Thursday, 11 October 2012

Final Day

Hard to believe this day is here already - don't most people say that at the end of a lovely holiday? I didn't sleep well, mainly worried about Tara and her continued gastro virus, but was happy to hear she seems to be on the mend. Susie and I had a leisurely morning talking over cups of tea (me) and coffee (her) then headed over to Chapters. I love Chapters! Lost total track of time, browsing and perusing, considering and thinking. It was wonderful. There just isn't an equivalent like that in England that I know of. Next I had a short wander through Shoppers Drug Mart which seems poised to take over pharmacy, health and beauty in Canada, driving independent retailers firmly out of business. I'm not a fan. Which I admit is at odds with being a huge fan of WalMart, which I am! We had a light lunch to save room for my final meal - Swiss Chalet. Mmmmm, I can smell that roasted chicken and dipping sauce and slightly soggy fries which I'll happily eat because they remind me of my childhood. Then we hit the road, making out winding way to Toronto airport for my 11:50pm flight. The hardest thing I do today will be putting my watch ahead 5 hours as I board that plane. I object to losing hours, something about it just doesn't sit right with me, and I object even more when those hours are overnight hours! Don't bother reminding me that I gained 5 hours on the way over here; I know that, I've enjoyed them, I don't want to give them back.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Back to Peterborough

Spent the morning packing up at the cottage. I took the time to reorganize my toiletries and shake the sand out of my undergarments after my impromptu swim yesterday! Susie and I helped Glenn bring the kayaks and paddle boat up into the top of the boathouse for winter storage - much heavier than they look! It was raining too and quite chilly. We drove to Bobcaygeon and enjoyed a lovely hearty meal at "Just for the Halibut", between the Beer Store and the Bakery. Mmm mmm good! I had a halibut burger with wasabi mayo and onion rings, delicious. Then the obligatory stop at Tim Horton's for a coffee for the drive back home. I've now lost count of my Tim's coffees, at least six so far I imagine. We only had about an hour at the house before trekking off to my second auction. This was a little less of a country auction, it had a seating area (!), and Susie bought me my first auction purchase - a Pyrex 250ml measuring cup, old style glass, can't get that shape anymore, to replace mine at home that has no visible measurements anymore. Got it for a dollar, along with a larger measuring cup and two serving platters! A lady seated behind me offered to buy the larger measuring cup so I charged her 50 cents, what a bargain! Can't believe how excited I was to watch Susie successfully bid for my little treasure (I was too shy to bid myself!). Once home we ordered pizza (my request) from their local favourite place called "God-ta have a pizza"; yep, it's the local Christian pizza parlour! We opened a bottle of rose wine, munched our way through the pizza while watching The Amazing Race followed by Survivor. I found a bit of time to reorganize my suitcase, re-rolling everything just like Tara would instruct to maximize space! I'm off to bed shortly, my last night in a bed until I'm back in my own on Friday night - seems like a long way off!!  

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Crystal Lake

Today was the day to explore Crystal Lake! After a wonderfully lazy morning spent reading and chatting, followed by a hearty lunch, Susie and I took the kayaks out on the lake. The wind was up so we set off into the wind, paddling into Three Sisters Bay then on to Clear Bay and beyond before turning around. It was a tougher paddle back because the wind had changed direction and no matter how we paddled we were being pushed further out into the middle of the lake. We chatted so much though that time passed quickly and it was a great hour out exercising and taking in the views. I think my arms and shoulders will be protesting tomorrow! The water level is down quite far so much of the rocky shoreline was exposed and changed the whole look of some areas. The water was surprisingly warm; we were expecting our hands to be freezing cold but they weren't. In fact I decided on the way back that I would go for a swim! I didn't give myself much time to change my mind so after shedding most of my clothing I took a deep breath and jumped in! Glenn and Susie were laughing and couldn't quite believe it; luckily Susie caught it on camera, taking a few snaps as proof! Lucy barked her head off, racing up and down the beach, wondering what this crazy lady was doing. So the gauntlet is down, I set an official challenge to the Harper clan to ensure someone goes for a dip in Crystal Lake every Thanksgiving weekend!  

Monday, 8 October 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Woke up to a gloriously sunny day on the lake. The fall colours are so beautiful and I've taken a lot of pictures already today. Greg took me out on the ATV and we went through trails in the woods that were breathtakingly beautiful, with the sun filtering through the trees lighting up all the fallen leaves. It was a bit chilly but thrilling!Then I took my book and, wrapped in a blanket, settled myself into a muskoka chair on the high deck of the boathouse looking out over the lake. It was so quiet and peaceful and I didn't get much reading done, distracted by the loon calling over the lake and tracking it as it made its long dives, waiting to see where it resurfaced. Glenn came down and built a chimnea fire on the lakefront and put some blues on the stereo and we sat around chatting before Greg left to drive home. Kevin is leaving in a little while then Susie and I are driving Melissa back to Newmarket. It is so hard to say goodbye to them, I've really enjoyed their easy company.

Sunday, 7 October 2012


Arrived at the cottage early afternoon on Saturday with Susie in the truck, fully loaded with bags and bins of stuff, including my enormous suitcase! Susie and I differ in our temperature requirements and had a laugh in the truck as we drove up, she in layers of clothes plus jacket and me stripped down to just a strappy top. I have been warm my whole trip, wondering why on earth I thought I needed all the fleeces I packed! We walked down to the lake and for the first time I was cold, hurray! Susie presented me with the most beautiful quilt she had made from flannel, a log cabin rag quilt by its official name, in an array of 21 different coloured fabric pieces in purples and blues. I love it and have already passed quite a bit of time snuggled under it! Lucky me. It's so nice to be with all the kids too, everyone is here through until Monday as it's a long weekend here for Thanksgiving. Last night was feasted on Susie's homemade tourtiere pie, garlic mash and roasted veg with chocolate fondue for desert, mmmm. We watched the Hangover 2, or at least most people did but I fell asleep regularly before I finally dragged myself off to bed near 11pm. Luckily I slept straight through until 8am, a first! Today is partly cloudy but the lake is calm and the trees beautifully coloured so I'm looking forward to a walk in the woods after lunch. Melissa and I already played Boggle and I'm gearing myself up for cribbage and poker later on! It's so peaceful up here and every time I come up I am in awe of what Susie and Glenn have accomplished.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

The Auction

Well I had been well-prepared by Susie and Glenn for what to expect at my first auction and it didn't disappoint! We drove to the town of Little Britain to an auctioneer's barns called Corneils. There's an auction there every Friday. There were about 500 people there but I was prepared for the crowds and the noise of three or four auctioneers calling through microphones at the same time in various parts of the large barns. There was everything from junky kitchen dishware to hockey card collections to framed prints and huge pieces of furniture. I saw tons of stuff that would have been excellent as props for some of my musical theatre shows, from old hats and suitcases to telephones and radios. I wonder where on earth they get all this stuff! Stuff I would just throw away having no idea that antique and collectables dealers make a decent living buying and selling these items. It was all so fascinating. Susie is a pro, working through the crowd, explaining to me as she went, looking through tables of stuff, turning over tea cups and china plates to look for the logo on the bottom, trying to determine whether something is vintage or replica, looking for that little treasure amongst the junk. I stood with her while she bid for several items and got totally caught up in it all. I did scratch my head at one point and noticed the auctioneer look straight at me so I had to quickly shake my head and from then on keep my arms firmly by my side! I was happy to see Susie win several items, mainly things for the cottage, and in particular a small print called Dancing Goose by Benjamin Chee Chee - Glenn had spotted it on the wall and we looked the artist up on Susie's iphone to verify the print name. We did have to wait three hours for an auctioneer to get to that section of the barn but it was worth it. I did indulge in a buttertart to keep myself going and mmmmm it was divine, no raisins, homemade pastry, deep and delicious. Must find out if there are auctions in the Harrogate area, I'd love to go as an observer and see what happens from there.


Friday was a great day spent in Peterborough with Susie. WalMart was the first stop and armed with Grace & Tara's request list I set off on my mission, basket over my arm. But first this happy pharmacist spent a heady happy half hour amongst the pain and cold remedies. Ah the heavenly sights of pseudoephedrine in 100 tablet bottles, acetaminophen (=paracetamol) in 200 tablet bottles, Polysporin ointment, Dimetapp was almost overwhelming! Then onto the candy ans chips aisles, then Kraft Dinner, then beauty products...this was one giddy girl! My basket overflowed with cut price antiperspirants (I think I bought 12!) and Carmex lip balm (6) and mascara (6). It was hard to stop!! What fun! Susie has to stop in there today on the way to cottage and I warned her it's like bringing an addict to a crack den and asking them to just watch. I may just have to sit in the car! 
Next we had a beautiful lunch at the Magic Rolling Pin and a stroll along the main street popping in and out of shops. My buying spree had been sated however so came away safely with two Christmas gifts (yes for you G and T!). Then on to the LCBO where I chose a bottle of prosecco for Susie to try and marvelled at their selection of imported beers. She didn't let me linger since the gleam in my eye had returned and she could sense my fingers itching to fill another basket with goodies! Then to Chapters and the wonders of books and more books...I loved it and think I came away empty-handed but only because there were promises of ketting me come again before my return home. A quick Tim Horton's coffee (my third! Yes I'm counting!) then home to regroup before heading to the auction....!