Celebrating World Bratwurst Day…

August 16 was World Bratwurst Day, Friday and a perfect day to grill. Plus when you have the best brats EVER, who could resist.

Earlier this summer we spent a night at the Brownsville Marina in Washington’s Puget Sound. The marina has good facilities and had a great deli with yummy choices for lunch. Beyond the marina, Brownsville is pretty small. There is a convenience store (which conveniently fills growlers), a U-Haul depot and Sweeney’s Country Style Meats.

Our plan after lunch was to explore Brownsville. Or rather, take the short walk to Sweeney’s to pick up something for dinner. The store is small, sort of like Brownsville itself, but full of meat and fish – something for everyone. After choosing a tri-tip roast to grill for dinner, handsome hubby opened the freezer behind us and discovered sausages and brats of all flavours.

We chose the traditional bratwurst ($13.97 for 4) with no real plans on when we’d eat them. Back at the boat, into the freezer the brats went while handsome hubby focused on the tri-tip roast. A little spice rub and a whole lot of grilling, we enjoyed an amazing dinner with friends.

So Good!

A few days later, we found ourselves at the Blakely Island Marina in the San Juan Islands. Our plan of spending one night changed to two thanks to wind and small craft warnings. With little options for provisioning or eating out, we decided it was a perfect time to try the brats.

While I sauteed our last pepper and onion and put together a salad, handsome hubby grilled a couple of the brats. And that’s when we found out just how good Sweeney’s Country Style Meats is. We thought they were a good size when we pulled them out of the freezer. Then somehow they actually grew while grilling!

These brats are HUGE!!!

In fact, they grew so much, we cut ONE in half for our dinner and it was more than enough! And they were SOOOO good. I don’t eat much meat – so when I do, I want good quality and great taste. These brats delivered.

After learning our lesson on Blakely Island, we only grilled one for World Bratwurst Day. And it was perfect.




World Parkinson’s Day

April 11 is World Parkinson’s Day – a poignant day for me and my handsome hubby as both of our fathers were diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Sadly, my dad passed away four years ago after fighting this insidious disease. My father-in-law continues to face the challenges thrown his way with wit and courage.

“Parkinson’s disease affects 1 in every 500 people in Canada.  Over 100,000 Canadians are living with Parkinson’s today and approximately 6,600 new cases of PD are diagnosed each year in Canada (based on annual incidence of 20 new cases per 100,000 people).” 1

Today I’m going to stop and smell the tulips (the official symbol of Parkinson’s disease) as I remember my dad and support the research for a cure.




What a difference a year makes

So this time last year, I was lying in a hospital bed wondering what the heck had just happened. How was a 46 year old woman, who until two months earlier had felt healthy and active was now dealing with blood clots, heart issues and a thyroid condition?

The answer? The thyroid condition. I had ignored the lump on my neck for over a year. Well not ignored so much, as became a Google doctor. My diagnosis was that it was a goiter caused by a low thyroid.

It made sense. I was eating mostly vegetarian and leaning even closer to vegan in most meals so I could justify I was missing some vitamins. And I was tired and cold and could tick most of the boxes in the “hypoactive” thyroid column.

So I did what any good Google doctor would do. I self medicated. First it was Brazil nuts since they are supposed to be good for your thyroid. When I realized how much I was spending on these nuts and not really seeing an improvement, it was time for a more drastic approach – iodine supplements.

This may have worked out fine, if in fact, I actually had an under-performing thyroid. What I had instead, was a hyperactive thyroid and the iodine pills were just like its crack!

Now if at any point in time, I had made a visit to a healthcare professional, the above mentioned hospital stay would have been avoided. But I continued to ignore signs that something wasn’t right. That is until severe abdominal pain forced me to the ER on Good Friday.

Continue reading “What a difference a year makes”

Moving onto a boat!! It’s going to be a new adventure

Perhaps the only thing harder to find in Vancouver than liveaboard moorage is an affordable detached home. Some of the marinas have years-long lists. If you’re lucky you might find a boat you love (or maybe can live with) that comes with that golden ticket. And sometimes, once in a blue moon, you just get lucky.

Handsome Hubby and I have talked about living on a boat for a few years. Often it was in the abstract – “wouldn’t be great to live on a boat” but we really didn’t do too much about it. Then in the last six months, it changed from a dream to something we wanted to do.  Continue reading “Moving onto a boat!! It’s going to be a new adventure”

Happy First Day of Fall

“How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.” ~ John Burroughs

Although summer (and sun and warm temperatures) is my favourite time of year… there is something special about fall and the colours of the leaves as they say good-bye until spring. Of course, I do wish we could skip winter altogether.

This quote by John Burroughs speaks to me as I realize I am growing old. Maybe only closer to middle age; but the gray hairs remind me I am no longer a young woman. So it’s time to remember the leaf – full of light and colour regardless of the age on my passport.




A boat, wind and an extra-long weekend

This past weekend, handsome hubby and I took our Tollycraft 26′ boat for the two-hour run to Anacortes. The purpose? To join other Tollycraft Boating Club members for a mini-rendezvous. Or perhaps, more accurately, to have fun (wine, food, laughs) with friends on Cap Sante Marina’s docks.

While the weather forecast wasn’t great (we need rain but it could have waited until Monday!) it didn’t look bad when we set out on Thursday. Continue reading “A boat, wind and an extra-long weekend”

Yummy Vegan Calzones

Yesterday was World Vegan Day, National Calzone Day and a bunch of other special days. Guess November 1 seems like a good day to celebrate.

Anyway, I figured I could combine vegan and calzone and celebrate with a tasty dinner. Only  problem is that I have NEVER successfully made pizza dough. And I mean never! It has always been an unmitigated disaster in one way or another.

But since I’ve decided to conquer my cooking fears, I looked in my favourite cookbook – Google – for a vegan calzone recipe. After looking at a few, I chose this one from The Flaming Vegan site. It looked simple enough, although the dough part was still pretty intimidating for me. Proofing yeast, rising dough, rolling out the dough… SCARY!! Continue reading “Yummy Vegan Calzones”

Second Spring

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ~ Albert Camus 🍁 🍁 🍁

Such a pretty walk today in Port Coquitlam with the beautiful leaves everywhere. It actually did look like spring.