Wednesday, 16 October 2013

the post between the Thanksgiving Posts

I still have Thanksgiving Day 3 to post on here, I have a whole stack of photos of the feast that we enjoyed and it was again, a beautiful sunny day but between Thanksgiving Day 2 and Day 3 (that I have yet to write) I just wanted to share this.

I am in my office at work, its lunchtime and I am listening to "The Horse Whisperer" Soundtrack and as usual the music moves me. The whole film gets to me, especially the part where they ride across the hills together, manes rippling in the breeze and feet pounding with Robert Redford in soft focus. Its the music though that gets to me the most, and I am here with my Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (SO good!) and this ambience doing what I get paid to do and having a very nice day.

I have SO much to get through at work that its not even funny but I am in some kind of peace. Maybe its a tranquility that just comes with age. I will get through what I can, and what I cant will just have to wait.

There are so many good things ahead - Florida, Halloween, Christmas, snow and all that entails.
I feel that I can enjoy them all.
This week I have to do something with all those apples that the girls picked. Pie of course, but I need the ingredients and the energy. And I need to make 3 Key Lime Pies - one for a birthday present and two for an office pot luck on Friday. I need to go for a pedicure tonight after work, how awful, and then come home to our friends that are staying with us from England.

There is wine in the fridge and dinner is planned - chicken, potatoes and corn - from the BBQ. I plan to BBQ all this winter, as much as possible. Thankfully we have made that cultural leap from being British bbq-ers that only grill on special occasions to Canadian BBq-ers that grill all the time, and try to grill everything. Even things that maybe shouldn't be.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Thanksgiving Day 2

On Sunday it was another gorgeous day. The sun was hot but the air was cooler and fresher. We went up to the Valley to the Zoo and an apple picking farm. The zoo was great and had a real variety of animals such as a white Siberian tiger and camels as well as the typical farm varieties of pigs and cows.
None of us had cameras that worked so I failed to get memories of the deer enclosure and their sweet velvety noses and those cute little baby goats.
We then went to the apple farm where I remembered my work BB and got some shots, as you can see the quality is not great

Because it was Thanksgiving weekend their was a band and hot refreshments of the coconut curry, apple pie, cookie variety. It was all very agreeable, and reminded me a bit of Frontierland in Disneyland Paris, except this is the real deal. They were playing Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville as we were walking back laden down from the trees.
We got bags of apples and made apple sauce for Thanksgiving Dinner yesterday. I now have many pies planned - apple and blackberry, apple, apple crisp and apple crumble. I feel all grownup in this baking phase

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Thanksgiving part 1

Its our third Thanksgiving weekend in NS. The first one was at our friends house where we joined their family and discovered their sausage stuffing and lemon meringue pie and realized that roast potatoes do not have priority here in Canada
The second Thanksgiving was at our house and was crazy, there was so many people - if I recall rightly it was 25 with 13 children in the mix. Everyone brought a dish or two and there was much conversation across the tables.
This year its different again. I have a new tradition of making pumpkin pie with my neighbour across the back and we did that yesterday. Actually Lily made it and I helped. This year we only made one and I have come to the happy conclusion that only really I like it, so there will be lots remaining which I will eat during the week.

Yesterday I also got in a good run with Dukie, about 4-5km I dont know for sure. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, it was warm. I felt good after the run. I had a chat with my dad and Aunt in England.
Paul was called out, its his weekend to be on call but he wasnt too long, he still got the grocery shopping in and now we have pretty much every vegetable under the sun in the fridge waiting for tomorrow to be cooked.

This afternoon we are going apple picking in the Valley to ensure we are then overwhelmed with apples to be made into pies, crisps and crumbles and sauce for roast pork.
Paul mentioned that actually he doesnt like apple pie (???!!!) but loves apple and blackberry! Go figure!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

an early morning run

My day went downhill at about 10.15am but before that it was almost close to divine.

We started a new routine this morning, Paul got up with me at 6am and lit the fire as its now cold at night, cold enough that I have ice on my windscreen when I get in the car, very thin ice may I add but ice all the same.

We then had a coffee from the maker that’s now set each night to brew at 6am – part of efficiency Nova Scotia (ok just efficiency us) and then he took Alpine out for a walk, that meant that I could take Duke for a run as soon as he got back and that’s just what we did.

We left in darkness and it was chilly! I was starting to doubt if a fleece and a bodywarmer was going to cut it but it did. By the time I turned the corner onto Oakmount the sun was rising and reflecting in all the windows of the houses there, it was gorgeous. When I ran towards Ryan I could see the golden and red trees and the sun was brighter.

It was quiet, it was just me and the dog and Tom Petty playing on my i-pod, some mist and the rising sun. I felt at one with my neighbourhood, I felt fantastic.

The sky grew a lighter shade of blue and the sunrise lit up a couple of those barely there clouds so they turned pink and glowed in the blue. Such an expanse of sky here, it was stunning.

So, I got my 2.5k in and got home to the girls up and dressed and contemplating their breakfast options.

A great start to my day

Sunday, 6 October 2013

A Perfect Day

Its been a Perfect Day,
I went for a run with Dukie before breakfast and then a cooling down walk with Alpine, the air was cool but warmed up pretty quickly between 8 and 9am, the sky was blue and the sun was shining.

Early morning mist

The girls made a camp in the family room and we all messed around with the camera.

Curried sweet potato and pear soup is made for lunch this week.

Beef is cooking in the crock pot, potatoes and parsnip will be roasted and cheese sauce will meet cauliflower for our evening meal.

I have some chores to do that I find oddly enjoyable and some cakes to make.
Happy Sunday

Saturday, 5 October 2013

we are a month and a half behind England in seasons

One of the questions that I seem to read all the time is "What is the weather like in Nova Scotia?" or "isnt it always cold, wet, damp, foggy"
From some I even hear " But isnt is always snowing there?" That one makes me smile the most, although some days when I have next to no patience it just makes me feel irritated, I mean really!!!

And my British friends are so very keen to jump all over my misery in March when we are still in the thick of winter here and the wind is freeeezing through to the bone because its become damp and its grey and white and feels never ending, with all their cheerful comments about how hot it is in England and how wonderful all the daffodils and bluebells are.

And I cant help but shake my head at how hot it is because really isnt that strange?! Why is it often nicer in March than it is in say August. I recall feeling the heat of an English Spring and being so very full of hope (shortlived) of a hot British summer. How many Legoland trips were in the rain or on an overcast day wishing and hoping that the sun would make a miraculous appearance, I mean it was August or July after all. Is it too much to ask?

The same friends are noticeably quiet when we are enjoying our hot and humid summer here that seems endless and makes me feel like we have in fact moved to Florida and our gorgeous Autumns, whilst they are in the midst of damp, soggy, grey and cold.

So, I think I have finally figured out the seasons. I think here in NS we are running about a month to a month and a half behind the UK.

I have come to this conclusion due to this:
Its October, that means for me - hot days and cooler nights. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the leaves on the trees are an array of colour but the nights are quickly cooling down. I get up and wear a fleece to walk the dogs at 6am but by 8am I am going to work without a jacket and with bare feet still (in my shoes of course). In England I can see photos of everyone in fairly hearty jackets and boots with the central heating on.
Those clothes will be our normal in about a month.

In April its pretty cold here, we are still in boots and coats and although the sun shines alot still, there is more rain and grey and its rather dreary and nondescript. The grass is still brown where its been under snow for so long and the trees are bare still. Its in short, almost still Winter. In England people are sunbathing in their gardens, sleeping with the windows open, wearing their flipflops and speculating on the likelihood of a potential drought. The gardens are bursting with colour as every flower is out and showing off how glorious it is.
That lot comes here by the end of May. Its a hard couple of months especially for me, it drags its heels.

We can no longer ski as the snow has pretty much gone, the crisp extreme cold thats not that cold as its so dry is in the past and we are left with a damp British mid January cold that goes through to your bones and drags you down. If it wasnt yearend at work, that would be when I would be down South soaking up the sun or visiting England as you are almost guaranteed nice weather.

So, thats what I have figured out on this rather nice Saturday. I have to go and make cupcakes now as I have promised these to all. Baking is something else that seems to come hand in hand with this season.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

a perfect working day

Its been 27C today! How cool is that, what a great start to October.
I love the fact that my office has a window that opens, I also have my own heating controls in there so I can have the window open to listen to the sound of the trees rustling, rain falling or a Midland truck reversing in with a delivery, whilst still keeping an ambient temperature. Its really rather ideal.

Today it was open to let in the decidedly summery breezes. Today the fire alarm also went off and the whole building evacuated, including the company in the adjoining building and we hung around outside chatting in the hot sunshine whilst the fire department rolled up. It transpired that the sprinkler system had lost pressure, hence the alarm and the fire fighters. I was happy to stay out there all day, if it had happened yesterday it wouldnt have been quite so pleasant as it rained all day.

I spent some time talking commodity tax, a new report that needs writing and general stuff that I get paid to do.

I got in a tranquil lunchtime walk and felt rather at one with my working world. I am starting to really take days like these and treasure them, its been a bit of a rollercoaster 10 months so I am grateful.

The IT dept had some of those Lindor chocolates in today so I enjoyed immensely two of those that come in the red wrapper. I could have eaten the lot if I could have gotten away with it. I did consider it, it was even worth being known as that greedy guts without manners in Finance, they tasted that good. I didnt do it though, just thought about it for most of the day.

The Fall leaves are out and the colours were vivid against the depth or the blue in the sky today. It was such an azure blue that all the greens, the oranges, the reds stood out in the heat of the day. It was in short, the perfect Fall Day, a nice drive home completed it all and I am just waiting to go out for my midweek coffee with my best pal - happiness!