Slow and easy Sunday

After the long few weeks, it feels good today to stay in bed late, cruise the blogs, work on my extensive christmas wish list.  A even worked on one for Mom – very hard for her to d, but she did a great job with it.

Yesterday we were exhausted, after the very long day Friday (I’ll work my way back to it) but we got going and went into Bangor to pick up the car, have lunch and do a little shopping with sister-in-law L.  We went to Aunt Nellie’s attic, a thrift shop in Holden, which was having 1/2 off sale.  got some nice cashmere yarn, and a misc bag of yarn, total price 43!  And a lampshade for 2 dollars. If I had measured other lamp shades, I would have gotten more, as we need a few.  But even full price, they are deals, there, so I will get more someday.  We also went to the Down East Sticks and Stones shop so I could get some beads for Christmas presents.  Stayed focused, so did not spend a lot, ut there is a lot there to look at and get inspired by!  Lunch was at Green Tea, our favorite asian restaurant.  They have chinese, Japanese and Thai food, never had anything bad there.  Yesterday was no exception, it was all delicious.  Then over to the mall area to Bed Bath and Beyond for some wandering. Very expensive wandering as they have lots of things we like and “need” and we threw lots of them in the cart.  I got a closet light, which I have been wanting for a long time.  It might not be the final one, but it will serve until I figure out how I want to light that closet.  Also got an LED headlamp – I can now read in bed!  And use it for walks in the morning, so I can keep my hands in my pockets and warmer!

C can be happy that I rejected MANY noisy/bright/plastic suggestions for E’s Christmas present.  Not sure what we will get her, but it won’t be pop-up bunny slippers.  🙂

It was a good antidote day to help get past the misery of Friday.

Thursday night we left Bangor at 11 and headed for New Lebanon NY.  Traffic was very manageable, so we got there in just under 6 hours.  Much better than my past several experiences with it.  I guess time of year matters.  We stayed in a cute little B and B, the Churchill House, along with brother N and his family (minus college kids) and sister C and her family.  Dad and S and brother C and his A stayed up at the house, which is a short walk from the B and B.  Friday was cold and raw. A and I were awake early, so went for a walk up past the house to the old cemetery in the woods, which looks just like it always did – trees growing in it, leaves everywhere, crooked tombstones – great Halloween haunting site.

B and B gave us a great breakfast,  and then we all got dressed and headed over to the cemetery.  Lots of standing around waiting, as almost everyone traveling up from NYC and CT was late.  Service was very nice, minister is the daughter of one of Ma’s oldest friends, so it was very personal. But it was very hard to stand there in the cold raw weather, knowing Ma was going to be there forever now. Had to just keep thinking that where she really is it is summer and warm and there are dogs running free around her.  Dad arranged for us all to gather for lunch afterwards, and we huddled around the fire there, but I never got warm again until late that night driving home.  It was nice to visit with cousins who were able to stay, and I was sorry that the youngest of us all had to go back to go to work, so we didn’t get to visit with him.  Lunch lasted several hours, and then A and I followed Dad back up to the house to see all the work he has done on it – it looks really nice.  He added a dormer and really opened up the loft, and redid the kitchen so it is useful now, instead of barely functional.  We left there just before 5, and did the long drive home.  Hit absolutely NO bad traffic the whole way, were home by 11, absolutely exhausted and drained.  Kittens were very glad to see us, but not so glad when we just fell into bed, no playing or anything.

I did learn that even the simplest hat pattern should not be knit in the dark, so did not accomplish much in that regard this weekend.  But I will somehow get all the Christmas knitting done!

Sister C is going to approach the rest of the family to see if they want to do a Yankee Swap instead of presents for everyone. I have suggested it before to no avail, so I told her she should try it, maybe she will get a different response than I did.  It would make some shopping a whole lot easier! But I would still give the kids presents, and the things I have already knit, I think I would give to the person I intended to.  We’ll see what everyone says.

birthday weekend in St Andrews by the Sea

St Andrews is one of my favorite places to visit – but amazingly, I have never stayed there over night, just always made the mad dash up, shopped and driven home.

Well those days are OVER! A and I found the cutest little place to stay – Seaside Beach Resort – catchy name, right? (www.seaside.nb.ca) It is just outside of town, at the edge of the historic district.  The proprietor has restored a whole compound of houses and barns and built little cottages – all with pine interiors, very compact, but with all amenities.   If I had to guess, I would say there are boats in his background.  And yes, that is a guess.  But beyond really cute little cottagey apartments and cabins, there is a huge expanse of green lawn, new and mature plantings and trees, decks that go right down to the water (OK, at high tide.  To the beach the rest of the time) and the world’s most comfortable wooden chairs and tables along a short board walk.  And it is all in the prettiest seaside town with the nicest shops and restaurants.  By my reckoning, anyway.

Best part?  Cottage craft yarn store is still there, still unbelievably underpriced, AND there is a brand new scrapbooking store directly across the street from the cottages.  Yes, I was in heaven! I got yarn to make a sweater – 100% wool.  $35 american.  I don’t know if he did the exchange rate backwards or WHAT, but I paid the money and took the yarn. Scrapbooking store was totally a surprise, and thus, unfunded.  A gave me all the Canadian money we got back from an ice cream purchase, and I made that $13.50 go FAR.  The young woman running the place just opened it in December, and she already had a sale bin – yes! It is a nice bright room over her garage, not a huge selection, but good variety of items.  Lots I wanted.  Made me wish we had paid for the ice cream with a $50 or something. (http://hendersonscrapbookingcompany.blogspot.com/)

And the sun was shining on Saturday, we did all the retail therapy we wanted, had a good lunch at the Gables restaurant on their wonderful shady deck,  checked in to the “resort” and sat on the board walk reading for a few hours.  There was a heavenly breeze, so not hot, no bugs.  Had a supper of snacks in our little cottage, and flaked out early.  But not before we walked on th beach, tried the water (too cold to swim in, even for me) found lots of sea glass, but only clam shells, and scoped out all the empty units. Some of the floor plans are strange, but clearly the place was designed to meet the needs of travelers with families who love the shore. Today we were going to sit and have breakfast on the board walk before heading out, but awoke to low clouds and the threat of rain, so after a walk around town early,  we ate a restaurant (the Chef’s Special) and then headed out.  No sweat returning to the US – new border crossing very smooth, easy to navigate, pleasant border patrol guy. He even let me keep the pumpkin seeds I forgot I had with me (bought in the US, never taken out of the package, but still not allowed!)

I have already warned A we are going back, and thought about how I would keep her entertained if we went for more than one day.  Of course, I think there is plenty to do, but we might have to bring a bike and a couple of kayaks!

The best part of all this?  Low season rates apply until 6/15 (they come back into effect after Labor Day, too!), so we got it all at a discount.  Exchange rate isn’t great, but even so, it wasn’t that expensive a trip.  Gotta love it!

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