Thursday, June 27, 2019

Thursday Art Date: Beach

Hello Friends!!

Welcome to Thursday's art date! Our art theme today is beach. As I type this, I'm still hoping for hot enough weather to actually jump into the lake! But I've noticed the climate is shifting, at least here in the Laurentians. Our hottest months seem to be August and September now, so my beach days will have to wait! :)

Lucky Bugs Bunny to be lounging on a hot sandy beach - coconut cocktail and all! :)

We did have a few hot days in the last week and I did my favourite thing...painting on the porch! I started off with a watercolour sea turtle. This was surprisingly very difficult for me. I thought it would be a snap (pardon the pun!). This one started off with lots of colours, but it all became a sludge so I stuck to blues and greens.

Here is my oil painting of "Sunset on the Beach". I really enjoy the oil painting. I'm so glad I'm able to paint on my watercolour paper instead of having to always buy expensive canvas.

And I love this one! It's an acrylic that took me many hours to do! This is my idea of Jack shaking water off himself after a dip in the lake! 

I'm no Iris Scott...but her work really inspired me to try doing this. She's awesome and does most of her painting with her fingers! I read a quote that she got tired of cleaning her brushes, so decided to paint her oils with her fingers. I love that! :) Maybe I'll try an oil paint with my fingers one of these days!

PS: She has a Flora and Fauna section of her paintings on her website if you want further inspiration for next Thursday's art date theme of "Flora"!! :)

Where do you suppose I am supposed to sit and relax??? I don't have the heart to ever kick any of the pets off the furniture! There were some really humid days lately and the cats are just trying to survive without melting like we are!

Two of the three squirrels, nibbling away! They are all still doing well, growing up fast and eating a lot! Their diet now consists of water, mother's milk, peanuts, bird seed, carrots, sweet potatoes, nectarines and tree bark. They still feed from the baby bottle now and then, so they're not quite ready to be released yet!

Alex picked a Lupine flower for me the other day. I love when he does that! We had a wine tasting before dinner and I just love this shot so I wanted to share it! :) Rosé has to be my favourite in warmer weather. Do you drink wine? What's your favourite? I'd love to be sitting on a beach with a cold tall glass of Rosé right now! (I guess the porch will have to do if ever the cats make room for me!)

More summer eating! Fish Burgers (with my homemade American Cheese!!!) and Coleslaw with Old Bay Seasoning. Yum!

I had some nectarines that needed to be eaten so I decided to make a Nectarine Upside Down Cake. I found it a little dense, but Alex loved it. :)

Here is a quick tour of my garden! :)


July 4th: Next Thursday's theme is Flora. 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!


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Jaccidents, American Cheese and Container Garden

Waking up the babies for feeding time.

Hello Friends :)

I hope everyone is having a nice weekend. Alex and I are in hibernation's not only a nice warm and sunny weekend but it's the Quebec national holiday weekend too - the village is OVERRUN with loud annoying weekenders! Best to stay close to our cozy home at times like these!!

The triplets getting ready for bedtime.

The squirrels are still doing very well! They love their new digs. 

They are weening off the baby bottle and starting to drink the mother's milk and water from dishes. This is a sign they are growing up!

I'm starting to get back into cheese making! I started off with an easy recipe for American Cheese (see Rainy Day Cheese Making for this recipe and more). Think Velveeta or Kraft, but much better! I used white Cheddar to make this, so it isn't the usual neon orange colour of the grocery store slices, but the texture is exactly the same! passed the melty test! We made some grilled cheese on sub buns with some orange Cheddar and my American Cheese on top and it melted well. The taste is great too! So much fun to start cheese making again. Alex is going to make me a cheese press this week so I can start on some Cheddars, Colbys and maybe a Parm! :)

My window garden is flourishing! I have some baby lettuce and lots of herbs growing, I love my window garden! 

The sugar pumpkin patch is coming to life...though the "carving" pumpkin patch is stalling. We shall see!

This is the first year I've successfully grown spinach. It was loving the cool wet weather I suppose!

The root veggies are starting to grow too - turnips, beets, carrots, green onions, garlic and Brussels sprouts.

Some of the lettuces and greens are starting to grow too - I can't wait for a full head of lettuce!

The greenhouse is doing its job! The tomatoes (33 plants!!), eggplant, green/yellow beans and green pepper are all growing nicely!

Alex coined a new term, a "Jaccident". Websters be advised...a "Jaccident" is when food is dropped (by accident or on purpose) and Jack eats it up like a land shark. See the above video for footage.

North Coast of Prince Edward Island (2009)

For anyone interested, this Thursday's Art Date theme is "Beach". Please click on the link for inspiration!

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 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!!


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!


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 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:

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! :)


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!