THE WILDLINGS

THE WILDLINGS

Wildling moments, AKA (also called) time with the grandkids.  I decided to make this a blog story instead posting a bunch of pictures on social media.  It was a bit of a milestone…an event worthy of more than just a few pictures.  Two of our little wildlings will be spending their first ever over-night away from their Mom and Dad.  Truly a treat for us…for the kids… and for sure for their parents.

It involved pick-up at day-care. I won’t get into the details but grandparents aren’t pre-wired to install new fangled car seats with all of the ‘rules’.  It took Francois the better part of a half hour to make them secure.  Driving back to R.E.D. by the Sea was fun.  We took the shore road instead of the highway, a beautiful ride with so many “I spy” options.

Dinner was an event (everything is an event with these two) finishing with the bribe (if you eat all of your dinner there will be ice-cream”). Good to know that what worked for my kids still applies today.  

The in-depth discussion followed: “so Gramma, exactly what’s wrong with eating an icecream cone with a big wooden spoon”?

And the discussion went on…

…and on…

…until the focus turned to a tiny spider in the light fixture, which brought on a rousing rendition of “there was an old lady who swallowed a fly”.

Dinner and dessert cleared away, the table became a staging ground for trains, trucks and helicopters.

…with that moment when a child discovers the magic of same-pole magnets.

…followed by a little calming post-dinner/pre-bed story time by the fire with Gramma.

“Moana” was the movie of choice with a bed picnic of popcorn and Christmas milk (AKA egg nog)

Impromptu  bedtime stories continued well after the lights went out.  

The light of the full moon shining through the window made for some very interesting versions of the Three Little Pigs and in the silence I could hear the whispered voice of a three-year old counting sheep up to one-hundred.  

We all slept with the angels tonight.

Morning came early with more trains and trucks guided by camp lights…because turning on the room lights would be boring.

Another successful meal.  Breakfast of Gramma’s waffles with yogurt and maple syrup dipping sauce.

Followed by more stories from Papa while we waited for Momma and Dad to return.

When it’s all over there’s always a wee touch of sadness…

…but it’s now time to re-set, crank up the tunes and get back to work on our next project.

You know by now that you can always count on us to have much more to come for sure.  

Thanks for stopping by.

For those reading this in a language other than English, please forgive the automatic translation.

FOR the BIRDS

FOR the BIRDS

Here we are heading into the half-way point of our the last full fall month of 2018.  R.E.D. has been fully winterized and sits within view from our back door.  There have already been a couple of frisky rain/wind storms pass through and her ingloo structure has held fast.

Winter Tarp

We are now focusing on chores around the yard, clearing out the garden and putting things away for the months to come.  If this year’s Farmers Almanac is correct it should be another mild winter for us on the east coast but Mother Nature could have a few surprises for us up her unpredictable sleeves.

Francois has been busy clearing out ‘the wild’ that grows up during the summer and Duck Pond now looks much cleaner and fully replenished after the rains.  We are seeing our little bird friends return so he has stepped-up feeding too, taking care of his ever-growing family.

Each season seems to bring more varieties.  To date we’ve identified over a dozen species, two different types of ducks, three sorts of woodpeckers.

One of the ‘Girls’

The crows are now a morning fixture, usually three on the ground and one keeping watch in the nearby tree.

Morning Visit

Furry friends like chipmunks are less common now, but the red squirrels have become much bolder house guests.

Birdman

Duck Pond saw three different families of ducks come and go this summer.  Our favourite, Maude and Harold produced seven duckings and we watched them grow and depart.  For some reason, word has spread and we can’t be in the yard without a grand parade.

Ducks on Parade

The other day I sat on the deck step and these ‘quackers’ came waddling up within a foot of where I sat.  They seem to recognize our voices now and when we return home in the car they wander up the hill to greet us.

New Couple

The new couple on the block is this Mallard pair.  We’re calling them Méli and Mélo….our ‘miscellany’ couple.

A Box Full of Jays

To make winter feeding easier Francois made these toppers for my two plant boxes making the feeding frenzy each morning so entertaining.

Duck on the Deck

Even though we aren’t really supposed to feed the ducks it’s impossible to keep them away.  Our winters are usually mild and as we noticed last year they stayed all season so maybe including them isn’t such a bad thing.

Feeding Trough

They now have their own feeding trough down by Duck Pond…because my dear ‘birdman’ loves the company when he’s out clearing the yard.

Duck in a Box

But when the trough is empty  they have no problem finding more options.

Like Herding Cats

Discipling a duck isn’t an easy task we’ve found.

Ducks Unlimited

What have we done?  Fortunately they are learning to share and within a short period of adjustment our backyard menagery was back in balance.

Balance

Post Script: since I started writing this post we’ve had to remove the toppers for the planters after the smaller birds have finished dining because our duck friends have become too bold…and abundant…at times almost two dozen.  They will have to make do with plant life from the pond and garden slugs and from time to time a sprinkling of cracked corn.

Thanks for stopping by. There will be more news to come from our home by the sea as we head farther into fall and the blustery winter months to come.

For those reading our story in a language other than English, please forgive the auto-translate.

THAT TIME OF YEAR

THAT TIME OF YEAR

Haul-out 2018.  

It’s usually a very sad time of year, putting our dear R.E.D. to bed for the long winter months but this year we are at least a month later than usual to pull her from the water and it felt right…and kind of fun..with an energy we haven’t found in past years.

Hooking Up HIS Trailer

Maybe it’s because we had a much longer season, or maybe it could be that we now have a special place right in our own yard and the process is so much easier.  There was no going back and forth through all of that depressing congested Montreal traffic.

Fall Colours

She spent her summer here, just six kilometres from our home, at a small co-op-type club.  It meant just one trip too.  Trailer hooked up to the tow beast and within a few minutes we were ready for our annual ritual.

Ballast Empty

First, a chilly outing on the bay to empty her belly of salt water.

Winterizing MY Engine

Next, Francois put the motor through it’s winterizing paces.

Installing Mast Extension

The mast extension makes for a much better shape when tarping.

Waiting

R.E.D. waited patiently at the service dock while the trailer was brought to the loading ramp

Haul-out

Then came the offical haul-out.  So easy for two of us to handle, all completed with no incident.

Power Wash

Power wash came next before all the accumulated ‘yuck’ from a summer in the water had dried.  Demasting with all of the lines secured and we were ready to head for home.

The Skeleton

This year’s tarp skeleton is Francois’ best creation to date.  It makes the job so much easier too when there is a small hardware store down at the corner to buy extra tie wraps and PVC piping.

Winter Tarp

Even covering and threading the lines under R.E.D.’s belly seemed less of a chore this year.  

The Igloo

All liquids and other essentials removed from the cabin and lines flushed through with anti-freeze, she will rest all cozy and ready for whatever winter storms will throw our way.  

For those who prefer to read our story in a language other than English, please forgive the automatic translation.