Friday, 31 August 2018

Doshas and Dusters

Doshas and Dusters

I managed to spend six consecutive weeks at our camp this summer.  For the most part, I was alone, with weekend visits from my room-mate who is quick to say, “Some of us have to work for a living.” Well, not me!!

Tom, Working for a Living

At a family party, one of my cousins asked, “What do you do at your camp all summer, Barb?” 
Allow me to answer that question. There’s lots to do! The social life in Long Reach is vibrant. There was the Rhubarb Beer/Cider-Tasting Wharf Fundraiser at my Ancestral Home.


Long Reach Products

There was the day trip to Deer Island with two of my sisters, one of whom liked to stop and comment on every lobster trap, mailbox and half-ton we saw.

Deer Island Mailboxes

There were two family beach parties at Gail's beach, welcoming relatives from the Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and all corners of New Brunswick. 

Three Generation Beach Party-ers

There were six lunches at the Carter House with six different dates. 

Carter House Tea

There was the Pie Party at the Gorham Cottage to welcome baby Brooke to Long Reach.

Brooke and Andrea

Every Friday night, The Smokehouse at Fullerton's Market is open for supper and meeting up with the neighbours. Hard ice-cream and hot coffee are available everyday!

Smokehouse Suppers

On Saturday mornings, the Kingston Market is the place to be for shopping and socializing.  

Kingston Farmers' Market

And every other Sunday, you can attend church!
Long Reach United Church

Our Fourth Annual Menopause Camp, a fun-filled afternoon with eight local women of a certain age, was a great success. The agenda was jam-packed beginning with lunch prepared and served by our YOUNG Camp Counsellor, Ruthie. A yoga instructor by trade, she determined our Doshas—something everyone, menopausal or not, might benefit from. What’s a Dosha, you ask? Very briefly, the three doshas are biological energies found throughout the human body and mind. Vata is composed of space and air; Pitta of fire and water; Kapha of earth and water. Which one are you?

Menopause Camp, 2018

 We had a Menopausal Complaint Session balanced with a Menopausal Gratitude Session, followed by a Dear Abby Wisdom Exercise and some Menopausal Math. Menopausal Door Prizes included notepads, incontinence pads, hairnets, facecloths and cooling soap. Our Menopausal Soundtrack consisted of songs with the word “HOT” in them. The afternoon concluded with a Menopausal Dip at the wharf-- we kept our bathing suits on this year. We never got around to the Art Workshop led by Auntie DoodleBop, Artist-in-Residence, nor to the Toenail Polishing Event. There is so much to cover at Menopause Camp! (Applications are being received for next year. Some restrictions apply.)

Register Now!!

HOT on the heels of Menopause Camp, was the Third Annual Charlotte’s Tea, a fundraiser for Kingston Peninsula Heritage, named in honour of our mother. We included a singing component this year with our own Carolyn Murray’s original composition, There’s Nothing Like a Cup of Tea. Who knows, maybe next year, Charlotte’s Tea, The Musical!

The Charlotte's Tea Choir
Apron String Sextet

There was the First Annual Duster Party --dress code, duster and pearls. What's a duster?  "...a long, lightweight overgarment, worn especially in the early days of open automobiles to protect the clothing from dust." Need one?

Bring back the Duster!

We were fortunate to have Noel spend three weekends with us over the summer. Having him in our lives is so enriching, sharing experiences we might otherwise not pursue, such as The Busker Festival, The Huntsman Aquarium, The Kandy Shoppe, St. Andrews, New River Beach,  Smackdown WWE at Harbour Station, Sea Dog Cove and The John Deere Trail.

Noel at the Huntsman

Without Noel in our lives, our vocabulary would be bereft of jumpscare, legitness, and gainstin’. We probably wouldn’t bother with hotdogs, bonfires, smores, Yahtzee, remote control cars, mini-cereals and beach glass creations.

Beach Glass Creations 
by Noel, Barb and Tom

We might still kayak, pick apples and make applesauce, but it wouldn't be the same without him.

Rollin' on the River

With all that activity and social hubbub, I needed some quiet moments to recharge. There is no TV at the camp and Internet access is limited, so I spend a lot of alone time listening to books. I fell heir to four bags of rescue yarn which included 63 granny squares crying out to be put together. I assembled this afghan while listening to Hemingway's The Sun Also RisesOf course, that inspired a name for the finished product.   

The Sun Also Rises

And that’s how I spent my summer!

...Until Next Time...

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Looking for Longmire

Looking For Longmire

I became a fan of Longmire, the TV series about a modern-day sheriff in Wyoming, on my first trip to Denver to visit Emma. This year, as my roommate and I planned Our Summer Daughter Trip, I decided I wanted to go on a road trip to Wyoming to search for Walt Longmire. Never mind that the series is filmed in New Mexico, and the actor who plays Walt, Robert Taylor, is Australian. I can still have my fantasies. 

Walt and the Crew

Emma planned our three-day road trip to include a night in a dog-friendly log cabin Air B and B in Walden, Colorado. 

Emma in Walden Air B and B

Walden is small, quaint and western. We had lunch at the bowling alley and breakfast in a local café frequented by elderly motorcycle enthusiasts. Very satisfying in so many ways.

Breakfast at the Moose Creek Cafe

From Walden to Wyoming, we drove across plains where the deer and the antelope play, through a couple of wildfires and then descended the mountains via a twisty road with appropriate speed limits. We lunched in Cheyenne, a quintessential western city frequented by Walt Longmire on sheriff business. 

Downtown Cheyenne
(Walt's Boot?)

Downtown Cheyenne
Pioneer Women

Ranchwear at the Wrangler

Tryin' on the Ranchwear

Need any Cowboy Boots?

Or Cowboy Furniture?

Our second night was at Terry Bison Ranch, the second largest bison ranch in the USA. Nestled in an open range right beside a busy four-lane freeway, Terry Bison Ranch offered many activities—trail rides, ATV tours, train trips, bison-feeding. Its amenities included a homemade amusement park, a restaurant featuring the Longmire Burger, a petting menagerie of camels, pigs, horses, donkeys, peacocks, emus and bison, of course. The ranch covers 33,000 acres and extends into the state of Colorado.

Trail Rides

Bison-Feeding Train Trip

Homemade Amusement Ride

(Made from oil barrels)

Longmire Burger

Main Street, Terry Bison Ranch
Emma and Lucy

I know you are wondering what the difference is between a bison and a buffalo. According to our tour guide, a bison is 5% cow, and a buffalo is 100% buffalo. According to Google, these are the differences:

§  Have a large hump.
§  Do not have a hump.
§  Small, sharp horns.
§  Medium, sharp horns.
§  Thick fur and thick beard.
§  Light fur and no beard.
§  Native to North and South America and Europe.
§  Native to Africa.
§  Used for meat, clothing, weapons and shelter.
§  Used for meat.

We visited the grave of Tinker, a 2250-pound bison who had a cameo appearance in the movie Dances with Wolves.

Tiny Tinker

Emma and I met a Cowboy with a Story as we were walking Miss Lucy, Emma and Jarrett’s loving dog. The Cowboy escorted us through the ranch, past the cabins, past the travel trailers, past the scary woman with the scary rottweiler and the scared 4-year-old, to the dog park at the edge of the establishment. Mr. Cowboy was tall and lanky, wore cowboy boots and a cowboy hat and spoke with a definite drawl. He prefaced every answer to our inquiries with, “Yes Ma’am.” Although we spent an hour with him, we never got his name, so we christened him Chester in retrospect. 

Chester, Emma and Lucy at The Tradin' Post

Car Travel Games are inevitable on road trips. Emma is used to it from her childhood. Licence Plate, Horse, Name the 50 States and their Capitals, List all the States You Have Visited are some of our favourites. All sorts of fun! This was a bit of a test for Emma’s husband, Jarrett, I’m sure. Road Trip with the In-LawsThink about it.

Licence Plate

We even developed a new car game: A Song from Every State. Busted Flat in Baton Rouge: Colorado, Rocky Mountain High; North to Alaska; Destination, Bangor Maine; Sweet Home Alabama; T for Texas, T for Tennessee. This game has potential!

Emma and Daddy

Back in Denver, we enjoyed a variety of activities including
knitting at the local seniors’ centre, the Brazillian Steakhouse, Jamming on the Jetty and The 
Cherry Creek Arts Festival. 

Brazilian Steakhouse

Jamming on the Jetty

Cherry Creek Arts Festival

As usual, Emma and I indulged in several bad movies.

A Fork in the Road
An Hour Behind
Changing Hearts
A Frosty Affair
A Perfect Match
Happy Log

They were all deliciously bad, but I can't decide which was the worst--A Fork in the Road or Happy Log.

A Fork in the Road

Happy Log

And just to balance out trashy movie consumption, I finished two books. The Seagull by Ann Cleeves is a satisfying British mystery featuring beloved protagonist Vera Stanhope. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate is based on a true story of child trafficking in the US in the late 1930s. Startling and compelling.



Our Summer Daughter Tour took us from Denver to Toronto on our 35th wedding anniversary. There we were, the four of us in Julia’s one-bedroom basement apartment for three hot days. We all survived!

Family in Toronto

The Toronto trip featured VIP passes to a Dave Matthews concert, compliments of Emma who has drag in the music industry. We watched the concert from the stage, had open access to the floating bar and were treated to an amazing catered feast with the crew and band. Unfortunately, Tom and I were so intent on getting to the roasted beet and goat cheese dumplings, we missed Dave Matthews in the line-up behind us. At least we didn’t run him down on our way to the carrot cake!

The Floating Bar:Anne, Emma, Tom

Dave Matthews

That trip has ended. Alas, Longmire is fiction, but the rest is real. 

...Until Next Time...

Friday, 29 June 2018

On the Road Again

Road Trip

No matter how where you travel, there are always adventures. Travelling through three New Brunswick counties on Pete’s Tours in May was a memorable beginning to my summer jaunts. My latest trip took me to Ontario for 12 days.

Destination: Ontario

I set out from Fredericton with my cousin Lynn and my sister Kathy on our way to Ottawa. As expected, there were very few moments of silence for the next 12 hours as Lynn chauffeured us through three provinces. What do three aging cousins find to talk about for 1000 kilometers? Car-shopping, bra-fitting, gender fluidity, Trump, hypnosis, the price of gas, Royal weddings, fermented milk, canoodling on the couch, haunted houses, sperm sales, lawn pests, the f-word, etc. As T.S. Eliot says, it’s “the journey, not the arrival, that matters.”

Words of Wisdom

Of course, my sister and I had to have at least one major disagreement. It centered on potato salad this time. Listen up:
Barb: “Mom used to cook the potatoes in their skins, then peel them when they were cold. I think that’s what made her potato salad taste so good.”
Kathy: “I don’t think she cooked the potatoes with their skins on.”
Barb: “Yes, she did, Kathy.”
Kathy: “I don’t think so, Barb.”
Barb: “Yes, she did. I remember.”
Kathy: “No, she didn’t.”
Barb: “Yes, she did.”
Kathy: “No, she didn’t.”
Barb: “Yes, she did.”
As usual, our discussion was very productive. Lynn just gripped the wheel and kept us moving forward. That got us to Woodstock. 

Heading West

We were avid Canadian tourists in Ottawa. We had a private meeting with New Brunswick Senator, David Adams Richards, we had lunch with Marc Garneau, and we hung out with Lisa Raitt. Well, I embellish a little. Marc Garneau came into the Parliament cafeteria while we were eating, and we had to walk by Lisa Raitt’s office on the way to the washroom. But we really did have a private meeting with DAR. 

Marc Garneau, MP

Lisa Raitt, MP

 David Adams Richards, Senator

We sat in on the House of Commons and the Senate while they were in session. The seats were mostly full in both houses, and the members were attentive to their jobs—a contrast to the shameful behaviour I observed at the New Brunswick Legislature last year. We visited the “Women are Persons” monument a few times, thanking The Famous Five--Henrietta Muir Edwards, Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby and Louise McKinney for winning the Persons Case in 1929 which declared women as persons under the law and made them eligible for appointment to the Canadian Senate.

The Famous Five

We had a pub dinner one evening at the Heart and Crown in The Byward Market with 10 of our Ottawa relatives. Our party---first cousins, second cousins, first cousins once removed, first cousin twice removed---ranged in age from 3 months to 60-something. Good to keep in touch!!

Extended Family Dinner 
at The Heart and Crown

The next day, we took an amphibious bus tour of the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau. Yes, 20 minutes of the tour is in the Ottawa River. New experience!

Floating around the Ottawa River

That evening, after a nasty altercation with a malfunctioning vending machine in the Ottawa Via Rail Station, my niece Anne and I boarded the train for Toronto, leaving Lynn and Kathy to return to NB without me.

Consumer Activism
(or Super-Cheap?)

The Toronto part of my tour included an evening at The Dakota Tavern to hear Fredericton’s own David Myles and his band.

David Myles and Kyle Cunjak 

I attended a lovely June wedding at the Terra Cotta Nature Preserve. Sarah,first- cousin-once-removed, and Michelle, first-cousin-once-removed-in-law.

Sarah and Michelle

I spent one afternoon with Ben and Eleanor, Julia's charges. Made them each a 30-minute hat.

Eleanor and Ben

I attended 3 Pilates classes, a Mother’s Day gift from Julia. Challenging!

Meghan Mesheau
Pilates Instructor

I saw Come from Away at the Royal Alexandra. Was reminded of the extraordinary generosity of Newfoundlanders.


I watched Doug Ford get elected as premier of Ontario in 17 minutes. 

New Era

I had a meal with everybody I know in Toronto, and some I didn’t know.

Bellwoods Brewery

I tried to keep up with Julia, walking---and in other ways. Couldn't.

Julia, my Baby

I shopped at all the RFRs in Little Italy. Four mushy avocados for one dollar---delicious!

RFR Shopping 

I finished this great book. Strongly recommend.


I started this great book. Became an overnight expert in narcissism.


I watched 15 hours of Forensic Files with Julia. Became an overnight expert in forensics.


Upcoming trip---Denver, Colorado. Tune in next month for a travel update!

Ibu Battuta

...Until Next Time...