June 28 & 29 – Family Time

It’s been a long, hard week at work – sometimes things just go that way, despite your best efforts – and I was not in a very good mood by the end of it all. That led to a restless evening, and I decided it was time to get back to these photos.

They made me smile, and I hope they will do the same for you!

…It’s family BBQ night!

Stef relaxes with some guitar practice

Hi Nathan!

Time to sit back and enjoy some entertainment

Piano Man! And very well done, too.

Sisters, cousins, mother, daughter...

...and more!

They thought they could hide...

But Mom had control of the camera, and she found them all!

Lazy Sunday morning after…

Chasing chickens...

They're positive the grass is greener on the outside...

Walking in the woods

And down the country road, where we found a friend

It was a wonderful visit! I hope we will do it again soon!

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June 27 – Luneburg

Quick post! I kept meaning to post Lunenburg pics, but have been busy with the whole vacationing thing! Some relaxing, doing some things around the house. It’s been busy. Over too fast, as vacations always are.

So we left Peggy’s Cove and drove along the south shore. Lots of cute little towns along the way. We made a very brief stop in Mahone Bay, to enjoy the view, and then it was straight on to Lunenburg.

It was hot and sunny by this point. Dad & Mom get to Lunenburg fairly often, so they were walking with purpose, and the rest of us were following along behind, stopping for photos when something caught our interest.

Hello lamp post! Whatcha knowing?

How does Rum Row sound for an address? Stef thinks it's alright!

Free tasting at Ironworks Distillery!

But first I get distracted by a butterfly.

Almost got hit by a car for this one. (Okay not really; merely annoyed Lunenburg drivers).

Cilantro: The Cooks Shop

Time for Happy Hour

Honestly, it felt like we rushed through Lunenburg a bit. But by this time, it was hot and we’d had a lot of sun; some of us were starting to wilt. I’d love to go back for a more leisurely ramble some time, but on this day I was quite happy to sit down and relax.

Refreshing beverage obtained - Garrison Nutbrown Ale (iPhone photo)

Dinner ordered! (iPhone photo)

Let the relaxing commence! (iPhone photo)

See how I look all wilted and worn out and my sister still looks awesome? I must be getting old or something.

Before we left, we did manage to find the Bluenose II tucked away at a dock; it is currently undergoing repairs.

And finally, souvenirs that came home with us…

Ah Lunenburg! We shall remember ye fondly.

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June 27 – Peggy’s Cove

What does an East Coast girl living on the West Coast do when she comes home for a visit? Soaking in some East Coast experiences is a good start!

Stephanie came home for a visit, and we decided to take a day and go to Peggy’s Cove. I knew I had been there before, but all I remembered about the experience was having a picnic on the rocks, making grilled cheese sandwiches on the camp stove (for some reason, food memories stick with me). I asked on the drive, and Mom and Dad couldn’t remember exactly when that trip happened, just that Stephanie was very young at the time. So this was like a first visit for Stef & I.

I was not disappointed. It is beautiful there – and definitely a good spot for a picnic!

Mom did find the pictures from the trip I remembered, and she said Stef looked to be around 4 years old, which means I would have been 15. From the pictures it looks like it was a fun trip the first time around too!

This time, after seeing the lighthouse and exploring the rocks for a bit, we ate lunch in the restaurant. It would have been fun to wander around a bit and visit some of the little shops, but since we wanted to drive along the south shore to Lunenburg, we decided to be on our way.

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Hummingbirds in May

That I am posting about in June…still trying to catch up!

I put the hummingbird feeders out somewhere around the middle of May, and it did not take long for them to show up. For a while there, we were seeing hummingbirds almost constantly. There were battles over the feeders, little hummers zooming this way and that.

It seemed like they suddenly disappeared. Not sure why,  but hopefully they will be back.

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Then There Was May…

April showers bring May flowers...

I have some catching up to do…Let’s start with the end of April.

April 26 - CACI Walk For Autism, Rockwood Park

On April 26, I volunteered along with a number of my coworkers, at a fundraising walk for the Community Autism Center here in Saint John. They provide support for individuals, and families of individuals with autism. I meant to write a post about it at the time, because it was good morning at a great event, but never quite  got to it.
I got up very early that morning – okay 6 am, which for me is painfully early – because of the cats. I let the cats out and decided I might as well stay up, otherwise I’d fall back to sleep and end up rushing around. So I relaxed with my coffee and book for a while, and then headed off to arrive at Rockwood Park for 9 am.
It was sunny, but it was really cold for the first couple of hours. The time went fast though. There were lots of people at the walk, having a great time. We were right beside a pretty little lake that I never did take photos of, since I spent most of the time facing the opposite direction while doing my official job, which was to take photos. [Side note - this park is 5 minutes from our house. Whey do we never go there?]
After the walk, I went home, then Cory and I headed out to do some errands. Then we went out to dinner with friends. By the end of the day, I was feeling pretty wiped out, and like I never completely warmed up from the first couple of hours at the park. Then I spent Sunday processing photos so I could hand them over to the event organizer.
I think I was still tired going into the following week, and then on the Friday I felt like I was coming down with a bad case of allergies – that was what I told myself – but I ended up being sick for the next week, so it sorta feels like the first part of May disappeared on me.
We’ve had a cold and rainy spring. We enjoyed our sunbeams whenever we found found them…

Frank

Zappa

…And wondered if we’d ever get the garden planted? [Okay, I wondered.]
Cory wondered what those white things on the cherry tree were…
They were cherry blossoms. Unfortunately, that was pretty much it. The cherry tree is not looking good. Possibly this winter killed two of our trees, not just the one; we shall see.
The critters have been back to provide entertainment.
And lots of bird watching of course.
One Friday working from home, I saw a crow on the neighbor’s lawn, with a bunch of little black birds. I realized it must be a crow family? I’ve never seen that before.
Woodpeckers. sparrows, hummingbirds, we’ve only seen the finches a few times – seems to me they are usually around more than they have been.
And chickadees of course. I took these actually standing out on the front step, and this chickadee was not at all concerned.
We are still waiting to get our cat fence fixed – or rather to have a new one installed. I am a little frustrated (more than a little, really). It’s been hard do much in the garden because there has been so much rain, but we also don’t have any protection from the deer; I don’t want to plant things just so they can get eaten.
Also, I’d like to sleep through the night and not have the cats poking at me at 3 am…then 4 am…then 5 am…Sleep would be good.
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A Little More Spring

We’ve been getting some nice weather finally. Yay for above 0 temperatures! Inching into double digits even!

I’ve seen robins hopping around in the yard. A sure sign of spring, right?

Friday & Saturday were busy at the feeders again, I got some good shots of the woodpecker – actually, at one point I saw two, but by the time I grabbed my camera the second one was gone.

Saturday was a beautiful day. Frank spent quite a bit of time sunning himself on the deck. He decided he wanted me to hang out with him, so I enjoyed some sun as well. Then I decided to check out the yard; I haven’t been out there since the snow started falling in December.

It’s pretty wet out there, I was squelching around.

There are signs of life poking up in the garden…not that any of it is lasting very long I imagine. There are definite signs that the deer have been hanging out in our yard as well. Still, it was nice to see signs of life.

I could not get Zappa’s attention – the  birds are just way too interesting.

And, finally, the view of the devastation from the other side…

We have some work ahead of us.

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Maybe Spring?

Anna asked why I haven’t updated my blog lately; I said “Because I spend all my time playing stupid computer games.” So you can blame Cory.  :)

Really, though, there hasn’t been much going on except winter, winter, and more winter..We’ve  had lots of  rain, freezing rain, snow  with high winds, we’ve had a  blizzard, and cold weather. At the beginning of the season, the snow and ice can be pretty scenery; being stormed in can be an enjoyable change…At this point it’s just tedious.

Friday morning we woke up to birds. We haven’t seen many birds all winter – chickadees and crows, a woodpecker once or twice. Friday morning I saw cardinals, sparrows, juncos, and  the woodpecker was back for quite a while.

The cats were fascinated.

At one point, we saw a bird fly through the house. Quickly followed by Frank running up the stairs and into the kitchen. I was sitting in the living room working on my laptop, and Cory was home too for what was supposedly a day off. I asked him to go open the patio door, but by the time he got out there, Frank already had the bird in mouth. Cory chased Frank into the living room where he reluctantly dropped it, poor little chickadee.

Cory grabbed Frank, and I grabbed a pair of gloves. The bird was lying in it’s back, but the legs were moving now and then, so I gently picked it up and it immediately started fluttering in my hands. Cory opened the patio door for me, with Frank struggling all the while. I stepped out on the deck, and as soon as I opened my hands the chickadee flew away, so hopefully no harm done.

The birds must have made a mess at the feeders during the day though, because we had a pack of deer checking out the area Friday night.

Yesterday was supposed to be rainy/icy/snowy again, so I thought all the birds might disappear, but they were back.

And it’s a been a busy morning at the feeders again so far today. It seems like the birds have decided it’s spring. Let’s hope they are right!

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Chop Chop Week: Thursday

Tonight was a favourite spot – Britt’s Pub. It had been a nice day, chilly but clear, and I couldn’t help but admire the blue sky as we arrived.

Britt’s turned out to be my favourite meal so far this week – and that’s with me not even being particularly hungry (eating out every day will do that to me).

Beet and Goats Cheese Salad w/ Walnuts, Infused Olive Oil, Balsamic and Greens

I don’t generally like beets unless they are pickled, but this this was good. Britt’s actually made me enjoy beets. Who knew it was possible? I ate it all.

House Made Ravioli Stuffed with Sausage, Sage, Ricotta and Spinach. Served w/ Tomato Gravy, Parmigiano Reggiano and Fresh Italian Bread

The star of the show, the course I was most looking forward to and it was wonderful. I wanted to lick the sauce off the plate when I was done. Again, I ate it all (well, except the bread, the ravioli was plenty on its own). If this was on the regular menu, I would order it every time.

Deep Fried Ice Cream w/ Shaved Chocolate and Peanut Butter Whipped Cream

Ice cream is not my first choice for dessert, but this was beautiful stuff. I struggled mightily to eat it all. I came close…But eventually had to admit defeat.

I would be happy to call it quits here and eat salad for the rest of the week. Or possibly month. But it’s not over yet…

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Chop Chop Week: Wednesday

Today was a double whammy – lunch and dinner.

For lunch we went to East Coast Bistro. We have had lunch here several times, have never been disappointed, and their lunch menu for Chop Chop Week caught our eye.

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

Harissa Roast Pork Sandwich - Pickled Daikon & Carrot, Cilantro, Lime Aioli on Challah Baguette

This is way more than I would normally eat for lunch, but it was all very tasty. For a few minutes there I even thought I might finish it all…but only for a few minutes. I did put a good dent in it though!

I was not exactly starving when dinner time rolled around, but we had reservations at Italian By Night, so off we went. Our first visit to Italian By Night was during Chop Chop (aka February Fork Off) last winter. It was a stormy night last year, but we went anyway.

We may be establishing a tradition…

This year we actually did go with the Chop Chop menu, which started with a salad.

Insalata di Arance (salad of fennel, radicchio, orange and light lemon vinaigrette)

Cory had been up until 3 am working, so he was fading by this point. We tried to keep him awake by starting a game of Sudoku…

It seemed to help until our entrees arrived; suddenly I had no attention to spare for Sudoku.

Penne con pomodoro pollo e di capra (penne pasta tossed with sauteed chicken, cherry tomatoes, pesto & chevre)

I had the thought that I could eat this every day. And I actually did eat this entire dish of pasta. It was lovely!

Fortunately, dessert was fairly light.

Pere amaretti biscotti ripieni (slow roasted pears stuffed with amaretto flavoured Italian cookies, topped with our house made vanilla ice cream)

Dessert (most like the ice cream) seemed to work a minor miracle and Cory perked right up. Which was good, since we had a snowy drive home to look forward to.

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Chop Chop Week: Tuesday

Off we went to Decimal 81. This is a restaurant that we will often say we should go to, but somehow we don’t get around to doing so. Good thing we have Chop Chop week to motivate us.

To start, we were presented with an Amuse Bouche. The waitress was talking about it as she set it on the table, but of course I didn’t hear a lot of what she said. I think I heard “amuse bouche” and “small appetizer” and “soup”.

After the waitress left, Cory asked if I’d heard what she said; I said no; he then refused to tell me what it was. There was my first clue…

It's a mystery!

It only took one taste to realize that it was a cream of mushroom soup. As a general rule, I hate mushrooms. Cory kept looking at me like he was waiting for my head to explode. Little does he realize that I will eat cream of mushroom soup, as long as there are no big pieces of mushroom. I think the important word is “cream”.

This was creamy, and peppery and did not have a strong mushroom flavour. No, I would not likely order it off a menu, but it was pretty good.

I debated on the appetizer course; it was a choice of Lobster Risotto or a salad. The Lobster Risotto sounded quite interesting, but the odds of my being able to eat an entree after eating Risotto are not good so…

Balsamic dressed greens with caraway tuille, goat cheese, and pine nuts

A very tasty salad. I was munching away, realized I was impolitely bolting my salad, looked up, only to realize that Cory’s salad was almost gone and I was not even half finished mine. A reminder that my eating speed is painfully slow compared to most other people.

Main course was an easy choice; Lamb or Chicken?

Chicken please

Cory had the lamb. I tasted it. It was okay. I’d rather have chicken.

There were julienne vegetables and potatoes under the chicken. The vegetables were carrots and parsnips. Good thing I had salad for my appetizer. Cory ended up eating my vegetables and most of the potatoes.

Because I had to leave room for the most important part…

Apple Cinnamon Creme Brulee - Yes please!

Cory's White Chocolate and Berry Napoleon

I was so very happy eating that dessert. I think that’s really why I want to go to Decimal 81; the dessert.

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