Thursday, October 31, 2013

New Skill

Danica came for a sleepover last week, and I always try to stay one step ahead of her to keep her busy and entertained.  She noticed that I was crocheting a new afghan for the living room, and wanted to learn how to do it too.  We tried with some wool and a crochet hook, but it was just too much for her at this age, so we went to the store to see if we could find a corking set for her.  We couldn't find one anywhere, but we did find this set of knitting rings and decided to give them a try. 
She picked out some colourful wool, and started with the smallest ring to practice on.
She was very pleased with herself once she got the hang of it.
Concentration plus.
I had to stay close by to help her with some of the steps, but she soon was doing most of it herself.
Happy happy times indeed.
She was up early the next morning, and the first thing she wanted to do was more knitting.   Looks good doesn't it?
Time for a big smile and the finished project. It was big enough to make a  hat for one of her dolls
But she decided to make a friendship cuff with the practice piece of knitting. 
She already has another cuff started for one of her friends.  Such sweet memories we are making together.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sad endings and new beginnings.

It is a frosty October morning, and emotions are swirling in the air all around me,  like the autumn leaves tumbling around outside.  Almost a month has passed since the car accident that took our car, and shook up my old bones.  Thankfully, we are slowly but surely moving back towards normal, whatever "normal" is.  A new car was picked up last week, and physio for this old body will start this week.  So, we are making progress.

This might sound silly, but I was more than a tad upset when I was told that our old CRV could not be repaired.  In the past, we had always purchased  smaller, second hand cars, but when AC retired, we opted for a bigger new car, as we planned on doing a lot of traveling during our retirement, and we wanted a solid car, with lots of room for camping gear.

Our old car, Corrie the Corolla, served us well, but was a tad small for what we had planned for our future.  When it was time to take the plunge and replace her, we looked at a number of  RV's, and we both felt like the Honda CRV fit us best, and we liked the look of it too.  We were the first owners of this little gem, and we named our new family member Harriet the Chariot.  Yes, we name our cars....strange I know...but true. This was going to be the car to take us on lots of exciting adventures and we looked forward to what we would find at the end of each new road we traveled down inside her safe cocoon.

We planned on keeping her for 15 years at least, so we didn't miss a service appt and treated her with tender loving care.   After her 10th BD, AC had a run-in with a rowdy tree, so a bit of body work was called for, and normal things like brakes, muffler and some other suspension thing had to be replaced. But other than that, she didn't give us an ounce of trouble.  Not bad for a 10 year old car.  She still looked good, and gave us a comfy ride; well, as comfortable as these old bodies could be when backs and hips started to yell at us after a couple of hours in any car. 

She took us out West, down East, and all around Ontario along many a new road. It was so nice to see her waiting for us at the side of a new road, where we parked her, so we could ramble around in the woods to take some pictures or enjoy a picnic along the way.   I also felt safe when we walked towards her in a dark parking lot at night, and she winked her lights at us when we approached.  Yes, I do have a vivid imagination, and it does make life interesting and fun.

One of our favorite places to travel to was Riverwood.  Harriet carried us and all our winter snowshoeing gear, there many times.  She waited for us at the end of frosty winter walks, and soon warmed us up as soon as we got inside.  Even when she was parked outside overnight at the farm, in -41 conditions, she started like a charm the next morning.  Yes, she was a gem of a car.

So, when we got the news that she couldn't be fixed after keeping us safe in the accident, I was more than sad.  We drove to the car repair shop to gather up our belongings and prepare for the trip home without her for the first time in ten years.  When we drove into the parking lot, I almost burst into tears when I saw her parked all alone at the back of the parking lot at this strange place.  She had taken such good care of us during all of our adventures over the past 10 years, and now here she was all alone and we would have to leave her behind when we went home. Sigh!

We emptied out nooks and crannies inside the car, cleaned under seats, and other out-of-sight  out-of-mind areas, then piled all our belongings in the rental car.  Sad, sad, sad.  I was really struggling to hold back the tears, and when we finally drove away leaving Harriet in that strange place, the tears did start to flow. I think the trauma of the accident finally hit home at that point, and I was a teary mess.

Thankfully the pain meds for my back and neck pain have been decreased, and I am not an emotional mess over a car any more.  Onward and forward.  I do have lots of happy memories of vacations taken in Harriet, so I will dwell on those.  One especially memorable "Silly Camping" adventure we had with Daughter #2 shortly after we purchased Harriet comes to mind, so I'll write more about that later this week.   Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

And so it begins...

Fours years old and....look who is playing hockey!
All suited up and ready to go
Such a cute little Timbit.
He is still not sure of himself on his skates, so spend a lot of time on his knees and back.
Yep, that's him in the middle of the rink all by himself on his knees.
The coach soon came to see how he was doing, and he was not a happy camper.  His nose was running, and he couldn't wipe it with his gloves on and his mask in place.  He was a soggy, uncomfortable Timbit.
He got a pep talk from his coach, and got another lesson in how to get back on his feet once he had fallen.
Ahh, that's better.  Nose has been wiped, feet regained and he is ready to fly.
Took a shot at the glass.
More coaching in front of the net. 
While brother played, sister ran around the rink.  Up and down the stairs, and round and round and round.

We spent some time out in the warm lobby, and then headed back into the very cold rink area.

I had a good view from the top row...
..and from that vantage point was able to keep a close eye on sister too.
It was a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  We will go again for sure, but I will take something warm to sit on next time.  That rink sure is cold.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Accident - shaken, rattled, but NOT rolled.

During the last week of our vacation at Riverwood, I was enjoying my morning coffee and toasted English muffin when AC asked me what I would like to do that day. 
MMMM, everything tastes better at the farm.
I pondered the question as I munched and sipped.  Hmmm, what would I like to do today?  Riverwood is located about half hour north of  our old family cottage, and when I am at Riverwood I am often reminded of fun family times at the old cottage on Eel's Creek.  On this particular morning I remembered a little Wayside Chapel that my mom used to talk about, and loved to visit.  I thought I might like to take a walk down  memory lane, and snap some pictures of the little chapel in the beautiful autumn surroundings.

So that afternoon we set off along the winding country roads to find the Chapel.
We knew the drive along the country roads would be as beautiful as the destination.
We came around a  bend in the road, and there it quaint as I remembered it. This picture was taken about an hour after the accident, as we had to wait that length of time for the police to arrive to make an accident report.  I thought I might as well take the pictures I had come for in the first place.

In the picture below, you can see the bend in the road we came around when we saw the flag out front of the Chapel.  We slowed down and prepared to make a left turn into the lane when we heard squealing brakes and before we knew it, we were hit from behind, sent across the oncoming lane of traffic, spun around and ended up on the edge of a ditch on the other side of the road facing in the opposite direction.
It is difficult to see from this picture, but the ditch was quite deep, and we landed precariously close to rolling over in it.  By the time we took this picture, we had moved the car forward a few feet so we could access the back of the car and assess damage.
The other car was a Caddy, and it was a crumpled mess.  The nose of this car went under our rear bumper.

The outside of our car didn't look bad,  We had one broken reflector light, a dropping muffler, and scratches on the bumper, but we couldn't see other damage until we opened the back door.
The underside was a crumpled mess, and the muffler was dragging down on the road.
We found a bungee cord and lifted the muffler up off the road so we could limp back to the farmhouse, as we weren't far away  when the accident happened. 
We didn't know what structural damage was done to the car, so we didn't want to drive it very far.  Calls to the insurance company were made, and we asked to be towed home, a distance of 213k's.  The towing company would only take us 200k's, and there was a closer repair shop in Peterborough, so it had to be towed to Peterborough instead of Ottawa.  Sigh.

Early the next morning a tow truck arrive at the farmhouse, and our little car was placed on the truck-bed for the long trip down to Peterborough.

All set and ready to go. We rode down to Peterborough in the cab of the truck so we could pick up a rental car.  It was a rather bumpy ride, but the driver was a very pleasant fellow, and he made the ride enjoyable with all his stories.

After a very long and wearying day spent in the car repair shop, car rental place, and walk-in clinic, we arrived back at the farmhouse around suppertime on Friday, with a rental vehicle that looked much like our car.   It wasn't as roomy though, and the ride just wasn't the same as a Honda.
Jeep Patriot, our rental car.
We spent the weekend at the farm wondering if we could get all our camping gear and luggage in the rental car and head home to Ottawa, or if we should stay in the area for a few more days to see if our car could be repaired.   I was really shaken up in the crash, and my neck and back were seizing up, so we decided to rest at the farm for a few days, and let my body unwind before trying to head home. 

Thanksgiving weekend was fast approaching, and we wanted to be home to share the festivities with family, but all our plans had to be put on hold.  We made a trip down to Peterborough to visit family on Monday, and make a stop at the car repair place to inquire about the car.  We then got the bad news that our car was a write-off, and we had to start the process of making claims with the insurance company and begin looking for a replacement vehicle. Groan!

We returned to the farmhouse, packed up what we could, and set off for home the next day.  We have been on a merry-go-round of insurance claims, new car searches, doctor's appts and myriad other things related to the accident ever since.

I am happy to report that we had a nice Thanksgiving weekend with family when we returned home, and we are now about to get off the merry-go-round, as we got a payout figure for our old car on Friday, and we found the perfect replacement car - another CRV - on Saturday.  We pick it up next Friday when we return the rental car.   I start physio this week for my neck and back pain, so we are moving forward.

Monday, October 21, 2013

More TG pics

I found these pics waiting in my file, and they are too cute not to be used, so here they are even if a bit late.

We went over to the kid's place for the TG feast, and it was such a nice day, the kids were outside playing while the turkey cooked.  We sat out in the sunshine with them, and watched while they biked.

Someone is very pleased with herself that she can now ride a two-wheeler.

Future race care driver?
New way to ride.
Time for an equipment check.
Soon it was time to go inside and start the gravy.
Danica wanted to help, and I was more than happy to oblige.
She stirred like a pro, while I rested my back.
I helped add the stock while she stirred and stirred.
MMMM, just about perfect.  I think it was the best tasting gravy ever. 
After dinner the kids had a bedtime story with Buppa. 
Wonderful day full of warm memories. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ride like the wind

Look who is now flying like the wind on her two wheeler - the six year old wonder! 
And there she goes. 
She was working really hard though, and had to take a break to rest her sore hands and tired legs.
The helmet came off, muscles were relaxed...
...a cold drink of water and a hug from Amma were called for, then she was back on the bike again.
Although the newness of riding her bike was exciting, she also enjoyed spending some quiet time with her brother.

Good old fashioned building-blocks are a hit with both kids.
JJ built many villages and space stations with the blocks.  I think this gathering was on the moon.
I think JJ just destroyed the moon base in this picture. As you can see, Danica had given up on the building blocks and had gone over to pester Buppa.  He was getting the upper hand on the rascal.
The holiday was great, but it is nice to be home and enjoying a daily visit with the munchkins again.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Another side-trip on our holiday

As nice as the quiet-time is at Riverwood, we also enjoy a visit with family while we are in the area, so a side-trip to my brother and SIL's  place is put on the agenda if we can manage it.  They live on the edge of town, so it feels like we are in the country when at their house.  An absolutely beautiful spot.
We usually sit outside on the deck when we are there, but Mother Nature had decorated the area with wet colourful leaves that day, so we sat inside and enjoyed the view from the other side of the window.

The fabulous windows made it feel like we were outside though.  AC ventured out to take pics, but the rest of stayed warm and cozy inside.
My SIL has a flare for decorating, and I always enjoy her festive arrangements.  This one makes you want to smile doesn't it?
Pretty huh?
The dogs also play an important part in the decor.  They don't stay where they are put though, and like to share the couch  with my brother whenever they can.  All three look happy about the arrangement don't they?
Danica sent a box of Girl Guide cookies to Uncle Larry, and he generously shared them with us to munch on with our after dinner coffee. Yum!
...and good food is always plentiful when we visit.
When the guys thought it was time to check mail and other news...
...the dogs got a treat, and then the girls went shopping.
We stopped by another family member's house for a visit, and the dogs were thrilled to see Mary Anne.  She does love her furry friends, and they love her.
We then hopped in Mary Anne's spiffy new car, and went in search of some interesting shops.  Oh fun!
Thanks guys, it was a fun visit.