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Another Day in Paradise

Terry and I just got back from another week-long cruise. This time, we cruised the southern Caribbean, departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico on the Royal Caribbean "Adventure of the Seas". Seven days of sunshine, blue skies, warm breezes, high temperatures and all the pampering that you can only get on a cruise ship.

2013 Christmas

Dear Friends,

Much has happened since last we talked, and much I have to tell you. First off, please excuse my absence last year; circumstances interfered and kept me from writing. So, rather than begin in 2013, let me start my letter in the fall of 2012.

Closed for the Season

Last week, I closed the cottage for the 2013 season.

Blue Sky plans for the Cottage

Now that I have the cottage on Kimball Lake, I want to add some of the "comforts of home". I don't want high-tech, power-hungry, electro-gadgets; I simply want some conveniences that can be accomplished in a low-tech, low impact, almost "back woods" manner.

The Bad and the Good

The Bad

  • Carpenter ants
  • Wood rot
  • Fourty five years worth of broken and discarded furniture and boating equipment
  • Bad weather

Wonky no more

I've had a busy spring and summer, working around the cottage. You can find me there most weekends, fixing something. Mom and Bob tried to keep the cottage going, but in recent years, neither had the money or the energy to do the hard things.

Last summer, I replaced a "deck" that was rotting out; Mom had stepped on a board, and wound up knee-deep in it. Not a good thing for a 79-year-old to have happen. So, I went up with a load of lumber and two bags of ready-mix concrete and replaced the deck with something a bit more stable.

I used the concrete for a footing for the stairs coming down from the deck. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough concrete to properly pour the footing, and the footing that I did pour was akilter enough to make the stairs slope visibly as well. I promised Mom that I'd replace that footing this year, so that the stairs wouldn't be "wonky" any more.

Privacy czar to probe Canadian impact of U.S. data program

Privacy czar to probe Canadian impact of U.S. data program - The federal privacy watchdog says she will look into any implications for Canada posed by possible U.S. government snooping on a wide scale. Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Canada's spy watchdog has been aware of data surveillance for years. [CBC Canadian Headlines]

A Final Goodbye

This past weekend, Terry and I spent an emotionally difficult three days at the cottage. Along with the Ingrams and the Lindsays, we said goodbye to my mother and my brother.

Saturday afternoon, we all gathered together to drink a toast to both Bob and Joan, and then trekked over to my cottage to scatter their ashes. Mom and Bob will now, forever, reside beside the clear blue waters of Kimball Lake, on the land they loved so much. They sit at the cottage and on the beach between the Ingrams and the Lindsays.

Spring Activities

This spring has been a little different for me, this year.

A few weeks ago, I went up to the cottage, to open it for the year. I had hastily closed it last fall, between my mother's hospitalizations and during my brother's hospitalization. Because of that, the opening needed to be more elaborate; I had laundry to bring back home, an inventory to make, and memories to live. Two days isn't nearly enough time to make an impact on the work left to do.

Keeping Busy

Spring is here, finally, and that means spring renovations.

The privacy screen behind the hot tub had seen better days. The Wisteria, while beautiful and shady, had torn apart the cedar lattice, and this was the spring to do something about it. It took a couple of days to get prepared, but I tore down the old lattice, shifted the Wisteria, and put up new lattice.

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