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Milestone birthday near Meaford

It's a grey day at the farmette. Got a little bit of rain yesterday, after the tree guy left the property. Matthews Tree Removal arrived, early in the morning with the big boom truck and wood chipper to take down a couple of dead trees, clean up the lilac bush and remove some sketchy limbs.

There was one dying maple branch right over the deck loveseat that I like to lounge on, and every time I was out there, I could just see it falling and clonking someone (me) on the head. Gone now. Whew.

Derek and his son were very efficient and cleaned up everything by noon.

On Thursday, we went to a celebratory dinner for brother-in-law Brian over near Meaford at Ted's Range Road Diner. Not the most upscale ambience and the local wildlife like to visit (more on that later), but the food was excellent and the now-60 year old specifically requested the venue.

Brian's in good shape and had to show us a video of him slalom water skiing the weekend before. Not bad for a guy that just got a hip replacement a few months ago. He's a hard-working businessman with two CarQuest outlets who sometimes likes to act like a gruff old poop but in reality is a softie - especially when it comes to his daughters.

The Thorntons came out in force. Brian's sister Jennifer and her family. Uncle Ed and Aunt Shannie. Uncle Paul and Aunt Carol Ann. Rob and I. And, of course Sandy and Brian, Rachel and Zach and Erin and Nick. We were so many that we took up two tables. Here's the motley crew.

We had a fantastic time eating, catching up, reminiscing and joking around. Then the uninvited guest arrived in the form of a garter snake, who decided to check out the restaurant. The front door was open because it was really hot, and Ted's doesn't have air conditioning.

So the not-so-little reptile slithered in to see if there was any good eating. After a kerfuffle accompanied by a bit of shrieking, oohing, aahhing and scraping of chairs, one of the staff picked it up and tossed it outside. Seemed like s/he was a regular. Sandy got this pic in the parking lot before s/he went back to foraging for more native fare.

Fun, wow. So great to have wee adventures with friends and family in Grey County. Until next week.

Gratuitous cat photo courtesy of Calvin (upside down) and Hobbes, who regularly like to take up ALL the space on my oversized chair.


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