I was beginning to think I was never going to get a chance to share our trip to London.

I will admit I was very concerned about the drive.  It’s a long 8 hours from our house to Bev and Keith’s house in London when Colin and I drive by ourselves.  Ella is usually done with driving by the time we get to Auntie B’s in Scarborough and that’s only 4 hours.  Here she is at 7 am, ready to hit the road.  But wow, did Ella and Daddy surprise me.  She was so good on the 9 1/2 hour drive and Daddy was so patient and good about making stops and offering praise.

The cool looking fog blocking out most of the hills ahead of us, just around Whitney.  We ran into a bit of fog, but nothing as bad as we get around here.

The East Gate of Algonquin Park.  This was Ella’s first time through the Park.  We’ll have to come back another time and tour the visitor’s centre.  We were hoping to see some moose (standing on the SIDE of the road) but we didn’t.  We only got a quick glance of a couple young ones dashing across the road on the way home.

They have the cutest Tim Horton’s in Bracebridge, very ‘Muskoka’.  We stopped for ‘second breakfast’ because it’s hard for Ella and I to get up and eat first thing in the morning.

It really helped the squishy legs that Daddy wanted to stop at 3 different tractor dealers on the way.  Ella had great fun trying out the little ‘estate-sized’ tractors while Daddy was looking at the real ones.

Ella even found the full size of her little tractor.

This ride on tractor was the best gift she’s every received.  She still loves to drive it every where.  Especially when Daddy is out doing the grass and they have ‘races’.

Coming through Shelbourne we saw field and field of giant wind turbines.

They were really cool and just awe-inspiring in their size.  We often see the blades going by on the highway but hadn’t seen one this close.  For scale, keep in mind that is a field of grain corn, so they are a minimum of 10 feet tall.  They must be really efficient because it wasn’t very windy but they were turning at a pretty good clip.

The Super Moon was amazing while we were away.

Our B&B was great, it was its own little apartment.  It only had one bedroom, but that was big enough to have a cot for Ella.  Even better it was only 15 minutes from Colin’s friends Bev and Keith.

The next day, Colin and Keith head to Woodstock for the Outdoor Farm Show.  Ella and I headed into London.

We found the best McDonald’s for coffee break.  Most of the McDonald’s around here took out their play places.  I think this is the biggest one we’ve ever found.

We were able to meet up with my university friend Karen!!  It was so great seeing Karen again.  Ella was 3 the last time we got together.  We had such a lovely visit.

Karen had to work after lunch so Ella and I headed to the Fanshawe Pioneer Village just outside of town.

We had a great time at the Village (and the rain held off), but unfortunately most of the buildings were closed since we were after Labour Day.

We had a great visit with the blacksmith.  He even gave Ella a little horseshoe that he made.

Couldn’t resist this picture.  Even at the Village the church has bats.  The churches around here are always battling the bat invasion.  When Grandma and I did the altar at St. Stephen’s we were always cleaning up after the buggers.

The butter making ‘demonstration’ turned out to be a butter making discussion, but Ella enjoyed it and was able to answer a lot of the questions.  This was in the childhood home of Paul Peel, the artist who painted a lot of famous paintings, like this one:

Grandma has had this one hanging in her bathroom since I was young.  So I found it very cool to find out he was from London.

Inside the pretty Anglican church.

Very happy girl with her new knitted dolly.

Coming home Colin wanted to stop at another tractor dealer, just outside of Stratford.  Since we were that close, I convinced him to take a bit of a side trip…

Yep, he took me to Floradale!

I didn’t have too much cash on me but I bought a bit of fabric.

Colin is very happy he’s not farming around here.  This isn’t the only narrow bridge we crossed.  Even with our equipment being older and smaller than average, we’ve got stuff that wouldn’t make it across this bridge.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a car trip post without one of these pictures…

Coming home Daddy made a really great decision to stop in Huntsville and do the drive home in 2 days.  By the time we got to Huntsville we were ALL ready to stop for the day.

We stayed at the Hidden Valley Resort.  It was really nice.  Nothing too fancy and getting a little dated, but better than a lot of hotels.  The reason we chose this one:

Ella didn’t know about the pool and was very excited!  She had a grand time swimming and playing arcade games with Daddy.

A yummy supper and a good night’s sleep.  Funny thing thought, the next morning what did Ella want for breakfast?  She wanted to go to McDonald’s.  So that’s what we did.

Fairly uneventful drive the rest of the way home.  Though that is when we saw the two young moose.  We made record time coming through the Park.  No traffic and no construction.  It was good to be home.


Well, the one good thing with Ella being sick and then me being sick (and Ella at Grandma’s) is that I get a lot of chesterfield time.  Here’s a few more things for the Advent swap.

We’ll start with a couple snow ladies.  I had to re-do the face of the lady in purple because she looked like she more belonged on a Dr. Who episode than a Christmas display.

Next is a sock bookmark.  I love making these little socks.  They are perfect socks, heel flap and gusset and everything.  I used some leftover yarn from last week’s shawl.

Speaking of the shawl:

I changed the edging.  I don’t like the leaf edge the pattern uses and I ran out of yarn for the edging I wanted to use, so I used the old faithful ‘crochet chain’ edging.  Sure makes blocking easy.

Another Christmas shawl.  Not sure if the recipient lurks on the blog so I can’t tell you.  This was a quick and easy knit.  Very easy to adjust to your yarn supply.

And of course it wouldn’t be a swap without a dishcloth, though my swap partner doesn’t want soap so I can’t send a local soap along.

OK, I bowed to the OCD bunch (including me) and ripped out the fingerless gloves from yesterday.

Now they match beautifully.  Also, I made another thing for the swap.  Isn’t that bear cute?

We’ve not been doing too much school since both teacher and student feel yucky, so we’re still reading Little House Big Woods.

Pre-Yarn Along


I need an opinion before I go much further.  Working on some fingerless gloves for the Advent swap.  Do you like them as they are or should I try to match the stripes?  I know what I would do for me, but I’m a bit obsessive about stripes  :)



A little late with my menu this week.  Ella decided to share her cold with Momma so everything is running a little late today.


tv dinners



roast beef


French toast

spaghetti and meatballs



hot beef sandwiches and garlic mashed potatoes


beef sandwiches

chicken burgers


ranch packet pork chops -365 Slow Cooker Recipes


sweet soy-glazed tenderloin

More great ideas at I’m an Organizing Junkie


For Farm Girl Friday, the Farm Girly and I walked out to the ‘pasture field’ to see what the Farmer has been busy doing all week (on the days with no rain).

He’s down at the far end by the swamp and very glad it’s not spring!  In the spring this job would be nearly impossible (or at least very unpleasant) because of the mosquitoes.

Colin’s been busy digging a 300 ft trench for some tile drainage.  Soon the tile (long tube) will arrive and he will bury it in the trench.  Then the water will run here and drain off towards the swamp/river.  Hopefully this will help with the wet spots in the field.  As you can see, the field is starting to drain even without the tile.  You can also see the ‘lovely’ white clay that Colin has to contend with every year.

The clover is coming up well in the wheat stubble.  All waiting for plow down -just what this old clay ground needs.



Some Autumn fun for our Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real post this week:

Our first official nature walk of the 2014 school year.  The first day of Autumn seemed like a good day to go walking.

Ella’s pink dress shows up too much for hiding in the grain corn.  She’s only 3 rows in so it shows how easy you can get lost in a corn field.  Also, you really can’t hear anything in a corn field.  Especially this time of year because everything rustles and crunches.

We had some company for our walk too.

And of course, Daisy came too.  Though she was more interested in chasing the cats than walking with us.

The acorns are coming along on Daddy’s oak trees too.   They look so cool at this stage.

Our nature table is all set up for the first day of Autumn.  This year we have something new.  The beautiful Autumn girl came all the way from Israel!  Daria at Art of Felting made her especially for us.  I’ve done some felting and I can assure you that Daria’s prices are very reasonable.

And here’s a funny for this week:

It used to be that Ella loved having her picture taken, no I get faces like this more often than not.  She looks so tall in this picture too.


Yarn Along this week is the start of the Ravelry Advent swap gifts.  I’m working on the big one first.

It’s the Petal shawlette again.  This time in some funky yarn.  The pattern is hard to see before blocking.  What do you think?

We are reading Little House Big Woods -hurray!!!  It’s for school this year and I can’t wait to read these with Ella.  They are so much fun to read, even as a grown-up.

Oh yeah, just a quick survey here:  I’m having a discussion on FB about changing the words of the Canadian national anthem.  Seems some folks are offended at ‘home and native land’ and ‘in all thy sons’ command’.  They don’t seem to realize these words mean everyone, kind of like ‘Man’ in prayers mean mankind and not just the guys.  What do you think?  Should a national anthem be changed just to suit the current political correctness?  Or should people stop being over-sensitive at the wording and actually learn the meaning/intent of the phrase??


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