Monday, September 26, 2011


After a visit to their doctor this morning I was so pleased to get the news that Fer´s new arrival has been finally assigned it´s future path in life it is a GIRL! Marie and I are very happy and excited for both Phil and Fernanda and hope to be able hold the little chickinina Amy in our arms at the end of January! And we are sure she will be a beautiful, intelligent and strong minded baby, just like her parents! For more pictures, info and an opportunity to comment and wish them well, visit Fer's blog at   gws

The Week That Was...MOM (Montreal-Orlando-Montreal)

Why did the tortoise cross the road?

deer, The Groves, Land O Lakes

bee, The Groves, Land O´Lakes

Eye see you!

Tyler and Ebie

Mom, Carolyn, Shawn and Brenna

Ebie, Dee and Mom, the Groves

Lyn and Hamie, backyard, Brooksville

Me, Brenna and Lauren

Shawn and Brenna

Lyn, Le Jardin, Brooksville

BBQ; Brooksville

Ryan and Caroline

Yeah! I didn´t hit the Bug!

Dee and Lyn


Thursday, September 22, 2011

South for a week..part 2

Waterlily, Land O' Lakes, Florida

,,,continued...Driving back and forth from Brooksville to Land O' Lakes everyday can get rather monotonous but in my little red Camry rental I usually do it in under 40 minutes. I look forward to seeing mum everyday and I know she is pleased to see me when I show up at Dee's doorstep every morning. Yesterday though I stopped off on Lake Lindsey road to see how dad was doing and was pleased, yet surprised, he was doing as well as could be expected by himself. He was eating well, keeping the place clean, inside and out, and even managing to drive into town most nights for supper. After my visit with mum I returned to Brooksville as Shawn and Lauren were coming over with Brenna to enjoy a duck with rice and orange sauce dinner that Lyn and I had prepared.

Shawn,Brenna and Lauren
But today Lyn and I drove down to the Groves in Lof L together, first stopping off to visit the horse farm where she takes dressage lessons, somewhere out in the country and seemingly in the middle of nowhere. I was introduced to all the inhabitants of the barn before leaving, arriving at Dee's around 11am to welcome Ryan who had just flown in from Salt Lake City. I hadn't seen him for few years, not since Marie and I had gone camping out west in the old
van, returning via Utah. He had just returned from three months in Barrow, Alaska and finding the heat of the south as uncomfortable as me.

Me & Marco, the Andalusian stallion

Me and Ryan

Lyn and Ryan
While mum was with her occupational therapist (yesterday her physical therapist had come over and spent an hour with her) we sat outside to hear Ryan's tales from the far north. As we were looking out at the water a few feet away a small alligator showed his head, looking rather hungry and inviting us to come out and feed him some dogfood! Somewhere the mother 'gator may have been lurking so we kept our feet safely on the bank!

Baby 'gator, Dee's backyard
Tyler and trumpet flower
Tomorrow the gang is going to get together for a bbq one last time before I return to Montreal. If I have time I will update with pictures.  Right now the thunder is crashing and booming outside my window, the dogs are howling and barking and supper is be continued...  gws

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

South for a week..part 1

     Greetings from the heat and humidity of central Florida! I flew down Saturday to Orlando on AirTransit from Montreal to spend a week with the family and check out how my mum was doing after her release from hospital and therapy. The flight was pleasant enough considering it was full of kids and young families on their way to Disney World, but the service was surprisingly good and the stewardesses - are they still called that?- exceptionally pretty! Arrived in Orlando at 530pm, the air temperature 95+ and as I walked out to pick up my rental car it was like I had a run into a solid wall of superheated air. Still can't imagine living down here in the summer after all the hundreds of times I have been to Florida and the southern States, but give me Florida anytime in the middle of February! It has been almost twenty years since I have been to Orlando because it is not our first choice for arriving in the Sunshine State. I was amazed how much it had grown and the traffic was nothing short of horrendous. Fighting bumper to bumper traffic along Semoran Blvd I finally got on to SR 50 and headed west to Brooksville taking almost an hour, and then it was the same along Colonial (50) through the sprawl of Pine Hills and Winter Garden - one red light after another. But traffic finally thinned out on the other side of Lake Apopka and I was quickly heading west into the setting sun. It was almost 9pm when I pulled into Lyn and Don's place, the drive from Orlando actually taking longer than the flight from Montreal!

Brenna & Lauren

Brenna & Grandma Lynette

The next morning we drove over to see Shawn, Lauran and their new baby girl Brenna, who I had yet to meet! And what a sweetie she was, as the photos show! From their home in Brooksville we all headed south to Land O' Lakes for a visit with mum. She is staying with Carolyn (down from Utah) and Dee in Dee's place in the Groves Golf and Country Club, a lovely quiet spot right off Highway 41. I had driven by there many times unaware that the Groves, an environmentally sensitive community in natural surroundings on 446 acres, was even there. Most of the community is preserved as a conservation area with the residences surrounded by cypress preserves, parks or Golf Course fairways, or in Dee's case, fronting a waterway full of fish, turtles and alligators. It is peaceful and safe (except for the gators!) - a perfect spot for mum to recuperate. Yesterday she got a new walker to use outside and Carolyn and I helped her try it out, slowly making our way to one of the lily-covered ponds along the boardwalk, close to the house. The sun was very hot so we took along a large umbrella to shield us from the noon rays. When we came back two sandhill cranes joined us at the feeder at the back of the house, reminding mum of the couple that often used to fly in and visit at her home in Brooksville.... to be continued...gws

Sandhill crane in Dee's backyard

Mum & Me

Me, Carolyn & Mum

Friday, September 16, 2011

McKibbin's Irish Pub

       Last night Marie and I spent the evening at McKibbin's Irish Pub on Bishop Street in downtown Montreal. The Guiness was superb and the pub fare just as good. I had steak and kidney pie, Marie a large green salad topped with smoked Atlantic salmon. As I have often said dining in Montreal is an experience you can only appreciate by living here - the variety and sheer volume of absolutely fabulous establishments boggles the mind and in a lifetime one would never be able to savour them all! French cuisine abounds of course in the bistros, brasseries and creperies everywhere but there are wonderful Swiss, Belgian, Italian, Spanish, Portugese, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Malay, Indonesian, Philippine, Greek, Middle Eastern, African, Carribean, Latin and South American, Eastern European and anything else you can think of all within the confines of the island. Lest I forget there is even Canadian cuisine - burger joints, kosher and fast food places on every corner it seems. We try not to visit the same place more than twice but it is hard not to resist a gem when you find it! This though was our first visit to McKibbin's and if you like dark, cramped spaces, hard stools and loud conversation, flowing beer and great pub grub, this is for you! Our menu reminded us that the historic red sandstone building was built in 1904 and once was the home of one of Canada's most brilliant surgeons, Dr. Frank Richardson England. He and his wife both worked at Western Hospital, which today houses Montreal's Children's Hospital. Here on Bishop Street history abounds and we were both amazed by the architecture of the buildings about us, on this one small part of the city, when we headed out of the pub and home.  And as the Irish say, Céad Mile Failte!   gws

Thursday, September 15, 2011

September 11th weekend

Marie and I spent last weekend up at the cabin enjoying the most beautiful weather imaginable - warm, sunny days and clear, crisp and starry nights. It was a time for reflection of the past ten years and here in this place, easily done. I had a chance to plant a few trees - larch and mountain ash I had gathered from around the lake where I had been swimming earlier in the day and some ornamental grasses that were getting pot bound. September, of course, is the perfect month to plant and I have had almost a 100% success rate whatever and wherever I have added shrubbery, trees or flowers around the property.

Me, Muffy and the Runner, swimming lake

Muffy atop the Runner hood, swimming lake

Me going under at the lake, deserted as usual!

Marie heading for the shower, 6pm

This weekend I am off to Orlando, then onward to Brooksville to spend a week with my mum. If I get a chance I will blog from there. Till then enjoy the rest of summer and hopefully as you slide down the banisters of life the splinters never point the wrong way!  gws       

Sunday, September 4, 2011

September rumblings and ramblings

It has been a few weeks since I waxed poetic and not for lack of topics. Sometimes so much happens in a short while that one can hardly sort out the trivial from the not so and it all becomes a tangled jumble...Last I wrote we were planning on driving the old camper down to Maine to get some repair work done. Marie followed in the Dakota and we were then off to the coast for some fresh lobster. It was hot and got hotter as the brakes seized up on the pickup and began smoking. Call CAA. Hang around Augusta for another three hours getting repairs. Time for a new truck, but hey - we survived Tropical storm Irene. Back home a week of phone calls, checking Kijiji and Autotrader. And of course we are trying to get the construction of our new home underway, dealing with window manufacturers, quotes for the foundation and septic system, making changes here, there and trying to find someone who will be able to plow our long driveway come winter of the inevitable 5 feet of snow... 80 degrees outside and the s word has appeared for the first time...I am off to Florida next week to visit with Mom who is in therapy, recovering from her pneumonia and MRSA ....sore today from a day of laying sod at Lara's duplex and Phil calls me up and wants me to help him pick up 35 sheets of driwall. He wants to redo the basement before the baby arrives...even if it kills me I am going to smile and just keep scratchin' where it itches...gws