Thursday, July 30, 2009

Busy Busy ... love it !

Well another busy week has ZIPPED by ... gone. But it was a great week ,full of lots of fun and accomplishments !
Hmmmm ... here are a few highlights ...
* We now have 2 new BIG windows and a lovely black glossy front door. Job well done !
* I picked my first broccoli from my garden. BEST BROCCOLI EVER !!!
* I am continuing on my quest to bake ALL of the cookies in "Big Fat Cookies" and NOT eat them all thus avoiding "Big Fat Me". This week it was Snickerdoodles. They rock ! Oh, and I bought Martha Stewart's Cupcake book so that is also on the list. ( hint : I often have treats at the store on Fridays ...)
* A trip to Halifax to get a shelf ... and other goodies ... but mainly a shelf because I SO needed to clean up my space. The shelf is huge and it is WONDERFUL !!
And check out these awesome wooden bins I bought at a yard sale on Sunday !! They are old sewing machine drawers and she has another 7 or 8 for me. JUST THE TICKET !!!
I made pizza on the grill again but this time I made the crust from SCRATCH !! Another first. It was excellent !
* And last ... but not least ... my latest project. I saw one on the Kenner Road blog and loved it. So I am making this little flippy recipe book to hold all my often made recipes and it will sit right on my kitchen counter.And it will add a definite cute factor , I'm sure !!
* My latest adventure is piling wood ... ashamed to admit that this is my first time ... The wood is in 2 feet lengths and FREAKIN' HEAVY !! But it is very satisfying to see the big tall rows and know how toasty warm we will be this winter. ( Not to mention how damn hot we get in the process ...)
Have a great week !! I'll be back next week with more of the recipe holder, a new cookie, and ... who knows what else ? The world is my oyster !!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I seem to have lots of energy these days ... and get so much done after work. I BBQ, wash dishes, garden, do laundry, work on various things, bake up a storm, read , whatever. I have been wondering where it is coming from ... longer daylight hours ...... better eating ...... losing weight ..... hmmmmm . But I think it is coming from bad television.
You see, I love TV . Plain and simple. Crime shows and cooking shows. If there is a dead body or a saute pan, I'm there. ( not together though, ewww) CSI, Bones, Criminal Minds, the Food Network ... all good. But now, it's all reruns. And THAT ROCKS !!! I have all this free time and it is great !
I usually work and putter until about 9:30 at night and then I watch Jeopardy. Then I read ... and I have gone through a pile of excellent books this summer, not just my usual winter magazine flipping. And then I may decide to bake or just keep reading until I go to bed at about midnight. We do watch TV . Don't get me wrong. I am not one of those people who say "Oh, I NEVER watch TV." (But they usually know what everyone is talking about when discussing a recent show ...) No, we watch it. But just a glance up every now and again. Or the news. Or maybe we watch something totally different ... we've been watching an interesting food documentary. That would never have won out against a crime show in the fall season !!
So I am singing the praise of THERE'S NOTHING ON !! It's a whole new productive slant on things. Lovin' it !!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"The Unappreciated Vegetable"

Last night was our first dinner from our garden ! What a great feeling. I harvested some broccoli rabe (or rapini) ... had to Google it to see when & how to pick it ... and some radish & Italian parsley. (The Google articles called the rapini the Unappreciated Vegetable ...) I cooked the rapini with turkey sausage, hot pepper flakes, garlic, whole wheat pasta, and roasted red peppers. The radish & parsley went in our salad. It was DELICIOUS !!! I have to say I was prettttyyy smug sitting there eating the food I HAD GROWN !!!
Now rapini is supposed to be very healthy for you ... but I think it is an ENERGY FOOD !! After that I did the dishes, cleaned up, semi cleaned out the fridge, cleaned out a cupboard & put away all my jam I had made, folded and put away 2 loads of laundry, got groceries, and baked cookies.
Rapini - I appreciate you !!! Eat you soon !

Monday, July 20, 2009

Another Productive Weekend ... and where else can we drive ?

Wow ... we have become big ol' slackers since we bought Hester the Hearse. All we want to do is drive around. We have been to New Minas 3 times in one week. Our cats probably think we have moved away ...
But anyway, this weekend we combined driving and GETTING STUFF DONE. HOORAY !!
Saturday night we went to the Middleton Birthday Bash. Sat in the beer tent with friends, were told the choices ....BEER or WATER ... such a huge-vast-enormous array that I really couldn't narrow it down. So I opted for none of the above. We wandered out to hear Minglewood. After the first song started I remembered that I really didn't like Minglewood. At all. So then we wandered off again ... aimless people we were. We visited with friends who had a booth there. I wondered how we would kill off the next hour and fifteen minutes until the fireworks. Their 7 year old son looked at me and said "I'm bored." I looked back and said "Me too !" So we came up with a plan ... involved a quest for a glow stick and a Frisbee. So we happily played frisbee in the dark for the next hour+. A lovely way to pass time. Then we practiced our OOOHS and AAAHHHS for the fireworks and we were all set ! The fireworks were BEAUTIFUL !! We watched a woman pee in a non existent bush beside our car and then we headed home...
The next day we headed off for building supplies and then , on a most glorious day, Charlie & I put in a new door and a BIG front window in our house. We visited with Deedee & Stephen who stopped by. I also weeded the garden, replanted a few things, harvested some rapini and radishes. Deedee picked rhubarb from the "Eternal Rhubarb Patch". It was a lovely day and oh so productive ! Gotta love those kind of days ! ( oh .. yeah, I also broke the washer but that only took me a few minutes ...)
So I am hoping today will be just as productive ... I have 5 boxes of stuff to unpack and put out. And I HAVE to look at each item, imagine what I would do with it, get totally distracted, and then pull myself back . Takes a long time you know !
Have a great one !!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I know ... you're saying "So what ?". But I never drive. When I do , Charlie marks a car on the calendar and we often go an entire calendar with no cars. And on the rare once per 2 years, it would be only from the outskirts of town to maybe my parent's place in Wilmot Station. Three minutes, tops. Well, for me to drive two days in a row and THROUGH TOWN is .... well... almost unbelievable.
I CAN drive ... and I am a good driver. I just HATE IT. I drove to Annapolis and back everyday for 10 years so I was a constant driver. But not now. I would happily drive if I was the only one on the road. But it is all those other drivers I don't trust. As a little boy, my brother was hit as a pedestrian and we were hit in a car by a drunk driver so I have no faith in those other vehicles. And I absolutely cannot see after dark. So it would only be a daylight past time ...
BUT, when we bought Hester the Hearse, I realized that SOMEONE would have to drive our Polly Purple the Cruiser back to the store. YIKES. I knew that someone would be me. ( Because I sure couldn't drive that HUGE hearse). So I did. After the first little bit I realized I was holding my breath ... not great when driving. So I decided to try breathing and it went better.
And then the next day I drove to my parents ... AND BACK. A very close friend of theirs had been killed and I couldn't bear to tell them by phone. That was so hard - to tell such terrible news and know how devastating it would be to hear. Terrible. A sad day.
Today I ... HEY ! I DID drive today too - I drove Hester around the parking lot. Gosh .. I'm a regular transit worker these days. This driving foolishness has got to stop !!!
Well, I have 6 large boxes of beads & paper staring at me so I must get to work. Happy trails !!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


THIS IS SO EXCITING !!!!! We have a new car .....
It's a hearse !! We saw it last week and I suggested that we go check it out ( I wanted it !!) on Friday after work. We got there & it was gone ... I felt sick. Tried again Saturday .. gone. So we called Monday and the owner had just been driving it for the weekend. So we made arrangements to go see it RIGHT AWAY after work and bought it an hour. We drove around happy as can be!! It is now going to lead a happy life ... weekend outings, ice cream at Perle's, parades ... It goes in a few weeks to be painted black with lovely crow foot flames. We are now on the hunt for a chrome skull for a hood ornament and a few other goodies. It will be a FAB pimped up ride !!! I LOVE IT !!!!!
We will be adding a seat in the back so we can take friends with us. let us know if you want a ride !!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I have a friend Alana. We have been friends for ... gosh ... more than 20 years. We worked together way back in 1986 I think. That was one of the most fun summers at work that I ever had ! Anyway, we became great friends. But then a few years later , life took us in different directions and she eventually moved out west. We lost touch with each other. Then, a few years ago, out of the blue, an email wondering if the people she googled were indeed us !! I was thrilled ! I called her and we arranged to visit on an upcoming visit. Every summer since we have had a visit - I lookPhotobucket forward to it every year !!
Our visits are always pretty much the same - we quickly catch up on any of the big things and then just settle into a normal visit. ( And now we have the added bonus of a visit with Doug !) Laughing, talking, enjoying our friendship. We rarely even reminisce... it's like our friendship doesn't need to be built on a constant parading of memories. It is a living growing thing that just continues to hum along. We just ARE.
I have to say that my heart sings each year when I see her. I am delighted to see her and thrilled to see how happy she is. And I love this constant strong thread that is woven through my life. This friendship that lives, breathes, and grows but demands nothing. I am grateful.
*** This is a little commentary on our social adventure - or lack of - last Saturday. We got together to see the Hupman Brothers ( Alana's cousins !) at Upper Clements.( and have a little bumper car action ...)
The band was great, the evening was one of the most beautiful all summer, the company outstanding. After the concert & fireworks, Doug suggested we go have a coffee in Annapolis ... this at 10:30. We all laughed but then remembered the Pub. Great idea !! We all met there to find it closing. Closes at 11pm ... ON A SATURDAY !!! So we chased an albino raccoon that was scurrying along the street ...
does that give you any idea of now quiet the town must have been ???? So we then decide to go on to Bridgetown to Tim Horton's. We meet there to find it closed as well ! But I had a back up plan. The End of the Line would be open. Great ! Off we go again in our little parade of vehicles. The parking lot is completely dark and the building is locked up. Closed. By this time it is about 11:30 and we wave the white flag. A little chat in the parking lot, hugs, and we all go off our own ways. Is there a curfew that I am not aware of ???? 11pm ... sheesh !

Thursday, July 9, 2009

reporting LIVE from the Wild Kingdom here in Port George ...

wow. It's a zoo here . Really.
Last night about 12:45 we decided to go to bed

WAIT !!! I have to interrupt myself !!! I was just outside DRIVING THE FORKLIFT !!!! First time ever ... it rocks !!
Okay ... back to my story. We had decided to go to bed when we heard a scratch at the window right behind Charlie's chair. Our cat was a bit freaked. So Charlie went to get a flashlight. We thought it was a cat ... but then I heard BIG scratching ... a bit like MONSTER SCRATCHING ... like REALLY BIG ... up and down the wall of the house. Our dining room window juts out and is about 2 feet from the other window. We look out it and see a raccoon CLIMBING THE HOUSE !!! Actually climbing up, trying to get to the roof !! We shine the light on it ... from 2 feet away.
Raccoon : "Yeah ? What do you want ?"
Us : "Um, we would like you to get off the house."
Raccoon : "sorry, can't."
So we bang on the window.
Raccoon : "Why are doing that ? I told you I wasn't getting down."
So Charlie opens the window (from which he could touch the raccoon) and yells at him.
Raccoon : "Buddy, are you stunned ? I am not getting down."
He continues to climb our house. Hmmm.
So then we spot the bucket of compost we had left on the step. YIKES ! We don't want him to spot it or he may never leave. So Charlie heads out to dump it in the green cart. It is only when he opens the door that the little masked bugger gets down off the wall. But he then just sits on the step, looking at us. Finally he slowly ambles off through he grass. Nervy !
So he's gone. But then I start to worry. I am not afraid of raccoons but am afraid of what they could do to my cats. So I worry ( aloud) if he could get in the house. No. He could get in the woodshed though through a missing window pane. Oh, so could he get in the house from there ? No. Could he get in the ceiling from the woodshed and be in our attic ? No. Could he come down our chimney and be in the furnace and then get into the house ? No. ( you have to understand, in our house I am the one with the active "What if?"imagination and Charlie is the "No, could never happen " man. Really, a good pairing... voice of insanity and fantasy and voice of reason. Works for us.
So we go to bed. EARLY EARLY this morning I hear a scratching. Hmmm what are those cats up to ? I close my eyes. MORE SCRATCHING. I get up to investigate. IT'S IN THE CEILING !!! It is NOT the cats !!! Okay, now I hear it moving through the ceiling, in the wall, scratching the pipes. OH MY GOD. IT'S THE RACCOON. I KNEW IT !!!
I get Charlie up and we start to investigate. We follow the noise downstairs and he goes off to the other side of our house to see if it is in there. I hear it above me. Then up where the ductwork is not covered in - yet - I see something trying to get out. AHHHH !!! I must have shrieked because Charlie starts yelling "Is it in there ?" Then all of a sudden it comes out of the duct area , swooping at my head. It's a BIRD !!! It flies smack right into the back door window. Walter , good cat that he is, is on it in seconds and scoops it up. I pry it from his mouth, give it to Charlie, who lets it go outside. Then my knees start to shake and I have to admit that I thought it was the raccoon and he was IN THE HOUSE. ( Now this may seem crazy but we have had many birds, squirrels, mice, a not-ours cat and a skunk in our house over the past few years. I believe anything is possible ...)
So ... emergency over ... we go back to bed. As we lay there I ask "Are you going to be able to go back to sleep ?" To which I hear "Not if you keep talking to me."
Long story short, I got up early and had a lovely mushroom omelet out on the back deck in the glorious morning sun. Just another day at the Port George Zoo.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

BooKS, SUNshINE, JUNK, and SchNitZEL ... ah, LIFE is SWEET !!!

Wow ... we can pack a weekend !! We get 1.5 days as our weekend and we get the most out of it that we can. It usually means a lot of work at night AFTER work but we don't mind working hard so we can PLAY HARD !!!
This weekend we took off for Halifax after work on Saturday. We made our usual stops to buy bags and then off to shop ... Costco, Michaels for magazines, chicken Marsala for supper (yummo!), and then Chapters for some awesome books & mags !!Then we headed home, bags full of books. Happy happy. This time I had a great book on preserving, another on making and binding books, and another on great sock creatures. Lots to inspire me !!
Sunday we decided to go to Graff Brothers in St Bernard. The drive there was lovely. When we turned into the driveway I felt the clouds part and a blessed light shone down. I think I even heard music ! I LOVE JUNK !!! And there was so much ... a school full, little buildings full, lean-tos full, piles in the yard, piles out back ... AAAAAHHHHH !!! JUNK HEAVEN !!! It was awesome. We poked around for a long time - paper, metal, doors, windows, stretchers, desks, bowling alley floor, .. you name it ! There was a 12 foot bowling alley return ... and if we had taken the truck I know it would be ours !! Next time maybe !
Here are a few of the treasures I found ...
The bucket, the pattern, and the tin Christmas tree light shields are from Grandma's Barn in Plympton (?). The rest was from The Graff Brothers - photos, all the metal pieces, and the 2 books of sheet music ... all $5 !!! Then I went back and bought the tin tile and the pieces of tin trim. I think the tile will be a great magnet board and the trim will make great birdhouse roofs !!(Thanks Taryn for sharing it with your blog readers !!)Photobucket. These are the tin pieces ... aren't they great ??!! The quilt came from Grandma's too ... also $5 !! A little worse for wear but who cares ?
Since we were that far, we decided to keep going. Back to my old college - Universite Sainte Anne - I haven't been there for over 20 years. I hardly recognized anything in the area ... the restaurant we used to go to was gone, the residence I lived in looked pretty worn out, there were lots of new buildings ... totally changed. Oh well. On we went ...
We ended up in Yarmouth where we found the restaurant we used to go to all those years ago ... the Austrian Inn ... still there & with the same owner !! We hadn't had lunch so we decided to have an early dinner before heading home. As I ate my lovely schnitzel, I looked around and realized it was just us and a handful of very seniors. It felt like we were part of the blue haired wave looking for the early bird special !!! REALLY ... we were just hungry. HONEST we hadn't had lunch ...
As we were headed home, the most beautiful sunshine appeared and we drove home, stopping at a few more junk spots, under the bluest sky. A great day !
A few hours gardening ( weeding !!), doing laundry, making lunches, and whatever else needed to be done and the weekend had come to an end. But it was another one well lived and enjoyed !! HOORAY !!
Oh ... and then we come to work Monday and I find this !!!
Photobucket It was leaning up against the Red Cross box and I took it !! And I don't feel bad either ! Actually, they won't take that kind of thing ... they only want clothing & shoes. So it would have been discarded. I though it was wonderful ... kind of like the Junk Gods were smiling on me !! So now I have a potential table top also stuffed in the back seat of the car ... along with all the other GREAT STUFF !!! WOOT WOOT !!
Now back to working hard ...

Friday, July 3, 2009


Last night I made jam. I made jam about 20+ years ago and I remember it as a hot sticky messy chore. Guess it's all in the mind set. Last night I WANTED to make jam ... and it was GREAT !! I made 4 batches ... filled 3 cases of bottles. If I had had another few boxes of berries and another case of jars I would have made more !! It smelled so good, the colour was amazing, it tasted delicious ... I wanted to just keep going. Now I have a whole list of jams & jellies I want to make. ( Could I have an obsessive personality ??? hmmm ...)
I learned a few things. Don't lick your finger if you get pectin on it - SOUR !! And I can fill you in on the Bernardin vs. Certo debate. I made 2 batches of each. Much prefer the Certo. Bernardin involves putting the completed jam in the canner for a 10 minute boil after it is in the jars. That was no problem but the jam lost some of its real ruby colour . And because the pectin is added at a different stage in the boiling process and stirred for much less time, the fruit tends to float up more and the foam is much harder to skim off. The Certo gelled much faster and the fruit stayed well suspended. That is your Consumer/Home Economics lesson for today ... was that a yawn I heard ...
Anyway, it was great !! I turned off the stove a little after midnight and looked at all my sparkling jars with the greatest of pleasure. And then listened to that little symphony of "Pop", "pop", "pop". Ah ... happy sounds at the jam factory !

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Oh What a Great Day !!!

Canada Day was WONDERFUL !! We started out wearing our new Canada day t-shirts...
We had no plan but as we drove to town, we heard on the radio that Kentville was having celebrations so that's where we went !! It was great ! There was a really fun band and a super farmers' market. We bought lots of local organic veggies, ran into Taryn & Macy the Blog Dog (got to meet her in person/canine - cool !!), had a great international lunch of samosas, Asian veggie rolls, and steamed pork buns. Yummy !
And I bought this FAB fish !! It is made of a pop bottle and is so fun. It hangs out in our back porch/cathouse. LOVE IT !!!
Then we meandered off to Wolville, stopping here and there. A basil plant to replace the one killed by "The Mighty Wind", some BLACK radish seeds, yellow beets, a bag of new potatoes,just fun & relaxing... Stopped for a flat of strawberries - $1.50 a box ALREADY PICKED !!! WAHOO !!!
We headed for home but saw another farmers' market in Kingston and had to stop. Local pork found its way into the cooler . A taste of local wine. And ...oh my ... a coconut danish ... oh soooo good ! If I was going to splurge I am sooo glad it was on THAT !!! Buttery, flaky, coconutty, oh bliss !
So our Canada Day dinner was barbequed pork chops, grilled local beets & carrots, steamed local snow peas, roasted new potatoes, and local pear wine- all out on the back porch under the awesome fish ! It was just a great meal after a great day.
I finished the day by making ruby red freezer jam and will make cooked jam tonight.
This seems like just a real Canadian day - loving life, eating local, enjoying our small towns & people, just ALL GOOD !!

P.S. JILL ... I HOPE it was the same beaver ... I hate to think that there is a band of 3 legged beavers roaming the town ... YIKES !!!

... a few of my favourite things ...