Day 7 – Reconnecting

Sometimes people come into your life in a sideways manner…does that makes sense? Let me see if I can explain what I mean.

When my dad moved into a retirement home we would drive down from Sudbury to visit about once a month. This particular home had a really high staff turnover rate. Each time we would visit, there would be a different couple. Until Ron and Yvonne showed up. They stayed for a while. And, they were there when dad died. And they helped us. A lot.

We’ve stayed in touch via emails and phone calls and texts, but they have since moved out of town and we haven’t been able to see each other very often. Now that summer is finally here, we all agreed it was time to reconnect. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day (especially after yesterday’s floods).

These two are the most adorable couple…they know how to laugh and they take you with them on the ride. Remember what this summer’s goals were?

“I am going to enjoy every single day of this summer. I’m going to get out every day. I’m going to go for walks, and get to the beach, and do a little (safe) sunbathing, and laugh and just LIVE every day of this summer.”

Well, Yvonne and Ron got the laughing started. It was SO good to reconnect guys…I’m happy you could make it up. Come back soon!

Day 6 – The Flood

What a day! It felt at times that we should be making friends with someone who builds big boats. A normal rainy day turned into some excitement here in town.

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And, we had the pleasure of being right smack in the middle of it. We had just finished a really wonderful yoga class with Diane (thank you Diane!!) when she looked out the window and said, “Have you seen the road? Quick come look!”. And yowza…what a flood.

IMG_20170623_122455.jpg So what does one do when the town is flooding and you can’t go out and play? You do some photo editing that you’re behind on (that’s Gloria, a friend from yoga who happens to be in her 70s!! Isn’t she amazing?!?), and then get some groceries in and cook dinner of course!

Tonight’s dinner was Beef Stuffed Zucchini (the only way I can eat zucchini by the way), sprouted adzuki beans, and broccoli. As you can see, there is no evidence left…a most wonderful sight! If you want to give it a shot, here’s the recipe I use:

Beef Stuffed Zucchini

I make a couple of modifications just to create a much lower sodium meal:

  • Include 3 garlic cloves
  • Include a sprinkle of oregano, basil and parsley in the mixture
  • Don’t include the salt at all…there’s enough in the cheese
  • Replace the seasoned bread crumbs with Panko Japanese Style Breadcrumbs
  • Use diced tomatoes instead of marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • Use Swiss cheese instead of Monterey Jack
  • Oh, instead of putting the zucchini back into the microwave for the final step (see step 4 of the linked article), I put it uncovered into the oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. It melts the cheese nicely and browns the beef up as well.

If you decide to try it out and make your own modifications I’d love to know how you liked it!

And now that the food is away and the dishes are done, it’s time to relax.  Hopefully tomorrow will bring some much needed clear skies and sunshine. It’s going to be another busy day!

Day 5 – The First Rainy Day

Remember rainy days when you were a kid on summer vacation? Nothing to do, nowhere to go, no one to play with. As an adult, a summer rain day can make you feel kind of the same way. Unless you have a vehicle and are married to an intrepid explorer and road trip partner that is!!

Our first rainy day of the summer resulted in a long drive down some roads we’ve never taken, and some that we have taken but wanted to re-explore. I drove the first half (Cobourg then north and west to Whitby) then Chuck took over (Whitby through Bond Head and home). So, the pictures for today are only from the second half.

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About a year ago, we found this creepy old road (you may have seen a post on Facebook about it back then). It started in a new subdivision and degraded into miles and miles of narrow pavement with 6 foot chain link fencing and barbed wire on either side. It ran through ghost towns where old driveways were apparent but all the houses were gone. Next up was a nuclear something or other, up and over a horribly rickety bridge, and we found ourselves in a tiny little town called Bond Head.

Today, we decided to see if the road still felt creepy if we travelled it in reverse. And, we stopped at the two old cemeteries that we found along the way. Which brings me to my 70 Daze point…I know, finally!

When we were planning out things to do and see this summer to make the most of every day, we decided that actually taking the time to stop (many, many times if we wanted to) to take pictures along the way was very, very important. Here’s a few of the treasures we found.

Here’s to summer road trips, especially the ones that happen unexpectedly on rainy days with someone you love!!

P.S. Yes, it still felt creepy!

Day 4 – Summer Solstice

Summer solstice and I have a love/hate relationship. Solstice, on the upside, is the most amazingly wonderful day of the year. The longest day. Darkness seems forever away, even as I sit here writing at 8 p.m.

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Solstice, on the downside, is the most terrible day of the year. The longest day. Meaning that tomorrow, we start losing the light. The long downhill slide to winter officially starts. And that sucks.

But no! Let me tell you all the cool things that happened instead of focussing on tomorrow…right? Live every day right? I’m still learning, it’s only Day 4. Forgive me.

We were up at the farm by 7 today because we wanted to build a new firepit. During our quest for fieldstone we met the local porcupine in the soy field. And, I found a treasure in the fence bottom! We checked on the veggies (they’re doing great and say hello), and then it was back into town for a couple of appointments and a kick ass lunch.

But the day doesn’t stop there. After the appointments we went to the Summer Solstice Yoga on the Beach event (yes, we’ve started doing yoga…shhhh) and met up with some awesome folks from Fusion Studio. I even jumped into a round of Zumba. By the way, I really suck at Zumba. It was adorkable.

And, to finish off the day, we grabbed some sockeye salmon (cooked with dill fresh from the herb pot) and brought it back up to the farm to BBQ for dinner. The campfire is burning, and I’m busy saying goodbye to the light.

Wait…let me take that back…I’m saying hello to the official start of summer and the next 66 days!

Day 3 – Big City Good Eats

I love the city in the summer. It’s vibrant. It’s alive. There are all kinds of wonderful things going on. Anything you want is at your fingertips. It’s the place to be I tell you!! It’s also crazy crowded with people who aren’t sure where they’re going or what the rules of the road are. But hey, navigating around them is a fun part of the game too. At least as a passenger it is anyway.

You may wonder what we’re doing in the city today. Well, when I introduced this blog, I told you that Chuck and I had encountered some minor health problems. Those problems required a change in lifestyle…healthier food, more exercise, less stress.

This meant that I took over the kitchen after 17 years of Chuck being in charge. Yes, my husband cooked almost every meal for us for almost two decades. Yes, I CAN cook…I had chosen not to. And yes, when I cook it is edible, bordering on tasty even.

However, what I cook vs. what Chuck cooks…yeah, it’s vastly different. He lives for breads and pastas and salami and potatoes and pastries and…ah, you get it. Me? Beans, fruit, veggies, fish, legumes, wild meats, granolas. This requires a little bit of a different shopping experience.

Living in a small town is amazing and most of the time you can find exactly what you need and most of what you want. For those few things we can’t get, whenever we have to come into the city (for say, a doctor’s appointment like today) we make a special trip to The Sweet Potato…my most favourite organic store in the world. The quality of the food is amazing, the staff are knowlegeable and friendly and they truly believe in the goals of the store, they buy local as often as possible…and they were really nice to newbies to the healthy food scene like us.

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On top of that, they have a takeout counter made with the produce from the store. It’s incredible. And, on top of THAT, it’s right around the corner from Chinatown where there are even more treasures to be found.

If you’re in the city and looking for a meal, do yourself a favour and find this place. Go. Eat. Be healthy. Take stuff home to keep eating and being healthy. You won’t regret it.

Check them out this summer!

Day 2 – Family Time

Sometimes relatives take a back seat to all of the craziness and busy-ness in life. In the summer though, when the days are longer and the breeze is warmer, it seems that we find a way to make the time to reconnect with family we haven’t seen for a bit.

Meet my cousin Patty and my Aunt Lois (my dad’s sister). They drove in from Toronto to visit for the day and we has a really good catch up.

 

My family loves food as you may have been able to tell from yesterday’s post. Patty brought gorgeous salads and we set out a smorgasbord that I meant to take pictures of, but…well, we love food so there’s only a tiny bit left to photograph.

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Then we went for a drive up to the farm to show Aunt Lois what we’ve accomplished since some jerk burned down our RV in the spring. Bless her heart, she did so well…she’s 95 years old this fall and was brave enough to face the outhouse!

We spent a good three hours out in the sunshine just chatting and eating watermelon. I think that Day 2 was a successful one.

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Day 1 – Picnicking

I am one of the lucky ones. I come from picnicking people. Really and truly…picnics were (and still are) a huge part of my world. And, the fact that today is father’s day just made it an absolutely perfect time to get the picnic basket out and head up to the farm. Food from a picnic basket will always and forever remind me of my dad.

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Me (the littlest one), my sister Christine and my mom having a picnic at the farm.

And really, since this is all about the 70 Daze of Summer, what embodies the idea of summer more than an outdoor meal? I know it’s not a wild and crazy start to the season, but fresh grilled steak, corn on the cob, salad, and wine…

I hope you all had a wonderful father’s day, got outside for at least a little bit, and enjoyed life some.