Friday, August 30, 2013


Gourmand nomadic penguin can't believe anyone would turn down a plate of raw fish.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


No silly, not the mullet-headed kid from Degrassi!  The kind that propel you from point A to point B, in the form of:

Last Friday I bought this bike from some super cool folks who fix old bicycles up and sell them.  I'm not sure how old it is, but I suspect it's from the 80's.  It's in great shape and yes, it's been getting me from point A to point B.

Before Friday it had been over TWENTY YEARS since I rode a bike!  And when I did then, it was around the roads I grew up on, country roads, dirt roads where cars went by maybe every ten minutes, less on evenings and weekends.  After I picked up my new-to-me bike, I rode it home, first city ride ever.  It was terrifying and liberating all at once.

I've learned a bit about both myself and my city since I got the bike.

About myself I re-learned that I carry all my stress and tension in my neck and shoulders.  I guess I'll get used to it eventually, but having cars, trucks, buses and so on zoom past me, within a couple feet away from my wobbly self, is, so far, horrifying.  Just this afternoon, I was riding down a street that actually has a bike lane and a guy in a big, black Ford Flex turned onto the street, right into the bike lane, about two feet in front of me.  I had to brake for fear of crashing into him and almost choked on my own heart which had come up my throat and was throbbing at the base of my neck.

This morning, on my way to work, another car driver honked her horn wildly as we were crossing an intersection.  I know I was following all the rules and etiquette of bike riding, so maybe she thought she was doing me a favour and warning me that she was about to pass?  I don't know, but I'd been so focussed on riding and the road and the cars that it scared the bejesus out of me and it was all I could do to not burst into tears.

I'll get used to it, I know, but right now I am having a hard time being positive about the whole thing.

About the city, I've learned, among other things: there are a LOT of narrow streets that you can park your car on.  This makes things tense and awkward when I, with my poor, shaky, unaccustomed thighs, am pedaling for all I'm worth, with cars coming in both directions, waiting for me to pass because I'm going so slow and there's no room to pass me without a head-on collision.  I hope in a week or so, my muscles will remember their jobs and not make me feel like I've set my legs ablaze every time I'm riding.

Right.  So, so far the biking experience has been less than good, but I know I'll eventually push through and get to a point where I don't even think about it.  On a positive note, I can now get to the grocery store (or the LC ) within four minutes, so I never again have an excuse to not cook supper if I'm missing one or two ingredients from the plan.  I also can get to and from work for free, instead of what will soon be $2.50 each way, thank you MetroTransit.  So there are some positives.

I'm sure this is something that I will update on as things develop.  Wish me luck on finding a basket!

Till next time!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Seen on the Street

Been a while since I've done a graffiti post.  Since we moved I've taken the bus a lot more than I thought I would, to get from point A to point B, and haven't done as much strolling and gawking as I used to.  But I came across this one the other day and had to share it.  I've seen a few of these birds around town.

Thinking profound thoughts, he is.

Till next time!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Time Flies.....

....when you're planning a wedding.

In exactly THREE SHORT WEEKS, I will be a Mrs!  Wow, how time has flown since BF and I got engaged, and the closer we are to that special day, the faster time seems to be going.  We've gotten so much done already, thanks to a bunch of truly amazing friends and family.  There's still lots more to do - food, favours, dress-fitting, last bits of decorating - but it's under control.

Over the past few weeks, I have to admit, I caught the Bride Bug.  I'd like to think I didn't exactly become a Bridezilla, as they say, but I definitely had several freak-out moments.  I'd like to take this opportunity to thank BF for being such an amazing support and not only putting up with my panicky moments, but doing things like this to cheer me up and chill me out:

I'm a lucky gal.  He's not one of those just-show-up-on-the-day grooms at all, he's been in charge of lots of bits of planning, has even gotten in on making decorations and is doing a batch of favours all on his own.  What a guy!

Anyhoo, I have half a trillion little posts floating around that, once all the wedding madness is over, I shall be wrangling and posting.  Just thought I should pop in to say hello and keep y'all.....well, posted.

Till next time, friends.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

So Long, St. John's!

(I know, I know, I have fallen back into bad-blogger territory with my posts - sorry about that, but believe me when I say, I think about it a lot.  There are posts hidden in the busy depths of my wedding planning, suddenly full-time working, house keeping, yard tending, BF doting mind - they are just having a hard time fighting their way through.  That's why this one is so very, very late.)

For our last day in St. John's, we'd made plans with D to do a little road trip out to Cape Spear, the most easterly point of land in North America.  I was excited, not just to be able to spend more time with D (and sweet, adorable R!), but to finally see this place I'd always heard about in history classes and Canadian Heritage Moments.  ;)

We got up and headed downtown for a quick lunch, after which D and R picked us up and we drove out.

Being the most easterly point in North America, it's nothing but sea, as far as you can see.  Apparently we were there during prime whale spotting times, alas, they must have gone on a day trip themselves because we didn't see even one.  Below is the view back toward St. John's, of Signal Hill.

There's the Citadel at the top.

This is part of the East Coast Trail, a hiking trail that BF and I promise ourselves we will do one day when we have more time.

 BF ran ahead to get photos.

Little R was concerned for his safety out there on the high cliffs, all by  himself, so he came running back so she wouldn't be afraid.

It was pretty cute, R and BF became fast friends during our visit.  Here, R is showing BF the huge spider's nest she found.

A hundred baby spiders don't scare this three year old!

Driving back toward town, we stopped to take a look at the city from a different angle.

Then, we said our See-You-Laters to D and R, tried not to shed a tear, and went off to do our last bit of exploring.

Just look at this place, so beautiful!

For our last night, we went back to our fave pub, O'Reilly's, for open mic night.

They started late, but we caught a few great performances before we had to head out.  I'm sorry but I can not for the life of me recall the names of these musicians - but they were great!  Can everyone in Newfoundland sing old folk songs in a soothing baritone while playing acoustic guitar, and on occasion, harmonicas, fiddles or accordions?  I guess so.

It was here that I discovered that all the hiking and strolling we'd done all week had worn a hole right through the toe of my favourite shoes.  :( 

Oh well, the adventures they'd seen certainly made it worth it!

On our last walk back to the Inn on a foggy, drizzly night.

So long St. John's, we loved meeting you, thanks for being so fun!

Till next time!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pests Are the Best ;)

No, they are NOT.

Garden stuff again, sorry folks.  And beware: icky pictures to follow.

The other night, I was outside puttering around the garden when I came across this fellow:

That is a leopard slug, one that is over three times longer that a twoonie.  Dear lord.  I let him be, but the next day I started noticing this sort of thing:

That's the celery I planted a while back.

Those are leaves from one of our giant hostas.

So my friend T suggested digging little holes in the ground and placing containers in them, and then filling them with beer.

BF didn't like the sounds of sharing his beer with the Slug Monsters, so we went out and got some cheap, icky stuff.

The results were rather terrifying.  The next day we went out and checked.  We had caught a few slugs, but we'd also caught earwigs, earthworms, flies, moths, ants, and other random creepy crawlers - it was bug soup!  I didn't take pictures of that, and even if I had, I likely wouldn't have posted them for fear of making everyone barf.

Who knew backyard bugs were such lushes!?

As for the plants, my poor celery is completely dead now.  And we had to do this to the hosta:

It was so holey it looked like a lace hosta.  It's ok though, because it seems to be rebounding well:

Luckily we have some help with the smaller creepies:

There are quite a few spiders back there, constantly and frantically weaving webs.  At first they grossed me out too, but then I saw how successful they are at keeping flies at bay, so I've left them to do their thing.

I will have to do some more research on bug control, preferably natural methods.  Any good tips out there for slugs and things?

Till next time!

Friday, August 2, 2013

One, Two, Three Hydraneas

We have three hydrangea plants growing in our yard.  One is in the middle of the back yard, growing up blue and randomly, just sitting there mocking us as we mow around it.

One sprang up, seemingly out of nowhere, in the last little while, all big and pink, on the front lawn.

And the last one, a gift from J, is in a planter on the back steps.  It seems to be struggling, the leaves die really quickly, yet new ones keep growing too.  So far it's white, but as far as I can tell, the others were at first too, so who knows.

I wish I had a greet thumb and had a good sense for flowers and yard plants, but it seems it's not my in my skills set.  We've been doing a LOT of work in the yard lately, trimming, pruning, weeding, mowing, whipper-snipping, planting, digging, removing, hauling, watering, dead-heading.  We're trying to get it ready back there for the wedding, but it's so much work and so overwhelming that it seems, sometimes, like we're out there for hours and are barely making a dent.  I'm sure we are - I mean, we've got to be - but it sure seems like we're inching along.

Anyhoo, just thought I'd share the lovely hydrangeas with you - one thing I do know is that they can get really big and full of blooms, so I'm trying to take good care of them.  Any advice would be welcome!

Till next time!