Friday, 28 September 2012


techy problems?   internet problems?   I don't know but when I try to open your blogs I get a message that says something like this             'It looks like you have not been invited to read this blog."

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Our Last Week in Ontario

After Church on Sunday the men went to the vintage air show in Gatineau, Quebec. 

First they dropped me off for a glorious afternoon all to myself wandering around the Museum of Civilization. 

#1 Son is a senior programmer there, and right now is working on interactive things for folk to do when they visit the Voodoo Exhibit that starts on November 15.  His office looked out over the Ottawa River to the back of the Federal Parliament Buildings.  He is on a contract now so can work from home which saves 2 hours of driving a day. 

The museum was built to plans drawn up by a First Nations architect, Douglas Cardinal, whose style is traditional and modern and so distinctive.     
He also designed the National Museum of the American Indian ( NMAI ) for the Smithsonian, in the US and had some controversial problems with them.  I will not comment on that unless you ask.  But I like the welcoming style of the buildings he is famous for in Canada.  This is a church he designed for the Canadian Prairies ( St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Red Deer, Alberta)

Even though I don't usually like modern architecture, I do find that his buildings feel embracing and welcoming for some reason.  There was a jazz group playing in front of the First Nations Exhibit on the bottom floor, that was too loud for my old ears so I took the elevator and went to the 4th level to work my way back down to the more public areas.  A lot of folk though were going down the escalator to watch them, as I went up to get away.    I like jazz but this was too loud for my virgin ears. 

The top floor was an historical survey of early explorers like Cartier and Thompson and military folk like Brock and Wolfe.  I studied them all at some time in school but needed a refresher course.  Then the display went into modern times' heros like Nellie McClung and Tommy Douglas.  Level 3 covered how Canada was opened up from the cod-fishing industry on the east coast to farmers, ranchers, loggers and the oil patch in the west.  The scenes presented to inform of that era, made me feel like I had been there.  This pottery shop would have been very popular a few hundred years ago as the country grew. 

The boat builders drydocks were a special place to see for me also. 
I needed longer in this museum.  I could have spent a day in just this area on the third level.

This skylight was also designed by a First Nations artist.  It became more beautiful with each level of the museum I descended and/or ascended.

I could still hear the jazz when I got to level 2 so I decided to check out the children's area.  What a delight that must be for children to visit.  Every exhibit is a trip to somewhere in the world and all are hands-on-areas.  I am not sure about how well that trains youngsters to walk sedately around a real museum.  There was a lot of playing going on.   Children crawled all over this bus that showed how high folk could be stacked during public transit in the area to experience south asian cultures.   
It is how folk really live and get around in our world, so is realistic and a truthful way to teach young folk.
# 1 Son phoned me to tell me I had 20 minutes more......before they picked me up for dinner.  I had actually visited most of level 2 but never finished level 1,  below the picture of the entrance which is on level 2.   I found it all confusing until I found out that Level 2 is the main level.  I will blog some more tomorrow.  We are in a very quiet camp by the Batchawana Bay which has 3 miles of sandy beach.  We plan to stay awhile as it is so peaceful.  I will blog more about the museum tomorrow.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

More fun at #1 Son's free campground

 We have done so many things while staying here, but there is no way I can write about them all.  I will add a few more pictures here and then in my next blog write about the ending of our visit and our start for home in the west.

As you can see summer is over and the camping places are almost empty.  It is not any cheaper but it is quieter.  We get the pools and playgrounds to ourselves. We took the younger grand-daughter for a few days by herself and all went well except for the rain and ferocious thunderstorm the last night that continued for 2 days even back at home.  She said she just ignored it, but it was not fun for us packing up in the mud to go back to her house. 

The last weekend of our visit, we took the girls to Rideau River/Canal campground which is about an hour from their house.  They made pretend houses in the woods and worked hard to clean up our camp and loved cooking on the fire.  The leaves were starting to turn lovely myriad shades of red, and it is down to 11 C. (52 F.) at night.  
Perhaps we will get a long, Indian summer.

One of my favorite evenings was when the girls had their baths and then stepped outside in their nightgowns to do a bit of bow and arrow shooting practice before their bedtime stories.  How lucky they are to live in the country.  Daddy belongs to a shooting club.  The oldest has taken bow shooting lessons also.

Can you figure out what this is?    

We were fortunate to be there for the first morning of school.  Here they are waiting for the bus to arrive at 8:13 AM.The youngest was so excited to get on the bus with her big sister for her first two and a half days a week of pre-school.

I spent that whole day cleaning out and reorganizing the dusty storage bins under the RV.  Those gravel roads in Saskatchewan had made a mess inside and outside.

Jacklyn won a few first ribbons and a second at the Russell Fall Fair.  Her First prize chocolate chip cookies were delicious and disappeared fast.  Her home-made Christmas card was ingenious too....candycanes on the front and a message to have a "SWEET" Christmas inside.  She also got a second for a picture made with a bingo dabber.  My family is so talented.  .......... it makes me chuckle.

We ran off for a few days on our own, and to give them all a break from having us in the yard and house.  We went to the harness racing track.  It is all very colourful and although we didn't bet on the races, we enjoyed making guesses on who would win.  We watched them during dinner and breakfast from an overhanging restaurant at the finish line.  Old Man did better at choosing winners as he concentrated on the jockey's record and not the horse's. It is a colourful sport.  I just picked the healthiest-looking ones.  I spent some time over the day in the adjoining casino playing the slots, but didn't win as much as in the States in Nevada last winter. In fact I lost my stake after winning enough (twice) to take $100 winnings back to the RV.  The next day I borrowed it all back to lose it.  It is silly fun that I file in our budget under entertainment. 
A day and a half though wears me out as there are some sad people in those places, and the clientele shows us a Wal-Mart video clip.  It also gets boring after a few hours.  This Rideau Club though did have lovely clean bathrooms and didn't feel grubby. 

On Sunday of the last week I went to church with the girls.  It was a lovely interlude in the countryside of Ontario. 

The readings and sermon gave me some spiritual food for thought.  The children made this banner with their footprints.

I am leaving out so much but will only do one more blog: about my visit to the museum.  I need to catch up again as we have left their house already, to head west again.

Friday, 21 September 2012

The next few weeks in Ontario

#1 Son's family likes to go on bikes to see the countryside.  They met us at a little park further down the river in front of their house and we had a picnic.  There was a lovely bench there dedicated to a man named Mark Cinnamon.

We have enjoyed so many activities with the grand-girls here.  They don't seem intimidated by us anymore and even challenge us on a few things.  The inlaws have a pool off their deck surrounded by a corn field this year.  Dana was calling her dad Elvis and pretending to rescue him as he was drowning.  She can't swim herself without water wings.This day they also brought their 92 year old Granny out of the retirement home and brought her for dinner.  She loves to play euchre. 

One of the campgrounds that we took the girls to, had a heated indoor pool and another the next week had a heated outdoor salt-water pool.Any camping is fun if you have campfires and marshmallows and can fry bologne or wieners for dinner for yourself.

Their father is the senior programmer at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa so they knew that one exhibit was about Canada's long inter-actions with the Queen.  So we needed to practice having a proper tea time.  They reminded me to keep my pinkie finger up and to not clink the spoon in the china cup like a cement mixer grinding rocks, and to not make rude noises etc.  I didn't teach them about the pinkies.  They must have picked that up from TV.They don't think their Granddad is very good at having Pretend-Tea with the Queen.  They like to wear one of my old hats to be posher.  We also played gypsies one day and I read their tea leaves. I got to dress up exotically that day.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Ontario with # One1 Son...first week

On Sunday we settled in and relaxed for a few days and got re-acquainted with the grand-girls.We are very close to the Quebec province (warm blue), in the eastern side of Ontario (orange).  #1 Son and his family live near the New York border which runs down the middle of the St. Lawrence River. We have been here now for almost 4 weeks.

 I will try to condense the hightlights.                   

First there was a pre-wedding stag party for our son's brother-in-law two days later.  The following weekend there was a barn dance to celebrate our son's parents-in-law's 40 th anniversary.  They usually have a barn dance every year.   They call it a Jug-Fest.  Their daughter, Karen, took a degree in Art and had to build a functional piece of art from recyclables.  This is what she did a few years ago with old laundry jugs, and they keep using it as an excuse for a party each summer.

Happy 40th Anniversary
They both argued about leaving the dancing and insisted they weren't tired at 9:30 but were asleep in 20 minutes in the RV. 

That week we had also taken both grand-daughters away to camp for 2 nights and 3 days along the St. Lawrence River.     It is about an hour from #1 son's house.                                                 

The Parkway has 11 islands that were just high spots on the Lost Villages trail,  along the shore that was flooded for the St. Lawrence Seaway.   That is a sad story for some folk.  But here we are 50 years later enjoying what was left of the tops of their expropriated farms. The Parks Department connected them with bridges and developed camping areas.  We stayed in the first campground, called McLaren.  The beach was fun and the showers were above average and not at all grungy.  The USA is on the other side of the river.It was sunny, warm and fun.