Thursday, July 31, 2008

like kids in a candy store

My one and only Filipina friend here in Maine called me a couple of days back and asked me if I want to go with her to the city. Well, what do you think I will say… "of course, at long last I will be able to leave the house and have a social life". This is one of the rare indulgences of being a stay-at-home wife… to be able to leave the house… on her own… off-the-hook… care-free… having fun… and spending dear hubby’s income.

So, Medy (my Filipina friend) picked me up around 9 AM and off we droved down to the “crazy town”… [that’s what Medy’s little girl, Maya calls Portland].

Oh well, when you are in a foreign land and miss the company of another person of the same race, culture, taste, language and orientation… where do you think you will go? Of course, Asian Store! Yup, we went Asian Store hopping yesterday and went crazy over those Pinoy products that we miss so much. We were like little kids in a candy store going “gaga” over the bagoong… toyo… Mama Sita mixes… Mang Tomas Sarsa ng Litson… Lucky Me Pancit Canton… Nagaraya Craker Nuts… and the list go on and on.

We went home by noontime and I was happy with my loot. I have a stock-full of pinoy goods and I am happy, indeed.

Monday, July 28, 2008

raked up over blueberries

Last Sunday we went blueberry picking again. It’s summertime and summer means blueberry season. Hubby found this secret place tucked behind the thick woods along the ATV/snowmobile trail down the dirt road by the brook.

It was the second time we picked blueberries. The first time was just a test run, so to speak. Hubby has a certain obsession with blueberry rake. When he accidentally found that secret blueberry field he searched online for blueberry rake and bought right that very minute a rake about 4 inches in size for $42 (including handling and shipment). I was freaking out. He was worse than a “kid” in a candy store… or worse than me in a “shoes” store. OH... men!

And while he was waiting for the rake to come in the mail, he bought some materials from Home Depot and made himself a blueberry rake out of wood. I know! I know! I know exactly what you are thinking. I was thinking… “What the heck? You shouldn’t have bought that $42 rake anymore since you can make it yourself.” Oh well, I know I will get this answer… “That one coming from the mail is better than this one I am making.” That’s why I didn’t say it anymore. End of conversation.

The wooden blueberry rake that Hubby made.

The $42 blueberry rake that Hubby bought online.

The upside: I have blueberries on my cereals every breakfast for at least a couple of weeks until I puke. And a whole lot more for blueberry pie, blueberry cakes, blueberry muffins, blueberry crisp, blueberry smoothies and I can cook up another post for each one of them too. But I know I can't complain now because these blueberries are wild and organic and they are good source of anti-oxidants but I am already dreaming about blueberries too.

My breakfast for two weeks... and perhaps for another couple of weeks to come.

And the downside: I had to eat them alone because… hubby doesn’t eat blueberries! [He is just crazy about picking them and not eating them] Grrrrrrrr!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Wedding at the Lighthouse: Looking Back... and Ahead

After more than a year of working on my special project... I still have not finished it until now... sort of. Ok, here's the thing, I wanted to come up with a nice presentation of my wedding pictures and tried everything from scapbooking to powerpoint and still I have not come up with one single finished product. Then, as I was browsing on Vienna's other blog Digitally Designed, I came across with this cool website Smilebox that makes cool digital projects for your pictures like scrapbooking, slideshows, e-card photo albums and others. And you can even send it by e-mail, print or download it to your blog. Ain't that cool or what?

There are hundreds of things to do here and highly recommended for artsy and crafty guys like me. And one thing I love about it... it's free to download. But of course, if you like to have more freedom and choices to use for your projects you can upgrade your account for a minimal fee. [Note: I am not paid to Advertise Smilebox, I just want to share this site with you guys who are looking for a nice ideas for your pictures].

So, I tried it. And viola... this is the result.

Click to play The Wedding

Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Looking back now... it gives me joy just watching this. Looking back now... it gives me more reason to be patient with Hubby when things aren't perfect and when I am experiencing some mood-swing and bad moments. Looking back now... it helps a lot in re-living that special moment when Hubby and I promised to spend the rest of our lives together... for always and forever.

Click to play Our First Year Together
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Looking ahead now... we have so much to look forward to. Looking ahead now... we have more special moments to share with. Looking ahead now... we have so much reason to love each other... till death do us part.

[hmmmmp.... now I think I'm gonna cry!]

Saturday, July 19, 2008

a weekend with Steamer

We had a big storm yesterday that caused Route 114 to close down due to the fallen trees and electrical cable wires. But today is a very nice day. You know that kind of day after a storm, when the sky is still gloomy? Well, the over-all ambience is not that too blissful either. Brandon, Nana and Grandpa left early for their scheduled trip to the animal farm. And staying and bumming at home is not an ideal weekend activity. So, Hubby and I decided to check out the 43rd Clam Festival at Yarmouth.

Steamer, the Clam with the "hot" fightfighters of Yarmouth.

Big Wheels

The amazing Fire Truck of Yarmouth.

Waiting for the Parade at the 43rd Yarmouth Clam Festival.

Well, as expected I had my usual “fried dough and lemonade” and Hubby had “fried clams”. I’m not too crazy about clams but I’m crazy to see Steamer, the Clam. And just like any fair, it’s crowded and parking space is expensive too. We checked a lot of craft booths but didn’t buy anything. Had a few pictures of the event and went home 50$ poorer. Gosh, that was the most expensive lunch we ever had so far not to mention the fuel that we used going up there. Good thing it’s warm and sunny at Yarmouth and that compensated for all the trouble of going up there.

By the way, I drove the car to Yarmouth and back. And not a single nitpick from Hubby.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lovers in Paradise [The long over-due honeymoon in Canada: The Next Level]

We reached the US-Canada Border at Milltown Avenue, St. Stephen, New Brunswick a quarter passed eight that foggy Monday morning of July 7th. It was the exact date of our wedding anniversary. It did not take us long to cross the St. Croix Bridge that connects Maine U.S.A. and New Brunswick, Canada. The queue going to Canada was much shorter than that of the opposite lane going to US mainland. I immediately brought out our passports for inspection to the guy at the toll gate and we were ordered to proceed to the Immigration office at the right side of the road for further processing and questioning. Everything went alright and off we went to the next leg of our journey to Nova Scotia. And from there we took Route 1 all the way to Moncton after a couple of stops to use the restroom, ask directions and eat lunch. From Moncton we merged traffic to Route 2 to reach Amherst, Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia-New Brunswick boundery.

From there we travelled another 3 hours (more or less) of seemingly endless road amidst a lush woodland of pines, maple and birch trees. The air was warm and dusty. Tomtom [our GPS device] was confused and giving wrong directions. Hubby was impatient and bitchy. I was cool and pretty. One thing I learned about this year-old relationship… when Hubby is bitchy, I should remain calm [or pretend to be] so I won’t get him going. That was why when Tomtom was screwing up [because apparently we still need to install software to get it updated] Hubby was fuming on poor Tomtom… and I remained poised. But still I am fond of Tomtom because it talks just like any GPS navigating systems, it gives instructions and warning that kept me awake and amused the entire trip.

Poor Tomtom

After a total resignation to our fate on the road, we finally reached our destination tired and starved. At long last, Hubby was able to take a rest from driving. But still Hubby was not happy because the Chalet reserved to us was not what we were expecting. It has no air-conditioning system and with the kind of temperature Nova Scotia had that time, the chalet seemed to be a huge well-furnished oven. Oh well, we learned a big lesson then on… never trust what you see online.

Our Chalet.

Relaxing at the porch our our Chalet.

The amazing view of the Licomb River from our Chalet.

Anyway, the surrounding landscape, the calming sound of the running river and chirping birds, the sumptuous gourmet meals, the use of the hot tubs, the Liscomb River cruise and nature hike that went with the “Fall in Love Again” package compensated whatever short-coming Liscombe Lodge had.

The Liscomb Bridge.

The connecting tunnel going to the Chalets.

The connecting tunnel from the side going to the Liscomb Lodge other facilities.

We enjoyed our stay at the resort despite some of Hubby’s complaints especially the power hike. Good thing I have been running-jogging-walking for the past couple of months or else I may not enjoy the hike. Other than the bugs, I really had a good time trekking the Liscomb River Trail because it has a nicely paved gravel trail.

The Liscomb Trail.
Liscomb River.
The Look-Out which sits on top of the trail over-looking Nova Scotia woodland.
The Salmon pond at the Liscomb River which we found toward the end of our hike.

After the 9-mile hike of the trail we went straight to the Marina for our scheduled cruise. We love the cruise of the Liscomb River. It was a bit chilly that late afternoon but the view were breathtaking making the moment really romantic.

The Liscombe Lodge Marina.

Fisherman's boat achored by the bay.

Hubby and Me enjoying our cruise.

After the cruise, our special “Lobster Dinner” was delivered in our chalet for us to enjoy. It was the last night of our stay in the resort and we love the pampering.

The Appetizer: The Green Salad with special Dressing

The Appetizer: The Seared Scallop with creamy white sauce and Cucumber and Chili Relish

The Entree: Steamed Canadian Lobster with buttered veggies and baked mashed potato

The Dessert: Strawberry Shortcake

And of course, the Nova Scotia white wine.

We left the resort right after breakfast and reached the US-Canada Border around 2 pm. We were so glad to be back in Maine and happy to know that the price of fuel went down a couple of pennies. And that was a good news to us. We reached home a bit late that night. The following day, Hubby and I feasted on our wedding cake which I kept on the freezer right after the wedding reception. It was a tradition. The top layer of the wedding cake was kept on the freezer for the whole year and will be eaten on the first wedding anniversary of the couple.

Our Wedding Cake.

It was yummy as the first time we shared it. And it did bring back the memory of our Wedding at the Lighthouse.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The long over-due honeymoon in Canada: Part I

Finally, we had our long over-due honeymoon in Canada last weekend. It was a long extended weekend of fun, enjoyable and relaxing rare moment with Hubby. Yes, after one year of being married to each other, we finally had our [official] honeymoon at Nova Scotia, Canada.

Well, Hubby is a busy guy. He hardly had break from work. So, after our wedding at the lighthouse last 7th of July last year (2007), he went back to work the following day because he needed to. I was not complaining though. We already talked about it. We both wanted something really memorable for our honeymoon so we just decided to forego the “practice” for a later date to give way to our priorities.

And so, we left home Saturday (5th of July) late afternoon to begin our 600+ miles, 10 hours drive journey across the border. We didn’t go straight to our honeymoon venue because our reservation was not until Monday (7th of July) so instead we spent a night at Bangor (one of the biggest Cities of Maine about 200 miles from the Canadian boarder). I drove from home to Bangor for 5 hours giving me more hours on my driving practice and more reasons for Hubby to rant whenever I made mistakes every now and then. We stayed at Comfort Inn hotel for the night and started driving off to Calais, Maine which is just across the Canadian border and where we will be staying again for the night.

The Comfort Inn Hotel where we stayed on the first night.

We reached Calais about noontime and we looked for a place to stay for the night [again]. Being in a new and unfamiliar place we rely solely on our GPS which to our horror is not that reliable at all. We missed lots of turns and get confused on some important points of interest because apparently the GPS is not updated and the satellite is sending the wrong information on it. Oh well, you have to do what you have to do when you are faced with this kind of dilemma.

St. Croix Bay separating mainland USA and Canada (which are the islands just across the bay)

After 50 miles of driving in circles we accidentally saw this tattered-almost-barely-readable signage that says – cottages for rent. Instinct guided Hubby towards that long and winding dirt road. Great! Just want we need again, another mistake! But Hubby kept on going with his what-the-heck attitude intact and I kept my usual flair in the same manner too. And out of the nowhere, a lush and amazing landscape unfolded before our eyes. We found ourselves at Birch Point right at the Cobscook Bay Cottages at Perry, Maine.

Cobscook Bay, the amazing view from our Seawall Cottage

The Seawall Cottage, where we stayed for the night.

The Hammock... I didn't get the chance to lie on.

The seawall at Cobscook Bay

The place was amazing. It was perfect for honeymooners. It was perfect for us. It was just perfect. Too bad, we already had a reservation at Nova Scotia otherwise we would have stayed there and enjoyed the sight, the sound and the serenity of the place. The place was indeed beyond our expectation. It was secluded and it was a nice getaway from the real world. The host welcomed us with warmth reception and utmost hospitality. Though, the cottages are for week-long renting only, the host let us stayed there for a night at a really great deal. We had a really good night sleep and woke up to a cool foggy Sunday morning by the sweet chirping sound of the birds. We left the place after breakfast and head on to Milltown Blvd. where we crossed the US-Canada Border.

The lighthouse at St. Croix Bay in Calais, Maine

The US-Canada Border of Maine, USA and New Brunswick, Canada.

And from there, we continued with the other half of our 600+ miles journey across the border and off we went to the next level of our honeymoon across the border.

Friday, July 11, 2008

one year and we'll be counting

We did it. We made it. We passed it. A year of monotonously tedious ups and downs… a year of ostensibly constant struggle… a year of seemingly endless adjustment… a year of cyclically countless kisses and make ups… we are still standing strong – forgiving and forgetting each other’s shortcomings… accepting and recognizing each other’s flaws… tolerant and patient with each other’s imperfections.

And just like any normal married couple... here we are… after all the woozy marital roller coaster ride we did pass the test of time with flying colors. Here we are… after all the “I-give-up” and the “I-can’t-do-it-no-more” and the “that’s-it-I'm-done”, we still didn’t let go and kept holding on. Here we are... after all the innumerable hurts and pains we caused each other due to our own shallowness and pride, our love for each other remains stronger.

And so here we are. After all, we still have what it takes to be a couple... a couple with so much reasons to celebrate... a couple with so much blessings to thank God for... a couple with so much love to share… till death do us part.

Happy 1st Wedding Anniversary, my Sweetest!

Friday, July 4, 2008

fireworks in my imagination

Just like last year, Hubby was too tired to drive down town where the fireworks display will be held for the 4th of July celebration. This is my second 4th of July and still I can’t say or write much about the celebration because I didn’t have the chance to celebrate it, literally. Other than the cook-out and loads of barbequed sausages, chicken wings and veggies that we had earlier, my 4th of July, so far, is just a celebration to binge and gorge on food. I wasn’t able to feel the spirit of patriotism which I was really expecting because Hubby is not really a forth-of-July-kind of guy.

Well, Hubby hates the crowd. That is one thing that really spoils the fun. Every celebration we have here in the US, we only watch them on TV. He hates the traffic too. And that is another thing that messes up with the plan. Every important affair we have here in the US, we only read them on papers. As of this writing, Mainers are all in the field [at this very moment] watching the most awaited fireworks display (because I can hear the blasting sound right from our window)… and I am here writing this blog [and just imagining the fireworks in my mind] and Hubby is past snoring into a deep sleep away.

Oh well, maybe next year I will be able to talk him into it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

MAINe Confusion

We are planning to go on a long drive next week. And while next week is still a week ahead, I have to live on the present which is today. Sadly, today is not the best day as usual. Here in Maine, confusion in season is a common thing. The changing of season is so quick giving Mother Nature not enough time to prepare herself for the change. That is why, it is still snowing during the first couple of weeks in spring… it is raining during the first couple of weeks in summer… nights are hot and humid during the first couple of weeks in fall… and leaves are still falling even it is almost Christmas time.