Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year!

Just a quick post to wish you all a very happy New Year! I can't believe it will be 2013 the day after tomorrow!

2012 was a very busy and eventful year with Brad finishing the Appalachian Trail and me losing and keeping off 32 pounds! If someone had told me a year ago that by the end of 2012 I would be 32 pounds lighter and have put close to 2500 km on the bike, I would have smiled politely and handed them a one-way ticket to the looney bin! But, thankfully, that IS what happened and now I've got South Beach in February (and Spain in May) to look forward to and to use as an incentive to keep biking and and keep the weight off.

Today, too, has been busy. I biked 25.3 km first thing this morning and then plowed through the snow drifts to walk Jasper. Brad had waded through the snow earlier to take Oliver for his constitutional. We had over a foot of snow last night and this morning, making it well over 2 feet of new white stuff in the last 3 days! Thankfully, Brad shovelled out the driveway after each storm, though I did shovel off the back deck. I also made a gingerbread cake for tomorrow night - we're doing our usual NYE party with friends and neighbours. Brad's off right now buying booze for his traditional Swedish Glög! I've also done a pile of dishes and have salmon roasting in the oven, not for supper, but to have next week. Tonight, I'm making a Thai green curry with tofu and zucchini.

As the timer is about to go off for the salmon, I'll cut this short and simply wish each and every one of you who still read this space a very happy and prosperous 2013!

The pic below was taken a few years ago, but it's basically what our backyard looks like right now, minus the sun (it's still cloudy and overcast here)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hey all! Just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! We are doing our usual Christmas rounds - to Brad's dad's last night for a meal and opening of some gifts and then to his sister's this afternoon for the big turkey dinner. It's been very cold here the last few days (highs of only minus 7 C or so and windy). My sister who's living in Saudie Arabia called early this morning (8:30 or so), when I was just getting up. She was brimming with the news that her middle son has finally asked his long time girlfriend to become his wife! That and the fact that her husband has agreed that she can come to Miami with me in February! I'm not sure I sounded overly enthused on the phone as, like I say, I was JUST getting up, had to do the usual morning things (not to put to fine a point on it), was still kind of groggy, and then looked down to see a pile of dog puke on the bedroom floor. Ugh. I can think of better ways to start off Christmas morning! However, I tried to spin it as best I could given the circumstances, as I knew sis was very excited on both counts. It will definitely be fun to her along in South Beach! We'll have a blast! And we are also excited that her son is finally tieing the knot!

That said, not much else is new. I've been doing a lot of Christmas baking - gingerbread cake, pies, and a Danish spice cake, which I've made for a long time now around this time of year. As our good friend Shaun wants the recipe, I'll give it to you all here:

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups maple syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda


1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar


1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup orange marmalade

Preheat the oven to 375 F and lightly butter and flour a 9 inch springform pan.
In a large bowl, stir together syrup, sugar, and buttermilk. In a bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda & baking powder. Stir flour mixture into syrup mixture and pour into prepared pan.
Bake cake in middle of oven for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 F. and bake cake for 45 minutes more, or until it begins to brown and crack. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Cool cake completely on rack.

For the Filling:
In a bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

For the glaze:
In a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with water. Add butter one tablespoon at a time and whisk until well combined.

Assemble cake:

Gentle remove cake from bottom of pan and transfer to a plate. Using a long serrated knife, halve cake horizontally, putting top half on a sheet of wax paper, cut side up. Spread filling on bottom cut half and spread marmalade on top cut half. Reassemble cake and spread glaze over it, letting excess drip down sides. Chill cake until ready to serve. Serve at room temperatire.

I used red currant jam instead of the marmalade as it contains no citric acid, which Brad can't eat. I also used a whole Green and Black's Maya Gold chocolate bar instead of the chocolate chips. It give a very nice orange flavour. I also added a teaspoon of cardamom with the other spices.

A very yummy wintertime cake. Enjoy! The recipe is from Gourmet Magazine, March 1994.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Is this the end?

Tomorrow - 21-12-2012 - is a significant date in the Mayan calendar. Some say the world is supposed to end. I actually have a bet with our good friend Mary that it will! Craziest bet I ever made! If I win, how does she pay me?

I'll be over tomorrow, Mary with your $50.00!


If not, I'd like to meet this dude on the other side!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gangnam Style in the country

I know, I know, but sometimes, just like at an accident scene, you just can't look away!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Time sure does fly! Fifty-one years ago today, I was just a few hours old! It's been quite a ride so far. Hopefully, the next half century will be just as good! I've got a wonderful partner, two good dogs, and many, many good friends. What more could a guy ask for?
We've been busy the last little while planning trips: Brad's ski holiday with his father next February, my trip to South Beach, also in February, and our trip to Spain next May with Shaun and Mary and Don and Marlene. We've booked a terrific villa on the south coast of Spain for a week and we're now firming up reservations for apartments in Seville and Madrid. We are all excited and are having fun planning. Don and Marlene are still away - they went to Africa to climb Kilimanjaro and are currently in Paris for 3 nights before they come home. Can't wait to hear all their stories and see their pics!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Ten-eleven-twelve. Todays date, which I think is kinda neat.

Was 22 years together yesterday for Brad and me. Quite an accomplishment, by any count, particularly with me in the mix!

We're going to see Skyfall shortly. By all accounts, it's very good.

A presto!

Monday, October 22, 2012


And then there'S always our old standby - Adele, who does a crazy good job on the new Bond cover song!

Better late than never! Erwin Schrott!

Wow! How did we not know about this guy before this?? Must see him live soon!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fox Hollow

This is where we spent 10 days this month on vacation. Right on the coast about halfway in between St. Andrews and St. Stephen. Don and Marlne were meant to come down for Thanksgiving dinner, but unfortunately, one of their greyhounds, Ella, broke a leg and they were unable to come. Shaun and Mary got down for an afternoon and had dinner with us (that's them there on the sofa, looking like they just jetted in from L.A.!). Our good friends Paul and Ron also came down last weekend for the Indulge Festival in St. Andrews. We had two awesome meals (at the Rossmount Inn and Europa restaurant) on Friday and Saturday nights. It was a great vacation! Unfortunately, we will probably be the last people to rent this gorgeous home, as the owners are retiring and will be living there full-time next year.

Mm Mm Mm Madness

Great new tune I heard the other day on Radio Bruno out of Bologna. Sending it out especially for our good friends George and Barb. It's Georges birthday next week and we're going out dancing with them!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tiny Tears

Heard this the other day on Radio Kultua out of Moscow... I think It's pretty dated, but I liked it. Another Tindersticks ditty. Tiny tears make up an ocean... And so a ripple...

Check it out: here

All goes well on this end. Brad will be back next Friday. YAY!

Saturday, September 08, 2012


Hey guys, Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Life has just been very busy!
First things first, I did in fact become a Lifetime Member of Weight Watchers on August 22! I actually had to weigh myself down a bit as I was under the 2 lb. threshold for obtaining Lifetime Membership in week 6 of maintenance! So now, I have to weigh in only once a month and as long as I am no more than 159 lb. everything is free. I still plan on going to most meetings to keep me centered and to support my good friend Shaun.

In other news, Brad left again on August 31 for 3 more weeks on the A.T. He plans to finish it this time! His nephew is getting married on Sept. 22, so he has to be back before then. In early October, we're renting a house on the south coast of the province for 10 days. The place looks spectacular and we can take the dogs with us. I'm looking forward to just relaxing, reading, and walking along the coast.

More later!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weighing in and catching up...

Hey guys! Hope everyone is enjoying their summer! Things have been busy on this end, as usual. We went to Nova Scotia last weekend for the wedding of one of my nephews. I took Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off, and the following Monday was a holiday. We left here around noon on Thursday and arrived in the beautiful Town of Chester around 4:30 or so. It rained a lot on the drive down, but by the time we got there, the sun was peeking out. We checked in where we were staying and then went directly to my sister's cottage for the rehersal party dinner. They had rented a beautiful modern ocean-front cottage about 20 minuites away. It was great to see everyone, including my brother-in-law, who had arrived home from Saudi Arabia a bit before. My sister's three sons and their girlfriends (wife-to-be) were also there. We had a great meal with lots of wine and laughs. The marriage ceremony was the next day and it was a beautiful outdoor affair on the coastal property of my nephew's new in-laws. What a place! The property is now owned by some 8 or 9 siblings, but it is stunning and worth a very pretty penny. The wedding went off without a hitch and there was a barbecue and dance afterwards, complete with an amazing fireworks display over the ocean (and hoards of mosquitoes, too, unfortunatey).

After checking out the next morning, we made our way back to my sister's cottage where we hung out for a couple of hours before driving into Halifax where we would spend the next two nights. We hadn't been to Nova Scotia's capital for at least seven or eight years, and it was sparkling when we arrived. We checking in at our downtown hotel and then walked down to the waterfront. The city has made significant investments in developing it's waterfront area in recent years and it has certainly paid off. It's spotless and tidy with numerous very nice spots to grab a beer or have a bite. There was a busker festival going on also, which drew lots of people from far and wide. That evening Brad and I dined at Morris East, a great Italian/pizza resto on - where else? - Morris Street (very close to where our good friend Maurice used to live many years ago, in fact). I started with the Caesar salad and had a pizza Magharita for my main. Brad had the roasted vegetable pizza. Everything was yummy and delish! We'll definitely go back on our next visit.

The next day, which started off bright and beautiful, we went to the fairly new farmer's market down on the waterfront. It's a nice spot, but I think I prefer the character of the old market, which apparently still operates on Saturday mornings. I bought three huge heads of organic garlic (one of which I roasted last night to have with dinner - yum!). I also picked up some argan oil (both the edible and the cosmetic varieties) and some argan soap. Really good stuff! The edible oil is delish, somewhat akin to a hazelnut oil. Brad went for a run afterwards, and I took a stroll back along the waterfront. We then stopped at a Sobey's and picked up some sandwiches & water and drove out to Crystal Crescent Beach, which is about 45 minutes outside of Halifax. A fog bank had rolled in by this point, but we decided to go in any case. There is a nude beach there (quite a ways away from the main beach) and if you walk even farther, there is a gay nude beach, so to speak. So we trudged our way out there in the fog and 100% humidity (about a 40 minute trek each way). Once there, we doffed our (now soaking) clothes and had our lunch al fresco. We stayed for about an hour and a half and then made the long walk back. It was very good exercise, however, and no doubt helped me burn off some of the many calories had consumed in the copius amount of food and drink I had enjoyed over the past few days!

That evening, my sister and her tribe (husband, 2 sons, and their partners) joined us for dinner at The Wooden Monkey, which was at a stone's throw distance from our hotel. I started off with the Tangy Fish Cakes, and had the pork tenderloin as a main. Once sgain, everything was very tasty, the service was great, and best of all, my brother-in-law picked up the tab for everyone! We had a fairly early evening, got up quite early the next day, and we back home by 1:00 p.m.on Monday. Brad's neice had house-sitted for us, so the dogs didn't have to go to a kennel. They were very glad to see us back, though, and to resume their normal routine.

Weight-wise, all is good. After my last report, I was up another .5 lb., but the week after that, I was down 4.2 lb. (I biked and biked and biked in order to have some wiggle room for the vacation ahead!). This past week, I was up 1.3 lb., which was not too bad - all things considered. I am still very close to a pound under my goal weight of 157. I now have just 2 more weeks of maintenance, and if on August 22, I weigh in plus or minus two pounds of my goal weight, I will become a lifetime member of Weight Watchers! After that, I will no longer had to pay for anything. You simply have to weigh-in once a month (and be plus or minus 2 lb. of your goal weight), and the e-tools and everything else is free. It's a great program, and it definitely worked for me. I'm down almost 32 pounds in just 23 weeks!

Other than that, for those of you who don't already know it, Brad has decided to finish the A.T. this year! He leaves at the end of the month for 3 more weeks of hiking. Yes, I'm a saint (not really) and he owes me big time, but we have already come to terms on that score - more on that later! :)

As promised, here are a few random pics from his earlier hike this year and from our lovely day in Gagetown chez Don and Mar.

Chez Don and Marlene

George and Barb and Shaun

Don, Conner, Me, and Shaun

An Irish Houligan

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


As in that's what it's doing right now! Big thunder storm going on here. We've had a lot of those lately. And this year, Jasper has become very nervous about them. He basically sticks by Brad's side with his tail between his legs. I guess age affects us all!

Been a very busy 2 weeks since I last posted. First, my sister from KSA was here for a week. We had a great visit. For the most part. I say that jokingly. But the day after my goal-reaching weigh-in at WW, she returned from a hair colouring appointmemnt with a large brown paper bag filled with Chinese food from the restaurant down the street! Needless to say, I couldn't resist and downed 2 deep-fried chicken balls and a plate of chicken fried rice - all before we went out to dinner at a restaurant with the whole gang a mere 2 hours later! That, and a day at my brother's cottage at the lake (full of chips, dips, BBQ, and more!), and the fact that I biked only 3 times during that period meant that I was up 1.9 lb. at last week's weigh-in! Ugh! I HATE when that happens, but what are you going to do? Life happens...

The day after sis left, an Irish guy whom Brad had met on the Trail this summer ended up at our place for a week! Brad had offered to help him get to PEI where he apparently had a farm job lined up (never panned out), but he still had to get out of the USA for a while before his visa expired. As it turned out, he was a very nice guy - attractive and charming as only the Irish can be, and he turned 32 on the day he arrived, though we never knew that until just before he left. It was sort of a mini repeat of Jedi's stint here last year after he finished the A.T. He did all the dishes, mowed our front and back lawn (with the reel mower!), and he made a very tasty hummus and gaspacho soup, which we took to a potluck organized by our good friends Don and Marelene at their place on Saturday. He is a great guy and he was certainly well-fed while he was here: raspberry pie, fresh, home-made pesto, home-made carrot cake (which I took to the potluck), fresh vegetable stew, etc. Oh, and I introduced him to roasted garlic! So simple, and he loved it! I think it will become a staple for him from now on! I love to cook for someone who appreciates it. Not that Brad or others don't, but when you make something for someone who is tasting it for the very first time, it's kind of special. We had a terrific day in the country with Don and Mar and George and Barb and Shaun - unfortunately, Mary couldn't make it as one of their dogs is not doing well, and Mary had to stay home with her - We missed you Mary!

It was a great day in the country and everyone appreciated Don and Mar's estate with their garden, vineyard, ducks, chickens, bees - you name it! Thanks again guys for hosting us!

Brad drove our Irish guest back to Maine on Sunday. We'll miss him and my sis both!

Brad's sis and brother-in-law from Ontario arrive here this coming Saturday. They are coming directly to our place for dinner, but are staying with Brad's dad across the river. They are then going on a trip to Newfoundland with Brad's dad and Brad and I will be going to my nephew's wedding in Nova Scotia next week! Man, time flies!

So far this week, I've already clocked over 94 km on the bike. And I will bike again tomorrow before I get weighed in. Let's hope that we go in the right direction this week! Will keep you posted!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Hey all, just a quick little post to let you all know that on Wednesday evening at Weight Watchers I hit my goal - surpassed it a little even! My goal was 157 lb. and I weighed in at 156.6 lb.! I lost 31 lb. in just 19 weeks! Almost unbelievable! Now I have to maintain that weight plus or minus 2 lb. and if I do, at the end of 6 weeks, I become a lifetime member of WW and no longer have to pay for anything! Bonus! I feel much better, I look much better, and it is a much healthier weight for me to be at. I wholeheartedly recommend the WW program. If it worked for me, it can work for anyone!

Other than that, we've finally been having some hot and sunny weather. My sister from KSA has been here all week and we've been having a lot of fun. She actually went to the meeting last night and was there to witness me receiving my little silver star for reaching my goal weight. I made a raspberry pie, which she and Brad gobbled down in just one day! (I had only a tiny sliver.) They both swore that it might have been the best raspberry pie I've ever made! I have to make another one tomorrow to take to the lake on Saturday for my sister-in-law's 65 birthday! Her daughter is taking her on a 16-day trip around the UK, so I'm thinking of putting 65 pounds sterling in her card.

On Sunday, Brad is driving to Maine once again to pick up this Irish dude that he met on the Trail this year. Apparently, the guy's US visa expires very soon and he has to leave the country for a couple of days in order to get it renewed. So once my sister leaves, we'll have another guest in our spare room for a few days. Should be fun! I'll keep you all posted!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Weighing in yet again!

Hi guys,

Time for another weigh-in, so to speak... A lot has happened since my last post back in the middle of June! For one thing, Brad got back from his hike safe and sound almost 2 weeks ago! He had a good, albeit a much more solitary time this year. He had a mixed bag of weather (as we did here as well), and he developed a problem with one of his ankles (probably tendonitis). He will still have to do about 3 weeks next year to complete all of the A.T. from start to finish.

Not a whole lot new with me. After gaining 1.2 lb. last week (ugh), tonight I was down 3.8 lb., which means that I am now just 1.3 lb. away from my goal weight of 157 and that I have lost 29.3 lb. in total! Pretty happy about that! I worked extra hard this week and biked 112 km! That was in part because of a Canada Day celebration at a neighbour's (where I consumed 2 chicken sausages and buns and lots of smoked salmon!) and a visit with George and Barb, who are back from a great trip to Poland.

My sister who lives in Saudi Arabia returned to Nova Scotia on Monday. She's coming here probably tomorrow for a week or so. She and her husband are renting a beautiful cottage in N.S. for 3 weeks this summer, timed to coincide with the marriage of their youngest son and his girlfriend around the first of August. Brad and I will be going to that and it should be a great time. My sister is very pleased that one of her three sons is finally getting hitched!

Our regular computer is in the shop for some repairs and I'm using this old clunker of a hard drive to make this post. Everything takes forever and a day with this thing. Next post I promise some pics from Brad's 2012 A.T. adventure!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Weighing In...

Hey all, just checking in to give a quick update. Wednesday is my weigh-in day at WW, and today - almost unbelievably, because I had some major off-plan days this past week - I was down another 1.2 lb.! That makes a total of 25.1 lb. that I have lost now since starting the Weight Watchers program. I think that's what I like so much about WW - it's flexible and it works. There were a couple of days last week when I scarfed down food like there was no tomorrow, but I got back on plan and kept up the exercise, and today was down just over a pound from last week. It definitely give me more incentive to stay on plan, however. So it's like 6.2 lb. that I've lost since Brad has been away (and I was worried about him being away and what impact that would have on my weight loss!) and now I've just 5.5 lb. more to go to reach my goal of 157 lb. Then it will be a matter of keeping the weight off, which won't be easy either. But I'd definitely recommend Weight Watchers to anone wanting to drop a few pounds. In fact, My sister in Saudi Arabia recently joined online and she lost over 4 lb. in the first week. (Probably easier to lose weight in KSA, since there is no alcohol allowed - sorry sis! Great job - Keep it up!)

Other than that, Brad continues his hike and is now in Vermont. His feet have been giving him problems with blisters and whatnot, but he keeps on walking! Hard to believe that he'll be back very soon, probably by June 24. I'm missing him a lot and will be glad when he's back home.

Now I've got to go eat supper - french fries and a soy burger with all the fixings! I'm allowed - I don't have to get weighed again for a whole week - with lots of biking and lawn mowing in between!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Playing catch-up - yet again!

So Brad has been gone for over a week now and has filled in the gap that he missed when he came home home last summer in the middle of his hike. On the weekend, he skipped ahead to Connecticut to resume the Trail where he left off last summer. All has gone well thus far, but I think he is missing the comradship he had last year with the dudes he was hiking with. Nothing is ever the same, as they say. He's also told me that he wishes he had packed a warmer sleeping bag! It's been cold at night (and in the morning), and the weather has been the same here. Today, for the first time in ages, we are seeing a bit of sun. Otherwise, it has been very cool and overcast with the daytime temps averaging around 12 C! It sucks!
In any case, today is a new day and the sun is shining! I mean, I think it might be almost 18 C out there! Me? I've been doing okay. I had last week off and got a lot of stuff done around the house that I've been meaning to get done forever. I also got a new pair of glasses (which look quite nice, if I do say so myself), and I have been continuing with my WW program. So far, I've lost 23.9 lb! I've been biking like a madman and mowing the lawns with our wretched reel mower! But it is working! I still have my daily wine, but I am exercising A LOT more and watching what I eat. So far, I've only been up once at the weigh-in, and that was by 0.4 lb. The end is in sight! I want to get to 157 lb., which will be very achievable within the next few weeks. (Fingers crossed!)
Other than that, not much else is new. We keep on carrying on!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Happy Mother's Day (belatedly!)

So I know it's a couple of days late, but then again, so is my mother - late that is. :) This was my second Mother's Day to go by without one. She was a very high maintenance old gal, and she put me through my paces (to put it mildly), but when all is said and done, I do still miss her. She was a huge part of our lives (Brad was like a son to her), and, for better or worse (but mostly better), she will remain so. I think of her and see her in my hands every time I bake a raspberry pie or a rhubarb crisp (one of the latter I made on Sunday), and in the myriad of other things I concoct in the kitchen. She was a teacher and a cook and very good at both. I learned from her a lot.

So on Sunday, Brad and I made the hour-long drive down to her grave site. It's the first time we've been down since she died last April. It was raining most of the way down, but it petered out about 10 minutes before we got to the cemetary. A couple of days prior, I had bought a rose bush to plant at her grave site, but I had second thoughts about that, realizing that roses, like mom, were quite high maintenance. They need a lot of TLC on a very regular basis, which is something I will not be able to provide since the site is relatively far away. Instead, I opted for a solar-powered rose that powers up on its own during the daytime and lights up at night when it is dark. She will be the only one in the cemetary to have such a contraption, and I'm sure she is now the envy of all of the other "residents." It really is not tacky and I'm sure it will look good standing out at night in the dark and otherwise solarless cemetary. I bought another, which I "planted" in our backyard - just so I could see what it looks like at night and beter imagine her's. If I were ever six feet under (which I never want to be, incidently - cremation for me please!), I think I would want one of these standing vigil and offering a bit of light at night. Her grave is still in the proccess of grassing over, but there are wild purple violets (the provincial flower, which she loved) and wild strawberries blooming - she would spend hours painstakingly picking wild strawberries in her day and making them into the most succulent jam imaginable. Very appropriate.

The rain started up again about 10 minutes after we left, so I told Brad that she must have a bit of sway with "our Heavenly Father." (She was very spiritual person, and religious in her own quite way - me, not so much.)

In any case, it was good to get down there. I'll visit more regularly in the future. In the fall, we'll plant daffodils and tulips that will come up in the spring. Colourful, classy, and low maintenance! How she used to be and how I myself should all strive to be.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Watch Your Weight!

So, it's been a while! Just checking in to say hey and catch up a bit...

No really big news to share other than it's two weeks tomorrow that Brad leaves for his month-long hike. It's unbelievable how fast the time goes!
My sister who lives in KSA is now in New Zealand. They are on a trip for my brother-in-law's work. Should be fun. It will be just coming on fall in N.Z. but the weather should still be nice and at least they'll be able to have a glass of wine with dinner!
Me, well, I joined Weight Watchers about 2 months ago! Yes! Can you believe it? Me? In Weight Watchers!? But it works (just ask Jennifer Hudson!) So far, I have lost 16.4 lb.! I joined after I saw that my friend Shaun had lost 10 lb. in just 3 weeks. That did it for me. I knew that I had to lose some pounds, but Shaun's success convinvced me that WW was they way to go. I actually enjoy going to the weekly meetings and weigh-ins. It keeps you honest and makes you accountable. So far so good! I want to lose another 13 pounds, so I am more than half way there. With a family wedding coming up in early August, I am totally pumped! I look better, and more importantly, I feel better!

Losing weight is also better for your blood pressure and cholesterol. I'm going to schedule an appointment with my doc to go over the results of recent blood work and other tests. I want a new baseline that is reflective of my new me!

Here's to the return of a skinner Jeff and possibly more skinny Saturdays!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Le tout Moscou...

... comes to a standstill when Putin arrives to be sworn in. (Moscow, of course is famous for its traffic jams.) Wish I spoke more Russian!
And, of course, the leaves are all out in Moscow, which is more than I can say for here! The huge church you see around 3:30 is Christ the Saviour. Brad and I toured it in '07. I really is unbelievable that there is no traffic anywhere too be seen except for Putin's entourage.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Hey! Just a quick post to stay a bit in touch! It's a cold rainy day here in Eastern Canada, but thankfully, the weekend is upon us! Work has been not quite so crazy buys this week, but busy enough. It's hard to believe that Brad leaves for another month back on the Appalachian Trail a month from yesterday! I've decided to basically stay put for the time being. I wasn't crazy about going someplace by myself and couldn't find anyone to go away with me. I am, however, taking the week of May 28 off and just relaxing here in town. I'll walk the dogs, cook a lot, roll some coin (and no, that isn't code for something... I actually mean to roll a lot of pennies, nickles, and dimes. I have a HUGE collection). Other than that, we'll be going to the wedding of one of my nephews in Nova Scotia this summer and we may rent a cottage/house with some friends in late summer/early fall, also in Nova Scotia.

Here's another nifty tune I heard on Radio Cultura this afternoon. It's by the Tindersticks, a group I'd never heard of. Sometimes I feel like I live under a rock!

Hope you enjoy:

Buried Bones

I could take all the crazy out of you That's what I loved you for Take away all the orange, greens and blues That's what I loved you for
Take a look at me You think it really could be that easy? I mean, take a look at me You think it really could be that easy for you?
I know about guys, I know where they live And you're just the same The ones that matter fight against themselves But it's so hard to change
Hey, I could love you Take all that love away from you Hey, I could love you Put you in this box I've made for two
So you could take all this craziness out of me That's what you love me for Well, I don't mean to laugh, but if you know all this You must be halfway there
Well, like that dress tonight, you won't know As it falls from you Turn around and it's winter, darling Look in the mirror and it won't be you
So you're an old, old dog You've been around the block So many times and it's the same old turns Same old feelings straight down the line
Yeah, I can love you, grab that leash and drag you To a place you'd never know I know where my bones are buried May take me a while, but I'd find my way home

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Blood Buzz Ohio

Hey guys. I came across this nifty song below while listening to Radio Cultura (it's the 3rd station down on the list) out of Moscow the other day. I really liked the tune, so I googled the lyrics and found the video on YouTube. Hope you like it too!

Spring has finally come to this part of eastern Canada. I hope, anyway! It was 18 C here on Thursday and today is another beautiful day. The snow is fast disappearing - YAY! I'll be glad when it's all gone and when we can go outside without coats and winter boots!

I'm still trying to decide where to go for a week or so beofre Brad heads off on the Appalachian Trail again at the end of May. He's only going for a month this time to continue on where he left off last summer. I've been thing of perhaps going back to South Beach or perhaps to San Diego, Portland (Oregon), or Chicago. I'm also toying with the idea of going to the Dominican Republic or Cuba to an all-inclusive resort... Decisions, decisions... Feel free to offer suggestions!

The National - "Bloodbuzz Ohio" (official video) from The National on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


Hey all! It's COLD mid-winter here in Canada. Anyone else need some inspiration to get in shape? I know I do! Man. This guy is the definition of definition!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Molto Mario!

Mario Lopez on Ellen - in his drawers! Wow! Gotta get me a pair of those!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Amazing video of an airbus flying in and around Rio! Go to whole screen if you can!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Meet Oliver!

He's our new dog! We brought him home from the local SPCA on Christmas Eve! (He's the black and tan dog in the foreground.) He's basically settling in fine, though he definitely has some separation anxiety, i.e., when Brad and I both go out. On Christmas Eve, we put him in the crate we've had for a long time (got it with Samson 20 years ago), and he seemed fine when we got home. On Christmas day, however, we put him in the crate again when we went to Brad's sister's place for dinner. When we returned home, 2 dogs greeted us at the door! Oliver had somehow managed to get out of the crate - a feat that Sam, Kaiser, and Jasper never managed to do! We've left him outside the crate since then when we've gone out, with limited success. Usually nothing is out of place, but today 2 bagels were taken from the kitchen counter and devoured (while we were both out). He's a great dog, but definitely one we'll have to keep an eye on!