Thursday, April 26, 2018

Our wee Prince is here!

There are no words to express how much love we feel!

He arrived very early on Tuesday morning and weighed in at 
a perfect 7 lbs. 6 oz.
We love his name - Sullivan James
We love everything about him.

eight hours young!



"he's cute" "my bwothow"





We had a few days of one on one time
with this little love.

She has a nasty cough and cold.
Bad timing for when there's a new baby in the house.

Love having her at our table and so thankful
that she enjoys being with us too!













three days young

Oh the places you will go little one!
God is so Good ....


Till next time ... feeling blessed and thankful.




Friday, April 20, 2018

"At the Beach"

The weather over here has been frightful - understatement!
I guess that makes looking back to a few weeks ago in 
sunny Florida all that much sweeter to remember.

Our last two weeks, or so, were spent on the Florida "panhandle" 
near Panama City and Destin.

St. Andrew's State Park had high winds the day we rolled in.








There was lots of wild life and some not so wild ...









Mama Owl watching



These owlets were a definite highlight!

Do you see him?

The wind was relentless but at least that white stuff was sand and not snow!
After spending a few days at St. Andrew's State Park,
we had two glorious weeks at
Grayton Beach State Park,
our Happy Place!

One of many, many spectacular sunsets! It never get's old.


We basically had the beach all to ourselves - pure white sand!

This was our relaxing and staying put time.
The beach was a quick 10 minute walk from our campsites and we took full advantage
of long walks and sunsets!








Each day included "happy hour" (appetizers and refreshments)
with our friends before making our evening meals.
One of my favourite appies was this delicious blossoming onion that
they made on their grill - I have to get one of these!










We had some wonderful meals from the grill and also
went out a few times for delicious local foods
(shrimp and grits, seafood gumbo, she crab soup, etc.).
The seafood was expensive but so delicious.


Never fear - not all of our meals were "fancy".
There were a lot of hotdogs and hamburgers consumed as well (even some Mac and Cheese).
Intentionally however, we tried not to overdo the food - wanted this to be a 
kick start to healthier clean eating. We tried ...

A nice little side trip from our campsite was a day out to explore
the nearby Eden Gardens State Park.
A little, almost hidden, gem that is part of the Living Shoreline Trail
and a must see!


The magnificent moss-draped Live Oak trees, Camellias, Azaleas, Magnolias, Ginkgos,
just to mention a few were so pretty on this beautiful former Wesley estate.
I loved the whimsical statues of playful children that popped up here and there
throughout the gardens.
We were treated to an unexpected show of some playful dolphins just off
of the park's fishing pier! 
This place is often used for weddings and they were setting up for one the day we were there.

Back at camp I decided to try my hand at tie dying - have you ever done this?
We happened to stop in at a nearby Goodwill Store and I purchased a white cotton
bed sheet and then picked up some fabric dye at the local grocery store.
What fun to do this outdoors on the picnic table.
Did you know that bed sheets make the best kind of beach blankets?
They are light and the sand doesn't stick to them - something I learned from
my friend Anita - what a great idea!


It didn't turn out quite like I wanted but makes a great beach blanket none the less.
I'll need to do some more experimenting with this method.


This post was named "At the Beach" by our darling granddaughter
who told everyone that's where we were.



Meanwhile, when we returned home just before Easter we quickly prepared 
for a family gathering, a beautiful Easter Sunday service,
and tried desperately not to stray too far off of our intentional clean eating regime!
It was hard, especially when the Easter Bunny had hidden chocolate 
eggs all over the house and even in our shoes and boots.


Last year, this time, my Spring flowers were blooming and the air was warming.
We are still snow covered over here but the sun is shining and there are promising signs of
a Spring to come! 

Till next time .... a bit anxious and praying for the safe delivery of a new grand baby! Will keep you posted.






Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Spring was Sprung ...

Spring was Sprung in Tennessee and South Carolina!

As we travelled South, though it was still quite chilly,
we enjoyed experiencing Spring in fast forward mode ...


Who knew there was a beautiful Wildlife Sanctuary in the midst of Knoxville, TN?
We hiked the slightly muddy trails of Ijams Nature Center - so refreshing!

St. James Island County Park was a great place to camp with our
friends and travel out from there to see a plantation and
some of the historic sights in Charleston, SC.



Well worth the time to see Middleton Place.
Insights into this once rich and famous plantation which produced rice,
a wealth producing crop developed by the African Slaves,
was overgrown and neglected following the Civil War,
and now gives a wonderful historical tour of it's working farm and beautiful gardens!



Historical Charleston!



Beautiful and unique homes ... so interesting to learn about why the single homes were built
very long and narrow with beautiful verandas. This was for protection and
more efficient ventilation.

The city's Live Oak Trees are so magnificent!


Sweet Grass Baskets at Charleston's Market Square

We missed seeing Savannah this time round but are determined
to go back some day to visit that city and it's surrounding State Parks.






Jekyll Island State Park is near there and we did a windy and cool day trip to the park.




On the nearly deserted beaches, we collected hands full of the
prettiest tiny sand dollars.
























There is an amazing sea turtle hospital,
Georgia Sea Turtle Center,
 and I'm so glad we got to see this.

Jekyll Island State Park is worth a revisit
and would be a great place to camp someday.













On to Crooked River State Park in Southern Georgia.
Crooked River was lovely and we enjoyed the wildlife and scenery there.
Our travel mates are amazing naturalists and we learned to really enjoy
the birds and the many surrounding nature trails.

We were thrilled to see a large flock of Cedar Wax Wings,
beautiful dragon flies, lush palmettos, and a resident gator!




Following Crooked River SP we went our separate ways for a few days
while heading further South and into Florida.

I have two brothers and sisters-in-law who winter in the New Smyrna Beach
area on the East Coast of Florida and we paid them an overnight visit.
It was so nice to see where they hang out for several months each year
and to be treated to a delicious dinner out and a lovingly made and equally as delicious
morning send-off breakfast.


Discovered that one of my brothers and I really like oysters!
The rest of the group declined - all the more for us.

Yep, those are homemade butter tarts on the breakfast buffet. Thanks Bonnie!

Excellent bacon and eggs from the grill by Floyd!





We were treated royally.
Breakfast hosted by Floyd and Pat.
Orv and Bonnie also helped to make this happen.














So thankful for my family and so glad we took this opportunity to check in on them at 
Sugar Mill Ruins Travel Park!













One more stop at Ochlockonee River State Park in Sopchoppy, Florida
That is a mouthful ... but fun to say.

We enjoyed a beautiful trail walk and captured the first photo 
of the elusive Cardinals.




The trail was right behind our camp site.
Later that evening we had torrential rain and strong winds
but stayed dry and cozy in our wee home on wheels
 at Ochlockonee (pronounced Oak-la-konee I think)!



Are you still here?
Thanks for bearing with me on this long post!

Next stop ... joining our friends at St. Andrew's State Park and
Grayton Beach State Park near Panama City and Destin
for our last two weeks of this trip.


Till next time ...... praying for Humboldt Saskatchewan during this weekend's tragic crash and loss of so many young lives! 





Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Rear View Mirror

So much has happened since we left for our trip to Florida
on March 1st.
Since I don't even know where to begin I'll start at the end ...

A fabulous time was spent with our friends Gary and Anita,
who travelled with us in their 5th Wheel and most times we camped
at the same State Parks and RV parks.
We have known these two dear friends since forever, are related, and have
vacationed with them many times!




On March 27th, we pulled out of our campsite at Grayton Beach
State Park after the last two weeks of our vacation - 
relaxing, walks on the amazing beach,
excursions and delicious meals.
It was time to head home ...

After four hours on the road, a traffic slowdown on I65 in Alabama,
a check in the rear view mirror to see if our friends were slowing down
behind us - the sickening sound of a crash!

It was them ........

We pulled over in a panic and ran back to find their trailer on it's side,
across 3 lanes of the interstate, their pick-up truck on it's side
and people standing around the truck.
My heart was pounding so hard as I did not know what to expect.
There they were standing in the windshield with Gary holding Anita up
as she hung there in her seatbelt.
They were alive and not hurt .............. thank you dear God.




This is all that matters!

We helped them salvage as many of their belongings from the wreck,
things like clothes, medicines, jewellery, toiletries, and whatever
we could bring back in our little trailer.
Leaving lots of "things" behind - we were just so thankful to be able to 
bring them home to their loving and worried family.

This story could have ended so much worse - did I mention how thankful we are?

Keeping them in our prayers as they struggle with the trauma
of losing their beloved home on wheels and as they work through the
frustrations of settling the insurance matters etc.


In the meantime here at home - a Spring Winter storm is raging,
I'm having warm cuddles with my sweet granddaughter,
a sewing project is underway,
laundry is mostly done and put away,
warm thoughts of meaningful Easter Services remind us of what's really important,
and memories of an otherwise lovely vacation linger ...


Till next time ..... trying to catch up on all the blog posts I've missed in the past month and putting together some pictures and thoughts of a Florida vacation to post soon.

God is Good!

Two Months

Two months ago we made a very big move ... from our beloved farm of 41 years to the lovely suburbs of beautiful Stratford, Ontario. A dream ...