On the Cusp
30 December 2010 | Halifax NS (crew)
Beth / -5 C but going up to + 2 on Friday
We're just over 24 hours from a brand new year! We're just under 24 hours from being back into our floating and wandering life! We're in that short space of time between having a full house and being just the two of us back on Madcap, our little home on the water.
I always love the start of a brand new year and a brand new month - any kind of a blank slate that is ripe with possibilities. New month, new year, new adventures ahead as we head over to the Bahamas again. If you have a chance to pick up the January issue of Cruising World, you'll find us in it as part of the secret shoppers team at the Annapolis Boat Show. That was great fun and despite seeing many new and beautiful boats, we came away with a renewed appreciation for our Bayfield 36.
We haven't had much snow here in Nova Scotia - just a dusting on the ground the last couple of days. The temperature has been just below 0 C (32 F) and although we had some big winds for a few days, it's quiet now. The picture above was taken from the front deck of our cottage on the Northumberland Strait during the storm last week. (Thanks Rob!) That rocky bit used to be a lawn, and you can see how the waves have whipped up the red sand. I guess there will be work ahead of us, but fortunately our breakwater seems to have held so I don't think we lost any bank. We'll all go chuck rocks back onto the beach for a day or two in the spring! Some folks up and down the shore weren't so lucky and will have some major repairs to do.
I do love being back home for Christmas. It's fun to see the palm trees and the mix of warm weather and Christmas decorations in the south, but as Dorothy says, "There's no place like home!" - for us at least. Mary Beth, Alex, Jim and I went to see the "Wizard of Oz" at Neptune theatre last week and it was a great performance. The music and dancing were wonderful, but the little dog stole the show. He was SO good! He stayed in Dorothy's arms the whole show and didn't wiggle out once - even during the dancing!
Alex came in on the 21st, and Liam showed up on Christmas Eve to surprise us - well me at least - the rest of them seemed to be in on it! Mary Beth left on Christmas afternoon for a cruise out of Miami and the boys left on the 27th. Miraculously everybody's flights went except ours - days after the storm. We were scheduled to go early morning on the 29th but that one got cancelled, and because of the back log through New York, they couldn't get us rebooked until tomorrow afternoon - Dec 31st. That wasn't a bad thing - there appears to be no window to cross the Gulf Stream until next week, and we were quite happy to have the extra couple of days in our nice warm house!
From visits with neighbours to dinners with family to walks in the park to carols and candles at church on Christmas Eve, it has been a truly fine time here in NS. And for the foodies out there - some remarkable eating! To celebrate St Lucia Day we went to a play that our great niece and nephew performed in and dined on traditional foods from a Norwegian smorgasbord. Our neighbour, Wake, made up a batch of yummy glogg that we sipped along with Denise's little pastries filled with sweet potato or spinach one night. We all gathered in our kitchen to make a Thai feast on Christmas Eve - Mary Beth's fabulous Thai soup with shrimp and snow peas and fresh herbs, and Pad Thai, and Green Curry Chicken - oh such good flavours - and then went up the street to eat and drink some more at Yvette's! Christmas dinner at my sister's was turkey with all the trimmings and my grandmother's orange pudding - a thin custard sauce with chunks of oranges floating in it and topped with fluffy egg whites. Mary Jean came down to join us for another turkey dinner here on Boxing day and we enjoyed turkey soup for a few days after that. (We are one of those families who love left over turkey!) We've eaten shortbread and sugar cookies, and a new fruitcake recipe (with dates and apricots and prunes along with the usual raisins and nuts). On another evening, we visited Karen and Wayne and dined on a seafood chowder chock full of lobster and fish, served with those tall fluffy white rolls that are a staple here, and topped off with pineapple squares just like my mother used to make. Oh bliss! Yesterday I made a salad recipe that I found in the newspaper - with julienned carrots and peppers and chunks of cucumber and stirfried tofu, and shrimp and pineapple all tossed with a tamari/ginger dressing. It turned out pretty well and was a nice change from the heavier food we've been eating. Despite all this indulging, both Jim and I have managed to maintain the same weight we arrived home with - yippee!
All this writing about food has made me hungry - I think I'll just meander out to the kitchen for one last shortbread cookie and a cup of tea before bed.
Happy New Year everyone! May it be a year of good fortune, good health and good growing experiences for us all.