Margaret and Janette's North

Bay Adventure

June/July 2012
Day One: Wednesday, June 27th My alarm was set for 8:00 am but by 6:00 I felt like I could no longer settle so I had my shower and got dressed. I put on my black pants and the light blue floral T-shirt I had originally embroidered for my mom, made myself a cup of coffee and had a banana with lemon yogurt and one of the blueberry muffins Janette had brought. Dave had already left for work and Janette was still sleeping so I went on the computer for awhile until she got up. While I was getting ready to leave I listened to Culture Club's Greatest Hits while I did the dishes. I wanted to make sure I'd packed everything I needed. Most of it was done last night but there were still bits and bobs here and there and I kept feeling like I was forgetting something. Last night I had finally finished the second panel on Joey's mural. It was a picture of her dog, Biscuit. I'd worked on it for months and now I'd started work on the third panel, one of her riding her horse Echo along a trail through the woods.

Above: the first two panels for Joey's Mural: Echo (left) and Biscuit (right) I felt like I had so many loose ends to tie preparing for this trip. Besides Joey's project, I had also started a line of new “Collector's Edition” soft sculpture carousel horses based on Janette's “Honeymoon Horse”

I'd made the first one for a project in art class and the idea sort of snowballed out from there. I'd already made three and I have six more to go plus tails for nineteen more. On Monday I set out and did my errands. First I went to Black's because I wanted to get a new memory card for my camera. 4GB gets used up so quickly. And I already sacrificed my 6GB card to my digital picture frame for the Symposium so I could show pictures of the things that were too big to bring. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw memory cards that contained 34GB! I asked how much they cost. Over $50. I thought I might shop around and see what I could find for less but just then somebody's baby just HAD to start screaming. I plugged my ears and ran, told the saleslady I'd be back in a few minutes, fumbled around with my MP3 player and then I went back into the store and decided to buy the 34GB chip after all. Why not? $54 for that much GB memory is a steal compared to what I used to spend on film and developing in days of yore! As I left the mall the White Oaks bus was right there so I waved my hat to the driver and made the mad dash on board. Wouldn't you know it. There was baby stroller #2, so I headed for the back of the bus and turned up my music. At least it wasn't a long bus ride. I was glad that the Shopper's Drug Mart at the Kendalwood Plaza had a post office so I could finally mail the Crawfords the buttons I'd made for them. I tried to do that downtown the other day but the computers were down. At Fabricland I found my yellow broadcloth and pink and yellow felt but no lime green. I remember my teacher saying she'd gotten hers at Micheal’s. I had a quick look in the dollar store but didn't see anything that appealed to me. I must have JUST missed the bus because I waited nearly half an hour for the next one. Wouldn't you know it. Baby #3 on board. So I made my way to the back and turned up my volume. I had to turn it up even louder because, of course, the kid started to scream. The guy sitting across from me gave me a sympathetic look. I bet he wished he had an MP3 player too! Tuesday I went to Micheal's. I found my light green felt and several skeins of embroidery thread. It was a peaceful baby-free journey in both directions.

However, when I got home and wanted to print “Certificates of Authenticity” for my Honeymoon Horses, my printer gave me attitude. So I went to Rapid Reproductions and was glad they could print the rest then and there. Unfortunately, I had a scare when I wanted to pay with my debit card but couldn't find it! The last place I remembered using it was the post office so the lady phoned for me but they hadn't seen it. I was becoming frantic so I literally tipped up my backpack and dumped that compartment out onto the floor! There was my card! Praise the Lord! What a relief! The last thing I needed was to go all the way downtown and have to deal with my bank. It was quarter to nine last night when Janette finally arrived and I still hadn't packed yet because I dreaded the chore of having to UNPACK my suitcase first before packing it. So much of my merchandise was in there, so I asked Dave for three shopping bags. One was for T-shirts, I gathered dolls in one bag while Janette gathered up all the teddy bears in the other. I packed my clothes for the upcoming week, put the Honeymoon Horses and their materials in a red bag in my suitcase and the material's for Joey's project in a smaller blue bag in my suitcase. I put Waddle and my doll in my backpack and looked at the wardrobe Janette had brought for hers so I could chose the matching outfits for mine. At least we both slept well last night and we were ready to go when Jean's car pulled into the driveway. Our first stop was the cemetery to visit my parents' grave. Last time I was there was about a year ago when we'd put my mom's ashes into the ground. There had been a nice little trap door. Ten years ago when we'd buried my dad's ashes all they had was a hole in the ground covered by an unceremonious flap of AstroTurf! Now mom's name and dates were engraved on the stone. We took a few minutes to reminisce about the good times my family and I had together. As we drove along I pointed out places from my childhood memories and noticed how much everything has changed. Our next stop was Haugen's where we went for lunch. This place is famous for its barbecued chicken and a favorite place for family gatherings over the years. Janette had the quarter chicken, Jean had the club wrap and I had the Western and picked up the tab for us. Janette bought an apple pie for when we get to Aunt Anne's. Our penultimate stop was the Bulk Barn in Lindsay where we bought several treats to snack on. I bought chocolate rocks, yogurt-covered raisins and peanuts, chocolate-covered blueberries and Fiddlestix and Janette bought several different kinds of cookies, M&M's chocolate “yummies” (discs with sprinkles) and raspberry “eclairs”. We haven't had those in years! She also bought Jean a package of assorted teas. On our way to Fenelon Falls we passed through Cameron where we saw the house where Janette and her family used to live. The place doesn't look the same anymore. Gone are the black shutters and the house is covered in sort of a khaki-coloured aluminum siding. We talked about stopping in Fenelon Falls but decided we'd wait until tomorrow. When we arrived at Anne's I gave her and Jean the personalized shopping bags I'd bought

when Janette and I had been our Niagara trip back in April. Before we had much of a chance to rest, Aunt Anne asked if we'd water her plants. This usually takes her about an hour. We filled up the watering cans from the rain barrel and between the two of us got them done in less than 20 minutes, minus the window boxes. We helped steady the ladder while Anne watered those. I also phoned the Horseless Carriage to make an appointment for a tour tomorrow around noon. Jean is taking us into town tomorrow. There's a really cool antiques/ secondhand shop in town plus a great dollar store just a few doors down. The lady at the Horseless Carriage said that the man who does the tours has a really bad cold and may develop laryngitis. Don't be surprised if they cancel tomorrow, We've been hanging out here in the basement for the past couple hours. It's so cool and quiet down here. It looks really nice down here too. For the longest time this basement was in shambles due to flooding but my aunt's got it all fixed up. Day Two, Thursday, June 28th, 2012 After we watered the plants yesterday we spent some time working on the gorgeous jigsaw puzzle Joey had left for us. We helped Aunt Anne peel potatoes and then we went back to work on the puzzle while she cooked supper. That night we had roast beef, mashed potatoes and mixed veggies and for dessert we had some of that apple pie with butterscotch ice cream. We basically had a quiet evening drifting about, working on the puzzle and reading. We both geared down fairly early although Janette was too excited to sleep and wanted to do more reading. So she read while I just mellowed out in my sleep mask. It was so peaceful around here that I decided I'd try sleeping without earplugs for a change, just enjoying the sounds of nature. I ended up having to put them back in after all because at least twice I was startled awake by sudden loud, high-pitched noises outside. Could have been a bird, could have been a dog, just a short, shrill yelp. (We had a major case of the giggles the following night when I said it might have been Ace Frehley wandering around outside after too many drinks: “AWK!”) At least when I did sleep I slept quite well, although once I accidentally poked Janette in the face reaching for one of my stuffed animals. I had both Waddle and The Cat in bed with me and Janette had Fluffy. Fluffy's been everywhere over the years and no doubt Waddle's done his share of traveling. Aunt Anne's dog, Marnie, hasn't been very well lately. She's getting quite old and the vet has informed Anne that it may be a matter of weeks. Every now and then we hear the poor dog having coughing fits. Anyway, we were up bright and early this morning. I wore the KISS T-shirt I bought on our last Niagara trip today and Janette is wearing the T-shirt she bought last weekend when she was there to see Nik Wallenda. Her shirt is black with “Niagara Falls” in big white letters and

multicoloured neon paint splatters which just happen to match my multicoloured neon toenails! We enjoyed a breakfast of bran flakes with banana slices and fresh raspberries, hard-boiled eggs and “Monkey” bread. Then Jean picked us up and drove us into Fenelon Falls where first we went into this nice little gift shop where I bought Dave a turtle fridge magnet and myself a pair of horse pins that I put on my hat. Janette bought herself a cute T-shirt with bees on it. Then we went to the antiques and collectibles shop. I bought an Archie comic digest (Yeah right as if I NEED anymore, hah-ha. I just gave away a ton last Christmas) and some Barbie doll clothes. There were some cute jackets I knew would fit my own doll but I knew I could recycle all these colourful ruffles and bits of iridescent fabric to decorate some of my carousel horses. The suit of armour and the two wooden horses I saw last year weren't there anymore. Janette didn't buy anything so she went ahead while I waited to make my purchases. The guy ahead of me was having problems with his debit card. By the time I was finished paying for my purchases, Janette had already seen the dollar store. There wasn't that much to see there this time. Last year I bought all kinds of lovely craft supplies but this year it was pretty much all party supplies, We then made our way to the used book store. It was great! The man who runs this place is really passionate about his work. Not only does he have books for sale but coffee and a selection of baked goods. I bought several books including more Archies, “As the Pig Turns”, “Something Borrowed”, “Five People You Will Meet in Heaven” and A Million Little Pieces”. At least three of these are “unfinished” stories so to speak. The book club at the CMHA clubhouse had read “Five People You Will Meet in Heaven” but I never got to finish reading it with them because of my Coffee Cart job. Same with “A Million Little Pieces”. I enjoyed that book but they stopped reading it because there was too much swearing. At least I'd seen the movie of “Five People You Will Meet in Heaven”. And I saw the movie of “Something Borrowed” on my flight to Denver but I never got to see the whole thing because I had to go to the bathroom so I paused the touch screen but couldn't get it to start again. I also happened to notice JUGGLING PINS behind the front desk. So I asked the man if he juggled. Sure enough, he said he'd entertain us. He told us he'd been wanting juggling pins since he was 12 years old so he ordered a set on the Internet. On the day they arrived in the mail, an hour and a half later his dad came over and brought him ANOTHER set of juggling pins! Janette treated us to raspberry coconut tarts while I filmed the man juggling for us. When we got back to Aunt Anne's place we had a quick lunch of roast beef sandwiches. Then we set off for the Horseless Carriage. During our walk we saw Joey and her husband who slowed down in their truck to briefly chat with us. Their three dogs were there too; Biscuit, Oreo and Shady. At the Horseless Carriage, we enjoyed an amazing tour and saw so many wonderful things;

antique cars, music boxes, barrel organs, record players. I filmed plenty of video footage: One thing the man showed us was an advertising clock. Every 30 seconds it would flip down a new page. I had to secretly chuckle because I thought about my digital picture frame. We got talking and I mentioned my Carousel Project. The man said why not just have my carousel right HERE!! He'd be happy to use the space on his property! He also mentioned a man he knew in the amusements business, John Robinson from Albion Amusements who actually has several empty carousel frames I can populate with my own animals!Wow! This sounds too good to be true! We bought a few interesting injittiments in the gift shop. I bought a cute pair of crafted leather earrings. They had all different kinds shaped like different animals. I just couldn't resist the PIGS!! I'll probably wear them tomorrow. When we got back to Aunt Anne's place there was a birthday present waiting for me on the dresser. My birthday is exactly a month from today and Aunt Anne's is close to mine. I can never remember if it's the 25th or 30th but in any case I want tho get her something in North bay. Janette suggested another Siamese cat ornament but my aunt doesn't really collect them that much anymore. In fact she just got rid of several to make room for other things. Many of the newer ornaments match the colour scheme of her décor. We then rested and napped for awhile until 3:00 and then we walked over to Jean's place. It had gotten even hotter and the walk took longer. When we got there Jean showed us the mural she'd put together with all the panels I'd embroidered for her:

Jean's niece Danielle was also visiting. Daniel's expecting a baby. She also has this little dog who's wearing a collar that gives him a shock whenever he barks too loud. Janette and I were both thinking the same thing... Janette had a glass of red wine and I had two glasses of white. There was fruit to snack on and chips. The walk back from Jean's to Anne's place didn't seem quite as long. Since we've been back we've been hanging out in the basement where it's cooler. I'm happy to say that on Wednesday Anne's driving us home. It's so nice and cool down here! I wish the basement bathroom was still functional. Ascending the staircase is like walking into an OVEN! It makes me sad to think that both Anne and Jean are thinking of moving within the next 5 or 6 years and either going back to Flesherton or Owen Sound. Even though my mom's house looks deserted I still think of this area as home and it won't be home anymore without their places to go to! Day Three, June 29th, 2012 10:10 am Everything was going fine until just outside of Huntsville. How do I make this horrendous anger go away. Especially if Aunt Anne won't stop yelling at me. I wish we'd never embarked on this journey but I can't very well be left here in the middle of nowhere either. Honestly, I feel like I want a fucking cigarette. How am I going to survive the rest of this journey. 12:15 Waiting to check in. Managed to score a cigarette—make that FOUR for a dollar even though I only needed one. This has been a very tense journey. All I did was complain once about the washrooms at that place being closed until 11:00 and Aunt Anne went ballistic on

me. If that wasn't bad enough, after I came out of the washroom across the road she continued to yell and lecture me about my manners and my behaviour. She went on and on and on and on and on and on and on. Do the words “Leave me alone” and “I don't want to discuss it any further” not mean anything even if I said PLEEEEEASE! I sat in the car and cried for what seemed like forever while Aunt Anne and Janette sat outside the place having a coffee. I think Aunt Anne over-reacted but there's no point discussing it any further. I wouldn't be surprised if tensions were already starting to mount just outside of Kinmount because I was freezing from the air-conditioner and had to put my jacket on. I tried to do it when I was sitting in my seat but my jacket and seat-belt became horrendously intertwined and my aunt had to pull over because I nearly strangled myself in this situation and had to get out of the car to get myself untangled and couldn't do so without her having to pull on my sleeve to get my arm out. I hope nothing else stupid happens on this trip. At least my cigarette has taken the sharp edge off this horrendously cranky feeling. Last night when we got back from Jean's place we hung out in the basement and read until supper time. For supper we had sausage on a bun with sauerkraut ad other condiments, veggies and potato salad. Then Janette had a bath while I worked on the jigsaw puzzle. Then I had a bath while Janette and Aunt Anne worked on the puzzle. I read one of the Archie comics I'd bought at the used book store while I soaked. Aunt Anne's bathtub is nice and big but horrendously slippery. I couldn't help worrying about how I'd get out without falling but somehow I'd managed to do so. When I was finished with my bath Janette and Anne had completed the whole outside edge of the puzzle. At least I slept reasonably well. Janette and I were both awake bright and early. It seemed to take forever until we were finally on the road. At some point during the journey we saw a deer cross the road. I forget where. I've basically been feeling like shit ever since my aunt bawled me out even though I've been trying to act perfect and pretend everything is okay. It's hard to act perfect when you're still feeling pissed off. When my feelings are hurt they're hurt for a long time and there's no point trying to defend myself in this situation. 7:15 pm Here we are. It seemed to take them forever to get our room ready and we watched them as they changed our sheets. The pillowcases won't be ready for another hour. I plugged in my MP3 player to recharge. When they were gone I started crying again. Janette could hardly wait to go downtown to see the book store but she decided it wouldn't be a good idea to leave me alone in the room. I decided to have a soak in the tub. After a good soak and a few hearty giggles over my Archie comics I was good to go. But I didn't know what to wear. I ended up in the same black

pants and rainbow tie-dye T-shirt I'd worn all day but I didn't put my pig earrings back on. We made our way to the used book store. I sat down with a book about scrap-booking while Janette did her own thing. I flipped through a few magazines feeling increasingly catatonic. Then I started reading Oprah's biography. I'd started to read it before in the library but remembered why I'd stopped. I went through the list of episodes and I just started bawling again. A lady came up and comforted me and I told her what my problem was. I said I was dreading my journey home because I felt like I was walking on eggshells because I didn't know what would set my aunt off. “Maybe she's the one with the problem.” she said. That made me feel a bit better. So as we left the book store I suggested to Janette that we go see the carousel after all. Last time Janette had seen this area, every-thing was under construction. Now there was an underpass where we made our way and the parking lot was all sand and gravel. It was like a dream to see the carousel in the distance. The Winter Wonderland carousel was in full swing but the North Bay Heritage carousel wasn't moving. It was broken! :( At least enough of its doors were open that I could take pictures of my beloved horses. I recognized them all from the pictures in the book; Dolly, Biscuit, Paddy's Pride, Sam, Jenny Lind and more! Janette and I went for a ride on the train and I filmed our journey: We then made our way to the carousel and had three rides. Here are some pictures I took of the Heritage carousel while it was out of commission:

I rode a hippocampus while Janette rode a rabbit: Then I rode a reindeer while Janette sat in the chariot. Last but not least, she rode a cute chipmunk in a pointy clown's hat while I rode a cougar. One thing that impressed me about this carousel was how massively HUGE these animals were. The carousel itself was small. In fact I could actually touch the ceiling! We then enjoyed some peaceful time down by the water's edge. Everything was so perfect, just watching the waves, feeling the breeze and hearing the birds sing. Here are some pictures taken at the Winter Wonderland carousel:

We then made our way to the bus terminal to use the washroom. We were amazed by all these bug we'd been seeing everywhere today in this area, around the carousel, in the underpass and all over the doors of the bus terminal. I'm not sure if they're May flies or dragonfly nymphs.

As we made our way downtown we decided to have our supper at a place called the Moose. We both decided on the half chicken dinner with sweet potato fries. And we both felt like we needed a good stiff drink. Janette had a Caesar and I had a beer. Her Caesar looked so god that when I finished my beer I had one too. Neither of us got a buzz and I had a pretty efficient headache. One pleasant bonus while we were there though is that KISS' “Detroit Rock City” was playing. On our way back to the hotel we stopped at the convenience store to get a few things. I bought a lighter, some tangerine shampoo and cupcakes. Janette bought cupcakes too and a few other things, As soon as we went outside I had a smoke. That seemed to make my headache go away. Now we're just vegging out in our room. A friend is not a fellow who is taken in by sham He is one who knows our faults and doesn't give a damn Day Four: Saturday June 30th, 2012 1:40 pm. Here I sit just outside the book store while Janette has a look around. We had trouble getting up this morning. My shoulders were really sore. I felt as I I were a rag doll that someone had picked up and twirled by the arms. I had several fretful dreams including one where we brought hard-boiled eggs to the motel room and I cracked one open only to find it entirely filled with an embryo. The embryo was wearing glasses and a red=andwhite beanie of all things. I must have had to go to the bathroom at least two or three times that night. It felt like the night would never end. At one point I had to turn off the air conditioner because I was freezing only to turn it back on again because I was too hot.

We gradually scraped ourselves out of bed and headed out for breakfast at a place called Nancy's. Janette had bacon and eggs with toast and home fries and I had pancakes with bacon and home fries. I could not finish my potatoes. I had to write down the poem that hung on the wall. We then made our way toward the carousel, having a look in the museum gift shop. I bought myself a couple post cards and a little train engine for Dave. I filmed video footage of the model trains that zoomed around on tracks near the ceiling. We were delighted to see that the carousel was actually running today. I was going to ride Dolly first but her saddle was way too small so I rode Biscuit. Dolly is based on Illions' “Flame” horse and Biscuit is a jumping version of Muller's “Ghost” horse. Janette rode “Dream Weaver”, an early PTC-style horse with all kinds of beautiful flowers. We then had a second ride. This time I was on Sir Winsalot while Janette headed for the other side of the carousel to ride the rocking Blue Heron chariot. My third ride was an inside-row armoured horse named Raphael while Janette rode an outside row horse. I forget which one. We then went for another ride on the train. After our train ride we decided to forget about any more carousel rides for the time being as the place was being taken over by the baby parade. We made our way back through the underpass where the acoustics made for some time of silliness, making crazy noises and listening to our voices echo to let off some steam:

Then we headed downtown where we had a look in the antique store which is also a shoe store. My eyes were drawn to a magnificent white Dentzel carousel horse mounted on a rocker.

Janette continued to look around the shop. I had to find a washroom. The lady recommended the one at Subway. It was so nice to use a toilet that doesn't TIP OVER! The one in our hotel room nearly threw me TWICE today! After having relieved myself I bought a bottled water and Janette and I headed for Pizza Pizza. She ordered the Super Classic and chocolate milk. I got the Mediterranean veggie slice and a Brio. I'm still feeling bummed out thinking about the situation with my aunt. At this moment Janette is still looking around the bookstore while I wait here on this bench. There was actually a brief sprinkle of rain. And now the shadows have shifted so my bench is now completely in the shade. There are dead Shad flies all over the place. Shad flies. That's what these things are called. The bugs that I'd thought were May flies or dragon fly nymphs. There were actually Shad fly T-shirts at the gift shop. Janette bought herself a purple one. 11:35 pm. When Janette came out of the book store we made our way into a couple other shops including one where Edna Scott had some of her work on display. She had several prints for sale, mostly flowers or carousel horses, and several carousel greeting cards. I chose one of Santa Claus riding a Dentzel thoroughbred. We then headed toward the ice cream shop. Sure enough there was a couple with a baby ahead of us. “Keep right on going” we quietly thought out loud. But in they went. We put on our listening devices and lurked in the shadows at the back of the shop until they were gone. They seemed to hang around forever. Each time we thought they were leaving they'd move down a few feet and stop for a few more minutes. They seemed to hover around in the doorway for ages. When they left I tapped Janette on the shoulder and pointed She held fort while I ordered my sundae first. Mine had peanut butter & chocolate and Chocolate Monkey ice cream with chocolate sauce, caramel, whipped cream and nuts. Janette had the same toppings with Tiger Tail and chocolate-chip cookie dough ice cream.

We found ourselves feeling irritable on our way back to the room. Still no toilet paper or pillow cases. I asked the manager and he said he'd work on it. Several minutes went by so I went back and asked if we could please have our toilet paper NOW? We only had two or three sheets left on our roll so he gave us two rolls. We still don't have our pillowcases. But at least we can live without pillowcases. We can't very well live without toilet paper. And during this time we also decided to give Edna Scott a call. We got into a bit of a kerfuffle because Janette didn't have her own cell phone number memorized and had to go searching for it. It turns out I had it in my little yellow address book all along but it never occurred to me to look there. Meanwhile I felt all stupid and embarrassed, worried that Edna might not want to have us over or want anything to do with us the way we were bickering when we were trying to call her. At least we'd just gotten her answering machine. Once again I felt under attack for being rude, making a fool of myself and making a bad impression. Fortunately, the phone rang less than five minutes later. Janette almost never receives incoming calls on her cell phone because she usually either talks to me when I call her at work or lets her voice mail take it. We were surprised by the sound of a good old-fashioned rotary bell. My landlord has the very same ring tone when I've heard him working downstairs at home. We were relieved it was Edna and she's looking forward to meeting us after all. She could totally relate to our kerfuffle as she'd been having problems with her own phone too. Bell had changed her system and she 'd just been spending the last three days trying to figure it out. She's picking us up here Monday morning at 11:00. I've put together a gift bag with a few goodies for her. We rested for awhile while I worked on the Collector's Edition horses I brought with me. Then we went to the Chinese restaurant for dinner. We were led to a funny little enclosure with curtains. Sure it was secluded but I found it oddly stuffy and a bit claustrophobic. I sort of half-joked to Janette that this is where they hide the ugly customers. Both our combos were basically the same except that I had shrimp and she had chicken balls. There didn't seem to be any alcohol served here so we just stuck with our water. Then when we got back to our room we had MORE DRAMA! Our toilet was CLOGGED! I went to the manager but I rang the doorbell several times and got no answer. A lady coming out of one of the other rooms told me he had just stepped out. “He's always just stepped out” I grumbled and immediately regretted having said that and hated myself all over again. Once again I was under attack for being rude as usual. I started having suicidal thoughts. I'd wished that I hadn't been born and that the world was a better place without me and that I can't do ANYTHING right! I phoned Dave crying wishing I were home and dreading the journey. Then Janette and I prayed together. There was a hissing sound in the bathroom. She flushed the toilet and it was fine. For now anyway. It's still not quite right. The manager came to our door with a plunger but we didn't need his help after all.

North Bay is a nice place and the people have really been kind, not to mention I've enjoyed riding on the carousels, but to be honest, I never want to come back here again. I've spent so much of this trip feeling too guilty and depressed to really enjoy it. My mind keeps going over and over all those other times I've screwed up and/or been yelled at. Tomorrow I want to call Dave again and ask him to make an appointment with Dr. Mistry for me as soon as possible. True he won't be able to do so until Tuesday but the sooner I see my shrink the better. I feel like my sanity has been hanging from a fine thread since youknow-when and I don't want to end up in the hospital when I get home. I'd be rich if I had a nickel for every time I've cried on this journey. Day Five, Sunday, July 1st, 2012 Here we are, sitting by the lake. Once again I woke up feeling depressed. The details on horse #4 are almost finished but I'm going to wait to do the hair because I forgot my scissors at Aunt Anne's. I keep entertaining the thought of just taking the bus home. Another thought straight from the enemy; “You're a useless waste of space and nothing but a burden to everyone in your life!” I then went and flushed my pig earrings down the toilet. Who cares that I paid $20 for them. I doubt I'll ever wear them again since I happened to be wearing them That Day. I'm the biggest pig of them all. Janette was getting hungry and suggested going ahead. I didn't want to be left alone in the room so I quickly got dressed. I'm wearing the psychedelic horse T-shirt today, the one with Einstein's Quote: Your Imagination is your Preview of Life's Coming Attractions As we left our room we met another guest staying a few doors down from us, an older man who was looking for a place to find water. We invited him to walk along with us so we could show him the way to the convenience store but it didn't open until 11:00 so we let him join us for breakfast. His name was Doug and it was nice to have somebody else to talk to. Doug has sure done a lot of traveling all over this country. After breakfast we made our way back to the carousel again. Janette rode “Paddy's Pride” and I rode “Hunter's Choice”. Toward the end of the ride a toddler started screaming so I popped on my MP3 player, remembering that the last song I'd heard yesterday was Kei$ha's “Tik Tok” When the ride came to an end I got back in line and I wanted to ride “Sam” but someone else had taken him so I rode “Emma” while I listened to “Tik Tok” in its entirety. It was a unique experience listening to my own personal soundtrack while riding the carousel so I knew I just HAD to go on one more ride while listening to KISS! I rode “Sam” while I listened to “I Was Made For Loving You”. Then Janette had one more ride on the carousel while I filmed her and waved as she rode by.

This time she was on “Dolly”. She was going to go for one more ride on the train. I noticed the increasing population of tots in strollers so I made my way to the benches along the lake shore and agreed that she'd catch up with me. As I walked to the benches I saw the train go by and waved, thinking she was on it. Then I remembered she wasn't wearing her orange sheep T-shirt today, She had gone for one more ride on the Winter Wonderland carousel, this time on the hippocampus. I have just been sitting here watching the boats out on the lake and here we've been ever since. 8:25 pm On our way back to the hotel we stopped at Nancy's for lunch. I had the BLT and Janette had the chicken wrap. We then went back to the Nutty Chocolatier where we had ice cream for dessert. Both of us each had a scoop of Tiger Tail but Janette also had a scoop of Chocolate Monkey and I had Bear Claw. While we were there I bought some Spearmint Leaves for Dave as well as a few packets of British Crisps; Steak & Onion flavour and Worcestershire sauce. I also bought Aunt Anne a box of chocolates. It's hard to find an appropriate combination thank you/early birthday gift when I am still struggling with feelings of anger and resentment. I feel like nothing's good enough. Nothing I do will ever be good enough and nothing I find could ever be appropriate. Besides, this is one of the few places open today. NOTHING is open tomorrow. We then went back to our room and rested for the next couple hours. Janette read while I worked on my horses. At around 5:30 or so we headed back out for supper. We found this place called Cecil's. We were glad they could make us MARGARITAS!! Janette ordered the fish and chips and I had the Philly cheese-steak. Unfortunately, our meal was ruined when a family with two little girls came along. The older one was six or seven and she was okay but she was expected to look after her younger sister who was an absolute holy terror. She kept running around all over the place and whenever anyone grabbed her and tried to take her back to her seat she'd scream and cry! Even our listening devices couldn't block her out. Especially since she kept wanting to hover around OUR table! We were so angry we wished we could just ditch the place and make THEM pay for our tab! Our Margaritas totally had no buzz because of their abominable behaviour!. Our next stop was the convenience store where we stocked up on chocolate goodies and I broke down and bought myself a pack of smokes. The cashier could totally sympathize when I said I wished I could score some POT!! I also bought myself a colourful ashtray that had a picture of a cannabis leaf with swirly colours. When we got back to our motel room I told Janette about something my dad said when I was a kid. It may have been a joke. He once said that the Irish once had something called “Point Roast”. They were too poor to afford to eat anything but potatoes and there'd be a small piece of meat on the table, not big enough to feed the whole family so while they were eating their potatoes they would point to the roast.

Well, I'm having POINT POT! Seriously I wish they'd legalize the stuff. The subject came up at the breakfast table with Doug this morning and again with the lady in the convenience store. Since we've been here we haven;t bothered with TV. I find the majority of stuff on TV nowadays seems to fall into three basic categories 1. Bad News, 2. Annoying Commercials 3. People Behaving Badly. No wonder the world is so screwed up and likely desensitized. Since I've been here I'm surprised to discover that my denim scalloped-edged Capri pants have actually gotten baggy on me! How could I be losing weight with all the crap we've been eating? Well, we have done a lot of walking and since it's not nearly as hot here as it is in Oshawa, walking hasn't been as strenuous. The climate has been great. I've really enjoyed the cool breeze off the lake. And maybe smoking, even if it has been in moderation, has increased my metabolism. Not to mention since yesterday I've been pooping like a plowhorse. It's a wonder that I wasn't the one who clogged the toilet but I probably gave it a good scare. 12:10 am Will I EVER get to sleep? While we were relaxing in our room we heard the sound of loud explosions. Fireworks!! We ran outside and were surprised and delighted that we could actually see them very well from our motel parking lot. What a thrill! We could probably see them just as well if not better than all the people who were crowded at the park! I filmed the whole show on my camera, I did it in three short segments because if I shot the whole scene continuously I was afraid it might be more difficult to upload when the time came. This will be something to look forward to on my MP3 player. I'm worried about Janette. She looks awfully pale. Neither of us have been in a very good mood this evening even though the fireworks cheered us up for awhile. Once again I am feeling depressed, hating myself. I feel fat, ugly and repulsive and I basically just want to crawl into a hole and die. I talked to Dave but ran out of cell phone minutes and got cut off without any warning. I have just felt so guilty and depressed for so much of this trip that I hope I don't end up in the hospital. I try to concentrate about the POSITIVE things about this trip. The carousel has NO WEIGHT LIMIT and there's a BATHTUB in our motel room. But I feel like my sanity and my health are dangling from a thread that has been gradually fraying. My head aches. I can't sleep. At least we're seeing Edna tomorrow. Fear of anymore drama has been a constant source of anxiety. I'm even afraid Janette and I may end up fighting. We've both been so irritable. I'm afraid I'm

not much fun to be around when I've been so depressed. Part of me just wants to hide from everyone and everything. One thing's for sure, I'll never take a dry bathroom floor for granted again! Day Six, Monday July, 2nd, 2012 8:10 am. Well I'm up and dressed. Running out of underwear so I washed two pairs in the shower. I also ended up washing my black pants in the sink. It is almost impossible to do anything in that place without making a wet mess. I thought I'd NEVER get to sleep last night. I could not get comfortable. My arms and legs were hurting right where they're attached to my body and my thoughts kept racing. I had this weird, hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach. I half expected to give up the ghost! 4:10 pm. Had a FABULOUS time at Edna's place! She came here to pick us up at 10:30 and we presented her with the gift bag containing Honeymoon Horse #2, a couple buttons and colouring books. First we went for lunch at this place near the golf course. The first thing we saw when we walked in was a baby so I suggested we eat outside. I'm glad Edna was understanding. Babies make me and Janette both as nervous as long-tailed cats in a room full of rocking chairs. We all ordered coffee, Edna ordered a salad and Janette and I ordered Nachos. I offered to treat us all. Everything tastes better outside anyway. It was nice not to have to hurry and it didn't matter that our food took so long to come. While Edna and I talked about carousels, Janette went off exploring. I showed Edna many pictures that were on my MP3 player. When our food finally came, Janette was quite a distance away. I went “YOO-HOOO!” so loud that I startled myself, not to mention the poor guy a few tables down from us. I found my food getting quickly cold because we were talking so much. It's so good to have a kindred spirit to talk about carousels with! We enjoyed the drive to her house. The weather was perfect and the scenery was gorgeous. The carousel was gorgeous although quite small. There was at least one Allan Herschell horse, a few small Hector Ortega figures including Porky Pig and Scrooge McDuck and a Dentzel prancer. There was also a zebra that had come from a track machine. It was fun taking pictures of Fluffy, Waddle and the dolls posed on all the different animals.

We took a ride in the bench together and then I took a ride on the Dentzel prancer. Then Janette had a ride on the Allan Herschell horse. Edna lives in such a beautiful house on such gorgeous property. A smaller building makes for a lovely little studio. She showed us the art she has chosen for her rounding boards. She has painted all the scenery panels on her own carousel. One of them had a picture of a deer. She mentioned how they've been eating everything in her garden except the Canterbury bells. In her living room she had a gorgeous scale model of all the animals from the Winter Wonderland carousel. All these animals are made out of Sculpey. There was also a beautiful rare German bucking bronco with a leather saddle in her living room.

We enjoyed sitting by the lake with cold drinks and buttertarts. Edna had a group of kids to entertain so Janette and I just hung out by the lake. Janette went off exploring while I just sat and rested. A cute little chipmunk went running by. I stepped into the water and waded for awhile. The problem with being left on my own too long is that my mind starts to wander. The Dark Cloud of Gloom was beginning to hover over me again. Before we left we had one more ride on the carousel. Janette sat in the bench while I rode the Dentzel mare again. On our way back to the motel we pulled up to Dr. Dafoe's house but it was closed. That was okay with me. Even though we had a wonderful time today I was glad to come back here for a nap. But so far I've done anything BUT nap! I've been working on embroidering my horses and writing in here. I'm very thankful for today's outing, It was nice to meet Edna and ride her carousel. If my Aunt Anne really does move out of her house 6 or 7 years from now I really wish I could buy her house. That extra cabin would make a perfect studio. But I need a car, I need a driver's license and I need a plan to get rich by the time I'm 55. At least I don't feel like I need a cigarette at this moment. Edna says they're talking about building more carousels. When and if I ever do go back to North Bay again we are taking the TRAIN and staying at the DAYS INN!! It's nice to konw there is one just down the road from here. I am so sick of the bathroom floor always being wet.

11:05 pm We set out for dinner at around 6:00. Both of us wanted something we could just take back and eat here in our room. Janette had her heart set on Chinese food from the place where we ate the other night but I found myself catting over their menu. It's funny but there's just something about that place that makes me feel irritable and klutzy. It's as if everything's closing in on me. So I decided to go to Mr. Submarine instead where I ordered a seafood wrap with black olives, hot peppers, mushrooms, tomato and pineapple. Janette had no cutlery so she fashioned herself a makeshift scoop from a piece of her lid. After supper I worked on my horses for the next little while. Horses 4, 5 and 6 are all completely embroidered, They just need their manes. I can't believe I'm out of purple thread. All those little details add up so fast. I dread trying to sleep tonight because I'm scared of being kept awake by racing thoughts again. I've been having so many flashbacks about working for Maggie. And the Hospital. I know this sounds strange but I honestly can't remember whether or not Aunt Anne visited me while I was there. I remember my mom and Jean. And I remember Dave and my in-laws. Why can't I remember if Aunt Anne visited me? There are huge holes in my memory from that experience and the days leading up to it. Maybe it's for my protection in case there are things I'm not supposed to remember. If I wasn't taking medication these days God knows where I'd be. The last thing I need is to be out aimlessly wandering the streets at night for no apparent reason. My meds keep me grounded and focused. I just wish my thoughts would shut up and let me sleep. It's enough to make me wonder if I should leave the light on tonight. Last night I had kind of a creepy dream about the circus. It was very strange and fragmented and made no sense. Day 7, Tuesday July 3rd I am happy to say it has been a peaceful and drama-free journey. It has been raining on and off all day. Janette and I had coffee and cinnamon buns for breakfast at Mr. Submarine. Before going back to the motel we checked out the counseling centre across the street. I needed to talk to a professional to help me cope with the idea of today's journey. I am very thankful for the lady whom I spoke with. She was very understanding and gave me good advice. Make sure I have my needs taken care of before I leave so that I'll be comfortable and both she and Dave had advised me to sit in the back seat on the way home so I'll have a little more privacy and personal space. Last night I started reading “A Million Little Pieces” by James Frey out loud to Janette. It is such a fascinating story about a drug addict in rehab. My group had started reading it at the clubhouse. It was kind of a release to read about someone whose problems were worse than mine. I'm curious to find out what made him like this. Checkout time was 11:00 but it was raining and we didn't have anywhere else to go so they let us stay in our room until my aunt showed up. While Janette was asking the manager about the room I had to go to the bathroom really badly. I heard her banging on the door while I was in there trying to hurry. We nearly had some more drama because we had one hell of a time

trying to get that crazy door open. I read more of the book to Janette. We were engrossed in the poor protagonist's ordeal at the dentist when my aunt showed up early. Tim Horton's wasn't as bad as I'd thought it would be. Janette went off to the visitor's centre while I stood in line with my aunt who placed our order and I picked up the tab for us all. Aunt Anne and I had egg salad sandwiches and Janette's was chicken salad. Janette gave me a couple bucks toward a pack of Tim-Bits. We ate in the car and were soon on our way. I listened to my MP3 player for awhile too until I noticed my aunt was singing. I turned off my own music so I could sing along with her to the Anne Murray CD she had playing. Along the way we took a wrong turn but the place we stayed at was a good place to take the dog out and Janette and I to take a washroom break. The rest of the journey seemed to go by quickly enough. Janette and I were glad we were taking a different route home this time so we wouldn't have to pass THAT place! Instead, we arrived via Fenelon Falls where we stopped at Sobey's to pick up a barbecued chicken and assorted salads for our supper. We are back at Aunt Anne's place now, having just eaten, resting in our room. I am so grateful for a dry bathroom floor and a toilet that doesn't keep tipping over and leaking! All in all I'm willing to give North Bay another chance again someday. Only next time we're staying at the Days Inn. And I'm willing to give Aunt Anne another chance again as long as I know how not to get on her bad side again. Frankly, I'm EXHAUSTED! I feel like I could sleep for a week!

I am still alive and well even though it was a major pain to write out my good copy of this trip. Everything is okay even though all I felt like doing was sleeping the first few days I came back from Oshawa. I have to laugh when I read the reviews in Trip Advisor about the place where we stayed: EVERYBODY HATES this place! NOBODY has anything good to say about it! I can't believe we stayed there FIVE nights!

And that book we were enjoying reading so much, A Million Little Pieces by James Frey—it was FAKE! The whole story was NOT real! I found out from Dave's nurse when I only had a few chapters left and Janette found out from a co-worker. No wonder Oprah was so mad! Surely there has to be some truth to it somewhere! Obviously he has to have done his research to create such a convincing tale. Meanwhile I haven't smoked another cigarette since the day after I got back and I know drugs won't solve my problem. It was probably for our own protection that we couldn't score any and mostly my anger talking to begin with. There WILL be a NEXT time and when there is we'll DO THINGS OUR WAY!!!

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