Category Archives: Summerside

August 17th, 2015 – William Jones – Licensed Carpenter

Our house is done! The final inspection passed and it is all because of William Jones, the licensed carpenter that did most of the work on it. William started working in February. Dennis had arrived in Summerside to start the demolition and William started working with Dennis two weeks after that. The two of them got along really well. Dennis realized very quickly how lucky he was to work with a guy like William. He is very efficient and does meticulous work but also had some great stories to tell Dennis during the long, cold month of February.

Because we didn’t know much about Summerside and the contractors and everything that has to do with building a house, William basically took over and got us through the entire process. He hired most of the subcontractors. The people that he hired were all excellent and did their best to help make the house as nice as it is. We were very grateful because it made it a lot easier for us, especially being so far away for a lot of the construction.

William got his carpentry license in a very interesting way. He did not go to school for carpentry at all. He went to Holland College in Charlottetown for electrical engineering but according to him, he spent quite a bit of the year socializing as it was his first year away from home. He finished the year but then switched courses to construction technology. He got a job right away in an office reading blueprints and working on projects but only lasted four days. His boss noticed that he didn’t really like what he was doing and asked him if would rather work downstairs in the construction area. He did and never looked back. He worked for a number of different places and eventually decided to apply for his carpentry license. He challenged the license board because he didn’t want to go back to school as he had a lot of practical experience (and probably knew more than the instructors). The board told him that he needed 10,000 hours of construction work and had to write an exam. He fulfilled both of those requirements and got 85% on the exam.

William now works independently – he owns his own business – William’s Woodworking. We were lucky to get him because as I said earlier, he does excellent work. His favourite part of a job though, is the finishing work and that was a good thing for us as both of our previous houses had no trim until two weeks before we moved out. He is able though, to do everything and quite often suggested options for finishing a particular part of the job. We almost always agreed with his suggestions.

William also had a few stories to tell and often during a break, he would tell them to Dennis who got quite a PEI education! He learned a lot from William – things such as lobster fishing which was important to learn especially when navigating a sailboat through the lobster pots. He also told us that we could go clam digging by using a plunger (we still think he’s pulling our leg on that) and how a fisherman would pull a trick on his buddies by putting a fork in his boot. Apparently, you can’t pull your foot out without jamming the fork into it so you have to cut the boot (we have not tested this and most likely won’t!).

William is married to Carla who is nurse at the hospital. She works in the nursery. William told me the other day that he traded in his motorcycle for an engagement ring – which was a very good decision. William and Carla have three little boys and a dog. I think their life is very, very busy. I was riding my bike one day past their house and William had all three boys working outside. Owen, who is going into grade 4, was mowing the lawn and the two younger boys (Iain and Thomas) were scraping the driveway. They seemed very happy to be working with their dad.

We have thoroughly enjoyed working with William over the past six months. He not only is a good carpenter, but is also a good person and was always thoughtful and considerate. What I really liked was that he kind of kept his eye on Dennis to make sure that he was ok. He is trying to give him the nickname Skipper (with mixed results) and the two of them had good talks  about boats, wood and other important parts of life. If William lived elsewhere in Canada, say Muskoka for example, he would be able to be paid twice the amount of money and there would most likely be a long waiting list to hire him but I think he enjoys his life on the island (who wouldn’t?) We are very fortunate to work with him. He’s made this place into a home and as you can see by the pictures below, it was no easy task!


Here are a few pictures of William working:


So the house is done and as I said earlier, it is because of William. He has done a fantastic job. I hope he enjoyed working on the house, I’m sure it was a challenge!


Posted by on August 20, 2015 in Summerside


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July 30th – Out and About in Summerside

As I keep saying, we will eventually be leaving Summerside, but in the meantime, we’ve still been having lots of fun! Yesterday was a great day for boats coming into the marina – there are some huge boats docked and Dennis is enjoying talking to everyone – a whole new set of people for him to tell his stories to! One of the boats is really quite big and its anchor goes right over the dock, so I had to take a picture of Dennis underneath it. I was hoping that the anchor was well secured!

One of the marina people that we’ve met over the past couple of weeks is a lady who owns a beautiful 42.5 foot Bruce Roberts. She and her husband bought the hull a few years ago and then finished the rest of the boat in their back yard. Due to a change of circumstances, Donna is selling the boat and found a buyer last week. So, in the collage below, you’ll see a couple of pictures of the boat under sail. It is a beautiful boat and the craftsmanship is excellent – I know the new owners (five sisters from Charlottetown) will love it!

The other two pictures are of a couple of dogs that are not exactly too beautiful but I couldn’t resist taking their pictures. Since we’ve been here, we have been walking the boardwalk along the ocean every night and have met quite a few people with their dogs.

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The other bit of news is that at the Summerside music store (it is excellent, by the way) I saw some really interesting instruments in the store and asked the clerk what they were. She took one down (it is called a Strumstick) and demonstrated how it is played. Here is a video of her demo – she’s really good!

So, after some pondering, we bought one (with the instructional CD) and hope to learn how to play it. Someone on the dock asked what it was and I mentioned that I was going to sell my mandolin (it really wasn’t working for me) so he bought it and now I have a strumstick which is relatively easy to play!

That’s all the news for now. 🙂

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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in Summerside



July 27th, 28th – Touring the Green Gables Shore

It was a very sad day on Monday when Dennis brought back the rented sports car and returned with his folding mini bike. Back to reality… 🙂 We had a great time in the car and I would recommend that to anyone touring PEI – so much fun!

We started off on Sunday morning by visiting Anne Shillolo and her husband Frank. They were heading to their cottage in Newfoundland and stopped to see PEI. Anne is great person – she lives in Sprucedale, ON and lives off the electrical grid. She is a teacher and when I put in my notice of retirement, she applied and is now the new Educational Technology coordinator for the Near North District School Board! She’ll be great!

After our visit, we toured the Green Gables Shore. I have to say that it was beautiful – much of the route is right by the sea and is mixed in with little villages and farms. As a matter of fact, we came across the most photographed scene on Prince Edward Island and you should be able to pick it out in the collage of pics below.

We stopped in Cavendish and even though we had ridden our bicycles from Halifax to PEI in 1984 (and had stayed at Cavendish National Park), it was as though I had never seen it before. Very pretty with lots of tourists and all sorts of things to do.

We had lunch in North Rustico – I had the scallop burger and normally frown upon taking pictures of my food but it was so good, I had to! Here is the restaurant and my lunch – scallop burger with potato salad. Dennis had nachos (duh – not sure why as we are in the Maritimes but to each his own :))

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We drove around some more – visited David and Joy in Montegue – and then went to Charlottetown to do a bit of shopping. We got back to the boat at 5:30 and were totally exhausted! I guess all that driving in the sports car wore us out!

Here are a few pictures of the day. The top left is Anne and her husband Frank and the rest are a variety of shots along the Green Gables shore.

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Posted by on July 29, 2014 in Summerside



July 26th – The North Cape Coastal Drive – Basket Weavers, North Cape, The Bottle Houses

We decided to use a more modern form of transportation for our tour of the North Cape Coastal Drive. Dennis rented a car for Saturday and Sunday but unfortunately, the one that was held for us, wasn’t available (I guess the car company knows how to take the reservation but does not know how to keep the reservation which is really the most important part (Seinfeld) :). Anyway, for ten dollars more, this is what we got!

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So, off we went on our tour of western PEI. Our first stop was in Richmond. We stopped at the Island Tradition Store – home of the basket weavers. Inside their store, they have beautiful handmade baskets made from reeds imported from Carolina and ash that was grown on the island. There were all sorts of different sized baskets, each one more beautiful than than next. What really interested me though, was that they offer workshops. The workshops vary in price and time but if you see the second picture below of the baskets hanging, that is what I want to make – a potato basket. The workshop will take all day and you can either made your basket out of the reed ($140 I think) or ash for $200. That’s what I want to do. Ann, the lady in the yellow top does the workshops in the summer or winter. If you want to take the class in the winter, she’ll do it at her house as they close up the store at the end of October.

The final picture in the collage is of a codfish basket that is over 70 years old. Ann had repaired it for a man who sold it to her for $45. Pretty amazing work here, I’d say!

july 26


The next stop was North Cape and that is the most western point of the island. There is an interpretive centre, restaurant, gift shop and many wind generators making power for the island. It is a good place to have the windmills as it must be windy there all the time – it certainly was when we were there! This is worthwhile stop on the tour.

The pictures are of us standing on the tip as well as a sandbar and the “land’s end”. Notice in the picture of Dennis, there are tons of little inukshuks behind him. In my picture, I’m trying not to let my hat blow into the ocean but also trying to pose like a person who drives around in a sports car – the look didn’t quite work 🙂

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To explain the pictures below, we watched some guys pulling their boat out of the water at the cliffs – it looked pretty difficult especially because of the ferocious wind and waves.

I also wanted to show you big the windmills really are and if you look closely at the picture of the windmill on the ground, you’ll see two people standing in front of it.

The final picture is Skinners Pond – where Stompin’ Tom Connors was born.

Photo 42

After we stopped for a late lunch, we came upon a very strange sight. It seemed to be a giant bottle made of cement and bottles so we stopped and went in. It turns out that this is the very famous Bottle Houses – where Edouard Arsenault of Cap-Egmont made three houses out of glass bottles. Very, very cool! If you want to read about the history, click on this link. There are three buildings, each consisting of at least 10,000 bottles – one is a chapel, the other a six gabled house and the other is a little tavern. The buildings are surrounded by beautiful gardens and you could spend the entire afternoon there as it was so peaceful and interesting. The pictures below will give you a sample of what it was like but if you are ever in the area, this is definite place to stop!

Photo 43 Photo 44


So, that is all the news for today. More touring around in the sports car tomorrow and then, sadly, we have to return it. Oh well, it was lots of fun!

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Posted by on July 26, 2014 in Summerside


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Summerside – The College of Piping

The other night, we had the pleasure of seeing The College of Piping performance – Highland Storm. Wow! If you ever get a chance to see this show or any of their other performances, you will be amazed at the quality of Celtic music and dance.

The outdoor theatre is excellent and the acoustics were great. I took a lot video at the concert and compiled some of it on the following video. I also added a bit at the beginning of the video of their performance at the Divercity Festival since I enjoyed the concert so much. So, please enjoy the video and again, if you get a chance to see one of The College of Piping shows, please do so!



Posted by on July 24, 2014 in Summerside



Summerside – July 19th to July 22nd

In case you haven’t noticed, we are still in Summerside and will most likely be here for another few days. This is good news because we have certainly been able to amuse ourselves easily! First of all, the Silver Fox Marina is located right downtown. It is a great marina with excellent staff and clean facilities. Everything is within walking distance – grocery store, pharmacy, post office, and the downtown which has quite a few shops and services. As a matter of fact, Summerside is trying something new this year and has closed off a block of the main street to traffic and turned it into a place for artists. Here is an article from the CBC on that. We’ve had lots of fun watching the artists, musicians and dancers.

We have met quite a few people here but one lady stands out because she is a descendent of Lucy Maud Montgomery! Cora-Lee Dunbar is the owner of ABI Business Services and we had the opportunity to talk to her. She was a very interesting lady, knowledgeable and lots of fun (a perfect combination!). Anyway, once I heard that she was related to Lucy Maud Montgomery, I had to take her picture and she also told us that her daughter won the Anne of Green Gables look alike contest! Cora-Lee sent me the photos of her daughter dressed as Anne. I can certainly see her winning the contest! July 24

We’ve also seen quite a few interesting dogs. We met Flora the dog at the Farmers’ Market last Saturday. We were finished shopping and were sitting at a picnic table when a lady came up to us and asked us to hold her dog as she didn’t want to leave her in her car (it was a very warm morning). We were happy to help and enjoyed Flora’s company for a few minutes (she was a very nice dog, by the way).

The second dog that we keep seeing was driving around in a car and I couldn’t resist taking his picture. We don’t know anything about him but we keep seeing him around and looks like a friendly fellow.

The third dog was a standard poodle named Harvey. Harvey is on a sailboat and was from Duluth. We talked to the boat owners and Harvey for quite some time and compared travel notes. They had stopped in Parry Sound on their trip. It was good to hear that they enjoyed it very much.

So, here are a few pictures…That’s all the news for today!

July 24



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Posted by on July 23, 2014 in Summerside


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Changing the face of Summerside – according to Dennis

Dennis seems to think that he is going to start a new trend in Summerside – folding mini bike with a baguette. Where is his beret?

I have nothing else to say about this – absolutely nothing! 🙂

dennis July 19

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Posted by on July 19, 2014 in Summerside