Monday, May 27, 2013

Florida in May

sunset (photo by Marie)

After two weeks in the heat of Florida Marie and I arrived back to the cold north, where wintery weather was hanging around for longer than normal and threatening to send us back to the manatees, dolphins and crocodiles...But today is seems we are back to the warm sunshine that makes life here on the mountain worthwhile and I had the chance to work on my shed, putting on the roof, doors and window. Tomorrow I will shingle the roof and try to decide what color we will paint it...It was great to see the family again and spend some time with Dee at her place in Land O' Lakes, Lyn and Don in Brooksville and four days in Lake Worth at Richard's condo where I kept busy laying tile in his kitchen and hallway. Dee took us out to the beach at Redington Shores one day where we stayed late to watch the sun set over the Gulf, then a fish supper at Wahoos. Don took us out on his boat later on in the week, going out to Homasassa Springs where we were all thrilled when a pod of dolphins swam alongside us. I went swimming in the Gulf with Brenna when we anchored in about 6 feet of water and enjoyed the feeling of the warm salty water on my foot. Lauren had removed my stitches the previous day and it seemed to be healing fine. The next week Marie and I drove our little rental car across the state to Lake Worth, a four hour trip east on the Florida turnpike. The temperatures got up into the 90s there and I sweated buckets while I was tiling but the thought of the pool a few minutes away and the Atlantic Ocean 10 minutes by car kept me going! Hopefully Richard will like the look of his new kitchen and invite me back! We had breakfast one morning at Benny's on the Beach, dinner at a local sports bar, Flannigan's, and supper at Havana in West Palm Beach, three of our favourite eating spots. As you can see by the pictures below it is hard not to find a great place to eat in Florida! The two weeks flew by and it was soon time to return to St Petersburg and catch our Allegiant flight back to Plattsburgh, drive out to meet Christina, pick up the dog, and spend the night visiting with Phil and Fernanda before heading back home. So now back to the grind - finishing the ceiling, putting up driwall and getting the shed ready.  Hopefully we will be getting some visitors this summer so lots to do before July. Enjoy the photos, taken by myself and Marie on her new Fuji camera. gws

                                                                     At Dee's

Dee and Gary, The Groves, Land O' Lakes, Florida

Wheres the beer?

Hanging round under the pier, Redington Shores, Florida


Caspian Terns


At Lyn and Don's

Grandma Lyn and Brenna

Brenna and Grandpa Don

Me and the 'old man'

Brenna, Shawn and Lauren

Rose by Lyn's house

Auntie Dee and Brenna

At Richard's
Marie, beach at Lake Worth, Florida

collecting shells

Entrance to Rich's condo

the kitchen

my last walk on the beach...

early morning, St Pete airport and Allegiant MD-80

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Our Retirement Home Part Twenty-Four (Hanging Around)

As we get closer to our departure for Florida for two weeks Marie and I have been going full speed ahead and trying to do as much around the house as possible before locking up and saying goodbye to this glorious spring on the mountain. I have finally taken one level off the scaffolding as we make our way down the wall with the stained wood panels, the chandelier and the speakers, taking advantage of the nice weather to move my saw and equipment out onto the deck (see above). We also hung the outdoor light in the front entrance. Between inside chores I have been constructing a wooden shed down by the cabin which will be serving as my workshop as well as additional space for storing a lifetime assortment of odds and ends - all my tools are scattered all over the house and we need to clear up some space in the basement. You can see it in the photo above nearing completion. Marie meanwhile has been busy paying countless bills and arranging with contractors to give us quotes on the construction of stairs from the basement to the mezzanine. Unfortunately, as well as untimely, I sliced my ankle a few days ago coming up to the house over some sharp rock and had to go to the hospital in Megantic for stitches and a tetanus shot. So now I hobble about trying to do as little but as much as possible and praying I won't get an infection in my wound before the 12th. That day we drive to Montreal where we will stay overnight before heading to Plattsburgh, NY to fly south. I will update from the Sunshine State so until then enjoy spring and...Go Habs Go!  gws

Marie hanging chandelier over dining area

front entrance light now hanging above door

fan and chandelier hanging together

hanging around with a good book because of the following...

                                  Warning: gruesome picture follows! 18 years or older please......

okay so it wasn't that gruesome...

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Sweet May hath come to love us, Flowers, trees, their blossoms don; And through the blue heavens above us The very clouds move on.
Heinrich Heine

This past week I took the VIA train from Montreal to Toronto for four days to visit with Richard, while Marie and Emma headed out on the 417 by truck to Casselman to see Christina and Patrick. We both needed a much earned break and a chance to charge our batteries after a long winter. Early Spring sucked as well but it has suddenly turned into summer here with glorious sunny, warm and dry days. We left from Montreal after staying a few days with Phil, Fernanda and Amy before heading west. Amy is saying a few words now, notably dog whenever she sees Emma and, of course, Papa and Mama. We also had a chance to go over to Nun's Island to see Lara, Jesse and Joshua who are staying at Jesse's Dad's condo - they are in India - overlooking the river and the city. Joshua is cute as a button and we both wish we could see more of him. Good news though as we found out when we returned from Ontario - Lara and Jesse finally sold their duplex ! They were both unbelievably happy, as we were, and they can now get on with their lives.

view of Montreal from Jesse's condo

Marie and Joshua - what a happy little guy!

It  has been a few years since I have been in Toronto and the Big Smoke was just as nuts as ever. Georgetown was the absolute opposite - a small town with not much happening. Little Jack, Jenny's son, who willingly gave up his bed for me while I was visiting had changed a lot since I had last seen him, from a toddler to a smart little boy who was always with his little game computer. Jamie is due this coming month for the third time and definitively seems to enjoy the role of motherhood. Rose dropped over for a BBQ one afternoon and is as jolly as ever - she and Richard seem to be made for each other! Richard and I drove out to Acton one day to see Hayley and although she is still struggling to get her life in order she is still the little Haley I always will remember and love and I can only wish and hope for the best for her. Marie also had a good time with Christina and the kids and had the opportunity to have Emma meet Bella for the first time. 

Georgetown, Ontario

Jack, playing Mario 

Rich and Zeus

What a beauty - and he knows it!


Hayley's latest tattoo...ahh that's so nice!

Jamie and Matty

'little' Richie

Shawn...nice buzz cut!

Rich and Rose

Casselman, Ontario
Isabelle doing homework

Isabelle and Bella

Christina's workout

Isabelle and Sarah

Christina and the girls

Emma and Bella

I had a bit of a scare when I first got into Toronto and while looking for the Georgetown train connection I came across numerous cameramen, reporters and RCMP hurrying hither and yon. I received a call from Richard just about then to see if I had arrived safely and he asked me if I had heard the news of the suspected bomb on the train from Montreal to Toronto. Naturally I did the oh no not here in Canada now routine and immediately thought of last week's bombing at the Boston Marathon, but early news reports were innaccurate and the public was never in any danger, the intended target to be the Amtrak from Niagara into New York. It seems some of those radical Muslims, who I always suspected were using Canada as their refuge, were finally showing their slimy faces. Hopefully this will be a wake up call to all Canadians.. I made it back to Montreal in one piece - Marie met me at the station and we were soon on the Metro heading for Phil's place and a good nights rest before heading back to the house and another few weeks of hard work. Next stop, Florida, for two weeks in the middle of the month! I will be posting a few pictures this week of what we have been doing around the house since we came back from Ontario. May has come in and it continues to be a unseasonably warm but thankfully we can start doing stuff outdoors again! gws

What a cutie!