Monday, September 26, 2016


Last week Rob and I were on vacation and had made plans to go to Sir Sam's Inn in the Haliburton region of Ontario. We had never been to that area of Ontario before and were really looking forward to getting away for a few days to de-stress and spend some quality time together.

It was the perfect location for a 3 night, 4 day mini getaway. A small and intimate resort located on Eagle Lake, and a short drive from the village of Haliburton. The surroundings were gorgeous, the room comfortable, delicious food, and the waterspa pool was fabulous. I could go on and on about how much we enjoyed our stay there, and how we both look forward to going back, but I think I will just show you in pictures. Enjoy!

The view from our room. 
We enjoyed our morning coffee and other beverages on our walkout.
Of course we always make a furry friend or two while away.
Lounge area over looking the lake.
The main inn.
Fire Pit for nightly fires. 
Eagle Lake and Sir Sam's boat, the "Lady Hughes".
The food was exceptional at Sir Sam's. We had done the meal plan, so our breakfast and 3 course dinner was included. The menu changed nightly, and being a small resort it wasn't an overly large menu, but deciding what to have every night still proved difficult. Everything we had was delicious. I took photos of my last dinner there.
The dining room.
Crab Cake
I tried bison for the first time.
Lemon Tart
The Waterspa Pool was incredible. There are different areas of the pool that have different jets that massage different parts of the body, plus the "champagne grotto", which was like sitting in a glass of champagne with thousands of tiny bubbles! Of course there was also an area of the pool just for swimming. But my favorite part was the "ice bucket"!
The wonderful waterspa pool.
Lounge area. 
Despite the look on my face, this felt wonderful on the neck and shoulders.
Fill a bucket full of cold water and dump it over me, YES PLEASE!
We enjoyed our time here so much; listening to the Loons, sitting around a campfire looking at the stars, and feeding the Chipmunks. It was blissful and I look forward to going back someday.
Loon on the lake. 
One of our many well fed Chipmunks.
I learned something on this trip as well, the best cure for stress is a bag of unsalted nuts and a Chipmunk to feed. Worked for me!

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Sunflowers made a pretty picnic table centerpiece.
Rob and I had a lovely long weekend. The weather was great, and it was the perfect balance of friends, time at home, and a little road trip.

Saturday afternoon our friends, Dave and Andi, joined us for a BBQ. Lots of food, drink and merriment. They had to leave around dusk due to an early start the next day, and missed the wildlife show that took place soon after.

A skunk parade!
   Sunday had Rob and I heading west late morning on a little road trip. First stop, Weir's Lane Lavender.  I love lavender and have been wanting to visit for a few years now.

Field of lavender, unfortunately not in bloom, we'll try to catch that next year.
KITCHEN TIP; - Use dried Lavender in place of Rosemary or Tyme in recipes, they are from the same herb family
Honey hives at the farm, the bees pollinate the lavender.
See the bees?
Best smelling port-a-potty ever! Smelled like lavender.
Goodies purchased; bath salts, honey, chutney, and soap! 
Time for lunch! We went to a German restaurant in Hamilton that we recently found out about.  Black Forest Inn has been around since 1967 and Rob was very excited about checking it out! It was very authentic, and I know we will be returning.  
Rob and our friendly waitress, Dimitra.
On our way back home we made a quick stop at Spring Ridge Farm to pick up a few things. We love their Dill & Garlic Salad Dressing, and a Peach & Raspberry Pie came home with us too.
Giddy up!
 It was our first time road tripping in a couple years, we really enjoyed it, but as always, we're always happy to return home.

The holiday Monday was mainly spent in our favorite hang-out, the backyard. It was the last day of the CNE and also the Air Show. We always hear lots of noise as we aren't far from the airport, and sometimes we get some good looks.

We were treated to a great fly-by of the Snow Birds!
First time out birding in 4 months due to a knee issue.
We hope you enjoyed your last long weekend of the summer as much as we enjoyed ours.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


All taped up after my first physio appointment.
On the morning of April 26th I woke up with an extremely sore left knee. I had been bowling in a bowl-a-thon a couple days earlier, and just thought I might of sprained it, so I didn't think much of it. I rested it, iced it and took Advil when needed. Some days it felt better than others, and I just assumed it would get better on its own.

I saw my family doctor on May 12th regarding something else, but mentioned my knee. It was feeling pretty good that day, and after telling him about the bowling, and him moving it this way and that, he didn't seem too concerned either. Five days later I was in the Emergency Room.

I was sent for X-rays, and the results even shocked me. I had a split knee cap. It was an old injury, really old, like 28 years old! I had been in a bad car accident in November 1988. I shattered my left femur bone, as well as other injures. When I woke up in the hospital way back when, no one told me about my knee, it was all about my femur bone. It makes sense that I would of injured my knee cap though, I was sitting in the front seat of the car, and I shattered my femur bone, so my knee would of taken the impact. I was sent home with stronger pain meds, advised to use a cane, and an appointment with a orthopedic surgeon.

The car from the accident in November 1988.
I had my first appointment with Dr. Nguyen on May 24th. I liked him immediately, and knew my knee was in good hands. We talked a bit about my X-rays, the accident and how my knee felt. A MRI was needed before a proper diagnosis could be given. Keep using the cane, keep resting it, icing it and pain medication when needed.

I went for my MRI on July 12th and was diagnosed with osteoarthritis on my follow-up appointment July 26th. I was experiencing my first official "flare up".

Before I continue, I need to say something. I realize that I have not been diagnosed with a life threatening illness, I get that. I use my blog as an online journal, and except for the little ray of sunshine, that was my niece's visit in July, the last 4 months have revolved around my knee. I have had a lot of thoughts tumbling around in my head for the last 4 months, and I need to write them down, so I can move forward.

I do believe I've gone through the 5 stages of grief during the last 4 months. I was in denial when it first started. After I was diagnosed I was pissed off that something that happened so long ago was having such a huge impact on my life now.  I don't know if  I did much bargaining, except to think that Rob would have to start birding without me, and that sent me into a huge depression. I had many, many, "woe is me" days this summer, but I am starting to come around to the acceptance of it all.

Icing my knee after physio.
I've been going to physiotherapy weekly for a month now, at Dr. Nguyen's clinic, and will be an ongoing patient. What they do there and the exercises I do at home are helping. The Arthritis Society website has been a great resource.

There are lots of things I can do to help manage my arthritis; I recently joined Good Life Fitness and am looking forward to starting aqua fit classes. I've increased my Omega 3 consumption and losing a few pounds will be beneficial too. There are times I will still need to use a cane, and a walking stick when going for birding walks is a good idea. I know the days of all day birding walks are probably over for me but any time in nature is better than none.

The day may come where I will need a new knee cap or start getting Synvisc One injections, but I am not there yet. With proper care and maintenance I should be able to manage my arthritis.

I recently got the go ahead to start moving more, and I am looking forward to enjoying some Fall walks with Rob.

Showing off my knee brace after a short walk with the hubby!
This diagnoses may of slowed me down, but I refuse to let it keep me from doing the things I love.