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!

Monday, April 16, 2018

New Recipes, Dog Stuff and Knitting! :)

Hound Dog Jack burrowing. Eleven days until Jack's "incarceration" is over! We've been a wee bit lenient though. He's been allowed to roam my office with the gates on the doorways. No stairs yet...but guess what I did?

I went all "Hollywood Starlet" on myself and bought Jack a carrier bag! Now he's a pocket dog lol...well, not quite, he can't really fit in the biggest of bags they long as his head sticks out he can sit comfortably and I can carry him up to the bedroom. :)

Now he can sleep quietly while Alex and I watch movies in bed again! Life seems to be returning to normal. :)

PS: The Stella and Pavlov saga might be coming to an end in as little as three weeks. We had to send an "enough is enough" email to their owner and he is coming to bring them back to Morocco where he is staying with his mother. months of babysitting these dogs with what was supposed to have been only one much much stalling and lip service...we will miss them - they are sweeties, but I felt so close to burning out lately with all the dog stress. I just want my routine and my life back! Why do people burn bridges? <-- Rhetorical question I guess.  I have to say, I really lament my life before 5 dogs. Three is enough. I can't wait to walk my three again...I feel slightly guilty because S&P are such sweet little furballs...I hope this guy provides them with a PERMANENTLY stable home from now on. One can only hope. We did our best though. :)

We are currently in the middle of an ice storm, if we lose power, it's Blueberry Muffins and ice cream for dinner!

I usually do a post on Sundays with a new recipe I tried the week before. Life has been too stressful lately and I haven't found the energy to blog too much. But I think my energy is coming back! :) I tried three new recipes last week. The first was for Pulled Pork and it was REALLY good! Just my kind of meal, into the slow cooker for the day and dinner is ready! :)

The second new recipe was for Chocolate Pudding...I can't tell you how heavenly this is...and SO easy and quick to make!

The third new recipe I tried was kind of my own was based on a Quizno's sub that Alex kind of remembered having ages ago. We had some submarine rolls left and I wanted to use them while they were still kind of fresh. I put together a grilled chicken, bacon and Alfredo Sauce sub. It was pretty darn good! A little side salad of my own homegrown lettuce with some tomatoes made it really nice!

Between the snow, rain and ice...I've not ventured outside despite the need to do the monthly shopping! We are existing on freezer food for the next week until the weather cooperates.  But...I did manage to make my first ever pair of knitted slippers!! How exciting. I've wanted to try this for ages, and I did it. Knock that one off the list! They are a simple Garter Stitch Slipper (free pattern on Ravelry) and were very easy to make...They are warm too! I'm pretty pleased! Next time I may venture into something more complicated, but I learned an SSK stitch and a three needle bind-off. The pattern called for a crochet seam binding...but I didn't have the right sized crochet needle, so I improvised! I'm so happy to have learned a few new things though.'s by you? ;) 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Scribble Picnic, The Apple Orchard

Good morning everyone! :)

Are you up and at 'em? Bugs can barely keep his eyes open before his morning carrot juice. Today's theme for the Scribble Picnic is Pajamas. I could have just posted a photo of myself for this theme because I basically spend my days in my pj's. Alex and I call our lifestyle the "pajama life" :) 

For my watercolour today I thought I'd share one of my creepy experiences, that became one of my nightmares. At least ten years ago, I visited an apple orchard to pick apples. I went a little late, got a little lost and ended up in a slight panic at dusk, trying to find my way out of the deadly silent and creepy orchard. I kept hearing things and seeing glimpses of things that were likely not there. I scared myself silly though! It could only happen to me right? Lol...

Of course, that night I dreamt that I was in my nightgown, barefoot and shivering, in that same orchard, running for my life from the apple trees. I wrote a poem about it and I'd like to share that with you today! :) 

The Apple Orchard
(A Rain Frances Nightmare)

In the orchard, dark as night, 
I wander blind, despite my fright.
The wind is still but whispers stir,
A monster lurks, of that I’m sure.

I scan the rows of apple trees,
One by one, then twos and threes,
My footsteps snap the frozen grass,
I’ve reached the edge, the dark impasse.

Shivering from cold and fright,
My breath is taken by the night,
A lonely apple hangs up high,
A creak, a hush, a laboured sigh.

I peer into the hollow blue,
“My dear it’s time to bid adieu”.
Eyes ablaze, the demon grins,
Its prickly skin as sharp as pins.

Its evil voice revives my fear,
Its nasty smile grins ear to ear,
Its fiery eyes seem to ignite,
I cower at its ghastly sight.

“In this orchard you will stay,
And join the rest who came this way.”
It points to rows of lifeless trees,
Imploring branches, silent pleas.

I run, I run, I cannot flee,
The demon catches up to me,
A crash, a screech, its cry of glee.
The last I see, the apple tree.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Homemade Croissants and Delicious Food!

Good news continues...Jack looks and acts like a normal sneaky hound dog again...but he's still cage-bound for another 18 days. Thanks again for everyone's care, love and support! He knows he's a star. :) (He's pretending not to notice me with the camera!)

How was your weekend? Ours was cold and snowy, yeesh...check this out. This is Alex taking Jack out on a snowy Saturday. April? Besides complaining about the snow, I baked like a champion this past weekend!

I challenge myself weekly to try something new and yesterday it was Homemade Croissants. My Sunday food post is one day much going on lately! These turned out so delicious!!! They are easy to make, but you need an entire day for them...from start to finish, these took 11 hours - not CONSTANTLY lol...there is just a lot of rolling, chilling and resting time in between each step!

The first step is prepping the dough, then rolling it out and chilling it for 40 minutes.

As your dough is chilling, you roll out your butter and chill that. Then you plop your butter on top of the dough. This next step is called the "lamination" step. 

Once you "envelope" your dough around the butter, you roll it out, then fold it up and chill for 45 minutes. You repeat this lamination step a total of 4 times, then chill the dough another 4 hours. See the masking tape? I use this as a guide for rolling out the size of my dough.

After the 4 hours is up, you roll out your dough and cut it into triangles, make a little slit at the straight edge then roll your croissants. At this point they rest about 90 minutes before you bake them. (I have the full instructions on the link at the top).

What a nice treat to have croissants with some cheese and my homemade Root Vegetable Potage. Lovely dinner! :) Lots of leftovers for tonight's dinner too (except the cheese, which was a store bought Brie...I need to get back to making my Camemberts!!!)

Some other dinners the last week were Chicken Piccata on a bed of Parm pasta; and Pizza Night with a ham and cheese pizza and a Bianca pizza (lovely pizza with a garlic-flavoured olive oil, a wee bit of Parm and Mozza, and some basil). The Bianca pizza is especially good using my thin crust Pizza Dough.

I also made Crepes and served some more of my homegrown window lettuce as a side! The dressing is just Balsamic vinegar with olive oil, some crushed garlic and S&P. You can't see it, but there is asparagus and some Swiss cheese in those crepes, they were delicious!

Sweets! When you have lots of carrots, why not make a Carrot Cake? :) I did! :) But I usually just make half the recipe, a double layer cake is a bit much, even for foodies like Alex and me! The frosting is a Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting and it's so delicious! I also made some Blueberry Muffins. I'm continuing to try to do some painting, pastels and drawing every day. If you want to take a peak, you can check it out on my Instagram Page. No need for an account, but feel free to be a voyeur lol! ;)