Friday, June 29, 2007

Take a walk in my garden...

At the request of Lotus, I have decided to add some photos of my garden. Before I begin our virtual tour, I must say two things:
1) Jill, please forgive me. I just want you to know that I do not wear this get-up in public...ever! LOL! I was at home, in the garden with John and our nieces. I know you'd shoot me if you ever saw me wear a sundress and workboots... together! You're surprised I even have garden boots, right?

2) Lotus, in case you're wondering about the plastic drop-sheet I put over our 10x100 ft garden (yes, I am insane!!), I was trying to figure out how best to combat the weeds when I don't exactly have time to do any weeding all the time. Last year, I weeded (I couldn't keep up with the darn weeds!) and it was back-breaking effort just to keep up. The year before that, we mulched. This year, we put plastic down so the weeds wouldn't grow through...and we mulched. I'm thinking next year we'll do a combination of this method and perhaps some raised beds!!! Of course, I couldn't do 10x100 ft of raised beds! Hubby would kill me!
Before we begin our tour, sit down and have a smoothie. It's custom in my culture to always feed our guests.

Come play with the kitties first. They're now 6 weeks old. Aren't they cute!?
Looks like the kitties' Aunt Fred is ready to have her litter any day now! More kittens! Will my husband ever forgive me? He said no animals inside the house! LOL!
Chance would like to accompany us on our garden tour. Poor boy. He looks a little matted. We even brushed him and took him to the beach so he could loosen and get rid of his winter coat! It didn't work. I'm wondering if a trip to the groomer's may help! In the city, Chance never looked this messy! He had his bi-annual groomer's appointments at $95 + tax a pop! He always emerged from the groomer's with a shiny, sleek coat and a pretty ribbon around his neck. Yeah, I know. Hubby doesn't think a male dog should wear a ribbon around his neck! LOL!
These are Hubby's bovine babies. They keep Chance in line.
Here are some of the tomatoes.
The red currants are starting to change colour.

You can see the raspberry canes on the left, and the red currants on the right. In the background, you'll see our plum trees and an apple tree.
Peppers! Hungarian, jalapeno, banana and all sorts of other peppers plants are starting to shoot up. They took a beating with all the heat and no rain.

Potatoes!!! The funny thing is that I forgot to plant potatoes this year! I think these plants started from the compost I threw on the garden! LOL!

More tomatoes. I only planted four varieties this year.

Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. I'm not sure which one this is, because right now they all look alike...and I forgot to mark them as I planted them in the ground!

So sad! Can you spot my one blueberry? Blueberries aren't found on the island because of the high lime content (lots of limestone on the island). However, you will find many, many blueberry vendors on the side of the highway on your way to or from Sudbury. The Sudbury area has wonderful blueberries! I used to buy them from an old couple who visit the island every summer and bring their blueberries to sell to restaurants and anyone who wants them. I wanted to conduct a little science experiment and see if I could grow blueberries. We'll soon find out if I'm successful.

Asparagus, now going to seed. We had a hearty crop this year. I didn't know that you could eat asparagus raw! One of the "old timers" told me that! They're actually really tasty raw. They taste like snowpeas!
Our apples are starting to come. A few weeks ago, the air was fragrant with that sweet apple blossom smell. The breeze carried some of the petals and blossoms and scattered them all over the yard. So pretty!
guess that's it for the tour so far. It wasn't that interesting, but I thought I'd share this with you, Lotus and mrinz! I forgot to take photos of the corn, onions, peas and beans. Maybe next time.
Thursday, June 28, 2007

Throwback Thursday #2

In keeping with the Pinks & Blues Girls' tradition of posting Throwback Thursday pics, here is my walk down memory lane for today.

Today, I would like to pay hommage to two very important men in my life...both of whom have passed away. Grandpa (my dad's dad) died when I was very young. I only wish I could have had a few more years with him. From what I do remember, he was such a wonderful man and so funny too!

He stayed with us when he got sick (he developed diabetes) and my dad and mom had him live with us. I remember that he was not to have anything with sugar, so that meant absolutely no sweets! Grandpa loved sweets! He would give my brother and me $1 US if we gave him our chocolate and promised not to tell Ma and Pa! LOL! One day, Grandpa was eating a powdered jelly donut and then tried to hide it from my dad. Dad said, "What are you doing?" and Grandpa leaned back against the sink, facing my dad, with the donut behind his back...but with all the evidence of the white sugar powder all over his face! LOL! It was a terribly sad, yet funny moment. It was at that moment, I realized my Grandpa was no longer the alpha male in the house. He looked like a small child being caught doing something he shouldn't.
This photo was taken at Niagara Falls. I was just a tiny little thing back then. It was Grandpa's wish to see the Falls. My dad's youngest sister is in the pic with us.

My grandfather on my mom's side was affectionately known by everyone as Daddy. Even my cousins and I used to call him Daddy. I know it may sound odd since he was our grandfather, but we grew up hearing everyone call him Daddy. All our aunts and uncles called him Daddy. Our parents called him Daddy. Even family friends called him Daddy. He was the life of the party wherever he went. He was active in the community. He'd give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.

Daddy passed away when I was teaching overseas. I had just gotten my teaching position, so I was not able to take time off for a "holiday". I insisted that attending a funeral was indeed not a holiday! Anyway, I wasn't able to be with my family for the funeral and I was so far from home. I don't think I ever really obtained any closure until just a few years ago.

Though a bit blurry, I love this pic. It's of Daddy, my middle brother and me in the field near our old house. Now, the field and its wonderful little creatures no longer exist. The entire neighbourhood has become developed. The field is gone, and in its place there are new homes and stores. It feels like part of my childhood has been taken away. I don't even like revisiting our old neighbourhood because so much has changed and the people who bought our house have neglected it. It's no longer that proud, cheerful home that stood on the corner of the street. There's overgrowth and weeds...the fence hasn't even been mended. The paint has faded and chipped. It's so very sad since we took such great care of it.

Both pics are pre-Baby Bro, since he is eleven years younger than me. Middle Bro and I are only a year and a half apart.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I was reading through the comments from my last post, when I came across Sharon's (from Pinks and Blues Girls) comment and sat at my computer in awe. Apparently the "girls" think I'm a ...
Here's the sweet little shout out they gave me on their blog.
Now I am to pass along the honor to 5 other Rockin' Girl Bloggers! This is a very tough feat, as I read sooooo many really cool blogs by sooooo many really amazing, intelligent, witty, hilarious women!

Here goes:
Ms.Mamma- a truly amazing, inspiring, talented mamma. I just love, love, love her and her blog. She's beautiful, funny, and straight to the point and real. She takes the most gorgeous photos and she's got the most adorable little bambino named Snowflake and the cutest canine babies too!

CanineCologne- she's spunky, she's fun, she's got great taste in music, she takes great pics of the world around her...and she's one of my favourite foodies!!

Lotus- I fell in love with her blog. She's sooooooooo intelligent and always has so many interesting things to write about. She's another one of my fave foodies. I also love the fact that she is trying to 'share her love of food while trying to tread lightly'.

CuriosityKiller- She's hip! She's wild! She's fun! She's talented and creative! She's a friend of mine in real life. Blogging is our way of keeping in touch while she lives the cosmopolitan life (a la Carrie Bradshaw) in Hong Kong, while I've nestled into cozy country living on Manitoulin Island.

J- always has topics that make you really think. I love her style of writing and her wisdom. She always seems to have a logical response to any question or dilemma a person could have. She's got a wealth of information and I'm glad she is willing to share it! She's got great taste in literature and I love what a wonderful relationship she has with her hubby and her daughter.

Of course, I think that there are plenty of other Rockin' Girl Bloggers, but I was to only choose five! Jane, Audrey and Sharon...I wasn't sure if I could choose you since you chose me. I totally would have chosen you! Kim, Mist, GirlieMonkey, Karen and the rest of you are all wonderful and I check out your blogs every day too! :)

Keep on rockin' and pass on the linky luv to 5 more rockin' girl bloggers!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Where did you say you were from???

Ever since I added ClustrMaps to my blog, I've noticed that readers who visit my blog come from all over the globe. It struck me as being really funny, because:

#1 My blog is kind of boring and not very interesting.
#2 I started the blog to keep in touch with family, friends and students now that I have moved out of the city and to an island that is in the middle of the Great Lakes.
#3 I never advertise or promote my blog, so I assumed it was tucked away, well hidden in cyber space.

Looking at my Clustr Map, I am interested to see where everyone is from! Which part of the globe are you located and how did you find this sorry excuse for a blog? :)

PS. I was considering changing the blog, since I noticed most blogs have a theme or an actual point. There are cooking blogs, humour blogs, mommy blogs (which a lot of my friends have), teaching blogs, travel blogs, etc. I was thinking maybe I should focus on one thing instead of lumping everything under one roof. What do you think?

I luuuuuv my Papa

My Dad has the habit of giving me some very unconventional presents. One Christmas, he gave me a compass. Apparently, it wasn't intended as a "so you'll always know where you're going in life" or a "so you'll always know how to find your way back home where your loved ones are" gift. Dad is not the sentimental type. It was more of a "since you always get lost wherever you are, here's a compass" gift.

He used to always return from business trips with souvenirs for Mom, my brothers and me. Little thimbles and miniature coffee mugs that said I (heart) NY or t-shirts with a dude smoking a huge stogie with the caption "I've been to Prague" written on it, were the types of gifts he'd bring back to us. (Though, why there would be a t-shirt with a guy smoking and saying "I've been to Prague", is beyond my comprehension)
A few months ago, he got me a mini wisk for eggs. It's the tiniest wisk ever. He said it makes your eggs really fluffy.

Just yesterday, Dad invited us over for supper. He and Mom went on a day trip and came back with some goodies. We had Greek souvlaki for supper. I haven't had a souvlaki since I moved up to the island!!! Anyway, Dad was excited to give me a present! Oooooooh! Presents! I love presents! He handed me a massive bottle of flax seed oil! 1000 mg, of flax seed oil, to be exact. LOL! He had been doing research on the internet and found that flax has a lot of health benefits. (I had been using flax seeds in baking and flax seed powder in shakes and smoothies for years though). It is such a great gift and so thoughtful of Dad. He's so cute! He's always looking out for me! :)*Rich in fiber and your Omegas
*Has the ability to reduce the risk of heart disease
*Stimulates the immune activity
*Keeps saturated fats mobile in the bloodstream

...Thanks Dad, for thinking of my Omega intake!

My Dad's not the only one who seems to enjoy giving me unconventional gifts. I guess I come from a family of jokers. My middle brother once got me the "Latoya Jackson Biography" for Christmas. LOL! Why??? Oh, why did he get me that? I guess I will never know! :) He thought it was funny though! What a crazy family! It seems Hubby is embracing the tradition of strange gift-giving as well! He's given me some unusual, but sweet gifts! Love it!
Sunday, June 24, 2007

Happy and Sad

I'm so very happy because:

* I get to live on such a beautiful island

* I have a wonderful husband

* We have a great life up here together

*I don't live too far from my parents and my mother-in-law

* We're close to nature

* We don't have the hectic commutes to work every day

* I don't have to live in a crowded, polluted, congested place

* It's a healthier lifestyle here (lots of physical activity every day and no junk food close by)

* We're doing what we love doing

* We get to go to the beach whenever we want

* My pup, Chance is so much happier having so much land to run around on

* Our two little nieces live close-by and spend a lot of time with us

*I've got a amazing sister-in-law who lives just around the corner from us

*We have a lot of very good friends in our lives. We're so lucky!

I'm kinda sad because:
*I sometimes miss the rest of my family

* I really miss my Baby Bro

*I don't get to see my little nephew, Kenny all the time. He's now 4 months old and I've seen him 3 times, but I still feel like I'm missing out on his growing up

* I always miss family events like this past weekend's bridal shower/stag for my cousin and his fiancee. At least we'll be at the wedding in August though.

* I don't get to see my friends often. We visit with them twice or three times a year or they come up to see us.Here are a few pics of the family fun I missed in Montreal on the weekend: (above) The happy couple, looking so cute together! (below) Baby Bro's girlfriend. Good lord...She's officially part of our crazy family! LOL!
Baby bro and my cousin. Goofy, eh? LOL!Little Kenny and my cousin, Jey. I cannot believe how fast my little nephew is growing...and I'm missing out on it all :(

I also miss the girls! They are so much fun :) See you at the wedding in August!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Only in Japan!

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! One of the things I miss about teaching and living in Japan is watching all the crazy TV game shows they have there! The Japanese certainly know how to have a good laugh. Their pranks are so crazy and over the top! If anyone were to ever play a prank like this in North America, I'd imagine there would be huge lawsuits dished out!

Enjoy (I know I have a warped sense of humour)! I hope this gives you your daily dose of laughter. It certainly gave me my fix! *sigh* Gotta love Japanese game shows! LOL!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Throwback Thursday (My First One!)

Inspired by Jane, Audrey and Sharon at PinksandBlues, I have decided to start my own Throwback Thursday posts! What fun it is to take a walk down memory lane. I just love looking at old pics!

This photo was taken circa 1983 on one of our trips to Trinidad and Tobago to spend Christmas with my Dad's family. This photo was taken before our youngest brother was born.

I really miss those good 'ol days when we used to go traveling together as a family. I miss the excitement of always being on the go during summer and winter vacation. My brother and I used to hang out with the locals, and return to Canada with a "Trini accent" for a few weeks! We'd also climb mango trees, pick the fruit off and just eat the mangoes and get our hands and faces all sticky with mango juice. We'd get one of my grandmother's employees to get us fresh coconut and we'd drink the coconut juice (or as some call it, coconut 'milk') straight from the coconut! LOL! We'd pick bananas (the little ones) and eat them...and my brother would even spend days catching lizards. We'd go to the beach and see sea turtles. We'd build sand castles and bury each other in the sand. We'd listen to calypso and steel band music. We'd eat 'doubles', chickpea and channa, roti and jerk chicken. We would bring all our school books but we never ended up doing any work! Those were our carefree, youthful days. I do miss those kinds of days.

PS. Thanks to Dawn for letting everyone use the Throwback Thursday banner she made!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Our friends left for Toronto this morning and we already miss them. It was wonderful being able to spend some time with Dina, Gavin and Elie. Too bad we didn't have enough time to hit the beaches and more of the Island attractions. I think I made the mistake of trying to cram in too much in too short a time. We went to the Bridal Veil Falls and walked around Kagawong, and we drove by the beach at Providence Bay.

I think next time I take friends sightseeing, I should split up the trips and spend more time in each spot. One day we should see Michael's Bay and spend time on the beach at either Carter Bay or Providence Bay. The next day, we could see the Bridal Veil Falls in Kagawong and walk the hiking trails up to the bay. We could even check out some of the lighthouses around the island. Another day would be reserved for beach time in South Bay and checking out the little shops near the ferry terminal. We could even take the boat across to Tobermory and spend the day there. On the Tobermory side, there are many things to see and do: scuba diving, glass bottom boat tours, shops, pubs, restaurants, and all kinds of neat things.

Dina, sorry I didn't think of splitting up the sightseeing a bit. We ended up doing a lot of driving around the island (and it's not that small of an island!). I guess I just get so excited about the island and how beautiful it is, that I try to cram everything in.

We dined at the Garden's Gate last night and enjoyed a good meal. Unfortunately, we were all so full that none of us were able to eat one of the Garden's Gate's signature desserts! John was even too full to eat his favourite "Mad About Chocolate Cheesecake"!

Curiosity Killer, Canine and Lotus: Our table ordered the White Fish with risotto cakes, the Chicken Schnitzel with risotto cakes, the Fettucini Alfredo with chicken, and the Sun-dried tomato and garlic crusted chicken with mashed potato. The dishes all came with veggies (garlic scapes and cauliflower) and either soup or salad and homemade dinner rolls with homemade butter. Sorry, I totally forgot to take pics for you!
Monday, June 18, 2007

I'm baaaaaack!!!

It's so nice to get away sometimes, but I'm always so glad to return home :)

K & J's wedding was a spectacular event. It was held at the Museum of Nature in Ottawa. Needless to say, it was very sophisticated and elegant. The guests got a special treat-- a tour of the dinosaur and bird exhibits.
The food presentation was pretty impressive!

The bride was stunning and the groom was dashing. We are so excited for the newlyweds. They are certainly one of our favourite couples ever.

While in Ottawa, we also had a chance to spend some time with some very good family friends. Good food, good company, good times. That's what life is all about--Being with the people you love the most in the world. Little Lily is such a sweet girl! Too cute!

Now we're home and my friend Dina, her hubby and their baby are here for a few days. Tomorrow, we're off to do some touristy things! I'm going to take them to the Bridal Veil Falls, Providence Bay, Carter Bay, and the Manitoulin Soap Factory. We'll wrap up the evening with supper at the Garden's Gate Restaurant :)
I love these photos of Elie! He was so excited to see the kittens!Our lovely friend, E with the kittens! Aren't they the cutest little fuzz balls you've ever seen???
The surf and turf supper: baked salmon with dill, steak, salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette, dinner rolls (made my my MIL), scalloped potatoes, green pepper, homemade apple sauce, strawberry/rhubarb/raspberry dessert and to commemorate our one year wedding anniversary, we all ate the top of Hubby's and my wedding cake. Totally decadent--chocolate mousse cake!

Hubby took the last pic. I thought it was kind of cool.

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About the Blog Author

City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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