Thursday, June 28, 2007


For some reason, Blogger is not allowing me to post any pictures and it is making me very frustrated. I have several of this beautiful island that I wanted to share, but I guess I'll have to wait until another day and try again. And it's time to head out of the Visitor Center and get back to the RV. The friends that we are traveling with, the folks that lived across the street from us thirty years ago, didn't come in with us and are probably waiting for supper. You see, Bev and I are taking turns fixing suppers as it's just as easy to cook for four as it is for two, and this way we only have to cook and do dishes every other night! We think it's a good deal. It is my turn to cook tonight so best we get back to the job at hand. I'm making pork chops with lemon pepper, and new potatoes and carrots roasted with olive oil and fresh rosemary. And for a treat, I bought some wonderful dark chocolate with almonds this afternoon. Nummy!


On this very cold, dreary, rainy day we took the Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island, or PEI as they call it. It was the longest bridge I've ever been on, and the longest bridge in the world that crosses over water that freezes in the winter. I believe it was almost 9 miles long, and needless to say, I was relieved when we got to PEI. I have no clue how one can build a bridge over part of the ocean and have it be strong and safe, for 10 years already! The day was rainy and cloudy, but when we got to PEI we noticed right away the beauty and charm of this island. It is quiet, peaceful, unrushed, and gentle, which is their motto, The Gentle Island.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Good morning. Just a quick note this morning from the visitor center on PEI. We arrived here on Saturday and drove around towards Charlottetown in the afternoon and went to a music night at the campground after dinner. It was a lot of fun......a group did several Hand Williams tunes, and other people got up out of the audience and sang other country songs. Country is big up here. Yesterday we went to the northwestern most point of PEI, North Cape or something like that. I have pictures, but because I'm not at my own computer I can't send them right now. We are heading towards Charlottetown today, to a campspot right smack in the middle of the island. From there we will head up to the Anne of Green Gables stuff and down to Charlottetown and Victoria along the coast. So far we love PEI. If I was forced to settle somewhere rather than back home, PEI could easily be in the top few choices. Wonderful, friendly people and a small town feel to the whole island make it many folks' very favorite part of Canada.

Until later.....

Friday, June 22, 2007


These pictures are from our very interesting and educational tour of Old Quebec City. The first is a portion of the Frontenac Hotel, and the other is just old houses inside the walled portion of the city. I loved this part of the tour. We also saw an old church, and the doors were open so we went in to see that. There were musicians in the little town square, and lots of flower boxes on the old homes. I could have wandered thesse streets for hours if we had been given the time.


Yup, you guessed it. The campsite with the beautiful sunset was a Walmart parking lot in Sudbury. Noisey too, as a major highway ran buy the store.


On Tuesday we drove along the north eastern shorline of New Brunswick and stopped at the Historic Acadian Village located near Caraquet. This is the history of the people that were expelled from Nova Scotia. Some settled here in New Brunswick, back in the forests, and some went to other places. Some actually ended up in the USA, Lousiana to be exact. Cajan comes from Acadian. It was an interesting tour on a beautiful sunny day. The sunset is from our campsite on the Gulf of the Saint Lawrence.

After walking through the village we were given a nice ride back to our starting point.
This picture is for you, Dawn. Just wanted to show you that your parents are doing just fine. We are having a ball catching up on the last twentyfive or so years!


On our way to Miscou Island, yesterday morning.
Miscou Lighthouse on the tip of Miscou Island.
I took this picture yesterday at Parlee Beach, site of the warmest water north of Virginia! Notice the lifeguard dressed in yellow sweats and a yellow rain slicker? And notice the crowd at the beach? Warm water on this day was not in evidence at all.

When I saw that today's date was June 22 it hit me! I didn't send a birthday card to Justin, our grandson who turned 12 today. Sorry guy! I'll get it in the mail ASAP. Hope you had a wonderful day, filled with fun, friends, family, and food. We love you!


It is not my fault that the corrections I made to the previous blog did not make it to the published version. I would correct something and before the correction was made, I would no longer be connected. Same with pictures. This connection is so slow and weak that by the time something finally loads, I am no longer connected. Will continue to try. Sorry!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


It is a week since I was online so now I have to try to catch you all up. Last Thursday we left our spot by Sault Ste. Marie and headed across Canada. We had a late start so only made it to Sudbury that night. It was really hot.......and guess where we parked for the night? The picture should give you a hint. (Blogger is not allowing me to add pictures right now. I'm wondering if that means I won't be able to post at all?) The next morning we headed off to Ottawa, then on Saturday we arrived in Quebec City.

Quebec City is an I'm sure we won't repeat! There was road construction along the highway on the way into the city, so the maps meant nothing, the Garmin our friends rely on was confused, and there were no signs to show what route we should use instead of our intended route. After driving around awhile, remember we're both pulling 35 foot RV's, we spied a woman on a bicycle and I flagged her down to ask for help. She said it was hard for her to tell us where to go because she only rides a bike and doesn't drive a car, so she used trails and smaller streets most of the time. However, she pointed us in the right direction and we were able to find our campground.

The next mornng, Sunday, we headed into the city to tour Old Quebec. It is the oldest walled city on the North American continent. And apparently the folks up here want to keep it a secret as they post no signs to show us English speaking Americans where it is. All their street signs are in French; and one could argue that all our signs are in English, but if you are relying on tourism and advertise in tour books that everyone should visit your historic attractions, then you should post an occasional sign showing where that attraction is. We drove in circles for two hours, wasting 1.06$ a liter gas before giving up and attempting to find our RV's again. We finally found a familiar numbered highway and pointed the truck in a westerly direction, and we were successful in locating home, vowing to call the tour company that had been advertised in the campground brouchere for an afternoon guided tour.

What a crazy experience! As we boarded the small bus for our tour, the driver explained to us, in his heavily French accented English, that we were lucky we decided to go on a tour because the streets and highways in Quebec City were a horrible mess. Well, he told us nothing we didn't already know! He explained that many streets had three or four names, depending on which end of the street you were on. So the government, in their wisdom, decided to number the streets instead. However, a street maybe named route 134 W would run only north and south, and in the same manner, a street named 5th street S would run only east and west. Spaghetti junction in the Twin cities is nothing compared to each and every intersection in that city!

But our friendly driver knew where he was going, and he went there at full speed, cutting off drivers and causing us to wonder if our insurance would cover us in Old Quebec City. When one young woman was rudely cut off and she directed her horn honking at our driver, he spouted "she got a new horn at a lawn sale and was just trying it out to see if it worked!" Mr. Bus Driver told us many times during our almost 3 hour tour, that he was a 'stupid snow shoveling socialist who was hair handicapped' causing us to disolve into laughter each and every time that he lifted his beret to show us his bald head. He drove past two prisons that were empty because, according to the driver, "apparently there are no bad people up here." Mr. Bus Driver also explained that religious schools and seminaries are closing because nobody goes to church up here. He showed us one large, very beautiful old building that was a seminary in the Latin Quarter (named because the seminary students learned Latin) and it now was educating a student body of five. He also talked complained about the government, citing the fact that Quebecers paid the highest taxes on the planet, state and federal taxes amounting to 15% on everything.

We drove down a very pretty bustling street, lined on both sides with clubs and bars and other "places you go to be seen," according to our driver. He warned us to not go there unless we wanted to pay 10$ for a beer. He said a beer costs 7.50$ and if you gave them a ten, they would keep the change, making it a 10$ beer! He said the young girls were very beautiful, but that they all suffered from a very serious problem, cotton shrinkage. He said it seems that no one ever taught them how to do laundry properly, so they dried their cotton shirts and other clothing on high heat, and everything shrunk, causing the wearer to expose huge expances of stomach, legs and other body parts when they wore the garment. I told him that we had a similar disease in American high schools and colleges! Mr. Bus Driver also said that we should take notice of the young men wearing shirts that showed off their very expensive muscles. He said they all pay a lot of money to join gyms to develop muscles because they were too lazy to work, work being the usual way one would gain muscle. He claimed that 90% of the people in this city were on some type of government payroll and that the other 10% were on welfare.

We spent a fun afternoon with a very pleasant man who loved to make people laugh. And he did. My cheeks ached from all the laughter he got out of me! And at the end of our three hour tour, we were deposited safely back at our campground, much better educated than when we had begun. We have no clue as to how much of what Mr. Bus Driver told us was the truth, but I have a feeling that it was more truth than not. He earned a nice tip.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


We haven't been back to the upper penninsula of Michigan since we left here with three little kids in tow and moved to Grand Forks AFB. We had been stationed at KI Sawyer AFB for two short years and we loved it! Sure the winters were very snowy and cold, and the summers short and sweet, but when you can have scenery like the above, it makes all the rest of it worth it. This was taken along the highway somewhere between Marquette and Sault Ste. Marie at a rest stop. Isn't it beautiful?

This is a big ship going through the Soo locks in Sault Ste. Marie. We were lucky to see a "double header" when we were there last night. This big ship went through one lock and at the same time a barge came through the front lock. It was fun to watch the water being raised in one and lowered in the other. I believe the amount of change was 21 feet. Today went to Mackinaw City and drove across the bridge and saw the island. Tomorrow the plan is to leave in mid-morning and head north and east into Canada. I hope it's cooler that today was as I don't like temps in the 90's. We turned off the air in the RV when we were gone, and it was 85 in here when we returned. Too hot for me......I'm heading north.


We lost our signal this morning, but after tweaking for over an hour we got it back up stronger than ever! Maybe we are finally figuring it out.......maybe you can teach old dogs new tricks! Today is laundry day, grocery shopping day, and hopefully hair cut day before we head up into Canada tomorrow. Did I mention that our new cell phone plan includes service in Canada for an extra ten bucks per line per month? We figure that $20 a month for 3 months or so is worth it so we can keep in touch.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


This is our youngest grandson, Samuel, and his parents, our son Lenny and his wife Connie. We just spent two days with them and had a very nice time.


Last Thursday, halfway between having our satellite internet installed in Grand Rapids and visiting our son and his family in Grand Forks, we stopped in Cass Lake to visit Ernie's dear Aunt Dorothy. She was at her cabin on Grace Lake and she welcomed us with open arms. Poor Aunt Dorothy. She was married to Ernie's mother's brother, Orville, who died many years ago of Huntington's Disease. Then in the last month she burried her son who also died of Huntington's Disease. And, she has a daughter who also is suffering from this horrible disease. Aunt Dorothy is coping the best she can, and with her determination and sense of humor she will be okay. What a remarkable woman she is! As a young woman, she and a friend decided that they wanted to get out of town after graduation, so they found a school in Minneapolis to attend together. They made friends with three other gals, and together they went on to a teletype operators school in Sioux Falls. While there they learned if they requested to be placed together that the school would do all they could to keep them together. They all five went to Utah to a military base where they worked during the war. Later Dorothy and one of the gals decided they wanted more adventure, and they transferred to California. She eventually came back to the north country and married her high school sweetheart!

Aunt Dorothy is 82 years old, and is still bowling and playing golf! She was state bowling champion one time, the biggest thrill of her life. But she says that now she is a better golfer than a bowler. She loves music, dancing, playing cards, and travel. She has visited every one of the 50 states and many countries in Europe. She is now planning a trip to Australia, just because she's never been there.

I remember the first time I met Aunt Dorothy. It was before we adopted the four kids, so it was just our three kids and Ernie and me. We went to see her at another lake up North where she used to have a cabin. The flies where awful, our son Kevin was sick, it was hot and we had a big storm. But my clearest memory of her is the trick she played on our youngest, Chris. He must have been about four years old, and was acting smart about catching a fish or something. She asked him if he was hungry, and when he said he was, she made him a sandwich. She asked if he wanted mayo or butter, did he want lettuce, and then reached for the little round covered plastic dish in the fridge and completed his sandwich by adding two huge wiggly leeches! As she handed Chris the sandwich the black squiggly bloodsuckers were sticking their heads (or maybe it was their tails, who could tell!) out of the edge of the sandwich! Chris thought it was the funniest thing anyone had ever done, and to this day he talks about his leech sandwich that Aunt Dorothy made.

We were so honored to spend the evening with her. We shared a pizza, a glass of wine, some old time music, and many hours of memories. God bless you Aunt Dorothy! We will be back to visit again soon. We love you.


Last Thursday we had the satellite broadband installed in our RV, but we didn't have a chance to put up the dish and attempt to connect until Saturday. We could not get it to work, but since we were visiting our son Lenny, his wife Connie, and our youngest grandson Sammy, we didn't stress over it and just packed it away for another day and another attempt to connect. We visited the kids on Friday and Saturday and on Sunday left for our rendezvous with our friends in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. We stopped for the evening in Ashland, Wisconsin, and again tried to point the dish to "our" satellite 23,000 miles up in the sky. We did not succeed, but because we were excited to meet up with our friends we again brushed off our failure and put it away to try again another time. That day was today. We were up before seven, even after staying up late visiting and setting our clocks ahead to Eastern time. We tried, and tried, and tried. We got a strong signal which meant we had connected with our far off satellite, but we couldn't get it to transmit the signal or to give us a go ahead blue light on the box. We started calling for support, and after 8 hours and talking with about 10 different tech guys, I was finally connected with a very pleasant young man down in Florida. We went through the system, made several changes, and totally redid the installation, and 40 minutes later we finally got all 5 blue lights to shine bright and clear! Yup, we were finally online. But it was suppertime and we were going out to eat with our friends, so blogging was put off until we returned. We also installed the wireless router, and now I can sit here, not plugged into anything, and get online! I am excited! The connection is a bit slow right now, but as we learn to tweak the dish a bit more we should get a stronger connection. The sad thing is that we're leaving this spot in about 36 hours and we'll have to take the dish down and try again at a camp spot down the road. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


I finished reading The Unlit Path in the car yesterday, and found it a tough read. The trials this family went through hit very close to home as we had gone through a lot of those same things in the past. How I wish we would have had the helps then that are available today as we traveled down that same path which was not only unlit, it was darkened. Even knowing someone who was dealing with the same things would have helped, but we were totally in the dark. No training, no support, no help. I am so thankful that those of you who are now treading this same path have help, especially that you have each other. It would have meant the world to me to have had the education and friends to help us.

Have no clue why the whole title refuses to underline, but I think the link does work anyhow.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Last night we were invited to Kari's place for a steak dinner and to say good-bye to her, Mike, and the kids. The meal was excellent: baked potatoes, steak, asparagus, fruit salad, and pie. Tonight, after driving to our son's place, we were treated to another wonderful meal: chicken marinated in sun dried tomato dressing with additional tomatoes and cheese on top, carrots, fruit salad, Italian salad, Italian bread, wine and pie. Nummy! I think we've gained about 10 pounds in the 5 weeks we were home, simply because of all the excellent meals we've been fed.

We are parked in front of our son Kevin's home, on the cul de sac at the end of a quiet street in a very nice neighborhood. Out our door is their nicely manicured lawn and Molly's beautiful flower beds. It was fun to see the two boys, especially after saying goodbye to the other grandkids over the past couple of days. It was so great to be home and see all the grandkids, but it was hard to have to leave again.

It was also hard to say goodbye to my mom again. She is 85 and I worry about her. She drives her trusty van to Bible classes, lunches with friends, and her Hannah Circle meetings, giving all the old people rides! Until very recently she volunteered at the senior center and a thrift shop, and before that at the hospital gift shop, too. We had hoped she and my sister could fly to Nova Scotia to spend a couple of weeks with us this summer, but mom's back isn't going to permit that trip. We wish it would have worked out, but we will take a lot of pictures and will continue to post them on this blog.

Speaking of pictures. The one above is of our meal tonight. The competition between son and daughter continues. Maybe Kari will post about the past meals they've prepared.

Friday, June 01, 2007


It was one year ago today that I celebrated my first day of retirement from the job that I loved and had been doing for 18 years. I still miss my friends from the college, and I really miss the great kids that I got to know so well, but my first year of retirement has been awesome! We've done so much and seen so much of our wonderful country in the past year. We've gone places that we had only talked about or dreamed about for a long time. We thank God that He has kept us healthy, safe, and happy during our travels and we now ask for His continuing protection as we take off again next Tuesday.

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of selling our house and moving into our 34 foot RV. It has gone by very quickly, and I can say that I haven't missed having to clean and take care of a large house, but I miss having the room, and I miss my stuff! However, it is surprising how many of our possessions we really don't need. We've not suffered a bit by not having all the extra things around us. In fact, I think we're happier not having to deal with it all. Even though I love my stuff, it's still just stuff.

And today is the 40th anniversary of the release of The Sgt. Pepper Beatles album. Now that makes me feel old! Having a grand daughter turn 21 didn't make me feel old, but the 40th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band really ages me.