Really Quite Paradise

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Hey! Im back! Havent been very bloggy this summer, but as wordpress reminded me a bit ago, its been almost 10 years of me writing dumb crap on the internet so I’m able to forgive myself for the odd temporary absence. Absence makes ones farts grow fonder anyway. However, I know that the internet demands sacrifices in the form of pictures of dogs and flowers in order for the Web Gods to continue smiling upon us so I will suck it up and do my part.

So here is a dog:

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Here are some flowers:

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Here is a dog with flowers:

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That would be Sweetpea, a big beautiful wild rose, an ant crawling on a peony for some unknown purpose, and finally Sweetpea again. She is posing artistically with Foxgloves and looking a bit nervous about a spider.

Im sorry if these pictures have been blogged about before, I had them uploaded in old drafts and I cant be bothered to check up and see if Ive ever actually shown them to you before.

I may as well post the rest of the pictures from the old drafts, they sum up our summer in Gabarus pretty nicely!

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This summer I finally got my motorcycle licence! This was taken on our first ride together to the beach, which has been a one of our shared life goals for ages now. Romance! I took a two day course, and flipped the bike twice, but got right back on. By the end of the two days I could barely move my legs and my knees were held together mostly with Band-Aids but I was very proud of myself. Mine is the old BMW and its so sexy and her name is Zerhilde. It means warrior goddess in German, whatever…

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I spent almost every day after work this summer swimming in the ocean. It was absolutely, balls-clenchingly cold, but it felt so fresh and nice. A couple of nights a seal swam with me, but pretty far away. It was still magical as fuck.

This summer we ate some amazing meals together. Lobster, mackerel and cod fish suppers at the churches and community galls around the area.  A sushi place opened up here and made me so happy. I crave me some fish eggs and eel on rice so bad. We also cooked a lot of nice meals for each other, lovely big leisurely breakfast, lots of curries, Chinese pork dumplings & salty cucumber, thai dishes, etc.

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Midnight ice cream snacks in bed..

Gorged on fresh strawberries and blueberries.

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I made an absolute buttload of blueberry jam and experimented with making rose sugar and angelica liqueurs.

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We took a week and drove to Newfoundland to make desserts at an amazing Food Festival there called Roots, Rants & Roars which I should probably do a post about.CB got a rep at the event for being the worlds most patient cook, spending hours standing slowly stirring scrunchions so they didnt burn and frying 700 doughnuts. We made blueberry doughnuts, screech n’ scrunchion doughnuts, and apple fritters with apples from our apple trees.

We got to see some of our old friends from Fogo which was so nice. I miss my Fogo people every day. We got to have a couple of meals with Murray & Judy, and buy a some of Paddy Barry’s photographs which are now on our wall.

We cooked beside Duff Goldman. We had breakfast with CB’s food-crush Zane Caplansky and his super cool wife Willa.

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We ate this!

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I made this cool cake! Most proud of this one.

I chopped off my hair. Buzzed one side and dyed it purple.

We went for numerous long drives and talked about life and the world and everything in it.

We went for hikes through the woods, taking pictures of mushrooms and frogs.

Hung out with Sweetpea, who is quite possibly The Best.

Oh yeah, and we started a business! More on that to come…

Anyway Im tired and this is so many pictures so, so long for now!

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Meeting The Meatball

 

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Yolo, homebrewskis!

So goes the traditional greeting of Gabarus, CB.

Starting right now. Our house represents 7.5% of the population here and if you include the crows we represent a solid 10% so I think it’s fair to say we are making this happen.

Speaking of the crows, I just fed them the last half bag of stale Sriracha flavoured chips. They are on the front lawn gobbling them up them like rambunctious frat boys, and then jumping up and down with either happiness or spiceness. I have trouble distinguishing the two.

Last night we had our first guests to the house!! It was so exciting. Bryce and Celina were passing through Cape Breton on their way to Fogo, Nfld, and stopped in to waste time before boarding the ferry. Fortuitously we had spent the morning at the Farmers Market buying curry, african food, chili, naan bread, and german treats for dinner so we had a feast.

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This is kind of a crappy photo of the farmers market, but there you are anyway.

Bryce and Celina had their dog with them– a 50 pound Meatball-Of-Handsome bulldog named Brent. He was SO AWESOME! I could spend the rest of my life watching him climb the stairs and do “tricks.” What a little cutie.

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We have learned a lot about Sweet Pea this week. The first thing we learned that despite being 90+ years old in dog years, she is not an old lady. We thought she needed love and naps. Instead she needs constant attention and exercise. Because, she is 100% border collie. YAY! So instead of constant naps, we are doing constant walks. We learned she can do tricks: stay, sit, shake paw, dance, speak, kisses.. etc. She knows her toys by name and will bring them to you. We decided one day that she is either incredibly stupid or manipulating us, guess which one was correct. She is super smart. And super athletic and energetic. We also learned, she hates every other dog. Including sweet Brent the Bulldog puppy. Despite Sweet Pea routinely dominating dogs half her age and 3x her size, Brent held his own. Their stubborness was well matched. So we had some scary sounding dog fights in the kitchen with our Curry and wine!

But it was really nice having them over, Celine and Bryce are some of our favourite peeps. She has a Lemongrab tattoo. Thats all I need to say. We talked about food, and they made us want to take a motorcycle trip to Montreal to eat at Au Pied du Cochon and have the trotters and foie gras poutine SO BADLY GOD DAMN IT!!! Bryce and I shared my Ra-Ra-Rasputin beer, which was delicious and deep and dark but kind of tasted like that time I poured beer in my coffee for experiments. I dont think it’s going to be a routine purchase.

 

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On the work front, everything is still chill & fun. Look at these sprinkle macarons! HOW FUCKING CUTE ARE THOSE!!? TELL ME! TELL ME!!!! Yeah pretty cute. I made a Minecraft cake this week, with fondant figures, which made me very proud. Easter was incredibly busy, and we made a million cakes and all the money. Felt great!

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We had Chinese at Peking Restaurant, which is always the best.

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Aside from the pure crazy joy of having a dog around the house, and her excellent properties for warming up my feet at the end of the bed, another thing that Sweet Pea has brought into my life is walks. Im outside at dawn and dusk now, my two favourite times of day, that I rarely see. The other night we went for a walk down to the beach in the rain, and it was getting dark and the world smelled like wood smoke, and moss, and salty air. We walked through the graveyard that is slowly falling into the sea. I took a few pictures with my phone of the moody dark blue world. I would normally be at home reading the internet or watching TV. This was 1000% more relaxing. Thanks Sweet Pea!

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Sp00o0O0o0oOO00O0o0Ky ghosts!

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We also visited with Blair, as it was Distilling DAY! It was very cool to watch a bucket of sugar, water & yeast ferment and distill into clear, 180 proof alcohol. I went home with about 3 quarts of the stuff. My plan is to bring it down to about 40 proof, and add herbs and plants from around Gabarus to make a kind of gin. Angelica, rosehip, spruce, etc. The rest maybe will turn into bourbon.

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wowzaaaa

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Its been very wet and rainy this week, but the sun is shining now. I can hear bluejays and chickadees and buntings making their sweet little bird sounds. This evening we are going to drive into town to buy a BBQ, and a frisbee for the dog. On monday I get my package of vegetable seeds in the mail from Veseys in PEI. We bought about 20 different kinds of veg to try planting in the back yard. For the front garden Im going to grow a hardy hedge lavender that winters well, german camomile and pink echinacea. As well as random wildflowers for the bees. Im thinking of trying to grow some kind of water lily in the ditch in front of the house. It’s always full of water. CB tells me there will be tons of frogs in there come the warm weather so Im looking forward to some frog songs in the summer. Thats the nicest sound in the world. Dogs, BBQ’s & Frogs Forever!

CAN’T WAIT FOR SUMMER!