tall ships

Friday, July 31, 2009

Roseway being escorted into the harbour last night

At 9am this morning I'll walk up to the post office and at a temporary booth nearby I'll pick up my Tall Ships boarding pass. 6 tall ships wound there way, without sails sadly, into our little harbour last night and the park that we walk each day was packed and buzzing with onlookers (much to Missy D's chagrin - my girl is not fond of crowds or people at all for that matter). Our second summer festival begins today - Harbour Fest. For most of the weekend Miss D and I will stay far, far away from the maddening crowds but I do want to board and suss out these beautiful tall ships (avec my camera of course). I can't wait.

7:20 am - Miss D and I hit the streets and the park at the water's edge very early this morning and imagine our delight when we immediately saw, far off in the distance, another tall ship just entering our harbour. The Picton Castle. A walk with my best girlfriend Winnie Dixon, tall ships and early morning golden light. Perfect.

A few years ago a terrible accident happened on the Picton Castle - a crew member, Laura Gainey, fell overboard during the night in a raging storm and was lost at sea - I remember feeling extremely haunted by it. The Fifth Estate investigated and this excellent documentary was the result.

and Theodore's here too !

flower girl

Thursday, July 30, 2009

cosmos and random blooms picked from our front gardens

Cosmos is a particular favourite flower of mine - high up there on my list, keeping company with sweet peas, zinnias, poppies, morning glory and nasturtiums. With the lobelia, forget-me-nots, the Shasta and painted daisy's, and the allium, the tulips and daffodils in spring. The mock orange and the lilacs ...

It's funny how often I post images of flowers on this blog because I don't really consider myself a gardener although I do sometimes think I could be if I lived somewhere with a smaller more manageable plot. Each early spring I have great hopes of taming, even just some small section of, this huge property but by mid June everything that happily grows here just seems to just go poof as if over night a giant growth spurt occurred and suddenly it becomes choked and tangled, lush and overgrown. Green, green, green and more green. Climbing, creeping, thriving expanding green with occasional pops of colour poking through, perennial flowers trying to hang on to their places amongst the invasive choking greenness. I throw in my garden gloves with dismay, the gloves I've probably already left somewhere in my ever haphazard travels around this kingdom. Laying on the ground somewhere, damp, the glove's fingers becoming perfect cozy little tunnel dens for earwigs (who I happen, thankfully, to have an affection for - a much maligned little insect, persecuted mostly because of their kinda creepy looks). Sigh.

I put my bathing suit on for the first time yesterday, sprayed my fair and freckled body down with SPF 30+ and Miss D, Deb, Maggy Sue (Winnie's golden retriever best girlfriend) and I all went to the beach. Down the bunny trail to the back, back shore where we swam and threw sticks into the water for fetching, we sat on our big rock, we talked and laughed and smiled until our cheeks hurt. Winnie sure loves their company, as does her Mama.

I picked up local peas, baby carrots and small new potatoes from the grocery store and last night I stood at my kitchen island eating raw peas from the shell. There's nothing better. I do love my peas.

I've had the fan on in my bedroom, our bedroom, at night because it's been stinkin' hot this entire week, nothin' but sunshine, blue skies, high humidity and summer's full on here in this little seaside village. Although it's grey today - hooray !

My nephew Michael called in the afternoon busting with good news. I so love that he still wants to call his old Auntie. He's in the midst of a business/marketing degree and he's just found out that his Sept work term has been finalized and he was feeling happy with where he'd end up working come fall and (drum roll) he's been accepted to study in Malaysia the following term. He'll spend next winter not in St. John's (a tres cool city but infamous for it's dreadful winters - cold, wet with mountains of snow) but in the tropical island lands of Malaysia. I'm thrilled for him.

Busyness at the teak topped desk today - I've fallen a bit behind. High school is out for the summer so I haven't been helping with the high school art class - hopefully I'll pick that up again in September. 12 year old yard boys have expectantly fallen by the wayside but ... Dennis, my man Dennis, comes faithfully to mow my lawn. Hallelujah. He doesn't even mow all my lawn. He just mows the section that I hated to mow ?? I still mow the back and one side, the section of my lawn that is so intermixed with ground cover that you only need to mow it every 2 weeks or so. Dennis mows the fast growing, thick, exposed to the public part - I always felt like I was pushing La Beast Rouge around on a noisy, sweaty stage for all to see which I hated and he mows a small section of our expansive fenced in dog yard - which Miss D barely uses anymore.

goodness I'm a bit chatty this morning ...
off to the lands of bubbles & scent

I wonder

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I'm sitting in darkness just the glow of my computer screen, a fat fresh mug of coffee, with a bit of sugar and lots of milk, sits beside me. The breeze is fresh and cool blowing in through my big wide open windows. I can hear gulls and crows, and loons and herons off in the distance and a song sparrow is perched in a tree just outside my window serenading me. The sky is just beginning to turn blue and puffy cotton ball clouds tinged with a peachy orange glow float slowly by our windows. Bleet's already outside sitting on the porch surveying his world, Gus and Oliver are having a rousing crashing, thumping round of kitten wildness and Winnie's just cleaned up the cat food dishes and is waiting patiently for me to say Let's get goin' Miss D let's go down into the park and along the harbour's edge and down onto the crescent beach where we'll stop and sit on a big piece of driftwood, and we'll just sit a spell like, we do every morning and gaze out into the open water and I'll wonder ... can I ever leave this place ?


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

a thunder storm moving over the straight and into our little harbour

Last evening.

It's been really hot and humid in this little village. Summer's in full swing. I love thunder and lightening, I am amazed always and in awe. I love the darkening skies and the towering, billowy clouds and the contrast between them. I love that these storms most often come at us across open water - an extended show with a crystal clear vantage point sitting on a bench in the park, overlooking the open harbour, just steps from our front door. Miss Winnie Dixon is not crazy about thunder but it seems as long as she's sitting close enough to touch, sitting by her Mama, she tolerates it. She and I sat on a bench in the park last night watching these clouds come rumbling in, gradually smothering the sun and the shimmering waters. As thunder storms go this one was weak, still far off in the distance. The thunder never amounting to more than a rumble, we didn't see any lightening and the blue skies and shimmering waters were back soon enough. Missy D winked at me.

magenta beauty

Monday, July 27, 2009

magenta blooms lit by gorgeous golden orange evening light avec an Oliver

I like not only to be loved
but to be told I am loved

T. S. Eliot

I don't know the name of this particular flowering shrub - this amazing plant who's blooms begin as tight round little balls of colour that gradually unfurl into these tiny fringed and quite complex blooms - like little sea anemones waving in the breeze. The pale pink version grows wild in abundance along the roads and in overgrown meadows everywhere here. This magenta beauty lives in our front garden. If anyone recognizes this plant I would love to know it's name.

Rachel (Millie's Mum) let us know that this shrub is a spirea - I do know that they are a hugely varied shrub, available with many different colours of foliage and blossoms. Merci Rachel.

Oliver knows that Miss Millie reads this blog and will see these photos. He's hoping that she will recognize how dashingly handsome he is and that she may decide that they were indeed made for each other. He can only hope, he must get his passport in order and continue to practice, fervently, his l'art du deplacément for it appears that Millie (his true love with the dark nose) has also a deep passion for the mad, unabashed, free-style parkour. Sigh.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dixie - a senior golden girl who Miss D and I often meet on our evening strolls

sleep, sleep beauty bright
dreaming in the joys of night

William Blake

I had a dream last night that Jake wasn't really dead, there had been some terrible mix up. He had just been kept at the vet for an incredibly long time for observation, for months and months, like some endless quarantine. For so long that I'd forgotten what he smelled like, what his fur felt like ... what he was like. I had to get something on my car fixed before I could drive the 45 minute trip to the vet to pick him up. It was all I could think about, all I wanted to say to anyone who'd listen I'm going to pick up my dog. My dog's OK. I felt elated, absolutely bursting with blissful anticipation. It felt so real, as a good dream often does. I woke up, sadly, before our big reunion and I lingered in my bed, in the nest of cotton and flannel, for a long time enjoying the fleeting remnants of that wonderful dream before I finally got up - I went downstairs into the kitchen, fed the starving beasts Gus & Oliver, let the BleetNess outside onto the front porch and poured myself a cup of coffee.
It's another new day.

she's a water dog


Saturday, July 25, 2009

a perfect summer pasture like a giant modern painting

Those who dwell among the beauties
and the mysteries of the earth

are never alone or weary of life

Rachel Carson

green grass and golden hay
a big sky with perfect cloud ships sailing slowly by
only the sounds of the wind and insects busy
the most perfect spot to lay, hidden awhile
away from it all ... just me and my girl
we are happily lost here ... in this place

2. more green and gold and daisies 3. Winnie Dixon wading in still waters, ocean and sky meld into a lost horizon 4. the most amazing little flowers that begin as tight tiny pink balls and gradually unfurl into these complicated frayed beauties 5. complex and beautiful other small worlds exists here - if you pause to take notice 6. Queen Anne's lace, tall and beautiful is blooming everywhere - their blooms a sign of summer's waning.

more cake ...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Chocolate Fudge Mint Ice Cream Cake - Uh Huh !!

Uh Huh !! and a few of my favourite cooking, baking, food blogs (many of which have been featured in my blog of the week over the past 2 years) a special request from our friend Vicki in Dallas. A list I will soon add permanently to my side bar ' cause who doesn't love a great food blog ?? But first, wisdom from our Julia and more cake ...

Moderation. Small helpings.
Sample a little bit of everything.
These are the secrets of happiness and good health.

Julia Child

I've been dreaming about this cake a lot lately which means I'm afraid that I'm gonna have to make it soon 'cause you know one of our favourite live-by motto's is deny thyself nothing. This cake was my one of my grandmother *Flo's tres easy but kinda showy dinner party desserts. Put it together early in the day, toss it in the freezer and forget about it.

Les Instructions

You'll need an angel food cake 1. - made from scratch, bake a boxed cake mix or buy a pre-made angel food cake from your grocery store. Carefully slice the very top of the cake off with a serrated bread knife, removing the crust like outer bit. Take a skewer, I would use the larger metal grilling skewer type and generously, but carefully poke holes down into the cake. Liberally pour creme de menthe 3.
(1 cup I would guess - maybe more) all over the top of the cake guiding it into and down these newly poked holes. Fill the centre hole of the angel food cake with softened premium vanilla ice cream 2. (or flavour of your choice). Pop the cake into the freezer for 30 mins (this will firm up the cake a bit making it easier to slather with frosting. Remove and frost the entire cake with a thick, tres generous layer of chocolate fudge frosting 4. (again home made is best but pre-made frosting is fast and easy). Return cake to the freezer and freeze well for several hours. Allow to thaw on counter 15-20 mins before serving.

As I'm writing this I'm thinking a coffee liqueur or an orange liqueur would be great substitutions for the creme de menthe. I myself am very much a chocolate - mint kinda girl. Or raspberry liqueur garnished with a tumble of fresh raspberries. Hmmm ... the possibilities are indeed endless.

* Flo - my grandmother an amazing inspiring woman, full of love, an artist, and a fantastic cook who was still having dinner parties for 8-10 people well into her 80's

les favourite food blogs and not in any way a complete list

matt bites
david lebovitz
dorie greenspan
smitten kitchen
delicious days
travelers lunchbox
milk eggs chocolate
the karmic kitchen
bake & shake
joy the baker
bread & honey
101 cookbooks
homesick texan - especially for Vicki
joanne weir
everyday food
seven spoons
joy of baking
chow hound
good bite

+ 50 of the world's best food blogs

les ingredients avec sous chef extraordinnaire - the Dude

Miss D & me

Thursday, July 23, 2009

views & vistas from Miss D and my extra long walk on the point yesterday

We hopped in the car around 5pm last night for the quick 5 minute drive down onto the point and we parked at the end of the dead end road where the pavement turns to dirt. Miss D and I walked down the bunny trail (a long mowed lane of the greenest grass) and yes, we, especially Winnie Dixon (who is 2/4ths site hound) did spy two bunnies. We call it the bunny trail because the rabbits love to sneak out from the small woods and sit on the lane and nibble the sweet green grass. We walked beside pastures gold and then green, the colours changing constantly because of a spectacularly unsettled sky - large and filled with flying clouds, some dark and threatening like island kingdoms or huge ships sailing through the sunshine in a clear blue sky ...they flew so fast that we could chase their shadows, and we did - Miss D and I.

And down onto the beach where the tide had pulled the water out to the far outer edges of the reef where the seals loll fat in the sun and they talk and moan and groan to each other. And we walked and walked out on the sand bars as far as we could go to our final destination, our turn around spot. The big rock, our big rock at the end of the back back shore and we sat for a spell just taking it all in. I put my arm around my girl and she sat close and smiled and laughed with me.

Then we walked back and up the side of the red clay cliff and into the bayberry wild rose pasture which overlooks the reef, a favourite spot for big wet dogs to leave their sticks for a moment to drop and rub and roll in the tall golden grass. We picked bayberry leaves, scrunching them in our fingers to release their scent and then breathing deeply that heavenly smell - the smell of summers near the ocean. Queens Anne's lace and buttercups bobbed and swayed tall in the breeze and Miss D and I laid down in this old overgrown pasture, in this sacred place above the sea and we wished that we could stay there forever ... and we felt very grateful.

This is the land where nature sings, the lands of stick fetching and wading around in tide pools looking for the blue starfish or watching scuttling teeny hermit crabs. It's the lands of reddish ruffled sand bars that stretch on forever. Of big red rocks and red clay cliffs, of wildflowers and bayberry and wild roses. Of hawks and herons, warblers, red winged black birds, bobolinks and cliff swallows. Of foxes and deer and coyotes. It's heaven. It's a place I love. A place I've been coming for over 13 years although yesterday was our first visit this year. There are so many memories here, many quite bittersweet and most ... absolutely perfect.

We made a plan to go back ... each evening Winn and I because we love it here