRoute, Tilbury, Ontario

A cold night outside but not too bad inside, we were tucked under our covers and only noticed the cold upon getting out of bed. We both slept in my bed, opting to keep the slides in so there would be no accumulation of ice should it happen. It was a lucky move, we had a bit of ice to be sure but it appeared to be from the cold wind, instead of the freezing rain part. 

For some reason the internet connection wasn't good last night. It showed four bars but was very slow. The pictures wouldn't up load  at all.  It took a long time to even post the blog and nothing else would load after that, so I gave up after about an hour. This morning it worked great for a while but is once again showing signs of not working so well. Oh well, it is what it is, the phones work great and that's what matters most. 

We needed to partially open one of the slides this morning to get the dry cat food which we forgot to take out yesterday morning. Since that is the side with the hose in the window I needed to go out to ensure nothing happened that shouldn't happen. I'm glad I stepped outside. A thin layer of ice was over the handle, and the steps but not the off wind side of the walls. I did however notice a flat tire just as I stepped down on the ground. The front tire on the Igloo is completely flat. So we will be here until tomorrow for certain. 

We got the cat food, pulled the slide back in and I began the process of calling the auto club at 8:30 am. I very rarely ever use it but it's nice to have when we need it right? The nice lady that I spoke with, whose name happened to be Deborah, was very pleasant and friendly. the problems are starting. First she can't locate the ONRoute address to send someone. That is resolved within a few minutes. Good to go right? No, another problem.  It says my contract has been cancelled. Not possible, I paid back in November. Further digging show's it's been transferred, but closed in Southern Ontario, since it was moved to Northern Ontario when I contacted them about moving. Okay, Deborah will call N. Ontario CAA to get the information to send someone to us. Some issue on that end, Deborah will continue to look into and call ME back when she has the answer. Within 5 minutes she calls me with yet another issue. They don't open until 10 am. Now I have to call back after that time. So here we sit waiting for 10 am so I can call back and get this thing moving forward before the day ends.

 I will condense this at it took most of the day to get the job accomplished. Numerous calls, discussions, and information were exchanged which still didn't seem to be correct even by the time the job was almost complete. The first fellow to arrive had trouble finding us, his jack wasn't big enough and they had completely screwed up the information. Second fellow called, laughed when I told him the weight and said he couldn't help me but he'd let dispatch know. Eventually two dispatchers were needed to complete the task and at 3:30 pm on the dot, 2 nice young fellows from Kaltire showed up and were gone within 10 minutes, everything fixed and we're ready to roll when the afternoon comes tomorrow. 

The tire had a separation issue and went flat over night instead of blowing apart on the road. How lucky is that? So the spare tire is on, the tire in need of replacement is on the back of the Igloo and when we reach Hamilton I will have a new tire put on the rim and placed on the Igloo, putting the spare back where it belongs. They were young, sweet and very helpful. I was certain to give them a nice tip for their troubles. 

Over the course of the day I discovered where the cold draft was coming from that seems to have been an issue since we arrived here. The closet slide in my bedroom is blowing cold air like there are huge holes in the wall. The entire outer edge of the slide has a cold wind coming in whenever there is a gust outside. Explains why it was so cold up stairs last night. The slide is on the wind side. I thought closing it might help but it didn't do anything at all. So I've stuffed the offending areas with some blankets and towels which seems to have fixed the issue for now. I'll have to look at that as well when the weather gets a bit nicer. For now I'll just keep tucking the things around it when we are parked. 

The weather has of course been rainy all day but it's been a bit warmer, not nice by any means but a bit warmer. Hopefully by tomorrow the wind lets up and we can move ourselves down the road to Hamilton by afternoon. I'm looking forward to getting there, getting a new tire and having things put back together. We are also looking forward to seeing daughter/sister Bradey and her other half, David while we are in the area. Dinner Tuesday night with the two of them will give us a chance to get caught up.

I chatted with my dad twice today, we discussed the weather both here and there. They are still in the midst of a storm as well. He's quite a bit further north than we are but he says they've had it all, ice pellets, snow, sleet, freezing rain, rain, and when we talked the last time it was still snowing and of course the issue is the wind. Makes it very difficult to see with all the snow blowing around. 

I also chatted with my friend Linda, who lives a bit further north than my dad. She said they had just started getting some weather and they hadn't had much of any weather even though a lot of snow had been predicted. We chatted for about an hour, catching up on a few things. I'm looking forward to seeing her and her hubby Randy within the next month. We'll be making a stop close to their home on our way to our summer location at Dad's. 

Around 6 pm daughter Courtney called to say hello and we chatted about our upcoming visit at Buttercup Ridge. I'm looking forward to seeing her so  much, it's been a while since we've actually physically spent time together.  She and her hubby Matt will be coming out to spend a couple of days with us!! I'm very excited!

After that I finished the book I was reading, Sue Grafton, R is for Ricochet. A pretty good book, not quite the same as the other letters of the alphabet but I enjoyed it anyway. I'll start a new book tomorrow some time. 

The temperatures are hovering pretty steady I think a few degrees above freezing here in Tilbury and it appears that by tomorrow afternoon all of this nasty stuff should be behind us, the ice will hopefully have melted, and all things will be good from here on out. 

Again no pictures as it's just too slow to load them. I think there are so many folks on their phones and such here at the ONRoute that it's the reason every thing is so slow. When not many folks are around it's pretty fast. Riley spent some time inside the ONRoute building today during our tire changing experience so she was out of the cold  and reported that the building was running on back up generator power. She commented the lights flickered off and on a number of times as well. I know that parts of Manitoulin Island were also without power for some hours today, but not where my dad is located. Further to the north and west from his locale. However a cousin out the road called to ask my Dad and brother to come out to remove a tree that had fallen on the house. However it hadn't actually landed on the house, it had slide down the side of the of it. So no roof damage but some scraped up siding. Parts of Toronto were having trouble with flying ice as it blew off power lines, tree branches, etc. A few downed limbs were also evident in the area in which daughter Courtney lives.  Definitely not a nice weekend here in Ontario, pretty much any area you look at had nasty wet weather and strong NE winds. Winds will calm considerably over night at last look. 

So there you have it. A real eventful day in our little neck of the woods. Glad we were sitting still for it. I hope you've all had an excellent day, that you stayed warm, dry, and unharmed where ever you may be. Tomorrow will be a better day I'm certain. Thanks for stopping by, please feel free to leave a comment, I appreciate them all. If you don't wish to leave a comment, that is also just fine, I'm still happy you dropped by for a visit. 

Until next time.... take care, be safe, 



Saturday, April 14, 2018

Rain, windy, back in Ontario.......

Our Location: ONroute, Tilbury, Ontario
(No pictures today, they just won't upload)
It was very warm last night when I went to bed but by morning it had dropped 30 degrees staying steady at 47F/ 8C with over cast skies. At 7 am my dad called to ask what kind of weather we were having and telling us they were having snow, high winds, and it was very cold. We chatted for a few minutes before saying goodbye. Riley and I were quick at getting everything secured and ready to roll just at the time the rain started to fall. 
We didn't have to go very far for our first stop, only a few hundred feet to the dump station. I will be honest with you, we made it up the first hill okay until I tried to turn to the right then we had a problem. The washed out hill, the new gravel and well you get the idea. For a few feet we were chattering sideways until I stopped, popped into 4x4 and with a little bit of a heavy foot we managed to get up the hill. I left us in 4x4 until we had arrived safely on the very top ridge at the dump station. 
Of course, it started to rain again as soon as my feet hit the grass outside the Dogsled door. No worries I'd donned my bright yellow rain slicker and proceeded to sweat as the temps were too warm for a none breathable coat, but the air was wet and the rain drops cold. Oh well, it's only a short time outside, then I'll head inside, change my shoes and sweater, coat, and be ready to the hit the road. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get the water to come out of their hose. They had some kind of valve after the handle on the faucet but the valve just spewed water everywhere except out the end of the hose to rinse the sewer hoses. So I simply turned on the pump and used our own water, a quick rinse, put the hoses away, changed into dry clothes. We were heading out the driveway at 8:10 am. Of course the rain has been coming in waves at this time, now it continues but with a bit more gusto. 
Our RV GPS had us wandering around the back roads like two lost sheep. She was basically having us go west for a mile, go north for a mile, go west, go north, etc. I mean really? The Interstate it 12 miles that way, lets just go that way. Finally I just ignored her and off we went finding the Interstate just where I thought it would be, it hadn't moved since last fall. That added at least 30 minutes to our time. I wasn't impressed. I'm going to be chatting with Garmin in the near future, I am not happy and for the price I paid for this thing, it should damn well work properly. 
So we finally climbed onto the interstate near exit 103 north, and pushed the Big Dog toward Lima, only 21 miles/ 33 km away. For the entire morning we rolled along at 55 mph/ 88.5 km through the nearly flat state of Ohio. The wind wasn't bad at all when we started out, the rain kind of came and went, never very hard though, I think I only had the wipers on full once due to spray from the truck ahead and beside that seemed to be just sitting on my front bumper and my side door. Not sure why they do that but oh well. I will say the roads were pretty good until we reached the upper edges of Ohio and in to Michigan. It was here that the winds started to be noticeable as well. Michigan is always a nightmare for that stretch around Monroe. I thought for certain I drove over another 5'er that was lost in the hole with just his A/C sticking out. Turns out I didn't, it was just my imagination, but a couple holes were deep enough to get lost in and I was lucky to avoid those ones. I will be driving the middle lane in that stretch from now on though, they'll have to pull me over to give me a ticket before I start driving in the slow lane again until they fix that particular piece of roadway. It's insane. We pulled off at Luna Station for a fuel stop as the prices seemed to be steadily rising, we were seeing only numbers right at or above the $3 per gallon mark. We filled the Big Dog's bowl for $3.09 a gallon. The Big Fella took 22 gallons, or approx 83 liters (1 US Gallon = 3.79 CDN liters). Couldn't squeeze in $50, stopped at $49.50 USD.
We reached the area of construction, which of course were shut down today and motored right along. As we approached Dearborn exit the traffic suddenly came to a very fast slow down, a creep along. Within 15 seconds of the slow down I could see the problem ahead. A big rig had jack knifed in the 'fast' lane into the construction lane and just his back bumper was sticking out a bit into the next lane, he wasn't impeding traffic by more than 6" -8". The driver was out walking around but no one else was on scene so it had literally just happened. We didn't see or hear any evidence of law enforcement, medical or fire aid of any kind. We were past the end of his truck within 30 seconds and on our way. Sorry for his troubles but we didn't see it, he wasn't hurt, we couldn't help, so lets get out of the way. No need to gawk, big deal his nose is kissing his A**, he's fine, keep driving. 
We pulled up to the Canada Customs lines which are confusing in that they now have lots of truck lanes open but no arrows pointing you to the car lanes, nor is there an RV lane, which there is going the other way at this crossing. I checked the time, 12:15 pm. We found our way to the car lane, 4 folks ahead, we rolled along and were at the booth within probably 4 to 5 minutes. Nice lady asked us a couple of questions and told us to have a nice day. We were across in a little more than 5 minutes. Yeah us!! Welcome to Canada. Home of the Maple Leaf, Tim Horton's, and $1.25 per liter diesel. So that $49.50 fill up would have cost me $103.75 here in Ontario.
We immediately began seeing the overhead signs warning of freezing rain in Ontario. The temperatures by this time had reached 37F/2.7C and were staying steady. We discussed a few options and Riley checked out the local forecasts. We decided we'd pull in at the first ONRoute (rest area) in Tilbury/Chatham-Kent. Which is where we are right now. We pulled in against the grass edge, but are leaving the slides in to help keep us warmer and in case we receive some freezing precipitation overnight, it won't stretch the slider topper and we won't have to go up there and knock it off. Plus with the slides in we don't rock and roll so much in the wind. We had our heater going within a few minutes (which requires us to run a hose in the window), and the Igloo is nice an toasty. 
I called my dad, we chatted for a bit, he's glad we're off the road for the day and I'll let him know tomorrow what we plan on doing. I don't believe the roadways are the issues. I'm pretty certain they will be sanding, salting and doing all that good stuff over the next two days. The issue I believe will be when one is getting off and on the roadways, ramps, side streets, parking lots, etc will not be as well  maintained as the major road ways will be. So we're going to sit here until late tomorrow afternoon or Monday late morning before heading out to Hamilton. By then every thing should be cleaned up, salted or melted, as the temperatures will rise a bit in the next day. 
So there you have it, we are safely back in Canada, although we will be conserving our battery power a bit as there doesn't appear to be much sun in the forecast for a few days.  The temperatures are above the freezing mark and in this area there are no freezing rain warnings posted on the web. Just a bit further along there are of course lots of warnings posted. 
Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed your visit. I hope you've had a wonderfully safe and productive day. Thanks again for following along. Please feel free to leave a comment if you like, I read them all. For those don't wish to leave a comment, that's quite alright too, I'm honoured that came by to read! 
Until next time  ......  take care, be safe, 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Very warm, sunny and windy on our last full day here in Oakdale Campground.......

Our Location: Oakdale Campground, Quincy, Ohio

After posting my blog last night I managed to chat with the fella who's seasonal spot I'm sitting in right now. Never did get his name but I spoke with him and the rake Lady. Very nice folks, he's bringing his trailer in today but apparently always parks it where his truck was sitting, on the other side of the Igloo. This area is apparently where the single folks congregate. 

I'll bet they enjoy this deck all summer, those stools are under the bar edge.

He also answered a few other questions as well. The water still has another foot or so to go before it's at normal levels. The area we see across the river is also a campground, although it looks very permanent. It's called Miami River Campground. They know the fellow with the boat, he apparently is a river hopper and comes over often during the summer months, parks his boat on this side somewhere and enjoys the company of those over here. 

This bright yellow racer is parked by the wood pile that is waiting to be split and bundled.

Gene and Sally (the welcome home sign from yesterday's pictures) are the couple in the office, they seem to be well loved here. I mentioned a few of the washed out areas and it was explained that they fix them every year but due to the hills and the spring rains, they wash out every year, which explains all the gravel piles I see around waiting to be spread. 

Can you see the boat moving on the river?

 I woke this morning before 6 am and just listened to the birds for some time. It's so peaceful here, although I'll bet when summer comes it's a lot less peaceful. We are expecting more of yesterday's weather again today and I'm looking forward to soaking up as much as I can. It doesn't look like we'll be seeing any of these kinds of temperatures for a long time unless a miraculous warm up comes along. The temperature here right now as I start this post is 57F/13.8C at 7:14 am. Not a bad way to start the day at all. 

This is on the road into the campground across the farmers field. Those rigs closest to us are in storage, the other ones are permanently placed in seasonal spots.

The morning passed quickly with routine things such as cleaning/defrosting the fridge and freezer, dishes, dusting, vacuuming, you know the drill right? So now our little Igloo is clean and ready for the next part of our homeward trek. We didn't clean anything outside as we'll be driving in rain conditions anyway, so it would be a waste of time. 

The middle road is toward the dump station and bath house. 
Riley and I headed out to get some much needed propane as one of the small tanks was starting to seen a bit on the light side, and one of the big tanks was for sure getting close to the bottom. I wanted to fill them up before heading across the border tomorrow. I've found that the folks here actually fill the tanks but back in Ontario they don't seem to allow the air to bleed and that seems to make a huge difference in how long the tanks last.  For future reference we went to Heby Oil (N. Detroit Street) but everyone was gone for the day, they do however fill tanks. The lady in the office sent us to Grand Rental on Main Street, which is a rental company with a fenced compound, literally right across the roads from the Fairground. They filled our tanks for a grand total of less than $25 USD. (About 60 cents a pound, or $2.50 a gallon) Can't beat that for amazing. Tractor Supply Company (TSC) also on Main Street will fill tanks as well. Don't know the price though. Both are just up the street from Walmart in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Back in Ontario it costs me $43 to exchange the big tank alone, and if they fill it, it lasts less than 3 weeks where an exchange will usually last 5 weeks. The BBQ tank is about $25 to exchange and since I haven't had them fill one for a long time I can't tell you how long they last with fill vs exchange. So anyway I look at it, I'm way ahead of the game.

The Daffs are popping up everywhere.

We headed back to the Igloo enjoying the lovely country drive and were gone less than an hour. When we got back the fella next door was backing his trailer in to the spot beside us. I climbed out and helped him get it where he wanted it and then headed back home to do our own chores. Which included putting the propane tank back, getting things ready for hitching up and in fact today we did hitch up the truck which we don't usually do but we want have as little to do tomorrow as possible. Riley lifted the back feet, put away the two lawn chairs and I removed the lock, lantern, and temperature probe before hooking up. So we'll be out of here in the morning with minimal work. 

See what I mean? Just popping up everywhere.

The fella's name next door is Lou. The nice lady on the end of the rake, who's trailer also arrived today is named Jodi and the folks behind us also arrived for a bit today, some one over there is named Jr., while Dave is across the roadway. Lou is a chatter and loves to talk. He informed us if we wanted to see deer to head up to the top of hill around dusk and we'd see 20 easily as they come out into the field. He told us Gene & Sally are the managers of the park, not the owners. We learned a lot of stuff that is of no interest to anyone out there. Lou is a sweet fella, a charming aw shucks, kind of guy. He has a beautiful chocolate brown Chesapeake Retriever, Buddy who is four years old. He is a sweet fella and loves attention, water and playing fetch. 

I know I posted a picture similar to this one before but the grass is greener and it just looks warmer and more cheerful now in the fantastic weather.
I chatted with my dad for a bit today as well. Just checking on things and finding out all the latest weather for the area. He says they are getting nothing at this time, no snow, no sun, no wind, he also says today is a warm day at 43F/6 C, lots of yesterdays snow is melting. He can see a few patches of green here and there but figures with the weather coming tomorrow it'll be gone under more snow pretty quick. I'll talk to him again probably once a day for the next few days at least as I talk to him every day when we are travelling and with the weather not looking too good, I'm pretty certain it will ease his mind to know how things are going for us. 

A different view of the Miami River.

The high today reached 79F/26C, with wonderful blue skies. Windy of course as it caused numerous leaves to lift from their resting place and fly around in swirls, diving, dashing, flipping and just rustling everywhere. A number of folks around us are raking winter debris, repairing with hammer and nails, etc as the weather has dried things out a fair amount. Tomorrow here the rain is supposed to start around noon time. They are expecting 2 or 3 more days of rain again. They aren't happy, they've had enough and want spring to arrive so they can get down to the business of enjoying their time in the park. I will say the park across the river has some very loud folks there, we can easily hear them over here on our side of the river, we can distinguish each and every word in their conversations.

Riley took most of the pictures today and enjoyed this sign.

So the day has found us enjoying the heat, sun and folks around us. We have found them warm, inviting and friendly. It has been enjoyable to spend this time in Oakdale Campground and I think it's safe to assume we may return in the future if our plans find us in the area. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you've enjoyed your day as much as we have here. I hope you found peace, warmth, and joy in all the expected but also the unexpected places and people around you. Please feel free to drop a comment, I appreciate them all very much. 

Look west along the Miami River at the Miami River Campground.

Until next time.... take care, be safe,