Sunday, August 30, 2015


Remember back in the day when it was Friday night and you could not wait to get out of school and there was a big party somewhere?
Ah....when I was young and energetic....

Well, I haven't done this in a while but that is what I did, all weekend. Party, Party, Party!

It is the perfect temperature outside on Friday night and a big fat full moon to sweeten the deal. Right smack in the middle of downtown they have closed one of the Bridges and there is a party goin' on. 

We caught the last of the first set to listen to "Ed's Garage Band" rock out the Doobie Brothers. Everyone of all ages was having a good time!

I was honoured to be a part of the "Greg Shepherd Memorial Ride" on Saturday morning. Greg was a young man who was killed in a motorcycle accident 2 years ago and was like a son to me (See my Blog "Fireflies"). I don't ride but I'm there with my daughter to help register people for the ride and breakfast or just make a donation or buy a T-Shirt. 

My beauty daughter keeping us all incredibly organized!

All monies raised go towards a bursary for the same program that Greg went through at Loyalist College and it is a great way to remember his spirit.

Here is a full group getting ready for the ride. Greg, I know you are watching and smiling!

Ever heard of a Ceilidh? Me neither but basically it is a scotsman's idea of a party and our friends, Lori and Kevin decided to throw one! Actually, I'm not totally convinced it wasn't just a reason for Kevin to wear his kilt, but all the same - a lot of fun! Here are a couple of the laddies, dressed to kill (Lori, I stole your photo, fyi).

There was a surprise guest - a lone piper showed up much to the delight of our lovely hostess Lori! 

There was great food and other live scottish music as well. I brought along my tin whistle and spoons. I have not played the tin whistle in about 10 years and I've NEVER played the spoons but it was good fun joining in. 

So there you have it - party, party party! I've packed it all into one weekend. Now time to go back to work and rest up for next weekend! I'm not as young as I used to be!

Sunday, August 23, 2015


We have been very blessed and fortunate to rent a beautiful little cottage each year, usually near the end of August. But it always sorta feels like the end of something, and not just summer, because September always feels like a new beginning. 

Cottage time forces me to slow down, to re-energize, to do nothing except relax, read, eat, swim and sleep. I'm winding down to this vague sense of an ending. 

My day would start with taking Lulu for a walk and then breakfast and coffee. My view was not my garden or out the front window, but this lake:

I have an hour or more if I like to just sit and watch the sun slowly climb in the sky, to listen to the loons and the lapping of the waves onto the shore. "Slow down Cyndi, slow down" they repetitively say to me. 

I get to spend time with my family and for those of you whose children have flown the coop, you know how precious that is. I was fortunate to have one night at the cottage just my daughter and I. 
We had a dinner on the dock, started watching Season 5 of Downton Abbey and ended the night with a Vim (a swim sans clothes). It was dark and very, VERY cold. We slipped into the water trying not to scream and looked up swimming into thousands upon thousands of stars over our heads. 

Games are always on the list at some point.

And naps are a must!

Swimming at least once a day is my only rule at the cottage. But it's usually something you have to work up to by first dangling your feet in the water before the big jump!

One more week and we are into September. My daughter Randi and her husband will both be starting work at a school I can literally see from my back yard. She has been away from home for 8 years, 3 of which have been overseas. It will be wonderful to have her nearby to come for dinner, or just hang out! My husband is out of work and in transition. We both need to adjust to whatever is next. New beginnings for us all. 

Bring it on September, bring it on. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015


I had to work this past weekend. It was abominably slow. On the positive side, seems my community was somewhat medically stable! All things status quo.

Since there was time to kill, I was having a discussion with my co-worker about teenagers and selfies and how incredibly confident (or incredibly narcissistic - Lauren, you might want to look that word up) they are getting their photo taken ALL the time. I was not not that comfortable with myself!

But my Grandma - now she was ahead of the curve on this one. She was a force to be reckoned with. An outspoken woman who served as a nurse most of her life and outlived two husbands (natural causes on both cases if you are getting any suspicions) Check out her photo:

A real knock out with to-die-for bone structure and bedroom eyes.

My grandma's advice, and I can still hear her voice in my head,
"Now you get your photo taken when you are 35! You are at the height of your beauty then so make sure you get that photo done!"

The photo above of my grandma was taken when she was 35 and obviously by a professional photographer. There are a few other photos from the same session, but I don't know who has them at this point. 

She must have been after her son, my Dad, as well. Cause here is a photo taken of my father probably in his 20s. Maybe that's when men are at the height of their beauty! 

Another professionally done photo. He's all business. The intrepid reporter Jack Evans. He's your man if you want the real story hunted down!

Well I do have a bit of rebel in me so I didn't exactly follow Grandma's advice. I did get a photo taken at 35, but there was nothing professional about it. Just went out in the yard with my monster lab Sam, sat on the ground and I think gave the camera to one of my kids or husband or whoever was around and said "Here, take my photo."

I may have to give account for this aberration when I next come up against the force known as "Grandma Evans."

So readers, in the midst of all these selfies, remember Grandma's advice - get that photo, a nice good photo, taken at the height of your beauty, at 35. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015


For the first time since 2011, I was able to camp with both of my kids. They grew up you see and started living their own lives with their own responsibilities so it has taken us 4 years to resync our schedules. Whattup wit dat? One even got married so we brought the son-in-law with us too. Camping (not glamping) is new to him but he did just fine for a first-timer and is pretty darn handy around the campsite not to mention an expert marshmallow toaster. 

There is much prep for our trip and copious notes to be checked and rechecked. The final result looks something like this:

Rule #1: Prep and pack or it don't go in the sack

We had glorious weather (Thank you Jesus) with no rain and a rare blue moon to enjoy. Here is Dan and Randi learning the ropes on canoeing. 

Canoeing together can be a pretty good marriage test. Just ask Dan. 
Rule #2: Learn how to survive a canoe ride with your Bride

Food is a BIG DEAL. We like to eat well out in the woods. The fire is made ready!

Rule #3 (this one is for you Randi):Don't burn the fire pokey stick!

Rule #4: Sheldon will burn his fingers. Everytime.

Rlue #5: Adrian is too skinny. Eat more steak son.

Rule #6: Chipmunks now where to find the buffet

Rule #7: Bagels on the fire. Can't get any higher.

Rule #8. And this one is important. RESPECT THE COOLER

My mom bought me these monster marshmallows. They are like on steroids or something. So Dan toasted me up a beauty. 

Rule #9: Roasting marshmallows - Dan you are the man!

Took me about 4 very sticky bites to get this one down.

The bathroom is what we call the "magic treasure box". It has a great view.

We took a day trip to the local waterslide. This is like a natural waterpark with little pools, waterfalls and gorgeous scenery. It was a great place to hang for the day. 

Dan enjoying a natural water massage

Rule #10: Mrs. Crowder. You make good humans

There is a natural waterslide with a rope to help you climb up when you splash in the pool at the end. The other option (not a good one) is to keep floating down the lazy river. Be warned, there is a Really Big Waterfall that will probably kill you at the end of it!

Rule #11: Get off the ride at the end of the slide!

All in all, we followed the rules, had a great trip and except for a few bruises, scratches and sunburns, survived.