You are currently viewing archive for September 2014
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Every year around my mother's birthday we meet my mom, brother, a cousin and her husband at a restaurant in St. Jacobs. This year it happened to be my mom's actual birthday. As usual we had a lovely lunch and a good visit. The weather was amazing so we went for a walk along the river.

My cousin's dogs, Spencer and Miles.

The motely crew: Yvonne and Bob, my mom, Ed and my brother David.

2014/09/27: Door Open

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Every other year, "Doors Open" happens in the Walkerton area. For one day of the year, private homes and businesses allow the public in to view their buildings. This year there were twenty stops on the tour. As Ed and I have enjoyed doing this in past years, we decided to do it again this year. This year we made it to seven of the stops. We like to take our time and end up chatting with the folks tending the sites learning lots about the local history.

First stop was Marl Creek Renewables. From the web site "Marl Creek Renewables creates bio-gas from cattle manure collected at the feedlot of Carl Frook. In a process called anaerobic digestion, naturally occurring bacteria break down the waste in an airtight facility to produce bio-gas (methane and carbon dioxide). The methane gas is used to run a generator that produces electricity and heat." The "waste" produced after the digestion process is split into liquid manure (which is spread on the fields) and a dry material that is mixed with straw and used as bedding for the cattle. Bio-gas plants are plentiful in Germany but only 7 exist in Ontario --- 5 on dairy farms and 2 on cattle feed lots. Dairy manure is different from cattle feed lot manure which affects the process, thus the distinction. Carl was trained on a feed lot in Alberta where the main objective was to dispose of the manure --- producing electricity was a bonus. Very interesting stop and only a little smelly.

Another stop was at an old school house that has been converted to a home. While we were there an older woman came in and said this was the first school she taught at. Laying on the table was the woman's contract --- one of several papers the home owner had found when they renovated. She was paid $675 a year.

Another site was the ghost town of Malcolm. At one point this town had two hotels, a school, a general store, other stores, a cheese shop, post office, church and community center. Today, only the graveyard and on hotel remains. The hotel is now a private home.

Another stop on the tour was an old metal bridge. The bridge is still sturdy but is scheduled for demolition as it is not wide enough to handle modern farm equipment. This is the underside of the bridge.

Oh, you wanted to see what the bridge looked like. Here's Anne, Victor and myself standing on the bridge.

The Valentine Stark Mill in Paisley is a residence and art / gift store. Today, parts of the building normally closed to the public were opened up. The current owners purchased the mill 14 years ago, converted part of the building into a home for themselves and part of the building into their store. The mill was used to be produce four, which means there were several silos inside the building --- two of which were used when the bathroom was built. One houses the toilet another the shower --- makes a very unique bathroom. The basement was full of gears, engines and other metal things that operated the pullies that ran the mill.

Another benefit of the day was stopping at a little restaurant that we have never been to but one we will return to. It was also a bakery with fabulous donuts. Hmm, hmm good.

2014/09/23: Home Again

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
After lunch we started the drive back to Canada. We weren't in a hurry so we drove the scenic route through Pennsylvania to New York state. In a couple of weeks when the leaves are changing colour the route will be even more scenic.

I think Big Brother is watching. Crossing the border in both directions was simple and quick. The customs agent asked a couple of questions, scanned our passports, hit a few keys on the computer, read something on the screen, returned our passports and told us to have a nice day.

We spent the night in Burlington at my mother's. We decided it was an opportune time for a visit plus run a couple of errands on Wednesday morning.

2014/09/22: Shopping!!!

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
About a half hour from the RV park is an Outlet Mall. As John, Carol, Ed, Esther and myself all needed shoes we decided to visit the mall. I think we might have gone a little crazy as the five of us bought 13 pairs of shoes. Jim showed great restraint and avoid purchasing any shoes.

To the relief of our wallets, we ending our shopping spree with the shoes and drove back to the RV park for lunch. Esther had a full refrigerator and wanted some help emptying it.

Jim and Esther in their beautiful motor home.

We spent the afternoon visiting, playing rummy tile and relaxing.

Cait perfected relaxing.

2014/09/21: Jim Thorpe

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Jim Thorpe is a town in the middle of the Poconos in Pennsylvania. In 1953 the town of Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk were renamed to Jim Thorpe in honour of the athlete Jim Thorpe. Jim Thorpe was a great natural athlete that won Olympic gold medals for the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, played American football (collegiate and professional), and played professional baseball and basketball. Jim Thorpe was raised in Oklahoma and attended an industrial school in Pennsylvania.

Today the town of Jim Thorpe is a thriving tourist town with shops in many of the beautiful old buildings and a train that runs through the Lehigh Gorge State Park. You can ride the train to see the scenery or you can ride the train with your bicycle, get off at the end of the line and ride the 25 miles back to town --- it's all down hill with a 1 to 3 percent grade. The part of the ride we saw looked like a lot of fun.

The train. The busy season is October when the leaves are changing colour.

We opted for the "open car". Carol, Caity, Jim, John and Ed.

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Zaph borrowed Carol's hat to keep the sun out of his eyes. On the right -- the bike path running along the tracks.

A pipe line crossed the gorge and the railway tracks --- it was also used as a bridge.

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Back in town Zaph and I are taking a break. On the right, a stream running through town.

This street is called Stone Row.

A church near Stone Row. The only way to get the entire church into the photo was to climb the hill to the mansion and look back over town.

Ed liked the sign.

2014/09/20: Pennsylvania Trip

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
We met Jim and Esther in Texas at the same RV park where we met John and Carol. Jim and Esther full time in their motor home spending most of the summer in Pennsylvania not far from where they use to live. John, Carol and Caity (from Michigan) along with Ed, Zaph and myself decided to drive to Pennsylvania and visit Jim and Esther. As we were only going for a few days we opted to not take the trailers. Jim checked with the campground where they were staying and believe it or not the campground had a few park models that they rent to people with pets. As Jim is a member of the park he was able to get us the trailer for about half of the advertised nightly rate. Thank you Jim.

The drive to Pennsylvania was mostly uneventful. Ed plugged the address of the RV park into the GPS and it did a great job getting us to about 5 miles of the park. We turned at the indicated road only to be met by a rather large STOP sign indicating that the road was not a public road and the area was Scout Reserve. Luckily, I had my computer in the backseat of the truck, so after a couple of minutes I was looking at the mapping program I use. This program indicated that the road we wanted was a couple of miles up the road. Off we drove. Hmmm.... that road didn't exist. While I had been wasting my time looking at maps, Ed talked to a ranger that said the road had been closed for 65 years and gave Ed directions. Thank you Mr. Ranger --- those directions worked.

Our home sweet home for three nights. It was a little run down, but that was to be expected as it was pet friendly. The trailer could sleep 8 --- 2 in a double bed in the back bedroom, 2 in bunk beds in the hall, 2 in bunk beds in a very tiny room and 2 on a futon in the living room. John and Carol opted for the room with the 2 bunk beds as they said it did not have enough floor space for Zaph to sleep. We got the room with the double bed. The only furniture in the room was the bed leaving lots of floor space for Zaph and our stuff.

There was a flea market near by, so we decided to check it out. From the left --- Zaph, me, Caity, Carol, Ether, Jim and John.

Esther cooked us a wonderful Pennsylvania Dutch meal for supper. Jim decided that Cait could help clean up by licking the wine bottle.

2014/09/12: Bored

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
I've been busy dealing with the food I purchased at market and with cleaning so Zaph has been a little neglected.


2014/09/11: St. Jacobs Market

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
I had mentioned to Ed that I didn't think Zaph liked the new deck as he spent as little time as possible on it. Ed took this photo to prove me wrong once again.

Ellen (my neighbour) and I decided to drive to St. Jacobs (about 1 1/4 hours away) to visit the farmers market and spend lots of money. The market didn't seem as large as I remember it. Now maybe that was due to the cool, damp day or that it was Thursday instead of Saturday. There also seemed to be fewer than normal Mennonite farmers.

A year ago a fire burned the main market building. Within three months this structure was erected replacing the original building. The inside of the building looks pretty much the same as the original building did, except it's only one storey instead of two.

Ellen and I bought lots of vegetables including half bushels of tomatoes and peppers. So when items got too many or too heavy we would make a trip to the car to drop them off. On one of the trips to the car, I knowingly dropped my keys into the trunk (my hands were too full to do anything else), thinking to myself remember to pick up your keys after you put the food into the trunk. On the next trip to the car, after patting my pockets for keys, I remembered where my keys were. I had forgotten to pick them up. First thought was call Ed to bring a spare set of keys. Given the length of the drive I didn't think that was a good idea. Ellen asked if I was a member of the Canadian Automobile Association --- I'm not but then I remembered that I do have Roadside Assistance for the trailer that is suppose to include all of our vehicles. I called them and sure enough the Honda was covered and yes they would dispatch someone to unlock the car for me. Within half an hour a nice young man had unlocked my car and I had keys in hand. After paying for roadside assistance for 14 years it finally came in handy.

2014/09/10: Dancing in the Rain

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
well maybe walking in the rain. Poured rain most of the day today. Last evening Ed had put some flea and tick preventive medicine on Zaph and if I read the directions correctly Zaph wasn't suppose to get wet for three days. So the question became "how do we take Zaph outside and keep his back dry?" Both Ed and I thought of my yellow plastic rain poncho.

Pass one ....didn't work to well as Zaph kept stepping on the poncho then wouldn't move.

Pass two ... tie up the under part of the poncho then use a strap to secure the upper part. Worked much better. We walked around the block and Zaph took care of business. Zaph did inform me that he didn't like the hood.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Rob needed a bit of help on a project he was working on at the cottage, so we drove up so Ed could help. While the boys were working, Ellen and I took Zaph for a walk and ended up at the beach ... are you surprised? Zaph dragged us to his normal spot at one end of the beach and marched into the water. I found a stick on the beach and threw it for Zaph. He fetched it but mostly seemed interested in sitting on the beach to chew the stick. At the other end of the beach was a couple with a younger than Zaph golden retriever. Ellen and I both thought this dog was acting like the Zaph of a few years ago. As Zaph wasn't real keen on playing, we walked down the beach to say hello to the other people. Did that change things. A few years dropped off Zaph and he started prancing around with the stick, happily splashed into the water to fetch the stick, and stole the other golden's flying squirrel (it's a cloth frisbee made to look like a squirrel). Pretty sure Zaph was showing off for the other dog. Yup, Zaph slept for the rest of the day and evening.

2014/09/07: A Camping We Will Go

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
I like my little trailer so I wanted to go camping one more time this summer. We had arranged to meet our friends Gwen and Bob at Craigleith Provincial Park on Friday evening. On the drive to the park we drove through a wall of rain ... you know the kind where there is a line of the road where one side is bone dry and the other is really wet. Luckily the hard rain only lasted a couple of minutes and by time we reached the park the sun was shining. Since Bob and Gwen work, the plan was for them to drive up after work. Unfortunately, another storm came. This one had high winds and lots of thunder and lightening. Having been chased out of campgrounds by bad weather, they opted to pass on the camping weekend. Turned out they missed a really nice weekend for camping.

Here we are all set up.

On Saturday we decided to drive into Collingwood (a couple of kilometers away) and do some geocaching (tell me are you surprised?)

This cache was called Frogman.

Walking along the waterfront in Collingwood, we spotted these guys having a good time.

Collingwood waterfront.

Back at Craigleith, a photo of the beach. There is some sand but it is mostly a layer of shale.

2014/09/04: Out Touring

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
It's been a very different summer weather wise. A few warm days then a storm and cool weather comes in. This is the first year I can remember in a long time that the grass didn't go brown even if just for a few days. My rain barrels have stayed full. And now that it's September the heat and humidity arrives well at least until Saturday when it cools off to below seasonal temperatures, again.

Ed needed to run an errand and decided to drive the Miata. Zaph decided to go with him.


Now the blog is up to date. Let's see if I can keep it that way.

2014/09/04: I'm Back

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Recently, I was told that I hadn't updated my blog in awhile so I thought I had better get at it.

Between being busy with life and working on my Newfoundland slide shows the blog got pushed aside. Life continues, but the slide shows are 75 percent complete so it's time to get the blog back on track.

Activities in the second half of July included a crochet tournament party at our backyard neighbours, several trips to another neighbour's cottage, geocaching plus a couple sets of company that stayed a couple days each. We had good visits with both sets of company.

The crochet tournament is serious business (not) --- the judge was on the course settling a dispute.

Proof I do manage to connect with the ball --- it just doesn't go where I want it to go.

Right after the trophy was handed out, the skies opened up and the rain came down. Luckily the barbecues were under cover.

We made it up to Rob and Ellen's cottage several times in July. During our visits, Ed helped to install counters in the kitchen, we took the ATVs for a ride, and my mom and brother came up with us just to visit. We had good weather except for the day my mom and brother came --- it was cold and rainy. Ed and Rob took the ATVs out while the rest of us went for a walk and played cards. We still had a good time even though the weather didn't co-operate.

Hooray!!!! for the beach!!!! Zaph finally got to do some swimming this summer.


Managed to be at the beach on a Tuesday when the car show happens. Looked like it was going to be good, then the sky opened up. Felt sorry for the people in a couple of the convertibles that didn't have tops.



another after shot. The kitchen looks amazing -- can't wait to see it after the back splash is up.

During one of our visits the sunset was amazing.



A friend of Ellen's has started a new business baking and selling dog treats. Ellen manned her friend's booth at the Sauble Beach flea market. I helped out while the boys finished working on the kitchen.

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The area around Sauble Beach has a number ATV trails. The purple line shows where we rode. Rob's cottage neighbour rides a lot so he was our guide.

Some of the terrain we road on.

the ATVs.

A very interesting looking geocache.

I still say that Geocaching takes you to some pretty and some interesting places.

Another cache.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
August has just gone whizzing by. Company, deck building, a visit to the neighbour's cottage, geocaching, sports car day, a trip up north to visit friends and go ATVing and the street party just ate up the month.

Hairy Pawter comes to visit. Hairy is a very calm wire haired Jack Russel.

The long weekend in August was the Cargill Come Home Weekend. Part of the festivities included a car show. As Ed and Luc both like cars we decided to drop by.

Two days after Deb, Luc and Hairy left, my cousin, her husband and two dogs arrived. We had a great visit with both sets of company.

20140904-20140809_IMG_0200.JPG One of our geocache trips took us to the town of Neustadt and home former home of John Diefenaker

Another cache was by the cute little waterfalls.

One day our neighbours and ourselves decided to take the sports cars and drive to Bayfield and Goderich --- a couple hour round trip. Both are cute towns on the shore of Lake Huron.
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This carving of a sailor in Bayfield has seen better days. We stopped at a pub for lunch. The pub has really good burgers and an amazing beer list. This is the beer Ed tried.

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In Goderich we heard a firetruck siren --- turned out they were trying to get peoples attention for Grandpa Bob. Grandpa Bob is walking 4000 km to raise money for Duchenne muscular dystrophy research. Later in the month I saw Grandpa Bob's motor home driving through Walkerton.

We had been finding geocaches in bird boxes ... only seemed right to find one in a bird nest.

Just liked the store front.

Another geocache took us to the Goderich lighthouse, somewhere we hadn't been before.

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Two different days and two different churches. Both had geocaches near them. The big church is the Catholic church in Formosa. The small church is near Owen Sound.

Geocaching took us to the harbour in Owen Sound.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Not sure why, but the man who owned the house before us used spruce instead of pressure treated wood to build the frame of the deck. As you can see it has started rotting. Time for a new deck.

After a lot of research, Ed decided to build the frame of the new deck out of pressure treated lumber and use cedar for the actual deck boards.

The "finicky" engineer came out in Ed. Everything is square and perfectly level.

The structure is all done .... think the deck may outlast the house.

The deck is done .....

and it works. Zaph isn't real sure about sitting or standing on the deck. Zaph stands on the concrete and barks when he wants to go into the house. When the door is opened then he climbs the stairs.

We arrived in Monetville at our friends home shortly after 5pm. They have a beautiful home that they built themselves that looks out on a bay. The house faces just the right direction to see amazing sunsets.

We went north to visit our friends and to ride our ATVs. There's a lot of crown land near their home that people ride on.

The first day of riding there were eight machines and nine people. It's always fun to go in a group.

I believe this spot is called Lost Lake. There are several cottages in the area. As we road in on ATVs and a rough road I was surprised to see a few vehicles had driven in. I was told that some of the cottagers come in by boat. Given the road that made more sense than driving to me.

Kids and dogs having fun on a perfect summer day.

Margaret thought a cook out would be fun and she was right. The guys built a fire so we could cook the hamburgs, hot dogs and sausages.

We road about a 100 km, so we were all tired at the end of the ride. Unanimously, it was decided to take a day off from riding.
The second day of riding was much shorter but the terrain was much rougher ... lots of rocks, hills, and mud.

A pretty spot where we stopped for lunch.

Fran, an amazing 77 year old, managed to get herself out of the mud.

On our "rest" day, Margaret helped me (OK she did all the work and I watched) change a shower curtain into a set of cafe curtains for my mother's bathroom window. Margaret did an amazing job (and enjoyed doing it), I was happy that I didn't have to stress out trying to do the sewing and my mother was very happy with the end results. It was a win-win-win.

This is the curtain hanging in my mother's bathroom. I stalled it so I did do some of the work.