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Archive for August, 2014

Sigh.  Everyone’s gone home (though some are still travelling) and I’m left with memories of a whole ton of good times and some really nice gifts.

This post covers the last day and  our leave-taking.

Tuesday morning found most of us still at the cottage, but because of the rain, we had no more cavorting on the dock.

Karen takes a shot of the dock from the canoe.  She's so talented.

Karen takes a shot of the dock from the canoe. She’s so talented.

Instead, we sit around the cottage eating breakfast (scones and strawberry jam by me, excellent scrambled eggs by Karen) talking and playing more games. Oh, the hardship.

Sulie, Karen, Perry.  Plus Tricia

Sulie, Karen, Perry. Plus Tricia

Then lunch, and we have to finish up the

a – Butter Tarts

b – Nanaimo Bars

c – Cherry Pie

And then we pack the cars. Of course, the sun comes out.

Perry has decided that though her new “two-person” tent (all campers know what that means) is a good tent, she’s no longer up for sleeping on the ground.  So I inherit a new tent for my grandsons to enjoy.

Back at Neill-Wycik by suppertime.  Susan M has already left in the morning for Colorado, then Walla-Walla, Washington so we’re down to 9.  We enjoy Thai food courtesy of Kristi, plus chow down on a few leftovers.

A lot more talking and then bedtime.

Jerri leaves first, at 6 am, to begin her long trek back to Arkansas, to the waiting arms of Dan. Delta tries hard to make her miss her connecting flight, but they fail, and she reaches the departure lounge with a whole 10 minues to spare and gets her seat back from the stand-by passenger it was given to.

Perry is heading out on her own in her truck, and Betty (Tennessee) is taking Linda (Virginia), Kristi (New York)  and Karen (Tennessee) back in her van.  The planned departure is 8:00.

Tricia, Linda, Perry and Karen make final farewell, at 8:05. (Betty is in the van)

Tricia, Linda, Perry and Karen make final farewell, at 8:05. (Betty is in the van)

At 8:06 (because Betty is very good at herding cats) the two vehicles roll out of the garage.

Tricia and Sulie and I go upstairs and check out, and then we put Sulie in a cab for Billy Bishop Airport; she’s flying to Montreal for a few days before going home to Olympia, Washington).  Then Tricia and I pack my car (I’m taking her to the airport this afternoon to fly home to Victoria). Then….

Tricia helps with the jacking up, and reads the directions to me while I change the tire.

Tricia helps with the jacking up, and reads the directions to me while I change the tire.

So I leave Tricia in the big city to make her own way to the airport, while I drive home and work on getting a new tire.

So there we all our, heading back to our respective homes.

Everyone who is driving crosses the border without incident, and even the peaches make it across without being confiscated (that was an accident).

This has been a wonderful wonderful time.  I’m so happy everyone who came came, and that they all enjoyed themselves so much.  Everyone contributed so much to the fun and fellowship, and it’s absolutely astounding how we can meet up with each other, years apart, and feel like we’ve been been hanging out together always.

Now to start planning the next one.

final post: I’ll put up some pictures Dessies have sent me for a final round-up

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It’s our last morning together (though we’ve already lost Alice on Sunday)

Jerri, Linda, Sulie, Anne, Kristi, Alice, Susan, Karen

Betty, Sulie, Susan M, Linda, Kristi, Perry, Jerri, Tricia, Karen, Susan D

Susan Monahan has to return home on Tuesday so we leave her in Toronto for a solo patch, and the rest of of head out of town overnight.

Linda joins her friends in Guelph.  I’m attaching her report, lifted out of Facebook… (hope that’s okay, Linda)

So sorry, but I’m still having fun. Just spent two days in Guelph with Lou and Klaus Niemann. They deserve medals for driving through extensive traffic to get me and to bring me back. Plus, Lou took me out to tea for breakfast, then she and Klaus took me to an all you can eat Mennonite restaurant. Coconut Butter Tart PIE!!! Lou also took me to the home of John McCrae, the man who wrote the poem In Flanders Fields. Very moving standing in the garden surrounded by poppies.

John McCrea memorial in Guelph

John McCrea memorial in Guelph

As if Linda hasn’t had enough LMM in Leaskdale, they drive past the other Ontario church where she spent much of her adult life.

Norval, where LMM and her family lived until 1935

Norval, where LMM and her family lived until 1935

Meanwhile, the 8 other Dessies head towards Canning Lake, near Haliburton, to spend some serious fun time near, in and on the lake.  Betty is driving one party, and Susan the other.  We meet up in Minden at the Kawartha Dairy (with the cow on the roof) and stock up on ice cream. Then on to the cottage.

Perry, Jerri and Sulie set up Perry's new tent, which she will sleep in for the first -- and last -- time.  Everyone else gets a bed in the cottage or sleeping cabin

Perry, Jerri and Sulie set up Perry’s new tent, which she will sleep in for the first — and last — time.

Perry roughs it. Everyone else gets a bed in the cottage or sleeping cabin.

We make sandwiches, and take them down to the dock to eat lunch, then everyone (ignoring our moms’ advice about swimming after meals) hits the water.

Tricia and noodles

Tricia and noodles

Karen and noodle

Karen and noodle

Jerri with noodle

Jerri with noodle

Lots of Dessies with noodles

Lots of Dessies with noodles

We have to take lots of pictures with noodles, so Sally, English Dessie, will understand what it’s all about.

Betty the Birthday Queen gets the luxury toy.  It's a big one for her today.

Betty the Birthday Queen gets the luxury toy. It’s a big event for her today.

Kristi with, you guessed it, a noodle

Kristi with, you guessed it, a noodle

Karen tries out the hammock

Karen tries out the hammock

Betty and Jerri on the dock

Betty and Jerri on the dock

Next it’s time to get out the canoe and the kayak, and I go into camp counsellor mode, showing everyone what to do, and getting them safely in and out.  No one fell into the lake.

Betty in the kayak

Betty in the kayak

Jerri in the Kyak.  Firt time, but she's game for more

Jerri in the Kayak. First time, but she’s game for more

Tricia and Karen in the canoe

Tricia and Karen in the canoe

Tricia in the kayak, with Karen and Sulie in the canoe

Tricia in the kayak, with Karen and Sulie in the canoe

Whew!  After all that, it’s time for Wine with Marie Biscuits.

a truly Dessish treat, Marie biscuits with wine.

a truly Dessish treat, Marie biscuits with wine.

And then dinner of fresh corn, roasted chicken, Caesar salad and garlic bread.  And wine.

Suppertime at the cottage

Suppertime at the cottage

Dessert. More butter tarts and….

Betty gets birthday cake Nanaimo Bars

Betty gets birthday cake Nanaimo Bars

MUCH talking, much game playing (such as guessing which DES character you are from the name on your forehead) and then we find our various beds and settle in for the night.

Tuesday: our last day together.

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Alice leaves us today to drive home Ohio after far too short a stay.  Then I pretty much disappear from the Dessie scene today, with a personal commitment, so everyone else has to have fun without me.

Perry takes Linda, Betty, Sulie and Karen to find a polo match north of Toronto.  Here is Linda’s report stolen from her facebook page:

DES member Perry Palmer is a lifetime aficionado of polo and we couldn’t find the big polo match in the Ontario countryside, but did happen upon practice chukkas (hope that’s the way to do the plural). Perry gave us Polo 101 and it was so much fun to see that the ponies know how to play polo and avidly follow the ball even with total newbies in control. Wow.

the players

the players

THEN we came back to Toronto and ate Spicy Indian food and went to the Textile Museum. As Perry tried to get into the parking lot the gatekeeper kept saying to us: Adam Sandler! Adam Sandler! We were stymied by this and thought we were mishearing, but finally ignored him and parked. Then we saw huge semi-trucks and paraphernalia and there may or may not be an Adam Sandler film in progress. It turns out that there are secret code words that these movie people use to throw people off the trail. My theory is that the parking attendant thought that we were arriving old lady stand-ins.

Jerri and Susan M took the ferry to the Toronto Islands. 

Ferry to Toronto Islands

Ferry to Toronto Islands

Susan enjoyed looking at the old cottages on Ward’s Island, and then Jerri found her way to the Centreville Amusement Park, where she delighted in riding the antique merry-go-round, selecting an Ostrich for her mount, because it’s a Thirkell thing.

Jerri's selfie with Ostrich

Jerri’s selfie with Ostrich

When we’re all back at Neill-Wycik, we have a challenge round of Kim’s Game, DES style, arranged by Kristi and me.  Not only do Dessies have to remember the items, they have to explain the significance of each one.

Kim's Game

Kim’s Game

Time for presents.  Tricia is given a lovely scarf from the Textile Museum, as a thank you for all the games and presents she’s made for us, including our crocheted necklaces and hats,  and I am presented with a pair of magnifying lornettes and some book-buying booty.

Thanks everyone. You’re all so sweet.

Monday: One of our group stays in Toronto; the rest are off to the wilds of Guelph and Minden, two major Ontario hot spots.  We use noodles.

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Okay okay, we had another super busy day.

Alice, Kristi’s daughter, has joined us for the weekend!

Some went to the St. Lawrence Market and bought food and hats and bags.  Some went to Casa Loma and more of the bus tour. Some went on the LMM pilgrimage.  Some did more than one of the above.

Dessies at the St Lawrence Market

Dessies at the St Lawrence Market

I go with the Lucy Maud Montgomery party.  That is, we drive out to Leaskdale, the village where LMM’s husband Ewan was the minister at the Presbyterian church 1911-1926.  The manse has now been turned into an LMM museum.

But first, we stop for Butter Tarts at Twinkleberry Farm fruit and veggie stand.

Butter tarts

Butter tarts

 

Karen, Jerri and Linda enjoy a sugar fix

Karen, Jerri and Linda enjoy a sugar fix

A few minutes later we arrive at the Leaskdale Manse and enjoy a wonderful tour with Maggie, tour guide par excellence.

IMG_3820

Gog and Magog

Gog and Magog

the tiny dining room

the tiny dining room

I had to include this picture because quilt.

I had to include this picture because quilt.

The Pantry

The Pantry

Dessies visiting Maude's house. Sulie, Alice, Linda, Kristi, Jerri, Karen, Susan

Dessies visiting Maud’s house.
Sulie, Alice, Linda, Kristi, Jerri, Karen, Susan

Then over to the church for tea, with scones, heavy cream and jam.

Tea at the Church.

Tea at the Church.

And of course we have to spend time with Anne.

Jerri, Linda, Sulie, Anne, Kristi, Alice, Susan, Karen

Jerri, Linda, Sulie, Anne, Kristi, Alice, Susan, Karen

As if that’s not enough, we all go to Susan’s house (me) for supper and a costume parade

Vivian Greensleeves, Dinah Savage, Eau de Nil Lady, Twinset Lady, Elsie Baker, Miss Buncle, Ellen King, Millie Spikes.

Vivian Greensleeves, Dinah Savage, Eau de Nil Lady, Twinset Lady, Miss Elsie Baker, Miss Buncle, Ellen King, Millie Spikes.

 

Miss King, just back from Samarkand.

Miss King, just back from Samarkand.

Young Mrs Savage goes to a Garden Party.

Young Mrs Savage goes to a Garden Party.

Then we have a dramatisation of May Martineau teaching Julia Harburn how to sell hats.  And then…

IMG_3864

We ALL get new hats from Madame Claire’s, hand-crocheted for us by Tricia!

After that, it’s time to go back to the hotel.  Betty’s party leaves half an hour earlier than Alice’s party, but takes a long and crazy not-so-scenic route, and arrive home later.  :^(

Coming up on  Sunday:  Who’s going to the polo match?

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Dessies’ Busy Day

Oh man, do we get around a lot on Friday.  Another beautiful day in Toronto.

First I must tell you about the great gift bags, made by Perry.

the third in s series

the third in our series

And then there are the gifts…

We got a wonderful array of gifts in our loot bag, including bookmarks sent by Sally that she and Joy Wotton sent us.

We got a wonderful array of gifts in our loot bag, including bookmarks sent by Sally that she and Joy Wotton sent us.

So, after breakfast we all hop on the The Bus

Tricia on the Bus

Tricia on the Bus

 

Sulie on the Bus

Sulie on the Bus

We tour around downtown Toronto, and then transfer to the harbour boat tour…

Karen and Sulie on the harbour boat

Karen and Sulie on the harbour boat

Out to Toronto Islands to cruise around there…

CNTower from the island lagoon

CNTower from the island lagoon

Then lunch at a harbourside pub.

Kristi, Karen, Sulie, Tricia

Kristi, Karen, Sulie, Tricia

Betty Perry, Linda, Jerri, Susan M

Betty, Perry, Linda, Jerri, Susan M

Then some go off around the bus tour again, while several of us go to the Art Gallery of Ontario

Karen has tried 3 times over 25 years to see her favourite painting.

Cynthia Asquith, by Augustus John (NOT the vacuum cleaner salesman) 1917

Cynthia Asquith, by Augustus John (NOT the vacuum cleaner salesman) 1917

which I assure her is always there when I’ve been there, BUT….

It’s not on show right now.  So we enjoy many other exhibits.

Then supper. Again, a foraging party goes to the grocery store at Maple Leaf Gardens and comes back with food and wine for all.

And then we have our book swap.  Tricia lucks into the coveted Near Neighbours, by Molly Clavering, which Sally Phillips kindly sent us from England.  (Many teeth are gnashed by others)

Tricia and Near Neighbours

Tricia and Near Neighbours

So, that’s Friday.

Saturday will bring the St. Lawrence Market, Casa Loma, and LM Montgomery manse at Leaskdale.

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Having a terrific time in Toronto with 9 other Dessies (a 10th one arrives tomorrow) celebrating our on-line friendship of books and all things Dessish.

So here’s a few shots of what’s going on so far….

IMG_3728

We shop at the huge Loblaw’s nearby, formerly Maple Leaf Gardens, and stock up on picnic supplies.

 IMG_3734

Kew Beach — the Dessies have a typically DES-style picnic, of course.

Sulie, Linda, Susan M, Kristi, Tricia, Jerri, Betty, Karen and Perry.

IMG_3738

We take a walk on the beach….  Some tried their hand at Ducks and Drakes, in honour of Dinah and Dan.

IMG_3750

We return to our hotel for order-in Chinese food and then a game of DES Jeopardy, planned and written and produced by Tricia (aka Alex Trebek).

IMG_3726

We received a wonderful gift from the new US publisher of DES books, Sourcebooks.

More fun tomorrow.

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