Wednesday, July 27, 2011

CATCH OF THE DAY: The Family Herald - Canada's National Farm Magazine

Today I find myself sitting at the MacDonald's in Summerside - they have WIFI!! (and really good iced coffee...a large is only $1.00!!!) It's another wet cool day here on the island so we went exploring which we LOVE to do so let's hear it for RAINY DAYS - YAY!!  I figure if I say that often enough I just might convince myself (yay rainy days, yay rainy days...)

A few weeks ago (yay rainy days) Michael had a brilliant idea...(yes, in addition to washing clothes in the bathtub, being a great cook and you should see him handle a machete he also comes up with a brilliant idea on occasion...ok...frequently:) We keep finding (yay rainy days) neat stuff - on the beach, while hiking around and in the many used furniture and antique stores we like to explore, garage sales etc - so he thought I should write a post called "Catch of the Day" which also has a seaside flavour to it. Brilliant right? 

However, there is one little problem with this otherwise terrific idea...the DAY part.  See, it implies (yay rainy days) that there is a catch every day and that I'm going to post about it everyday but with infrequent internet use I just can't manage that, so perhaps it should be "Catch of the Week" but that doesn't sound quite as catchy (hee hee hee).

Anyhoo, (yay rainy days) today's CATCH is truly our most wonderful catch so far this summer.  While happily browsing in Coulson's used/antique store on the waterfront in Summerside I happened to glance up just as a man was walking past me holding a bunch of magazines in his hands.  I recognized the cover and the name - Family Herald - Canada's National Farm Magazine because my mother had several of her children's stories published in them when I was a little girl. I literally shouted that out to the older gentleman and he gamely assisted Michael and I in searching through them.  They were dated in the l950's and 1960's - the time period my mother was writing for them - could I be so lucky?? YES!!  We found four magazines with her stories published in them!!

I think these qualify as the "Catch of the YEAR!!"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Today's Post Coming to You From the Lovely Northport Inn

Howdy y'all!!
Thought I'd give a shout out to Northport Inn and the owner, Cathy, who provides Michael and I with the occasional opportunity to use her Inn's lovely living room and Wifi! From where I'm sitting I have a great view of Cascumpec Bay (same body of water I can see from my front porch, but closer up) and the nearby islands. Of course, since I'm sitting in here it MUST be raining out because if it weren't I'd be busily working on cutting my maple tree's big branches into woodstove sized chunks.

The tree is finished being cut down!

Remember the lovely gift and veggies we received from a kind-hearted islander friend last week?  Here's the chicken hot off the BBQ!!

Thanks again Kendra! It was sooooooo yummy!

What else has been happening? Hmmmmm let's see..... I can't talk about money you see because we've overspent big time.  I'll settle up later in August after we've returned :(

So what else is new...oh yes, I was going to share some house photos and tell you how clever I am.  How clever am I? Well have a look-see! In trying to figure out how to furnish a house when one's furniture is several provinces away and still going to be used over the  next three years we came up with the following solutions: these purchases will move on to other purposes when we either haul our furniture east OR sell it and buy anew once we move to PEI permanently.

We've graduated from sleeping on a king size air mattress to a FUTON!! It's very comfortable and will move to one of the guest bedrooms eventually. We found two tables to use as nightstands, one at a yard sale and the folding one at an antique/used store in Summerside (only $8 and it's a beauty)! 

Found the cutest little rocking chair for the front porch - only $25 at B.C. Antiques near Kensington - a perfect fit! (BTW I'm wearing another deal on my feet - my new Reeboks that are supposed to tone your legs and butt while you wear them - for half price at Saunders Variety in Alberton.  Hmmmm...half-price? Perhaps they'll only tone one leg and one cheek???!!!

Just perfect

For the living room and dining room - LAWN FURNITURE!!
Told ya I was clever!  And on sale at the Superstore no less!
$199 bought us 2 wicker (vinyl outdoor wicker) chairs, loveseat and coffee table
complete with cushions and umbrella.  This is going to look brilliant on our future
deck, though I've been told to screw the umbrella to the deck or we may find
it floating in the bay.

Nice huh?

Our dining room set - 4 chairs, table and yet another umbrella for just $99 - will also have a lovely
future on our deck someday.  Until then we are enjoying actually being able to sit
at a table to eat! 

This mirror was a surprise gift from Michael...I love it!  It matches the old
wood perfectly...thanks honeybunch!

There's a better view.  By the looks of this picture the next thing I'd better
find is a bookcase!
I also bought 2 wooden shelves with pegs for coats and hats. I painted them the same colour
as the walls and they look right at home, but haven't taken pictures of them yet.
I know, unbelievable right??

So we are quite comfortable. In fact we are VERY comfortable. I have a houseful of stuff back in London, Ontario and I can't think of a SINGLE thing I need from there:

  • TV ?  Nope, have not watched any TV obviously since we arrived. If I want I can watch a DVD on my laptop but haven't felt so inclined. I like the view from my front porch.
  • Books?  Nope, got my Kindle.
  • Appliances?  Nope, Michael washes our clothes in the bathtub and hangs them on our clothesline and he does a much better job than our washing machine. 
  • Central Air?  Nope, always a breeze blowing.
  • Exercise bike?  Nope, I walk or ride my bike everyday.
  • Big fridge?  Nope, using the bar fridge and a cooler makes dinner choice very easy!
  • The Mall?  Not at all - Alberton, Summerside and Charlottetown have all the stores we need.
  • London's Entertainment District?  No again. We've gone to the movies three times, seen an amazing parade at the O'Leary Potato Blossom Festival, been to parties, been to the beach with friends, listened and boogied to live music several times, explored the countryside and enjoyed all that nature has to offer.
  • Restaurants? Our local pub has such good food and we've been to many other restaurants in the area...the lunch we had today from the local drive-in joint was to die for. I just might!

Living "simply" is the key. 

Well that's enough news for today.  I'll be back again with further updates.  We have been here 3 and 1/2 weeks so we're at the midpoint of our vacation here. Starting to feel sad at the prospects of leaving but at least I know it's just til next summer.

Hope you're all doing well and having a great summer! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Uncomplicated Kindness

 Uncomplicated kindness - a phrase coined by a fellow "from away" friend I made recently on the island - describes the gift we received from one of my blog readers who lives here on PEI.  Islanders give from their hearts...and their hearts, I think, are larger than average. They give freely and quietly, no strings attached and not expecting anything in return.  

Just yesterday I had the great privilege to meet one of my readers who lives about 45 minutes away from us. She dropped by on her way to low tide at Miminegash (to look for sea glass and I hope you found LOTS!) and gave us an amazing gift of organic food - bread, eggs, vegetables and meat. LOOK!

Fresh potato bread made with whole wheat organic flour (PEI flour!), organic eggs, lentil sprouts and all sorts of fresh greens, a whole chicken, pork chops, sausages, ham, bacon and ground beef!  

Last night we had the most wonderful salad - SO fresh! I love lentils but had never tried lentil sprouts before - delicious! Today we had some of the potato bread (can I say I thought I had died and gone to heaven?) with some of the ham and lentil sprouts?? Soooooooo good!  I've never eaten ham that had so much flavour before - I'll never be able to go back to mass-produced packaged lunch meat ham again, uh uh, no way! 

Thank you my friend - we appreciate your uncomplicated kindness SOOO much! We have had many such examples of kindness since arriving two and a half weeks ago, but this post is just for you!!  

The "house" post will just have to wait a little longer:)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wow, it's been a week since my last post!!

 Here's the latest from PEI. I apologize for the quality of my photos - I've dropped my camera one too many times I think. Looks like I'll be in the market for a new one whenever I can afford it. One more account to open - "Camera Fund"!
The above photo is the harbour in Summerside - they have an amazing 6.5km boardwalk along their waterfront - love it!
 I am in the process of cutting down a maple tree (maple "bush" would be more apt) but never fear - it will grow back.  I am practising my "coppicing methods" on this tree because it blocks the view of the bay from my front porch. By coppicing I am creating a self-sustaining source of hardwood for my eventual woodstove as well as giving myself a clear view of Cascumpec Bay. I started off with my pruning saw to clear away the smaller branches, then moved on to the larger branches with my electric saw.  I have 8 branches left to go and my view will be clear and I will have a small pile of wood to season for my woodstove. I look forward to setting fire to the first log from my very own tree that I cut down myself. Yup, Jane Bunyan, that's me:)
 I think I've mentioned this before but one of the top 5 things I love about PEI is the sky, hence I take a lot of "sky" photos. It seems so much BIGGER here!
 So Michael's choice of local entertainment this past week was the Miss Alberton pageant. It really was quite sweet and I picked the WINNER!! Not offically, mind you. One girl, Yolanda, solved three rubics cubes as her "talent"! 
She didn't win BUT she was first runner up.
 OK, just try to argue that PEI doesn't have the most amazing sunsets in the world!  This is what was going on in the sky while Miss Alberton was crowned.
 There, this gives you a better idea of what's on the other side of my maple bush...errr...tree! 
 Some wild flowers/weeds from our laneway.
 On Saturday last we travelled to Charlottetown for a party. We ate our favourite fish and chips at Gahan's.  While taking a break to check out the sky (cause that's what I do) I felt as though someone was staring at me!
 Lo and behold it was Sir John A. blowing in my ear!! Cheeky little devil!
 As we headed to the party we stopped to take a couple snaps of the sunset.
 The sky over Charlottetown - Sat. July 16th. 
 The party was in Stratford and I managed to snap one last sunset photo from our hosts' deck. 
 We met this interesting couple - Yvonne and Jim - who are in the process of living for one month in each Canadian capitol city.  They plan to write a book about their experiences and the proceeds are going to a charity they support. Look at how tiny I am! It was very coolish on the deck but I brought my trusty Value Village wrap to ....wrap myself up in!
 The theme was "tiki"... whaddya think of Michael's "halo"?
 SHE seems to like it!  But sadly, she had no depth.
Kudos to this gentleman who played and sang most of the evening. We sang a little, danced a little.  He was also great at improvisation so when he asked for a topic I said "love", then I whispered to him..."is a four letter word!"  He had a lot of fun with that one!

That's it for now folks! I'm hoping to meet 2 or 3 more bloggers and friends of bloggers in the upcoming week. What a treat!

My next post will be about the house, Crofters Lane, and how things are going now that we've been here for two weeks. 

Take care everybody!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Alberton oh Alberton

Oh, I think that's Galveston oh Galveston...

Anyhoo you know what I mean...don't you? I'm here again at the Alberton Library while Michael catches up on his email and finds some movies to borrow so thought I'd say hello.


We've been spending our time looking around at antique stores/used furniture stores (just on the rainy days) but haven't really made too many purchases; just a couple of side tables to use by our bed (air mattress but what the heck - I'm sleeping like a baby!) to hold all our stuff: reading light, flashlight cause it's dark as hell around here at night, books and other various nighttime paraphanalia.

We have a 1950's kitchen table that weighs about 200 lbs plus 4 mis-matched chairs.  Our livingroom furniture consists of two campfire chairs complete with drink holders and two footstools. What more do we really need?

This morning Michael put our BBQ together hurrah hurrah yippy yippy yay yay!!  You may be thinking that since we've been here now over a week why did it take so long to put a BBQ together?? Well, that's because we held out for the onsale Walmart BBQ that sold out in mere seconds ($78.00 yeah, you read that right!) so they ordered us one from Truro, Nova Scotia! It arrived two minutes before i walked into the Walmart yesterday with $78 gripped in my tight little fist, so we had a lunch of rice and peas and BBq'd chicken.  Can't wait for supper!!

The funny part though (well, I'm sure he'll find it funny tomorrow...or the next day) that it was SO WINDY today the flame kept blowing out! Ha ha funny right? So Michael had to keep wheeling the BBQ around the house to find a spot where the flame would stay lit!! 

OH and before I forget @ MICHELLE - they got their Australian sheep dogs from an ad in a nova scotia newspaper! Someone in their family had had one and they really liked it so tracked a couple down - they're sisters and very nice dogs though could use a little more training in my opinion. They really wanted to eat my chicken today while they were visiting!!  Down...down I say!

Well, that's all the exciting news for now. On Friday last we went up to Tignish and became members of the local co-op, though i haven't really figured out yet what that entitles us to. A few lower prices at their store I guess, it all helps. Then we went on to see the wind farm at North Cape, wow, what a beautiful spot!!  We weren't brave enough though to sample the Seaweed Pie - has anyone tried that??

Ciao for now my friends, catch up with you soon!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Our Wee Brush with Royalty....very wee....

Sitting on the rocks with the kiddies waiting for a glimpse of Prince William and the lovely Kate.
OMG!!! That's her hand waving in the back seat!!  LOL! Doesn't she have a lovely hand???  I also videotaped her and William walking along the pier before getting on the ship where they watched a simulated search and rescue mission. It's really weird though because they only look about a centimeter tall!?
 Aren't you glad they didn't say "Family Jewels"?  Oops, did I just say that out loud?
 The lovely oceanside shopping/eating area in Summerside. I'm pretty sure it's not all sliding left into the ocean, I think that's just me and my wonky eye acting up again.
 There, a wee bit better.
 From the sublime to the incredibly mundane chore of laundry. Just wanted to show you our new clothesline.  As the wind is almost always blowing in PEI we have the fastest drying time of anywhere in the world. (I just made that up.)
 Michael wanted me to post the picture of him pointing to our underwear hanging next to each other on the clothesline but I said "NO!" this is a tasteful and classy blog....
 Here's my guy with his new used lawn mower:) Who knew cutting the grass could make someone so HAPPY!?
 This is my journal writing spot (below) and this is the view I muse upon while writing. Yup, that's right, a field of potatoes getting ready to blossom AND Casumpec Bay.
 Rum and gingerale:)
 Fields opening onto fields and more forest and more fields and more forest...
 Every night the sky is gorgeous, when the sky is clear it seems as though we can reach out and touch the milky way.
 Michael is continuing to add on to the firepit - we just love our firepit. It provides some warmth on the cool nights and the smoke calms down the mosquitoes just a little.
 Managed to capture the little crescent of moon in this one.
 A field of lupines at the side of the road (any road...all roads:)
Same lupines, just closer up! 
That's it for now...just another little glimpse into our fun times at Crofters Lane!