Follow this blog by Email

Saturday, November 30, 2013

And We Did It Again

We were barely done with the Thanksgiving Dinner at Jim and Linda when the phone was ringing and yet another neighbour invited us to THANKSGIVING DINNER for the next day. Are we ever gonna cook again in our own kitchen?

Well – tonight we went over to Jim and Fran’s place which is in Wilson’s Beach (north side of Campobello) where we also met their friend Niki. They were in full swing in the kitchen department preparing dinner.

DSC_0416


They have a lovely new house right on the water overlooking the passage where the big tankers and freighters are getting into the Passamaquoddy Bay. While we were having our meal we saw the lights of a big tanker gliding by, but it was too dark to see the ship itself.

DSC_0409 DSC_0411

Jim and Fran are having a HUGE TV and I mean gigantic. At around 6:30p Jim jumped in his chair and said “Oh the fire is starting”, and he switched on that TV. And we were looking at a burning fire. From time to time a hand would appear and put in a new log. The only thing still missing was that the fire did not contribute to heating the room. But I kinda tried to warm my hands there as the outside temperature was creeping down to under 20F (-7C)

DSC_0419 DSC_0413

Again we enjoyed an outstanding dinner and a great conversation around the table.
Jim and Fran are the owners of the Whale Watch Motel which is one of the better places to stay on the island. They have just closed up the motel and are now looking forward to a peaceful winter season, They have moved up from Florida and are not missing their State a bit.

After cutting a big load of firewood this morning I went about and installed our Christmas Lights on the house. We bought all those lights years ago at a church sale. Finally we can use them. It sure gives the house a festive look.

Thanks for taking your break here!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

It Might Be Cold But We Are Not Starving

Temps have been falling to –5C and the wind is now howling from the west. It’s American Thanksgiving and we are thinking of our friends in the desert of southern California. It feels unreal not to be there with them. But luckily we’ve got very good friends here as well. Jim and Linda came over from their home in Maine to spend a week in their Campobello Home. When they realized we were still here they invited us to their Thanksgiving Dinner. But I am getting ahead of meg self here. Lets start with the morning which wasn’t quite as cold as it is now.

I had been up at the Campobello Nursing Home to show them my van. They had called and asked whether I could provide a tour for the seniors – in December to see the Christmas lights at private homes on the island. That thought had actually been with me for quite a while. I’m glad they called to ask.
DSC_0341 DSC_0340
When I got back I stopped at the Post office where I ran into our friend and neighbour William, who had been dropped off there by his wife. He was wanting to go to the grocer store but had no money. What was that all about? So I took him with me – home to get money. I had the idea of going to Liberty Point to see the surf of yesterday’s storm and Bea wanted to come along. All three of us ended up going through the Roosevelt Park. Like always, it was quite the show out there on the water.
DSC_0304 DSC_0295
On our way back we drove up to the village mart to get a few items. They had a 10lb bag of apples on sale. And it was really good looking fruit.
 
DSC_0285
Now I also drove William home.
DSC_0314 
It was time for lunch when I got home again, but Bea warned me not to eat anything as we were supposed to go to Jim and Linda for Thanksgiving Dinner.
DSC_0312
DSC_0324
Our afternoon started with a table full of snacks and a cup of delicious squash soup.
 
DSC_0345
The turkey was still in the oven and to our big surprise it was “decorated” with small sausages, baked crisp and delicious.
Linda is a phenomenal chef and had been working on this for a long time. She had baked 3 desserts, a pecan pie, a pumpkin pie, and a most delicious cheese cake.
Man, did we eat…. and both our hosts are full of stories from their incredible past. Once when they were in their twenties they had spent 2 years working in South Africa. They learned to speak Afrikaans and were shocked of the Apartheid System the country had at the time.
DSC_0350 DSC_0348
DSC_0377 DSC_0360 DSC_0376 DSC_0380
Linda and Jim have 9 cats which they always bring along to the island. I had the pleasure of getting to know a few of them. Real friendly little kitties, i must say.
DSC_0359 DSC_0353
It is said that cats have 9 lives, but Linda and Jim have 9 cats

So time was flying by, the sun dipped behind the horizon on the American side, and it got dark quickly.  Because of the cats, we had left Molly at home. After 4 hrs. away it was now time to go. Good thing we had come with our car, I wouldn’t have survived the walk home, even though it is barely a kilometer. The cold wind coming right off the water was piercing through our clothes.

It was another full day for us, and that’s how we like it best.

Hope you all had a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

As Predicted – We Have A Raging Storm

The Wind was driving sheets of water in my face. My flash light had a hard time to penetrate the darkness. I called out for Molly, who was running around out there in this madness. Where? I had no idea. We had slipped her out after supper to let her do her business and normally she would return pretty quick – in this kind of weather. She hates going outside in the rain, but this time she had been out way too long. I swallowed my worries and let the flashlight circle against the rain, calling her again. All of a sudden I saw her running up from beneath the house. I ushered her around and inside where we have a dog towel to dry her off. She will be needing the entire evening to dry her thick fur.

Yes, the day started with slight rain and a little wind, but both have been increasing over the course of the day. From my IKEA chair I can hear the rattling of windows and the howling storm. I try to imagine what’s it like out at Liberty Point where the south wind will impact against the rocky cliffs. Luckily, the temperatures have been going way up. From –3C to + 12C in a matter of roughly 12hrs. But hey, the temps won’t last. From midnight on to the early hours tomorrow morning, the mercury will fall again to just above freezing. Good thing is that the sudden rise of temps prevented the roads from being glazed over. Looking to the east, parts of Quebec have received 10” of snow followed by 2-3” of rain. Now, folks that is a lot of fun.

In spite of the storm there have only been a few “blinks” in the power supply. People in Maine have not been that lucky as thousands are experiencing longer lasting power outages.

Will the wind subside tomorrow? Yes and no! It will go down a bit but maintain speeds of 30mph. Pair that with frigid temps and you are looking at another cold day out here.

Well – it’s life in the Maritimes!


Monday, November 25, 2013

We Got Ourselves A Couple Of Really Cold Days

If you have never lived on the coast you cannot imagine how cold it can be when the winds are all cranked up and the thermometer falls below the zero-mark (C ). For us this is the first time that we experience early winter on the east coast. Today we had –6C and quite a storm from the west. Going outside means to dress in layers. First order of the day is Long Johns. jeans over top of that, then a coverall or for me my lumber jack pants. A woolen knitted jacket goes under the heavy winter coat and a fur hat (Russian Style) covers ears and way down my neck. Knitted gloves protect my hands, but I still keep them buried in my pockets. Being outside and keeping my face out of the wind, I still wish for a balaclava.

Molly, on the contrary, doesn’t seem to mind any of this. Happily, she is strolling along our route, allowing for good time to sniff here and there.
The only thing I did when being outside this morning was hauling three wheelbarrow loads of wood from the stack and having it into the basement.
DSC_0264
As a result of the cold we have abandoned our living room which fronts the ferocious winds from the west and migrated to the dining room in the rear of the house. With the living room buffering against the cold we are staying toasty warm. Right above is our bedroom, and thanks to the chimney running through there, that room is warm as well.

We also noticed that neighbours have left their house, presumably to trade it off for survival in a cozy hotel. Most houses around here are old and are either lacking appropriate insulation or have no insulation at all.

Over the course of the last days my thoughts went to other parts of the continent, preferably in the south. We might just decide to hit a run to Florida this year. But we are still facing another 3 weeks at least.

Well, Wednesday there will be another change in the weather as the temps will go into the fifties and we will enjoy about 50mm (2”) of rain which naturally will hit the frozen ground and produce a nice layer of ice on all surfaces.

There is really a lot to look forward to. :-(  NOT!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Yayyy, She’s Back!

November 21 -  22,  finally it was Friday and I could saddle the horse and get going to the airport to pick up Bea. Her time of arrival was 10:42pm on Friday, which is kinda late at night. Too late to do an almost 3hr. drive back home. I had considered an overnight stay in a hotel, but had finally decided to hitch on the trailer and park it at Dysart’s Truck Stop just south of Bangor. It’s a familiar place for us as we used to stay there the last and the first night on most trips south. And we both have it in for sleeping in our own bed.  Of course, I did some preliminary studying of the weather forecast as I had no special desire to be driving in hefty snow showers. But it looked good all throughout Friday and Saturday. They did predict some wind for Saturday not not so much that I wouldn’t be able to drive.

So I left home at about mid-morning on Friday and made the 125-mile-drive in about 2 1/2hrs. plus a doggy stop in Ellsworth at Wally World. And yes, Molly was riding with me to see mom come home.

I set up camp at the familiar spot – the entire truck stop was almost empty and cranked up the furnace. Had our good old HONDA Genny running outside, providing power for the comforts of camper life.
Watched a couple of silly TV shows which served again to show that program quality has slid further down the drain. The only thing worth spending any attention on, is PBS which at least is providing a view “across the big water” to what’s going on outside of the good old U.S.A.

I must admit that the last hours of the day until I could finally do the short run to the airport, were at a slow crawl and I had napped off a couple of times on the couch.
 DSC_0261-1
But when the clock turned to 10:30pm I was on my way on the I-95. It is only a 5 mile ride from Dysart’s to the Bangor Intern’l Airport, and traffic was light. I parked the van right up-front and waited for Bea to appear. When several travelers left the building I knew Bea couldn’t be far off and sure enough there she came, dragging her red suitcase behind.  Boy was I glad to see her!
10 minutes later we were “home” and dropped right to bed.

Overnight temperatures dropped into the mid-twenties and there was ice outside this morning. We delayed our departure until the sun had come up. That way, we hoped that possible ice-build-up on the roads would melt off.
Yet, on our way home,  we saw an accident on coastal Hwy 1A where a pickup had done a roll off-road. Hopefully nobody was hurt or killed.

We were both very happy to be home again and celebrated it with a nice walk through the Provincial Park.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

1952

You might be wondering about this rather short headline. Well, I got an email from a friend. The email contained a link: www.whathappenedinmybirthyear.

When you click on that the screen will fade into black. Then you insert your year of birth and hit the question mark.

And things begin to happen. (without the pictures I added)

I am of the good year of 1952. And see what was going on at that time:

image

In 1952, the world was a different place.

There was no Google yet. Or Yahoo.

In 1952, the year of your birth, the top selling movie was This Is Cinerama. People buying the popcorn in the cinema lobby had glazing eyes when looking at the poster.

Remember, that was before there were DVDs. Heck, even before there was VHS. People were indeed watching movies in the cinema, and not downloading them online. Imagine the packed seats, the laughter, the excitement, the novelty. And mostly all of that without 3D computer effects.

image Do you know who won the Oscars that year? The academy award for the best movie went to The Greatest Show on Earth. The Oscar for best foreign movie that year went to Forbidden Games. The top actor was Gary Cooper for his role as Marshal Will Kane in High Noon. The top actress was Shirley Booth for her role as Lola Delaney in Come Back, Little Sheba. The best director? John Ford for The Quiet Man.

In the year 1952, the time when you arrived on this planet, books were still popularly read on paper, not on digital devices. Trees were felled to get the word out. The number one US bestseller of the time was The Silver Chalice by Thomas B. Costain. Oh, that's many years ago. Have you read that book? Have you heard of it?

In 1952... West Germany has 8 million refugees inside its borders. Elizabeth II is proclaimed Queen of the United Kingdom at St. James's Palace, London, England. In the Hague Tribunal, Israel demands reparations worth $3 billion from Germany. The Treaty of Taipei is signed between Japan and the Republic of China to officially end the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Diary of Anne Frank is published. The United States Army Special Forces is created. A British passenger jet flies twice over the Atlantic Ocean in the same day. Martial law is declared in Kenya due to the Mau Mau uprising. The first successful surgical separation of Siamese twins is conducted in Mount Sinai Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio.

That was the world you were born into. Since then, you and others have changed it.

image The Nobel prize for Literature that year went to François Mauriac. The Nobel Peace prize went to Albert Schweitzer. The Nobel prize for physics went to Felix Bloch and Edward Mills Purcell from the United States for their development of new methods for nuclear magnetic precision measurements and discoveries in connection therewith. The sensation this created was big. But it didn't stop the planets from spinning, on and on, year by year. Years in which you would grow bigger, older, smarter, and, if you were lucky, sometimes wiser. Years in which you also lost some things. Possessions got misplaced. Memories faded. Friends parted ways. The best friends, you tried to hold on. This is what counts in life, isn't it?

The 1950s were indeed a special decade. The American economy is on the upswing. The cold war between the US and the Soviet Union is playing out throughout the whole decade. Anti-communism prevails in the United States and leads to the Red Scare and accompanying Congressional hearings. Africa begins to become decolonized. The Korean war takes place. The Vietnam War starts. The Suez Crisis war is fought on Egyptian territory. Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and others overthrow authorities to create a communist government on Cuba. Funded by the US, reconstructions in Japan continue. In Japan, film maker Akira Kurosawa creates the movies Rashomon and Seven Samurai. The FIFA World Cups are won by Uruguay, then West Germany, then Brazil.

Do you remember the movie that was all the rage when you were 15? In the Heat of the Night. Do you still remember the songs playing on the radio when you were 15? Maybe it was Ode to Billie Joe by Bobbie Gentry. Were you in love? Who were you in love with, do you remember?

 

In 1952, 15 years earlier, a long time ago, the year when you were born, the song Wheel of Fortune by Kay Starr topped the US charts. Do you know the lyrics? Do you know the tune? Sing along.

The wheel of fortune
Goes spinning around
Will the arrow point my way?
Will this be my day?
...

There's a kid outside, shouting, playing. It doesn't care about time. It doesn't know about time. It shouts and it plays and thinks time is forever. You were once that kid.

When you were 9, the movie Hercules in the Haunted World was playing. When you were 8, there was Pollyanna.

6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... it's 1952. There's TV noise coming from the second floor. Someone turned up the volume way too high. The sun is burning from above. These were different times. The show playing on TV is Kukla, Fran and Ollie. The sun goes down. Someone switches channels. There's The Ed Sullivan Show on now. That's the world you were born in.

Progress, year after year. Do you wonder where the world is heading towards? The technology available today would have blown your mind in 1952. Do you know what was invented in the year you were born? Diet soft drinks. Optical Fiber. The Fusion Bomb.

I work here nights parking cars
Underneath the moon and the stars
Same ones that we all knew
Back in 1952
...

That's from the song 3rd Base, Dodger Stadium by Ry Cooder.

In 1952, a new character entered the world of comic books: Astro Boy. Bang! Boom! But that's just fiction, right? In the real world, in 1952, Christopher Reeve was born. And Dan Aykroyd. Douglas Adams, too. And you, of course. Everyone an individual. Everyone special. Everyone taking a different path through life.
It's 2013.

The world is a different place.

What path have you taken?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This Would Worry Me If I’d Be On The West Coast

David Suzuki issues ominous warning for damaged Fukushima plant

By Lindsay Jolivet | Daily Buzz – Tue, 5 Nov, 2013

David Suzuki has issued an ominous warning about the state of Fukushima's nuclear power plant.

"Fukushima is the most terrifying situation I can imagine," the environmental activist and host of the Nature of Things said last week at the University of Alberta's symposium "Letting in the Light: Science to Guide Public Water Policy in the 21st Century."

"Three out of the four plants were destroyed in the earthquake and in the tsunami.

image












Fukushima Power Plant

The fourth one has been so badly damaged that the fear is, if there's another earthquake of a seven or above that, that building will go and then all hell breaks loose. And the probably of a seven or above earthquake in the next three years is over 95 per cent," Suzuki said.

He added that a recent study found another earthquake could require evacuation of the entire North American coast — and as for Japan — "bye bye," Suzuki said.

He said the Japanese government was too proud to accept help from international experts and in "total collusion" with Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the fourth reactor.

"They are lying through their teeth."

On Friday, a day after the symposium ended, the Associated Press reported that Japan had agreed to work with the U.S. Department of Energy on cleaning up the plant and removing dangerous fuel rods. Fully decommissioning the plant will likely take decades, according to AP.

After the earthquake and tsunami that caused the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, Suzuki wrote the world must reconsider its choices of energy supply to avoid disasters and future energy shortages.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday AGAIN!

What the heck?  It’s November 16 and just another 7 weeks to Christmas.
But November or not, it finally warmed up again, and in spite of no sunshine, it was downright nice weather. So I’ve been using this day to go back into the woods to chop down more trees for firewood. Got 5 wheelbarrows of firewood down into the basement, but then it WAS time for a rest. Had made myself a nice meatloaf yesterday, which will probably keep me going for the entire next week.
DSC_0189
Did I mention that I also had made an American Cheesecake yesterday? I LOVE cheesecake and to do a little extra I had added some strawberry to the mixture. Of course, this afternoon I HAD to sprinkle some chocolate over top of it and eat the stuff with whipped cream. Nothing beats whipped cream and luckily I have no digestive problems with such delicacies.

When the phone rang, it was Bea.

Bea is coping with an extremely sad situation in Germany and I just wish I could be of any help. Having Bea on the phone today was so sad. Long moments went by without her being able to say anything. So i tried to lighten up her mood, but I know it’s hard on her. It wouldn’t be so hard if we lived close by, but being on a different continent is quite a hardship when it means that it could be the last time she would see her mother.

Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Old Pot

Brother sent an email yesterday. Attached was a picture of an old pot.
He asked whether I remembered that pot?
Kakaotopf0002 
Did I?

Not at first. But reading his email I kinda remembered that this pot was an old friend.
It was the pot we used as children to cook our cocoa in. We always drank cocoa – not coffee, which was reserved for adults. Makes sense to me today – but not then.
Kakaotopf0001
But we loved cocoa. brother was writing that his wife, Karin, had decided to decommission the pot. Reason being the pot was shot. Have a good look at the picture. The surface is chipped, well some of those chips were already there 60 years ago, and I haven’t seen the inside of it. It probably looks awful. I remember that often the milk would be burned to the bottom of the pot. That usually happened when we had too much heat under it. Then the inside bottom would have to be scrubbed until clean. That took away a lot of the enamel.

The last question brother wrote was: Aren’t we all like old pots?

Yes, brother, that’s what we are. We get chipped during life, the older we get the more chips. And one day we have so many chips and damages that somebody will decommission us. All we have left then is the hope to be put on a shelf and be kept for good memories.

Thank you brother for reminding me of that.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Found Two Grand Old Heros Of My Younger Days

When I am hanging out here in the evenings with nobody to talk to other than Molly, I have been trying to find some sensible entertainment on the internet. And while I was thinking of old movies I hadn’t seen in a long time, I suddenly remembered two gentlemen I have read about and seen on TV some 40 years ago. Both figures were extremely popular and are still remembered and celebrated in Germany. They were created in the late 1800s by a man named Karl May. Karl May was possibly the most gifted author Germany has ever seen. He possessed the ability to describe environments he had never seen himself. The two figures I have in mind were Winnetou, chief of the Mescalero Apaches and Old Shatterhand. Of course, they were fictive and Karl May made them into the heroes loved by the entire nation.
winnetou 001
The books of Karl May were made into many movies where the French actor of Pierre Brice played Winnetou and the American actor Lex Barker, who, in America, was known as Tarzan, played Old Shatterhand. Thousands of German girls in their early teens fell in love with the beautiful Winnetou and the young boys cried their eyes out when the likewise beautiful sister of Winnetou, Nscho-tschi, died of a gunshot wound in the very first of all Winnetou movies.

Heartbreaking!

Back to YouTube.  It was the old movies about Winnetou and Old Shatterhand I found on the popular video channel. They are there – in German – and some of them even dubbed into English. Besides of outstanding movie photography the movies are featuring a wonderful western-style music. For me, the music alone would be worth watching the movies again. Here’s some of the facts about the movies:

Winnetou is a fictional Native American hero of several novels written in German by Karl May (1842–1912), one of the best selling German writers of all time with about 200 million copies worldwide.

According to Karl May's story, first-person narrator Old Shatterhand encounters Winnetou and after initial dramatic events, a true friendship between Old Shatterhand and the Apache Winnetou arises; on many occasions they give proof of great fighting skill but also of compassion for other human beings. It portrays a belief in an innate "goodness" of mankind, albeit constantly threatened by ill-intentioned enemies.

Non-dogmatic Christian feelings and values play an important role, and May's heroes are often described as German Americans.

Winnetou became the chief of the tribe of the Mescalero Apaches (and of the Apaches in general, with the Navajo included) after his father Intschu-tschuna and his sister Nscho-tschi were slain by the white bandit Santer. He rode a horse called Iltschi ("Wind") and had a famous rifle called "Silberbüchse" ("The Silver Gun", a double-barrel rifle whose stock and butt were decorated with silver studs). Old Shatterhand became the blood brother of Winnetou and rode the brother of Iltschi, called Hatatitla ("Lightning").

Interestingly, none of the movies were made in America as the film makers found their Shangri-la in the mountains of Croatia.

Now, lets have a look at the author of all this, Karl May himself:

Karl Friedrich May, 25 February 1842 – 30 March 1912) was a popular German writer, noted mainly for adventure novels set in the American Old West (best known for the characters of Winnetou and Old Shatterhand) and similar books set in the Orient and Middle East (with Kara Ben Nemsi and Hadschi Halef Omar). In addition, he wrote stories set in his native Germany, in China and in South America. May also wrote poetry, a play, and composed music; he was a proficient player of several musical instruments. Many of his works were filmed, adapted for the stage, turned into audio dramas or into comics. A highly imaginative and fanciful writer, May never visited the exotic places featured in his stories until late in life, at which point the clash between his fiction and reality led to a complete change in his work. Some times it is good that imagination wins the battle, as reality can be quite disillusioning and destructive to a creative mind.

image

In 1908 Karl and his wife, Klara May, travelled for six weeks in North America. They visited among other cities, Albany, Buffalo, the Niagara Falls and friends in Lawrence. But May did not travel as far as the Wild West. May used the journey as inspiration for his book Winnetou IV.

When I am watching the old Winnetou movies I can forget anything around me. I am transported back – at least 40 years. I remember the series of bound books I owned and which had even followed me to Norway in 1977.

Of course, watching these movies wouldn’t be the same for you, but I recommend to try, maybe an English version. You will just enjoy the beautiful scenery and the great music. Type in “Winnetou” at Youtube and you’ll get an assortment of choices. The movies are displayed on Youtube in several parts. Once one part is finished, the next part will be in upper left corner of the appearing Youtube menu.

Have fun!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Finally All The Leaves Are Down!

When the sun set yesterday evening there was a narrow stripe of clear blue sky over the horizon. It was just enough to let the orange light of the sun shine into our living room. It didn’t last very long, the sun rolled behind the horizon and 30 minutes later it was pitch dark – until the moon came out later. After several days with grey weather the sky had cleared and it was going to be a cold night.
image
How cold it was I saw only this morning. Our thermometer showed –5C or around 21F. Yet at 7:30am it was still calm, but that changed only a few hours later. A strong and icy wind started out of the North West. I don’t know what the temps would have been with the wind chill, but it was really, really cold. The frost and the wind has now brought down all the remaining leaves. There are thick swaths of leaves along the roads. They were coming down like snow flakes. So I guess winter has arrived on Campobello.
image
What was I to do with this cold day? The sun was shining like she wanted to make it up for the last grey days we had. But being outside didn’t seem like an option. Yet, I needed to get to the post office to send off a couple of cheques we had received.

After getting back I decided to give it a try with the chainsaw. I had seen a couple of dead trees on the property and those would make great firewood. From way back in Norway I have a thick pair of lumber jack pants. I pulled them over my jeans and didn’t notice anything of the cold wind.

A few trees were already down on the ground, others were still standing. I cut them up and wheelbarrowed the chunks to the house and down into the basement. It gave me a 2hr. work-out which, honestly, I needed as I haven’t done much moving around the last coupla days.

The rest of the day was spent with a few shorter walks with Molly and some computing. Had an early chat with Bea in Germany. She is busy in her mothers apartment getting “all the ducks in a row”. It looks like my mother-in-law will remain in the nursing home for quite a while, possibly even permanently.

Hope you are all a lot warmer than I am out here.

Thanks for dropping by the shop again!



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bad News From Germany

 

Unfortunately the news from Germany is not the best – no it’s downright depressing. When we humans get really old and can’t take care of ourselves anymore, the situation gets serious. That is about the essence of what Bea tells me on the phone. And it seems like a 13 day stay might not be enough to get a handle on things. Most likely Bea’s mom will not be able to return to her apartment. What that means I don’t have to elaborate about. You all know it. You all have or had parents getting old. And it makes me doubly sad as I think that 20 years from now we will be at the same stage of age.  And what is 20 years really?  We have been in Canada for more than 11 years and didn’t the time fly by just like that? 

It sure did.

With this latest of all developments it seems like we have to stay home this winter. There might still be a very small chance to see the big open highway though, but at this time it doesn’t seem very likely.

So meanwhile what did I do today?  Well, first daylight got me going into the basement, saying Hello to our good wood stove and get it going. When all was ready to go out with Molly it was RAINING!  Not really bad but just enough to shorten the walk to the most important business. Molly thanked me with continuous whining – she was bored.

I managed to avoid any boredom for myself by doing some Sunday cleaning, and finally shipping myself across the border for some shopping. My fridge was threatening me with running empty and we can’t have that. The CBP-Officer told me that it was actually snowing in Bangor, ME. How nice was that? Benefit of living close to the saltwater is there won’t be snow too early. Instead it rains.
Waiting at the till in the grocery market a man in front of me turned towards me saying “Nice Day, isn’t it?” I nodded and mumbled something about snow in Bangor. That was about the extent of the conversation we had, before he headed out the door.

”It isn’t snowing” was what I heard from the nice young CBSA-lady when I returned to the island. The road was empty all the way home. Black wet new asphalt!

When the afternoon rolled around I started to busy myself in the kitchen department. I remembered that I had frozen berries in the freezer. And you wouldn’t guess what kind of berries. I had been out in the park a week ago and picked them off …..Mountain Ash trees. And I had 3 entire shopping bags of them. They need to do a trip into the freezer if you want to consume them without loosing your wits. Mountain Ash berries have a certain bitterness. Some people would say “TART”. But “tart” doesn’t really describe it. It doesn’t do it any justice. Even after a freeze  they are bitter.  So what to do with them? Well, first of all they have to get off their little stems. being frozen that is easy to do. You just squeeze them between your fingers and …voila they fall into the bowl.  Then you cook’em with some water. You can add quite a bit of water for what comes out of these berries is kinda concentrated stuff. You won’t drink that juice just yet.


DSC_0177
Trust me on this.

Once you have separated the juice from the berries you throw away the berries but keep the juice. Now you have to have some apple juice. You can make that yourself or you can buy some. You add enough to milden the bitterness. Did I mention you need a heap of SUGAR??  If you have 1 quart of juice you add 2 quarts of sugar. Make sure it  dissolves. You cook it some more, than you add sure-jell or gelatin according to whatever amount of juice you got. And finally, finally you fill the soon-to-be jelly into your jars and just hope the best. If you have done everything right you won’t poison anybody. This jelly is a very good substitute for cranberry jelly. So you can enjoy it together with your Christmas- or soon-to-come Thanksgiving dinner.

Bon Appetite!

But I had more plans for the kitchen. See, I didn’t buy any bread for I thought of challenging the god of baking again. This time it was bread time. I do yeast dough and that requires a good deal of working the stuff with your hands. While I was doing that a pair of big round doggy eyes were watching me. I don’t know what she sees in a bread dough, but she sure stayed close for the operation.
DSC_0182
Now I had to find a warm place to let the dough rise. And I already knew just the right spot. I placed the bowl above the big register where the warm air from our wood stove was already streaming up. You can’t put a yeast dough too warm either as the yeast which is kinda alive will die in protest. And that will leave you with something you can’t even make a pizza of.
DSC_0183 DSC_0184
I let it rise twice to make sure the bread will not turn out as a block of concrete. And as you can see it rose and was even baked finished.


Then - well then it was time to make supper…..more kitchen work.  Our friend PEI-Bob, who is all by himself, once found the right expression when he said that he was getting WOMANIZED!  But this or that….I don’t mind. I need to occupy myself with whatever I can find. And if I can’t chop down trees, then the next best thing is making sure there is something to fill a hungry stomach with.

All right folks, I’m empty (my head is – not my belly)  and I’m done here.

Thanks for  stopping by here and don’t get a sunburn!




Saturday, November 9, 2013

Just Molly And Me

It was just 6am when the darn phone rang. What the h…. who WAS that. I have had my fair share of marketing calls lately and wasn’t really wishing for any more, especially not on Saturday that early.
So I glanced at the caller display and recognized the number of mother-in-law. Well I knew she wasn’t home so it could only be my dear wife.

It was.

Her flight had been great. She had gone from Bangor,ME to Philly and on to Frankfurt, Apparently they had had plenty of tailwinds as the plane landed after only 5hrs. in the air. Gotta be a record for US-Airways. Trouble for Bea was now she had to kill 3 hrs until her train would leave. You try to imagine that, being all shot up and tired from many hours underway, yet you have to hang in for another 3hrs. Oh yes there are trains leaving all the time, but she had pre- booked a ticket with a seat reservation and one can’t just blow it all out of the train window and take what-ever train is just handy.

Anyway…when she called she was home, and she was hungry. Air food is not all that great these days. That is if one hasn’t joined in on the newest offer and booked a little lunch for the small amount of 21 Bucks a person, which still wouldn’t really be sufficient to feed a hungry soul. But I hear they serve it in a nice gift-style fancy schmancy box.  Gawd…..how pathetic is that?

Being up that early I was trying to get a breakfast going for Molly and me. Her highness Molly was still in bed though. Not her bed but mine.  It was only poor me. In my morning robe being down into the dirty basement to stoke the fire of the day. Got me some real nice dry wood cut out of old fence posts.
DSC_0136
The U.S. City of Eastport,ME is priding itself to be the first city where the morning touches America. But in reality it is the West Quoddy Lighthouse at Lubec which enjoys the first rays of the sun hitting the United States.

With the heat streaming up to the living quarters I started the coffee, threw a frozen bun in the baking stove and drowned 2 jumbo-size eggs in some cooking water. then looked up my email. Saturday emails suck. They really do. Not even a single spam to be irritated about. Seems like spammers love to take the day off. No other emails either. Stock exchange is not on duty  -  I quickly closed that laptop went back to the kitchen. Had 2 eggs boiling – one for now one for later. I’m a practical guy. Coffee was still gurgling through the percolator. And the bun was heating up in the oven.
 
DSC_0132 DSC_0135
Baking is what a bachelor can do. Here I am trying my hand on a chocolate cake.

I caught myself wandering back and forth on the kitchen floor. I did rectangles and squares on the floor. What the hell was wrong? I behaved like a tiger in the cage. My house being the cage holding me right here. Other people were way down in the warm south enjoying themselves. Up here nothing was happening. Why is it that I always have to move around – can’t sit still for five minutes?  Why do I have to see the open road ahead of me? Why must there be a project at all times. Jeeze I probably drive everyone crazy. Abstinentia comes to mind.
DSC_0145 DSC_0140
The area is “resting” after the summer…a little ice, a little quiet. patiently waiting for the winter to arrive.
DSC_0150 DSC_0147
Now, if the weather would keep nice, I could busy myself out on the property today. Go out and chop down trees, rake the leaves off the lawn – well at this wind speed they’d be flying off by themselves.
DSC_0153 DSC_0158 DSC_0159 DSC_0163
Molly looking for a mouse..

I called Molly and instantly I heard how she jumped off my bed, came down the staircase. I really needed her company now. If she wouldn’t be around the table with her begging eyes I’d be going crazy. Had the breakfast over to the dining room and Molly was looking up at me. She is waiting for her share of the boiled egg. It’s the chopped off white top of the egg she eats. Well, she’d be eating the whole d….egg but she ain’t gonna get it.
DSC_0176 DSC_0168
Dark clouds moving in

After breakfast I was contemplating how to take Molly for a walk without being turned into a block of ice by the howling western wind. I would take us to the Herring Cove Beach on the eastern side of the island. It’s a protected spot and the sun was still shining. But I could see clouds moving in already. It would turn into a dull grey boring Saturday.

We had a great walk. It was just past 8am when we arrived at the beach. The sun was still low but it wasn’t bad. At Lake Glensevern Molly must have heard a mouse or something hiding under a drift log. At least she got busy investigating the where-abouts of that animal. It was funny to watch. Quite the show in fact.  It was difficult to make her abandon the spot, but I was already on my way over to the beach when she finally came after me.

I poured myself another cup of coffee before I plumped down into the infamous IKEA to communicate the happenings to the world. It seems like the computer is the only thing in the world that can keep me in my chair for any span of time. Oh well- let’s see what else might happen today….maybe I just bake another cake.


Thanks for looking!