Saturday, May 29, 2010

Birthday Celebrations

The childhood memory that I remember most is the birthday parties that my Mom would give me. Here is the table that Mom set for my friends for my 6th birthday. My Mom made the house cake and there were sandwiches, purity syrup (a Newfoundland tradition), cupcakes with candles, lady finger cookies with my friend's name written in icing, jello squares and many more delicious home-made treats.

Some of my friends that were invited to my party. I guess I must have taken the photo as I am no where to be seen. (I was fortunate this past winter to meet up with one of these friends after 45 years - that was very special for me.)

I was born in 1955, turned 55 yesterday (28 May) and I still like to celebrate my birthday with some kind of party. Paul helped make my birthday a very pleasant day.

After I opened my birthday cards from family and friends, Paul made coffee and we headed out on our back deck to enjoy a peaceful morning. We sat on the lower deck listening to the songs of the birds (finches, red-wing black birds, Northern Flicker, sparrows) while at our feeders and watching the lobster fishing boats on the bay.

This year, after much thought, I decided to treat myself to a very special birthday present, a Columbian emerald and diamond bracelet. My family gave me my Columbian emerald and diamond ring as a retirement present two years ago and I have always wanted an emerald bracelet. The emerald stone is my birthstone and I also retired in May so this jewellery has a special sentiment for me. I have now completed my jewellery collection and made a promise to myself that I will not purchase anything further. I still love to look at all the shiny items in jewellery store windows though!

After enjoying a very peaceful morning on the deck, Paul and I set off for a late breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants. The server, knowing it was my birthday, gave me a complimentary slice of chocolate cake with a sparkler. I must admit it was the first time that I have had eggs and chocolate cake at the same meal. Paul was only too happy to help me eat the cake, especially the icing.

Our plan for the afternoon was to take a walk on Janeville Beach and visit the flower garden at Carey's Chalet, which is what I did last year on my birthday. Johnnie and Tomi Carey are the owners of the Chalets on the beach. Tomi is the most interesting lady, and is an artist, as well as a gardener. I feel very lucky to have met her and to get to share her garden.

Tomi was very kind to share many of her wonderful plants with me this year. What a nice birthday present.

We strolled through her garden and Tomi kept digging up plants for me. I will never remember all the names but I will plant them in my small garden and wait for them to grow. It will be like a surprise garden as I have no idea which plants I put where. My little garden is bursting at the seams at the moment, so I will definitely have to make new larger gardens next year.

I hope to make another visit to Tomi's garden soon, as there were a lot of blooms ready to open. I hope I don't use up my welcome....

So while I was exploring in the garden, Paul went along to the beach for a stroll. What a wonderful way to spend the afternoon!

We rushed home to drop off my plants and then went for drinks and dinner with family and friends at another favourite restaurant. It was a very pleasant evening and yes, there was more cake...

In the seven years that I have known Paul, he has always made my birthday a special day for me. Thank you Cutie.

I hope to share many more birthdays with Paul and my friends.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Finished Deck

Our back deck is now finished. I have yet to use it though, as I was away all weekend and it is raining today.

On Friday night Paul had a barbecue with his brother and yesterday he enjoyed reading his book while sitting in his rocking chair, on the lower level.

Side views and storage area under the deck.

Hopefully the sun will shine tomorrow so I can use my new clothesline. I also have new clothes pins that my friend Giselle gave me for Christmas.
The pins were bought at Lee Valley and are suppose to have a heavy spring so they won't break with the wind.

I'm looking forward to my morning coffee out there soon.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Our New Deck is Almost Finished

This was the start of our new back deck a couple of weeks ago.

This was our almost finished deck this evening. The privacy walls and railings are finished and my clothes line will be completed on Monday.

Sadly, I did discover this evening that we are now unable to see our bird feeder from the kitchen door window.

We also decided to have a lower level to our deck. The stair railing is still to be installed, as well as enclosing under the main deck, which will be used as more storage for garden equipment, etc.

Of course some color is still needed. I am thinking pots of red and white geraniums would be nice. I also have thoughts for a nearby herb garden next year.

Paul and I are looking forward to our morning coffee on our finished deck, next week.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

An Afternoon on the Beach

Paul and I took some time off from our chores last week and treated ourselves to a nice long stroll on the beach, treasure hunting, and treasures we did find. I was only on the beach about five minutes when I discovered a piece of RED sea glass. I was so excited that I did a little happy dance! Those who beach comb understand my excitement of finding the more rare colours, like red. I also found a piece of yellow and two blue further down the beach.

Paul found seven pieces of blue during his stroll on the beach.

It was also amazing to see how much drift wood had washed up on the beach over the winter. I tried to move some of the larger pieces looking for sea glass but I had no luck. The pieces were way too large and heavy. As we were walking back the beach, a man was coming with his chainsaw to cut up the wood so it would wash back out and clean up the beach.

My thought was, what a great bonfire we could make with all this wood.

It's a simple life, and a great life.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Finally, a New Back Deck

Our deck on the back of our house was very small and crowded with more than two people and a barbecue occupying it, so we decided to have a new one built.

This morning was a little windy but sunny so Paul and I decided to have our morning coffee on our deck for the last time, as the guys were to arrive in the afternoon to dismantle it.

Paul is quite excited about having the new larger deck and barbecue area, and, so am I. But to be honest, I am more excited about my new clothes line and having the current pole, which obstructs our view of the ocean, moved further left in the yard. I just hope that the birds in our trees are cautious when I have my laundry out!

For now we will have to enjoy the view of the Bay of Chaleur through our kitchen door, but it won't be long before we are back having our morning coffee on our deck - with privacy walls, too.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year... lobster season in New Brunswick.

The spring lobster fishing season began one week earlier (26 April rather than 1 May) this year in northern New Brunswick, thanks to mild weather.

The fishing boats were lined along the Stonehaven wharf and the smell of lobster was in the air, as the fishermen had just returned from hauling their traps.

This local fisherman was loading his lobster traps onto his fishing boat.

The new lobster traps are now a green metal design and not as interesting as the older style, which were these wooden ones. But I am sure the metal ones are more durable in the ocean.

This boat was out checking traps. You can see the buoys on the water. And here is...

..what they were catching - cooked and on our table.

Our first meal of lobster for the season is always a treat. Our traditional meal consists of: lobster(s) of course, potato salad, bread or bread rolls and a glass or two of our favourite wine. If our tummies are not too full, we may have a dessert, but rarely does that happen.

We never set the table with a tablecloth or fancy placemats, as eating lobster can be very messy. We often wear a plastic bid (on the chair backs) to try and keep our shirts clean. While cracking off the legs and claws, I often spray Paul with the juice from my lobster. It's all great fun.

If you were wondering what the large empty bowl is doing in the middle of the table, it is our lobster graveyard!

What a meal it was.......