Saturday, October 31, 2009

Indulge Weekend - St. Andrews

Hey gang... I finally managed to get some images uploaded of our weekend in St. Andrews with Paul and Ron. They are below in no particular order... It's been a warm and windy day here today with showers threatening. Supposed to rain tonight and be a mix of sun and cloud tomorrow. I doubt that we'll get many trick or treaters tonight. We bought a few treats just in case. I raked most of our front lawn today, bagging the leaves and using the bags to bank the house around our sunporch. There is no basement under the sunporch and just lattice work from the bottom of the floor to the ground, so putting the bags of leaves on the outside by the lattice really makes a difference in keeping the house warmer.

We decided to visit my brother tomorrow, if he's up for a visit. We'll try to get away fairly early, visit my brother, and have lunch in a popular seafood restaurant in Saint John. I'm sure he won't be wanting many visitors next week when he will be feeling the full effect of the chemotherapy. And we are going to Montréal next weekend as well. Just a quick long-weekend jaunt to see an opera and check out life in the big city. We'll have a few good meals as well - in part to celebrate our 19th anniversary! It's officially on November 9.

Here's the pics!

Very typical Canadian fall scene - Road hockey! Dude is getting some practice shots in before the others arrive

View from the Kingsbrae Inn - the last stop on Saturday afternoon's wine trail

Local chefs in a competition Saturday morning. They had $20, 20 minutes to buy things at the market, and 20 minutes to come up with their concoctions: 20/20/20

Our room at the Inn.

One of the rooms upstairs, which will hopefully be occupied by some of our friends next year!

Our dining room. The propane fireplace made it very cosy at night!

Another room upstairs

View from our balcony at low tide

One of the stops on the wine trail. Brendan, the guy in the red shirt on the left, was quite a character. We ran into him several times over the course of the day and evening on Saturday... Super nice guy, but he does have his... um... issues. He manages a popular seafood restaurant in Saint John ;)

Dudes! Let's get this show on the road! Brad, Paul, and Ron in front of our place just before we set off on the wine trail

View of the back of our place. Our deck is on the bottom right. The patio, right on the water, was ours to use as well

Bread at the market

Veggies at the market

The Inn where the chef competition was held on Saturday morning.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Some bad news

Hey guys and gals. Sorry again for not updating the blog very often. There's been a lot going on lately. I tried last night to upload some pics from our Indulge weekend and from Brad's bike trip, but I was unsuccessful. We have a new computer and I think the pics are in a place that Blogger can't grab them from... I'll get that problem solved on the weekend.

Our family has also had some bad news recently. One of my brothers (Earl, for those of you who know him) has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia. The doctors told him that without treatment, he would have about 3 weeks to live. He just turned 61. Hopefully, they have caught it just in time and he will pull through. He's undergoing intensive chemotherapy designed to totally wipe out his immune system. Hopefully after that, his normal blood cells will rebound and he will be okay. If not, there is not a whole lot else they can do for him... It's been a big shock for all of us. He seems to be holding up well and is in good spirits. He has yet to feel the effects of the chemotherapy, though, I fear... In any case, we are all thinking positive thoughts and hoping for the best.

Will publish some pics on the weekend. I promise!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

First Snow!

Yes, it's true... I'm still ticking away here and have not fallen off the planet! Just haven't had the time or energy to post much lately...

As the title says, we had our fist snow here today! Ugh... No real accumulation so far, but they are calling for up to 10 cm tonight. Way too early for that! It's supposed to warm up and rain most of the weekend, so it won't stick around in any case.

Brad, Paul, and Ron and I had a great time this past weekend. We went to the Indulge Festival in St. Andrews. Brad and I drove down on Friday afternoon and we met Paul and Ron there. Our accommodations were really top-notch, basically the bottom floor of a renovated older home with a full kitchen and dining room, 2 living rooms, and large baths. And no one was staying in the two rooms upstairs, so we had the whole place to ourselves. We had a superb meal on Friday night at Europa restaurant. Saturday morning we went to the market and then grabbed a bite for lunch and set off on the wine trail. We meandered from location to location (art galleries, small shops, inns, etc.) and sampled nice wines and various nibbles along the way. The weather cooperated nicely, too, and it was a spectacular fall day by the ocean. We went to the Extravaganza evening at the historic Algonquin Hotel, which proved to be a lot of fun as well. Back at our abode, Brad turned in at the relatively early hour of 1:30 or so, and Paul and Ron and I stayed up solving the world's problems until almost 3:30 a.m.! We started Sunday morning off with champagne and truffles at a little shop down the street, then sat down for a real brunch at a place nearby. The weather was overcast and cool, so after lunch we headed back to our pad and had a rousing game of scrabble beside the fireplace. Then it was time for wine and cheese and eventually supper - roasted potatoes & fried haddock. All and all, it was a terrific weekend and we'll probably all go back and do it again next year.

I'll post some photos - both of our weekend and Brad's 9-day bike trip - in the days ahead. Stay tuned...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Just because!

The things you find surfing YouTube! Thought this was kinda cute...

Was just talking to Brad, and he'll be home tomorrow. He was meant to be home today, but he had a flat tire yesterday that slowed his progress, and he was already running a bit behind schedule. But he's back in the province and should be home by lunchtime tomorrow. I hope he's ready for a good ... ummm ... meal! ;)

Went to Georges and Barb's for dinner last night. Was a great meal (thanks Georges!) and I took an apple pie for dessert. When I got home, I tried to watch an episode of True Blood, but the GD DVD went all wonky at the very end of the episode. Jeez, that pisses me off when that happens! I'll wipe it off and hopefully have more luck tonight. I have just one more episode to watch to finish off Season 1.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

"Vous avez dit Ludmila"

I posted this quite a long time ago, but it definitely deserves a replay. Hope you can understand the French!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

It's raining, It's pouring...

Man... I'm glad Brad isn't biking in the weather we've had here last night and today - It's been raining hard most of the time... Kaiser hates the rain, so he got an abbreviated walk this a.m., but Jasper got the whole nine yards... And we were all soaking wet when we were done.They are both sound asleep as I type this. Nothing like dry sleepy dogs!

Went down to see mom this morning, just before their lunch, so I ended up staying and having a cup of tea while they ate. She was very pleased with the flowers and the other treats I took her. And she looked great. The best I've seen her in a while. And she wasn't even complaining about her arthritis, despite the miserable weather, which always makes it worse. Hopefully some of my other siblings will pay her a visit this afternoon - she was certainly expecting them to, but alas, I have my doubts...

You know it's raining hard when I don't even want to go out to buy my lotto tickets, but I did force myself, as I had to pick up some tofu as well for the Pad Thai I am making for supper. I'll post the recipe for it sometime soon. It really is delish. And you could certainly make it with chicken or shrimp as well.

I watched Breach last night, one of the films we've received from Rogers that Brad has already seen. It was good. About the snagging of a mole in the FBI who was secretly working for the Russians for many years. A true story, apparently, though I hadn't heard anything about it before.

Perhaps Brad will read this tonight chez Maurice, perhaps not. In any case, Baci amore. I miss you! Happy (and safe!) biking!

Addendum: Ugh... Now my left eyelid is smarting from jalapeno juice... Though I washed my hands several times after cutting up the jalapeno, a bit of it must have remained.. Oh well, better my eyelid than someplace lower on my body, which has happened before in the past whilst making Pad Thai!

Now, I'm going to light a fire and put an some opera (probably Snegurochka - a far cry from the YouTube vid below), which was a song from Breach. It's incredibly schmaltzy, but it's for my sweetie, who should soon be in Montréal for the night...

And here are few arias from Snegurochka (The Snow Maiden), which Brad and I saw at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 2006:

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Skinny Saturday 61 - The Bachelor Edition!

Well, it's starting to cloud over a bit here, but for the most part, it was a spectactular fall day here in eastern Canada. After walking the dogs, I met Shaun and Mary at the farmers' market. They had to pick up some local ingredients for a book club pizza super tomorrow night, and I had to get a few things as well: baklava, organic carrots, fresh cranberries (for a yummy Nantucket cranberry pie I make), eggs, and some kindling. After market, I came home and made a quick shopping list for the grocery store. Usually, I make the list and Brad does the shopping, but this week, of course, I had to go to the grocery store myself. Ugh... I now remember why Brad took over that duty a couple of years ago... People are generally idiots - leaving their carts in the middle of the asile, banging into you, and coughing and sneezing all over the place.. Eeek. And just touching those carts is often enough to make you want to run home and take a sonic shower! In any case, I got the job done and came home, unpacked, scrubbed thorougly, and then ran a few other errands. In my travels, I also picked up a travel brochure from a local travel agency - with or without Brad, I am definitely heading south for a week next winter!

Tonight for supper I'm going to have leftover Chineese take-out from last night (Shaun and I hooked up for drinks yesterday and I didn't feel like cooking anything when I got home), but tomorrow, I'm going to make a Pad Thai, a dish I love and haven't made in ages - Brad sure can't eat it!

I'll head down to see mom tomorrow at some point as well. I bought her a dozen red roses and some special treats for her birthday, which is next Tuesday. The big 8-9!

Till soon, amigos mio..

Friday, October 02, 2009

It's official - I'm a bachelor for the next week or so!

Brad got away yesterday. He took a bus to Moncton and then a train to Montréal and on to Ottawa. He should be in our nation's capital by now. Hope he was able to catch some zzzz's on the train. The dogs and I slept in till 9:00 a.m. this morning, then I took them each for a walk, after gulping down some coffee. I decided to take the day off on vacation. I've had a pretty productive morning. After breakfast, I loaded up the car with our redeemables and took them to the redemption centre. (Growing up Baptist, that name always sounds a bit funny to me!) Then I came back and vacuumed out the car, something that has needed doing for a while now. I also did a load of laundry and now have to grab a bite of lunch. Brad's supposed to call to let me know that he (and the bike) arrived in one piece. Will probably meet the usual suspects for drinks after they finish work. We'll maybe got out someplace for dinner as well. I'll have to remember to tape Coronation Street, so I can watch it when I get back...

Hasta pronto, amigos!