Maple Season

It has been a long time since I got off my tuckus and wrote anything. Not that this will be a long one but I need to make the effort to try and get back at it.

One of my favorite things about the Farm is definitely maple season. It is not just the smells and the final product (although that is fantastic) it is something about being in that building with the evaporator going. It makes me “feels” like I was a kid again. Remembrances of my Grandfather giving me more maple to eat despite my Father’s wishes for me to slow down. Drinking sap from a big ladle out of the holding tanks. Swinging down from the steps on the lumber cross-piece by the back door. Drinking out of the big metal mug with the see through bottom.

All of them great memories and it makes me smile to see my kids enjoying the same ones.

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Christmas Traditions

Every family has its Christmas traditions. One of the most memorable ones for me is the fact that every year my Dad would make ice cream. Usually there was vanilla and strawberry but every once in awhile he would try maple walnut. It was always extremely hard to scoop but soooo tasty when put on some of Mom’s apple pie.

The past couple years I have decided I needed to continue that tradition and have started making my own ice cream for the Christmas holidays. Last year a made a kick ass ice cream thanks in large part due to the bags of Ghiradelli chocolate I snagged when I was last across the border in the USA. This year was not able to find any around Amherst so hopefully it will turn out alright.

I still have some heavy cream left so I should try and make another batch. Branch out into something a bit different. Maple-blueberry perhaps? Time to experiment.

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Christmas time in the country

Younger Brother and his wonderful wife are home. Dogs and kids are constantly pestering them. Christmas food and treats lay all over the house. Wine, beer and spirits to consume with friends and family. Good times. Happy holidays everyone!

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Christmas Concert

Attending the kid’s Christmas Concert. It is interesting because it is a perfect example of how much things change they also stay the same. Same gym. Same crowd of parents with cameras flashing. Kids squeaking out some notes on some band instruments and trying their young voices.

I remember being in this same gym and being nervous and looking out in the crowd for my parents.

Last Christmas concert for my son. Where has time gone. *sigh*

Glad we have video now. That at least has changed since I was up there.

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Thank you Mr. Generator!

After we moved into the new house two years ago we had a very bad winter for extended power outages. It was decided that before the next winter came (Winter 2009-2010) we would have a generator in place. Fortunately we never lost power last winter at all.

Fast forward to November 2010. No snow falling or on the ground just a little light rain. Despite this it seems most of southern Cumberland County is without power. Except me that is. Generator is finally getting used! A bit noisy sitting outside on the pad but extremely effective. Feeling much better about the investment now.

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A fun week

Haven’t taken the time to post anything this past week. Been a busy one but with some immensely fun elements.

Last Saturday hit the Wine Expo in Moncton with a bunch of friends from work. Despite never hanging around with them socially before everyone clicked and we ended up having a blast. Lot’s of great wine was consumed including one of my new inexpensive favorites KWV Cafe Culture Pinotage. Afterwards we headed to St. James Gate for a great, but very noisy, meal and some Malbec. I cannot remember the winery it came from because quite frankly I was getting a wee bit hazy by then.

Today was a different sort of fun. Those that know me know I love to golf but I do not get out enough every year to get much better at it. As a result I just do my best to get out here and there and hack away. Despite being moderately awful I absolutely love it. I mention this passion because it is November 13th here in Nova Scotia and I managed to get out golfing today with a good friend. It was sunny with no wind and around 13 Celsius. That is a crazy warm temperature for this late in the year but it made for a beautiful day on the course.

Saturday night is now here once again. Different this weekend than last to be sure. I am home alone with the kids while my wife is off dressed to the nine’s with a bunch of other tipsy women at some fundraiser. I guess it’s time for me to go dig Ronin out and watch it for the millionth time. Not too bad week at all.

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Here comes the snow again

Had the first snow flurries the other day. I am not sure why it is surprising that I am so jolted by the onset of snow this year. Cold and snow are really not all that unusual commodities to a Canuck like myself. For some odd reason I feel like complaining heavily about it this year. I wonder if it is related to Summer? I had a great Summer this year so maybe I am just being clingy and can’t let go.

Well, I wonder if that means Fall is my rebound relationship. If so I am now looking forward to some snow and a Winter that will treat me right. I need to forget the tramp who left me in September.

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Wine Expo

The good: The Wine Expo in Moncton is coming up and I have my tickets. Over 370 wines this year for the tasting.

The bad: My better half has other commitments in Halifax that weekend.

It will be a different experience without her there but I am hopeful it will be fun as I am attending along with a few people from work.

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Fall Colors

Falls colors here in Nova Scotia are later than normal this year but like always they are beautiful to behold. Took this picture this morning as I started down the lane on my way to work. Apologize for the bit of blurriness it was taken with my phone while leaning out the window.

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The simple things

It is funny how, through the course of life, you end of taking some very simple things for granted. Having grown up in the Maritimes I never thought much about being close to the water as I grew up. That was just part of my life. In the late 90’s when I moved out to Calgary I was overwhelmed by the proximity of the Rockies. They were always there on the edge of your vision whenever you turned your head westward. Taking a jaunt out to Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise was the first thing we did after we moved there. Over time though you do become a bit blase about them there. “Oh, yes! Those mountains! I almost forgot! Yes, they are nice aren’t they.”

The other thing that began to happen when I moved to Calgary is that I started missing the ocean. Being able to jaunt off and see the coastline and smell the salt in the air. There was a certain comfort in it probably in the same way that rolling into Mom’s kitchen and smelling roast beef and potatoes gives me a warm sense of home.

Over the course of time I did eventually move home and I did resolve to appreciate the ocean more and try not to fall into that trap of taking it for granted again. Tonight was one of those times where I made good use of that proximity and appreciated it to the fullest.  There I was walking on the beach with the dog. Throwing his toy out into the waves for him to bring back. Laughing at his silly antics. Walking on the sand as the sun goes down and the moon comes up in the sky behind me. The scenery of the cliffs of Partridge Island coupled with a stiff salty breeze coming in off the water was a great end to a Fall day. It is good to be home and near the ocean.

But I miss the mountains.

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