Sunday, April 22, 2018

I THINK I ATE THE WEST COAST

The primary purpose for our trip to Vancouver was to spend time with my son Adrian and his wife Carolyn and to see some of the sights. 

But after looking through my pics, I think what I really did was eat my way through the West coast!  Here's proof.

We landed in Vancouver about 12:30 which made it about 3:30 my stomach's time and I was Hangry. Adrian and Carolyn took us to a little french bistro right around the corner from their house. Let the eating begin!


Avocado on toasted french bread with salad. This was perfect along with a bowl of roasted garlic potato soup after our flight.

Sheldon and I took a side trip for a couple of days to Victoria. Our first meal was at Little Jumbo.



I had a plate of perfect asparagus and Chickpea fritters. 

We stayed at the Abbeymore B&B and let me tell you, they take breakfast seriously! Each morning we were treated to a new set of courses, but here was morning number one:


We were started off with a strawberry smoothie and fresh juice and a homemade blueberry flan. Lord Ha Mercy!


Then came a fried egg on greens and tomatoes and cheese and I don't know what all that goodness was. Needless to say, lunch is not required after breakfast at Abbeymore!

But we were ready for dinner! This time we went to Cafe Brio. I had the homemade Papardelle with roasted squash and Sheldon had the pork dish. Both were perfect!



And dessert was sticky toffee pudding and Flourless Chocolate torte.

We headed back to Vancouver and Adrian and Carolyn took us to a scenic seaside town called Deep Cove. We were going to take a 2 hour hike so sustenance was required. 


Of course, after that 2 hour hike everyone goes to Honey's Donuts! You know what they say...when in Rome...


On our last day of the trip we headed downtown Vancouver to Yaletown and checked out the shops. Stopped in for a refuel!


That evening we went to the Seasons Restaurant which is beautifully set in a park overlooking the city. We had a rainy misty day but you could still see the mountains. I snapped a pic of Adrian's meal, an Italian Sausage Pizza with fennel, sun-dried tomatoes and provolone cheese


There was so much more like the Earnest Ice Cream (best I've ever had) and it's a good thing we walked a lot. One day my Fitbit clocked over 27,000 steps and the whole week came in at over 132,000. 

So, if you are going to B.C., there are lots of amazing places to eat and if you are a Foodie, you have landed in paradise. But I'm sorry if half of it is gone, I think I ate the West Coast.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

A STRANGE NEW LAND

Canada is an amazing country! Yesterday, we were in Ontario where it is brown and gray. In fact, as our plane de-iced and took off, we left behind one of the biggest, baddest ice storms Ontario has seen in a while. 


Five hours later, we land on the west coast, a strange new land. It's a little discombobulating..


First off all it’s very green and flowers are sprinkled everywhere! 



The trees are frothy pink and white with blossoms!



There are fairies living here!  I came across the door of one little fairy house on my morning walk.



And there are lions with their paws out asking for fist pumps
So I obliged.

There are real fisherman here. REAL fisherman, straight off the ocean with weather beaten faces and their boats are loaded with fresh fish.


If you are really gutsy, you can wear leggings like this:

Not me though. I'm not gutsy or young enough to slip these cats on.

It's an amazing country, full of wonder and variety.




I love living in Ontario, like the west coast it's full of wonder and beauty. But right now, with the biggest, baddest ice storm covering my home town, I'll take hanging out in this strange new land for a few more days.








Sunday, April 8, 2018

THE ART OF A GOOD GREETING

Yesterday, I was dragging a bench into the kitchen so I could put something away up high, (first world short problems) and in the process it tipped over and inside I found this long-lost card:


It say's "Hi, I'm Cindi" and inside it says "with an Eye". This card always made me laugh - still does! Now that's a good greeting.

But our new kitten DandyLion, he's having a little trouble with the greeting business. He's lacking finesse.

And he gets a little too rambunctious.


That's Dandy - about to chomp on my toes under the blanket. Simmer down Dandy, simmer down..

And because of this, he's having a little trouble with our other cat Sasha..

He doesn't seem to notice that her ears are back in disdain.


Or the Danger, Danger look she is giving him from a distance. If looks could kill, Dandy and I would have both been incinerated.

The result being a lot of hissing, spitting and growls from Sasha.


And a nasty scratch across his nose.

Maybe DandyLion should send out a greeting card first.


Sunday, April 1, 2018

GOING ON A JOURNEY

On Good Friday Ronja our german student, headed back home.


I snapped a pic of her luggage which she hoped was not over the weight requirements as it carried her life belongings back over the ocean to Germany. We will miss her. But that's part of the journey isn't it?

Life is full of journeys - we take them all the time, every day in fact. They consist of beginnings and endings; you begin a new experience or meet new people and then comes the end of the journey and you have to say goodbye. They can be full of adventure or you might wish you could turn around and had never walked out your front door!

Some journeys are planned, some are not. A sudden life illness or change will send you on an journey you had not expected to be taking. And all journeys, planned or not, exciting or dreaded, all have a measure of uncomfortableness to them. Bumps in the road.

Think of the Easter story - now there's a journey! Christ agreed to walk the road of self denial, carry the burden of our sins on the cross knowing it would lead to pain and death. He had a last supper with his friends, said his goodbyes and resolutely, without a word of complaint started down the dark path. But this uncomfortable journey took a surprise turn. He rose victorious!

Every day is a journey with a beginning and an ending. There will be hellos, goodbyes, new adventures, bumps in the road. 

I wish you all a Bon Voyage!






Sunday, March 25, 2018

WORTH IT!

Back in 1971, if you can believe it, some smarty-pants advertising marketer came up with the slogan "because I'm worth it". For some reason that seemed a pretty cocky thing for a woman to say back then. 

That soon evolved to include the everyday girl sitting at home with "because you're worth it" and then moved on to celebrate womanhood with "because we're worth it." Doesn't sound so cocky now, does it? 

I try to look after this body I live in. She's getting on, pushing 55 years old. So I exercise it regularly, make sure it gets decent sleep, not too much stress and I aim to feed it right.

But every now and then, the extra luxuries are worth it. 

Like a fresh croissant

Worth it!

Or a little Baileys in your coffee:

Worth it!

We took in Maple in the County today, complete with pancakes


And other yummy treats, like this deep fried butter tart!

Definitely worth it!!

Or, getting a new kitten, even if their alarm clock is set at 4:30 am cause they get to sleep all day.

Yup, worth it

Seems Loreal was right. Sometime's I'm worth it, you're worth it, in fact we're all worth it!




Sunday, March 18, 2018

SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO CRY IT OUT


It's a proven fact that women cry more often the men, about 3 to 5 times more often. But we do tend to cry over the same things like homesickness, broken relationships and grief. 

So what brings you to tears? And why? Do you wish you could cry more or cry less? Crying is a way to communicate, like babies who cry when they are in pain, or hungry or frustrated. 

For me, I've realized it is rarely physical pain that will bring on the watershed. I don't remember crying during labour, but I do remember the intense physical pain and I had both my babies naturally without so much as an aspirin. 

But mental anguish, guilt, grief these things will have me going through a box of kleenex in no time. 

I'm around 20 years old and in a bad relationship. I've got a cigarette going in both hands. I'm crying a lot because I'm scared, emotionally drained and feeling like I'm in a locked cage. Recently I ran into some old friends. One is dealing with some mental health struggles. I can see the fatigue and confusion in her eyes. I can see the pain of loss in his. Seems we are all on the verge of tears.

Mental pain, hidden away by men and women you connect with every day is a heavy, heavy burden. So is grief, that dark cloud where your life has now been changed because someone you love is gone. Be kind to one another, the greatest pain, the heart wrenching cry of the broken, is often hard to see. 

Psalm 145:18-19
"The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them."

Sunday, March 11, 2018

PLEASE PASS THE PASTA

There are certain things in life that once you've experienced the real deal, there's no going back. For example: coffee, chocolate or toilet paper! Someone hands you a quality product and you are spoiled for life.

Pasta, falls into this category. If you are using store bought dried pasta you should give fresh a try - you are in for a treat! 

A few years ago, the whole family took a trip to Italy. Mama Mia, these people know their pasta. Upon recommendation from a friend of ours (Dan), we hiked up, and up, and UP on the island of Capri to find a restaurant carved into a cave. It was here I had one of the most memorable meals of my life. 


A beautifully balanced meal of fresh seafood, pasta, just the right amount of sauce and cheese.




These pillows of ravioli were a delight too.



The setting certainly helped! Up high overlooking the sea, enjoying the balmy Italian climate




And just below us, the boats looking like tiny water bugs scooting on the surface and this amazing arc formation of rock.

I was hooked. 

Once, when my son was home from University, he showed me his pasta making skills from scratch. 



The dough is ridiculously simple - water, flour, egg, bit of salt; that's about it. But we did not have a pasta machine so we cut the dough by hand using a sharp knife.



Thought these looked pretty good! So we dropped them into the boiling salted water.



They came out big and fat, like udon noodles and made for a pretty hearty meal!

Last night, we had company for dinner and I guinea pigged them on a new Pasta dish: salmon pasta with lemon.




Garlic, butter, fresh herbs with lots of lemon and of course, fresh pasta! This would be a great meal on a summer day but it tasted pretty darn good in the middle of March. 

Sometimes the finer things in life are absolutely worth the time, money and wait. 


 Recipe for Baked Lemon Butter Salmon Pasta: Spend with Pennies Baked Lemon Butter Salmon Pasta - Spend With Pennies