Friday, April 27, 2018

Spring has Sprung ..... Finally!

I knew that spring has sprung for sure here when I began hearing birdsong a couple of weeks ago. But those surprise snow storms made me scratch my head, especially last Friday nights fall. Although the roads may have been clear, it added to the huge mounds along every street and parking area. 

I'm happy to report that those mounds are almost entirely melted! We've had warming temperatures this week and a day of rain. Hurrah! I can actually walk up to the scrubs and trees and see the buds. It's ever so exciting.

I've one of those backs that goes out every now and then (without even asking permission). It happened last week; I've been nursing it with extra rest, but because I sit at a computer all day long, it takes longer to heal. I've not been walking, but thankfully I think I can resume this weekend. I become giddy with the thought of walks along the Bay in the sunshine!

But I also become giddy at the thought of spring cleaning, washing my windows and changing out the sofa pillows and throw with more spring-like colors and patterns. I look around my little abode and think "What can I do to bring in the light? Where can I move this piece of furniture? What color can I incorporate in my decor?" It's all part of my celebration of spring.

But it's been such a long, harsh winter, I feel quite justified in my giddiness!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Weekend Wanderings

Although spring is very slow coming to western Newfoundland, the snow is melting. Friday night, my sister and I had one of our sleepovers -- a wonderful bonding experience that involves reminiscing, a few brewskies, lots of laughing and, if I'm lucky, a little girl-dancing. 

Imagine our surprise when several hours after our evening began we noticed this scene outside! Yes, that's a brand new blanket of white on trees and ground! It was very pretty but thankfully was gone again by mid morning Saturday. That's when Linda and I set off for an adventure day!

We drove to nearby Deer Lake and visited their wonderful Sally Ann. I found a really cute pair of black polka dotted pants ($4) and a  green depression glass plate ($2). (Not sure of the pattern though. Help!) We window shopped at a couple of other small shops; and then she took me out for supper before heading home again. 

Sunday was a bit of a cold day; so after making chicken veg soup and moose meatballs for this week's dinner, I spent the late afternoon reacquainting myself with "Westworld" because that evening was the season premier. It's an intriguing program!

And I had another day off yesterday because it was St. George's Day? (I don't argue with my ED when she says we have obscure days off.) The sun was shining and it was all of 11 deg C (51 F); so I headed uptown to another one of my favorite shops, the Bulk Food Store

Living alone means I use smaller amounts of everything. Instead of using the bags above the bins, I love using the wee spice bags and filling them with spoonfuls of chopped pecans, dried cranberries and the like. I hadn't been there for a while, so I had lots of fun walking up and down aisles and looking at new stuff. Look at these adorable colored bow-tie pasta! And yes, I eat a LOT of rolled oats. 

I was home by 3 pm; and at that time of day, the sun is around the side of my house and streams into my kitchen and living areas. I get rainbows on my floor and lovely shadows on my walls. After cooking, I lit the tea light under my patchouli scented oil and it was so tranquil and serene. 

Ahhhhhh! T'was a good weekend. Hope yours was as well.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Today, I'm taking a page out of Marie's blog posts and copying her format for "The Simple Woman's Daybook".

Outside my window: It's a light day; the sun is up there somewhere behind the clouds, but at least it's not snowing again. Still, there's no snow on the roads or sidewalks, so I've been able to walk most days.

I am thinking: I may look for a local TOPS group to join. Blame it on my new laid-back lifestyle here in NL, on the lengthy winter and extremely cold temperatures, my aging body or my lethargy, but I've gained weight this winter and my wardrobe does not appreciate it nor will my pocket book be able to take it! In my 80% solitary life, I'm not able to police myself effectively, but I know that I always do better it if I have supportive people around me. WW is too expensive and restrictive (I don't do low-fat or low-cal or chemically calorie reduced stuff at all. Toxic!). And I lost weight was part of TOPS 8 yr ago with a friend; so it's worth another try, I think. [And I may meet more friends!!!]

In the kitchen: My favorite weekend meal was a pan of oven roasted veg (onions, sweet potatoes, carrots and peppers) topped with a broccoli/cheese stuffed chicken breast. It was so juicy and delicious. I'm also dreaming about the perri-peri spatchcocked chicken I plan on making tomorrow. (I think about food a lot; thought often becomes action -- hence my weight gain!)

Something to Watch: I found a great German series on Netflix last weekend called "Dark". It's dubbed to English; so even though that means it's easier to follow and you don't have to read subtitles, the inflections and such in the dialogue are a little bizarre. However, the story line, acting and cinematography is fantastic. It's a mystery that has a touch of the supernatural (but not scary); sort of like 'Stranger Things' or the older 'Twin Peaks'. Very addictive!

Corners of my kingdom: This Friday past, I got together for dinner with old high school buddies, some of whom I hadn't seen in 46 years. How wonderful it is to sit after that long and feel as if there have been no breaks in your relationship, to feel that relaxed calm that comes from spending time with a trusted friend. It was warm and fuzzy and so wonderful!

Then on Saturday, I took part in the annual Rehtaeh Parsons walk here at work to bring focus to cyber bullying and suicide. Progress is often long and arduous when it comes to women's causes. :(  But as the mother of 4 females and as someone who made it through the gropings and cat calls of the 70's, 80's and 90's, I thank God that I can be part of the new voices calling for respect and equality.

Good to Know: 

Speak kindly to yourself. 

Stay healthy! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Shelia carried a HUGE brush this year!

We were hit with a huge winter storm this weekend. Two feet of snow fell overnight Sunday and all day Monday. We had a dilly of a blizzard, just like the ones when I was a kid: snowing constantly, blowing, blizzard conditions, the sound of the wind whistling through any crack or cranny it could find. It was wonderful to be indoors and listen/watch what Mother Nature was doing outside. She's not a lady to be messed with.

In Newfoundland, we expect to have a visit from Shelia's Brush*.  But gol darn it, Shelia! That warn't no brush: it were a bloody big broom!

* Sheila's Brush is an idiom used in Newfoundland and it refers to the last big storm of the winter season, a storm that occurs around St. Patrick's Day. The term comes from an Irish legend which says that Sheila was the saint's wife (or sister or mother) and that the snow is a result of her sweeping away the old season. 

I was quite content to sit indoors with my blessed electricity and cook, clean and chillax. 

I made soup, of course -- a red lentil with delicious bits of bacon, carrots and a touch of lemon juice at the end. Yum! Then I baked a delicious batch of Partridgeberry Streusel Muffins. 

(Partridgeberries are like a tart cranberry and Newfoundlanders love them. The jam is divine on a slice of freshly baked bread and topped with a wee spread of thick cream liked canned Fussels or Nestles. OMG!) 

There was lots of housecleaning, some rearranging of furniture and plenty of Netflix. I discovered a really good sci-fi series last weekend called Sense 8. Besides the sci-fi portion of the storyline, it takes place in several locations around the world with  characters from different ethnicities, beliefs, social/financial backgrounds and sexual preferences with a large emphasis on LGBTQ+ issues. This makes for a deeply compelling and eye-opening show. I like to be challenged, especially in my thinking, so I'm really enjoying it. Sadly, now that I'm almost at the end of Season 2 and am completely hooked, I find out that there will be no Season 3!

I can take the extra snow, Shelia! 
But no Season 3!!! 
Whatever shall I do!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Now everyone will want a basket of beer!

The Easter Bunny found me and blessed me with things from Nova Scotia found in Newfoundland. 

One of my favorite beers is St Ambroise apricot wheat ale from  what is known as "Quebec's foremost micro-brewery". Unfortunately, like so many things, I have been unable to buy it in Newfoundland for the past 2 years (despite my many attempts to talk the liquor commission into it). Imagine my delight when I found a few cans of it last week; a speciality product brought in to test the waters, so to speak. 

The other thing I'd been wanting to try was Peace by Chocolate, a small chocolate company started the year I left by an immigrant Syrian family that had moved to rural NS. They've become quite a success! This year, Sobey's Stores started carrying the chocolate; and again, I was fortunate to find a box on our shelves here. It wasn't cheap: roughly about $14 plus tax for 14 pieces. 
But oh my! They were worth the price! What lovely chocolates they were: all solid, a mixture of white, milk and dark, and all different flavors and/or different nuts. Yummy!

The little green bird on top of my Easter treasure basket was a thrift store find in the fall; it lights up!

I had a quiet long weekend with several brisk "spring" walks, some baking and lots of Netflix. But the best part of the weekend was getting together with family at my Dad's house. We're aren't a close family, and it's often really difficult to coordinate everyone's schedules. But we did it yesterday; and my Dad was really pleased. 

Thank you Peanut Blossom
for use of your picture.
We feasted on ham, potatoes a gratin, mac 'n' cheese, caesar salad, and fresh potato rolls. I made a sangria from my Dad's homemade white wine, and we had a delicious pineapple carrot cake with cream cheese icing for dessert. It was a really lovely time. 

Now it's back to work and back to working out spring.  The night time temperatures this weekend were quite cold, and we woke to snow this morning. But the sun is shining brightly out there now! Lots of people are commenting on an anticipated heavy snow fall this Wednesday.

To those Negative Nancys I say:
"Consult your bathroom bugs! 
Winter is beaten, people! 
It just hasn't shut-up about it!"


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