Posted by: Valerie | June 16, 2013

Spring things and hopes for summer

June 16th. It’s Father’s Day – another Hallmark Holiday. Never heard of Father’s Day before I arrived in N. America.  I’d never heard of Secretary’s Day or Grandparents’ Day either. Mother’s Day does have some legitimacy as I believe it’s mentioned in the Bible as Mothering Sunday. Nothing to do with Mums though and everything to do with the church. See . I’ll stop grouching now.

Cheers, Dad, you old bugger. I would have called you if you’d been alive but I think the long distance charges to where you are, be it up or down, would definitely break the bank. So I guess I will extend the good wishes to my brothers who are all Dads and my younger son who also qualifies. Hell, I’ll send the good wishes out willy-nilly to all the good Dads I know – mean ones are disqualified.

We had an excellent visit from Joe’s son Stephen and his Nancy who arrived late-ish on Friday in their whopping great motor home. Beautifully appointed with pretty much everything you might wish, it is very comfortable to travel in but something of a problem to park. We took a short ride to Haliburton which is a really pleasant small town on a large lake. Haliburton has taken its tourism seriously and really does have a variety of interesting possibilities for the visitor. One can take a canopy tour in the forest, visit the  Sculpture Forest, which we did yesterday. A lovely stroll the woods, discovering surprises at every turn. On  another occasion we visited  the Wolf Centre where humans can go into a glassed enclosure and watch the wolves sloping  about  or basking in the sun while their cubs clamber and play and dash about like all young things do.  The good thing is that the humans don’t disturb the animals.

The Wolf Centre opened in 1996 and is currently home to a pack of Timber Wolves. Within the 61,000-square-metre enclosure (one of the largest in the world), they roam freely, living as ‘natural’ a life as possible. Fed on a random schedule (approximately once a week), they can often be found hanging out near the viewing area. As this is close to both the highest point in the enclosure and the water source, they are often nearby.”

Haliburton is also the home of an open air theatre and the Opera boot camp that Richard Margison runs. I have already waxed lyrical about the concert given by Richard Margison and some of his young singers  that Joe and I went to in Bancroft a couple of weeks ago. La Traviata coming later in July. I mustn’t forget to order tickets!

Back to our little trip – we arrived in Haliburton to find that there was a large antiques and craft show on the lakeside so of course we had to spend some time checking that out. I made an interesting purchase of an old silver (plated) cocktail shaker. I’d never seen anything like it and $15 said it was mine. I am really unsure about whether to polish it up or leave it in its tarnished state.


Should I shine it?

Stephen and Nancy bought Joe an old scythe for FD. I don’t really think he intends to scythe down the bush at the back although it certainly could do with it. Maybe he will agree to dress up as Old Father Time at New Year. Now, he’ll need a white wig and an hourglass to complete the picture, won’t he?

But let’s not talk about New Year. Let’s talk about summer-what-summer? One nice day and then three days of downpour. I suspect most of the seeds I have planted have probably rotted in the wet soil before they had a chance to germinate.  Disappointing so far, although all the perennials I put in last year have returned with renewed vigour – demonstrating that I have planted them too close to each other and will probably have to move them all around in the fall.  It’s a good job that I like mucking around in the earth and getting dirty. Bugs have not been too bad this spring. Blackflies are gone although of course the mozzies are in fine fettle. I was very happy to see the Bancroft Air Force of dragonflies arrive and I cheer them on lustily.  Deerflies I really hate and they’ll be arriving soon. They take chunks of flesh and once they find you they will absolutely not leave you alone. Me, that is mainly. They don’t bother with Joe. Maybe sweet fair Scottish skin of an erstwhile redhead is particularly delicious. Hey, I wouldn’t eat them so why must they eat me? Not fair. We also have great big stupid, stupid fat June bugs right now. Bats have radar, yes? June bugs don’t – they fly right into you, unapologetically, and you are lucky if they don’t tangle up in your hair or fly into your mouth if it should be open. Me no likee.  On the good side there are lots of hummingbirds right now.

Yippee! I’m off to Calgary at the end of July for a couple of weeks. I haven’t seen daughter Anna for two years and my sister Sue and brother Robin for at least five years.  We all wanted Joe to come but he won’t be persuaded.  So he and Charlie the cat will just have to hang out together.

Closer to home, my little grandson Deklin is going to be four in July. We will certainly be there for the party. I can hardly believe that he will be in kindergarten in September. Angela and James always put on an excellent event and I’m sure this year will be no different. I know they are bringing in a reptile handler with his charges for the kids to admire and play with.

My daughter-in-law Angela is an amazing person. Since she has been on maternity leave after the birth of Dahlia, she has got into renovation and has laid hardwood floors throughout the entire house herself (with help from James when he can). Now she is creating a dinosaur den in Deklin’s bedroom. His bed will be in a cave (tent) and there will be styrofoam rocks lying about and a wall of dinosaurs. He knows the names of each and every one and has no time for cute and cuddly ones. All that accomplished she is transforming their existing small ensuite into a large bathroom with room for a tub. She has already knocked down a wall in advance.  Not sure when the work really begins though.

“My two wonderful grandkids managed to choose themselves a pair of pretty ideal parents,” she said, modestly buffing her nails on her shirt.

Hey! What about this then? Joe and I will have been together for ten years, come July 12th. It was quite a gamble but it’s paid off in spades. For those who don’t know, we got together via the Internet. We had a few messages to and fro, then we met and I asked him if he was an axe murderer. He assured me to the contrary so we decided to have a go. We took a road trip together to Calgary and when we got there, I went to the hospital, right on death’s doorstep. Joe sat by bedside for hours on end so when I recovered, I decided he was a keeper. Moved in a couple of weeks later and we’ve been together ever since. Thanks to Joe, I have a second family and I’ve been to Hungary twice and have even gained a (very) few words and phrases of Hungarian. We are talking about another trip next year.

I think it’s time that I warmed up the remains of last night’s very delicious barbecued stuffed pork tenderloin. I wish you could enjoy it too. I just hope there is enough wine left to do it justice!



  1. Enjoyed this very much Val. You are a wonderful writer!

    • Thank you so much, Elizabeth. Writing is something I really enjoy. It’s good to learn that someone enjoys reading it.

  2. Good on ‘ya, Val! I love reading about your escapades. Always puts a smile on my face. Happy to hear about Calgary in July. I hope to get around to a chat this week.

    • Thanks, Jan. Looking forward to a chat!

  3. Fun read Val. Thanks!

  4. As always, good reading. Ten years, eh? Good for the two of you. I think we are getting your used weather. One sunny day, followed by a week of dull and rainy. But, as you said, the perennials are thriving. Happy holiday in Calgary. Be sure to tell us all.

  5. I never knew how you met Joe–now I do. Congrats to you both and another 10 years to come!!

  6. I’ll take June bugs over Deer flies any day. The Great Northern Moose Fly is even worse. Take heart, Summer is here!

    • You are, of course, correct. Deer flies are horrible. I don’t know the GNMF but have unpleasant experiences of horse flies which are big and mean. I camped once in Chincoteague, VA and the campsite washrooms had no exterior door and it was FULL of horseflies. Compensations however in watching the famous pony swim and getting royally pissed on vodka and raw oysters. It was even worth the hangover.

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