This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Friday 28 July 2017

The Swallows are back

Every year around this time we are visited by large flocks of Swallows.  They are a bunch of very social birds.  Someone told me they were Barn Swallows but looking through my binoculars they appear to be Tree Swallows, I think.  The information on the Internet states that they form huge communal roosts after their breeding season to molt and before they migrate in the fall. That seems to be just right. 

However, they seem to particularly like the stretch of Hydro wire in front of our house to meet.  (Why, I have no idea) The good thing about that is that when they take off to feed on flies, mosquitos and other aerial insects, there are less pesky bugs to sting or pester us.
The bad thing is that you have to take cover when they are out in full force dive bombing and showing acrobatic skills while catching their dinner and digesting it in midair.  You do not want to have your car parked anywhere nearby either. It’s a struggle to keep the house and camper clean and forget about cleaning the concrete pad or the flowerbed under the Hydro wire.

look closely at the Hydro wire at the end of our driveway

Meanwhile a lost young Robin chick had caught my attention. It’d been hopping around our house calling heartbreakingly sad for its momma to feed it but I spotted momma in the birdbath relaxing and taking a break.

This time of year I enjoy my garden the most.  The Rose of Sharon I planted two years ago shot up a whopping two feet in height this spring.  It seems to be a late bloomer with two different colors, bluish-pink and rosy-pink petals and most of its buds are starting to open up only now but it’s lovely nevertheless.

I’ll take you on a little tour showing off the flowers around the house and hope the resolutions of the pics are good enough for the post because the images are always sharper in my file.

In my next post I will update you about Elsa, who is expecting puppies and our other little rascal, Reggy.

We’ve had a heavy downpour a little while ago. Benno used the opportunity to go out during the rainstorm in his swim trousers and scrub the camper and gazebo off bird droppings.  He was totally drenched and freezing cold when he came back in.
But OMG, after the rain several hundreds more Swallows arrived here! They are all over in the trees, on the Hydro wires and on the ground.  What’s going on?

Saturday 22 July 2017

A week with Heidi

This past week Heidi, our oldest granddaughter, came to stay with us.  Just like with her younger sister Annaliese, Benno and I picked her up in London where our son met us at a rendezvous location for the swap.
Reggy and Elsa, our two doxies, were excited to see her and I am guessing they were looking forward to be getting more belly rubs and playtime with her. The long drive is tiresome for kids. To make the ride somewhat more interesting we were counting all the red cars and trucks underway on the Highway but after a while even that got boring.  Finally arriving home we three were hungry and the cranberry muffins waiting for us were devoured in a flash, then it was time for Heidi to head outside to explore. Luckily for us this past week the weather was super nice for outdoors activities. Taking advantage of the weather Benno wanted to add another layer of gravel onto the foundation for the new shed.  We drove to the pick-up location where Heidi got to see how the big backhoe dumped a full load of gravel into our trailer. Back home Heidi helped me to level the stone.  That truly was hard work and she didn’t just play around but showed how tough she is.

All that hard work had to be rewarded and a shopping trip was planned for the next day.  Before Oma took Heidi into town to buy toys and clothing for her, Heidi posed for a picture.  Upon looking at the photo we discovered she was photobombed by the owl in the front flowerbed. 

Ha, so Heidi thought she could also photobomb the owl!

Lake Erie is approximately 300 feet/100 meters from our house with a small stretch of beach and a breakwater wall that is just so inviting for climbing and jumping off because the water around it is only a couple of feet deep. The pebbles, rocks and beach glass that can be found there are excellent materials to take home for some projects both of our granddaughters insisted.  So that is where we went almost every day. 

By the middle of the week the neighbor’s boy came to play there too.  Now take two 8 year old, likeminded kids to the beach add two dachshunds that like to participate in the action and you got the picture!

The week was filled with all sorts of activities indoors and out. Cake decorating was one of them because her sister did it too.

One day we had to get a new cartridge for our printer and while at the Staples store Heidi convinced me that the pot of modeling Clay she spotted there was something she really, really wanted and she would save it for when she got back to school in September.  Half an hour after arriving back home Heidi was working on several little Clay sculptures in her room. Sigh, I should have known. The clay started to show up on the carpet, door handles and glass table, it became a “Code Yellow” alert in the guestroom and bathroom. She and I proceeded to transfer all her creations to my shed where she could sit at my cardboard covered table to work.  She also made me three little mushrooms and a watering can for the fairy garden that turned out very cute.

The next day most of the clay sculptures had dried enough to be painted.  However, the arms and the head of one of the little figurine men had fallen off, which had her in tears.  I promised to fix it later with my special glue. I left her alone for a little bit so she could paint the clay and rocks she had collected in vibrant watercolors. Meanwhile I clipped a few branches from an overgrown shrub.  When I went to check on her progress and saw that the shed door was closed I became suspicious.  What came next I’ll describe as “we had a “Code Red” alert that made us spring to action!” Heidi had found and used my "Gorilla Glue"  I won’t say anything more, only that I was rushing to get the bottle of nail polish remover and a big roll of Bounty Paper Towels, meanwhile Benno was rushing to the shed with a bottle of mineral spirit and a bundle of wipes.  In the haste of getting to the shed he stepped in dog poop placed there by “Hank” we think, the neighbor’s Golden Retriever. “Good heavens”

What are summer evenings without a fire to grill some sausages and make smores.  Heidi liked it so much that we repeated it the next evening to which she invited Dean, the neighbor boy. 

Yesterday morning at breakfast we were talking about pirates.  Benno told Heidi stories from our boating years and that the Coast Guard patrols the waters. I mentioned that Heidi doesn’t know what a Coast Guard boat is and that she had never seen one.  Well, we live 5 minutes from Hike Metal the factory that manufactures those boats.  So Benno jumps up from the breakfast table, pulls out the truck from the garage still in his pajamas and he and Heidi take a quick drive to the yard of Hike Metal, which is located right next to the fishing harbor to take a look at a Coast Guard boat. I am sure that if Heidi sees a boat with a vertical stripe on its hull she’ll now recognize it as a Coast Guard boat.

This week flew by in a hurry and it was good-by again with another drive to London.  There were Dominik our son, Maryann our daughter-in-law, Annaliese and Hans waiting for Heidi to drive to the cottage for a vacation. 

Hopefully they’ll have as much fun as we had this past week.