Monday, August 29, 2011

Camping and Irene

Last week, while Hurricane Irene was coming up the coast straight for us, I was planning a camping trip. The weathermen said it would not hit until late Sunday night, so we figured we were safe going out Saturday. Thankfully, we were right. It rained a bit during the night, but stopped in time to pack up camp and cook breakfast.
Saturday started out bright and early. We wanted to leave at 8 am so we could stop for breakfast and gas on the two hour drive and still have time to set up camp and enjoy the day. We arrived and were ready for adventure by 11 AM; and so decided to check out one of the many walking trails Fundy National Park had to offer. We picked one that looked easy and set out, only to discover it had a closed sign at the head of the trail. There was another path nearby, it went down to the beach and the map said it was a ‘moderate’ trail, so away we went. It was mostly downhill, but the trail was all boardwalk and stairs. When we got to the beach all we could see was fog. But as we explored a lot of it burned off.

Dickson Falls, Fundy National Park.

After taking a bunch of pictures, collecting a few shells and skipping some rocks, we headed back up the steps to camp. On the way, we decided to drive into the little town of Alma that borders the park for lunch. After lunch, we found another trail to hike; it was a winding downstairs hike into a canyon to Dickson Falls. I got a lot of beautiful pictures of the falls and brook, one of the cleanest and clearest I have seen in a long time. After Dickson Falls, we decided to check out the beach we had hiked to the last time we were at Fundy. That time it had been raining, so we did not stay long on the beach. This time we were there a good hour. The tide was out so we were able to explore some large rocks and caves. Then, I stepped in the mud. It was black and slimy. I tried washing my feet off in a pool, then just went with it until we got back to the beach. There, I took a walk in the ocean. Still, the mud stuck (and by now my jeans were soaked half way to my knees). There was a small river from the tide going out, so I waded in that a bit and finally enough came off to be able to hike back to the truck. When I got home, I ended up running my sandals under water in the bathtub to completely clean them; it was very sticky mud! I was glad I had decided to throw my sneakers in the truck at the last minute before we left the house, just in case.
After hiking to the beach, we went back to camp got changed and decided to relax. It was cool in the shade, and the fog had not really burned off there yet, so we went for another walk. This time down a trail that ran along the road to the covered bridge. I got a lot of nice pictures (and a few bug bites since by now I was wearing my shorts and sneakers with no socks), and when we got to the end we scaled a fence to a rocky beach that is covered at high tide and took some more. Finally we hiked back to camp and ate dinner, then sat around a campfire killing time and listening to someone play guitar from a few lots over,  until it was late enough to go to bed.
Early waves caused by Hurricane Irene. Saint's Rest Beach, Saint John, New Brunswick.

Sunday morning we got up, while I cooked 2 Lbs of bacon for breakfast and ate a bagel, camp was packed up. The drive home was uneventful, and when we got there we got cleaned up and changed then went out to the beach to watch the waves come in ahead of Irene. At that time,  the waves were still fairly small, so we went for a Sunday drive then home to watch a movie and went back late in the evening. Unfortunately, it was too dark to take any pictures at that time, but I will always remember the high waves of Irene.   

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I made homemade pizza this morning for the first time ever. I made both the dough and sauce from scratch, grated the cheese, chopped the veggies and used a hot dog and a few pieces of turkey bacon for meat. And it was delicious!
When I was a kid, my mom would buy a prepackaged pizza making kit from Kraft, it had a little can of sauce, some grated parmesan cheese, a spice packet and a just add water packet of dough. My mom would make this about once a month; it was cheaper than ordering pizza for five. The year I was in college, we had a girl from South Korea stay with us over Christmas, the night before she left; we bought one of these kits and showed her how to make pizza. She was amazed; they did not have things like that in Seoul!  
Pizza has always been one of my favorites; just by picking different toppings you have a whole new meal. Some people say it is junk food, others will argue the meat and veggies are good for you.  Me? I am on the fence. If it were not for the processed salami, turkey bacon and hot dog, my pizza today might have been healthy as it was made with natural ingredients from scratch. That is the only reason I think pizza might be bad for you, it has a lot of processed meats and sauce. If you can get it homemade with fresh ingredients, then my argument is that it is good for you!
My dough recipe made enough for two, and since I am only one person I froze the second half until the weekend when I will have some company and try it again. I can’t wait to try it with a different topping combination! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Biker Babe in traing Pt 2.

I went for my second spin on a motorcycle this weekend, and third. Saturday we went to Sussex for coffee, and while we were there we stopped at a leather store to get me outfitted as a true biker chick. I look lovely in leather. One thing that truly amazes me is the sizing of leather jackets. I am no skinny mini, but my new leather jacket is sized 5 XL. Yikes! Most clothes I am in now (since I recently lost 20 Lbs) are L or XL. Like everything else, the size depends on the design. I tried on one 5XL that was much too big, and another 4 XL that was too tight. In the end, we found the one jacket that fit and now I look like I belong on a motorcycle.
Sunday, we went for a ride to my parents’ house in Wirral. It was a beautiful day and a long ride; we ended up stopping twice on the way out to stretch our legs. I am a bit pinker from our stops, since it was too hot to keep a leather jacket on; but I have had worse sunburns and I enjoyed my day.
After we got back from Wirral, we traded the motorcycle for the truck and went for a spin down long windy roads in the country. It was a nice end to a long day and longer weekend. I hope the next five days spin by fast, this weekend is the Sussex Flea Market, I’ve only been once but I really enjoyed myself and can’t wait to go again!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


It has been a busy couple of days, I honestly have not had time to write, which is unusual. This week has gone fast; it is halfway to the weekend already. Last weekend was nice, it was sunny Saturday we went shopping for new clothes and got some good deals. Then we went to the drive in and saw the new Smurfs movie, it was great! The second movie playing the night was called Friends with Benefits, it was meh; we ended up leaving half way through.
Sunday morning dawned bright and early, I hung out with K for a few hours; we went shopping for a first birthday gift for our baby cousin, and then we had Happy Meals for lunch. K got to order and pay for his own; he is a little shy while talking to strangers, but I think he did well.
Sunday afternoon we went for a drive. Even though it was raining, it was still nice. Eventually we made it back home and spent the evening on the couch watching movies.
Since it started raining Sunday afternoon, it has not stopped. Monday morning was really bad, and I had to walk to the library to return some books. I was lucky that it had eased off to almost a sprinkle on my walk to the library, but I get soaked walking back.
Because it was still raining Tuesday morning, I spent the day in the kitchen making Manicotti for dinner. A nice comforting meal on a rainy day, it was my first time trying the recipe and it turned out well.
This morning, still raining. It is supposed to continue until lunchtime tomorrow and then clear up until Sunday afternoon…then more rain most of next week. August is supposed to be the warmest month of our summer, but so far it is a bust. On Saturday’s shopping trip I got a nice sundress, but the way it is going I will not be wearing it this summer!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Covered Bridges

Last weekend when we were camping, I took this picture.

New Brunswick is full of covered bridges, including the longest in the world in Hartland. When I was a teenager, I lived in a small village called Welsford. We had a covered bridge. One winter, it snowed and snowed. We had so many snow days that winter they considered tacking on an extra week at the end of the school year. That Spring, it rained. And rained. And the snow melted. And there were floods. The river had risen so much that the covered bridge floated from its moorings.
 With my Dad and sisters, along with most of Welsford, I watched the covered bridge float away. It floated about a city block down the river and then suddenly it stopped. There the bridge sat with water flowing around it, it was an odd sight.
The army boys came down and said they could tow it back up to its moorings just as soon as the river was at its proper level. When the water went down, we could see the reason it has stopped; the bridge was perched on the banks of the river. That night a dusting of snow came down; it was such a small amount one could hardly say it even snowed. Unfortunately it proved too much for the old bridge and the next day it collapsed where it sat.
The people of Welsford rallied to have the covered bridge replaced. We were told that no one knew how to make them anymore. The Army came in and made temporary bridge for the people who lived on the other side of the river. Eventually, they replaced it with a permanent bridge that stands to this day.
The day of the flood, my Father took many pictures of the water. We also climbed the mountain in Welsford and took pictures of the overflowed river. Unfortunately none of the pictures turned out because we discovered the camera was broken and the film had not advanced. I do not need pictures; I will remember the view from the top of the mountain for the rest of my life.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I was out today returning a borrowed cooler from last weekend’s camping adventure when I decided to get a hamburger for lunch. Instead of getting a huge greasy burger and fries, I opted for a smaller portion and got a kid’s meal. In my little box was a small Smurf; Brainy Smurf, my favorite Smurf when I was a child.

If the weather cooperates, we are planning on going to the drive in this weekend. They always play two movies and this weekend’s first pick is the new Smurfs movie. I know a few people who have seen it already and they say it is really good, so I am looking forward to it.
When I was a kid, we would watch the Smurfs cartoons regularly; it was one of my favorite shows. My Dad absolutely hates them, he has never really said why, just that he can’t stand the little blue creatures. I always liked them, and will still watch the cartoon once in awhile if I happen to come across it.
I suppose with the new movie, they will probably give the cartoon a reboot sometime in the next year as well. I am kind of in the camp that they should leave well enough alone and don’t mess with the classics, but it is kind of neat to see my favorite childhood shows making a comeback.
How about Jem next summer?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cookie Monster

"Sometimes me think what is love, and then me think love is what last cookie is for.
Me give up the last cookie for you." ~Cookie Monster.

I found this quote the other day, I can’t even remember where. When I was a kid, Cookie Monster was one of my favorite characters. When we were young, I remember we had a stuffed Cookie Monster, complete with large plastic google eyes.
Like the Cookie Monster, my one weakness is the cookie. Delicious little balls of dough baked to perfection. I have a large cookie jar sitting in the centre of my kitchen table, it is seldom empty. I think someday I will make a good Mom because there will always be homemade cookies in the house. So long as we can keep the Cookie Monster away!