Tag Archives: Fredericton

Yes, We Have No Wine, and Other Random Things…

Welcome to another chapter in my oh-so-exciting existence! We’ve got lots to cover…the transitions will be abrupt, so please keep a firm hold on your tea, lest it spill as we careen around corners!

1. Monday morning was sunny…I hated to have to work, but came into the bookstore anyway…I had three boxes of books to photograph, and 90 pages of our database to print off!  Hope was off school that day, so she came into town with me and helped take the pictures (it’s much easier for a 12-year-old to get up and down off the floor than it is for me!).  Anna and Brianna went to the mall…Anna used the money I gave her for jeans to buy shorts (because apparently 47 pairs aren’t enough!).  Brianna got some nail polish which is the perfect colour for my toes…maybe she’ll let me borrow it!

Anna and Brianna goofing around with the webcam last fall...

2. My friend, Dale, surprised me by dropping into the bookstore…I first met him in 1980 when we worked in two neighbouring stores in the Quinte Mall in Belleville, Ontario (I worked in a camera store, and he worked in the record store next door). I used to go into the record store and buy all kinds of albums (that was before I had kids to spend my money for me!). The following year, my boss decided to move his store to another strip mall in town, and Dale and I lost touch. Fast forward to the early 2000’s: I was receiving correspondence about an upcoming reunion of some of my buddies from Loyalist College, and saw a familiar name on the e-mail list. I e-mailed the guy and asked “Are you the same Dale who used to work in the record store?” Sure enough…turns out Dale went to Loyalist about the same time I did, and used to hang out with the radio guys I knew! We were reunited at the reunion, and have been in touch ever since…coincidentally, Dale now lives in Moncton, New Brunswick, which is only a little over an hour’s drive from where I live now. We chatted for quite a while, and then Dale left to get to a business meeting, promising to return soon to add to his “classics” collection.  We’re planning to meet up with some more friends from school this fall at the Gregg Allman show at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton in September.  I’m looking forward to seeing them all!

3. When we got home in the afternoon, Hope checked her e-mail, and excitedly called me over to the computer.  “Look at this, Mom!”  There was an e-mail from the Marketing Coordinator for Market Square…on the weekend, Hope and Gabrielle had sent her a clip of them singing “O Canada” and had asked if they could sing the national anthem at the Canada Day celebrations on July 1st.  The reply said that she would like to have the girls sing, and would be in touch soon to arrange the details!  Hope called Gabrielle right away to tell her the good news!  We were really proud of her for taking the chance to do something like that!

Gabrielle and Hope singing at a Talent Show last fall...photo by Jim

4. Monday night (after writing my Easter blog post), I remembered that Tuesday was our long-awaited book club meeting…we hadn’t gotten together since bidding our friend, Selina, “Adieu” in December when she moved to Winnipeg. We usually bring food of some sort for book club. Our book was “Secret Daughter” by Shilpi Somaya Gowder, which is set mainly in India.  What I know about East Indian food would fit neatly on the head of a pin (and I don’t eat much spicy food), so I Googled a local store where I might find something to bring to the meeting.  Upon reaching the website, I was confronted with the name of the product, a photo, and the price…no description whatsoever.  Back to Google…Nanak Gajar Halwa: “carrot fudge”? That sounds disgusting!  Nanak Rasmalai: “Soft Cheese Patty in thickened milk and sugar sauce”.  My lactose-intolerant stomach actually did a somersault after reading that!  I decided to go with something a little safer…I had a bag of Ganong Chocolate Marshmallow Eggs I’d bought on the weekend…everybody likes chocolate in our book club (and these are made in St. Stephen, New Brunswick)!

5. Tuesday morning was rainy, but at least I didn’t have a lot of work waiting for me at the store when I got there…I took the opportunity to catch up on the 40-50 blog posts I hadn’t had a chance to read over the long weekend!  It took me a long time, but there weren’t many customers wandering in to disturb me, so I was able to get it done!  I bought a Meditteranean Chicken Salad from Sagratti’s in the City Market for supper, and brought it back to the store to eat (I picked out the black olives…yuck!).   I hoped the family would save me some of Jim’s famous Turkey Soup…

Jim's soup and homemade biscuits...yummy!

6. I was the first to arrive at our Succulent Bookworms meeting (as usual – I don’t like to be late!).  I chatted with our hostess, and one of her three cats soon curled up on my lap, where it stayed for the rest of the night (if only I hadn’t been wearing black…oh well…that’s why they invented lint brushes!).  My friend called to me from the kitchen and offered me a drink, apologizing that she didn’t have any wine on hand, but that one of the other girls would probably bring some.  I declined…book club is the only time I get to indulge in red wine…I would wait until it arrived!  When she came back, she extended a ceramic plate towards me with little brown things on it.  “Oooooh…what’s this?” I squealed, thinking these must be some of those unidentifiable Indian delicacies I’d seen on that website.

“They’re the marshmallow eggs that you brought!” she prompted.  “Don’t you remember?”

I’m sure I turned about three shades of red before muttering, “Oh, yeah…” (damn peri-menopausal mushbrain!).  The chocolates looked a lot classier on that plate than they did in the compostable bag they came in!

The other girls trickled in over the next hour-and-a-half…nobody brought wine, but we did have a nice selection of food to choose from by the time everyone arrived!  There were two kinds of naan bread with mango chutney and guram masala for dipping, some pita chips with yogurt dip, some mini caramel muffins, and some decadent squares which were purely Western but awesome anyway!  We had some delicious mango juice to drink, which I’m planning to seek out next time I’m at Costco!  The hostess’ 3-year-old daughter demonstrated some of her ballet moves for us before her dad took her up to bed (he was mumbling something about getting her away from us before we corrupted her…another Bookworm man thinks we’re “witches”)…

We chatted about the book for a while (everybody liked it – excellent choice for a book club read), and then got off on our usual tangent…that was the first Worms meeting I’d ever attended where no one was drinking!  It was weird, but good…I can’t wait for the next meeting!

I was happy to get home to bed soon after 10:30…it had been a long day…


Filed under blogging, books, food, friends, satire

Our July the 4th…

When one lives in Canada, July 4, 2010 is just another Sunday…however, ours was special because we were invited to a family reunion to celebrate two graduations (one university and one high school – Jim’s cousins’ kids), and a birthday (Jim’s aunt). 

We had French toast for breakfast before we hit the road for the hour-and-a-half drive to Fredericton.  We got in the van just after noon…we were halfway down our road when Jim asked if I’d brought the address where the party was…nope…it was home on my Facebook account.  Back we went!

Hope is notorious for two things on long car trips: getting carsick (she always takes Gravol before we go), and having to stop every 45 minutes to an hour to go pee.  On one such rest stop at a Tim Horton’s, Hope commented on how rude people were: “I held the door for three people, and not one of them said ‘Thank you,’ ” she complained.  She’s a good girl.

We arrived at our destination just after 2 p.m.  Fredericton was very hot!  Thank goodness for air conditioning in the van.  The kids jumped into the pool almost as soon as we got there.

Hope in a boat, Brianna freezing her braces off…

Jim and I sat outside by the pool for a while, but soon came inside because the sun was intense! Also as more and more kids jumped in the pool, the chance of being splashed increased incrementally!

Anna, Brianna and Hope cower at the side of the pool as the boy cousins toss another cousin...

The party was potluck…my favourite kind of event! The table was loaded with all manner of deliciousness: meatballs, casseroles, salads and my rolls. Some day I’m going to invent a paper plate big enough to hold all that food in one go!

The graduates and the food: Jaimee and Matthew

Aunt Alison with her birthday cake...

We enjoyed catching up with the various members of Jim’s family…soon it was time to go.

Our drive home was uneventful, and Hope made it all the way from Oromocto to home without having to pee!  I was happy to make it home from Fredericton without spending massive amounts of money (the kids usually talk us into taking them shopping while we’re there!).

I put in some frozen pizza for supper, and went out to the garden to pick spinach/greens to go with it.  The cucumber beetles were still dining on my squash plants (note to self: pick up more Trounce).

After supper, I went out to water the garden…I carefully sprayed all the plants with the hose.  I was coiling it up and putting the hose away, when I heard what sounded like a shotgun coming from the next property over…talk about scary!  After the second one, the Mama From the ‘Hood came out in me…I hollered, “Whoever’s shooting that gun better stop, or I’m callin’ the freakin’ cops!”  Jim called them anyway…there were two more noises after that.  Dad said the last one sounded like fireworks (did I mention we DON’T celebrate the 4th of July in Canada?)…one of Rothesay’s finest showed up at the door about a half hour after we called.  He was of the opinion that it probably was fireworks, but told us that it was now legal to shoot coyotes within 150 feet of a house (we figured they were shooting deer).  Great news…not!  The officer assured us he would keep patrolling the area for a while…I appreciated it!

It’s been a half hour since we heard anything from next door…I’m heading to bed soon…hoping it stays quiet!

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Filed under family, food, gardening, memories, rants, travel