I have been very delinquent this summer and have seldom written a group message. Ten lashes with a wet noodle! But, it has been a busy summer and I have been in contact with most of you individually by e-mail or phone.
Life here has been full of projects. We had new windows put into the whole house and then new furnace and air conditioning units. Those things depleted our pocketbooks but we still found a little cash to search for some furniture. Mostly we bought from garage sales or auctions where the prices were affordable. Between those events and the furniture that we got from Mom, the house looks comfortable and homey now. It still needs some decorating touches, but that can wait.
This past weekend, we purchased all of the flooring necessary to re-do the whole house! There will be hardwood everywhere except for the bathrooms, utility room and entry. Those areas will be vinyl. The hardwood is white oak with a gunstock stain. It will be lovely when we get it finished. Yes, I did say we. Murray and I ( mostly Murray ) will be tackling that job next summer. Probably after the wedding.
The wedding plans are coming along. Steve and Katherine seem to have it all well in hand. We must drop in to Moore’s Mens Wear, in London, and have Murray measured for his tux before we head south. But, I think that is the last of our jobs connected with the wedding before we head out. The rehearsal party is all arranged and will happen at the Lamplighter on May 15th. A pizza party! Appropriate for Steve as that is what he lived on for many years.
Jeremy & Cynthia are very busy right now as well. They will be moving to California on Oct 31st and living in Sunnyvale, CA. He will be working for the same company down there – Alcatel-Lucent. Their house here is listed to be sold as this move may be for several years. Skype will allow us to continue to see them and the grandkids and we wish them all of the best. Besides, it is a lovely part of the world and we have never been there before. Now we have a very good excuse.
The last few weeks have found me buried in our spare room. Murray took the sliding doors off of the closet, screwed them together and placed them on saw horses. That gave me a huge sewing table and I have been making new cockpit cushions for the boat. I made 90 feet of piping and thought that I would run out. But, it was just enough. Now, I only have one area to finish. The cushion that goes over the helm seat. It is actually three cushions attached together with lengths of cloth and having snaps ( also on cloth pieces ) to hold it in place. But, there are three zippers and three sets of sides to attach! Once we get it in place on the boat, I will send a photo. They do look smart, if I must say so myself. They are almost a navy blue, piped with white and the bottom of the cushion is a mesh (phifertex ) in navy to allow the foam to dry faster. I also want to make some weather cloths when we get back to the boat. I will make them out of the phifertex as well allowing us to see through them and the breeze to blow through as well. They will not really keep the splashes out but will give us some privacy for our cockpit showers. Although it has been 12 years without any privacy.
Murray has almost run out of jobs around our house and has been renting himself out to the neighbours. He installed laminate flooring a week or so ago and is blowing out the irrigation systems around us as well. These houses all came with lawn irrigation systems as the ground here is very sandy. To winterize these systems, pressurized air is blown through the pipes to blow out any water left inside. Otherwise they will freeze and burst.
And, we have had some hard frosts already. It is almost time for these snowbirds to fly south. Once the sewing is done, I will start to organize our clothes for the winter. Hopefully much less than we usually had to carry back and forth. The crawl space is already stocked with cans of red salmon and mushrooms to take down, plus homemade green and red pepper jelly ( from our own peppers! ). We find the salmon and mushrooms much cheaper here than in the US. Our neighbour will again be looking after the house and the mail for us and we will rent the garage again as well. The man that rents the garage also keeps the driveway plowed and has the walkway shoveled. Last year that was a significant amount of snow. Steve will stop by monthly to check for important mail. Most all of the bills are paid directly from our bank account, so all should go well, we hope.
Our plans are to be in Green Cove on Nov 4th, for the boat to be moved to the workyard. As usual, we will stay in the yard as short a time as possible. And, also as usual, there is not much room at the dock. So, our time in the water will be shortened. Probably, once we are stocked up, we will head out. So, if all goes well, we should be heading out of the marina by the week of Nov 25th. Then, boogie south quickly to get to a warmer part of Florida. And, watch for a weather window to cross the Gulf Stream. We will be watching over our shoulder though, as eight boats from our home harbour of Port Stanley are also out cruising this winter. Hopefully we can meet up with some of them.
So, that brings you up-to-date on all of our past doings and our future plans. Stay in touch with us when you can.
Hugs to all, Heather & Murray firmly ashore