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!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Happy Halloween - Salem Style!

While we spent just a few hours in Salem, MA, the sights and sounds of this community continue to linger. Take for instance Derby Street. Within a few hundred feet there's enough to impress tourist and resident alike, as well as satisfy their hunger. Above is the Witch's Brew Cafe. Below is a salmon colored building,  home to a restaurant/pub called In a Pig's Eye.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Halloween in Salem

I owe my daughter big time because while we visited her in Boston, she offered to not only drive us to Salem on a gorgeous sunny Sunday afternoon, but tag along as well. Her husband opted to watch a football game with his father, and Sarah told us he's like most people who live in the area. He avoids Salem, especially on any weekend in October, like vampires avoid garlic. It's crowded.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Vermont's Living Machine

Most highway rest stops are hardly worthy of a blog post, but this one in Vermont on Interstate 89 is impressive because of the "Living Machine" used to clean wastewater via plants and organisms. The plants are mostly semi-tropical and because they would not survive Vermont's winter they're housed in a greenhouse. The building to the right of the greenhouse is a combo rest stop, tourism info site, and memorial to Vermont's Vietnam veterans.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Salem Architecture

Most people associate witches with Salem, MA, but it's also home to some incredible buildings. Sarah, John and I walked around on Sunday. Here's a sampling of what we saw.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving means more this year. Whether this appreciation is age related or simply circumstance, John and I are grateful for all that life affords us. We've had plenty of new and exciting opportunities, and we couldn't be more thrilled and excited to find out what's next. 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Belmont Lake

After we toured the Peterborough Farmer's Market yesterday we headed east, past Havelock, to Belmont Lake. Seeing all the possibilities of a kayaker's heaven, AND such a perfect day weather wise, John was determined to do some exploring.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Harvest: A Time for Thanks

This morning we visited the Peterborough Farmer's Market.

Friends in the Gardens

Friday was one of those perfect autumn days writers wax poetic about, so be forewarned this could get messy! But seriously, it was incredible. Temperatures reached the low twenties. White puffy clouds traipsed across the sapphire sky. A gentle breeze kept the bees at bay, and when our good friends Fred and Maxine dropped by for a visit that made the day even more special.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Holy Crowe!

Sometimes life throws a curve ball at you and you're in a fog and not really paying attention. That's been the case this past week. It's been Crowe, Crowe, Crowe, and we almost missed it!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Kayaking Indian River

John's a happy camper. Not only is the sun shining, but he's back on the water, specifically Indian River.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Millbrook 'n Marg

We've visited this region of the province many, many times, but we'd never been to Millbrook.

The town began in 1816 when an Irish immigrant built the first mill on the site where Needler's Mill still stands today.

To the far right of the mill is the community center. John and I parked outside, and heard loud music coming from inside. We had to check out the ruckus, and were surprised to find a group of seniors with figure and/or hockey skates strapped on their feet, all boogeying to the music!

The downtown section is quite appealing with lots of little shops and stores.

I've never seen such elaborate four-storey buildings in a small Ontario town before. 

Check out those top window decorations. They're like something one would find in Europe. Another interesting fact about Millbrook is there are more than 45 designated historic buildings in the town. That's more per capita than any other Ontario town.

While this mural below glorifies the railway, the rail lines actually caused the decline of the town in the 1880s. That's when the Canadian west opened up to new settlement and Millbrook's population dropped by half.

Our main purpose for visiting Millbrook, however, was to visit a wonderful woman we've know for 45 years. Marg now resides at Centennial Place.

We shared a few laughs and many precious memories while we ate a delicious lunch in a private dining area reserved for residents and their guests. We're so glad to have spent a few hours with this amazing woman. 

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Monday, 7 October 2013

Burleigh Falls

Today began as glum and dreary as Sunday, but we were determined to make the most of it with another road trip.

First stop was Mount Julian on the north shore of Stoney Lake. The marina was a perfect place to munch our sandwiches, and yes, before he'd even taken one bite John spotted the kayaks.

The view of the lake didn't help the situation any. He ate his lunch in total silence. I imagine he was busy mentally circumnavigating the lake in his kayak...or at least figuring out where to launch from next time he was in the neighborhood.

Directly on the lake and to the left of the marina is the original site of the Inn of Mount Julian. (It's the larger building on your right.) Established in 1874, visitors can still rent the cottages beside it, or enjoy an entirely new section now called the Viamede Resort. It's across the road. 

I didn't take a photo of the resort, but this chapel build in 1877 really added to its charm.

Next stop - Burleigh Falls. With the overcast skies and autumn leaves, it was a gorgeous sight. We parked the vehicle near the bridge (below), and then walked down a side road to get a closer view.

Each step provided us with another photo opportunity. I took a lot, but think these few do it justice. 

I took lots of pictures of John. This one's a little blurry, but then, as I said above, so was he! ;-)

However, as soon as we got back to the farm he took the dogs for a walk. He also took this picture of the swirling sky. My only complaint about all the natural beauty is that the temperatures have dropped. 

And I'm really not ready for that just yet!

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Saturday, 5 October 2013

Crowe's Landing

This morning John wanted to go kayaking, but the weather didn't co-operate. So, we took a road trip north on Hwy. 40 to Crowe's Landing on Stoney Lake. 

It's a tourist's delight with cottages all around the lake. I think this place was a B&B.

Here's a view of the side of this building from the dock. If you look closely there is a moose head mounted on the porch, just to to the right of that tree. I'm pointing that out for a reason, but you'll have to read further to get it. Anyway...

Just up the hill is the Stoney Lake Market

During the summer I imagine this place is hopping, but today it was a little more laid back. Well, sort of.

On those very steps I ran into a disgruntled customer. Depending on how you look at it, I was either in the right place at the right time, or the wrong place at the wrong time, but that's for you to decide. Here's the story...

This guy was in his mid 50s, wore a leather jacket, and had 'hippy' written all over him. He asked straight away why I shopped at the market. When I said I'd never been before, he warned me about the prices. "A Chelsea bun," he said, "costs $10! For one! What are they? The size of Detroit?" 

In the next breath he said he was staying at the Irwin Inn (within walking distance from the market) to attend his best friend's daughter's wedding, and that he and his friend had partied all of Friday night, and that the deck on their chalet "somehow" got damaged. Uh-huh. This guy might've been a whole lot happier if he'd forgotten all about the pastries and just ordered a Moosehead beer as shown on the sign below. Plus, He could've sat at one of those tables and contemplated life in the great outdoors. Alone. ;-)

Where was John during this stimulating conversation? I walked down the hill and found him standing on the dock, gazing longingly at the lake. Well, okay. I'll admit I couldn't see his face or his expression, but just look at that body language. Doesn't that just scream 'forlorn'? I'll bet you a dozen of those very expensive Chelsea buns he wished he could just climb in his kayak and GO!

But that wasn't going to happen anytime soon. SO, I returned to the Market and got him a blueberry pie.

It was still warm and fresh out of the oven, but I doubt Paddle Boy cared. Ah, well, tomorrow's another day, and if the kayak gods approve, he'll be on the water and smiling from ear to ear. Now, riddle me this. What am I gonna do with all that pie?

* * *

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Gardens, Gardens, Everywhere

The gardens surrounding the farmhouse are spectacular any time of the year, and the sheer volume of what is out there is endless.

When I decided to take a pictorial record of the flowers I didn't really have a grasp of what it would entail--if only because I took more than 200 photos. Here's a collage of just some of the flowers and plants.

This is the walkway in front of the porch. 

Bees, birds and chipmunks are everywhere, as well as the guinea hens and peacocks who stroll through the gardens eating all the bugs. Gotta love those guinea hens!

The chipmunk, however, is a rascal when it comes to the bird feeder. We caught him chowing down on seed this morning.

And on a final note, John kayaked this afternoon near Lakefield. Bet you didn't see that coming! ;-)

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Wednesday, 2 October 2013


Today we stayed close to the farm and one of the most colorful characters we're responsible for is Alice. As I strolled around the gardens I spotted her in the barnyard and called out to her. She not only wandered over to greet me, but replied in a donkey lingo I didn't quite understand but certainly found amusing.

Take a closer look at the photo above and you'll see her mouth open...that's because she's mid-sentence of giving me what for. 

Even more of a surprise she allowed me to pet her nose and get quite close. When John wandered past, she called out to him and well, I think these two have an understanding going on...

Or maybe not. While I was taking their photo she grabbed John's vest and gave it a good tug. Maybe she just wanted to remind him who's boss.

* * *

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Kayaking on the Trent

If anyone noticed my recent comment on Facebook about going for a hike on Sunday along the Trent-Severn Waterway, I'd like to point out that was a misnomer. I didn't realize John really just wanted to find a drop off point for his kayak. Surprise, surprise he found a lot of potential places!

This morning the fog lifted and by ten he was ready to paddle. So, we packed up a picnic lunch and hit the road. We parked just south of Trent University, and paddle boy took off.

He was gone for almost three hours while I remained in the van (also known as my "cone of silence") to write. Well, I did my best. The words didn't flow today, but that's to be expected. It's been awhile and it always takes a day or two to get back into the swing of things. 

The bottom line is we both had fun, the weather was spectacular and the very best part was NO bugs! That's all that matters in my book. Happy kayaking, and happy writing!

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