Welcome to our travels and adventures

Welcome to our travels and adventures

Frayed Nerves

1312006 Dec 02 Terry Almost Finished Gutter CleaningSo, the last time I wrote, we were finishing up at the ‘hobby house’ for the winter and making plans – are we going south or are we staying in Canada for the winter while I receive some sort of treatment. Cancer is an awful word and keeps your mind buzzing with the ole what if’s. We have had family and friends that have gone through Cancer treatments and are now survivors! We have a good friend in Georgia that is going through the stages now and we are hoping and praying that he too will come out the other side as a survivor. We are at the decision point – do we go to California as planned or do we go to the Plantation and fly to Los Angeles for our cruise. There is a cut off point as we do not want to have to drive hard to get there on time. The original plan was to drive leisurely , stop to visit some of our ‘bucket list’ locations and do the touristy thing. The longer the Prostrate issue takes, the less chance we will be able to make the drive we planned.

The plus side of waiting was we were invited to join Corrie and her 1312017 Dec 08 Nate Shows How To Stay Warmfamily for the annual Christmas Tree hunt. It was a great day, Corrie goes to one of the tree farms that we used to go to when we had a house. I thought I knew the way and soon we were lost in a subdivision that wasn’t there 15 years ago! Anyway, we made it and then enjoyed the hunt. Once felled, we all climbed 1312022 Dec 08 The Cooles Get Their Treeback on the ‘hay wagon’ to go back to the bonfire to warm up and enjoy a hot chocolate or cider. Of course, the kids had to eat – someone saw hot dogs. After, Corrie had us back for a late lunch and refreshments. We used to do this each year and it was great to see this tradition being carried on with her family.

I have an appointment with a Urologist to get a more accurate diagnosis. When we walks into the exam room, he says ‘drop ‘em and bend over the table’. Then I hear the snap of his exam glove and the rest is just a blur. I was concerned that he had left his watch on – I didn’t want to be like the gator in Peter Pan!  Anyway, he said the Prostrate seemed normal but he wanted me to take another blood test but I had to wait 4 or 5 days for better accuracy. Again, we wait. We wait for the blood test appointment then for the results. Wait, wait, wait. And of course, you know what the mind is doing. I had to call the doctors office several times almost to the point that I felt like I was harassing them. Finally at 7:30AM on Thursday, Dec 12, the doctor called to say that all is good but he needs to see me in 6 months. Now, doesn’t that leave it in a gray area?

So now we have a green light to head south. Barb & I feel that it would not be fun to drive hard to get to LA so we decided that we would go home to the Plantation. Since we’re heading that way, why not take a detour and visit with Jim & Lydia for a couple of days. We find out that Jim is having a busy week medically but we could see him for part of 1312033 Dec 13 Terri Nick Stop In To Say GoodbyeTuesday if we leave Sunday morning to get there in time. I have to make a few calls to cancel our satellite internet service, our Canadian cell service and adjust our travel insurances. It was a busy couple of days, packing up, and making calls. Terri and our great nephew, Nick, stopped by on their way to their cabin for skiing to say bye.

Watching the 1312039 Dec 15 Snow Hangs Off The Roofweather, we decide that Sunday was the better departure day but what we didn’t expect was the 12 inches of snow that was dumped on us on Saturday! On Sunday, Dec 15th, I tried moving the truck to hook it up but got stuck so we wait again for the campground to dig us out. They finally got us clear at 5PM on Sunday so Barb & I hooked 1312040 Dec 15 Leaving Our Site Finally Delay In Clearing Roadup and flipped the rig around so we had a straight drive out in the morning.

Finally, at 7:30AM on Monday Dec 16th, we’re on the road – clear skies and dry roads, this was going to be a nice ride except of course, we were not able to do the detour to see our dear friends. We had planned on getting away ASAP and stopping at Tim’s for breakfast – what, you don’t have any eggs but we can have all the egg whites we want! It’s only 8:30 in the morning, and they are out of eggs.

1312043 Dec 16 Thirty Five Minute White Out On 403Back on the road and all was great until we were about 40 miles from the Sarnia – Port Huron border crossing and bam, we are right in the middle – at least that is what we thought – of a complete white out! Soon we are thinking we should turn around and cross at Windsor – Detroit but what’s to say that route isn’t also getting this blizzard. We press on at much lower speed for what seemed like an hour then voila, we’re under clear skies again about 10 miles from the border. The roads were wet but passable. The border crossing was quick and we’re on our way through Michigan. It was cold but clear skies and for the most part, the roads were good – hey, they’re Michigan roads, everything was well shaken by the time we stopped.

We made it to the flying J at Indianapolis for the night. The drive into Indianapolis was a bit harry – it was getting dark and it was rush hour, everyone else knew exactly where they were going and didn’t have patience for old people in an RV! It’s been a number of years since Barb and I have departed Canada this late and didn’t expect frozen water lines when we reached our night stop! We’re both hoping that it wasn’t a hard enough freeze that we’re replacing pipes when we get into the Plantation!

Not much else weird or too exciting happened from here so until next time, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to y’all!


Last post, we had just found out that my PSA levels were up and my doctor was sending me to a Urologist for further diagnosis. My doctor was quite adamant that I was to do this ASAP, postponing our departure for California and she will arrange an appointment for me with a doc close by. This kinda sets one on edge until that appointment rolls around. So, let’s make the best of it and get more demolition done at the house – keeping busy is a good way to take your mind off your problems and we were busy.

1311198 Nov 30 Terri Pulling Down DrywallOn Nov 30th, Terri, Mark, Ali, Barb & I arrived at the 1311199 Nov 30 Mark Lifts Rotted Bathroom Floorhouse early morning to make as much damage as we could. We removed screws, drywall off the kitchen/bathroom walls and started lifting the old tiles from the kitchen floor, bathroom completely demolished, tub, vanity and toilet out, kitchen cabinets out and all plumbing cut down to the main shut off. Now the nasty work of cutting out the old rotten bathroom floor – oopss, hit the water pipe and we had to scurry around to find the shut off that should be before the water meter – got it now no more water! But at least we got the floor out…..1311204 Nov 30 Terry Gives Instructions For Laying Floor

1311197 Nov 30 Ali Removing Screws At The House1311200 Nov 30 Terry Removing Tub Step1311201 Nov 30 Condition Of Bathroom Floor1311202 Nov 30 Mark On Ground In Bathroom1311203 Nov 30 Moldy Mildewy Floor All Gone

We make another run to the dump with both trucks and got rid off all the garbage from these 2 rooms. Now some serious inspection of the floor joists that were under the bathroom floor – what joists? The last builder did not build standard floors joists and subfloor. All of that has to come out and proper floor joists installed on a new beam – the old one appears to be a single 2X8 sitting on cement blocks that have shifted and not helping to support. Leaning over the floor and peering forward upside down, the rest of the house seems to be build to standard but that all remains to be seen when we expose that area. We have not had any real surprises yet that we have not expected.

1312002 Dec 02 Finished Gutting The Old BathroomFor safety and to keep critters out, we temporarily screwed down 3 new sheets of plywood in the bathroom area. This is as far as we can take it until we remove the blown in insulation and take the ceilings down – we want to see the full skeleton on the house so we can make accurate design drawings for the town inspectors. This was a full days work, we are exhausted but satisfied. This is much more than we expected to have done before we headed south so the universe is looking after us. Speaking of which, if we had left on Nov 25th when we had planned, we would have been smack in the middle of the winter storm Dion that hit the USA mid west.


On Dec 2nd, Barb & I went back for the second last trip to clean up, pack up our 1312005 Dec 02 So Much Muck In The Eavestools, clean out the rain gutters (which had not been cleaned in a few years) and install a mail slot instead of using the curb side mail box. It appears that the ‘pet door’ that Barb designed worked great and we covered that basement access with wood. There were muddy paw prints on the ‘pet door’ so we knew that whatever was living under the house kept trying to get back in.



On our idle days when not at the house, Barb has kept busy sewing even though her 1312009 Dec 05 First Christmas Candle Matsewing centre has been put away, she still managed to start and complete a few festive projects. I am emptying waste tanks, filling the fresh water tank, washing the truck and generally puttering around. I’m also doing lots of surfing to research various building ideas for roof trusses for cathedral ceilings, beam sizing and floor joist sizing, HVAC etc. 1312010 Dec 05 Completed Santa Wall HangingWhew, I am exhausted so I better slow down!

Until next time, we hope all is good where you are – it’s getting cold here and we’re still waiting for additional blood results….

Our Black Friday

Our ‘Black Friday’ was Nov 22nd, closing day for the house deal. We think we got a good deal on this property but that remains to be seen once we open it up!

Our day started out innocent enough. There was no promise from the lawyer that we could get the keys early so we could get away on our south western excursion! We’re excited about both the property and our trip to California. We are hoping to take our time travelling – probably having Christmas dinner in a Walmart parking lot somewhere warm! So about noonish, we decided to head toward St Catharines where our lawyer is located so we would be nearby when we got the call to pick up the keys. Just before we hit the highway, my doctor called to go over my blood test we had done on Wednesday. She did not come with good news and our day drew gloomy. But as we have always said, our plans are cast in Jello so changes can be made. My doctor will book me an appointment with a specialist to do further testing before we leave so we have to delay  our departure. So, back to picking up the keys - we started out at Home Depot pricing supplies and generally ‘window’ shopping. We talked to a couple of the sales folks that gave us good info about Tankless Hot Water systems and HVAC stuff. The last time we had to research this stuff was back when we built our house in 1983! Certainly some significant changes have occurred since then.

Our next stop was the Restore to see what bargains we could find there. Not much but we did find a pocket door frame for only $15.00 – regularly $100 so this was a good deal. We also picked up some hazmat suits (read painter suits) for when we start 1311162 Nov 23 Our Gift From The Sales Lady Elizabethdemolition. We’re sure to find lots of mouse poop and mold when we’re taking the house apart. By now, it was going on 3PM and still no word from the lawyer. Our realtor wants to meet up so we find a Tim’s nearby and take a break. As we’re waiting for Elizabeth, the lawyer calls (4ish) and our keys are ready. Elizabeth arrives and quickly presents us with a gift basket to celebrate our purchase – it was very nice of her and we’ll make use of the sparking wine and glasses!

We’re finally at the house in the dark, not what we 1311160 Nov 22 Barb Opens Door To Our New Houseexpected and slightly depressing but Barb unlocks the door and we step into our future hobby! We take a quick look around and take stock of what’s what and start making plans. The property management group that looked after the property for the trustee left signs all around to say that the house was winterized. After some checking, it is not winterized like we would winterize a trailer – water still in the water lines and in the hot water tank. So we’ll need to do some real winterizing. We’ve decided that all the appliances are to go and our realtor thinks she may have a home for them. Originally, we were going to keep the fridge but the mold everywhere in and on it is too much for us! The upside of the day is we met the new neighbours and they seem very nice – they’ll have to be – you know it’s hard for me to play nice with others! We lock up and head back home with our heads whirring with ideas and plans.

1311170 Nov 24 Terri Barb Removing A Million Screws


1311172 Nov 24 Barb Starts On Bedroom Wall

1311174 Nov 24 Walls Down Around Bedroom






Terri & Mark wanted to meet us at the house on Sunday to show Mark the house. Terri brought cheese and crackers and some sparking wine and along with the bottle we had, we had a nice ‘house warming’ with them. After a short break and knowing we were staying in Ontario longer than planned, we started some demo1311169 Nov 24 Terry Removing Tiles In Bathroomlition and with Terri & Mark’s help, we soon made significant headway – carpets out, drywall off bedroom walls, sub floor up in bedroom, hot water tank out, ceramic tiles off bathroom floor and 3 of 4 appliances gone. It looks like the hot water tank has been leaking for a long time as I broke through the bathroom tile floor and subfloor trying to smash the ceramic floor tiles up! The floor in the bathroom is totally rotten and will have to be replaced. Can not tell what condition the floor joists are in until we expose them. All the debris was stacked up in 1311191 Nov 28 Barb Throwing Drywall On Truckthe garage and Barb & I went down on Monday (next day) to load garbage in truck and haul it over to the dump – it took us 2 trips! After cleaning up, we took stock again for our next trip down so we could bring appropriate supplies.

Until then, we hope all is good where ever you are…1311193 Nov 28 A Beautiful Country Drive

Ho Ho Ho

1311072 Nov 09 Kids Waiting For DinnerI am not introducing the Jolly Green Giant OR 3 ladies of questionable careers but ‘tis the season. On Nov 9th, our family celebrated our Christmas before we head south for the winter. Dawn hosted this year so the rest of us drove east to Napanee for a feast, gifts and family. We all – total 15 for dinner - converged on Dawn mid afternoon. She had a tree set up along with Christmas decorations in the living and dining room. The turkey was smelling wonderful.



1311071 Nov 09 Barb Pretending To Know How To CookThere were 8 grandchildren there from ages 3 to 16 and all the ‘noise’ came from the adults! It was like ‘ole home’ week with talking, laughing and more talking. Soon the bird informed us it was ready to be carved. At times, we were all in the kitchen preparing our 1311066 Nov 09 Christmas Table Set At Dawnsown ‘pot luck’ items for this feast. We were all seated around a table and all sorts of scrumptious vegetables and delicacies came by. As you can probably guess, we ate too much! What a meal.


1311103 Nov 09 Mack Wears Jessicas GiftSnooping under the tree is a right of passage that really informs us that it is Christmas! Naturally, the little kids – and maybe a few of the bigger kids – already knew which gifts was theirs. First we hung our ornaments and said our tree speeches.  The older grandkids are doing a better job than their parents.  It is great to hear what they all have to say about what happened good or bad this past year.  Alex then assumed the role of Santa and handed out the gifts in a relaxed and controlled way that we all had an opportunity to see what each of us received. It was a wonderful family time for us. All too soon, it was time to turn our attention to the road ahead for the 3 hour drive back to home.  The trip home was less relaxed due to the heavy rains.  Driving slowly got us home safe and sound.

1311125 Nov 09 Nate Jessica Play With Ostrich


1311109 Nov 09 Jessica Opens A Gift


1311108 Nov 09  Jessica Lilly Open Gift






1311141 Nov 12 Fort Erie Sunroom SideOn Nov 12th, we drove down to our new house 1311155 Nov 17 Terry Fitting In The Doorto have another tour of the property and to record some measurements so we can set Barb loose on some designs. We didn’t pick the best day as it was cold and a dusting of snow. Our little house is only 700 square feet but the garage is almost 600 square feet! Wow, look at the stuff we can store! On our first visit, we had heard meow sounds coming from under the house and when we checked, there was a foundation vent that was punched out and would allow any critter access so we knew we would have to contend with that. Barb designed a modified ‘pet door’ that we could make and install that would allow the critter out but not back in. As soon as we take ownership, we’ll install it and then place some food on the outside to coax the critters out.

1311153 Nov 15 HWW GollumWhile we’re planning our exit from this cold climate, Barb continues with some of her quilting projects – Lord of the Rings squares 1311151 Nov 15 Christmas Tree Mug Matsand some Christmas mugmats. We finally bit the bullet and bought ourselves a new duvet for the cool nights coming up on the road.  Well, one can not have a duvet without a cover so Barb pulled out her quilting stash and solved that in a matter of days.  She says the cover is ugly but will due in a rush.  She plans on making better ones for next year.  So, now we’re waiting for the house deal to close on Nov 22nd and then plan to hit the road on Nov 25th. Until then, we hope all is good where you are….

1311156 Nov 17 Ugly Quilt Cover For Duvet


The doors are back on the fridge and the beer is chill’n again! What an ordeal this has been, especially when you don’t follow the manufacturers instructions! Lesson learned – again - but now the challenge is to remember all these life lessons we have been learning…1310162 Oct 26 Moving Back To Olympia Villiage.

So, on Oct 26th, we pull back into Olympia Village for our final month here. We would love to leave right after our family Christmas 1311143 Nov 12 Fort Erie House Frontbut we did win the real estate bid on a house in Ft Erie so we have to stay until the closing of the deal. Now that we unofficially have the house, we’re wondering – what have we done! But since we know the intimate details of a hammer, we’re excited about getting started on the re-building of this cute little house. As you know Barb, her mind is whirring with ideas and plans.

1310186 Oct 31 Mack Alone On The FieldOur grandson – Mackenzie – is on his high school football team and we try to get out to watch a game or two. And again, we picked the coldest and rainiest day to stand in 1310175 Oct 31 Watching Mack In The Rainthe bleachers. To top it off, they didn’t play their best and with several bad calls by the officials and being all hallows eve, they lost. Since we have been watching Mackenzie’s team, they rarely do well and we seem to bring the nastiest weather, we promised Mack that we wouldn’t come to any of his play-off games in hope to improve their chances of winning the conference! We took Mackenzie home and stayed long enough to get spooked by Nathanial’s costume. Corrie has made all the costumes over the years, including Nathanial’s this year – great job Corrie.

1310190 Oct 31 Gandalf Is Not Happy With Nana

1311014 Nov 02 Terri Mark Just Clowning AroundTerri & Mark hosted a Halloween costume party 1311013 Nov 02 Ghost Is In The Housethe next weekend and of course when someone calls party, we are there! Being frugal shoppers, we came up with a couple of costumes for few bucks. I was supposed to be Dr Death and Barbie was a spooky ghost. Terri prepared some great treats and Barb took a few of her ‘spooky’ items too. She had 40+ guests and hired our nephew to tend bar and the party rocked to the weeeee hours – no, we didn’t last that long!


1311015 Nov 02 Nick And Terri

1311016 Nov 02 Kerry And Harley


1311001 Nov 01 My Treat For Terri Mark Party

1311019 Nov 02 Meat Head






We went down to the Escapee Chapter lunch since it will be our last before we head to California. John is always trying to surprise Donna, Ray & Jack by our arrival so this time we thought we would surprise John and each time he asked if we were going to make it, we were vague and non-committal but in the meantime, sent Donna emails to say we were coming and we were trying to turn the tables on John – are you lost yet? Well, the surprise or say joke was on us – we didn’t have the correct email for Donna and all of them didn’t go and we only got the chance to say farewell to John & Jack! Boo Hoo….

1311064 Nov 08 Our First Snowfall This YearWell, as you can see by the truck, winter is quickly approaching and our time here is drawing near. Hope all is well wherever you are….

It’s Party Time

1310103 Oct 18 Thanksgiving ArrangementOur family Thanksgiving was postponed for a week so we could hold a surprise birthday party for my older brother – a healthy 75 years old. We first started planning it by contacting his kids and then getting every ones consensus on a date and guests. Now with all that done the challenge was to keep it a secret from Larry!

On the Tuesday, Barb & I moved our rig into Larry’s driveway so we could have time to visit and do some of the fine tuning for his surprise. 1310105 Oct 18 Enjoying An Outdoor Happy HourThe sun was welcoming as we sat out the back with Larry and Gord at happy hour. As usual, on moving day we have dinner at our favourite fish & chip place with Larry.

As the week gathers momentum toward party time and the day arrives, the turkey is in the oven – Larry thinks it is our family Thanksgiving – which it was – and our families start to arrive. How to get him out of the house to maximise the surprise – a couple of ideas 1310110 Oct 19 David Greets Bob Marilyn McLeodwere floated around. Larry thought he should get a new toilet and we spent some time looking on line for one he thought would work. Shino & I said lets go, we can get one at Home Depot and have it installed before lunch. Then realization set in and Larry decided he didn’t need one that bad. Thank goodness for grandkids! Larry’s oldest asked him to take1310108 Oct 19 Eva Olaf Talking To Kim her shopping for something and of course, he couldn’t turn down a kid’s request and off they go at the perfect time for us to decorate and welcome some of the guests.

When Larry & Jessica returned, we all crowded near the door for the loud birthday 1310122 Oct 19 Larrys Birthday Cakewishes. The look on Larry’s face was priceless and of course, he was dressed in his Sunday best! With lots of nibblies, beer and wine, good friends and family, we all had a great time. Many past memories were talked about as new memories were made.1310132 Oct 19 Seniors Having A Laugh

1310116 Oct 19 The Ellis Brothers






1310137 Oct 20 Terry Doing Plumbing For Corrie Dean

Sunday, we’re back at Corrie’s for some plumbing work on her new bathroom. The new tub is not the same size and everything needs to move a little. They also bought a new faucet and of course, it does not fit where the old one was. Nathanial was my apprentice, cleaning all the joints and pipe parts with steel wool. In his spare time, he ignited the torch after all the fittings were snug on the dry fit.

Monday, we drove over to see Pat & Carolyn for 1310143 Oct 21 At Pat Carolyns New Propertylunch and to see the new home site in Warkworth. They have had enough of the land lord of their mobile home park and decided to go out on their own. Hiring a mobile home mover and a builder to build the foundation with Pat acting as the general contractor. Now they are having a different kind of fun! They have a beautiful site with a terrific view overlooking the nearby rolling hills.

After lunch, Pat takes us into Campbellford to view the lock there and a hike into Ferris Provincial Park. Crossing the suspension bridge over the Trent River Gorge, the 4 of us trekked through a wooded area on a trail that led us to the spectacular lookout over Ranney Falls. It was cool and threatening rain but it was perfect for a hike through the woods.


1310153 Oct 22 Arriving At Terri Marks For WeekOn Tuesday, we were to head back to Waterdown but we’re still having problems with the fridge gaskets and need to re-do them again. So, instead, we go to Terri’s driveway for a few days. This time, we plan to use Terri’s freezer and fridge to store our stuff and keep the doors off for 48 hours while the gaskets cure and adhere.

This was the day we were to learn if our offer on the house in Fort Erie was accepted by the seller. Barb, Terri & I were having happy hour when the call came in and we learned we were property owners again! 1310156 Oct 24 Barb Working On Laura Nownes CourseHow scary is that? It’s been a long time since we were involved with the Real Estate purchasing process. At each hurdle we became a little more nervous, anxious and keep wondering if we’re doing the right thing. But that doesn’t get in the way of a 1310161 Oct 24 Terry Removes Fridge Doors Againcelebration! Now, I could have said that the news blew the doors off the fridge but that wasn’t true, I took them off so we could re-do the gaskets again. Hopefully the fourth time is a charm!

Ok, enough for now, I’m sure your nodding off. We hope all is well where ever you are…..



1310152 Oct 21 Looking At The Falls