Friday, November 25, 2016

Where's the Beef ?

I'm not sure if I'm alone in this, but I'm too often guilty of talking about doing something and never actually getting around to doing it. For a few years now we've talked about "buying a side of beef". Well, the time has finally come. Of course I pushed the preparations off until it was almost too late, and one of the things we needed was additional freezer space. Not knowing if this would be a regular thing, I decided to compromise and just by a cheap upright, just an 8.5 cubic foot model.
It's a manual defrost unit, and since there is "cooling" in the 3 main shelves, they are not adjustable. However, time was of the essence, so "get in my van"...
So, I got it wrestled into the house (alone) and headed off to the Butcher to claim my 1/2 Nellie :)
Here it is, T-bones, Prime Rib, Hamburger, Roasts, Stew meat, you name it. It's a little better organized now than in this initial picture, where I just threw it all in there to get it frozen.
I suspect much of this will be migrated to the chest freezer, but overall I'm declaring the experiment in beef acquisition a roaring success...m-o-o-o-o-o !!

Of course, Debbie came home and spied the new supply...immediately she retrieved 2 packages of stew meat and proceeded to produce a splendid Beef Stew...Yes, the taste of "real" local meat is fantastic !!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Novemblog 4, Nova Sinfonia Concert

Nova Sinfonia, after practicing hard Saturday & Sunday, presented their fall concert last night...


Not my cup a tea, but it seemed to be a god time for all involved, and there was quite a crowd out...

Nova Sinfonia Practicing...

The Concert...

Monday, November 7, 2016

Novemblog 3 'tis the season...

Around this time of year, our church gets extra busy hosting various school concerts, music programs etc. It's good to be able to be of additional value to various folk. The building acoustics are favorable so the demand is growing. See examples below of a Halifax All City Schools Concert...





Then of course, there's the normal Sunday Morning crew:

 Finally, our Sunday night services now take place in various outside locations, such as the Dal Student Union Building...

Friday, November 4, 2016

Novemblog 2

Physically, October was a horrible month; it began with a cold that I just could not shake, and progressed to bronchitis and a chest infection for good measure. I was rendered even more useless than my norm for uselessness, if that's even possible. Thanks to the walk-in clinic, and giant horse-pills of Amoxicillin / Clavulanic Acid, I "think" it's been eradicated. My fall & Winter preparations have been compromised so I think I'll need to take a few vacation days over the next month in order to catch up.

It's not all negative though...my favorite hockey team is in first place, with a 9-0-1 record so far. Woo Hoo !!


So it's onward to Christmas...and beyond !!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

NovemBlog...

I'm hoping to write a few Blog entries this month. As the days shorten and winter approaches, it's a good time to look back with gratitude and acknowledge that in spite of my petty gripes, life is so good, and could be so much worse. I'm also hoping to use recent failures and shortcomings as motivation to do better next season/year. The past offers up so many good lessons. The fact that our Malawi Trip was 3 years ago reminds me to redeem the time a little better...it all goes so fast (I sound like a broken record).
Just to end on a nice recent memory moment, a shot again of the only real VW Camping I squeezed in this past summer...

Monday, October 31, 2016

Almost November

...try to get organized and back in the swing of things, get a jump on winter, catch a cold, have it progress into a chest infection/bronchitis, a few sick days, watch the Habs win (a lot), and Bam ! October is all but gone...Seize The Day...
made some bread
Some backup BTUs
Time for some Thanks..
give up and see the Doctor for some antibiotics
August - Vacation
September - catch-up
October - Preparations hindered by illness
November - Carpe Diem TBD

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Vanishing September...

This familiar lament of mine sounds like a broken record but the speed with which time disappears is frustrating me more and more it seems. I look back at September with disgust as I accomplished very little and I have no clue what happened to the time. King Canute references aside, it seems it's me that has to adjust...surprise surprise...
I think my 5 weeks off has something to do with it; when I came back to work, I had missed a lot and catching up proved frustrating and even counter-productive. Thankfully, there were a couple of bright spots; our youngest turned 20 early in the month...another reminder of my own "age"  :)

Happy Birthday James
 Another positive was my discovery of Privateers Bounty Ice Cream...it's vanilla ice cream with salty toffee chunks and black licorice ribbon...polarizing...you'll love it or hate it !!

Privateers Bounty...
In spite of it all, a frustrating month, exacerbated by my continued VW Camper woes and the fact that I got no camping in. September is a wonderful camping month in these parts. To make matters worse, October is now more than half gone.
Sorry for all the negativity, but I'm recording all of this in order to hopefully trigger a better fall, or at least what's left of it.
Ok I'll end on one more positive note; I had a splendid lunch in the cafeteria during the month...

Grilled Haddock etc...
Cheers everybody !!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

August Recap (4 of 4)

OK, enough holidaying, let's get to work. For starters, my brother-in-law Garry is pretty much a Jack of All Trades, and he wasted no time in spearheading various projects at our house. Like most 60+ year-old homes, there's a never-ending list of things to do; especially when combined with my overall laziness, procrastination, and general lack of enthusiasm...God help me, but I digress  :)

The first job we tackled was the back door. As the main entrance, it's very well used, and although the entry door was replaced, it was 20+ years ago, and it was not a good quality product. Additionally, it swings out, due to the tiny afterthought split-entry mods done when the house was elevated 4 feet some years back. Swing-out meant that there was no storm door, so it took a weather-beating over the years. Anyway, we managed to find a suitable replacement at a local TimbrMart, and he worked his magic accordingly...

Bam ! done like dinner...
Next, we moved to the front of the house. It needed both a new main door, and a outer storm door as well. Debbie requested "no window" in the main door and again TimbrMart was up for it. I wanted a "nice" storm door so we found a suitable one at Home Depot. At the checkout it rang in $60 cheaper than the sticker price...bonus !!

First, the inside main door...nice !!
Unlike the back, the old doorbox on this one was original, installed during house construction 60+ years ago...removing it was fun...

New Storm Door, with deadbolt and "hidden" screen
After all of this, we ("we" in these cases means Garry doing the work, and me helping/hindering) worked on the trim and molding both inside and out. Additionally, the inside trim on a patio door had to be finished.

Trim and 7 1/4" Ryobi Mitre Saw
Fortunately, I had previously purchased a small chop saw on sale at Princess Auto. It was perfect for this task. Most of the external trim that we bought was white vinyl...all in all everything turned out great. We also installed a new laundry tub & faucet, as well as a new downstairs bathroom sink & faucet.

Mixed in with all of this work was a couple of daytrips, one to the valley for the requisite searching for "stuff", and a final one to Mahone Bay...always a nice ride with nice eats etc.

Fishcakes hiding under eggs...

Ice Cream Stop...can you say "Privateers Bounty" ?

out to lunch


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

August Recap (3 of 4)

...we got off the Ferry in North Sydney, and drove home...only spent the night there to check on the place, touch base with the boys, and have a quick BBQ/Supper...



 It was good to be home, but before the work began, we took off again the next day for a three-night trek to Moncton and PEI. Hotel and Cabin, Cabelas, Bass Pro, Princess Auto, and eating out...



It appears I have no photographic evidence of our 2 nights in PEI...strange ? Anyway, we had a couple of nights in a nice cabin in the Brackly area, and it was a nice getaway....here's a couple of photos from their website...



I guess the "work-cation" will have to wait for Part IV...

Thursday, October 6, 2016

August Recap (2 of 4)

After a busy first week, the second one was much more low-key. For the most part, we just roamed around visiting friends and family, ate some good food, and otherwise did what you should do when on holiday. I managed to get a night up to the Camp with its associated roaming, hiking, lazing, boating etc.






Well...after all of that, it was time to head back to Port-aux-basques and catch the ferry back to Nova Scotia. We were joined by my sister and her husband...I braced myself because that usually means "work-cation"...more to come in part 3...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

August Recap (1 of 4)

Yikes ! Summer & Fall are flying by at breakneck speed. My last post was of the Graves Island VW Camp out...I'll try and sum up what happened since...
The following week, I embarked on what was supposed to be a 5-week Holiday (I took 5-weeks off under something at work known as "Leave with Income Averaging", or LIA...


At the start of week one, I was loaded up and ready to head home to Newfoundland, just me and the Camper, with Debbie to follow later. Well, nasty coolant symptoms resulted in me abandoning my initial trip...actually I drove to Baddeck (almost to the NL Ferry), then drove back home again. I knew something was up and I was pretty convinced of impending engine head failure...more on that later. Anyway, I switched vehicles, and headed to Newfoundland again 2 days later...






Not exactly a Westfalia, but Debbie's Tiguan would have to suffice...
Actually, it turned out nice, and I managed to squeeze in some relaxing sightseeing...
Not to mention some tasty roadside stops.
From that, I reunited with Debbie, and we hit Twillingate for a bit of a "reunion". The family homestead was being sold and things were a bit crazy. With no VW Camper, we had to get creative on the sleeping arrangements...I was kind of prepared and we had a couple of nights hiding in the upstairs of a shed...I slept well...




Lastly, we enjoyed some nice hedonism at the Crow's Nest Cafe...


That was the first week, four left...more to come...