LIVING WITH SANDIE LEE

Here it is–no blog last week. I do have an excuse, well sort of. I was on a wonderful tour with the hubby. So I thought I’d share my experience with you. Well…my experience of eating across Canada because I feel although I was looking at all the beautiful country I was also eating every four hours. I should have gained twenty pounds with all the rich foods but only gained two. Guess that was from walking it all off after each meal!

DSC00202This is called poutin. French fries with brown gravy and white cheese curds. It was almost like eating chili fries, but not as spicy. Chili fries, my grandson’s favorite. This restaurant was called 3 Brasserie in Quebec City. Our second day of tour.

Day One; We flew into Montreal a very long day. Up early the next morning and headed out to tour the streets of Montreal stopping for lunch at a restaurant I forgot to jot down. I had gazpacho and salmon. Dessert was sugar pie. I’ve never eaten sugar pie before but it was a lot like chess pie, but much sweeter. That was lunch. After lunch we headed to St. Paul Street with all the quaint shops…..no time for shopping. Our guide had us keep up the pace. We had a schedule to keep. Bus to pick us up at three o’clock sharp. For the life of me even though I wrote in my journal I didn’t write down the names of all the restaurants. What a bummer! Dinner was a diet coke, Caesar salad, baked potato, steak and chocolate cake for dessert.

Everyone was up early and after a breakfast spread of scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, maple beans, lox and bagels, sweet rolls, fresh fruit, and I could go on and on and still miss something that was on the tables. No, I didn’t eat all that. Only toast, eggs, and bacon. Each morning this kind of a spread was set out for us.

On with the tour…we headed for Quebec City today. We drove for about two hours and then the bus pulled over for a potty stop and coffee break. I had to try the Tim Horton’s lattes and their Timbites. Their rendition of our donut holes. Latte was super and the donut holes we just as good, maybe even better. Okay, close match.

DSC00238The St. Lawrence Seaway from our hotel room in Quebec. I was surprised at how wide the seaway was. We toured the old part of the city. The narrow, cobbled stone streets and quaint shops. That afternoon of course I had poutin, and we were on our own for our dinner. We decided to stay in after the long walk we took that day so we split a hamburger in the hotel dinning room. Believe me it wasn’t a small hamburger either.

I may run out of space here. Up early and on the bus. We were going to the sugar shack for breakfast today. It was at a farm where they made maple syrup. Breakfast was served boarding house style, bowls full of potatoes, eggs, maple flavored beans, and bacon. Take as much as you want or as little. Oh yes, make sure you put maple syrup in your coffee. On your eggs, it goes well on everything. I am not a bean eater but I had to try a spoonful of the beans, just to say I tried everything. I was quite surprised, they were pretty good. I’ll have to find the recipe and try this. The owners had a wonderful gift shop so you know what we did for another hour before we were pushed onto the bus.

From there we headed to Montmorancy Falls. both standing over the falls at montmorsency 2017We were told these falls were higher than Niagara Falls only not as wide. We were standing right over the falls. Lunch from here was in old town Quebec. I had duck with carrot salad which was wonderful. Dessert was chocolate cake. Our afternoon was at Giles Copper Museum and more shopping. Then on to St. Anne deBeauprie Bascialla.  On to Ottowa tomorrow.

Again up early and heading to Ottowa. Potty stop again at Tim Horton’s.  I was surprised at all the vineyards we passed along the way. They looked so lush and green. So manicured. Our guide talked about how they made the ice wine. Will have to check into that later. When we arrived we had time to shop a bit at the outside market and then we headed to the Fresh Fish Market for dinner. Most of us had the fish and chips with cheese cake for dessert. Hubby had the apple cobbler. It was all good.

Next morning we headed to Toronto and Niagara Falls. Along the way we took a short boat ride out among some of the islands in the seaway. Some of the houses we built almost on big rocks called an island. Amazing.DSC00258

Now on to Niagara On The Lake and their cute shops and the Shaw Festival. This is where they hold plays by Bernard Shaw all the time. Streets were lined with flowers upon flowers.DSC00280When we reached Niagara Falls we took the harbor tour showing the Toronto skyline. Very stunning with so many high rise apartments. I don’t think I could live in any of those apartments…so tall! We ate at the Secret Garden where I had a salad that three people could have eaten. I got up to go to the restroom and look what I saw just as soon as I opened the door.

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That night, our last night, we had dinner at an Italian restaurant where I had penne pasta with chicken and tiramisu for dessert. Wonderful trip and I’d go again. Our guide and driver were phenomenal.  Collette Tours you did it again.

Until then my friends….

 

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LIVING WITH SANDIE LEE

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    Well another busy week is coming to an end. I’d like to say I’ve gotten quite a bit of things done but alas, not everything I wanted to accomplish. Maybe my goals are set too high. I keep telling myself I’m getting old and I’m slowing down, a lot! But aren’t we all.

Besides putting mulch down on everything in our back yard, power washing the patio and the deck, hubby and I put together new shelving in the garage….whew! And all done in a week.

And I wonder why I don’t get my writing under control. Well here I sit in my favorite coffee haus drinking my latte and trying to get the blog out (which should have been out yesterday). But, well, a day late again.

I’m working again on genealogy, mine plus the history of Cibolo. The book was finished several years ago but it has been brought to the forefront once again. So, my friend (co-author) and I are working diligently to enhance the book and get it published shortly in a new format, new cover, and new information added.

Ancestry tombstone poem We were out taking pictures of old cemeteries and old houses the other day to add to the book. If anyone knows someone that has some old pictures of Cibolo or information you think the public would like to read about,  please e-mail me and let me know.  I’m putting a time line to the city and it’s surroundings. I love time lines. I’ve done them on my parents and it’s helped me a lot piecing together where they were at certain times. I highly recommend this for anyone trying to figure out where their ancestors lived and moved to. It gives you a much better picture of their lives.

So I guess I should get the show on the road and get to writing. Until then my friend………….

 

 

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LIVING WITH SANDIE LEE

I love looking out my back door at the yard. The neatly trimmed grass, the flowering trees and bushes, and the little hummingbird that has staked out his personal domain in one of my trees.red hibiscis treeHe flutters from one hibiscus to another.

red hibiscis       salmon hibiscis On to the scull cap and Esperanza bush. scull cap and esparansa When he’s ready to fly off he stops by the crepe myrtles. lilac crepe myrtle  red crepe myrtle Then the next day he’s back again. You’d think all the flowers would be drained dry, but thanks to our wonderful creator there is more than enough to supply the little creature the next day.

I used to hang cute little feeders on the tree branches so they’d fill up, but a few years ago I noticed I didn’t need them. The flowers were a welcomed filling station and all I have to do is keep everything watered. I think I can do that. And sit on the patio to watch the show.

Since visiting with my brother, the master gardener, I decided to start my own compost pile. I’ll have to keep you posted on that.

So my friends, until then………………….

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LIVING WITH SANDIE LEE

I have an announcement…I can’t contain myself. My second book is finished! Whoo whoo. Happy dance. Arms waving like a wave. Let me refresh your memory, the book is about how I found my biological father through DNA. Now I’m doing revisions and correcting a lot of mistakes. Yes, even though I write, I make boo boos. I’m still wavering on the name though. I like “The Man In The Picture” but maybe it can be “The Man In The Military Uniform”.  I’ve changed the name quite a few times already. Guess I have a little bit of time before it’s ready to go to press. What do you think? I’m thinking of a picture for the front of the book that I want to use. No wonder I can’t concentrate half the time I have too many things running around in my head to make a decision.

books and penWell on to the next project, a sequel to White Moccasins. I can’t get this other character out of my head so I’m ready to tell her story. That character is Ginger, the lady that hired Katie as her housekeeper. Oh, does she ever have a story to tell. Stay tuned folks.

Another project I said “yes” to is a history book on a small town in Texas. I will have a co-author working with me. I’m excited about this one too. I guess I just get excited writing!

Until then my friend…………………

 

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LIVING WITH SANDIE LEE

Here it is the middle of June and it’s already hot! I don’t mean the thermometer is slowing creeping up and up, but it’s already in the 90’s. I’m too old for this heat. Okay I’ll quit griping and look at the bright side. I am healthy, have a beautiful home to stay cool in, and really have all the comforts at my disposal.

I can look out my back door and see the beautiful flowers and trees along with the trimmed grass. What more can I ask for.so pretty

I should be working on the book but alas, I received a match on 23andMe.com for a second cousin so I, again, have been chasing rabbits looking through Ancestry.com to see how we are related. So glad she had two names that made it easy for me. We share the same grandparents and great grandparents. But, I was able to fill in some more of the gaps. I do love genealogy. Ancestry has added a lot more information to their site so it’s worth looking into if you’re working on your family’s heritage.

I have one ancestor that I’ve hit a brick wall on and that’s the last name of Kidd. It’s been said my grandmother used to kid everyone that we were related to Capt. Kidd, the pirate. I will work on this and get to the bottom of it. My one brother doesn’t call me “the blood hound” for nothing!

So, my mission has been established, work on the book and look for Capt. Kidd.

Until then my friends………………………..

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LATTE LAND IN THE NORTHWEST

My hubby thinks I’ve gone overboard with my lattes. I like lattes. If I could get away with it I’d have at least three to four a day. Now up here in the Northwest there are little drive through coffee shops or huts, whatever you would like to call them. Pink Coffee Hut in Airway Heights 2017Now this one sits not too far down the road from an air field in Airway Heights. How do you like that striking hot pink color. Each little coffee hut has their own personality.

There are quite a few I didn’t get a picture of but I’m sure on my next trip I will have my camera ready before I ask hubby to pull over so I can take a picture. I am so blessed to have a husband that is willing to oblige me when I ask him to do something for me.

My brother even took us out for DQ then drove around so I could spot the coffee huts I wanted to take a picture of. This one is not too far from his house and the one I frequented on several occasions. Yes, my friend, their lattes were GREAT!

slab inn coffee hut post falls 2017When I first took a picture of this one I didn’t realize there was an old boot scootin’ joint behind it. It was called the Slab Inn and one of the places the young GI’s loved to go to.

So this is just a couple of the places I got pictures of but you can believe me when I say I will have more to come.dutch bros coffee haus in post falls 2017

 

So until then……………………………………

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LITTLE COFFEE HUTS

Hubby and I took a trip to the Pacific Northwest and could not get over all the different shapes of the drive through coffee huts. I wanted the hubs to stop at every one so I could get a picture of it. Yeah, that didn’t happen, but it has become my quest from here on out.

I love lattes and it is so easy to pull up to the little hut, roll down the window and order.  So keep watching as I really am going to make that a priority.

Ah, the weather is outstanding. Cool. Cool enough that I really need my sweater. Mountains so tall there is still snow on the higher peaks. Beautiful. Does that just make you want to jump in the car and head out?

Okay I tried to add a picture and it is not working very well. Will keep trying.

Until then…….

 

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BOOK SIGNING AT BARNES AND NOBEL

Saturday, May 27th is fast approaching and the big book signing for first time authors. Barnes and Nobel has one day a year where they invite first time authors come, talk and sell their books. I’m working on my second book about how I found my biological father through DNA. Even though it’s a true story there is a lot that goes into writing about your self.authors books

Not that there isn’t a lot of hard work that also goes into writing fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, romance, or futuristic novels. Writers want to make sure their facts are true, so consequently there’s hours of research that goes into their story. A lot of computer and library time.

Sandra Lee Cleary reading at senior center 2017The name of my first novel is White Moccasins, the Story of Katie.

So, those of you living in and around San Antonio, please check out the Barnes and Nobel on Isom, from two to four in the afternoon and meet a few new authors. Listen to their stories, and take a look at their book. Maybe even buy one. One for you, or one for a friend.

Until then………………….

 

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LIVING WITH SANDIE LEE

Another busy week and I’m a day late on my blog. What to talk about today. Well, here it is, Ancestry. It’s always at the top of the list, in the back of my mind, the front, I live and breathe Ancestry and DNA. Ancestry cells and dnaI guess I will be doing that till the very end. I’m still trying to figure out all the markers, dots, and numbers. I’ve bought books on DNA, pamphlets, and gone to classes. And I’m still learning. But, I’ve come a long way.

On Family Tree DNA they’ve redone or rather refined their assessment of my ethnicity and I am no longer Ashkenazi Jewish. Nada, nothing. But on 23andMe I am still Ashkenazi Jewish and on Ancestry I am European Jewish. What happened?? At least I still have Native American DNA!

This week I decided to work on my grandmother’s father’s side of the family, Lyle. I was blessed to find so much information on Ancestry, all the way back to the 1600’s. And most of it was information written in genealogy books. You can bet I have a stack of original forms, wills, and histories. What surprised me was they came from Scotland and went to Ireland before venturing to America in the 1700’s.  Now I am trying to enter everything in the computer so I can put it all together in a book. So much work to be done, but recording your ancestry is a never ending process.

Now I really must get with it and work on the book. I’ve changed the title of it again and now I’m stumped because a friend suggested another name for. I’ve made a list of names and going over ever one. If you think of a name throw it my way, who knows. It’s a true story of how I found my father through DNA. Remember I had no name to begin with.

Untill then…………………………………….

 

 

 

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LIVING WITH SANDIE LEE

Sandra Lee Cleary reading at senior center 2017Well a lot has happened since last week. I did my first reading of White Moccasins at the Schertz Senior Center on Tuesday. Next Tuesday I’m looking forward to continue reading more chapters again. Then in June a couple of days until the book is read.

I haven’t worked on genealogy since finding my biological father so two days ago I decided to see what I could find on my grandmother’s side of the family. I’m so glad Ancestry has added so many more records to their site. I was able to trace the Lyle side back to Scotland in 1680, before they headed west to Ireland. I found official records of wills, town histories where they lived, and marriages. Now to get everything put into book form for my family. All of it will give them several hours of intense reading.

Tomorrow is work on the second book time. I’m pretty close to being finished. I just need to go back over everything and polish it up. I’m getting excited. Then it will be on to a sequel to White Moccasins. Oh my goodness, I feel so full of stories I will never have time to write everything that’s swimming around in my head!

So guess I should get with it and start working. Until then my friend……….

 

 

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