Thursday, October 31, 2013


If you should happen to run into this fearsome bugger in our neck of the woods tonight, DO NOT BE AFRAID!!

He (or...she...) and a pack of his (or her) friends are just keeping watch on the neighbourhood, greeting the littles at the door when they come along.

Tonight marks the first Halloween since both Husband and I moved away from home as young pups, that we have had the opportunity to meet the kiddies at the door and toss some yummy treats into their bags.  We've both always lived in apartments, and in my nearly twenty years of it, have never had a Trick-or-Treater!  So we're stoked.  I MAY have gone overboard at the dollar store today to get decorated and spooky.  Put it this way - I left with a bag of rats big enough that I had to cab it home.

Tomorrow we have a grown-ups Halloween party right here at our house, but tonight, it's all about the little ones.  I've already had a tiny, tiny dragon toddle up to the door and emit a ferocious "RRRRR!!" when I opened.  I can't wait to see what other monsters and ghouls make their way over!

Have a scary night, friends, till next time!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bike Stuff

Husband and I had a date night after work last week.  We had a nice, slow supper at Estia, the greek restaurant on Spring Garden Road, and then headed home for some snuggling on the couch with Dexter Morgan, haha.  Anyway, we'd both bussed it to work that day because it had been pouring rain when we got up, so after our meal, we strolled down to the bus stop to await our ride.  That's when I noticed this:

In case you don't know, and I didn't as it's the first time I've ever seen such a thing, this is a bicycle repair post!  There are a bunch of appropriate tools to fix your bike if you are downtown and get stuck with a busted something or other, plus a pump if you've got a flat!  How cool is that?  Is Halifax suddenly and finally getting more bike friendly?

Another hint that it is, is that a couple weeks ago, they extended the bike lanes on Windsor Street, to go almost all the way from one end of it to another!  You know what this means?  It means my ride to and from work is 75% in a bike lane!  And THAT means I get to worry just a little bit less while I'm cycling.  Mind you, it seems as though it's going to take a few slower people a while to figure out they can't park in the bike lane, but hey, baby steps.

Keep it up little city!  The more people we've got traveling on two tires instead of four, the better!

Till next time!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fallsy Downsies

About a week ago, we had the pleasure of attending a reading at The Carelton, by local author Stephanie Domet, of her newest work, Fallsy Downsies.

Fallsy Downsies is Stephanie's second novel - the first one, called Homing, came out a few years ago.

Homing was great, a story about missing people you love, getting over a slump and figuring out what's next.  Also, it was set in Halifax, so it was really cool to read a novel that constantly referred to places I know and have been to.  The above is a special edition cover.  I owned another copy of Homing that I gave to my friends C and M to take home to New Zealand with them when they visited last year, and hopefully pass around to as many of their kiwi friends as possible.  Husband joked to Stephanie at the reading, to watch out for a spike in sales in Wellington.

Fallsy Downsies is about an aging Canadian musician on the road with a couple mismatched friends and hangers-on.  Since we just got it the night of the signing and I just finished the book I was reading previously, I am only a few pages in, so I will quote the back of the book: Fallsy Downsies is a novel about aging, art, celebrity, and modern Canadian culture, told through the lens of Lansing Meadows, the god-father of Canadian folk music.

Stephanie read chapter 18 in her novel.

It was a funny scene in which Lansing Meadows, the main character, plays a show in a restaurant to a fairly inattentive audience until he gets some accidental help from a few unlikely guests.  Stephanie's captivating and animated reading was met with appreciative enthusiasm and afterwards, she greeted her friends and fans and signed books for everyone who wanted.

I can't wait to get into this one - in fact, friends, I think that'll be the plan for the afternoon!

Till next time!

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Avett Brothers

This summer, as usual, was great for live shows.  Holy smokes we were lucky - Old Crow Medicine Show, Dr. John, Xavier Rudd, Hey Rosetta!, Barney Bentall, Dustin Bentall and the Smokes, Ron Sexsmith, Rush....whew!  And just a few days before our wedding, back in the middle of September (oh how time flies!), we got to see The Avett Brothers at the Rebecca Cohn.

Having been a fan for a few years now, I was really excited about this one.  Husband, D and I got tickets the morning they went on sale, and waited somewhat patiently until the night of the show.  The Rebecca Cohn is a theatre venue, and often the audience remains fairly reserved, staying seated even when they want to dance their butts off, and clapping politely as each song ends.  Well the Avett's blew that trend right out of the water.

Everything about this show was lively and exciting, from the lovely background and light show, to the incredible energy the band had, to the raucous song performances.  The Avett's have a lot of sweet but very slow, quiet songs, but even these often got a rocking treatment at this show.

One of the few times it did get quiet, Scott Avett got up and played a solo song on the guitar.  The stage was dark except for him standing in the spotlight; I wish I could have gotten a better photo!

Speaking of better photos!  Augh.  Near the end of the show, after the band had whipped everyone up into a bluegrass loving frenzy, the two Avetts, Scott and his brother Seth, jumped down from the stage and played their way up the middle aisle, just a few feet away!  By the time I realized they were right beside me and it was a good opportunity to take a snap, they were on their way back, but man was that a cool moment!

They actually really surprised me with how much they rocked out.  Husband admitted after the show that he'd been nervous he'd fall asleep if they played as many quiet songs as they have on their albums, but there was NO chance of that.  Seth Avett never stood still once, dancing his way through every song, Scott jumped up and down in place, landing on the pedal for his own kick drum every time, and cellist Joe Kwon ties Romesh Thavanathan of Hey Rosetta! for most rockingest, enthusiastic cellist ever.

It was one of those shows that you just hoped would keep going and going, but as all good things do, it eventually, of course, came to an end.

I hope they come again!  In the meantime, treat yourself to this:

Till next time!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Inside

When I was a kid, my Dad used to say I was "stubborn as a mule," referring to my adamant refusal to feed the chickens, to stop trying to convince the parents to take us kids to the beach, or to turn down the blasting music in my room.  Some things never change, but nowadays it's poor Husband who has to put up with it.  My latest challenge that I'm having a hard time giving up on is particularly tough for him, and yes, I'll admit, a bit goofy.  The challenge - not turning the heat on in our house yet.

The first thing that inspired me to try to wait as long as possible is the bills for oil that we got when we first moved in - terrifying.  Husband and I are, luckily, both healthy and gainfully employed, so we can afford to heat our home when we need to, but I can't even imagine how hard it must be for some people who aren't as lucky as we are.

The second thing that inspired me was simply just the test of how long we could go without it.  I mean clearly,  people used to just live that way, how hard could it be?  I've got lots sweaters!  And I always sleep better in a room that's a little chilly, so you can really snuggle up under the covers.

Well, we've made it this far.  Husband says it's like living in the 19th century.

The mornings are tough, but then again, even when it's warm mornings are tough for me.  But getting out from under those warm, cozy covers to get ready for work is particularly hard when it's freezing cold in the house.  Changing from sleep wear to biking-to-work clothes is scary cold and the floors are a nightmare.  Yesterday I bought slippers.

But, it's kinda fun, in a way, when it's winding down time in the evening.  We snuggle up on the couch with some blankets - good thing our Grammies were such skilled knitters - and watch a movie or show....

...and then head to bed.  That first skin-to-sheets contact is difficult, but soon things are toasty.

I know I'm gonna have to give up the game soon; it's getting to the point where even I am wishing for the sound of the furnace coming on.  But in the meantime, what better excuse could you have to say, "hey, come snuggle!"

Till next time!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

It's The Most Colourful Time Of The Year

We've had the opportunity to get outta the city and see the season change over the last month, and boy, is it worth the drive, if you can do it.  Even though it means the summer is over and winter is coming and it's soon time to pull out the Sorels and mittens, Autumn sure is a gorgeous time!

Couldn't resist a drive-by.

Barney's River

The cornfield beside my folks' house.

I <3 fall.

Although I sometimes wish I lived in a land where I could wear dresses and cute shoes all year long, I, at the same time, can't imagine living in a place where you couldn't watch the seasons change every year.

Hope you're been able to play in the leaves this fall!

Till next time!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Another Quickie

Supper guys.  I mean supper.

You know how it is when you get home from work and the very last thing in the world you want to do is cook?  It's so much easier just to order in or pop a crappy frozen pizza in the  oven.  Well I'm here today to let you know that's just not necessary.  Especially this time of the year.

Husband and I, on out way home from Thanksgiving at my family's home, stopped at a farmer's market and picked up a bunch of freshly harvested squashes - spaghetti, acorn and my favourite, butternut.  The next day, when I came home from a tiring day at work, I made a soup.

It's very, very simple.  You take your squash, (I used the butternut) peel it and chop it.  Grab an onion, a few potatoes and some garlic.  Slice, chop, mince.

I put it all on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, ground some salt and pepper on top and put it in the oven to roast at 375 degrees for about an hour.

This is when you can do other things - catch up with the hubby, watch that episode of Glee you missed, add another layer to that paper machier project you've been working on, throw in some laundry - you get it.

When the timer rings, bring those roasted veggies on out.  Can you poke a fork through them really easily?  Yeah?  Ok, done.

Don't worry, that white haze in the right corner is neither smog, nor a ghost, just those veggies giving off the most delicious smelling steam.  So let them cool for a few minutes.  Now's the time to try to beat your Candy Crush score.

Then it's simple.  Pull out your food processor.  Dump it all in.  Press the button.

As it's pureeing, pour in some stock - I used chicken stock but use whatever you have - until you get your desired consistency, OR run out of room in the processor.  I like a pretty thick, hearty soup myself, seems more like a meal.

I would normally try to jazz a food photo - foodto? - up with some garnish and better lighting but hey, I was hungry, so you'll just have to forgive me.

The resulting soup is pretty rich and sweet and I have been known to sprinkle a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar on top to cut that and give it a little bit of an edge.  But whatever you like, just make sure you take good advantage of the seasonal produce where you are - it'll be the best, I promise!

Till next time!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ron Sexsmith

About a quarter of a million years ago, Husband, then still BF, and I went to The Carleton to see one of Canada's (and the world's) best living song writers, Ron Sexsmith.  Husband had seen him already, also at the Carleton, a couple years ago, but I never had, and I was really looking forward to a night of taking in his sweet, thoughtful songs.

Mo Kenney opened.

I'd heard lots about her around town, but never had the pleasure of listening to her until then.  She was great!  Really funny and charming.  Her songs were smart and honest, and her voice reminded me of a rasper, bluesier Norah Jones.

Then the man himself got up there.

Not surprisingly, if you've ever heard him interviewed or, for that matter, listened to his lyrics, he was pretty shy, but funny and self-deprecating, and man, is he an amazing song writer.  His snippets-of-life songs, love songs, story songs - among my very favourites in the world!

He's a great singer too, his voice kind of vulnerable and tender, and his playing is perfect.

Just another notch in our ever-growing-great-night-at-The-Carleton-board, haha.

Till next time!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Good Morning, Good Morning!!

Among the wonderful gifts Husband and I received for our wedding were three in particular that contained these beautiful packages.

Our friends and family know us pretty well! :) 

As I write this, waiting for the blueberry pancakes Husband is making in the wee kitchen, I am savouring a cuppa the Anchored coffee.  It is strong and delicious.  We both drink our coffee black, so you can really taste all the complexities of different beans, and how the way they are processed changes them.  I think it's the way coffee should be enjoyed, but that's just me.  

Ahhh, a slow sipped Saturday morning coffee, is there anything better?

Till next time!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

One Whole Month!

Yesterday was Husband's and my first month anniversary!

Photo by the lovely Michelle Robinson
One whole month has gone by already in our newest chapter, I can hardly believe it!  People keep asking how married life is and I keep feeling like I should have some profound answer at the ready when they ask, but the truth is - not much has changed.  BF, now Husband, and I were pretty committed and contented even before the rings were exchanged.  I think now, the main difference is in articulating the fact that we're married, as in - "my husband read that book," or, "this is my wife, H."

That being said, when we look back at the day we got married, I know we'll always remember how special it was to exchange those vows with each other, to really make that promise in front of all our favourite people, and I know that memory has changed us too.

Till next time, friends!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

This Was Saturday

It's funny, isn't it, how you get used to waking up at a certain time for work every morning and look forward all week to actually being able to sleep in...but then you're up before the sun anyway.  Well, maybe "funny" isn't the right word.  But anyway, yesterday, being Saturday, was my chance to sleep until 10, but, as usual I was awake at 5.  Luckily I didn't have to get up then, but I was soon enough.

It was a beautiful day!  The sky was bright blue and the clouds flew by and left us behind early.

First things first.
Backyard jackhammer.
Wedding mums, still in perfect condition almost a month later!  Thank you Costco!
After we got our day going, Husband and I cycled downtown for a little adventure.  First stop, the waterfront:

First Food Truck Rally in Atlantic Canada!
Super packed, crazy hour-long line ups by the time we got there.
And lookit this menu - longest line-up there, of course.

We chose the Nomad Gourmet.

When there's a burrito around.....
Pulled pork burrito with guacamole.

Even Darth Vader cannot resist a good meal.....or a weiner dog.....
......or a Segway.......
On the way home we stopped at a few of our favourite places along the way to say hey to friends at - Chives, Argyle Fine Art and Fireworks on Barrington, and then Biscuit General Store on Argyle.

Husband in his new shirt from Biscuit.......what???
By the time we got home, we'd worked up our appetites again so we got to work in our little kitchen. 

Our supper - homemade five-cheese Mac&Cheese with lobster and thyme.  
What a lovely day!  Weather's getting cooler every day so we're trying to take advantage while we can, before hibernation season officially arrives.  Hope you had a great Saturday too!

Till next time!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hydroponic Guacamole, Anyone?

A while back, Husband and I picked up a few avocados at the grocery store.

Mmmmm, avocado in salads, avocados in sandwiches....we make short work of those babies to be sure.  As I was using up the last one and was about to toss the pit, I suddenly remembered that you can grow an avocado tree by planting the seed.  So I did a little research and gave it a go.

I cleaned the pit, wiping away any remaining fruit residue.  Then I poked in four toothpicks all around the pit.  Finally, I filled a cup with water and set the pit inside, about half submerged in the water, held up by the toothpicks.

Then, I just kind of forgot about it.  Every once in a while I'd remember it was there, sitting on the window ledge, and I'd change the water and hope for the best.  Just when I was about to give up, I noticed the pit had cracked and a small root was growing out through the bottom.  A good start!

It's been perhaps two months now, and look:

It's about a foot tall and such a nice, healthy green.  It's been growing in the water the entire time, and I'm almost a bit afraid to plant it since it's doing so well the way it is.

We have another avocado in the kitchen right now, so I may just do another one, this time actually  planting it when it sprouts, and following some other helpful suggestions I've read on the interweb, and see what difference it makes.  You can never have too many nice plants around, and imagine, just imagine, if one really took and the next thing we know we're rolling in avocados!  We can dream.

Till next time!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Road Tripping......Part II

So from Bridgetown in the Annapolis Valley, Husband and I hit the road once again, taking a longer, but more rural and scenic route across the province to the South Shore.  You never know what lovely things you might see.

After a nice leisurely drive that eventually turned into us getting hangry and our butts needing a break, we were glad to see we were getting close.

One of the main reasons we'd decided to go to Lunenburg, other than it's one of our favourite towns on earth, is that the famous Lunenburg Folk Art Festival was going on that weekend.  Hanger almost turning to hurious (I totally just made that word up, I swear) we went straight there anyway.

The first thing we saw when we got there was this awesome and funny collection by Husband's high school wood working teacher, Brian Willett.

I mean, seriously?  So great!  But the place was filled with amazing stuff.

The Werewolf of Liverpool
I want this guy for our kitchen!

Absolutely gorgeous hooked rugs.

We saw this gal in her pretty blue dress, buckled into the back seat of a convertible as were were leaving the festival, one of the funniest things I've ever seen!

Noah's Ark
One thing we learned about the festival was that it's no place for careful shopping - if you see something you love, grab it up, don't keep looking "just in case," as we did.  Someone else is gonna come along and love it too.  We lost a couple things that way.  Regardless, we left with our hands full.  We got a couple things for the house and a couple presents too.  Our plan for next year is to save a bit of cash up and invest in a nice, big piece.

After the festival, it was time to feed our bellies.  We quickly checked in to our Inn.

And then went out for some supper.

The most delish pizza we never made - roasted red pepper,
caramelized onion and goat cheese, ooooohhh baby!
While we were at the restaurant, suddenly everything went quiet and dark.  The power had gone out!  Our intention had been to go back to the inn and take a quick nap, but without air conditioning our room was so muggy and hot we couldn't relax, so we headed back out.  And why not, look at this place.

We wandered around for a while taking in the sights and scenes.  Being huge supporters of the Buy Local scene here in Nova Scotia, Husband and I went to the Ironworks Distillery and taste tested some of their yummy liqueurs and rums and vodkas.  The super friendly hostess gave us all kinds of recipe suggestions and was very encouraging when we wanted to try a second little sip of something, you know, just to be sure. ;)

We also stopped in at a shop called Dots and Loops Handmade, which has turned into my new fave shop ever.  I think I'm going to do a whole post about it actually, so I won't get into it here.

Eventually we headed to the waterfront and walked along the wharf.  This here?  This is a whale vertebrae.  It's tip top almost reached my waist.

The evening was coming along, so we decided to wait around and watch the sun set.

After dark, we headed back to the Inn.  On our way, we came upon a bookstore that had been closed earlier in the day when we passed by.  As it turns out, the owner is a night owl, usually opening late and staying until the wee hours!

It was the kind of store with piles and piles of books everywhere, with no hope of seeing everything without spending a whole day or even weekend.  But, in typical Husband and Me fashion, we went back to the Inn with a pile anyway.

It was a short but jam-packed visit, but we'll be back as soon as we can!  Ahhh, Lunenburg!  How we love you!

Till next time!!