Road Trip in the Pandemic

WANDERING….

It is hard to venture far from home these days especially during a stay at home order announced by our Premier Mr. Ford recently.

These are strange times indeed when the Government tells you to stay home and announcements are made playgrounds are closed, (now re opened along with Police having the ability to pull you over and ask you why you are out and about).

The kids and I ventured out the day before the Premier announced such drastic measures would be taken.  These measures were removed a few days later when most of the Provincial Police areas announced they would not be randomly stopping cars. 

Phew……… I agree with these stay at home orders especially with this virus spreading like wildfire with the new unknown variants. But not sure I agree with certain parts of the shutdown.  Closing small businesses but keeping large box stores open?  

Everywhere you look people are up in arms over these measures, and social media is full of bickering over masks, shutdowns, and the imposed restrictions.  I try not to engage in any of these disputes as they seem to only throw fire onto peoples feelings of angst and unrest during these uncertain and scary times.

I wear my mask, social distance, and was so pleased to have gotten my first dose of the vaccine.  It was a very emotional experience, as I am hearing others are having when they get the shot. 

I listen to science and try to keep myself safe and others around me.  There I said it, these are my feelings, I try to respect others feelings are not the same as mine.  I hope we can just all get along for the sake of humanity.

Back to road tripping during a pandemic.  I suppose winning an online contest , thanks again to the #weathervane in #Erin for my new sporty spring watch I won on an online contest. 

Such a great day when you find out your a WINNER on a Contest especially during these difficult times. It sure put smile on my face.

It maybe wasn’t exactly a necessity to venture outside and travel a short distance, but it was reason enough for us get out of the house safely, masked 6ft apart for a curbside pickup.

Supporting our local economy by buying local and using curbside pickup during these times sure makes sense pandemic.  I just cannot imagine trying to run a small retail business, restaurants and others affected during these times.

After a long winter indoors, and now heading into spring with a year of lockdowns the kids and I sure enjoyed our little outing.

The kids and I took a trip this March Break (April Break), to Erin.  Yep, a trip to Erin was our March Break trip this year.  We were all so grateful just to get out of the house, go in the car and go on a road trip, if only for 25 minutes.  So funny the things you find gratitude in nowadays.  

A BIG thank you to a really cute little shop in @villageoferinbia@the.weathervane.



I won a really cute pink watch, which is perfect as my other watch had just broke. Its the sweetest little Spring Bird watch a girl could want. My Daughter who is 14 has her eye on it!

My first trip to this cute little shop, but it will not be the last. Of course I had to pick up some other really nice pieces. Great curbside pickup it was very safe. We were thrilled to be a winner and support local.

The kids and I made an afternoon daytrip out of it, we walked up and down Main Street in Erin.  We found a lovely little park with some great public art, checkers table and a cute little pavilion which I am sure is filled with events when it would be safe to do so.  We peeked into some of the shop windows, stopping for some treats to take along with us of course.



A change of scenery and a feeling of a little normalcy if even for only half a day was a little bit of heaven on a gloomy Spring day.  

I am ever so grateful for all of the frontline workers, and healthcare teams keeping us safe.  Thankful, grateful are not big enough words to express my grateful heart during these times.

We will get back to normal, a new normal someday hopefully soon.  In the meantime we will stay home, wash our hands and prayer this gets better!  There are so many places to explore and adventures to be had in our backyard!

 

Talk soon and Be Safe~

 

Nancy

The Lovely SMILING Crossguard Mary-Ellen!

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I like to watch people from a distance.  Having watched this crossing guard at my children’s school for the past few years at J.D. Hogarth Public School in Fergus.  I have always thought this women must really enjoy her job. 

Mary-Ellen is that kind of person who always has a smile on her face.  You know those kind of people who are always so cheerful no matter what the weather is doing.  I see her standing in the rain or snow in the early morning hours and she is always bright and cheerful despite the weather.  I have watched her and she seems to have that natural ability to chat with others and always has something kind to say when you see her.

I had more of a chance to chat with her recently while waiting in line a the local post office.  While tapping my toes trying to wait patiently for the elderly women in front of me, I turned to the lady behind me who was staring patiently out the window with a smile.

The lady behind me in the line was certainly recognizable with her bright yellow jacket on and her infectious smile.  Like many others to pass time we began to chat about the weather and she mentioned she “had that cold going around”.   She said “she didn’t want to get out of bed that morning, but always feels better when she puts her smile on and gets going!”  

When asked if she wakes up like that she chuckled and said, “she has been asked that question often before.”  Mary-Ellen said,  “No I have to remind myself you can go thru life either smiling or frowning.  She said, “she chooses to smile!”

She said she “loves her job, and loves working outside”.  I told her how much I appreciated her happy disposition and that she just puts a smile on my face every time I see her. 

Well time didn’t permit me that morning to take care of my business in the post office that morning, but I was sure glad I had bumped into “My favorite crossing guard” as she just made my day, as I needed a reminder on how I could choose to smile or not thru-out my day!

I had asked her when she would be dressing up again and she said, “Oh, I am sure I will be getting the bunny ears out for Easter, the kids love them!”  As you can see in the photo, today was the day she wore the bunny ears. 

Thanks for always making my day brighter Mary-Ellen and keeping our kids safe!

Talk soon~

Nancy

Adventures In My Backyard

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Why do I sometimes think I should travel far & wide to discover more about myself?  With the end of the school year upon us and the kids beginning their summer holidays, I pondered this thought.  I was brought back to reality when after the kids were safely on the bus, I stepped out onto my backyard which has a forest like feel & look to it.  It is in on the outskirts of the City limits and we are moving shortly to a new home.

I know already how much I am going to miss this fabulous backyard, but thinking of the new place, it does have a pond close by and I have always wanted to live close to the water.  I am getting closer I guess, although it is an irrigation pond and it located by the kids playground area.  I did discover one of my favorite birds flying overhead as I was walking around the pond.  It was the Blue Heron(s) who were flying back and forth and may live in the vicinity. 

Summer officially began yesterday, (June 21, 2018) and with that came the longest night of the year.  My mother was eager to inform us,  that yesterday had 15 hours and 36 minutes of daylight.  She then said, “After today the days are going to get shorter”.  OH no, not shorter days already, we just had winter with blowing snow and cold.  OK back to today, it was a gorgeous summer day and night!

I sat on the sidelines of the CW Sportsplex along with my parents cheering my 11-year-old daughter, who truth be told needs a few soccer tips.  I was a proud Mom, as this is the first sports team she has ever wanted to join.  She is building her confidence and is blending into the group nicely. I am becoming a sports Mom cheering her on the sidelines. She is getting a little older now and when we arrived she immediately got out of the Jeep and went over to her team, not even a see you later.  It seemed as if she didn’t want us to even be there, but we had to say a few cheers when she kicked the ball.  We tried to respect her coolness factor and not make a spectacle out of her or us. 

Her grandfather and I chuckled and I understood how she must have felt, I was that preteen girl not long ago.  Ok maybe it was quite a long time OK, but who is counting?  That one who when I got dropped off at high school dreaded the thought of my father and brother blowing the horn and yelling out the window “Bye, Have a Good Day at School Nancy!” 

AHHH….summer so darn short and sweet, the sky looked like a photo from a postcard by the end of the night.  The thought of wanting to travel to far away lands disappeared because when I looked around I realized I had everything I needed, right in my own backyard!

Amazing what a little perspective can do, and sometimes it can be a little more economical than booking an airline ticket.  Although they just introduced a new economical airline flying in Canada this June.  That’s another story.

Talk soon ~

Nancy

Dreaming of Far Away Places

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It is the start of March Break, and this is one of the first years in a while my daughter and I are not going South.  I know what your probably thinking, BOO HOO.  I just spoke with my daughter and said, “Are you excited for March Break?” Her response was, “OH yeah… March Break…”  I think the little people will probably be happy just to stay home and take a break from the day-to-day busyness of school life and extracurricular activities. 

It is always nice to go away for a little adventure and a little break from reality if even for a day or two.  When I read this little gem of a quote, it really made me pause and reflect.  Today  I choose HAPPY wherever I am and today.   I am in Guelph at work.  Tomorrow I will be in Fergus for the weekend, and then Guelph for the work week next week.  You know what, that’s OK, because, that is where I am supposed to be for the time being.  You know what I am kinda of excited the workday is almost over.

I have a night to myself.  My plan is to put the Tea Kettle & Fireplace on, grab my cozy blanket, light my candles and watch a few episodes of my current favorite Netflix series, “Grace & Frankie”.  

You might catch me dreaming of faraway places this weekend; climbing mountains, discovering little treasures on the beach, or drifting off into the sunset holding my daughters hand in a hot air balloon.  Or maybe that was Grace & Frankie carrying on with their antics?

Life is good!

Talk Soon ~

Nancy

Waiting for Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup

They call it Liquid Gold” April is the month to celebrate everything Maple Syrup.   April 5th, 2014 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Local Elmira Syrup Festival, and yes it is snowing!  In 2000 it set the Guiness World Records for the Largest 1 Day Maple Syrup Festival in the World, with 66, 529 people attending.

I remember going to the Festival with my Grandmother and brother on several occasions when we were young.  Oh those pancakes…… slathered with the rich tasty Ontario maple syrup.  Memories of walking along the closed off streets and sitting in the sunshine with thousands of people eating lots and lots of pancakes with maple syrup, butter and whipped cream.  Often it would be one of the first nice sunny days of the spring.

Or it would be like today,  “old man winter” still showing his face with the wind howling and huddling in a tent shivering eating the pancakes you waited an hour for in line.  I remember another time going to Elmira with my crazy neighbours, Patrick & Kevin with “My Matt” (pre-kiddlets days) .  Lots of giggling while we drove in the snow storm to eat pancakes with those big crowds.

Yesterday I was lunching with my friend Wes and casually mentioned I had been to a Maple Syrup Bush this week, with my daughter’s class.  I shared with him I had always wanted to ‘tap my own trees”.  Phone in hand, he quickly dialed the nearest Maple Syrup Making Town hardware store in St. Jacob’s.  Yes they had some supplies available.  It would only take 10 minutes from Waterloo, I was in luck!

I was told by the “sugar shack man” on the class trip the weather had delayed the season and they had just began to make the sryup.  He had only made the first batch that day.  I was confident there was still hope to tap some trees and hang buckets, perfect weather with cold nights and sunny days.

I always seem to do things last minute.  I guess I am not much of a planner.  However having purchased them I thought to myself “well I will have them for next year, and I will get a head start next year!  I had my eye on those glass leaf shaped bottles.  I was already designing my signature label for the bottles.  After all I was in the label business and they would make a lovely gift!

Here are my sugar bush tips from my class visit.  Sap runs from Sugar, Red, Silver Maple Trees (and maybe some other ones),  but not Pine trees.  I joked with my friend that we have a lot of Pine’s in the back.   He kind of stared at me, and said “you know you cannot tap Pine Trees?”  Depending on the diameter of the tree you can hang, 1, 2, 3 or more buckets.  It is best to check and collect buckets daily.   This Mom knows this fact from her rope game the kids played with the trees this past week.

Speaking of Mom’s I spoke with my Mother today and was all excited to tell her I had a pail for my Dad to put on their Maple.  She quickly responded “Not on my Tree!”.  Need I say more.  Maybe she will warm up to the fact when she sees the bucket.  After all shouldn’t everyone put tapping a maple tree on their “Bucket List”.

Sryup is made from boiling off the water and it turns to sugar.  My friend suggested I not boil my syrup in the house , he shared his childhood memories of the wall paper peeling off the walls from all the steam.  The house lingering with a sugar smell and messy syrup everywhere.  Ok, I would boil my syrup outside on the barbeque burner.  I already had a vision of the kids playing nicely, the sun shining and getting ready to treat the kids to the maple taffy on the snow (just like at the maple sugar bush this week.) Oh what a Mom I am, creating all these great memories, what are they going to think.  Definitely it will be a photo opportunity.

Ok so I purchased the supplies, listened to my friends tips, read some more literature and listened to my husband’s manly advice of his video watching in the morning.  I had a good idea what I was doing, since I saw “first hand” their demonstration in the cold, wet muddy bush.   Bundled up I took my buckets, drill, spiles, hammer, and lids out the trees, waving goodbye to my proud daughter Meaghan giving me a “thumbs up”, and a big smile saying she would see the syrup when she got home later.  Dad was taking them to the movies today and out for the day.

Drill….drill…..drill… yep ok I remembered to put the drill on an upward motion – done.  MMM… the video said syrup would flow.  Nothing, no “liquid gold” flowing.  I tapped some more trees, same thing no liquid.   I decided to attach the spiles and the buckets (easy peazy) and play the wait and see game.  “Maple trees why are you not flowing with your liquid gold?” Did I miss a step?  Where they Maple trees.  We live in a farm community and I am a “wanna be kinda of farmer”.  Every year I try to grow pumpkins and well, that is another story.  I am just waiting for my neighbours to drive by and shake their heads at us again.

Since I am cold and kind of cranky with not seeing instant results I going to take advantage of this quiet time in the house, make a couple pancakes and you guessed it,  put on some of the maple syrup I purchased this week.   Perhaps a coffee would be the perfect compliment to my brunch.

Enjoy the Day!   If you are not sure about doing something new, “Just DO IT!”, (like the Nike Ad).    I am looking at my buckets and they look rather festive and who knows it might take a few minutes (or hours, days) to get things flowing!   I will keep you updated.

(My New Update)  – Just found 1/4 full of sap in my bucket! (WOOT – WOOT) ….. Thanks Wes for having faith in me, and telling me to “check the buckets today – you will have some”.  He said it was too cold for it to flow yesterday and I will have some today at 1 or 2 in afternoon!  Now What is a girl to do with the sap?  That is another story.

 

REMEMBER JUST GO WITH THE FLOW!

 

Talk soon ~

 

Nancy

 

 

 

 

 

Oh ….those Sunday Drives!

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Ok kids get ready we are getting ready to go on a nice drive today – we are going on a “Sunday Drive”. Do you remember those days you would all get into the car and just go for a road trip. I remember one time when I was little maybe 4 or 5 years old. My parents and I did just that we where going for a family drive. Remembering the car like it was yesterday, it was a big old grey Oldsmobile. It was soooo big I remember one time my family drove home from Florida in the car and the back seats where huge,  my brother actually slept (or farted) the whole way home in the wheel well of the car. Yep – that is right no seat belt, just lied in the back of the seat on the floor letting those little toots all along the way I-75.

Another family car road trip memory is falling out of the car. Yes you heard it right, I fell out of the car. I guess as memory serves we were on a another family car trip and I was playing with all the electronics (the power windows/locks) and guess what the door flew open and bang I hit the pavement (unscathed) except they didn’t notice I was gone. I remember looking up and they were driving away. My Mom told me “We knew you fell out of the car, we were only at an intersection and we stopped right away!”. That is not how I remembered it, I remember running up the hill yelling and waving my hands – “Hey don’t leave me here – you forgot me”, I am sure there where some crocodile tears too, and maybe a few bruised knees to go along with the bruised ego.

I wonder if that would that happen today – with the fancy car seats and the all the safety devices on the modern automobiles.   I am sure if a child fell out of the car today, the modern gadgets would simply alert the driver to stop immediately and perhaps a notification would sound “child has evacuated the seat, please pick child up at next stop.”   My brother would always joke with me about my falling out of the car scenerio, “well I guess that explains what happened to you!”.  

Since today is Sunday I guess I should round the kiddlets up and go for a drive to visit Grandma.  We are so lucky to have her in our lives.   She is 95 years old and has a very sharp mind,  and still lives in her home today. I will bet she has some great stories of her many Sunday drives and more!  Did I mention this is her son & daughter in the picture, (just kidding – but the rest of the story is true).  

Talk soon ~

Nancy