August 30, 2011

Welcome to 31

Yesterday was my 31st birthday. Thirty-one feels much like thirty. Funny thing.

After supper at Boston Pizza (my order: crispy chicken pecan salad, without the pecans) with my mom, dad, stepmom and awesome couple-friends, we came back to the house for cake. My birthday cake was a strawberry shortcake cake made by a local supermarket bakery, SO good!

The day was hot and sunny and wonderful. For a midday adventure, HOTGI and I took a trip over to the curling rink where he is a member (honestly, I can't believe we were on the ice in August!!) and spent a little while throwing rocks. Everything he threw, I tried to copycat. I think I did okay and it felt great to have my feet on the ice. Even better was leaving the rink in shorts and sandals!

I want to offer great big thank-yous to all the wonderful people who sent me messages today wishing me well on my birthday. It means a great deal to read the kind words of people who care. I felt like a very special Beth.

HOTGI and I are still on vacation and the weather forecast couldn't be nicer so I look forward to logging some relaxation time in the backyard!


August 28, 2011

Reckless Relaxation

With the threat of Hurricane Irene on the horizon, we debated our decision to go camping for the weekend. We concluded that the predicted path of the hurricane (now finally blowing through our part of the province as a tropical storm) wasn't going to bother our plans so Friday we packed up and headed to the beautiful Annapolis Valley for our camping trip. My dad and stepmom came with us so they could experience what we do every weekend in the summer.

Friday night came around and there were no other campers in the campground. As in... no.other.people. It was so strange! There were a few seasonal campers up in their designated section, but the sites that you can rent by the night were totally vacant! Saturday night rolled around and it was the same story!! It seems that the hurricane forecast kept everyone else at home! As bizarre as it was, it was perfect!

Our little corner of the countryside for the weekend

A view of the river that meanders around the campground (so nice for wading at the beach-ey spot!)

By the end of the weekend, in addition to many empty cans of beer and vodka coolers, there were approximately 7 empty bottles of this lovely wine... oh my!

There were some cut-throat games of washer toss and the freshly painted washers left some crazy marks on the boxes!

My dad and stepmom took a drive through the town near the camprgound and came across a farm stand selling all sorts of wonderful fresh produce. They got some green & yellow beans for our supper that night and a huge bag of fresh peas! When I was a kid on summer road trips with my dad, we used to get a huge bag of  fresh peas and share them as we travelled. We made quick work of these fresh and delicious locally grown peas!

I can't say enough how much I needed a weekend like the one I just had. Peace, quiet, family... and some Schnoodle kisses

I don't know what the rest of my camping weekends this season will bring, but I am glad to have had the weekend we just had! Laughter, campfires, family, sunshine, water and no hurricane weather - it couldn't have been more perfect!


August 24, 2011

The Canadian Political Landscape is a Little Less Orange

On Monday August 22nd, cancer claimed the life of NDP party leader Jack Layton who passed away at the age of 61. It seems evident - at least among my generation - that this man did more than just lead a national political party. Jack Layton was an incredible and passionate man that inspired and motivated Canadians in some way, regardless of loyalties and party lines.

This touching image is by cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon:

And while I'm at it, please enjoy some lighthearted Jack Layton moments as offered by the comically creative folks over at This Hour Has 22 Minutes...

Rest in Peace Jack. There will never be another like you. Your charm, compassion, empathy and enthusiasm will be missed.

He is being honoured with a state funeral on Saturday August 27th in Toronto, Ontario.
To read the moving letter Jack Layton wrote to Canadians just before his passing, click here.


August 23, 2011

Some Summer Adventures (in photographic form)

I bet you thought I ran away. Joined the circus and whatnot. In actual fact, we've just been really busy. The only consistent computer time I've had recently has been at work and THAT has been so busy, by the time I get home at the end of the day, I don't even want to look at my laptop!

We've been camping almost every weekend this summer, with the exception of some kitchen renovation weekends and that ridiculous project has been dragging on for SO LONG! I am just sick of the contractor we hired and his unprofessional ways!! But I digress, I could bitch about him for days and never run out of bad things to say about him. Once the kitchen is finished (God willing) I will have a HUGE picture post with all the steps of the reno!

But that isn't why I'm posting and not why you're reading (you're still reading right?) so here's what I've been up to...

We went to the Nova Scotia Jeep Club Jamboree 2011 and had a BLAST! I drove our Jeep a lot on the 2nd day of the event and got to spend some quality time with  my favourite people:

My grandmother had her 85th birthday and a party was held in the hall of her church and friends and relatives came from all over to celebrate with her:

We tried out a new campground in the beautiful Annapolis Valley (during strawberry season) and met some wonderful people and had a lovely fire! I also put together a surprise for HOTGI and made strawberry shortcake with fresh berries and biscuits (his favourite) while we were camping! When we came home I made about 45 cups of strawberry freezer jam!

We spent a weekend camping at a racetrack, yes... a racetrack!! and had an incredible time! It was blisteringly hot and I took very few pictures, but watching my coworker races his car in the Legends Series was a highlight as well as watching NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose race in the IWK 250!

We following weekend, we went yard camping at my sister-in-law's place and got to spend some quality time with the nephew and the niece!

The next weekend was camping on our friends' property out in the country. They raising Muscovy ducks and there are currently about 80 birds, and the pooch was a bit overwhelmed! We had a GREAT bonfire and they set off fireworks!!

Then two of my childhood friends got married (I've known the groom since we were 5 and the bride since we were 12!) Congrats again guys, you had a beautiful wedding and I was blessed to be part of your day! The bride is a talented blogger as well as a teacher, so check out her blog here!

Off to camping again, this time to a wonderful campground, with OUTSTANDING weather and even better friends!! There was washer toss, happy playing pooches, swimming, and all-out Crazy Eights! Haha! I played in the pool with my new underwater camera and had tonnes of fun!

So, the summer isn't over yet, and there are more adventures to experience, a birthday to have, and pictures to take!

I promise to come back and share soon!!