Saturday, March 31, 2012

The past few Weekends in Review + our unexpected hiatus

I've had a bit of a hiatus from updating this blog because our dog was hit by a car.  Poseidon's going to be fine, but we've still got 6 weeks to go before we get full clearance from our vet that is broken arm has fully healed.  He hasn't been impressed with our insistence that he wear his cone of shame (although he's been trying to style it more like a cape).

Prior to his accident, we were enjoying the Ottawa winter and were exploring our local dog park with our good friend Susie and her blonde sidekick Simba (aka Poseidon's canine bff).  Simba is a 5 year old golden retriever who loves being chased and is starting to tolerate Poseidon's enthusiasm.

The morning of the accident, at Poseidon's insistence, we were out of the house at 8 am, we managed to brew ourselves some coffee, picked up some cookies at Bread and Roses Bakery, and the continued on our way to the river path.  That's when we spotted this monster of a contraption breaking up the ice. 

It was pretty loud and menacing looking, but it did a great job of breaking the ice.  The 'claw' arm would haul the body of the boat (is it a boat?) up onto the ice, and the weight of the boat would crack the ice.  The purpose of breaking up the ice is to prevent homes further up the waterway from experiencing floods in the spring time.  If they just waited for the top ice to melt, it would take too long and many people would have flooded basements, so they blow up the ice literally every year.

The machine was pretty cool, but the dog park beckoned, so we didn't stay too long.  After a good 20 minute romp with another golden retriever (Poseidon isn't exactly loyal to his go to canine pals, he's ready to play with anyone who is game, sorry Simba), we continued down to the Rideau Falls where all that flowing water was gushing.

In the meantime, we've been hanging out with Poseidon in our mudroom, trying to keep him entertained and limit the amount of movement he insists is minimum.  He's been enjoying an unusual amount of treats, chew toys and belly rubs.  This past Wednesday he finally had his stitches removed and was de-caped.  The vet says that he's in very good shape and that he expects him to be 100% in 6 weeks.  Yay!

Thomas' dad came up for a visit and we took advantage of his visit to go out and celebrate St Paddy's day in the Market.  We stopped in at our ever trusty hang out The Brig.  Thomas managed to order a green beer (pictured beside the Guinness below, I'm not sure if you can see its tint), and we considered our civic duty fulfilled.

On the topic of civic duties, we also needed to replace our toilet.  Our toilet in the basement gave up after/during the keg party, and the the toilet upstairs started giving us trouble too, so Thomas and his dad rolled up their sleeves and replaced it.  Here's the before picture, we'll try to post an after picture next week.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Weekend in Review - Robbie Burns Edition

*This post has been delayed by a few weekends because I was having trouble getting the pictures uploaded*

We bought the house in December, and had promised our friends a good, old fashioned house warming party.  A party where they could drink their fill of beer and wear any (all?) plaid they owned.  At the same time, we thought it would be a good opportunity to expose them to the poetry of Scotland's national poet, and the culinary delights of stuffed sheep intestines.

But first, before we arranged our play lists or ordered a beer keg, we thought it would be prudent to sort through our art, and finally get them hung up.  Poseidon thought this was a good idea and insisted on providing creating input.

We drafted our invites, and waited...
Our guests started arriving in all sorts of plaid and tartan.  They were proud to show off their styles.

Plaid lumberjack vest over a plaid shirt?  Yes please!

Tweed jacket over plaid pants?  Why not?

You can't see it in this picture, but the host + hostess were the only two attendees wearing kilts:

After most of our friends had arrived, and were refreshed, it was time to show them what they had gotten themselves into.  It was time to address the Haggis.  Thomas took to it with great zeal.

This lovely culinary delight was purchased at our very own Glebe Meat Market.  If you're ever feeling adventurous, give it a try.  Personally, I think that this was the best haggis we've ever tried.  It was nicely spiced, and had other tasty bits in it (what appeared to be walnuts).

Our culinary delights were approved by our friends, and was enough to spark discussions and fuel a dance party which spontaneously started on account of an unparalleled play list

The last dregs of the keg were brought to an end with 5 keg stands.  Our last guests left at around 3am in the morning.  We managed to avoid getting noise complaints from our neighbours, everyone made it home safely, and the cleanup the next morning took less than an hour.  The hangovers took a bit longer to get over, but we're thinking of making our toast to Scotland's finest poet and annual event.

:  )

K + T

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Weekend in Review #1

We've noticed that as a result of having a very energetic dog, one side effect is that we walk around our neighbourhood much more than we would if we didn't have a dog.  We're blessed with an awesome dog park less than 2km away from our house, and during our hike, we were greeted by this very friendly tree:

Which boded quite well for the weekend.  Our neighbourhood friendly tree was featured on: .  Way to go Ottawa!

On Saturday, our usual antics were enriched by the company of our friend Dan and his side kick Barclay.  Once again, we were off to our favourite park, but this time, with our cross country skis AND the dogs!

The car ride went rather smoothly, thanks to Barclay's supervision of the backseat passengers:

The cross country skiing went remarkably well, considering how much of a gong show it could have been with two energetic puppies, but they stayed near us, and were troopers despite the lack of treats being dolled out.  Our outdoor adventure was  cut short, due to the -20 degree weather, and the biting wind.  

On Sunday, we slept in for a whopping 30 minutes, and by the time we got downstairs, Poseidon left us a little reminder of why he doesn't let us sleep in.... In the afternoon, we realized that we had run out of dog food, so off we went to our local pet shop to pick up our usual 60lb bag of dog food.  You'll note in the picture, that the bag is so huge, Thomas couldn't even close off his backpack.

After solving the mystery of why the water in our dishwasher kept shutting off, and fixing it, we decided to make our new dishwasher more aesthetically pleasing by mounting a front on it (truth be told
I bet Ikea never thought of selling plywood as a cabinet door.  Shabby chic?

We had to replace our old ceiling lamp in the living room.  It had emphysema or something from the 30+ years of smoke that it had been exposed to.  We found this great replacement at the Home depot.  You can find a similar one here .

One more trip to the dog park with the cross country skis, (it was fairly dark out already, and Poseidon prefers not to be seen in his winter jacket) and that was our weekend.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Things our dog knows #1 & early reno projects

We got a puppy in May, and since then, our days haven't really been the same.  I think we can finally say that we have successfully house trained him, and I think he can finally say that he's whipped us into much better and regular shape.  Symbiotic relationship?  

As we've finally got settled into our new home, we've been slowly wrapping our brains around fix it projects and we've been exploring our new surroundings.  To Poseidon's pleasure, we've discovered a new dog park, complete with a huge field, a cross country ski path that outlines the perimeter along with a gorgeous forested area.  I'm not sure who was more pleased with the discovery of our new local dog park.  It seems as though most of his new furry friends are very well behaved, and we haven't been too concerned about aggressive dogs (our concern about Poseidon's recall is another thing).  

We were surprised to see that our dog actually knew his way home after our third or fourth visit at the park.  We were walking down our street, and he stopped in front of the house as though to say, hey guys, I know what we're doing next - we're going home!  Our dog knows the way home.

Another thing that he knows is that sleeping on the (unplugged) circular saw is a great way to relax after supervising reno projects.

Apart from unpacking, there were very few pressing projects that we had to tackle immediately, but one we couldn't put off was our kitchen light.  Our old light fixture was from 1970, and barely made a difference when we turned it on.  It was time to go.  My favourite reno-man took to the project with the enthusiasm of a kid on Christmas morning.  And just like Christmas morning, there were some unexpected surprises - electrical surprises!  Surprises which resulted in more trips to Rona for merrets, electrical boxes and electrical tape.  A larger hole in the ceiling later, and some drywall snow

and some supervision from our favourite canine pal,

the new kitchen light was installed!  

Granted, there IS a giant hole in ceiling, but we'll fix that after the electrical, insulation and kitchen reno are done!

Next up on the list was the dishwasher.  Our old one was dated, and in need of replacement.  We were worried that it would eat our dishes alive.  After a(nother) trip to Ikea, we picked out our dishwasher.  We know that eventually, when we do our full kitchen reno, we'd like to put a panel on the front, so we went ahead and bought a compatible dishwasher.  In the meantime, we're just using the front that it has - an ugly front, but a FUNCTIONAL dishwasher!  Everyone is happy!

Poseidon found a good use for the dishwasher box...

And last but not least, we figured that it was time to get a headboard, so once again, my favourite reno-man jumped to the occasion.  We went to Ikea and the As-Is section had the perfect returned plank of stained wood.  After some measuring, cutting, 2x4 assemblage, Chicago screws, and a wee bit of assembly, we had a new headboard!

More housing adventures to come! 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Live in the layers, not the litter

The Layers - Stanly Kunitz

I have walked through many lives,

some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.

Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?

In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.

In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice directed me:

"Live in the layers, not on the litter."

Though I lack the art to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written,
I am not done with my changes.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ride the wave, pet the dog

Today was a pretty good day, all things considered. I'm still a bit on edge about taking my language test next Monday (!), but have been doing my best to slowly, quietly, plow through the prep tests.

I did my sun salutations this morning as usual, but because I've been taking a bit more time lately in toning my arms, and as a result, today I was strong enough to 'ride the wave' (when you go from plank to cobra by pulling your body forward) and it felt fabulous. It was really nice to just flow from one position to the next, without having to crunch/flip my toes. Very, very pleased with this progress.

Today at lunch, I decided to come home to make myself a lunch (not too far away from work), and on my way, I saw a dog walker ahead, with 3 dogs. One was a Cairn Terrier, the second looked like a beagle mix, and the third had a swagger like my old dog, but I wasn't sure because he had so much white on him... So, I decided to ask the walker what kind of dog it was, and lo and behold - it was a Portie! His name was Bailey, and apparently he loves water so much that instead of drinking it from his bowl, he likes to put his front paws IN the toilet and drink out of it! Bailey was very pleased with himself to be getting so much attention, but then a squirrel ran across the road, and they were off to it again.

Needless to say, I'm really looking forward to getting a dog.