Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Style At Home - September 2009

A picture from our house is in Style at Home, the September 2009 issue!

Okay, so our family room photo is in an advert for Minute Rice, but it's still relatively exciting.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall colours

It's now fall, so the autumnal colours of the maple trees start to show themselves. This photo is taken from our solarium -- we so enjoy drinking our coffee while we're looking out the solarium window at the beautiful colours of this maple.

As it's fall, we also enjoy wishing a Happy Birthday to our neighbour's daughter, Emma.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A thousand geese

There have been huge flocks of Canada Geese using the lake as a rest stop, or staging area, before flying south for their migration. There must have been a thousand birds on the lake on Tuesday morning. This was one of the flocks as it was wheeling across the sky on the way in to land to on the lake.

I still have photos from the St Jacob's farmers market (from last weekend) to post. Sorry, haven't been able to get around to it yet this week.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Wedding - Sat Sep 19, 2009

The main purpose for our trip was the wedding, of course. This was the bride and groom making the speeches in the reception hall, which was a huge indoor riding arena that had been converted for the reception. (A lot of work went into that.)

The bride's family has a horse farm, or something like that, and her aunt and uncle prepared a special dressage display for the newlyweds. It was a beautiful day, as you can see. It was truly amazing to see these massive animals trotting along like synchronized dancers, and doing the Las Vegas showgirl walk, etc.

Of course, one of the best things about being away is coming home afterwards. And both Freda and Tawny were very happy to see each other!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

So long, and thanks for all the fish

It was quite chilly the last few days when the S&Bs were visiting, so I had to wear a vest when we took the dogs for a walk on Tuesday. The S&Bs both wore coats. I guess this means that the shorts season is coming to an end... :(

One final group photo...

This is what the S&Bs helped me do - paint the garage. We did a primer coat and then a colour coat, which is a pale yellowy off-white colour called "Wishes". I wish the paint had come with painters to do the painting. :D

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


This stick insect was found by my skin and blister in the garage. We had painted the primer and were getting ready to paint the colour coat and discovered this. S&B freed it into the wilds of the trees.

When we were having lunch, we noticed Taz was very interested in looking out of the window. We looked and saw he was staring at this juvenile American Robin. It looks like it is holding its wing a little low, so we wondered if it maybe it had flown into the window and hurt its wing. It left a lot of poop on the chair, so we think it had a big shock, so this kind of lines up with the flying into the window scenario. The bird had disappeared later on, so we hope it flew away without any permanent injury, although it did leave its calling card behind. :(

Monday, September 14, 2009

Meet the skin and blisters

First, see the beautiful supper that the S&Bs cooked up - delish-us!!

This is S&B #1 - Mary - with Taz.

This is S&B #2 - Rachel.

Rachel took this photo of me using Mary's radar detector.

NCC Sound and Light Show

I had tried to find out what touristy things were on, for the skin and blister visit. One attraction that was still on was the National Capital Commission's (NCC) Sound and Light show. It is a celebration of Canada, the history, the natural beauty, and the people that made this country great. It was a 30 minute show that was held after dark, and used the Parliament Buildings as a surface to project the images onto. It was 'held over' until Monday Sep 14th, so we decided to go down on Sunday night as it wasn't raining and we weren't sure it wouldn't rain on Monday night. This shows the Peace Tower, in the period leading up to the show.

Of course, it was dark, and it was difficult to take a photo. Miraculously, this one turned out quite well, so you can see how the Parliament Buildings were used as a projection screen.

I was quite surprised that the seats (bleachers) were all full, and there were even people sitting on the grass to watch the show.

It was quite chilly that evening, as all the tea we had before going down town was fighting to make its way out, so we made a speedy exit to get home.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Visit to the Farmers Markets

On Sunday, the skin and blisters decided that they would like to go to a farmers' market. It was a beautiful day, so we decided we would go to Landsdowne Park first (where the Ottawa Organic Farmers' Market is held), and then go to the Parkdale Market. This photo is of one end of the Cattle Castle building - do you see the cattle head at the bottom of the photo?

Vendors at the Ottawa Organic Farmers' Market are only allowed to sell things they grow or produce themselves - they are not allowed to purchase items from others and sell them (vendors are the Parkdale Market are allowed to do that). We saw a wide variety of vegetables and fruit, flowers, honey, jewelery, jams and jellies, dog treats, baked goods, and some artsy stuff for the garden too.

Lots of very colourful produce for sale!

And it wasn't just produce, there were also these huge beautiful dahlias.

These were called Dinnerplate Dahlias, and they literally were the size of a dinnerplate!

Oh these peppers were so colourful!

These peppers reminded me of Christmas lights, because of their shape.

Several vendors had the Lisianthus flowers, which I'd never seen before. They were available in several colours, including the unique dark purple. Although the Lisianthus is very beautiful and shaped like a rose, they had no scent - which was disappointing.

A plethora of plums! More colourful fruit. There were several vendors with apples, peaches, and nectarines too.

Interesting multi-coloured peppers!

The other end of the Cattle Castle - with the flying cow! I bought Freda some honey and maple-walnut fudge! The S&Bs bought a variety of produce.

We are now leaving to go to the Parkdale Market. The Parkdale Market has a few pluses, in my opinion. You don't have to pay $5 for parking, and the produce is quite a bit cheaper as it is not in the trendy Glebe neighbourhood, so there is not the snob factor in the price. The products were about 20% cheaper at Parkdale and looked just as nice. It is a smaller market so it does not have the same variety of products that the Ottawa Organic Market (OOM) has.

The Parkdale Market vendors had some interesting multicoloured heirloom beets - I didn't see any of these heirloom variety produce at the OOM. They lost a lot of their colour in cooking. :(

The carrots look colourful, but they were white inside (after peeling), and are just as unappetizing as ordinary carrots. (Sorry, but I had to say it!)

Very colourful display of peppers. We bought a big bag of red peppers for $5 - probably less than 1/4 what it would be in the grocery store, even at this time of the year.

Multi-coloured zucchini, and eggplant.

Some brightly coloured Gerbera flowers.

There were more Lisanthus at the Parkdale market too, with some different colours and cheaper, to boot.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yummm, steak!

The skin and blisters arrived today, so we had a special meal to herald their arrival - Steak! We love steak but don't have it too often, so it is nice to have a treat. Here is the steak after it is specially prepared as follows:
1. Rub a small amount of sesame oil all over the steak
2. Rub a generous portion of Montreal Steak Spice all over the steak
3. Flip the steak over and repeat on the other side.

We also had a lovely salad with tomatoes from Freda's garden.

Yumm! The barbecued steak - mouthwateringly delicious!!

Now, the finished product!

Trees and Pano

It's been a while since I posted a photo of the two Elm trees on our front yard that are dying from Dutch Elm Disease (DED). The tree on the left now is mostly dead, and the one of the right looks like it is about 50% gone... :(

I haven't done a panorama photo for a while, so I stopped and took the sequence of photos that I need to do make a panorama. It was such a clear day with nice light, that the colours in this photo look almost artificial, but that's what it looked like - for real!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Miscellaneous photos

This is the top of the paint tub, that is for the garage. The painting of the garage started last year and then I ran out of steam. This weekend the skin and blisters are going to help me finish painting it. Thanks girls!

So I was so proud of how clean the window in the front door was. Then we had visitors and the dogs had to stay in the house, so Taz got back at us by leaving his nose print all over the window again. I think the saying for dogs is: "Revenge is a dish best served with a really wet nose." haha

The battle of the allergy treatments. I was using the SinuCleanser (on the left) to rinse out my sinuses with a salt water mixture. That is not pleasant as it feels like you are drowning -- a friend described it like self waterboarding! On the right is a sample of an inhaler that I got from my doctor on Wednesday, and I have to say that it works wonderfully! I still have to take one Reatine 24-hour pill, but it is the OTC dosage instead of the prescription dosage. Before, I was taking the prescription dosage of Reactine, and also taking two Sudafeds a day.

Last Tuesday, I tripped on a hose in the garage and fell, badly scraping my left knee, and moderately scraping my right knee. I also slammed my right shoulder into the garage door frame, which didn't move at all I might add!, and now have a large wonderful bruise there - Freda says it is the colour of Dijon mustard, lol! The blue outline indicate the extent of the abrasion on my left knee, you can see that it still has a ways to go before it heals completely.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Update on the deck

As you can see from this photo, the new grass at the bottom of the deck is doing very well.

You can also see that Freda has removed the sweet peas from her flower bed, at right, just below the window.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Cleaning windows

Since we got Taz, our windows are much dirtier -- at the level of his nose, that is. The windows in the front door, especially the left door, were very smudged from his nose prints. For some reason, it bugged me a lot on Saturday so I cleaned it. Then yesterday afternoon, I noticed all these smudges on the windows where I hadn't done a great job cleaning the outside, so I had to clean it again. Anyway, it looks much better now.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Labour Day = Deer Day = Dog Day

This morning, when Tawny woke Freda up to get her breakfast (yes, Tawny is our alarm dog on non-work days) Freda looked out the window and saw a number of deer just outside the fenced area of our back yard. Freda was able to take a couple of good photos of the deer before they scampered away.

You can see how close they were to our fence, it's at the bottom right corner of this photo.

We spent a good part of today cleaning out our garage, as Mark's sisters are coming this weekend to help paint it! :) It was a dog's life as they worked hard too, mostly looking precious!

Tawny wanted to make sure she was in the shade, so she laid in the shade of the garden trailer which was in the shade of a tree. Very cute!

Meanwhile, Taz was enjoying himself chewing on a rawhide bone.