Thursday, April 25, 2019

Ow's it goin', Maid!

I had the most wonderful 45 min walk last weekend on the old railway trail behind my house: in my hiking sneakers, sun shining, up a busy thoroughfare, onto a side street and finally in the quiet of the trail. There was still snow in the middle of the trail in spots; and the melting reveals copious amounts of dog poop! But beautiful and refreshing all the same. The spring bulbs I'd planted in the fall came up in spite of the poor soil in which I'd planted them which was so exciting for me as I miss my Nova Scotia garden terribly. 

We've had a very long, cold winter. The Bay froze over ... then melted ... then refroze --- probably 3 times at least. So, an ice breaker went through a few weeks ago and crunched all the ice together and on top of each other until parts of it resembled Toblerone bars. Saturday and Easter Sunday were warm (for western NL) with 7 C (45 F); and on both days, I had a steady stream of fake icebergs that floated by my front window. It was lovely to sit outside in my lawn chair and watch them.  

Then yesterday, we had freezing rain, then rain, then snow: and today, it's -1 C (30 deg F), for Lard's sake! We don't put our winter clothing away until late May on this Island!  Oh well, it'll be spring again this weekend. 

My youngest daughter asked me to bake scones (one of my specialities) and a cake for her upcoming bridal shower. I haven't really baked for 3 years and haven't baked a plain cake for even longer. But on Good Friday past, I began. The 'crown' orange cake came out beautifully! But I discovered that I'm not very good at pound cakes; it was a bit 'dunch', another great Newfie word. However, it is very tasty! So, into the freezer with it so it can be used later for trifle. 

Dunch: n' dull, heavy: v 'to get stiff with long waiting; heavy, doughy.
   Stiff; cramped or numbed from sitting in one position; to be cramped in the legs, 
   arms, etc.   For example: " You wouldn't be able to stay keeled out on the settle 
   bench very long 'cause it would be quite 'ard and yer bum would go dunch!" 

My next two white layers looked good but were very thin because I didn't notice that my cake pans were 9" instead of 8". So, those got iced and eaten at Easter dinner. Yum!

FINALLY, I baked a simple yellow cake which worked out beautifully ..... so I made two to be cut into four. They're in the freezer waiting to be iced and decorated this Saturday. Wish me luck!

Here's hoping that your weekend is warm and your cakes rise beautifully!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter

Don't you love how unimpressed they are with the thoughtfulness of your gift! 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Crown in my Weekend

On Monday we had spring; all the snow had melted, the crocus buds were opening and I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and sneakers. Tuesday evening, it began to snow, and Wednesday morning, so much had accumulated that there was 6" of snow on my car. Today, the snow is gone again HURRAH! And Newfoundlanders might be able to actually speak the word "spring" out loud. Doesn't the sunshine cast it's golden glow over everything -- attitudes included.

Because Monday is St George's Day, an obscure NL holiday that most people don't get, I have a wonderful 4 day weekend. Part of that time will be spent baking a bridal shower cake for my daughter's party next weekend. (I'll freeze it.)  

I have this wonderful bunt pan which I hope to put on top of a slightly larger round cake ('cause every bride deserves a crown).

The bottom will be a traditional pound cake (with just a hint of lemon). And in my bunt pan, I think I'll bake my once-was-standard family birthday cake -- a delicious orange cake from The Harrowsmith Country Life Baking Book. I've owned that book since the early 90's; and it's one that's stained and dog earred from use. So many great recipes.

I'm not a cake decorator, but I can spot easy elegant finishes that can be pulled off without too much work. A nice buttercream icing, a few fresh flowers in the centre of the crown, and some torquoise icing dots (her wedding color). Hopefully, it will somewhat resemble this one from Pinterest.

Easter weekend for me will be quiet. I can't attend church because of my scent allergy (and we all know that church is FULL of deliberately "stinky" people!). But I'll worship on my own, relax and have a meal with my Dad.

I hope your weekend is a happy one. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

I'm Back

I've finally healed enough to type (and it's extra physio). It's been a very difficult 10 weeks. There are so many things that are affected by a break that no one is aware of until they're in the midst of it.
Here's my neat little Frankinstein scar covering my metal plate.
Soon I'm going to see if I can single-handedly wrist-hold a magnet!

I broke my wrist on Jan 22nd; had surgery on Feb 6th and got my cast off 2 weeks ago on Mar 21st. In between the break and the cast coming off there was, understandably, considerable pain. The doctor gave me an opiate for pain, but I didn't see much difference and I was quite wary of increasing the pills as they're so addictive. So instead, I smoked an Indica strain of cannabis; it helped me relax and took away 60-70% of the pain which meant that I could rest.

And rest I did! Wow! Your body goes into healing mode and all a person does for the first 3-4 weeks is rest. Getting all the pillows into an appropriate pattern to allow me to rest and support both my arm and back needed strategic planning and design! And thank goodness once again for Netflix and Crave TV which helped to entertain me.

I only missed a total of about 3 full weeks of work. Then I went part days:  my co-worker picked me up in the morning and my landlord brought me home at about 3 pm, exhausted and in such pain! But I was glad to get out of the house and didn't cuss too much at having to type one handed. I've been back full time for 2 weeks. Friends and family have helped to feed me; and I bought a lot of frozen meals so my diet suffered along with my hand. But I was happy to not have to prepare many meals myself.

I broke my foot 10 years or so ago and wasn't able to walk, of course. But did you know that when you break an arm or wrist, not only can you not use that particular limb, but you can't do a number of fairly important things. 

  • I couldn't style/dry my hair, put backs on earrings or do up clasps on necklaces, or wear any pants that had zips or buttons.
  • I couldn't butter bread. (All my aprons have permanent grease stains on the belly portion from attempting to butter 'n' jam my toast.)
  • I couldn't chop veggies or slice bread. When I wanted to quarter an orange, for instance, I used my elbow to stabilize the orange and a bread knife to saw through. Exhausting!
  • I couldn't wear a mitten or glove and had to wear my oversize ski jacket both for fit and so that I could cover my cold little cast fingers.
  • I couldn't do up my bra; so it had to be fastened first, put on over my head (inserting my casted arm first) and then carefully, painfully pulled down into place. This took upwards of 5 min work and I always needed to rest afterwards.
  • My back was bruised and hurt for a whole month after the fall. And I had to keep my arm elevated as much as possible. So, there were no soothing, rejuvenating epsom salts baths. And drying oneself after a shower was a long, hard process.
  • AND it doesn't stop when the cast comes off as you now have to re-teach your arm/hand joints and muscles how to work. Nothing would move and the muscle pain is pretty awful. I'm doing my own 2x a day physio; and after 2 weeks I can touch my thumb to all my fingers and can curl them half way. Still not too much flexion in my wrist, but there is improvement every day. This week, I can use all my fingers to type (but I make a lot of mistakes with my left hand.)
Needless to say, breaking a wrist/arm is a tough go, but I'm on the mend. Thank you for entertaining me with your blog posts; and hope to begin blogging again soon on a more regular basis.

Here's hoping spring will come to my province soon to brighten my days and allow me to walk again. 

Ciao bellas!


  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...