Trailer Park Once Again

Our friends Colin, Margaret, Splash and Mexi arrived this afternoon with their trailer. Our next door neighbour Perry must have wondered if he was in a trailer park .... 2 trailers on one side of him and one trailer on the other side. Mexi must be use to Zaph as she hopped out the truck, walked over, sniffed his nose than gave him a kiss. In fact she only nipped at him once during the visit. Just about every Tuesday our friends Anne and Victor come over for dinner and as it was Tuesday they also came this evening and we all had a nice visit.

Mexi joining in the after dinner conversation. Colin is facing the camera and the backs of Anne and Victor's heads.



Happy 85th Mom

It was one of those years where the birthday plans just kept getting changed due to outside influences. In the end mom had a quiet but we hope enjoyable birthday celebration. Ed, Zaph and I drove down to Burlington arriving just after lunch. As it was an amazing warm fall day, my mom, brother and the three of us drove downtown to the waterfront park. There, we walked for a couple of hours enjoying the wonderful day and the beautiful scenery. Zaph was a little disappointed as swimming wasn't on the agenda.

That evening we went out for dinner to a Greek restaurant that mom had heard was good and good it was. The restaurant is a large open area with about 1/4 of it down a half a floor. Tonight this separate area held a large group (at least 50 people) that were celebrating a gentleman's 90th birthday. We were seated at a table that overlooked the area which was nice as we got to enjoy their entertainment, 2 fellows playing Greek music and a belly dancer. The belly dancer even got the birthday boy to try belly dancing. Our waiter was very good and the food was amazing .... definitely a place I would return to. Mom's lamb chops were so good she ate them and left of the rest of her dinner (she took it home). Ed had mentioned to the waiter that it was mom's birthday so they brought a piece of cake with a candle on it and sang happy birthday to her.

The birthday girl and her dinner plate.

The belly dancer



Whipping the Gardens into Shape

The gardens in the backyard have taken over my life for the past week or so. As we didn't know what was in the gardens we pretty much left them alone for the summer and now that we know I've been attacking them. One large circular garden has disappeared (Ed's planted grass seed already) and the garden along the fence has been made a lot smaller (yup, more grass seed). What was left was dug up (lots of overgrown plants and bulbs), rearranged or given away. As I like Peonies and my mom has a lot of them I drove down to Burlington and split a bunch of them --- hope I did it right. I'm sure I'll be rearranging plants over the next few years but at least it's a start. Think I'm mostly done for this year, in the spring I'll attack the front gardens.

Some guys really enjoy morning cuddle time.

Our neighbour's son was married on the weekend and this is the car they were driven around in. Yup the groom's a baseball fan. The couple decided to get married in Ryan's home town so my neighbour's home was "bride central station".




The IPM (International Plowing Match) is a big thing in Ontario farm country. Each year a farm or farms is transformed into a large RV park, parking lots and tent city. Tent city is home to food concessions, exhibits (quilts, local tourism, livestock, dairy products, meat products, etc), vendors (heating systems, tractors, construction materials, basically anything that might interest someone living in farm country) and entertainment. As the IPM was held in Teaswater, about 10 minutes from Walkerton we went with our friends Anne and Victor. The four of us were amazed at the sea of cars that were already parked when we arrived before 10 am. After the car was parked we wandered to the "main" road and caught the transport to the entrance gate --- a hay wagon (other parking lots actually had wagons that had seats in them). As I looked around tent city I was amazed at the info structure that had appearred in the matter of a couple of months in a farmers field --- roads (a little squishy as the tail end of Ike had passed through the area on the weekend dropping a fair bit of rain), tents of all sizes and electrical poles - yes with electricity. The day passed quickly as we wandered around the site looking at the different exhibits. The highlights for me were the "square dancing tractors", the corral (horses, etc.) and the quilt display. The square dancing tractors were amazing ---- eight tractors (4 couples) followed the instructions of the caller. The crowd was told that the old Farmall tractors could turn on a dime, after watching the show I believe them. I think this show was the surprise hit of the IPM.

The transport from "parking lot E" to the main gate were hay wagons

The square dancing tractors

The Bruce County Cattleman's Association advertising campaign

This was an amazing team of horses and wagon.

Happiness is ....................

Ed would love to have another Kubota tractor

Walking down one of the aisles



Zaph Meets Flash

Last week went incredibly fast between cooking up the vegetables I bought at market on the weekend, cleaning the house, major work on the gardens (removing shrubs, making one garden disappear and shrinking a couple of others, transplanting the plants I want to save --- still have lots to do but I made a pretty good start), a day off to shop with Margaret (I've decided to try my hand at quilting and bought material for 8 placemats) and a trip down to Brantford with a stop in Burlington on the way to pick up a couple of things and visit my mom. My old boss lives on a small farm (around 34 acres) just outside of Brantford and is having a great time with the hobby farm lifestyle. The house is fairly old and needs updating which are the winter project for the next number of years and gardens and landscaping which are the summer projects. This year they have added animals to the mix --- 3 ponies and a miniature horse. Jess the 14 year old daughter is horse crazy --- rides at a barn six days a week, is training the miniature horse for show and rides two of the ponies (the 3rd one's not broken). Jess took Ed, Zaph and me out to meet the horses. As it was raining I was carrying an umbrella to protect the camera (had to take some photos) which unfortunatley spooked one of the horses which in turn spooked two other horses. The miniature horse Flash was pretty laid back and didn't mind the umbrella .... I think he was too interested in finding out what type of creature was running around outside of the paddock. Flash and Zaph both ended up by the fence sniffing each other and eventually Zaph gave Flash a big kiss. As usual Kathleen cooked a fantasic meal and we had a great visit.

"The Man" and the girls --- the miniature horse is male while the other three are female.

Flash was a little more social than the other three because he wasn't afraid of umbrellas.

What is that thing?????? Zaph and Flash meet eye to eye.

Sizing each other up.



Test Run Mostly A Success

Today we returned home and moved back into the house declaring the test run a success. All three of us are happy with the new trailer --- the 2nd slide gives us lots of room in the living area (quite roomy with four people and a dog), the kitchen should be easy to work in, the bathroom will hold the three of us at the same time though it's a bit of a squeeze and there should be enough storage space (that'll be proved true or false when we load up at the end of October). The only glitch was the leaky valve and that'll get fixed under warranty. Can't wait to hit the road in the new rig.



Trial Run

Yesterday we hitched up the trailer and drove to a campground in Waterloo (about 1 1/2 hours). Luck was with us as it didn't start raining in Walkerton till we were just about ready to leave and it didn't start raining in Waterloo till after we were set up. Our friends Jack and Lori came for dinner which turned into a challenge as I had counted on non-rainy weather thus making more use of the barbecue. I didn't have my full complement of pots, pans and pyrex so I ended up warming up soup in a deep frying pan. In the end it didn't matter as dinner was good and the company better.

We were planning on going to the Waterloo farmers market this morning so I was up early. Deciding to treat myself to a warm bathroom for my shower I pulled out the heater from it's hiding position beside the toilet and noticed that the cord was wet. On further examination I determined that floor around the toilet was wet. I dried it up and checked it a half hour later and found more water ..... Houston we have a problem. Ed was not a happy camper when I woke him and told him we had a leak. The trip to market was off for Ed (I still went with Jack and Lori) as he can't leave a problem .... needs to know what's wrong and needs to know NOW. Turned out the valve on the foot pedal leaked when the foot pedal was pressed all the way down. The baseboard was wet, the sub flooring was wet and the floor tiles were soaked through .... guess it had been leaking all week. Good thing we found it now when we're still near the dealer and while the trailer is still under warranty.

Waterloo Farmer's market is always great. This area has a large Mennonite population and many of them bring there goods to market. Lots of meat, cheese, fruit and vegetables for sale as well as a lot of flea market items. I always seem to buy more than I was planning because everything looks so good and today was no exception. By the time I had returned from the market Ed a happy camper ... he had figured out the problem. After Ed ate lunch (I of course ate a sausage with fried onions and sauerkraut at market .... hmmmm good) we went to the TSC store which is beside the old market. As I had already bought enough food we opted to not walk around the market but I did take a couple of photos.

This evening we went out with Fred and Sharon. Fred and Ed have worked together many times over the years and was born on the same day as Ed just nine years. We hadn't seem them for about a year and half so we had lots of stuff to catch up on.

Looking out over the pond. This was pretty much the view from the living room.

Our trailer is the one with the sattelite dish. We really didn't need it but setting it up was part of the "test run".

The cargo bay was unload so Ed could get a heater in to try a dry the bathroom floor. It also gave him chance to rearrange everything .... only a couple of things have been relagated to staying home.

A "parking garage" by the TSC store. An open shed is provided by many of the stores in Mennonite territory.

The "old market" ... the "new market" which is across the road is about a 100 times bigger.

One of the "tourist" activities is to take a tour of a Mennonite farm.



Keady Market

Several people had told us about the Keady Market and how amazing it was. We decided that we had to see for ourselves. Keady is about 40 minutes north of Walkerton in pretty much the middle of no where. Owen Sound would be the closest city and it's 15 or 20 minutes away. The market consists of a stock yard, a farmers market and a flea market. We thought there were a lot of people there (more than we expected) but a few vendors were commenting that it was pretty quiet .... hate to see it when it's busy. Some of the vendors were local but others came from different areas around southern Ontario (some several hours away), not sure where all the buyers come from but probably most come from a distance as there's not a big population base around Keady. As markets go it was pretty good and I'm sure we'll visit it again next year.

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