Friday, May 18, 2018

First Walk of Spring!!

Yesterday Alex and I took our first walk together on the mountain, it was such a nice day!

Not surprisingly though, there was still snow in the woods along the trail.

We wanted to enjoy the mountain before the Victoria Day long weekend here in Canada where the town will be overrun with loud and obnoxious tourists.

And this morning, I was finally able to walk our three on the mountain. I'm so happy! :) I'm still going to avoid going to the mountain on weekends, but at least I can get into my 5-day a week walk routine with the dogs again. :)

I took a 12 second video this morning to show off how obedient my little pack is, enjoy! :)

I've been spending lots of time prepping the garden! I have the two pumpkin patches all dug and dirted... :) ...Alex and I planted 15 containers of seed potatoes and we hope to have a good enough harvest in the fall to tide us over with spuds all winter. As Joyce said to me, I have "tater tires"! :) We're starting with two containers of carrots until I can get some more big containers washed and filled with dirt and compost. The 7 containers of garlic that I planted in the fall are coming up nicely! In about a week or so, I'll be able to transplant some of my seedlings too! It's still chilly at sundown, but the lovely sound of the spring peepers lulls me to sleep each night...I love living in the mountains! :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Calm and Storm

Hi Everyone :)

Today's theme for the Scribble Picnic is "Storm". This is a mixed watercolour/acrylic/Prismacolor pencil "Lightning" scribble I did last night.  (Follow the link for more stormy art, or why not join in yourself?) :) 

This is my abstract watercolour version of a storm.

And my Looney Tunes tribute of the week: The Tasmanian Devil. :) Taz always kicks up a storm wherever he goes, though sometimes it leaves him quite confused as to what just happened! :)

Here's a little one-minute clip of a funny scene with Bugs and Taz. They don't make cartoons like they used to! So, that's the storm, now for the calm...

Pavlov and Stella left us on Monday. They were so excited to see their owner and they are safely in Morocco now. They will be missed, I admit, I'm a little down about this...I'm just happy that Alex and I were able to give them a secure and loving home for the last eight months. :) Our three cats are relieved lol...and our three dogs are so quiet now! Jack and Marlene seem fine, but I think that Charlie misses her boyfriend Pavlov! (I miss him too!)

Of course, I had to make the Spoiled Dog Cake!! :)

"Taking their places" for cake!!

I painted this yesterday, it's kind of how I've been feeling heart strings pulled and all that! But a little art therapy does wonders. :)

That loose aggressive husky that we found in our yard during the late winter is back. We saw him the other day milling around the yard. Of course, the lazy dog catcher told us already that she will do nothing about it; so we had to invest in some rather inexpensive green snow fence to wrap around all the loose spots in the yard. It really sucks that we had to spend that money, but we need to keep our dogs and ourselves safe. Since we're moving next year, we didn't want to invest too much, but this stuff works!

And we stopped by our mechanic's garage yesterday too, picked up a bunch of old tires we're going to clean out and prep for potato planting. We have to figure out how much room we have, because we can go get more tires anytime for free. Today is all about potatoes! :) Hope you all enjoy your day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Strawberries, Scotch and Scrumptiousness!

Hi Everyone :)

For those in this hemisphere, are you enjoying the spring weather? It almost feels like summer during the days here in the Laurentians, though it still hovers around freezing at night! Strawberry is the theme for Michael's Scribble Picnic today! This is my watercolour Splash of Strawberry. :)

Some folks dream of sheep, others of sugar plums...Tweety dreams of strawberries! :)

Just in time for the picnic, I received my strawberry roots this morning, along with my seed potatoes. I watched a few videos on prepping and planting the strawberry roots, I think I know what I'm doing!! Though a quick question for the strawberry savvy set...since we still have quite cold nights (though we are past the last frost) I better off planting these roots in my starter pots, then transplanting them when the nights aren't so cold? We're talking from 2-5 Celcius (35-40 F).

Are these pussy willows?

This plant just popped up out of nowhere along the side of the house!

ALWAYS write to companies if you have a complaint!! We have a bottle of 10-year old Glengoyne Single Malt Scotch. The last time we opened it, the cork broke so I took a chance, wrote to the company and look what I received yesterday in the mail! Not only a replacement cork, but two little bottles of Scotch!! Isn't that really cool? I wasn't expecting this! I can't wait to try the 15-year old!

Oh, by the way, it's been a year now since "Cracker-Gate"...does anyone remember that? Burnt Cheese Nips...wrote to the company...shabby response...wrote to Food Inspection Agency...they did an investigation...never heard from them again, lol...I did get coupons for more crackers...which were also burnt!

Alex recently treated himself to some nice pipe tobacco. We've both been learning a lot about the different types of tobacco. The Peterson "Gold Blend" has some Burley tobacco in it, which is mainly used in cigarettes. It wasn't too nice a smell and according to Alex, not a very good taste. "Ashtray" was the consensus. So he bought himself some Burley-free tobaccos and honestly they smell like candies and that's how I remember my Grandfather's pipe!

The garlic I planted last fall is popping up! I have seven containers with about 3-4 bulbs in each one, I'm so happy about this! First time! :)

I think I invented the word scrumptiousness....but that's all I could use to describe this chicken burger dinner! I tried some homemade baked onion rings...they need more experimentation, the breading kept falling off but I'll keep trying! Yes...the cheese...that is quite the pile isn't it lol?

Oh the joy of homegrown lettuce! I made us our first Chicken Cesar salads the other day. I used four pots of my little lettuce leaves and it was worth it!!

Monday, May 7, 2018

A Cautionary Tale...

On The Porch With Jack

Beware who you let in your home and around your pets is the message my little tale will tell today.

I mentioned in my last post that Alex and I invited a friend over for a fondue dinner last week. This friend brought his girlfriend who we'd never met before. She got herself drunk and was very sloppy, unbearable and kept dropping things and knocking over glasses, spilling was a scene. And our friend was oblivious to his girlfriend's behaviour.

They had brought a box of chocolates for dessert. Alex, myself and our friend were at the table the whole evening. This woman would stumble back to the kitchen to text people. She had her phone on the entire time on SOUND. By the way? This woman is 60 years old. Age doesn't dictate manners.

Anyway...she was in the kitchen playing with one of the cats, rolling the balls of chocolate back and forth on the counter. 

ANY pet owner knows that chocolate is toxic for cats and dogs. This woman was supposedly a cat owner.

When Alex noticed this, he went over and took the chocolates away from her. She came back to the table and then went back a few minutes later. At one point, I told her we were out of wine as I secretly thanked myself for hiding my last 2 bottles! She wouldn't accept water, coffee or tea...she just wanted more booze. We were glad when they left. I realized after they left that she'd been secretly drinking another bottle of white wine that I'd had in the fridge because it was left in the garbage can empty. Stealing from your hosts...

The next morning, Jack threw up the wrapper of one of the chocolates. (Sorry for the tmi)...we found another wrapper in his poop with whole hazelnuts - the chocolates were Ferrero Rochers. He was really sick all day, and we were infuriated - at one point we got scared and nearly ran to the vet but after calling the vet tech, she told us he's likely past the danger zone but keep a close eye on him.

Though we weren't there to witness it, what likely happened was that she started using the chocolates as a toy for the cats, one dropped, or two, and Jack ate them. I would be livid to think that she may have been stupid enough to FEED him chocolate so I don't even want to go there.

To us, this was very serious and very dangerous for Jack. 

We confronted them by phone and the denial started. First we were told that this woman wasn't drunk...then maybe she was a little. Then we were told that she didn't use the chocolate as toys to play with the cats...then well, maybe she did (when Alex said he saw her doing it). Then it was OUR fault that we "allowed" chocolate in the house. Then it was Jack's fault because he must have climbed the counter to eat them...blame the victim...

At one point, he said: "Well, yes, this could have ended tragically, but we need to focus on forgiveness and moving on, not on the problem."

"this" meaning OUR DOG Jack..."could have ended tragically" meaning HE COULD HAVE DIED.

Careless drunk. Yes, everyone makes mistakes, but my gosh, OWN UP TO THEM. They clearly didn't take this situation seriously.

Thankfully Jack recovered. If it were another one of our pets, it could have been worse because Jack is the one with the iron stomach. What if one of the cats had eaten a whole chocolate???

With all that Jack has been through lately, we told our friend that his girlfriend was no longer welcome in our home and around our pets. I made sure to tell him that we hold no ill will towards her, but that we have to set a boundary. When it comes to our pets, it's zero tolerance for any new person in our lives. Their reaction dictated our decision. And then the insults began. We were ungrateful for their friendship, we were too hard on the woman, we were passive aggressive, we didn't know how to forgive...omg...This guy is an armchair analyst and we just told him that we had to hang up the phone. He continued the barrage of insults and analyzing our entire lives over text until Alex finally blocked him.

Now we have to get over all of this stress to add to everything else.

We've had bad luck with so-called friends lately haven't we? We decided that we are just happier being hermits. Next week, after Stella and Pavlov are gone, we are going to make the exact same fondue dinner, light a fire, share a bottle of wine and enjoy the evening we missed out on!

Has this kind of thing ever happened to you? How did you handle it?

Friday, May 4, 2018

Hound Dog Jack

Thank you so much to all of my Blogging friends for your wonderful support, love and words during the last few months. With my Jack Rabbit being so ill and was very tough. I should also thank you all for the same support, love and words during the last eight months while we babysat Stella and ten days they will be leaving us. I'm so torn, it's crazy how attached you get to these critters isn't it?

My little hound dog has fully recovered from ???...whatever happened to him. Now we are trying to make life easier for him as he ages. Alex built a removable ramp that attaches to the couch. Oscar the Cat seems to enjoy it as well! Jack is very smart, we just say "take the ramp Jack" and he runs up and down it...same thing with the ramp outside to the yard! :)

Though it's pouring rain today, I was able to get outside and fix up my porch a few days back! :) It was so warm and sunny a few days ago, sitting on the love seat with Mr. Jack was such a treat! :) You'll note the snow in the's still hanging on, but nearly gone now!

Alex and I had some guests over for a fondue dinner last night. It didn't quite go as planned, one of the guests was a little heavy on the bottle...too bad though, it could have turned out well. But it gave me a chance to justify making a fondue lol...I made my Smoked Cheddar and Apple Fondue...ooh boy...with homemade bread, homegrown lettuce and a great Italian Primitivo red wine...despite the one disappointing dinner guest, the meal was fabulous! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Scribble Picnic: Picket Fence

Hi Everyone :)

Today's theme for the Scribble Picnic is "Picket Fence". (Follow the link to see more lovely artwork!)

Thufferin Thuccotash! Sylvester the Cat will never learn...Tweety will always outsmart him somehow! :)

Here is my watercolour version of Picket Fence. 

I missed my blog post last week for the Scribble Picnic too, I was only able to post this one on Instagram, but I wanted to share it. Better late than never! The theme was Quilts. Bugs is a Jack of All Trades! :)

My watercolour Quilt. Which movie do you think she's watching? :) I remember watching Jaws for the first time as a kid and it scared the bleep out of me!! I believe I watched most of it from under the coffee table in the living room lol...

I've been really busy lately planting my seeds for the summer garden. Alex had to put up three more shelves as we squeezed all of these pots into the "window garden".

Alex put up more shelves in the kitchen window and we officially christened it the "Kitchen Window Garden". :) Big plans for the garden this summer! The weather is nice and mild, there are thunderstorms in the forecast for the rest of the week...sigh...poor husky Marlene will be having a hard time! How is life treating you these days? :)

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Dogs And A New Hat!

Jack's incarceration is over! He's been released from the cage thankfully. He's completely back to normal and enjoyed a day on the porch yesterday in the sunshine! He's careful not to mingle too much with the four big dogs which makes us think he really did get stepped on a month ago.

Stella and Pavlov will be leaving us either May 13th or the morning of May 14th - confirmed. Yay and sigh... :)

Finally the snow is melting and we were able to put the big dogs out on their ropes while we started some garden clean up. This weekend it is pouring rain, so hopefully more snow will be gone by Monday! Although we are going from snow season to mud season now.

The window garden is thriving, I have two rows of fresh lettuce now, and I'm planting more today! I'm going to plant fewer seeds in a bigger pot to see if I can actually manage to grow an entire head of lettuce rather than these "baby" lettuce leaves. :)

Before Christmas, Alex bought himself a nice Fedora. The person was selling it as part of a six hat bundle for $30 CAD. We kind of looked through the box a bit and put it aside until this week. Check out this leather hat! Alex cleaned it all up, conditioned it, re-shaped it and it fits me very well! I'll model it for y'all one of these days! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

All's Well That Ends Well :)

Hello my friends! :)

It's "nap time" here at the cottage. I have to say, I LOVE when all eight pets are snoozing away! Here are Stella and Pavlov...our furry-guests since mid-September 2017. It's been a long gig, babysitting these two above our own 6 pets! We finally have an end to this situation. Their owner is flying here between May 8th and the 15th to pick them up and fly them back to Morocco. They will not have to be quarantined because they meet all of the requirements for entry - PHEWF...We have these two for just under three more weeks. It's a relief because it's been too much work and stress...but it's sad too because we will really miss them. You can bet we won't be dog-sitting anymore. 

Alex and I decided to spend some alone time together yesterday. We went for a nice long walk around the village. It seems like spring has sprung overnight! Just a few days ago, it was still -10C and it's "balmy" weather at around 15C each day!

This is the town's quaint little covered bridge. It was really sunny yesterday. I took my Canon camera with me, which is something I'll be doing from now on!

There is a little dam on the other side of the bridge that continues down to the river. This water looks so cold, I wouldn't want to fall in!

The Canada Geese didn't mind the frigid river though. They were squawking so loudly at us any time we got within 50 feet of them!

Nest? Part of the tree? What do you think?

We caught the Waxing Gibbous Moon rising too. I love my zoom :) Now that Old Man Winter has finally made himself cozy for a long summer's nap, Alex and I have vowed to spend most of our time together and with our dogs outside. Just wanted to let my Blogging friends know that my posts will likely slow down during the warmer months!

This morning I've been doing some food preparation. I started a Battuto for my Homemade Pasta Sauce. Some people call the carrot-celery-onion mix a "Holy Trinity" or a "Mirepoix"...I like the Italian "Battuto" way of saying it! :) I also have some chicken stock going in the pot, that'll simmer for a good few days.

And to use up some carrots, I made Carrot Muffins, they basically taste like the Carrot Cake I make, but without the frosting!

Once our "little" family of me, Alex and the 6 fur-kids gets back to normal in a few weeks, we have lots of plans for the garden! Time to plan for the gardening season! Happy happy happy!!! :)

Friday, April 20, 2018

Old Man Winter

Hi Everyone :)

There was no Scribble Picnic this past Wednesday, but I thought I'd do my own solo-picnic anyway. I decided to choose the very timely theme of "Old Man Winter". The above is a watercolour.

Here is a very tired Old Man Winter done with Prismacolor pencils. I think he needs a long nap!

And just for fun, my Snowman Scream in pastels. :) I was looking through my old photos, I used to take lots of photos of trees, I thought this one kind of looked like Edvard Munch's The Scream:

Can you see it? Kind of cool huh? For many years, I walked the woods, looking for trees that were expressive, taking photos and writing little stories about them. I'd love to start doing that again!

This is one of the many snowmobile trails nearby. I started to walk through, but I couldn't get very far. Despite the frosty look, it's "sinky" snow and it was quite a struggle pulling out of knee deep snow every step!

The lake is still covered with ice. I saw that temperatures will be above zero from now on during the days, hooray! I just hope we don't have a May snowstorm like last year!!

Mr. Jack. :) Like new. One week to go before he can run around freely again. We should be finding out on Sunday when Stella and Pavlov's owner is coming to pick them up. I got another vague email last night, Alex wrote back that we are not interested in any more delays and that Sunday he must give us a precise plan. We have no leverage over this guy, we can only hope he does the right thing. 

By the way...I looked it up, as long as the dogs have their bill of health, updated vaccinations and complete paperwork, there is no quarantine in Morocco for cats and dogs. That is a wee bit of good news...Anyway, wish us luck!