Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Introducing Rogue

This handsome devil is Rogue. Rogue is a cornsnake, and he's about a year old. He is the smallest of Andrew's 4 snakes, and the one that used to scare me the most. Zeus and Athena are big laid back ball pythons, and Kaylee is a texas rat snake, and all three of them had been handled more than Rogue. He used to shake his little tail like he thought he was a rattle snake, and curl up into a striking pose, or quickly slither away whenever anybody tried to touch him or pick him up. Though the logical part of me says his bite likely wouldn't hurt all that much, I really don't want to find out. When I first met Andrew I would take all the other snakes out, but never the little guy. One day a couple weeks ago, Andrew had him out because he was cleaning his tank, and with Andrew doing the tricky part of catching him, and then handing him over to me, the little bugger was quite civil. I figured it's important to handle him more often so that he doesn't turn into a big nasty bitey snake.
Andrew is currently babysitting a full size corn snake, and we certainly don't want him to get that big and be cranky about being handled, so the answer is simply to handle him more. It's been a pet project of mine, I take him out for a couple minutes every time that I'm here, and he's really gotten much better. I don't even use the hook to catch him most times now, just reach in and take hold of him.
Before I started handling him, he didn't even have a name. Andrew just called him the little guy. I picked the name Rogue for him, and Andrew agreed to it this week. I like to think that makes him part mine too. Anyways, that's the most exciting thing that happened in my night, so I thought I would write about it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Gadget

You'll notice a new gadget on the right hand side of your screen. That's the pet of the day spot. Every day it features an adoptable animal in our area. Because everyone's life is a little better with a dog (cat, bird, fish.... etc.) in it, and there are so many wonderful pets in our area looking for a person who's life they can make better. My postal code has been put in on the site, so it is supposed to show pets that are adoptable around us. If you're thinking of adding some new fur babies to your life, (and believe me, I'm the last person to decide if a pet is right for your situation, but if you are...) consider checking out some of the star players featured on the banner.
I don't get kickbacks for clicks or anything like that, I just know that the best dogs I've ever had were all rescues, and if I can help some of these guys find a home, I'm happy to do it.

Feeling like a Hippo

That is to say fat and wet. My raincoat, which I haven't worn in nearly a year, was so snug around my hips tonight, that the bottom edge kept riding up to my waist. Which is precisely why I was strapping the sucker on, and dragging my poor pup out in this inclement weather. My contract with the shelter ended over a month ago, and in the mean time I've been doing a fat load of nothing, and it's starting to show. I haven't stepped on a scale of late, but my clothing is beginning to tell the tale. So, I'm starting slow, but I'm starting my day off with a bowl of plain cheerios instead of the usual slices of white bread slathered in fatty toppings, and I plan to take the dog for a walk morning and night. It'll be good for both of us. And, maybe help me sleep a little better at night. I don't expect hippo to svelte cheetah overnight or anything, but its a step in the right direction.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Andrew to the rescue!!

I made him take a pic and send it to me so I could share the runner with you all. It's sitting on his dining room table for now... I think it turned out pretty good if I do say so myself!! (and clearly, I do.)

Santa's Workshop

Well, actually Andrew's workshop, but hey, who's being picky? Several weeks ago we went out and cut down a couple of sizable birch branches, and Andrew spend last week at the chop saw cutting them down into 1/4 inch thick biscuits for me. This weekend I bought felt, and started glueing. We're making my mom a table runner and set of placemats for christmas. We were at my aunt's house for thanksgiving, and she had a birch biscuit table runner, and mom started gushing about how much she loved it. Andrew and I looked at each other with that crafty little gleam in our eyes. I could tell we were both thinking the same thing: we could make that...
I got the runner finished this weekend, but unfortunately forgot to take a picture. The six placemats will be next weekend's project. I was also thinking that we might put the extra felt on the back of a couple of the larger biscuits for coasters...
I LOVE that Andrew and I are both crafty, and that we can work on a project together like this... It makes me happy. Once he finished cutting biscuits and I was happily glueing myself crazy (stupid glue gun strings...), he turned his attention to making christmas tree stands. His rover crew sells christmas trees every year as a fundraiser to help buy kilts for new members. The old tree stands just weren't cutting it, so now there are going to be 4 10 foot long sturdy little tanks to support the rows and rows of trees they're going to sell. Have I mentioned that I love how handy my man is? He's already talking about building cradles, and bunk beds for our children... and perhaps building a one room log cabin. I love that. And I really love that we can putter away at separate projects in the same room and just be happy with the company, and sound off on problems, and troubleshoot with each other... he's decided that eventually when we have our own place and he has his own workshop, he's going to put a desk and chair in a corner for me and my projects so we can work together. I love him so much.

Yay for Friendsgiving!!

Friendsgiving turned out fantastic!! Christina and Kyle are fantastic hosts, and boy does Kyle ever know how to cook a turkey! We arrived around 6, presumably to help with setup and food prep before everybody arrived, but really we just helped devour the appetizers :). Aside from myself and Andrew and Chris and Kyle, there were two other couples and a single guy. 9 is an impressive number of people to entertain in a small apartment, and we were all comfy! One couple is married, another couple there was engaged as well, and our hosts are just on the verge of becoming engaged themselves I think! It was really cool to be around other young people who are kinda in the same place in life as we are. The evening was fantastic. The company was fantastic. The food was fantastic, and we already have plans in the works for a new years toga party. It's a good time.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friendsgiving is Tomorrow!!

Well, Thanksgiving is a family sort of event, and Christmas is just too busy to try and work around everybody's schedules for a get together, so my friend Christina and her partner Kyle have created a new annual tradition: Friendsgiving! It falls in between the two, on an inconspicuous date that is otherwise unoccupied. That way, we stand a much better chance of all being able to get together. I'm really excited to get to see the two of them, and hopefully some other friends of mine from school as well. They're putting on a whole spread... Turkey, stuffing, potato and vegetable dishes... even deserts!! And almost all made from scratch, to accommodate her soy allergies... she's gonna be a busy girl tomorrow!!
More details, and hopefully pictures to follow!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


My application package to become registered with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario has been sent in weeks ago, and I've been bouncing on the edge of my seat waiting for my registration number so that I can finally start the job that's been so patiently waiting on me. Yesterday it was sent back to me. Apparently I'm missing a page of the paperwork. So now I get to send it back, with the additional pages and a 35$ administration fee, and wait another 4 weeks or so. Not impressed. GRRRR!!!
Yesterday I was livid, and frustrated with myself for being disorganized enough to misplace a page. A good book and a glass of good port got me fixed up to a point of civility again though.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Breakfast is better with home baked bread

Two days ago, it was homemade bread with homemade jam as pictured to the left. The jam is blackberry and peach, and it was made by a friend of ours, but in my book it's still homemade... just not in my home! This morning Andrew and I made the most delicious french toast I have ever tasted in my whole entire life. And believe me, I've tasted a lot of french toast. I'm a big fan. The was nothing special or fancy in the recipe, just thick slices of my very own bread, scrambled egg mixed with a bit of milk and a couple minutes in the skillet. TO DIE FOR!!! I will make a note in the book about what good french toast this bread makes!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bread Day

Baked two beautiful loaves of bread. It's the best white bread recipe I've ever found, the closest I can come to the fluffy, holey homemade bread my great grandma used to make. Grandma used to make it too, but lately she's been using store bought frozen dough for her bread, and claims to have forgotten the recipe.
My recipe can be found in a book from Storey called the backyard homestead. Even if I never planned to have a homestead of my own, it would have been worth the purchase of the book for that recipe alone!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Quilt Update

There are 12 blocks now!

The Belated Pumpkin Post

Well, you remember me telling you about the mutant giant pumpkin vines that took over the corner of the world that is my WHOLE ENTIRE GARDEN right? Well, I figured I better share some of the fruits of that labour with you! We pulled out 8 pumpkins in all, ranging from just too small to bother carving, up to about 18 inches across! This beauty to your left wasn't carved, it was scarred. When it was just a weenie little green pumpkin I lightly scored the skin in my paw print motif. As the pumpkin grew, the "injury" healed into a tough, scaly, grey-brown trail outlining where I'd scratched. Cool huh? It grew with the pumpkin, so the toes are spaced out a little funny, but I still like it! It doesn't make for a big impact halloween night because there's no lights in it, but I think it's neat, and keeping it intact means that it lasts way longer. I took that picture this afternoon, and it still looks as good as the day it was picked. The little fella in the bottom right corner of the pic is carved on one side, and as you can see he's succumbing to mold. We have saved seeds from 3 different pumpkins out of this batch to grow new pumpkins next year.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


On Saturday, my wonderful, thoughtful fiance who spoils me and feeds my farm dreams got us tickets to see the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Hoooey!!! What a spectacular and wonderful little oasis in the city for a happy farmer-to-be. We got to see the superdogs agility course (with a spotlight-stealing bulldog by the name of Potroast who barreled straight through the jumps and used the poles for chew toys) and the Junior/Amateur show jumping championship. Having Andrew there for that was really neat. He did some jumping and dressage back in the day, so I got a bit of insight into the horsemanship and what to look for in the rider, and I shared a bit with him about the horse's movement and gait and way of thinking. I like that about us, we have enough in common to always have something to talk about, but enough of a different vantage point to keep it interesting.
We ate at greasy food vendors, longingly fondled sleek hand stitched leather saddles, compared the merits of different styles of tack we are years away from needing, and buried our hands deep in the plush pelts of the lambskins they had for sale. I think the only reason we didn't come home with 4 of those was the inconvenience of bringing them home on the bus. That's alright. I know where the store is now. We'll go back with the car.
The sheer number and type of artisans and vendors was staggering. Everything from hand carved wooden bowls, antique butcher-block kitchen tables and reclaimed barn board dining room sets to intricate hand made jewellery and leather goods, and of course, horse tack and other animal paraphernalia... It was awesome.
We ran into a man selling lamb meat, and I was thrilled to realize he's the same lamb man who sells at our farmer's market here in Orangeville. Small world huh?. I had just missed out on the last market day and thought that without his business card or even name, I was doomed to a winter without farm fresh lamb. His card is tucked into my wallet, and we're talking about setting up a visit to his farm in the next month.
There were displays of produce, favouring those things that winter well, such as squashes, and grains. There were giant pumpkins like I have never seen!!
And then, of course, what I was overall most excited about: the animals. We went during a lamb and dairy day, so there was a HEAVY prevalence of those animals about, but there was a token presence of pigs, dairy cows, rabbits, etc. Most of the fancy, domesticated city dwellers there were shaking hay at the little lambs trying to bid them nearer to soak in their cuteness and their little pink noses. Call me callous, but I was looking at ewe birthing records, and picturing just how much lamb chop I'd get from Lambchops over there... running my fingers through their dense coats and picturing myself bedding down on its skin at re-enactment events next summer... I think that makes me several steps along the road to being a farmer. Mentally anyways.
And the horses!! The portable stalls were the typical sort, solid walls to about 4 feet, and bars for another... 4?5? feet beyond that. There was everything from tiny shetland ponies and miniature horses that had a hard time peering over the wall of their stall, to massive percherons who hung their head our over the top of the bars. They were huge!! I was drooling... I love percherons. They're just so impressive! This fellow's head was easily 8 or 9 feet off the ground. It occurred to me that I would be hard pressed to properly massage their withers from the flat ground let alone reach those thick necks of theirs!! I think for sheer manageability I will start off with a percheron cross... but I just love their stocky build, and meaty round hindquarters, and those massive powerful necks... I want the outline of a percheron, in a slightly smaller scale. Of course, I also spent due time drooling over the Canadians and the Friesians, but there were only two of each of those breeds. There were aisles upon aisles of percherons there for the draft pull competitions. Outside I couldn't help but laugh at the mack trucks attached to the front of each trailer sporting a percheron logo. I guess when you're hauling around 6-8 2000lb animals, you need that kind of hauling power.
We finished the day off with reeses pieces fudge, and the long bus trip back to Andrew's place in Newmarket, but by far it was the BEST Saturday I've had in a long long time!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

And POOF! It Was Winter!

During the day yesterday we had slushy, rainy snow on and off... the first snow fall and certainly no accumulation on the ground... last night when I went to bed there was a dusting so light on the railing of the deck that I couldn't tell whether it was actually snow or just a heavy frost. The air was all glittery by the porch light, so I assumed it might be snow. This morning, I woke to a world still mostly green, but almost before my very eyes the tiny glitters in the air became heavier and heavier flakes... I'd be willing to bet that some of them were an inch across!!

Well done winter... I'm impressed.

The quilt thus far

So far each block has taken just over an hour to assemble... that's right, you're looking at over 7 hours of work. Crazy huh? But I love it!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Old Quilting Project

Today, I came across what could arguably still be called my first quilt. I started and finished many other projects since, but this was my first attempt...
and it went horribly.
I was only a 15 year old kid, 7 years ago now, when I walked into a quilt shop that no longer exists and told the lady I was there to buy fabric for a quilt. I wanted to make a log cabin quilt for my bed, and would she please help me figure out how much of each type of fabric I would need? She was first of all shocked that a teenager was interested in quilting, dismayed that I had chosen a log cabin for my very first quilt, and likely appalled by my initial fabric choices. With a little guidance, I eventually amended a few of my choices and ended up with a selection of colours I still enjoy today. Perhaps I wouldn't leap into decorating my whole room in dark blues and purples with a celestial theme, but it will still make a nice quilt I'm sure.
7 years ago, I didn't know the first thing about quilting... well, perhaps just the first thing. We had a cutting mat, and a rotary cutter, but the blade was dull so I ended up doing a lot of back and forth cuts to get through the fabric, and in the process sheared the edges of my pieces to ribbons. I also couldn't hold the ruler very steady. The result was a whole bag full of cut wonky, wobbly, crooked, tattered strips, and the three blocks I assembled neither matched, nor were square. I gave up on it, I figured the fabric (which, at 83$ was quite dear for a 15 year old to buy with babysitting money!) was wasted, but I couldn't bring myself to throw it out.
Today, I know somewhat more about quilting (hey, we're all still learning right?) and have decided to cut down the size of each block, so that I have room to trim off the uneven parts of my strips. I'm also using a method called paper piecing, or foundation piecing, where you sew all the strips to a piece of paper you later tear away. It makes the cleanest, sharpest, squarest quilt blocks I have ever seen!!
The quilt is now going to be a throw instead of the original twin bed quilt, but at least it's being used!! As our sewing room is also my parent's bedroom, dad kicked us out to go to bed early tonight (it's hunting season afterall...), but I promise pictures tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I'm back!

I've been reluctant to post much since mid summer... Zack and I broke up and at the time I felt that blogging meant having to explain that, and I didn't feel like it. There have been a whirl-wind of changes since then bring another man into my life who is like a second half of my own heart, spirit, and soul! Andrew and I want the same things out of life, have SOOO many similar interests and hobbies, and similar values and love each other fiercely!! There... the big elephant in my own mind has been deflated... and for all 3? readers I might have it might seem silly to have been afraid, but there it is.
Andrew proposed to me October 17th, and I know that he is the man I will spend the rest of my life with. Our wedding is going to be September 21, 2013... crazy I know, to have thought a year ago I could be happy with one man, and now to be completely madly and crazily in love with another, but hey, that's what life has tossed me, and I'm happy with where it's headed :)