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October 31, 2009

Camp close to home

As I wrote yesterday, we bought ourselves a Boler. I'm sure we will tour around with it a bit, but we're also getting a seasonal site at the campground where our friends have their camper, and I expect we'll mostly just camp there. It's far enough from our house that it has the "getting away from the real world" feeling, but still less than half an hour's drive away - is perfect really!

The campground is pretty much smack dab in the middle of Nova Scotia, on a small lake which is suitable for swimming early in the summer season (before the geese mess it up too much) and for canoeing (although it would help if we actually had a canoe or kayak!) I also hear they shoot off some amazing Canada Day fireworks from a platform out in the middle of the lake, so hoping to check that out next summer.

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January 3, 2010

New year's eve at the camper

Thought I'd share a few photos from our fun-filled NY Eve at the camper...what a great time we had!

Mark and Valerie went down in the morning and got things set up...
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Dave and I arrived with the girls shortly after lunch...let the good times roll!
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April 3, 2010

Oh what a glorious weekend :)

Just a quick entry to say - Happy Easter everyone!! And to ramble on a bit about my weekend :)

After yesterday's Good Friday service, Dave and I headed out to the campground. (Sara is home for the weekend, and she and Moira wanted some sister time, so Dave and I went to the camper so they could be alone...plus I'd already been planning to go out ever since I saw the weekend forecast earlier in the week!) Valerie, Mark and Kaleigh arrived just minutes after we did, which was cool. We'd been talking about being at the campground this weekend, but I wasn't sure if they were coming Friday or not. First things first, we all unloaded the wood from the back of our truck (thanks Lynn!) Dave and Mark chopped the bigger pieces up for easier burning. Kaleigh chopped a couple pieces too. The wood is uber-hard rock maple though, so many of the pieces were a real challenge to chop! But it sure burns well. And we have a lovely big stack of it too! (Again - thanks Lynn!!)

It was a gorgeous, warm day...a bit of chill in the breeze off the lake, but nothing serious. We spent the whole day outside. Strolling around the campground, walking up to the store, sitting around the picnic table playing five handed Auction Forty-fives (a card game with some rather bizarre rules, but loads of fun to play.) Valerie had such a streak of luck - I figure she was hiding the ace of hearts up her sleeve! :) I have many a memory of playing 45's while growing up...good times! My maternal grandmother especially had infinite patience to sit and play for hours with me and my sister. Val said they played it in Newfoundland too, but they called it 120's, and with a few variations. Recently I introduced Moira and Kaleigh to the game, and now they are as hooked as my sister and I were!

After a couple rousing card games (won by she with the ace of hearts up her sleeve...), we cooked supper over the firepit. I chopped up potatoes, carrots and onions, added a few pats of butter and a couple cans of mushrooms, sprinkled on a little salt and pepper, wrapped it all up in tinfoil packets and lay them on the grill. Once the veggies were cooked, we set them to the side to keep warm, while Dave grilled pork chops. All very tasty...what is it about eating outdoors? Everything just tastes better, doesn't it?! After supper, we sat around the bonfire for a little while, then Mark, Val and Kaleigh left (they couldn't stay the night because Mark had dinner theatre practice first thing this morning.)

Dave and I enjoyed the rest of the evening (ok, so we only stayed up a couple more hours...ten pm bedtime for us tired old foggies!) What a beautiful evening it was though, the stars were shining overhead like diamonds, there was barely a breeze, the fire was crackling...heavenly! We slept reasonably well...I woke up a bunch of times throughout the night, but felt fairly well rested come the morning. There was a bit of fog in the air when we got up, so everything was damp. But we hung around a little while and had coffee. I also had a light breakfast of yogourt and grapes. Then we cleaned up, packed up, locked up and headed home.

We have an Easter dinner at my sister's this evening - should be a great time! Then sunrise service tomorrow morning, followed by breakfast...home for an hour or two, then back for the regular 11am Sunday worship, which will be filled with music (although we will definitely need the Spirit with us for at least one of our choir pieces! We've been sounding rather squeeky on one called Glorious Indescribable.) After church, I will run Sara back to her apartment, since she doesn't have Monday off (a number of years ago, Dalhousie University traded their Easter Monday holiday for a holiday in February, so she has regular classes.) And then it's back to the camper. Valerie is making boiled dinner for our Easter feast - yummy!! (How lucky am I to get TWO Easter dinners this weekend?!)

The weather forecast for tomorrow is full on sunshine and wonderful warm temperatures...just like today (in fact, why am I inside on the computer??? I must get out for a walk!!)

April 5, 2010

Easter camping...

As I wrote last entry - Oh what a glorious weekend!!!

We had a fantastic family dinner at my sister Lynn's on Saturday evening. We hung out on her front deck for a couple hours, had a few beers and some conversation. And then in we went for a marvellous feast of chicken and ham, roasted potatoes a lovely variety of vegetables and tasty flax bread. And a choice of chocolate or lemon tart for dessert - yeah, who am I kidding - chocolate OR lemon? Naturally I had both! (I brought dessert, but must confess it wasn't homemade, I picked them up from the Superstore on the way home from the camper. But they were very good.)


We enjoyed record breaking temperatures here in Nova Scotia on Sunday. According to a story on CBC our average highs this time of year are around 6 or 7C, with a previous record of just over 17C, but the official temp at the airport was 23C. Mind you, it was even warmer at the camper, I'd say at least 25 or 26C during the afternoon. (Although, we were reminded that it was still April when the temps dropped fast once the sun began to set!)

With the promise of gorgeous weather, another Easter feast and sharing time with friends, Moira and I zipped home after church to collect Dave and have a quick bite of lunch, and then off to the camper we went. Valerie, Mark, Sarah and Kaleigh were already there. (My Sara had classes on Monday, plus papers to work on, otherwise she would have joined us too. So my mom drove her home after church.)


Moira supervising the unloading of the wood from the back of the truck:
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Mr. Lumberjack:
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April 6, 2010

Easter camping...playing with fire

We spent Sunday evening roasting marshmallows and weiners and just having a grand old time chillin' around the bonfire. The girls sang campfire songs for a while...and would have kept going except we begged them to stop! (In our defense, many of the songs they were singing were ones which needed the accompanying actions in order to make sense, but it was too dark to see the actions.)

Mark figured this was a good time to burn palm branches. So he and Dave twisted them up into torches, 'cause that just seemed like a cool thing to do. Mark tied his up with tape, and Dave basically called him a wuss, since he himself was just using a piece of palm branch to fasten his torch...but then Mark's torch burst into huge flames and he said "mock my tape, will ya? My torch is better than your torch!" To which Dave replied "yeah, well real men don't need tape!"
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Dave's second torch was more successful than his first:
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April 7, 2010

Easter camping...the morning after :)

We didn't actually stay up late Sunday night...we were all in bed not long after ten. Something about being outdoors all day can really bring on the sleepies! I woke up a few times through the night, just not used to sleeping in the Boler yet, I think. I got up at 7, would have stayed in bed longer, but I really had to pee (TMI, I know!) Plus the bird song was lovely, and the light was bright, and the day just lured me outside. Dave got up around 8, Val and Mark half an hour or so later, and the girls straggled out a while after that. We had coffee and sat around the fire, being lazy and enjoying the morning.

Eventually we got around to making lunch (and by "we", I mean Valerie!) She cooked up a super delicious hash made from the leftovers of the previous night's supper, plus we made our own turkey sandwiches. Why does food always taste so good when you're camping?! After lunch Mark left with the girls. His church does a dinner theatre fundraiser each year, which he takes part in, and the girls were going with him to watch the youth performance (aka dress rehearsal). We're going to one of the real shows on Friday (I'll try to remember my camera so I can share the experience!) Dave and I stayed another hour or so, then Dave wanted to get home, so off we went, leaving Val to enjoy a quiet afternoon to herself.

Here are a few of the photos I took Monday morning...

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April 9, 2010

Gratitude Friday...nature's scenery

I am filled with enthusiastic, joyful, shout-from-the-rooftops gratitude for the amazingly beautiful wonders of nature!! I never tire of the scenes unfolding around me. Each and every sunrise and sunset seems to cover the world with ever changing patterns of light and shadow, shades of glowing colours. I have discovered that I truly love the quiet of early morning at the campground...when nobody else is up and I can sit alone at the lakeshore, listening to the water gently lapping at the shoreline, the wind rustling the marsh grasses, the chorus of birds all around...


A final set of photos from our Easter camping trip...

To my delight, there are red-winged blackbirds in the marshy area by the lake. (I have adored these birds since I was a child.) They were very shy and flew off each time I moved...then would gradually circle back. This was the best pic I managed to get, but the flash of red really stands out!
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A few crocuses (croci?) were poking up through the ground on a neighbouring campsite...
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