Monday, 23 March 2015

A Busy Weekend

Oh, so nice to get away to the lake for a couple of days, and even nicer when joined in so doing by fun people! Carl, Irene, Dodie, and Myles all stayed with us, and we had the usual wonderful time!
Friday night snacks and martinis, and so happy to have Joann and Kerri for a visit. This week is Dodie’s birthday, and Joann brought a gift and cake for her. Quite yummy too!
Saturday we started with coffee and muffins, a slow wake up. Then a heartier breakfast of beautiful eggs with hollandaise sauce, ham, and english muffins, which gave us energy for the big “cut down the dead tamarack” project.
I’d been afraid to do this – was hoping to have a professional come in – but Iain convinced me that with some help from his friends it would come down safely. Kevin, who is an incredibly handy man with a saw, just happened to be at his cottage this weekend, so Iain enlisted his help, and he made short work of it.  Iain had tied a rope up as high as he could, and he, Carl, and Myles all went onto the ice and pulled on it to guide the tree fall.

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We ended up with a nice pile of wood out of it, though I understand it burns very hot, so we’ll have to be careful using it. Thanks and hat tips to all the guys for their hard work!
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Iain just about wore himself out cutting this up! Good thing he had help.
Since we’ve lost two trees already to the pine borer (it was a different bug that killed the tamarack), I’m hoping it isn’t too late for our one remaining young pine. I put tanglefoot around the base of it, hoping to snag any pine borers that try to climb it. If they already went up last year, though, it’ll not do any good. Fingers crossed!
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Die insects, die!
The snow that fell Saturday was sticky, and perfect for snowballs! We girls tried to hit Roger’s stop sign, but were all pretty bad shots, so Iain gave us a larger target.
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I couldn't even hit it when I had the bigger target...
I noticed that the snow on the old place seemed to be concentrated in the centre of the roof, and I was puzzled as to why it was melted around the edges only. Then, I realized that the inside of the cottage is so darn cold, it is keeping the snow from melting. Not too cold for the mice, though. I did a cursory inspection and found they’d made a mess of at least one blanket and the drawers have lots of nice mouse poo in them. Yucky. Lots of cleaning to do once things warm up, and so much for the mouse repellents keeping them away.
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You can tell we've had a lot of snow melt already, because there was about 2 ft. of snow on it last time we were up.
Saturday night we had broiled pork chops. The original plan had been for barbeque, but the cold snap changed our plans. After dinner we relaxed and Iain took us through a little role-playing exercise, which was a lot of fun!
When we went to bed, there were plenty of gorgeous stars visible – a great way to fall asleep!
Sunday: Carl and Irene treated us to a pancake breakfast; so good, I ate 5 pancakes (well, they weren’t huge, okay?) and several sausages. After breakfast it was clean-up time and we all headed home. That was a great weekend.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Just Some Cat Pics

Onyx and Snaps!
Onyx is STILL over-grooming obsessively. The fur on this back and head and tail (anywhere he can’t easily reach with his tongue) is soft and healthy-looking. He has a vet visit in a couple of weeks (check-up time), and we’ll see if there are any ideas there.
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That little blue fish is his favourite toy, of late.
He seems very happy and healthy, and his appetite never fails; but I think he is bored. Wendy was home with him most of the time, and he was an only cat, which meant he got a lot of attention – a lot more than we have time for, both working full time and having three other cats to attend to. I make an extra effort to entertain him, but I know it falls short.
Snaps is becoming more of a lap cat, which is nice – I like a cat that curls up and keeps you warm. There’s plenty of him to love, as you can see in the picture. I’m guessing he weighs about 15 pounds, and that may be missing on the light side.
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Our gorgeous orange baby!
They play together, but they don’t cuddle; Onyx like to stretch out in front of the fireplace on his own. Occasionally he’ll sit on my lap, but not often. I was really surprised last week when he leapt onto our friend Tom’s lap to get some pets!

Monday, 23 February 2015

A Weekend

Going to the lake for a weekend is such a nice change, during the winter months. This is one of the coldest Februaries ever, and still we were glad to go.
Since we only stayed until Sunday afternoon, we didn’t plan to do much. We did have company on Friday night – so good to see our cousin Jo again, and she was kind enough to bring us some homemade doughnuts! They didn’t last the whole weekend.
On Saturday we dragged ourselves out for a short walk, and it was all I wanted. Slogging along a skidoo track isn’t quite as easy as walking on a plowed road.
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On Eldon's and Janice's driveway.
Very little wildlife was in evidence this weekend. Besides birds, we saw nothing: no squirrels, chipmunks, or any other mammals. With the deep cold we’ve been having, they must be staying close to their homes.
On our walk we did see where someone, possibly a chipmunk, has a nicely sheltered spot. They tunnel underground for their homes, so this would have just been where an entrance-way was situated. Otherwise, it could have been some other animal, but I don’t know what.
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Hello in there...

One of last year’s nests is still standing up well. I like the way it is full of little ribbons.
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When we got up on Sunday morning, everything was covered in fresh snow.
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The pile of snow on the neighbour’s table makes us wonder: Is there something under it that makes it pile so high, or is that all snow?
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Of course, it COULD be all snow. It really has snowed that much.

Relaxing in the morning with lots of coffee and goodies, we watched the Chickadees enjoy the seeds and suet. We also had visits from a couple of Blue Jays, a White Breasted Nuthatch and a Red Breasted Nuthatch, and a Woodpecker – I think Dodie said it was a Downy.
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I like the way this little guy looks in the window.
I’m already looking forward to going up again next month!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Cold, Cold, Cold

That pretty much sums up the winter thus far. We’ve been staying inside lots, recovering from various ailments (colds, infections).
The highlights:
It’s so nice to finally have birds at the feeder. They have really enjoyed eating the Scott’s Wild Finch & Small Songbird mix.

Seriously, this stuff is the best. It’s expensive, but it doesn’t go to waste.
We’ve had Goldfinches,
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Juncos,
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and Redpolls!
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The cats enjoy sitting in the window, where they can see the birds but not disturb them.
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Snaps is a big cat, but so skittish – here is his “should I run away?” face.
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The other big highlight of January was having the chance to tour some houses with my cousins as they consider the possibility of moving to town. We looked at a variety of places, including this one where I couldn’t resist checking out the bar. It met with my approval!
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At the beginning of February we helped a little with Kyle’s move to his new digs. This is the view from the dining room. I think on a clear day he may be able to see Parliament Hill.
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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Winter has settled in

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The quiet cold of the lake and woods on a winter day: this picture pretty much sums it up, for me.

I have to say that I love this shot.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Well, that was 2014

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Jezebel and Onyx enjoying a Christmas morning nap.
Just a quick note: I usually like to post more than I have lately, but December flew by, and for the last week and a half I’ve had a really awful cold. Christmas day was very foggy in my brain! I’m on the mend, now, and the New Year looks better.

Wishing everyone out there a very happy 2015!

Monday, 1 December 2014

November endeth

With the cold weather and the addition of good seed to our finch feeder, we’ve noticed more birds in general. The dining room window is the perfect spot to keep an eye on them!
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Eyeing up the tragically flawed cat feeder.
We had to make one short trip to the cottage to offload some laundry and a bunch of building materials cluttering up the basement. Not much “buildy” stuff gets used at home. The basement is a small space to work in and cold as anything in the winter!
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You can see all the small branches that have fallen.
We found a lot of branches down, but the only big ones were from the dead tamarack.
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The bay, mostly frozen.
A lot of the lake is lightly frozen, but there are gaps at the edges.
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Wah! My tree! Gonna miss it.
Yep, the top of the tamarack blew off! About the top six feet or so. I sure hope we get it cut down at New Years as planned.
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When it fell, it just shattered to pieces.
It must have been quite a wind, as the top of the tree landed at least 40 feet away.