Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Birthdays = Highly over-rated


Today is my 43rd birthday (gulp).  I stayed overnight at my sister's house last night after attending book club in her town.  This morning when I got home Scott had baked me this cake.  I was so surprised....he is more of a "scrape your windshield off, carry in your heavy bags, build you a shelf" husband...than a cake baker. Maybe he's trying to make up for this For some reason....I felt teary (which is embarrassing even to type).  

Do you get more hormonal the older you are?  Last week I teared up over an advertisment on tv.  This is not good.
Suddenly I find my birthday makes me that a sure sign I'm old?

When I was a kid I looked forward to my birthday for months.  Mom would make a money cake (where she wrapped quarters, dimes and nickels in wax paper and baked them right in the cake batter).  As you were eating your cake your fork would hit on one of these little wax paper bundles and you would get to unwrap and keep the money.  OK, I am old.....can you imagine baking disgusting, germ-laden money into cake and feeding it to kids?  Not to mention the choking hazard.  Also on the birthday menu were boiled hotdogs with steamed white buns and tall, glass bottles of grape or orange soda (God bless the 1970's health oblivion). 

Inevitably some kid would puke before the party was over.  Mmmm...maybe adult birthdays are not so bad.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Monday news

We had an exciting weekend with news that my nephew Jeremy and his wife Natacha are expecting a baby boy in August.  Jeremy is only 10 years younger than me so he is more like a little brother than a nephew.  I need to search out some cute knitting patterns and get busy making presents for this little one.

In other news our friends brought home Stanley, a 14 week old Chow puppy.

He is adorable and surprisingly heavy for a puppy.
Season 5 of Mad Men started last night.  I am a huge fan.  Don scoundrel...I have a huge crush on you.  The part at the party where his new wife performs for him...uhm...awkward.

Scott and I are headed to NYC next month for a little getaway.  We are taking the train from Portland Maine, through Boston to NYC.  I'm excited....I went to NYC with my parents when I was 17 but that was a l-o-n-g time ago, and Scott has never been there.  We are staying at a hotel on Park Avenue...that is all I know.  Any tips on where we should go and what we should do...and most importantly where we should EAT?

Friday, 23 March 2012

Friday update

I don't know what is with the weather here but after a snowstorm that cancelled school last week the temperature shot up to 27 C (82 F) all the snow melted in 1 day and I found myself outside reading....and I got a sunburn.  What a crazy March.  Let's talk about the "Hunger Games"...I admit I hadn't even heard of it until this month...and I was didn't sound like a book I would like.  A friend from book club lent me her copy...yeah..I was hooked on page 14.
Please ignore the paint-spattered green plastic lawn chair...our lawn furniture is still stored away in the barn and this was all I could find in the shed.
While I was outside on this lovely day I heard the window open and Scott popped his head out of his office window....I told him to get back to work, he was interrupting my reading...ha ha
Wednesday I went to the NB College of Craft and Design to give a workshop.  I was very nervous but it was fine.  The only problem I had was that I prepared a slideshow and put it on a memory stick and just to be safe I brought my laptop as well (I didn't want to be the old lady that can't handle technology)...I felt confident.  When we got to the lecture room there was a Smart board (yikes) and no way to connect my laptop to I had to use the college's Mac ( the ads on tv, I'm a PC...not a Mac) but with the help of one of the students I got it operational.  I now will have to have a bit more patience with my mother when she calls me (constantly) with computer questions.

I had such a great day at the college, it is in the historic part of downtown in a beautiful old brick building and part of the classrooms and library are in this building:

It was a former soldier's barracks in the 1800's.  Each floor of the building houses a different speciality; clay, metal art/jewelry , textiles, photography and graphics.  I had such a great day seeing all the amazing projects the students are working on. FYI...I think I was the only person there without a tattoo, piercing or technicolour hair.

Well I'm off to do exciting things like clean out the fridge and go to the grocery store...have a nice weekend everyone!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Spring has Sprung....finally

Finally the weather took a wonderful turn here with temperatures of 23 C ( 75 F) which melted most of the snow and made everyone want to be outside.

We finished boiling a bit more maple syrup.

I finally found a good use for the bits of snow still hanging around.

The "redneck" sap boiler made another appearance and we kept the fire going all weekend boiling down the maple sap we had collected all week.

Scott and I entertained ourselves sitting in the sun in lawn chairs watching water sap boil...we are exciting like that.

We celebrated Isaac's 17th birthday by "donutting" him on Sunday morning...

It is hard to get a laugh out of a 17 year old...but we succeeded.

Sunday was also Isaac's last hockey game of the season so our weekends will be a lot more laid-back.

The birthday boy

Cameron came home from university (sporting a beard and braces...strange combo) to celebrate his little brother's birthday.

It was a lovely full weekend and the warm weather is staying all week.  The snow has almost completely disappeared and I'm very keen to get some seeds started because I know gardening season is almost here.  I'm spending Wednesday at the Art College as my presentation last week was re-scheduled to this week...I'm still a bit nervous about this but excited as well.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Oh no, not you again.

Just when I thought we were done with winter we woke up to this:

School was cancelled and the presentation I was to give at the art college was re-scheduled until next Wednesday.  The ground is covered again which is depressing considering I was out in my rubber boots last weekend (in the mud...but whatever)

I"m sure the snow will disappear by the weekend because the forecast is beautiful and sunny 17degrees C (or 63 F).

In other news my dear mother-in-law emailed me the following picture of the stray cat she adopted recently:

Now this picture may not be shocking to you....but you don't know my mother-in-law.  She has never been an animal lover....and she is a complete neat fact we call her The Javex Queen.  Her house is immaculate....I never in a million years dreamed she would take in a cat....let alone take a picture of it on her table.  The cat came to her door on a stormy night this winter and was very nervous and hungry...she warmed up chicken broth in the microwave and would set it on the step for him every night.  Eventually he got brave and came into the house.  Now he spends the evenings on the couch with her watching Jeopardy...and she named him Timothy.

My husband's sisters keep calling me and wondering what's happened to their mother.  I think she fell in love, with a redhead...named Timothy.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Spring....please hurry

We spent the weekend away at a hockey tournament.  It was so nice to stay in a hotel and not have to cook or do laundry and we had a lot of fun with the other parents/players.  The sap started running in the maple trees so yesterday afternoon was spent putting taps in the trees and attaching the sap buckets.  

The weather forecast this week is warm days and nights that dip below freezing, perfect for collecting sap.  Next weekend we will boil most of it down to syrup just in time because we are down to our last 2 bottles from last  year's crop.

Lots of buds on my magnolia tree but it won't bloom until May.
With only 2 more games left hockey season is almost done....goodbye winter and hello spring I say.

Wednesday I am off to the Art + Design  college I attended to give a day-long Art workshop to the 2nd year clay students.  I'm a little  ok a lot, nervous to speak in front of the group.  It involves a slide show, artist's talk and then a demonstration...yikes.  Is it wrong that my first thought was...what will I wear?  

Sunday, 11 March 2012

10 on the 10th March 2012

I'm joining with a bit of sunshine  today for 10 on the 10th

We spent the weekend at a nearby city while Isaac played in a hockey tournament.  For a nice change my pictures are "city" pictures, not "country pictures"

#1 city market

#2 Cool Candy Store

#3 I delivered an order to this store that sells my pottery

#4 Beautiful life-sized wood carvings

#5 Yes please...

#6 Too Late

#7 Beautiful old church

#8 Happy graffiti

#9 Funky mail box

#10 Yummy mochachinno

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Wednesday happenings

Isaac and I were up at 6 am this morning as he had to be at a hockey tournament 100 km from home.  The only good thing about this ungodly hour was this beautiful sky.

We arrived at the arena and I realized I forgot my gloves in the car so I went out to the parking lot...and saw this funky potato chip delivery truck.

Isn't it the coolest?  I would like to convert it into a camper and travel around the country, kind of like the Partridge Family (only without the singing, just the traveling around).

On our way home we stopped here to get a few groceries.  I'm in love with this store, it is independently owned and has been going strong since just after WWII (hence the Victory name).  I adore their neon is original and over 60 years old.  The store is jam packed with fresh produce, eggs, cheese and meat...and the prices are super.  Oh...and I should add they carry your groceries out to the car for you (take that Costco).  One time I was shopping here and their debit machine was down so I was going to have to leave, walk to an ATM and get cash to pay for my groceries.  The owner was there and he reached into his own wallet...pulled out $30.00 cash to pay for my groceries and said "You can pay me back the next time you are in, I trust you"...true story.

And that is how you make a blog post out of potato chip trucks and grocery shopping, yes it is an exciting life I lead.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Monday, Monday

So, around here it's March Break, which means that Isaac is home all week from school and the alarm is NOT set for 6:45, yay.  I have to share the March page from this calendar that is hanging in my kitchen.  Isn't it cheery?  I bought it at Paper Source in Boston last fall and I love it.

The forsythia branches I brought inside a week ago are blooming already, in the background outside the window you will see the forsythia bush which is still grey and leafless, I love forcing branches to bloom early inside.  I think forsythia branches are the easiest but I have had lilac and cherry blossoms forced inside as well.

That's about all the excitement from our house, it seems we are the only family not heading south for March Break this year.   Good thing because  Isaac's hockey season is still going strong and we have two tournaments to attend this week one of which involves a weekend getaway to a hotel in a nearby city so maybe I'll order a margarita there...and pretend.