This morning I got up saying, “Ray I want to blog,” but I was able to wait until this evening.  And just now I finished some sautéed vegetables, and opened a Dove chocolate with a saying inside – “Sleep Late Tomorrow.”  So lots of time to write, here I go – not to worry, I will be brief.

My porch in background – where I love to live

I just cannot believe how much can develop in a week.  No travelling, but lots of travel plans fell into place.  When 2009, 2010, and 2011 started I worried how those years would fill up, particularly the last two when I decided to start travelling.  When this year started I had no such concerns figuring it would just happen – and it has.  Remember last Wednesday I told you about the email from Cunard?  Well, last Thursday morning, knowing it was a “bargain price” I booked 11 more days on Queen Mary 2 from NYC to NYC stopping in Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax, Saint Johns NB, and two days in Quebec City followed by a two day sail back to the city.  My Queen Mary friends told me I would get hooked and also receive bargain offerings.  This trip will see foliage along the way, and will be different with the port stops.  I was still considering booking a crossing to England in January 2013 for $900, and still may do it, but I will now be in London and England the end of October for a week or more.  David emailed yesterday and asked if I would travel with them to watch Alex and Lisa while they run a conference in London the end of October.  He had mentioned this earlier in the year, but they hoped that Mari’s parents may be able to join them from Italy, but that may not now happen, so off I go.  Well, yesterday I ordered Frommer’s LONDON WITH KIDS, and it arrives (via Amazon Prime) tomorrow.  Can’t wait to plan with Alex (while he and I spend a week together later this month) what he and Lisa would like to do in London.  Once they fly back to the states I will spend a few more days, rent a car and head to the British Heritage Car Museum and a Canal Museum at a minimum (hey, research on Narrow Boating on England’s Canals – I need to get a group together – any interest?)

This summer I was hoping to travel the Erie Canal by car (I took a cruise on the canal in 2008), and there has also been a Burlington to Montreal and return cruise that I have read about travelling up the Richelieu River and Chambly Canal – but I could not justify the

Flourishing – looking East down the drive

price which is much, much more that what my next Queen Mary 2 trip is costing.  It struck me two days ago, “Ray, you can see more along the way by car.”  And, that is what I am going to do.  98% sure I will leave sometime this weekend and finish up War of 1812 adventures in the Plattsburgh, NY area, and then head north.  There are forts, museums, scenery, and I am afraid that I will only scratch the surface of Canada’s Eastern Townships, but can plan more journeys.  In my preliminary research only about 6 percent of the population speaks English in this region.  Tonight I pulled my passport and Canadian money from my “secret place” and have it with my wallet so I will not forget them when I decide to pull out.  Actually the genesis of this trip comes from a “shunpiking” related book I recently found, WHERE THE OLD ROADS GO: DRIVING THE FIRST FEDERAL HIGHWAYS OF THE NORTHEAST.  There are chapters on all the US route numbers, and my initial thought was to travel up US 9 in New York, cross through Canada to US 3 in New Hampshire and travel down past the Connecticut Lakes which I have not done.  As this trek is developing I may not make it to US 3 this time – but no problem, there is the next time.  Not sure if I will make it this time, or next, to the library and opera house that straddles the border with one half in the US and the other half in Canada.  The benefactor wanted to provide culture to residents of both border towns – too much fun !!!

So what else happened this week?  David C. found that Blue Belle’s regurgitation of oil was due to an improperly seated o-ring on the oil filter.  The flow seems to have diminished, but there is still a residual drip so too early to tell since it could still be oil left on the engine (did not clock any miles since, sadly – but Black Beauty was out tonight), but I am sure she will be fine (remember if a British car does not drip some oil something is wrong – as David tells me).  I spent all day Sunday as an actor in a pilot TV film our star talent, Gail G., wrote and produced for Fact TV in BF, and today prepared and mailed the August edition of THE WALPOLE CLARION.  This past week Debbie H. (who came with the house along with my contractor Mike B.) painted the exterior of the shop and prepped the garage for me to repaint.  I painted the shop when we built it 10 years ago, and I have no idea when the garage was last done, but it is not bad.  Cathy would be pleased that I am trying to keep everything up especially as I am refinancing again reducing my payment to provide more travel funds.

And finally, as the title implies, my silly garden is flourishing and providing pleasure.

This “baby” is about 3 inches

When I included my neighbor, Jill, in my email advising of my last post she asked if I was using Word Press.  Yes, I replied, and she mentioned some on-line courses.  Well, you know me and research, and before you can say research I was corresponding with the instructor.  In looking at my blog he said I did not need the introductory course, but could learn a great deal with his second course using Word Press for my bookselling website.  Well, tuition paid, and that course starts on the 15th.

What else?  Enough for a week.  Catch you from Canada, as always, RAY

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3 Responses to A BLOOMING UPDATE – Part 2 – FLOURISHING FLORA – 2 August

  1. delores says:

    ray – this may be a duplicate email but i don’t the first went through… anyway… is the QM2 discount offers only good for you – or can you share with friends (hint)? the transatlantic cruise was my favorite – and would love to take another (cheaper is better). please keep us posted about english canal boating – would be fun (assuming reasonable air fare – well, i can dream). have fun this weekend. a couple weeks ago, we went to the fabulous sherburne museum and then toured the saratoga and bennington battlefields in NY. very interesting and well-laid out. see you soon. delores

  2. Marian says:

    You certainly are not letting any grass grow under your feet. -:) How wonderful to see you out enjoying everything. Your garden is progressing ever so nicely. Travel safely now.
    Hugs, Marian

  3. Roberta says:

    Hi Ray
    I am reading The Island Queen by Julia Older-It’s about Celia Thaxter and the axe
    murders on the Isles of Shoals- easy read!
    Next I am going to read Cold Water Crossing by David Faxon.
    Take care Roberta

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