Thursday, 30 July 2009

A finish in Muskoka

Finally I have a finish to display! The weather here has definitely been conducive to stitching. We've seen a lot more rain than we would have liked but it has never been continuous. The sun always breaks through at some point and we've had some lovely evenings. A bit cooler than usual, but I can handle that. Yesterday morning I put the final stitches in on Spring Lace. I loved stitching this one and would really like to try another pattern by this designer which is which is Whipered by the Wind. I'm going to have this one framed although it might make a great pillow as well. Now I'm concentrating on Nature's Beauty although I also have a couple of other UFOs with me. Remember Snow Drift and Holey Sheet? I might even manage to get in some stitches on those ones as well.

I love to stitch anywhere but I think that this might be my favourite place. The scenery is just so beautiful. On Monday we took an evening cruise on board the Island Queen which runs out of Parry Sound and cruises Georgian Bay. We booked this weeks ago because this wasn't your usual cruise. This time we were cruising to the music of the Elora Singers choral group. We always manage to get to Parry Sound on our visits here to take in one of the performances at the annual Festival of the Sound. The Elora Festival Singers is one of this year's highlights. The evening was spectacular. The weather, the scenery and the music all combined to make it memorable. The sunset that evening was gorgeous and I managed to get up to the top deck to take some photos. What follows are some pictures taken during the course of the evening.

Next day was a visit to Bala to take in the weekly waterski show. This show has been going on through the summer for as long as I've been coming to Muskoka and we thought that Daniel might enjoy the show. Windsor Park in Bala was full of folks in their lawn chairs or on blankets eagerly awaiting . The show is put on by one of the local waterskiing schools and afterwards there is a donation, the proceeds of which go to a children's camp for kids suffering from cancer. The show did not disappoint. This year there was a new addition. A fellow from Florida who is a world champion in the art of sky skiing. This is where they ski above the water on a hydrofoil. You gotta see it to believe it! Then there was the guy who skiied on a canoe paddle! It was great fun to watch.

There was a minor mishap with the boat this trip. On a return trip from Port Carling I noticed that the stern line was dragging behind the boat. I hollered to Bob to stop but he was in too much of a hurry to beat the oncoming thunderstorm. He said he'd get it later. Well, later was when we arrived back at our dock and it then got caught in the propeller. Fortunately there was no damage and I refrained from saying "I told you so!". After this though, the boat refused to start again. Bob took the motor apart and had a look but couldn't see any problems. We contacted the local marina who came out to have a look (after waiting 24 hrs for them to arrive). Turns out that in his hurry to stop the boat when the rope was caught, Bob hadn't fully put it into gear. Since it was beween gears, nothing was happening. The guy from the marina laughed and told Bob not to feel bad, that this was the third time that day that someone had done this. Daniel and I kept our lips zipped but it was difficult to keep the smiles off of our faces!

Another cool evening last night. Cool enough that a friend whom we visited had her fireplace going. Today promises to be a lovely day, no rain and we are taking a boat cruise of the lake on the Seguin steamship so that Dan can see the area. I'll leave you with a picture of Bob, looking much happier now that he's motoring the waters again.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Of Mice and Men

Here we are at the cottage at Whiteside and yeah!.... my internet stick works! We tried it out on the way when we stopped in Cobourg and had no luck connecting. I didn't hold out much hope that it would work at the cottage. Imagine my surprise when we arrived, plugged it in and immediately had a connection. When we took our first boat ride that evening I could see a new tower in the distance. I think that was a major factor in our success.

We had rain most of our drive up here but since our arrival the rains have held up. As you can see from the picture, the skies were a strange, mottled mess of clouds. The weekend is supposed to be a washout but that makes for good stitching, right? Next week is supposed to be rather nice with some sunny days starting midweek. Some things have changed here but other things haven't. We have a lovely new mattress for our bed. This is great since last year I woke every morning with a backache and when trying to sleep I found myself rolling to the centre of the bed. This bed is smaller than the one we have at home and I was often crowding out Bob.

Next on the list, the boathouse is currently being rebuilt. It should resemble a small barn when completed. They've also extended the dock so there is more room for relaxing lakeside.

However our dear rodent friends are still around. Our first night in bed I hear ....rustle, rustle. Did you hear that Bob? Yup, it's in the waste basket. I quickly turned on the bedside lamp and spotted two little feet hanging on to the far side of the basket. When I made a move towards it , he jumped down and scampered away. I may not have mentioned it before but my DH is afraid of mice and so he was definitely staying put in bed! I didn't sleep well that night because I could hear them scurrying around in the eaves. Night number two... all is quiet, we fall asleep fairly quickly only to be awakened around 4 by a thud. It seems there is a small hole where the wall meets the ceiling and I think our little friend dropped from that height to land on the little bench at the end of the room. He was trying to get into a plastic bag containing some new purchases. He gave up soon though and all was quiet again. Meanwhile Dan, who is sleeping on the futon in the sunroom, has heard nothing mostly because he's using ear plugs to sleep. Drowns out my snoring you see!

Every morning Bob heads down to the lake for a morning swim. It's a little too cold for my liking (70 F). His first morning down there he spotted a heron coming in for a landing on the neighbour's dock. He was heading back to the cottage and when he came in he told me to grab the camera and see if I could get a pic of it. By the time I headed down there though there was no sign of the heron. At least not on the neighbour's dock, but when I looked straight ahead, there he was on the foot of our dock. I snapped this picture from the upper deck which is halfway to the dock. Right after I snapped it he took flight.

Bob is off for a rehearsal this morning since he's playing handbells on Sunday morning with another parishioner at Bannockburn Community Church. Dan and I are just headed down to the dock with our coffee, books and my stitching of course. I plan on putting in some time on Spring Lace. Don't you just love the lazy days of summer?

Monday, 20 July 2009

Muskoka- Here I Come!

Yippee! After weeks of counting down, my vacation time has finally arrived. The last few weeks at work have been just horrendous. Anything that could go wrong did and I'm glad to be taking my leave for a couple of weeks. This coming Thursday we head up to the cottage in Bala where I can hardly wait to take a seat on the dock, stitching in hand. The only stitching I've done recently doesn't count since there's very little progress but I do have a pic of Nature's Beauty to show you where I am so far.

As you can see, I haven't got very far but I'm hoping to rectify that in the coming days. Spring Lace is still hanging around too but I haven't got enough progress for another pic right now.

I have a new toy to aid me in blogging while I'm away. Last week I bought my very first laptop. I've been saving for one of these for awhile and I'd already researched them and had an idea as to what I wanted. This will make things so much easier for us while we're away from home. My DH likes to keep in touch so that he knows whether or not he has to play any funerals or weddings when he returns. In the past we've wasted a lot of time waiting to get on the computers at the local library and then your time is limited so I never bothered. Now we'll be able to keep up right from our home away from home. When I bought the computer you also got a deal on an internet stick so that we should be able to access the internet wherever you can pick up a cell phone signal. We'll see just how well it works! So if you don't hear from me while we're away you'll know that it was a washout.
My son Dan is accompanying us on this trip and he's quite excited since this is his first visit to Muskoka. We're going to head out on Thursday morning and we have about a six hour drive ahead of us. Since we're pulling the boat it might take us a bit longer. I can't use my usual lead foot when I'm towing the boat! Please keep your fingers crossed for good weather. I don't know about the rest of you but it's been a pretty lousy summer here so far. Much cooler and plenty of rain. The weather network forecasts improving temps but I don't trust them since they've been off on their forecasts most of the time.

We've brought over Dan's cat Tugger to keep Clarisse company while we're gone and a neighbour will come in and feed them for us. They're making acquaintance again right now. I can't say that it's all going well though since there seems to be quite a lot of fighting and hissing going on. They should settle down in a couple of days.

My Mom and Step-Father were visiting our place this past weekend and just headed home this morning. It's been 2 yrs since their last visit. We're about 500 miles apart and I know that my Mom just hates the drive, which is 8-9 hrs long. We tried to get my oldest here with his girls but it didn't work out. However the other two boys each got to spend some time with them which was nice. Dan was already here and we managed to hook up with Chris in Ottawa for lunch on Sunday. Saturday afternoon I took them to the village of Merrickville, which is a lovely little village along the Rideau Canal system. There's a set of locks there where you can watch the boats coming and going and the village is full of lots of quaint shops to check out. We had a lovely afternoon and the rain skirted all around us but we weren't touched. The photo on the left is a view of the main shopping district and shows some of the lovely architecture in the village. The photo on the right is of Dan and my Mom.

Now I'm in the process of deciding which stitching projects I should bring with me. I'd like to start another small for the trip up. I was also checking out Chapters this weekend for some good reads. I picked up the last novel in the Harry Potter series as well as one called Reading Lolita in Tehran which is a true story of students in Iran studying forbidden Western classics. This one promises to be interesting.

As I'm working on this post I'm having a heck of a time moving my photos about on this new laptop. This is going to take some getting used to.

My next post should be from the cottage if we ever get that internet stick working! I really hope we do because I also want to get caught up with all of you. I've been away for too long.