Thursday, August 25, 2016

Saskson and Thompatoon

Perhaps those names are altered, but it's all a blur as we spent time this past week in Saskatoon and Thompson.  In Saskatoon we saw two Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan performances

 and attended two parties.  One party was for Rob's 31st and one was for Glenda's 60th.  Rob had a 50 foot slip-and-slide which adults and kids enjoyed.
Glenda' party was at the Refinery and it was the perfect venue for the number of people.  It was fun to meet so many people whom I heard about through the decades.  It looked like Glenda's "Coronation Street" pals were going to be the liveliest party-ers.
Bob photobombed at the last minute.
From Saskatoon we headed to Thompson where we ate delicious meals, played mega-Scrabble and generally had a wonderful time.  My sister Jocelyn and I played fourteen games of Scrabble and stayed friends as we each won seven.  One morning Jocelyn couldn't figure out why her back was sore.  I'm sure it's because we hunched over the board for hours.

Here are the brothers-in-law who have been related for 35 years.  In those 35 years, this is only the second photo of them together.
My nephew Mark is my rock picker when we visit.  I always come home with a few new rocks for my garden.  Mark, you and I are getting older as we definitely picked smaller ones this year.
Unfortunately we missed visiting with my niece and her husband as they were still in PEI.  However, we did play with their cats Kenny and Lola.
I never visit Thompson in the summer without seeing Cliff Colter's amazing garden.  His neighbor came across and said she thinks of it as the Butchart Garden of Thomspon.  That's true except that Butchart Garden has many gardeners and this is all created by one man. I told him his yard must drive up real estate values in the neighborhood.
That's my sister Jocelyn.  You'll see her better in a minute.
Here she is again!
This lily is ten inches across.  Ten inches!
Cliff placed 49 crocheted flowers in his garden; each one represents a life lost in the Orlando massacre at Pulse Nightclub.
I wish you could smell the next two pictures.  The fragrance of the sweet peas is unbelievable.
Cliff's yard backs onto the bush and is a haven for bees, butterflies, and birds.
Back in Jocelyn's neighborhood, I enjoy the leafiness (needleness?) of the tamaracks.
Jocelyn also has a great garden.  She may not forgive me for putting pictures of it after pictures of Cliff's.
Jocelyn is an amazing cook and baker so we indulged:
flapper pie ...
...zucchini & cheese ...
...shrimp dip ...
... and other foods such as lettuce and radish salad exactly like our grandma used to make, turkey, and so much more...
...and when we weren't eating delicious food at their place we were going to the iconic Popeye's down by the river.  Their burgers and fries are consistently mouthwatering.
Luckily the Rotary Park has some exercise equipment.  Bob, I don't think your three minutes on this machine used up all the calories.
The Rotary Park has a really cool spray park.
All of you know how much I love Saskatoon.  I've got to tell you that I am a big fan of Thompson too.
When we got home, it was time to look at my garden.  I tried calling an oceanographer because of the beached whales I found.  A closer look at the behemoths proved them to be zucchini.  Note to self:  never go away for a week while leaving two zucchini plants unattended.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Life's Always Rosy, Right?

We're home now after a nearly perfect vacation.  Let me tell you about last night first and then show you some more of yesterday's fun.

Last night was a night of constant lightning, thunder, and rain.  We tent.  Did I mention we tent?  In the middle of the night I was sure I was hearing something other than thunder as rumbles were lasting a minute or more at a time.  Bob confirmed they were lengthy thunder and that noise was added to the sound of rain pelting the tent.

We got up while it was still dark and Bob - my hero Bob - said there was no reason for both of us to get soaked while taking down the tent.  I sat in the truck while he quickly got everything down.  Sorry there are no photos as it was still dark, but Bob was dressed in shorts - no shirt, no shoes.  He could have passed for Prime Minister Trudeau.

  It was turning light when we left the camp so here's a photo through the truck window.
 Yesterday when we got back from Bemidji, Bob golfed and I wandered the four blocks of Park Rapids' Main Street.

Who wouldn't want to shop at a store that has a screen door?
Here's the side of that shop.
The town of 3000 has two book stores which have flourished for some years.
The post office has old boxes.
Lots of stores have flowers and benches in front of them.

Some just have cool displays which are put out and taken in each day.
Monica's is a quilt and yarn shop which has been on Main Street ever since I can remember.

Are any of my quilting friends doing the "Home Sweet Home" row robin?  If you are, I have the pattern for Monica's row which is called "Postcards from Home."  I'd be happy to make a copy for you.
I'm not a yarn person, but I know some of you are.
Leah, if you want another cat, you can make one.  Unfortunately this pattern is so popular that the store was out of it or I would have brought it home for you.

Vagabond Village Campground on Potato Lake is definitely one of my happy places and it's given me years and years of good memories.

Not all the beauty there happens on its own.  There are pretty planters near the lodge and each night the owners surround each and every one of them with plastic.
Why?  If they didn't, deer would munch them down to nothing.  Every day we see does and their fawns and they are pretty comfortable leaving the forest to visit gardens. 
Besides all the deer, we spotted trumpet swans and a family of seven wild turkeys.

Here's part of the beach at Vagabond.  You can rent a pontoon or kayaks or boats.  There aren't paddle boards yet, but I won't be surprised to see them next year.
I can never decide if lodge is the right word to use for the building where Bob and I visit with the owners, the Nelsons, each and every day that we're there.  It has a little store of necessities including ice cream cones!

Vagabond Village is on Facebook and you should start following it.

Most of our stay was rosy except for the pelting rain last night and one other thing.  I was in the lodge talking about a column the paper featured which basically said that Trump has given the haters of the United States the validation to be vocal in their hatred of people different from them.  Oops!  A couple from Grand Forks came in and they are Trump supporters.  Backtrack, Brenda.  Backtrack!

We're home now after wishing we could stay longer.  Unfortunately we couldn't as my back garden has become a do-it-yourself kit for borscht and other vegetable delights.  The apple tree in the front yard is a do-it yourself-kit for pies and crisps.  

It's good to travel.  It's good to be home.