We have our first ziplock bag!

Thanks Sandy Graves

We are now ready to rumble! Click on picture for close-up.


Road Trip Essentials with Canadian Content Holy Water – Lightning Beware




Close up of Glowing Rosary



Seeking advice when packing a trunk roughly the size of a kleenex box…..

So! it has come to my attention, that although Michele’s car is lovely to look at.2008-BMW-Z4-Coupe-3_0si-5



Trunk space is at a premium.



This is an issue.

I tend to be a bit of a pack rat.  All those years spent driving to hockey tournaments, Irish dancing competitions and annual visits to Tottenham have taught me many ingenious solutions to stuffing all of life’s necessities into whatever type of vehicle I happened to own at the time.

I spent years driving back and forth to Ontario while entertaining my kids with a full size television set crammed and bungee-corded between the two front seats of the van.  Entertaining my kids while I was fried by the over-heated t.v. tube which extended almost to the dashboard.  Volume on full and windows rolled up tight so Evan could hear way in the back.  Driving down the 401 with a string of cars behind me, trying to figure out how I was  playing Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone on a 20 inch screen.

Needless to say, cars I pack, look like this.untitled





So, what is a girl to do?

We turn to the internet, that’s what we do.  imagesCAUDFIS1

Here’s a sample of the advice I have uncovered.

Fold up the soft top accordion-style and stow it behind the seats. Leave the boot for your soft luggage. You’d be surprised what you can get in there.”

OK, it had never dawned on me the roof might have to go in the trunk.  Who invented these cars!!??


Pack like you’re packing to fly somewhere for a few days, but not going to check luggage.”

Hmmmmmm…… pack enough clothes for one day.  Travel for ten………  Check.


Soft luggage is the best way to go as it conforms to various shapes and can be somewhat mashed into tight places.   3 of these STUFFED full will fit in the trunk.”

Ok, this is useful.  Jettison the suitcase.  Hello duffle bag!  Michele, apparently we can only take three.  My clothes are larger than yours.  Please pack accordingly.


To keep your clothes tightly packed and well organized, zip them up in packing cubes, airless baggies, or a clothes compressor.”untitled

Now there’s an idea. Skip the duffel bags and go straight for Ziplocs with the air sucked out of them. Every night we can re-inflate our outfits for the next day. Toting the vacuum cleaner to deflate the bags may be a tad unwieldy!


I’ve lived for over a week out of a backpack smaller than a Lotus’ boot, including a sleeping bag, tent, and booze. Be creative, add lightness. Put the booze in lightweight ceramic lined thin metal vessels.”

Now this is useful advice.  Although I am afraid to find out what a “Lotus’ boot is” , great suggestions on packing booze.


“Spread out everything you  think you might need on the living-room floor. Pick up each item one at a time  and scrutinize it. Ask yourself, “Will I really use this snorkel and these fins  enough to justify carrying them around all summer?”

Check. Ditched the snorkel and fins.


So there you have it.  Michele and I will be travelling with airless, oddly-shaped, glad bags of clothes mashed into all available spaces.  Toiletries optional.  Bags of wine slipped in the glove box.

We can do this.  There must be a Patron Saint of  Less Luggage around here somewhere.


Mary on the Dashboard…….

This is not a religious post, despite the lead-in….

When I stop to reflect, I realize that religious icons have been with me at every important juncture of my life.

Although I know I was baptized, and there were religious icons most certainly present, the earliest personaimagesl recollection that I have is the array of medals and scapulars attached to my undershirt when I was around five. My relatives, thinking that we needed extra special intervention, never hesitated to attach additional hardware. I was outfitted like a five star general! I clanked everywhere I went! If I had fallen in a puddle I would surely have drowned!

It also made me feel invincible.

When I moved out ofimagesCAEVUFI3 the House shortly after turning 18 my father provided two house-warming gifts. A pint of whiskey and a St. Christopher medal that said “in case of emergency call a Priest”. 
Apparently this was the pre-911 option. I drank the whiskey and wore the medal.

At twenty-four I headed off to Egypt with St. Christopher medals in my luggage thand a necklace that looked suspiciously like rosary beads around my neck. It was around this time that we found out that St Chris had been de-sainted. It actually happened in ’69, but apparently this kind of news travels very slowly. I decided to keep him anyway. I felt an affinity for his situation.

At twenty-nine I hung rosary beads on the clothes-line as a vague homage to Catholic/voodoo/Newfoundland witchcraft, and to get good weather for my wedding day. It worked.

At thirty two I hung rosary beads from my kids curtain rods, based on a vague memory I had of my grand-mother warding off lightning bolts and evil spirits. She also used liberal sprinkles of holy water but I had to draw the line somewhere.imagesCA3J9DWN

In my early forties I traipsed the kids across Canada in a 10-year old van with rosarycac47dcdad63e5f7345a192775bc8145 beads draped around the mirror. They stayed there for years, until one day I noticed them gone. It might have been when Evan started to drive. I hid another set under the seat.

In 2005, my house wouldn’t sell and we were in danger of losing the little cottage we had our eye on. After 13 weeks, I caved to my sister and buried St Joseph in my garden. The house sold three days later. I dug him up and he made the rounds at my office, assisting other home-sellers and ensuring garden aeration. (there’s even instructions and kits you can buy! ) http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/stj01002.htm

Now Michele and I are heimagesCACY33EJading out on our cross-Canada adventure. We will be travelling with Mary on the dashboard, the de rigueur accessory in all Catholic cars when I was growing up. Ours was glow in the dark.  I hope I can find another one like it.

We will also likely be traveling with St. Chris. I still like him.
And, old habits die hard.

So despite, being a non-practicing Catholic. I still love the icons. They can’t hurt and they just might help. And, they still make me feel invincible.

That, and seat-belts.


The Chicks Itinerary……… this is a looooong post, you might want to get a beverage

We are posting in advance in case those named below need time to get out of town!


Saturday August 24, Louisbourg, Nova Scotiauntitled
Taking in the LouisRocks! Concert at Fortress Louisbourg featuring Matt Anderson and J.P. Cormier
Overnight in Sydney,NS with the Pow Wow’s!!!! (Ella McQuinn, Linda Gourlay, Mary Tulle, Katharine Mott and Yvonne Van Dinther)Pictou, Subd. A-20120908-00478

Sunday August 25
Cabot TrailCabot-Links-Hole-4e-1153x801
Overnight at Cabot Links, Inverness, Nova Scotia

Monday, Aug 26
Long drive day
Overnight in Montreal with Miss Jenna Furey

Jenna is thrilled we are coming!!

Jenna is thrilled we are coming!!

Tuesday, Aug 27
Short drive day
Overnight in Ottawa with Karen Johnson376763_10151010417196835_892008094_n

Wednesday, Aug 28
Whistle stop trip to Niagara Falls
Stop in Ajax to see Julien, Celine and Mason d’Entremont993770_149607868558722_992822684_n

Stop in Toronto to see Nicole d’Entremont and John Pozeg1001475_10151578332524125_737323149_n

Stop in Burlington to see Bev(Power)Martin 268084_10150705806445438_6647804_n

Overnight in Niagara Falls with Mom and Bob227810_417175351677224_1171080449_n

Thursday, August 29
Stop in Tottenham to see the Majors403746_107489222755341_1959121259_n

New addition!! We are visiting Joe and Donna Pozeg in Wasaga BeachIMG_2531

Set out on the Canadian Shield, possible whistle stops on Georgian Bay
Overnight in Sault Ste. Marie

Friday, August 30
Overnight in Thunder Bay

Saturday, August 31
Overnight in Winnipeg with Patti Jones225469_4581195900_1933_n

Sunday, Sept 1 Sunday or Monday we will be visiting with Karen(Sweet)Cantwell272_25878894895_3064_n

Monday, Sept 2 ? We are leaving these days in case all does not go as planned…….

Tuesday, Sept 3 ?

Wednesday, Sept 4
Overnight Sun Peaks, BCimages

Thursday, September 5
Arrive in Vancouver!

Leave a note if you made it this far 🙂

Starbucks vs. Tim Hortons


For years I thought Michele made terrible coffee. It didn’t taste like Tim Hortons, it tasted burnt and vaguely like paint peeler. I tried to drop gentle hints like, “Holy God! this is terrible”, but to no avail.

And then I discovered, she was doing it on purpose! She liked strong coffee! And not just strong coffee, but “west coast coffee” from a place called Starbucks, which, at that time, hadn’t made its way to our fine Province.

Deep analysis of this issue is obviously required.

Is it an issue of class? Let’s listen to a wise fella from King St in Frederiction.

Is it the rate of caffeine delivery to the blood stream?
Holy smokes! Starbucks is double my cuppa.


Well, Rex Murphy sums it all up for me,

“Timmys and Starbucks are polarities. Shadow and light that cannot mingle lest the earth and all who sip upon it should be let fall from orbit and the Great Barista have us plunge into the espresso machine of the sun.”

So there you have it. We will have to make two stops every morning. There is no other solution. And peace will reign inside our little car.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”

Twenty Years From Now You Will Be More Disappointed By The Things You Didn’t Do Than By The Ones You Did Do..... attributed to Mark Twain

….with a happier ending……


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