Saturday, July 15, 2017

Rhinoceros, rhinoceros….

As the life partner remarked….these short summers sure slip away quickly don't they? I'm into the final two weeks of my 'at home' time and cannot believe how they are disappearing. Mind you, Maritime summers are brief to begin with and I've been trying to pack mine into the month of July, knowing I won't be home again until November after a six week work rotation followed by six weeks of vacationing in the Greek Islands. Tough schedule, but I'm up for it. Ha!

But first a bit of a recap of the last two weeks festivities. We travelled to the city for my oncology clinic appointment - which was great - and were pleased to have my surgeon as he was on his first day back after having both knees replaced (he and I both understand the being on the other side of the bedrail situation) I shared how pleased I'd been to return to work and he agreed. I suggested that the BS is what wears us down and he said "well it's been good so far but it's only 11 am, I'm sure there's lots of time for it yet before the day is over".  I asked about the three to four monthly checkup schedule as it related to travel plans and he said "you make your plans and we'll work around them" which is just what we wanted to hear. When I discussed the schedule he stated that "research shows that patients with your pathology who aren't scheduled for checkups but followup for symptoms do as well as those who come for regular appointments, the reason we call patients back is to be sure they haven't developed any problems because many people won't followup, I'm not worried about you as you'll come in". Ahhh so no need to worry about what will be found at a visit if one is feeling well, much better way to approach these checkups. So the 'working around' my travel plans will fit a checkup in between return from Greece and before a girls getaway cruise in the fall (more on that to follow) think I can manage that. 

After leaving the clinic we headed to the mission and dropped off some hotel toiletries (given out to street people) which a neighbour had sent along and a bag of crocheted hats I'd stashed in the closet as it will be winter again you know. The donations were much appreciated. A quick drive through stop and out onto the highway as we had made plans to visit a friend in New Brunswick. I managed to crochet an angel wing pinafore for the granddaughter and was tickled to discover that it fit her perfectly. I had succumbed to a local yarn shop called Erin's Hooked on Yarn which is stocking wonderful new products at decent prices, especially great colours for little girls. I mean with a description as a supply store for fibre enthusiasts….how can you go wrong? I'll be back, once I find a way to hide the ever growing stash that is. I do have an idea though as I noticed an article in the local paper which referenced a knitting group which meets at the library (I've marked the calendar for Tuesdays numerous times and have yet to make it) where they created pneumonia prevention vests. One of the participants (a former nursing colleague) had begun the project through the ACW (Anglican Church Women) who send them overseas. There is a crochet version online which I've located at:

which is a great place to access all sorts of free (or paid) knitting and crochet patterns. And as you can see, it's not going to win any fashion contests but will keep a small body warm. It's very basic, will go to a good cause and will be a nice change from the hats I've been doing. Might even reduce my stash a bit. The problem is though that when folks hear you're working on such altruistic projects….they contribute all sorts of yarn to the cause, at least this is what's been happening with the hat creation caper. I'm going to attempt a vest over the next few days as I've made a car service appointment for Tuesday afternoon so I can walk down to the library and see if my creation looks close to the ones being shipped. I hear they don't discriminate against crocheters so I'm thinking it may motivate me towards another semi-retirement activity to accompany my dishcloths, hats and market bags. 

The visit in NB also extended to the US as we opted for a day trip down to St. Georges, over on the (free) Deer Island ferry with a stop in the lovely picnic / camping park overlooking the water and then off to Campobello Island on the ferry (reasonably priced at $16 for the vehicle and $3 per person) to explore Roosevelt Campobello International Park:

which was a lovely bit of history and something I've wanted to tick off the bucket list for years. Picked up a great Eleanor's Cookies cookbook and opted to download Beloved Island at home (price is one aspect but the logistics of what to do with the actual books is the other). It was a beautiful warm, calm day, just perfect for exploring. We drove off the island via the bridge to Lubec, Maine and up through the border crossing at Calais and 'home' to the Loch Pub & Grill in Harvey where we had a wonderful supper. A leisurely breakfast and visit (told my friend we'd give her 5 stars for her B&B) and we were off to the ferry in Saint John to cross the Bay of Fundy to Digby. A short stop for gardening supplies and we were home by suppertime. Lovely mini vacation.

The following morning I had a spa appointment. then headed out for a girls getaway with the teacher daughter and granddaughter. The original plans had included the nurse daughter but the sinus infection she was battling didn't allow her to accompany us, hateful to be sick on your days off and well enough to return to work as scheduled. We made our way to Pictou for supper and the baby was the entertainment of the restaurant, she wasn't a big fan of the carseat after all that freedom, but we were pretty quickly at the Seafoam Shore B&B. Recently opened by a couple who have relocated from Ontario it's a newish bungalow, trailer and cottage arrangement. It was immaculate, lovely redone rooms complete with lavender chocolates and a delicious breakfast. And I must say, the owners were not as eccentric as many B&B owners I've encountered. It was located next to a lavender farm and near to River John (our destination) but first we journeyed to Tatamagouche for the farmers market. Found some lovely herbs, a rope basket, vegan soap and delicious baked goods. The Margaret Fawcet Norrie Heritage Centre was open and there was free admission until 10 am so we popped in - lovely exhibits about the creamery, farming life and some interesting palaeontology as well. We stopped at the Lismore Sheep Farm and Wool Shop and despite the wonderful collection, we didn't purchase anything just moved along to the barn where the granddaughter was thrilled with the baby lambs with their mothers, sheep dogs and even a highland calf. Fun! Back to River John for the day of Read by the Sea which included readings and panel interviews by authors
Christy Ann Conlin, Dean Jobb, Lesley
Authors panel 
Crewe and Terry Fallis. There were great food trucks for lunch with delicious options and I even met up with a former OH&S colleague from 20 years ago. The baby was extremely well behaved and very popular with all the grandparents present. I purchased some books but didn't opt for signed copies - guess it's a sign of my transition to e-books where there are no signed editions. It was all in all a great day and one that we should make an annual event. We made one stop at Sheree Fitch's children's book store outside of River John:

It's a lovely spot with Canadian books and the granddaughter was gifted with one in each of our official languages - an Arctic alphabet board book and a French picture book to share with her friend Eloise. We were back to city in good time as the baby napped. I overnighted with there and in the morning had lunch with a friend in Chezzetcook at a lovely restaurant / shop:

Was a great catchup and the meal was delicious. I did restrain myself from purchases, but it wasn't easy. Nice way to spend a few hours on a Sunday. Along the way I discovered that my son was engaged and had proposed to his girlfriend of a few years at our camp, taking along a ring made from her great grandmothers engagement ring - not sure where the romantic touches came from, don't think they were inherited through the paternal line.

This past week has been grandson focused with daily swimming lessons at the lake, ball practice and game, swimming in the pool, visiting the greenhouse, archery practice, books, games and more games. Oh and of course I can't forget to mention…the losing of the first baby tooth. This initiated a text discussion with his mother about what the tooth fairy 2017 rate is as I planned to set a precedent of $2 being as he has a lot of teeth. She informed me that $20 is not unheard of. Can you imagine? He has no concept between a toonie and a twenty dollar bill so why would you do that? He informed me that there were male and female fairies with the gender being specific to the boy or girl being visited and was thoroughly tickled with the $2 in the morning. At one point while driving home from the lake mister is discussing that he'd like to go to New York and take a cruise again and so I ask about the destination and without hesitation he says "Africa". When I suggest that he's not the only grandchild now so his 10 month old baby cousin will have to come too (not a problem for him as he is very taken with her) he says "oh she'll love it" and then imitating a squeaky baby voice informs me that she'll clap her hands and say "rhinoceros, rhinoceros" I phone my daughter to advise of this travel planning and although we both agree that the baby's brilliant we're unsure about the new word (she's still conquering mama and dada) but my daughter promises to work on it - mister interjects that she can start with just rhino. My nerves.

The previously mentioned girls getaway 10th anniversary cruise is officially booked. The plan of last year ( meant to raise spirits during my health struggles) to connect with Super Mario (who has NOT aged as well as we have according to a photo in an online article) on a Royal Caribbean ship has been realized. We are booked for two back to back cruises of four and three days respectively out of Miami on the Enchantment of the Seas after research to ascertain this is the correct ship. As I told the young agent (who thankfully found the situation funny not creepily inappropriate) the itinerary, location of cabin, seating for dining are all inconsequential, our intent is surprise the gentleman at the Latin dance bar a la 2007. Well, my travel partner will be the surprise, I'm going to practice being the official photographer of us having fun. And as if it were a sign that this is to be….Jr suites were the same price as balcony rooms when I checked and the agent found us a nice one on the stern of the ship. Meant to be obviously. Have some travels planned but I can state emphatically that this trip will be the one where my stomach muscles will need a rest from after all the laughing.

Today I visited with one of the neighbours as she and two friends (both of whom I know from my former lives - one from committee work and the other from nursing) are planning a cruise and wanted some inside information. I had a nice visit, answered some questions, shared my scrapbooks / photo books and then headed home to take the grandson to swimming lessons. I am pleased (and proud) to report that the lad managed to complete both level two and three this week and is now working on four with the distance component being his only hold up. One of those situations where he'd likely manage it with another week of lessons in August (if his Nanak was going to be home to take him) but next year I won't have to be making those kind of trade offs. 

Time to call it a night, so many projects, so little time.