20 Years From Now...

"20 YEARS FROM NOW," Mark Twain said, “you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the ones you did.”THIS online journal is dedicated to our next 20 years!

Friday, 30 August 2013

Peach Pie Perfect

While John's been kayaking his little heart out the past couple of weeks, I've been more or less within arm's length of the computer. 

That isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially after the long drought of not writing finally seems to have ended. I've started writing book two of the Piedmont Island romantic suspense series. :)

But back to Paddle Boy and the final long weekend of summer. I'm fairly confident I can bribe him to abandon his kayak for at least one day with this...

Peach Pie - Perfect! 

Prepare pastry for two crust 9-inch pie

5 cups sliced fresh skinless peaches
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter

Mix peaches with lemon juice. Stir together sugar, flour and cinnamon, mix with peaches. Fill pastry shell with peach mixture. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust. Seal and flute. Carefully cut slits in top crust.

Bake at 425 degrees F. for 35 - 45 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. 

Happy Labour Day!

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Friday, 16 August 2013

Duchesnay Falls & Colonel Hoagie's Diner

During our stay in North Bay last weekend we hiked the trail around Duchesnay Falls. It was a glorious Sunday morning and judging by the number of other people out on the trail, everyone was on the same page.

There are many, many trails, but the one we took is about 3 km in length...that is, if you don't veer off the main path and get lost like we did. 

The funny thing is, our tour guide, Keegan, kept stopping and turning around every few feet as if silently and tactfully telling us we'd gone the wrong way. But did we listen? Nope. 

We should've paid attention because he knew exactly where to go. He's been there so many times, he knows the trails like the back of his cute little white paw!

The river itself is wild and rugged, and we were told there is so much water flowing over the falls they rarely freeze during the winter. 

We really enjoyed our Sunday walk and highly recommend a visit, but wear hiking boots and be advised the first incline at the beginning of the trail right off the parking lot is a doozey. But if I can do it, you can, too!

With all of that physical activity, one has to eat, right? So, Monday morning on our drive home we stopped at Colonel Hoagie's Diner. It's on Hwy. 17 and cannot be missed. The bright orange exterior may have something to do with that!

The second you open the door and walk inside you're greeted to the sounds and sights of the 1950s. We were greeted by a cheery waitress who took care of us as if we were the only patrons in the building. We weren't, of course. There is another section of tables to the left of the cashier's counter. 

The menu is extensive and features The Big Bopper Breakfast, Johnny Cash Corned Beef Hash Breakfast, Chubby Checker's Feast, Betty Boop Breakfast Bagel, and many, many more tantalizing items.

The photo below is the view from our window booth. 

And as you can see from John's expression, this was a terrific way to start the day. 

On the other hand...do you see that glazed look in his eyes? Could he possibly be thinking about ripping that blasted camera out of my fingers and tossing it out the window? I did, after all, ask him to zip back out to the parking lot and get it from the van. Then, as soon as he sat down, I said, "SMILE!" And all of this took place before the poor guy had a single sip of coffee. 

Nah. I must be imagining things. ;-)
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BTW: I always include links to the various places mentioned in this blog. For instance, if you click on Duchesnay Falls or Colonel Hoagie's Diner here or above where it's highlighted in a different colour, you'll be taken to their websites. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

North Bay, Ontario

John and I had an opportunity to spend the weekend in North Bay, Ontario, and while we've driven through on a number of occasions we've never taken the time to stop and check out the sites.

There's a lot to see and do in this vibrant community of 53,000 residents. Our official tour guide for the day was a 4-legged cutey named Keegan who offered to show us around his hometown. He explained the CPR Railway Station (pictured above) is now a museum and restaurant. 

As you can imagine, it didn't take long for either of us to warm up to Keegan, and I fell just as quickly for North Bay. I told John, "I could live here." He was quick to point out I say that every time I encounter a new town or place, but at least I'm consistent. ;)

North Bay's farmer's market (above) was a bustling hub of activity Saturday morning with more than 40 vendors offering everything from fresh produce to honey, perogies (yum!), homemade jams and jellies, and as an added bonus local singers serenaded visitors and shoppers as we strolled about. Good times. 

South of the market is a pedestrian walkway under the old CPR Railway leading to the waterfront, and Keegan suggested we go and check it out.

The view was spectacular. Did you know Lake Nipissing is the fifth largest lake in Ontario? French fur trader Etienne Brule was the first European to visit the lake more than 400 years ago in 1610. Another fur trader and explorer, Jean Nocolet, had a cabin and trading post here for about 9 years until he returned to Quebec in 1633.

The waterfront walkway, originally named the Golden Mile, was the brainchild of one of North Bay's former mayors, Bruce Goulet. The city renamed it the Goulet Golden Mile in his honour in 2008.

The flower gardens on either side of the winding walkway are spectacular.

Plus, there are ample benches to just sit and relax and enjoy the surroundings. 

Another lovely discovery along the Goulet Golden Mile was this intricate sculpture. I love the details.

Toward the west is the marina and the original Chief Commando. If time would have permitted, we could have booked a cruise on the Chief Commando II.

The waterfront just isn't for walkers, joggers or runners. There's lots of activities for families, including these four wheeled "fun rentals". 

Across the highway is The Heritage Railway and Carousel. What caught my attention wasn't the children, but the volunteers themselves. The majority, older men and retired, proudly wore their train conductor's uniforms and hats. They appeared to be having as much fun (if not more) than the kids.

After all that walking, we returned to the van. What did we give our super little tour guide? A treat, of course. He explained his favorite flavor is duck and sweet potato, and voila, we just happened to have one handy! Thanks, Keeg, for showing us North Bay's downtown waterfront. It was a blast.

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Sunday, 4 August 2013

Blueberries, Blueberries, Blueberries

A friend recently asked if I'd gotten any blueberries yet, and I realized I needed to act fast--before the season ended. So, Friday morning I asked John to take me blueberry picking. Even though I'm willing to bet a gazillion dollars he would rather have gone kayaking, he took me to Rooster Rock. 

It's an easy ten-minute walk in from where we parked the van on Stanrock Road, and I snapped this shot along the hike in. The view is always spectacular (even if my photography skills are somewhat lacking).

With all the rain we've had this summer the blueberries are plentiful, plump and delicious.

We picked for an hour or so on both Friday and Saturday mornings, and in that short time we had enough berries to fill this colander twice. 

Sunday morning they tasted lovely on pancakes, and this evening I tossed in a handful on our dinner salad. Yum!

Here's the recipe for the pancakes. It's easy, fool proof and always delicious whether you eat them plain, or with whatever fruit you have on hand.

Strawberries are just as wonderful as blueberries!

My Favourite Scratch Pancake Recipe:

1 egg
1 cup buttermilk 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

In bowl beat egg, then add remaining ingredients in order listed and mix. I use a fork, but a rotary beater will work as well. Makes ten 4-inch pancakes. 

Note: 1 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon vinegar can be used in place of the buttermilk. I make a single batch, and freeze the leftovers in packs of two. On those days when I want something quick and tasty...without the fuss of cooking, these pancakes hit the spot. Just microwave pancakes on high for 1 minute. Easy peasy and yummy!

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Thursday, 1 August 2013

Good Friends

Mark Twain said, "Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."

We've know Dave and Flo for more than 40 years. They stood up with us at our wedding, helped us usher in the New Year more times than I can remember, our daughter and their son were born five months apart, and not one of us will forget the night Mrs. Ferguson's ghost paid us a visit. 

But that's another story for another post. (And sometimes it takes a bit of wine to get the story rolling.)


Last week Dave and Flo invited us to spend a couple of days at a cottage on Lake Wahwashkesh. We went, and naturally had a great time talking, eating, drinking, touring the lake, and of course, watching a movie (or two). 

Dave telephoned this morning to say he's considering a repeat performance sometime in September, and my response was swift - our suitcases are already packed! We'll be there with bells on.

Since our return home, John's been in his kayak almost daily. No surprise there. But what is surprising is that sometimes he actually listens to Dave. Take a look...

Did we have fish for supper? Nope. John released them all. His excuse was he didn't have anywhere to store the fish in his kayak...I'm currently working on a solution to that problem. (Threatening divorce didn't work!)

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