The pig roast on Saturday went off well. We are getting a bit more adept and putting it together. The shore captain still has some 'moments' but he's not a chef so I told him not to act like one. As I was checking on the congris (rice and beans) yucca, boiled plantains and tostones (fried plantains) while waiting for the portions of pork to be brought down from the grill a German chef watching from the dining room commented to a friend "she's keeping it pretty cool there" so I walked over and said "no one is bleeding or not breathing and I'm on vacation, what is there to get excited about?" which caused him to giggle. He was shortly pressed into action to carve the roast pork which I think made him feel useful in his retirement. We served about 30 souls with babies, toddlers, older kids and guests of all ages. I tasked a friend with keeping the salsa music going and he rigged up speakers inside and outside the house which was the next best thing to a live band. By the time more guests dropped by after work it was a long but fun day. Lots of leftovers which we'll be eating for a while out of the fridge and freezer.
Sunday was an early start as the teacher daughter was running in the local race - a half marathon which is part of the Run NS schedule. I made it to the first intersection for some photo ops, then drive by cheering and another stop, leapfrogging the son-in-law as she made her way through the course. When you're approaching 10km and able to chat it up with your new found buddies from Boston you're pretty fit. There was a large field this year as this race is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon where there is a large show of support since the terrorism of last year. It's fairly flat (although the runners disagree) usually cool with the fog and sea breezes and lots of community energy as locals turn out on their doorsteps, in the church parking lots and on bikes to urge runners on. Her father arrived part way through the race and we continued our cheering - the running buddies were impressed with her cheering section. Waiting for her at the finish line with a time of 1:58 for her first half marathon was pretty impressive. Lots of folks I hadn't seen for a while to visit with and then we took in the social event following. Although she didn't place this year (huge class of her age group) she was pleased with her mug for first half marathon and we had a nice lunch. I delivered her to the in-laws cottage and she and the son-in-law headed back to the city.
Monday was predicted to be rainy all day but instead by mid morning the sun was shining and the clothes were on the line. My summer neighbour phoned to invite me to go kayaking but I was still cleaning up from the weekend's festivities and so declined. A bit of a black cloud was following me around as I broke a favourite mug, spilled catfood everywhere, couldn't get the lighters in my propane range top to work although they do work when lit remotely. A dog walk later in the afternoon cleared the air with a buddy who we convinced to stay for leftovers and even take some with her to work for her lunch reduced the perishable edibles here.
Tuesday was rotten weather wise so I headed out for a family visit. My niece and her children were down to visit my sister and so we caught up on the news. It was my great nephew's third birthday so I arrived with helium balloon, noisemakers, water pistol for him and skipping ropes for his sister and friend. A rousing thunder and lightening storm with buckets of rain added to the festivities. We were comparing nursing notes as they related to the Saskatchewan nurse daughter, who is incidentally making 'top of the payscale NS wages' in that province as a new graduate. My niece was impressed with some of the SUN provisions too about shift change without notice etc. When I mused that the new grad was being taken care of by old nurses in the west the way I had advised someone else's daughters over the years in NS. we both smiled. My niece mentioned the new graduates who work on neurosurgery with her are totally overwhelmed and cry every day at work. Since my niece was charge nurse last week she was explaining "I finally had to say, you can't cry at work, you just have to cry on the way home like the rest of us". We agreed that the most challenging units are where you learn the most and the quickest but the problem is that as staff are paid the same rate regardless of where they work so don't want to work harder for the same pay. There are usually two reasons for rapid turnover of staff on a unit - poor management or increased workload. You should run from the first and learn from the second. Home to curl up on the couch to read my book and a nap ensued. Must've needed it.
Today dawned clear and sunny with a flat calm harbour. Ahhh. I readied myself and headed out to the municipal pool for senior swim. I'm not even sure what the senior age requirement is as the life guard (who's mother was a coworker and my age) is too smart to ask, she just takes our $3 for the hour of wonderful relaxation. The water was 82F today and I visited with a buddy. Only seven of us there in total. I met up with a lady who had posted her breadmaker on the buy & sell so scored a nice Sunbeam for $30. Home to make oatmeal bread - which unfortunately didn't rise well - been so long since I made bread the yeast was dead, will try again. I had a call just after I'd come home from my summer neighbour saying she'd been fastening a bungee cord around something and it had slipped, sprung back and whacked her in the forehead, could I come look at her head? So I made a house call with my limited supplies, but it was a surface wound and so steri strips and a mepore bandage were all that was called for. She was applying ice thus the swelling was under control. I advised no leaning forward for the afternoon - rest and read a book. Returned home and washed all the furniture covers, loads and loads of laundry hung out and finished my own book The Sisters Brothers which was a great read. My the gold rush was a vicious period in North American history! I'm starting Ami MacKay's The Virgin Cure - gotta love that title anyway.
Some texts and phone calls with the electrician daughter who found herself in the midst of some work related upheaval, none of it her doing. Sometimes it's just best to cut your losses and walk away, there are always options. Back to visit with her kitties for a bit - unconditional love is always the answer to any of life's little annoyances. A FaceTime chat with the nurse daughter who was just recovering from night shifts which sounded rather hectic. Certainly sounds to me as if she's managing herself well but it's a tough gig to be a new RN or a female third year electrical apprentice. Good thing the kids are all smart with a great work ethic, will serve them well. Reminded me of the quote of the day....One's best success comes after their greatest disappointments. -Henry Ward Beecher
Oh and the teacher daughter is of course off for the summer and her husband had found some plans for a shed for the backyard - which were vetted by the father-in-law however....before he got started he took a notion to remove the 'ugly pink' tiles in the rec room in the basement and install laminate flooring. This has turned into more of a project than he anticipated (as those of us who have done renos can testify to) but apparently last night while he was removing the flooring he decided (wrongly it turned out) that he should just cut the phone line because "we don't use it down here". This unfortunately shorted out the phone throughout the entire house. He has a planning degree not technical credentials.
I noticed an article in the daily newspaper on northern food costs:
which reminded me of my northern home. There are pieces on food security (availability of affordable, nutritious food) in the media lately as a survey has found that Nunavut is #1 in food insecurity but unfortunately Nova Scotia is in second place.
|Sand at 250 magnification|
I was playing with one of those name generator gizmos on FaceBook that someone had posted because of the polls about the name for the royal baby. I discovered that my Royal Name is Her Highness Magnolia of the Night - which if you know me at all, you realize is very accurate for this night owl. I was glad to hear that my nurse daughter has inherited her mother's knack for daytime sleeping and is herself a Magnolia of the Night. Here - enjoy it yourself: http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2013/07/12/royal-name-generator/2512673/
As well, someone had posted this photo of sand magnified 250 times. Amazing! Wouldn't my father have LOVED the internet and all the information it shares?