Posted in Dining, General, humor, humour

You know it’s summer when….

You know it’s summer when….

  • you have experienced a daughter and grandson staying with you for six weeks,
  • a couple of friends from Atlanta arrive during that period of time
  • and your son, his wife and two teens arrive arrive towards the end of that time and overlap completely.
  • Then there is a gap of about four days before another couple arrive.
  • Towards the end of August another grandson and his girlfriend arrive for eleven days.

The firt listed event is still on-going.
The last three mentioned have not yet happened – but will. Very soon.

Wow! It’s go, go, go! Being entertained and entertaining. Which, in normal times is just routine, but My Beloved has been debilitated by some freak twist of her back, which jerked the hip around, which jerked the knee around. The daughter who brought the grandson also has back, hip and IT band problems.

Darned good job I’m healthy!Someone has to keep the flag flying.

Oh, but despite the physical infirmaties, we all seem to have been having a great time. Daughter and grandson have been helping out with many of the gardening chores, such as planting bedding plants and trimming hedges. Our guests from Atlanta felled trees, trimmed them and cut some up for firewood, thereby allowing us a better view of the bay and the islands. And also fixed a troublesome pond pump and electrical connection with the house. We thought. But now it seems we may have a leak in the liner, for the sum of the water circulating and evaporating is greater than the sum of the water entering through a float valve. Hmm!

But, of course, there is always dining with family and friends. Just a week or so ago, we dined with two other couples at the house of one of them and enjoyed a fine meal, but, more importantly, we enjoyed each other’s company and socialising.

And a couple of days ago, the friends from Atlanta, our daughter and grandson, My Beloved and I took two cars to the Rope Loft restaurant in Chester – three boys in one and three girls in the other –  and spent a lovely evening on the deck. And since I am frequently told by some of my readers that you all enjoy reading about our dining adventures, here’s what happened at the Rope Loft.

Six of us descended on the restaurant just after 5pm on a Friday afternoon when the harbour was filled with boats and the streets laden with cars. However, one of our number jumped out and enquired whether there was a waiting time for a table and quickly returned with the thumbs up. They could accommodate us immediately.


We were seated on the top deck with a perfect view of the harbour and able to watch the Tancook Ferry come in and out. Our server, Heather, was fun all evening and I’m sure one of our number (one of the four from Atlanta and we will call him our host, for he insisted on paying the bill at the end of the evening) gave her a good tip at the end of a lovely 2-hour meal. It was two hours because we enjoyed eating and drinking slowly and Heather never made us feel at all rushed. BTW there were a few tables available, anyway!!

We started with drinks, one spicy Virgin Mary for a grandson and one similar one for his grandfather, since he was one of the drivers of the two cars. As it turned out, our host had recently experienced our famous Keith’s IPA and he had fallen in love with it, so he started with one of those. His lovely wife and our daughter and mother of our grandson both had double vodkas with juice of a lime and lots of ice; a concoction daughter has been using of late.  My Beloved had a Bulwark Cider, which is on tap. We also ordered a litre of the Nova Scotia Jost’s red wine for four of us to share.
Oh…………and subsequently, another half-litre.
And I started on the litre. You can’t let red wine sit too long or the fruit flies will drink it all. That’s my story and I’ll stick with it.


We also ordered three orders of garlic cheese toast, which, when they came, were very quickly devoured as they were so scrumptious. (The pic is of one order.)

 

 

As main courses, our host ordered a dozen raw oysters, but three of those somehow fell into my daughter’s plate and another three into mine. To make up for his losses, he he also ordered the Friday special 6-oz tenderloin. While he and we all said the oysters were small, but very tasty, I did not here any particular comment about his tenderloin, so I suppose it passed the test.


Our grandson had an appetiser of smoked salmon pate comprising smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers and shallots all freshly blended on slices of fresh baguette. As a main, he had a burger stuffed with onion, tomato, bacon and Cheddar cheese with fries (he asked for no lettuce – he’s no vegan), which he avariciously inhaled, although grandmother said he had to eat it all or there would be no dessert. Which he did.

His mother had the peel and eat shrimp  – declared by her to be ‘fantastic’; the flavour and blend of the garlicky and spicy sweet roasted red pepper sauce were outstanding.


Our host’s wife had the fish cakes, which she found bland, but after adding Tabasco, she quite enjoyed them. Homemade baked beans came with them but she donated them to her spouse.

My Beloved had the 1-lb bowl of mussels – an eternal and world-wide favourite of hers, having eaten them in New Zealand, Chile, and various countries in Europe –  and, although on the small side, she said they were very good, but the excellent broth, which had a touch of lemon and garlic in white wine, was delicious.
Of course, white wine falls into the eternal and world-wide favourite category, too.
Along with red wine.

My choice for main course was the fried clams and chips. These were not on the menu but Heather told us they were available. I had been seeking a menu with these for a month or more. However, I found the batter was heavy on the clams; but the accompanying creamy garlic dipping sauce made they  very palatable. The chips were crisp and some of the best I have tasted. I am sure they double-fried them.

Our grandson had earned his dessert, so he chose the coconut cream pie. Apparently, after we all had tasted and agreed with his estimation that it was supremely tasty, he was was not left with much of it; so another had to be ordered, so we could all have another taste and leave two-thirds of it for him.

 

All-in-all, a thoroughly fine summer evening under the evening sun with a delightful setting and atmosphere on the wharf where casual or sailing garb is de rigueur. How enjoyable it is to have food and drink with one’s family and friends. What pleasures we can have in simple meals with those we love!

Posted in humor, humour

Downsizing

Are you in the process of downsizing?

Have you already downsized?

If you answered ‘yes’ to either of those questions, then you know what My Beloved and I face. Even though we have no definite plans nor date nor where we will be going, we still should be preparing – if only to save our progeny from having to clear out the house were we both to depart this earth suddenly.

On second thoughts, they would do a much superior cleaning out than I anticipate I will be allowed to achieve. (Do we have a hoarder in the house?)

As of yesterday, I now know what perils and surprises await me. We were looking for some Double AA batteries, which have always been stored in the kitchen in the drawer with a zebra as a handle. However, when we looked in it, we had to rummage through all sorts of  things: wrapping paper, paper bags, scissors, church envelopes, old warranties on kitchen appliances, some of which we haven’t had in this house and dating from when we lived in Winnipeg prior to 1974, sales rebate certificates, dog vaccination certificates and licenses, along with many other items, some of which had deteriorated so badly they collapsed as we took hold of them, and, yes, batteries of all sorts, but no Double AAs. There were Triple AAAs, a D, a C and a couple of those funny circular ones, 2025s.

Well, I did need one of those 2025s for the key to one of our cars, but it didn’t work. Why not? Was it dead? No. On comparing it with that in My Beloved’s key for the same car, it should have been a 2035, not 2025. Who’d-a-known-it?

The drawer was so full that we could not open it fully until we had removed some of the pieces of whatevers. And then, after removing what we thought was everything, we were still unable to remove the drawer to clean it until we had successfully removed a plastic bag, which had been forced over the back of the drawer.

One of the faded and distraught warranties was for a toaster oven, an item which, we seem to remember, we donated to our son, a poor law student – and he’s been a lawyer for something over twenty years now. I think he thought it was a microwave!

Another of the warranties was for a vacuum cleaner purchased from Simpsons-Sears. You Canadian oldies may recall that the Hudson’s Bay Company bought the Simpsons part of the company from Sears and that was in 1978. No, we do not still have the vacuum cleaner.

In the photo above, can be seen a dog vaccination certificate from 1988 for Bear. We haven’t had a dog in years – unfortunately, because we love them – because we have been travelling too much and it would be irresponsible to have a dog. Until we move into the downsized apartment, at least. Also in the photo is an “No Expiry Date” for Purina dog food and a pile of some of the contents of the drawer; I wonder if we gave it to a friend who has a dog, whether it could be redeemed.

When I think of all the drawers in the house and then all the boxes and trunks in the basement and the boxes up in our bedroom loft, which came with us in a move from Montreal in 1986, I have to ask myself, how will we ever rid ourselves of these wonderful and prized, but useless, possessions?

There is one bright side to this post: we have one very neat drawer  with a zebra handle in the kitchen.

 

Posted in humor, humour

Father’s Day?

So today is Father’s Day. 18th June 2017.

Big deal!

Or so the media and the big-box stores would have you believe. 
As for me, I don't consider it a BIG DEAL. I have always told 
our five children that fathers don't matter as much as mothers.
After all, who brought you into the world? Not father.
Who hugged and bonded with you first? Not father.
Who fed you first? Not father.
To whom did you run when hurt first? Likely not father.

So, despite - so some say - someone called Sonora Smart Dodd,
an American born in 1882, raised after the death of her mother by her 
father, started a Father's Day in 1910, we fathers pale in significance to 
mothers. 

Of our five children, some seem to have listened to their Father's
preaching: the middle, trying to make herself the Unfavourite, one 
texted me early this morning; the second, trying to make herself the 
Favourite emailed a card with the heading UNFather's Day; and I haven't 
heard from the other three. I am certain I will not hear from the 
eldest until tomorrow.

Nevertheless, My Beloved is making a special effort to assuage me of
self-pity by cooking me her delicious and my favourite barbecued back 
ribs, along with hash brown potatoes and peas, followed by rhubarb crumble.
Of course, there will be plenty of red wine for me to drown my sorrows in. 
And I just might have a brandy to top me off before retiring to bed 
in a state of MDD (Major Depressive Disorder).

But when tomorrow comes, I will rejoice in the knowledge that I may be the 
only father in the world who is happy he was was not celebrated by his 
progeny (save one trying hard to be the Favourite and another trying 
hard to be the Unfavourite) and is happy that three listened to their 
father. 

And next Mother's Day, we will truly celebrate their mother, My Beloved, 
the truly important one of the family.

 

Posted in humor, humour

Why don’t I post more frequently?

I have ideas. I enjoy writing. I can write.
So, why don’t I write more frequently?

They say you must write about things you know. And that makes sense. So what do I know?

I know our business of Risk Management Consulting – but no ordinary, sensible lay person wants to read about that.
I know the English language.
I know German, French and some Spanish. And a smattering of Latin.
I know the foods My Beloved and I cook or eat dining out.
I know quite a lot about music, particularly classical and church.
There may be one or two other subjects about which I have good knowledge, but I can’t think of one of them at the moment.

I could write post after post on one or other of those subjects, so why don’t I?

Because, when I sit down at the computer, I get involved in something else, such as, first and foremost, reading, answering, even deleting some without reading, many of the fifty or so emails I receive every day. After all that energy has been expended, I need a coffee, so I get up and switch on the Keurig, only to find it needs more water. So, after filling it, waiting for it to get hot enough, selecting which sort of coffee I want, only then do I return to the computer and search for some food recipe I have seen on a food TV channel. Or maybe look at the weather forecast. Or look up on Google maps a town I had heard about on the news.

By then, I realise it’s time for lunch. And after lunch, I must take my nap. My Beloved likes to watch one of the food channels, which she does. But, oh no, when I awake from my nap, she is into her nap and I dare not push the footrest on the La-Z-Boy down for fear of waking her. Perfect husband I am.

It is now mid-afternoon and we have to think about either getting dinner (usually) or getting ready to go out to dinner. But, first, I must check to see if there are any more emails to read, answer or delete. And, of course, there are, so that takes more time.

By this time, somewhere in the world, and certainly in our part, the sun has gone over the yardarm, so I pour our drinks. White for her; red for me. Unless it’s a hot summer day, when it is likely a Spritzer for her; a Gin and Tonic for me.

And now it depends on who is cooking. Usually, My Beloved cooks; if we are barbecuing, it is I who cooks. Sometimes we sous chef for one another, but not generally. We like to do our own thing. But the other’s duties are to set the table and clear the dishes away after the meal. Seems to work in our house.

After dinner, we find we return to our respective La-Z-Boys to watch – or take another nap – some idiotic program on TV. What else has there been to watch over the past two years except the well-documented truly idiotic exhibition of how Americans elect their President? Well, recently, that has been (almost) usurped by the equally American sport of baseball and whether a team which hasn’t won the World Series since 1908 and a team which hasn’t won the World Series since 1948, is going to win. The one which hadn’t won since 1908 won. And everyone, it seems, was happy. Even the other team.

But, did I say World Series? The only place baseball is played is in America with some fringe players in Japan. Oh, some say that is the world. Certainly one of the candidates for Presidential election this year believes so.

Soon it becomes ten o’clock. We watch the CBC National, or part of it, and then retire to bed.

That’s why I don’t post more frequently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in humor, humour

Air conditioning is the cause of divorces

In most homes in Nova Scotia,there is no air conditioning. After all, how many days in the year does it get above freezing?

But they have heaters, maybe forced air, which could be fueled by oil, gas or electricity. Or, maybe the home may be heated by electric baseboard heaters.. And a few unfortunate homes may have only wood fired stoves.

But few indeed would have air conditioning. Anyway hot air rises and cold air sinks, so our floor vents and baseboard heaters would have to work mighty hard to get cold air up to the ceiling. Oh, if you are rich enough, you would have air conditioning, but only for status. No real Nova Scotian would admit to wanting air conditioning for the two days in the year when the temperature rises above “pleasantly bearable”.

But things are different in Palm Springs, California, where we spend our winters to get away from the ceaseless cold and damp. Yes, here the outlet for the air conditioning is in the ceiling for the reasons I said above: cold air sinks.

But My Beloved does not like air conditioning, so we wrestle at night in the bed – no, we are not experimenting 50 Shades of – but what to do with the duvet. I throw it off: she pulls it back. We get down to some nights when even she throws the duvet off, but then we are left with a sheet and a blanket. I throw the blanket off: she pulls it up around her neck. I throw the sheet off: she complains I’ve left her shoulder out in the cold. Those are the nights when My Beloved wants the doors to the patio to be open, leaving just the screen doors closed to stop those marauding insects and creepy crawlies and to let in the desert night air. Which, I admit, is frequently cool.

But for the past February and March, the day temperature has been high twenties and now in the upper thirties – Celsius. Or, in other terms, approaching triple digit, as the meteorologists here say, Fs. And that’s when the desert nights stay much warmer, I would love to have the air con on, but…. Yes, you know, don’t you? If we have the air con on, then the doors must be closed and My Beloved ends up with a stuffed up nose: if we leave the air con off, then I am throwing the remaining sheet off.

If we were not so compatible and so much in love, we would be looking for a divorce lawyer. I would venture to say that the air con manufacturers are in the marriage business selling recycled wedding gowns. Some university should award a huge grant for some professor to write a paper and a study on the marital stress caused by air conditioning in the USA and resulting divorce rate. Isn’t that what many of these university studies are? Professors getting grants to study common sense issues and proving something the communi hominum. or we average Joes, believed all along. We wouldn’t need that study in Nova Scotia for aforementioned reasons that nobody has air conditioning.

Quod erat demonstratum, the divorce rate in Nova Scotia is mightily lower than that in the USA and air con is the reason for the higher divorce rate in the USA..