I had to laugh when I went back to this post draft, originally labeled Winter Projects. How quickly time passes when we aren’t paying attention! Spring came and went and we are now pushing into the end of June…the summer month….but at least we are pushing forward.
When we relocated to our little paradise on the east coast four years ago, we lucked into this mostly perfect (for us) little space, RED by the Sea, as of this writing, an almost 100 year old abode fairly recently renovated with wiring and plumbing and structurally sound. We had to do next to nothing when we moved in except maybe refresh with a coat of paint. (OUR FIRST RENO) (CROW’S NEST )
This winter, the plan was to finally get doors made for our two bedroom closets. Up to now there were tension polls and window curtains to close the space. They served their purpose, but it was time. The problem with old homes is that nothing is square and each of the two openings had different measurements so they required custom build.
Another challenge was the configuration of furniture in the guest room. We had purchased a bed that nicely transformed from single to king sized as needed for visitors so that when the bed was at its maximum there was no way any standard door would open, custom or not. I found a reasonable compromise with an accordion style….not the prettiest but it sure beats those old curtains inherited from the previous owner.
The other project was to do a bit of a facelift to the basement bathroom. It’s functional but has no character…and after all of this time, do I ever need a decorating project!
The laundry space just outside that bathroom is small but again, functional….barely. The side by side washer dryer takes up so much precious space that I thought, why not stack those babies. The machines were at least five years old when we moved, also Sears models, but with a bit of internet search I found out which company made those particular models and located a stacking kit to fit.
So now we have stacked machines and a laundry tub to make washing up so much easier. Also F’s bathroom have been refreshed with a coat of paint and some new furnishing. He chose a fresh sunny colour and a nautical theme with some fun kitschy accessories.
Zula, the Road Warrior update: our now six month old kitten loves the outdoors, harness and leash, backpack and sling, car rides and walks to the beach, welcoming visitors and as of this writing is moderately comfortable placing her two front paws into the water. She is the proud owner of a life vest but it still remains to be seen that she will wear it for water excursions. We try to make her a part of daily activities as much as we can.
Grocery pick up
First car wash
First Camping Trip
She loves intently watching F at his renovation projects. In the galley she is much less likely to ‘watch’ and has become more ‘paws on’ in her approach. The first time she found the nerve to mount the counter top, I was preparing a grilling supper enclosed in foil packets. On first leap her paws grabbed each piece of foil as our whole dinner dropped to the floor. I emitted several very salty words, cleaned up the mess, and laughed. Was the first but no doubt will not be the last…and who could stay mad at that beautiful little innocent face?
For the Battle of the Atlantic ceremony this year we were able to have a full parade. My son Luke gladly agreed to participate and marched with pride with the rest of the Legion veterans.
Battle of the Atlantic Parade
We recently attended the Bluenose marathon. Two grandkids, aged 7 and 5 both ran it this year in the 2km and 1km respectively.
My daughter works as Marketing and Communications Director for Brigadoon Village, an organization that provides camping experience for kids with health challenges. Several months ago we attended a fund raiser.
The aim was to raise 12.5 million to complete an expansion project. Having met their goal, they held a grand reopening to mark the success…
Adding a bit of culture to our country existence we attended a very interesting exhibit highlighting the life and works of Van Gogh…
Another proud grand parent moment was watching my grand-son live on TSN, chosen from high school players from across the country (the only one chosen from New Brunswick/and one of three from Atlantic Canada), for a CFC Prospects match…
Our gardens are flourishing and a duck couple blessed us with ten babies, seen below in front of Duck Pond island…
And finally for all of you RED fans. We are still in touch with her current family who continue to send us news from the Yukon. As much as we miss her, we can’t be more happy for her to have the life she was meant to lead…
I’ll leave you now as we make preparations to jump into our summer months full tilt. It’s looking like a busy one for the crew of RED II at RED by the Sea. Camping trips. Guests from away. And the times in between filled with the day to day…
…peace and love…
We would like to introduce to you, an addition to our little family by the sea, Zula, our four month old Abyssinian kitten. At barely three pounds she is, as F exclaimed, the best therapy any retired couple could ever hope for.
As some of you may or may not know, this has been a very long planning period. Several years ago while still those boat people, we both followed the blog, Bailey Boat Cat, and thought it would be fun to have an onboard pet. But there was the issue of F’s allergies…dogs, horses, dust, mold and above all cats. There was the time when visiting family that he couldn’t breathe, the reaction was so severe.
In spite of this he was keen to give it a try. His criteria was simple…pure bred. So we did research and settled on the one breed that we thought would fit into our lives. Abys are very social and adaptable. They are very intelligent and more like dogs in nature. And we found they love water. Sounded like the perfect fit.
I located a local cattery in Quebec and arranged for a visit. F decided to go medication naked…no antihistamines to test the waters. There had to have been at least a dozen critters roaming around the breeder’s kitchen. One dear old thirteen year old was obsessed with him and wouldn’t stop caressing his face and neck. No bronchial reaction…just a couple of welts on F’s neck from all the licking. It was all I could do to keep him from taking one of the babies home with us. But it wasn’t the right time..what if we wanted to be away from the boat for the day. We couldn’t just leave the kitten onboard all locked up and for sure would never leave a pure bred animal free to roam the marina by itself. So we put the thought away.
With the sale of RED and purchase of RED II, the topic resurfaced. We could think of no reason not to move forward. We found a local breeder and sent an email ‘feeler’, you know, just to see where it would take us. Well, didn’t she have one female kitten ready for adoption. A ruddy, rich caramel coat, just the colour we both loved. And golden eyes. The breeder wanted to know a little about us first to make sure the fit was right so I sent a response outlining our current lifestyle.
Zula Road Warrior
Once we saw that sweet face there was no turning back. With melting hearts we took our little fur baby home. She took a couple of days to get used to her new home. Every sound, every smell seemed to disturb her but by the second day she was considerably more calm, exploring every inch of the house.
Room with a View
By the time we had visitors she was ready to participate in whatever was going on.
We gradually got her accustomed, introducing what would hopefully become her travel backpack. Bike rides and hiking with us, we hope, will be in her future.
Getting used to water may take some time though. For now a dripping faucet is about all she can handle…but it keeps her well hydrated.
Of course F thought his baby should have all the best. New toys and a climbing tree.
It has been placed by the window overlooking Duck Pond so she can keep an eye on our feathered visitors…
The tree top, is now her favourite spot to observe her universe…
F even put in a pet door for easy access to the litter box in the basement and it took no time at all before she had mastered the ins and outs…
Next came familiarity with RED II as Zula will definitely be coming camping with us this summer. After bringing it back from de-winterizing we parked it so our petite madame could still have her favourite view of Duck Pond and take naps in the sun.
Camping with a View
I thought some fresh air would be appreciated while setting up the camper but it wasn’t too long before she found a new way to access the upper cabinets. There is also a small pass-through section in the screen door which she apparently can now open by herself so will have to be extra careful.
Her spaying operation is scheduled in two months with a chip inserted in case she gets lost but in the mean time getting her used to a harness and leash will be important so we and she can enjoy some outdoor activities.
We spent several days outfitting the camper for the season with some quiet time for F to work on his latest boat model….cat supervised of course.
She hasn’t quite grabbed the concept of sleeping inside the sleeping bag but she seems to like it for taking naps.
Just Me and the Pig
As always we really appreciate you dropping by to catch up. No doubt there will be more to write about this year with antics of Zula the Road Warrior to take up the slack where Major Pig (ret’d) left off. Stay tuned…
…peace and love…
Hello there all of you followers of the crew of two (2.5 if I include the Pig). Firstly, a very Happy New Year just a little late, I know! I started writing this post almost two months ago and when I revisited it I realized so much of what was then, is no longer valid…so I’ve done a little rewriting.
RED II has gone in for her seasonal check and winterizing. There was a short list of repairs, little defects to be fixed while still under warranty. One was a faulty brake actuator which also meant we had to replace our vehicle connector….which…ahem!…may have been due to something we did incorrectly. Busy time at our local car repair because of snow tire instalments meant a delay in bringing our home-on-wheels back for the winter, but she is now here and comfortably installed right where her water-based predecessor RED used to reside.
For a while, travel opened up modestly, people were generally behaving and vaccination rates increased which allowed for visits from away. We do enjoy showing off our little corner of paradise and playing tourist in our own backyard which led us to an autumn revisit of a local winery for some sipping and fine dining.
We’ve enjoyed watching the seasonal change of our feathered friends. Most of our flock of starlings has changed plumage colour from dark browns to winter beige and paler brown freckles. Even Skippy our one-legged fella seems to be managing quite well in spite of his obvious limitations. You may have noticed that I like to name things, like our crow in the lower right – Russell and another frequent flyer, Robert Junior, our Downy woodpecker. Well, enough about silly me.
Even though we don’t feed them, directly that is, Duck Pond is constantly filled with at least two or three dozen Blacks and Mallards. By directly, I mean that when they need to supplement insects and green shoots in and around the water, they wait below the bird feeders for the occasional droppings…but not always patiently with tribal infighting common. We keep watching for the annual pair and we think it’s either a new pure Mallard couple or Beatrice and Andre are back this year. Because of their distinct personalities we think it’s the latter.
We’ve seen an increase in winter storms. Six nor’easters to date. Because we seem to live in a more vulnerable area for power outages which can create issues needing to pump water from the well into the house (toilet flushing an obvious concern over several days), our electrician wired a second panel to run the generator. This past summer F created a shelter for the Generator and now all we need to do is flip a switch and we have heat, refrigeration and of course running water. The only thing it doesn’t run is the hot water tank but hey, if you’ve kept up with our adventures you know that we’ve functioned quite nicely bathing in the frigid Saint Lawrence waters (AT REST IN PARADISE).
Me and my Beauty
My daughter was involved in the rebranding of the non-profit company she now works for that provides camping experiences for kids with special needs and illnesses. Recently she invited us to the launch and fund raising event in Halifax. As this was our first large gathering outing since the beginning of the pandemic and it felt a wee bit strange at first. It was however a spectacular success and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Next on our event agenda was Remembrance Day. Our local legion held a stationary parade with music from a local marching band. We all still had to respect social distancing rules but a fine crowd of locals gathered for the ceremony.
Decorating for Christmas this year for some reason has been a lot more fun than usual. It’s the first year since moving in four years ago that we paid any attention to outdoor lights. Our two hydrangeas now boast 600 lights per bush. A little over-kill perhaps but it does give a wonderful glow arriving home after dark.
F mentioned last year that he really likes those candle type window lights and thought each window should have them this year. So I rose to the challenge with enthusiasm and purchased several to display in our thirteen windows upstairs and down. I opted for battery operated but clearly didn’t think it through. Each of those babies uses three AAA batteries, but oh how lovely they look when darkness descends on our little home by the sea.
By the Fire
I think every fireplace needs a mantle…just so there can be a display of some sort at Christmas. It’s a childhood thing for me. So last year I asked if F could create one and I love it!. It’s simple and functional and we now have a place to hang stockings should Père Noël decide to pay us a visit.
Noel by the Sea
It’s unlikely we will be travelling this year but my son-in-law secured a chalet nearby to house a few of the family members able to join in for Christmas. The perfect place for feasting, tree-trimming and cookie decorating.
Tidal Bore Resort
Letters to Santa
I think that’s about it for now. F is heavily into model building , inching his way to finishing the Pinta and I, working on my latest galley project…sourdough bread making.
La Pinta, 1492
Wishing you all a joyous and healthy 2022.
…peace and love…