Category Archives: photos

A Girlfriend, Not a Girlfriend, Two Girl Friends, and a Movie to See With a Girl Friend…NEW POST!

Jim and Devin in a lightsaber duel, ca. 1999

Our “little boy” is growing up…at almost 18, Devin has his first girlfriend!  We met K briefly (long enough to say “Hi” but not long enough to sufficiently embarrass Dev) on Wednesday night…they were in deep conversation at the snack bar, after seeing the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie.  The girls had “interrogated” her in an online chat…Jim and I limited ourselves to checking her out on Facebook.  Dev and K seem to have a lot in common, and she’s a very talented animé artist.  Hopefully, we’ll be allowed to have her over to the house some time soon…

Work’s been pretty busy lately, since there have been two or three cruise ships in Saint John every week (more vendors at the Market on cruise days).  My boss comes down every week for a meeting with me on Tuesday mornings.  This past week, my list for him was almost as long as my arm…he was there nearly an hour.  He let me know that our contract had been extended through the end of August (which means no summer vacation for me – Jim will take the girls himself).  After our meeting was over, I opened up my e-mail…hmmm…there was one from my boss.  When I finished reading it, I burst out laughing, and then called Jim to tell him about it: I had been the mistaken recipient of an e-mail meant for my boss’ girlfriend!  “I love you,” he said, and signed his name with two XX’s after it (I knew it wasn’t for me, because he talked about an upcoming date they had planned!).

“Um…I’m fond of you, too…perhaps you should forward this to the right person,” I responded. 

The reply came back quickly: “Ha ha…that hardly ever happens!” [hardly ever?].  We have another meeting tomorrow…”Awkward!” as my girls would say…

In April, I mentioned that Hope and her friend Gabrielle were going to sing the national anthem for the Canada Day ceremony at Market Square.  Hope arranged it herself…she’s the most assertive of all the kids (maybe it’s because she’s the youngest)!  The Marketing Coordinator of the mall had invited the girls to participate in the parade before the opening, and had said they would be singing at 11:30 am.  I had to work that day, but left at 11:15 to make sure I caught their song.  Jim and Anna were on their way, having watched the parade.  I didn’t see Jim and Anna at the mall.  The girls sang “Oh Canada,” finishing just before Jim and Anna came in from outside…luckily, Gabrielle’s mom had their video camera and was right up front!  Here’s a photo Anna took after the girls sang…Hope was having a little trouble looking enthused about our Cultural Services Officer’s speech:

Gabrielle and Hope after singing "Oh Canada"...Gabrielle really wasn't putting her head on our mayor's shoulder...photo by Anna

Wednesday night, Jim was recruited to drive Devin into town for his movie date, and Anna and Brianna to Saint John Idol.   Hope and I decided to go along and go to a movie with Jim (a different one than Dev and K went to!).  After checking Rotten Tomatoes online, we opted for Bridesmaids.  It had one of our favourite actors, Chris O’Dowd, in it (he’s hilarious as Roy on The IT Crowd).  Perhaps I should have checked the rating before agreeing to take Hope along…I spent the first five minutes of the movie with my hand over her eyes!  The movie was great, even though it was quite raunchy…a lot of fun to go see with your girl friends (Jim enjoyed it too, though!).  Melissa McCarthy (Mike and Molly) was laugh-out-loud funny as Megan…I’m not a fan of her other show (I find it mean-spirited).  Her real-life husband, Ben Falcone, is also in the movie (don’t leave until the credits are over, or you’ll miss a bonus scene!).

Chris O'Dowd as "Officer Rhodes" in Bridesmaids...photo by Universal Pictures...

Last week, I promised you some dragonfly photos that Anna took…here they are (my friend Jeanne tells me they’re actually “damselflies”…see her comment below – thanks, Jeanne):

Damselfly...photo by Anna...

Another damselfly closeup...photo by Anna...

This weekend, I sat staring at five Hotmail pages of unread blog posts (about 150 e-mails)…I was approximately 10 days behind on my reading, and it would only get worse.  So, I deleted them, resolving to go through my blogroll on my days off, and read the latest post by everyone on my list.  Hopefully, this will get be somewhat back in the loop, and eliminate some of the guilt!  I am sorry that I have probably missed some pretty great posts!  I’ll try to do a better job of keeping up…

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Blossoms, Babies, Bell-Ringers, Breakfast, and BBQ…NEW POST!

This is going to be another roundup post of some of the things that have happened this past week…I’m home on my first day off in six days, trying to catch up on laundry and cleaning up around the house.

1. Blossoms.  Summer has finally come to Hammond River, after a May in which it rained almost every day.  I was happy to see our tiny rhododendron bush is finally blooming:

Rhododendron Blossom...

A few days later, the blossom was open:

Open Rhododendrons...

Our wild rose bush was also blooming:

Wild Rose...

2. Babies.  Remember the baby groundhog I was talking about seeing, and the sixteen cauliflower plants Jim brought home from Superstore last week?  Well, the critter has been busy munching in the garden, and I now have only two cauliflower plants which still have leaves on them.  I had the “brilliant” idea of putting hot sauce on the leaves of my remaining beans and cruciferous vegetables (NOT! – it burned the leaves).  It’s not looking good garden-wise this year.  The deer have also been in the yard, because the peony buds were chewed off the top of one of the bushes!  I was putting the hose away after watering one night, and found these babies:  

Baby spiders shortly after hatching...

To give you some idea how tiny they were, the big green thing at the side of the photo is my garden hose…it was neat to see the babies coming out of their nest.

3. Bell-Ringers.  This week has been a busy time at the Saint John City Market…I’ve been working solo since Tuesday afternoon.  It is a very big learning curve, but I should be all right…lots of different people and personalities to interact with!  On Saturday, a local man came up to my office and introduced me to a family visiting from Germany.  He asked if the two little boys could ring the market bell.  I opened the window of my office (which gives me a view of the whole market), and grabbed the bell-pull and handed it to the first blond boy…he was about six.  He pulled it twice, wearing a huge grin.  Then it was his little brother’s turn.  I hope that was one of the things those kids will remember about their trip to Saint John!

4. Breakfast.  Sunday was Father’s Day, and Anna and Brianna made breakfast in bed for Jim (Hope was visiting her dad and Devin was fast asleep)…I was elected to go back up and tell Jim he had to stay upstairs until it was ready.  It was definitely worth waiting for…the girls used eggs, cheese, potato patties, bacon and sausage to create this guy (the shirt, tie and flower are made of paper napkins): 

Jim's Father's Day Breakfast...photo by Anna

5. BBQ.  We were invited to Jim’s parents for a Father’s Day barbecue…Kaylee and Scott couldn’t make it (hopefully we’ll get to see them next week).  Jim’s mom and dad provided the meat (chicken, sausages, hot dogs, and hamburgers) and potato salad.  Jim’s sister, Kim, brought a veggie/dip tray, and his other sister, Tracy, made a delicious berry trifle for dessert.  I made a broccoli/pasta salad with bow tie pasta, broccoli florets, carrots, mayo and lemon juice (it also has almonds in it, but I brought those separately because of Jim’s allergy to them):

Broccoli Pasta Salad...

We all ate so much that we were stuffed…I went right to bed when we got home!

Well, I’m off to fold some more laundry, and perhaps get caught up on some blog-reading…I’m about a week behind!  I’ll be filling in this week with some more archive posts, and hope to have another new post for you next week!

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Foto Friday: Joy!

This past holiday weekend was a sad one for a lot of us: some of our friends lost their homes in the tornados in the U.S.  In what may or may not become a regular feature, I dedicate this week’s photos to them:

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Donations to the relief effort can be sent to the American Red Cross.

UpdateMay 30, 2011: Another post of Amy’s can be found here.

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A Birder’s Dozen…

I’ve mentioned Jim’s crazy “Bird Buffet” on our back deck many times in my blog…we currently have at least eight bird feeders in operation (in the summer, we also have three hummingbird feeders).  The kids are on March Break this week.  Yesterday, Anna called me at the bookstore and said excitedly, “I think we’ve got waxwings!” 

In my somewhat distracted state, my mind made a weird jump back to the times the kids had come home with lice…I thought, “Oh, no…how do we get rid of waxwings?!”  It took me a couple of minutes to realize Anna was talking about birds, not something contagious!  After I recovered my senses, Anna and I discussed what kind of waxwings we were afflicted with had hanging around.  She sent me a photo via e-mail, and we decided they were Bohemian Waxwings.

Huge Bohemian Waxwing in the lilac bush out front (photo by Anna)

Jim and Anna both have new Nikon cameras (Jim has a D-90, and Anna a D-3100), and have been using the birds as subjects…here are some of their best shots:

American Tree Sparrow sitting in lilac bush out back (photo by Anna)

 

American Tree Sparrow (I think) coming in for an icy landing (photo by Jim)

 

Black-capped Chickadee (photo by Jim)

 

Black-capped Chickadee coming in for a landing at one of the finch feeders (photo by Anna)

 

Blue Jay perched in the top of the lilac bush out back (photo by Anna)

 

Blue Jay at our large feeder (before the squirrels chewed it!)...(photo by Jim)

 

Cardinal in the lilac bush out back (photo by Jim)

 

Goldfinches and Pine Siskins in a feeding frenzy (photo by Anna)

 

Hairy Woodpecker cleaning up after the squirrels...(photo by Anna)

 

Purple Finch trying to decide where to start (photo by Jim)

 

White Breasted Nuthatch perched on the gate (photo by Jim)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip around our yard…watch out for waxwings!

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Pickin’ and Grinnin’…Take Two…

The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.”  William Blake

Back in April, I wrote a post about how much I liked to pick things…pretty much anything that grows (http://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/pickin-and-grinnin/).

Well, I’ve been living my dream for the last few weeks…it’s been fun and a little bit overwhelming at times!   

We’ve been eating salad greens, spinach, beet greens, and Swiss Chard for weeks now…I think I overdid the salad greens a bit.  A lot of them have gone to seed without being totally used  (Anna took the pictures for me).

Swiss Chard...

Beets...

Leaf Lettuce (my legs in the background)

Mixed Lettuce...

More Lettuce...

Tat Soi Greens Gone to Seed...

Last night, I picked blueberries, peas, and green beans.  I find it fascinating that even though I often don’t see well, I don’t have any trouble locating a ripe blueberry down behind big clumps of leaves!

My "eagle eyes" spotted these ripe blueberries...

I’m planning to make blueberry crisp with these: 

Bowl of blueberries picked in two harvests...

Here are the peas I picked:

Bowl of Peas...

The beans seem to be in a bit of a dormant period right now…only got one mixing bowlful last night – will give those to Jim’s mom tonight.  I already have eight bags in the freezer (and gave several to Kaylee and Scott too).

A couple of beans that I missed last night...

I have to watch the Scarlet Runner beans…if I miss a bean, it grows to be a foot long…the pods are fuzzy and tough, too!

Scarlet Runner Beans...this post is about six feet high...

 

I can’t wait until these pods dry and we can harvest fava beans!

Fava Bean pod...

We still have lots to look forward to picking later…here’s a picture of my “tomato jungle” …I badly need some stakes!

Tomato Jungle...

Plum Tomatoes...

These tomatoes will be yellow, eventually...

The rutabagas have really taken off…they’re pushing the Blue Jay beans to the side (I planted them between the bean plants).

Rutabagas...

 

I hope to have florets on this broccoli some day…

Broccoli...

The purple Brussels sprouts are still plugging away…

Purple Brussels Sprouts...

 

The poor bug-nibbled cucumbers are starting to come back…

At this rate, we might have cucumbers by September...

We’ll have a few pumpkins…

Pumpkin Blossoms...

We’ve got lots of squash:

Squash patch...

 

Winter Squash Blossom...

 

Baby Winter Squash...

 

Zucchini Blossom...

 I can hardly wait to make chocolate zucchini bread!

I’m really excited that my sunflowers are starting to open…they’re taller than I expected, and really beautiful colours!

Sunflower...

 

Sunflower Closeup...these heads are only about five inches across, but they look huge in this picture!

I’m going out this morning to pull out some of the greens that have gone to seed, and do some much needed weeding!  If you’re looking for me, I’ll be in my garden!

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Day-Trippin’ and Hope…well, She Got Muddy…

Yesterday, Jim and I took the girls on a day trip to Moncton (Devin opted out).  Jim’s week of holidays was winding down, and we wanted to take the kids somewhere.   We had picked up a free family pass to Hopewell Rocks in Alma when we were in St. Martins last month – this was the perfect opportunity to use it.  Hope and Anna had never been there, and it had been years since Jim and I had visited it.  The girls also wanted to go to Magic Mountain, a water theme park in Moncton…

Magic Mountain...

We left our house about 9:30 (not bad since we’d planned to be gone by 9)…our cooler was packed with bottled water (partially frozen), egg salad and cold cut sandwiches.  We also took cookies, granola bars, and the rest of the cherry muffins (Jim even had one in the car).  After making several stops for Hope to pee, we finally arrived at Magic Mountain about 11:15 a.m.  Hope had just gotten a new cellphone for her birthday, but had to be convinced to leave it in the car (on a pee break in Sussex, she texted Brianna “I’m on the toilet!”).  We dropped off the girls, reminded them to apply sunscreen, told them we’d come back for lunch at 1, and headed for the furniture stores.

Hope's new phone is like this one, except it's purple...

We definitely noticed a difference in the stores in Moncton…most of the sales people left us alone (although there were a couple of exceptions to that).   The sales people in Saint John were much more attentive (and friendlier)…to the point of annoyance sometimes!  I saw a beautiful old-style secretary desk at one place (which would have been perfect for my “Room of My Own” http://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/janes-homework-assignment-a-room-of-my-own/, but not so perfect for our living room).  Ditto for the Victorian-style sofa…

The secretary desk was something like this one...

We found a couple of nice used wing chairs for only $100 each, but the arms were quite worn.  We saw the same sectional set we’ve been contemplating, for $400 more (same chain store, different city – they must know that people have more money in Moncton).  One liquidation store’s stock was almost completely leather…I hate leather furniture!  Before we knew it, it was time to meet the girls for lunch.

This couch wouldn't look right in our old farmhouse...

We made our way back to the park, but the girls weren’t at the appointed meeting place…parking was a nightmare…we ended up straddling the curb near the entrance until we saw them.  We drove down to the Boardwalk at the park, and ate our lunch at one of the picnic tables there.  I had my mouth all set for a “beaver tail” until I heard the price…$6.25…yikes!  They were $3 when I left Moncton 13 years ago…the girls got ice cream, which was much more reasonably-priced!  After lunch, we took them back to Magic Mountain, and headed towards town.  Still no luck with furniture…everything was either really expensive, or incredibly boring!

Unfortunately, this delicious-looking Beaver Tail didn't find its way into my mouth...

We’d arranged to pick the girls up at 3…we retrieved them, wet and sunburned, and started for Hopewell Cape.  Low tide was at 5:15, which is the only time you can walk down on the beach by the Rocks.  We got there just after 4, and started down the trail from the Interpretation Centre.  After walking several hundred yards, and going down a few hundred steps, we made it to our destination.

Brianna and Hope posing next to the rocks...

The "Flower Pot Rocks" Hopewell Rocks is famous for...

One of the park rangers showed us some sculptures which had been made by carefully balancing small rocks on top of each other.

Ranger rearranging some rocks...

Hope was wearing flip-flops, and had great fun getting as muddy as she possibly could.

They say that mud is good for your skin...Hope's going to have the softest toes around...

Hope's muddy calves...

Jim and Anna took several photos while we were there (these are Anna’s).  After about an hour, everybody was tired and hot…Jim said he’d spring for the shuttle to take us back to the Interpretation Centre (we still had to climb the stairs, though).  We had to wait what seemed like forever for Hope to get her feet washed off at the “washing station.”  Finally, we were on the “shuttle,” which was really just a big golf cart, and headed back to the parking lot.

Anna took this one of her and Brianna on the back of the shuttle...that's Jim's head between them...

Everybody was hungry…we drove back to Moncton and stopped at Mike’s Restaurant, a chain we like, but no longer have in Saint John.  We ate until we were stuffed (no room for dessert)!  Hope’s cellphone vibrated, she jumped at the very same time the waitress came: “I’m sorry, did I scare you?” she asked.

“No,” said Hope.  “My cellphone just went off.”

We gave the waitress a big tip…

Mike's Logo...ours in Saint John has been closed for a few years...

We stopped in Sussex for ice cream on the way home, and popped into Walmart to look at shelving.  Since we have a Walmart in Saint John, we decided to wait and pick it up here.

We finally arrived home about 9:30…I went right to bed, and was snoring within minutes of my head hitting the pillow.

Vacations can be exhausting…

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Gorgeous Greenery…How My Garden Grows…

Fava Bean Blossoms...

Here are the promised photos from my garden, courtesy of one of my resident photographers, Jim.

The fava bean blossoms above are quite unusually-coloured…beans will be light brown when I get them.

Scarlet Runner Bean Blossoms...

These bean plants are supposed to grow 6 – 10 feet high…Dad pounded some poles in for them the other night.

Chinese Cabbage...

 My Chinese cabbage is doing well…regular green cabbage looks good too!

Mennonite Purple Stripe Runner Beans...

 We’re going to have a freezerful of pretty beans this summer!

Pea Blossoms...

My peas are thriving…already a couple of feet high and clinging to the strings Dad installed for them.

Yin-Yang Bean Blossoms...

 Strange…the black and white beans have plain white blossoms…

Blue Jay Bean Blossoms...

 More colourful beans!

Bull's Blood Beet Greens...

These are pretty sparse…luckily, Dad planted beets in his part of the garden too!

Front - Mild Mix Greens, Back - Tat Soi Greens...

If you look closely, you can see the holes in the leaves where the bugs have been munching them…we’ve already had several salads.

Silverbeet Swiss Chard...

 Not much Swiss chard either…Jim loves that!

Mixed Lettuce...

The mixed lettuce is almost ready to start picking…pretty contrast between dark and light…

Tomatoes Planted From Seed in Late May...

I’m hopeful that I’ll have some heirloom tomatoes after all (bought some plants as a backup just in case, but they’re neither heirloom nor organic!

Autumn Beauty Sunflowers...

The pesky critters have been chewing holes in the sunflower leaves too, but it doesn’t seem to bother them.

Pea Pods...

 Today, I was delighted to discover these pea pods on my Sugar Ann peas!

Scarlet Nantes Carrots...

These carrots are smaller than they look (about 3 inches high)…planted them between the pea plants.

Rutabagas?

I think this is rutabaga, but I’m not sure…Jim was snapping so many photos, I kind of lost track!

Cauliflower...

This is definitely cauliflower!

Not pictured: pumpkins, squash, cucumbers (their leaves look like demented doilies – they’ve been ravaged by insects); purple brussels sprouts, broccoli, bunching onions (forgot to photograph them); purchased tomato/pepper/chive plants (cheating!); spinach (last year’s gone to seed).

I’m optimistic that we’ll have good results from our garden this year…we could all benefit from more vegetables in our diets!

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More Scenes from Outside…

Here are the promised photos of Jim and Anna’s “Avian Ritz-Carlton” – it will house up to 2 dozen birds (photos by Anna):

The front...

One Side...

The back...

The other side...

Anna took some other photos around the yard as well:

These are blossoms on our horse chestnut tree...

These are wildflowers that grow near our peony bushes...

This is the first wild rose of the season...

Enjoy the weekend…

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Everything’s Coming Up Roses (at least in our yard!)…

I spent the evening in the garden again last night…rain was predicted for the next six days, so I felt the need to get rid of as many weeds as possible.  Dad and I hoed and weeded the entire plot.  His hoeing style and mine differ (is there a right way to hoe?).  He wore gloves, I didn’t…I got a blister, he didn’t.  I’m kind of proud of mine…another “battle scar” from the garden (along with the four wicked bug bites I got the other night – still don’t know what bit me, but the bites were UGLY!).

Here’s the photographic update from one of our resident photographers, Anna:

The broad beans are being left alone by whatever's chowing down on my yellow and green beans...

Tiny little broccoli...hoping we get some - everybody loves it!

The bush beans seem to be doing well...

The replanted cabbage is thriving...

The carrots are just coming up...planted them between the pea plants...

 

The replanted Chinese cabbage looks great...

 

One of the biggest green bean plants...

Lettuce...

Gourmet Lettuce Mix...

Mild Greens Mix...

One of the eight Morning Glory plants that are up so far...

Peas are doing amazingly well...starting to send out little viny tendrils...

These are pole beans...

 

These are going to be Purple Brussels Sprouts...surprising that even the plant has a purple tinge...

Rutabaga (I think)...wondering if someone rearranged my popsicle sticks labelling my rows...

These are my Autumn Beauty sunflowers...the whole row came up beautifully...

These are Tat Soi Greens...doing very well...

Uncle David's Dakota Dessert Winter Squash...

Red Kuri Winter Squash...

I’m still waiting for tomatoes…there are a few, but I don’t have any real hopes for them getting big enough to bear fruit…will probably end up buying plants.  Cucumbers are just poking their heads up out of the soil, and pumpkins should be up soon (only planted 3 pumpkin seeds).  No sign of the sweet peas I planted…seed may have been too old.  There are a few beet greens up, and almost no chard.  I haven’t seen the bunching onions I put in either…

I was muddy and sweaty when I came in last night…stripped off my “holy pants” (see this post for an explanation: http://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/getting-down-to-the-nitty-gritty/) and put them in the garbage (after a small ceremony), as I had managed to make a hole on the other side – my finger went right through the worn denim.  I had a bath to get the grit from between my toes, and soak my weary bones…

I slept soundly all night until my alarm at 5:30 a.m. – didn’t even get up to go pee!  I was exhausted.  First stop this morning was the medicine cabinet for ibuprofen…my arthritic hips and feet were protesting.  It felt good though…

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Introducing Anna, Guest Photographer…Part 2…

I’m working in my garden again today…here’s what’s happening in my yard:

Herbs and lettuce the squirrel hasn't destroyed yet...

These are my broad beans...I thought they looked like rabbit ears...

This little guy was hanging out in my garden...hope he wasn't contemplating chowing down on my beans...

These are apple blossoms which have blown off the tree...

It won't be long before we have peonies...

Blossom on the flowering crab...

Purple Lilacs at the front of the house...

White lilacs at the back of the house...

I’m coming down the home stretch on finishing the planting…still have to replant the tomatoes and onions that Jake destroyed…may buy some plants for backup!

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