• Picnics at the beach...

    Picnics at the beach...

    My life

Sauble Beach Welcome sign

We woke up to bright sunshine and that made both of us happy! Thursday, it had been trying to rain at times and, grey and overcast, we ended up having just a few sprinkles. The sun came out for awhile around dinner time, so I was optimistic that we would have a sunny day for golf and a great day out.

Our tee time was 9:30 a.m. at the Sauble Golf and Country Club, a sixty-nine year old course teetering on the 6400 yard mark. When we arrived at the Pro Shop we were informed that they had a shotgun tournament starting at 1:00 p.m. We said that shouldn’t be a problem as we play fast.

The course had very nice, big greens with not a lot of undulation. The fairways were much the same, open and quite good and there was a varying degree of difficulty with the rough. In some places, the rough was really thick and other places, it was very thin! There were just a few gravel cart paths, most went from green to the next tee box. There were a couple of small lakes and several three-foot wide ditches with water going across the fairways, teasing you to hit your ball into them to add some drama to your round!

When we finished the par-5 seventh hole, we noticed what appeared several large rhubarb plants growing between the course and one of the neighbouring houses. Ruth said we must drive over see if if we can get some! Then we noticed the lady that lived there was outside, so we high tailed it over to her, and she was more than happy to cut some for us! We picked it up after finishing the ninth hole. I think that rhubarb apple crisp will be on our dessert menu tonight, perhaps with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

The course was pretty empty and we finished in three hours. We enjoyed the golf course and, although it was a bit windy, we had fun!

Two Chicks Cafe

Two of the young women working at the Two Chicks Cafe.

Our next stop was Two Chicks Cafe on 2nd Avenue North, just a block away from the beach — and us two chicks thought it would be a great idea to drop in to have lunch there.

We had the pleasure of being waited on by Georgia McLay and Maranda Murphy, and those two young women were gracious enough to pose for a picture for the blog!  Great service, Georgia and Maranda — keep up the great work!

Ruth had a tuna sandwich with fresh vegetables and I had the egg salad sandwich with chips.  Both were excellent choices.

The hockey stick chair

My chair at the Two Chicks Cafe was made out of hockey sticks. What a great idea for #recycling

The cafe is tiny with about six tables, but they also have outside seating. My chair was made of used hockey sticks and the base of the table was made from an old pedal sewing machine – such ingenious ways to recycle!

The Two Chicks Cafe has really good food and it’s run by great people. Stop by and enjoy the country music on radio — and I read on their website that they have a big lineup of live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights ALL SUMMER LONG. What a great idea.

And I’m not the only one who thinks it’s a great place. I found this on Twitter:


Oh, and one more thing about this great cafe: they’ve got free Wi-Fi that was pretty fast, so I was able to write my blog post for you!

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Wednesday is Ladies Golf Day at the Pinewoods Golf Club in Sauble Beach, Ontario, a golf course close to where Ruth has her cottage.  When we called the clubhouse to ask if we could join the ladies, we were told to be there at 10:00 a.m. and we would be able to play.

So we did!

Turns out, there were enough women for two foursomes. So Ruth joined one foursome, and I joined the other.

One of the things that keep golfers coming back to play is that one nice shot that finds its way into your round, even when your round isn’t amounting to much. Not only does that one nice shot make up for all the horrible ones you may have on that particular day, it helps you to hold your head high, your shoulders straight back and put a little skip into your step.

Today, my shot of the day was an unlikely blind shot — that worked! It was on the ninth hole; I was 90 yards from the green, but in between me and the pin, was a HUGE cedar.  From where I needed to make my second shot, I couldn’t see the flag through the thickness of the tree, so I had to make the shot on instinct, and believe it (or not) it ended up being just over a foot away from the hole.  E-Z-P-Z par!

Pinewoods is a nice, nine hole course, about 2250 yards long.  I had never seen the course before, so I was not expecting to play great so I was quite surprised when I was low gross of the group! Ruth had a good game too and after our game, we decided to have lunch at the club.  The prices were jaw-dropping! Can you believe a Western sandwich (they don’t call them “Denver’s” here) cost only $5.10? Was it ever good!

LAMBlicious

LAMBlicious

On our way to lunch at the Palmers’ on Tuesday we saw a sign, LAMBLicious, on the highway.  Since both Ruth and I love to eat lamb, we stopped to get some lamb on on our way home.  They were out of lamb chops so we bought lamburgers instead (lamb + burgers)!

These burgers are made with oatmeal, celery seed, garlic, salt and pepper — and lamb, of course. We cooked them on the barbecue after we got home and added some Monterey Jack cheese, fresh tomatoes, mustard and some sliced cucumber for garnish and the burgers were “delicious” — just as advertised! A nice green salad on the side – and a little red wine – made for an awesome dinner.

We are going back for more tomorrow, determined to get there early and get our hands on some of their lamb chops!

We have been getting the cottage into ship shape and have only had a few setbacks so far.  We noticed the toilet wasn’t flushing like it should be, so we got the septic tank pumped out, but that didn’t solve the problem. Next, Ruth called Perry the Plumber and he came out right away and solved the problem. Like they say in plumbing, a straight flush beats a full house, and I don’t think we’ll need to worry about that — or a slowly flushing toilet — anymore!

 

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Picture of Nigel and Judy's farmhouse
Picture of Ruth petting the Doberman Pinscher

Julian, the Doberman Pinscher with Ruth

The BIG Doberman

I had never seen a Doberman Pinscher before up close until yesterday — and this one was the size of a small pony.  Before we’d arrived, this dog was, apparently, upstairs sleeping on the queen bed, when we arrived in time for lunch at the farmhouse that belonged to Nigel and Judy Palmer.

The dog’s name is Julian. He is fine with strangers — as long as its owners are at home.  Heaven forbid you enter the house if no one is home.  I rather think that the dog would take you out in no time!

Our hosts are long time friends of Ruth. They’ve known each other ever since Nigel went to the Veterinarian College in Guelph, Ontario with Ruth’s late husband, Otto. They live in the countryside, about 40 minutes away from Owen Sound, and their farm have animals other than just Julian. They keep horses — including two Belgians, 25 head of cattle, and every year they have a new batch of free-range chickens.

The Farmhouse

Picture of Nigel and Judy's farmhouse

Nigel and Judy’s farmhouse

The main part of the farmhouse was built long ago — with walls that are 2-feet thick. The Palmers, after buying the farm, later added an addition to the house, made with some of their very own own maple trees from off their property.  The workmanship of the woodwork was very impressive, with a vaulted ceiling some 20′ high, but somehow the architecture was soft and pleasing to the eye. Many log-style houses look garish to me, but not the Palmers’! Their farmhouse had a cosy feeling.

There was another couple asked to lunch, Clive and Carol Guy, who have another veterinarian connection. Clive and Otto co-wrote some of veterinarian textbooks when they were younger.

The Palmers and the Guys somehow got the dates mixed up for the luncheon and the Guys arrived on Monday instead of Tuesday!  That wasn’t a problem for the Palmers, and it was rather a good thing: after all, it gave them an extra 24 hours to reminisce!

Rhubarb cream pie

Yum…Rhubarb Cream Pie!

The dining area table was set, with a wonderful combination of old and new dishes and cutlery.  The view from the windows of the rolling pastureland made for a beautiful setting, and although we were invited for lunch, this was dinner — big time. Coq au Vin, rice, cole slaw, beet pickles — and cheese bread from the local Metro Grocers (yum!).  As for desert, well this is rather funny — I’d been talking about rhubarb just the day before and thinking about making rhubarb and strawberry crisp. Lo and behold, for dessert we had rhubarb cream pie.  Luckily for me, Judy cut the pie into small pieces and there was enough for me to have seconds!

 

We heard many stories over lunch and each couple told of how they met their spouses.  Of course, the guys rendition was a little different than the gals!

Hopefully our paths will cross again.

Lunch at the Palmers

Clive, Ruth, Nigel, Judy and Carol

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Lay's Maui Onion Potato Chips
Bag of Lay's potato chips

Lay’s Kettle Cooked Maui Onion flavoured potato chips

If I had died at 75 (I wrote that because it rhymes!) you could have been able to say, “She never ate potato chips!” Not that you would say that, it’s quite an unusual statement, but I’m just trying to underscore the fact that I was never a big chip fan.

When I was a teenager, we didn’t have potato chips at home, but we had a treat made from mashed potatos called lefse. Lefse is a kind of flat-bread that’s cooked like a crepe. We ate lefse with butter on when it was cooled to room temperature, and everyone loved it. Even though my parents were both from Sweden, lefse is better known in Norway. My guess is because they both came from villages close to the Norwegian border and that’s why lefse made it into our kitchen!

In any event, we didn’t have potato chips growing up — and even when my kids were young, we didn’t have them in the house very often. If we did, it would be accompanied by a dip made with sour cream and onion soup mix, but that was extraordinary. Chips simply weren’t often on the grocery list.

Something changed, though, when I was 78. That’s when I discovered Lay’s Kettle Cooked Maui Onion potato chips at Lin’s Fresh Market – a grocery store in Hurricane, Utah.

I was looking at the different flavours of kettle chips one day in at Lin’s, which is the grocery store I most love shopping at when I go down to the States to spend a month or two away from Canada’s winter, with some of the best golfing anywhere.  I knew my friends liked potato chips, so I thought I would get  the Maui Onion flavour for them to try. I’ve been to Maui, and loved that the most of the Hawaiian Islands I’ve visited, so I picked that kind mostly for the name.

Turns out, my friends absolutely loved them, with ooh’s and oh’s and wow’s and great’s — so I tried one with my drink. And that was it.

I was hooked. I don’t know what it is about these chips, but they are really CRISP and have a sweet onion flavour they are SO GOOD.

The thing is, you can’t find these chips just anywhere — even in stores that sell Lay’s potato chips.  Their distribution across the USA is dependant on the local demand, so whenever I’m on a road trip, I always make a pit stop to check out the local grocery store to see if I can find them.

I used to be able to find them going north through Montana, but not anymore.  I’ve checked out several grocery stores in Sun City, AZ and in La Quinta, CA — and none were to be found.  Last year, I was back to Hurricane in April and the first time I was shopping there, there were no Lay’s Maui Onions Potato Chips on the shelves. But lucky me, the next week they were there in abundance!  I have talked to several Lay’s re-stockers and some of them have never even heard of the Maui Onion flavour.

When I come back to Canada (and so far there are no Maui Onion chips in this country from what I’ve found), my car will always have several bags of my favourite flavour of potato chips — if I can find them.

Lay’s does have a snack finder on their website. All you need to do is select you product type (Kettle Chips), the flavour (Maui Onion) and put in your zip code. They even give you an option to buy online, but what I really need as a road tripper is a Maui Onion Finder App so I can see at a glance where I can track them down where ever I am.

Do you have a favourite chip or snack? Share it with me. I’d love to hear from you!

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Ontario countryside
Ruth and Mo's selfie at the airport

Ruth and Mo at the Toronto airport

Maureen (my mom) got on the plane from Calgary to Toronto at 5:30 a.m. on Monday morning — the start of the trip to Ontario. A few hours later, she’d landed at the Lester B. Pearson Airport, and Ruth was there, in her Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight. That’s the car they’ll be using for the upcoming road trip. Off they went to Ruth’s cottage, just over two hours away.

Staging the Cottage

The cottage is for sale, and Ruth and Mo will be busy getting it into sales shape, making it into, as my friend Nancy used to say, “the prettiest cottage in the area!” The staging will begin in earnest today, uncluttering furniture, moving some onto the porch and perhaps garage selling the excess, but that’s still not decided. The cottage is being sold turn-key, I believe, so everything included, still, the staging needs to be right to get the buyers interested!

I got a Magic Jack call from Maureen yesterday afternoon. I know many people who use Magic Jacks to make VoIP (Voice Over Internet) calls — but you do need to have an Internet connection to make them, so she called me from the local libray. Later, we switched to Facetime — she has an iPad and I have a MacBook Air, and Facetime is an easy way for people using Apple products to communicate with each other. She sent me some pictures she’s taken to upload them to the blog.

Ontario countryside

The Ontario countryside – Photo by Maureen O’Shea

Maureen said she and Ruth had had a wonderful lunch at the home of friends of Ruth’s and her dearly departed husband — but I’ll let her tell the story. However, the scenery is beautiful, as Ontario is, and I’ll share one of Maureen’s pictures with you so you can see it too.

Notre Dame Hounds and Wilcox, Saskatchewan

It was a quick chat for a couple of reasons. I’d published a story on Monday on The Hockey Writers about the Four Hounds in the Stanley Cup Finals – these are four boys who all went to school and played hockey at Notre Dame College in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, a school where my dad, Doc, my sister Bridget and I all attended — and my mom had volunteered for several years on their Alumni Board, so we have a lot of interest in the school. Since the Chicago Blackhawks won, and Hound Brad Richards had played such a great role in that last game, I’d spent part of the morning on the phone with 74-year-old Terry O’Malley — 3 time Canadian ice-hockey Olympian (one time bronze medal winner) and former Notre Dame Hounds‘ coach, about his memories of Richards as a Bantam AAA and Junior A player. And then, because he had a fishing story for me — about lobster fishing with Richards’ parents, Glen and Delight, and he mentioned a dear friend of my mom and dad’s, John Weisshaar, I had to give the Weisshaars a call. They live in Ontario now, and Johnny, a farmer, school bus driver, coach and team manager from Wilcox, can tell the stories and has a great memory for a guy in his 8th decade. I spoke to his wife Roseline for quite a while too..I’d visited them two summers ago, and I miss them, especially since they’re some of the handful of people left who were good friends with my dad. Roseline, who has had Multiple Sclerosis since 1958, has never let her disease stand in her way of being Roseline. That’s probably why they were chosen the Godparents for my younger sister, Lisa: great character and a great character!

I find it hard to believe that people like John and Roseline are getting older. In my mind’s eye, they’re still super active and in their 50’s. But not any more, now that’s me. Roseline tells me, “Colleen, it’s hard to get old.”

My mom was only at the library for half an hour and soon, Ruth was back from running errands and off they went again. Maureen has some stories in the pipeline which I know you’re going to love to read and hopefully we’ll get them published this week!

Happy Birthday to Deborah

Deborah Rowbotham

Deborah Rowbotham and her medals from the Huntsman Games

Today is my cousin, Deborah Rowbotham’s, birthday. Deborah will certainly enter into this blog from time to time, she’s one of my mom’s favourite road trip and golf partners. Happy Birthday, Debba Dear. Have a great day on the golf course (I know that’s what she’s got planned!) The picture of Deborah on the left (doesn’t she look great?) was taken after she and Maureen participated in the Huntsman World Senior Games in the golf category last year — but, as usual, that’s a story better left for Maureen to tell than me. It’s Deborah’s “Bus Pass” day, as my dad used to say, the day that seniors everywhere used to wait for to get reduced travel rates on public transportation. If, as my mom says, 78 is the new 65, then Deborah, you’re probably turning 50 today! Hooray!!!

And One More Thing…

You can follow my mom on Twitter — she’s @sevenpars (the day she shot 7 pars was a proud moment). She’s getting more and more followers, but her biggest follow so far this week is UK publication, Lady Golfer Magazine! Check them out. She only has 20 Twitter followers so far, so I’m impressed. Well done, Maureen, and Lady Golfer Magazine, my mom is certainly your target audience! Kudos to you too!

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