SPRING BREAK

SPRING BREAK

Well!  If the kids can have their spring break than so can we…even if it was just an over-nighter.  An offer to join friends at a cabin right on the ocean’s edge was far too good to decline. There’s still the dreaded virus among us but our friends are part of our consistent ten-person bubble and we felt good supporting a local sea-side resort.

Seaside Paradise 2021

We have so many treasures to explore  near by and this one was no exception.  Last time we had visitors from away, what now seems like a life-time ago, we drove here for a bite, a sip of wine and a tour of a local sculpture garden.  Even on the edge of winter it was spectacular.

Sculpture Garden 2019

We lounged in the ‘bunny’ chairs and soaked up the warm sunshine for a brief while  then walked the expanse of white sandy beach.

#greatday 2019

This time we stayed in a seaside cottage and at night I opened the bedroom window and the soothing sounds of waves lulled us to sleep.

Room with a View 2021

And of course the bunnies were ever present following us and begging for treats.

Easter Bunny 2021

A warm  afternoon sunset and chilled bubbly on the balcony of our cabin with our friends was the perfect way to welcome spring.

Cheers 2021

Thanks for stopping by. We have our first camping expedition coming in a few weeks so check back with us to see how we transition from time away on the water to time away by the water.  How hard could it be?

Peace and love….

SPRINGING FORWARD

SPRINGING FORWARD

“The earth has music for those who listen”

March is here. One of my favourite months. When winter is less wintery.  When things planted last year begin to poke boldly through the still cold ground. If they can be so optimistic then for sure so can I.  After all, the ground hog said it would be an early spring back in February. There will no doubt be more white stuff dropped on us I’m sure, although this has been a very mild couple of months, even by east coast standards.

Brave Souls

It’s been a year now since the pandemic entered our lives and ensuing restrictions descended on us….a year like no other.  I remember with clarity that time last March when celebrating my son’s birthday, friend’s invited to make it more festive, those comfortable enough with human contact came. Cake with lit candles. Traditional wish made.  Candles blown. It was at the very moment that I realized that something as common place and customary as a puff of breath over cake shared with others to extinguish a candle would forever change.

That Moment

It’s been a year to reflect.  A year to decide who and what and where we wanted to be. In essence, a year to return to factory default settings.  When you are two retired folks living in a seaside country village, reset is minimal.  We focused on things we love…F, his plants, his terrain, his construction projects….me, who spends a good deal of time in the kitchen, I focused on improving my culinary interests and planning for and designing future renovation projects.

We keep in touch with our small group of friends, locally known as the Hubbards Hooligans, because with exception of one short period of restricted groupings we have been allowed gatherings of ten consistent friends….and one family bubble.

RED II

So now we are springing forward to our next phase of retired life.  RED II landed in Canada just before Christmas and has rested safely at our local RV dealer for the past three months.  We visited once to gather the keys, secure an appointment to install the ‘extras’ to make us and her road-worthy….and to have a peak at her.  Even though she is a few inches shorter than our dear RED (sailboat), she looks so big by comparison.  Twenty-three feet of indoor awesomeness that we can actually stand upright in with not just one but two sinks with running water, a real porcelain flushing toilet and an actual refrigerator. I’m in land-based heaven.

I know I will miss sailing…and RED… but that feeling of loss will fade with time. We continue to get updates from RED’s new owners who were consummate camping folks before buying our water baby last year (they are our mirror image). They have been a great resource for what to do in the camping world…and what not to do.  I can’t imagine it being too much different from being on the water.  Most of my galley gear will come aboard our land trawler and we’ve been collecting bits and pieces to make our little home on wheels more ‘homey’.  Being ‘on the way’ or in a storm on the water will be similar to land travel, making sure things are secure.  We have friends who are a few steps ahead of us who warned to take care to stow the ‘pretty things’ before heading out.  She said when they reached their destination it looked like a cyclone had descended inside her home on wheels. Message received!

Crash Course

When we went to bring our baby home last week, the getting-familiar-course was rather intense but our technician John was very patient giving us a thorough run through both inside and out.

Supervisor Pig

Major Pig (ret) has gone from First Mate to Supervisor and he continues to perform his duties in his usual dependable quiet watchful manner.

Road Ready

RED II looks quite fine coupled with our tow beast but this will be our first road venture with 4000+ pounds of dry weight and it’s a little unnerving although my Captain remains confident. Total length is actually a touch shorter than RED on her trailer but RED II runs wider by about two feet.

Coming Home

Parking our baby at home base seemed a lot easier than parking a sailboat and the mast stepping and un-stepping  process (AKA coupling and uncoupling) took no more that 30 minutes from parking to unhooking to levelling to where’s the wine.  This is the type of ease of operation I was hoping for. I can see us doing this for many years to come.

Happy Couple

So here we are, very excited, very happy and we can’t wait for our first real adventure.  We have some ideas of where we would like to go…after a bit of nesting at RED by the Sea while waiting for warmer weather of course…but there is a life time of wonderfulness to experience not too far from our front door while we wait for this virus thing to be gone.  Remember, in Nova Scotia, we are never more than sixty kilometres from the ocean no matter where we go.

The Ovens (photo cred Tourism Nova Scotia)

Because prime sites book up quickly, I secured three days at a nearby campsite called the Ovens Natural Park (https://www.ovenspark.com) a mere hour drive down the coast from us to begin the season with a roar. The site boasts not only of coastal hiking trails, of natural sea caves to explore, of chances to pan for gold on the beach but the best will be the spectacular view overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and hearing the sounds of the waves as we drift off to sleep.

Camping with a View (photo cred Tourism Nova Scotia)

Thanks, as always, for stopping by.  We love it when you do.  Stay well and please drop by soon to catch up and see what’s happening in our little corner of the world.

Peace and love

The DEPTH of WINTER

The DEPTH of WINTER

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”~ Albert Camus

 

I got to thinking that I should post pictures of snow for you, at the same time bring you all up to date.  We brag to friends and family from away, especially those who are now up to more than their ankles in snow and frigid temperatures, that the heavy part of winter usually passes us by. But in truth we do get the occasional snow fall. That  eight to nine inches that descended the other day wasn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things but we treasure these days knowing that they won’t last. They feel cozy and insulating.  I pulled out my book du jour, lit a fire, donned my woollen socks and sweater and cocooned for a few hours.  That container of veggie chilli and whole wheat rolls that I made last month and stashed away in the basement freezer made the perfect supper.

Duck Pond is frozen over now and in the morning the ever-growing flock arrives to grab whatever seeds fall from the bird feeders or what morsels of plant life remain poking through the blanket of white.

Duck Sanctuary

We have noticed some pairing off lately and now have our favourite couple-of- the-year. A male and female we call André and Béatrice, both mallards of pure looking lines. He is never far from her side, makes a point of discouraging suiters and quite often we see him guarding her while she forages for food.  As they aren’t a part of our ‘regulars’ they are more cautious, so it’s been difficult to capture a decent picture of just them but we have hopes that in spring they will bless us with a new crop of ducklings.

Béatrice et André

Every so often I venture outside to our cold frame garden to harvest some greens.  It wasn’t the huge success I was hoping for but we’ll make modifications another year experimenting with different crops and the structure gives us additional space when spring comes to get seedlings going.

Cold Frame Greens

Francois has had a lot of success with the lettuce seeds I planted indoors.  With super grow lights and heating mats in the basement for his ‘special’ plants,  my greens have flourished. Until my cold-framing improves I’ll have to be thankful for clippings of those and from my kitchen jar sprouting.

Kitchen Sprouts

We left our Christmas tree up on our outside deck because it acts as a shelter for the small birds, most welcome I’m sure during the last storm with high winds and horizontal snow fall.

Bird Sanctuary

Our little RED by the Sea has become picture perfect with this new layer of white stuff. We know if won’t last because rain and warmer temperatures are forecast for tomorrow but from time to time we can enjoy these little gifts without it dragging us down, aching for spring thaw.

Our Sanctuary

To celebrate my son-in-law’s birthday, my daughter booked us into a local hotel, a kind of staycation for us, a treat for the wildlings and an overnight reprieve for the sleep deprived parents.  During the pandemic the hotel even made accommodation for pool usage. Water time booked for an hour with limited numbers, a warm shower, then by the time we were back to the room, dinner was dispatched and left touch-less at our room door thanks to the Skip the Dishes delivery service. It was all very magical until Wildling #1 decided to call 911 unbeknownst to us.  I’m not sure whether the ensuing police visit and lecture from the uniformed officer was a reward or deterrent but it did add a touch of spice to the day.

Pizza Picnic

A mighty ‘noreaster’ blew through the other day but we were ready for her.  Several months ago we had our little home by the sea wired to accommodate a permanent generator.  It was all a part of F’s ‘emergency preparedness’ plan….because that’s what he does so well. Prepares for the worst. Hopes for the best.  So since then we’ve been ‘hoping’ for the ‘best’ possible storm. We’re like that. (loving our storms by the sea).  And Momma Nature didn’t disappoint. By dawn one morning we found ourselves in the dark and a little chilly…but this time, with a  flick of a panel switch…voilà!…we had coffee and warmth. And a big plus…and probably right up there with the warmth and coffee or at least a very close third place – we can flush the toilet, guilt free. Tee hee!!  It’s the simple things you know. No beer or storm chips in the pantry but  a nice bottle of wine will do when cocktail hour rolls around.

Rockin’ the Storm in Atlantic Canada

All caught up now, we leave you to enjoy Ground Hog Day. That special anniversary we have been celebrating happily for twenty five years now.  Wow! A quarter of a century! It has been that kind of life together that we haven’t minded repeating over and over again.

Bed Picnic Deluxe