Monday, November 30, 2009

Food and Friends

This fall has been much milder than last year. In fact, one year and one week ago, Freda and I saw a deer laying at the edge of the water on the other side of the lake, being 'guarded' by two bush wolves. We walked around the lake with the dogs to scare off the bush wolves and give the deer a chance to escape. Unfortunately, the deer had broken one of his front legs when he broke through the ice while crossing the lake, and was probably exhausted from swimming across the ice encrusted lake. Click to read the full blog entry: The saga of the young deer.

One year and one week ago was also memorable for another reason - that was the day that Freda fell through the ice and was rescued thanks to the efforts of our neighbours Emma, and her mom Colleen. Also, Emma and Colleen would not have been around to help Freda if it wasn't for Maddy visiting at our next door neighbours. We were too traumatized to think straight last year, but we needed to say a special thank you to our neighbours for helping Freda. So I decided to make a special meal and invite them over.

This is what we had on Saturday (after the Christmas parade in Carleton Place).

This was the appetizer - baked brie. It looked yummy and it was very yummy!! I served it with Triscuit crackers, which was a nice accompaniment. This was the first time I had done anything with phyllo pastry, or made this dish before, so I was very happy that it turned out.

I guess I got busy with things and forgot to take photos of the other dishes. The other dishes were maple glazed baked butternut squash, roast beef (sirloin tip), and spinach and tomato salad. For dessert, I made a four minute chocolate mousse which was so very delicious! I garnished the mousse with some grated milk chocolate and it was pretty as well. Yum!!

Actually, making the "four minute" mousse took me about two hours - but that includes the measuring and the cleanup :). Obviously the "four minute" part of the title must exclude the measuring and cleanup. It took me so long because I kept messing up the meringue. The first time I put the sugar in the meringue before I started whipping the egg whites and of course it wouldn't make stiff peaks. The second time, I crunched up the sugar too much in the coffee grinder (I cleaned it out thoroughly first) so the meringue was just kind of gloppy. I was crunching up the sugar because I couldn't find caster sugar in any of our regular grocery stores. The third time I was lucky and it worked out.

But what to do with the extra meringue? I thought of the Pecan Sandies I had made before. So I grabbed some pecans, chopped them up a bit, mixed them into the egg whites and plopped them on a tray into the oven. Except for making them too big, they were perfect and were super delicious!

This is Freda with our heroes, from left: Emma, Maddy, Freda, Colleen. Thank you very much!!! And thank you also to Steve who didn't mind that a soaking wet person was sitting on the seat of his new truck when he had only had it for two days!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


It's been a while since I posted some panorama photos, so here are a set of them.

November 14, 2009

Just a reminder that you can click any photo to see a full size version of it.

November 29, 2009
We had a light dusting of snow in between the first photo (Nov 14th) and this one. As you can see, it all disappeared.

November 30, 2009
Ahh, it looks like a winter wonderland. That must mean it was Grey Cup day, and of course it was, and Saskatchewan lost due to a stupid penalty (too many men on the field).

November 29, 2009
This photo is of a neighbour across Howie Rd who has built a number of inukshuk's in his front yard, amongst his flower beds, etc. He keeps the grass trimmed around them very nicely so it always looks very neat.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Carleton Place Christmas Parade

We were having our neighbours over for supper on Saturday, and they suggested that we go to the Christmas parade in Carleton Place. We hadn't been to an evening parade before, so that sounded like a good idea. I turned the oven down to 300 instead of 325 so the roast wouldn't get all dried out.

Another first - we'd never seen a float with sheep on it before!!

Or how about a Christmas parade with a cow!!! Pretty cool!!

Hmm, not feeling the effects of the cold yet. It was pretty chilly.

Okay, Emma was feeling the cold though... I'll bet she was looking forward for a nice hot supper!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Geese Galore!!!

We had a frost this morning, and the air was filled with ice fog. Once the sun came up, it soon burned off though.

This morning I happened walking the dogs on the part of the road that is quite close to the lake when today's flock of migrating Canada Geese arrive. There were thousands of them again.

I think this photo is quite interesting since it shows so many geese in the various stages of landing.

Overall though, I think this is my favourite as this is a head-on shot of the geese coming in to land. You can see that the geese have their wings curved in a landing configuration, to give them more lift at low speeds. Also, this head-on view reminds me of the head-on views of planes, which I think are really neat.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day 2009

Once again, I went to the Remembrance Day Memorial program at the Kanata Cenotaph. I only found out this morning that Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles were going to be at the Ottawa Cenotaph, but it was too late to change my plans. There were a lot of people out again this year. It was a very nice day too, which is unusual for Remembrance Day in Ottawa.

A new thing this year was the school children who laid a poppy at the base of the 22 memorial trees.

This was the CF18 flypast, in the 'missing man' formation.

After the ceremony, this is Gordon O'Connor (our MP and former Defence Minister) and a veteran walking to the stand to take the salute from the veterans and the various armed forces, police, RCMP, cadets, etc.

This is the start of the march past. The pipe band was first.

The drummers followed the pipers.

After the drummers, came the colours. After the colours, there was a contingent of veterans - including women's veterans, then current armed forces members, police services (Ottawa Police, OPP, RCMP), cadets, etc. I didn't get any photos of them because I put down the camera and was clapping as they went by.

This is one of the memorial trees, and the poppy that was laid by one of the school children.

Here are some youtube videos:

"Canadian WWII veteran tribute"

"A Pittance of Time" Terry Kelly
On November 11, 1999 Terry Kelly was in a Shoppers Drug Mart store in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. At 10:55 AM an announcement came over the store's PA asking customers who would still be on the premises at 11:00 AM to give two minutes of silence in respect to the veterans who have sacrificed so much for us.

Terry was impressed with the store's leadership role in adopting the Legion's "two minutes of silence" initiative. He felt that the store's contribution of educating the public to the importance of remembering was commendable.

When eleven o'clock arrived on that day, an announcement was again made asking for the "two minutes of silence" to commence. All customers, with the exception of a man who was accompanied by his young child, showed their respect.

Terry's anger towards the father for trying to engage the store's clerk in conversation and for setting a bad example for his child was later channeled into a beautiful piece of work called, "A Pittance of Time". Terry later recorded "A Pittance of Time" and included it on his full-length music
CD, "The Power of the Dream".

Canada Geese by the thousands

We are obviously in the middle of migration season, as Canada Geese are arriving for a layover by the thousands. This was a zoomed in section of a photo that shows some geese coming in to land next to their brethren. I wonder how many landing collisions there are?? Hmmm....

This photo can give you a bit of an idea of just how many geese there are. Imagine looking to the right and to the left of this photo, and seeing the sky filled with the big birds. Their hooting and honking was actually quite loud, and - because there were so many of them - they made a lot of noise when the splashed down on the lake. Click on this photo to see the large version, and you will see that there are a LOT of birds on the lake, landing on the lake, coming in on final approach, circling to land, and approaching the lake. Wow!

The roadway was graded today. The snowplow operator asked us to fix up the road (runoff had made a big ditch across the road in one spot) because he didn't want to damage his equipment.

This is the end result. The gravel should pack down with vehicular traffic over the next little while. A little rain would help with that too, as long as it is not a heavy rain.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Five thousand geese

There must have been five thousand geese coming in to land on the lake this morning.

Taz hogging the toy...

Tawny getting ready for a chase and a catch, oh what fun!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Cold Tail

Tawny had a big play yesterday, as well as a swim in the cold water. And last night we noticed that she was quite uncomfortable, as she would lay down, and then get up a few minutes later, turn around, and lay down again, then repeat a few minutes later. She was holding her tail down and sort of whimpering. These are symptoms of 'cold tail', which is essentially when the muscles she wags her tail with get very sore, so she is unable to hold her tail up. I took this photo on our walk this morning.

It was very nice yesterday, and we realized that the grass needed mowing again, so I went out and cut the front, back, and side lawns. If you look carefully at this photo, just to the right of the foreground tree, you might be able to see a swath of leaves and grass clippings that I need to rake up.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

First snowfall!

Tawny enjoying the light snowfall on our walk this morning.

Pano Dec 7, 2009
The snowfall was so light that you can't even really see it in this photo. Although you can see that there was some snow because there is white snow on part of the lake - where the snow fell on the thin layer of ice that's on part of the lake.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

One Dog vs. 500 Canada Geese

The Power of One Dog versus 500 Canada Geese

Now I'll try embedding a video... Sorry that it's kinda jerky. You can tell it was pretty windy too, from the wind noise.

Tawny thinks she can catch the geese. Taz is on a leash and you can hear him whining and crying because he wants to chase the geese too. :))

Tawny finally gets to where the geese were around the 0:16 time point. Of course, the geese have all landed on the lake by that time! :)

A beautiful fall day

It's supposed to get to +8C today, but it was -1C this morning. When I let Tawny out in the back yard to do her business, she decided that she would like to lick the ice in her outdoor water bowl. Very funny! She licked it for about 10 minutes. I wonder if dogs can get ice cream headaches??

There were about 500 Canada Geese on the lake this morning. You may not be able to see them very well in this panorama photo.

I hope you can see the Canada Geese in this zoomed in photo. Don't forget that you can click on any picture to see a larger version.

Friday, November 06, 2009

November 6th, pano

Pano - November 6th, 2009

The forecast for the weekend isn't quite as rosy now. It currently is +8C for Saturday and +11C for Sunday. That's still nice enough to put paid to the snow.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

First snow

4:35pm - November 5th, 2009

Around mid-afternoon, the light rain turned to mushy snowflakes, that mushroom into toonie-sized wetness on your windshield. This is the type of wet snow that can really get your coat soaked through very quickly. It won't last though, as it is supposed to get up to +12C on the weekend (yippeee!!!!).

5:25 pm - November 5th, 2009. Yes, just 50 minutes later!