Tag Archives: Eureka
Gentlemen…Start Your Search Engines…
Still Learning in 2010…
Taking the lead from my blogging friends, Todd Pack, Izzie Darling, and Lady Justine, here’s a list of the things I learned this year…if you want to read the full story on any of these lessons, search a keyword or click the appropriate tag in the sidebar:
1. Our dog thinks porcupine poop is dessert.
2. Hope loves Jake enough to share her toothbrush with him.
3. Homemade rolls don’t have to be “pretty” to taste good.
4. Egg cartons are not good containers to start plants indoors in.
5. Dogs love to destroy egg cartons with seedlings in them.
6. Jim’s parents are our biggest supporters.
7. Bleachers are hard things to sit on for more than a couple of hours.
8. I am really out of shape.
9. Seeing a toy from your childhood 40 years later brings you right back to that time in your life.
10. If the winter is mild enough, spinach from last year can survive.
11. Maple vinaigrette makes spinach salad a beautiful thing!
12. There’s no such thing as “too many bird feeders.”
13. Squirrels can do amazing tricks to get to a bird feeder.
14. Some people keep their toilet paper in the breadbox.
15. Mothers-in-law are often right.
16. More people in Saint John knew when the new Costco was opening than were aware of the city’s 225th birthday this year.
17. Rhubarb runs amok if left to grow unchecked.
18. Orthodontists make more per hour than most of us.
19. Sometimes plants get a lot bigger than the seed package says they will…my five-foot sunflowers ended up being seven or eight feet tall!
20. I like portobello mushroom/swiss veggie burgers.
21. Our dog enjoys eating Popsicle sticks.
22. Cosmopolitan was a literary magazine back in the early 1900’s.
23. There is only one kind of hummingbird which frequents New Brunswick: the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.
24. I love Mint Crisp M&M’s.
25. I learned what a “fisher” was, after seeing one cross the road in front of our car.
26. Before you construct a really big birdhouse, figure out where you’re going to put it and how to get it up there!
27. My dad’s a good singer, and I’m not the only one who thinks so!
28. They sell live ladybugs at Home Depot.
29. Right after you purchase twenty tomato plants, the forty you started from seed will rally.
30. Ladybugs aren’t always red with black spots…sometimes they’re brown with cream spots.
31. As long as they’re under warranty, Vogue Optical will replace glasses which have been chewed by a dog!
32. We have a cherry tree, and eight high-bush blueberries I’d never noticed before.
33. “Beaver Tails” are too expensive to buy now.
34. Hope really likes getting muddy.
35. Wallpaper is nearly impossible to find.
36. Hummingbirds are fearless.
37. The Chinese cabbage I planted is not the “head” type.
38. How to make good piecrust…the secret is lard.
39. Some people will ignore a sign that says: “Danger – Do Not Touch.”
40. Deer can be aggressive.
41. Organic broccoli often goes to seed faster than I can harvest it.
42. I love rutabaga!
43. I found out what “purslane” looks like.
44. It’s never a good idea to put a chicken burger into a toaster.
45. I don’t hate all sci-fi…I enjoy “Eureka.”
46. You can purchase a sailboat on the Internet.
47. Ripe canteloupe is not a good lunchbox food.
48. Picking things from the garden in the dark is really difficult.
49. I suck at “Musical Chairs.”
50. The blogging community is full of incredible people…I am so happy to have made their online acquaintances!
I’m looking forward to learning more in 2011!
Filed under blogging, cooking, family, food, gardening, memories, nature, self-discovery
Sunday, Seals, Siamese Twins and Sci-Fi…
On Friday night, Hope had a friend come over for a sleepover…as kids do, Hope stood gazing into the freezer, looking for “something to eat” as every child does. “Are those waffles?” she asked. Vaguely remembering buying waffles a couple of months ago, I answered, “Umm-hmm…” without looking up from my computer screen (as every blogging mom does). “You and Gabrielle could have those for breakfast tomorrow morning.”
Fast forward to Sunday morning (Gabrielle was long-gone): I came down from having my shower to hear a fabulous story about Hope putting a chicken burger into the toaster! She was fooled by the woven pattern stamped into the meat. Note to self – don’t put stuff in the freezer in unmarked plastic bags!
To make the morning even better, Hope and Anna spent the next hour bickering (whipping the dog’s tennis ball at each other until one cried). It ended after I ordered them each to make a list of ten nice things they could do for their sister, and then do one each day. The first day, Hope came up with telling Anna, “You dress cool.” To which Anna replied, “You sing well.” We’ll see what today brings…
After brunch of (burned) toad-in-the-hole flax bagels (accompanied by more bitching), we went to Superstore to pick up last-minute school lunch makings (stores here are closed on Labour Day). I vetoed the 24-pack of lunch-sized potato chips…I refuse to pay $3.49 for 120 chips! Hope was happy to get pear-flavoured applesauce, and yogurt tubes. Anna got Bear Paws and Vachon snack cakes. I grabbed some bread, and a pack of bologna and ham for “real food.”
We brought the groceries home, and unloaded them. We got right back in the van after that…Jim had suggested we visit the Huntsman Marine Science Centre in St. Andrews. Anna and I had never been, and Jim hadn’t been for at least 10 years. Hope had been there on a couple of school trips.
On our way, we stopped at McKay’s Blueberries in Pennfield. The lineup was long, but it was worth the wait. We watched as people walked by laden with pies, muffins and jams. Finally, it was our turn: Hope had a strawberry sundae, Anna had a blueberry sundae, and Jim and I had blueberry shortcake with homemade biscuits. Everything was covered with real whipped cream! Awesome deliciousness! I have to say my mood improved remarkably after that…
We arrived at the Huntsman Centre about 3:00. What we didn’t know is that they were in the middle of an $8 million dollar renovation, which meant that the entire aquarium population was housed in temporary facilities while a new building was being constructed. We paid our admission in a large tent…the attendant informed us that they would be feeding the seals at 4:00 (we knew that already). We proceeded to the seal tank, where two harbour seals swam around. After that, we watched sturgeon and stingrays in another tank. We made our way to the “main building” where several other marine animals were displayed. Hope had fun with the “touch tank” where a number of sea animals could be picked up – her favourite was the starfish. I tried to stay out of the way of the hundreds of strollers (okay, I’m exaggerating – it was probably five). It was a pretty small space! We were finished our tour by 3:30. We went back to the main tent and sat down to wait for seal-feeding time.
We staked out a space beside the fence just before 4. Finally, two female attendants came out with plastic dishpans filled with herring. Each had a bright blue rubber glove. One of the women proceeded to give us background information about the two seals: They were father and son: Loki was 17 years old, and Snorkel was 5 years old. The son did tricks (Dad was learning by watching the son). The attendant explained that the tricks were to help prevent boredom (for the seals). “We don’t want bored seals!” The crowd (which was filled with bored toddlers) was getting restless…the woman asked if anyone had any questions. I listened in amusement as I overheard the young mother next to me tell her 5-year-old to put her hand down: “Just let them feed them!” she hissed, holding her restless 2-year-old.
The attendants started throwing individual fish either into the tank, or up on the sidewalk next to the pool. Anna, Jim and Hope snapped hundreds of photos as Snorkel performed some cute tricks, including “kissing” the attendant on command (she made a comment about her husband wondering why she smelled like fish when she came home…ewww!). It was fun to watch – harbour seals are very dog-like in their facial features – they’re called “seadogs.” In fact, our Saint John hockey team is called the Saint John Seadogs. Hope was annoyed because she was standing beside a kid who kept yelling, “I want to see their whole body!” over and over again. After the show was over, the little girl beside me finally got to ask her question…I forget what it was now. Everybody headed for their cars (except Hope, who headed for the port-a-potties – she loves those – NOT!).
Back in the van, Anna mentioned that she wanted to go into St. Andrews to see if the candy store was open…it had been closed in the spring when we were down in St. Stephen for Brianna’s cheerleading competition (https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/05/09/adventures-of-a-reluctant-cheer-mom-part-2/). Kandy Land was open this time…I was happy to find Milk Duds (I’ve never paid $2.29 for a box, though!). Jim and Anna got surprise bags, and Hope filled a tube with banana-flavoured powdered sugar (it had a name we can’t remember, came from a big machine, and cost $1.99 – it must have been good!).
We hit the highway, bound for Pennfield again. Jim and his friend, Scott, had discovered a good Chinese restaurant there right next to McKay’s: It was called (are you ready for this?) Highway’s Good Wok. I don’t make this stuff up! We all ate until we were about to burst. Jim ordered Curried Chicken and Vegetables, and Hope kept edging away…she doesn’t like the smell of curry. I traded her eggroll for my garlic spareribs – the eggrolls were amazing! I had chicken chow mein and sweet and sour chicken balls too. Anna had beef and broccoli, chicken balls, and garlic chicken wings. Everybody had fried rice, which was also very good – not too greasy. While Hope and I made a pit stop, Jim and Anna paid the bill and got doggy bags for the rest of their food (Hope and I finished ours!).
We arrived home about 7:30, and I rushed out to the garden to pick tomatoes. I needed two mixing bowls to hold them all! The yellow light bulb tomatoes were really starting to come now (https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/blackberry-cobbler-and-light-bulb-tomatoes/) …I even found “regular” tomotoes (I think they were Early Latahs) which had grown as Siamese twins…The beans will have to be picked tonight…there was no light left last night!
While a load of laundry went through, Jim and I watched another episode of “Eureka”…despite it being sci-fi, I’m really starting to like that show (not to mention that the star, Colin Ferguson, is Canadian, and very hot!). It’s been on since 2006, but I’d never seen it until Jim found out about it from Scott. It is filmed mostly on location in British Columbia. The writing is pretty sharp, and it’s funny too!
So that was my last Sunday of the summer…sigh…
Waiting for Earl…
Hurricane (or Tropical Storm, hopefully) Earl is scheduled to arrive here early tomorrow morning, and when he gets here, we’ll be ready…
Having spent my early years in Ohio, I have vivid memories of our whole family sitting under a table in the basement waiting for a tornado. Dad held the staticky transistor radio in his hand as we listened anxiously to the Tornado Warnings being issued. I remember seeing the sky outside go black at 3 in the afternoon, and seeing hail as big as baseballs! Luckily, we were never hit with a tornado, but to this day, I am terrified of windstorms!
I was never a Girl Scout, so being “prepared” is a state I’m rarely in. However, since we’ve had lots of advance warning, we decided to do as much as we could to avert potential disaster at our house.
Last night, Jim and I stopped at the grocery store on the way home – we spent almost $150! Among the essentials were 8 jugs of water, in case the 40-70mm (1 1/2″ to 2 3/4″) of rain we’re supposed to get messes up our well (again, like it did when we got 90mm last year!). If the power goes out, we’ll break out the Sugar Smacks or the Alpha-Bits we bought. We also have 4 bags of chips, and about 10 bottles of pop. If you’re going to die in a storm, you might as well eat what you like…(I did slip some apples, a cantaloupe and a bag of spinach into the cart, though).
We stopped for gas and ice (to keep the pop cold) on the way home.
After supper, I went out to the garden while Jim put away the lawn furniture (I saw him doing something with bungee cords – I didn’t ask!). The kids worked together surprisingly well to take down the trampoline. I picked all the tomatoes that were ready (I’m up to using a BIG mixing bowl now!), and all the beans. I picked a Red Kuri squash and a Dakota Dessert Squash. We now have four huge pumpkins about 18″ in diameter. I wanted to harvest them, but Dad convinced me that the 90kmh (56mph) winds the weatherman is calling for would not send them hurtling across the field (if you see a piece on the 11 o-clock news tomorrow night about “When Pumpkins Kill,” Dad was wrong!). I sadly said “Goodbye” to the sunflowers…I suspect they will not survive the wind! I dragged out the hose and watered everything, as I have every night this week. I rejected Dad’s offer of help putting the hose away…I find that whenever he “helps” me, it just slows me down…
When I got inside, it was almost 9, and I was exhausted. Jim talked me into watching an episode of Modern Family (he has the whole first season downloaded). I asked to see the one where Phil and Jay fly the remote control airplane together…”I was in a plane crash!” (best line ever, spoken by Phil after Jay flies the plane into his face). After watching half the first episode of a strange sci-fi series called Eureka, I was ready to crash myself…
We just have to pick up a couple more things tonight, and then…
Bring on the storm!