Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring is lurking - hopefully?

I am at home today but I would rather be out. I'm here because I am expecting a shipment of K-cups and T-discs that include some flavours I can hardly wait to try - Peppermint Mochas or Spiced Apple Cider, anyone?
But it is truly a glorious day. So glorious, I actually cleaned the windows and storm door glasses so even more sunshine could pour in. And tomorrow, along with being sunny, it's suppose to go up to 12 C! In March, that's quite remarkable around here.
I have work that needs to be done but I confess, I've always been moved by the weather. When it storms, I want to stay inside and snuggle down with a fleece blanket, book and warming drink. When the sun shines, no matter how cold, I want to be out, moving around.
But for today, until my order arrives, I will stay here. I received several darjeelings in the mail yesterday so I will try them. For me, spring and darjeeling just go together, like mint with Christmas and peach with summer. I've tried one already and it was quite good. Maybe if I try another, I actually get something done.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A sad day

A year ago today, my mom died. For the past few weeks, the sad feelings came back as strong as when we first lost her. I guess mourning is a never-ending journey. Sometimes you cope and other times, you're glad for the stillness.
For some reason, I felt the need to buy tulips in her memory. A local grocery store is selling bunches of 10 for $5.99 so off I went. They had dozens of colours but I felt the need to buy white - after all, that is the appropriate colour, isn't it?
But there was a bunch of pale pink ones and as I walked by, a little voice told me to buy those instead. I know she would have preferred their delicacy and now they nestle in three of her favourite vases. I think she would have approved.
I've allowed myself to be easy on myself today - it's just not a day for self-criticism. A good day to drink plum tea and watch the snow sparkle on the landscape.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A changeable day

Yesterday at this time, there was snow on the ground and it was close to 0. Over night, the wind howled and buckets of rain dashed against the house - it was was 7 C. When I got up this morning, the ground outside was bare and the sun was shining and the temperature was -2. Plants still left outside over the winter looked none the worse for wear.
When I went down town this afternoon, the ground was still clear when I went into a shop. When I came out 15 minutes later, everything was white - the snow had fallen that fast. We went from clear roads to slippery and dangerous driving conditions, all within the span of a half-hour. The snow now is still falling and it's -6.
Even for a place that specializes in lively weather, the last 24 hours have been quite eventful. It's one of the reasons so many people I know keep their winter tires on all year - you just never know.
I am eating shortbread cookies and drinking coconut black tea this afternoon. It's a good one to stay home.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It's February!!??

The best thing about February is that it is a short month. February means snow in this part of the world and true to form, there's plenty on the ground and no warm temperatures in the foreseeable future. A good time of year to bake, cook and drink tea.
So far this week, I've made homemade peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies and ginger cake with cream cheese icing. Supper tonight consisted of steak, mushrooms, roasted peppers and onions with old cheddar cheese on fresh baguette rolls - pretty tasty! I've been drinking a peach oolong from Teavana that's absolutely perfect - it smells like a garden and tastes heavenly. Probably the best tea I've had in a long while.
All in all, it was a good day until my car demanded an oil change. Yep. On a screen where the speedometer is, a message told me it had to be given an oil change immediately. Huh? I called the dealership and set up an appointment but there's something inherently distasteful about a car telling me when to service it. I know it's suppose to be done every 3,000 to 5,000 km but the car has been driven much less than that, but over a six month time period. Oh yes, and the notification can only be turned off if you take it to the dealership.
Now that sounds like built-in money grab to me.
I ask the dealership if that annoying feature can be turned off but they said no.
Yeah, right.
We'll see about that. There are mechanics in my family and I've got enough people ordering me around without the car joining in!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Just not productive

Maybe it's the weather or the time of year but I am finding it hard to be productive these days - except when it comes to food. I've been cooking up a storm all week and the fun continued today with 16 blueberry corn muffins and a peach blueberry cobbler. For supper, I'll be making cheeseburger macaroni so we're not talking low-calorie fare here!
But it is cozy food and a good thing too - we're expecting stormy weather this evening. Snow, followed by freezing rain and rain - a big general mess. I went out today to pick up some potting soil for my new packets of veggie seeds (I know it's too early to start anything but I'd love to have a few pots of herbs indoors) and some yogurt and was nearly knocked off my feet by the crowds. Umm, storms in January are just par for the course in Nova Scotia. So for 12 or so hours, you might have to stay home - and eight of those hours are overnight! We're not talking emergency here, folks.
But then, I can say that knowing I have a full fridge, full freezer, plenty of milk, canned goods and fruit and vegetables in. I probably have a six-month supply of everything in - yes, even tea, chocolate and coffee. Especially tea, chocolate and coffee. It's just the way my family works. My parents lived that way and so do my siblings. We use everything but we always feel a need to have some extra in, just in case. When they talk about family trees, they weren't kidding when it came to mine - we have to be descended from at least a few squirrels!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January Blues

All in all, January hasn't been a bad month but for some reason, I tend to slow down too much. It seems everything is more of an effort (just getting to the car requires a wardrobe change - coats, boots and other assorted winter paraphernalia) so maybe it's all that extra work to get anything done that's making me so tired these days.
And when I feel that way, there are few things more soothing than a warm mug of my favourite brew nestled in my hands. I can't imagine getting through this time of year without a cup of coffee in the morning, tea through the rest of the day and the occasional yummy drink (hot chocolate, cappuccino, lattes) in between.
It's my therapy in a cup.
Of course, the occasional cupcake or chocolate chip cookie has its own medicinal properties ...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Almost ready

I am almost ready to give up the Christmas food. Every year, I buy all the traditional foods and every year, I find us eating all that stuff well into January. This year is no exception except that I cut back - a lot - and there's still a ton of food around. We're eating really well (too well - there's diets in our future) but for some reason, there's always too many goodies at this time of year.
It also doesn't help that the shops have been putting on amazing food sales, which means I've been stocking up like a squirrel. Everything's on offer except the Earl Grey Tassimo discs that I have just run out of - grrrr .... not that I really need them but they go so well with triple chocolate candy cane cookies ...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


As you can probably tell, by the simple name of this blog, I am a big fan of tea and chocolate.
But NOT tea-flavored chocolate.
During the holidays, I bought an intriguing bar of dark chocolate that contained green Earl Grey tea. It was pricey - $4 for an 85 gram bar - but I figured I liked chocolate and Earl Grey tea so how could I go wrong? Well, I went very wrong.
I knew I was in trouble when I opened the box containing the bar and was hit in the nostrils by an overwhelming scent of Earl Grey - and this was with the foil inner wrapping intact.
I still opened the package and ate a block, which turned my stomach. It was disgusting. I threw the rest of the bar into the trash. I'll keep my tea and chocolate quite separate from now on, thank you very much!

No gardening here today

It's -4 C with high winds and blowing snow - the sort of day you're glad not to have to go out. A good day to do laundry, cleaning and all the work you've been putting off - well, at least in my case!
It's also a good day to drink tea. I've been really enjoying a cranberry black tea from Upton lately - it has a nice subtle cranberry flavour that's hard to find and I would recommend it to those who enjoy flavoured teas.
Well, it's back to the laundry ...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Garden fun!

Canadian Saver mentioned that it was wild that I was eating greens on New Year's Day and I have to agree. Here's a little update from my garden.
I had Swiss chard and onion greens in my salad plus I harvested a few onions to have at a later date. I also had some cherry tomatoes left over from the fall harvest so we had them too. I'm not all that fond of Swiss chard but it's a real survivor and it lasts until late in the season. I'm hearing kale is the same way so I'll grow some of that next year as well.
Oh, and my cabbages, brussell sprouts and broccoli are still thriving as well - they're just not ready to be harvested yet! I don't think anyone bothered to tell them that it's way past harvest time so I am just waiting to see what happens. Because most of the bugs are dead, the plants look gorgeous - no munched-away bits - so who knows? One thing I am learning from this is to never give up on your garden in this region. Admittedly, we planted early and late - the early stuff did not do well and the late stuff came from some cheap plants they were selling off at the grocery store and wasn't in the best of shape during the warmer seasons. Now that it's chilly, they seem to be quite happy and I do think the lack of insects is helping with that.
It's also not hurting the pansies and creeping myrtle, which are also still blooming in the front yard ...

Monday, January 2, 2012

More Fun!

While the stores were jammed on Boxing Day, there was hardly anyone about in the days after - and that's when the real bargains can be found. I headed to Walmart today and pleased to find all the holiday chocolate on for 75 per cent off. Yes, that meant chocolate initials were 30 cents, pound bags of Hershey Kisses were a $1.20 and bags of Lindt chocolates were a buck. If you're not put off by the Christmas wrappings, it's a great time to stock up - chocolate stores great in the freezer. I think I'm pretty much set for the year!
Yesterday was interesting as far as meals went - I harvested salad greens and onions from my garden. Yep. I had a fresh-from-the-garden salad on New Year's Day. In Atlantic Canada.
Yes, the weather is definitely changing.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

And good riddance to 2011!
This is going to be the year that I accomplish a lot and enjoy what I am doing. I will write a lot, play a lot and make a lot of money - and woe to those who try to prevent this from happening, like it did before. This time, I have confidence and determination behind me and I will not take no for an answer because there are always plenty of other options to explore. I am going to get what I need done and I wish everyone else the same kind of determination and success for their year - it's going to be a good one!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Boxing Day Fun ...

In this province, the Boxing Day sales are on the 27th so we headed out today to see what we could find. After an all-you-can-eat Tex-Mex buffet bought on gift cards, we went downtown. We had fun using up our gift cards from a local kitchen store (sporks, olive spoons, grapefruit spoons, a new rolling pin and a pizza stone - all the essentials!) and then headed to the mall.
Oh my.
I never really thought every parking spot in an enormous mall parking lot could be filled but this one was. I wanted to leave then and there but I was persuaded to stay and I eventually found a spot. Inside, it was crazy busy but we still managed to find what we wanted. I got a prepaid smartphone for $59 at a major electronics chain, which surprised me since I just assumed they would be sold out. In fact, nothing was sold out which makes me wonder if people were just out looking instead of buying. I also got lots of half-priced chocolate, nuts and cookies so I am well-stocked for a while. Alas, no tea sales though!

Monday, December 26, 2011


Who knew I could eat so much? Two turkey dinners, carrot cake, pumpkin pie, endless chocolates, salsa dip and chips and now a chocolate Chex mix that's just too addictive - yup, there's going to be a diet in my future! Maybe even starting tomorrow.
Fortunately tea's got no calories and I got a nice selection of 12 for Christmas from David's tea so some fun ahead trying those. I also got a selection of hot chocolates - Gourmet Village - in such flavours as butter pecan and peanut butter. Unfortunately, they're not calorie-free but hopefully I can show a little more restraint than I did today.
Yup - fruit and salad days are definitely coming my way again and not a moment too soon!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I wish for loads of food and good tea for everyone!
I confess one of my favourite Christmas Eve traditions is hitting the grocery store late in the afternoon to take advantage of the markdowns - yeah, cheapness is part of my holiday fun! Anyway, today's haul was small but delicious - half price fresh cranberries which will be stored in the freezer for later use, honeydew melon which has already been eaten, fresh trout and haddock for a healthier new year and which have been frozen and a half price rotisserie chicken, which will end up being our turkey, which means savings on cooking costs as well. Gotta love those bargains!
Best wishes to all!