Tuesday, February 27, 2018

In Praise of Netflix

Aside from my Monday to Friday workmates, I have had little to no luck enticing my family or few friends to do anything outside the home. My week nights and weekends are lonely and monotonous. (After a year and a half, I've come to the conclusion that I made a mistake moving back home.) So, each weekend finds me looking for engaging and entertaining ways to spice up my life. 

... I play music and dance round my house.

... I cook special meals for myself, sometimes with a glass of wine, and I use the good stemware and dishes! (Cause I'm worth it!) 

... I call friends in Nova Scotia and catch up on the news.

... And there are my wonderful weekend walks round Glenmill Pond. (Usually followed by a latte treat!)

But the biggest monotony-breaker for me has been Netflix, a recent gift from my daughter. 

There's so much variety. I've watched The Crown, Stranger Things and Outlander as well as a movie or two. But what I'm enjoying right now are the detective stories from the United Kingdom; they are so different from most detective shows in North America. I loved Hinterland which is set in Wales; the scenery and the melodious Welsh language was wonderful. And now I'm working my way through Shetland set, of course, in the Shetland Islands.


And when shows become too dark or morose, I simply have to switch gears slightly and watch Grace and Frankie. What a fantastic show that is for those of us "of a certain age"; the one where they both put their back out at the same time and end up on the floor is akin to Lucy and Ethel!

Do you watch Netflix? If so, please pass along your suggestions and help me pass the lonely nights until winter melts into spring and I can frolic and gambol in the fields.


Friday, February 16, 2018

The Corner Brook Winter Carnival 2018

Tonight is the start of our 47th annual winter carnival and a first for me. Monday is a day off in Newfoundland as well -- a "floater" that seems to be Family Day throughout most of Canada. I received a schedule of events in my mailbox the other day and thought I'd have a look through to see if there is anything I really want to attend. 

Tonight there's a Torch Light Parade with the Mayor from City Hall to Margaret Bowater Park with fireworks, music and snacks provided. I thought I'd get my weekly hike in that way. 

A lot of events are things that take place at most any winter carnival. But Newfoundland does have a few events that you won't find anywhere else. Rugged Edge Snowmobile Group  is planning a ride to the Shiver Shack where they'll have a "mug up" -- a meal of tea and bread and molasses or jam -- as well as live traditional NL music. 
Mug Up
Top of Marble Mtn

[Similar to the mug up is a "boil up" (pronounced 'bile up'); this meal is usually more substantial (tea, bread, baloney, beans, bacon, eggs, etc) cooked on an outdoor open fire anywhere in NL. And I mean ANYWHERE - the woods, a beach or even a stop at a gravel pit along the side of the road.
Some good "scoff", my son!

And I couldn't help but smile at some of the many, many luncheons and dinners taking place next week featuring names that you'd probably never hear of anywhere else but NL:

*For those of you who perhaps feel that the seal industry is cruel and unnecessary, I'd implore you to really look at the seal industry in northern Canada as it happens today and not just take the word of those against the seal hunt. Newfoundlanders are not only very proud of their heritage and traditions, but we also work very hard to keep those traditions alive. We hunt humanely and utilize every part of the animal. The cost of living here is one of the highest in Canada, and jobs and industry are few; hunting and recreational fishing are part of how people here feed their family. It truly is a way of life here. 

I haven't made up my mind how much of carnival I'll partake of. But the Fish and Brewis Dinner as well as the Jiggs Dinner are both calling my name. 
Jiggs Dinner 

Fish and Brewis w/ Scrunchins'

The Carnival Committee certainly don't have to worry about snow: we've plenty of that! But some sunshine sure would be nice, Lord!

Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day

Being alone on Valentine's Day has never been an issue for me; and the only complaint I have about it is the over-commercialization of the day. Oh yeah! One more complaint:  you can't get a table at a restaurant! 

Things I love about Valentine's Day:

  1. A perfect excuse to wear pink or red anything and everything. I'm a big fan of monochrome, but it's usually blues. Today, I'm wearing a tunic in grey 'n' white with red accents, black leggings, my red beaded chandelier earrings, bright red lipstick and red patent leather shoes. 
  2. Red food! I think it's kind of fun that on this particular day, I get to jazz up my meals by seeing how many redish foods I can incorporate. Tonight is salmon with white rice, tomato salad and a red velvet cupcake for dessert.  
  3. Phone calls from loved ones living far ..... and near. Extra love in my voice and an extra "I love you" thrown in.
  4. Self-love is an important part of my lifestyle. It keeps me healthy, cheerful, optimistic and sane. This evening, I shall love myself with some gentle yoga, an epsom salts bath and some Netflix.  (Further self love will be shown this weekend after #5 below!)
  5. Tomorrow! EVERYONE loves February 15th because that's the day all the Valentine's chocolate goes on sale! Yummy!

Happy Valentine's Day everybody.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Church in the Woods

Contrary to what even I believed before I moved back to NL, most Newfoundlanders hate winter! Won't move out of the house because "It's too cold". "Well, it's winter!" I reply! So, in my attempt to Vitamin D myself as much as possible, I do my weekend wanderings alone.

Starting on Friday, I did a visit to my local Salvation Army store to buy more stuff that I don't need (but make me happy): like these great black flats for $5 and two new scarves at $1 each. 

My "steal of a deal" was this Le Creuset butter dish for $1. (If it hadn't been red, I would have left it on the shelf. But I do love red accents!) 

The next day as I was window-shopping at Winners, I came across the same butter dish for $24.95. Good deal, Sandy!

 I spent lots of time watching Netflix - a Xmas gift from my daughter and fiance. So much fun! Oh the joys of "Stranger Things", "The Crown" and "Hinterland"! I had a bottle of sparkling wine in my refrigerator since Xmas that was waiting for my sister to visit. It actually travelled across the Gulf with me from Nova Scotia. So, I reasoned that as it was early Saturday afternoon and I'd be home cleaning and puttering, I could certainly manage to drink the bottle over the course of the day. 

It was a most delicious bottle of wine! I can't wait to enjoy it again sometime. It had a delicious deep, rich, raspberry flavor to it. And as I wrote in my Instagram post, it was "sparkling, full-bodied and slightly bitter ..... not unlike the person drinking it!" 

Went down a treat as they say across the pond.

But my favorite part of the whole weekend was my sunny Sunday walk at Margaret Bowater Park again. I reversed my loop round Glenmill Inn Pond this time. It had snowed Saturday and the path was not as well trodden as the week before. But it was still very passable. I found this very patriotic boot print on one section of the path. Yay Canada! 

Then as I just passed the half-way point, I stopped to rest on a park bench. On my left side was the sound of the Corner Brook stream and the birds (so lovely). And on the right side of me, I could hear organ music from First United Church (even more lovely). I sang along with the hymn and communed with God there in the woods, thanking him for the beautiful day, my legs and lungs, and the latte waiting for me at the end.



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