little adjustments part 2

You might have seen this post I did over the summer about some of the adjustments to living back in St. John’s after being away for so long.  Well, this is the second installment with some other quirky thoughts that have occurred to me since that post. I figured I would share.  Comment below to let me know what you think!clean-hunter-wellies

1. Any day that doesn’t have RDF (Rain, Drizzle & Fog)  is a beautiful day. I have totally adopted this attitude and I love it.  Just getting out in the fresh air, even when the sun is not shining, is fabulous.  I know I should be able to love the RDF too, but I’m not there yet.  Baby steps.  I may need some moral support come February/March.  I’ll let you know. Maybe buying a colourful pair of rain boots will help me? What colour would you pick?

2. Brace yourself for this one – it is superficial important. The hour and a half time difference is fooling up my television watching. TV and radio shows start on the 1/2 hour.  That makes any prime time tv shows late starting.  If a show normally starts at 9:00 ET, that’s 10:30 NT. For you night owls, that’s not a biggie I’m sure, but for me who can’t stay awake, it is a challenge.  I tried to watch Nashville last night (which didn’t start until 11:30) only to fall asleep 10 minutes in.  I woke up to the last 30 seconds of the show (which was a little surprising – did you see it??).  I should have just waited to watch it on the PVR.  Luckily, this is what my son would call a First World Problem, so I can deal.

3. People are super-aware of the weather and plan things around the forecast. Birthday parties will change, meeting spots are adjusted, all at the last minute. Much is dependent on the weather and people are used to rolling with it. I keep forgetting to check.  A friend said to me, “You ARE from here, you know this!”  Yah, I know it in my head, but keep I forgetting. Come to think of it, maybe this is just a me thing. Either way, I need to pay more attention.

4. Driving in Newfoundland is NOT like driving in Ottawa.  If the weather is bad, you have to stay off certain roads.  I have been in denial about this for a while but I just have to accept it. This is not a “mind over matter thing”. The wind has been so bad at times that I have felt like the van is going to be pulled off the road if I loose concentration for a second. The fog has been so thick I had to get my son to help me read the road signs. For real – I am not exaggerating.  Have I mentioned the moose?  I actually haven’t seen a moose since I have been back, but the reminders to Mind the Moose have kept me vigilant and cautious for sure.  Lastly (for now) some of the roads are dark and not very visible.  The Harbour Arterial is totally off limits for me at night because you just can’t see the road well enough (in my opinion).  Some of the entrances and exits off the Outer Ring Road you would never find on your own in the dark without prior warning. Oh my – winter is not even here yet.  Wish me luck.

5. There is nothing better than my nieces running towards me yelling “Mah-layne is here! YEAH!”  I mean really – is there anything better than that? Plus they are a never ending source of entertainment.   Click here for some entertainment. I have heard this song a LOT, but somehow it never gets old. I wonder how my sister feels lol.

6. The porch is INSIDE your house.  In Ottawa, and maybe everywhere else, if someone is talking about their porch, they are talking about the space outside their front door.  Here, a porch is the space inside your front door, as you first come in your house. My honey asked our son to move a box to the porch, and he put it outside on the front step.  That totally made me laugh since he just did what he was told.  Where is your porch, inside or outside?

7. I love this town. One of my facebook status a couple weeks ago was “I feel like Joel Plaskett because I love this town”. And I do.  Regardless of the adjustments, I’m so happy to be here.

antioxidants

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According to the ballerina in the family, Newfoundland Blueberries have more antioxidants than other blueberries.  Someone told her this and I, for one, believe her. I had forgotten how flavourful fresh Newfoundland Blueberries are!

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On our travels last weekend, we came across several patches of blueberries and although we hadn’t planned on berry picking we just had to stop and pick some.  It was cold and damp, so our fingers were chilled and we didn’t pick the berries very “clean” but wow – were they ever yummy! Like I said, I had forgotten just how incredible they really are.

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We were sorry we couldn’t spend more time and pick more – there were SO MANY of them!  Next time I’m bringing a bucket and I plan to fill it. Yum!

my honey’s new baby

This is my Honey’s new baby.  He is so pleased that he has been showing a photo of it to everyone he sees.  This past trip to the Villa was the perfect time to try it out. The four of us headed out on an expedition to the “lookout on the top of the world” (according to honey). It took us about an hour on two ATVs to get there and the last bit was really rocky.  The view alone was worth the trip.IMG_6421

The weather wasn’t great, but you can’t wait for the weather to be perfect in Newfoundland (or you might not ever go anywhere) so we all got our rubber boots and rain gear and headed out anyway.  We had packed a little picnic and huddled around the rocks to get a bit of relief from the wind but it was definitely damp and chilly.

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Between the rain and the water on the trails we got just a little wet!

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It was invigorating to be out exploring.

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Here were all are on the top of the world. Honey is so happy I think he might just split his face from smiling so much.

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a lick and a promise in gem turquoise

This past weekend we were at my husband’s summer home in Hant’s Harbour. For lots of reasons, the house hasn’t been loved much in the last couple of years and now that we are finally home, we are so excited to spruce it up a bit and LOVE it. So much needs to be done, but we decided for our first weekend out, we would tackle something small that would help it look more loved :-).20130804-152723.jpg

We started with both front doors. One of them is a newer metal door, so it was no problem to paint, but the other one is old and not in great shape so we all had a hand in scraping and preparing it for paint.

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How great to all be working on a project together.

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The official name of the paint colour is “Gem Turquoise” and it just works. I am IN LOVE with the colour! I had to lobby the kids – they wanted to paint the door red, which would have also been fantastic – but I really wanted the turquoise. I can see so much potential for this house and know we will have fabulous times here. The kids have been exploring and taking photos and video. I will share some with you soon.

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Hant’s Harbour is one of the most beautiful places on the earth. You’ll see lots more pics from here.

What do you think of my paint choice?

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the edge of the earth

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We went to visit a friend’s summer place in Daniel’s Cove.  We had never been there before and were looking forward to checking out a new corner of Newfoundland. You drive “Up the Shore” according to my DH and head toward Old Perlican in Trinity Bay and keep driving until you don’t think you can drive any more.  Then you find the dirt road and drive farther lol.

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The day we were there, the weather wasn’t great, but I am so glad we went. I felt like I was at the end of the earth somehow. The ocean looked so vast.  I loved the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks over and over again. It almost feels as though you have gone back in time. If you click on the panoramic photo below, it will expand so you can see it better.

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My honey and children were not deterred by the weather and went out exploring along the rocks and paths.

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Nature is truly astounding, isn’t it? (Notice anything funny about this pic?)

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They had a great time exploring this little edge of the earth.

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friday fare – the cafe at the rooms

The Rooms is located in downtown St. John’s and is the Provincial Archives, Art Gallery and Museum.  I am looking forward to taking the kids there sometime in August to see the current exhibit, but last week I had to settle for a quick visit to The Rooms Cafe to meet a dear friend for lunch. Please see my caveat about my food posts.20130725-173109.jpg

The photo below is of the cafe, but the sun was streaming in through the window.  Not so helpful for my photo – but lovely for lunch! See all those windows?  WHAT A VIEW!  Really, lunch is just secondary to that view.

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Lucky for us, the food is also fabulous.  I ordered a quinoa salad off the Organic Menu.   It had apple and cranberries and a sesame dressing (I think).  I didn’t make notes of the ingredients, but it was so tasty!

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My girlfriend ordered the Duck Confit Salad with candied hazelnuts, fennel, red onion, cherry tomato and grapes in a honey vinaigrette. I really wanted to order this too, but I guess two salads would have been a bit much 😉

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Such a perfect place to have lunch.  Lots of parking and an incredible location.  I detoured after lunch to take a photo to show you the view.  I mean really. REALLY???  How lucky are we to be here. Notice how you can see the reflection of the blue ski and clouds in the floor.  I’m guessing that was not an accident.

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I’m still awestruck every time I see the ocean. Do you think it will wear off in a few months?

I hope not.

little adjustments

We have been gone a long time.  And although we are both from St John’s, we have long adjusted to the Ottawa ways of doing things.  Here are a few funny details that have struck me over the last couple of weeks.

1. It doesn’t take very long to get anywhere.  I am so used to leaving my house at least 20 minutes before I have to be somewhere, I am having trouble adjusting to how close everything is here.  Growing up, it seemed that the East end, was JUST SO FAR from the West end, but in reality, it only takes 10 minutes to drive across town.  Driving between my sisters’ and parent’s houses, is less than a 5 minute jaunt.  So my 20 minute lead time is overkill almost all the time. I’m guessing I will eventually adjust.

2. You hear terms of endearment from complete strangers.  I booked a home inspection over the phone and the lady called me “Honey” at least 12 times.  She even called me “My Love” as we were ending the call.  She also fit me in on the day I needed, even though it didn’t totally work for her. God Love Her. (you also hear that a lot).

3. People talk a lot.  Unless I am hanging out with friends, I am a Get-to-the-Point kind of gal. People here like to talk.  And embellish. And talk.  This is a good reminder for me to sit back and take a load off every now and again and stop rushing. (I will find this challenging though).

4. I can’t remember how to get anywhere.  Initially, I *think* I know where I’m going and hop in the car to head out, but as I’m driving I realize I don’t really know how to get there.  I mean, given enough time, I would find it eventually, but I don’t have my routes down yet.  And I need a map to see how the Outer Ring Road works.  It’s not complicated, but my head is not around it yet. (pun intended).

5. “Dinner time” is noon. Okay I have known this for years, but I still always need clarification when someone tells me to meet them at dinner time.  “So you mean, noon right?”  “Of course noon – what else would dinner time mean???”  I feel like a mainlander.

6. Everyone knows everything and everyone. Pretty much every time I mentioned the location of our (potential) new house, the person already knows the house. Often this is how it goes:  “Oh yes, I know the house. I drove by last week. So and so lives on that street.” Too funny.

7. Beauty is everywhere.  From the bright colours of the houses to the deep blues of the ocean, this is a stunning place to be. Just awe-some.

By next year this time I’m sure I won’t even notice these things and will be totally re-assimilated. Thanks for reading my love! And by the way – who is your mother?  And what’s her maiden name?  Is she a Smith from Trinity Bay or Conception Bay?

Love it.

dance camp

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My dance loving DD attended a dance camp for a week and a half since we have been here. As a matter of fact, she insisted on starting the day after she arrived to jump right in and check the studio out. She really enjoyed the camp and is feeling excited about starting again in September. On her third day, I asked her how everything went, and she told me “great”. When I asked her what made it great she said “I felt included”.

Happy sigh. What every Momma wants to hear.

I am including an 8 second video of four of them doing the Swan Lake Cygnets dance. Just a little teaser for you.

my cup runneth over

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There was no cell coverage on the road from the ferry, until we reached the main highway. I knew as soon as the service came back because my phone started beeping with text messages, voicemail and phone calls from my sisters, Mom and Dad welcoming us HOME! Our first stop was to drop our camper at my parent’s cabin in Spreadeagle.  It is one of my favourite places in the world – the sun was shining and the ocean was sparkling.

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A quick photo op before we had lunch – my Dad had burgers ready for us! Thanks Dad!

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Once we arrived in town, we swung by to pick up keys and say a quick hello to our nephews.  My kids are so happy to have cousins close by.

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Then it was off to Sister#2’s house where we all met for supper.  All the little kids did not make it into the photo (can you imagine trying to get all 7 kids in one place at one time looking at the camera?). How cute are they!!!

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We had some bubbly to celebrate. HAPPY!

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The highlight of my evening was getting cuddles from my almost 3 year old niece who snaked her hand up my sleeve, snuggled close and sucked her thumb in my lap.  Is there anything better than the feeling of a relaxed child in your lap? Nope.  I can’t think of anything else right now.

My cup runneth over.

atlantic vision

I had some requests to show pictures from the Ferry Ride from North Sydney to Argentia.  I thought I had taken lots of photos, but looking at them now, I’m not sure they are the best photos to describe the trip.  I think when we were finally on the ferry, we are all too excited to focus!  As soon as we boarded I could see that both kids were getting pumped and feeling like NFLD was SO CLOSE!

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When we boarded the Ferry we checked out our cabin right away.  It was a tight squeeze when all four of us where moving around, but perfect for a one night stay.  Plus there was a bathroom with a shower, so we were happy campers.

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You’ll notice that the photos in this post are different sizes. It’s because I am using photos from the Canon, and two different iphones.  I’m sure there is an easy way to resize them all, but I am running out of time for that today and wanted to post my update (that’s my excuse anyway).  The photo below is of me doing my quick blog post in the lounge before the ferry left the port and I lost my cell service.  It turns out there was WiFi on the boat, but I didn’t figure that out until the next day.  Probably okay I didn’t know sooner.

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Do you know that Royal Caribbean commercial that talks about seeing the elusive smile from the family teenager?  Although Marine Atlantic is definitely not Royal Caribbean, it was exciting enough that I was able to capture this one in the photo below. One of the highlights of the ferry ride was getting to see DS play guitar in the lounge.  The guy that was playing was taking a break and let him sing and play two songs.  And me (who ALWAYS has my phone) didn’t have it with me this time to capture the photo, but you’ll have to take my word for it that it happened. BTW: Doesn’t my honey look handsome!

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The crossing couldn’t have been calmer – you’d hardly know you were on a boat. I love that we took the ferry to Argentia instead of Port Aux Basques to avoid that 12 hour drive across the island.  Thanks to Marine Atlantic and The Atlantic Vision for a safe and uneventful ferry ride.

MarKat