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

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.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Rx = Sunshine

Yes, my friends, I did try snowshoeing this weekend. And no, I did not fall as anticipated.  But I decided to snowshoe at Margaret Bowater Park rather than on the trail as I was visiting my Dad and it was on the way. It was a gorgeous sunny day!

I had no trouble putting on my showshoes. I tromped around and got comfortable with them -- made sure I could walk without falling down. But as I started on the trail, quite a few people passed me coming the other way; and I found that the trail was so well trodden, that snowshoes weren't necessary. I didn't want other people to have to dodge my wider 'n' longer than normal feet! So, I went back to the car and took them off in favor of a 'walk' in the park.

Glenmill Inn in the distance.

It was so beautiful! The deeper I walked in the forest, the quieter it became; I stopped and sat on a snowy bench before I began the mostly uphill climb back. All I could hear was the Corner Brook stream bubbling past me and several birds chirping. And I must have scared a tiny squirrel because he sure scared me when he suddenly began loudly screaming at me to move on. 

Back in the car and on my way to my dad's house, I grabbed a quick lunch snack -- something that I haven't had since early December -- a large order of french fries.  

Then as I drove along the Humber River, mountains on either side of me, sun streaming from the Heavens, happily munching fries, I listened to Newfie music on Uncle Tom's Shed, a weekend local music program. As we say here on The Rock, "Sure I was only in da car and I was already havin' a toime!"

Sometimes, a little sunshine is just what the doctor ordered. It was a real boost for me, and I can approach the rest of winter with a bit more of a spring in my step. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Pondering 'n' Planning

Now that I'm a free and swinging bachelorette living the good (???) life here in Newfoundland, my weekends are my own to ponder upon and make plans. I have lots planned for my wild weekend!

Just like that time in Narnia, it's eternal winter here. So, there's not too far I can wander in sub zero temperatures. But it calls for actually sunshine tomorrow, so I'm excited to try out my daughter's snowshoes -- I've never snowshoed before. This is how I envision my snowshoe journey: I will walk up a very steep hill to reach the old railway line; pant and groan for a few minutes, clutching heart; spend several more minutes cursing (and appologizing to God) as I put the snowshoes on. I will begin to walk: lift leg high, put leg down, lift other leg, put leg down, go 2 more steps, fall on face, cuss, get up ..... and repeat this "walk" until I get to where the trail meets my back yard. Then I shall attempt to traverse the deep, deep snow in the back yard rather than go back the way I came. (I shall have the landlords watching for my return and provide them with plenty of rope in case they find me neck deep in said snow.) And that's the first part of what I call a good time.

As part of trying to curb my evening munching, I spent last night denying myself a slice of toast with peanut butter (as evening eating interferes with my sleep as well as being able to fit into my pants). I was successful in this denial only by pondering what was on the menu for my weekend gorgefest. 

Yum! Homemade burgers and home fries for tonight. And I have homemade carrot muffins with cream cheese icing. And I used the last of my sour cream and cream cheese to make a delicious Epicure Oregano/Chili dip last night .... which will be really good with those new light, crispy tortilla chips I bought. Then there were visions of teriyaki salmon with fluffy Japanese rice. And another mocha latte with biscotti (after all that snowshoeing). And did I see a Lindt chocolate bar tucked away in the china cabinet? And on Sunday, I'll make a big pot of spicy chili to go with my planned cornbread. OMG! My mouth is watering!

Does anyone else wax poetic in their minds about anticipated food?

Or am I just 6 cats short of being completely hopeless?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Power of Puppy Kisses

I think I mentioned that I'd been feeling down lately. I sometimes have sad days, but this time it's been harder to shake and more dark than I've ever experienced before. I totally blame it on either the Prednizone or Symbicort (both of which come with warnings of mood swings and mental depression). So, I've been taking extra care of myself.

Today, I seem to have shaken my blues, and I feel like I'm finally climbing out of this particular dark hole. I'm sure my hibernation weekend helped. AND getting outside more. AND taking Vitamin D drops. AND feeling physically better and treating myself to a payday breakfast from my favorite cafe was pretty darn nice this morning. Yummy!

But what really worked was a visit from my daughter and her two puppies last night. 

Jack the dachund was the first dog in almost 40 years that I fell in love with: he's a anxiety-ridden, quiet, patient, lovely little puppy who loves to visit Nanny's house. He knows where the treats are! He first visited me a year and a half ago and was immediately drawn to the basket where I kept my chargers and phone cords and my yoga balls. At $15, I quickly moved them to a spot where he couldn't reach (which is almost anywhere for a dachund!) But EVERY time he's come to visit, that basket is the first place he goes (even though they're not there any longer). He'll search and search; and when he does finally come to the new hiding place, he'll sit and cry. Nanny consoles him with treats and belly rubs.

And then there's Olive Mae, the pug. Olive was born last August and she is just a bundle of energy and joy. She drives her brother Jack crazy sometimes; and as I'm rubbing Jack, I often come across signs of Olive's over-zealous love bites! Olive ran around the apartment exploring all the new spots she could find, ate her doggie treat, and was quite content to sit next to us on the couch and chew on her dog toy. Her favourite things are her Mommy, her brother Jack and chewing on any sticks she can find. Taking her out for a tinkle last night was painful for her as she discovered the rose bush "sticks" and ended up with a sore nose. 

Someday when I can afford the care of a dog, I believe I'll get one. They are wonderful for stress and depression. But for now, Jack and Olive seem to have magical qualities in helping Nanny beat the blues.