Oh, Canada!

Yes, Folks, we have arrived.  We hit town yesterday (Friday) afternoon.  Our travel was unbelievably uneventful!  We left Iowa Thursday morning.  Freya was ready to go:

Freya ready to go

OK…maybe not quite that ready, but with the help of a tranquilizer three hours prior to departure, she was a great little traveler!   I think the entire trip was way less stressful for both of us.

Many things were different this year.  We had new paperwork at the border which delayed us about 1.5-2 hours.  The crossing itself went well; it was just long.  STAY TUNED FOR INFORMATION ABOUT POULTRY/EGGS FROM THE U.S.  RIGHT NOW BRING NONE; WE’LL LET YOU KNOW IF THINGS CHANGE. 

Here’s what we saw upon arrival last year on April 29:

last years snow

Here’s the driveway today:

this years driveway

Lovely, I say!  Here’s Gruper several days after arrival last year trying to gain access to one of his buildings:

last years snow2

Today he wandered up to his building and was able to get the garbage truck out:

garbage truck and garage

Amazing, I say!  I took a 5ish-mile walk on 105.  There were signs of life everywhere:

a fox has visited

fox poop

a deer has visited

deer poop

a moose has meandered through

moose track

He had nothing on the one I saw about 10 miles south of Camp yesterday.  The bull was ENORMOUS!  He already had a great start on a rack and it’s only April!

mushrooms are sprouting (though not morels like Sally found on her walk at home yesterday)



I saw a grouse and a whiskeyjack along the driveway when I returned.  Check out the white birch on the blue sky:

birch on blue sky

Check out this alligator under the dock:


Gruper left out a few trail cams over the winter again.  We only got a couple of usable pics.  Here’s a whiskeyjack who discovered the camera:


Perhaps this is the fox who used our driveway as a bathroom:


Look at how beautiful he is later in the season:


So, what’s it like when we arrive on a “normal” year such as this?  Gruper and I cross the border and get to Dryden for lunch.  He then takes Freya and some of my cargo so I can get groceries while he heads up the hill.  By the time I arrive, he has a fire going in the entry room, heat going in the propane fire place, water throughout the house, etc.  I come in, put away the fresh groceries (produce, dairy) and get Freya more settled.  By evening, it’s like we never left:  we’ve showered and have settled down to watch The Amazing Race with a yummy dinner of black bean salsa chicken:

chicken dinner

I spent this morning unpacking and came to a huge realization:  I am food-obsessed!  Please raise your hand if you knew this about me.  Wow.  Anyway, we are set for some time.  This afternoon was so beautiful that I wandered around and took pics for this blog entry, coaxed Freya from the basement for a walk about the yard, and took my good walk.

OK, I’ve played with you all long enough.  We know you’re wondering about the ice situation.  Here’s a gull floating by:

gull on ice

Here’s a nice view toward the falls:

our tree

The cute tree on the right is “our” tree by the way.  We planted it many moons ago.  Here’s a nice glitter shot:

glitter lake

Perhaps I’ll do a family foto fest in the next day or so.  Until then, you know where to find us!

5 Responses to “Oh, Canada!”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Exciting! Kevin and Aaron can’t wait for the annual trip. Love reading the blog entries!

  2. pat_ricketts@mchsi.com Says:

    My goodness!!!  The weather looks better there than here!  We finally had a nice, gentle rain most of the day today that should be soaking in and bringing life to our plants. I LOVEDDDD your blog!  You are a “catchy” writer and keep the attention of your readers.  The photos are great.  But, but, but . . . is that REALLY a gator under the dock?  Sure hope not!  And yes, dear, you are a foodie, totally addicted to buying, stockpiling, cooking, creating, saving, etc., etc.  Too bad, really too bad, your generation cannot boast more like you.  Keep up the fun blogs and cooking your little heart out.  Steve is a lucky guy to have someone who loves him enough to see that he is well-fed, albeit no Eggs Benedict.  Tell him not to worry, I’m going to start practicing, and by August, should have somewhat of a good hold on “Eggs Benedict Preparation.”   “Jersey Boys” was incredible.  Great music, great vocalists.  Patty and I loved it.  We ate at Me and Billy’s.  Marilyn LeBuhn gifted us her ticket, which was a blessing.  If you have not yet been to Me and Billy, it’s a must for us come fall.  Went to Bucktown last night with a “new” friend, who works at Deere.  She introduced me to some other ladies and we looked around the galleries and then saw some “art” films being presented at Bucktown.  There were six of us and none of us understood the damn things.  Way too sophisticated for me, so we made guesses at what was intended.  No more “art” films for me.  We also had a fun time with a glass and wine and a bite of food at Barrel House.   Made “church basement lady” food tonight for Hawleys and Winborns.  Jody conned us into coming to their house next Friday night to help her/them prepare for their Derby Party Saturday evening.  The race will be over by then, but Oscar (#1 servant) will record it and we are banned from watching the live broadcast.  Servants #2, #3, and #4, in the persons of Sandy, Ed, and me, will do what we are commanded, but Jody will hopefully learn how to pronounce “Please” by then.  I will also prepare a cold asparagus dish and a weird spread, recipes provided by the commander in chief.  I have to learn how to peel, seed, and grate a cucumber and then wrap it in cheese cloth and squeeze out the juice.  The remaining pulp gets mixed with cream cheese.  Repeat squeeze with a grated yellow onion, saving the juice to mix in with the other.  Add in mayo, Tabasco, salt and green (YUCK) food coloring.  Spread on thin-slice white bread and cut into triangles.  I’ll save some for you if you like.   Brian is doing fine.  Doesn’t go back to the doc for four months.  He said he already feels 120% better.  Praise God.   Going to JBar for brunch with church ladies tomorrow and to see Anne Pedigo later in the day.  Keeps me off the streets and out of the bars.   Such is life here on Norman Court South.  Let me know if you would like to have the silk ties mailed to you.  Sorry I didn’t think of it sooner.   Love to you and Steve, Pat

  3. Elizabeth Says:

    Jeff was just asking me the other day when you all cross. Glad to hear you made it well. When I win the lottery, I will be your summer resident. We are so ready to visit. Can’t wait to see you and enjoy the scenery!!

  4. Sal Says:

    Love the blog!!! Keep us posted with your writing talent and pictures!!!

  5. Bob and Joyce Says:

    Glad you arrived safely and the crossing went well. The pictures are beautiful and you should have a much easier opening without all the snow to contend with this year. Good to know Murray is coming back, too. It sounds like you don’t have to worry about Pat while you are gone. She is keeping busy!!!! Have a GREAT YEAR and we will see you later on. Thanks for all the effort on the blog. It is wonderful for us Southerners to keep informed on GOD’s country!! Blessings to you both.

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