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Archive for the ‘Important Dates to Celebrate’ Category

Many Junes Ago

The end of June (29th – 30th) is very special to us; Monica’s birthday and our anniversary are back to back. This year, we got away to the east coast of NB to revisit some favorite sites and relive some favorite memories of our past.

It all started with a birthday bash as Monica marked her 62nd 🎂. We enjoyed a wonderful family lunch at La Sagouine restaurant in Bouctouche. We chose this on recommendations from friends. Supposedly, people go nuts for the pecan pie but I went for the deep fried New York cheesecake! Two of Monica’s sisters (Shirl and Marlene) and brother Frank along with full spousal accompaniment, joined us for great food, much merriment and birthday hugs for both Monica and Pauline.

Then we town-hopped our way north along the coast through Rexton and Richibucto just poking along the back roads. A quick stop in to see the spectacular windows at Saint Louis de Gonzague church and then a quick visit to the Richibucto River Winery to stock up, was all just 10 minutes away from our destination at L’Ancrage B’nB in Saint Louis de Kent.

Still full from lunch, we shared a quiet drizzly Monday evening celebrating Monica’s birthday over wine and chips and enjoying the view from our room.

The morning of the 30th was cloudy and breezy. We had a monumental breakfast at the inn. Then, what better way to celebrate 36 years of marriage than returning to the place of our first “get away” as new parents 34 years ago. Ryan was only 4 months old when we left him with my parents over night and sped off to Kouchibouquac National Park for a late honeymoon camping adventure. Like before, we walked for miles on Kelly’s Beach. This time, there was no one else in sight. It was glorious!

 

 

 

 

An afernoon spin to Pointe Sapin to see the lighthouse and then to Richibucto to get lobster rolls takeout at La Riva Grille saw us back at our room before 4 o’clock. The rest of the day was spent relaxing in utter East Coast contentment. We exchanged anniversary cards, enjoyed the lobster and finished with an evening stroll along the river to find some driftwood. The best peace and quiet ever!

Final morning, July 1st. Happy Canada Day! 🇨🇦 After another fantastic breakfast, we said goodbye to Liane and Kores, our Dutch hosts at L’Ancrage BnB. Their hospitality gets 5 stars and we highly recommend this inn.

The drive home was easy with two little side stops at Cap Lumiere to see the lighthouse, and at Cote de Sainte Ann’s beach to look for sea glass. A lovely calm fog ushered us along the shore. The serenity was exquisite. Alas, no glass, but we really enjoyed the stroll. An hour and a half later, we were welcomed home by the peonies and delphiniums.


Happy Birthday and Anniversary, Monica. Exploring new places with you is perhaps my favorite thing to do.

 

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day 2020

unsun catchers

It’s storming (sort of) here in Saint John on March 17th. Monica and I are holed up in the house, with the fireplace on, watching the snow and reading the news as the world reels from COVID-19.

Saint Patrick, so it is said, drove all the snakes out of Ireland. Wish he could do the same with this virus! Here’s to your good health, my friends.

Perhaps some glass will lift the spirits. Here are six lovely ones I saw in the past year.

Happy Sushi-day to me

It’s really wonderful to have another birthday and it doesnt get any better than lunch at Take-Sushi followed by homemade butterscotch pie for dessert (thank you Monica). And, thanks to everyone for the B-Day wishes. Life is good at 61.

June to the End

I love late June for two very special reasons; Monica’s birthday on the 29th and our wedding anniversary on the 30th.

To celebrate this year, we headed for Prince Edward Island stopping first into Victoria By The Sea for lunch at the Landmark… awesome chowder and fish cakes. Then onward to spend one glorious night at the very grand Dalvay by the Sea Inn on the north shore. Great service, great food! Happy Birthday Monica 🥂

The next day, traffic was light as we poked our way along lupin-lined roads stopping occasionally to visit a church or snap a landscape moment. By afternoon, we arrived at picturesque Big Point Cottage on the south shore at Belle River. Here we would stay for the next three weeks.

It was raining when we arrived and we enjoyed a quiet afternoon exchanging cards and sharing 35 years of memories over a nice bottle of wine and burgers for dinner. Happy Anniversary Monica 🥂

Here are the photo highlights of June to the End.

 

 

The Second Day of May

Celebrating 31 years ago today this beautiful woman brought this beautiful girl into the world. 31 years later, I’m still watching them with amazement.

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

St. Valentine… the man behind the legend

He was a Christian priest in 250 AD at a time before Christianity was fully accepted. He married people illegally so the husbands wouldn’t have to go to war. This was much to the ire of Emperor Claudius II, who sentenced him to death: beaten, stoned and beheaded. While in jail, awaiting his sentence, Valentine healed the jailer’s blind daughter, restoring her sight… and on his execution day, he left a note in his cell for her that simply said … “Your Valentine”.

Fact or fiction? Regardless, he is the reason many of us put a little more effort on this day into reaching out to someone special to show them we care.

Monica and I had a wonderful lunch date at Ta-ke Sushi on King Street. We also bought more sushi to take home for supper, after the wine of course. And the sun shone through it all. It was a great day.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Since traveling to Ireland and learning more about their history and culture, I have a much better appreciation for the man called Saint Patrick... who, in the mid 400s, was captured from his home in Britain by Irish pirates while still just a teenager, enslaved for years on Ireland, escaped and fled back to the mainland, became a Christian, returned to Ireland to spread the word and build his first church in Armagh (we were there), and ultimately become the patron saint of Ireland.

Celebrated on this day all over the world (and most certainly at our house), Monica and I wish you a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Here are some shots all taken close to home in Saint John.

Family Gallery Hop

As a pre-father’s day celebration, Monica and I were treated today by our daughter, Sarah, to lunch uptown at Cask ‘n Kettle. Then the three of us enjoyed a round the block Gallery Hop to seven fine arts shops all within easy walking.

I am very spoiled and so fortunate and happy to be so.

 

St. Paddy’s Day Feast


We (Monica, Sarah, Matt and I) feasted today in honor of St. Patrick; born 385 AD in England, captured as a teen and taken to Ireland as a slave, escaped to the mainland as a man, converted to Christianity at a time when it was outlawed, returned to Ireland to spread the word, created his first church in Armagh (Mon and I were there), and has been ever since the Patron Saint of Ireland. Plus, it’s Matt’s birthday today… double the celebrations!! I ended the day with sushi from Superstore. What a wonderful family food day.

 

Valentine’s Day 2017

The day started at 5:00 am with a rigorous session of driveway snow-blowing… didn’t care for that so much 😐

Then a couple of hours of soldering in the studio (really love that) turned out two celtic knotted crosses…. one for CraftologySJ and one for my sweetheart.

Lunch was a happy gorging uptown at Ta-ke Sushi… and then home with feet up for an afternoon of blogging and sipping great Tempranillo from Spain ☺ and making plans with Monnie for our spring road trip.

Isn’t life grand?

Happy Retirement

I was delighted to have just finished and deliver a panel to my former mentor at NBCC, Linda Brownrigg, who is retiring at the end of the month as Regional Director of the St. Andrews campus. With nearly 34 years of service, Linda has always been a driving force for the Community College and I know she will be dearly missed. We all wished her a happy future of travelling, curling and enjoying some well deserved peace and quiet.

Titled “On Permanent Vacation”, the panel depicts Linda and her husband, Bill, riding toward the Portland Head Lighthouse on their motorbike. I had great fun creating it and was honored to present it to her myself. You can read the full story of its creation here.

Happy retirement, Linda, and safetravels.

with Linda

Canada Day 2016

Thank you to whomever for this day… I love Canada Day! Love seeing all the flags a-flutter. This looks like a beautiful one here in Saint John. Clear blue skies. Having coffee with the windows open, I can hear a cardinal singing just behind the house. I love this day especially here on the West Side. Mon and I are going outside to enjoy the morning sun. While she deadheads the flower pots, I’ll take the camera around to see how much red and white I can find for Canada Day.

This afternoon, we’ll head to the bay, Bellisle Bay that is, to visit with Monica’s family, enjoy good food on the barbie, light a campfire and hopefully see a fireworks or two. Love this day… big smiley face! Happy Canada Day to everyone from Nellyglass Studio.

2016 Birthday/Anniversary

Monica’s birthday (#58) and our anniversary (#32) are 1 day apart (the 29th and 30th). This makes it very convenient for me to remember such important dates and to double up on the celebrations… not that I could ever forget important dates like these … but, old brains, you know.

This year was low key as we are still recouping from our European tour. We celebrated both days with good food starting with Mon’s birthday on Wednesday. We packed a nice picnic lunch and took a car ride up the Saint John River to Wickham. We enjoyed our sandwiches overlooking the river at the Wickham Cemetery. A  morbid place for lunch you ask? Perhaps, but such a very lovely spot. Then we moseyed home through Cambridge Narrows and Hampton. Low key and lovely.

The next day for our anniversary, Sarah took us out for lunch at the East Coast Bistro for excellent food of various kinds. How gracious of our daughter. We really appreciated her generosity.

Saying goodbye to Sarah uptown, we gallery hopped until we found something nice for our wall (a Three Sisters paint stamp by Mark/Roland at Retro & Rust). Before leaving the uptown area, we stopped at our favorite sushi restaurant, Ta-ke Sushi, and picked up some take out for supper; Unagi roll, spicy tuna roll and Spider maki roll. We also picked up some Saki to go with it. 😊

Quiet celebrations. Wonderful food. Cherished memories… glad I took photos.

 

 

 

And dance we did

It was a beautiful evening for our 40th Petitcodiac High School Reunion. Sunny and warm, birds singing before dark and later crickets, all was calm and peaceful at Corn Hill Nursery… until we turned on the band!  Crank it! How we laughed and danced just like (well, almost) we were 18 again. Old friends arrived some of whom had not been seen for 40 years! Others not since 30 years. Others more recently but always great to see again. How wonderful. 23 of us in total from a class of 61 graduates. Not bad ☺ and what a fantastic time we had . The music was all 70’s by local band Star Sixty Nine and we finished at midnight with a full procession of Grand Funk Railroad’s Locomotion. Yeah, come on, hook up and let’s go! Smiles all around…😃 …no one threw a knee or a hip (thank you) and I’d say 58 is the new 18. A big group hug  to the 1976 graduates of PRHS!

Birthday on last day at work… reason enough to celebrate?

You bet it was! That has to go down to one of the funnest deck parties we’ve ever had. The weather was perfect. Ryan came home from Fredericton! Sarah and Matt and Deacon (150 lb Rottweiler) came to our house and we all kicked in for a family-only celebration on the back deck. Ryan and I waited for others to arrive under bright cloudless skies and warm sunshine excellent for spiritual healing. Arrival of Sarah and Matt signaled the official start. With the bar now open, cocktails included El Dorado Spiced rum on ice … saved from St. Martin last February. Ryan and I partook, most happily. Also gluten free munchies for me (veggie sticks) and try-to-avoid-fail munchies (ripple chips) for the kids. Sneaking snacks to Deacon was a game of trying not to get your entire hand swallowed along with the chip 🙂 What a wonderful dog. Magnificent.

Humbly, I profess I was totally spoiled and am so appreciative of the great gifts I received from everyone (thanks for the wine, Marlene 🙂 thanks for everything kids, thanks Honey…love my card).IMG_7762

Monica had master-menued a beautiful meal with grilled striploin steak, fried mushrooms and onions, baked potato, boiled corn with cilantro butter, herb butter shrimp and lots of rolls. Ever have a 150-lb Rottweiler stare at you while you’re eating your steak? knowing that if he really wanted it, there would be nothing you could do to stop him…so I bribed his loyalty with bits of everything as much as I could get away with. (is that sort of like spoiling the grandchild?)

I am so blessed to have my family surround me to wish me well for my birthday and my last day in the office. I’m on vacation for the next three weeks and then officially retired from NBCC. It has been a wonderful career at NBCC… truly. I have learned so much and done so many interesting things during my 16 years there. Now my journey of learning continues into the world of stained glass as I pursue the skills of the craft to hopefully one day become a master glass craftsman… and then we’ll see where it takes me from there. God willing, I can spend the rest of my life finding out.

Thank you Monica, Ryan, Sarah, Matt and Deacon for celebrating my day with me. I love you all…. you know that, of course.

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All dedications lined up together at the perfect moment in time

Just like my home page says, “This site is dedicated to the following…” i.e., all those things I said I would dedicate my site to, well they all just happened to come together this week at the same time: 1) I’m itching for a new stained glass project and have something in mind for my bathroom downstairs (hint: marine theme). So, while I was looking at some glass possibilities, I snapped a pic or two. Selecting the glass is step #2 in the process, after pattern preparation, and is perhaps second only to patterns in terms of the creativity factor. I love searching the colors and patterns in the glass for the possibilities. 2) There was sushi involved (thank you above for the Japanese who perfected this culinary delight centuries ago). 3) My favorite two celebrations of the year are back to back…our anniversary and Canada Day. Monica and I always love to celebrate our lives together and then have a holiday the next day. She somehow masterminded that 31 years ago, and I’m ever so glad she did. Two wonderful occasions to celebrate and I couldn’t be any more proud and patriotic of both.

Here is a quick photo reel of the highlights.

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Whimsical weekend with my wife

We celebrated Monica’s birthday and thirty years of marriage in a place we didn’t expect to be but one that brings such fond memories of our past that being here again now for our anniversary was nostalgically wonderful. This trip definitely goes down in history as the perfect getaway and adds to our collection of wonderful East Coast Memories. We really had a great time. We explored some familiar and some new places hand in hand, we laughed, we loved, we ate great food and drank fine wine. And it was a beautiful clear 33 degrees all four days. Here is a 30-year flashback from then to now. See if you can spot the differences.

honeymoon on Campobello 1984Happy 30th Babe

on ferry to Deer Island taking photo out car window 1984   on the ferry taking a photo out the car window - 30 years later

It all started with a planned trip to Ireland for our 30th. The flights were bought, hotels and bus tour booked and we were nearly ready to pack the suitcases. At the last minute we cancelled everything. It just didn’t feel right going that far away at a time when we should stay close to Dad. Ireland will still be there next year, Babe.

Instead, Monica and I booked an impulse getaway to Portland for one night (where we met friends travelling to Boston to see Lady Gaga) and two nights at the Island View Inn between Camden and Rockland. Good choice. The off-season rates were fantastic, we got some great deals shopping, enjoyed the incredible grounds and pool at the Island View Inn, exchanged romantic cards and clinked our glasses together to celebrate us. I could write pages and pages but I think a picture is worth a thousand words in this case. So, here is the photo journal of our weekend trip to Maine.

 

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Happy Anniversary Monica

Happy Anniversary to the most beautiful Peony of all, my wife Monica. They always bloom around your birthday/anniversary and you always bloom for me. Happy 29th Babe. Here’s to 29 more.

Peonies for Monica from Lorna - card from Nelly

Stained Glass Peony Lamp - made by Nellyglass 2013

Stained Glass Peony Lamp – made by Nellyglass 2013

What a Great Day – this only happens once every 90 years.

Uncle Bill’s 90th birthday reception in Havelock was a resounding success, despite the rain. He looks wonderful for 90. The rest of us should be so lucky. There must have been nearly 200 people there to wish him well. It was so wonderful to see all my cousins and many of the towns folk who came to see him. Some people I had not seen in 40 years!  Uncle Lee, Aunt Vesta, Tom Burgess and Mort Mills sang some great old tunes on stage and we also sang Happy Birthday to Dad on this, his 87th birthday. After the reception, the family (30 or more) went to the Ridge Restaurant for Roast Beef dinner. Cousin Sharon baked a little chocolate cake for Dad. Was it ever special to watch him blow the candle out.

This was a happy day. I am forever grateful that I have such a great family. And, as we took Dad home for the evening, we noticed Mom’s rose is starting to bloom by the side of the house.