Evans/Ellis Cemetery

Today I’m continuing with the interesting places I visited on my recent trip to the States, because heaven knows I won’t be cooking right now with this nasty cold knocking me off my feet. One of my favourite spots was the Evans/Ellis cemetery in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

It’s a tiny little family cemetery, with only seven permanent residents and one gravestone (although there used to be two). What makes the graveyard notable isn’t its occupants, although there were (untrue) rumours at one time that the story of Mary Ellis, whose name is first on the remaining headstone, was the inspiration for the 1972 pop song “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)”. No, what is most notable about this graveyard is its unusual location.

This tiny little graveyard is right in the middle of the rear parking lot for an AMC movie theater!

In the other direction, it overlooks a construction site.

This little cemetery originally was on Mary Ellis’ private farmland, as so many old family plots used to be. As you can see in the historical photographs from Weird N.J., it was originally on a small hill, surrounded by a wrought iron fence and had two headstones. However, the land was sold to developers in the 1960’s; since it is conveniently located next to US Highway 1, it is prime commercial real estate. The ground around the plot was leveled to make for better parking for the Great Eastern Department Store, which eventually closed and became the Route 1 Flea Market. Then, once the land was sold again, the developers again declined to move the graves, instead choosing to bring the surrounding ground down even further. They built a rather attractive eight-foot retaining wall around the site, and now the graves overlook quite a stretch of pavement.

Unfortunately, despite the obvious evidence of visitors to the grave in the form of a rough path beaten down in the undergrowth and pebbles on top of the headstone, the Evans/Ellis cemetery is sadly neglected. If I’d had more time in the area, I might have headed out to the local hardware store to grab some gardening gloves and yard waste bags so as to rescue the plot from some very aggressive vines. If I’m ever back in town, I think I will do just that.

613flea Saturday September 22nd

Tomorrow is another 613flea, and I’m happy to say that I will be there! I will be in my usual spot, one row away from the north door. And I’ve got all kinds of “new” goodies to share! (“New” in quotations because, well, they’re new to my collection, but since I specialize in vintage housewares, they’re not really new per se.)

As usual, I couldn’t decide between promotional images, but I did narrow it down to two. Which do you prefer?

Apparently there are multiple events happening at Lansdowne Park tomorrow — an Ottawa Redblacks vs. Edmonton Eskimos football game starting at 4:00, Green Energy Doors Open in the Horticulture Building, as well as all of the shops and restaurants in the area. So come in to browse, or just pop by on your way to another event. I’ll be there all day!

613flea Saturday August 25th

I’m happy to announce that I’ll be participating at 613flea tomorrow! It’s such a great market, with so many fantastic vendors and a really great atmostphere. The floor plans were released yesterday, so now I can let you know exactly where to find me:

It’s supposed to be a lovely day weather-wise, sunny with cloudy periods and hovering around the mid-twenties, so it’ll be a great day to get out of the houseand pop in for a browse. I’m really looking forward to it.

As with last time, the event organizers are running a contest for vendors to design the best social media post. I must have taken fifty pictures of different setups of my wares, but in the end I thought that the notebook list was a better summary of the back-to-school vibe of a late August market. Even though I finally had a photo I was happy with, I couldn’t choose between Version 1, which shows the whole page…

And Version 2, which is cropped closer. I like the look of the page-long list, but I think it may have too much tiny text for people reading on their smartphones (which is how most of us consume our social media). But I’m not sure that Version 2 is quite as dynamic — although it seems more clear. To be honest, I spend an awful lot of time setting up and editing the photos for this blog, and I’m often still unsatisfied with the final result — even for quick snaps! For this one, I think I re-wrote the list five times before I was happy with it.

So I’ll throw it out there and ask, which one do you prefer?

On the Vine

The garden is still growing strong! We haven’t had much rain lately (we keep watching the storm clouds frustratingly veer north of us), so I’ve had to do a lot of supplemental watering. This compared to last year, where it was so wet that I only watered the garden once all season — and even then it rained unexpectedly within 24 hours. But things are still growing well.

The main garden is still growing strong, although there aren’t any new fruits or veggies to report. The green tomatoes haven’t ripened up; I figure they’re still getting bigger before they change colour. The radish, potatoes, and eggplant are all flowering alongside the tomatoes, though, which bodes well.

The vines in the secondary garden are making a bid for freedom as they do every summer, though. The part of my yard that gets the most sun is right in the middle of the lawn, and the vines keep trying to take it over. While I encourage such enthusiastic growth, it does make it a bit difficult to mow, especially since a lot of the vines are hollow and easily snapped if you try to pick them up to mow underneath.

I am thrilled to see that my tiny cucumbers are growing strong! A lot of them are almost two inches long — which is almost big enough for pickling, right?

My squash is still tiny, but at least it’s recognizably squash-like.

And much to my delight, I appear to have the beginnings of some yellow zucchini!

No pumpkins yet, though, not that I’ve been able to spot. I may be outta luck this year on that score.

Playing Hooky

We played hooky on Monday and spent an extra day at my in-laws’ cottage. This close to the end of the school year, the report cards are already written, so it’s not like the kids were missing any important content. So we explored the lake:

And enjoyed a trail hike:

And Thing 1 and Thing 2 peered into the depths in search of minnows.

Our trip wrapped up with a visit to the Whitewater Brewing Co. Lakeside Brew Pub in Cobden. We’d been to their Riverside Brew Pub some years ago (Thing 2 was just a toddler), and we’d been impressed by their fare, so we wanted to give their newer location a try.

The place definitely has a hipster vibe; for one thing, there are very few plates, with most of the meals served on wooden planks. I know they’re trying to appeal to the white water rafting crowd that dominates those parts in the summer months — young, athletic twenty-somethings out to have a good time while “roughing it”. The food is anything but rough, though, so it kind of sends mixed messages.

Lack of plates and faux-rustic decor aside, though, what I really come to this pub for is the food, and that was exceptional. (I know most people go to pubs for beer, and I’m told that Whitewater’s brews are exceptional… But I don’t drink beer.) The Things and my husband had the Whitewater Burger, which was smokey and juicy and overall delicious. I went for the fish and chips, which I honestly would have been satisfied with at half the size (and I have a big appetite). I guess the intended customer would have been out in the sun all day doing lots of physical activity — which I most definitely did not. The fish was tender inside and crispy outside, the house tartar sauce was full of tangy dill, and the thick-cut fries were lovely. I didn’t even get the chance to try the grilled toast or the mushy peas, I simply ran out of room!

That fullness was due, in part, to having split a Scotch egg with my family. I only had a few bites, but it’s not a light dish! I’d never had one before, but they seemed like the kind of thing that I would like: essentially, it’s breakfast in one deep-fried package. The smoky bacon aioli was a nice touch.

I especially liked the runny egg in the middle, which was soft-boiled to perfection.

Now that I’ve tried a proper Scotch egg, I want to try to make a Pork Belly Onigiri, which Tasty Japan made look so, well, tasty… (You can find the English translation in the video comments.)

Overnight at the Cottage

As I mentioned previously, last week I had the chance to take my kids up to the cottage that my parents rent for an overnighter. It was our first trip of the season, and we arrived in time for a late dinner the first day (a big thank-you to my mom for cooking!), and we only stayed up until mid-afternoon the second. We still managed to have a nice, relaxing time, though.

We started the morning of our second day began with a hearty breakfast that, timing-wise, was really more of a brunch. The meal consisted of bacon, eggs (scrambled or over-easy), fresh fruit salad, potato bread toast, and home fries.

Then it was time for the kids and my dad to break out the fishing rods and head down to the water to try to catch the ever-elusive lake trout, while my mom and I cleaned up. I don’t think anyone caught anything that time.

Highlights of the day included shooing a decent-sized painted turtle off of the road so it didn’t get squished by passing cars…

And making my first attempt at teaching the girls how to play marbles. The version I grew up with is what we called “pit marbles” or “hole marbles”, and the rules are similar to these. However, in our version the winner gets all of their marbles into the pit first, and billiards- or curling-like tactics are perfectly acceptable.

The lake wasn’t really warm enough for a swim, and the air never got above 20°C (68°F) or so anyway, so even the kids weren’t really pushing for a jump in the lake. But I did paddle the girls out in the canoe over to a shallow, marshy area of the lake where they could peer under the water and observe the life below. What with busy end-of-school schedules, it doesn’t look like there will be another trip to the cottage for our family before the start of July — but I know we’re all looking forward to the next one!

613flea Saturday June 9th

I’m happy to say that I’ll be at 613flea tomorrow (Saturday, June 9th) from 10am to 4pm. 613flea is held, as it usually is, at the Aberdeen Pavilion in Lansdowne Park, right in downtown Ottawa.

I have so much new-old stuff this time! The last 613flea was such a success that I was able to invest in all kinds of interesting vintage kitchenware — particularly Pyrex and Tupperware this time, alongside some actual antiques.

So pop on by for a gander! It’s a lot of fun, with so much cool stuff to browse. Hope to see you there!