Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beautiful Thursday

I had Thursday off so I could treat my daughter (and myself) to the Lunenburg Farmer's Market.  They have so many more vendors than our little local market.  There was wonderful fresh breads and pastries, fresh fish caught practically outside the door, some early fresh veggies like lettuce, chard and radishes; lots of lovely smelling soap and pretty jewelery; strawberry crepes to eat for breakfast and at least 5 vendors with special jellies and chutneys to sample.

I couldn't resist Ran-Cher Acres' selection of goat cheeses.  We bought two.

Another absolutely wonderful vendor "Salty Betty" sold different flavored salts and salty snacks as well as the 2 items I bought:  Lemon Rose Sugar (OMG!  Amazing stuff!  I'm gonna sprinkle it on this Saturdays freshly picked strawberries) and Maple Rum Vinegar (which I just wanted to drink).  So unique and tasty!

This beautiful rocking chair was made from Flaming Golden Maple.  It was really comfortable to sit in with just a slight rock and nice low arms which would be perfect for nursing mothers .....
or aging women with tired feet (like me!).

Lunenburg's own Ironworks Distillery carries a line of flavored vodkas, brandies and liquers.  They have one called Arctic Kiwi which is so subtle and sweet:  the other stuff was pretty darn potent for a good little Christian girl like myself!  

After we munched our way through the market, we strolled the streets of lovely Lunenburg, going into shops and oogling all the pretty wares (without buying anything).  We drove to Mahone Bay for a yummy sandwich; then visited a couple of thrift stores on our way home.

These 2 tired ladies had a simple but elegant dinner mostly supplied by the various places we visited during the day.

Dinner fit for 2 Queens!
On the yellow plate:  Gouda goat cheese, my own homemade bread & butter pickles and a smoked paprika butter w/ chillies & chives.  On the white plate:  LaHave Bakery Russian Black Bean bread.  On the far right:  That tiny round is a soft goat cheese encased in an edible vegetable ash (and OMG!  Was that ever tasty!  I may be in love!).  Behind from left to right:  Rhubarb chutney, Moroccan Date Pesto (soooo good), Apple Lavender jelly and my own homemade rhubarb juice (from last summer) which we mixed with soda water.

I don't think we could call it a queenly table with something sweet.
We shared our sweets and each had (from LaHave Bakery) mocha chocolate cake and my personal favorite, a toffee square.  

 What a wonderful meal it was.  

Later that evening, I lit my new fire pot and sat on the deck with all 3 of my beautiful daughters.  We shared a glass of wine, and talked and laughed; and I gratefully listened to them play guitar and uke and sing together.

 What a blessing it is to be together again!  Ahhhhh!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

All hands on deck!

Ewwww!  Look at that nasty deck!  

Because my home has so much shade, the deck accumulates spots of mildew.  So, before I host my annual July 1st Canada Day Sangria party, I wanted to give her a sprucing up. 

I choose a product that would work specifically on mold and mildew (about $12 -- and there's lots left for future summers).  I  brushed it on in small patches  and scrubbed it with this specific stiff-brush.  (No wire brushes please!  Those gouge the wood.)    

It was hard work!  But look at the lovely difference it made.

Because this product contains a bleach ingredient, you have to leave it for 2 days before you re-stain.  Easy peasy!  Two days in the lovely sunshine to dry and cure.

Then it began to rain gently all weekend.  No re-staining! And the weather man said it would rain all week.  Egads!  What's a charming hostess to do?

Thank goodness for my wonderful boss.  The weather changed (as it is wont to do!!), and yesterday the sun came out bright and hot.  By 2 pm, the deck was once again dry; so Sandy took the afternoon off to stain her deck -- because it's rain again for the rest of the week.

And here she is, her lovely self, looking all pretty in teal.  
And as you can plainly see, the weather man was not wrong.  The rain has once more begun.

Fingers crossed for July 1st; it would be so nice to sit outside and enjoy her loveliness rather than on the sofa gazing wistfully out the patio doors!

I'm told that this will be a yearly occurrence -- dealing with not just the mildew but the usual wear and tear on a deck.  Anyone out there with sage advice?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fertilizer Friday - June 22.12

Friday means joining Tootsie and the other proud gardeners for Fertilizer Friday at Tootsie Time.  Remember to drop by Tootsie's blog because there are so many wonderful plants to see.  She's an avid gardener with much more energy than I have (and her gardens prove it!).

My gardens are doing very well.  The yellow day lillies are waning; but look at that beautiful Spiderwort!  It's one of my favorites because of the profusion of blooms.  The Asiatic lillies are getting ready to bloom; and thanks to my diligence in hand picking and destroying every beetle I found, the plants are looking lovely.  

The back and side beds are also filling in.  My new bed way at the back looks healthy and contains some of the prettiest pansies.  Out of my 4 tea rose bushes, only one bloomed; I think the move upset the plants, but they'll revive for another year.  The dianthus is blooming -- don't you love that dusty green foliage against the pale pink.  My new Canterbury Bells plant has lots of pretty blooms.  The the miniature Carnations that I planted 4 years ago return faithfully for me year after year.  

Now I need some help identifying a plant that was given to me.  It's very pretty; I just wish I knew what to call it!  

Can you help me please?

I have another busy week ahead of me.  My Japanese and Korean students leave over the next few days; both will return in late August, thank goodness!  I do love them!  And my eldest daughter who lives in TO will be arrive on Monday until mid July.  She's a wonderful cook!  Kudos!

Have a wonderful weekend, y'all!  Me?  I'll be armed with the vacuum and Murphy's cleaner during the day, remote and a glass of merlot in the evening.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A 1st Day of Summer Walk down Memory Lane!

I believe yesterday was the official first day; but for me, it's always the 21st because it has such significant memory attached to it.  When I was a budding young woman, on the first day of summer, you put your shoes at the foot of your bed, and that night, you'd dream of the man you'd marry.  (Some faceless male showed up in my dream that night.  But in my excitement, I didn't see the capless toothpaste tubes, rolled up undies in the corner or the sofa crotch-scratching!  If I had, I might have thunk twice about putting my shoes there the next year!)

And on June 21st 1967, I started my period for the first time.

Oh joy, oh bliss!

Not because I started my period in 1967, but because those days are over now!  I'm a much happier, little bit rounder, slightly hairier, Kotex-less version of the Sandy of old.
But I remember those younger days and what it meant to start your period in the '60's.  Do you remember those pamphlets they gave us in school after we watched "the film"?

Do you remember the belts that dug into your back and the diaper-sized napkins?  And all those silly ads telling us that it was okay to swim, play sports and wear tampons when we showered (Ewww!).  And of course, there were all those reminders to clean our nails and wear our prettiest dress on those "special days".

I'm not sure what they do in school these days.  My girls are all over 20; and I took care of telling them all about becoming a woman.  (And unlike my sister, I didn't tell them that those "things with the strings on the end" were for nose bleeds!)  I don't know if the school system still assumes a level of responsibility for informing our young people.  

But I would imagine that with today's hussle and bussle, they'd probably try to simplify even this topic.  So, I can see them showing this video which condenses the whole thing rather nicely!

For me, freedom from my monthlies comes at a cost:  I can no longer ride my bike and I've nothing to blame my bloating on.

Plus there's this unhappy fact:

PS -- I wouldn't change things though.  The money I save on sanitary products and Midol can now be spent on cheesecake and chocolate!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Shoesday the 19th of June 2012!

Summertime for a lot of people mean flipflops.  All those pretty flipflops -- so cheap and colorful -- so many designs -- so plentiful -- so easy to slip on and go.  But this girl can't wear them!  I know; it's tragic!  But they chafe the tops of my feet.   (It must be my queenly instep!)

So, here's what I wear instead:
They're comfy, thick soled slip-ons with changeable bands.  How clever is that!  

And what made this even better was the price.  I found these recently at a little local shop; they were outside on a table of miscellaneous discounted items.  But you could choose any other discounted item on the table and the reduced price of all the items went down even further:  2 items = 20%; 3 items = 30%; 4 items = 40%; all the way up to 5 items = 50%.  

Now, I was never good at math in school; but take me shopping, and I can calculate a discount in seconds flat!  I purchased 5 items for $25.50 .... less than the original reduced $31 price of the Bandals!  AND I made my feet happy!

I got the "Bandals" you see above (which come with one set of bands) plus 3 more pairs of changeable bands!  

  • What's that you say?
  • That's only 4 items?
  • What was Item #5?

This was Item #5.
A girl's gotta have a pretty glass for her summer "apres mowing" beverage when she's lounging in the deck chair and wearing her new "Bandals"!

And the sentiment on the front happens to be correct -- I am a beer snob!  My girls have called me that many time.  

But I like to think of it as having higher standards than some people.  Because what the flip side says is so true.

Drink good beer, my friends .....

And wear comfy footwear!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fertilizer Friday - June 15.12

After 4 years and many, many plant re-locations (which still happens), the garden is beginning to fill out.  I've yet to weed and feed two of my garden spots.  But if the weather cooperates,  this weekend I'll "git 'er done".

This plant is one of my new acquisitions this spring.  It's called "Valerian" and the smell is gorgeous.  Didn't even know it would have a scent, so that's an extra to the pretty little blossoms and interesting leaf structure.

This is my newest garden, made up of a lot of the plants that came from the front bed that had to be moved.  I used an old bed sheet as a base before filling it in with lovely compost, peat moss and sheep manure.  Then I ran out of supplies and energy so the back portion is not yet finished.  The bricks in front are supposed to be a "step".  

Poor me!  I don't even remember the names of some of the plants and I do like to know what's growing and blooming.  (I'll have to check my last year notes).

This bed is one of the closest to the back of the property.  And I noticed a few days ago that the deer had begun to munch on a few of the plants.  So, out came the "Skoot" and I had to spray (which is harmless to the deer but leaves beige spots on the plants).  

Darn you, nasty Bambis!  Why can't you just concentrate on my sacrificial Hosta bed I prepared for you?  Why must you be so dog-gone greedy?

The countdown is on now for my "Summer o Freedom" when the students leave me for July and August.  Ahhhhhh!  
I'm practicing!

Now, let's head over to to check out the rest of the lovely blooms this week.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sunday High Tea!

Another tea party?  Yes.  This time, it was "High Tea at Vogler's Cove" -- Dainty little sandwiches, mini quiche, wee little sweets and stick toffee pudding!  Yummy!  Where else could you get such an array of goodies (for $6.50) and such a display of millinery!
Almost everyone there wore a hat.  (Look closely at the lower right picture; it's Miss Beth wearing her gorgeous feathered hat again.)

Christine demonstrates how to correctly hold your pinky while drinking tea.  You can see our response!
My creation garnered a lot of attention.
Can you say "color co-ordinated", boys and girls?

We stopped at the beach again to walk off that pudding.  And lo and behold; when we dropped Darlene off at her house, she complained about all that rhubarb growing out back and what was she going to do with it?

Sandy and Diana to the rescue!  You don't need a knife to cut rhubarb; you pull it gently from the lower stem and it "pops" out neatly AND will then grow another batch this season!

I quite happily spent an hour washing, trimming, bagging and freezing.  The strawberry fields will be ready to pick in a week or two; so strawberry rhubarb pies, squares and crisps look good for the future!

Sunshine is in the forecast for most of this week.  After all our rain, everything will be growing like crazy -- flowers, grass and veggies.

What a season of promise!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

In the Garden

After days of rain and drizzle, the sunshine on Friday was very welcome.  Here's a look at what's in the garden.

And the pansies!

And daughter #2 was blooming on Friday!  She graduated from 1st year of college, and she hopes to go back to do a 2nd year.

Congratulations Molly.  I'm very proud of you.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

 It's Thursday; and I've been thrifting; so it must be Thrifty Thursday!

Let's see what I bought this week at my quickie Value Village stop.

A darling pair of leopard print ballet flats ($4.99).  (I say it's impossible to have too many shoes or too much animal print, n'est pas?)

This gorgeous shirt ($5.99) jumped out at me; I loves me some color and a little bling 'n sparkle!

It's nice to have a couple of basic black T's; but the satin bow on this black T adds that little something extra ($5.99).

I've looked at these glass pieces in the shops but would not spend the $$$ on myself.  This one was very affordable at $6.99; and the colors, the buildings and the bergy-bits in the water (iceberg bits) remind me of good ole Newfoundland.

Twas a good VV trip, especially as I spent so little.

Happy thrifting, y'all!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Good Day??????

 Baby #3 had an afternoon appointment in the city yesterday.  So that means one thing to Mama --- If we have to go all the way to the city and use all that gas and time, we might as well make a day of it.

So, we did a quick trip to Value Village (pics on Thrifty Thursday),  an even quicker trip to Halifax Shopping Centre and then headed to the QEII.  The morning was quite different from the afternoon: 

The morning consisted of shopping and this:

Tom Yum soup with shrimp and Pad Thai with shrimp & spring roll!
(From Thai Express.  My 1st time for Tom Yum soup and it was so delicious!)

The afternoon consisted of Dr Gooday in Oral Surgery and looked like this:

Baby had 4 wisdom teeth extracted.  Today my little chipmunk looks even more like her new moniker than she did last night when this pic was taken.  Poor little baby!

Excuse me now:  I must go blend smoothies and mash eggs!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Brunching 'n' Beaching

Saturday's Champagne Brunch in Broad Cove

Saturday was a glorious day to venture out with friends while dressed in your finery.  It was so wonderful to drink Mimosas and eat smoked salmon quiche and rhubarb meringue pie.

Look at those wonderful hats.  The lady on the far left with the amazing blue feathered hat is somewhere around 90 years of age.  I commented on her hat, and she said "I know my style of hat; and I love to wear them, no matter if anyone else has one on or not.

 Then she thanked us all for wearing our hats.  (I covet the blue feathered creation!)  We all loved this young girl's cloche-style hat.  

Saturday was a grand day for a walk on Risser's Beach after brunch.  The water felt wonderful on my toes.

Ahhhh June!  You're so lovely.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Rabbit, Rabbit!


Joyous, happy, welcome  month -- month full of change!  


Outside of work, here are just a few of the wonderful things that are in store for me this month.

All this .......... and it's Friday.

Have a great day and a wonderful weekend!


  Sorry! I thought I could return to a normal schedule. But my sense of 'normal' has changed. After the past 5 years of various ailm...