Thursday, June 20, 2019

Thursday Art Date: Lonely


Hello Friends!!

Welcome to Thursday's art date! Our art theme today is lonely. I wanted to mix things up a little bit and veer away from happy fun stuff, to an emotion that is challenging to create. 

Alex and I watch a lot of movies - lots of Film Noirs from the 30's and 40's. A lot of those films are heavily laden with emotion, with lots of sadness, betrayal and loneliness and those films inspired my drawing for today. I feel sorry for Bugs Bunny...it looks like he tangled with the wrong dame!


I pulled out the acrylics to create a Lonely Forest.


I tried oil pastels for the first time and I LOVE them! I did a tutorial I found on You Tube for this one. You know the old saying that the eyes are the windows of the soul? Have you ever looked deep into someone's eyes and seen loneliness?


Algie, Frasier and Spunky are certainly not lonely anymore! :) They have each other and they have us to take care of them! We'll probably keep them for 5-6 more weeks or so then release them.


Though Jack seems pretty lonely on the other side of the door...poor little fella wants so badly to be with the squirrels, but we just can't allow it.


Alex made them a new and bigger cage from an old cat tree that our cats never use. They have two floors connected by a big rope. The top has a bunch of greenery and a dish of water; the bottom has a nice big towel and they have a "luxury suite" where they can sneak in and sleep!  It's wonderful and they love it!



I put together a slideshow of photos of them! Enjoy!


We had some really good dinners in the last week! This is a Spaghetti Squash with Asparagus Ricotta and Lemon. It was so fresh and yummy!


I had some miraculous burst of energy on Tuesday because I decided to make Asian Style Cabbage Rolls, Garlic Noodles and Sweet and Sour Cauliflower. Everything was delicious, though I'm not a huge fan of the soggy cabbage, the filling was great though! And I ate the entire meal, well, nearly, with chopsticks which was fun! :)


Alex came up with a great snack for us. We ran out of bread and were craving grilled cheese sandwiches so he whipped up a few using Melba toast and it worked really well!


I tried another new recipe, Cowboy Bark. We used to buy something similar at the bulk store for snacks but we always found they were a little stale. This however, was not stale and it was really yummy.


I just broke it all up and added it to our ice cream with homemade Strawberry Syrup. Ooooh deee-lish!!

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June Sunset on Lac Des Iles

June 27th: Next Thursday's theme is Beach. Click on the link for ideas and inspiration! Remember it's all about creating. You can showcase your paintings, drawings, photography, sculpting, baking, poetry...whatever you like! :)

Thursday Art Date With Rain. Click on the link for a description of the art date as well as a list of upcoming themes.

Don't forget to add the URL link to you post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations!

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Saturday, June 15, 2019

More Baby Squirrel News and Some Good Eats

Spunky and Algie

Hello Friends :)

Let's start with the cute stuff then get to the delicious stuff!!! As per my last post, Alex and I found 2 baby squirrels trapped in our basement. We've been rehabilitating them and they're both doing so well. They're eating the Squirrel "Knock-Off" Mother's Milk 5-6 times a day.


Algie is a SHE by the way! She adores the mother's milk and she's the most timid. She loves to be handled, in fact, she loves to be in our pockets!


I took a quick video of her in my pocket! I think I'm falling for her!!


Here she is eating some cheese from my hand. Alex doesn't wear gloves with them, but I'm still a little too afraid of being nibbled on!


Spunky lives up to his name, my gosh does he have energy! He loves Rice Krispies, cashews and cheese too!


Wednesday, very late at night...we found a third. This is Frasier. He was more than terrified and tried to bite us and escape every chance he could.


It took him two days to come out of the cage and hang out with his siblings on the shelf. We called him Frasier because we've been watching that show lately...and this little guy chirps away like his television namesake! :)


We had a breakthrough moment on Saturday morning...Frasier let Alex pick him up!


He perched himself up on Alex's hat! (Note the lamp in the background, notice anything? I know it's a bit blurry but there is a squirrel carving on that lamp! Alex has had that for so many years, kind of a coinky-dink isn't it?)


This is how we get them in and out of the cage. We call it "sock time"! :) They love to burrow into our socks, all three together. When we bring the sock out, they run inside and we just place them back into the cage, cover it and let them sleep until the next feeding. They are all eating the mother's milk, nuts, cereal and cheese now. We consulted a wildlife rescue who told us that we can start to incorporate certain veggies into their diets now that they're all eating solids.

They are also starting to nibble on wood to file their teeth, so we know they're doing very well. It's been surprisingly easy taking care of them! Alex is in the midst of building a new and bigger cage for them because we've noticed they're growing fast. They are between 5-6 weeks old and will be released at about 12 weeks, so they need more room.


We keep them on the screened-in veranda off our bedroom. The dogs are allowed in when the screen is closed, but the cats can only come in if the glass door is closed. Jack is the most curious!



I took a video of the three of them playing, it's very cute. (You can hear Jack whining in the background, he really wants to see the squirrels!) We decided to purchase some flea prevention for the squirrels and we gave that to them this evening. With our other pets, we just don't want to take any chances!


I just wanted to post a few delicious recipes I tried in the last few days! This is an Asparagus and Goat Cheese Panini - VERY good though next time I'd love to add some baked zucchini and/or eggplant.


Every 14th of the month, Alex and I celebrate another month together and we always have a fondue. This is my Tomato Pizza Fondue, it's so delicious!


For dessert, I made Diana's Spring Lime Pie. It was REALLY good and so easy! I made it over a graham cracker crust. Though my pie plate was too big so it's a little flat. Next time I'll use the smaller pie plate! Thanks Diana! :)

*** Just a reminder, this Thursday's Art Date theme is "Lonely" for anyone interested! (Please click on the link for inspiration!)

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Thursday Art Date: Garden



Hello Friends!!

Welcome to Thursday's art date! Our art theme today is garden. It's pretty appropriate for this time of year I think. :) Anyone who loves to play in the dirt is likely very busy planting and tending to their gardens today! I have most of mine planted, just one more to go when I find the time! (Hint Hint: It's a PIZZA garden!!!) :)

Do you recognize my drawing today? :) For those who don't, it's my version of The Farmer and His Wife by Grant Wood. This was a lot of fun to do, it just came to me one morning...though I wasn't set on who was going to be the farmer and who was going to be the wife. I think that Daffy looks appropriately more annoyed at being cast as the wife don't you think? :) (He really needs a new agent!!!) ;)


I had magic on my mind the last week! Here is my Fairy Garden watercolour.


And I did an acrylic to represent a Moon Garden. This wasn't quite finished - I'd planned to do more shading on the flowers but I ran out of time this week...I had more ideas and lots planned and then...


Alex and I heard lots of scratching in the basement. We found a baby red squirrel stuck in one of the cupboards...it was "fun" trying to catch him, my gosh they are FAST. We used an old cereal box to corner him on one side and our fishing net on the other. It was adrenaline-inducing!


He's so tiny! We have no idea how long he was stuck down there but he was clearly dehydrated the poor thing. And he was terrified. I made a few calls and was given a "mother's milk" knock-off recipe for squirrels, kittens and chipmunks. He seemed to love it!


Alex made a quick cage from an old milk carton we had. We did a lot of research on how to take care of baby squirrels until they get a little bigger so we can release them back into the woods safely. Some advice is that they need to learn how to climb tree/branch limbs, chew on wood and break a nut open on their own to show that they won't be easy prey or die of starvation on their own. (Source: www.squirrels.info)


And then there were two...just as we were falling asleep last night, we heard more scratching and found the second baby. In April we noticed that the cats and the huskies were fixed on one area of the basement but we never found anything. They continued to stare and sniff that area but we were baffled. Now we are suspecting that mom-squirrel may have made the nest in that area way back then.


We're guessing the mom had her litter somewhere in the walls and maybe abandoned the nest because she is nowhere to be seen or heard. (We still have NOT found any hole...and during the winter we caught a dozen mice too). But...we heard more scratching this morning so we made the decision to buy a live trap for squirrels. Not quite in the budget, but we want to make sure any other babies will be caught and rehabilitated. 


"Algie" loves the baby bottle! "Spunky"...well, he's spunky alright and he's more interested in drinking from a little cup! Yeah...we named them lol! So far they have only licked and nibbled on a few peanuts, they are still very young and will need the "mother's milk" for another month or so before they really start eating solids.


The main goal is to keep them warm and hydrated so we have them wrapped in old t-shirts and socks. We're hoping to find the third (or fourth? or ninth???) baby so we can try to help them get strong enough to be released.

So how does this relate to my Thursday art theme of "garden"? I know that squirrels are seen as garden pests...heck, I think I posted something recently about wishing the squirrels would keep away from my strawberries this year! But these two little ones are so adorable and affectionate - and helpless. When we come to see them, they jump up in their cage and run around like crazy until we bring them some milk. I also know that as they grow, they get more wild and they are not suitable pets. But we want to give them the best chance we can!


With all the excitement, there has been little sleep and mostly store-bought dinners! Eeek!!! :)  Please forgive me for not answering comments from my last post...I did the monthly shopping this week too so it's CHAOS currently chez Rain lol! I need some "me" time and will visit you all soon, I'm looking forward to catching up to what my friends have all been up to! :)

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June 20th: Next Thursday's theme is Lonely. Click on the link for ideas and inspiration!

Thursday Art Date With Rain. Click on the link for a description of the art date as well as a list of upcoming themes.

Don't forget to add the URL link to you post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations!

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Sunday, June 9, 2019

New Hat, Pets, Gardening and Summer Eating!

The River Down The Road (I walk the dogs in that part of the woods each morning!)

Hello Friends! :) !!!!!!!

I'm adding more exclamation marks because summer has FINALLY arrived in the Laurentian mountains! :) I'm sitting on my porch this sunny Sunday afternoon, "glowing" (NOT sweating) in the 30 degree hot and humid weather! I'm drawing and painting, sipping on a white wine spritzer, safely tucked inside my screened-in porch, hiding from the black flies. Ain't this the life? :)


The girls: Charlie and Marlene - smart lassies, keeping cool under the cedar trees!


Lazy Leo enjoying some top-shelf relaxation on the porch. :)


Dana and Baby Oscar are choosing to hang out in my office this afternoon - it's a bit cooler in there.


Handsome Jack - always keeping me company! :) ♥


Because I just can't seem to control myself...I made another raised bed the other day. I wanted a special spot to plant yet more lettuces.


I had some leftover 2x10's so I fashioned them into a raised bed, filled it with soil/compost and planted Romaine, Iceberg and Buttercrunch. We had a little pex piping in the basement, so I made a few hoops so that I can cover the lettuce bed if it gets too hot and sunny. The only cost was the soil, I had everything else handy. The three bins to the right are where I planted my potatoes this year.


And...with summer weather, comes summer eating!! After building the raised beds, I was pooped so Alex surprised me with a grilled cheese/tomato sandwich with fries. We ate on the porch, it was really nice!


Last night I was overcome with cooking "mojo" so I made a dinner platter for us. "CLT's" (Cheddar, lettuce and tomato sandwiches), homemade potato salad with homemade mayo, some olives, pickles and store-bought chips (can't seem to perfect my own potato/corn chips yet!). We brought this platter to bed while we watched a really bad, yet strangely hilarious David Spade movie called Joe Dirt.


Have you ever made mayonnaise? I had such a difficult time making it in the past, but I found a great way to make it - success each time! With my immersion blender! You take a deep glass container (like a large wide-mouth Mason jar), drop in a room temperature egg, a cup of olive oil, 2 tsp of lemon juice, some salt and powdered mustard if you like; then stick the blender inside and blend. It's SO EASY and works every time! I'll make a video one of these days! Alex loves it, the store-bought mayo gives him indigestion so this works perfectly. I can't eat it though, I have an egg yolk allergy, so it's (sigh) store-bought for me - which I'm SURE contains some kind of "egg product"...but my allergy doesn't kick in, so I don't ask questions!


Did I mention that I made ice cream sandwiches with my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies? Oooh la la!! :)


Alex got me a new hat!!! He wanted me to have one for the summer, it's a straw hat, a Resistol "George Straight" model. I love it! :) Consider this my new gardening hat! :)


Speaking of gardening, this is my gardening shelf. Alex found an old oar in the basement - we're guessing a previous renter left it behind; so we put some hooks into it for my gardening tools. Isn't it cute?


My "greenhouse" is doing a great job! My tomatoes, beans, eggplant and green pepper plants are doing so well! Yahoo!

Speaking (again) of gardening, this Thursday's art theme is Garden for anyone who wants to join in! (Follow the link for inspiration and ideas)